Fallen Ch. 02byNephylim©
The outside air is cool and fragrant. The garden of my home is second to none. I have kept it this way for almost a thousand years. The terraces remind me of... somewhere else. I follow the laid out paths to the maze and then wander through its spirals. No one walks the maze but me because it leads to somewhere else.
At the center there is a summerhouse. It is round and domed and faced with white marble. All around there are tinted glass windows, and inside it is part greenhouse and part lounging area. A stream runs through it. Ivy and roses climb over the walls and there are grapes hanging from the ceiling. A waterfall imbues it with the constant sound of running water and all along the edge of the stream small willows weep.
There is a bridge over the stream, a simple bow that leads from the glade into an area not so much carpeted with grass... as with carpet. There are low tables - bearing oil lamps, and bowls of nuts and fruit - sofas, a drink cabinet which is always kept well stocked, and today an easel with a large canvas set on it.
There is a woman standing before the easel, busy painting on the canvas. She is tall, as tall as me, with long black hair held back by a series of complicated plaits at the front. She is wearing a black dress that reaches to her ankles, with a belt of silver links that extends over her hips in a ragged 'skirt' of mail.
"Good evening, Sartorian. That is what you are calling yourself these days isn't it?"
"You are a few hundred years out of date, Astaria my dear." I say as I brush the hair away from her neck and kiss her ear from behind. She chuckles.
"My Lord," I murmur in her ear. "Or Radu to my friends."
"Ah, playing on the Romanian angle again."
"There is a 'fashion' for vampires from 'The Old Country'."
"The Old Country? Romania did not exist when we were young Luma."
"Now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time, not even from your lips. Are we feeling reminiscent tonight?"
"We're feeling... disturbed, Luma."
"Yes... I know what you mean." I leave her and pour a drink from the bar. "Would you like wine?"
"From your own grapes?"
"Are these the same grapes?" she asks wistfully taking the glass.
"The very same." I brush one of the bunches gently with my fingers. "These vines once grew on the terraces of Eden."
"Not quite." She smiles. "Although I suppose it is all considered Eden these days. The valley, the gardens, the city." She sighs.
She puts down the glass and wanders over, melting into my arms. My own glass falls from my fingers as I embrace her and am lost in her kiss. "You-sick," she whispers. Have you ever felt that your heart was breaking, that any moment it would shatter into pieces and choke you? Have you ever felt that sorrow would crush you until the weight of it powders you to dust? Have you ever loved someone so much that the thought of being parted from them for even a moment is a burden too great to bear?
"I miss you, Astaria."
"I have always missed you, Luma. You were the light of my life, the only light that has ever illuminated my life."
"I can't bear it. These moments are too brief and getting briefer. It is so rare now that our worlds are close enough to touch and I can see you, touch you, love you."
"Do you love me only at these times, Luma?"
"You know I don't. I love you every moment of every day, and I always will. I have never touched another woman and I never will. I will never touch anyone with love, never."
"What about your pretty boys?"
"They mean nothing to me. They are a means of satisfying my desires, while keeping my promise."
"What about the new one?"
"Aqua? He is... wait... how do you know about Aqua?"
She smiles at me and looks up into my eyes with her beautiful... "Astaria?"
Touching the side of my face she smiles. "I cannot be with you as I am, not in this time, not yet, perhaps not ever. But I have sent you a gift. It is a way for neither of us to have to break our vow. You cannot come to my world and I cannot set foot in yours; but for a moment, a brief moment I was able to hold open a gateway. Long enough to cast part of my soul through.
"I watched it settle on the boy. He was close to death, only minutes old, his mother taking her last breaths even as she held him. I waited until his last breath. It turned his hair white and changed his heart. She saw it, his mother. She was a wise woman; she saw it and died with a smile on her face. I have taken her as a handmaiden."
"He has your eyes. That always bothered me; that and the strange connection, the hold he has over me."
"He is not me, my love. He is only a very small part of me. You will have to woo and win him... but he will be drawn to you as you are drawn to him, and if you are careful you will be soul mates, partners for life. Through him I will feel your touch and you will feel mine. We can be together day by day and perhaps the ice around your heart will thaw, and the pain around mine release a little. It cannot be me but it can be a part of me, the best part of me, the part that loves you. And when the ice melts it will let love in. By hiding from it you are not honouring me, my love, you are hurting me."
I am stunned. I can barely take in what she is saying. She and I were parted by a curse many centuries ago... too many, way too many. There was a war and we were on the wrong side. Part of our punishment was to be bound in different worlds that could never touch, and to live eternally, to bear the pain of separation forever.
Over the years, we have found a way to bring the worlds together for brief periods... an hour, maybe two, at certain times of the year. I have trapped a gateway here, in this place, the place that my maze leads to, the world inside the summerhouse that exists neither in her world nor in mine.
It is no mean feat to detach part of your soul and send it through a gate. More difficult again to send it to a specific place, a specific person. She has expended considerable effort for my sake. She is so beautiful, so very beautiful. If only...
"There is no point in thinking 'if only' Luma."
"You should know by now that I read your face as easily as I read the messages you leave for me in the wind."
She lowers her eyes and a look of unbearable sadness falls over her face. "I have to leave, Luma."
"Already. It is not an hour yet, the gate..."
"No, Luma. I have to leave this place, leave you."
"No. I live for our meetings, Astaria. Without them I cannot go on."
"That is why I have sent you my soul. There is war coming, Luma. I want no part in it, not this time. They are closing all the gates and we will not be able to meet here again. They are sending me away. They do not want me influencing the tides of war."
"When will you come back?"
"I don't know. Maybe never. They are sending me somewhere from where I don't know if I can ever return, not like this."
"Where... where are you going?"
"Back to the spiral, Luma. I am to be born as a human again."
"Then I will find you..."
"One day, perhaps: in a hundred years, or a thousand. Until then... you have the boy."
"He's not enough."
"Give him a chance, he will be."
"No Astaria. I will not suffer it. I agreed to the Council's demands only on the basis of their promise that we would have this time together. I will not suffer it. I will demand release from my vow. They have broken theirs and..."
"No, Luma," she says softly. "They did not break their vow. They did not impose this on me. It was something I sought, something I asked for."
"Because I cannot go on this way. I cannot bear to have you only for a few hours here and there. My heart is breaking and I can't take it anymore. You would never break the agreement because you could not bear to lose even that. I had to take the step myself. With war coming, the Council is wary of me. They know how I feel and they fear that I will take direct action and upset the balance. I allowed my love for you to do that once and I can't do it again. I cannot be responsible for tearing apart our world again, not now, not when it needs to be unified.
"This way, I get what I want, and so do they. I am happy to follow the circular path again, my darling because I know that eventually it will lead me back to you. One day you will find me and we will be together forever. Until then take care of my soul. Take him through the ritual and hold him close until I come again."
"And what shall we do with him then?"
"Share, my darling, share. Besides, if you give him part of your soul during the ritual he will contain a part of both of us and it will make it so much easier to share him when the time comes."
"What if he doesn't want to go through the ritual? What if he will not accept..."
"My darling, he contains my soul. How could he resist you?" She pauses and her face takes on a different expression. "I have seen what you do to your boys, Luma."
"Luma, did I say I disprove?"
I hold her close again and kiss her deeply. "That is what I have always loved most in you. You're as ruthless and cold hearted as I am."
"Nonsense. There is nothing cold hearted about either of us, not if you allow yours to thaw. You really have to learn to be more careful with your boys. You have broken quite a few that I had grown fond of. There is no need for you to go through them as fast now. You have been searching for a long time you know... and now you have found.
"I would not ask you to keep faithful, but I do ask that you be more careful. Fill your stable and then take care of them, so that you don't need to hunt for more. Human life is not disposable, Luma," she says sternly. "Remember, I will be human too, very soon. Learn to respect them, because you will never know when one of them might be me."
I can't help but smile. "I will remember that."
My footsteps are heavy as I tread the paths of the maze back to my world, my home, if home it can be called. Can there be a home without a heart? Although... although perhaps now there is a heart, or at least there will be. In human form, there can only be potential in the boy. I will have to change him and, in doing that, I may lose him. How can I take that chance now? How can I not?
I remember the way I left him but my heart doesn't beat any faster. It is in the hands of the fates and what will be must be. If he dies then I will give him the respect due to the honoured dead and I will wait. I have waited this long.
When I return to the house, I feel the need for release and I cannot take it with Aqua and so I wander into the kitchen. This tends to be the heart of the house where all the boys gather. As I enter they look up and, when they see who it is, they rise from their seats and bow before me. In every eye there is a flash of fear.
I let my eyes wander over them and then beckon to one, a tall, slender, graceful boy with long, copper coloured hair and amber eyes. He is beautiful, the most beautiful in the room but not as beautiful as Aqua. For the moment I forget his name.
The boy drifts to me with eyes downcast in proper obsequiousness.
"Where is Chancey?"
"With the new boy, My Lord."
"Of course." I had forgotten my order that he was not to be left alone. Good, I will not have to think of him for a while. On a whim I beckon to another boy, equally tall but more muscular. His eyes flicker for a moment but he is as obedient as the first... ah yes... Pen I called him, and this one is David. I smile to myself, coincidentally I have made the best choice possible... but there are no coincidences, especially not tonight.
The boys expect me to lead them to my chamber but I don't. It is occupied. They exchange glances when I choose another room. I smile to myself but then remember Astaria's words and sigh... tonight they have nothing to fear.
The room that I have chosen is richly appointed in shades of russet and gold. There is no bed but a mound of silken cushions on the floor, in the centre of which is a sunken bath faced with a mosaic of that which takes place within it. Perhaps I will have it refaced, or perhaps leave it as a reminder. I will miss it, but I am faithful to her in spirit, if not in body.
I close the door and direct the boys to remove their clothes. They do so, and so do I. They are beautiful; very different, but both flawless in every way. I have made sure of that. Caught forever in the bloom of youth, forever straddling the narrow bridge between boys and men, they are beautiful; magnificent.
Ignoring David for a moment I approach Pen and kiss him deeply. He responds instantly, as he has been taught, and I caress his back. He presses his body against mine, and I wrap him in my arms. I breathe into him, but gently and very controlled. He shivers and increases the passion in his kiss.
I know that his mind is now completely focussed on pleasing me. I break free and he looks disappointed. "Wait." I command, and he does so with hungry eyes.
David is looking a little nervous but that will be gone soon. Taking him by the hand I lead him towards the cushions and he follows obediently, nervously eyeing the bath as we skirt it. On a whim, I have him stand at its edge, and I smell the fear rising from him like a heat haze.
I motion to Pen and he comes to us, standing in front of David, who is trembling now. He is afraid, but too well conditioned to complain, beg or try to run. I have Pen take him into his arms, still perched on the edge of the bath, and kiss him. I stand behind him and run my hands over his tight abs while I kiss his throat. He is trembling violently, and not because of passion. I know that his eyes are open and staring into the pit.
Although I know that I am being cruel, the sweet smell of David's fear excites me. There are steps leading down into the bath and Pen helps me half carry him into it. He is weeping with fear, shaking so badly he would not have been able to stand if I had not been holding him. The tiles are cold on my feet and he is hot in my arms. My erection presses against him and he whispers. "Please." His voice is thick and his face wet.
At a signal from me Pen, who looks almost as frightened as David, gracefully folds to his knees taking David into his mouth. I know that he is good, I have experienced his skill myself and I like to taste the arousal he creates in others. As Pen draws David quickly to full arousal, I brush his hair back from his neck and kiss him, licking the salt from his skin. He is still weeping, and I smell the terror through his skin.
He knows what happens to those who are brought into the bath and he believes it is about to happen to him. It is so cruel, so indescribably cruel, but I can't help it. The smell of fear is driving me crazy.
Reaching around him, I press my fingers into his groin as Pen's actions cause him to arch his back, pressing his head against my shoulder. I release venom into his blood; not enough to render him unconscious, but just enough to intoxicate him so that he is feverish from Pen's attentions. Soft moans are emanating from his lips as I kiss his neck with butterfly kisses and let my hand rove around his hips to slide between his buttocks and tease his entrance.
"Release him quickly, I murmur." And Pen raises him almost instantly to a point of almost imminent release. "I wonder; do you need to take a bath tonight?" I whisper into his ear and he stiffens. I can feel his heart beating frantically. I take a step back so that he feels that he is falling. At this point, it is only the effects of my venom that stops him from trying to break free. He chokes out a plea, raising his hands to grip my arms in supplication, but he is helpless in the face of his impending climax and he is screaming as he falls over the edge.
I plunge my fangs into his neck to taste the exquisite flavour of sex and fear.
I don't take too much. This is not the last time I will feed from him tonight. He convulses in my arms, gasping into silence as my drug seeps into his veins and brings him close to oblivion. When he ceases to struggle, I instruct Pen to carry him to the pillows and lay him on them. Pen snatches him up in his arms and I notice there are tears in his eyes.
"Don't worry, Pen. No one is bathing tonight."
David is semi conscious, his eyes half closed and his breathing deep. He is truly beautiful and I have a slight pang of regret for having made him so afraid. Astaria would not have approved. Well alright, if I have to get soft, I'll get soft over her. Isn't it enough that I've taken the bath out of commission? There are other things scattered through the house that will be decommissioned also, but that will come in time, for now I have other things on my mind.
I kneel on the cushions between David's legs and gently stroke his stomach. He tenses and moans, then snaps to greater awareness with fear blazing in his eyes.
"Ssh." I croon, stroking his inner thighs and kneading the joints with my thumbs. There are pressure points there that don't need drugs to induce states of intoxication. David moans again and his head falls back.
For a while I massage his lower body, carefully avoiding his genitals, until he is excited again. Spreading his legs further I have Pen take my place and direct him to press against his entrance but not to move forward until he is invited by the acquiescence of David's body. Immediately, David stiffens and tightens his muscles. Pen stops and, at further direction from me run his hands over the hot, tight skin of David's belly in long strokes from ribs to pelvis. David trembles and whimpers, but tightens even further.
Sitting cross legged, I lift his head into my lap. He looks up at me with dazed eyes and I smile. Hesitantly, not really aware of who I am or what is happening to him, he returns it and I croon to him.
"Good boy, David. You are a good boy. Relax now, David, relax. No one here will hurt you. No one will harm you. Relax." As I speak I bury my hands in his hair and begin to massage the back of his neck, elongating his spine. He sighs and parts his lips, his breathing quickening slightly and his body twitching both from the touch of my fingers and Pen's attention.
Slowly, I draw his head back further, my fingers pressing into his spine, bending it backwards, my thumbs against the pressure points behind his ears, causing his eyes to flutter and his lips to move wordlessly with his stuttering breath.
"Ssh," I whisper again, drawing his head back even further, making him arch his back. He squirms as Pen, feeling resistance weaken, presses into him, just a little. David bucks and cries out, tensing again and Pen stops, continuing his long firm strokes over David's belly.
David is gasping and I lean forwards, blowing into his gaping mouth, just a little, just enough. He looks up at me, his eyes dark and distant, and I release his head and stroke his face on each side as he relaxes and Pen pushes again. Instantly he grunts and jerks, trying to sit up but I draw him back, my hands on his neck again, stroking the pressure points and slowly, slowly releasing just enough venom to force him to relax just a little more, just a little more, just...
"Ssh now, David. Relax. You're safe here. No one is going to hurt you, no one. Feel the pleasure David, feel it. You and Pen are one now. You like Pen don't you. I see the way you look at him and he at you. I know that you have wanted this, wanted him to take you. So relax now, let him in."
With a sigh David's body relaxes, then relaxes again; whether because of my voice or my venom I don't know, and Pen pushes all the way in. This time David neither struggles, nor cries out, he just moans and arches into it.
Slowly, very slowly Pen slides in and out and David moves with him, his hands clenching and releasing, his legs parting even wider to allow Pen greater access. Pen keeps the stroke very slow and begins to toy with David's cock which is now hard again.