tagSci-Fi & FantasyGhosts Ch. 02

Ghosts Ch. 02


Brent gaped. A pained look crossed his face, and I could tell he wanted to say no, but he understood the balance of power here. He was only human, after all He glanced at me and his expression was one of genuine regret. I ignored him. I was experiencing a host of conflicting emotions. On one hand, I was appropriately terrified of the vampire standing next to me. Second gen Vamps are considered less...predictable, more dangerous than first gen. Their bites were said to be the most painful thing a human-or feeder-was capable of experiencing. Of course most humans don't even really know the difference between them. I wonder if Brent can tell. Fuck, how can I tell? Who knows. It hurts my head to try and remember.

On the other hand. I wasn't facing more conditioning. The Vamp wanted a self-aware slave. If I were to get out of this place, maybe escape was a possibility. I stifled the sudden wave of hope I experienced. It was a major long shot. But it was something. And it had been so long since I'd experienced any sort of break from this monotony that I almost welcomed it. No conditioning. I felt like I could put up with anything if I was allowed to keep what was left of my mind. Then the Vamp was taking my hand and leading me back down the stairs, and I came back to myself.

"-and I want her files. All of them." He was saying.

Brent began to protest. "We don't usually-"

"Get me the files."

Brent swallowed nervously and nodded, smart enough to shut up. When a Vamp tells you to do something, you do it and worry about the consequences later.

The rest happened so fast it was surreal. I assumed there would be more paperwork, or something. How had it been last time, with Victor? That part was all blank. Pretty soon I was being led outside, my hand in the Vamp's again. Lex. He'd mentioned his name was Lex. I glanced at him, but his expression was indifferent. I couldn't help stopping for a moment when we walked out of the center and just staring around. Trees, blue sky, sunlight. It was blinding. How long had it been since I'd seen it? How much of it would I see over the next three months? I suddenly felt ill. I was going to be locked in a room again, it was going to be just like before, I wasn't going to outwit a vampire, and it was stupid to entertain the idea.

Lex was staring back at me with his head cocked slightly, and I realized that I had just stopped walking and was resisting him as he pulled my hand. Shit. "I'm sorry." I muttered and followed along.

He gave a half smile. "She speaks."

His car was nice, and new, and shiny, which wasn't surprising. There's no such thing as a poor vampire. I hunched out in the seat and looked at my hands. I had no idea how to act. Normally I would feign being fully conditioned to the best of my ability- subservient, docile...brainless. But he didn't want that. The problem was I had no idea what he did want. I was suddenly desperate to please him, to avoid whatever consequences there were to displeasing him. The fragmented memories I had of Victor's punishments were motivation enough in that regard. But I wouldn't be able to. There was no fucking way I could completely and happily participate in everything he wanted to do. Would he be angry? Did he want obedience? Or did he want a girl who would fight him? Is that why he wanted a sentient feeder?


We were at a stoplight and he was looking over at me and I realized I was visibly panicking...chills, breathing too hard, everything you don't want to be in close proximity to a vampire.

"Your fear is giving me a hard-on. If you don't get a handle on it I'm going to have to fuck you as soon as we get in the door of my apartment."

I swallowed. He was half smiling, I had the feeling that he was fucking with me, but also moderately serious. There was a playfulness in him that was perverse. It made him more terrifying and more approachable at the same time. My extra senses were picking up an extreme and deep awareness from him, much more so than I'd ever experienced with Victor. He was incredibly intelligent. There was no point in acting with him, I realized. He would see right through it. And I sensed that he would appreciate a lack of bullshit. Most second gens did. They were sociopaths, sure, but they...pain. My vision went blindingly white and I gasped, quickly forcing my mind to a different line of thinking.

"You okay? I paid a lot of money for you, I'm going to be pretty pissed if you stroke out before we get home."

He still looked amused, he was teasing me, and I realized there was no real maliciousness in him. He wasn't angry. In fact he seemed extremely relaxed, and when we pulled up to the small apartment building he got out of the car and stretched against it. He looked like a big cat, I thought. More so when he yawned, and I was faced with the impressive sight of two gleaming, fully extended fangs. Standing on the other side of the car, with him facing away from me, I had a fleeting impulse to run. I was a rabbit five feet from a wolf.

"It would be stupid." He was beside me, and taking my hand again. I wished he'd stop moving so fast. He didn't seem inclined to suppress it, to appear more human. I wondered if he could read my mind...it had certainly felt like he was divining something, when he made me lock eyes with him in the stairwell. I didn't think it was mind reading, exactly, but he was picking up on a hell of a lot. I led him lead me up a few flights of stairs and into a surprisingly modest apartment. It was...cozy. Earth tones and squishy carpet and strange but pleasing artwork that must have been done by Vamps. The kitchen looked as though it was in frequent use, and my jaw dropped when a huge, wolfish dog padded up to me.

I tried to remember the last time I'd seen a dog and couldn't. There was a tense moment when I held out my hand and he sniffed it, and then he was wagging his tail and licking my fingers and I remembered something about myself, which was that I really fucking like dogs and had a higher opinion of them than most people, and I was leaning over petting him and scratching behind his ears.

"He likes you." Lex walked over to a comfy-looking couch and plopped down on it, stretching. He looked very tired.

"What's his name?" I asked, suddenly feeling less reserved. I couldn't help but feel that a Vamp with a dog was less terrible than most.

"Jack." he was looking at me with interest, and I stood up, shifting self-consciously. Then he yawned again, his fangs still prominent.

"Look, you get a reprieve. I haven't slept in three fucking days." He got up and grabbed a remote from the side table. "I'm going to go pass out." He waved a hand and walked towards a back room. "Entertain yourself. The bathroom is right there." He paused before closing the door behind him. "Don't try to leave, I'll notice, and I won't be pleased."

I didn't doubt it. I think I'd tried to get away from Victor when he was sleeping once. It hadn't ended well. Vamps don't seem to sleep like humans do-they aren't fully unconscious, and their senses are vastly superior. No, if I was going to get away from him, it would have to be when he left. And I would have to cut out the tracker in my left shoulder. Maybe...maybe it was possible.

Brent let me watch television in the Center, so it wasn't exactly a novelty, but I spent several hours watching 24 hour news channels in between exploring the apartment. If there were rules, he hadn't mentioned them, and if I was going to be here for three months I figured I'd better familiarize myself. I found bottled water in the fridge, but wasn't brave enough to try the food even though I was starting to get hungry.

I was trying really hard not to think about what would happen when he woke up. I snuggled with Jack on the couch, and that was novel...it had been so long since I had snuggled with anything, or been touched by any living thing in a manner that was not unpleasant. I must have had a dog once. I tried not to think about it. The migraines that accompanied memories were almost always brutal.

"I'm going to have to borrow her from you, Jack."

The dog looked up and whimpered. How had he opened the fucking door without making a sound? I turned and looked at him, and he was leaning against the doorframe, very shirtless and very...predatory.

He held out his hand. "Come on ,peyia, I'm hungry."

He sounds hungry. His voice has a growly edge. He just said a sort of nickname for me in Vamp language, and for some reason hearing him speak that language made me more freaked out than I already was. But I was walking forward, he was leading me into the room, and pulling me towards the bed, and I was sitting down next to him on it and trying to ignore the dull roaring in my ears, trying not to think. He trailed his fingers down my back. "Have you ever been bitten by a second gen before?"

I considered my answer. "Not that I remember."

His hand paused at that and he considered me, then pulled me down so I was on my side, facing him.

"Well, its going to hurt, very very badly. Struggling is normal, and encouraged, because it's pretty fucking hot." Then he grinned, fangs showing, and it was fucking terrifying. Abruptly he flipped me and pulled me to him as if we were spooning, and I felt a prick and then...pain. The strangest and...worst, pain I had ever experienced. It washed over me, turning my mind over, making me momentarily paralyzed, and then I was fighting, kicking, trying with everything I had to get away, because it was too much, it was going to destroy me.

He growled appreciatively and pressed me down into the bed, a leg wrapped around my legs, arms wrapped around my chest. It continued for minutes, or hours, time ceased to make sense, and then it lessened to a dull throb, and I could breathe, and he was suckling my neck, and my struggling slowed until I was lying limp beside him. Tears were running down my face and I was gasping for air. Jesus Christ. He continued to suckle on my neck, running his hand up and down my side gently, soothing me. For a moment he stopped, looked down at me, and wiped the moisture from my face with thumb.

"Easy peiyla." He whispered. "You're alright." For some reason I was relieved that he was willing to acknowledge the ordeal that was his bite, the intensity of what he just put me through. And then my relief fled when he shoved his hand down my pants.

"You're wet." He growled.

Oh god, I was. He slipped a finger into me easily, and I cringed, shrinking away. And suddenly there were memories of reacting like this to pain before, other men, using it against me and I felt sick, and I just wanted to be not touching him, and I kicked and jerked and ended up on the floor on the side of the bed, crouching away from him, and I cringed, waiting for the inevitable blow, and then I realized I would have never been able to pull away unless he'd allowed it. Warily I stood up, and he was looking at me with a half-amused expression. He held out his hand.

"Come here." His tone was bemused, gentle. He didn't seem angry. I walked back over and sat down obediently, but my knees were shaking. He eased me down so that I was facing him, then pulled me against him, resting his chin on the top of my head. I felt a rather sizable erection pressing against me and I tensed, but he made no further attempts, just ran his hand up and down my back.

Finally he said "Do you always get turned on when you're in a lot of pain?"

His voice was conversational, not mocking, but I felt deeply ashamed. I had the feeling that I might.

He spoke into the top of my head, nuzzling me. "Because it's a pretty normal reaction, for what you are."

He pulled away and studied me with an unreadable expression, then pushed some hair out of my face. "But you don't even know what you are, do you?"

I didn't know what to say to that. Of course I didn't. He knows who I am. Somewhere in this apartment was a stack of files detailing my history, and I itched to look at them even though the knowledge would probably send me into a seizure.

There was whining, and scratching at the bedroom door. Lex smiled and slapped my ass, making me jump, then he sat up. "Alright. Jack says you've had enough. You hungry?" I nodded numbly, finding it a bit difficult to shift between the prospect of my impending rape and the prospect of dinner in a smooth fashion.

Okay...he was taking me into the kitchen. I stumbled a bit as he led me to the stool and he steadied me as I fought a wave of dizziness. "You're going to have to get a little more meat on you if I'm going to be feeding on you regularly. What the hell did they feed you at the center?"

I grimaced. It was true, I was underweight. It had just ceased to be important during my uneventful captivity. "The girls were fed some kind of...vitamin enriched porridge?" I tried not to throw up in my mouth upon remembering it.

"Sounds delicious." He put a glass of orange juice down in front of me and I gulped it, needing the sugar and fluid after the blood loss.

"Sometimes Brent brought me other things." I offered. "Chinese food, or pizza."

"That was very generous of him," he muttered dryly. I got the impression he really didn't like Brent, which was strange. I would expect at most, indifference.

"What would you like to eat? I have most of the basics here."

This was a little bit surreal. One of the most lethal creatures on the planet had his head in the fridge, pushing around milk and cheese, and his dog was nosing my hand for pats. It seemed so inappropriately domestic.

"You're going to...cook for me?"

He shrugged. "I'd make you do it, but I don't think you could stand."

That was a fair point. I wasn't sure I could stand either.

"Well? What do you like?"

That was a surprisingly hard question. I literally couldn't remember the last time I'd eaten something that wasn't pizza, Chinese or brown vitamin gruel.

"I like...breakfast food."

And with that, a vampire was making me French toast.

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