tagNonHumanMy Little Ventrue Pt. 02 Ch. 10

My Little Ventrue Pt. 02 Ch. 10

byNovusAnimus©

~Jack~

The drive back to the Prince's tower in Elysium was terrifying.

He didn't say a word. She didn't say a word. They both just sat in silence in her limousine while one of her bewitched kine drove them. The woman behind the wheel, Jack noticed, was visibly nervous and made sure to keep her words short, concise, and polite. Perhaps she had never seen Antoinette angry? Her hands were shaking and stuck at the two and ten.

Jack had never seen the Prince angry, not really, and being in the limousine with her felt like being trapped in a shark cage with the shark. She just looked out the window, but the beast aura she radiated crushed down against Jack with enough weight he felt his own beast being forced down into his bowels. Is this how ancient civilizations felt, when a great storm was upon them, and they all assumed they were suffering the wrath of their mighty and fickle gods?

When he dared to look at her red eyes, he had to look away quickly. She never broke her gaze from the window, but just seeing the fury in her face was enough to strike him still. Like a stake through the heart, paralyzed.

It didn't get much better once they arrived at her glass tower. The lone receptionist gave them a nod, but the man was quick to also notice the anger pouring out of every motion of the Prince. He looked away, and resumed typing with the softest but fastest typing Jack imagined possible.

And with how Antoinette was moving forward in what was practically stomping, she didn't even check behind her to see if Jack was following. But, she'd taken him from the ball, so... into the lion's den.

They went down, and down, down the black marble of the basement levels of her great tower, past the multiple levels of complex, interwoven layers of her underground facilities, and down toward the giant vault door.

She opened it with enough snap to her movements, Jack was sure she would rip the huge thing from the wall before it slid open, and she stepped inside. "In."

Her words left no room for debate, or even a word of his own. Absolute obedience was his only option. He looked down, afraid, almost trembling, and stepped past her into the room.

He had never heard someone slam a giant vault door before, and the way it rung metal in the room created a weird roar of vibration.

"I will kill him! Kill him! I will rip out his throat, remove his limbs, and let the sun take him! I will roast his screeching body over fire! I will grind his bones into powder and - you, sit!"

He meeped, and sat down on the edge of her giant bed. Antoinette was pacing back and forth in front of him, fists clenched, and when her shoes failed to handle her stomping well, she took them into her hands and threw them at the wall so hard they flattened.

"I will open his gut and pull out each foot of his insides and feed them to him while I burn his testicles with a blow torch!" She turned then, and punched the wall. A wall of solid marble, but she punched it, and the wall cracked open for several feet in several directions. The impact forced her back several feet across the floor, but her stance did not waver, she just slid. Bruce Lee would have been jealous.

"... Antoi-"

"What!?" She threw her gaze at him then, and he had to dig into every fiber of his being to not crumble like her shoes.

"A-Antoinette, I... do you... want to be alone?"

"Yes! But I will not let you leave the tower. That monster, that delusional sadist will do whatever it takes to ruin me, to destroy me, to tear away at everything I care for and he will start with those I care for." She walked over to him, and he pulled away onto the bed a few feet to give her room while she started to stomp back and forth in front of him. "Not this time. I will not let him this time. Ashley and Julee rest within their private quarters, and there they shall stay as well until this madness is over."

Not this time?

He opened his mouth, stopped himself, and considered. She said she wanted to be alone, she didn't want him here, but wanted to keep him safe. And from the way she was moving, his question would be poking the bear with a hot iron.

"... what did Lucus do to you?"

He never was good with people.

She came to a stop, and turned to face him with heavy, slow steps. Her fists did not relent, and her eyes were wide with frenzy. She came closer, until her knees were touching the edge of the bed, and her great height cast a shadow over him.

And then he forced himself to look her in the eye. Terrified, trembling, probably would have pissed himself if he could, fucking scared to a second death, but he looked her in the eyes and kept it. He actually started to shake like a petrified, injured animal, with how intense her gaze was. Was that all he was to her right now? Just a scared mouse?

Well, fuck that, he wasn't going to just leave her to her misery, not after everything that had happened. "I can't... even begin to understand what you're going through and angry about. It's beyond me. But I can listen."

"Understand? Listen? You are not even a year embraced!" She put both hands onto the bed and leaned toward him. Her fangs were bared, like some sort of cat ready to tear him open. "Decades, decades I worked to remove that filth! People were killed! My... my..."

With agonizing minutes, Antoinette calmed down. He was sure they were staring at each other for years, and all he could do was try his best to not panic or crumble as he tried to smile. A sad, pathetic smile of a scared young man, but he gave it to her nonetheless. He expected a punch, maybe a harsh verbal beating, but she kept his own gaze and slowly released her fists. Her steel gaze softened, her shoulders slumped, and her mouth parted.

"You would... you would tempt fate so?" she said.

Now she was the one who look shattered.

He gulped on nothing, inched across the bed toward her, reached out, and took her hand. She let out a small cough, as if she was holding back a sob, and gripped his fingers with her own once they were intertwined. She even tried to pull away with a weak, half-hearted effort, but he kept her hand in his, and tugged on it lightly. Her attitude had changed as quickly as wind.

"I am sorry, my little Ventrue. What have I done, I... must seem so horrible."

"Not horrible! Just angry. Come on, you're beautiful. Scary, terrifying even, but beautiful."

His dumb words managed to pull a chuckle from her. They held hands, like a lovey dovey couple, and she even rubbed her thumb against his. After a while, she sat down beside him, and leaned over to rest her tilted head atop his. He could still feel rage pouring out of her, but undertones of mourning and sadness joined it.

"Ashley and Julee are precious to me. They are close friends who I share my feelings with, gossip with, and blood with." She talked, kept her head on his, and continued to stroke his thumb with hers. "Do you understand?"

"Y-yeah, I think so."

"Lucus is one of many branches of the Lancea et Sanctum beliefs and doctrines. His particular views are very... anti-relationships with kine. His belief is that kine and Kindred are to be kept separate, and that you must not lay with them. He made an example... of... the ghouls I..."

He squeezed her hand. He didn't need to hear anymore, he got it. Lucus killed her ghouls.

The thought sounded so plain in his head, but when he pictured Ashley or Julee being killed - in very likely a horrific manner - just to hurt Antoinette? That gave the image weight, context, and it made his insides burn.

"There were others, Kindred too. Lucus sacrificed and tortured and... it was not just a war for him. It was a holy crusade."

Pictures started to form. Torture on Kindred? The sort of things you could do to a vampire before they died were limitless.

"I'm sorry that... yeah. I didn't know. Julias never really went into the details and... yeah."

"It is fine, little Ventrue." She lifted her head, and looked around with a weird expression, like she were checking to see if they were safe, before she pulled herself up further onto the bed. In the center of it, she reached out, plucked Jack up like he weighed nothing, and set him down laying beside her, away from her.

She'd grown quite fond of the large spoon position, apparently. Her arms wrapped around him, her fingers squeezed his, and she just held him to her.

"The sun will be up soon," he said.

"Yes."

"Um, should we-"

"Just... do not leave the tower, Jack. Until Lucus is dealt with, please, stay here." Her grip tightened until he was squished against her breasts. They were still both dressed in their ball clothes, but the Prince didn't seem to mind. In fact, she even slipped a leg over his, and just held him down.

She was terrified.

It hurt to see her so afraid. To see her afraid at all was barely something he could wrap his mind around, but she was clutching him like a girl and her teddy bear.

"I'll stay... as long as you want."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He awoke in her arms.

The jolt of Kindred vitae pumping through his corpse woke him with a startle, like it always did, but Antoinette's grip was still on him, and she woke with grace.

"Good evening," she said, and she kissed his head. Still the big spoon.

"Good evening." He gave her hand a squeeze, and looked over his shoulder to smile at her.

"It will be a sad night, knowing my little Ventrue is here waiting for me will make me eager to end my affairs; but my affairs are many, and important."

"Very understandable. With Lucus and Dolareido and... yeah, I can't even imagine."

"It is not all horrible, Jack. Before the morning, I will be back, and I will make sure this cage I have forced upon you is a gilded one." She squeezed him harder, hard enough that he felt her breasts through her dress and his jacket. "When my affairs of tonight are dealt with, you will have me. I do look forward to the warmth of your cock upon my breasts."

Oh god. "Sounds... wow." What did he ever do to deserve a woman who enjoyed breast play so much?

"Good." She gave a chuckle, got up, and headed to the wall on the side of the room. It held a door with a very subtle indent handle, and she slid it open to reveal her changing room. Built so deep into the earth, metal, and marble, it was the most secure changing room on the whole planet probably.

She stripped, sat in front of her mirror, and took the time to apply her make-up, comb her hair, and peruse her selection of dresses. Jack watched, mouth open with how gorgeous the nude creature was when just going through her morning routine.

"Jack, forgive my teasing, but your gaze softens me. I must steel myself for the night's horrid mess of decisions to come." She grinned at him, but it didn't last. The ancient Daeva resumed her dressing, and with no ceremony or dance, put on a power suit for the day.

The whole business of getting ready for her day took her only a few minutes. She put on her mask and her clothes with such efficient speed, she must have been doing it for centuries. The dumb thought made him chuckle; of course she'd been doing it for centuries.

"Hey, Antoinette... why don't you ever talk about yourself? You know everything about me."

"I..." She was on the way toward the vault door, but his words stopped her. In fact, they stopped her cold. When she finally did turn around and looked at him, her eyes were torn somewhere between a frown and sadness. "They are painful memories, little Ventrue, as you heard with Lucus."

"They can't be all bad! Come on, I-"

"Another time, Jack. Please."

He was pushing his luck, but something about last night's conversation had made him realize something. He knew absolutely nothing about Antoinette except for what Julias had told him, which wasn't much. No knowledge about her tastes, her past - what she remembered of her ancient history anyway - or her hobbies. Did she have hobbies?

"... ok." He forced away his frown. Now was not the time.

Antoinette gave him a small nod, opened the vault door, and left.

Jack watched after her, but did not follow. She probably had business upstairs, in her grand tower of mystery business, and he couldn't exactly walk into that and absorb the secrets.

His mind drifted back to that angry, terrified look she had last night when she locked them both in her room. "Christ those eyes. She looked terrified for me... for me. Fucking scary, but..." But it had been so powerful, even moving, how she protected him with so much emotion behind it. Like love.

He thumped himself in the temples with both hands before he started to caress his buzzed head. Do I love her? Damn it, now is not the time to get romantic, Jack. Shit was on Antoinette's doorstep and there was a good chance it was going to get on his shoes too.

Too late. The thought was already there. She was holding onto him so tight yesterday, and that look in her eye, like as if the thought of him dead petrified her. Love, or Daeva obsession?

"Does she know how to love?" He paced around in her empty room. "Julias warned me it may be beyond her, with how old she is. But... those eyes certainly spoke otherwise. I have to dig just to get any information about her though; she won't open up to me. And if I dig too hard I could really piss her off." Fuck, he wished he'd had some real relationships in his first life, just for a little practice. Antoinette being the first love of his life was like learning how to swim in the deep end of the ocean in a storm.

On the way up and out of the deep vault levels of the tower, he checked his phone for a signal. Finally, after a few floors up and out of the deep bowels of the dragon tower, he dialed his sire. "Julias?"

"Yeah Jack?"

"Yeah!" a loud voice called through the phone.

Jack moved the phone away from his face and grimaced down at the device. Beatrice was there, with Julias. He could only wonder what sort of kinks shark-mouth had.

"What's up Jack?" Beatrice again. She must have taken the phone.

"... right, wanna tell Julias that I'm going to be staying with the Prince until Lucus is dealt with?" He'd already spilled his guts to her earlier, about Viktor and Tony, no point in worrying about minor shit now.

"Smart. Good move. I'll let him know." She hung up.

And then she sent a picture of herself, topless. She was wearing a nipple chain, and grinning the biggest grin, with all her crazy extra teeth on full display. Julias was in the background, face in palm, embarrassed.

Jack took maybe a couple seconds too long looking at the picture. Beatrice was really ripped, and he had to admit, he liked the nipple chain. He put the phone away, rolled his eyes, and walked out in the main lobby of the tower.

All the glass walls scared him. If the sun came out, it would be death no matter where he moved, but Antoinette assured him many of the floors were capable of blocking out sunlight in an emergency. Still, it chilled him right to the bone.

He wandered around. Normally he'd hang out downstairs with the Prince and her ghouls, swim in the pool, browse the internet on a computer between conversations, but none of that really interested him then. It was such a weird situation to be in, just wandering the Prince's tower while he waited for her to deal with what could become a war.

War. How did vampires fight a war? The act of killing a Kindred was not easy. You either had to burn them in fire or sunlight, cut off the head, or do so much damage that all that was left is pulp. He tried to imagine how you could do that; a fully automatic assault rifle and several clips? A dozen shotgun shells? Or a sword?

He shuddered. The front lines of battle were not for Ventrue. Julias and Viktor were, according to others, unusual for how comfortable they were with combat. Ventrue usually controlled, manipulated, and dominated servants into fighting for them. And he could see the appeal of that, instead of risking your neck.

He wandered toward the front doors of the glass tower. The receptionist - just a kine - gave him a nod, and resumed his work.

"... whatcha doing?" Jack said.

The man was a portly fellow, balding, but he had one of those nice faces, and Jack found himself wanting to talk to him.

"Good evening Mister Terry. Organizing the Mistress's assets; she has a mountain of them."

Mister Terry. Not his Invictus title, but it was nice to be called Mister anyway, better even.

Assets? So not a receptionist then. Weird, considering he had a circular counter desk in the front of the otherwise empty lobby. "How did you come into the Prince's employ?"

"Ah! It was thirty years ago. Prince Antoinette was using one of her old disguises, and playing the cello at a concert. I had to meet her, so I got a backstage pass and-"

His voice faded to white noise. Antoinette played the cello? How had he not known? So much, so damn much the ancient vampire never told him. Why so little about herself? He bit down on his teeth just to keep himself from saying something in anger before he focused on the not-receptionist again. Mr. Chunk according to the nameplate on the desk. Really?

"-the few of us got invited back to the glass tower here in Elysium. There's no way we could say no to a lifetime of servitude. Right? Right?"

Jack thought he was joking for a moment, but Chunk looked at him with awaiting eyes.

"Uh, yeah..." Chunk was another kine under his Antoinette's spell then. "Cya then Chunk."

"A fine good evening to you too, Mister Terry." The big guy started typing again. And eating a donut.

Terry drifted to the back of the tower where the elevators were, and leaned against the marble wall between them. He didn't know what to do. Cello? She played the cello?

Maybe... maybe ask her to play for him? He smiled. He would love to hear it. He should ask Ashley and Julee if they knew anything else too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Damien~

The next night, it was just him and Natasha. He looked down at the woman who had put a bullet through his skull.

It was only the two of them, within the sealed and room of sacred objects. No air or sound could escape. With the door sealed, no one but an Elder would be able to escape it. It was a tomb, now that he thought about it, of metal walls and godly artifacts.

He made a small sneer at the girl. At her apartment, she'd been quite surprised at how fast he was; he remembered the look in her eyes when he staked her in the heart. "Because this time I did not underestimate you. I thought you were just a stupid, weak little girl. I should have known better. Stupid stupid stupid." He turned, and smashed his head into the wall. Pain. Pain was recompense. He couldn't make mistakes, not before God, not for the Sanctified.

But this whole night was turning into a mistake.

He reached down and removed the stake from her heart. The wound closed quickly, but the stake had left a hole in her shirt. It was the least of her worries. She sat up a moment later in that sudden-but-controlled way Kindred do.

"... you." She put both hands to the floor and started to push herself away from him. No panic though, he noticed. She was thinking, analyzing the room she was in, just as he would if in the same situation.

"Hello," he said, and he squatted down in front of her with the sheathe of his sword in hand, tip on the floor, its grip resting against his shoulder. His fingers rotated the sword against his palms.

"What... what do you want? Why am I here? Where's here?"

"Deep within the underground network Tony left behind. This is the Archbishop's alter room." He made a sweeping gesture to the alter with its artifacts, the couple of lit candles, and the various paintings. "God's dark little corner of this hellhole."

The tiny Mehket looked down, then around at the array of Godliness around her. Damien managed a small smirk. She wasn't panicking, but he could see she wanted to.

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