Nicoletta Ch. 09byjesstoyou©
"Azazel wants us both?" I parroted incredulously breaking free of Alessandro's embrace to fix him in my sight. "What the hell do you mean he wants us both, Alessandro? Just what does that mean?" I screamed at him punctuating my question with a shove to his chest, though my small assault did little good.
"It means what it means Nicolette, he wants you ..."
"And Genie, both ... Azazel wants us both?"
"Yes ..." he replied with too little emotion for my liking. All I could do at this point is laugh. I even surprised myself with the boisterous laughter erupting from my chest. "So what you are standing there telling me, Alessandro, is that you kidnapped me, and now this-this psychotic veritable sadist of a vampire has taken a liking to me? Is it safe to assume that he will be relieving you of my presence?" My tone had flowed from dark amusement to untainted anger as I spoke through clenched jaws.
"He will not lay a finger on you Nicolette, I will not allow it!" He half yelled slamming a fist into the balcony rail. In his voice I could hear his determination, but I sensed a certain lack of faith in his conviction as well which frightened me to no end. For the first time since I had known Alessandro Rossi I saw beyond his bravado, and his dangerous smile. Tonight in Alessandro I saw not the vampire but a man, a scared man.
"Who is he Alessandro? Why don't I believe that you or anyone else here can protect me from Azazel?" I asked. At first Alessandro seemed confused by my question, but soon enough I found that he was just at a loss as to how to explain.
"Azazel is strong Nicolette ... his blood is ancient, drawn from the very first female vampire, an inherently blood thirsty witch of woman who likes to think herself the mother to us all." Alessandro said running a tense hand through his dark hair as he stalked back into the room. He held the door open for me to follow while he continued. Azazel is the oldest living being in this house tonight which puts him at the top of the food chain."
"Speaking of food, everyone is waiting downstairs, and dinner is getting cold Alessandro." Paola's now shrill voice cut through the tension in the room like a jagged knife. We had not noticed that she had joined us.
"Son, I have never been so embarrassed in all my life! How dare you all run out on our guests as you ..." Her condemnation of our actions stopped cold as Genève stepped from the bathroom. Her bloodshot puffy eyes welled up anew with fat hot tears as they fell on Paola's perfect face. Speechless Paola looked from Genève to Luca, and finally her gaze slid over her shoulder in the direction of the party. It was not hard to discern that she had put everything together. Genève's presence had answered all of her questions and seemed to quell her irritation with our sudden absence from the party.
"Genève, Mon Cher! W-what are you doing here, tonight of all nights sweet child?" Paola breathed crossing the room to embrace Genie. Genève all but fell into Paola's open arms saying nothing. The air in the room became ominous as we all took our respective positions. Paola the protector, Genève the protected, Luca the furiously grieved, Alessandro the concerned, and then there was me ... Nicolette the utterly confused.
"What is going on? Luca, is this your doing?" Paola scratched out as she rocked Genie in her arms. "Shhh my dear, all is well, hush now ... you are safe ..." She cooed waiting for Luca to speak.
"Well?" she whispered.
"Of course I did not invite Genève here tonight mother!" He bit out finally. Alessandro had not had time to share with his brother what I had told him out on the balcony. The crease in his forehead caused by his overall tension told me that Luca too was at a loss as to how and why Genève had come to be an attendee at the party as well.
"Mother ... what is going on?" Donata asked sweetly from the door. "Everyone is waiting ..." She had not noticed Genève cowering within Paola's protective hold. But when she finally spotted poor Genève peeping from around Paola's sharp shoulder Donata tried to turn to leave without a word of explanation. But she did not get far.
"It was you!" Luca bellowed jumping to his feet as he quickly put the last piece of the puzzle together. "You conniving little wretch, you would sacrifice the only woman I have ever loved!" He screamed. The room was a whir of color as Luca darted for his sister arms outstretched with his hands turned to claws ready to squeeze the life from Donata on contact. But he would not get the chance as before he ever reached her Alessandro swatted Luca back like a fly.
"You would protect her?" Luca screeched picking himself up off of the floor. His watery eyes brimmed with hot furious tears as he accused Alessandro. "I want her out of here, now!"
"Wrong she may be, but Donata is still our sister!" Alessandro said as he attempted to keep his temper in check. "Why Donata? Why would you invite Genève here tonight?" Alessandro inquired attempting to maintain a level voice.
"You are right Alessandro, you are absolutely right. I am your sister! She is not!" Donata shrieked furiously as she pointed a shaking finger at Genève. "Azazel would sooner have her warm his bed than me, yet you save her from him while offering me up like a sheep to slaughter! I – am – your – sister!" she spat looking from Alessandro to Luca. I did not know who to feel sorrier for. It seemed the entire family was just one big tragic mess
"Genève is my love!" Luca screamed. As he did with every ounce of passion he could muster his voice cracked in his fury.
"She is your whore, and I will not be Azazel's!" Donata seethed sealing her own fate. With no warning Luca made to attack her again, only this time he would not be stopped. Before Alessandro could grab him Luca had Donata pinned to the wall as he wrapped his large hands around her throat.
"Luca no!" Alessandro screamed. "Stop this now!" he roared as he tried in vain to pull Luca off of Donata.
"You evil closed minded bitch!" Luca wailed taking a hand off her throat to grab her by the hair. "You had chance after chance!"
"I had nothing!" She choked out as tears streamed down her still perfect cheeks.
"You are nothing!" Luca spat. And in that second time slowed to a crawl as we all watched in horror as Luca sank his cruel impossibly sharp fangs into Donata's sweat slickened neck. And as he pulled the first draught of blood from her wounds time resumed its normal speed as I watched Alessandro try desperately to dislodge his brother from Donata's throat.
"I am your sister ..." she gasped on her last breath wile Luca continued to feed on her. His body covered hers as if he were making love to her while he drained the life from her limp body. His entire body held Donata as he moved against her drawing her life's blood into himself. And as he did Donata's blood seemed to sate his rage.
He suckled at her neck like a babe at the teat and as he did my head swam. The air seemed to thicken as tiny pin pricks of stars inundated my vision. But it was not until I saw a thick crimson ribbon trickle slowly down Donata's pallid neck as it made its escape from Luca's fury that I felt my knees begin to buckle as my legs threatened to give out.
"Luca please ... stop" I begged on a whisper sinking to my knees. It was the first time I had addressed him directly, the first time his name had ever slipped past my lips. I thought he had heard me because stop he did. But when Donata's lifeless body fell to the floor with a sad dead thud and Luca turned to face me with her blood smeared all over his mouth and teeth I knew he did not stop because he was asked.
"You were my sister ..." He croaked out, his voice as dead as she was. As he stood there before us all wiping his mouth hard with the back of his hand I knew that was it for me. I could not take anymore. The kidnapping, my escape and recapture, Alessandro's passions for me, Azazel, Genève, Donata, her death, it was all too much. My world began to spin and whir around me. It was like I was trapped in a nightmarish spiraling bloody amusement park ride that would never cease. But just when I thought the ride would spin me off into a sanguinary oblivion I felt Alessandro's strong arms wrap tightly around me.
"It's alright my love, breath. Just breath Nicolette ..." Alessandro cooed, but his attempt at comfort went unnoticed.
"I-I can't ... it-i-it's too much!" I squeaked. He laid me back in his arms and looked down onto my stricken face. His was so beautiful. Alessandro was an angel sent to take Donata I imagined in my sudden maddness. But that was not right no, not right at all. As he kissed my forehead admonishing me to take deeper breaths my world began to go dark as my eyes found his. I looked him in the eye before my own fluttered shut with one word on my trembling lips.
"We will have Azazel set up at Villa Del Sol until we can sort all of this out." I heard a man's silky voice intone.
"Yes, while you have my son locked in a filthy dungeon!" Paola shrieked.
"What would you have me do wife? Luca is mad with rage right now!" the man yelled. "He killed our daughter!"
"He killed your daughter Marco!"
"That is enough Paola!" The man bellowed slamming his fist onto a desktop. "You will respect Donata in death as you should have in life. You will respect the memory of our daughter or suffer the consequences!" The silky voiced man roared.
"Mmm ... w-what... w-w-where am I...?" I mumbled as their voices pulled me from my terror induced collapse. "Aless- A- Alessandro, make him s-stop ... please!" I begged. As I came back to the world Luca's madness replayed on the projector in my mind threatening to send me to the brink again. But before I could tip over the edge a second time Alessandro jostled me gently in his embrace.
"Shh my love, I am here, and you are safe. It's over Mi Amore, it is over..." he cooed ignoring his parent's fight.
"Genie!" I gasped as my eyes opened more quickly than my brain could comprehend.
"Genève is safe Nicolette, she is resting." He said stroking my hair.
"D-Donata ... oh my God, h-he killed Donata!" I sobbed before the tears came. "H-he just-just ... I mean ... right there, just killed her!"
"I know Nicolette, I know. It is over love. He is gone now, it is alright, and you are safe.
"Safe! It is over? What the h-hell ... Ohh my head!" I said gasping as I tried to yell at Alessandro. As consciousness began to come back to me blood began to flood my brain too fast giving me the equivalent of a brain freeze only it threatened to linger longer if I did not calm down. So I pushed myself up slowly as I tried to adjust myself within Alessandro's arms taking in slow deep gulps of air.
"Oh get off me!" I complained trying to push his hands away as they lovingly stroked my back. He ignored my protest however as he helped me right myself within his hold. I was too weak to try to dislodge him again so instead I felt myself allow my head to loll onto his chest. As much as I would deny him, I reveled in the warm comfort he lent my fragile state of mind
"Better Sweet?" He whispered kissing my forehead as if I had not just witnessed an infuriated vampire exact the ultimate revenge.
"No, Alessandro, I am not better 'Sweet', not even close to better." I muttered taking a woozy look around the dimly lit room. Paola sat on the edge of a nearby desk, her long smooth legs crossed at the knee. The top one sliced back and forth through the air as she took long angry drags from her signature crimson cigarette, all the while making no eye contact with anyone in the room. And her husband, Marco sat behind the desk scribbling furiously into a ledger of some sort.
"Marco, please, be reasonable ... Luca is no danger to anyone else ..." Paola plead.
"No!" Marco yelled ripping a narrow sheet of paper from the book he had been writing in. "He stays where he is for his own safety as well as for the safety of all involved! Luca is a rabid animal right now!" He groaned squeezing the bridge of his nose.
Like a fish out of water Paola opened her mouth to speak again, but quickly closed it when Marco's head snapped up to fix her in his gaze as if he knew she had further arguments.
"I will not be swayed in this wife! I warn you, say no more on the matter lest I lock you up along side of him!" Marco growled standing so violently his chair skidded away from him to crash into an arched window frame cracking the glass within.
"Alessandro, you will accompany Azazel to the country. I have called ahead to have the villa prepared for your arrival." The exhaustion in his voice was palpable as Marco seemed to have aged five years since the festivities had begun. "Azazel was not prepared for an extended stay. In the morning you are to take him wherever he needs to go to purchase all he will need while he is with us. This check should cover your expenses." Marco breathed passing the slip of paper to his son.
Alessandro reluctantly released his hold on me to take the check. "Of course father. Nicolette and I will be ready to go within the hour." Alessandro replied.
"Nicolette stays with us son ..."
"What?" Alessandro bit out as I spat "No!"
"I am not staying here ..." I squealed looking around the room "Alone .."
"Father, I will not leave her, not after tonight, not after all that she has been through!" Alessadro demanded.
"Alessandro, please do not misunderstand, I appreciate your need to be with Nicolette now, but son you have to know that she is best kept as far away from Azazel as possible right now." Marco said through narrowed eyes.
"But Father, why do I have to ..." Alessandro tried to interrupt.
"Alessandro listen to me. Luca killed Azazel's intended. We promised him a bride, Son. He did not travel all the way to Italy for a vacation after all." Marco argued gently taking my hand. "Now that he is so unexpectedly bereft of his expected bride do you really believe that he has not considered Nicolette as an option?"
Alessandro had no answer, but when he released his hold on my other hand I knew he saw the situation the same as his father. But it was not until I felt satin lips press to my forehead that the gravity of my situation sunk in, Alessandro, my abductor was leaving me. Before I knew it was coming I felt a lone tear streak down my cheek. My mind struggled with the myriad of reasons I could be crying after the horrible events of the evening played out to the finish.
Though for most of the time that I had spent in the Rossi house I did it hating Alessandro, right then as soon as his hand slipped from mine all I wanted to do was cling to him. I tried to hate him as he backed out of the room never breaking our gaze. With each searing tear that slipped ever so slowly down my already stained cheeks I named it a reason to hate him. My abductor, bully, antagonist, ravager; the adjectives came as fast and hot as the tears until Alessandro rounded the corner. And when all I could see was his shadow slipping around the corner after him a final tear fell, mine.
"You will be safe here little one ..." Marco cooed with a squeeze of my hand. With too much enthusiasm I pulled free from his grasp, but tried to glamour my rudeness by wiping away my tears.
"I-I, may I ... I mean, what do I do now?" I stuttered while picking at a snag in the only piece of dated furniture in the entire Rossi compound. I felt like an animal stuck behind the glass at the zoo as I endured their pointed gazes. Marco was at a loss for words.
There in his office Marco seemed very much the old man, much older than he had been days before. His skin like frail parchment was so pallid it seemed no blood flowed within the blue veins beneath at all. It appeared as if it took maximum effort for him to remain seated upright as his sad eyes fell on me. His exhaustion seemed to be getting the better of him, but quickly I realized that it was not as simple as that.
"Dear one, my husband is weak. He needs to feed." Paola murmured breaking the silence. On her last word she exhaled a thick cloud of sweet smelling smoke I was fast becoming accustomed to. "And as for you Nicolette, I meant what I said before, this is your home. We are your family now. This house is yours sweet ... within its walls, on its grounds; you may do as you wish.
"B-but I don't want ... I mean, I can't be here ... alone." I whimpered looking up at her with pleading eyes. "Can't I go with Alessandro, please? I begged, surprising even myself, one week I am running from him and the next he is all I want. But the reality of it all was that I was quickly coming to grips with my situation.
Willingly or no, my life was changed the second Alessandro stole me. Reality had become fantasy and I was quickly learning that fantasy held more truth than reality ever had; and in knowing this family, these vampires, my life, the lonely monotonous life I had endured up to Alessandro had been false. As much as my logical self hated to admit it, Alessandro was my future, my anchor, my family, my real home; and the thought of him leaving ripped me apart.