A Blaze of Crimson Ch. 05byTripwire©
Again the smell of bacon woke her. Valerie rolled over, wincing her neck stiff, from last night, then it hit. Like an axe splitting a log, she had to bite her lip to keep from screaming in pain. Someone cleared their throat, Valerie looked up. Kathy stood in her bedroom doorway, holding a tray.
"What are you doing here?" Valerie muttered holding her head it ached and throbbed in time with the bite on her neck. Never again, flickered through her thoughts, before being smacked back down with the cold realization that if Yuri was here right now, she would be helpless, she had crawled to him last night on her hands and knees, and despite the pain and the fact she could barely stay awake, she would have crawled to him again.
"Tom, told me to come over and make sure," Kathy's eyes seemed to seek out hers. "That you were alright. She brushed a few stray hairs out of her eyes. Valerie shudder with the hunger, she could feel the ache, need that seemed to radiate from Kathy. "Yuri?" Valerie nodded, breaking the hold Kathy had on her eyes. "You should take these then," Kathy's hands dug through a pocket on the bright white apron tied around her waist. She dropped four reddish green pills on the tray next to the plate.
"What are these?" Valerie poked suspiciously at the tablets. A forced crooked smile worked its way on Kathy's face.
"Iron, to help with the blood loss." Valerie reached up and touched her neck, it felt swollen. Valerie blushed as she felt her body start to become aroused. It was the morning in her tent all over again. She expected to find another note for her on the nightstand. Valerie, played with the food on her plate, Kathy left her alone with her thoughts. She picked up the pills Kathy had left on her tray. She studied them closely.
"I wouldn't take them." The voice in her hand spoke, simply almost primly.
"I am going crazy, must be the blood loss." She whispered the pain in her head made eating almost impossible, she felt waves of nausea that seemed to radiate from her head and spread across her body to her stomach. The eggs were delicious and the bacon cooked to perfection. Hadn't Tom said Kathy was a chef the head cook for the Teal Station? Valerie couldn't remember, her mind was in a thick fog. Valerie pocketed the pills. She carried the tray out of her room; in her kitchen Kathy was cleaning up the breakfast dishes she grabbed the tray from her hands.
"It feels good even though it hurts." Kathy spoke to her from the kitchen doorway. "When they feed it seems as if the universe explodes around you." Valerie stared at the floor avoiding Kathy's gaze. Again the hunger, the need almost screamed from Kathy. "I sometimes wish Tom, would have killed me. "
"Why didn't he?" Kathy shook her head.
"Because I am useful to him, I hope that being useful might..." Kathy's voice thick and heavy trailed off into silence.
"Why did you help them kill Stephanie?" She could feel Kathy's eyes staring at her.
"She wanted Tom, and not me. I was just going to be a plaything until they drank me up. I wanted, "Kathy was standing next to her suddenly ", and I wanted to be one of them." Valerie felt the skin on the back of her neck crawl, she glanced up suddenly. Kathy reached out and cupped her chin. "Did you know Yuri, offered what Stephanie was going to give him, to make him one of them. He turned it down. Fucking turned it down, and then he spared my life. Told Yuri the mistakes of a slave are the master's responsibility." Kathy's eyes stared through her; she brought her face closer to Valerie's. "Do you know what it is like to love someone who doesn't love you?" A sudden knock on the door, broke the spell. Valerie twisted her head suddenly her neck stung. Kathy was straightening her apron and opened the front door. Tom paused in the doorway and glanced around the room before entering it; despite the dark daddy-o sunglasses he was wearing she could feel his eyes on her lingering for a second before his head turned.
"Where are those books, Rich had for me?" Kathy didn't say a word and just walked opened up Valerie's front coat closet and pulled out a brown paper shopping bag. Tom nodded; a slight smile was on his lips. "Put them in the car." Kathy nodded, and walked out the door. Tom closed the door behind her. "Okay, get your coat; we have a few errands to run." Valerie struggled to her feet. Again she could feel his eyes on her, a frown formed on his lips. "Yuri fed on you last night?" It wasn't a question, a statement. Valerie nodded, her fingers instinctively rose to touch her neck. A sigh, came from Tom, and here he was helpful Tom. Like a switch Valerie thought, Tom walked into her kitchen, and brought out a glass filled with orange juice. "Drink it." A pause, "please". Valerie drank the orange juice; the cold sweet acidy had an odd metallic tang to it. The fog in her mid cleared almost immediately, nausea left her, but her head ache still throbbed and rumbled.
"What did you give me?" Valerie sat the empty glass down on her coffee table. Tom smiled.
"Feeling better?" Valerie nodded.
"Much, a lot," Something in her mind laughed. She could feel the blood rushing through her veins; her cheeks grew hot and red. The blood was rushing to other parts of her body as well. For a second she wondered which Tom would be in control, when he. Calm, down, she told herself. Tom smiled.
"Good, I need your head clear, we are going to Stephanie's home, and I want a different opinion." Valerie nodded.
"His hands are probably strong." She thought and giggled. Tom glanced at her.
"We have to go; there are few other things I need to attend to." The scent of oranges and almonds filled her nose. Tom led her out to the hunter green Bentley. He held the passenger door open, Valerie lost her balance and almost fell, Tom caught her arm. She grinned his hands were very strong. She leaned against him for a second her body wanted to wrap itself around him. Her cheeks burned, as he closed the door after she sat down in the leather passenger seat. What the hell did he put in that orange juice? Tom got in, after pocketing a cigarette butt; he had picked off the hood of the sedan.
"Hey Tom, what the hell is with the cigarette butt?" She giggled again. Tom stared at her. "What?" Valerie stared down at her shirt. "Do I have toast crumbs on me?"
"Oh," Valerie buckled it. "You didn't answer my question." Tom's face broke into a half smile, a guilty one, almost like that of a little kid who had been caught stealing candy.
"If the cigarette butt wasn't there, then someone might have opened the hood." Valerie nodded. "Some people call it a mocking bird, old James Bond stuff." Again the guilty smile. Tom started the car, and pulled away from the curb.
"You know who killed her, right." Tom nodded and the green sedan picked up speed. "So why are we doing this? Going back to the murder scene, I mean." Tom glanced up into the rearview mirror a slight frown on his lips.
"Yeah, I know who the bitch is, but don't know where she is or more importantly why she did it." They passed a group of bikers, Death Trippers in black and green letters on the back of their leather jackets. The Bentley sped up some more. "Now you are going to ask why do I care?" He slowed down to exit the freeway. "I didn't want any of this. I don't know what you are to Yuri, a plaything, maybe he likes the way you taste. It doesn't really matter. I was changed, no; Elisabetha said she was waking a monster." Tom slowed the car down and turned down a side road. "Stephanie wanted to turn me into a monster as well, so why should I care?" Tom slowed the car and drove up to a huge wrought iron gate, he beeped the horn twice, and it slowly slid open. Tom drove through, the gate silently closed behind the car. He pulled the car to a stop, in front of a mansion; Valerie could see had been gutted by a fire. Several white vans and men wearing respirators were busy clearing our burnt debris, remains of furniture, and unidentifiable charred pieces of other household items.
"Kathy said Yuri offered to turn you into a vampire and," Before Valerie could finish. Tom interrupted her.
"I turned him down. He asked," Tom chuckled "rather demanded that I track down Elisabetha, and take care of it, after all I am a monster." He opened the car door and got out. Valerie followed him, Tom walked through the double red front doors of the Tudor mansion. Tom picked his way through the burnt piles that were once book shelves, and past the charred remains of a huge mahogany round wood table, into a kitchen. He stopped. Here in the kitchen Valerie noted the floor was gone. An aluminum ladder was secured and descended into the pit. Tom stood at the edge of the pit. It seemed as if he was gathering up his courage to go down. He took off his coat and draped it on plastic covered granite counter top, and climbed down. "Get down here." Tom's voice had grown cold. Valerie looked suspiciously at the ladder. Gingerly, she climbed down the ladder groaned and shook under her weight.
"Basement?" Tom bent over and turned on a work lamp, the room was a simple one it had been lavishly furnished though, well what remained of the furniture it was gutted like the rest of the mansion. Valerie walked around the room, Tom pulled off his sunglasses, and she could feel his eyes on her. Here, Valerie noticed the room had been left untouched by the work crews. "Stephanie's bedroom?"
"Yeah," Tom poked through some of the ash on the floor, and picked up several spent bullet casings. Valerie looked at the remains of huge bed the mattress had been reduced to blackened springs and frame. Something white was sticking out of the bed frame, Valerie got on her hands and knees and looked closer, she bumped against a night stand it collapsed the smell of oranges and almonds flooded the room, mixing with the almost over powering burnt wood. Tom started choking, and grabbed up a respirator, he offered one to Valerie. She waved it away.
"There it is something for you." The little voice in her head spoke. Valerie reached out part of the bed frame crumbled under her fingertips. A jade green journal with several book marks. She grabbed it up out what had been a compartment built into the frame of the bed. Tom was busy picking up more spent shells and something that looked like an exploded lime green tin can. Valerie put the diary in her purse. "Ohhh hiding it from him? " Again the voice chirped. "I miss this room so much." Valerie fought off a sudden wave of dizziness. She staggered to her feet. "Ask, Tom to pull up the floor safe in the bathroom please." The voice had gotten stronger inside of her head; Valerie imagined she could see blue eyes floating over them.
"Tom," he looked up at her. "Is there a floor safe in the bathroom?" Valerie tried to hide the trembling from her voice. He blinked in shock, before the mask of self control came back down.
"Yes, in the shower drain, we pulled it up right after the fire." Valerie felt the blood drain from her face, as Tom spoke.
"She wants it." Valerie's voice was the barest of a whisper.