A Dark Night with a Dark Stranger Ch. 06byBellstoires©
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Chapter 6- A Time For Answers...
Ragon had sat next to Bell, on the edge of her bed, that night. He knew that she was drunk, and would have a hangover the following morning. He had tried to justify his desire to watch her sleep, by telling himself that he was worried she might choke on her own vomit, but truth be told: he just wanted to be close to her. Up until tonight he had thought that he would keep her safe, and keep his distance. As he sat and watched Bell breathe little shallow breaths, he recalled the first time he had seen her: or rather the first time she had seen him. He had been at the university, reading in the library, when she walked past him. He didn't look up as she passed by him, but continued to read his much worn copy of 'Dantes Inferno'.
From the second she left the library, all he could hear was her heart beat. The purposeful lub dub of her heart was distinct, and like music to his ears; a delicious and soothing song only he could hear: reminding him that she was alive. The moment her heart rate had changed he knew something was wrong. It had gotten too fast, too quickly, and there was something wrong about the rhythm: it reminded him of Karl Husa'a 'Quarto movemiento'. He wanted to race to her, to blur through the library in an instant, but he knew he could not; such actions would not go unnoticed. Instead he raced, as controlled as he could; running at a human pace. To those who saw him, he might have been any mortal chasing a bus, or else being late for an appointment. However, as soon as he felt the absence of heartbeats around him, and thought it was safe, he accelerated. He could feel exactly how far away she was, and he knew that if he ran as fast as he could, he would reach her in a few minutes.
He saw the beasts attacking her first; reacting in an instant to end their existence. So preoccupied with their play, they hadn't even noticed him. Moving over to the two boys who dared to restrain her, he broke their necks quickly. She had fallen hard onto the ground, and he wanted desperately to check that she was ok, but vengeance spurred him on. He enjoyed racing after the man who foolishly ran from him. Ragon was impossible fast, and took the insignificant worm in his hands, and crushed his spine against his knee. Turning now to finish the instigator, he smiled as the monster prayed. A monster killing another monster, Ragon thought to himself, before reaching down and tearing his throat out; delighted by the blood reward. Had Bell not been there, he might have preferred to take his time with them; really ensured they suffered for trying to rape her. But he couldn't indulge in such pleasures; he had to get Bell away from here, had to make sure she was safe; nothing like this could happen again. He couldn't bring himself to lock eyes with Bell, but took her gingerly in his arms, and raced into the night with her. He had run the entire way with her in his arms. She did not speak, and Ragon knew by the quiet hum of her heart, that she was unconscious.
Despite his speed, it was half an hour before he had reached his home: the mausoleum. He had known from the instant he had saved her, that everything was going to have to change. He had hoped, if he could keep her existence a secret from Kiara, than perhaps she could still lead a relatively normal life. Naively, he had thought for her to one day get use to his company, and then maybe she could restart university, and continue with her life as if nothing had changed; Kiara need never know of her existence. In that parallel reality, she might have grown old, and had babies; Ragon would have slowly become less and less a part of her life, until she forgot about him entirely: but now that could never be. He had damned her; Kiara new who she was; but worst or all: knew how much Bell meant to him.
Suddenly Bell tossed in her sleep, pulling Ragon from his past. Instantly, he moved closer to her, careful not to touch her, but desperate for his presence to make her more comfortable. He had a large glass of water, and some nurophen plus waiting by her bedside table for when she awoke. It had not taken long for the sun to finally rise after she had fallen asleep; Ragon watched the few tiny beams of light, try desperately to get beyond the block-out curtains in her room. Transfixed at the luminescence, he realised how long it had been since he had seen the sun; excepting his recent sun tanning fiasco. It was no secret that vampires disliked the sunlight. In fact, considering the alternative, it would have been unusual for a vampire to enjoy it. After he had first been changed, he thought his affliction towards the sun might wane, but as the weeks stretched into years, he relised this could not be. The intolerance to sunlight seemed the final blow of what would be a cursed life; for in his mind, only true evil would be barred from the lights glory. Still he thought, when darkness began to fall outside, the night had its own beauty; though each star would never shine as true as the sun, combined they were a majestic, dancing counterpart to daytime.
He moved then to the windows and drew the open. The moon was bright tonight, which afforded Ragon the comfort of a replacement sun to behold.
"Kill me," Bell whispered, in a thick crackling voice, from the bed.
Ragon smiled. Though he could not remember what the effects of alcohol on him had been while he was a man; he knew that on occasions when he had partaken in drinking heavily and not feeding on enough blood, how drained he had left him. He reached for the nurophen and handed it to her.
"Oh," Bell said, startled by Ragon's presence, "how long have you been here?"
"About 180 years, give or take," he said smiling.
Bell blinked, and took the nuropehn, washing it down with a few gulps of water, and then finishing the entire glass.
"I think that will be the last time I play sources," Bell said, trying to return the smile.
"That sounds like a very good idea," Ragon replied.
Though he was upset by the toll the alcohol had taken on Bell, he was at least thankful that some good had come out of it. If Bell never played Sources again, he would be happy.
"Are the others up yet?" Bell asked.
Ragon looked around the room, as if sensing their presence, "Sandra and Thomas have left, probably hunting, and both our human guests are sleeping. I don't expect Cambridge and Larissa to wake for some time, they spent allot of the night shouting."
He was about to continue but Bell said, "Ohh," in remembrance of the nights events, pushed her hands over her face and dug her head into the pillow saying, "why did Larissa get so upset at Cambridge? Wouldn't you, err, I mean vampires, have to feed on others normally?"
Ragon looked up at Bell, a curious expression on his face. There was so much about his world that she did not know, that he hoped for her to never know, but answered "I guess, Cambridge was trying to make her jealous," and when Bell returned a blank expression said, "her and Clyde, have a, past. Before Larissa met Cambridge, she and Clyde were lovers."
Bell drew her head from the pillow saying, "really?"
Ragon nodded once, a little taken aback by Bell's obvious interest in Clyde and added, "Clyde is known for his, vigorous attempt at bedding women."
Bell blushed a little at this, remembering how he had tried to get her and the blond girl to- but she broke off from that thought quickly, as a wave of nausea overtook her. Running from her bed, into the bathroom, she began convulsing and having up last night's festivities. She felt Ragon beside her, and tried not to feel embarrassed as he took the hair tie from her wrist, and tied her hair out of her face.
"You don't need to watch this," she said, heaving again into the toilet.
When finally she had thrown up all she could, she stood and swayed on the spot. Instantly Ragon was behind her, holding her upright.
"Th- thanks," she stammered, moving over to the sink and washing her mouth out. Looking into the bathroom mirror she gasped. She had not realised until now, but she was only wearing her bra and underwear. She reached for a towel, and began covering herself, saying, "Geez, how many times did I get the Queen card last night?"
Ragon had averted his eyes at Bell's obvious discomfort at being disrobed in front of him. "You were, err, quit insistent that a jumper should not count as clothing," he said, in a slight tone of annoyance.
Bell caught the tone of displeasure in his voice, blurting out, "why did you rescue me, if you don't want me here?"
Ragon's eyes were suddenly frozen in fear. He took a moment to recover himself, and choosing his words carefully said, "It's not that I don't want you here, it's just that I would rather you were somewhere else."
Bell stared back in disbelief, her fears confirmed.
Ragon knew instantly from her expression, that he had said the wrong thing, and quickly added, "I mean; you're only 24 and there are things that you will want that I can't give you. I want you to be normal; living a normal life, without vampires trying to kill you, and playing stupid games with-"
But he broke off quickly. Bell had moved into the bedroom, and was now sitting back on the bed, "before all this happened, I wasn't happy. I mean I wasn't unhappy, but I was just sort of existing, but not living. I never really had a family, both my parents died when I was really young, so I never knew them. And when you came along, it was the closest I've felt to belonging. It didn't really bother me, what you are; it just felt right having someone looking after me."
Ragon had stood in silence listening. When Bell stopped speaking he moved over to her, and knelt down beside her, saying, "how can you be happy with a monster?"
"Those boys in the park were monsters; you're just a nice guy who has the unfortunate need of blood, and a severe allergy to the sunlight."
Ragon reached up to take her hand, but thought better of it. He had never thought in a million years that she could think like this. All this time he had thought that he had doomed her to a life of misery. He had not known how wretched her life had been before now. "I promised you that I would do my best to look after you, I have called my closest friends here to make sure that I keep that promise." He stopped and thought for a moment, still in slight disbelief at her words "Once I know that Kiara is no threat to you, you can decide if you want to stay."
He had wanted to say, with me, at the end of this, but decided against it. Though she had told him that having him around made her happy, he wasn't sure that would always be the case. She did, after all, not really understand just how much of a monster he really was.
He left after that, allowing her to get changed. When he walked out of her room he knew that Thomas and Sandra were back.
"How's Bell?" Sandra asked, before adding, "What in god's name were you thinking letting her play sources, you're lucky her clothes are all she lost last night."
Ragon growled. He knew she was right, but he couldn't tell Bell what to do.
"Have we heard from Cambridge and Larissa yet," Thomas asked, obviously wanting to ease the tension.
"You mean asides from the ranting this morning?" Ragon asked.
Thomas nodded, and Sandra said, "Did you have to invite Clyde?"
"I needed everyone," Ragon said, "you know of Kiara's ties in our world. She is not a woman easily left unsatisfied."
"What's that?" Clyde asked, appearing suddenly in the living room, "did I hear my name?"
It was Sandra who growled this time. She knew that on the surface Clyde was charming, but her loyalties were to Ragon, and Clyde would enjoy nothing more than making a sport out of Bell's affections.
"How are you're lovely human sources?" Sandra asked her voice light and marked by fake warmth.
"I think a little drained," he replied, a wicked grin on his face. "I was just about to check on Bell, that is why you called me here isn't it?" he said moving to look at Ragon, "to err, make sure n harm comes to her."
"I think the care which you're offering, is not what Ragon had in mind," Sandra said, and swishing her hair out of her face, she moved away from the 3 vampires, and knocked quietly on Bell's door, adding, "Besides, she knows she has me to look after her."
Bell opened her bedroom door a little hesitantly, and was greeted by Sandra's wide smile.
"Morning sugar, how are you feeling? You should know better than to play sources with strange vamps," she said, and closed the door behind her.
Bell blushed, and then resumed brushing her hair. She had changed into a long summer dress, which showed off her curves in all the right places. Ragon had not left her any make-up, and she looked jealously at Sandra's perfectly painted face.
"Wait," she said, taking Sandra by the hand. She was surprised at how cold her hand was, although she didn't know why. Sandra was, like Ragon and the majority of the people in the house, a vampire, and so it should not have shocked her to feel such an icy cold touch. Perhaps it was because she had begun to feel that Sandra was a friend. This is what she thought of when she asked, "Could you, err, tell me about vampires?"
She had wanted to ask this question since first she had met Ragon, but did not want to appear nosey. Now that she had gotten to know Sandra, she felt like she could talk to her about it, without offending her.
"Oh darling, what do you want to know?" she asked smiling sweetly at Bell, and resuming her seat next to her on the bed.
"Um; everything," Bell said eagerly.
"Have you asked Ragon anything specific about vampires?" Sandra asked.
"Well, I wanted to at first, but I thought he might be offended, and I didn't want to know enough just in case" Bell answered.
Sandra looked at the girl curiously, "what exactly has Ragon told you about us?"
"Your name's, and that you are here to protect me, oh and that you are vampires," she said raking her brains to try to recall anything else he might have divulged, "but that's pretty much it."
"So basically nothing," Sandra exclaimed, a knowing smile plastering her face. "Well where to begin. I guess at the beginning. Vampires are, or rather were, exactly the same as mortals, once upon a time. Then, for one reason or another, another vampire turns us."
Bell leaned in further, betraying her eagerness.
Sandra didn't miss this, but continued, "And after that we are pretty much what you see now, the immortal damned, destined to drink blood to sustain out immortality," she said dramatically, "But seriously, we hunt at night, hide during the day, and in general tend to stick to ourselves. Some of us form partnerships, like Thomas and me; and other's remain solitude."
"Where do you get the blood from?" Bell asked. As soon as she said this, she realised how stupid she must have sounded, and was just about to re-word her sentence when Sandra asked.
"From people off course; some we kill, and other we just feed from. The vamps in this house lead a relatively murder-free life. But we aren't all like that. Most of the time, vamps just like killing. The older you get the less you see people, and the more you see cattle," Sandra said.
"Do you have any nifty powers?" Bell asked, trying to keep the sarcasm out of her voice, before adding, "like, can you turn into a bat?"
Sandra laughed one out loud. "No, that would be pretty crazy! We can't become invisible, or anything crazy like that either, it is basically just heightened mortal senses and strength."
Bell thought about what Sandra had said, and then asked, "what about the sunlight? Ragon almost died when he was only out there for a few moments.
Sandra shivered slightly, replying, "yea vamps don't like the sun; we don't tan well." She inspected her own milky white skin for a moment before adding "only vamps who have had enough go out into the sun to play."
"Had enough; how could you have enough of being beautiful, and strong, and fast, and whatever else you guys can do?" Bell asked confused.
"You would be surprised just how long forever can last," Sandra said, and Bell thought she saw something sad behind her new friend's eyes.
"So who is up for another round of sources?" Clyde asked playfully when Sandra and Bell had joined the rest of the group on the balcony.
Sandra glared at Clyde in response, and he didn't press the matter, simply saying, "just a suggestion."
Bell noticed that Cambridge and Larissa must have worked out their differences, as they were sitting next to each other holding hands.
"I'm bored," the blond girl said, looking over at Clyde lustfully.
Clyde ignored her, and stood from his chair, offering it to Bell. She sat down quickly, and was a little embarrassed when Clyde dragged another chair from the living room, so that they were sitting next to each other.
"Tell me about yourself Bell," Clyde said, keeping his voice low, so as to invoke a private conversation.
Bell glanced around the table. B1 and B2 were chatting animatedly to each other while Larissa death stared them, and Sameth, Thomas, Cambridge were discussing something privately; only Ragon and Sandra seemed to have noticed Clyde's question. Pushing her hair behind her ear Bell said, "well there isn't much to tell."
"Come now, you must be somewhat interesting to have captured dear Ragon's attentions," Clyde stated.
Bell ignored the snipe and said, "well I am, err, was, studying veterinary science at uni, and I-"
"Do you have a boyfriend?" Clyde asked interrupting her.
"No," Bell replied, a little too quickly.
"Really?" Clyde responded, whistling low under his breath, "just haven't met the right guy?" he asked curiously, "what type of guys do you like?"
"Not the nosey, womanising, vampire type-of-guy," Sandra interjected loudly.
Clyde laughed lightly to himself.
"Well if we aren't going to talk, then why don't we play a game?" Clyde asked.
Ragon glared at Clyde and Sandra opened her mouth to protest, but Clyde said, "Charades?"
Unable to see anything sinister in Clyde's suggestions, Ragon shrugged, after which Clyde jumped to his feet and raced away. A moment later he had returned with a deck of what looked like playing cards, and a rather large, sand filled glass timer.
"Ok teams; Sameth myself and B2, Thomas and Sandra, Bell and Ragon, and that leaves B1 with Larissa and Cambridge" Clyde said, moving the chairs around so as to group the teams together.
When he neared Larissa she said, "I think B1 and B2 should count as one, otherwise it doesn't seem fair," then under her breath added, "seeing as they seem to only have half a brain each."
B1 and B2 were oblivious to Larissa's comment, but Sandra and Ragon laughed loudly.
"Very well, you two are with me and Sameth," Clyde said indicating the Blonde and red head, and they moved quickly to be closer to their other team members. "Ragon and Bell, you may lead," Clyde said shuffling the pack and placing it face down.
Ragon drew the top card and grinned. Instantly Clyde flipped the timer upside down and immediately grains of sand began escaping though to the bottom, indicating that his time had started.
Ragon put one hand into a fist near his face, and then to the side of his head and rotated it, miming that his card was a movie.
"Movie," Bell said, recognising the age old symbol instantly.
Ragon nodded once, than frowned. With one hand on his heart, and the other in the air above his head he mimed talking, as though he were saying a great speech. Bell looked at him sideways. There was something familiar about the way his hand was curled, that reminded bell of a poet speaking. When Bell didn't say anything, Ragon leaned over the veranda balcony and mimed talking to someone. He then jumped off the 5 metre balcony, and raised his arms as if he were speaking back to himself. Bell laughed once, still clueless. Jumping back onto the veranda, he resumed his original pose and Bell suddenly realised what it reminded her of, "Shakespeare?" she asked, unsure of herself.