New Kingdom: European Court Ch. 02byMicKay©
Sealing the wound on Emma's neck, Antony lifted his head and looked at her face. He thought it so odd that she considered herself to be plain when her beauty started him each time he gazed upon her. Yeah, she had the imperfections that all humans possessed due to neglect, stress, and illness but she had the beautiful coloring and structure that he had never seen on another person.
Tangling his fingers through her hair, he smiled at the memory of her evaluation of the color. What had she said? Right, she had called it dirty blond or pale brown. Relishing the feeling of the silken strands through his fingers, Antony mused that there was nothing dirty about her hair. And watching her hair reflect the evening's light, he corrected that it could never be described as pale. Her hair was golden as a halo and surely envied by those of the First Creation.
The thought of creations, no matter the number, reminded Antony of the war between his people and the two previous fallen races. As king of Europe, he had seen it all. Humans had fought and killed over the land, people and wealth, and had succeeded in creating new countries, money and people. As long as their petty battles were controlled by their leaders, his only involvement would be the generous financing provided to those preferred by the New Kingdom. And while he had witnessed massive atrocities, he still gave silent thanks that Edward was allotted the babes of America. He admired the beautiful country and its people but he was grateful to be spared ruling the volatile combination of opportunity and pride.
Nonetheless, he had vowed to protect and lead his people to victory no matter how many wars they fought among themselves. The attacks against the New Kingdom were well planned and unexpected. He accepted the internal rebuke that he had neglected in protecting his people. Now, he could not escape the results of his failures: he had provided that whore Helen with his DNA, he had lost the woman he had called mate for the last three hundred years to the contaminated blood, he had allowed this little American girl to become involved in the war, and finally, he had to beg his brother, Gabriel, to help him.
Gabriel, the man who had been delegated as the general of their armies because he was considered the seventh son and there were only six kingdoms to rule. He had accepted his lot in life well and had become the envy of every man and desire of every woman. Of course, he now has amnesia to those memories because of his most recent appointment as ruler of everything and lover of one.
Antony had yet to meet Alena in person, only seeing her through video communications, but had talked with her enough to love his sister in law. She had been strong enough as a human to capture Gabriel's heart and never let it go. Although she had insisted on mothering the little products of his failure, she had accompanied her mate into her new life vowing to see the Third Creation be victorious. She was a leader in her own right but she boasted her position as Gabriel's mate.
Dragging his thoughts back to the woman in the bed, Antony was surprised to find how their bodies had shifted during his reverie. Emma's hands had released their death grip on his shoulders and now rested against his head, cradling his face to her breasts. Still uncovered, the skin covering her heart was warm and soft, inviting him to savor the delicacies spread before him. Instead, Antony tenderly pulled her gown back over her breasts and lifted the straps to her shoulders. Rising from the bed, he looked at the innocent woman sleeping soundly from the effects of his venom.
"In the morning, you'll think this was just another dream," he whispered. "If only I could give you something to remember but I'll settle for the question in your eyes and the blush on your skin every time we see each. Good night, my little one."
With one final kiss to her lips, he moved to the window. Swiftly and silently, he exited the loft and dropped to the ground. He smiled at the sound of the intrusion identified only by a masculine sigh of exasperation.
"I don't know if I should be more pleased or disappointed," the man said.
"Explain brother," Antony said with a smile.
"I am pleased that you've moved on with your life but rather disappointed that the entire occurrence lasted less than thirty minutes."
"It's difficult to seduce a woman with your impatient sighs interrupting my thoughts, Gabriel."
"I wasn't impatient," Gabriel said stepping from the shadows. "I was embarrassed."
Laughing at his brother's taunting, Antony relaxed. No matter how much it hurt his pride to beg for help, he was relieved that Gabriel had joined him. Knowing what the man could do and hearing what he had accomplished in America offered Antony that first glimmer of hope. Nodding to the sidewalk, he motioned Gabriel to join him in a walk down the street.
"It's bad, Gabe," he started bluntly.
"Alena told me that you feared waiting too long to call," Gabriel added. "You need to know that I could not be here before today and losing this war is not an option."
"Cheering the team on to victory. Is that part of your new role?"
"Not a cheer. Fact. If the Fallen win, life ends," Gabriel said stopping to look at his brother. "You've suffered loss since we last met."
"And I'd rather not discuss it."
"Losing your mate ...,"
"Is none of your fucking business," Antony snapped. "Besides, I'm viewing the whole experience as an opportunity to sample new items on the menu."
"Is that what you were doing?" Gabriel asked looking back to the apartment window his brother had just vacated.
"I'd rather not discuss her," Antony said quietly. "Other than the fact she is our source of information on the audit, she is my concern."
"You fed from her."
"Is she a willing donor?"
"We do things differently here, Gabe," Antony explained. "Wait until you visit these clubs and then you'll know why we are called monsters or demons."
Antony turned to continue his walk when he felt an iron grip wrap around his arm. Before he could ask about the hold, he felt his body fly back and land into one of the trees lining the street. Landing on his feet, he bent to a crouch glaring at his attacker. Before he made a regretful move, he stood up and tidied his jacket from the collision with the tree.
"What the hell was that for?" he finally asked.
"We do not take from the innocent," Gabriel snarled in anger. "I have seen the supply at your home. You do not need this," he added waving an arm toward Emma's window.
"Maybe I'm not just taking blood."
"Then you are a molesting a young girl and I will not allow it."
"Trust me, she's getting more pleasure than I am in the experience," Antony said.
"What have you become?" Gabriel said turning looking at his brother. "When have you ever had to sneak into an innocent's window for blood and fondling?"
"Since that fucking cunt destroyed our lives!"
"Who else?" Antony said running his hand over his head and through his dark hair in a sign of obvious frustration.
"She was a deterrent to our mission," Gabriel explained. "But she's been destroyed and the contaminated blood had been destroyed too."
"Contaminated? No, Gabe, it was ours. Your brothers' blood held in two little abominable creatures."
"It was contaminated when it was consumed by a newborn," Gabriel responded. "When I consumed it and fed it to Alena, it was truly just the combined blood of my brothers."
"But Alena was a newborn."
"Not really. Her change was halted and I've yet to find the reasons," he answered. "But listen, although the children are products of an evil plan, they are part of my destiny and had to be created." Then with a smile he added, "Neither Alena nor I plan to release them so you can put away any fears that you might have to play Daddy."
"I know that," Antony mumbled. "They are a reminder of my weakness. And get off your self-righteous high horse, brother. If you hadn't been smitten with your little Alena, you would have fallen for Helen too."
"Maybe," Gabriel answered quietly. "To my shame, I have a history that proves you correct, but now," he paused, "now, I can't believe that I ever wasted my time with another."
"She seems amazing from the few times I've spoken with her," he agreed and then added with a wicked grin, "and looks pretty damn hot in those video conferences."
"Watch it brother. I don't share this one."
"My loss. Maybe her sister will be interested?"
"I'll be sure to pass on the message to Edward," Gabriel said with a laugh. "Where are we going?"
"To some of the clubs," Anthony answered. "You need to see what our species has become."
"If the blood is destroyed then why are our people betraying the laws?" Gabriel asks as they sped down the streets to the business district of the city.
"Because, they are not our people. They are merely created from us. They are not ruled by our laws but by their hunger and desires," Antony explained. "Here we are. Every club in this district is owned by the rebels; at least that's what I call them."
"Do we look acceptable?"
"You're now a fashionista?"
"Funny. No. But I'm dressed for battle and you look like a banker."
"I am a banker," Antony replied sarcastically. "And I'm feeling old."
"Old? I can't imagine how you can feel old."
"Because I'm four-fucking-thousand years old and our life, as we know it, has been changed. Very few respect our way anymore. We are considered archaic. Hell, maybe we are."
"Ok," Gabriel interrupted, "Lose the jacket and tie. Let's see what you are trying to tell me."
As they entered the club, Gabriel instantly agreed with his brother. He did not agree that they were old, but their ways were definitely not popular with the young vampires. Sharpening his vision, he scanned the crowd to see if any of the contaminated blood was present. Finding no evidence was little consolation to him. What he saw was much worse.
The newborns and young vampires writhing against each other to the beat of the loud music were not infected with the blood from the children. Nor were they addicted to a substitute or placebo. They were mindlessly satisfying their desires with no artificial stimulants.
Gabriel stood in astonishment as the bodies on the crowded dance floor gyrated against each other on the dark dance floor. The vampires were in the majority to the humans more than a ten to one ratio. Smelling fresh human blood, he immediately moved into a defensive posture. As he scanned the booths tucked into the dark corners, he was immediately revolted by the scenes he found. Every booth was crowded with several vampires drinking from a human, typically one unceremoniously spread on top of a table.
Moving to one booth, he witnessed the horror of finding one young woman with her clothes shredded from her body. Two male vampires were abusing her body pounding their cocks into her mouth and between her legs while another feasted on her breasts. The girl was ravaged beyond repair and, though her heart was still faintly beating, her glazed eyes showed no signs of life.
At the next table, he found an atrocity that he could have never imagined. An apparently young mother sat in the booth staring at the dance floor while two vampires tore at her breasts drinking the milk and blood that flowed from her wounds. A female vampire moved behind the woman and swiftly sunk her fangs into her victim's neck chewing at the source of blood.
Turning from the sight, Gabriel saw a small child speed across his path. Following the young boy, he stopped when the child leaped into the air landing on the back of a human male who was dancing with a female vampire. The woman laughed as the startled man shrieked. Trying to dislodge the boy from his shoulders, the man stopped when he saw the face of his attacker. Changing from the playful giggle of a child, the noise of the diminutive beast became growls and hisses as he tried to lodge his fangs into the man's neck.
Suddenly, he was pulled away from the man and swiftly carried into a dark corner. The child looked into the face of the dark giant holding him tightly and then looked back to see his dinner being dragged away by another giant. His meal was touched and then collapsed in a heap on the floor only to be lifted and carried out over the giant's shoulders.
"Mine!" the little vampire shrieked and fought to be released from the iron bands holding him tight.
Struggling in the giant's arms, the boy fought to reclaim his prize until he realized that he was being placed inside a closet or locker of some sort. Before he could call for help the big man looked at him and, with a sad smile, said, "I'm sorry little one."
Suddenly he was alone and hungry in the dark, small space. Certainly his mother would hear his cries. What did she tell him? If he ever needed her, then he had to call her with his mind. Trying not to cry, he shut his eyes tightly and thought, "Mommy, I need you. Mommy, the bad man put me in the closet."
Gabriel walked away from the maintenance closet almost in shock. In four-thousand years of existence, he had seen atrocities but none that had disgusted him more than these tonight. His people had created monsters that were attacking and destroying the humans.
His Alena had been human, like the women being killed in the booths, less than a year ago. And that child, the young boy, could be no older than six or seven years old just like his Joshua. He walked almost in shock across the club needing to reach the exit soon but was halted when a feminine arm wrapped around his waist.
"Don't go, lover," the seductive vampire purred. "I promise to make it worth your time if you stay."
Turning to the face the woman, he instantly sensed the bond between her and the creature he had just locked in the closet.
"Are you a mother?"
"Yes," she said with the smile, "and the little angel will bring you someone to quench your thirst if you wish." Looking around she mumbled, "Where did he go? He just had an appealing morsel in his sights. What?" she asked aloud. "Where are you my darling? A closet? What closet?"
Quickly, Gabriel moved away from the woman and toward the exit. As he opened the door, Antony walked in empty handed with only blood stains on his shirt as evidence of his involvement.
"Gabe," he said quickly, "we need to leave. I removed three, no more were salvageable."
"Save the lecture," he said looking over his shoulder. "Trust me. I had no idea how bad it was. Let's get out of here."
"Wait," Gabriel ordered grabbing his brother's arm. "We can't just leave. We can't leave this here."
"What do you want to do, Gabe? Give them a copy of our rules and tell them to repent? There's no hope for them!"
"You're right. But I can't leave this building here with those humans dying and those beasts bringing more in to destroy."
"Whatever you are planning to do will be reciprocated," Antony advised.
"This is war," Gabriel responded. "It's time to announce that we are capable of fighting. Call your guards now. We need to seal this building and burn it before dawn."
Within a couple of hours, the European king stood with his brother and his guards, igniting the building and watching the flames quickly engulf the structure and wicked immortals within. The shrieks of terror were loud and obscene but quickly silenced as the fire raged through the building. Antony had led the guards to seal all exits so no one could escape through a backdoor, roof or basement.
Walking away from the scene, Antony instructed the guards to return to their quarters and await further instructions. Looking at the gathering crowd, he shook his head at the morbid curiosity of humans. If only they knew. Their interest in the burning building would have been nothing in comparison to their reaction if they had known what was burning inside.
Catching up to Gabriel, Antony walked beside his brother in silence wondering what they could expect in as retaliation. The smoldering business had been a popular night scene for the enemy vampires for several years. The destruction would certainly be felt in both loss of property and loss of future income.
"We need to plan," Gabriel said breaking the silence. "If only it were as simple as trapping them inside and starting a fire."
"It may be minimal but it was effective," Antony commented.
"They know we are here but they will fight back. Since their identity is no longer a secret and apparently they have successfully altered our race, they can reciprocate publically," Gabriel said drifting silent in thought.
"What do we do tonight?"
"Tonight," he said with a smile, "I need Alena."
Arriving at the European king's mansion, Gabriel quickly proceeded to the rooms assigned to his family. Hearing the sounds of deep breathing, he paused at a door and quietly opened it to check on the children. Standing between their twin beds, he watched them both sleep with eyelids in motion as they innocently dreamed.
When another set of feminine arms wrapped around his waist, he was neither surprised nor repulsed. Turning to face her, he held her close savoring the feel of his mate in his arms. He savored it until he heard her sniff his clothes.
"I can explain."
"No need," she said with a chuckle. Pressing her forehead to his chest, Alena opened her mind to her mate questioning his activities and receiving mental images from his memory in response.
"Gabe, this is war. There will be casualties but better to lose some than all."
Nodding his head, he pressed his forehead against hers seeking the strength that only she could share with him.
"Come love," she said leading him from the room. "Let me remind you that I am no longer human."
Walking into their bedroom, she stopped to face him. Lifting her hands to his face, she smiled an invitation that only he could answer. Without hesitation, he kissed her hard pulling her body against his while moving his hands over her back.
She pressed her hips up, closer to him, seeking the evidence of his arousal. Slowly moving against him, she slipped her tongue into his mouth, grazing against his teeth until she found his own tongue. As she teased his mouth, she consented to his strength when he forced her tongue to retreat as he took a turn inflicting torture on her mouth.
Pulling away from her lips, he looked at the gown gracefully covering her body from shoulders to the floor, and shook his head. Before she could say a word, he grabbed the material in his hands and ripped the garment in two until it laid, ruined, at her feet.
"Do you have any idea how much that gown cost?"
"I'm a rich man," he said lifting her in his arms. Carrying her to the bed, he laid her gently on her back and began undressing.
"I'll never get tired of seeing your body," she said rising to touch him and pouted as he pushed her back to the mattress.
When he was fully undressed, he remained standing by the bed staring at her body. She had changed so much physically from the thirty-five year old accountant he had loved in his cabin at the waterfalls. Watching her face, he smiled in appreciation of how much she could now read his mind and understand his love and desire for her.
In the time since her change, they had loved hard and long in what seemed to be an attempt to absorb each other. Their first mating when she awoke as a vampire had been so passionate that he had feared hurting her and then feared her newborn strength would tear his flesh apart. As she adjusted to her new strength, she was able to restrain from inflicting pain but refused to tame her passion.
After waiting eight years for her, he appreciated her new liberation to their physical love. He had been a gentleman for too long and now he could reap his reward. Watching her writhe on the bed in anticipation, he held his hand on her chest restraining her from moving closer to him.