Blood Ties (1 of 2)

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How did I get here? I was lying in an alleyway, weak, cold, taking my final labored breaths with my killer standing over me. He was watching me with that blank stare, his mouth stained red with my blood.

Even as I lay there unable to move, I remember feeling angry, so very angry. It's funny what stays with you in those last moments. For most it's fear, for a lucky few it's acceptance and serenity. For me, it was rage.

I replayed the events in my head thinking if there was anything I could have done differently to avoid the sad, pathetic state I was currently in.

The events that led up to my death had started a little over a week ago when I met him for the first time.

=^..^=

12th March, 1924.

The man standing over me had come into the coffee house where I worked as a Barista and I'd welcomed him with the usual smile that was required by the establishment.

"Morning sir, what can I get you?"

"Hmm" he'd pretended to be deep in thought making a selection. I know now that that had been nothing more than a ruse.

"Expresso" he'd finally said. The only thing he ever ordered in the days that followed. He'd said he liked the strong flavor.

"Can I get you anything else?" I'd asked cheerfully while placing the hot cup on his table.

"Some company wouldn't go amiss" he'd replied with a charming smile.

I chuckled nervously. Being hit on wasn't new to me but it made me uncomfortable every time. I couldn't help the way I looked. I wasn't the girl he clearly thought I was but even if I was, why did they all think hitting on the girl hard at work was an okay thing to do?

Still, I had to be nice so I forced a smile, "I'm working" I responded. Maybe that had been my mistake. I hadn't hissed at him to put any interest to rest. Maybe I should have.

Maybe I should have noticed something was off with him when he drank the entire cup of hot coffee in one swig without any sign of unease.

As he walked out the coffee house, he smiled at me and I smiled back waving him goodbye. I was just being nice as required by my employer. He hadn't seen it that way because the man who identified himself as 'Zeke' was back again the next day ordering the same expresso and pestering me with his attempt at conversation.

The beginning of the end was when he made me laugh. I was so lightheaded from the loss of blood that I didn't even remember the joke.

I just remembered I'd laughed a wide toothy laugh and he'd said, "You should smile more. You're beautiful"

Maybe I should have told him I wasn't a girl there and then, but that was usually more trouble than just letting them down gently. A perceived fag wasn't treated very kindly back then.

I wasn't proud of it but I never did correct him about my gender. The more he showed up at the coffeehouse and the more we talked, the more he drew me into being an active part of the conversation.

He was enchanting and experienced. The kind of experience you gained from having been places and having done things. He was funny and smart and he made me feel like I was funny and smart.

And he was handsome. I don't think I was attracted to him back then but I could atleast admit he was very good looking and not in a boyish way. He was everything I wasn't and he never held it against me so I invited him back to the coffee house again and again.

Today, we even shared a booth.

=^..^=

19th March 1924.

It had been a fun day, more fun than I had any right to have at work. Thankfully, it had also been a slow day so we had time to talk, laugh and enjoy each other's company.

I had started to feel guilty for keeping my identity a secret but I was too far in, and I didn't want my time with him to end.

We must have talked for hours and I would have kept it going if he hadn't said, "I have to go now"

"Oh" I replied biting my lip disappointed. "Well I had a very nice time"

I realised it felt like a date and I felt like the woman in one but for once, I didn't care.

"I feel like we could talk forever and never run out of things to say" I commented when he hadn't said anything back.

"We have time" He'd said simply with a smile.

"Okay" I blushed.

"I'll see you later" he said on his way out.

This was later, him standing over me. I could still feel where he bit into my neck like a wolf or a bear.

Even as my body twitched on the stone floor uncontrollably, I still tried to make sense of it.

He moved closer to me and listened in on my labored breathing. To my surprise, he bit into his own hand, forcing his dripping blood into my mouth. A ritual? A fetish? A serial killer's calling card? I was too weak to resist.

My eyes simply followed his movement as he cleaned the excess drops of blood that hadn't found their way passed my lips and instead rolled down my chin and neck.

I watched him until my vision started to fail and my heart struggled to perform. Slowly but surely, my eyes shut and all that remained was darkness. I was dead.

=^..^=

21st March 1924.

I stayed frozen in disbelief when I first opened my eyes. I remembered dying, every excruciating detail. I remembered the neurons firing in my brain long after my body had given up.

Had it all been a dream?

When I overcame the shock and tried to access my surroundings, I realised I was in a box.

"A casket?" I wondered whether I'd been prematurely buried. But it was large and spacious with enough room for me to sit up so I discarded that idea.

Even if it was pitch black and I knew it was, I could still make out my hands and feet as well as the long white dress I was wearing. I felt myself for any signs of injury. I felt my neck where that mad man had tore into it but found no signs of damage.

The more I tried to make sense of it, the less it made sense. I considered that I may have been dreaming but it felt too real and somehow too bizarre for my mind to conjure.

Nothing made sense, like how I wasn't panicking about being in this unfamiliar box. Instead it felt safe here in the dark. Still I needed some answers.

I pushed open the top of the box and let out a relieved sigh that it opened without any resistance. Outside the box, I appraised it to be made of stainless steel and even just the lid should have been heavier than it was.

No matter, I needed to figure out where I was. The room was dark with no sources of light but once again, it didn't bother me. The dress did a bit but with everything else going on, I could easily put it out of my mind.

I tiptoed quietly through the dark halls of what looked to be an old mansion trying my best not to make any sound. Someone had put me in that box.

I knew the obvious answer was Zeke but I didn't know why or how I was still alive. I didn't even feel like I had been close to death. I felt amazing, better than I'd ever felt before except the growing hunger that was beginning to feel uncomfortable.

Even in the dark, I found the exit. A giant wooden door for a mansion that I suspected was much bigger than I realized. I wasn't about to stay and explore though. I rushed quickly to the door and pulled at the handle.

It was locked but the feedback felt like it might have broken apart if I pulled any harder. Just before I was about to put my theory to the test, I heard that familiar voice behind me which made all the hairs on my skin stand upright.

"You're awake"

I turned quickly to face him, a desperate look plastered on my face. He stood before me no more than ten feet away. I stood with my back to the giant door.

I looked to my left and right. A smaller door stood to my right presumably leading deeper into the house. The staircase from whence I'd found my way here stood to my left leading back upstairs. I was trapped if I couldn't get this door open.

I pushed my weight into the door and it creaked loudly just barely resisting my forceful exit.

"You don't want to do that" Zeke warned.

"Don't speak to me" I spat at him "... and don't come any closer"

"I'm not going to hurt you" I heard him say. That was rich coming from him. ".. Again" he added with a sly smile.

His teeth, they were normal.

"You.. you had fangs. You bit me" I felt like I was going crazy. Nothing made sense.

"Listen, I can explain everything" Zeke took a step towards me.

I hadn't meant it. I didn't even know what had happened until I hissed at him and I felt the unique sensation of my canines elongating to nearly twice their length.

I covered my mouth with both my hands in shock.

"It's okay" He said in an assuring tone "I know you're confused right now but that's normal. The first few hours are confusing and terrifying for baby vampires but I'm here to guide you through it"

"Va.. vampire?" My mouth was dry and my voice cracked as I said the words.

He opened his mouth slightly and his own teeth extended which caused me to gasp.

"What.. have you... done to me?" I asked. It was hard to speak with the new teeth. His had retracted shortly after deployment but mine remained which caused me to fumble my words.

"Well you're not the only one who feels hard done by, you know?" his gaze fell to my crotch.

"What...?"

"You deceived me"

"You killed me!" I yelled "You're a vampire"

"Darling, so are you now?"

"No no no" I repeated in frustration "This can't be happening."

I fumbled with the door handle.

"You really don't want to go out there while the sun is still up"

"I'll die?" I asked in disbelief

He nodded.

"No, this isn't real" I backed away from the door "I'm dreaming aren't I?" I forced a laugh, "You're not real. You, this house, none of it"

"I assure you Rowan, it's all very much real" He said to me.

Then I remembered something. A flaw in his story.

"You've been out in the sun" I pointed a finger at him "Everyday for the last week"

"Yes" He answered unfazed "And it was irritating but after a while, you build up a bit of a tolerance."

"After how long?"

He made a show of thinking, "Six decades? Seven? It varies from vampire to vampire"

He spoke about everything so nonchalantly like it was a perfectly normal conversation to have.

"Right, and how old are you exactly?" I asked. He certainly didn't look a day over 30.

"Three hundred and sixty three" He answered "Sixty four in November" he smiled. He was having fun.

"That's not possible" I shook my head in disbelief. Sometime during our conversation, my teeth had retracted allowing me my full range of speaking ability. "You look so young" I observed.

"Yes well you remain the age you were when you were turned. The stories are right about that, we don't age"

"What?" I asked in a panic. That may have sounded like a perk to some but I had been waiting patiently for my body to develop into something fit for a man. "Never?"

He shook his head, "You're quite lucky. I wish I was younger"

"Change me back" I said sternly.

"I think you know there's no going back"

"I can't stay like this. I can't be this... this thing" I gestured to myself only then remembering the dress I was wearing. "And what am I wearing?"

"Sorry, it's all I had." He looked apologetic atleast "And to be fair, you led me to believe you were a woman"

"Why were you looking to kill any woman at all? What is wrong with you?" I asked with a raised voice. I should have been afraid of him but I wasn't. The worst had already happened.

"No, not kill. Turn" He corrected.

"Turn? Into a vampire? Why?"

He turned away. I took a step forward. I struggled with the fact that given the circumstances, I wasn't feeling much. I couldn't figure out where my anger had gone. This guy killed me and here I was hearing him out.

"Tell me" I urged.

"You are supposed to be my mate" He informed me.

The look of confusion on my face must have spurred him on.

"Vampires mate for life. And since we can live for thousands of years, I had been very careful about choosing the right woman"

"And I'm not a woman" I reasoned.

"So you see the problem." he finished.

"I can't believe I'm saying this but why not just 'turn' someone else?" The words left a bad taste in my mouth but still it was the obvious next course of action.

"I can't" He replied quickly having been expecting the question "A vampire may only sire one vampire in their lifetime"

"That doesn't make any sense"

"The legend says it was a pact Lucian the Eternal, the very first vampire made to keep our kind from becoming numerous enough to rule the earth"

'Our kind' I thought to myself in disgust.

"If I tried to turn another human, I would die an excruciating and bloody death.... or the human would. I'm not totally clear on the specifics"

"So it's a 'no' then?" I joked. I couldn't understand why I was so calm. Suddenly, nothing could phase me. I couldn't feel anything and it scared me.

"It's a 'no'" He confirmed.

"So what now?" I asked.

"Now you feed, follow me" He commanded and I obeyed without so much as a second thought.

He took me through the door to my right and I was greeted with a very large living room with ridiculously high ceilings. The room was beautiful but I couldn't focus on my lavish surroundings because there was a young man sitting in one of the chairs.

"Hello Ezekiel, who's your friend?" He called out as soon as we walked in.

"Who is this?" I turned to Zeke.

"His name is Paul and he's here for you" Zeke informed me.

"For me?" I asked still unsure of what was going on.

Zeke nodded.

"She's pretty" Paul said to no one in particular.

"I don't understand" I turned back to the young man in the room.

"You must be hungry. When you're hungry, your emotions are the first things to go" Zeke explained. "A vampire without empathy is extremely dangerous. Paul will let you feed so we can keep that from happening"

"You mean blood" I clarified.

"Yes"

"I can't do that" I took a step away.

"You have to" Zeke urged "He doesn't mind. He's a donor. In fact, he wants you to, isn't that right, Paul?"

"Yes, darling. Take as much as you want" Paul said with a twisted smile.

"See, what did I tell you? He's getting paid very well for his time here"

"This is wrong" I said taking another step away. "I can't"

Paul took a razor from the packet and slid it across his palm. My throat immediately tightened as it became impossible to focus on anything else.

My canines extended even farther than before and my mouth watered uncontrollably.

"There she is" Paul said excitedly.

"It's okay" Zeke said gently while waving Paul over. Paul hurried over and placed himself right in front of me. The closeness threatened to send me over the edge. It was unbearable.

I could smell him and what he'd had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He smelled so good, so deliciously exquisite. He moved his collar out of the way to offer me unobstructed access to his neck.

"See where my fingers are?" Zeke placed his index and middle fingers on two specific points on Paul's neck. "That's money right there. Just bite and let your instincts take over"

My mouth opened wider, I couldn't resist. He was right there and he was inviting me. I placed one hand at the back of his hand and the other on his cheek for support, I closed my eyes and leaned in.

What the hell was I doing?

I felt my teeth pierce his neck and I took a deep breath in. A few moments later, the warm liquid began streaming passed my lips and I felt an unmatched sense of euphoria. For those seconds, or was it minutes, or hours, Paul and I felt like one being. I felt in control, powerful, like I could do anything and everything.

My nails dug into the back of his neck and scratched his face. They felt much longer than they'd been a moment ago. I sucked and swallowed and whenever I felt any resistance, I pulled in harder. Each gulp felt like the most beautiful orgasm over and over again.

I wanted to go on forever but the resistance increased until it overpowered me. My teeth and lips searched for contact but it was nowhere to be found.

I heard a loud thud which finally caused me to open my eyes.

Paul lay on the floor showing no signs of life. Zeke was holding me back in submission. My eyes widened as my brain began to piece together everything that had just happened.

I gasped, pushed and clawed my way away from Zeke to no avail. He simply held me tight and shushed me, the whole time repeating the same words.

"It's okay"

It wasn't okay, far from it. My eyes remained locked on the seemingly lifeless body in front of me. My heart was beating faster and faster and my head began pounding. My teeth wouldn't go away and neither would my nails which were more like long, sharp talons.

"He's dead"

"He's not" Zeke assured me.

I had eyes and Paul wasn't moving.

"He's dead" I repeated frantically.

"Shh" Zeke held me tighter and tighter "You'll feel better when you wake up"

He placed a hand on the top of my head and the other on my chin, with a swift motion, he twisted and snapped my neck. That was the second time I died.

=^..^=

I woke up in a soft bed, a nice upgrade from the steel box from earlier. This bedroom had a open window and through it, I could see the world outside. The beautiful night sky was vibrant and I could see colors and hear sounds I'd never heard before.

I was dragged away from my pleasant thoughts when I remembered what had happened with Paul. I drank his blood like an animal. Like Zeke had done to me. I had become the monster I hated.

I just needed to get away. Without thinking, I leapt out the window and landed on the ground below effortlessly. A jump from that height would most likely have broken both my legs but instead, I felt nothing.

In fact, my legs were primed and ready to run and so I did.

At first I was caught off guard by speed I was moving and struggled with coordination but just like it was second nature, soon I was running through the forests at break neck speeds reacting to obstacles and changes in directions in ways that would have been impossible for any human.

It reminded me that I was no longer human. I was this thing. Still I focused on putting as much distance between myself and that house as possible. I ran until I came to the main roads before stopping so as to not arouse any suspicion.

My heart skipped a beat when I realised I knew exactly where I was. I knew the way home. It was all I could do to keep myself from running at full speed. I jogged the four miles it took to get back to my neighborhood. It hadn't felt like I'd even exerted myself. It felt no different than being on a leisurely stroll.

I had to focus. I was approaching my home. Dad's Ford Model T was in the driveway so I knew he was back from the office, or maybe he hadn't left at all. I'd been missing after all.

I approached the house and could hear the conversations going on inside clear as if I was in the room with them.

Dad was assuring Mom that he was doing everything he could and the police seemed confident they'll receive more information to share soon.

"No, they don't think he was killed, just abducted. There's traces of blood other than his on the scene so they're thinking he wounded his attacker"

Mom whimpered, "He's not a fighter"

"No he's not" Dad agreed "... but he's not a coward either. He's alive somewhere and we'll find him"

I started to think and realized being there was a bad idea. What was I expecting? How was I supposed to survive the next day when the sun came up? How would I deal with my need for blood? Human blood.

It slowly dawned on me that there was nothing for me there. I took a step back away from the house but clumsily knocked over one of mom's flower pots.

"Who's there?" Dad's voice rang out.

I turned to run but was stopped in my tracks by Mom's voice, "Rowan?" She sounded so heartbroken.

I couldn't move. I heard the footsteps hurriedly approach the front door and urged myself to run but I couldn't. How could I run away from my parents?

Dad exited the door first and stopped in his tracks.

"Where have you been?" He asked sternly. "What the hell are you wearing?"

Mom came barreling past him and ran into my arms hugging me tightly.

"Mom" I said with my voice quivering.

"It's okay" She assured me "You're home now. I don't know where you've been but you're home"

Dad started to yell at me again but faltered. He too followed suit towards us and encased Mom and I in a hug.

"I'm sorry" I begged "I messed up. I messed up badly"

"It's okay" Dad calmed me "Whatever it is, we'll sort it out"

It was in that moment that I knew my parents truly loved me. As conservative as they were, they were able to overlook my current state and appearance to hug and welcome me home. It was overwhelming.

I felt the tears start slowly and then proceed to flow freely. It took half a minute for my parents to step away from me. I looked over to them and witnessed the horror on their faces.

I watched my catholic mother make the sign of the cross with the most terrified expression locked on my face. Entirely instinctively, I brought a hand to my face and wiped some of the tears away.

I stared at my hand in similar horror as my parents. There was blood where my tears should have been and it poured endlessly from my eyes.

The last thing I remember was my Mom saying, "Demon"

=^..^=

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I hope you enjoyed this first chapter. Please leave a comment letting me know what you thought about it.

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Comments

Excellent, as always

Emma Anne Tate's picture

I’m not really a fan of the vampire genre, but I like your characters and it will be interesting to see where you take it.

Emma

Lol me neither

Emma's picture

But at this point, I just want to have tried every possible story type known to man.

As always, I'm glad to have you.

A Twist

joannebarbarella's picture

On the genre. You are certainly succeeding in trying every kind of TG story, but please don't leave us dangling like you did with your Damsel In War.

I won't!

Emma's picture

... or atleast, I'll try not to lol. And I also decided that story deserves a finish so this will be the last one of my journey exploring short stories. Time to finish the others including Damsel in Wartime.

Hope you'll stick around.