Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 11

"I'm sorry I doubted you."
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you, or take you with me. He wasn't in a compromising mood."
It was Rafaela's turn to laugh. "Did you expect him to be? Those were his children."
"Most of us aren't that fond of our offspring. It was more of an affront to his ego than any true affection."
"How many did you take out?"
"Only four. They got the jump on me."
"Hiding in the ether?"
"How did you guess?"
"I had fifteen."
"How the hell did you get away?"
"Flash grenades."
He chuckled softly. "Glad I wasn't there. I'd have a hell of a sunburn."
"I thought about what you said about the nuke."
"You want to do that?"
"No. But what if we used light? I know it doesn't burn you to a crisp like they show in the movies, but it still hurts."
"It's not a favorite, that's for sure. What do you have in mind?"
"Still working on it." She turned the car northwest at the next intersection.
"Where are we headed?"
"To see someone who specializes in weapons of mass destruction. You're not the only one with connections, you know."
Dirk tried to smile, but she could see he was in pain.
"Check the cooler on the seat next to you."
He opened it and found several bottles of red, viscous liquid. Each was neatly labeled with type, gender, race and date. Dirk laughed loudly. "I know you didn't do this yourself."
"I raided the stash of a guy I killed awhile back. Bastard was a real sicko. He was a serial killer. He kidnapped his victims, slowly bled them dry and killed them. He bottled their blood and kept it on a shelf in his pantry."
"Wow, that is pretty sick. I've had my dark times, but that's twisted."
"But it will come in handy. I'd kept it for bait, but it looks like you need it more than I do."
Dirk put his hand on her shoulder. "Thank you." His voice caught in his throat. "I do love you, Rafaela."
"And I you, Dirk."
He opened a bottle, downing the contents with a contented sigh.
"Feeling better?"
He burped. "Sorry. Yes. Mind if I have a nap?"
"No problem. I'll wake you when we arrive."
Dirk made himself comfortable and closed his eyes. For him to be so willing to sleep, Rafaela knew he was badly wounded. She drove quickly, her destination in mind. She stopped briefly in Birmingham and exchanged her car for another one. Dirk mesmerized the owner of the small second hand lot to take her modest Ford as a full trade on a three year old, dark gray Camaro.
"Why a muscle car?" she asked for the third time as she pulled out of the parking lot. "We could get better mileage with a different model."
"Perhaps, but I want something that can really cook and hold the road. If we get in trouble, you need to be able to get away."
"And what about you?"
"I can zap out Houdini style. You can't."
She had to concede that argument. They drove several more hours, finally crossing the Arkansas line. Rafaela adjusted her route and slowed the car, pulling to the side of the nearly deserted road.
"You need to drive now. I'm beat."
"Where am I going?"
"Stay on this road until you see signs for Oark. Then wake me."
"Ark?"
"O-A-R-K."
"Got it. Sleep well, Ella."
She went in the back seat and fell immediately asleep. She didn't wake until Dirk spoke to her.
"First sign for Oark."
"Pull over, I'll drive."
They changed places.
"You'll have to hop out before I drive up to the house."
"Are you serious?"
"This guy doesn't like vamps. He never met one he didn't want to kill. I need to talk to him without you there."
© Dellani Oakes 2017


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 10

Rafaela woke with a start, a scream forming on her lips. She looked around the darkened room and saw no sign of Dirk. She had expected that. What she didn't know was Dirk's motive. Had he set her up from the beginning—used her in a power play between himself and this vampire lord? It wouldn't surprise her to find out that he had. Though he loved her, it was his nature to use those around him for his own purposes. He'd never done anything quite that underhanded, but she'd been a player in his games before. Never one to be a pawn, she'd made it clear that she wouldn't be played again.
She gathered her things and left the room key on the dresser. Overnight bag in hand, she descended the stairs by the far stairway. She and Dirk always parked well away from their room. It might slow an escape, but it also slowed those who were tracking them. She circled the upstairs before heading down the stairway. She didn't sense anyone as she walked purposefully toward the anonymous, brown Ford, so when the attack came, it was completely unexpected.
Three vampires appeared out of the shadows and circled the car. These weren't newbies either. These had the look of an elite branch—probably the vampire lord's top warriors.
Thanks a lot, Dirk. I owe you a scourging—If I live.
The vampires tightened their circle, drawing near, fangs bared. Rafaela reached for her weapons, smiling ruefully.
"Only three? I think I'm insulted. Your boss is either a fool or delusional."
"I assure you, he's neither," the woman nearest her said, dropping into a crouch. "And who says there are only three?" She cocked her head to one side.
Rafaela used her special sensing ability to reach out into the ether. She released a seeking spell. What she found horrified her. Three were visible, but a dozen more had her surrounded. She was good, but not that good. She could probably kill or disable at least six, but fifteen was another matter.
"Dirk, you bastard! Where are you?"
The vampires frowned. The woman who had spoken to her took a step back.
"He's not here?"
They glared at one another, uncertain. Rafaela noted their discomfort. What the hell was going on? She reassessed the vampires. By this time, they would have attacked. Instead, they stood around uncertainly, waiting for something.
"Can we get this over with?" Rafaela asked flippantly. "I have a lot to do. I promised myself a manicure." She flickered her fingers absently, as if showing off her nails.
The vampires were momentarily distracted by the movement. Their dark eyes focused on Rafaela's left hand, while her right reached under her jacket. They might be able to handle sunlight in small doses, but she was certain a flash grenade wouldn't be so easy withstand. Slipping the ring, she put her other hand on the car door and pulled it partially open. Dropping the grenade, she kicked it toward the lead woman. Counting down the seconds, she hopped in her car, shutting the door as she ducked. The flash grenade wouldn't hurt her, but the bright white light would be dazzling.
Seconds later, the grenade went off. Blinding light illuminated their surroundings. The vampires screamed as the light jarred their senses and seared their skin. Rafaela backed her car out of the parking spot, knocking over at least one vampire as she did. Another fell when she ran it down. A second grenade flew out the window as the vampires tried to regroup and pursue. This one caught them out in the open, not partially shielded by the cars. More screaming followed.
Gunning the motor, she headed for the interstate, taking the curving entrance at top speed. Oncoming traffic barely had time to move out of her way. Instead of waiting, she tore off down the shoulder, tires squealing on the uneven pavement. There were no signs of pursuit, but that meant nothing. It would be easy for them to track her. They had her scent and the make and model of her vehicle. She had to ditch the car and find some way to mask her odor.
"Time to drop off the grid," she muttered, cutting across all three lanes of traffic.
She roared down the exit and made a sharp turn onto a narrow, country road. She didn't know where she was, let alone where she was going, she kept going south.
"Dammit, Dirk! Where are you?"
She stopped at a crossroads, uncertain which way to head. Deep in the heart of Georgia, she didn't know whether to continue south or strike out west. She knew she didn't want to go east. There wasn't enough room to run that direction. Ultimately, there was only so far she could go to the south, so she turned right and headed west. Just as the car started to move, a form shimmered next to her and Dirk appeared on the seat. His own momentum slung him into the back seat, where he solidified.
Rafaela slammed on the brakes, grateful that it was late and night and the road was empty.
"Where the hell have you been? Do you know what just happened?"
"Drive," he muttered. "Drive," he ordered more loudly.
Rafaela heard the tone of command in his voice, and started driving once more. She glanced at him in the rearview mirror and saw the state he was in. He bled from a dozen different wounds, at least one of which would have been fatal, if he were human. His clothing was torn, his lips caked with blood.
"What train wreck did you walk away from?"
Dirk shook his head, holding his side. Blood seeped through his fingers.
"You need to feed," she said, slowing the car.
"I did. Keep driving." The blood from his side, slowed and dribbled to a stop. "I thought if I could talk to him, I could explain."
"Didn't go as planned, eh?"
Dirk's laugh was a bark of pain. "Not entirely."
© Dellani Oakes 2017


Saturday, December 09, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 9

"You're welcome. Thanks for having my back. I would have been screwed without you."
"You're welcome. And I'm the only one who gets to screw you, just so we're clear on that."
"I can live with that." She made a hard left and slowed when the car slid on a patch of ice. Correcting automatically, she eased off the accelerator. "I think we're far enough away now."
She stared at the road, tears welling in her eyes once more. "Do you think any of them lived?"
Dirk shook his head. "Knowing that bunch? Doubtful. If you want to check on them. . . ."
"No. If any are alive, they're being kept as bait for us. They have a pack to avenge them."
"We can still go, Ella. I know it's worrying you."
She shook her head, adamantly. "Your safety is too important. I can't compromise you."
"I compromised myself. This is not your fault."
"Yes, it is. I killed that vampire lord's daughter. I slept with you—had the audacity to fall in love. This is all my fault."
Dirk touched her hand, stroking gently. "We can't choose the ones we love. The heart does that for us."
Rafaela slowed, pulling to the side. She parked the car and burst into tears. It was so like what Claudette had said, she couldn't stand it. The idea that all her friends were dead because of her, made her feel like dying herself. She knew that she was simply doing her job, but the vamp whose daughter and son she'd killed, wouldn't care about that. He'd want revenge, and he would get it any way he could.
"Everyone I care about is in danger now," she sobbed. "They all will die because of me."
"Shh, Ella. No, they won't. We'll protect them."
"How? What can I do to assure their safety?"
"Kill the vampire lord—stop the retaliation."
"Another will take his place—and another. If I kill the leader, what's to stop the others from attacking for revenge? Your people aren't known for their even tempers and stoic acceptance."
"Valid point. Suggestion."
She nodded, wiping her eyes.
"Kill them all," he declared.
"What? There could be dozens—hundreds! I can't kill on a massive scale like that."
"You can, with the right kind of help."
"Short of a nuclear bomb, how could I kill off that many vamps?"
"With a nuclear bomb." Dirk flashed a wicked grin.
"Don't be facetious."
"You really haven't paid attention to me all these years, have you? If you had, you'd know that we infiltrate every government in the world. We hold seats of power everywhere. If I need a nuke, I can get one." He wasn't merely bragging.
Rafaela shivered. "But would they strike their own people? Who knows how many innocent people would die."
"Vampires aren't innocent people."
"But what if they're holding hostages? Or, for that matter, what if there are children?"
"The only children would be Dhampir. I assure you, they are far from innocent, even as babies."
"A different solution, Dirk. I can't condone that kind of action, nor could I justify it to my superiors."
"No, I suppose not." He hung his head, shaking it slowly. "We're surely in a pickle."
Taking turns, they drove the better part of two days, stopping for meals and showers at truck stops. Finally, after another cheap meal at a dismal diner, Dirk took the wheel. Instead of getting back on the road, he pulled around to the small, equally dismal motel. This stop featured a motel, diner and full service garage and gas station.
"You need to sleep in an actual bed," he told Rafaela.
"What you mean is, you want sex," she translated with a grin. "Me too," she added with a saucy wink.
"You said it, not me," he replied, his full lips twitching.
They took a long shower together and lay down in the queen sized bed. Instead of making love, Dirk pulled Rafaela close, putting her head on his chest. She fell asleep and he lay there with her until he was sure she was deeply asleep. He rose softly, dressing as quietly as he could, and left.
Looking back with deep regret, he headed to the garage. He'd noticed they had some used cars for sale. The man in the garage was easily mesmerized and agreed to sell Dirk a car very inexpensively. He filled out the paperwork and accepted payment with a bemused smile. Dirk took off, driving back the way they had come, back to the heart of the vampire lord's realm.
© Dellani Oakes 2017


Friday, December 08, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 8

In the center of the chaos, she spotted Dirk. He bled from several wounds and was weakening. Three bodies littered her floor. The fourth man was bigger and stronger than anyone she'd ever encountered before. He wasn't human, nor was he fully vampire. A Dhampir, a human and vampire hybrid. Strong and agile as a vampire, they weren't susceptible to the silver, although a bullet or stake in the heart would certainly kill them.
Dirk faltered, wavering as he fought the Dhampir. Drawing her pistol, Rafaela aimed carefully, not rushing. Dirk had the Dhampir nicely distracted. Taking a deep breath, she fired, hitting the man in the center of his forehead. He fell backward, landing on the couch, his blood soaking the fabric as his arteries and veins emptied his body of blood.
Roaring, Dirk lunged for the man, his fangs sinking into the bloody stump that had once been his head. He drank deeply from the still quivering body. Rafaela looked away. She didn't like seeing him like that, but knew he had to feed in order to heal. Once he was done, the two of them bathed and dressed before loading everything they could into Rafaela's Jeep.
Once that was accomplished, Dirk turned the gas on full as Rafaela poured lamp oil on the staked, beheaded bodies. Without a backward glance, she lit a match, igniting an entire book, which she tossed over her shoulder. The lamp oil took flame nicely, leaving a fiery trail behind her as she strutted across the porch and down the steps. With a whumph, the gas inside exploded into a fireball, that quickly consumed the house.
They drove away rapidly, putting as much distance between them and the cabin as they could before the fire department arrived. Rafaela glanced back once, fondly.
"I'll miss that old place. It's been in my family for nearly sixty years."
"I'm sorry you had to burn it, my love."
She shrugged, pressing the accelerator further down. "It happens. Next time, remind me not to allow my property to be rented."
Dirk chuckled. "Obscure rule, but handy. I'm surprised you hadn't thought of it before."
"No one ever came after me there before. How the hell did they find us?"
"I'm not sure. I ported there. That can leave a trail, though minimal. You have to know what you're looking for."
"I drove, but I was careful." She shook her head. "So few people even know it exists."
"Do your werewolf friends?"
Rafaela paused, thinking. Had she ever told Claudette? "Oh, God, yes. She and her family came up for a vacation once, years ago." She risked a glance at Dirk. "Do you think?"
He nodded. "I'm sorry, my sweet. I didn't tell anyone about them, but, their existence was bound to be known."
"Why now?" She concentrated on the road, fighting back the sorrow that chilled her heart.
"One of those vampires you killed at my crypt was the daughter of a vampire lord."
"And you couldn't share that bit of information with me?"
"I didn't know! I swear to you, I would have warned you, had I known. I didn't put it together until they attacked us. That Dhampir you slaughtered, was his son."
"His daughter was a full vampire?"
He nodded. "At her request, I turned her. Then you came along."
"Dammit! We're in a pickle. Me for killing them, you for helping me."
Dirk laughed loudly. "A pickle, Ella? Really? My love, I'd say we are squarely fucked."
Rafaela chuckled, then laughed. She couldn't deny that he spoke the truth. "Mama did try to keep me from swearing."
"As did mine. It never took."
"Nope." She came to a crossroads, turning right.
"Where are we going?"
"No idea."
A glance at her rearview mirror showed the orange flames and billowing smoke.
"Good thing it snowed. Might slow the fire a little—I hope."
Dirk gave a longer, appraising look out the back window. "Perhaps a shade. Not much. That was a hell of a blaze we lit."
At the next crossroad, Rafaela took a left. She couldn't see the fire anymore. Shivering, she drew a deep, shuddering breath.
"I thought most Dhampir became Hunters?"
"Not always. Some, like the woman, will become full vampires. Others don't. They believe that the original Hunters were Dhampir who mated and gradually formed their own race. I don't know if that's true, but your abilities and mine are strangely similar."
"It's entirely possible."
"You don't deny that your people could once have been vampire kin?"
"Why not? There are bound to be common roots somewhere. Whatever the case, our people will always be at one another's throats."
Dirk chuckled. "Quite literally. Nice shot on the Dhampir, by the way. Thought the bugger had me."
© Dellani Oakes 2017


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 7

The day after Christmas dawned slowly, the light filtering through snow and ice that weighted down the trees. The cabin was chilly when Rafaela awoke. Gathering a blanket around her, she walked to the living room. The fire was still banked. She stoked it carefully and went to dress.
There was no sign of Dirk anywhere. He hadn't even left a note. He was gone without a word. Angry, she banged around the kitchen, fixing herself a meal. She hadn't expected him to stay forever, but she'd hoped for more than a couple of days.
"Why should I have expected more?" she fussed as she turned on the gas stove. "He never stays put. Always moving around. Was he afraid I'd get tired of him and kill him in his sleep? Oh, wait! He never sleeps! Next time I see the bastard, I'll skewer him." She gestured with the chef's knife she was using to cut up an onion for her omelet.
The whisper of a sound reached her ears. It might have been an animal on the roof, but she doubted it. Never one to take a chance, she ran to the bedroom and opened her weapon's locker. She grabbed a variety of weapons before sealing it shut once more. Four stakes went on a belt around her waist. A gun with silver bullets was in her hand. Most people thought silver was only for werewolves, but she'd learned a long time ago that vampires didn't like it either. It didn't kill them, but it slowed them down. The last weapon was a strap of knives across her chest. Each was edged with silver. She grabbed one, holding it in her left hand, the automatic pistol in her right.
The sound repeated several times as she armed herself, and she knew someone prowled the roof, hoping for a way in. The only thing protecting her was the law that a vampire couldn't enter without permission. However, vampires could use humans. They could enter and drive her outside where she would be fair game. A loud thump in the living room heralded the arrival of one or more minions. Rafaela sensed their presence. Sniffing the air, she caught the scent of three, but there could be more. If they found her in the bedroom, she'd be cornered. Preferring to choose her own ground, she moved stealthily from the bedroom, glad that the kitchen was between her and the living room.
Voices reached her ears. Were they complete idiots? Talking to one another? Either that, or they were confident that she couldn't defend herself. One of them moved to the front door. If he thought he could invite the vampires in, he was dead wrong. She was sole owner of the house. Then, she remembered the way that Dirk had gotten around that law. The property could be rented. If one of the minions had paid a rental fee. . . . She didn't allow herself to complete that thought.
The voices drew closer. Rafaela shrugged her shoulders and rolled her head to loosen tight muscles. Standing her ground, her back to the bedroom wall, she maneuvered so she had access to the back door, should she need it. She took her fighting stance and waited.
The first around the corner from the living room to the kitchen, was a tall, blond man with dark eyes. The way was narrow, partially blocked by the end of the bar, which was adjacent to the bathroom door. The door opened out, stopping before it hit the wall. They had to come at her one at a time—unless one of them got the bright idea to vault over the bar. She rather hoped they wouldn't.
The blond vampire stopped when he saw her. His fangs descended and his eyes turned black. "She's here," he hissed. He tried to push the door out of his way.
Smiling, Rafaela swung her knife, slicing across his throat. Gagging, he staggered back, into the path of the next vampire. The small, Asian woman shoved him aside as she advanced, climbing over his bleeding body. She didn't even stop to see how he was, leaving him to die or recover. She took a fighting stance as well, eyeing the gun in Rafaela's hand.
"That pea shooter won't hurt me," she bragged. "Bring it on, bitch."
Aiming quickly, Rafaela fired, hitting the Asian woman in the chest. The bullet knocked her back, but didn't hurt her.
"Chest shots are for pussies," the woman snarled as she lunged at Rafaela.
"So are Kevlar vests," Rafaela countered. She holstered her gun as the woman advanced, backing into the kitchen, she drew another knife.
"Nice try, sweetie," the vampire said. "That won't hurt me." She jumped at Rafaela, blocking the Hunter's arms as quickly as she swung.
Another vampire came around the corner. Rafaela threw the silver knife at him, catching him in the chest. He hadn't been as smart as his companion, and he fell with the handle quivering above his heart. The Asian woman hissed, lunging toward the Hunter once more.
Instead of a knife, Rafaela took a stake from her belt. She fought with the blade, bringing the stake into play as the furious woman advanced. She kicked and punched at Rafaela relentlessly. The feisty Hunter got a few good slices in. The vampire slid in her own blood. Snarling, she leaped across the kitchen, fangs bared, in a last effort to tackle Rafaela. Her foot slipped, throwing off her timing. Rafaela dodged, bringing the stake down and around. She caught the vampire in the back with the stake and sliced off her head.
The blond vampire had recovered enough to try to stand, but he too, slid in his own blood. Foregoing the knife, Rafaela grabbed up the cast iron skillet she'd been using to prepare her breakfast. With a metallic thunk, she hit him in the face. He fell back, tripped over the downed woman and landed on the floor. Rafaela finished him with another stake. The third vampire had removed the knife from his chest, but staggered as the silver sickened him. Rafaela finished him quickly with another stake.
Sounds of fighting reached her ears as she cut off the other two vampires heads. What was going on in her living room? Were the humans fighting one another? She glanced around the corner, only to find total chaos. A whirling, spinning figure leaped around the living room, jumping over furniture and knocking people down. Two were already on the floor, the third barely keeping his feet. Blood soaked her rag rugs and seeped into the cracks in the wooden floor.
© Dellani Oakes 2017


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 6

"Enough! Leave more for later."
"Why?" he gasped. "You never—"
"Merry Christmas, my love. I had no other gift for you."
"This is the best gift," he moaned as his climax neared.
"The best," she agreed.
They came together with a loud scream. Collapsing on the bed, they laughed as they struggled to pull up the blankets. Both sweaty, they suddenly felt cold in the cool bedroom. Snuggling together, they kissed deeply.
"Thank you, Rafaela. That was a great gift. Alas, I have nothing for you."
Her fingers stroked him under the covers. "Yes, you do. I'll take this in abundance."
Dirk chuckled, pulling her closer. "And I'll gladly give it as often as you want. Why do we have to be who we are?" he asked, not for the first time. "Why couldn't we have met and fallen in love without all the inconvenience?"
"Believe me, I've asked the universe that question more than once." Rafaela put her head on his chest, resting her cheek over his heart. The steady thudding comforted her and let her fool herself into believing he was still a human—even for a short time. "You never told me how you were turned," she whispered.
"I must have."
"Nope. I'd remember something like that."
He sighed, rubbing her arm. "Are you sure? It's not a pretty story."
"They never are, my love."
Dirk kissed her forehead. "No, they never are." He inhaled slowly.
For a moment, Rafaela thought he wouldn't tell her, but with another deep breath, he began. His voice was so quiet, she strained to hear.
"My kind are attracted to discord and violence. Where blood runs, we're in the thick of it. We love wars for our kills can go unheeded among the many dead. So it was in April of 1862 when the battle at Shiloh took place. My father wasn't landed gentry, nor was he slave owner. We had a small holding nearby, and my father, brothers and I went to defend our home.
"I wasn't trained as a soldier, but I did what I could against the enemy. Little by little, they pushed us back, until suddenly there was a breach in our defenses. We fell back, many dying to ball and bayonet. I was closest to the breach. My family and I lost each other in the battle. A man leaped at me, face frenzied, eyes black as night. He tackled me, sunk his teeth into my neck and drained me dry. I fought him, kicking and biting as I might. . . ."
"And you tasted his blood."
"I did. Just a drop of the vile brew was all I needed. He left me for dead and went on to rip the throats from my father and two of my four brothers. Another he turned on purpose. The last, youngest, he left unscathed. To this day, I don't know why. I lay there, unable to move, until the battle was over. I think I passed out from blood loss. When I woke, a medic knelt over me. I could see the vein throbbing in his neck and smelled blood, for he was covered in it. None of it his, but it didn't matter. He died horribly. I think his death bothers me most of any."
"More than my family's?"
Dirk nodded. "I regret that too, Ella. Truly, I do. But at least they knew what I was."
"They had no chance. You killed them in their sleep!"
Eyes closed, he drew a shuddering breath. "And I regret that too. When will you forgive me for something so long in the past?"
"I don't know. Perhaps never."
He chuckled a moment. "That's one of the things I love most about you. Your tenacity."
Rafaela kissed him deeply, tasting her blood on his mouth. "I think I forgave you long ago, Dirk. But I can't forget."
"No, I suppose not. Would it help to know that it wasn't personal? I didn't actually know they were your kin. I was sent by the leader of my coven."
"Why? What was the point of targeting my family? They were innocent."
"Because they were the family of a Hunter. It mattered little who they were. I did as I was told, like a good little soldier. I'm sorry. Had I known who they were, I wouldn't ever have done it."
"Don't you think he sent you because he knew about us?"
"I didn't at the time, but, yes. I'm sure he did. Which is why I killed him a few years later."
"Good. Saved me having to."
Dirk's hands caressed her, tracing the curves of her voluptuous figure. It was obvious he was done talking. Since it suited Rafaela, she obliged him by fondling him in return.
© Dellani Oakes 2017


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 5

**May not be appropriate for readers under 17**
Warm hands snaked around her waist and his lips descended on her neck. The gesture was familiar and welcome. She leaned into his firm body. How could he be so warm when he was stone dead? She'd never figured that out. He had a heartbeat, too. For a reanimated corpse, he was surprisingly lively.
He nibbled the curve of her neck in the way that only he did, dragging his fangs slowly across her skin. He could bite her, feed from her, but never turn her. It was another gift given the Hunters. Were he to take her head, stab her through the heart, or rip her throat out, he would surely kill her. There weren't many ways a Hunter could be killed and none of them were pretty deaths.
Dirk's hands drifted upward, cupping her breasts. Rafaela let her own fingers roam, grasping his firm ass with one hand as she massaged the front of his taut thigh with the other.
"I knew you'd think of coming here," he whispered huskily.
"We've had some good times here, Dirk."
"That we have." He chuckled, licking her throat. "Perhaps we will be snowed in again. Hmm?"
"Or we could pretend," she murmured as she turned to face him. Her hands switched positions, continuing to roam.
"We could, indeed. I want you, Ella. So much!" His voice dropped to a bass growl as he tore at her clothing.
Their lovemaking was primal, urgent. They didn't even make it to the bed, but sated themselves in the living room, on the rug by the fire. Laughing and kissing, they let were carried away by their lust. Sometime later, they stopped for a meal and drank hot chocolate. Hours after that, they fell asleep.
Or rather, Rafaela fell asleep. Dirk didn't need to sleep. He rested some during the day, but at night, he was awake. It was his nature. For a time, he watched her sleep, mesmerized by her beauty. He never tired of looking at her, even after all this time. Afraid he would wake her, he dressed and went into the living room.
Dirk lit a pipe and sat by the banked fire, remembering how they met. It was on board the Titanic. He hadn't anticipated the collision with the ice berg, but it helped to conceal his rampage. Back in his earlier life, he'd been unable to control his rage. Rafaela was sent to hunt him. She found him stalking the underbelly of the ship, feasting on the poor and helpless in steerage. He tried to restrict his kills to those who were already sick and dying, but the fear and panic caused by the crash, got his blood lust up.
As the Titanic sank, Dirk made his way through the ship, killing indiscriminately, drinking the blood of rich and poor alike. Rafaela stalked him, very nearly bringing an end to him. A final lurch of the ship as it sank, saved him from an untimely grave. The cold water closed over them both and he was able to escape. Though she couldn't drown, the freezing water slowed and weakened her. She was picked up by one of the rescue boats. Dirk got away.
Their lives wove around one another, throughout the turbulent times that followed. Their next meeting was on the battlefield during World War I. She shot him twice and very nearly skewered him with a bayonet. Not a stake, but it would have done the job just as well, a fact that most people didn't know.
Wherever there was trouble, Dirk was in the midst of it. Wherever he was, Rafaela was sure to follow. So it had been for 100 years and so it would be until one of them killed the other. Even if he could convince her to stay with him, he knew theirs could never be a peaceful relationship. Her nature was to kill vampires. It was in her blood. She was as far from human as he, but it was his nature to hunt humans. I was Rafaela's nature to protect them.
A sound behind him alerted him that she was awake. He rose languidly, turning to face her. "Can't sleep either?"
She shook her sleep tousled head. "Got cold. Come back to bed?"
He smiled as he walked over to her. "If I do, we won't sleep."
"If we don't, I won't mind."
They kissed a long time. Dirk lifted her easily, carrying her to the bed. This time, he made love to her gently, as if she were made of spun glass. The taste of her made him giddy and he longed to bite and feed from her. He knew that she wouldn't stand for that. Even if he couldn't kill or turn her, he could weaken her and make her vulnerable. She wouldn't forgive him for that. If he fed from her now, he wouldn't be able to stop himself.
"Bite me," she commanded suddenly.
"What?" he grunted as she clutched him tightly with her thighs.
"Bite—me."
"But you hate that."
"But you love it." She bared her throat, daring him to take her.
Of their own accord, his fangs descended and his eyes darkened with blood lust. "Are you sure?"
In response, she grabbed his head, pulling his mouth to her neck. He bit delicately, groaning as her blood filled his mouth. His lean, hard body pumped against hers as he fed from her. When she decided she'd had enough, Rafaela pushed his head away. He fought her a moment, desperate for more. To make her point, she flipped him over, pinning him to the bed.
© Dellani Oakes 2017


Monday, December 04, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 4

She held out her hand to him. Dirk took it, raising her hand to his lips. He drew her to him, kissing her deeply. Rafaela felt her knees go weak. She fell into his kiss as he pulled her closer, his hard body pressing against hers.
A sound downstairs alerted them to the fact that the others were rousing. Dirk let her go, pushing her sharply away.
"Your friends are awake. I'd better go. You'll join me, though, right? You promised." He pointed at her and disappeared before she could reply—this time without the special effects.
The door burst open and Claudette appeared with a stake in her hand. She looked around the room, eyes wide.
"Where is he?"
"He left. Are you all right?"
"We're fine. Even my guests. Just a snack. The bastard! Luis is modifying their memories as we speak. The others are sanitizing."
"I'm sorry to bring this down on you. I thought I'd covered my tracks."
"That bastard could find your scent in a hurricane."
"I'll get my things together and leave."
"You don't have to. No real harm done. And we see where the holes are in our defenses."
"Dirk can circumvent even the best of defenses. Honestly, I hadn't thought of him being able to enter without permission."
"How did he get around that?"
Rafaela dropped her head. "An obscure clause in ownership laws. Because a customer has paid a fee to be here, they technically own a percentage of the home. That does, unfortunately, include being able to invite someone in. Though you and yours can't be mezzed, the human guests can. I hadn't even thought of it."
"As I said, no real harm done. There is no need for you to leave."
"I've changed plans, Claudette."
"You're going to him, aren't you?" Her voice held angry certainty.
Rafaela smiled. "Yes."
"You let him get to you again. Will you never learn, Rafe?"
"Apparently not." She smiled, hugging her friend. "Why do I love him, Claude?"
"We can't pick the ones we love," Claudette replied. "The heart decides, not us. Were we to use logic, we'd never be happy. We would end up with the wrong person every time."
"Sometimes, I wonder if my heart can ever love the way a normal person's does."
Claudette smiled, hugging her friend. "Honey, there are many shades of normal. You sure aren't a single one of them, but that doesn't mean you can't love."
Rafaela gathered her few belongings and bid farewell to her friends. Her back seat was filled with the gifts they had given her. With a lurch, she realized she and Dirk hadn't set up a rendezvous point. She wondered where she should go.
Somewhere devoid of people where we can be completely alone. The perfect place occurred to her. Smiling, she made a left turn and headed to the mountains.
The cabin sat in the notch of two hills. Behind, a small lake glittered in the waning winter sun. Smoke curled from the chimney, but no car stood in front of the cabin. Disappointed that the place was occupied, Rafaela decided to ask if she could borrow the bathroom before setting out for another location. She couldn't imagine who would be staying in the cabin. Her family owned it. Well, specifically, it was hers, but a caretaker looked after it and had permission to rent it from time to time.
Keys in hand, she locked the car and walked to the porch. Lifting her hand to knock, she forced herself to smile. She was tired and needed a restroom. She also desperately wanted to see Dirk. She couldn't believe how strong the urge was.
The door opened before she touched it. No one stood there. The room appeared empty. Wary, her nerves jangling, Rafaela drew her silver hunting knife, holding it casually by her side. She knew from experience that doors didn't open by themselves without a reason. There was no wind and the latch appeared solid. The slow, inward movement revealed more of the room. Rafaela pushed it back to the wall, checking around and above her before proceeding further. As she'd anticipated, the door swung shut behind her. Good thing she could kick down a door or break a window to escape.
Moving carefully through the small cabin, she walked toward the kitchen to her left. A long bar stretched across the space, separating it from the main room. A cheery fire crackled in the fieldstone fireplace, warming the room. A cast iron tea kettle steamed on the stove and two mugs sat on the counter, filled with marshmallows and hot chocolate mix—the good stuff, homemade. A cinnamon stick perched in each for stirring. Only one person knew she liked her hot chocolate with cinnamon. Only one person would think of this place, like she had. Only he'd thought of it first.
"Dirk?" She called softly. She didn't put the knife away—not yet. This house was listed under an alias, but that didn't make it safe.
© Dellani Oakes 2017


Christmas and a Vampire - Part 11

"I'm sorry I doubted you." "I'm sorry I didn't tell you, or take you with me. He wasn't in a compromisin...