Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 22

He chuckled. "Can't you see a little Hunter sprouting fangs and killing the neighbor's dog?" Tears formed in his eyes. "I've dreamed about my children the last two nights. I see their little faces still and pale in death. It's more horrific than seeing the faces of the people I've killed."
"Shh. Not allowed to dwell. Make love to me until we're too weak to stand."
Dirk did just that. He began by making love to her slowly, exploring every well known inch of her body as if it were the first time. He ignited fires in her that took hours to quench. Using skills learned over his extended lifetime, he loved her until they were too weak to stand.
Cuddled together in the tangled sheets, they slept until dawn. A quick shower revived them, as did a pot of coffee and some leftover biscuits. Seth arrived 30 minutes later with the Jeep full of their equipment. They hopped in with Seth at the wheel, stopping only long enough to use the restroom and eat. They made the trip to Thibodaux, Louisiana, where the Vampire Lord kept his winter home.
It was no coincidence that Dirk's sire had built his home in Thibodaux. He had originally been a sugar cane planter who sought out The Vampire King of New Orleans to turn him so he'd never have to relinquish his great wealth. Though it wasn't recorded in history books, he was behind the Thibodaux Massacre in1887, where black sugar workers were trapped and slaughtered. Of course, history recorded that the people were shot, but eye witnesses told another tale. Louis, The Vampire Lord, angered by the striking workers, descended upon them in full fury, ripping out the throats of men, women and children. It was also no surprise that Dirk killed him shortly after.
"I tracked the bastard for twenty-five years," he told Rafaela and Seth as he drove through the back roads of Louisiana. "I wanted to get my brother back, but Louis had made him his creature. Twenty years of being brothers couldn't compete with twenty-five as a vampire. He was pampered and indulged, his every whim encouraged. Glaive found he had an appetite for the black and twisted, something our sire encouraged.
"It was an ugly, slow death," Dirk continued. "I made him linger, bleeding him, feeding off him, until he was too weak to fight. Then I threw his mangled, living body, into an alligator nest. After they finished with him, he was still more or less alive. It was then I ripped this throat out and set fire to his corpse in his own yard."
Seth shuddered. Rafaela inhaled slowly, drawing herself erect.
"It was horrendous. I was a much more violent man then. I had the deaths of my father and brothers to repay, not to mention being turned into a monster against my will. When Glaive found out that Louis was dead, he gathered all the others to him and organized a hunt—of me. I was lucky I survived. They were weakened by my earlier attack on them and hadn't properly fed. They used up their blood supply during the first battle. They didn't survive the second. Those who were left licked their wounds and slunk off to the mansion to recuperate."
"Other than a few days ago, have you been back?" Seth asked.
Dirk shook his head. "I saw no need. Glaive was doing fine on his own. If his people got out of hand, Rafaela would receive an anonymous tip."
"Not so anonymous," she replied. "I knew it was you. Thank you."
"No need to thank me. Their antics put the rest of us in danger. There has to be a balance. If there are too many violent vampires around, we run out of food."
Dirk held up his hands defensively, steering with his knees, when Rafaela took a swing at him.
"I'm telling the truth. If we kill off all the humans, how do we eat?"
They couldn't deny he had a valid point, though it wasn't the way they might have said it themselves.
They arrived in Thibodaux at 4:00. The local Hunter met them in a nearby swamp. A well camouflaged cabin lurked on the banks. It looked like a shack on the outside, but inside it was almost luxurious. They took showers and naps, gathering just before dusk. A quick meal fortified them. The Hunters, though dubious of having a vampire in their midst, had a bottle of blood to give Dirk. He thanked them, packing it for an emergency refresh, along with the ones he already had. He was expecting to need the healing they afforded him.
A little girl walked up to Rafaela, handing her a beautifully crafted knife. It was well weighted for throwing, but could also be used for fighting. She handed another one to Seth. To Dirk, she gave a small vile of blood.
"I'm Emiline, the Hunter from my generation, born six summers ago," she said in a very mature sounding voice. "I'm sworn to kill your kind," she told Dirk boldly. "But Mama tells me that you're going to help us against the Vampire Lord. He killed my brother and my daddy last year. If you carry this, if I ever come after you, show me this and I'll spare you."
Dirk knelt before her, graciously accepting her gift. "Emiline, Hunter, I thank you for the gift of my life. I will do my best to rid you of the Vampire Lord. He killed my brother, too."
She flung her arms around him, hugging him tightly. He returned the hug, holding her gently. It was a credit to the local Hunters and their families, that they allowed it. One of the old women came forward, giving him a hug. She smiled up at him, patting his cheek. "If Emiline trusts you, I do. That child is the best judge of character of anyone I know, child or adult. You're welcome here, Dirk Young."
© Dellani Oakes 2017

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