Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 24

Glaive laughed, tossing back his head. Fangs descended as his followers gathered around them in a circle.
"You'll be dead before you cover the six feet between us."
Dirk eyed the circle of vampires, glaring at each in turn. Some flinched away, others met his glare with their own. Fangs dropped, eyes glazed black. He smiled.
"Always getting your toadies to kill for you. I'll drop you before they get anywhere near me. Whoever survives that will deal with Rafaela."
She drew her own blades, kicking her skirt aside. Armed with a short sword and the new dagger, she stood back to back with Dirk. There was no sign of Seth. He'd used the distraction to set the device. She sensed him nearby, moving through the crowd silently.
The knot of vampires eased back, distancing themselves from their Lord. Only a few stood their ground. Of these, Dirk recognized several from the first fight 127 years ago. He'd wounded them all and knew they had a special ax to grind with him. All the more fun taking them down. He sized up their opponents. Most of them weren't much of a threat, but a few were quite dangerous.
The servants scurried in, freeing the slaves from the fountains. If there was to be a free for all, they didn't need doped up humans in the middle of it all.
"Shall we dance?" Glaive asked, bowing to his brother.
Dirk didn't take his eyes off his brother, nor did he bow. Instead, he took his fighting stance, prepared for whatever came at him. He sensed Rafaela doing the same behind him.
Glaive didn't waste time circling his opponent. Instead, he went immediately on the offensive, attacking Dirk with his sword. His style had improved in the last century, but his over indulgent ways and heavy costume, slowed him slightly. It was enough to give Dirk an advantage. Their blades clanged and shushed against one another.
Over his shoulder, Dirk heard Rafaela chuckle as the first vampire attacked her. It was a big fellow named Orvis. He'd been another of the soldiers the day they were turned, Glaive's first offspring and eminently loyal. Dirk wondered, fleetingly, how loyal he'd be once he tasted Rafaela's silver edged steel. A yelp from Orvis told him she'd found a target.
Dirk blocked a series of vicious blows from Glaive. What he lacked in finesse, he made up for in pure, raw power. His blows made Dirk's arm tingle. Tired of the banging about, he whipped his blade in a furious arc, slashing his brother's sword arm just above the elbow. Glaive snarled, leaping at Dirk. His jump was ill timed and Dirk shoved him away, slashing at him once more.
"Stop playing," Rafaela said from his left. "I've killed two and gutted another and you're still playing who's the bigger jackass."
Dirk slashed at his brother once more, catching him across the chest. He realized the reason he hadn't dispatched Glaive yet was that he hoped his brother could be redeemed. He wanted to give him another chance. Hadn't he taught him to ride as a boy? He'd shown him how to aim a bow and tickle trout. He couldn't equate the face before him with an animal, he saw only the straw haired boy he'd been.
"Dirk, can you handle it?" Rafaela grunted. Another vampire slid off her blade, crumbling to the ground. She now had four kills to his none.
The circle grew thinner once more as a few more vampires abandoned their Lord. Roaring, Glaive sprung over Dirk's head, landing in Rafaela's blind spot behind her left shoulder. He grabbed her around the throat, fangs down, ready to rip out her carotid artery. Dirk swung around, a growl rumbling in his throat.
"You're fond of this one. I see it in every line of you." He inhaled deeply, smelling Rafaela's hair. "I smell you on her." He licked her from shoulder to earlobe.
Rafaela stiffened, waiting. Too many of the vampires had left. They had to come back or the bomb would be a waste. She sensed them closing in once more, thinking their Lord had the advantage. Dirk panted, glaring at his brother, fangs down, eyes black.
"You don't want to do that," he snarled.
"But I really do," Glaive laughed. "Because it would destroy you to see her die. Your pretty plaything is helpless."
"My pretty plaything killed five of your men. The only reason she hasn't killed you yet is because I asked to be the one to do it. But if you don't let go of her, I'll let her."
Glaive laughed, his arm tight against Rafaela's throat. He held her own dagger to her neck insead of his fangs.
"I tell you what," Dirk said. "I'm going to leave you to her tender mercy. I can't kill you. You're my brother."
"I could kill you easily. It's more fun to play with you and show you how pathetic you really are."
"You're right, Glaive. You're the strong one. Goodbye, Rafe. I love you." His nod was barely perceptible.
© Dellani Oakes 2017


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