Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas and a Vampire - Part 26

"Because deep down, beneath the sweet little boy exterior, there was a darkness that would eventually have revealed itself anyway. It's been my experience that people are innately good, or bad. When a good person gets turned, he stays good—with the occasional falls from grace," she added, knowing that he had his bad times. "But when a person with darkness in them gets turned, they become their true selves. You can't blame yourself for that, Dirk. Glaive made his choices."
The water turned chilly and they dried off, getting dressed warmly before venturing into the chilly night. The big house was filled to the brim with friends and family. They were celebrating the death of the Vampire Lord, but also heralding the new year.
Seth was surrounded by more women than he could count, all of them gorgeous and interested in bedding him. Dirk was embraced and welcomed as part of the family. The head Hunter, Emiline's mentor, kissed his cheek.
"I officially adopt you into our clan," she said. "I never thought I'd welcome a vampire into our fold, but we are here if you ever need us."
"Thank you," he said graciously. "You do me the greatest of honors. I promise that if I am ever able to help you, I shall do so to the best of my ability."
Emiline came up to him a few minutes later. "Do you still have it?"
Dirk knelt before her, showing her the blood in the vial. She kissed both cheeks, hugging him. With a happy sigh, he hugged her.
"My little Sadie was just your age when she died," he said softly. "You look a little bit like her."
"Do you have a picture?"
"No, baby, she died so long ago. I carry a picture of her in my heart."
"Do you have a phone?"
"Yes."
She wiggled her fingers at him until he put his phone in her hands. With the skill of a child of the tech age, she accessed the camera and pulled him close, taking their picture. She fiddled some more, making it his wallpaper.
"So you can't forget me," she said with a solemn salute.
"Baby girl, I won't ever forget you. Thank you." With tears in his eyes, he took the phone and put it in the pocket of his shirt, over his heart.
He wandered out the door. Everyone watched, but no one stopped him. Seth excused himself from the gaggle of girls, promising to come back in when the dancing started. He found Dirk by the water's edge, gazing across the moonlit bayou.
"You okay?"
The vampire nodded, his eyes focused on the moon. "Ever wish you weren't a Hunter?"
"Every damn day."
"I wish Louis had finished me on that battlefield. I wish I'd never fought him, just given in and let him kill me. I hate what I've become."
Seth clapped him on the shoulder, staring up at the moon. "I dunno, you might be a blood sucking fiend, but I have to say, I'm mighty damn proud to call you my friend."
Dirk stared at him in surprise. "Is it a new millennium? Did time pass that I missed?" He chuckled, giving Seth a hug.
This time, the young Hunter embraced the vampire. The music began inside. Three women poked their heads out the door, calling to Seth.
"Your bevy of babes awaits. Which one are you gonna hook up with?" Dirk gazed at the pretty women, smiling.
"Do I have to pick just one? I figure I can keep at least two happy, maybe three." He started back toward the house.
"Make it more fun, four," Dirk suggested as his young friend walked up the steps.
Laughing, Seth flipped him off and went back in the house. Rafaela joined Dirk a few minutes later.
"Want to dance?"
"I'm not one for crowds," he replied, putting his arm around her shoulders.
"I know. But that's okay. We can dance out here. I just want to be in your arms."
He held her close, her head on his shoulder. They danced slowly together. Soon, they were kissing. Before long, they went back to their cabin where they made love most of the night. Near dawn, Rafaela fell asleep.
Dirk lay awake a long time. He wanted to stay, but knew he couldn't. It was hard being around all the humans. His natural urge to feed was too strong when there were so many in one spot. As much as he liked this family, he knew he couldn't remain long. He didn't dare leave without saying goodbye, or Rafaela would make it her goal to track him down and kill him.
She woke a few hours later, hearing sounds in the kitchen. Dirk was fixing breakfast. Coffee brewed and eggs and bacon sizzled on the stove.
"Hey, baby," he said, giving her a kiss.
"You're leaving, aren't you." She didn't have to ask, she knew.
"I can't stay here."
© Dellani Oakes 2017


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