Amble lay on his bed thinking about what had happened between him and Fletcher. It made him feel weird and to admit, really dirty. Amble had tried to take a shower to feel cleaner but it didn’t work at all. Amble didn’t like transfuse especially when it was forced.
“How do I stop that from happening again?” he said out loud. “It’s one thing to drink from a human, but a vampire. From me...,” he turned on his side and closed his eyes. “I can’t believe he overpowered me like that,” Amble said turning onto his back. Prezton stood at the door absolutely silent. Amble was too into his own world to notice his presence. “I can’t let him take my blood again.”
“You did transfuse!?” Prezton said finally speaking up. It startled Amble and he sat up instantly.
“You weren’t supposed to hear that,” Amble growled as Prezton crossed his arms.
“I didn’t need to hear it. You think I don’t remember you grabbing and drinking from me? Amble why are you transfusing? It’s dirty,” Prezton said angrily as Amble waved his hand around.
“It’s not like that,” he said. He seemed really loopy.
“Are you drunk?” Prezton asked as Amble shook his head.
“Nope,” he giggled.
“Yes you are! Amble you’ve been drinking again!” Prezton yelled grabbing Amble by the shoulders. “I don’t even need to have you breathe on me to smell the alcohol,” Prezton said as Amble smacked Prezton hands away.
“Get your grummy hands offa me,” Amble laughed as Prezton released him. “I’m going for a walk,” Amble said slurring his words.
“No you aren’t. You are in no state to go anywhere,” Prezton grabbed Amble’s pants and pulled at them.
“What are you doing? Getting weird now,” Amble chuckled as Prezton pulled Amble’s shirt over his head. He felt like he was undressing a child when he exposed Amble’s muscular skin. He grabbed Amble’s legs and moved them under the sheets.
“Just get in bed,” Prezton said as Amble sat up filling with laughter.
“So we can do it?” he started singing as Prezton pressed a finger to his eyes. He couldn’t believe this was happening right now. He pushed Amble’s chest back forcing him down.
“Just relax. I’ll bring you some blood,” he said as Amble laid in the bed a big smile on his face.
“King Julian? Are you there?” Finnegan asked as Amble moved the cellular looking device to his head.
“What?” Amble growled.
“We found a Halfling. Should we bring him?” he asked as Amble thought about it.
“For now. If we find a pure, kill him,” Amble said coldly. He was in such a killing mode lately that he didn’t care who it was human or supernatural. Prezton came back in the room with a glass of human blood. The iron in the human blood counteracts the effects of brew in vampire blood. Fletcher is still a tracer so his blood is more like drinking red water in terms of consistency. Prezton handed it to Amble who drank loudly.
“Who are you killing this time?” Prezton asked as Amble handed the glass back to him.
“An igniter,” Amble said wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
“What for? They are a peaceful creature,” Prezton said his mouth hanging open.
“They are not! Have you not heard about Steele Storm Thayer? That beast murdered an entire population of whisper women,” Amble grumbled.
“You’re acting just like him,” Prezton said under his breath.
“What was that?” Amble said eyeing Prezton suspiciously.
“Nothing my lord,” Prezton said bowing mockingly in Amble’s direction.
“I am actually bringing life back here,” Amble said sitting up slowly. His head hurt but it would pass. He needed to get his work done.
“How?” Prezton asked as Amble smiled at his curiosity.
“Genetic engineering,” he quietly commented as Prezton’s eyes widened.
“What!? Have you not noticed there are no dragons around to keep the generators going long enough to—” Prezton started but then his voice trailed off. “You’re using pure igniter power,” he said finally coming to a conclusion. Amble nodded happily.
“They are the next best thing with the exact same power as a dragon so we have gotten samples from all the tracers in liquid form and with that we can bring as many tracers as we would like to the surface. That being said, we can then take to the human world. The more vampires there are to rule, the better. Just look at Vacoma, the sun barely shines here. The buildings are tall enough to cast shadows over us all. Sure we can go get humans from other cities but other than that we can live here in Vampira, the mountainous regions, and Vacoma. The other supernaturals we can turn,” Amble explained as Prezton felt his stomach lurch.
“I thought you said it was a tragedy to become a vampire against your will?” Prezton asked a hurtful tone in his voice.
“It is, but after you’ve experienced the things that I have, it all goes away,” Amble said standing up. He grabbed his pants and pulled them on. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do,” he said grabbing his trench coat. He left Prezton standing in the bedroom dumbstruck. He couldn’t believe that was Amble’s plan. Ever since Annabelle died, Amble was never the same. He became more violent towards all creatures that he met.
Annabelle lay on Amble’s chest running her finger along the definition of his abs. She lived in Vacoma by herself. She had welcomed Amble, Prezton, and their father into her house months ago but asked them to leave after Barnes tried to harm her. Amble did everything in his power to get back into her life and she finally let him.
“What makes you happy?” she asked as Amble stared off into space. The inner mechanisms of his mind turned while he thought about his answer carefully.
“Power. Control,” he said finally as Annabelle lifted her head off his cold chest.
“Well that’s manly,” she joked as Amble looked down at her.
“No it’s not. It’s destiny,” he said as she rolled to the side. Annabelle climbed out of the bed and flicked her hair behind her shoulders as she went to the bathroom. “I know why you ask that,” he said listening to the water run in the shower. “It’s because you saw me kill my father. That wasn’t manly; it was what needed to be done for me to obtain power,” he continued still getting no response. Amble sat up. “Annabelle, did you hear me?” he asked swinging his legs to the side of the bed. He got up and headed to the bathroom. He knocked before going in. Amble stared at Annabelle’s bare arm as she reached outside the shower for her sponge. Her wet hand moved along the shelf knocking things down. Annabelle pulled the shower curtain to the side. She screamed when she saw Amble standing there. He smiled his fangs showing. Amble handed her the sponge. Her heart was beating pretty fast as he continued to stare at her. Amble’s eyes went from her eyes to her chest.
“Amble, stop staring at me like I’m lunch,” Annabelle said shyly covering her chest and lower area with her hands.
“I think you’re delicious, but I don’t think you’re lunch,” Amble said innocently. He pulled off the black sweats and boxers he was wearing and stepped in the shower in front of her. Annabelle was shorter than Amble. He grabbed the sponge out of her hands and put soap on it before rubbing it along her shoulders. The water was warm against her skin, but Amble’s cold fingers still sent shivers down her spine. One of Amble’s hands went behind her, gently turning her away from him. He placed a hand on her stomach pulling her closer to him, her back pressed against his chest. Amble rubbed the sponge on her chest as her hand wandered into his long wet hair. Annabelle placed her other hand on his which had now moved to her lower stomach. He pushed his hand lower and she grabbed his wrist. Her hand untangled itself from his hair.
“Amble stop,” she whispered as his mouth lightly nipped her neck. He dropped the sponge and brought his free hand to her breast. Annabelle grabbed his hands and shoved them away. She turned around and stared at Amble’s cold, dead, wet body. He wasn’t smiling anymore and it frightened her. Annabelle moved back towards the faucet and put her hands on the knob. The water rushed down her face and onto Amble’s chest. She turned the water off as Amble slightly stepped forward placing both hands on the light blue tile above her shaking shoulders.
“Are you afraid?” he asked as she brought her hands up to cover her chest. She no longer felt the passion and started feeling embarrassment. He moved his face closer to hers and she closed her eyes. She could feel Amble’s cool breath on her face. “Do you think I would hurt you?” he questioned his voice getting softer. She sensed him pull away slightly and opened her eyes. “Annabelle answer me,” he said quietly yet demandingly as she shook her head.
“Yes, I’m afraid. I don’t think you would hurt me though,” she whispered as Amble cupped her face in his hands. He kissed her trembling lips as she grabbed his waist.
“I won’t do anything you don’t want me to,” he said pressing his waist against hers. Amble’s lips trailed down her neck as her hands tightened around his sides.
“Stop,” she said as Amble pulled his head away. Annabelle took her hands off of him.
“What?” he breathed as she put her arms around his back and embraced him. His body was hard and tense as Annabelle held him. All that they had ever really done was kiss and touch each other. Being in the shower though, somehow, pushed the boundaries because Annabelle could tell Amble wanted more this time. She simply held onto him tightening the embrace.
“Annabelle, what’s the matter? Did I hurt you?” Amble questioned becoming nervous and worried. Annabelle could sense the fear in his voice.
“I want...I want to be safe,” she said. Her voice sounded muffled against his skin. “You make me feel safe,” she said kissing his chest.
“You want me?” he asked wrapping his arms around her. Amble listened to her breathing as it started growing faster. Amble looked down at her and saw a pained look on her face. Her heart was racing. “Annabelle?” he asked.
“Yes. I want you,” she said and then she inhaled quickly. “Amble,” she cried as he stared at her.
“What’s wrong?” he said as she fell out of his arms. Amble grabbed her back to stop her from hitting her head. Amble moved his hand, his eyes wide when he saw the blood. Amble quickly bit into his flesh and put his wrist to her mouth. “Annabelle drink,” Amble commanded. She did, but her wound did not heal. Her arms were already pale as Amble bent down. Her blood was quickly going down the drain.
“My...back...and...,” she muttered tears filling her eyes. They started fluttering. “My chest hurts.”
“No no no! Don’t leave me,” Amble shouted picking her up in his arms. Amble quickly volexed out of the bathroom and down the stairs. He got to the door and froze. The sun was on the horizon. Amble took the risk and volexed down the street. “You’re gonna be OK. Just hang on,” Amble said as they made it to the Sandy Hills which was the hospital that was about a mile away. Amble took her to the desk. The man looked at them strangely. “She’s dying!” Amble said his voice shaking. The man continued to stare at Amble’s naked body. “SAVE HER!” he screamed. A few nurses came and grabbed Annabelle and put her on a stretcher. Amble paced the floor nervously. A doctor came by and handed him a pair of light blue scrub pants. Amble looked strangely at the scrubs and then realized he didn’t have any clothes on. He put the pants on and continued pacing. About 15 minutes later the doctor came out with blood all over his lab coat. Amble stared anxiously at him.
“Sir—” he started and Amble grabbed his shoulders.
“Is she OK? Please tell me she’s OK,” Amble asked his voice shaking. He had never dealt with something like this before and he didn’t know how to handle it. “She is OK right?” he asked again his fangs bared this time.
“I would notify the family,” the doctor said as Amble released him. He stumbled back into a chair and put his hand over his mouth. “We are giving her a few hours,” he said as Amble looked at him. Tears were streaming down his face now.
“What’s wrong with her? Why couldn’t you save her?” Amble cried as the doctor took off his bloody gloves.
“She’s got what you supernaturals call tonic,” he said as Amble stared at him confused. The doctor saw the expression and explained. “For vampires, wolfsbane victims, and werewolves it stops your ability to heal normally,” he said as Amble continued to stare at him. “It’s not natural for humans to get it, but the bullet she was hit with—”
“What bullet?” Amble asked standing up quickly.
“We found a bullet next to her heart. It didn’t hit her heart but it went through her left lung and her blood platelets are not able to reach the destination,” he said.
“But I would have heard the bullet,” Amble said trying to wrap his head around what was happening.
“Where were you when she was shot?” the doctor asked as Amble’s body became hard.
“The shower,” Amble said “There’s a window behind it but there’s no way that it could pierce through solid concrete and a shower wall.”
“Well it’s an LVO bullet so—”
“The LVO!?” Amble shouted.
“Sir we can answer all your questions at a better time, but please notify her family,” the doctor said trying not to waste anymore time.
“I don’t know her family! Why would the LVO shoot her?” Amble asked as the doctor shrugged.
“Do you know her name? First and Last?” the doctor asked as Amble nodded.
“It’s Annabelle,” he said
“Annabelle what?” the doctor questioned.
“I don’t know she never told me. Why would the LVO shoot her!?” Amble asked again but the doctor never answered him. He led Amble to the room where Annabelle lay hooked up to tubes and wires. Amble rushed up and grabbed her hand. He felt her pulse and it was very faint. “Annabelle?” he asked quietly as she slowly opened her eyes. The sheet she was laying on was completely soaked in her blood.
“Hi, Amble,” she said. She felt queasy when she saw Amble’s bloodied face. “Why are you crying?” she asked as Amble tried to wipe the tears away but they had already stained his face.
“How can you be so calm? You’re dying,” Amble asked as he pulled up a chair next to her bed.
“I’ve tangled with death before. Much more deadly than this,” she said as Amble stared at her.
“What do you mean?” he asked as she weakly smiled.
“I’ve lived with you and Prezton for the past two years. I’ve tangled with you before. I’ve dealt with your anger and rage, your intimidation, your sadness, and your passion. You are death. Sure I’m sad that we never got to be intimate or get married, but just being with you was all that I needed,” she said as Amble stood up. He gently kissed her lips and she put her hands in his hair. She broke the kiss and smiled at him. “I’m going to miss this,” she said pulling at his stringy hair. “Of course I’m not used to touching it while it’s wet,” she laughed. “Amble can you do me a favor?” she asked as Amble shook his head.
“Anything for you,” he said gently as she turned her head to the side.
“Drain me,” she said as Amble shot his head away from her.
“I can’t do that. I don’t want to be the one who killed you,” he said as Annabelle put her hand on his cold cheek.
“You’re not killing me. You’re letting me die happy,” she said extending her arm to him. He hesitated for a few minutes before he dropped fang and put it to her wrist. The beeping on the monitor sped up as her heart raced.
“Calm down,” Amble said releasing. “Talk to me,” he told her as he replaced his lips again.
“About what?” she asked softly becoming light headed.
“Your dreams, what our lives would’ve been like, I don’t know. Something. Anything,” Amble suggested as Annabelle stared at him.
“I...my dream was to get married. I wanted to have three kids and take them to the beach on the weekends. We’d live in a place other than Tempos. We’d have a golden retriever and a German shepherd. Host dinner parties on Sundays—” she started. Her voice started getting softer as Amble continued to drink. As her blood went into his mouth he tried to drown out her voice. It would be too much for him to bear when it stopped. Five minutes later Amble removed his lips and snapped back into reality. The monitor was in a long agonizing beep. Amble looked at Annabelle and her eyes were closed. His heart broke. It shattered into a million pieces. The tears came back and he stood up and stared down on her face. She was smiling. Amble bent down and kissed her lifeless lips. A tear dropped on her cheek as Amble covered his mouth and looked away. The doctor came in and put his hand on Amble’s shoulder. The doctor handed him a note.
“She wrote this before I came out to talk with you,” he continued as Amble took it. He tore the envelope open and read the contents.
I don’t want to sound cliché but if you’re reading this, I’m dead. I am so happy that I was able to devote my last few months of life to you. You have filled me with joy and pleasure and now that I’m no longer around to enjoy it, I want you to find new love. Find a woman who is compassionate, respectful, and gives you the love that you deserve. I will always love you and I’m sorry that we could not get married and have children like we planned. There is a gift for you in my room under the bed. Please don’t break it because I made it and you won’t be able to get a new one.
Amble clenched the note in his hands and read it over and over again. His tears fell on the little white card and he tried wiping them away but it smeared all over. Amble stared at the doctor.
“Where is the bullet?” he asked as the doctor handed it to him. It was opened at the end where the tonic had been released on contact. “You said this was an LVO bullet?” Amble asked as the doctor nodded.
“Yeah the initials are etched in the side,” he said pointing to where L-V-O was engraved.
“They won’t get away with this,” Amble grumbled. The sadness of Annabelle’s death was still there but it had been shoved to the side by anger and thoughts of revenge. “I will kill Maximus LoganView, this deed will not go unpunished!” Amble shouted. He painfully looked back at Annabelle whose face had been covered with a cloth. Amble sat by her side until the sun went down. When a body dies due to tonic, there is no way to bring it back. Amble had thought of turning her into a vampire but knew she wouldn’t want that. Around 6 p.m. the sun went down and Amble volexed back to the house. He saw Prezton wandering around on the first floor and told him what happened. They gathered their things and went down a sewer. A few drops of a suspicious liquid fell on the items as they entered a big clearing.
“Amble where are we?” Prezton asked as Amble shrugged.
“I don’t know but we will be calling it home for a while,” he said as Prezton rubbed his neck. They set the boxes on a dry patch.
Vacoma’s sewer system was built after the war had destroyed the city. The first Tempos war was between Artemis and the vampire goddess Narcissa. Many werewolves, shape shifters, and wolfsbane victims died in the bombings that were used to kill the vampires. Years later a traveler named Derrick Vacoma came and built the city around the exposed sewer system. Before Vacoma came along, people chiseled sections out of the underground system to live in.
“I have an idea of how to restore our home,” Amble said as Prezton rubbed his arm. “I’m going out to find some fish. I want to turn them into vampire type fish and move on from there,” he continued as Prezton rubbed his neck again. “What’s wrong with you?” Amble asked as Prezton averted his gaze.
“Nothing,” Prezton said pulling the collar of his red sweater up. Amble approached him and pulled it back down. Prezton’s neck was covered in bite marks.
“What the fuck have you been doing!?” Amble shouted angrily as Prezton pulled away from him.
“It’s none of your business,” Prezton said as Amble bared his fangs.
“The hell it is! Stop being a blood bag supplier!” Amble barked as Prezton volexed away. “Why the hell would you do that!?” Amble yelled after him. He carried a few boxes up the stairs and into a room. He set them down and then opened the box that had his name on it. He pulled a picture frame out of it. It was hand carved out of oak and inside was a picture of Annabelle and Amble on their first date to the beach. Amble pulled the picture out and a multitude of pictures fell as well. There was one when they took their first nighttime stroll along the beach where Amble tasted ice cream for the first time. He didn’t like the taste at all. Another picture was taken when they went to Fast Lane, Tempos’ biggest amusement park.
There were tons of pictures of Amble and Annabelle on the different rides but the one that caught his eye was when he and Annabelle were in the photo booth. There was one square where they were kissing. Another square was Amble giving Annabelle bunny ears. The third square was Amble with ice-cream on his cheek. The final square was of Amble kissing Annabelle on the cheek. Amble’s all-time favorite picture was of the two of them on the Ferris wheel. Annabelle had one hand behind Amble’s back and the other was on his chest. Her head rested on his shoulder as his hand lay on her waist. They were both smiling while fireworks went off in the background. Amble choked back the tears as he put that picture in the frame and set it on the small end table.
“I’m going out,” Prezton said as Amble volexed toward him.
“No you aren’t,” he said as Prezton smirked.
“What, are you turning into dad now? You can’t tell me what to do,” Prezton said as he volexed out of the sewer. Amble stood at the door furious but he had other things to do. He would make the LVO pay for what they did. He would kill them all.