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The Taste of Blood Wine

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Summary

The second installment of Love & Blood. Dawna and Thomas are tasked with slaying a notorious noble vampire, all the while deciding on the next stage of their relationship.

Genre:
Erotica / Fantasy
Author:
Midori Caine
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
7
Rating:
4.9 1 review
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter I

Moonlight spilled on the cobbled path, as the horse-drawn carriage thundered onwards. They had been traveling all afternoon, as the sky spilled blood red before fading to cobalt. Lockwood Village had been their destination, and they almost passed it, as it was shrouded in darkness. As the Coachman slowed his horses, two fine stallions whose black coats gleamed, out stepped Dawna and Thomas. She took the first step, stretching as she looked around. Her long raven dress billowed in the breeze, complimented with a crude belt wrapped around her waist where two knives glinted. Her hands, clad in ruffled gloves, patted them unconsciously, as her partner followed her eyes. He was still wearing the thick overcoat, and his hair was longer which had begun to fall across his shoulders. At their last destination, he bought a frilly shirt and some heavy trousers to replace the acid-damaged pair that was the only casualty of their previous job.

“Always a good sign when the village is dead quiet, huh?” he said.

She smiled, taking a few steps. He watched as her crimson flesh glimmered in the moonlight.

“I like it,” she replied, winking. Her expression wicked as she bit her lower lip. The Coachman leaned forward, as the leather of his jacket crunched.

“That there tavern is probably where you’ll find your contact. I’m gonna get a tankard and rest. Let me know when you wish you depart,” he said, tipping his hat as he stepped from his cart and headed inside. They had spent hours in his carriage, yet the man remained a stranger. They followed, as the warmth of the tavern washed over them in a fusillade of goldenrod. There was probably less than twenty people stuffed behind the varnished tables, all of whom focused on the duo’s entrance. Somehow, their coachman had disappeared from their collective stare and into a fresh ale. Dawna gently grabbed her tail before clearing her throat.

“Hi, uh, we’re looking for Mona Keane?” she announced.

A few murmurs. The term succubus was spat out like bitter poison amongst the low roar of discussion.

“So, you’re the hired hands,” said a sultry voice.

They turned to see a lone woman, sat in the corner of the room with a blood red bottle. She had long chestnut hair that spilled over her shoulders. Her bangs were full, and almost fell over her eyes. They could see her generous hips shaped by her magenta bodice. Her long legs were crossed under her overflowing skirt, and with her right foot, she nudged one of the free chairs towards them. Exchanging glances, Dawna shrugged and sat down as Thomas murmured something in her ear.

“Would you like a drink?” he then asked the stranger.

She raised her bottle. “I’m good, thank you.”

Her eyes glittered, as her tongue traced the lips of her wine bottle. Flustered, he edged his way to the bar. Dawna’s nails raked over the small table, and this was not missed by the stranger.

“Your boyfriend? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human and a succubus together,” she teased.

Dawna wrinkled her nose. “We’re, um, not together. We’re just traveling.”

“That’s a shame,” she said, baring her long white teeth.

“Easy. Or I’ll tell everyone that you’re a vampire,” she said, her voice becoming hushed.

The stranger laughed. “Really? You wouldn’t. Besides, if you are the hired hands, you’ll want my help.”

She leaned forwards, her eyes narrowing in suspicion. “Why would you help us?”

“Because I didn’t choose to become a vampire. Amaia Almendarez is very persuasive. She also does not like to be told what she doesn’t like to hear. You’ll see her mansion is very much her personality; overbearing and needless.”

“You’re very verbose.”

“Well, I was a songwriter before she bit me. But yes, I advise you pay attention to this.”

She pushed the bottle towards her, making it creak on the wooden surface. The lush body of the wine rippled invitingly, as Dawna found herself wanting a taste.

“She may ply you with this. Be wary. In small doses, it is quite pleasant. But too much, and your senses will cloud. She convinced me to accept her invitation if you will. After which, I essentially lived on this.”

“Is it blood?” Dawna said, poking the bottle with her forefinger. The thick liquid remained still.

The stranger nodded. “I believe so. But I know the Almendarez family did whatever to ensure it would be like no other. Amaia unfortunately lacks the temperament of her family, hence why you both were summoned. Others have unfortunately faltered.”

She looked away; her eyes rueful as she wetted her dry lips. Dawna was about to ask, but Thomas returned with two steely grey flagons of ale. He set them down before sitting beside her, curious of this stranger.

“Nice to meet you,” he said, offering his hand. “I’m Thomas and you’ve already met Dawna.”

“Charmed. I’m Isabella Contreras, songwriter and wine enthusiast,” she replied, taking his hand and lingering with her soft touch. Dawna watched on, coiling her tail through his fingers.

“So, Isabella, who faltered? There were others before us?” she asked. Her voice cut through the din, making Thomas pull away from Isabella’s outstretched fingers.

“Yes, before you there was an occult specialist, a man who apparently found Hell too boring. Richard. He fell for Amaia’s dark glamour and has yet to resurface. I humbly request you search for him. He is too sweet for that place.”

Thomas and Dawna exchanged glances.

“We’ll do our best,” he offered.

“Thank you both. Now, I wish to rest,” Isabella said, standing with the bottle held in her hands like a new-born.”

“Maybe you should toss that stuff. If it’s really that addictive,” Dawna suggested.

Isabella’s eyes flashed, and for a brief moment, Dawna saw the trickster vampire sensing prey.

“As I said, in small doses, it’s wonderful. You really do forget about the sorrows of this realm. Here, try a little,” she said, tipping a small amount into their ales. It spiralled and misted until their flagons beamed pink. “Fare thee well, I wish you success on your journey,” she added before slipping away.

“Uh, I don’t trust a random drink from a stranger,” began Thomas, but Dawna was already draining her flagon.

“What?” she said, stifling an eruct. “It’s good. Thick. Warm.”

Her eyes glittered, and he felt his face grow very warm. He followed suit, feeling the wine caress and turn his stomach aflame. They looked at each other as they did back in that inn, back when they were strangers. But this time, they looked away, a shyness stealing their amatory intentions. Words failed to form, as they began to observe the patrons who had long since lost interest in them. Another stranger approached, this person draped in a long, strapless navy blue dress that revealed flesh that was porcelain white. Her eyebrows were two dark lines, emphasising the anger burning in her deep brown eyes. As she walked, the drunken customers backed away with the collective look of a reprimanded child.

“You’re the two I hired, right?” she said. It was a melodious brogue, rising in lilting intonation as though she were reading poetry from parchment.

“I hope so,” replied Dawna. “Cause I am not sharing the spoils.”

“You must be Mona,” interjected Thomas. “We came as soon as we were told. Vampires are a, uh, speciality of ours.”

Mona sat down opposite them, a trifecta of sternness, joviality, and somewhere in-between. She observed their flagons, which were still stained. Briefly closing her eyes, her expression was unreadable as she spoke.

“Isabella offered you her wine? You should not have imbibed. She came back from that cursed castle completely changed. Some say she has been turned, but we cannot see bite marks. And of course, the myth that sunlight kills vampires is, well, a myth. She works as she normally does at the apothecary.”

“You’re so well-spoken,” Dawna said, batting her eyelashes.

To Thomas’ surprise. Mona gave her a small smile. There was a hint of dimples within her cheeks.

“That’s the benefit of an education from someone who clamours for the classics. However, back to the subject at hand, I must warn you that this job is a deathly undertaking. I previously hired a mercenary of the occult, Thomas Dietrich, who promised in blunt terms to have Amaia’s ashes in a bag on hand. As you can imagine, two weeks later, he has yet to update us. We believe him turned, so be wary as he has powers that mortals lack,” she said.

“Isabella told us. She wants us to keep an eye out for him,” he said.

Dawna nodded, her eyes drinking in Mona’s form. Something about her pale, angular features stirred something within her. Thomas looked away, slightly ashamed, as he adjusted his trousers. The rest of him lacked that self-conscious poison. Briefly, Dawna’s eyes flickered.

“So, we have a posh vampire and a dark arts guy. Just a normal day for us,” Dawna said, smiling.

“Good. The townsfolk are wary, as Amaia holds dominion. She used to accept blood tributes for her wine, but after what happened last time..” she said, her voice faltering.

Thomas sat forward, the table creaking from the pressure of his crossbow. “What happened? I’m guessing she has a temper?”

“Like the fury of the Gods. Our populace dwindled due to her bloodlust, and now most have either left or are hoping for a miracle. I’m not leaving. My family, they perished because of her, and I will die seeing the life drain from her eyes. The Almendarez dynasty shall end, once and for all.”

Her speech caught the attention of the entire tavern. Though her words were hewn with vexation, they were met with a roar of approval. Her frustration fading, her expression became quite bashful as she rested her hand against her cheek.

“Don’t worry, we’ll dust that toffee-nosed freak,” Dawna said, bringing her fists down on the table.

Another roar of approval. Their dislike of a succubus turned into a cheer for their new ally. She stood, bowing until they subsided. Dawna then glanced at Mona, who had begun smiling once more. Like a renaissance painting, there was a mystery in the curve of her lips.

“We’d better go. Maybe we’ll slay her and be back for another round,” he said. Standing, he took Dawna by the elbow, gently, and they left. Mona watched them leave, before her eyes looked at the bloody remains of their ale.

Outside, the air had become cool and the sky shined with innumerable stars. Lanterns spilled a golden light over their carriage, casting it in a sultry glow. The Coachman was waiting for them, already sorting the reins of his horses.

“Castle Almendarez?” he asked, and they nodded. “We set off post-haste.”

They clambered into the carriage, feeling the space had become rather cramped. The doors shut, and they were almost sandwiched together. A familiar heat burned, but neither wanted to acknowledge.

“Mona seemed nice. Very poetic,” she began, as Thomas looked away. “Oh, don’t be like that.”

“It’s nothing,” he murmured.

“We aren’t.. we aren’t together. We decided to keep this strictly business.”

“I didn’t say anything.”

“You were the one who said that. That we had fun but if we were gonna work together, we’d have to keep it professional.”

A silence fell between them. Outside, the clop of the horses was an erratic metronome. The carriage rocked as the cobbled path became even more unruly. As the conversation evaporated, the smouldering of Isabella’s wine refused to abate. Their breathing became heavy, as they shifted against one another. Accidentally, or not, her hand wandered and grasped his thigh briefly.

“Good wine,” she said, her voice husky.

“Yeah,” his voice barely an exhale.

She gripped tighter. “We said we’d behave.”

“We are. You’re the one…”

“Then I’m going to make sure we do. You know. So, we don’t go back on our word.”

“Dawna.”

She gave his cheek a gentle kiss. In that moment, she wanted to tell him so much. Call him an ‘idiot’, a fearful idiot, that they could deny each other based on irrationality. But the fear that smothered her would not allow such declarations, and she remained silent. Instead, she began to pull up her dress and revealed that like always, she neglected undergarments. Her flesh, red and shiny, drew his eye, and he could not look away as her fingers began to explore her pussy. She gave a moan, not wanting an audience outside the carriage.

He grasped the belt of his trousers, feeling himself grow. Just the touch alone through the fabric made him shudder, as though he were exploring his body for the first time.

“Can I watch?” she asked, her voice hot and sticky on his cheek.

He unclasped his belt, pulling down his trousers to reveal he too lacked undergarments. His cock was firm, and with practised ease, he began to slowly rub from the shaft to the tip. He was already glistening. She stared voraciously, wanting to taste him as she did many times before. But remained, teasing her pussy as waves of warmth threatening a screaming crescendo. Their lips were but a millimetre apart, tasting each other’s breath, wanting to break the invisible barrier between them. Their hands worked faster, his cock throbbing and her pussy wet. If they both turned, they could become one once more. Her hands reached over and grabbed him, and her fingers traced his length with agonising ecstasy.

“We said..” was all he could manage.

“Just a little. It’s like we’re cheating on what we said,” she said, with that wicked expression threatening to make him come.

He reached over, feeling the heat between her legs as he slipped his forefinger inside her. Just as she showed him, he began to trace an invisible circle.

“Oh,” she uttered, and he almost kissed her. Every exhale was humid, and their sweat mingled. He continued, as she bit her lip and her grip on his cock hastened.

“I wish,” she began, but then she cried out. Together, they came. His come exploded onto her chest, and she continued to stroke until the last waves of pleasure subsided. Her thighs closed over his hand, as she tilted her head back. Her orgasm muted as she gritted her teeth. They rolled over, finding little room and instead settling next to one another. Without embracing, they stared, protestations forming but not being voiced. It was some time before they were clothed, ready for the task at hand.

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