It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…
Silently, Eric enters the library gazing raptly at his beautiful wife as she dipped the paintbrush on the pallet. Sitting on a cushioned bench, Tara is swirling colors together before dabbing and brushing onto the canvas. The young mother pauses, reaching with bangled arm towards the upper corner of the canvas, making sure she does not miss that spot.
A few weeks ago, she had it in her heart to draw this. It is a leaf skeleton, its green flesh is eaten away to leave only a lacy cellulose network - fragile, natural, beautiful in its own way. Her eyes travel over its ovoid shape, thrown into sharp relief by the deep plum background.
“Come to bed,” Eric murmurs, yearning to have his wife near. Tonight, the sexually insatiable vampire is sated. Eric is a family man, living a life his biological father and Sire would be proud of. Days are spent raising the children and most nights the couple is rapt in the throes of passion.
It took several moments for her brain digesting the reply, then she turned in her seat, her smile sagging somewhat. “What do you think of this one?” She asks with a motion beckoning her man to sit next to her. To Tara, this was the moment, the surreal moment that no actual words could describe.
“Art is part of our soul, human or otherwise. It is dreams emerging from a part of ourselves, a way to communicate with the deeper self of both the artist and others. The same piece invokes different emotions depending on the person, their mood, their time of life. Art pictures; art is sculpture; art is the creative word; art is music. We are all artists in our various ways, all born to be creative,” he answered, scooting in next to her.
“This painting takes me far away to another time, another life,” She points to a painting she’d hung on the wall last week, naturally, Eric turns his gaze to observe the brush strokes of hues that are muted as if bleached by millions of years of the sun-speckled water, eyes on the horizon where blue meets blue.
“In this picture the pebbles crunch beneath my winter boots and the waves lap in their steady rhythm, frigid and laced with sea-foam. Their melody is calming, this music of water dragging rounded stones up and down the beach. I can taste the salty air and feel it chill my face. From the upper left corner, the gulls call, circling the island.”
“I am most fond of that one,” Eric points to the painting of him and in return, the giggle that he adores so much escapes Tara’s lips.
“Of course, you are, I call that painting The Golden King.” Tara giggled once more recalling the day spent painting the picture of Eric. He modeled for her in his Viking cloak and crown.
There was only one word to describe the sun-kissed vampire, Adonis. Where his eyes were the green of fresh dew glinting in the sunlight off a leaf of green emerald. A prominent jaw curved gracefully around and the strength of his neck showed in the twining cords of muscle that shaped his entire body; strong arms, bold thighs and calves, a firm chest and abdomen. He was an Adonis among the other men who each pale in comparison. One look and both women and men swooned at the sight of him no matter their sexual preferences and one word passed from his lips had even the straightest of men flushing shades of red that no one ever knew was naturally possible.
“Beautiful,” he says softly, after a long moment. “You’re creative, too.” Eric notices the crinkle in his wife’s brow and knows something troubling is on her mind.
“Have I ever told you that my dreams lead me to you.”
“You have not, I had always believed you’re coming to Fangtaisa that night was for employment.”
“Well, that too, but when I saw you, I knew I had seen you before…In my dream. The painting was inspired by that dream I had of you many times when I was sixteen. At the time I thought I was dreaming of a boy I had a crush on in high school; I had no idea it was you. You looked so human in my dream, sun-kissed and tan-lined and all, I had no idea I was having a wet-dream about a vampire.”
“Did I measure up in real-life?”
Tara giggled once again; she knew that he knew the answer to his question. She opted to change the subject. A subject that lay heavy on her heart.
“The Aether that most fascinates me was Azalea. She lived in the city of Kerma in Sudan; she was one of the many wives of King Piye. The picture in the book of Isis is of her. Her image is not only captured there, but she’s also depicted in Egyptian and Sudanese art. She is the only Aether’s captured in modern history due to her husband’s concurring of Ancient Egypt during the Nubian reign.”
“You are the noblest leader, your reign shall be remembered for eons as well,” Eric assures her.
“I honestly don’t care about being memorialized. I just want to be able to do what I’ve been chosen to do. Azalea believed there was a way to trap Absalom in the dark realm forever. Azalea actually wrote the spells in the Grimoire that is used to open and close realms, using the blood of a virgin. She also wrote a spell that to this day, no one has been able to successfully achieve, not even herself. It’s a spell that can trap Absolom forever. She believed a pure soul could seal the realm forever with just a cut of blood. When she battled Azalea and attempted to trap the evil bitch in her realm, something went wrong… Azalea manifesto was not clear. It simply says and I quote ’As it may only the purest of souls can seal the darkest of realms for all eternity – two souls one heart.”
“Then you shall be the one to trap that insidious beast forever.”
“I have my doubts,” Tara’s gaze lowers in dismay, “I’ve done nothing but get people killed. I’m still terrified just thinking about fighting again, now that I’m a mother is the last thing I want to do. But I know that my dreams don’t lie, a battle is coming to the echelon is of epic proportions and soon.”
“According to Franklin and Compton, Nora has proven herself, Naomi and Ruby are regarded as most viable in the Coven as well, they could very well be considered a worthy substitute.”
“Babe, as good as that sounds, I can’t just usurp my right as Aether, I cannot resend the summons invoked by Isis. No matter what, I was chosen, I will always be Aether until I die. As afraid as I am, I am no coward and I would never ask them to do a job I was chosen to do, no matter how awful I am at it.”
“When I was a baby vampire learning the ways, Godric once told me that a dose of fear is healthy, as healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death.” Eric leans over kissing her forehead. Looking at her as if she was the most beautiful woman in the world; because to him, she is.
Tara nods offering a nervous smile, wishing his words offered comfort. “I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight.”
“Would you like a cocktail?” Eric stood to his feet awaiting her command.
She pulls him down by the hem of his shirt; kissing him until she became all too aware that they were both wearing too much clothing. So, she took off his shirt, slowly pushing it up and over his beautiful hair, exposing his muscled chest. She licks, touches, and bites then pushes him back until he was resting on his hands, and spent several minutes nibbling his nipples and the sides of his ribs, as she works her way down to his pants. His face is drowsy with lust and since his fangs were fully exposed, she knew he was showing considerable self-restraint to sit there patiently while she undressed him and teased him. As she works on getting the button to his pants undone, she pulled the elastic out of her hair, shook it loose and started sweeping her hair up and down his stomach, which made him shiver. Tara loves making him shiver.
She removed his pants, at which point he pouted at her and said, “I need to see you, lover.”
“I would be happy to undress for you,” she says in a low seductive tone and starts slowly removing her shirt. She had no intention of speeding up this process at all, she has him right where she wants him, still and delicious on the table.
She pulls her oversized shirt ever so slightly up to expose just a hint of her hip, then higher and higher until her breasts pop out of the fabric, which was follows by a sharp intake of air from Eric. The fire that burned in his eyes causes her to pull her shirt all the way off, leaving her in nothing but little white lacy panties.
“Now what would you like me to do?” She whispered to Eric, giving him a coy look.
He had to clear his throat to speak, “Turn around and remove your panties.” He says in a rough voice.
She turns slowly, slightly twisting her head to peak over her shoulders. Watching his face, the whole time, seeing the awe in his face, as if this were the first time, he had ever seen her. She turns to face him which elicits a growl from Eric, who is still waiting not-so-patiently.
Tara began rubbing her hands all over his body again, letting him know that he was not allowed to touch her when he tried to reach out a hand to bring her closer to him. She slowly tugging the edge of his boxer briefs down on one side exposing his sculpted hip, then the other side, slowly revealing his hard cock waiting for her.
Now it was her turn to gasp and shiver. She was overcome with the thoughts of what was in store.
Eric smirks, knowing the effect he is having on her. She leans close enough to him that her hard nipples grazed his chest, which she ran slowly down his body, followed by her mouth and a trail of hair that made him twitch. She kissed right down the middle of his stomach and positions her nipples to brush across the head of his cock, which made them both rock in a wave of pleasure. She reaches down and uses both of her hands to encircle his hard and ready cock. He slumps back to rest on his elbows so he could still watch her.
She licks her lips and begins tugging up and down, watching his face relax and his eyes roll. Kneeling in front of him, she takes his cock into her mouth, sucking it in as far as she could manage which isn’t very much since there’s so much of him. Her hands and mouth worked together until she found a rhythm that made him moan with unrestrained pleasure.
Eric sat up and put a hand on her shoulder and said, “Tara please, if you keep that up, I’m going to cum right here!” She looked down and noticed the littlest bit of cum on the head of his dick, seeping out for her.
“Yeah,” She barely manages to get out, in response to his statement before he begins pushing his finger between the folds of her wet pussy and sliding it back and forth brushing her clit very softly each time. A small smile plays across her face while watching Eric lick his lips, he laps up everything she offers, removing his finger and licking it clean; his cock twitches in anticipation.
Before she knew what was happening, Eric picked her up, and laid her down on the table, his face hovering over hers. “I need to taste you now,” he says, before devouring her mouth with a passionate kiss.
He brought his tongue down on her right nipple, making her back arch so that more of her breast was in his mouth, which he gladly sucked and licked, moving his tongue across her chest to my left. He then moved his tongue down her body, at the same time pulling a chair out to sit on and leans into her breathing in her scent which made his eyes go hazy She writhes towards him trying to make more contact with his talented mouth.
Eric reached his hands under her and pulls her ass off the end of the table placing her legs over his shoulders so he had better access, leaving his hands to caress and rub while his mouth worked her over. He sucks hard on her clit and then rubs it with his tongue, soon his fingers joined his tongue and she felt the pressure of his finger on my opening, causing a small tremor that made her honey pot clamp down on his finger. The feeling of his finger moving faster and faster inside her took her breath away and then he grazed her clit with his fangs and her body shook with the first of many orgasms she was sure to experience that night as Eric is such a giving lover.
After riding out the wave of her orgasm, she pulls her legs off his shoulders and slides the rest of the way off the table until she was straddling his lap, positioning his hard cock against the folds of her wet pussy. She moves up and down, getting a feel for how much leg strength she had, and after a minute of teasing his dick, she pushes up high enough to position him at her opening. She kissed him deeply as she lowered slowly down onto him, so there was an inch of him inside of her. They both shudder with the contact, causing her to lose control and she drops the rest of the way onto his lap until he is buried in her heat to the hilt; forcing a groan out of her mouth and into his. She hooks her feet onto the sidebars of the chair and moves her body fluidly up and down his shaft. He has his hands on her ass, moving her and helping control her pace.
Feeling that she needs to be in control, he said, “Yes, Lover, fuck me.” He leaned over and sunk his fangs into the slope between her neck and shoulder sucking greedily, with that, she came so loudly that she was glad the house was huge and Eric’s library was soundproof. She spasms on top of him and rocked her body back and forth riding out her orgasm. He withdrew his fangs and slowly licked her shoulder, lifting her off his lap and stood up at lightning speed, turning her around, and forcing her face down on the table.
Eric stands behind her with his legs spread wide forcing her legs apart so he could position himself at her opening again, “Now it’s my turn” he says. He stroked her back, running his fingers up and down her spine, causing her back to arch, while lifting her ass higher in the air forcing the tip of his dick back into her and smashing her breasts onto the table. He slid his long cock back into her the rest of the way and the contact was so much deeper this time that it made them both cry out. He stopped moving and let her body adjust to him, and then began to thrust into her at such speed that she held onto the table to steady herself, listening to the sound of her ass slapping against his hips, feeling the orgasm build in her abdomen and the tingling that comes with not breathing enough.
With the little breath she had left, she said “Oh yes, oh yes, oh god! I’m going to cum, oh yes, Eric, harder, YES!”
He lifts her legs off the floor and holds them on either side of his hips, digging his fingers into her hips to hold her still so he could fuck her harder while he straightens his body, every muscle tightening with the promise of release. She starts screaming his name, and his body jerked as he came, filling her up, her muscles milking every last drop out of him as she rode another wave of pleasure.
He leaned over her kissing her back and stroking her hair and said, “See, I knew you were creative.”
The following week was quiet; I was certain this was the calm before the storm. While Eric slept, Ruby and I gathered the children and went to the Coven, there was a need to practice spells and fighting tactics. We studied, only to rest at lunch.
That night, Eric joined us at the Coven, Bill and Franklin went over the entire history of the American Vampire League. Bill wrote a book back in 2008. Now, he has dozens of blogs and websites explaining the vampire hierarchy. So, over the past three years, I’d learned some of the politics and rules. Of course, the subdivisions have had a long-standing feud, like humans, vampires can never agree on everything. This feud is mainly territorial. Bill truly wants the world to think vampires have nothing to hide. I know firsthand that’s a load of crap.
I still get a tickle watching Bill on TV, acting so diplomatic. I know that that’s mostly an act. He’s certainly not the uber politically correct... that he portrays to the world. Sookie plays her part well. She is the perfect politician’s wife, with her natural good looks and down to earth personality, and the fact that she is human makes him look good. Although he has his southern charm and in all, he has his unsavory side, still, he is one of the good guys.
Late that evening I was pleased to hear that the council agreed and now witches and wolves would be in attendance during the monarchs monthly gathering.
To make room for additional people at the round table. The King must be present and will only be allowed to bring their Sherriff or Chief Monarch. In the vampire kingdom, a Chief monarch would be the equivalent of a vice president, if the king dies, if he has appointed a replacement in his stead monarch then he is automatically selected. If there is no monarch the council must choose one. The Monarchs are the judges and jury, they decide the punishment based on the Sheriff’s information. A Sherriff is the one who investigates and gathers the law and the chancellor is like a general, he or she would enforce the law and carry out the punishment.
It was after midnight when Alpha Jackson, Alcide, Bly Eyota and Reijo rushed into the house. Before a word was uttered, I could hear their agitated thoughts. Alcide’s eyes captured mine and his fury washed over me like the long slow waves on a shallow beach. Each wave was icy cold and sent shivers down my spine. This was so familiar to me. The regret you feel when losing your friend in battle is like an unforgiving demon, it would be back tomorrow to torment you all over again. I had to block them out as the men’s overwhelming sadness made my stomach turn. Thankfully the children were asleep when they arrived, their bloody and disheveled appearance would have certainly scared them.
“We kept an eye on Edgington since the meeting and tonight it paid off. We followed him to Salome’s hide-out. She has a hand full of witch-hunters, her vamp-guards and Russell’s wolves there.” His sigh was long and exasperated, “You were right Tara, that fanger Russell is up to no good. He’s the one who bombed the club.”
“How do you know that?” Eric asks.
“A wolf named Jake asked us to get him out of there in exchange for info. We’ve got him tied up in my cabin, feel free to glamor him for confirmation.”
Franklin rushed out of the room, no doubt he is headed to get all the details by any means necessary.
“That vamp-bitches baby vampires and rogue wolves were no match for my men, but then this fucking sorceress bitch comes out and out of the pits of hell…” His voice hitched and he pauses for a moment to gather composure, frazzled nerves jumped all together, and in different directions, “This fucking monster appears out of nowhere…” it ripped my men apart, limb by limb... all seven of em, Jake’s men, a few vampires too…we barely escaped...goddammit... we had to run,” He says, his brow furrowed, fist balled tight, he swallows hard, stifling the pain he feels inside.
Unlike Alcide, his father is unable to contain his emotion, his red-rimmed eyes spill with a steady stream down his face. “Those fuckers gonna pay!” He screamed out, his voice echoed through the hall, his eyes turned amber and he sprints out of the room before he shifts into his wolf form.
“Tara, I know that you can handle that thing.” Alcide conceded.
“Yeah, I can handle that bitch!” I snarl... hoping that everyone is buying my fearless leader act. I honestly want to get Absolom... why would she do that to those poor wolves?
Wolves are not bloodthirsty beasts. They are the protectors of people. They do not kill at random. They are not easy to spot unless you know what exactly to look for or if you are a supernatural yourself. Some signs are: extremely protective of friends and family (like wolves of a pack), the alphas tend to be the most protective and try to take care of their family/friends and usually are the ones to end the fights inside their group. Werewolves are not to be feared. If you find that you have a werewolf in your family or group of friends then you should feel blessed because they will protect you until their last breath.
Four hours earlier…
“That cursed bitch knows.”
“If she knew you’d be dead,” The vampire traces her finger along the rim of the goblet of fresh blood, “Do you honestly think Eric would have let you go. Especially after your failed attempt to kill him at his nightclub. None of them know anything for now. My only concern is if you were followed tonight, I’m sure suspensions are raised amongst the council.”
“I have my wolves on watch, they’re idiots, but they can sniff and track effectively.”
“Your delusional, those stupid dogs can’t do anything effectively. We need to move quickly, while they are still trying to gather what is happening.”
“Humans are even more unpredictable,” The ancient vampire reaches into the wooden box and makes his selection, “So, tell me, how do you keep those weird witch hunters under control?” Russell asked, lighting a Cuban cigar.
“We share a common enemy. Their leader Maryanne, she has a deep-seated hatred for Aether’s coven, just a few years ago, her younger sister was murdered at the hands of a witch. She wants vengeance just as much as I. Paul, was my lover, my ally and because, of Godric, Eric and Aether, I am left to start over.”
“You are one bitter bitch.” Russell chuckles, “but I love it!”
“Russell we need to go,” A wolf named Hank rushes into the room, he looked utterly panic-stricken, his elevated excitement quickly put both vampires on high alert, “Herveaux’s, pack ambushed us outside the gates, they’re closing in, our men are outnumbered.
“Where’s Talbot?” Russell said at the same time he summoned his progeny, his companion, the only thing in the world he cared about.
“I am here my love,” Talbot rushed into the room holding his precious wolf pup in his hand. The wolf is one of Hank’s many daughters, he gladly sold her to the smitten vampire for ten-thousand dollars.
Hanna whimpered in the vampire’s arm, agitated at the sight of her father. She’d rather be in the arms of a vampire than her abusive dad.
“Get us out of here, Hank,” Russell demands. Salomé’s guard quickly shows them the escape route through the wine cellar.
“Are you going to allow Aether’s wolves to overtake your lair again or will you join me and my leader and teach them a lesson?” Maryanne asks the Judean vampire, “scattering like a cockroach in the light is so unbecoming of you.”
“What would you have me to do?” Salomé asks bitterly, she’s never actually fought on her own, she’d much rather have people do that for her.
“Nothing, I know you don’t want to get those pretty hands dirty; I simply want you to see what my goddess can do.”
So that is what Salomé did. She watched Maryanne summon a malevolent entity in which she could not control. After the creature destroyed the wolves and every living thing in her path, she turned her attention to the Maryanne.
“Ubi Atherius?!” Absalom roared in frustration. She could not find Aether and she couldn’t understand why.
Ruby has fortified Eric house and the coven so much, Absalom is unable to find her using her supernatural abilities, she must rely on her progeny’s earthly techniques.
“Master, I shall lead you to her!” Maryanne bowed. With the help of Russell and his wolves, Maryanne was able to find out were Aether’s coven is in New Orlean’s, she knows Absalom will be able to penetrate any protection spell they may encounter.
“Duc exercitum,” Absalom grinned wickedly.
Now, the vampire was confident, the witch hunter’s demon will destroy Eric and his witch. With those two destroyed, any vampire left will have no choice but to bow down to her.