Chapter 108 - Allure
Over the next few days, Belvare toyed with them, rising their blood and their passions at his will, but leaving them unsatisfied. He never realized that they found relief in this stay of execution. Robert watched it all unfold with guarded eyes, always nearby if not present.
They found themselves in the large common room when Belvare changed the rules of the game. With eyes narrowed to slits, he watched Mary as she fiddled with some small trinket he gave her.
Mary had seated herself across the room from them and barely dressed in the fashion Belvare preferred of late. She was no Mariana by any leap of the imagination, a cheap imitation of his former paramour.
“Mary?” Belvare called, and she came willingly into his arms. He started to make passionate love to her in their presence, and when they aimed to give him his privacy, Belvare bid them stay in a curt tone of voice with a decided absence of feeling.
Mary seemed to be unaware of them or uncaring of their presence. She was very young and still very human in her perceptions. Quiet with a decided lack of spite and absolutely no control over her passions.
Belvare very nearly took her right there and then, and she whimpered, wanting more. She clung to him and begged him to give her what she wanted. This display disgusted both women, but it wasn’t the first time they had to witness something like this. They hid their emotions, sensing that Belvare had a purpose with his actions, as he always did.
“Run,” Belvare ordered Maria with a violent sneer. Her eyes became large and uncertain as the expression in his finally cleared the fog of passion from her mind. She started to scramble away from him but still thought he was teasing.
“Run!” Belvare bellowed, allowing the monster inside him to show, and her uncertainty turned to fear in an instant. Maria was halfway across the room when he turned to them.
“Bring her down,” Belvare ordered, and this time nothing hid the evil inside of him. This was the final test.
They moved as one, and Maria offered surprising resistance that stood her to no avail. She pleaded with them until she finally understood that they had as little choice as she. They hated what they had to do, but this was a choice between their lives and hers. If they didn’t kill her, Belvare would, but they would have lost their last chance to prove themselves worthy.
Maria’s passion and her fear made a potent mixture of her blood, as Belvare must have intended. Alena was almost gentle when she broke Maria’s neck, and Belvare didn’t like that. The small inadvertent defiance exhilarated their already heated blood.
“Come,” Belvare bade them, and like Maria before them, they obeyed. Still covered in her blood, and with the heavy burden of guilt laying heavily upon them, they followed Belvare to his lavish bedroom. When Robert made to follow, Belvare dismissed him with unexpected aggression.
They knew where this would lead, but they expected more preparation, more attention to ritual, anything but this blatant seduction of their senses.
On the other hand, knowing how well Belvare planned all this from the start, they could not help but wonder what they were missing What manipulation they failed to understand.
He led them to the massive bed on the floor, and the air had a stale edge as if the air passages could not lift some more pervasive smell.
Belvare made himself comfortable on the sea of red silk and held out his arms to them. They followed without hesitation, watching him the entire time.
He kissed Alena who was on his right, licking the blood from her lips, her chin, her throat, and neck as he unbuttoned her bodice to release her breasts, before doing the same for Rowan.
Whatever he exuded, along with the fresh blood they consumed, the thrill of the chase, the potent mixture of emotions that came along with their meal, and the fear they felt, fired their blood to a high that threatened their control. Neither of them had ever experienced anything like it, and the vampire in them reacted to it with a ferocity that threatened their ability to think clearly.
It washed over them in the same way feral rage did, blocking out everything else, but there was no red haze, just and uncontrollable, animal lust. A base instinct from some time when men were beasts and procreation was an instinct, not a choice. Both of them fought this overwhelming flood with every ounce of their willpower, knowing that if they gave in to it, they would be vulnerable.
“Don’t fight it, you can’t win,” Belvare chuckled as he touched their naked body with the hands of one who has lived long enough to have perfected the art of seduction.
How could you react with such uncontrolled lust to one as evil as this? They both thought almost at the same moment. Not even the thought of Marcus could quell the way Rowan’s body reacted to his hands, mouth, and presence. They were almost lost when a flash, an image, intruded into the fog.
For a brief moment, they were back in the black tomb, and they were staring at the mural where Helena lay on the ground, but this time she didn’t lay with her back to them. They could see what killed her.
Something tore open her abdomen and ripped off her breasts. It gouged out her eyes and destroyed her face like all the other women who died bearing Belvare’s offspring. Belvare marred her more than those others, for his rage had been greater when she failed to give him a child.
The blueish haze faded from their sight, their minds fought their bodies, and although they didn’t realize it, they were the first ones that Belvare’s allure could not fully overwhelm. They could not dispel it, but they were no longer mindless slaves to his will.