Dawn approached. There is much to learn. Laurissa felt tired from not sleeping, but her will to learn as much as possible drove her. She wondered if Zillah was still alive. She looked at Lord Dunkan’s Tendril and found it still slept, then ran to the hut where she last saw Zillah.
Zillah is still hanging in the corner of the room. She has dark circles around her eyes, and her skin sunk around her features. She looked like she aged significantly. Dry blood matted Zillah’s, and several wounds were still visible on her body. Laurissa feared she was dying.
“Zillah?” Laurissa’s heart pounded in her chest as she checked on her connection with Lord Dunkan once again. She did not wish to endanger Zillah’s life any more than she already has.
Lord Dunkan still slept. Laurissa hoped her voice would not wake him up. Zillah’s mind opened instantly when Laurissa’s tendril gently requested a connection.
“Zillah, I am here. You must eat.”
“No.” Zillah’s voice came through the tendril as a weak whisper.
“You will die!” Laurissa screamed with her voice, then looked at Lord Dunkan’s tendril.
“No, young vampire. I will not. My body is beginning to sleep. I can feel it calling me. It is the only way I can escape.” Laurissa projected her concern and sorrow. “Do not grieve over me. I am in control.”
“I found a secret, Zillah. You can be free.” Laurissa projected.
“What is this secret?”
Laurissa checked Dunkan’s tendril once more. He still sleeps.
“You can darken your connection to Lord Dunkan so he cannot hear your thoughts.”
“I have discovered this already. You helped me with that. He is furious about it. He means to experiment and learn how I have such an ability.”
“How did I help you?”
“You sang to me and kept my focus on you alone. I could not hear or feel Lord Dunkan. After you left, I kept my tendril dark.”
Laurissa sent admiration to her. “I will release you. You must flee this place.”
“No young one! He will kill us both. You must leave before he wakes. I will not see you again.”
“If you darken your tendril, he cannot find you. He sleeps now. He will not know.”
“I am too weak. Sleep is very near, Laurissa. If you released me, you would have to carry me. He will find us both and kill us.”
Laurissa felt helpless as a flow of love entered her mind. This is a surprise to her, but she accepted it. She reluctantly disconnected from Zillah and ran home. She decided to change direction and go into Madwell to test her new ability.
Laurissa passed the vendors as she listened to their minds. She is easily able to send her tendril to one.
’This is rubbish. I can’t sell anything here. No one seems interested in buying good quality trinkets. These trinkets were blessed by the gods, and still, they refuse. To the underworld with them! Such a waste of time!’
‘I can’t wait until tonight. If I sell enough wheat, I can buy a nice ring. I do hope she will have me. Her father has already promised her hand, but I want her heart. Hey, I saw that!’
“Thief!” a young man’s voice echoed around the market place.
Laurissa turned to see a man running toward her with a bag in his hand. Laurissa made a dagger tendril and threw it into the man’s head.
“Stop!” She commanded. The man suddenly stopped. “Turn around and return his bag.” The man obediently did. He looked dazed and devoid of life. Laurissa disconnected from him, then the man blinked. “I’m sorry, sir,” and quickly ran.
Everyone around the square stopped and looked and became confused by what they saw. ‘What was that about?’ and ‘did you see that?’ were murmured.
The Egyptian vendor caught Laurissa’s eye. He is hastily packing his belongings.
“What troubles you?”
“Mind your own business, girl.” He grumbled.
“I only wish to help.”
The man stood up suddenly then paled as he saw her. “Forgive me, milady. I did not know you were the one speaking.”
The man’s accent changed slightly. He blinked, suddenly aware of his surroundings, then began rummaging through his items.
“Please take this as an apology for my rudeness. It was blessed by Ra himself.”
The man handed her a golden image of an eye. It resembled the markings on his right eye.
“That is not necessary.”
“It’s burning a hole in my bag. You might as well take it. When you look at it, remember Egypt. You should visit my country one day.”
“That is very kind of you. Forgive me. I cannot take it.”
This angered the man. His dark bottomless eyes seemed to darken further. “Take it or sell it. I don’t care. I don’t want it.”
The craftsmanship of the amulet is exquisite. Laurissa has no need of such an item. If Lord Dunkan found it, he would take it away.
“Allow me to help you pack.”
“No, milady. Please take the trinket and leave me. I wish to be alone.”
His accent once again changed. Laurissa eyed him suspiciously. He sounded like a vampire, but he did not have the aura of one.
The man grew conscious of Laurissa’s stare and slowed down his hast while packing the remaining items. Who is Ra? Who is this vendor? He is not who he appears to be? Why the deception? Laurissa looked at the amulet once again and wondered what exactly it was and why this man wanted to be rid of it. He was not deceptive; he was only private in his reasons.
“Are you truly from Egypt?”
“Egypt is where my people live. I don’t live there.”
“I would love to hear of your homeland. I wish to explore this world.”
The man stopped what he was doing and straightened. His dark eyes seemed to go through Laurissa.
“If you wish to visit my homeland, take that trinket and go. Now be gone.” He said as he waved his hands at her shooing her away.
Laurissa respected the vendor’s wishes and began walking back to the manor slowly. The slave vendor is toward the end of the main road leading through the market. She successfully commanded a thief to return their stolen item. Laurissa thought to do the same to the slave owner.
The merchant is an older man thick around the middle and had fine cotton clothing on. He had five slaves chained to a post and lined up against a wall.
“You must be Lord Dunkan’s girl. Does he favor the girl I have?” he said once his eyes met hers.
Lord Dunkan pays this man for girls? Laurissa sent her tendril to the man.
“Laurissa, stop what you are doing and continue your day.” She heard Lord Dunkan’s voice in her mind. He is connected to her and can hear her thoughts.
“It is the way of things, my dear. We do not interfere with their way of life.”
Laurissa wordlessly continued past the merchant. Perhaps the way of the vampire should change. She will study more tonight, but first, she needed to rest. She felt exhausted. She has never been awake this long.
Laurissa slept until almost dusk. She decided to remain in the manor and wait for Lord Dunkan. She read some pages that she skipped through in her haste. One page made a list of different feeding spots and variations of humans.
’As one author wrote how we should avoid death, one element he forgot to explain. I recently discovered humans will poison one another over greed. Their cowardice is revolting. If you wish someone dead, look them in the eye and cut him or break his neck. There are other ways to kill, of course. But I am rambling.
Certain berries and mushrooms are poisonous to humans. As we are superior to humans, the poison does not work on us. I grew hungry one night, and in my haste, I selected the nearest human to feed on. His blood burned my lips, and it was very bitter to the taste. If you ever tasted dead blood, this was very similar. In my research, I found this human had consumed poison. His blood kept me alive, but I found myself becoming hungry sooner than I should.
I commanded several humans to my home to experiment on. I sat one outside the house nude for two nights and two days. During the fall months, the days were cold but not too cold to kill the human. He was weak from lack of food and sleep. I allowed him to rest the third day and noticed his smell had changed. The human grew sickly. I fed on him my normal amount. The sick smell was also in the taste of the blood. I felt content for half a day before I felt I needed to feed or die. I fed on him again, taking double my portion, and still, I was not satisfied. It seems sick humans will not sustain us for long. It is acceptable in a dire need; however, be warned your body will still starve.
The next human was fed the poison. I allowed it to digest, then fed on him. The blood burned like it had boiled. Again I was forced to feed on a healthier human. I have also discovered that the healthier the human is, the more strength we gain from it.
I suggest feeding off the wealthy. They can afford healers and medicine. Might I also suggest experimenting on where to feed once you select your human of choice. They have the most delicious vein that runs near their groin. It is a large vein. Once my fangs pierced it, the blood flowed easily into my mouth like water from a cup. I did not need to suck on it the way you do on the wrist or neck. I have found this vein holds blood with the most flavor. It arouses me each time!’
Laurissa supposed this was good knowledge. Poisons will not kill her, but a sick human or dying human will not sustain her. What about vampires? She had never fed off a human. She began flipping the pages looking for entries of feeding off vampires.
Lord Dunkan entered the room, interrupting her research, “Good evening, my dear.” He said cheerfully. “Get undress and get on the bed.”
“Tonight is your final lesson on how to please a male.” Lord Dunkan said as they undressed. He approached the bed and slipped his slender, hard frame under the covers. “Come, my dear, use your body to please me and bring my desire for you.”
Laurissa began nibbling and caressing where she knew he liked to be touched. She massaged him, asking him to respond to her touch while passionately kissing his thin lips. His tongue darted into her mouth and welcomed her into his while he explored her body. Once he was ready, he stopped Laurissa. “Mount me, my dear.” She straddled him, then slowly covered his passion. His eyes rolled as he took a deep breath. “Oh yes, my dear.” he breathed.” Now move and rock and hug me.” Laurissa began moving her hips back and forth against him. His hand held her hips and guided her to his satisfaction. He began moaning with each thrust, and his body stiffened. Laurissa could see faint lines of muscle beneath the skin. Once he released his desire, he looked up at Laurissa. His eyes glowed brightly with ecstasy. His hands reached up and cupped Laurissa’s head and send a dagger tendril into her mind. She allowed the pain to go through and reached out to touch him.
“Oh my! You have been growing, my dear.” He allowed her tendril into his mind. Laurissa gently touched his tendril. She shivered from what she felt and made Lord Dunkan grunt from the pull on him it caused. The feeling is dark and foreboding. He felt godly and outraged.
Lord Dunkan flipped Laurissa on her back and began thrusting, then wrapped his tendril around hers. His power flowed through, allowing her to feel his desire and the joy she gave him. This is what the book meant by using the tendril during sex. Laurissa wrapped her tendril around his hugging him protectively, and sent her power through him. A loud moan came from him as he used the link to give Laurissa pleasure.
She focused on his need and moved and touched where he desired. The experience of it all threatened to suffocate her. She was in the throws of passion and could almost believe he loved her. Her desire peaked. He willed it through the tendril and allowed his desire to come forth. One final thrust brought Laurissa’s passion and made her body spasm against Lord Dunkan. It brought tears to her eyes. It was a feeling she never wanted to end.
“We are mated, Laurissa.” The cold voice interrupted her fantasy.
“What?” She stood and looked at her tendril. The Tendrils seemed to have joined into one massive tendril. Her blue was freckled with his black. Strands grew over each other in a lover’s embrace.
“Forgive me, Master. I do not wish to be mated.”
A wicked grin spread on his lips while he brushed a strand of hair off her face.
“You accepted me and wrapped your tendril around mine. You did this on your own. The only way to break it is through death, or I release you. I will never release you, my dear. Everything you feel or see. Every thought you have will be mine. The same is true for you. You have access to my deepest thoughts now. I am no longer your master. You will call me Lord.” Lord Dunkan laid on the bed.
“Is that why the others address you as Lord? Are you mated to them as well?”
“Look into my mind, Laurissa. What do you see?”
Laurissa saw his tendril wrapped around hers. Multiple strands were sent out. No other tendril is in his mind.
“Vampires can only be mated to one individual at a time. The mating is for life.”
Laurissa’s heart pounded in her chest. She could feel the evil in his tendril. The thought of being mated to him sickened her. She wanted to find a male who was kind that she could spend an eternity with. Lord Dunkan just denied her that dream.
Laurissa jumped out of bed and ran as fast and as hard as she could. She could hear Lord Dunkan’s laughter in her mind. He thought it amusing that she would think a male would love her in such a way and even more amusing to think she ever had a chance of leaving him. His ownership of her suffocated her.
She ran through Madwell and felt a tug in her mind when she reached the end. It felt like a snap of a leash that she was tied to. She could go no further. The tendril stretched, and a strand began tearing. She focused her power and took a step. Blinding fire seared her mind making her scream. She panted and concentrated on allowing the pain to wash over her. She took another step and fell to her knees, and another stand snapped.
“You cannot go where our tendril cannot remain connected. I will not let you go, Laurissa.” Lord Dunkan’s smooth voice rang through her mind.
Determined, she crawled another step, and another strand snapped. She screamed out, and her vision faded. She must control the pain.
“This kind of pain is not controllable. You are killing yourself.”
She would rather die than be mated to a monster.
“Oh come now, my mate. That is a bit harsh, is it not? I am no monster. We are Vampire! We are gods on this world.”
“No!” Laurissa cried out and crawled further. Two strands snapped, and her vision blackened. Laurissa’s body fell limp to the ground.
Lord Dunkan sighed and went to collect his bride. It would do no good for a human to find her like this. Now that he is mated to her, he will be able to study her intimately. He will be able to hear every thought and feel what she feels on a deeper level. It is something he wished he did with Zillah. Unfortunately, she has gone into some sort of stasis, and he is unable to wake her.
Laurissa shows great potential. Perhaps she will exhibit the same power Zillah showed. She could easily become his puppet. She has a natural ability to attract those around her. He saw it in his females. Especially Zillah and Adrian. Keres enjoyed Laurissa as she grew up. Thana is the only one who seems repulsed by Laurissa. Lord Dunkan felt he could be unstoppable if Laurissa grew the way he thought she would. He must break her need to please everyone around her. Her compassion is sickening.
Her vampire training is nearing its completion. It will take her decades to master each skill, and as she ages, she will only grow stronger. Lord Dunkan knew he would not live long enough to enjoy his vision to come to fruition. Her hatred of him only grew. If he could harness her power and break her spirit, then even if she did kill him, his world will still be born with a queen to rule it.
He must act quickly and give Laurissa a reason to remain his. If she accepted him, they could rule a vampire empire together. They would be unstoppable. Perhaps giving her a taste of authority will do just that. She is his mate now. His family will have no choice but to do her will. ’No’ he reasoned. Not until she truly became his. His children may decide to revolt against him under Laurissa’s orders.
The humans may also be an option. She could busy herself playing with them while he concentrated on growing his kind. A new web must be spun. This would be a delicate trap. She is a vampire now, and her will is incredibly strong. She is quickly learning not to trust anyone, and her hatred of him only grew. He would have to entice her with her passion. He must patiently watch to find it.
He suspected life is her weakness. She defends two vampires and shows compassion to a stranger. She is insulted by human slavery and wishes to end it.
He will begin his quest and mold Laurissa into a vampire to be feared, and she will belong to him. The thought of the end result excited him. Still, Laurissa could destroy him. The nagging feeling of his death loomed over him.
Lord Dunkan picked Laurissa’s body up and took her to his bed chambers. He will see to it this female will live a long time. He will need to be careful showing any weaknesses. She has no love for him. In fact, she bordered on actually hating him. Any disrespect will have to be dealt with in a none traditional matter. He will have to be creative in his punishments.
He is so close to his vision, he could taste it. He desperately needed Laurissa to thrive and accept him. He sat patiently, waiting for Laurissa to return, admiring her body and her strength.