The silence of the village is deafening yet welcomed. As soft flurries of snow fell, the humans remained inside, and the creatures slept. Laurissa went toward the center of town. The market is completely empty of people. Her footsteps echoed in the stillness as the snow crunched under her feet. She found a house and entered to feed, then continued north to the end of her leash. Laurissa waited until it is time to hunt.
Laurissa desperately wants to leave Madwell and Lord Dunkan. Every fiber of her being told her to leave immediately. She did not care that she vowed to destroy her mate or vowed to protect the humans of Madwell. The longer she stayed, the more destruction would happen. Vampires Laurissa cared for seemed to foolishly stay near her. She could not control their actions. She could control her own. She must leave. Now! Her heart hammered in her chest. Her anxiety gripped her mind.
Laurissa fought to control it. She paced the road until Lord Dunkan stepped out of the manor. As he approached the village. Laurissa went further north. Lord Dunkan stopped moving, and Laurissa opened her tendril, then sat in the snow. She refused to go back. She could no longer stand the sight of the manor or Madwell. It sickened her to her core. A small village called Norstomn is run by Emerick. Several mothers are there without their men. She felt she needed to go there and correct the situation. Laurissa’s tendril loosened as Lord Dunkan approached Madwell once again. Laurissa stood up and walked until she could go no further.
“Where are you going, my Queen?” Lord Dunkan projected.
“I wish to go north.”
“Do you have a message for Emerick?”
“No, my Lord.”
“Return to me.”
“I do not wish to.”
Laurissa looked around and found a shack. It has a small fenced-in area attached to it. Vermin and evidence of homeless humans filled the tiny room. Debris of every kind littered the floor. A small fireplace long cold stood in the center of the room. Something told her she knew this place, but it seemed like a distant memory long forgotten.
Dunkan will never allow her to leave. She can keep her tendril stretched for eternity, and he will still follow. She wondered how far his patients would go before he used the sword’s magic against her.
It did not matter. The humans of Norstomn needed her help. She can almost hear their pleas. The tendril loosened. Lord Dunkan began approaching Laurissa. She must relax her mind and think.
Laurissa sat at the entrance of the shack and connected to the earth. The vein of power pulsed a bright light and ran in several directions. She immediately felt relief and calmness in her mind. Laurissa called the vein to her. It pulsed then began flowing quicker. The depth began to rise, and vapor flew from it like fog.
The fog came to Laurissa. She allowed it in and felt it flow through her veins. The joy she felt brought tears to her eyes. She felt life flow through her. It is strong and beautiful. She wanted to remain with it. She could feel its power give her energy. This is the raw source. This is truly what the vampire feeds on when they drink human blood. She stayed connected to the vein studying it and feeling its power committing it to memory. Laurissa felt more alive and refreshed than she had in days. Her anxiety quieted, and her will to end Lord Dunkan returned. It is time to go to work.
Laurissa slowly pulled away and released the earth’s veins. Laurissa woke to a new morning. The sky is a beautiful blue, and the sun felt warm on her skin. She is sitting in waist high snow.
It must have snowed last night.
“You have been sitting there for two days.” Lord Dunkan’s voice sounded behind her.
Laurissa looked up to see him standing over her. Frustration and fatigue could be seen behind those blue eyes. “Forgive me my, Lord. I felt I needed to rest.”
“Yes, I suppose you did. Boros informs me you slept for three days before coming here. Perhaps it is time to stop this foolishness and return home with me.”
Lord Dunkan had been trapped away from the house and forced to stay with the humans while Laurissa stayed seated near the shack. He dared not touch her. The last time he tried to wake her, she became possessed and electrocuted him.
“As you wish, my Lord.”
Laurissa said as she stood up. Her silk gown is again completely saturated.
Lord Dunkan’s features softened. “Come with me, my Queen, I will teach you the language of Sahara.”
“I would like that. Thank you.”
She had forgotten about the scroll and its secret about the queen vampire. It did not seem important at the moment. Now there is time to rest. Laurissa will not become complacent. She will continue to train to keep her tendril sharp and her reflex’s quick.
Laurissa could feel an overwhelming sense of pride and frustration from Lord Dunkan. There is also the light scent of fear. She wondered what it is he is afraid of. Lord Dunkan did not respond to her thoughts. He continued quietly through town and down the gravel path. Everything is covered in snow. His footsteps crunched under the snow with a rhythm, then changed once the gravel under the snow moved.
Lord Dunkan opened the front door and allowed Laurissa into the manor. A male Laurissa did not recognize sat in the sitting room near the fireplace. Astris, Delia, Chelsey, Keres, and their new charges were also in the room. The third generation has begun. She wondered if Edna and Vass were still looking for young vampires. She did not treat them very well when last she spoke to them. It is a regret she will have to live with until she can beg their forgiveness.
“Take a bath, my dear, and lay your clothing to dry. I will wait for you in my chambers.”
“Yes, my Lord.” Laurissa said and immediately went to the wash room.
Lord Dunkan felt delighted to have Laurissa’s presence in the manor again. She stunk of the humans, and her hair is matted from being unkempt. She still looked beautiful. She had been distant for over a week. He missed her terribly. He missed her constant wonderings and discoveries and her fire that burned so bright he knew he would be burned. Most of all, he missed her warm body at night. He thought about joining her and cleaning her as he did that first day when he brought the small child into the manor. He knew he would simply anger her more. She needed space to organize her thoughts. Her return meant his life is nearing its end. It did not concern him. He has enjoyed his time with Laurissa. He did not regret any of it. He will live for as long as she lived. Laurissa will never be able to forget him. That is his immortality and his legacy.
Lord Dunkan put the tiny scroll, which documented his stay in Sahara, on the desk and another a blank scroll with some ink and a quill, then he sat patiently waiting for Laurissa to come to him.
The warmth of the bath felt wonderful to Laurissa. She did not realize how cold her skin had become. She looked around the room and let her mind wander while her body relaxed and soaked up the warmth. The manor is beautifully built. The vampire who built it is dangerous, selfish, and evil to his core. How could one such as him create a beautiful structure? He likes his comforts, and he likes flaunting his power and wealth.
Once she was properly cleaned, Laurissa dressed in a white dress and went to Lord Dunkan’s chambers.
Her hand shook as she reached for the door. So many painful memories were made behind it. Laurissa calmed her heart and pushed the door opened. Lord Dunkan sat in his chair behind the desk. He had laid out paper and writing tools along with the Saharan scroll.
Lord Dunkan stood up and offered his chair. “Come here and sit, my dear.” He said happily. The cold dangerous voice Laurissa knew so well could not be detected. Laurissa obediently did as she was told. Lord Dunkan took the opportunity to breathe in her wildflower scent. A soft moan escaped him. “I have missed you terribly, my mate.”
“I will quench your thirst tonight, my Lord. May we begin?” She hated herself for enjoying his intimacy. She will not indulge them in such a fantasy for as long as she has control of it.
Lord Dunkan is surprised not to hear the venom in her voice. He knelt down beside her and turn her to look at him. The storm raged deep within. It has grown, and her mind is completely quiet, as if she found peace. No, she is still angry and still wishes to be free of him. Laurissa has gained control of her emotions. Lord Dunkan cupped her beautiful face and softly kissed her lips. He wanted to taste her honeysuckle blood. Unfortunately, his queen wishes to learn Saharan. He will gladly teach her and wait to sedate his need.
“This scroll is a terrible piece to learn from; however, it is a good beginning. It is a shaman’s findings of a female vampire he called a queen. The shaman said the queen was over three hundred years old and possessed the same traits you exhibit.”
The scroll had symbols, unlike the letters Laurissa was used to. These looked to be random lines that made shapes. Some shapes looked like a picture.
“The Saharan’s dialect is similar to Egyptian. They use pictures to tell a story. They also use an alphabet similar to ours; however, their words are limited.”
Lord Dunkan pointed to two ‘v’ shapes and a line that resembled a snake underneath. “This is the symbol for the vampire. The line reads top to bottom.”
“Then the end of this sentence is vampire.” Laurissa observed.
Lord Dunkan continued late into the night, teaching Laurissa how to pronounce each word and how the Saharans wrote their stores. Laurissa’s mind worked as it had always done and soaked up the knowledge. She showed eagerness to learn. It warmed Lord Dunkan’s heart. It reminded him of the young girl he taught to read. She cried in joy at learning to write her name. A beautiful bald young Laurissa looked up from her study, and paper stuck to her face. She had fallen asleep writing her name over and over again. A smile crept over Lord Dunkan’s lips as he remembers her little face with ink all over it. It is one of the few times her innocence tugged his heart. He knew then she was dangerous, and he chose to ignore it.
Laurissa is learning quickly and is able to recite the words sooner than she did as a human child. It will take days of study of the small scroll before Laurissa could fully decipher it. The Saharan language is much more vast. She cannot be fluent unless she visits the people and learn from them.
“It is time for bed.” Lord Dunkan said.
“I am not tired. Please, my Lord. Continue?”
“We have not eaten, and now you wish to stay awake? Is this what you have been doing?”
“Tonight, you rest your mind and body. If you continue this way. You will do more harm than good. You naturally slept for a week to rest from the abuse you have inflicted on your body.” He said as he began tiding the desk.
Laurissa knows this is true. She had felt the madness set in before she slept. It is the only way she can grow. She has to push herself, or she will die in her quest. She has to fully commit to her task. She should be training now.
Laurissa looked at Lord Dunkan’s bed then agreed to retire. She undressed and laid on the soft bed. Lord Dunkan’s lemon scent is strong. It made her feel sick to her stomach. The comfort of the bed hugged her, and she fell asleep before Dunkan crawled into bed with her.