The Imperial's Demise

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Chapter Two

It takes everything within Dominic not to stab the humans. Rip their heads right off. Slash pretty red lines across their white fencing uniforms. He would revel at the bathe of red that would spray him. Spurt right all over his face. Soak his white uniform into red.

Collecting his cool, he folds the thoughts to the back of his mind, remembering why he chose human servants as his fencing opponents in the first place. Not to torture them, but to test the waters of his true opponent, the sad excuse of a human queen. Not that he wouldn’t mind watching the humans cry sweet lullabies of their agony as he sucks them dry. But he had other plans stocked for their laughable excuse of retribution, as they would call it.

He chuckles as he pulls his fencing mask back over his face, standing engarde as his new opponent readies himself across him.

Light fights to bloom its way into the oppressive room of concrete, where everything is stifling, bulk, and well, concrete. Even the fourteen meters long strip both Dominic and the opponent stand on is made of nothing but bland grey concrete. Except, Dominic had the piste be raised higher off the floor. Deadly higher, where one stumble off the edge could cause an instantaneous snap of the neck. An instant demise, Dominic would like to call it, as he would enjoy listening to the crunch of his opponents’ necks as they met their fate.

Little amount of light stifles against the oppressive murk of the room, which hinders Dominic’s human opponents even more. Apart from their inability to match him in speed and action, they have to fight against their meek sense of visual perception. But oh well, Dominic can not bother for another reason why his race remains superior.

Pulling his head back into the game, Dominic eyes his opponent and his body language. It takes him a second to step back, parry his opponent’s strike, before knocking the weapon out of his hand altogether. In the instant of regret given to the opponent to register, Dominic lunges and thrusts the tip of his weapon into the torso of the other fencer. In a typical game Dominic plays against other vampires, the weapons wouldn’t be real swords. Neither would his opponents lack the ability to recover and mend themselves again.

Dominic steps back from his opponent, turns around, and walks back to his part of the piste.

“Again.”

Languidly, he drops into his engarde position, eyeing his opponent for a second time. As the opponent limply clutches at his wound, Dominic taps the tip of his weapon against the concrete piste. “Any time now, human.”

The bleeding opponent seethes, hissing under his breath as he stands engarde. Dominic wipes the emotion off his face, waiting two beats as the start of the second round. In a flash, Dominic lunges at his opponent, thrusting and lunging and advancing tirelessly. His opponent falters, forgetting about his gushing wound as he struggles to parry Dominic’s attacks, attacks that could very much cause further damages than the one spurting more than half of his body’s fluids. In a frenzied flurry, Dominic’s sword flexes and flutters at the speed his attacks are taking. He gives his opponent no time to parry or to riposte as he’s ambushed to the far edge of the piste. Dominic pants, not from effort, but from the thrill. He rips his mask off as well as his opponent’s, wanting to glimpse the terror in his opponent’s eyes as. He leans in, breathing in. Dominic holds his eyes closed for a second, still keeping his weapon tipped against his opponent’s heart. He basks in the waves of terror seeping off his opponent’s body: the whimpers of his struggle to breathe against his wound, the sound of blood gushing out of his split open flesh, the aggressive shake of his paling lips, and the delicious smell of beads of sweat sliding down his face.

Dominic slides his free hand around the human’s back, pressing him closer to him and further into the weapon. The sword’s tip pierces skin, and the opponent stifles a loud cry. Dominic leans further in, sliding his lips past the human’s face to his ears, whispering his commands. “Cry for my mercy, dear.” The whimpering of the opponent breaks loose, ringing louder as it tumbles off the concrete walls of the suffocating room. Dominic presses further, “Beg for it, human.”

The human cries, feeling the sword cut deeper into his flesh. His breath hitches audibly, and the feel of the human’s beating heart against the weapon’s tip sends Dominic reeling back with pleasure. Unable to string two words together, the human strains against the blur of his senses and mania. Dominic gazes at the paling sight before him, deciding his human toy was no fun anymore. In one swift motion, the blade goes through the opponent’s heart, piercing its way to the other side of his body, before his body tumbles down the piste. He smiles when he hears his favorite crunch of body against gravel.

Dominic walks back to his part of the piste, his golden honey hair darkened by the drench of sticky, hot, red blood that spluttered from the body. Not bothering to wear his mask back on, he licks his blood tainted lips before calling out for his next victim.


Dominic couldn’t erase the sounds of flesh slicing open, and the whimpering cries, as he strolled to his quarters, back from his fencing session. He flexes his back muscles, rolling his shoulders for the ease of his muscles, when his raven fluttered to his side.

“Back from the manslaughter, already?”

Dominic smirks, shutting the doors of his quarters behind him before unbuttoning his tainted uniform.

“It isn’t my fault my opponents can not hold their own against me.”

Raphael snickers, morphing back to his human form as he sprawls himself over the ottoman before the bed. “Because you just had no choice but to pick the humans. Nothing to do with your grave distaste for them.”

Dominic rolls his eyes, turning his back to his familiar before shrugging his fencing attire off, the garments dropping to a heap by his feet on the floor. The familiar watches, unbothered, as his master shuts him out and steps into the quarter’s grand washroom.

“So you won’t tell me what your conniving mind is up to?” Raphael shouts from the other side of the washroom’s double doors. Unheeding to Raphael’s probing curiosity, Dominic opens up the steaming faucets, letting the water run while he takes a good look at himself in the mirror.

Dirty red paints a tint over his lips. His hair is sticky and matted with the remnants of dried blood from his various fencing dolls. His eyelids are smeared with droplets of dark blood, and the sight of him dirtied with human blood in the mirror doesn’t spike back the memory of the thrill he was reeling back with in the fencing hall.

The steam of the running water hisses as it hits the shower stall’s floor. That’s when Dominic decides it’s the right amount of searing, letting open the showering stalls door, and letting the steam hit him in the face. He breathes it in, savoring every brush of heat meeting his skin as he steps into the shower. Once under the shower head, he gasps as the heat slams into him, the steam of the closed shower stall suffocating him.

But he likes it this way. He likes the feeling of scorching water flowing down his back, drizzling down his nape and hopefully meeting every inch of him that has been unmet with a scorching hot shower for the past decades. He remembers the living circumstances he was in, locked for a century behind cold concrete walls as gloomy and murky as his fencing hall. No light, some water, expired blood for food. The closest thing he had to a shower or running water was a bucket of ice cold water propped in a corner, where he had to prioritize the uses of his facilities every week.

He chuckles dryly, musing at how threatened they must have felt to leave him to succumb for centuries in the shithole they left him in. But their planned centuries were cut short to one when they figured they couldn’t shut the gates of hell that broke loose at them.

He still couldn’t believe it. After all the trouble they went through to lock him away, they badgered to not only release him, but also seek his aid in obliterating a human leader. A human. Just a meek human is the reason he should be grateful he now has a chance for vengeance.

Dominic braces his arms against the wall opposite him and lets his head hang down. He breathes in the steam, letting it clear his airways. He struggles to keep his thoughts at bay, wiping everything away as the blistering water washes all the blood, sins, and bearings away.

Except for his markings. Those will always stay with him, running down the length of his spine and branching out in tendrils around his torso to his ribs. They are markings that were once beloved by his female lovers and admired by his fellow imperials. They are markings that once resembled enigmatic power, only to end up being the sole reason he was banished and sent away beneath the earth.

He shakes the memory of his markings' interpretation away, wiping his face as if rubbing the memory out of his brain. He brushes his hair back, hanging his head back to let the water run over his face and sear the memories away. This is his redemption and the one time to flip everything over. He will not be wasting it by mulling over the wrongs done against him.

Stepping out of the shower stall, Dominic wraps a towel around his waist and heads out of his quarter’s washroom. Met back with his master, the familiar turns his head and continues to languidly lie on the ottoman while keeping his master in his line of sight. He’s digging into him, trying to grasp any signs of the workings of a plan simmering inside his master’s head. He would die for just the simplest of threads, clues, hints—anything at all. Why the humans?

“Why?”

Dominic stops his tracks at the full length mirror, looking back at his familiar through the mirror with an arched eyebrow.

“Why what?”

Raphael sits up, adrenaline rushing through him as he senses his arrival upon a master revelation.

“Why humans? Why the massacre? That has never been a part of your fencing sessions.”

Dominic pulls his silk trousers from the rich dark wardrobe. “Well, a new page in life means for a switch up in patterns, don’t you think?” He smirks when the evident excitement rushes out of his familiar’s face.

“Well, dear Rapha, how do you think we should greet the human leader? Serve her our best first impression?” Now does the raven-turned boy sit straight from his reclining position.

“You mean to say—“

“Well yes of course I need to be gracious, greeting her with a gift and all. What would that say about me if I didn’t?”

“So the human servants of the palace? A massacre? All a warm let’s get to know each other welcome?”

Dominic turns to smirk over his shoulder, locking eyes with his familiar. “We wouldn’t want my reputation be tarnished now, would we?”

“I can see it wins us points in fury, but why anger her before having any knowledge of her reactions?”

“You have said it yourself, dear Rapha. How do we know the extent of her reaction? Will she lash back? Or will she see right through me?” Dominic flashes his pearl white teeth in a sinister smile, the brightness of them against the dimness both he and his familiar stand in contrasting with a strike. Raphael finds himself reveling at the sheer blessing he’s in, to have been lucky enough to serve the brightest of them all.

“So we’re testing the waters out before she can have her guards up.”

“Who said I should wait for our official introduction to conduct my first move?”

Satisfied with being brought into the light with his master, Raphael reclines back, watching Dominic with fascination. “How do you know she’ll know about this in the first place?”

Dominic stands before his mirror for a second, silent, mulling over the bareness of his chest, the silk pants wrapping around his waist and legs, his honey locks pushed back with the dim moonlight softening their color. Clean-cut, shaved, showered, and standing in silks that a century ago, he was stripped of.

His time to strike back will be close. Soon enough. Just after being rid of the human hassle first.

“Well, if she’s as bright and cunning as they claim her to be, she’d have spies of her own running all over the place. That would be my first move within enemy lines.”

Raphael snickers, every puzzle piece clicking together. “How do you hope she reacts, then?”

“I’m hoping she sees right through me. I would favor me a challenge this time, just for the sake of spicing up my welcome back.”

“Ending her would be the proper gift. No one in the council will be able to hold their head high over you.”

“There won’t be any heads to be held high after I’m done with her.”

Raphael’s smile sharpens, mirroring the ruthless color of Dominic’s smile. An abrupt knock on the double doors has them both distracted from their scheming rush.

“Were we expecting someone?” The raven spasms, shrinking and morphing back to his bird form as Dominic makes his way toward the door. He has the slightest of clues as to who stands behind it, which was all expected. But he was not feeling like entertaining a traitor of a female on his second day of return.

He opens the doors to the sight of the ninth imperial, all dark thick waves of luscious hair falling all around her hourglass figure. Anastasia was always such a sight to sore eyes, but at the moment, he did not care for a treat to his eyes.

“I didn’t know I was expecting someone.” He arches a perfect brow, looking her and the bottle of vintage wine she holds in her hands over.

She stumbles over any words that were intended to come out of her mouth, looking him over in all the silk, glory, and beauty he stands in. “I most certainly did not expect this for a greeting.” She eyes his shirtless chest, before bringing her eyes to his. “Can't say I mind it.”

He rolls his eyes, unimpressed. “To what do I owe the intrusion?” Unbothered, Anastasia brushes off his jab, accustomed to his pompous tones. Instead, she beams, lips splitting into a smile as she raises the bottle of wine and glasses to his face. “For starters, we haven’t celebrated your return yet! A tiny bit retarded, I must admit, but no harm is done if it’s the second night.”

She flashes him her winning smile, batting her lashes innocently as she steps closer, attempting to force her entry into his good graces. To her dismay, he simply blinks and steps back for his space, moving to shut the door. “That’s all right. Your parting gift sure covered more than enough.” Suddenly, her foot jams into the doorway, stopping the door short of closed. Dominic looks from her foot to her eyes, ones turning darker than the shade of coal they already are.

“I’m not taking no for an answer, Dominic.”

“Well, good hopes in nursing a rammed foot.” He says before swinging to slam the door. In a second, she’s stepped into his personal space, pushed through the door and her way into the spacious dim room.

Dominic mildly shakes his head as he turns around and shuts the door behind him. “I am in no mood for company, Anastasia.”

She groans, throwing her head back. “Heavens I missed my name from your mouth.”

Dominic arches an eyebrow, amusement risking a tiny smile out of his lips. That, he wasn’t expecting. Their foreplay was never usually so forthcoming so soon.

“Tell me, would you not at least taste the wine? It is of the finest decadents I’ve saved over the years.” She turns to him, two glasses in her hands as she approaches him. He stands in front of her, still bare, eyes cold and hands unresponsive to her welcoming reach for a glass of wine. Disregarding her, he turns to his wardrobe, pulls out a dark matching silk shirt, and moves to his full mirror to button it on. She watches from behind him in silence, drinking him in as every motion of his is folded into a memory lane at the back of her mind. It should seem she has been the one locked away, and not the other way around. She puts the glasses of wine away.

“Dominic.” She calls, stepping toward his back. When there’s no answer, she steps closer, calling louder. “Dominicus.”

“Lord.” She tries again; this time, he looks up. They lock eyes through the mirror as she stands behind him. They keep the eye contact for a beat too long, the quiet in the room deafening except for the rustle of the winds against the curtains. “What are you really doing here?”

She steps closer, and the glare of his eyes stops her in her tracks. She has reached the limit she can get away with. “I need you to understand, Dom.” He chuckles humorouslessly, the nickname ridiculous in their current context.

“You can really save it, Imperial. Do not underrate my intelligence any further.” At his words, she flinches, feeling a distance like never before flush out between them. Indeed he was never entirely close to her before, but this remark right here—he’s never been any more distant.

“Dominic, you know better than to think of me like that. After so many years, our history, our companionship—you know I would never sell you out, pointedly like that.”

His hands stop short of the first to last button, his eyes pulling up shortly to hers through the mirror. Having enough of treading lightly, he lets his shirt go, rearing around to face her head on. “You really think I’m an imbecile like that? No, Anastasia. You just change allegiances whenever it suits your taste, just as how you pick your daily attire.”

She gawks, the cool intent inside her to appease him momentarily fluttering out of the window. “No I did not switch my allegiance from you. I was outnumbered, Dominic! What would you have wanted me to do!”

He leans in, talking closer, in her face. “Nothing, Anastasia. Just not come here when you expected me locked, to never return. Humorous, how you orchestrate a so-called welcome when you made sure I should not be getting out in the first place.”

“I was outnumbered, Dominicus. Either way, you would have been sent away. You mean to tell me that, in my place, you wouldn’t have sent me away under the pressure there was?”

Dominic smiles cruelly, disappointed she had to ask that question. “You know, more than anyone, that I hold allegiance to no one but myself. And I would have most certainly not come, asking for your good graces. I would simply maintain a cordial distance and forgot you exist.”

“Fine then. Scorn me, send me away.”

Pursing her lips, the beautiful imperial fists her hands into frustrated balls, her chances to gain him back on her side threatening to crumble before her eyes. If explaining herself with rationality was not getting her anywhere, she knows him well enough to know where he would break weak.

She steps closer to his back, hands stopping at the base of his spine. She senses the cease of motion of his hands over his buttons, and she bites her lips, looking up to his reflection from under her lashes. “Tell me then, who, witless more than I, would ever be willing to sidle up to you as an ally?” She pauses, lets her words sink neatly into him, gauging his reaction through the mirror. He’s stopped moving altogether, keeping his eyes and focus trained right onto her.

Perilously, she risks her hands higher up his spine, dragging her palms across the silk to feel the tighten of every back muscle of his. She lowers her voice down a notch. “I know you won’t let any of us get away with it.”

“Even better—,” she continues, dragging her palms further up, over to his shoulders, massaging and feeling the broadness of them under her touch. “Maybe I was hoping for your leering at me. Because you see, Dominicus—I, more than anyone else..”, keeping a hand over his shoulder, she walks over to face him, stepping now between him and his reflection in the mirror—“was waiting for your punishment.” His breath turns faint, eyes falling to hers as she brings her hands around to his collar, sliding them slowly down his chest. She stands on her toes, meeting the dark swirl brimming in his hazel eyes. “You can’t unleash a war, Dominic, on a battle ground you’ve been absent from for decades.” His jaw flexes, as he struggles to keep eye contact with her. “And I happen to know of a certain imperial that is underestimated for her sharpness of wit. She may be essential to you. None other than her is mad enough to offer her help to you, when your distrust in her offers no immunity from your plans.”

Now, she lets her hands do all the talking. She starts with his first button, letting it softly loose, toying with his buttons until they’re all loose. She sidles up closer to him, until her toying hands are the only things staying in between their warm bodies. “Let me be by your side, Dominic.” At that, she looks up from his silk shirt to his eyes, softening her voice until it’s short above a whisper. He keeps his eyes trained on her, a shallow breath overtaking him as he regains sense of how it is to be touched again, in the echo of going a century without touch of a feather against his skin.

“Let me redeem myself to you.” She whispers, letting the flop of his silk shirt down to the floor be the only sound filling up their space. She bites down on her lips, presses herself against his body, her hands flush up against his bare chest, as she leans in.

“Tell me I’m redeemable, Dominic.”

Dominic closes his eyes, breathing deeply to regain his senses against the pressure of desire welling inside of him. He opens them again.

“And what makes you think I can’t force the hand of any of these buffoons if I shall ever need an ally?”

“You can, but you can never trust them.”

Dominic frowns in disbelief, the laughable logic in her phrase sobering him up from her effect on him. “Because you’ve proven so far how trustworthy you are?”

Her features strike with a lethal smile. “Because as you’ve implied before, I like to be on the winning team.” Then, he’s feeling a gentle tug of hands across his torso, further sliding down his body.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Dominic frowns, looking down at the busy hands of Anastasia as she works her way toward the band of his pants. At his voice, Anastasia looks up, locking eyes with his as a smirk appears at his lips. “I’m just giving you a quick trip to memory lane.” She bites her lips cheekily, watching as the muscles in his jaw tense at the sensual work of her hands. He feels them slip beneath his trousers’ band and silk, touching and grazing the sensitive skin directly above his lengthening manhood. He fights a shudder, straining to keep a levelheaded gaze at her as she glows with triumph with every passing second.

She leans into him while her hands start to palm him, and his groan rakes through his body. He throws his head back, straining, and she snuggles up against him. “Do you feel that?” She palms him harder, an audible strain of breath shocked senseless out of him. She reaches on her tiptoes, pressing her breasts hard against him as she rubs him more. “I just want you to feel back at home, Dominic.” She whispers throatily, gloating at the sensation of him growing hard against her, the assurance of her ability to reel him back in digging into her brain. She can still win him back. She’s definitely winning him back.

“Don’t.” One rasp, but she continues teasing and rubbing harder. Dominic struggles, heaving and cursing the living days out of his biological instincts. The imperial who lives to be in control, is under the mercy of his traitor’s pleasuring. Sensing her lost lover was on the edge of his sanity, she pulls one of her hands up to his neck and places her lips there. The proximity allows her to catch the hitch in his throat, and she kisses him there, kissing and sucking before letting her tongue run all over his skin. Sucking until the veins under skin threaten to break, she lets her fangs out, and that’s when he breaks. Snapping out of it, he yanks a fistful of her dark hair as she hisses, pulling her up to his face.

Then it’s all a whirlwind of motion. He’s slamming into her, lips devouring and tasting, hands pulling her head back to suck on all her neck. His mouth is hot on her skin, gaped and devouring until there is no skin untouched. She keeps her hand working against his hard length, and it urges him on, their limbs stumbling against furniture as he backs them into a corner of the room. Her body slams into the wall, a shock releasing all the breath out of her. It’s all too much, too fast. His breath is hot against her, his hands are sliding all over her figure. Pulling her hand out of his pants, he pushes his hard length against her stomach, and a gasp flies out of her. “Is this what you want?” He whispers, harsh and rough against her ears. She lets out a loud moan, shaking and breathless. He nibbles on the shell of her ear before nibbling down on her earlobe. He sucks hard, sliding his hand all over her until it stops right over her breasts. He feels the tip of her nipples, rubbing until he feels them hardening against his touch, and it has him groaning and burying his face into her neck.

Frustrated, he yanks the shoulders of her dress down, almost ripping them off before tearing the bra’s straps away with his teeth. Realizing the old move in their playbook, Anastasia melts into the wall as the anticipation of what happens next knocks the wind out of her.

Then it happens.

He pulls her bra and the top of her dress down her chest. Then he slides his face from the skin on her shoulders to the slope of her breasts, massaging the right one with his calloused hands as he brushes his nose against her left breast. Goosebumps flesh out across her skin, her nipples tightening and producing a groan out of both of them. Then he takes the tightened nipple into his mouth and sucks hard.

“Dominic!” She cries out, back arching off the wall as her hands yank away at his hair, her knees threatening to collapse as he switches from rubbing her breasts and sucking them. “Please—Dominic, please!” She cries out more, chest heaving and a stronger aching breaking out between her legs. Desperate for relief, she takes one of his hands, guiding it down with her own to the ache between her legs. The action shocks them both into another reverie, like cold water splashing down against their warming bodies. He rubs her where she needs him, and the sensation is so dizzying, she starts whimpering. “Harder! Harder!”

She reaches down and tops his hand with hers, letting it cup the entire length of her core and rubbing his hand harder against her. The friction has her breaking out in cries, her other hand reaching above her head for any object to latch onto for support. Deciding to give her a taste of the torment of years he was prisoned in, he removes his mouth from her breasts and back on her lips, all the while slipping his fingers into the bands of her lace lingerie and continuing to feel her pulse releasing over his fingers. She cries and moans against his lips, hopping and sliding against the wall in urgency.

“Is this what you want to feel? My fingers inside you?” He grates out against her lips, between rough kisses. She moans and pants, giving her answer right on beat. “I was rather hoping it’s your hard gift inside me.” Then the next thing she's seeing are stars.

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