Darkness Finds the Heart

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Chapter 23

Khryssa sat in a large wooden rocking chair. Her fingers stroked through her infant son’s hair while he nursed. Looking out the window to the sun bursting over the horizon on a beautiful early spring day, she was lulled by the rhythm of the rocking and the soft suckling of her son. Familiar footsteps were the cause for her to open her eyes again and look up to see Xavier standing in the doorway.

“You look beautiful Khryssa. You are an angel in waiting.” He closed the distance between the two of them with quick steps.

She smiled. “Just coming in my Prince?”

He nodded and kissed her, then bending lower to kiss his tiny son’s fuzzy head. “Yes, it was a long night.” Xavier looked weary. Even more so than that, something was wrong.

Khryssa reached up to capture her husband’s hand. “Xavier, something is going on and has been going on for a long while now. What is it?”

He shook his head. “It is nothing that you need to worry about Khryssa.” He gave his wife another kiss and turned to leave. “I need to rest.”



“Don’t hide from me.”

“I’m not.” Came the terse reply and he walked out of the room.

Khryssa frowned. With a shake of her head, she knew that something was terribly wrong. She just did not know what. Xavier had been acting off for a couple of weeks now. Could it be the strain of being a new father? Could it be that they did not have every moment to devote to each other now that Andon was born? She frowned once more. He looked ill. It was as if Xavier had not been eating. She had seen him like that once before, but this seemed different. With a sigh she decided she would give Dr. Vlaicu a call later in the evening.

Andon started to squirm. She took care of him first and foremost. Very soon he was ready to go back down. Kissing her son one more time, she tucked him into his crib. Watching him sleep for a few minutes, a loving smile on her lips, stroking his back she turned and left the room.

Their bedroom was dark. The curtains tightly drawn and the only sliver of light came from the doorway where she stood. Khryssa entered slowly and quietly. She saw Xavier shift on the bed, so she stopped. She was pretty sure he could sense her, even while sleeping. The long cotton night dress she wore was slipped off and dropped to the floor. Crawling up from the foot of the bed Khryssa nestled against her husband’s back. She slid an arm around his waist, just holding him while he slept. It took a couple of hours, but she finally dozed off with him. Andon would be fine with the nanny was the last thing she thought about before drifting off.

Xavier woke with a start. He had slept deeply, but his dreams had been horror stories written in his family’s blood. Shaking his wife awake, he yelled at her. “WHERE IS THE BABY!?”

“Xavier he is in his crib with Emma watching over him.” Her tone was mild, but there was a hint of fear behind the words, she could taste it. Such behavior was unlike the Xavier she knew.

Grabbing Khryssa by her forearms he squeezed down hard. She gasped in pain and looked to her husband with wild eyes. “Why did you leave our son alone? Why?” He started shaking her again, even more violently this time.


He looked at her, his blue eyes seemed haunted. There was no sign of the man that Khryssa knew Xavier to be. Finally, he released his grasp on her arms. He turned, still nude, and ran down the hallway and into their son’s room. Khryssa took off after him. She was terrified of what he might do to their child. Andon’s nanny, Emma, was holding the baby and feeding him a bottle of breast milk that Khryssa had prepared earlier.

“Emma, take the baby and go to another part of the house, NOW!” Khryssa cried out. Upon seeing her employers both in a state of undress, Emma didn’t bother to even ask why.

Xavier turned on his wife with fury. “What have you done?” His voice was low and deadly. Khryssa was not even sure that he knew who she was.

“Xavier what is wrong with you?”

He looked up, his eyes were cast yellow. When he smiled a terrifying smile, the fangs were apparent. Khryssa felt her blood run cold. She picked up one of the smaller chairs and threw it at him with all hopes of distracting him. She started to run. Xavier leaped and brought them both to the ground. He flipped Khryssa over to face him. She fought hard. The terror that raced through her made Khryssa fight that much harder. Several times drawing blood with her fists and nails, he did not seem to even notice. It wasn’t until she realized that he was aroused did she start to believe that he would kill her.

The feral creature that was once her loving husband drove downwards, taking what he wanted. Xavier forced himself on his wife. Penetrating her violently, his head pressed downwards to her breast. A fang caught the edge of a nipple. The small bud was slit opened and blood poured from the wound. Xavier began to suckle upon the bleeding teat. The mixture of blood and breast milk drove him deeper into his madness.

With the force of the attack, Khryssa felt herself tear. It had not been that long since she had given birth and her doctor had not cleared her yet for sexual activity. The pain collided with the fear. She fought him even harder. It wasn’t until he started to bite at her flesh did she realize that the pain she was causing him spurred his desires even more.

Xavier’s madness was increasing. He was speaking in a language long since dead and Khryssa did not know what he was saying. His nails raked down her flesh, cutting it opened and even more blood flowed. He was using her blood as his lubrication. Forcing himself into the tight channel, Xavier’s shaft became a weapon.

Trying to kick out from underneath him, Khryssa gave a strangled cry. His hands drew down her body. He claimed her flesh with terror and lust. Ravaging her body, he moved quicker. Driving into her until she screamed in pain, he growled with bared teeth at Khryssa. It was the scent of her blood that spilled to the carpet below that was the beginning of the end. Nearing the end point while still driving into her, his fangs sunk into her throat and he began to feed. Khryssa was reeling from the blood loss and pain when his body finally shuddered and stopped the massacre of her flesh. While Xavier lapped almost gently at the marks he had left, he began to slide from the madness. It was then that he started to become aware of who he was once again. He knew the taste of this blood and the scent of this skin all too well. Whatever it was that had driven him into madness, was leeched out with the ingesting of Khryssa’s blood.

Xavier looked down and saw the body of his wife beneath him. Scrambling back and letting her go, he looked on with horror. His eyes scanned the room. It was his son’s room. Searching, he looked for Andon. What did he do? Taking Khryssa into his arms, he carried her back into their bedroom. Blood spilled from her wounds with each step and finally onto the ivory sheets of their bed.

“Khryssa, oh my Khryssa, what have I done to you?” His voice was rough. She was unconscious and not responding. Trying to wake her up, getting warm cloths and bathing the blood away. He noticed that she was injured. What had he done to her? There was only one thing left to do, and that was to summon Gavril Vlaicu. This was not a call from the phone but a sheer force of wills, telepathically.

Vlaicu came immediately. Something that was very unusual for him. After arriving at the Harcard home, he came upstairs into the bedroom of his patient. Even Vlaicu was surprised by the attack that Khryssa had endured at the hands of Dracula. She had not just been bitten, but Dracula had shredded her flesh in places. Seeping wounds covered her and it was very obvious that she had been raped.

He took his time with Khryssa Harcard. Checking every detail twice and then making sure she had a sampling of Xavier’s blood so that she would heal quickly. He did not wish to share his own blood with another vampire’s wife, especially a vampire such as Dracula.

She was lucky. While he did quite a bit of damage, Xavier had not taken nor spilled so much blood that she would be in grave danger. Taking care of her took time. He did it with the absolute best possible care that he could. It wasn’t for Dracula’s sake that Dr. Gavril Vlaicu did this. He had a deep affection for Khryssa Harcard. She was so unusual and with such intelligence, Gavril could speak with her on virtually any subject. Her kindness was absolute and when she smiled it lit the world on fire. He had never met another human such as this one. Vlaicu sent Xavier away. Khryssa would awaken in a panic, of that he was for certain. After getting his patient into a better state and making sure she would rest for a few hours, Vlaicu went in search of Dracula.

He found Xavier in a chair rocking his infant son. Xavier looked lost. The nanny had been mesmerized and did not remember anything of the incident. Turning the child back over to Emma, he told her to take the child into town and over to Henrik Helsing’s home. He would call Helsing and explain, something, later. Xavier turned to Dr. Vlaicu.

“How is she?” His voice was rough with misery.

“Well physically she will heal just fine Dracula. I am not confident on what her emotional state will be. Now what the hell happened?”

“I do not know. I have been feeling strange for a while now. There has been too much going on. I returned right as dawn was breaking through the sky. I am not sure why.” He could not remember what he had been doing exactly. “When I came home and found Khryssa nursing Andon, I knew I needed to get away from them both. I kissed her good night and went to rest. After that, I have no idea. The next thing I know is-“He looked away, not sure what to say. “I was killing my wife.”

Vlaicu nodded. He had a suspicion. “I need a sample of your blood and then I will be back shortly.”

Xavier sat down in the room that Khryssa rarely entered without him. It was his sitting room. The cavernous stone room was damp. A roaring fire year round had to be maintained. He practically slumped in the wingback chair, he was disheveled. Dressed in nothing but a pair of slacks, Xavier stared at the flames for a long while. This was the room in which he proposed to his wife. This was the room in which he went down on one knee and asked Khryssa to marry him. This was the room that she said yes in. Those thoughts consumed him. A crackle in the air made him look up. He knew that Vlaicu had returned.

“You were poisoned Dracula.”


“It is rare, extremely rare, but very much within the realm of possibility.”

“How can this be?” Xavier’s voice boomed across the great room.

“It would have had to have been someone that knew you well. It was more than likely another vampire. The poison needs three ingredients: your blood, the blood of the poisoner, and the chemical combination of the right ingredients to work.” He paused. “If two of the properties are vampire blood, the cocktail becomes stronger. You ingested what amounts to be LSD and silver.”

A fleeting expression crossed Xavier’s face. A memory emerged, but it flashed too quickly to grab onto anything but the smallest of details. Hatred and anger blossomed over his handsome features.

“What is it Dracula?”


“We need to check on Khryssa. You can worry about him later.”

“I need to inform Helsing, so that my child will be safe.” Xavier walked and talked. He did not go into details. He let Henrik Helsing know that there had been an attempt made on their lives and Andon was taken over there to be kept safe. It was the truth of course, Xavier just left out what had happened to Khryssa.

Vlaicu went into the bedroom first, Xavier lingered at the door. He did not wish to frighten his wife. The pain of not being able to be near her caused a physical ache within the vampire. She was slowly coming around from whatever Dr. Vlaicu had drugged her with.

“Khryssa, you need to wake up now.” The vampire doctor tapped a finger against Khryssa’s cheek.

“Hm?” She tried to sit up, but she was still too drugged to do it well. “Gavril ? What are you doing here? “ Grimacing in pain with the movement, that hurt she thought.

“What do you remember Khryssa?”

“Remember? What are you talking about?” Wincing a bit, she felt sore from head to toe. Turning over, to look at the vampire doctor, she spotted Xavier standing in the doorway. The sight of him caused a prickle of memories to come flooding back. Or were they nightmares?

Hatred poured from her eyes. A shaking hand reached downwards. It skirted across her thighs. She felt the bites, the bruises and the pain. Brushing across her sex, the drying blood and more pain made her wince. Khryssa’s hand rose back up, shaking even harder, fingers gently probed her throat. She found the bruising and the bite marks there. Tears fell silently and she said nothing. She simply stared at her husband with hurt and malice. Her hand moved one more time. She grabbed the lamp on the nightstand next to the bed and threw it with all her might at her husband’s head. If it was not for the fact that he was quicker than a human, it would have smashed against his skull. Instead, he moved out of the way.

“Dracula, leave.” Xavier tried to argue with Dr. Vlaicu but to no avail. “Get out Dracula. Now.”

It was not in his nature to take orders from someone he considered a subordinate. The look on Khryssa’s face that bespoke of anger, terror and fear, pushed him to leave. If he could wipe the vision of Khryssa looking at him like that, he would. Instead, he knew that the memory would stay with him until he was but dust.

The bedroom was silent for a long while. Then Vlaicu began to speak. Khryssa was quickly reassured that her son was unharmed and was with Henrik. He told Khryssa of what had happened, both to her and to Xavier. Xavier had been drugged and poisoned. It had been going on for weeks most likely. Her blood, with its own properties, was able to remove the toxins and return him to his normal state of being. Khryssa sobbed quietly. She did not know what to do or think.

“What do you think Gavril ?” She asked through her tears.

“I think Dracula will be more careful in the future.”

“What is the likelihood of this happening again?”

“It would be unusual. Xavier now has immunity to the poison. There are very few that work on vampires.”

She nodded. Still unsure about her safety and Andon’s safety, she thought about going somewhere. Perhaps back to London might be a good idea for the time being?

“Thank you Gavril . I hope you know how much I appreciate this.” She leaned over, surprising the vampire, and kissed his cheek.

Vlaicu looked flustered. He touched his cheek where the woman just kissed him. It was warm there still. He smiled indulgently at Khryssa Harcard. “You will get my bill soon enough, and I don’t take HMOs.”

She knew that he would be well compensated.

“Is there anything I need to do for Xavier?”

Vlaicu eyed her with mild shock. She was thinking about Harcard before herself, he had to smile over that. Giving her hand a pat, he spoke quietly. “You will recover physically in a few days. After that let him feed from you as often as you can. He will be healthier in all ways. And Khryssa?”


“Never forget the love you two have. Ever. I have known Dracula for centuries. He has never loved like this before and he never will again. What happened was not his fault. There was nothing he could do to help himself. The only reason he was able to stop was because of you. He loves you more than he loves himself.”

Khryssa stared at the vampire.

“Dracula has always been a self-serving bastard. From what I know, he was that way even as a mortal. Since he met you, he found his true self with his love for you. That has magnified many times over now that you made him a father. Take care of him and yourself Khryssa.”

After going over a few things she needed to be aware of while she was healing, Dr. Gavril Vlaicu rose from his patient’s bedside and vanished.

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