Let Dead Vampires Lie
Here’s an extra long chapter as thanks for your patience 😊
Have an amazing day 😊
I was spinning in my chair, feeling like I was still floating on air. In my head, my wolf was doing the salsa and someone was singing: “She feels the sparks!” repeatedly!
Or was that me?
I knew she was special, but to imagine that my wolf was already imprinted on her? Accepting her as his mate! My heart was beating out of my chest. Of course, I knew all about mates, but vampires had beloveds. Did my vampire side want her as his beloved?
Oh, goddess, I knew I did!
When her lips connected with mine, I was surprised when I felt the intensity of the sparks, releasing her all too soon. Both my beast coming to life and wanting nothing more than to devour her.
So I did…
Well, not devour her, but I did kiss her. I snuck my arms around her, holding her flushed against my tall build, as I bent down to kiss her. Goddess, her lips were perfect. Soft and sweet and molded perfectly with mine. Carefully, I brushed my tongue against hers, pleading for entrance. Entrance she gave…
I had to suppress a satisfied growl when I tasted her. She tasted divine! Not just the candyfloss she’d been eating, but HER taste was--- my blood boiled, wanting nothing more than to sink my fangs into her soft, velvet-like skin. To see, if her blood was as sweet and addicting as her lips. Because it was addicting.
And I’m her junkie…
I only let her go when I felt she needed air. But goddess, did it take everything in my and then some to part with her.
“Are you ok?” I’d asked, as she panted for air. And instantly the urge to make her pant even more and in a more sensual way arose in my, making it close to impossible to keep the blood from draining from my brain. She’d blushed and smiled.
And then--- she’d kissed me!
Her arms had wrapped around my neck and pulled me down. Her lips crashed onto mine, as she possessively claimed me. I groaned and my wolf yelped by her passiveness, almost amused at how she manhandled me. And goddess, if I didn’t stop this, she would leave this date drained dry…
I usually didn’t have control issues. Both my beasts were strong and dominating but had an eerie calm about them, that put most people off when they met us. Werewolves especially could sense the dominance in my wolf, yet when I didn’t do anything to exert control or become aggressive if they tried to push me, it put them off. Sure, I didn’t put up with shit, but I didn’t have an urge to mutilate them if they rubbed me the wrong way.
I just walked away…
Yet with Lexi, I had no control, no calmness, and my need to dominate her was non-existing. In fact, I wanted her to ride me into next week---
Which let me with an awkward boner in the middle of work…
I grinmassed and tried to concentrate. But my thoughts went back to Lexi like a moth to a flame. Her cheeks were flushed red when I pulled back.
“I’m sorry,” I’d muttered into her hair, hoping she didn’t take it the wrong way. “But if I don’t pull away now, we’re going to need a room.”
I don’t think she took offense to that--- I mean, I did get her to agree to a third date. And she initiated that conversation, so…
NO! I angrily scolded myself. I wasn’t going to overthink or analyze things with Lexi. It was actually one of the many reasons why I liked her so much. She was simple! Straightforward, spoke her mind and just pain and wonderfully understood me.
In all my awkward glory!
Which was also why my beasts’ were furious when we sensed someone watching us. And no, I couldn’t push it aside as some ‘probably just the wind’-excuse. When you’re part animal your instincts are as second nature to you as your eyesight or sense of smell. I knew that sometimes tabloids would snap a photo – usually around the time when they announced the top most eligible bachelors – but I had a strange feeling that this wasn’t it.
When you know, you know.
I followed Lexi home but went back to see if I’d been able to pick up a scent. But there was nothing. Which had me even more worried. Like I said: I KNEW someone had been watching us. And when I couldn’t pick up a scent I knew two things about the person: he/she had used some kind of chemical to disguise their scent and second: he/she knew what we were.
“I got that list of people with access to Shield,” Peter said, as he closed the door behind him and walked up to my desk. Yeah, very cliché name for a chemical that mask’s your scent. But that way, most people thought it was some sort of chemical bioweapon or a super-soldier serum that was being developed.
We didn’t confirm or deny that…
“Want to tell me what this is about?” he continued with a frown. I quickly glanced over the file. The list was a mile long! Not very surprising, since the stuff was widely used in several undercover missions by Sentinels (a supernatural police force of sorts) and Foreign Affairs (a supernatural MI6 so to speak). Not to mention that it was being massed produced at one of Sin City’s chemical plants right here in the city.
In short: way too many suspects!
“Downstair!” I said shortly, getting out of my chair and exited my upstairs-office. I needed to reduce the list, but for that, I needed to talk a bit more privately with Peter. I usually did that, in my other office…
“Anne! I have a meeting in 15 minutes, I need you to apology for me. I’ll be a little late,” I said to my secretary on my way out. She was human so she didn’t know what we were but nevertheless did her job to perfection. Once the doors closed, I swept my card over the console and a new set of numbers popped up.
I pressed the third level, beneath the surface…
Most vampires owned clubs and diners around town as this was our territory, or had regular jobs and lives outside of the clan. But the vampires clustered together in the Stone Pharmaceutical tower. This was their home! I might be living on the top level, but the underground complex was made for my clan. It had everything from a game-room to multiple flats and living quarters for anyone who wanted their own space – or start a family.
Not very surprisingly not a lot of “families” lived her. Vampires could get pregnant and have children – obviously! – but only for a short period of time right after mating. As to why, there were a lot of speculations, but nothing solid to go on. And as to why, there were so few families in Sin City--- well, when I asked Peter some years ago, he gave me a “seriously?!” look and I understood just all too well…
“Master!” someone exclaimed as soon as we exited the elevator. I snickered, as a small, redhead freckled-faced human girl, jumped over to us. Instantly Peter’s face lit up like a Christmas tree at the sight of his pet. Percilla – or Pat, because she’d shove our balls down our throats if we ever called her that! – was Peter’s pet but on most occasions his lover. And by the gleam in both their eyes, I’d say it was a mutual thing… Unfortunately, Pat was human…
“Oh, hi Master Stone,” she abruptly stopped, when she saw me – almost as if she hadn’t noticed me until now.
“Pat,” I acknowledged her with a smile, leading the way to my “underground” study; aka, the place I took care of most vampire related business. Peter and Pat followed, speaking in a low voice behind me. I, of course, could hear them, but what they said wasn’t for my ears to hear. But that still couldn’t stop the smile that spread across my lips, hearing them talk…
I swiped my card again against the two double doors and they instantly opened. Unlike what most people thought about vampires – or what other vampires thought about me – I liked modern things. So that’s what my study was like. A waterfall wall, colorful paintings and modest, but comfortable furniture. In the back was a floor to ceiling bookshelf filled to the rim with books, that was exclusively supernatural medicine books--- and yes, I was the bookworm that had read and placed them there.
I took my seat behind the black desk and Peter stood behind my desk with Pat standing closely behind him.
“Yesterday – on my date with Lexi – someone was watching us,” I told them, once the doors closed. The room was soundproof and what’s more, it was shielded from any listening devices. Call us supernatural paranoid, but most of the time, we had reasons to be…
“And he didn’t have a scent?” Peter confined – because what else would I want with a list of people with access to Shield?
“No,” I confirmed. “Usually I wouldn’t give a fuck, but…”
“But because of Lexi it’s too convenient,” Pat finished for me. Inwardly I smiled. I knew she and Peter talked, but that just confirmed the level of trust he had in her. Not that I minded. I liked the small human. She was very smart, bright, and insanely clever. She could pick up on the smallest things, things I bet even most vampires missed, making her a valuable asset to my clan.
“Exactly,” I said with a short huff. “If someone wants my alpha title, it’s not up for another year, IF my father chose me. And I already came of age in vampire years 3 years ago, but I’ve never made any attempt to claim the title, so this most likely isn’t about me personally.”
“The only most recent change in your life is Lexi,” Peter interjected, getting the picture.
“I’ve sent someone to watch her,” I nodded, imagining the world of trouble I’d be in, once she found out. Oh, I pray she didn’t! I then turned to my right-hand man – or should I say couple? “You think I’m being paranoid?”
They both glanced at each other – sharing a knowing look between them. I scowled. Goddess, exactly how much HAD they been talking about me and Lexi?!
“Usually I’d say, only people with a death-wish would dare to cross Levi Stone,” Peter replied, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Well,” he continued, somewhat uncomfortable with what he was about to say. “No disrespect to the big man, but vampires are immortal and---” He nervously glanced at Pat, who gave him an encouraging nod before he continued: “Well, werewolves are not. 20 plus years to wait for revenge isn’t much for us.” I frowned, instantly seeing his point. “And if someone wants to hurt Alpha Stone, the best way to do it is to hurt his mate…”
“Good luck with that!” I muttered mostly to myself and rolled my eyes, while Peter kept on talking.
“Or his kids!”
“And to hurt any werewolf you hurt their mates,” Pat continued pointing out the obvious. I nodded, feeling a knot of unease starting to form in my gut. This wasn’t good. This wasn’t good at all…
“But--- Lexi is human,” Peter suddenly interjected. I glanced at him, giving him the same ’seriously?!’ look he’d thought me. Confused he looked from me to Pat, who scowled a ’are you an idiot?!’ at him before he finally got the picture. “But still someone you care for. Actually, the first and only kind of someone you cared for, got it!” He awkwardly cleared his throat. “I’ll stop with the stupid questions now.”
“Thanks,” I smirked, happy to know, I wasn’t the only awkward one. I then sat up, making up my mind, as to what to do next: “Look into it, see if you can dig something up. Any old grudges from back then and enemies. Ask Uncle Mick and Luka for help.”
Instantly Peter nodded.
“And Alpha Stone?” Pat asked, looking worried.
“I’ll give him a call and tell him; especially if mom needs protection,” I replied--- although I could already guess at to how Mom was going to react to the news.
“Heh, she’s going to flip,” Peter grinned smugly. He adored my mom, while Dad scared him shitless. Not that I knew anybody who didn’t shit bricks when they met Alpha Levi Stone, but--- Peter made it especially interesting…
“You just like it when she tells dad off,” I grinned, picking up the phone.
“I’m not even going to deny that,” he smugly replied, leading Pat out of the study.
I talked to Dad, and he agreed that it was worth looking into. He always taught us to trust our instincts and he trusted that he taught us right. After that, we talked a bit back and forth about more casual things, before I had to go back upstairs to conclude the meeting, I had scheduled that afternoon.
I returned to my study, not really ready to put the case down. I tapped the computer for a couple of hours, but coming up empty-handed, I didn’t know what to do next. Currently, Sin City wasn’t as much of an interest as it had been when Dad took it down. Without a master, the clan was considered weak, but as long as it remained under Alpha Stone’s protection, no one dared touch it. Now that my Dad had gotten older and was supposed to let his heir take over – heirs, I might add, hadn’t shown the slightest interest in the title! – it was possible that someone might see it as easy prey.
But then a chilling thought struck me: what if the threat was something much older than that?
I rubbed my neck in my usual manner and almost indistinctly I reached out for the King’s diary:
Ballrooms and dances, castles, and mansions can’t compare to the comfort and safety that is being in your arms.
My love for you always will be undying.
I closed it. I was more and more curious about her. She seemed to genuinely love him. And he loved her. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
How the fuck could a monster like him love ANYONE?!
But nevertheless, it seemed to be true! And from the looks of things, he was invested in making a difference here. To – dare I say it?! – help his community. He’d founded this as a medical center over 300 years ago. It was a poor village with hygiene problems and diseases that usually plagued a low-pay community, but for all intent and purposes, he seemed to have turned things around. At least he had if I was reading the diary right.
And then--- he changed.
He turned into a monster – the kind of monster, that put serial killers and rapists to shame.
And all because he lost her!
“Could it be…?” I mumbled to myself, annoyed by all these clues hanging in the air, without any way to connect them into a whole. I knew some things about vampires and their beloved, but nothing more than Dad told me about them.
I pushed my chair back, determined that I needed some answers about this mysterious woman.
“Peter?” I called out entering his quarters without knocking. Luckily, he was doing some research with an always helpful Pat by his side. He looked surprised to see me, but I cut him off before he asked some of his annoying questions: “If I wanted to know something about the King, who should I talk to?”
“Riis,” he replied after a short pause. “He’s been with him forever. Why are you asking?”
“Curiosity,” I replied and left my second in command alone with his pet.
I found Riis in the lower levels – as in basically the basement. Riis was--- well, the kind of man that put ordinary creeps to shame. Like all vampires, he was good looking – especially for a turned vampire! – but he had that dead look in his eyes that just--- I couldn’t explain it. The way he’d look at you, made your skin crawl – like you were nothing more than a means to an end. Like it annoyed him, that he couldn’t pick you apart…
I didn’t trust him and both my beasts were alert around him. But he was one of the best technicians we had. As in the guy could make a working jet our of a bucket of bolts and Elmer’s glue. If it conducted electricity, he could make magic out of it. Which was also why he was down here, in our control room…
“Riis!” I called out, not seeing or sensing him, as I walked into the dark cellar. It was hot, because of all the computers and drives, but seriously?! I got that he was a vampire and didn’t need as much light as anybody alive, but would it kill the guy to get a light?
“Yes, Master?” Riis suddenly appeared in front of me. I hated to admit it, but he sort of gave me a jump scare. Why the fuck couldn’t I sense him---?!
“I’m not--- you know what! Never mind!” I groaned annoyed, both because he managed to sneak up on me and because he had called me ‘Master’. I wasn’t, but right now, I had more pressing matters at hand: “You served King the longest. Do you know, what happened to his beloved?”
“Beloved?” he repeated back to me, his dark eyes as motionless as ever. He tilted his head, as in wonder, but his monotone voice and void eyes remained as emotionless as ever. “In all the years I served him, he never had one.”
I almost couldn’t hide my surprise. Not have one?! Was the mystery lady really his pet?! I knew that vampires had this weird-ass law that pets weren’t allowed to be taken as beloveds – something about them being a security risk or something – but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that the woman he so clearly loved and called “Beloved” was nothing more than a pet!
“This would have been the mid-1800’s,” I tried again, hoping to perhaps help his memories along. “You don’t remember him seeing anyone?”
“I’m sorry,” he claimed – although his voice was turning the blood in my veins to ice! “I came into his services just after world war one.”
“Did he ever mention having a pet?” I frowned – although I had a hard time believing it. Again, he shook his head. I sighed. “Do you know of anyone I could ask about King’s personal life?”
Call me curious, stupid, or just plain dumb. And I’m probably kicking a hornet’s nest right now, but so be it! I had to know about her.
The woman who started all of this…
“All who remained loyal to King after his death were all executed, Master Stone,” he told me and did something with his shoulders, I think should be interpreted as a shrug. “I’m afraid I can’t help you.”
“It’s quite alright,” I sighed, ignoring the ‘Master Stone’ bit. “Thanks Riis.”
“You’re welcome, Master Stone,” he replied again--- this time it seemed like he was fucking emphasizing the name.
“Give the ‘Master Stone’ a rest, would you?” I growled annoyed. I don’t even know why. I didn’t exactly have anything against the title and I already considered the clan as ‘my own’. But there was just something in the way he kept saying it--- like he was challenging me for it or something…!
But of course, he just looked at me like I grew a new head.
“Never mind!” I muttered and happily left the basement. “Thanks, Riis. Keep up the good work.”
The next day, I met Lexi for our usual lunch date. But I just couldn’t get my mind off the King and his secret Beloved. I only knew her name Aurora--- and to the best of my abilities, I think her last name was King! But that didn’t help me much…
“What’s on your mind?”
I looked up and met her penetrating gaze. At that moment, I felt like I could never hide anything from her, although I knew that bringing her into my world was… Well, it was sort of a dark place. I mean--- 50% of my diet is blood. Human blood! Not to mention that I would be introducing a human being into a world of basically superhumans. Wild and savage beasts, that – when left unchecked – tore through flesh and bone like it was paper and cotton candy.
“My father,” I admitted, as I decided to avoid THAT conversation for a little while longer.
“Didn’t you say your dad was dead?” she replied, sounding a bit confused. In turn, making me confused.
“What?” I mumbled, looking into her bright eyes. “No, my Dad’s--- he’s-he’s always--- great.”
“Then---,” she trailed off her words, furrowing her brows.
“I’m adopted,” I blurted out, feeling like an ass for being so caught up in my own thoughts. “I’ve been thinking about my biological father.”
Goddess, why was I so weird?! And just yesterday I was giving Riis the shit for being a creep. Heck, I was no better than the dead myself!
“Well?” Lexi said, pulling me out of my thoughts. I glanced over at her again. I knew what she meant and what she wanted me to say, but… Wouldn’t it scare her away?
I felt almost compelled to call DJ right now. To ask her what I should do. Because honestly, digging all of this up, was making me lose my sleep. Finding out, that the man I’d considered being a monster and a psychopath for my entire life, didn’t just roll out of his grave like that was…
Confusing! Scaring even…
“He was…,” I was almost surprised at hearing my own voice talking. But that’s just the kind of effect Lexi had on me. She made me feel accepted, even when I had a hard time, accepting myself. Like no matter what I told her, she’d understand me. She knew me on such a level, that even when I lacked words or emotions, she understood it…
“A mad scientist,” I continued then and sighed. “Literally! He kidnaped my adoptive mom and threatened her. I don’t know what he would have done with her if Dad hadn’t got to her in time and managed to save her.”
“Wow,” she gasped, blinking in surprise. “Sounds like an action movie.”
“You have no idea,” I shortly smirked, remembering Uncle Mick telling us of that night over and over again. Funny, how it always seemed to get grander and more spectacular for every time he told it…
I sighed again, nervously rubbing the back of my neck.
Moment of truth, I suppose…
“They found me and my sister among his--- experiments,” I confessed, unable to look at her as my stomach knotted into a bundle of nervousness. “He did--- tests on us.”
I looked up--- but where I expected to find judgment and horror, I found… I couldn’t help but smile. She wasn’t scared, appalled or disgusted. Her eyes shunned with curiosity and understanding.
“You’re eyes…,” she muttered as if realization just dawned on her.
“Yeah,” I muttered, as it wasn’t a complete lie. “Among other things.”
I don’t know why, but I removed my lenses and let her see my blood-red eyes. Normal for vampires was, that they had some normal human eye color, and only when their true nature surfaced – their bloodly beast – would they change color. A wide ray of emotions could trigger it, but mine… They were permanently red. Had been since the day I was born. No one could explain to my parents why. They speculated that since I was a hybrid, that my human side was suppressed and that I truly was a vampire and a wolf; no human side to suppress the animals inside.
Turned out to be quite wrong!
I had a human side and once my wolf surfaced – at the ordinary age of 16 – I remained the same. No matter who much they dug through the king’s research, they didn’t find anything to explain it. And it left DJ – my twin sister – an even bigger mystery.
But that’s her story to tell…
“If it’s any consolation,” Lexi beamed at me. “They’re stunning. Like rubies.”
I don’t know if she did it consciously or not, but her hands went to the small ruby around her neck, fiddling with it between her fingers.
“Thanks,” I muttered, unable to stop the smile, that was tugging at my lips. Not only had she kept it on, but she was thinking of me. Somehow my wolf took it as a sign, that she accepted his ownership of her. And what more, my blood boiled in appreciation, wanting to lean over and hold her hand.
To assure her, that I’d always be here for her…
“And because he did all these horrible things, you feel guilty about being curious about him,” she continued--- and sort of surprised me, how accurately she’d been reading the situation.
“Yeah,” I muttered again, feeling my shoulders sag in relief. And with that, I also left my heart on the table: “I mean, he left us with… Everything and much of our basic work is based on his research and we’re earning millions off it! If it was all so bad, would we---” I sighed, turning my attention to the herbal garden. My favorite spot in the entire building. One of the main things, that had made me chose to stay here.
A place he built!
“I don’t know,” I sighed, not quite sure what I was saying anymore. “And I just found out that he had a belov---erm, I mean wife!”
My heart skipped a beat. Shit! That was close…
“You think you have more siblings?” she asked--- very logically! I frowned. That hadn’t even occurred to me, but after a quick analysis of the evidence, I was quite sure in my answer.
“I don’t think so,” I replied, shaking my head. “From what I’ve gathered so far, she was killed.” I shivered, remembering the gruesome detail described in the dairy. “Murdered.”
“Oh my gosh!” she gasped--- and this was the first time I saw the horror in her expression.
“I don’t think he ever found out who did it and just began hating everyone,” I replied, gulping nervously. “Blamed everyone.”
And now it might be coming back to haunt us – to hurt Lexi.
“And you want to dig deeper seeing if there’s more to the story,” she asked--- and it was quite frankly becoming disturbing how easily she read me.
“All my life, I’ve always been told that my father was this kind of monster, but…” I confessed, wetting my dry lips as I felt my wolf and blood stir uneasily. As if confessing these horrible, forbidden feelings would push her away.
That I would push her away.
“Monsters are made.” I looked up, preparing myself for whatever verdict she might come to. “I’m just nervous that if I dig deeper, I’ll hurt Mom and Dad’s feelings in all of this because they’ll think that I’m…” I sighed. “I’m finding excuses for what he did!”
My heart was beating erratically in my chest and my beasts were both pushing forward, ready to jump at her, if she decided to run. I had no idea what I was going – some kind of emotion suicide! I don’t even know why I was confessing this, but it felt so--- right! And so wrong at the same time, but still…
“B-but I’m not! I-I just…”
“Listen,” Lexi cut me off before my rambling started. “I’m no expert, but it’s your heritage,” she said in a stern voice, that somehow still managed to be gentle and kind. Before I knew what was happening, I felt her hand slide over mine. The sparks sending soothing tingles up my arms and eased my erratic heart and in return making me sigh in relief. She smiled as if knowing what she was doing to me. “You’re not turning your back on your family if you want to know more about your biological father.” She continued in such a way, I almost suspected she knew something I didn’t. “And who knows? Perhaps finding out that he’s not just some terrible person, gives you the rest you need to know, that neither are you.”
Her eyes met mine and the smile on her lips, dimmed the light in the kitchen.
“That there’s more to you – to your heritage – than being a monster.”
My breath got caught in my throat. Never in my life had one line spoken from another human being, had such a rippling effect on the rest of my life. She saw through me so easily – to the core of the problem and me. She saw me, for who I really am…
Suddenly I realized that my eyes were teary. I looked down, ashamed at how emotional I was becoming. But I couldn’t help it. I remembered sitting at home, hearing Uncle Mick tell stories about it. Back then it had been a story, some fantastical tale from a time long, long ago. Levi Stone was my Dad! Not that freak Uncle Mick was talking about.
Only when I got older did I understand, that had things been different, that monster would have raised me. That I would be HIS son. That the first year of my life, THAT man was my father. And what’s more, he WAS my biological parent. It was his blood – his vampire blood – that made up half of who I was. And as I got older and I started to change – started to feel the vampire in me dragging me towards my father’s clan---
It only got worse!
I was scared to give in. I knew what I loved doing, but scared that by doing it, I was slipping into something--- dark! That I was becoming like HIM! I felt like I was the son of two men. The first, I could only honor by betraying myself, and the second, I could never honor, without betraying myself.
It felt like I was stuck in a tug-war between what I wanted – but too afraid to take it – and what everybody else wanted…
Hearing Lexi say that felt like a cold shower after a day in the scorching sun. Her words vibrated string inside me, I had no idea were there. It calmed me, gave me clearing and courage to do, what I needed to do. What had needed to be done, a long time ago…
“Thanks, Lexi,” I smiled at her.
I was going to find out the truth about The Vampire King!
Every day I see you, I’m in awe of your beauty and kind nature. I don’t think the heavens themselves have such an angle among them as sweet and loving as you.
For you, I’ll worship the ground you walk on. For you, I’ll move mountains with my bare hands. For you, I’ll turn night into day.
Your wish is my command and if you ask it, I will lie down my life for you.
I love you, my one and only Aurora…