Ravyn's Nights - Book 1

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Chapter 25

As December progressed, they continued heading west thru New York and onward toward Pennsylvania. Tonight, as they traveled, Claire sat quietly inside the carriage, staring out at the night, while Ana and Chantarell slept wrapped in a blanket together upon the opposite seat. Haven and Sean were stationed upon the outer seat, guiding the horses thru the night and speaking quietly to one another.

“So, you’ve been with the two women a while, and it just had me wondering something.” Sean began after a short break in he and Haven’s previous conversation.

“Yes, childe?” Haven asked in a tone just as quiet as Sean’s.

“Are we supposed to have them too? I mean, should Claire and I have servants of our own?” Sean asked the question that had been eating at him since their long trip began.

“It would be wise.” Haven admitted.

“Cause of Claire, right?” Sean asked, speaking even more quietly.

“How do you mean?” Haven asked, puzzled a bit by the response.

“Well, she’s still usually only feeding from me, and I see how it bothers her when I bite Ana. I mean, if it wasn’t only Ana that I fed from, I dunno, maybe it would be easier for her not to worry that it will become any more than that, you know?” Sean returned in the same soft, worried tone. Haven was quiet a long moment, seeming to ponder Sean’s words for a long time, which only served to bother Sean enough that he spoke again, “What are you thinking, Haven?”

“So, how many times has Claire fed from you, now?” Haven responded, though the words seemed odd to Sean.

“Just about every night since we left. Why?”

Haven just shook his head, “Well, that explains why it is so hard for her.”

“What do you mean?” Sean asked with narrowed eyes.

“She already has the attachment to you from your previous lives together, but now, her feelings for you are that much more intense.”

“How do you mean?” Sean repeated in confusion.

“If she’s drank from you every night, she’s completely bound to you now, Sean. She already was a third of the way there just from the Embrace.” Haven told him pointedly.

“She’s bound to me?” Sean asked, seeming quite thrown by the information.

“I told you before. If she drank from you three times, she would be completely and intensely devoted to you to the point where you’re the only thought in her head and she would do anything to please you: Even, to the point where, biting aside, you could even have sex with all three of us, right in front of her, and she’d still be madly in love with you, despite how seeing you in such a scenario may tear at her, especially now.” Haven added more quietly, making one wonder why he chose that particular comparison.

“But, I thought….I mean….you mean that works, even if she’s one of us, now?” Sean returned, seeming more than a bit upset by the news.

“Vampire blood is vampire blood, any creature that ingests it, will get bound upon that third drink.” Haven informed, “Except were-beasts, they’d just get horrifyingly sick.” Haven had to add, trying not to sound amused by the fact.

“Were…what?” Sean then just shook his head, having more important things on his mind, just then, “I just didn’t know…I didn’t realize that it would work on her, still.” Sean shook his head, appalled at himself once more, “How do I reverse it?” he asked, hoping that Haven would have some fail-safe answer for that question too.

“It will wear off, after several months, as long as she doesn’t feed from you any more, in that entire time.” he had to add.

“But she’s still shaky about feeding on anyone else. Isn’t there just some way you can reverse the effects, somehow?”

“You are an odd one. You were just asking about servants, but are appalled by the idea of your own wife being bound to you? Servants are bound in that way too, remember?”

“But it’s Claire. I’ve always wanted her to be an equal, with a mind of her own: Something no other man would ever have allowed her to have.” he added more quietly.

Haven just shook his head, “There’s really not a very surefire way of reversing it, but I suppose you could cancel it out, in a way.” Haven finally offered, though didn’t seem thrilled with sharing the information he hinted at.

“How?” Sean asked, perplexed further.

“If you got bound to her, too.” Haven sighed, but quickly moved on, “It’s not something I’d ever recommend another Kindred willingly doing, but I suppose you are a special case.” he smirked only slightly, “Basically, it would no longer feel quite as one-sided to her, then. You both would care for each other that intensely, but you also would have the added knowledge that neither of you would even be capable of hurting, or abandoning, or ceasing to love one another…no matter what else you do with other people, up to and including feeding: You both would have complete assurance that your own love would never be in danger, as long as you continued that bond, that is.”

“So I would have to bite her, three times?”

“On three different nights.” Haven added, “Though there are also other ways to ingest her blood, without using your fangs, and they’re also quite pleasant…but we’ll save that discussion for another time.” Haven smirked at his own inside joke.

“Right.” Sean just shook his head before finally moving on, “So, we need to get her to eat more often, not from just me then. That way, I could feed on her without taking more than she has stored up, right?” Sean returned, thinking on the plan.

“If you really are sure you want to get bound to her. It is quite dangerous to give all that power to someone else at all, let alone, another Kindred.” Haven reminded.

“Well, if she’s already bound to me, then it won’t matter, cause that means she’ll never hurt me anyway, despite all that power I’ve given her, right?”

“You are a quick study.” Haven admitted as he prodded the horse’s into picking up their pace, moving them more quickly onward thru the night.

As December drew near it’s close, the group came to the point in their long journey where they were nearing the New York-Pennsylvania border. Haven pulled the horses to a stop near another lovely patch of forest, as his two servants quickly scurried out of the inner part of the carriage for some unknown task.

“Why are we stopping now?” Sean asked Haven from his seat beside him at the front of the carriage, “We’re barely a week off from the Pennsylvania border, aren’t we?”

“Oh, no need to worry. We are a long way off from our former Prince’s territory. There’s no rush any longer.” Haven assured, “Now, we can simply enjoy our journey.”

“So, we stopped to take in the scenery?” Sean asked with a crease of the brow as Claire slowly made her way from the inner part of the carriage, to silently stretch her limbs, merely out of habit, rather than need.

“It’s a special night for the young ladies. They’re off to find a suitable spot.” Haven answered in his usual cryptic manner.

“Suitable for what?” Sean pressed, eager to take in every bit of knowledge his sire had, if for no other reason than to avoid being caught off guard again, as he had been in regards to the bond. Though, now that bond was indeed a mutual one between he and Claire, after the two of them had finally coaxed her into feeding at least a few more times, so Sean would be able to feed on her those three times of his own during recent nights.

“It’s the winter solstice.” Claire answered Sean quietly before moving off to watch as a few rabbits darted into the forest, still behaving in her usual quiet, rather withdrawn state that she had never really deviated from since the night of her Embrace. Sean sighed softly at the way she still seemed merely a shadow of herself since the night he had given her eternity. As a matter of fact, the few times they had fed on each other over the last month, were truly the only times he had seen any real signs of life in her at all, anymore.

“She still has never mentioned the child?” Haven asked Sean quietly, once Claire had moved several feet off from where the two men still sat.

Sean just shook his head, and tried to move on from the subject that was quite painful for him as well, “So, tell me how the servants work.”

Haven narrowed his eyes, not happy with his question being ignored, but understanding the reasons why, so he allowed the subject change, “How do you mean, exactly?”

“I get that they’re bound, which basically is why they’re so devoted to you that they don’t care about your own behavior, right?”

“My own behavior?” Haven asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Making them share you, as a lover.” Sean added, his own upset over Claire’s continued sadness, allowing him to use that much of a sharper tone with his sire.

“I don’t make them share me.” Haven said with brevity, though quickly continued, “I allow them to share me.” he corrected.

“Allow them?” Sean scoffed, “I realize you are what would be considered, attractive, I suppose, but isn’t that statement just a bit on the arrogant side?” Sean asked, though did lower his voice as he did.

“Sean, the bond doesn’t just make them love me. It also makes them need me, in that way.”

“Need you?” Sean asked, still seeming unconvinced by the argument.

“You know as well as I do that those like us don’t really need that kind of physical display of affection any longer. The Kiss is what’s more satisfying to us now. If you didn’t know that, then you would have still been making love to Claire nearly every night, like before the change. But you haven’t, have you? You probably haven’t made love to her once, since her death, am I right?” Haven returned, though still somehow spoke gently.

Sean looked down before forcing a response, “Do you think maybe that’s why she’s upset?”

Haven just shook his head, though with a slight smile, “That’s not what I’m saying. What I was trying to explain is that I am not using the women for physical pleasure, as I’m sure is what it must look like from the outside. What I’m saying is, they’re the ones who need it, badly, and not necessarily from me, so that wasn’t a statement of conceit, honest.” he finished simply.

“They need it?” Sean repeated, then caught the latter part of the sentence, “And you let them be with other men, too?” he asked, raising an eyebrow at that thought.

“Men, women, whichever.” Haven returned, trying not to laugh at Sean’s look of shock, “Think about it, Sean. Use your own father as an example. What little you do know about him is that he was your mother’s lover, and despite how horribly that turned out, in some regards, despite his grief, he still had found, and impregnated, another young lover, only two years later. Do you think he would have done that so easily and so quickly, if his urges weren’t, shall we say, stronger, than even your average libidinous young man?”

“What do you mean?” Sean stammered, trying hard to follow Haven’s statements, as strange as they were.

“I mean, when humans get bound, it gives them an addiction to blood, a very strong addiction.” he added more quietly, “But it also strengthens their other desires, greatly. And, fulfilling those other desires is what holds their addiction at bay, and keeps them from hurting others to gain that blood they so desire, thanks to the vampiric addiction mine has given them.” another sigh, “So, that is what I mean when I say that the women, they need me, in that way. I have no wish to see them at the mercy of my beast, so I fill those other desires for them. It causes less lives to be lost, in the long run, and is hardly an unpleasant task, if I may say so.” he just had to add with a smirk, despite the seriousness of this new knowledge he was giving his childe at last.

Sean was quiet for several long moments while he listened to the sounds of the night, like Ana and Chantarell giggling as they set up for their evening’s festivities. His eyes quietly watched his own lover, who still lingered in the distance, near the tree line, watching those two rabbits playfully chase each other through the underbrush.

“And, you say that we should have servants?” Sean finally spoke up, though quietly, then added, “But our servants would have all those needs you just spoke of, too, wouldn’t they?”

“It is unavoidable.” Haven responded in an unreadable tone.

“So, if their needs aren’t fulfilled, they may hurt others for blood?” Sean asked somberly, almost visibly digesting the facts.

“Unfortunately, it is very hard for those still living, to harness the beast that lives in our blood. We have the will to tame it, they do not.” Haven returned sadly.

“But Ana and Chan, they don’t seem to be hurting anyone.”

“Yes, because, I fulfill their other need, the one that so closely resembles the need for blood. By giving them that release, it calms their bloodlust, and keeps them from ever becoming dangerous.”

“So, Claire and I, we would need to do that too? We would have to fill our own servants' needs, those needs?” he asked in a bit of a raspy tone.

“You could always let the servants tend to each other’s needs, it’s what most Kindred honestly do, in regards to their servants. However, my servants can’t really tend to each other’s needs. Incest is still incest.” he reminded, “But as I stated, I hardly consider tending to their needs to be an unpleasant task, myself.” Haven then winked once more, and moved toward where his two lovers were beginning to celebrate, just in case they may just have a need for him that night, after all.

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