Ravyn's Nights - Book 1

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Chapter 31

Even though the carriage was now being pulled by only two of their four horses, considering their belongings were unpacked and there were two less passengers than usual, it didn’t take too terribly long to arrive back at Prince Marcus’ extravagant home.

As the home came into sight, Sean spoke up from his place beside Haven at the reins, while the two women rode inside, “So how is it that you originally came to be friends with Marcus?”

“He’s family.” Haven smiled.

“Coming from you, I’ll need a more specific definition, I think.” Sean replied wryly.

“His sire was made by the same vampire as my own: I guess that would technically make him my cousin, in vampiric terms, anyway.” Haven returned with an oddly mischievous smile, as though deliberately leaving out an even further definition of the relationship right then.

“Right…” Sean returned, though said nothing more as they were now making their way up the long drive that led to the house. Of course, that lengthy drive had been specifically designed that way to keep the home reasonably set off from the main part of the growing town.

After being led inside by one of Marcus’ servants, they were shown to the large ballroom, which was very dimly lit while Marcus reclined upon a lush sofa speaking quietly into the ear of a lovely young woman who Sean could only assume was one of his many servants. Upon their arrival, each of Marcus’ servants quickly moved from the room to go about whatever duties they had already been assigned for the evening.

“Evening Haven, and Sean, was it?” Marcus greeted them as he moved straight, silken brown locks over his shoulder, his deep hazel eyes appreciatively moving over each of the new arrivals as he gestured for the men to take seats upon the other lush sofa which sat facing his own seat, only a few feet away.

“Evening Marcus.” Haven returned the greeting while still wearing that oddly mischievous smile as he easily took the seat, nodding for Sean to sit as well, despite the fact that Sean looked a bit wary of either of them taking their own seats while leaving the two women standing quietly behind them.

“Ladies.” Marcus finally addressed Ana and Baila, his tone making it obvious that he was well aware of his own beauty, as most Toreadors always were, “Would you mind serving us another round of drinks?” he told them as he gestured to the nearby stand which held a set of ornate crystal chalices as well as a wine bottle containing a thick red liquid, which the men easily recognized as not being wine, at all.

The two women simply nodded and moved to do as he asked, causing Sean to furrow his brow a bit at the condescension that Marcus seemed to address them with, but tried reminding himself that he was a Prince: Even the human variety of royalty couldn’t help talking down to everyone around them, after all.

“So what could you possibly have in mind for the evening, Marcus?” Haven smirked as they were handed their drinks before the two women quietly returned to their earlier places, standing near the sofa Haven and Sean occupied.

“Well, I wanted to get reacquainted with you, my friend, as well as getting to know one of our newest family members.” Marcus returned, nearly purring every word he spoke.

“How did you plan to go about doing that?” Haven replied, speaking in a manner that made it obvious that he was already quite aware of what an evening with Marcus usually entailed.

“The best way to get acquainted is always thru celebration, drinks, entertainment. The things our kind was made for.” he added with yet another devious smile as his dark eyes moved over his companions once more.

“And what kind of entertainment might be in the cards tonight, Marcus?” Haven smiled again as he took another sip.

“Oh the best kind: The kind beauties such as ourselves,” he glanced back at Ana and Baila, “and our chosen servants, are the most skilled at.” he stated, causing Sean to tense a bit, though seeing that none of his companions seemed to be bristling at their new Prince’s suggestive words, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be the one that voiced any dissent, just yet, either.

Marcus’ eyes then came back to Sean, looking at him as though he were seeing a lot further beyond just his surface beauty. He smiled faintly as he remembered how young Haven’s new childe was, but more importantly, he was thinking on the discussion that he and Haven had had after this new childe of his had left their company the other evening.

Without further ado, Marcus then set his own drink aside again and simply gestured for the two women to approach him, “I do grow bored with my own servants after this long, so it is quite lovely to see new, and beautiful, faces joining us this evening, after all.” he smiled up at the women as they slowly approached him after briefly glancing back at their own masters for any disapproval. Haven of course, showed none, and Sean looked a bit worried, but said nothing, as he had no jealousy in regards to Baila, who had spent her life being quite comfortable attending to men who were virtual strangers to her. Sean also found himself subconsciously giving into the very effect most elder vampires easily had on all the humans around them, as well as those younger and less powerful of their own kind. Of course, the one other fact that stilled Sean’s tongue from voicing any dissent was that he knew, and knew well, that if he didn’t let his new servant indulge those desires of hers with someone besides himself, it would tempt her that much more strongly to make yet more advances toward him, or do something even worse to curb her addiction.

“I told you, I’m good at solutions.” Haven told Sean quietly, though still wore the smile as he took another sip and looked back to where the two women had now reached Marcus, who continued to take in their beauty with his own fanged grin.

“But Ana too?” Sean replied in an even quieter tone

Haven’s first response was the continued grin as he leaned back, enjoying another sip of his drink. He then paused another moment to further gaze towards whatever ‘entertainment’ was about to unfold in front of them, “It seems as though Ana would like some variety too, don’t you think?” he couldn’t help replying.

“Even if that’s so, should we be watching, though?” Sean had to ask.

“I thought you liked watching.” Haven had to tease back, then continued, “Enjoying the beauty of another woman is hardly the technical definition of unfaithfulness, Sean, especially for an artist. And what is closer to real-life art than seeing another in the throes of ecstasy?” he had to add before finally finishing, “Besides, Marcus wants us here to enjoy the show. And we wouldn’t want to displease our new Prince already, would we, Sean?”

Sean sighed in resignation, becoming even more aware that he was outnumbered when he glanced over to see that Marcus had already undone each woman’s corset, and dropped their long gowns to the floor before they both easily moved to join him on the sofa, where he was already pulling them into his cool embrace.

Sean spent the next hour or so trying to keep his eyes averted, attempting to force himself to keep his gaze on the many pieces of art that decorated the home. Though, that got increasingly difficult once the women’s moaning got louder while Marcus took turns making love to each of them. It was when he began pushing Baila toward her climax, that Sean couldn’t help turning his eyes back, only to be shocked less by the whole of the night alone, than he now was by the fact that despite Marcus being the one who was now taking Baila from behind, her pale blue eyes were fixated unwaveringly on Sean, thru every moment of the orgasm Marcus was effortlessly giving her.

Sean swallowed hard as their eyes met while Baila continued moaning and breathing heavily, her entire body trembling at their new Prince’s expert touch, though all her desire was still somehow directed at Sean rather than her actual lover. The only thing that startled Sean into being able to pull his gaze away from her lust-filled eyes is when Haven got up from his own seat as well. Ana was still catching her breath after her own recent orgasm, and gesturing for Haven to come and join them, which he easily did, shocking Sean even further, somehow.

Haven was already undressing as he moved across the room, Ana’s smile on him, as she reached up to place a long kiss over his lips while he finished undressing, leaving Sean as the lone member of the group still clothed, and not yet joining in on this so-called entertainment. Though if Sean thought he couldn’t be shocked any further for one night, he was quickly to be corrected.

Noting Haven joining them, Marcus smiled and removed himself from Baila, having already given her her own pleasure. He pushed her towards Ana with another smile as he reached up to run his hand thru Haven’s long locks while wearing that same mischievous grin, which Haven returned with his own.

Still in their heightened states of passion, the two women easily began kissing, touching and tasting each other, causing a slight chuckle from Marcus as he turned Haven’s mouth to his and covered the other man’s lips with his own, their hands wandering over each other’s beautiful bodies as well, their intentions for one another becoming quickly obvious. Everything Sean was seeing before him left him with so much disbelief, confusion, and even curiosity to see what could possibly happen next, that he had no option but to finish watching the show, after all.

“How long has it been since you’ve seen these…people?” Claire asked Chantarell worriedly as they rode thru the woods that night, the moon’s reflection off the snow being their only real source of light.

“About a year.” Chantarell replied with her usual smile, “Trust me; Haven helped them out, before. They’re not going to hurt us.”

“If they’re even still here.”

“Well if they’re not, then we’ve at least gotten some nice riding time in.” Chan teased.

“How did he help them, anyway?” Claire asked after a few more moments of riding.

“There was a group of white men looking for them…they wanted to make sure they drove the last of the Indians out of the area. This camp was the last one around here, when we were back this way, and we found it first. Then we ran across the men who were searching for them. Haven, being a wealthy white man; his word was as good as golden when he told those assholes that there were no Indians around these woods anymore. Even without him using his special little ‘tricks’ to convince them.” she had to add with a small chuckle.

“What if they came back since?” Claire had to add after a moment.

“Aren’t you the optimist?” Chantarell chided her, though Claire simply looked down, “And like I said, even if they’re gone now, all we’ve lost is one night of---” her voice trailed off as she caught sight of a shadow moving behind the line of dead trees in front of them.

“Chan, should we even be out here?” Claire asked in a whisper, obviously having caught the motion even more quickly than Chan’s eyes registered it.

“One, you seem to forget, you’re the thing that everyone else is afraid of in the dark, dear.” she told her, somehow meaning the words as an assurance rather than a put down, “And two, all you have to do is take a good look, and we’ll know if whoever it is will try to harm us.”

“What?” Claire asked, still speaking low as her eyes followed that same shadow moving slowly in the distance.

“It’s one of those tricks you have now; you can look at people and tell exactly what sort of threat they pose, if any at all.”

“I can?” Claire blinked.

“Yes, silly. How is it I know more about being what you are than you do?”

“Gee, because you’ve lived with one of us for over three decades?” Claire returned with a light sarcasm.

Chan smirked, but quickly continued, “Just try and see the emotions of who or what you’re looking at. Haven uses it all the time. It’ll tell you what they’re feeling: Anger, fear, lust…whatever.” she smiled again.

“Right.” Claire sounded a bit leery of the idea, but figured Chan seemed convinced of it, so she’d at least give it a try, especially if it could determine their own safety.

She looked off toward the shadow again and focused with not only her eyes, but also her thoughts and feelings, and delved into those untested psychic abilities that she knew for a fact Haven had, so why not her, as well?

It took a few moments, but when the shadow moved a few feet closer to where the two of them waited, Claire could finally begin to see the colors of feelings before her eyes, and she could now somehow sense things that she shouldn’t logically be able to tell just on sight, let alone, from that distance.

“He’s human…and male…not hurt, but alert, not overly hostile yet, a bit fearful….” she recited the things that she somehow could now feel to be true.

“I’m impressed.” Chantarell smiled, but didn’t have a lot of time to say any more as he continued moving closer, “Keep watching him, and remember, if you need to, you can control him, if he doesn‘t give us a choice, I mean.” Chan added in a whisper as she too watched the man beginning to come into clearer view.

“I can?” Claire asked, though she also fell silent as the man finally moved nearer, looking coldly at both of them as he stopped less than fifteen feet away, atop his own stallion which was colored with beautiful black and white markings. As he pulled the steed to a halt, they noted that his hand was immediately poised on the spear by his side, though he did not yet draw it., instead he continued to scan the area around the two women alertly.

The man himself did indeed look as though he were a descendant of the natives Chantarell had taken Claire in search of that night. Though his skin was a shade or two lighter than the others Chantarell had met before, which was a bit more than odd. The man looked to be in his late teens or early twenties, though with the kind of beauty that all of the natives of this land possessed, age was always a hard thing to truly guess at. He was dressed in the requisite animal skin shirt and pants, his long arrow-straight black locks moving ever so slightly in the night time breeze. After scanning those woods he looked back on them with only slightly less distrust, once he was convinced that these two pale-skinned females were the only companions he had with him in the forest that night, after all.

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