“I knew I’d find you eventually,” purred Jessa in her quaint british accent, not even bothering to turn around.
Nikoli had known it was her even before he walked into the big, vacant room due to the scent he picked up while he was dancing with Leila. Lavender permeated the air and wafted to him in sensual waves. She was still a knockout with her cropped, raven black hair, piercing gray eyes and porcelain skin. She pursed her ruby red lips and peered up at him. She wasn’t a very patient being and her sigh of frustration proved just that. Nikoli snorted in annoyance, furrowing his brows at her. Every few years or so, she found him again and tried to get him back, to no avail. He wasn’t interested in her anymore. He didn’t know what he ever really saw in her. If he was being honest, really she was just a fling, something fun to do. When he had hooked up with her he had been going through a destructive phase where he just wanted to wreak havoc. He had always been a tortured soul, but he had to have been pretty desperate and uncaring to spend his time with the likes of Jessa.
“You just going to leave me hanging handsome?” she asked with a smirk, her hands on her hips, eyebrows cocked up at him in annoyance.
“I’m not sure what you expect me to say Jessa. After all, we didn’t exactly part on good terms,” Nickoli pointed out.
She wrinkled her nose in disgust and scoffed, her arms crossed in front of her chest. He could see that he obviously touched a nerve there. He smiled mischievously to himself, proud that he could still push her buttons.
“I don’t recall what you are talking about....perhaps you were mistaken?” she raised a thin, dark eyebrow at him, tucking one arm beneath her breasts and lifting the other one to bite on her long, red painted fingernail with a barely suppressed grin.
So it was going to be like that? He could tell she was lying, she always did like her games. Nikoli thought that she would at least be vampire enough to own up to her mistakes.
Nikoli ignored her challenge to take the bait, asking instead, “What are you doing here? I thought after I left you, that you said you never wanted to see me again.”
She shrugged, pretending to be interested in her manicure. He knew she was just stalling, not wanting their meeting to end. She didn’t want to answer the question directly. She liked to toy with him, that’s why she was so dangerous. Finally, she looked up, casting him a petulant glance and walking around the room to the massive fireplace.
“I just wanted to check up on you, see how you were doing. Don’t you remember how good we used to be together? How we could be again? Don’t act like you didn’t miss me,” she said with a small, sardonic smile. “Don’t want to hurt my feelings now, do you?”
Pursing her lips, she kissed the air, winking at him and then threw her head back to laugh. Her deep chuckle echoed off the grey walls of the expansive, empty room. Jessa turned her back to him, trailing her fingers along the mantle piece of the gigantic fireplace to collect dust on her index finger. As she inspected the filthy grime on her fingertip nonchalantly, in no rush to end the conversation, he cleared his throat to get her attention focused back on him.
“Look. I appreciate your concern, Jessa, but I’m fine. Really, I am. I just don’t want to have anything to do with you anymore. It’s as simple as that. You and I both know that it’s been over for a very long time,” Nickoli said, laying it all out on the table.
He saw her spine stiffen as she dropped her balled up fists to her side, turning on the ball of her feet to face him, red faced and wide eyed with fury. Her jaw clamped shut as she stalked towards him, like a predator stalking it’s prey. He noted that her outfit suited her, an all black leather catwoman suit with high heeled boots and a deep v-neck collar that showed off her ample bosom. She was even wearing the cat mask with ears to boot! He held back a smile, trying to not upset her further. If he played it cool, she might just leave without hurting anybody.
“Why are you doing this? Is it because of the girl you were with? Because she is nothing compared to me! She’s just a filthy blood sack and you reek her cheap vanilla perfume, but then again you always did have a certain soft spot for them,” she hissed, her teeth bared, her fangs protruding from her gums like those of a carnivore in the wild as she gestured towards the door with her hands.
He took a step back, his hands falling down to rest by his sides. He was caught off guard by her accusatory tone and angry gestures. How long had she been watching him? How long had she been following him? Talk about being a stalker...
“Have you been spying on me? That’s pathetic, even for something like you. Honestly, not that I need to explain myself to you. I’m just looking for a good meal.”
“Oh don’t you dare do that! Don’t you dare act like you’re better than me somehow. I may have let things get out of control, Nikoli, but you were the one who wanted to go crazy after you lost your pathetic excuse of a best friend!” Jessa spat out, her voice dripping with venom and disdain.
“How dare you! You know that losing my best friend was what had set me on that path of destruction. Humans hunted Shamus. They staked him through the heart, beheaded him and burned him like he was a movie monster. For quite awhile there I had lost all faith in humanity, but losing someone will do that to you. It makes you question everything about your life.”
“Yes and sadly he survived all that torture and now you’re spending time with that human, as if none of that ever happened. Some friend you are!” Jessa spat out the words, her hands balled into fists.
“That’s only because children of the night cannot die, even when you expose them to sunlight until they turned to ash like Shamus. You’re just trying to hurt me, Jessa. That is so typical of you!” Nikoli was shouting at her now.
“You never did tell me what happened to his ashes.” Jessa reached out to touch his arm, a mask of concern on her face, her voice softer just that quickly, but he pulled away, crossing his arms over his chest to contain the anger swelling up inside of him.
“They bottled up the remains and took them with.” Nikoli was seething, but willingly answering her questions regardless. He had a hard time holding back when it came to this subject. He had not talked about Shamus in years. Instead he had chosen to push it down.
“Who did? The hunting party? They took the ashes?” Jessa seemed confused, all the venom had gone out of her words.
“Yes, Jessa, the hunting party of five. Who do you think? I hunted each and every one of them down, avenging Shamus, collecting his ashes, but I’m missing a vial. I can’t reanimate him without the last vial, but I don’t know where it is.” Nikoli sighed sadly, rubbing his forehead. He missed his best friend. It had been a lonely hundred years.
“Wait a minute, he can be reanimated? How is that possible? Why did you not talk to me about this? Instead you chose to run away, like a child.” Jessa blinked quickly, trying to wrap her mind around what he was saying.
“Yes, he can be brought back. Weren’t you listening? If the ashes are united with blood, they would be able to piece together. I didn’t run away. I chose a different path, away from you.” He didn’t know why he was telling her all of this. He supposed it was because he had no one else to talk to about such matters. Leila had just met him and didn’t know he was a vampire.
“Why didn’t you get the last vial? I would help you get it back if it meant you would come back to me.” Jessa pleaded with her eyes, but Nikoli wasn’t fooled. It had to be an act.
“Jessa, I would never go back to you, but thank you for the offer. The last one gave me trouble, having hidden his bottle of ashes before I got to him. He was the smart one, unlike the others, not wearing them around his neck like some kind of sick trophy.” Nikoli suspected that he had given the ashes to someone, but as far as Nikoli could tell this particular had no living relatives to pass things onto.
This fact, however, had not stopped the angry vampire from trying to kill him. In fact, Lyle was the reason he suddenly became so curious about human-kind. Lyle was very different from any man he had met before. He was unafraid of what Nikoli had in store for him. After all the torture and pain Nikoli inflicted on him, the inquisitive vampire let him go in the hopes that he would soon lead him to the ashes. Unfortunately Lyle died of a heart attack not long after and Nikoli ended up with nothing but more unanswered questions. Nikoli remembered Lyle with amusement.
“Fine! We both had fun, though. You and I both know it. Why won’t you let me help you? I just want to be with you again. I made a mistake, I know that now.” Jessa grabbed his face, forcing him to look at her, but he grabbed her arms and pushed her away.
“It’s not really any of your business. Besides, I am not the same person I was before...I’m sorry, but I can’t be that guy anymore, I’ve changed. Now you’re just angry that I no longer want to be with you. You need to get on with your life and stop blaming other people for your problems. It’s not my fault that you’ve acted like a vindictive bitch.”
“A bitch?! Seriously? That’s rich considering the fact that you’re just angry I didn’t pull you back from the edge time and again. Of course, I encouraged your savage behavior, but I wanted you to be happy! I just didn’t think you’d move on so quickly and with someone like her.” Throwing her hands up in the air, she turned away from him once more, gripping the mantlepiece so hard that it crumbled beneath her unmatched strength.
She was as close to an original vampire as you could get without actually being one of them. Jessa was one of the few undead beings aside from the Elders who instilled a respectable amount of fear inside of him because of how lethal she could be. Nikoli was very much aware that she could have killed him when she cast him inside, instead of just letting him walk free, but he honestly believed that she kept him around in case she came to her senses and decided that she wanted him back. Running his fingers through his hair, his other hand on the hip of his black leather pants.
“Well yes, you acted like a bitch. You kept telling the Elders where I was. You know that they have it out for me, but you keep doing it anyway! Besides, I haven’t moved on with her. She’s a human, I told you I am just looking to feed. I’m just picky. I’m sorry, Jessa, but I’m not taking you back, i’m not interested. You need to let it go, too. I’ve changed and I can’t be who you want me to be anymore.” Nikoli tried to make his voice sound convincing so Jessa would leave it be and not tell the Elders. Everytime she found him, though, she would run to the Originals (Elders) and tell them where he was.
She pointed her finger at him, still trying to back him into a corner, “I tell them for the good of our clan. You walked out on us, you changed, that’s why we broke up, but you didn’t have to leave our family. Nobody gets away with leaving our family, you know this. They favored you and after Shamus died, you just...left. You will regret telling me no,” she growled, narrowing her eyes.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t need to keep doing this, you know? Besides, I don’t know why you keep torturing yourself. You and I will never work out, understand?” Nikoli let out an exasperated sigh, his hand gesturing in her direction.
Unimpressed, she started to walk away, exaggerating the side to side movement of her hips. Damn, she was still a beautiful girl, she knew it too. She used it to her advantage, but her mistake was that she relied on it too much. Her beauty just wasn’t enough for him anymore. She was devious and he was glad that she had let him go. Sometimes you just need more than external pleasures. He wanted the total package: brains, beauty, honesty, spunk, and an adventurous nature. Although, most of his species wanted a woman who was a vicious killer and spiteful, like Jessa. Many vampires were vindictive that way. Not him, not anymore at least. He had never understood why he was so different from all the other vampires. He was just too compassionate towards humans. It was as if he was the black sheep of the vampire community.
Jessa paused, hand on the doorknob, to look over her shoulder at him, “This isn’t over, Nikoli. Not by a long shot,” she swore through clenched teeth before stomping away, letting the door slam behind her.
Nikoli just shook his head at the angry siren. She was so melodramatic at times, but he was thankful she left without any bloodshed. He would have to pack up and leave town soon, but he had another problem he had to deal with at the moment and that was the girl that he had just met, listening in the hallway. She probably didn’t realize that he could hear her heart beating as she tried not to get caught. Whatever she had heard, it was probably too much. He’d definitely have to take care of this situation and find out what she knew before it got blown out of proportion. Humans tended to go overboard when they didn’t understand things. He didn’t need another crowd of frightened humans with pitchforks and fire. It had hurt enough the first time around, no need to repeat history.