This chapter lacks some fluency, I know that much. Why? Because I wrote it at three in the morning three mornings in a row. p Leave it alone. However, I did go back and edit it when I was better and that should help. Part of this is very apparently for comic relief--to take some of the twisted darkness out of the main scene--though the importance of what happens in this chapter will show up later. I'm sure you'll be able to guess by the time it happens.

On to the chapter. Enjoy.

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For Love of Evil

By Xandra

Chapter Sixteen: Binding

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Chite was beginning to panic. They were trapped in the coffin, and that pedophile was out there, probably on his way to sink his fangs into Peter! "We have to get out of here!" he hissed, struggling desperately to keep calm and breathe slowly. The vents had been closed, leaving the casket airtight. If he started freaking out, he'd waste all the oxygen and then they'd both be sunk.

"I know that," Falcon stated, narrowly. Outwardly, he appeared calm, but it was obvious that he wasn't at all pleased with the situation. (And rightly so!) He pounded on the lid, but it didn't budge. "What did he do to this thing? There's nothing heavy enough in this whole crypt--what in hell did he DO?"

The hot air in the small chamber had him somewhat dizzy, and hysteria was beginning to take hold. "You have to get us out!" Chite exclaimed. "We have to get out!"

"Shut up and let me think!" Folding his arms across the small of the boy's back, the vampire commanded, "Lie close to me, quickly!"

Chite did as he was told, pressing himself to Falcon's chest and burying his face in the side of his neck to make room.

The golden immortal drew his right leg up next to him, wedging it between the lid and his ribs, then delivered a vicious kick to the padded surface. Amazingly, it rattled, but didn't come open. He made a frustrated sound in the back of his throat, then tried again. A narrow bar of light speared through the darkness, but the lid remained in place.

Through the crack, Chite could see a thick spike of wood, buried like a nail in the casket's edge. His eyes rounded. Stakes!he thought. He nailed it down with my STAKES!

As the brunette drew his leg back into the painful position, intent on striking again, a sudden cry rang out a room away.

Chite's blood ran cold. "Falcon--!"

He needed no prompting. With an animalistic growl, he slammed his foot to the lid once more, and it swung open with a crack, clattering against the coffin's side.

A heavy mallet lie discarded on the stone nearby, and, scrambling from the wooden prison, Chite snatched it up. There was no way he was getting his stakes out of that lid, but he didn't care; a weapon was a weapon. Now armed, he launched himself blindly toward the archway, his partner not far behind.

He hadn't even reached the arch and steps before a cry of "Kuri!" rang out, and he felt something snap tangibly through the air. A pained yelp followed shortly after, but it was abruptly silenced.

Chite and Falcon flew into the main room, only to be greeted with quite the startling sight. There stood Lenoir, towering over a very frightened-looking Peter Yustinov--encased in a six-foot block of ice. Frozen solid, he looked amusingly surprised.

The dark-haired boy stared, absolutely dumbfounded, as the Russian jumped from his place standing on the couch and scrambled to hide behind Falcon. "Holy crap," he muttered, uncertain whether to be relieved, shocked or downright impressed by this spectacle.

"Unclean, unclean! He touched my thigh!" Peter cried, clinging desperately to the fudge-to-gold-haired naturalist's legs. Then, accusingly, he shouted right at the ice, "Pervert!"

"Are you all right?" Falcon inquired, bemused, his eyes shifting between the frozen vampire and the hysterical blonde boy. "Is that all he did?"

"That was enough!" He shuddered.

Chite breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, at least he didn't do more. You were pretty quick with that spell."

Peter was so upset his English was splintering into indistinct nonsense, murmured about as fast and as darkly as humanly possible. Most of it seemed to be swearing and his regrets for not casting a more deadly spell. That said, he looked at the ice again, then squawked incoherently and dived behind Falcon. "It's looking at me!" he wailed. Well, it was basically what he said. "I should have fried it instead!"

Though locked inside of a thick slab of ice, Lenoir was still conscious, and very alert. He was staring at Peter through the corner of his eye, as they were standing to his immediate left. For being trapped that way, he still managed to look effectively vexed.

"Calm down," Falcon told their youngest, patting his head briefly and turning his attention to their once-again captive. "Short of the stakes in my coffin and the holes in the lid, no damage done. Though my tolerance for this idiot has officially struck rock-bottom."

"What are we gonna do with him?" Chite asked, softly.

Peter scowled, childishly. "Leave him right where I put him!" he suggested, coldly. "Let him suffocate!"

Chite smirked. "Vamps don't breathe too much, Peter."

"I do not care! Leave him, I say!"

"He'll melt on my carpet," Falcon muttered, sourly. He gave a long-suffering sigh, bringing a hand to his forehead in exasperation. "I suppose I'll have to move him back into the safe…though I still wonder how on Earth he got out. I know I locked it."

"He can't do anything from inside of there," the small blonde pointed out. "It should be safe…"

Curiously, Chite approached the encasement, staring through the ice at the vampire. He seemed to be thoroughly incapacitated. Though he could move his eyes, the rest of him was frozen into place. "I don't see how it wouldn't be," he said.

Perhaps, not the best of statements. Suddenly, right through the ice, Lenoir's handsome face split into a strange grin, startling his captors. Then, his eyes narrowed, and a faint 'crack' echoed through the silent chamber.

The spindly American boy backed slowly away from the prisoner, eyes widening as a sharp break appeared in the ice, right between Lenoir's eyes. This fissure splintered outward, sending a hundred fractures spidering out across the surface.

Lightning-fast, Falcon grabbed him by his wrist and jerked him away, launching him back a good yard. Then, pulling Peter aside, he shouted: "Get DOWN!"

The block exploded, firing a thousand spikes of ice out in all directions. Falcon gestured a table up between he and Lenoir just in time to intercept a particularly large one, aimed right at his chest.

The barrage ended, but before any one of them could react or move to question what had happened, the crypt's furnishings began to tremble, rattling loudly where they stood. The books tumbled from their shelves, and a lamp crashed to the ground. The pedophile vampire floated from the floor, eyes blazing in the dim candlelight. In a quick gesture, he threw his arms out to either side, then dragged them up, and everything that wasn't fastened down flew into the air. The bureaus, the tables, the chairs, the books and even the rugs all began to hover. Then, Lenoir dropped his arms, and in a blast of tangible energy, the air in the room began to spin, quickly becoming a bottled-up twister.

"Shit!" Falcon swore, vehemently, as Peter and Chite cowered behind him. One of the larger bookshelves barreled past, attempting to mow him down, but he spun and deflected it with a heavy kick, sending it reeling away. "He's a damned telekin!"

"Wrong, Death Angel!" Lenoir cackled, cruelly. The long couch flew at them, and Chite tackled Peter hastily to the floor, allowing it to shoot right over them. "I'm not to be compared to you!"

The amber-eyed vampire snatched both humans and shot from the psychic tornado. He carried them both to the archway of his bedchamber, where the pull of the chaotic influence didn't seem to reach.

From this vantage, Lenoir looked terrifying, compared to when he was tied to the chair. Everything in the room was rotating around him as he hovered there, grinning ferally, as if planning what he'd do to them. The pull of his power was so strong that it affected even their hair and clothing, fifteen feet from him. He'd become a living gravitational force, and it only seemed to be spreading, the unbound fury of his power grasping greedily for everything it could take hold of and launching it in any direction.

Peter began slowly sliding across the stone floor toward the maelstrom, but Chite caught hold of him and locked him tightly to his chest, planting his feet firmly and holding fast to the archway. "Falcon!" he yelled over the noise of clattering furniture and crashing air, "What are we going to do?!"

"I'm not sure." How could he sound so calm? "I think he's a kami--psychokinetic."

That didn't sound promising, as most things containing the word 'psycho' didn't. "What in hell is THAT?"

"A telekinetic with five times the power, with little to no control over their ability."

He sighed. "Figures!"

"We are going to die," Peter whined.

Standing from his crouched position, Falcon placed himself carefully between the whirlwind of his possessions and the boys, lifting his hands as if to block the influence. "Not from him, we aren't. I'll just have to put him down."

Lenoir must've heard this, because he burst out laughing, and the drag of the force in the air redoubled, threatening to pull all three of them into the vortex. "I'd love to see you try!"

"Ask, and you shall receive." Falcon's eyes ignited, and he, too, drifted into the air, but instead of creating a twister around himself, he continued to hold his arms out before him, palms aimed toward the very eye of the storm, where the other undead remained. "Stay back, you two!" And, closing his eyes, the air between them reared back tangibly, then exploded forth.

The psychic blast created a ripple effect in the twister, some of the passing articles flying free of it, others shifting from their orbital paths to collide with each other. For a split-second, the energy-tornado seemed to spread apart in that one place, but before it could reach Lenoir, the cleft sealed itself again. In response, a heavy chair swung around and shot from his influence, aimed at Falcon. He just scarcely managed to gesture it away, sending it careening into the stone wall.

Chite stared into the psychic storm, helplessly, watching as Falcon's tomes, Peter's spell-books, Aureáte's perch and all of the antique furniture circled the blonde vampire, bits and pieces dropping out here and there. A glint of silver alerted him to the fact that even his prior prison, the garbage can, and its lid, were caught up in the twirling hurricane.

He did a double take, his eyes flying to the trash can's lid. Squinting, he verified that Pavel's Star of David was still attached to its handle, rattling quietly against it as it spun. When retrieving Lenoir from the can, he'd forgotten to remove it. Already, he had seen for himself that the Star was a blessed object. Inspiration struck. "Falcon!" he shouted. "Hit the trash can lid!"

"What?"

A book shot from the twister, but Chite ducked it, then dived to the side as an end table followed. "Just hit the lid! HIT it!"

Grimacing, the naturalist brought his arms up again and aimed straight for Lenoir, but the influence was stretching again, and, barefoot, he was having trouble finding adequate purchase on the stone landing. A lead candelabra flew right at his head, but he dodged and it struck the arch behind him, cracking it before falling to the floor. Immediately, it was sucked back into the rotating horror.

Projectiles continued to rain down over them, but the lid stayed in orbit. If only he'd launch THAT! Falcon would have to strike it for them to have a chance!

The dented metal garbage can lid shot into sight again, ripping right out in front of Lenoir for a millisecond, and Falcon took the tricky shot.

His timing couldn't have been better. His blast slammed through the twister and hit the lid with such force that it was sent spinning through the maelstrom, burying itself in Lenoir's stomach. Were it just a chunk of steel, it would've just hurt him and perhaps caught him off-guard, but the Star remained attached, and the moment it struck him, he screamed.

The tightly-woven tornado broke apart at his loss of concentration. However, instead of just dropping its captive ammunition, the way Chite had anticipated, it cast everything it had a hold of away from its master as he fell. Chairs, couches, shelves, rugs, tapestries, candlesticks, books, tables and the grandfather clock were all sent flying, raining down over the chamber, and most of them broke, tore, bent or shattered on impact with any one of the four walls.

The ancient grandfather clock was smashed to pieces as it struck the safe-room door, giving a final chiming wail at it was destroyed, and Aureáte's perch just about impaled Falcon, but he managed to catch it before it could connect. Grabbing Chite and Peter, he dived around the corner of the arch just in time for his couch to slam into it, snapping in half.

It had happened and was over faster than the damage could be truly appreciated, but Chite wasn't given the chance to look around. Just as soon as Lenoir hit the floor, Falcon leapt on him, the blessed lid rolling happily away. Before he could try to get his energy up again, the older vampire turned him over and slammed his head against the bare stones of the floor, locking his left arm behind his back at such an angle to snap it. "You're going to pay for this, you underhanded, insolent piece of undead filth!" He cracked his head to the floor again as some of the broken furniture began to rattle, threateningly. "Stay DOWN or I'll twist your HEAD off!"

Chite and Peter exchanged glances as Falcon proceeded to beat Lenoir into the crypt's foundation, then moved simultaneously to go and attempt reasoning with him. After all, killing him would only lose them whatever information he had left in his dirty little mind.

Although, he certainly DESERVED to die for this stunt.

Halfway out of Falcon's chamber, however, Chite tripped on a fallen book, nearly tumbling down the steps face-first, but he managed to catch himself in time. Turning, he glared defiantly down at it, then continued. "Falcon, don't kill him!" he called, his tone lacking the enthusiasm it would take to make this at all effective. "We still need him to find the Keeper, don't we?"

"To hell with it," the furious man snarled, his fist clasped around the prisoner's throat, so tight that the sinews in his hands were visible from where the human boy was standing. "I'd much rather rend him limb from limb than let him run off and let him rat to Thaelen!"

Lenoir made to protest, but all it got him was another taste of the floor.

Suddenly, Peter piped up from the steps. "What if we could trust him?"

"Are you mad?" Falcon snarled. "After all of this, you can still say something like that?"

"No…but I think I have found something that can make him trustable. He may have a use, yet."

Chite glanced back over his shoulder at the smaller boy, who was kneeling before the book he'd tripped on. "What are you talking about, Peter?"

Taking up the volume, he headed down the steps and approached, gesturing for Chite to follow. He did so. With some difficulty, Peter managed to overturn the coffee table Falcon had used as a shield, then dropped the book on top of it. He indicated a page bearing a large, complex symbol, surrounded by a few blocks of text. Scrawled in impressive black calligraphy, the page-header read 'The Binding Sigil'. "Ky-at, read this. I will be back."

As Peter scampered off across the main room to the storage chamber, he hunkered down and squinted at it. His glasses were still somewhere in Falcon's room, but he could make out the words if he looked closely.

"What does it say?" Falcon asked, holding Lenoir in an arm-lock once more. The other vamp seemed to have stopped fighting, though whether out of queer curiosity or brain damage, Chite wasn't certain.

He turned his attention back to the book. The symbol on the page was a diagram, labeled, and the passage spoke of each part. The main body was a circle roughly the size of his palm, identified simply as 'the Ring'. A set of three lines mounted it, the right and left twisted three times around the center one to meet at the very top, and this was called the Binding Minaret. The structure was seated atop a pedestal that tapered to a point at the very bottom, called the Spindle. From either of its sides stretched what looked to be a horn, one arching up, the other down, and inside the circle was a shape like an hourglass, a star held within it. All around the hourglass were lines that stretched out to the circle's borders, creating an effect almost like stained glass.

"'The Binding Sigil'," he read, "'Is an ancient ritual symbol, created by an unknown power, which, when placed on a vampire, ties its essence to that of the one who draws said symbol, giving'--" He stopped, blinking at the rest of the line. "…'Giving the caster of the spell complete and unrelenting control of the dark creature's will'…?!"

Falcon started. "What?"

"WHAT?!" Lenoir parroted, hysterically. "Oh no, you're not going to--"

"Yes, we are." Peter returned, carrying a very impressive ceremonial dagger, and came to stand at Chite's side, gesturing to the open book. "This spell, once cast, never goes away. It will stay with him until he truly dies. Since we cannot trust him, why not force him to be trustworthy?"

"He'd be much more useful if we could control him," Falcon agreed, pensively. He looked down at the blonde vampire, who began to struggle once more at the news of his pending enslavement. "Let me do it. I could find uses for him--like cleaning up what he did to my home."

The smaller mortal shook his head, drawing everyone's attention. "It says that the one who casts the spell must be alive. The vampire has to be anointed with the blood of the master. It reads that vampire blood has no affect on its own race, but to poison them."

"Damn! You're right."

"It will have to be me, then," Peter sighed. At this, Lenoir actually stopped fighting, and he winced. "I don't want him," he added, quickly, in rather harsh tones, "But I will Bind him, for our sakes."

"There are worse things," the Canadian murmured. His head hit the floor again and he groaned.

Sighing, Peter knelt on the floor and, holding the dagger up, looked at Chite. "Ky-at, read to me what the instructions say, please."

He took up the heavy book and sat on the table, skimming quickly for the right passage. "'The one who binds the creature of darkness becomes its Master for as long as its essence remains on earth. In order to Bind it, the beast'--" Lenoir and Falcon both growled at this reference "Hey, I didn't write it! '--the beast must be secured into place, for the sigil must be carved into its flesh.'"

"Fair enough!" In one quick motion, Lenoir was on his back, and the air grew dense with the influence of the elder immortal's gift. Just as quickly as he tried to lash out, he was still, as if paralyzed, though he could still shout and scream to his heart's content--and he took advantage of this freedom. Falcon covered his mouth with one hand for lack of a better alternative. "Just shut up," he snorted. "We're not giving you a choice. Chite, read."

"Reading, reading, sheesh--" He rolled his eyes, squinting at the book again. "'The implement with which the sigil is to be etched must be anointed with the blood of the intended Master. This blood must be fresh, and best results are found when the Master is healthy. (In some cases, a Bound vampire can catch a cold from the blood of its ill Master, as the Binding reaches an immeasurable depth.) Take note that the creature must harbor no inklings of lust toward its Master, or the power of the spell is…voided…'" At this Chite, looked at Peter, who eyed Lenoir, spitefully. "That might be a problem," he murmured.

Peter's brows knit, challengingly. "Why?" he asked, though it was apparent enough that he knew. His face was three shades of red, and was steadily growing darker by the moment.

"I think it goes without saying that you're his type." Chite just barely got out of range before the small Russian boy took a good swing at him, holding the heavy book up as a shield. "You look younger than you are!" he blurted, loudly. "The freak is into kids, and he likes blondes, besides!"

Falcon raised an eyebrow, his hand lifting slightly from the prisoner's mouth as he sat back. "How did you know that?"

"I told him," Lenoir chimed in, helpfully. He'd stopped fighting again, likely out of amusement.

Peter could not have gotten any redder, though whether it was from embarrassment or anger was anyone's guess. He looked more like Pavel at the moment than ever he had, teeth bared and panting from rage. "I do not want him anyway," he said through closed teeth. "Disgusting trash." He casually turned and kicked the lesser vampire in his ribs, receiving a pained groan, followed swiftly by a feral chuckle. He kicked him harder. Chite was pretty sure it was his annoyance with the realization that Lenoir had the hots for him that was making him so angry, not the loss of a potential slave. (Or he hoped that was the case.) "Well, if I cannot Bind him, then Ky-at must."

"Who, ME?"

"Unless there is another Ky-at somewhere." The young witch sighed. "I cannot, and Falcon cannot. That leaves you."

"Can't we wait for Pavel or something?" he asked, despairingly.

"After that transfusion, he won't have a drop of blood left in him," Falcon interjected, darkly. "Besides, how useful would it be? He doesn't speak English, and a Bound Slave needs to know what they're being told to do in order to comply. That much I guarantee."

Chite looked at the captive vamp, who stared back at him from the floor with an unreadable expression. "I sure don't want him!" he exclaimed. "Besides, he hit on me!"

"That seems very non-linear," Falcon snorted.

"I mean, I'm in the same boat as Peter! It won't work if I bind him!"

"Not true," the elder vampire said, matter-of-factly. "You said yourself that Peter is his type. Out of the two of you, you're the lesser, meaning you can likely Bind him."

He didn't much like being referred to as 'the lesser.' Chite sighed. "Why do you guys always have to stick everything on me, anyway?"

"I'm such a burden," Lenoir sighed, feigning sorrow. Having forgotten the idiot could still speak, Falcon covered his mouth again, growling something about gagging him if he didn't shut up. It was sad how their prisoner seemed to be having a grand old time participating in what was supposed to be punishment.

It seemed to him that the decision had been made. They needed Lenoir for information, and while killing him would eliminate the threat of his telling the Enemy--Thaelen?--where they were, he would be more useful alive. Especially if he could be controlled. As much as he didn't like it, Chite had been around this duo long enough to know that, if they agreed on something, it was settled, as Pavel's opinion never mattered and he himself was always the scapegoat. "Tell me what to do," he muttered, dejectedly.

Bridging the distance between them, Peter handed him the dagger, then pulled the book down to his level to better see the page. With a flick of his blue eyes across the page, he nodded. "Give me this; I will read while you prepare. You will have to draw this symbol on his body with the knife, and read an incantation. I will tell you piece by piece what to draw."

"I have to carve it on him?" he asked, disgusted. Peter nodded. He gagged. "Ugh." He swore Falcon smirked at him for a split-second.

Apparently having realized they were serious about Binding him, Lenoir had taken up struggling anew, but the stronger immortal's telekinesis held him soundly to the floor, leaving his body merely twitching now and again in a disturbing manner. The many scattered and broken articles in the wrecked sitting room began to rattle again, but Falcon held him firmly in place, even going so far as to cover his eyes to make certain there wouldn't be an encore to his earlier supernatural performance.

Misgivings and dagger in hand, Chite knelt on the floor next to the fighting vampire, hating that he was being forced to do this. He didn't want a slave, especially not a vampire slave, and the last thing he wanted was a pedophilic vampire slave. Not that I have a choice,he reminded himself. He sighed, inwardly.

"'Beginning the Binding,'" Peter read, like it was an assigned passage in a textbook. "'First, designate an area of the body on which to place the symbol. Some before have chosen the forehead, making trophies of their slaves, while others settle for a shoulder or the back. Any place will suffice, but one must be able to properly transcribe the sigil there, to exact detail, so choose wisely.'"

Definitely not putting it on his forehead,he thought, grimly. Not only was that cruel--even to someone like Lenoir--but he was tossing his head wildly. He'd take his eye out, at most, and screw up the Binding. He couldn't get to his shoulder, and his only accessible forearm already had a tattoo on it, the other pressed firmly to his side by Falcon's power. The most obvious place, he realized, was his chest. Wincing, he indicated it, and Peter nodded his agreement.

Falcon arched an eyebrow, and the material of the captive's T-shirt tore right down the middle, saving him the trouble of trying to cut it open. At this, he heard Lenoir swear beneath the hand on his mouth. Watching him fight was only making Chite feel guilty about it.

"'Using the edge of the implement, the attempted Master must cut themselves, not deeply, but just enough to anoint it with at least one drop of blood. Once this is obtained, the first cut must be made. To prevent accidental contraction of vampiric virus into one's system, be certain to keep the anointing wound away from the vampire's blood at all times.'"

Helpful. Chite swallowed, then, after a moment of thought, pricked his left-hand ring-finger's joint, to make sure there wouldn't be any slips of that kind. The sharp tip of the blade bit cruelly into his finger, and he hissed as blood welled from the wound. He quickly coated the tip, then listened for instructions.

Once this was done, Peter brought the book down to where he could see it, then began indicating parts of the diagram. "'First, the Ring, to symbolize the unending Bond.'"

Taking a deep breath, Chite buried the tip of the dagger in Lenoir's chest, wincing at the startled shout he received.

"Ah!" Falcon jerked his hand back, shaking it. "You childish son-of-a-bitch, you bit me!"

"I can't believe you're going to do this to me!" Lenoir hissed, menacingly. In a flash, Falcon had him silenced again, growling and murmuring all the way. For the second time that night, he looked vicious.

"Ignore him, Ky-at. Draw the Ring."

"I really hate this," he objected. "If he wasn't a vampire I'd feel like a Satanist!"

Falcon jumped again, shaking his hand out. "OUCH! Damn it, Lenoir--"

"Oh sure," he spat, ignoring the bulk of the situation, "because I'm undead I'm not a person! Thanks, kid."

Chite groaned. "You're making this difficult!" he shouted at the vampire.

"ME? WHO has the knife in WHO?!"

"Oi vei," Peter sighed.

"That fucking does it!" Falcon threw a hand up, and a chunk of torn tapestry looped itself around Lenoir's head, successfully gagging him. Try as he may, he couldn't get more than a muffled growl out. "This is ridiculous! Chite, hurry and finish!"

Gritting his teeth, he jerked the dagger in a circle, roughly the same size as the one in the diagram, right at the center of the blonde vampire's chest. He hissed quietly in pain.

"'Within the Ring, the Black Hourglass, the symbol of vampire immortality.' Ky-at, be careful. If you draw it incorrectly, it will not work," Peter added.

He bit his tongue to keep from complaining about the strangeness of it and drew the hourglass shape, the top and base reaching to either side of the circle itself. This left four spaces around it; one above, below, then to the left and right.

"'Divide the upper and lower chambers of the Ring into six sections each, and the remaining into four. This represents the webbing that will hold the creature's wrath at bay.'"

He still thought it looked like stained glass. He did as instructed, suddenly very grateful that he'd left his glasses behind. It was easier to think of the surface he was drawing on as a blur than the chest of a somewhat living creature. Hard though it was to ignore the protesting sounds his canvas was making. Thankfully, the bleeding was surprisingly little, almost nothing at all. He just hoped the shape was coming out right.

"'Draw a vertical line from the top of the Ring, then a single line from either side of it, twisting them around it to meet three times, ending at the very tip of the first segment. This is the symbol of the Binding Minaret, the three lines representing the ropes, the twists the knots that will secure the Binding. Repeat this from the bottom of the Ring, but do not twist the lines around each other, merely bring them to a common point. This is the Spindle, which balances the power of the Master and supports the binds.'"

Had he been reading this himself, he would have no idea what to do. Thankfully, there was a picture, and he copied it to the best of his abilities.

"'From the left, draw a curving line, arcing upward, and from the right, draw another arcing down. These are the Horns of the Devil, which equalize the dark instincts of the demonic soul.'"

He drew a set of arcs from either side of the circle.

"'Finally, within the Black Hourglass, the Master's Icon, the symbol of the caster's beliefs. This mark will represent the Master and their everlasting power over the creature. All lines must connect completely, or the circuit of the sigil will be incomplete, and the spell void.'"

Chite hesitated at this and looked in the book. In the diagram, there was a star inside the hourglass--the Wiccan Pentacle, it said--but the instructions said 'the caster's beliefs'. Did that mean his religion?

He was having second thoughts. He couldn't help but think that Lenoir was right; he was a person, living or otherwise. He didn't have the right to take that from him.

But this 'person' could easily rat them out to Thaelen--and he would. They all knew that. It was too late already, anyway, and he couldn't be trusted. It had to be finished.

"When you draw an Icon," Peter said, suddenly, "you must read this spell, and look at him." And he set the book down and pointed. "And you must say it as if you believe it."

Easier said than done! The green-eyed boy held the knife firmly in hand, staring down into the book. After another moment of thought, he decided the cross would do for his Icon. Steeling himself, he turned his eyes to look at Lenoir, who was already staring up at him, silver eyes narrowed in silent rebellion. He was trying to look away, but apparently Falcon had a good grip on his will. It was now or never. Guiltily, Chite positioned the knife in the hourglass, looked and the spell, and--grudgingly--met the vampire's eye. But what left his mouth was the last thing anyone thought he'd say. "I'm sorry."

It was then that Lenoir actually looked at him, eyes wide.

"'From this moment, by this sign,"--with a flick of the dagger, he carved the cross--"and for all time, your soul is mine!'" Instantly, the Sigil flared, glowing white in the captive's chest. "'I bind you!'"

The Binding Sigil turned red then, and Lenoir screamed outright, though it was short-lived. Within moments, the light faded, and he fell limp against the floor. He didn't move.

Startled, Chite got quickly to his feet and backed away, abandoning the book and dagger in apprehension. "Crap, is he dead?"

"As you say, there's only one way to find this out." Peter looked at Falcon. "Move, and let him go."

The dark-haired eternal didn't like this idea much, but he did as he was told. Standing, he strolled calmly away from the other vampire, pausing to snatch up the dagger on the way. Once he was a good five feet out of arm's reach, he released a deep breath.

Lenoir shifted the very same moment, bringing his hands up and tearing the gag from his mouth. In the blink of an eye, the room began to quake and shift, debris hovering from the floor, and he stood, looking as incensed as inhumanly possible. And, ignoring the other two, he looked right at Chite. "You little bastard," he snarled, his fangs flashing dangerously into sight. He didn't even wait for his power to build. He lunged right for him.

Falcon moved to intercede, but Peter caught his arm. "Ky-at, stop him!" he commanded.

He didn't even have time to ask how, or what to say. He stumbled backward and tripped on the steps, falling flat on his back, only to look up and see Lenoir seconds from descending on him. He could only formulate the most obvious and stupid thing. Throwing his hands up before him, he shouted: "STOP!"

…And Lenoir froze.

He blinked, somewhat surprised, then gave it a moment. Nothing. "…You stopped?"

"I stopped?" Lenoir echoed, blinking himself. He had frozen mid-step and remained there, and try as he may--and he WAS trying--he couldn't seem to move. The Sigil on his chest, visible through the tatters of his shirt, flickered the moment he tried to so much as lower his foot. Then, his surprised expression fell, giving way to something that looked amusingly like he was suppressing a headache. "Shit."

"It worked!" Peter cried, clapping his hands in glee. Suddenly, he was all sunshine and smiles again. "Yay. It actually worked!"

At this, Chite's head snapped around to stare at him. "What's THAT mean?! You didn't KNOW it'd work?"

"Of course not, Ky-at, I only just read that spell."

He groaned. "Your concern for my well-being astounds me, Peter. I appreciate it."

"You are welcome."

Sighing, Chite crawled backward up onto the landing he'd fallen over, staring up at the motionless vampire, who looked pitifully frustrated--and rather funny, as he was caught in mid-lunge. "…Stand upright," he murmured, cautiously.

Lenoir straightened up from the awkward position, glaring daggers at him.

Chite himself was still in shock, uncertain of where to go from here. Well, now it was established that he could control the pedophile, but what was he supposed to do with him? "Um…thoughts, anybody?"

The Sigil flashed. "I personally find this demeaning," Lenoir commented, sourly.

Falcon actually laughed, which only got him glared at by the prisoner. "He even had to answer you!" he cackled, cruelly. Amused, he took a moment to tap his left temple, apparently testing for a reaction. Silver eyes darted to their borders, but the second he tried to move--to escape or to retaliate, Chite couldn't tell--the Sigil blazed red and he groaned, gripping it with both hands. "He's still stuck in your stop command," the amber-eyed undead commented, smirking haughtily at the other. "That mark won't let him break your orders. You told him to stop, he stopped and has yet to 'start' again. It's a powerful spell."

"It's a permanent spell," Peter added. Then, he patted the American boy on his arm. "Congratulations, Ky-at. You now own the pervert."

He exchanged glances with the aforementioned Canadian vampire, and they both sighed. "Great," they said simultaneously.

Their youngest shuffled across the room and snatched the spellbook from the floor. "You can make him do anything, if this book is correct." He looked up. "Let us test it!"

"Like, how?"

"Make him say something that is dumb."

Lenoir huffed. "You're not serious."

Peter glared in response. "Withdrawn. Make him stand on his head."

"You're having too much fun with this," Chite sighed. Still, it was worth a try. If he could make a full-grown man do something so embarrassing…He looked at the captive. "…Stand on your head."

"I can't," Lenoir answered, shortly. "Never could. My balance is terrible."

Well, that screwed that idea.

"You have to force him, Ky-at."

He didn't even bother asking. This is so stupid--Rolling his eyes, he tried again, allowing his personal frustration to fuel the now-shouted command. "Stand on your goddamn head, Lenoir!"

The Sigil blazed a searing red, and, with stiff, almost robotic motions, the blonde vampire made an attempt. He damned his name all the way as he knelt, set his hands to the stone floor and kicked off, scarcely balancing half a second before he toppled over gracelessly, rolling and landing face-down. He made an irritated sound in the back of his throat as all but his new Master burst out laughing. "Oh just kill me already," he growled.

"Now, why should we do that?" Falcon asked, grinning heartlessly down at him as he crawled to his knees, rubbing gingerly at his face. His grin widened, his eye-teeth flashing in that way that meant trouble. "You're useful to us now, Wolf. Now that Chite controls you, you can't do a thing he tells you not to. We're going to put you to good use."

"You think I'll go along with this stupidity?" Lenoir snapped back, showing more ferocity now than he had ever before.

"You don't have much of a choice."

Chite decided it was time to end this. "Lenoir, get up," he commanded. Without bothering to lash out or say anything, he climbed to his feet, glaring at the grinning other with deep contempt. "Stop glaring at him and pay attention to me."

Teeth gritted, his head turned forward and he looked at him.

"Now look, you freak," he began. "I don't want you as a slave, but one, it's too late, and two, I never had a friggin' choice, anyway. Since I'm stuck with you, you now have rules, and you'll follow them. I'm going to spell it out for you." And he made certain he meant every word he spoke from that point. "You're not going to escape again. You won't attack Falcon, or Peter, and you definitely won't attack me, EVER again. Clear?"

He was seething in frustration by this point, but the Sigil flashed warningly against his chest, reminding him of his captivity. (Briefly, Chite wondered what would happen if he tried to go against what he was told, but he was sure he'd find out eventually with this one.) "Clear," he ground out between his teeth.

"Good." Now, it was time to decide what to do with him. While this might have been a difficult decision for any other person having been given a slave out of the blue, glancing around, it was easy enough for him. "I'll figure out your fate tomorrow. For now, I want you to clean up this mess you made."

Lenoir looked around. "You're kidding…"

"You made it, you clean it up," Chite commanded, and the mark once again flickered to make his point. He indicated the many broken items and the disrupted furniture, strewn around the chamber at random. "Put everything back the way it was. If it's broken, use your damn powers and put it back together."

"I can't--"

"You're gonna fix the clock, the couch, and rebuild the table. Put everything back. When you're done, go back to the safe room and sit there, and don't come out until someone comes to get you. That's your job for the night." When the other didn't move, the boy's patience splintered out of existence. "NOW!" he shouted.

Lenoir hissed as the Sigil once again lit up, then turned stiffly and, sighing, began gathering the pieces of the broken grandfather clock, looking dejected and angry, but submitted. Muttering quietly to himself, he began the massive task of cleaning up the living room.

It really works,Chite thought, astounded. It wasn't that he'd doubted the spell, but that he'd thought there would have been more of a fight. Apparently, when the book said the Binding was deep and the control was unquestionable, it wasn't kidding or exaggerating. As angry and frustrated as Lenoir looked, he was doing exactly what he'd been told to do, as if of his own free will, though that was obviously not the case. That spell had complete control of him.

And Chite controlled the spell. He forced the sudden rush of ego away with a yawn.

Tiredly, the two mortal boys followed their immortal guardian into his bed-chamber, leaving Lenoir to his given task. He and Peter sat down by the coffin, the latter hardly reacting to its presence at all. Falcon's kick had stripped the stakes pounded into the lid of his casket, ripping them through and leaving awful tears in the lovely dark wood. It would be quite a job to repair it. He wasn't happy with that, Chite knew.

Before the clock had been demolished, it had said it was past two in the morning. "I'm gonna die in Bio tomorrow," he groaned. "Velen is going to kill me."

"He's going to kill us both," Falcon sighed, rubbing the back of his hand across his brow. He remained on his feet, looking down at the two with weary eyes. "We had all better get some sleep. We still have a lot to do."

"Such as solving that riddle," Peter chimed in.

"And finding the Gate," Chite agreed. At the inquiring expression he received from the Russian boy, he just smiled. "I'll fill you in tomorrow."

He just nodded.

Though neither had noticed him leave, Falcon, re-entered the chamber, carrying a large blanket and a set of pillows. "Sleep in here," he instructed them, indicating the coffin. "I'll stay out here and stand guard, in case the Binding falters."

"It will not," Peter asserted, but still, he made short work of climbing into the casket, quickly finding a place that was comfortable against the wall. He was still exhausted, and this mess had no doubt antagonized his condition. If he was conscious more than a moment later, no one could tell.

The amber-eyed naturalist sighed, then gestured Chite inside as well, offering an arm and allowing the boy to grasp it for balance as he stepped in beside Peter. It was much easier to fit the skinny American and the small Russian in the padded box than it had been to fit the former and its owner inside. Falcon draped a blanket over the two of them, immersing them in warm, comfortable darkness. "Sleep," came his deep, commanding voice, lowered to a gentle murmur. "Tomorrow, this battle continues."

Chite drifted off before he could inquire about the other's comfort in sleeping on the floor. He'd asked enough questions for one night, and been through enough this weekend for a lifetime.

And it would all continue tomorrow.

Sometimes, waking up was the worst part.

----

To Be Continued

Average-length chapter. Yay. XD Review, please, and I'll see what I can do about an update. Oh, and if you're curious about what the Binding Sigil looks like, check out my main page. "www(dot)geocities(dot)com(slash)sunset(underscore)angel87". The first thing you'll see is the Binding Sigil.