A/N: If people seem to like this story, I will update, but if not, well, I would still update it, just not as often. So if you would like to hear more about Damien, review please. It would mean a lot to me. Oh, the first paragraph is very tenative. I might change it later on, but it won't really affect the rest of the story.
Part I: In the Beginning
Chapter 1: The Rebellious Son
I am a vampire, the vampire Damien to be exact. Yes, I am real as the rain that falls outside my window. Would you like me to prove my words, to go t o your house and bite your very neck with my knife sharp fangs? No, I didn't think so. People rarely invite me to kill them, to suck their life right from their neck even as I sit here now writing up my life. Back to what I was saying, I understand people value life highly. Mortals, how gullible they can be. They believe that vampires are guiltless beings without a care in the world. Like Dracula. But let me tell you now, I have never met a single immortal who has encountered this so called great vampire. I have my doubts about his existence. But you are different aren't you? Well, I'm just going to hope you are, just for my sake. Selfish am I? You try living by yourself while those you love dies around you. But that's not why your reading my story, are you? You don't want to read about how gullible I think mortals are. You want to know how I became a vampire, am I right? Well, I matters little if you want to read this or not, since it's your choice to stop reading this and chose something else to read. But for those who want to hear, this is my story, this is my life.
I was twenty-three that year. A third son of a high lord, but not the youngest. I had a younger brother and a younger sister. Alexander and Elena were twins, both seven years younger than I was at the time. My eldest brother was to be the heir of my father's lands. And Daniel, he was at his wife's lands somewhere down south. I was to be the scholar of the family, to study in one of the preeminent universities in Terithiea, the continent of which my family owned land on. I would study the history of our land, to see truth from myth. To extract fact from the seemingly fictional myths, like the story of Adelaide and her two lovers. Yes, I believed and still believed there is truth behind it. I had my life ahead of me. I had a good career, a wealthy family, and I was even set to marry a daughter of a high lord whose land I would inherit when I married the girl. Why, I even had more freedom than most noble born sons did. Save for the fact that I despised most of the people of my family, life was good. Keyword there: was.
I spent as much time as I could with my parents, or my mother really. They were elderly and my father was sick with a fatal diseases that inflamed his vital organs, causing him constant pain. The healers and doctors who came to his aid the moment he admitted he was ill declared my father had no more than a few more months to live, maybe more, give or take a few years. His vital organs would soon begin to deteriorate. Mother cried harder than I have ever seen her. I comforted her as best as I could, being the closest child to her and all. I hated to see her in distress. And as for my father? He knew his time had come. He told me he had sensed his death coming for years. Or actually, my eldest brother, Jacob, told me this. You see, I am not always on the best of terms with my father. He thinks studying is a waste of a life. He sees history as a waste. He wanted me to become learn the art of swordplay, to become a connoisseur of great wines before I would inherit my wife's lands in a few years. The girl, Angela, was too young to marry just yet. She was, I believe, no more than fifteen years old at the time. Lord Davis believed that what I wanted to do showed signs of weakness. Well, to hell with him. He was dying anyways. That sounded cold, didn't it? Yet, it is the truth. I had respect for my father, but not love. He was cruel to me because I was the intellectual son. The son who liked to read more than practicing my sword work. After I turned ten, though, my mother, who encouraged my studies, helped me convince my father to let me study at one of the local schools, where he would pay for the tuition. For a few years, I studied there until I turned fifteen. Then I traveled to different schools and universities, expanding my knowledge until I was twenty-two. I never left the university, not once. Not even for the wedding of either of my elder brothers, who both despised me. My mother came when she could to visit, but she never stayed longer than a few hours. My father strongly disliked the notion of her leaving the sanctuary of home to see his rebellious son. But when I learned of my father's illness, everything changed.
My father, like I said, was dying and my mother had come to me at the university I was current attending. She found me shortly after she received one of my rather infrequent letters. I was in my room, pouring over some book but the candlelight in the darkness of the night. It was still too early to sleep. It was only seven on the clock and the snow outside was pouring down heavily. I heard a quiet knock on the door. I wanted to tell my intruder of silence to leave. It was ever so rare for anyone to come to my room after twilight. Placing my red ribbon bit in the book, I slammed it shut and left it on the table. With my candle in one hand, I went to the door.
"Who has come at this hour of the night to disturb my silence?" I called out before answering my door.
"Damien, please open the door, it's only me, your mother."
Mother? Why would she bother to come to me in the worse possible traveling weather? It didn't seem right, yet, that was her voice beyond the door. Something must be wrong. I opened the door slightly so I could close it quickly if someone had come to harass me. Yes, I have enemies too among my fellow students. Pure light was shed on the quiet and aged face of Lady Drusilla. Behind her, I saw one of the gaurds of the university who escorted my mother down the residential halls. The guard nodded to me before he left, leaving my mother in my care. I opened the door wider to admit her in before I shut the door behind her. I lit the sconce one my wall and several more candles to see my mother more clearly. She sat on one of my two chairs which was usually covered with clothes draped over it. The cloak she wore was the one I had sent her five years ago for her birthday present. It was damp with melting snow. The woolen lilac dress she wore was for comfort and warmth rather than for fashion and beauty. Water dripped from the tips of her graying blond hair. Her serene blue eyes watched me carefully as sorrow spilt from them like tears. It was her serene blue eyes I had inherited, as well as her year round tanned skin. But my sorrel hair hue had come from my father, as well as my straight-bridged nose. I sat on the edge of my bed, which was adjacent to her chair.
"Mother, what's wrong?" I asked. The tension was building in me. I had to know why she was here. She rarely came to visit me these days, and when she did, it was for a reason.
She shook her head, her hands tightly clasped her dress. She looked at me with those sorrowful eyes, her bottom lip quivering and her eye brows pinched in deep distress. Yes, there was something defiantly wrong. "He's dying," she whispered, her voice shuddering.
I got off the bed and knelt in front of her. Taking one of her cold white hands in mine, I asked, "Who's dying?" Was it one of my brothers? Oh gods, let it be Jayson. I hated him so. But don't let it be young Alexander, he was always so sweet, so innocent. Or maybe it was…
"Oh, gods of woe! Davis is dying!" she cried out, collapsing in the arms of her son, my arms. She wept harder than anyone I have ever seen. She loved my father, no doubt. But my father dying? Could it be true? I felt freedom for the first time since I felt home. I was free of his wrath, free from his reign. No one could hold me back now, to keep me from becoming one of greatest scholars of our time. I would be free to study at the finest of the universities. Freedom, I felt my lips shape that wondrous word. I murmured for my mother to calm herself. My neighboors would soon come pounding on my door to demand what was going on. These walls were made of nothing more than paper, figuratively speaking.
"You must come back home, you must! Davis wishes to see you one last time before he dies," she wailed into my shoulder. The brown tunic was thoroughly soaked and so was the white cotton shirt. She wailed the same words over and over again. She was in a near frantic state. My father wished to see m. He wants to see his son, the little boy he once knew as the rebel. Was that what I was to him? The rebellious one of the family?
I should go home, I haven't seen home for over twelve years. I have never laid eyes upon any of my nieces of nephews, the wives of my two brothers, and poor Alexander and Elena, who I last saw as the three-year-old twins. I doubt they would remember me as their brother, but more of an absent part of their family. How old were they now? Fifteen or sixteen? Last I heard of them, Alexander went off to train as a knight somewhere and poor Elena was at a boarding school for young girls be taught in the manners of etiquette of a lady. So mother had no one at home to help her cope with the crisis. Even Jayson was absent, visiting his wife's family. He would be there for sometime still. And Daniel? Who knew where he was.
"Yes, yes, I'll go with you back home," I found myself murmuring. It was the right thing to do anyways, even if I still despised my father all these years. I would do this for my mother, not for him.
Eight days later, I found my self standing in front of the manor for the first time since I was ten. It felt odd. I never really considered home as home. It was always the place where I was born, nothing more. My mother was inside, awaiting my arrival. The manor was moderate in size, no bigger than the average manor owned by an average lord. Snow swirled around me, the wind picked up and shot a cold blast into my unprotected face, but I loved it. I would revel all day in it if I didn't catch hypothermia first. Snow, yes, I loved it, I loved the cold. I walked in to the manor hesitantly, my cloak billowing against the wind. It must have been quiet a sight, a lone figure in the cold bleak morning as the snow swirled around his tall figure. Behind me, the servants of my father had come to take my boxes of items. The manor, once in side, was warm. Upon entering I saw the familiar parlor with its coffee tables and fancy chairs. The windows were protected with old glass and draped with tapestry. My mother was there to greet me. She was overjoyed that I had come. Come, come she told me. I must take off my wet cloak and come see my father immediately. Alexander had come as well, and so had Elena. Where were they? They were in the room with my father.
Up the stairs, down the halls, and then past this door. Ah, yes, I remember these rooms, there halls. Why, I even remembered making that mark on the carpet when I accidentally dropped a partially empty bottle of ink on the floor. The bottle crashed and shattered into pieces. The ink splattered everywhere. So they never really removed the stains, which was really such a pity since I liked that design on the carpet. Ruined forever it was. And my room, gods it something to merely walk by it. The redwood door was closed and the hinges looked a bit rusty. I placed my hand on the latch and pushed down. Nothing happened. The door was locked. Oh, well, I'll ask for the keys to it later. But for now, time to face my father.
The sick room was empty save for Alexander and Elena who stood on either side of my father's bed. Gods, how different they looked, both of them. Alexander looked much like Daniel, with his blond hair and amber eyes. He was lanky, but one would be quick to underestimate his strength. I suspected that he was stronger than he looked. With his back to me, he didn't notice my entrance, but Elena had. She was fair, in my aspect. Her dark curly, brown hair, like Jayson's, tumbled down over her shoulder. Her quick brown eyes scrutinized me, trying to understand who I was. She was a small thing with her high cheekbones and full lips. Elena had yet to grow into her for though, like Alexander. I walked forward cautiously, never taking my eyes from her eyes. Alexander saw her gazing at me. He turned around. My mother was somewhat behind me, in the shadows.
"Who are you?" he demanded, his voice deep like a man's. He came forward to accost me. Obviously he wasn't as quick as his sister, who probably suspected I was her absent brother. The rebellious one. I looked at Alexander and saw much of my father in him. He was shorter than I was by a few inches, maybe more. But then again, I was tall at six feet in height. He looked at me with such ferocity for interrupting his and his sister's time with our father. He loved Father very much, that was plain to see.
"I was requested to be here, by Lord Davis. I have as much right to be here as you and Elena do," I replied in my calm demeanor. "Obviously you've forgotten that you have three elder brothers and not two."
Alexander scowled at me, recognition and anger that he didn't pick up on that fact that I was his brother filled his eyes. "Right, the absent brother of mines. Mother to me about you. But you are fairly disowned by Daniel and Jayson, are you aware of that?"
I nodded, my eyes drifting over to my father. He was conscious, his eyes roving around as he lay there, limp. The covers were drawn close under his chin and his gray shoulder long hair was strewn on his many pillows. I winced when I saw him recognize a foregin voice in his presence. So the old man still had his hearing. Alexander looked over at his sister, who was fixing Lord Davis's covers, smoothing them as if trying to sooth the situation as easily as she could with the blankets. My father whispered something hoarsely to Elena, who in turn, began to gather pillows from some source beside herself and prop our father into a sitting position in the slightest. He knew I was there now. He knew the rebellious son was there, oh yes, he knew alright. And maybe he'll finally understand what a loss I was to him. He never appreciated me. Not once. Not even when I played scribe for him. Oh yes, I hated him. But enough about that.
I pushed passed Alexander, who moved out of my path with a cat-like grace. I could feel my anger fill my heart. How I wanted to strangle this man, to kill him slowly. He only sent me money for my tuition because my mother made him. He only allowed my study at these universities for my mother. My mother was the sole person he loved most. He would make fire from water for her. But if I had asked to study at the universities or I wished for money for tuition at the schools, he would have laughed in my face and told me to go practice my curtsies like the girl I was. As for the money, he would have take a single piece of copper bit, worth almost nothing, and told me to go on my way. Now I laid eyes for the first time in more than a decade on the man I loathed most. His mouse brown eyes were nearly devoid of emotion, save for a bit of delusion. His face was age and wrinkled, like all of his skin. The light brown hair was ashen to a white. He watched me with his sunken and there were large visible bags under his eyes. I wanted to slap him across that impassive face.
Elena moved away from our father to stand beside her twin. Mother came forward to collect them both and nudged them out into the hall. Then she stood at the threshold watching silently. My father was watching his two youngest children leave the room. It was obvious that he didn't want to see them go. His eyes roved over to me, bewildered. "Who are you, do I know you?" his voice was as guttural as sick he looked.
I couldn't believe it. He really did not remember his third son, the 'rebellious one.' Earlier I swore he knew me by the sound of my voice, but I guessed wrong. It was foolish of me to believe that he remembered me. I wanted him to remember me not out of love and respect, but out of my very anger and envy. When I was younger I always wanted to be my eldest brother, who my father held in high regards. I wanted that love, that respect. My father's tired eyes dropped from my face to the chain and ring that hung from my neck. The pendant was the family crest that I had never bothered to rid myself of but I didn't want to wear it. I leaned closer to him. "Remember me now, father," I hissed, my voice was filled with such virulence that I didn't know I possessed.
His eyes shot up to meet mine, my blue eyes. I was the only child to have mother's blue eyes. Gods, if he didn't recognize me now, I think I would I have openly strangled him. But recollection of his rebellious son was there in his eyes. I saw his lips shaped my name before he spoke, his lower lip quaking. It was a while before he spoke. I gave him his time. Maybe, just maybe, some good will come from this. And besides, I do think mother would have come from her place in the shadows to scold me for my insolence and I didn't want to hurt her. "Damien," he whispered aloud. Was that gratefulness in his voice? He was grateful that I had come? "My son, sit by my side, you are so tall it hurts me to look up at you. Yes, thank you. Ah, Damien, you look so much like your mother, did you know that?"
I couldn't take it. He was just going to pretend that nothing happened between us. Did he forget that he never valued anything I had ever done for him? How he made my blood boil, but I curbed my tongue and actions if not my thoughts. He was searching my eyes, mumbling how thankful he was that I had decided to come back home. "Damien, I'm glad you've come back home for good. I even arranged the marriage between you and your lovely betrothed to marry in the following year."
I wasn't really paying any specific attention to him unparticular, but I caught those words home for good…marry in the following year. Was this man insane? I didn't want to marry just yet. Maybe in a few years, no wait, like ten years! And who said I'd be staying here for good. Who was he to jump to conclusions? Old man, if it was up to me, I wouldn't even be here. He was still rambling, apparently oblivious to the fact that I wasn't even looking at him, but elsewhere. Just like him, to put words into my mouth. Did he really think I would stay here? Did he know nothing of me? When I was ten-years-old and I did want to stay so what made him believe that I had changed? Who said I would marry anyways? I wanted to marry, but to marry for love, if I must.
Suddenly I lashed out at him. "Why put words in my mouth!" I fairly shouted in his face. Spontaneously he hushed; fear was naked in his eyes. "I never wanted to stay, I wouldn't even be here if I was my choice! By ye gods, you don't even know me, you're just putting words in my mouth. And who said anything about marriage! You haven't changed a single bit. You never appreciated me in the least. Never, not even once. Do you even know how much I wanted to be like Daniel or Jayson! To be in your favor! You think you know me but you are far from it."
I heard my mother gasp but I didn't regret my words. I could have said more, but I knew I would be better to not exclaim at my father anymore. My point was taken. Fear and sorrow hit him like a slap on the face. He watched me with those eyes. I couldn't stand it. I meant what I had said, but I didn't expect this. I was ready for his to yell at me, to retort back. No, I couldn't deal with this, his eyes. I stood and strode to the door. I was vaguely aware of exclaim at my father anymore. My point was taken. Fear and sorrow hit him like a slap on the face. He watched me with those eyes. I couldn't stand it. I meant what I had said, but I didn't expect this. I was ready for his to yell at me, to retort back. No, I couldn't deal with this, his eyes. I stood and strode to the door. I was vaguely aware of someone, probably Mother, protest, telling me to stay but I had no heart for it. I marched right passed her, down the hall and to my room. I put my hand on the latch and shoved my weight against it. It wouldn't budge. I nearly cried out in frustration. Now I knew why I hated it here. I stopped one of the servants who had come after hearing my exasperated cries. I demanded for the keys to the room. At first she hesitated, mumbling that this room belonged to the absent son of the lord.
"I am the absent son of the lord," I shouted, showing her my family crest ring. I was in no mood to argue. I was quite surprised to find myself shouting at this poor woman who had only come to aid me. I promise you that I am not normally so vociferous, but anger can make anyone sharp. She complied out of fear, I could see it in her eyes as she went rushing to the storage room to fetch the extra key. A few minutes later the brunette returned with the dusty key. Immediately she apologized for the dust and wiped it on one of the cleaning rags she had before she gave it to me. I virtually wrenched it from her hand and shoved it into the lock. The room was the same, untouched. Probably on the account of my mother. If it had been up to my father, I think he would have ordered my brothers to raid my room and take all my valuables. Then he would have inevitably turned my room into some sort of study for Jayson. My room was dark and cold, but I did care about that no more than I care about the dust that was rising in swirls around me in great whirlwinds. Coughing in spontaneous spasms, I accidentally walked into a table, sending lances of pain thorough my shins. By ye gods, that hurt like fire. I gritted my teeth. I would not cry out in pain. That would give my brothers something to satirize me for, and I wasn't ready to give them that pleasure. Eventually and painfully, I found my way to my dusty bed by touch after several more bruises and painful whacks. I was vexed beyond thought now, annoyed that I didn't even remember the mere route to my own bed, irritated that my father couldn't even remember how much I truly hated him. Oh gods, how I wish this was a dream. I collapsed onto my bed, only after I shook out the covers of dust making my eyes water and my throat cry out for water, hoping to fall asleep and never wake up again. Oh what bliss that would have been.