Silver droplets of moonlight shone and clung to a cascading waterfall of waist length, raven hair, hung limply around a crumpled figure. The deep midnight sky was clear and constellations twinkled like diamonds in a vast velvet cloak. The air was warm and an easternly wind lightly shook the trees, leaving the leaves dancing and the grasses singing but there was tension in the atmosphere. Dark beauty and mystery were presences so deeply felt, you could inhale them with every breath you took. The crumpled figure, clad in black, stirred slightly in a pool of crimson blood. A thin, slightly built girl lay on the cold, damp ground in an empty alleyway, her delicate features badly bruised while the shiny deep red liquid continued to pour from her open wounds. Her black lace corset had been slashed and her skirt lay in shreds. Long deep, clean cuts covered her arms and upper body. Claw marks, red and raised, crisscrossed over her exposed breasts. Some beast had violated this girl and left her for dead in a foreboding side street. What devilry was here? What monster was this?
Dust swirled around the half dead body with the sudden change and strong gust of wind. The young woman whimpered, having not the strength to do much more. Her eyelids fluttered but she was so weak from loss of blood she could do little else. The street lamps flickered as a dark male appeared and began to approach the bundle of flesh and blood.
He was tall and thin, with golden hair so fair it was almost white. His skin was pale but looked even more so against the contrast of his black attire. A sleeveless black shirt was pulled tight over a well formed body. He moved with the grace of a dancer, floating rather then walking. The spring in his step demonstrated athletic agility. He had the look of one that should not be trifled with. Piercing silver eyes took in the scene that lay before him.
A beautiful girl, about his age, sixteen or so, lay alone on the cold, hard ground. Jet black hair, the most wondrous he's ever seen blew in the breeze and lay in tangles over her tattered clothing. Her tanned skin was covered in blood and open wounds. She lay still and lifeless, as if dead. He knew this girl.
"Oh mon Dieu!" he breathed. His voice so soft and silky it was almost music like. It could charm and entrance any who heard it. Thus was but one of his hypnotic charms. He threw himself to his kneels beside the girl. "Lucia! Lucia can you hear me? Please answer."
The girl's eyes flickered open so faintly it was like watching a candle in the wind, to reveal violet eyes, as bright and beautiful as the rarest amethysts.
"Asher . . ." she whispered. Her strength gave out and her eyes closed once more.
"Non!" he gasped. "Don't leave me."
Without thinking he fumbled with the pendent about his neck, breaking the chain that held it in his haste. The pendent was a vile of a dark liquid of sorts. The vile was glass, inset in pewter with dragons and pentacles interwoven around the flask. A ruby had been carefully carved by a master craftsman into a cork to contain the contents. Yanking the ruby from the vile, he poured the liquid down Lucia's throat, carelessly dripping the remaining drops onto her blood red lips.
"Sourdre de sang restore Lucia with le sang d'amour. With the blood of my body bring her back to me." he commanded.
Collecting her fragile body into his arms he waited. In the silvery light of the moon, her coffee coloured skin seemed to glow, perhaps it was nothing but the light in his eyes that shone for her only but even in mortal standards, she was a beauty. To him, she was a goddess, even bathed in blood she remained so. Resting an elegant hand on her cheek, he covered one of the more severe gnashes. Beneath his touch, the wound closed and the blood disappeared. This was the healing power of a vampire at work. The bond between a vampire and their human servant allowed this magic to exist. The girl's eyes opened slowly. You could see the life returning to her body reflected in those sparkling purple eyes. The male vampire, Asher, breathed in relief and smiled.
"Asher." she murmured, struggling to sit up.
"Shhh, shhh, be still. You are still recovering from the healing spell."
Bewilderment crept onto her face and she frowned. A start of recollection sprung tears to her eyes.
"What were you doing wandering alone? I told you I wouldn't be more then a few hours." he said.
"I . . ." she began but stopped when she caught sight of the empty vile still clutched in the vampire's hand. She gasped. The colour draining from her face. " Asher, please tell me you did not use your lifeblood on me." Seeing in the answer in his eyes, she groaned and layed back once more. A vampire wore a vile of his own blood on him at all times. This was his sang de vie; his lifeblood. To let another drink of this blood, even if it was for healing, would give their life unto them; it was to become one. This vile could only be drunk once, one person could receive one vampire's lifeblood. Normally it was used in matrimonial ceremonies and this she knew. Fixing her gaze on his face she tried to speak, but her throat tightened and no words come out.
"Hush Lucia," he said, pulling her tighter to him, "no more of this. We need to get you out of here."
Too tired and weak to argue, she leaned back against his chest as he rose and carried her away to safety into the dark night.
Bright rays of sunlight warmed and awoken Lucia from her deep slumber. Blinking the sleep from her eyes, she looked around at her surroundings to find herself in her own room. The comfort and familiarness of her chamber relieved her. Perhaps the events of last night, still hazy in her mind's eye, had been nothing more then a dream. She rose to find herself in a torn and filthy dress. Crusted, dry blood flaked off the garment as she peeled the thing off. Then the memories flooded in. Asher. She threw on another dress and ran down the stairs into the darkened lower level.
Asher lay asleep on the couch. His fair hair tousled and his clothes stained with blood; her blood. He stirred as he heard the stairs creak from her bare feet padding along the wooden stairs. Opening his eyes, he fixed his lazy stare on his girlfriend coming towards him. He half sat up and, seeing her distress, welcomed her into his arms. She cuddled up close to him, resting her head upon his chest. To the mortal world, they were an unusually beautiful couple who had been together forever and kept to themselves. Most humans regarded them with pity, for as far as they were concerned, she had been living alone in her house since her parents had died less then a year ago. He had moved in with her to escape abusive parents and both were living on student welfare. This tale suited the both of them fine and insured that they were left alone.
"Are you well?" Asher asked, nesting his chin into Lucia's thick mane, feeling as if he had rested his head on a satin cushion.
"Shaken," she half smiled, "but I'll be ok. That alleyway is usually neutral territory though so I thought I'd be fine." She shuttered, remembering the beast's cold hands roaming her body and his cruel lips feeding off her skin. She trembled slightly even now in the safety of Asher's arms. "I never knew that goblins would be roaming so close to our circle."
"He should have never taken one of ours." he said fiercely.
"Goblin rapes are not uncommon in these parts." she whispered sadly, as the tears fell once more. Normally tears embarrassed her and she would show no one but she shed them freely now, so great was her terror. Her fear out weighted her anger and the overwhelming sense of helplessness was too much for her to bear.
"Hush," Asher murmured soothingly, planting a kiss on her soft forehead. All the wounds on her body he had since healed. "No more."
"Why did you give me your sang de vie?" she asked.
"Do you not remember?" he said surprised. "You died. I could not leave you. It was the only way to save you."
"But we are now bound as one."
"We were bound before." he reminded her.
"Not like this." Lucia lifted her gaze to meet his.
"No," he said softly, "you are right, not like this. But we were one long before you drank of me. We were one since the very start. It was always more then vampire and human slave."
"I am not human. And you are half demon yourself." she smiled.
"I know Dark One." he smiled back. "Your elven blood makes what we have stronger. Dark elves are intoxicating. From the minute your blood touched my lips, I knew I had found my other half. The goblin will pay for the crime he committed mon sang d'amour. I will avenge your shame."
"He has had me, Asher. My heart and blood may be yours, but my body is his according to our law. Any of The Circle elders will tell you so. I am a slave to two masters." she whispered through her tears. She could still feel hot breath down her neck and see his sadistic smile. Her wrist still ached from where he had grasped her and though they were healed, she could feel the ghost pain of bruises on her hips. The feeling of helplessness would not leave her anytime soon. She shivered. His moans would haunt her dreams for a while yet. She had felt like a whore, even worse, an object to be used and thrown away. Asher would never do such a thing to her, but still she shied away from his caress. She had always been afraid of the opposite sex, terrified in fact, until she had met Asher. And now that phobia surfaced again with greater reason then ever before. Would her Asher do that to her? Could he?
"You are no slave of mine. You are of my blood." he promised, seeing the look in her eyes and feeling the tremble in her touch.
"Even so, until the curse is lifted, I cannot be yours."
"So be it." Asher swore, determination hard set into his voice. "He shall die upon my knife for he has taken my blood love from me. You will be mine."
Her lips met his and his mouth filled with the taste of blood.
Lucia and Asher rarely showed up for class at the local secondary school. As long as they passed all their courses and kept out of trouble with the law and school, they remained eligible for student welfare. The two knew how to keep a low profile and took care to maintain one. They cut classes during the day but were to attend the formal dance that evening; a social event where they would mingle with their own kind. Human kind unknowingly socialized with other creatures in human form. Most of Lucia and Asher's kind either kept with their kind or kept to themselves. On the rare occasion that they did interact; it was a big even indeed. Each individual was dressed to impress and strutted a choreographed routine, to catch the eyes of all.
The humans were a mass of soap smelling bodies, clothed in an array of materials and powered in a rainbow of paints to bring out the female's eye colour or the curve of her lip. The fearie folk floated amongst the dancers, their auras glowing, moving with waterlike grace, clothed in pastels and smelling of new fallen rain. The shadow people blended in with the night sky; they glided with a dark and secretive course, weaving in and out of shadow and light. Silk and velvet clad, they took on the forms of the dance floor seductress, the community in the back corner of the shadows or the mystifying couple alone near the edge of the band's stage. The air rippled with excitement, music filled ears and beat against your ribs. Multicoloured lights danced in each eye. It was party atmosphere in every respect. These were the youths on the brink of adulthood spreading their winds to fly amongst the critical eye of real world society.
The skirts of Lucia's midnight purple, renaissance style dress swept the floor with each gliding step. She danced in and out of the crowd, politely smiling and acknowledging the people she knew as she headed toward the back corner. Asher was less sociable. His fair hair had been neatly brushed back, handsomely complimenting his black, silk dress shirt. He watched the light from the disco ball flicker in Lucia's hair worn lose, long and flowing down her back, like a hunter watches his prey. He clung to her fingers, allowing her to guide him off the dance floor.
He smiled, content. As a rule he didn't like people, but seeing Lucia glow as this type of atmosphere did, made him relax and let down his guard a little. His rare social appearances were always remembered by all in attendance for his party boy reputation. He knew how to have a good time. He had been a wild creature of the night until she had tamed his wild soul and doused the raging fire that fuelled his searching heart.
A dark couple stood in the shadows by the wall. Her golden hair fell about her Elizabethan dress in lustrous waves. Her pale skin glowed with a moonlike aura. She was tall and thin but did not possess the grace most shadow people displayed. Her mate was taller then she, with a ruffled 1800th century silk shirt. His hair was cut short, leaving his face exposed to shadows and emerald eyes were fixated on the girl. Their heads were bent in deep conversation and the girl was waving her arms about in animated frustration. Her partner was trying, unsuccessfully, to calm her down. Their conversation came to an abrupt halt once Asher and Lucia came into view, dancing their way through the throng to greet them.
"Mon amis!" Asher called gaily, hurrying towards them, his girlfriend hanging onto his arm. "Jeremy! Ela! I thought you would be here."
"It's been far too long elf." the faerie girl laughed, embracing Lucia.
"Who's have thought the faerie and the dark elf lordling would have lasted so long Ela." her friend teased.
"Well it won't for long if Jer doesn't get his act together." the faerie complained not bothering to mask her annoyance. "There's a new guy at our school he's one of us, I can tell. Jer and him have gotten all buddy buddy but there's something not right about him."
"You're just jealous that he's more fun than you." Jeremy scowled. Ela smacked him lightly on the arm. They made an odd couple, always at each other's throats. They had been in denial for the longest time about their feelings for one another and even now, those emotions sometimes went unexpressed. They fought over the most insignificant details but strangely enough were perfectly happy together. A friendship had developed into something more and now was recognized as an unholy alliance; no one double crossed these two. They were allowed to insult the other, but heaven help the outsider who stepped in. They were two fighters from hell itself with razor sharp tongues; their words were their weapons.
There was a tension between the faerie and the lordling, had it been between the vampire and his mate, things would be easily resolved. An exchange of blood or something physical relieved most tensions. Such were the ways of vampire lust. The faerie folk (elves and faeries) were known to have less physical relationships; their words were the keys to the other's heart. Creative and poetic expressions of love were common. Vampires fed off physical contact. The sharing of blood was seen as highly symbolic and romantic. If it could be helped, a vampire was rarely not connected with their lover, either in embrace of or in the joining of hands. Love, lust, hate, it was all the same to the shadow peoples.
"Come ma cherie," Asher said, standing behind Lucia and putting his arms around her, "mes amis will you join in our dance?"
Casting one reluctant glare at Jer, Ela allowed her mate to lead her to the dance floor. Weaving through crowds of people, they formed their own circle under the disco ball. Laughter broke the tension as each body moved to the rhythm of the blaring music. The girls twirled in a whirlwind of billowing silken skirts while their partners competed for the better dance moves.
"That's him," Ela whispered in Lucia's ear, "that's the new guy."
Lucia's eyes followed where her faerie friend had pointed. Lighting up the dance floor, surrounded by a cheering group of humans, a well built, average height male, strutted his attractive dance moves in front of all the girls. His tousled flame red hair was plastered to his brow by beads of sweat. He moved not with the shadow people's fluid motions but with human grace. Despite his human like characteristics, it was evident by the gleam in his sapphire eyes that he was not. Each move he made was captivating, his rhythmic presence was hypnotizing. Almost every eye was drawn to this boy. He flashed a smile of perfect pearls, he knew of the power he held and was enjoying every minute of it. A mischievous sparkle in his spring sky blue eyes burned with the fires of passion, each move, each step fuelled by his lust. She knew this stranger, she had encountered this shadow previously.
"Lucia!" Ela exclaimed as the elf maiden's legs no longer supported her delicate body. The two boys rushed to catch her limp figure.
"Ma petite," Asher said as Lucia slowly regained composure, "what's wrong?"
"Who is the new guy?" she asked shakily.
"Who? Stephen?" Jer answered. "What's wrong? Do you know him?"
Lucia couldn't find her voice, she merely nodded. Asher pulled her to him and Ela patted her comfortingly on the back. They didn't have a clue what was going on or what had startled Lucia so, they thought nothing of it.
"Lucia . . ?" But she didn't hear the worried tone in Asher's voice. She didn't hear his voice at all. Normally his soft words hypnotized her, enveloping her and securing her focus on him alone. Normally, it would be only him. Presently, everything and everyone seemed to fade away into a hazy background. The room hummed and swayed. She stood alone in a fog of colour.
"Come to me . . ." a voice murmured seductively inside her head. "Come to me . . ."
In a daze, she surveyed the room for the owner of the voice. Her enchanted body followed the melodic voice. The room melted away leaving only the stranger with the richly coloured hair in the centre of her world. He was her master. He was calling to her.
"Come to me . . . You are mine. Come to me . . ."
"Lucia!" Ela called, running after her friend. Jer held her back, casting a confused look at his vampire companion.
"That's him." Asher said, rooted to the ground.
"Who?" Jer asked softly.
"The goblin." he whispered to no one in particular. "Her master. The son of a bitch who raped her last night and left her to die in the street."
"Come to me." The red haired figure standing shrouded in the foggy mists of mystery. "You are mine. Come to me."
Lucia walked through a dream to follow the voice. There was a clear path to her mater; nothing and no one stood in her way. He was beckoning to her. She waded through a sea of colour, a rainbow thicket to reach him. He was a stranger, yet it was as if she had known him her whole life. Something grabbed her, trying to pull her back, but onward she walked, yielding to the captivating powers of the stranger. He was every breath she took, he was all she saw, he was all around her. She found her arms outstretched, reaching for him, welcoming him like a child.
He pulled the girl to him planting a lingering kiss on her parted lips. Asher screamed in anger but was not heard by his mate. The girl trembled under her captors touch. He ran a finger with practised skill along her smooth bodice, desire raging in his eyes. How soft her skin was to his touch. Oh, how she rendered to the call of her master's body.
"You are mine." he growled. "You're body is mine."
"Master . . ." she breathed.
"No!" Asher cried out as the goblin escorted Lucia out of the school gymnasium.
The evening air was crisp and cool. Overcast, no moon nor stars could shine their light. It was cool enough to make Lucia shiver and cover her arms in prickly goose bumps. She walked so calmly, so naturally, so serenely, that anyone would have thought her to be a lovesick youth, walking in a dream with her significant other. His presence, she found was enticing, she could not keep her eyes off him. She was under his spell. He smiled lazily don at her an threaded a trail of kisses through her hair. His breath on her skin warmed her entire being.
"Not much further babe." he whispered along with other endearments as he steered her into a dimly lit park. Lucia could make out figures loitering by the street lamp's light. They had gathered in a circle, from within the circle, a voice called out to them and Stephen led her towards them.
They were all darkly dressed like some kind of street gang. Tough and unapproachable with their arms folded across their chests. A couple scandalously dressed girls hung off some of the more built members arms like decorations. A couple others were playing with cigarette lighters or carelessly handling shiny, silver bladed knives. They hung around, completely nonchalantly and laid back. This was their territory. They were at the top of the food chain here. There were not threats to their lifestyles. They owned the place and weren't afraid to show it. They were goblins; power hungry and sadistic. They were known to be perverts, bisexuals and the likes; anything to satisfy their thirsty lust. Of all the shadow people, they were the least friendly. They had their own hell reserved for their deadly sin of lust.
"The Lord Stephen has returned!"
One of the more muscular goblins sauntered forward to greet his comrade Stephen. He studied his friend's companion with little interest. He held her face in his hand studying it's precious features.
"She's good enough." he nodded his approval. "Show us what she can do."
"Come here baby" Stephen grinned to Lucia, leading her into the centre of the circle. He forced her down onto the damp ground, throwing himself down on top of her. She moaned in discomfort as he pushed his hips into a grind. The goblins around laughed and encouraged the sport. This was their pleasure, their entertainment.
The wind suddenly blew hard and cold. The night silenced save for the furious beating of wings. Asher's sleek black wing lowered him to the ground, kicking the goblin off Lucia as he did so. The goblins froze in shock, unaccustomed to being challenged. Asher's fury allowed him a couple good kicks before the red haired goblin retaliated to defend himself.
The battle began.
In a whirl of black wings, Asher circled the goblin. Then in a hurricane of motion, Stephen grabbed Asher's throat, Asher punched him in the nose. The goblin kicked him and sent him reeling backwards. Kicks and punches were thrown. The thud of bone blocking bone rang through the air. Blood ran like a river. They tore at each other's skin and clawed at their faces. They pinned each other to the ground and rolled in a desperate struggle of strength. They lunged and lashed. They fought tooth and nail. Just when it seemed one was about to lose, the tables turned in the other's favour. The other goblins held Lucia captive and she struggled to free herself and get their hands off her. Sweating and gasping for breath the two fought on. Covered in blood and dirt, their clothes were torn further as the battle raged on. The wind whipped around them surrounding them in a cage of dead leaves. Dodging in and out of the street light on nimble feet turned the battlefield into a stage.
"This girl is mine. Her body belongs to me." the goblin sneered.
"She is of my blood. You cannot have her." the other vowed.
Throwing himself onto the goblin, Asher tackled him to the ground. The two struggled but Stephen was weakened; he wouldn't last much longer. The vampire dug his fangs into the vein on the side of his neck sucking the life out of him. A small stream of blood trickled down the goblin's neck.
"Return the girl to me." the vampire snarled.
"She is yours," he choked, "if you live."
Goblins never play fair. They cheat when it becomes evident that they will lose. Stephen was one such creature. With a final exertion of strength, he took a silver blade from his boot and plunged it into Asher's ribs.
"Take that vamp." he laughed. "You'll have your girl; in the fires of hell. I can see your skin burning now. May death have pity on you."
And so he died. The goblins backed off the dying Asher, tending to their own loss.
"Asher!" Lucia cried kneeling beside him, taking his head in her arms. Carefully she freed the knife from it's temporary flesh sheath. "Stay with me Asher, please."
"Ma petite." he smiled, struggling to sit up. "You are mine. My sang d'amour."
"Asher, don't leave me."
"Jer's not going to be happy I slew his friend." he joked mildly. "Aw ma cherie, do not cry, silver kills vampires but I'm not all vampire." As he spoke, the incision the knife had created closed and the wound healed. He collapsed backwards, taxed of all remaining strength. He needed blood, fast.
"Here." Lucia offered, lying down on his chest. Offering her neck to his mouth she will his fangs to grip her flesh. She whimpered in pain as his teeth pierced her skin but she did not flinch. At first, he was too weak to suck from the punctured skin, merely allowing her blood to pour into his mouth and down his throat. As the blood revitalized him and brought the life back to his body, he began to drink deeply of the power she so freely gave. The warm fluid tasted bitter sweet as it flowed from her body to his lips. He sat up, sucking the last of the blood from the cut and licking it clean. She exhaled deeply as he ran his lips up her neck, over her face and meeting her lips. She turned to him yielding to his touch.
"Of my blood, I am yours." he murmured.
"Of my blood, I am thine." she answered.
They were one.
Asher pulled Lucia closer to him. She closed her eyes as he whispered sweet endearments her heart longed to hear. Longing washed over her so overpowering it scared her. She shuttered and pushed him away.
"What is it ma petite? What frightens you so?"
"I cannot be yours. I cannot be consumed in this way." she cried.
"The fires that consume you, consume me as well. We are one. The devil himself forged our souls together. The blood coursing through your veins flows through mine. It is your blood, my blood, our blood. You saved my life. I am your servant to do your will until the end of time. Do not turn from me now, not after all that we've been through. I will care for you as I care for my own self. Hush now. Do not fear me sang d'amour. What we share, nothing can break I am yours."
Fearfully, she looked up into his silver eyes, so sincere. He was her mate. The dark elf's body had forged into the vampire-demon's; they were one.
"Bring me home." she murmured, pulling her partner to her. His heart race in time with hers. "Worship the Goddess with me. What is forged in the darkness never dies. Come with me Asher."
She smiled as his lips pressed hard up against hers. She bit his lip, her mouth filling with the savoury taste of his blood. A tiny stream of her crimson soul trickled out of the side of his mouth.
"Sang d'amour. . ."