When a Vampire Takes a Mortal Bride

By: Tsukiko Goddess

So, let us think for a moment; the usual, cliché way for a vampire fiction story can begin in an all too familiar way. "It was a dark night, and she was running away; away from that place she had learned to call home, away from those people who turned her life into a living Hell, away from the torment and the constant sorrow, and into a brighter day." Something to that affect.

Perhaps to the surprise of the audience, that's not how this story begins... at all. No, everyone, this one has a bit of a... how should one say?.. normal beginning to it. After all, Ulrike Galloway was a fairly ordinary girl, in the general sense; loving parents who had their occasional disagreements, two younger siblings, pleasant interest in football, wholesome hobbies, and an ever-blossoming social life to name a few points. She was ever proud of her heritage, as a young African American girl would seem to be, and was unashamed of being an outspoken American Christian.

Life was her game, and she played it fairly well. When she needed the frequent escape from playing, however, it was when the Mad 47 put their pieces on the board. A life behind her life, one that few knew of. Her gang, those that welcomed her into their world and offered sanctuary when the perfection was nearly unbearable. A people of fiends who had become her dearest of friends, something of a malicious family.

But on this day, not even they could protect her from what was about to happen.

ONE

"We should do this kinda thing more often, man", Yuri said jovially as they walked out of the food court and into the late evening breeze. It was fall now, a lovely beginning to the first day of November; the sun warm on the skin, the air cool and crisp as if inhaling autumn itself, and there was even a full moon out.

Ulrike smiled, sighing to herself in agreement with one of her best friends. "Hell yeah! Why didn't we do this every birthday I had? This is hella better than a usual Sweet Sixteen party..."

"We're only here to help, Rike", Sham added jokingly, putting his arm around her neck at her laugh. "And you know what? I never thought shopping with such a brat like yourself could be so entertaining... you make shit fun, you know that?"

"I try", she chuckled, the three of them trotting over to a bench where they sat down seven shopping bags, all of them Ulrike's. She wasn't a saver, that was for sure, but there was the sporadic spur of the moment where she felt like not everything needed to be spent at once. Today, her 16th birthday, was not one of those days.

From out of his pocket Yuri pulled out a box of Marlboro's... his favorite... and stuck the slender coffin nail in his mouth, his other hand searching his baggy pockets again. Shaminder and Ulrike rolled their eyes in unison, Yuri staring at them with confusion and a bit of annoyance. "Wanna help me out here? Rike, where's your lighter?"

"Right here, Yuri. No, quit reachin' for it, cuz you know I don't use this thing for coffin nails. Matter of fact, gimme that thing. You're gonna kill yourself with it."

Yuri's auburn brows furrowed at her quick actions, yet Ulrike knew she only was helping him out. Even being the one and only child in the house, Yuri's parents apparently weren't able to continue building the parent-child relationship with their 17-year old son. Little did they know of his current taste for Grey Goose Vodka, his "healthy" obsession for professional porn, nor his sexual habits. In all actuality, the Spielbergs had given up on intruding their son's life about four years ago.

Now's the time to be Mommy, though, Ulrike thought, tossing away the slim. I gotta help him out when he won't hear from anyone else... I love this kid too much.

Shaminder sighed when Ulrike plopped down on his lap and leaned against his chest, him resting his chin on her head. With her just half an inch over 5 feet, it was both simple and comfortable to lean on her. He asked her quietly, "Did you notice that dude over there? The one on the bench across us?"

Ulrike turned her head slightly, noticing the dark hooded figure on the bench, indeed, about thirty feet behind where Sham stood. All she could see was an ember in the darkness of the trench coat's hood. He must have had a cigarette in his mouth.

To Shaminder she shook her head; she was honestly none too concerned who the shady character was. "Didn't notice him till now. What about him?"

"He's been following us since you got your Cinnabon half an hour ago. You know him?"

"I can't see his face", she muttered, taking one last glance before sitting up from his lap, picking up some of her bags. Ulrike breathed a heavy sigh, accepting that the day was just about over. It had been the best of birthdays she was ever thrown, especially because she spent it with her best friends. Hopefully next year'll be better!

"Hey, let's get these in your car, Yuri. I probably gotta get home soon."

Yuri smirked as they headed for the silver Tundra. "One last gift for ya, kiddo. Check it out."



With that new present from Yuri, Ulrike was able to get into the BlackAmp nightclub... with her fake ID.

"Indira Raeia?", she squealed, looking at the ID card as they passed the bouncer and into the club. "You totally spoil me, hun! Oh, I love it!"

"I knew you'd always loved the name", he had confessed, shrugging his shoulders with a smirk on his face. Shaminder had elbowed him.

Instantly the sound waves shot through her, and in the next second she was grooving with it all. The song, Lil John's "Snap Yo Fingers", was blasting through those hidden stereos, and she turned back to see her friends over at the bar, already getting drinks. Whatever, she thought with a smirk, watching as Yuri demanded a Cosmopolitan as Sham asked kindly for a Screwdriver, both of them flashing fake ID. This's my night, right? Better enjoy it while it lasts... holy crap, it's my song...!

Always being the corky, bold one, Ulrike slithered her way through the crowd and made her way to the center of the dancing throng. She danced by herself through four hardcore beats, easily managing to come across several guys along the way. Each one of them was well-endowed in the Looks Department, giving her a wink or two before making sultry advances. Ulrike, never one to be rude about an invitation, denied with a polite flash of her dark sepia eyes and a flaunt of her curvy hips.

Something in her little swing made each hottie turn right around to another chick, as if they hadn't seen her to begin with. She would only laugh to herself, amazed at her unknown power over these silly, shallow boys, and wondered to herself as she closed her eyes in euphoric excitement, Hell yeah. Look away and wish you could, buddy!

Half way between No Doubt's ancient-yet-still-good hit "Keep On Dancin'", arms slid around her waist. They were bands of muscle, not hefty like a Hulk Hogan but trim and fit enough like Vin Diesel's, comforting and rather enticing against her thin shirt. A whisper in her ear came, deep and sultry. "You dance pretty well alone, princess. But what about with another guy?"

Ulrike smiled. "You wanna find out?", she replied, suddenly resisting that feminist urge in her system that screamed for her to push him away. But the feel of his muscles around her waist, his hands playfully toying with the belly ring in her naval gave her some unusual relief she had never felt with anyone else. It was like dancing with Yuri and Shaminder all over again; a rarely found comfort zone.

He laughed at her response, pulling her closer to him so her back could embrace his front. Rock hardness behind what seemed like a silk shirt immediately turned her on, and for a moment she wanted to turn around and see just who this audacious man that just ignited every last sensual fantasy in her mind was.

"I couldn't help but stare at you, even all the way from my table. You turned down every last guy who came up to you, so I wondered if you'd give me a shot... without seeing my face."

How cute, she thought with a smile, her hips making rhythm with his to the vibes of the new beat. "Wow, you musta really planned this whole thing out. You got a name, Prince Charming?"

"You could call me that", was his slick reply. There was an intense heat on the right side of her neck, a heat that made her want to simply fall back and faint with sudden placation. It took another few moments for her to realize he had been tracing his tongue very lightly across her skin. It was overbearing, unexpectedly, and just as she leaned against him completely, her knees giving out without warning.

No one caught her.



"Rike!"

She fluttered her eyes open, staring up at a black ceiling. Yuri... this was Yuri's room. But why?

Both Yuri and Shaminder looked down on her, Sham shaking his head in something of pity. "Well, at least you're awake. We thought you were drunk and knocked out."

"You know I don't drink", she murmured, her head suddenly throbbing. "Gimme some Motrin IB, please and thank you. My head's killin' me." Just as Sham nodded, leaving the messy room to do as she asked, Ulrike sighed and put a palm over her eyes. "What happened?"

Yuri shrugged. "Good question. We saw you lying across a booth table by the VIP room, and we ran over cuz we thought you were drunk and out." His maple green eyes averted to her neck, his fingers observing an amulet around her neck. "And you've got a present from someone. I think they're a member of the COS."

"The what?" She looked down at her pillowed chest, taking notice of the 7-Pointed Pentagram with the head of Satan. Shaminder came back in, handing her a glass of fizzing Canada Dry two red-white capsules. Sitting on the bed next to them he replied, "Church of Satan. COS is the Church of Satan."

"Well, that's amusing. Can you take it off?"

Both boys reached forward, leaning back and glaring at each other once they nearly knocked heads. Irritated and beginning to feel slightly sick, Ulrike groaned. "C'mon, guys. It's just a stupid necklace. You can fight about who wants it later."

"Oh, it's not that", Shaminder muttered as Yuri sat behind her with a smug grin. It disappeared a few moments later once he removed her hair from the back of her neck. "There's no clip."

Ulrike choked on the pills in her throat, Sham patting her back gently. "Whatdayou mean 'No clip'?"

"Do I need to spell it out for ya?", he sneered.

"He's right; nothing there. How'd you get this on, Rike?"

She downed some more from her glass, shrugged simultaneously. "I didn't."

"Well, of course you didn't, love. I did."

Her heart caught for a moment, all three shooting their heads up to where the sultry voice came from. He was there, standing in that window like a prized trophy, his arms crossed over a broad upper body that was kept hidden by the black long-sleeve polo. Actually, Ulrike could see a bit of the chiseled chest from the unbuttoned top. Once he lifted his acerbic silver eyes from his hefty South Pole jeans and met hers, she froze.

It was him, it had to be. The dude she danced at the club.

Yuri crawled quickly across the bed to his nightstand, pulling a gat out of the drawer an aiming it fearlessly at the un-welcomed stranger. "Okay, buddy", he said with a grin. Yuri made that face each time there was about to be a showdown, though this one was going to be more fierce; he hadn't used his gun in a while, and the adrenaline rush was coursing through him again. Yuri was dangerous then, Ulrike knew.

But the stranger in the window sighed, clapping his hands. Instantly the lights from the fan flickered off, and Ulrike gasped. From next to her, Sham put an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close as his own gun clicked. "Those lights aren't the clapping kind", he whispered hoarsely.

"What the fuck is going on?", she demanded, jumping a little as she heard a thump on the carpet. He must have jumped down, though the only lighting there was in the room now was from the gleaming moon. "You're that dude I danced with at the club tonight?"

He chuckled, his heavy footsteps nearing towards the desk on the other side of the bedroom. "Oh great, you remember. Yes, sweetheart, it's me. I'd kinda hoped you'd say the statement a bit more fondly, though."

"Like Hell", was all Yuri sneered before popping out three shots. Ulrike shrieked, always fearful of the destroying power of bullets so close, and leaned against Shaminder completely. But what she didn't expect was the body tossed right beside hers; slamming so forcefully into the wall it dented. She yelled at Yuri's painful shout, leaning over him in an instant.

"Yuri!"

"What the fuck are you, man?" Shaminder shouted, aiming his gun and popping a couple himself. Ulrike watched in terror as the stranger's shadow disappeared and came in front of Sham's, crushing his body into the black wall. She screamed, completely lost in what to do.

My phone... the gang's right up the street--

Don't even try it, sweetheart. You so much as touch the phone, and I'll do the same to you. Which would be a shame..." She held her breath again at the feel of his icy mint breath against her nose, suddenly scared as nothing before. He was right in front of her, his rock hard body between her slightly parted legs, his chuckle low and malevolent. "… because you're such a sweet kid. Well, young woman, if you really'd like to be straight about it. I guess sixteen is adult enough." A light kiss in the cave of her neck ignited her memory of earlier that night, but this time she attempted to squirm out of his reach.

"Stop", she stammered firmly. There was a sudden lift in her soul for knowing she had said it the way she always planned if something like this went down. "Stop it."

"I need you to come with me, Ulrike", he whispered in her ear, his seductive hands coming to her waist and resting there. "I won't harm the two if you do. Matter of fact, I'll let them heal overnight so that they wake up good as new."

"If you could", she spat bitterly.

He chuckled, shaking his head. "You'd be surprised. One way or another, I'll make it so they're all better. I'm sure… Shaminder, is his name?.. would be in a state of shock if he awoke to realize if he moved his neck it would snap. His neck is broken. And Yuri?" Both of them glanced over in his direction, Ulrike feeling the tears burn in her eyes as she barely made out her friend's crippled body in the darkness. His breathing was shallow and low, barely audible. "If we leave him here, I'll guess he'd be dead in an hour. Internal bleeding in his kidney… and a broken spine. Nothing too nice to recover from--"

"Will you shut up!" Ulrike tried to push away the tears, willing herself to keep a cool head. "I get it! Just get them to the hospital… right now!"

"And you'll come with me?"

She looked back up at him, wanting to question what was in her mind. It was possibly going to be ridiculous… it might take away a few seconds from Yuri and Sham's time… but she wanted to know. "What if I don't, huh?"

He chuckled lowly again, setting another kiss where he did the night before. It began to bun suddenly, and she moaned quietly at the dull pain it created. In her ear he whispered, "Then I'll kill them."