When a Vampire Takes a Mortal Bride

By: Asia Ralaia Schiegoh

Previously in When a Vampire Takes a Mortal Bride:

"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."

TWO

It was odd, this predicament she was in. Odd and, for a wonder, extremely frightening in her case; never before had she been so afraid.

She could still barely see his facial features, as close to her face as he was. There was only a moonlight tinted shadow on his strong jaw; a painting of Picasso's almost. His scent was unnervingly exotic; as if he wasn't from around here at all… when he spoke a few moments ago she could barely tell he had a European accent. And that hair… yeah, something out of a curly Greek Playgirl magazine.

"Ulrike?"

How does he know my name?

He took her face in his hands, drawing her out of thought. Unexpectedly, she winced at his feel. "Cold", she murmured, wanting to escape his grasp. Such a soft touch was overridden by the sharp tang of ice. "Let go of me, you're cold.

"You didn't answer me." The cold stranger didn't release, Ulrike's cheeks rekindling the headache that had just begun to disintegrate. She was squirming now, desperate to move from his cold touch. "Ulrike."

"What?"

"You heard what I said. No, don't look at him, look at me. Yes. When I speak to you, you respond. Do you understand?"

The tears were overwhelming in her eyes. His touch was cold, no matter how soft. Her two best friends were in critical condition… possibly near death, according to him… and, dammit it all, there was a splitting migraine going on in her noodle.

Was this what she had been waiting sixteen years for, truly?

But after a quick sniffle, she nodded. This guy didn't need to see the flow of any tears. "Yeah, I getcha. I'll… I'll go with you." Ulrike sat up straight, lifting her head in something of defiance. "But you better heal them first. No, I mean, like, you heal them right now. I wanna see you do it before I got any-fuckin-where."

She heard him chuckle darkly, an automatic agreement, and stiffened as his cheek smeared against hers. Interesting, really it was; the very first time she had been so intimate with a member of the opposite sex, and she had to worry if he would slit her throat or not. Why did life seem so suddenly messed over right about now?

"Good negotiating", he replied silkily in her ear. "I always admired the talkative type. Fine, I'll make your little buddies all better right now, if it's what you want. Then we leave."

He stood up then, her breathing returning slightly to normal as he left bubble. Kneeling in front of Shaminder first she watched with nervous anticipation. But the anticipation quickly dissipated into shock as he bent over and put his mouth to the boy's… intimately, it seemed.

He kissed Sham.

Unable to watch as her heart beat wildly out of control, Ulrike crept slowly away from the two, gasping when her toe nudged into warm flesh. When she flipped around it was difficult to recognize Yuri's body in the darkness of the room. It was devastating, watching him do absolutely nothing in that still, mangled position, his body barely twitching. Suddenly Sham took a breath, sounding as if he lifted his body from under the ocean, and it quickly became shallow again.

Yuri wasn't.

Her movements were now sporadic. She pushed herself off the bed, stepping awkwardly on what felt like Yuri's wretched foot as she did so. Despite the blindness she felt wildly for the door knob, throwing it open and rushing down the hall and down the staircase.

His laughter echoed the house… echoed, for goodness sake… as she ran into the dimly lit kitchen. Frantically she came over the sink, then taking three quick scoots over to the right by memory. She felt the kitchenware in the drawer she'd just pulled out. Mrs. Spielberg's fine collection of Pampered Chef knives glinted in the ribbons of moonlight.

Perfect.

The horror-film-replica butcher knife was easy in Ulrike's hands. It wasn't the ecstatic weightiness of a gat, something she suddenly longed for right now, but it would have to do. Moving in an agile manner was a street characteristic a few of The Girls had been trying to teach her; the three of them, Raye, Ghostie, and Felicia, fought easier with a couple of switchblades than a gun. Ghostie went at you so fast you didn't know you were cut until you saw the scarlet fluid seeping down your shirt.

That's how we named her, Ulrike thought, taking a deep inhale to calm herself. Can't see a ghost, really. Give it a couple minutes, and he won't see, either.

The lights flickered on and off, her eyes flashing around the room in search. He had to be around her somewhere, the freak. He had to be somewhere near, probably on his way down the stairs. In another second they final fizzled off, the sound as if the bulbs had been burned out. Great, no lights. Damn, crap just keeps getting worse.

His demonic laughter came again, still echoing, and at the gesture she held her head high whilst straightening her spine. Her lithe, beringed fingers flexing against the smooth plastic handle, now slick with her sweat. But she was ready, most def; only one of them would prevail, and there was no doubt in Ulrike's mind it'd be her. A smile curled complacently across her lips.

"Put it down, babyface." At the pet name she sniffed haughtily, eyes scanning the dark kitchen. If it weren't for the light pouring in from the night sky, Ulrike was sure she wouldn't have spotted him at all. Even now she couldn't make out anyone.

She cleared her throat, ready to intimidate. "You gonna stop hiding or what? This little hide-and-go-seek deal is annoying as hell."

His chuckle was even more upsetting than the hiding. Ulrike stepped forward carefully, coming around the island-stove. She didn't realize her free fingers grip the edge of the counter in something of expectancy for him to simply pop out somewhere. Just like a horror flick, she smirked to herself again, shaking her head. "Let's go, man! Hey, while you're being a coward, why don't you tell me what the hell this thing around my neck is? How you get it there?"

She didn't expect him to reply so casually. "You don't like it much, do you, sweetheart? You've got to wear it, though, I'm so sorry. It shows your affiliation to my clan."

Clan? "Whatayou mean? You bang out?" With a grin she awaited a dumbfounded response, expecting him not to have a damn clue as to what she just said. He was too much the upscale type to know her lingo.

Another aggravating chuckle. "Yeah, babydoll, I bang with the big boys. I'm guessing you gangbang, too, despite your upbringing. The typical well-to-do good-girl looking for a way out of perfection. A badass poser, I'd say."

"You think whatchu want", she sneered, pursing her lips. "You dunno shit about my life."

"Why'd you involve yourself with the streets, sweetheart?"

"I got my reasons. And hey, stop calling me those names. You're not my man."

She had just dropped the last syllable when those bands of muscle constricted her again, one around her waist with the other damn near strangling her neck. The hand that had her neck in its arm gripped her wrist, Ulrike watching with a gasp as the butcher's knife slipped from her grasp. The tip of the blade chopped itself upright into the wood flooring, missing her toe by a mere centimeter.

That breath was cool and sweet against her ear, yet again, and she couldn't shake the feeling that his touch was so cold. When he spoke, she could nearly taste the spite in his tone. "You see, that's where you're wrong. Right there, what you just said. I am everything to you, don't you know? You breathe for me; I am the motives you find the strength to rise in the morning, the very essence that you call your will. I am your reasons, sugar. It's all me."

She shook her head. It didn't make sense, any of it. He was talking as if he knew her, as if he was the air around her or something. Like he was her conscience.

"Now", he began again, brushing at the loose braids in front of her face. He paused for a moment as his fingers touched her forehead, then chuckled darkly. "Aha; you're nervous. Don't be, sugar. I won't hurt you if it's not for your benefit. I would never. And you've got to understand, what I'm going to do here is for your protection. You'd be murdered in cold blood if I didn't take you along with me."

Her seemingly constricted throat loosened slightly, allowing the scratchy words to escape like a frightened child's. "I'm. Not. Going… anywhere—aah!"

In an instant she was in his arms bridal style, his strength slightly more impressive than she had time to calculate. Ulrike didn't have the Twiggy body form; more like what Lil' Kim appeared to be, before she lost weight. In any case, she wasn't lightweight.

Wanting to shriek from being lifted off the ground she thrust her arms at him, attempting to shove him away from her. "Put me down!"

"Jesus Christ, these black chicks." With that he sighed irritably, setting the girl down on her feet before swiftly snatching the black satin kerchief out of his back pocket. The moment it came over her face she fainted, eyes rolling into the back of that dark abyss she called a mind as her body went completely lax. "Love you guys to death," he continued with a mutter, lifting her up again as he kicked open the back door. Unlocked, just as Payam said he'd leave it. "But this excessive talking just drives me insane."

END CHAPTER II