The Basement

Never Knows Best

Chapter One

~The Happy Family~


I didn't want to do it.

I've always considered myself something of a badass, I'm not afraid of blood or needles, I don't scream when I see a spider and I definitely don't back down from a fight no matter how badly outnumbered I am. Lately, though, I've found that I get squeamish over all kinds of things I had originally thought would be no problem at all. It's not that I was scared. Definitely not that. I just didn't want to do it.

"Jesus fucking Christ!" Darwin growled angrily from beside me. "Just drink the fucking stuff! Do you need me to hide it in some orange juice or something?" he mocked.

What a little bitch. Seriously. "Shut the fuck up!" I snapped back. Darwin made me swear a lot more than I was used to. And I swore a lot to begin with. I guess he just has that kind of personality that brings out the worst in people. "I'm gonna drink it," I stated, but I was still staring at the stupid goblet in my hands and wondering if there was any way to get out of this.

You'd think after two months I'd be able to gulp down a glass of blood without having to psych myself up for it first. The grossest part was that I found that I really wanted to drink it. I wanted the blood, I needed it, but when I started to seriously consider drinking it my mind repelled and I couldn't do it. And I had to drink at least three of these glasses every damned day to keep my strength up!

Darwin was glaring at me, his baby face scrunching up in irritation. Some people may have found the face he made cute. In fact many people did. Even if he did stalk the night and drink people's blood, have a foul personality and dressed like a delinquent, old ladies still whispered about how adorable he was. There was nothing Darwin hated more than being called 'adorable'. Which is why I made a point of doing it often.

Not now, though. Right now I was starving and I had the nourishment I needed in my hands, thick and goopy and smelling strongly of metal.

"Drink it quickly, before it gets cold," Darwin told me. He was always talking about how it tasted best when it was fresh from the vein. The longer you let blood sit the harder it was to swallow. It started to dry and get all tacky and soup-like. Eventually all the nourishment I would have gotten from it would fade away. It would become dead blood and then it would be worthless. "I spent a lot of time finding that for you so you'd better damn well drink it!" He certainly did sound like a vampire father. It was like getting scolded for not eating your peas, except my daddy looked like he was thirteen and hadn't quite lost his baby fat before he was turned.

"Don't rush me," I was really getting annoyed with Darwin hounding me all the time. I couldn't put it off any longer. Steeling myself, I plugged my nose -not something I really had to do since I didn't actually need to inhale the scent of the blood - and gulped down the crimson liquid as fast as I could. It was already starting to go sticky. It stuck to my throat and I nearly gagged on it as it went down.

"About damned time!" Darwin grumbled. He looked over to the other person in the room, who had remained quiet up until now. "You're too soft on her. You should let me take over. She's mine, after all."

"You're too young," Iden admonished. "You're not even old enough to be on your own yet, what makes you think you can care for and teach a childe?"

Ah, Iden. Darwin may have been my sire - my vampire daddy, as it were - but Iden was the one who was really in charge of teaching me the ways of the vamp. In fact, he was in charge of teaching Darwin too.

Apparently Darwin was only a few years old as a vampire, and technically wasn't supposed to be out from under his sire's wing just yet. Too bad we had killed his sire two months previous. Francis had been a creepy little bugger. He'd teamed up with some big-breasted vampire tart and kidnapped me and my brother, tried to kill us all and then nearly succeeded in killing me. If it hadn't been for Darwin I would have been buried in a box for sure.

Too bad it was against the vampire rules for one as young as Darwin to make another vampire. Yeah, the vampires have rules. Can you believe it? They can't just do whatever they want. They live in little communities and each community has a boss and the vampires in the area have to listen to him. The rule where you're not supposed to make more until you're like, fifty, is pretty much universal though. Iden practically had to beg to keep us both alive and offered to take us both under his wing.

The Boss is supposed to be called 'Magister' but people only call him that to his face. He's this kind of sleepy-looking guy with salt-and-pepper hair and a wrinkly suit. He doesn't seem to give two shits about much of anything so I don't know why he's in charge. No one else seems to want the position though, so I suppose for now he's safe. His name was something boring and forgettable, like Harold or Henry or something like that.

So, the Boss may not have cared about me and Darwin, but his lieutenant sure as hell did. The Boss's right hand man and personal leg breaker was called Joe and he was built like a brick fucking wall. His skin even looked a bit red. Iden said the guy had been turned with a sunburn and his skin just stayed that colour.

The idea of a vampire with a sunburn struck me as so hilarious that I couldn't look at the guy without laughing for three weeks. Iden told me to stop that because the last person who'd laughed at Joe had gotten his skull crushed.

"You're too damned easy on her, old man!" Darwin roared, "You should have taken her hunting for real by now, but she still can't even manage to drink from a glass! Can't even get her ass off the ground, either."

That wasn't fair. I had a very healthy disdain for heights. It wasn't that I couldn't fly, I just didn't want to. Kinda like how I just didn't want to drink the blood.

"Everyone moves at their own pace," Iden was explaining patiently, but I could tell he was getting annoyed. That's Darwin for ya. He even grates on Iden's nerves, and Iden has the patience of three saints. And he's damned sexy too.

I kinda wished that Iden could have been my vampire daddy instead of Darwin, but that's not the way it worked out. Well, at least I still got to be with him. I must admit, the idea of being able to spend eternity with Iden got me a little excited. When I was human the possibility of a relationship - or even a fling - with Iden Black was far fetched at best. After all, he's a hundred-and-something years old and I'm a teenager. Plus, even if I didn't want to admit it, the deadness kinda freaked me out.

"I was hunting humans my second night," Darwin complained.

That's because Darwin is a psycho.

"Darwin, shut up," Iden growled back.

"Make me!" Darwin snapped. He was so childish sometimes. "I don't have to listen to you."

"Actually, you do," Iden pointed out.

"Fuck that, Franny taught me all I need to know. I could teach Aysel better than you! Just because I'm young doesn't mean I'm incompetent!"

Darwin and Iden had this argument all the time, and it usually ended the same way. Darwin would get himself worked up and leave in a huff and Iden would groan and rub his temples.

"I seriously doubt Francis taught you anything more than the basics," Iden sneered. He even looked good when he did that. "You didn't even know what the Magister's name was."

I didn't know what his name was either, but I wasn't about to point that out. Besides, I was practically an infant so I had an excuse.

"Why is that important?"

Iden threw his hands up in frustration, "I don't want to argue about this again. You and Aysel are both under my care and if you don't like it you can leave and see how long it takes Joe to find you and tear your legs off for breaking a law you didn't know existed."

"Fuck this!" Darwin yelled. He stalked towards the door angrily. "I'm going out. Try and stop me!" He slammed the door as he left, making the windows rattle. What a princess. I looked to Iden and rolled my eyes. He returned my gesture with a smirk.

"Do you want to take bets on how long he'll stay away this time?" I wondered.


Ah, Darwin. It was such a pleasure having him around all the time. Arguing, causing trouble, acting like a brat and making a fool out of himself and me at court. Court functions were not something I attended very often. Indeed, I didn't really care much for the politics and the currying of favours from those higher up. But I at least knew enough not to get on certain people's bad sides. Darwin seemed to make it his personal mission to make my unlife more difficult than it really needed to be.

I have no idea why I'd agreed to look out for him.

I looked across the room at the dark haired girl who was watching Darwin storm out with a mixture of annoyance and amusement on her face.

"Do you want to take bets on how long he'll stay away this time?" She asked me.

Aysel. I had been fond of her when she was a human. She was fiery and unpredictable and a little bratty at times, but my unlife certainly had not been boring since we'd met. She was why I had to put up with Darwin. The two of them came as a pair, since Darwin had turned her. And, well, I supposed Darwin was a friend, too. He had surprisingly offered me help when I'd needed it and even turned Aysel in order to save her life. I supposed I couldn't get too annoyed with him when I knew that underneath all that biting sarcasm and sharp tongue there was a real person who may have actually cared for someone other than himself.

"He'll be back by tomorrow." I responded to Aysel.

"You think he'll spend the day on his own?" She wondered.

It wouldn't be the first time. Darwin was volatile at the best of times. He'd probably need that much time just to cool down, despite the fact that we'd had this argument a hundred times before. He really thought that he was able to train and raise a childe, when he hadn't even been taught everything he needed to know yet.

"What should we do tonight, then?" Aysel wondered.

I had planned on teaching Aysel and Darwin more about the courts and who to watch out for, but it was pointless if Darwin had taken off. It was the kind of thing a man didn't like to repeat, since it was pretty stale material.

"Why don't we work on your flying?" I suggested. Aysel scowled. I knew she wouldn't like that suggestion. She hated flying lessons. "Or we could try hunting?" I suggested this because hunting was the only thing that made Aysel more nervous than flying. A squeamishness about blood and heights was not the kind of thing I had expected from Aysel. She always seemed so tough. But I guess everyone has their weaknesses.

"I guess we can do that," Aysel sighed. I knew she would agree. She rarely gave me any trouble. Unlike Darwin. She was a good student when she was interested in what she was learning.

We were about to leave when Aysel's mobile phone started to ring. Frowning, she picked it up and flipped it open. "Hello?" She said into the receiver. She frowned for a moment as she listened and then passed the phone over to me. "It's for you," she said.

It's not as weird as it sounds. I'm over a hundred years old. Mobiles are a new thing for me and I just can't seem to figure them out. I had refused to get one before Aysel came along and insisted upon it. Even I had to admit that they were useful for sharing information quickly, but technology and I don't mix very well and I ended up breaking three before Aysel gave up and said that we could share. So now when people need to get a hold of me, they just call her phone. She's usually at my side anyway so it's not inconvenient.

I took the phone from her and held it cautiously to my ear, "Hello?" I said. The voice on the other end was one I recognized. It was from Barry, the vampire I had running security in my club. I never was very interested in the place, but it brought in a decent amount of revenue. I had hired on several new people to watch over the place so I could pretty much ignore it unless there was a problem. From the urgency in Barry's voice, I figured there was a problem.

"There's a problem," Barry told me.

I rolled my eyes. No kidding, Barry. "What kind of problem?"

Barry sounded very distraught. His words were rushed and there was a lot of commotion in the background. Well, commotion wasn't unusual for a nightclub, but it was a lot more prominent tonight. I tired to listen as Barry attempted to describe the problem to me, but it was too muddled to work out.

"There was this guy... big trouble! Everyone's in a panic. We got... and then...I mean, boss, you should really get down here -"

"Barry!" I snapped in annoyance, "I don't know what you're saying. Just give me the gist of it and I'll come down there."

Barry took a deep breath and started again, slower this time. "Boss, someone's been killed."

"...I'll be right there."

Author's Note: There you have it, folks! The very first chapter of 'The Basement'! I'm jumping right into the plot here so this one should move a bit more quickly than 'The Attic'. Tell me what you think, so far! And stay tuned for chapter two 'Club Dead' July 14th!

On another note, I am planning on putting up a new story in September, but so far I am unsure which one I want to put up. I have put up a bit of information about my four candidates on my FP profile, so go read them! Then go and vote in my poll to let me know which one you'd like to see! Make your opinions heard before September! If you don't want to use the poll, email me, PM me or head over to my livejournal (.com) and leave me a comment!

Thanks for reading!
Never Knows Best