Blood is so unsatisfying nowadays. Actually, everything is unsatisfying. My beloved roses are beginning to lose their previous appeal and the excitement of incarceration has faded into the dreaded boredom I strive to avoid.
It seems that nothing can last. At least, nothing good, anyway.
I sigh and push the panting girl from my lap, barely sparing her a glance as she gracelessly fell to the floor. "Go. I have no further use for you."
Quickly scrambling to her feet she bowed and says, "Yes, mistress." She then spun on her heel and stumbled out of my bedroom, using the wall to support her trembling frame while I watch with a displeased frown.
What useless creatures humans are. You save them from the streets, give them a place to live, feed them, bathe them, clothe them, and what do they give you in return? Blood that fails to satisfy, and ingratitude. Sometimes I wonder why I even continue to run my unconventional homeless shelter. Then I remember that it's the only thing keeping me alive.
In the back of my mind, I know I'm being unjustly cynical in my views of the human race. I understand that they're poorly informed of the world around them, and that their naivety stems not from their unwillingness to learn, but the contempt other races hold for them. It is a well known concept in all races that if you're hated, the less you know, the better.
My pity and compassion for humans is the reason for the shelter, not because of my own selfish need to survive. I take them in to protect them from the unknown, and teach them about the dangers they never knew existed while they're with me for their six allotted months. Then I send them off into their world with the knowledge and tools they needed to survive, and with the added hope that they might even make it in life.
But their temporary home with me doesn't come without a price. I was born in a time where everything was bartered and traded, where currency was only a vague idea that no one believed in. So in turn for saving and bettering their lives, they give me life as well.
During their stay, each human donates one pint of blood every two months. It's done by a doctor after a thorough examination to be sure that nothing harmful to vampires has been slipped into their system, and is taken by a needle. Because there are approximately one thousand humans on my property at a time and dozens of pints are taken daily, my staff bottles most of the blood and sells it to vampires world-wide with a sticker reading Life Juice, making me the first, and only, blood retailer in existence.
Some, of course, is saved for the staff and myself, and when I'm feeling generous a few bottles are given to the guards. They're lucky, because it's very expensive. Blood freely given tastes a lot sweeter, and is much rarer that the bitter tang of those from which it is stolen. Therefore I crank up the price, because well, I can.
But over the past few years I find myself eternally hungry. The burn of thirst is a constant companion in the back of my throat, and sometimes the urge to feed overcomes my will power, so I take the closest mortal and latch onto their jugular. They don't complain, for a bite from a skilled vampire is rather pleasurable, but that doesn't mean they want to be trapped beneath my fangs. Each drop of unwilling blood that hits my tongue blasts another hole through the shreds that remain of my humanity.
Therefore I become angry with myself. Angry with the monster I've become, and absolutely overcome with rage that even when I'm forced to feed in such barbaric a way that I still come out unsatisfied. But it is quite difficult to be angry at oneself, therefore I direct my irritation towards the unfortunate souls I stick my fangs in.
I rose with another sigh to dispel such dark thoughts and wander over to the open window. The cool wind forced the sheer white curtains surrounding the open glass to billow out, making the once innocent cloths appear like ghostly figures writhing in an eerie dance with the gentle gusts. I brush them aside and lean out to peer stories below at the bright petals of my roses. It has been quite some time since I've beheaded the delicate creatures, yet I don't feel any desire to do so. Perhaps the growth of my hunger overshadows the desire for revenge.
I frown at the disturbing thought, slowly mulling it over before dismissing it. More likely than not, I'm simply bored of the emotion, like everything else. For now it will simmer at the back of my mind until something reminds me of him, then it will come back full force and take over my life.
Deciding not to linger over such a depressing topic, I continue with my perusal of the grounds. The space I inhabit really is quite beautiful, I suppose now that I look at it. Possibly a bit creepy, with the multitude of weeping willows covering the property, but it suits me just fine. A wide river gushes down the line separating what is mine from a state park, and even from this distance I can see the salmon leaping about in their haste to return to the Atlantic.
The river, whose name I never bothered to learn, is my favorite part of my home. It's always there; always flowing, living, and sustaining. Having something be so constant and beautiful can mean a lot to a creature whose usual constants are hypothetical chains and limits.
I gaze down at the churning waters, watching the foam splash onto the rocks at the banks and smirking slightly when a stray fish flopped onto land and floundered to find its way back to the sustenance it needed. One fish in particular stands out to me; another salmon. Not usually very notable, but this one is grounded. The scales are a vibrant crimson which rose and fall rapidly as the poor creature struggles to breathe in the wrong type of gasses set for its body.
After moments of watching it flail I realize that I'm watching a creature die, and that I don't care in the slightest. I want that to bother me, I want to care that I no longer found myself capable of pity or compassion, but I just can't muster up the energy to look deep within myself to find a single fuck to give.
Fortunately, someone did care, for when I looked up after my musings a man was crouched in front of the barely moving aquatic creature. He gently scoops it up in his dark hands and dips his palms just beneath the surface, a small smile twisting his lips as the fish perks up and flapped its tail until it's far down the river.
I find myself smiling too, but not for the same reasons. He's happy that he saved a life. I, on the other hand, am just happy to be blessed with the presence of my only fledgling.
Eli. That was the name he chose after I turned him half a millennia ago. I found him as an orphaned newborn in a tribe in Africa while studying his peoples' language, and I took him in on sight. I raised him as my own child, and gave him the choice when the time came. Sometimes I wonder if he made the wrong one, after all my actions have put him through many the difficult circumstance, but then I see him smile like he just did and realize that this is the right life for him.
Even though it's right, I still worry. Eli is far too gentle a soul for our world, and I know one day he will realize not only that not all people can be saved, but that some don't deserve to be. That day hasn't come yet, but when it does I pity the both of us. Him, because his entire view on life will change. Me, because I hate it when he gets all sappy and depressed on me. I have no tolerance for tears, and he knows well enough that the moment one shows I'll be making my way out the door.
Said sap turns and glances up to my window, a grin splitting his handsome face. "Shall I call you Juliet?"
I push away from the balcony in disgust and make my way back into the depths of my room with a slight noise of discontent. "Firstly, I don't have a balcony, I have a window. And secondly, the moment I become dumb enough to partake in the glorified perversion that is love will be the day the Emperor finds the balls to execute me."
I hear his laugh as I make my way out of my bedroom and down a hall filled with a few of the thousands of paintings I have amassed during my time spent on earth. They tickled my fancy, so to speak, so I bought them on sight. They had been in storage for centuries, but now that time is all I have I used it to put my beauties on display.
"But you love me, don't you?" he teases from just behind me.
I shoot him a disgruntled frown over my shoulder, but continue walking. "That's different." I mutter and am graced with another hearty chuckle.
"But you're right about the pervert thing. You have way too many pictures of naked people in here."
I stop completely, nearly causing him to run me over but I don't care. I'm so thoroughly appalled at his statement that I'm nearly at a loss for words. "This is art. It's beautiful and expressive. You cannot seriously tell me that all you see is genitalia when you look at these?"
Eli ponders over a fairly large canvas of a naked woman lounging on a chaise with an arm thrown across her face. Even after many long seconds his dubious expression doesn't change. "I'm not seeing the expression in this, Lira. All I'm seeing is boobs."
I glare at him and spin with an indignant huff. "You've been spending far too much time with the humans." I mutter and continue down the hall until I come to a set of French doors. I quickly open them and shoo the guards away with a hiss in their direction, smirking as they scamper away.
"That's not very nice, Lira." Eli scolds and I turn my amused smirk to him.
"They're here to make sure I stay on the property, but I find it amusing that they can barely even keep the urine from flowing down their legs whenever I step into the room. How are they supposed to contain me if they can't even look at me without screaming?" I ask, mostly to myself, as I make my way through the bright and spacious room until I arrive at the grand piano standing in the center.
"They're not going to contain you, because you're going to be on your best behavior, right Lira?" He asks slowly, keeping his suspicious vibrant eyes locked on me as he walks over to one of the many lounges resting against the windows. There are no walls in this room, simply large windows and more of the billowy curtains that danced so strangely.
I snap my teeth in his direction and lift the fallboard. "Oh, yes. I'm just going to sit in this house with these humans, and these infuriating guards, and wait until the Emperor remembers that he needs my help in order to keep his council in check. We'll see how long that takes." I end in a growl and slam my fingers down onto the keys beginning the Moonlight Sonata.
Eli sighs. "Must you always be so dramatic and depressing?"
"Perhaps if I didn't spend so much time around you I would be responding to your own personality."
"Perhaps if you actually feed the way a Sapper should you wouldn't even be in this mess!" He finally snaps and I pause in my playing to send him a scathing glare that would leave any vampire trembling, of which Eli is no exception.
"If we're going to get into this now at least use a language the dumbasses behind the door can't understand." I chide in his native language and watch his infuriated expression turn sheepish.
"Sorry," he mutters in the same language. I simply nod and begin the second movement of the Sonata, waiting for him to continue with his ancient rant. "It's not healthy, Lira. Even I feed twice a week, and I need less than you do."
I sigh and choose to ignore his question in favor of continuing the Sonata. But no matter how desperately I wish it isn't true, Eli and I aren't like normal vampires. We require more than blood to be at our full strength, but even the thought of Sapping makes me cringe after last time.
"My hunger strike is none of your concern, Eli." I finally murmured as I began the third movement. "It's not a fatal decision; it's a safe one. It doesn't hurt me; it just weakens me. Besides, you should be happy that I'm doing something to prevent further trouble."
"This isn't the answer, Lira! You're wasting away…" he finishes in a whisper and I pause in my playing to glance up at him. His electric blue eyes seem to shine with concern as he watches me, and though I wish to ease his worries I'm not about to change my mind. I'm an old creature, and it's a rare day that I make a mistake. This isn't one.
"The hunger you see in me isn't for soul, Eli. It's for blood." I relent my recent revelation to him and begin moving my fingers at the same fast pace they left off at.
Eli releases a bewildered scoff. "You can't be serious." I glance up and quirk an eyebrow at him. "You feed twice an hour! There's no way you're hungry for blood!"
"You know as well as I do that the older a vampire gets the more blood they need in order to sustain their growing power. I'm older than most, and more powerful than any near my age because of our branch. Human blood isn't enough anymore."
Eli was silent for a long moment. Then he asks quietly, "You need vampire blood?"
"That's what I'm thinking. I've yet to test the theory, though."
Eli leaps to his feet and is at my side a moment later. "Take mine," he demands quickly, offering his wrist to my parted lips.
I chuckle softly and stop playing to take his hand between my own. "I'm sorry, dear friend, but your blood isn't enough. To be able to sate myself on you, I would have to drain you. Your blood isn't nearly strong enough, despite our bloodline."
He ponders that information for a moment before a slow grin split his lips. "That brings me back to what I came here for."
I regard at him warily and shoo his large body off of my bench so I could begin Chopin's Prelude No 4. It occurs to me that I am indeed rather depressing, but find that I yet again can't find a fuck to give. "And what was the reason for your…lovely visit?"
Eli chuckles and took his sweet time finding his way back to the lounge. When he finally makes his way there he plops down on the cream colored cushions and crosses his arms behind his head in a way that automatically rose my suspicious. "Rumor has it that Sylar is in town."
My thumb misses a key, giving the final chord a disjointed ring as I glare down at my hands. I'm silent for a long moment, so long that Eli begins to shuffle a bit. Then all hell broke loose.
"What the hell is that asshole doing here?!" I screech and leap from the bench to pace about the room.
Sylar Cosgrove and I don't get along in any sense of the word. He was an arrogant, self-righteous, pretty boy back when I was in the beginning years of immortality, and I know for a fact that he hasn't changed. All he has ever cared about is getting into my pants and earning the favor of the Emperor, and all-knowing, ancient Seer or not, I've never been about to let him so much as look at me funny. But he just doesn't understand the word no.
Let's just say that the idiotic man is lucky that vampires can regenerate penises.
Ever since that incident we have only seen each other in passing at the Emperors palace. Sylar is the royal Seer of the past and future, and I was the ambassador to the werewolves until my episode a year ago, so it's only natural that we ran into each other every once and awhile. But the fact that I can take the appearance of my past victims due to my gift helped me avoid him.
Somehow, even with my flesh disguises, he can still recognize me. It only takes eye contact, which is beyond frustrating for me and amusing for him. How that man can remain in such high spirits even after I lobbed off his dick remains mystery to me.
All that aside, Sylar only leaves the palace at the request of a close friend, of which there aren't many. He isn't much of a social vampire, and being the oldest vampire at nearly five thousand years old doesn't have many of his old friends left alive. But on that short list, I happen to know a person…
"What did you do?" I growl, stopping to glare at my fledgling.
He flinches under my glare and averts his eyes. "Actually, nothing. He sent me a letter about a month ago asking to come stay at my place, and being a good friend I agreed. He's been at my house for a week or so. He wants to see you."
I scoff and resume pacing, deciding not to punch him until his teeth popped out of his gums for not telling me about my enemy's arrival in town. "I bet he does," I mutter. "He probably wants to get back at me for castrating him back in the Byzantine Empire. Sorry, but no. I'll pass."
Eli sighs and gazes over at me imploringly. "He's changed, Lira. He's not like that anymore. His greatest concern right now is making amends."
"You don't really believe all that bullshit, do you? He's here because either he wants something or the Emperor wants something, and neither option is in my favor." I take in a breath of the suddenly stuffy air and decide to open a window. I brush aside those strange curtains and do just that, closing my eyes to bask in the sunlight and gentle breeze once the deed was done.
I take a deep breath of the cool air, and release it in a heavy sigh. "You want me to drink from him, don't you?"
"Yes," Eli murmurs after a pause. "I know he has something planned for you, but it's nothing malicious or sexual. He needs your help, and you need his. I'd suggest at least considering it before you brush away a fantastic opportunity."
After a moment of silent thought I can see the benefit of helping Sylar. He's a powerful vampire, one who could possibly both satisfy my blood hunger and pull on his influence with the Emperor to get me out of my sentence. He would also remove the boredom from my life. Any moment with Sylar was bound to be lively, whether it be good or bad. I could kill two birds with one stone.
In the end I admit that it's worth a shot. It would be a missed opportunity not to hear him out. And besides, I'm curious. Anything serious enough to get an ancient to apologize for a wrongdoing must be pretty damn severe.
I turn back to my fledgling with a small smile and say, "Give him an invitation to dinner, but tell him that he's on the menu. I despise cooking."
A/N- Well I finally sat my ass down and wrote something for you guys. This chapter was such a tedious task to write, because I have to explain everything in a way that doesn't sound extremely awkward, but it was fun. I enjoy writing from the perspective of a slightly insane person, and I'm curious to see how all this pans out.
Please be sure to review and follow! Until next time!