As I reached the mid-way landing on the stairs, I froze. Michale's back was to me, and in the entry, facing him, was a tall, blond figure weilding what appeared to be my old silver sword. It was Tom, that rat bastard, and it was also the man who had tried to kill Michale last night. But something else was different about him. And then it struck me. If I hadn't succeeded in killing Tom with my would-be fatal bite, that would mean that now, he too was a vampire.

I watched his eyes rise to my soaking-wet exposed body draped in silk, and I could almost feel his on-coming orgasm. Pervert.

"Mizu", he said greacilly, "you are stunning this evening," and as he spoke these words which dripped with the decay of rotten, false love, of infatuation, I made an effort to tightly tie the robe around me so that no skin below my shoulders or above my knees was exposed. As I realized I was performing this action for the soul purpose that some sexual deviant took pleasure in my fear, I stopped immediately. This was my home, and he had no right to invade it.

Michale, however, looked terrified as he turned to face me. To him, this was the beast which had overcome him once in his own familliar surrounding, and he was obviously afraid that it could happen again. All of this hurt me and sickened me as Michale gripped his torso where the stake wound was still not completely healed. It was then, too, I noticed that Michale was dressed grandly, as if for a ball or formal affair, but my thoughts only lingered there momentarily, for from out the corner of my eye, I noticed Tom advancing to the staircase.

"Stay away from him," I growled.

"Mizu..." it was nearly a plea, and it angered me that Tom would even stoop so low as to think these foolish tactics would even work on me.

"You tried to kill him," the words sounded from within my throat and exited between my teeth. I would not let anything happen tonight, it would proceed as normal, all I had to do now was either get this vile creature from my home...or kill him.

"It is not him I want, Mizu, I don't even care what happens to him. I only harmed him because I want you. And I will have you back with me," he stepped forward once more, and I sternly decended the staircase to firmly place my hand on Michale's shoulder to show the both of them, and myself, that I would not waver.

"You will not invade my home and speak such words to me," I blatently informed him. I felt his eyes burning into me, all over my body, and I wanted now to put him out of his misery.

"I came here to get you back Mizu, and that's exactly what I'm going to do, no matter how I have to do it," he told me, tightening the grip on his sword.

Michale remained silent, but I could hear his weakened heart racing, trying to keep him under control as the fear began to come to a peak. He probably would have fended off this unwanted intrusion in two seconds flat, but in his present state, he would most certainly meet a grim fate.

"If you even so much as harm one fingernail on him, I will personally see to it that your balls are ripped off and stuffed down your throat.

"You would not," he laughed snidely. I couldn't figure him. What in God's name made him think he had any sway over me?

"I tried to kill you once before, didn't I? What makes you think I wouldn't keep you alive so I could see to it that the job got done? So you'd better just mosey your little sword-toting ass out of here if you like it where it's positioned on your anatomy."

Tom furrowed his brows, raising his sword to eyelevel and ducking down just a little, much like a baseball stance, "If you're going to be like that, dear girl, I'm going to have to get violent." I knew he was too taken by me and my physical threats to even raise a hand to me, giving me the distinct knowledge that his fury was directed at Michale who, all in all, had done nothing wrong.

"Drop the sword," I commanded him. I felt Michale wanting to back away, pulling away from my grip on his shoulder, and I released him. He regressed a small amount, but took a tight hold of my hand.

"Don't think I won't kill him," Tom said, sweat now trickling down his temples. He wanted to do this. He wanted to kill Michale for the time he hadn't, the oppertunity he'd had and missed. I wasn't totally sure that even he was aware of that at the time, that perhaps it was something terribly deep-rooted in his psyche, but I knew that that was it. I refused to yield, and he pointed the sword at Michale's already-wounded midsection. "This ends now," he declaired.

Everything played out in slow motion as the adrenaline, or whatever it was in my blood, flooded my senses. The sword was jabbed forward to Michale's chest. Shock spread acrossed his face like wildfire, his deep, brown eyes going wide, such amazement in his expression. It was actually happening. In an amazing burst of speed, even for a vampire, I whipped around my head and darted into the immediate path of the blade heading for Michale. It slid into my chest and through my insides like the hot knife through butter that is always spoken of. I now knew the true meaning of that expression - there was no resistance at all, just the passing of one solid through another and a tremendous burning sensation that followed. My vision began to blur as I shakily raised my hands to where the sword had penetrated my flesh and I saw the blood as it dripped slowly down the blade, more viscous than I had thought. That was, until Tom, in fright, pulled the sword back from me. I turned my head around quickly to see Michale's eyes tearing up and I heard the blade clatter to the floor. Suddenly, my body became to heavy for my legs and I felt my knees collapse beneath my seemingly tremendous weight. I fell flat on the ground, hands out and face to the side, as darkness began to overtake me.

"Mizu! NO!!" Michale called out my name.

Then, nothing.