I saw it. I saw it all.

All I could do was cry out, even though my mind tells me over and over that I could have done something to stop it. Done something to keep that blade from tearing through her, making her jerk as her stomach ripped open as the blade exploded, driven into her back, bursts of blood splashing before me eyes as she gasped, and as the blood rose up in her, spewing from her mouth and tricking down her chin, streaking down her neck. Her eyes were wide, wide and white and helpless as she looked at me, reaching out to me desperately as tears of shock and pain ran down her cheeks, mixing so well with the blood, and I heard her gurgled scream, the high-pitched scream that haunted me for years. I couldn't have…there was nothing I could have done to help her…

I watched the black shadowy demon that stood behind her cackle as he drew the blade out of her, as she fell to her knees, heaving and retching and vomiting a mix of blood and mucus and bile before falling on her side, arms feebly clutching the gaping wound in her stomach. Then she shuddered and closed her eyes, lying still.

I was frozen, numb My fist was clenched tight around my weapon, my powerfully curved scimitar, and I bit back a whimper as I watched the blood leak out of her dying body, oh, my darling Shantaleigh…

I released something between a sob and a roar as I lunged at him, drawing my arm back, all fury flowing in my veins, that anger, that hatred that was fire ravaging my body and sending it into overdrive, sending me insane as I plunged the blade into him, slashing, ripping, tearing, and even though I didn't notice it, he stood completely still as I attacked him. I jumped back, panting, my heart pounding that fire, that white-hot fire through my veins as I watched him, trying to see the expression masked behind the black hood that was draped over his head. And slowly, so slowly, he moved a single hand, revealing itself behind folds of black cloak, white and bony and claw-like, the nails gleaming in the pale moonlight, long and glassy. He reached up and pulled the hood back, and I gasped, taking a step back at the sight of his face.

It was perfect. Too perfect.

The black curls of hair that were arranged so perfectly, timidly brushing against his shoulders, thick and dark; the mesmerizing eyes, those deep black eyes that could just pull you in and keep you there for eternity; the immaculate skin, poreless and without any blemish, and so, so pale except for the lips, the lips which were a shade darker, a light pink, and looked so, so soft…he was an intricately painted picture of the innocence that existed in evil…all the seduction, all the pureness, all the satanic ideas rolled into this one beautiful creature…this beautifully cruel creature…

He took a step closer, not to come towards me, but to kneel by my poor, poor Shantaleigh, who, whimpered as if she sensed him coming closer, and cringed slightly. I tensed as he lowered his hand, praying that he wouldn't hurt her anymore, but all he did was cup her face gently, as if studying her, and she tried to pull away but she couldn't, how weak she was.

"Pater noster," she whispered shakily, her eyes never opening, "qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum…"

He snorted at her prayers and let her head drop from his hand. He then dipped a white finger into the puddle of black-red blood beneath the wound in her stomach, and, to my disgust, lifted the blood-soaked finger to his lips and sucked on it for a moment. He wrinkled his nose slightly and looked at me, such an angelic voice from such an evil creature.

"Ah, it gets cold so quickly, even a few minutes out of the victim…" He shook his head sadly and stood, flashing me a sadistic smile. I backed away and my eyes grew wide when I saw what lied within that smile, those sharp fangs that his tongue ran over once again…

"Vampire," I said hoarsely, pointing my scimitar at him, unable to scream. I backed up more, screaming then. "Vampire!"

He smiled again and, appearing in front of me, grabbed a fistful of my shirtfront and hoisted me up. I gasped as he put his face close to mine, and I tried so hard not to look into those eyes, those eyes that just drew me in, but I couldn't help it. He parted his lips and spoke in a whisper, but it was so, so loud…

"Smart, you are." And then he grinned. He pressed his lips against my throat and I struggled, struggled as best I could, but when I felt the fangs, those fangs sink into my skin, I jerked upright, my blade clattering to the ground, and then I sank against him, hearing that quiet humming, the throbbing in my ears as he drew the blood from me, but I didn't notice that. All I knew was the pounding of my heart, the pounding of his heart becoming one, one single beat that thrummed powerfully, and I clutched at his cloak, because it felt so good

I was falling. It was this bright red burst, like the blood that was flowing out of me, like the blood that Shanta was trying so hard to keep in her as she slowly died, but that was all gone, and only this feeling, this swirling mass of pleasure and grief and sadness and paranoia all melded together in this sensation, this release, this pull, this immense lust that I suddenly had within me that was bubbling up, bubbling up to become this white-hot flame that was feeding those soft, soft lips that were sucking my soul out of my neck. I gasped and he drew from me harder, that flame, that fire, all that hot luscious blood, and my mind was stumbling over its own thoughts. And I wasn't in this creature's arms anymore, but I was holding Shantaleigh in my arms, and I was kissing her and she was shivering, like she was cold, so cold, and her skin was so pale, but she was kissing me back, and her blood was flowing into my mouth like my blood was flowing into his.

"Oh, Shanta," I moaned, lost in complete and utter bliss.

And then it was gone. I whimpered, snapping back to the darkness around me and he dropped me, and suddenly pain filled my body, my empty veins pumping the thinned blood, my heart thumping furiously, furiously, but it sounded so weak because his was missing. I groaned and rolled on my side, my arms curling around my stomach because my whole body felt so empty, so, so empty, like he had ripped out my insides and left me an empty husk. God, I craved that feeling again, so badly…

"Sweet dreams," he whispered softly in my ear.