Chapter 1.17 – Face of a Monster

“What has gotten into you lately Caleb? You’re somehow even more miserable than usual.” Lilith turned on the lights and crossed the room to sit beside her brother.

She took in his silence and his downcast features. “Are you hungry?” She didn’t wait for him to reply. “Good, because you just wait, you are in for such a treat.”

He very much doubted this, even with his acquired tastes.

Lilith had barely reached the kitchen before it sounded like someone was trying to kick the door in.

“Don’t answer it, Lilith,” Caleb hissed as she stepped towards the door. “Who would be out here at this time of night?” It could be hunters.

She shook her head. Unlikely. “I need to answer it – it could be someone who’s lost or in trouble…” Her smile flickered at the idea. “You wait here,” she instructed, even though he’d made no effort to follow her.

Melinda ceased her knocking as a figure appeared, the porch light flickered to life above her head and the door slowly opened.

She hugely regretted her rash decision as she locked eyes with this woman. A woman with no pulse, she realised immediately.

She hadn’t considered that Caleb might not be existing alone. This woman appeared glacial, there was an edge to her. Something about her unsettled Melinda, reminded where she was, the foolishness of what she was doing.

The woman’s voice was a slick purr. She did not seem surprised to see Melinda but she also didn’t seem especially pleased. “Can I help you?”

Melinda suddenly felt like her mind was being invaded, her thoughts seemed so much louder than usual. What am I doing?! Should I run away? Can I even out-run a vampire? Wait, I am a vampire. Maybe I can turn into a bat and fly away. Does that only happen in movies? Oh poo, what if this isn’t even Caleb’s house? Oh my gosh, there could be hundreds of vampires in there. I’m toast.

Lilith looked suspiciously at her visitor, listening to this erratic stream of thought. “Caleb? Does he know you?”

“Who is it Lilith?” Caleb called from inside the house.

“Hey!” Lilith shouted as Melinda slipped past her. “How?”

Melinda found herself in the living room, face-to-face with a startled looking man.

“What? You can’t just come in uninvited!” Lilith exclaimed, losing her cool demeanour as she tried to grab for this remarkably nimble creature. “Caleb! This… girl. Do you know her?”

Melinda took a step forward, hoping that if she acted like she wasn’t terrified, she wouldn’t be.

“No, you don’t. I’m a friend of April. You remember her? That girl you attacked? Or do you just attack so many that you can’t keep track?” Oh my gosh, he probably does do just that. What am I doing?!

Lilith’s eyes were wide. “Attacked a girl? What ever do you mean-“

“Don’t play dumb with me, I know what you guys are.” Melinda jabbed a finger at Caleb’s face. “You’ve ruined our lives with your ways and now we’re taking random men off the street and drinking them dry because of you. I am here to… to…” Balls! Why am I here?

Lilith reached for Melinda’s arm. She tried to keep her voice even. “It’s time for you to leave-“

“I’m not going anywhere!” The rage that rushed through Melinda could have ignited every candle in the world as she turned on Lilith. “He drained April and turned her into a vampire! She attacked her own mother!”

Caleb, what the actual hell is going on here?!

Caleb lowered his chin as he heard Lilith’s silent question. He had known from the very second that he had sunk his teeth into April Moss that he would regret it. He knew one day someone would hunt him down, call him out. He just didn’t expect it to be so soon, right in his living room and by such a cute little vampire. It amused him to see her stand up to Lilith. He wondered why Lilith hadn’t ripped her head off yet.

He was careful to keep his thoughts guarded against his sister’s prying mind. “I can explain.”

Melinda took in the miserable expression of the man before her and the confusion on the woman’s face. This was not the situation she had imagined it would be when she had started imagining it two minutes prior. She could feel her anger ebbing as she looked at him. He certainly didn’t have the face of a monster. He just looked… pathetic.

“OK,” she said, wondering if she had completely lost her mind. “Explain.”

She tentatively perched on the seat she was offered as Caleb took a chair opposite her. Lilith lingered in the archway, still silently asking her brother what had happened but with much stronger language.

Caleb tried to zone Lilith out while he looked at Melinda, wondering how best to start.

“What’s your name?”

“Melinda.”

“Melinda,” he repeated smoothly. “Pretty.”

She rolled her eyes.

Oh? he thought to himself. That’s interesting. “You’re April’s friend?”

“I’ve already told you that. Look, are you going to explain yourself or should I just stake you now?”

“Stake me?” His mouth twitched at the corner. Melinda didn’t even flinch.

He could see that his charm offensive wasn’t working here; he couldn’t focus over the barrage of questions that resounded in his head. “Lilith can you just… will you excuse us a moment?”

“No way in hell.” Lilith took the seat beside Melinda. “If you’ve been out attacking humans you can explain it to me, too.”

Melinda felt herself instantly warm to Lilith. But that statement had her wondering: if they didn’t usually go out attacking people, how did they survive? She didn’t want to ask. For all she knew they could be keeping a few human prisoners in their basement. Or maybe they fed off all the disgruntled young vampires who came looking for them. Best not give them any ideas.

Caleb was still studying Melinda’s face. “How is April?”

“Traumatised. By you.”

“Traumatised?”

“And for what? To teach her a lesson! Is your ego really so fragile that you’d attack a defenceless girl just because she called you a vampire?”

Caleb raised an eyebrow. “Is that genuinely what April told you? That I attacked her – turned her, no less – to teach her a lesson?”

“Well, isn’t that the reason?”

“No. That would be… incomprehensible.” Yes, even for me, he thought loud enough for Lilith to hear.

Lilith broke her silence. “Turning someone is a big deal, Melinda. I assume it was April who turned you?” She flashed an enquiring look at Caleb, who shrugged. That one’s not on me.

Melinda shifted in her seat, the memory uncomfortable. “She did. I offered her my wrist to drink from. It all went a bit… it was a bit of a mess. But she didn’t mean to turn me. That part was an accident.” She looked down at her lap.

“An accident?”

Melinda nodded. “She didn’t know what she was doing. How could she? I think the same thing must have happened with Faith, my other friend, too.” She looked towards Caleb. “Why then, if not a lesson? Did something go wrong when you attacked her?”

Caleb opened his mouth to answer, but clamped his lips together as Lilith’s furious voice echoed in his head. You’ve fucked up again?! I swear Caleb, I will end you.

Frustrated with the silence, Melinda’s anger returned with a vengeance. “I’ve had to leave my family, my whole life, all my dreams behind and you can’t even give me a reason why? You monster! You’ve ruined our lives! How can you sit there and not even care? Is there no compassion left in you at all?!”

She realised, too late, that a lack of compassion might indeed be the problem but she was already on her feet, heading towards him.

He froze. Lilith took a step forward, placing herself between her brother and this little vampiric fireball. Poised to fight, fangs bared. But to her surprise, Melinda only fell into her open arms, her body shaking with sobs. Lilith was dumbfounded. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d held someone.

“Why did you do it?” Melinda hiccuped, hating herself for even asking this next question. “What did April do?”

Caleb allowed himself to remember April’s soft gaze, the sweetness of her voice, her warm skin. Melinda deserved an answer but he didn’t think she was going to like it. And Lilith would like it even less if her onslaught of mental threats were anything to go by. He gathered his thoughts, lifted his chin and forced himself to look at Melinda’s tear-stained, little face.

Compassion. Right. He could do that. He could be compassionate.

“She made me do it.”

Perhaps not.

24 thoughts on “Chapter 1.17 – Face of a Monster

  1. Ooh! Interesting! Since April as a human teen would not have been able to physically force him to do something like that (I mean she wouldn’t have been a match for a vampire, right?), I’m guessing he means she somehow talked him into it. I wonder what she did to persuade him.

    I’m not so sure if I’m as convinced as Melinda is that her own turning was accidental. Like Lilith says, turning someone is a big deal, and I’d imagine it’s fairly involved. Definitely doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that would happen on accident.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. lmao! Yes, it was a binge, and a good one! I did get a full night’s sleep in between. Been a while since I’ve really read a vampire story. Has been a great de-stresser, and I’m looking forward to more. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gods. So that’s what it was. April asked for it, herself. And she’s lied to both of her friends about it. Not only that, but judging from Caleb and Lilith’s reactions, she’s been turning people on purpose. At least both of her friends. Oooooh that’s a twist. Yup. That’s super twisty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great. The “she made me do it” defense. How Humbert Humbert of him.

    Poor Caleb; one woman’s not falling for his charms? Well, I got bad news for you, Caleb. Raise your hand if you’re a simmer who doesn’t give a flying fuck about him, or Morgyn for that matter. Oh, look—you can’t really, but pretend—is that my hand being raised? Oh, the corrupted humanity! And therefore, Mr. Vatore, that is TWO. WHOLE. PEOPLE. SUCK IT. Idk if I spelled his last name right and I’m not going to check.

    I swear it wasn’t me, officer. It was the underage mortal girl. She MADE me do it. Yeah.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But Caleb is a complete heart-throb! That hair, that outfit, um… that weird earring? If you don’t like Caleb, you may like my Caleb. Or you’ll love to hate him? Morgyn is banished in my game though.

      She was eighteen. Only just, but definitely eighteen. There is a reason for making her that age and not just so I can constantly answer the question; ‘what sort of disturbed shit are you writing?’

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, we knew April was looking for means to become eternal to spite her mother, so it’s not really a surprise. It was more of a surprise that she acted as a victim after she got what she wanted. The girl has more of her mother in her than she cares to admit, apparently.

    Yes, Caleb looks pathethic. Only a makeover could save him. Maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mel is sky rocketing to be my fave vampire of all. This girl got some iron hard ovaries and doesn’t even know it.
    Lilith and her looking at Caleb like a school boy who was up to no good made me crack up.
    “She made me do it.”
    Yeah.
    She evaporated too much intriguing scent and also that *pulse*!
    Better excuses have been made in world history, but rarely worse. 😂

    True or not, I haven’t expected him to be such a snip.
    I mean.
    He had *some* sort of dignity in that Moss Villa at least.

    Like

  6. *hums lightly* Now, usually, I´m all for taking a hit at Caleb. He really is pathetic… but in this particular situation I feel the need to defend him a little. I mean, have you been watching Melinda, folks? She´s not herself at all and her selfcontrol is basically at zero. I bet she´d attack anything with a pulse right now, no matter how sorry she´d feel later. Well, let´s not forget Caleb /had/ been in a very similar situation. Add to that the certain person with a pulse in the room with him had actively cornered him and put herself way in his personal space…

    Now on the one hand, one can wonder if a vampire´s control gets better with age, but given Lilith said something about, erm, messing up /again/ I think his had been historically pretty bad.

    By the way, great intro for Lilith. If you´re Melinda, she seems like such a supportive character. Like “explain yourself, brother.” And I´ll admit, it could be great for the fledglings that they found her. Finally they met someone who knows what they´re doing. At least, I kind of think she knows since using her mind like she´s been doing doesn´t seem to be easy or simple to learn.
    On the other hand… there´s the little details. There´s the way Caleb wonders why she didn´t tear off Mel´s head. Does he mean that figuratively? I´m about as apprehensive as Melinda here. Then there is the way she bombards Caleb constantly. Oh, Creator, if she wants answers can´t she at least shut up for a second and let the guy talk? So overbearing. Already, I´m annoyed at her…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, poor Caleb, his wimpy reputation certainly precedes him. Backed into a corner by a girl back then and now backed into a corner by two more. Maybe he should stop hanging out in corners? Or around females, that would probably help too.

      Maybe he’s been historically bad at control, maybe he just had one slip-up and Lilith is just particularly harsh.

      Ah yes, the powers of the mind. How does one go about obtaining such skills? Probably from a book or something boring, right? She’s probably never ripped anyone’s head off. Probably. There are two firm camps for Lilith; those who love her and those who don’t. I feel that if you already find her overbearing you may just fall into the latter.

      Like

      1. Yeah, it does. But you sure made him look extra pathetic here! XDD But… maybe it would be enough if he stopped hanging around sister dearest. Because the question begs to be asked, why had he been that hungry at the Moss residence anyway? April might be getting a bit too much credit, here.

        Hah, either of those options is very possible. Lilith certainly comes across as harsh.

        Heheheh… oh, you are being so kind. “Those who don´t,” indeed. No, I really don´t… You can count me as a firm member of camp anti-Lilith. Because… spoilery reasons. Mostly having to do with her, but a good bit to do with Caleb and a little to do with someone else, too. ;D

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Yep, I´m so on the Lils hate train. XD So that makes three of us, then?

            And yeah, Snuffy. Where would we be without a character we love to hate, ech? 😀

            Liked by 2 people

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