Chapter 1.41 – Master of Minds

Faith had been waiting for bloody ages. She’d had to endure a good thirty minutes of the sounds of Caleb and April making out on the sofa beside her. She loved it when a plan came together, but she really hoped she wouldn’t have to listen to them coming together; she’d not had nearly enough alcohol to block that out. Shitting hell; she was so relieved when Caleb had carried April upstairs that she’d almost cried.

Then, as she was about to make her escape, Lilith had arrived. Faith had tried to stay still and empty-minded until Lilith had disappeared. She’d heard an argument akin to a mother telling off her stubborn child and then, finally, silence. She’d waited a while to see if Lilith would return before she’d gently shrugged off a very, very intoxicated Melinda.

Poor Mellybean; collateral damage. Faith had only intended to knock Caleb out, but the guy could sure drink a lot and April and Melinda definitely couldn’t.

They weren’t the ones who’d spent their free evenings getting rat-arsed in Willow Creek’s shadiest bars, trading sexual favours for drinks and liberating the occasional idiot of his wallet.

Good times.

She still had a couple of hours until sunrise. She made her way to the main road, to the fish billboard in record time, now she didn’t have to drag April with her. She lingered in the dark, trying to avoid the hooker who was eyeing her suspiciously.

She wondered how to find him. Did he have a lair? Had he driven here from miles away? She couldn’t imagine he had. He didn’t look the kind who’d have any sort of modern conveniences. Maybe he lived in a cave or something. Were there any caves nearby?

Faith didn’t believe Seth was just a passing oddball, but what if he was a psychopath? When she had slipped him into conversation tonight, Caleb had faltered and swiftly changed the subject. Dead guilty. It would stand to reason that Lilith would therefore know him; she controlled him like a puppet. Why would she lie? Had she been trying to protect Faith? Or herself?

Faith was never one to care much about her own wellbeing, even less now she was a foxy undead badass, but she felt suddenly vulnerable being out here on her own. If a vampire like Lilith felt the need to stay away from Seth, what was he capable of? Still, Faith was here now. She walked back into the view of the hooker and waved hello.

“What you wavin’ at, freak?” The woman shouted and teetered off. So much for safety in numbers, but at least now someone had seen her, should Seth kidnap or maul her.

Faith wandered around for a while, trying to remember what had happened the last time he had appeared. It couldn’t be coincidence that he’d turned up right at that moment, could it? Was he drawn to her because he heard Will? The guy was unashamedly loud. But then he hadn’t turned up outside the bar when Will was trying to get her into his truck. Was there another reason?

Help me.

Could that be it? Had he heard her?

She tried thinking it as loud as she could. Help me, Seth. A rat scurried from a nearby bush, but no dashingly handsome vampire materialised.

She tried saying it out loud, “Help me!”

“Help yourself, freak!” The hooker screeched as she ran away.

She was clearly missing something. She started to replay the evening’s events. April had disappeared and then she’d called Melinda and spoken to Lilith who’d told her to stay calm and go back to the house—

Wait a minute. You need to stay completely calm…

There was an unspoken threat in Lilith’s words. A consequence of not staying calm. Could it be … or he will find you?

She closed her eyes and tried to remember the panic as April was taken, the despair as Will rocked up, the shame of realising how very little she valued herself. She allowed her emotions to manifest and swamp her, scratching at her wrist, sinking. She hoped this worked. There was no Melinda to drag her back, this time.

She felt the air around her grow thick, the sounds around her seemed to fade.

“Did Lilith teach you that?”

She whipped round to see him standing behind her, momentarily stunned by his face.

“So she does know you.”

“She said she didn’t? Unusual. I didn’t think she’d miss a chance to drag me through the mud.”

Faith eyed him, warily. “Why would she lie?”

“To prevent you socialising with the violent reprobate.”

Are you violent?”

“Incredibly.”

Faith studied him for a second, trying to tell if he was joking. He looked like the kind who would joke a lot. “What happened between you two?”

“What didn’t happen?”

“Answer the damn question.”

He sighed, wistfully. “A man on a quest met a woman on a mission. I gave her everything she asked for, fulfilled every unspoken desire…”

“Well, that doesn’t sound so bad…”

“It was wonderful. Until I learned enough to hear that she didn’t love me; I was a means to an end. Then she attempted to destroy all three of us.”

“Is Fringey the other one?”

“Ah, Caleb. Yes. He had the makings of a great vampire. Powerful and utterly heartless.”

“Wow, really? Are we talking about the same guy? He spent an hour tonight trying to build up enough courage just to kiss Blondie and then when he finally got his dick wet, he let Lilith kick him in the balls. What did she do to him? Why doesn’t he stand up for himself?”

“Your language is really colourful.”

“Answer the question!”

“He has tried. Countless times. Even I tried. But…” Seth picked a flower from a tree and ground it in his gloved hand. Faith watched as the petal fragments fell from his fingers, lost forever on the breeze. “Eventually, he stopped fighting.”

“Why?”

“There was nothing left. For all of Lilith’s protests to the contrary, she is surely the least humane of us all.”

“And you? What did she do to you?”

“Absolutely nothing at all.” He walked over to her and she felt that crushing sensation again, the pressure in her head increasing. “Her desertion was the best thing that ever happened to me. It has freed me up to find someone far more interesting…”

Did he mean her? She was not used to hearing that she was interesting, but then men only seemed to be interested in her once she’d removed a few clothes. Compared to Blondie with her big blue eyes and doll-like features she must have appeared rather dull.

“No, compared to April you are anything but dull.”

“Can you hear everything I think?”

“I can. However I can usually read everything someone’s ever thought, view every memory.” She felt again the flickering through her brain. His words an afterthought, “But not yours.”

“Why not?”

“You tell me.”

She couldn’t seem to stop staring at his face. She wondered how he got that scar.

“I barely dodged a guillotine. But you didn’t come all the way out here to ask me that.” He smiled. “You just wanted to see me. I’m charmed.”

“You don’t mind me coming here?”

He grinned at her. “Not at all. I can’t say I ever get visitors unless Caleb needs a proper meal or Lilith has found something I’ve done particularly distasteful. Ah, oops. One second.” He waved his hand in front of her face. She saw a flash of something red. “Repeat that last sentence back to me, as you heard it?”

Not at all. I can’t say I ever get visitors unless Lilith has found something I’ve done particularly distasteful,” she repeated, verbatim. “Are you senile or something?”

“I must be going that way.”

“What sort of thing pisses Lilith off?”

“A heart on her porch usually does the trick. There’s a certain poetry in giving her those, don’t you think?”

“Why would you… a heart? A real heart? Where do you get hearts from?”

He laughed in a laid-back way that sent a coldness through her. “From the humans I kill. Although I don’t disembowel them all, that would be tiring.”

“What the fuck?!” Instinctively she started backing off. “Are you winding me up? Tell me you’re winding me up.”

“Why would I do that?”

Oh my god. He genuinely is a psychopath.

He smiled at her and with the ease of a shadow passing across his face, he slipped his form, bared his teeth.

“I’m not designed to puncture neatly and drain. I’m designed to tear prey open and there’s not much can be done for them once I have. I have had to develop a certain detachment in order to survive.” He melted back to his human form.

“There are other ways!”

“I used to agree with that.”

“OK, but why mutilate them?”

“Much easier to dispose of the evidence than, say, dumping them in a ravine inside a large, pink travelling trunk.”

“You saw that? Have you been watching me?”

“How could I not? You ladies have really livened up this area.”

“Wait! The guy inside! Paul. Was that you?”

“Paul? Ah, the man inexplicably wandering around in his undergarments. Yes, that was me.”

“Why would you kill him? He was a nice guy! If you have to kill, at least go for jerks like Will!”

“I don’t tend to discriminate. But if you would like some justification; Paul did not have a family, he had a dead-end job. No life to lose.”

“He still mattered!”

“He didn’t.”

“What’s wrong with you? How can you be so cold?”

“Am I not in the running for Sim Samaritan of the year? I’m crushed.”

“You’re fucking sick. I don’t want anything to do with you.”

“I’m hearing otherwise.”

“You’re… you’re repulsive.”

“And yet you’re still standing here.” He seemed to be enjoying her insults. “My, my. For all that I ‘repulse’ you, your thoughts about me have certainly become indecent. Do you enjoy sex, Faith?”

She was caught completely off-guard. First he was telling her he murdered people and now, what? Was he trying to bed her?

“I’m not. Aha,” He smirked. “Thank you for mentally undressing me, I’m flattered.” He was visibly enjoying her fluster. “I’m not quite as tattooed as you imagine, but no, that’s not why I asked.”

She blushed, furiously. Or should that be she was blushing and she was furious? “I don’t understand…”
…what you’re saying, why I’m still listening to you.

“I don’t expect you to, yet. The last time our paths crossed, you asked for help. Maybe we can figure out why you do this,” he rubbed his thumb across Faith’s wrist, “why you’re so keen to put yourself in harm’s way and why you so eagerly lay yourself bare when, despite what you tell everyone, you get no fulfilment from any of it, whatsoever.”

“Even if any of that was true, why the fuck would I trust you?”

“Have I given you a reason not to?”

Faith snorted. “Oh, maybe the whole murdering, dismembering thing?”

“Would you prefer I lie? Tell you I’m a good vampire, that I eat grass? Would that have made you trust me more?”

“I don’t need your help.”

“But you do want it. You may as well admit it. I can hear you, you know.”

“Even if I do. Big if! Nothing’s free. What do you want from me?”

“Shrewd. I like it. Some people have repressed thoughts, certainly. Most of the ladies along this road have a certain amount of trauma that they compartmentalise, that helps to bring them to here. But you… you are a whole other level.”

“I’m not hiding anything.”

“You’re hiding everything. I can feel what’s buried within you, but I can’t read it, can’t hear it. It’s a language I don’t speak. Yet. You can consider me thoroughly enthralled by you Miss… Splodge? Is that really your name? What I want in return, as the Master of Minds, is yours.”

She scoffed, “Master of Minds? Is that what you call yourself? So, what, you want to pick my brain? Add me to your collection then leave my heart on your ex-girlfriend’s doorstep? I’m out of here.”

“Faith—“

“Not interested!”

I want to know. Make me stay.

In a blink, Seth had pulled her back. She fought against his hold. “Don’t touch me, you asshole.” Please touch me.

He ran his gloved fingers down her throat. “You are conflicted, aren’t you?” He paused, reading. “How… graphic. You misunderstand my intentions.”

She struggled, but it was half-hearted.

“Calm…”

Her limbs became heavy, limp. She tried to twist away, lift her arms, anything.

“Don’t hurt me,” she pleaded. Please hurt me.

“You’re playing a dangerous game,” he whispered.

There was so much pressure in her head that she could see stars. She could sense his irritation. “This is so very unusual. What’s in there?” he asked, softly cradling her head. “What are you hiding under all this vulgarity and why?”

“I don’t know,” she whispered, hating herself. She was enjoying being this close to him. His mouth inches from her neck. He was a cold-blooded killer, a complete lunatic taking a can-opener to her skull. What was wrong with her?

“Clearly this endeavour is only serving to frustrate us both, tonight. Come back to me when night falls; calmer. We’ll try again. It would be most beneficial if you return sated.”

“And if I don’t?”

He traced the curve of her waist, purred into her ear, “We’ll figure something out.”

He let go and stepped back. She stumbled. Her senses and rage returned with a vengeance. “You ask me to trust you then you paralyse me?!”

“I didn’t do that. You did. You really are an interesting one.”

“Well, either way, I’m not coming back! I want nothing to do with you.”

“As you wish.”

She should run and not look back. She should sprint back to the house. Now.

“Go ahead,” he said.

She started to back off down the path. She kept telling herself to keep moving, keep going. Don’t think, just move. He watched her until she was hidden by trees, until he could no longer hear her asking him to stop her, to follow her.

He could still see her pale grey eyes burned into his. Her salacious, superficial thoughts had entangled with his own memories, bringing them up from the darkness. He could almost see one…

Almost.

25 thoughts on “Chapter 1.41 – Master of Minds

  1. Well hot damn, Seth. Honestly the more we learn about him the more I like him. For someone with all of these crazy mind-bending abilities, he’s very direct and honest with her (ok, minus the little detail about Caleb, but he’s not necessarily hiding that for his own benefit) – which is in stark contrast to Lilith, who’s been lying through her teeth and hiding as much as possible to make herself look as favourable as possible. Seth is unapologetic about what he is, and he might just be the first person to “see” Faith. Of course that’s irresistible to her, how could it not be. Not that that’s to say other people haven’t tried, but obviously he’s the only one who can get through her walls. Bizarrely, he could be good for her, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew you wouldn’t miss the chance to have a dig at Lilith.

      What detail about Caleb? 😉

      Is it irresistible to Faith? Is she even interested in Seth? She said she’s not going back, wants nothing to do with him. Called him repulsive. A lunatic…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh! Faiht had a plan to drink Caleb under the table so she could sneak out and meet the man who has now bewitched her brain. It is not Caleb, but April and Melinda who lose consciousness. Even if Lilith returns, she can not prevent Faiht from seeking out the man who draws her like a magnet.

    Today we finally saw a lot more of Seth … and became very little wiser.
    Seth admitted that he is a cold-blooded killer … but we already know that. Seth blames Caleb and Lilith … 😕!?

    Although Seth was unable to read Faiht, we got an impression of her ambiguous relationship to desire and pain.
    Faiht says no and means yes. Faiht says go and think come.

    It is a very well seasoned concoction stew we get served today and I have a hard time deciphering all the spices from each other.
    But I eat it all … I’m still not satisfied 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seth doesn’t blame Caleb. His relationship with Lilith is very strained.

      Yes, Faith is extremely conflicted. Very unable to be herself and say what she wants.

      Haha! There are more ingredients to be added to this stew. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Whoa, Faith figured out how to draw Seth to her very quickly. She has a good head on her shoulders in terms of reasoning, though her attraction to Seth of all people is… ugh, the guy gives me the creeps so bad.

    “It was wonderful. Until I learned enough to hear that she didn’t love me; I was a means to an end. Then she attempted to destroy all three of us.”
    I wonder if that means that she used Seth’s abilities and ruthlessness to get stronger herself, then attempt to keep Caleb under control/influence him with her own powers. If Lilith can numb herself to people that much, then I can see her not caring who she uses in order to reach her goal. It was a promise to Nathaniel after all. Did she have a moment where she thought she’d failed, and tried to end both Seth and Caleb rather than accept her defeat?

    He grinned at her. “Not at all. I can’t say I ever get visitors unless Caleb needs a proper meal or Lilith has found something I’ve done particularly distasteful. Ah, oops. One second.” He waved his hand in front of her face. She saw a flash of something red. “Repeat that last sentence back to me, as you heard it?”
    Wait, hol’up, hol’up. What was that? 0.o Did he just erase a part of her memory? Is Caleb seeing him without Lilith’s “permission”, and are they trying to keep that a secret? And DID HE JUST ERASE HER MEMORY? Or just alter it? I’m trying to decide which is scarier, but so far it’s a tie. Nope. Nope. Nopenopenopenope.

    Is he just interested in her because she’s a challenge to his mind-assaulting ways? Does he just want to get better at it and learn how to break open people like Faith? Oh wait, he flat-out says that he wants her mind. Welp. And Faith won’t turn him away. Oh lordy, this is going to be quite the rollercoaster. I just hope that there’s still something left of her by the time they reach the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why does he give you the creeps? Is it the murder? The mind invasion? The hat?

      Maybe.

      I don’t know what you’re talking about. Was something erased? 😇

      He wants her mind… she wants his body… Buckle up.

      Like

  4. At first I was wondering if Will is getting featured. (He probably is) Then I realised the spotlight is actually on the lady right? Ooof! I wonder who’s our mystery woman and what part does she have to play? Can’t be the hooker right? Btw, this pic is the equivalent of that icky paragraph I had to write for Gabriella. Made me cringey all over. Lol.

    Also I hope the hooker lady doesn’t die to Seth >.>

    Rofl Seth. His personality and direct approach is refreshing. Faith’s expression is priceless. I wonder what’s Seth’s quest though. Will we get to see it?

    Is this Faith’s vampiric ability? It’s a weird immunity though, only protects her past memories. My guess is the contents of those memories made it a naturally acting barrier towards Seth’s intrusions. Not necessarily her vampiric ability… but.. it could be a budding vamp ability. Yikes. I suppose there’s too little to go on at the moment.

    Why does he need her to repeat after him. Huuuur… and there’s nothing red about his dark form yet something red appeared? THIS MYSTERY! D:

    😦 Faith practices self-harm? I’m so sad. No one should ever feel that low about themselves. Do her friends know? April probably not, but Mel might’ve caught on.

    And that final pic. So MUCH revealed but SO LITTLE to go on! Every chapter is a cliffhanger with you. xD

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, that’s Faith and a random dude in one of Willow Creek’s shadiest bars.

          Seth doesn’t discriminate for his dinner, so if he’s hungry and she’s there… bye bye hooker lady.

          You’ll learn about his quest, but not for a little while.

          You’re sort of on the right lines. There’s something in her head that holds some sort of power. But currently, it only has power over her…

          Read the sentence he said, then what she repeated back. Any differences?

          She does. Well, she did, when she could. This has been hinted at a few times already, so I didn’t disclaimer it this time, sorry if it caught you out. 😔 “She allowed her emotions to manifest and swamp her, scratching at her wrist, sinking. She hoped this worked. There was no Melinda to drag her back, this time.” Yeah, Melinda knows and she has pulled Faith right back from the brink.

          Haha! Have to keep you coming back, don’t I? 😂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oof don’t worry disclaimer not needed. I had my suspicions the entire time. I suppose I never confirmed it so I erased it from my head. Mellybean is a dear friend.
            Oh lordy I missed that. So Seth can erase memories! Dang. And Caleb goes to him for proper meals. Ohhh…. shiz… the fact that Seth needs to hide it means its not something of the past! >_> CALEB! You’re not the wimpy spineless vamp I thought you to be. Dang. I’m conflicted. I’m happy he’s got a bone there, but this spells huge trouble for everyone. 😅

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh man, poor Faith. She sounds like she is full of a lot of self-loathing, and I’m interpreting her crude vocabulary as a way to hide deep emotional trauma. I wonder who the fuzzy picture is of? Is it her? Or someone else close to her? I remember her saying in a previous chapter that she had something on her conscience that she had to hide (or personal demons, I can’t remember the exact quote). I wonder what it is and if it has something to do with someone close to her. Now I have so many questions about what went on in Faith’s past that we don’t know about. Now I feel like I’m probably missed something when I read.

    I wonder if this is sort of a way of Faith self-sabotaging to go after a dangerous vampire like Seth.

    Well, at least Seth is sort of honest, unlike Lilith who just chooses to hide things. But Will isn’t completely honest, he can mind wipe people, that’s pretty creepy. And now this makes me have big questions about Caleb. I don’t think Caleb is as meek and innocent as he lets on after reading Seth and Lilith’s chapters.

    And what does Seth want with Faith’s mind? Is it sort of a weird vampire energy thing, like he gets more power from feeding off some sort of psychic energy? That might be far fetched. Or does he just want to figure out how she is different than everyone else?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fuzzy image may not be Faith’s memory… But for sure, Faith hates herself and is likely drawn to Seth for that exact reason you identified.

      Oh dear, I’ve generated even more questions? Hopefully I don’t get hit by a bus or something before I get round to answering them all. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This was interesting. He doesn’t bother with lying or so he says and his mind is such dangerous weapon. Imagine how much more dangerous he could be if he was lying too. But maybe he is. I mean if you tell the truth – most of the time – you can always start weaving one or two lies in here and there and everyone will still think you tell the truth… On the other hand, why bother when you have the ability to erase any memory?
    I wonder what will it take for me to really dislike Seth? Because I like them when they fully embrace their dark side and don’t try and fail to convince me they are better than they really are. I hope Seth is like that. Enjoying killing and manipulation because he’s good at it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. /sigh Seth
    okay I like Mr Psycho
    full on, complete crazy ass psycho.

    He said he’s “designed” to tear prey open and it makes me wonder if he was artificially altered or made. Or are there different species of vampires too? Sub-categories? Mutations?

    Faith is one messed up girl, too, but boy I can understand her curiosity. She’s quite smart too.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the parts of her memory that Seth can’t access are the ones she cannot access herself. Suppressed trauma? Yes, she and her family are dirt poor, but it still looked like there was a lot of love, so I can’t really find a reason that could have messed her up so much.

    Like

  8. Faith…? Okay, wow. Just wow, girl. She´s a serious heavyweight when it comes to booze, isn´t she? XD The rest of it… some things aren´t a surprise anymore, some things are. I wondered how far her flirty side went, but wellp, she seems to be better at hiding stuff from even her best friend than I thought. Mel would be appalled.

    But then… *narrows eyes* Am I understanding this right? Did Lilith try to kill them all? Well… that puts a whole new spin on it. Dang, that´s bad.

    So, Caleb has a tiny little secret, hmmm? Dun worry, I haven´t heard anything at all. 😉

    When Seth slips form… yeah. We saw those teeth before. But his eyes… Melinda´s dark form has eyes just like his. That´s what the Vatore´s saw. No wonder they were kind of iffy about it… now to wait patiently until we can figure out what that means exactly…

    Also: “Her desertion was the best thing that ever happened to me. It has freed me up to find someone far more interesting…”
    Nicely said Mr. Laid-back. But you still feel the need to troll her…

    Also, no, Seth. You do absolutely not get to tell a girl that she´s /distracting./ *shakes head and grumbles* No right whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mel would be appalled but does she know?

      That’s one interpretation of those words.

      Tiny secret? No, I didn’t hear anything. 😇

      His teeth certainly aren’t regulation issue. What could he possibly have in common with Melinda? Hmm.

      He does. Perhaps that sentence is not quite as black and white as it seems…

      Huh? Distracting?

      Like

      1. …maybe she does, I guess. Mel knows a lot.

        *thinks about it more* Well, Seth would probably say she did manage to destroy Caleb, so that there´s another option. Which would basically be exactly what I said before, tried to change both the guys. *sigh* Lils, you really are /ambitious/ aren´t you.

        …is there no way I could know yet, or is there some hints already?

        Hmm… you mean except the fact that it´s exactly the kind of line ones brain believes but their feelings don´t quite fit it yet?

        Well, last time, he was sort of complaining about having his focus undermined. Well, with the antics he keeps insisting on /that´s/ just not fair, I don´t think. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s too ambiguous to guess at the reasoning behind the eyes right now. You may get more idea in the next few chapters, maybe.

          More that it’s exactly the kind of line that is meant to be misinterpreted. 🤐

          Like

          1. *thoughtful* Well, the fact Seth had been trying to flatter Faith in a way she´d be able to believe is sort of obvious, but I´m feeling there´s more to it than that. The more I´m mulling it over, I´m actually starting to see the outlines of one thing that he may have in common with Melinda, even if it might not be the reason for the dark form similarity. They both have a person, or persons, they tried to help… and they don´t really have much to show for it, do they? Now that I think about it that way, there´s also the way Lilith, seeing Mel´s eyes, instantly started worrying about her relationship with her “friends” and mentioned how they don´t need any more rogues on their hands in pretty much one breath…

            Now, the two of them are so very different that considering something like this feels a bit strange, but… the implications would be severe. For both sides.

            Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: