Violence, suicidal thoughts, Will (collective groan)
Joe looked up, expecting Caleb to take his usual chair by the fire, surprised when he took a seat at the bar.
“Just give me the bottle, Joe.”
Joe clicked his tongue. “That would be irresponsible of me,” he said, pouring one glass.
Caleb threw back his drink and Joe topped him up. “Trying to compete with your sister I see?” he joked. “I’m sure the pair of you are set to self-destruct.”
Caleb had chucked back his third and his forth. He could still see her.
He had left April staring into space in his bedroom. She had barely reacted when he’d broken up with her and had tried to follow him as he left; he’d had to beg her to not to. Somehow, he knew she was still there, by herself. He hoped that someone went home to her soon. Anyone. They could snap her out of this strange mood; convince her that she was better off without him.
He still couldn’t think of anything else. His mind had been pre-occupied with April Moss since he’d first laid eyes on her. He wondered if April would be his final thought.
“Get out. You’re barred,” Joe snarled at the patrons who entered.
Will casually crossed the room and dropped on to his regular chair as if Joe hadn’t spoken. “Gonna throw me out? No, didn’t think so. The usual, Joe.” Dale had followed his vulgar friend, like a shadow. Slipping in place beside him.
Joe mumbled to himself angrily as he poured two beers and set the glasses down in front of them. “Thirty simoleons,” he said. “Each.”
“I’m sure you just make up these fucking prices on a whim, Joe. No matter, gonna be buying this place in a few days.” He reached into his pocket and tossed the money carelessly on the bar, looking around for entertainment, noticing Caleb. “Hey, look who it is! Almost didn’t recognise you without your queer haircut, Vatore.”
Will nodded, amused by Caleb’s silence. “How’s your fit sister? You know she finally persuaded me to let her blow me, right? She’s crap at it, though. All teeth.”
Caleb clenched his jaw. He was used to Will throwing his weight around. He knocked back his sixth. April’s beautiful face still stubbornly clear in his mind.
“Hey, here we go,” Will said, nodding at the television.
Caleb looked up at the screen, where the news was rolling.
“They were all in here. The day before she went missing,” Joe said to Caleb “On the run? Shoot, do you think she actually killed her own mother? Do you think that’s what she’s running from?”
Caleb threw back his seventh.
“Oh, there she is, The Hole Of Forgotten Hollow. You know she’s turned to the game now? No self-respect.” Will smirked as Faith appeared on the screen. Caleb tried to remain in control, clenched his fist. How he’d love to throw it through Will’s face.
Will whacked Dale on the back as the channel displayed April, again. “Can you believe that this lucky bugger got April Moss in the sack! Look at her. Spoiled little princess must’ve been desperate for a bit of rough, am I right?”
“Come on man! Don’t hold back; give us all the details.”
Roxie was nowhere to be seen and the forest was deserted. Seth’s thirst was causing him issue however his main aggravation was a young woman with pale grey eyes.
Tonight had made it obvious; Faith needed change. Craved it. Seth could show her so much, teach her everything, gently lure her down the path of darkness. And if he got to enjoy the physical side of her, well, that was a bonus.
There were bonds to break in this endeavour, but he couldn’t just erase the memories of her family. Well, he could, but he wanted her to feel like it was her choice. It would take time, but they had it.
Alas, he knew himself well; time would cause his desire to manifest into yet another unhealthy obsession. It was somewhere he’d promised himself to never be again. But she was so tempting. He had always had a weakness for aggressive women, but one with so many secrets? What was a poor, mind-raping cretin like him to do?
Hanging around Hook Corner was fruitless tonight. He’d travelled instead towards the bar. It wasn’t his first choice to dine on the intoxicated, brawny men of Forgotten Hollow, but the night’s events had taken quite a toll and he could only hold out for so long.
It looked like he wasn’t the only one.
Seth sensed that Caleb wasn’t out here for his usual reason. Suspicion confirmed when that Wangshaft idiot headed down the path towards him.
“You’re a nut job, Vatore.” Will laughed. Caleb started to walk away, but Will followed. “What’s it matter to you if he fucked some rich bird? What’s she to you, anyway?”
“Bullshit,” Will said, blocking his path. “You don’t throw a punch like that for no reason; they’ll be finding his teeth for weeks. You know her, don’t you? April. You know where she is.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Really?” Will swaggered up. “Doesn’t matter that the cops are on their way to yours as we speak then, does it?”
Caleb was clenching his fists. “You didn’t.”
“Oh I fucking did.” Will feigned concern. “Couldn’t leave the poor girl trapped forever in your dungeon, could I?”
“You’ll what?” Will was right in his face now. “Gonna suck me dry, vamp boy?”
When Seth hunted he would terrorise his prey and wouldn’t mesmerise them; their fear provided a most stimulating dining experience. But Will was the foolhardy type and Seth had been aroused enough for one night. He didn’t have to lift a finger to render Will mute and immobile. Seth smiled at Caleb and waved an inviting hand towards the helpless man.
“You first. Let the end be on my conscience.”
Caleb looked between Will and Seth. His rage turned to laughter. “What the heck Seth? You know I don’t do that.”
“Of course you don’t,” Seth humoured him, like he had all the other times. “But if you were to want to this time, do go ahead. No one need ever know. And I mean no one.”
Realisation dawned on Caleb. “I’ve done this before.”
Caleb shook his head. “I need to get back. The police know April is at mine, they’ll be there any minute.”
“They won’t. He was lying to you.” Seth smiled as he rifled through Will’s memories. “He doesn’t know where you live. Barely remembers where he lives.”
“Is that any way to speak to your wife, Will?” Seth tutted as he read. “Hell, we’d be doing everyone a favour draining this one.”
“Last chance.” Will’s racing pulse was starting to overwhelm them both. Seth watched Caleb fight with himself. He pitied the poor man, his tone far more gentle than usual. “We cannot be tamed, Caleb.”
“I need to keep trying,” Caleb vowed, walking away down the path.
“Well, that makes one of us.”
Before she had arrived home that evening, Lilith had been enjoying her day. Her new therapy was proving to be a hit. It was based on the flimsiest of research that said that losing a measured amount of blood was beneficial for the body. It was all a sham; the only bodies it would be benefitting were that of her vampire family, but it hadn’t stopped thirty senseless celebrities booking themselves in for ‘treatment’. She knew that Melinda would probably question the morality of it, but Lilith wished she’d thought of it years ago.
Now, after her unfavourable behaviour this evening in front of Melinda, her confrontation with Faith and her inability to reach Seth she was back to wondering what the hell her existence was becoming. There was not a thought to be heard in the dark house, so she assumed that April had joined Melinda and Caleb, after all. She found herself alone in her living room, staring at that plastic box. If she stared at it hard enough, maybe it would explode.
Lilith heard the front door bang shut and it startled her. She waited a while to see if her visitor would come in, but they didn’t. Cautiously, she wandered into the hallway to see Caleb, slumped against the wall looking like he’d had a long night.
“Caleb?” She took in his haunted expression. “Are you OK? What happened? Where are the girls?”
“Did you tend to April?”
“April?” she asked, a coldness taking over. “Why? What have you done?”
“What do you think?” he said quietly, sinking to the floor. “She’s in my room.”
Lilith glared at him. “Different,” she spat as she headed upstairs. “And you wonder why I don’t trust you?!”
April was sitting in the dark, staring blankly at the wall as Lilith entered. Lilith switched on the light and sat beside her on the bed. She looked mostly OK, physically; there was only limited damage that a vampire could sustain, after all. But that vacant, docile expression was a concern. From the little Lilith knew of April, calm was not one of her traits.
Lilith sighed. The touchy-feely side of this was always the bit she struggled with. And now that she had lost her ability to change memories, she’d have to do it the old-fashioned way.
“How are you feeling, April?”
April rolled her head to look at Lilith, as if she was noticing her for the first time. “I’m fine. Is Caleb back yet?”
“Yes. A bit bored.”
“Bored?” As Lilith thought about what the heck to say next, the room fell silent.
That’s when it hit her. She couldn’t hear any of April’s thoughts. Not one. She tried to probe but got heavy resistance. Familiar resistance. Almost… walls.
April smiled. “I’d really like to watch TV now.”
Lilith was hardly about to deny her that. “Go ahead.”
“Can you bring it up to me? Caleb told me to stay here,” April said, coolly. “So I must.”
“Right. I’ll go fetch that for you then.”
April nodded. “Thanks.”
Lilith closed the door behind her and stood on the landing trying to compose herself.
The blind, senseless infatuation between them. His sudden care for someone besides himself. Why hadn’t she seen it before? She managed to get down the stairs without screaming; an urge that became ten times stronger when she laid eyes on her pitiful excuse for a brother.
“Get up,” she ordered.
He knew better than to argue with that tone. Lilith watched as he scrambled to his feet.
“When you turned April, what exactly did that entail?”
He stared at her. “I already told you.”
“What you told me was a load of bullshit. What did you actually do, Caleb?”
Three hundred and twenty-one years of numbness and focus meant that very few things caused Lilith to shift form but this was certainly one of them. She tried to restrain the static that threatened to rip through her defences.
“I’m out of here,” he said, pushing past her towards the door.
“No, you’re not.” Lilith grabbed his arm, got a firm grip. She hadn’t had a hold on him for years; a sure sign that she was slipping form, that something was very, very wrong.
“Show me how you turned her. Let me in.”
She twisted his arm up his back until the bone threatened to snap and shoved him against the wall. “This is not a request.”
He winced as the pain registered. He’d forgotten how strong she was; how she used to take down men twice her size with no effort. The static was emanating from her, penetrating his skull, hitting those god damn walls.
Caleb rested his head against the wall, spewing apologies that Lilith had no more patience for.
“Let me in,” she hissed into his ear, feeling him tremble. “You’re going to show me how you bound her before I rip your fucking head off.”