Chapter 2.05 – Kick Him Harder

Violence, abusive behaviour

This man had approached Faith within seconds of her leaving the motel. Nothing about him was attractive; he looked like he had been randomly generated by a people machine and plonked in front of her.

But if she closed her eyes, used her imagination he could be anyone…

It wasn’t how this human looked that mattered anyway. It was how he tasted and he tasted… very bad. Compared to the plasma packs she’d been having for the last couple days though, he was divine. Lilith could add all the adrenaline she wished to those gloopy blood bags; they still tasted like shit.

He was so taken with her that it took Mr. Random Ugly one whole minute to realise that Faith wasn’t actually kissing his neck. He panicked for another few minutes before finally falling dazed and heavy against her.

With effort, she pulled away, placing him on the floor. She uttered an apology to him before she set about trying to make it look like he’d been attacked by something other than a vampire.

Satisfied, yet feeling slightly sick and ashamed of herself, she stood back up to check her work.

“An interesting, if rather violent, technique. Though you may wish to kick him harder in the face if ‘aggressive mugging’ is what you’re going for.”

“Seth! What are you doing here?”

“Meeting with you, as agreed. Forgive my tardiness; I wasn’t aware that the venue had changed.” He looked around at their grim surroundings with a bemused expression. “Classy choice, Faith.”

“I’m going by ‘Violet’ now. How did you know where I was?”

Seth grinned. “Come now, Violet. I’m a prime apex predator and you four are hardly skilled at covering your tracks. April must bathe in her perfume; oud and jasmine, I believe.”

“She just smells like money to me,” Faith said. “You’re not going to make us go back to Lilith, are you?”

“No, however I’ll be keeping a watchful eye,” he replied. “On Caleb,” he added, hastily.

“Oh you mean ‘Thor’. Yeah, that dude is thirsty. He’s gone out hunting with ‘Amy’. Said she needed to supervise him so he won’t just empty some poor fucker.”

Seth looked like he was trying not to laugh. He glanced down at the unconscious man on the ground. “I see you’re doing fine, not that I ever had any concerns about your survival skills. Was there much in his wallet?”

“Twenty simoleons,” Faith mumbled. “Don’t judge me. I can hardly go and get a shift at the cinema now.”

“I’m not judging. In fact,” Seth rolled down the guy’s sock, revealing a few hidden notes. “Aha.”

“How did you—“

“It’s a common thing for humans to do in dodgy neighbourhoods such as these frequented by undesirable characters such as us. Here.”

Seth handed the money to Faith who swiftly pocketed it. “I’m not undesirable.”

“Quite.”

“I’m only—“

“Surviving. I understand.” Seth nudged the human with his boot. “You didn’t mesmerise him?”

“No. I don’t know how to.”

Seth looked at Faith for a while, sceptically. She had to look away. She felt the pressure increasing in her head but also a strange, new, thudding sensation.

“That’s intriguing,” he murmured.

“What is?” she asked.

“I thought you were rather quiet tonight but now I realise; I can’t hear anything at all.” He mused, “I wonder if this has something to do with what you did to Lilith.”

“You know about that?”

“Yes. I had to revive her. It was quite extraordinary. Definitely something I wish to explore, incredibly carefully, in our next session. Although I’m not sure how fruitful they will be,” Seth finished quietly, as if to himself.

The stars were spinning before Faith’s eyes as he psychically strangled her; tighter and tighter as if trying to squeeze out the last drop of juice from a lemon.

“Seth, stop!” she groaned holding her aching head. “You really can’t get in at all, can you?”

“No,” he muttered, frustrated. He shifted his attention, awarding her some reprieve. “You surely took a lot from this poor, frightened sap. I did wonder…”

Faith scoffed. “I know when to stop. Unlike you and Fringey, I know my limits.”

“Oh, I know my limits. I can stop, I simply don’t.”

Faith stared at him, wide-eyed. “Wait, you mean you don’t have to kill people? You said you did!”

“I didn’t say that. I don’t have to, no…”

“So why the fuck would you?”

“Convenience,” he answered effortlessly, immediately. Then he groaned, bit his tongue; his next words seemed to be pulled from him with force. “I enjoy it.”

“Shitting hell, Seth,” Faith whispered. “You enjoy it?”

Seth looked like he really didn’t want to form the words, but he did anyway. “I’ve grown to, yes.”

Faith whistled. “That’s one fucked up hobby. I can’t actually believe you just admitted that.” She looked down at the man at her feet for a while, thinking. Finally she glanced back at Seth, grinned. “Didn’t fancy taking up knitting?”

He smiled. An expression Faith couldn’t quite read flickered across his features. Relief? “I haven’t considered it. Perhaps I’ll join the Windenburg Wives’ next Knit and Natter. Hopefully none of the ladies are too appetising.”

Faith laughed, despite herself. “You really don’t do yourself any favours. For fuck’s sake; can you just lie a bit when you meet ‘Maude’?”

“I can’t lie,” he admitted. “Ah, bollocks.”

Faith watched him wave at her. She thought she saw a flash of red. “You can’t lie?” she asked. “Why not?”

“No, I can’t,” he muttered. He was looking at his hand and biting his tongue so hard that he’d likely draw blood, if he had any. “Equilibrium.”

“Intriguing,” Faith said, mimicking him. “So a weakness to balance out your powers?”

He flinched at the word weakness. “Yes.”

“You should be careful who you admit that to. Someone might exploit it,” she said, smiling wickedly.

“That someone should tread very carefully. I would hate to have to silence her.”

“Don’t you threaten me; I’ll blast your brain to pieces!” Faith retorted. “You can’t even read my mind now; you’re as good as powerless. Pfft, silence me. I’d like to see you fucking try!”

Seth’s hand twitched and Faith smacked herself across the face with so much vigour she collided with the wall beside her.

It took Faith a few seconds to realise what had happened. “What the fuck!?” she screamed at Seth. “You asshole!”

Seth roared with laughter. “Consider that a subtle reminder of who exactly you’re talking to, Fledgling.”

“Subtle?!”

“Yes. It was intended to be a light pat but oh you and your chaotic, self-destructive, immature brain. Hysterical! I wonder if you’ll amplify everything? I’ll command you to hop next; let’s see if you go stratospheric.”

“Don’t you fucking dare! This isn’t funny!” Faith rubbed her face. “A light fucking pat?!”

“Yes,” he said, regaining composure. He opened his arms wide, inviting her wrath. “Go ahead. Take a free shot and we’ll call it even. Hey, why not try ‘blasting my brain to pieces’? That should be amusing.”

Faith balked. “What? I can’t—“

“Go on,” he goaded. “Show me your bite, Violet.”

“I… I don’t want to show you! I’ll just kick you in the nuts, that’ll make us even.”

He nodded. “You could do that. Or how about this; I’ll permit you to ask me one question. Anything you like. You can keep your tongue.”

“I don’t need your permission to ask questions!” Faith retorted brazenly, but her mind began racing with all the things she could ask him. He waited patiently on the tip of her knife, probably wondering which dark, incriminating secret she was going to whittle out of him.

She thought about what might have led him to his murderous ways, about his relationships with Lilith and Caleb and kept coming back to the same, burning question.

“Have you missed me today?”

She watched him open and close his mouth, repeatedly. Could see him silently trying out various answers. Finally he replied, hesitantly, “I have.”

“Are you fall—” she started.

“I said one question,” he snapped.

Faith fixed her face into an unbothered expression and let that lack of concern filter through to her voice. “Huh. There I was, thinking I was just a brain to be studied.”

He didn’t say anything. He was clearly wishing that he’d opted to be booted in the balls.

“Shit, Seth,” she whispered. “I haven’t thought about you at all today. Wow, this is super awkward.”

He hissed through his teeth. “I think you’re lying.”

“You think I am, but you don’t know. If only you could read my mind. But you can’t even do that…”

He laughed. “I will again, with time.”

“Look, if you can’t help me with my head then I’m not sure what other use I have for you. I’m not after a relationship,” she said, trying not to grin. “And you aren’t a particularly memorable lay…”

“You’re starting to annoy me.”

“Hey, don’t be annoyed. You weren’t terrible. You’re still in my top thirty, just about. Top fifty, for sure. Maybe once you’re over me I’ll let you have another go at poking around in my brain. Until then, thanks for the mugging tips and good luck with the knitting group. I’ll see you around.”

He didn’t respond, didn’t try to stop her. Yet the pressure was unrelenting in her head as she walked away.

Powerless.



“Oh dear,” April said.

“Why didn’t you stop me?” Caleb shouted. “You were supposed to bloody stop me!”

“Caleb!” April gasped, shocked by his outburst. He was really rather aggressive in his dark form. “You said to stop you after three minutes and it was only two minutes thirty-nine seconds!”

Caleb was still raging. “Damn and heck! You must have been counting too slowly.”

April scoffed, “I know how to count three minutes, thank you very much! Don’t blame me because you can’t control yourself. And don’t shout at me; it upsets me.”

She sensed him mellowing. “I’m sorry, April.”

April hmphed.

Caleb took her hand. “I’m angry at myself, not at you; you did everything I asked. I shouldn’t have shouted at you. Forgive me?”

“OK. I forgive you,” April said cheerfully. “Let’s focus on the positive! We don’t need to hunt anyone else tonight, do we?”

“No,” Caleb agreed. “I don’t need anyone else. Agh! I should have stopped. Heck. What is wrong with me? I should really be able to control this by now; every other vampire can.”

“Maybe you’re special?” April gazed up at him, through her lashes. “It’s actually kind of impressive how you can drain a whole man through two puncture holes in a mere two minutes and thirty-nine seconds.”

“I’ve always been fast, but that’s a record.”

“At least we have a benchmark now.” She crouched down to unfasten the guy’s watch. “Tomorrow night I’ll accurately time for only one minute; that will avoid any more fatalities.”

“I’m a monster,” he said sadly. “Look at what I’ve done! These two were a couple.”

“Shush you. This guy insulted her mother, let her wander off alone in this horrible town where anything could have happened to her and couldn’t even describe her to me properly, so he was clearly a massive knob.”

“That doesn’t make it right.”

“No, but now she can go and find a nice boyfriend when she wakes up. You’re not a monster, you just made a mistake. Don’t feel bad.”

Caleb sighed, looking at his little vampire wife with adoration. “You’re amazing.”

April grinned. “Are you ready to head back to the motel? We should try and make it to the next town before sunrise.”

“Yes. We should probably sort this guy out first though, Amy.”

“Oh right, yes. Any ideas?”


24 thoughts on “Chapter 2.05 – Kick Him Harder

  1. I’m back!

    Well.. That bleach thing didn’t do a very good job. Then again it makes sense not to use it so close to the scalp. I like this better than her previous hair though. It accentuates her bad-assery.

    One question: Have we seen Faith’s dark form yet?

    Woah, Faith I knew you were amazing! Such a shame you’re a fledging and Seth has way more years on you. But I’m sure you’ll catch up to him in no time. I mean. It’s extraordinary to me that she can already resists him probing her mind. Whose to say she can’t resist him controlling her movements in the future? She sounds like an anti-Seth. Especially when he tried to wipe her memory there. Ha! But yikes he made her punch herself. Seth you mofo. Don’t hurt Faith. If you want other vamps to like you, (I assume so. Why else would he be relieved) stop controlling them.

    Awww the start of Faith and Seth’s all kinds of f-ed up ship, confirming and dissing each other and own’s feelings with a healthy dose of power-play — the makings of a wonderful relationship. 😂

    And then there’s Caleb and April’s equally demented but actually rather supportive and sweet relationship. I’m glad April knew exactly what to say to redirect his anger, and that Caleb is not a hothead. I only hope that it doesn’t become worse in time. And that April manages to successfully stop him with their newly agreed time. April’s skewed logic though. And Caleb listening to it. Hahaha aw. Idk. They’re kinda cute together.

    Okay so… I’m having a nerd moment here.

    Did they uh, “prep” the body properly before dumping it into the lake? Because if they didn’t it’s bound to resurface and all, given the gases in the body will expand and rise and well, bring it to the top. So then it’ll attract the police, and post mortem analysis, and lead to vampire awareness…. 😫

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She did the best with what she had. Maybe somewhere down the line she’ll get to a salon.

      Not in its full glory, no. You have seen flashes of her eyes and now her skin. You’ll see it all one day, I’m sure.

      You’re not wrong in that Seth has way more years on her and that this is one fucked up ship.

      Caleb’s very smitten with his little vampire wifey. Shame this pair can’t go more than a few hours without screwing stuff up. Which brings me on to your nerd moment and all I can say here is… wait and see. 😉

      Like

  2. Ooh. I love me some Seth and Faith, this is a lovely surprise! Double ooh, he can’t read her thoughts anymore and she even got him to admit he can’t lie – I suppose he may have admitted to that to several people on many occassions, except this time, he can’t rewind. Nice! The power balance is indeed shifting here.

    Now, I just hope what she said to him ar the end was just her weird way of teasing to make him come back for more or “prove her wrong” (gotta get into the top 10, right? 😂) – after all, it would be silly to admit she’s been thinking of him now when they are more evenly matched – rather than it coming from that lovely self-loathing place that leads her to try to push everyone away, because that way, they leave “on her terms” and don’t get a chance to truly abandon her. But knowing Faith, I reckon it’s the latter 😕

    Oh lordy, April and Caleb. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. These two are so dumb they might just somehow manage to stay afloat trough thier unlife and their mess of a relationship… much like the body of poor whatshisface will float in the river, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lovely surprise? Did you read the right chapter? 😆 It’s all about the power here, but is the balance really shifting?

      …and knowing Faith she probably thinks it’s the former.

      Another one who thinks the body will resurface… again, we’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know my idea of lovely 😅

        Well, I feel like a lot of the bodies will come back to bote them (yay puns), starting with Paul in April’s fancy monogrammed suitcase, so this dude is just another one on the list, hah.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. No. no, no, no, no, no. Noooooo. Nuup.

    Looks like I’m in the minority here again in absolutely despising Seth this chapter. I wonder if Faith would have responded differently if Seth had physically strangled her. Because I see no difference. She was about to pass out, for crying out loud. 0.o And then he not only admitted that he doesn’t have to kill people but does it because he likes it, but also threatened her life – and then hit her so hard that she slammed into a wall! 0.o And laughed about it!

    Interesting that he can’t erase her mind anymore. He’ll have to watch what he says in the future now – if he messes up and pushes Faith away, he can’t “fix” the mistake anymore. Then again, Faith is so eager to destroy herself that he might not even need to. My gods. She thinks she’s starting to get leverage over him and is in control, but it does not look that way to me. I mean, she’s just a fledgling vampire, like Seth said. He found her within, what, a day? He had her slamming into the wall with a flick of his wrist. 0.o

    Gah, I can’t help but draw parallels here. As dysfunctional as they are, at least Caleb is apologising for shouting at April, and genuinely means it. And April is properly communicating that she’s not okay with his behaviour. Those two together are a vampiric-marriage-puppet-disaster, and they’re in a healthier relationship than where Faith and Seth are headed. T.T

    Gee, sure, April, murder is just a mistake, now, of course! XD But you’re not serial killers, yes. Didn’t you say that you were good vampires not even a couple of hours ago? Lol, those last two pictures had me chuckle despite everything. They’re so clueless together. Looks like their first date was a… success? xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean considering you hate Seth in general I doubt this chapter was going to sway you 😆 Though the part about her hitting the wall, he did specifically say it was meant to be a light pat and her mind seems to have amplified it – we know that has to be true because he can’t lie. The strangling part may be similar (so him not realising the full effect, especially since he can’t see her thoughts now), though of course we have no evidence for that. That’s all I have for this devil’s advocate segment, thank you 😆

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I still can’t gloss that over. It’s not okay if it’s just a light pat, either. And saying “I commanded you to hit yourself but you amplified it” is like saying “oh sorry, I just meant to hit you on the wrist but you moved your arm strangely and now your bone is broken.” x.x

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I do think there’s a slight difference, but don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s a stand up guy 😀 I mean, that’s a term I wouldn’t really use for most of the AE cast to be fair, haha. Only exceptions are Chuck and possibly Melinda, everybody else’s morals are all different shades of questionable 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Faith has certainly let a lot slide this chapter.

      Seth knows what he’s doing. “If he was cryptic enough he could deflect, tangle the truth, twist the perspective.” (And so can I 😁)

      I wouldn’t slap these two scenes together if I wasn’t hoping to draw some parallels between these two completely fine relationships that aren’t at all rotting bags of shit.

      They tried. Caleb was just overexcited; he’ll get it right next time. I’m at least 50% sure of it.

      Like

  4. The relationship between Faith and Seth has sharply changed in character.
    There are both strong and passionate personalities and as two magnets they attract or repel each other with violent force.
    Seth admits he enjoys the killing and Faith finds it repulsive … right now.
    In one field, Faith clearly shows her superiority … she is lying and that she just chooses to ask this question to Seth shows it with all clarity.
    Now that Seth cannot read her mind, it gives her an instant advantage.
    I do not think it is in Seth’s nature to give up so we will definitely see them in more intimidating meetings 🧨

    Caleb really wants to be a good vampy but with April by his side it’s doomed to fail … unless he learns to control his own impulses.
    The two are still a disaster together despite their really sweet care for each other.
    They are immature children who, despite their hard childhood, have always been protected from the realities of life.
    Mathematically speaking, minus multiplied by minus results in plus. But here, unfortunately, that does not mean that stupidity multiplied by stupidity results in a genius 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “…as two magnets they attract or repel each other with violent force.” Beautifully put. 😉 No, definitely not in Seth’s nature to give up…

      As for your last comment: I’m already playing with the psychology and skewing the science. Maybe I’m also manipulating the maths. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alright, I could not love Seth and/or Faith more. The powerplay between them is different than the energy thrumming between him and Lilith. It kind of makes me wonder if this was what Lilith was like at first.

    I applaud Faith’s ingenuity. She is a fledgling, yes, but she makes full use of what power she does have. I love that she immediately latched onto Seth’s weakness and wrapped him around her little finger. Now, will he get so mad that he kills her? I hope not (I’ll still love him. Why am I like this?).

    I swing between being delighted by Caleb and April being murder-happy dummies in love and being completely skeeved out by the fact that he technically controls her. It’s really great writing. They’ll be chugging along and then suddenly he’ll give her a command that you know she wouldn’t follow if she was in her right mind, and she does. It makes my skin crawl but in the best, most conflict-ridden way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. …oh? So, how much was Faith lying here, about the mesmerizing thing? She does know how, doesn´t she? 😀

    Other than that… she really ought to stop pissing off an ancient. I think that might be the worst self-sabotage she´s ever done and I´m very concerned for her. 😦 And yeah, I get she´s all out of whack right now… but that is still a very dangerously bad decision. (I might have to try and hold my breath a little here, the smoke is getting pretty thick. ;D)

    I don´t know what to think about Caleb and April right here. Oh, dear. April cheering him up like that was so sweet and at the same time so terrible, considering. And hey, corpses do float, but maybe there´s fishy friends in that there water? XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She says she doesn’t, why ever would she lie?

      Yeah… poking the beast is probably not going to end well. Unless he’s actually just a huge teddy bear.

      Yeah, chin up, Caleb. Mistakes happen. It’s only murder and he probably wasn’t anyone significant. Fishy friends in the water? Interesting.

      Like

      1. Oh, Idk. Maybe because she thinks she´s gonna get judged for just stealing a few bucks? P:

        …ha. A bear he might be. You never know what those think, either. But a teddy bear…? Even if he was, even teddy bears stop being very comforting if you kick them around too much. :/

        Yep, fishy friends. Nice, shiny, hungry little fishies. That plus it´ll probably be hard to tell if he had blood in him once he starts to rot, anyway. I wouldn´t be too concerned about the vampire aspect here. The possibility of murder evidence is still there, though, and problematic enough.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey, she had to make it look convincing and Burglary Bear has said it a few times now; he’s not one to judge.

          I’ve never kicked a teddy bear until it was uncomforting, so I’ll take your word for it. 🤣

          Yeah, hopefully he stays under for a while and the problem simply washes away.

          Like

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