NSFW, dark, abusive, awful (sorry Mona)
We agreed to meet at nightfall, but despite your cool expression and surface aggression, your relief was evident when I finally got around to knocking on your door gone midnight.
You didn’t ask me where I’d been which is just as well as I wouldn’t have told you.
Ah, this old house. A peculiar feeling of familiarity was evoked; once again I had been coaxed here by a woman who thought she had the upper hand. And once again, I played my part. Waiting.
I would have suggested we take a walk; who wouldn’t choose a starlit stroll through the unending, picturesque landscape over a 360 view of slate and beige furniture? You, evidently.
I could tell by your smile and your attire, both of which were somehow even more lacking in coverage than what you’d usually adorn, that you had no intention of leaving the house. I didn’t have to read your mind to know what you were expecting and at that point in proceedings, I couldn’t anyway. But no matter; your cerebral silence is always far more tempting than your empty embrace.
The village idiot had taken his brainless bride to find sustenance, so the house was empty apart from Melinda and ah, a single human. Male and… ha! Trust Caleb not to ensure his quarry was of adequate age. The fool never learns; he is truly quite a marvel of mental moronity.
Your squeaky-voiced chum was almost polite as I greeted her. She had lost a sparkle of innocence; so she had finally taken a drink, I see. I could have had a little fun there; told her that Danny’s sixteen and was pacing the basement, trying to call his mum on the mobile phone they forgot to confiscate, but ah, she already felt pity for me and guilt on your behalf. Another time.
How utterly pointless she is, wasting her efforts on compassion. What does pity do? What use is guilt other than a slow way to dissolve the one who carries it? She didn’t interfere as you dragged me towards the stairs, even though she so wanted to stop you. More for my benefit than yours, I heard.
Well, that did surprise me; I thought she was intelligent.
You explained as we ascended that you thought she was coming round to the idea of me being your -ugh- boyfriend and I nodded. But I know that she was too preoccupied with the finer details of her plan – to set your prisoner free and return to Lilith – to really care about the web that you insisted on being tangled in.
Oh, sometimes it’s so difficult to keep a neutral expression. That Lilith’s dry lifestyle is the preferred option will never cease to amuse me.
Melinda doesn’t trust you any more, Fledgling. She likes you even less than you do yourself. Did you know that? But, much like myself and crucially unlike you, she knows when to yield, when to be vulnerable and how to suffer. I like her more every time I meet her, which, incidentally, is another way the two of you differ.
I’d barely closed the door behind me when you’d pounced, eliminating any residual expectation I had of this being a civil affair. Lilith’s bedroom. This room alone brings back so many painful memories.
Oh, how I longed to feel her dark tresses gliding through my fingers and hear the soft moans that rolled from her throat as you discarded what little clothing you had to begin your blunt assault of my person.
A hard shove sent me back against the door, snapping the robe hook clean off with my spine. Not that you cared; too busy forcing your hand down my pants and calling me your little doggy.
I will admit to some acquired masochistic tendencies, juxtaposition to the daily sadism, I suppose, but I was rather hoping I wouldn’t have to put up with any more of that faux domination bullshit. It was all I could do not to laugh in your tarted-up face as you attempted to ‘dominate’ me. Yes, you were on top but then you sacrificed your own sexual satisfaction in pursuit of mine and thought that you were in charge?
I thought you’d gotten this out of your system last night. I wasn’t sure I could take another epic session while being drained like the cold contents of a used bathtub. I was about to stop you when, as with the previous night, I began to hear the distant whisper of your thoughts resurfacing.
Ah, so there was a discussion about your perceived lack of vampiric power with your girlfriends that fed your inferiority complex and… aha, my name was mentioned. A few times. Once in connection with April and… oho! Well, that should be interesting. And now you need to know if I’m functional.
Will you simply ask me? No, of course not.
You might not like the answer.
As the hours slipped by in a hazy mixture of pleasure, pain and downright frustration, bringing us to the here and now, you’ve evidently had quite a lot of fun in your endeavour, and I with mine. But desperation is starting to take its toll. You question yourself, how I see you, where the ‘problem’ lies.
Look, Fledgling. You know how to work a human man into a frenzy, I have no doubt, and your methods would’ve surely had trigger-happy Caleb covering the walls ten times over, but I’m not a human man and I’m definitely not Caleb.
It’s possible, if you think deeper, but I’m hardly going to tell you how. I want you obsessing over me, frustrated with me, fixated on me by whatever method it takes. I want your entire world, your lust, your anger, your everything. Because when your sole focus is me, that’s when the table turns. That’s when you become deliciously powerful, Fledgling, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. And the best part? You have absolutely no bloody idea what’s going on.
But I do. It took me a while to understand you. Your defences against my intrusion were unusual from the get-go. Resistance against mind-reading and mind-control is something that one can usually only achieve with rapid humanity loss and excessive coaching and even then, the likes of Lilith could never build up enough defence to block me; naturally attuned, as I am, to the art.
And yet you appear, freshly made, not a kill to your name and fight me right off the bat. How is that possible?
I wracked my brain for days, coming up with every complicated explanation under the sun, running off on tangents and creating complex theories but really, it’s very simple.
Your mind is like a mirror. Your self-loathing causes that mirror to face inwards, a glorious method of self-destruction, for sure, causing you to paralyse yourself in harm’s way the first night we met and to amplify my mind-control, to your own detriment.
So, how is it possible that every tweak and change I have made to you, you have skewed or undone? How is it possible that in trying to access your mind, I am instead accessing my own?
How could you, a novice, wipe the floor with Lilith Vatore?
It’s possible because, with the right circumstances, when your target is not yourself, that ‘mirror’ can face outwards.
You can use other’s powers against them.
You don’t know this and there is no way in damn hell I will ever tell you. All that’s left to figure out is how do I control it and, crucially, how do I best use you to my advantage?
You slap my face and call my name, bringing me back into the room. That definitely helps things along, but really, you should just give up.
Instead, you change tactics again; remembering the first time in the woods and slowing right down. That would be better if you didn’t also sink your awls into the colander of my flesh, which has barely even healed over after your mauling last night.
I briefly consider compelling you off; perhaps slamming you against the walls that have seen it all before as I shred your neck in return and break every bone in your body.
No. I can do this. Focus.
Ah, that painting. I stole it from a mansion one night, on a whim, and gave it to Lilith on her hundredth birthday. It must be worth half a million simoleons and yet here it hangs in this dark, damp room, overseeing this pantomime.
I’m likely becoming delirious because I laugh out loud as you mentally scream at me. It’s so damn human of you to focus on the destination. So mortal to anticipate the ending. I want to tell you to forget the wild fornication; you exist far beyond the demanding urges of the flesh now, you are not an animal.
But I’ll tell you no such thing because she has appeared and stolen my words. The rosy-cheeked, brown-haired, green-eyed girl whose name still alludes me, but whose appearance makes my cold heart sing. Evidence that, at one point in my life, someone truly meant something.
Maybe I even meant something. Well, beyond whatever the hell this wreck we have is. You think you’re on to a good thing. Despite all the evidence I give you to the contrary, you have fallen for me.
I can’t say those feelings are reciprocated, especially not right now.
Damn, you think of strange things when you have sex in this joyless way. The whole act brings up memories that both torment and excite you and, unfortunately, the openness of your mind and the closeness of your body means I can feel what you felt, see what you saw, sense everything you did.
Every damn thing.
Remembering the cold bathroom tiles beneath your knees, the dirty fingernails against your scalp and stale stench of every man who used you may spur you on, but when I have to view this sort of crap, honesty… it’s amazing I’m up at all.
Not that I will admit that I can access your thoughts, of course.
Bizarrely, reflecting this train of thought unearths her again. The cat-eyed demon along with the consternation, deep sense of foreboding and, oddly, yearning she arouses in me.
I don’t want to remember her. I don’t want to think about her. But I must. She is evidence that a lot of what I thought I knew about myself is fabricated, that my inability to lie is, perhaps, a learned behaviour. And if it is, it can be unlearned and I will have no weaknesses at all.
It was surely Lilith’s plan all along; to wipe every memory that gave me strength, weave me a tall tale of so-called equilibrium, all the while knowing that the pursuit of that wild goose would keep me busy until she could find a way to cure us all of the so-called disease.
“You asked me to do it for a very good reason.“
Like hell I did. Oh, she always was a wonderful liar.
You can tell that I’m distracted again, this time shoving me back on the bed. As my head hits the tenderised mattress, it takes a while for the room to stop spinning. Ugh. That’ll be another three today, in broad bloody daylight too.
I’ve had enough. Seen enough.
You smirk at me, but you don’t stop. Leaning back down to resume your feed, no doubt. I’m fully aware that the smallest instruction to your subconscious, especially in this heightened state will likely be catastrophic to one of us and, in case it’s me, I shove you off. The mortal way.
It takes a short while for my head to catch up with my body when I rise to sit.
“Problem?” you snarl; a perfect impression of me.
I resist the overwhelming urge to fling you across the room. “I’m not a bloody machine.”
The volume of your musings reduces, but I can still hear you thinking about how you could live off me forever, send me out to slaughter for your needs and what you’d do if I refuse. It’s difficult to keep my ire contained when I’m enervated, but to hell with you. I’m done playing this your way.
You will submit to mine.
“So you cannot bring yourself to kill, Faith, but you can happily depend on those who do to sustain you? Tell me; does killing by proxy scratch that itch? Does it ease your goddam conscience?”
You stare at me, aware now that I can hear your thoughts and wondering how this all went so wrong so quickly, but then your muteness begins to return along with your mask. “Aw, can the big, bad vampire not handle a little nibbling? What difference does it make? It’s not like you’re not killing randos anyway…”
“True. And on any regular night, one kill is sufficient, although I tend to go for two, if I can.”
You continue to stare, wondering where this is going, the mirror slowly turning inwards.
“But last night was not a regular night was it, Fledgling? I tried to stop at two but, thanks to you, that was not quite enough…”
I can tell from the mixture of horror and awe on your face that you can see what I am showing you. Watch your knuckles pale as you grip the sheets in your clenched fingers.
“So there was a third. I’ll add her to your tally. Her name was Chloe. She was twenty-four and setting up her stall at the craft market. She aspired to be a musician, was a sweet soul, charitable and she had a young son. So much to live for.”
The memory dances in the space between us and you start to shake your head as I continue. “Perfect, you might say. I only needed a smidgeon from her, but any vampire who can admit it will tell you; the ones with the greatest desire to live always taste the sweetest, don’t they? It makes it so tempting, doesn’t it? So tragically delectable to give into the compulsion we have to end them.”
I expect you to protest. Tell me you don’t understand what I mean. To lie to me.
You do not.
“Did you… did you…?” fuck her?
Aha. There it is. The only thing you care about. Without Melinda ringing fresh in your ears and with your insecurities gripping you like a vice you don’t give one jot about Chloe’s damn life.
And you hate yourself for it.
I pretend to misunderstand. “Did I… kill her? I did. I kept her conscious while I drained her. Slowly.”
You close your eyes, wanting to form the question but not daring to. I wonder which is stronger; the desire to keep me out or the desire to keep yourself in?
No matter. You can’t keep me out. I talk directly to your mind, telling you exactly what you don’t want to hear. Holy bloody hell, the way her hot, soft flesh trembled against me, how she wept for mercy. You might not bring me to climax, Faith. But Chloe damn did.
I’d like to say that answering back works to quieten her but it doesn’t. Her voice is a whiplash through the limbic and takes me a while to recover, I have discovered during my practice. You’re quick to overlook my hesitation though; you don’t think I can lie to you, after all.
The nerves clearly frayed in us both, you scream at me, “Are you trying to make me feel like shit?!”
“Do I really need to try?”
I stand and dress, calmly, trying not to let on that I’m likely about to faint and that devil woman is still wringing my metaphorical neck. I can’t hear a damn thing from you now. A sure sign that you’re suppurating, once again.
I chance my arm.
“You can spend your existence ‘feeling like shit’ Faith, pretending that your actions have no consequence, or you can come with me and embrace what you are. Your choice.” I watch the expression on your face change as you no doubt fight with how you feel. How it’s not acceptable to feel.
Yet how you’ve always felt.
You turn away; I take that as your answer and open the door to leave. I could offer you reassurance, but I won’t. I want to you to fester, to dwell. I don’t expect acceptance, not yet and not after that. But strangling you with your own self-loathing seems to be a speciality of mine.
“OK, I will,” you whisper, your voice heavy as one word accepts my terms and seals your fate. “Nightfall.”