Disclaimers: somewhat NSFW, generally really awful
When April had offered the chance of eternal life, a thousand scenarios had fought for space in Faith’s mind.
She’d dreamed of going about her day-to-day life like a regular person, making a mental list of everyone who crossed her to pay a visit to at midnight.
She’d lost herself in fantasies of warm-blooded men and dark alleys; caught somewhere between a manifestation of their ultimate fantasy and simultaneously, their worst nightmare.
She’d have powers beyond her wildest dreams, she’d be indestructible and immortal.
It had never occurred to her that life as she knew it would end completely. That she’d have to give up Joy and everything she’d never realised she’d had in order to survive.
She hoped that she’d be able to visit her little sister again, one day. Maybe they could turn her and take her with them. Joy would enjoy being a demonic child of the night; scaring people shitless and robbing them blind.
Did vampire children grow up? Faith had no idea. Something to ask Seth when he got back, if he ever got back.
Shit, she was bored.
In her planning of vampire life, she hadn’t accounted for the fact that between each bout of lust-fuelled feeding, there would be hours upon hours of daylight to avoid. Her research had suggested that she’d fall asleep during the day, but that never seemed to be the case.
She also didn’t factor in that she wouldn’t actually have any damn powers, unless not quite turning into a prune in the sun was her power.
In short; she didn’t think that being a vampire would suck this much.
There was one huge perk, of course. Faith had often thought about finding herself a vampire beau and running off with him to start over. And wow, had she found one. But even the pinch me, I’m dreaming reality of absconding with Seth was much less glamourous than the fantasy.
Waiting for him in a shitty cabin in the arse-end of nowhere to bring her a man to feed on was hardly thrilling.
Faith had been hanging around in this dump since Seth left, which was ages ago. Surely it wasn’t that hard to find an ugly townie to capture? He was probably trying to find her the most unappetising or unavailable man that he could so that she wouldn’t try to seduce him.
It didn’t matter. Seth could bring her another gay guy, a pensioner, a rambling tramp who’d never seen soap; she was still going to make a huge show of feeding from him. Watching Seth’s eyes flash milky white when she pushed his buttons was quickly becoming her favourite game.
She’d filled her first hour of boredom in the way you might expect having been left high and dry by her lover. That just made her feel lonely. When she’d stopped focusing on trying to scratch the itch, she had managed to regain enough strength to stand and wander about – not that there was anywhere to go in this hovel.
Faith was trying to figure out how to light the fire, more for something to do than because she was cold, when she heard a crackling and a thud in the next room.
Her first reaction, conditioned from living in a crappy part of Willow Creek her whole life, was that it was an intruder. But there was even less to steal in here than in her empty little house there. She staggered to her feet to investigate, still woozy from dehydration and saw Seth appear in the archway before her.
“Oh good, you’re awake. I got you a little something,” he said in his jovial fashion, beckoning her over.
She was imagining who it might be, but her poker face remained firm. “Took you long enough,” she scoffed. “Losing your touch in your old age.”
Seth didn’t even flinch. “I needed to find the perfect one and, oh, didn’t I just. Only the best will do for my persistent pain in the neck.” He took her hand and guided her through the archway where she could see what constituted a ‘perfect’ prey for her, in Seth’s eyes.
It was a million miles from what she had expected and her mask momentarily slipped.
“It’s a woman,” Faith stated.
“You are observant.” Seth gave her a slap on the bum, nudging her forwards. “As always, you first. Let the end be on my conscience.”
Faith stepped towards the bench the woman was slumped on but was stopped by a harrowing thought: me first means him second.
She looked over the woman, her mind was racing with a hundred questions; how did he get her here? Who is she? Why a woman? She was gorgeous; thick, copper-coloured hair, a cute face with glowing skin and a banging body. That couldn’t be coincidence.
Seth had sidled up behind Faith but she’d barely registered it. This seemed to be his favourite place to be – where he could be felt and heard but she couldn’t see his face. His lips brushed her ear and he asked, “Problem?”
“No,” Faith replied, immediately, too quickly. “I’ve just never drunk from a woman. Well, other than April but that was, y’know, different.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” he mused. “You drinking from Megan should certainly be an experience, then. For us both,” he finished breezily.
Faith couldn’t tear her eyes away from the woman’s face, Megan’s face. Her mind stubbornly kept wandering back to who she was, where she was from; seeking to find a connection to this unresponsive woman that she didn’t want to acknowledge.
“Is she mesmerised?” Faith asked quietly.
“No. Only paralysed,” Seth replied idly, his fingers tracing the curve of Faith’s waist.
“Can you mesmerise her?”
He paused; his touch stilled. When he spoke again there was definite undercurrent of irritation in his voice. “Why this time?”
“She’s afraid,” Faith answered, but she wasn’t sure she meant Megan.
If Seth had noticed the hitch in Faith’s voice, he didn’t acknowledge it. He placed his hand on the small of her back and pushed her forwards. “She won’t be for long,” he joked. “Go ahead, Faith. Take as much as you want.”
Faith didn’t see that she had much choice. She was parched.
She climbed on to the rickety bench, half straddling Megan in a strange position, wondering how best to go about this. In her peripheral vision she could see Seth leaning against the wall, watching intently. It made her nervous. For the first time since her turning, she felt like she had no idea what to do.
She reached around the back of Megan’s neck, pulling the woman towards her, surprised by how light she felt and how soft. She could pick up a sweet floral perfume on her pulse points and a warm vanilla scent on her skin that was probably soap or moisturiser.
Everything about her was so undeniably feminine and the complete opposite of the prey Faith liked; Seth knew this, so why the fuck had he chosen Megan?
Faith stroked her finger along the vein in Megan’s neck, feeling her form slipping. She could hear Seth behind her, tapping his foot. She couldn’t delay it, couldn’t sit and think anymore, she just had to get it over with.
With a delicacy she didn’t know she had, she willed a silent apology to Megan and embedded her fangs.
There was nothing special about the way she tasted. Megan whimpered as Faith bit her and behind her she heard Seth growl.
Wait. Was this why he chose a woman? Was he getting some sort of thrill from watching?
“It has a certain appeal, yes,” he replied. “But no, that’s not why I chose her.”
Had she broadcast that thought? Something in his tone, that Faith couldn’t put her finger on, filled her with dread. She wanted to ask, but she didn’t want to know. What was he planning to do to Megan after Faith had finished? Would he show her any mercy or would he treat her like he treated Chloe—?
“You may not bring me to climax, Faith. But Chloe damn did.”
Was that the reason? Was this his way of getting back at her for earlier? Was he going to make her choose between burning in the sun or watching him getting off as he slaughtered Megan?
Holy fuck; was he that deranged?
Part of her was appalled, but a larger part was in awe at the depths he could sink to. She had truly met her match in terms of mind games and guilt traps; how could she ever outdo a man who had no moral compass?
The second she stopped she would give Seth all the control and Megan a horrible end.
So what if she didn’t stop?
Lilith willed a prayer, to a Watcher she didn’t believe in, to please stop screwing her over.
Concerned with how listless and confused April had become over the course of the day, Lilith had suggested pushing the boundaries of the binding and seeing if they could physically force April out of the house.
But even the combination of Lilith’s own strength and Melinda’s enhanced capability could not get April outside.
Every time they got close, April would kick and thrash, scratch and bite, eventually seizing up completely and emitting a banshee scream; an impending sign, if any ever was, that persevering would bring about destruction.
Lilith had still wanted to try; if forcing April out of the door and into a taxi caused her to turn to ash, it actually solved a multitude of problems. But Melinda – still wonderfully human and non-psychotic in her assessments of situations and consideration of consequences – had desisted.
The pair had settled an exhausted April to rest on the sofa and Melinda had instead begged Lilith to find Caleb.
All Lilith had to go on was that he went to work the previous morning and had yet to return. He could be anywhere, doing anything, with anyone and Lilith was not in optimum hunting form.
She couldn’t track him down with her senses alone; she’d have to do this the mortal way.
Starting at the beginning. The flower shops in the village.
This was definitely the worst feeding experience Faith had had to date, even if she included the sweaty, hairy-eared man she’d pulled over when she and April went hunting that one night.
That felt like a lifetime ago.
Nothing about Megan was horrible – quite the opposite – and yet she hated it. It sounded fucked up, but this was the first time Faith actually felt like she was drinking from a person without permission, even though it wasn’t. Faith felt like she was trespassing, taking advantage of this poor woman, and she didn’t like it one bit.
Yet, she felt powerless to stop. She drank slowly, still weighing up her options and wondering if there was a way to get Megan out of this alive.
She was distantly aware of Seth circling her, of an eerie silence that had descended and how the flow from Megan slowed. Was that his doing?
Faith felt invigorated, like she could take on the world. Maybe she could talk him out of it, distract him somehow, just long enough for Megan to escape. She should probably stop drinking now, before it was too late and Megan lost the ability to flee.
Seth had paused in his pacing, just behind her and he chuckled. He leaned over to whisper in her ear.
“It is too late.”
Faith gently extracted her fangs and hesitated. What the fuck did he mean by that? She was about to round on him, offer him a snarky remark, but as she turned, Megan fell heavily back to the bench; ashen and not breathing.
The silence suddenly made devastating sense. It was the absence of the background drum, the beat of the feed.
Faith had done it. She’d actually done it.
Holy fucking shit. She’d actually fucking done it.
“What the fuck have I done?!” she screeched, backing away from the bench, unable to tear her eyes from the lifeless form before her. Megan. Her doing. She’d done that.
Seth looked between the slumped shell of Megan, and Faith, who was rigid with shock in the centre of the room. He casually shrugged.
“Either you were thirstier than I originally thought, or perhaps you prefer to dine on the fairer sex,” he laughed. “Was that enough for you, my dehydrated darling, or will you require another?”
“How can you be so blasé about this?!” Faith cried, backing away. “I’ve just fucking… I’ve… shit. Fuck.”
“Killed her,” Seth finished effortlessly. “Yes. As for being ‘blasé’, I suppose that is a mindset you’ll acquire in time. Seen one, seen them all. And hey,” he said, turning to her with a wide grin, “at least your kills are clean; one less onerous task.”
“In time,” Faith choked. “My kills.”
Seth was still smiling like the messed-up bastard he was as he lifted Megan’s hand and let it fall back to the bench with a careless thud.
“Your technique requires a little work; you haven’t emptied her completely,” he said.
His tone reminded Faith of the time her manager at the cinema had judged her efforts at cleaning the slushy machine. She might have laughed if wasn’t for the fact that her body felt like it was made of crumbling rock and her heart was falling into her ass.
Seth was now inspecting the neat puncture holes in Megan’s throat, still wearing that inappropriate smile.
“We should ensure she is fully exsanguinated before we dismember her. Would you like to do the honours?” he asked, running his thumb along Megan’s jaw and gently parting her lips. “Or may I?”
Those final words in that husky whisper were the final punch to the gut for Faith. It was for nothing. It was all for nothing. She couldn’t save Megan and – worse – she couldn’t stop him having his fucking way with her.
She couldn’t win.
“I can’t do this,” Faith wept, stumbling towards the door. Fuck this. Fuck him. Fuck all of it.
In her blind panic and her rage, Faith didn’t have a plan other than ‘get the hell out’. She flung the door open, feeling the sting of the sun’s rays on her face and stepped forward into the blistering embrace of the light, only to be forcefully jerked inside a second later.
In one swift motion, Seth had drawn her back, whirled her around and pushed her against the splintered wall of the back room in the cabin.
She could feel the incessant thudding at her temples increase to blinding levels as he tried to read her. The firmness of his grip and the tenseness in his limbs as he used the full force of his body to pin her in place was amplified by his voice reverberating through her mind: don’t go.
Numb with shock, trying to figure out how she had gone from that to this so quickly, it took Faith’s bearings a good minute to catch up. Her body shook as the full gravity of the situation began to sink in, her knees giving way beneath her. Seth’s firm support was the only thing stopping her from becoming a puddle of nothing on the dusty floor.
He quietly assured her, pressing his lips to her cheek. “You had nothing to be jealous of.”
Faith wanted to protest that she wasn’t jealous, but she couldn’t and she hated it.
“Then why a woman?” she whispered.
“Because she’s wearing an all-black outfit that both provides more coverage than your current one and is your size,” he replied.
“Come,” he said, taking her hand. “We’ll leave her here, mist back to the cave. We can talk it through or do whatever you need to help you cope with this but, Faith, don’t go. Not now.”
Faith didn’t want to talk about what had happened. She didn’t want to think about what had happened. She just wanted to forget everything. To distract herself until nothing mattered, until she was nothing, until she was mindless.
“I don’t want to talk,” she mumbled, drawing him closer.
She wasn’t sure what she’d expected to achieve. Maybe that he’d sigh, make a quip about her one-track mind and leave her strung up. Maybe that he’d insist they misted and she open her heart to him. Maybe that he’d dump her on the spot and find someone less sick in the head to date.
He hesitated before reciprocating a kiss that she didn’t feel she deserved but that she so desperately craved. She waited for him to admonish her, to belittle her, to deny her. He didn’t.
She knew that this method was fucked up. She knew it didn’t solve anything; it only delayed the inevitable and made things worse. The guilt and shame could only chew her apart for so long. Sex could only paper over the cracks for so long.
She would process this later. She would.
She would process everything.