Category Archives: vampires

Aeternum Amor

Lover’s Requiem is finally published at Smaswords for those that are interested in having their own copy.  It has been renamed as “Aeternum Amor”.  Once again, I seem to have a thing for Latin.  It’s free to download and you can read it either on your computer or pretty much any e-reading device.  I’m not completely happy with the cover, but it was what I was able to create with my limited graphical design skills.

Maybe one of these days I will buckle down and learn how to work with Adobe programs besides my Photoshop Elements.  Still, not bad for someone who can really only manipulate photos somewhat.

You can download the ebook here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/149329 and if all goes well, it’ll be avalible on iTunes and Barnes and Noble soon enough.  You can also click up on the Published Works tab at the top if you want to get a hold of it.

It is longer than Vatican Vamps by a lot, so hopefully the people who have complained about my short stories being too short will be happy with this length.

In non-related news, I’m heading back to my family’s home in about, oh…a half an hour. And there will be the Sister. Which means the promised Q&A with her regarding Hunger Games will be happening while we eat our Cadbury Eggs.

Have a happy Easter.  And watch out for Zombies.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Nine

This is it, the penultimate chapter of the novella, and one of the hardest ones to write.  Diu truly became his own character at the end and I never expected these actions to come from it.  It remains one of my favorite chapters, and when I wrote the final words of it, I knew that this was where it was ending, even though I had other chapters planned.  I hope you enjoy it.

CHAPTER NINE: THE DENOUEMENT

Silence.

Nothingness.

He floated.

Who was he?

Did it even matter?

He remembered fire, ashes, pain, then nothing.

No pain.  No suffering.

No joy, no hate.

Just nothing.

Slowly, pieces returned.  It could have been seconds or centuries.

Time had no meaning.

He simply was.

Nothingness suddenly turned to everything.  Or was it that everything was actually nothing?

Memories of a night seeped through his mind, into his awareness until he remembered who he was enough to understand what had happened.

He was dead.

Strangely, no peace came with that thought.  No panic came with it either.

He remembered floating away in the wind as his body was consumed by fire into ash as a stake plunged through his body.  There was a brief moment of regret when he recalled the face of…of someone after the attack had been done.  But he couldn’t recognize the face at all.

Ahead of him—around him, in him, was he in it—was light.  There were voices, but they were still too faint to make out.  He tried to turn and as he did, more memories came rushing back to him.  His name, what he was doing when he died, the parking lot and the alley.  Still, the face that held the haunted look that was his last memory of life held no true meaning to him as he sifted through new knowledge.

It was said that all answers came in death.  If that was the case, then why was he still confused and unsure of what had happened.  No, there had to be something that he was missing.

James thought back again as he continued to float—was he flying or floating—along out of time and space.  It felt more like flying than anything, and the memory of having wings came back to him as well.  With a stretch, the wings returned to their place on his back, though they weren’t the same color that he thought they were before.  More grey than black, and they had a shimmer to them that made them nearly impossible to see when the light hit just right.  He looked like he was part angel, but that was impossible.  Angels were—

A blast of fire seemed to ricochet through him and he curled up in sudden pain.  His memory was bombarded with images, sounds, smells and brief flashes of barely recollected moments as he forced himself to make sense of them all.

He painted a picture with them, taking a voice from here and a scene from there as he continued to fly in the nothingness.   It was like building a puzzle with no picture, slow going, but possible to do.  And he had all the time in the world to work on it.  Slowly, the image he was building took shape, the memory of a life lived and a second chance nearly wasted.  There were a few pieces missing when he had thought he had finished, but there weren’t any remaining in his hand or head.  James stared at it, intent on having it make sense before he continued on his way.

The pain shot through his body again and he remembered.

Brigett.

Anahita.

Drinking the blood of an angel that was freely given what seemed a lifetime ago—and maybe it was.

Angel blood.  Blood that was still within him and kept him from fully dying when he thought that he was gone in a flurry of glowing ashes.  Blood that kept his memory safe, his soul intact.  James turned around, looking behind him for the first time.  The parking lot was there before him as he floated above it.  Diu, a devilish, yet gentlemanly smile on his face, stood in front of Anahita, before Brigett, knife in hand.  She was on the ground, on her knees, forced to kneel before him by others of his once family as they held her there, immobile.

Angel blood spilt on the ground as Diu’s knife bit into her neck and all James could do was watch.

But blood called to blood, and James found himself drawn closer until he was touching Brigett’s back with a hand, comforting her.  She stared up at him, eyes losing the light that had once shone bright in them, and smiled.  “Do not weep, James,” she told him quietly.  How she was able to speak with her throat slit was a wonder to him, but it was a wonder he did not question.

“How can I not,” he questioned.  He took her hand in his and squeezed.

“Belief,” she answered.  “Belief that this is not the end.  That we are not finished.  Do you believe me?  Do you believe we can still win this?”

Kissing her hand, he rose from his place beside her, taking her forgotten sword with him.  “Yes.”

The single word pierced the night air.  Anahita died as Diu turned around.  Shock, disbelief, emotions with no names rushed across his face and across those who still remained with him.  “You are dead!” he yelled at James, his calm exterior coming undone at the sight of something which had no explanation.  “I killed you myself!”

“Creation rises once more,” he found himself saying, unsure of where the words came from.  “Blood keeps me here longer than I should be.  Blood, freely given out of love from an angel who meant to save me.”  James grinned a boyish grin.  “Didn’t she tell you, Diu?  This was never about you.”   He cast Anahita’s sword to the side, away from him.  It clattered to the ground and stopped skidding at the feet of a very small red-headed vampire.  “Emaline, will you come with me?”

Footsteps.

A small hand placed in his outstretched one in some of the last moments before a sunrise the Court didn’t realize was so near.

“Yes,” she told him. Her small voice carried weight that was impossible to measure in the false dawn.  One word, but it spoke of promises and love and death and life.

James walked to Anahita’s fallen body and took it in his arms.  Cradled to his chest with one, he raised the other in a mockery of a benediction towards what remained of Diu and his Court. “Rest now.  Rest, eternally.”

He took Emaline’s hand in his once more and unfolded wings.  The sunlight crested over the nearby hills and struck them, snow white against the black pavement.  A burst of them, and the three of them took flight. Above was the new day’s sun, blue sky and, James hoped, a place where they might rest.

Below him, James caught sight of Diu darting around in an attempt to find a shadow that he might hide in.  In the empty parking lot, the Court that had once been as family bursted into flames at the sun touched them.  And the man who had once been as his father found no safe place to name as refuge.  He saw Diu close his eyes and hold his arms out to his sides as he greeted the new day.

The elder vampire  felt the sun’s rays hit him for the first time in three centuries.  With his last actions, he uttered old words he had grown up with, forced himself to forget because they made him weak, but still remembered.  “Kyrie eleison,” James heard him murmur, and watched as Diu crossed himself even as he turned to ash.

 


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Seven

Chapter seven is now up for reading.

Also, Monday’s post will likely be delayed until about Tuesday or perhaps later due to family events, a trip to Ohio, a possible lack of internet and Athena (the computer) remaining back at home.

Enjoy what is the longest chapter of this novella!

 

CHAPTER SEVEN- WE ARE ALWAYS SEARCHING

He awoke not long before the sun sunk beneath the horizon.  From his spot in the shadows of the church’s loft, he sat and watched the last rays hit Anahita from the opening that was left in absence of the stained glass.  Her wings weren’t pulled back for once, but rather open and soaking in the warmth before the cold of the dark night.

Koios turned his attention to his other senses.  There was no one else in the sanctuary aside from them.  There were no other heartbeats that he could discern with his ears.  Smelling the air only showed him that some places needed to be dusted more than others, and the corner where he was sitting was one of them.  There was no taste of blood in his mouth.  He left the rest of that thought alone.  There was no time to go hunting tonight.  Perhaps if he ignored hunger long enough, it would go away and he would not need to.  Touch only showed him that he was sitting on stone and it was beginning to become painful.

Darkness became a shroud around him and the angel as the sun finally disappeared, taking warmth with it, but leaving safety behind.  He stood and walked to the edge of the window, looking down at the ground below.  The glass shards had been cleaned up, leaving nothing but this hole as a sign of his passing.  He could see and hear children below, running around.  Their faces were obscured with paint or masks and bodies hidden beneath layers of clothes in order to ward off the chill of the night as they moved from house to house, ringing bells and knocking on doors.  Parents with flashlights stood at the ends of the driveways, lending more light to the already bright night.

Before this year, he had loved All Hallows’ Eve more than anything.  It was a shifting in the natural order of things, when dark became more active than day.  When night was not feared.  And it was so very easy to eat his fill on this night.  Now, staring down on them, with an angel next to him, it felt different.  He couldn’t say how, it was so subtle.  Something about being able to protect them.

Shaking it, Koios tried to clear his head.  Where were these thoughts coming from?  He was still a vampire.  That was prey down there, and easy pickings at that.  He should be down there with the rest of his court, engaging in the fun they had every year.  He should be there with Diu…

Diu.  That name again.  Latin for day.  He was anything but.  It also meant for a long time.  That fit better.

He snorted and stopped thinking altogether.  There was nothing to be worried about now.  One goal and one goal only: stop Diu from killing others.

“Are you ready?” Anahita asked him quietly, still looking out at the world.

“Yes.”

She looked at him.  “Truly?”

“Yes.”

“Is this the last of our hauntings then?”

There was a smirk on his face as he looked over at her.  “I haven’t heard your word for our dates in a long time.”

“I hope that you’ll be able to hear it many more times in the future.”

“That will only happen if we both survive and manage to see each other again.  And, as I am a demon in a man’s body,” the grim face and voice was back, “I doubt that will happen.”

Anahita only nodded, not knowing what to say.  Anything that she said at that point would only sound like a lie to him.  “Where will he be?”

“Diu?”  She nodded again.  “Out in the city.  He and the court will be together on this night.  It’s the one time we can all travel as a group and not be noticed.”  He looked back out of the window and down at the children wandering around once more.  “I never thought I would say this, but for once I’m praying again.”

“Oh?”

“I pray that we find Diu in time so that we don’t have even more carnage to deal with tonight.  There is enough done in his name already.”

“I have said it before.  You are a good man, Koios.”

“Good demon, perhaps.  But no man.”

“Be that as it may.  You are none the less.”  She turned from the window and began to walk towards the stairs that lead down from the choir loft and out into the church.  “Shall we go then?”

“Yes.  I will need to eat tonight though.  If I’m going to have strength to face Diu and the entire court, I will need blood.”  He paused in his words as he saw the look of horror on her face.  “I’m sorry.  But I need to.”

“On who?  There are only children out tonight!” Anahita yelled at him

“You have not seen me feed before, angel,” he growled out at her.  “I do not take from children and I do not kill them.  I never let my demon out to reign over me completely until two nights ago.  I might have killed that, but that was it.”

“You’re telling me that you did no lasting harm to anyone?” Her voice was tinged with astonishment.  She didn’t believe him.

“I fed, but I tried to keep them alive when I was finished.  I took the memory of my time there from their mind and then left them.”  Koios resumed walking and went past her where she was on the stairs.  His black clothes were almost swirling around him as he descended down.  “I understand if you don’t want to come with.  I will meet you back here once I have finished.”  She said something then, but it was too soft for even his ears to pick up.  He turned back, one foot still on the stairs and one on the stone floor of the church.  “What was that?”

“Would my blood work?”

He gave a short and cynical laugh.  “I asked once if you would let me take from you.  You said no.”  Then, he spun back around and shot out of the door of the church at a brisk walk.  He stalked through the night, some children scattering out of his way, others commenting on what an amazing and cool and neat costume he had and were those fangs real, mister, ‘cause they sure looked real and other such inane comments until the parents of the children came and collected their young in order to move them through the night to the next house that was full of blood and sugar.

It didn’t take long for Koios to find a bar that was packed full of drunks and had several more tumbling outside every so often for either a smoke break or to head home for more drinks.  It was easy for him to convince one such drunkard to follow him into the alley.  It also didn’t take much time to subdue her as she was already more than halfway there, though it did take him an hour or so to sober up after feeding from her.  He didn’t need as much as he used to, however.  Perhaps is had something to do with Anahita’s blood.  In that time, he wandered through the city, enjoying not having to care about anything.  It was nice, and not something he had done since before he had been turned.

It was soon after he sobered up that he walked into another subdivision.  Thoughts were on nothing, cares were not even existent any more.  It was then that he noticed  someone who looked very familiar to him.  “Lupus?” he called out, sure that he was right.

The being turned, showing his face and indeed, it was the member of Diu’s Court who he knew.  “Koios?  But I thought you were dead.  Diu said…”

“Diu lied.  He’s the reason that I’m even here to begin with.  It was he who killed both me and…and Brigett.”

“I knew that, you idiot.  I was the one who killed your precious girlfriend eleven years ago.”  Lupus’ voice was cold, yet matter-of-fact.    It held no remorse in it, however.

“You killed her?” he replied softly.  His voice was barely above a whispers, but it carried easily to the elder vampire’s ears.

“On Diu’s orders.  It’s a great honor to be asked to participate in one of his hunts.  And even better if one of the hunts turns into a night of turning.  It’s something that you should have thought of before you declined his offer to turn one of your own and to have your own Court.  It’s an honor to have one.  I’ve wanted one for years, yet some little prick is going to get it instead of me, just because Diu likes him better?  I don’t think so,” Lupus yelled at him.  He launched himself towards Koios, who dropped to the ground immediately. There were advantages to vampire speed.

As Koios raised his head, he saw who Lupus had been feeding on.  It was a child.  One of the ones who was dressed up as some type of goblin or witch or what not.  As soon as that was seen, he felt anger rise completely to the fore until he saw red.  He rose, just as Lupus came at him again.  “You bastard!” Koios screamed at him.  “You go after kids!  You’re just a poor little kid yourself, being the good son, in hopes that daddy Diu would finally like you.”  He let a punch fly as soon as his adversary was in range.  The punch did little to deter the great hulking vampire from coming at him again.  Koios found himself on the receiving end of a like punch that sent him reeling to the ground once again, small pieces of brick falling from the building that he was pushed into.    He fought back the fog that threatened to envelop him when his head hit the wall.  It took him too long to clear it, however, and the much smaller vampire found himself being picked up and tossed once more, this time towards a wooden fence that he hadn’t seen before.  As he went flying towards it, he thought about the fact that he wouldn’t be able to help Anahita take out Diu, or stop Diu from hurting anyone else

He landed and closed his eyes, ready for the flames that came to eat at his body and turn it to ash as the wooden slats of the old fence pierced his chest and heart.  He was certainly flying at a high enough speed that there would be enough power to drive one of the splinters into his heart.  There was no all consuming pain, however.  Koios opened his eyes and found that he was more or less in one piece and that one a few wooden splinters had entered his body, and all were far away from his heart.  He had lived.  What was more, was that he was now sitting in a pile of weapons deadly to his opponent.   Snatching a few up, he moved to a crouch, holding the makeshift stakes like daggers had been held in medieval times.  He didn’t think to throw them.  There was something inherently bad about a strategy of fighting the included throwing away your only weapon.  He waited there, patient, waiting for his enemy to come to him.  His advantage laid in his speed, not in brute force.  It didn’t take long nor much goading before Lupus charged at him again.  Koios felt most of the impact in his shoulder, followed by his upper back when he slammed into the very same wall yet again.  “I’m getting tired of this,” he growled out, right before, bringing up one of the stakes and jerking it towards Lupus.

Batting it away, Lupus laughed. “You’ll need to be a lot faster than that, boy, if you want to win.”

“I already am,” Koios said quietly.

Lupus looked down and saw one of the splinters from the broken fence jammed into his chest.  He hadn’t even seen the attack happen, nor where the stake had come from.  “Where the hell did you get that from?  Pull it out of your a–.”

He never had time to finish his sentence before bursting into flames and then fading to ash.  The body was still burning slightly as Koios left the alley.  “I have been accused of having one there before, yes.”

The streets that had been so full before were now near empty.  It had to be close to ten, if the previous year’s Halloween was anything to go off of.  It was around then that the parents brought their children in from outside, deciding that they had braved the dangers of the night long enough.  There were things that he needed to do, however, and it was best if they were done in the dark of the night.  For one, he needed to find Diu.  In order to complete that task, he also needed to find Anahita.

It didn’t take him long to get back to the church that had served as both meeting place and sanctuary before.  She was no longer present there, which meant that he had to search for her on his own.  He closed his eyes and focused on the energy around him, meaning to draw in power to create his wings as he used to do.  Almost without thought, he felt his black wings burst from his body, only without any of the disappearance of energy that usually occurred when he manipulated it.  Another side effect of the angel blood in him, no doubt.  It made perfect sense that he would gain the ability to fly, after all. As he rose into the air, he found that there was almost a pull telling him which way to go.  He wondered if this was what angels felt, being told what to do and where to go.  He needed to get rid of this blood and soon.  He hated feeling like he was out of control.

He couldn’t help but feel as thougt he was meant to follow the pulling and pushing though.  So follow it he did, searching beneath him for any sign of Anahita or her passing. It was near the middle of the city, in an empty parking lot, that he felt the push again, only this time, it was pulling him downwards.  He landed, wings folded behind him, yet letting them remain in an attempt to show the others who were there that he too had power.

Looking around, he saw that he had landed almost three feet away from Anahita, who had a sword in one of her hands.  Across from the two of them was aligned with Diu’s Court, with Diu himself in the middle.  “I see you found me,” Anahita told him softly.

“Your blood called me to you.”

“No more searching for one another then.”

“Never.”

“As touching as this is,” Diu called out, “I need to ask the two of you to move.  We have done nothing wrong, Angel.  Indeed, it is you who has done wrong, by consorting with one of our own.  That is against the laws of the magical beings.”

She brought her sword up to rest in a guarded stance.  “I reject your laws when necessary to ensure that no more innocent blood is spilt.”

“Koios,” Diu turned to speak to him now.  “Listen to me.  I made you.  I welcomed you and treated you as my son.  Did you ever lack for anything while within my care?  Did I ever force you to do something that you did not wish to do?”  His voice was like silk, but Koios knew all too well the poison fangs that were hidden with that velvet tongue.

“No.  You tried to end me, however.  And for that I can not forgive you.”

“So then we fight,” Diu sighed out.  “So it must be.  This ends here and now.”  He stepped back, and his court surged around him, closing in on the only two that stood against him:  an angel with a sword and a young vampire with no weapons but his fists.

°°°°

Trivia: This chapter was the hardest one to write.  I wasn’t completely sure where I wanted to go during it, all that I knew was that they needed to get to the parking lot where Diu was. The fight between Koios and Lupus was not one that I had planned, but as soon as I placed the two in a street together, I knew that was what needed to happen.  This was the last chapter I wrote in my run of writing in 2006.  The last few chapters I finished this August with Camp NaNo after struggling with how I wanted “The Ship Of Pills” to begin and end.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Six

It’s Friday, so you know what that means!  Chapter Six is up, and only 4 more to go before we reach the end.

CHAPTER SIX- LOVER’S REQUEIM

He was being shaken into consciousness from a sleep that was deeper than he had known in a long time.  Hunger gnawed at his gut, seeking substance so that it might be sated.  His body craved the blood that he lived by.  Never before had he faced hunger such as this, nor might he again.  There was no way that he could move to find a human that he might take from.  This was the debilitating hunger that the Elders and the Codex spoke of; that they warned against.  If one of the vampire kin were ever in such a position, it was unlikely they would survive.

Every thought of his was consumed with blood lust.  He did not know who he was.  Names held no meaning.  They did not matter.

An eye opened and stared up at a blonde haired woman above him.  She was talking to him, though the words did not make sense to him.  Shadows all around him and her; the shadows were lessened by the light that she gave off.  Wings…no.  It was a trick of the light.  Wings did not exist.  Only the blood that was beneath her skin was real.

His head jerked up as her felt the familiar tingle at the back of his neck.  Morning was approaching and soon.  He was going to die again.  There was no blood for him to take so he could run.  The woman before him was all there was and she was too bright to drink from.  She hurt his eyes to look at, even though he didn’t want to take his eyes off of her.  There was beauty there.  And she looked familiar.  Another vampire perhaps?

That would mean that he was in her hunting grounds.  Which meant that he was about to be killed anyway.  There was no point in getting up.  He was either going to Greet the Mane or be killed for violating hunting rights of an older vampire.  Sagging back to the ground, he closed eyes that had barely begun to open.

Noises again.  The woman was speaking.  He tried to focus on them, to make out what the noises meant to form them into sounds.  The sounds into words.  The words into sentences.  The sentences into thoughts.  The thoughts into meaning.  “Dammit,” he heard her say.  She was swearing.  He remembered swearing.  It always meant that something bad had happened or was about to.  Why would she be swearing over him though.  Unless she felt the sun coming as well and would need to have the sun do her work in killing him for her.  Yes.  That was it.

There was something at his mouth.  A liquid.  He darted out a tongue to taste it and the blood lust grew.  His eyes opened and everything was tinged with red.   Blood.  There was blood at his mouth.

His hands flew forward with a strength he didn’t know he still possessed to hold the source of the blood in place so it didn’t fall away and leave him in hunger again.  Life, pure life and the energy that it held, poured into his mouth at long last.  It sated the monster that lived inside his skin and let him begin to move again.  He lost his attention on the world around him and all that existed was the blood that flowed from the wound and into his body.

Koios.

He had a name.

It was Koios.

That was his first thought when he could think past blood again.  As soon as it came, other memories and thoughts rushed into his mind and threatened to drown him.  He built a dam and quickly sifted through them all as they entered.   Church.  Anahita.  Dream.  Brigett.  Dream.  Diu.  Death.  Stake.  Running.  Falling.  Blood.  Now.

His eyes snapped open when his thoughts reached the here and now to look at who he was drinking from.  It was a woman.  Even in blood lust, he could tell that much.  Koios was able to look past the light and the hair this time to see that it was Anahita that he was taking from.

Jumping back as though burned, he brought a hand to his mouth, touching the blood that had managed to leak past his mouth and down onto his face.  Angel blood, he thought, touching it.

“Brigett?”

“Yes.  I heard you call.”

“I…I took your blood.  After I said that I wouldn’t.  I took it…”  He fell backwards so that he was facing the ever lightening sky to the east.  “I am truly damned now…”

“No, you are not.  It was freely offered.”

Koios sat up to stare at her.  “What?”

“I heard you call.  I came.  I saw.  And I did what was right.”

“Angel blood is in me.  I don’t think that I can ever forgive myself for taking from you like that.  What’s more is that I can not return to Diu’s Court with it in me.  Even if I wanted to.”

Anahita walked over to him and knelt down.  “You saw.”  He nodded.  “I’m sorry that you needed to see it that way.  I’m sorry that your illusions about him have been shattered.”

He pushed her away.  “It doesn’t matter now.  I have just prolonged death a little longer.  There is no shelter that I can get to in time before the sun rises.  I will die, just the same as if Diu had staked me before or if you had not heard.”  He turned so that he no longer needed to look at her.

She looked about the clearing.  Her eyes fell on the rose that he had brought her just the night before.  It had already sprouted again, three tiny rose buds appearing off of the main stem.  It was then that she knew it had not been stolen.

Where an angel stands, certain magics and powers seep into the ground to change things that are there.  Those powers cause small miracles to happen.  But only if the things there have lived before and were placed there by those pure of heart.

Reaching down to pluck the flower from the ground, she brought it over to the vampire and held her hand over his shoulder.  “For you.”

He turned, holding onto both it and her hand as he did.  He said nothing, no words were needed.  Koios leaned forward and kissed Anahita on the lips, feeling her power, her light, and refusing to be burned by it.  He was a part of her.  Light in his dark so that he could not be fully dark ever again.

Her wings spread out behind them and wrapped the two in order to create a light proof place.  “Trust me,” she whispered by his ear.

“Always,” he replied.

The ground fell away beneath them as Anahita took to the skies.  She flew away from the sun, keeping Koios in her shadow the entire way so he would not burn.  Through the trees, over streets, uncaring of who or what might see them in the wee hours of the morning.  They landed outside of the church they had first met at and Anahita brought him inside.

“You saved me.”  She raised an eyebrow.  Koios relented.  “Again.”

This time she smiled.  “What else could I do.  I save pure souls.  There was no way that I could ignore yours. Besides, I needed to save you.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re the one I love.”  She leaned forward and the two embraced again.  “This is the last peace we will have for a while.”

“We fight Diu tomorrow, don’t we?”

“I’m afraid so, yes.  We need to strike before he can muster all those that he has sired.”

Koios laughed.  “I don’t believe it.  I just started a war.  A war between heaven and hell.”

She hushed him with another kiss. “Just for today, forget about the war.  Forget about the ten years that have passed.  Just be James.”

“I can’t be James,” he told her firmly, “Just as you can’t be Brigett.”  His voice softened as he continued on.  “I can be Koios for you though.”

“And I can be Anahita.”

The angel and the vampire fell asleep in the choir loft that morning.  The organist who came by later never saw them as he practiced playing a requiem mass that he would be playing on the weekend.  It served a triple purpose that morning, though he never knew about the others.  He played for practice. But he also played for the loss of a love that once was there between two humans. It was a Lover’s Requiem.

And it celebrated the fact that two supernatural beings, who thought themselves to be doomed to loneliness, had found love once again.

°°°°

TRIVIA: this was, I think, the shortest chapter I wrote.  And I remember that, when typing it up, Word failed on me and I lost the entire beginning part when Koios is remembering who he is.  There was a lot of cursing after that.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Five

Another Friday, another chapter.  Please feel free to give feedback on what you think of it!

CHAPTER FIVE- OF MASQUES AND MARTYRS

When Koios made it make to his home, he found that the sun was near rising.  If he had been out even ten minutes more, he never would have made it back in time to reach the safety of his room before passing out.  As it was though, he barely managed to tumble into his bed before he lost consciousness when the sun broke over the horizon.  His dreams that morning were unlike those that he had been having for the past ten years.  He did not dream of Bridgett and of that night.  Nor did he dream that he was at the carnival and seeing the freak show again.

In this dream, he was surrounded by light and warmth and clouds.  He had an idea of what he was dreaming of, naturally.  When he saw a pair of golden gates in the distance though, he knew for sure that his dreams had taken him to Heaven.  Almost under their own violation, he felt himself begin to walk towards the gates, where there was a figure waiting for him.  It ended up being Anahita.

“Hello, angel,” he told her.

“Hello vampire,” came her reply.

“Might I come in?”

“Here?  No.  But I can come out to you.”  And she proceeded to do just that.  There was peace in Koios for a moment as he watched her come towards him.  However, as soon as Anahita had walked past the gates, the scene transformed and the two of them were in the alleyway that the killings had occurred in.  Anahita transformed to Diu before his eyes and leered at him.  He seemed to be taller than Koios remembered him being and was defiantly darker looking.  Clouds rolled over the full moon above them as Diu looked down at him.  With a snarl, he turned away, disappearing in the night as he became one with it.

“Where are you going?” Koios called after him.

“To hunt.  To kill.  To turn.”  The reply seemed to come from the dark that was threatening to close in on him.  Just as the darkness reached his body and was beginning to enter into him, the scene shifted again and he was standing in the graveyard that he had talked with Anahita in.  He walked through it, not really thinking of anything.  At one point, he passed by a highly polished tombstone and caught sight of something that troubled him to no end: his reflection.

There was the hint of the creature that the strong man in the carnival had possessed completely.  It was closer to being a true part of him, unlike the demon that he had seen in Emaline.  He bit his lip and turned away; this was not something that he wanted to see.  No matter where he turned though, he found himself looking at his visage in the tombstones again.   As he moved onward though, eyes straight ahead, he found that the images he saw from the corner of his eye were changing.  No longer did they show a man and a demon melded together.  Instead, they showed what looked like a human body that was rotting away before him. Koios stopped before one of them to looked closer at it and felt his body seize up.  It was his body.

He awoke with a start as the sun went down.  He had forgotten that he had no need of breath and was currently breathing heavily like he had done when human after a nightmare.  At least the nightmare had been helpful, he found himself thinking with a wry smile.  He had been banned from entering Heaven and Anahita had disappeared to be replaced with Diu.  It was obvious what was being told to him: there was no way he could be with an angel, even if she did look like Brigett.  Diu was his creator and it was Diu who he would stay with.

It was time to tell Diu what was happening to him.

Koios rose late that night, long after the other members of the court had departed for their hunts.  He felt that Diu was still at home though, which helped him to finally come out of his room.  “Diu?” he called out softly.  He knew that the older vampire would be able to hear his voice with no problem.  It was all down to whether or not he cared to answer Koios that night.

“Yes?” The response came almost instantly as Diu seemed to appear out of the shadows that were behind Koios.  “What’s wrong?”

“I have something to tell you.”

There was silence after Koios had finished his story of what had happened to him in the past few nights.  “An angel, you say?” Diu finally asked him.  There was a nod from the younger vampire.  Diu sighed, looking more human than he ever had in the past.  He rose from his place on the couch and began to pace back and forth as he talked.  “I have not needed to deal with things such as this in the past.  You are a strange one, Koios.  You are sure that you have not imagined this entire thing?”

“Yes.  It’s hard to say how I know, but I just…”

“You know.  I understand perfectly.  It’s how I knew that you were going to be in the alley ten years ago.”  There was a pause.  “No, eleven years ago tonight.  Damn, has it really been that long…”  There was silence once again as Diu stopped to think.  He shook his head after a moment and resumed pacing.  “I think that perhaps the best thing to do is to bring you out on a hunt with me.  Reclaim your title as a creature of the night and forget about this angel.  Heaven is a place of purity, yes?  If you are covered in blood once again, the blood that you need to survive, then this angel should leave you be.”

“A hunt?  With you?”

Diu smiled at him.  “Why not.  The night is still young enough.”

Koios nodded and stood.  “Let’s go hunt then.”  He didn’t bother to voice his next thought, of how perhaps hunting with his sire would finally let him be rid of this love that was holding him to earth, allowing him to decay, after all these years without it.

The two vampires left the building with hardly any noise.  The moon was almost dark, but the sliver that was left was more than enough for them to see by where the street lights had gone out or where there weren’t any.  Their search for the perfect prey that night hardly took any time at all.  Not even five minutes after they left did Diu hold out his hand and point to a couple. “It’s time you learn how to make your own childe, Koios.”

“That’s your job.  This is your Court.”

“You’re strong enough now to form a Court of your own.”  Diu looked around and then smiled.  “I’ll provide the distraction to get them parted from one another.  Who do you want?”

“The girl,” Koios said at once.

The elder vampire nodded and then was gone in a flutter of wings and duster.  Koios stood and watched from his place in the shadow of the building he was next to for the right moment to come and strike.  He glanced up a moment as he waited and saw the stars above once again.  Was Anahita up there watching him now?  No, best not to dwell on such ideas.  With a start, he came back to himself and focused on the hunt once more.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a street person appeared before the couple.  A human would not have been able to hear the words that were being exchanged, and Koios barely could.  There were some words and sentences here and there that stuck him, though he couldn’t place his finger on it.  It was only when he saw the street person pull a gun and the man shout out “Run!” that Koios froze.

This was how his own death would have played out had he been an observer in it.

“Are you planning on going after her at any point in the future?” asked a voice from behind him.  Koios spun around, seeing Diu standing there.  “She’s getting away.”

“What the hell did you do.”

“A thrall on a person that dead inside isn’t that hard to pull off.  I simply suggested to him that he might go and see if those two had any money on them.”

“You bastard. They’re both going to end up dead.”

“I didn’t hear you complaining before,” Diu spat at him.

“That was before I knew that you were the one responsible for killing me and Brigett.”  Koios’ eyes were ice cold as the bore into Diu’s.

“Ah yes.  Your precious Brigett.  You know Koios, most vampires give up on their human lives and forget about them after a year.  Those that don’t are considered weak and are taken to Greet the Mane.  I kept you safe from the Elders of the vampires because you amused me.  It was interesting to see how long a vampire could hold onto his humanity.  Your times of amusement have come to an end, however.”  Diu reached into the pocket of his duster and pulled out a piece of carved wood.  It was ornate, the end whittled to look like a fang and the handle of it carved with different pictures that, on a closer look, showed human bodies twined around the vampires, either dead in their arms or just about dead.  “It’s time for you to meet with death one last time.  And I will not save you this time.”

Diu brought up the stake and started it on its downward descent in lightening fast speed. Koios somehow responded with speed that was near equal to Diu’s and dodged out of the way.  The stake still came into contact with his body, but it was no where near his heart and was more of a graze that anything.  Blood oozed out of the wound a bit, slow as the pressure was nowhere near what it would have been had he fed that night.  “I would not ask you to,” he told his sire.  Before the stake could come up and threaten his life again, he took off down the streets.

With a bit of the energy he had swimming around in him, he formed wings and rapidly took to air, flying until he was back near the cemetery that he had meet Anahita at last night.  Landing, he fell to earth, energy depleted.  He could barely walk, let alone attempt to go feed.

“Bridgett,” he called out.  “Anahita, whoever you are…I need you.   I believe you.”

He passed out soon afterwards, not knowing if his plea for help had been heard nor if he would be Greeting the Mane in a few hours time.

°°°°

TRIVIA: It was this chapter here that I realized I had a rather awesome villain in Diu, and I really began to enjoy writing his scenes.  Diu nearly killing Koios here was not something I had originally planned for, but the more I read it, the more it fits and drives the story in a way the original scene I had planned never would.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Four

Posting this quick before I go off to work, so no suspense waiting for it while I wait to get off of work.  Have a good day all, and please tell me what you think of it so far!

 

CHAPTER FOUR- PRETTY PEOPLE NEVER LIE, VAMPIRES NEVER REALLY DIE

Koios was the first awake.  Unlike every other time that it happened though, he did not wait around for the others of Diu’s Court to wake and join him in the communal room.  He was dressed in black and was out of the door into the twilight of the near set sun just as the others were beginning to stir.

His hunt was quick this time.  In his rush to make it to the church, he did not think of his own limitations for once.  He grabbed at the first person that he came across and drained them to near death.  Blood still on his lips and too much spilt on the ground around him, his hunger was not yet sated.  He left the alley quick enough to appear to be nothing more than a moving shadow to anyone watching and immediately tracked down another prey.  He was letting his vampiric nature take control of his body for once and it was reveling in it.

After one more near death and one feeding that resulted in not only a large blood loss, but also a loss of life, Koios was on his way to the church.  With power and energy in excess from all that he had done that night, he had no problem in quickly getting to it.  His running was so quick that the landscape blurred even to his own enhanced eyesight.  Any jumps that he made propelled him high into the air and across the little light that the moon gave off so that he was nothing more than a sudden silhouette against it.  He was truly a stalker and a hunter in the night for once in his ten year tenure of being a vampire.

And it was fun.

When he reached the entrance to the church, he finally slowed to a walk.  As he approached the steps that led inside, he found that he was unable to get any closer than just the doors.  Even getting that close was something that was hard to do.  Confused and knowing that he had gone inside just the night before, he pushed himself forward until he touched the doors in order to push them open.  Just like that, he was in sudden pain.  It was as though he was looking back on the crosses that were inside the way he had the night before.  Only a hundred times more painful.

He slowly backed away, hissing slightly as he bared his blood spattered teeth to it.

Something wrong?” asked a voice from behind him.

He twirled around and found himself facing Anahita again.  This time, she wasn’t glowing and had no wings.  She looked only a bit like Bridgett though, which was always a good thing in his book.  Although he had been sure it was her in his dream last night, he wasn’t positive now that he was faced with the real thing.  “Anahita,” he said curtly in way of greeting.

“Something wrong?”

“No.  Everything’s fine,” came his quick reply.

“Then shall we go inside?”  She walked to the doors of the church and pushed them over before going inside.  Once across the threshold, she stopped and turned back to look at him.  “You coming?”

“I…I can’t get inside.”

She nodded.  “I see.”  There was a pause and then, “How much blood did you take tonight?”

“No more than usual.”

“How much more than usual was spilt?”

Koios looked away from her and up to the stars.  “Enough,” he replied after a moment.  “I can’t get in because of that, can I?  It’s because I let the demon in me take control.”  Anahita nodded to him from her place inside the church.  “So, now what?” he asked.  “It’s not like I can walk inside and we can talk there.”

“There is another place,” she said after a moment.”

“Where?”

“Graveyard.  About ten minutes walking at human speed away from here.  Vampires of any court won’t go there after dark.  After all, there’s no fresh blood there, is there?”

He looked at her.  “Meet you there then?”   Before she could truly reply, he was off and running in the direction that she had just motioned in.  He reached it in about three minutes, spending a great deal of the energy that he had gained that night.  Which was probably for the best, he determined, if he was going to spend the night talking to an angel.  Considering what had happened at the church with his demon aspect at the front of his being, he wasn’t really sure he want to know what would happen if he spent any large amount of time with an angel while his demon was still in control.

Not knowing where they were going to meet once there, he paused just outside of the gates, searching for any sign of Anahita.  He saw a brighter area towards the left and through some trees and moved towards it.  Pushing through the branches, he saw Anahita sitting on a rock, waiting for him.

She was as bright as a full moon reflecting on freshly fallen snow and was full of grace even though she was just sitting.  When he stepped into her circle of light, it dimmed a bit.  Was it her own choice or was it from the darkness that he found himself consumed in?  He wasn’t sure, nor was he sure if he really wanted to know.

“Do you remember your dream from last night?” she asked in way of greeting.

He moved to take a seat next to her on the rock.  “Yes.  And, before you ask, yes, I believe it truly happened as well.  You are Bridgett.  However, you are more Anahita now than the girl that I…that James loved.”  He swallowed hard at his error.  It had been years since he had even considered himself as James.  Koios was who he was and who he was going to stay.  He looked at her.  “Who is it?” he asked, repeating the same question he had asked in the dream

“The-One-Who-Takes,” she replied with a small smile.

“The-One-Who-Takes?” An eyebrow was raised.  “Does he have a name that is more name like and less of a description?”

Anahita licked her lips nervously.  “He does.  But I’m not sure if I should tell you.  You won’t like it.”

“Who is it?” he demanded to know through clenched teeth.

“Diu.”

There was complete silence in the graveyard.  Only the sounds of the night could be heard.  Somewhere nearby, an owl hooted and then swooped down to capture some poor unlucky mouse.  The quiet wings were deafening in comparison to the silence that was found in the clearing between the angel and the vampire.

“No.  There’s no way it’s Diu,” Koios said forcefully.

“How can you be sure?  He’s the one who has turned every single person who is in his Court.  Young and old.  And every one of them has had something tragic happen to the other people they were with.”  Anahita looked down at the grass below her feet before drawing in a quiet breath.  “He was the one who killed me.”

“There’s no way he could have killed you!” he shouted at her.  “He was with me the entire time after I was shot.”   He leapt up from the rock and began pacing about.  “He turned me and was with me until I found your broken body and the body of the thief.  There was no way that he could have gotten away, killed you and then have returned to walk beside me and me not notice that he was gone.”

“I didn’t mean him directly,” she spat at him, standing as well.  “Some of his Court actually killed me.  But it was on his order.  They killed the thief too.”

“Who cares about a damn beggar?  He was going to go the hell anyway!”

“Are you so sure of that?” she asked.  The sudden softness of her voice was such a contrast to Koios shouting that it made him stop cold in his walking.  “He wasn’t trying to kill us.  Just get money so that his children could eat that night.”

“It doesn’t matter,” he spat out at her.  “It was his fault that it all happened anyways.”  He walked to the edge of the clearing before turning to look over his shoulder at her.  “I’m leaving.  Going back to the Court.”

“Koios,” Anahita spoke.  It was the first time that she had ever called him by any other name but James.  It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to keep him from leaving as he turned completely around to look at her.  “Please.  Don’t block off your mind.  You were open-minded in life.  Why are you boxing yourself in now in death?”

“Vampires never really die,” he responded wryly.  “Humans do, but when we turn to dust, we are just that, dust.”  A sardonic grin graced his features and it made him look even more ghoulish in the pale light that was around the two of them.  “Ashes to ashes.”

“Will you at least think about what I have said?” she asked him as she approached.  A hand was gently placed on his shoulder as she looked him straight in the eyes.  She knew that she could see the hurt and confusion that he held and wondered, briefly, just what he was able to see in her.

“Yes,” Koios said softly, before leaning down and brushing her lips with his.  “I can promise that much.  There will be no way that I can not.”

“Then can I ask one more thing?”

“What?”

“Is there a way that I might be able to be connected with you?  In case you change your mind about Diu and want to talk about it with me?”

He stepped away from her, running a hand through his hair.  “There is a way,” he began slowly.  “But I doubt that you’re going to like it.  Plus, I haven’t a clue on if it’s allowed or not.  Especially with you.”

“I…I don’t understand.  What—“

He licked his lips in apprehension before interrupting her sentence.  “Biting.  Blood exchange.  I’m connected with you and you are connected with me.”

She blinked at him for a moment.  “Are you insane?”

He shrugged and laughed slightly.  “More than likely.  Was in life, can’t see why that should be different now.”

“You’d turn an angel?”

“Not turn,” he said quickly.  “Never turn.  I wouldn’t force this existence on anyone who didn’t want it.  Sure, it’s great to live forever, but not when you have to live off blood.”  Koios looked at her.  “I believe you said the same thing last night in the dream.”

This time, it was Anahita who flinched.  “Then never mind.  I will not take blood.”

“Good, because I wasn’t exactly offering.  I was just saying that was the only option that we had.”  He stalked back to the shadows of the trees and stood there for a moment.  “How will I know?”

“Know what?”

“If you need to see me again.  Or what if I decide that I need to see you?”

She gave him a sad smile.  “No blood exchange means no contact outside of dreams.”

He just stared at her before disappearing into the shadows of the trees.  A moment later, he came back with a single red rose the color of the blood he had been drinking that night.  With a mock bow, he handed it to her.  “For you, angel.”  She took it, thinking that he had taken it from one of the graves and planned on dropping it as soon as he was gone.  She did not steal from the dead.

What she would never know was that Koios had used the last of the excess energy he had gained that night into asking the small flower for faster growth and bloom so that he might give it to her.

No response came to him from her lips, so he simply nodded his goodbye and became one with the night.  Anahita waited until she was sure that he was gone before putting the rose on the rock and disappearing in a silent, but blinding, flash of light.

Unseen by all, the rose took root.

°°°°
Trivia: It was in this chapter that I really started to create what the “vampire mythos” was for this story. I took other ideas out there, and then played with them until they became my own. I think it ended up working really well.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Three

Well folks, here’s where things start getting interesting in the world of Koios and Anahita.  From about here on out, it’s an all out race to the end.  The good news is that it does have an end now.  I finished it last week, so now it’s just a matter of editing and making a cover before you’ll be able to buy it as well as read the un-edited version here.

Is there anyone who wants updates on this story more often than once a week, or is it just the right amount of time between chapter updates?

CHAPTER THREE- DARK CARNIVAL OF THE IMMACULATE

It was improbable, no, impossible, that Brigett was the woman before him.  Which was why it was good she had given him a different name than what he had expected.  His reality had been bent, but not yet broken.

He took one last look and then crashed out of the nearest window.  The beauty broke to thousands of pieces as it and he fell to the ground.  Koios waited for a moment, scrunched up in a ball while shards of glass fell all around him.  When he was sure it was safe to move, he lifted his head and leapt gracefully over the glass.

He looked back once when he reached the end of the block.  There was a flash of light from the window he had broken that left him blinded for a few seconds.  When it disappeared, he saw that the light inside of the church was gone as well.

Anahita had left.

Koios hoped that she would just leave him alone now.

He began his walk back towards their basement lair.  The whole way back, he somehow managed to keep his thoughts off of that night and what he had seen in the choir loft.  The reprieve was welcome for the time being.  He knew that as soon as he fell asleep, the dreams would return, and with a vengeance at that.

For a moment, he thought about what might happen should he Greet the Mane, the morning.  It would kill him, he knew that much.  As he died though, would it hurt?  It couldn’t possibly hurt more that he felt now, could it?

But he was no coward and he would not allow himself to take the coward’s way out of this situation.  Perhaps Diu would be able to help him.  For he was older and wiser than Koios was and might have an idea oh now to deal with this intense grief.  Yes, Diu would be able to help.

The help would have to wait until tomorrow, however.  All ready, Koios could feel the others returning to their home and the sunrise was no more than an hour away.  His safety was in the basement, true.  But he wasn’t going to pass out in the communal room like Lupis and the others did.  What if their home was discovered?  What if a thin beam of sunlight fought its way through the cracks in the foundation and landed on a sleeping fool in the room?  The safety of his room meant more to him.  If he was to reach it though, with enough time to spare, he would need to go directly there.  So, for today, he would have to deal with the dreams on his own.

He was one of the last to arrive back at the basement, following Emaline inside.  The red haired beauty had a face that still had drops of blood on it.  Her first feeding, as all were, had been messy.  But she was smiling and laughing with the others, her loneliness forgotten. That was all Koios could hope for at that moment.

Without bothering to see how hunts went, or even stopping to see how the others of the Court were doing, Koios made his way into his closet like room.  He closed his door and locked the two locks before turning around.

The largest piece of furniture was, by far, his bed.  It took up most of the available room, but was well worth it for the comfort.  Koios didn’t bother to turn on the light bulb hanging from the ceiling as he made his way over to it.  There was always a clear path from door to bed amidst all of the things he had collected in the past ten years.

With a feeling of gratefulness, he fell onto his bed and pulled the two blankets he had over him.  Others might be able to sleep on the ground and without covers, but he had never been able to, not even when he had been alive.

Koios settled into his bed before closing his eyes to await the dawning of the sun, the complete unawareness of this world and the dreams that he knew would come with the sunrise.  Without fail, he always dreamed of her and of that night.  In a way, he looked forward to those dreams.  It meant that he could see her again.  But they were still painful.  And after tonight’s encounters, he knew the pain would be immense.

As the sun peeked over the horizon, Koios felt his body and mind slow until he was completely out of the world, just another corpse yet again in this carnival of corpses.

He knew he would dream.  He always did.  It was always of that night, without fail.  But it wasn’t.  Oh, yes.  He did dream.  But Brigett, the thief, the gun, Diu, were nowhere to be see in it.

And it didn’t feel like a dream either.  It felt real, like he was, for that moment, alive once again.

 Koios reached up with a hand and touched his left side.  There was movement in it and the sound of a drum filled his ears.  He was alive.  That was how he knew he was dreaming.

That and the fact he was watching the sun set.

 As the flaming sun sunk beneath horizon, he heard a noise from behind him.  He turned and found himself facing what appeared to a carnival.  Everything in it was what a carnival in his childhood dreams would have had.  Small rides, side shows, a main tent.  It was all there.  Including the freak show that was needed at every and all carnivals.  The stage was set as he walked over to it, the barker up on a small stage, preaching to the crowd that had gathered.  The crowd though…he knew them all.  Everyone was a member of Diu’s Court, the barker himself Diu as he must have looked in life.  “Strong man with two heads!  Snake woman!  A fallen angel!” the not-Diu spoke in loud tones.  “All that and more inside.  Look now, I show you a hidden beauty that up until now, has only been seen by those who paid to see it!”  With his cane, he flicked at one of the hanging posters, which immediately rolled up.  Behind the picture of the strong man was a cage that held a snarling…thing in it.  Koios wasn’t quite sure what it was.  As he watched though, the thing transformed until it was no more than a small girl with red hair.

“Emaline!” Koios breathed out.  He was seeing her vampiric nature shine through without any help of her human side hiding it.

The barker continued his walk and his talk as he moved up and down the stage.  “A human?  Or a vampire?” he asked them.  “No one knows.  But look at the beauty.  Two things together, living in harmony.”

Koios closed his eyes, completely disagreeing with what was said.  There was nothing beautiful about it.  The young girl didn’t deserve to constantly be fighting for control over her life and hunger.  Make it stop, he found himself thinking.  Usually, if he thought about it hard enough, the dream would stop for a bit and let him get some measure of restful non-existence.

He opened his eyes again as the crowd around him began to chant, “Cut her wings off!  Cut her wings off!”

Why won’t it stop, Koios thought over and over again.  That was all that he wanted.    He looked about to see just what the group—no, the mob—was cheering over and cringed.  A poster of what looked like an angel had been rolled down to show the group. “For just three dollars, you can see all this and more at the Carnival of the Immaculate,” the barker called out.

Koios searched through his pockets and was hardly surprised when he discovered that he had just enough money to enter into the tent that housed everything.  He was among the first to step forward, pay his fee and walk inside.

The place was dark at first.  As he continued to walk, the tent grew lighter and hotter as well.  Soon, he found himself walking past a stage that held what looked like dancers that were on fire.  As he looked closer, he saw that they weren’t as human as he had originally thought they were.  True, their bodies were the shape of a woman, but flames licked from the insides of their very bodies, coming out from their skin to envelop them as they danced.  And if that weren’t enough to force him into believing that they were somewhat other than human, their glowing eyes were.  He was reminded of blood as he looked into them.  “Red cat monster,” he read under his breath as he looked above the stage.  His eyes traveled back to look at them again and then he saw how they did resemble cats in their own ways.  Graceful, glowing eyes, tails, even fire that was slightly formed into ears.  It was all there.  Monsters from his very own vision of what Hell would look like.

After seeing the red cats, there was a part of him that wanted to return from the way he came.  He pressed onward though, knowing, deep down, that there was a reason for this torture that he was being put through.  Koios walked on.

The strong man that the not-Diu had been talking about was next.  The man had two heads, much the way Emaline had outside. But both were visible at the same time on this man.  One side of his head was as human as Koios looked right then.  The other was even more evil looking than the red cats and the thing in Emaline would have been had they been combined.  Koios walked quickly past that one, not needing to see any more of what his dream was trying to tell him with that image.  The man had accepted his demon, and they were combined.

The human power now belonged to the vampire and the vampire power was on loan to the human.

He made his way out of that smaller tent and into another.  This one held a cage that was full of a white light.  He was unable to see through the end that was facing him to determine what was inside.  His memories of earlier that night came back to him though, and he immediately knew that this was the fallen angel that had been spoken about.  He walked about the cage until he came to a side with bars that he might look into.  All he saw of the person inside was their back.  White wings and a near blinding white light were all that he could make out.

“Come to try and destroy me again?” she asked.  “Have you come because you needed more fun?”  Her voice was scornful as she spoke.  And so very familiar.

“Why would I come to hurt you….Brigett?” he asked her.

The fallen angel turned around, surprise on her face.  “You remember,” she said suddenly.

He shook his head.  “I always remembered.  You are in my dreams every night.  I relive that night every time I close my eyes, wondering what I could have done differently to save you.”

Bridgett pursed her lips.  “You remembered, yes.  But now you accept as well.”

He smiled at her in a way that he hadn’t since James had died.  “That I will not argue with.”

“How long has it been?” she asked him, coming to the bars of her cage.

“Ten long years,” Koios replied.

“And since James died in you?”  she questioned again.

“Five,” he told her, looking away.

“The same for me,” she told him, making it so he was not as ashamed at his own truthfulness.  “I’ve been dead for ten years as well, but Anahita for five of them.”

“Why come back now?” he asked her angrily.  “I was beginning to be comfortable with who I am.  What I am.  I was helping others the same way that Diu helped me when I first came into this world of darkness.”

“You’re a dead man, James.”  He flinched at the use of his old name.  “Changing your name to fit your new live does nothing to change the fact that you bartered away your soul to the dark, that your heart does not beat, that you do not breathe.  That you live off of blood.”  She spat the last into his face.

He turned on her, the monster inside of him beginning to break loose.  “And changing your name does, Anahita?”  He glared at her as he tried to get some measure of control back.  “You speak as though you know all.  You don’t.  You don’t know why I agreed to become a vampire.  Or what my life has been like since I became one.  Still, I ask you again.  Why come back now?”

“Because both you and I are needed in this world.”

“What?”

She sighed and began to explain.  “This is more than a dream.  This is me reaching out to you from my home in order to talk to you so you do not run away.  That night, ten years ago, we were both meant to die.  But something went wrong.  We were meant to die together, in a car accident.  What’s more, we were both meant to go to Heaven.   We must work with what we have been given though.  The mistake that happened to us can not truly be fixed.  Not now.  But for others, it can be.  There is someone on this earth that is killing those who are meant to journey to the next life together.  And they are both people who are pure of heart.  Power comes from purity, Koios.  You know that.”

“Who is it?” he asked her.

Anahita made to answer his question, opening her mouth and starting to say the name.  A sudden movement from behind her made her stop though.  “I can’t tell you here, Koios.  There’s too many ways that it can be intercepted and The-One-Who-Takes can learn of it and prepare to take us both out.”

Koios nodded.  “So what do we do then?”

“Do you trust me?”

“Yes,” he told her without hesitation.

“Tonight.  After you awake and make your hunt, meet me at the church.”  She didn’t need to tell him what church she meant.  He knew that she meant the one where he had almost killed her.

“Bridgett,” he began, stretching out a hand through the bars of the cage to where she was. She moved to touch his hand, but before their fingers could touch, the dream vanished.

He awoke, gasping for unneeded air in the black of his room.

°°°°

Trivia: When I wrote this chapter, I wrote it all in one sitting.  The only music and noise I had playing was the song by I Am Ghost by the same title as the chapter so I could get in the right mood for it.  This was likely the hardest to write of all of them, and if I had stopped in the middle, I don’t think it ever would have been finished.