"Come now my child, if we were planning to harm you, do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest..." - Kenneth Patchen, "Even So."

THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT STORIES AND STORYTELLING; some are true, some are false, and some are a matter of perspective. Herein the brave traveller shall find dark musings on horror, explorations of the occult, and wild flights of fantasy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Part Eight is here.

"I knew it the moment you walked through the door," Roman Drachen snarled, showing his fangs.  "I could smell the taint on you.  A Draegonne.  A Draegonne in the fucking Blood.  I ought to rip your head off right here, Fledgling.  You have no right to exist."

I had no idea what he was saying to me, and the shock of learning Simon Harrow was a distant ancestor was still ringing in my head.  I couldn't think.  As he came across the floor I bared my own fangs, my fingers curling into claws.  I didn't know why he was coming at me like this, but I wasn't going down without a fight.

"Oh boys," the one they called Kit-Kat interrupted, hopping off the surgery table he had been perched on and placing himself right between the two of us.  "If you are done whipping out your fangs to see who is bigger, why don't we all take a deep breath."  He glanced between us.  "Those of us who do breathe, I mean."

"Get out of my way," Drachen growled.

Kit gave him a sharp look.  "Have you forgotten that I brought him here to collect the debt you owe me?"  Now he turned his back to me and stared right into Roman's face.  "I would really hate it getting out that you backed out of your agreement with me.  What was that bit again about a Dragon's word being his bond?"

Roman's face darkened, but he froze, his shoulders straightening.  He jabbed his finger in my direction.  "You are not Blood, Katsuyama.  You don't know what that thing is."

Noetia stepped forward now, putting her white, long-fingered hands on Roman's shoulders.  "Kit is right.  We owed him a debt and he's collecting.  We can't break our word.  And besides," she cast a glance over her shoulder at me.  "This Fledge isn't a Dragon, he's a Raven.  Kill him and you provoke Aurelius and Athena.  We have enough on our hands with the Outcasts.  We don't need a Blood War."

Roman balled his hands into fists, and with a roar whirled around and buried one of those fists into a concrete wall.  The entire building shook.  I found myself relieved I wasn't on the receiving end of those blows.

Noetia narrowed her eyes at me.  "We will nurse this Familiar back to health for you, Kit.  No harm will come to him.  That repays our debt.  But he..." she paused and spat on the ground "...has to get out of here.  The very sight of him is offensive to us."

I shook my head.  "I am NOT leaving Stef..."

Kit turned and put his finger across my lips to silence me.  "Down boy.  Let me do the talking here."  He looked back and nodded.  "Deal.  You keep your end of the bargain by getting this Blood Doll on his feet, and I will make sure handsome here never darkens your doorstep again."

Noetia nodded.

Kit turned and took me gently by the arm.  "C'mon.  Your Boy Toy will be safe here.  They know how to deal with blood loss."

I stared at him.  "Listen, I really don't know who you are, but they just threatened to kill me.  You think I am going to leave my Familiar here with them?"  The tone in my voice made it clear I thought he had a screw loose.

The blue-haired boy grinned.  "You get even hotter when you are angry.  Love it."  


"Shush."  He tugged on my arm.  "Trust me."

I opened my mouth to protest, but my own weariness betrayed me.  I could feel the coming of the sun, the heat building in the air, a dull pressure on my skin.  With it came that awful lethargy.  I was tired and I was hungry, having boiled off a lot of blood rushing Stefan here.  Underneath that, the shocks of the evening filled my hand with quicksand.  I understood little and trusted less.  I had completely lost control and I knew it.  I needed to get out of there.  I needed rest.

Without a word, I followed him out the door, vowing to myself that if they hurt Stefan, I would come back and tear them to pieces.

Big words for such a little vampire.

Outside, in the street, the sky was a pale grey.  To the Quick it was a dim, murky light.  To me, it was a white hot blaze.  The walk back to the Hotel would be hell.

"Hop on," Kit told me.  He had climbed on to a motorcycle and was putting his helmet on.  "I'll get you home."

"You don't know where I am staying."

"That's why you are going to tell me," he laughed.  "Sexy, but not very bright."

I climbed on behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist.

Back at the Hotel, he crossed the lobby behind me, following me right up to the elevators.  Pushing the button, I shook my head at him.  "Where are you going?"

"With you," he smiled.  

"What makes you think I agreed to that?"

He laughed, stepping past me into the elevator the moment the doors opened.  "Because your Familiar is on ice and you are in enemy territory.  You need someone to watch you sleep.  Besides, you look hungry, and I figure I can spare a pint or so."

I stepped into the elevator beside him, half asleep and half blind.  "I don't get it.  What is in this for you?"

He shrugged as the doors closed behind us.  "At first, I was just curious.  You raced by me through the crowd like you were running for your life, so I followed.  Then I saw you with that kid.  You looked so--stricken.  So concerned.  It was adorable, and I am a sucker for a handsome face."  He winked at me as the elevator jerked to a stop and the doors opened again.  "But now?  Well, I am still a sucker for a handsome face, but you fucking scared the shit out of Roman Drachen.  I thought he was going to piss blood.  So now I am real curious what your story is."  

"I wish I knew," I muttered, fumbling with the key card to open the door.  We strolled into the suite and immediately he began shedding clothes, tossing his vinyl trench coat over a chair and tugging off his tight muscle shirt.  He let this fall to the floor.  Slowly, he turned in circles, half to take in the room and half to show off his naked torso to me.  He had narrow hips and wide shoulders, lots of definition and little muscle.  Blue leopard spots were tattooed on his sides, running over his ribs from just beneath his pectoral muscles to just above his hips.  They suited him somehow.  He just felt feline.

"Nice digs.  You must be loaded."

He grinned at me and crossed the floor to the bar, grabbing a tumbler and a bottle of vodka.  He didn't bother pouring, but carried both towards the bedroom.  Setting the bottle and the glass down, he flopped on the bed, pulling off his high-heeled boots and squirming out of his skin tight pants.  He wasn't wearing underwear.

The sun was hitting me hard.  I felt hot and dizzy, the way I felt after too much Scotch when I was Quick.  "What the hell are you doing?"  I asked, standing at the edge of the bed.

He grinned like the Cheshire Cat.  "How's a boy supposed to know where you like to bite?"  He smirked, running his finger slowly down his throat.  "Here?"  Then he ran the same finger over his wrist.  "Here?"  Finally, eyes glittering, he spread his legs and ran his finger along the smooth skin inside his thigh.  "I am hoping for here."

"I don't get you at all."

"You're getting me right now.  C'mon.  Take those clothes off and come eat."

I had no intention of playing his game, so fully clothed I climbed on to the bed and took his wrist.  Too hungry to say anything, I bit into the skin.  Kit-Kat let out a little gasp, and then made a sound like a purr, brushing his own fingers over his naked belly.  "Mmmmmm."

Kaleidoscope.  A village in Europe, a man in filthy rags pushing a cartload full of corpses.  A ballet studio in Paris, pale ballerinas whirling in gyres.  Soldiers with bayonets running blinding through canon fire.  Dozens of disjointed images rushed through his blood, pouring into me, flooding my brain.  And then there was the smell, overpowering, of incense and spice.  The sound of linen snapping in the breeze.  And through this images, following me around as I toured them, whirling tendrils of black smoke.  They seemed to gather and coalesce as they neared me, taking the shape of a large black cat with indistinct shadows whirling around it.  It looked up at me with burning green eyes...

I pulled away, startled.  I didn't know what I had just seen, but I was sure the cat had been looking right at me.  As I wiped the blood from my lips, Kit stared up at me from the bed, a wicked gleam in his eyes.  Something was wrong with me.  Something wasn't right.

Then I realised what it was.  My cock was rock hard and throbbing in my pants.

It wasn't just that...I could feel the hot rush of lust surging under my skin, almost like being a teenager again, when the hormones hit so hard you thought you might die if you didn't get your rocks off.  But this was wrong, this was impossible.  Since crossing over into Undeath I hadn't felt the slightest trace of sexual desire.  Sure, I could fake it...I could use the Blood in my veins to warm my skin and make it look pink, or to force an erection.  But it was never sex I wanted...it was blood.  Blood had replaced all my hungers, tying them up into one scarlet need.  This was not right.

And I was fucking out of my mind with it.

Before I knew what I was doing I had torn my own clothes off, seizing him by the wrists and pinning him down on the bed.  He laughed at me, scissoring his legs up and wrapping them tight around my hips.  I took him, hard, the headboard slamming against the wall.  We thrashed our way across the bed, tumbling to the floor.  I finished him bent over one of the leather chairs.  Then I exploded, shooting over his naked back.  To my horror it wasn't semen at all.  It was dark, crimson blood.

I backed away, feeling spent and giddy.  I fell on the bed.  Cleaning himself up he sprang up on me, straddling my chest.  "Feel better, Tiger?"

"That...shouldn't have happened.  I mean, I don't usually..."

He laughed again, leaning down to kiss the tip of my nose.  "I have that effect on people, living and dead."

"Who the fuck are you?"

"Kit Katsuyama," he grinned.  "Dad was a Japanese businessman.  Mom was a German airline stewardess.  Not much else to tell.  Certainly nothing to make Roman Drachen bug out like that.  So the question really is, who the fuck are you, Tiger?"

He snuggled up next to me, and despite myself, I started talking.  I told him everything, right from the beginning.  I have no idea how long I talked, but the light in the room steadily brightened as I did, and eventually the death sleep took me.  

My eyes snapped open to a darkened room.

Kit was still there, stretched out along the windowsill naked for all the world to see.  He dangled the half empty vodka bottle in one hand and sipped from the glass in the other. Looking out into the city night, his reflection was a ghost in the glass.  The room smelled of alcohol and sex and food.  An empty food service cart was out in the other room.

He turned his head towards me, and from that angle, his eyes caught the light and seemed to glow in the dark.  "Four hours and fifteen minutes," he said, sipping his vodka.

I sat up, staring.  "What does that mean?"

"396 kilometres along the A1 and A5.  I figure why the fuck not?  Your Blood Doll is gonna need a couple of days anyway."

I swung my legs over the edge of the bed and stood, approaching him.  In the window glass, where his reflection formed a twin for him, mine was nowhere to be seen.  "What are you talking about, Kit?"

"I Googled it.  The distance from Geneva to Oppenau.  I think we need to go check this Night Palace of yours out."


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