Deathly Perspectives

Deathly Perspectives

The clouds groped the moon obliterating the silvery shards of light that would have warranted safe passage through the graveyard. Anne Dauphine stepped carefully between the graves leaning on a nearby headstone for support.

“Sorry,” she muttered squeezing around it until she came to her Father’s grave.

The chill in the air stroked her face like the gruesome hand of death herself. Shadows fueled her imagination as she knelt on her Father’s grave with closed eyes trying to remember why she had come.

“You will always have this struggle until you let go of the fear.”

Anne reached into her black leather trench coat and withdrew her Sig P226 that was holstered under her left arm. In one swift movement she turned the safety off, swiveled to meet her intruder with the gun chambered and aimed.

“Juan!” Anne pursed her lips in annoyance. She regarded the vampire warily.

Juan Garces the local coven master threw his hands up in feigned surrender. He always had a seductively brilliant smile on his face. “I am sorry that I startled you.” His Spanish accent was punctuated by frequently unnatural pauses as he read her mind and body.

“I, am not startled.” Anna crinkled her brow mildly annoyed that she had not been more aware. Juan always seemed to get the best of her. “I just did not hear you.”

Juan laughed softly as he lowered his hands before sitting on the headstone next to her Father’s grave. “Did you really expect to Anne?”

Anne was checking her gun and re-holstering it. “Yes. No. I don’t know.” Finally she looked up at him. “You know, it’s just not really that important right now.”

“Yes, my sweet Ana. Straight to business.” The smile faded slightly from Juan’s face. “It has been months since you have come by the coven and tonight here we are?”

Juan always asked questions without really ever asking the question. Anne stood leaning on the headstone behind her. “I was very upset with you.”

“Why Carina” Juan raised his hands and eyebrows in question.

“You know why.” Anne looked away momentarily unable to hold his gaze. “You can read my mind. You know why. You certainly read his.” Anne pointed to her Father’s grave.

“Perhaps, to be clear, it is better if you tell me? Sometimes things are a little fuzzy.” Juan smiled apologetically shrugging his shoulders.

Anne’s eyes narrowed in anger. She hated talking about her feelings. “Ok.” She hissed as she started to pace, a tell tale sign of anger. “Ok, I was pissed that you wouldn’t change him.”

“Ana, Amor. I helped you as much as I could, but that was a decision that your Father had to embrace.” Juan’s honeyed voice dipped to a low rumble.

“He didn’t have to die, he was so young!” The pain still reflected in Anne’s voice.

“He had a blood disease Amor, these things happen to the best of people.” Juan thought back to the thousands of people that had died in his arms, many that he loved and lost.

Anne threw her hands up in frustration. “I just don’t understand why the transfusions stopped working.” She looked at Juan, her eyes begging for answers. Anne had forged an alliance with Juan trading clean blood for her Father, for her Father’s disease ridden blood. Over the months she had allowed herself to grow close to him. He had stopped coming to bring the blood the very night she had asked him to change her Father. The memories flooded back. She could see him leaning over her Father’s ashen face, his mouth close to her Father’s ear. For all her worth, she couldn’t hear what Juan whispered in her Father’s ear. Whatever it was, her Father died that night and it wasn’t by Juan’s doing. “What did you say to him?”

A chill of wind found Anne’s exposed chest. She reached to adjust her trench coat. When she looked up Juan was no longer sitting on the headstone.

“It does not matter what I said or didn’t say.” His lips touched her ear as he whispered.

Anne gasped drawing an intake of air sharply. “Don’t play those parlor tricks with me.” She spun around, but Juan wasn’t there either.

“I am not a parlor trick.”

Juan’s voice sounded a little annoyed, Anne opened her mouth to explain. His finger covered her mouth, it was cold. Anne felt herself melting into his hold. Juan was still standing behind her. His cold finger traced a line down her lips over her jaw down her throat. She could feel him moving around to the front of her. She was rooted, she daren’t move.

Her long brown hair framed her face in soft waves. She could feel Juan moving them to the side exposing her neck.

 

***

Juan stared at Anne Dauphine, so troubled and tormented by her Father’s death. Humans are so frail and yet this one touches me. I think she makes me feel more human. Juan chuckled as his thoughts considered her. She literally stood in the palm of his hand. He could feel her blood racing through her veins and her thoughts read like an open book. She trusted him. Juan gave one last linger look at her inhaling her intoxicating scent before releasing her.

He stood looking at her as her mind became her own. Once he was satisfied that she was standing there staring at him fully conscious, he snarled lowering his fangs lunging for her exposed neck. His left hand pulled her hair keeping her neck exposed while his right hand clutched her tightly to him in an iron clad grip. Anne’s hand flailed beating against him while scream all sorts of curses.

Juan hovered above her neck using all of his resolve not to bite her. A simple passing moment felt like an eternity. Anne’s screaming faded into the oblivion of the seduction. He could feel her memories racing just moments below his fangs. Memories he partially held from her Father’s blood. Desire stoked the need to know her inside and out, one drop would tell all. Yet for some reason he wanted more. Juan lowered his fangs and whispered softly in her ear. “Is this how you would have your Father live?”

When Anne had stopped fighting he released his grip. She fell sobbing to the ground. “I didn’t know.”

Juan scanned the area sensing that they were no longer alone. “Show yourself.” He commanded using his preternatural voice.

“Sire?” Marcus stepped forward out of the shadows.

“You interrupt me because?” Juan raised his hand in question to his first in command. Consciously he adjusted the burgundy velvet vest that framed the ivory poplin shirt.

“Mere confusion sire.” Marcus dipped his head in respect. “You asked me to protect the female. I heard her screaming and came to her aid. I was unsure whether that order also included you sire. Meaning if you were to expire the female, should I also attempt to protect her from you?” Marcus lowered his eyes.

“She has not nor will she ever be in danger from me. You may return to the coven.” Juan dismissed him returning his attention to Anne who was staring at him with dirt streaked cheeks. Juan offered his hand to help her up from the grave she was sitting on.

Hesitantly Anne took it.

“Let me get you home.” Juan smiled slowly, hesitantly, so she would know that it was just for her.

The smile was reciprocated followed by the briefest of nods.

The ride to Anne’s home was short.

Anne opened her door inviting Juan inside. He inhaled deeply before entering her home, pulling the scent of fresh lavender from the living room, the slightly turned tomato from the kitchen, but nothing of mal intent.

Juan led Anne towards her kitchen. Putting the hot water on for some tea, he beckoned her to sit on one of her bar stools placed on the outside ledge of the island. Juan looked right at home in Anne’s kitchen. He could feel her watching him. The deep rustic plum on the walls matched against the pale of the tumbled marble and the wash of the white cabinets. Finding a towel he wet it under hot water. He approached her slowly knowing his hands would be warm to the touch having just heated them under the water.

“How did you know?” Anne asked quietly.

“You must remember that I had tasted his blood for quite some time. The memories although faded still linger. I had known for some time that he was fading and that his conditioning was worsening. I also knew that from his character, he would not want what you were requesting, and what I would come to offer him.” Juan wiped her face tenderly with the warm towel.

“What did you say to him that night?” Anne caught Juan’s hand as it trailed the outline of her jaw.

Juan paused considering the question. “He is not like us.” In his hesitation he read Anne. “Individuals like you or I can kill without remorse. In a moment a once vibrant life is gone at our expense. We can walk away and as you say, ‘sleep at night’. Your Father was a great man, but we each have different purposes in life and his was not to kill. He spent his life bringing new life into the world or trying to make it better. A life like mine would leave him for an eternity of insanity. For you see all we have left is purpose.”

Anne began to object.

Juan could hear her considering the life she had led as a covert operative. She had indeed killed many under the auspice of her country’s flag and honor. Instead she considered all she knew about him.

“But you don’t eat like that? I mean I have never seen…” Anne cocked her head in question narrowing her eyes.

Juan put up his hands in feigned self defense. “I am not under scrutiny. I am old and I don’t need as much as a fledgling would. He would need fresh blood to sustain him and in large quantity.”

“How do you do it?” Anne’s curiosity was peaked.

“No differently than you would make your kill. It is a hunt.” Juan put the warm towel on the counter. Her scent was alluring. He reached out to brush the wisps of stray hairs from her face. “Human life is so very frail and you are all so vulnerable with very few senses to protect yourself. You are delightfully constructed, but with poor hearing, little sense of smell, and sight that only works in the best of lighting. I am always amazed at how long you last.”

“I miss him.” Anne leaned into his caress.

“It is always that way.” Juan pulled her into him. “No matter how long I live that part never changes. The pain of losing someone you care about is difficult.”

“It’s almost like I don’t want the pain to leave. I don’t want to forget him. He has done so much for me.” Anne gripped onto Juan’s embrace.

“It is not the pain that keep the memories fresh.” Juan stroked her hair absently. “Perhaps it is the amount of times that you access those memories. You still have a long life ahead of you Amor, you will encounter many things I’m sure that will give you good memories of your Father.”

Anne pushed Juan back smiling slightly. “I’ve wet your shirt.”

“It will dry.” Juan smiled.

“Can I stay with you?” Anne fidgeted with the ruffle of Juan’s shirt. “I just don’t want to be alone.”

“Not here.”

Anne nodded.

 

***

The smell of coriander and citrus permeated the silk sheets. Anne inhaled deeply. Juan. She thought smiling; she reached out across the expanse of the king sized bed. Opening her eyes she found she was alone in the massive baroque four poster bed. She slipped out of bed adjusting her shirt and pants. The room was dark; she knew there were no lights to turn on though. Looking around she saw her trench and holster laid neatly across an ornate chaise lounge.

Anne made her way through the marble archway into what she presumed was Juan’s office. Like the bedroom the walls were decorated with rich tapestries and murals.

Anne came across a thick oak door with a large bolt. Sliding the bolt, she undid the latch opening the door slowly. Sunlight streamed into half of the room. Anne inhaled deeply. Walking out onto the balcony she found herself staring at mountains. The sky was almost a periwinkle without a cloud to mar its beauty. A sparkling river cut through the greenery of the view.

“It’s beautiful isn’t it?”

Anne spun around squinting as she stared into the depths of the dark room. Walking back towards Juan’s voice she stopped in the doorway when her eyes could finally register his form. “Yes, it is.”

Anne was very conscious that Juan stood on the very edge of the line that separated the darkness of the room from the sunlight that streamed in; a line that he could not cross. Stepping across the line to him she stood in front of him. Juan was about a head taller than she was. Tilting her head upwards and on her tiptoes she placed the barest of kisses on his lips and whispered, “thank you.”

When she opened her eyes he was gone, leaving her the keys to his sports car to find her way home.

Anne turned back to the doorway. “Be safe Papa, on whatever adventure is next. Be safe.”

A gust of wind blew in the doorway caressing her hair and kissing her skin. Anne inhaled deeply closing her eyes enjoying the moment. She opened her eyes in shock as her mind recognized a familiar scent. “Papa!”


Comments:
 
Alexiskaylor   Alexiskaylor wrote
on 1/30/2010 4:31:08 PM
I really like this! I found it amazing how you could write from both a female and male point of view, i myself find it difficult to write from a male point. I think this would make a great novel, it draws you in and leaves you wanting more. I would love to read more of this. Great work.

StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 1/19/2010 1:22:32 AM
Once again you stretch your imagination, as well as mine. I like the hard question Anne had to deal with and the hard choice that was made. As in fiction, so in real life those hard choices. I also liked the subtle sensuality that permeates your writing here. Another "10" from me you deserve!

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