I had no idea at the time what I was getting myself into; of that you must understand. She was charming and exotic; she was seductive. And I was a fool. I followed her about like a love-sick puppy and then one night she charmed me with a smile. Looking back, it's a wonder I didn't see her for what she really was but how could I know?
The last night I lived, the stars were crystal clear against the night sky but I only had eyes for her. She charmed a room full of people and could have spent her time with any of them, instead she approached me.
"Come Colin." she whispered my name in such a way that my knees very nearly buckled under me. I was a servant to her will and followed her away from the crowd and into the chilly evening air. The breeze nipped at my cheeks as I followed her, wishing she'd say my name again, wishing she'd leaning in close so I could smell her intoxicating scent. She led me into a small, dank alley - an odd place for a lady to go to be sure - but I didn't really think on the matter at the time.
When she turned to me again, her eyes very nearly glowed in the darkness. She was looking at me so intently I felt naked and shivered under her gaze, I wanted to turn away from it; I wanted to look anywhere but at her piercing eyes! But I was caught! As she leaned closer to me, everything grew hazy....and then there was darkness.
I don't know how long I slept, I don't even know if it was sleep. I didn't dream but I wasn't awake either. She was hovering over me anxiously when my eyes opened. "Are you alright?" she asked, chewing delicately on her lip. I could see the very details of the moistness on her lips - in fact I could see the details of everything.
I sat up quickly - too quickly - and surveyed my surroundings. "I did not mean to....I just want a nip..." she was saying as I ran my fingers over the coarse rock wall. I'd seen hundreds of rock walls but never with such clarity. Beneath my fingers, I was sure I could feel every grain of the rocks as well. "You tasted so very delicious and I just could not stop myself...are you sure you're alright?" she was still speaking frantically in spite of my inattention.
I turned toward her again and nodded once. "I feel excellent. Most excellent indeed."
Some lifetimes later...
"It's dark....are you sure we ought to be here?" I asked, taking in the large brooding castle before us.
"My dear Miss Molly, no one has lived her for near a hundred years - what harm would it do to have a look around?" Tony said with an assured smile.
"I suppose you're right..." I said, not actually reassured by his statements.
Several bats passed over our heads causing Ruby to let out a strangled shriek. Tony laughed and ushered us onward. "Perhaps we ought to take the ladies home sir..." Boris suggested, looking at the terror on Ruby's face. He offered her his arm and she dug her nails into it so deeply I wouldn't be surprised if he had to have the jacket mended in the morning.
"Come on! It's just an old castle!" Tony said, with an adventurers' heart. Before any of us could stop him, he strode up to the nearest door and knocked several times. I could hear the squeaks of nighttime animals being disturbed and soon the flutter of wings as more bats flew about us. Ruby was now cradled against Boris, burying her face into his shoulder.
The door creaked open on Tony's final blow. The hall beyond the door appeared completely dark and uninviting but with a quick grin back toward us, Tony stepped into the darkness and disappeared. "Tony no!" I cried out and hurried after him foolishly. I heard footsteps and a series of protests behind me but didn't pause to look back.
We stumbled on Tony in an old dining hall, which he had lit up with candles and torches. "I think we really ought to go." I said after a bit.
"Where's your sense of adventure? This place is excellent!" Tony exclaimed.
None of us were ever able to stop Tony from an adventure and it wasn't long before he'd taken one of the torches from the wall and was off again. "I'm going to go find him..." I said to Boris. I looked over Ruby's face and sighed. "Perhaps you ought to stay here with her?"
"Are you sure? I can go after him..." he offered.
"No...stay." I knew Ruby would garner more comfort from a man's arm than mine anyway. The corridors in the castle were dark and damp. The smallest sound traveled forever it seemed so even the tiny scurrying of a rat echoed through the space. "Tony...." I called out. The loudness of my own voice shocked me so much I jumped backwards and had to take several breaths. Before I could continue, I was sure I heard noise from behind a door and slowly turned the handle to investigate the source....
She was floating, she looked dead and she was floating in mid-air! I gasped and stumbled backward expecting to run into the door or even fall but instead I made contact with a solid object. I spun around and nearly dropped my light source when I saw a pale man standing behind me. He had an intense gaze and I was certain he was seeing right into my soul.
He reached for my hand and though I thought about pulling away...I'm certain I did...my hand stayed in his and I was drawn closer to him.
"Miss Gregory I presume." he said it softly, it almost seemed like a whisper - and yet it bored into me and echoed around in my body.
"How? Who? Huh?" I sputtered, my thoughts were all a jumble as I stood in his presence, his chilly hand holding mine still.
"Shh..." he said, leaning in towards me. "You smell..." he paused for a moment and grinned. Was that a fang?! No! Must have been the horrible lighting in the room. "Delicious." he concluded.
The bite was barely more than a sting, I wasn't sure what was really happening in fact. After he stopped...whatever it was he was doing...I stumbled a bit and his hands caught me. My body fit perfectly as if it were two puzzle pieces going together....things started to get blurry then. "It will be alright." he said, he sounded miles away - though I could tell his intense eyes were looking right into mine.
It felt as if I were floating then, and everything went dark.
"Silly girl" I muttered as I woke up and saw the human girl with Colin. "Interrupting my sleep like that...I hope at least she brought a snack - it's quite rude to come into someone else's house and not bring something." I was ready to turn back and have my own turn with Colin's newest plaything when I smelt the wonderful aroma wafting in from another corridor. "Mmm, so she did bring something for the hostess." I smiled devilishly and licked my lips.
He was poking around one of the spare bedrooms when I found him. Even in his thick jacket I could see detect the definition of muscle and build. He was a yummy looking morsel to be sure. I watched from the shadows as he lifted furniture sheets now and then and opened the wardrobe. "You know it's quite rude to poke around other people's houses when you aren't invited." I said finally, remaining mostly hidden in the darkness.
He looked confused as he looked around for the source of the voice. "Who's there? Show yourself!" he was brave - I'd grant him that much.
"This is my house - I do not think you're in any position to make demands." I said. "But since I already know your name...Anthony....you may call me Laila..." and I stepped into the dim, flickering light of his torch.
Once I had his gaze locked on mine, he got the dim, blank on his face they all got as I sauntered toward him, I stroked his cheek and he smiled at me. "Mmm, you do smell good - quite good actually." I licked my lips again.
He passed out shortly after and I deposited him on the bed. I toyed with the idea of tying him up...even Colin hadn't tasted as pleasing and I would very much like to have something to play with for a time. But I left him unbound for now - perhaps he would choose to stay, it was always so much better then.
I could have been perfectly sated with young Anthony but when I happened on the other one, I couldn't deny myself a taste. He wasn't as scrumptious but he had his charms.
"How could they all just leave me?" I fretted, looking around the dining room. When Molly and Tony hadn't returned from their little adventure, Boris had insisted on going after them...leaving me alone and in the dark as they'd taken all but a single weak candle! And even it threatened to blow out all of it's own accord!
"Your friends are resting." his voice was deep and dangerous. When I spun around to find the source I didn't see anything at first. He seemed to materialize out of thin air...close...dangerously close. I tried to move away from him but he tracked me...like a hunter tracks their prey.
"Who are you?" I asked, clutching the wee little candle like a lifeline. I held it out in front of me, between us and the flame flickered in his eyes.
"Ms. Gregory sent me...to tend to you." he said. The way he said 'tend to you' didn't sound the least bit appealing or good. He moved closer to me. I stepped back, still holding the candle out like a pitiful shield. He leaned forward and blew out the flame, submerging us in darkness.
Some days later...
It burned! My very blood felt like it was searing through my veins. I writhed and fought against the sheets on the bed - I didn't know what bed, I didn't even know where I was! But someone was with me. Someone I should fear and yet...felt comforted by. Someone was watching over me.
All at once, the pain stopped and I knew it was all over. I felt the tug of sleepiness before I could take in my new existence, before I could even figure out what had happened to me. Once again I felt oddly familiar arms around me, laying me out on a rock slab that ought to be horribly uncomfortable for sleeping. Yet it felt like I was sleeping on a cloud...
"What's happening to me?!" I stared at my hands and wanted to gnaw them off they hurt so badly. My feet and legs were quick to follow and soon my whole body felt like it was on fire.
All the while she watched, gazed on me curiously but mute. She offered no explanation or comfort.
When the fire finally stopped, I collapsed in a heap and everything went dark.
We'd been locked together for days it seemed like. I hadn't seen Tony or Molly - I hoped they had not fallen into the hands of these monsters but I feared their fate had been sealed even before they'd come after Ruby and I.
Ruby started shaking and moaning mere moments before I felt the first wave hit my body. Somehow - I'm not entirely sure how even now - I knew that we were about to transform, to become one of them. And it was going to be agonizingly painful. I reached out my hand and felt in the darkness for Ruby's hand. I gripped it tightly to reassure her that I was there...that we had each other anyway...
I never imagined when we came to that old castle what Fate had planned for us. I still can't say it was for the best...I can never see the sun again without feeling like my eyes are being gauged with hot pokers after all. But as chance would have it, we're all in it together.
Colin and Laila aren't exactly apologetic for what they did but we're drawn to them...as if the transformation bonded us together. They say that's just how it is.
Tony didn't lose his adventurer's heart and spirit - in spite of where it got him; where it got all of us. I wouldn't have him any other way though.
The change was good for Boris - his eyesight is better than it ever has been. Ruby, on the other hand, is still afraid of everything. Considering there is probably nothing more terrifying in the world than us - that's pretty impressive.
End Story :D