James, the tracker, is consumed with thoughts of a human he met long ago... Beware: Slightly disturbing because of violence. Short oneshot.
SLIGHTLY DISTURBING VIOLENCE. Please do not hold against.
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My stomach was aching dully. I ignored it with little effort, focusing my thoughts on the moon. The moon knew a friend; it caressed my impermeable skin, pale and glowing, a shocking contrast to the black night.
We were the same, determined, relentless. The moon ruthlessly chases the sun throughout eternity; the only difference was that I caught my prey.
And then the storm hit.
A tornado of overpowering senses, the smell causing sweet venom to spring up in my mouth. It was hard to curb my impulse; my whole body was tightly coiled, ready to be sprung. The scent was nearly making me lose control. It was nearly making me lose my mind. I was ready to crush mountains for…that…taste.
The unknowing temptress came into view. She was small for a human woman. Her face was almost as pale as mine, with sharp angles softened by the dreaminess of her eyes. Short black hair framed her face; the moon on earth.
My gaze involuntarily narrowed. An old coot of a vampire walked beside her, sending lovesick glances towards her. Mine. Every nerve was afire with rage. Mine, you old badger.
I wanted to attack. I could kill that disgustingly lovesick swoon. And then I would relieve my aching teeth in that sensational taste, warm blood…
And I was getting carried away. I had fed not too long ago, any more and people would begin to get suspicious. But how could I not have her as my prey? The scent was indescribable. Imagine what it is like for the old vampire, if I felt like this.
There was no other choice. I would begin the hunt.
“James!” Victoria’s overly sweet voice reached my ears.
I grimaced in disgust as she gracefully slid into view. “James!” she cooed into my ear, breathe heavy against my cheek.
“Victoria!” My voice came out smooth and rich. I could be charming if need be, and there was no denying that Victoria was useful, though not to my taste.
“As always, sweet Victoria.” I spun her around, noting her flaming hair fluff like an overly exuberant wig. I forced my mocking smile from my face as she faced me again and flung herself into my arms.
I could carry her easily, but her overwhelming and one-sided love was the Titanic strapped to my back.
“James, I’m hungry.” Victoria drew out the last word, trying to be seductive. The word was unbelievably seducing for me, but not for the reason she thought it was.
It called back memories of that moon, that beautiful face. And my failed hunt. The moon and I were completely and utterly the same now. Almost. My mouth twisted up into a smirk. My anger hadn’t been completely satisfied at ripping him apart, limb from limb, as the moon lay screaming with the transformation , her brilliant scent fading slowly from her.
Victoria wouldn’t know how I sank my teeth into the table where she lay, and caught the briefest taste from those few meager drops of blood. In my frenzied state, I had licked the palm of her hand where he had bitten her…to save her? Or to destroy her? The taste…
Just the memories caused venom to spring up into my mouth. Victoria noticed when she kissed me firmly on the lips. “Mmm, hungry too? Greedy boy.”
As much as I longed to pull away, I kissed her back and allowed her to drag me hunting again. My mind began to retract itself from the memories as I settled into the predator and prey chase. This was my life. This was the reason I existed.
Or so I tried to convince myself.
The humans were hiking. The steady thump-thump of their boots vibrated through my toes. I grinned as I heard their voices bounce off the trees. Humans could be so loud…
There were two; a female and a male. I was debating over which one would make a better challenge. The male looked strong, but the female had the air of confidence. My choice was made for me.
Victoria slunk into the clearing and sidled up to the male. He froze completely, and the female turned around to see why he had stopped.
Victoria rested a hand I knew to be ice cold on his shoulder, and he flinched involuntarily. I watched the confusion in his eyes as her fingers snuck up into his hair and tugged playfully.
I was amused, watching Victoria flirt dangerously with a human. Was she trying to make me jealous? I knew my lack of attention was getting to annoy her.
The sun slipped behind a cloud, and I revealed myself to the bewildered girl. She seemed to be about 27, and in sprightly condition for a human. Her eyes widened with the luminous glow of a deer caught in headlights.
I made my eyes smolder at her, and she gasped. Briefly I wondered how I looked to her. I guessed she was thinking what her boyfriend was, as he stared and drank in Victoria’s inhuman beauty.
But I was beginning to be bored standing here. I wanted to give chase! The girl breathed out slowly; the scent made up my mind.
I licked my lips slightly to give her a hint. That got her to take a step back. I slipped my body into feral mode, the otherworldly stance of grace and danger.
I waited for her to get ahead, and then I bounded after her, getting close enough to pull at her hair, to breathe on her neck, close enough for her to hear me snarl.
It took a while for her to wear out. The sun had peeped out again by the time she collapsed against the tree. Her gasps came fast as I inched closer.
Victoria was coming.
I lifted the girl’s hand to my marble lips and gently bit down, relishing the warm blood that was flooding into my mouth.
The female whimpered and tried to pull away, still not understanding what was happening. The venom hit her, and she began to leak tears.
I drank faster, regretting going hunting. Humans weren’t as much of a challenge as other things, and I wasn’t hungry anyways.
The beat of her heart began to slow. She was fading away. I stopped drinking for a moment and looked at her closely.
Her eyes were brown. A warm soft brown like the mud that dried along my jeans. The tears were gone now, and suddenly the fuzziness cleared. “My name is Liz.” She said faintly. “Short for Elizabeth.”
What a random this to say! How illogical! Unexplainable fury blurred my vision.
And then her heart stopped. I stepped away from the lifeless body as Victoria leapt to join me.
“Wasteful.” She hissed. “You done?”
“Yeah.” I gasped, the air not coming to my lungs, not that I needed it.
Victoria knelt and inserted her teeth into the girl’s throat to catch the remaining blood.
Although I had done the same, seeing Victoria drink the person’s blood made disgust shiver up and down my spine. I thought of the male. He had been a person too.
“Let’s leave, Victoria.” I said softly.
She lifted her head. “You didn’t drink at all. The blood is still lapping.”
“Let’s go, Victoria.” I said again, hoping her instinct for danger was enough to prevent me from attacking.
“Give me a second, James.”
I had to calm myself and compose my thoughts. “Victoria.” I knelt down next to her and pulled her face towards mine, kissing her bloody lips.
“Let’s go.” I said firmly.
“Alright, James.” Victoria giggled, her high girlish nature a shock from her wild eyes, and stood, dragging me again.
I looked back at the girl lying there on the tree root, and her warm soft brown eyes.
I was confined. The trees trapped me, preventing me from seeing my moon. Normally I could have meditated. But all I could think about was Her.
“My name is Liz.”
“Short for Elizabeth.”
Quiet. Out of my head.
“The blood is still lapping.”
Her heart-beat slowed and died. Pattering away into nothing. Her blood cursed me.
In a rage, I tore myself up and climbed a tall oak, fingers ripping into the bark. My anger only fell with the tides when I saw my friend, the moon.
I could think clearly. The human telling me her name had changed things for a time. It reminded me that I had been prey once too. And that preys had souls and feelings. And longings. I thought of my desire for my moon-on-earth, that pixie human.
Is she still alive? Did she survive becoming a vampire?
Her haunting face swam before my eyes.
Laurent, the annoying one, slipped up beside me. “James.” He said. He looked uneasy. The supposed leader of our small coven could barely talk to be without looking like a mouse caught by the cat.
I wondered if that made me the cat who caught the mouse. Blood. I shuddered and did not meet his wavering gaze. My thoughts were too full to hold anymore.
He remained. “Where are we going next?” Laurent asked.
Where to go? I needed to be away from all these searching thoughts. I needed to be tracking again. To be in a place where humans seemed to have no personality whatsoever, and hardly blotted my conscience.
“Mexico.” I voiced, monotone.
Laurent looked startled. “Mexico? But why?”
Immediately he looked like he regretted the question. I met his gaze violently, hoping to scare him a bit. Laurent’s eyes moved up and down quickly, never once resting on mine.
“In Mexico,” I whispered harshly. “They pay with food.”
Laurent nodded slowly, digesting the benefits of going to a place where you could feed more than once a day.
“I’m looking for someone to assign me to a prey.” My words sounded foreign and bloody to my ears. “If there is no one in Mexico, with all the bloody encrusted revenges, we will go to the Volturi.”
Laurent did actually gulp. It was hard to suppress a laugh at his cowardice.
“Well.” He said shakily. “If anyone will have something for you, they will.” Laurent paused as I examined my hand with feigned interest. “Goodnight, then, James. Do you want Victoria?”
“No. Leave me be.” I said, monotone again, and turned away.
We didn’t leave until it began to rain. The storm raged and dumped water on us. It streamed off my skin. The water dripped down from my fingertips.
In the storm, we could run as fast as we liked, the humans would never see. And if one noticed, they would blink and stare at the spot for a long time.
I relished the feel of rain on my skin, washing away my regrets, and my uneasiness that I had felt earlier. There was as loud noise that sounded far away. It wasn’t thunder.
Laurent looked excited. “Do you want to go see if we can play?” He did an eager half step in that direction, but not before turning to face my eyes.
I thought of playing a game. It would be good to have a challenge. I needed something to win at, to be good at. Something to get rid of my thoughts.
“Yes. Baseball!” I half whooped, just for the fun and strange sound of it.
Victoria stared at me for a moment, and then laughed. “I’m pitcher.” She called, flexing her fingers.
And then we were out of the rain. Ahead was a bunch of shadowy figures, lined up and waiting. They had stopped playing. I felt disappointment for a moment, but then I cheered up. Maybe a change of company would be good for a while.
Laurent stopped us and went forward, chatting with what seemed to be their coven leader. They had a large coven. I was looking at the strongest looking one when a wind blew the strongest scent I had smelled since the pixie human into my face.
For a second I thought it was her, the smell caused the same reaction. My mouth was overflowing with venom. But no, there was something distinguishable in this scent. A faint smell of…what? Lavender? A sunny field overflowing with the hopeful daisies? Still it was almost as intoxicating as that smell that had been exaggerated with years of memories and wishes.
I would kill whoever smelled like this, now. Then I couldn’t fail again.
I half rotated, swiveling my head from side to side slightly to better locate the smell. My wet hair was plastered to my forehead, and I brushed it away with quivering fingers.
She was there, staring at me. After so many years, so many frustrated dreams.
And she was even more beautiful. Her hair was a modern style now, but still the midnight ebony black. Her features were sharp, and her eyes had lost that dreamy cast. They were the same strange color as the rest of their coven, ranging from black to a sunny gold. But still, there was a soft, good-natured cheerfulness about her. She was bouncing lightly from one foot to the other like a hyperactive child.
I had no desire for her blood, anymore. Her human scent was lost, but her vampire self was just as brilliant.
Victoria noticed my gaze, for she stared at the moon and growled. I threw a sharp glance over her way—I couldn’t help feeling anger at anyone who would threaten this creature.
The pixie vampire was looking at me strangely, as if she would read my thoughts. The bronze-colored vampire was looking at me oddly as well. I focused my thoughts on that scent.
And there she was, another human. She looked appetizing, but my mind was zooming in on the pixie, she was here, here….
“We must ask that you do not hunt on our territory.” The leader was saying.
“Yes, of course.” Laurent replied. “We just ate.” He laughed, and mature sound. In front of others, Laurent could play the leader of our coven act well.
But the girl! Here was a greater challenge than I could have ever hoped to get my mind off things. And the pixie vampire was here. I could hunt and stare and hunt and admire. After all, this human was precious to these strange vampires. After all, fighting, outwitting, seven healthy vampires for their prize was no easy feat.
The bronze colored vampire was moving, fast, faster than I could, though only minutely. The girl was being carried away from me.
No matter, I would get her soon enough.
And then I could gaze at the moon.