Middle of suburbia in the North County area deeper into the night
The enforcer felt his master's arrival. A pain filled rumbling came from deep inside his throat and he struggled with the bonds and groaned through a broken grin in frustration. Had Jim be able he would have launched himself from his bindings and either insanely attacked Kenyon or fallen to his knees and begged for forgiveness. Such was the life of a minor leveled vampire -- even one who colored outside the lines like Jim Arnold had.
Tim trembled and shook in the doorway saying, "He hasn't moved this much all night!"
Kenyon shook his head in pure disgust and tried to keep from strangling the bartender for his utter stupidity. This human had been begging him for months to be made into a vampire and Tim had obviously been skipping any sort of studying of the numerous vampires that had been readily available in the club. It wasn't like Kenyon kept his vampires on short leashes, obviously given Charlotte's defection and Jim's entourage of baby vampires, but for Tim to be so high up on Kenyon's list for making fledglings and to find out that he didn't know anything about the master-fledgling bond wasn't reassuring in the least. It was all he could to do keep from groaning and slaying Tim on principle alone.
Settling for a brisk forehead smack Kenyon said, "Fool, that's because he's my vampire. He isn't moving because he's happy but afraid I am here to finish him off. Which -- all things considered -- that isn't a half-bad idea."
An eerie sound reverberated throughout the room. It took them a second to figure it out and that it was Jim keening. Not a sound normally associated with vampires in the least. Now the humans that vampires snacked on were known to make some rather odd sounds during the draining process but vampires didn't. It wasn't a rule or anything but nevertheless Kenyon found himself grinding his back teeth in frustration.
"Give me a break!" He rolled his eyes and reached out to Tim, still huddled in the doorway.
"What do you want me to do?" Tim had his head bent and looked at Kenyon from beneath his surprisingly long lashes. Kenyon, angered, grabbed Tim by the nape of his neck and dragged him to his fangs saying, "Feed me for a change."
He pulled out Tim's fear and a good pint of blood while pushing his will deep inside the man's brain. Jim had pretty much got Tim convinced to unbind his wrists to check on the vampire's pulse right before Kenyon had arrived. Kenyon resisted tearing out the stupid human's throat by sheer will and the fact he needed someone he somewhat trusted to watch the wayward vampire. Once sated he licked the punctures closed and tapped Tim backwards against the wall.
"Listen to me carefully." His voice was strong and powerful from the blood and fears flowing through his veins.
"Yes, Master Kenyon," Tim replied.
"You're to do exactly what I tell you and no more. You will not obey Jim and you will obey only me." He intoned with pressure of pain and pleasure running through Tim's soul. Kenyon felt the answering vibration from Tim and the shudder of emptiness from Jim as he severed those ties. It wasn't a long-term fix for the situation but it would do for now.
Tim was fixed against the wall unmoving and very quiet. Kenyon took a pace back and was happy to see that the human didn't fall to the ground. Jim had stopped moving and trying to attract any notice. Not that Kenyon had forgotten him in the least.
"Tim, go and make crosses. Two sticks and glue or staple them in the middle to form the sign. They won't be as strong as blessed ones but will work for now. I don't care what you use. If you can't find any pieces of wood go buy a box of Popsicles and eat them until you have enough sticks to make at least a half dozen crosses." With that Kenyon released him adding, "I expect you back here in a half hour. If you take any more time than that I will be forced to improvise with your fingers. A snap or two and I can quickly have some crosses, are we clear?"
Tim quickly paled and his ashen hue wasn't completely due to the blood loss but the knowledge that Kenyon wasn't making idle threats but promises. Jim squawked some odd sound as Tim fled in search of sticks. Kenyon was confident that Tim would find something to create his crosses if he had to take the picture frames off the family gallery and risk upsetting his insane aunt.
"Jim, what're we to do with you?" Kenyon neared his enforcer.
"It seems draining you nearly to death wasn't enough to keep you out of trouble now was it? You had to go and try to grab Tim for yourself to replenish the lost blood. Should I shatter your jaw completely so you can't have your fangs for a few cycles? That would certainly make feeding a tad more difficult, now wouldn't it?" Kenyon tapped him on his cheek that still had patches of blood from earlier in the night when Kenyon had ripped into him. Tim hadn't cleaned him up much in his haste to bring him to his aunt's home and the smell of his own blood must have been eating at Jim's brain. The smell of dried blood and fear coated the minds of both Kenyon and Jim.
Sensing the intensity of Kenyon's gaze Jim's eyes cracked open a small slice. His irises were invisible and all that pulsed any signs of life were his pupils. They were deep black pools of hatred and fear. Kenyon could see only the predator inside the enforcer and the fear wasn't deep enough to suit the master. There were limited things Kenyon had time to do because Tim would be back with the crosses in the next half hour. The fear that Jim had fed on had given him a false hope of freedom. Kenyon needed to break that spirit.
Running a fingertip to the hate filled eyes Kenyon hissed, "Or maybe I should pluck out your eye. This way you will always remember to watch out for me and not look to anyone's future but mine." He tapped the right lid shut forcefully, "Or not."
He stepped back as he watched Jim's chest heave while he struggled to get words out.
"No." The voice wasn't so much spoken as it was exhaled through fear and body.
"No? Who the hell are you to tell me what to do?" Kenyon seized Jim's hair roughly yanking his face up a mere centimeter enough to cause a spasm of pain to run through the vampire's frame.
Both eyes opened more with supreme effort on Jim's part. They were muddy and pain ridden. But most tastefully Kenyon saw that the vampire's fear was now overriding the hatred, Jim knew Kenyon wasn't making idle threats but specific promises. To Kenyon's disgust he felt Jim reach out mentally for his master. It wasn't to pledge undying allegiance, as he had made so many years ago, but to plead for Kenyon to simply kill him.
Kenyon would have loved to comply with that request but he still needed to find out all of Jim's allies and killing Jim would shut that avenue of information off. There was a clatter from the stairs and Tim rushed into the room holding a box of real crosses. Kenyon wasn't overly thrilled by the religious emblems and was less than delighted to see that Tim had actually found a few blessed crosses. He gathered that Aunt Maddie hadn't exactly thrown out all the signs of belief that preceded her current decent into hell. The box had come from a storage spot and the dust followed Tim into the room.
"I found these in the back room and there are at least a dozen!" Tim was excited to be keeping his fingers. He swung the box towards Kenyon. Kenyon froze. Aunt Maddie had been decidedly more religious in the day. Kenyon could see an array of blessed and holy items that still held power. The family had prayed and cherished the objects and they gave off a glow of strength and purity that was still viable.
"Those will do fine." He swept a hand towards Jim.
"Now do what I told you to do earlier this evening and wait for the vampires to arrive. You set up a recording device?" Kenyon wasn't overly impressed with all Tim had done but figured he may have missed the camera in his haste to get inside and bind Jim.
Blushing Tim said, "This room is set up with a full array of video recording cameras and they all have been running straight to a website I maintain. They have been running since I put him in here."
Kenyon had been expecting cameras like he had at the club and took a slower glance around the room looking for hidden or disguised cameras. Sure enough there were a variety of spots with small lenses focused on the suspended vampire. Again Aunt Maddie's house seemed to have layers to it that even Kenyon hadn't considered. It seemed that she kept herself in pills and thrills with a little cyberporn shop and from Tim's blushing he not only knew about the game but played and helped. Maybe he wouldn't be a total loss as a vampire.
Nodding he asked, "And how would they have kept the vampires from freeing Jim?"
Tim admitted, "I hadn't got that far."
That didn't surprise Kenyon in the least.
Something else dawned on Kenyon, "Are we running live online?"
"Yeah, of course."
Yanking Tim outside the room, "And who the hell is watching us?"
More blood drained from the bartender's face as fear inched its way into his brain.
"Nobody! I had it closed to viewing. It was just like backing up the room and keeping it filed on the net for us if we needed to identify anyone." He waited to see if Kenyon approved.
"That's fine. You need to figure out how to keep the vampires from leaving. They shouldn't be too strong." Kenyon waited to see what the man would come up with as a solution.
"Can I stake them and not kill them?" Kenyon had to give him points for at least thinking even if his ideas were rather lofty for a mere human.
"And if there is more than one vampire? What will you do while the other fangs in and drains you dry?" Kenyon was amused to see the horror etch into Tim's face. Having had enough of toying with the human Kenyon laughed saying, "You have nothing to fear as long as your aunt doesn't invite them inside. That would hold for weak fledglings such as Jim would produce." Kenyon hoped it was true. At the rate he kept discovering new and scary mistakes being made he wasn't as certain as he would've been a few weeks back.
"If you see Jim stir like he did when I showed up that means one of his minions has come near. I would strongly suggest you either lock your aunt in her room or keep her from the door." Kenyon strong cautioned.
It wasn't too long until daylight and he wanted to get as far as he could from the mess Tim had created. Hopefully by the next evening Jim would be more receptive to Kenyon as his master again; if not, Kenyon would be having another interesting evening. There wasn't much else he could do until then.
Once he reassured Tim of his value, he headed out into the tail end of the night. Kenyon flew back down the freeway aiming for his home before dawn broke. He was tired of his city for the first time he could remember. His phone never rang. Whoever had been talking to him earlier was leaving him be -- for now. Kenyon went to bed very alone.
Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-06-25