The beginning of a dead end (private)
Nikki awoke in the darkness, with a large lump on her head and her hands bound. Somewhere in the dark, water dripped slowly from an unknown source. As her eyes adjusted to the dark, the memory of the attack came back to her. She had been home, working on an article for the paper, when a man had broken into her home, and tried to kidnap her. Apperently, he had succeeded.
Sitting up, she began to observe her surroundings. She was lying on a metal mesh floor, in what appeared to be an abandoned factory. The room she was in was raised above the shop floor, and seemed like an office, with cabinets, a desk, and a metal staircase leading downwards to the concrete floor below. There was a foot-deep sunken area built into the floor of the office, and there was a sort of aclove in the wall of the building that seemed to be built after the office had been. She tried to get the ropes off of her hands, but they were too tight. What was more, she couldn't get to her knife, which had been left in her pocket. Why that had been left while her phone was gone from the same pocket was beyond her comprehension.
She heard a noise, and looked up, fearing what she would find. Two shadowy figures made their way up the stairs. One man walked over and stood in the aclove, and the other came to her, cut the ropes binding her hands, hoisted her up, and tossed her into a chair in the corner. She looked up, terrified, to see that both men were armed.
"Move, and I'll kill you," the man in the aclove said, drawing his weapon.
The other man placed his own gun on the table, along with Nikki's phone. Nikki noticed that the phone was turned on. The idiots didn't realize that Steve would think to track it. She sat perfectly still, waiting for the silent explosion that was her brother to come.
He walked through the doorway, looking for any tiny sign of his sister. There was a slight glow above him, but before he could find the source, a voice called through the darkness, a woman's voice. One that Steve knew without a doubt.
"Steve! Steve, I'm up here!"
Steve's keen eyes finally found a staircase, and he rushed upward, his gun at the ready. As he blew into the office, he spotted Nikki on the other side of the room. Motion caught his eye, and he turned to see a man approaching from the side. As the light from Steve's gun caught his visage, Steve recognized the man. Ivan Girbaski, the traitor who had killed three of his own comrades, was right next to him, and appeared to be behind the kiddnapping of Nikki. With a cold rage rushing through his veins, Steve fired, planting three rounds in between the man's eyes. With a cold satisfaction, Steve gave his former comrade a final glance, before turning to his sister. But a second man was already in the way, training a pistol on Steve. Steve centered his own weapon on the man's forehead, ready to fire at moment's notice.
"Well, hello Steve. Long time, no traction, eh?"
The voice from Steve's past shocked him to a new level. For this man was one of Steve's former subordinates, a pilot named Ben, who had once harrased Nikki to the point where she couldn't even go to the police without having to shake him off. Steve had put Ben in the hospital for three months, which had finallly seemed to show the younger man where he did not belong. With a snarl, Steve fired a fourth shot, but Ben didn't fall. The other man smiled, and Steve knew he was screwed. Those were no human teeth jutting from Ben's jaws. Another one of you buck-toothed bastards, Steve thought. Wonderful.
Steve reached for his knife, hoping to at least put the fear of God in that son of a bitch, but before his hands even reached the handle, Ben was on him, knocking him to the ground and beating him mercilessly. Steve felt himself losing conciousness, and cursed the undead bastard with the last bit of stregth he had left, before darkness overcame him.
His final thought was a prayer, hoping that Nikki would make it out of this alive.
"It's been a long time, Nik," he said quietly.
"Not long enough."
Ben smiled. "As witty as you are beautiful. Just like I remember." He walked to Steve, crouched down, and drew a knife, moving it toward Steve's throat.
"No!" Nikki darted forward, kicking the knife from his hand.
"This is the only way. I can't free you with him around. If he knows about us, what I am, what you will become, he'll hunt our kind until we are extinct. He cannot be allowed to live."
"'Free' me? What the hell are you talking about?"
Ben smiled. "I'm more than I've ever been. I'm immortal. I am as a god compared to you humans. But I want to offer you the chance to join me. We can finally be together forever. The way we were ment to be."
Nikki cocked her head. Immortal? She knew Ben had a god complex, but this was over the top. "I'll reiterate: what the hell are you talking about, asshole?"
Ben smiled, showing off his teeth, then sliced open his own arm with the knife he had pulled from his pocket. Before Nikki's astonished eyes, the wound healed itself like magic. "I'm a vampire, Nikki. And you can be too." "No. Got to hell. There was never anything between us, and there never will be." Nikki's voice was calm, but she was secretly afraid for her life.
"Then I have no choice." Ben took his knife to Steve's throat again.
"Wait," Nikki shouted, running forward. She took a deep breath, running through her options. There was only one way for her and Steve to both come out of this alive. "Tell me more about your offer..."
As Ben's teeth sank into her skin, and she lost conciousness, she prayed hard that she was making the right choice...
"Help her," he said, as he went down at last.
Tonight the young Anantya had just about decided it would again have to be rats that provided her a bit to drink when the scent of blood, unmistakably human, carried along the night's breeze to her sensitive nose. Scampering along her small paws made no sound as she came up on a door still slightly ajar, with a bit of blood smeared on the frame. Lifting her head she sniffed again and her stomach growled. The scent was much, much stronger inside. Quite a lot of it had been spilled. Her whiskers twitched as she slithered inside and followed her nose over and up a flight of stairs. A rivulet of blood ran under the door at the top. Her head dipped and she licked it up delicately for a moment. Somewhat cool and congealed, it wasn't very appetizing.
But she could hear a couple of heartbeats inside, erratic and the sound of rough slow breathing. There was obviously something more appetizing left in there. Large golden eyes, pupils hugely dialated in the darkness scanned the abandoned building for signs of anyone before she shifted back to her human form. Her hand on the doorknob shook and jostled it before she saw the combination lock that had whoever was inside trapped in place. She frowned. Reaching up and grasping it, she yanked. It groaned. One of her feet came up and pressed against the doorframe until it creaked and the old latch's rusty hinge finally snapped. Dropping it without a thought, the blonde pushed the door open and looked around the room. One body off to the side was the source of the blood running under the door so she dismissed him. That left a male and a female.
Stepping a little closer she froze when he spoke, his voice was one she recognized. Crouching down and gingerly turning his head her eyebrows rose. It wasn't suprising to find the brash human in such a predicament, not really. Just that she had, once again, stumbled into the middle of it.
Reaching over she gently patted the cheek of this woman. There was blood on her but she had a steady heartbeat and was breathing. The Creole figured she'd give her a chance to walk out under her own power before hauling her out.
"Who are you?" Nikki's voice was shaking, showing her fear, but her aim was true. She was more like Steve than most people gave her credit for.
I'm Amberelle... I know Steve. Before he passed out he asked me to help you. Looks like he's the one needing help though. Her eyes moved to the unconscious form on the floor then back to the stranger's face. So maybe you could point that someplace else? Amberelle didn't like being shot one bit and wouldn't be very nice if the girl tried it.
If you help me get him up, we could get him out of here before whoever locked you two in here comes back.
"I'm Nikki," she said. "How do you know Steve?"
We met a few years ago on Halloween... the hell night one. I seemed to take it on myself to drag his impulsive ass out of a few crazy spots. Amby sighed and wondered if this was becoming a habit with him. I found out he's a close friend of one of my cousins, ,so I guess I look on him as extended family. Which reminded her to find out just what Trin was doing with herself these days that her familiar would end up in this situation.
So... want to tell me who you are and just what the hell happened? I'd like to know who or what to expect at any possible moment since my hands are a bit tied up... A thought occured to her when she realized her Aston was parked quite a few blocks away in a secured lot. And umm... do you have a car here? Mine's not close.
"I hear ya," she said, grinning. "I've been trying to keep him from getting his stupid self killed for years." She looked over at the taller woman, giving her a careful look-over. "It's funny, really. He normally tells me stuff like this, but he's never mentioned you." She shook her head, trying to dismiss the notion that she and Steve were growing apart. "I'm Nikki," she said. "Steve's my brother. And tonight is kinda my situation. An old ex showed up, kidnapped me, tried to kill Steve, and..."
She placed her hand to her neck, where the crazy bastard had bitten her. Her hand came away, wet with blood. She stumbled with shock, but caught her balance just in time to keep from dropping Steve's arm. She shook her head again, then adressed the woman's next question.
"No, but Steve came here on his own. I think he might have left his car out front." She began to move in that direction, but her suddenly super-sensitive nose caught a whiff of something strong and sweet. Looking ofr the source, she found it to be coming from a trail of blood running down the wall from the man Steve had killed. Her stomach growled slightly, and a curious sensation came to her mouth. She touched her canines, and found that they had enlongated into fangs. A soft gasp escaped her, and she collasped, trembling. Just as they had appeared, a second odd feeling came to her mouth, and the fangs seemed to dissapear. She just sat there, however, shocked beyond all comprehension. That bastard hadn't been lying! She really was a vampie!
"Oh my God!" she moaned.
Amby nodded when the familiar's car was mentioned, fairly sure she'd noticed a vehicle out front when she came up to the building. Even if they couldn't find the keys the blond knew she could hot wire it easy enough. So with the plan set she was turning to move out the door sideways when all of Steve's weight slid and she was barely able to wrap an arm around his waist as she jerked on the arm thrown over her shoulder to prevent him from falling on top of his sister. Grinding her teeth and supressing a growl she looked at the woman and then to the corpse not far away.
"Nikki... there's nothing we can do for that guy there. So you need to get up and come with me now, before your ex shows back up. Or the police." Amber didn't want to be tied up for hours at the station and risk being out after dawn. Or worse being shot if the psycho showed back up. No, she didn't want the complications from said shots not killing her then her proceeding to rip the guy's throat out. No, not a good thing to have to deal with because the only way to deal with a human witness was to bond them or kill them. The Creole didn't want a familiar and didn't want to have to kill the girl. So the only logical option was to be gone before the lunatic returned.
Or leave the girl behind if she wouldn't cooperate. It was harsh but her only obligation, if any, was to the familiar's safety.
"You'd better get out of here," she said, her new fangs easily visable. "That freak could be back, and there's a lot of freaky shit going on out here tonight."
Standing there, one hand resting on the open driver's door and about to move for them to be on their way she looked down at the brunette and paused. Were those... fangs? Her brow knit as she frowned. Right now all she had was this unknown woman's word she was the man's sister. Suspicions reared up and she agilely turned, sliding between Nikki and the car as she bumped the door closed with her butt.
Why don't you just step back some and tell me what exactly you mean by... freaky? Her voice was calm and relaxed but her golden eyes darkened and her expression was wary. Because until you explain those fangs you're not taking Steve anywhere.
"To be honest," Nikki began, "I'm not entirely sure myself. I was home, working on an article for the paper, when these two goons showed up at my place, broke into my house, and brought me here. I recognized one, his name is Ben. He and I were together back when I was in the Air Force. He got obsessed, and Steve finally had to get him to back the hell off. Forcibly." She paused here, to look around, then continued. "I have no idea who the dead guy is. It might be just some thug, but it looked like Steve knew him, you can ask him when he's awake. As for the fangs, I have no idea. I just know that Ben was motating a lot better than he should have been able to, and the fact that he took Steve down hard like that just adds to it." Another pause, this time to think. "He had fangs," she said slowly. "He said he was a vampire. He wanted to make me into one, I guess he thought I'd take him back if I was a vampire too. But vampires don't exist, do they?" She touched her neck, where the bastard had bit her, finding no wound, just dried blood. "I don't know, I feel different. I can smell things better, I hear better, I feel... better." She shook her head. "I don't know. Freaky."
To Nikki, though, 'freaky' didn't quite say it.
Sagging back against the car door, shaking her head some the blonde just chuckled. It slowly built until it was a dry laugh. Finally with a long suffering sigh, Amby looked back at Nikki and her expression grew serious.
"Yes there really are vampires. Your brother knows them, I know them..." Not quite comfortable enough to admit to this stranger she was one, Amerelle left that detail out for now. "I don' know just how stupid this Ben is, but apparently he is an enormously huge moron to turn you then leave you. Unless of course he was hoping you'd wake up hungry and be overcome with bloodlust so you killed your brother." She made a soft huh noise as she considered it, since that was well within the realm of possible actions with the sadistic vampires she'd been raised by. It would probably have worked well to sever the brunette's ties to her old humanity.
"With that in mind... I can't exactly leave you alone with Steve." The coppery aroma waifing from the trickle of blood coming from the unconscious familiar's nose wasn't lost on her. If it made her stomach growl it had to be doing similar to the other vampire's.
"So we have a couple of options. But best scenario is we go to the Manor and get your brother some medical attention there. They won't ask questions. Then we can get some blood into you too." And me, she added to herself. It looked like getting something fresh was now off the table.
"I'll drive." The Anantya opened the door but paused before getting in, to see if Nikki would be agreeable or if she was more like her brother, and would be difficult. "And," she offered as enticement,"I can answer some questions you are going to have also."
"The Manor is where I live, and is the seat of one of the vampire clans here in Nachton. They'll have blood for you, and because of the vampire Steve is.. umm.. involved with.. our staff will ensure he gets treatment and whatever he needs." The Creole hoped there weren't a plethora of questions stemming from that little gem of information, but she couldn't think of any discrete way to explain why the staff would help Steve.
Starting the car and revving the engine a couple times, she put it into drive and spun around with a squeal of tires, determined to get away from the area as quickly as possible. The blonde drove with one hand, pulling a small headset from her pocket with the other and clipped it to her left ear. Digging in her pocket for the small, sturdy stick phone she carried when out hunting Amby made quick work of getting the Manor on speed dial. Best to have them making preparations for their arrival.
"Check on your brother while I call ahead. Let me know what looks to be wrong so they can prep." She turned her attention back to the road as she started speaking into the headset when Rupert answered.
Amby looked back at the road, just shaking her head. After a few seconds pause, she spoke as she wove them through traffic. "Basic training.. as you call it.. is the responsibility of the Sire. Of course since yours left you locked up in a warehouse he isn't exactly reliable. Not to mention he must be completely mental from what you said.."
The Anantya was used to a fast car but hers had tighter handling so it was a little bit jerkier than she'd like as she cut across a few lanes of traffic to get to the expressway's on ramp. "Sorry about that." she added before resuming her train of thought. "You're going to need someone to teach you, most likely. You can ask your brother about Trin but... I haven't seen her around in a while so she may be out of pocket. If so..." An idea ran through her mind quickly. "I could help you out some. But let's deal with all that after Steve, ok?" She spared the shorter woman a quick glance and a smile.
The Camero roared some as she accelerated and the road began to dissapear behind them rapidly as she drove them out of town towards Heolfor's grounds.
((All out - with permission ))