End of the Road ((Attn Nikki, Steve))
The Camero turned onto the gravel drive tightly, and Amby let her speed drop as they wound down the manor's drive. They rounded a bend and the sprawling estate house was visable through a break in the trees. Motioning towards it to draw Nikki's attention, she said quietly, "Home sweet home."
Pulling up they slid to a halt in front of the large double doors. Immediately killing the engine, the leggy blonde unfolded herself from the lowslung sports car and came around to the passenger's side to help the staff that was now moving down the Manor's steps.
In her mind the blonde ran through a check list. First thing was to get Steve turned over to the physician's care and then to get Nikki away someplace private and see if she could get blood down. The first few times feeding could always be a bit... traumatic. It certainly didn't need to be a public affair. And, thankfully Amberelle knew tricks since she'd had a difficult time adjusting herself. After that was done and she could trust the newly turned vampire was somewhat stable they could check on Steve and discuss where to go from there. Now it all hinged on Nikki going along with it, she thought with a grimace.
"Now what?" she asked, folding her arms and leaning up against Steve's car. She noticed as she did so that her hunger had grown. For some reason, a very large undercooked burger sounded great to her.
"The first time can be difficult. Especially taking it from a live source. But," she shrugged a shoulder. "Not everyone can handle it from a bag. The taste isn't the same but it serves the purpose. Guess you get to try and decide for yourself."
Walking up the stairs she looked back and motioned for Nikki to follow. Her suite was close to the foyer so it would be the best choice. Turning right, she walked down to the wrought iron doors that were locked over the double doors into her suite, trusting that she would follow.
Heading into her small foyer, Amby dropped her keys in the bowl on habit and moved around and into her living room. She spoke as she did, motioning to the small blue couch for the other woman to sit. "Just give me a moment and I will call for a few volunteers. Believe it or not, to a human a vampire's bite can be very pleasant, erotic even, when done gently." The Creole didn't add it was pleasant for vampires as well, no need to get into every detail right now she figured. "So.. it isn't hard to find those here who are not tied to a specific clan member that make themselves available when we're hungry. It's like.. mmm... Calling for room service almost, but with a twist."
Slipping off her sneakers, Amby scooped them up and headed into her bedroom. She left the doors open so Nikki could see and hear what she was doing. And, so she could do the same as well. The blonde was trusting the freshly turned woman in her home but she wasn't an idiot so she was cautious.
It only took a couple minutes to put the shoes away and place a call from her bedside line to request a couple of volunteers for dinner. Amby was glad the room was dimly lit to hide the flush that came to her cheeks as she did. This was something she'd only done once or twice and she was still kind of embarassed and uncomfortable with the idea. That done, she headed back to the living room to check on Nikki.
"It will be a couple of minutes, we have the household a bit scrambled with bringing Steve in, but I was told dinner would be here "shortly"." She chuckled some.
Topaz eyes studied the other woman for a long moment before she spoke again, her voice serious and low. "Circumstances surrounding my turning were traumatic and.. not pleasant. I wouldn't wish on anyone being left adrift, or worse being dependant on some psycho for information. Clanless are easy targets, or worse you risk exposing vampires to the general populace... which would only result in innocents suffering to cover it up." Amby took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She'd done wetworks in New Orleans more than once to cover up some idiot's carelessness.
"If you are interested.. while we wait I will explain a bit about the vampire clans to you."
"Well, we're here in what is the home for Anantya in Nachton," Amby pronounced the clan name clearly and a little slowly, hoping the fledgling was a fast study. "We are the original clan, the Eldest and first. There are vampires here who are more than a millenia old, some of them from BC times I've heard. The general clan outlook on humans is they are tools, pets and well.. food. As a superior species, they believe we should just control and manipulate them as needed." Her tone was neutral so she didn't convey how much she disagreed with the entire viewpoint. But she did shrug a shoulder subtly.
"There is one other recognized clan, and they are very very different. Centuries ago some of the more compassionate, some would say weak willed, who wanted to live in harmony with humans formally split from us and formed the second clan, Evenhet." She paused, her dislike of them veiled but visable. "They are pacifists, always wanting to help the humans, live with them, be their friends. The tree hugging, fluffy, hurt no one kind of vampires."
"And then," she paused almost as if making sure no one else was around, "there are the orphans who call themselves a clan.. Tacharan. Younger, more modern and usually wild, reckless." Pausing she tilted her head to motion towards Nikki. "Lastly there are those who are clanless.. by choice or by fate like yourself. Of course you technically belong to whatever clan your sire is from.. if you want to claim him."
Shifting some to get more comfortable in her perch, Amby put both feet on the cushion and leaned down, resting her elbows on her knees. Her mouth scrunched as she eyed the other woman. "You have a few options.. as Anantya is the origin of all vampires, or at least since they like to think they are... it is not unheard of for someone clanless to be accepted back into the fold as it was. That's a option for you." Amberelle wondered if she would ask what benefits that would hold, so she paused to see if Nikki had questions yet.
((clan viewpoints are strictly her own as taight to her and not to reflect actual definitions =p ))
Superior race, huh? Nikki almost smiled with the thought of what Steve would have to say about that. No doubt they were a superior being, but certain human traits, like mortality, had thier benefits.
The other clan, Evenhet as they were called, seemed to leave a bad taste in Amberelle's mouth. Nikki found this little tidbit most interesting. The Tacharans seemed to be a joke amongst vampires, but Nikki decided from this little description not to mess with one.
When her own optios were presented to her, Nikki closed her eyes, thinking hard. There was no way she was going to "claim" Ben, whatever that ment. But by the sounds of it, a clanless vamp was a dead vamp, no pun intended. She opened her eyes, locking them back on Amberelles. "If I wanted to try to get accepted into Anantya, what exactly would that entail? Would I be a little less screwed, or would I still be on my own?"
"Oh.. you would be immensely better off. Not only would you have access to the protection of the Clan but it's resources and knowledge. Of course," she added, serious golden eyes looking down at the other woman, "there is always a cost. You'll be expected to protect your clanmates, and not to reveal anything about us to normal humans. And you may be asked to help if your skills are needed by one of the Orders... but that gets into a lot more complicated explanations. So we can leave that for the second orientation speech." Amby gave her a joking grin and then settled back down into being serious.
Drawing in a deep breath and exhaling it with a sigh, her mouth scrunched up some. "Now... as for how.... I'm not entirely sure. I only know of one person who has done that. The good thing is, she is here at Heolfor so we can ask. Tomorrow maybe."
"... but I still don't know where that guy came from. DeEspionne showed up with him and some woman, then peeled off." A young man said, leaning up against the wall.
"I think I know this guy. If I'm right, he was on the news about a week ago. Led some big drug bust, and shot the leader of a local cartel dead." The older man looked around, then back to his younger companion, then lowered his voice even further. "I tell ya, he looks dangerous. I thought I saw some security spooks hanging around earlier."
Memories came rushing back as Steve's mind restored his memory. The fight, Girbaski, Ben, Nikki, everything came back in a jolt. He reached for his weapon, only to feel a massive pain through his chest. The pain made him grunt, and he desisted for a moment, then was about to begin when one of the men, the younger guy, came over. "Easy, dude," the man said, indicating that Steve should lie back. "You've been through quite a bit. I've set your ribs, but you keep tweaking them like this and they'll get screwed up again."
Steve snarled, then did as he was told. "Nikki," he growled. "Where's my sister?"
The older man came closer. "Younger gal, short brown hair, dark eyes, 'bout this high?" He held his hand about at Nikki's height.
"You've seen here?" Steve said quickly, nodding.
"Yeah, she's fine. Her and Amberelle DeEspionne are talking." He nodded towards Steve's pillow. "Don't worry about her, she's perfectly fine. Worry about yourself for now."
The name of the vampire who had saved Steve's skin multiple times perked Steve's interest. "Where am I?" he asked, fearing the answer.
Steve sighed. He was hard to scare, but this place never failed to set him on edge. But, he realized, if Nikki was gonna be here, at least she was with a... comparatively trustworthy vampire. He settled down, mentally vowing to hang Amberelle by her innards if anything happened to his sister.
The hallway outside the Creole's suite had beautiful inlaid wood floors that were very handy sometimes, as the sound of approaching visitors echoed nicely. Her gaze swung from the newly turned vampire towards her foyer area as the murmer of voices and footsteps floated through the wrought iron doors. Standing, she flashed Nikki a smile. "I think room service is coming. Let me go explain.. I'll only be a moment."
Amby's pulse was a little fast and her mouth suddenly went dry as she stood. She really hated feeding like this. Hunting criminals made it easier, since she didn't have to worry about restraining herself. Hurting them never made her feel guilty.. instead it usually helped to justify it in her mind. The irony of her trying to help someone feed for the first time, and to do it with control, had a hysterical laugh threatening to bubble up. But Amberelle slipped on a smooth facade, all smiles and calm.
She met the pair at her doors. Golden eyes assessed them quickly as she undid the locks and motioned for them to enter. A tall male, one of the gardeners she guessed from the look of his sunbleached locks, darkly tanned skin and the subtle scents still lingering on him of grass, soil and chemicals. Not that he wasn't well scrubbed and presentable, the staff here were far too well trained to show up dirty. The second was a smiling brunette, the same one Amber had fed from the only other time she had allowed herself to impose on the staff.
"Hello again Samantha.." Amby greeted her with a small smile then turned her gaze to the man she didn't know.
"William, miss." He kept his eyes down slightly, respectful.
The blonde grinned at him, her youthful face a little teasing. "William? No really.. is it Will?" He gave her a slight lopsided smile and nodded. "Good, much better.. no need for formalities with me. Now.." she paused and sighed some, her expression getting a little more serious and they both looked at her, waiting. "Tonight I have a visitor who I will need you to take care of Will. It's going to be her first feeding.. I will oversee it to make sure it goes well. If you are comfortable with the idea of course." Will's brow furrowed slightly as he seemed to be thinking over the idea. "I give you my word, I'll ensure your safety." Amberelle added.
He looked up with slightly startled light gray eyes and the blonde realized she must have implied he was scared or unwilling. She raised a hand and shh'd the words about to spill forth. It was funny, she thought, in the De'Espionne household any one of them would probably have jumped at a chance to avoid being dinner. Here it was like a welcome opportunity.. she still didn't understand it.
"I'll take that as you don't mind?" She paused then continued after he nodded firmly. "Good. And Sam, you will be for me," Amby said as she saw the question on the human's face. The woman's smile made the vampire look away, her nerves all shot again. The fact that someone feeding on you could be pleasurable was something she'd learned. It just.. that felt so intimate. Which explained why she'd refused to feed from a man anytime she wasn't hunting rough. Flashing a slightly too bright, tight smile at the humans she lead them into the living area and stopped in front of the couch where Nikki was.
"Nikki... this is Will." She motioned to him. "I'd like for you to feed from his wrist tonight.. it's the easiest and least likely to harm him." Motioning for him to sit on the opposite side of the loveseat, Amberelle perched on the ottoman across and between them. She had every intention of keeping her word and preventing any accidental injury.
Amby was a little curious what it was like for her, her first feeding. Considering Amberelle's own had come several days after being turned, and after a good bit of beating and near starvation so she didn't remember much beyond being pretty feral during it. Her methods had been far from civilized or safe, but apparently that wasn't always the case. The blonde smiled to herself some, a little pleased at how well everything seemed to be going.
Standing, she smoothed her palms on her thighs, a little nervous now. The scent and tiny taste of blood had her own stomach demanding food, which caused her honey colored eyes to dart over to the human standing close by. When their eyes met, Samantha immediately moved to step over but Amby subtly held up a hand. There'd only been one time she'd allowed someone to watch her feed and that had been... different. Trying to tell herself it was a learning exercise for Nikki but failing miserably, she caved and mumbled something about being right back before walking briskly into the bedroom, her hand reaching out to grip the human girl's and tug her along behind.
"Alright," she said, smiling wider than she had in a long time. She gave the man his phone back, then proceded to make the bottle zoom at her from various places and distances. The farther away, the longer it took for the bollte to start moving, but it seemed to come to her in the end. She quickly lost track of time, lost in the simple pleasure of making the bottle fly around.
Stepping forward and wrapping her hands onto the shorter girl's upper arms, Amberelle leaned down to her throat as Sam tilted it to the side. The sight of her smooth neck caused fangs to burst forth in her mouth and her lips parted with a soft growl. The women both closed their eyes as she pressed her moth to the vein and bit in. Amby practically shook with the effort she took to be gentle with the bite, but it probably didn't matter as the human exhaled with a soft sigh mixed with a moan and leaned into the vampire.
Drinking gently but quickly, and trying not to purr while she did, the blond kept her eyes closed and tried to focus on the sounds in the other room instead of the thick and sweet, coppery vitae she drank. She was marginally successful. When she lifted her head and licked the small wounds daintily she heard Sam sigh and realised the girl was pressed close with her arms wrapped around the vampire's waist. A twinge of alarm ran up Amby's spine but she resisted the urge to shove her away.
In her mind she groaned, wondering what she'd been thinking by bringing the girl into the bedroom of all places. This girl's scent was NOT the one she wanted on those silk sheets. She had enough problems sleeping as it was. But, without any other option she half carried half walked her to the bed. "Just rest here, and then you can come out and get some orange juice from my fridge, ok?" The human nodded, her eyes closed with a smile as she flopped back into the cloud of bedding.
Shaking off the lethargy she felt from her meal, and the annoyance that sight caused, the Creole turned and walked over to the doors. She stepped out into the living area again and stopped with a small squeak as a bottle of water cut off her path to the couch. Her dark golden eyes followed it on its track to Nikki and her eyebrows rose.
"Well.... I guess you've discovered one of the gifts your vampire blood gave you."
"Vampire blood?" She frowned, mind working fast. "So, vampires can do this? I can make things move because I'm a vampire?" Suddenly, her new ability didn't seem as enjoyable. More, it seemed rather unpleasant, like a tumor. If this was some trace of what that bastard had done to her...
"You may have a physical one, maybe that makes you tougher or more agile.. in that case it will be more subtle but you will eventually figure it out. Or.. you could have something flashier. Like telekenisis." For a moment she actually envied the other girl, TK was (to her at least) a seriously handy ability to have.
A memory crossed her mind, one of her time in the service. It was her first kill. She had shot a man who had rushed her in hopes of keeping her and the rest of the UN peacekeeping squad out of an illegal weapons cache. She hadn't even meant to fire, but her finger had jumped, and the bullet caught the man in the chest. She had been depressed for two weeks, unable to eat, sleep, and certainly not fit for active duty. Commander Harris had come to her eventually, and, rather than yelling, as was his custom, he had sat down and given her one of the most important lessons of her life. "Kid," he said, "Out there, you're not PFC Rowland. All you are is alive. You have only three reasons to live: stay alive, keep your comrades alive, and, most importantly, complete the mission. That bastard you killed was following that very way of thinking. If you hadn't killed him, he would have killed you, and maybe more of us. So, you gotta ask yourself: do you want to be the killer, or the kill?" She had decided from that point to be the killer, and it had paid off. She was still here, not on anyone's list of past kills. She knew she had to do the same here. She had to be a vampire, or else be a snack to one. She nodded at Amberelle, a hard look on her face. "Ok," she said, her voice strong and slightly fierce. "Now what?"