Twenty-eight – Revisited: an old trick from my bride’s head
“Sebastian,” Perveen implored, talking through my sister’s oh-so sweet blood to me, implementing the same method by which she had broken into Billy’s thoughts as they had drunk from her mother all those years ago. I looked up, across my sister’s belly, to see Perveen drinking directly from the same vein in my sister’s opposing forearm. She was beckoning Marie to join us. Anger flashed again, but, feeling my sister jump as if charged with a powerful defibrillator, I reined the emotion back in forthwith.
As Marie sank her teeth into my sister’s neck, Perveen started up the blood conversation again.
“Sebastian, I can save your sister, but it will have to be in exchange for you taking the life of your brother,” she said.
“How can you do that?” I asked back, again through the channel of my sister’s body; I heard my sister think ‘Don’t mind me, will you?’ and almost laughed. We were, the three of us, plunged fang deep into her but extracting only the tiniest amount of blood each.
“Vlad wants vengeance on your brother for killing Billy. Look, he is toying with him now. I only hope his mind is as distant as it looks”. I couldn’t help but agree with her.
“Okay, what should I do?” I asked, still unsure of how Perveen would save my sister. I made that known, too.
“I know how Billy cast the spell that made your sister appear dead. A toxin I carry that will instil paralysis can be released that lives as long as its twin remote host does. I also carry the antidote; there are few of us that have this power. I can do it again, but you will need to slaughter your brother to keep Vlad’s attention. It will put your brother out of his misery, save your sister and redeem you in Vlad’s eyes for instigating Billy’s murder. Do not be fooled into thinking that, just because he has ‘made’ you, he would not think twice about killing you also.
“Marie can then take your sister’s ‘body’ back upstairs to my chamber whilst we go through to consummate our marriage. It is the only way,” Perveen finished. Marie concurred, as, of course, did my sister. Three against one, and all women to boot, although all three now vampire women at differing stages of evolvement, granted. It was another case of I had choices, but only really one. I was getting kind of used to that.
Regrettably, I broke free from my sister’s arm. For a moment I was deaf, as if I were on an aeroplane and the pressure had plugged my ears; I needed them to pop. I sucked the last of my sister’s blood from my fangs and ‘pop!’, I was fully functional once more. Vlad felt me sidle up next to him.
“There is nothing left of your brother,” he said, out loud, not resorting to telepathy. “He is of little use to me, other than perhaps to share in his blood. Although, I had planned on taking your sister,” he grumbled, almost as if he’d been robbed of the pleasure and wanted the ceremony over with swiftly now that his prize had been sullied.
Whether it was with Perveen’s help or upon her telepathic prompt, I cannot say, but I summoned a picture of the three of us drinking my sister’s blood and imagined her dead as I had done when had I approached her, all of which portrayed to Vlad that he had missed out on that score.
“Very well. Do me the honours…Sebastian?” he was about to say that he didn’t want to get his hands dirty, but must have seen something fearful in the blow I emanated earlier and he either was unsure of himself or could just not be bothered to get embroiled so late in this day.
Without thinking twice, I repaid Billy’s debt to my brother, but ensured that I took his head clean off at the neck, no suffering. His body slumped forward after first landing from its levitated height with a barefoot slap, back onto the floor and executed a perfect parachute roll en route to its final resting place. Before his body had stopped rolling, Vlad had his hand buried deep into my brother’s chest up to the wrist. He extracted the still-beating heart and drunk from the trailing aorta like it was vessel containing a fine ’78 Bordeaux.
“If you ever take some of the flesh in by mistake,” he said to me as a teacher may be passing on how to work out a dovetail joint in carpentry class, “suck the blood from it, but spit it out. Always remember to spit out the flesh,” he repeated, then cast my brother’s heart into one of the hollows that housed a skull-encased candle. The whole orifice exploded, flames licked up the walls and reached out into the room like dragon’s breath. Then they all went out, apart from those that bedecked the ceiling.
In an instant, the shadows ruled this chamber once more.
I could see that the sheet had been rolled back over my sister’s face. To my right, Billy lay slain, to my left, the decapitated body of my brother in a similar state.
“I will send for someone to clean this lot up,” Vlad said, as I struggled to hold in another blast of heat. He had given me life eternal, but it did not mean I had to like the man/beast/vampire/nightstalker – whatever it was he was.
“No need, Master,” Perveen said, curtseying before Vlad, “I have already commissioned Marie to do it. Her sister met with,” she paused, all for the effect, “an unfortunate accident. Marie can bury them altogether.” Perveen finished. Marie nodded her acquiescence.
“Very well,” Vlad agreed. “Come. We have an audience awaiting and I cannot bear their incessant chanting any longer. You shall be wed before day breaks on the surface of the mortal realm above us, I assure you of that.”
At that, he wrapped his cloak around himself, the hood went back up in the same motion and he disappeared before a wisp of smog into the right passage beyond the altar, even further into the belly of the Earth. Perveen sighed and, but a few strides behind, we followed Vlad Țepeș into the unknown so that he could preside over our wedding ceremony. It was new ground for both Perveen and I alike; neither of us really knew what to expect.