Christmas With Dracula, Chapter 6
WARNING: Some portions of the following work of fiction contain explicit sex. If you are under 18 (or whatever age is appropriate for your location), HIT YOUR BACK BROWSER BUTTON NOW. If you find explicit sex offensive, please don't offend yourself by reading further.
The full disclaimer for this work of Vampire Hunter D fanfiction is at the beginning of Chapter 1.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: For those who saw VHD Bloodlust, did you ever wonder why D would change is look, clothing and sword wise that is. Seems to me that a guy like D wouldn't go for personal fashion, no matter how functional. Well, I hope you enjoy this chapter; I got a little silly, and a lot sentimental. This is how I figure D got his new look. It seems a lot sweeter somehow. Enjoy.
Author: Charlotte MacFarlane
Feedback: Please, yes, lots.
Forward to others: would be flattered if you did.
Chapter 6 Love's Sacrifices
Over the next few weeks, the two were rarely seen separately. Often they would be looking through books of the old world, Kale telling him more about her family and friends, now long gone. They'd be found talking in the library, cuddling in the barn's loft, sometimes she'd be singing softly to the tree in the living room, only to abruptly break into tears.
It was nearing the end of November, Dracula believed, when Kale was found whispering with Linda and the old vampire. D felt rather happy for her to be recovering so well, but also a little upset that she'd be keeping secrets from him, and with his father and housemaid no less. But D had promised to get into the holiday spirit, just a little, for Kale's sake if not his own. But despite all his inquiries, there wasn't anything he could get for Kale. She didn't really want anything, not that you could buy any way. What she dearly wanted, was impossible to give.
D sat in the front room, staring at the wrapped boxes already under the tree. There weren't that many, but there were enough to wish he too had what she longed for. In his mind's eye he saw Kale sitting on the floor, a long Christmas plad night dress adorned her. In her lap was KD, playing with ribbons and paper after she pulled open a package. The two laughed, and smiled, and he could feel the sense of family that his mother had often mentioned. "You'll understand when you have children of your own one day," she told him. But he never would. He decided against children, thought he could even live with it, then KD came along. Now all he wanted, was that feeling back again.
"Master D?" The image of his family vanished at the woman's intrusion, and for a moment, his heart broke once more.
"What is it Linda?" he asked sadly.
"Forgive my please, but your father is looking for you. He's in the library."
"I'll be there in a minute." After steeling his heart again, he made his way to the library at the back of the house.
Linda and Kale watched him go, from the den across from the living room. The door cracked just a little as not to be seen. "Are you sure he won't notice?" asked Linda.
"That you bleached his clothes white? Na, he's colorblind. OF course he'll notice! Look, whatever reason you did it, don't let him see. I'll try & find some dark blue dye or the like."
"But his sword?"
"As long as he sees the sheath, he won't think to look. Now I've only got a second..." Quickly she darted out the door, where one of the stable hands was waiting with Max. Quickly she ran the horse out of the yard and toward the main commerce center. D's sword wrapped carefully in a sheet across her back.
After searching for more than an hour, she finally found a sword shop, tucked between, of all places, a bar and the local city police station. "Talk about go strait to jail, do not pass go," she muttered as she entered the shop.
"I'll be right with you," called a young man's voice from behind a partition.
She gently closed the door and looked around. There were dozens of displays of swords, knives, daggers, derks, and belts to hold them. If it could stab, slice, dice, or mutilate, it was there. But none of the blades were as long as D's sword. "Thanks for waiting," said the voice. She turned to see a dark haired man standing behind the counter, signs of a green tattoo edging up his neck from his chest. "How can I help you?"
"Can you repair a shank?" she asked.
"Depends on the damage," he answered.
Kale put D's sword across the counter and unwrapped the handle. "I've noticed how it was loose," she said, showing him how the crossbar of the sword moved when pressed on each side. "I've talked to him about it, but he said not to worry. Humph, can't help it though."
"So the blade isn't yours?"
"No. It belongs to my man. Can you fix it?"
"I'm sorry. Unless the owner of the blade is here, I can't touch it. A risk of it being stolen you understand."
"I'm sorry. Noting I can do." He then turned his attention to the person just entering the shop behind her. Kale put her mind to work, trying to figure out how she could get the sword fixed in time for Christmas. "Corbin? What are you doing here?"
"Doctor Ranard? Hi."
"Hello Ray. Thought I'd stop by, see if you were free for lunch. Hello Kale."
"You know her?"
"Yes. She's one of my patients."
"You make it sound like a bad thing," she commented.
"I'm glad to see you up and around finally. What brings you here?"
"I wanted to get D's sword repaired, but this guy won't touch it, afraid I've stolen it. Which I understand, that's your policy. You have to protect your reputation as an honest business man."
"Just covering my ass."
"Well, I'm sure she didn't take it without asking."
"But how else can I get it repaired as a surprise, if he knows about it."
"She has a point Ray."
"Stay out of this. Look lady. I'm not touching that piece, until I see the man who owns it."
"Alright. Then would you look at it and tell me if it can be fixed?"
"That I can do," carefully he looked over the handle of the weapon, cleaning away bits of dried blood that had worked its way between the decaying metals. Then after cleaning away some of the corrosion and using magnifying glasses to look closer, he wrapped it up and shook his head. "Can't be fixed. It'll need a new shank and grip."
"Can I buy them here, and have it put on here later?"
"Yes, but it will cost you more."
"For god's sake Ray, stuff it! You couldn't give a rats ass if the blade were stolen or not, you just want more money out of her!"
"Shut up Corbin!"
"Well if that's the case, I'll just find somewhere else."
"There is no one else," said a heavy accented voice. She knew that voice very well.
The man behind the counter seemed to turn sheet white. "Lord Tepes," he mumbled out. "I have your order in the back sir."
"Not right now. Kale, my dear, D is worried sick. Shall I send for him?"
"No! Please. Sir, I'm having a little trouble getting your son's sword repaired."
"Really?" asked the old vampire stepping up to the counter and laying his fingers gently across the handle of the hunter's weapon.
"Your man is D?" asked the sword maker, "and D, is lord Tepes' son?" Kale merely nodded, a gentle smile on her lips. The man swallowed hard. "Oh boy."
"Come my dear. I'm sure that we can find another sword crafter on the mainland. Perhaps I can have my order filled there as well."
"NO! No sir, please. Understand. I have to protect myself from those who would bring me stolen weapons."
"Oh they understand alright. But even me, your own brother, should be a good enough witness for her. I've been to Lord Tepes' home to tread he daughter-in-law, and I met D and his brother as well."
"You mean he has two sons?" the man whispered.
"Mrs. Tepes. Please. I'll replace the shank and grip. Select the replacement you wish, I'll have it ready by the end of the day."
"Thank you." As she looked over the displays, Dracula made his own purchase and filled out the paperwork for D's blade. But before he could give the man money to pay for it, she called out to him, a gentle warning in her tone. "You pay one bit to him on my repair job, and you can kiss your hands good bye."
Dracula chuckled as he returned his pouch of money to his pocket. "As you wish my dear. I will tell D that you..."
"You will tell D nothing. Trying to do something in secret in this family is hard enough, without you advertising where I am, or what I'm doing."
"Very well. But you know I can not lie to my son."
"Well by the time you get home, I will be else where, and you can tell him the truth. You don't know where, because I'm not telling you."
"I will tell him. Good day Ray, try to behave yourself. Doctor Ranard."
"Good day my dear. I shall see you at home."
It seemed the very walls breathed a collective sigh of relief as Dracula left. Then she called the man over to the case she stood by. "That one," she said.
"Are you sure? It's kind of, well, gruesome."
"That's the one I want. The crossbars are a perfect length."
"Very well," he pulled out the part and turned the tag over for her to see. "With installation and all the rest, it'll be about 65 pieces."
"Fine. Get to work. I have some other things to take care of, I'll be back before nightfall. Perhaps sooner if all goes well."
"It'll be ready." Finally the door closed, and the shop empty, Ray turned to his brother.
"Where do you want to go for lunch?"
"Lunch? Lunch is off," stated Corbin. "If you think you'll get off easy with Kale, think again. Lord Tepes may just intimidate people who tick him off. Kale WILL hurt you. I'd saddest you get to work."
"Thanks a lot."
After pooling what money she had left, selling off what little jewelry she had, all her remaining raw silver, and a few other small items of clothing she could no longer wear, Kale had about 35 pieces. Nowhere near the amount she needed. She loathed the idea of taking money form D. She'd done nothing to earn any of his savings, and there was no way she'd ask for money from Dracula, or Adrian for that matter. "What am I going to do Max?" she asked, as she returned what few personal valuables she had left to his security compartments. "There's no way I can earn 30 pieces by nightfall."
Before she could close his compartments, Max dipped his head, knocking her CD player and some of her CD's into her hands. As she put them back, she saw over his neck the sign of a small shop. A Buy and Sell, and in the window, a sign bolstered, 'Restored Antiques'. Holding her CD player close, she considered her options. The batteries for the player were long dead, the last 4 were on their last lengths in the player already. It, and the CDs were just dead weight.
"Some time Max, you'll have to tell me how you learned to read." After selecting a couple CDs & her CD player. She headed across the street. "Hello?" she called into the seemingly empty shop.
"Hi!" The young owner just popped up from behind the counter like a jack in the box. Scared poor Kale half to death, she even raised her bow arm out of reflex, only to realize, she'd left her bow at Dracula's.
"Geese! Don't do that!" she gasped, forcing her heart back into her chest.
"Sorry. From back here you looked like my girlfriend. She loves it when I startle her."
"I just hope she has the heart to take it."
"How can I help you today?"
"I'd like to sell these please," and she laid her treasures on his counter.
"WOW! An antique music player. Where'd you get this?"
She couldn't exactly tell him the truth, so she had to think of something. "My man found it a few years ago." Well that part was true. D did find it, in a bag with other stuff.
"Fantastic. It's in excellent condition. Does it work?"
"Yeah. Here." She put the headphones over his ears, put a CD in, and pressed the play button. "If it stops, it just means the power is gone out of the cells."
"Very nice," he said, carefully putting in other CDs. "Well, you're right. The power has died. I can fix that easy enough. You sure you want to sell it?"
"I don't have a choice. I can't afford to have the power supply altered, and I can't play it as it is."
"Ok. Lets see...the unit, fifteen disks...I'll give you 40 pieces, 17 bits."
"Good. I'll get the paper work."
A short time later, Kale was back at the sword shop, pleased that she not only had the money to pay for the replacement shank, but a little extra money, even more than she started out with. The sword smith looked up at the sound of the door sliding open, and cringed slightly at seeing Kale returning. "Almost finished," he said.
"Don't rush. I want it done right."
"Yes miss," slowly she toured once more around the shop, looking more closely at the smaller blades, wondering if she should pick up a couple for herself. The daggers she had were great, but required more force to through their weight, than perhaps a smaller blade would. But she'd have to discuss that with D first. She needed to replace her arrows first, and find suitable arrows for her long bow. "Here you are." Kale went over and looked over how D's sword now appeared. She tested the strength of the fit as best she could, and made sure the grip was on firmly.
Then, to her embarrassment, she awkwardly hefted the blade off the counter. "Well," she said, trying not to take the man's head off as she returned the blade to the counter. "It seems all right to me. But if D say's it isn't right, I'll be back."
"I understand." She paid him his 65 pieces, strapped the sword to her back once more rapped in the sheet, and headed for home.
Luckily, when she arrived, Linda had been watching for her, and opened the door to admit the woman inside. "Master D and Master Adrian went out to find you some time ago. He's very worried."
"Damn," she huffed. "I was hoping he'd just wait here."
"He's afraid you'd be in trouble. He said something was still bothering you."
"That's our affair. Have you got a red ribbon?"
"Good. Get it for me please. And find Dracula. He may be able to find D."
"No need to shout my dear," called Dracula, looking up from his wing chair near the fireplace.
"Not to worry. May I see it?" Carefully she unwrapped the hilt of the sword, as Dracula supported the end for her. "My, my, my," he commented, "he does do good work doesn't he?"
"I just hope he likes it. Doris gave him this sword nearly 15 years ago. It took this long for the shank to give out. DAMN!"
"I forgot to look for dark blue clothing dye!"
"Oh, don't worry about that."
"Don't worry! Dracula, Linda bleached D's clothes White!!"
"I know," he continued nonchalantly. "I told her to."
"D has worn that outfit, mind you he's replaced it with the same look over the years, for as long as I can remember him being a hunter. I thin its high time he got a new look. So I bought him a new, improved, and more durable outfit. And I think you will like it as well."
"I hope he likes it at lease. Listen, he's out there somewhere, worried about me. D can sense where vampires are, I guess that trait is stronger with you, correct?"
"Can you...do whatever it is you do to reach him, and tell him to come home?"
"I already did. He should be here any minute."
"You ASS! Why didn't you tell me! Linda!"
"Thanks, clear a spot under the tree. I want to hide the length under it."
"Yes, miss." As Linda moved aside some of the packages, Dracula helped Kale quickly tie the ribbon around the hilt of the sword. Then she slid it under the tree, and camouflaged it with other packages.
Then D and Adrian walked in. "Kale! Where were you!?" he demanded, his eyes sharp with worry.
"I'm sorry D. I went out Christmas shopping."
"You should have let me come with you."
"Sill. It was your gift I went out for. I couldn't very well have you knowing what it is. Where's the surprise in that?"
"Adrian could have..."
"Please," she scoffed. "Adrian couldn't keep a secret from you if his life depended on it. No offence Adrian."
"None taken, cause it's true if he asked me about it."
"D. I'm ok. Its been a rocky road back, for both of us. But we made it. Yes things will be a little touchy for a while, but we have to get on with, at lease some semblance of a normal life."
"Nothing is ever normal with you two," Dracula laughed. "Now enough of this. Kale, you go up and change. D I'd like a word if you please."
"Kale? One more thing," she turned back as she got to the door, seeing D holding his empty sword Sheath. "Does what you went out for, have anything to do with my missing sword?"
"D, if I told you everything that I did today, there'd be no surprising you, would there? Not to worry. If you really need your sword before Christmas, I'll tell you where it is. Till then, DON'T look for it. Or you'll be sleeping on the couch till New Year's."
As she left Adrian stepped up to his brother. "She wouldn't do that to you now would she?"
"Yes. She would."