Warning: This story includes sexual content.
The ancient Château sat on a lonely hill top, guarded it seemed, by 2 knurly oak trees. They stood as sentries against the passage of time here. Indeed the entire place looked deserted. If it weren't for the obvious fact that without upkeep it would be nothing more than a pile of stones overgrown with weeds, D would have went on his way.
"This is the place?"
D ignored the comment that seemed to come from nowhere.
"Sure you ignore me now but if this isn't a trap I don't know what is. You can't be in the business you're in and not have made at least a few enemies. If not vampires, think of other hunters. They're waiting in there right now, waiting for us to get close enough to shoot. Come on; let’s go find a nice zombie to off. Anything but this place!"
D pulled on the reigns of the horse to make it stop by the grey green hedge that marked the property line. "The letter said the village needed help. It said they could pay for it. It's worth checking out." He dismounted and tied the reigns to a nearby branch.
"I only hope I get to say I told you so."
D approached the building with a measured tread, pausing every few steps to sniff the air in a feral like manner. He made steady progress towards the chateau.
The Chateau was built primarily of grey stone. It was two stories with towers on each end and a widow's walk running the length between them. The windows of leaded glass were dark and no hint of movement stirred their shadowy depths. The blood colored door did not bode well.
D took his time approaching the château for several reasons. He was hoping to catch something on the wind that would tip the hand of whoever was waiting for him. Secondly he was sizing the place up. Besides the trees and old stones of the manor he spotted several crosses.
"Crosses eh? Well at least it's not vampires then. Hunters. It has got be hunters."
D didn't agree. These crosses were well taken care of. To hunters crosses were merely tools of the trade. They had no real effect unless one had faith in the deity behind them. Very few people now could even recall the god's name. No this person was different. The crosses were tended as lovingly as a gardener might care for a rose bush. Whoever it was had faith, he could feel it. Immune to most of a vampire's weaknesses the minor revulsion to the crosses caught him off guard.
D rapped upon the front door. It gave way beneath his fist.
"That's too cliché for words."
D responded by tightening his left fist. "Quiet." Inside the chateau the timeless feeling felt on the outside, resonated and was made stronger. Crosses were in abundance here. It was hurting to move now.
"Faith." The word sounded as if it came through gritted teeth. "Can we go now, it's beginning to burn?"
D continued to move forward. He could feel the change coming. His teeth ached and his vision was blurring. Soon the crosses would no longer be an obstacle.
"Uriel, Raphael. Will you wait outside, my old friends? I fear your faith pains our guest."
The voice was crystalline in its beauty. D now knew three things. The summons had come from a woman, she had two friends and they were most likely priests. A hand on his sword he moved to the back of the house where the voice had emanated from.
With a sure step he entered a library. The first things to draw his notice were the two men standing on either side of a large chaise lounge. One wore blue robes and the other white.Each carried a painfully shining sword. The man dressed in blue allowed his long blonde hair to flow free. His piercing blue eyes watched D enter. The man in white wore his earthy brown hair pulled back. His brown eyes were also on D, but his hand was on his sword as well.
D willed himself not to change. There was something about the presence of these two men that forced him to reveal himself. It burned. And despite his best efforts he could feel his teeth begin to lengthen. His vision blurred for an instant and then it was over. The change was over but D could only see in black and white.
"Who are you?" D hissed through his teeth. He had to know. He would kill them yes. But he had to know who could do this to him. In ten thousand years this change had only come in the presence of the very powerful. He must know their names.
"Hunter D," it was the woman's voice, though he had yet to see her. "Uriel, Raphael, please?"
Suddenly the pain was gone. The men were as well. His vision was returning to normal and upon the lounge he finally saw the woman with the beautiful voice. She was sitting on the edge; her hands fell between her knees as she lifted her head from her palms and looked at D. Her eyes were like emeralds and her hair, more golden than the sun, hung in waves from her head to rest on the lounge.
"I am sorry if they hurt you Hunter D. They are, rather protective of me." D could see she was dressed as a priest of old. She wore a long black cassock like that of a parish priest right down to the white collar. It was shabby and worn. The cuffs were frayed and the black faded. The hat on the lounge next to her seemed in no better condition. She seemed out of place. Like the chateau she was a creature out of time.
D's curiosity got the best of him. "Who are you? Why did you ask me to come?"
"I have need of your skills." She paused for a moment as if to contemplate her answer to the second part of his question. "As to who I am? In this place I am known as Lady Sara."
D just stood there looking at her. Knowing she would continue without him having to say a word. It just worked that way. It always did.
She smiled at him. It was a beautiful smile, sad but beautiful. In a way it was classic, much like her beauty.
"A certain vampire has been harassing the people of this village. He has been taking their children. His name is Ramius March. At first he only took two. The villagers went after their children but I know of none that returned. A few weeks later we found the children, or what was left of them. They were left in the woods near the village. The bodies were withered and deformed, almost older in a way. We never found a trace of their parents. Guards had been set but they were no match for March's cunning. The villagers were too frightened to hire a hunter, not to mention poor. Recently March has begun taking more children. We have found no bodies and I fear he may be experimenting on them. I cannot go after them but I have money. I will pay you anything to get the children back."
D hated reminding them of this part. It was something he had to do though, so many of his clients did not want to face the likely truth. "And if returning them is not an option?"
"Then I shall pay you to do what is necessary for the children, as well as March." This would be a difficult job. While money was not an issue, it never was when children were concerned, the children were. The more victims the harder it is to rescue them. And children bothered him. When children were the victims he had a hard time staying in control.
Her answer surprised him though. It appeared she had dealt with vampires and their kind before.
"While I know it is unlikely that any will survive I feel it would be a mistake to leave this issue unresolved. Will you help us Hunter D? Will you bring us our children or at least some peace of mind?"
Her green eyes implored him in a way her words never could.
"How many children in all?"
D took a long deep breath. He could not refuse. "The cost will be high." D paused to measure the look on her face before he revealed his price. "Fifty million dollars."
Without skipping a beat she replied, "Would you like that now or after you return?"
"Keep it. I may not be successful."
There was that sad smile on her face again as she said, "You will be successful. You don't know how to be anything else."
She stood and moved to the doorway opposite from the one D had used to enter the library. It was then he noticed she was bound. Her wrist and ankles were shackled and tethered to the masonry of the fire place via a long stout chain. The lounge had hidden the chains from his view as had her position on it.
She had seen his appraisal of her bonds. "They are merely a precaution. I tend to do things in my sleep that I would rather not. Rest assured I am no prisoner."
D chose not to question her about the chains. She seemed in good condition and besides them she had none of the other tell tale signs of being a prisoner.
"It would be foolish to set out now with evening upon us. Down this hall you will find many vacant rooms. Make yourself at home in any of them. My servants have attended to your horse. I will have them bring you food as soon as it is prepared."
The woman pulled a book a shelf near the door, and started back to her lounge. D was halfway down the hall when she turned and spoke to him for the last time. "March wears a ring. Supposedly he never takes it off. Please bring it to me as proof of his death."
D casually saluted her on his way down the hall. Often times his employers sought proof that their foes were deceased. It was never a problem.
"You saw those chains." It was his left hand again. "There's something not right about this place and it starts with that crazy woman in priests’ garb. Smells like a trap if you ask me."
"I did not ask you and I would appreciate it if you kept quiet, parasite." D spoke softly under his breath as he looked for a room with a suitable escape. He'd lived a very long time by not trusting anyone before they had proven themselves.
D finally chose a room at the very end of the hall. Compared to the others it was sparsely furnished but the layer of dust was not as prevalent. He secured the door and after making a few adjustments to the furniture placement for ease of movement, D settled himself on the bed to contemplate his newest client.
The parasite was right. There was something definitely not right about that woman. She wasn't like anyone he had ever met. The place didn't have the feel of a trap though. The woman was nothing like your average hunter either.
There were only a few hours to dark. D decided to catch some sleep before he scouted the village.
* * *
D's hand tightened on his sword hilt the moment the knock sounded. He was off the bed in an instant and standing beside the latch side of the door.
"Hunter D?" It was the Lady Sara's voice. "The servants had other duties. I have brought your dinner."
He tripped the latch without relaxing the grip on his sword. The door swung forward and he stepped forward along with it. His sword gripped firmly, was held behind his back.
Lady Sara stepped through portal as if D wasn't standing right next to her with a naked blade ready. She placed the tray on the table. She was no longer chained. Nor was she still dressed as a priest. She wore a night gown. "I see you have rearranged. I was very young when this room was mine but in later years I found as you have that it was not suited for ease of movement. But I will not keep you. Good night."
She was gone as quick as she had come. Standing where he had been D knew for certain there was something unearthly about that woman. It wasn't just her beauty or the grace with which she moved. It had something to do with the way she seemed to anticipate his movements and the way she seemed to know what he was thinking. It was the way she looked at him with those perfect green eyes. It was like she was measuring his soul.
"I know you don't want to listen, but somehow I felt better when she was chained to the wall... D?"
D shook his head. He would get to the bottom of this tonight. No reason to stay in this place longer than necessary. He looked at the tray on the table. It looked harmless enough. There was a soup thick with vegetables, a small loaf of bread, and a bottle of wine as well.
D moved to the table and placed his left hand over soup.
"Bloody slave driver! It's hot but that's about it. Let me check the wine." D poured some into the glass provided. "Good year, but nothing there. How about the bread?" D palmed the loaf. "It's fine. You can drop it now. You're squashing my nose."
“So we're going out tonight eh? Sounds like fun. None of this waiting for stuff to get us in the quiet of the night. We'll be out there slashing and piercing and ridding the world of vampire scum."
"Scouting, we'll be feeling out the situation." D finished the wine and taking the bread for later, let the room. Setting his hat in place D left the Manse.
"So exactly how do you intend on finding the March guy?"
"The usual way. Look for the dark creepy mansion on the hilltop."
"You just left one."
D actually smiled. "That is exactly the mansion we will be gathering information on." Muffled questions came from his clinched left hand. D ignored them. Something else had caught his attention.
D was walking from the mansion down to the village. In doing so he passed a cottage with an open window. The voices caused him stop and listen to the conversation for a moment.
"Mama I don't want to go to sleep, the vampire will come and take me!" The voice was that of a young boy, still a child from the sound of it.
"Do not worry Jean Paul, you will be all right. The Lady Sara has sent for the best hunter and he will take care of Ramius March once and for all." Her tone was soothing but D could not mistake the blind faith she put in this hunter she had never met. It intrigued him. "Until then I will protect you."
"Do you think the hunter will bring back Philippe?" Hope, there was so much of it in the child's voice.
Standing at the edge of the window D could see the woman shake her head. He could just make out the tears in her eyes. "I don't know, my son. I just don't know."
There was a sniffle from the little one as he tried very hard not to cry. "I miss him mama."
The mother gathered her son in her arms, "I miss him to Jean Paul, but we must have faith. Hunter D is here and you have heard the stories about him. He will save us."
"Tell me again mama. Tell me how he defeated the evil Carmilla. Please?"
The mother laid her son in his bed and tucked him in for the second time. "Not tonight," she said, "I have many chores yet to do." She kissed him on the forehead and bent to blow out the candle on the bedside table.
"Mama," the little boy asked trying desperately to fend off sleep, "why didn't Lady Sara kill the vampire?"
"She tried, but he is very strong." She blew out the candle. "Good night." Then she closed the door to the little boy's room.
D was still standing by the window lost in thought when the young mother hailed him from behind. She was dressed in a simple cotton sleeping gown. Her feet were bare and her brown hair hung in a heavy braid down her back.
"Are you lost? Lady Sara lives in the Chateau de la Ange," she said pointing back the way he had come. "As for Ramius March," she turned and pointed to the opposite side of the valley, "he resides just beyond that ridge, in the monastery."
D's interest was finally peeked by this vampire he was here to kill. "A monastery?" Like before he knew, she would continue without anything more from him. There were advantages to vampiric ancestry.
"Yes. It had been deserted for many years but two years ago March moved in and the forest around it began to turn dark. Later he began kidnapping children. Never young women or men. Always children. But I'm sure you know that." While she talked about the children, tears touched the corners of her eyes. "If you want to know more about the monastery you should talk to Ruis. He lives down by the river. He remembers the monks that used to run it. He might be more help." She turned to go back in her house but paused halfway inside the door. "Thank you for coming Hunter D." The door closed quietly behind her.
"A woman in a nightgown. Now that's gotta spark some urges. Come on. I know you were thinking about it. It's a classic."
D clenched his left hand tightly into a fist. The comments stopped. D's thoughts were on more important things. The monastery was an interesting development. It would have to have been desecrated for March to enter. What had happened there that had defiled the holy ground so much that a vampire could walk freely across its threshold?
And more interesting was the comment made to the little boy about Lady Sara. Why didn't Lady Sara take care of the vampire, indeed? More important, why didn't she tell him she had tried? Who was this woman?
D shook his head to clear his thoughts. He should be worried about the vampire. He walked down the hill to the house the young mother had pointed out. The small shabby house was on the very outskirts of the village. Set apart from the rest of the houses it was surrounded by a low stone wall. The gate was made of twisted iron. Worked into it was another cross.
To a full vampire this would have posed a problem, however D had very few of their weaknesses. He simply pushed the gate open and walked up the path to painted green door. He was about to knock when an old man's cranky voice called out to him.
"I know yer out there. If yer comin' in don't linger. Just open the door and come in."
D nodded and entered. In side was an older man with white hair. Age had not dimmed the sparkle in his bright blue eyes. Though he may have stood straighter in his youth, D would bet the old man was stronger than most men in the village.
"Sizin' me up huh? Well I guess I can't complain. Folks have been sizin' you up since the moment you rode into to town." The old man gestured to a pot on the stove. "Coffee?"
D shook his head no.
"I suppose your kind don't need much in the way of food. You'll have to forgive us. We don't know much about vampires and half bloods ‘round here. We know demons alright but vampires and their kind are new to us."
D's normally calm expression changed into one of surprise for just a moment. "Demons?"
"I figured they'd send you to me eventually." The old man indicated a chair, "Would you like a seat?" D shook his head and the old man continued. "My name’s Ruis. I've lived in this village my whole life. Lady Sara helped bring me into this world. My mom gave birth to me at the monastery on account of the nun there was the only midwife we had in our village. Lady Sara was livin' with the monks on account of her parents being killed in a fire not long after she was born." Ruis smiled slyly. "Now you might be wonderin' why the Chateau does not have any damage to it. Well it weren't where they died. The fire was in the stables. They went in there to save the stable hands that had become trapped behind a fallen timber. The stable hands made it out but Lady Sara was left with no parents."
The lack of fire damage on the walls of the Chateau was the last thing on his mind. The old man was deliberately taking his time but from his account Lady Sara was far older than she appeared. Yet there had been no strange scents. She was not a werewolf or a vampire. There was a chance she could be a half blood but somehow D didn't think so.
"Lady Sara lived with the monks 'til some strange things happened there when I was about six. I remember it well. My mother had sent me to the monastery to fetch Lady Sara. Our neighbor was sick and Lady Sara was a good healer. However when I got the monastery the place was on fire. Next to the fountain in the courtyard sat Lady Sara. She was nearly naked. It looked like someone had pulled her clothes off. She was cradling the oldest monk, Brother Michael, in her lap. She was just sitting there while tears ran down her face. She saw me and tried to hide her nakedness. There wasn't much left of her dress though. The flames were starting to work their way across the courtyard. I called out to her. I screamed that we had to leave. I took her hand and pulled. I was then that I noticed Brother Michael was dead. His head hung at a funny angle. Finally I managed to get Lady Sara to follow me. We stood there together and watched as everything that wasn't stone burned. The town’s people saw the smoke and gathered around us. I was still holding Lady Sara's hand. My mother and some of the older women in the village wrapped her in a blanket and took Lady Sara back to the village. Everyone decided that bandits had attacked the monastery. No one asked Lady Sara what happened to her and she didn't tell us. She moved back into the Chateau and started taking care of the village's problems." Ruis took a long drink from his coffee mug.
"Now Lady Sara's never been anything but good to us. She takes care of the villager's needs and makes sure we all eat and have enough firewood for the winter. She ain't like the rest of the nobility. Guess that's why folk s never really had a problem with the fact that she don't age."
D stood for a moment absorbing the old man's story. "What do you think happened to your Lady when you were six?"
Ruis sat for a moment staring into his coffee cup. "Well I'm just an old man. I don't remember things as well as I once did. But it seems to me that bandits would have stolen valuables. Not just slaughtered the clergy and left Lady Sara sittin' there in the flames."
D was just about to ask the old man about what he knew demons when a woman screamed outside. D made it to the door and was racing to the street just in time to see a young man streak past. In his arms was cradled the boy he had seen earlier, Jean Paul. The man carrying him was nearly translucent; he still had a baby face too.
D vaulted the gate and whistled loudly for his horse. Bending to the ground he placed his left hand over the path of the ghostly figure.
"What are you trying to kill me?!"
"What can you tell me?"
"Vampire and something else. Something older, stronger."
D stood up.
"You don’t want to do this D. It’s too big, I can tell. I think the old fart was right."
"Demons." D said it with a sense of something approaching excitement. He’d never dealt with Demons. Vampires were predictable. But Demons, this would be a challenge. His horse flew down the road toward him. It did not stop. As it whisked by D grabbed the saddle horn and pulled himself aboard.
Settled in the saddle he thought, "This could be fun."
* * *
"Ruis, what’s wrong old friend?" Lady Sara looked up from her book. The rattle of chains could be heard as she sat up on the sofa.
"My Lady, Jean Paul has been taken!" Ruis stood with his hat in hand. He was anxious. He had not been in the Chateau in many years and the feel of it did not sit right with him.
Lady Sara closed her eyes and said a quick prayer through gritted teeth. Her face was a mask of pain and her hands clenched at her sides. Tears made their way through her tightly closed eyes.
Ruis forgot his unease and went to his Lady. "My lady the Vampire Hunter went after him. It will be ok. I’m certain."
The rage and pain inside Sara was building. The pain helped her keep control. It gave her the strength she needed to open her eyes and deal with the man at her feet. "D has left already?"
"Yes my Lady.” Ruis heard something in her voice. It sounded like worry. The vampire hunter was powerful. Ruis was confused. “He has gone to do the job he was summoned for."
Lady Sara looked at Ruis and he knew something was wrong. There was worry in her eyes. "My Lady," he asked tentatively, "is there something wrong?"
He’d gone already. He’d left to fight a vampire in the middle of the night. He would die and it was her fault. She knew there was more to the story. She knew what he would face in the dark places of that monastery. She had to do something.
The excitement of the moment was overcoming her pain. She was losing her grip. "Ruis, old friend," her voice was honeyed tones of seduction.
There was no longer worry in his Lady’s eyes. Something akin to hunger burned in their green depths. Her movements spoke to parts of him long since dead. His head told him to back away but his feet would not listen.
Suddenly her hand was on his shoulder, the chain still attached her to the wall but he was well with their reach. She squeezed his shoulder tightly and bent close to his ear. Her very touch awakened those long dead parts. His throat was dry but he was salivating like crazy.
"There is a key on top of the doorframe. Throw me the key and run for your life!" Sara pushed him towards the door. Those few words had cost her nearly all of her control. She had one mission now. She had to keep it together long enough to save D. She had brought him her but neglected to tell him the full story. She had thought if he went during the day he would easily be able to handle March and his minions. But at night, when they had the most power? He was doomed. He was her only hope. She could not let him die. She had to save him.
The honeyed toned absent from her voice had brought Ruis to his senses. He bolted for the door. He found the tiny silver key, threw it to his lady and ran as if his life depended on it.
A thought occurred to Sara. "Tell the villagers to stay indoors!" Seconds later she heard the front door slam.
Ten minutes later she was still standing there with the key in her hand. Perspiration beaded on her brow and ran down her face. A battle waged within her and Sara had to win.
Uriel and Raphael found her like that. Still staring at the key as if it were the most holy of objects but at the same time as if it had the power to destroy the world, she had not moved a muscle.
"Saraphynne," Uriel walked up and took the key from her. Raphael held her hands as they removed the chains. "Saraphynne you must go after him. He cannot do this at night. I do not care who his father is. He is dying."
Sara snapped out of it. "Thank you my friends. I will leave immediately." She walked to door intent on leaving in her nightgown.
Raphael grabbed her arm. "Perhaps you should change into something more suitable. I fear a white nightgown will only incense March."
* * *
Precious minutes later she was clad in her form fitting black habit. Adopted from a priest’s uniform from times past it allowed her movement and freed her arms from the restriction of sleeves. The slits in the sides allowed her to ride in the gown, as she was doing now. Her white horse moved with a determination that matched his rider. At her hip was the sword Uriel had carried in the beginning times. Ancient, it reverberated with power.
She had been to the monastery only once since the fire. When March had decided to make his home in the desecrated house of god she had gone with the intent of destroying him. It would not have been the first vampire she had rid the world of. Unfortunately Ramius March knew what to expect from her. He’d been waiting. He’d also had help.
She’d walked into the monastery unprepared to have her body join the fight against her. With sword in hand she’d gone to take March’s head but instead had lost Solomon’s ring and the control it allowed her to have over the demon within her. Lilith’s whispers in her mind coupled with March’s powers had broken what little resistance she could offer. She’d given him the ring and he’d allowed her to leave alive.
It had taken all the strength she had to get on her horse and ride home. Once there she chained herself to the wall and summoned D. Lilith seethed inside her. Enraged that Sara still had the power to keep her in check, Lilith had resorted to relating to Sara the horrible things that March was doing to the children of her village.
* * *
D stood sword raised high in a crowd of children. They were no longer children he told himself. They were something worse than vampires.
"Adorable aren’t they, D?" The vampire had to be March. Not an ancient by any means, he acted like the sorcerer’s apprentice. Having found the spell with which to slay the elder he would gloat about his genius. "My children, my creations that will overthrow both the humans and the vampires alike."
"D! What are you doing? Kill them! They’ll die just like any other vampire!"
All around him innocent faces of children looked up at him. Pale beyond reason but with eyes bright and shining. It must be some sort of spell. He could not move against them. He knew they were deadly. He’d seen them devour one of their own only moments before. His sword was getting heavy, so heavy.
"Kill them! You have to do something!"
Strength welled within him. The strength that was always there waiting, biding it’s time. The change was coming. Soon March would be dead and his abominations with him. The muscles in his face contracted as the familiar fangs grew into place.
He could feel the spell loosen with the change. He managed to get off a weak swing of his sword just as March gave the word to attack. Standing in the midst of far more than the twelve he was told about D was overwhelmed. Small razor sharp teeth broke his skin to sink deeply, and chunks of flesh were torn from the bone. Rage and pain welled within him like storm. He loosed it on the mob as a wall of force. It did little more than tousle their hair. For the first time in his long life D’s strength could not save him.
D could just barely see March’s smile of satisfaction. “You see hunter? Even the dark gifts from your father, the ‘o’ so powerful vampire king, will not help you.” The laughing that followed grated on D’s nerves.
"Fight D! We’re dying here!"
D was losing blood fast. With so many of the abominations attacking and the spell still restricting his movement D could do little more than make weak attempts to parry. More often than not the parries were pushed aside easily. Above the mob of childlike creatures he watched March walk from the room, a smile on his face.
"We have to get out of here! Move D!"
"Can’t, too weak." D struggled against the biting and clawing of the Demonic Vampires. It was taking all his strength to stand and parry the few bites he could.
Around him pale faces of one time children were smeared with his blood. He looked to the sky. This was it. He would die at the hands of children. He had lived a long life, perhaps it was time. A thought in the back of his mind screamed no. He would not die here!
D used his waning strength to pull the disk he wore on a chain from inside his cloak. Holding it high he invoked the mighty light that was held inside. A few of the creatures were struck blind but for the most part they shrugged off the brilliant white light with a few blinks.
D took advantage of the little reprieve he had gained to move for the entrance. His inner strength could only do so much. D’s strength gave out a few feet away. He had simply lost too much blood.
As his legs crumpled beneath him, D caught sight of something extraordinary. He’d have sworn she was angel if he believed in that sort of thing. Into monastery strode a woman with long golden hair. She wore a black dress. Wait… No it was a priest’s cassock. Her eyes blazed with green fire and her movements spoke of power.
She raised her shining sword and killed six creatures with one blow. One creature thought to jump her from behind but she seemed to have eyes in the back of her head. She turned and caught it about the chest, the nails of her off hand biting deeply; she brought it over shoulder and sliced its head off with the sword. Her movements were fluid but brutal as she took one’s arm and another’s leg.
In a voice that crackled with authority she commanded the abominations, "Leave!" Those of the creatures that had not fled upon witnessing the carnage wrought by the shining sword immediately turned tail. That’s last D saw of her.
Sara sheathed Uriel’s sword and fell to her knees beside D. "No," she sobbed as she turned him over. He was covered in bites and long jagged claw marks. "I did this."
"That’s right lady! It’s all your fault. But this isn’t the place to talk about it."
The muffled words shook Sara from her tears. Pulling his arm around her neck she did her best to lift him. But the adreneline had passed and with it had gone her strength. Lilith would not help her save him and Sara could not force her so near March. She was testing the limits of her control as it was.
In the end she half dragged him out of the monastery. Hidden in the woods outside was her horse but she knew she’d never get him up there. She did manage to get him to the woods though.
Sara collapsed. Panting with the effort it had taken to get him this far and keep Lilith in check, she barely heard the voice that came from the hand by her ear.
"He’s dying you know."
Shocked Sara bolted upright. "What the? Who the?"
"Listen! We don’t have time for this. You need to get him on that horse and I know how you’re going to do it."
The hand’s words ringing true Sara put her shock aside. "I cannot lift him. I’ve rescued him only to let him die."
"Stupid woman, he’s half vampire! Give him a little blood and he’ll get on the horse himself."
Without another question Sara dropped once again to her knees. Lilith raged inside her head but Sara was in control now. After cutting her arm on the sword still gripped in D’s hand she forced his mouth open. The drops fell on the pale lips and slid into his mouth. Nothing happened.
"You have to make him swallow."
Sara felt stupid. Of course he had to swallow. She held his nose and massaged his throat. D swallowed. Suddenly his nostrils flared. On what must have been instinct his mouth found the cut on her arm and he began to drink. Each swallow brought more color into his cheeks. The wounds on his body stopped bleeding and began to heal.
After a few minutes his eyes fluttered open. But they were the white eyes of a vampire consumed with bloodlust. He moved faster than she could and in a second his teeth broke the skin of her throat.
"Oh yeah I forgot to warn you that might happen. Oh well, too late now."
Sara fought two battles now. Inside Lilith’s rage gave the demoness strength and it took nearly all of Sara’s concentration to stay in control. Outside she pushed at D and shouted his name but nothing broke through.
A drop of blood rolled down the side of Sara’s neck and stained the white collar red. She was losing both fights and she knew it. What she didn’t know is which one she would lose first. She prayed D would kill her before Lilith took complete control of her body. D really was innocent in all of this, half vampire or not.
Deep inside her someone was telling her to let it happen. Not just to give up but to give in to the intense feeling of sensual pleasure that was D's mouth on her neck. Pleasure rode on the back of pain as it radiated out from the bite. The world around her clouded and in the back of her mind the voice grew stronger. It urged her to let go of the pain and surrender herself to the blissful pleasure of the dark.
Shocked, Sara realized the voice wasn't Lilith's. It was her own. With the last of her strength she shouted his name. She used everything she had left and passed out without finding out if it worked.
D was coming back to his senses. The first thing he sensed was the blood. Smelled so often but never tasted it was warm in his mouth.
"D you’re killing her! If that’s your plan be my guest, but I just thought you should know.",/p>
D stumbled to his feet dropping the woman who’d been in his arms. What had he done? Where was he? He remembered being surrounded and fighting the losing battle against March’s abominations. Then an angel? No not an angel. Lady Sara. She’d come to his rescue? That couldn’t be right.
"Uh I hate to bother you at this crucial moment, but I’m sure the screams will have alerted March and his minions. Perhaps we should be going? I personally would like to get the hell out of here!"
D picked up and sheathed his sword in one fluid movement. He put his fingers to his mouth and whistled a loud shrill note a moment before he picked the unconscious woman up off the ground. His horse broke through the trees and seconds later he was headed back to the Chateau. It would be daylight soon and he had no idea if she would be susceptible.
* * *
He placed her on the bed in the room that had once been hers and turned to close the curtains. He had taken enough to make her turn. He was certain. She would wake tonight, hungry. He would have to kill her. He knew he would. But first he wanted answers.
"She’s not human, you know?"
"Then what the hell is she? You may not have been awake for it but she walked through those kids like they were daisies."
D sat down on the one chair in the room and wiped the blood from his face with a cloth. "She will be one of those daisies tonight."
"So what? She’s a Demon?"
"Possessed. That’s what the chains were for. I would guess the ring March has was hers. It probably allowed her to keep the demon inside." D walked to the library and removed the chains from the wall.
"So we’re killing her, right? Then we can get out of here."
Everything about this job was messed up. He’d taken blood and soon he would have to take her life. He’d failed with March. No he would get answers. Then he would finish her and March both.
"D. We’re leaving right? Who cares about March anyway? It’s just a back water little village."
D ran the chains under the bed and attached them to her wrists. As he fastened the last manacle over her wrist he paused to look at the damage he had wrought. Her once flawless white neck was covered in blood. The savage tear he had rent in her smooth skin was already beginning to heal. Was it the demon in her or the vampire that was causing it? D was unsure but he hoped he would find out tonight.
"What are you doing? We should be long gone by now! You can not believe March won’t send his monstrosities here after us."
D dropped his hat on the table. He then grabbed a fresh cloth and refilled the water basin. He sat beside her on the bed and started to clean the blood from her arm and neck. "They won’t come here."
"And why are you so sure?"
A knock sounded at the door. "Prince, do you require aid?"
Through gritted teeth D told them no. These were no priests. Whatever they were D wanted nothing to do with them.
He was bent over her body bandaging the wound in her neck when he finally answered the question. "I took the job. I will see it finished." He paused to look at her face. Eyes closed and relaxed in a deathlike pose she looked nothing like the powerful woman who had sent demon children running in fear. "Demon, I would speak with you."
Her eyes flickered open but it was not Lady Sara that looked out at him. Her emerald eyes were rimmed in red and pupils were mere slits.
D sat back. "Name yourself demon."
The demon struggled against the chains. Moments later it gave up. "I need not name myself to the bastard son of a vampire."
D looked at the snarling face of the woman whose people loved her. Amazing, she had kept this inside all the time. D gave it a stare back up by centuries and commanded, "You will tell me."
The demon’s eyes flared wide. "Who are you that can command me?"
"Names are power, D. Why should I give you mine?"
D really hated it when they tried to get crafty. There was nothing more annoying than an opponent that fancied themselves clever. "Because I asked."
It looked deep in D’s eyes and spoke in a voice dripping honey and echoing of sex. "I am the demon queen. I am Adam’s first wife, Jehovah’s consort and mother to the succubae."
"Lilith." D shrugged off the effects of the voice.
"Wow now let’s just go and pretend we never came. Ok, D? Not even your father messed with this chick."
D squeezed his left hand until the protests ceased. "What do you want with this woman?"
Lilith struggled in her bonds again but soon gave up. "You cannot understand."
Lilith switched methods. Her voice took on an even more seductive tone. "Free me and I will tell you everything."
"Speak as you are or die by my sword."
Lilith sighed through clenched teeth. "Fine! Be that way. I only wanted to make us both more comfortable." She rubbed up against D’s side. "Are you sure?"
Upset Lilith snarled, "She is nothing more than a tool. If it weren’t for her two friends and that stupid ring, I would have had her in my control years ago! She’s just a stupid girl that opened the door to the wrong person. Without the ring she’ll be mine soon enough."
"She’s done well enough so far. What makes you think you can win? She’s fighting for control even now." D could see Lilith stiffen at his remark. But muscle by muscle her body relaxed. Sara was winning. D was interested. Humans were not the strongest creatures in his experience.
Lilith’s face look worried. "What did you do?" She tried desperately to feel her throat but her limbs would not respond. "You bit her!" Lilith laughed like a mad woman. "Now I will be twice as strong."
A half second later the laughing stopped. Lilith closed her eyes and appeared to go to sleep. D uncertain what the transformation of a demon possessed woman would look like checked for breathing. Leaning close he could just barely discern the movement of air.
A parched voice begged, "Kill me."
No longer rimmed in red, just glistening with tears of pain Sara pleaded with her eyes. Somehow D knew it was her. It wasn’t a trick on Lilith’s part, though he would expect something like it from her. The pain of the transformation was just too real. Written on her face was a torment unlike anything she had ever been through, and that was saying quite a bit.
Sara shook her head, "Water first."
D filled a glass of water but was forced to hold her up and help her drink it. He felt uncomfortable with the human contact. It was a rare day when he touched another person. He’d spent so long separating himself from the rest of the world that the intimate situation made him uncomfortable.
"Thank you. You are well Hunter D?"
D slammed the glass down on the table and sat on the one chair in the room. Ignoring the question he started with one of his own, "You knew what March was doing?"
Sara nodded. "I had planned to tell you before you left. I did not anticipate you leaving in the dark."
"Tell me now."
D’s voice was hard. The cold edge told her he wanted the facts and nothing else. "Ramius March was drawn here by the stories of a woman who’d lived far longer than her due and the legend of King Solomon’s ring. He knew I was not a vampire. The villagers are only too happy to tell stories of me to anyone with ears. Someone told him I had killed vampires in the past. So he set up shop in the monastery and killed a few people to get my attention. Like the idiot I am, I went to sort him out."
"Once in the monastery I had to fight against not only his power of suggestion but also Lilith. In that place where she had first taken me, she was stronger than I realized. My body betrayed me on her order." Sara closed her eyes as the tears ran down her cheeks. "I gave him the ring. He only let me live because he believed Lilith would have control of my body."
"March has King Solomon’s ring now. With it he can command any demon to bend to his will, even me. He is providing the demons with hosts who are too weak to fight the them. Then he turns them. With the ring he controls their every movement."
D sat and listened to it all. Did demon possessed vampires have a weakness? He was willing to bet not even the Lady Sara knew.
"D I’m so sorry about what happened. I tried to get there sooner but I had to fight Lilith every step of the way. Without the ring it is so hard to use her power without giving in to her."
D didn’t reply. He just sat there mulling over the events in his mind. Vampires that were not susceptible to his rage, or light. Had March really succeeded in building invincible vampires?
Sara’s cry of pain roused him from his thoughts. She lay on her side with her knees up against her stomach. She was sobbing softly into them. One arm was stretched wide because of the chains. The other was wrapped around her midriff.
"It’s the change. Your body no longer wants water. It needs blood," D told her, his voice indifferent.He would have to kill her. He should do it now. But Lilith was right; she really was just a stupid girl who had opened the wrong door. However she was perhaps the only person in the world who knew what it felt like to be like him. Except no one cares that she doesn’t age.
He moved to Sara’s side. She didn’t deserve this. However this was life. He’d never taken a human life before. That he had become what he hated, what he hunted, angered him. She had done it to save him. There was no way to spare her. She had to die; but maybe she could give him the demon vampire’s weakness first.
D forced her chin up so that he could look her in the eyes. They were so bright. "How do I kill March’s abominations?"
Sara took a breath to steady her voice. "Faith will keep you safe."
It dawned on Sara that this would not work for him. "Oh."
Another spasm took her then. The water in her stomach felt like acid in her body. Her tears burned hot streaks down her cheeks. She longed for death but deep inside she knew that would only mean sentencing some other poor soul to Lilith’s torment. Sara murmured a prayer against the tops of her knees.
She did not deserve this. She was the innocent in all of this. She had saved his life. He owed her something. He sliced his arm on a dagger and brought it to her lips.
She shook her head. "No I need the pain. It gives me strength to keep Lilith inside." Sara’s eyes were wild with the thirst.
D forced her to take his wrist. "Drink. It will give you the strength you need."
Instinct took over. She suckled at his wrist. Less than an hour before she had done the same for him. The circle was complete. She relaxed back onto the bed.
D pulled his arm away after a few swallows. The cut healed almost instantly. The pain was dulled now he could tell. Just a few swallows were all that it took to take the edge off. He bent to wipe the blood from her mouth.
His blood glistened on her lips in the dusty light of the room. He sat there on the side of the bed for a moment. An instinct long denied was trying to take control of him as well. Still weak from the earlier blood loss he was in no condition to fight it. He lowered his head. Into the kiss was poured centuries of self denial and a life lived alone.
Sara responded to the overwhelming need in him with a desperate need of her own. She opened her mouth to him taking everything he offered and giving all of herself in return. His hand caressed her cheek and traced a line down her neck. She longed to touch him as well. She wanted to run her fingers through his hair and feel his smooth skin against her fingertips. She stretched against the chain, her hand almost, but not quite reaching the side of his face.
D was lost to the feeling he had always denied himself. In less than a day he had broken every one of his own strict rules, but Sara’s passion egged him on. Together they were two people that had tasted death; now they needed to taste life.
His blood on her lips only heightened the intensity of the moment. He had to have her, all of her. Tomorrow be damned, Right now all that mattered was this moment, this feeling. He belonged here. Something inside him told him this was right. It wasn’t the chateau or the village, it was her. It was as if she had been made for him. Brilliant and strong she’d fought the demon within her to come to him. She was his match. Every part of him knew it.
He lay beside her now. When had he lain down? She couldn’t remember. Sara moved against him, rubbing her breasts against his chest. She didn’t care. She loved the feel of him. His quiet strength was just what she needed while her body went through a change that involved death. She wanted more of him than just his strength.
When she moved against him again the rattling of the chains prompted him to remove them. Somewhere in the back of D’s mind he knew this was a bad idea but now that he was going to have her he needed to feel her hands on his body. His hand caressed up the length of her arm stroking the inside of her elbow, across her finely boned wrist and into the center of her palm. The chain fell to the floor as he moved his hand back down the length of her arm. He moved to release her other arm while nibbling on her earlobe. He drew just a single drop of blood and traced its path to her collar bone with the tip of his tongue.
Sara pulled him close to her. After being denied the feel of him for what felt like eternity she was frantic to touch every inch of him. She cupped his face in both hands and brought his lips to hers for a kiss that nearly stole her soul. Now it was her turn to taste her blood on his lips. It sent tiny electric shocks through every part of her, as her now vampiric senses awakened.
D felt her hands tugging at his clothes. Suddenly he needed to the feel of her naked body against his. The desire was overwhelming. With one quick move of a hand he tore her garment from her and she was laid bare before his hungry gaze. She really was his match. Her satin skin was pale from the night’s events. Her breasts were just more than a handful and firm from her unnatural youth.
Sara gasped when he took her pale nipple into his mouth. She was frustrated with his clothes. She couldn’t remove them fast enough. Finally D took pity on her. She was startled when an errant beam of predawn light highlighted his lean frame. He was perfect, without a scar or blemish. Sara knew he was strong but his lean frame was evenly balanced with muscle and finesse. His long legs partially covered hers as he lay back on the bed.
D felt the smooth tautness of her belly with his cheek while his fingers found the core of her. She curled up around him as he stroked her. When the pleasure reached an unbearable peak she pulled him up to her mouth once more. D wrapped his arms around her and pulled her on top of him.
She could feel him against her stomach, hard and ready. She kissed a path down his neck to his shoulders and chest. There she splayed her hands out across the well defined muscles in his chest. She traced their outlines with her tongue. When she moved lower she felt D’s hands in her hair.
D could take no more. He needed to be inside her. He rolled over pinning her arms with his hands. He entered her with a ferocity demanded by years of self denial. There was a passing thought in the back of his mind that she’d been a virgin but it was blown away by the feeling of ecstasy that followed.
The pain of Sara’s first time was overshadowed exquisite feel of him inside her. The pleasure again built to an unbearable peak but this time they climaxed together.
A wave of blissful rapture washed over D followed by a barrage of memories that were not his own. First was a memory of Sara as a child playing a game with three men. Two of which D recognized as Uriel and Raphael. They had not aged. Next a memory of fire and pain burned its way into his mind. Flashes of opening a door to an old woman, of dying monks and finally the vivid feeling of breaking the holy man’s neck with her own hands, found their way into D’s mind. Lastly he saw March and felt the indignity Sara had felt when her body betrayed her. Through all of it he felt the sultry evil of Lilith lurking just below the surface.
Sara’s climax was followed by a string of feelings of loneliness and solitude that left her clinging to D. There were some vague memories of a woman who she thought might be D’s mother. But always there was the power from his father held tightly in check. D’s life was a sad song and Sara knew the lyrics.
He spent the day holding her in his arms with her cheek pressed against his chest and her glorious golden hair covering them both. He wasn’t sure what she would be like when she woke but in his arms she was an angel. He understood a little of how Meier Link must have felt now. There was nothing for it though. He would have to kill her. Eventually someone would hunt him too. Someone would know that it had been he that turned her, not March. But for now D lay in the small room and held his angel.
Sara awoke late in the afternoon. She could feel the thirst but it was no where near as painful as it had been the night before. Lilith was there under the surface as always but she was much easier to contain today. She just sulked quietly in a corner of Sara’s mind. She was alone on the bed. Sara looked around the room for D. She found him sitting on the one chair in the room. He was just watching her. He was fully dressed except for his hat.
Across his knees was his sword. They’d just made love like two people possessed and spent the night in each other’s arms but he looked like he was ready to kill her if she made the wrong move.
D looked at her eyes. They were bright and clear, no red and no bloodlust. Though he was sure she could feel the thirst, it wasn’t ruling her yet. "How are you feeling?"
Sara swung her legs over the side of the bed and wrapped a sheet around her. "Surprisingly in control."
He put his sword on the table next to his hat. "We need to talk."
Sara sounded small when she replied with a quiet, "I know."
"You are fine now. You seem in control and the thirst has yet to take you fully. But soon…" D looked at her there wrapped in the white linen sheet with her blonde hair falling into her eyes and he didn’t want to finish his sentence. "I will have to kill you. In time the thirst will be too strong, or Lilith will be too strong and I will have to end your life."
"I know." Sara didn’t want to think about it. "Can’t we just enjoy what we have without thinking about the future?"
"What about your people? What about March?"
Sara stood up and walked over to him. "It was a nice thought though, wasn’t it?" She caressed his cheek and played with a lock of his hair for a moment.
She moved to leave but stopped in the doorway. "I’ll go with you to take care of March. You’ll need me to take care of the children. Besides, it’s my fault they were taken in the first place."
* * *
"Ahem. Enjoyed that, did you?"
D picked up his hat and sword ignoring the remark that issued from his left hand.
"She left her sword."
D bent to pick it up but changed his mind about touching it. Instead he walked from the room.
"Hey wait! You’re not taking your new lover?"
D stopped with his hand on the latch of the front entrance. "She’s too unpredictable. I’ll deal with Sara when I return."
"Ooo it’s Sara now. Not the high and mighty hunter now are we. Took blood and fell in love. You’re more like your father than you know."
He balled up his right hand in a fist and smacked his left palm.
A sullen voice said, "Owe. You could have just said shut up."
She was waiting at his horse. She wore the frayed priest’s cassock and the sword she’d carried at the monastery. "You need me. March’s creatures are immune to daylight. I’ll take care of them. You take care of March."
D took the reins from her. "No. March has the ring."
Sara mounted the horse leaving room for D in front of her. "It’s no good. You need me D. I will draw the creatures out of the monastery while you go inside. I won’t even see March."
For a second D thought about killing her now and being done with it, but she could be right. A distraction would make the whole thing easier. He mounted his horse and set out for the monastery.
Sara held D close around the waist. It was nice to have an excuse to touch him again. Lilith called her a fool. He was going to kill her yet she was falling in love with him. Sara didn’t mind. She’d lived a long life and she’d met D. That was enough for her. Inside Lilith raged. That was ok too. Sara had a plan for her.
* * *
D reined in his horse in a small clearing just over a rise from the monastery. The trees here were twisted and dark. There wasn’t an animal within hearing distance. D stilled himself for what would be a difficult fight.
A moment later he dismounted and helped Sara down. He started walking from the clearing but stopped when Sara called to him.
She stood by his horse. She had taken her sword off and was holding it out to him, belt and all. “D take this with you. You might need it.”
"I have a sword. You’ll need it more."
"No D. In case… in case something goes wrong and March does get the better of me. This isn’t a normal sword. If you kill me Lilith will just find another host." Sara had to fight with Lilith for a moment. It was much easier to keep control of her as a vampire. "Kill me with this and you’ll destroy Lilith. It will destroy my soul too, but there’s no other way." Sara offered him the sword.
D took the sword by the belt. "And you will use?"
She smiled at his question. "Oh I have a few ideas." Then Sara headed off toward the monastery. "You’ll know when it’s your turn."
* * *
"You’re going to trust her? She’s a full fledged vampire now. Not to mention demon possessed."
D swung the sword over his shoulder by its belt and started toward the monastery. "She just handed me a holy artifact."
"An artifact. Really?"
D crouched in the trees at the edge of the woods and watched Sara call the creatures to her. That same note of command that she had used the night before rang in her voice. "Urel’s sword, the fiery sword from the gates of Eden," he replied.
"Uh, how did she come by that?"
"My guess? He gave it to her."
D tensed when Sara’s call was answered. A horde of pale fanged children swarmed from the building. There was no organization among them. They converged on Sara from all sides. For a second she disappeared from view. D nearly went to her aid then. Sara threw them off though. She fought them with their own weapons. With fang and claw she ended them one by one. Her golden blonde hair floated on a nonexistent breeze. Her movements were impossibly fast and her strength broke more than one arm in her bid to keep the creatures distracted.
D stalked silently through the woods to a break in the monastery wall. Inside was the small courtyard he’d been ambushed in last time. Only this entrance would take him past the cell doors. March had to be in one of the cells or the chapel. They were the only places he’d be able to get out of the light.
Just inside the monastery D sensed another presence. It wasn’t March and it wasn’t one of the abominations he’d made. He had a servant, Barbaroi by the smell.
The fire blackened walls of the monastery made the interior seem even darker. D relied on his sense of small and hearing. Fallen stones and half burnt timbers littered the floor making walking difficult.
D stepped over a fallen ceiling beam and was knocked to the ground by something small and black. He knew it was there but he couldn’t see it. D rolled to a crouch and pulled his sword. He waited in the darkness. It was above him in the remaining rafters. He just couldn’t tell exactly where.
It was no good he couldn’t see it. D closed his eyes and reached out with his other senses.
The monastery still smelled of burnt wood. There were other smells as well. March was definitely in the chapel. He caught a whiff of the demon vampires but it was faint. He could even smell Sara, but that was most likely from the sword.
There were too many smells. D concentrated on his hearing. He calmed his breathing until he could no longer hear it. Outside Sara was winning. He blocked out the battle and concentrated on the sounds inside the monastery. Nothing. No wait. Breathing, shallow. Behind him.
D exploded into action. He swiveled around on the ball of his right foot and jumped high into the air. His sword sliced an arch up through the barbaroi and the ceiling above it. Two halves of a half bat/half human crashed to the floor along with part of the ceiling beam it had been hanging from.
Quietly D walked toward the chapel. There was no chance March had not heard that. The chapel doors were new. Carved from hard black wood with images of castles and the moon, they were tacky but sturdy. D placed a hand on the latch but the doors swung open of their own accord. His sword at the ready he stepped into the room.
Ramius March stood in front of the one time alter. He had Sara by the throat. When had she gotten past him? The confusion must have registered on D’s face because March felt that he needed to tell him.
"Confused, Hunter?" March was a gloater. In a way all vampires were. "I heard the battle outside and summoned her. Though I must say I never thought to see her again after your little interlude in the woods."
"Let her go March. I’m a much better opponent."
An evil grin spread across March’s face. "You’re right, you are. But I think she’s nearly your match. Let’s find out." March threw Sara toward D and shouted, "Kill him Lilith."
Sara landed on her feet only D could tell it wasn’t Sara in control. Her eyes were rimmed in red and her fangs bared. Already bloody from the fight outside her hands looked more like claws than the hands he had caressed the night before.
"As I said grandson of the Order of the Dragon, twice as strong!" Lilith sprang at him.
D raised his sword to parry but instead of landing on him Lilith hovered in midair on wings of shadow. She flapped just out of his reach.
When D carefully stepped around her but towards March, Lilith dodged behind him to claw his back.
D wasn’t fast enough to parry. The gashes burned. He decided to change the plan. D stepped back around Lilith and made several vicious, fast attacks towards her, driving her backwards. His last attack struck home and pierced her side. She shrieked in pain. Each attack had brought her closer to the laughing March.
Enjoying the show March stepped neatly out of Lilith’s path. He reclined against the descrated alter.
The plan changed again. D's eyes settled on the still hanging chandelier. Suspended over the alter it would be a simple thing to cut the rope.
The second his skin touched the hilt of Sara's sword his hand began to burn. Lilith laughed from her place in the air above his head.
"She gave you a sword you can't possible draw. You are unworthy, son of the Vampire King." Still Lilith kept her gaze locked on D's sizzling hand.
D gritten through the pain. This would work, and maybe, just maybe he could save her. D pulled Sara's sword and threw it at Lilith.
"No!" Lilith's scream echoed her disbelief.
A heart beat later D threw his own sword.
End over end Sara's sword flew towards its target. Lilith dodged out of the way but into the path of the falling chandelier.
She yelped in pain as the chandelier fell and pinned her to the ground.
Swordless, D turned his attention to March.
The vampire had seen the chandelier coming his way and dodged forward out of its path. He threw back his cloak and prepared to kill his unarmed opponent.
"Oh D," he sighed. "Whatever will you do without your sword?" Marched smiled, "I know. You'll die."
March lunged at D, his hands like claws.
D danced back out of the way. His sword was on the other side of the alter. March was not a fighter. He liked to let his minions handle the fighting. D was fairly certain he would not require his blade.
"Give it up D! Meier was weak compared to me." March moved faster than D could follow and got in a short swipe across D's face.
Forced to retreat D parried March's next strikes with his arms. On after another he parried looking for an opening. March wasn't strong but he was fast and try as D might several more swipes got through is defenses.
Thinking he had the upper hand March relaxed his own defenses. D was able to return the hits blow for blow. March jumped back to avoid further damage. He perched in the rafters waiting for the moment to strike.
D could feel the strength pounding up from the depths of his being. It fell against D's carefully held restraint with such force his control snapped instantly. Fangs bared and eyes glazed D roared March's name.
With a flick of his wrist he called his blade to his side and leapt towards March.
March made a pathetic attempt to block D's blade as it came at him. D's strike cut through Meier's arm and sliced a path down through his shoulder to his heart. Before the body fell to the chapel floor D sliced the black ring from March's finger and caught it in his off hand.
D jumped lightly to the ground and paused. He breathed out his rage one breath at time, calming himself and forcing his power back under his control. Finally he turned to deal with Lilith.
She was standing on the floor. Her eyes were green and her fangs were hidden. "D can I have it?" She motioned to the ring in his hand. "The ring D. I can keep Lilith at bay with it. Please?"
D slipped it on his finger. "No Lilith. It is time you left."
"No," she screeched! "I’ve waited too long to be beaten by some half vampire bastard. The ring is mine!" Lilith leapt at his face claws extended. Furious her face was contorted in a sneer of rage.
Lilith fell to the ground hard. She rolled to her feet. "I will kill you! No matter what you do, I will be the end of you eventually. Uriel’s sword is useless. You can’t even touch it. You can’t kill me."
"We shall see." D fixed Lilith with hard gaze. "OUT, LILITH. LEAVE HER."
Forced to obey him Lilith left Sara’s body in the form of a red specter. Sara’s body dropped to the ground unconscious. D lifted his left hand which breathed in. Lilith was sucked screeching into D’s palm.
Sara, now free of the demon, was nothing more than a vampire. D knelt beside her and pulled her into his lap. He cradled her head and shoulders in his arms. She was still alive, so to speak.
Her eyes fluttered open. "D. It hurts so much. Why didn’t kill us with my sword?"
"You do not deserve to be destroyed." D smoothed a strand of hair back from her face.
Sara grabbed his hand and squeezed. "You will have to kill me. The thirst pulls at my strength even now."
"I do not want to."
"But I cannot live like this. I forgive you D. Please?" There were tears in her eyes. For the first time in a long time the only voice in Sara’s head was her own. She knew what she had to do.
"Help me up?" Sara was weak from the wound in her side and the need to feed.
D helped her to stand. He had done this to her. Forgiveness wasn’t what he needed. Rightfully someone should be hunting him.
Sara still holding on to him for support, stepped close and kissed him a long goodbye. "It was a nice thought though," she whispered, "wasn’t it?"
"It still could be. Sara there must be a way…"
Standing unsteadily on her own, she picked up his sword. He took it from her and wiped the blood from the blade. His eyes never left hers.
She would do it for him. He still held the blade in his right hand."We could never be happy D. You know it wouldn’t work."
She held his gaze while she took hold of the tip of his blade. "Thank you D. Tell my friends their Saraphynne died free."
She thrust herself on to his blade. He’d known she was going to do it but her eyes, those bright emerald eyes that had told him her plan, had held him captivated as well. He closed his eyes and pulled the silvered tip deep from her heart. She fell to floor in a pool of her own blood without a noise. A vague white shape rose above the body. D opened his left hand.
* * *
D handed the sword to man with brown hair. "She asked me to tell you your Saraphynne died well."
The man closed his eyes for the briefest of moments, the sorrow evident in his features. "Thank you Hunter D. Your payment is on the table."
D walked out of the Chateau without stopping at the table.
"The least you could have done was taken the money."
D mounted his horse. "We took something far more precious."
"We took an angel."
"A hopeless romantic, just like his father."
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