Archive for April, 2014

Guys, Larka is screwing with me now. I loaded up the game tonight to take photos, and she had tattoos suddenly. I haven’t loaded her since last week, and she most certainly did not have tattoos then. Like it’s bad enough that her eyes sporadically glow and then return to normal without warning. She also keeps finding bandages to wear :/

On one hand, I am vaguely amused by this, telling her to change clothes, and then seeing all these new additions. But it is also sort of annoying. Anyway, her eyes ARE meant to be glowing this chapter. 

PS – Do you guys want warnings if there is going to be skin shown, or slightly compromising situations? I mean, I think I used to, but I don’t really think that a few poorly done innuendos and weirdly angled kissing photos are too over the top compared to the stuff that we see everyday on the TV. If you guys want, I have no problem with giving a small heads up at the start of the chapter, and obviously, there will be warnings if the content gets more risque or dark.

*

 5.14

The world swirled around me, vivid colours stained my vision. Luminescent halos danced with each movement, and in the wake of it’s beauty, I was afraid to even blink. For the first time, in perhaps forever, my entire being felt as light as the air around me, I was floating, I was flying. And I was free.

I collapse onto the ground, a shrill of hysteric laughter on the curves of my lips. The music plays tentatively in my ears, the rhythm drumming to the beat of my heart. And I’m laughing, and laughing, and when was the last time that I had truly laughed? My hands comb over the soft touch of the carpet, the sensations ripple through my finger tips, it was so soft, so delicate.

I laugh again. A man steps over man, before collecting my lips onto his, hungrily. I don’t know who he is, or how I got here. But his hand’s hold my face still, before tracing the curves of my neck.

5.14 (2)

He’s on the floor now, his head in my lap, and smiling. I can see the scar on his neck marking his vampirism, and I’m kissing him again, hungrily devouring his lips, and taste.

“I know you’d come around, Larka.” He breathes as I fall into the softness. My heart was slow, and forceful, I can feel it shaking against the walls of my chest,  in my neck, and my lips. It’s calm. My head lolls to the side, my eye lids fluttering between consciousness.

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The room swirls, of the parts of which I’m awake to.

We’re kissing and then we’re not.

I don’t know how I got here. But I’m glad I did.

5.14 (4)

I’m on top of him, and his chest and stomach is just as tight as I had thought. My hand traces every bump and grove down his ripped abdomen before meeting his glowing eyes. In this light, they were even more terrifying than before. I smile softly, moaning as my fingers curve into the soft skin.

I hate vampires, I think. The blood dripping down from his mouth as he coughs. I can feel the hard bones of his ribs, and the lukewarm blood quickly covering my hand from the gushing wound.

5.14 (5)

“You bitch.” He growls. I moan as I lick the blood off of my hand. I think I even moan when his teeth pierce into my neck. When he rolls me onto my back and forces me into submission.

I hate vampires, but I’m glad I came tonight.

*

5.14 (7)

The weather was getting colder, and darker, every day, and every blinding morning brought with it the news. Winter was coming. And so to did the deaths, it was quite tragic really, my team had been one of the first’ in the mounting death toll. The snow of winter, brought the darkness, and that brought the vampires, turning the white snow crimson.

Longer nights, and shorter fuses. And in a time like this, I despised Sora for turning me away, like a leper in the street. So much so, that I had taken to spending large amounts of time in drinking from the source of that original spark of hatred. Til all the colours fused together, and formed one giant rainbow, glittering under the crimson river.

But it was only survival, it was only getting stronger.

But that’s what they all say.

5.14 (6)

The training grounds were virtually empty, devoid of reasonable thinking people, trying to escape the coming rain. But there Nickolai was, like the perfect solider boy, uniform clean, and spotless. Hair cut without thought, and styled to the side in show of quiet rebellion. He was a captain now. Medals, and badges in his honor, and braver than the rest of us.

Dad must be so proud. His perfect child, the only one to truly deserve the title of alpha after he passed on. My head blares, white noise tearing through my mind, like an old wound left to fester. I’d get stronger, sure enough as night would fall, and day would break again. We’d win this war, and earn back the right to walk alone underneath the moon.

Sighing, I pull my jacket up, droplets of water slowly descend down the dark leather. I can’t sit around here all day, underneath the shadow of HQ and let Nickolai race past me. Time was being wasted, and people were dying. I open my eyes, looking up to the bleak sky above as I walk. The clouds were black, and ominous, threatening to rain down on us, to bring the thunder with the rolling clouds, and lightning would streak the skies.

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Sometimes I wish I were the rain, so that I can wash over people, and fade into the soil. Sometimes I wish I were a hurricane, dark and foreboding, tearing down everything in my way. How can you fight the darkness, which steals the sun from the very sky?

I get to the door, before I look down the narrow alleyway edging the path inside. Sampson was leaning against the wall, his dark brown mop of hair with fingers being combed through it. His grin is nauseating, and the way he whispers to and fro, giggling like a pathetic school girl. Even now, my brother found ways to easily draw out the anger inside of me. From the shy, and nervous blush creeping into his cheeks, or the way he might pretend his cowardice wasn’t lethal, to everyone around him.

5.14 (9)

“Pathetic.” I growl out loud, and his eyes fall on mine, wide with shock and fear. Fear, really, Sampson? My knuckles turn to white as I tighten my grip, the sound of the bones cracking makes him turn white. As a ghost, as the falling snow.

“I… Lark.. Oh, god.” He breathes shakily, lifting his hand to meet his mouth, to cover the wide ‘o’ from my line of sight. “It’s.. It’s not what it looks like.”

“What’s not what it-” And then I focus on the soldier standing at his side, hair falling over his eyes as if to hide him, as if to give him shelter from my gaze. Which was laughable, seeing as he well well over six foot, and made of muscle. Jesus christ, what on earth did he want with a guy like Sampson? I pinch the bridge of my nose, trying to stop the incoming head ache with a loud sigh.

5.14 (10)

“Larka…”  Sam whispers, barely whispers. “I can explain.”

“I honestly don’t give a shit who you’re screwing. God damn it. And honestly, Sammy, it’s not a bloody surprise.” Was I yelling? Or whispering? I’m not exactly sure, god it’s way to bright out here. I hang my head in my hands, trying to soothe the pounding sensation away with kindness. I was always gentle with a hangover, greasy food, painkillers, the royal treatments, but this was different. It wasn’t an “I’ll never drink again” (until next happy hour), it was, an I wanted it. The blood that was.

“Please, please, don’t tell anyone.” As I finally look up to meet his eyes, he’s trembling, like a leaf in the wind. I don’t think that Mr muscles has moved even a single inch either. I mean, I knew I was good. I pause again, still watching him intently. “No one. Please, especially not mo-“

5.14 (11)

“You know, they’d be a lot more heartbroken at the fact you couldn’t tell them what truly makes you happy.” I growl in annoyance at his grovelling. It was too early in the afternoon for it, especially when he looked a few seconds away from falling on his knees and really begging. “Much more than the reality, and Sampson, you’re not the screw up in this family. So don’t worry.” Shaking my head, I walk away. “I’ll take the fall for you.”

I’m around the next corner, when I finally hear movement, and whispers. “That went surprisingly better than I thought. You know, I thought she was going to hit you, but she was actually, sort of, almost sweet, there at the end… Hey, Sam, come over here. We’re one person closer to being able to be together.” It would be more nauseating if being able to hear them wasn’t a side affect of the V. This tragically sad conversation meant one thing, one thing I wanted to think about anyway, that I was getting stronger.

Walking through the blaring white hallways, I can’t hide the grin on my face. In this world, the only thing that really mattered was power, and soon enough, I’d be the one on top. I glance up at the heavy rimmed clock on the wall, before opening the door to my grandfather’s lab. He was late… Or I was and he’d given up. I sigh, kicking my feet against the tiles.

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“You can’t go in there, miss.” Looking up, I meet the stern eyes of one of his security men. His eyes were mean looking, not in a way that would induce fear, but those you would see in the eyes of your math teacher. Believing he had all the power with just his voice, and none of the control.

“And why not?” I smirk at him, cocking an eyebrow as if feigning ignorance.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss such matters. Perhaps it would be best for you to wait in lobby.” Math teacher, bingo. That’s what he reminded me of. No clicking your pen, don’t talk in class, pay attention. Except, this time they let him have a gun. Revenge of the nerds. Surely my grandfather with his super secret lab crap he could screen his guards better.

“And, where exactly is he?” My eyes narrow in on him, as I cross my arms.

‘It’s none of yo-” As he begins, the door opens.

5.14 (13)

“Larka, sorry, I must’ve forgotten the time, I haven’t left you waiting our here, have I?” My Grandfather asks, looking up at me beneath his messy crimson hair. It was strange looking at his ageless face surrounding those fangs of his. They seemed to be one of the only remnants of his vampirism now. In my life, I only knew him to turn back into a vampire, or whatever the hell he did, only twice. And that was when he needed to fight.

“You’re late.” I murmur leaving out my own tardiness.

“No, she only just got here, sir.” Mr wannabe soldier stares at me intently, trying to drain the life right out of my cheeks.

“Okay, yeah that’s fine.” His eyes were dark, and yet at the same time, were filled with the greatest fires of passion. The embers burning back against the black bags underneath. “Let’s walk, shall we. I’m glad to finally be rid of that room.” Even as he says it, he smiles back wistfully.

5.14 (14)

“It’s raining, you know.” I mumble as we reach the door outside. He was a private man, and kept his thoughts hidden under that tangled mop of hair. Even now I couldn’t read him, or what he might want, or ask of me. “The sun though, I don’t know how you manage it, or why.”

“It’s a cross I manage to bear.” Grandfather breathes stepping out into the sun, allowing the shadows to let the light trickle onto his pale face. “Despite what you might think, I am still human. I always was. Human. I don’t believe the sun would have ever killed me, in this form or the next, and believe me, they tried.” His smile is fake, like an old memory he was trying to get a different spin on. To find the positive in only darkness. “When I was imprisoned by the vampire council, the things that they did to me as a hostage of an upcoming war, it took away the only chance they had of killing me. They starved the vampirism right out of me, burnt it from my veins. Course it came back, but with a bit of fine tuning… Your eyes, though?”

I pause mid stride, trying to find the smile that had been there. It was the one noticeable symbol of the V I had been taking, worn like a red flag above my head. For the first time since my birth, they glowed, just like the monsters that we hunted. “Just a bit of… Finetuning, as you say.” Biting into my lip, I watch him strangely. “To be honest, you’re the only one who’s mentioned it.”

5.14 (15)

“That’s because everyone else is too scared to.” Grandfather sighs, visibly slumping his shoulders. “You’re a smart girl, strong too. And V… It poisons the mind. Makes you weak-“

“I certainly don’t feel weak.” I mumble. Of course I knew once people found out, if they did, which my eyes were not helping, they probably wouldn’t agree. But this wasn’t exactly something that I wanted to talk to him about. I certainly didn’t want to have to list off all the reasons why.

“That’s just the blood talking.” His eyes are on mine, as if searching for the thing to say, and the words were written on my face. “You’re not a vampire, Larka, so don’t pretend. You’re something so much more than that, something a lot more important too. And you need a strong mind for that, and all the things that you could accomplish otherwise.”

5.14 (16)

“A strong mind for what?” My body tightens on que, and I can’t help but prepare myself for the “say no to drugs” speech that I had heard a thousand times already.

“I’m not your mother, so I’m not going to tell you what’s right and wrong, for you should already know as much. But I can tell you what you might not reach.” He was barely making any sense now. This couldn’t actually hurt my chances of becoming captain, could it? I mean, it was my birthright to develop my strengths, and powers, vampire included. “Lately, in what little spare time I’ve had, I’ve been doing some research, and looking into a few things. Now, I’m not sure how much of it is true, or embellished, but… Larka, do you… Have you ever spoken to the… Dead?”

My eyebrows furrow deeply, forming a worry line on my forehead. Have I ever spoken to the dead...? Well no, I don’t think so. I mean… No? But, there were things that I had seen and heard that weren’t living. That weren’t really there. “Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble, and there isn’t a thing wrong with you. It’s just a little-“

5.14 (17)

“Complicated.” I force a lopsided grin beginning to walk again, more like pace, quickly. I just. I wanted to run. And I wanted to see Gabriel, and I needed another dose. A double dose. I sneak a small glance across at my grandfather, easily matching my pace as we walk across fields. I didn’t talk about what happened when I went away, to anyway, god knows my parents had tried.

“Don’t look so worried, I might be a scientist, but I’m not going to do a full lobotomy right here because of some old legends.You’re my granddaughter, the most I’d do is ask if you’re okay.” In a way, his face mirrors mine. Uncertain, exhausted, and slightly anxious. Wait, was whatever I was that bad that would even be an option. “You are okay, aren’t you?”

“Slightly worried now, can’t you just get to the point.” I state blankly.

“I guess that I deserve that, where exactly are we going anywa-” If looks could kill, if only they could. He smiles suddenly, and runs a hand through his crimson hair. “Okay, okay, I’ll get to the point. Have you ever heard of a necromancer..? No? How about a medium? Or a clairvoyant?”

5.14 (18)

“What, like the sixth sense?” Stopping again, I shoot him a dark look.

“Well… No. The very basic premise, I suppose.” A look of confusion graces his face for a moment, flickering within his dead eyes. He sounded hesitant to continue, like he wasn’t sure if he should even be speaking to me about it. “The last few centuries haven’t seen strong necromancers, so perhaps that is what they look like now. Although, it is, much, much more serious than that. As you can imagine. The problem is, right now, I don’t know a lot, but I do know one things. They were born to combat the immortals, to control the dead so to speak. And you, taking V, and trying your hand at being a vampire, it will only weaken the gifts you’ve been born with.”

“Maybe.” I smirk, not exactly sure at how to move forward. The reaper’s word seemed to scream through my ears, and mind. The afterlife, and someone in it, wanting me, and having plans for me. The ice spreads through my body, and I feel deathly cold. Almost numb. Maybe if that’s what getting stronger was, I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to go to the land of the dead, and connect lonely widows with the ghosts of their dead cats.

5.14 (19)

“Larka… Are you… Okay?” His pain, and worry is palpable. The air wreaks of it’s desperation. And I just… I want something, no, need something to take away the edge. Just for a second.

“You want to know something, sad? Sometime’s I think I am a better ghost than I am alive.” I whisper, my voice almost nonexistent. Cutting at the edges of my throat like I was trying to speak with blades as words. “And even then, I’m barely treading water. It’s so deep, and grandfather, these demons know how to swim.”

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Authors notes.

In honor of the first phase of larka’s story being completed, and the fact that I have ignored many opportunities for specials in the past (Valentines, easter, 30, 000 view special to name a few), I thought photograph a little lyric special to the song, Because of You, by Kelly Clarkson. Which I feel sums up the relationship between Vivian and Larka perfectly, and gives you a little insight into the characters. 

Enjoy.

*

because of you

because of you (5)

I will not make the same mistakes that you did

because of you (11)

I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery

because of you (10)
I will not break the way you did,
You fell so hard

because of you (12)

I’ve learned the hard way
To never let it get that far

because of you (2)

because of you (3)

because of you (4)

Because of you

because of you (13)

I never stray too far from the sidewalk

because of you (14)

Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt

because of you (16)

because of you (17)

Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me

because of you (15)

Because of you
I am afraid

because of you (18)

I lose my way
And it’s not too long before you point it out

because of you (19)

I cannot cry
Because I know that’s weakness in your eyes

because of you (20)

I’m forced to fake
A smile, a laugh everyday of my life

because of you (7)

My heart can’t possibly break
When it wasn’t even whole to start with

because of you (21)

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk

because of you (23)

Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt

because of you (22)

Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me

because of you (24)

Because of you
I am afraid

because of you (25)

I watched you die
I heard you cry every night in your sleep

because of you (26)

I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me

because of you (27)

You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain

because of you (9)

And now I cry in the middle of the night
For the same damn thing

because of you (34)

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk

because of you (33)

Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt

because of you (6)

Because of you
I try my hardest just to forget everything

because of you (28)

Because of you
I don’t know how to let anyone else in

because of you (30)

Because of you
I’m ashamed of my life because it’s empty

because of you (35)

Because of you
I am afraid

because of you (31)

Because of you

because of you (32)

Because of you

There’s a presence in my room, drawing anxious energy into their lungs with every hushed breath. She’s human, it’s painfully obvious, and the air around her reeks of panic, and sadness. It’s familiar scent clings to the overpriced, delicate silks of her clothing. Pretentious, fear ridden-

5.13

“You’re home.” She says, as only a mother could. Groaning, I pull the closest pillow over my head, hoping to drown out her voice. Retreating back to my barrier, the curtains are drawn across their beams, letting in the horrid light of day. “I know you’re awake in there.” A soft giggle graces the air, her soft hand traces the exposed skin on the back of my neck. “Larka, stop ignoring your mother. Come now.”

“What do you want?” I growl pushing myself up to meet her eyes. The soft green iris seems to flutter, and dim under my gaze. It was a routine of ours, a game of cat and mouse, or if you will, I was the wolf, and she was the scared, little bunny rabbit. Was she afraid, I wonder. Did she fear what was inside of me? Or was she just pathetic. “It’s like, what, ten in the morning?”

“One.” Mother tuts her foot, with a slight shake of her head. The sound serves to remind me of last nights binge, now burning weakly inside my aching skull. “You know, I thought you would’ve called by now, you’ve been home for almost a week. Are you…”

5.13 (2)

“I’m fine.” Sighing, I shake my head with a cynical smirk. As predictable as always. For someone who spoke in front of our nation, and stood at the presidents side, she lacked a certain grace. Instead of walking gracefully as a nimble cat, she stumbled like a new born deer, struggling to find its feet for the first time. 

“I didn’t see you at the funeral.” She bites into the soft skin of her lips, running a hand along the fabric of my bed sheet. I can almost feel the anguish of her heart’s beat. “You know… I… I know you were close to those boys. What happened.. It wasn’t fair. But I am happy that we could bring them home. Not everyone finds such a… Familiar resting place. Oh lark…” Suddenly I’m engulfed within her trembling arms. 

“Argh.” I hiss unimpressed, trying to pull away from her contact. I didn’t want want to think about them,  or about how she might be happy that they had died for me. How all she could do to thank them for such a pitiful death was to stand at their graves and thank the gods for my life. “I’m not as weak as you mother, I don’t need a warm blanket, and a mothers hug to get through the day. I don’t need you. I can take care of myself.”

5.13 (3)

“I…” Mother pulls away as though I’ve sent a current of electric volts through her hands and directly into her heart. “I’m sorry that I care for you, Larka. That I love you. I know that you’ve always been much stronger than I let on, but what’s a mother to do? I worry for you, baby. Worry so much that some nights I can’t sleep at all. Whether you’re.. Home, or away… It’s my job to worry.”

“Just come out and say it, mom.” With a roll of my eyes, I slide my feet into the cold carpet below. “You’re pissed that I’m not exactly like you, aye, ma. Didn’t fall in love with the first boy I ever met, don’t even believe in love. I wanna fight too, you must hate the fact that I don’t wanna sit at home in fancy dresses, hosting fancier tea parties while we send our men off to die. Aren’t you proud, momma?” 

“I…” Her mouth forms a perfect o, and maybe it was just the light, but she seemed to look more frazzled than her usual self. More like a deer in the headlights than a woman at this point. And I just want to see the impact.

5.13 (4)

“I don’t know why you’re not proud though, I’m happy, perfectly, fucking, happy.” My chest shudders under my words, the anger felt like it was going to tear my skin apart and burst through. “My life is perfect, and whatever you want, I don’t need it.”

“Lark… I..” She begins, but falls short. 

“I’m late.” I growl under my breath pushing past her. 

*

I was chasing ghosts at this point, I think solemnly, my head dropping into the aged spine of my great grandmother’s book. My only company being the freshly laid dirt over my only friends graves. The wind cuts against my sullen cheeks, and I curl against my legs just a little bit tighter. The ground was wet, and soaking through.

5.13 (6)

But at this point, what was I supposed to do?

Where was I supposed to go, but here?

Closing the book quietly, as though I were afraid to wake the dead, I smirk. The book wasn’t nearly as melodramatic as I had originally thought, but still, the over compensated details almost hid the fact that she had married a creature of the night. But it was there, she had laid out her entire life on paper, in all the gory detail. And her mother’s, and everything she knew about what she was.

5.13 (5)

It was never published, maybe there was too much truth to her words.

Maybe it was just a reminder for the future.

Would my life be on paper one day? I have to stop the pathetic laugh from escaping my lips. What could it possibly say. Tuesday: Sad, and lonely. Got drunk. Wednesday: Got drunk again, and thought of killing someone. Thursday: Rinse and repeat. This is your life.

5.13 (7)

I sigh, falling into the grass and lighting a lonely cigarette. I didn’t think about it a lot. My future that is. I mean, how could I? It’s not like anyone expected me to live this long. Even now, I can see it written across my mother’s face, the words she wouldn’t dare utter. I was glass, I was breakable, and I was living on borrowed time. My birth, and Ravenwood, and everything in between. How could I possibly think about a future when I’m not even sure I’ll have one.

“You guys got it easy.” I stick out my lower lip, and send a gust of air to blow my fringe out of my eyes. “You didn’t have to go home and explain to your mother’s why you came back alone.” I drum my fingers along my rib cage, putting all of my thoughts into the rhythmic sound it creates. “Seth, were you gonna marry Jessica? She was a nice girl, I tried to talk to her, but she slammed the door in my face. Don’t think she’s left your apartment since. I think she hates me now.”

Letting my voice fade into silence, I count the breaths I take. One, two, three, four… And back again. The reaper was right, I was weak. Sitting in cemeteries pretending the dead could talk, instead of out there, killing. And getting stronger. The sky is a cold blue, darkening under the raven clouds. It was time to go.

5.13 (8)

I push myself up, and walk across the barren grounds with renewed purposes. It was likely I’d never see the bastard who got away again, I’d probably never settle the score, and maybe the fact we had taken each other’s comrades would be the only revenge I’d have to keep me company on a cold night like tonight. Perhaps we’d never meet again, and the silence would continue, the distance seemingly growing bigger with each day.

But I’d pay my debts in blood, whoever’s blood that was, I’m not sure yet.

Walking back through the seemingly empty graveyard, under the rising moon, and darkened shadow, a vampire stands. His back is too me, and yet, I can smell it on the wind. In front of him is a headstone fit for a king, more likely a captain, who had the unfortunate honor of being buried in a place like this.

5.13 (9)

“What are you doing here, vampire?” Despite it’s obvious answer, that he was here to pay his respects, I can’t stop the anger clutching me around the throat. He’s just here visiting an old friend. Mourning. But they’re the reason I’m mourning. The reason I’m here. He didn’t belong in a place like this.

“What? Can’t pay my respects to my dearly departed friends, like you can?” The stranger raises an eyebrow at me, over his shoulder. Ignoring the infliction in my words, with a dangerous smirk upon his lips. My muscles quiver in response to those eyes of his, and the teeth, barely poking out from underneath his lips.

“Mine were put here, like all the others by your kind-“

5.13 (10)

“Not only my kind. The humans, you know, they get a little frisky when they’re scared, or think their species is put at risk.” I can’t look away, my eyes are glued to his sharp teeth. And as though he can tell what I’m thinking, he runs a finger along his lip, tenderly stroking the piercing fangs. I can smell the blood rising from the small cut, intoxicating, and burning in my nostrils.

“And who do we have to thank for that?” They were driven by fear, it wasn’t uncommon for humans to strike out against anything unhuman and claim it was for the better good. Perhaps it was. We were the monsters in the movies that kids lost sleep over. Now it was the vampire’s keeping them up at night. With their lust for power, and blood, and destruction.

“Vampire’s no doubt. But it looks to me, little lady, that I’m the only one here putting my species at risk by fighting.” His calm voice did nothing to hide the fact that he was dangerous, and that I hated the vampire. My grandfather too, even if he was trying to be human. “No thanks to that red headed vamp down in research.”

5.13 (11)

“We’ve already got our own cure, thanks again for that one.” I can’t even raise a lip, or force a smile in his presence.

“Well you’ve got me there. Azazel was a brilliant son of a bitch.” Watching his hands again, he strokes his intricately shaven head, almost unaware of his own words. Perhaps absent mindedly, or on purpose, he grazes his finger against a fang, forcing blood to pool on the surface of his skin. “You seem rather taken with my blood.”

“No, not at all.” I argue stiffly. Maybe I was taken with it, captivated by spilling it. My breathing quickens as I feign a pathetic smile. Or, I might just be weak. I had heard the rumours about vampire blood, hell, mother was a walking campaign about how crude and evil it was. Maybe it made me curious.

5.13 (12)

“Aw, come on, you can tell me.” He whispers, taking me into his arms before I can even react. I try to push him away but he holds me still, with a watchful eye. It’s like he’s planning something but I can’t tell what. “You seem awful curious for someone who hates our kind. Maybe I can take that nagging feeling away.”

“And who the hell said I wanted you to.” I challenge coldly, staring at the cold, damp grass, circling stone headstones. Studying the chipped rock, and faded names across the aging rock face.

“Don’t you ever get a little curious.” It breathes into my ear in a husky whisper. Teeth graze the tips of my ears, cascaded over by long white hair. To be honest, I want to push him away, I do. But I just… His voice in my ear, and tempting the forbidden fruits. Even his obviously toned stomach underneath the thin fabric of his shirt.

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“I could help you out.” His lips dance against my skin, twisting my stomach into nervous knots. Soon enough, his hand grazes mine. I feel sick. The anxiety is trembling within my muscles as he passes me a small vial. “You know, for a price.”

“You do know that V is illegal, don’t ya?” I scoff, avoiding the penetrating gaze that seemed to follow me. Even now as I tried to escape it. I can’t say I gave a shit about the law, but if it would scare him off. If it meant he couldn’t feel the heat coming off my body in waves of anger, fear, and possibly lust. “Strictly off use for Lycans. Thanks mom.”

“For Lycans, and humans, yeah.” He states as though he was ignoring my every word. And as I look up, he’s fixed on me. On my breath, and my scent. I wonder how strong my hatred would stink up the air around us, perhaps it would hurt to breath. “Vampires not so much.” 

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My breath catches in my throat. “You do know my family then?” 

“Hair like that, it’s hard to miss.” The vampire smirks, placing a cold hand atop my head, and baring his teeth wildly. “You think they would ban you from exploring your vampirism? Seems to me we got people coming back in body bags everyday, you gonna turn your back on your fellow man-“

“Fuck you.” I growl at him, instinctively pushing him away, this time with a lot more luck. My hands cut in dangerously into his sides, preventing him from making any sudden movements. 

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“Oh, surely not right here in a cemetary, you scandalous thing.” He winks suggestively at me, ignoring my rise in adrenaline. And the fact that I could so easily end him right here, and enjoy the fact I did.  “First time’s free.”

“That’s how they get you?” I respond sarcastically.

“That’s how I get you.” Placing his hand back onto my head, he ruffles my hair slightly. “I bet that I see you again. I got a good feeling about you.” Raising a hand into the air, he waves, and leaves me alone to my thoughts. Turning dangerous very quickly. The vial now in my pocket, seems to weigh a ton. 

My breath is shaky as I begin to walk, trying to will myself to throw the blood away. I didn’t want it, I didn’t want anything from a vampire. I really, really didn’t. So then, why couldn’t I just get rid of it? Just throw it away, it really couldn’t be that hard, just throw. It. Away. It shakes within the tight grip of my fingers.

God damn it.

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Shoving it back into my pockets, I begin to run. Forcing myself to move at blinding speed until I can’t breathe again. I’m not completely sure that I want to. When did shit get to be so complicated? Before, when Seth and Aiden were here, things were easier somehow. There was a routine, there was order. We drank, we killed, we slept, and we survived. I didn’t have to care, things were easy.

I keep running until the bright lights of HQ beams down and into my irritated eyes. Feeling irritable, I push past everyone I see. I barely even notice their faces, or hear the words coming from their lips. But there is one way to make it stop. One way to stop the never ending questions.

“Captain, you’re here… Uh.. Good.” I breathe out unsure, standing nervously by the door, still feeling the weight in my pocket. A slight blush burns into my cheeks.It felt like wearing a huge red marker on my forehead, it was obvious, and clumsy. I don’t want it, and if I get caught with V on me, that could be the end of my career.

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“Ah, Larka, it’s been a while since I’ve seen looking so… Coherant.” Sora mumbles, looking up from the stack of paper work at his desk. The room was plain, and simple. A desk, with an old computer, and uncomfortable looking seat. A small bookcase by the door, and Sora, his age was starting to show. “What can I do for you?”

“What’s my mission?” My eyes fall expectantly on my former captain’s, his eyes flicker back and forth, studying every dark shadow upon my pale face, and the crimson of my bloodshot eyes. I wonder how obvious it was that I hadn’t seen a good night sleep in days, probably weeks, maybe even years.

“There is none for you-” I wince at the words, like salt was being drawn through a ragged, drawn out wound. “- Don’t pout, you know exactly why that is. You’re still working through Aiden and Se-“

“Let me go so that I can kill th-“

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“Larka, you’re not dealing with this!” Sora’s voice has a harsh edge of exasperation to it, as his volume pierces my sensitive ears. Glaring at him, I fold my arms across my chest, biting down forcefully onto my tongue to stop the words from pouring out. “This is a war, and we kill their mates, their progeny, and their makers. There was no higher power that sought you out specifically in Ravenwood. We kill one of theirs, and they kill ten of ours, and we’re locked in this endless spiral of mounting deaths. And we just managed to piss of the wrong vamper, and something like this happens.”

“And I have dealt!” I hiss at him, projecting every drunken fear, and thought that had passed through my body since arriving back. There weren’t enough things to do that could take away the lump in my chest, and the blood every time I closed my eyes. But I could fill that void, with more booze, and more sex, and more decay.

“You still come to my door every second night, Larka. Bathed in sweat from the nightmares that haunt your mind.” I shoot him a dark look, but falter at the softness in his steely blue eyes. How did anyone find such peace in war? Such solitude in the silence that he was left with at the moment of his comrades deaths? “I’m not saying that you will never get to hunt again. but right now, I don’t trust you with a gun, let alone a list of names.”

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“Why?” I grumble under my breath. The anger was beginning to coil itself around my throat, constricting itself to the point that it hurt to breath, and to whisper. I just want to yell, and scream from the rooftops, above the dark, bleak world below. Something to numb the pain. “Because I’d kill the bad guys for you!?”

“Larka, having a few days off wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, now would it? Torture the new recruits, see your family, they’re worried sick about you-“

“She’s always worried sick about me, it’s a wonder she hasn’t put herself in hospital yet.”

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“She’s your mother. Larka, one day after she’s gone, you’ll realize all this petty fighting was for nothing. And that you wasted the best parts of your life being a spoilt little brat.” His jaw tightens underneath my gaze, and it take a step back. I wasn’t a little brat, I think venomously.

“It’s too late to change who we are now, captain. I’ll be back later when you finally get your head out of your arse.” The vial of blood in my pocket seems to be calling to me now, just a fix. A one time fix to take away the pain. I just needed something, just one thing. I just.. I want to forget. For a night, for an hour, for sixty bloody seconds. 

And what better way to do it than the blood of my enemy.

*

Author’s notes

So, I really feel like I need to apologize about the erratic posting schedule, and the quality as of late (do I need to apologise about that, now I don’t have any idea anymore). I would like to explain, but I feel like it would take a lot more time to put into words than I need to. But honestly, I’ve been feeling kind of down on my writing these last few months, and that doubt is affecting my ability to form words. Coherent, poetic, nicely formed words. I just feel like because of this doubt, I’m putting doubt into my work and it’s showing, not only with my schedule, but alas, the quality too.

I’m only in the second phase of Larka’s generation, and have only touched the surface of her and what I want to show, but she’s already my favourite heir, and storyline so far. So Maybe a little bit of this block is that I have no idea how to make you love her as much as I do, especially when both her, and subsequently the next two generations I’m absolutely stoked for. Like I know exactly how Larka is feeling every step of the way, I could role play as her convincingly at any point in the plot because I know her so well, I just can’t write it. 

I’m not completely sure how I am going to combat it yet, especially since I get waves of amazing motivation, for chapters that are just no where near happening yet. I have like twelve parts of random chapters in my drafts right now, and that’s only the bit’s I’ve manged to write down.  It’s not that where we’re at a point in the story doesn’t excite me, because I kept myself up til like three in the morning changing parts of the story line to welcome in a new plot point. I’ve even got two lyric/song specials planned, and an epilogue part two special, and countless ideas.

Like do I take some time off? I don’t really feel that would help since I would just put everything off until it became a problem again. I can and will procrastinate until it hurts my brain, and not even on purpose. Do I keep pushing through and wait for that oh my god moment? I don’t know. what do normal people do?

Guys, thirty thousand views.

Let me repeat that, thirty motherbleeping thousand views (I am actually a little bit late with this by a few days but holy hell). Honestly you guys don’t even understand what that means to me, at all. When I started this blog I thought maybe I’d get five or six readers, and like a thousand views by the end of ten generations, and that would be it. So let me just say this, almost two years later, 300 thousand views later, and 75 followers later, I really am grateful for all your support, and comments, and likes, what probably doesn’t seem like a lot to you, makes all of this worthwhile. 

*Sobs in the corner somewhere*

Secondly, I accidentally took some of the photo’s during day when they are supposed to be at night time. So please just pretend (This chapter was finished a few months ago, so I probably didn’t notice). There might be a few minor inconsistencies because of that, but all forgettable. Enjoy guys.

*

The rain falls like shards of glass around me, the heavens bathing the world in tears. Loneliness rides the wind of the blackest crow, a single black feather touching the sodden ground. The wings of destiny cutting through the frozen air, swooping into the grey clouds above. It’s cackling sends a shiver down the numbness in my back. The northern winds seeping down into my aching bones, disturbing the droplets in the needles of the pines towering over me.

Chapter 5.12

I can feel death, in every beat of my heart, it’s cold hand lingers at my side. It was ever present, sometimes comforting, but right now, I had never felt so detached from my own reality, from what I knew. Perhaps because I had never truly lost someone, there had always been funerals, condolences spoken, but, truly, I had never felt such a pain before: Losing a comrade, a friend, a life. And what the hell was the point of it all?

To live, to breath, to die, all on the battle field. You can see the supposed glory of war etched upon everyone’s faces, the hollow eyes of a soldier who has killed, the nothingness, the dead spark of someone who has lost something, and someone precious to them. We’re all the same now, we all carry the same mask of pain. In the reflection of our enemies lifeless eyes, we’re all the same. No one wins a war by dying for their cause, it’s only by making others die for theirs, that a victory is reached.

In the days of old, days since past, death on the battlefield was true glory, that it was believed that a man’s worth was not how he lived his life, but how he died. But I wonder, truly wonder, did those ever men face war, see it for what it really is. In this war, there is no glory, you’ll die like a dog in the street for no damn good reason. Cassiel’s words stuck in my head, on repeat, the things that he said of war. My knuckles tighten, turning the skin a pale white underneath the pressure weighing down on my chest, tightening it’s grip across my heart.

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“Aiden… Seth…” I finally whisper in a shaky breath, my hand touches the smooth stone headstones marking the graves. “I never got the chance to say goodbye…” My mind tries to prevent the blood stained image of Aiden from my mind, “you have to run Larka! This will all be for nothing if you die too. Run, it’s okay, just go…” He was so proud, even in that moment, when his heart took it’s final beat.  To thank you… For everything.” 

I hear footsteps approaching but I remain a statue in my place. Time had slipped through the hands of time since arriving here, the hours I spent searching for meaning at gravesides, and in death were lost to me. The coming light of my arrival had been vanquished by the night, and now I stood alone. Once more. My white hair clings to my skin under the heavy fall of rain, a dark silhouette takes his place at my side. In silence.

“Why..?” I mumble, knowing full well that he understands exactly what my question is directed too. My eyes never leave the names, etched into the stone, as if some great epiphany will be spelt out to me through it. The question, that I was asking, I knew didn’t have an answer. Not one that anyone could possibly know.

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“We live in a cruel world, child.” His voice is deep, and strong, a slight accent echoing through the words that he spoke with such conviction. As if he’d lived such a life. The darkness of night, was lit by the moon’s glow upon it’s dark clouds, radiating onto his pale skin. “Living, sometimes, is cruelty in it’s finest, and this is an age of suffering. You were born into a world of hatred, and war. And as long as that hatred exists, and revenge is named as the ultimate justice, then our world will never be at peace. But death, Larka, is is the only thing that you can be sure of, for everything must come to pass, everyone has a time. Perhaps there is no meaning at all, no reason as to why, for those questions I can’t answer, maybe one day you can decide that for yourself. All I can say is that as the decades, and centuries pass into oblivion, you cease to live, you are no longer alive anymore. Life is fleeting for a reason, even the vampire loses meaning after a lifetime, feel the rain on your skin, child, the pain growing inside of you, because of it, you may once again know love, and hope, the warmth of the sun’s eternal breath.”

My face remains in a heavy frown, the colour drained away completely. We both knew that there was nothing that he could say to ease the pain, or to give me the answer that I was clinging onto. “They gave their lives up to protect you, Larka, so that someone could survive. Maybe that is the only meaning you need to move forward. I’d hate for you to waste such a precious gift on such sorrow.”

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Still crouching down on the waterlogged soil, my hand gently captures a flower between my fingers. The white petals dripping, yet so full of life, unlike those they were placed here for. “It’s not a gift I’m entirely sure that I deserve. We were all so young, naive, arrogant even. How were we supposed to know that their was an ambush waiting for us in the shadows?” I respond flatly, finally turning my head to stare into the piercing eyes staring back at me, the same colour and intensity as my own. “We all had families, friends, dreams. And now all that they hoped for is buried alongside them.”

“I’m sorry, Larka.” Holding out his hand, I grip his tightly, allowing my tired limbs to stretch out again, as I once again find my feet.

“Don’t be.” My eyes search his, burning intensely from the depths of my being. The coldness of my apathy had already forced itself through my veins, wrapping tightly around any memory that threatened to bring me to my knees once again. “As you said, everyone dies. We’re soldiers, it’s a part of the job description, I can’t be sad that they gave their lives…” 

“But does it make it any less tragic?” His words are soft, barely audible over the rain falling around us. The sharp glassiness of his eyes glaze over, as if reliving an old memory. “When we love someone, when someone is precious to us, I think we delude ourselves into believing that they’ll always be there.” The corners of his lips crack slightly, pulling into a lonely smile. “But that isn’t why I was apologizing.”

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Shoving my hands deep inside my pockets, I turn my face slightly towards his face. The darkness in his eyes shimmered slightly within the piercing blue, the pain, it had always been there. From my earliest memory of his unchanging face, there was always sorrow. “You have my eyes, child, and for that I apologise with every ounce of my being for that consequence.” And with that, I’m caught within his gaze. Listening to every word to pass his mouth with the very certainty of life. “You understand what it means, do you not? We walk the path of our own misery: Never giving up, yet never moving on. We see the world for what it is, and for that, true happiness is always just a fraction to far away. You remind me of myself when I was young, burdened with the weight of my own responsibilities. But, you will never find peace unless you fight what is in your nature to destroy. I see the loneliness you feel, in the depths of my soul, I feel it every time I look at you. So tell me, Larka, why are you so sad?”

*

The bar was empty tonight, almost completely quiet. Just how I preferred it. Tonight, all I wanted was to breath, and relax. I didn’t want to think about the last mission a second longer than I absolutely had too. I had to forget all of it. The blood. The anger. The screaming, and confusion. I had to forget the curves of their faces, and all the stupid jokes that they insisted on telling a hundred times over.

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Why was I so sad? I toy with the idea over yet another strong drink. I think that Cassiel had asked the same thing to me. But of course, he had a lot to learn, about the world, about the way things are. I mean he was still naming the vampires as the monsters under his bed. I smirk in spite of myself. I was meant to be forgetting, not reliving old memories.

Tipping back the rest of the drink, pouring the harsh liqueur down my throat, I order another, and then another. Slowly losing touch with reality in a drunken blur. I’d need a new drinking buddy though, now that Aid- No don’t think about it. Needing a better distraction, I glance back across the bar, eyeing up the few men that had sought refuge from the rain inside.

“Dance with me.” I half order to the closest possible mate in my proximity. There was no need for names, no requirement for his life story, no, I just wanted to forget. Forget with him, with my body entwined with his. With beads of sweat across my forehead, dripping down our backs.

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The stench of alcohol on his breath matches my own, resulting in repugnant waves of self deprecation. It clings to my soft curves of my hips, burns within the depths of my lifeless eyes, and stinks the air around us both. In my drunken haze, my body finds the beat, seductively swaying to the music, dragging my body softly against my partners. His hands graze exposed skin, lips caress the nape of my neck, attacking vigorously against my smooth skin.

“Yours or mine?” His breath is heavy against my sensitive ear, his voice raspy. I flip my body around to face him, wrapping my arms around his neck so I can hold his distorted gaze in my own.

“Who says I’m going anywhere with you?” I breath quietly, knowing it’s just a bluff, but I want to see the look upon his face. He’s cute, and I’m lonely. Bored. Cold. And dead inside. A night like this certainly had no feelings attached, and even now, I didn’t particularly give a shit. Not about him, not about anything.

“A girl like you doesn’t come to a place like this just to dance. Come on, let’s go.” His hand momentarily links with my own before I recoil instantaneously, sharply pulling it away. “You’re feisty. I like that.” With a slight moan, we forget the taxi driver in the front. His lips assault my lips and neck, resulting in red and purple swelling across the delicate skin.

Chapter 5.12

Drunkenly he pushes me against the wooden paneling of his small house. Our lips capture each other’s once again, and his hands wonder in anticipation, gliding over, and caressing my most intimate parts. My heart races, but not in the way that I desired it too. I don’t feel alive as our bodies melt together. A slight purr rumbles in his throat, as his hands pry themselves off my body, and unlock the door. “Shall we?”

I pause, my body turning rigid and hard. “Goodnight.” I growl through tightly fitted teeth. Whatever had happened back in Ravenwood had my mind torn up, and volatile. It had worked itself inside my brain and taken up residence. Whether it be Aid- My men, those cold, cruel dreams or something else, I couldn’t get rid of it. And right now, I couldn’t even keep up the facade long enough to get what I want. God… What is it that I do want..?

Chapter 5.12 (2)

It takes a few moments before his brain even works out what’s going on, and by then I’m already on the path out of here. Maybe not home, but definitely not here. “Hey, where are you going? You can’t just leave, not now!”

“I can and I will.” I smirk over my shoulder, forcing my lips to curve into the almost cruel, sarcastic grin I had perfected over the many years.  His anxious features drop in disappointment as he realizes that I’m actually leaving. It’s pathetic.

“Tease!” I hear him laughing over the downpour of rain. A harsh edge of exasperation in his voice, the porch light flickers off, and his face is all but forgotten. Stumbling over the wet, and slippery path, I allow my legs to clumsily take me to where I want to go. Not want to go… No.. There was an almost painful need to return.

Chapter 5.12 (3)

And just sit with the ghosts of my past for a little while longer.

I jolt awake, groggily tensing my muscles in anticipation of her attack. Even if I couldn’t see straight I had to fight, blind luck would only get me so far. And I had a feeling it wouldn’t be helping me for much longer. As a pitiful growl ripples from my lips, I feel a warm hand touch the cold skin of my shoulder.

Chapter 5.11

“It’s okay, it’s over.” The voice half whispers through gritted teeth, as my hands, and claws tighten into the pink flesh of his skin, and newly torn shirt. My shoulders slump almost immediately after hearing his voice, in relief, and I breathe in deeply, forcing the life back into my veins. As my eyes slowly drift down the small, narrow hallway, my eyes fixate on the new body, lying cold on the floor.

My breathing hitches. I barely understood the visions I had just seen from the other world, and now.. It’s like time has stopped completely and continues playing the same few seconds and images on repeat.

Vampires didn’t leave bodies behind.

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Not when they died…

“It’s…. It’s human…” I gasp, resembling a deer in the headlights. Trying to understand what had happened since I had been taken. Had it been seconds? Or lifetimes? The girl had reeked of a vampire, I had seen her eyes, and the flash of its fangs before the darkness had consumed me. I had. But. I just… Vampires didn’t turn into humans, not ever. “What did you…” Vampires couldn’t turn into mortal flesh and blood. Where was the ash? I had seen it, I know I had, hadn’t I? “Cas! What did you do? It was a-“

“I exorcised it.” Cassiel respond blankly, with a flip of his hair, and I feel my body tighten with nerves. That wasn’t an answer. I didn’t understand. How did he..? His small town arrogance in the fables that he believed in grinds against my aching nerves.  Did this mean nothing to him? That he had somehow cured, and killed someone. Nothing! “But that’s not the problem, you can’t just up and die on me like that. We could have been in some real trouble then.”

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“It’s dead.” I breathe stiffly.

“Well, yeah… Sometimes the exorcism doesn’t quite work out-“

“You’ve turned one…? I mean “exorcised” one and… I mean, fuck…” My eyes darken under the implications of what I was seeing. My grandfather had been working on the cure since before the war, and here it was, here he was, right in front of me. The reason we were fighting, the hope they were searching for. “It survived? One has… Survived?”

“I don’t see why you’d care about it, you soldiers seem perfectly capable of handl-“

“Cassiel!” I hiss trying to force him to focus. Was there even a way to renounce our abilities? To strip them of theirs? Was there any way, any possibility between this world and the hell we’d inherit after, that my eyes weren’t deceiving me. “You said… It didn’t work out?”

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His body stiffens next to mine. “The demons reek havoc on the vessel, Larka. They kill them from the inside out, and if any of them live, it’s not long enough for it to matter.” Of course he wouldn’t know the science or the reasons why beyond the shattered glass on the floor. My skin feels like static, and I feel my jaw tighten under my trembling muscles. If we couldn’t do it, with research, and laboratories, and science, why would I even put my faith in him? “You keep dying on me, soldier, keep that up and I might think about exorcising the demon inside of you.”

I push my body up from the cold concrete, stopping my face inches from his. “Is it that you want me to die?” His breath is warm against my frozen cheeks, and his eyes full of a soft concern. I bite down onto my lip seductively, almost in painfully and in need, I just don’t want to feel this aching confusion anymore. I want to forget.

“I just don’t think your demon is as strong as you think, little girl.” Cassiel smirks, amber eyes alight with amusement. “Now grab that book, you’re taking it, aren’t you, and let’s leave. I don’t think it’s safe to be here anymore.” He pulls away from me abruptly, slowly walking over to the dead thing in the room. “I’m sorry that this happened to you, but I will make sure that you find peace.” I watch him silently, slowly working toward a way to shut out the voices inside my head. Cassiel lifts the dead thing up, and carries her towards the exit, and it isn’t until he’s gone that I dare move.

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I follow him, numbly, my eyes fixed to the girls hand as it hangs limply from his arms. She was dead. As a human, dead. Was this what the reaper had been talking about? No, of course not. Wasn’t strong enough… As I walk slowly, I wonder if my path was in fact my own, or if some higher, and darker power was pushing me towards the end date. This town had ripped the barriers open that helped me from falling into the dark abyss, and it seemed, even now, to be calling to me. Memories, perhaps not even relevant, burning against my tired mind.

Cassiel led me to an old cemetery, with unmarked graves scattered across the empty field. I could hear their screaming, could feel them against my skin. Would Seth and Aiden end up like this? They were in these woods, their blood scattered and sunken into the dirt. An unmarked grave with no name for lives barely lived. And upon the soil, flowers might grow, scattered over the sodden earth.

“Pass me that shovel.” Cassiel asks snapping me from my thoughts, but it seems that I can’t even process the words completely. He was burying it? “God you’re hopeless.” He chastises as he leans around me, taking the old tool in his hands. It doesn’t take him long underneath the gaze of the late autumn sun, and his movements are that of a well trained man skilled in the art of funerals, and the dead.

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“Why are you doing that?” I ask, curling my knees tightly against my chest.

“Doing what?” His face contorts slightly, as he finally meets my eyes.

“Burying it-“

“Her.” Cassiel counters, laying her body into the hole. A purple flower in her hand to offer her salvation on the other side. “She was human once.” There’s a strange sadness in his voice as he speaks, more so to her than to me. “Look at her, she’s just a kid, her life had barely begun before it was taken from her. There was a time though, when she wouldn’t have been any different than me. Scared, alone, hopeful, happy, sad, angry… Human. It’s not her fault you know, sometimes the world is just so unfair.”

“You sound like you know a little bit about that.” I ask, feigning ignorance. Of course the world was cruel and twisted, this town was evidence of that fact. This cemetery was. Cassiel had a family once, and they once had a home, and a life, security. Just like the kid too, I suppose, although, I would have killed her, gladly too. “You never said why you hate soldiers anyway.”

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“A story for a different day.” He sighs, gazing up and into the sun, reliving memories of his own. Suppose I might have thought so cynically about them if I wasn’t born into it. Maybe I wasn’t strong enough to avenge my comrade’s deaths, or strong enough to put an end to this war. Maybe the reaper knew that, I think quietly to myself, I couldn’t blame Cassiel for the fact I had survived. “I hope you find the peace you’re looking for.” My eyes fall away as he covers the body, whispering words better left for the dead.

“What was in the vial?” I ask as I follow beside him back to his home. His gaze drops away, before meeting mine, the expression of a story teller burning in his curves of his face. It’s at that moment I almost regret asking, expecting him to talk of faith and reflection, and things that I wouldn’t believe existed in the events of our world. “You know, how did you…?”

“Whenever we’ve needed anything, medical advice, farming tales, fishing spots, this town has always provided, as long as we’ve been brave enough to look for it. The books in this town tell a thousand stories, and I must admit, when I was younger, and more naive, I thought the survival of this town, and myself rested on what I could learn about the world. The hospital taught valuable skills, and the old power facility, although largely unsuccessful, provided a valuable learning experience. I remember one day in particular though, I drifted too far in the forest, chasing ideas, and I was terrified of the dark.”

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“I take it you survived.” I respond sarcastically.

“Shut up.” He smirks. “When I was running through the woods like a madman, I stumbled across this old building… Must of been owned by the military, or something, it was so far out of town, but the place was mostly burnt down, save for a few walls. There were all these books, a lot were destroyed by the rain, but… These diagrams, and numbers, and… It took a while to figure out what it even was, but someone knew a lot about what we were fighting. And I guess… I just, took too it, like a duck to the water.”

“So you found a book in the woods, and it taught you how to kill demons or whatever?” I shake my head in disbelief. On one side, he was giving me a headache, and on the other, I was still curious. A building in the middle of the woods that described how to cure vampires, it all sounded too bloody perfect.

“Yeah… There were a lot a blanks.” Cassiel admits with a boisterous laugh, turning towards the cabin by the lake’s edge.  “But I guess I figured it out.” He knew nothing, nothing at all. And yet he could Cure.. Kill? Vampires. The most important key to the cure aside from my grandfather. And he knew nothing.

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I drop my head into my hands before running after him. It was getting dark, and I was tired of thinking about every little thing. about Seth and Aiden, and the fact that a vampire had been turned into a human. And god, he really was so human. And forgettable, and I just want to forget with him.

I run my thumb along his lower lip softly, feeling his hot gaze on me. My hand caresses his strong jawline before I raise my lips to his. My tongue traces the curves of his lips before gently parting them. Our breathing deepens as he pulls my face tightly against his. Giving into the kiss that I can tell he’s so desperately trying to fight against. But I need more, I decide, running my hands through his sandy hair. I think between my own self loathing and the moments that I truly despised him, I had been waiting for this moment. hanging on by a thread, his hands caress the soft curves of my hips, pulling me against his chest.

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Hesitantly he pulls away as if regaining his senses. “What are we doing?” His eyes seem darker than usual, more alert, and the sound of his ragged, husky voice almost makes me jump him right then and there. “I mean, it’s not as if I don’t want to, it’s just th-“

I push myself off of him, turning towards the front door, and opening it. Taking the step inside, I pull the borrowed cotton off of my pale skin. Unlike when we had first met, not a bruise marred the soft surface of my skin. Almost naked, and half ashamed, I turn away.

“I’m going to bed, you can either join me or not.” I smirk over my shoulder, not feeling half as confident as I usually did pulling this stunt. He wasn’t my usual type, at all, but he was a hot blooded male, and I, an attractive female was shamelessly throwing myself at him. I really doubted that there were girls like me in this godforsaken place. “Either way, I’ll try not make too much noise.”

And that’s it, I’ve won. I can feel the heat coming off of his body in waves now, his desire is palpable in the air. “God help me, if only I wasn’t such a weak man.”

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“Oh god can’t help you now.” I breathe as he lifts me into his arms.

*

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I wake suddenly, to a howl that reaches up into the heavens, and echoes through the desolate, lonely woods. “What is that?” Cassiel asks already by the window, the sound was only slightly different from a wolf, it came right from the stomach and reached up and out in a serene call: An ode to the night, from the lips of a lycan.

“That would be the cavalry.” I smirk slightly as I if find my feet. Home… I could finally go home. That was a good thing, wasn’t it?

Barely thinking, I find a crumpled shirt on the ground and leave. Once I reach the dirt path, I lift my lips to the wind and respond. But I’m still too weak, and the sound fades off with a strangled yelp. Red rushed into my cheeks as I begin to stumble through the forest, faster now, I just hoped it was enough to let them know that someone had survived.

They did of course arrive a lot quicker than I had expected them too. It had only been four days since my team had left for Ravenwood, four days of absolute hell and pain, for the most part. Perhaps they realized the mistake they had made by sending us…

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Nick’s uniform was flawlessly pressed, and clean, the navy blue shirt, and rose emblem stood proud. His eyes were cut like daggers, and his face marred an expression that I had never before seen. In fact, I had only ever seen him as a brother, as competition, yet now, he stood as a high ranking captain of the illustrious black ops. Somehow, unlike at home, he carried an air of possession, and danger, authority almost plastered blatantly over every mismatched piece of hair falling from his head.

“My god, Lark, you’re alive.” His voice falters as he surveys my body. My jaw tightens as I stare back, only all to aware of the fact that I was alone, and that he hadn’t expected to find me alive.

“You make it sound like it’s a surprise.” I respond coldly, my eyes meeting his with an almost frenzied look. Each breath cuts against my trembling bones, and just how was I going to explain why it was only me here?

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“Your blood is sprayed across this whole forest, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if we were going to find you, or a corpse.” I glare, but hold my tongue as we begin to walk. What was there to say? The mission had been a complete and utter failure, Seth and Aiden… How could I admit that I was surprised too? That I had managed to survive. That I had lived, and they had died. “I’m glad… That you… Larka, you’re alive, it just seems that perhaps right now, we can’t celebrate that fact. You’re squad isn’t walking out of here, and the dead can’t talk, so tell me…” He hesitates, his face tightening for just a moment. “I’m sorry, I forget that this is your first time-“

“Don’t be. It’s of little to no consequence to me.” I cut in over him. My voice is lathered in ice cold poison, and I feel nothing in return. “They were soldiers, soldiers die.” This time, I can’t meet his eyes, I don’t know where to look but the ground. It was the truth, the one I had grown up with, so why did it cut me so deeply? “So what did you want to know, how did I survive? What happened? Because even I’m not entirely sure, it all… Just happened so fast. Why are you all here anyway? It’s not exactly protocol to respond so quickly, sure shit did go down, for us, but we’re only a day late.”

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As I lead them back to Cassiel’s house in the darkness of the forest, it didn’t seem friendly, whether it be full of shadows or none at all, because in every one lurked evil. Despite the fact that our elites had arrived, I didn’t feel any better for it. “We should have noticed the irregularities sooner.” Nick mutters, watching me closely. “In the past month alone, more and more routine missions have been turning into blood baths. It was just a few at first, not enough to really notice it, but put it all together, and it makes perfect sense.”

“So you knew? Maybe not you exactly, but they knew when they sent us that this could happen?” I breathe quietly in return, trying to quell the fires erupting from the pit of my stomach. This anger, this confusion, it’ll only tear me apart before I can get the answers I need. “They knew that they were sending us to the slaugh-“

“No, Lar-“

“Then why?” I hiss at him. Regardless of the soldiers standing behind us, now forced to watch, and listen, I can’t stop. They had been asked to say goodbye before, it was a part of their lives, not mine. I just… “Nick, if it wasn’t a possibility, then why are you all here right now? Either they already knew… Or… They’ve decided that my life is worth more than another team that’s out there right now.”

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“No.” Nickolai is quick on the defensive, of course he has to be. He was the alpha, regardless of whether or not it was true, he had to fight for what would protect the interests of his team. “Your mother, your grandfather… They’ve nothing to do with this. This is Ravenwood, home of the outbreak of this war, and of the rumored hideaway of one of our pureblood enemies. Of course when I heard that your team was one of the ones on the list…” The authority in his voice wavers slightly, trying to make me understand. “Larka, no one knew. We should have, but we didn’t.”

“Course not.” I state, looking away, just anywhere that I didn’t have to face him. His eyes, his voice, his face, it was all to much. Regardless of whether or not the pack hierarchy was disbanded years ago, Nickolai’s supreme pressure was weighing down on me, with every breath he took.

“Did you see the mad prince..?” Nicholai asks somewhat absentmindedly, yet still on edge. Perhaps he was just trying to keep up pretenses, because underneath it all, there definitely was a hint of anxiety. Especially when there was a pure blood swirling within his brain.

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“You believe such tall tales?” I respond in monotone. Crossing across the fading dirt path, I gaze up into the window of Cassiel’s house. He was probably tearing his hair out with the amount of so called demons that had been dragged out here, to his tiny little home that hadn’t seen a soul in years. “The vampires that attacked us mentioned a master, they were old, probably between five hundred and eight hundred years old themselves. They were good at covering their tracks too, we had no idea that they were even there, til it was too late. Whoever their master is, is gonna be a scary son of a bitch, but a pure blood? Attacking runts like us?”

His eyes flicker in the dim light of the moon. “All legends have a basis somewhere in fact, whether it’s the pure blood or not, it’s going to be a bother to deal with.”

“It wasn’t even sun down, and yet they were confident enough to reveal themselves.” I murmur, watching the water rippling against the surface of the lake. Trying not to visualize the scenes I was talking of, trying not to remember to clearly how they’d torn out Aiden’s throat, or how they’d snapped Seth like a twig. “It was an ambush but why, it’s not like we were anything special.” Why? Just why?

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“It’s war, maybe it was for you, maybe it wasn’t, hell, it could still be a trap, but no one ever said war was clean cut. It’s gory, we just kill as many of them as we can and don’t ask questions. Who’s to say they’re not the same?” The silence in the air is thick and heavy, the tension weighs down on my chest like a ton of bricks, and I just wish that I had something more to say. I had killed two of their’s, and let one escape, and then Cassiel? I slump down onto the stairs and focus on following one breath after the other.

“Did you know that people still live here?” I ask, changing the subject, forcing the words from my lips. I didn’t want to think about the darkness in these mountains. I had killed plenty of vampires, but there was a huge difference with being the hunted than the hunter. A terrifying difference that I didn’t want to think about. Christ why was I still thinking about it? I survived, I would keep surviving. All that was left was to bury these memories so far inside of me, they’d never see the light of day again.

“It’s of little worry to me, while I’m glad there was someone to help you, we’re soldiers, it’s not our job to worry about whether or not there is or was.” His eyes meet mine, and I feel my chest tighten, with both contempt and a kind of envy for him. He wasn’t even thirty, and yet he was a high ranking commander, and he knew exactly what was expected of him. Apathy for those he’d lost. Compassion for those he’d save. And a rage he’d direct at any of those who’d threaten what he sought to protect. “Maybe if you’d gone into politics like Vivian had wanted for you….”

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“I’m sure she’d love to convince me when I get back.” I smirk halfheartedly, hell I don’t even believe the forced curves of my lips. What was I going back to anyway? Questions, and tears, mothers relentless sobbing. A funeral dressed in black and withered roses for the dead. “You’re all going to want to know about him, Nickolai.” Sighing deeply, I look into my hands. “The man inside this house, that is. He’s… Different. He killed a vampire. Buried it-“

“So what if he did?” One of Nick’s men scoff with a roll of their eyes.

“He didn’t turn it to ash.” I respond coldly, standing up, and glaring over in his direction. “But he killed it. I think I’ll take my leave now, unless you needed anything else, Nick. I’m sure we can talk about this in the morning, it’s been a rough few days as you can imagine.” A few of his squad protests at my sudden silence on the matter. They’d figure it out themselves, besides, I didn’t want to talk about what they wanted to know, not right now.

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“Wait…” Nick states, placing a hand on the inside of my arm. Somehow his face seems softer, and more forgiving. “I’m glad that you’re okay. And for what it’s worth, I am sorry. We can’t save them all though, Lark. But we try, I try.” Slowly he steps away, as though he’s finished trying to find ways to blame himself. “Reiner, Santos, collect the bodies, and load them up, it’s time they went home. Lark, it’s time you went home too.”

“No.” I growl with a lot more anger, and fire than I thought I still had left in me. “You expect me to just walk out of here while the one responsible for the death of my squad still live?”

“It’s not up for debate.” His voice is sharp and for a moment I can’t figure out the emotion in his eyes, anger, or worry.

Everyone starts moving, and I stand alone for a few moments, trying to collect my thoughts. It wasn’t like I would be going home alone, the others weren’t walking out of here with me though, no they were leaving in body bags. My knuckles tighten and turn to a sickly white under the pressure. Despite the bloodshed here, this town seemed to be the one thing tethering me to the past, to any form of answer I could find about what I was. About who I was. Leaving it now, after everything I’d found just seemed so futile.

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Maybe they truly had died in vain…

“Hey, I uh… Take it your leaving now?” The darkness of my eyes fades away, and Cas stares at me. His shoulders slumped slightly, aloof…

“Well what did you expect?” I snap at him. “I’m a soldier, missions don’t last forever.” I push myself from the wall and take a few steps away. Instead of talking to him, I felt like I was speaking to myself. My own frustration at leaving was now his.

“I just thought you might want your book back, seeing as you almost died to get this thing.” Without thinking, I snatch the book from his hands. My dignity was already in pieces, and this book could be the one thing to make it worth while. “But you know, I’m just some dumb country boy, I wouldn’t know that. And thanks for bringing the cavalry, god knows I was waiting for the day when soldiers came back to ‘help’ this town.”

“You’re welcome.” I grit my teeth, baring half of my mouth in an unforgiving half smile. In Ravenwood, soldiers were the least of his worries.

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“Wait.” He suddenly calls as I turn towards the trees. “You were the one who survived… So make it count, god knows you can’t if you keep up with this self entitled bullshit attitude. And yes, the country boy knows a big word.” I don’t know how he managed to smile so easily, so convincingly. In all my life, I’d never managed such a feat, not even in the moments where I might have believed it.

I pause for a moment, my eyes studying the curves of his face. “Cas…” I begin but stop. There was nothing to say. There was something holding me back, crippling me to my own words. “They’ll… They’ll want to know about that elixir of yours, that exorcism juice, and they’ll know if your lying too.”

“So that’s it?” Once again he won’t let me leave, got to give that to him, the man was persistent.

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“So that’s what?” I almost repeat his words for him. My eyebrows scrunch up in deliberation and thought, watching him carefully. What the hell could be left? “Were you expecting something else? I’m a solider, Cas, and I’m doing what I do best, leaving. Surely there wasn’t anything else.”

“A thank you maybe-“

“Goodbye.”