Vampires, slayers, and boy on boy action...if none of this appeals to you then don't read this.
Suddenly the darkness begins to grow fainter and he is able to distinguish silhouettes in the distance. He braces himself for what he knows is next.
The comfortable silence gradually turns to screams and despite knowing his legs are useless he tries to run. He can’t move. He never can.
‘It’s almost over’ He stands still stuck in the same place he began in. The same place he’s always in. ‘It’s almost over, but the worst is yet to come.’
Crash! The body falls to the floor landing at his feet and he finds himself staring once again into the lifeless eyes of his brother. Again he negates all previous knowledge that has taught him otherwise and tries to close his eyes only to find that once again he can’t.
Staring into those vacant eyes he finds himself once again being swallowed into darkness. Darker…Darker…Darker…He gasps and that’s how he knows it’s all over. He can breathe again.
He turns to face the digital clock on his nightstand, 11:58. His alarm will go off soon anyway.
Flicking on the light he stands form the bed, pretending not to notice the shaking in his legs.
‘The past is just like the dead,’ He thinks as he makes his way to the closet, ‘it refuses to stay buried.’
He hurries to dress and make his way to the assignment board downstairs making only one detour before he leaves, the mirror. He stares at his reflection just long enough to assure himself that there are no signs of the dream in his expression, the last thing he needs is 100 circle members prying into his personal life.
He walks hastily downstairs to the lobby where the assignment board hangs. Seven folders, one for each circle, the assignments were separated by rank. The first circles, being the highest rank or the most experienced and powerful slayers, got the hardest assignments. Meaning, of course, that the seventh circle got the easiest. Not that any assignment was simple, but certainly some did involve more knowledge of the supernatural than others.
Acheron himself was a 3rd circle, quite an accomplishment for someone so young. However, today his had seemed to take on a life of it’s own, drifting toward the 2nd circle folder. He smirked at the assignment written on the piece of paper. This particular vampire was what they called an Incubus, preying on young girls by using his sexual appeal. When the girl was fully aroused the demon sucked her dry leaving nothing but a desiccated and unrecognizable corpse.
He headed out of the organization’s headquarters towards the pleasure district, just where a demon like this would hunt.
Acheron leaned against the wall of the club, the unreasonably loud music vibrating through the wall and into his chest. He was watching his target with a trained expression, trying to blend in as best he could. He was waiting for the vampire to leave with a victim before he struck and he didn’t have to wait long. Almost as soon as the vampire had spotted his prey he exited with her on his arm.
Acheron left soon after, attempting to follow at an inconspicuous distance. Hiding in alleys so as not to be seen. When they were a safe distance away from other humans Acheron decided to strike taking the gun out from his jacket and firing towards the demon’s heart.
In one fluid movement the vampire spun around throwing his prey to the side and caught the stake. “You over estimate yourself.” He said. “Did you honestly think I couldn’t sense you?” A cocky smirk played as he threw the stake to the side and made his way toward Acheron.
“I think you’re under estimating me.” Acheron threw three knives at once. One aimed for the head, one the neck, and one the heart. Surely he could not dodge all at once.
The vampire rolled his eyes before yanking the shaking girl at his feet up and using her as a shield. “Idiot.”
“I’ll make you eat those words!” Acheron took out a stake running up to the vampire blinded in his anger and tried to stab him.
But vampire was too fast and dodged the attack managing to only get stabbed in the shoulder. He pulled the stake from his shoulder hissing in pain, “You know what kid you’re really starting to piss me off.” Using Acheron’s own stake the vampire stabbed Acheron in the chest. “Beaten at your own game, ahey slayer?”
Acheron’s vision was blurring and the most movement he could manage was to lean against a nearby building. He wasn’t stupid enough to pull the stake out but he wasn’t smart enough to know what to do next.
Acheron was sure he was going to die. He couldn’t say that his life flashed before his eyes, but that may have been because he’d repressed so much of it. He began to slide down the wall sputtering up blood with every breath. ‘Fuck’ was the last thing he thought before everything went black.
Acheron clearly didn’t see what happened next a stake came flying through the air behind the vampire piercing him straight through the heart. He turned to dust.
“Stupid fucking kids,” the crossbow wielding man said. His partner stood next to him shaking his head.
“What do we do?” His partner said.
“Bring ‘em back to headquarters, see if they can be healed.”
Lucian walked into headquarters with Acheron thrown over his shoulder, his partner following close behind with the girl.
“Picking up strays Lucian?” said a woman mockingly. She sat at table in the main room.
“Only the pretty ones.” Lucian smirked suggestively before beginning to explain; “We found them with the incubus. The girl’s obliviously the victim and I think the boy’s a slayer…a fairly bad one at that.”
“Now, now don’t be mean that was a level two demon.” Amdis said grinning, “That’s a lot to take on for a kid barely out of his teens…Well take them back to the infirmary and have Althea take a look at them.”
Lucian nodded and headed with Constantine (his partner) toward the infirmary.
“A little help!” Constantine called out upon seeing the empty infirmary. He plopped the unconscious girl down on a bed while Althea and her aide walked into the room.
“Oh my god!” Althea’s aide gasped upon seeing Acheron, whom Lucian was lying down in the bed next to the anonymous girl, “What happened?!”
“We found them with the incubus.” Lucian said more to Althea then to the girl who’d actually asked.
Althea walked over to the beds examining each body quickly, but thoroughly. She then turned to the girl, “She’ll be fine. It shouldn’t take long for me to heal her.”
“And the boy?” Constantine asked
“I can suspend the death but not for long. He is going to die maybe not now but in a matter of days.” Althea replied
“We can’t let him die. There has to be…” Althea’s aide said.
“There’s nothing we can do.” Lucian said, “He knew what he was getting himself into going up against a vampire that was clearly too strong for him.”
“How can you be so callous?!” She was beginning to get angry, “He’s just a kid!”
“There’s nothing we can do.” Lucian repeated flatly.
“Can’t you turn him or…” She began before Lucian interrupted him.
“No, he’s a slayer. The last thing he wants is to be a vampire.”
“So he’d rather be dead!” She protested
“Probably, the way organizations like his view vampires to become one to a person like him would be, quite literally, a fate worse than death.”
“You’re ridiculous! There has to be something you can do!”
“You could bind him to yourself.” Amdis, whom no one had noticed until now, interjected from the doorway.
“Or you could bind him to yourself.” Lucian shot back.
Amdis walked over to Acheron’s prone body, “I suppose I could.” She said laying a hand on his forehead she shut her eyes, and the room fell silent for what may have only been a few minutes, but it felt like an eternity. “No,” she said removing her hand, “this one’s yours.”
“I don’t have time for pets Amdis.” Lucian replied.
“Lucian do you know any Emily Dickinson. She’s really a marvelous poet. Right up there with Sappho in my opinion.”
“Make your point Amdis.”
“Emily Dickinson has the most exquisite love poem. Would you like to here it?”
“Would it make a difference if I said no.” Lucian smirked.
Returning his smirk Amdis began to recite the poem, “Love is anterior to life/ Posterior to death/ Initial to creation, and/ The exponent of breath.”
“Lovely, Amdis, really, but I fail to see how Emily Dickinson has any connection to our current situation.”
“You truly are dense.” Amdis smiled, “Didn’t I always tell you he’d be reborn?”
Lucian studied Amdis’ eyes for a moment before looking down at the prone body and examining it with a cautious eye. ‘Shit,’ she was right. It was him, the body may have been different but the chakra was the same.
He couldn’t let him die again and with that Lucian tore Acheron’s shirt removing the stake and biting into the wound. He closed his eyes and let his chakra flow through into Acheron’s body until the wound was healed and the only evidence that it had every been there was a sign, marking Acheron as Lucian’s forever.
Acheron blinked open his eyes the harsh fluorescent lights burning his eyes, ‘Hell’s brighter than I imagined.’ He thought opening his eyes completely. He looked down at his chest where the wound had been. ‘Wait, that mark. I recognize that…No! There’s no way! Fuck!’ Acheron flew up ignoring the pain and fatigue in his muscles. He flung the door to the infirmary open several bewildered pairs of eyes falling on him in the process and two not so bewildered pairs.
“You should really lye back down.” A tall broad shouldered man said, “You wouldn’t want to strain yourself after such a massive injury.”
“What the fuck is this?!” Acheron screamed pointing to his chest.
“It’s the first in a series of marks that binds you to me.”
“I know that!”
“Then why did you ask?” The man smirked.
“I…uh…Why am I bound to you?!”
“Because otherwise you’d be dead.”
“I’d rather be dead!”
“Be my guest,” The vampire said in an even tone looking down at his near empty pack of cigarettes. “Your life is of no consequence to me.”
Acheron was furious now. Who the fuck was this guy to insult his pride like this. Acheron walked gracefully over to the table were Amdis, Althea, Lucian and Constantine were sitting and kicking the chair out from beneath Constantine, he grabbed Constantine’s crossbow and aimed it at Lucian.
“Fuck!” Constantine cried out as he hit the floor, “you know kid I like you better unconscious.”
“I’ll make you regret ever saving me.”
“Mission accomplished.” Lucian said
Acheron’s hatred for Lucian had doubled by now. “Pompous vampire.” Acheron fired a stake at him intentionally missing but not by much. He wanted to see him squirm before killing him.
Unfortunately for Acheron, Lucian didn’t even flinch. In fact, he didn’t even look up, “What is this a murder suicide? Being a slayer you must know that being bound to a vampire means that if said vampire is killed so is the human bound to them.”
“I did know that and I certainly don’t care. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to die than to take you down with me.”
“So ungrateful,” Lucian said as he stood for the table, “here I save your life and you go and try to take us both down.” Lucian turned and headed for the door.
Acheron fired another stake at Lucian’s heart, but without much effort at all Lucian turned and caught it while Amdis snickered in the back round. “Kid I’d really think twice about killing me if I were you. Not for my sake of course, I’ve had a full life, but you…well nobody should die a virgin.”
Constantine burst into laughter.
Acheron couldn’t stop his face from turning beat red. “Shut the fuck up! My personal life is no business of yours!”
“Hn,” Lucian snickered, “That’s where you’re wrong. You see now that we’re bound your life is mine.”
The very thought of a vampire knowing details about him he’d never told anyone and never planned to tell anyone didn’t sit well with Acheron. “I didn’t ask to be bound to you! In fact, the whole idea of it sickens me! I hate you almost more than anyone else! And you will die at my hand!”
Lucian just walked out the door waving his hand at Acheron as he left.
Amdis and Constantine looked at Acheron who was now standing in the middle of the room fuming. “Sooo,” Constantine said, “you two seemed to hit it off.”
Amdis began laughing hysterically before calming herself and turning to Acheron. “Do you have anywhere to stay tonight? You obviously can’t go back to your organization with that mark on you.”
Acheron thought for awhile before saying anything. He didn’t have anywhere to go but the idea of staying with vampires, especially Lucian, drove him insane. “I’ll go.” He said more to himself than Amdis. He threw down Constantine’s bow and began to make his way to the door before being stopped by Amdis.
“Go where, exactly?” It wasn’t so much a question as a challenge as indicated by the mocking tone in her voice and the amusement in her eyes.
“It doesn’t matter…away.”
“Acheron, if we’d wanted to do something we’d have already done it. Despite what you may believe our actions were to save you and the girl you nearly got killed. So trust us. If only for one night, stay here.”
“Fine, a night and only because I’m grateful you saved the girl.”
“You’re taking advantage of our hospitality because you’re grateful to us. That seems a little backwards doesn’t it?” Constantine said.
Amdis threw him a warning look, “What? I was just saying…”
“If you don’t want me here I’ll go. I’m not going to stay where I’m unwanted….and it seems to be obvious that I am.” Acheron said.
“Acheron, I wouldn’t have asked you to stay if I didn’t want you here.” Amdis said standing, “Now come follow me, I’ll show you to your room.”
The corridor wasn’t dark and there were no candle. It was a regular hall like you might find in any apartment building and the room that it led to was much the same with one minor difference. Thick, black curtains, maybe two layers of them, blocking out any and all light from the outside world.
“Well this is it. It’s not particularly charming, but it’ll have to do.” Amdis said looking around the room.
“It’s fine. I’m only going to be here one night anyway.”
“Hmm,” Amdis looked at him knowingly the same amusement from earlier once again playing on her face, “That’s right, only one night.” And with that she was gone.
‘What an odd girl.’ He thought. He threw himself into the bed. ‘I am only staying one night.’ And even though he hardly felt tired he drifted into sleep.
It must have been night because it was darker than the sun would allow and you could hear owls in the back round. Suddenly two men came into the scene. One, Acheron recognized as Lucian though something about him was off. He wasn’t a vampire he was human. The other he’d never seen but was clearly a vampire with his sharp canine teeth gleaming in the night. “If you were a vampire you would be stronger. Maybe strong enough to protect those you care for.” The vampire urged.
“If I were a vampire wouldn’t I lose those I care for?”
“And how exactly do you figure?”
“Well to be frank I don’t think the general public is very accepting of demons.”
“That will all change very soon I promise.” The vampire grinned.
“I can’t except on your word alone. I have to be sure that there is some benefit for me in all this. How do I even know you are trustworthy and just why are you so admit about making me a vampire. What do you have to gain?”
“Even if my plan falls through, which I guarantee you it won’t, you gain all the powers of the supernatural. Immortality, super strength, perhaps clairvoyance, your strongest chakra will be amplified. I need you to help my uprising. I’m giving you the chance to join the winning side before the war even begins.”
“This sounds like quite the gamble. Putting all my faith in the chance that you will win a war that hasn’t even begun and just what happens if we lose? I have nothing. No need for supernatural ability, who do I have to protect?”
“Well, I’ll ask you one more time.”
“The only thing I can count on is death and I’m not willing to give that up.”
“Very well, have it your way.” Lucian turned to leave, foolishly turning his back on the vampire. The vampire attacked him. Grabbing him with lightening speed and sinking his teeth into his neck.
Acheron sprung up in his bed. He grabbed his neck. No bite marks. He laid back down it was still only 8 but he couldn’t fall back asleep. He tossed and turned trying to find a comfortable position. Useless. All he could do was think of Lucian and his death. ‘He was human…’ It always came back to that in his mind.
Despite having been taught that since he was a child in Acheron’s mind humans and vampires had always been completely separate entities. There was no comparison. Humans were basically good creatures of light and vampires were demons feeding off the innocent. So the idea that one could be born from another was, to Acheron, unfathomable. ‘He…he didn’t want this.’
Acheron sighed exasperated. Well if he couldn’t sleep he certainly wasn’t going to stay here any longer. Then he realized he was up before any of them and could leave unnoticed which was exactly what he wanted. He snuck out of his room and even though he didn’t turn any lights on, not wanting to risk waking anyone up, he moved like a cat through the corridors and out the door.
All Lucian could see was the same darkness Acheron was staring into. The violent screaming in the back round made Acheron twist and turn in the torture that was consuming him.
When Acheron finally escaped the hiding place his mother had secured for him when the war began, he saw his whole family, or at least what was left of them. His father, or the Lucian supposed must have been his father, was impaled through the stomach, stuck to the wall. His mother lye in various pieces, a head staring back at him from the bookshelf, and then his brother, whom Acheron had gone to stand over sometime after leaving his hiding place. His brother lay prone on the floor lifeless eyes staring up into Acheron’s, into Lucian, threatening to swallow him whole. He stayed like that, unmoving, unblinking for what felt like an eternity before running. He ran out of his house the blood on the floor smearing his bare legs and feet. He ran through the streets, aimlessly, ignoring the looks of passer-bys. He ran until he couldn’t run anymore and then a child sized Acheron fell to his knees bawling.
Lucian’s eyes flew up. If he’d had a pulse it would have been through the roof right now. ‘They must have been murdered during the war.’ Lucian thought, ‘considering his age it only makes sense, but why? There’s no doubt it was an assassination, but the question is by whom? Is it an inside job or was it him?
Lucian looked at his clock, 11:56. He might as well get up. He needed to talk to Amdis about this.
Amdis was standing in the main room loading up her bow and packing stakes into the inside of her jacket when Lucian walked in. “He left,” she said without turning around, “sometime around eight I think.”
“I didn’t know he’d stayed.”
“Well,” she turned to face Lucian, “what do you want?”
“Did you know about them?”
“Of course, in fact I know them and so did you. Although I’m sure it’s hard to recognize someone once they’ve been decapitated.”
“So what happened?”
“You want me to tell you and ruin all the suspense? Now where’s the fun in that?”
“Amdis who is this kid that someone would want his whole family dead?”
“Well now that maybe I can tell you. Or at least a hint, have you ever heard of the Circe clan?”
“Of course, they’re a long line of necromancers. Amdis is he…”
“That’s right, the last Circe.”
“I didn’t know there were any left. I thought Hadrian had had them all killed.”
“So did he.” Amdis smirked, “I guess he didn’t research as well as he thought he did.”
“Is that why you had me save him?” Lucian voice was even, but his eyes gleamed with anxiety.
“Not entirely…it is him Lucian, you know that as well as I do. It so happens he’s the last Circe as well.”
“Just like him to be reborn into the last of the necromancers, fucking little pain in the ass.” Lucian shook his head and walked the utility room to retrieve his weapons.
Constantine entered the room shortly after him. He grabbed his weapons along with Lucian yawning.
When they walked back out Amdis had her eyes closed and her fingers pressed to her temples as if she were deep in thought. The pressure in the room was unreasonable heavy and for a moment they felt as if it would crush them then all at once it lifted as her eyes opened and hands dropped to her sides. She said, “I want you to kill a thrill seeker. Steer toward the back alleys of the pleasure district.”
“You know you’d think with how much time we spend around the pleasure district we’d get more action.” Constantine said
With that they toward they door and just as they approached it Amdis said, “And one more thing Lucian. Did you ever read the Odyssey?”
“Goddamn it Amdis can’t you just ever say what you mean?!” Lucian said, “Fucking allusion, what are you trying to prove?! We get it you’re literate!”
“Is that a yes or a no?”
Lucian sighed, “Yes Amdis, yes I have read the odyssey.”
“And you remember what happened between Circe and Odysseus?”
“Is this a warning or a pep talk?”
Amdis chuckled, “A warning.”
Lucian turned and began walking out the door with Constantine, “you’re the one who had me save him.”
Acheron was in the pleasure district. He could sense that a few alleys away a vampire was waiting. When he crossed the alleyway the vampire jumped out at him. With cat-like reflexes he took a stake out of his jacket and tried to stab it through his chest. The vampire quickly tried to move out of the way and when Acheron saw the stake would miss he took out a knife and lodged it into the vampire’s arm hoping the pain would slow him some.
The vampire hissed in pain and cursed under his breath as he pulled out the knife. It hadn’t slowed him down at all it just made him angry. The vampire attacked with Acheron’s knife and slit his shoulder. This was the worst possible thing to happen, for him to bleed.
The vampire was thirsty which was dangerous as it was. Their senses were sharpest when they were thirsty and the bleeding was only added incentive to drain Acheron. Not to mention that now that he could smell the blood it made it impossible for Acheron to hide.
The vampire jumped in him pinning him by his wrists. He held his wrists so tightly that when Acheron kicked him off he thought he would take his hands with him as he flew into the wall.
Acheron aimed another stake at his heart but the vampire moved out of the way quickly and before Acheron could blink the vampire had grabbed him from behind and was adjusting his grip on him so he couldn’t get away.
There was only one way out of this and Acheron knew it. To use his necromancer powers. He hated to use them. To expose himself as the last Circe.
His train of thought was cut off as he felt the vampire lick his neck.
He started to mutter a necromancer incantation but before he’d even finished the first word of it a stake flew by his head and through the head of the vampire licking at his neck.
“How long were you gonna wait to kill him. Until he had his teeth in you.” Lucian raised an eyebrow at Acheron.
“Just shut up! I had it under control so don’t give me any of your shit!”
“Not even a thank you? Well this is the last time I save you that’s for sure.”
“I didn’t need saving and I’d rather have died than be saved by you anyways.”
“Whatever kid, just be sure you start those incantations a little earlier next time. You know sometime before his mouth is on your neck.”
“How did you know…” Acheron’s voice trailed off.
“You mean aside from the fact that you were muttering in tongues?” Lucian looked at him a long time as if expecting him to find the answer somewhere on Lucian’s face. “We’re bound together…or did you forget?”
Acheron was instantly reminded of the dream he’d had. “You don’t have to be so nonchalant about it. I haven’t said anything to you about how you became a vampire. In fact, maybe that’s best. Let’s just not talk about it.”
“I wasn’t trying to pry.” Lucian lit up a cigarette, “I was simply offering advice. Save us both some hassle if you could keep yourself out of trouble.”
“I don’t want any of your advice. After all, you believed a vampire that wanted you to join his war was just going to let you go.” Acheron muttered.
Lucian smirked, “I thought we weren’t talking about that. Or does that rule only apply to your past?”
“Maybe it should considering you don’t seem very fazed when I talk about yours.”
“I’ve had nearly six hundred years to deal with those demons. No use getting worked up over it now. Anyway I’d love to stay and argue with you, but I have work to do.” Lucian turned to leave.
“Great so do I.” Acheron went in the opposite direction of Lucian even though he sensed that the closest vampire was in the direction Lucian was headed towards. ‘What an ass! If I really wanted to I could hurt him! Doesn’t he understand who I am?!’
Lucian chuckled as he walked away from Acheron, hearing Acheron huff off in the opposite direction soon after. ‘Stubborn brat.’ He thought a satisfied smile playing on his lips. ‘Some things never change.’
The Greek philosopher Ovid was quoted as saying that ‘all things change, but nothing dies.’ And suddenly Lucian knew this was true.