Type of work: Very long story
Genre: Dark love story / tragedy
Title: The After Taste of Love
Author: Falldownnight (me)
Summary: These first few chapters let you get used to the characters and what they may think about certain things that will play out later
The last image that she saw was the knife being raised above his head. The look in his eyes told her that he wasn’t bluffing; he was going to kill her this time. Ravens breathe caught in her throat as she watched the blade slowly fell into her chest, tearing her skin apart.
A scream escaped her throat as the blade went deeper into her flesh. Time passed slowly, every inch that the blade went in was an hour of pain for her. Then, finally, time went back to normal, and the blade was pressed deep within her chest. The man stood there and watched, pressing the handle of the knife as close to her skin as possible.
After a few minutes of him twisting the knife deeper and deeper into her rib cavity, he pulled it out with one swift tug. She fell to the ground and gasped for air. Her long black hair swept behind her back and slightly cushioned her fall. Raven’s black eyes darted around the forest, trying to find something to help her, but there was nothing. He stood over her and laughed.
“Silly girl…I warned you. I would of let you live if you had just complied with my wishes...” He knelt down next to her and grabbed a fist full of her hair, pulling her head up close to his “Now, you will suffer...”
She grunted loudly and spat “go...to hell you pig...” she spit a small mouthful of blood in his eyes.
He laughed again, letting her hair go. Ravens head fell back and hit the ground with a thud. He just shook his head and stood, looking down on her like he always did “Have it you’re way...slave” He walked back to his horse and laughed at her, taking the reins from his servant. The man looked at Raven and sighed, then turned around and watched his master ride off, leaving him to walk back to town.
The man stood there for a minute and watched the poor young girl bleed out from her chest. He eyed her from a distance. Her clothes were like his, rags, just like always. She had chain marks on her ankles and wrists. So, she was his slave too... He thought about it for a minute and moved closer. She instantly looked up at him and tried to look defensive, but with the wound on her chest, it was almost impossible.
He stepped closer and kneeled down by her side. She shook from the blood lose, and her color was draining. Her arms gave way and became jellow, as her head hit the ground again. He leaned over and picked her up into his lap gently, trying to be calm.
“My name is Tristan...I'm his servant too.”
He held her in his arms for a minute and looked down into her pale face.
“..Raven...my name is raven...”
She coughed a little more, the blood spilling out from the corners of her mouth. Tristan leaned close and whipped away some of the blood, trying not to hurt or scare her.
“Raven… that is a beautiful name... I was his healer, but now I am his foot boy.” He chuckled “a boy of 17, it doesn’t...”
Her eyes closed and her mouth started to ooze blood again. He shook her violently and tried to wake her. Raven’s eyes opened slowly and she moaned
“Listen to me!! Raven…damn, I don’t have time…to heal you.”
He rubbed her face gently and smiled, her eyes stayed open.
“Go…you have to go...”
She sighed and tried to close her eyes again. Tristan shook her again, but stopped as he felt a sharp pain in his stomach.
He looked down to see the end of his master sword in his gut. He fell on top of Raven and gasped, trying not to hurt her. Tristan slipped a piece of herb into her wound and sighed whispering into her ear
His voice died, as did he.
There master looked down at the bodies and laughed.
“Pitiful humans...I was hoping Tristan would last...oh well...”
He got back onto his horse and rode off once again.
Raven gasped as the herb started to work. Her whole body felt like it was on fire, every cell was exploding. Her ribs separated themselves from her skin, along with the rest of her organs and bones. She gasped for air, as everything inside of her separated, and crumbled. A light came from within her chest and started to move up, taking the form of a girl. Raven watched from her body, seeing this light ball form into, well, her. In an instant she went from her body, to the ball of light.
She opened her eyes and looked down to see her body, a pile of dust under the body of Tristan. She looked herself over and noticed that she wasn’t real, just a ball of light. Raven surveyed the land, witch had also changed. Everything was bent out of shape, distorted almost. No light was seen, only darkness. She moved on and knelt by Tristan. In this realm, he looked to be nothing but a giant sausage.
Raven was shocked by this new area. She was still standing in the forest outside of the village, but it was like hells furry had come upon the world. She knew a little about the different planes, but no much, only what the many spirit guides that came to her master’s aide had been kind enough to tell her.
She touched her arms gently and sighed, no feeling. Her hand fell upon her chest, and yet there was no heart beat, and she wasn’t breathing. Her eyes scanned the trees for anything out of the ordinary. There were five planes that she looked through.
The first plane was that of the spirits, only healers could use anything on this plane. The second and third were of the animals and humans. The fourth, fifth and six were also the same, nothing really but a brighter human world. The seventh was the one that caught her attention. She was in the seventh plane to begin with, but when she switched from the sixth to the seventh, everything became more twisted.
She had to find someone to help her. Raven moved slowly down the path to the town, switching from plane to plain every time she heard a noise. Nothing seemed to stick out to her, just trees and a few spirits. The floating sprits were not like her. They could do nothing but weep, weep and scream. She shifted back into the seventh plane when she came upon the town. A man stood outside of the first building, which was no doubt, a tavern. She moved close to him and said
“Excuse me sir can you...”
She stopped in her place and sighed. Raven realized that he could not see her. No one could. She shrugged and walked into the tavern, looking around on each plane separately.
The first, second and third plane revealed nothing to her, but as she looked over into the corner next to the stairs, she noticed a man staring at her. She continued to surf through the planes in her head, and on the sixth plane, the man that was staring at her became more then a man. She gasped a little as she saw him in his true being. The man looked to be nothing but an old drunk on all of the other planes, but not here on the sixth.
The man, even while sitting, was towering over the table, his long silver hair just barely touching it. His bangs arched over his forehead and then fell upon his chin, following the rest of his hair. His skin was as pale as the moon, but still looked to be almost a peachy color. Raven’s eyes darted away from him, but then quickly looked back. His deep blue eyes were focused on her intently.
He stood slowly, his eyes still fixed on her. He stood a little over six feet tall. His long black leather shirt fell over his loose black pants, which did his form little justice. He shuffled around the table and stood in front of the fireplace. At his left side was a long sword. It was skinny but extremely long, it reached almost to his knee. At his other side was a set of magnum hand guns that glistened in the dim light of the fire.
As he walked closer to her, his long trench coat swayed back and forth, revealing more weapons strapped to his back. Raven went into the seventh plane to try and see what this man or thing was, but no luck. She turned around and dashed out the door, hoping that he would not follow her. She ran right through some drunken men, and slammed into the side of a tree. She turned around and looked just in time to see the man run out of the tavern door and spot her.
Raven took off once again and ran through a garden. Her feet carried her as fast as they could. She looked over her shoulder and saw that the man was gaining on her. He almost flew. Raven ran through a small patch of trees and down by a small stream. Once again, she looked over her shoulder, but saw no man.
She looked back in the right direction fast enough to see a barn within two feet of her. She tried to stop before she hit the barn, but knew that she wouldn’t. All of a sudden, she felt a hand clasp onto her upper arm and spin her around in one motion. Her back hit the barn with little impact. She closed her eyes and whimpered as her head hit a window. The hand that was on her arm kept going up and trailed onto her shoulder. She could feel its presents on her neck, and then on her cheek.
She opened her eye and saw the same man that was in the sixth plane. He had his hands pressed against the barn on ether side of her face, pinning her to the wall. His expression was difficult to interpret; it was one of hate and concern. She shivered gently as his left hand went to her cheek. She flinched. He chucked rather softy and rubbed a spot on her forehead. He could obviously see the fear in his eyes.
“..Boo doll face...” He chuckled again and sighed. “Sorry… I’m not much on first lines.”
His hand gently stroked above her eyebrow. She pulled away and grumbled at him.
“What do you want…?”
She tried to sound big and tough, but she knew that she didn’t sound anything but afraid. She straightened her back and pushed him away.
“Why don’t you just leave me the…”
He smiled “Hey now… I’m the one who should be mad here… all I wanted was to talk to you and what do you do?? Make me chase you into a forest!! Even after that, I'm nice enough to save your pretty face from slamming into that barn’s window!”
Her body slowly relaxed as his hand stroked a cut over her forehead
“I am sorry, I didn’t mean to whip you around so hard… you must have gotten a wind cut…”
He slid his hand down the side of her face to her cheek and then to her chin, lifting her face up until they’re eyes met. “My name’s not important...but I do want you know that I mean you no harm.”
His eyes shifted down to her shoulder and her upper arm. She looked down to where his eyes were and smiled
“My arms fine...and I didn’t ask” He chuckled and cut her off
“My name...I know, but mortals always ask my name first, so I just wanted to tell you right off...names have power...you don’t just give them to anyone”
He turned around and moved a stray hair away from his face.
Raven shook her head gently and touched the cut on her fore head. It wasn’t bleeding too badly now, and it didn’t hurt. She moved in front of him and sighed "What are you?"
He looked down at her and perked an eyebrow "...well, that was bold." He shook his head and smiled at her. "I am a vampire of sorts."
"Of sorts?? And what does that mean??"
Raven sat down and looked up at him. He laughed again and sat down next to her.
"It means that I can be a vampire, and I can be something else...” He looked over at her and sighed "I am immortal, sometimes I drink blood. I don’t fear the sun light if I drink blood. I am also a soul collector of sorts. I go to funerals of the most prestigious people, and as they're souls separate form there bodies...I eat them. After I....take them into me, I go to the home of whoever hired me and hand them over."
He looked over at Raven to find her lying back in the grass. He joined her and smiled as she looked over.
"So, you drink blood and eat souls...so THAT'S why you’re so trim!!" They both laughed.
"That why I saw you...you are a sprit of...sorts"
"You like saying the word sorts don’t you??"
They both laughed again, and she sighed suddenly.
He looked over at her, leaning on his elbow "What troubles you??" With a sideways look from Raven, he said “I know we’ve just met but im interested in what could trouble someone so beautiful as yourself…”
She leaned on her elbow facing him and smiled gently "Why did you want to talk to me?? Did you think I was one of the souls that you were to eat??" Her voice shook a little.
"No...I don’t see many new sprits like you. If I had wanted to eat you, love, you'd be gone..."
He tried not to sound harsh or intent, she was already frightened out of her mind.
Her eyes began to turn into a pool of black. He jumped on her immediately, holding her down by her shoulders. At first she protested, but as soon as her body started to quiver, she had no interest in stopping him. He knew what she was going through. When a person is completely ripped from there body, the bodies them self should be dead. In her case, there were signs that her body was still living when her soul left it.
Doing it this way is both painful and risky. The soul will try and go back into the dying body (actually, after the soul leaves, the body, its self can live for over 5 hrs.). Her soul, he guessed, hadn't been out of the body for more then an hour or two. This was bad for her. If the body died too quickly, the soul would not have time to properly build up a defense. The body would try and pull the soul back into it, to die along with it. Her soul was young, and being pulled extremely hard.
Her soul (or as I will now call it, "body") was shaking and going into fits of cold sweats. The poor girl was lying there, feeling everything.
"Hold on girl...hold on, it'll be over soon...”
He held her down so she wouldn't hurt herself as she convulsed. He tried not to hurt her, his strength was unmatched. He could easily crush her, killing her right there.
She mouthed something to him. He knelt down close and heard her whisper "...Raven...my name's Raven...”
He raised his head and smiled at her, trying not to hurt her. The shakes died down slowly, leaving him on top of her, as she lay there out of breathe and weak. Raven looked up at him, tears forming in her eyes. She noticed that he was also shaking. She didn’t think before she reacted, but it was too late. Raven sat up and wrapped her arms around his side, crying on his shoulder. The man was shocked and startled at first, but after a few minutes, his arms were around her, his chin resting on her head.
"It's okay...it’s over now...I think...”
He held her close for a minute, but felt something within her starting to shake again. She let go of him and looked into his eyes. Raven's eyes were full of pain and fear. He hoped off of her and picked her up, lifting her easily onto her feet.
"I don’t know what’s happening to you...this is"
He stopped and looked down at her stomach. It was oozing a purple powder. He knelt down and lifted her shirt, revealing a stab mark. He looked back up at her and stood instantly
"You...someone tried to kill you...oh man...this makes things...harder" He stood up and picked her up, sweeping her up into his arms.
"Woah...wait a minute...harder?? I don’t even know what in hell's going on now, and you’re telling me its going to get HARDER??!! Where are you taking me??" Her eyes darted around as he walked with ease.
"Im taking you to my home, I may be able to stop this...but im going to have to change you...”
He stopped walking and looked at her, his eyes dead serious.
"Change me...into a vampire??!! Wait...stop what?? What the hell's going on!!??" She tried to get down, but he held her tightly.
"You're body is dying, and trying to pull your soul into it. If I don’t change you, your soul will be pulled into your dead body, and therefore, be dead also...” He smiled gently at her "My home isn't far away, take this time to decide if-"
She cut him off "Decide if I wanna die or not?? I...guess...if it's the only way, and then change me...” She smiled gently and looked down.
Raven was scared, no other way to put it. He knew that it hurt her, every minute... He leaned over and kissed her neck, which got her attention immediately. "Do not fear this Raven, I will be there with you...I'll explain everything as it happens okay?"
He smiled gently, trying to get her to hope. She smiled back weakly, but then returned to looking down.
The walk to his house didn’t take more then a half an hour. Raven had fallen asleep in his arms, her head gently resting on his chest. He wished that he could produce a heart beat for her, maybe that would have calmed her down, but it was too late now. He stopped and stared at his home. It was a rather old building, with arches covering the old porch. Raven awoke and looked up at him, her eyes still closed some. He smiled warmly at her and walked up his old stairs, each one creaking as he stepped on it. The door to his home was painted a rather dull grey, along with the outside trim.
As he stepped into the house, the lights went on instantly, revealing one huge room, lit with only candles. Raven opened her eyes again and smiled. The walls were painted a very light and reflecting blue, the ceilings a pale yellow. He looked over and admired how the candle light lit her face up. She looked up and smiled, bringing him back to reality and the time limit that he had to help her.
He let her down, still holding onto her arm. He motioned over for her to sit down on the couch. Raven complied and sat down, still surveying the room. The man knelt down and gave her a warm smile.
"I'm going to set up the bed and items needed for your transformation okay?"
She nodded and smiled at him. Her smile reminded him of his mothers, warm and caring. He walked over to the opposite wall and lit some candles.
Raven continued to look around until a wave of pain brought a scream out of her mouth, causing him to drop the candle and run to her side. He knelt by her hunched over body, and lifted her head. Raven's face was twisted in pain; the transformation would have to happen now. He picked her up instantly and carried her over to the concrete slab, laying her down gently. He finished lighting the candles, chanting as he lit them.
Her face was still twisted in pain. It was getting worse; her body was dying too quickly. He stopped lighting the candles and chanting, ran over to her and sat down, looking into her eyes.
"Raven...listen to me. I don’t have time to do it this way...the only way to do this... is the old fashion way…our blood will have to mix in your body and mine."
He watched her eyes grown in horror. He leaned down and kissed her lips gently and smiled "I won’t let you die, raven I promise...”
Raven looked horrified and nodded reluctant. She was afraid of this, the fear of dying, of pain. It seemed like forever before he put a pillow under her head. The man, still not knowing his name, took his shirt off and made a small gash on his chest. His blood started to trickle out of it slowly. He leaned over her and brushed her long black hair away from her neck. Her body quivered. This was it, if he messed up. She was...going to die twice.
His fangs grew, and became visible to Raven. She whimpered in horror, but lay very still. He knelt down close to her neck and whispered into her ear
"...Rannon...my name is Rannon...” And with that, he bit down into her neck.
She trembled as his fangs went deeply into her neck. Raven tried not to move, but her body had a mind of its own. Rannon's hand slowly rose to her neck, steading her body. Rannon sucked on her skin, drawing out as much blood as quickly as he could. Raven's body began to quiver, as another wave of "Dying pains" rushed over her. The poor girl had to deal with being drained and death pains.
Rannon continued to suck her blood out, carefully making sure that she had enough in her to keep her conscious. He stopped and sat up, her blood dripping from his chin. Raven looked at him and gasped in horror. Rannon whipped his chin and picked her head up.
"Raven...I need you to drink...this is complete it...”
He smiled at her gently, although he knew that a smile wouldn’t help the pain or her horror. To his surprise, she complied immediately, (for most people, you need to persuade them to bite into you), sucking the blood from the gash in his chest instantly. He could feel her draining him of his blood, and the feeling was that of pain. Raven stopped after a minute and went limp, her eyes still open. He shook his head gently and lifted her head back up, trying to get her to blink or do anything. She was still alive, but probably going through her transformation.
He held her close for a minute before she started to gasp. This was completely normal; she now had to learn how to breathe again. Raven's mouth gaped open as her lungs took in air, and tried to speak. Rannon leaned in closer, but she didn’t really make a sound. He dropped her head gently back onto the pillow and smiled as she went to sleep. The sleeping part was normal; she would wake in an hour or so, completely changed.
Two hours had passed, and Rannon still sat next to Raven. She hadn't moved or awaken sense he changed her. Rannon worried about her, if he drained her too much, she would die within a day or two. All of this would have done nothing to save or help her...All that would have been done was just caused her more pain.
The sun came up and poured through the holes in his drapes. Raven’s eyes were still shut, and her body still lay unchanged. Rannon sat up slowly, his eye lids still felt like lead. His body screamed for more rest, but he could not let any more time pass where Raven wasn’t being watched.
He stood slowly, stretching out his arms and legs, each bone cracking in rhythm. He looked over at Raven once more, just to see if anything about her had changed, but she was still the same. When people go through his transformation, many different things can change about them. Rannon couldn’t help but wonder what part of her would change.
He walked over to one of the windows and pushed the drape aside. The sun’s first rays poured onto his face and bare chest. Rannon closed his eyes and sighed, the warmth feeling like a distant memory.
Raven sat up slowly and blinked her eyes for a minute. She looked around and smiled, the room looked normal. Nothing was twisted out of shape, and nothing was screaming out at her. She fought to get any memory from last night, but her mind was blank. Her hand brushed over her neck, and she rubbed his teeth marks gently. She looked over to where the sun light was coming from and smiled, as she watched Rannon stand there with his back to her. He was a very handsome man, not a thing at all.
She swung her legs over the side of the pillar. Her feet touched the ground gently and felt the cold floor beneath them. Raven stood slowly and looked down, noticing that all she wore now was a huge men’s button-up shirt. She wondered for a minute how she got into the shirt, but sighed gently. Her jeans and shirt were folded in a corner. Raven’s skin began to tingle suddenly. She looked down and watched her once tan skin turn into a very beautiful shade of ivory. Her fingernails grew out to normal length, and her fingers grew, making them very slender.
Raven looked up at Rannon and went to say something, but her throat was dry. She lifted her fingers to her head and gasped. Her once straight black hair was now wavy. She took a strand of it and pulled it in front of her face, RED!! She had red hair, red as blood. Raven looked up and saw herself in the full-length mirror on the opposite wall. Her reflection was fading, but what she could see amazed her. Her hair was down to the middle of her back now, and her eyes were no longer the dull green they once were, oh no, her eyes were now a stunning mix of deep blue and pale red. The colors mixed together to create a shiny purple, with a hue of blue. Rannon had changed her more then she thought.
Every inch of her crawled, her legs becoming skinnier and gained tone; her stomach flattened out, and yes, even her “chest size” grew. She was a new woman. Raven smiled as she crept up behind Rannon. She wrapped her arms around his sides. Rannon jumped instantly and looked behind him. To his amazement, there stood a beautiful, yet changed Raven. He smiled
“Uhh…do I know you beautiful??” He smiled gently and laughed “Im kidding. Wow Raven, I didn’t think you would change that much…you look…” He shook his head gently.
“Well… im going to take that as a compliment.” She let go of his side and did a spin for him “I didn’t think I would become this different...” She stopped spinning and walked over in front of him.
“You’re welcome love…”
Rannon smiled at her and pulled her close. Her eyes shined a new sense of pride, a kind of pride that Rannon missed.
“So...Rannon...I like that name...” She smirked at him and nudged him in the stomach gently. “But now my name does not fit...” She pulled a strand of her hair down in front of her face.
Rannon smiled “I must agree…” He took her hand in his and smiled, kissing her palm gently “You deserve a name that means beauty...” Raven blushed and cupped his chin in her hand. Rannon smiled again and pulled her close, leaning in close. “You shall be called Henna.”
Raven smiled “Henna…”
She nodded gently and smiled, leaning in the rest of the way. There lips met for an instant, but that instant felt like forever. She pulled away first and grinned at him playfully
“And…Uhh how EXACTLY did I get into this shirt last night??” Rannon chuckled and sat down in the chair next to him.
“After you had fallen asleep, I was afraid that your clothes would bind your growth, so I had to...” He grinned again and looked down bashfully.
Henna sat down on the floor next to him, leaning her back on his leg. Rannon leaned forward and stroked her hair gently. He missed this; the love that he felt from her was something that he hadn’t felt for a while. She looked up at him and smiled, turning to face him happily.
The question that was in her eyes was one that wasn’t easily answered. He thought for a minute and sighed.
“I don’t know… I really don’t. After you are turned, usually… you get hungry for your first taste…”
He stopped and leaned back, his hand falling off of her head. He didn’t have to finish, Henna knew exactly what he was saying.
Blood... Her stomach made a noise at the thought of it. She turned around and shook her head, repulsed at the idea of drinking someone’s blood. Her brain was indeed, sickened by that notion, but her stomach grew hungry. Rannon could sense this. He leaned down and smiled, kissing her neck gently.
Henna looked over at him and smiled weakly. Rannon grinned.
“Come here you…”
Rannon wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her up into his lap, stroking her stomach gently.
“I know…what you’re feeling, Henna…” He placed a finger under her chin and lifted her face to meet his “But it’s something that you must do.”
Rannon looked into her eyes and smiled. Henna’s face reflected deep thought.
“It was true”, Rannon thought, “she must drink, but from the best person. She will not be bound to some ignorant ass, which will do nothing but endanger her. I will not let this be…”
His thoughts her interrupted when Henna leaned close and kissed his shoulder gently, resting her chin on his chest. Rannon pulled her away from him and smirked happily.
Henna was curious. He had never showed this side of him, in the brief time that they were together. Rannon continued to smile at her, holding her shoulders. After some time of smiling, he finally said.
“Me…you must drink from me.” Before she had any time to protest, he went on “The first time that you bite into someone, you will be bound to them. They have a certain amount of control over you. I don’t want you to be with someone else…wait!! I meant…”
He looked down and shook his head, as Henna just sat there grinning.
“So NOW we get to the bottom of it…you don’t want me with anyone else…”
She put her hand under his chin and lifted his face up playfully.
“I would have to agree with you though.”
Henna hoped off of his lap and stood, stretching her arms above her head.
Rannon just sat there, staring blankly at her. She wanted him to be with her…she wanted him. He stood up and walked the short distance between them, wrapping his arms around her waist. Before she had time to react, Rannon pulled her against him and kissed her, he kissed her as deeply as he could. Henna blinked in surprise for a moment, but within a few seconds, her arms were dangling form his shoulders and her eyes closed.
Rannon pulled away and rested his forehead against hers, taking in a deep breathe. She smiled, allowing her hunger to take over her thoughts.
“So… how much blood do I have to drink anyway?”
He took her hand in his and sat down on the slab of concrete that she had been changed on. “Well, it all depends…I think you only have to actually drink is a drop or two, but most people tend to like it, a lot” He laughed at her facial expression. Henna grumbled at him and nudged him in the chest.
“Well then, I’m getting hungry…do I...I mean…” She rubbed the back of her neck and sighed “How exactly does this work?”
Rannon put her hand against his neck, the flow of his blood under her fingers. Henna sighed and closed her eyes, trying not to allow her brain to think.
“That’s right henna…don’t think…”
Rannon put his hand on the back of her head, pulling her closer to him
“Just do it…”
As Rannon pulled her closer, she thought about it. The texture, the feeling… everything seemed so wrong. Rannon pulled her closer and closer, her hand falling to his shoulders. Her lips met his neck after only about three or four second. Henna licked his neck gently, her fangs starting to grow. Rannon’s blood began to flow quicker and quicker. It had been so long sense someone fed off of him willingly. Henna’s fangs grew to full length. She didn’t allow herself to think anything. This is what had to be done; she had to drink from him. She lifted her head gently and smiled at him, her fangs poking her lower lip.
He put his finger to her lips gently and nodded, understanding exactly what she meant. Henna leaned back down and bit into his neck, and for the first time, she really couldn’t control herself.
His blood rushed into her mouth, and into her throat. Henna sucked on the opening in his flesh without remorse. She fell into another world, a world where nothing mattered but her hunger for this. His hand that once had to hold her face to his neck fell down her back, rubbing it gently. Rannon sighed once, relaxing.
Time passed by rather quickly while Henna was linked to his neck. She could almost feel her stomach becoming full. All this time, she worried about Rannon. Did this hurt him? Was he in pain? At that thought, she pulled away quickly, almost forcing herself to let go.
Henna’s mind went numb as she pulled away. She could hear Rannon’s voice calling her name in the distance, but he was just too far away. Her eyes closed heavily and she let herself fall into a comatose state.
When she awoke, the room was dark and cold; there was no sign of Rannon anywhere. Henna sat up slowly and looked around. The room was indeed dark, and the windows were all open. Rannon’s trench coat was hanging by the door, but his weapons were all gone. She stood up slowly and walked over to the couch. As she looked around, she found a note placed by a black rose.
My Dearest Henna,
I know that when you read this, you will think that I have left you willingly, but it is quiet the opposite. I have given you life, but now you must learn how to manage it. I cannot stand to know that I have left you alone in a strange place, but this is not by my will, although I am aware that this is how it must be. My love, I know that you are afraid now...
Her eyes began to water as she dropped the note. He had left her, all alone. Her eyes darted back and forth, trying desperately to see where his trail was, but there was none. He did not intend for her to follow him. She took a deep breathe and continued to read.
..But you must be strong. You have more power then you will ever know. You must learn how to manage yourself now, Henna. I know that you will search for me, but you will not find me. Im sorry my love, but this is how it must be. You will be fine, this I know, but Im troubled by the fact that I am forced to go and risk the chance of not coming back to the one that I love, you. I never intended for this to happen, but it has. I am not what I said I was Henna. I am not…I am not what you think I am. I do indeed collect souls, but not of the living. I am a Hessian of sorts, a Hessian for the undead. I go around collecting the life essence of very powerful vampires and other creatures, and then I sell them. Henna, I am a bad man, and I could never let you get entangled with this mess that I am in. And yet my love for you will not let me leave your side. I will leave this choice up to you. I love you with all of my heart, and I promise that when this is over, when I can, I will come back for you.
I have left you my coat. I know that it seems strange, but that coat has been with me for many years now, and it has protected me. I know that it’s not much, but I want you to wear it. Im so sorry my dearest Henna that I cannot be there to protect you. I love you with all of my heart. I always will.
Inside of the coat pocket is a map. That map will lead you to a safe place, a small town called Jimbobten. There in that town, you will find a man named Kerrey, tell him that I sent you and he’ll give you some help. My dearest Henna, I will never stop thinking about you and I hope that you will choose to come with me. Before I forget…in Jimbobten, I believe that you will find another surprise, your friend Tristan is still alive and well, he was changed shortly after you were.
You must go my love, for it is no longer safe where I have left you. I have gone off to fight the forces that draw me so close to loosing you. I will never let anything bad happen to you; Henna and I will find you. When this is all over, we will be together again my love. I promise you that we will be together forever. I brought you into this world of the undead, and I’ll be damned if you die on me.
Henna flipped the piece of paper over slowly and sighed, not knowing what she was going to read next.
I need you to understand Henna that I had to leave. If I had stayed with you, the people searching for me would have killed you too. This, Henna I could never let happen. I am fighting for you Henna, and I always will. My past is something that I cannot overlook, and my past also pushes me into this fight.
I know that I never told you about my past, and I feel that now is the right time. I was born in December of 1788. My mother, Leslie, was only 20 when she had me, and at the time, my father was not around. Life was hard without my father, but he was off fighting in a war to keep what I have become, away from his family. I lived in the very house that you are in right now. My mother, my sister Debby, my two brothers Kenneth and Hennery, and I lived there in that house until the day they all died. I know that by now, you would like to know how I was changed. I could see it in your eyes henna, and its okay…I can open up to you my love.
In the year 1800, my father came back from the fighting in the west. I was 22, my sister was 13 and my brothers were both 15. He had been acting strange one night, and asked me to watch my brothers and sister while he and my mother went out for a walk. When only my father returned, I understood very little. It was after that, later on that night that I started to put things together.
I won’t go into detail my love, but I will tell you this. He had turned into what he had been fighting for so long. He had become a vampire. My father killed my mother, my sister and brothers then came after me. It was late, but for some reason, I was still awake. He came into my room and sat next to me, then started to watch me.
I have no idea how long this watching went on, but the next thing that I knew, he was biting into my neck, pressing every drop of blood out of me. I struggled and fought back, but his strength was unmatched. The only thing that I could do was….scratch and bite back. My love, I had no idea that if I did fight back, it would mean a lifetime of loneliness and heart ache. If I had known this, I would have let him kill me.
I bit into his shoulder as hard as I could just as he was biting into me. Some of his blood went into my mouth and down my throat. At that moment, I was changed. Once he realized what had happened, he immediately tried to kill me. To this day, I am still confused on why he did try and kill me, if it was out of love or hate for the thing that both him and I had become. Henna, I killed him. As soon as I got a hold of my powers, I hunted him down like a dog and killed him savagely.
This is why I cannot let you stay with me, for I am a beast. When and if I take the time to think about what I have done to you, what this means…I just cannot bare it. If I was killed right now, I would die knowing that you were alone. This is partly why I changed my first wife, Rose.
Henna, this is why I stopped you that night in the bar, you reminded me so much of her. Your innocence, your beauty, your grace, everything about you…but you is so much more than Rose ever was. She was only interested in power and money; in you I can feel something pure, something….real. I don’t even remember now how old I was or how old she was. I spotted her in a street one day, and knew that she was mine. She fell in love with me over time, and that’s when I revealed to her what I was. Willingly, I change her into what I was, so we could spend forever together, but it did not go as planned. I cannot talk about what happened to her now, but my love I will tell you when we meet again…that’s a promise.
Henna my love, I…don’t know how to end this, so let me end it by saying this: Im going to fight for you and I will win. Even if I die, I can die knowing that I was fighting for someone that I love.
Everything seemed to fall down onto of her shoulders as she finished the letter. He had left her, it was true. Henna looked up at his coat slowly and sighed. Surprisingly enough, Henna wasn’t exactly sad, as she was…happy. She was now going to have to fend for herself, he couldn’t help her. She was tied to him that much would never change. Henna had to...wait!! She read the note over once more and stopped
“...Before I forget…in Jimbobten, I believe that you will find another surprise, your friend Tristan is still alive and well, he was changed shortly after you were.”
Tristan was alive!! Henna smiled happily and stood up. Everything would work out; she would go to Jimbobten and find Tristan. He had saved her from death, and now he was alive.
She stood up and stretched her arms above her head. She looked down at the night shirt. She stunk and she was oh so dirty. Henna waltzed over to the door and looked into a long hallway. So many doors…one room had to be the bathroom. Henna strolled down the hall and slowly opened up each door. There were three bedrooms, a den, a huge library, a dining room and a kitchen but no bathroom doors. Henna sighed and walked back into one of the bedrooms. The king sized bed was made up with satin sheets and a wool blanket on top. The huge oak dresser had a coat of dust over it, but was still beautiful. Everything in the room, from the oil paintings to the red velvet furniture, everything was fit for royalty.
Henna couldn’t help but wondered how exactly this man had such nice things, but that was not important now. She had to find a bathroom. Henna looked around the bedroom and saw three doors. A red one, a white one and a black one.
She moved to the white door first and opened it. The room was dark and smelled like a dead rat. She felt around for a light switch and finally located one. When the light flicked on, she found herself standing in a huge closet filled with empty hangers. Henna sighed and shut the light off, and then shut the door. She moved to the next red door and opened it. This room was different from the last.
The windows were open and the sun light was pouring into the room. The walls were all red, along with the floor. There was a toilet, and a shower, along with a huge tub and what looked to be a sauna. Henna wasn’t interested in the sauna or the shower, just the tub and toilet.
After about an hour or two, she was clean and smelled like a normal person...or how a vampire should. She wasn’t sure how she could find Tristan but she had to try. He had saved her life, and she had to make sure that he was okay. Henna wished that she could have said goodbye to Rannon. Something in her stirred at the thought of his name. She was in love with him.
Henna grabbed some food from the kitchen that wasn’t rotten or just too old to eat. A box of raisons; two bottles of blood wine, some bread and a tub of strawberries. Henna grabbed a small sack from inside the first bedroom and packed everything in. She pawed through the clothes in the dresser and closets. Most of them were dresses and men’s suits; they all looked like they hadn’t been worn in years.
Henna moved the dresses and suits aside and found a simple summer’s dress. It was a pale blue, kind of a depressing color. The straps were thin and the chest of the dress had a strange design on it. Henna took it out of the closet and laid it out on the bed. She studied the design for many minutes and finally decided that it was good enough for her to wear.
This strange town that Rannon had directed her too, what was it like? She sat down on the bed and thought about it for a minute. What if she got there and Tristan was gone? What if she couldn’t find this man that was suppose to help her? What if no one there could see her? The thought of being alone was too much for her to think about. Henna closed her eyes and started to cry. Her tears burn her cheeks and fingers. She placed her head on the feather pillow and sobbed. She didn’t want to leave, she wanted Rannon back, and she wanted to be normal again. Henna’s thoughts led her into an uncomfortable sleep that lasted for many hours.