The following is a prelude for last Sunday’s A Change of Heart.
OCTOBER 15, 2014 BY JULIETTE KINGS
Last weekend I was at my brother Max’s home in the city, San Francisco. My husband Teddy and I were there. 15 year old Clara was at her grandparents who live within walking distance from Max.
Note: Halloween is almost here (along with my birthday) so I should be writing some laugh out loud posts. Thank you to everyone who IS writing funny things because I truly appreciate it. Thank goodness for those funny quilt blocks I posted earlier today. Anyway, it has been a long and busy and emotionally draining month… but we managed to take a break. Yes, even Modern Vampires like us need a break. We’re not disgusting blood sucking machines like in the movies. And please forgive any typographical errors or less than wonderful writing. I’m writing fast just to get this down before the idea escapes my head, like a ghost in the night.
Max, for those of you who don’t know, is one of those alpha Vampires who hunts Vampire Hunters, Rogue Vampires and all sorts of nasty evil and just plain annoying creatures and things that go bump in the night. He is a hunter and sometimes a killer – that said, he and his associates protect us all from things we shouldn’t need to deal with.
Max looked like Hell warmed over. He’d been out on a call and found himself up against a group of Demons. Yes, that kind of Demon – nasty and evil, no doubt straight from Hell and running rampant trying to cause problems anywhere it could.
Teddy still has the cold hard fear of Demons. That isn’t a bad thing. We don’t like them. They’re creatures that don’t derive from humanity but like goblins, have no problems pretending they derive from humans.
A long nasty deep pair of scratches ran across Max’s arm. There was no sign of healing on the ugly red marks. He’d been cornered and put up a fight before his back-up team arrived. The Demons were taken care of but not first without doing damage to Max and who knows who or what else.
Late into the night we talked over several bottles of wine and blood. Our brother Andy came by as well for a few hours to visit. Max was restless the entire night. Just before dawn we all retired to spend a rare day sleeping (Teddy and I live during the daylight due to school hours.)
I was awake before dusk. It was a beautiful clear day. From the back window I could see a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay going out into the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. No wonder Max loved living here so much.
In the kitchen making tea I discovered Max’s old friend Celeste. She was beautiful beyond compare, wearing nothing but a pair of black lace panties and a magnificent seal skin coat. That wasn’t unusual because Celeste is a Selkie. On the land she is a women and in the ocean a seal. I was and wasn’t surprised to find her there. Max says he won’t mingle with those who aren’t like him, but I know who his friends are. I have no problems with Celeste or her kind.
“He called me last night. Said he needed some distraction. You know how Max is. His brain just gets full or he gets bothered and doesn’t know what to do about it.”
You know, Juliette we’re just friends with benefits. I just fuck him and talk. Nothing else. You think I’d be crazy enough to fall in love with a Vampire? Not on your life. Just friends. Always just friends.
There is someone else, a Vampire girl he has a strange sort of bond with, but he doesn’t want any emotional entanglements with her. He was afraid she’d be too much for him, for his heart. I’ve never seen a guy try to logic and think his way out of falling in love like Max has this time.”
I saw a long burn along Celeste’s arm. “I brushed against Max’s arm where the demon scratched him. Damned if it didn’t burn me too. The salt water will heal it. But you need to check in on him. He’s in pretty bad shape. The Demons really got to him this time and not just physically. They really fucked with him big time,” she told me in her whiskey and silk voice.
I took her arm and looked at the burn. It was hot to the touch. I spit on my finger and rubbed it along the burn.
“It stopped hurting. Thanks,” she said with a smile full of sharp white teeth. It was a smile that she won’t show a Regular Human. I have to admit I was flattered.
After a bit more small talk she left and no doubt went back into the Pacific Ocean and turned back into a seal.
I went upstairs to Max’s room. He was asleep, curled in soft gray blankets wearing a black silk robe. I took his arm and looked at the deep scratches that had turned an angry blackish red.
He opened his eyes. The usual blue gray hazel had turned dark, almost a dull black. I could tell he wasn’t well.
“I saw Celeste. She is worried about you.”
He gave me a “join the club” look. He didn’t need to say it out loud.
Taking his arm, I put my hand over the poisoned gashes and saw the ugly face of the Demon who clawed him.
“Don’t little sister. You’ll get sick,” Max said.
Ignoring him pricked my finger with the tip of my fang and let a drop of blood fall on his wounds. I put my hand back on his arm and willed the poison away.
Yes, I did end up making it to the bathroom before I threw up and almost fell over from my head spinning, but I was fine after a few minutes (ok hours). The poison wasn’t meant for me so I was fine – bothered but fine. It could have stayed with Max for weeks or even months. It could have set him back into a spiral of depression and hopelessness that if not taken care of could have done permanent damage. Demons are like that. They’re horrible evil things.
I kissed his cold cheek and left my brother to sleep.
When someone you love is poisoned by Demons you need to help them get through it – no matter what kind of Demons. They do a lot of damage, but it can be fixed. Demons hate any kind of love or understanding and will poison us against it. So we fight them. And those like Max fight them so they can’t hurt anyone else.
Like I’ve said, when you’re a Modern Vampire everyday has the potential of being Halloween, but we do what we can do avoid it.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman