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To see without my eyes.



 
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Elouise Warrock

Elouise was hardly by her phone these days. If it weren’t for the sake of the child she’d had whilst still living, the blonde would have no reason to possess the device. She hadn’t seen Logan in months, knowing distance was preferred by the women looking after his well-being. An otherwise selfish woman in life and in undeath, her only motivation was to protect her son from those who sought to harm him.

So she had spent the last several months in the capital of Peru, finding every bit of respite in Lima. She was able to operate with surprisingly little attention, noticed only for her pale, freckled skin and untamed curls. Elouise posed as an amiable enough tourist, tossing the ceviche around on her plate until a time at which she could reasonably leave. Not long after parting ways with whatever touristy cantina she’d chosen for the night, she would stalk her prey.

She preferred not to kill the locals if she could help it, but she couldn’t help when the college students on Spring Break simply weren’t appetizing enough to partake.

In the daylight, she sat on the beach, eyes on the Pacific Ocean from sunrise to sunset.

The one gift Elis had given her was that of a daywalker – to appear every part a human being; beating heart and no resistance to sunlight. She could stomach food if she had to, and still particularly enjoyed cannabis and tequila. Some things would never change.

So when her phone buzzed for the first time in weeks, and the day before Christmas (4/20, mother f*cker), Elouise lagged to make good on the offer. Eventually, despite every warning going off in her head, she boarded a plane set for JFK Airport.

It was painful having to behave herself in a plane whose bottled air made the potency of the people around her undeniable. Elouise was still a ‘newborn’ as it were. But coming well-fed made her amply more prepared for the duration of the flight.

She didn’t know what to expect returning to New York City. It felt foreign to step back into the world that had encompassed her life before, her subconscious taking her to the brownstone she’d once been welcomed into. It was more to test who the unknown number was – whatever small hope wishing it was Soleil, only to discover to whatever bit of disappointment the younger woman was at home with her children. Rather, with Elouise’s child.

She remembered Logan as an infant, not as the animated baby he was becoming – blonde hair like hers and brown eyes like Jameson’s.

Was the invitation a ploy? Jameson was smart enough to know by now where Logan was if he wanted to find him. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to discover Elouise’s one and only option. Jameson didn’t need Elouise to get to the son they shared. He was quickly dismissed as an option as well.

There was really only one other person willing to try and f*ck with Elouise, the same man who had sired her once upon a time.

Elis Griffyn.

Of course he’d wanted to convince her crawl out of her hiding place. Elis had been trying to find her since he’d discovered she’d survived.

That didn’t matter to Elouise any longer.

If she survived, she survived. If she was going to die, it would be by Elis. And it wouldn’t matter if it was that day, or 100 years in the future. The end would come, and she no longer possessed fear.

Unknown Number
Be there shortly.
 

April 22, 2018 11:10 pm

Elis Griffyn

Elis had returned to New York City after a whistle stop tour of Eastern Europe. From Warsaw to Vienna, he’d visited old hideouts and memories, swapping papers and reacquainting himself with various artefacts and possessions. When you live for as long as Elis has, a feat he believed only to belong to himself and one other, you gained a fair few possessions. Possessions that had acquired significant value over the centuries and whose worth ensured he lived a comfortable life.

But still, with a small countries fortune behind him, Elis was always careful where he spent it. Spend a little too much money in a city where nobody knows your family name and suddenly you’re the talk of the town. And loose lips, well, he’d been on enough sinking ships to know when to stay out of the spotlight, which was why he now found himself sunbathing on a rooftop in the heart of the Upper East Side. Sure, he was basking in the sunlight, but at such heights, no-one knew him to be there. And that was just how he liked it.

The rooftop terrace played host to a long swimming pool whose only access came via the large penthouse across the water from where Elis currently lay upon a sun bed in bathing shorts. The penthouse was large and minimalistic, with white paint and exposed brick acting as a blank canvas to expensive artwork and handcrafted furniture.

The property was owned by one George Lancaster, a wealthily CEO who family fortune had seem him through the best schools and into the best circles of society. And every morning, without fail, George would shower and prepare himself for work, taking a chauffeured limo to his office. And every evening, he’d return home, neatly hand his suit in the walk-in wardrobe and lock himself away behind the door, as instructed by the man who now accommodated his home. Silent, without protest, George would remain in the wardrobe until the following morning. And at weekends, he would remove himself to his beach house and conduct his business as if there wasn’t a stranger living in the penthouse.

On occasion, if the need arose, Elis would compel George to offer a wrist or nap of the neck to his guest. And while the vampire would allow a small smattering of New York’s finest to venture up to the penthouse for ****tails and canoodling, none of them would remember the auburn man when they returned home, and the events of the evening would remain a blur - which was often for the best considering how dark Elis’s evenings often found themselves to be.

It’s why he’d text Elouise. With a burner phone he’d discovered in Lancaster’s safe, he’d sent her a message or two to lure her out into the open. Enough time had passed since he’d discovered she’d escaped and the time allowed him to come to terms with what he’d done, and how he was handle the situation moving forward.

Thousands of years and he’d never sired a person. Not a single one. Not even in those moments where those who were dear to him lay dying, wanton of a way out, a way to continue beyond the call of death. Yet Elouise, with her attitude and wicked selfishness, had simply pushed the wrong buttons, right when Elis needed them to be left well alone. He’d tipped him over the edge and her punishment had failed to stick. So now there was to be a new line, a new path to follow. And if needed, he’d continue to bide his time until the right moment showed itself.

Elouise
Be there shortly

He heard the phone vibrate against the tiles beneath his sun bed and reached for it, looking at the message through the dark lenses of his aviators. The sun bed was at enough of an angle that he was able to quickly message back an “I’ll be on the roof waiting for you. Give your name at the door and they’ll let you up.” without having to sit up any further. And as he placed the phone back into the shade beneath the lounger, he closed his eyes and raised his arms, allowing his hands to hang over the top edge of the frame as the sunlight warmed his browning, freckled skin.
April 23, 2018 12:48 pm

Elouise Warrock

The weather in New York wasn’t nearly as nice as Peru, but the elements didn’t bog Elouise down now as they once had. In her newly claimed style, she wore a pair of white linen jumpsuit, sleeveless with legs that billowed in the wind paired with strappy brown sandals that wrapped up around her ankles. With high humidity, she’d learned to give up her pajamas for clothes that best suited her environment – and drew far less attention.

She carried a leather bag that was have purse, half satchel – resting on a long strap across her shoulder and on her back. No jewelry – it was never Elouise’s style. The only time she’d ever given it any mind was the ring Jameson had given her, the one possession she’d kept from that whirlwind of a relationship. Sometimes it hung on a silver chain around her neck, other times tucked in the safest reserves of her bag.

But that was neither here nor there.

Even dressed far more adequately than the old norm, she was still outmatched by the styles and brands of the women of the Upper East Side. But Elouise commanded attention and admiration regardless, a stunning woman with even a minimal effort. And she was used to the stares – being 6’0 tall in flat sandals was commanding.

The doorman preempted her approach by opening the door, his smile and greeting reciprocated with a murmured ‘thanks’ and a smile. She approached the front desk with ease, gangly arms leaning across the counter-top as she smiled at the bored-looking security man on the other side. His attentions were roused almost immediately by Elouise and her revealing ensemble. He stumbled to ask for her name, fingers tapping away at his keyboard after her easy reply.

“Penthouse, miss. The private elevator is the second to the left.”

After another smile and ‘thank you’, she stepped over to the elevator doors that he apparently operated from behind his desk. She stepped in, wondering briefly if she’d ever step back out into the lobby. The doors closed behind her before she could decide to flee.

If Elis was waiting, he wouldn’t have to wait much longer.

The doors opened at the top floor, Elouise spilling out into the white-on-white apartment, no visible signs of life. But she could sense the thrum of a beating heart within the space, still not Elis’s. She wanted to laugh but instead kept walking, following the invisible thread that would always connect sire and sired.

The apartment spilled out onto the patio, where Elouise quickly found her maker, half-naked and splayed out beneath the sun.

“Is that a new haircut?”

April 23, 2018 03:40 pm

Elis Griffyn

A smile curled Elis’s upper lip as he felt her close in on the building, only to keep it in place as he lifted his sunglasses to spy her in the doorway. She’d changed, and for the better. While he’d tolerated her childish need to make a scene with her ‘I don’t care’ attitude in the past, he could see now that she was starting to come into herself. No doubt in part due to the confidence and understanding her new situation presented her with. Being undead went one of two ways - you either got it or you didn’t. You either embraced the magnitude of your situation, or you crumbled. Elouise, he could tell, suited her condition. And yes, now there was no doubt that just like he, she could walk in the sun - the number one reason he’d never sired another until now. Daywalkers were dangerous. And he had every faith that she knew just how powerful her new position made her.

“You like?” he asks as he shifts forward to straddle the sun bed, planting bare feet upon the tiles. A hand raises to his locks, pushing back against the shorter auburn mop upon his head. “Thought it was time for a change of scene, and updating the brand seemed necessary.” He stands, his shorts finding their place about his thighs as he slowly makes his way around the pool to greet her. “Can I fix you a drink?”

He felt calm. Calmer than he thought he would be in her space for their first meeting. In his head, he’d played this through countless times. In some scenarios, he attacked her on the spot, catching her off guard with his advanced bulk and skill. In others, they talk and find some form of connection. And in others still, they simply hate-f*ck before going their separate ways. But none of them ever seemed quite right. Elis had never met his sire as there simply hadn’t been one. And this was his first interaction with someone he’d turned, aside from that heat-fuelled evening in the bunker where he’d taken first her life, and then her freedom. But the Elouise stood before him gave off a new aura and he was intrigued to see what she had become.

“A c*cktail? Maybe something a little stronger?” he approached closer still, meeting her eye level with his own and allowed his smile to crease the edges of his eyes behind his sunglasses as a wide, toothy grin formed across his face. “Tell me you missed me.”
April 23, 2018 04:06 pm

Elouise Warrock

She tilted her head, curls cascading over her shoulder as she unabashedly admired every inch of him. Perhaps she was now positioned to admire his presence simply by the nature of their relationship, or maybe she was under his spell. Or, there was the honest answer. But Elouise never dabbled much in honesty. “It suits you.”

She gave a nod. “Whatever you’re having.” She gave an idle shrug, cerulean eyes still fixated on him, so hyperfocused it was as if she could predict his every motion before it would happen, the thrum of his heartbeat radiating throughout her body. She was attuned to him in a level far more intense than just the physical. Elouise was intoxicated, shown only in the subtleties of her mannerisms.

But Elis was smart. Much wiser than her, and even if he was walking down unfamiliar roads with her, he would surely recognize.

“In a manner of speaking.” She pursed her lips in a smirk, somehow able to feel amused even whilst simultaneously feeling hunted.

“Who’s in the closet?” She didn’t care for any conventional reason. Perhaps she was feeling a bit nippish. It didn’t matter.

April 23, 2018 04:18 pm

Elis Griffyn

He could smell it on her. The hook. The way in which she’d had no choice but to come when he’d called for her. That, despite never putting a name to a message, she’d have eventually figured it out. And once the bait was set, she had no other option, regardless of what any internal voice screamed otherwise.

Elouise replied to a question he’d already forgotten he’d asked, her words falling into their mutual space with all the nonchalance he was sure she was struggling to muster. Elis had never ‘dated’. He’d never been some lovesick school boy trying to act cool around a crush. But here, watching her now, he could almost imagine this girl at thirteen, trying to prove how cool she was as she attempting to understand how flirting worked with someone of the opposite sex. And while he didn’t think Elouise was attracted to him in quite the same way, he understood that there was a draw here, one she simply couldn’t control. And one he was sure she was fighting to both understand and overcome as she stood before him, practising her bemused expression.

‘Who’s in the closet?’, she asked. And he considers his answers as his hand raises itself to push back curls of hair that lay upon her shoulder, wrapping about her neck in the light breeze that fed through the doorway. The backs of his fingers pressed to her hair, gently directing it to fall behind her shoulder, as his thumb brushed lightly across the skin where his teeth had once broken through, taking her life in the process. “A man.” he replied through teeth that bit down upon his bottom lip - the look of an artist inspecting their work after some time apart. Searching for the imperfections, admiring the final result of so many hours of planning and labour.

Elis had made this. And not in the same way he’d made his children who all those years ago he’d cherished and so fiercely protected. No, he’d made Elouise in his image. And as she stood before him, her pulse quick against the touch of his fingertips, he could admire her as if looking upon himself.

For when he allowed himself those moments of true appreciation, when he allowed himself to ignore the hate he had for what he’d done and what he was, Elis felt like a f*cking god. And with Elouise, it was as if he’d gifted the world with something perfect, something so utterly perfect and true. Unbreakable and completely remarkable. Gone was the little sh!t she’d been when they’d first met. And in her place stood confidence and beauty that he was sure he could control and continue to mould, ironing out all his past mistakes with a newer model.

He’d waited for so long, desperate to find the answers, to figure out how to do right and make good for his sins. And here that answer was, standing before him. You don’t fight the darkness with shadows. You fight it with light. And here was the sun stood before him, glowing and bright with promise.

“You can have some if you want.” he continues, though his eyes don’t leave his inspection of the way her skin curved from neck to shoulder beneath his fingertips. Oh, to break it again. To feel the pressure against his teeth, that satisfy release as he pierced the surface. With all his hate for her, she’d tasted incredible against his tongue as he slowed her heart with deep swallows of blood, and now curiosity begged to learn more, to see the change now her blood ran thick with his own. While he’d fed from vampires, he’d never tasted another daywalker, although he'd come close. Was she just as sour? As bitter as those who hid in the shadows? Or did the sun brighten her blood? Was she sweet and as familiar as he imagined her to be?

Finally he looked back to her eyes, that smile spreading wide across his lips as he tilted his head a little to study her expression.

Her features had changed. Had her eyes always been so bright? Those freckles across her nose, had they always been there or where they some echo from his claiming of her life and gifting of this new existence? Was there any part of her that was him - some imprint of Elis Griffyn that called to be noticed? Would strangers seen her in the street and wonder who she reminded them of? Because here, stood before him, she screamed to be remembered. With every breath, every heartbeat, he felt himself take note. As if studying yourself in a mirror and wondering why you never look how you imagine you do in your head.

Before she’d appeared, he’d been convinced he’d kill her. That she’d never leave this penthouse again. But now she was here, it was apparent they were too connected to be separated. And that bond would continue to strengthen with every meeting, and with every moment he asserted himself as her sire and reminded her of her place.

“I’ll never ask.” he spoke in a deep, near-whispered tone that resonated against her neck. “And you’ll never refuse me.” he continued, as his teeth grazed her skin, pressing until beads of blood began to form about his teeth.
April 23, 2018 05:12 pm

Elouise Warrock

Through her rose-colored glasses Elouise stared at Elis as he closed in. Any saner mind would have tried to run, knowing his intent. But Elouise wasn’t a victim. Elis admired his creation as much as she loved herself.

So when his hands touched her throat, Elouise just as easily leaned into it, the still living nerves of her skin erupting with the sensation of his hands upon her. Her own moved to his sides, her body instinctively revealing her neck, as if with a mind of its own.

It was inexplicable. But she was bound to him, every mental faculty having devolved to his will.

‘I’ll never ask.’

She could feel his elongated fangs breaking the tender skin of her neck so easily.

‘And you’ll never refuse me.’

And she couldn’t. Not even if she knew she wanted to. Which she didn’t.

Whatever intoxication she felt dulled whatever pain there was at Elis’s actions. It wasn’t unfamiliar, this. And it wasn’t necessarily Elis that she thought of in that moment. Instead her mind drifted towards the first time she’d been bitten – not fatal as it had been intended.

Despite all best efforts Jameson would always sit in the reserves of her mind, hosting both her fiercest affections and greatest horrors. He was the only man she’d ever loved, a connection that defied even her undeath, the same inexplicable pull she felt towards Elis. Elis had ownership of her in all the mindless and unwilling ways, but all the parts of her she had to give would always be Jameson’s.

She could feel the power she’d possessed seeping away into Elis’s control, every wisp of blood another note of confidence. There was no doubt she was under his spell.

Elouise thought instead of that night so many months ago, Logan was so fragile and new, and she still had The Order to care for. Jameson had managed to break in, not that it was a difficult task. He had designed the systems himself.

To protect her.

Instead she was a sitting duck to the monster he had become. He had approached just as similarly as Elis had. And she had trusted him, her only impression of Jameson the gentle man and fierce protector. She didn’t trust him in that final moment, but couldn’t admit to herself that he wasn’t hers any longer. The months of rampant searching and rampaging and murder couldn’t have been for naught.

Elouise didn’t fear vampires. But she feared being put in the situation of having to defend herself, perhaps fatally, against someone she’d loved turning into a monster.

She had escaped Jameson that night, only to walk into the hands of Elis Griffyn, both figuratively and literally.

Elouise wondered if the Jameson she’d loved once could fathom his failure in protecting her. He had pulled her into a world she hadn’t desired but couldn’t possibly leave if he was involved. In giving everything to Jameson, Elouise assured her own demise.

And to seal her fate came the ultimate form of subjugation – Elis.

“I’ll never refuse you.” The words slipped from her lips like velvet, tone soft but not weak. There was nothing weak about Elouise. Not anymore.

April 24, 2018 12:39 am

Elis Griffyn

‘I’ll never refuse you’. Four sweet words that fell forth and forced Elis’s lips to curl into a smile, bringing an end to his feed. She did taste different - a subtle mix of death and lost innocence, wrapped in the familiarity of his own self. The perfect blend, the ideal mix of the dark and light that made Elis Griffyn the man he was.

Pulling away an inch or so, he pressed his cheek to hers, eyes closed as he felt light stubble catch against her smooth skin. Crimson drenched lips remained a breath away from her ear as he spoke. And though his words were as quiet as a whisper, they were direct and true. “Do you understand why I did this to you?” he asked, turning his head slightly to drag his wet lips across her cheek, marking her with her own blood under his eyes could meet with hers, their features near touching. “Do you understand why I wanted you to suffer? And do you understand how wrong you were?”

Elis’s hands had wrapped themselves about her waist, his broad palms and long fingers holding her steadfast to him. With a squeeze, he could break her, just as easily as he could through her aside, or pull her into a tighter embrace. While he tried to keep himself away from his kind when possible, he felt no concern for being this close to Elouise. She was no threat to him, especially now in the infancy of her condition. She was his to break, to command, to do as he pleased with. And while he was, on the whole, a relatively nice guy, all that changed around her. Elis would never dream to do to another all the things he considered doing to her. He understood the vulnerability of mortals and the constant anguish of vampires. He knew of the frustrations of werewolves and the guilt of fallen angels. Each creature on this shared earth had their inner battles and deserved some sort of respect for fighting through, day after day. But with Elouise, held within his grasp, he felt nothing but the complete desire to strip her of her self, replacing what she’d been with what he wanted her to now be instead.

Elis came from the darkest of places, but he was not the monster that lurked in those shadows. And rumours, whispered conversations and shared secrets were acknowledging that try as he might, he could not evade Vlad and his past forever. His opposite was growing in strength and numbers, and while he still didn’t understand how, he knew he was the missing piece that would set things straight in the future. And this creature before him would be the first in his army, his tribute to the greater good.

“This is only the beginning”, he continued, his blood-red lips dragging across Elouise’s own as he spoke, his eyes locked on hers.
April 24, 2018 05:42 pm

Elouise Warrock

In any other circumstance Elouise would have felt suffocated by the lack of distance between her and Elis. His stature was not what overwhelmed her, but instead how his presence affected her mentally. It was mostly subconscious, the draw towards him that felt natural and inevitable. How she felt easily assuaged by his provocative questions when she might normally have retaliated in anger. Elouise was used to Elis being the provocateur, but now she accepted it.

Despite the inclination she felt to respond in a manner that would please him, Elouise bit her tongue.

She wouldn’t forgive Prudence. She felt that first kill at the core of her. She had exposed her daughter to unnatural evil. The evil that would later create her as a sole progeny. So she nodded, allowing him the confirmation he desired.

Elouise, with all of her faults considered, still felt an attachment to reality through her family. The same way Elis did. Perhaps it was because of him. Or, in spite of him. She didn’t explore it, because she didn’t understand it. She wasn’t a massively emotional woman. She had rarely, in life, expressed emotion unless pushed beyond measure – often by Jameson to do so.

Love was a difficult prospect for her to swallow. Unconditional love, even more so. Prudence, Logan, they would always have it.

The bond that held Elouise to Elis was not love, nor infatuation. It was equal parts genuine and manufactured, knit together by the unholy creation of her undeath at his hands. She wielded far greater powers than she understood. Elis had to learn as well, but he would still teach her. An education she sorely needed.

“Are there others like us?” She could already feel the punctured skin, muscle and sinew racing to replace itself. The only scar that would remain was the original, infracted long before Elis has ever pierced her skin.

April 24, 2018 11:48 pm

Elis Griffyn

As she nodded, Elis nodded back, mirroring her admittance of understanding. She’d become thing because she’d crossed a line. For too long, Elouise had been allowed, some could argue encouraged to be the selfish little sh!t she’d acted up as. Someone had to put her in her place and that someone was Elis.

Sucking the remaining blood from his bottom lip, Elis released her, safe in the knowledge she’d not leave the penthouse. Crossing the tiled floor of the living room, he approached a small drinks trolley and began to pour himself a whiskey.

“No.” he finally replied, back to her as he stood upright, bringing the glass to his lips.

Yes, there were other daywalkers. He’d met a few, the most recently being Jack during the early 1900’s. But their reasons for walking in the sunlight were different from his own - from their own.

Elis never shared his story. And if ever he did, it was to some unintelligible mortal who would later meet their fate at his hands, cutting off the grapevine before rumour could run rampant.

But Elouise was different. New. And did she deserve to know her heritage? He contemplated it as he turned to reproach her, taking another sip from the glass.

“There’s only us.” he finally replied, placing his half-drunk glass into her hands as he walked passed her, back out into the sunlight of the rooftop terrace. Above them, a few clouds danced across the sky, thin and white and non-threatening to the sunlight he’d been enjoying throughout the day. Approaching the poolside, he bent a knee and shifted to sit, allowing his legs to slip into the water as he perched upon the edge. The water was cool, though not cold, and it moved slowly with the light breeze that brushed across his skin.

Leaning backward, he placed his weight upon his elbows, opening himself up to the sunlight, allowing it to once more bath his bare skin that had browned in the weeks-worth of sunbathing he’d granted himself.

No, they were not like the others. While daywalkers like Jack could walk in the sun, they still remained the mirror of their once-mortal selves, the replica of their last day on earth before their embrace. Cut their hair and it’ll regrow within hours. Sit them beneath the sun and they’ll neither burn, nor tan. But the same could not be said of Elis, nor of the woman behind him. Nothing separated them from mortal-kind aside from their strength, their hunger and their ability to heel. All of which could go unnoticed daily easily. And while Elis still looked the same as he’d done all those many years before, the years still showed in his eyes. Study him enough as he spoke and you’d see centuries of pain and suffering behind those deep, dark eyes.
April 25, 2018 09:28 am

Elouise Warrock

“You’ve never turned anyone else?” Her brow furrowed in contemplation, the remainder of the drink he’d handed off unable to quench the unmistakable thirst she felt. It was like an itch in her throat, sometimes dull, other times impossible to ignore. But it was not food, nor drink that could quell such mandatory desires.

She was tempted to pay a visit to the man waiting in the closet, but instead she moved to sit beside Elis at the water’s edge, legs folded crisscross to avoid soaking her pants. “I’ve been careful not to leave anyone alive.” She stared at her reflection in the calm waters, her expressionless slate mirrored back to her. Elis’s, too.

And what a pair they made.

I think of Prudence.” She whispered beneath her breath, toss the ice from the glass into the water, effectively marring her image. “I see her face every time. It doesn’t matter how many more lives I take to dull the pain. I see her every time.” The blonde’s gaze snaps to Elis, observing him from a point-blank range.

“You didn’t have to touch her.” Her head bowed, eyebrows furrowed in a deep frustration. “She would have starved in that basement with me, even if I had let her live. I gave her mercy.” She shook her head. “You didn’t.” All of the rage Elouise felt towards him seem to simmer until it could boil over, and then disappear.

It didn’t matter how enraged she could feel in her heart. She couldn’t bring herself to lay a finger on him. Perhaps because it felt useless. He hadn’t killed her. Logan was still alive, despite Elis’s threats and lies. And it wouldn’t bring her daughter back.

“I know you must think I’m mad, pulling myself back from my own children.” She watched her reflection finally settle, those calculating blue eyes staring back at themselves. “I trust who he’s with. I know they’ll care for him, and give him the love and attention he deserves.”

She paused. The silence mulled, knowing he wouldn’t break it. Elis must have detected there was something left unsaid. Or he didn’t care to continue the conversation. But Elouise would, given a few minutes.

“I didn’t want to have another child. Logan wasn’t intentional.” The words may have sounded harsh, but Elouise was more sharp and honest than she had been while living. She didn’t have time to be trivial, even if she had all of the time in the world. “Jameson changed all of that. We’d both endured our own traumas with our own families… We were the last f*cking people who should have been making a child together. But I was different, with him. I was happy.”

Elis wouldn’t believe that, in fact, Elouise was sure he wouldn’t. He had his own opinions about what she was, how immature and unrefined and undeveloped. But her marriage to Jameson had given her more than anything else. Even vampirism.

“I believed I was capable of loving a child, of making the sacrifices being a mother made. But I wasn’t. And I’m not.” She set the glass aside, finally moving to stand.

“But I am hungry.” She squinted, a palm leveled at her brow to deflect the sunlight as she stared down at Elis. “Do you mind?”

April 25, 2018 11:02 pm

Elis Griffyn

“I do mind, yes.” Elis replied, looking up at Elouise though his sunglasses. Her form blocked the direct light perfectly as he sat a little taller, finally turning his attention back toward the pool. “George is off limits to you.”

He moved his legs a little, causing the water to build up a low current that rippled across the surface. With each small wave, the light glistened like diamonds, sparkling on display. And while the city below shouted and stomped and whistled for attention, up here it was almost perfect, near silent. Say what you want about high-rises and the demands of industry, when Elis was mortal, he’d have never dreamt such things could exist. Yet here he was, experiencing and embracing it all.

He patted the space beside him with the flat of his hands, indicating she rejoin him by the waters edge.

“You’re the first. Why would I ever wish this life on anyone else?”

Her words of her child had stuck with him, yet is was the faces of his own children that plays in his mind. Thousands of years yet he’d never forgotten their features, not the smallest scar or the slightest freckled imperfection. But just as he could remember their smiling faces and the sweet smell of their skin as they curled up to him at night, so too could he see the pained contortions of their expressions and bodies as death was forced upon them. His wife, his children and their own families.

By today’s standards, Elis had only been a child when he’d started his own family. But back then, he was a man. And by the time hell had broken loose, he was a leader, the protector of his village and responsible for so very many, despite the few decades he’d lived.

Elouise spoke in such confused prose about her child. Her children. And about the man she claimed he loved. But she didn’t know. She didn’t understand. If she did, if she understood true love, true respect and true sacrifice, she’d never have asked if she was the only one he’d sired. She’d know already.

She was simply naive and foolish.

“I’ve seen this world grow. There is never a good time to bring a child into it, yet people do every day. Yet your children were mistakes. And how can you truly know sacrifice and commitment when the lives you created were never planned to begin with? It’s no different from the vampires of this world, turning mortals simply because they can, and then just walking away because the responsibility doesn’t seem to be of concern to them. No, I have never turned anyone else because I have never seen reason to. I am old. I am so f*cking old and through all I have seen, all I have witnessed in this world, I have never seen reason to make more of this. More of what we are. But you were not a mistake, Elouise. Turning you was planned, even if the outcome was not as I expected. You were planned and you are my responsibility.”

Elis looked back toward her once more, those old eyes finding her own as he pulled away his glasses, resting them to the side. Fine lines framed his eyes, dark freckles spread across his face. He’d seen the years, he’d lived a full life before his mortality was even taken from him. Callused hands had never softened, the scars had never faded. He had the body of a fighter, of a protector, of someone who should have died thousands of years ago. Every day spent around mortals was an act, a show clouded by misdirection, but here before her, he saw no reason to put on a show. In just his shorts, his body was bare to her, his history traceable by the cords of muscle and divots of skin. His chest was hard and marked by scars, his shoulders broad. Elis had worked fields and defended his home since the moment he could walk. He’d carried the weight of the world on those shoulders, both physically and metaphorically. He was worn and stained and so very strong, and as his chest rose and fell with each breath, he studied her newness in comparison.

“Every vampire out there is a near-carbon copy of their sire. Every single one a slightly altered replica of those who came before. For thousands of years they have bred, passing on their imperfections, passing on the darkness that precedes them. And it can all be traced back. Back and back and further and further through the years. Thousands of years of inbreeding and imperfection. Back to a handful of men who made the wrong choice, who chose the wrong path. A fork in the road -“ he raised a hand, pushing it forward into the space between them as if indicting the split. “ - darkness and light. Twelve people cursed for their wrongdoings, who had to make a choice. Eleven of them chose the darkness, chose to abuse their power. And they were forced underground, into the shadows until that very darkness became them, until they were no longer able to walk in the sunlight as they once had. Until they thirsted for nothing but blood and their anger at the world consumed them. And I will never, never allow you to take that road with them.”

Elis stuttered a breath and caught himself, snapping back to the poolside, to the sunlight. Wetting his dry lips with the tip of his tongue, he tasted the salt of a tear that had tracked its course to the corner of his mouth and quickly took a breath before hastily standing. Water followed him, dripping from his legs and damn shorts as he walked back toward the open doors of the penthouse.

“Stop killing everyone.” he called back toward her, his voice lighter than it had been moments before. Grabbing a cordless phone from a nearby side table, he held it to his ear and turned back to face her. “Can I borrow you?” he spoke into the handset, though his eyes remained trained on Elouise. “It won’t take long.”
April 26, 2018 05:40 am

Elouise Warrock

“My children weren’t mistakes, Elis.” Her eyes narrowed, once again possessed by a pinching annoyance. Elis felt himself in a position to judge Elouise. And it was justified, in certain scenarios. But sweet Prudence, almost a carbon copy of Elouise with none of the major character flaws that her mother possessed. Logan, too, could be free of the mistakes his parents made. But he would never be one of them.

He would be the best thing she’d ever accomplished, unselfish and compassionate, if only he took after the women who had become his guardians. Elouise had loved Jameson. And she continued to. Perhaps it wasn’t the same sort of love Elis had shared with his wife. Elis had lived in a different time, thousands of years ago, when what family was, what parenthood was, was a different relationship. Different rules. Different commitments. Elis understood his own pain, but he could never condescend to understand hers.

Her grief was unique. As was his. “I’m sure you think I’m not a good mother. That I left Logan, and I somehow think that is all he’ll ever need from me. But I watched over him until it was no longer safe to do so. I know Jameson looks for me. He almost killed me, once. The night he returned. But you already know that.” He’d seen the scar, after all. He knew the story.

“The same way I looked after Prudence. I made sure both of my children were safe and happy. I don’t care what you think of what my life was before you entered it. Of course I am a different version of myself than I was before. But I was happy before, even if you thought me a selfish, childish, hypocritical b*tch.” She settled back down beside him, her shoulder leaning against his as she was once more crisscross on the ground.  “People are selfish creatures by nature, Elis. I was no exception.”

“Maybe you think you’ve fixed me.” She shrugged. “But I wasn’t broken, not in that way. At least I know, I’ve always known, you can’t fix people. You can only try to make them happy. And that is what Jameson did for me.”

She was once again staring at her reflection, feeling, even if it wasn’t true, something seemed different about herself. She was almost completely the same. It didn’t matter.

“One day, soon, I will take Logan back. But until Jameson is neutralized, that will never be an option.” She shook her head softly. “I know it may just take killing him in order for me to truly be free, and to have my son with me.”

She looked back over at Elis, a soft huff passing through nose. “I’ll do it, if I have to.”

April 27, 2018 03:46 pm

Elis Griffyn

“Jesus f*cking Chris, you’re so self-centred.” Elis exclaimed as he reset the phone back into its charging dock. Though it was shorter than it’s usual pushed-back length, Elis instinctively raised a hand to flatted his hair back over his head, letting out the lightest of frustrated growls before returning himself to the drinks trolley.

“It’s always about you. Never anyone else. Not even when you attempt to come across as sincere and caring.”

As he made himself another drink, Elis continued to talk toward her, despite his attention remaining on the task at hand. His tone never raised itself. His frustration never showed its head. He was less the angry teacher, more the disappointed parent in the way he spoke to her. And it was only when we walked back in her direction did his voice lilt to show his annoyance toward her words.

“Your child is mortal. The last place he should be is at your side. Allow him a normal life and stop selfishly putting on the water-works as if you actually care for his wellbeing. Whatever reasons you have for wanting Logan with you, they’re not in his best interest. This life, this way you are now, how you live, it’s not for a child to witness. Let him be. Get over yourself and let him be.”

A ding of the lift indicated the arrival of his visitor and Elis turned toward the door and the eventual knock for attention. On the other side of the door stood the security guard from downstairs. Mid-thirties, tall and handsome, his name was Tom and he’d done this trip many times before. Of course, he’d never remembered. The moment he returned to the lift, he’d forget his reasoning for visiting, and fail to notice the light marks across his skin until the faded from view as he reached the ground floor.

Elis nodded toward the door and took a sip of his drip, moving to sit upon the armrest of a nearby reading chair.

“Feed. Don’t kill him. And let him walk away with no knowledge of the event. Show me what you can do with all your bravado and talk.”
April 29, 2018 03:29 pm
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