There was one thing that did matter.
I felt like I'd just been run over by a Mack truck
Sharp stabbing pain in my stomach, like someone had just kicked it. I didn't just double over, I crumbled to the floor and curled up into the fetal position, cradling my aching belly.
I didn't know if I was thirsty or hungry. All I knew was that my Tiger and I were getting reacquainted and I would have been just as happy if we'd stayed strangers.
The bed would have been more comfortable but it hurt too much to move.
Shit, this family reunion was touching and all, but it was just too much, too fast.
And it wasn't like it was fixing my suffering. I knew who could fix it.
How he'd fix it was something I didn't want to deal with at the moment. Especially, the fact that just thinking about it made me nauseated and excited all at once.
My uncle and aunt were just watching me writhe on the floor, observing me with cool detachment. For family, they didn't seem too concerned.
(How much longer until Angelo gets back,) I managed to ask.
Angelique smiled in a way that gave me the creeps. It was so, so, sugary, I could've gotten a cavity. (You don't need Angelo to make you feel better, Jacques.)
The contempt for Angelo was obvious, but I saw something else in those clear green eyes.
Ardoin must have seen it as well because he said, (Goodbye, Angelique) out of the blue.
She whirled around to face him. (After all I just did, you're dismissing me?)
(Use the door,) was all Ardoin said.
"I'll do as I please," she hissed, "You always do." Then she snapped her fingers and, pop, she was gone.
That was the sound it made, a pop of air.
Ardoin sighed. (She was always one for dramatics.)
Then he smiled. Pure piranha this time, greediness revealed in his icy grey eyes.
He didn't want sex, but he sure wanted something.
His gaze locked onto mine and I had the same sensation I had when our eyes first met at Flin's penthouse.
I was about to fall off a cliff and I had nothing to hold onto.
This time, he meant business and I was suddenly sucked into a black hole.
And found out just how gentle and considerate Angelo had been with me.
This wasn't Sharing. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
The first thing he did was ram his mind into mine, ransacking my memories.
When that wasn't enough for him, he burrowed deeper, way deeper into my subconscious, tearing away every wall that had put in place there over the years to protect my psyche, until there was nothing left but my naked soul.
His will was a windtunnel, blowing apart my soul until there was almost nothing left, and he got what he wanted.
- You're no threat, - his voice boomed in my head, - See that you remain that way. -
But he wouldn't let me go yet.
My body was moving again, it was like I was sleepwalking towards him, only I was aware of everything I was doing.
He was controlling me. A puppetmaster pulling my strings.
Ardoin held out his hand, and my hand seized his wrist and brought it up to my lips.
Before I knew what was happening, my teeth sank in and my mouth was suddenly flooded with liquid fire.
My throat burned, it was like drinking 100 proof, I tasted pure power.
Instinct took over and I began to suck and drink...
Then I felt it. The leash. The more I drank, the more a part of me he became.
I tried to push it away but he wouldn't let me.
Not until I'd drunk enough to bind us together.
He finally pulled free and I fought the impulse to gag. I felt so dirty, so cheap.
Ardoin laughed at the revulsion on my face. (Don't worry, you still have your bond with Angelo. But your soul is mine, nephew. I own you like I own every juicer. It gives you more power, you should be grateful.)
Grateful? For what? For being a slave?
All Angelo had done was free me from one master and handed me over to the other.
But you knew this, I thought to myself. Angelo always calls him Master.
Which made him a slave as well.
And speaking of Angelo....
He was here. Upstairs, on his way down.
I could feel him.
(Your white knight is here.) Ardoin mocked. Apparently, he felt Angelo too. Of course, Ardoin owned Angelo's soul. (I'll take my leave of you now. Just one word of warning, because you are my nephew.)
I wanted to tell him what he could do with his advice, with everything. But I knew better. (And that is?) My words were in English now. I wanted nothing to do with that other part of me.
(Angelo will be a great teacher, he's my best recruiter. But realize, once he's done, he's done.)I forgot about being careful about my attitude. (What the hell is that supposed to mean?)
(Just, don't count on being with him for a very long time. Once he finds someone new, he has a habit of forgetting about everything else. He has a long line of broken hearts, Jacques, don't let yourself be one of them.)
those words, he walked out of the room and I ran to the bed and collapsed in
a puddle of tears.
(Damnit to fucking hell!)
Angelo's voice. He must have used that trick of his because I didn't hear him come into the room.
Not that I could've through the tears.
Angelo swept me into his arms and almost desperately crushed his lips against mine.
Then he made a face that tore through my heart.
A mixture of betrayal, disappointment, and despair.
He turned his face away. (Rinse out your mouth, you taste like Ardoin,) was all he'd say.
(But it wasn't my-)
(I don't care. Just get rid of it.) The tone was cold but his eyes were pleading with me.
I ran to the sink and rinsed my mouth out. Then I splashed water all over me and scrubbed feverishly.
Angelo's arms enveloped me from behind. (Don't bother,) he said softly, (It won't work.) He hugged me tightly and I cried in his embrace
He let me bawl for a little while, then he gently pushed me away. "Just what did he do to you," he whispered.
I stared at him. (You know. Ardoin said he does it with every juicer.)
(He binds them to him. But he did more than that.)
Angelo's eyes narrowed in suspicion, his nostrils flaring. (I smell him all over you. You didn't bed him, did you?)
Not because I didn't want to at the time. Immense guilt, shame and disgust made the tears start flowing again.
And knowing he sensed it all....
Angelo's eyes met mine. (Share with me, kaloz mou.)
I couldn't meet his gaze, or even face him. I just couldn't deal with that kind of contact again. (Please, no,) I begged.
Angelo swore. Then he cupped my chin with one hand and gently turned my face so we were facing one another. (Do you trust me?)
Did I? I didn't know anymore.
(Yes,) I finally decided.
(Then Share with me. Show me. I promise I will only take what you Share.)
Ardoin's eyes had been so cold, full of avarice.
Angelo's eyes were flashing with anger.
He cared about me. That was why he wanted to see for himself. There was nothing else in it for him.
"Okay," I whispered, "I'll Share."
(In exchange, I will Share with you.)
Oh, it could go both ways. I liked that. (What do I have to do,) I asked, suddenly wanting to help.
(Nothing. I haven't taught you how. Just let me do the driving this time.)
Our eyes locked and Angelo was in my head.
But only for a moment. He withdrew contact and shook with fury. (That bastard!) Then he calmed down. (I should have known you were Baptiste. From your eyes alone. And from when we were in the tomb.)
(What's Baptiste?) I asked.
(You can call them the royal family of Sangsue,) he explained. (Ardoin, and Angelique, and now you, are the last ones left.)
Yeah. My mother was still dead. A feeling of sadness and loss came over me.
But what about everything else? (That's it?) I couldn't believe it. (You don't hate me?)
(Vlaka,) he said with affection, (I could never hate you. And it's my fault. If I'd been observant enough to notice the resemblance, I would have warned you about the reaction you would have to him.) He wrinkled his nose. (And her.)
So they hated each other. I wondered why but I'd learned enough about Angelo to know he'd tell me when he was ready and not before.
(It's like that for you and Dimitri,) I realized.
Angelo's face darkened for a moment, then he regained his composure. (It's different. He didn't have the restraint your uncle and aunt had.)
Was he saying what I thought he was not quite saying?
I knew he was. One look at Angelo's eyes told me everything I needed to know.
His eyes met mine again and held them. (Let me Share with you, now,) he murmured.
Suddenly I was seeing through Angelo's eyes everything he'd experienced tonight. Only it was sped up, fast forward, flashing before my eyes in minutes.
Everything from when Ardoin forced a bond with him, to when he easily and gleefully toyed with Flin, like a cat playing with a cricket before it bites the cricket's head off and kills it.
I even got a sample of the high Angelo got when he jumped Flin.
We broke contact and I shivered with delight. (If it makes you feel that good, I'm surprised you don't jump someone all the time.)
(I don't feel like it all the time. I do it more than I have to, but I need to at least once a moon.) Angelo stroked my cheek. (All right now?)
Just don't ever leave me, I thought to myself. Instead I grasped his hand and kissed it. (Yeah.)
(Then let's go.)
The moment I'd been dreading all night. But it was time.
went up the stairs, walked through the dancefloor, past the bar and headed out
We headed for Dirty Trick Park. That wasn't the real name of the park, everybody called it that because of the crime and hustlers there.
And of course, the sex.
Blatant, in your face, everywhere, yet anonymous. You could pick up a nice piece of ass, bonk them in plain view and be done with it.
Everyone was equal there. Supe, Sap, Mutant, it didn't matter. The WASP cops never went there, no laws were ever enforced, it was kind of an unwritten rule that anything went at Dirty Trick Park and you went there at your own risk.
Because it was on the other side of Sargot City, I'd never been there, I'd only heard the rumors. Besides, I had no reason to go there.
The very same qualities that made it dangerous made it an ideal place to hunt. No cops to investigate disappearances. And a dead body wouldn't be questioned.
Or even noticed.
However, Angelo didn't hunt there very often, he was a bit more fussy than the average juicer.
(I like my juice clean,) he told me as we made the trek over there. (You don't know what you're going to get. Most of the breathers aren't in the best of health and they use too many drugs.
(What's so bad about drugs,) I asked. (You seem to have a problem with them, but I thought you said, they don't have any effect on us.)
Angelo suddenly stopped in his tracks and seized me by the shoulders. (Listen carefully. We can't get sick. We don't get affected by drugs or drink. By themselves.)
His grip tightened. (When we juice a pick-up, if they're drunk, we get drunk. If they're high on drugs, we get high. And if they're sick or diseased, we get sick, which means,) Angelo shook me with each word, (We. Puke. It. Up!)
He let me go. (Do you understand?)
I did. I just didn't know why he had to be so mean about it.
And he wasn't done. (Some stupid juicers become junkies themselves. They don't last very long because they're fucked up all the time,) he snarled.
Okay, he probably lost a lot of "recruits," that's why he's making sure it sinks in with me. I didn't like his method, but I could appreciate that he cared enough to teach me this lesson.
I told him, (I get the point.)
That was enough to make his rage suddenly blow over. (Weasel,) he grasped my hand and laced his fingers though mine, (You have a lot to learn and I'm going to teach you. But don't say something that stupid again, alright? I don't want to have to worry about losing you.)
I nodded, and squeezed my hand tight before releasing it.
For the rest of the trip I got a quick run down on the things I needed to know.
There were only three other Nightchildren besides Angelo and me. Amorette and Dimitri, who I already met, and Sylvie, Angelo and Amorette's sire. I found out that Angelo was Dimitri's, but I kind of figured that out already.
Sylvie was the oldest, then came Angelo, then Dimitri. Amorette had been the youngest until I came along.
The other juicers were called Stalkers. Unlike Children, Stalkers had been human before they were Changed and as a result, were much weaker than Children, physically and psychically. They weren't considered equal to a Child, they were a lower class of juicer.
Fairly or unfairly.
I remembered the contempt Angelo felt towards the Stalker bouncer Peter and shuddered. I got it. Stalkers were the "non-persons" of the juicer world.
Was that why I was "special?" Would I even be here if I wasn't Sangsue?
A bigger shudder came over me because I already knew the answer.
For the first time in my life, I was happy that I wasn't "normal," something that, up until now, I had always wanted to be.
I wondered what Angelo felt towards all the Stalkers he brought into the fold.
Again, I knew, he grew bored with them quickly.
Would being a Nightchild be enough to prevent him from growing bored with me?
We reached the park, but he stopped just before we walked inside.
Another lesson, no doubt.
I wasn't disappointed.
(Be still,) Angelo said, (So still that not even one muscle moves.)
Easier said than done. I saw how Angelo was almost motionless, he could have been a statue. Even his lips barely moved when he spoke.
The best I could do was to just stand there. My hands were twitching slightly, but other than that, I was perfectly still.
(Not bad for a first try,) Angelo remarked. (Now, tell me what you see. Look at everything, not what first catches your eye. And just use your eyes, don't move your head.)
I scanned the area, noticing my eyes had become sharper. My circle of vision had expanded, these new eyes had greater peripheral vision than before and could see much greater distances. Also, I could always see in the dark but now I saw things as clearly as if it had been daylight.
What did I see?
A well-dressed man humping in the grass with a half-dressed lady. A girl in rags begging a dealer for a fix. Some poor sucker being taken with a card trick as old as it was crooked. A bunch of kids hanging out and smoking herbs. Nothing spectacular.
(Am I supposed to see something specific,) I finally asked.
(Do you see the young lady standing against the oak tree?)
Not at first. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw her. Automatically, my vision adjusted and it was if she were right in front of me, even though she was several meters away. (What about her?)
(Size her up. Read her. Tell me if she's a good pick-up.)
Eeep! He certainly wasn't wasting any time.
Even then I could tell what "pick-up," was a euphemism for. I'd learn there were lots of words Angelo and the others used. "Date." "Their intended." Anything but what they really were. Victims.
Well, there was no getting out of this.
I gave her a quick look see, noting the manicured red nails and diamond ring. They didn't go with the cheap see-through blouse and blue jeans. I saw how every blond hair was in place and her blue eyes flitted around nervously. She was uneasy. She didn't belong here.
(Easy game,) I decided, (She's real green.)
(I'll agree that she's easy. But does that make her a good pick-up?)
I saw the black purse slung across her shoulders and thought back to when I was a street rat. I could yank it off those shoulders with no problem.
Those baby blues had a familiar look that I'd seen in the eyes of other marks: the need to be taken.
All I'd have to do is charm her, chat her up and I could have that diamond ring. With the right words I could get anything I wanted from her.
When I was a street-rat I would have. I was stealing from the haves because I was a have not. Killing them never entered the picture.
I wanted to say no, she's a lousy pick-up because she was too nice, she didn't deserve it. However, I knew it wouldn't be a good enough reason for Angelo.
(Yes,) I admitted.
Wrong? On one hand I was relieved, on the other, I was confused.
He explained, (She's a rich Daddy's girl, probably here to rebel and piss her parents off by picking someone up here.)
So? (I knew that already.)
(Then know this. If she has to rebel, that means her parents care about her. Caring rich parents contact WASP drones when their loved ones disappear. Drones investigate and all the money Ardoin pays them to keep their noses out of Underground affairs won't mean fuck all if they trace the death back to us.)
The only reason she wasn't a good pick-up was because she'd be missed? It sounded so mercenary it made me sick. I felt like walking away, then and there.
Angelo shot me a look of pure amusement.
(Shit,) I exclaimed, (Is every single one of my thoughts open to you?)
He started to laugh, then he took another look at me and tried to stop. (Your expression,) he tried to clarify, (You look so self righteous and indignant and you have this cute little set to your jaw.)
(Then you aren't reading my mind.)
That set Angelo off into a choking fit as he tried without success to not laugh again. (Mercy, no. I don't have to, you're so transparent that a Sap could tell what you're thinking.)
(Gee, thanks a whole lot,) I muttered.
I was pissed. Angelo didn't like it when I got pissed.
He immediately tried to sweeten me. (Kaloz mou,) he breathed into my ear, (Glike mou,) he nibbled my earlobe.
And I tried to stay mad. I really did. But when his tongue plunged inside my ear I lost it and gave in.
And not just because he made my knees buckle.
There was just something about Angelo that made it real hard to stay mad at him long.
I turned my head so his lips met mine, and slipped my tongue inside his mouth.
His mouth was juice sweet, knowing it was my Keeper, or my ex-Keeper, that I tasted didn't make it any less so.
Not at all.
Our kiss grew deeper, but before it could go any farther, Angelo broke the kiss. (As much as I'd like to finish this now, lover, we're here for a reason.)
Yeah. We couldn't forget that.
It wasn't until much later that I realized how Angelo could be so sweet to me and such a bastard when it came to breathers, especially Norms.
Angelo saw me, Dimitri and the others as family. Though only Dimitri was related to him, the other Nightchildren were all connected by the same bloodline: Sylvie's. She was mother to Angelo and Amorette, and grandmother to Dimitri and me. She was the first one of us. Ardoin had sired her.
Even Stalkers were higher, but not much higher, on his list.
Breathers were vache, cattle. Not all breathers, the few that managed to gain his respect and even his heart fell into a different category altogether.
They didn't stay breathers long. Either he Changed them into one of us, or if they turned him down, he killed them.
And even that, I understood, though I doubt Angelo was even aware of it.
To Angelo, they'd made the choice to remain separate. They were no longer, "one of us," but "one of them."
But of course, on this night I hadn't yet gained that insight. At that time I couldn't reconcile the two different Angelos and the fact that it didn't make me want him any less.
Which made me as bad as him.
Angelo probably sensed my inner turmoil, but he didn't have the patience for it. It didn't make a difference anyway, there was nothing he could have done about it except change. As much as he cared about me, he wasn't about to do that.
I learned a lot of other lessons that night, Angelo was a surprisingly patient teacher. They were all on the same topic, "What makes a good or bad "pick-up,) but there was a lot to learn.
By the time I was done with learning how to smell the difference between clean juice and polluted or toxic "sludge," my nose was almost numb.
The more chemicals, the worse the stench.
When the breather was drunk, they reeked of formaldehyde. If they were high, it was more of a sulphur, rotten-egg scent. And if they were sick, let's just say that I wanted to toss my cookies just by the odor, forget about juicing them.
It wasn't just their blood, it was their flesh that smelled rotten and decayed.
We would have gone on with this lesson if I didn't suddenly clutch at my stomach and fall to my knees in misery.
(It looks like you've used Ardoin's "present" up,) Angelo said in that sing-song voice of his, (You need to juice.)
wasn't the only one. Apparently, whatever Angelo had gained had been used up
as well because he had that familiar reddish
glow in his eyes that I knew was probably mirroring my own.
The two of us had to find something quick. It was as if our Tigers were bouncing off each other. I could feel Angelo's rapidly growing hunger that fed on mine and magnified it, making it worse, but, strangely, it didn't feel bad.
It was kind of like an orgasm, all the tension building up in my body, knowing the release will feel so good, your body anticipates the pain.
more lesson for tonight. One of the most important things you will ever learn.)
Angelo grasped my wrist. (Concentrate
on what I'm doing to you and focus on what you feel. This is what you're going
to have to do if you don't want
to leave anything but a bruise and tiny marks that no one can see. The first
thing you do is to use your fingers and tongue
to probe for a good place to tap. Unlike what you might think, it's not as easy
as aim and bite. Not every artery is a
good one, and some will collapse on you. Your fingers are sensitive, but your
tongue will tell you when you've hit the
With that, he ran his finger up and down my arm, his touch barely there but enough to give me goosebumps. Or it would have if my Changed body had still been capable of it.
Suddenly I flashed back to when I met him. He had been doing the same thing then, only at that time, he'd done that trick of his.
He wasn't this time and I realized what I thought had been a caress had only been checking for a good vein.
After that, he lifted my wrist to his lips and began to run his tongue along the inside, then , slowly but surely, up to the crook of my elbow.
Again, just his touch alone was arousing, even though he wasn't doing what he called Pleasuring: boosting my pleasure and amplifying my sensations but knowing what he was really doing was enough to take all the magic out of it.
There are several reasons you lick beforehand. Our saliva has an anesthetic
so our pick-ups don't feel what we do, also,
it has an anti-coagulant so the juice keeps flowing. The other reason is for
marking purposes, scent marking so another
juicer doesn't steal your kill.) His lips vibrated against my skin. (What you
do is what I'm going to do. When you find
your magic spot, press hard with your tongue so you mark your spot for later.
You'll be able to find it by scent. After you
do, lift the skin over your teeth and press it hard against them so you puncture,
not tear. Tearing will make them
bleed more but it will also be easy to detect and you can't afford that.)
It was kind of like getting a hickey. I felt his tongue lifting my flesh and then pushing it against his teeth and there was a sudden stab of pleasure/pain, but he didn't take anything.
(The bite sends your pick-up's body into shock, and all the muscles relax so they can't struggle when you drink. When you learn how, you can make it almost ecstatic for them, it benefits them because they feel good, and because their endorphins are pumping, they taste better, which benefits you. That's why I usually juice them just after I've bedded them and they're about to come, only fear makes the juice as sweet, sometimes even sweeter.)
Cripe. I was learning all the secrets of the trade and the more I heard, the more disgusted I felt. Everything he did had to do with making his kill more satisfying. They thought he was making love to these pick-ups and all he was doing was seasoning them. Cooking them. Getting them ready. Making fucking dinner preparations.
It was ironic I thought of it that way because later on, when I learned more of the juicer argot, "cooking," and "seasoning," were exactly the words they used. Oh yeah, they even had different words for each emotion, "spice," was fear, and they "spiced" kills with great abandon. "Joy-juice" was exactly as it sounded, as was "passion-punch." "Sugar," was arousal, and sugar-spice was obvious. Especially to someone like me, who quickly became addicted to sugar-spice, but that started on the night I helped to kill Lilica.
I understood what he was telling me. It was just heartrending to know that he'd done it to me too.
(What would you have done if the pick-up had never shown up on the night we met?) I demanded.
(Answer me, damn you!)
(You won't like it.)
(Don't you think I've figured that out,) I snapped.
He raised his head to face me, his black eyes gleaming. (You really want to know? Fine. I was about to taste you, then I probably would have left you 'til the next night, like I usually do. Or, if my instincts about you were wrong, I would have had you, then killed you. Are you happier now that you know the truth?)
No. But I wasn't surpised.
(Weasel,) Angelo's tone was one of growing impatience, but I could tell he was trying, he was really trying. (For reasons that are beyond my comprehension or caring, you like to play these melodramatic games, but for your own sake, don't ask questions you don't want the answer to because you already know. I'll spare you once and only once. Then I'll tell you and I won't care if you get hurt by my answer. In fact, I'll probably be amused. Don't force me into that position. You won't like it one fucking bit,) he growled. (Stop it. Now.)
I began to shake, then stopped myself.
He's warning you, I told myself, he wouldn't bother if he didn't care.
But was this what life with Angelo was going to be? Me, testing him and needing constant affirmation because I knew I'd never be the only one?
I took a deep breath I didn't need anymore. (Two nights ago I find out that I'm not a Mutant, I'm probably not human at all. I meet you and you steal my heart. The next night I give you my life and my soul and become something that has to drink the blood of humans to survive.
(Tonight I discover that I'm not who I thought I was, that I wanted to fuck my aunt and uncle and that the only thing that kept my darling uncle from killing me was that I couldn't kill him.
(To top it off, I suddenly realize that what I thought was your version of foreplay or even affection was only you searching for a good place to juice me, and now I have the overwhelming urge to grab one of these losers, tear their throat out and drink every drop of blood from their sorry body. It may not be a big thing to you, but it's enough to make me snap!)
don't know what I expected from Angelo. Annoyance. Impatience for my histrionics.
I didn't expect him to say, (Do you feel
I gaped at Angelo, as if he'd suddenly grown horns, too shocked to say a word.
His eyes had this look of, well, not concern, it was more like.... relief.
(I was beginning to wonder how much longer you were going to last,) Angelo told me. (I'm surprised you didn't blow last night, after Lilica, but I think you were distracted, by, shall we say, other things. You may not believe it, but you're stronger than you think. Impulsive, more than a bit rightminded for me to stomach sometimes, but with everything you've gone through in your life, a weaker soul would have curled up and died by now. Not you.)
The words were slowly sinking in. (You saw my memories, but that's not it, is it? How long were you watching me?)
Angelo actually looked sheepish. (For a while before I approached Ardoin about you. A month, maybe. That's the real reason you're here.)
Now I was confused. (What the hell are you talking about?)
(I saw it all, little bird. I noticed when you staggered around with your clients, your pretty eyes dead and your brain numb from whatever drug you managed to get your hands on, which I understand much better than you know.)
A light was beginning to dawn. Why he was so determined to keep me drug free and clean. He was afraid to lose me to drugs again. And there was more than a hint that he had his own experiences.
He went on. (I used to watch from your balcony window, observing and seething silently as Flin had his way with you, beat your little body senseless, and then "rewarded" you for it by feeding you the very same drugs he enslaved you with.) For a second, his teeth were fully bared and for the first time I knew why he'd nearly killed Flin. It had been more than a game. It was personal.
It also explained how he knew where I lived when he brought me back the first night.
(You were a victim, Weasel, but in your own way, you refused to stay that way. You fought back. You did a lot of things behind Flin's back, tricking for credits and drugs when Flin denied you. Stole from your clients, knowing their pride would prevent them from reporting it to Flin or the WASP drones. Double-dealed those who made the mistake of underestimating you, like Flin.)
Angelo shook his head. (I came to the realization that if I didn't act soon, you'd either get killed when you fucked over the wrong person, or you'd do it yourself. That is why I sired you, beloved, so no human could ever hurt you again and so that I could have you without killing you. I didn't know what Flin had planned for you last night and I decided that your life was worth more than following Ardoin's orders.)
I'd seen though his memories how Ardoin had paid him back for his disobedience. Apparently, the need to save me overrode his fear of Ardoin.
His words completely floored me, and it must have been completely obvious because Angelo sighed, looking as if he was going to tell me something that he'd rather not tell me.
(Do you remember when I told you that Norms tend to react violently and sexually towards our kind?)
I nodded, wondering where this was heading.
(My uncle, Dimitri's adopted father, didn't have the same excuse that Dimitri did. He didn't have one drop of Sangsue blood in his perverted body.) His tone was one of somebody who had felt a lot of anger a long time ago but now felt nothing. (He had begun with Dimitri, then when he got too old, he started on me.)
Wow. I couldn't imagine anyone victimizing Angelo. Then again, I'd never knew him when he was younger. (For how long?)
(Oh, from when I was about seven, when we were still in Pireaus, Greece, to when we came over to Florida.) He saw my puzzlement and rolled his eyes. (Long ago, what are now the provinces of Sargot used to be known as the United States. Greece was another country altogether. I assume it still exists, I have no idea.)
Angelo continued his story. (With Dimitri, it stopped when he hit puberty, probably because Dimitri was bigger and wouldn't put up with it. Uncle Stavros molested me past puberty and would have done it even longer except he happened to be the second one I jumped.) Angelo smiled evily. (Poor thing suddenly had a heart attack and died. The only one who knew what happened was Dimitri and by then, he was mine and wasn't about to say a word. Besides, I think he felt I did the both of us a huge favor.)
I noticed that he said his uncle was Dimitri's adopted father. (Did they get Dimitri from an orphanage?)
(Dimitri was actually my cousin on my mother's side. The Sangsue side. That's why we were so drawn to one another. We had a lot in common, including the fact that we were both resented because we killed our mothers in childbirth. Dimitri's mother was Norm and had been knocked up by my mother's brother. She was my father's and uncle's sister. Out of pity, they took in Dimitri.)
(How about Dimitri's father?)
Angelo laughed, but there was no humor in it. (My mother never went through Maturity, she probably had a Norm mother, which was why she remained a Sleeper. For one reason or another, her brother never fully Matured, leaving him in a limbo state where he had the hunger but not the enzymes in his blood to break down his meals. I couldn't tell you exactly what happened, he was killed when I was born.)
A bad feeling was coming over me. (How?)
(Greece was part of the Old Country. Unlike here, they had a rough idea of what he was and when they caught him in the act, the men in the village ambushed him, tied him down and staked him.)
(They got a wooden stake and hammered it through his heart. Of course they didn't do it for that reason, Believers never do, but it was the most humane thing they could have done because he was insane by then. I'm surprised he was sane enough to impregnate my aunt.)
No anger. No bitterness. Just pity for the uncle he'd never met.
(That's what happens to a lot of us, Weasel. Most Sleepers remain Sleepers, once they reach adulthood, it's as if they were human. Then there are the kind like my uncle, where the bloodline is so strong that the body begins to Mature, but it's never completed so they get the overwhelming cravings but are never satisfied because they can't digest any of the flesh or blood they take. You're something else altogether, because you're a Fullblood, not human at all, and I'll bet your mother fed you more than breastmilk when you were little.)
(How do you know?)
(Because you were very far in your Maturity. That wouldn't have happened if she hadn't fed you her blood. That's probably the difference between you and the others.)
Something occurred to me. (How about you and Dimitri?)
(Not Dimitri, it wasn't strong enough in him because his mother was Norm. The other part of me was stronger and the energy I took probably put off my Maturity.)
(Didn't your father know what was going on?)
Bitter laughter. (Oh, he figured out that Dimitri and I were messing around and he forbade us to see each other, though we found a way around it. But with my uncle,) he snorted, (Even if he did know, it wouldn't have made a difference. He didn't abuse me and he kept a roof over my head. He was a decent man, but it was obvious he took offense at my existence because I cost him his precious Eleni, and I was a constant reminder that I was born as a result of the rape of my mother.)
I gasped, at his words, as well as the off-handed attitude. (Who did it?)
He shrugged. (Probably some village idiot who jumped her body while jumping her bones. Too bad he didn't drain her enough to stop her from conceiving, or at least do what I do, get rid of the embryo as soon as conception is complete.)
Black eyes flashed with warning about any question I would have about how he got rid of it. No problem there. That was something that I did not want to know.
Was he saying he wishes he was never born, or that he wished his mother had died less painfully?
(It wasn't your fault, Angelo,) I soothed, knowing that he didn't want to be but not caring. (You didn't ask to be born any more than I did.) As soon as the words left my lips I recognized why hearing all this hurt so much. Of course, my heart ached for Angelo. But it was also the awareness that Angelo and I shared more than a bloodline that really stung.
He sighed again. (You're so sweet, but you don't understand the Greek male mentality. My father had already lost one wife to breast cancer, and in those days, Healers were known as doctors and they didn't have the psionic or magical advances you know of. Her illness was sometimes curable, but she had lost both of her breasts and succumbed anyway.
(Whenever my father saw me, he saw his failure. Failure to protect Eleni from her violation. Failure to prevent her death. Rationally, he knew it wasn't my fault and he did try to be a father to me. But it wounded his pride every time he laid eyes on me and to a Greek man, pride is everything.)
I understood. (If you'd told your father about his brother, you would have been
blamed because he couldn't face the
fact he couldn't protect you.)
Angelo nodded. (That and the way I looked, he most likely thought I would have deserved whatever I got. I was pretty, but not feminine. No one could pretend I was a girl, and even now, I don't let anyone do that. They want me, they're getting a boy and everything I do reminds them of it. I purposely rub against them, and there is no way they can pretend that I'm a girl.) For just a second, resentment flared in his eyes.
But only for a second.
(My father had no idea of what to make of me, even though I could fight as well as the best of them, he had suspicions about my preferences. Being a man, is another big thing to a Greek man, and my looks made him doubt that I was.) He snickered. (Imagine if he'd known what I was doing with the sponge fishermen who fancied me.) Angelo paused. (No, he probably did. Rumors fly quickly. I enjoyed it though, gave me my first sense of power even before the demon awoke.)
Sex is power. Non-consensual sex is a different kind of power, but to be able to hold everyone in thrall with your sexual technique is a different, more effective power.
(Dimitri never told me about what his father did, of course. I found out on the night I Changed him and rummaged through every memory he ever had. By then, it didn't matter as much as I thought it would, but it did explain why Dimitri did it to me. That and the fact that we were both two post-pubescent horny Sangsue, and no one but each other could truly satisfy us.)
smiled, a real smile. (Oh, we had some very good times. His family would come
up to our house for drinking and
such, and Dimitri would come up to my room. He was, and still is, very good.
We could just make out for hours, kissing
and caressing each other all over, being careful to sleep head to toe so know
one would know we were fooling around.
It lasted about three years.) His eyes darkened. (It could have been even better,
only the ilithios wasn't satisfied with
our love play anymore, and had to prove that he was stronger and bigger than
me, therefore, he could have
whatever he wanted. Such as life. He only cared about his own needs, didn't give a fuck about mine, but he got much more than he bargained for.) Angelo's voice became wistful. (He was the first one I ever jumped, and none of the others have ever been as good. I used him whenever I wanted to, and I still do.)
Angelo had found a way to cope with feeling like a victim. He preyed upon other predators. That was why he enjoyed it so much. And he saved me by enabling me to do the same.
The only problem was, I wasn't as comfortable with it as he was. Far from it.
Two wrongs, still didn't make a right.
Maybe if I just ignored him, he’d go away in a huff. Nah, no chance. He was never the kind to take offense. Or take a hint.
Besides, Angelo wasn’t going to let it go anyway. (This is what is known as a freebie.)
I rolled my eyes. (Not so fast, see, he’s going away.)
Angelo flashed me a wicked grin. (You mean he’s headed straight for us.)
Shit, he was. I hadn’t seen him since he escaped from his Keeper almost a year ago. I’d wanted to leave that all behind, but there he was. Why did I have to see him tonight of all nights? His eyes flew to Angelo and his face fell for just a second before putting on his happy face.
(Hmmmm, is he an old flame?) Angelo asked. (I sense a great deal of desire from him. There is some from you, but it seems to be mostly on his end.)
I shrugged. (He was a former Pet. I think he had a crush on me. I liked him, but I couldn’t mess around with another Keeper’s Pet.)
(That hasn’t stopped you before,) Angelo remarked.
I sighed. (Let’s just say I wouldn’t have minded trying him out but not enough to risk getting the shit beat out of me.)
I’d picked up the knack of Nightspeaking and barely moving my lips and this whole exchange only took a few seconds. Just enough time for him to walk up to us. “Weasel,” he exclaimed, “It’s been a long time.”
Enough time that I’d forgotten all about him until now. Apparently, he hadn’t forgotten about me. Oh well. Pretending I didn’t see him or remember him wasn’t gonna be an option. So I greeted him. “Hi, Dexy.”
He smiled at Angelo, trying to be a good sport. “Is that your new lover?” he asked.
“Yes, but not a jealous one,” Angelo piped up before I had the chance to answer. “In fact, Weasel has told me all about you.”
Oh boy, it was starting already. I didn’t know at the time that this was known in juicer slang as “gaming.” I did recognize the way Angelo was playing with Dexy. Kind of like he’d been playing with Lilica the night before. And now he was giving me that familiar look that told me I’d better play along.
I saw the look in Dexy’s intense blue eyes, a mixture of embarrassment and hope. If I didn’t play along, I’d make both Angelo and Dexy look like idiots. “Of course,” I lied. “All the time.”
Angelo was happy because I was playing his game. Dexy was happy because he believed that he meant so much to me that I’d actually mention him to my current lover. I was the only one who wasn’t happy, but something told me it didn’t really matter.
And it was about to get worse. (I’m going to leave you both alone so you can get reacquainted.) Angelo left no doubt about what he meant by “reacquainted.”
I didn’t care. He was leaving, and I didn’t want him to. (Angel Boy, there is nothing to get reacquainted about. The most I ever did with Dexy is make out. End of story.)
(Because you didn’t have the opportunity to take it any further. Now you do.) Angelo gave me this knowing look. (The only thing stopping your demure friend from acting on his feelings is my presence. And you may not have wanted him then, but you sure do now, lover. So take him.)
(But I don’t want...) I couldn’t finish the sentence because I found myself looking at Dexy in a way I hadn’t before. I’d always thought Dexy was kind of cute, but now I was noticing the way his hair seemed to curl against his ear. I could feel that softness brushing against my lips as I nibbled the lobe. My tongue tingled at the thought of nibbling those nipples I could see slightly jutting against his tank top. Visions of our bodies writhing together flooded my brain.
Hell, this was Dexy. Why was I feeling this lust for him, all of the sudden? And why was it bothering me?
(Enjoy yourself,) Angelo suddenly said. (I’ll see you later.)
I almost begged him not to leave but he was already gone.
Dexy looked around, suddenly noticing. “Where’d your boyfriend go?”
“Er, he had things to take care of.” True. He had his own needs to satisfy. I only hoped that didn’t include sexual ones.
Hold on. Why didn’t he care that I was about to do just that? In fact, he was practically throwing me into Dexy’s bed. Something didn’t add up.
Dexy stared at me. “You’re still on junk. “
“No, I’m not,” I replied, slightly rankled.
“Then why are your eyes glittering like you’re high?”
Oops. Forgot about that. “Uh, I got new lenses.”
Okay, that was real brilliant.
Dexy knew I was bullshitting him but it wasn’t his style to confront me. “So,” he tried a different approach, “How *did* you get away from Flin? Breaking away from Sool was easy but Flin is a real hardass.”
Yep. His Keeper, Sool, was one of those types that had other businesses that meant more to him, so he didn’t really give a shit. Flin was the biggest Keeper in Sargot City and he didn’t get there by being careless. Also, I couldn’t blame Dexy for not believing me. He like, every Pet had been addicted to Emerald Dust, but I was a real junkie.
I wasn’t about to tell him the truth, though. He’d think I was crazy. He might even believe me. Either option was NOT in my best interest. Instead, I pulled an Angelo: not lying, per se, but not telling the entire truth. Worked for him. Hopefully it would work for me.
“I didn’t break away,” I told Dexy. “I got my contract bought out.”
He let out a low whistle. “Who could afford you?”
I gave him a coy smile. “I’d rather not name names.”
“Then you’re still owned.”
Owned. Only this time it was my soul. The thought ate at me like acid. I squelched it quick before it showed on my face. “I don’t have to peddle my ass if that’s what you mean.”
“Weasel.” Dexy’s eyes were filled with grief. “I didn’t mean it that way. I just wanted to know if you were finally free.”
Freedom was all how you looked at it. But softhearted Dexy was concerned for my welfare. I had to make him think everything was all right, so I threw my arms around him and hugged him. “Don’t worry about me. I’m better off now.”
Which, sick at it was, happened to be true. I’d traded one form of slavery for another. As Angelo, so eloquently put it, I gave up a monkey and gained a Tiger. But it beat being Flin’s Pet. And having Angelo in my new package only sweetened the deal.
About a second into it, I realized the embrace was a huge mistake. After I felt his excitement pressing against my leg, then slowly grind into my own growing hard-on. It was almost like I was getting hot because Dexy was. So much so that I didn’t know where his desire ended and mine began.
“Well, whatever you’re doing, it’s definitely agreeing with you.” Dexy stroked my cheek. “You’re even more beautiful, baby.”
Ugh. The word set my teeth on edge. It implied something that wasn’t even in the realm of fantasy, let alone reality. Endearments fell from Angelo’s lips like raindrops, but they were just his way of speaking. His little affectation. Which pet name he used depended on the level of intimacy or just his mood. But with Dexy, “baby” clearly meant something it shouldn’t have and it took all my self-control not to slap his face for taking that liberty.
I was beginning to remember why Dexy and I never went all that far. Even when I was wasted, I could still sense that he wanted much more than the quick fuck or two I had in mind. He didn’t just want my body, he wanted my heart. I couldn’t afford that, emotionally or otherwise. And I knew if I gave just a little, he’d always push for more. That always pissed me off.
And now Dexy’s hand was sliding down to the nape of my neck, just hovering there, waiting to see if I’d say anything. I did. “I’m basically free, Dex, but that doesn’t mean I’m not taken.”
“I know.” Pain, despair and frustration suddenly poured off of him and drenched me. Shit! It was worse than before. Instead of just catching a hint of emotions, now I was being blasted with them. This new sensitivity started last night. I felt Lilica’s desire, fear and agony but it was more like an experience, a drug, triggering me. This was as if Dexy’s emotions were my own and I was about to drown in them.
Angelo’s voice. In my head. I had no idea where he was but he couldn’t have been that far. -I don’t know how!- Mindspeech wasn’t that hard. I hadn’t learned how to project or send my thoughts yet, but at least I could form them into words that Angelo could pluck from my mind.
-Think of your mind as a filter.- Angelo’s voice was soothing, calming me down. -It’s all a matter of your will, *kaloz mou.* You’re going to learn very quickly that a lot of what I teach you will depend on the strength of your will. I want you to visualize the filter. –
–Why not a wall?- I wondered.
-You’ll know why,- was all he said with a wicked laugh. Then I couldn’t feel him anymore.
I thought of what he’d told me about being drawn to strong emotions. And the effect they had on me. The filter made sense. It kept them out of my head, but let me experience what I wanted to.
I let my eyes unfocus for a moment and imagined a mesh screen. At first, it had no holes at all, but I quickly learned how to adjust the thickness. Dexy was blocked from me but I was not blocked from him. Now I had perspective. “Taken, means taken.”
Dexy gave me a sly smile. “Then why did he leave?”
That was a good question. “Because he trusts me.”
“He said he wasn’t jealous, right?” Dexy tried to reason. “Well, then he’s practically giving us his blessing.”
How could I argue with that?
Dexy must have seen it in my face because the subtlety abruptly stopped and he slipped his hands under my shirt. Such warm hands. I could feel the heat rising from them, like a fire I could warm myself under. Mmmmmm, if only I could soak up that warmth....
But you can, a voice suddenly said in my head. Easily.
It wasn’t Angelo’s voice. It wasn’t any kind of telepathy at all. It was my own voice.
No, I told myself, there is no fucking way I’m going to do that.
But you’ll have to eventually, that new voice told me. If not him, someone else.
Hmmmm, maybe sex would take my mind off those kinda thoughts. It always had before. Besides, I was getting bored. I got more out of how his hands felt than his caresses. If he wanted to get me hot, it was going to take a lot more than feeling me up. It wasn’t that he was bad at it. Dexy was doing all the right things, but it wasn’t doing a thing for me.
After a few minutes, I decided to take things into my own hands. I put my hand to the back of Dexy’s neck and kissed him hard. It was worth it, just to see the shock and delight in those wide blue eyes. I realized I could steer this however I wanted it to go. If I gave him what he wanted, then I’d get what I wanted. I let my lips trail to his ear and whispered, “Are we gonna go any farther or do you just wanna feel me up all night?” I bit his ear lobe. Hard enough to jolt, but not enough to make him bleed. “If you want to, let’s go somewhere private.”
Dexy stared at me, as if he couldn’t believe what I was doing. That made two of us. “Sure,” he said huskily. He took me by the hand and I let him pull me behind a clearing of trees. “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this.”
Wrong. I knew exactly how long. And as we quickly removed our clothes, it was as if I was watching myself. Making Dexy believe *he* was controlling the situation, when in fact, I had him exactly where I wanted him.
I was splitting into two Weasels. The Weasel who wanted to please, to be good, to always do the right thing was quietly horrified by the other Weasel who knew just what would drive Dexy wild with desire. And how to use it to his advantage.
Because that Weasel also knew what the other Weasel was *really* doing.
He...I’d figured out when I began working Dexy over. Oh, he was so easy, so needy, it barely took me any effort. A few nibbles here, a little licking there, and his motor was running. If only I was that easy to please....
I used to be. Now, his touching was just hands pawing at me and I felt nothing but irritation. Impatience. Apathy. Anything had to be better than that so I kissed him deeply. He really liked that. Oh yeah, he was breathing so heavy, and his heart was racing, our kissing grew more intense, until I was devouring his mouth.
I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing until I tasted something familiar and realized I’d bitten his lips. Now *I *was getting excited...
What the fuck do you think you’re doing, I screamed to myself.
Getting more pleasure than he could ever give you, my own voice answered back.
I had to stop. Now. Before I did something I didn’t want to do.
Did I really not want to do it?
My upper gums were starting to throb....
I pulled away and Dexy pouted. “What’s the problem, you seem to like it.” He squeezed my cock, which was now rock hard. “See?”
I was really getting annoyed. He wanted me that bad, he’d have me. And pay the consequences.
I felt myself smile, heard my voice say, “You make me so hot, Dex.” Then I gently pulled his hand off me. “Let me take care of you.” I leaned over and began to tongue his body, from neck to belly, then nibbled between his thighs...
Dexy began to hyperventilate, but I wasn’t gonna give him relief so fast. No, he was gonna have to beg for it.
I licked the length of the shaft, bathing his balls with my tongue, but when he arched his hips to meet my mouth, I moved away from his cock altogether and concentrated on his nipples, flicking them with my tongue.
Feeling the pulsing underneath. Oh shit. This wasn’t working. No, it was working too well. He was getting real turned on and that was arousing me in a completely different way. Dexy’s scent was enticing, tempting...sweet .
“Weasel,” Dexy panted, “I always knew it would be like this. “ To my shock he seized me by the shoulders and flipped me over, pinning me. “I’m never letting you go again.”
Huh? What the hell was he talking about?
Dexy crushed his lips against mine, practically shoving his tongue into my mouth. Oh no, no way. But my body had a mind of its own. Dexy’s lips were still bleeding and it was getting me hot. Not only that, but I was responding to Dexy’s lust, and my libido was waking up damned quick. Which only encouraged him to start rubbing against me, humping me like some bitch in heat.
See, the voice inside me said, he’s handing himself to you.
No, he has no idea what the hell he’s doing, I argued. I was going crazy. Having arguments with myself.
That makes it even better, it replied.
This was ridiculous. I was stronger than he was. I could effortlessly flip him over and take him. But I wouldn’t.
Instead, I let my lips trail to his cheeks, his neck, my tongue licking, pressing down, probing...
“That feels good,” he murmured.
My teeth were coming down now. I tried to push them back with my tongue. No luck. The only way they were going back would be if I used them. Angelo called it, the “juicer hard-on.”
“You like that,” I heard myself hiss, “You’ll like this even better.” I knew what I was gonna do, I was done with lying to myself, done with fighting myself. I wanted to do this. I knew I’d enjoy it a lot more then his pathetic attempt at seduction. Shit, it wasn’t even seduction. Seduction is when you’re trying to give someone something you feel they really want. Dexy didn’t give a shit about what I wanted.
He didn’t deserve to die for that. But, I really didn’t give a fuck anymore. I was too fed up to care. And too hungry. So I lifted the skin over my teeth, like Angelo taught me. Then pressed against them with my tongue, breaking the skin, and tried not to smile when his moans turned into screams.
Dexy exploded in my mouth and I swallowed quickly, the scalding hot ambrosia drenching my icy parched throat. Angelo was right, Dexy’s body relaxed instantly, becoming dead weight, but he was still conscious. And scared to death. Yet, my sucking and lapping had to be turning him on, because I was getting that same confection I had last night. Sugar-spice.
Now I’d done probably every drug on the planet. I’d gotten high and numb. I’d done it all and then some but nothing prepared me for the complete ecstasy I felt as I rapidly drew the life out of Dexy’s body. Sex, even with Angelo, didn’t compare.
It wasn’t just the juice, though that was definitely a major perk. It was way more than that. I was intoxicated with Dexy. His essence. His memories. His soul. And I could feel him singing in my veins. My cock was stone hard, I tingled all over and I was as high as a kite. I’d never, ever felt this good, and although a part of me felt guilty that it was because I was killing Dexy, I didn’t feel guilty enough to stop.
Suddenly his heartbeat started to slow down, and I came back to my senses. I couldn’t kill him. I didn’t want to. Maybe he could still live. I withdrew and gently lowered his body onto the grass.
(Why did you stop?) Angelo. He was back. Perfect timing.
Too perfect. Fuck, the bastard set me up!
(You knew,) I accused him. (That was why you left, you knew exactly what would happen.)
Angelo’s black eyes glinted with amusement. (If you mean, did I know nature would take its course, I was counting on it.)
(Did you count on me hating you?)
(You don’t hate me, you hate yourself.) Angelo’s tone was non-judgmental, but his words hurt. Because they were true.
(I don’t hate myself,) I protested. (I only hate *part* of myself.)
I thought Angelo would lose his patience, and frankly I didn’t care. But to my surprise he sighed. (Weasel, I didn’t force the Change on you. You made that decision. Why did you accept my offer when you knew what it meant and you knew you'd hate it?)
The words, (Because it was the only way I could have you,) came out before I could stop them.
Angelo nodded. (And now you know why.)
I could smell his pick-up all over him, just like I knew he could smell Dexy all over me. But all I smelled was the juice. Nothing else. (You didn’t fuck your pick-up?) The concept was not fathomable, at least not with Angelo.
Angelo laughed. (Sometimes it’s just seize and juice. I couldn’t exactly stop in the middle if you needed me, could I? I hunted, found someone and did what I had to. How do you think I was able to help you when Dexy blindsided you?)
He had to have been watching me the whole time. Watching Dexy and me. (Well, did we put on a good show for you?) I retorted.
Angelo refused to be provoked. (I always want to watch you.) Then he took me into his arms. (And if you want to know, yes, I was jealous.) He kissed my hair, then just held me.
Damn him, he wasn’t gonna let me stay mad. It felt nice to be held though, so I relaxed into the protective circle of his arms. We both juiced, which meant we were both horny, but he wasn’t acting on it, and I realized the difference between him and Dexy. Angelo actually cared about me, not what I could do for him. I knew he wouldn’t make a move unless I showed him encouragement.
Besides, I wasn’t mad at him anymore. Angelo wasn’t being malicious by leaving me alone with Dexy. It wasn’t his fault I couldn’t control myself. Even if he did know that I’d end up killing him , that was natural to Angelo. How could I be pissed at Angelo because of it? Especially when I enjoyed every minute? The only difference between us was that he was more honest about it.
Angelo’s eyes met mine. Gods, they could be so beautiful, so naked. I couldn’t help it, I kissed him.
Angelo smiled. (You know, Sharing is more than just sex, little bird. It’s a way of communicating. Sharing information.) He licked my lips. (Now you do the same.)
I licked his lips and tasted. His pick-up had been female. She tasted female, maybe it was the hormones. I kissed him again, this time letting my tongue taste inside his mouth. Tasting her was nice, but it wasn’t the same as if I’d Shared her with him.
In fact, Angelo had been right when he said it was just “seize and juice.” The taste got me hot, but it without any sugar or spice or any kind of “seasoning” it was kinda bland.
Shit, what was I, some kind of connoisseur or something? What the fuck had I turned into?
I pushed Angelo away. (I-I can’t do this anymore.)
Angelo tilted my face up so my eyes met his. (Tell me now and I’ll finish what I started last night. I’ll finish you, then snap your neck so you don’t rise again,) he said gently. (It would be kinder than to let you starve yourself, like you think you can do. I have news for you. You can’t. Believe me, love, I’ve tried. You haven’t figured out what you are, or you’d know that.)
(I know what I am!)
(You have no idea.)
I stared at him. (After what I just did, how can you even say that?)
Angelo sighed. (Because you still have the illusion of choice. Weasel, I hate to break this to you but it’s not a matter of *if.* It’s how. After a while, you’ll learn what you like, how to control things, but you either drink or you die. Period.)
I rolled my eyes. (I understand all that.)
(Then what *is* the problem?) Uh-oh, Angelo was starting to lose patience.
I wasn’t sure if he’d understand but I tried anyway. (I’m so fucking confused. He was a friend. Maybe not a great one but a friend. And I almost killed him. Not only that, but I -)
(Enjoyed it more because he was a friend?) Angelo finished for me. (Would it make you feel better to know that you’re wired that way? It’s not something you decided, it’s instinct. Most of the time, with us, our first kill we make on our own is someone we have feelings for. And we don’t plan on it, it just happens.)
(Instinct to destroy?)
Angelo shrugged. (I think it’s a way you cut off all ties to your past.)
(I never did any of that stuff before,) I protested. (Why did I have to play with him? Why am already addicted to sugar-spice?)
I didn’t expect him to have a reason. I was venting. But Angelo had a reason for that too. (Again, instinct. And as for why you like sugar-spice, it was what you first experienced. Like imprinting. Mine was sugar. I like spice a lot but I can resist that much easier. You are what we call “double-trouble.” Doubly addicted.
Dexy’s sudden groan made both me and Angelo freeze. (It looks like your buddy is awake,) Angelo murmured, his eyes looking at Dexy with a terrible eagerness that was already too familiar. (He knows too much about you. He can endanger us.)
In other words, Dexy had to die.
(But he won’t remember,) I protested. (I didn’t remember.)
(That effect only lasts for a little while. Something will trigger his memory, then he’ll remember everything you did.)
(Can’t you just take away his memory?)
Angelo shook his head. Oh he could, he just wouldn’t. Why? To force me to make the decision I didn’t want to make.
It was at that moment I realized that he purposely hadn’t taught me how to take away Dexy’s memory yet.
(Fine.) I looked away from Dexy, not able to face him. (You wanna finish him, so bad, you do it.)
Angelo gave me a funny look. (Are you sure? You won’t like it.)
(I’ll like doing it even less.) No. I’d like doing it too much. That was the real thing I didn’t want to face. Let him do it.
(Oh no, love,) he said softly. (Not that easy.) Angelo smiled evilly. (Not at all.)
Oh fuck, what did I just do?
Angelo sat on the grass beside Dexy, taking him in his arms. “Dexy,” he singsonged.
Dexy seemed to be using all his strength, just to keep his eyes open. “Wha?” His eyes were trying to focus and they fell on me. “Weasel?”
I suddenly remembered that I was buck ass naked. I went for my clothes but Angelo shot me one of those *looks* of his and I thought better of it. Oh no, he was going to make me lie in this bed I made. “Yeah?”
He giggled weakly. “Sorry, you must have taken a lot out of me.”
That was one way of putting it.
Dexy looked directly at Angelo for the first time, aware that he was being held by him. “Omigod,” he blushed, “You’re his boyfriend! Did we..”
Angelo kissed the back of his neck, inhaling his scent. “Not yet.”
“Maybe later,” Dexy said, his eyes still on me. “You must like it rough,” he remarked. “I’m kind of sore.” His hand flew to his neck. “I think I passed out, I had this real weird dream. We were getting it on and suddenly you....” Dexy rubbed his neck. A sudden thread of fear flared. “Not a dream?” The fear blossomed into terror. “Not a dream!”
Angelo’s hand immediately covered Dexy’s mouth, almost suffocating him until Dexy wasn’t screaming anymore. “Scream again, and I will cram my fist down your throat.”
Dexy’s eyes pleaded with me, begging for help but I couldn’t help him. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“Will you be quiet?” Angelo asked Dexy.
Dexy nodded desperately and Angelo’s hand left his mouth.
“What the hell are you,” Dexy demanded.
“Oh, you know the answer to that,” Angelo said cheerfully.
“Y-you,” Dexy accused, “You did this to Weasel.”
Angelo laughed. “You make it sound like I raped him or something. That was your job.”
Ah. Now I understood why Angelo was being such a bastard. He’d seen how Dexy sort of forced himself on me. Of course I let him, but that wasn’t the point.
I also remembered him saying something about being jealous.
Dexy was a mixture of emotions: angry, scared, and jealous himself. And Angelo was enjoying every minute of it. But I knew he wasn’t done. There was one ingredient missing.
“You’re very pretty, Dexy,” Angelo stroked Dexy’s cheek.
Despite Dexy’s revulsion, a little bit of excitement was beginning to brew.
Angelo’s hand moved lower, seeking, finding and Dexy gasped. “See,” Angelo soothed, “I can make it very nice.” He bent his head and took Dexy into his mouth.
I could feel Dexy’s inner struggling. I was now something repulsive. Angelo was definitely worse. Yet, Angelo was definitely getting Dexy off and it didn’t take long before he gave into it.
He hated himself for it. That didn’t stop him from coming with a violent shudder. Angelo sucked harder, swallowing every drop of Dexy’s seed. Then he bit into his thigh and took what he really wanted.
I was splitting in two again. The one part of me felt that Angelo’s little show was cruel and unnecessary. The other part of me liked it. Enjoyed it. Wished I was the one who was doing it.
And a few seconds later I found myself picking up Dexy’s wrist and tapping him.
Angelo and I were Sharing Dexy now, like he’d probably planned all along. Angelo could give Dexy the pleasurable feelings I didn’t know how to give and we fed on that pleasure, as well as his pain, and everything else. I felt Angelo’s delight, and that amplified mine. That was why it was called Sharing. Angelo and I were Sharing our own feelings, increasing, building, until we reached a crescendo of ecstasy.
We dropped Dexy’s body and Angelo quickly took off his clothes, not wanting them ruined because we still had to go back to the Nocturne. I knew Dexy was just about dead, but my cock was talking louder than my conscience.
Angelo had told me that different things would do it for me than before and now he was showing me. We tore at each other with a vengeance. We were Sharing each other, tasting nipples, cocks and of course, blood. Our lips were smeared with Dexy’s and each other’s and our kisses grew hungrier as we licked and consumed each other’s mouths.
That was what made it so good. Angelo wasn’t doing me. I wasn’t doing him. Somehow, we were both working as one, completely synchronized. And we knew just how to drive the other insane with lust because it was the same as Pleasuring ourselves.
Yeah, it was pure animal sex, even more violent because we wanted it that way, the pain as Angelo entered me, a delicious torment. But even though he was pounding me into the ground, and my nails sliced into his back, there was something strangely tender about it.
Both of us were at our most vulnerable.
Angelo was letting me do something he didn’t let anyone else do. And then, when it was my turn, though I was fucking him so forcefully, it wasn’t rape because he *was* letting me. All that was required of me was that I drive him over the edge. All the bites, scratches and bruises that covered our bodies were marks of our love. I was still pissed, but apparently, I could still want him so bad that I’d kill for him.
Which was exactly what I did.
Unlike last time, we couldn’t lie together because I had a new lesson to learn: How to handle empties. Or almost empties.
Because Dirty Trick Park had unsolved murders everyday we didn’t have to get rid of Dexy’s body. However, we had to show some sort of motive and cause of death so there *wouldn’t* be an investigation. And Angelo informed me that even though he didn’t always kill them, I probably would because I had a greedy appetite and last night, if he hadn’t stopped me, I would have killed HIM.
Angelo rifled through the pockets of Dexy’s jeans, tossing out a wallet. Dexy had a credit card but that was the only thing of value. Then Angelo went into his own jacket pocket and pulled out a pocket knife. (If they look real carefully, they can see the little marks. If you want to use this place as a hunting ground, we can’t afford that.) He made slashes on Dexy’s neck, thigh and wrist. (We’re lucky that we only tapped those places. Makes it very easy to disguise things.)
After that, we got dressed. Then we blanketed Dexy’s body with his clothes, took his credit card, and headed back to the Nocturne.
(Weasel, I want you to look at the sky and tell me what you see.)
I looked up. (Blackness and stars.)
(In a little while, the sky will lighten just a tad. Then a little more. You will have to learn to be aware of the sky’s subtle shadings or you will burn to a crisp.)
The thought was enough to make me shake. (What if I can’t tell?)
Angelo put his arm around my shoulder. (You will. It takes time. After a while, don’t ask me how long, please, you will be able to sense it and won’ t even have to look.)
(You don’t have to look, do you.) It wasn’t a question.
(No,) he admitted. (But my reasons are, shall we say, different. I will teach you what I can but there will always be things I can do that you will not be able to do. )
(Like I can and will teach you how to Pleasure someone, but you will always have to touch them. If I touch them once, that’s all I need. It has to do with being an incubus. I’m astrally projecting myself onto them. I can’t teach you that any more than you can teach me how to do magic.) He raised an eyebrow. (You are a witch aren’t you?)
I laughed. (From what I remember I couldn’t do shit except start fires and I couldn’t even control that.)
(But if you ever learned you could teach me the words but unless I had the power it wouldn’t mean anything. Do you understand?)
(I guess so.) I looked at him. (What else can you do that I can’t?)
Angelo pulled me to him, comforting. (Weasel, don’t look at it that way. We all have what we call *signatures.* We use that word for two things. The first thing, is how we kill. We all have different styles, and we leave our signatures. The second meaning is our....) He seemed to be searching for the words. (Specialties. For example, you will be much stronger than Dimitri psychically. You will probably be a strong telepath and I can already tell you will be a stronger empath than I am. But Dimitri’s abilities are very limited in that arena. However, don’t ever try a physical fight because he is very, very strong. Physically stronger than I am.)
Wow. Stronger than Angelo. I didn’t think that was possible. (How about Amorette, what is her signature?)
(She’s the female equivalent of me, but much weaker. She has to touch to Pleasure as well. But she can jump and drain just as much as I can.) Angelo sighed. (Amorette is handicapped because her Change didn’t go right. Sylvie tried to Change her but in the middle Amorette almost killed Sylvie. I finished it, so in reality, we both Sired her, but as a result, Amorette is the weakest among us.)
(But she’s still stronger than a Stalker, right?) I asked, trying to get the pecking order down.
Angelo nodded. (I suppose you can say Sylvie’s signature is her age. Because she is the oldest, she is the most powerful in all ways. The only ones who outrank her are Ardoin and Angelique.) He flashed me his special smile. (And after I’ve trained you and you grow older, there is a damned good chance that you will outrank her as well.)
Oh boy. I already knew without meeting the woman that she wouldn’t like that. I’d have to watch my ass.
Before I knew it, we were at the Nocturne already. Angelo gave me a wicked grin. (Tonight, you’re in my bed.)
Mmmmmm, more sex. I could deal with that. I wondered how much time we had left.
Instead of going downstairs, we walked towards the back of the club. (More secret stairs?)
(We have to keep ourselves safe, pigeon.) He stepped down on the floor hard and the wall swung open to reveal stairs. (Follow me.) Angelo chuckled. (No more tests, okay?)
We went upstairs this time, opening a door that led down a corridor. Then to a door. Angelo’s room. He took a key out of his pocket, put the key in the lock, then frowned. (It was locked. There’s only one other way in here, a trick I haven’t taught you yet.) He thought a moment. (Ardoin, does have a master key...)
(He isn’t there.) I realized that Ardoin couldn’t hide his presence from me like he could from everyone else except for Angelique. I also knew that it was the same for Angelo and Dimitri. Blood called to blood.
It was something Angelo recognized as well because he didn’t even question me about it. (I believe we have a guest. The only thing I’m sure of is that it isn’t a breather or we’d sense them.)
Angelo was nervous but he was trying to mask his fear for my sake. He gingerly opened the door.
(It took you long enough.) A girl’s voice. Young girl. I looked in the direction of the voice and saw a little blonde girl who couldn’t have been more than twelve or thirteen. She was just entering puberty, the baby doll dress she wore revealed the budding of new breasts. (I knew you’d come here sooner or later, Angelo.) The way she pronounced it, it sounded more like “An-Zhelo,” emphasis on the second syllable. Come to think of it, that was sort of the way she pronounced everything. And there was definitely an accent.
Angelo stiffened. (I was going to introduce you to him tomorrow.)
Yes, definite subservience.
(Were you now?) She tossed her head, the shoulder length blonde hair tossing along with her. Then she looked at me. (Do you speak?) Her words were in French. A different dialect but definitely French.
-Don’t speak to her in English,- Angelo warned me.
I could see that she had hidden herself but now I could feel her power. And her hot chocolate eyes were not a child’s eyes.
(Is he mute,) she asked Angelo, switching back to English.
-For your own good, do NOT displease her,- Angelo mindspoke.
She laughed. (Always the protector. Stop prompting him, Angelo.) She appraised me. (I see why he chose you, Jacques.) Again in French. (It would be nice if once in a while, Angelo thought *above* his waist.)
Why the hell was she calling me Jacques? I knew that had been my name at one time but it wasn’t now. And why was Angelo afraid of her. Well, he wasn’t quite afraid of her as much as he was deferential. Like he was talking to his mother.
Oh fuck. This cute little girl was Angelo’s Sire. And I could tell that she disliked me already. For my own safety I was going to have to fix her first impression. I was afraid I’d forgotten, but just like with Ardoin and Angelique, the French came easily. (I’m pleased to meet you, Sylvie.) I kissed her hand.
Sylvie smiled. (Well, at least you have a brain. An improvement over his usual flavors of the month. But you’re more than a flavor of the month aren’t you?)
That was why she hated me. Because I was Baptiste and had potential she would never ever have. But I also knew that she would hate any of Angelo’s “brides.” She didn’t want to share him with anyone.
-Jacques,- Sylvie sent telepathically, -If you ever, ever hurt him I will kill you.-
-I’d never do that.-
-So, you say.- Then Sylvie spoke aloud. (Tomorrow night, Jacques, you and I will talk.)
The words were still in French but apparently Angelo understood her. (Sylvie, he’s still new.)
(Don’t worry, he’s still under your protection. He’s safe. For now.)
Then she gave me this real nasty smile. -Oh, he didn’t tell you about that did he? I knew he wouldn’t but you’ll learn, he doesn’t tell you anything he doesn’t want you to know. You have to find it out the hard way. Realize I just did you a favor.-
Which meant I already owed her. And I had no doubt that she would call in that debt any time she wanted to.
(Have a good night, Angelo. Be sure he’s downstairs, in the Playroom tomorrow night. I don’t want any interruptions. *Çomprends-tu?*)
Angelo nodded and kissed Sylvie on both cheeks. I could see there was a great deal of fondness for each other, but nothing sexual.
(Tomorrow night, then?) Sylvie said to me before turning on her stiletto heel and gently shutting the door. Yeah. Fishnet stockings, a dress that barely went below her upper thigh and high stiletto heels. Baby whore.
Angelo noticed me staring at her. (Sylvie’s got some...issues.)
(Is that why she dresses like she’s jailbait?)
He nodded. (She targets baby fuckers. She hates adults, especially men.)
(Oh, she’s into girls?)
Angelo laughed. (Not like you mean. Sylvie “rescues” them. Between her “sisters,” and my “brides,” we’ve Sired ninety percent of the juicers here.)
Very prolific parents.
Something occurred to me. (Why bother speaking French to me if you understand?)
Angelo rolled his eyes. (Clan politics. I suppose she will tell you about that tomorrow. Old Country bullshit. Dimitri and I only speak Greek when we’re alone. And because your clans all spoke the same language, you, Sylvie, Ardoin, Angelique, and Amorette will speak French in some form or another when you’re alone. All part of Sangsue etiquette, another thing I’m sure she’ll teach you. I’m sure not going to because I think it’s a joke, but Sylvie takes it seriously.)
Good to know. I had a feeling that it would piss her off greatly if I didn’t follow proper etiquette once she taught me better. (What else is she going to tell me) *that you haven’t* I almost said aloud before catching myself. Sylvie didn’t want him to know that she was taking care of things that Angelo probably should have.
Angelo’s answer was to push me down onto the bed. (We only have about an hour. Do you want to spend it playing questions and answers?) He unbuttoned my jeans. (Or can you think of better things to do?)
Angelo had a way of making you forget what he wanted you to forget. And as he kissed me, I realized I didn't mind it.
Widower©Janette, 1997 - 2005
Black Widower©Janette, 1997 - 2005
Last Updated 9/11/04
Page Last Updated 9/11/04