By Kimberly Bliss
A whisper of promise.
This promise started early in the rainy evening and grew stronger as the Haven grew crowded with human laughter and the music began to pound violently against the wall.
This feeling grew in Lillie Langtry that not-so-long-ago night. It slowly grew and encircled her heart.
Her ancient and very lonely heart.
She heard a voice calling out to her. A voice of loneliness like hers and full of raw talent. A voice full of hurt and anger.
A clash of thunder shook throughout the clun and the lights flickered. Lillie remembered that Julian was sitting by her side when the club was plunged into darkness. Lillie and Julian could see the dancers clearly in the darkness with panic etched across their young faces. Then they saw the relief when the lights slowly came back on.
Lillie smiled at Julian and then watched the dancers while sipping from a glass of red wine. The voice came back stronger this time and Lillie nearly dropped the glass on the floor.
A sweet voice of promise.
Lillie wanted to follow this soft male voice and set her drink down.
She went out of the side door while Bethany watched over the Haven and turned her head toward the dark form leaning on a alleywall. A guitar hung from the young man's left shoulder and a cup lay on the ground below him.
A cup filled with only a few dimes and nickels.
Lillie silently watched the young man and noticed that he was shaking and rocking back and forth. The young man let out a cry and started sobbing. Lillie's heart went out to him. She wanted to take away his pain. As if he could hear her thoughts he looked up and his eyes widened. She could tell that he was doped up. She moved closer to him while he peered up at her with a small smile beginning to form on his bright face.
"I knew you would come...knew it..." he said weakly.
Lillie knew that he was poisoned with dope and that he was dying. The young man reached out to her and she took his hand.
"What is your name?" Lillie asked.
"Zane," he replied gently. "What is your name?"
"Lillie," she said with a smile.
"Ah, Lillie. What a beautiful name for a beautiful woman. You are a lily that blooms in the night."
Lillie helped Zane up and led him to the Haven's side door.
"Zane," she said, "come with me."
SHe took him into the club and gave him warm clothes. He played his guitar for her and sang a new song that he just wrote.
Then she Embraced him a month later with Julian's permission. He was pure Toreador. Coming back to the present Lillie reminded herself that he is dead but couldn't accept it. She no longer heard the rain from long ago or the violent music. The only thing she heard in the Haven was Julian's voice calling out to her and hearing an Enya song caress her.
"What is it?"
"Oh, Lillie, LOOK! I can't believe my eyes. This has to be a joke!"
Lillie followed Julian's gze toward the stairs and saw a young male walking down the stairs with a group of people.
She saw him smile. That familiar smile she had loved so much.
"Oh God, Julian, It's Zane!" Lillie yelled out.
The young man stopped and looked toward them. He stared at Julian and Lillie for a moment and then began to walk over to them.
The scream that came from Lillie's throat happened at the first stroke of midnight. Hidden in the shadows, Cameron watched Caitlyn as she slept in her bed. He walked a little closer and noticed the teddy bear she held tightly in her arms. He took it out of her arms and held it for a moment as memories flooded him. He heard a woman laugh and call his name.
The only woman he had ever loved. His true love.
His beautiful and sweet Kamala. The teddy bear painfully reminded him of their plans of a family in the near future. But that was before the Embrace.
The Embrace changed everything.
Cameron felt a tear of blood fall down his cheek and watched as it landed on Caitlyn's white silk sheets. She moaned and turned over on her side to face him. He wiped away the remainder of the tear away and moved closer to her bedside.
Cameron reached over and ran his fingers gently up and down her arm and she smiled in her sleep. Cameron smiled with her and trailed his finger up to her shoulder and then to her cheek.
She smiled again and called out Julian's name softly.
Cameron's smile disappeared and his fingers trailed down to her neck.
"I will be the only man you will call out for in your sleep soon," he whispered into her ear.
She moaned and he spoke again. "No harm will come to you, dear Caitlyn. Someday you will be Brujah. But for now I wish you sweet dreams, my love."
As much as Cameron wanted to continue hurting Julian Luna he would or could not bring himself to hurt this woman. He cared for this mortal. Just as he had for Kamala. He bent over and smelled her sweet perfume. The same scent Kamala used to wear only for him. He paused at that thought and then bent over to brush away a stray lock of golden hair and kiss her cheek. He turned to walk the way he had come in but stopped. Kamala's face bloomed in his mind and he decided that it was time to find her.
Time to find his true love.
With a smile on his face Cameron blew a kiss to Caitlyn. Her eyelids fluttered as if she was going to wake up and Cameron slippped out of the room.
Lillie started to shake as Zane walked toward them.
"It can't be..It can't be....oh God It can't be..."
Lillie repeated this over and over. This all had to be a sick joke.
"Are you okay?" Julian asked with concern. She shook her head side to side and he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer. The young man stopped and smiled at them.
"I noticed you called for me," the young man said kindly, "I am glad you did because I would of had a hard time finding you in this crowd!"
He laughed gently and Lillie joined him. His beauty took her breath away.
"Zane?" Lillie asked.
"You must be Lillie Langtry. I've heard a lot about you. We must talk."
She noticed the urgent tone in the young man's voice and led him to a room in the back. Lillie was confused but the young man looked just as confused. She smiled to get him at ease.
He took a letter out of his pocket.
"I have come a long distance to see somebody very special. Someone I never had the the chance to meet. Someone that was blood and my family until we were torn apart as babies when we were adopted separately."
The young man paused and Lillie could see the pain in his eyes. "I finally found this person only just recently after a lot of questioning. We didn't know about each other then but we know about each other now."
Lillie was so confused now. "I am sorry. I don't know what you are talking about."
She noticed that the Hunger was slowly rising and she tried to control it. Felt her teeth ache.
"He told me a lot about you, Ms. Langtry," the young man said proudly.
"Call me Lillie please. Who told you a lot about me? Mr..."
The young man finished his name for her. "I am Alexander Trenton. I am Zane's twin. Zane wanted to surprise you with this visit so he promised not to tell you anything."
Lillie sat there in shock and then started up at Alexander. Lillie tried to form a smile on her face but failed. Alexander noticed and a look of concern appeared on his face.
"Oh, no, Alexander. I am okay. Just shocked that's all...." "Zane said he knew that you would like this! Speaking of the devil, where is that *singing legend* brother of mine at?"
Lillie didn't know what to say. She turned her head toward the door at the sound of approaching footsteps and saw Julian standing in the doorway.
She turned toward Alexander and shook her head. "Alexander, I've got something to tell you about Zane. Something you may not like." Midnight Seduction Part Three Lillie's haunting words flowed through Alexander's mind.
"I've got something to tell you about Zane..."
He knew that it had to be be bad news. He felt the dread rising in his gut and he felt as if he could throw up at any moment. Lillie held onto him and made him look into her piercing eyes.
"He's gone, Alexander. Dead."
Lillie's voice shook as she said those words. Her hands shook as the young man started to cry.
"Oh, god, not my brother...this can't be happening! We always joked that I would be the first one to go. Most brothers do not get along with each other but with Zane and I it was a different story. We..."
Alexander could not speak anymore. He grabbed Lillie and crushed her against his body as they sobbed together. She cried with him, kissed his tear stained cheek, and listened to him scream. She knew that nobody could hear them over the music except for Julian. He would give them the privacy they needed.
Lillie tried to keep her tears of blood from Alexander's clothes and nuzzled her face closer to his neck. There she smelled and heard the steady beat of his blood.
So close. So sweet. Her teeth ached again and she gently nipped his neck.
Alexander pulled her even closer in response. But Lillie yanked from his hold and stood up. He looked surprised.
"Did I do something wrong?"
Lillie shook her head and held out her hand. He took it and they stared at each other for a few moments.
"I can see why my brother liked you. I feel so guilty now. Guilty about Zane...and guilty about falling in love with you so quickly."
Alexander's shy words touched Lillie like no other had. The young man started to speak again but the Toreador silenced him with a finger gently trailing his lips.
"I feel the same way, Alexander."
Their lips met first in hesitation and then crashed into a frenzy of passion. Into a frenzy of sweet surrender. He slowly started to unbutton her dress.
But she felt there was something different about him. Something that set him apart from mortals and Kindred. She was going to find out his secrets. But a small voice in the back of her mind warned her away.
Danger! Stay away from this one. He will be dangerous if he finds out about the Kindred. There will be hell to pay. She suddenly feared this man. She feared this man who was sliding the dress over her head. The man who was taking off his shirt and bringing her trembling form close to his chest. Lillie laid her head down on his chest and sighed. Alexander was silent for a moent and then issued a low growl that roused Lillie. She looked up into his eyes and saw him staring across the room over her head. She look over and frowned.
There, in the doorway, stood Julian.
"Julian, what are you doing here..."
Julian cut her words off as he stalked into the room.
"Get away from her! I don't know what you are but you are dangerous. I can see it in your eyes....you are up to something. I will be watching your every move." Julian motioned to Lillie. "If you hurt her or anyone else I love I will come after you!"
Lillie stepped back and watched as Alexander and Julian glared at each other. Alexander grabbed his clothes and stalked out the door without a backward glance. Julian shut the door behind him and rushed to Lillie.
"Are you okay? Did he hurt you?"
"I'm fine. But I feel the same way you do about him. Safe one minute fearful the next."
Julian looked over and saw the bag that Alexander had left behind. He looked inside and found their answer. His face was full of rage.
"Stay away from him! He may love you. It is possible. I know you are falling in love with him. But he is more dangerous than I thought."
Julian kissed her cheek and ran out the room with the bag tightly gripped in his hands. Caitlyn remembered her dreams. Remembered the blood and the feeling of great loss. She found the bloodrops on her sheet and felt a ghost of a kiss on her face. But not face could come into her mind that well. She sat up straight in her bed and tried to calm her ragged breathing. She thought about her plans for tommorrow and recalled the strange phone call she had before she went to bed.
The phone rang and she answered it on the third ring.
"Caitlyn, I have everything you need to know about Julian. Everything that he has been hiding from you will be brought out into the open."
"Who is this? I want to know who you are, Mr..."
"Please call me Cameron."
He paused and he could tell that she was unsure about continuing this call. His pleasant voice went on.
"Please say yes about meeting. I promise you that you will be a changed woman when we part." A very changed woman...
More silence and then her voice came back on.
"Where shall we meet?"
He gave her his address and they agreed to meet the following evening at eight. Cameron listened to her kind voice and looked forward to meeting this friend of Julian's. Maybe tonight he could take a sneak peek. Caitlyn's words brought him out of his trance.
"Bye Cameron. See you tommorrow."
"Yes, Catilyn, I do look forward to meeting you. And I wish you...
...sweet dreams tonight."
The phone rang again and Caitlyn turned to pick up and answer. Her hand stopped in mid-air as she noticed the red rose propped against the phone. She also noticed the single drop of blood on one thorn. She knew that she would not get any sleep that night.
A knock at the door.
Frank groaned and got up from the couch. He had not been feeling good all evening and the last thing he needed was distractions. His Hunger was calling out to him and he knew he had to feed soon.
Another knock at the door.
"I'm coming, I'm coming. Keep your pants on!"
Frank opened the door and saw a sorry sight.
"George! I thought you were working the graveyard shift tonight. What are you doing here?"
The smell of beer hit Frank and he knew George was drunk. George looked up and squinted in the bright light.
"Hey buddy...lost my job. I lost my wife. Hell, I even lost my dog. My wife took the dog with her. That bitch!!"
George's bitter laugh echoed through the hallway.
"Are you drunk?"
George looked at Frank as if he didn't understand the question.
"How much did you drink?"
George held his fingers to indicate the amount. "Ahhh, buddy, only a-maybe this..." Then he widened the space between his fingers and grinned. "Maybe..."
Frank nodded. "Okay, you're drunk. I'm not letting you go anywhere tonight. You can crash on my couch."
George looked up at Frank and smiled. "Thanks, buddy! You're the only damn person I can count on in this crazy world."
George's eyes rolled back into his head and he passed out into Frank's arms. Frank backed up and caught him in time and dragged him to the couch. The smell of blood nearby mad Frank's heard spin and he sat beside the snoring form of George.
A tiny voice pounded in his head: "Let me out, Frank. You know you want to! Be free!"
The voice now screamed with raw rage. The blood called out to him in a sweet song that only he could hear.
"Let me out Frank! Let's have fun with this mortal!"
"No, no, NO!"
Frank looked over at George and then over to the wall in front of him. He could see the bedroom from where he was at. He could see the place of his attack. His Embrace. He got up and paced around.
"No! I won't let this happen. I can't lose control."
The voice called out to him and begged to be released.
Frank tripped over the worn rug and caught his balance. He looked down and saw the spots of blood he tried to cover with the rug. He saw his blood. He saw his Sire's blood. He tried many times to scrub out the offending spots but they never came out. The sight of the blood pushed Frank over the edge.
"I thought I could continue lving here. I was wrong."
The voice called again and this time Frank did't fight it. Frank let out a roar of satisfaction and started to walk over to George. The frenzy was making everything red and then normal around him.
"It's dinnertime," Frank said with a wide grin.
The pain and pleasure were overwhelming and for a moment Frank did't hear the voice. Didn't even hear anyone else come into the room.
"Sorry, Frank. You're going to have to let this man go. You have to fight it and control it or it will eventually consume you. The frenzy will turn you into a animal."
Frank growled and turned to the new visitor.
By Kimberly Bliss
"Sonny! Get out of here!"
Frank's voice filled up the room and George's eyelids fluttered.
Sonny put up his hands in front of him. "C'mon, buddy. Let's take it nice and easy. I know it is scary but you got to fight it."
"Look what they have done to me, Sonny! I didn't ask for any of this. I'm so cold and the hurt inside never seems to want to go away. I need to ease the pain. George will help me."
Frank reached out to George and pulled his shirt off.
Before he knew what was happening Sonny had leapt on his back. Frank dropped the drunk young man back onto the couch and threw a fist toward Sonny's face. Frank smiled when he made contact and knocked Sonny off his feet. A look of surprise came over Sonny's face as Frank stood above him.
A voice called out from across the hallway. "What the hell is going on in there! My little girl is trying to sleep!"
Frank felt something wet on his lip and rubbed his thumb on it. It was blood. He laughed and licked it.
"Those are my new neighbors. Maybe when I get done with you two I can taste them..."
Sonny didn't let him finish. He kicked up and slammed Frank against the wall. Frank let out a howl of pain and frustration.
"Just let me at him, dammit!"
But Sonny had a tight hold on him.
"Let me go you son of a bitch!"
A look of alarm and hatred passed over Frank's face and then quickly disappeared.
"Oh, god, what I am doing...what was I about to do?"
"Nothing unusual. Every Kindred goes through a Frenzy. I know. When I was Embraced by Julian I frenized and, like you, almost killed someone. Julian had to hold me back. I was thisclose to slicing a bum's throat. It is not your fault. I just feel bad that I wasn't here with you when you were feeling this way. Things would be a lot different."
Frank smiled and then clutched his chest. "Oh, man, so hungry, so damn hungry."
Sonny turned around and made sure George was still asleep.
"I will get your friend to safe shelter tonight. You will come with me to Julian's compound. This place holds too many bad memoires for you."
Frank nodded through his pain and tears and sat on the floor. Sonny pushed back his sleeve and offered his wrist which Frank took in his trembling lips.
"I'm sorry, Frank. So sorry this happened to you. I will be there to help you whichever way I can. Cameron will pay for this. I hope he burns like Matthew did."
Sonny took a sharp intake of breath.
"Damn you, Cameron!"
"Are you referring to me?"
Sonny turned to face the new visitor. Cameron.
"Thanks for the kind welcome, Sonny."
Sonny heard the sarcastic tone in Cameron's voice turn to concern as the Brujah Primogen glanced over at Frank.
"What the fuck is wrong with Frank?"
"Speak of the devil and he comes," Sonny muttered under his breath.
She tried to fight the wave of darkness but finally closed her eyes and slept. And dreamed again. Caitlyn was still in her bedroom except someone was in bed with her. She reached out to take the hand laying on her thigh but her hand was knocked away.
"No, not your precious Julian. I hate Julian. You should too. I am going to teach you some lessons, Caitlyn Byrne. I am going to break you down and then make you mine. And then every time you see Julian Luna you will wonder why you even fell in love with him. You will feel the hate start to rise with the bitterness and the passion you will feel will be to kill him and devour him whole."
Caitlyn shook her head from side to side. "No, never! I could never do that."
The voice continued. "We shall see..."
It was silent for a moment and then Caitlyn felt his breath on the back of her neck.
"Lesson number one. With great pleasure there comes great pain. I will show you this time and time again. Starting tonight."
"This is only a dream. You are not real. You can't hurt me."
But she felt the teeth sinking into her neck and screamed as waves of pain crashed over her body. The scream continued as she woke drenched in sweat. This time she knew she wouldn't sleep. Would not dare to sleep. She looked over and realized the rose was gone. There were no marks on her neck but she could feel the stranger's presence in the room. She picked up the receiver and dialed Julian's number. It was with great despair that she realized the cord was cut.
Suddenly there was a crash out in the living room followed by a howl.
Then silence. Deadly silence.
He is going to pay! How dare Julian Luna mess up his plans.
Alexander walked down the street focused on Lillie Langtry. And unfortunely Julian Luna. He was so close. He wanted to see this woman again. He would have his revenge and then he would ask Lillie to leave with him. He would tell her all his secrets and the truth. The truth about why he really was here. Alexander didn't even realize it until it was too late when the two inexperienced thieves ganged up on him.
"Give us your money or you will die now!"
Two against one? Okay...
As Alexander thought this he laughed out loud.
"What's so funny?"
Alexander looked over at the man for the first time.
"Nice jacket," Alexander said in a low playful tone. "It will be mine."
That pissed the man even more and he motioned to his friend to move back. Alexander saw the glint of a blade moving around in the darkness as the man moved closer to his face.
"Let's get to business, you miserable piece of crap."
Alexander nodded. "I agree."
Cameron laughed at Sonny's words.
"Let me help you with Frank."
Sonny didn't refuse and watched with a weary eye as Cameron slung Frank's arm over his shoulder. They opened the door and glanced back at George who was snoring by now.
"I will come back and get him later. Let's just get out of here before the neighbors complain again. Frank and I already heard a woman across the hallway yelling at us."
Frank slumped over more and Cameron and Sonny pulled him up and started to pull him along. The door across the hallway opened and two women stepped into the harsh hall light. Frank lifted his heard up.
"Cameron....Sonny....these are my new neighbors. Verna and her sister...."
Cameron looked up and gasped. It felt as if his heart was being torn into pieces again.
Frank looked up at Cameron's face with confusion. "How do you know her..."
Frank passed out in their arms.
Sonny took hold of Frank as Cameron stepped forward. She was just as he remembered her. Beautiful and so smart. Witty and so mature. Elegant and then full of a wonderful sense of humor in every way. His Kamala. His one and only.
The tears slid down her cheeks. "They told me you were dead."
Kamala turned her face away. "I can't say for it depends on our safety. But, oh, god, Cameron. Is this really happening or is this a dream I will wake from?"
Cameron reached out and took her hand in his. "It is real."
He touched his cheek. Brushed back her hair and tears. They fell into each other's arms and closed out the world around them.
"I am never going to let you go again, Kamala. I will give my life before I see you come to any harm. I love you."
He didn't care who was in the hallway. He kissed her and felt the old fires starting again between them.
Kamala stepped back from him and smiled. "A lot of things of happened in the past eleven years. But I never gave up on you. Even when I went to your funeral and felt a part of me die with you that day. I still have the engagement ring you gave me."
She showed him the ring on her finger. She put it up to the light. Cameron put is hand next to hers.
"I also wear the ring you gave me. I remember how you gave me that ring. We were in bed and...."
Cameron suddenly rembered that other people were around him and blushed. He looked up and noticed Kamala was blushing too.
"Can we get together and talk, Kamala? About our past, our surprising present, and our future together?"
Kamala nodded. Suddenly they all turned around at a new arrival behind Verna. A small figure ran past Verna and Kamala and rushed to Cameron. The little girl looked up at Cameron and took her tiny hand in his.
"Your hand is cold..." The little girl said in a loud voice but cuddled up to Cameron.
"My name is Sara Beth. What is yours?"
"I'm Cameron, sweetie."
A look of hope came into her eyes and she held tighter to his hand.
"I know who you are now. My Mommy told me about you."
Sara Beth motioned to Cameron to bend down. She kissed his cheek and then laughed as he scooped her up in his arms.
"I love you, Daddy!"
Alexander stopped at the cemetary where his twin brother was buried. He was surprised to see a lone figure sitting the darkness speaking in a low voice. He tried to be as quiet as possible to not startle the person but cringed as he stepped on a branch. The voice stopped and the body turned toward the sound.
Alexander moved out of the darkness and looked at the girl. She gasped when she saw his face.
"You can't be Zane..." "No. I am his twin brother."
He held out his hand. "I am Alexander Trenton and I mean you no harm. I just came to visit Zane."
The girl pulled him to sit down next to her. "I am Elena. I am what other people call a "groupie" of Zane. I loved the music. I loved the way it made my feel. It made me feel free as if I could do anything. Anything! But he always had a group of girls around him. I could never get to see him up close or talk with him. You would not believe how many girls attended his funeral service. I felt so bad for Lillie. She was so heartbroken that day. I think the only man in the room was Cash, Sasha Luna's boyfriend."
Elena paused to gather her thoughts. "I come here almost every night to talk to Zane. To talk about things we couldn't when he was alive. I hope that does not sound sick to you..."
Alexander shook his head. "No it doesn't. I understand. I bet he would appreciate the thoughtfulness and caring you put into your visits. Especially the flowers you leave and the respect you have for him and his music."
Elena stared up into the sky. "You do understand, don't you? Then you are only one of a few people who understand me and how I feel about Zane."
Alexander patted Elena on the shoulder and she turned toward him. A frown crossed her face.
"You've got something on your bottom lip. It looks red. It looks like blood. Were you in a fight or something?"
"Something." Alexander replied quickly. He wiped his bottom lip and made sure she wasn't looking and stuck finger finger into his mouth.
Elena looked at his clothing and grinned.
"Ummm....Alexander? I really like your jacket!"
This was going to work out just perfectly...
Alexander did not show Elena the look on his face as he took off *his* jacket and put it in her arms.
She didn't see the cruel smile or the soulless look in his dark eyes. He moved closer...
A scream rose through the night. Then the sound of sucking.
To Be Continued...