Kenyon let me sip my wine in his office while he went back into the club to find some other friends to join the little impromptu New Year's Eve party. I wandered around casually snooping, all the while snapping pictures of anything that caught my eye. I was focusing on a tribal mask he had displayed on a shelf when I felt him coming back.
There was a hesitation before the door was opened. I had time to turn and see the friends he had brought with him. My knees nearly fell out from under me when I watched Greg walk into the room. I would have thought he would have been executed decades ago. My mistake. His eyes lit on me and he rushed towards me, arms thrown wide. I lifted my camera up and began shooting pictures. I watched his face change as he grasped I was not happy to see him. Trailing lost behind him was a pretty little new vampire. She still had that dazed look they first have when they haven't begun to understand who and what they are.
Behind them there were a few more somewhat familiar faces, but I could tell by the possessive way the new female grabbed him that she thought Greg was hers. She was very new. I nearly could smell the freshly drained blood on her. She struck her hand out to me as I continued my snapping.
"I am Elisa. And you are?" Oh, my, this one had some manners.
I dropped my camera to my chest and looked over to Greg while saying, "Get serious." He looked crestfallen by my remark. Not my concern. I looked around to see if Kenyon was going to rescue me, but saw, true to form, he was busy laving his current date. Not the one I saw him kissing and biting earlier. Elisa's hand was still stuck out between us unwavering in purpose.
"Elisa, this is my cousin, Cassandra," Okay, close enough. I was a distant relative but not cousins. Probably his great-great-great-aunt or something, I never bothered to remember. He was living proof -- so to speak -- that some families deserved to die off. I called him my own personal genetically flawed example of poor breeding ... to his face.
This Elisa's hand was still outstretched. She had more backbone than his usual female. There was a glint to her eye that was serious. Kenyon finally focused on us enough to see that I was getting angry. He flew to our little cluster saying, "Elisa, why don't you go find a drink for you and Greg?" It wasn't so much a request as it was a straight out demand. Elisa looked a bit lost, but dropped her palm and wandered away.
Kenyon swung his arm around Greg's shoulders as if they were boon companions. I noticed Greg paled more than his usual white pallor. Kenyon must have been using a bit of his vampiric strength.
"Greg, I don't think Cassandra has quite forgiven you for your errors."
Greg went gray. Seriously, he had forgotten about leaving me tied up outside a church? From the way his eyes started shooting around the room, I think he really did!
My fangs pricked the inside of my mouth as I resisted tearing him apart. In front of vampires and humans alike, I didn't care much at this point. Kenyon kept his arm firmly in place while Greg tried to duck down and escape. I got closer and raised my camera. I took a few frames while controlling my baser urges.
Once my teeth were back to their usual stunning smile sans my extras I stretched my lips back showing no fang -- just a bit of my thoughts. Now it was Greg's turn to have his knees weaken. I kept my tones low as I said, "So you must have heard I survived. Not without a bit of a sunburn and some new friends." That was one of the darkest parts of my history.
Greg had failed to take into consideration that the church he had tied me up to was one that allowed novices to attend. The young women saw me tied at dawn to their church with chains, and thought I had been burned by boiling water for some transgression against a strong-willed husband. Of course I had pushed that thought into their brains, along with the memories I had plucked out of the various abuses they had all withstood at the hands of supposed loved ones.
It took some fast soft whispers to draw them close enough to hear me speak. Once they were within my reach, I was almost unable to control myself. I maintained the whispered voice making personal connections with each of the four. They ignored the note saying I was a witch and deserved immediate death that had been so thoughtfully strung on my neck by Greg. Also on the note had been a list of suggestions on how best to destroy me that were basically true. The leader of the four, Martha, decided to hide me in the cellar and help me to heal.
They did a wonderful job of healing. Regretfully they were all part of that process. I saved Martha for last. Since they were such strong church-going ladies they never knew I had killed them. I clouded their minds, allowing them to cure me while they died ever so gradually. The general cause of death was consumption, or what was called a wasting disease. I didn't waste a drop, but I let that go.
Looking up at Greg, I saw he was recalling my escape and his part in my being put into that particular position. Kenyon said, "Greg, don't you have something to say?"
Typically, Kenyon thought mere words would keep me appeased. The pain of that time was still etched in my mind and a few stray nightmares. Greg looked ill as he read my face and my ill-blocked thoughts.
Elisa took that moment to come back with drinks. Her confusion had been replaced with self-driven purpose. This one would be delightful to demolish.
I allowed those thoughts to roll into my eyes and Greg actually stumbled out with, "I am sorry, Cassandra!"
That was rich coming from him, the self-proclaimed seduction king. Granted he, too, had been part of Kenyon's little play group but I had told nobody about who we were.
"I was misled about who you were talking with, about our family." Some of his past mistake was acknowledged with his apology, but now he was just out and out whining.
Elisa batted Kenyon's arm off with one hand, holding a bottle of beer she then gave to Greg while saying, "Hey, he's mine hands off!" She wasn't really joking. She was one of those women that took pride in owning their men. From the glint in her eye, she didn't buy the cousin comment and thought I was one of Greg's groupies.
I walked up very close to Greg and raked a nail down his face saying, "Oh, he may be yours for now, but I own his ass. You ask him." With that I walked off to hear Elisa snarling, "What the hell does that creature mean?" Greg's quick soft soothing replies weren't flying.
Kenyon fled the quickly building fight to say to me, "You can't kill him here."
I stopped and turned, "Kenyon, you have no say in where I kill. I won't kill in your club. There is enough blood shed here without me adding to the DNA mess. But know he is gone for all purposes. You have any last requests of him, make them fast."
He tried to redirect me with, "I thought this was the year of human feasts, not fellow vampires."
Right, my New Year's resolution of only a few hours. Not like my killing vampires was off my list. I smiled and said, "He is long over due. You didn't correct the problem so it is my joy to eliminate him. Very soon."
Kenyon nodded slowly and said, "Can I have him for a day? He needs to tie up a few loose ends in his personal life."
"I will give you a day. But he is gone by the weekend at the latest. Hope you aren't too attached to Elisa because she will be my bait."
He was silent for a minute before saying, "Okay."
Like I had been asking his permission. I left him to his illusions and went back to see who else had wandered in for the soiree.
The hours passed and eventually I ducked out to go back home. I had caught up with a few free meals that had been wandering around the club. Goth kids were not a challenge but it made up for my date.
It was near dawn when I finally went home to see my answering machine flashing. I pushed the button and listened to my messages. Predictably, the first one was Liz.
"Hey, Cassandra! I just got off the phone with Zack. He swore that he had been accosted by that kid and was going to press charges. I need to talk with you soon to get the real story. Happy New Years! Where the hell are you?"
The message was erased with a flick of my finger. I would call her later this evening after I woke. The next message was heavy breathing and a hang up. The following the same. Of the five messages only two were actual people. The last one was Zack. The time stamp was about thirty minutes ago. He sounded completely wasted.
"Ah, Sandy, hello? You there? Pick up. You can't be mad at me. Sandy, hello?? Damn, okay, I hope you got home okay." There was a pause as it sunk in to his alcohol-soaked brain he was the reason I would not have got home okay. Then right before the machine would have cut him off he added, "That girl like, attacked me. I may need you to give a statement to the police. I am thinking about pressing charges." The air whooshed past him as he cluelessly continued, "I know you will call me when you can. If not I will try later. Night. Happy New Year."
Yeah, there's a call I was going to return. Right after I let Greg chain me to the Vatican with a more detailed list of ways to destroy me.