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February 19, 2024

The Building 28

By Lydia Manx

Jerry felt odd from the elixir he'd just consumed. His thoughts weren't as clear as they had been moments before he'd downed the vial of bitter magic. There wasn't any other word for the stuff. He'd bought three vials from the creature that'd created the blood box he planned on using to torture and kill the Council's vampires. They had unsuccessfully tried to keep him cut off from his clan and any source of food and suffering while they'd tortured him up in Michigan. He didn't plan on making the same mistakes they'd made. The creature had known who he was and that he hadn't come to talk about his own experiences with the vampire torture device. It never was mentioned, and as far as Jerry Cooper was concerned it never would be. The creature hadn't targeted him specifically from what he'd discovered but offered a service at a very steep price for its own talents. Good old-fashioned supply and demand. Not so normal was the price, but Jerry knew it was well worth it. He finally was on his road to recovery. He planned on getting back all of his former power and glory and more. If at fang tip if need be.

"Wakey, wakey." Jerry slammed his palm flat against the trunk just to jolt Celina Holston's nearly lifeless body stored inside her own car. Standing back and using the key fob, he pushed the trunk button and it slowly popped open revealing the captive.

She was trapped inside her nearly catatonic body, and her mind was actively looking for an escape to no avail. He'd drained far too much blood out of her and through her for her to do much more than shake and shimmer in fury. She'd been drinking from Tricia, his now dead hacker, when he was draining her. It truly warmed his soul to see her in a panic. After drinking the second vial of liquid he'd bought from the creature that'd crafted the blood box, he knew nothing had severed the tie between the two vampires, but it was muddier and somewhat faint, like being filtered through a thick blanket of wool. From what the creature had said, it was critical to keep a mental block up, or Celina could find a way to trap him inside her terrors at being cut off from all the fledglings and humans that were hers to command. The creature hadn't called Celina by name since Jerry hadn't even known which vampire he'd be using the blood box on when he'd purchased the magical construct.

Hell, he wasn't even sure how many times he could use the blood box, but he was definitely using it on Celina. Payback was a bitch and so was she.

Her jaw quivered as she struggled to free herself from the near-death catatonia. She wasn't having much luck because he had brutally snapped her mental link with her humans and fledglings when he drank from her. The added blood of the human just served to further strengthen his power. Celina really hadn't believed that he was all that dangerous back when she kidnapped him in Michigan. But when she'd trapped him she had already had his blood inside the blood box and his minion and fledglings had all been killed or out of range.

Centuries of being a Master Vampire erased by a Southern drawl and his blood inside one of the creatures' black blood boxes ... Jerry was going to take great pleasure in showing her the error of her ways.

"You aren't happy to see me?" He asked while calmly lifting her unresisting body from the trunk.

He made sure to not smile but maintain a solemn demeanor. No sense in ruining any of the fun ahead. Ok, maybe just fun for him, but then she'd been more than gleeful screwing him over in Michigan. Her mouth worked but no words came forth just a grimace of pain. Instead she thought loudly, Holy fuckin' hell, you all got to be kiddin' me. This asshole is still walking. I mean the Council done screwed the pooch on this one for sure. I better right quick get one of my children here to take out the trash.

Jerry had to love her optimism. She obviously wasn't thinking clearly, what with the massive blood loss, and his slipping in and out of her consciousness like a hot knife through butter; it was perfectly understandable. He wasn't sure she truly remembered exactly who he was given how confident she was about getting out of her current situation. Pleasure rippled through his body at the thought of how delicious it would be to carve away at that self-esteem and painfully tear apart her hopeful illusions. It was a treat long in coming and he'd enjoy the dessert piece by piece, all the while savoring all the sorrow and pain that came with it.

Celina wasn't very heavy. Without her vampiric strength to back her angry and rebellious thoughts and dark wishes, she wasn't much more than a hundred or so pounds drained nearly dry. He carried her in his arms like a lover. In a way they were going to be far closer than lovers. He planned on knowing her inside and out before he was finished with her. The blood he'd taken from both Celina and Tricia fueled his powers and made him delight in knowing positively that her mind was still seeking a way out. He wanted to slap her on the forehead and remind her what she'd done to him, but there would be plenty of time for that later, once he got the blood from her that was necessary to fuel the blood box he'd had crafted. He had an old-fashioned crash cart he'd also purchased when he picked up the various tools and instruments at the hospice care shop. The straps weren't strong enough to keep a lively vampire down but with the blood box she wasn't going to be active.

She was still floating in and out of awareness as her brain ebbed and flowed with the little bit of blood left running through her body. Her synapses were misfiring and her attention kept wandering. Jerry knew that there wasn't very much blood left, because her thoughts had begun to drift and take on a hallucinogenic quality that was further odd for him to experience secondhand, as it were, because of the fuzziness caused by the elixir he'd taken.

He was getting a peculiar overlay of her partial vision of the warehouse through her half-mast eyes while he was walking with her cradled in his arms. It was a double vision in a strange way. Vampires could see through their donors' eyes and seeing through Celina's eyes while carrying her was distracting. Jerry remembered some of what she'd put him through and stiffened his spine and concentrated on keeping her from fishing in his thoughts.

He saw no need to let her find out what was in store for her.

Only once he rounded the wooden crates carefully arranged to keep anyone from seeing the tools and boxes he'd brought for torture did he allow himself to smile down at Celina. Her lashes fluttered and her eyes found his. The irises were nearly erased as her pupils were blown wide-open creating black holes in her face. He felt like he could look right into her mind without even using any vampiric powers through those eyes. Her lids dropped, as did her gaze from his face. The haughty Southern Belle who'd tempted him and tortured him was resorting to the century old damsel in distress routine complete with the sigh. He almost dropped her from his arms onto the cement floor, but resisted since he didn't want to have to pick her up. No he had better plans for her ass. As he dropped her onto the crash cart and she opened her eyes again, while having trouble maintaining his gaze she had no trouble pushing at his mind finally. Her dire circumstances were finally settling into her brain and she was trying to push past the lack of blood and find someone to feed on to restore some power. It wasn't working.

She looked frail and nearly dead on the cart. It warmed Jerry and he casually began the steps to strap her down with the large leather belts that kept victims stabilized and unmoving while hospital personnel worked on them. For a vampire it would usually be a snap to free their bodies from such a human designed construct, but the few ounces or so of blood in her body allowed her to do little more than simply exist.

Her eyes and mind kept flickering as she tried to marshal a snippet of strength. It warmed Jerry's soul to see her frustrated. He remembered all too easily how he felt under the control of the Council's dogs. She hadn't been there for all the torture, but in his mind he knew she was a hypocrite and responsible for his being captured. He never would have gone a step near a male trying to catch his eye -- vampire or not. The research had been carefully done on his likes and dislikes before they'd snagged him in Detroit.

"Stop," she hissed out through barely-open lips. They weren't in the least tempting to Jerry. Her fangs were out between her pale lips, as she craved blood and would pounce if the opportunity was presented for tapping a vein. If anything he wanted to snap off her fangs and let her die inch by inch like she'd tried to do to him. But he didn't have the luxury of time. He wanted her to suffer but quickly.

Laughing, Jerry said, "Stop what?" knowing perfectly well she used most of her energy just to say the one word. A wave of power rolled over him and he tucked it inside his body selfishly, knowing she felt the energy. Whatever that creature had given him to help him subdue the vampire had something more than the usual magic. It was nearly addicting in power and strength but he knew it came at a steep price.

He simply savored the rolling feeling of vampiric awareness. He felt like he could drain a Master in seconds with the thrust of magic running over and through him. Her eyes widened as it began to sink into her mind that he was in control.

He strapped her ankles down slowly, quite enjoying the sight of the two-inch leather strips cutting deeply into unresisting flesh. Her pale skin was nearly alabaster white with the lack of blood in her body. Death wasn't very far from her and she knew it. He could hear it in her thoughts and see it in her eyes. He savored the pain she was feeling as she fought his power. He started pushing in stray thoughts of possible ways to break her. They weren't completely inhumane but evil enough to shadow her soul.

"Celina Holston, you aren't looking well at all. I really must do something to help." His tone was conversational while he shoved into her mind his personal vision of the inside of that cursed casket in which they'd imprisoned him years ago. There was no way he wanted to help her do anything but talk and confess her sins before he killed her.

It didn't stop him from flooding her mind with the scent of his own body as it had been in the casket, and the haunting images of saints and crosses lining the inside of the coffin they had kept him in like a corpse. Time hadn't made that nightmare a distant memory; it clung to him in his waking moments as well as his dreams with a clarity that made him grind his teeth in anger. But despite all of that, he defied their attempts to break him and survived. Unfortunately so did they, which was a point he sought to rectify starting with Celina.

A shimmer of something went through her as her mind was force-fed his memories and stray thoughts. Her eyes found his and she struggled to say something.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-08-15
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