"I feel strong and actually good. I am not sure how this whole vampire thing works." Julia dipped her face away from him as she answered Jerry's question about how she felt. She'd yet to sit up and was still on her back in her bed. Jerry Cooper knew that his fledgling was naked beneath the sheet, but he'd seen her at her worst and had no interest in her sexually. She was still scented like a human for all practical purposes. From Jerry's experience, it would take years for that stink to leave her. As a fledgling, the 'newness' was worn off with time and the infusion of massive amounts of blood. As a Master it was his chore to keep her in line and make sure she didn't get too much blood. That could prove to be problematic over time. He knew only too well, since he had gorged on many humans unbeknownst to his Master when he'd first been turned. That proved to be a fatal final mistake for his Sire.
"It varies from vampire to vampire, but you aren't like just the common vampire. You are mine." He smiled without his fangs, but still she shuddered slightly.
"Okay," she trailed off not sure of what to call him.
He reminded her, "Sire or Master is fine."
Julia nodded. Jerry watched her face and heard the turmoil within her open thoughts. She hadn't been told how to block his intrusions, and she wasn't going to be instructed by him any time soon. He needed to easily slide in and out of her thoughts. It also added into his ability to control her. Being a strong Master was more than just creating kin and minions. Another mistake made often by vampires. He still missed all of his slain family, but with Julia now his, he was starting to feel his interest pique again.
"I want," she started then trailed off.
"What do you want, my Child?"
"I want to drink coppery, delicious, red blood." She seemed surprised by the admission. He wasn't. Jerry knew her ex-boyfriend's lying had caused her pain. Delicious, sexy pain -- which was pushing at him but he contained his feelings. But that wasn't what she said aloud. No, she'd simply said that she was hungry. But still Jerry heard the underpinning of her thoughts.
"That is easily solved." And it was. He put his wrist to her lips and watched her fangs descend. She looked at him with shock.
"I can drink from you?" She'd forgotten some of the ritual, but that was to be expected. Turning into a vampire wasn't something just any human could do, and the emotions pushed and pulled tended to overwhelm normal fledglings -- and his fledgling was anything but normal.
"For now." And he knew that she could drink from him easily. There was a bond with Master and fledgling made by the exchange of blood. One that he was intending on fully exploiting before the night was over. He needed Julia to have no hesitation and strength.
Her fangs were baby teeth sharp and unskilled. Without a word he pushed into her mind and showed her how to take from him without causing him any discomfort. At the same time he allowed her to understand how she could cause exquisite pain and horror with the very same fangs. She gurgled the blood into her fangs while trying to nod. He shook his head at the training. He really missed his minions and fledglings during times like these. Not that he'd had that many times. He'd lived his life like a refugee without a land or a title. That was going to change.
He stopped her before she was full. The blood she had taken would have depleted him a week ago, but since the ritual he'd developed a strength that was majestic and intoxicating. Knowing he was the only true Master vampire within over five hundred miles -- if not further -- added into his heady sense of entitlement. Something chimed within his mind and he pushed down his cocky attitude -- the feelings he was filled with were very close to the very ones that led to his capture and downfall those years ago. He reigned in the arrogance and worked on pushing into Julia's mind. She was compliant and happy.
Happiness she didn't have before he'd turned her.
"Why are you so happy?" He genuinely couldn't figure out why she was so thrilled. He'd found her sobbing her eyes out and suicidal less than a dozen or so hours ago. She had been moaning about how her life was ruined and how nobody would ever love her.
"Because you were right. Being a vampire is something more. You kept your word." It seemed to mean vastly more than just that. Jerry wasn't looking for subtext in their Master-Fledgling relationship, but the woman seemed layered in hidden meanings and variables that weren't in the least fascinating to him. He needed her as bait once it came down to it. She was the temptation to pull Ben into trouble.
"Fine," he acknowledged, while not really having a clue what she was blathering about.
He almost wanted his crazy hacker around to explain Julia's thoughts to him. He thought about Tricia Sanborn and admitted that she'd had her uses. Even in death she was useful. Drinking her blood filtered through Celina Holston had been delicious and sensual. Her talents with hacking computers and banks had also resulted in his now-fuller bank account. He could afford to buy what he needed through her hard work. She had pretty much slept her way into her monies, and in her death supplied him with a bankroll of epic portions, along with the names of another hacker or two he could find and use when needed.
"I don't even care about William anymore." She admitted while licking his wrist, slowly clotting the blood with her tongue. The laving was like that from a small kitten -- somewhat delicate and experimental.
It took Jerry a minute to remember who the hell William was. Her human lover who had been with another mate, Julia had discovered. The ensuing battle left Julia vulnerable and now vampire. Jerry made a mental note to look the asshole up before he left Florida and let Julia feast on him and the woman. Well, that was if Julia survived the meeting with Ben Richland, and whatever vampire was being sent by the Vampire Council to speak personally with Ben. Jerry wasn't positive that she'd be able to fight if it came to a true vampire battle. But he did know that Ben wasn't exactly in his top form. The draining of all the vampires in the territory worked well in battles. Hell, he might just let his fledgling kill Ben in the end. The evening held so much promise. Jerry wanted every moment to last longer. It was the first time in a very long time he actually was savoring the time instead of marking it off on a calendar.
"That is good. He's beneath you now." Jerry offered and watched her brighten up.
She slowly slid out from beneath the covers; unselfconsciously she stretched, like a cat arching her back and flinging her arms over her head as she walked to the closet. She was already gaining the glow vampires had after they fed. It wasn't something humans could see. It was a slight warm energy signature that meant the vampire had just fed off a good source of blood. The damn vampire series that the kids all liked made a mockery of vampire vision with sparkling glitter like auras around their creatures. Jerry had often thought that the author of those tales had a few encounters with some vamps over the years and had listened to them talk. She certainly wasn't a vampire, or even a minion from everything he'd heard. Vampires tended to gossip like teenagers, Jerry well knew. And had that woman been a vampire he would have heard from some talkative vampire.
Julia grinned and began flicking through the hangers trying to figure out what to wear. Jerry found that women with full closets tended to take far too long to figure out what they liked, so he simply got up and plucked out some fabrics and tossed them on the bed. The silk shirt and skirt weren't expensive, but flattering. Also helpfully they were dark shades of blue and purple. He pulled out ankle high black leather boots and said, "These will do."
And they would. She wouldn't look like the bait she was, but nevertheless would definitely catch Ben's eye. Add in the scent of vampire on her would be as good as a staked virgin for the executioner. He walked to her jewelry box and handed her a long gold chain with a pearl drop pendant. The matching pearl earrings and bracelet would be worthy of the trap. A thick gold necklace caught his eye. He dangled it in front of her face and asked, "Who gave you this?"
She looked and said, "William."
"Good, wear it wrapped around your ankle. One night we will return it to him."
The necklace had a Celtic knot suspended from the apex and she put it on her right ankle allowing the pendant to fall over her anklebone. She looked pensive.
"I wonder if it was hers."
"No matter." He smiled and she laughed.
"Okay!" Her face brightened, and she sighed then added, "Sire, can we visit him soon?"
"Soon enough, my little one." Jerry went to her bathroom and set out the makeup he wanted her to apply. She dressed and joined him saying, "I never wear that much stuff!"
"Now you do." And she applied the liner and shadows in the mirror under his tutelage. Night was deepening and Jerry was itching to go out and confront Ben. He looked around her home for some weapons while she made an attempt to clean up some of the debris. The power had yet to come back on and the dark skies meant she was automatically using her vampiric vision. It wasn't until the lights flickered and flashed on that she exclaimed, "Oh, wow! I can see in the dark!" Jerry laughed at her joy. It was nearly time.
Jerry took the well-dressed fledgling outside just after sunset. She blinked slowly and looked around the front yard.
"Everything looks so much more -- I don't know -- real?" Julia half asked.
He chuckled slightly and said, "Looks normal to me."
After a few centuries it was easy to forget how pathetic human vision was. His own sharpened senses were even stronger with the infusion of the energy of all the vampires. Stolen by the ancient forbidden ritual, the skills and talents nearly overwhelmed him. Needless to say, he utterly savored the knowledge that he was the only one around for hundreds of miles with any real powers. He watched a large moth flutter between the branches of a nearby hedge. The moth was dark brown and lightly spotted, nearly the size of a bat. He could hear the flapping of the wings and watched the wind catch the insect and spin it higher into the air. Lucky for the moth there weren't any night birds out to snatch it from the sky.
Julia's home was at the end of a street that ended in a small bit of land with a bench that faced the canal that ran along the back of the houses. A few palm fronds littered the grass, and there weren't any sounds coming from the water that concerned Jerry. The fish kept popping up to the surface and sucking the bugs off the top of the water. He didn't hear anything larger. He also didn't hear any of the normal birds that kept to the shoreline. He wondered if another troll was in the area. As the crow flies it wasn't actually too far from his office complex where he'd left the Guardian troll noshing on Celina's body.
He shook his head at his own musings. The troll he called 'Guardian' -- just because there was no way in hell he'd ask the troll if it was male or female. Trolls were sensitive about their unfortunate features and the lack of visual clues to their sexuality.
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