(short story, experimental style, vampire, mature romance)
She ran – as fast as she could – hard, packed snirt pounding into the sensitive soles of her feet – the balls of her heels dripping amaranth from reckless abandon as she rushed through winter woods – though she kept her hair twisted in ragged fabric, stray – broken – strands of blanched red waved around her – whipping- lashing her frostbit cheeks – icy skin cracked around blade wounds – pale pink – droplets of glistening ruby – white-blue veins pulsed against the pallor of her body – she needed – wanted – desired – needed – wanted – desired – needed – she ran.
He rode – as carefully as he could – leaping – galloping – bounding over dangerous roots that wished to claim him as the forest’s own – branches thrashed in stinging wind – razor leaves sacrificing themselves to slice at the fraction of flesh that showed between dark – heavy – black as the fathomless pits of the abyss – hood, scarf, handsewn coat – waist coat – breeches, leather gloves, cuffs, shoes – buckles of silver that glinted against the reflective moonlight which drifted betwixt waves of slender clouds – despite the purity of the snow’s white, the orb in the glittering night sky was a vivid orange rust – he avoided looking towards it as he snapped the reins of the powerful creature he rode – the hooves slamming into dirtied snow – kicking – forcing spray into the wind.
They met – at the decrepit black ash tree – surrounded by towering box elders and demure sambucus shrubbery – he came to a halt – visually devouring her vulnerable form beneath him – she shivered in her chemise – her pitch brown eyes averted – evading his whelming desire – pulling at her smock to reveal bare – freezing – indigo feet as glacial corruption crawled up her robust legs.
Reaching downwards – no words exchanged – he scooped her – by the waist – into his capable arm – into his lap – in front of him – on the snorting, warm creature underneath – which reared its head furiously, clouds of hot air rising from its nostrils – as she aligned to the side, tucking her feet underneath the man’s clothed knees.
They rode through the forest, ignoring the dancing flames of torches and shouts in the distance – his gaze unable to choose priority – the horse weaving – he tilted her raw chin, kissing upon frozen – chapped – lips – that tasted sharp like iron – she was silent against the intimacy – losing consciousness – he barely caught her slipping body as she faded – the mounted creature tripping into a trivial ditch before lifting itself out – continuing their way to the stone – brick – earthly estate that sat shadowed beyond the flat hinterland – sprinting through the northern expanse with momentous determination for the promise of asylum.
The creature was abandoned when they arrived at the front steps – obedient – serving – it huddled away to the shed that was its home – he would feed it well later – as a reward – but he focused on the limp female – cradled in his arms – eyes shut – minuscule breath – ebb – flow – he barged into the entryway – golden tendrils creeping from the sitting room where a fire crackled.
He set her in front of it without a moment’s pause – upon the lambskin rug – fingers running over her frigid limbs – palms caressing over dried fissures – scattered over her – he kissed upon the wounds – stabs too multiple to count – not hoping – knowing she was lost to him – wrenched away to punish – not only him, but everyone involved – how blatantly senseless humans were – how cruel they became when they so dimly felt justified – his kisses lacked spirit – as the deep cold of her body stole him away.
She awoke with a howling inhale – sitting up so swiftly that her shoulder rammed into the side of his face – her eyes wild – muscles trembling as they awoke with fresh life – her teeth chattered – jaw tensing – looking to the fire – looking to the man – looking around the estate – then she fell back with a shrill exhale – reaching to her face – icy digits trailed over her raw skin – “Am I dead?” – unhealthy vibrato – “Am I like you?”
“No.” – He was honest – “Never like me.” – timbre like melting dark chocolate on a marble countertop.
“What happened?” – Her memories refused to serve her – evading her – frustrating – turning her shoulders so she laid towards the fireplace – watching the blaze crumble kindling to ash.
“You broke free.” – Standing, he left her side – retrieving bandages from a nearby desk.
“I do not know,” – faithfulness took precedence over discomfort – he knelt beside her – placing bandages to his side – closing his eyes – concentrating – once finished, he included – “Your restraints were chewed through. Door hinges were broken off entirely.”
“Then, it must have been me.” – contagious loyalty leaked into her words – “I’m sorry.”
“We will figure out a new procedure.” – there was no bother in his voice – he looked to the entry frame where a figure soon appeared, slouched – dressed in stark white robes – a servant with an empty gaze – shambling forward with a pot of steaming water – a towel over his forearm – he reached his master, lowering the pot and bowing silently.
The master in black took the towel – dismissing the other man’s presence – as the drone hobbled out of the room.
“Did I kill anyone?” – she didn’t acknowledge the man in white – barely responding to the man in black – her thoughts a dizzying spectrum of memories and fantasies – what was real and what was not – she did not know – it tortured her – and she cried out in a howling moan to the fire before an answer was even given – since fathoms below in her psyche – she already knew.
He watched – as she agonized – dipping the towel into the water – listening to her question – then her howl – her quickened breath – suggestions of coming sobs – placing the damp warmth onto a wound – to start the cleaning of her body – “I do not know, but I would not doubt it, all this blood cannot be your own.” – he referenced it, rubbing away the dried claret from her jaw and neck.
“I do not remember.” – She felt the need to tell him this – turning away from the fire – her joints creaked with despair – “Will you?” – Pleading, imploring eyes bore upon him.
“I cannot.” – Wiping away the blood and frost – he shook his head – “You do not have enough blood left.”
Each press of the towel against her battered body made her brow furrow – little gasps escaping inflamed lips – subtly writhing against lambskin – struggling to becalm – his rejection stung more than her lacerations – swiveling her hips to turn away again – kept down by his palm pinning her still – as he tore away her soiled chemise – dragging hot, fresh water over her quivering stomach – she howled louder – amplifying from the deepest wound under her ribcage.
He fixated upon her body – ignoring her spirit – in order – he told himself – to get her cleaned – so that she could begin to heal – he avoided looking at her heaving chest – the way her hips kept twisting every which way – the pressure that she pushed against his stabilizing hand – trying to break free of him – it made him want to control – restrain – demand – her – as – his – anew.
“Why?” – She hollered – eyes closing tight – thawing fingers curling into tight fists – again – again – she tried to sit up – but she was weak – he was stronger – water dribbling over her curves – soaking into the rug underneath – her emotions welled – appearing at the forefront – seeping out her skin – as if having been locked away by the grime and cruor – reaching – she grabbed – fastened herself – onto the lapel of his coat – tugging his averted gaze closer to her – tears of frustration gathered in her eyes – journeying down her warming cheek – the frostbite melting to give way to a golden tone – “Look at me.”
As she pulled him near – he – firstly – lowered the damp towel to her legs – pressing against the dried scratches on her thighs – then he looked towards her – meeting her suffering with sadistic observance – craving to devour her – pain – to – own – her – he kissed her upon the lips – the iron taste remained – though the flesh was no longer frozen – her breath hot as it pushed into him – as she screeched against his embrace – traipsing the towel between her legs – his palm pressing against her mound – fingers digging to clean between the limbs.
Despite herself – she met the kiss – after initial gasp – her hips beckoned his hand further – harder – the touches reminding her of humanity she’d long since discarded – an implicating kiss – she wanted to follow its path – her tongue slipped out – diving – careful of the sharp fangs – exploring into his mouth – as he dully clawed.
He kept the kiss – guarded it like a key to the underworld – caressing – scrutinizing – the curves – the smooth texture – warm wetness – her tongue was his as he sucked upon the muscle with intent – nipping her lower lip – sucking her upper lip – jabbing his own tongue into her mouth – exploring the skin of her inner cheek – underneath her tongue – the roof of her mouth.
She followed – with natural obedience – her body reviving under awakening nerves – the embrace made her feel his want – he shifted onto her side – a knee between her thighs – the pressure of his hand conjuring her hips further upwards – until he broke the kiss – grabbed her like a burlap sack – tossing in small range – flipping her body so that her breasts pushed into the lambskin – her back exposed – he discarded the rest of her chemise.
He took care in straddling her hindquarters – running the towel through – then folding it – to clean the wounds upon her backside – dabbing along the bruised skin – curling his spine as he breathed her in – desiring her essence as he kept to his chore – anticipation twitching in his muscles.
She could not see him – her heart trilled in response – the feeling of his clothes against her legs – her hair pooled around the side of her face – she glanced to be certain the long strands wouldn’t catch on fire – the ends mere inches away from the pit – a pressure upon her lower back made her forget – the curves of his palms kneading into her hipbone – as his breeches scraped against her rear – his clout barely restrained by the fabric – she felt heat resonate outwards – into her – invading her – or so, she wished.
He stood up – looking upon the injured body of his pet – he was pleased he had found her – having feared the worst during the hunt – the townsfolk were not shy in murdering whatever they didn’t understand – and quick at it when it came to something that actually posed a danger to the rugged community – this was why he had his estate built so far out in the wilderness – past the forest.
She waited – confused – as to why she could no longer feel him upon her – she waited – patient – but soon emotions clawed at the back of her mind – and she spun around – positioning herself on her elbow – she was feeling much better than she had been – her health regenerating slowly, but surely – smiling at her master as she saw he was still straddling her – only standing – and he seemed to call to her – lifting to her knees as if in a daze – carried by strings – she took a deep breath.
He watched as she drew herself up – noticed how much more alive she seemed – it made him want – he licked his lips – desperate to be that alive – yet it felt like a distant dream – running his hand through her tousled hair – fingers curling outwards – and though he wasn’t sure why – he couldn’t deny the chance of fate – it wasn’t uncommon, but it was rarely simple – yet she was different – and that’s why she was his.
Head spinning – she reached out – gripping his legs – pulling at the drawstrings just below his knees – her hands slipped down – feeling along the thick leather – silver buckles – of his boots – still cold from the outside – she took him in – relaxing like he had taught her – in the woods a year ago – after hunting her for days – brought her in – for her own good – as she would say.
He fastened his palm behind her skull – leaning back to appreciate – he could smell her blood – almost taste it in the warm air – the aggression from before melted off his hips – exhaling slowly – “You are lovely, my pet.” – He spoke gently, his other hand taking to moving her rowdy hair away from her face.
His words stirred her – made her forget that she couldn’t remember – couldn’t acknowledge – what she had done – who she was – that all she did – whenever she got out – was kill – and kill – and – how could this man in black love her so much? – allowing her to be so close? – he wasn’t a social man – though not isolated – and she felt grateful to be the one – upon her knees – making someone so important feel so obviously good – no, not good – she was ambitious – she wanted him to feel brilliant – wanting him to see – that she was a good pet – that she was happy that he saved her from certain death – more than once.
He closed his eyes – as she took control – allowing it – for he enjoyed her – the way she went about tilting her head – side to side – how she tried – for his sake – his hands slowly caressing along the sides of her head – trailing the back of her ears – he couldn’t help himself, but groan, – “Oooh, darling, you fascinate me so.”
Knock – Knock – Knock.
But – just like that – he was gone – and she felt so empty – he moved away – frowning – she looked to the hallway – the white servant shuffled past – appearing again at the frame – speaking in a quiet, high-pitched voice, “Torches at the door, master.” – “Wait here, my pet.”
She waited – because she was a good pet.