|Subject: Rose August 17th 2013, 9:56 pm|| |
Thick nearly unruly black hair was pulled back into a single tight braid away from a face that contained an ethereal beauty. Unfortunately, a series of scars marred that perfect beauty along the entire right half of her face. Each scar had been made by the sharp edge of a blade, a gift of wars past when the Turks had left her bleeding to death on the battlefield. She had never expected to survive, nor who her savior had been.
She had been born Ludovica Kipcha in a small Romanian village on the outskirts of the Carpathian mountains. Her mother had died at birth leaving her in the care of her gypsy merchant father. She still remembered when she had been a little girl, passing by the castle walls with her father's merchant caravan. She had looked up from her position on her horse and caught a glimpse of the seemingly endless sea of impaled bodies. How it had fascinated and intrigued her then.
Lotus turned her focus away from her past and towards her current target. With her thoughts now focused, her mind fought imaginary opponents as her body went through the same motions. An elaborate steel sword with the hilt expertly detailed to resemble a dragon were held in each hand. She had once been a warrior serving the Order of the Dragon. Now.after centuries, she had used her skills for assassinations dealing mostly in revenge. She was often called the Poisoned.Lotus due to her fascination with using poison tipped needles. Similar to what the martial artist Jet Li used in the movie Kiss of the Dragon.
Around her left wrist was a custom made bracelet at least six inches wide. The intricate bead work hid the hundreds of tiny needles that were tipped in her signature poison. Her agile and lean body was enveloped in simple attire. Black shorts that were tight and small enough to reveal a similar adornment as her wrist. It was wider, hiding longer needles on her right thigh. A simple white tank top and white running shoes completed her outfit.
"Ludovica." Came a familiar voice from somewhere across the room.
"Lotus." She corrected, instinctively turning her head enough to hide her scars without so much as disrupting her routine. Swing. Kick. Swing.
"He requests your presence."
"Does he?" Kick. Swing. Kick.
"It is of an urgent nature."
With a sigh, she stopped, lowering both swords and turned to glance in the direction of the voice. Lavra stood waiting with his creepy infinate patience. His long red hair and beautiful facial features made him appear more feminine. Lavra was a human Revanant, a servant bound by her Sire until his services were no longer needed. Seeing the near desperation on his face, lotus caved in.
"Fine." She brushed past Lavra, making sure that her face was adverted, hiding the scars. Her Sire was the only one who had seen them. Quickly, Lotus unfastened the braid, letting her black hair tumble.down her back. It stopped just past her waist and was parted in a sexy style that covered the right half of her face. She took a moment to place both.of her swords on top of her gym bag.
The place in which she called home was the same lavish high rise estate as her Sire. Many of the other Bloodlines shared the same estate, acting almost like separate covens. The Aluka were virtually all dominant and could not stay in the same area with one another for long periods of time. She wasn't sure how her presence was tolerated so well.
Lavra walked beside her as they left the war room almost as if he were escorting her to her Sire's office Eben though she knew this house like the back of her hand. Lotus.glanced in his direction. He flinched at the weight of her gaze, bowing briefly before disappearing down an adjacent hallway. A large steel door loomed in front of her, leading into the wolfs den.
Without knocking, Lotus pushed the button to open the door. It hissed quietly open and slid shut just as silently behind her. Vlad stood behind his desk in the process of buttoning up his shirt. She could just barely make out the black ink of the tattoo on his back. It was the exact.same as hers, a large dragon. The symbol of the Order. The sight of his bare torso made Lotus freeze like a block of ice where she stood.
"Drink death from me and live forever."
She still remembered the words he spoke as he had sliced open a wound into his chest, pressing gently but firmly against the back of her head to bring her lips to his broken flesh. She had fought bravely on the battlefield but had sustained several wounds that he had known were fatal and yet she had continued to fight mercilessly, ruthlessly until every Turk around her lay slaughtered or impaled on large spikes. A woman after his own heart.
"Still admiring me after all this time?" There was amusement in his voice and it nearly made Lotus growl in irritation.
"In your dreams, Drac." She was probably the only one to get away with calling him that.
"If you knew the extent of my dreams, dear Lotus they would make you blush."
She arched a perfectly sculpted brow. "Really? Somehow I doubt that." She refused to loom.at.him until he was finished getting dressed. She wasn't being modest. His body called to hers way too strongly for her to remain a voyer. Instead she turned to study the books that lined one of the walls of his office.
"I have something to ask of you that falls short of your normal protocol."
"Mmm." She replied softly finally turning to face her Sire. "Somehow that doesn't surprise me."
"I need Intel."
She nearly laughed. "I don't do light work."
"I do not have anyone else, Lotus." He replied, taking a seat in the large bush chair behind his desk. "There is no one who knows the Carpathians better than we do."
Her visible Smokey grey eye snapped upwards. "Romania."
Vlad nodded once. "I have a business venture there but I need you to come with me. Let us return home."
Home. How long had it been since she had set foot in Romania? Five hundred years? Time seemed to fly by and yet tick slowly away when you were Immortal. Carefully she folded her clothes, packing them neatly in her luggage. Vlad told her to pack as much as possible. One suitcase held her clothing while the other was nearly overflowing with weapons.
"Lotus." The voice that spoke her name was soft just barely above a whisper. Her piercing grey gaze shifted upwards coming to rest on the figure at the doorway to her bedroom. Vlad stood there framed by shadows and the flickering warm light from the fireplace. It had begun to rain an hour ago one of those violent downpours.
"What is it?" She inquired, her senses instinctively becoming hyper aware in case there was trouble but she couldn't sense anything. Then again why would he be running to her for help? This was Vlad the Impaler the ruthless warlord that had inspired Beam Stokers novel. He was never one to tuck tail and run. This was the man who had scared the most powerful army in the world into retreat. There was no way he would run to someone.else for help.
|Subject: Re: Rose September 14th 2013, 10:11 pm|| |
Once, so the ancient and wicked creature recalled, he had two brothers. One elder and one younger. He was too young to remember the name of his older brother. His eldest brother had been murdered before Vlad could ever be old enough to recall his face, but he knew well the manner of his death and had seared it into his soul. His older brother had rode to the boyars, seeking their support for his fathers battles with the Ottoman Turks, the Barbary pirates and the Khanate of Crimea, last remnant of the horde of Genghis. The boyars in response had put out his brothers eyes and filled the sockets with lime before burying him alive, and his brother had died deep in the dark, burning. Curious how he could not remember his brothers face, or his name but remembered oh so well, oh so clearly the names and faces of those men who had wronged him. His younger brother, Radu the Handsome had also left a hole in his heart, but in a manner altogether darker. Little Radu...The Judas who kissed his cheek.
Vlad broke his dark musings to listen to the sound of the rain hammering his chamber windows. His meeting with Lotus earlier had left the ghosts of the past close to the surface. Perhaps it was the tension of returning to his birth-soil, or perhaps it was the rain. Curious how it every memorable event of his mortal life had been accompanied by it. The sound of rain slashing down on the earth as if the heavens themselves wept for him. The storm rending the night sky in remorse, the fury of angels.
Rain battered down against his visor and yet despite the autumn cool his sword smoked with the bloody execution of his butchers work. Behind his full faced helm, built in the shape of a monstrous and full fanged demon of flayed flesh and glistening muscle, Dracula grinned the painted voodoo grin of a man who lived and died, yet found himself alive once more. The night before, moments before his execution, as he sat under house guard, a dire shadow had detached herself from his gloom to nestle on his lap. The dark angel, full breasted and wide hipped, a succubus that inflamed even now the deepest and hungriest desire. She had brought to him the true understanding, the great joke of the world. God existed, yet cared nothing for mortal man. She, and she alone could give eternal life, and no amount of service to the Christian Gods wars would every buy him salvation, buy forgiveness for his beloved wife, dead by her own hand and damned never to see the Gates of the kingdom of Heaven. Neither of them would, but what matter it? With a kiss she had taught him the truth of eternity. The blood is the life...
His little brother had come creeping shortly after, and with three trusted men had burst into the chambers of the Prince of Wallachia, and with a vengeful and wicked heart brought to an end the life of his brother with daggers and the knotted rope, but the angel had promised death to be only the beginning. Before the night had passed the Lord of the Carpathian mountains, Warden of the lands of the Maygar had risen. Black birds and swift, loyal riders had dispatched his call and in the early morning, beneath the shadow of castle Dracula, Lotus and the remaining members of the order had flocked to his banner, followed by their men at arms, squires, garrisons, and every man who would sooner serve an honest son of Wallachia than a foreign tyrant.
Dracula rose from his quilted bed, naked but for a chain around his neck, from which hung a tiny leather pouch. Within were tokens of the past, long forgotten by mortal men and yet dear to his cold heart. A sliver of bone, a locket of hair, and two golden rings. Rising slowly the vampire moved to pull on a simple pair of trousers, providing at least a little modesty, for his home, though sparsely populated was not empty. His bare feet padded along the stone floor, a silent fleshy whisper lost within the patter of rain. Like a thief he stole from shadow to shadow, acutely aware of every sound his body made. Upon reaching his destination he eased open the door, predatory eyes gliding over the form busy at work.
Arrows fell from the sky as thick as the rain, yet those that found chinks in his armour failed to make good effect on the flesh beneath. In life he had been a fierce warrior, a knight of the dragon. Dracula, son of the Devil. In death he was unstoppable. Even the most timid and reserved of his sword strokes clove through scaled armour and links of chain like butter. Shields and helms split beneath his blows, disgorging bloody human debris like rotten fruit. Smashing aside a Turks spear thrust with his shield, Dracula hacked through his foes knee with a forehand blow, stepping over the screaming human shell. His vision had narrowed to a thin sanguine tunnel with the ruined form of Lotus at the end. He had seen her go down, succumbing to her words at last, and as his last, oldest friend failed the warlord went mad, blood drunk. Even when his sword was lost, caught between the ribs of a dismounted lancer, he smashed and sundered his way to her. Snatching up a falling pike, the vampire speared an oncoming Turkish janissary and lifted his screaming prize up on the point, slamming the butt spike into the muddy earth, leaving the unfortunate soul eight feet off the ground, with eight long feet of ash wood before his torment was at an end.
Tearing off his helm and discarding his shield, Dracula dropped to his knees, shaking hands moving to lift her helm from her head. Even in deaths grip she was beautiful, rich, red blood spilled from rose lips, across satin flesh. There was no hope, for even if the lance that had pierced her lung did not slay her, the dozen other wounds would. He could do little but cradle her, resting his forehead against hers. She was moments from expiring, and he could not keep death at bay.
The blood is the life.
The thought leapt unbidden into his mind as clear and perfect as when it was first spoken. Reaching up the vampire dug his fingers into the joint of his armour. The breast plate which normally would have taken two people to put on was torn aside, and the shirt of mail beneath was rent open and cast aside. Tearing open his shirt so that it parted from his shoulders and fell about his elbows like a corpse shroud, the vampire snatched up her sword and cut a long, terrible wound in his chest that oozed blood. Lifting her, he pressed against the back of her head and at first she weakly resisted. " Drink death from me, and live forever."
" Lotus." He whispered, watching her whirl, eyes wide for signs of danger, then questing after the reason for his intrusion. He studied her features carefully, dedicating to memory each line, every aspect of her. He could smell her even from here, smell the scent of the hair, and all but taste her lips. "Beautiful." He murmured, his gaze lingering on her before he nodded towards the window as if to indicate where his comment was directed. " It reminds me of home." Drifting around her, his powerful body shadowed by the dim lights, Dracula drew his finger tips along one of her swords waiting to be packed away. " What do you desire, Lotus?" He asked off handily, lifting her sword and studying it as he had done a dozen times before.
|Subject: Re: Rose September 17th 2013, 8:31 pm|| |
The question caught Lotus off guard. What did she desire? Her answer was there, just on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn't bring herself to speak the truth out loud. At least not yet, though she knew Drac was certainly not a stupid or ignorant man. Arrogant, ruthless And cunning but never ignorant. Turning her gaze away from the sight of his bare torso she resumed her packing in hopes it would distract her enough so she wouldn't stare.
"I am content for the time being." She finally answered and even to her, her voice sounded hesitant. Damn. She picked up the various blades strewn across her bed and placed them into the large black Duffel bag. Lotus zipped it closed along with her clothing bad. She picked them both up as if they weighed nothing and placed them on the large oak table that served for her desk. The blade he admired would join its twin in a custom made leather sheath at her back. The Dragon swords were her favorites; a gift from Dracula during her mortal years, and they had served her well over.the centuries.
"What is it you desire?" Lotus countered; nearly teasingly, perhaps to loosen her own uneasiness.
Ludovica had.tried to save Vladimir's wife. She had tried to grab Elizabeta's dress just before she flung herself from the tower window. Her fingers clutched tightly at the crimson fabric in her hands. She cursed softly in Romanian before she turned on her booted heel, storming through, the castle with purpose. She had to find him, warn him. The Turks had shot and arrow into the castle with false rumors of the warlords death. In an inconsolable grief, Elizabeta had locked herself in her rooms. Ludovica had gone to check on her well being only to be moments too late.
"Ready my horse." She told the servants sternly.
Her arm shot out, fingers cutting off his protested as they closed around his throat. "NOW!" Her voice echoed throughout the castle.
Within mere moments, she was on her horse, racing through the driving rain. Her cloak whipped out behind her as if the crimson cloth had A life of its own. She; to this day, still did not know how she found him and as expected, he did not take the news well.
She had never once mentioned that she had been envious of Elizabeta. Envious of her marriage to Vlad. If the other woman had sensed it in some way, she never mentioned it. Lotus carefully took the sword from Drac and swiftly returned it to its sheath to join its sister. A smaller version of the swords rested in a sheath on the inside of each forearm. In a shoulder holster, a 9mm Browning Hi Power rested comftorably. Not all enemies brought blades to a fight. It never hurt to be prepared. Lotus wore fairly simple clothing. A black tank top, baggy black cargo pants with extra ammo clips shoved into the large pockets, and black combat boots. She looked similar to Linda Hamilton Terminator 2. Deep down, Lotus was almost afraid to hear Vlad's answer. Somehow she knew that her name wouldn't be what passed his lips.
|Subject: Re: Rose September 20th 2013, 10:40 pm|| |
Half drawing the borrowed blade, Dracula gazed along its untarnished steel edge. Curious, how innocent and virgin a blade looked when it was clean. Like a perfect moon, or fresh snow. As always the warlord had a predatory glint in his dark eyes, a sense of casual arrogance and assured superiority, yet it seemed focused, as if he knew something which empowered him. His expression gave no indication of which hidden understanding had provided him with such a boon, and he waited for her reply, which...when it came seemed to disappointment him. His unflinching, piercing gaze drifted from the blade to her for a moment. Staring at her, almost into her. The vampire was possessed of a deep, soul-searching stare which could make one feel as if their layers of protection and deceptions were being stripped away until they lay naked and vulnerable beneath his gaze. In this, the late, great Bram Stoker had been almost right with his novel.
Sliding the blade back home, Dracula held it out for her questing hand as she reunited the sword with its sister, locking the pair together. Her retort might have caught him off-guard if he had not been waiting for it. Without missing a beat the vampire padded slowly around the bed, extending his fingers to brush across the frame. " Honesty." He replied smoothly in his accent, long forgotten by the modern world. The Wallachian prince continued absent-mindedly. " Throughout the long centuries you have never seen fit to mask the truth from me until now." He padded behind her, trailing his hand across her shoulders, over the back of her neck, brushing her hair over one shoulder. " We aren't leaving tonight, which means you will not need any weapon, save perhaps your wit." His hand drifted further, down her back, following her spine. His fingers drifting away from her long before he had reached the small of her back.
Vlad had all but killed his charger, battling the rain and the steep cliff road to castle Dracula. The heavy iron port-cullis was heaved open by soldiers wrapped in leather cloaks covered in goose fat to keep the rain out. The men bowed, tugging their forelocks before running for the cover of the gate house and the interrupted dice game. Vaulting from the saddle with Lotus close at his back, the warlord ran for the castle, his armour turning his stride into a looping gait. Taking the stairs in two's, the warrior shoved his way into the main hall.
Within the hall was dark, lit by torches that despite burning brightly seemed to make no impact on the gloom, as if the very mood of the castle could oppress light itself. The hall was flanked by men at arms, each wearing the banner of the order of the Dragon. The gaggle of priests in robes of white linen stepped aside, the wizened old bishop surrounded by his deacons and priests. Behind him a slender body was wrapped in a thin white shift. Dracula felt his heart give out in that moment, and breathless he stumbled forward, shoving the priest out of the way. The sight of his beloved, stiff with death, the ice of the river still clinging to her flesh, Vlad dropped to his knees, unable to do anything but weep bitterly, clutching at her frozen hands as if he could lull her from death and return her to life. The warlord was unaware of the priests shuffling behind him. The old bishop stepped forward, speaking in Latin, the only language which the nobleman and the priest had in common. " She has taken her own life. Her soul is lost to hell forever more. She cannot be saved." The words sunk into the knights mind, piercing his grief. Surging to his feet, half manic, Dracula spread his hands. " I have spent my life protecting Gods church...He cannot abandon me! Elisabeta will be saved from the fire!" The bishop raised his golden cross, stubbed with rubies, out before him as if to shield himself. " She has committed suicide! She is lost for all eternity. It is Gods will!" Half weeping, half screaming, Dracula slammed his face into his hands, lifting to tear at his dark locks in grief. " God has betrayed me! Is this my reward for servitude!?" The warlord screamed, more animal than man. A sound so full of grief and pain that the horses outside grew wild with panic. Moving from the screaming warlord, the bishop waved forward a hooded man waiting by the door.
The stranger stepped forward nervously, a heavy leather apron wrapped around his girth. In his hands was clutched a loggers axe, with a heavy single blade and a long, oak handle. " Her head must be removed before she is buried." The bishop croaked. The headman stepped forward, casting a glance at the warlord lost in mourning. " Don't touch her." He whispered, the sound a pitiful plea. Casting a worried glance at the bishop, the headman received only an urging look, and stepped before the corpse, drawing his breath deeply as he raised his axe.
" Do not touch her!" Roared the warlord, and with the fury of a man possessed he swung around, seizing upon the Headman's axe and tearing it from his grasp, the heavy blade swung back then up, cleaving between the mans legs from groin to gut. " Stop him! He's gone mad!" Roared the bishop, and in a heart beat every soul in the room decided who to follow. The grieved warlord, or the pious bishop. Fording the Headsman body, Dracula lashed out. Cutting aside a man at arms with a broad sweep that disembowelled the brave warrior. The reverse blow clove through the neck of a priest who tried to stand his ground, parting his head from his shoulders. Leaping forward the warlord buried his blade in the back of another holy missionary who had turned to flee, favouring fleet of foot over faith. Letting go of his sword, Dracula caught hold of the bishop by his long tangle of hair, dragging him close. Around him Lotus and those who remained loyal fought a bitter battle. " Hear me, priest." Snarled the knight, his teeth glinting like the fangs of a savage wolf. " I renounce God and his works." Crushing more tangled grey hair in his gauntleted hand, Dracula shuddered. " I renounce my own death and swear that I will forever plague the God who has robbed me so... I will rise from my grave with all the powers of hell to have my revenge! I will avenge Elizabeta! Convey my message to your God." Jerking back on the priests head, Dracula sank his teeth into his throat, shaking his head as would an attack dog. With a savage jerk, Dracula whipped his head back, his mouth full of blood and flesh, ending the priests gurgled cries. Spitting the meat to one side, Dracula swallowed the blood in his mouth, the bitter copper taste cloying to his tongue. " Prepare a dozen pikes." He snarled, stepping over the bishops writing body. " Make sure his is the tallest of all...So he can be close to his God."
The memory left as quickly as it had come and even now time had not healed the wound. Despite his pain, Dracula knew of two certain things. That God had forgotten his children, and the human race needed new Gods, immortal and ever watchful. Lotus was the sole person he could trust, for she had been with him since the beginning. He had always valued her as a trusted retainer, but now? Now something more had crept under his flesh, the vampire would be a king once more. Humanity would be brought under heel, their petty wars brought to an end, their wasteful destruction of the planet halted. The pox of religious conflict would be eradicated. Dracula would be the undying king of an eternal peace, with humanity and the supernatural brought to co-existence. A king...however, needs a queen. " If you will not be honest with me in your desires, then be honest at least with your thoughts. Do you enjoy the thought of returning to our birth soil?"
|Subject: Re: Rose November 18th 2013, 9:24 pm|| |
His touch slid along her skin, the very heat of his presence burned through her clothing. For centuries she had yearned for such a simple gesture, and now that she was experiencing it. she wasn't sure how to react. Her eyes closed momentarily, savoring; for a brief moment, the feel of his skin against hers.
"Many say they want honesty, the truth, but when they finally hear it, they realize that they really didn't want the truth afterall." Even to her, her voice sounded calm, steady. She couldn't bring herself to say her feelings out loud. Not yet. Perhaps it was insecuriy or fear. Fear of what she wasn't entirely sure.
She thought about his question for a moment before answering. "I do enjoy the thought of it, yes. But there is a part of me that does not." Lotus sat down on the edge of the bed, producing a pack of her infamous black papered cigarettes. She slid one between her lips, flipping open her Zippo lighter with a practiced flick of her wrist. The flame sparked to life and she brought it to the tip of the cigarette, inhaling deeply of the sweet aromatic tobacco.
"It is home and therefore an ejoyable experience to return to the place in which you were born." A plume of smoke drifted from her lips as she spoke. "But there has been such tragedy for the both of us, such bad memories that it is nearly a burden to walk about Romanian soil once more. The land has changed in the several centuries we have been there, and yet it is still scarred with the horror we have endured." The hand that did not hold the cigarette drifted up and hovered over the scars on her face.
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