Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Feeding - Varick and Serilda #flash story

Here's a story I wrote a year or so back, then did nothing with. Technically, it's a little long for a flash story, but I don't feel like calling it anything else.



This is based on Varick's history given in Midsummer's Unveiling. No big spoiler that there's tragedy in his history. Plus, this is more about the interaction between him and his sister. Enjoy.


***

Varick’s enraged growl filled the aether.

Serilda paled and dropped her embroidery. The sun still blazes overhead, so why is Brother awake? She was mostly alone in the family castle; no other Eitenhauer on the grounds, and most of their servants were at a wedding. Wild emotions pulled at Serilda, and she struggled to breathe. Panic turning her blood to ice, the young mage raced for the crypts.

My wards remain in place, so no one has disturbed Brother. Another mental growl from her white-haired brother, this one more tortured than the last, goaded her to faster speeds. Even had she seen anyone, she would not have stopped for them; there was no place for any but Varick in her mind. Brother’s master assured us daytime meant corpse-like slumber except under threat of death.

Varick’s voice rose in a terrible howl as she approached the family crypts, and Serilda became aware of his pain then. Tears rose instantly to her eyes, and her heart ached. He was not in danger, but he burned with anguish.

Sorrow was pushed aside when she realized Varick was trying to get out.

“Brother, no!” The young woman yanked open the crypt door and quickly closed it behind her. The white-haired vampire below was too new to his condition to be exposed to sunlight, and her wards were normally enough to keep people out. This wasn’t a matter of keeping anyone from joining her, but of preventing Varick from having an accident. A touch of her magick locked the door in place, and another lit the waiting candles.

“She needs me.” Varick’s voice was strangled, more beast than man in sound. The stone walls echoed, blurring the emotion in his voice. Serilda’s empathic talent, however, was overloaded by everything her brother radiated.

Attempting to remain calm, Serilda slowed her pace to descend the stairs. There was only one she that Varick could be referring to: Meike. How much danger could the herb girl be in to wake Brother? “You cannot go to her while the sun shines.”

The vampire had made it to the base of the stairs. Sapphire eyes narrowed with determination as Varick fought slumber. He’d crawled from his coffin-bed, unable to gain his feet. Growling, baring his fangs, Varick strove to rise to his knees. “They are killing her.”

Serilda sank to the bottom step in a rustle of skirts, reaching for Varick with trembling hands. I must remain strong for Brother. I must not let harm come to Brother. I must be the voice of reason. “It will kill you if you attempt to join her.”

He lowered his head, hair cascading around him, claws digging into the stone floor. A fresh howl ripped through him, and Varick’s body shook with the force of suppressing it. Agony tormented the vampire; Serilda sensed only a fraction of it, and it was nearly too much.

“I will not leave her to be alone.” Varick couldn’t lift his head, but he managed to lever himself onto all fours. “Meike needs me.”

Serilda laid her hands on his shoulders, holding him in place. “She does not need you dead. Father is already in route; I know you feel it too. He will put an end to whatever is befalling her.”

Varick surged to his knees, and her hands fell away. Madness filled his eyes, blood dripped from where he’d bitten his lip, and his aura brimmed with danger. For the first time in her sixteen years of life, Serilda feared him.

“He cannot get there in time. They are going to burn her.” Varick tried to stand, shaking with effort, making it only halfway up before halting. “She calls for me.”

Serilda burst to her feet and pressed her brother back down. “You can only wait.” Her voice cracked, and tears welled in her eyes as she shared his pain. Even were he able to move in the sun, Varick could never get to Meike in time. Their fastest horse would not cover the five miles before the girl’s death.

“Do not stop me, Sister. I must go.” The vampire was losing coherency, insanity glazing his eyes. Fangs glittered in the dim light, blood running freely from the multiple gashes in his lower lip.

She wasn’t strong enough to physically force her brother back, so Serilda called on her mage powers. Candles flared and the crypts suddenly smelled of cloves, then Varick was back on his knees.

Meike’s terror crossed the bond to Varick, and it echoed to Serilda. The flames were encroaching, their heat already unbearable. The young woman screamed for her lover, and Varick howled in response.

Caught in the storm of their emotions, Serilda was unable to stop her brother from rising again. He moved forward, attaining the first step, his growl never ending. Part of her tried to stop him, but her efforts seemed to happen in slow motion.

Varick gripped her waist in an attempt to push her aside. He was beyond words, beyond reason; his aura was one of a crazed beast. Death by sun meant nothing to him now.

Serilda wrapped her arms around his shoulders, using magick to anchor them to the stone step. “You must stay here, Brother. You must not leave.”

The vampire struggled against her embrace, hands hard on her hips. He snarled, the sound fearsome in her ear, but the young mage clung to him. In a frenzy, he might be strong enough to break the crypt door and escape.

“Relent, Brother. Do not k-” Her words were cut off by the sudden pain of savage claws. Serilda gasped in shock and her knees buckled, but she kept him wrapped in her arms. Varick’s claws worked deeper, forcing through cloth and leather and flesh. The scent of blood surrounded them, but she refused to let go.

Varick’s growl changed in an instant, along with his presence. His mouth fell to her neck, his hands softened on her waist, and he pulled her tighter to him.

Is this the blood frenzy Brother’s master warned us of? The girl trembled as fangs pricked her neck, but she merely tangled her hands in Varick’s hair. Pray that Brother knows to stop before I die. Baring her neck to him, Serilda prayed that feeding on her would keep him in the crypt.

There was nothing loving or gentle about her brother as he drove his fangs into her throat.

Serilda wanted to scream, but the force of his bite choked off her voice. Pain seared through her nerves, temporarily blinding the mage. Awareness of her limbs faded quickly, and only her brother’s strength kept her upright.

His teeth worked at her neck as he swallowed her blood, the vampire greedy for all of her. Serilda had been bitten by her eldest brother’s hounds before, but that pain was nothing compared to what Varick inflicted with significantly smaller fangs.

Then the pleasure began.

Hot and cold, magickal and physical, Serilda was racked by a thousand sensations at once. No hunt or sex or feast had ever given her such delight. Fulfillment came from her brother’s fangs, deeper and more encompassing than she’d ever imagined. They groaned as one, and her body flushed with rapture.

She swooned, and was distantly aware of him bearing them to the floor. Her veins were molten with ecstasy, and wickedly lustful moans rumbled from her chest. Varick pulled hard, taking her blood, her power, her very life. All of it was his, given freely, no payment asked or expected.

But the inconceivable gratification he gave her more than paid for the feeding.

Varick held her tight, his weight pinning her to the floor. Serilda felt protected, rather than trapped, and pulled his head tighter to her neck. The vampire sighed when he adjusted his grip, and slowed the draw of blood.

Time was meaningless when held by her brother. Serilda couldn’t bring herself to worry if he’d take too much; she trusted him to know what he was doing. Varick would always take care of her.

Serilda drew a deep breath and realized Varick was no longer at her neck. Instead, she was in his coffin-turned-bed, braced against the wall at the head of it. Too weak to move, the young mage could barely open her eyes to gaze at Varick.

“Brother? How fare thee?”

The vampire had wrapped himself around her legs, arms around her thighs and head in her lap. Blood stained strands of his long white hair and his fingers. His clothing was torn, and he held himself with a frightening stillness.

After a long silence, he spoke. “She is gone.”

Varick needn’t say anything more. Serilda knew how much he suffered; there was no point to pressing him further. The love of his young life was dead, burned alive while he was helpless.

Serilda summoned the strength to caress his head. A shudder ran through him, and he held her tighter, arms nearly crushing her thighs. She didn’t complain, just stroked his head and offered her love.

Consciousness faded, and the mage drowsed beside her brother. Serilda woke when he sat up, and she met his gaze. A gaze as hard as the sapphires they resembled. She took his hand, and he squeezed her fingers, proof that not all was lost.

“Danke,” he whispered, voice colder than she’d ever heard it. “You saved my life.”

Serilda scooted closer in the confined space, arms moving to embrace her brother. He quietly pulled her into his lap and buried his face in her golden hair. “I will not let you die. I will never let you go.”

Varick kissed her neck, lips chill against the bite mark. “Nor I you.”

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