Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Strong Enough - Varick and Serilda #flash story

Here's another story I wrote about my vampire siblings a while back. Same time as First Feeding.


Sure, it's a little incestuous, but I don't think that siblings loving each other is necessarily a bad thing.


***



Varick held her close, blond head tucked under his chin. They should have been on the move, taking advantage of the full moon, but Serilda was too tired. The mage was sleeping for the first time since the attack; the vampire couldn’t bring himself to wake her.

I can sleep only because I have to. How does my darling sister make it through the day?
Serilda stirred with a whimper, and the scent of smoke filled his sensitive nostrils. Varick’s heart clenched while he fought the depression lurking in his soul. Tears wanted to spring to life, but an iron will kept them at bay.

I am all she has left. I must remain strong for her. Varick ran a hand through her tangled tresses, wanting to keep her asleep.

“They are gone. It is not a dream.” Serilda’s voice was rough from smoke inhalation and crying, aging her whisper beyond her twenty years. She twined a hand in his hair, trembling in his embrace.

Moonlight speared through the rotten roof of the watchtower, dust motes dancing in the beams. An otherwise pleasant evening, ruined by tragedy; the Eitenhauer home had burnt to the ground, the siblings the only survivors.

Varick kissed the top of her head. “Would that it were.”

The young woman suppressed a sob, but she radiated sorrow like a lamp. Sorrow the White Blade felt himself.

Sorrow hardly encompassed what he had to choke down. Anger, despair, betrayal were closer to the rising tide in his soul, but even they were too pale.

Every last one of them, dead. Slaughtered. Their souls destroyed. The bloodline broken, power scattered. His hands tensed on Serilda’s back. And no chance to defend them. No one has answered for this crime yet. He growled faintly.

“You need to feed, do you not?” Serilda shifted, pulling back enough to look at him. Her scent increased as her concern came to bear on him.

Varick shook his head. “I shall manage. Safety and escape must remain our priorities.” The vampire held his sister’s gaze, denying the sudden ache in his jaws.

She cupped his cheek, frowning slightly. “How are we to escape if you fall into a blood frenzy?”

The heat of life soaked into his being. Serilda was not in the best of health, eating only because her magick allowed her to summon food. She needed proper rest, to be out of the elements, to regain her strength.

Yet none of these weaknesses stopped his hunger.

Her pupils dilated, and her hand shifted to the back of his head. “You need to feed. You need your strength more than I my blood.” Serilda lowered her eyes. “I need a moment of forgetfulness.”

Varick closed his eyes in an attempt to resist. Three days since the assault. The vampire had been testing his endurance, and hadn’t fed for three days prior to that. Only four years as a vampire didn’t give him the strength to fast for that long.

With the church army scouring the countryside, and the citizens in hiding, Varick couldn’t risk hunting. The danger to himself and to his sister was too great. If either of them were caught, the other would not last long.

Meaning Serilda was his only source for blood.

With a deep groan, Varick pushed her away and rose. “I cannot.” His voice trembled, and he moved toward the window to avoid Serilda’s scent. “We should move on. I shall endure until we reach safety.”

The mage followed him, approaching to within arm’s length. “And when shall that be, Brother? When you can no longer control yourself? When the merest suggestion of blood forces you to slaughter everyone around?”

“It will not come to that,” Varick growled through clenched teeth. Need cracked through him, forcing aside everything but the hunger. The vampire grabbed the edges of the window to help him maintain control.

“Not if you feed on me.” Serilda laid hands on his back, and Varick cried out. “Sate your hunger while taking some of this pain from me.”

His fangs ached, his jaw clenched, and the vampire fought the need to turn and embrace the woman. “What power do you believe me to posses that would do so?” Must focus on speaking, on remaining in control.

Serilda pressed herself to his back, arms locking around his torso. The heat of her life burned him, even through clothes and armor, and he tossed his head back with a cry. “Your very bite, Brother. The rapture of your mouth can bring me a moment of peace.”

Varick shuddered, claws extended, and continued to resist the call of her blood. “Do you not fear me hurting you?” It took supreme effort to form words and not inarticulate groans.

His sister sobbed and rested her head against the back of his neck. His long hair transferred the warmth of her skin to his scalp, and his knees threatened to buckle. “How can anything hurt more than Mutter und Vater’s murder?”

Stone chipped beneath his claws as he gripped the wall harder. Varick drew a deep breath and whispered a melancholy question. “Would you join them? Shall I release you from this life?”

“No!” Serilda moved quickly, coming around to face her brother. She kept her arms around him, and her pulse vibrated through his body. “I have no desire to die. I would never leave you alone.” Tears glittered in her eyes as their gazes locked. “I just want...”

Varick was unable to resist as her hands worked into his hair.

He snarled, wrapped her in his arms, and drove fangs deep into her neck. Serilda cried out, almost a scream, and went limp in his embrace. Blood rushed into his mouth, and all vampiric instincts took over.

Hot and vital and rich, Serilda’s blood was more than just life-sustaining; it was the essence of the gods. Bursting across his tongue, the thickness of it crept into the deepest recesses of his mouth, heady and unbelievably delicious.

Varick knelt, pulling Serilda into his lap, and growled as he swallowed. His little sister writhed in his grip, moaning wildly. Her heart raced, pumping viscous fluid to his greedy mouth. Each pulse danced against his lips, offering him everything she was.

Their souls opened and joined, and both moaned with the perfect rapture. Even more than the blood, Varick needed this connection. He needed to be grounded, to know he wasn’t alone. There was another who understood him, who loved him.

“Feed,” she whispered between moans. “Take it all.”

Alone. The pair of them were alone, and both ached with the tragedy of it, both wanted to be free of their sorrow. Neither of them deserved the type of pain they suffered.

Serilda sobbed and yanked at his hair, arching against his mouth. Varick paused mid-swallow, overwhelmed by his sister’s grief.

The assault on their family hurt Serilda more than he. Varick was the Weise Kruse, a hero, a warrior, an anchor. A survivor.

In her twenty years of life, Serilda had stayed on the Eitenhauer grounds, perfecting her skills, studying and learning. She had nothing without the family, no experience of life without them.

Varick determined she would always have him.

The White Blade succeeded at anything he put his mind to. He was an empath and a vampire; how hard would it be to feed on Serilda’s sorrow?

She sighed, and her head fell back. Varick cradled her with a gentle hand, adjusting them so the siblings lay side-by-side on the floor. He held her, wanted her, secured her. Serilda surrendered completely to him, her heart fluttering against his own.

No need for pain. No need to mourn. No need to think about all that she’d lost. Like bitter herbs, Serilda’s sadness filled her blood. Varick swallowed it down, taking it from the young woman. He growled with determination, hands shaking on her slender body.

He couldn’t take the memories. She would always know what had happened to their family, would always have seen the death and destruction. He couldn’t even bury the images.

Pulling away, gulping a final wave of anguish and blood, Varick hoped he’d given Serilda the relief she craved.

The mage cried softly, tucking her head under his chin. She clung to him, shaking and weeping and unable to speak. Varick stroked her hair, reeling and intoxicated.

“Brother,” she whispered after a time, lips brushing his neck. “Thank you, my beloved.”

Varick held her, glad for the weight of his little sister. Her blood filled his veins, fueled his body, gave him the power to keep them alive and well. Her sorrow multiplied his own, and seethed in his very soul.

But he was strong enough to carry the pain for both of them.

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