When the door was closed, Azrael rose and went to the five. He looked at the big, dark-haired one. "His name is Mark?"
"Yes, Master. The worst of my lot, I've let others die because I couldn't stand to touch him. A more arrogant, vicious bastard you'll never meet." David would have spat, but manners were hard to break once they had been drilled into your head for over a century. "I try to take my food from the dregs of society, but I never realized how low some humans can go."
Resentment, anger and unacknowledged fear burned in Mark's eyes. Black hair, brown eyes. With high cheekbones and an aquiline nose worthy of a Native American. But those broad shoulders and rounded muscles were of European decent. "Mark, come here."
"Go to hell."
Oh, what a will, and what a delightful lack of remorse. "You will quickly discover slave, that I am not as fastidious as your former master. Unlike him, I have no aversion to your type of filth. I have fed from such as you over the millennia." He smiled. "If anything, taking you out of this life will be a service I perform for humanity." The smile disappeared and his eyes hardened as his will locked down. "Now, 'come here' . You will obey me. Fight all you want, I will enjoy your struggle, but in the end, you will 'obey' ."
Mark had been forced before, but never like this. It had always been a battle for David, with Mark being able to at least put up a good fight. But now--even as he swore at the monster before him, he came to his feet like a puppet.
Azrael walked around Mark, taking stock. "Did your Master ever take you to bed, boy? Are you well-used, or are you a virgin?" The look of revulsion on his face made Azrael laugh. "Oh, what to do? Maybe I will let you live. But only because breaking you to my hand shall be so much fun." He came, almost, nose-to-nose with Mark. "Believe me, boy. You will learn to welcome me, to beg for my abuse." He reached out, taking Mark's face in one hand, slapping him sharply when he jerked away. "First things first; 'never resist' . I will do whatever I want with you. Accept that, now. If you refuse, your life will be painfully long and devoid of all joy."
"Kill me." Mark's voice was strained. Every ounce of willpower that he possessed went to resisting the compulsion to, throw, himself at this creatures feet and beg for mercy. "Get it over with. I'll never be willing. You'll have to force me every time because I hate you." The hate had saved him from David.
Azrael slapped him to the floor with a single blow. "Come now," he purred. "Do you seriously think I care whether or not you are willing? Or that I even want you to be? I love a battle, but you see that I have precious few chances for one. By all means, fight. I will enjoy the agony you experience with every moment of pleasure you feel. Trust me; you 'will' bend to my desires." And he desired this mortal very much, now. He ached with anticipation.
"No!" It was ripped from him. He would not give in.
"Yes, even now you lose. Now go over there and sit. I will deal with you 'after' I have fed."
Mark moved. It wasn't until he was sitting in the chair, looking at the last four, that he realized he had obeyed. He tried to get up, to move so much as a finger, but his body would not obey. He was trapped.
Again, David gave Azrael first pick.
The petite blonde girl looked up at him with a look of fearful hatred. "Is the girl disposable?" Azrael asked.
"Lil, she was your catch," David turned asking his First-Born. "You want her? Or are you as fed up with her as I am with them?
"He wants her, he can have her. A more vicious, scheming bitch you'll never meet." Anna smiled as the girl broke down into tears. She had given her every opportunity, and the girl had slapped her away. Well, at least her blood would be useful.
Azrael moved across the room as a blur, grabbing the girl in a brutal, painful grip. She screamed once as his teeth tore at her throat, then there was silence.
Mark watched the slaughter. He'd seen others die, when David had over-indulged, but never like this. It was cruel, cold. He felt his guts twist. He should have been one of them. Been allowed to die, to be free, but the damned demon had other plans for him. He grimaced and tried to turned away as David dropped Eric and reached for Scott.
"No, please, Master," Scott whined as David bore down on him.
"Too late, Scott. You should have submitted." His hand snaked out to snatch him. "Now you pay." He trapped the struggling boy against his chest, lost in the glorious blood-thrill that filled his whole being. The heat pulsed in him as Scott's heart frantically pounded against his chest. Unlike the others, Scott never stopped begging, not until he died.
David was lost in a haze of pleasure and blood as the body slipped to the floor. Everything was beautiful, for the first time in so long. He saw things clearly. "Lilith, come to me." He reached for his Childe.
"No, Vincent." It was Azrael who approached. "It has been too long for you. You are lost. Come here, little one. Finish the need." He gathered the younger vampire to him and let the greedy mouth lock onto his throat. "Yes, little brother, take what you need."
The first taste was like acid burning down his throat. The Elder's blood was so powerful, so unbelievably, wonderfully powerful. He felt himself swoon as he clung to the man who held him up.
"That is the way. Go on. Do not be afraid. You cannot harm me." 'Poor youngling, the Elders are getting lax in their responsibilities' . This should have never been allowed to progress to this point. The Laws were to be balanced with common sense. "Enough. Time to pull away, dear one." He slowly lifted David's head, allowing the younger one to nuzzle his throat, licking at the still bleeding wounds. "All better, now."
"Thank you." His mouth opened under Azrael's welcoming kiss.
"My joy. Although I have no need to bond with any of my kind, it will be nice to have a Childe around again. Perhaps it is time I began to hunt for another. All my Brood are grown." He kissed David once more. "Now speaking of Children, you need to go feed that Childe of yours. He has been promised a real meal. While you do that, I will attend to these." He pointed to the floor, where the four lifeless bodies lay. "Megel, call your pets. Tell them to return with the others."
David was in agony. He had over-fed. His body felt swollen, a fine reddish sheen left his skin glowing. He had never feasted so well.
*Jay, baby, bring, the re st back to us. * Michael gently pushed David into a chair. "Do you need my help?"
"No, I will be fine. Joey will take care of the excess."
"Be careful not to let him gorge himself." Michael warned.
"I will be back in the proverbial flash." Azrael said. He and the corpses faded from the room.
"Davy," Anna asked, throwing herself into his lap, "do you mind if I snatch Billy? I feel full and sassy."
"Sure. Just try not to wear the boy out, he's new." He tasted blood as he kissed her, his First-Born, his love.
The door opened as Joseph herded the five into the room. "Master?" he asked. Nostrils quivering. He could smell the blood that filled David.
Anna moved so that Joseph could get to David. "Yes," David said. "Come, darling, feed." He held out his arms. "No reservations tonight, drink your fill."
The Fledgling vampire almost attacked him in his haste. The blood was so strong. It was like liquid fire as it filled him. Not since his first night had it felt like this. His master had always been so careful, giving him just enough to contain him, but never enough to quiet the beast. But now he drank freely.
Sex was never this good. He felt so alive, so strong. Would it be like this, now? Would he be able to drink freely in the future, or was this just a one-time thing, due to the excess of blood?
David sighed. The pain was fading. "Enough, Joey." He pulled away. "Cain," he whispered. "Stop now."
"Damn." He felt foolish. David hadn't had to use his Vampyr name to control him in a while.
"I know, the new way will take some getting used to. But I promise you, Cain, you will never go hungry again. I swear, I will take better care of you."
Morgan saw Joseph feeding and remembered how she had felt when Azrael had given her blood. Then she realized that the others were dead. Vampires could kill. "Jason," she said in a tiny voice, "where's Azrael?"
"He stepped out for a moment." Michael locked eyes with her. Yes, the first time a mortal faced what they could do, it was terrifying. But he had his hands full with both Jason and Amber. "Sit down, honey. Your master will be here soon."
The room was cold to her as she huddled at one end of the love seat. She looked at Mark, who in return stared back at her with hate in his eyes. "What are you looking at, bitch?" He snarled.
"Silence!" David snapped. "She doesn't deserve your hate. Leave it for your master, boy."
"Fuck off." Mark spat.
"Now, now; misbehaving already?" Azrael asked reappearing. "I must do something about that mouth of yours."
"Yeah," Mark sneered at him. "You can suck my cock, you fucking perverted monster."
Azrael threw his head back and laughed. "What a charming offer. Perhaps later, but for now be silent." He turned his back on him.
Mark opened his mouth to tell Azrael what he could do with his order--but couldn't speak. He was trapped and mute. The other one had never been able to do this. Fear, his secret companion for weeks now, embraced him fully.
Afraid now, Morgan looked up at Azrael. He had given her back her life, had been so kind. She hated the reminder that he was not just some sweet fable come to life, but also a well-cloaked nightmare.
"What is this?" He was truly hurt when she cringed away as he sat down. "Poor little one, come. I am still your master. I will not hurt you." He stroked her head. "Did you not understand when I told you what I am? I am a vampire, Morgan. Although I have chosen not to kill these many years, occasionally I must."
"Perhaps we should have waited, taken care of the problem without their knowledge." Michael was glad that he was Kin. The grip his two held him with would have prevented airflow in a mortal.
"No, they must come to accept it. With the opening of a covenstead, we will have to collect more for food. Others of our kind will come, and when they do, our pets will not be able to care for them."
"You're going to kill again?" Morgan squeaked.
"Ssshh, listen to me. Do you not kill to live? Did your food not once live and breathe? There is little difference. You need to accept this Morgan. To the Vampyr, all mortals are food. I care for you and would never allow anyone to harm you, but that does not take away from the cold facts. In the food chain, you are meat." It was the one thing that hurt him still. Telling one of his darlings the true facts of life. "Now, I have no need to feed from those I will keep below, but others will. But hear me pet. Only those who deserve death will be taken animals, murderers, drug dealers, rapists, child molesters and the like. Any poor souls that we discover in our search will be brought here to be trained as pets, but I will not hurt them."
"Will I have to see it?"
"No, you will never see it, not ever. You did not tonight, did you?" She shook her head. "Now, are you going to have faith in me, forget the ugliness and be happy again?"
"What about him?" She gestured to Mark as she relaxed. Azrael was very good at control, and she melted under his soft gaze, loosing her fear.
"Oh, I plan to keep him. He is a challenge. Do not worry yourself. When I am finished, he will be as sweet as you are." *Relax, pet, forget the ugliness, just relax and accept. * A mental command to enhance his will. *Those from below are not like you. They deserve what is coming, believe always believe. *
Both Michael and David were doing something much like this with their own charges. Putting down fear, placing distance, giving a value to each life, and marking some greater and some less.
"A moment, pet." Azrael said to Morgan, laying her aside. He walked to
the desk across the room to retrieve a small dagger. "Vincent, it is time that you make those two yours. Remember; they must drink from you nightly for several months, until the change take complete effect,"
David nodded taking the dagger. "Aaron," he called, his voice soothing, "come here, baby."
Trembling, the boy obeyed. He didn't quite understand everything that had happened. All he could comprehend was that David had spared him, but was now holding a knife. "Davy?"
"Ssshh, Hon, come up here in my lap."
"Did I do something wrong?" Aaron wasn't sure he could, or should obey this time.
"No." David lowered the dagger. "The dagger is for me, not you." Aaron looked so very young when he was scared, but his brown eyes were also beautifully large and liquid. David wanted to see them soft with love. "If I had known that a bonding did not mean the gift, I would have made you fully mine a long time ago." He motioned again. "Come. Let me gift you with my blood. It will guarantee that you stay as beautiful as you are right now for around one hundred years or so." He brushed the hair from Aaron's eyes. "You 'do' want to stay with me, don't you, baby? Have the time, be my love?"
Aaron was stunned. "You'd do it, wouldn't you? Give me this?" He started to cry. "I try to do what you want. I don't fight you. Please, I want it. I'll stay with you." He pulled his hair aside, tilting his head to expose his throat. "See, Davy, Master, I'm willing."
Any other time the exposed flesh would have been more than David could have resisted. But now, it was merely lovely, not a temptation. "Then drink, baby, be mine. But know that once I give you this, you can never leave me. Even if I offered you your freedom, like I had promised, you can't go. You will be mine for all your life. For unless I continue to feed you my blood, you will die. Now once again, knowing that your life will be mine forever, knowing that I will own you, care for you and keep you till the day that the blood no longer stays death. Will you give me your soul baby? Will you be mine?"
Aaron had never kissed David with anyone but Anna, or Joseph present. He was shy about this part of their relationship. The others had taunted him too much for his willingness to submit. But now, it was a new day, a new life. He sobbed against a hard, unbelievably warm mouth. David was hot. For the first time since he was taken, he felt true heat from his master. "Yes, oh, yes, Master. I'll be yours, I swear it."
"Then, baby, take what is being offered." The knife cut deep into the vein above his left breast. "Drink."
Aaron's mouth covered the wound. A small gasp of shock as the first taste passed his lips. After all the times that he had swallowed back his fear and exposed his throat to be fed off of, he was the one feeding. "No," he whispered as the wound closed.
David sighed, enjoying the lingering feeling. "Yes, I know, just a taste, but one that, once taken, makes you crave more."
Aaron attacked him. Hands moving under his shirt to caress his skin, mouth hot and hungry on his or moving to bite sharply at his throat, knowing that it would please his master.
David held him for a minute, enjoying the sweet aggressions his darling pet displayed. "Wait," finally he pulled away. "Soon, okay, Hon? Let me offer this to Billy, and then we'll see, all right? Go curl up with Joey, he'll hold you for now."
Billy had watched everything, heard everything, and was terrified. He was more afraid of what David would demand of him than he was of anything else. Would it be offered freely? No it couldn't be that easy. He had fought and resisted too much. He lived now, only because out of the rest, he was the least vocal. He eyes closed briefly as David motioned him to come close. Now would be the telling mark. What would he have to do or promise to be given this? "M--Master?" He was like ice as David pulled him up into his lap.
"Do you want this, Billy? You've been so hesitant before today. Will you freely go all the way? No more crying no, more, struggles? Will you welcome me, let our time together be mutual, no more rapes?"
"I promised that last time," he stammered. Something was wrong here. "I didn't fight you last time, master, didn't even think it, I swear. Didn't you like that? Did I forget something?" Relations with men were so few, that he was honestly worried that he had failed to do something.
David pulled Billy's head to his shoulder, stroking his hair gently. "I told you how much I loved it, precious. I'm just making sure you understand what will be expected of you for this. And, not, just me, but, Anna and Joey, as well. Plus, any vampire that asks for you. You were a virgin when I took you. You offered yourself because you were frightened and hungry. I want you to be able to accept your new life totally."
"Are they gonna bite me, too?"
"Perhaps someday, but for now, I need you and Aaron to keep up with my needs."
"Do I have to do this? What happens if I say no? You still gonna let me go one day, like you promised?"
"I'm not sure, Bill. I wouldn't kill you if you didn't want me, just as long as you were willing when I came to you. But I'm afraid that, without the added strength given by my blood, you would weaken and die."
'Die' . There was that word again. He had run away from home, away from his father who beat him. Had he stayed, he would have been dead. Now he was in the same boat, again. Live or die. "Okay, I'll do it." 'Why not' , he rationalized. At least David didn't hurt him much unless he fought back. "It won't hurt will it?"
"No, baby, it won't hurt." Again the blade "go on Billy, drink."
Aaron watched as Billy followed the command. "It's not going to be easy on him." He spoke softly, more to himself than anyone else. "He's terrified of men. David was in bad way that first night. He freaked and ended up hurt. It took three nights to get him to obey without punishment." He could, if he
wanted, still hear Billy's pleas to be let go, and his cries as David and Joseph raped him.
Joseph smiled. "Well, give him a few days. Now that David's back to his old self, he'll easily seduce the boy." It was a statement he could make with certainty. When he had first come to David, at Anna's invitation, David had been so different than how he was now. He had been patient, gentle and loving, as he taught him the ways of the flesh. "How are you?" he asked Aaron. "This night has been pretty traumatic for you."
"I'm fine, now." He closed his eyes as Joseph's hand found the snap on his jeans. "Don't, Joey, please. Not in front of everyone."
Joseph looked around. Azrael was engrossed with the little bald girl. Michael was with his two, who were naked and actively being affectionate. "In front of who Aaron? Look around you. It's not like it used to be. They're kids like you, pampered play toys, relax." The zipper slid down with no resistance. "You know you like it, so why argue?"
A tear slipped down his cheek. He couldn't stand this. Alone, in a bed, was one thing. He loved it, then. But here, like this, he'd accepted David's offer, to escape this sort of thing. "Please, Master."
"Aaron, you have to relax. It's not like that. We won't sell you. You know that."
"Aaron." David looked up from Billy, who lay curled up, in his arms. "Hon, look at me. You are a pet, now. You are going to have to accept this." His tone firmed. "Until I say differently, you are forbidden clothes. Let him up, Joey, so that he can undress." His eyes grew sharp at Aaron's cry of protest. "And let him blow you once he is."
Aaron looked at him, horrified. Forbidden wearing clothes. Blow Joseph, in front of everyone. He couldn't mean to do this to him. "Davy," he pleaded.
"Up with you. Don't argue again, or I will punish you more. Now go on and do what I told you." Then, with a softening gaze, he looked down at Billy. "You too, off with these rags. Anna has asked for you tonight. You haven't been with a woman yet, have you?"
"No." He moved slowly, as if drugged. The blood had removed the last of his fight. He felt numb.
"Azrael," David's voice held a note of worry. This was not normal. When Sharra, had gifted him with his first drink, it had been fabulous. Anna and Joseph had bounced off the walls at their welcome. Even Aaron, normally timid and shy, had almost sexually assaulted him.
Azrael watched Billy undress. "It has that effect on some mortals. He will spend the next hundred and fifty or so years quite happy. Just do not expect too much from him. He will do whatever he is told, just that, and be an absolute darling in the bed. But his mind will not be able to function as it once did. He will be completely dependent on you for the rest of his life."
"I didn't mean to hurt him, I swear." He was appalled by what had happened.
"No one is accusing you of malicious intent. His mind was weak. This was too much. Do not fret yourself so, Vincent. The boy will sharpen over the next few months, but will always be dependent on you for everything. Be kind. At least he will never need punishing again. Just make sure you keep him from harm. I do not rightly think he would be able to understand the why and
"He's like Cally was, isn't he?" Michael looked at the boy hard as he slowly removed his clothes. "One too many traumas, his mind had fled, and the blood helped to protect his sanity." His thoughts went back to a slave, one that had been in his home when he was still Azrael's Fledgling. His master had, accidentally, broken her mind before he had had a chance to blood bond with her. Forever denying her the chance to be anything more than just a pet.
"Billy?" David moved slowly to take him into his arms. "How do you feel?"
"Feel?" The boy's eyes had a lost look to them. "Great, why?" He tried to focus on his master. "Did I do something bad?"
"No, of course not. Why don't you go curl up with Anna, she'll take care of you."
"Really?" He smiled softly. "She's pretty, Master. Is she gonna let me sleep with her?"
"Why don't you go talk to her." He cupped the poor boy's chin. "And you are right, she is very pretty, now off with you." He would have to be careful with this one. If he hadn't punished him so severely, frightened him as much as he had, he might not be this way. "I will take care of you, Billy, I promise. You'll never be hurt again."
"I know that." The clarity of his voice surprised David.
Anna let him sit beside her, before pulling him into her lap, hushing his protests that he was too heavy. "No, pretty boy, you're light to me."
"Anna, be gentle with him always." David watched Aaron as he finished with Joseph. "From this point forward, anyone who hurts or frightens him will answer to me."
"Agreed." Azrael had once had a young mortal like this one. She had been a sweet girl. So promising as a future Fledgling. His guilt over driving her mad was still sharp. Murder, he could live with. He was a Vampire. It was a part of his life, at times one must kill to live. But he had pushed her too far, and her his slave. "As master of this house, I grant him complete protection and immunity. The children will care for him, Vincent, during the day, and at night if ever one of our own kind does him wrong, if you cannot seek justice, I will."
"Don't worry, David." Michael honored his personal choice by using his mortal name in mixed company. "It's not like we would welcome Renegade Kin. It was unfortunate, but it happened. I'm sure you will make his life one of comfort, and as pleasant as possible. Let it rest for now." Michael untangled himself from the two bodies that had latched on to him. "As for now, I am taking these two and seeking out the dungeon that Amber has mentioned. I am in the mood for some amusement."
"It's a play room, Vincent. I use it occasionally for bed games or punishment if punishment is needed." Azrael gathered Morgan's sleeping form close. "It is just a few hours before dawn. Let me escort you to rooms for your pets, and show you the inner sanctum. Megel has taken the back room as his own. Then I will go tuck this one into a warm bed and give her the attention she needs."
"So I'm the odd man out again," Joseph laughed. "We have got to do something about this, Davy. I'm getting blue balls."
"You are welcome to join me." Michael smiled softly. "You've alreadysampled my Chosen."
Joseph looked at the two mortals that stood so close to the Elder vampire. "Are you sure, sir?"
Michael turned on his charm, deepening his smile. "Call me Michael, or Megel, if that feels better." He looked down at Jason. "Love, why don't you show my little brother that he is welcome. You know him, Amber does not, and asking her is too cruel yet."
Jason winked at him. "Promise me something, Master."
"Name it, I am in a generous mood."
Jason stepped closer, pressing his body against the other man's, hand reaching to pull his face to him. "Tomorrow," lips demanding, "is mine."
Michael chuckled as he crushed his Chosen to his chest. "My word, tomorrow night from sunset to sunrise, you will have me. We will go out and enjoy the evening. Then we shall return here, and," Jason's sob was silenced by a brutally possessive mouth.
David smiled as Jason latched on to Joseph. "See, baby," he brushed the top of Aaron's head with his lips. "It's a new life for us. You don't have to hide anymore. No one will make fun of you."
Aaron moved even closer. "Make love to me." After the blood, he needed him, needed him like he had never needed anything before in his life. "Like that first night, when you made me yours."
David rose, the boy in his arms. "I'm ready, Master. Where do we keep our pets?"
Azrael chuckled. "Come. Megel you will lead that one to rest when dawn comes?"
"Yes, or he can sleep the light hours with me." Michael smiled at Jason. "Jay, go tell your sister good night. You won't be seeing her till dusk."
"G'night, Jenny," he hugged her. "Oops, sorry, I forgot. It's Morgan, right?"
"Yeah." She kissed his cheek. "He says it's German, for 'morning' ."
"Sleep well, squirt. I'll see you later." He hugged her tightly. "Be good, okay? I'd hate to see you hurt."
She giggled. "Don't worry. I'll be an absolute angel."
Azrael went to Mark. "We go now. You will follow behind me, on your hands and knees." His eyes bore into him. "Do you understand?"
Mark opened his mouth to curse his captor, but found no words. He tried again, but Azrael's will beat at him. "Yes," he groaned. "Yes, Master." The words were forced out between clenched teeth.
"Not good enough. You must learn who owns whom here. I will punish you for your misbehavior. Now, you will follow me, on your hands and knees. Do you understand? He touched Mark's cheek. "Make me believe you are willing to obey."
It was pure agony. Fighting David had never been like this. "Master," he choked back a sob. "Yes, I understand."
"Good, now follow, and keep your head down. Do not speak unless spoken to. If I have to take your voice again, you will lose it for a long time."
"Master," the word hurt, but he had to try to get through to this monster. "Please, I beg you." He dropped to the floor. "Kill me."
"No, I want you to live. I plan to break you. The sooner you accept me as you lord and master, the sooner I will show you kindness. Now, be quiet, slave, or I will double your pain." He turned, ignoring the rebellious look the young man wore, knowing full well, the boy would follow.
"Enough you two," he fussed at Jason and Morgan. "You are only saying good-night, not good-bye. It grows late. If you want any of my time before I sleep, Morgan, we must go."