Rating : R
Disclaimers: The characters from the Chronicles belong to Anne Rice. These stories are purely for pleasure and 'What if's'. Nothing is meant to infringe upon the author's rights. I am doing this for fun and I love sharing my stories with others.
Lestat had finally gone and done it. The imp! The monster! I should have known, and if I had, would things have gone a little differently? Would I have been able to instill some sense into the madman's brain before he turned to his latest scheme, the most incredible, the most devestating, the most disruptive scheme yet.
Ah, I hold myself to blame. If I could have kept him within reach instead of at a distance, things might have been better for all of us. Yet, I had a youthful fledgling to look after. I had a home in Venice. I wanted no part of Lestat. Not when it really mattered.
Now look at what has happened.
It began with an idea of course. An idea born of pain and guilt, something I could imagine Louis feeling, but not Lestat. Since when did Lestat take others suffering personally? Since when did he wish for the world to be given equal rights to his power? With the idea came the plan that he would devise and bring to a conclusion in the most clumsily and ill thought out fashion of them all.
"Imagine it, Marius" he said to me in a maddened voice, strained with pain and suffering "The whole world like us! No-one dying!"
"You are a fool, Lestat" I said simply, drawing a steep breath as I held the telephone receiver against my ear. "It would never work. Give mortals this and the world as we know it and everything we love about them would die".
"That's just the point" Lestat said, crazed "They wouldn't die! They'd never die!"
"Humanity would die" I responded sadly. I had never wanted or wished for mortals to die. It was their nature, however.
"No, you don't understand. You've never understood!"
"Lestat, what are you planning this time?"
The phone went dead.
I had my suspicians about his state of mind, but never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined he'd take the plan and try to make it a reality. It was ludicrous. Lestat wasn't thinking straight.
He started with the vagrants of the streets. Cleaned them and brought them across one by one. Each creation flared into my mind, and cursing, I crossed the distance between us both in a couple of nights to confront the Brat and his plan.
It was not Lestat I saw when I walked into the townhouse at the Rue Royale.
"Where's Louis?" I asked the broken figure lying upon the floor. He was weak, almost beyond help, his mouth twisted in both pleasure and pain.
"It has started" Lestat said softly, not even listening to me. He didn't even realise I was standing before him.
I left the figure to wander outside the house for a while, noting the new fledglings walking around. I had to stop this before it spread. The agenda was clear in all the new young one's minds. Make more. Do not kill any. Bring them all across.
The flames consumed them quickly, and their young fledgling bodies, as they burned and flailed uselessly against my power. I beseiged the immortals of New Orleans until they were merely dust at my feet. Then I tried to pick Louis' scent from the remaining mortal herd. As the most mortal of us all, he had a particular scent which differentiated him from both vampires and humans alike.
He was alive. He was breathing. But, his eyes were closed to the world. He was lying under the earth somewhere.
I turned sharply. Maharet stood before me, her slender hand seeking my shoulder. "What do you want?"
She turned away. "We have to do away with Lestat. He is a problem to all of us now".
I sighed "He is suffering, Maharet".
"I cannot let him die" I turned to her beautiful countenance and kissed her free hand. "Yet, I cannot take him in".
"Then what option is left for us?" Maharet asked softly.
"I have no idea" I confessed. "The thought that Lestat is truly dead fills my heart with fear and despair".
"Then maybe you should turn away" Maharet said without emotion.
Leave Lestat to the vultures of our kind. The eldest. The ones who picked the younger ones from their safe lives and left them as ashes beneath their feet. Akin to me.
"Why should I?" I asked, wondering why I wasn't challenging her statement more. Wondering why I wasn't shouting at her in horror at what she proposed.
"Because you are suffering too" Maharet said softly, and I felt crushed. It was true. "Turn away, Marius. Nothing could be said against you for allowing this to happen".
I gasped. It was not true. I had failed Lestat centuries ago when he had come to me for guidance. I had failed Lestat with every grand experiment he had tried, vainly, in the attempt to bring my heart closer to his. To unite us both.
However, my feet could not move as she walked away from me and towards the weakened Lestat. I could not turn to face her as she walked through the door. Yet, when I heard the single scream of a final death I hurried inside quickly. Despairing.
For it wasn't Lestat that screamed.
It was Armand.
Maharet was standing as still as stone when I entered the townhouse. She was quivering, her eyes were wet with blood tears.
"What's happening?" I demanded. I tried to scent Armand for the flat was empty, but he had already left.
"Khayman ..." Maharet mumbled, her voice torn.
I gripped her shoulders, and turned her to face me. "Where are both Armand and Lestat. Tell me now!"
Maharet shook her head and appeared helpless. Indeed, she seemed almost vulnerable in this weakened state. I shoved her away from me, her weakness revolting to me, her utter disregard from the panic that had seized me was unforgivable.
I left the townhouse immediately, taking to the air and performing a thorough search of New Orleans in less than twenty minutes.
I was beyond fear. Every conceivable scenario crossed my mind as my mind frantically searched the night, finding little or no evidence that Khayman had ever been in New Orleans at all.
Finally, discouraged, I returned to the townhouse determined to dig Louis from the earth. Everything had changed so rapidly, so completely, that my fears were clouding my judgement. I needed time to calm down. Time to think and plan. Whatever judgement the elders had given Lestat would be swift. I needed a clear head and a thorough assessment of my power against the first brood.
I shook my head and searched out the fraile and fluttering life force of young Louis. He was sleeping against the earth, curled to one side, his hair thick with mud. My nails slid easily under the earth as I quickly dug around him, and pulled him out of the damp soil. His head fell back, helplessly, as I gathered him into my arms and gently entered his mind for more information. He railed at the intrusion, but after a small moment, he murmered something I couldn't decipher and fell back into his dreaming state.
He hadn't been underground for very long. A month at the most. Too much time for a vampire as weak as he was, and the lack of nourishment was clearly visible in the pale skin, the hint of blue around his eyes and mouth. His veins were blue and clearly visible. However, his beauty shone through all of the minor flaws, making his vulnerability all the more shocking and alluring.
He has always made me happy. He always will.
I wrapped my arms firmly around his limp body, and lifted him carefully against my chest. His head flopped against my breast, and stayed there. He was aware that I was with him, that I was carrying him back inside the townhouse. He was also screaming for blood inside his young mind, needing to feed desperately.
I looked around briefly for Maharet, and was completely unsuprised when I realised that she had taken the opportunity to leave. I had to get Louis to safety. Somewhere warm and comfortable, where I could tend to his urgent needs.
Each step up the staircase jolted him slightly and he moaned slightly. When I had reached his bedroom, and lay him down upon the bed, his head sank into the pillows and the mud flaked around him, discolouring the white of the sheets.
"Louis?" I pressed my ear against his mouth. He tried to speak, and the tiny effort ensured me that he could hear every word I was saying.
"Louis, its Marius. Tell me if you wish my blood" I pressed my ear firmly against his mouth and felt it move weakly against me. A slight yes.
I drew back the cuff of my sleeve and drew back slightly. I watches the soft face, the gentle expression of Louis for a moment longer, before bringing my wrist to my mouth. I bit into my wrist with a savage intensity and immediately lay the bleeding wound against Louis' half open mouth. Laying beside him, I fondly moved a few stray hairs from his face as I contemplated my next move.
A slight sucking noise brought my mind back to him as he latched upon my wrist with his vampiric need, and started to drain me. I allowed him to take more than I should have done, under the circumstances. However, he needed the blood immensely. He needed every droplet in his veins, pumping my strength into him, allowing him to regain himself from his short slumber beneath the soil.
"Lestat ...." Louis gasped as I took the wrist from his mouth and lunged at me. His emerald eyes flickering open as he tried to grab my wrist again.
I caught him as he flew at me, gently embracing him, whilst he calmed down from the intake of my blood. It still amazes me what effect my blood has on the younger vampires. Daniel, for example, was a prime example of how ancient blood can transform a needy vampire into a fountain of strength. Already, Louis was forcing me to restrain him. His strength was considerable, perhaps equal to Armand's, as he desperately reached for my wrist again and again.
"Stop that" I said, a little harshly. He slumped in my arms, his breathing shallow. His eyes opened fully and he gazed upon me.
"Where is Lestat?"
"Good question" I turned to look around the room for a moment, to distract myself from those green eyes that could tell lie from truth with one simple glance.
"Is he in danger?" Louis asked. His voice trembled a little. I patted his hand gently.
"I will answer for his safety" I promised, and immediately wished that I hadn't said that. For, I had Armand to consider as well.
"Thank you" Louis breathed. My breath caught in my throat. Now, if anything happened to Lestat, those green eyes would look towards me in disbelief.
Time to find him, and soon.
I patted his slender hand once more, and arose to my feet. It was time to seek out both Armand and Lestat.
The only piece of the puzzle left to solve was where Khayman would have taken them.
Work in Progress