Travel into Terror
Pairing: Louis / Santiago
Summary: Prequel to 'The Unlikely Lover'.
Louis de Pointe du Lac - POV.
Prelude to 'Touched by a demon'.
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.
I left with Santiago the evening after my discussion with Lestat. We left New Orleans and began to travel as I had only dreamed.
Santiago was the very gentleman and romantic devil I had always loved and I treasured every moment of every night by his side.
We stayed in different places, marvelling at the Transylvanian legends, or more correctly, the Romanian legends of blood drinkers with special powers. Unlike ourselves, the vampires of European lore could scale walls like an animal, they could disappear into a plume of smoke, they could not be seen in mirrors and feared holy objects.
A mask of the truth, surely. These pale creatures of human myth. Yet, their foundation in fact charmed me somewhat. I could imagine the authors of these tales had once come face to face with a devil of our kind, and this had inspired the many tales to come.
Yet, for all these wild and imaginative discoveries, Santiago remained aloof of them all. He didn't care much for superstition and folk lore, and whilst I was intregued and questioning everything I cam across, Santiago mainly left me to my own devices when I was exploring haunted castles and some demon infested lakes.
The supernatural was as exciting and interesting as it always had been. My mysterious vampiric nature excited me more than Lestat had ever known. The fact that I would run into a spectre or spirit in a haunted English castle meant more to me than any of my companians would ever truly appreciate.
After ghosts, poltageists and demon's, my research took me through Europe slowly, and over many years.
Santiago was becoming restless with my obsession, however. He would watch me suspiciously as I poured over books of fantastical creatures and myths, his eyes glazed over with something akin to displeasure and even hatred.
He thought he was losing my companionship to haunts and spirits.
Maybe he was. It made no difference to me, as my obsession with my books and legends grew so engulfing I would hear nothing but the dramatic presence of the text I read for nights on end.
It was no excuse for the rudeness he developed over the years. He would snatch the book literally from my hands and shred it before my eyes in an effort to gain emotion, even anger, from me.
I just sighed and ordered another copy from the main libraries.
The next day I was back to the page I had been the night before.
Santiago would stand with burning eyes before me, rage welling in the blood tears as he again snatched at my books and indeed burned whole volumes whilst I stood trembling indignantly at the loss, my books, books Santiago had no right to touch.
Finally, my restrained temper gave way and I cursed Santiago, cursed the night's in which I had fallen in love with him, and how I wished I were back with Lestat.
It was a cruel and vicious thing to say, and before I knew it, Santiago had backhanded me brutally and sent me flying across the room.
I hit the wall with a sickening thud and I lay stunned and in silence as Santiago left the house to vent his anger on mortals.
Later in the evening, Santiago returned.
I was in no mood to talk to him after his unrestrained physical violence had injured me and also left my pride bitterly wounded.
He knelt on one knee before me and held some beautiful flowers. He offered them to me as a truce, to be forgiven.
And I forgave him his outburst, hoping that nothing similar would ever happen again.
Once more I found solace in the tales of devil's like us, creations of mortal minds. I read tales of a legendary Ramases and a magnificent Pandora. I read with my entire soul, again leaving Santiago out of my discoveries.
Then one night he came into the library windswepped and locked the door behind him.
I had a terrible feeling of foreboding as he drew a large and heavy metal object from his belt and advanced upon me.
"What are you doing ...?" I gasped as he roughly dragged me away from my desk by my hair and threw me onto the floor. Such pain from my scalp. As if my hair had been pulled out. I screamed in agony.
"Teaching you a lesson" Santiago said firmly, raising the instrument high before it descended with brutal force on the arm I raised to defend my head. "You will not ignore me, else there will be pain you have never before felt".
My arm was swollen by his repeated blow's, and eventually, I passed out from sheer agony. I had never before experienced such pain, and I knew that I was terribly afraid of Santiago in that moment and he had been further angered by my fear. He had hit me harder, harder, and I had cried out Lestat's name in a moment of blind fear.
I never called out Lestat's name again.
Santiago beat me to a bloody pulp and left me dazed and bleeding horrifically on the floor of my precious library.
I didn't dare touch a book after that moment for fear of Santiago beating me.
He became charming once again, but I was mentally marred by his brutality. How could he have seemed so gentle and caring once, and turn into something so vicious and evil? How could I stay with him knowing his darker side was more than I could bear? Truly, the answer was as simple as stupid. I loved him.
I was afraid he could read my mind and see my doubts.
I was afraid he would beat me again.
I kept silent, away from my books.
Without my books, I did not see a reason for living.
My obsession had been torn away from me like a child's rag doll, and I had nothing to keep my spirit enduring.
Except, the vague and indistinct vision of Lestat I had kept in the back of my mind.
One evening he came up to me with a malicious smile.
"Good evening Louis".
"Good evening" I said politely, without feeling.
"I think we should do something more intimate this evening. Something to get us more acquainted with each other" Santiago grinned, and the sight made me feel physically ill.
"I'm not in the mood" I said softly, my gaze falling on the raging fire in the hearth.
"Not in the mood ...." Santiago said playfully, trailing a hard finger along my cheek bones. "Well, we'll see what can get you in the mood".
"No need" I said, deliberately trying to be non-commital and uninterested. The truth was merely that he frightened me more than I would ever care to admit.
"No need?" Santiago roughly grasped my wrist and stood me up. He was towering above me, and I shivered beneath his frightening size. "Are you saying you don't want me?"
The way he said those words indicated a worse punishment if I were to refuse his advances. I had never loved another vampire intimately, and I certainly didn't want to start now with Santiago. I had refused all those I had ever held dear. Lestat, after the initial descent into darkness, had even kept a respectable distance whilst considering me a lover nonetheless.
"No, its just I .... I don't feel very well" I lied, wondering if Santiago could hear the deceit in my words. It pained me to lie to him. I wanted to tell him the truth, that I could never view him the same way again after he had tortured me.
"No ...?" Santiago swept his hand against my forehead softly, although the gesture made me jump slightly. He held out his wrist.
"Take it Louis" Santiago tempted "Take it and get well so we can make love as only vampires can".
Retching, I held the wrist slightly away from me. Away from the image of the grinning Santiago. Yet, I still loved him. I still loved the vampire I had once known. And where was he now? Had he died in New Orleans? What was this monster who had accompanied me to the Old World.
Pushing the wrist delicately away from my lips, I struggled to find words Santiago would not find offensive or use as a weapon against me. "I can't .... Forgive me".
Santiago seemed to redden intensely for a moment, and then relax as he stalked away from me and out of the room.
Relieved, I ran my hand across my damp forehead. Damp with sweat and fear.
I heard the heavy footsteps return, and it dawned on me that Santiago was using this for effect, letting me know he was approaching and that bode ill for me.
I saw the shadow under the door as he turned the handle and entered my room with three objects. A whip, a knife and a club.
"Choose, Louis ..." Santiago said, his voice laced with anger.
I knew what was to come.
I fainted before he even approached me.
When I awoke, my wrists were bound to a wooden object. I struggled weakly, and then saw the lofty figure of Santiago looming dangerously above me.
Indeed, he was towering over me in obvious hatred.
"What are you doing ...." I cried as I struggled uselessly against my bonds.
"The Old World used to call this a rack, Louis" Santiago said softly, nearing the handle. "It is used to stretch someone to death". Here, Santiago looked at me with a wicked smile "Only you will not die. But you will suffer immeasurable pain".
I cried out in agony, fearing the pain to come.
I begged and I pleaded. I cried and I wept. All to no avail.
Santiago stretched me as if I were a dead thing, and he seemed to enjoy my screams of horror, my incoherant thoughts burned in the intense ferocity of pain. Pain the colour of red. Pain I had never before felt so intense was the feeling.
Finally, a sobbing wreck, he let me go. I fell away from the rack, unable to move. I was so weak I coud not even raise an arm.
He advanced upon me once more.
This time he had the knife in his left hand, and his club in the right.
I screamed as both descended upon me with equal fury.
The darkness rapidly faded into total oblivion.
Years passed, and I was beginning to wish for death like never before.
It seemed the only release I would ever have from the intense pain I was suffering.
I plotted and schemed, and yet Santiago was there to block my every attempt to die.
I felt sad, wandering, alone.
So many years had flown by when I passed the bookstore and did a double take.
For there, plainly on the shelf and apparantly a bestseller, was a book entitled 'The Vampire Lestat'!
Excitedly, I went inside the small and rather quaint bookstore. I purchased my own copy and read it from cover to cover within the evening.
When the story fell upon our adventures together, as I read between the lines I realised that Lestat was crying out for me. He was trying to find me.
However, I would never believe that such hope would exist for me now. The used, spent and fragile creature I had become.
I was further from Lestat than I had ever been.
I sighed, tossing the hardbacked novel into the shop's colourful plastic bag and made my way home with a sadness eating at my soul, my entire existance.
Santiago was waiting for me when I finally got home.
"Your late" Santiago said gruffly. "Why are you late?"
"I was taking my time whilst hunting my victims" I replied sourly.
Santiago laughed at me. The noise was as shallow as his love for me.
"You don't take four hours to hunt a mortal" Santiago said suspiciously. "Your up to something, tell me now else the punishment will be severe".
I sighed and fearing his words were not idle I confessed to reading Lestat's novel by streetlight. Santiago seemed thoughtful for a moment, then he tore the precious book from my hands and stormed inside the house.
I howled with despair. Running after Santiago, I tried to reclaim my book.
"Now Louis, I will return it once I have read it" Santiago said softly, a warning tone in his voice. "No more pocket money from me as all you do with it is buy rubbish".
Santiago tossed the book uncaringly onto a chair's arm. Then he sat on the chair and began to read.
I was astonished by the speed reading I witnessed that evening. I could not draw my eyes from the eager and concentrated figure. The pages were literally turning after a few seconds.
After a couple of hours, his expression began to grow serious and he stared at me with an obvious displeasure.
"Louis ...." Santiago said, throwing the book angrily into the fire. Screaming, I tried to retrieve the novel but Santiago held me back.
"This is pure trash, Louis. Lestat never loved you" Santiago said cruelly.
My tears were staining his white shirt but I did not care. "He did, and you envy our attraction. You keep me here, a victim of your hatred".
Santiago looked surprised "Hatred? No, Louis. I don't hate you".
"Then why do you torture me so?" I wept, feeling despair cresting within me.
"Because you like it" Santiago said viciously, drawing closer "You thrive on suffering".
"Its not true" I moaned, my arms flailing wildly, trying to find the burning book.
The book which was now smouldering ashes in the raging hearth fire.
Trembling, I clung to Santiago's arm, my eyes wide.
"Let me go" I whispered, broken.
"And where would you go?" Santiago asked me kindly. He meant no offence with this question, however it struck a deep chord within me. For Santiago had insisted that all my fund's should be placed in his own account, and now he literally had me in his mercy. I had nowhere to go, and no money to get anywhere with. I was completely dependant upon him.
And he knew it.
He thrived on my suffering, however I was becoming more shattered and weary.
As I felt his hand on my hair I closed my eyes and waited.
The pain did not seem as real with my eyes closed.
Dragging me by the scalp into the bedroom, he shoved me down onto the bed and straddled me.
"Not tonight" I moaned "Please ... I cannot endure this. I cannot!!"
"Why not tonight?" Santiago countered, his tongue playing with my earlobe. "I want you".
"Not now, not ever!" I cried, wriggling free from him and looking at him suspiciously.
He grinned at me and tried to touch my face. I moved away.
"Now Louis, you don't want me to punish you, do you?" Santiago asked viciously.
I gasped and turned to look at Santiago with pleading eyes. "Not that again ... its destroying me, everything evil you do to me is destroying everything about me. I feel ashamed and lost".
"So you should" Santiago said cruelly "You are lost. You are nothing except when you are with me".
"No" I moaned, trying to escape the intimate room and into the livingroom. Santiago stopped me again by my raven hair and dragged me back onto the bed.
"Why do you make me do this to you?" Santiago asked nastily, his hand brushing my cheek.
"Let me go ...." I gasped, feeling Santiago reach out for something.
I was almost afraid to look at whatever Santiago was holding.
Sure enough, when I opened his eyes, my face paled.
"Not again" I moaned. "The pain, its ... its ... too much!!"
"Nonsense" Santiago disagreed "You deserve every inch of my whip beating on your white flesh. You deny me! Me! Santiago! I own your flesh!"
I shook my head frantically from side to side.
"You disagree?" Santiago asked, menacingly.
"I don't belong to you" I disagreed, moaning in my helplessness.
"I would whip you for every letter of every word you have said wrong to me" Santiago said cruelly, striking me harshly. Blood welled from my open wounds and I screamed in horror.
Please, I begged through my mind. Please, stop this.
Aloud, I screamed and cried and fought.
However Santiago was stronger. He held me down and beat me ever more viciously until the red clouded my thoughts with confused pain, angered pain.
Had my love meant nothing to him?
I was almost passing out from the pain and then I heard someone knock our door. Loudly.
Santiago cursed and continued striking me. I was biting the pillow in pain.
The knocking did not cease. It grew louder.
Finally, swearing, Santiago rose and threw on an old robe.
He walked briskly to the door and I heard his sadistic laugh as he admitted a guest.
"Well, well. I did not expect you here. What do you want?"
My world was turning black, the pain was too intense.
Finally I rolled over and all went dark.
I was unconscious, and I felt no pain in this darkness.
This perfect oblivion.
Then I was shaken roughly awake ....
He shook me awake and rolled me onto my stomach. He observed the whip marks and glared at Santiago.
It was Armand. Beautiful Armand with the face of an angel, soothing my pain and suffering wth a merely concerned glance.
"Louis is a vulnerable being" Armand said softly. "You are destroying him, Santiago".
Santiago laughed cruelly and reached for the whip again.
Armand concentrated on the weapon, and it flew into his hand. He flexed the whip and I shuddered involuntarily.
"What do you want, Louis?" Armand asked me gently. He was forcing Santiago away from me, and gently carressing my face.
"I don't know" I confessed, my world as dark as it had ever been.
Armand leant towards me and licked the blood from my back. He applied his blood to my wounds and then rose like a Fallen Angel and glared at Santiago. "Hear me well, Santiago. For I shall not repeat myself. You must never touch Louis in this fashion again. Do you hear me?"
"And you shall stop me, Coven Master?" Santiago said nastily, pulling Armand against him.
Santiago eyed Armand coldly. Then Armand spoke with a slight tremor in this voice. "Then whip me, evil one. But enough with Louis. You cannot possibly do him anymore harm tonight".
Santiago sighed and turned away.
Then, viciously, he grabbed the whip from Armand's grasp and cracked the weapon across the beautiful angelic face! A nasty red line had begun to seep blood from Armand's gorgeous face!!! I was horrified.
I cried out in agony as I saw Armand flinch in surprise and then grab the weapon back. His eyes glowed with a dark fire I had never before seen. Flexing the whip, Armand struck Santiago full on the chest.
A small stream of blood tricked from the chest, staining the dark pants of Santiago's outfit. He glared at Armand and tried to reclaim the weapon. But Armand would have none of it. Cracking the whip again, he beat Santiago with the force he had beaten me, until his chest and back were a bloody testament of Santiago's hatred towards me.
I gasped as Armand dropped the weapon and turned to me. His eyes were like fire, his face and eyes burning with recrimination.
"You left me for this?" Armand asked in a dazed whisper.
"No, I left you for something which I could never have" I choked, too emotional to think clearly. "His love".
Armand's expression softened and he walked towards me, and sat beside me on the bed. Santiago was moaning in horror, his gaze turned to us as he lay in his despair and pain.
I wanted to help Santiago, but I was afraid of his punishment if I did.
"Come with me" Armand begged. His eyes held no shame, no disappointment. He seemed terribly upset. "Let us forget this one and start again".
I shook my head, miserable. "I love him, I really do. I can't leave with you because seeing him injured on this floor is more than I can bear. He injures me to pleasure himself, but it is his insecurities and my failings that provoke his anger. I need to love him, hold him close, show him that love can be obtained without pain ..." I broke off, my emotions once again getting the better of me.
"So be it" Armand kissed me tenderly on the forehead and rose to leave. "Remember where I am, Louis. You only need to call me once and I shall come and destroy him to rescue you if necessary. Do not take this from him any more. He is weak and shallow and cannot hurt you if you exert your full strength now onward. I have inflicted such pain he shall be at your mercy. Keep him at bay, use the whip and challenge him if he should try to hurt you". Armand walked to the door. "Remember where I am, and that you only have to call me but once". He was gone.
I lay on the bed, my eyes wide. It was entirely understandable that Armand had come and put Santiago down the way he did. But it solved nothing. Although I was fearful of his anger and beatings, I did love him. I loved him as only a battered thing could love another for the pain he inflicted upon me. I couldn't do as Armand asked of me, I couldn't take the whip in my hand and bring it down on him. I knew the pain was so great I could not conceive of doing this to another.
Rising from the bed, I knelt beside him and offered him my wrist. "Drink".
But really, it wasn't the blood I needed for him to take from me.
It was my apology that this had happened.
And my way of asking for forgiveness that would not entail anymore punishment.
But as his fangs bit viciously into my wrist and I cried out in agony, I knew I had made a fatal mistake in letting him drink from me.
Why had I not taken Armand up with his offer? I didn't know. I only knew I could not leave Santiago, that I was not ready. I had discovered something about myself when the choice of companion was offered to me. Of Armand and Santiago, once again I had chosen my violent lover. I had once again spurned my angelic guardian in favour of another. Yet, he had not hated me for it. He had seemed disappointed and accepting of my decision.
Santiago drank viciously from my wrist as I cried out in pain, and finally I grew too weak to remain upright. I lay on the floor and closed my eyes.
"Armand came here, Armand did this thing to me ...." Santiago was shaking with a violent rage. I cowered before him, expecting the worst. But he ignorned me and concentrated on his directionless rage.
Then he glanced at me with a new look lighting his features.
He hungered for me.
Or more specifically, for my blood.
He came close, eyes glowing with an unearthly glow. I cried out as his mouth fastened on my neck and his teeth pierced the skin without regard for the pain I was suffering.
Why was I so confused? I didn't know what I wanted and more importantly, I was afraid of change. I was used to Santiago. I was used to his presence. I would have left him before if I thought I could handle the seperation, but I knew now that I could not.
Indeed, the thought of being alone and unloved frightened me much more than any of Santiago's thoughtless actions.
At least I was with someone.
Then why did I not take Armand's offer? He would have been my loyal companian, stayed with me through thick and thin, but the feeling was different. I did not love Armand.
Therefore, I could never lie to him or coax him into my bedchamber. I would regret my actions forevermore if Armand came to depend on me. The thought of making love to one who looked as young as a choir boy filled me with despair and loathing. Never mind he was hundreds of years old, I was simply not attracted to his boyish form. Perhaps because of that reason. He was boyish and young. Seemingly too young for sexual attraction.
Yet, he had wanted me.
Again I thought of Lestat. He had been attractive to me, his shining golden hair. His bright and intelligent gray eyes that reflected so many colours that they haunted me in rememberance. Yet, I had spurned him also in favour of Santiago. Why? Because I had been foolish and easily led. Santiago had led be to believe his feelings were genuine, but now I knew he used me. He had played a most careful hand and had won.
I could never leave him now.
And he knew. It was the reason for him smirking as he drank of me. His eyes twisted in their hatred. He made me so weak I could barely move my arm.
Then he towered over me, his voice hurting my ears "You are the reason for all this trouble. You! So the punishments shall become ever more severe. You shall see that I love you all the more as the whip descends. And never, never, think of Lestat in my presence again! Do you understand?"
I nodded weakly. What else could I do? I was starved of blood, weak, and he was powerful once more and glaring at me.
"Why have you ever said you loved me?" I asked, heartbroken.
Santiago knelt beside me. His eyes were cold, ruthless. "You killed many of the theatre that evening, Louis. I said what I could to save my life".
I moaned. "You killed my brothers and sisters. Those I cared for even more than Armand did. I was the big brother, respected by the coven. I loved them so very much. And you killed them all in an act of revenge. Revenge misplaced, for Armand's head should have been severed by your blade, not the others, not the entire theatre......"
Santiago looked away. I gazed at him in fear, finally understanding his rage and anger.
He didn't love me.
He had never loved me.
He had taken me for a fool. I struggled to weakly say Armand's name and Santiago placed a hand over my mouth suddenly. I tried to call Lestat with my entire being but I knew that he couldn't hear me in my weakness and desperation. The veil of silence was too engulfing, too final.
"Oh no, you won't escape my punishments. You will beg for death before this night is over. If you try and call Armand, I shall rip the tongue from your mouth".
I weakly struggled to the door, rising up weakly until my hands were curled around the doorknob. I cried Lestat's name as I tried in vain to open the door.
I turned to Santiago who was waving a set of keys at me in undisguised hatred.
Gulping, I tried to stand. Determined to make a stand at whatever cost.
However, I was too weak. I knew he would have his way with me, no matter how I struggled and fought.
Trembling, I remained by the door. I watched his evil face and I felt any love that I had once possessed leave me completely.
I had the most terrible feeling I was about to die by Santiago's hand.
He was standing by the bed with a whip in his hand, anger flashing in his eyes, beckoning me to come towards him. Keys were stil dangling in his other hand. Dangerous and full of malice he seemed.
"Come here" Santiago said in a harsh voice.
"Why now?" I moaned, moving away from the threat, trying the bedroom door handle once again. It would not open to me, and I was too weak to force the handle. "Why hurt me? Do you not know how much I have loved you unconditionally?"
"You need to be punished for your error" Santiago said firmly, moving quickly to block me in the room. He tore viciously at my shirt, scratching my chest. He left bloodied marks upon me and I screamed.
He shoved me onto the bed, and he lay his knee across my throat. I was sobbing, trying to free myself. The blood tears were running down my face. I was shameless, begging, pleading. Trying to say the one name that mattered now. Everything else was gone from me. I had nothing to exist for. But one being was in my mind, his golden presence seemingly near. How I knew Lestat was near, I had no explanation. I could never read his mind, for the Dark Gift had made that an impossibility. But I knew. Inside. Where it mattered. In my heart.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean anything" I gasped, begging. My words made little sense. I was trying to free myself without success. He rolled me onto my stomach, and touched my back, making me shudder in horror of what was to come.
In silence, he whipped me until I was almost senseless. The pain was like nothing I had ever felt. He was being excessive in his force and crippling me with each hard stroke. He licked the sharp marks he had made, causing me to moan in pain. He sank his fangs into the hurt and injured flesh again and again.
"Tell me you are sorry!!" Santiago said, sinking his fangs once more.
I screamed an apology. What else could I really do? I was not sorry for the destruction of the theatre, yet I would do anything to escape this. Anything.
"I didn't hear you" Santiago rolled Louis over and slapped him sharply across the face. "Why did you do it ...?"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry ... stop this ... please" I moaned, my eyes blurring with tears. I was slipping in and out of consciousness.
"There, there" Santiago said viciously. "Tell me you love me and you will never call out his name again during our lovemaking!"
"I promise" I moaned, knowing the pain would ease now, and Santiago would roughly assault me with his vicious fangs until he reached his peak of pleasure.
I bit my tongue until it bled with agony, and I dared not call out. I dared not do anything lest Santiago beat me more. Yet, Lestat was on my mind more completely now than ever before. I needed him. I loved him. I was going to die, and Lestat would never know.
Silently I called for him. Lestat, wherever you are, help me. Bring me home to you. I beg of you. Help me .....
Santiago's mouth twisted into a cruel smile. "Your thoughts are not silent Louis. You have called his name once more, and I must punish you for it ...."
Groaning, I tried to move away from him, but the whip descended once again. This time the whip slashed my face hard. I groaned with agony, hearing the words leave my lips with a sudden despair. "Lestat ......"
Santiago looked at me with undisguised hatred as all became blurry around me. Nothing seemed in focus as I heard the door smash and someone drag Santiago away from me with such force I let a small gasp escape my lips.
Let me die, I thought. Let me die now.
For I cannot stand anymore pain for a moment longer.
I was lost.
So very lost.
And, I knew I was ready to die.