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    Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

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    Tariq
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    Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:26 pm

    Tariq’s shadow had not darkened The Golden Tether’s door for several days – a state of affairs which was increasing both in frequency and duration. When he was within the walls of the Tether he spent hardly any time interacting with the other inhabitants. He immediately sought out the familiar darkness of his shadow-soaked room and the racing heart of his collared fox with a single-mindedness that was beginning to border on obsession. Some terrible fixation was steadily growing inside him, something dark and fanged that blossomed like a flower of rot in his ruined heart and coated his veins in greasy black.

    It would have been cause for concern, had either of them the sense of mind to detect the delicate symptoms. This time, his arrival on the island was no different.

    The bat did not linger in the main hall, loitering among raucous patrons and wide-eyed slaves. He avoided the main entrance altogether, slipping in alongside a gust of howling rain-splatter from a side door.

    Like most buildings old enough to have spirits lodged in the walls, the Tether seemed sometimes to have a capricious mind of its own. It led him from the bubbling murmur of the main hall to a dimly light corridor, past darkened portraits of patrons and proprietors who lacked the decency to turn their eyes away from the salacious dealings of the private rooms. The warm smell of smoke and the heat of flushed bodies faded along with the sound of their laughter.

    The walls were more somber here, the air stiller. They were rarely-used passages, their corners kept clear of cobwebs and carpet swept free of dust out of obligation and an outdated sense of propriety.

    The bat’s movement lacked his usual animal grace. They were stiff and distracted, as though he were a machine with rust-choked joints. His dark wings were wrapped around him in a loose, unkempt sprawl that shielded most of his torso from view underneath the blot of clawed finger and black membrane. One hand was lost in the shuffle of wings while the other rested lightly along the wall, although whether it was for balance or to ease his blind navigation was impossible to say.

    He came to a weary stop at a juncture in the hall and steadied himself with a second hand on the wall. He closed his black-water eyes and inhaled deep with lips parted to reveal startlingly clean ivory. His hair was a mess of unkempt cobwebs still damp from the rain. The bones of his skull jutted a little too clearly beneath the stretched skin.

    The bat exhaled and took another labored step forward. His hand left a dark trail on the wall that followed him in streaks down the hall, his steps silent despite the effort it took to make them. The vampire paused to inhale again, his large ears trembling atop his skull.

    The omen was close. He could sense it in the storm-cloud electricity haunting the air, in the faint scent of wet leaves and black mud, and when he closed his blighted eyes he could nearly see the tremble of his paper-thin heart in its cage of bone.

    Another step forward and he turned his head, mane bristling like a stalking wolf. His eyes gleamed a sickly silver where the light struck. The rain lashed the windows.

    Fabien.” It was a whispered summons, nearly a hiss. His spine straightened and both hands disappeared in the folds of his thick wings.

    With eyes glowing, he waited.


    Last edited by Tariq on Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Fabien

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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:55 pm

    The bat was not left waiting long.

    Fabien’s pointed silhouette licked along the wall like a charcoal smudge, preceding his arrival with all the natural flair of a showman.  His cruel, arthritic fingers coiled slowly around the corner, just where the corridor twisted away in a new direction. He lingered at the junction with an almost child-like hesitancy, a disappointed hider discovered by its seeker. One finely shaped eye, softly luminous with its pulsating light, cautiously observed his master from afar.

    Soon the omen swung his skeletal body aside from the wall, his filthy clawed toes scraping the floor as he began his approach. The taut material that encased his chest in familiar rows of monochrome stripes rippled over lean, ashen flesh. Those vivid, torn stripes, like a serpent’s warning to the young, watch for the poisoned teeth, and constricting grasp of the soot stained hands.

    To the casual observer, the fox-featured boy seemed as though he was stuffed with the conceited self-assurance of youth, a blasé David confronting Goliath. His heels dragged with a lazy impertinence, and the bright point of his star-tipped tail caressed the air in a fluid sweep. A flawless performance, should any idle passerby catch sight of him. But the omen’s shoulders were shards of mirror glass, and the muscles about his jaw clenched fierce enough to cause thin fissures through the old bone.  It was impossible to discern what type of emotion ebbed and swelled beneath his skin, blackening his expression like storm clouds coaxing a restless sea.

    The boy progressed carefully, his spine straight as a gallows post, and hands clasped in firm fists against his hips. Long ago he would have paused half-way in his desperation to maintain a necessary distance between them, and to ensure he still might have space to run. Now, Fabien’s skin was a blackboard carved with lessons and rules, now he knew better.

    It didn’t take the omen long to sense something was amiss. His steps faltered somewhat, and vibrant eyes flickered with nervous curiosity over the bat’s dark form.  But only when he was close enough to breathe in the scent of rain that emanated from the vampire’s fur did he finally stop. The youth was deeply curious. He slipped his pointed tongue over the upper row of his canid teeth, before briefly locking his breath deep inside the flute of his throat.  When he exhaled,  it came with a rattling, wheezing reply:


    Yes, Monsieur?”
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:13 pm

    Tariq’s large ears quivered at their pointed tips at the faint scrape of familiar footsteps. The end of his snout followed the boy’s progression down the hall in keen silence. As though faintly soothed by the ease with which he drew the fox from his den, the hard slash of his tense shoulders softened and his long frame sagged, his center of weight resting in the hips that braced against the wall.

    The bat remained wordless long after the boy’s obedient response to his summons. His breath whistled thinly in his throat. His dark eyes were half-lidded by weary eyelids, his ruined gaze idle and unfocused.

    He gestured for the omen to come nearer, the stirring of his arm exposing a sliver of his torso from beneath its protection of loosely furled wing. Thin ribbons of blood, weakened by rain, darkened his slight fur. The scent of it hung like a fog in the corridor, disturbed in twirling eddies of copper by the motion of his hand. He pulled his damp hair back from the nape of his neck and exhaled from behind the dangerous glint of closed teeth.

    “Come here, beloved.” His voice threatened to crack beneath the soft growl of the words. It dissolved into a weary whisper at the last.

    The vampire made no motion to move forward. There was a terrible tension in his silhouette that suggested a slumbering danger, perhaps in expectation the omen would refuse to close the distance between them. However, he remained still and silent as a stone.

    Should the boy move forward of his own accord, he would be met by an eager grasp. Some of that trip-wire tension returned to the bat’s muscles as the pads of his fluttery fingers performed a nimble scrutiny that seemed to focus instinctually on the meandering trails of his ragged pulse. They lingered in the hollow beneath his jaw, on the slight line of his wrist, the crook where blood pounded under the delicate skin on the inside of his elbow.

    When he was satisfied with what he found, one hand sought to strip the boy of his bold warning-stripes, palm cool and rain-damp against the skin of his stomach. There was a hint of distraction in the gesture. His clever fingers nearly tripped over one another in their insistence. His second hand curled jealously around the back of the boy’s neck.

    Once he succeeded in removing the fabric that shielded the omen’s torso, he bowed his head and the boy had an opportunity to glimpse the ugly black wound marring the bat’s chest. He wouldn’t have long to contemplate the details of the injury – the blackened wrinkle of torn skin, the splatter of thick blood that crusted the fur into clumps – before his vision was filled with the bat’s dreadful dark-water eyes.

    “I do not desire to wound you,” he breathed, his breath cool as a tongue of fog. “Let me take what is mine or—“ He paused and his hand slipped to softly encircle the boy’s throat. “I will revive that desire.”
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:21 pm

    To this second summons, the omen was not quite so compliant, and not nearly as swift. There was hesitancy in his movements, and his serpentine pupils continued to trail cautiously over the vampire’s sloping form. But he broke through this natural reluctance, step by step, and continued to close what little spaced remained between them.

    The omen swallowed firmly, the pulsating light from his eyes following the bat’s fingers. He remained dutifully still at first, but cringed violently when his master’s touch seared across his throat. The purpled flesh there had finally begun to fade; the marks and scars were at last burnished to fine silver trails. But the memory of pain was not so easily healed, and he had not grown insensitive to it just yet.

    This was swiftly forgotten, replaced by a hiss of irritation as his clothing, likely newly acquired, was shredded. The boy observed the bat darkly from beneath his brow. Both of his arms remained in firm lines, and were pressed angrily into his sides, as though he were afraid of their inclination to rise up and shove the vampire aside. But this tension eased aside when as his eyes briefly settled upon the wound, the blood.

    “Vous saignez-” the boy began, before he was stifled by the bat’s request.

    “Out here?” he murmured tentatively, his eyes suddenly as luminous as warning flares over an inky black sea. The boy shifted his weight from foot to foot, his foxen tail coiling through the air in renewed agitation.

    Fabien severed his gaze from the vampire’s dark eyes, and turned his attention abruptly to the stretch of hall. Desolate, for now, but such things could always change. Yet the pressure of the bat’s fingers upon his throat demanded an answer, and so it was given.

    “I... uh ... d’accord, Monsieur.”

    His breath caught against his teeth sharply after this agreement. As though he had more to add, some small, simpering request. ‘Allow me to ready myself first,’ ‘or please make it not hurt.’ But he caught the words hastily, and bit down on them with the sharp point of a canine tooth.
    His chin tipped back toward the bat, and slowly his muscles relaxed somewhat. Perhaps the lure of rain water on the bat’s fur settled him, perhaps it was something else, such things were impossible to discern.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:10 pm

    Tariq hungrily collected the boy’s flinches, silently drinking in the fear that quivered dutifully under his palm. The pad of his thumb traced the thin skein of a silvered scar down the curve of his throat. As he had convinced the boy to shed his serpent-banded clothing without a struggle, he unceremoniously dropped it, largely intact, into a crumpled heap at their feet.

    Just as brusquely, he forced the boy’s spine against the wall of the as-of-yet abandoned corridor, one wing flaring slantwise to assist him in keeping his tenuous balance. A thin spatter of water-thinned blood splashed the wall when his wing flicked out. It darkened the wallpaper in irregular brown spheres wherever it touched.

    The bat’s head remained bowed. His spine caved softly inward, as though incapable of bearing his weight without crumbling like old stone. His breath was still strained. It was a wonder, all things considered, that his tattered lungs continued to force air through them. His hair hung in lank strands clumped together by rain around his face, an eerie funeral shroud.

    “Yes,” he breathed, although whether it was in answer to the boy’s anxious question or an acknowledgement of his observation of the blood that continued to well thick and black from the disfiguring gash in his chest was unclear.

    The vampire’s voice was soft but his hands were flighty. They roamed restlessly over the omen’s chest, running over the skin in an agitated gesture that made it apparent he needed the reassurance of his bare flesh, craved the simple, silent comfort of his pulsing heart and thrumming warmth. His demanding fingers impatiently sketched a map of stark ribs and taut ashen stomach in place of sightless eyes.

    However, at the omen’s cautious assent his hands stilled. They came to a fluttery rest on the arch of his shoulders. His cool, ragged breath licked the bared skin at the base of his throat. One hand curled around the back of the boy’s neck, his thumb wrapping forward to firmly tilt his chin back.

    He was a picture of bristling impatience and there was little composure left with which to warn of the imminent pain. The first bite was too low, and the curve of his sharp teeth pierced the taut skin just above the graceful rise of the omen’s collarbone. However, it still yielded a hot rush of blood that the vampire’s body spasmed joyfully to receive.

    The severed skin spilled like a crushed berry over his tongue and threatened to overwhelm him. The muscles of his hand tightened, the curve of wicked claws biting a red circle into the omen’s bare chest. He shifted his weight, pressing his palm into the base of his throat as he borrowed the support of the wall at the boy’s back. It was too much, a pressure that threatened to crush him, pin him like a moth to a collector’s board.

    Tariq didn’t seem to notice. His black lips were clamped ravenously to the boy’s throat, not a single drop of crimson escaping his hungry mouth.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:13 pm

    The lantern-light glow of the omen’s eyes stalked the vampire, illuminating both their angular skulls in the dark expanse of the neglected hall. Fabien was perfectly pliant. His joints flexed and bowed to the bat’s whims as though he were little more than an oak carved marionette. As though, despite all he had said, this was his purpose. This was his reason for being; to serve.  

    A delicate speck of the bat’s dark blood collected upon the omen’s cheek, and his serpentine pupils lowered as though in prayer. A frail beam of shivering light was once again directed up and over the bat’s chest, its vibrancy like a freshly stoked fire.  The omen curled his pointed tongue over his front teeth, caressing the dull gums in several nervous strokes, before he swiftly moistened his youthful lips.  Then he inhaled, slowly and deeply, and his old lungs croaked and rattled unpleasantly with the effort. It was a strange breath, almost like a sigh, as though he were drinking in some musky and intricate perfume, tasting the blood and rain on the air.

    When the vampire’s fingers clasped the omen’s neck, a shiver rippled down along the gentle slope of his spine. The cursed youth looked up at his master, his gaze fiercely direct, and the light within it now as intense as hellfire. But the muscles of his throat flexed nervously as he swallowed once, then three more times. It was clear he despised this most of all, the agonising time before the pain, the wait. And he still had not quite learned how to control his trembling.

    After the initial and violent jolt, and when had stifled a small wince of pain, the boy grew still. At first, he allowed his master to drink unmolested. The tamed fox was as pathetically docile and obliging as any broken husk behind the cold bars in the Tether’s cages. But soon one set of quivering fingertips stretched fourth, predictably seeking a refuge upon the bat’s shoulder, where they so often clung. He skimmed the sodden fur lightly, tracing over the rain kissed strands with the back of his soot stained knuckles. There was a strange tender affection in the gesture somehow. As if the boy sought to comfort the wounded beast, to heal and calm.

    Had the bat not been so distracted by his hunger, he might have pondered the youth’s actions, and questioned why he did not grip quite as firmly as he usually did, nor establish the same desperate contact between their bodies.

    “And to think...” the boy whispered, his voice half-strangled from the forceful pressure of the bat’s hand. His ashen flesh was so stark against the bat’s dark fur, like ancient bones unearthed from the possessive earth. Slowly he relaxed the tendons of his palm, and pressed it flush over the muscles of his master’s chest. This simple touch turned firm, and sensual, as it moved in a slow exploratory caress down, down and over where the bat had once possessed a living heart.

    “I had almost forgotten...” he continued in a soft, crooning rasp.


    “Uhn... vous pouvez toujours saigner.”  

    Fabien’s words were little more than a half-choked wheeze, and the boy could scarcely draw a single natural breath. But his ever darkening lips were curled so wickedly, bestowing him with a look of yearning, his purpled lids drawn heavy over their pulsating gaze.

    The terrible, poisoned barb of this observation was softened only by the ever indulgent, ever hungry caress of his fingertips.But they too were soon to trespass.

    His hand moved lower, down toward his master’s abdomen in search of the source of  the wet, blood stained fur.

    If the bat was still too lost in consuming the boy’s blood, if he did not seek hinder him, those fingers would eventually find that gaping wound. First, they would skim the edge of it, before sacrilegiously striving to penetrate deep into the screaming, torn flesh.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:00 pm

    There was little left of Tariq that wasn’t the sharp blade of his keening hunger. Cajoling the blood from winding veins, allowing it to splash deliciously wet and gloriously hot on his tongue to be savoured before disappearing down his throat where it could begin the painstaking process of knitting dead skin back together and warm his cool heart like an ember; it was a keen pleasure that greedily devoured all else.

    The boy’s quiet contemplations fell deaf on his ears. He was entirely unaware of the soot-stained fingers creeping down his torso and their touch at the edge of his torn skin did not raise the warning it ought to. The vampire was lost wholly to the wine-dark sea of the blood.  

    It wasn’t until the bolt of pain – intense, hot, and unfamiliar – sparked like fire from his core, blistering through already-severed nerves that he was torn jarringly from his trance. A bubbling snarl caught in his throat.  His response was immediate.  

    It was immeasurably fortunate that his first whip-quick instinct was not to slice his glass-sharp teeth into his assailant’s windpipe and rend it open like the flesh of a dripping pomegranate. He twisted the omen’s offending arm above his head to pin it against the wall in a merciless grip. In the same motion, he slammed the boy against the wall with enough force that, should the back of his skull connect as he intended, his vision would surely blur. A bead of blood, drawn from his wrist by deadly claws, slithered down to his elbow, a bright counterpoint to his blood-darkened fingertips.

    The vampire paused after this swift defense with a hot hiss still gathered in his mouth. A tatter of red painted his lips and a trickle of blood fell in ribbons down the boy’s chest from the now unstaunched wound at the base of his throat. For several heartbeats, all was still.

    Perhaps it was the hunger still clouding his brain and weakening his restraint that stirred his hand back into action.  With a growl buzzing steadily in his chest he twisted the arm in his grasp to force the boy to the floor.  It was a swift motion that would leave him little time to prepare for the brutal kick that connected with his stomach. He decisively planted a firm heel on the star-crossed omen’s lashing tail as though to tether him to his place on the floor.

    The bat’s wings had come unraveled and now hung like great black nets at his side, baring the gash below his chest to the light. It was an ugly wound, blackened and exposed, deep enough to expose the yellowed layers of subcutaneous fat in pinpricks around its wet edges. The omen’s grimy fingers had wheedled another sickly trickle of blood to splutter from the hole.

    The vampire did not deign to put a hand over it to dam the flow or quiet the harsh jangle of pain that still echoed from its raw nerves. Instead, they were curled into tight fists. The edges of his tattered wings trembled in ill-contained wrath. He vindictively ground his heel into the small bones of the omen’s tail as though to break them into splintered shards.

    “That--“ His snarl had regained some of its composure beneath the searing anger that licked at every word. -- was astonishingly foolish. Even for you.”
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:55 pm

    Fabien, if he’d had the sense, would have been sourly disappointed by the swiftness of the bat’s response. He had hoped, if only for a second, to indulge in his master’s pain.  Now however, there was scarcely time to consider the graveness of his error, to fully comprehend his decision. It was a very old, very bad habit.

    The force of the collision between the omen’s skull and the wall did not merely result in visual distortions, but a momentary loss of consciousness.  He might have succumbed entirely to the darkness, had not the impact of the bat’s foot upon his frail chest knocked him back to his senses. The boy’s breath exited his body in agonised rasps, and he immediately sought to coil his limbs inwardly and press one palm to the ditch of his stomach.
    The boy suffocated as though submerged beneath water, and now, the vibrancy of his lamp-lit gaze had been snuffed out entirely.  He thought then that perhaps he would fade out as swiftly as a dying star, alone and numb. But sensation slowly began to return, and his pathetic lungs finally relaxed, and accepted a frail slither of air into his gasping body.
    Still disorientated, Fabien sought the dark, wavering form of his Master like one awaking from a bad dream, only to find horrifying remnants of it. He tried to speak, but only a dull, strangled wheeze managed to escape his throat. Something inside hurt terribly, and he could taste the strange sweetness of his blood about his teeth. The crushed tail did not register. It was left to fight its own battles, and writhed beneath the vampire’s foot like a speared eel.

    Despite the immensity of his confusion, and the tears which cut clear trails through the grime of his cheeks, Fabien made every effort possible to rise up.  He was aided by terror, which injected strength into his old bones as he attempted to prop his upper body upon one forearm.  His movements were staggered, and he wavered to and fro like a rusted automaton.

    “Ss... cle-clémence...” he croaked, his lips and chin red with watery blood.
    One trembling hand inclined forward, the once black fingertips still rich with the vampire’s blood. It hastily retreated back to his bloodied chest.

    “I know... it was... bad.”

    “J-je sais ... que ce était mauvais.”

    If the bat permitted him further movement, the omen would force his body further upright, then swiftly forward and over his knees. His spine and neck bent like twin scythes, and the rotten wheat of his spiralling hair left to curl against the bat’s lower leg. The condemned dutifully offering his neck to the executioner's blade.

    “Mon Maître, mon Seigneur... ” he managed to rasp, while his entire body trembled with the effort.

    He was too afraid to touch him.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:35 pm

    Tariq placed a bloodied palm to the wall and exhaled in a hiss through the fatal shards of his clenched teeth. The quiver that haunted the spidery fingers of his wings hinted at the rage still arcing in his stomach like a live current, much more difficult to douse when pain pierced severed nerves and thirst seared the back of his throat and baked his bones into splinters.

    He lifted his foot just enough to allow his writhing tail freedom, permitting the boy’s rise on unsteady elbows and protesting knees. His whimpers were met with distracted silence. The sharp scent of blood lazily choked the air, scattering the vampire’s hazy focus.

    One bristling ear flicked down at the boy’s final, breathless plea. Another moment passed in silence ruined by the omen’s strained, gasping breaths. A measure of the tension in the vampire’s shoulders eased and he bent down to a bestial crouch, heavy wings outspread as though to conceal them both from the light. His pupils had contracted to sharp slits.

    He took the omen’s chin in his hand, christening it in crimson as he lifted his head to meet his eyes. The grip was not gentle. Long fingers smeared the watery blood from his lips. It was several heartbeats more before he had gathered himself enough to speak.

    “Your foolishness should not have astonished me. This is the inevitable result of trying to carve a pet from a wild animal.”

    His voice rasped in the hollow of his throat. His fingers reached to brush a twisted lock of hair back from the boy’s eyes in a gesture that might have been mistaken for tender. Raw, thinly-restrained hunger clouded his eyes, quavered in his voice.

    This comes from being denied the cage and the collar that are your birthright.”

    He leaned close, his soft breath distressingly cool on the boy’s trembling lips. His hungry tongue licked the thin blood from his lips, his chin, the kiss dark and overwhelming before he drew away.

    The bat stood tersely with a rustle of wing, his movements retaining the ghost of their predatory ease despite the obvious pain they caused. He growled something under his breath, some oath in a long-dead language, and canted his blighted eyes toward the ceiling, his hand concealing the gash that still oozed black blood.

    “Get up, Fabien.” The wolf’s snarling bite in his tone allowed little room for dispute. “Go, to my shadows. And pray I have the strength to keep from unseaming you from nave to neck and licking your miserable heart clean.”
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:50 pm

    The omen had not stirred since he had fallen into this bow, with his limbs caught in a trembling display of reverence. He had turned to tortured marble while he awaited the vampire’s judgement, his eyes low upon the ground and focused down upon the bat’s clawed feet. The youth became briefly mesmerised by the droplets of blood which glimmered upon the dark floor like shattered fragments of dark gem stone. Not his blood though, not this time.
    Every now and then his shoulders stirred by an unpleasantly rattling intake of breath that collected at the back of his throat.
    When the bat lowered down towards him, Fabien’s skeletal fingers tightened in preparation for violence. His knuckles struck through his ancient skin like splinters of glass.

    It was clear the boy did not desire to lift his head, and there was a subtle tension in his neck as he was forced to meet his master’s sightless gaze. Every part of him trembled, even the jaw which the vampire caught between his fingers. The rows of sharpened canid teeth shivered against each other inside his skull. When the bat’s touch swept across his skin, his bruised eyelids lowered like shutters and a mere spectre of a frown pinched at the muscles of his brow.  

    Je suis désolé , je suis désolé... ” he breathed unhappily into the bat’s mouth, his lips forming the words over and over when his voice could no longer produce them.  

    At the bat’s order, the omen’s limbs stirred, and he rose up upon one knee like a dutiful page. There he paused for a time, and his limp, crushed tail curled pathetically over the back of his thigh in a pained sweep. Finally, and with some effort, the boy found his feet, clutching his mangled shirt as he rose up.  He lingered before the vampire just a little too long, worrying the striped fabric between his fingers like a distressed child.

    But he went, issuing the bat with a second soft “Yes, Monsieur” as he turned aside.

    The distance to those dark quarters was sure to feel immense, and the boy made no quick journey of it. He stepped aside slowly, dragging his heels in a slightly uneven stagger away, and down the stretch of hall.

    Anywhere was preferable to waiting the blackness for the wounded vampire who he had so carelessly enraged. And when he arrived at the battered and scarred door, there was a terrible moment of immense hesitation.

    Then, as instructed, he slipped through the wooden frame, and disappeared with the unhappy crackle of a broken and forlorn fox tail.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:26 am

    Tariq’s quarters were a tomb. The pitch-black gathered restlessly in its corners, eagerly waiting to swallow its next inhabitant in thick gloom. The air was as still as the moist air of the catacombs.

    The boy would not have long to contemplate his sins nor dread their penalty within the depths of that grave. The vampire’s patience was brittle and he soon stalked after his quarry. For a heartbeat, the warm, inviting yellow lamp-light of the hall flooded the room, the bat’s silhouette a cold keyhole in its heart. And then it was cut off, replaced by the same dismal shadow as the door clicked to a close.

    Formed from the thin light of the omen’s trembling eyes, shadows gathered at their master’s feet and tumbled beneath the webbed canopy of his wings like eager hounds. He gathered himself with the sickening sound of a giant spider curling its legs inward. The sharp scent of blood hung uneasily in the clotted black.

    “Fabien.” The word was a breathy snarl crackling at the base of his throat.

    His wings snapped in the dark, mimicking his hissing, impatient energy. He paced against the door like a starved wolf with slatted ribs and shining eyes. Regardless of whether the omen approached of his own volition, the bat would be quick to find him.

    There was a scuffle in the dark, the bite of sharp claws and the tightening of lean muscle, until they were both on the floor with the vampire on top; too close, too familiar, his breath cool and his parted teeth silhouetted in dreadful ivory in the thin light of the boy’s eyes.

    The vampire gripped his wrist with his fingers, blindly following the trace of his pounding pulse. Teeth sharp as razor blades seared across his cheek. His fur was still dampened from the rain, now slicked with clots of sickly blood, his mouth cold and hard and hungry. A taut warning spilled in a whispered hiss from his tongue, warmed with affection for the hot body that trembled beneath him:

    “You could do worse than to beg for my mercy, little one.”

    Long fingers skittered over his bared chest streaked with blood like streaks of flaking rust. The vampire’s mouth was cold, terribly cold, his teeth a prickle that set the nerves to singing when they opened the vein at the base of the boy’s throat. He zealously took a mouthful of blood and his body quivered violently against the omen’s.

    The second bite came quickly, severing the skin in two short, thick gashes nearly to his shoulder. It was an ugly wound, the bat’s teeth inflicting unnecessary damage on flesh silvered with memories of his fangs. Blood rose thick and hot to meet his tongue. It beaded and ran in tiger-striped bands across his skin.

    This raw delight proved too tempting a distraction and he lingered on it, blood-smeared lips forming reverential kisses that were dark and far too deep. For a moment his anger was forgotten, banished to a shy corner of his mind as he surrendered himself to his thirst.
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    Fabien

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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:26 pm

    Fabien hadn’t known what to do since he had entered that room. The boy had until then, placed himself dead centre in the dark abyss of the bat’s blood speckled lair. He had entered, and he had remained in one place only, listening for his master’s tread on the floor and waiting for him enter, utterly consumed with terror and and black dread. Only the momentary curtain of light that cleaved a pathway in the smothering darkness enticed him to turn. And he did so, like some blighted demon left to languish in hell, he turned and he came towards his master in the hopes of making amends.

    The boy moved with his fingers just a little outstretched, and imploring; a beggar child, the ragged pauper with desperate, twisted fingers full of pain and regret. It was a miserable image, and hearts softer and gentle than theirs would have shed tears over it; this frightened, ancient child, with his tired and haunted eyes.

    But then it was over, and he was brought down, locked like Laocoon and his sons in the tangle of the bat’s limbs.

    The boy’s breath escaped his throat in sharp, agitated breaths. The dark splinters of his eyes tried to trail the vampire’s movements, but he was too quick, always too quick
    “Monsie-... Monsieur...? ” he began in a soft, placating whisper.

    “S’il vous plait don’t... don’t be so angry with me. “

    When the bat’s teeth broke his skin, the omen inhaled sharply, and his lungs and throat whistled miserably with the pressure. The shock of it stupefied him, like an animal entranced by death. The second bite induced a low, aching cry of pain, and this time his body tried to avoid it.
    The cursed youth instinctively attempted to force his upper body aside, to push his shoulder away and free from the bat’s hungry mouth.
    The bat would likely feel his limbs weaken, until the joints were suddenly unstrung as though he had delicately snipped the threads. And then he was cold, terribly cold. Cold because the teeth which cut into him were like ice, and cold because the warmth and vitally wept from his skin.

    “L-listen... Monsieur... I” the boy rasped softly.

    But he could feel the weight of exhaustion settling upon his chest like a stone, and it eventually silenced him

    And yet... he could still smell the rain water on the bat’s fur, how it mingled with the scent of his blood. There was something so deeply soothing in that scent, and for a misery starved omen it was almost intoxicating. And when he curled his fingers, he could feel the bat’s blood there still, sealed over the pallid skin and crusted beneath his nails.

    He inhaled in a single, shuddery breath.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:07 pm

    Tariq forcefully pressed the boy’s upper half back to the floor when it tried to rise, crushing him beneath his insistence like the bruised bud of a dark flower. His ears were deaf to soft pleas as he greedily took mouthfuls of rich blood. Every muscle was rigid and every bone fixated on the warmth that splashed into his throat.

    Slowly, a measure of cunning softened the predatory tautness in his frame. Hunger still haunted his eyes, a thirst he could feel in the sharp edges of his bones, but the wicked tongue that caressed the boy’s bruise-dappled throat in the hopes of coaxing sickened shivers was playful even as it began to warm in his mouth.

    The vampire’s body painfully ticked back to life. Long fingers stretched, their joints white beneath the fine dusting of fur, his heavy wings quivering as they strained outward. The blood from the wound at his side stemmed before staunching altogether, the fine skeins of skin already working to knit the flesh back together.

    It was only after his throat had softened enough to speak did he regard the omen with a serpentine bow of his head. His white hair fell in a halo of clotted rainwater locks. His black eyes were deep and dark as the bottom of a well in which dragons dwelled.

    The bat cocked his head and lazily reached for the omen’s bloodied neck. The crook between thumb and forefinger pressed into the boy’s throat with a steady pressure, although not enough to completely cut off air from his weary lungs. His softly hissed words suggested the boy’s pleas had found their mark and still echoed in his large ears. “Your dishonest tongue has nothing to say to me.”

    “I am listening,” he said. “To your body cringing against mine. I am listening to the enthusiastic beat of your heart fattening your veins for me and I am listening with particular interest to the murky images submerged in that blood, revealed only for my jaws.”

    The omen’s skin had been split numerous times by his teeth and the wounds were still raw and red. A bloom of blood darkened his mouth, blood streaked his bared chest, and blood not his own stained his palms a blushing crimson. With his unoccupied hand the bat thoughtfully investigated the wound still blackened below his ribs, wetting long fingers in his own blood. The hand at the omen’s throat slipped low to allow the cruel hook of his claws to pierce the flesh of the boy’s sternum. Should his purpled lips part in a gasp, the bat would nastily smear his blood-wet fingers over his tongue before idly wiping them clean in the tangled roots of his hair. Blood welled in a wet garnet from the injury and the bat bent to roll it over his tongue.

    “It will be so easy to kill you,” he murmured into the skin, his dark eyes half-lidded. “I will draw such sweet moans from your lips and such sweet hurt from your veins until your wracked body welcomes the ferryman.”

    He broke the skin with his teeth, so neatly the pain wouldn’t register for several seconds after, when his warmed mouth had already closed over the cut.

    “Now, beloved, you will tell me if your vainglorious moment of folly was worth it. I will try to refrain from devouring you until you are finished.”
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    Fabien

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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:01 pm

    Fabien’s pulse throbbed heavily beneath the vampire’s thumb and his words dissolved into thin, strangled gasps of pain. Though the dim light of his eyes had been reduced to but an ember-soft glow, the boy could smell blood; all that blood. It had blotted out the scent of rainwater; it had finally veiled the sweet shadows of the bat’s pain. Now, all he could feel was the warmth of it upon his skin, and the way the dark liquid glistened on the bat’s fur.  

    The panic seized him swiftly, and violently. Suddenly the youth’s breath was sharp, and ragged.  A soft frightened gasp of “...arrête ça” leapt from his throat like a death-rattle.

    His tongue was soon stifled by the sudden invasion of the bat’s bloodied fingers. The omen’s reaction was instinctive, his skull turned so violently aside that the smooth bone of his brow thudded violently against the floor. He remained with gaunt cheek pressed there, flexing sharp the tendons of his bloodied throat. With features shrouded behind the tangled veil of his rotten, bloodied hair, only his pointed nose and gasping mouth were visible in the murk.

    The boy slowly sought to lift his ice cold and trembling fingers to his lips, patting them with strange tenderness before slowly brushing away the taint of blood with the back of a filthy palm.

    “N-non... but I didn’t... mean-” he attempted once again, before his voice was cut short by a sharp, tortured cry of pain.
    This one, louder than any before it, was deeply frustrated. Then everything about him sought to coil inwardly, to protect his body, this butchered vessel that had once belonged to him.  The boy realised then that further hollow attempts to explain would not prove sufficient.

    So he dug deeper, rummaging through the haunted chambers of his mind for something more compelling. But the search induced awful, deep shudders to pierce through the omen’s body, as though he might expel some rot from his stomach.  
    With beads of salt-less sweat glistened upon his brow, the boy’s head rolled back so that he might place his weakly beaming gaze upon the bat once again.

    “Non... Mon ...S-seigneur...” the omen wheezed, the words almost as painful as the vampire’s teeth. Though if questioned, it was likely he’d not be able to recall why.

    “I won’t... disrespect you again... je suis désolé.”

    His voice suddenly fractured like mirror glass, and the broken creature, his throat tight with unhappiness gasped:

    “I’m s-sorry, Master... I’m sorry.  I can do... better.”

    And then, with some insistence.

    Let me do better.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:05 am

    Tariq’s short laugh was like the bark of a carrion crow. His shuffling wings whispered in the dark as he moved to cradle the boy’s cheek in his palm, holding his skull in place so the wan light of his eyes cast dark, dancing shadows over the bat’s face.

    Non?” he repeated, the word sharp and cruel on his bloodied tongue. “You would not suffer in darkness for an age for the chance to pinch my suffering between your teeth?” He rubbed his thumb over the boy’s lips as though to imprint the taste of his blood after his hand had rubbed it away. “And I thought you would enjoy the taste of it, my brother in habits.”

    The omen’s unhappy resolutions induced the bat’s jaws to part in a wolfish smile. His teeth flashed ivory. “I have no doubt of that, beloved. Whether now or in a century, you will do better.”

    Tenderly, his mouth closed over the thin cut at his sternum. There was a glint of something wicked in the movement of his lips and the caress of his tongue, as though he was hoping to induce a miserable shiver of delight to rattle down the bones of his spine. “Do you think I should spare your wretched flesh on your assurance you will do better?”

    The sharp glass of his teeth abruptly pierced the skin, scoring another pair of crimson lines into his heaving chest. He lazily savoured the ripe red in his warm mouth before speaking. “The blood has little to do with how well you behave. The blood is not penance. I will never withhold my teeth as a reward. I deny you when I wish to see you denied.” His hand fell from the omen’s lips to flit restlessly along the broken and bruised curve of his neck.

    “You bleed at my whim.”

    Idly, he pressed his hand into the delicate strut of the omen’s throat. His fingers relished the bird-wing flutter of his frantic pulse, his grip settling in tight and merciless as a noose.

    “The pain is your penalty, and I can brush it away as easily as a spider’s web.”

    The quiet words, warmed in his throat with a guttural growl of affection, were accompanied by a sudden flare of hurt as the vampire dipped his head and carved another brightly bleeding wound in a hash mark along the boy’s raised clavicle. This one was deeper than the relatively shallow love bites that had came before and it temporarily silenced the bat from his musings. When he lifted his head, his black lips glistened and he eased his grip around the boy's throat.

    “Very well, Fabien. I will give you your chance to prove yourself. But until you do better, your throat will be bound with the memory of my hand. Enjoy your last few hours without the collar, because I do not imagine you will earn your reprieve from it soon.”
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    Fabien

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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:54 pm

    The dark shards of Fabien’s eyes were fused upon his master’s mouth, and his breath fell in a warm flush upon the hand which caressed his lips. If the omen dared not give voice to such a desire in that instance, it could certainly be felt, coiling its way through his lean muscle and the rotten joints of his ancient bones. The cursed youth’s eyes were now flooded with illumination, and he worked his own thumb over his darkly stained fingers, still tainted with the bat’s blood. With this rhythmic caress, it seemed he sought to mould into the flesh with ritualistic compulsion, like one worrying a luck charm.

    “Do not think me insensitive, Monsieur...” the boy rasped softly, his voice hesitant at first. But then it seemed some fresh vision of the vampire struck him anew, still raw and throbbing, his winged form slumped into the hard embrace of the dark corridor.
     
    Fabien paused, his breath caught in his throat, while his tongue was enticed to slip between the gate-way of his teeth so that the pointed tip might caress the curve of the bat’s thumb.  

    “But I would open these misérable veins for you myself...”

    “For but one night of your agony; a single draught of your misére.”

    If his words were profane, Fabien seemed not to notice, not just then.  Not when the curl of the bat’s tongue caused his lower spine to bow, and enticed his hips into gentle, subtle writhing. His breath remained harsh against the vampire’s touch. The second bite caused the youth to flinch, and the awful, deep rattling of his damaged lungs became more distinct.
    The boy exhaled sharply, the frayed edges of his damaged mind no longer able to process the bat’s torments. Between the unhappy whimpers and discontent, there could also be the arch of his spine, and the stretch of his throat as the vampire’s hand encased it.

    He swallowed firmly, his frail breath whistling with agitation from between his slightly parted teeth.

    The pain inflicted upon the fleshless skin of his collarbone caused the boy to startle, and he jolted as though a live wire had been pressed to his skin. The omen’s bony knees sought to lift, and motion caused the youth to score his heel hard enough to work a layer of grey skin and expose raw flesh.
    He languished for a moment or so, desperately attempting to fill his withered lungs with a more vital intake of air.
    Whether he had fully absorbed the bat’s words seemed unclear, perhaps instead he was merely relieved that his words has enabled him to evade further pain for the night,. So a simple “Merci, monsieur” was offered, followed by a soft, child-like enquiry.

    “You are going to rest now?”

    It was painfully hopeful.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:43 am

    Every muscle down the length of Tariq’s long body tensed at the omen’s soft declaration, a tautness that was sure to be felt like the weight of a marble bust. He regarded the boy with liquid black eyes that glinted yellow at their edges. His wet lips were parted, the very tips of his teeth exposed in rows of white bone.

    He remained silent, the omen’s hopeful question going ignored. He allowed himself one last kiss, one last taste of the blood spilling from split skin before rocking his weight back on his heels and standing. For a moment there was silence, the blackness swallowing the bat’s form and leaving only the soft whisper of his wings. Roughly, wordlessly he picked him up by the scruff as though he were a mutt and wrenched the door open.

    The light was blinding after the thick black of his quarters, but the bat’s eyes were blind to the glare. He stepped through the hall with purpose, his nose angled downward as though in pursuit of prey. If the omen’s blood loss shrouded his brain and made it difficult to find his feet he would be left to stumble in the bat’s grasp.

    The door the vampire jerked to a stop in front of was not a residency but a temporary quarters. A small lock barred entry without a key but the bat paused, his empty palm briefly testing the handle before pressing experimentally into the wood. With a jolt he slammed into the side of it with his shoulder. It wrenched open, the latch torn from the frame with a splinter of wood. He stepped inside, seemingly indifferent to the very real danger that they would now be discovered.

    This room was less furnished than the quarters reserved for patrons staying for an extended stay. A freshly-made four-poster bed with spacious room for two dominated the room, bedecked in the royal reds and golds of the Tether. The wood of the dark columns was scuffed where the movement of some unfortunate creature in shackles had ground the varnish away. A window, its panes streaked with tears of rain, looked blankly out onto the dark sea below. Thin moonlight cast silvered shadows on the only remaining furniture; a wooden dresser, its drawers doubtless empty, and an arched vanity with a mirror set against the wall. The faint scent of sweet perfume clung to the air.

    The vampire unceremoniously dropped the omen to the floor and kicked the door closed with his heel. The fur of his mane bristled. His wings arched in dangerous fingers at his sides as he stalked to the vanity. The mirror was about as wide as the boy’s shivering shoulders were across and its surface did not reflect the image of the bat back; instead there was a strange flickering, a half-formed silhouette of rippling shadow that was not quite right.

    And then, abruptly, there was a bouquet of cracks as his palm crunched into the center. The discordant clatter of broken grass filled the room, shards raining with the sound of chimes onto the desk. What little glass remained around the frame was cobwebbed with cracks. Specks of black blood splattered the floor.

    The vampire did not seem to notice the shards of glass embedded like fragile teeth in his palm. His bloodied hand felt impatiently along the top of the vanity until he found a slice of glass as thick as the boy’s wrist. He picked it up, its sharp edge glowing green, and turned to the omen.

    “What a favour it would do you—“ he whispered warmly, pressing the jagged point into his bottom lip. “--if I were to cut out your careless tongue now.” The tip of the shard trailed down his chin, prickled against the torn skin of his throat. The bat forcefully wrested his fingers, crusted black with blood, open and pressed the shard into his palm.

    “You have sipped enough of my sorrows for one night.” His fingers closed over the boy’s, forcing them closed over the weight of the shard. “Open your veins for me as promised, beloved.”
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:35 pm

    The broken fox arrived with knees skinned and weeping; the dark material that had once encased the sharp joints had been scuffed to nothingness. Almost immediately his thin arms slipped protectively about his gaunt chest, the soot dusted fingers worrying into the skin of his forearms, scouring the flesh in nervous, reddish streaks.  Observing his master unhappily from beneath the shade of his tangled hair, the boy was initially oblivious to the bat’s intentions. But when realisation finally crept its way into his haunted eyes, it struck him with dreadful force.

    Directly after the smooth surface of the mirror had been disfigured, the omen lurched sharply forward, every inch of in his body contorting in agony. The bones of his old spine jutted viciously through his unearthly skin, and both of his bloodied and blackened palms immediately sought to muffle the elegant shells of his silvered ears.
    They could not stopper this pain, nor scrape their way into the root of the shrill, torturous music which caused him to convulse so violently.

    Bent over as he was, and completely deafened by the discordant screeching, the omen did not observe his master’s actions until he felt the sharp point of the mirror glass press against his lip.
    Dumbly, the boy allowed the weight of it to settle against his palm, the faded red ink of his old tattoo just visible through the thick grime that coated his hands. Already the sharp edges had sliced into his skin, and the blood oozed luxuriously through the gaps in his fingers until delicate threads began to seep down toward his slender wrist.

    Terrified of disobeying any further instruction, and with his foxen tail writhing to and fro like a dying sea serpent, he attempted to fulfil his grotesque promise without question.
    The omen strove to guide the jagged fragment toward his neck, the point of the shard angled at the throbbing wires of his throat, just at the junction below his lower jaw.His behaviour was strange and automatic, bereft of any hesitation or concern. Only he arm betrayed  him, so afflicted was it with brutal trembling that any attempts he made to steady it resulted only in the further butchering of his palm.

    The omen could feel the ever increasing weight of his sadness wedged tight in the narrow flume of his throat, and prickling the corners of his eyes. It had could be detected in the stammer of his breath as he sought to fill his lungs, though with lip quivering he wrestled it back down toward his fiercely beating heart, and fought it with every fibre of his being.

    The mirror shard inched further forward until the gleaming point was pressed hard into his scarred flesh. The sharpness assisted him, immediately it punctured the taut flesh as though it were paper thin.  The pain and sudden warmth of his own blood shocked him so fiercely, that his resolve was instantly lost.

    The muscles of the boy’s hand relaxed within the vampire’s grasp, and he broke.

    “D-don’t make me do it, ah... don’t make me do it. S’il vous plaít, have me as you please, only don’t make me do it.” The pathetic creature gasped, with head bowed and salt-less tears forming rivers over the curve of his sharp cheeks. The glistening streams transformed the dark point of his spade into a symbol of such sorrow. “I tried, I tried but I can’t.”

    The petrified boy’s thin shoulders heaved as he was overwhelmed with gentle cries of misery, so youth-like, so shamefully mortal.

    “I won’t be bad again; I’ll serve you well Monsieur. I won’t be bad again” he wept, his head shaking to and fro. Fabien’s other hand rose in desperation, and the traitorous fingers sought to latch onto the vampire’s forearm.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:27 pm

    Tariq’s wings had steadily risen in trembling fingers and softly whispering membrane as the razor point of the glass neared the tight cords of the boy’s thin throat. The thick black of his eyes was like the dark water of a scrying pool – a useful tool for divining the future if either of them had any doubt of what was going to happen next.  

    The warm breath trapped in his chest escaped as a hiss as the skin broke and the boy crumbled in his hands. Gently, he patted the boy’s trembling fingers where they frantically grasped his arm.

    “Hush, Fabien. Hush.” His breath thrummed warmly at the back of his throat, the words soft and soothing. “I know you will.” He shifted to hold the back of the boy’s head in his palm. His tongue was warm as it hungrily licked the saltless tears from his cheeks.

    “But an oath is an oath.” His hand tightened over the boy’s fingers, lending them his easy strength. “And your miserable veins are crying for release from your thoughtless vow.” The palm that cradled the back of his skull hardened to hold him in place. Slowly, easily, he lifted the omen’s hand, the reflective shard clasped tightly between their fingers, and drew it swiftly across the skin. Together, they cut a ring around his neck, a necklace of blood leaving a stain like the kiss of the headsman’s axe.

    It was a shame the vampire could not see how terror widened the boy’s luminous eyes or how the blood tumbled like wet garnets over his shivering chest.

    He dropped the shard to the floor, thoughtlessly crunching it underfoot. When he moved forward he left a smeared black print that eerily resembled a clawed hand. His gentle mouth found his throat, his kisses soft and hungry and slow. A dark thrum of crooning pleasure vibrated deep in his chest. However, the blood loss was inevitable and potent and it wasn’t until he could feel the omen’s bones swooning under his own weight that he lifted his head.

    Easily, gently, he gathered the battered and bloodied boy in his arms. He was laid to rest on the freshly made bed as though he were a quietly sobbing corpse. The biting glass embedded in the vampire’s hands was like a thorn in the lion’s paw and for several seconds it occupied his attention as he idly scraped the shards out with clever claws. The wound at his stomach was still ugly, black and raw, but the pain had clearly dried with the blood. There was no stiffness in his movements as he bent over the omen.

    “I do not understand—“ he said quietly, nuzzling into the crook of the boy’s shoulder, stained and streaked with blood and bruises. “Your insistence on being broken between my hands when I offer you the path of least resistance.” His breath licked the soft point of a single ear. “But I am satisfied to oblige you time and again, beloved.”

    His voice sank quietly into the silent room, lost to the boy’s softly straining breath.  Their shadowy reflections were distorted a thousand times in the beads of blood and jagged glass strewn over the floor as though in the wake of a storm.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Fabien on Mon May 04, 2015 9:31 am

    Not a single cry of pain had escaped Fabien's lips from the moment the mirror glass slipped with such ease across his quivering throat. The reflective fragment had stolen his voice, and the cool bite of its sharp’s edge was met with a moment of perfect stillness in everything but the crazed pulse of his heart.

    Nor had the erratic glow of the youth’s vibrant eyes departed from the dark intensity of the vampire’s, but now instead remained wide and blank with shock. Fear had numbed him entirely. He did not know how deep the wound sank, or how fatal such an incision might be. Throat wounds were so profoundly associated with death in his mind, that there was finality in this gesture. His imagination could conjure no greater injury.

    When sensation returned to his dulled nerve, he could feel only the warmth of his own blood slipping over his skin, and confident press of the vampire’s mouth, his breath. And his ears, still heavy with the piercing ringing and crackle of the broken mirror glass, though thankfully its agonised wailing had reduced to an unhappy whimper.

    Still, the caress of his master’s lips caused the boy’s vision to waver, and his limbs were near unstrung entirely. It seemed almost as if he had willed himself into it, as a form of escape. For certainly something like serenity, or perhaps even enjoyment, had coloured his skin for a moment.

    He slipped with almost weightless ease into the bat’s arms, the dull point star-tipped tail brushing lifelessly against the vampire’s thigh. But one arm had life enough left in it to rise meekly, and the fingers stretched with some necessity. They eventually curled weakly into to depths of the lengthy fur at the bat’s manned neck, where they remained caught in a tangled grasp.

    “I’m... Monsieur, I’m...” he whispered against the vampire’s dark cheek, his voice heavy with uncertainty. The quiet youthfulness indicating his lack of comphrension of what danger he was in, of whether he was dying. The splinters of his pupils dared not lower, fearful of what they might see. Perhaps it was a blessing, for already the boy’s blood had already begun to ruin the crisply pristine sheets in dark, angry blotches.

    “I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” His breath quivered as though he had been robbed of all heat, and the trembling that lightly afflicted him certainly confirmed it. Slowly, the youth’s grip tightened, like a Sheppard boy clinging tenderly to the injured wolf he had so carelessly just antagonised.

    “Pas plus de résistance,” the omen rasped softly, his eyes heavy with exhaustion.
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    Re: Act VII -- There is death in the bones like a pure sound

    Post  Tariq on Sun May 17, 2015 2:18 pm

    Tariq did not force the boy’s terrified fists away from their determined clasp at the thick fur of his neck. He remained at his side, hovering over his prone figure like a faithful hound over its wounded master. Blood darkened the bed as a distorted shadow beneath the quivering omen. The air flushed red with the scent of it.

    A press of his lips that tasted like iron stained the boy’s mouth. “No more.” It was an order, although tenderly given. The tips of his fingers brushed softly across the wreckage of his slender throat, surreptitiously checking the flutter of his weak pulse before loosely tangling in the wild mats of his hair. The vampire’s ruined eyes were half-closed, a sharp crescent of liquid black all that could be seen. He had long abandoned the pretense of sight for his preoccupied audience.

    Gently, slowly, as to not dislodge the boy’s grasp on his fur, the bat settled next to him, his heavy wings crumpling at his side. He tangled their limbs close as though to help regain his lost warmth, his body flushed with heat and smelling faintly metallic. An outstretched wing shielded the violence done on the boy’s bare torso like the dark lid of a coffin. His wolfish snout nuzzled into the crook of his shoulder, smearing the slick blood that dappled his throat in shadow.

    The bat placed his palm over the boy’s shivering eyelids as though willing them closed. “Sleep, Fabien.” His voice was still husky and warmed with blood. “And I will be sure you wake again.” It was a crooned promise, whispered deep into the scarred skin.

    Outside, the rain had started once more, tapping against the glass windowpane with bony fingertips. The silver moonlight was growing brittle and thin as the moon disappeared beneath the horizon in preparation for the inevitability of dawn. Morning would break overcast, the warm ochre of the sunrise hidden beneath the gloom of grey clouds and grumbling rain.

    Inside, the vampire and the boy trembling softly against his chest would have a few hours of reprieve from the sun in the thick shadow beneath his heavy wings. The bat shifted against the cool body in his arms and breathed something too soft to be heard, even if the boy was still conscious enough to have understood it.

    They slept, the bat’s dreamless slumber as empty as the glass shards that found no reflection to show him and the omen’s bloodied hands still feverishly clasping him close.

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