"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
Dracula could sense Anderson's sorrow as he fed Integral, encouraging her to suck the blood out his breast. The sensation was divine, the image of her lips suckling, as her body died was one that plagued his darkest fantasies. She was not conscious, her survival instinct acted above her pride after her mind blurred. He caressed her long hair, listening absently to the gunshots floors above. The soldiers would take care of the trash vampires but they would not find their employers yet, shadows concealed them. Integral gasped and finished, passing out completely. The spasms became more violent.
Dracula picked her up, carrying her to the first floor, passing through the soldiers firing at the surviving ghouls like they were ghosts. No one could see them. He walked through the right corridor and chose the last apartment to enter. The chairs and contents of the room were on the floor, as if the occupants had exited in a rush and had bumped them over on their way. Heading to the suite, he carefully placed her on the mattress, holding her firmly during the transformation. A wide smirk was ever present on his features.
Why did you do this? Anderson asked, breaking the privacy of the moment, but Dracula could tell he would not harm Integral and was concerned about her outcome. You never answered me what possessed you to do this to me.
"Because I am monster?"
You have been always been a monster.
"Since you are so curious and helpless, Judas Priest," Dracula stated maliciously, liking to remark his defeat. "It was out of need."
"Surprising, isn't it? But I thought you, an expert vampire hunter would realize that all the targets you have slain were young vampires, two centuries years old at most. Where were the old ones? Hiding? Some were smart enough to keep a low profile and some others… didn't have a choice," Dracula explained, feeling the tension in Anderson's soul while he absorbed this information. "When a vampire ages, the power increases but unfortunately, our bodies cannot hold the might, we grow more fragile, sluggish, chaotic until we… fade… decompose."
She… the first vampire. Millennium's prisoner.
Dracula nodded, the image of the most powerful, the Eve, the Lilitu, the First, whose body was in ruin, trapped on her own slumbering chaos came to his mind. "The ultimate example of what happens to the oldest."
You aren't even six centuries old, Anderson remarked, Dracula was aware he had an idea why he had chosen him.
"But my power was increased by the Hellsing bloodline, surpassing the elder of my kind. I felt the effects three decades ago. I was not able to remain awake to Arthur's concern. And I slept, I waste myself for twenty years until Integral stirred me with her delicious blood," Dracula elaborated, leaning to gave a friendly lap to the trail of blood on the corner of her mouth. "I understood I would have to employ a new body, a new shell before it happened again. And that became more urgent when…"
You were released, full power… Anderson finished for him. There was a silence between both men. Had he figured it out? You tested me to see the limit of my body, my regeneration…
"Very good, Judas. A common human turned to vampire would resist first but fade within time but an undead Regenerator would have none of those problems. The Adam of a new improved bloodline," Dracula gloated, "Integral is the Eve, the first of the improved vampires. This is truly eternal damnation and I am the Devil."
"For our sins?"
Dracula diverted his attention to Integral now; she was wide-awake, her red eyes looked at him with an unreadable expression. He was expecting her to rage at him, to maul and to bite off whatever was at the reach of her mouth. But she was too calm, too collected. Integral must be plotting something, he was certain.
"You two brought themselves that fall," Dracula said solemnly. "Self-righteous and blinded to the passions that drove you to this end."
"Anderson is close to me," Integral snorted, licking her right canine to clean it off blood. He craved to touch her, to feel a woman close to his body again, it had been so long. "That's what you said, I understand now." She traced the scar on his cheek. "That is his body."
"The men you marry, Integral. Shall we consummate our union now?" Dracula growled, lips brushing her ear, wanting to mark her beyond a signature. "Judas Priest is eager too," he added to Anderson's anger.
"I am fallen," Integral admitted, jerking her head from his mouth, rolling out his grasp. "However, it doesn't mean I don't intend to improve my situation," she sat straight on the bed. "Or yours…"
"What do you mean?" Dracula lifted a brow, petulant. She moved with feline grace, crawling to his side, pulling him to the bed and pinning him beneath her weight. He allowed her, basking in her dominance. "Well this is an improvement," he agreed, feeling her body straddling his hips, his hands posed on her waist.
Bending down, Integral smirked widely. "We agreed to do nothing of this sort until we have a Church marriage…" she reminded him, sweeping his hands off of her waist.
Yes, we did, Anderson's voice resounded in the corner of his mind.
Shut up, Judas Priest, you will not act as the angel on my shoulder, Dracula snapped at him. "We can do that now, if you don't mind burning a bit from the holiness."
"Oh no," Integral shook her head sadly, her sorrow was fake and unapologetic. "We are fallen beings. How we can join in the eyes of God?"
"What do you propose then?" Dracula asked, warily, feeling her rubbing herself over his groin. He restrained himself, just in case this was a ploy of some nature.
"The seven capital sins brought our damnation, only the seven virtues shall purify us," Integral suggested, lips curling up in a triumphal smile. One he did not like at all, no matter how attractive she looked when displaying that. "Starting with chastity." Dracula grimaced, he never learned from his own mistakes it seemed.
Even the Devil failed due to his pride in what he deemed an impending victory, Dracula!
Author's Notes: I want to thank to all the reviewers for the feedback (and those who voted for me in fictionhaven should know this story won the first place in May Challenge). Special thanks to Dreadnot (my editor) and Lyanna Kane (for her information about Romania). The Bannerworth bloodline belongs to "Varney the Vampyre or The Feast of Blood" by James Malcolm Ryder, a work previous to Stoker's "Dracula." Comments, criticism, any type of feedback is appreciated.