pain of ice-cold fangs sinking into her flesh released a cry from her throat.
The moment the creature pierced the skin above the pulse of her neck, the
tension that held her body stiffly up was relieved, and her limbs gave way.
arms broke her fall, and she dimly realized that she was being held again a
cool silk-covered chest. She was lifted up and then she was floating with the
creature in the air, and they soared into the thick pregnant blanket of the
ran and ran. Blindly she stumbled through the darkness, the past hour screaming
in her mind. How could he have done this horrible thing? She trusted him with
all her life. She gave him everything she could give until she was dry.
streaked her cheeks as the wind blew them into burning paths on her face. She
had come home from work so weary she only wished for her warm sheets to envelop
her. She expected to see her sisters watching an old movie curled up on the
couch, a huge bowl of popcorn squeezed between them. She had expected to see
the messy kitchen and hear one of the lazy bums yell that she would take care
of it. She had expected to trip over some inane material that one of the
residents of the house left by the hallway.
she never expected to stumble upon the greatest betrayal of her life.
please let me explain?"
wildly shrugged off his hand on her shoulder. "What the hell more do you
want?!" she screamed. All she wanted was for him to go away. "Just leave me
alone. Don't you see you've hurt me enough?"
can see that you're hurting. And I just want it to go away. So listen to me!"
he called after her.
stay away from me and it'll be fine. I don't want to see your face again!"
need space. Let's talk tomorrow morning when everything's calmed down."
She whirled around to face him. "I gave my entire life to you and this is what
I get. I'm not a freaking idiot to give you the chance to kill me like this
there regret shining in his eyes? Of course he should regret it. This was his
loss. "It was nothing," he begun.
get nothing more from me!" Her legs carried her forward. Deep inside she prayed
that he would not follow. Maybe he would return to heaven with his paramour.
How long it had been going on behind her back she did not care. She really
didn't. Please. She didn't care. No. She did Inot/I care. She'd
never care again.
floated in euphoria. That was her first conscious thought the moment she came
to. There was a minor sting at the vicinity of her neck, and even that vanished
within a few seconds of waking up. She looked down at her hand and was
surprised to see how white her skin was, how smooth. In fact, she discovered as
she glanced down her body, her entire skin was white and flawless.
in her brain made her smile as the cool breeze tickled her. She was naked,
floating in the air like a wisp of ecstasy. She allowed herself to lie limply.
The creature below, standing on earth as he was, was pleased by the actions of
his charge. She hung there, her legs and arms limply falling away from her
figure, her soft hair fell in careless abandon in the air. He knew that she was
staring at the black, black sky.
were made for this."
was," came the faint response.
you enjoy it?"
feel nothing. I am grateful."
allowed her to stay afloat and relish her new existence for several more hours.
She basked in the darkness and let the energy of the night flow through her
body. And then when he determined that she had enough he called out to her.
"Come to me." And she did. Slowly she touched the ground and approached her
master with such grace and poise that seeing her form approach gave him
satisfaction. "You are perfect," he told her, to which she bowed her head and
murmured her thanks. He tipped her chin up to meet his eyes. "Look me in the
eye when I speak to you, my love."
not worthy of you yet."
are because I say you are. We are mates now, you and I." He ran his fingers
down her cheek and was pleased at her shy smile. He looked down at her, and
took off his robe to cover her with it. "You are mine now." She nodded. "Then
kiss me and seal the vow, Piper." They did not break their gaze as his lips
touched hers. They were looking at each other when his mouth opened and the
kiss deepened to the point of ravishment.
head lifted, and her bruised lips and shining eyes delighted him. "I will
reward you," he told her, and she brightened. Very eagerly, her hands clasped
his neck and brought him closer to her level. She rose at the tip of her toes
and gently at first, then hungrily later, she bit into his neck and drank from
him. She let out an excited squeal when he took her wrist and bit at her pulse.
Together, simultaneously, they drank from each other.
crouched in the darkness, waiting for the familiar scent to surge through her
nostrils, to awaken cells in her body almost dead with boredom. This was an
assignment she had to complete now. Damien told her that she cannot fully be
converted without finishing off these little complications.
clean slate, my love. You need to kill them all. They will make you weak."
who are they really, Damien? Is it not pointless to suck them dry when I don't
brushed the hair away from her face. Her lips were just so inviting. He slowly
bent towards her and licked the moisture off. He tasted the metallic tang of
his own blood still there. Thrilled, he took her lips more fully and gently
nibbled on the sides, taking in each and every of his essences on her.
"You'll remember some. Not enough that you would back out. You need to do
this for us, Piper. So we can fully be one." When she seemed unsure, he
offered his wrist to her. "I know you want to, Piper." She did not
move. Grinning, he slit his wrist and ran his tongue over the wound. Blood at
the tip of his tongue, he teased her trembling lips. "Can you resist the
fresh taste of blood? This is your life now." And she closed her eyes and
took his hand, suckling from him.
she finished, she looked at him with baleful eyes. Tenderly, he wiped at the
corners of her mouth for the excess blood. "Don't you ever do that to me
again!" she gasped out.
I suggest, Piper, that you not deny your destiny. Ever."
so tonight here she was. Much as she hated the way he controlled her, she was
in this, with no turning back. She had asked for this conversion, and she had
to learn to live with the consequences.
she went. The woman that Damien had pointed to earlier settled into bed, and
soon was drifting off to sleep. Very quietly, she stepped into the room from
the window and approached the silent human. She settled in beside her, and the
living creature let out a soft moan before turning onto her back. Piper sucked
in her breath. The woman did not hurt her at all, yet here she was to kill her
in her sleep.
leaned to sink her fangs into the white neck, the way Damien did with her, only
this time she would not stop until the heart stops beating. Yet before she
could bite, a strong grasp on her arm pulls her away and hard onto the chest of
are you doing?" he demanded.
been looking for you for days! Can't you even think about your sisters?"
don't know what you're going on about. Now leave me be." Leo glanced back
at Phoebe, who was resting after an exhausting day of searching for clues on
Piper's whereabouts. He pulled Piper with him to the hall.
he glanced back at her under the light of the fluorescent bulbs, he took a step
back. "Piper." The pale flawless skin, the red-speckled eyes, the
gleaming white fangs that peeked out from her lips, ripped his heart to shreds.
"What have you done to yourself?" Had his betrayal pushed her to
this? Instead of running away, he took her in his arms and held her, tightly
and warmly, not wanting to let go.
me go. I need to do this. Just let go and you'll not get hurt!"
Don't. Or else there's no turning back." His heart bled at his role in
shrugged him off madly. "There already is no turning back, you fool! Whoever
you think I am, I am her no longer."
you're my wife," he told her brokenly.
dead. Now let go before I hurt you. I did not come for you. Not this
time," she warned. She pushed away and walked towards the door, but once
more he caught her arm. "Don't think I can't get you off if I want to. I'm
exercising as much restraint as I can not to snap your neck right now."
pulled her close. "Do it."
what I've done, I'm already there."
She pulled him down, and he did not resist. She bared his neck to her, and she
could feel her mad heart thumping, the exhilaration rising, at the prospect of
feeding again. "Then you die."
turned to look into her eyes. "With all my heart, I'm sorry."
stared at him, moments passing by swift as sands in a broken hourglass. The
world spun around her, and their eyes locked, hers fearful, his hopeful.
"I adore you," she gasped out disbelievingly. "And, damn you, no
matter how much you hurt me, I can't stop loving you!!" Triumphant, his
hands caught her face, and he pressed his lips on hers. When he lifted them,
she looked like the same Piper who had been his since the beginning of time.
kissed her," he confessed, "and that was the biggest mistake of my life.
Every second I held her in my arms I burned because I knew how wrong it was.
She presented temptation and I wanted to drown myself in her. But that would
have killed me. And I choose life over that. I chose you."
too late!" She shook her head. "What's done is done. I've cursed
myself to this existence, Leo. Now just let me leave or kill me, before I kill
won't kill me. I know you can't."
can't. But I'm no longer me! Please... if you loved me at all..."
you love me at all," Leo cut in," you would let me help you."
not going to work! I can't-- I can't--"
is impossible," he injected. "Remember that. With love... and haven't
we got so much of that?"
become that creature again..."
I'll get you back. Trust me." Her hand intertwined with his firmly,
gripping him as a matter of survival. But more than that, her hand in his
became a symbol of faith.
the depths of her lungs her scream pierced her body through and ripped the
still night air. It was an intense, throbbing mixture of agony and pain. She
curled into herself, tightly as her hands balled into fists. Leo took the hands
firmly in his own and pressed them close to his chest. "Easy. Easy,
hurts!" she screamed.
stared down at the warm blood that oozed out of her palms, streaking down his
wrists in a cruel veiny path. "Relax, honey," he pleaded.
"You're hurting yourself!"
she sobbed. "It's inside me!"
is?" he asked, fearful at the panic in her eyes. "What is? Tell me so
I can help you."
inside me," she cried, her entire body trembling as she fought the evil
trying to free itself from inside her. "I'm not strong enough to contain
him. And he will get out, Leo. He will get out."
strong. No matter how powerful he is, you will control him. He can't control
she became as powerful as he said, yet in a different sense. She snatched her
arms away and grabbed his lapels. "I need him," she said harshly.
"I need Damien."
don't need him. Look at me, Piper. I'm your husband. All you need is to lean on
me, and we'll get over this. Trust me."
bounded out of the bed and faced him, flaring up. "Don't you see that
you're the cause of all this?! You drove your wife to this. And it's too
he replied quietly. "It won't be too late until I'm dead."
who seemed no longer Piper, drew her arm back and slammed it hard onto his
cheek, and he fell on the floor, still. "We'll see about that."
loud smattering applause that beat into the quiet night hammered one thought
into her mind gone dull--she was in too deep, she was in too hot, she was
irreversibly converted. "Damn your soul to bloody everlasting hell,"
him, Damien's white teeth flashed with his smile. "You're a little too
late there, love. The soul I had was sent there long ago, and it's dancing on
top of burning coals."
was looking for you. Where were you?"
thought I'd let you nourish yourself without me to help this time."
needed to drink from you, Damien. Where were you?"
the problem? You got your own drink by yourself."
whirled around. In her fury she leapt from her place at the other side of the
alley, and landed on her feet right in front of him. "You were here all
along? Why did you not show yourself!?"
needed a little pushing, love. Now you're mine. Forever."
snatched her arm away and glared at Damien. A few yards away from them lay the
corpse of a cop she had found doing his nightly rounds. "An
innocent," she whispered.
fresh, isn't it?"
could not deny it. The taste of his blood was far sweeter than Damien's, and
the energy that pumped into her body after slaughtering him was heightened.
"I killed an innocent."
you will crave to kill more," he told her, but she shook her head in
denial. "There's no use running away from it, Piper. You wanted to forget,
didn't you? I gave you the only gift I could give." He ran his hand softly
over her cheek. "Come closer, love," he soothed. "Share some of
it with me." Paralyzed as she stared at him, she offered her still wet
lips to Damien. The vampire bent to take her lips, and started sucking the
remaining sweetness first from her lower lip, and then the upper. His tongue
plunged in to consume whatever taste remained inside her mouth.
while he partook of the blood, tears trickled down her from her eyes. She did
not move, merely allowed him to do what he must, what being her master gave him
leave to do. And then when at last he lifted his head to proudly tell her how
marvelous her first kill was, she turned around and walked away.
won't stop you," he called out. "Because I know you'll come home to
me. You can't run, Piper. I'm inside you. I am you!"
was so cold. The biting wind bit into her skin and wrapped around her bones
like a blanket of death. Crouched there at the corner of a forgotten alley, she
watched as the dark street was lit by passing vehicles, only to fall into
blackness once more when the car had driven past. She had killed a man, who had
done nothing but walk by, who had merely walked by to protect human lives. She,
in her hunger and evil, was possessed by the urge to sink her teeth into his
neck and draw his life out of him. And that she did. The cop lay lifeless
somewhere in the city. And his family, waiting up for him, would be informed in
several hours. Maybe by morning.
palpitating heart rose to her throat, and she could hear Damien's silent call.
"No," she whispered. "I will not come to you again." The
hair on her arms prickled as she felt his presence, yet she knew that at this
hour Damien would be off searching for his own victim.
had to hurry. Light would come soon. He needed to hide soon.
gazed up at the dark gray sky as she sat there, trembling.
He fell onto his knees before her. Slowly, her head raised from its shelter
between her knees, and she blearily looked up at him. "Let's go
home." She shook her head. "I'll take you back with me," he
offered. "You can't stay here. It's almost morning."
knew that it was. Her skin was beginning to crawl at the heat that was starting
to flavor the air. "I'll stay."
Piper," he said softly. "Until we figure out a way to resolve this,
we need to get you away from the sun."
killed someone, Leo. I have to burn." Pain flickered in his gaze.
"You cannot save me now."
I can," he insisted.
know you can't."
can tell me that I can't. I will not let you die."
hand rose to touch his face. "It's too late to even try."
held her arms firmly. "Do you love me?" She nodded. "Then help
me help you."
didn't," he insisted. "He made you do it."
can you look me in the eye and tell me that? You should go away. I murdered an
innocent. If you care for who you are at all, you should either turn me in to
the ones who can kill me or walk away and leave me to my fate!"
staying, Piper! I'm staying because of who I am! Who I am is you."
Damien. Both of them claiming to be her. Yet what now of her own identity? Had
her essence been wasked away by these two men? "No, Leo. You only love me.
But you're not me."
you love me?"
sun started to rise, and she hissed in pain. "If you value who I am you
would not take me away when I choose to stay here."
fixed his gaze on her and said, "All right." And then he covered her
entire form with his body, shaded her from the light, and stayed there, still,
unmoving. The day lulled her into the sleep of the dead, and still Leo did not
move. The sun would not kiss her skin. Not as long as he was there to shade
woke to find herself suffocated and limp. She tried to move, and when her full
consciousness returned she realized what had happened. Tentatively she moved
away, and he woke up. "You are insane," she murmured. He merely
he tried to sit up, he groaned. His muscles were stiff. "Serves you right
for being a madman," Piper muttered. Instead of leaving, she took his
shoulders in her arms and pressed heavily with her fingers, massaging him.
hungry, aren't you?" he whispered.
need... I know what you need. And..."
won't do that to you, Leo. No matter what monster I become, I will never hurt
you," she told him.
there's a way--"
will find it," she finished for him.
wind around them blew ice cold. The sound of footsteps rang on the cemented
ground. Leo looked up. A heavily cloaked man appeared from the foggy mist.
"You've found a victim this early in the night?"
am not killing anyone," Piper responded. "Get out of here, Leo."
won't leave you."
teeth once more gleamed in the moonlight. "Oh is this the man?" He
regarded Leo with his blood red eyes. "Trying to take you back? Haven't
you told him your accomplishment yet?"
listen to him," Piper whispered.
you told him of your kill?" Leo's arms tightened around Piper. "Of
the way I taste? Of how your fulfillment with me is far far more than that you
feel with him?"
how you took me inside you and found out that your soul cries out for me, has
been crying out for centuries?!"
making all this up!"
how all your lifetimes your soul sought to find a mate, yet never found it
because I'm a living dead!?"
all this time settled for him because he's there and I am not!?"
I?" Piper stumbled backwards, away from Leo, away from Damien, feeling the
coldness seeping inside her. "Deny it all you want, Piper. You know it as
well as I. You realized it when you lay in my arms this past week. He hurt you.
I never have. You searched for me for thousands of years. Do you think you can
easily turn your back on your true mate?"
eyes darted from Damien to Leo, and then back. "Piper." Leo whispered
her name. Only that. One single word, and she knew what she needed to do. She
had her choice.
home, Leo. Now!"
stepped towards Damien. His white arm raised, his palm up, prepared to receive
her hand. Slowly she felt herself change. Her skin started to glisten, and she
felt the itch of her gums as her fangs grew.
he said once more. She met his eyes, and he stepped back. There was no more
recognition in her gaze. It was dead. Had eyes been windows to a soul, then he
was assured that Piper was no longer in that body. This, the woman standing
before him, was now nothing more than an empty shell. He would find her again.
me hunting, Damien," he heard her say. And the two together vanished from
he commanded. Piper looked at the creature he held. Damien's fingers sank in
the woman's hair. Already, her neck was marked by Damien's bite. She must be so
afraid now. Piper looked into her eyes. Fear. Pain. Always they looked like
that. It was beginning to bore her really.
took the woman by the shoulders and pulled the trembling body against her. With
a grin she sank her fangs into the soft neck and gently sipped at first. The
hot rush of the blood in her mouth and down her throat made her greedy, and she
sucked hard. "She's all out!" she gleefully announced.
laughed. "Then we'll find another for my hungry angel," he assured
dropped the woman on the ground. Damien took her arm.
she did next was her immortality's greatest mistake. She looked back.
in the woman's eyes as she looked at her two killers was acceptance, and it was
different. However, it was replaced by something else. Piper's downfall.
dying eyes looking back at Piper were full of forgiveness.
almost morning, Piper. I'm sorry. There's no time to make another kill. How
about we just double our next night?"
did not speak. The sky was beginning to light up. Orange streaks started
veining, branching out. Damien pulled her hand to take her inside.
love, you're not. This is the way of the world. The weak makes way for the
strong. And since we are the strong we make the kill."
shook her head. "I was stronger once too. And I protected the weak."
the way the strong who know nothing work. Like your husband. I felt his powers
humming around him, Piper. But did he fight me for you? No. It is his choice to
stay quiet, to remain passive. That is not the way to be."
prefers love, not hate. He would not hurt anyone."
is where you're wrong." Damien bent for a kiss, and she turned her face
away. "Didn't he hurt you when in your own room he took that woman's
tears trekked down her cheeks. The sun peeked through, and his hand clasped her
arm. She met his eyes and pulled away. And then the sun burst forth in the sky.
She shook her head and turned to face the sun. Piper stifled her scream as she
run towards it. And then she spun. Around and around.
saw red. In her sight the earth changed into blood redness.
first she danced under the sun.
hands claped and unclasped as he sat on the edge of the bed. He waited for
night to fall again. But it was only morning, and she must be hiding in some
basement with Damien. He wished that night would fall soon. He had a city to
search, a heart to tend to.
find you, Piper. I'll find you again."