Author's Note: rape trigger warning
Misery and blood lust.
I could sense these emotions all around me. This was usually how it was on hunting nights when the newborn vampires went out to find prey. Most of them did not stray far from the hovel we all shared as a home. This inability to wander was a result of their insatiable frenzy for human blood. None of the ten I had created myself were able to rein in their desires long enough to travel far for a feast. In the distance, I could hear faint screams devolving into blood drenched gurgles. When that ceased, only the sounds of vampires feeding remained.
This was my immortal life, creating vampires and training them to be soldiers. Those who did not meet the standards of my companion Maria were only allowed to live a year. As I stared up at the full moon, I knew their reckoning was fast approaching. This would be their last hunt before Maria decided which of them would stay alongside us and which would have their body parts dismantled and burned. Rarely did a newborn meet the standards of my mate and become part of our leadership. Maria disliked sharing power and I had been one of only a few in an extremely long while to live beyond my first year. When my companion changed me during the midst of the American Civil War, she had two other females in her coven. After they departed to form their own armies, I was the only one who remained. I didn't dare leave when the others had. Maria was all I knew when it came to vampire life and I feared enduring it without her.
When it was only the two of us, I moved up in the ranks to be her equal. But in truth, it was Maria who had final say in who stayed and who was not fit to join our coven. Only once had I questioned her decision when I tried to convince her in keeping a newborn. It had been a few decades before in 1949, but Maria had seen no interest in my protégé Alice. The night I had taken Alice's second life was one that continued to haunt me, but it did not deter me from my mission. It was all I knew. Even if destroying newborns was not a job I relished, it had to be carried out nonetheless.
I turned my eyes away from gazing up at the night sky and began to walk off into the surrounding area. My thoughts were muddled by the past and Alice. I had to herd in the newborns before any of them did something foolish … something that might indicate there was a small coven of vampires living nearby. As I moved along my keen hearing picked up the sound of a struggle. I might have continued on my path, leaving the vampire alone with their prey, but my ability to sense the emotions of others indicated to me that the newborn in question was someone I knew to be trouble.
Over the past few months I had noticed his disgusting habit of bringing human victims back to sexually violate before killing them. I may have been a loathsome creature myself, but there were some things that I detested. As a vampire I had no choice, but to steal the lives of humans. This was how nature, no matter how unnatural I was, dictated things. The weaker must be destroyed to provide sustenance for the stronger. But taking anything else from these humans before their death … well, that was not a requirement. Sex was something I could get from Maria or any other vampire in our coven if I so wished. It was consensual … always. I could hardly believe that any of James human victims of sexual advances were ever willing. Until now I had remained complacent in the matter as it was Maria's wish for me to leave James alone. She explained that the victim was just a human after all. What did it matter if James had a little fun before draining its life?
I did as my companion wished. She was my superior after all, having been the one to turn me immortal. But at that moment, when I felt the fear of the female permeate my body, it was as if something awakened inside me. I felt pity for the girl, and it was then that I made a conscious choice to disobey Maria. This had to be stopped.
I approached the scene with utter disgust filling my dead heart, wishing I had the ability to shake off the depraved desires of this newborn. Damn my ability to read emotions. It was useful in keeping a tiny army in line, but at times I wished I could turn it off … especially around James. He was the worst of any vampire I had ever come across and it bothered me that Maria seemed to favor him.
"Leave her alone!" my voice boomed.
James had a dark haired girl, who looked no older than seventeen, pressed sharply against a tree, his body keeping her there in a standing position. He had already begun the loathsome act of forcing himself upon her, and when his face turned to look at me, blood dripping from his mouth, I was not able to control my rage. In the matter of seconds, I pushed James away from the girl in a swift movement. He may have been stronger than me, but I was not lost in a moment of my own depravity. The newborn had never seen it coming. Unfortunately, I had punched a wound through his side that would take time to heal, leaving him unable to battle for a few days.
I knelt down to look at his twitching form, wondering just exactly how I would hide this from Maria. James had always been a favorite of hers. He fought well and contained no conscience as could as proved by his disgusting pastime. It may have been what I loathed most about him, but it made him a good killing machine. He was still alive, so to speak, and staring at me wide eyed. James never expected me to be his attacker; we were on the same team. I could see the vampire trying to stand and before long I knew he would run off to Maria to report my violence against him. I had no choice, but to let him go … an injured James was better than a dead one. I was certain that if I continued to fight him he would cease to be and this was not an option.
Just then a sound indicated to me that there was still another piece to this mess that had to be taken care of. His victim sat slumped on the ground. A wound along her neck was mushrooming blood. James had made a mess of the girl. I would have to find it in me to end her misery. Her life couldn't be saved, but I could take away whatever pain she had endured in her last moments.
The girl's vital fluid was leaving her body fast and I could hear the beat of her heart slowing. Her blood was everywhere, coloring her once white blouse in a deep shade of red and tinting her already dark brown hair even darker. Brown eyes stared wildly at me as I approached her. She couldn't move, which would make my task all the easier. All her blood was building a strong lust within me, but I wanted her to experience peace and not fear at the end of her life. "I'm sorry," I whispered to her as I readied my mouth to cover the gash in her neck.
I would drain her blood. She would be dead within minutes. Yet, as my lips formed over the wound, I thought I heard something. No, I felt an emotion from her. Slowly I pulled away to stare into the dark pools of her eyes. Then I felt it again. The girl was trying to make me feel her desire … her desire to live. It was then that I made a choice, one that I knew Maria would be unhappy with, but I could see no other way. I would change this girl and make her like me.