Day Four: The Deep End
The next morning, I called in sick to work. I hadn't been able to sleep all night, as I had been haunted by visions and thoughts of The Master.
I knew I should have felt relieved that, despite the fact that my plans for exacting revenge had failed, I had at least gotten away with my life; but the prospect of never seeing him again was tormenting me. I felt deep guilt for being more concerned about The Master than about my son's death not being avenged, but I had no control over my spiraling emotions. At around 9 a.m., I finally fell into an uneasy sleep.
I was unceremoniously woken up a few hours later by the sound of my phone. It was Lafayette, who had called to check if I was still alive (he didn't say so, but we both knew it). Hearing his concerned voice made me break down and I tearfully told him everything that had happened over the past three nights. When I ended my tale, he stayed quiet for some long minutes, before saying resignedly:
"You're going back, aren't you?"
"I have to!" I sobbed. "Oh God, Lafayette; what is wrong with me?"
"For what it's worth, Sookie, I don't think he will kill you," he declared after a pause.
"What do you mean?"
"I can't fully explain it but, based on what you've told me, his behavior isn't consistent with that of a predator. He's had many opportunities to hurt you, and last night you gave him a reason to kill you; yet, he has not. Instead, he has pushed you away both times and, from the way I see it, he was protecting you. I don't think he wants to hurt you, and I don't think he really wants you to go away either. Whatever effect he has on you, I think you have the same on him."
"Am I a terrible person, Lafayette? How could I want somebody who is partly responsible for my son's death? And in these degrading conditions? What is wrong with me?" I choked.
"You're a flawed human being, Sookie, like the rest of us. You're allowed that. I don't know what to say about your attraction to the Vampire, really. It isn't wholesome, and it isn't healthy; but wholesome and healthy haven't been doing much for you these past few months. It's the first time I've seen you come out of your shell and be pro-active since I started treating you; and maybe you need to explore this. Maybe this is the closure you've been seeking."
I chewed on my lips as I shed the last of my tears and reflected on Lafayette's words.
"Thank you," I simply said.
"Sookie… please be careful," he pleaded in a thin voice.
"Goodbye, Lafayette," I replied, before putting the receiver down.
Lafayette and I both knew that, whatever happened tonight, we wouldn't be talking again. I took a deep breath and slowly drifted off to sleep. Now that I had taken the decision to return to Club O, I felt peaceful.
I woke up after dark and began my preparations. Contrary to my usual custom, I did not go into Finn's room: everything I would do tonight would be a betrayal of his memory, and I couldn't face my guilt. I took a long shower, then looked in my closet to select my outfit (since I was not expected there, I doubted I would find a costume waiting for me).
The Master liked red, so I selected a crimson silk and chiffon babydoll dress with a plunging halter neck. It was a rather naïve choice for Club O, but it was the best I had. I sat in front of my vanity table and carefully pinned my hair up, then slipped on ballet flats and a coat, and left.
I arrived at Club O at around midnight and, for the first time, I came in through the main entrance. As soon as I had entered the noisy and smoky bar, I dropped my coat in the cloakroom and made a beeline for the Red Door. I looked up at the bouncer who was barring the way and whispered the password I had used on the Casting Call night. After leering at me, he shifted to the side to allow me entrance. I discarded my shoes and stepped in.
Ignoring the stares of the Vampire patrons, I rushed towards the platform, but Sophie-Anne suddenly appeared in front of me, obstructing my passage as I was nearing my destination.
"What are you doing here?" she snarled with bared fangs. "You have been banned!"
She was about to drag me to God knows what stinking basement but halted in mid-motion. She turned her head slightly to the side, as if listening to something, then lowered her arm. Glaring at me nastily, she spat with a scowl:
"The Master demands your presence."
I didn't wait for her to escort me and closed the last few feet separating me from my heart's desire. When I parted the curtains, I found The Master seated on his throne, as usual. He was staring at me with an unreadable expression, yet I could swear he seemed… excited. As I carefully approached him, he looked as if he was holding his breath, which was absurd: Vampires do not breathe. I didn't stop until I was standing between his knees, then I raised my arms and linked them behind my neck. We exchanged a long look and he whispered:
"You came back."
I thought I detected something close to joy in his eyes, and I felt tears pool in my own. The Master circled my waist with his long arms and bent forwards to rest his forehead on my stomach. I was amazed by such an unexpected display of affection, and lowered my arms to run my fingers through his hair. It was silky, thick and smooth, and I lost myself in the sensation. I felt his hands reach up to untie the knot of my halter neck, then slither down to open the zipper of my dress. Soon, the garment was pooled at my feet and, since I had not bothered with underwear, I stood naked in front of him. He raked his eyes all over my body, his hands tracing the spots his eyes roamed over. I shivered when he flicked my nipples and thrust forward when he caressed the curve of my hips. His cold touch was rendering my body feverish with need, and I pulled his head to my breasts. I trembled as he sucked on a nipple, then the other, as his hands were cupping and stroking my ass.
He leaned back and, with one hand, he gestured to me to raise a leg and position my knee on his thigh. My new posture was giving him full access to my sex, and he slid his gloved hand over my hip and down to my inner thigh. I hissed when the glossy leather made contact with my wet lips, and he began teasing and probing with long fingers. I let out a low moan when his thumb found my clit, and swayed my hips as I impaled myself deeper on his fingers. I protested when he pulled out his digits but he hushed me and took hold of his whip, which he had placed over his lap. He gently brushed the leather handle against the skin of my inner thigh until it reached my sex, then coated the tip with my arousal. Once the extremity was slick with moisture, he rubbed it over my lips until my muscles relaxed.
Inch by inch, he buried the shaft inside me, until the last of the lubricated leather had disappeared between my thighs, and his closed fist was sealing my entrance. I moaned as he began a pumping motion, the woven leather creating delicious frictions against my walls. I leaned forward to stabilize myself on the armrest of his throne, as my leg started to give, and I cupped his cheek with my other hand. Our faces were only inches apart and I closed the distance to claim his lips in a passionate kiss. As he kept ravishing me with his whip, our lips and tongues were locked into a pagan trance.
I fiercely clutched his neck as I violently came, my cries of pleasure muffled by our kiss. I lay panting against him, until he slowly slid the handle out of my sex and took me in his arms for a tender embrace. I remained seated on his lap for a little while, my eyes closed, savoring the moment; then he wordlessly stood up, holding me in a princess hold, and carried me out of the club.
The cold air of the night hit me like a slap and I snuggled closer to The Master. He mounted his large Harley and positioned me so that I was straddling his lap, facing him. He covered my shoulders with a thick leather jacket and felt instantly warmer. He started the engine with a roar and we went off into the night at a breakneck speed. About 15 minutes later, he came to a halt in front of what looked like a factory. He swept me up and carried me into the building and down an industrial elevator until we reached a pitch-black sub-level. When he turned on the lights, I saw that we were in a large open-plan loft space, with untreated walls and concrete beams all through the floor. The place was filled with contemporary furniture and the color scheme seemed to be grey, silver and brown. Despite the relative austerity of his lair, I felt instantly comfortable.
He put me down on the huge fur throw that was covering his bed and lay on his side next to me. As he was leisurely caressing my body, I began undressing him. His vest was the first thing to go, then his cuffs and, after he had kicked off his boots, I pulled off his pants. I couldn't help the gasp of admiration that escaped my lisp as I took in his naked body for the first time: he was beautiful all over; his entire body sculpted and carved to Raphaelian perfection. I pushed him onto his back and straddled his hips before bending down and placing butterfly kisses all over his chest.
I noticed that he was still wearing his glove so I extended my arm to take his hand, but he abruptly recoiled from my touch. I looked at him in puzzlement and, after some hesitation, he lowered his hand to within my reach and allowed me to peel off the leather. What I saw when the glove was off shocked me: The Master was missing his index and middle finger, which had been severed at the base, and had started laboriously growing from the stumps. The only reason I hadn't noticed his impairment before was because his gloves had been outfitted with prosthetic phalanges. I looked up at him, but his face was expressionless.
"Dominus?" I whispered.
"The latest lesson from my Maker," he explained gravely.
"What was the point of that lesson, Dominus?" I inquired.
"There was no point. The lesson was simply that he could do to me as he wished."
"I am so sorry, Dominus," I said, cupping his cheek.
He laughed in a sinister fashion and spun me onto my back. Hovering above me, he roughly gripped my wrists and held my arms above my head.
"Do not be," he declared, "it was a valuable lesson; and one you will learn soon enough."
"What do you mean, Dominus?" I asked tersely.
He bent over and whispered into my ear:
"Why do you think I have brought you back to my lair? Why do I feel like I can trust you with my resting place? I have told you: I am no fool. Do you really think I will let you leave this place alive?"
My whole body froze at his words then I began struggling against his hold in a futile attempt to free myself. He leaned back and eyed me with a cold stare. Gone were the tenderness and warmth from earlier. When I gave up thrashing around, he spoke:
"Why the sudden revolt? I thought death meant nothing to you?" he taunted.
"Please," I wept. "I beg you, Dominus."
"I cannot let you leave," he stated flatly. "I almost lost you yesterday, when I foolishly released you, but I now know what you are."
Curiosity got the upper hand of my despair, and I couldn't resist asking between sobs:
"What am I?"
"You are the one meant to be my child," he replied.
I looked at him with wild eyes as he continued:
"I have often wondered what impulse drove me to spare you that night in the alley, why I even bothered to have you transported to a hospital; and then you came back to me, months later, and again I felt the impulse to leave you unhurt when I should have crushed you. After you left last night, I mulled over my inexplicable behavior, until I finally understood." He paused. "What I feel towards you is The Pull. I was not able to kill because, deep down, I knew I was meant to turn you."
"Please, Dominus, I don't want to become a Vampire," I pleaded.
"Oh, but you do," he declared in a low voice. "Nobody comes through the doors of Club O that does not seek death. You told me you were owed a life; well, yes you are indeed. But the life that must be taken isn't Longshadow's or mine, it is yours."
I violently shook my head in protest.
"That's not true! I sought vengeance, not death! I hate you so much..."
"Is that so?" he asked. "Then why did you come back and offer yourself to me? I had warned you your life would be forfeit, and yet you returned and laid your existence at my feet. Tell me, Sookie, when was the last time you felt as I make you feel? When was the last time you desired as you desire me? The truth is that you too feel The Pull, and you have responded to it by coming to me tonight."
His words were tearing me apart and yet, as hard as I fought, I could only see the truth in them. I had come back to him, driven by an unstoppable attraction, hoping for closure, for an end… for death. I had sought him because I couldn't ignore his lure, and I knew he would grant my deadly wish with a flourish. Death by Vampire: a sublime way to go. And now, he was offering me even more than I had hoped: an eternity at his side.
Could I really become what had killed my son? Could I haunt the shadows and come to enjoy it? Could I even be good at it?
All of my instincts screamed 'yes' to those three questions, and I conceded defeat: I had lost the battle of wills against The Master. He sensed my submission and let go of my wrists.
We quietly looked at each other for a long moment, then he shifted our bodies so that I was seated astride his lap. As he kissed me, I lost myself in his embrace, allowing my grief and hurt to flow within my soul until they were undistinguishable from the lust that was soaring through me. As his hands fondled my body, I felt his cock push into me and I groaned in pain as he stretched me to my limits. When he began to move, the pain was progressively replaced with thrilling pleasure, and I swung my hips to meet his thrusts.
As I was nearing my climax, our eyes met and he gave me one last meaningful look before sinking his fangs into my neck. I cried out in pleasure as he drew more and more of my blood. I felt myself growing weaker and my last conscious thought, before I blacked out, was of my son.
Forgive me Finn; I chose the shadows.