Graveyard

Shaken

By Wrath

I’d finally finished my work for the night. I’d cleaned shoes and saddles, cleaned up the stable, laid fresh hay for the horses and saw that they all had plenty of water. It had been two weeks since I found this job in London and I was happy to have found something that kept me from starvation and being beaten on a regular basis.

My life since my parents were murdered had been anything but easy. The sheltered, nurtured life of a would-be-King was a far cry from the hell I found the human world to be. My small size and weakness was a handicap for me, it made me an easy target for the human boys who were looking for fun. But now, well now I had something that at least kept me off the streets and fed.

One night as I was lying on my pallet in the hayloft, there was a low moaning noise coming from downstairs. I found it strange that one of the stable boys decided to take a maid down there since they would usually come up and kick me out of my pallet instead of staying down there. I rolled over, trying to get comfortable on my pallet as the moaning continued to grow more incessant. Laying there listening to the noise, it was unlike anything I’d ever heard. It wasn’t the usual sounds of pleasure, but more intense, like someone was in pain.

Quietly I rolled off my pallet and moved closer to the stairs to see if I could catch a glimpse of whatever was making the noise. With my impaired eyesight I could see little to nothing from my perch, however the moaning had become more clear and persistent so I called out, “Hello?”

The chorus of the summer’s night creatures returned my call, but nothing more. I decided to wait a bit and see if the moaning started again. Finally, just as I was about to give up I heard it again. Directly below me.

“Hello?” I called out again, my voice a bit unstable. Fear settled into me, like an icy blanket. This time I didn’t have to wait for a response.

“Wraaaaath…help.”

How does it know my name? Or better yet, what is it? “What do you want?” I called out tentatively, trying to decide if I should stay put or go down and investigate.

“Wraaaaath….sonnnnnn,” it whispered.

That icy blanket I’d felt a moment ago wrapped itself around my lungs and kept me from breathing, screaming or moving. That voice, now that it was closer was one that I’d never forget hearing. The screams, the yelling, the pleas…

Suddenly something wrapped around my wrist and started to pull me forward. It’s strength was beyond anything I could fight in my weakened form.

“No,” I cried as I tried to pull back. Closing my eyes not wanting to see what was there, I felt something will my eyes to open. And right there staring directly back at me was my father, bloodied, his throat slit and one of his arms hanging by a tendon. I tried to pull away, but the iron grip he had on me was too much for me. Tears began to stream down my face as I took in his features.

“Sonnnnn…”

I fought even harder to get free, when suddenly I felt something slam into my ribs.

“Wake up boy,” said the tall blonde stable boy standing above me. “Go find somewhere else to sleep, I need your pallet,” he said with a quick glance to his right, where a small maid was standing, giggling.

My heart was pounding in my chest. Was that just a dream? Everything felt so real, the coldness, hearing his voice, the fear. I’d had a lot of nightmares in the nights since my parents were murdered, but this one had felt so real that I was completely shaken.

“Did you hear me, boy?” the blonde said again.

Rolling off my pallet and rising to my feet, I realized I was shaken to my core. On unstable legs I made my way to the loft stairs, and listened for his moans. But all that greeted me was the sounds of crickets and frogs, happily singing.

I shook myself and climbed down the stairs, glancing around, just in case.

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The Guards

By Rehvenge

The king’s words were both ominous and prophetic. They woke me from the trance I seemed to be immersed in as the scene up there in the colony unfolded before my eyes. In the split seconds before the lights went out I felt everything…the breeze on my skin, the porch beneath my feet, the whip thin body of the bitch in my arms. The dopamine in my system had run its course. So when instinct had me turning to look behind myself and the struggling princess, my body actually stiffened in preparation of some unknown pain about to be delivered and received. But that did not matter. The moment my eyes caught the symphath’s proximity, I knew that I would not be able to escape what was to be my destiny. But whatever…I did come here to die after all.

The hilt of the symphath’s sword hit the top of my skull with an impact that should have registered on the Richter scale. Or at least that is what I likened it to in that flash of a moment. And there was, in fact, pain…wonderful, welcome, blissful, if-I-wasn’t-a-vampire-I’d-shit-myself pain. Unfortunately, there was no time to savor it, to embrace it with my now-dominant symphath side. Before one full second had past, it was lights out.

Consciousness greeted me sometime later. It came upon me like when you actually try to tune in an AM station on your Onkyo receiver. Nobody listens to that shit. And my brain didn’t want to listen to life yet either. The light pulsing behind my eyelids was…red? About the time I was identifying this primary color, the perfect storm of senses hit. I was definitely seeing red. The smell I was picking up was earthy…clean and damp. There was a nauseating burning pain in both my skull and my shoulders. And there was a whispering. Not voices, but a low dry rustle. I lifted the heaviest of lids…blinked a few feeble times…and then focused.

Blood-red candlelight illuminated a cave with earthen walls covered in a smooth flowing liquid. Squinting for a moment in hazy disbelief…then flaring my eyes wide. It was no liquid that I was seeing coating the walls, but thousands upon thousands of tiny dark undulating bodies! I took a quick shuddering breath, my amethyst eyes darting down to take stock of my body. Thankfully, I did not see those horrific masses on my completely bared skin. I glanced up quickly to see why it was my feet hovered above the crawling spiders and scorpions. Chains snaked down from overhead, suspending me by bars that were inserted into my torso underneath my shoulders. Hence the screaming fiery pain I was feeling there. This was to be my prison…where it would all end? And these vermin were to be my guard? I glanced again at the walls and floor that were shimmering and rolling along…feeling a flicker of panic shake hands with the pain.

I closed my eyes again, using the symphath in me to feel around, seeking others of my kind. But I was met with a solid wall of static. My tiny yet innumerous prison wards had formed a barrier between me and, well, anything or anyone else. A seething anger gripped my gut and I reached a hand to pull at the mechanism going through the opposite shoulder. My muscles bulged and my body began to tremble with the pain as I yanked with all my limited strength…to no avail. The chains rattled as I flopped back into my hanging slack position. It was then my uncle, the symphath king, decided to grace me with his deplorable and horrific presence. His visit was brief but his words would have the longevity of lifetime. I was a half-breed, a blight on the symphath heritage. And he had loathed his brother, my father whom I had slain. Add those things to the fact that I had been blackmailed into fucking the princess for the last quarter century and you would find me in one helluva lose/lose situation. I wasn’t getting out of here. His abrupt departure was quite indicative in itself. As was the last flickering moment of candlelight before there was darkness.

I grew a little unhinged then, despite the pain which was truly clamoring for attention. The uninterrupted darkness was maddening enough. But the knowledge that the cave was covered in blankets of venomous creepy crawling shit in addition to the utter blackness was so very not good. Not. Good. The chains that suspended me gave a little shiver then. I barely noticed it at first. But the trembling began to grow and I felt my stomach clench and my breath catch. Oh hell NO! I could not see them come for me…but I could damn sure feel them. The first few spiders to reach me caused me to jerk in shock. It was the tiniest of tickles on my shoulders followed by what felt like a faint breeze ruffling my Mohawk. But it was no breeze.

The barrage of spiders, scorpions, and who knows what else began to race across every inch of my flesh. My hands flicked and snatched at them as quick as I could, knocking them from my skin. My efforts were entirely and ridiculously futile. Their tiny legs scrabbled over the sensitive skin of my sides and stomach. They rolled down my thighs to my toes and spread across my arms to the very tips of my fingers. But when they launched upward over my neck and scurried up to my face, true panic set in. They teased at my nose, my ears. I wanted to bellow in rage and yes, even fright, but could not for fear of swallowing them. So I pressed my lips tightly together and squelched a low damn near petrified moan.

For long moments I held my breath, sending out frantic attempts to probe at the thousands upon thousands of tiny minds. But eventually, self-preservation won over panic. I took a slight shallow breath through my nose…and was not invaded there. My breaths were choppy then, so focused on the multitude of head to toe vermin, but at least I had air. I tried to calm by focusing on something, anything to keep from be overwhelmed in the panic raking its talons over my senses. What my mind latched on to was enough to make me climb out of my skin, which would not be so bad right now. I thought of those billions of tiny legs, how it seemed I could feel the most miniscule hairs on them. I felt how the scorpions’ legs were thicker and harder than those of the spider. They seemed like little fingernails scratching at my flesh. Another shudder ran through the length of my body causing the chains to rattle and the bar to tear at the flesh of my shoulders.

It seemed like hours had passed when reality would have revealed only a few minutes of time. I was totally encompassed in a cocoon of hellish little creatures. After the initial panic had paid its dues, my mind turned to my fate. I had come to here to die. But no normal mind was even capable of dreaming up an end like this. To be bitten and stung to death? I paused in my barely sane reflections. But wait! Though the scrabbling and scrambling of my thousands of guards over my flesh was maddening, I had yet to feel one pinch of a bite nor the burn and possibly deadly sting of a scorpion. Why? Surely I was not reaching them with my thoughts when all I met with was hazy static. I waited for it, going still. My ratcheting shallow breaths were annoyingly audible over the din of the tiny flutters and clicks of my roomies. Nothing. I sagged a bit in hopeful relief. So perhaps it would not be a painful horrifying death. But then again, would that be better than losing my already beleaguered mind to the feel of the masses swarming over me for what was most assuredly to be endless days, weeks, hell…YEARS?

The first day was given to obvious panic and mind-numbing repetitive questions. After a few days, I stopped reflexively brushing at my new skin of live vermin. They were not leaving me. They were weighing me down, the metal going through my flesh tearing more as they formed new layers over my skin. The pain there had gone from terrible and sharp to a numb burning. My mind had left me several times, so I thought, only to arrive back and place me in abject misery. By the end of that first week I could actually say I grew used to my thousands of prison guards. But not in the way you may think. It was more of a coming to terms…the knowing that this was my new skin. A terrifying, horrific new skin.

Somewhere between what was probably between two and three weeks of hanging in that cursed cave, I simply shut down. I was going nowhere. Though I may not die by a body riddled and polluted by mass quantities of venom, I would no less than rot here. I wanted to. There was nothing to keep me going. Bella thought me dead as I wanted her to believe. Xhex, Trez, iAm…they all knew that my wish was to be here…to die here. And Ehlena was nothing more than a beautiful, heart-wrenching dream. I had thought of her often during my lucid moments…and even in my dreams when I slipped into uneasy oblivion. She was…gloriously free. And I was dead. I wondered vaguely what hell would be like. This seemed like it to me. But knowing what I had done with my life, the lives that I had taken, I knew it would get worse. There would be no Fade for me. My last conscious thought was of Ehlena’s luminous eyes staring up at me with pleasure and somehow…the ultimate gift…love.

Until I heard her voice…

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My First Prank

By Vishous

In the Bloodletter’s camp there is a cave with ancient markings on the wall. Images of bison and horses and palm prints and single haunting eyes line the walls. The Bloodletter likes to keep the soldiers of the camp on edge so he convinced them the cave is haunted by the spirits of the animals. No one goes near the cave. While I was a pre-trans in camp a place I could be alone and have a few minutes of peace was highly coveted. I went to the cave to read the diary that was left behind by Darius. In camp, reading was considered a waste of time. I knew if the Bloodletter was aware of what I was doing he would destroy the book just to hurt me. The bastard got off on shit like that, especially when it came to me. During my transition the females told the Bloodletter they refused to feed me because they believed me to be cursed by the spirits. They thought my eye and my glowing hand were curses from the cave. No one wanted to be near me. My father made sure everyone knew of my curses by having warnings tattooed on my face, my hand, and my thigh. I left the camp that night, barely alive after being subjected to the most horrific forms of torture.

After many years I learned more about my curses and how to use them. Actually, I had mastered them. One night I decided to check in on dear old dad. So I went back to his camp. As I suspected, he was still there, still running camp as he always had. He continued to instill fear in the pre-trans by insisting the cave was haunted.

I decided to help him believe his own lie. I went into the cave and hid in a crevice known only to me. When I could sense him walking by on the way to the pit I lit up my hand, creating a glow that bounced off the cave wall. It made the wall markings appear to dance in the light. I could hear his heart beat race with fear as he stopped and stared for a moment. It was a moment of victory for me unlike any other. To see that bastard scared speechless was indescribably satisfying.

But I wanted to scare the shit out of him.

So I lowered my voice as deep as it would go and threw in some bonus moaning noises. His heartbeat raced even faster.

“Bloodletter,” I called out in a ghostly voice “You have offended the Great Spirits. You must make amends.” I tried not to laugh as I heard him suck in a breath.

He looked around seemingly unable to comprehend what was happening. He started to stutter, unable to form a complete word. I started to bang around on the walls, the noises echoing in the cave. He finally sputtered out, “What must I do?”

Since I knew he truly feared the spirits of the cave, I said, “Within these walls you must stay. Until we release you.” I could smell his fear, hear his heart racing. His breathing was labored.

“No. I can give you anything else. I will give you any of my men or women from the camp. Or I can kill any one of them as a sacrifice to you,” he cried out.

My voice boomed,” How dare you try to bargain with me!” I could smell his fear increasing until it was so thick in the air you could cut through it. I inhaled the scent, letting it fill my nose. “You will stay in this cave or we will posses you and torment you in front of your men, making you beg us for mercy for all to see.”

I let the light from my hand get brighter and brighter. The shapes on the walls continued to move and dance in the light. Finally, he gave in. As soon as he walked into the cave I stopped glowing, blanketing the cave in darkness. The Bloodletter’s fear was so great I could hear him whimper.

“You must go deeper into the cave,” I whispered.

As he went in deeper I continued to bang around, dematerializing and materializing all around him so he was surrounded by the movement but still unable to see the cause of it. He was so shaken by fear of the spirits that he just continued walking deeper into the cave with his eyes covered. I knew that he was afraid that if he looked upon the spirit he would be possessed by it.

Finally when I could hear him begin to cry, I said, ”You must stay within these walls until you are released. Do not try to escape or you will be punished.“ Then I dematerialized out of there.

I often wonder how long he stayed there. I smile every time I think of it. That was my first prank. I think it may be my best.

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The Favor

by The Omega

What is that spiteful bitch up to now?”

I reached over to one of my pets, a strange mixed breed, part dragon, part cockatrice, all malevolence and anger. There are a total of six in existence. I bred them especially for aggression and protection, not that I really needed protecting or anything. But they come in handy when I need to intimidate my lessers. Or others.

As I ran my arm over his bumpy scales, I thought back to the day the Scribe Virgin came to ask me a favor. It seems one of her precious warriors needed to be taught a lesson. He was a strong bastard and she had nothing with which she could impress upon him the lessons she felt he was in sore need of learning.

I knew it was a sharp blow to her pride to have to come to me for anything. She had always been favored, in everything, and was loathe to have to ask me for help of any kind. In this it was no different. She entered my domain with a gust behind her, carrying that cursed scent from her Fade with her.

“Could I possibly borrow one of your dragons?” she asked without a hint of humility. “I wish to curse one of my warriors, to teach him how to control himself and as I can think of nothing more out of control than your creatures, one of them would work nicely to punish him,”. She was asking me a favor and didn’t even have the decency to bow before me.”

I just looked at her, not saying a word. I loved torturing her, and I could tell she was becoming impatient as she began to explain very quickly. “Rhage is impulsive and quick tempered. He’s also very strong and could take out many of your army before they even realize he’s there. It would be in your best interest for this warrior to be tamed.”

I was hesitant to trust anything she said. I’m probably the only one who knows her truly. When our Father made us, it was assumed that she got the light while I got the darkness. We are supposedly two halves of a whole – she the positive and I the negative. Quite inaccurate. Our Father was mostly darkness and while it’s true all I got was that, it is also true that my dear sibling, while getting mostly goodness, also got a hefty dose of evil to go with it. She has a wicked mean streak that even her favorite monsters can’t escape.

I would have said no out of hand, but I thought this would be an excellent way to dispatch of the Brotherhood immediately. I decided I would allow her to take the meanest, most out of control dragon I had, fully expecting that it would eat every vampire in the Brotherhood and make the rest of my job easy. There was no way, I thought, the Brother could possibly wrangle this monster.

“You may have my favorite pet, but I have some conditions that must be met,” I said to her after a very long silence. “This isn’t something I do without great trepidation, knowing how horrid you are.”

She waved her hand, as if to dismiss my concerns about her motives. She was always dismissive of me and it drove me insane.

“No, sister mine, I will not be brushed off,” I growled in an ominous tone only I can pull off. “If you won’t agree to my demands, you shall not be allowed the use of my pet.”

As I began to outline my requirements, a small smile played on her face. No one could tell me that the Scribe Virgin wasn’t sadistic. She was in absolute agreement that she borrow the most aggressive dragon, the one who would take the most work to control. She was happy to curse her warrior for 200 years, which I demanded to ensure the beast would have ample time to do its job. The only stipulation she balked at was my presence at the insertion. She didn’t want me there and I couldn’t understand why.

“I can’t be seen with you,” she said, aghast at the thought. “You can’t come to my sanctuary. You can’t be anywhere near me in any place where people might see us.”

I put aside the insult. She had long since ceased to hurt my feelings with her obvious disgust at my very existence.

“Sorry, no deal. If I can’t be there to witness my pet, my baby, being implanted in that disgusting brute of yours, then you can’t have him,” I said as I turned away, fully prepared to send her away empty handed.

I knew that would get her. One thing my darling sister couldn’t stand was being denied a chance to hurt another soul, even if was one that she had created. She liked to hide in her white world, where everything looked pristine and pure. However, anyone who looked closely at her behaviors, the things she did, the things she required before being willing to grant any favor , they would have seen the cruelty in her acts.

“I will agree to whatever you ask, brother,” she practically spat the word at me. “As you have asked a price for this, you must make sure the monster you give me will be the most difficult trial a warrior could possibly have to endure. If you don’t, I will find a way to make up the difference, and that will be most unpleasant for you. Of that you can be sure. Oh,and I shall have to hide you with a mhis. I wasn’t being facetious when I said I couldn’t be seen with you.”

So the deal was struck. Within the blink of an eye, we were in front of the warrior, who had his head bent awaiting his punishment. I noticed the dead owl lying by the tree and I knew this vampire was in for more pain and suffering than he could possibly survive. My sister loved her birds and there was no way she was going to let this pass without extracting her pound of flesh.

The Brother was larger than a typical vampire, but he was nowhere near big enough to contain my beast without a great struggle, and getting him into the vampire wasn’t going to be anything short of torturous. He was shaking a bit, perhaps in fear. Or maybe it was remorse, as he did seem to genuinely feel bad for whatever act had ended in the death of the owl. If he was smart, he would have been terrified. Whatever he felt, he kept his head bowed in shame and awaited his punishment with bravery.

My sister, in her flowing black robe, was standing in front of the male. She reached down and grabbed him by his long, blond hair, yanking his head back until it looked like it was going to wrench from his neck. Looking into his face, she roared at him, “You have taken one of my most precious possessions.” The male just gaped at her, his eyes wide with surprise at her indignation.

Tears were rolling down his face now as he stammered out a weak apology. His whole body was wracked with sobs. He blubbered about how he didn’t mean to do harm, how he hadn’t thought of the repercussions of giving his weapon to someone untrained. The words were coming out of his mouth so fast, I had to struggle to understand the words he was saying. I guess the male wasn’t stupid after all. He was petrified.

From out of her robe, the Scribe Virgin pulled a large dagger. It was bone handled and looked like something with which a human would disembowel large game. Still looking directly into the vampire’s eyes, she took the knife and stabbed him in the throat. It made a sound of a stone dropping into wet cement, a slurping noise that would have caused a mortal to vomit. The male’s eyes did the impossible. They became even wider than they had been, taking up so much of his face that it appeared eyes were all he had.

Pulling slowly, she dragged the blade down through his neck, his chest. The sickening sound of his sternum cracking was loud enough to startle the birds still left in the trees in this very twisted sanctuary. The strength she wielded to break through his rib bones one by one was impressive. My sister was watching the line of damage as she created it, her gaze not wavering from her bloody task for a moment. She didn’t stop until she had cut him all the way to his pubic bone.

As intestines and entrails spilled out of the gaping hole my sister had gouged in this pathetic creature, she looked as if she was in ecstasy. Her head was tilted to the sky, the look on her face one of rapture. My sister had lost her mind in that moment. I was sure of it.

The male looked as if he was screaming, though no sound was coming out. His eyes were wide but not seeing. His face was contorted in pain that most would be unable to live through, draining of color as the blood poured from the wound in his torso. There was so much blood, running in rivers down the hill, into the fountain, turning the water a deep hue of red that was terribly out of place in this sea of white.

The vampire’s essence was leaving quickly as my sister was lost in her own private rampage. She actually seemed unaware of the harm she had done. As the warrior seemed to finally grasp the severity of the situation he was in, he resigned himself to the fate that would be conferred upon him. Any fight he may have had inside his large body left, just as the vital fluid was doing.

Snapping out of whatever twisted reverie she was lost in, the Scribe Virgin captured my dragon by his barbed tail and set about the onerous task of forcing a very round peg into a very square, and much smaller, hole. Inch by inch, she pushed and shoved that twelve foot dragon into the opening she had created when she eviscerated the vampire. The sound of bones crunching was almost more than I could bear. Almost.

The warrior’s face was a study in tortured agony. Sweat pouring from his brow, his mouth was agape in a silent wail. His eyes were rolled back in his head, and still my sister continued her almost methodical invasion of the body she had laid open. When the dragon was finally well seated, crammed really, in the small space, she held her hand out, a light emanating from it, and she sealed the wound she had earlier created.

She unceremoniously dropped her warrior, using that dangerous hand to clean up the mess she had made. The vampire curled into a ball, then very violently splayed his body out, knowing that whatever was inside was too large for his shell to hold. Finally he found his voice and the silent screams became deafening shrieks and had my sister not covered her heinous act with a mhis that not only hid me from sight, but this entire gruesome scene, all of her innocent Chosen would have fled her presence in absolute terror. But the Scribe Virgin was nothing if not smart. She wasn’t going to let anyone see her madness.

With another wave of her hand, she wiped the memory of what she had done from her creature’s mind and made sure the dragon was well ensconced inside his body, making them one. It was almost as if the male came awake, he startled and awareness returned to him.

“You will carry with you a curse, for two hundred years, to remind you of what you have done to here. No more will you be able to think only of yourself, acting impulsively as only a young child should be, wont do,” she whispered into his face, so close to him it gave me the willies. “And you will be reminded every time you get even slightly out of control, because you will be visited by a beast so savage even those you love won’t be safe.”

I left her garden impressed, and a little hopeful that perhaps she and I had come to some sort of understanding. Perhaps we would be able to work together in the future, not always be at odds. She had, after all, just brutally attacked the warrior race she claimed to love so much.

Of course that isn’t what happened. Instead of being able to break free of its warrior prison and devour the Brotherhood, my sister enchanted the beast, protecting her vermin, and instead my dragon chose to eat my lessers. In the ninety-nine or so years he’d been inside that Brother, he hadn’t eaten a single one of the noxious rodents he should have preferred. That certainly should be a hint as to how slimy those freaks are, when even a dragon won’t eat one.

My sister, the malicious Scribe Virgin, irritates me to no end. My life’s mission has been to eradicate the disgusting species she created and she is seriously screwing that up. Everything she did is in direct opposition to me. Every single thing. And it is beginning to piss me off. She really is a spiteful bitch.

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Buried

by Tohrment

True fear is something I never expected to cross paths with. For me it can only be described as the blood boiling, chest constricting, unpredictable grip of an unexpected assailant. In my centuries of existence I’ve only experienced it once. I want to forget it, but its indelible print has tangled itself with my mind.

I’m a warrior and my mind is not weak, nor is my body. I have but one Achilles heel, my mate, my shellan, my sole purpose for breathing air. I remember the first time our bond was threatened, a twelve hour ordeal that submerged me in the very depths fear.

Humans feel safe in the sunshine, it’s the things that go bump in the night that they fear. For vampires the sun is an undiscriminating executioner and there aren’t second chances, no mercy.

They -whoever “they” are- say that sharing your experience can help you rid your mind of it. Somehow I don’t believe that, but it’s worth a shot, true?

^*^*^*^*^*^

It wasn’t too long ago in terms of my existence but it was before the advent of cell phones – before my shellan was with young.

I was out hunting with my brothers Wrath and Darius and it had been a good night; we took down an even dozen of our putrid smelling enemies. We said our goodbyes and headed out in different directions to finish the job by collecting the jars. It was an easy split, four jars each.

I noticed that the sun was dangerously close to rising as I made my way to the cave. From the looks of things my brothers had already been there. I knew I didn’t have much time. Wellsie had spent the evening with one of her friends, it helped alleviate her nerves to spend time with someone when I was out hunting. When we said goodnight, her parting words were, “Meet you just before sunrise.” We sealed the goodbye with a kiss.

As soon as the jars were in place, I dematerialized back to our house only to find that the steel barricades had already shut me out. Panic licked at my ribs as the light in the sky was rapidly changing. My heart begin to pound inside my chest and my mind began to race. I had to think but could hardly organize my thoughts. Knocking on the door wouldn’t have worked; the steel barrier was made to stay in place. I tried to think of another shelter I could dematerialize to, but nothing came to mind. I looked at the ground and felt sickened as I thought about being underneath it but I had so little time to think things through. In the grip of panic I felt I was left with a singular, terrifying option.

I tore around the outside of the house looking for whatever I could to shield myself from the sun. I found a shovel, a rusty old pipe and a tattered, sun-bleached tarp. I began digging at a feverish pace, depositing the dirt on the tarp as I raced against my fiery nemesis. When the temporary crypt was large enough to accommodate me, I took a deep breath, feeling sick about what I had to do if I had any hope of surviving the day. I took the pipe between my bare hands, and summoning all my strength, bent it a few inches at one end, placing it in the corner of my makeshift shelter – this would be my access to air. I stripped off my jacket, slick with the sweat from my efforts, and wrapped it around my head. The sun began to peek above the horizon just as I lowered myself into the grave. I took one last inhale of the fresh air before gripping the ends of the dirt covered tarp and pulling it over myself. Let me tell you, burying yourself alive is not for the faint of heart, hell it’s not even for the most vigorous of warriors.

I fitted my mouth over the end of the pipe, recoiling at the metallic taste. Even though the makeshift airway worked, I felt like I was immediately suffocated. My first instinct was to suck in the air and when I did, I got a mouthful of dirt. Oh shit, this is it. I thought maybe I hadn’t made sure the pipe cleared the surface before I realized I was actually breathing through the thing. I was aware I needed to calm myself down if I was going to survive the day.

Tears pricked in my eyes at the thought of Wellsie. My greatest concern was for her well being. I knew she must be frightened, panicked that I hadn’t called or shown up after my night of hunting. My chest constricted at the thought of the strife my error was likely causing her. I bit my tongue, drawing blood, in order to hold off sobbing over our unprecedented separation. Despite my strength, my movement was limited by the weight of the dirt. It was dark and quiet, the only thing I heard was my labored breathing and the thoughts in my head.

I thanked the Scribe Virgin for the watch I had worn; its face illuminated with the push of a button. It was my only link to the changes on the outside besides the sun-warmed air I breathed through the pipe. I lingered there in my dirty hollow, afraid to sleep though my body ached with fatigue. I thought of Wellsie – God I thought of her – allowing myself to remember with vivid recall the feeling of her skin against my fingertips, her body pressed to mine, the sweet smell of her hair and the delicious sanguine tang of her blood.

I thought about my brothers, the warriors who knew me like no others. I was acutely aware that if I didn’t survive this I would be failing myself as well as them. This was not an honorable way to die. If I was to surrender to the Fade before I was ready I wanted it to be defending my race, not in a hole I had dug for myself.

Four hours in, sweat was rolling down my head at the temples, but I couldn’t rearrange myself to wipe it away. My nostrils were thickly lined with dust and the smell of warm leather, my mouth sour with the taste of lead. Tremors started assailing me, wracking my body in an uncomfortable shake for what seemed like hours but was less than thirty minutes in actuality. I was shaking with such force I was afraid I might break through the tarp and dirt barrier that was protecting me. That’s about the time when the effects on my body ceased and my mind took over.

I was assaulted with visions of my shellan; the first time I had seen her and the undeniable urge to mark her and claim her as mine, the moment I actually did just that. I relived the day of our mating and the countless times I had taken her in my arms since. I saw her laughing, and joyful, her beautiful curls falling over her shoulders as her head fell back. My mind screamed at me to unearth myself and go to her, fighting its own instinct to survive. My muscles flexed and tensed; the separation was destroying me. I wondered if this was what happened before you went into the Fade; the images were so real I could almost touch them. I started to question whether I could make it; I started to question what fate actually had in store for me. I felt my throat close as I recalled her last words to me – they snaked through my mind on a never ending loop, “Meet you just before sunrise.”

Eight hours in my will was hanging by a thread. A lump had formed in my already tight throat and I tried to swallow it down, but that only seemed to make it angrier, larger. I was coated in a film of dried sweat and dirt, and my blood had slowed in my veins. I was fading; I was losing my grip. I expected to be stronger in my confinement, but I was drifting as I begged the Scribe Virgin for the strength I needed to make it through.

With one hour to go, I thought my mental strength would resurface but in reality it was the exact opposite. I was twitching, aggravated, feral, wanting nothing more than to escape my imprisonment. Coherent thought escaped me and for a moment I forgot where I was. The battle for survival was so close to being won but in a moment of surrender I peeled my lips away from my airway and took in a lungful of dirt. I was choking, aware but unaware of what was happening. The Fade was so close I could sense it but then I heard it…her.

Don’t leave me Tohr, my hellren, my heart. Don’t leave me.

I knew it must have been a hallucination but it sucked me back into my entrapped body and I positioned my lips on the pipe, sucking in the warm oxygen from above. The thought of leaving Wellsie behind shredded my stomach, the pain searing me from the inside, and the fear of not making it consumed me entirely. I was so close to my salvation but I truly didn’t know if I could survive the agonizing 32 minutes left of my internment. Suddenly, the need to protect my shellan dominated me. I started hyperventilating, which was dangerous in the small space. I thought about the Brotherhood and how another man down only gave the opposition strength. My stomach rumbled, churning with acid and I felt as though I might be physically ill. All because I had miscalculated my time by just a few moments.

The last five minutes were the most unbearable. As if it could sense its impending escape, my heart raced at a frantic clip, pummeling my chest from the inside out. I could barely breathe and though the small space was humid and uncomfortably warm, I broke out in a cold sweat. I tried to focus my mind but it wouldn’t listen to my urgent command. The faces of my brothers and my shellan flashed through my head; I saw centuries full of memories in that small space of time.

Not a moment after I knew it was safe to emerge, I exploded from my grave, bursting through the dirt into the safety of dusk. I inhaled deeply before letting the roar of freedom escape from my lungs. On shaky legs I ran at a frenetic pace, driven by the fact that I wasn’t fulminating and the overwhelming desire to see my shellan.

I ripped through the front door to find her. She was sitting on the bottom step, tears streaming down her porcelain cheeks, causing my heart to lurch forward violently in my chest. When she saw me, what must have been disbelief widened her eyes and her jaw went slack.

I heard her gasp before jumping to her feet and running over to me, closing the gap between us in seconds. She threw her arms around my neck, kissing my dusty face and I squeezed her tightly against me. The fear was replaced by need as I felt the warmth of her skin beneath her thin gown.

She sobbed heavily, shattering me. I knew I was the cause of her pain. “Shhhh,” I soothed her, wiping away her tears with my thumb, leaving a smudge of dirt in its wake. “It’s okay, I made it. I’m here.”

“What happened? Why are you covered in dirt?” As soon as the question left her pouty lips, her face changed and I knew without asking she had figured it out. “Oh, Tohr…” she trailed off, pain evident in her voice.

“Don’t cry, leelan.” The sight of her in tears was unbearable, it crushed me.

She let out a deep sigh. “I’m trying to stop… I’m just shaken. Somehow I knew you were okay except for this one moment, when I felt you slip away. I begged out loud for you to hear me, for you to stay with me. If you left you were taking my heart with you.”

I flashed back to the sound of her voice in my head, the one I was sure was a hallucination. Realization washed over me and chill shot up my spine with the force of an electric shock.

The fear had not won out, but it would have claimed me if it weren’t for her, my tether, my heart, my soul, my Wellsie.

————————————————————————————————————————————-

Interview by Lisa & Jessica

at the BDB Mansion

All who are attending

Playing Pool are Vishous_BDB & @Tohrment_BDB with @Butch_BDB and @Rhage_BDB playing next

Playing Monopoly are @Rehvenge_BDB, @Zsadist_BDB, @Wrath_BDB, @Phury_BDB, and you two.

@BellaR_BDB and @BethR_BDB are playing with Nalla.

@DocJaneW_BDB, @MaryL_BDB, @CormiaC_BDB, @EhlenaA_BDB, and @MarissaH_BDB are looking over more plans for the medical facility while waiting for a shellan monopoly. It is much calmer. No daggers.

@John_MatthewBDB and @Xhex_BDB come in later, still in honeymoon phase they are… looking happy.

@Qhuinn_BDB and @Blaylock_BDB are playing Xbox.

@Lassiter_BDB flutters from group to group inputting his two cents.

@FritzDoggen_BDB serving crepes and drinks.

Questions:

L/J: *nervously speaking* Wrath, Beth… everyone – thanks so much for having us. We’re excited that you agreed to let us visit with you. We hope you don’t mind us just throwing out questions while we’re here?

@FritzDoggen_BDB: Would you care for some refreshments? *holds out tray of wine and crepes*

***L: Thank you @FritzDoggen_BDB *takes a glass of wine*

***J: *takes a crepe* Wow, Fritz these are amazing. You are a wonderful chef. Thank you

@FritzDoggen_BDB: *smiles brightly* You are too kind.

@Wrath_BDB *studying the Monopoly board, but briefly stopping to nod once at the humans, then taking a crepe.*

@BethR_BDB We’re happy to have you.

@Rhage_BDB: *smiles* We love to talk about ourselves.

@Phury_BDB: *laughing* Well, @Rhage_BDB loves talking about himself, anyway.

@Butch_BDB: *shakes head* Nah, babe. Have at it.

@Rehvenge_BDB *glances up from Monopoly board which I am pulling a Trump on and nods briefly, not wanting to miss @Zsadist_BDB’s trip to jail*

@Zsadist_BDB:*gives a quick nod, directs attention back down to board, eyes turning black, growling at @Rehvenge_BDB, before moving thimble to jail*

@DocJaneW_BDB: *Looking up from the plans, smiling* It’s good to have you.

@Vishous_BDB: *pulls down Red Sox cap and nods*

@Tohrment_BDB: *taking a deep breath* Ready as I’m ever gonna be

@BellaR_BDB: *glances up from Nalla, who is playing with her hair and smiles* Not at all! Ask away.

@MarissaH_BDB: *smiles warmly* We’re happy to have you here.

@CormiaC_BDB: Yes, it’s lovely to meet some new people.

@Lassiter_BDB: *glowing* Ask away. I know how fascinating I can be.

@Vishous_BDB: Oh great, who invited the loud mouth?

@Wrath_BDB: *groans* Sure as hell wasn’t me.

@Blaylock_BDB *smiles* I would be happy to answer your questions, thank you for coming.

@Qhuinn_BDB *gives L and J a lingering up-and-down look and a smile* The pleasure is all mine ladies…ask away.

L: *smiles* so, how is everyone?

@Wrath_BDB: *forgetting all about @Lassiter_BDB being here and glancing over at @BethR_BDB on the floor, playing with Nalla* We’re great.

@BethR_BDB We are doing great, thanks for asking.

@Butch_BDB: Great thanks.

@Rhage_BDB: *looks at @MaryL_BDB* Great.

@Vishous_BDB: *lights up a hand rolled*

@Lassiter_BDB: I’m great. There’s a Mary Tyler Moore marathon on.

@Phury_BDB: *looks around at everyone, smiling* I’m with the Cop. Doing great.

@Tohrment_BDB: *running my hand over my head* Just getting my bearings again, but better than I’ve been in a long while.

@MarissaH_BDB: I’m quite well this evening. Thank you.

@CormiaC_BDB: *looking up from plans for the medical center* Very well, thank you. I hope you are both well, also.

@BellaR_BDB: *smiling warmly* Very good, thank you. How are the two of you? *glances at both of you*

@DocJaneW_BDB *beaming* I’m great, excited about the new plans. I apologize if I’m a bit preoccupied.

@Blaylock_BDB *pausing our xbox game* I am doing great! Kicking @Qhuinn_BDB’s butt at the moment. *laughs and ducks away from Qhuinn as he tries to punch me, but only grazes my arm*

@Qhuinn_BDB I’ll be a helluva lot better after a few shots of Herradurra. Hey, @FritzDoggen_BDB, would you mind bringing me some limes and salt?

@FritzDoggen_BDB: *nods and leaves to find limes and salt*

***L: I’m great thanks – really excited to be here with everyone. *looks up at everyone around the room*

***J: Yeah, we’re both really excited to be here. We’ve been so busy planning this Halloween event that it’s great to take this time away to hang out with everyone. *small smile*

J: Oh, I know something that I’ve wanted to know… What’s the hardest part about living so close together?

@Wrath_BDB The lack of privacy. *grins towards @BethR_BDB*

@Rehvenge_BDB: *feels overwhelming gratitude to NOT live here*

@Zsadist_BDB: Keeping people out of your shi..I mean biz.

@Butch_BDB: *laughs* I take it you haven’t smelled the gym. You’d never ask that if you have. These bastards stink.

***L: *wrinkles my nose*

@Butch_BDB: *laughs* Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

@Vishous_BDB: Getting to the food before Rhage eats it all. *nods head to Butch* His snoring. Wondering why the sin eater and that one *points @Lassiter_BDB* are always here.

@Butch_BDB: Hey man, you can’t possibly hear me snoring through the walls

@Vishous_BDB: I have vampire hearing. I hear everything.

@Rhage_BDB: *glares at V* Hey there is plenty of food left for you. Sometimes.

@Phury_BDB: It’s not really a problem for me anymore. *looks over at @CormiaC_BDB, smiles* But I’d agree with @Vishous_BDB – trying to wrangle the food away from @Rhage_BDB was always a challenge.

@MaryL_BDB I don’t mind the closeness, though sometimes the wild games of football make it tough for us to get alone time with our boys.

@Tohrment_BDB: *Doesn’t answer*

@BellaR_BDB: *rolling eyes at @Zsadist_BDB’s answer* I think privacy is the biggest challenge. You have none living together.

@BethR_BDB Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but it’s a large place so it isn’t too hard to find a private space. *smiles @Wrath_BDB*

@MarissaH_BDB: *smiling* I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I found friends and family here and a new purpose.. *meets @Butch_BDB’s eyes, seeing his pride in me*

@DocJaneW_BDB: I love it here but I’m looking forward to all the time I’ll be spending at the clinic once it opens.

@CormiaC_BDB: *smiles@Phury_BDB* Everyone was wonderful to me when I stayed here.

@Lassiter_BDB: *points @Vishous_BDB* Him

@Blaylock_BDB I really enjoy having @John_MatthewBDB and @Qhuinn_BDB so close, but at times it is hard to live with Qhuinn, if you know what I mean. *blushes*

@Qhuinn_BDB I guess it can be a pain if I want some privacy. Sure, we can go to the gym and hit the treadmill, but the house is pretty full. There’s always someone around.

L: But, really would any of you have it any other way?

@Butch_BDB: Nope.

@Zsadist_BDB: No

@Vishous_BDB: S’all good.

@Butch_BDB: Even with my snoring, man?

@Vishous_BDB: Yeah. Even with.

@Rhage_BDB: Not at all.

@Phury_BDB: I sometimes miss being here every day with the Brothers, but I wouldn’t trade my life with Cormia and having the Chosen with us…

@CormiaC_BDB: I think I’m right where I am meant to be…

@Tohrment_BDB: *Thinks back to when it was just me with Wellsie, in our house and I decide not to answer, again*

@Wrath_BDB *watching Tohr’s internal turmoil shine in his eyes, then glancing around to all the brothers and their shellans* This is how it should be.

@MaryL_BDB I wouldn’t change it. I grew up an only child. I enjoy the company.

@MarissaH_BDB: *shakes head* Absolutely not.

@FritzDoggen_BDB: *smiles, pleased the house is full. Wishing @DariusBDB could see it*

@BethR_BDB At first I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, to be honest. But, I also knew that it was the right decision. Don’t get me wrong, it can be frustrating, and I don’t always have @Wrath_BDB’s undivided attention as often as I’d like…but it feels right to have everyone here.

@Lassiter_BDB: PFFFT Hell yeah. *But really likes it here*

***J: @Lassiter_BDB – Well, what has been the biggest difference for you since being around all the brothers and their shellans?

@Lassiter_BDB: I’m used to being alone so this many people is a huge difference. And having to put up with his mouth *points at @Vishous_BDB*

@Blaylock_BDB I would not change a thing!

@Qhuinn_BDB *nods at @Blaylock_BDB* I’m with him. Wouldn’t change it!

J: And how about With Halloween coming up, any plans for the holiday?

@Vishous_BDB: I am trying to get Jane to wear a hot nurse outfit. *winks @DocJaneW_BDB*

@Rhage_BDB: I may let the beast out and take all the tootsie pops from kids that are too old to be trick or treating.

***L: *thinking how I’ve never been able to look at a tootsie pop the same since reading their stories*

@MaryL_BDB @Rhage_BDB! You wouldn’t! I guess I’ll be spending Halloween keeping @Rhage_BDB too busy to steal candy. *blushes*

@Tohrment_BDB: *shakes head* Can’t say I’ve thought about it.

@Wrath_BDB Beth wants to hand candy out, so we’ll head back to the house in town for Halloween night.

@BethR_BDB I look forward to handing out candy…and trying not to eat all of it myself. *laughs*

@Lassiter_BDB: I’m with @Tohrment_BDB on this one.

@Qhuinn_BDB *cocks head to the side* Am I too old to dress up and go trick-or-treating?

***J: @Qhuinn_BDB – No, not at all! What would you dress up as??

@Blaylock_BDB Well, Q, you could go as Frankenstein with all that metal, but you might scare all the kids.

@Qhuinn_BDB The last thing @Wrath_BDB needs is a flock of hysterical human females following us home.

L: Yes, but a more important question… Will any of you be helping Fritz carve pumpkins?

@Vishous_BDB: Yeah. For Nalla.

@Wrath_BDB: *nods in agreement, and shaking the dice for my turn*

@Rhage_BDB: Yeah, for Nalla. *smiles at Nalla*

@Tohrment_BDB: Of course, for Nalla. *Reflects on difficult memories before shaking it off*

@BellaR_BDB: *laughs* Nalla’s going to have several pumpkins carved for her by these males! *looks at Nalla, smiles*

@MaryL_BDB I better be included in the pumpkin carving.

@DocJaneW_BDB: I’m pretty wicked with a knife, it would be a shame not to. And of course I will add to the Nalla collection *laughs*

@FritzDoggen_BDB: *smiles*

@BethR_BDB I can’t wait! I even made sure to get little Nalla-sized pumpkins to decorate. *smiling warmly*

@Blaylock_BDB *laughs* I will give anything a go for Nalla.

@Qhuinn_BDB I think pumpkin carving sounds like fun! Maybe I could pierce it, or give it a few tats? *smiles*

L: I mean come on, you each have skills with knives, I’m sure you’d come up with something creative when it comes to carving pumpkins! What about you @Phury_BDB? You’re extremely artistic from what I’ve read… I think you’d have a knack for carving?

@Vishous_BDB: I know I do, true?

@Rhage_BDB: Not as good as mine.

@Phury_BDB: And neither of your skills are actually as good as your egos lead you to believe. *laughs* But, yes, I’m sure I’ll be trying to carve some pumpkins for Nalla. And I’m sure @CormiaC_BDB will design something as well…and the Chosen will probably want to help…*cringes, thinking of the mess*

@Wrath_BDB: *rolls snake eyes which lands me on Marvin Gardens and I buy it*

@Tohrment_BDB: Not gonna lie, I’m better when I’m aiming a gun, but my knife skills are on point.

J: @BellaR_BDB and @Zsadist_BDB, any plans for Halloween for Nalla?

@Rehvenge_BDB: *an uncharacteristic smile lighting my face at the mere mention of my niece*

@Zsadist_BDB: *looks over at @BellaR_BDB*

@BellaR_BDB: *grins and glances at @Zsadist_BDB* I want to dress her up. I’m trying to decide between a princess and a punk rocker.

@Vishous_BDB: I vote for punk rocker.

@Lassiter_BDB: Oh you should dress her up like a little Mary Tyler Moore!

@Rhage_BDB: We could get her a little dragon costume and she can look like me.

@MarissaH_BDB: I think Nalla would make a wonderful princess.

***L: Well, if I had a vote, I’d say Punk Rocker, because Nalla sounds like she’s a princess everyday. *smiling while looking at Nalla and feeling the love swell in the room*

@BellaR_BDB: *grin widening* I’m leaning toward the punk rocker, too. Maybe with a little mohawk like her Uncle. *glancing at @Zsadist_BDB and @Rehvenge_BDB, seeing matching expressions of disapproval…and laughing*

***J: Well, if I had a vote I’d say the best of both worlds – a Punk Rock Princess. *giggles* Maybe we could set up a play date sometime for Nalla and my little girl? *laughs* M already thinks she’s a vampire, and I have no idea where she got that idea from! *smiling*

@BellaR_BDB: That would be nice! Nalla needs to be around other young.

L: Okay… I’m sorry, enough with the Halloween talk… can I ask about scary movies at least? I know your movie watchers, so you have to have a favorite? For me, I’ll never be able to watch Poltergeist again ever since I saw it when I was I think 11 or 12. Nor will I ever be able to sleep with the closet door open again….. *trails off and looks up for answers*

@Vishous_BDB: I love that sh- stuff. I love the Halloween, the Freddy were pretty imaginative, true?

@DocJaneW_BDB: *smiling at @Vishous_BDB* I’m with him, blood doesn’t scare me. Though I like comedy based “horror” too – like Beetlejuice.

@Rehvenge_BDB: *shudders* Any movie with spiders or scorpions creeps me the fu…I really can’t stomach those movies anymore.

@Rhage_BDB: Yeah I love all of it. @MaryL_BDB hates it.

@Tohrment_BDB: That Buried movie that’s coming out looks pretty intense. Might have to check it. I like to watch people fleeing the likes of Godzilla the best, though *chuckles*

***L: @Tohrment_BDB – yeah, that Buried movie is one I really want to see. As for Godzilla, we’re talking Godzilla vs. Mothra originals right? What did you think of the remake?

@Tohrment_BDB *Furrows brow*Remakes are for people with no original ideas, know what I’m sayin? There’s no excuse for messing with perfection.

@BethR_BDB *laughs along with @Tohrment_BDB* I always cheer for the monster

@Wrath_BDB *raises a brow* Tohr, how many times have you seen Godzilla? Seriously, man. I’m going to send you to Bad Horror Flicks Anonymous soon.

@Tohrment_BDB Hey, it’s a good flick. Besides, Bad Horror Flicks Anonymous shut down for lack of membership *grins @Wrath_BDB*.

***L: @Wrath_BDB actually, bad horror movies are the best! I’m all about those horrible B movies *says a little too excitedly*

@Wrath_BDB: *shakes head* To each his own. You and Tohr should have a movie night sometime. *Nods towards the hallway* We have a movie theater in here. He’d be a lot less cranky with Lassy off his ass.

@BellaR_BDB: *shudders* I’m not a scary movie fan. Comedies are more my style.

@Lassiter_BDB: I like movies with more style.

@Butch_BDB: Seems like Twilight would be right up your alley. They sparkle, you glow…you’re kinda like cousins. *glances over at @Vishous_BDB winking*

@Phury_BDB: *looks @Lassiter_BDB* Is that what you call the Lifetime Women’s movies you and @Rhage_BDB watch?

***J: hey, nothing wrong with Lifetime. They have some good stuff!

***L: * trying to picture @Rhage_BDB and @Lassiter_BDB passing a tissue box back and forth. Nope, can’t see it.*

@Rhage_BDB: I do not watch that crap!

@MaryL_BDB Scary movies aren’t my thing, though I did see a great foreign vampire film, Let the Right One In. Subtitles and everything. A little too cerebral for @Rhage_BDB . Love you baby. *winks*

@CormiaC_BDB: I’ve not really watched any of the scary movies, but I have found I rather like some of the movies with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

***L: @CormiaC_BDB – Have you seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

@CormiaC_BDB: No I haven’t seen that movie yet. Is it an enjoyable film? If so, we’ll have to watch it.

L: Speaking of movies, did any of you see Twilight? Or what about that other movie… what’s it called Jessica?

J: Vampires Suck?

L: Yeah… *laughing* that one?

@Rehvenge_BDB: *shaking head in disgust*

@Zsadist_BDB: *growls*

@Wrath_BDB I’m not a big movie watcher, but I hear the Cop likes that Twilight one.

@Butch_BDB: *groans* Oh man, I knew that would come up….

@Vishous_BDB: *grins* Oh yeah, the cop here loves to watch Twilight. Caught him watching one day when he thought I was asleep. And we all know @Rhage_BDB wishes he would sparkle.

@Rhage_BDB: *rolls eyes* Says the vampire that doubles as a night light.

@Phury_BDB: V, Did the t-shirts not arrive yet for @Butch_BDB and @Rhage_BDB? The ones that say “I love sparkly vamps”?

@Lassiter_BDB: Nothing wrong with a little sparkle. *smiles*

@Butch_BDB: *laughs* You’d fit right in with the Veggie Vamps, Lassy.

@Tohrment_BDB: *shrugs* Never even heard of it

@MaryL_BDB Oh no. I’ve heard the jokes, got to hear all about the kitchen fight, but Twilight not my cup of tea.

@DocJaneW_BDB: *sarcastically* Fate…destiny…who believes in that? *laughs* Either way, I think I’d lose my bad ass bitch card, if I watched that one.

@Qhuinn_BDB Twi-what? *shakes head, laughing* No way, not happening.

@BethR_BDB I found a t-shirt that said “I ❤ Boys who sparkle” but @Wrath_BDB didn’t see the humor in it. *chuckling at the memory*

@Wrath_BDB: That’s because I’m not a boy nor do I sparkle, leelan. *smirks*

@BellaR_BDB: *laughing* I’ve seen Twilight. I’m a vamp girl!

@Blaylock_BDB *Dropping my head and blushing* I have seen the Twilight movies and really liked them.

***J: Um, is this the wrong time to say that I’m ummm…. Team Werewolf??

@Tohrment_BDB *grins*No worries, can’t be jealous of something that only exists on the big screen and in fairytales.

@Butch_BDB: *shaking my head* Team Werewolf? *laughs and then remembers I used to laugh at the thought of vampires…*

@DocJaneW_BDB *Thinking to myself that it would be a fascinating species to study, if they were real, before refocusing on the plans*

L/J: *trying to get the topic back on track* Okay then, since were talking about Vampire movies and all, what do you think about the TV shows out there that have Vampires of the non-sparkly variety in them? Such as say… The Vampire Diaries or True Blood?

@Vishous_BDB: Only if we want a laugh, true?

@BellaR_BDB: I’ve heard of the shows from some of the followers, but I haven’t watched them. Do you watch them? *glancing at L and J*

@Tohrment_BDB *shakes head* I don’t watch shows about teenagers, first. And the True Blood stuff? Some of the humans on twitter complained about it being all wrong, so I’ve kept my distance.

L/J: So, being that we found you on twitter, which is great and amazing to get a chance to check in with each of you nightly… it looks like you all have fun with it? Was it you @Vishous_BDB who got them all hooked? And if not, how did you all get started with it?

@Vishous_BDB: Yeah I thought it would be a good way to get our stories out there. It worked, we have had several people tell us they read the books because of us.

***L/J: @Vishous_BDB Your right, it is a great way to further spread the word about each of your stories.

Vishous_BDB: *nods knowing I am always right*

@Rhage_BDB: I hate to admit he is right *nods at @Vishous_BDB* But he was.

@Tohrment_BDB: That’s V’s big brain working over time again. It’s been a good ride, so far.

@Phury_BDB: V got us started. At first it did seem awkward for some of us, myself included. But it has been interesting.

@Wrath_BDB I’ll admit to not being completely sold on the idea of twitter at first. I couldn’t figure out who had time for this shit. But as the leader of the vampire race, I’m finding it to be an excellent communication tool as well as the best form of agitation for the @Scribe_Virgin I’ve seen in a couple hundred years. *smirks*

@MaryL_BDB The whole Twitter thing fascinates me. People are so friendly and they genuinely seem to care about us as people, not just us as figments of their imaginations. Maybe you could give us some insight into that. Why do people we don’t know follow our lives so closely? Not that I don’t love it!

@BethR_BDB Everyone is really friendly and supportive of us.

@MarissaH_BDB: I have to agree with @BethR_BDB and MaryL_BDB. Everyone has been so kind on Twitter. When things between @Butch_BDB and myself were uncertain so many people has such kind and supportive words.

***L/J: @MaryL_BDB & everyone… to answer your question, I think we follow each of you because after reading your stories we feel like we know you, even just the slightest bit. That this is our way to stay connected to you and see where each of you are in your lives while waiting the long way for the next book/chapter to begin within your world. And trust me, it’s a long wait….

L: Actually *blushing* – Jessica dared me to send a message to @Rehvenge_BDB and that’s how this whole interview came about. He suggested I speak to @Wrath_BDB. *Looks to @Rehvenge_BDB*, by the way, thanks again.

@Rehvenge_BDB: *standing, using the cane to lead my way to you* It was my sublime pleasure. *taking up your hand, stroking a thumb over the inside of your wrist…and FEEDING on your anxiety before heading back to the game*

***L: *Stares at @Rehvenge_BDB and his purple eyes. Wonder if that really just happened. Hearing @Wrath_BDB’s tone – shaking head to clear the haze bringing me back to the room*

@Wrath_BDB: Rehv. Cut the shit, man. She’s my guest and I won’t have you using her.

L: Well, *still nervous* you somewhat intimidate us, though we thoroughly enjoy following along, so we both lurk. Maybe after this we won’t lurk as much?

@Butch_BDB: What the hell is there to be intimidated of? *grins*

@Vishous_BDB: True that.

***J: @Butch_BDB – maybe it’s just that each of you, well the males at least, radiate so much testosterone…or it could just be the fangs.

@Butch_BDB: *smirks*

@MarissaH_BDB It’s always nice to talk with everyone one Twitter. But I was nervous about talking with people in the beginning- it was something outside of anything the gylmera would ever have approved.

@BethR_BDB There’s no need to be intimidated. I enjoy talking with everyone.

***L/J: @MarissaH_BDB & BethR_BDB – Thank you so much for making us feel so welcome and inviting us in. Thanks to each of you really.

@MarissaH_BDB: *smiles warmly*

@Rhage_BDB: Yeah, you should talk to us. A lot.

***J: @Rhage_BDB – now that we have had a chance to get to know you all, I definitely think we will be chatting with you a lot more.

@Tohrment_BDB: Hey, reach out, we don’t bite *laughs*

***L: @Tohrment_BDB *laughing with you* did you really just say that?

@Tohrment_BDB *thinks to the immediate past* Yeah, I did. *winks*

@Qhuinn_BDB *grins* No lurking allowed, ladies. Maybe a Corona or two will loosen you up a bit?

***L: @Qhuinn_BDB *slight smile* well, while Corona is one of my favorite beers, I’d much rather have some Tequila. *blushing*

@Qhuinn_BDB *Grins at L, holding up a lime and the salt shaker* I’ve got the Heradurra right here, babe. Body shots on me?

***J: @Qhuinn_BDB actually, right about now I could use one…. Could you pass one over?

@Blaylock_BDB Truly, be at ease. We really enjoy interacting with our followers. Oh, and ignore @Qhuinn_BDB. I try to. *smiles, blushing slightly*

***J: *giggles after drinking* Aww @Blaylock_BDB you’re just too sweet! *walks across the room and touches his cheek. Thinking this Corona is starting to relax me*

@Blaylock_BDB *blushing brighter at your touch* Thanks.

J: Um, how about a question for each of you? Do you enjoy reading and if so, what’s your favorite type of story?

@Butch_BDB: Mysteries for me. The cop in me never really went away totally.

@Vishous_BDB: I love to read. Everything. I have thousands of books. I enjoy anything that makes me think.

@Tohrment_BDB: I like to read vampire stories for a good laugh and conspiracy theory fiction.  The DaVinci Code wasn’t bad. I can also read about cars for days. The Complete Book of Corvette and Porsche: Excellence Was to be Expected are two of my faves.  Lots of beauty in those pages. *Thinks about the Stingray* I think that covers it.

@Rehvenge_BDB: Mob stories. Big fan. *enigmatic grin*

@Zsadist_BDB: *lips curl in a smile* Anything Nalla wants me to read to her.

***L: @Zsadist_BDB Oh, I almost forgot – here *passes to @Zsadist_BDB* I brought this book for Nalla. I found it just the other day and thought she might like it. It’s called Cloudette. *smiles*

@Zsadist_BDB *smiling – nods* Nalla will love it. Thank you *glances over at Nalla and Bella, smile widens*

@Phury_BDB: I enjoy reading a wide variety of things.

@Wrath_BDB: *shakes head* Unless I can get something in Braille otherwise @BethR_BDB reads to me. I love hearing her voice, so it’s all good.

@BethR_BDB I enjoy anything I can read to Wrath. But I’m not going to lie; I like a good Nicholas Sparks book just as much as the next female.

@BellaR_BDB: I like romance novels. *smiles* I like happy ever afters.

@EhlenaA_BDB: I read everything I can get my hands on. *looks to @Rehvenge_BDB* I’m currently reading “Mind Manipulation: Ancient and Modern Ninja Techniques”…you know…gotta stay sharp.

***J: @EhlenaA_BDB – Same here. I try to read a variety of different books. Never know what ones may turn into favorites. *thinking of picking up that book…never know when it may come in handy*

@MaryL_BDB I’m very much a reader. Currently I’m reading Our Synaptic Selves, though usually I read the latest in childhood disorders. The field changes so fast, it’s hard to keep up.

@MarissaH_BDB: Well, I’ve been enjoying reading books that @MaryL_BDB found for me as wonderful reference points for SafePlace. I continue to feel like there is so much that I don’t know.

@Qhuinn_BDB *runs a hand through my dark, spiky hair* Hmm… Do video game guides count?

@Blaylock_BDB *laughs* Um…no, @Qhuinn_BDB, video game guides don’t count. We’ve been pretty busy lately, but I really like Joe Hill.

@Lassiter_BDB: I prefer TV.

***L: @Lassiter_BDB how did I know you were going to say that? *laughing*

***J: @Lassiter_BDB oh, do you mean more of those Lifetime Movies that were mentioned before?

@Lassiter_BDB: Exactly. Classy TV.

@CormiaC_BDB: I have been devouring every book about architecture that @Phury_BDB has been able to find for me. And human history books. I’m intimately familiar with our race’s history but now I’m curious about other histories.

L/J: This one is for the Shellans – how do you each put up with all the fighting? *glances over to see @Tohrment_BDB and looks away sad to have asked such a question*

@Tohrment_BDB: *Knowing I’m going to have to ride this out, it’s what Wellsie wanted for me. Resolved to stick around no matter how thick it gets, trying to focus on sinking my next shot instead.*

@MarissaH_BDB: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry every time @Butch_BDB goes out hunting–what he does is different than what the other Brothers do, and it will always frighten me. But I trust him, and I trust that he will do everything in his power to come home to me each night. *sees @Butch_BDB watching me, smiles at him in return*

@Butch_BDB: *winks at @MarissaH_BDB*

@CormiaC_BDB: I knew @Phury_BDB first as the Primale and a warrior, so I always knew this was part of who he is. It doesn’t mean I don’t worry, because I do. But I know that he and his Brothers are fighting for our entire race, and that’s a calling greater than my worry. And besides, he’s already proven he’s stronger than even he knew…*smiles proudly at @Phury_BDB*

@DocJaneW_BDB: *Looking up from the plans for the new clinic and shaking my head* You just can’t think about it. *glancing over at V who’s leaning on his cue, smiling at him* And I’ll be damned if I ever lose any of them should they need my expertise.

@BellaR_BDB: *looks at Nalla* I worry. I try not to, but I do. *looks over at @Zsadist_BDB* But even while I’m worrying, I know that @Zsadist_BDB will always do everything in his power to come home to us. And I choose to believe that he will.

@MaryL_BDB *sighs* I know it’s important to him, to his Brothers, so I just kiss him before he goes and then hold my breath until he comes home. I think I’m comforted by my pet, the one he calls “the beast”. Well, his beast and I have an arrangement. He keeps my Rhage safe and I scratch him behind the ears when he gets home. *giggles and winks @Rhage_BDB*

@BethR_BDB I know how frustrating it is that @Wrath_BDB can’t be out fighting alongside his brothers, but he has a responsibility to the race as their King which he takes very seriously. I worry about the other warriors who are out in the streets every night, hunting down lessers and keeping us safe. @Wrath_BDB worries about even more than I do, and I don’t like to think of how hard he would take it if something happened to one of them.

@EhlenaA_BDB: I don’t worry overly much about @Rehvenge_BDB fighting. His battles are waged on a different field. *taps head*

***L: The strength each of you has is amazing. I can hear it in your voices; see it in your body language. The conviction in our words comes shining through when speaking of such a hard subject. Thank you for your honest answers.

@DocJaneW_BDB *nods* You’re welcome. You have to be strong to handle one of these males, trust me. All the women here are tough as nails, couldn’t be happier to find myself in their ranks.

@BellaR_BDB: *smiling* You’re welcome.

L/J:*gets up to walk around – seeing how natural they all are with each other, makes my/our nerves settle some* (hearing laughing over a game of pool between @Vishous_BDB & @Tohrment_BDB we walk over to check it out.*

@Vishous_BDB: *taking a shot*

L: Who’s winning?

@Vishous_BDB: *nods at @Tohrment_BDB* Want to play winner?

@Tohrment_BDB: *Eying the 3 ball, knowing I can bank it in if V misses his next shot*

J: Ohhh, no, we’re still playing Monopoly with @Wrath_BDB, @Rehvenge_BDB, @Zsadist_BDB, @Phury_BDB. We just came over to see what you guys were laughing about?

@Vishous_BDB: Well you did bring up the sparkly vamps so we had to give @Rhage_BDB some flack, true?

@Rhage_BDB: *flips V off*

@Tohrment_BDB: *shaking my head at all the sparkle talk*

@Lassiter_BDB: *still glowing* What is wrong with sparkle?

@Rehvenge_BDB: *finally absconding with Park Place AND Boardwalk, nailing the Brothers with sly amethyst eyes* Just hand over your banks now, ladies. *steepled fingers*

L: Who’s winning at the monopoly game? Oh… not sure, but I believe @Wrath_BDB might be. *feeling less and less nervous, but knowing it can return at anytime with so many males of this size packed into this room.*

@Rehvenge_BDB: *pulling all Z’s internal outrage for a snack and replacing it with the overwhelming desire to bake Halloween cupcakes*

@Zsadist_BDB: *feeling like I want to bake some cupcakes – shakes head and glares at @Rhevenge_BDB* You Fu…*growls*

@Wrath_BDB: *grins* Of course I’m winning. And Rehv? Park Place and Boardwalk mean nada. *laughs*

*@Rehvenge_BDB shouts above the music that it’s Jessica’s turn*

L/J: *looking up at @Vishous_BDB, @Rhage_BDB, @Tohr_BDB & @Butch_BDB over the pool table* we’ll come back again in a few… *walking back over to the couch – noticing @John_MatthewBDB and @Xhex_BDB have joined the group*

***J: @Rehvenge_BDB – seriously, I haven’t played this since college. Any tips on how to beat these boys? and you too *laughs* C’mon – help a girl out?

@Rehvenge_BDB: *enigmatic smile* Mind over matter, female. *leans forward* No…really…mind…*reaching out with the “fun” side of me to get a nice hold on your emotions…then looking over @Wrath_BDB and releasing my hold on you in an effort to play nice*…over matter.

@John_MatthewBDB: *Walking in with Xhex, smiling at the shellans, nodding at the brothers*

@Xhex_BDB: * Walking into room with John seeing everyone gathered together kicking back.. Noticing @Rehvenge_BDB playing Monopoly with @Zsadist_BDB, @Wrath_BDB, and @Phury_BDB. I feel the smugness rolling off him, he must have Boardwalk and Park Ave again.* Gearing up to win @Rehvenge_BDB?

@Rehvenge_BDB: You know my tastes, Xhex. And how I play for keeps. *flicking amethyst eyes to @EhlenaA_BDB and thinking she’s overdue for one of our “special” phone calls*

***L: *smiles* Hello, @John_MatthewBDB & @Xhex_BDB. It’s nice to see you both tonight. We were hoping you’d make it.

@John_MatthewBDB *Looking to @Xhex_BDB, signing* Translate for me?

@Xhex_BDB Of course. *smiling at @John_MatthewBDB*

@John_MatthewBDB *signing* It’s always good to be here, this is my family. No matter how crazy or strange, this is home. Thanks for your support of all of us.

***L/J: *Sitting back, taking everything in and listening to the conversation that’s going around the room.*

@MarissaH_BDB: I’m new to some of these human traditions, but @Butch_BDB has explained the Halloween tradition to me. I’m curious to know what costume my hellren might wear if we all donned costumes? *looks towards @Butch_BDB*

@Butch_BDB: I’d put on a cop uniform. You wanna see my night stick, baby? waggles eyebrows and picks @MarissaH_BDB up, swinging her around, planting a kiss on her lips*

@CormiaC_BDB: Oh, costumes? That sounds like fun. I think I might like to dress up like an Explorer – I’ve been reading a lot of human history books lately. Perhaps Magellan or Columbus or Cortes…*looks to my hellren* What about you, @Phury_BDB? What costume would you wear?

@Phury_BDB: *looks at @Rhage_BDB and @Vishous_BDB* Before anyone suggests it, I am NOT dressing up as Pocahontas so @CormiaC_BDB can be John Smith.

@CormiaC_BDB: Pocahontas?

@Phury_BDB: Never mind. As for a costume? I don’t know, I’d probably go as something that would make my niece laugh.

@Vishous_BDB: Now that is a great idea, true?

@MaryL_BDB I love Halloween. I’d love to know what costume @Rhage_BDB would have me wear. *blushes again* Scratch that, baby. I don’t think I want you to answer it in the interview.

@Rhage_BDB: *growls*

@BethR_BDB I think @Wrath_BDB would make a good pirate & I could be the kitchen wench. *laughing at the mental image of my hellren dressed up as a pirate*

@Wrath_BDB: *shakes head* Great, I have to hand out candy to humans and dress up as Captain Jack Sparrow. Leelan, we need to discuss this pirate obsession of yours, preferably while I’m pillaging your village, wench. *low growl*

@EhlenaA_BDB: *smiles sweetly @Rehvenge_BDB* You’ve already seen my Halloween costume. What’s your favorite part?

@Rehvenge_BDB: Pantyhose. *FANGS*

@DocJaneW_BDB: *Laughing at the Halloween talk* I already have the perfect costume, I’m going as a ghost. Of course V has other ideas, don’t you? *raises an eyebrow*

@Vishous_BDB: *growls, tempted to grab @DocJaneW_BDB and head for the pit*

A question for you two.

@Lassiter_BDB: So I have a question for you two. Since I don’t have my own book yet, *rolls eyes* I want to know which book if your favorite? And what makes it your favorite? I know that when I get my own book that one will be everyone’s favorite. Also who’s your favorite brother? Favorite shellan? Favorite couple? It is okay to say I am your favorite, we all know it’s true.

@Vishous_BDB: *walks over and drags @Lassiter_BDB away from you* Leave them alone Lassy. He will do anything for an ego boost.

***L: It’s okay @Vishous_BDB. I’ll try to answer @Lassiter_BDB’s question. I do have two books that are my favorites, which two… I’m not going to say. However, I will tell you this… I more then enjoyed, laughed even cried during each and every book for one reason or another. @Wrath_BDB & BethR_BDB’s story had me hooked and ready for more. Now, that’s how it is at the end of each book. Craving more. As for the other questions you asked. For a favorite brother – depends on who’s book I’m reading at the time. That brother will usually end up being my favorite. For shellan, I think the answers they gave for how they deal with the fighting just proves to me that they are all worthy of that title. And for Favorite couple? Well, each has been through so much *looks at @Tohrment* that shows that even a Vampire race and the couples within it have some normal, if not extremely hard things they have to deal with, that makes you seem somewhat human in how most of us humans can relate to you. So, each couple is my favorite if for that reason alone. As for your book @Lassiter_BDB I’m looking forward to it. *smiling at you* I can’t wait to see where your story will go and to learn more about you. What about you Jessica?

***J: Well, I will admit that I am very much looking forward to your story @Lassiter_BDB *winks* but as for past stories I am a huge fan of @Zsadist_BDB and I think that him and @BellaR_BDB are a fabulous couple! I mean c’mon, @BellaR_BDB kicks butt! Gotta love when the lady takes charge. *smiles* I do have to say that one thing I loved in each book was that the shellans were there to help each of you see a different side of yourselves and with that I believe it helped to open each of you up a bit too.

@Lassiter_BDB: A long as you didn’t say that one is your favorite I am good: *points @Vishous_BDB*

@BellaR_BDB: *small smile* Thanks.

***L: What about each of you? What do you think of your stories being out there? And were you surprised at anything you read after the fact?

@Wrath_BDB: Challa has been good to us. She’s told our stories and kept it accurate. I can’t ask for more than that.

@Butch_BDB: I’m ok with what she wrote about me. It was hard to read about my family back in Boston and how things ended with us, but *shrugs* I’ve found where I really belong and that’s what really matters, true?

@John_MatthewBDB *Looking at @Xhex_BDB and signing* It’s hard to have all of that exposed but at the same time I think it can help anyone realize that no matter how tough the path, eventually you end up exactly where you’re supposed to be. * Squeezing @Xhex_BDB’s hand and turning my head to look @Tohrment_BDB, remembering @Wellsie_BDB*

@Xhex_BDB * Returning @John_MatthewBDB’s comforting gesture. * It is difficult as I am a private person normally, but it has brought me back to where I needed to be and to people I can work with, albeit hesitantly for me given my personality. *Smirks *

@Phury_BDB: I’m not proud of some of the decisions I made, so it was difficult to know that those decisions were in print. But I am proud of what I’ve done since then. So it makes sense to have the bad showcased with the good.

@CormiaC_BDB: *nodding* You have much to be proud of. *thinks how proud I am of you* And yes, it was difficult to know that what we went through was shared with others, but we take the good with the bad…together. *smiles at @Phury_BDB*

@DocJaneW_BDB *Cutting in* I’d just like to say that I find the bond between mates absolutely compelling. Through reading the books, you are easily aware of when a male has found their mate *thinking of @Vishous_BDB’s intoxicating bonding scent*. In each instance, the urge to claim their mate is nearly immediate whether the female is vampire, human or a half-blood, and in @Butch_BDB’s case, he even knows before he’s made aware of his lineage. I think that what may not be acknowledged as frequently, but can’t be ignored, is that each of us was in turn magnetized to them. So is it all fate? Or is there something in our chemical make up that draws us to one another? I think there is plenty of room to explore this phenomenon. Anyway, I went off on a tangent there. About our story being out there? Personally, I think our book kicks ass. *winks at V*

***J: Yeah..and what do you look forward to as more stories come out and your lives move forward?

@Wrath_BDB: A united vampire race. We need to recruit and work together to decimate the Lessing Society. With the Brotherhood strengthening daily anything is possible.

@John_MatthewBDB *signing* I’d like to see my boys @Blaylock_BDB and @Qhuinn_BDB get smart and find what I did with @Xhex_BDB, no matter what that means, for both of them. As far as the two of us *smiling at @Xhex_BDB* well, I just look forward to kicking some ass side by side *John then signs something that Xhex doesn’t translate*

@Xhex_BDB * Rolling my eyes at my Hellren and signing back. * I can’t wait.

@Phury_BDB: I hope you’ll get to see our race strengthened…

@Vishous_BDB: Getting to know sister mine.

@Butch_BDB: I’m waiting to see what’s doing with @Payne_BDB. If she’s anything like her twin, holy hell we’re in for a ride *glances over at @Vishous_BDB grinning* You love me bro, and you know it. *glancing over at @MarissaH_BDB*

@Vishous_BDB: *claps @Butch_BDB’s back* True.

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