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Chapter 12

Dawn spread its lethal force over the skies, chasing the night away. I felt Conrad in the next room, felt his pulse, tasted the reminiscence of his blood on my tongue. I almost took him in that bathroom. I’ve never experience such intensity for centuries. The heavy sleep of the dead pressed upon me. Still, I lingered barely conscious, clinging to the sound of his heart. 

 

How I wished we could stay together. He was a temptation I wasn’t sure I could refuse. I wanted to solve the mystery of the pull that tight us together. Who was Conrad? He wasn’t a mere mortal. He wasn’t just a blood bag. He wasn’t food. What was he, exactly? Why can he bend my will and resist my powers?

 

As the burden of daylight came crashing over me, I slowly drifted to the darkness. The last breath of the living leaving my cold body. Conrad, he name echoed in my mind. 

 

For the longest time, I’ve wondered where did my spirit go when I sleep the sleep of the dead? Most of the first years as a creature of the night, it was just a terrifying darkness. And then, with more experience and power, I was able to create my fortress. The place where my spirit rest when the body lay down for daytime slumber. It was my safe haven in terrible times, my little piece of paradise for a cursed soul.

 

Dark blue skies with stars shinning as jewels. A moon so big, it seems like a living, breathing creature. It’s silver light cast a shimmer of glittering dust on all it touched. Perched high on a hill, I watched the valley so quiet and lonely. This was my hideout, the place I come to think, to be human again. Behind me were the ruins of the castle of my childhood. A black silhouette against the starry night. I never approached it, too many terrible memories were buried there. 

 

“Is it real?” the voice caught me off guard. I sprung around ready to face ghosts from my past. But he stood there? Conrad. 

 

“How?—?” my voice betrayed my surprised. He tilted his head to the side studying me.

 

“I don’t know. I was eating pancakes your maid gave me. Then I relaxed in bed—the sheets kinda smell like you—I have no idea how I got here,” he chuckled. We just stared at each other. This place wasn’t a dream state. He couldn’t just breach through my mind and land here by coincidence. One must possess great psychic power to even track my spirit, let alone enter my realm.

“So is it real? It’s not the first time I’ve been here, right?” he sat on the wavy grass staring at the giant moon hovering above the horizon. I kept my distance from him. He might be a demon coming to haunt me. What other extraordinary feat could he perform? It seemed he was oblivious of his own powers. Still, there were nothing evil about him. On the contrary, he radiated—love.

 

“This is all an illusion, in here you can create everything your heart desires,” I remained cautious. It was true that I could create everything I wanted in this realm but it demanded years of practice and tremendous power. He looked up at me with a mischievous grin. He was much more relaxed and peaceful than the man I left in my bedroom. 

 

“Everything?” he pulled on a blade of grass and stuck it between his lips. I watched with burning desire as he chewed on it. I wanted to touch him but I was—scared. That thought surprised me. I’ve never been scared of a seemingly weak mortal. However, Conrad wasn’t weak. He was something else. Something so elusive I couldn’t put my finger on.

 

“This realm is limitless,” I commented trying hard to stay rational. 

 

“What about a sunrise?” I gasped like I was hit by a train. He pointed at the horizon. “It would be cool to—” his voice trailed off when a pink light rose from the direction where he was pointing. I covered my face and hissed out of reflex. The moon faded as the rush of blazing orange took over the sky pushing the night away. A multicolor palette of vivid yellow, pink and orange bled into the sky. 

 

“What are you doing?” I yelled as I hunched and covered my eyes with the hem of my coat. 

 

“What do you mean? What am I doing? I’m not the one doing this—it just happened,” he looked terrified.

 

“Stop it!” I fell to my kneels. “Stop it now,” I heard his clothes rustled as he got up. His hand brushed against my shoulder. I jumped back and out eyes met. I’ve never been this scared of death in all my years into the world of darkness. Blazing rays peeked on the horizon, I didn’t dare turn in that direction. I was sure I would combust to ashes. My heart raced with dread.

 

“Why are you scared, you said this was all an illusion, right?” his voice was gently, his face serene. I narrowed my eyes at him. My fangs exposed ready to burst into violence.

 

“Is that your way of revenged?” I hissed. “What are you doing to me?” his hand rested on my trembling shape.Calm seeped into me in waves. I tried to resist but couldn’t.

 

“Look, the sun is so beautiful,” he paused. His hand still rubbing my back with such gentleness. “Look my love, this is my gift to you. I bring light into your life,” his voice compelled to raise my head. The pull of his velvet voice was so sweet I obeyed. I gazed at his profile illuminated with golden light, his smile radiant. Tears of blood streamed down my face as I turned towards the spectacular scene. The sun didn’t burn me. I didn’t crumble to ashes. My breath was caught in my throat. I was moved beyond words.

 

“Who are you?” my voice a mere whisper. Conrad slowly faced me with a smile.

 

“What are you talking about? We have always known each other. You’ve called me, you wished to find me. Here I am, answering your desire—my mate,” even though he looked like Conrad there was something different about him. Something ancient. Something timeless.

 

“Are you real?” I touched his face lightly. There was a soft glow oozing from his skin, I doubted my own eyes. “Is it all a dream?” his smile widened.

 

“Wake up Nathaniel,” his voice boomed. I blinked and found myself laying in completely darkness. The smell of fresh soil and slow decay hovered above my coffin. I instantly felt the deadly sun still high in the sky. It was late afternoon. I felt weak and shaky. I was panting with beads of sweating covering my face. What happened? I had no idea. No one could wake a master vampire before sunset, not even experienced witches or necromancer. The hunger beat inside my body. My beast raged. Ready to tear my very flesh. He was here, next door. His regular pulse urged me from my sleeping chamber. 

 

When I erupted in the bedroom, I found him fast asleep in the middle of my bed. Tangled in the satin black sheets. A sight that made my mouth watered. As it all an illusion? Was Conrad in my realm—again? All question was pushed aside as the hunger took over. I had to have him. I had to feed. I loomed over his peaceful form ready to strike.

 


Submitted: July 30, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Peter Both. All rights reserved.

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