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22.82% Blood & Juniper (A Vampire Tale) / Chapter 21: Connections (Part 1)

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Chapter 21: Connections (Part 1)

Accounts of Juniper, a fall night of 2017.

A bottomless pit, none else could explain the plethora of food disappearing so rapidly. I admire him from behind a decoy collection of wax parchment as he dined, a magazine with such cartoonish headlines splayed across every page. I'd glance at the conspicuous designs occasionally, it was living proof of how fantasy and reality were slowly coming to a point. Things only conjured in visions were the new future.

I observe him place the utensils down on the ceramic dish, reaching into his pockets to retrieve crumpled bills and his cellphone. Another contraption that shaped this era. A decade of dreamers and potent ennui. Televisions, phones and a whole assemblage of other visual gadgets. A thing that would allow you to visit that of another's dream. It was remarkable really but also demonstrated the melancholy that plagued this moment in time.

He says his farewells to his friends, leaving money on the table as he makes way for his vehicle in the car park.

That's another day I watch him go, although I'm quite complacent to observe. At least he seems well, from outward appearances anyhow.

I follow after him like a shadow on the wall. Perhaps, he's content but does he feel something is lacking? Maybe he has a sense of feeling incomplete like I often do.

The weather permitted my lingering and my proximity to him closer than before. Yet, I still could not find the courage to confront him.

He glances around the lot, I wondered if he felt my looming presence but his wandering eyes passover without notice. I am tempted to step out of the shadows and reveal myself. Alas, this is neither the time nor place.

He rolls down the windows of his truck, he's retained that outdoorsmen spirit of his, and rides on past me.

Here's where I would part for the night to carry on with my own mundane rituals, but something most unpresidented had taken place two nights prior. My reclusive behavior had taken its toll, I was eager for a change and most curious to see if my potential guest had decided to accept my hospitality. Needless to say, I had taken a keen interest in the young pet.

I float along modern sidewalks by cover of night. The architecture was practical and sleek but lacked character. Although, not all things were made anew, some individuals held a fascination with preserving history. A few ancient buildings withstood the test of time, much like myself. Though, these structures bare the marks of memories over the years as mine left no visible imprints.

A cluster of chattering young men come around the corner and into view. I slow my strides to a leisurely trot. I catch the fixed gaze of a young man approaching amongst his colleagues. Another boy in the small crowd moves to gain favor, "Hey, what's a pretty thing like you doing walking alone?"

I flash a smile.

Another calls out from the rowdy bunch, "You should come join us, it'll be fun."

I feel the eyes of one focused on me, his interest doesn't waver when I pass by, "Are you looking for someplace in particular? I could help you get there," He returns a hopeful grin, "I know the area pretty well."

"Maybe," my eyes linger on his for a moment before withdrawing into a dark alley.

His head whirls around to follow.

"Zach, where are you going? We're not going to wait for you."

"I'll catch up with you later," his voice closer as he pursues my steps.

I hear the clicking of heavy heels jogging behind my languid pace, "Wait up, you're going down this creepy place alone?"

I kept walking at a casual pace until reaching the most secluded recesses of the thin pass. He continues pursuing with a chuckle, "Are you trying to lead me somewhere?"

I turn my head over my shoulder, "Right here."

I spin with a coy smile, men were still so unsuspecting of young women. This one was no exception. Particularly naive, exuding no caution whatsoever.

"What's right here?"

I raise a hand to beckon, he eagerly accepts the gesture of my attentions, a pep in his step as he makes strides toward me.

"A beautiful girl like you shouldn't be walking alone at this time of night, aren't you worried?"

"Not at all, I have you here, afterall."

I reach out for him, my hands softly slide up the outside of his shirt, my eyes fixed on his dazed expression of surprise and appeasement.

He blinks taken off guard but doesn't move away, instead closing the gap between us.

His gaze is captivated in mine, he asks, "What's your name?"

"Come closer and I'll tell you."

His eyes widen in anticipation, sliding his arms around my waist to bring me closer. My hands crawl up his torso, wrapping my arms around his neck.

I lean my lips close to his ear with an audible breath, enjoying his warmth and smell, a quickened heart of arousal. He shudders quietly with his own excitement.

My lips press below his ear and trail down his neckline breathing him in as I descend.

I take a moment before sinking my razor sharp teeth into the firm muscle of his neck.

He gasps and his body tenses, "Wha…!?"

My fingers tangle in his hair to steady him, the other gently caresses to sooth but ready to restrain if necessary.

He relaxes as I drink him in slow, his lovely fluids flow and I moan emulating that of an impassioned kiss. He embraces me tighter while I suckle his neck.

His life connected to mine as I draw it out and take it in. The river of sweetness pulsating with a familiar rush that never ceases to gratify. The beat of a drum satisfies the beast in my belly keeping it securely leashed.

His calm state of confusion and pleasure is fit for my mood to the contrast of a victim's struggle. Though, I don't mind a good fight even if it's futile.

The steady flood of blood trickling in with the beat of a hypnotic drum sates my needs, I relish the timeless experience as if it were my last.

I listen for his friends and weigh the consequence of draining this one. Hmm, too easy and there's no need, maybe I'll find this one later down the road for the finish.

I release his neck, lapping at the wound which will fully mend itself within a few minutes time. Then turn to face the disoriented soul.

"You look rather pale, perhaps we should find a place to sit."

"Yeah," He blinks breathless, "I'm sorry, your kiss…" He trails off having difficulty finding the words.

I giggle, "Come, sit here."

I lower him down on a wooden box propped against the wall.

"Are you…. Real?" He struggles to stay conscious.

I grin stroking his cheek and placing a finger to his lips, "Shhh, go to sleep."

He fights his fatigue but is eventually betrayed by it. His eyes flutter closed and I leave the alley silently, but a blink was all I needed to disappear.

Each segmented spit of concrete retreats beneath my toes, rolling like a film reel as I sail over the repetitive pattern. The slow pace of the common public tested my patiences, a restrictive nuisance. A witness or two wouldn't disturb peace, likely to be written off as a hallucination.

Wind from a car jetting down the street blows through my loose hair, sending ripples through my woven clothing. I run at a pace faster than a winning derby, clinging to the dark edges along building walls and vehicles with the fluidity of a healthy cat.

I had been a resident near this town for nearly three decades, I could navigate some areas just by the smells and echoes off the stone walls alone. Although I spend a great amount of time in the deep of the woods, this town was known to me.

I examine my path as one does with a cherished photograph, stable and unchanging. Without warning an unfamiliar sensation soaks into my mind, creating a mist around my heart.

Fear. Anxiety. And something warm, a kin to happiness or admiration?

Feelings that were not my own.

It had to be her, the young pet was wandering the town tonight? I suspend my journey homeward, coming to a halt, toes aligned with the cement split. I was most eager to fulfill my new desires, to sate my curiosity, see how she was fending.

Agog with a new found passion to break away from my irradicable practices, I begin to separate the smells and radiating auras.

My toes spin like a compass, pointing the way. I fly down the walkway with the heavy fabric waving like a banner in the wind, following the potent trail of my interesting little friend.

I raised an eyebrow, a twinge from corners of my lips. A social butterfly, is she? Ashlen was not alone or she was being followed, but by whom? Not a mortal.

I gaze upward revealing a tall chapel erect in my wake. An old building crafted with devotion from sturdy stone and granite accents to the beautiful shining stained glass. Purples and pinks twinkling against the greens and blues in sparkling murals. A geometric sunset of religious deities.

I feel the tsks click on my tongue. Delinquent activities? Now I must to know what she was doing loitering in a church after the holy hours of worship. Floating over to the double doors I try the large brass knob with it's petal-like design.

Locked, as anticipated.

A bizarre wave of nausea came over my person upon touching the door, subsiding as I removed my grasp. How odd, likely a side effect of the Devil's line, I didn't give it a second thought that crazed boy may have descended from that line.

I place my hand flesh to the door, envisioning where the turn key was located. My hand melted through the door like reaching into a murky pond.

My fingers solidified on the opposite side while my wrist waded in the wood, I felt around blindly for the turn key. I groped a promising latch, hearing the metal scratch with a click, a smirk spreads across my face. Although my ability to manipulate matter was limited, it still had its usefulness.

I removed my ghostly hand from the thick oak entry, curling my fingers into the crease of my palm then flexing them again.

The foreign emotions shift from contentment to confusion. She must feel my presence as I do hers. I creep into the lofty vestibule, ignoring the sickness dwelling low in my stomach, my regard overshadowed the small discomfort.

The hollowed sounds bounced infinitely along the walls and floor as if conversations from years past had never come to an end. Although, there was a current exchange taking place in the nave. A familiar voice of a girl and the rich voice of a man.

I drift along the walls slipping into the nave, sliding behind a rounded pillar to spy.

An alien wave of shock hits me as Ashlen gasps, proving difficult to hide from someone who's connected by blood.

A growl echoes off the walls as I meet eyes with the pair. My young pet, eyes wide with surprise and naivety and a man with a most hostile expression of hatred. Had we met? Hatred of that magnitude did not come unprovoked.

A smile of fascination spreads across my lips, who knew this night would be so… Interesting.

His resentment deepens as a snarl slips from curled lips. He makes a step in my direction. An incandescence burns in my eyes, I'm keen to taste the passionate contempt that plagues his soul.

My gaze flicks over as Ashlen takes hold of his arm. Hmm, she cares for him?

"Sam." she whispers, her eyes focused on him with concern. His furious illuminated gaze still locked on mine though he stays in place, are the feelings reciprocated? I tilt my head, intrigued.

I study the face of the angered man unable to recall, what had I done for this grand aversion to cleanly manifest?

Ashlen eyes me as a palpable anxiety leaks out from her pores like soured milk, "Juniper, what are you doing here?"

"I couldn't help but notice… You were close by. I thought I'd see how you were adjusting."

A scoff echoes through the vaulted ceiling.

The man grits his teeth as he spits, "That's rich, aren't you the one who abandoned her?"

"We learn best unleashed, free to experience the world at our own discretion," I float over to the back of a nearby bench to caress the glossed wood with a finger. I can't help but grin when he tenses from my movement, "Would you have me soil that experience by buzzing over her like an insect?"

"You're completely irresponsible. Just sent her out on her own without mentioning a damn thing!"

"Ashlen's a perfectly capable young woman," I extend a hand to her, "You suggest I coddle, smother her?"

"You know damn well," His knuckles crack with impatience and I can't help but find his overbearing behavior amusing, but this clearly isn't the root of his hatred, "It's like sending out an infant that can't even crawl, completely defenseless."

"An infant," I muse, "Then that means I'm being chastised by a child…"

Ashlen steps in front of the man, a sensation of annoyance entwined in her anxiety.

"You can stop talking about me like I'm not right here." She gives me a glare then turns to the man with the same expression, though his unblinking eyes don't budge, marking me like a hawk.

"Can you two just chill out?" her head turns back to me, eyes pleading yet disapproving, "Juniper?"

I simper softly, "There is no issue here, that's completely dependent on your friend," I meant that, I was far too interested to see what the man would choose. Though, if his choice lead to challenging me, I'd gladly devour the strong passions he exudes.

Brows deepen into a death glare from the man, this was familiar, who is he? Not the face but the angered aura, I just couldn't place it…..ah!

"Oh, you had some sort of kinship to the crazed one a few nights ago?"

The slightest twitch from the mystery man confirms my suspicion.

"You realize if I didn't take him out someone else would," I notice the man begins to boil but I continue on, "He was out of control, arrogant, it was only a matter of..."

"You would know all about arrogance since you seem to be the living embodiment of it!" His green eyes flash like lightning strikes.

I sneer, this one was very easy to provoke, I had an impish desire to give him the gory details on how I enjoyed feasting upon his friend's soul, but Ashlen cut in.

"Enough you guys, seriously!" She clings to the man, likely the only thing keeping him tame. Her wide eyes in a panic, I feel her own irritation and fearfulness invade my insides,

She snaps, "Juniper!"

Their emotions ran so hot, I shouldn't enjoy poking a coals as much as I do.

"...Yes," my mock innocence surely added fuel to the fire I couldn't help but feed.

"You!.. Can you.. Can I meet you back at the cabin?" She glares at me with frustration amongst other things, "*Please?*"

"Of course, I didn't intend to cause grief," Not originally anyhow.

A titter from the man makes my lips twitch as I turn my back on them.

I turn my head over my shoulder with a grin, "I'll see you later on, Petite."

I catch a silent snarl from the fuming man and wait for a moment with my back to them, wondering if he'll take the opportunity to attack. He's fairly young but definitely strong enough to make for an entertaining brawl.

He doesn't, so I leave them be. Exiting the building without a sound.

Ashlen's emotions died down as soon as I left her presence and continued fading as I put distance between us.

200 years and I never had the unfounded compulsion to turn another. It was all very exciting. Our differences doubtless outweighed our similarities, but I had no regrets in choosing her.

VPSugarRush VPSugarRush

Thanks for being patient while I was away. I'll try to release more soon.

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