The Dream-Stalkers: Vampiress’s Summons

Well, looky here!  I done did me some writing, yup.

It’s been a while since I’ve completed a writing piece.  I’m sure that more were hoping for a No Way Back chapter, but this is what wound up coming out: The Dream-Stalker: Vampiress’s Summons!  This would be basically piece 4 in The Dream-Stalkers and it’s not bad, if you ask me.  If flow goes right, there’ll be one more and that’s the end of the sequence.  I’m surprised it worked this well all considering the source of the story: one hell of a painful nightmare.

So, without further ado, The Dream-Stalkers: Vampiress’s Summons!  (After the jump…)

In the months since Queen Mother permitted it, Tatiana and Erik had been spending more and more time in each others’ exclusive company. They enjoyed meals together. They ran together into the night. When the urge hit, they’d steal away into a hidden place and kiss each other until they were both giggling from the feeling of each others’ presence. The one place that they could be anywhere, any time of the day together, though, was in their dreams. Tatiana had taken to completely avoiding her usual hunts and willing humans’ dream tending and, instead, spent her days in Erik’s dreams. Together they fashioned a home, a garden, even a town for them to do all the things that they wanted together. The best part, Erik had said on several occasions, was the feel of the warm sun on their skin, something that a vampire could never have in their long undeath. “It’s exactly as I remember it,” he’d told her.

Today’s dream wasn’t any different. They lay together in the side of a soft, green grassed hill, his hand in hers as they looked up at the bright blue sky. They laughed and pointed out the different shapes in the wispy clouds overhead for what felt like hours at a time. It never bored her, and even excited her when he would stop just laying. He’d roll onto his side, then prop his weight on an arm that he’d fling over her and lower himself to her lips. Those kisses were what she loved the most about their shared dream. Every one of them felt sincere. Even better, they tasted like honey, one of her most favorite foods from her youth, those near 200 years ago.

“That one looks like an old, beat-up car!” Erik laughed as he pointed to an oddly-shaped cloud. “Who knew that a cloud would look so weird?”

Tatiana looked at the cloud that Erik pointed at. While she could almost make out the shape of a very old car, it looked more like just a random blob of nothingness. She smiled and offered him a laugh. She didn’t want him to know that recently she wasn’t seeing many things in the clouds. “I think I see it!”

“Do you know what kind it is?”

She simply shook her head.

“Oh, come on! It’s an old Ford look-alike!”

She squinted at the cloud and tried to see the shape he was referring to. When she did, its shape started to shift. She watched as it thickened and rearranged itself. After a second, the sky went black and the cloud took on the shape of an angry dog’s face. No, she thought to herself, it’s a wolf!

The cloud suddenly dropped from the sky and landed downhill from where she lay on now-black ground. Its silver-streaked white fur seemed to shimmer as the werewolf crossed the colorless slope directly at her. The thing that held her attention, though, was its eyes. The dark blues she remembered had changed to a fiery red that illuminated the smoke that flew out from the corners of its eyes and streamed around his head as if he were at a full run. She tried to reach for Erik but he was no longer there. It was just her and this werewolf in a sea of darkness.

It came to a stop a few feet from her sitting place. She could see his face twisted with anger as it opened its mouth to speak. “You still are here?” it asked in an angry growl. “You’ve yet to accept my invitations.” The rumble of his words echoed throughout the dream, making the words sound as if they didn’t want to end.

Tatiana stood defiantly, the loose fitting light-blue dress she often wore in Erik’s dreams shifting with her body as she did. “I told you, I’ve no intention of coming to you!”

“You’ve yet to accept my invitations.” The creature echoed its previous statement.

Tatiana looked at the werewolf’s halfling form and realized again that it wasn’t truly him. “I thought I banished your memory from my dreams! Leave me be!”

The were lunges at her, catching her by surprise, and rams his claws deep into her stomach. Tatiana lets out a whimper as she bites back against the pain, the blackened dream flashing into a bright blood red. “You can’t banish me! You made me!” His voice lifts to a shrill whine as he throws his head back to laugh, then returns almost to its original tone, but different in that it sounds as if three of him was speaking at varying pitches as he steps in and speaks menacingly into her ear. “It’s time to wake up and finish what you started, little girl…”

She screams in agony as she feels the claws not only press deeper into her gut but also begin to twist inside of her. The pain lasts for only a few unbearable seconds before she blacks out.

Tatiana snaps her eyes open to find herself still laying on hers and Erik’s shared mat. She blinks, happy that it was only a dream, then realizes that she’s still holding onto Erik’s still-sleeping body. The feel of his cool, almost naked skin against hers had become comforting in the past months, but today it felt as if his being there was assuring her that her life was still hers. She takes her free hand and runs it through his hair, then gently kisses his lips before she slips towards the edge of the bed. As Tatiana slides from under him, she turns to hang her feet down from the mattress and holds her head in her hands, propping her elbows against her knees.

“What’s the matter, love? You left.” Erik shuffles in the bed and puts his arm around her from behind. He kisses her head through her hair and then brings his body to straddle hers.

“I didn’t leave. Not intentionally.”

She feels his body tense against hers and knew what he was going to ask. “Was it him?”

Her forehead still in her hands, she whispers quietly into the space between, “Yes…” She lifts her head, dragging her fingers down her own cheeks, before turning to look at him. “I mean, no. It was him, but it wasn’t.”

“That doesn’t make much sense.”

“I know, Erik, I know. I’m trying to make sense of it myself. I think…” She pauses to swallow before she continues, “I think he’s what I fear about him. He’s not under my control, or anyone’s control. What would he do to me?”

The fit body that is Erik’s slides away from her as he stands from the bed. “Nothing, because you promised me you’d never go back there.”

Tatiana turns to face him, her dark red hair drifting past her shoulders, when a loud knock prevents her from speaking on the matter. Her head swivels the opposite direction as she calls out, “Who is it?”

“Tatiana!” The feminine voice sounded urgent.

Still naked, Tatiana leaves the bed and crosses the short distance to the wooden door. She unlocks the antiqued door latch and opens it to find Elisa, wrapped in a flowered kimono, standing at the door, about to hammer it with a balled fist. “Lisa?”

“Good, you’re awake.” The sound of several other doors opening in the hallway and muffled complaints spill into the room as the human-formed werewolf speaks. “Mother wants you.”

“Now?”

Elisa gives Tati an exaggerated look of impatience as she taps her foot. “No, tomorrow. Yes, now! Put something on and let’s go!”

~*~ ~*~

Dressed in something not quite fashionable but easily thrown on, Tatiana, in jeans, loose T-shirt that belonged to Erik, and her soft cotton flats, follows a fast-moving Elisa to the Queen Mother’s private chambers. The sounds of bare feet slapping along polished stone and heavy cotton padding behind echo ahead of them in an odd combination, making the unusually-bright hallway feel like the entrance to a trap to the younger vampiress. The sense of urgency and the persistence from Elisa made Tati wonder what it could possibly be but, at the same time, she knows that whatever the queen wanted would be very, very important. The feeling was verified when Elisa simply pushes through the doors without knocking, something no one would dare do without just cause, and starts to call out. “Mother! I’ve br– Oh!”

The human-formed werewolf stops quickly in front of Tatiana who almost plows into her. Sitting on a dark-stained wooden bench that was well crafted and finely upholstered in a burgundy-colored velvet was the lithe and beautiful, yet uncharacteristically disheveled, Queen Mother Lasha. Instead of her fine dresses and silken robes, she wore black cotton pants and a silver top. While unusually bland for her tastes, they still fit her fit body rather well, showing off a body that had taken many years to perfect. Her hair, normally done up and stylish, today lay flat down her back and shoulders, her natural wave still there but somewhat hidden by centuries of styling. She leans against her bed and simply looks at her folded-together hands, obviously deep in thought, and the sight of their Queen Mother in such a state makes the room feel dark and ominous. Lasha finally looks up after a moment and any doubt that something was troubling her was shattered. “Ah, good. Sit down, please, girls.” She gestures to chairs that are in other areas of the room. Once the both of the younger women are seated, she looks over at Tatiana, then to Elisa, then back at the younger vampire. “Something,” she starts, but then pauses for a moment to collect her thoughts, “doesn’t feel right, Tati.”

The pale redhead cocks her head slightly in thought. “No?”

“Oh, I see that our bonding is affecting you…” The queen’s voice seems distant and clearly distracted as she speaks. “Is Erik appreciative?”

The question draws a slight flush to come to Tatiana’s cheeks. “Y-yes, mother. He says that I don’t need to change, but I can feel that he looks at me differently now.” The young vampiress smiles at the thought of her body’s own changing more into what she always wanted. In the past several months, she’d had a need to replace some of her personal lingerie as her bosom’s size had slowly begun to increase. She’d always wanted to feel more feminine and the enhancement had made her feel more womanly than she ever had before.

Elisa looks at her mother with a confused scowl. “You had me bring her here to talk about her tits?” she asks flatly.

Lasha smirks, then laughs, at the question, and the feel of the room lightens ever so slightly. After a moment of laughter, the queen responds, “No, my daughter. I just don’t want to think about what is really going on at the moment.” The elder vampire straightens up on her bench seat and stretches her neck, letting it rock from side to side. “I think it’s time to discuss what happened that night, Tatiana.”

“I thought we had, mother. I don’t think there’s much more to add to it.”

Lasha sits quietly for a moment, searching the girl’s face for something more. “Alright, then,” she offers in her sweet voice, “why don’t you start from the beginning again?”

“Before that, I have something I need to ask, Mother.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. Since we are going to talk about the dreams. I’ve been having strange things in my dreams.” Tati shifts uncomfortably. “It was nothing at first, just images and shadows. But, as time progressed, it began showing up in its full form, closer and closer. Sometimes it… He would interact with the dreams, sometimes he would just be there.”

“He?”

“The werewolf, mother. He keeps beckoning me closer to him. I always ignored him and Erik never seemed to notice. I’d even ask him if he saw the were, but he never did.”

Elisa huffs loudly, obviously becoming agitated. “Is there a point to this? Mother needs us for something.”

“Sorry, I’ll get to the point. In the past month, he’s been in half of my dreams. Sometimes he’s something we… No, I have to deal with, and normally he whispers, ‘Come back.’ Tonight, though, he attacked me. He hurt me.”

Lasha, who’d listened without interruption, chooses now to speak. “What did he say?”

“That I’m supposed to go back. And that it wasn’t really him, it was a memory of him.”

“Then it wasn’t really him. Your dream version of him is the truth of who and what he is to you, so if it were him he would tell you. No, it’s a memory of yours, Tatiana. That said, he has a point.” Lasha looks the younger girl square in the eye. “You’ve been avoiding him and we know he’s out there. He’s not trying to hide.”

Tatiana looks across the room at Elisa, who’s doing her best to feign indifference, but she can feel the were’s irritation like a wave in the air. Great, she thinks to herself, now she’ll think I’m still wanting to have the wolf for myself.

Ignoring the cross-room glance, Lasha continues. “Eventually, though, you’ll have to go back. Now, why don’t we go back into what happened that night, shall we?”

Tatiana sighs, then leans forward and rests her elbows onto her knees. “Well, it started like any normal walking, just the regular entering with some resistance, but not much. He’d only just drifted off because he wasn’t dreaming, so I wove one for him.” The flush returns as she remembers seeing the werewolf naked on the chair. Elisa starts to move, but Lasha waves her back, then gestures for Tati to continue. “He was naked when he entered the dream, not something I planned, and…” Tatiana looks at Elisa, and then to the Queen. “Do I need to tell all of it?”

Lasha smiles when she hears Elisa’s quieted huff. “I’d rather you did, but you can skip parts that aren’t important. Just remember, all the parts of your dream affected his, so anything you thought, or felt, could have been important.”

Tatiana looks to a seemingly-agitated Elisa. “I’m sorry that I have to do this again. I know you don’t want to hear it.” She hangs her head, feeling as if she’s betraying a girl she considers a friend by just discussing it, but then sighs and continues. “He was a stunning example of his kind, and I found myself extremely drawn to him. It almost felt unnatural, but at that moment I didn’t care, I wanted to feel him. I should have left the dream because I wasn’t sure of what I felt, but I chose to continue. No one else had ever found him and here he was, his white fur blending into shades of silvers and grays on that almost-human body…” She looked up to see Lasha smiling at her, a dark smile that hinted that she was enjoying herself, and Elisa looking anywhere but at her.

Tatiana frowned but continued. “Nevermind. When he called out, I felt into his dream, found someone I could become, and told him that I was her. I don’t know who she was, just that she was some long-dead girlfriend or an ex who he was close to and died or something like that. I played with the dream to convince him to let me bite him. When I did, he tried to change into his human self. Something came over me. I wanted…” She looks up at Elisa with a tear in her eye, one she didn’t realize was growing. “I’m so sorry, Elisa, I wanted him. That beast. I wanted his arms round me. I wanted to feel him, to feel his fur around my back! I wanted to take him and have him and it came over me like a fire that I couldn’t put out. I’m so sorry, Elisa!” She’d begun to sob because she knew saying it would hurt a girl she considered her best girl friend ever.

The room was silent for several moments as the young vampiress tried to curtail her sobbing. Then, that silence was broken with Elisa’s, “It’s okay.”

Still sniffling but no longer crying, Tatiana looked into Elisa’s deep brown eyes, something that wasn’t hard to do since the girl had crossed the space and rested her hand on Tati’s leg. “No, it’s not, I–”

“Tatiana, stop it. You’ve punished yourself enough over this. You didn’t know. I may not be happy about it, but you’ve torn yourself to shreds over it.” The human-formed werewolf smiles at the vampire, doing little to hide the jealousy in her eyes but sincere enough to make her next words feel true. “I’ve forgiven you for it already.”

Tatiana’s arms snap out around the brunette’s body as she pulls her into a strong hug. “I’ll never do anything like that with him again, I swear,” the ginger-girl’s sniffling response comes.

“I know, sister.” Elisa pulls gently away from the calming vampiress. “Just remember that if we ever meet him again.” She smiles wide at Tati, the jealousy finally subsided.

“Aw, it’s so nice to see my girls getting along so well!” Lasha smiles as she looks at both of the girls. “We’re going to need that for later, I’m sure.” After a quick nod, she looks back at Tatiana, still shaking from her tear-filled outburst, and adds, “After all, we’re not done yet. Are you ready to continue?”

Tatiana inhales deeply behind closed eyes, then lets it out and nods. “Well, after I bit him, he turned human, but I told him I wanted his half-human form. He turned back into that halfling beast, all black and dark–”

Lasha raises her hand and Tatiana stops speaking. Concern laces her features when she asks, “I thought you said his fur was white?”

Tati nods. “It was, but when he changed back, it was black.”

Lasha’s voice sounds panicky as she asks, “Was it black or did it TURN black?”

The girl raises an eyebrow as she thinks back. “Well… If I remember, he started back in as a silver, but his fur looked like it kind of rippled and changed into a black. Not instantly but within a couple of seconds…. Mother?”

Tatiana stopped speaking as she looked at the queen. Elisa spoke, “Mother, what’s wrong?”

Lasha’s face was contorted in fear, her eyes darting from shadow to shadow. “No… It can’t be… Not him…”

Elisa begins to stand and steps nearer to the woman she calls mother. “Mother, are you alright?”

Lasha jumps from her bench and lifts Tatiana from her seat. She starts yelling, panic now filling her already-terrified voice. “We have to go! We have to find him in his dream! NOW!”

Tatiana stands as her Queen lifts her up. “Why? What’s wrong,” she asks, the dread from Lasha’s voice seeping into her.

“If he finds out who you are, who you were doing this for, he’ll kill them all for sure, if he hasn’t already! We must go now!”

Elisa touches her mother’s shoulder and asks with alarm, “Why would he do that? The war’s over!”

“You don’t understand! Neither of you do! It’s not that, it’s me! I… I demanded his blood! I had him banished! I’m the reason his lover, the woman you took the place of, is dead! I planned to kill the woman he loved, and she and their unborn child both died… Because of me!”

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