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Life and Death



 
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Eloise Buchanan

She had to keep moving forward, for if she stopped, she would tear the world to pieces.

Elle Stopped.


Present Day

The cylinder of the suppressor screwed on with ease to her Sig Sauer P226. With gloved hands, she c_cked the lever and with the weapon pressed tight against her right thigh, entered the bar. The two humans, one seated to her right, the other behind a bar to her left, looked up at her. She locked the door without turning from them. Raised her weapon and shot the man to her right before quickly spinning left and taking out the bartender, both single shots between the eyes.

Two more men came out of a side door heading for the bar. The pair were chatting; unaware anything had occurred. She moved with unnatural speed crushing the windpipe of the first with a fist to his throat, giving her three minutes before he died. The second man already in her grip and under her fangs, his blood sliding effortlessly down her throat. Drinking in strong, greedy pulls draining him quickly she then went back to crushed windpipe guy and pushing him over the bar, bit deep and took every last drop, taking her time.

With four corpses littering the bar, she stood still as she savoured, for a moment, the blood racing through her system, enhancing everything that was already exceptional for a vampire. She stared at the door separating her from five strong beating hearts - blood dripping from her mouth as she licked her lips, eyes black as pitch.

Wait, wait! This is not where the story begins.
February 21, 2019 08:14 am

Eloise Buchanan

Four Nights Earlier

The penthouse above Covent Gardens that overlooked London with a gorgeous view of the city and the London Eye at night was Elle’s favourite place in the world. Beautiful, open, stylish, mahogany floors, dark blues and greens with wall to wall windows. Right, that works for a vampire. Cost her a pretty penny to have shutters that came down during daylight hours to cut out all sunlight - no crispy fried vamps on her watch, at least none so far.

Lately, she had been in Paris, at the Menagerie. Now her second favourite place, usurping her Sydney home which had moved to third place. The warmth and companionship she found in her coven drew her in, and she found she enjoyed her time in residence with a large suite of her own and someone always around for company if one so chose.

Entering her home, she threw car keys, mail and her purse on the kitchen counter as she programmed some music then moved to her bedroom to shower and change clothes. She needed to be here right now. She needed some quiet.

"How ha'e ye remained hidden among humankind for ten score years, Eloise?"

Edward’s quiet question on the night she infiltrated the Menagerie was on her mind. Which meant Gabriel was on her mind. Gabriel La Salle made her a vampire one hundred and eighty-five years ago, and for the last ninety-odd years, she had heard nothing from him. Nothing at all.

The short answer to Edward’s question was Gabriel had taught her well. The longer answer was his intricate and overlapping strategies to keep them out of the public eye. Gabriel was close to eight hundred years as a vampire when he made her. He was both wealthy and worldly, and they were cautious in all of their dealings.

They moved regularly, changed identity at set intervals and had a cadre of trusted people to help as needed. But for the most part, it was just Gabriel and her, isolated in a world they could not share with humans and one he had no desire to share with those of their kind. In choosing this, he also shut Elle in with him. In time the imposed isolation would bring about the end of their relationship. After all that they went through together, she had not expected silence once he left.
February 22, 2019 01:54 am

Eloise Buchanan

1833

Lady Eloise Villiers wasn’t supposed to be alone when she left the house party. Her husband, Lord Jonathan Villiers, had been at her side then disappeared back into the house, he had forgotten his cane. She didn’t understand why he fussed so; they had servants that could fetch it for him tomorrow. He said he would be but a moment and that he had called for their carriage. She waited. Time passed. She looked back to the house then feeling anxious she lifted her silk skirts and turned to ascend the stone steps. She trusted him always to have her best interest at heart, and it was not proper for a lady to wait outside, unaccompanied at night.

In the next instance a filthy hand was placed over her mouth and a strong arm across her midriff, Eloise had little time to think before being pulled across the street from where she had been waiting. Wide-eyed and terrified her assailant dragged her down an alley just as she saw her husband exit the house his cane in his grip. He made a cursory glance around as if looking for her before their carriage arrived, her family crest proud and stark on the side as the vehicle left her view, the horse's hooves clicking on the cobblestones. He hadn’t even tried to find her!

In the alley, no one heard her. There was little chance to fight back, and though she had begged her husband to allow her to learn the sword with his fencing master, she was to find fists have their own flavour of brutality. Her kidnapper hit her. Blood flowed from her nose and her lip, the pain numbed and disoriented her, he then grabbed her by the throat.

“I’d like to sorry, but I’m not darlin’, money’s worf more than you are,” her assailant hissed, close enough to her face she could smell his putrid breath.

“Please let me go. My husband will pay whatever you ask,” Eloise mumbled around her split lip, unable to believe anything this violent could happen to her. She saw something metallic in her peripheral vision, and before she could scream, he again placed his hand firmly over her mouth cutting off any sound before a knife was brought close to her face to track the tears that leaked from her eyes.

“Your ‘usband? ‘oo do ya think paid me to do this?” he whispered.

He struck her hard then, and as she fell to her knees, he was on her before she could move. He pushed her over and straddled her waist. The man leered at her as he scraped the knife down her neck, ready to slice open her clothing. She struggled to try and throw him off and sat up just as he lunged forward burying the blade in her to the hilt. Even in the semi-light of the alley, she could see his eyes widen.

“Stupid bitc…”

Then he was gone, pulled off her violently by an unseen force.

Eloise lay there dying surrounded by the filth of the alley as her blood seeped out of her and she stared with confusion at a clear night sky. Her breathing hitched painfully in her chest as tears rolled down the side of her face and into her hair.

Somewhere, near her, there was a sharp scream quickly followed by thuds and a wet gurgle as of a throat choked full of liquid. Quiet, then an odd sucking noise that she found strangely comforting accompanied with the unmistakable smell of blood.

A dark figure, a man, judging by the breadth of his shoulders, appeared above her and stared down at her for a long time. She was getting weaker by the second, and the stranger seemed to come to some decision as he lifted his wrist to his mouth though she couldn’t make sense of what he did. With the quiet and grace of a predator, he kneeled beside her and placed that cold wrist to her mouth letting his blood flow into her. The act was hideous to her, but she was too weak to protest. She thought he would kiss her then as he gently lifted her head and tilted it back. She groaned as his teeth bit deep into her skin taking what remained of her precious life’s blood.

Half dead and now savaged by this monster, she wondered what she had done to so offend God that he would let her die thus.

February 23, 2019 02:39 am

Eloise Buchanan

Four Nights Earlier

Eloise’s mind came back to the present to realise she had been staring out the bank of windows for some two hours. She got herself a drink. Grey Goose splashed into a glass, she took a sip then carried it and her mail back to the sofa to go through the correspondence at leisure. She took another sip of the clear liquid and set it down on a small table next to her. Her mail consisted of a few junk items, brochures, subscriptions she had forgotten to cancel and three letters. She threw everything aside apart from these last items.

The first was an incorrect address. Elle added that to the junk pile. The second was from Eric. He did this on occasion to remind her the world didn’t need technology. She tore it open and found a card: Fangs for the Memories. It was a farewell card due to her leaving her old work behind, was utterly kitsch and she loved it. Laughing she popped it on the coffee table upon which her feet were resting. 

The third letter was odd. Written in cursive script addressed to her real name. Elaine McCarthy was her current identity outside the Realm, Eloise Buchanan was on the envelope. No one sent mail using her real name. Upon opening it, she found the paper was expensive and heavy, and she presumed it was an invitation.

The words on the paper didn’t make any sense. Elle read them once, twice, a third time. Pain flooded her on a scale she had only felt once before, and the letter fluttered from her fingers as she moved away from it as if it would burn her. She stumbled across the room and found herself with her back to the wall of windows she was previously looking out of, her fingers pressed to her lips to contain the scream that wanted to come out. Her head shook back and forth as she slid down the windows until she hit the floor.  She pulled her knees up to her chin, tears falling unchecked down her face, her obsidian gaze never leaving the letter where it lay. Elle was not a vampire that felt nothing. There were things she could shut out, other things she was immune to, but personal matters blazed through her laying her nerves and emotions bare.

Those words:

In celebration of the life of Gabriel La Salle

Please join us as we say goodbye to a loving husband and stepfather

Date stamped three months ago. She lost track of time sitting there in shock until she felt her shoulder burning. She screamed and ran for her bedroom, slamming the door as the sunlight streamed fully into the space she had just occupied. The shutters were engaged manually from her bedroom the moment she was safe. With her shoulder already healing she crawled on to her large bed, curled into a ball and thought back to when she met Gabriel.

February 24, 2019 12:09 am

Eloise Buchanan

1833

To this day she couldn’t say how long she lay there as her body went through its metamorphosis. It may have been minutes or hours. Her torso arched off the ground in agony, muscles strained, internal organs changed and some ceased altogether. The change was painful in the extreme, and the man placed his cold hand on her forehead and occasionally over her mouth to mute her cries and whilst he stayed with her, he made no move to help or comfort her other than that. After what seemed like a small eternity, Eloise sat up taking in all the stimuli roaring at her and through her. She could vividly see every detail of the alley as if it were daylight and she could hear rats scurrying at the opposite end. Her emotions heightened to an almost painful degree. She turned to the stranger who had a lopsided smirk on his face; she could see every nuance of his features. It was a handsome face but with an ashen complexion, dark hair and light blue eyes.

“Not quite alive,” he said, “and yet, not dead. Come, we have much to speak of.” He stood, and she noticed his perfect evening dress with a white waistcoat and black tail-coat and trousers. He offered her his hand, and she stared dumbfounded at it for a moment before allowing him to help her to her feet. She looked down at herself, the ruined silk dress, her blood stained the front of it, and yet her body felt stronger than it ever had. Finally, his words caught up with her.

“No, I have to go home. My husband will be wondering where I am.” She stopped and looked up at him, the words of her would-be killer coming back to her. She looked down. Shame burned through her. Her current predicament was because of her husband. He wouldn’t care.

She glanced behind the stranger and could see the man who attacked her, his throat savaged, bruises on his face, limbs at odd angles. She felt no sadness for what had befallen him, and a strange hunger flared in her gut as she looked at the blood on him. Something burned in her mouth, and the pain increased where her incisors were. She put her hands up and felt the points of two very sharp teeth.

“What did you do to me…ow,” she nicked her lip with the teeth as she spoke.

The man laughed, a slow and relaxed sound. “It will take some time to get used to those. As I said, we have much to speak of.”

She shook her head and thought of what had happened this night. On thoughts of her husband that burning hunger came back and she said with more force than she meant to, “I have to see my husband.” It was imperative she does this, confront her husband, she could demand answers from this strange man after that.

He observed her for a moment. “That is not a course I would recommend.”

“I am going to see him.”

Again, he assessed her before speaking, then gave a quick nod of acceptance. “I am Gabriel La Salle, at your service. Please call me Gabriel,” he said, with a perfectly executed bow.

“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Gabriel,” she said and made him a curtsey, the social niceties of the time deeply embedded within her. “I am Lady Vill…” she paused, licked her lips then began again, “Eloise. Eloise Villiers.”

Gabriel crooked his arm at the elbow and offered it to her. She linked her hand through his arm as if they were lovers about to take a stroll in the moonlight. He smiled at her and with his other hand, wiped the tears off her face. “Lead the way, Eloise,” he said as they faced forward.

February 25, 2019 05:43 pm

Eloise Buchanan

Three Nights Earlier

A private flight to Transylvania was arranged thanks to Edward’s considerable wealth and dedication to protect the coven. This meant she could fly at night and avoid any daylight mishaps like the close call in her penthouse. A simple miscalculation of daylight savings time had caused that problem - simple miscalculation: fatal consequences.

The flight landed at Cluj-Napoca, and a car waited for her to take her into the Carpathian Mountains. She handed the driver the address of the motel she had booked and rested in the limo trying to gather herself for what was ahead. She was a little surprised he had been living in Transylvania, they had only visited his home here once in the hundred years they were together. Stay modern he had told her, always keep up with current times; it is easier to fit in. She had done this and fallen in love with this modern age of technology, cell phones, computers which made life, certainly as a vampire, a hundred times easier than even fifty years ago. Now she wondered if he had become more of a recluse, skulking about castles in this of all places.

Husband and stepfather the funeral invitation had stated. He had no business being either, in her book. No, that’s not fair, she told herself. She should be thrilled he had found some semblance of peace and, apparently, true love. It had so far alluded her to the point she didn’t think such a thing existed. One made the best of who they were with for however long that was. Wasn’t that all immortals could aspire to? Besides, deep abiding love, what did she know of that?
February 28, 2019 03:05 am

Eloise Buchanan

1833

They arrived at her London home though of course legally it was her husband’s home. If not for her family he would have none of this. At the top of the stone steps, finding the door locked, Eloise knocked, and the tall front door creaked open to reveal a shocked maid.

“Lady Villiers, I thought ye had gone to the country house,” the maid noticed her dishevelled state and bloodied clothes, she gasped. “I’ll fetch his lordship, immediately.”

“No, I will go to him. Where is he?” Eloise commanded to keep the young woman from running off.

“The library your ladyship, he said he was not to be disturbed, and then he sent everyone away for the night, it was most unusual.”

“You will follow his instructions and go as well,” Eloise directed as she felt Gabriel at her back.

Gabriel reached for the maid, and Eloise watched in fascination as he took hold of the girl’s shoulders and looked into her eyes intently. “Get your things and take the night off as instructed by your employer. You did not see anything out of the ordinary this night.”

The girl, slack-mouthed, nodded at him and immediately turned towards the servant’s stairs.

“What did you do?” Eloise enquired.

He straightened to his full height and tugged his cuffs into place with great deliberation before raising his eyes to hers. “Something you will learn to do in time. Now go and find your husband.” He moved in such an unhurried, patient manner. She had never seen anyone like him before. It was as if he had all of the time in the world.

Eloise turned on her heal and headed towards the library, Gabriel followed behind her. She reached the library and entered to find her husband glassy-eyed, slumped in his favourite chair staring into the fire an opium pipe at his elbow. He gave a start upon seeing her and sat up his eyes lighting upon the blood on her dress before coming more slowly to hers.

“Are you come to haunt me, Eloise?” his speech slurred and tired. “T’would be fitting.”

Did he think her a ghost? Or perhaps the opium muddled his mind. “Why, Jonathan? It all belonged to you. My family’s fortune, you own it all. Why did you need to do this?”

“I am sorry it had to be this way,” Jonathan sighed deeply and slumped back in his chair. “T’is a pity really, you were beautiful, and I admit there was a part of me wished I could love you.”

The remark cut her deeply; she had loved him with every breath, every thought since she had met him. The dread she initially felt was turning vitriolic with each passing moment.

“Tell me why?” she whispered.

“Marie. Marie Fontaine,” he said softly then paused and looked directly at her to see if she understood his meaning.

“What about her?” Eloise asked, already forming the connection she didn’t want to hear. She recalled Duke Fontaine had recently passed away,

“She and I have been lovers for years, long before I met you. Now that her husband is dead, I needed to be free of you, so she and I can finally wed,” he sighed as if finally realising the enormity of his actions. Did he also have a hand in the Duke’s demise? “Divorce was not an option. Lord knows I put enough men in your path for ample opportunity to stray. Lady Villiers, your loyalty was second to none.” He raised a glass to toast her.

Eloise covered her mouth, tears streaming down her face, her world shattered. She moved back to put distance between them and bumped into the sideboard; her movement jostled the crystal glasses. “Your solution was to have me murdered?”

“I could find no alternative,” he shook his head then extended an arm imploring her to understand. “You do not understand! Marie and I have bided our time; we deserve this. Our children deserve this. We will now have the fortune of your family and the social standing of hers. Everything we ever wanted is within our grasp.”

“Children?” She closed her eyes, brow furrowed, tears spiked her lashes. She had been unable to conceive.

“Yes, the three children ostensibly produced from her union with the Duke are all mine. Why do you think I never cared that you were barren?” He looked down as if truly ashamed. “I am so sorry, Eloise."

She didn't believe a word of his apology. White hot fury spiked through her in a manner she had never felt before, it was magnificent in its strength and purity. She looked to the small table next to her that glasses and decanters. The heavy crystal reflected the light in the room like a kaleidoscope as she reached out and picked up one of the decanters, this one filled with his favourite whiskey.

March 01, 2019 05:17 am

Eloise Buchanan

Two Nights Earlier

The car drove her to the address on the funeral invitation - a grand house with large sprawling gardens and a wide circular driveway. As the limo came to a stop, Elle could see a woman she would guess was in her sixties standing at the top of the stairs that lead to the entrance of the mansion.

Elle exited the vehicle then walked up the stairs to meet whoever this woman was. A person who was expecting her. If she had a heartbeat, it would have been in her throat. She could not recall feeling this anxious in some time.

The woman was shorter than Elle, of average height with softly curled short blonde hair and bright blue eyes along with the most welcoming smile trying to put her at ease. “You must be Eloise.”

“Please, call me Elle. How did you know?”

The woman smiled broadly at Elle’s words, though she could see the lines of grief. “My father told me about you. Tall, beautiful with brown hair and brown eyes that could look like aged whiskey or as dark as molasses and everything in between depending on your mood.”

Gabriel, you tattletale, she thought. “I’m sorry, your father?”

“Stepfather but he was here since I was born, so that’s how I thought of him.” She looked melancholy for a moment then touched her forehead as if she had forgotten something. “Where are my manners, please come in, we have a lot to discuss. My name is Tania.” She leaned in and hugged Elle, which caught her off guard, and she awkwardly patted the woman’s shoulder.

The mansion was as beautiful as she remembered, but this family had given it a more lived in feeling. They went into a well-appointed sitting area where a fire crackled in a hearth that dominated the space. Antique sofa and chairs, coffee tables and a sideboard furnished the room, and landscape oil paintings hung from the walls. It was an opulent yet somehow comfortable room. Tania had tea served while she went to retrieve something Gabriel had left to Elle.

Tania returned carrying two envelopes. One quite large and bulky, the other thin with Gabriel’s seal on it. He used that damn thing up till his death. Stay modern, my arse, she thought.

“How did he die?” Elle blurted out when she could no longer take the suspense. Tania sat slowly, and Elle regretted being so harsh when the woman’s eyes teared up. “I apologise. I’m impatient at times. I haven't yet learned his patience.”

“He had that in spades and, it’s a reasonable question all things considered.” Tania looked at her hands, collecting herself before she spoke. “After my mother died, he chose to take his own life. They loved each other, so very much and well, he didn’t want to stay after she had gone.” She looked directly at Elle then. “The day after he laid her to rest, he dressed in his finest clothes and…walked into the sun.”

Elle bolted out of her seat. Pent up anger and the need to either break something or someone drove her around the room restlessly. She wished he was here so she could rail at him, fight with him, tell him how stupid he was. She closed her eyes, desperately hanging onto her emotions. She didn’t believe love was worth his death, though he apparently did.

March 03, 2019 02:36 am

Eloise Buchanan

1833

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Gabriel said quietly. She hadn’t even realised he was in the room.

“This does not concern you!” She screamed at him and threw the decanter with all she had in her directly at her husband. On any other day, this act would have done little more than cause a bruise, ruin his clothes and waste some fine whiskey. On this day, with her newly acquired preternatural strength the glass shattered across his head, smashing bone and embedding glass deep within the skin of forehead, cheek and neck. Blood poured from the wounds, and the smell hit Eloise like a punch to her solar plexus. Her entire body shook with rage. This person whom she believed loved her, cared for her, had betrayed her trust in every possible way.

Her world turned red; vision shot with it as she moved closer to her husband who howled with pain. In fascination, she reached out and drew a finger through the blood seeping out of his neck wound. She brought the finger to her lips and sucked the blood off it, feeling her incisors lengthen, the pain welcomed this time. The taste that hit her tongue made her moan with a hunger she knew was only going to be quenched by taking all he had to give. Her hazel regard turned dark as pitch as they took in the pulse beating in his neck. Her hatred for him and hunger for his blood overwhelmed her. She pulled the thick glass from his neck, and as the dark liquid pumped out of the laceration, she leaned in and instinctively began to drink as he thrashed beneath her.

“Use your teeth, Eloise, and hold him down so he won’t move as much,” Gabriel instructed in an almost bored tone.

She briefly raised her head, blood running off her chin as she looked to Gabriel. Then in a blurred movement, Eloise struck the vein in Jonathan’s neck, twin points of her beautiful new fangs sinking deep. A frenzy overtook her mind, and Eloise bit him again and again, fingers like claws at the end of strong hands rending flesh. When she came to herself, she was covered in his blood as if she had rolled in it to claim it as hers. In the next moment, Gabriel was before her wiping her mouth and hands with his kerchief like she was a child.

“Am I so unworthy of love?” she whispered.

“No, never think that. One day you will find a love that will burn so bright and deep within you; you would rather die than be without it.”

“I don’t believe you.”

March 04, 2019 05:25 am

Eloise Buchanan

Two Nights Earlier

Once her initial anger had burned off, they talked through the night. Tania spoke of the life she had lived with Gabriel as her father and the love he shared with her mother, Angelina. It was a revelation in the extreme. This staunch vampire had met and fallen in love with a human - one whose life and love had been so precious to him. Elle could barely comprehend it.

Approximately thirty years after he had left Elle, he met Angelina on the run from her ex-husband, heavily pregnant with Tania. Gabriel dealt with her ex-issues, in the only way a vampire would, with extreme violence. Their small family kept to themselves, with Angelina, and later Tania taking care of anything that required human interaction. Somehow they had made it work.

As cynical as Elle wanted to be about all of this, apparently there was a great deal of love in the family he had found here. And at over a thousand years old, he deserved happiness. He and Elle never had that depth of love, which isn’t to say they didn’t love one another, but it was more about mutual respect and something born from their circumstances.

“He always knew where you were,” Tania said surprising Elle out of her reflections.

“Pardon?”

“He kept a watch on you. If he thought you couldn’t handle what you faced, he would have stepped in to help you. But he believed you needed to make your own life and you wouldn’t have done that if you knew he was there.”

That pissed her off all over again, mainly because he was right. They would have fallen back into old patterns if he had come to her and she was, mostly, happy with the life she lived.

“These are for you.” Tania passed the two envelopes to Elle. She opened the bulky one and found three keys. Huge wrought iron things, so gothic, they almost made her laugh.

“They are the properties he wanted you to have.”

“No!” Elle said immediately. “These should go to you.”

“I have more money than I can use in a lifetime and more properties. My children and grandchildren will want for nothing. Gabriel took good care of us, and he wanted you to have them.” Of course, he did, Elle thought.

The other letter sat in Elle’s hand, still sealed, a personal message for her. She couldn’t bring herself to open it just yet. That could wait a day or two hundred. Or perhaps remain unopened forever, yes, that sounded good.

“Do you wish to visit his grave?” Tania asked, and Elle’s head shot up not expecting that at all. Something about a grave for a vampire just seemed perverse to her. She merely nodded, unable to speak.
March 04, 2019 07:07 pm

Eloise Buchanan

1833

“Eloise, we must leave soon,” his voice was quiet as he placed a gentle hand under her chin, and forced her eyes to his. “Go to your rooms, change into travelling clothes, pack whatever you can carry,” he smoothed her hair back from her face, careful to keep her focused on him. “We will not return to this place any time soon.”

“Yes,” she whispered without understanding as her confused gaze wandered around the room to fall upon the corpse of her husband. She was horrified at what confronted her, and she recognised immediately the heinous violence of which she was now capable. “Did I…”

“Yes,” Gabriel drew away from her, perhaps to show she had to face this demon alone. “The first kill is always the worst as a newly made vampire. It is the moment of clarity when one realises the monster within.”

“Vampire!” she shrieked as she rose to her feet. “That is what I am? What you made me? Why did you do this to me?” Her hands curled into fists at her side.

Gabriel moved in a blur and was before her again, gripping her arms hard enough to bruise. “We do not have time for this, Eloise. I will answer every single question you have. I will teach you to feed so you do not do that,” he pointed at the corpse, “again.” He pulled her over to the corpse and forced her to look upon her crime. “Look upon him. Know that which you are capable of. Know intimately the depth of where you can go. Know it, Eloise, so that you may learn to control it.” He let her go, and she stumbled back, taking in the horror of her own hands.

“Go change. I will take care of this.”

March 06, 2019 03:17 am

Eloise Buchanan

One Night Earlier

Here lies Gabriel La Salle. The headstone began. Perhaps she was dreaming all of this. If she slept, that might be the case, but she did not. Tania had given her the address of the cemetery but not accompanied her. Just as well, she needed this time alone.

Elle paced back and forth before the headstone barely even knowing where to begin. Tears began which made her angry and she went to speak but growled instead and continued her pacing. Finally, she stopped and faced the grave.

“I am so fvcking angry with you right now. I cannot believe what you did. I don’t understand it, I never will. All this because your love died?! Did you think this grandiose gesture would mean something to her? You left Tania, the rest of your family. You left me. You really were a selfish b_stard.” She jabbed a finger at his grave as if he stood there her body vibrating with anger and pain. In their time together they had some magnificent fights, both verbal and physical. “I’m not shedding one more fvcking tear for you!”

That last part was a lie, and as she sat down next to his grave her head in her hands, her anger dissipated. “Had you changed that much in ninety years, Gabriel? I feel I wouldn’t have recognised you; had you passed me in the street.” She leaned against the headstone and tears formed as she remembered the night she left her human life with him. Then she told him all about her life since they had parted ways.
March 07, 2019 08:26 pm

Eloise Buchanan

1833

At his words, Eloise finally found her feet and fled from the room. In a daze, she stripped out of her clothes, washed all of the blood from her body before changing into fresh ones. Sitting in front of her mirror, Eloise brushed and tied her long brown hair in a simple braid then leaned forward to inspect herself. She drew a finger over her features. Her light brown eyes appeared the same, as did her nose and full lips, her skin seemed paler to her than it had that morning. What surprised her most was how much like herself she still looked. Where did the monster hide? Did it sit beneath skin and bone waiting for stimuli to bring it forth once again?
He deserved it! There, that right there was the monster.

She sat back and recalled one by one the betrayals she had learned this night. How does one heal from this much internal damage? How does one learn to trust again, love again? She would carry these scars forever.

Raising her head, she squared her shoulders. She would find something good in this new life, an existence where she could laugh again and find wonder in the world. She resolved to never reproach Gabriel for doing this to her. He saved her life, gave her a chance for a new one. So long as she kept moving forward. These words would become her mantra; keep moving forward, for if she stopped, she would tear the world to pieces.

She located a large carpet bag in a wardrobe which she filled with her jewellery and what few essential clothing items she could fit in. Next, she went to her husband’s rooms and opened the safe taking all of the notes and jewels he had placed in there, none of this was his, it had all belonged to her father. He may not have loved her, but he had trusted her. With what portable wealth she could find, she went downstairs to see Gabriel standing at the entrance with a candle in his hand. She did not look towards the library.

“You asked why I made you like me,” Gabriel said, as he threw the candle towards the library without taking his gaze from her. She heard the flame ignite the fumes of whatever liquor he had soaked the floor in. “Because I am selfish.” He beckoned her with his hand, “Come, Lady Villiers, we go to the new world.”

“No, not Villiers, I want nothing from him. Nothing to remember him. Buchanan, it was my mother’s name. I wished to be known as Eloise Buchanan.”

Gabriel bowed deeply and offered his arm once again. “Miss Buchanan, the pleasure is mine.” She accepted his arm, and they stepped out of the burning house and ghosted into the night.

March 08, 2019 10:01 pm

Eloise Buchanan

Present Day

Grief did this to her and violence was her only recourse. It didn’t matter who died or where it took place, just that it occurred. Only then would things get back to ‘normal’.

Five strong beating hearts. Elle triangulated their positions, two to the left and three to the right. She opened the door and moved in that beautiful fluid motion so natural and intrinsic to a vampire - two men to her left in chairs, a table between them. The first one took a bullet to his calf and another in the shoulder, the second just one to his stomach. No weapons near them, so she moved to the three on her right who hadn't yet figured out what was even happening.

Elle grabbed one of them and had him by the throat his body in front of her. Her strength no match for him as she shot the second man in the arm as he reached for a weapon then kicked him breaking his tibia in two. The last man pulled a knife and came at her, and she dodged it easily the knife grazing the man in front of her. She put a bullet in his spine as his momentum took him past her.

Four on the ground, she could deal with them shortly. Since no one had come running, she suspected the place was soundproofed given the yelling and obscenities from the wounded. Licking the neck of the man in her grip she spoke softly. “Looks like you get to be the first, must be your lucky day…or not.” Fangs fully descended, eyes black as night, she bit into his neck relishing the taste while keeping an eye on the others in case she needed to move quickly. Once she’d drained him, she let his dead body drop to the ground without a second glance.

One by one she tied the other four in chairs and stuffed rags in their mouths. Now she could take her time. She would be buzzing for days from all this food. “So, who wants to be next? And don’t all talk at once.” She laughed since none of them could. “I think, Mr broken tibia. I bet that’s painful. I'll put you out of your misery first because that’s the type of thoughtful and caring person I am. Yeah.”

As she moved towards the chosen man, another man entered the room from outside via a metal door. Immediately he drew a gun as he glanced around the area, eyes wide and flicking between the victims and back to her every second. Elle didn’t move just measured the distance, the furniture in her way and close to the trigger his finger was. His weapon was trained on her, his hands shaking slightly.

“Do you have any idea who owns this bar?” he said his voice cracking. “He’s gonna well fvck you up when he finds you.”

She never took her eyes from him and grinned her fangs long and threatening. “Well, he’s welcome to try. I’m performing a community service ridding the streets of scum like you. The real question though is, do you think you can shoot me before I rip your throat out?”

She leaned forward, balanced on the balls of her feet and whispered. “Spoiler alert: you can’t.”
March 10, 2019 06:13 am

Eloise Buchanan

Three Nights Later

The newspaper had some of the details correct of her latest crime. Ten dead in a violent shoot out. Rival gangs apparently, no mention of bite marks and torn throats. Keep the punters happily oblivious to the monsters. Elle disposed of every item of clothing and weapon used that night. There were no possible connections to her.

Violence was the only way Elle knew how to deal when negative emotions overwhelmed her. Things would get better now, yeah, any moment things would be great. Gabriel was gone, his letter finally opened, then tucked away in a safe in her bedroom. His words broke her heart but gave her a modicum of peace and a way to move forward once again. He had found real happiness at the end of his life, and though she would mourn him for some time, she could let him go.

Now, dressed in a slinky black dress with a halter neck and entirely open back, the skirt split from knee to the top of her thigh, her long legs displayed in strappy high heels Elle would head for a tango club. She needed to do something she enjoyed purely for the pleasure of it - something to make her feel less of a killer regardless of her need to be one at times.

In a night or two, she would head back to the Menagerie.

But for now.

Elle would move forward once again.
March 13, 2019 07:19 am
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Actives (9) Fresh Blood (0) View All The Fallen (1) Graveyard
Eloise Buchanan, Negan__, Zarek, Manannán mac Lir, Cassandra Carnivale Jadu, Harlowe Farris, Belinda Arch, Elisa Stratten, Mallory Quarters    Devlin_OConnell 
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