The Runaway Dream
Chapter Ten - Annus Mirabilis
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light." – Dylan Thomas
"Hi…No, don't get up…" I smiled and whispered and it was easy for me. "Sit down…down…"
There were two guards, big security men with uniforms and guns and radios. There were cameras too, recording us, and we didn't worry about them so much, not yet. I had something to do finally, because I was so good at this sort of thing and getting better all the time. I'd just walked in, through the metal detector and behind the desk as if joining them. The two men had only stared at me and Angela followed slowly, smiling and watching. She could do it too, but not as easily.
"What's your name?" I touched the black man sitting his chair and he looked up at me, loving me.
"Saul," he said thickly and perhaps some part of him might have been resisting, but I didn't think so. He was lost completely.
The white guy sat in his chair a few feet away. He'd wanted to stand up for a second, but I didn't even have to touch him. He was weak and I paid him little mind; Saul was the stronger of the two.
"I'm looking for a woman…" I glanced at Angela and she nodded, "…the one who came in here tonight. What's her name?"
"Ellen," Saul said softly. "Sister Ellen Sawyer."
"Sister?" Angela smiled at that. "She's a nun?"
"Yes," he nodded.
"Where is she now?" I asked gently, reasonably.
"Seventh floor, with the FBI people," Saul told us.
"Do you want to fuck me, Saul?" I leaned close, staring into his big brown eyes. "Do you want to love me?"
"Yeah," he breathed.
"I'll let you do it." I caressed his cheek and he turned his head to follow my fingers like a dog.
"Please…" he sighed.
"Your cock is so hard for me…Isn't it, Saul?"
"Where are the recorders for the cameras?"
"Security station…On theecond floor."
"Take me there, Saul…and I'll give you everything you want." I leaned close licking across his thick lips with my tongue. "Anything you want."
"Hi, big boy…" Angela smiled and moved to the other guard, pressing her hand to his chest.
Angela found me kneeling over Saul about ten minutes later, feeling ripe and bloated with his blood. We'd fed so much tonight, I didn't think I'd be hungry for a week at least. Most of Saul's life had spilled across the tiled floor after he'd showed me the digital recorders and how to format them. Everything was turned off now, Saul had promised me with his dying breath. Angela had blood around her mouth and I took her in my arms, licking it away carefully before engaging her in a deep kiss.
"Seventh floor?" I asked her and Angela nodded.
We were on a killing spree now, there was little doubt about it, and once we left Sacramento we'd have to stay very low for a very long time, or so I assumed. Angela hadn't said anything specifically about it yet, but it wasn't that hard to figure out. We'd just killed two federal employees, they were only security guards, true, but that was going to be as big a deal as killing those two cops. Now we were on our way to visit the FBI, which was where this other vampire was, and I had no idea what that could mean. Had they caught her or was she one of them, or were they working together? I wanted to ask Angela, but there was no time for that, not anymore.
We took the stairs, running up six flights, or more like flying really, we had so much energy. It seemed effortless and the climb took all of a dozen seconds, no more than that. I was flushed with excitement, but not exertion. I could have gone up a hundred flights easily without pausing for breath.
The FBI offices were to the right, past the elevators and through some large glass doors, etched with the official seal. The lights were on and I could sense the other vampire clearly now. Definitely a she. Definitely close, and she was either fucking or feeding, I couldn't tell which. Maybe she was doing both as her excitement was strong, like a sweet perfume on a warm breeze. I had her now and I grinned at Angela as we pushed the unlocked doors open.
"Excuse me…" an oriental man spotted us, "…Oh shit!"
He'd looked up from his desk almost casually at first. He recognized us quickly, perhaps as the two fugitives they were looking for, but I think it was just good instincts really. He didn't know exactly who we were, but he knew we were wrong, and he'd already started reaching for the gun at his hip.
There was someone else, a tall woman with dark hair and rather attractive, and she reacted slower than her friend. I took the woman in the blink of an eye, even as Angela tore the Asian man's throat open with her fingernails. It was over so quickly that I blinked in surprise and Angela gave me a little shrug. I'd expected the FBI to be a little tougher than that, or something. But they were people, that was all, disciplined maybe, well trained for sure, but just people in the end and we were something else altogether. Killing them hadn't been necessary, but we'd wanted to do it. Angela and I were too excited not to.
"That way…" Angela breathed, sucking her wet fingers and jerking her head towards a hallway.
We'd been very quiet, except for the guy who'd gone for his gun, but even he hadn't made much noise at all as he'd died. The other vampire, whoever she was, knew we were there though. She could sense us clearly, I was sure. Newborn or not, we were too close and too excited with fresh blood not to be noticed.
She knelt naked on the carpeted floor of a conference room or at least it looked like one to me. A large room with a huge wooden table in the middle with chairs around it. The opposite wall was all glass windows looking out over the city. The vampire was impaled on a man's cock and they were fucking, or at least they'd been fucking; now she was merely feeding. She appeared beautiful, sleek and dark, hunched over her kill and grinding with her pelvis as she looked at us. She was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen, even with the change, or maybe because of it. Blood ran from her mouth, down her neck to her heaving breasts, upturned with long dark nipples. Her eyes were embers, so red they were black, glowing and malevolent.
"Are you here to kill me?" she asked and I thought she sounded almost hopeful.
I didn't say anything, but remained standing in the open doorway as Angela walked into the room, moving to the right and staying close to the wall. I let myself fall back into my disguise, into human form as I stood there. My fangs receded slowly, my eyes fading into blue and losing their feral glare. The stiffened hair on my head and neck went soft once again, while my fingernails grew soft and harmless. I was just a girl once more, a little runaway, lost and vulnerable and easy to love.
"What a pretty little girl," the woman smiled at me, amused by the change. "Come here…"
I felt an urge, my body leaning towards her even as I realized she was using the thrall, but she was weak with it and I wasn't a human. I took a slow step and then another, but not because I had to. I ignored Angela's look and she might have been confused maybe, wondering if the woman's trick had worked, but I just wanted to get close to her. I wanted to touch the nun and try my own luck with that game. I was very good at it and this would be a little test, a real test. If I could touch her, she might even fall for it.
The smell of the man's blood filled the room, but I'd already fed so well that it was easy to ignore. He was dead, that seemed pretty obvious, and his cock lay limp beneath the vampire's sex, but he'd had one last orgasm inside her, probably while she'd fed from his neck. I could smell the cum, hers and his, intermingled and leaking from the woman's undead womb as she moved slowly now, still riding him as if she'd forgotten.
Angela circled around slowly and watched us closely. I didn't think Angela wanted to kill this vampire, but only find out why she'd be here in Sacramento when it was so plain that Angela and I were on a killing spree. That was the only word for it, really, and I smiled at the woman, getting close enough to touch her now. She just sat there, riding that dead guy like she didn't have a care in the world, and that seemed so weird. Angela would be wary because of it, but I had to be careless, the way my nature demanded.
"You're so beautiful," I whispered, reaching out slowly as if I might touch the vampire's face. "Can I kiss you?"
I wasn't suggesting anything, just talking in a normal voice, looking and sounding like a little girl. I didn't look dangerous at all now.
"Do you want a kiss?" she licked her lips, staring into my eyes and I nodded slowly.
My fingers found her cheek and she felt feverish with fresh blood coursing through her veins. I stood above her, but not by much; even sitting on her dead lover the woman was very nearly my height.
"You look tired," I whispered, using the voice, using my touch. "You should sleep. The sun is coming. Sleep now…"
"Wha…" she blinked at me and I'd surprised her.
She'd thought she was in control, even confronted by the two of us, this woman, this vampire nun or whatever she was. She had been so confident, so sure of herself. It was what confused Angela and made her nervous and cautious. It should have frightened me, but this vampire was newborn and now she was feeling the uncertainty as her mind fought with my suggestion. She had a strong will and even as a human in her former lif,e I'd have had to touch her. Now she was a vampire and all I could really do was surprise her. She wasn't going to sleep.
"Sleep…Close your eyes…" and I used every bit of strength I had, focusing on her intently.
Fear passed over her face and then the woman snarled at me, giving her head a violent shake and I jerked my hand away as her teeth snapped shut on the air where it had been. Angela moved, in the blink of an eye she crossed the room to join us, but the woman was too quick, unbelievably fast, springing away from the body a dozen feet to crouch on the table, hissing at us.
"You'll have to do better than that," she said in a hoarse whisper, smiling and somersaulting backwards suddenly like she was an Olympic gymnast, or in a kung-fu movie maybe.
I kind of blinked at that, but only because it looked seriously cool and Angela just laughed at her. The vampire stood on the carpet then, naked and tense, glancing around the room as if considering her options. Her clothes and purse were on the table. The man hadn't bothered undressing at all, his suit was simply ripped open, hanging from his corpse like bloody rags. The woman had been careful though, folding her clothes neatly, and she moved towards the small pile slowly, keeping an eye on us.
"What are you doing here?" Angela asked her finally. "What do you want?"
Angela was moving again, sliding to the woman's left and so I moved to her right, encircling her, splitting her attention so she couldn't watch us both at the same time. I didn't think we were going to actually kill her, but I'd never confronted another vampire before either. I wasn't exactly sure how this was supposed to work, but I guess the idea was that we were testing each other, the way wolves will upon meeting, determining seniority and establishing dominance.
"Trying to clean up a mess," the woman replied, looking at Angela. "You're the older, so…" she turned her head to glance at me, "…you must be the one who started all this."
"Looks like you've been making a little mess yourself," Angela said, meaning the dead guy on the floor.
"They'll blame that one on you too, I'm afraid." The woman stared at Angela again, giving her a smile and a shrug. "You know how it is."
"You're Michel's new pet." Angela kept moving, side stepping to her right. "How is he these days?"
"The same," the vampire grinned. "He wants me to give you a message…"
"Stay out of his San Francisco?" Angela laughed. "I know."
"That's the one." The woman had reached her clothes and now she opened her purse, reaching inside while she kept her eyes on Angela.
I started moving even before I saw the gun exploding to life in her fist. The woman had pulled it out and aimed it at me in a fraction of a second. I'd moved to my right, towards the windows, using the teleportation trick to move a dozen feet in the time it took for the bullets to cross the room. Two fat bullets smashed into the wall where my head had been, blowing out large chunks of drywall even as the sharp crack of gunfire filled the room.
Angela had moved in that same instant, launching herself at the woman, who should have been still occupied with shooting me, but she wasn't. The woman had pointed her gun, pulled the trigger twice, and yet somehow she met Angela with a sharp kick, bringing her right foot up and out, snapping her foot like a whip across Angela's face. It sent my mate sprawling, all of her momentum suddenly redirected so that Angela slammed into the wall and through it with a heavy crash, landing in the hallway outside.
I guess she did know kung-fu and in the half-second it took me for me to see and understand all that, the woman had brought her gun around again, pulling the trigger as I moved, the windows shattering behind me. I was peppered with glass and the odd snap of bullets splitting the air, missing just inches behind me as I crossed the length of the room. The entire wall was gone now, the great panes of glass reduced to jagged teeth and guillotine blades ready to fall. Cold air rushed into the room and I breathed deeply, lunging out of her sight to crouch beneath the table just ten feet away from her.
The FBI guy's body lay right next to me and I saw his gun near his waist, big and black and wet with blood. I'd never touched a gun in my life, but if a nun could shoot one, how hard could it be? I couldn't see her, although I could sense the vampire plain enough, but only as being close and I didn't need a sixth sense for that. She was moving then and I heard her bare feet on the table, moving down the length of it as I reached for the gun.
"You move quick for such a little girl," the woman said lightly. "That's pretty good, outrunning bullets like that."
I had to unsnap the guy's holster and the gun felt heavy, but not terribly. I was a lot stronger than a normal girl anyway, it just surprised me. I looked at it and it was one of those automatic kind, not a revolver. I'd seen enough movies to understand how they worked, that was one good thing about being an American I guess, you watch enough television and you're ready for World War Three.
"What are you doing down there, huh?" This nun liked to talk and I kept waiting for her to jump off the table and start shooting again, but probably she was wondering what had happened to Angela. I knew I did.
I found the safety, which was a lever and more of a lucky break than anything else. I'd just happened to notice it and I flicked it off.
"Cool," I breathed and I grabbed the top of the gun, pulling it back and letting it go like I'd seen that guy do on 24 which had been my favorite TV show for awhile. It made a pretty loud noise and a bullet popped out, which sorta freaked me a little, but I guess it had already been loaded. At least it was cocked now and I could shoot that crazy bitch.
"Did you find a toy?" I heard her laughing. "Come on out and play."
I wasn't scared at all. I didn't feel much of anything just crouching there, except a little pissed maybe. This was supposed to have been easy, I thought. We'd find this baby vampire, give her a spanking, and send her back wherever she'd come from, but I guess I had a lot to learn. I was beginning to appreciate Angela's caution earlier.
"You think God's still in you?" I asked in a loud voice, because I was genuinely curious and the vampire was a nun, so maybe she'd know.
She stood on the far end of the table, like a dozen feet away or probably more, and I crawled out from under it slowly, lifting my head to take a peek.
"More than ever." She pulled the trigger and I ducked back down as a big chunk of the table exploded into splinters, cutting my face.
I wondered how many bullets she had, but it didn't make much difference to me. I hadn't been counting and all she needed was one. The nun was pretty good with that thing and I looked at my own weapon, knowing I didn't have a prayer of hitting her from this far away, but if I got really close…
I pressed my hand against the underside of that table, which was a thick and sturdy one, a couple hundred pounds at least, and just put every ounce of strength I had into lifting it, wondering if I would even budge it. Surprisingly, it felt really heavy, but not too bad and I stood right up, throwing that end of the table high above my head with my left hand. I kind of froze, marveling at what I'd done, and then suddenly realized the big heavy table was gonna come back down on top of my head in a second.
There weren't a lot of options, so I didn't waste a lot of time thinking about them. I sprang to my right, towards the hole in the wall that Angela had made, and the nun got off a wild shot at me. She had to work to keep her balance on the opposite end of the table as it tilted down and then back up beneath her like a big teeter-totter.
At least I was out of the room and I looked around for Angela, but the hallway was empty and I focused on a spot at the far end, like forty feet away, stepping towards it in a blur to emerge near the main doors where we'd come in. Angela wasn't there either, and I tried to get a sense of her, but all I knew was that she had to be nearby. It was kind of frustrating, this weird vampire sense, because it seemed handy, but not really helpful if you wanted to pinpoint someone.
"There you are," Angela said, crouching beside me suddenly. "Are you hurt?" She was touching me all over, turning me around and I smiled. "Did she hurt you?"
"No," I shook my head. "She missed me."
"She didn't miss me," Angela gave me a wry grin, rubbing her jaw, but there wasn't even a bruise to be seen.
"I think she knows kung-fu," I offered, as if that were a brilliant observation.
"You think?" Angela almost giggled.
"You killed nuns before..." I sucked my bottom lip, "...Are they all this tough?"
"Oh yeah!" Angela nodded and it was plain she was kidding with me. "Nuns are the worst."
"Liar," I giggled. "Maybe we should just go."
"Maybe," Angela looked serious suddenly. "But that wouldn't look too good, the two of us running away from only the one of her."
"Who would care?" I wondered.
"Everyone," Angela shrugged. "All we really have worth dying for is our reputations."
"Pride?" I looked at Angela rather doubtfully.
Anything else we might have said on the subject was forgotten as we became aware of the nun coming down the hallway towards us, staying close to the wall and moving slowly.
Angela stood up and just that quick she was gone, leaving me sitting there still holding the gun. She appeared an instant later, catching the nun by surprise as Angela knocked the woman's gun away, sending it skittering back down the hallway. They fought quickly, faster than the eye could follow, and that Sister Ellen might have known kung-fu, but Angela was a four hundred year old vampire and she was far stronger and faster than any human...or any new-born vampire.
The nun caught Angela with a punch, her fist a blur as it slammed into Angela's temple, but Angela didn't even seem to notice as she used her ability to appear and disappear constantly, her own hands being used not to punch, but to rake deep gashes across the nun's flesh. Most of the younger vampire's blows missed, or just didn't seem to hurt Angela and she was fighting like a human, or so it seemed to me. Angela fought more like an animal, without the nun's precision or martial technique, but with a ruthless cunning that was more instinctive than learned.
That was the difference between being a brand new vampire, even one as skilled as the nun was, and a creature who had survived four centuries of hunting and being hunted. I did feel pride then, watching Angela fight, and I felt a little foolish for my earlier suggestion that we leave with our tails between our legs. A vampire as old as Angela couldn't run away from another so young as Sister Ellen anymore than she could swim to the moon.
Now I was beginning to understand some of the things Angela had tried to tell me, tried to teach me. Like why most vampires were mated to much older or much younger ones. I posed no threat to Angela and so she was free to love me; at the same time I needed her for protection and guidance. I imagined that someday, when I was old enough, we'd part company. I'd leave to find a new mate, younger than myself, while Angela sought my replacement. Perhaps some vampires killed their mates when they showed too much strength, but I couldn't imagine Angela killing me.
Angela was killing the nun though. The younger vampire had a dozen gashes on her body now, serious ones that would take a full day to heal, maybe even weeks. She was frustrated and angry, this Sister Ellen, and those emotions weren't helping her cause. She just wasn't able to hurt Angela, not enough, and it was plain the nun couldn't teleport the way Angela and I could, or she would have done so a long time before, I thought. She should have run away, or tried to, and perhaps Angela would have let her go.
The nun tried to kick Angela, but she was tired and slow, with blood pouring from her wounds. Angela caught the woman's foot and threw Ellen back forcefully. She crashed into some filing cabinets with a loud bash and thud as the nun fell face down on the carpet. Angela stood above her, flushed and not quite smiling, but looking rather satisfied nonetheless. We watched the young vampire push herself up on hands and knees, spitting out blood and glancing over her shoulder at Angela.
"If you leave now, you can make it home before sunrise," Angela said.
"It's not over," the nun breathed and she was suddenly moving, like the teleportation trick, but different somehow. She'd been half in shadow and the vampire just seemed to disappear into it and a fraction of a second later she was beside me, still on her hands and knees, but she'd taken the gun from my hand, just that quick, and put it to my head.
"NO!" Angela screamed and I was trying to move, to get away, but the nun held me tight and I felt that awful certainty that she was going to blow my head off.
The gun exploded in my ear, five or six shots sounding as one, and I screamed, leaping away as the vampire's grip loosened. I didn't understand what had happened until I landed a dozen feet away, wide eyed and confused, seeing Angela seem to burst outward from her chest and back all at once. She'd come towards us, as the nun knew she would, and that had been the Sister's plan, using me to get Angela off guard and vulnerable.
The nun looked at me, bringing the gun around quickly and I moved, avoiding her bullets easily until the weapon was empty, and then she pushed herself up, running back down the hallway towards the conference room. I paused long enough to look down at Angela and she was dead, really dead, there could be little doubt. The woman had shot her a half dozen times point blank in the chest, in her heart. Angela's flesh was torn, shredded, and it looked as if someone had thrown a bucket of blood on her.
I felt myself dying inside, every part of me screaming with rage. I flew down the hallway, knowing I'd kill that woman, that vampire nun. She was tired and hurt and I wasn't going to show her mercy. I lowered my head, literally running through the wall as if I were crazed, kicking and punching the plaster and sheet rock out of my way as I burst into the conference room.
The nun was there, getting her clothes, not dressing but just gathering her things. She glanced at me, giving me a weary smile as I leapt for her, the world turning into a blur as I moved, but she was ahead of me, dodging towards the blown out windows. The nun didn't hesitate, but ran through the broken glass and jumped into the night, seven stories above the street below.
I was a second behind her, if even that, but I stopped, grabbing at the wide aluminum of the window frame, cutting my hands deeply as I caught myself from going over the edge. She was gone, in the blink of an eye, not landing on the cement below, or crawling down the side of the building, or even flying away like a bat. She was just…gone. And all I could do was scream into the darkness that I would find her and have my revenge.
I wept, going back to sit with Angela even though I could hear the sirens and squealing tires outside. We'd entered the building less than an hour before, maybe just half hour, so it was about time the cops showed up. I didn't care.
Angela was dead. She'd defeated the other vampire. Angela could have killed the nun, but she hadn't. Now she was dead and I cradled her in my arms, weeping over her, wondering why it had to be like that. I had no real thoughts, just a deep sadness. I was alone now, that's what I was thinking. I was alone and dead and I had to take Angela away from that place, back to Klamath, because she had loved it there. All of this was my fault and I felt a wave of self-pity wash over me.
I picked her up and she weighed nothing at all to me, which seemed unfair. I took the elevator downstairs, holding Angela's shattered body in my arms and when the doors opened there were a lot of policemen there. Their guns were pointed at me, all of them yelling and frightened and excited and surprised. I could sense all of them and all of their emotions and I closed my eyes, willing myself invisible and telling them that I was. I could touch them with my mind, all of them all at once, and none of them were strong enough to resist me, not anymore. I'd never attempted such a thing, or even known it was possible, but it wasn't so difficult. Angela was making me strong.
None of them saw me leave. None of them remembered seeing a fifteen year old girl carrying a woman out of the building and across the street, past the small crowd and the little roadblock they'd setup. I reached the park where we'd fed so many hours before, and sat down beneath a tree, still holding Angela, and we were safe now. I closed my eyes, clearing my thoughts, pushing my emotions away. I hugged Angela tightly, clutching her to my breast as if I might draw upon her great strength one last time as I sought to find Natalie in my thoughts. She wasn't far, but our connection was recent and tenuous at best.
I called Natalie to come to me. I needed her.
Petra took the news poorly and she already knew her Mistress was dead, even before we'd arrived in Klamath the following night. She waited until after we'd buried Angela in forest behind the house before taking her own life. I didn't blame her for that and the following night I buried Petra beside the woman she'd loved so much.
Natalie and I spoke very little about my plans, but she was a great comfort to me over the passing days and weeks. She knew the time would come when I'd have to find the person responsible for Angela's death. I'd find that Sister Ellen and I'd kill her slowly. I'd kill her a little every day for a thousand years if I could. I'd make the nun pay for what she'd done. It had been unnecessary and cowardly to my mind, and that angered me as much as anything, to lose Angela in such a fashion.
I had to go to San Francisco, I knew that much. It was the only lead I had, the only trail I knew of. This Michel, the Frenchman who'd turned Sister Ellen into a vampire and then turned her loose. He'd know where to find her and perhaps she would even be there with him, living in San Francisco. That would make it easy. Either way, that was where I would have start my search when I was strong enough.
I had a purpose finally, an obligation beyond mere survival, and I took some comfort in that.