How can I forget that and turn my back on him when it’s clear his need is desperate? Yet, how can I walk away from the other when we last parted in such anger and bitterness? My love runs deep for both. I do not wish to hurt either yet decisions have to be made.
There is so much that has happened. Moments like these spin me around and make me stare into the face of reality that shatters like glass in an instant. I should have known that I was vulnerable. I should have sensed his power; am I not a witch, am I not Lestat’s fledgling? How could I let this happen? A long time trust has been compromised, perhaps forever.
David is furious beyond anything that I have ever seen. Ian, your life hangs by a thread so thin that it’s nearly invisible. Do you not know he will stop at nothing to protect what he loves? And my David, my love and always my teacher – please do not act in anger and haste. Please let us deal with this civilly.
I don’t always enjoy the struggle; it’s hopeless for them against these slender arms with an iron grip. The confusion is always followed by anger then fear and finally submission, as I take them deep down with me to the core of my being, it's like a repetitive chorus played endlessly in my mind. I know them, I love them, I am them.
It’s been written about so very many times, but how can you describe something so profound, something as meaningful as a solid glimpse of someone’s life through their eyes? We lose ourselves, you know. Every time we take in the red nectar of a life; every time we feel the steady pulse of a beating heart begin to wane, we get lost in the moment. It’s so much more than any mortal physical contact that you can’t even compare it. It is all encompassing, it erases everything around us and nothing exists but you and me – together in life for a few brief moments…I am yours and you are mine.
She hit me, tried to bite, kicked and screamed until I had to cover that pretty lip-glossed mouth with my own before I dragged her in and found the tender spot on her neck which I longed for. It wasn’t as swift as I thought it would be as she struggled further – all the while Ian bore a hole into my back with his eyes as he silently crept closer to see the entire event unfold.
I witnessed her girlhood fights, older brothers that tried to protect and save her from herself and a little shack where she and five other siblings grew up. How odd, it really wasn’t far from where I, myself, lived with Great Nananne. Hard to believe that this woman and I may have known each other if things were very different.
I sucked and drank her life like a parched beast dying of thirst. I drowned in her, and she would have seen to the very essence of Merrick Mayfair. Was that a smile against my cheek? A whisper of a name I hadn’t been called since I woke up suddenly alive and whole again?
I heard Ian stir and take in a sharp breath. It was impossible that she knew my cousin, or was it? I pulled back; my lips still covered in her blood and looked into her eyes for a moment caught in time.
I had to end it quickly before some strange sort of guilt made this impossible. I would not allow her to suffer so. Within seconds she was nothing more than a corpse in my arms, but not before I glimpsed a single memory of her short lived acquaintance with my dead cousin.
Ian stood no more than a foot away. Her body was still warm and for a short time….so was I.
I don’t know why I play these mind games with him.
Back and forth I go, exposing more of myself as the creature that I am then pulling back to pretend that I am still the Merrick that he once knew –the mortal girl he loved among the Pyramids. I’m not and I know it. He knows it, yet what does he see when he looks into eyes that are unfamiliar to him? What does he look for when he searches my face for the familiarity that I lost into the fire? My new physical form doesn’t seem to have phased him even the slightest, or is it that he looks past the body and into my soul?
That night, I searched and found her quickly. Dark eyes that I’d glimpsed were now locked onto a middle aged man that she was toying with. He was on business from Miami, single and very drunk. Rebecca dressed in shades of crimson lying soft and sensuous against her café-au-lait skin. Her hair was clipped back in dark waves and I could smell the salt of her perspiration that wove a pattern down her long slender neck.
Ian stood several yards away from and in the shadows. He was completely transfixed on my movements as I approached the dangerous beauty and her doomed lover. I’d decided to save him, let him go, give him one chance that he’d never get again.
She saw me approach at last, a smaller woman with hair like hers, impossible white skin and eyes that shone like sapphires under the lamp light. I’d worn my locks long and free, blood sweat beaded on my forehead as it was still hot and humid. I ran my fingers across my cold skin, licked them clean and continued towards her.
The man turned around and couldn’t believe his eyes. Two beautiful women, what more could he wish for? She, on the other hand, was furious. This was her territory and I was not welcomed. She cursed at me, spit in my direction and pushed her John away momentarily.
It was then that I spoke softly, to him.
“Leave now. She has a knife and intends to kill you. Do as I say, now.”
Stupidly he only stared as I locked eyes with him. I must have been a sight in the dark – almost wraith-like in my paleness with such black hair and blue eyes.
“Leave,” I said again and pushed with my mind for him to obey. Within moments he stumbled away, confused and slightly dizzy.
I could feel Ian’s eyes follow the businessman from Miami walk away without even noticing that there was another man in the shadows. Rebecca noticed.
She swore at us and came towards me, sharp little knife in hand and her breath stinking of cigarettes and bourbon. I smiled, opened up my arms to her and quickly disposed of the weapon while I claimed her for my own.
I knew this would be no exception, this would go straight into a file marked: Merrick Mayfair – the same file that recorded my birth, my death and my subsequent rebirth. Everything was there in great detail and although all of it was electronically stored, there was still much of it in the original handwriting, Aaron’s handwriting, David’s and several others throughout the years.
I asked him why, as surely he’d witnessed other vampires hunt or at the very least had read about the encounter. A small smile played about his lips that I’d recently stolen a warm kiss from, knowing full well that I really shouldn’t touch him as it only encouraged him. He started to offer several logical explanations and in the end simply stated that he was curious about how, I specifically, would do it.
His open honesty has always been something very difficult for me to resist. I somewhat reluctantly agreed explaining to him that I was swift if not almost uninteresting. This didn’t deter him and he only nodded in his polite way as continued on with our walk.
We’d started near the St. Louis Cathedral and would most likely end up back there where we would part ways, he returning to the Motherhouse that I’d been raised in, and myself wandering into the church to light a candle or two.
I asked him when he’d like to see it, when he’d wish to watch me find, hunt and take a victim. Tomorrow night - was his answer. So soon! I don’t think I was quite prepared yet I’d already found myself nodding and agreeing to his wish. I quickly informed him that we’d need to be in a specific area, one where I could find an evil-doer; I even had one in mind whom I’d seen many times before. She was a whore who often lured her Johns into an area that she favored where she and one other would rob them, stab them and leave them for dead.
Often they did die, but not always.
Rebecca was her name, a woman of coffee colored skin – much like my own used to be.
Alright. It was agreed. I would find her tomorrow and be swift.
We were speaking of nothing in particular and about everything in the virtual world of instant messaging. A quiet tapping of the keyboard and the soft murmur of the wind through the foliage that all but swallowed this house were all that was audible to my sensitive ears. The streets were uncommonly deserted, but I relished the subdued quiet.
The request was simple, quick and came in the middle of a conversation about the recent surprise snowfall in New Orleans.
“Come to London! You absolutely must. I insist.”
How could I refuse? It had been years since I’d stood on the same ground as both of them and I’d rather not think about the times that I had; those moments had been fused with anger and violence. The results had affected us all.
I closed the house that Louis and I had shared for Christmas. I gathered what he needed and packed, booked and prepared. A flight east and then with less speed than I wanted, as I am ever impatient, I arrived in London.
Perhaps time heals most wounds and buries deep those that we care not to think of. There they stood together, comfortable and ageless. Louis’ demure welcoming smile, and Lestat’s giddy grin met my excitement as I strode towards them. I felt like I should run like a young girl, yet I kept my composure in check.
Warm embraces, kisses and all of the human pleasantries that we never forget despite what we really are, this is what family is. This is where my heart lives.