Tuesday, February 21, 200612: Misunderstanding
Lestat was strictly instructed to lie down for at least a week and not over exert his energy on needless activity. He said he felt giddy and sick if he stood for too long a time. Louis sacrificed his own solitary time to accompany his maker. Previous entry, I said I was confused by the mixed message he sent me right? Yea, I still am, so I came over less frequently. I went home punctually at ten, always turning down Lestat’s friendly wish to continue conversation. If he was hurt, he didn’t show it, mentally or physical expression. We are still friends right? Bianca, come let’s watch TV. Did you bring the dvd? It was the only activity he could do in the house. He was satisfied with my answer and didn’t press.
Smitten with the charismatically enhanced French vampire! “Louis what shall I do? I---- I don’t want to feel this way. If I feel faint every time I visit, what is the use?” me on the phone in Chelsea’s house. I was sleeping over. In the background, Lestat was yelling where his green jacket was.
“Sorry. Hold on a second. No Lestat you’re not to go out tonight! I wanna stay home. Please, it’s not even a week yet! How am I to feel when you collapse?”
Lestat muttered something close to an overwhelming frustration. “I Feel ok! I won’t swoon! I cannot stand it! Where is cherie? Are you on the phone with her?” Uh oh. I prepared to hang up---------He has the uncanny ability to Read me. Louis held on, told him another person. He’s a poor liar, lucky Lestat cannot read his mind or he will be so finished.
“Why didn’t my Bianca come last two nights? Is she still mad at me? Tell her I’m sorry when she calls. I want to talk to her.” Poor guy, he genuinely felt hurt that I wasn’t contacting him. I was sorely tempted to Scan him and how he felt, but it would give me away. I was already light headed from the crush I felt.
“Hey Louis again. He is so stubborn! I feel like bashing his head in. When you’re not here, Lestat’s restless. You know how active he usually is.”
“Is he alright, or does he still feel sick now?” I was worried. Louis asked me to come and see him for myself. “Oh maybe tomorrow night then. I cannot tonight; sleeping over at a friend’s. Don’t hit him. He’s stronger than you.”
Louis paused for a while. “My love misses you so much. I almost forgot, he got you a gift already.”
I covered my mouth, breaking into a smile, even as my heart was protesting, no no don’t be smitten…. “What is it?” But the shy guy was unwilling to reveal anything. I had to listen to his persuasion of me to please come visit so he could be by himself. Usually Louis spent half the week in his room curled up, wandering the town or meeting other friends. Constantly having an extrovert bouncing up and down when one needs to meditate is a pest.
“Kelly, I know you feel weak at the knees and I am sorry. Let’s talk it out, face to face.” I sighed. Face to face was more for me to stop my heart pounding so fast whenever the Lioncourt brat grinned or just spoke a simple phrase. I didn’t want to go through all that process. It was embarrassing to the max.
“I am sorry you’re nervous around my Maker. But he’s harmless. We both are! The softest hearted Undead. Let’s discuss this tomorrow night, k? I will see you?”
“Louis------“ But before I continued he laughed and hung up. Emotional control. I am so doomed. I have tried again and again to talk to Lestat if he liked me too. Not serious as usual. It also seemed that he was keen on teaching me music and about his kind, since I expressed a teeny bit of interest. Lestat pretended that everything was the same as before the poisoning. In truth, I think he also knew it wasn’t, yet no one was willing to raise the subject directly. We didn’t wish to stir up his crankiness, or make him ill.
Omaga advised against this, since Lestat was easily agitated. Protecting him was ok if it did not involve the affairs of the heart. It is against my frank nature. I am shy, but I won’t hesitate to correct misunderstanding. The problem was the blond’s health.
I turned up reluctantly, pressed the doorbell. I looked at my grubby sneakers, I was shabby tonight, tshirt and jeans only, so that the guys would not be turned on sexually. “Hi! So glad you’re here!” I stepped away from Lestat’s smothering hug. “Why? Do I smell?” I concentrated on his shirt, a silk blue one with flowery patterns.
“Bianca, are you hungry?” I cast about for Louis, nope not around. I hoped he would come home soon. “You must have been really busy? I have been faithfully resting up. But getting extremely restless, darling. I am sooo bored. Glad you are here with me.”
Moving to the kitchen, Lestat opened the oven door and took out a bun. I bit into it. Raisins and butter. “Is it nice?” I smiled a small noncommittal.
I asked him to sit down, he shouldn’t stand too long. “Ok, cherie. Anything you say. You need to talk about something? I will listen.” Lestat sank down on the couch. I swallowed the rest of the food and took a seat opposite him.
I went straight for the goal: “It is like this, I feel like, we’re more than friends. My mum said boyfriend. I think I do feel That way about you. Do you feel the same for me?”
The vampire did not laugh at this, thank goodness. He was perfectly serious, I could see the cogs inside his brain. After a long time, Lestat leaned forward.
“My child, thank you. I am touched by your concern.” he said, blinking. His hair loosed from the ribbon. His hand made a languid movement while removing the ribbon and he looked at it absently. “I honestly do not think you’re in love with me. We’re like brother and sister, or teacher to student. You’ve expressed interest in learning about my people. Yes, that’s clear. Perhaps it is because of your father’s treatment and abuse of you… that you think so?”
Louis Sent a greeting. We looked up. He stepped in and placed down the keys on the table. “Krystal, how’s it going?” I nodded, made a space for him to sit beside me. “Lestat, she didn’t come because she was worried she would feel weak. Let’s discuss this further.”
“I see. Krystal, I love you. We share a very close relationship with each other. Let’s see how it goes, ok?” Then the golden haired immortal confided ---------I do not mind seriously. But what are the implications? I cannot have children. And it is forbidden for us to be together.
I heaved a sigh of relief. “But I still feel romantically for you. What should I do?”
Lestat suggested that we keep a distance, meaning he would not touch me all the time. It was very difficult for a touchy- feely type but he wanted to reduce my stress. I thought it was okay. I could sort it out, but he didn’t want us to be estranged. “I like being your friend. I don’t want us not to see each other… ok? Please.” Brat prince scores! I reassured him. Louis hugged us both, a very rare moment! I visibly gasped aloud.
“Charming one, what is wrong?”Lestat remarked, feeling his forehead in concern.
“Nothing. Can’t I show I love both my best chums once in a while?” his slitted green pupils shone in joy. Very alien behaviour. Louis glared at me hey don’t be rude. I’m still older than you. I won’t be nice again! I guffawed. My present was a nice silver pendant of a star. Lestat put it on for me.
At ten, Lestat said he wanted to watch tv, not on disc, just normal programs. He turned it on with a snap. I held the remote but there was no protest. Usually he will decide the channels. Maybe he was more tired than he let on. I flicked through until we caught onto a movie halfway. I recognized it as Phantom of the Opera. “Wow! Guys, it’s a classical play. Suitable for the two of you,” I exclaimed. I forgot about us not touching and snuggled up to the blond vampire. He was happy, I sensed his flowing well of childlike happiness, like music. I must have fallen asleep.
Someone moving me. Shit! I ran out of the floating world. Lestat had taken a chair opposite, his legs crossed. Soft fluffy blanket, smelled of sheep’s wool. I yawned and rubbed my eyes.
“Bianca, don’t sleep. I’ve called your mother. She will come fetch you.” I smiled.
“Thank you.” I let him take my hand and I leaned against his hard body sleepily.
“Welcome. She’s almost here,” Lestat replied, opening the door. A few minutes later, mum approached. So accurate! I could not even hear. “Hello Mrs Bratford.”
“Monsieur Lioncourt, I mean Lestat, I’m glad you’re well at last!”
He laughed and kissed her cheeks. He praised her cooking. These nights when my friend was not well, she had come personally with boxes of cookies, chicken essence and made him a jacket too. A white one with blue ruffs lining. Oh, more fruits and snacks? You should not have… Lestat gasped. How am I to eat them all? Bianca, you must when she’s not here.
Mum set down a basket of rose apples and peaches. I introduced Louis to her.
“Krystal, you have quite a number of cute potential dates. And, Louis you are human right?” Mum put in. Uh oh. I felt my ears heat up.
“Yes yes,” he lied quite straight. Confidently. We raised our eyebrows. Louis grinned.
Life became back to normal, since my friend was much better and the arrangement was common agreement. Louis solemnly wrote out a contract. Conveniently, I picnicked on the extra food.
Next, I want to chronicle this activity. It was a significant happening that took place approximately two weeks. My class size is divided into 34 batches. Half of us were having camp together one night. My friends Chelsea, Michelle, Kate and I were finished pitching up the tent. Being a wild dog, Chelsea sensed another presence by scent first.
“Check this out… a golden boy! A friend of the principal? A visitor?” she barked, jumping. Kate the eagle and I switched on our birds’sight. Nope still too far away, they were going in. Who could that be? He sounded familiar, but I did not see him right away. Wearing a thick jacket. It was chilly tonight and we’re close to the Forest.
This is beautiful! You were saying this was done by students? Brilliant! No no don’t trouble yourselves, gentlemen. You have Renaissance potential artistes here. The guy laughed, exposing a perfect set of teeth. Decked out in the jacket, he looked more like a rockstar, violet sunglasses pushed up his hair, the soft hair cut shorter, but now I could see was once more regenerating once more. No heartbeat, vampire scent!
Lestat! ---what are you doing here?------ I said quite rudely. I had specifically not told him about my activities, because I didn’t want anyone to know him! He should keep a low profile after what happened with the Gold Hunters. I had only told his fledge, they could not Read minds! How did Lestat know? And he’s supposed to lie down. He’s still very weak.
Hi Bianca! Mon ami, I came for a surprise visit, Remember I mentioned? You said ok. Come talk to me afterwards? The vampire oozed his superbly polished French mannerisms in his gestures,. The effect? Omaga and the important gentlemen nodded, impressed. It is very rare for French aristocrats to visit. But to me, the musician was calling for attention. He smiled and would have danced around had there not been many people. Bianca! Krys, my chick, my sweet honey.
Hey! Stop that. His hair now fell not quite shoulder length, giving off the scent of Loreal shampoo, herbal essences of lavender.
It’s my favourite flavour. If you like, I’ll use it often….. in one of our previous conversations he had purred. I had stopped going over, because Avros who had examined him prescribed sleeping pills. In addition, Louis and I came out on excursions more often. With Lestat around, he gets leftout and it was perfect to spend more time with him.
Coyly he replied, ignoring me: see you afterwards. This is such a cool place! Exquisite, I love all the paintings.
You’re giving me a heart attack! I don’t know you. Too late. He was gone now.
“Who is he? I am so jealous! Why would he talk to you?” Kate another shocker stepped right behind me. I sulked.
“He’s my piano teacher. Let’s go back outside.” Lavender. My heart would not stop pounding. Kate rambled on and on about how lucky I am! I think not! I was angry I had to fret for him. Piano teacher is his present status. He kind of persuaded me to be his music student. Half an hour when I could not get to sleep, I went to seek out my friend. He was on the third floor, alone, looking at the display arts.
Lestat! ------- I screeched, landing on the French window---- drat! Go home!
No way. I haven’t finished seeing all my sights yet. Why’re you so excited?
I am not! I retorted. Damnit! I forced myself to remain in control. Lestat walked to the stairs and climbed up. Why didn’t he fly? He should be in bed! Hey hey don’t ignore me.
I really wanted to talk to you------ he told me cheerfully------ I was all drowsy with the drugs. Tonight I rejected the medicine. I wanted to come! We have not met these days.
How did you know I’m here?---- I was annoyed and flew after him. I didn’t want to tell you! You’re supposed to be in bed. Go home!
My teacher smiled. I have my ways.
He asked me to conduct a tour, asking intelligent and enthusiastic questions, what medium of color used, if he did not know, what method was employed. Patterns burnt on a wood with soldering iron, batik painting in which hot wax is dripped onto cloth. He liked the sewn dresses too. He was more a student now.
“What about your work Bianca?” he tried to recall if he had seen it. I said no, I was a very bad artist.
You? When will you be back? He countered me as I pecked his hair and took away his glasses. Lestat laughed. I left the violet glasses on a table, fluffed up.
On Wednesday afternoon. Lestat, you gave me a heart attack. Next time tell me!
And let you stop me? I like being spontaneous. I like to turn up at no notice given. Did you deliberately avoid me?---------- Soreness and sour betrayal was in his tone now, he cleaned the glasses and watched me. I am sorry if I embarrassed you. I dressed in a new fashion though. Your principals and friends like me. Lestat seemed subdued now, leaning against the wall.
I suddenly realized the harshness of my words. I was being concerned, but he saw it wrongly. Yea Louis and me had gone out since he needed rest. We were having fun. I went back home and did not greet my teacher, or play the piano. Now Brat prince was hurt and puzzled---- he had put on an ace performance, but I didn’t approve. He walked to me and touched my head.
“Could I buy some pictures? I like the cranes’ painting. Chinese style-------I haven’t got this yet.” I Changed back and took his hand.
“Yes. I will ask around. Lestat, I was worried. You had come all by yourself. You’ve been on medication and it is drowsy… what if you fainted? You will worry Louis.”
He was glad once more. Now the situation was becoming quite similar to the previous ones--------- him producing more affection than the second party. I had hoped not to be like this. Well too late, being a blunt person that is my problem. I Sent him my concern to make up for this. I often forget Lestat does not have a thick mask and his mask is soft and pretend cheer.
His smile was uncertain. “I can take care of myself, cherie. I’m not that helpless. Did you think so? I will be okay.” Now we proceeded downstairs where he filled up forms, leaving instructions for the paintings to be delivered at a convenient timeslot.
“Go home now. Louis will be worried,” I urged, maybe he would understand that. Louis frets like ants running in the oven!
“You won’t be worried? I’m so hurt, Bianca. I thought we’re close friends.” He seemed ready to cry. Darn. It was 3 am and daybreak now. I did not want him to be burnt by the sun. “Did I do anything bad? Please tell me. I can change. I will.” I touched his cheek.
“It is dawn. I’m not angry at you, not anymore. See you on Wednesday. We’ll talk then.” He disappeared into the forest. Did not fly. I closed my eyes. Brat prince, we were not having fun. You see it that way? The doctors said you needed more sleep. You were very lethargic and could not feed much.
No answer. I was so in trouble. Our friendship was unstable now. And I had the wrongest gut feeling.
Chelsea was snoring but woke up and asked me who he was. I said we had had a fight. A one sided fight, I admit------- the centre of the conflict. Lestat was not in the wrong… and Louis would be in for a major scolding if I wasn’t mistaken. He would never take it out on me.
“Having a fight with such a Cute guy? Krys, I am so jealous! When you’ve finished playing with the boy, give him over. So he was visiting you!” Chelsea giggled.
“Yea? Over my dead body,” I responded. “He wanted to check out the art gallery.” To make her give up on Lestat, who is My best friend, I said he has got plenty of suitors. How ironic, considering the angelic looking Immortal had just run off and he controls people. Not the other way round, according to Louis.
Or had I succeeded in manipulating him now? This is silly, Krystal! I could not risk being hurt. I had to extricate myself from this knotty love affair. It was too long already!
Before returning home, I packed my stuff, all the dirty linens, cloths, towels and some of our own utensils. Camp’s fun but tiring. I couldn’t sleep well, as well as in my own bed, or L------ I hit my head. Stop thinking of him! Lestat had not come again after I had kind of yelled at him. My guilt was becoming worse by the minute. It was late evening as I fell asleep on my bed after a hot shower. Mom was making dinner.
8pm., after dinner. I was in my room again, drooping off to sleep. Some talking downstairs, I couldn’t be bothered. Must be my bro’s friends or something. Mom laughed like a girl. I opened my door and glanced.
Lestat. No Louis with him. Where are you Louis? Did you guys fight? Mom pulled him indoors further so he was at the bottom of our stairs and I stared at him.
“How punctual,” I remarked. Lestat cocked his head. Tonight he was once more in a navy blue riding coat that trailed almost to the floor, walking stick in hand, boots. Softness in his eyes. No comment back.
Lestat said, “Mdm, may we go out for a walk tonight? Yes I promise to be careful, we’ll just stay around the park area. We’ll be stargazing. Tonight the sky’s clear,”
“Don’t be rude to your boyfriend. He came all this way from Laconia.” The vampire pleaded with me. Pleaded? I had so much power over him? I went back in to change.
Lestat let me walk ahead of him. I turned back several times. He would just smile and ask me to slow down. I didn’t want to be so near him. “Bianca we need to talk. I’m ready to speak with, non, listen to your views. I believe there is much difference between our ideas and expectations.”
I stopped and sat, patting the bench space. Lestat conceded. He was not panting, but kind of pale around the lips. “Why are you so silent tonight? It is not you.” I answered carefully.
“Do you like Louis, my child?” he sighed almost to himself, looking up at the Big Dipper, Little Dipper. I was tongue tied, almost close to frustration. Me, and Louis? Hey we’re 200 years apart! He’s jealous.
“Do not worry. I’m used to being alone, left alone or left out. I will not be angry. It is pointless. I just… want to understand why you hate me,” Lestat spoke after a while, laughing. In a painfully choked manner. He sniffed.
I was like huh? Hate Lestat? No no no, man. Ok, step by step. Louis’s advice. “Hate you? I like Louis, but not in a romantic way, Lestat. He’s equal, on my level. We have plenty in common.”
My companion nodded, his tears full, his mind full of questions. He’s not a listener by nature, but it was a role reversal tonight. “The other day I was worried, um firstly you didn’t have anyone with you. I was worried. I didn’t mean to sound fierce. I like you, for your cuteness, generosity, affection, lightness. I thought you won’t feel this way, Lestat! Did we not agree we’re just friends, brother and sister?” I stopped myself from carrying on, you made me feel all butterfly inside and you confront me now? There’s no wrong in spending time with Louis! I was kind of mad in a way. Very confusing and clashing thoughts. I controlled myself.
“You avoided me Bianca. I didn’t go for dinner. I was in my room feeling very ill. My stomach hurt. I could not sleep these nights. Why didn’t you come up and see me? We agreed not to be separated. You always seem so glad to meet my fledgling. I know he’s very attractive.”
I marveled at the musician’s discipline not to break down. However not on the inside, churning at top speed. Lestat grasped the walking stick. It had the figurehead of a tiger. I focused on it. He was breathing very hard. Maybe he’s afraid of losing me. What to do? Artemis, help me phrase this properly.
“First, I didn’t avoid you. I did not know you were sick,” I said, remembering to say ‘’I’ and not you to be less accusing.
“You thought I was asleep? Ok. But you were unhappy even when I wanted to call you. That night, I was on my best behaviour, Bianca cherie. I didn’t understand why you got mad at me. I told Louis I was going but he didn’t want to come. And I already told you several times I felt fine.”
All right, so Lestat had asked him. “No, I knew you were ok, but I was still very concerned. You copy that, man?” I picked it up. Lestat relaxed now, yea he was still puzzled but at least I had pulled the creases of the crumpled cloth flatter. Thank you Omaga for all that extra counseling sessions and going through with me. If I had yelled at him, Lestat would just cry and I would be helpless. And it was a relief my teacher was not crying right now.
“It must be very hard for you being in pain. And seeing the two of us going out added to it. Did you see us?”
Lestat shook his head, leaning back. “I heard your plans to go out. I was too weak to come out. I couldn’t believe it.” I smiled, he is so silly. I felt his chest where there is no heartbeat at all. “So you don’t hate me. Right?”
“Give me three reasons why I should. After so long, you do not know my frankness?” He laughed freer now. I stood up and explained about Louis and I. “We were just going out. Normal friends going out. We didn’t Do anything romantic, Honest. He is your boyfriend, not mine. Sometimes I think Louis is leftout of things and he has plenty to say. He won’t replace you, Lestat. We met first and that is special. I just wanted to listen to Louis. Don’t worry.”
The dramatic character returned and his energy. I understand now when people don’t believe in him, Lestat feels exhausted. He got up and we walked to where the clearing was shone on by the moon. A bounce in his step, different from a man.“ I get it now, cherie. I was over reacting. You weren’t being intentional. It is my fault.”
“It was also mine, for not finding out if you were really sleeping. I am sorry.”
He smiled and told me, “I am happy again. It is alright to listen to Louis. So you see that I dominate the conversations. I should keep more quiet, learn more by ear, like tonight.”
He sulked, but playful mood. You’re so evil! You want to shut me up. I’ll yak and yak until your head splits open like a melon! The image of it cracked me up. He joined me. I love him, he’s like my brother. I will never hurt him again.
“Um, are you still ill?”
Lestat did not look at me. “Omaga and I talked for a long time. Although I’ve had blood transfusion, I still have poison in my body. He advised me to rest in the Avian Hospital. It will be a long term kind of illness, like leukemia. You understand? Not the mortal hospital. I haven’t told Louis yet. What should I do?” I felt like crying. Poor Lestat. He had wished to bring it up, and it must have been inside him for ages. His voice was worried and yet positive I could help.
“Come now. Wanna show you a special place.” I took his hand and pointed up the tree. This is childish. The branches are strong enough to support our weight. Mortals were coming this way and this is personal. You trust him? Yes, I told myself firmly. He needs me. Me and my bro used to come here when our parents fought. They fought really badly, cursing, things being thrown about. Dad always wants to move. We preferred stability. Unfortunately he likes changes and is rigid and pigheaded. I am so unfilial to say this. Really, it’s my frank opinion though. Guys shouldn’t be pigheaded. I’ve not told anyone else about this place, not even Louis. You’re my secret keeper.
His eyes were violet in the half light now. Thank you. I’m honored to hear this. He kissed my head and touched the shape of our names.
“Ritual, would you carve your name?” I took out my scout knife. NO TRESPASSING ALLOWED. ONLY INITIATED SHAPESHIFTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE.-------------- KRYSTAL AND MARCUS
The other words had been worn away. Lestat did not hesitate and cut his name: LESTAT DE LIONCOURT beside ours. This is a huge honour. I am the first one of the vampire race. At least you have a refuge when things get rough. Bianca, can I add something?
I consented, sounds meaningful. MAY ALL CITIZENS BE AT PEACE WITH ONE ANOTHER. PREDATOR AND PREY ALL TOGETHER. Tonight’s date. That looks so nice and perfect and I noticed he had carved in exactly the same manner so the words were even. He sheathed the knife and returned it to me.
“Lestat, you’re scared of hospitals? They won’t hurt you.”
He was sad. “I hate being in a room all by myself. I like to be surrounded by people, noisy and warm. I was always shut inside my room when I was a boy. If I tell Louis I can’t bear it if he says he won’t risk it. But I know it is good for me so I ought to go.” I touched his face and trailed down all the way to his throat. All cold and marble. It never ceases to fascinate me.
“We shouldn’t be touching so much. It is ok?” I laughed at the respect he had for me.
“Don’t worry. I’ll help to convince Louis. Lestat is protection against death remember?” I wanted my friend to understand that I was here for him, as he had been for me, for Louis and all his other friends. In his past, all 200 plus years of it, Lestat gave more than he received. He deserved Much more than he let on.
You Read my mind, so rude------------ he was cranky.
Oh. Sorry Prince. I won’t do it again. It is just…
It is alright. Thanks. I’m now much more confident of facing my lover. You’re not abandoning me. It is good. Look at the time, 12! I’m so sorry cupcake. I didn’t realize. I will explain to them. He leapt to the ground on all fours, despite his fine dressing for formal occasions, then flexibly stood normally. He caught me when I jumped.
On the way back, we chatted some more, me holding tightly to his left hand. Lestat found as much reassurance in this as I did. “You’re so needy of us. Is it because your mother did not care about you?”
“Bianca, Bianca, so curious. Yes, you’re quite right. She never expressed herself so openly as I do. But she did love me. In the castle there wasn’t much warmth, it was really tough competing for our father’s attention. In which I failed miserably. Sometimes, I look back and think, how did I make it? I was so afraid then. When He killed me, I realized that there’s nothing more I needed to fear.”
So wise. The gentleman was smiling again, suffused with the strength of our bond. “I shall regret the rest of eternity if we didn’t clear up the misunderstanding. Then again, it wasn’t my fault, was it?”
“Are you always so conceited? I cannot believe we’re talking to each other.”
Lestat cuddled me close and the sky cleared to show Scorpio and Sagittarius. Wow! I suddenly wanted him to bring me up into the air again! “Can we?”
“Not tonight. I’m not up to it. Let’s take a cab, ok? What I like is your readiness to compromise, to discuss and your infinite patience. It is a positive thing I’ve noticed. Claudia wasn’t like that. You both so young, so different….” I did not fully understand the rest of his statement. In the cab, he was quiet, let me lean up against him to snore. His illness was very serious, tonight’s outing had drained him utterly.
At my house, all the lights were off. I hoped he would be ok. I’m ok, cherie. I’ll go home straight now. Au revoir. He appreciated my hug before he got into the cab once more.
The Coming of Marius
I love animals especially big cats, caracals, servals and jungle cats. I hope that if u didn’t like them so much, this may change your opinion. Servals are very beautiful, mini leopards and can leap up to 7 feet into the air to catch birds. Marius and Lestat’s background do not belong to me. I rephrase it as much as possible. But the key places like Auvergne and the castle are original.
I went to find my brother at his dormitory. “Where is Marcus Ivan?” The other Shapers made way for the African golden cat, spotted and lean as lightning. I was close to tears when he stepped right up to me. Ivan watched me with his deepset golden pupils quietly.
A cat’s calming effect. Even birds marvel at how much they can see into your mind. They are not strongly telepathic but close. Ivan is so different in his human shape------- all computer games, basketball, soccer guy thick skinned stuff; as a Serval he’s so strong and secure.
In Plainspeak he asked, “Sis what’s wrong?”
“Can I take a picture of you for my friend? He is very sick. He’s dying.”
The cat washed its face with its paw. “Come on, sis. He’ll be fine. He’s an immortal. You mean Lestat de Lioncourt right?”
“But the poison’s taking its toll. Right now Lestat is half in coma. Sometimes even when Louis and I talk to him, he does not seem to hear us! He can barely breathe without choking. And Marius won’t come yet.” I watched him with my hawk eyes, wondering if one day he may give in to his killers’ instincts and eat me up. Ivan laughed in a feline hissing way.
“Krys, Lestat is anti death. We found it in French studies. He will never die.”
I felt more hopeful. Yeah, he had survived all those terrible ordeals! Thank you Artemis! This is my sign then. “I actually made that up. But don’t worry, tell Lestat exactly that, k?”
I morphed back and squeezed my little brother! The serval yowled, struggling to leave my embrace. No wonder he chose to be a Catshape! Before I left I snapped Ivan playing with his other friends in animal shapes. Lestat would be so cheered.
5pm. I waited outside Louis’s coffin in his room, two rooms down from the patient’s. My healer friends didn’t allow me to go in. I was super worried something had cropped up. The only thing I knew was the air conditioner was operating at full blast. He must be so hot.
Seeing the icon of Relixa, I shrieked and scratched it into shreds. I hate her! The shy vampire awoke at 6pm and we discussed what to do. “I told Marius to come to the Central of the Island. Is it correct?”
“Um, no exactly,”I said slowly, watching his face become a puzzled frown. Would be funny were it not for the weighed down atmosphere. “Louis how Do we find this man?! Our island is huge you know.”
Louis wanted so much to stay with his lover, but Marius knew and trusted him. He had to go meet him at the airport. “Won’t he fly here? He can right? Why won’t he?”
The other shook his head: I don’t know. Krys. He works in his own way. I cannot command him.
It was true. I had overlooked that aspect. But I was so bloody anxious! I updated him on the spatials of Freemandling as best as I could. He clarified every important landmark.
You’re all so kind. We’re of different species, no, types….
We’re all equal and friends. Louis pray and believe. I’ll go with you. Omaga consoled him. The Owl clasped him by the shoulders. Louis nodded, eyes filling.
“How is Lestat?” I asked, bursting into the room. I had pushed past Avros the head guy. He muttered about rudeness of teens and not observing the rules of the sickroom.
“He’s stable. But in semi- coma. At least his temperature is cool. Talk to him,”
the nurse told me. She checked over the drip system, its liquid clearly dripping and adjusted the knob on the wires. Then she left in a flurry of wings. Lestat coughed, opening his eyes.
“Louis?” he whispered, grasping my hand, then squinting. His sight was deteriorating. I shook my head and sat down with my best friend. He smiled and shut his eyes again.
“Why? Is now too bright for you?” I said conversationally, trying to be normal. His skin was flaking, this time on his cheeks and chest and sweat had matted his blond locks so they were darkened and stuck to the pillows.
“No. I’m exhausted. What day is it?” Lestat gasped when I said the seventh night. Ï’m gonna die. Marius has deserted me!
No no he’s coming. Tonight. Louis has gone to meet him at the airport. He had stuff cropping up.
Not lying?------- Lestat asked, blinking awake. It was very tedious for him, as if waking up from a thousand year coma. A death sleep is easy to shed off. I drove away all these miserable facts and spoke to him calling to get his attention.
“Look, photos of my brother’s animal shape. An African Serval. Did you see these magnificent cats before? Lestat, ae you listening to me?” He nodded, sitting up with my help and glossing over the pics.
“Cool! So exquisite! Can I---- can I see him? Next time, when I’m well? I’d like to someday.” I loved the kawaii little boy look. Definitely better.
He put his arm around me and kissed my cheek, called me cherie and princess cupcake. Goosebumps to the max! But tonight I was content. Even if he were to hurl abuse at me, I wouldn’t mind. As long as he were not dying anymore. I added my bro’s message, to which he was much comforted.
“Hey could we cover your mortal life tonight? I feel like hearing your story teller’s gift.”
“I thought we covered that already. You really wanna go into it tonight?” Lestat was puzzled. He slipped his hand under the covers.
“It is too dark for me to see, man. Don’t worry. Yes, I want to hear it again.”
The handsome blond sighed, touching the tubes in his skin. I stopped him from raising up his hand. The liquid has to flow down. Omaga says the vampire often tries to pluck it off because it itches. Given his already decaying state, he shouldn’t do that. I closed my eyes, felt my calming Seer’s energy enter Lestat.
He let me into his mind, full of black and white images----------- I grew up in my father’s castle. We share the surname, but other than that I felt no closeness to him. He was a stern disciplinarian. Being the youngest ought to be a privilege but I never could feel that way, Bianca. My 6 brothers bullied me. I was my mother’s favourite, they all knew. Perhaps yes, it was unfair. I felt very, very sad my life was this way. Shortly after, I ran away to a monastery. I loved the way they were serene and admired the prayer life. I wanted to study there. Money was not the problem but, as the youngest and the 7th, an unlucky number, my father felt very differently. He wouldn’t hear of me schooling. It was a waste of time.
I nodded sympathetically and Sent him a soothing wave. Lestat smiled.
Thank you. I felt it was useless to be so good, and I rebelled. I stained my family reputation, at fifteen I had bedded every girl in my town! Look! Hey, how can you laugh? Naughty child…. I did it out of spite, childishness. I hated him with all my soul. Only Gabrielle my mother loved me. When my brothers bullied me, for my smallness and effeminity, she was always there.
I am grateful. This is my best friend Nicki, Nicolas de Lenfent.
A youth of the same age as Lestat, dark hair, laughing. Held a violin case-------- this boy was my age and his father sucked too.
I giggled at this choice of word, He hadn’t consumed anything these two nights. No appetite to feed even. But he said he was ok with food, porridge, soup. He could keep it down.
Lestat continued, sipping the tea we had made: I told you before, right, he was a good confidant when human but when he Changed, he couldn’t accept it. I did not know how to cope, honestly with his death. Nicki was more than a best friend. He signified a brother I didn’t have. Nicki loved to play the violin and I would accompany him singing or the piano. Oui, we have that in common. Oh I forgot this part------- where he and Nicki worked at a Paris theatre. We got by. This place, ah… it was far. Far from Auvergne. Paris which is now so changed, was always an avenue for the arts scene. How we got there? We walked, hitched rides on horse carriages.
“Did you like this sort of life?” I touched his cheek. He blinked, immersed in the past, setting down the cup. I helped to put it back on the table. His telepathic voice strengthened with his passion and hurt of abandonment. Lestat’s charismatic although he isn’t well. I can empathize with ease…..
No, but I loved being away from my home. It was so unhappy for me, not worth living. But I would not be enjoying my time with you, had I killed myself. I asked Gabrielle to leave with me, yes, but she didn’t want to. Did not dare to defy the Marquis? Perhaps. Oh I forgot to tell you, she ended up being my fledgling as well! We cannot Read each other. Of course I hoped I had a nice place to settle down. Bianca, it was a dashed dream! On stage, I blossomed. I acted, sang in plays and did piano. I relished it! I still wish I could, but now I am this monstrous creature, I am unable to. Personal reasons. Magnus, a large sized mostly dark figure------------- my friend said he could not remember exactly. That night was so horrible he blocked it out------------
Magnus had tailed me to Paris. He ruined my life for me. I killed the wolves back home, which impressed him so much he snatched me up.
When I woke up, the fiend drained my life. He bit his wrist, like I usually do and asked me to drink and live forever. Then when I got up, still new and innocent, he jumped into the fireplace. Whoosh! Ashes. I was weakened, because I hadn’t learnt the ropes yet. Marius came by much, much later. Meanwhile, I took whatever life passed by, I could not control myself. It is only as I age that I can control this carnal instinct for blood.
At this point Lestat could not breathe. I panicked. Stay with me! Hey, hey stay! Please! Until Marius comes. He will! The vampire took a deep shaky breath while the nurse strapped on the oxygen. They set it to maximum. I started crying. Lestat was affected, he shook his head, looked very upset. Avros told me in a monotone to quit going to pieces. My inner self: He needs you! Be strong. Louis said take care of him for me. Until I come back. The rough shivering hand fingered my teardrops. I sniffled.
“Does it hurt?” He was so exhausted he closed his eyes. I kissed the blistering skin on his face. The best thing happened then, Louis shouting. Yes, shouting: He’s here! He’s here! Marius!
The tall ancient blood drinker from Rome came in like a shot. He tore his hand and propped Lestat up. The latter took away the oxygen and began to suck enthusiastically. Louis and I jumped up and down, holding each other like fools! Yelling “Woohoo! Woohoo! Hé’s ok! Lestat’s gonna be ok!”
The lovers embraced physically and mushily. I watched. Lestat thanked Marius, who was a bit tired. I made introduction about myself, but he didn’t need to know this. Marius nagged at the patient about his busy life and not to make him waste airfare again unnecessarily. But the other just grinned.
He looks like a 50 year old----------- I mused, to the shock of my companions, except Lestat who agreed. Oops! Then everybody but Marius laughed. He left very quickly too, muttering to himself. We examined the recovered youth, yes, all his skin was healed nicely, pale and shimmery, no more wounds. “Äll of you, merci beaucoup for your assistance. I am touched,”my blond prince announced, back to his hyper mood. In the bed he managed to sound grandiose, bowing slightly. The Eagles and Owls raised their hands in a prayer gesture. We reciprocated.
“If you need my help all you need to do is ask.”
Omaga stayed because they had a lot of things to say. It seemed. I felt neglected. I had stood near his bed but he didn’t glance at me once. The avians took off from the large French windows. Such a nice sight, flying into the dusk. “Louis I wish to be alone now. Where were we, Omaga…..”
Louis noticed that I was miserable. We went downstairs. “I need to have a larger amount of blood tonight. Want to come?”
“Yes.” He was surprised. I was mad. Hey! I was always by his side! How can he neglect me? How can he not want to talk to me? He should be so excited to see me! Not ignore me! Stupid stupid Lestat. Go to hell!
The mild guy tied his hair back, wiped his mouth with a napkin. Hmm you sound really pissed. I get what you mean. Tell him how you feel, maybe it will help? Sometimes my maker is very clueless with women. His failed relationships with Claudia and Mona have shown that.
I scowled. He’s so dumb! Here I was feeling like a lost puppy and helping to keep him conscious! Argh! Damnit! Damnit! And why was I so excited? De Lioncourt had so many suitors! Was I falling in love? My bro had warned me! He had! Louis laughed uncontrollably.
“What is so funny?” I snapped. He still laughed. I smacked him, forgetting. Owwww! Then I giggled too. What a fool I am! Hitting a marble wall! “You---you’re just like him…. Life… is so interesting,” the raven hair young man gasped. Now we were coming to a row of cafes on Food Street 67. Yay! When I’m in a bad mood, I wanna gorge myself.
“Louis, can you treat me? Who asked you to laugh at me?”
He made a generous gesture, after checking his wallet. Chock full. All right! It was so busy still. At first we waited. When there was a free table, we sat down. People mostly of Louis’s twentyish age, real humans, dogs on leashes, some with parrots on their shoulders. What was on the menu? It was so disorganized! No menu in sight.
“Well, do you want to go out and find another?”
“Noooo, I’m starving. I cannot.” Louis hurried to the front and chatted with one busy waitress. How natural he seemed, in this dim light, he looked normal. So, don’t go into the bright light, preters! He came back with two platters of rich looking Black Forrest slices. I wolved it down.
“Hey. I was planning to eat that, Krys!”he moaned. I smiled innocently.
“Louis, come on. Scream at me.”
“Nah. It’s too public.” He ordered some more, this time the waitress came personally, smitten with him. She flirted. I drank three cups of tea. My friend said he was beginning to regret offering to treat me. But he could not back out. A friendly dare, bwaahahaha, evil laugh to the max.
“How would you know if you like someone? And if you turn them on?”
“I can feel it,” Louis replied, swallowing. He loved the taste of the sticky blueberry material. Oh shit. I was being turned onto Lestat. Shit shit! I hit my head. “What’s wrong, Krystal?”
“Lestat, you feel something for him? That’s not unusual, he’s one of the most extroverted and special vampires. He is like a father to most of us. To me. Though, he was the one who Changed our daughter Claudia. I hated him to the core. She was my love. “
Poor Louis. I Sent my utmost encouragement. He smiled. He footed the bill. He sounded like he needed permission to talk about this part of the past. Perhaps Lestat’s presence had something to do with it. “Yes. When he is around, we will fight. Because our views are so diverse! He keeps harping that we betrayed him. I Did beg her not to murder him, after all he saved us. The bad thing being he dominated, forced us to live with him for 65 years.”
“So bratty right? Bad Lestat!”I remarked. I felt less angry now.
The two had wrapped up their conversation when we got back. Louis told him I like him. Lestat smiled. I didn’t.
“What is wrong, my love? Why are you mad?” he touched his chest.
“You ignored me.”
Lestat paused for a long time. I folded my arms, glaring at him. Explain.
“I don’t dare to. I am not sure of the love between us… I have mistaken many loves before. I was so happy to see Louis here, that I must have neglected you. I am sorry, cherie. Really. It’s just, I had been so ill. “
I sulked. He got off the bed slowly and tried to stand. Louis supported him. “Child, I understand you must be so angry right now. Would you like a gift? Would that appease you?”
I nodded. “I will see.” He smiled again, more to relax himself. I wasn’t in a smiley mood. Louis touched my shoulder.
Do you love me? You send me mixed messages. I wanted us to be friends. But I am like, falling in love with you, Lestat. I dunno how to approach this. Man! Help me! He did not respond though I yelled this as loudly as I could into his mind.
Monday, February 20, 2006Ten: Bedridden and helpless
I looked at the flowers all in different colours, orange meaning I miss you, yellow as friendship, though I heard that for Middle Eastern people they considered that as bad luck. Of course I didn’t want that, and hoped Brat Prince wasn’t listening to my rambling thoughts. I did not know how to comfort him. Several times, Lestat had to puke out black blood. It exhausted him so much that he eventually lay down though it made respiring tough.
Now he was on his back, the sound of gasping very loud. He grasped my hand, his baby blue eyes very large and fixated on me. “Sweet child, you look… dashing today. Do not blush… you’re so pretty. It is true, I am not lying.”
“Sheez.” I sponged up the blood sweat on his brow. “Um are you thirsty? Want some water?”
Yea, wine. Cannot? Ok then. Merci. I filled with the flask. The vampire slowly got up, holding the cup with both his shaking hands. He was soaked through like he had been swimming. I asked Juno to come and get him a new set. When Lestat was settled again, he asked me why my people insisted on propriety.
“It’s just the rules. You must wear clothes. If you were not hurt, my friends would be really angry seeing you naked. Seriously.” He nodded.
“Pretty… hey when are you going home? Don’t let me keep you back ok? New jacket?” Lestat perked up again, feeling my clothes. It was a soft brown jacket, with my discarded feathers sewn in as down. It was chilly outside now that it was close to winter. On Freemandling there is no snow but the weather changes into icy cold during October. “Mortals get cold easily. Your mother made this? It’s lovely. Is it warm enough? If not, you should cover more layers, Krys.”
I smiled. He’s so gentle and so concerned. Such compassion. I assured him. “I want to stay here with you, Lestat. You will be lonely.”
I like the material. So nice! I am not lonely when you are here. As long as you have told your parents, sure you’re welcome to stay. I wish I could host you. He stopped and threw up for the sixth time. I felt the cold in him. Quickly the nurse wrapped him in another blanket. Lestat trembled from weakness and seemed about to pass out. I wanted to cry but I held back. What if he worried? It was bad for his health.
Bianca… when I’m not here, take care… of Louis. He’s such an … idiot sometimes… do you know that… my beloved … won’t feed because he wants to … be humane… our kind… he’s the weakest. How can he abstain?
Lestat, you will be alright. Stay with us------------ don’t die. Please. My heart is breaking. Louis wants to see you. You must hang on until he comes! I cried, wet dripping off my face. My vision blurred. Omaga asked Lestat to drink a concoction. The Bitter root which was used for temporary nausea relief. He slept for a bit. I could still hear his thoughts vaguely. No, I shouldn’t Read his mind.
We conversed writing notes. Omaga, master, tell me the truth. Will Lestat get better or worse? What of the antidote?
I’m sorry Krystal. Vampires usually do not burn up so fast. I fear for his health in the long term if this continues. We can delay the process of decay, and already he starts to heal. That is the good part.
What is the bad?
No antidote. Goddesses! It must be Aphrodite’s jealousy that’s scheming failure.
Let him take mine! I am human! He will heal then, right? I don’t mind. Master was mad at this. He just kept from screaming.
“No! I cannot allow you to do this! Shapers do not give blood to anyone! It is against the law! Let me think this over.”
Then the Owl switched to pen, not wanting to disturb the silence. Be brave for your friend. He needs your strength. It will not help if you panic as well. Lestat told me he wants to try and be good. Therefore, you can assist by not entertaining such thoughts. Control your emotions. Remember the wisdom of Artemis. She hears you. Lestat cried out, not able to breathe again. I did not go back in as he asked but steeled myself. I could help by being strong. Maybe my other friend could help me.
After all he owed his life and swore that I would be in his debt.
The hills located west of Lestat’s mansion. When I was thirteen several years ago, I had helped a lamia vampire, a prince of the lands Beyond. He had been fedup and run away from his kingdom. Inexperienced and alone he had almost been burnt by the light. I had helped to shade him until his people came and rescued him. The mountains were especially penetrating to the bone. Damnit!
Prince Dera! Prince, I need your help. And advice! There was no option left because I could not shout in this weather, no one would hear. I had to remain as a hawk to keep warm, fluffed myself up when it got worse. The blizzard blew into my eyes.
A flash. He was before me, all in black cloak. A circlet of brass sat on his dark short hair. Unlike my friends, the lamia’s hair stayed cut for at least a month. He was fineboned and paler than whiteness itself. About fifteen, he was a recent lamia born from Queen Akintos. Their clan stayed here, inaccessible to the Hunters. Something like the 660th clan of the many blood drinkers who could have children.
What is it? Shock emanated when I recounted to him.
Again? How dare she persecute our kind! Did your people hunt her down? I have heard of the famous Lioncourt. He’s a rebel prince.
I asked him to hurry. He could hypnotize some humans for Lestat to feed. As we descended the hills, it was much easier to breathe and speak. I flew low above him. Dera sprinted easily. While looking for people to hunt, Dera asked me about my boyfriend.
Dera told me some stuff about lamia that Lestat had not known. Wrong timing, but it kept me from fretting like crazy. I listened with interest. Apparently they didn’t just live in Transylvania. They are spread out all over, Romania, Hungary and many ancient civilizations. Unfortunately they could be staked and feared crosses which is why they lived in communities for protection and isolated from humans.
“I am impressed! You mean Lestat won’t die by stake? Or crosses? That’s something we need alright. I’m sorry it happened to him. He’s something of a National Hero. Are you sure you both are not—“
“No!” I surprised myself shouting. I panted, continuing to lead the way to the mansion. Just a few more metres, up the stairs and onto Delacon Street. “Not lovers! He’s experienced, I just respect him. Like a brother.”
Dera sniggered. Plainly he didn’t believe me at all. Duh. The eight mortals were all walking in a disciplined row, like zombies. I transformed back and pushed open the door. Avro was just chatting with my friend, who was sitting up and drank from a bowl.
“Hi. Um, who is that?” Lestat’s sharp eyes flicked to my companion, everything in black and a little ruffed by the wind. Dera regarded him in princely fashion.
“This is Prince Dera. Lestat,” I made intro, but I could see they were already both acquainting, lamia vs Made vamps. Sizing each other up like prowling cats. They shut off the mental bond to me for a while and looked into each other’s eyes. A lot going on. No way would Lestat lie down and show his tummy, he was gonna be on high alert. I crossed the room and sat beside him.
Lestat blinked, and both of them came out of the trance. “You brought me dinner, your highness? Merci.” Dera bowed languidly, not a hair out of place. I sensed the hostility and tension wore off already and both of them were civil and polite gentlemen. I had missed out. Lestat’s pupils slitted, he looked bestial now. I backed away.
In went the mortals. We waited. Disgusting, but not to worry. Prince said he would send some people to clear out the corpses later. “Can he not drain them?”
“Negative Bianca. He will likely drain them dry given his severely poisoned system. All the supply he will need.” Fang teeth exposed as the royal Highness chuckled. I nodded. “Are you not scared of me?”
“I see it often. With Lestat, who’s better disciplined than you,” I wanted to show off my date.
“You’re in love!” I scowled, much to his amusement. The door opened. Lestat smiled, much stronger now, the fresh scent lingering on him. I ignored the bodies and hugged him.
“Hawk, beloved, you like him? He seems very nice.” I reddened and covered my cheeks. Both the guys shared a laugh at my expense. Lestat better!
Don’t! Please! I treat you both as friends…. The truth.. I had some crush on Dera. But a long time ago. I adjusted the blankets about the patient. Lestat motioned for us to speak of that time. He listened drowsily. He didn’t ask questions and we spoke softly.
Not love?-------Lestat enquired, almost impatiently. Admit it.
Nada. I don’t feel that, anymore. I was silly then. Dera left. I called home and told them I was back here and not dying of cold. Of course had to tolerate the motherly nagging and worry I got.
“Is it ok? To stay here?” The Frenchman asked softly. It was sad, he exclaimed, he cheered, he hollered, but not soft. He raised his hand, which was all tubed with wires. The blisters on his cheek and throat. I did not look there.
“Yes I can. My family send their regards.” This coaxed a boyish grin on his rosy lips. “We pray. Do you go to church? Will you be harmed?”
“No, that’s pure rubbish. It’s good for the soul. I sleep in them at times. I like to kiss you, touch you. In case I can’t… I should not say that. I should be fine. I survived plenty of adventures that’d have killed an ordinary vampire.” But he did not sound confident. A mirthless chuckle. I tangled my fingers in his curly hair and he fingered my jacket material.
“You’re a heroic material. No problem for you.”
He smiled. Popped in a thought that I should consider wearing a bikini. He showed me an image of a beautiful girl dancing half naked from some ad. “Hey! You’re a pervert.” He shook his head and kissed me once on the lips. I touched the spot. Breathless.
“Would you? Please?” he begged. I said I would think it over. Lestat drifted off every now and then, but awoke when I was about to move. He begged me to stay. I wanted to read a story but he said his head hurt. Not quite lucid when the temperature rose, the vampire desperately murmured in French. I listened to the husky voice almost in a singsong fashion. He only sang to me twice, but I can tell he has the caliber. “Your voice is cool. Like an angel.”
“Many people have said that.”
My phone vibrated. Unfamiliar number. “Hello?” I spoke.
A shy laughter. “This is Louis. I was afraid you didn’t switch it on… I got your number after looking through my diary. Luckily I wrote it down. Marius is on the way. Is Lestat ok?”
“Yea.” Lestat made a gesture, talk for him, he was too tired. “How are you, cherie? Come soon, I miss you.”
Louis thickly said he missed him too. “Tell him to be strong, Bianca. Keep safe and try to rest. My flight is tonight. I should be able to reach there tomorrow.” I was about to hang up but Lestat caught my hand.
“You shouldn’t talk- ok ok, here. Not too long.”
After hanging up, the patient examined my mobile phone curiously. Blue with green lighted buttons. He was fascinated by the flashing. Why is it blinking? Alive.
An sms. Bianca, r u ok? Pls call when u r coming home. Daniel bratford.
I smsed back I would, as soon as Lestat went to sleep. He had forgotten what he had said earlier about me going home and not bothering . I was terrified when he refused to release me. My bladder was full now. He was threshing in agony and hyperventilating. “Lestat! Let me go now! Avro! Come!” The eagles pried him loose and knocked him out with drugs.
I ran for the toilet and emptied myself. Phew! I called Mom to update. She was sorry I was affected so badly. “Child these are professional healers. They will cure him, if not reduce the suffering. I want to make himsomething. He’s not feeding on you right?”
“No. We got him… food.” Human food but not necessary to mention.
Lestat was turned to the side when I re entered the room. “Bianca, apologies. Are you hurt? I was so feverish. Come. Are you ok?” He watched me worriedly.
“I’m alright. Guess what? Mom wants to visit you.”
Really? No problem. But it will be in the light, I am not human.
They already know-------- I said. He expressed surprise. Your blood in my house…
If she does not freak out, I do not mind. Next was the soup, she wanted to bring some soup for my friend. She always does things like that. That will be nice. I can drink. Yay!
He asked me why I was not so scared now. He had almost broken my hand. I could not fear. I guess because my love for his company is so immense it covered all the fears. He lay back waiting. Mom arrived in fifteen minutes.
“Mrs Bratford. Thank you,” he husked, letting her prop him up and feed him. It was red bean soup, good for circulation of blood. She had also mixed some chicken in as nutrition. I recognized the smell. Mom then said something which sealed the rift between our people for eternity. I knew then, that she approved and so did Omaga. She said I wanted to stay because I had sensed a bad omen. The wrong stuff was she thought Lestat was really my stead! We exchanged meaningful glances.
“Both of you match. How old are you, boy?” Mum asked out of curiosity. “What do you like?”
“Twenty. I like going for parties, music, and watching movies. Bianca likes the same movies I like.” Lestat! Twenty! More like 200 plus years old. He was like, no I cannot. She will get heart attack!
It was helpless, I couldn’t stop laughing. They looked at me in concern.
“Is it funny, Krystal?” Mom informed.
“I love her very much. She’s so generous and special, lends me support when I need her most. Like right now, when you could be sleeping. You’re lucky to be her mother.”
We of the Bratford’s lineage giggled. Mom felt his forehead. “Normally you should not feel so warm. Come lie down boy, don’t sit up too much.” Lestat said he felt too full of soup. He willingly talked to her about his life, and how he was doing as a rockstar before he got banned.
I lay down on the armchair and watched as she weaved her own spell about my boyfriend. Ok, I call him boyfriend, but as in male friend. Close male friend. Be calm, Lestat. Try to get some sleep. Call us if you hurt anywhere ok?
M’dm, you’re a hypnotist too? Cool.------- he laughed. Then opened the way for three way communication. His thoughts flowed in: we both like Interview with the vampire right, Bianca? We met at the screening.
I played along. So Brat Prince was gonna be positive and inject some humor in this dreariness. We talked and Lestat slept a little until 8am. “Remember, keep warm, no cool and don’t get up.”
We bid him goodbye, pleased that the patient seemed in a better condition than previously.
The evening after, I talked to Lestat on the phone. Tonight Louis was returning. “You’d better go and fetch him. He’s poor at spatiality. I’m ok now.” I took a cab, hurrying him along. Shit shit shit! He should have reached already. Why didn’t I calculate the time?
Yep, pronto, my friend was in the guest lounge, holding a coat on his right arm, his hair tied back. I almost missed him because he had his back to me and because I smell rather than scan minds, I didn’t detect him on first try. He smelled weird. “Hey, it’s me!” I caught his arm.
Louis jumped. “Thank you. I was wondering how to call you, seeing I do not have a mobile. Marius will usually lead.”
“Where is he? Isn’t he coming?” I tensed, feeling very frantic again. It was the fifth day! Sure, the eagles had started the healing process again, but they were so drained.
“I don’t know. Something may have cropped up.” We began to walk to the exit. A man passed us by dragging a luggage in the shape of….. My coffin. I didn’t want it to be destroyed so I brought it along.
Oh. He had purchased it in Europe where he had been staying for a while. Before coming, Louis also asked a chemist to inject him with a rejuvenation needle so that he would not collapse. “I almost swooned when you told me the news of poor Lestat. I needed it.”
“So your scent is blocked.”
“Um hm, also to reduce mortals detecting my unusual features.” We laughed. I assured him that the blond was alright. He was so eager to see him! “What kind of poison? Is it absinthe or laudanum?”
I shook my head. Neither. “Metallia. Some kind of radioactive substance that slowly kills. Oh Louis, if only I could Do something. I…” The emerald eyes filled with gentleness as he held me by my shoulders. You already have. Come, be cheerful, for my love is waiting.
We switched to a positive mood when we came into Monsieur de Lioncourt’s house at 11pm. Usually filled with piano music or the life of his vitality it was now full of strangers. They greeted us. Louis frowned. My friend lay sleeping, many tubes hooked up to his arm. He was propped up due to difficulty in respiration. “He won’t take the oxygen mask. Lestat, please.” Now he was too tired to resist as they pulled it over his face. Louis knelt by his side and hugged him.
Lestat stroked his hair. I stood aside. They needed time together.
Omaga took charge. First he got a special saw that effortlessly removed the titanium chains from around my friend and his hands. Then he carried Lestat up onto the couch so he could be more comfortable. After settling the patient into a calmer state of mind, he introduced me to some of the healers, Avro the one who handled serious wounds, Nina a female golden eagle specializing in administering pain killers, Juros, Logorith, Metric and Erin. Avro explained to Lestat gently, touching his hair to reassure him how they were going to try and mend his wounds.
“Close the curtains or sunlight will come in. It will soon be daybreak. Can you hear me, Child?” Lestat nodded and smiled. The Seer had the effect of charming over injured folk.
Avro addressed me, “Miss Bianca, would you like to stay and watch? Our healing will delay the process of decaying until Marius comes. Do you know where he is?” I updated him. But the problem was, where did Lestat keep the phone numbers of his contacts? I watched Juros and Erin feel him up, try to strip his garments. Lestat cried out mentally. I decided I would come back later. Omaga nodded to me.
Bianca, please,stay with me. I’m hurting everywhere!-----he screamed. It broke my heart.
“Lestat, where is your contacts book? I have to phone Marius.” The vampire winced as he gestured to the table. Now I had come closer, I fought not to weep again upon seeing the bony figure. He had not altered into disfigurement but if it happened would I be able to bear it?
“Underneath… bring it here. I have to flip the page.” He fell back panting. His sharp fingernail, now looking more like a claw from a withered hand, touched the name. Omaga dialed up the number, then broke into Greek.
Wow he knew Greek! We were impressed. Lestat relaxed as the white light seeped into him, and the chanting of the healers around us became gentle. The French did not give off radiating agony anymore.
Bianca, come sit with me. It’s all right now. Did I look ghastly? I must have freaked you out.
I smiled. Nah. Lestat flashed to the typhoon I had made, asking how it was possible.
Oh yes, I had learnt it in my practical lesson. If only I had done a healing. You wouldn’t have suffered so much pain… sorry Lestat. So sorry. We stopped as Omaga handed over the receiver.
“Yes I have been poisoned. Could you come and heal me with a drink? Is it all right?” Lestat was very serious now. He looked more crestfallen. Darn.
He won’t come. I readied some tissue papers but Lestat shook his head. I’ve been poisoned, I wasn’t playing the fool when I was shot…. He must think that I’m playing tricks on him. Hahaha. Once a brat, always a brat….
The rest of the physicians stoked the fire to heat up the place. Warmth helped to ease a patient in shock to sleep and rest a bit. I was concerned that he might go into a coma but Omaga said my friend needed it. He was still murmuring feverishly to himself, not letting go of my hand. I kissed his cheek, told him to relax.
I have lived too long already, my friend moaned dejectedly.
Nonsense. We will help you. Have hope Lestat. Hang on for a bit, Master Omaga responded. Is there anyone you want to see? We can contact him.
Louis! The same thought occured to me. I searched for the note which the meticulous guy had left and was glad he had nagged us to keep on the fridge. I dialed the number of the hotel he was staying in. A woman answered and asked me to hang on.
Louis was that slow. It was ages before his voice said,“Hello?”
“Louis, something terrible has happened. Lestat is injured badly. Marius won’t listen to us. He needs him now! Can you convince him?”
‘Oh god, oh my god. Why? How? Who?”
Louis was confused… of course! How could anything be clear to him from so far-off? I repeated the info, omitting the long story.
“Louis, hurry. Call him. I think you can convince him. Marius is ok with you right? The poison takes a week. My friends are delaying the process. There’s no danger of coma.”
We hung up, the tension still hanging.
I could not bear it if Lestat were to die. He was having a fever now and exceedingly, abnormally quiet. Too sick to talk. He smiled in recognition when I came and asked me not to worry. He would fight the pain. The only time he had lost it was when I seemed to favour Louis over him. Jealousy aside, he genuinely liked me. He was really nice, helpful, adorable. I loved his letters, his uniqueness, his affection. Artemis, Diane, in your wisdom please save him. Give him strength.
When Lestat fell asleep, Omaga brought him back to the Rue Royale II (named after the original). He was settled in his soft big bed, and they insisted on propriety in making him wear pajamas. To make things easier, for injections Avro allowed the patient to be unbuttoned.
“Bianca, I’m so hot. Can I take it off?”
Avro was mad. He smacked his hand. Lestat lay down, grumbling. “You will catch a cold. Where is your decency?”
“I always sleep naked.” We knew that wasn’t true. “This is my house. I don’t feel cold! I can do whatever the hell I like.”
“Lestat, cher, please be good. Rest up. My people believe in covering up. Please,” I gently told him. He seemed ready to burst into tears. I touched his hot skin. His fingers and throat were blistering. Because of the poison, his wounds were festering, only at a slower rate. The darts were removed and bleeding had stopped temporarily.
“I’m very tired. Do I look like I'm decaying?” I lied to him appropriately. Lestat gazed at me with blankness. He could not breathe without opening his mouth. The healers decided that it was better for him to lie sideways. If it worsened, Avro recommended oxygen mask.
Bianca, will Marius come? I badly need him. Please, tell them to come. Thanks for staying. You’re not leaving me? But you need to go home? What is the time? You have to sleep-- Lestat’s concern for me became prevalent once more, pushing aside his agony.
No I have to stay! I can’t go when you’re so badly hurt. It was partly my fault. I tried to warm him, though it was burning hot from fever. Lestat felt so human right now.
It is not your fault, Little Hawk. It could not be prevented… don’t blame yourself. He covered his mouth. They shoved a pail and he threw up. Finally the vampire collapsed back and smiled faintly. Go home now. I need rest.
I didn’t want to go. Omaga stood behind me and touched my shoulders. “We need to talk, Child. Your talents need controlling.”
I told Lestat I was leaving now, and he could call me if he needed me.
My Master pointed outside. The damage was extensive and could be seen visibly now it was dawn. The trees were mostly off their branches, stumps, lightning burn marks were all over the forest. I had basically deforested the place! Oh goddess!
“I understand you did it because you needed to stall for time. And it was also my fault that I hadn’t offered to help. I am deeply sorry for this incident,” the Owl seer said gently. He hooted his sorrow. Countless animals might have perished.
“Master, I just want Lestat to get better…. I don’t want him to die. It doesn’t matter about this. We cannot afford to war with the Hunters, who are much more advanced than we are. Right?” Seeing him nod, regarding me with a respect, I was surprised.
Child, Lestat will survive… I have heard legends about the vampires, but none as prevalent and infamous as Monsieur de Lioncourt. He’s the bravest and noblest preternatural I have ever beheld! His magnificence was what made us change our minds and arrest the remaining culprits. Their leader is gone, to Artemis’s knowledge? Lestat did not harm them or their families. That I know for sure----
It wasn’t fair! He didn’t! All this time he only went out with me and Louis! They’re not cruel!----- I shouted mentally. I bristled.
“Lestat takes lives, yes but because he needs to. He is honorable. He saved my father. Perhaps you can tell him next time… it’s such a small world. He rescued my father the General Dominica when he was still young. It was so long ago, but till his dying day he told me never to forget it. I can repay Lestat now.” I clung to my mentor and cried.
Deep inside I wished so much I had done more to prevent this tragedy from happening.
I got back in the morning. Mom stopped questioning me about school upon seeing my tearstained face. Bro nodded, sending me that he had told them. Dad too! He was silent too. They both looked sympathetic. My swollen eyes took in the scene of the blood, still not cleaned off.
Never would be. Lestat’s blood…. This loss would have killed a human being!
“Is there anything we can do for your friend?”
“No need to go to school. Krys honey, go to bed.” In my dream I saw this figure in old clothes, not old tattered, but old fashioned. Marius?
Bianca, Louis told me what happened. I need the exact bearings. I will come as soon as I can.
How soon? -------- I pressed. Lestat has about a week. After that my healer friends can’t guarantee his survival. Marius sir…
The other ancient vampire nodded gravely as I showed him what sort of darts the Hunters drove into Lestat. He analysed this a while then vanished. His presence had left a huge mark in my mind. So powerful.
I awoke not knowing whether it was just a dream. It was evening. I had slept through the day! Mom left me a note for absence of school for 2 days. Thanks man! ‘You can concentrate on your boyfriend for now. He needs your support.’ Marc hovered by, giving me food. I ate testily. The first call I got was from Louis, confirming he would return by tomorrow night if all went well.
“Louis, you sound terrible. I’m sorry, I should have taken care of him. I’ll go over and see how he is now.”
“Ok. Send him my love. I’ll call him later. What time is it?”
“Um 7.30pm. Yea, maybe he’s sleeping. Don’t worry too much,” I added that Marius had dreamshifted. Louis said it was true and he would come. I smiled. First piece of good news!
“Bianca, you’re an angel. Don’t blame yourself. Lestat will pull through. He always does.”
I went to the house, taking a cab because I was so worn out. After so much sleep, it still wasn’t enough! Lestat was awake, on drip. He looked really thin and according to Nina had heaved out blood they had fed him. He was dehydrated and exhausted. Some of the Owl healers were having a break from the healing session. I changed and flew in. My friend broke into a grin.
Hi Lestat. Here! I dropped the flowers I bought onto his lap. He smelled them. I landed beside him, let him stroke my feathers. He felt hot to the touch.
Thank you..These are so cheerful. Did you have dinner?
I nodded. He asked me to Change back, was awed by my power. I simply melted backwards, instead of throwing out my arms to become wings, I curved in and flowed into limbs, fingers and toes. Lestat coughed.
“Are you ok?” He laid back on the pillows, swallowed a little.
“Except for dry throat, yea. Your friends are very kind. Everytime I hurt they will come. Immediately…”
I told him Omaga’s story. Lestat grinned. “I didn’t think he would remember for so long. But his father has died now isn’t it? Yes, we were friends. I remember clearly I found him trapped in a net and he was half drowned and wing broken. I cut him loose and took him home. He was feisty, cherie.”
“How?” One of the nurses warned me not to tire Lestat. I sat down and took his hand. He closed his eyes for a brief rest. “Did you sleep? The morning?”
“Um. A little. It was excruciating to breathe though. Now at least I can, and it’s less painful. Thank you. Louis?”
“I forgot, the most important. Louis sends you his love. Marius, he came in my dream, Lestat. He will help. Louis talked him round.” I was heartened by the brightness of his smile. The charming brat prince smile. I hugged my friend, leaned against his sticky chest and tried to give him comfort.
“Oh Bianca,” He sounded close to crying. He stroked my hair and kissed my head. Affectionate little princess of mine. Do not worry. I am a Child of Darkness and I will hold on. You need to sleep and eat as per normal you hear me? I laughed. Ordering me around.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006Eight: The Prophecy
Louis said he wished to go and see this girl called Michelle. “Girlfriend huh?” Lestat teased, laughing. The other guy scowled, reddening. Sometimes Lestat is so blunt.
“Just don’t lemme catch ya. Or I will be angry, you don’t wan’ me to be angry right?” He loved to make all the words stick together, but usually he will use the clearer pronunciation. Why? Lestat is adaptable to different people in that sense from mixing with many different races. I think it’s such a cool talent. It isn’t because it’s blood drinker’s talent; according to my professor of languages some vampires still sound archaic. People can detect them as the olden days kind of black suited gentlemen.
You all know the infamous de Lioncourt temper, which is as unpredictable and quick spreading as a bush fire in Australia. Louis muttered how much he would Love to provoke his possessive lover. I heard his mental voice and sniggered.
Lestat glanced at me. “What?”
Do not tell him, Krys. I stopped smiling and inserted the subject of bisexualism.
Guys you’re bisexual. That’s different from lamia vamps. So you and Louis are homosexual…. What about liking other girls?
Lestat nodded, picking up the new subject. His lover went back to writing poetry.
“Yes we’re bi. There’s no loyalty whatsoever, what I relish about our kind! We love freely and do not restrain our immense capacity for each other’s desires. I have loved a few people in my time. And the list goes on. What about your kind?”
“Disappointing I think,” I replied. He pouted. “Yea we’re not so easily stirred up. We emphasize upon loyalty to one’s partner. I mean, you saw those documentaries, avians are extremely loyal to our mate. Other Shapers like Cheetahs, Tortoises, or beavers have strong cohesive units which depends on a strong bond between husband and wife.”
“Great idea. Made- vamps should follow that concept,” Louis commented. Lestat growled, smacking his forehead.
“That’s so boring and uniform. No no I don’t mean to insult you, cherie… do not be mad at me. We are different, so different. But there are strictly heterosexual couples too, like Marius and Pandora, the seniors of my clan. And David who is so uncomfortable being my fledgling. You remember the cute Briton?”
I did. He had answered the phone in England.
“ Lestat, you like him?” At the same time I Sent Louis that I didn’t mean to be insensitive. He and David are rivals. But curiosity should be sated.
“He was so charming. But I regret converting him. He did not appreciate my kindness, Bianca.” The blond smiled dreamily and looked like he was building sandcastles in the air. “Anyway, what if you two time or three time?” He drew a few circles to represent parties in love triangles.
“They are condemned, exiled.” I was perfectly serious, but the guys gasped at this, which made me smile. “It is dishonorable to love more than one person.”
“What if you cannot help it? I like a lot of girls. But I love my Maker too,” Louis said worriedly. Worried Louis is kawaii, cute in the extreme! He has such beautiful emeralds that shine with emotion when he frets, the luscious red lips and clutching his inkpen.
“Bianca, that’s harsh.” I held up my hands at further protests from them both, cruelty, injustice, what about love and passion, what happened to true lovers? Lestat also added the example of Indian lovers being stoned to death if they were found eloping. Now where did he get that from?
He exclaimed quite agitatedly, “I cannot believe people will be killed because of love! It is hurting enough to be rejected. Being executed as well?”
“I know. There is no execution, except for adulterers. Exile is good, coz you can love each other freely right? I think it is reasonable. So the Indian system isn’t comparable. Don’t worry, you’re vampires, immortal and therefore do not fall under this category.” Again I felt like a scholar of intercultural studies. The showoff in me. I had picked up a marker as my conductor stick! Oh dear! I dropped it turning red.
Louis heaved a sigh of relief and resumed his writing again. Lestat was still keen to chat so I sat down again opposite him. He patted the space beside him. I shook my head.
“Eye contact is better,” was my response when Lestat looked hurt: Bianca, how many times do I have to assure you that won’t happen?
“I thought you don’t want me to stare.”
“It is alright. It’s good you respect me. What do you mean------ David doesn’t appreciate your kindness. Was he gonna die?” Lestat wasn’t clowning around now, for his expression had become soft and pained. I don’t think I would function well being so emotional and high- strung like him. I love being in control of myself. I pride myself on this.
“He was dying, of old age. He didn’t mind, yet I felt he needed more time. I sound selfish huh?” Lestat posed to me suddenly, clasping his hands. I motioned, please carry on---
“At the same time David underwent a change. He was in a new body. He exchanged souls with Raghan James. You will know this when you read Tale of the Body Thief, one of my stories--------- Twentyish, full of vigour, younger than he used to look, he was satisfied. Bianca, I felt it wasn’t enough. I was all, if I could make him immortal he wouldn’t have to age. The bonus was I could still take care of him. So I overpowered him with the Dark Gift.”
“Why did you do it? Do you still love him?” I was mesmerized by this recounting, although he had read to me from each of his books at least ten times already, best parts only. My favorites are his own background, TOBT and Blood Canticle. And yes his personalized ‘book promotions’ make them much more appealing than Louis’s first book!
Lestat smiled softly. “I did it from impulse. Oui, I love him still… everything we have and feel is out of love. I do things from passion, from enthusiasm.” He rose and walked over to me, sat next to me, played with my red hair.
He switched to the special telepathy bond we shared. It’s the opposite of Shaperchangers, for them, usage of Mindspeak is easier and less draining than speaking, because we can pick up each other’s thoughts and not have to guess.
That’s the difference between my kind and me the Vampire Lestat. They don’t approve of me just going around converting people. If I tried….
Could you not convert people anymore?
Lestat smiled. You found what I wanted to say….yes. I could start with you. I promised you and I must honor that. Bianca, I hope there can be complete trust in me, if not all of us. I freed some of my hair from his grip and leaned against him. He was hard, and there was no heartbeat to be felt. Lestat’s hand rested on my head and caressed me.
Um do you mind? Why must you touch me all the time? It makes me uncomfortable.
“Sorry.” He stopped and fiddled with a string on his shirt. Tonight he was wearing a soft frock that opened at his neck. It was supposed to stimulate lust from prostitutes. He smelled like a Lestatie. “It has been a year. Are you not used to me? Why?” I got up from where I was half leaning over his lap . Gazed at his golden hair. I brushed back the long curly fringe.
Louis admonished him, “Do not impose on people. That’s rude and inconsiderate.” Lestat spoke French in response, translating for me: Aw don’t start with that nonsense. I am just asking. I think French is prestigious, but he cannot teach me. He said that he had forgotten most of the grammar and vocab, except Mon Dieu which is swearing.
“Is it because you were abused? I understand. I won’t hit you.” He was right to suspect that. That dumb incident where he overheard my dysfunctional folks fling things around still stayed fresh. Now Father was usually abroad helping with the business. But he only slapped me then. Not always.
Louis did not know. We updated him. “That is tough. We’ll not fight in your presence.” I said ok and touched Lestat’s frock, pulling it up. He pulled both sides together and tied up the string to conceal his exposed chest. “If you’re in real trouble, walk away. It helps, though you appear to be losing. If you stay it worsens.”
“Which book was that from?” Lestat wanted to know. I had read it somewhere too. Only the playful Prince won’t touch self -help, coz he claims it’s only for cuckoos, shrinks and psychologists. Louis said he couldn’t recall. He read about 15 books a week! So I didn’t blame him.
“Thank you-------merci,” I added. Lestat grinned. Yep, I have often heard him use that and work it like a charm on women. I nodded. “ So you’ve covered up decently. Good good good.”
“See? I’m not a brat.”
“You like the nickie?” Lestat rolled his eyes.
“I don’t! It’s irritating, nothing like the Real me. I hate it when even victims say oh You! The Brat Prince. If I didn’t intend to drain all their life it will make me when they mention it. You know I’ve got to keep what’s left of my reputation.”
“What reputation?” we both asked all solemn and royally. The blonde glared.
“You were bad from the start. I like it, you enjoy it. Kill if you must, but do it swiftly, for do not doubt that You are a killer. I quote,” Louis said as proof.
“Bianca, you know I meant it for another purpose,” the youngest of the marquis’s family whined to suck up to me. I shuddered.
“Oh please. Don’t do a Pointe-Lac effect. It doesn’t work on me.”
Meanwhile I found out why I had been having all those horrifying visions. They were of the Gold Hunters, a nicer name for vampire slayers, not buffy mind. Buffy only kills with stakes but they had all the heavy arsenal, poisons, multiple ended blades, smoking gas, torture equipment. Their leader------ Relixa. Under her leadership the Hunters had managed to exterminate 500 whole clans of lamia. So far they hadn’t targeted Made vampires yet. But my friends were still vampires! Relixa’s reason was because she had been orphaned thanks to Blood drinkers. I couldn’t stand this burden alone any longer so I revealed to my mentor.
“My dear it is true. It will likely happen. You must stay away from vampires’ influence. Even if they are your friends which I understand is extremely difficult for you.”
“No. I can’t, I will hurt their feelings. How can you be so cold?” I choked.
His soft owl eyes showed the depth of his Kind. “I am but a seer. I interprete visions. My senses give me the Birthright. Just warn this Lestat. I may reveal a secret: their weapons will not hurt you Bianca. You haven’t taken the Gift?”
He smiled, cleaning his glasses. “Ah yes, then you are safe.”
“Lestat won’t listen to me! I don’t want him tortured, Master! Please tell me what I can do!”
It was the doom of a seer, to speak the truth but not have anyone believe.
It was the fateful night. Lestat was flying me home, carrying my human form through the night sky. Master warned me it would happen…. I had wanted to warn Lestat, but seeing him so innocent and soft, I couldn’t bear to dampen the atmosphere.
Master told me they might help if I was sincere, so I sent a prayer to him. I wasn’t expecting a group of troops materializing on the horizons, for Master did not wish to trigger a war between the Hunters and Shapers. A revolutionary movement. Shapers always stayed neutral. He sounded accusatory at that point, chiding how I shouldn’t be getting my race into war.
Bianca. We touched down outside my house, a few metres away. I could just see the lights. I pushed him away, told him to leave. He stiffened, feeling the intruders. Danger. He said. He stayed not wishing to leave me.
Not to me, only your kind! Flee! I Showed him my visions and the images of the recordings I had seen. Hurry, while you still can, Lestat!
The darkness became the enemy. Both of us can see nocturnally but the Hunters were extremely swift. They’re not human, interbred with cyborgs, werewolves and other unnatural abominations. “Lestat don’t fight them…. I will stall for time. This is my territory.” But the enemy had surrounded us. Lestat readied himself. There was no way but fight. Oh Artemis! I cursed myself for not bringing my friend round to the truth earlier. And severed my ties with him.
They struck. I unsheathed my claws, kicking, scratching and biting. Occasionally I penetrated the weaker mindshields. Lestat caught a few of the figures, slit their throats, broke their spines. Several figures went flying and lay still. But some stood up again. More flooded in to replace the fallen. There was an armored division. I felt myself lift. Oh shit! Lestat rammed into my captor.
Thank you. You can leave now. Hurry. I struggled to calm down and call upon my power of the storms. It was a really long spell though and I had to take at least twenty minutes to finish. The beginnings of the spell were making the trees vibrate. Lestat vanished.
"Don’t hurt him but make them shed their lives. Goddess of nature, lightning, and patroness of beasts, slay the sinful murderers that walk this place." A storm began, raining softly and bolts of lightning slammed into a few of the creatures. I wrote on the earth the sign of the typhoon. I had to make it right so I didn’t uproot my own house. I ran further into the forests. Had Lestat escaped? His house had a shield, if he reached his house, he should be safe.
Krys! I will come and help. Ah!
No Marcus! Dammit, if anything happened to my bro I would kill them!! I morphed and flew around. I had already activated the spell and I couldn’t afford to delay or we would all be swept up by it. Give me brother back! Or I swear that this storm will make you regret. I didn’t notice a gauntleted hand and slammed straight into it . I fainted.
When I came to, Relixa laughed. “Hello little birdie. It worked. I got myself a prize.” I glared at her and sat up. They had netted me so I was stuck.
“What prize?” She pushed him forward. No Lestat! How, why? He was stumbling, bound in thick chains. He’s strong enough to break them. What happened to weaken my friend to this state? Poison? Relixa threw back her head and cackled.
“Don’t kill her… I will obey you.” Lestat fell to a kneel beside me. He smiled. It is alright. I am fine. I won’t let her touch you. I smelled blood before I saw it. Huge darts embedded firmly and cruelly into the vampire’s neck, chest arms and almost every part of his body. How could they? How dare they?
Wind whipped our hair. Lestat bled slowly into the grass. He collapsed, still not passed out. I could not see clearly with the net in my way. I stood up, crying. “Lestat. Lestat, wake up.” Damn, I had promised Louis we would be fine. Louis wasn’t here now, he had gone to visit another friend. The rich blood draining away, draining away from my dearest friend.
I should have broken away from you.
No I would hate you for it.
Relixa booted him. Lestat coughed. He gasped soundlessly. I begged her not to be cruel.
“You’re so cruel bitch! If you don’t let us go the storm will wipe out all of you!”
“You are but a child. Can a puny wind kill us? Cruel? Hardly! I am doing the world a favour ridding vampires.
“ Don’t listen to her, my people. Today glory will prevail as I bring back the Vampire De Lioncourt.” She held up her bloodied spear. Her followers all imitated her. She motioned for four of them to drag away my friend.
I focused all my energy into striking them down. The bolts flayed them and where they stood only crisp burnt remained. Relixa was still walking. Lestat held my hand. I whispered reassurance for I sensed him wavering under the brave front.
You’ll always be immortal. Nothing will kill you.
Ha, this very well might. But I do not regret. The short tempest is sweetest, Bianca. My Little princess. The soldiers hauled him off. I followed. Then a knife was pressed to my back.
“Don’t think you can kill my people without consequences…..” while she was giving me the standard lecture, I scanned for her weak points. Got it, her stomach was vulnerable, could see the serious injury of sustaining it previously. I kicked her, driving full force and clawing into it at the same time. She screamed. Her people turned back stoically. I lifted my hand. The wind screened them from my view. Here came the destroyer.
I found Lestat who was still conscious. “C’mon can you walk? Come to my house.” Where is Marc? “Help me.” My friend leaned upon me. Falling several times, we got to my house. Marc threw open the door.
“I fought them off…. What?”
I cried, not able to explain. The extent of his injuries was prevalent under our lighting. He was so white and his skin was stretched taut. Lestat gazed at him in confusion, in agony.
Hello Nice brother. How are you ? He could still joke! I grabbed some cloth to staunch the flow.
‘You can heal right? Heal! Why cannot you heal?” I felt weak. Everything was red. Lestat passed out, but I wouldn’t let him give up. Don’t leave me. you are my best friend. I love you… I promise I will not make you angry again! Be strong. Take out your great Lioncourt courage. Where is it now?!
So cold. I shifted so he was lying against me. He smiled and touched my face with a bloodstained hand. Marcus made a rough pillow. Then blankets. Vampires don’t feel cold unless… no no, don’ t think in that manner. Then nothing bad will happen. I chanted to myself. if only I had learned how to heal!
Master! Please come. Lestat is dying. My friend is dying. I dunno what to do! You have to save him. You cannot allow life to extinguish.
Bianca? He was so feeble that he began to shake. Bianca my love, my cher, where’s Louis? Is he gone? I need to see him. I grasped his hand again.
We cannot reach him, Lestat. I’m here. Do not worry. You will heal. Give it time. I knew it was untrue, almost every drop was gone. He coughed, arced up. Blood came up from his mouth, on my hand. I wiped his lips. I cried. I don’t want to be seer! What for? I cannot stop life from being given away! I am so useless. The glazed eyes brightened momentarily, he closed his eyes to summon his strength. I leaned closer.
Marius. The coven. They can help me. But so far. In Europe. In Greece. I nodded, reached out to Master, to the shapers nearing us. Yes! They had come! They would help! Merci!
The birds changed shape upon touching down. Lestat awoke, frightened. It was all right. “They’re my friends. Master Omaga, please extend your healing power to save Lestat.” A few Owls had surrounded us, giving off ethereal glow.
I usually came home midnight sharp. Every night, my brother didn’t sleep, waiting, glaring accusingly. Meeting those fiends again!
I soon found myself holding a debate with my brother who still insisted that Lestat was evil through and through. And he also read my mind, so horrified was he that I felt Louis was a polished gentleman!
“Sis, they Are dangerous! They drink blood. And hence they are evil! How can blood suckers be good, Krys?” he reasoned in a barely calm way. I clenched my fists.
“They are not evil. Louis is so gentle…. You’ve never met them before personally. Vampires drink blood because they have no choice. If Lestat could, he would eat and drink too! Don’t you have any idea How much they regret this damned existence? Louis especially is morose and tries not to give in too much to his urgings. They have not hurt me once. It is already half a year. I think they are honorable.”
Nevertheless, I did remember how Lestat had been tempted. I hurriedly concealed this from Marc. I changed shape to keep my focus sharp and not to lash out at him. When I beat people up, I will almost certainly win. I do not wish to hurt him! Marc shook his head. We communicated in Mindspeak now, it tended to be less charged up.
Who is this Louis? I want to meet him. Ivan yelled.
No! He is shy! You can tail us from a distance, now that your catshape is better right?
‘Shy?’ He mocked ‘ How can a vampire be shy?’ But he began to soften, for he understood how it feels to be on the sidelines when you are a nerd.
I latched onto this, determined to make him see my point. ‘Yes, you may not like Lestat because of his extremist ways: those you’ve researched on. But have you seen Louis’s name splashed all over? It shows he prefers to keep a low profile. He is the gentlest and most humane nature among all the Immortals. He has a beautiful nature similar to yours, Marcus Ivan. I think you should give him a chance.
Ivan is his chosen name. We need aliases for our alter ego. When we call a Shapeshifter by his or her alias, we mean business. Ivan shook his head, hardening again.
I do not know WHY you associate with them. When dad hears of this he will go nuts! You’ll be the death of him. Don’t you have Daylight friends? I thought you wanted to stay here because of your nice environment. It is because of those fiends isn’t it?
I had had enough. I flew up and dove, narrowly missing his forehead. Damnit Ivan! The vampires Lestat and Louis are NOT fiends! If anything, they yearn as much for friendship as we do! To us it is not so important, but it is essential to them. They like me for who I am. Something few rare humans will give for free! I want to show you something.
Ivan refused to see but I forced the images into his mind. Lestat spoke to me, hugging me close and looking into my eyes sincerely. Not using hypnosis.
“Hypnosis is solely for my victims. You’re my friend, Bianca. I won’t. I love you cherie.”
Another was of the first time Lestat and I went out after he visited me in Dreamland. He cried when he conveyed to me how lonely inside he felt, so different from me. He was so hyper and enthusiastic upon finding out I wanted to be his friend. He is naïve, cute and sometimes naughty as a brat. Still, he saved me twice. I am indebted! I am beginning to like him as a nice brother.
Louis told me with a terrible pain in his expression on how his brother, wife and child had gone to the next world. I had not wanted to make him sad, but he smiled and said he wished to.
“Krystal, I have a deep feeling we were meant to meet. It certainly hurts like a thorned bush inside my chest, but I want to tell you what happened to me. It was also part of the reason why Lestat hoped to save me from committing suicide to join them. So I accepted the Dark Gift.”
“See? He wanted it. Otherwise he would be dead,” Lestat remarked coming from behind. Louis sighed. We walked down the street together, the two of them wearing shades to avoid drawing too much attention. I put both my hands into theirs. I felt truly loved, as I have never in my own family. I am very important in their lives.
Ivan covered his ears. ‘Ok ok enough! What I wanna know is, did they not become like this by choice? Lestat gave Louis the question. Yet he didn’t wait for a proper answer. Louis was confused and disoriented when he agreed! Lestat is still evil!”
“He told me he was forced. This Magnus captured an unhappy Lestat and drained him of his blood. It was that moment that the immortal was awakened. It’s too personal, but I want to prove that he did not choose to be a vampire!”
“I don’t want you to join them, Bianca. The more you mix with them Dark Folk, the more intriguing their offer may seem. It is too irresistible……” No doubt he was correct. But I know my judgment! I thought in vehemence.
We stopped, sensing another presence at the front door. I tasted his smell. Hi Louis!
The lanky guy blinked deep-set emerald pupils as he watched my brother. Marc’s entire form was hostile and snarling.
“My brother Ivan. Um why are you here?” Louis went a little blushing. He held out a little box. I opened it. Resting on the cushion were a pair of silver earrings the shape of foxes. I had casually mentioned I liked fake jewellery. “Ooh! You remembered. You’re so thoughtful. But, it isn’t really my birthday yet.” Marc stopped. He was questioning now.
“Mr Louis? You… you’re shy. Ah, you don’t hafta. Want to come in?”
Louis declined. My bro smiled now and urged him, tugging his hand. “It is ok. Come and rest a while. It is still early.”
Then we chatted until 3am. My brother was impressed by his knowledge and asked him casual stuff regarding the world. I felt proud of Louis.
After he left for his sleep, Marc said Louis was nice. “But we still cannot trust them completely. Lestat has a terrible notoriety. He plays with his victims. I cannot stand for it. I don’t like him.”
Yea it was sadly a fact. The blond French wistfully told me that it was normal for others to see Louis in a good light because of the book, and he as the ultimate villain.
“It was because Louis was mad at me. He wanted revenge, so he wrote badly of me. I don’t toy with my victims now. I did it to teach him the fragility of life. His hesitation, his hanging back made them prolong their fright and pain! Besides I always aim for the dying, the old and the robbers. Louis’s point of view is not the same. It is perverse, that means against the truth. I am right here. You can ask me.”
“I know and I believe you.” Sheer gratitude and affirmation of our bond flowed into my mind with singing music. Lestat jumped up and down, pulling me into a dance with him. A classical dance. I was a klutz that constantly tripped but he was happy to coach. He wanted me to be as comfortable as possible in his home. I did feel at home though being a bird it took some time to build up easy trust. Still Lestat often warned me against letting down m guard as they are not human. Louis reads me poetry while the other will play a piece, or show me his collection of paintings. Sometimes we watched the fireworks, or go star gazing.
Lestat will say, “There’s Scorpio, my star! Yours is… over there. Yay!” Why won’t he let me find my star first? He can be quite annoying, but overall he has this keep-going attitude which makes me inspired and forgive this bossiness.
A year. I was usually out with my preternatural friends every two nights, only when I did not have homework. I told them many things I would not trust in others. My daylight friends are nice, but gossip spreads like crazy. Lestat and Louis listened without judgment. Being 200 plus years old, they belonged to the time when friendship meant excellent listening skills, no interruptions.
I could tell them everything! Though they did not understand my school stuff, the anguishes of having teachers torture you with mind blasting theories of physics and econs concepts, make you go through hell’s training the month before some competition, I did not have to worry they would laugh at me. Louis always smiled politely. He is the perfect listener and neutral. My Lestat commiserated. He knew how it felt like to be backstabbed by mobs of cruel popular kings and queens. I may be in a Shapeshifter academy, but cliques are still very much prevalent!
“Will there be no end to suffering?” I lamented. Lestat tousled my hair. His skin was freezing when I touched him, but pulling away would be rude. He pushed my hand gently to touch his shirtsleeve. Warmer. I was always curious what the boys would do, after I went to sleep at 12 or 11 pm (if dad was home).
“Feed more. Go party!” Lestat giggled, his blond curls shaking loose.
Louis covered his face. “When will you ever be serious? Can’t you stop putting these RA images into the mind of an innocent teenager?”
“What? Bianca is mature enough to handle these. And I AM being serious. Sometimes we need more blood than what has been taken.” He persisted anyway, much to our chagrin.
I laughed. “It’s ok, Louis. I am used to it. When you’re out feeding, Lestat here will burst my mind with his colorful RA filmshows.” Film shows does not mean a reel of movies, it is what I term our connection in picture images from mind to mind. So far, I can give images to Louis, but he projects words back. It is more difficult to process 18th century poetic words. I will respond with a puzzled look.
“It IS not ok. The point is not to corrupt people more. We are bad enough.”
Lestat ignored him and pointed to the beach. He asked if I remembered the place. “Have you come in the day?” I Sent him what I had witnessed. The shimmer of the blue green waters, the clear sky, the heat, the golden sand. He held the railings.
So lucky. We cannot ever see it in the day.
To lessen his sadness which clouded over in a mist I said, Hey it is prettier now than in the daytime.
It is! In New Orleans I could see nothing but countryside. Louis said when we were silent. That is so boring. Freemandling is wonderful compared to the city pollution. New York’s scenery is too building-designed. I like buildings that are old. Those new things sky scrapers? They look so artificial. It is only these moments when he feels inspired to chat. The shy guy doesn’t easily make small talk. Sometimes I poked him just to make him say something.
Were you born here? They waited for my answer. Lestat had asked me, but I did not get round to answering him.
No I was born in California. My parents are always moving around. I’ve been to many tropical islands, I have been to China and Russia too. But always, guys, I haven’t been able to truly settle down. I have a fear of instability. Thanks to Lestat’s hypnosis, I can!
My blond friend smiled. “You are welcome cherie. Glad to be of service.” He kissed my hand. “ I am so happy all nights we come outside together. It just makes me want to break into song.”
“Do it!” me and Louis encouraged. He seemed self- conscious, not the usual. Well because Lestat wants to be humble and perfect, to prove how wonderful he is. He sang in French, apologizing that he did not know how to translate the lyrics without changing the meaning. Lestat de Lioncourt’s voice is masculine and firm, does not fade. At the end of the song, he made it dip into the comfy silence. After that, I begged Louis to sing too. He still won’t! Louis, please please become a lark for me!
Lestat is from France, Paris. Louis came from a different part of France before moving to New Orleans. He used to be a plantation farmer. Mostly I told them about me, myself, what I liked and did not like. They were more interested in me.
As Lestat said, “Don’t want to bore you with 17th Century history lessons. You hate history don’t you?” History about preternaturals is more exotic, of course I’m not!
Then I began to have premonitions of some unseen danger. As you know, I can dreamshift and am a lucid dreamer. I began to sense something unnatural. Our instincts are very strong and primal. It was what saved my hawk kind from extinction when our ancestors’ home in Titus erupted. We sense stuff way in advance.
I warned my preternatural friends. Or at least tried to. Louis believed me, all somber. He was not as light hearted and playful as Lestat, who listened but was more interested in looking at my body language. We were in his home for the twentieth time. Lestat was in a very lovely maroon suit that brought out the shiny diamond earrings. He had been so excited piercing his ears. Their flesh heals, so they are stuck. Still he looked suave.
Unfortunately, he could not take me seriously. “Oh cherie, what is there to fear? Didn’t I tell you I have been through Hell and plenty of experiences? Honestly can’t imagine anyone wanting me! For an exhibition?”
“So you won’t take my advice will you,” I said vexed. Louis told him to stop fooling around. Lestat prowled around us like the feline he is. I went red. I was not exposing, but the way he scrutinized me made me uneasy. I felt angry. It came in slow waves.
He is stubborn. He never learns until the iron is hot! Louis sighed.
Yea. It is really pissing me off!------------ I sent to the other guy too, wanting him to wake up------------- My senses are going crazy. The evening skies are black in my dreams. Somehow they don’t pose a threat to my kind, or the humans. But especially to vampires. Please listen to me!
He stopped and kissed my cheek, kneeling so we were looking into each other’s faces clearly. “I appreciate your concern. But I am sure you are over reacting. Visions are not everything. I am with you both, the two of my most beloved people in this place. I feel safe.”
He rose and drew the curtains. I felt my anger fade away, touched by his pure simplicity. Then changed to arrogance, “I am the powerful, notorious Vampire Lestat. I am not afraid of anything, except ghosts. If they are not ghosts, they can’t hurt me.”
I walked to him and hugged his waist. He startled because I seldom express myself so openly. “Because I love you and Louis. Lestat, you’re so naughty. Won’t you just take my advice, this once? If it turns out bad, then you can laugh at me. Not now. I am more frenzied every day.”
The Prince rested a strong sure hand on my shoulder. He had turned around, a tender look in his blue eyes. He seemed so childlike, so human. Vulnerable. As vulnerable as I had felt when he chatted with me. He touched the tears on my cheeks.
Then the visions stopped. I had no more dreams, and was back to normal. Of course I did not tell Lestat, because he would prove me wrong. I was not sure what visions fading away meant. I love both of them like my elder brothers. I am the oldest, and I wish people would care about me. In a way Artemis granted me their friendship as a gift. I am so thankful. All the more I don’t want them hurt.
Lestat’s charisma is unmatched; he is a shining star which will always light beacons. When he smiles, you will collapse from sheer heart attack! Whereas Louis has a soft steady persona, different. His knowledge about the stars, his quiet wisdom. He is really different from Lestat.
Some nights when the other vampire was feeding we waited for him, either at the balcony, or under the night stars. Louis seldom went to feed, more human than the rest of Them. He said Lestat used to give him a thrashing for this, embarrassing him in front of the Dark Folk.
“You must find me a boring man. So Krystal or Bianca? Which do you prefer?” he asked. I love the way his eyes consider every aspect of me when I talk. Louis calms me that way.
“Krystal with a K. Why don’t you call me Krys, since Lestat favours my aka name?”
“All right, Krys. Mademoiselle. I loved a girl once. She was younger than you are when she became a vampire. Claudia.” I froze, wasn’t it the name Lestat had called? “Yes Claudia. She was scorched to death.” His voice became thick. It hurt him.
No don’t talk if you’re sad, I don’t have tissues.
Ok then. Some other day. Louis replied mildly. He had no heartbeat when I leaned against him. “Hello there, Monsieur. Had a good drink?”
Lestat licked his lips. Omg, why did he have to demo? I said ‘don’t be gross’ and he laughed, fluffed my hair. He had asked me not to cut away my long hair. Usually I prefer to chop it. It gets untidy, and being a tomboy, I hate maintenance.
Lestat, however, had other ideas about women. “Don’t start. Should I not do what I want with my style? C’mon, man! Ladies do Not have to wear dresses, high heels, and have long hair!” I argued.
He smiled. ‘What is so funny?” I got angry, bristling. He reminded me of the time when I got mad when he called me cherie, don’t be mad, cherie this and cherie that. Drives me nuts!
“The way you get angry, honey. It’s just a matter of opinion. Old fashioned, well, right. I am old! But you really look lovely with your hair like this, loose, unrestrained, every bit the wild child you are,” he answered. That was acceptable. Plus, he felt concerned that I would feel cold if my hair was short. At times topics were more serious, philosophical. Lestat liked to discuss deep things, fits Scorpio. He’s not the airhead which critics made him out to be.
“Bianca, I’m glad we can be on great terms like this. But, are you not in the least affected by what both our races are debating, vampires and shapeshifters can’t possibly be kindred. We are the worst of Nature because we go against life.”
To me things were simpler. I said I didn’t mind because he’s my friend and he’s nice. I did not care about the undead, dead stuff. Political and social news was not important to me as the emotional aspect. I want to open my mind to possibilities. It is exciting to talk to them because they are Ancient folk. We have ancient ones too whom we seek for advice. But so far, only the 2 french men are in this category, for my kind’s Gurus are not accessible.
“If only everyone would see it that way. Bianca, you really don’t know this? Before I told you?”
“Nope. Why?” Lestat looked dead serious, like a zombie. Then he smiled, expression back to human- like again. He reiterated how much he loved me. Abruptly he asked if I still had the visions.
“No more. But I am worried all the same. Please be careful. You’re rash. I don’t mean to lecture you, because you won’t accept but please…” He stopped my lips with his fingers and smiled.
“I understand, cherie. I have to, this is a new place. Ok.” We held hands and strolled to the park. Other people were kissing their dates. I laughed. “What is so comical now? You’re finding everything funny.”
“Kissing. Ergh. It is bonechilling to the max. i would puke if someone kissed like that in front of me.” Lestat sighed, shifting his hand to my back. Sometimes he does that to support me, especially when he is being solemn.
Did I say something wrong, Brat prince? You’re sad? He looked upwards into the dark sky.
I once had love like this, but I lost them.
Are these the people you lost, David told me?-------- I waited for his response, grief and pain constricting themselves. I felt like weeping.
Yes. The way I felt about my mother, Gabrielle. I do not know love’s definitions, but all the people I did love and have affection for, they left me. Sometimes, sometimes I don’t know what wrong I have done? I am so sorry, don’t cry. I am not crying, why are you?
I rubbed my eyes. I feel for you Lestat. They are stupid and ignorant fools. You give so much, until it hurts. It is unfair for you.
Yes. Thank you, Bianca. I won’t say anymore. Look, there’s a nice fountain. Let’s go and wish something! He pulled me there. I wished that Lestat would be happy, that I could be his angel and never bring him pain, grief, or worry.