Thank you for continuing to read DARK PRINCE; it's the ultimate compliment to me. Please drop me a line to let me know what you think of it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're just beginning to read my writing, I'd like to suggest that you look up FLIGHT AT PEENEMŰNDE and its sequel GAMES AT DEAUVILLEin the historical and beginnings folders.
Most importantly: Enjoy!
When I awoke late the next afternoon, Emil was already stripping off his undergarments in preparation for a bout of lovemaking. His eyes were filled with lust as he slipped under the covers to move against me. His warmth brought my tumescence to immediate erection even before his lips had found mine.
"I've been needing this since I woke up this morning," he breathed against my ear as he straddled my abdomen and melded his body along the length of mine, his teeth nibbling at my ear lobe, his body moving sultrily against mine.
"You're especially passionate," I managed to mumble, enjoying the feel of him immensely.
"Your goddamned fascists made it into the paper again today," he growled. "You've managed to infect me with your crazy fears, Karl! Now, hold me. Make love to me and help me forget about them."
Our lips met again and his tongue darted between mine, between my teeth, into my mouth. I forced my fingers between us to find him as he began to worry my fangs with his tongue.
As his hips moved down along my abdomen towards the erection he knew waited him, he nipped at my neck and, then, lower, at my left nipple. His drool spread across my chest as his tongue trailed from the first nipple to its mate.
Smiling, he sat up and, reaching behind himself, took my manhood in his hand. Pushing himself up on his knees, he directed me to the entrance of his nether-regions.
"Bite me while you're making love to me," he mumbled as he adjusted the fit of his backside to me.
"You're way up there," I observed, sloughing his request away.
He lowered himself slowly onto me. "I won't be after you're all the way inside me. Bite me."
"Why?" It was difficult to think logically as centimetre after centimetre of me slipped between his warm, tight flesh.
"It's supposed to make sex even better."
He achieved as much union as I was capable of providing and bent down over me to kiss me. "Bite me, Karli. Drink from me."
When he'd collapsed to the bed beside me later, our abdomens both coated with his seed, he mumbled: "That was incredible!"
His voice was a continuous gasp for air, his words nearly unintelligible as his chest heaved, pulling air into his lungs and demanding still more. His eyes flashed with exultation.
In more than a hundred years as a vampire, I had not been as close to total orgasm as I came in the moments before. Unproductive testicles had churned within their soft bag in anticipation of eruption, rising up along my shaft and trying mightily to give forth the mortality they no longer carried.
His rasping breath slowly pulled at me, demanding my attention. In our months of sexual explorations, I had never seen Emil in such excitement his breathing remained this laboured. I studied him more closely, the languid aftermath of sex evaporating as I accepted his ashen pallor for what it was.
I had drunk too much. Sex and feeding were so intertwined for me I had difficulty differentiating them even in the most intelligent of moments. I bit him as he first began to ride me. I licked and drank as he worked his way through two orgasms. How long?
More importantly, how much?
I wasn't hungry as I lay beside him. Yet, waking and our sex normally left me craving the hunt -- though I forced the desire from me that I could be with him. The bruised skin of his slender neck, no more than two centimetres from his clavicle told me what I did not want to know.
I had drunk far too much. There was nothing wrong with the youth's breathing, except his lungs were instinctively labouring to pull more air into them to compensate for the loss of blood that carried it to the cells of his body. I had taken that blood. Far too much.
Had he planned it this way? I wondered, the thought fully realised when it appeared suddenly in my mind.
He gasped, struggling to pull in oxygen to feed his hungry cells, his eyes feverish as if he were a saint seeing a vision. I touched his thoughts timidly, knowing his awareness of my presence when I did so in the recent past. But I had to know. Had Emil sought to force me into granting him immortality?
His thoughts were jumbled with his satiation from our sex foremost among them. There was also the thrill he was feeling as his first paper was coalescing in his mind -- how he would write it and the understanding it provided. Beneath those was doubt of himself; he couldn't understand why he was so weak. He had never been so incapacitated or so exulted by sex before.
Was he dying? That thought was rejected everywhere it alighted in his mind; yet, it still existed for him as an explanation for his sudden weakness.
I blushed brightly when I found thought after thought of what he felt for me. Columns of unconnected feelings blossoming into gardens of love.
I found no undercurrent of mischievous manipulation. He had not planned his request I feed on him. It had been a spur of the moment thought -- a lark to be experienced as it offered itself.
His pallor was waxen, his breathing remained rapid and laboured. I sensed his thoughts becoming more kaleidoscopic, whirling dizzily.
I had known these physical reactions since I first fed on fresh blood -- as I had the feverish pitch of his increasingly jumbled thoughts.
He was dying.
Emil, what have I done to you?
I had stolen his innocence and his youth. Never again would he walk along sun-lighted paths and enjoy mortal beauties. I had brought him the end of mortal life.
I knew instinctively what I had to do. I had to give him a new life before his old one was completely gone. Before his jumbled thoughts would slide into the oblivion of mortal death. I had to give him what he had asked and tie him to me for eternity.
Without thinking, I pushed myself up on my pillows until my chest was even with his face. With the middle finger of my left hand, I pulled back skin and flesh and cartilage, opening a wound between my ribs so close to the sternum it too was partially exposed and I felt the chill of the room's air upon the exposed bone.
I leant towards him, lifting his head with my right hand and bringing his lips to my breast. With my fingernail I nicked the vein behind the bone and pressed his lips to the hole now open to my heart. To my blood now seeping out onto my chest.
He sucked greedily. Instinctively. As a newborn baby sups at its mother's breast.
I became weaker and continuously looked to see if his pallor had yet begun to change. This was my first effort to create another vampire; I only knew he had to have my blood to survive. I didn't know how much he needed -- or how weakened I had to become that he be saved.
An effervescence began to develop in his skin, the coarseness of his mortal derma smoothing out and becoming even. I shuddered as the room dimmed perceptively to my eyes as weakness continued to grow over me.
I listened in the silence of the room and found his breathing was not as laboured as it had been. I willed my vein closed and pulled away, falling against my pillows. Emil moaned as my blood began to transform him, raising his head slightly and opening strangely clouded eyes. I moved closer to him and helped him lay his head on my breast.
My chest healed as I watched his transformation in the last rays of the weak winter sun. My strength returned to me as his breathing slowed and became shallow.
Stoker's romance and its emulators were wrong about everything there was to know about a vampire. We didn't reproduce ourselves as we fed. It took blood from our veins to do that.
We didn't die before our rebirth; if we did, if our hearts were to stop beating in those moments separating mortality and everlasting life, we would, in truth, be dead. And, if resurrection were possible, Würther would be alive and lying beside me now instead of this young changeling.
We do not, to coin a phrase, become pale as death or as Ms. Rice's marble. We are paler, however, than our mortal co-inhabitants of this world as we cannot survive the heat of direct sunlight when that star is closest to our world.
Our skin is less porous, less coarse, than is mortal derma. We do not sweat, there is no need for pores. We retain our various organs from our mortal lives, but few of them work as they once did. Testes, anuses, intestines -- all are as useless to us as appendixes are to the human. Fortunately, however, our useless organs do not become infected.
Bacteria do not feed on vampire flesh. Strangely, our prostates -- or clitorises, if female -- develop heightened senses and react to the slightest stimulus upon our becoming undead.
A stomach is an organ we need, but not in the same way as a mortal. Blood flows directly from it to our veins. It acts as a reservoir for us. It is also a transformer of that blood, changing cells from mortal to immortal. But it also becomes a filter that removes whatever our victims have caused to happen to themselves -- except alcohol. That, it allows directly into our bloodstream.
Lungs are a strange hybrid organ for us. From what I have been able to gather, they no longer distribute oxygen to our bodies. In that sense, they are useless -- as useless as our intestinal tracts. But, we have need to speak to less evolved mortals and the mechanics of that act is the forcing of air over vocal chords -- thus, the lungs serve a useful function in our new state.
Emil's body changed as I watched, becoming more perfect than even it had been. I finally accepted I loved him as much as I ever had Sergei Alexandrovitch.
I rose and moved about the darkened room. From beside the fire, I remembered the Swiss youth was naked and uncovered as he underwent his transformation. Moving back to the bed, my foot kicked the newspaper he had read as he waited for me to awaken earlier.
I picked it up and continued on to the bed where I pulled covers up to Emil's chin. Tucking him in. I smiled at the thought and returned to stand before the fire.
I studied him for a long time, seeing him in the dull red light cast by the fire and seeing him also with a vampire's sight that needed no light. My thoughts touched highlights from the four months we had shared our lives. My smile grew wider as I remembered so many good times crowded into such a short space of time. Yes, I loved Emil Paulik. And I was no longer concerned what that would mean in my life.
I straightened the paper and looked down at its headlines. The picture of a broken high-rise building grabbed my attention. More? Horrified, I began to read.
A federal building in California had been bombed. Hundreds of people were injured by flying glass and falling concrete, some with severed limbs and others with crushed legs. More than a hundred were dead -- most of them small children playing in a day-care centre. The Federal Bureau of Investigation labelled the attack terrorism. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms muttered darkly of an earlier militia threat.
Militia? There were armies in America other than the national one? Armies that would kill innocent American children in a government building?
I let myself out of our room and went downstairs to the sitting room. I turned on the television to catch the latest information on the bombing.
A lorry filled with chemical fertiliser was the culprit of the California bombing, as it had been in Oklahoma and New York in the last decade of the twentieth century. Someone had pulled up within ten metres of the front of the building and walked away, leaving the lorry on a short timer.
The FBI was already interrogating a suspect arrested shortly after the bombing for a traffic violation. CNN had assembled a truncated biography of the man under suspicion, but his biography was already fuller than mine would be were the television network to try to understand me.
I rose to turn the television off when the attractive young anchor finished his report. But, before I could reach the set, he was reporting the hundred and fiftieth burning of a black church in rural Kentucky. I paused, now watching yet another atrocity.
There were no injuries or deaths in Kentucky. There were no suspects either. Negro leaders were demanding a federal investigation and, because each burnt church had served predominately black congregations, the suspicion was that the burnings were racial in motivation.
* * *
I had my opening soiree planned out when I woke the next afternoon. I would call on my country's embassy to the United States and introduce myself to its ambassador. With what I hoped was the slightest of mental nudges, he would fall all over himself to introduce me to the American political elite. Doing so had been a function of ambassadors since there were nation-states to which they could be accredited.
A man of power or, at least, potential influence in the home capital visits the capital to which the ambassador is accredited. He is unknown there, but wishes the contact of his own kind, his own level of society. The ambassador throws a gala party if the man is sufficiently an eminence at home. Or a soiree if the man were but a country nobleman.
It was very nineteenth century, but it opened doors in the new country to the visitor and established political credits back home for the ambassador.
I still carried the title of Fürst von Maribor. Such would open at the very least the First Secretary's door to me and not just that of some nondescript and unempowered underling.
I grinned to myself. From the screaming headlines I was seeing of the tabloids sold in the supermarkets, Americans, though devotedly republican in their national and local politics, were in love with royalty. Britain's young William, his father Charles, and memories of the Princess of Wales contested their front pages with the discovered corpse of Satan and alien possessions. I supposed that fascination with royalty would easily translate to one for a Prince of a dead and nearly forgotten empire that had risen like a phoenix as a republic from the ashes of war and dismemberment.
I return to our room and looked in on Emil. I smiled as he slept peacefully. Tonight he would not go to the library -- or tomorrow during the day, either. Remembering my own transformation, I knew he would be ravenous tomorrow when he finally awakened.
A few drops of vampire blood it appeared was enough to heal anything less than decapitation or cremation. It was an elixir against momentary but extreme anæmia which was a sure result of feeding a vampire as he had done the afternoon before.
By seven the evening of Emil's vampire birth, I was as strong as I had ever been -- and ravenous.
Emil still slept the sleep of the recently born when I returned to what was now our bedroom and began to make myself ready for bed. Dawn was still several hours away but I enjoyed taking my rest, even though it wasn't the necessity for me that it was for mortals. I had need to make my initial contact with the Austrian embassy and arrange a meeting with the ambassador -- or, at the least, his deputy -- to institute my plan for entering fascist society in America.
Hopefully, I would wake before Emil. I had to ensure he acquired my feeding habits so that he didn't open us up to police scrutiny.
Why had I bitten him? I knew so little about his ideas and feelings as a mortal, I knew nothing of what they would be now he was a vampire.
My one consolation -- my hope now -- was that he loved me. He had as a mortal and that would carry over into his new reality, at least temporarily. Now, however, he needed to trust and respect me enough that he permitted me to help him learn to be something as evolved as a vampire.
I lay beside him and closed my eyes, willing myself towards sleep. I smiled when he snuggled against me, holding me to him in his own sleep. I drifted into a more peaceful sleep than the one I had envisioned for myself moments earlier; Emil would do nothing to expose me. There would be no nightmares for me because of him.
* * *
"Davis!" Reverend Patterson greeted him the moment he entered the door. "Come over to the fire and get warm." Behind him, a fire roared comfortably.
Still unbuttoning his coat, Davis Trellum stepped quickly across the office to take the man's hand. "It's good to see you again, sir -- as always."
"I saw that mess in California," Patterson said, his voice lowered. "Was that ours?" Trellum nodded. "It was impressive. It drove home the message of the Christian Center."
"That was just the tip of the iceberg, sir."
"Tell me. I want to hear it all."
"Would you like me to bring you over a chair?"
Patterson glanced at the two chairs before his desk in the centre of the room. "Please. Let's make ourselves comfortable. Then I want to hear about everything you've got going."
Moments later, Trellum had dragged the two chairs close to the fire and they were seated. "So, talk."
Trellum allowed himself a small smile. "Don't be so impatient, sir."
Patterson cleared his throat loudly but said nothing, waiting for the man to speak. "We've hit the gay community hard," the Black man said finally. "And the drug pushers."
"I saw where the CMUM is entering those crack houses in DC, running the drug pushers out of the communities. Getting the locals to accept that was a stroke of genius, Davis."
"But what about the faggots? I hadn't heard about that."
"CMUM has a first strike unit now -- there'll be more soon. Anyway, they went into the Baths in the district -- killed everyone who was there."
"Will this Queer Nation bite, do you think?"
"They'll be out in the street soon enough, sir." He chuckled. "It'll probably take them a few weeks to teach their boys how to keep their wrists stiff enough to make a fist."
"As soon as they start fighting back, I'll be pulling the CMUM out of the melee and putting the skinheads in."
Patterson frowned. "Why? Beating up faggots probably make your boys feel good. Why take away their fun?"
"Because street brawls will bring TV camera crews. The Christian Center and every group under it have to stay clean for this to work."
"You're right. But it still seems like a pity."
"CMUM can staff the concentration camps we put the fags and other undesirables in after we're in power, Reverend."
Patterson mulled the idea of that over for a moment. "That'd work. Make sure you put these Militias and everybody else we have working with us in the others too. They'll need to disappear as soon as we're firmly in power."
"Definitely. There isn't going to be any place for bomb-making weirdoes when that time comes."
"How's Doris holding up?"
"She knows too much."
"Do you think so?"
Patterson shrugged. "Make sure she's on one of the closed trains you're setting up." Trellum nodded again. "How about Howell? Is he working out?"
"A little slow but he seems methodical. Next week, he starts training the Army division that'll keep the military in line. DC will be ready for Reed Stephens' martial law order when it comes."