Thank you for continuing to read DARK PRINCE. I'm glad you're enjoying it.
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I would like to refer you to my other stories appearing on Nifty: GAMES AT DEAUVILLE currently appearing in the Beginnings and historical folders as well as FLIGHT AT PEENEMÜNDE that is complete at both folders.
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A wave of fear crashed over me, followed almost immediately by one of anger. Fear and anger that were not mine. I shook my head and focused on Tom beside the bed and Emil on it, both nude. Both erect. The bedroom was awash with pheromones. Neither of them exhibited either fear or anger.
The twin emotions were more powerful than any I had felt before. I tasted them as the man whose fear and anger they were looked at the large two-storied house behind the wrought-iron fence. I wondered at any mortal being capable of such power, even as I began to realise he stood in the small park across the street from my house. He was looking at my house.
I reached out and found the mind projecting the waves of emotion. I touched it and knew the man would not know I was there. His legs were spread and bent at the knees, his centre of gravity evenly divided. His arms were bent at the elbows, his hands constantly moving in some solitary martial dance I didn't know. Adrenaline coursed through his body like a river.
He had just left the Mexican restaurant at Pennsylvania and Sixth and walking back to the Navy Yard. He'd seen them then. Five of them. White guys with truncheons. He'd crossed the street to avoid them, and their movement had forced him to continue down "I" Street. He'd started to walk faster but they were gaining on him. He'd run then. They'd chased him to the park where he'd turned to face them.
He was now encircled and the men were closing in on him. I blinked as I understood what I was hearing -- what he was hearing -- was the men humming. He recognised the tune then and I felt his surprise that it was "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic", a religious song.
I closed my eyes, forgetting Tom -- and, even, Emil. Their nudity, their readiness for sexual pleasures.
|I've got to go,| I told Emil. |Don't get too involved. I may need you, Liebchen.| Pain sympathetically crashed through my arm as a truncheon struck it, breaking bone.
The man's pain spread everywhere, and my own body pulsed with it. The man's assailants moved closer and began to hit him as he tried to pull away.
Emil had touched my thoughts and knew what I knew. |I'm right behind you,| he told me. One moment he's holding Tom's erection, the next he's off the bed.
The man went to his knees, both arms thrown up to protect his head. Please, God! the thought screamed through my mind, let somebody call the cops.
|Explain our leaving to Tom first, Emi,| I warned and followed the fear that was so strong in my mind.
Naked, I appeared behind a big man patting a long truncheon against the palm of his hand as he watched four other men swing at a man already on his knees and sinking to the ground. I immediately understood that this one was waiting for another headshot. He would let his men strike the rest of the victim's body, but he wanted to bash in his head. A couple of good licks, he told himself, and the queer was just another dead queer -- like that one the other night.
This was not a mountain plateau covered with edelweiß; it was a residential street in the American capital. I had not cared what I did to the two SS thugs seventy-five years ago when they'd killed Würther. I did not need another "P" Street beach. The police were looking for a pack of large dogs. So were the skinheads. There was entirely too much attention being given to one of the things Emil and I could become.
I told myself that tearing these men apart and leaving them to die was not the most logical thing for me to do, even as I began to change. The man on the ground groaned and collapsed. I growled and leaped onto the leader's back, my snout searching for the front of the man's neck. My warning to myself already forgotten. I snarled as I sank my teeth into his neck and began to shake my head violently, tearing his throat from him. He sank to the ground, still trying to push me away from him as his life pumped out of the gaping wound I'd left.
|I'm here, Karli,| Emil told me as I released the first man and sprang for one who had raised his truncheon and was about to swing again. The wolf he'd become took down a third man.
|Sergei Alexandrovitch!| I called as I tore the throat from the second attacker and heard the spine of Emil's snap.
|Call 911. This man needs medical help now.| I thought nothing of his response; at the moment, I was acting more on instinct than anything else.
The two remaining men became aware of us as their comrades went down, their bloodlust instantly turning to ice.
"What the fuck?" one gasped as his friend dropped his truncheon and began to back away from their victim and us. The two of them began to move away from us, from the carnage that now covered the sidewalk. Their three friends were dead or dying and their victim had blacked out from the beating. The hatred that had coursed through them like a flood was now turned to icy fear.
|I want these men, Emil.| I told him. |We have to know who they are and why they did this.|
I saw his grin in my mind. |Okay. It's going to be dine-in tomorrow then.| he projected and started to move slowly towards the two men who remained.
I sensed eyes watching us from windows in the nearest houses. From dark windows. I moved into the quiet street and ran ahead of the men before returning to the sidewalk behind them. Emil and I had them between us. I heard a siren in the distance, and it seemed to be coming towards us.
I changed back into human form as the men continued to step backwards. Emil's movement towards them was slow and it had not yet spooked them. He began to change too and I felt the adrenaline of both attackers climb off the scale as they watched him.
|Sleep,| I told them.
One man brought a hand up to his face and rubbed his eye, the other man's truncheon slipped from his fingers as his knees sagged.
|Sleep!| I commanded as Emil's body became fully human
He projected himself beside one man as I took the other in my arms. The siren was close, nearly upon us.
|The cellar of the house,| I told Emil and visualised the old wine cellar beneath our house. I felt him do the same and, a moment later, looked through the blackness that covered the cellar to see him standing there, holding the prisoner he had brought with him.
He grinned. "Have I mentioned just how much fun you can be, Karli? Especially when I least expect it."
"Let's tie them and come back to them later," I answered, ignoring his remark. "We have a very mortal Tom MacPherson upstairs with Sergei Alexandrovitch whispering in his ear. There is no telling what state the man's mind is in by now."
Emil laughed so hard I saw crimson tears welling up in his eyes. "Should we perhaps put some pants on -- so that we don't shock the poor lad?" he asked.
I groaned. "Find us some rope, Liebchen."
* * *
Tom looked from one of us to the other. He had put on an undergarment, and there was no sign of sexual interest anywhere on his body. "Where did you two go?" he demanded.
"There was a small confrontation..." I began and thought it best that I put on at least as much clothing as Tom had. There was a sense of psychological inferiority that was part of nudity when it was not shared in joint sexual heat. I did not think it wise to give that gift to the American in his current state of mind.
"Bullshit!" he growled as I pulled on my Y-fronts as quickly as possible. Emil looked from one to the other of us, unsure of what he should do. "Treat me like an equal here, Karl, or there won't be room for any feelings."
I sighed. "You would have to see it, Tom."
"Mon cher," Sergei Alexandrovitch's voice oozed syrup. "You may show me and Thomas will see."
I stared in shock at the mortal human before me. He was mortal! Yet, my Sergei was telling me that he controlled that mortal body sufficiently to do what no other mortal could do.
"Can you?" I asked softly. "We -- you and I -- we thought it impossible for a mortal brain to..." I struggled. "We tried, Sergei Alexandrovitch! For five long years. In Paris, in Berlin too -- no-one could do it. Not even Würther."
"I never learnt to control him as I have Tom. I've had more time to explore with this one -- without you there to cater to my every desire. Show me what this is all about."
I pulled my memories of my encounters with the Fascisti into order and opened my mind to Sergei Alexandrovitch. I only half-believed he could touch my thoughts, much less enter them. I was shocked when I felt the gentle nudge behind my forehead become a penetration.
My body froze in position, and I felt the chill from between the worlds of existence dribble into my mind. I felt Emil's mind nudge mine, ensuring that I was all right. I was in no danger, but I remained Sergei Alexandrovitch's to command.
His touch was rough, and I understood his control of Tom MacPherson's body was not total. He rummaged amongst my thoughts, tracking down connections beyond what I had conjured up for him to see. He was slow. Methodical. Learning the background of my every thought about the Fascisti. I had no sense of time. My brain itself began to ache. I began to perspire, drops of blood welling on my forehead.
"What're you doing to him, Tom?" Emil demanded. From across the bed, I saw myself as Emil saw me, a light crimson sheen to my skin, and my y-fronts beginning to discolour, arterial blood changing the white cotton to pink. "Stop it! Now!" he yelled. "You're hurting him!"
Sergei Alexandrovitch released me abruptly, his mind pulling from mine too quickly. My body was drained. I collapsed. "Bastard!" Emil growled and was beside me, holding me to him before I could fall to the floor.
Bemused, I watched Emil's lips thin and pull back, his canine teeth bared. I saw the spittle at the corner of my mouth and how dazed and clouded my eyes were. I knew I saw us as Sergei Alexandrovitch saw Emil and myself at that moment.
I shushed Emil with a finger to his lips and began to pull my mind back into some semblance of organisation. "He didn't mean to hurt me, Liebchen."
"You couldn't prove it by me," Emil growled, unwilling to release his anger.
"He's a vampire using a mortal's body, Emil. Mortals are clumsy, their minds unwieldy.
"Fascisti?" Tom's voice mumbled. "That means fascist in English -- shit! You're talking Nazis about to take over America." He looked at me, and I knew that Sergei Alexandrovitch was painting him a very disturbing picture inside his head.
"It can't be that bad, can it?" Tom asked, his voice subdued. "I knew things seemed like they were getting worse and worse. I stopped reading the news just before I went to Switzerland because it was so bad."
"The way that Sergei Alexandrovitch went through my mind, he left no rocks standing, Tom," I told him. "You know what he knows. You also know how much of my thinking he accepts..."
Tom shuddered, his hands moving to his cheeks and then into his hair. "Jesus! Nazis taking over..."
"They're not necessarily Nazis, Tom. They're fascist all right, but they may not have the same racial ideas. Or dream of world conquest like Hitler did."
"I can still feel that bullet tearing through my chest, Karli," Würther said softly in German. "Sie sind Nazis!"
I stared at him then. I had never known the gentle curate to hate, but those three words were so full of hate and revulsion that I had to look to see the anger in Tom's eyes. It was there -- it had also set in his face.
"You have to stop them -- we have to. Never again can the world know such evil."
"We will," Emil told him.
"You've kept two alive." He looked from Emil to me, a slight smile playing across his lips. "Shouldn't we interrogate them?" I knew that it was now Sergei Alexandrovitch who controlled Tom's body.
"We're going to." I paused and smiled at him. "But I didn't want to keep you waiting any longer. And neither Tom nor Würther are likely to want to watch what we'll do to them."
He nodded. "You plan on feeding on them -- yes."
"Sergei -- and you too, Würther -- you have to allow Tom to have his own body. Advise him. Help him. But let him make decisions about his own body."
I knew what I was saying. And most of me didn't want what I was asking. I had not resisted when Sergei Alexandrovitch was the man that Würther was with me. The priest had become a mere shadow eclipsed by the Romanov Prince returned to life. I realised now that I had rarely seen Würther or known the personality of the man. I could want Sergei, even long for him a hundred years after his death, but this Tom MacPherson deserved the right to be himself, as Würther had. I had not understood when my curate had lived. I did now. I would have to learn to love Tom MacPherson for himself, not as yet another embodiment of Sergei Alexandrovitch Romanov.
"You do not want me -- us?" Sergei asked softly.
"Always. But Tom lives now. This is his body." I sighed. "Advise him, Sergei Alexandrovitch. Advise me too. I ask the same of Würther as well."
"Just advise, Karli?" He grinned. "This is all I am good for any more?"
"You would relegate him...?"
"Karli, I understand," he whispered. "And I agree. But I will not wait to be called when I see that I'm needed." He laughed then. "Go interrogate your prisoners, you and Emil. We -- all three of us -- want to know more."
* * *
I stood inside the cellar, hidden in its close darkness and studied the two assailants we had kept alive. They were both so young when I actually looked at them as individual human beings. One was even handsome, in a rough sort of way. Their fear was palpable as they prayed together. I almost had second thoughts.
|Grown toothless in your old age, Karl?| Emil asked from beside me, his mental voice an intentional goad. I growled and the drone of the prayer stopped.
Emil teleported to the side of the handsome one. He began to trace the youth's jaw with his fingertip. The man's gasp was loud in the silence of the subterranean room.
|Do we play with them first, Karl -- or do we dig out what they know and then play with them?|
|You have become bloodthirsty since you began to hunt alone. It doesn't become you, Emil.|
|I hunt vermin, Karl. Drug dealers sell death; they're not human and deserve no remorse. These...| He pointed to the mortals tied to the beam before him. |They're like those drug dealers. Death walks hand in hand with them, it is their one offering to the world. I saw what they were doing. They don't deserve to live -- or to die peacefully.|
He was right, of course. It did not make me like what he suggested any better.
|If they're pissing their pants, that ought to soften them up some, yes?| He looked to me for agreement. I nodded.
The youth beside him began to struggle against his bonds. His fear grew, even as I smelled his perspiration. He moaned and his voice became a keening. I touched his thoughts, feeling Emil there. Feeling the strength of his sending. Pervading, faceless evil flowed through the corridors of the boy's brain like fog. Its icy fingers stroked his body. Its fiery eyes watched him and even penetrated him to see inside him.
He struggled against it in the stygian blackness that was my cellar. Terror grew in his mind even as the fog of evil pushed through him. His body spasmed as if continuously shocked. Fingernails tore in the skin of his palms and I smelled his hot blood. His eyes bulged. His breathing, already laboured, rapidly became panting. I saw blackness beginning to work through his aura.
|You're killing him, Emil!|
The projection instantly stopped.
|I got carried away, Karl. I'm sorry.| I felt his keen embarrassment as he surveyed what he had done to the man.
I turned on the overhead. The man with whose mind Emil had been playing slumped against his bonds, his eyes still bulging. Spittle oozed from the side of his mouth. He had fainted. The front of his trousers was wet.
|You did make him piss himself,| I told Emil and was rewarded with the sight of red blotches and streaks of magenta when I saw his face. I decided Emil would soon be over his embarrassment and turned my attention to the other mortal.
He struggled against his bonds as I walked towards him. "You going to do to me whatever you did to my buddy?" he demanded with more bravado than I would have shown in his place. I chose not to answer him as I came face to face with him.
I simply gazed into his eyes and smiled.
"What're you going to do to me -- to us?" he asked after several more minutes, his fear alive between us.
"Why don't you tell me why you and your friends were beating that man?" I asked quietly.
"Who? The queer?" I nodded. "We're under orders to beat up any faggot we find on the street. If he dies, it just means there's one less homo to mess up little boys."
"Under orders?" I asked.
His chest puffed out as best it could under the rope that held his torso to the beam. "We're a part of a CMUM first strike force squadron."
"CMUM?" Emil asked from behind him
The boy looked over his shoulder, disbelief written across his face. "The Christian Men United For Morality, mister. Our mission is to take the queers and drug dealers off the streets so God-fearing men and women can walk them without fear."
He turned back to face me, a troubled look on his face. "Why did you sic your dogs on my buddies, mister?"
"You were beating that man to death," I answered.
"What man? The queer? He wasn't a man, not after he'd let a dick go up his ass." The troubled look returned to his face and grew. "You two ain't homos, are you?"
"We're homosexuals," Emil informed him, moving up beside him. Very close beside him.
"Oh shit!" he groaned and looked quickly from Emil to me and back again. "Go ahead and kill me then," he growled, managing to conquer his surprise. "You ain't got the balls to do it -- none of you fairies do."
"After we go through your mind and learn everything you know about your organisation," I told him.
He spat at me. I concentrated at the wad of spit hurtling towards my face and turned it back so that it hit him.
He stared at me in surprise. "How did you do that?" he mumbled.
"We're vampires," I said. "You and your friend are tomorrow's dinner."
I watched his face fall as he stared at me and began to suspect I was telling the truth.
I touched his mind.
"What the fuck?" he growled as Emil unbuttoned his shirt, distracting him. I began to push into his memories as his erection grew behind his undergarment.
He was nineteen and lived with his parents and three younger siblings in a row house in the seedy Dundalk section of Baltimore. He had been an apprentice carpenter before the Group Captain asked him to join the CMUM's first strike force.
I concentrated on those memories. They were what I wanted.
Our other prisoner was his best friend, and he had invited this one to a church in Towson which was a northern suburb of Baltimore. In his sermon, the preacher of the church had painted a vision of America living in racial and social harmony, bound together by God's law. The sermon had reached to the boy's inner core, pointing out things he hadn't known and explaining things that had bothered him. The boy had returned. Both had. The preacher had introduced this one to Group Captain Ronnie Barber of the Christian Men United For Morality.
I could feel the idolisation the prisoner had for this Group Captain. It was as strong as the gnawing dread he'd been feeling the past week, since his girl told him she'd missed her period. There was nothing more in his mind that was useful to me.
|Sleep,| I told him.
His companion was still unconscious when Emil and I left them.