Days of Atlantis: The Vampire Saga
by Julien Gregg

This is the story of Darias and Ren, two gods born of a human queen. They were born the princes of Atlantis and their lives were nearly destroyed by the Olympian God Zeus. After a lifetime of rape, torture and violence, Darias attacks Zeus and is cursed by Apollo. He can never see the sun again and must hunt humanity for their blood. The vampire is created. Learning of his brother's plight, Ren attacks Zeus, thinking that he is the God who cursed his brother. Ren will be cursed by Artemis. He will be ruled by the moon and be forced to change into a beast who hunts humanity for their flesh. The Forsaken is created. This is their story. Many of the Greek and Egyptian Gods will be featured in this story. I did research, but I felt it was necessary for this story to change certain things about the Gods. This is only a story so please don't try to correct me. This is the beginning of the Vampire Saga. This is how it all began. So just enjoy the ride. This story contains scenes depicting violence, death, murder, torture, rape, homosexuality, heterosexuality, homosexual sex, heterosexual sex and has a strong violent and sexual theme. If it is not legal in your place of residence for you to read this type of material, or if you are offended by this type of material please leave the site now. For all others the chapter links are below.

This story is a work of fiction its characters do not exist outside the story. Any resemblance to living people or places is strictly coincidence. This story is Copyright © 2015 Julien Gregg. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This story contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.

Chapter 6

Darias appeared among them in a hail of lighting and wind. His expression was dark as he glared at them. They were standing in a united front and had been awaiting the arrival of one or both of the twin Gods of Atlantis. Most of them thought that Zeus deserved whatever Darias had in store for him, and in truth they had all vowed not to step in. All of them but Apollo and Artemis.

"You destroyed my lands," Darias bellowed in a voice that was louder than any human's. It shook the walls of the pantheon and made them all flinch, including Zeus. "For years you have been the bane of my existence. You put hatred in the heart of my stepfather and made sure to return when he wasn't doing what you wanted to make it stronger. You had Hermes and Aphrodite help you to put lust in his heart for the twin boys that we were then. Because of that he raped and tortured us for eight years. All because of your hatred of us, your ignorance of what we would become. I have come, as the Fates said I would because of your deeds to end you. I know that Apollo will curse me, but now I do not care. Let the curses come, but hark me if I can I will destroy any who come against me."

He lifted both hands and used Zeus's own lightning against him. The elder God fell to his knees as the lightning consumed his flesh. The smell of burning flesh quickly filled their senses, and the blinding light made them miss Apollo stepping forward. He raised a hand and shot what looked like pure golden power at Darias, but Darias was ready for him. At the last second before the power touched him he directed the lightning at Apollo. Apollo screamed as the power he had sent to curse Darias split and touched them both. Then both were lying there on the floor of the chamber as if dead.

"What have you done?" screamed Athena. "Zeus, you have brought curses upon our pantheon! You changed all who should have loved them the most so they have plagued their lives, and when one finally came against you, you allowed your son to curse him."

"Ah, but Darias was ready for you," laughed Constantine as the God's form changed back and forth from male to female. "I helped him take his revenge against Apollo for the curse he knew was coming. Now Apollo will know the effect of his own curse. The God of the Sun will no longer be able to stand in its glow just as he made sure that Darias would be a prisoner to the darkness, so shall he."

"What have you done?" demanded Zeus in his weakened state. He gasped as Darias's slumbering form flashed out of Olympus. He had no idea where it had gone or how.

"I am the God of Equality," Constantine replied with a smirk. "What Apollo did to Darias, I made sure was done to him. I was serious, by the way. Apollo will truly die if he tries to walk in his precious sun."

They stood there in shock as Zeus struggled to stand. Darias had nearly killed him. He couldn't believe it. To have been nearly killed by a lesser God was one thing. For Apollo to suffer the effects of the curse that he had used to stop Darias was unthinkable. Yet there was nothing that any of them could do to remove the curse from Apollo. Darias would now be a dark God, but then now so would Apollo. Both would be ejected from Olympus.

* * *

Darias's form appeared on the floor of his temple. Ren took one look at him and fell to his knees, wailing so loud that the walls of the temple shook. Isis and Poseidon appeared in the temple and then Poseidon was wailing louder than Ren. He grieved for the death of his son, but the Fates had said he would survive the curse and become a dark God. How could this have happened. He bristled when he felt Isis's hand on his shoulder.

"It is not death, Poseidon," she said. "Darias sleeps."

She twisted her hand and Darias's form disappeared. They stood there looking at each other as they heard the most thunderous cry of all. Ra had been standing outside the temple. He'd heard what she'd said. He knew that his brother had been cursed. The sun burned brighter than it had ever burned before. Ra was punishing the earth for what had happened to his brother.

Then as they stood there, the white stone walls of the temple turned dark. The water in the pool turned to blood and the scent in the air was like burning copper. This was the curse at work. As Darias's form was changing, hidden in a windowless room on the second floor of the temple, the temple reacted to the change in him. She flashed herself to the chamber where her son lay in his slumber. Two of the priests of the temple were tending him. They were weeping at the sight of his unmoving form.

"Goddess," they said in unison and fell to their knees.

"Tend him well," she said as she touched each of them on a shoulder. "He is your dark God of Blood. Zeus and Apollo have done this."

"But why, Goddess?" asked one of the men. She thought his name was Kiran.

"Because Zeus is a vengeful God," she said simply.

Word traveled fast throughout Greece that Darias, their God of Blood had been cursed. The people knew that Darias was asleep in his temple and only the priests and approved people of Greece could enter during the hours that the sun was in the sky. Ra had stopped making the sun burn hotter and brighter. The earth smoked from the heat, and several people were injured from the effects. She placed hands on each that she saw, healing them from the effects of her son's grief and anger. As she stood just outside of the temple she saw Elle coming, Duku was holding her up as they came near.

"Queen Elle," Isis said. "You cannot see him in this state. He would not wish you to see him like this."

"Goddess," she sobbed. "Tell me he lives."

"He lives," she replied. "Just not the way he did before this day."

"I would tend him if it pleases you, Goddess," said Duku, and she looked at him hard.

She searched his heart and found there a respect so pure for her son that she was both shocked and happy. She nodded her head just slightly and one of his soldiers came forward to hold Elle while Duku went into the temple. Then she beheld Ren. His blond hair and blue eyes changed before her eyes. It was like ink sliding down his unbound hair, turning it black and his eyes seemed as if the pupils spilled their color outward.

"I will end them all for this," he said in a voice so deep with anger and grief that she was unable to say a word to talk him out of what he planned. Then Poseidon was standing beside her.

"He sleeps, my son," he said. "Darias will live through this. His life will be changed forever, but he will live. Must you make this worse? You know what awaits you if you go to Olympus in anger."

"Father, they cursed him!" cried Ren. "They turned his life into something he'll never be able to come to terms with. They did this to him after everything that Zeus has done to us. They did this to my brother!"

"Ren, I urge you to keep your head," said Poseidon. "Don't let this drive you to get yourself cursed as well. Think, son."

"All I can think of is what they've done to us all our lives," he said. "He put hatred in Savetor's heart and got two Gods to help him put lust for us in his heart so that he would rape and torture us for eight years, then he sent the Greeks to kill us in a senseless war. Now he's obliterated our lands, and his son has done this to my brother. I want them all dead."

He didn't know how he'd convinced him, but for a week Ren did nothing. He sat by his brother's side and wept most of the time. He watched Duku with open suspicion as the man cleaned Darias's body as it rid itself of blood and other human byproducts. The foul smell couldn't drive either man away. The priests came and changed the linen on the bed he lay in but they didn't stick around while Duku cleaned up the mess. There was more and more mess as the days went on.

Elle took to her rooms in the palace, provided by Pias. She rarely got out of bed. Her grief was crushing her and the physician had been called already to see to her unborn child. Isis had touched her to make sure that she didn't succumb to any illness while her grandchild grew in her womb. She sat with her and held her hand, but Elle never said a word. She'd cry silent tears as she mourned the loss of her husband.

Ra couldn't be consoled. He divided his time between Greece and Egypt, but he talked to no one. The priests of his Greek temple placed sun stones and yellow flowers in baskets at the feet of his statue, but he rarely set foot inside his temple. He checked on his sleeping brother and wept at what he found. He couldn't be convinced that Darias was going to come back. He believed that Apollo had killed him and what his brother was keeping vigil over was a corpse. He cried out for Apollo's head and Zeus's head, and Isis had to stop him from going to Olympus twice.

Six nights of the same thing when she visited her son was starting to make Isis believe that he would not return to them. His body was not decomposing at all. She'd know it if that were happening even though it would be very unnoticeable to humans for another week at least. There was less and less of the foul mess leaking from his body as well. His skin was turning from the golden bronze color first to that of the Greeks and then to an even more alabaster complexion. Finally on the seventh day his skin was almost as white as the stone of his temple before it had turned black.

As the sun set over Greece on the eighth day all of Greece heard the wail of pain from Darias's temple. Duku fell to his knees and covered his ears with his hands as Darias, Dark God of Blood sat up and looked around the room. He'd changed from the tanned skinned blond haired and blue eyed prince and finally king of Atlantis to this utterly white man with hair darker than the night sky and eyes that were a curious bronzed yellow. He opened his mouth to wail again and Duku saw the sharp, elongated canine teeth and his mind knew fear. He couldn't move out of the way in time to save himself when Darias moved to take him in his arms. The God pushed his head to the side and sank those teeth into his neck. Duku cried out as his blood was sucked out of the twin holes the teeth had made in his neck. Darias held him tight and began to hum slightly as he drank the blood of the warrior he'd been forbidden to battle on the battlefield.

"Darias!" cried Ren as he came into the chamber. "What have you done?"

"I will save him," Darias said, his voice deep with the blood and power.

He slit his neck with his fingernail and brought Duku's mouth to the wound. "Drink," he said to the fallen warrior. "Drink, and live."

Ren stood stunned as he watched Duku's arms wrap around his brother as he pulled the blood from the wound in Darias's neck. He saw the color return to his skin and could feel the energy return to his body. Then he went limp in Darias's arms. Darias stood and held the warrior in his arms. He flashed himself out of the temple and Ren followed him to Duku's apartments. He told his wife not to disturb him and that he would send men to tend him. She cried out in fear as she beheld her fallen husband. Darias assured her that in eight days he would wake and he would be very, very thirsty. She was not to be in the apartment on that eighth day. He would see to it that there were others there to help Duku.

Then he was off into the night to find footpads who would do his bidding. Ren knew these men were unsavory and was about to say something to his brother when he beheld their eyes. They had gone blank as Darias began to speak so softly to them. Then they agreed to do as he asked and followed him back to the palace. Ren watched in shock as the two men stripped Duku out of his clothing and began to wash his body as the putrid mess began to seep out of him. Then he followed Darias back out of the palace.

"Brother," he said as he caught up to him. Darias was bent over, clutching his stomach.

"I thirst," breathed Darias. "The blood, Ren. I thirst for the blood of humans. It hurts so terribly bad."

"I feel it, too," said a voice that made both of the spin around. They both fell into fighting stance as they beheld Apollo. Then Darias sniffed the air and straightened. Suddenly he was laughing uproariously.

"So the curse you meant for only me has struck you, too," he laughed. "Brother, behold Apollo, Dark God of the Sun!"

"What is this thirst?" demanded Apollo, glaring at Darias.

"You know what it is," Darias replied. "Don't take that demanding tone with me, God of the Sun. You are no longer nearly as powerful as you were."

"So I am to live from drinking the blood of humans?" Apollo asked, looking disgusted.

"Why should you be any better than me?" Darias asked. "You put this curse upon us both."

"I should kill you," Apollo spat.

"Think carefully, lesser God," said the voice of Ra as he appeared before Apollo. "If not for my mother's ire you would be dead at my hand for what you have done to my brother. If you move against him again I will suffer the wrath of every God in existence to kill you."

"I must hunt," Darias said flatly, looking away from Apollo.

"You will not hunt the men and women of Greece," snapped Apollo. "They are mine."

Darias turned back to Apollo and Ra. He let his anger build inside him and threw his head back to wail. Ra watched him with weary eyes. He had no idea what his God powers would be like now that he'd been cursed. He believed that Apollo deserved whatever Darias did to him, but he didn't want his brother to hurt himself.

"You will not tell me where and who I can hunt," Darias said in a loud and very deep voice, making Ren flinch. "You do not lord over me, son of Zeus. You are not the king of anything."

Apollo had no chance to say anything. Athena appeared between them in a flash of white light. Pain filled her features as she beheld Apollo in his altered appearance. His naturally golden skin was pale like the skin of the dead before they began to decay. His eyes had been the color of the sky and now they had an unnatural glow to them. They were still blue, but not the color of the sky. They were the color the sky would be if the blue of the sky had ever been electrified. Then she turned to face her nephew and anger replaced her pain.

"What have you done to my warrior?" she demanded.

"I shared the curse with your warrior, Athena," Darias said in his normal voice. "In eight nights he will rise to hunt the men and women of the world for their blood just like me and Apollo."

"How could you?" she gasped.

"You have no sway over me, Athena," Darias said coldly. "You stood by and let Apollo curse me. Zeus deserved to die for what he'd done. You and your family stood by to let me kill Zeus, but you didn't even try to stop Apollo from cursing me. I deny you all. Fear not, Aunt, I will not return to Olympus. Zeus will live if he never crosses my path again. I will kill any God from Olympus that comes near me after this night. I deny you all and I refuse to stand the sight of you."

They all stood shocked as he flew into the air and was gone. Seconds later Apollo flew into the air after him. Athena looked at Ren and Ra. She wept as she looked at Ren. Darias was right to hate them all. They had stood by while Apollo cursed him. She knew they would stand by when Artemis cursed Ren. It was coming. She could see the hatred and anger in her nephew as she looked into his inky black eyes.

"Do you hate us all as well, Ren?" she asked as she looked at him.

"For what has been done in the past I hate Zeus," he said softly. "For what has been done to my brother I hate Apollo and find it fitting that he is changed under the same curse he meant only for Darias. I know that I will be cursed by Artemis, for there is no way in all of Hades that I won't come for Zeus. If you stand by and do nothing when Artemis strikes then I will feel exactly the same about all of you as my brother does."

He walked away from her after that. She was left to watch him walk away. She turned to Ra but he was watching Ren as well. Oh how she wished the Fates had refused to answer Zeus all those years ago. If they hadn't answered him none of this would be happening. There was no reason to stay in Greece though. Her warrior was dead to her, her nephews hated her and Apollo was cursed just like Darias. She wondered if Apollo knew that he was banned from Olympus now. She sighed as she flashed herself back to Olympus.

* * *

Darias and Apollo stood at the entrance to the Cave of the Fates. They glared at each other for a long moment before Darias walked into the cave. Apollo was right on his heels. The cave was dark but his new eyes had no trouble seeing. The three daughters of Aphrodite were beautiful to behold. They each had long flowing golden hair and creamy alabaster skin. Their ruby lips were full. The shape of their eye sockets were slightly off, but it didn't look like they had no eyes. Their long dark dresses hid their figures and swayed on some unknown wind. The eldest turned her attention to him and hissed.

"You dare come into our cave?" she snapped.

"It is I," he said. "Darias, King of Atlantis."

"We know who you are," said the second sister. "You have come to hear the truth of what you are."

The third sister began to cackle, covering her mouth with one hand and pointing at Apollo with the other. "It is as we have seen," she laughed. "You, the God of the Sun have been cursed along with Darias. You are a dark God now, Apollo. Constantine has done her best work with you."

"What are you saying?" Apollo demanded.

"Constantine, the God of Equality split your curse and let it infect both of you," she said. "Now you can never return to Olympus. The sun shuns you, and I can feel your thirst. It is so much more painful for you than for Darias. You who love the sun."

"Constantine did this to me?" Apollo said softly.

"You did this to you," laughed the second sister.

"What are you saying?" he demanded, stepping forward another step so that now he was standing beside Darias.

"You will be forever trapped in the curse you meant only for Darias,"said the first sister. "You will be forever turned away from the sun, forced to hunt humans for their blood under the night sky. You will share your curse and make more like you."

"Oh but those you make won't be like Darias and his brood," cackled the second sister. "That we have seen as well. Such horror will befall humanity because of your curse, Apollo."

"And what of me?" Darias asked.

"You, your brother, Apollo and Artemis will be scourges of humanity," snapped the third sister. "You will hunt their blood and share your curse with four. Those will share the curse with countless others. Apollo will do the same to numbers unknown to us. Ah but you are so beautiful to behold, Darias. Your smell has so altered, your strength and senses have been infused with your Dark God powers and your voice sooths. All of these are tricks you will use to walk among the men and women of the world while you pluck your victims from the masses of those who love you."

"Leave us, Children of the Night," said the first sister, pointing to the mouth of the cave. "And never return."

* * *

Ren stood at the door of Duku's bedchamber. The smell was horrible and clung to his nose like water to fabric. He looked at the naked man who was surrounded by filth as it leaked from his anus, nostrils and mouth. Even his penis was leaking foul bodily fluids. What had Darias done to this man? It smelled so much worse that when Darias was going through this conversion.

"His tissues are changing more slowly than Darias," said Isis as she came to stand beside her son.

"He smells worse than Darias as well," said Ren.

"Each one will be different, my son," she said. "I fear that Darias will have to spread the curse just to keep his thirst under control."

"I tell myself that it is all right because he lives," Ren said in anguish as he looked at Duku. "My brother lives, but countless will die or be changed because he lives."

"I'm afraid that's what the curse will make sure of," she said sadly.

"Then they should all be put to death for it," Ren said coldly. He turned and walked out of the room and down the hall.

Isis watched him go with a heavy heart. She feared there was no way to stop him from going to Olympus to attack Zeus. The Fates had spoken his fate and there was no changing it. This she knew like she knew her own heart. The curse that Darias was under was so different from the one Ren would be forced to live under. She only hoped that he wouldn't break with the curse. She'd been so worried that Darias would be some mindless beast of a man when he woke from his death sleep. She was only half convinced that he wasn't now that he was walking around and talking.

* * *

For nearly seven days Ren had not seen Darias or Apollo. He had heard about one or both from the now growing number of bloodless corpses all over Greece. Fifteen men, all criminals had been killed by either Darias or Apollo or both. Very soon Duku would rise and join them and more victims would fall. Ren went to Darias's temple and wept for his brother. He knelt at the rim of the fountain and looked up at the now onyx statue of his brother.

"Where are you, Darias?" he whispered.

The water in the fountain had turned to blood. All of the flower petals floating on the surface of the blood were now black. The walls were black now as well. As he knelt there men came to sweep the floor and to place baskets of incense around the fountain. It seemed the priests of the temple would still worship their dark God. He was thankful for that at least, but what would happen to them if Darias used the portal to this temple and was thirsty?

"The temples in Rome and Egypt are just like this one now," said Ra as he came into the temple. "The people are scared, but the priests still tend the temples, still kneel at the base of the fountain to pray to Darias."

"What will happen to him if he goes out in sunlight?" Ren asked without turning to look at Ra.

"The sun will scorch his tissues until they ignite," Ra said. "He would be burned alive."

"Will that happen to me when I am cursed?" asked Ren.

"Mother says that you will walk in the sunlight like normal," said Ra. "You will only have to worry about the moon when it is full."

"I don't understand," Ren sighed. "Will the moon to do me what the sun will do to Darias?"

"No," said Ra. "The full moon will force you to change into the beast that hunts humans for their flesh."

"So I'll be a monster like Darias and Apollo?" he asked.

"Yes, my brother," said Ra. "I'm afraid you will be."

They said no more on this matter. Ren was horrified by what his brother had told him. He didn't want to be a monster, but he knew that wouldn't stop him from going after Zeus. Perhaps the Fates were responsible for all of this. He didn't know. He only knew that the dark days they had prophesied were upon them and they would get worse as time went by.

Suddenly Darias's statue rippled and then it was Darias. He looked at them both and sighed. He said nothing for an agonizing amount of time. He simply looked at them. He didn't look the same as he had the last time they had seen him. Now he looked almost normal. His skin looked vibrant and alive. His eyes were the color of onyx. He looked alive.

"My brothers," he said finally. "It quickens my dead heart to see you both here, but I must go up to my chamber before the sun rises."

"You're killing people, Darias," Ren said in a voice filled with anguish.

"Only the evil," said Darias. "They deserve the death I bring them, brother. Do not weep for their lost souls. I will teach Duku to hunt the evil as well."

"And what of Apollo?" Ra asked. "Does he hunt the evil as well?"

"I have no idea what Apollo hunts, Ra," said Darias. "He and I will never be able to stand each other. His kind and my kind will likely forever be at war with each other. He hates me as I hate him."

"Has he made another?" Ra asked.

"I do not know," Darias replied. "He and I had words and he left me. I wasn't sorry to see him go. Duku still sleeps?"

"Yes," said Ren. "He smells worse than you did. I think he's actually dying."

"He is dying," Darias replied. "All of us die to become this, Ren. Now I must sleep. Already I feel the weight of the terrible dawn."

Then he was gone. He'd moved so fast that even his brothers, Gods couldn't follow his movements. Ren sighed as he stood up and turned to look at Ra. They stood there for a long moment just looking at each other. No words were needed for what they were feeling now. Confusion and anguish warred within both of them. Darias had returned, but he wasn't exactly Darias anymore.

Ren finally left the temple as the priests that tended it during the day came to change the baskets and sweep the floors. He didn't want to think about how they got all of those flower petals out of the blood. Instead he headed for the castle to check on Elle. His mother had told him that she'd had to touch her to make sure that she ate and kept the baby healthy so that he could be born. She'd also told him that Elle and Darias's child was male. So they would have an heir to a throne that no longer existed.

No one stopped him as he entered the castle. The guards bowed their heads slightly but otherwise made no movement. The staff hustled around the halls, but none stopped to bow to the passing God among them. He sighed as he made his way to the staircase. He didn't care that they didn't bow to him. He hated it when they fawned over him. He just wished that everything was as it was before. He hated Greece. Everywhere he turned were horrible memories of the war. He wished he could just go home again.

That wasn't possible because of Zeus. The Olympian God had sunk Atlantis to the bottom of the ocean, killing millions of people. The only people to survive were now changed by Isis into Sea People. Did that mean that the old legend of the Sea People would come again? He didn't know. What he knew was that all of this could be laid at Zeus's feet. Ren didn't know how much longer his heart could beat without revenge for what Zeus had stolen from him.

What he found when he was permitted to enter Elle's suite shocked him. She was up, sitting at her private dining table with food in front of her. She was smiling and looked radiant. She looked up at Ren and smiled wider still. She looked at the food in front of her and then back up at him.

"Ren, please sit," she said. "Join me. Darias was here last night for a time. Isn't it wonderful that he lives?"

"Yes," he said in confusion. Darias had come to her? "It's wonderful."

"Everything will be fine now," she said. "We'll find a realm to claim as our own. Darias will be King there and I will be Queen. Our son will be a prince as he was supposed to be. Everything can be wonderful again, Ren. You'll see."

"Elle, are you all right?" he asked as she passed him a bowl of fruit.

"Oh, I'm just wonderful, Ren," she said, smiling again. "Darias is alive!"

He sat there in stunned worry as he ate the food she'd handed him. All the while she prattled on about how they would find a realm to call their own, how Atlantis would rise again. He wished his mother was there to tell him what was going on. He wondered why she wasn't. He was so worried about her, but he could tell from his own power that her baby was healthy and strong. Had Isis done this to her? Had she made her daft? He supposed Darias could be responsible, but he rejected that idea almost as soon as it crossed his mind. Darias loved Elle. He wouldn't want her to be this way. Isis wouldn't have done this either, at least not purposefully.

He left Elle after the meal had been cleaned up and went in search of his mother. He went to her newly built temple and called out to her statue. She materialized in the center of her fountain and came to him. She wrapped her arms around him and held him tightly for a long moment. He breathed in the scent of her and sighed.

"I know why you've come," she said. "I didn't do this to Elle. Darias has made her a promise, though I think it was a mistake to promise her anything at this point."

"What promise did he make her?" Ren asked. "Mother, she's talking as if we'll find a realm and she will be Darias's queen. She says Atlantis will rise again."

"I'll keep an eye on her, Ren," she said. "I can't be here at all times. Egypt needs me. I will send faithful to watch over Elle and to report to me when Darias returns to her. Be at ease, my son. I will tend your brother's wife well."

For the rest of the that day Ren wandered around the royal city. He was going nowhere in particular and expected to end up anywhere. He had to sort through all of this in his head. His brother was dead but alive, feeding on the criminals of Greece. Duku would rise soon and join Darias. Apollo was out there somewhere, feeding on anyone apparently. With Darias the innocent were safe, but with Apollo that might not be so. All of this could be laid at Zeus's feet. Elle's apparent insanity could be laid at Zeus's feet. Zeus was the source of every scrap of misery in Ren's life.

Elle was right about one thing. Darias was a king. He was King of the Immortals that he spawned. How many would rise from death to follow their king? Ren had no idea, but the possibilities filled him with a quaking fear like he'd never known. He knew that it would be right to put Darias, Apollo and Duku down to save humanity from the plight their lives would inflict upon the masses, but who was he to judge? The Fates had said he would be cursed as well. He would be ruled by the moon and forced to forsake his human, Godly form for that of a beast to hunt humanity for their flesh. If he was going to put the blood drinkers down then shouldn't he be put down as well?

He couldn't think of putting his brother down. The idea filled him with such a sadness that he thought he would buckle under its strain. No, humanity would suffer greatly at the hands of his brother and cousin. They would spawn broods of night stalking blood drinkers, and it seemed he would be something like them eventually. All of this was Zeus's fault. How could he not attack Zeus? How could he not seek to destroy him for what he'd done?

* * *

Darias dreamt. He could hear the prayers of the priests of his temples. He could smell the incense they laid at the base of the fountain in each of his temples. He could smell their blood and he thirsted in his sleep. The thirst was agony. He knew that it would lessen when Duku rose, but was that the only way to quiet the fire inside of him? Did he have to turn scores of men to this? He'd promised his wife that he'd turn her when the baby was born, but should he? Did he want to curse her to this existence? Could his beautiful wife stand to be shunned by the sun, forced to walk the darkest nights at his side, hunting the criminal humans for their life sustaining blood?

What about his unborn child? Was he going to turn him as well? Would he wait until the child reached manhood? Would he rob him of his human life and force him to live out an eternity of thirst? The child was a demigod, sired by a God and a mortal woman. He would have a measure of the same immortality that Darias had unknowingly enjoyed all his life. There had to be a way to make it permanent without changing him into what his father was. Darias would find a way. He would not curse his own son.

Darias remembered how the world had changed around him when he'd ascended and become the full God of Atlantis. The colors had seemed more vivid, the sun more beautiful and the food more hearty and flavorful. It was nothing compared to what the world had become for him when he opened his cursed eyes for the first time. As a God he could see what he thought was everything, hear the thoughts of all of those around him and be anywhere he wanted to be in an instant. As a cursed God he could do all of that and so much more. Now he could create fire with him mind. That particular feat left him weak and lethargic. He could fly now as well. He supposed he could have done those things as a God, but neither had crossed his mind then.

Now he had such a reverence for human life. As a God he hadn't felt this way. Now he knew what it was to kill humans for his sustenance. He knew what it was to be one with a human in a way that no God had ever known. He could see their entire lives spread out before him as he drained them of their blood. He felt every emotion they'd ever felt in their lives as he drank. It was ecstasy like he'd never known before. Even coupling with his wife could not compare to what it felt like to be so in tune with a human mind.

He hunted the guilty, the evil and the vile. It seemed only right to cull the number of killers and rapists, to save the innocent humans from violence he'd known in his human life. He knew he would demand that his subjects follow this rule. He was still a God and he knew that if he said something strongly enough to anyone it would be as he said. He'd make sure that this was the way it would be for any who had any measure of his blood in their veins. To break this rule would mean death to the one who'd broken it. This he would make law.

He felt his body changing again as the thirst got stronger. The sun was beginning to set. He could actually feel it in his bones. He was waking. It was a slow process, feeling the tissues in his body quicken slowly and methodically. His lungs filled out and he was breathing again. His dead heart filled with blood, making the sucking emptiness in his stomach sing its terrible song of thirst even louder. He moved one finger at a time, reveling in the sensation of his blood deprived system. Finally his eyes opened, and he knew that this was the night that Duku would awaken. He knew it like he knew his own soul.

He heard a commotion in the anteroom of his inner chamber. Someone was pleading to be let go, that he was innocent. Darias smiled as his power reached out to that voice, reading the surface of the captive's mind. He knew instantly that this man had killed his own father and his own son to rise in status. He was a murderer, and the priests of his temple had captured him. That had been accomplished by drugging his lunch. Then they carried his unconscious body to the temple and tied him up in the anteroom of their God's resting chamber. They were giving him different offerings now it seemed. He smiled as he sat up and looked around the dark room. His head swam from the effort, but he lit the torches on the walls around him. Then he grew even more dizzy as he sat there. He waited for his head to clear and then stood up off the platform with his feet on the floor.

He walked through the door to the antechamber and beheld the offering of his priests. The man was dressed in finery, and Darias remembered him as the son of the royal steward assigned to Duku. He smiled, letting his fangs show. He crossed the space between where they held the offering so fast that they all jumped. Then he took him from them and sank his fangs into the murder's neck and let the visions overtake him.

He saw it all, the young man's entire life. He saw him as a boy, running and playing on the palace lawn with other children. Then he saw him fighting another boy for no other reason than to establish that he was the better fighter. Next he was a teen, thieving jewels from Duku's wife, raping one of the serving women and then beating her senseless to destroy the child he'd sired inside her. Finally the murders of his own wife, son and father. Then his heart began to slow almost to the point of stopping and Darias stopped drinking. He pulled back and stared at the dead man for a long moment. He noticed that the priests. were all kneeling behind him. He could hear the fear in their thoughts as they knelt there.

"You have done well," he told them softly. "Your tending has made me whole, my sons. This I ask of you at every sunset for the rest of my time in Greece. Please dispose of him with fire, lest someone find his corpse and ask questions."

He waited while the men collected the corpse. They carried him away, trying to bow as they left. Darias smiled at them, taking care not to let his fang teeth startle them again. When they were gone he stretched his body and sighed. He really felt alive again. Perhaps it was time to go to Elle and see how the babe was doing inside of her. First he must see to Duku. He could already hear the man's thoughts. He was waking now. He flashed himself out of the temple and into the room he'd left Duku in like a God.

The criminals he'd left to tend him were all in attendance. He smiled at that. One would sustain him, but as he had done on his own awakening night Duku would take them all. They covered their ears as Duku sat up and wailed in thirst and pain. Darias stood back and watched as Duku shot from his sodden bed to the first of the criminal men and took him. Then he noticed another presence in the room. He turned to fine Athena standing by the door.

"What are you doing here, Athena?" he asked coldly.

"I've come to see for myself what you've done to my warrior," she snapped. Her eyes never left Duku as he went from the first to the second of the criminal men and feasted yet again.

"Have you seen enough?" he asked as he watched her watch Duku kill. "Or do you plan to stay until all four men are lifeless corpses on the floor?"

"I should kill you for what you've done to him," she said hatefully.

"Oh, but only if you could," he said, smiling at her and letting his fangs show clearly. "Make no mistake, Aunt, you are no match for me. You never were."

They stared at each other as Duku killed all of the criminals in the room. Then he stood beside Darias and looked at Athena. She looked back at him with such a look of sadness in her eyes. She'd given him a measure of immortality, but Darias had given him the real thing. She could see it in his curse changed eyes. He was no longer hers. He belonged to Darias now. He was a subject of the Dark God of the Blood. She flashed herself away from his room, taking the victims with her. She would dispose of them as her last act as his Goddess.

"Am I a God now?" he asked as he looked at Darias.

"No," replied Darias. "You are one of mine now. You will go on, Duku, and spawn a family of blood drinkers. Mark me. Our kind only kill the evil. We spill no innocent blood. The penalty for breaking this law is death."

"What of my wife?" he asked, looking around the room. His nose wrinkled as he caught the scent of his human death.

"Your wife is safe from you at the moment," Darias replied. "When you have your wits about you I suppose it will be safe to go to her."

"I'm not thirsty anymore," Duku said. "Yet I feel strange. I could hear the thoughts of those men. I could hear their souls, but I could not hear Athena and I could not hear you."

"You will never hear me in that way, Duku," Darias said. "You are not a God. You are a blood drinker."

"A vampire," Duku said.

"Yes," Darias said with a smile. "I suppose we're both vampires."

Duku did go to his wife that night. He walked into their apartment in the palace as if nothing had changed. She eyed him from her seat in the sitting room. She had no idea what to think of him. She'd heard such tales about Darias and the dead he left behind him. Was this her husband's fate now as well? She couldn't think about it. She loved him with her whole soul. She would never shun him no matter what it was he'd become.

"Andra," he said as he came into the sitting room. "I've come home."

"Yes," she said, standing. "Shall I get you food and drink, my husband?"

"No," he said, smiling. She gasped at the sight of his fang teeth. "I have had sustenance. Come to me, my wife. Show me that you love me still."

She moved on shaking legs to stand before him. He took her into his arms, and she nearly wept when she felt his stone like body. He kissed her full and thoroughly. She felt his maleness stiffen against her. Suddenly she didn't care that his body was so much like the stone the palace was constructed from. All she cared about was that her husband, her love was alive and he was with her. She allowed him to carry her to the bed chamber. She tried not to scream as he ripped her dress from her body until she stood before him naked as the day she was born. Then he was disrobing for her, that smile still on his face.

Oh how he'd changed. His blue eyes had taken on a new radiance. His body looked as if chiseled from stone. There was a mark of some sort on his neck like a bruise. He stood before her in his naked glory and she felt the old lust for him. She moved forward and touched his chest wither her palm flat against where his heartbeat should be. She felt nothing there. There was no beating from his heart. This scared her on a deeper level than she'd realized existed, but then he took her into his arms and they fell onto the bed. He kissed her mouth, her neck and then her nipples. He laid her flat and climbed on top of her, looking down at her with those radiant eyes. She cried out as he entered her then threw her arms around his neck, pulling him down so that she could kiss him again.

"Yes," she panted. "Take me, take all of me."

"You smell so sweet, my wife," he said, and then she felt the tiny stab of pain as his fang teeth entered her neck.

He suckled slowly, pulling only a bit of blood from her. It was sweet and like fire at the same time. It was nowhere as sweet as the blood of the evil, but he wasn't intending to kill her. He only wanted to taste her. She cried out, reaching her orgasm as he pulled blood from her neck and slid himself deeper into her center. He pulled his teeth out of her neck and threw his head back, burying himself inside her as he reached his own climax, filling her inner core with his essence.

They lay there like that for a few quiet moments. All that could be heard was their panting and sighs. She loved him so completely. She didn't even care that he'd fed on her blood. She would allow him any part of her he desired. Then something changed deep inside her and she gasped. She could feel something almost like a flutter in her stomach and she looked into her husband's eyes. She smiled. She knew what she was feeling. He'd done what could never be done before that night. So many times they'd tried to sire a child only to be let down when it didn't happen. The palace doctor had said she would never conceive a child. Well he'd been wrong. She had conceived this night. She nearly giggled as she thought of it.

Check out my stories on Nifty.
Check out my stories on The Authors Haunt.
Check out my stories on my site.
Donate to Nifty to keep the service alive.