I Vampire
by Julien regg

Chapter Three

I did get to watch the sunrise. It surprised me that I could stay awake that long, because I was getting more tired than I'd ever been in my life. I knew that the glass in the French doors was special, and the sun's rays wouldn't come through it. I watched the midnight blue sky change to the deep purple with the first stage of the dawn, and my limbs became heavier as the sky grew lighter. As red and orange began to slip into the softer purple, my eyelids began to get heavy, and my breathing slowed considerably. By the time I could see the dark yellow color of the rising sun, it was all I could do to stand in that spot. I gave up the fight as the sky turned blue again, but I took the time to strip out of my clothes and pull back the top cover on the bed before slipping into bed. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Dreams were my companion once more, and I saw things that I didn't understand. I saw the world as it was a century ago, and the vampires I was seeing, I couldn't even identify by snatching names from that unknown source of knowledge that gave me answers. I knew they were vampires, but I was shocked to see that the sun was in the sky as they walked the land. There were two of them, ageless vampires with dark hair and eyes. At first glance, I thought they were brothers, but as I moved closer to them, I saw differences in their features that set them apart. They were having a conversation, but I couldn't quite hear what they were saying. I had to get closer to them.

"Don't you see, Matthias?" said the taller of the two vampires. "The sun can't harm us. It's Tryon's blood that does this!"

"Jessup, I know what magic this is, but I still don't understand why you would want to turn him," replied Matthias. "No one has ever turned a Forsaken before. You've no idea what will happen."

"No vampire had ever drank the blood of a Forsaken before, but look at what it's done for us!" cried Jessup. He spun around, arms outstretched, head tilted back with his face basking in the warm glow of the morning sun. "Matthias, I haven't seen the sun in over seventy-five years! It is longer for you. Why do you fight me on this?"

Then I was involuntarily moving away from the pair of sun worshiping vampires. The world grew dark, and I could feel my body again. I was waking, but I was sure that it was too early. The sun couldn't even be high enough in the sky to register noon on a sundial, so why was I waking? I felt some of the pain that I'd felt when waking for the first time, but it wasn't as earth shattering. It couldn't be hunger that awakened me. Something was wrong.

When my eyes opened, I sat upright in the bed. The sun wasn't much higher in the sky than it had been when I gave up the battle and crawled into bed. It seemed that no more than minutes had passed, yet I sensed that I was tricking myself. Something about the color of the sky was strange, and I knew that I had slept almost the space of the entire day. The sun wasn't higher than it was before I went to sleep, it was setting now. The night was coming, and I was just waking up a little early.

I sat there in my bed and watched the sun go down. It was the most beautiful sunset I'd ever witnessed, and I knew that it was so beautiful, because my vampire eyes were beholding it. I wondered why I was awake before the sun went down. Doran had told me that I would probably escape sleep an hour or so after sunset. He said that he rarely woke until there were no signs of the sun in the sky. Why then was I awake with the sun setting?

"You're awake," said Sedrick as he came into the room. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised."

"Sedrick, what are you doing in here?" I demanded, and then I felt something happening in my head. I could not only hear his thoughts, but I could bend his mind in a way that showed me the bond between him and Doran. I could almost see what it was that made him a drone!

"What are you doing?" he asked, and when I looked at his eyes, I saw that what I was doing had an effect on him. The effect wasn't positive. I let go quickly.

"I'm not sure what I did," I replied honestly. "I'll have to talk to Doran about it."

"I only came to get your clothing ready for the night," he said quickly.

"I know that, Sedrick," I replied. "Don't fear me. I will not harm you."

"You do not like me, Master Eric," he said, looking down at his hands.

"That is your opinion, Sedrick," I replied. "I won't lie to you. I didn't like you when I was human, but now that I'm a vampire, I feel differently toward a lot of things. I see you as family now, Sedrick."

"I was family before you became a vampire," he dared.

"I couldn't feel it then, Sedrick," I explained. "I suspect that you'll want to bathe me."

"Yes, Master Eric," he said, bowing his head slightly. "Should I send for a selection from the pen?"

"No," I sighed, noticing the hunger again as soon as he referred to it. "Doran wants to witness my next feeding."

I got out of the bed and followed Sedrick into the bathroom. I watched as he drew the water into the tub and poured a bath powder into the water. The sent of pine and sandalwood filled the room as he stirred the water with his hand. I settled into the tub as soon as he began to disrobe, and when he slipped in behind me, I handed the sponge over my shoulder.

"You should still be asleep," he said. "Doran told me that you would probably sleep longer than the others."

"I'm not sure why I'm already awake," I admitted. "However, I'm fully rested and refreshed. This will just be another thing for me to discuss with Doran."

"If I may suggest," he said slowly. "You may not want to let Master Daren know that your waking is ahead of his."

"He's terrified of me, Sedrick," I breathed. "I hate that."

"He is terrified of what he has known to be impossible until now," he replied. "Your fire gift scares him, because he doesn't understand it."

"It scares you, too," I pointed out.

"Yes," he admitted. "After the way you looked at me last night, I was sure I'd be a pile of dust before sunrise."

"Sedrick, I would never use it against a member of my family," I said quickly. "You have to believe me."

"I believe it, because you said it, Master Eric," he replied. "I've had time to think about what you would do to me and the repercussions of it. I am Doran's drone, after all."

I knew the rules about hurting another vampire's drone. The penalty for such an action could be death, for it was up to the vampire to decide what to do with interlopers of the same species. No one knew better than a vampire how to torture another vampire. I shivered thinking about it. Still, I wasn't afraid of what Doran would do to me. Something told me that I could get away with a lot where Doran was concerned. The way he'd looked at me the night before was strange, and though I couldn't read his thoughts, I sensed a great deal of love from him.

"I wouldn't harm you for many reasons, Sedrick," I said. "The least of which is because you are Doran's drone."

We got out of the tub, and Sedrick dried my body. It was then that I picked up a scent that I'd never known before. I closed my eyes and concentrated on that scent, but I couldn't identify it. It wasn't a vampire, and it wasn't a human. I didn't know what I was sensing, but something was wrong with this creature. I was sure of it.

I impatiently grabbed the towel from Sedrick, scaring him again. I dried myself quickly and chose my own clothes once I was in the bedroom. I dressed quickly and left my bedroom, leaving Sedrick to stare after me. His thoughts told me that he was worried about what I was doing, and he was scared that Doran would be angry with him over it. That was ridiculous, but I had no time to stand there and ease his troubled mind about it.

When I got out of my room and stepped into the hall, I could see a figure standing in the foyer just inside the front door of the house. He was tall with broad shoulders and a muscular physique. I could see his muscles through the tight black leather that nearly covered his entire body. His hair was the color of wheat, and it lay in waves on his shoulders. It was his eyes that made me pause, however. I'd never seen eyes that color before. His yes were yellow!

The scent was strong now, and I knew that it was coming from this unknown man. I immediately delved into his thoughts and plucked out garbled pictures. He was here for Doran. Of that I was certain, but I could sense malice from him, too. This was a creature bred for violence. It oozed from him, and I was momentarily weary of him. Then, my mind put all of it together, and I knew what this creature was. A word began to echo in my own mind, and the sound of it chilled my bones. Forsaken.

Instantly, I felt the air change around me. Without thinking, I had jumped the rail of the balcony and ran across the foyer to stand before him. He looked surprised to see me virtually materialize in front of him, and the malicious scent of him grew stronger. He was prepared to fight! In an instant, I had embraced the power within me and felt it flow throughout my body. This was what Doran had called the fire gift. For the first time I felt it growing so strong inside of me that I thought that it would obliterate me.

"Eric, stop!" cried a voice from the door of the house.

I looked in the direction of the voice, fully prepared to burn whatever was coming into the house, and I beheld a vampire with long braided black hair and the darkest eyes I'd ever seen. His scent was harder to pick up, because my nose was full of the sickening scent of the Forsaken. Instantly I knew that this vampire was in league with the Forsaken that stood before me. From his mind, I plucked the names Tallan and Bashire, and I knew from drinking the blood of Doran exactly who Bashire was. This was the leader of the Forsaken High Council standing in front of me. This was the very man that Lord Doran had struck a deal with to end the Vampire/Forsaken war.

"So this is the prodigy?" inquired Bashire. He wasn't speaking to me, though. It was Tallan he was asking.

In that moment, I felt the power slowly drain from me. It didn't go away, though. For the first time, I was able to feel where it came from. It flowed throughout my body, but it was housed in my heart. The dead heart that only beat when I fed was home to a power that was so intense that my knees quaked from the effect that it had on me.

"How is this possible?" I demanded as I recovered from the effect of pulling back the fire inside of me. "Bashire."

"You know me?" he asked, and I saw a look of surprise cross his face.

"Your mind is full of twisted images of death and destruction," I breathed. "You hate us."

"So, he really is a seer," he stated as Tallan came to stand beside him.

"He doesn't hate all of us, Eric," said Tallan. "He hates the vampires of the past. Most of them are long dead."

Then I sensed something in Bashire's mind, and I was reminded of that connection I saw in Sedrick's mind. This man, this Forsaken, was a drone! And I could identify the vampire he was bonded to. Tallan was the vampire who held the bond that made Bashire more than a Forsaken. How could this be? I knew from the blood that to take a Forsaken as a drone was forbidden by the very laws of the truce between our species.

I tried to see into the thoughts of the vampire, but it was like I'd hit a brick wall. I'd been able to read his thoughts when he first walked in the door, but now he was somehow blocking me from seeing anything inside of him. It angered me to be shut out like that, and for a second, I thought about embracing the power again.

"You bonded him," I whispered as I staggered from the effect of his mental block.

"No," he replied. "I simply hold the bond now that the vampire that bonded him is dead. I've held his bond for eight hundred years."

"I don't understand," I said weakly as I let go of the power that I had thought to embrace when I was convinced that he meant me harm.

"For all that you're enhanced mind has absorbed, there are still many things about us that you don't understand," replied Tallan. "Even more that you don't understand about the Forsaken."

"We'll seek to change all of that tonight," added Bashire. "Eric, I mean you no harm. We are friends, Eric. Folken."

"A true seer," whispered Tallan as he looked me over from head to toe. "And you possess the gift of combustion. I saw it in your eyes when I came in the door."

"You mean the fire gift?" I asked.

"Is that what you call it?" he laughed. "I have much to teach you, young Eric."

"He's fast, too," remarked Bashire, looking at me exactly the same way that Tallan was looking at me. "I suspect he possesses the flight gift as well."

"Just because he is fast doesn't mean he possesses the gift of flight, Bashire," Tallan said in an irritated tone.

"We could test it," offered Bashire, and I was getting tired of being talked about like I wasn't standing in front of them.

"Eric, when you move that fast, what exactly are you doing?" asked Tallan, finally addressing me.

"I walk or run," I said. "It's the same as the way any vampire moves. We're all faster than any human. I just seem to be able to move faster than any vampire."

"Not every vampire is slower than you," mumbled Bashire as he glanced at Tallan.

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"I too can move faster than most vampires," replied Tallan instead of Bashire. "Until you, I believed that there were no others like me."

"You possess the gift of combustion?" I asked, suddenly very interested in what was behind that mental block of his.

"No," he replied. "There hasn't been a vampire with that gift since..."

"Tyron," whispered Bashire, cutting Tallan off.

"Tyron," I said, looking from one of them to the other, "the Forsaken turned vampire by Jessup. But I thought that it was believed that madness claimed him as soon as the change was complete."

"You really are a seer!" gasped Bashire in amazement. His thoughts were getting easier to decipher. "Tallan, do you know what this means?"

"Be silent, Bashire," commanded Tallan with irritation. "I know full well what you think it means."

"Master Tallan," cried the voice of my maker from the balcony above us. "I wasn't expecting you until just before dawn."

"Beloved, never fear," replied Tallan, looking at Doran above me with adoration in his eyes. "Eric was keeping us company. He truly is a remarkable vampire."

"You've no idea," said Doran, and I could sense that he was descending the stairs.

"I have a very good idea," laughed Tallan. "He almost incinerated Bashire when we arrived."

"Forgive me, Master Tallan, brother Bashire," I said instantly, shocking myself. I had no idea where the words had come from. I hadn't even thought about apologizing.

"Forgiveness is thine, fledgling," replied Tallan, smiling at me. "You truly are remarkable."

"I bear you no ill will, Eric," added Bashire. "I suspect it was quite a shock to wake up and find a Forsaken in your midst."

"I sense Daren, but he hides from us," said Tallan. "Come forth, child."

I turned to look back up at the balcony, and I could see Daren standing in his doorway. He was shrouded in shadow, but his thoughts were crystal clear. The fear that he harbored for me was still there, and he was trying to figure out a way to slip out of the house without my encountering him. This was getting ridiculous. I had to find a way to make him understand that I would not kill him. I wished that Doran would have let me feed Franklin the night before. Perhaps then he could have told Daren the truth.

"Greetings, Master Tallan," said Daren as he came out of the shadows and into the light. "Brother Bashire, it's good to see you."

"You're looking well, Daren," replied Bashire.

"I suggest we all meet in the great room," said Tallan. "Daren, inform Franklin that his presence is required in the great room. We're going to have a family meeting."

"Yes, Master Tallan," replied Daren, disappearing into his room again.

I followed the others to the great room and sat across from Doran and Tallan with Bashire on my right. An empty chair was to the left of me, and the settee was on the other side of the empty chair. Tallan and Doran stared at me, and I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable under their scrutiny.

"Sedrick," said Tallan as soon as we were seated. "Inform Jase that we'll need nourishment all around. This is going to be a long night."

"Yes, Master Tallan," said Sedrick, leaving the room to carry out his order.

"Tell me, Eric," said Tallan. "What did you see when you drank from Doran during your turning?"

"I saw everything he knows," I replied simply. "I saw the truth about vampires that my human mind refused to believe. I know that he believes that a virus made us the way we are, and that God is responsible for that virus. I know about drones and that I was what you call a bred drone. I know about our agreement with the government and the slayers that were set upon us right before the Vampire/Forsaken war. I know what he believes started that war, but I have to say that he is wrong."

"And what does he believe that is so wrong?" asked Bashire, eyeing me with renewed interest.

"You know what started the war, Bashire," I said. "You were there."

"Yes, but as per the laws of the truce, we never speak of it," he replied. "The knowledge of what started that war is guarded by a few of the Forsaken and vampires that are still alive from that time."

"Yet, Eric knows," remarked Doran. "If I am wrong in what I believe, then how does he know the truth?"

"Did you pluck it from Bashire's mind, fledgling?" asked Tallan.

"No," I replied. "I dreamt about the war and what started it."

"The war was started because of the slaughter of Ronan Par's family," said Doran as if he were trying to convince us all of what he believed.

"No, my child, it was not," replied Tallan. "If Eric really knows how the war started, I see no reason to keep the secret from Doran."

"Very well, Tallan," said Bashire before turning his yellow eyes on me. "Tell us, Eric. What started the war between Forsaken and vampires?"

"First of all, Ronan's family was not slaughtered," I corrected Doran. "There were five males in that family. Four of them were brothers, but one was Ronan's son, Tyron. Ronan, Darius, Michael and Solan were bonded as drones to a pair of vampires from House Kull-Duku named Matthias and Jessup. Tyron, the son of Ronan was turned by Jessup.

"His conversion from Forsaken to vampire was remarkable," I continued. "For one thing, he only stayed within the death sleep for three nights, waking to a number of gifts unknown to vampires and Forsaken. He possessed the gift of flight, meaning that he could take to the skies at will. They witnessed that gift the very night his vampire eyes opened for the first time.

"He fed on his father, breaking the age old vampire law of never feeding from a drone, killing him almost as soon as his fangs sank into his neck. In that night, he fed on each of his uncles as well, and Matthias and Jessup were terrified when Tyron set the bodies on fire with his mind, reducing them to dust before their eyes."

I saw it all in that moment. Tyron, who looked almost exactly like Bashire, was, in fact, insane with the change. He was inwardly repulsed by what he was, and he'd killed his family to save them from the life as vampire drones. The combustion gift had scared him as well as Matthias and Jessup. He hadn't understood exactly what it was, and when the thoughts of Matthias and Jessup assaulted his mind, the seer ability nearly drove him over the edge.

When Alexander Kull found his two fledglings with Tyron, he was enraged. He laid curses on the trio and damned them. They were no longer welcome in House Kull-Duku, and Alexander spread the word about what had been done to Tyron Par of the Forsaken. He told every vampire that he could contact about the evil crossbreed that Tyron had become, killing his own kind and now loose upon the world.

The war between vampires and Forsaken was started by Tyron. It wasn't the actual act of turning him that started it. Tyron set out to destroy the Forsaken, and though he'd once been one of them, they saw him now as the vampire that he was. They sought him out during the day when they thought he would be asleep with the rest of the vampires, but they were shocked to find that the sun had no effect on Tyron Par or Matthias and Jessup. For they had once again drank of the blood of Tyron, and it protected the young fledglings from the sun's hateful rays.

"Enough," said Bashire, stopping me from telling the rest of the truth that he wasn't ready to remember. "He's proven that he is, in fact a seer. We know that he possesses the gift of combustion, but we don't know if he truly possesses the gift of flight. There were other gifts that Tyron possessed, and we have to know if Eric possesses those, too."

"Oh my God," I gasped when I snatched a particular thought from Bashire's mind. I flinched when he looked at me, and I knew that what I'd learned from his mind was the truth. "Tyron Par mated with a female!"

"Do you know who that female was?" demanded Bashire. "Who her family is?"

"I am a direct descendant of Tyron Par!" I cried, and as soon as the words left my lips, I noticed that Franklin had taken his seat beside me some time during my telling of the past. Daren was seated on the settee, and they were both looking at me with shocked and fearful expressions on their faces.

"We knew that this could happen eventually," said Tallan. "For generations, members of your family have been both drones and fledglings. We knew that one day the traits of Tyron Par would resurface, Eric."

"You did this on purpose?" I demanded, instantly enraged that my family had been generations of puppets with vampires and Forsaken pulling their strings.

"No," said Bashire. "We didn't do it on purpose. We'd have never wanted to madness that was Tyron Par: Vampire to resurface."

"You have two of his gifts, Eric," said Tallan. "We'll be testing you to find out if you have the others that he possessed as well. I can already tell from your eyes that madness isn't one of the curses of Tyron Par that you inherited."

"And what are the other gifts and curses of Tyron Par?" I asked, but I already knew the answer to that question. Tryon possessed the gifts of combustion, flight, foretelling and mind control. He was cursed with madness as the two forms of the virus within him battled for control of his body, and though the sun could not kill him, it left him in total blindness when he dared to walk under its radiance. Almost all of his gifts were completely unknown to vampires, but his seer ability was nothing particularly special. Seers among vampires at that time were quite common. It wasn't until after the death of the last of those seers that no others were born to darkness until me.

"Why do you ask trivial questions, Eric?" demanded Tallan. "We should get on with the discovery of who you truly are."

"And how do you plan to do that?" I asked.

"First, we feed," he said as Sedrick led five humans into the room. Just as I'd feared, they were all female. I'm sure that Doran had made sure of this somehow.

I had no time to worry about the gender of my victim that night, though. Suddenly, the hunger in me sprang forth, and it was all I cold think of. I could hear their hearts beating, and I could smell the blood inside their veins. It stoked the fire of my hunger and made me weak. I was in no mood for their fear, however, and before I knew what I was doing, something shot forth from my mind into the minds of the five human females, and before the eyes of everyone in the room, they knelt one in front of each vampire in the room, tilted their heads and offered their necks.

"Extraordinary," breathed Doran as he gazed at the complete act of submission from each of the humans.

"That's three," muttered Bashire, and I had to resist the urge to set him on fire.

Instead of embracing the power within me, I took the wretched human female into my embrace and sank my fangs into her neck. Instantly, I was assaulted by the same vile taste of blood tainted with female hormones. I understood that it was female blood that tasted this way, the sin of the human had nothing to do with it. Images from her life flashed in my mind rapidly as I drank down the vile tasting blood. I paid very little attention to them as I tried very hard not to think about the taste. I did pay attention to the rhythm of our hearts, watching for any irregularities and waiting until it got slow enough for me to disengage from her and survive her death.

I was the first to let go of my victim, and I watched her fall to the floor in a heap at my feet. It was only seconds before the other four were just as lifeless and falling to the floor before my family. I embraced the power inside of me and let more and more of it flood through me as I concentrated on the five dead bodies on the floor. The hissing sound could be heard much louder this time, and I knew it was because I was incinerating five bodies. In a rapid burst of smoke, the five lifeless bodies disintegrated into nothing before everyone's eyes.

Franklin and Daren jumped as the bodies at their feet exploded, and I could feel the fear radiating from both of them. I was sure that after tonight, that fear would be gone, though. One way or another, I would convince Tallan and Doran to let Daren and Franklin drink my blood and learn the truth about me. I just didn't know exactly how I was going to do it.

"Now," said Tallan. "Your training will begin with something simple, Eric. What I want you to do is drink from me until you feel my heartbeat slow like that of a human. Just before you would normally begin your countdown to letting go, stop drinking."

I was more than happy to comply with what he wanted. For one thing, it would get rid of the taste of the female in my mouth, and it would let me know Tallan in a way that words and thoughts would never accomplish. As soon as my fangs sank into his neck, I was assaulted by visions that came so fast that I nearly couldn't stand it.

I forced myself to drink slower, and the images came into focus and slowed down. I saw how Tallan was made a vampire, and his sire was none other than Tyron Par. He was the only fledgling made my Tyron, and it pained him deeply when his sire was murdered by The Vampire High Council. It was then that he took on the bond of Tyron's only living drone, Bashire of the Forsaken High Council.

Tallan didn't know any of what the pact between Bashire and Lord Doran entailed, but he knew the laws of the newly formed Vampire/Forsaken High Council which we lived under for the rest of Lord Doran's life. Those laws specifically stated that no Forsaken were ever to be turned by vampires again. Special instances where Forsaken could be bonded to a vampire as a drone were overlooked. It was up to Bashire to deem the request worthy of permission of the High Council, and his permission was rarely given.

I saw the making of Doran, and I witnessed his training. He was told the lie passed down over the generations of vampires and Forsaken about Tyron Par and the war that started because of his hatred for both vampires and Forsaken. Doran embraced his maker and there was genuine love between them. Then I felt the rhythm of our hearts begin to change, and I let go of that wonderful fount of blood and knowledge.

"Sedrick, bring two more from the pen, please," said Doran as I stepped back from Tallan. "Make sure that they are male and murderous."

"Yes, Master Doran," replied Sedrick as he left the room again.

"Tell me, Eric," said Tallan weakly, for I'd bled him almost dry. "What did you see?"

"I saw everything that you know," I replied. "I know that you are the only fledgling of my distant relative, Tyron Par."

"He was my maker," he confirmed what I already knew as fact.

"He wrote the prophecy of 'The One' before the madness took him completely, and he was killed by Sloan of The Vampire High Council," I said. "Bashire was his only drone."

"Now, step into my embrace, Child of my maker," he said, "and let me know you."

I stepped closer to him and let him wrap me in his embrace, and it occurred to me that there was no greater trust that I could show a fellow vampire. Tallan was an Elder Vampire, and he could have crushed me with very little force. All of that was forgotten when his fangs sank into my neck. Those thoughts were replaced by a euphoric feeling mixed with a sexual arousal like I'd never known before. I concentrated on opening my mind and flooding everything I knew into the blood that he was drinking from me. I let him know everything about me from my darkest fears to my inner most fantasies.

As he drank from me, my erection became unbearably sensitive, and I thought that my balls were going to explode at any moment. My quickened heart was slowing as well, and I was about to pull myself away from his embrace when he pulled his fangs out of my neck and stepped back, leaving me staggering from the weakness of being bled.

As I turned, I literally caught the first of the human males in my arms. He let out a cry of fear as he looked into my eyes, and through his thoughts, I could see what scared him so much. He'd known for two years that we were vampires and that he was food, but what he saw in my eyes was completely different than anything he'd ever seen before. Through his thoughts, I saw that the irises of my eyes were now ringed with blood.

I gave him a reprieve from his fear as I sank my fangs into his neck and consciously forced his mind to bend into nothingness. This man in my arms was responsible for the deaths of over fifty people. He'd worked as a hit man for the Mafia, and he was quite good at his job. Unfortunately for him, he'd crossed paths with Sedrick and Hans when they were out on one of their many scouting missions to find suitable livestock for House Doran. Now his morbid accomplishments were but mental flashes in a vampiric death dance.

After his body was nothing but ashy dust on the floor at my feet, I put my plan for Daren and Franklin in motion. Before anyone could even think of what I was doing, I was standing before a very frightened Daren. I pulled him closer to me, ignoring the cry of fear that escaped from inside of him and the orders to let him go from both Tallan and Doran, and pushed my neck into his face, mentally bending his mind to my will and making him sink his fangs into my throat.

As his vampire nature took over and he drank from me, I rocked him in my arms, trying to sooth the fear in him. I concentrated completely on sending everything that was me into the blood he drank from my body. As his arms wrapped around me, I felt his erection throbbing against my leg, and I knew that he was no longer afraid of me. Without any coaxing from me, he let go of me at just the right moment, and he stared at me in wonder.

"Now you know me," I said simply as I stood there, looking back at him.

"Now I love you," he declared, looking at me with adoration in his eyes, and I could hear from his thoughts that he spoke truthfully and from his black little heart.

"What have you done?" whispered Tallan as he stared at Daren. His thoughts were no longer private from me, either, and I could hear the fear in them. He was afraid that I had used mind control on Daren and changed his thoughts about me.

"I let him know me," I replied. "What you fear is not what I did to him. Ask him, he could tell you if I bent his mind in that way, for even under mind control the subject will know his own true feelings."

He could see that I spoke the truth, and his mind told me that he was satisfied. Doran, however looked at me in anger. I had broken a house rule by letting Daren feed from me, and for that, I would have to make amends. I wasn't sure how yet, but I would make up for that blunder. I just wanted Daren to understand that I would never harm him.

"Feed from me," said Bashire, standing up and walking over to me. "With Tallan's permission, you can know me, too. I want you to know about me what you would have Daren know about you."

"My permission is granted," said Tallan as he glanced at Doran. "Forgive me, beloved, but your fledgling is far too powerful to ever live under the command of another now. It was my blood that did it, and I knew that it was a risk."

"As did I, Sire," replied Doran. "But this was the only way."

"He'll need a drone before he is ready to form his own house," commented Tallan.

"He'll have a Forsaken for his first drone," insisted Bashire. "I'll choose the man myself. Now, drink, Eric. Drink, and know me."

"Just remember, Eric," said Tallan as I took Bashire into my arms. "The taste of Forsaken blood is powerful, but you can never feed from another unless your drone is one of them."

"Yes, Master Tallan," I replied before I sank my fangs into my very first Forsaken vein.

How can I explain the taste of Bashire's blood? Imagine the blandest food you could ever taste, and that would be what the blood of humans is to the blood of Forsaken. It was as if it was the elixir of life. The taste was almost mind numbing, and I couldn't get enough of it. I felt his blood filling my body and changing the virus inside of me slightly. I could actually feel it happening.

On top of that, I could see every event in his life as if they were my very own memories. I knew that he was the father of Tyron Par's father, Ronan Par. It was Bashire who was the most outraged by what had happened to his family. At the time, Bashire had been the head of the Forsaken High Council, and it had taken Lord Doran to stop the fury of Bashire. Lord Doran's pact with Bashire was to reunite him with his nephew, Tyron. Lord Doran had no way of knowing what would happen when he did so.

Tryon bonded Bashire, effectively ending the retaliation from the Forsaken, because Bashire, as Tyron's drone, ordered it to cease. Once he was bonded, the love he felt as Tyron's uncle was transformed into a romantic love so pure that there was nothing, short of death, that could break it. I saw that now, I was the recipient of that love, because in me, Bashire saw his beloved nephew lost so many ages ago.

I let go of Bashire at just the right time, but I was mortified to find myself thrown to the floor in a spasm of pain as the newly changed virus ran rampant through my body, changing everything about me and yet changing nothing about the vampire that I was. I could feel my limbs expanding, and I could hear my clothing ripping. I barely registered that Bashire and Daren were struggling against each other to take me into their arms and comfort me.

Bashire was weak from losing so much blood, and in the back of my mind, I knew that it was now expected of me to feed him and replace the lost blood. In my current state, I wasn't sure if I could actually do that, but I knew that I had to try. I could hear Tallan arguing with Doran about what I had to do, and he was reminding him that Bashire was a drone, and there was no danger of me turning him.

I turned in his arms, so I could make the tiny slit in my throat as Doran had done with me. Bashire needed no prodding, he clasped his lips to the incision on my throat, and I could feel him sucking the blood back from me. It was like a sexual act was being shared between us. I could once again hear his heartbeat, but this time, it was getting faster. I didn't understand, but I didn't think that Doran had felt this way when he was feeding me. Of course he was feeding me to turn me, and I was simply replenishing Bashire. Something was strange, though, and through his thoughts, I knew that Bashire felt it, too.

By the time I understood what it was that was going on, it was too late. As he let go of my neck and gasped from the blood coursing through his veins, he let out a wail of pain that all of us knew far too well. What they said was impossible was happening! I had turned Bashire. My second night as a vampire, and I had broken the cardinal rule set forth by the Vampire/Forsaken High Council. I had turned a Forsaken.

"What have you done?" moaned Doran as he stared down at us.

Daren moved away from us as Bashire began to writhe in the agony of his Forsaken death. Franklin was on his feet and moving away from us, and Tallan was simply staring at me. His thoughts were running like mad. There was confusion as to how I'd done what I'd done, astonishment that it could actually be done, and he was angry and thrilled to see the change taking place before him.

"Eric," he said. "You've done something that was thought to be impossible."

"I'll be killed for this," I replied, knowing full well what the punishment for turning a Forsaken was.

"But you had no idea," he said. "I've drank from Bashire and replenished him countless times over the years, and never once did anything go wrong. You had no way of knowing that this would happen. It was I who gave permission for this union to begin with."

"Will the Council understand?" asked Doran. "Will they allow them both to live?"

"First things first, Beloved," he said. "A change has occurred in Eric as well."

I sprang to my feet to find out what they were talking about, and I was amazed when my clothing fell to the floor around me in tatters. I looked down at my body and marveled at the shape I was in. Gone now was the toned physique that I'd known all of my life, for as a bred drone, I'd never had to workout or watch what I ate. It was the blood that was secretly mixed into my diet that kept my body and muscles fit but not bulky. Now, my muscles were very defined. It looked like I had been working out for years. In one feeding of a Forsaken, I had gone from a swimmer's build to a gym body.

My skin color had changed, too. I had always been pale compared to Franklin's sun bronzed skin. Now, my pallor matched his almost exactly. As I looked down at myself, I noticed that my penis was erect, and my balls were tight against my body. It looked like I was about to ejaculate at any moment, and the buzz that was running through my body wasn't unlike that of an orgasm, but I knew that it was the virus running through me, continuing to make changes inside of me.

The mirror on the wall showed me another change that had me in wonder. My dark eyes had gotten darker with the vampire blood, so that part wasn't a shock to me. I'd known about that already. What was new was the yellow ring around the iris of both of my eyes that was iridescent and seemed to have a life of its very own. I knew what that was. It was the Forsaken virus running through my body now. I also knew from listening to my body that unlike any of the Forsaken, or any of the vampires, the virus inside of me was perfect. Tyron Par's hybrid virus was nowhere near as complete as the virus running through my veins. I was now a perfect vampire.

"What happened to him?" gasped Franklin from behind me as I stared at my gold rimmed eyes in awe.

"An unexpected side effect of changing a Forsaken," replied Tallan. "The last one to ever be turned happened almost a century ago, so none of us ever knew what had happened to Jessup after he turned Tyron."

"Nothing happened to Jessup after he turned Tyron," I said, turning from the mirror to face them. "This is completely new."

"How do you know?" demanded Tallan.

"I'm a seer, remember?" I asked. "I saw Jessup before and after the turning of Tyron. He was completely the same."

"Sedrick, please find Eric something to wear," said Doran. "You'll have to find him something of mine. I suggest you go shopping for more clothes for him tomorrow."

"I can shop for my own clothes," I interjected.

"You can't go out in public alone, Eric," said Doran. "You're only in your second night of the change."

"My change is complete," I replied. "And no one will bother me, Master Doran. No one knows of Bashire's turning, yet."

I walked over and took Bashire's lifeless body into my arms, cradling him as I walked out of the room to the foyer. The others followed me. I could hear even Doran's thoughts now. The newly formed virus had made even my maker's thoughts easily visible to me. They wondered what I was doing, and I was about to tell them that I was putting him to bed when I felt something peculiar inside my head.

I was standing there in the foyer, looking up at the second floor with my sleeping fledgling in my arms. I simply thought about being on the second floor, and my body began to rise from the floor. I heard the gasps of the others as they witnessed what was happening, but before anyone could say a word, I landed on the other side of the railing on the second floor in front of my bedroom door.

Instantly, I knew what I had done. Just like Tyron Par, I possessed the gift of flight, and I had used it to get to the second floor of the house. I wasn't sure exactly how I used it, but there was no denying what had happened. I had used the flight gift. That was four gifts that I shared in common with the late Tyron Par.

"Put him in the empty bedroom, Eric," said Tallan from the foyer. "His conversion will be messy, and you won't want him in bed with you."

"Where will you sleep, Master Tallan?" asked Franklin with a shaky voice.

"With my fledgling," replied Tallan as if it was the most ridiculous question he could have asked.

I walked down the hall to the empty bedroom and gingerly placed Bashire in the bed. I stared down at him for a few moments, thinking about what would happen when he awoke. Would he be another Tyron? Would the madness claim him? I had no time to think about that, though. The sun was coming up, and the sleep was calling to me. It wasn't as insistent that morning as it had been the day before, though.

I told Sedrick to just leave the clothes in my closet for that night, and as I heard the others coming up to go to bed for the day, I crawled into my bed with thoughts of what my life would be like when the High Council learned of Bashire.

Chapter Four

In my dreams that day, my eyes beheld a vision I didn't understand. The sun was high in the sky, and I was standing next to Bashire in front of a huge iron gate with the letter "M" on it. There was a brick wall that went almost as far as I could see on either side of the gate, and Bashire held a key in his hand. When I looked at his face, the first thing I noticed were the thick black sunglasses. Then I realized that I was wearing a pair identical to them.

Another man stood behind me, and he was about thirty-five with dark curly hair and the most piercing blue eyes I'd ever seen. Even in my dream state, I could smell his scent, and it was unmistakably Forsaken. Then I sensed something else about him. I could feel him in my head like there was a tiny part of his soul inside my mind all wrapped up in a tight little ball. I even knew his name. He was Brock Roberts, and he was my drone.

Bashire fumbled with the key at the gate, and then it swung open. He was telling me about security for the gate, and he talked about a thumbprint scanner device to gain entry to the estate. I was more confused than ever as I listened to his words. He led me and the Forsaken, Brock, along a cobblestone path to a huge three story house constructed of brown and red bricks. The large oak double doors featured two separate family crests. One for Maxwell, and the other for Doran.

Instantly I understood what I was seeing. This was to be my house! I spun around to look at the grounds, and there were trees and flowerbeds all over the place. Another building stood just off to the left side of the gate, and it was large enough for one person to live in comfortably. Bashire was telling me that it was the guard house, and one of my drones would occupy it. He said something about a man named Derrick, but I had no idea what he was trying to tell me.

He pointed to another building that was a much smaller replica of the large estate house. It was only two stories tall, and Bashire was saying something about children, but again I couldn't understand his words. This dream was foggy, and I only picked out bits and pieces of what he said to me. Nothing that Brock said made any sense to me.

When my eyes opened on the real word, I was disappointed to be ripped away from the dream. I wanted to learn more about the house I would be living in. That's when it really hit me, and my eyes flew open. I sat straight up in the bed, startling Sedrick as I did so. The dream had been no ordinary seer dream. It had been a dream of foretelling!

"Sedrick," I said excited, "what time is it? Are the others awake?"

"No, Master Eric," he replied softly. "It is barely five o'clock. The sun won't set for another hour. You shouldn't be awake."

"But I am awake, Sedrick," I said. "Have you checked on Bashire?"

"Why, yes, Master Eric, but he won't be waking for at least a week," he said, and I could hear the confusion in his thoughts.

"I wouldn't be too sure about that, Sedrick," I replied, getting out of the bed and following him into the bathroom.

"Are you suggesting that he will wake as soon as you did?" he asked.

"I don't know what to expect from Bashire, Sedrick," I replied as he started the bath water. "I'm just not ruling anything out. Bashire is the second Forsaken to be turned in history, and after Tyron, I wouldn't be surprised at anything."

"You think he'll be like Tyron Par?" he asked, and I could see the fear in his eyes as he said it.

"No, Sedrick," I assured him. "Bashire won't be mad from the change. Bashire will be fine."

"How can you be so sure?" he asked in doubt.

"I just am," I replied, thinking the very same thing he asked. How was I so sure that Bashire wouldn't be insane when he awoke? I'd seen him in the foretelling dream, and he'd seemed fine, but that didn't mean anything. In that dream, he could have been hiding his madness from even me, but I didn't believe that.

No, Bashire would not go mad from the battle of the two viruses competing in his body. The battle between them would be over by the time his vampire eyes opened upon the world. Of this, I was certain. I also understood that he wouldn't awake until the sun set on the seventh day of his death sleep. I didn't know how I knew that, either, but I did.

Once I was bathed and dressed, I sent Sedrick to fetch a young male from the pen. I was hungry, but I wanted to make sure that I had a good meal. No more females for me if I could help it. I simply wouldn't stand for their taste anymore. I would soon have far less pleasures in my life for a while, and I wouldn't stand for walking around with that taste in my mouth.

While Sedrick was upstairs, I checked in on Bashire. I knew as soon as I opened the bedroom door that he wasn't very far into the process of the change. His body hadn't rid itself of the blood and waste that it would have to before the change took place. I closed his door just as Sedrick led a man of no more than twenty years old down the hall toward me.

As soon as I laid eyes on him, I knew that I didn't want to kill him so quickly. I'd asked Doran about keeping a victim alive for a while, and he'd all but told me that it was possible to do so. Now, I knew from that same source of knowledge that seemed to give me answers when I really needed them that it was called "the little drink" to feed from a victim and leave them alive. Yes, this man, Bill Glass, could be kept alive until the night that Bashire opened his eyes.

Bill Glass was at least six feet tall with broad shoulders and chiseled features. His auburn hair accentuated his jade green eyes, making them seem to glow as though with a vampiric spirit. His thoughts told me that he wasn't afraid of me, and he thought that somehow he could overpower me and escape his fate. I actually chuckled after seeing that in his mind, making Sedrick glance at me strangely.

"Come now, Bill," I said, smiling evilly at him. "You know you can't escape, so stop trying to figure out how you're going to do it."

"You can read my mind?" he gasped in a deep, masculine voice, staring at me while the first pang of fear coursed through his sexy body.

"And you won't be able to overpower me, no matter what tricks you have up your sleeve," I said in reply, making the fear in him step up a notch.

"You're going to kill me, aren't you?" he asked.

"Perhaps," I said in the mood to play with him a bit. "We'll see."

"Should I bring another, Master Eric?" asked Sedrick in confusion, and I laughed again.

"No, Sedrick," I said, smiling at him. "Bill will do fine."

"You're just a kid," said Bill, looking at me as if he'd gained some of his courage back and was thinking of trying to overpower me anyway.

"Appearances can be deceiving, Bill," I cautioned. "I am ageless."

"Yeah, I know that you guys think you're vampires or something," he said in a cocky voice. "You're all crazy."

"Like a fox, Bill," I said, enjoying the game still. "Tell me, do you believe in vampires?"

"They're a crock of shit just like every other superstitious nonsense the others upstairs have been babbling about all damned day," he snapped.

"Careful," I said hatefully. "You don't want to piss me off."

"What do you want from me?" he demanded, showing me a little of that male bravado that his memories told me so much about.

"I want you to take off your clothes and follow me to the bedroom, Bill," I said, watching his eyes for the reaction I knew he would have to the statement. This was going to be delicious.

"What are you, some kind of freak?" he hissed. "I ain't no homo!"

"I don't recall asking about your sexual preference, Bill," I said. "You will take off your clothes and follow me to the bedroom."

"No, I won't," he said, taking a step back from me. We were easily five feet apart. "You take one more step, and I'll break your faggot neck for you!"

That was all I could stand. In a flash I was standing in front of him, and my hand was gripping his throat. Fear and confusion swept across his sexy face as his mind tried to grasp what had happened. I applied just enough pressure to this throat to make him think I might choke him to death, and when his feeble fists struck at me, all I could do was laugh in his face.

"Do you like this?" I asked him. "Do you like being made to look like a puny boy?"

"Fuck you!" he cried.

"So much fire in your eyes, Bill," I said, smiling at him. "I'm going to enjoy you."

"I'm not going to do you, man," he said, spitting in my face.

"Enough of this," I snapped, slapping his face with my free hand and pulling him toward my bedroom. "I should just kill you and get it over with."

Instead, I gripped his mind in a vice of my own and bent it just enough to make him docile and compliant, but leaving him with all of his own thoughts and feelings. He would do what I suggested, but he wouldn't be happy about it at all. This was going to be more fun than I thought. I could definitely learn to like this part.

"Wha...what are you going t...to do to me?" he whined.

"Whatever I want," I said, releasing my hold on his neck. We were standing in my room at that point, and I could see the shock on his face when he realized it.

"Will you be needing anything more, Master Eric?" asked Sedrick from the door.

"No, thank you, Sedrick," I said not taking my eyes off of Bill. "Close the door, please."

"Please," said Bill as he watched me unbutton the silk shirt that Sedrick had taken from Doran's closet the night before for me to wear.

"Take off your clothes, Bill," I said as I slid the shirt off of my shoulders and removed my arms to let it fall softly to the floor.

"I don't go that way," he pleaded, but he'd already started to lift his shirt. I could read his thoughts, and it amused me that he was disgusted with himself for doing what he was doing. He couldn't believe he was obeying me.

"I don't care which way you go, Bill," I said, unbuttoning the fly of the silk pants I was wearing as he threw his shirt on the floor. "You have a very sexy body."

"This is sick," he said, but his hands went to the fly of his jeans and began to unbutton the buttons.

"You'll probably hate this as much as I'll enjoy it, Bill," I said honestly. "But you will do it."

When we were both naked, I took the time to really look at his body. He was in perfect shape, and I could easily pluck from his mind the fact that he had constantly worked out to keep his body exactly the way it was. His muscles were nice and solid, but he wasn't overly muscular. His legs were absolutely gorgeous with just the right amount of light brown hair that covered the muscled thighs and claves. His dick was soft, but I could tell that he had nothing to be ashamed of in that department, and his balls looked heavy and full. They were about the size of eggs.

There was no hair on his chest, and only a light trail went from his sexy navel down to the thick thatch of pubic hair above his dick. His balls were hairless, and looking at him made my mouth water. The hunger was there, too, but it wasn't as insistent as it had been the night before. I wasn't worried that it would take over when I started to drink from him.

I couldn't help touching myself as I looked at him, and the fact that the very act repulsed him excited me further. I wondered where this deviant streak in me was coming from, but I didn't puzzle over it long. Desire was a powerful thing for a vampire, and my heart was already beating. I was going to do this, and no amount of confusion or remorse would stop me. I sat on the edge of the bed and spread my legs slightly, letting my hard dick slap against my stomach.

"Get on your knees in front of me, Bill, and get it good and wet for me," I said. "This is all the lubrication you're going to get."

"I can't do this," he said as he stepped closer to me and slowly sank to his knees.

Completely against his own will, his hand reached out for my erection, and he licked his lips while a look of revulsion washed over his face. He wrapped his hand around my dick, and electric pulses shot through my body, amplified by my vampire senses. I could read in his thoughts that he hated himself for the thing he was about to do as I felt his tongue lightly lick at the tip of my dick.

"That's it," I coaxed him, still using the mind trap to keep him submissive. "Get a good taste of it, Bill."

"I hate you," he whispered, and I could hear the tears in his quivering voice.

"That's ok, Bill," I said. "I'm sure you do."

He said nothing more as his lips closed around the head of my dick, and his tongue bathed the crown of it. Slowly, he inched forward, and his mind told me that he was using exquisite care to guard my dick from his teeth, utilizing every bit of knowledge he had from having his own dick sucked and mimicking what had been done to him.

I ran my hands through his hair, thoroughly enjoying the sensation of his mouth on my dick as he inched his way further down on it. When I felt the head of my dick bump the back of his throat, he gagged, but I applied just a gentle amount of pressure to the back of his head, and he inhaled through his nose as he took my dick into his throat. He surprised me by swallowing around my dick twice before backing off to just the head of it again. He was really good at sucking dick, and I was amazed that he was so repulsed by it.

"It's wet," he said in a voice filled with self loathing after pulling off of my dick completely.

"So it is," I said, scooting further back onto the bed.

"Now what?" he asked. "When can I go back to my room?"

"I want you to straddle me, Bill," I said as he shut his eyes tight against the horror that was unfolding in his mind. "I want you to take my dick in your hand and guide it to your asshole."

"You can't fuck me, man," he said as he moved into the very position I'd told him to get into. His hand wrapped around my dick again, and when I felt it touch his puckered asshole, I pushed my hips up.

"That's it," I coaxed. "Just sit down on it. You're doing great, Bill."

"AH!" he cried as the head of my dick breeched his sphincter. "It's tearing me apart!"

"Sit down on it, Bill," I told him as I wrapped my arms around his torso and brought my fangs to his neck.

He eased down further on my dick, and I started to push more of it into him as my fangs broke the skin of his neck, and his blood washed over my tongue in a slow stream. I turned us in the bed, careful to keep my dick inside of him as he continued to cry out from the pain of having it in his ass. Images of rape and the sodomy of women flooded my mind, and I suddenly understood that what I was doing was a far better punishment than any court could give this rapist.

I laid him back on the bed, raising his legs over my shoulders and began to pump my dick in and out of him over and over again as he wailed. I didn't let him experience the euphoria of the vampire bite. As I witnessed each of his crimes, I wanted him to suffer like those women had suffered. As soon as I felt my heartbeat match the rhythm of his, I bit my tongue to seal the wounds in his neck after pulling my fangs out.

He was dizzy and disoriented, but he still felt the pain from the fuck I was giving him. His head rolled from side to side as he wailed in agony. I sped up my thrusts, deliberately making them more painful for him, as the grip of his ass sent me closer and closer to the brink of my orgasm. I didn't even try to hit his prostate to give him any sort of pleasure for this fuck. This was about punishing him for his crimes while I satisfied myself.

"Ah! God!" he cried as I fucked him with abandon.

"God?" I gasped between thrusts. "Did you think of God when you were doing this to those helpless women?"

"I'm sorry!" he bellowed.

"Sorry?" I laughed. "Sorry isn't good enough, Bill. You're going to experience this as many times as I can do it to you before I finally have to kill you."

"Please kill me," he begged, and I laughed at him cruelly.

I ignored his cries for mercy and death as I pummeled in and out of his ass, reveling in the pleasure of his tight, silky ass. When I felt my balls tighten up again, I slammed my dick into him to the hilt and spent my seed inside of him as he screamed from the pain. It had been the roughest fuck I could give him, and I was happy that he was in so much pain from it.

Sedrick was standing in the doorway by the time I pulled my dick out of his ravaged, bleeding ass. I looked at Sedrick for a moment while I listened to Bill sob as he tried to look away from Sedrick's prying eyes. The older man had enjoyed watching me fuck the rapist almost as much as I'd enjoyed fucking him.

"Clean him up while I take a shower, Sedrick," I said. "Don't be nice about it, either."

"Yes Master Eric," he replied. "Masters Tallan and Doran are feeding in their room, but they've asked that you join them in the great room when you've showered."

"Thank you, Sedrick," I said, turning back to face the defeated rapist.

"What do you want now?" he sobbed.

"After Sedrick cleans you up, you are to come back in here and lie in this bed," I informed him, using the mind trap to instill the orders in his subconscious mind. "You are to remain naked, but you are not to sleep. You will relive every rape you committed, and the memory will be mixed with what happened to you tonight."

"Are you going to turn him, Eric?" asked Daren when I came back out of my room after showering and dressing. Sedrick had left the bedroom door open, and the curtains were drawn back on the bed, so Bill's naked body was in plain site.

"No, Daren," I replied. "I'll kill him the minute Bashire opens his eyes."

"You love him, don't you?" he asked. "Bashire, I mean."

"Yes, Daren," I replied, and I hadn't even known that I was in love with him until that moment. "I love Bashire with all of my heart."

"You'll never love me, will you?" he asked, his eyes downcast.

"Daren," I said, lifting his chin with my finger. "I do love you. I can't keep you, though. You are Doran's fledgling. Not mine."

"I love you, too," he said.

"Come," I said, taking his hand. "Master Tallan and Doran want me in the great room."

"I have to hunt," he replied, slipping his hand out of mine.

"Ok," I said, turning to face him again. "I'll see you when you get back."

"Right," he said, turning to leave.

I plucked from his mind that he was sad that I couldn't love him the way I loved Bashire. He was also avoiding Master Doran for some reason, but I didn't pry into his thoughts deep enough to find out why. Some things are better left private. As I passed Franklin's door, he stepped out into the hall with me.

"I heard your victim," he said, smiling at me. "You liked that, didn't you?"

"I loved that," I replied, returning his smile.

"You're just like Doran," he laughed as he took my hand and walked down the stairs with me.

"There you are," said Doran when we walked into the great room. "Sedrick tells me you have a pet in your room."

"I do," I said, sensing the irritation in his voice and demeanor.

"Do you know what you're doing?" he asked.

"Let him be, Doran," commanded Tallan. His black hair was plated in one braid down his back, and his dark eyes were shining. "I told you that this fledgling is far too powerful for your orders now."

"He needs guidance, Sire," replied Doran, shifting his gaze from me to Tallan as I took the same chair that I had sat in the night before for our "family meeting."

"And he'll get that guidance in what little time we have," said Tallan. "Darian and Raffiki will be here any moment. Sit down, Doran."

"Are they bringing drones?" asked Doran as he took his seat beside his maker. His eyes never left me, though, and I could read his mind as easily as I could read a human's now. He was angry with me for keeping Bill alive.

"They quite have to, Doran," said Tallan in exasperation. "What are you thinking? We'll be here for an unknown amount of time, and we'll need all of the security we can get once the other Elders learn of Bashire."

"What of the Forsaken?" he asked.

"We'll deal with the Forsaken," said Tallan with a wave of his hand. "It's Sloan I'm worried about. He's the one that wrote the law about Forsaken never being turned."

"Sloan is still alive?" I asked, shocked.

"Of course he's still alive, fledgling," sighed Tallan. "He's the oldest living vampire in the world."

"He'll try to kill us," I said slowly, thinking about the punishment for turning a Forsaken.

"Oh, come now," said Tallan. "You are far too powerful for even Sloan to kill, and you know it. After drinking your blood again, Bashire will be just as powerful, and he too will be indestructible."

"Bashire will be an ordinary vampire with a few gifts," I said evenly.

"So there it is," said Tallan, smiling. "You possess the gift of foretelling."

"I do," I confirmed. "Bashire will sleep for seven nights, he will wake and be just as hungry as I was when I woke up. His gift will be flight, and he'll use it only when he feels threatened."

"And what of the two of you?" asked Doran. "What do you see for the two of you?"

"We're in love," I said with a shrug. "There will be a meeting here with both Forsaken and vampire members of the High Council, and rules will be laid down for us. Sloan will try to have us executed, but he will fail. We'll move out and start House Maxwell-Doran together, and rogue vampires will constantly plague us for my blood."

"Your blood?" said Doran.

"My blood will enable them to walk in the sun," I replied.

"So, you're a daywalker," said Tallan.

"As is Bashire," I replied. "Though his blood won't give them any protection from the sun."

"What of the side effects?" asked Tallan. "Will you be blinded by the sun?"

"No," I replied. "The rays will sting our eyes, but we'll wear protective sunglasses made from the same glass that each vampire house employs in their windows."

"So you are the prophesized vampire that will lead us into the light," said Tallan. "Tyron was right about that."

"My blood will not sustain that gift in another vampire for more than the space of one day," I countered. "Tyron was stark raving when he wrote that prophecy. Half of the prophecies in that book are rubbish."

"You speak lies!" cried Doran, bolting to his feet.

"Come now, fledgling," said Tallan reaching for his hand. "You know he tells the truth. He is foretelling."

"But ninety percent of our laws are built on those prophecies, and the entire truce with the Forsaken is based on them," he said weakly, sinking back into his seat and staring at me.

"Our truce with the Forsaken has nothing to do with those prophecies," said Tallan. "Less than half of our laws are based on them, but one law is based on the very prophecy that we thought Eric's crossover foretold. That is that the blood of the daywalker is sacred, and any vampire who tried to steal it will be put to death."

"That's the thing about that prophecy," I said. "One part of it was completely true. Tyron did foretell my existence."

"So you are The One," said Doran, looking at me in awe.

"I am," I confirmed, "but it doesn't mean what everyone thinks it does. As I said, my blood won't give you the ability to walk in the sunlight for more than one day. Even Tyron's blood didn't make the effect last any longer. Matthias can tell you that."

"Interesting," said Tallan, looking at me thoughtfully. "You know that Matthias is alive, but you were shocked to hear that Sloan was alive."

"I had no interest in Sloan, so I didn't seek him out in the masses," I replied honestly. "Matthias has a direct connection to my existence."

"What about Jessup?" he asked. "He's the vampire that turned Tyron."

"Jessup is a mindless vampire kept alive by Matthias for reasons I can't possibly fathom," I said. "He would be of no help to me."

"There are five vampire members of the High Council," said Tallan. "Who are they?"

"Technically, there are six," I countered. "Bashire is no longer Forsaken."

"Name the rest for me, please," he said.

I was silent for a while as I used my seer ability to search the minds of every living species in my range. It was difficult to decipher all of the thoughts that came back to me, but I was able to pull the information that I wanted out of the throng of those memories. I was amazed at how many vampires were living in the tri-state area. Even more surprising was the fact that many of them were rogue, belonging to no house and turned in direct violation of the laws of the High Council.

"Matthias, Sloan, Stephan, Kennedy, and you," I replied. "Sloan holds the vampire high seat in the council while Matthias is the second in command of the vampire side. Of the Forsaken, Bashire was high seat with Brock as second in command. Loran, Ari and Rafael hold the remaining three seats. I know that they will have to elevate Brock to high seat and Rafael will become second in command."

"And what will the Forsaken think of Bashire being turned?" he asked.

"That's all up to Brock," I replied. "We'll see him in ten days."

"Brock will be here in ten days?" demanded Doran.

"He will come to see the vampire change in Bashire for himself," I replied. "He'll see the gifts that Bashire and I have with his own eyes, report what he knows back to the Forsaken side of the High Council and a decision will be made about Forsaken drones."

"What will that decision be?" asked Tallan.

"Well," I said slowly, wondering just how much of the future he should really know being a member of the High Council. "In a foretelling dream today, I saw my house, House Maxwell-Doran. I also saw my first drone. He is Forsaken."

"Do you know when you'll be starting this house?" asked Doran, and I could read the disappointment in his thoughts. Doran had so wanted to guide me and teach me the ways of the vampire. I felt sorry for him as I read his thoughts, but I couldn't change my destiny.

"It will be a while," I said. "The right to start the house won't come until both sides of the High Council get over the shock of Bashire's turning, and it will take a little while for funds to be transferred and staff to be found."

"Staff?" asked Tallan. "What are you talking about?"

"Mine will be the first vampire house in almost seven hundred years to employ a large human staff," I replied. "Mind control will hide the truth of our species to them. There will also be five Forsaken living on my estate. They're job will be security."

"Anything else out of the ordinary?" asked Tallan. He was clearly confused and slightly upset over what he was hearing.

"Yes," I admitted. "Three slayers will be assigned to me, and they will be housed on my estate, too."

"Holy shit!" cried Franklin, who until that moment had remained silent as he listened to the three of us talk about things that had either not happened yet, or had had happened long ago.

It was about that time that Sedrick let a group of people into the house. The four of us went out to the foyer to greet them all, and I instantly knew that the two young men in front of the others were Darian and Raffiki. They were the other two fledglings of Tallan. What shocked me, was the fact that Darian and Raffiki were identical twins. There thoughts were even identical as they beheld me. First one, and then the other beheld the gold rings around the irises of my eyes, and almost at the same time they thought of Bashire.

"Where's Bashire?" asked Raffiki, looking at the four of us.

"Sedrick, why don't you show the others where they can put their things," said Doran. "Darian, Raffiki, you'd better come into the great room and sit down. We have much to discuss."

"Yes, Master Doran," said Sedrick as he moved to show the drones where they would be spending their nights in the house.

It was in that moment that I caught a scent that completely bewildered me. It was coming from Darian and Raffiki. I'd noticed the resemblance to myself and my brothers when I'd first laid eyes on them. Their dark hair, much longer than ours and plated like Tallan's, the dark eyes, bone structure of their faces even the spacing of their eyes was like ours. The scent was what made me face the truth about them, though.

I dug into the thoughts of Darian, and I pulled a memory of his mother and father to the surface. His mother! His mother's name was Deanna, and she was my mother's sister! Darian and Raffiki were my cousins. They'd been turned in 1979, so they were older than us in both human and vampire years, but they were family. Blood family.

I looked at Tallan and was shocked to find him smiling back at me. He knew what I was discovering, and he found it amusing that it had taken me so long to put it all together. His thoughts said something about needing to help me develop my seer ability. However, his thoughts also confirmed for me that what my mind had ascertained was fact.

"I told you that members of your family have been drones and fledglings for a very long time, Eric," he said as I followed him into the great room.

I sat in the same chair that I had sat in before my cousins had arrived, and I listened to Tallan telling them all about me and Franklin. He told them that Daniel lived in the house that they'd passed when they arrived, and that their aunt was living in that house, too. They were shocked to hear that I was not only their cousin, but The One as well.

The regarded me with awed expressions after the news, but those looks turned to suspicion when they were told about the turning of Bashire. Their minds refused to believe that it was possible to turn a drone into a vampire, but they didn't doubt what Tallan was telling them, either. The were astounded that I had the ability to turn a drone, yet they accepted that I possessed the gift of combustion.

"We'll be here until Eric and Bashire set up House Maxwell-Doran," said Tallan. "There will be members of the High Council here as well as Forsaken within ten days. Eric can tell you more about that."

"Your fears are unjustified," I said, speaking my very first words to them. They were worried about Bashire's turning. They feared another Tyron Par. "Bashire will be just fine when he wakes up. He'll be more hungry than most vampires when they first wake, but other than that, he'll be fine. He's the one who will alert the High Council of his change, and he will tell the Forsaken second in command.

"His name is Brock," I told them, but they already knew that. I spent a few minutes gathering the information that they already knew before continuing to explain what was about to happen. They were most interested in the fighting of rogue vampires when I talked about that. I could sense in both of them the training in combat, and I was happy for that.

When Daren returned from his hunt, there was less than three hours left before dawn, and I had to explain everything to him again. I thought about just having him drink from me to learn it all, but I didn't know if I could let him see what I had foretold, and I was worried about the effect my blood would have on him now.

In the end, he absorbed what I had to say and only asked a few questions. He was very interested to know that Brock would be in the house soon, and he was shocked to learn that Sloan would try to have me killed for turning Bashire. He didn't seem the least bit surprised that Bashire would turn out to be slightly more than the average vampire, but nothing like me, and thankfully, nothing like Tyron.

When I got back up to my room just moments before the sunrise, I found Bill lying in exactly the same position that I'd left him in. He was still awake, and he was still suffering from his memories. The smell that radiated from him was absolutely delectable, and I flipped him over onto his stomach and sank my dick into his battered ass as my fangs sank into his neck for another little drink. I was amazed that the little drink from him that evening had sustained me until the moment my fangs slipped into him again. Like the pervious time, I removed my fangs from his neck as soon as I my heartbeat began to match his.

He cried and pleaded for me to kill him the entire time that I fucked him, and he was humiliated when I ordered him to sit on my dick again after I rolled off of him and onto my back. What was even more humiliating for him was that I ordered him to masturbate himself to climax while he rode my dick. I climaxed at the exact same time that he did, and after he licked his semen from my chest and stomach as I ordered him, I drifted off to sleep with him sleeping by my side. My last thoughts were that he'd need to eat something to replenish his blood, and it would have to be very high in protein.