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David lead the way downstairs. He gave me looks, but he didn't give Giovanni any. I guess I figured he would be like that. He would blame it all on me. His beloved couldn't do anything wrong. I didn't care though, right now I was concerned with Lilith.
I guess I was in denial. I was afraid of her. I could say everything in the world, but I was afraid of her because I was in love with Arie.
Arie had returned to the warehouse and was now posted in the very front against the dusty windows. Him and Roxanne had their eyes perched outside the windows and they were frantically looking outside.
When Arie saw me, it was as though he dropped all his guard. He ran over to me and he hugged me. I could remember the hug even now. It was strong and embracing. It was a hug that said more than any words could say. He finished hugging me and stared at me with these warm eyes. It was like his eyes were digging through me...trying to plant something in me.
"She came for me, baby," he stated, "This is it?"
Giovanni ran to the window. He seemed to be confirming that it was definitely Lilith out on the street corner. Roxanne backed away from the window as David took her spot, wiping it down even more.
"She's just standing there," Giovanni stated.
"She's waiting for me," Arie stated, "She wants me to come out and offer myself to her. "
"Fuck that idea," I stated.
I looked at Arie. He was trying to seem cool but I could tell he was nervous. He was staring at the floor and then staring at me. It was the face of a dead man in some ways. It was almost like he was trying to get one last look at me before he died.
Arie smiled up at me, "Thanks man..."
I didn't understand it. His smile was so beautiful but it was so weird. I didn't like it! I didn't like it one bit, you understand? Imagine the love of your life just acting weird all of a sudden. His eyes weren't there all the way anymore.
"For what? What are you talking about Arie," I panicked, "Stop looking at me like that. What the hell are you staring at me like that for?"
want to thank you for showing me what true love is," he explained, his voice
getting low but his smile getting wider, "Like I'm going to die in love, you
Roxanne put her arm on me, "Let him get it out, Adam. It may be the last words he ever says."
"Bullshit. How do you guys know she came for him? How the hell do you know THAT!"
"Her eyes are staring at him," Giovanni stated looking back, "It's weird. If he moves, her eyes follows him. It's like she can see through the walls. She is staring exactly at him."
All of a sudden I started to cry.
"NO! This can't be it."
I could see everyone turn to me, but I didn't care. I was so emotional. I ran over to Arie and grabbed him. I didn't want to ever let him go. I could feel my arms cusp around him as tight as I possibly could. I wouldn't let Arie die so easily. I could feel his heart against mine. There was nothing ever so pure, you know? You would think we were human children instead of bloody vampires.
At first Arie didn't hug me back, but then I could feel the teardrops against my forehead. The drops were so tender. They were so wet.
"She just took a step forward," David stated, anxiously, "Oh fuck man. Arie, man, this is some bullshit. You're like a brother. Can't we do something?"
Roxanne shook her head, "I wish Decadence were here. She'd know what to do."
I had expected her to say something smart, because she had been pretending this whole time to play the role of the new leader, but she was just as lost as the rest of us were. She was looking crossing her hands and just letting this fucking genocide play out.
"Maybe we can run," I stated.
Arie shook his head, "No, baby this is it. Like you have been...an angel. You know. Who knew I'd fine my angel as a monster. I hated being a vampire till I met you. I never admitted it, but I hated it you know? And Decadence, I thought I loved her, but it was only because I didn't know what love was. Once I saw you, I realized what it was and that feeling I had toward Decadence was something else. True love does exist and it's powerful and it's forceful. We are the lucky ones, Adam you and I?"
"What makes us so Lucky?" I stated, "You are about to die...for being something that you couldn't change."
"None of it matters now Adam. I'm talking about love now. That's all that matters to me. You know?"
Then let's fight her. I'll kill her before I let her take you."
"She is probably the oldest thing on this planet. You can't get rid of her. Nothing we can do can get rid of her. You just got to realize when we to give in.
"FUCK GIVING IN! WE FIGHT!"
I hadn't realized it. I wasn't on the floor any longer. My fangs were showing but they were longer than what they had been before. No...as I sat floating away from Arie, I realized I wasn't a vampire. Lilith had definitely made me into something else.
"Oh my god," Giovanni stated, "He's floating..."
"Adam, calm down, Arie is right. We must accept this. Please don't spend your last moments nurturing false hopes. Enjoy him while you have him..."
Giovanni had abandoned the window completely and had taken refuge in staring at me, "Look...Adam is glowing. God, it's beautiful."
I didn't know what he was talking about. I didn't notice a glow. I didn't notice much at all, except a longing for blood. I had an appetite that seemed faint at first but then kept getting deeper and deeper. I was just so...hungry. I was just so angry. I just wanted to kill. Is this what being a monster was defined as?
"Adam, please, please don't make this hard," Arie was crying.
Arie was crying hard, harder than I was. He was reaching up for me. I knew Roxanne felt bad for him. She was always the closest to Arie really. She seemed to understand him a lot.
He didn't want to separate from me. He didn't want to lose his life. He was trying to be hard. He was trying not to break down in front of me, but I could tell his mission had failed.
Then something unexpected came.
It came from David who spoke out quickly, "How can you all say that? Adam is in love and you all expect him to just quit and give up? You don't know what love is. If Giovanni was ever in this position I would never be going down easy. It could be the God, Buddha or Allah...they will feel my fangs rip through their skin before they take the love of my life."
I wasn't the only one surprised.
We were all surprised that David was standing up for me, even Giovanni. Giovanni actually seemed the most surprised.
"Thank you," I told David.
My eyes were watering and I was falling back to the ground. At that moment, I seemed to realize that David and I had more in common that I did with the others. What we had in common was love. We both loved a man so hard that it was shaking the core of our being.
And we'd do anything at all to keep that love alive.
Arie seemed embarrassed. He put his head down and buried it in his palms, "I'm not knocking Adam for being upset. You think I want to die? You think I don't want to spend an eternity being in love with him. But I can't..."
"I'm going to talk to her," I stated.
"No..." Arie stated, "You've got to be out your fucking mind, if you think I'll let you go out there. You understand me? You got to be out your mind."
"She doesn't want me..."
Roxanne nodded, "I mean, Arie, Adam is right. She is after vampires. It's clear Adam isn't just the average vampire."
"FUCK that Roxanne," Arie stated, getting up, "You hear me. And if anyone has a problem with it, I'll kill all you motherfuckers myself. It'll be the Pre-Rapture. You guys send your lovers to face some ancient killer. I'm not sending mine. And that's the end."
Giovanni looked over at us, "This is stupid. Arie just go out there and end this. Adam can't go. If Adam goes, the Carter guy won't lead us to Eden. We'll all be dead anyway."
Arie nodded, "Then it's decided."
"No it's not," David stated.
We all looked at David. The silence was heavy in the room. I could tell by the tone of the way he had said it that he was serious. He had said it in a challenging way. I could tell he had said it in a very bold fashion that was aimed specifically at Arie.
"What the hell are you talking about David?'
"Adam, go outside and talk to her."
Arie eyes zoomed in on David, "David...step aside. Don't do this. Adam is my lover. I won't have him---"
"Hurry up and go outside before it's too late Adam."
"I"ll fucking rip your head off," Arie threatened David immediately, "You hear me? You want my baby to go out there and get killed? I'll rip your head off. He's not going anywhere."
He was distracted. I could see David taking a step between Arie and I. He was blocking us. I took a step towards the door and saw that Arie had reached out to stop me, but almost immediately David smacked his hand down.
I looked at David. I couldn't believe my biggest support was coming from my enemy. I started to run, immediately and I noticed Arie and David were fighting as well.
I hadn't seen anything like it. I could see Arie smacking David away and the more that David blocked him, the more they got into it. And it was nothing cute. It was nothing human. The punches seemed to be drawing more blood and their fangs were out.
They threw each other against the room and I could see Roxanne and Giovanni helplessly watch on. Neither felt like it was their place to really get involved in the situation. I really didn't expect anything more from Giovanni though, but I was confused that Roxanne was allowing them to clash in the way that they were doing. I knew that they both meant business and it scared me because I felt whenever I did comeback, someone could really be dead.
"Don't look back," I heard David say.
And I didn't.
Outside was the same as normal. You would think all nature would fold in to announce Lilith's coming. That wasn't the case. The humans were walking around like nothing. They walked right past her. I was sure they didn't see her. No, they couldn't have. Maybe their eyes were too sensitive to see. Her bosom was out of course. Her nipples were round, thick excerpts from her body. She had a white silk covering her lower section, but it hung so loosely that I didn't understand why she even had it there at all. They couldn't just ignore the tall, striking, tall bald woman that stood like a Roman Sculpture in the middle of the streets. She was frozen as though she would never move again.
Her eyes were still glaring at the walls even as I walked it. She was still looking at Arie. It wasn't until I was right by her side that I saw even the slightest glimmer of life hidden deep within her.
She was the first to speak.
This time her lips moved. Unlike last time I had seen her. This time she spoke normally, in perfect English as though it was the only thing she had ever spoken. Of course I knew that was wrong.
"Hate is older than love," she explained and smiled, "We were the first. Adam and I. He was never my Adam, you know?
"You never loved him?"
I couldn't believe I was here talking to the Darkest. The first wife of Adam. She was the oldest ever. She looked over at me. The wind seemed to disappear in the air. Everything was real still.
"No. I never loved him and you should hear the chaos those angels made. I grew in fact to hate him. Yes, hate is older than love. I wish I knew back then what it was. I was so young...just like you. I ran away and I swore vengeance. I didn't make vampires immortal...God did. God gave all humans immortality, it was Eve and her foolishness which made him take it away. He didn't take it away from vampires though."
It was all I could say. What does one say to her? So many questions I really wanted to ask her. I wanted to ask her about history. I wanted to ask her about life. Had she met Jesus? How was he like? How was Eden like? How were all these things like.
"You know there is a difference between watching and seeing. The latter is definitely the more passive. They damned my children and I gave them the tools to get their revenge. I wished to watch but instead I just saw them. This wasn't my gift. I saw them conform and I saw them cower. The great beasts that I made were nothing left but shadow dwellers, indulging in human pleasures. As though they were the humans and the envy they had in their eyes were the worst. Do you understand Adam?"
I knew there would be no arguing with her. You don't argue with something so powerful. You stand there and listen and you pretend as though everything they say is right. I realized I had no power against her.
"I am the first, you understand. I knew no love for Adam. Deep inside me I knew no love for any man. I conceived differently. Asexually. I didn't know what it meant back then. Maybe it meant I was asexual, maybe perhaps homosexual, but I was never heterosexual. His body was not mind. That is why I chose you."
"Because you are a homosexual?
"I don't get it. There are many homosexuals around."
"Yes, but none of them loved by a prophet of God. All of them followed the rules so clearly. However, he isn't yet of course. He will be. He will guide the humans out of their own ways of tyranny. It is easy to see if you look at him long enough. It's glorious really. His influence is extreme."
"You mean Carter, don't you? He is like a brother to me."
"He doesn't know he loves you yet, but he will. Oh what a smack in the face to mankind of their great prophet was in love with my kind. A new kind, made entirely of homosexuals. The ultimate sin."
"A new kind of vampire."
"Yes. More ultimate vampires. My Au Courant. I trained Da Vinci in many of his arts secretly in my day. It was he who actually came up with the idea. I searched then for the perfect homosexual. Belial was my prototype. However you are my magnum opus. You are my masterpiece. Do you know what we called them? Do you want to know what Da Vinci and I called the new vampire?"
"My Will of Adamantine. My beautiful Adamantine."
"What does it mean?"
"Adam left me with nothing. You understand. He made my God betray me. He made my most perfect God punish me and turn my face away from the son. I became the woman in the shadow. Yet it is my will that kept me. Adamantine is the hardest material. You can't find it anywhere but Eden. The rocks are made of adamant. I remember how beautiful it is there, in the land where no one can die. I wish I could show you Eden."
"Where is Eden?"
"I couldn't tell you of course. Maybe one day. The adamant shines in Eden however. It symbolized my will. So I must called my new vampire my Adamantine..."
"How many Adamantine will you make?"
"It will only take one to seek my revenge."
"I am going to get my revenge against Adam. I am going to get my revenge against mankind. You must corrupt Carter. He will fall in love with you. Then you must mislead him. He is the influence of mankind. He will lead them to prosperity or he will lead them to disaster. I figured why create a monster to physically kill men when I can create a monster who can lead man to kill himself."
I looked at her. I wasn't human. I shouldn't have felt so offended by this. The truth was I was thinking that I didn't. However I was offended. I was sitting here looking at him with this anger that I didn't quite understand myself.
I was afraid. I think she noticed. She turned slightly and reach over to me. It was a quick movement and I thought she was going to choke the life out of me because of disappointment, but instead she just stroked my neck.
"I am already in love," I spat out as though feeling this moment of tenderness was the only time I that my own thoughts could enter into this conversation.
"With him. I figured such a thing. I saw how he looked at you earlier. How I love a homosexual relationship. Mankind is so far behind. They don't see that there is nothing really so pure as it. However...you have a mission. So I've come to take him."
You would think I lost my mind. Looking back, I didn't know what triggered me to grow so many balls. I don't understand why I felt so comfortable that she wouldn't give me a wicked stare that would turn me into ashes. It must have been temporary madness I'm sure. She gave me a look however that was full of wonder.
"They all die."
She smiled turning completely to me, "They ALL die. Do you understand? Come closer. Listen closer. They all die. Including Arie."
"Then that is also including me."
She laughed and took a step forward. I could see the intent in her eyes. There was something so dangerous about her. I could see the faces in the window of the warehouse. They were looking out at us. They were watching us and seeing what was going on.
"Don't bother me with these dumb things. You must love Carter. That is the first step. Afterwards I will come to you again and give you further instruction."
"I don't think Carter loves me...but I know Arie does."
"Carter may not know he loves you yet, but love is easy to see. It is in the eyes. He will know he loves you when the time is coming."
"The old vampires are extinct. There is nothing more than my Adam
"Love is beautiful. I will spare him for now. Not because of your threat, but because do favor you. You are my favorite child, Adam. You are MY Adam where I've never had an Adam before. The first Adam I love. However, you will not love Arie. You understand?"
"You will leave him. If you do not leave him, I will come for him."
"If he interferes in your love with Carter, I will come for him. Do you understand?"
"In this... I will not conform. Though precious, you are still just a child. I AM mother."
With that she rose into the sky almost like she was going to heaven. We both knew that was not true though. She was as much with this earth as mankind was. She was flying away. It was almost as though she was never there. I couldn't understand how someone could just disappear after leaving news like that. The news shook me to my core and she just left as though it was nothing. She had a smile on her face at that. I hated how she could do that to me.
"You fucking did it," Roxanne stated as soon as I walked in, "You did it. Why aren't you smiling? Why the hell aren't you happy?"
Roxanne had run into my arms as soon as I walked inside the warehouse. She had expected me to hug her back. I wished I could be as happy as she was. She was smiling widely like a young kid and for a moment her image was believable.
I looked over at David. He had a knife in his side. He pulled it out though. I knew that it had to have been Arie who stabbed him. I wasn't worried. He was immortal. His body would reject death like all other vampires. It would push the dagger out and heal itself within the hour.
Arie was now tied up however, in a chair on the other side of the room.
"What happened? Adam, what the hell happened?"
I didn't answer. I went over to the small bit of scotch that Giovanni had been carrying with him. I downed the rest of it. Liquor didn't have the same effect on vampires as it did with humans. It took so much more to get us drunk.
"She went around back, didn't she?" Giovanni stated, "She isn't really gone. I guarantee you that much. You don't get rid of your sins that easy."
He said it and smiled as though somewhat proud of himself. He seemed like he was confirming this to himself. It was scary how Giovanni spoke. He sprouted his fangs, proud and content that he was right in the matter. He was sure that Arie was going to die.
"No she's gone," David asked with a confused expression sketched on his face, "Right Roxy? Roxanne didn't you say you saw her fly away?"
Roxy all of a sudden wasn't as happy as she was when we walked in. "I thought I did. Adam, did she leave?"
I nodded, "She's gone."
"Then it's settled, isn't it?" Arie stated, "Untie me."
I went over there and started to untie him silently. All the while I could see him staring at me, but really trying to look at me. He was trying to make eye contact with me. I wouldn't let him though. I looked down, you know? Looking at the knots instead.
Giovanni shook his head, "So what the fuck is the matter, Adam? Something you want to tell us?"
I shook my head, "No."
"Ha, bullshit. So we are keeping secrets from each other now."
Roxy quickly jumped in, "Giovanni, stop it."
"She's really gone right Adam?" David asked, still seeming so confused at the time.
"She's gone," I stated for the 2nd time.
I finished loosening the knots. Arie was quietly still looking at me as the others questioned me. I couldn't hide it no matter what I did. I had sold my soul to her. It was what I had done. For Arie to live, I couldn't love him any longer.
How does one start not loving someone you are in love with?
"So what's the matter?" David asked, "Is it just me?"
Giovanni grunted and shrugged, "Duh. He's hiding something."
"Shut the FUCK up Giovanni," Arie stated, "Leave him alone!"
Giovanni rolled his eyes.
"Or what? You going to attack me like you did to David? You going to stab me? Obviously it doesn't work, Arie. You and your fucking tantrums are getting old."
I could see Arie was about to start arguing again. He just looked like was but I wasn't going to stick around to see it. I started to walk away and I could hear him calling behind me, but I didn't answer. I didn't stop to hear him.
I found myself in the room and I couldn't help but just sitting there. I wanted to cry, but everything seemed so much harder when you weren't human. I just sat there looking at my reflection in the mirror of Arie's room. I remember back then when I had first met him. This was where I had woken up after he saved me. Even then I could smell him and I through all the fear there was a longing for this strange, strange person. It wasn't that he was a vampire. It was something more.
The hands softly engulfed me from the back. His presence was all over me. The bitterness of his touch. I wanted to sink into it, but I couldn't.
You know when something is inevitable and nothing matters.
"Please," I say, stepping away from him.
"What the hell?" Arie asked me, confused, "I came up here to see you Adam. Why did you just pull away from me like that."
"No reason, just feeling a little...sick."
I pulled away from him.
"Adam, you're lying to me.
"You sound like Giovanni."
"He was right, Adam. What did she say to you out there? How did you get her to stop from taking me?"
He was so smart. We were together alone in his old room and the feelings for him were so easy. He was looking at me with this really complicated look. I knew that he was concerned about me, but I wondered if there was more concern in him than just my well-being. How could I hurt someone so beautiful?
"Arie. She wasn't here for you," I lied.
"No, she just wanted to talk."
"She followed us all the way here from Boston to talk?"
"Talk about what Adam."
"Arie please!" I stated raising my voice and hoping to scare him off, "What the fuck? I have to deal with all the questions from them and now you. We just need to worry about getting to Eden. She isn't done. You understand. She is coming for you all still."
"Are you mad at me?"
I turned away from him. I laid down on the cot bed. I couldn't look at him. It felt as though the world was ending before any of them was dead. It made me think, which was worse?
I had to pretend like I didn't want him, because maybe she was watching. Maybe she somehow could see through walls and she was watching us. If we made it to Eden, however, none of that would matter.
If we made it to Eden I could love Arie.
"Adam, are you mad at me?"
"Go to sleep, Arie."
"Jeez, I'm sorry Adam. You know I am. I'm sorry for all the things I've done."
I didn't look back at him, "What are you talking about?"
"I've been so insecure about us. It's just that...I guess...you are the only thing going well for me. My entire existence is threatened. Decadence is gone. You are the unexpected anchor to my being."
He laid behind me. He was warm. He was warm as FUCK. Oh I remember, the feeling was so good. Him and I, seemed like a new land. It seemed like he had transported me a million miles away from all our issues in that one minute.
Before I knew it I was turning to him and I stared him in the eyes.
This would be much harder than I thought.
"In you there is Eden. You carry it everywhere you go. All the problems here mean nothing. Eden becomes unnecessary because sanctuary is in you and I."
I kissed him.
I disagreed however. Eden was necessary. It was necessary because without Eden there would not be him and I.
I woke up hoping that Arie was near me, but he wasn't. I guess it was for the better. I knew it was night time. My mind was getting extremely used to it as a matter of fact. I went downstairs to the bath. The bath was a open place, a long open shower that reminded very much of the bathrooms in a bathhouse. We rarely ran into each other in such places.
I took a long cold shower. The cold was more intense on my skin then the heat. I enjoyed it more now that I wasn't a human for some reason. A lot of things you enjoyed as human wouldn't matter if you became a vampire.
I came out the shower and dried myself and as I buckled my pants, I heard the footsteps. It was David. He walked into the room crossing his arms.
I didn't know how to feel about him. He had helped me yesterday. He had restrained Arie long enough for me to get to Lilith however he had been my biggest antagonist for a long time now.
I didn't know how to react.
"Arie is beautiful isn't he?" David asked me.
He was stating the obvious. Arie with his long hair and defined features reminded a lot of darker toned Tyson Ballou.
"I used to have the biggest crush on him," David said, "Of course then Decadence guarded him with everything she had. I respected Decadence as well. Plus I was in love with Giovanni, but I would fantasize. Funny thing is he didn't get to be so attractive until he turned into a vampire. Hence his humility."
"Is that why you hate me?"
The words just rolled off my tongue so quickly. I had always wondered why he felt the way he felt about me.
"No...I don't hate you anymore. There was a point where I felt I did though."
"Is it because of Giovanni or is it because of Arie?"
David tossed his straight her back over his ears. He didn't look at me as he spoke. I respected his honesty though. We sat there looking down at each other.
"I am in love with Arie. I don't feel anything for Giovanni."
know. It's because you reminded me of
myself. We are so driven by love and we
sacrifice so much to maintain it. Look
at us, fools together, trying to find Eden to keep our love intact."
He was so sure were similar. I didn't want to break the mood by disagreeing, but honestly how could he feel Giovanni's love for him was the same as Arie's love for me?
"You hated me because I was like you?"
"Yes. I hated myself. I still do in many ways. You find love and you begin to lose too much. It scares me because I see it happening with you. Don't lose yourself like I did. Don't lose yourself like Decadence did. Arie is so beautiful. Giovanni is so beautiful. The thing about beautiful boys is you will do anything for them."
"I can't help loving him."
"Oh I know. I am not against that. Hell it would be fruitless to be against that. Yet remember, we are vampires. Remember the thing about vampires. We feel nothing or we feel too much emotionally. Love hurts and there are some things that even Eden cannot guard us against."
David spoke to me for hours lingering on and off on the issue of love. He spoke in circles and after a while it became clear that he had not really grasped onto what he was saying. I think his basis was that he was reaching for a concept behind all of this.
He felt there had to be a lesson to all the madness that Giovanni had put him through.
He was an idiot because I knew for sure there was no lesson. He was a fool for Giovanni and the more he dug, the worse his confusion would get. None-the-less I listened.
"He isn't going to be here," Giovanni stated, "Why the hell are we coming back here."
"He is there," I stated, "I can feel him."
They looked at me. Part of me was exaggerating, but part of me was telling the truth. I could feel something, but I wasn't sure it was Carter. We were outside of his apartment and it was night time. No lights were on in Carter's apartment but I had a feeling he was there.
"It can be a trap," Arie stated, "I should probably go in first."
"It's no trap," I stated, "He is just scared. I know Carter."
"What if he doesn't know Eden?" Arie asked.
"What if he only wants to take you?" Giovanni quickly added.
"Stop it, you two. Adam has helped us this far, we have to trust that he'll take us the rest of the way," Roxanne stated.
"Do we have a choice?" Giovanni stated and smirked, "What? Going back to Boston and becoming fish in a barrel. Fine, we will wait it out.
"Just think how beautiful Eden will be," Roxy stated and smiled, "It's going to be so beautiful. Isn't it Adam?"
I nodded. Who knew though? All I could recognize was the unbelievable hope in her eyes.
"I see something," David stated, pointing.
My eyes adjusted to the darkness, "It's Carter."
We waited. Carter seemed initially nervous but as our eyes connected I could tell that he wasn't so anxious. He walked clearer now. He was more defined. He was coming towards me. It brought back memories when we were kids.
I couldn't help the memories it brought back, but they were all very innocent memories. As he walked closer he smiled at me. He didn't even seem to be acknowledging the other dark figures surrounding me.
"I know where Eden is," he stated, "I'll take you there."