Chapter 1: Demon Awaken
Her gasp cut through the dark like a knife, and Jakob took a moment to admire the beauty of the girl. She could not see him, he knew that, but his night-vision was better than an owls, and he had no problem seeing the smooth curves of her body or the perfection of her Elven face. She was smart too, she did not get up and try to feel her way about in the dark, she felt her way to a wall and sat down with her back against it, waiting calmly until her captor chose to reveal himself. She did not have the strength to call up fire, he had drained her to make her more susceptible to his blood, and he watched as she noted this handicap with narrowed eyes. She will do well Jakob thought to himself, smiling into the blackness, This one will survive. As if she had heard him, her face snapped in his direction, and the smile became a feral grin, So you can hear me, can you pet? Good, my Blood is beginning to take you, you will soon transform into my kind. They will see that it can be done. The last bit he kept strictly to himself, remembering with a suppressed snarl how Sheyna had laughed when he proposed that it was not only humans who could be Turned. She said he was too young to understand such things, she had shoved the old laws into his face, harping about tradition and that no one had ever done it before, there must be a reason. So he had set out to prove her wrong, choosing an Elf from each of the five Points and Turning them. His Air and Water Elves had suicided as soon as they awoke, Earth had gone insane, Spirit had simply drifted away to starve herself to death.
This was his last experiment, Kalai, from the Fire Tribe, Drea’niyika, and he had watched her closely before choosing her. She was brave, but not stupidly so, realistic, already a warrior, she had no issue with death, he knew she would survive.
Of course, he had also chosen her for her appearance, for her knee-length black hair with its deep red highlights; for her slender, athletic body; for her dark red eyes. Those eyes, like a snake’s, could hold a lesser being in thrall if she chose.
He could Feel her beginning to change, he heard her breathing quicken as she fought to control the pain, then slow and stop as she died, he watched her carefully, noting in his mind every move that she made. But nothing could have prepared him for what she did then.
Trembling, Kalai stood up slowly, the black silk dress she wore falling softly into place, sliding seductively against her skin. Her eyes snapped open, glowing red like embers in the night, she raised one white hand, looking at it curiously, then without warning, flames sprang to life out of nothing encircling him and she was in front of him, without ever moving. Jakob did not have time to do more than register the fact that she was there before her teeth were at his throat, and he could not fight the pressure of her mind, it did not hurt, and if her were a mortal man he would have been aroused by the feeling of her lips and tongue against his throat. But Jakob was not mortal, and neither was Kalai, he knew that she was killing him, and could do nothing about it.
Kalai laid Jakobs body gently on the black marble floor, brushing a kiss across his lips, now truly dead. Turning to open the door, Kalai looked back once more on her maker, then turned away, as she opened the door the body burst into flame and she smiled slightly to herself before the door closed with a click and she went to explore her new surroundings.
The surroundings turned out, much to her delight, to be an elegant manor house in the deep woods near Lynae, on the border of the kingdom. The human servants had felt the death of their master, of course, he had bonded them to himself and now that bond was hers to use as she pleased. She did not intend to indebt herself to Jakob’s memory, however, so rather than take over the manor she helped herself to a pouch of gold and the life of his stablemaster, released the horses, dogs and hawks to the wilderness, locked the rest of the staff inside the house and burned it. The flames burned with an intensity that could not be replicated without magic, Fire Elves controlled their element completely and her own primal rage at Jakob and ecstasy in the burning only made them leap and dance higher.
Across the kingdom, in Throne City, Sheyna’s head snapped up from the would-be mugger she fed on. Her eyes narrowed as she Felt Jakob’s death. Foolish boy! Now you have created something no one can control! She cursed him mentally, damning him for bringing this upon her; for, as Jakob’s creator, she was responsible for his creations in the event of his death. She would have to find a way to destroy the creature if it began to threaten other vampires beyond a certain point. Rivalry and violence was to be expected with their kind, but too much was completely unacceptable.
She finished draining the body and dropped it irreverently, not caring who would find it, in this neighborhood nothing was unusual. She walked back to her apartment, thinking about what she would do about this unwelcome turn of events. Obviously he has changed something that was not human to begin with, something he could not hope to control. Human fledglings were weak at first; they needed their creators to survive. There were old stories of another who had attempted to Change an elf.
The fledgling had killed his creator as soon as he awoke, then proceeded to destroy more than half the vampires in the kingdom before several of the strongest banded together and hunted him down. The very fact that the strongest vampires had formed an alliance was frightening, vampires, by nature and necessity were solitary beings, especially the powerful ones, there were occasional pairs or even trios but for the most part they did not seek out the company of their own kind.
As soon as she stepped into the apartment, a servant was there to take her cloak and inform her that they had drawn her a bath and would she like a book to read while she relaxed? She declined but went to the bath, knowing she needed to relax; the hot water came to her chin, rose-scented steam rising from it. Tendrils of her honey colored hair stuck damply to her face as she willed her taut muscles to relax.
Kalai’s black mare trotted along the packed dirt road happily, her ears and tail up, quite happy with her new master. She had picked this gentle pony out of Jakob’s stables and saved her, now the pair were on the road, riding towards Throne City where, Kalai knew, the most powerful vampires made their homes. She had already made a stop at the nearest elven village where she had bought decent clothes, elven silk and velvet. Now she wore a scarlet dress with belled sleeves and gold embroidery, a braided gold belt and ankle-length black boots. Her mare wore a soft saddle blanket and a light saddle of soft leather, certainly an improvement over the uncomfortable affair she had taken from Jakob’s stable.