Stephen had been pacing back and forth across the plush carpet of his living room for almost two hours. He would stop every couple of passes and glance down from the balcony windows at the city lights below. He stopped again and stared at the antique grandfather clock that he had brought from his estate in England, it was almost as old as he was, as it chimed three o’clock. He had sent the messenger to bring his master with the explicit instructions to accept no delays. He enjoyed doing things in a subtle way and to admit that he had allowed a failure, even the smallest one was abhorrent to him. Finally the guards from downstairs called up to announce that Lord Damien had arrived. Stephen bowed low from the waist keeping his head down in supplication as he held the down for Damien.
“My Lord, Thanks to you that you have arrived.” Stephen chanted. “I have received some most distressing news and felt it needed to be presented to you with the utmost urgency.
“What seems to be the matter old friend?” Damien replied passing his gloves and overcoat to Stephen.
“I have just received word that one of our troops has been captured and I believe that it was Jareth that has him. If they have questioned him I am sure that he was not strong enough to withstand much, he will have told them everything he knows. They will be aware of our forces here.”
“Calm yourself. How much information does this agent possess? Has he been trusted with any details of the plans that we are forming?”
“He was aware of very little my Lord. He knew that I had arrived, but no information regarding you or anyone else. He would not have known the total size of our forces or where I could be located.”
“Good, that is fine. I am sure that Jareth will succeed in getting some information fro him. However it will not be enough for the Highfather to toss aside the truce.” Damien spoke to himself as he walked around the room. “No, the days of hiding from them and creeping around in the corners are not over yet, as much as I would like them to be.” Damien stopped and stared at where his reflection would be in the large windows. “We will still need to exercise patience for a little while longer.” Damien finally stated as he turned back to speak to Stephen. “Now please compose yourself, I have traveled far this night and wish to quench my thirst if you have something here that I might partake of?”
“Of coarse, My Lord.” Stephen once again bowed gesturing him towards a small hallway that lead to the dining room.
The large room had been cleared of all furniture save the small table pushed off to one corner that was covered with cutting knives. Small sconces had been places in three of the walls with candles that spread a hot red glow around the remainder of the area.
“I have always loved your flair for the dramatic Stephen” Damien stated.
The two stopped and marveled at the young girl suspended to the open wall. The only sign of life was the short and shallow breathing. She could not have been any older than sixteen and at one time had been very healthy and full of life. It would have been hard to tell that based on her current condition. Her eyes stared blankly ahead as if she had seen so much horror in her short life that she would never be able to close then in comfort again. Her body was reduced to skin and bones barely held together the bright angry patchwork of fresh scars that crosses her body repeatedly.
“Where did you find this delicious creature?” Damien said as he drew his sharp tongue across his lips.
“If you can believe it she brought herself to me?” Stephen replied. “She had read that book. She found me and pledged her love for me. She said that she was ready to accept the burden of a life together and know that she was the one who could give her love to me. She was sure the love that we would share would be enough for me to find the strength to control my appetite for me.”
“And have you been able to control yourself?” Damien chuckled.
“Surely, I have kept her in this state for over three weeks. I am nothing if not able to control myself. I have drawn on her only what I need each day. For the first few days she was aware of the suffering enough that the feedings alone were sufficient, however once she started to blackout I found it necessary to start using the knives to bring her to the levels that I enjoyed. The agony that she has experienced have produced adrenaline in such quantities that it had placed an amazing tang to her flavor. Unfortunately I believe she is running dry, no matter what I have done to her today I don’t seem to be able to generate that spark.” Stephen explained. “If you wish I would be honored if you would finish her off.”
“I am honored to take part in this wonderful masterpiece of yours, my old friend. I hope I am able to do it some justice.” Damien reached up and ripped the restraints from the wall and stood the poor girl on her feet. Her eyes cleared for the first time in days as Damien lightly slapped her across each cheek. Once she seemed to have finally come around he released her onto her own weight and gave her a moment to have feeling return to her limbs. She tried to speak, but the words were suddenly cut short as Damien grabbed her again and thrust her to the ground and pinned her down. For the first time in an eternity she tried to fight back as she felt the sharp nails from his hand piece her chest. Driving his hand forward Damien gripped her heart and squeezed to force the blood to flow again. The acid burn of his fangs penetrated her neck and she learned that all of the agony that she had experienced for the last three weeks was simply a taste of what the human body was capable. The red light in the room seemed to go gray before blackness enveloped her. Damien sat back and wrenched free her still warm heart and feasted upon it like a peach that had reached the perfect ripeness.
“Of coarse you would find the most spectacular way to complete my work, Lord.” Stephen said.
“Our styles have always complimented each other perfectly, my loyal friend.” Damien replied, the point of his tongue cleaning the last spots of blood from his cheeks. “I have missed having your support these last few decades, it is good to have you with me again. I must be away though, I will assume your minions will be able to deal with the cleaning here.”
“As always, Sire.” Stephen responded. Escorting Damien out he helped him on with his overcoat to cover the blood soaked shirt.