Breanna walked through twilight's growing gloom within a current of students returning to the Hadley School's Summers Hall. They all shuffled sleepily along in their anime styled school uniforms, though Breanna stood out in her own Yuuki Cross styled clothes. Her mannerisms were nearly identical to those with whom she walked. She stepped silently, her face frozen in a slightly dazed look as if she were pondering the meaning of some far off star. She was lost in thought in all she had learned during the day and possessed by the urgent need to communicate that information to her pairing, Norihko Yamashita.
How different she was when she first came to the Hadley School months ago. When she first visited with her mother she was as rebellious as any older teen. Now her personality was completely submerged under her vampire-induced thrall.
Breanna's focus was disturbed when a familiar voice called her name. It had the impact of a shaft of light cutting through her daze's fog. Breanna stopped and was nearly trampled by the students behind he whose minds were fixed in stupors of their own and who were not paying any attention to what was in front of them.
Breanna got out of their way and sought the source of the voice.
Keri, Breanna's best friend at the old high school she attended before her parents put her in Hadley, was waving to her from not far away.
Breanna ran up to her smiling and gave her a hug.
"Bre Bre, look at you!" Keri cried looking over Breanna's uniform. "You cosplay 24/7 now?"
Breanna tried to answer, but the momentary clarity caused by Keri's presence was beginning to fade under the power that controlled her.
Keri could talk a mile a minute and ignorant of Brenna's mental bonds, she continued, "Like what's up? You don't call. You don't text. You, like, don't even email. Like the kids here are totally spacey. No one would, like, tell me where you were. Like this place must totally suck!"
"I've been busy." Breanna said, the vacant look returning to her face.
Keri wasn't paying attention. "Like the senior dance is tomorrow. You don't, like, go to our school anymore but you could still go. Everyone totally wants to see you. I'm not saying you have to, but think about it. It's getting dark and, like, this place gives me the creeps. Like see you at the dance? Bye now."
Breanna stared at Keri as she spoke and then departed. After a moment's pause, Breanna renewed the sense of purpose that had imprinted in her mind by her vampire's bite and continued on her mission to serve Norkihko Yamashita.
Breana quickly covered the distance across the quad to Summers Hall climbed its front steps, slipped past the huge oaken doors of its entrance. On her way up the stairs to the third floor where Norikho's room was, Breanna heard a familiar laugh that always chilled her blood. It was Lucas Burke, a high caste vamp who derived special pleasure from taunting her.
"Here comes my favorite o-neg." Lucas said with a sly sneer that flashed in the dark stairwell. "Ever taste o-neg, Lynch? Probably not. A middle caste like you can't afford a taste of o-neg."
A large boy emerged from the darkness. His shoulders were broad and his arms were long, giving him an almost apelike appearance. His beady piggy eyes burned with malevolence and the nostrils of his wide nose flared as he moved to block Breanna's path. "Huh, o-neg? I've got to get me some of that action." Lynch said in a booming voice.
Breanna felt a fight or flight induced adrenaline rush. It was mostly fight and fueled some of her innate spunk. She tossed back her hair to show her neck.
"Go ahead, have a taste." Breanna said demurely.
Both Lucas were stunned in surprise. This was definitely not the reaction they expected. Lynch moved his mouth wordlessly and stupidly but advanced to take advantage of the invitation.
Just as Lynch was about to lower his head to sink his fangs, Breanna let her hair fall back. "Oh, but drinking the blood of somebody else's pairing is against the rules." She said with exaggerated sarcasm.
Lynch took two steps back looking as if he had been punched in the stomach
"Sucks to be you." Breanna teased as she tried to pass him.
Lucas broke out in derisive laughter.
"Why you...!" Lynch fumed, grabbing Breanna by the arm.
Breanna looked at his hand gripping her and then into his face. "Now, now, now." She chided. "I am paired with a high caste. You touch me, you dishonor him. You better not do something you are going to regret."
It didn't take long for Lynch to think of the consequences if he actually did do what he was thinking about doing--ripping out her neck. He pulled his hand away and Breanna continued up the stairs.
Lucas couldn't contain his laughter. "Wow, she showed you. The bleeder really showed you!" He chuckled derisively. If Lynch had any of his own blood his face would have been deeply red with anger.
"I'll get you for this!" Lynch finally yelled after Breanna. "I'm gonna drain you dry, bleeder!"
Ignoring Lynch's threat, Breanna continued on her way to Norkhko's room. As usual around this time, Norihko was in intense conversation with Erik, a lower caste vampire whose undead line only stretched back to the late 19th Century. Erik's paleness had the effect of making his red hair and freckles are the more prominent, features, along with his family's status, that would have gotten bullied unmercifully by his classmates. Norihko respected his intelligence and had taken him under his wing and protection.
The two boys nodded a greeting to her as she came in and found a place to lean against the wall while they talked.
Norihko tossed Erik a packet of blood. Erik caught it, took the straw off the side and popped it into the bag. "Sweet." He said after a sip. "Lots better than the stuff they feed us in the cafeteria. I swear they're trying to pass rat's blood as human down there. Sure you don't need this?"
Norihko shook his head. "Nope. I get plenty of care packages from home. My parents own a medical lab company, so I get all the blood I want."
Erik sighed. "Dude! Must be nice being a member of one of the first families."
The comment cast a shadow over Norihko's pale face. "Yeah, my people are all into luxury and comfort
Erik shook his head. "Uh oh, here we go again." He interrupted. Erik knew it didn't take much to get Norihko started on one of his political sermons.
"We're all about the blood and nothing else. We're just out to exist, like a plague. We don't even study in school. We use humans as our surrogates and suck the knowledge out of them."
"Dude, for someone supposedly against that kind of thing, I never see you cracking any books on your own." Erik observed acidly.
Norihiko laughed. "Yeah, if I am going to have to change things I have to get my family seat in the Governing Senate. Family status only gets me so far. I have to graduate from here and primary college to get seated. Any heresy is going to be an obstacle to doing either. I have to bide my time. Short term pain for long term gain."
"Yeah." Erik agreed. "Dude, we so need you to balance out that bastard Lucas Burke. You know he wants his family's Senate seat bad and the guy is just sick. He is totally up for penning up humans as livestock."
"Vamps like him are part of the problem." Norihko continued. "We need to live for something else than just eating and existing. Whenever I read Breanna when I'm feeding off her, I see her memories of the vibrant and exciting realm of the humans. I wish we could be a part of that world and maybe we should be."
"The human world is ok but it wasn't that exciting to me." Brenna interjected. The sound of a human pairing speaking for herself always gave Erik a jolt. Norihko was the only vampire he knew of who gave his pairing permission to think and say what she thought in his presence.
"If you were like us, you would appreciate your world more." Norihko oberserved.
"If you really want to be a part of my world, there is a dance at my old school this Friday. It would be real fun." Breanna told them.
Erik's interest was piqued. "Now there's an idea!"
Norihko shook his head. "Don't even think about it. You get caught leaving campus, you'll be bounced out of here so quick you won't have time to pack your toothbrush."
"Knock, knock." A voice interrupted them. A girl with white-blonde hair that glowed like a halo around her fine-featured face had opened the door to Norihko's room unnoticed. Her cat-like jade-green eyes were afire with merriment.
"Maria!" Both vampires chimed together and ran over to her.
"When did you get back!?" Norihko asked excitedly.
"Just now. My exchange program in Japan ended a week ago. It was so lonely and boring at my parents I decided to come back here until the term is up."
"Want to go to a dance?" Erik asked maliciously.
"Don't start!" Norihko complained with a glare.
"A dance! Where!?" Maria said excitedly.
"At Breanna's old school." Erik replied pointing out Brenna. Maria noticed Breanna for the first time. Her green feline eyes ran across Breanna's figure with hungry appreciation. Breanna could almost feel that stare and taste a sense of longing growing within the vampire. Strangely, something in Breanna was awakened as well, a sort of magnetic attraction that would have drawn her closer to Maria if the two boys had not been in the room. Breanna blushed and turned away.
Maria was not so shy. She got close to Breanna and gently stroked her cheek. "Oh I like her. I sense an o-neg. I bet she's delicious."
Norihko was growing visibly uncomfortable by Maria's forwardness. Erik took it upon himself to break the tension. "So, dance?" He offered again.
Norihko shook his head. "No, no, no. If you lower caste vampires get caught breaking the rules against going off campus, you'll be expelled."
Maria dismissed Norikho's concern. "Vamps are always going off campus without permission. As long as you don't do something stupid that brings attention to yourself like draining a bleeder, no one cares."
"Yeah, dude." Erik chimed in. "If the human world is so great like you say, we should experience it firsthand."
Norihko relented. "All right. But we make it quick and clean. We don't draw attention to ourselves. Understood."
"Yes!" Erik and Maria said in unison.
The four laid their plans for sneaking out of campus and getting to Breanna's school. After an acceptable strategy had been decided upon, Erik and Maria said goodbye and left Norihko and Breanna to their ritual feeding.
Breanna and Norihko sat on his bed. He brushed her lush hair back. "You really are quite remarkable." He told her before sinking his fangs into her soft flesh.
Breanna's eyes went blind as a field of red swept over her vision. A bloom of warmth like a lazy summer afternoon emerged from her neck and swept over her body. She seemed to shed her corporeal form. It was as if his bite had made her spirit shed its shell of flesh and blood. She joined with him completely, they were as one, feeling and feeding together even though one was the feeder and one was the fed. Breanna had a passing thought in this dreamy state if that was what making love was like in its most ideal state.
Yet something was missing in their merging. As close as they had become in their joining, Norihko was still somehow distant from Breanna. His mind, his soul always spared thoughts for his people and their fate and how they could be made better. There was always some part of himself that he would keep to himself and would never surrender, not even for love.
Norihko held Breanna in his lean but powerful arms as she recovered from giving him her life's blood. While it was a tender gesture, it was almost brotherly, even the way he stroked her neck as it healed from its wound and his bite makes disappeared.
"Lucas Burke and Lynch Gordon giving you trouble?" Norihko asked as Breanna got up to leave. "I saw them in your thoughts while I was feeding."
"They're harmless. Nothing I can't handle." She told him bravely.
"Be careful." Norihko told her and kissed her on the forehead. "Not on the lips?" Breanna wondered to herself.
The ways of her pairing were not for her to dwell on, Breanna knew and so she set off for her own room without too much bother over how her relationship with Norihko was evolving.
Breanna was descending the staircase when she heard footsteps creeping behind her. Sure it was Lucas and Lynch, she turned and called out. "For crying out loud! You can't touch this!"
Breanna was surprised to find that her pursuer was Maria. Maria gave pleasant that was tinged with an aura of mischievousness.
"Oh, Mistress Maria. Sorry, I thought you were someone else."
"No problem." Maria replied as she slipped up close to Breanna.
"Lucas and Lynch have
Maria waved her hand across Breanna's face and Breanna froze, mentally and physically as if they were suspended in that moment in time.
Maria leaned close to Brenna's face, fixed in speaking mid-sentence. "When I say chekka-zu, you will forget you are bound to Norihko and know only that you are bound to me. You will be in total love with me. You will be obsessed with me. You will desire me. There is nothing you wouldn't do for me. Your only happiness is to please me. When I say `chekka-zu', you will enter this state. When I say ` chesu', you will return to your normal frame of mind, without any memory of what I've told you to do except for that which I command you to remember."
Maria waved her hand over Breanna's face again. Breanna continued talking as if nothing had happened. "
been bugging me a lot."
"Chekka-zu!" Maria declared.
In that moment, it seemed to Breanna as if the entire world had fallen away leaving only Maria, beautiful Maria, sensual Maria, divine Maria. Breanna's initial attraction to Maria, a tingling tug, sprung into a sudden inferno of complete and raw obsession as any restraint completely disappeared. The tantalizing warmth of attraction collapsed into a searing heat of passion. Her mouth fell open as her eyes blazed with hunger. She was unable to give her new love any voice. Breanna could only stare in utter awe at her goddess that Maria had become for her. There was nothing Brenna could do but worship and serve her. Her whole body felt flush. Her legs began to tremble and her knees felt as if they might buckle.
Maria took Breanna's hand in her unpeeling it so that it was flat in her palm. "I so want a taste of you." Maria said hungrily.
"Drink my blood. Take it all!" Breanna said, her voice laced with heated passion. She meant what she said. What was her own life to someone as perfect as Maria, to someone that she loved so much. She would give it freely, completely, as long as it made Maria happy.
Maria laughed, her eyes teasing. "I'll save some of you for later." Maria took a pin and pricked Breanna's forefinger. She squeezed it until a drop of blood emerged. She opened her mouth and wrapped her lips around its tip and began sucking it with hungry intensity.
Breanna felt the tongue swirl about her finger between tugs as the vampire savored tiny drips of her blood. Her eyes rolled back into her head as her vision went as red as fire. Maria was sucking out more than her blood but her essence bringing it close to hers and entangling them together like snakes. Where with Norihko, Breanna had experienced caring, With Maria the feelings were so different. It was an attraction that dug deep past the physical but a lust to embrace the flesh and soul of the other totally and completely. Breanna's ecstatic sighs were almost disembodied and otherworldly, as if some creature of passion was making them instead of herself.
"Eating sloppy seconds Maria?" A cold voice teased. Maria reluctantly released Breanna's finger from her still hungry mouth. She turned to face Lucas Burke who had snuck up upon them unobserved during the feeding.
"A taste of o-neg is too good to pass up." Maria explained haughtily.
"Too good to pass up a mind control spell too, I see." Lucas laughed.. "Picked it up during your exchange with the Japanese vampires? Sweet. They're famous for mind control. Of course, the Hadley School has strict rules against using those spells without permission."
Maria gave him a killing scowl. "I suppose you want a taste."
"As you said, o-neg is too good to pass up." Lucas said with a smile.
Maria curled the forefinger, thumb, ring finger and pinky of Breanna's hand she had drunk from so that her middle finger was still extended in a rude gesture. Maria pricked the finger and squeezed so a drop of blood appeared. Lucas slowly licked it off.
Though Lucas and Breanna could only have been linked for only a moment, it seemed like an eternity to Breanna. Unlike her merging's with Norihko and Maria, with Lucas she felt as though the floor had dropped open beneath her and she was fallingdrowningin the inky void of an endless abyss. An icy feeling petrified her, even piercing the very marrow of her bones. Through it all, she could feel him rooting about in her brain, searching for something. When Breanna emerged from their contact, she was once against facing Maria and Lucas who had returned to squaring off against one another.
"All done?" Maria asked impatiently.
"I got what I needed." Lucas smiled back.
"Complicity buys silence." Maria told Lucas, nearly spitting the words.
"You can be assured of it." Lucas chuckled and disappeared into the darkness.
Maria kissed Breanna's pricked fingers to insure that they were healed while the enthralled girl moaned from the touch.
"Chesu!" Maria declared.
Breanna shook her head and returned to her thoughts before Maria had put her under. "I try not to show it but they are starting to freak me out."
Maria smiled warmly. "Keep trying. The best way to get back at them is to pretend they don't matter. That really dries creeps like that crazy."
"Thank you, Maria." Breanna said softly. Maria laughed and gave Breanna a kiss on the cheek before she went her own way. Breanna blushed and rubbed the spot Maria had kissed. There was something about that vampire that really got to Breanna. She found it hard not to stare at her as she left.
Breanna returned to her thoughts of school as she descended to the pairings quarters. It came as some surprise when a hand grabbed her harshly at the shoulder and spun her around.
It was Lynch. His fangs were showing and there was a hateful look in his eyes. He grabbed Breanna fiercely by the shoulders. "I hear you've been giving away free samples, o-neg. Only fair that I get some!"
Breanna screamed and tried vainly to push him away as he descended on her neck. She knew that once he got into her, he wouldn't leave her with a drop of blood to spare.
Before she knew what had happened, Lynch screamed in pain and had fallen to the floor in a spasm of agony. She backed up against the wall to see Norihko kick Lynch onto his back. Norihko had a piece of wood in his hand that had been sharpened into a point.
Norihko knelt on Lynch's chest with the stake raised. "I'll kill you!" He yelled.
"That's enough!" A panting voice yelled. Miss Maelstrom rushed to grab Norihko's hand ready to strike. Lucas Burke was not far behind observing the fight with a smirk of amusement.
Norihko stood up. "He attacked Breanna!" He snarled angrily.
Miss Maelstrom pushed the boy vampire back. "And he will be punished for it according to the rules!"
"Don't think I'm through with you, Lynch!" Norihko screamed. Even in his anger, he put his arm around Breanna's softly slender waist and guided her to her quarters.
"How did you know Lynch was after me?" Breanna as they walked through a corridor.
"That's the weird thing. Lucas told me that Lynch was after you. Then he went to get Miss Maelstrom." Norihko answered.
Breanna frowned. "That is weird. He's always been so mean to me. Why the sudden concern about my welfare?"
Norihko shrugged. "I don't know and I don't care. Here's your room."
For the first time since they had known her, Norihko seemed to Breanna as a real vampire, a force of death and violence. Yet, she felt safer around him then than she ever had in her whole life.
The next evening, Norihko, Erik, Maria and Breanna snuck off school grounds to a cab they had arranged to meet off campus. After they were dropped off at school, Breanna got them into a wing that wasn't being used where they could change into their dress clothes. The boys wore silk shirts and dark pants. Maria and Breanna were dressed in revealing thigh-high dresses and strappy inch 3-heels. Compared to the pale vampires, Breanna practically looked tanned.
Their arrival at the gym attracted more than a few stares but mostly Breanna's former classmates said hello and asked to be introduced to her new friends. Erik found himself quickly dragged onto the dance floor while Maria found a partner of her own to dance with.
"What do you think?" Breanna asked Noirihko as watched the highschoolers having fun.
"It's so alive." He replied with a smile. "Why aren't my people ever having fun like this."
Keri intruded upon the couple, slinging her arm around. "Hey, Bre Bre, where did you get this guy. He's hot can I borrow him if you're not using him."
Norihko protested halfheartedly as Keri pulled him into the dancing throng.
Maria returned to Breanna, panting. "Dance with me." Maria said lost in the moment. Her beckoning voice was deep and dreamy.
Breanna grew pensive. "Jeez, Maria, I wouldn't mind but it might freak people out
"Chekka-zu." Maria whispered hungrily.
All of Breanna's restraint disappeared. There was nothing she could and would deny Maria now.
"Yes. Let's dance."
As the DJ spun some Daft Punk techno, Maria and Breanna started swinging their hips in synch with the rhythm, moving in a sweeping hypnotic sway. The music swelled and so did the movement of their bodies as it pulsed through them. They moved with serpentine grace, their limbs swaying and torso's undulating like waves. They made an almost spiritual connection to the music. Their eyes closed, they raised and waved their arms like reeds in the wind. The dance floor drew empty as the couple unconsciously built an audience which was all at once appreciative and envious. Their eyes soaked in the two angels that had become slaves to the music, that had become living personification of the atmospheric beat. They matched each other's movements almost exactly so, that aside from physical differences, they could be a viewer moving together with their refection.
The music slowed to a stop and Breanna and Maria descended from their trance. There was just a moment of stunned silence until the DJ got something from The Cure going just to mix things up.
Maria quickly saw Norihko stomping angrily toward her with Erik in tow. "Chesu." She whispered to Breanna.
"We're not supposed to draw attention to ourselves." Breanna continued the conversation she was having before she had gone into Maria's trance. "Hey, why am I all sweaty?" She wondered.
Norihko took Breanna forcefully by the arm. "We're going!" He announced.
The group got changed and returned to Norihko's room in silence.
"What the hell were you doing!?" Norihko snarled at Maria when they were inside.
"What are you talking about?" Maria protested.
"Don't pretend you don't know. I know a mind control spell when I feel one. You enthralled my pairing!" He accused.
"Your pairing?" Maria shot back. "Is that all Breanna is to you? You pretend to be so concerned about the bleeders but you're just as possessive as any vamp when it comes to your own!"
"I care for Breanna!" Norhko shouted.
"I love her!" Maria countered.
There was a moment of awkward silence. Of the many things that Breanna would happen in life, being the apex in a vampire love triangle was not one of them. Not even close.
Erik broke the quiet. "Is it just me or did this argument just take a turn for the hot?"
"Shut up!" Norihko and Maria said in unison.
Just then there was a loud knock on the door.
"Oh crap!" Erik wailed. "Dude! We're busted!"
"Just keep calm. If it's Miss Maelstrom, let's just say we're staying up late and goofing around. If we stick together we won't get caught."
Norihko opened the door to find the school director with the burly gardener and Miss Maelstrom standing behind him. From their grave expressions, everyone knew something really bad had happened, much worse than an off-campus escapade.
"Norihko Yamashita." The Director said with harsh firmness. "I am arresting you on suspicion of murder of Lynch Gordon!"