Ironic Sacrifice

By: Brooklyn Ann


She began to stir, moaning softly when he lowered her into the steaming bath water. As he gently began to scrub her with a soapy washcloth, her eyes snapped open and for what felt like an eternity their gazes locked in what seemed a violent battle of wills.

The spell broke. Jayden’s mouth opened in a silent scream of terror and she began to squirm desperately out of his grasp. Hot water sloshed in the tub, splashing him.

“Shhh…” he whispered in a placating tone he didn’t know he had. “It’s all right. I am only trying to help.”

“Oh God… Oh God!” she gasped over and over again, arms crossed over her breasts in an age-old feminine gesture of defensiveness. “It wasn’t a dream!”

There was a long moment of silence in which Razvan stood up and watched the emotions play across her sculpted features, dancing within eyes that were so dark and deep a green they were nearly as black as his own. Then she lowered her head so that her hair covered her face and her shoulders began to shake as a soft gasping sound came from her lips. Damn it. She was crying. The only time he dealt with crying women was when they were pleading for their lives and all he had to do was sink his fangs into their throats to resolve the matter. What was he supposed to do now? He didn't want to kill her. She was too interesting.

Then, her face lifted. To Razvan’s shock Jayden was laughing. She looked up at him and laughed harder. His brow creased. Was she having hysterics?

Tears of mirth streamed down her cheeks. “You’re a real live honest-to-God vampire! And… and I asked you to kill me.”

“My apologies, but I fail to see the humor in this situation.” Razvan replied. Why did he always end up with the mad ones?

“Don’t you get it?” she cried in a choked voice. “Every time I touch somebody I see their darkest secrets in living color and I can’t take it anymore! And then… and then you come.”

This time the tears were of pain, not laughter. “I don’t belong with people anymore. And the pain of my warped existence is becoming unbearable. Thank you so much for taking me, Razvan. But please, please end it soon.”

Razvan stared at her in stunned awe of her passionate, painful declaration. He wanted to tell her that her powers really were a blessing, that she could use them to fulfill her most unimaginable desires, she only needed to learn how to control them and that he was going to take her to get help. But now was not the time, not when she was in such an overemotional state.

Instead he said, “That will come later, Jayden. Now finish your bath and I will order you something to eat.”

With that, he left the bathroom to call room service and ponder the woman’s outstanding power and courage and what he was going to do about it. Everything with Razvan Nicolae had a means to an end.

When she came out bundled in an overlarge terry cloth robe, skin pink, freshly scrubbed and smelling of feminine arousal, he felt another tremor of desire.

And he still had no idea what that end would be.

***

Jayden stared at the exquisite furnishings of the hotel suite in awe. Never before had she seen so much luxury in her life. The bed, which suddenly appeared intimidating, was large enough for five people to sleep in.

Remembering her odd situation, she pulled the lapels of the terry-cloth robe tighter around her body and fixed her gaze upon the vampire, death incarnate who was to take her pain away. A verse from a John Keats poem flitted through her mind.

“I’ve been half in love with easeful death.

“Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme

“To take into the air my quiet breath.”

Not only was Death easeful, but he was beautiful as well. Her knees trembled and her female center quivered at the sight of him. His black eyes locked on hers, glittering with dark knowledge and wicked promise. She opened her mouth to say something—she didn’t know what— anything to break the awkward silence, but was saved by a knock on the door.

Razvan rose from the bed with enviable grace. “Your meal is here, my pet.”

He opened the door and a boy came in with a covered tray. Coeur d’ Alene Resort was embroidered above his nametag. So that was where she was. She’d read about the place and driven by it a few times. Only rich tourists stayed here. It struck her as odd that he’d take her across the state line to a fancy lakeside resort in Idaho to kill her. But here she was …On her last night alive. The strangeness nearly brought back another burst of maniacal laughter. Razvan took the food, paid the boy, and set the tray on a table across the room. He gestured languidly for her to come to the table.

My last meal, she thought, and her amusement dissipated.

She sat at the table, lifting the cover from the tray. Fettuccini Alfredo, calamari, and glazed vegetables graced the plate like an expensive sculpture. She hadn’t eaten in at least two days and the scent of the food made her stomach growl. She blushed in embarrassment but Razvan merely smiled, fangs concealed, and gestured for her to eat.

Tentatively, she took her first bite. It tasted so good that she was lost from then and devoured the meal like a ravenous animal. When the plate was clean, Razvan presented her with a glass of red wine, which she polished off in seconds. Once her belly was warm and full, the vampire stood and reality sank in once again.