Stregoni Benefici Ch. 3

July 31st, 2010 § 5 comments § permalink

Happy with what I’m working on right now, and thought I’d share a little. 🙂


The rain kept the humans from the piazza, save those few whose business was dire or whose lives so depended on whatever meager trade they could manage even on a day like this. Heidi had been sent further today, to the shrine to St. Marcus. Pilgrims were the easiest—many of them didn’t make it back even if they didn’t encounter a beast like Heidi. No one suspected any wrongdoing other than the completely mortal kind, and that kept the secret well. Of course, they could break their own laws here, if they chose—they could turn the whole town into a safe haven for their kind and no one stood above them to stop them—but there was a certain humility in keeping the secret anyway.

Of course, the young one had pressed those boundaries a bit.

When he looked past the droplets, Aro could make out in the square the tailored black coat, the high collar against the porcelain neck, the shock of golden hair. It wasn’t that vampires couldn’t tolerate the rain, but Aro had always found it made him uncomfortable. The slickness made him feel uneasy in his own skin, and now that luxuries like indoor fireplaces and glass windows were a part of his everyday world, he tended to prefer the comfort they offered.

Carlisle seemed to feel exactly the opposite, which given everything else unusual about him, should never have surprised Aro. He confessed, however, that he had expected the younger vampire to grow tired of things like the rain. After a few years Aro had suspected he would break, join them fully, share in the spoils of their hunts. Or Heidi’s hunts, rather.

But it hadn’t happened. It had been nearly forty years, now, over a third of the younger one’s immortal life, and still he clung to his convictions, never partaking in their group feasts, nor hunting their prey on his own. And on days when the sun didn’t shine, he walked out among the humans. He even bought food in the market at times, especially imported spices, which he would leave lying about so that his quarters reeked of the mingled scents and his tabletops resembled those of an apothecary.

His behavior amused Aro as much as it puzzled him.

Da Capo Teaser: “D.C. al Fine”

March 17th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Edward looked askance at the tiny pile of shriveling greenery that lay at the side of his knee. He could almost see them wilting, it happened so quickly once their roots were severed from the ground. They were like the bodies of the men he’d killed, one after another, lying in the dirt, slowly withering away to nothing. He ran his hand over the pile absently.

“There were so many,” he whispered.

Oh, Edward. She moved at full speed now, and her arms came around him protectively. He stilled himself, letting her hold him. Her arms were more slender than Carlisle’s, her wrists more delicate where they crossed over his shoulder. In the moonlight, her bare arms shone faintly. She laid her head on his shoulder a moment, and her hair tickled his ear. They sat for several minutes. Edward could hear the thrum of the summer locusts around them, and the gentle whooshing of the stream in the distance.

Esme’s chest expanded and contracted against his own ribcage as she heaved a sigh, and Edward felt a strange emotion from her.


His lip curled in disgust. “How can you be proud of me?”

Da Capo Teaser: 3rd movement

March 10th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

His thoughts of Carlisle vanished at once, however, when his feet made purchase on the soft soil of Eleanor’s expansive lawn. She and her husband were moderately wealthy, although it surprised Edward that they had no household help. A second woman in the house might be of comfort and help to Eleanor while Thomas was away. But instead there was no one, save the man whose scent seemed to surround Edward as he slunk his way around the house.

The indignant anger was instantaneous, a fire licking at his insides as he sprang into position at the windows. He cast his own mind wide, trying to pick up on anything. The man’s scent was everywhere—had he been haunting this woman all afternoon?

Edward moved swiftly, looking in first the kitchen, then the living room, then the back window. Nothing, nothing, and nothing—nothing, that was, except the greasy fingers, the strong scent of eau de cologne and bootlegged whiskey. He gagged, but kept going, following the trail the greasy pervert had left behind. It circled the entire first floor of the house—the voyeur had peered in every window, it seemed. But when he reached the front door, he stopped cold.

The noisome odor was stronger on the other side.

“Da Capo” Teaser: 2nd Movement

March 3rd, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

His reply was sharper than he intended, and Carlisle’s face clouded with hurt once again. Edward drew a deep breath and made eye contact. It was just after sundown, and Carlisle’s eyes shone in the waning daylight. They had been blue, Carlisle had once told him, and for a moment Edward busied himself trying to imagine them that way, instead of the saffron or obsidian that he was used to. He tried to imagine his father’s gaze looking on him with eyes looking like heaven itself—because that made sense for Carlisle—and he instantly felt ashamed.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered, looking downward again. “It’s not you. I just—I’m not ready.”

Carlisle stared at him again, his expression softening. You will heal, Edward. I know you will. Give it time. His hand floated unconsciously to his own left shoulder, and Edward winced.  Carlisle didn’t miss his expression.

This healed, too. He patted his shoulder. Quickly, in fact. But the heart takes longer. As does the soul.

The soul. Edward let out a frustrated growl. They weren’t supposed to have them. Vampires were damned creatures, or so the legends said. Not that very much was true about the legends, but Edward clung to this. And even if he hadn’t been damned when he’d set out running from the little house in Barre, wasn’t he undoubtedly damned now? How could one take nearly four hundred lives and still expect eternal forgiveness?

He had no soul.

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