Suddenly, there was a disturbance beyond the first circle near the tree line. Cadmus turned his attention to the source and found there a Darkling lying underneath the night sky, her lips stained with fresh blood, and her eyes focused upon the stars. Cadmus immediately cloaked himself and returned to his body. Sitting up and launching into the air, his nighthawk incarnation flew beyond the sacred sites and into Avebury, his corporeal self ready for the kill.
There she lay, the grass sheep-shorn grass cradling her supernatural body. She was pale with white blonde hair that framed her pointed face in a boyish cut. Her eyes were ice blue, turned upward to the upward to the heavens, as enthralled as Cadmus had been. She was clad in simple modern cloths, blue skinny jeans and modest red tee-shirt, probably to hide the blood stains of her sanguine meal. Cadmus wondered if she were a killer, or if she merely fed, leaving her host in a mist of wanton remembrance.
Cadmus lighted just feet from her, and she immediately turned her face to his, surprise enveloping her formerly peaceful expression. The Plenipotentiary approached her slowly, but determinedly until he was kneeling before her, his priestly robes pooling around him like a shroud.
“Who are you, lovely one?” he said, his voice a soft buzz.
The young vampire blushed, her fresh blood flooding her face. She had been almost instantly trapped within Cadmus’ natural Glamour.
“Litania. I am called Litania,” she said, her warm voice awash with fascination. “And you?”
Cadmus ignored her, letting the name “Litania” spread across his spirit like a cold sprinkling of sparks. Surely he could use the name to further his own devices, whatever they may eventually reveal themselves as being. As with most Vampires, she had more than likely been named according to her mortal inclinations or inherent potential. Her devout nature? Perhaps she had been a nun, or was raised in a nunnery. Cadmus could sense that she had probably been turned sometime in the 18th Century.
He contemplated her voice. Whether or not the Dark Child of Night would allow her welcoming lilt to wash over him, embracing a kind of Magick, he was not exactly sure. There was no doubt Litania stirred within him something he had not yet felt.
“I saw you looking at the stars,” he said, his voice intentionally seductive.
Litania merely nodded, stricken dumb by Cadmus’ vocal silk.
Cadmus continued. “I look at them almost every night, when I am not in the city where the lights blot out their beauty. But cities hold their own charm, despite their killing of the natural splendor of the night. Don’t you think, Litania?”
Again, Litania nodded, silent and enamoured.
Cadmus leaned forward, his nose almost touching Litania’s. She smelled of roses, the flower most associated with the Pariah. And this heartened him. He felt that strange sensation in his breast grow stronger with each inhalation of her. On impulse, Cadmus let his tongue slip through his lips to touch her cool cheek. She tasted wonderful; he felt drunk from her. Cadmus wanted this Vampire. He wanted her Blood.
And he was surprised.
This was a kind of desperation for him. Cadmus could make no sense of it, only that he could not abide a minute without touching Litania. He licked her cheek again before sitting back on his haunches, absorbing her essence as it burst out from her in what she thought was a secret passion.
Of course, it was no surprise that Litania wanted him. There had never been a single soul Cadmus had ever encountered that did not fall prey to his enchantments. But there had never been anyone to have the same effect on him. Not even Faust, in all his attractive innocence, had pulled on Cadmus the way Litania did right now. Cadmus let his lids drift lazily down his Elven eyes, briefly hiding their newly Vampiric inner light.
“The stars…” he whispered, letting his words rest between them like a sentient animal.
“The stars,” Litania repeated. “They remind me…they remind me of the lights in Byzantine eyes, in the long-dead wonders of the frescos of the ancient world.”
Litania’s reply struck Cadmus, reminding him of a painting that was now older than old, memorialized upon the stone ceilings of one of the Apostate’s hidden temples far below the Vatican. It was a fresco painted by one of the vicious mage’s slaves, a man who had once been an artist that would have rivaled even the genius of Michelangelo. He had been driven mad, of course, by being in the presence of the Apostate. And he had been all too glad to commit to immortality the Elven visage of Cadmus Pariah, as seen in the traditional Khemethian interpretation.
Indeed he had been a star amongst the lights of the neverending night. He had been beauty incarnate, as he was even to this day. But he had been different in that time; he had been the Tarmian that the Apostate had created, then destroyed, in his neverending quest to exact revenge upon that Elder race.
“Do you want to see a fresco that no one else has ever beheld, Litania?” Cadmus asked. “Do you want to behold starlight incarnate?”
Before Litania could even say yes, the Dark Child of Night whisked her away, almost instantly into the heart of Rome.
Yes, I am still writing. No, this has not been proofread/edited. I still wanted to put it here, in a kind of commemoration. It seems that the emotion for this particular Harming Tree short story is going to be lust, and that's why the words are coming so slowly, so fraught with difficulty. Lust is such an alien emotion, even to Cadmus, who is so endowed with the entrapments of both human and Vampire after the Augury incident. I just have a problem with emotion" when it comes to Cadmus, especially anything bordering on love or the entrapments of the physical body. Still, it has to be done if any sort of realism is to be brought to the character. Anyway, here's the continuance of the story I'm currently and will probably continue calling The Star Watcher.