Three weeks had passed and the recollections were coming increasingly more every day. I started having memories of a man I’d never met, or at least didn’t remember meeting. Vincent told me his name was Drake Steele and that I’d had a relationship with him.
He refused to go any further into detail, telling me that it’s best I see for myself. He always said that, afraid of shocking my system with overshare. Though the shock of seeing the terrible things I’ve seen is far worse than hearing it from the lips of someone I love.
I watched Vincent playing with Vanessa in the backyard. He took her to the soft grass to teach her how to walk. Her wobbly steps tickled me as she tried her best to reach her Daddy’s outstretched arms.
“You know once those little legs get going there will be no stopping her!” I said from my seat on the bench out back.
“I’m just going to have to make sure she can’t get away then. I’d never lose my little girl!”
He let her go and she immediately landed on her tush. He laughed before picking her up and walking over to join me.
The moment he sat down I got hit with images of him and Drake again. The pain was as intense as the last few, my head was splitting. I closed my eyes to fight through it.
He put Vanessa in her playpen and held me. “What was it this time?” I flashed the memory in my thought for him.
“What happened to him, Vincent?”
“Zo, you know what my answer is to that.”
“Yeah. Wait until my head threatens to rip apart before knowing. Thanks, Vincent.”
I stood and walked towards the pool. He walked up behind me and sighed.
“I’m sorry Zo. I just don’t want to damage you anymore than you are. I need you to be able to understand and see what’s happening.”
“I’m not mad Vincent. I’m just trying to figure everything out right now.”
“Don’t,” I said softly. “I don’t need any more excuses.”
I watched the water jets spray around the pool. “You and he fought a lot? I saw you at my old home in the front yard. It looked so brutal.”
“We helped each other from time to time, but we weren’t going to be nominated for friends of the year, or century for that matter.” He wrapped his arms around me. “I’m here for you through whatever you need. If you want to slap, punch, kick or scream I’m your outlet ok?” He tenderly kissed my forehead.
“How did this happen Vincent? Who cast the spell on me?”
“We’re not ready for that yet. I need you to remember more before we can figure out what to do.”
“Vincent?” I said backing away from him.
“Nevermind. I think I’m going to lie down for a while.”
“I’ll get Vanessa down for a nap and join you shortly.”
I lay in the bed with my back to the door staring out the window. Vincent came and slid in behind me. “Are you hungry at all?”
“A little.” He pulled his arm away to go and get me a juice. I grabbed him back. “Wait; just hold me longer, please.”
“Never have to say please for that,” he smiled.
I turned to face him. “Will you take me to play another game?”
“If that’s what you want, absolutely.”
“I really do love your hair,” I said stroking my fingers in his long mane.
He smiled. “Kiss me.”
I pressed my lips to his. He covered my mouth with his and sucked on my lips, devouring them.
I pulled my mouth away, kissing at his neck. His mouth went lower to my chest. I dropped my fangs into the soft patch of flesh of his throat and drank from him.
He jerked at first feeling the pinch of my teeth on his skin. He let out a low moan; his fingers massaged my side as I got my fill of his blood.
“You saucy woman,” he smiled. “My turn.” He lowered his mouth to my neck and tasted me. I found he still had not mastered drinking effortlessly. He sensed my discomfort and relaxed his jaw a little. The sting decreased and my muscles calmed.
I caressed his head as he fed. He pulled his mouth up; blood was dripping from his lips. I brought my mouth to his again, tasting a mixture of his blood with mine.
His hard on was pressed firmly on my inner thigh, throbbing against me. “Do you want me, Zo,” his request was low and sultry and sang in my ear. His beard tickled my neck as he spoke. He pulled up and looked at me, waiting for my response.
“Yes.” I moaned. I shifted my body to accept his weight between my legs. I grabbed the edge of his shirt and pulled it off over his head.
He slowly began removing my shirt, sliding the straps gently down my arms and kissing my chest with each newly exposed area. I closed my eyes. Images started dancing against my eyelids again, “Drake!” I said looking up.
“Ouch,” Vincent said. “Damn, I wonder if that’s how he felt when I did that.”
“I’m sorry, Vincent. I didn’t mean…”
“It’s ok, come here,” he said pulling me into his arms. “Was that another memory?”
I nodded. “Vincent, you’ve been really patient with me. I know this can’t be easy for you.” He and I hadn’t had sex since before the memories started. He’d been comforting me instead trying to get me through the ordeal.
“Zo, you and I have the rest of our eternity together. Sex is not a big deal for me with you. I’d much rather ensure you’re fine. I know the pain of the memories has to be taking its toll on you. I don’t want you to worry about me. Let’s just get you through this, ok?” He held me tighter, “So just taking a guess here, but the memory was of Drake?”
“Yes. Who killed him? How did he die?”
“Zo…we…I don’t want to get into that until you get more visions, please.”
“But there is no telling when that will happen, Vincent and I’m tired of walking in the dark!” I pulled away and ran down the stairs.
I walked out to the backyard again and neared the pool.
Vincent came up behind me. “No Vincent, just leave me alone, please.”
“You don’t want to talk?”
“Talk? Talk about what? How you refuse to talk to me? No thank you, I have enough shit rolling around my head as it is.”
I watched the fountain again spray the water. Something about the jet was soothing; the water looked cool and relaxing. I pulled off my clothes and jumped inside.
The water felt great on my skin. I watched Vincent pacing the length of the backyard; he looked up every now and again to find me.
“So how is everything going?” Zavier’s familiar and alluring voice spoke behind me.
“Hey Zavier,” Vincent interrupted rushing over. “Ness is sleeping upstairs, finally. She seems to be really agitated lately.”
“Ok. I’ll see to her in a moment. I came to check on my dear friend and ensure her memories were coming back as they should.”
“Thank you, Zavier, I appreciate your concern.” I swam to the edge of the pool to hop out.
“Stay there, Zo!” Vincent warned.
He gave me a look to indicate he meant business. I waded in the cool water as they walked to the other side of the yard.
“What are you after Zavier?”
“Zoe’s not remembering what happened is she?”
“She’s getting bits and pieces, nothing concerning you or Lily’s involvement. I’ve been able to explain away most of the memories, though she keeps asking what happened to him.”
“Good, keep redirecting her and you’ll keep, for lack of a better term, breathing.”
“You mean WE will,” Vincent corrected. “Though Zo wouldn’t kill me. She’d never be able to do that. Though I’m sure she’d enjoy flaying you alive.”
“You find humor in this situation, Vincenzo? You’re the one that wanted this!”
“Don’t call me that. Is the pain really necessary, Zavier? I think you can help her without as much agony.”
“I could? Hmm…possibly. But why? Where’s the incentive in that? It’s more work that way.”
“I’m kidding; I’ll look into it of course. I’m going to need her help again tonight. You know the girl really was wasting away. She has a great eye for destruction.”
Vincent rejoined me by the poolside and Zavier headed up to Vanessa’s room.
“Ready to go hunting?” he asked.
“Oh am I allowed to move now?”
“Zo, that was for me. I mean you’re naked in there. Do you really think I want you parading around other guys like that?”
I smiled, “So you’re jealous?”
“I’m possessive. You’re mine and I don’t need other men ogling you.”
He extended his hand to pull me out and grabbed a towel to wrap around me.
“I’m yours?” I smiled wrapping my arms around him.
“Now and forever,” he kissed me.
I went upstairs and changed clothes. “You should wear the red one. It looks great on you.”
“Right, these clothes are hideous, Vinny! I doubt any of them look great! Did the women really dress like this in your day?”
“Yes, and the men went nuts, trust me!” He laughed as I put the red dress on.
“Oh shut up,” I said throwing him an angry glare.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” He walked over to me. “You really do look hot,” he said brushing a loose strand of hair from my face.
Another flurry of images played for me, “Whoa.”
“That didn’t seem too bad this time. What did you see?”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know…46? Does that mean anything to you?”
“46? No, should it?”
“I don’t know. There is more to it I think.” I rushed over to my grimoire.
“Does this mean we’re not hunting?”
“Help me, Vincent! You can’t understand how frustrating it is not knowing!”
He walked over and knelt down beside me. “What can I do?”
“The number 46 means something to me. What about my life do you know involving that number?”
“Nothing that I know of, baby, but we’ll figure it out. I’ll be back in a minute.”
He walked into Nessa’s room to tell Zavier we’d be staying in the night.
Lily stood in front of the mirror checking herself out waiting patiently for Zavier’s return. Every time he looked at her she felt like a little school girl. Why did she let her hate and anger blind her for so long to her true feelings for him? She loved him more than words could say and was happy to be back in his arms.
“You’re out of bed? What did I tell you about that?” Zavier smiled behind her.
“I was getting antsy. Has Zoe started remembering?”
“Nothing crucial. Vincent’s doing a good job evading her inquiries into anything serious.”
“But you made sure her memories about us won’t resurface right?”
“Lilith, Beautiful! Why are you worrying? I’d never let anything happen to you. Zoe’s not a danger for us. Even when she tries, she cannot handle the full power of her source. Without it, she can’t do harm to either of us!”
“Now, relax baby, and get your ass back in bed! I still have years of pent up frustration,” he smirked.
“Zo, this is tiring and I’m starving! Can we go eat and come back into this?”
“You cheated a lot in school didn’t you?”
He smiled. “I think I should be offended by that, though the insults seem to sing off those gorgeous lips.”
“Alright, Vincent. How about you go and grab us something? I’ll go check on Ness.”
“Ok what is your preference? Male? Female? Tall? Short? Blonde? Brunette?” he smiled.
I laughed, “Whatever you find.”
I walked into Vanessa’s room. She was sitting up in the crib watching the mobile above her bed.
“It’s pretty isn’t it?” I picked her up and smelled her diaper. “Oooh someone needs a changing!”
I walked her to the bathroom to give her a bath. Her body felt warm, an unusual temperature for vampires. I felt her forehead and she seemed to be really heating up.
I turned on some cool water to sit her in and called Vincent.
…“Hey Beautiful, did you figure out what you wanted…?”
“No, I told you it didn’t matter. Listen, Vanessa is really warm. I think she may have a fever or something.”
…“We can’t get sick, Zo. One of the many perks of being an undead…”
“Which is why I am calling you Vincent, I really think she is running a high fever. And you don’t keep first aid stuff in the house so if you could maybe buy something on the way home, I’d appreciate it.”
…“Buy what? Bandages…?”
“Thermometer, ice pack, and yeah a real first aid kit wouldn’t hurt to have around this place. Find some children’s Tylenol or something. I’m really worried about her.”
…“Fuck, ok, I’m on the way back now…”
I walked Ness into the bedroom, grabbed my grimoire and scanned it until I came to the directory. I located the number for Otoah Anasazi, a spiritual healer, Shaman, well known in the Vale community. I called him and spoke briefly, asking that he come and to check on Vanessa.
There was a knock on the door. I headed down to answer. Sarah was waiting on the stoop.
“Hey! Sarah, I haven’t seen you in nearly a week! Where have you been?” She looked like death and smiled weakly at the sight of Vanessa.
“I’ve been…I don’t know really. Can I hold her?”
“I don’t know Sarah. You don’t look well. What’s the matter with you?” I backed away from the door slightly. “Come inside.”
She walked into the living room and I handed Vanessa to her. She talked to her and threw her in the air. “Vincent’s not home?”
“No, he went to get something to eat. He should be back soon.”
“Oh.” She said before taking a seat with Vanessa.
I watched as she tried to feed from her Mother. “Wait, Sarah,” I grabbed her back. “Vanessa’s not feeling well. She can’t feed from you now.”
“She’s sick? Has she been sleeping?”
“Not like she should. She has a lot of restless nights. It’s sometimes difficult to feed her as well. She seems to refuse everything we give her. We’ve had to force a few drops into her every day just to make sure she doesn’t starve herself. I made her an appointment with a Shaman. He is coming to see her soon.”
Vincent came running into the door. “Where is she?” He stopped when he saw Sarah sitting in the living room. “What are you doing here?”
“She came to check on her child, Vincent. Relax.”
“I actually came to get her. I decorated a great room for her and I know she misses being with me and…”
“Finish that sentence with Brad’s name and I’ll kill you where you stand!” Vincent said.
“Zo you…” he threw his hands in the air and muttered under his breath before exiting the room.
“I think I should leave now. He is really scaring me lately. I’ll call you later, Zoe, but I am coming back for my daughter.” She walked out the front door and rushed to Brad’s truck.
“Vincent?” I called for him. “Did you get the first aid stuff?”
He emptied the contents of a bag on the living room table. Large tubes of every cream, salve and ointment imaginable rolled out along with cases of bandages, a thermometer, aspirin, pain relievers and lotions.
“Did you leave anything at the store?”
“Zo don’t joke you said she was ill. What’s wrong with her?”
“It’s a small fever. I called a Shaman to help since we of course can’t visit human doctors. He’ll be here in a week or two; it was the earliest he could get to the country. Until then, we’ll use our miniature drugstore to keep her well.” I smiled at him. “Sorry.”
He nodded before taking Vanessa from my arms.
Otoah arrived on a Thursday morning. He looked over Vanessa filling the room with incense. He chanted over her for nearly two hours before informing Vincent of her ailment.
“What have you been feeding the child?”
“Her Mother fed her from her vein mostly. Lately, I’ve taken on the responsibility.”
“How often is she fed?”
“She eats 6 bottles a day,” I chimed in. “We figured her appetite was this way because she is a growing girl.”
“Doctor, what’s wrong with her?” Vincent asked impatiently.
“The child is undergoing withdrawals. Someone slipped a potent drug in her system known as Hyoscine. It acts as a hallucinogen, brainwashing her into whoever’s control.”
Vincent didn’t have to vocalize what he was feeling, his thoughts were screaming at me.
“Vincent, don’t. You don’t know for sure…”
“Zo, watch after Vanessa. I have work to do.”
He rushed out the front door with rage. If he finds Sarah or Brad, they are both gone for sure.