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Horror Romance

This wind was howling for a quiet night.


Vivianna and Count Antonin Belisari were sitting at the fireplace, facing one another. Vivianna couldn't understand the man she had come to spend a year with, after her shooting, would try to kill her.


Vivianna wanted to understand Antonin so much. The haunted, bloody look in Antonin's icy blues that came with being... One of them. Antonin always had trouble saying the word.


Vampire.


Such a modern word for an antiquated Byzantine to utter.


Antonin watched Vivianna watching him. He could hear her thoughts. There may have been silence in the study, but she was screaming loud enough. Vivianna's fiery gaze was a contrast to Antonin's calm stance. Her flashes of anger filled his body with a heat that he's felt in the throes of battle.

Vivianna felt so much for Antonin, the only way she could temper her anger was playing songs in her head, which made him affix a slight smirk.


"What's funny?" Vivianna asked, seemingly offended by his smirk.

Antonin, in a quiet baritone, answered, "Nothing. You, however, have been quiet since dinner."

"Well," Vivianna rebutted, "if you only knew what I was thinking..."

"I do know." Antonin loved to push Vivianna's buttons, because he knew how much she loved it, even though she would never admit to it.


"No," Vivianna asserted, "you don't know why I'm mad."


Belisari, haunched over in his seat, like an inquisitive cat, said, "Instead of sitting in the fire of your anger, why don't you tell me why you're mad. Your voice soothes me."


"Funny," Vivianna's tone turning acidic, "I thought death would soothe your beast.... I often wondered about that night you had your... relapse...

Those wolves sitting outside...

The rose petals draping the floors and your poor servants who had to clean that mess up...

I kept wondering about all of that, especially the wolves. Ever since I came here, there were things happening in this house that I couldn't explain, not without being called crazy.

The night you came into my room, after I locked you in yours, was one of those things I couldn't figure out.

You have a very challenging way with the wolves that have been sitting outside your home. You and the wolves seem to fight for dominance over the other, but something is missing from the story. It wasn't until I saw Shiva come towards me...

I thought she was going to kill me. I was afraid of what she might do to me. I replayed the night over and over. Both of you fighting, except you wanted to kill Shiva. My guess was because you didn't want her hurting me, after you put your hands around my neck, of course. I still couldn't explain it.

Shiva was supposed to protect me. From you.

From the monster you tried so hard to tame, only to buckle.

You seem to run from Shiva, out of fear...

Not physically, of course. You are afraid of the wolves, when they should be more afraid of you. They know what you are. They've seen you like that many times. I know what you are now."


Antonin sat back in his chair, let out a sigh that he must've held in for centuries. "I tried. Tried to protect you."


"Not hard enough, it seems!" Vivianna stood up, her long, black, sheer gown, flowing behind her like it was a separate entity from herself, and walked to the window that overlooked the back of the Count's mansion.

Staring at the five black hellhounds that plagued the count,

"Tell me something : all the time you were turned---"

"---I hate that term..." Antonin snapped at her.

"Tough shit!" Vivianna said, meeting his energy, "All the time you had those visions of me, where in them did you see yourself killing me? Was it the first time I met you at the hospital? At my party? When you sat in vigil for me, while I lay comatose and fighting to live? Or the night you put your cold, hungry hands around my warm neck?


You should have let that asshole kill me that night. At least I knew what he was going to do."


Belisari, trying to choose his words carefully, said, "Do you know how long I've dreamt of you? No matter how many times I fought off the visions, you kept coming back.... Again and again. At first, after I was... At first, I just thought it was a side effect, a fever dream. A couple of nights, I'd have the same dream: you, in that white gown, always haunting and tempting me."

"It still doesn't explain why you tried to kill me that night, Antonin."

Antonin was truly at a loss for an explanation.

"Faith," he said.

Vivianna, turned around to him, confused by the answer. "Faith?! That's your answer?"

"Yes," Antonin simply answered.

"You said that you lost your faith centuries ago," Vivianna said, "Yet, you had faith that your vision of me would come to pass."

"That's different," Antonin walked over to her, "My faith was NEVER there, before or after I became bloodborne. You were the only thing that I believed in that came to me, just as I saw it. My hunger to be with you, overcame me. I was afraid you would leave me."


"But, Antonin," Vivianna walked over to him, touching his, gray, bearded face, "That's the very definition of faith. You held that vision of me, for 1600 years. I can't hold a vision for 60 seconds without getting distracted."


"After 1600 years, it's no longer faith," Antonin said, "prophecy."


"That's how faith starts, with a vision, prophecy, determination. A vision so clear, so sharp, it's dangerous. Not literally dangerous, but coming close. I've seen what happens when someone gets in the way of you and your vision. I never knew or even had a reason to fear... until I met you."


Antonin, meeting her now - sympathetic gaze with his hypnotic gaze, "Are you STILL afraid of me? As long as you've known me, have I ever given you a reason to hurt you again, to be afraid?"


"No, I had faith you wouldn't attempt it again... That and my knee to your groin is stronger and faster than your fangs to my neck. In your eyes, you didn't want to hurt me the first time. I couldn't stop you then. Bloodlust or not, you felt something you haven't in 1600 years. Guilt. I don't know if I brought that out in you that night, but something sobered you up after I left you."

"I never meant to choke you that night. When I get hungry, I become a different animal. One you should have never seen."

"You're not an animal," Vivianna assured the count, "You're a man who was turned into something far more dangerous than any animal I've seen. You still have a little humanity in you, but the Vampire in you doesn't like sharing. It doesn't want you to feel guilty, question your faith, be the human you were. It just wants to be fed and keep it moving. The vampire in you didn't expect to catch feelings for your victim."

They both kissed each other.

"That's the thing," Antonin said, inching towards her neck, "I was in love with you, long before you were born. You wouldn't leave my sight, even when I rested for decades, you wouldn't let me go. Even I had doubts..."


"And yet..." Vivianna said, welcoming his lips to her neck.


And yet....



January 29, 2022 02:58

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2 comments

Courtney Bill.
18:12 Feb 05, 2022

This is beautiful!! Really wonderful, well-written dialogue. Their romantic tension is so good.

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Keshia Nowden
01:09 Feb 09, 2022

I'm so sorry I'm just seeing this. I've been working on this story (Part of a larger work) for 25 years. I was afraid to share this because it's my baby, but I'm realizing I'm just getting in my own way now. I'll be working on this more. Thank you for reading it, I appreciate it.

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