This Mortal Coil – Chapter 3


Collage by Circe I using manipulation by Philiater

Rating: NC 17

Feedback: XSandPiper78[at]aol.com

*~*~*~*~*~*
Chapter Three
*~*~*~*~*~*

I couldn’t move.

“What’s the matter, love? Has the cat got
your tongue?” Liliana laughed. The sound
echoed through my head, making me wince.

“I know you,” I responded.

She smiled. “Yes. That naughty Fox has been
transmitting his memories to you.” She
stalked closer. “I have to say, I’m quite
impressed with the level of his ability.
Usually it takes decades to reach the point
where he is now.”

“I know what you are.” Why couldn’t I move?
Liliana’s eyes glowed brightly as she
narrowed the distance between us.

“What do you want from me?” I asked,
disgusted with the frightened quaver of my
voice. Trying to move away from her was
proving to be an impossible feat – something
had turned my legs to lead. I looked at her,
realization dawning – she was somehow willing
me to remain still. If someone had asked me a
few years ago if I thought this was even a
remote possibility, I would’ve laughed at
them. But that was before Robert Modell.

Liliana was ten times more dangerous.

And she was drawing nearer.

A lascivious leer split her face as she
stopped in front of me. “I think you know
what I want. What is it that you want, Dana?”

“What kind of game are you playing here? Take
me to Mulder!”

She shook her head with a frown. “Wrong
answer.”

Before I could fully register what was
happening, she grabbed my arm and jerked me
toward her with inhuman force. I tried to
struggle out of her crushing embrace. The
effort was rewarded with a slap that rang in
my ears.

She threw me on top of the bed and covered me
with her body, pushing me into the mattress
with unbelievable strength. It was what I
imagined being pressed to death would be
like. The air pushed forcefully out of my
lungs, and my eyes bulged from the mere
effort of inhaling. I could feel that there
was nothing pinning my legs, but still could
not move them. She pressed my arms into the
covers with her hands and smiled warmly.

“You see, love, you really shouldn’t be here.
And neither should that naughty Fox of yours.
I’m going to fix all that,” she crooned. “I’m
going to turn you, so that the two of you can
be together, forever. Would you like that,
Dana?”

Noooooo!!! I screamed uselessly inside my
head. She smiled, as if she’d heard it. I
suspect that she did.

“Think about it,” she went on, now smoothing
the hair from my forehead with one hand.
“Eternity with the man you love. You’ll never
grow old, never die. Always be beautiful and
vivacious. Disease could never touch you. As
a scientist, I’d think you would find all
this fascinating.”

She looked off to the side of us, pausing. I
shook beneath her, trying with all my might
to shove her off me. Too much pressure – she
was going to crush me to death. Why do this?
If she can hold me down with sheer will, why
go through all this brutality?

As she turned to face me, I knew my answer.

Her eyes glowed purple, with unmistakable
hatred and fury. But there was something
more, something lying just beneath the
surface.

Pure, unadulterated insanity.

“I never had a choice. No. That right was
taken away from me. And believe me, it has
all been for the best. Now, shhhh. I’m going
to make everything better. For everyone.”

Without another word, she lowered her mouth
to my neck and sank razor teeth into me.
Unlike with Mulder, there was no tenderness
or love in the act. When she bit down, there
was no passion. It was cold and painful,
tearing and burning.

But it was more than just pain alone. Images
flitted in my mind, though I could feel that
my eyes were still wide-open. They were of
places I’d only seen the ruins of,
civilizations long since reformed. What did
these images mean? They seemed to have no
purpose.

She eased up on my body, lightening her
weight. It was small relief, though it did
allow me to breathe once again. But the vice-
like clamp on my neck was unbearable. I
imagined, as I laid there, a wild animal
latching onto its prey as it mauled the
sensitive flesh protecting the jugular.

This is what it’s like to be chewed to death.

The beat of a drum pounded in my ears, the
sound deafening. Slower and slower it
pounded. Where was it coming from?

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

I was light as air, spinning and swirling
into the grayness the room had become. There
was nothing but the pounding.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Julian and I arrived at the estate in a
matter of minutes. The day had passed in a
blur, shifting from one night to the next
until I had awakened to find her missing. But
to Scully, the day must have stretched into
an eternity. I could sense her presence,
sensed her fear now. Why hadn’t I known what
was happening to her while I slept?

Julian, with his unyielding grasp on my
waist, pulled me up the grand staircase and
into his bedroom. Once the door was closed,
he released me. We circled each other in the
center of the room like two wild animals. I
was going to tear him to shreds and nothing
was going to stop me.

“What I do is for your own good, Fox.”

“What you do is for your own gratification,”
I barked in disgust. “Tell me what taking her
away was going to do, if not serve your
ends.”

He sighed. “You must know that she is a
poison. That she’ll be your destruction. I’m
only trying to protect you.”

“Cut the bullshit, Julian!” I spat. “Just
admit that you’re jealous of her. She took
what you’ll never have a long time ago.”

His eyes glowed indigo and for a moment, I
was almost afraid for my damned soul.

Voice low and even, anger simmered beneath
his words. “You go too far, fledgling. You
have no idea who you’re dealing with.”

He stalked forward. With each advance, I
retreated until finally, I was pressed
between the wall and his rigid body. His
glare was replaced by a twisted smile as he
leaned in to whisper into my ear.

“You see, dearest Fox, I made you. You belong
to me. Forever.”

He inhaled deeply, breathing in the scent of
my neck and hair in a way that made me shiver
in fear.

“I’m not jealous of that – woman. She’s
nothing but a passing diversion, an annoying
gnat with a miniscule lifespan. She had your
trust and your heart in life, but this,” he
pulled back and rested a hand on my cheek,
smiling warmly. “This is different. This is
for all eternity.”

I jerked away from his despicable touch.
“Take me to her,” I demanded.

Julian sighed again. “It would serve you well
to forget about her. She will be gone by
morning. Consider it a favor between friends
that she will receive my protection until
then.”

“What the hell are you talking about?
Protection from what?” I demanded.

“There are those who would see her killed for
what you’ve done, my young Fox. Transference
of The Blood with a mortal is forbidden. I
only wanted to bring you to me, not to see
you heartbroken from her loss. And so I offer
her protection until the morning, when my
servants can take her to the nearest
airport.”

Fear surged through me. I never wanted any of
this — for Scully to be involved with these
creatures. Finding my voice, I told him, “She
never drank from me. I drank from her. It’s
all my fault.”

The guilt of what we’d done the night before
hit me hard. I was ashamed of myself for the
selfish act. She never should’ve come here. I
never should’ve let her stay. And I never
should’ve tainted her pure body with my kiss.
It was unforgivable.

Noooooo!!!

“Scully?”

My head whipped around, trying to find the
source of the tormented shout. But even as I
searched the room with a mental sweep, I
knew. It was Scully, no doubt about it.

I crossed the room and grabbed Julian’s
collar, raising him to his toes. I knew he
could flick me off like an annoying bug, but
none of that mattered to me at that point.
Anger and fear propelled me, drowning out any
consideration of consequences.

“WHERE?” I shook him hard, ready to beat the
answer out of him if need be.

Julian sighed heavily again. “Fourth floor.
She’s in the East wing.”

I let go of him and ran. The closer I got,
the more audible a distinct heartbeat was to
me. I could sense no other mortals in the
house; it could only be hers.

And it was slowing.

I followed the dreadful sound of her dying
heartbeat to a door. Without wasting another
precious second, I kicked in the mahogany
wood, reducing it to large splinters, and
rushed inside.

A horrific sight greeted me.

Liliana, growling and slurping, was sprawled
over Scully’s body. Unfathomable fear gripped
at my heart.

Liliana flipped her blonde hair over her
shoulder. In her rapture, she was completely
oblivious to my presence. I now had an
unobstructed view of Scully’s face.

Several things registered in that instant.
Her face was pale – far too pale. Her eyes
were wide open, but held a far-off gaze.
Glazed over. Her lips were leeched of their
rosy color, slack and formed into a silent
scream. With my keen senses, I could hear
that her breathing was nearly non-existent,
so shallow were her intakes of air.

Mulder

Her telepathic voice moved me from stunned
horror, to immediate action.

I crossed the length of the room in a few
long strides and began jerking Liliana off of
Scully. She growled in warning, unable to
discern who was interrupting her meal. We are
at our most vulnerable when we feed —
completely unaware of our surroundings. I
took the advantage while I could, while there
was still a chance I could save Scully.

Pulling savagely at her shoulders, her hair –
anything I could take hold of – I finally
managed to draw her away from Scully. She
spun around to face me with ferocity.

“How dare you?” Her voice was a bit garbled
and liquid from all the blood she’d consumed.
Hearing it and knowing the source brought
forth a wrath I never dreamed existed in me.

I raised my hand as I never would in my
mortal life, ready to strike her, kill her –
do anything I could to rid the world of this
monstrosity and avenge the woman laying in a
dazed heap on top of the covers.

Looking back, I realize this was as
ridiculous as my physical attacks against
Julian. They were both so old and
unimaginably strong. I was an ant, railing
against a lioness.

No force on earth could’ve stopped me from
doing my damndest. I fought in a blind rage,
attempting to strangle a neck that couldn’t
crush or break, trying to squeeze the life
out of a being that couldn’t die.

It was like a nightmare I couldn’t wake from.
I’d never struck a woman before, yet there I
was, on the large bed, thrashing Liliana with
as much strength as I could muster in a blind
attempt at saving Scully.

Her face changed in an instant from one of
fury to one of pure amusement. She laughed
maniacally at my efforts and taunted me until
I finally stopped, exhausted and terrified
that I was losing the only person that
mattered to me. The only thing tethering me
to this world.

Liliana jumped off the bed and I dully
noticed her bruises were already healing
before my eyes. I crawled over to Scully’s
side and held her to me, panicking as each
breath became shallower than the last. I
could sense that there was little blood left
in her now. She needed a transfusion, and she
needed it now. Without it, she would die.

“Looks like our little pet is ready to leave
this earth,” she taunted from the side of the
bed where she stood. I stroked Scully’s
tangled hair, glaring in hatred at Liliana
even as silent, helpless tears tracked down
my cheeks. So, I thought crazily. We can cry
after all.

Julian suddenly appeared behind her and
jerked her backwards.

“What have you done?” He held her by her long
hair and growled into her bared neck. She
spun to face him as best she could.

“I only wanted to give him what he wanted,
Julian,” she pouted. “He doesn’t want you –
he wants her. The sooner you realize that
won’t change, the happier we’ll all be.”

Julian’s eyes flashed, and he pushed his
sister away with enough force that she
slammed into the opposite wall. “Come, Fox.
I’m sorry this has happened, but you must
know there is nothing more you can do for
her.”

“No!” I shouted. There had to be something,
some tidbit I’d read in all the research I’d
done on vampires.

Transfusion. She needed a transfusion.

Liliana, reading my mind, nodded her head
vehemently. “Yes! And you can do it. Your
blood is stronger than you know.”

Julian grabbed her by the arm and glowered
into her elated face. “Liliana, I’m warning
you.”

Liliana stared proudly up at him. “What would
you have done to me, dear brother? Stake me
out for the burning sun to reduce me to
cinders as you did to our poor, sweet
Vivienne? Could you cut off the head that so
resembles your own? We are flesh and blood,
you and I. One and the same. What you do to
me, you do to yourself as well.”

She lifted a hand to touch his face as he
shook with anger, and cooed into his ear. “I
only wanted to return things to their natural
order, dear one. I only wanted my family
back. Let them go. Let them find their
happiness far from here, and let us do the
same. I have a sudden urge to visit our Rome
again.”

His anger seemed to melt into hurt. “What’s
this all about? Why have you done this?”

“I wanted to restore her to him,” she
explained sweetly. “I wanted to give him a
companion so he could leave. Things must be
returned to the way they were, dear one. They
must be. Surely you understand the
consequences.” She shuddered.

Most of the rest is lost to me. It seemed she
was crying and pleading for his
understanding, and he was angrily telling her
she’d crossed a line. I faintly heard him
speak of consequences she’d forgotten to take
into consideration, namely the sacred rules
of the Convenire.

“You miserable, impatient fool! How dare you
move to make another without my permission?”
he shouted.

Then all was quiet. She was turning to leave
and he sent me a silent, telepathic message.

I love you, it said. But I love her too.
Please forgive me.

And then, they both were gone, leaving us in
privacy.

I knew what it meant. She had to face the
Convenire as a panel – judge and jury – and
hope for their mercy as a result of her
violation. I didn’t care about her fate or
Julian’s sorrowful apology. All I cared about
was Scully.

Could I transfuse my polluted blood with
hers? I imagined all sorts of terrible
possibilities before finally deciding to
plunge ahead. She would die within minutes if
I didn’t move fast, and almost anything was a
better alternative to that.

Still cradling her limp body in my arms, I
adjusted our position so that I could have
access to my right wrist. I bit into the
flesh there, and allowed the blood to flow
between her dried and colorless lips.

I wanted her to suddenly bolt upright and
demand to know what I was doing; to exclaim
that this was unlike any transfusion she’d
ever known and there’s no way it would work.
I wanted her to berate me for putting her in
this position in the first place.

She didn’t do any of those things, but she
did move to wrap her lips around my wrist to
better receive the life-giving blood as I
supported her neck with my arm. Her eyes
fluttered closed, but I had no fear now. I
knew that The Blood holds
properties humans can’t imagine as mortal
blood passes through immortal veins. It was
healing her.

It was a far from perfect plan. I hadn’t fed
since the night before, and that was on a doe
in the twilight hours. I didn’t have enough
blood to give – not near enough. She would be
okay until I could get her to a hospital, but
she wouldn’t fully recover with my weakened
blood. It was almost a relief, as I wasn’t
sure if too much blood would bring her over.
I knew so little about my powers then.

I was weak. Hunger stung in my veins and my
vision blurred. The transfusion had taken too
much out of me too quickly. I wasn’t prepared
for it. I was too young, too inexperienced.
And losing almost all of the blood in my body
without having fed first was as fatal a
mistake as a fledgling vampire can make.

Blackness claimed me, and I felt the two of
us slip down the pillows into a deep
unconsciousness.

I awoke to the cleansing and erotic rush of
blood coursing down my parched throat,
chasing the godawful hunger away. In the
feeding, I had a vision of a brown-haired
teenager, holding a knife to his girlfriend’s
tender white throat and severing her jugular
with no remorse. It wasn’t the first time
this kid had done it. In fact, he was
beginning to think of killing as an art form.

Julian had rid the world of this person, and
brought his blood and his memories back to
me. I knew this instinctively; as I was
positive this wasn’t the victim himself I
clung to so desperately, drinking as fast as
I could to regain my strength. The flesh
beneath my fingers was cold and rigid, but
even without the physical contact, we can
sense our own from literally miles away.

Sated, though still dizzy from the
experience, I slid off the bed and scooped
Scully into my arms.

I looked Julian dead in the eye. “I’m taking
her to the hospital.” Don’t try to stop me, I
added mentally.

I looked at the window, knowing it was the
fastest way out into the night. It was shut
tight and I’d have to unbolt the iron latches
to get us out. But before I knew what was
happening, the window was opening of its own
volition.

I paused a second in my haste to leave and
turned to see if Julian had done this. He was
gone.

I didn’t have time to think about it. Scully
was getting weaker and still hadn’t regained
consciousness.

We arrived at the hospital’s emergency room
within minutes. I carried her in, limp and
lifeless and raved like a lunatic about
getting her a doctor immediately.

It was in those panicked moments that I
learned I could look into a mortal’s mind at
will, something I thought wouldn’t come to me
until later. I saw an image of myself in the
night nurse’s mind, eyes tinged in red and
hair wildly sticking out in all directions.
Flashing my badge and shouting that I had a
Federal Agent here who needed help, now. She
thought I was crazed. Her thoughts were split
between wondering if she needed to call
security to take me out and rushing the
unconscious woman in my arms to the back.

The nurse picked up the phone to call for two
orderlies and a gurney – one man to take
Scully back and one to calm and restrain me.

I laughed insanely at his attempts to hold me
back, saying to me in soothing tones that she
was being taken care of. But I knew I
couldn’t let on that anything was abnormal
about me. I needed to settle down and let
them do their job rather than rouse their
suspicions. I tried to take comfort in the
fact that Scully would be safe now. My blood,
coupled with a real transfusion, would
stabilize her.

The wait was long and unnerving. But it gave
me time to think. I wondered about what
happened in Scully’s room earlier.

Julian’s strange behavior, for instance. I
still wasn’t sure why he didn’t just stop me.
It was so unlike him, to restore my health
and sit passively by as I turned my back on
him for Scully. Maybe he was afraid of me
hating him more – and I would’ve.

The window. Had he opened it, or had I? There
were so many questions I wanted to ask about
my newfound powers, but I didn’t want to
learn them from Julian. I felt that coming
from him, the knowledge would be corrupt
somehow.

All I could do was wait. Wait for good news,
wait for bad. It seemed my new life was going
to be nothing but that.

Waiting, for all eternity.

Chapter 4