Entertainment The party in the loft never really stopped. They slept through the daylight hours, as required, but once the sun set, the vampires awoke once more and continued their revelry. It wasn't wild, or loud, or out of control. But a thrumming energy was felt by all of them. The vampires who worked for Faye carried out corpses, bringing in fresh, new bodies as needed. The Queen herself conducted business in the master bedroom, laid out on the king sized bed, cradled by a silk comforter and more pillows than anyone could need. The phone on the sleek nightstand was lit up, different lines engaged as she talked in a soft but authoritative voice on a cell phone. The blonde vampire was clad in nothing more than underwear, several dresses and pieces of clothing were scattered across the plush carpeted floor. After a few moments, she hung up both phones, cutting off all parties.
"How boring," she declared, looking over at Thea. "I'm done with the administrative tasks for today." The large, flat television screen caught her eye, and she grabbed the remote control.
"You know what I find really hilarious? Human pornography." Faye flipped through the various adult offerings, a smirk on her delicate lips.
Thea would love to be Queen, were it not for all the work and living tied to the phones for some portion of the day or night. That just smacked too much of work, and Thea decided not too long after being turned that she would go her entire unlife without doing any work. Work was for mere mortals, beings too weak or moral to get their money some other way. Why earn it when just taking it was so much more fun?
Rolling onto her back on the floor beside the bed, Thea's right hand fiddled with the shoulder strap of her black bra. She glanced at the television with a bemused grin before looking at the Queen, taking in her small yet deceptively powerful frame.
"Nothing more than an act," she said, getting on her knees and resting her chin on her folded arms on the mattress. "Humans acting in ways most of them would never dream of acting in real life, so they pathetically drink in the spectacle until their seed is drying up on their bellies and the reality of their limited, pathetic lives finally dawns on them."
Thea blanched, shaking her head. "Okay, don't ever let me get that deep again. I sound like I went to college or something."
She listened to Thea, her eyes still resting on the television. "There is some value in it, though. They only seem to let go when they're in the midst of sex, and dying." Faye stood from the bed, a few pillows shaking loose and falling to the floor in her wake. She approached the floor-to-ceiling windows and threw open the thick, black curtains. The skyline of the city greeted her, and between the towering buildings she could catch slivers of the lake.
"I'm hungry." Faye turned around and extended a hand to Thea. The queen could have requested someone bring them their meal, but she wanted to see what everyone was up to. She didn't bother throwing on clothes or a robe.
Jumping to her feet, Thea grabbed Faye's hand with a devilish grin. She didn't bear her fangs often -- she found showing her true nature too soon sometimes ruined whatever mischievous exploit she was after -- but she did give the queen a glimpse of them this time. Still dressed in her bra and panties, her body showing a collection a bite marks and bruises that she considered badges of honor, Thea took in the same skyline.
"You know what?" she answered, her fingernails raking the queen's hand lightly. "So am I."
She nipped softly at Faye's left earlobe, chuckling to herself and watching people meander along the sidewalks beneath them. "What're you in the mood for?"
Faye led Thea out to the living area, where a half dozen or so vampires sat, drinking blood from wine glasses and watching the captive humans in amusement. Someone had untied one of the half-dead ones, an older female who was crawling at a snail-like pace toward the door. No one was bothering to stop her, because they all knew she wouldn't make it out of the building alive. The others glanced at the pair in interest, and most of the gazes were appreciative.
"I ordered something," Faye told her. "Something for just me and you." Darwin came out of the foyer then, a nervous looking human trailing behind. The young man glanced at the struggling woman before stepping forward.
"I-I was told I wouldn't be..." He swallowed, his handsome features uncertain.
"Drained? Of course not." Faye grabbed his arm and walked over to a corner with an empty sofa, beckoning for Thea to follow.
Thea did indeed follow, her grin large and mischievous. She wasn't bearing her fangs this time, but she knew she'd be able to bring them back before too much longer. She could smell the uncertainty and something that might in fact be fear radiating off the man, and it was all Thea could do to keep from jumping the young man right then and there.
Patience had never really been Thea's virtue.
"Don't mind her," she quipped about the struggling woman, her index finger running up and down the man's chest. "Some take better to this than others. You're nice and young and ... hot, so you should be just fine."
Faye leaned in, locating a large vein in the man's neck, the tip of her tongue tracing it. He was deliciously warm, and she could smell alcohol on his breath. "Did Darwin make you comfortable on the way here?" Her hand was crawling up the inside of Thea's thigh as she spoke, her arm resting on his lap. The two vampires were on either side of him, and the queen didn't need to look up to know they had an audience.
Closing her eyes, Thea found herself unable to decide -- would she grab and tug on the man's clothing, or would she start pawing at Faye the way the queen was pawing at her? The younger vampire briefly considered doing both, but she realized the way they were all positioned would make that difficult. Thea could feel the man's heat, grabbing his arm and sniffing at his wrist.
"What the ...?" the man asked before Thea pressed a finger to his lips, her smile dark and her eyes hooded.
"Just let us do our thing," she said in a near-whisper, letting her human teeth graze gently over his pulse line. Thea straddled the man's left leg, her free arm reaching over to Faye's back to unhook her bra. Thea knew a lot of the other vampires -- and some of the humans -- were watching, and she wanted to give them a show.
Who knew? Maybe someone would learn something.
Her fangs pierced the man's neck at the same time Thea removed her bra, and she shifted so he would have a view of her. Even as he gasped in pain, Faye could feel a different physical response against the arm that rested on his lap. Her fingers brushed against the other vampire through her underwear as blood flowed into the queen's mouth. After a moment, she pulled back, planting a kiss against his lips, his own blood smearing onto him like lipstick. She had to save enough for Thea without the man passing out or dying.
With a growl, Thea punctured the man's wrist with her fangs the same time Faye dug into his neck. The man was sweet with a certain husk to his aroma and flavor, which was to be expected. The only thing that kept Thea from completely losing her focus was the constant sensation of the queen touching her; without that, the younger vampire might've bled the man dry.
As it was, Thea let go the same time Faye did, both to let the man savor the feeling and so she could lean over and toss the queen's bra to the floor before scratching her fingernails down Faye's back. Thea could feel the blood on her lips, her tongue snaking out to collect it before she shared the vitae with the queen in a kiss.
Finn handed the keys of his car to the valet, along with a twenty dollar bill. He looked up at the high rise, his eyes landing on the lights that shone from the penthouse floor. The vampire approached the revolving glass doors, entering the building and ignoring the doorman. He was bruised and looked terrified at the sight of Finn, so he knew he was in the right place.
He pressed the PH button inside the elevator and leaned against the mirrored wall.
Faye laughed, licking the red liquid from Thea's lips as the man squirmed against the couch. "Don't worry," she told him. "If you start to feel weak, you can have a bit of my blood."
Thea let out a soft giggle of her own, one hand resting on the man's thigh as the other snaked around Faye's waist. "I don't think that was a bad whimper," she whispered in the queen's ear, casting a sideways glance at the young man. "I think he likes it."
Watching the man for his further reaction, Thea reached behind her to unhook and remove her bra, tossing it over the man's shoulder onto the floor before standing and doing the same to her panties. Putting the small fabric between her teeth, Thea grabbed the young man's shirt and ripped it open, cackling with glee as the cloth tore apart before she grabbed his wrists and tied them together above his head with her panties.
Completely naked, Thea cackled again, giving the onlookers a gleeful middle finger before she straddled the man again, stealing another kiss with the queen. "Oh yeah," she said, wriggling her hips, "he definitely likes what we're doing."
Darwin opened the door for Finn; the vampire sheriff was expected, though knowing the queen, she had probably forgotten all about inviting him to her little soiree. He paused at the entrance, drinking in the sights before him, his expression remaining all the while expressionless. His dark eyes lit upon the bound and nearly drained humans. Something grabbed at his pant leg, and he looked downward with an annoyed frown.
"Please ... help me," the woman whispered through cracked lips. She could barely raise her head from the floor. Finn turned to Darwin.
"Is this necessary?" he asked, pulling away from the woman's clutching hands.
Darwin only shrugged and smiled. "It's entertainment."
The sheriff nodded absently, his gaze zooming in on the corner of the expansive room. "They were trying to impress her with their cruelty," Finn surmised, referring to Faye. He reached down and plucked the woman up from the floor as easily as if she were a rag doll. "It's a futile effort." He set her on her feet, holding onto her narrow shoulders to steady her. He looked at her for a brief moment before breaking her neck. The party watched disinterestedly before alighting upon their next victim, and Finn used the distraction to cross the room toward the queen.
Faye tore her eyes away from Thea and their private spectacle. "Sheriff," she called, her hand stroking the young man's hair almost lovingly. "You made it." There was a smile on her lips, but her eyes were sharp and cold as they rested on the male vampire.
Looking over her shoulder, and not once stopping her gyrations, Thea smiled and waved. "The fun just keeps getting funner," she said, throwing in an innocent-sounding giggle before turning her attention back to the man she was straddling, her fingernails trailing along his chest.
The signals were mixed; the man's body was telling Thea he enjoyed what was being done to him, but his eyes and his whimpers spoke of incredible pain. Thea wanted to bite again, but she held back, deciding she didn't want to chance killing the guy or driving him closer to unconsciousness. It was simply too much fun doing all this with the guy still awake and somewhat alert.
Besides, having the guy die in front of the Sheriff would probably be a bad thing.
Finn sat down on an armchair across from the couch, nodding in greeting at Thea while surveying the scene before him with a bemused expression. "Don't mean to interrupt your fun," he answered, his gaze returning to Faye, who was running a sharp nail along her own pale forearm. A vivid line of blood appeared instantly at the surface, and all the gathered vampires turned their head toward them as the powerful smell filled the room. It was richer than human blood, and much older.
"I'm a generous queen," Faye said in explanation to Finn's unspoken question. One hand gripped the human's hair to hold his head still as she held her arm up to his mouth. Her blue-gray eyes blazed intently as he hesitated, before darting his tongue out to lap up the offering. "It's a party favor," she informed Thea. "It will keep him going for a few more hours."
Thea's grin widened. "I like the sound of that," she offered, running her hands through her hair. "I wasn't ready for the party to end anyway."
The smell filled Thea's nostrils, and though it didn't surprise her -- she'd had her fill of that aroma in the queen's private quarters earlier -- that didn't make the smell any less powerful. The vampiress almost grabbed Faye's arm for a drink herself, but Thea could still feel the man's vitae running through her veins, and that sensation merely egged her on.
If anything, having an audience made Thea more enthusiastic. She cast a sideways glance to Finn, chuckling and tossing her hair back before running her hands up and down the man's sides. "You're not interrupting a thing," she cooed. "I like it when people watch."
He gave the black-haired vampire an understated smile. "So I've noticed." Finn wasn't surprised that Thea would be here with the queen. Faye had a way of drawing fellow vampires, young and old alike, into her fold. It wasn't difficult when one knew how to please her subjects, although as of late, more and more of the undead population in Illinois grew weary of her unconventional ways; this was why the sheriff was here tonight.
Seeming to remember this, Faye pressed a fanged kiss against the young man's pale and sweating forehead before withdrawing her arm and getting to her feet. She addressed the gathered crowd, and her girlish voice instantly changed to one of power and control. "I need all of you out. Immediately. Darwin, show them out, and don't return until I've called for you."
Her assistant nodded, ushering the vampires out. They looked disappointed and reluctant, but dared not defy orders. Faye ran her fingers through Thea's dark locks. "You and the human can stay. I just have to discuss something with Finn."
Thea squealed like a little girl, hunching her shoulders to where her breasts pressed together. "Oh, goodie," she said, leaning forward and licking the left side of the man's face, her tongue scooping up some of his sweat before she licked the blood out of the wounds on his wrist.
Her gyrations continued, Thea's fingers playing with the clothes on the man's body before they deliberately removed them, undoing buttons and pulling down zippers. The vampire had her own unique kind of fun in mind, even though she had to admit ...
... She kinda wanted to know what the queen and sheriff needed to talk about.
"As promised." Finn handed Faye a sheet of paper, and she examined it with narrowed eyes. "It's the night after tomorrow. The Area One sheriff organized it. He contacted every vampire with any iota of power in the United States."
She set the paper down on a glass coffee table and sat down on the sofa next to Thea. Crossing her long legs, she closed her eyes for a brief moment. "But he didn't contact any kings or queens, or the Magister."
"Not yet," Finn answered gently. He looked at her sympathetically. "Forgive me, but I hope you understand what this means. They aren't just talking about stripping you of your title. They want to make sure sure you aren't around ... at all."
Thea's hips stopped the moment she heard the sheriff mention making sure Faye wasn't around. She grabbed the pale man's wrists, her nails digging in a little harder than she intended. The man hissed in pain, and the younger vampire crashed her lips against his to keep him quiet. The blood still caked on her lips mixed with his lips, coated still with Faye's blood.
She began grinding her hips against the man again, a much slower rhythm this time. While she didn't really understand what was going on, Thea found herself swelling with anger. She wanted to dismember pretty much anyone or anything who would want to do away with Faye, and there was a helpless deep inside the younger vampire as she tugged on the man's shirt.
His enthusiasm was still quite obvious. Thea was desperately trying to get hers back.
The queen glanced at Thea out of the corner of her eye. "It will never happen. And do you want to know why, sheriff?" The corner of her mouth twitched in amusement, even as the usual intensity had left her eyes, and her spider-like fingers fidgeted restlessly.
Finn tried to ignore the feeling inside that reminded him too much of the urge to abandon a sinking ship. Faye was the Titanic; she just didn't know it, or, if she did, would not admit it to herself. "And why is that, your majesty?" There was no reverence in his tone as he spoke the title. He could take liberties with the queen. She favored him, for one, and he was one of her few truly important allies.
"Because of my idea. Mass production. Like these humans here, but on a grander scale. Everyone will be so grateful to me, so in awe," Faye asserted.
Admittedly, all this went over Thea's head. She hardly ever considered the world outside of herself, because for so long, her own world was the only thing that mattered. Surviving the night, finding a way to eat, trying to stay out of jail ... before being turned, people would've been hard-pressed to think Thea as selfish because of the way she had to act to survive.
Now that she was a vampire, Thea was given even more license to act out of her own self-interest. That reality led to a sort of tunnel vision, which was part of why Thea didn't really understand much of what was being discussed to her left as she straddled the weakened, bleeding young man.
Still, mass production sounded like an interesting concept. She just hoped it didn't replace the tradition of a vampire hunting its prey -- though if she were honest with herself, Thea would admit that the Great Revelation did a good enough job of that all on its own.
Finn shook his head, standing and looking down at the queen. "I'm attending the gathering," he informed her. "So that suspicions aren't raised, and so I can report back to you. But that is all I will do. I won't help you gather humans, or spread the word about your new venture. Another war is not what I wish to see." He nodded again at Thea. "Have a good night."
Taking the piece of paper and crumpling it in her fist, Faye flung it across the room. "Fine," she said, sounding very much like the teenage girl she appeared to be. "You do that. I have plenty of followers to do the work for me. They adore me." The blonde vampire gestured to the door. "See yourself out."
The sheriff obliged without hesitation, walking to the door without a second glance behind him.
She watched him leave before turning to Thea and kissing her possessively. "Now, where were we?"