250 The Rebirth*
The villa on the cliffs belonged to a trade family that did humbly well for itself. They were kind enough people, they didn't deal in slaves and any servants they did have were well looked after. They even used any extra food or money they had to hold events for the village on the coast just a few kilometres from them.
That being said, when Rassa dropped into their courtyard with Aegin's pale body in his arms, they were not as welcoming as their reputation would suggest. At least at first. A few words from the exhausted Rassa and the villa was theirs to use. Free of charge, of course.
Rassa only stopped there long enough to lie Aegin on one of the beds before he asked the servants of any nearby prisons. Frankly, Rassa didn't care who he drank from, though he would at least not aim to kill those who were innocent of crimes. Aegin however, would probably care quite a bit.
Five prisoners disappeared from the city prison that night, their bodies found washed up on shore many weeks later.
It was near morning when Ebony and many of the others arrived at the Villa. Most of those that had been on the ships coming from Herguard had decided to make their own way. It was only the Reapers, a few servant girls and the Madame that had come with Ebony.
Despite Rassa instructing the servants not to let anyone pass, Ebony was insistent. She made her way through into the room that Aegin occupied, and Rassa lay on the day bed that overlooked the balcony. The room was open to the elements, and the breeze from the ocean was quite calming.
Ebony rushed to enter, but paused when she noticed the five dazed looking men in manacles on the far side of the room. Her eyes shifted from them to where Rassa lay and she spoke.
"Who are these people?"
"They were due to be executed if you must know, I don't actually care to ask their names seeing as they likely won't survive another day," Rassa replied.
Ebony's eyes narrowed, "You seem different".
Rassa scoffed, "You mean to say that over the past two and a half years with all you and Aegin have been through, you didn't expect anyone else to change as well? How naive".
Ebony's eyes turned angry before her gaze caught Aegin's pale body on the bed, "Is he dead?"
"No," said Rassa, "Though he might wish he was. Honestly, he's rather silent. The poison must have had a paralyzing affect. I screamed for what seemed like hours when I changed. I couldn't stop thrashing and clawing at anything around me and begging for it to stop".
"Then...you changed him?"
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Rassa just nodded, turning to look at Ebony to see how she would react.
"So he is like you?" asked Ebony.
"He will never be like me," said Rassa, "Nobody will. But he will be close enough".
"What do you mean?" asked Ebony.
"I mean that I carry the power of those who existed before me. I was changed by them, they trained me and taught me who and what I was, and then I took their power as my own. Aegin, and anyone that becomes a vampire following this, will be ordinary, at least in vampire terms," said Rassa.
"And what is ordinary?" asked Ebony.
"I suppose we will find out," said Rassa, then he pointed at Aegin, "He'll be waking up soon, you might not want to be here for it".
"Why not?" asked Ebony.
"Because he will be hungry," said Rassa, "And I know you never particularly enjoyed watching me eat".
Ebony hesitated, looking at Aegin, then back at Rassa, "We don't leave each other. Not when we're the only thing left to hold on to".
Rassa sighed, sensing that , "Fine, but stay to the side, preferably somewhere behind me so I can stop him if he goes after you".
"I don't know. I haven't turned anyone before," said Rassa, "But I will certainly be able to stop him if I need to".
Rassa was fairly certain that his words were little reassurance to Ebony, but then, she had yet to really understand what being a Vampire meant.
They were silent as they waited, but it was only another few minutes before Aegin roused, groaning in a deep, growling tone as he pushed himself into an upright position.
He breathed deeply, then his eyes flickered open. He looked confused for a moment, then his eyes raised straight towards Rassa.
"What did you do to me?"
"You were dying," Rassa replied, "I didn't want that to happen so I gave you an alternative".
"What did you do to me?" Aegin repeated, his eyes narrowing.
"I turned you into a vampire," said Rassa.
Aegin looked shocked for a moment as he froze in thought, then looked down at himself, his hand straying over his shoulder to his back.
"They're your Life Lines," said Rassa, "I haven't seen them, and most are never comfortable with having their Life Lines being ogled at or touched. It is entirely up to you though. It is your connection to the Chaos now".
Aegin's hand then slowly moved around his throat. Rassa stood, moving to one of the prisoners before pushing him towards Aegin.
"Drink, you'll feel better," said Rassa.
"What?" asked Aegin.
"I said, drink," said Rassa, his eyes narrowing, "I'd do it now whilst you're still in control. It'd be a damn shame if you fought it and let your instincts take over. Who knows who you'll drain to satiate the hunger then".
Aegin looked disgusted as he looked at the prisoner, then back at Rassa, "How can you be okay with this? It's blood".
"You're a vampire, its the only thing that will satisfy you from now on. Everything else tastes like dirt and sh*t," Rassa snapped, "It is the price to pay for our connection to chaos. You will hunger for blood, able to feel full but never fully satiated, it's important you learn the difference, because if you're after satiation you're never going to get it".
"This is wrong," said Aegin as he turned back to the prisoner.
Rassa scoffed, "Not for you. Not anymore. But if it makes you feel any better, they're all due to be executed anyway".
"I have to...eat...all of them?"
"I'm not entirely sure to be honest," said Rassa, "I only needed the equivalent of one fully grown man my first feeding, but I was only nine years old. I didn't think it right to assume you wouldn't need a little more".
Aegin hesitated again, "This is still wrong, you didn't even ask if I wanted this, Rassa".
Rassa moved then, so quickly that Ebony couldn't comprehend it, but Aegin did, and he recoiled as Rassa brought the prisoner right in front of him, holding out a wrist which he promptly sliced with a claw.
"Drink, or you'll regret it," Rassa ordered, his eyes flashing with a strange red light.
Aegin felt the immediate compulsion to lean forward and wrap his lips around the bleeding man's wrist. As soon as he tasted the blood, he felt the piercing pain as two of his upper eye teeth extended into sharp points that easily pierced into the man's wrist.
He pulled and swallowed instinctively. The taste immediately made him groan, though reluctantly, and his eyes flickered up to Rassa as he continued to drink. Rassa stepped away.
"You can shout at me later. I promise to sit there and take it, but you should listen when I tell you to do something. I have regretted far too many things over the past decade to let you follow the same path".
Rassa sat back down as Aegin drank, and Ebony stood quietly in the corner, watching between them both. There was something she was missing here. Something she didn't understand. That only Aegin and Rassa would. In that moment, she felt more distant from them than she ever had, and she hated it.