Castle Thell was an imposing sight in the dimming light of dusk. It was an impenetrable fortress. The four spires of the castle were the only part of the structure that was illuminated by the setting sun’s rays, liken to spears on fire. A stark comparison to the near black walls in the absence of the sun's light. The spires were a silent and fiery warning, to any who might happen across it. Or as the citizens of the nearby villages would have you believe, the fiery spears were a warning that the castle is cursed, and a hideous, blood-thirsty beast lurks somewhere inside its walls.
A crow cawed and broke the silence of early dusk, and took to flight from one of the castle’s four parapets. I dismounted my horse and broke my lupara sawn-off shotgun. A shell filled each chamber. ‘Always confirm your weapon is loaded before you go off into the dark.’ Those words stayed with me since childhood. And they have served me well in my chosen profession.
I slid the shotgun in its holster on the riding saddle. I wouldn’t need its service this eve. My horse snorted loudly and shook his massive head.
I patted his neck and whispered, “Easy Wrath, easy boy. We’re only here to talk.”
I walked my horse to the twenty foot tall front doors of the castle. I counted eight gargoyles protruding from the castle’s face.
“Fucking gargoyles,” I snarled under my breath.
I had no idea as to why the stone monstrosities unsettled me in such a manner. It defied all logic. I understood the function they performed. They were mere spouts, to carry the rain away from the roof of the building. Still, the sight of them made me uneasy. The knockers on the tall doors were brass gargoyles. I cursed as I grabbed the knocker with my gloved hand, and banged it against the brass plate. Footsteps could be heard approaching from inside the castle.
One door slowly swung open.
An old manservant dressed in coat and tails greeted me, "Welcome to Castle Thell, Mr. Aston. I will announce your arrival to the Doctor Thell, and see to it that your horse is tended to.”
“No need to tend to my horse. He doesn’t take kindly to being hitched by strangers. He won’t wander off while I am inside,” I informed the manservant.
Wrath is my Clydesdale, black as night, stands twenty-two hands tall, and runs like the wind. I witnessed him stomp a pack of seven wild hounds to death, when they foolishly tried to take him down. He disposed of the hounds so quick, I didn't have time to get a single shot off. He is fearless in the face of any adversary.
“In light of recent events, is that wise, Mr. Aston? The beast would be better off in our stables. Nightfall will be upon us shortly.”
The recent events the old man alluded to were tales of a monster lurking in the shadows of London. A monster that feasted upon the flesh and blood of anyone unfortunate enough to cross its path. A slew of grisly murders had struck terror in London. People locked their doors and stayed inside after the sun set. The police patrolled the streets after sundown in groups of three, out of sheer fright of the supposed ungodly beast.
“Wrath earned his name; it was not given to him. It would be unwise for anyone to approach him, man or beast, anytime of the day or night,” I grinned at the old man.
I followed the manservant and studied the interior of the castle. It was lavishly decorated. Fine crafted tables and chairs looked out of place against the contrast of the grey stone walls and sweeping windows. The vaulted ceilings provided the impression of height and magnificence, giving a feeling of grandeur and elegance. This style of architecture was meant to inspire awe in anyone who looked upon the structure and entered it. Twenty foot tall doors, windows as tall and wide as most villager’s homes, were designed to make you feel small, insignificant, and humble. To strike fear in you in the darkness of night. All that grandeur and size failed to impress, or, to intimidate me.
The manservant announced my arrival to the doctor who was seated on a large davenport, sipping on a snifter of brandy. “Mr. Aston is here, Doctor Thell.”
“Good eve, Mr. Aston. I do hope your journey was without incident. May I pour you a brandy?” the doctor greeted me.
“Call me Luke, Doctor. And yes to a brandy,” I replied.
The doctor poured a glass of brandy and placed it on the serving table in front of him. “Please, take a seat, Luke. And call me William,” he said as he motioned to the reading chair on the other side of the serving table.
I took a seat and sipped a mouthful of brandy. “How may I be of service to you, William? I asked as I studied his wrinkled, pink face.
He spoke with a seriousness and slight annoyance in his voice. “Before I explain what I need from you, I need to be assured you are not a superstitious man. I am sure you are aware of how the less educated speak of my house. The incredulous tales they tell of me and my work.”
I grinned and replied, “I am a bounty hunter, William. I am responsible for the tracking and the capture of criminals, and to hand them over to the police. Dead, alive, or barely alive and beaten to a pulp, the condition in which they are delivered is entirely up to them. I have heard all the tall tales of your work, and of Castle Thell, told in every tavern I have supped in. Rubbish, all of it. If this unholy beast did reside somewhere in your castle, it surely wouldn’t be capable of the evil I have witnessed men do. As to your work, what others call unethical, blasphemous and mad. I see as progress, courageous and ground breaking.”
William smiled and asked, “What about the existence of the monsters called vampires, Luke?”
I laughed at the question. “Nonsense. These tales of ghosts, goblins, witches, and ungodly beasts, irk me. My profession has taught me that these monsters exist only inside some of us. As to witches, I might have bedded a few without being aware of it. The scars on my back from their claws are proof that witches might exist.”
William laughed out loud and replied, “You are an extraordinary man, Luke. A realist, in every sense of that word. What are your thoughts on God, if I may inquire?”
“You will forgive me if I don’t answer that question. I do not discuss or debate, religion or politics over alcoholic beverages.”
“No offence taken, Luke. I will respect your limits.”
“Good,” I replied, “Have I passed your screening process? What is it that you require of me, William?”
William rubbed his clean shaven chin and leaned forward as he spoke. “There is a patient that is under round the clock guard at the Mother of Mercy sanatorium. A young woman that is of great interest to me, her condition is what fascinates me, to be exact. By all accounts of what we hold true in medicine and science, she should not be amongst the living. Yet, for five days, she breathes and lives with a rather large, sliver of wood lodged in her chest. The wood might have punctured her heart. She is a barmaid. She is also an innocent victim of a donnybrook that erupted in the tavern she is employed at. I would like to assist her in any way I am able.”
“But,” I replied when William paused.
William chuckled, “But. No hospital will accept her as a patient. There is talk that she is a witch, or a vampire, or a succubus from hell. I made a large cash donation to the sanatorium, and the administrators promptly agreed that it would be in everyone’s best interest to have her treated in my private clinic, here, in my castle. I want you to ensure her safe passage to me. What this young woman could mean to the advancement of medicine, might be staggering.”
He paused and poured another brandy in his snifter.
As he poured, he asked with a smile, “Have I passed your screening, Mr. Aston?”
I chuckled and replied, “You have.” I shook my head when William offered to pour me another brandy. “The road is uneven and bumpy. How can you be sure that the journey to your castle will not shift the sliver of wood and kill the young woman?”
William smiled and answered my question, “I had a carriage specifically designed for the transport of patients that are fragile. The carriage is mounted on springs, which are mounted to the chassis. The bed sits on springs mounted to the floor of the carriage. My coachman has been instructed to drive the team of horses slowly. Russell, my manservant, will ride with the patient in the carriage, and alert the coachman of any concerns. You, Luke, will make sure that no one interferes with her being transported me.”
“When can we leave to fetch the patient?”
“This instant, Luke. Russell is in possession of orders for the patient to be released to me, signed by the head physician at the sanatorium,” William replied, stood up and extended his hand to me. “You will be compensated when you return. No matter what state the young woman is in. I highly doubt she will survive this ordeal, but, I have to try.”
I shook his hand and made my way outside to wait for the coachman.
It was a three hour ride to the sanatorium. It would take us double that amount of time to return to Castle Thell. We would be back at the castle by early dawn.
We entered at the back courtyard, dismounted and walked to the door that led to its basement. Russell knocked on the metal door. Someone immediately opened the sliding peephole. A few words were exchanged and the door opened.
The stench of human waste and death greeted me before I entered. We followed an unkempt and grungy police officer down a narrow corridor to a small, dark room where the young woman was being kept. I became enraged when I saw the condition she was in. She was naked, lying in her own waste, and her arms and legs were tied to the railings of the filthy bed. Her messy and dirty, red hair was covering her face. She was covered in filth from head to toe. The sliver of wood lodged in her chest resembled a slat from the backrest of chair.
The constable that led us to her stood at the foot of the bed beside me and asked, “You don’t mind if I have one last feel? I’m going to miss the vampire’s big, firm tits. Hell, we all are!”
I could smell his rancid breath mixed with cheap gin as he spoke. A crowd of six men had gathered at the doorway of the room and laughed at what their friend had said. The constable with the foul breath grabbed my arm and tried to push me aside, to get in one last feel of the girl’s breasts. I grabbed him by his throat; my shotgun was cocked and pressed into his left eye before he knew what happened. I spun him around and pinned him against the wall.
I leaned in close to him, drew my lips into a snarl, and growled, “You even think to put your filthy hands on me again, and I’ll splatter what little brains you have on the floor. Then, personally drag your black soul to the gates of hell. Are we clear, maggot?”
I threw him into the group of his friends and snarled, “I need warm water, wash cloths, clean towels and clean blankets. I will not allow this young woman to suffer any more indignity.”
Russell approached me and said, “I’ll clean her up, Luke. You are not being compensated to wash the young woman.”
I replied to his offer, “I am not above washing another human being, Russell. We can both do it, it will be quicker. I don’t want her in this godless place one more second than she has to be.”
I brushed her dirty, red hair off her face. She turned her eyes slowly to look up at me. She parted her lips and tried to talk. All she could manage in her near death state was a barely audible moan. She closed her eyes and tears streamed down the sides of her face. She mouthed, “Thank you.”
We washed and covered the young woman, then carefully slid a wooden plank underneath her body. Russell strapped her in, and we carried her to the carriage. I mounted Wrath and we began our journey back to Castle Thell. The half-moon was covered by a thick and vast cloud cover. The road was narrow, dark, and covered on both sides with thick, tall bushes and grass. Fifty yards beyond the bushes and grass was a densely treed forest. The carriage’s two lanterns was all the light we had to navigate by. I rode in front of carriage, at a slow pace, my shotgun laid across my lap, with my finger at the ready on its trigger.
I started to question why William had hired me. Five thousand pounds is a steep price to pay for riding from and back to the castle. The staff of the sanatorium seemed relieved that the girl was being taken away. Who would possibly want to stop a carriage with a half dead girl in it? What would they do with her? By the doctor’s own words, she would not survive her injuries. If someone wanted her dead, all they need do is wait a few more days.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. Wrath snorted and came to a complete stop. The coachman reined in his team of horses. Something was heading towards us from the bushes on our left. The rustling sound was getting closer. Whatever, or whoever it was, was in no hurry. I lifted my shotgun and pointed its barrels in the direction of the rustling. Wrath snorted and stomped the ground with his front hooves.
“Easy boy,” I said.
Whatever was in the bushes, turned tail and ran back into the woods.
“What is it?” the coachman nervously called out to me.
“Don’t know. Whatever it was didn't break cover. Best we keep moving,” I replied and nudged Wrath to continue walking.
Before my horse took one step, a blood chilling howl broke the deathly silence ahead of us. Wrath stood up on his hind legs and snorted. I pulled hard on the reins to hold him steady. The team of six horses neighed and pranced in place.
The coachman asked, “Was that a wolf? Are we in danger, Mr. Aston?”
I turned around in my saddle and looked at the coachman. “There are no wolves in England anymore. It is on record that, Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel shot and killed the last wolf in Great Britain in 1680. Almost two hundred years ago. I would guess it was the howl of a wild hound. Let’s keep moving, we’re close,” I calmly replied.
William, and two orderlies, greeted us at the front doors as the sun was rising on the horizon. I dismounted and made my way to the doctor. The two young men in lab coats rushed passed me to make their way to the carriage.
“I’ll need a few hours to water and feed my horse, and I would be grateful for a bath and a bed. I haven’t slept in three days and nights. If it isn’t too much of an imposition.”
William nodded, “Of course, Luke. You are welcomed to stay as long as you need to.”
A young girl appeared at the castle’s doors and called out, "Father.”
“That is my daughter Adeline. She was a bit under the weather last night, and was resting in her bed when you arrived. She was disappointed that she missed the opportunity to meet a bounty hunter, in the flesh. The tales she’s heard told of you have captured her adolescent imagination. She believes you to be a giant that rides upon a steed spawned from hell,” William chuckled.
“A tall tale indeed, William,” I chuckled.
I was immediately taken by the young girl's beauty. She wore a long dress, black as night, with a purple corset tied tight. The box shaped neckline of the dress exposed the tops of her small breasts. Her skin was paler than moonlight. A blood red choker adorned her slender and delicate neck. I felt my cock stir and twitch to the steadily increasing beat of my heart.
Adeline ran towards us and excitedly shouted, “What a magnificent beast!”
I caught her by the arm and grinned as I warned her, “Wrath doesn’t take kindly to strangers. He won’t think twice about biting you.”
Adeline looked up at me. I stood a full foot taller than the delicate beauty with the scent of lilac on her.
She grinned back at me and whispered, “Perhaps I wasn’t referring to your horse, Mr. Aston.”
I chuckled and released her. “Pleasure to meet you, Adeline.”
William calmly addressed his daughter, “Adeline, I must tend to the young woman’s condition, immediately. Time is of the essence, if there is a possibility to save her life. Once Luke has tended to his horse, be kind enough to have servant prepare him a bath and show him to the guest room. He is in need of rest.”
“Of course father,” Adeline replied as she turned to William and kissed his cheek.
I woke to the sound of a knock on the bedroom door. “Luke, are you awake? Dinner is being served shortly,” Adeline called from the other side of the door.
“I’ll be down in a few minutes, thank you, Adeline.”
The door swung open, Adeline entered the room and closed the door behind her. She stared at my naked, scar covered, chiseled torso with a mischievous grin on her lips. The white bedsheet covered my waist and legs. Her eyes travelled down to my semi erect cock’s outline through the cotton sheet.
“You are a magnificent beast, Mr. Aston,” she grinned.
I scowled at her and replied, “This is behavior unbecoming of a little girl, Adeline. Leave, or I’ll take you over my knee and redden your virgin ass.”
Adeline sternly replied, “I am seventeen years old. I am a young woman, not a little girl. Supposedly, there is a vampire in my father’s clinic as we speak. A bloodthirsty beast is said to live beneath my home. Do you believe the threat of a spanking could possibly frighten me, Luke? Perhaps, I might enjoy your big, rough hands upon my virgin ass.”
I was impressed with the young Adeline’s spirit. My cock twitched under the sheet and grew stiffer.
“By the look of the growing bulge under the sheet, I believe you would enjoy disciplining me,” she snickered.
I smiled and threw the bedsheet off me, stood up, and walked over to the feisty Adeline. Her breath caught and her face turned instantly red, matching the color of her choker. Her wide eyed stare was glued to my long, thick, throbbing cock. I pinned her to the door with my body and pressed my cock against her flat belly.
“I am not certain if I am magnificent, Adeline. But make no mistake, I am a beast,” I growled.
Adeline turned her head and shut her eyes tight.
I gripped her delicate jaw and turned her head. “Leave now, or I’ll take your maidenhead with my beastly cock,” I snarled.
Adeline frantically searched for the door handle behind her. When she unlocked the door, I stepped back and laughed as she scurried away.
Only Adeline and I were at the dinner table. William was still tending to the wounded girl. Good news. It meant that she was still alive. Adeline ate in silence, her eyes never leaving the plate in front of her. I remained silent, adding to her discomfort, purposefully.
I broke the silence between us. “Would you like a ride on my magnificent beast, Adeline?”
Adeline cringed. The fork slipped out of her hand and made a loud clang as it bounced off her plate. She pushed her chin into her chest and sobbed.
“I meant, would you like to ride Wrath? I am going to let him run in the open field before we leave,” I chuckled.
“You are a horrid man, Luke Aston,” she hissed.
“You are a naughty young lady, Adeline Thell. Entering a man’s bedroom without being invited in,” I calmly replied.
She lifted her head and looked at me, with cheeks still flush. “I couldn’t help myself. I am sorry.”
“Apology accepted. Next time, ask if you may enter. I would not have turned you away, Adeline.”
She took a deep breath and asked, “You would have accepted my maidenhead, if I offered it to you?”
I was shocked at her forwardness. “I am sure there is no shortage of young men that would gladly court you. I am twice your age, Adeline.”
Adeline let out a frustrated huff and replied, “This cursed stone prison keeps everyone away. I have no friends here. Father sends me away to study in Paris for half the year. I stay with my aunt, she allows me to have friends come visit. I have very few school friends there. The Thell family name is a curse. I can’t wait to move away from England. To live where no one knows of me.” She paused for a moment and continued, “When I first saw you. My heart raced so that I thought I was going to swoon. You, in your long, full length, black riding coat. Your long, jet black hair dangling down across your broad shoulders. I felt the icy stare of your big, black eyes penetrate my flesh. You stand taller, and bigger than any man I have seen. Yet, I felt a strong pull to you. I had imagined you handsome, like a prince. The scars on your face did not deter me from thinking you any less handsome than I had imagined, Luke. I wanted to be crushed in your arms the moment I saw you.”
I smiled at her and replied, “I wanted to do more than just take you in my arms when I first laid eyes on you, Adeline. Please, let's change the subject. I will forget that I am a gentleman if we continue conversing in this manner.”
Adeline blushed and smiled. She pushed her plate away and asked, “Why don’t you believe in vampires and other demons? When so many have claimed to have seen them, and proof in the poor victims of their blood hunger, in London, recently?”
I laughed, “Tall tales. The only monsters I’ve come across are of the human kind. Would you believe me if I told you I could stop the beating of my heart, and still live and breathe, Adeline?" I asked her with a slight growl in my voice.
Her cheeks flushed, her eyes widened, and her lips parted. Adeline became aroused at the growl in my voice. "That is impossible, Luke."
"So, we agree that saying something does not prove anything?" I smiled.
Adeline nodded her head, "Agreed."
"What if I offered proof that the claim I made was true? Would you believe me then?" I broadened my smile and narrowed my eyes.
"If proof was provided, I would have no other option but to believe you."
"Close your eyes, and keep them closed till I instruct you to open them," I instructed.
She obeyed. I rolled up my napkin into a tight ball, and placed it under my jacket, in the pit of my left arm. I squeezed my left arm tight against my side, constricting the blood flow to my arm.
"Open your eyes, Adeline." I placed my hand palm up on the table. "Feel for my heartbeat in my wrist."
Adeline placed the tips of her index and middle finger on my wrist. When she did not feel the blood being pumped, she shifted her fingers and pressed down harder on my wrist. Panic began to set in.
"You stop this foolishness this instant, Luke. You are frightening me!" Adeline sternly ordered.
I chuckled, "Will you swear to everyone you know, that you witnessed a man stop his heart from beating, and he lived?"
"I'll do whatever you ask! Just stop this madness!"
I reached under my jacket and removed the napkin. "You are a despicable cad, Luke Aston! A cheap parlor trick?!" Adeline reprimanded me, as her terror turned to anger.
"Apologies, Adeline. Often, people create their own reality to explain what they don't understand. Please forgive me for frightening you."
Adeline smiled and replied with an offer, "I will forgive you, if you allow me to ride Wrath.”
I stood up from the table. “It’s settled then, you will be able to tell all of Paris that you rode upon Wrath. Some say that he charged into this world from the great fires of hell. There are times when his stubbornness makes me question if he is of this world,” I chuckled.
Adeline’s face lit up as she jumped to her feet. “I’ll only be a minute. I’ll change into my riding clothes. Thank you, Luke!”
I waited for Adeline in the foyer. Within in a few minutes, she flew down the semicircular stairway and ran straight to the front door. “I’ll race you to the stables!” she excitedly squealed.
I followed her to the stable, saddled my horse and helped Adeline mount him. I handed Adeline the reins and told her to be careful, “He’s a powerful animal, Adeline. Take it slow.”
She nodded and squeezed her knees into Wrath. They trotted off towards the setting sun over the open field. I could her laughing with excitement as she rode away. When she had ridden a few hundred yards out, she slowed the horse down and turned him around. They trotted back at a faster pace.
“It seems that Wrath isn’t the demon horse from hell after all. He is magnificent and powerful. I have never felt so invigorated in my life. May I ride him a bit longer, Luke?” Adeline asked.
“Just like you to make a liar out of me, Wrath,” I snarled at my horse and I winked at Adeline, “You may take him out again.”
Wrath hit full gallop with Adeline at his reins. She was an experienced and fine rider. When she returned from her ride, I helped her off Wrath. She jumped into my arms.
“Thank you, Luke. That was thrilling. He runs like the wind! Please walk with me a bit before you leave?”
I nodded. Adeline took my hand and led me towards a knoll in the distance. "Is there nothing that you fear, Luke? Please be honest with me. There are too many lies all around me. I grow weary of half-truths and bold faced lies.”
I chuckled and answered, “There is much in this life that I fear, Adeline. Fear is our friend, make no mistake.”
“How so?” she asked.
“Would you walk in to the heart of the forest, right now, without me by your side?”
Adeline shook her head, “Surely not. I would be terrified. Who knows what lurks in the dark woods?”
I smiled and replied, “Fear, in this example, would protect you from any potential danger lurking in the dark. It is good to be afraid sometimes.”
“Tell me one thing that scares you. I promise to take your secret to my grave,” Adeline asked, her own words sent a shiver down her spine.
I laughed, “Fair enough. You will tell me one secret in return. Insurance of sorts, for both of us.”
Adeline nodded and swallowed hard in anticipation of what I would reveal to her.
“I am unsettled at the sight of stone gargoyles,” I confessed.
Adeline stopped walking and eyed me for a moment. “You are making fun of me, Luke. That is not nice.”
“I am telling you the truth. I don’t know why they have such an effect on me, but they do,” I assured her.
Adeline grabbed her belly and broke out in laughter. “I’m sorry for laughing. That is absurd!”
“Perhaps it is absurd, but it is the truth,” I chuckled. "You have an infectious laugh, Adeline.”
“I am not afraid of stone gargoyles. In fact, I feel sad for them. They look trapped to me, cursed for an eternity in stone, futilely trying to come to life.”
I smiled and replied, “You have the heart of a poet, Adeline.”
I could see her face blush in the pale light of the moon. She was flawless. Perfect. My cock began to grow stiff.
“My turn,” she announced, “I sometimes am given chloroform, before bed, to keep me from walking in my sleep and suppress nightmares,” Adeline nervously confessed. “I am not insane,” she quickly added.
“Nightmares?” I asked. “I have heard of sleep walking. And I in no way believe you are insane.”
“I still remember the nightmares. I have sketched the depraved acts on paper. Cloaked figures whipping and drawing blood from one another. Women tied to a table, and cloaked men fornicating with them. And there are others that watch on as these depraved acts are being committed. No one knows of the drawings, I hide them underneath a loose tile in the floor of my bedroom,” Adeline whispered.
She stared up at me with her big, blue eyes. I was transfixed by her beauty. My cock was fully erect and throbbing. The urge to take her on the grassy slope of the knoll, increased with each beat of my heart. Adeline sensed my desire to devour her. She stepped closer and placed her hands on my heaving chest. I could feel the quivers running through her young body.
I placed one hand on her waist, and ran my fingers of the other hand across her red choker. “Red turns to black under the beams of the moon. Did you know that, Adeline?” I asked her.
She shook her head and licked her painted lips. “Would you be disgusted with me if I confessed that some of those images in my dreams arouse me, Luke?”
“If there is a bloodthirsty beast waiting in the shadows to devour you, he’ll be disappointed this eve. I am not going to leave a morsel of you for anyone,” I growled, and crushed her lips with mine.
Adeline trembled beneath my kiss. She opened her mouth and sucked my tongue into her mouth. I slid my hands up to her breasts and squeezed her soft mounds of flesh. She threw her arms around my neck.
“I want to give my maidenhead to you. Please, make me a woman this moonlit night,” she moaned into my mouth.
I lifted her in my arms and kneeled upon the ground. I laid her down and lifted her dress over her hips. Adeline lifted her hips off the ground and I pulled her knickers down, she pulled her left leg up and left the knickers bunched around her right calf and ankle. I pulled my aching cock out of my pants and rubbed it along her dripping, virgin slit.
With ragged breath I growled into her ear, “I’m going to hurt you, Adeline. I’m sorry.”
Before she could form a reply in her mind, I lifted my hips and pressed the tip of my cock against her slick hole. Adeline tightened both arms around my neck, bracing herself for the pain that would surely come from having her virgin cunt impaled for the first time.
“I can forgive anything you do to me, Luke,” she gasped.
The need to be buried deep inside Adeline was maddening. And with her words, I sunk inside her; I buried my cock’s girth, and full length with a single thrust. She screamed into my shoulder, spread her legs wide, wrapped her legs around my waist, and arched her back. I fucked her with a savage fury spawned from the darkest corridors of my mind. Her screams subsided, and slowly turned into feral, gurgling moans. Before long, Adeline was matching each of my thrusts.
“I’m close, Adeline!” I growled.
“Fill me!” she panted in to my ear.
My cock exploded and sent hot seed splashing deep inside her. Adeline threw her head back, I felt her cunt squeeze around my spewing meat, and felt the quiver in her belly as she came. We remained in a lover’s embrace for a moment.
I rolled off Adeline and pulled her on top of me. She straddled me, then slid two fingers inside herself and pulled them out. She raised her hand to the moonlight and studied her wet fingers.
“Blood also looks black in the moonlight. Thank you, Luke,” she grinned.
"There is darkness in you, Adeline. I approve," I whispered.
I left Adeline and Castle Thell, without the opportunity to say good bye to William. Though, not before Adeline made me promise her that I would visit her in Paris the following month. Russell appeared before I departed and paid me my wage.
The road was well lit by the moon as I made my way back to London. There wasn’t a cloud to be seen in the night sky. Wrath snorted and came to a full stop. Down the road I spotted a group of four men standing next to their horses. I broke my shot gun and looked at the two shells in its chambers.
“Easy boy. We’re ready,” I whispered. "If they're highwaymen, they will soon regret having crossed paths with us."
One man walked towards me when I was ten yards away from the group. I snarled when I recognized him as the maggot that I had threatened in the sanatorium. I reined Wrath to a stop. His companions kneeled to one knee and pointed their long rifles at me. It was obvious they had military training.
“Tell me again how you intend to drag my dark soul to hell,” he mocked.
“I have no time for sons of whores who are in a hurry to die,” I growled.
He spit on the ground and pointed a pistol at me. “We’ll relieve you of your money before we kill you and that abomination of a horse you ride upon. Dismount slowly, you spineless cur.”
I got off my horse and raised my hands over my head. “How did you know I’d be here at this exact time?”
All four men laughed. The maggot replied, “The coachman rode and told us that you’d be here around this time. You’ve been had, bounty hunter. Don’t take it personal, it’s just business.”
“Business?” I asked.
“What else could it be? That doctor is mad. He went insane when his wife died, four years ago. That girl you helped transport is going to make him a fortune. And we get a cut,” he smugly answered.
“How?” I growled.
“Let’s just say that people with more money than they know what do with, will pay handsomely to fuck a vampire,” his tone turned eerie as he spoke.
“You’re insane. I’m going to enjoy watching Wrath stomp you to death,” I grinned.
“Think about it. Why the sudden spree of grisly murders? People die and are killed all the time in London. Then word gets out of a vampire with a stake in her heart, and high society lines up at Castle Thell to fuck her, and watch her get fucked. They’re sick fucks, and we make money off their twisted desires.”
He brought his arm up and waved one of his friends over. “Bring the beast, show this asshole how he’s going to die,” he grinned.
His friend pulled something out of a saddlebag and walked towards me. He had what looked like a giant pair of pliers. It looked heavy and sturdy. Three foot long handles controlled the metal jaws at its end. Metal jaws with three inch sets of sharpened metal fangs. The instrument was designed not to cut through flesh and bone, but with the sole purpose to crush them via the concentration of huge forces on the small area where the fangs make contact. Like the wounds on the bodies that had gripped London with fear.
“You murdered innocent people to make money off the rich and depraved?” I became enraged at the thought.
“We haven't murdered anyone. We used the metal fangs on anyone we found dead. The doctor might be insane, but he has a head for business. They didn’t feel a thing. Shame you won’t be able to say the same. Maybe we’ll drag your dead body back to the castle and charge those sick fucks to see you all torn to shreds.” He was enjoying himself.
“Tell me about what else goes on in the castle.” I was stalling for time.
“Why not? The night is still young. And soon, your lips will be sealed for all time to come. Picture a fully robed and hooded figure striking a naked man across his back with a single tail whip. The man’s wrists shackled and stretched above his head. While his debutante, whore wife sucks him till he shoots his load in her waiting mouth. Or, a young woman shackled by her ankles and hung upside down, and members of the upper crust of society, flog her cunt, and draw blood from her tits with clawed gloves. Or, a high ranking official’s young wife stretched on a rack and fucked in every hole by three men, as her fat husband jerks off and sucks on another’s cock. They pay extra to be allowed to suck each cock that fucks their wife.”
He grinned and looked at the man next to him, “We four, are the cloaked figures in case you were wondering. And you, well, you were icing on the cake. The famed, fearless bounty hunter, Luke Aston, who some believe rode out of hell on his horse, was hired to ensure the safe transport of a vampire to Castle Thell. Only to be butchered by her. And me, and my men, were on the road to save the day and stake the vampire whore. You gave the story more credence, dog. Thank you.” The maggot spat in my direction when he finished talking.
“William is a pimp, and you four are his cheap whores. It makes sense. I commend you all on the fitting profession you have wisely chosen,” I laughed at the men.
They turned to look at each other for an instant. That’s all the time I needed. I grabbed my shotgun from the saddle holster, and jumped into the thick bushes to my right. The two men with rifles shot into the bushes. The leader fired his pistol where he saw me disappear in the brush. The four soulless bastards had single shot weapons. They would have to reload. I jumped out of the bushes and shot the two men who were on one knee as they fumbled with bullets. They hit ground hard, with their faces missing.
Wrath charged at the leader and stomped him into the ground, when the foul breathed maggot turned and ran. He lay dead on the ground with a crushed spine. I reloaded my shotgun and pointed it to the man holding the fanged pliers.
He dropped the ghastly tool on the road, and fell to his knees, “Don’t kill me! Please! I’ll confess to everything!” he begged. He pointed to the dead maggot and said, "He has a book on him. With everyone's name that visits Castle Thell. They come from all over Europe. Take it, it's yours if you want."
I knocked him out with the stock of my shotgun, and tied him to the maggot. I took the cursed ledger. It would serve a purpose in the not too distant future.
“Let’s go get Adeline,” I said to Wrath as I leapt into the saddle.
He took off like bat out of hell, and ran as if he was chasing the devil himself back to the fiery pits of hell. When I arrived at the castle, I saw a naked woman running towards the open field. The blood chilled in my veins. My heart pounded as it had never pounded before. If not for her hair of red, I wouldn’t have believed my eyes.
It was the young woman who was near death. I called out for her to stop. She turned around and crouched with one hand to the ground. Her lifeless, piercing eyes met mine. Her arms and hands, face, and torso were covered with a black liquid that glistened in the rays of the moon. A cold chill shot through me. She stood up slowly, never taking her lifeless eyes off me. Her growl echoed in the night. It was a sound that I would never forget.
The naked she-devil took a step towards me.
I pointed my shotgun at her and snarled, "I'll send you back to hell, or die trying."
She quickly took a step backwards. I thought I saw her grin as she wiped the black liquid that was dripping off her breasts with the palm of her hand. Two white fangs reflected the light of moon when she snarled at me. The half dead woman licked her hand clean of the black liquid. She turned, and in a heartbeat had disappeared into the darkness.
I rode Wrath through the open doors of the castle and dismounted. I followed the red footprints back to the doctor’s clinic. William, Russell and the coachman lay on the stone floor, their lab coats soaked red with their own blood. Their throats had been torn out. Their twisted and mangled limbs lay lifeless at their sides.
Adeline had not been dreaming when she walked in her sleep. She had witnessed the acts of sex and torture. Her father had undoubtedly found her looking upon the acts of depravity. He had kept her sedated, and convinced her that none of what she recalled was real.
“Luke!” Adeline cried out in terror.
I turned and ran to her. She threw her arms around my neck and held on as if she was afraid of falling off the face of the Earth. I picked her up in my arms and carried her outside. Wrath followed close behind us.
“What did you see, Adeline?” I asked her as I lifted her onto Wrath.
She sobbed uncontrollably and shook her head.
I mounted my horse with Adeline sitting behind me, her arms squeezing around my waist, and headed for London.
A mile down the road, Adeline finally spoke. “I saw what she did to them. Vampires are real, Luke,” she sobbed.
I could find no words of comfort for Adeline.
It could not be denied.
Monsters do walk among us.
Perhaps, if we don’t search for them.
They won’t find us.