THE QUIET ONE Part Two, a short story by JohnSachu. Date added: 2011-02-10. Times viewed: 1385.
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- Intro: Secrets and love make dying so sweet, under certain conditions.
THE QUIET ONE
My name is Jennifer, Jennifer Ballard. I told you of meeting with that mystery man, in my last installment. That beautiful Michelangelo-like sculpture of flesh and bone that turned out to be my love, my fountain of joy and bliss and now, my constant hunger. He became my obsession for he is unequal in comparison to other mortal men. For he is not mortal. My Laurent is a vampire. My secret love.
We had been in Hyannisport for the summer, when I first met him. To make this short, I immediately fell in love and gave myself willingly to him when he made love to me and took from me what he needed. I wasn’t sure about him, if he had fallen for me, but it didn’t matter then. I was helpless when I was near him. I didn’t even know his name at the time. It was the first real crush for me and I had abandoned any hope of dignity and restraint. I live to be with him. That is all there was to it. But looking for him, after those first couple of hours at my father’s birthday party, he seemingly disappeared.
I knew I’d never meet another like him. He is not like any man I’ve ever met and he can fulfill my most heavenly need with a keenness and poignancy only he seems to lift up out of me. When he touches my body, that contact is like a shot of the purest heroin in my veins and my mind and body are overcome with incomparable bliss. When he takes me, as he does in that desire, being what he is, there is no way to describe my experience for it seems to last an eternity, that summit of fulfillment I feel, but only in his arms.
We seem to be running into each other about every six months. There was the first time at my fathers party where I saw him leaning against the wall of our living room, from a distance. Then in England, at the Ascot races, before I really knew him. And at last, on the beach next to the rolling sea where we actually introduced ourselves. At least, I did. As I said. I didn’t know his name. But today, six months later, almost to the day, I awoke early and had our chauffer take me shopping to the finer stores, down town. All I had to go on, back in Boston, where I am now, were those words he whispered in my ear, in the park, after my shopping spree. He did that for his own reasons, repeating those same words of Latin he’d once spoken on the beach, even after I told him not to. I assumed, then, it was some kind of suggestion or spell that worked its way into the listeners mind. But I didn’t need it and told him so. I would go wherever and whenever he wanted me.
Either way, by eleven I had finished buying shoes and a few other accessories, including a new watch with a twenty-four carat gold band. My father and mother spoil me and I let them. I’ve never known either to complain about my spending.
I ate afterwards in the dining hall of the, Crane Room, at the hotel, Exiteur. They have such delicious dishes there that are unlike anything else in this world. The chef should be a millionaire, if he isn’t already. But feeling a bit full, I wanted to go for a walk.
We drove to my favorite park and I got out and began my stroll. I’m thin, but vaguely attractive in appearance, I think, but I’ve always walked and it helps me look my best. Walking encourages thoughts in me, too. I’ve turned down many, many men that wanted to get close. I can smell insincerity and phonies a mile away and I suppose I’ve had my fair share of incipient male friends, both rich and poor, but no one like Laurent. I am attractive enough and not starved for attention, but being a rich girl seems to draw men like flies so I have a great mistrust of them.
Still, as I strolled, I thought of my lover. My secret love I burned for, yearned for with all my heart, going over every precious moment and memory I could recall, being in his arms.
I knew him as a vampire for he had taken blood from me, and because I knew that, I realized he probably had a stable of women like myself, off in the wings, taking each of us in turn so he could live. I more than knew and understood this. I’m not dumb. But his draw is so unbelievably strong, he’s all I can think of at times. At least, that’s the way it was since last I saw him in Hyannisport.
I don’t know his history but I assumed he was the way he was and did those things to that unknown multitude of sisters, having all us silly women simply so he could live and exist. He took sustenance from us, as well as myself, and left me for others, afterwards. I understood it. He is a predator, but that was what he had to be, to go on living. At least, this is what I thought. But I was, and still am, so infatuated, so completely wrapped up in this magnetism, I have no jealousy in those regards. No more than I would if I had a boy friend who liked lobster diners and had them served up by strange women in restaurants. They were nothing to me. It was what kept him alive and for that, it was necessary. I thought I would gladly give my every drop of blood if he would only hold me in his arms, again. That’s how fully engrossed I am in his world and you will never understand that unless it happens to you, personally.
As I strolled, approaching a line of trees, I caught a glimpse of someone between two of them, staring at me. I needed new glasses but knew instantly, it was him. From that distance, I could only see a blur, but I could feel a tingling, a warning or a vibration in me, that he was near. I had felt it before. He stepped out from between the trees and stood there in the frozen snow and ice of the sidewalk and smiled. “Hello Jenny,” he said. His voice was like a long silk scarf sliding across my bare breasts.
I struggled to reply. It had been so long since I’d last seen him, but here he was, again. Beautiful as always, drawing me in like a weak golden moth to the dark flame of his burning desire. Coupled with mine, there was no resistance. I stopped my walking and stared at his lovely face, his deep blue eyes, the red lips, and those serious eye brows. They made me tremble just contemplating what I knew was to come. When he blinked, I saw his long eye lashes and I wanted to shamelessly embrace his neck and lift myself to his face and kiss his face and hot lips. Such beauty is beyond description or imagining. You would have to see him to understand.
“What is your name,” I asked. The question seemed to take him by surprise but he came forward, gliding to stand over me as I looked up into his lovely face. So close was he, I could feel his warmth and the heat of his breath on my skin. I shook with passion and felt my knees loosing their strength. He smelled as sweet as baked cinnamon cookies, remembering the scent when he took me, last time. I felt my heart thumping in my throat with anticipation.
“I will tell you later,” he said.
“Don’t speak to me in Latin, then. There is no need to, not with me. What is it you are saying, anyway?”
“It was merely a question, Jenny.”
“Then what is it? Let me answer.”
“Are you the one?”
“The one I’m meant to be with. I have waited an eternity for you to be reborn.”
“Reborn?” Was he speaking of reincarnation or using rebirth as a metaphor. I really didn’t understand, which.
“Yes. Reborn. A mortal lives many lives, Jennifer. I lost someone long ago. It was you. You have the same mannerisms, the same passions, the same look. I’ve been drawn to you most of your life. That’s why I had to be sure before I took you to me.”
“But you did the same thing to Mary Ellen.” Mary Ellen was a school friend that had danced with Laurent the first time I saw him, before he disappeared.
“Somewhat. Yes. I did. I wanted to see if she would remember past things, but she didn’t and couldn’t. Because she and you had been friends, there was something about her and I had to be certain it wasn’t you. You both look quite similar, in case you hadn’t noticed. I never took from her, though, as I’m sure you thought I had. And I haven’t been with another woman since you and I last met.”
“You haven’t?” I was surprised. All my scenarios of how he acted and slept and dined on others was just my own stupid imaginings. If he was speaking the truth.
“No. I give you my word.”
“Then all my assumptions of you are false?”
“I’m afraid they are,” he smiled.”
“How long can you go without food? Without blood?”
“Years, but I prefer it several times a year. I enjoy normal food, like everyone, but I must have another kind of sustenance, too. And yes. I am hungry, but only for you, now, Jenny.”
“Yes,” he said, and took my hand and we began to walk, continuing in the same direction I had been headed, around the perimeter of the park. I felt a kind of thrill like electricity pass through me but it held me like the most delicious of wines, intoxicating my mind, but not overwhelming my senses. “You are her, my Jennifer. My lost Ayesha. I know that now.” We continued to stroll and somehow, out of nowhere, I felt as if his claim was correct. I seemed to drift back into some long ago past and swirls of memory flowed through my mind. I was walking, seeing the real world but other worlds, too, through different eyes, eternal eyes from my many pasts and past lifetimes. They passed me by like a fast framed movie, only this was much, much more all encompassing and more powerful than any other kind of memory.
“Are you feeling your many lives?”
I hesitated but answered, “Yes. I see them all. How is this possible.”
“I am helping you to remember. I have been looking for you for forty-four centuries, Jenny,” he said, stopping, then standing in front of me where I was embraced, still recalling every life, every age of my past worlds and the details of those lives. I heard him whisper those words of Latin, again. It was a language I remembered now and it made perfect sense. “Are you the one?” he asked, again, and then added. “Come to me, tonight, my Jenny. You will know when and where.”
And then he was gone.
My arms were empty and I quickly felt a great loss. He had left me again, after all this time. Why? Where did he have to go? I was almost frantic but quickly discovered I was next to my car and Leon, our chauffer. He was asking if I was alright.
“Yes. Thank you,” I told him. “I’m alright,” I said, and slowly got into the waiting Bentley.
I was to see him that night and vowed I would go wherever I was led.
I could hardly eat that evening, remembering so much, but about eight, I told my parents I was leaving to see a friend.
I somehow knew where to go and found myself in an obscure area not very far from where we lived. I couldn’t believe he was so near. Perhaps that was why I had been thinking of him as he had been thinking of me. I don’t know if that was the case or if it was just myself being a silly girl, but thinking about it, I must have sensed him, somehow.
I pulled into a driveway I knew must be his and followed it along side the plain anonymous four story home to a flagstone covered courtyard, out back of the house where there was a large garage. I stopped the car in the middle of the courtyard and turned off the engine. When I got out, hearing steps behind me, I knew it was him.
“Laurent,” he said, taking me in his arms. I was instantly thrilled by his touch, but not so much that I couldn’t function. “My name is Laurent, Jennifer. With one ‘el’.”
“What is your last name?”
“Is that Greek?” I asked.
“No. It comes from the area of the world known now as Italy. My people later became the Etruscans, and then they dissipated into Romans.”
“Known now? But yes, you are old, aren’t you,” I said, lifting my hand to brush back that comma of a curl in the middle of his forehead. “Four-thousand four-hundred years. I can hardly believe it. And you’re still so beautiful. As beautiful as an eternal poem.”
“Yes. I have lived a long time. It is merely a part of me. I haven’t changed since I was your age.”
“So it was natural, this thing that happened to you? Becoming a vampire?”
“Yes. I was a carpenter, living in a mountain village when it developed in me. It almost drove me mad not knowing what was happening and I left there, and later, found you. Months later, after understanding what I was and how I was drawn to blood. Do you remember? You grew up a hundred leagues away, where I found you.”
I thought back and yes, I remembered. I also remembered my death. Our village was attacked by another. A spear had pierced my chest as I had tried to defend our little community, and I had died quickly. Laurent and I were to be married.
“I killed them all. That village that attacked you and took you from me. Everyone one of them. I was young and my anger was unbridled. But you were avenged, Jennifer.”
“Oh, Laurent,” I said. I didn’t know if it was because of my death that I felt sorry, or for his burden, and seeming guilt he still felt.
“Please don’t be concerned. It was a long time ago. We are safe in this country. It is one of the few places in this world that is safe, right now. As safe as any country can be.”
I knew what he meant. There was always a criminal element at large in any group of people. But he was watching over me, I hoped.
“No, Jenny,” he said. “I’m going to teach you how to take care of yourself.”
“You mean, like Karate?”
He laughed. “No. By guiding you into becoming what I am.”
I stared up at him, unbelieving. I had never considered that possibility. But his smile was reassuring.
He took me inside his lavishly furnished house. It was filled with antiques from every known age of the past.
It wasn’t opulent, just finely appointed but must have taken ages to acquire. He was much more refined than I could have imagined.
Laurent led me throughout the house where he briefly described various items and their history and usage. We ended up in his bedroom. His bed was huge and I wanted to be there, very badly. Call me shameless, but as I told you, you would have to experience his presence, to understand.
“Yes. Of course. Sometimes. I like to let the troubles of the world drift away as much as anyone. I’m just as human as you, Jenny, but immortal and different. Don’t think of me as anything but another man, but your man alone. In time, we will be married and we will live out our lives before anyone can harm you ever again. We were cheated out of life, together, once, but never again. That is, if you want to be as I am? Do you?”
“I know I want to be with you, yes. Forever, Laurent, but . . . I’m afraid. What will happen to me?”
“I will take most of your blood and then you will have to take it back, from me. It’s quite a pleasant experience. You will feel an elevated sense of warmth and then ecstasy, and then sleep. And when you awake, you will be even more beautiful and over the course of several months, your body will be perfected and become impregnable to almost anything but an atomic blast.”
“I’m still afraid. That sounds so dramatic.”
“It is,” he said. “Oh! There’s one other thing. Two, actually. Your appetite will grow but you will never get fat. You will love eating and tasting new things. But you should know, you can never have children. We would be sterile. I think it’s the Lords way of restricting our spread. We are, in the end, Sheppard’s of the human race, Jennifer, not those Hollywood beasts or folk legends in books. We serve humanity as best we can, and do no harm. But men and women, being what they are, have their free agency. They can choose to do evil or good.”
“Then how did vampires get such a horrible reputation?”
“I can only guess. A spurned lover, a jealous husband, an evil vampire that chose not to accept the gift he was granted to do good with it, and went his own way. If that was the case, they usually met with bad endings. At this moment, I don’t know of any of my kind that have chosen evil over good, that are still alive.
“But that isn’t the reason I am here, is it?” I asked. “I came to feel that love we shared. You are like my own personally cultured drug and I’ll never get enough of you. But concerning this life with you you’re describing, my answer is yes. I want it. If it means being with you, Laurent, I want it with all my heart. Ever since I saw you, I can’t imagine being alone without you. The world holds nothing for me, not with the emptiness of your absence. Yes. I want it, no matter my fears or concerns. I need you and if it is for eternity, then it is what I desire more than this mortality, this slow death. Whatever it is you have to do, I am completely ready.”
“If you believe in God, then we will have that chance someday, wouldn’t you think?”
“Yes. I do. Someday.”
He came to me and helped me out of my coat, which I finally realized was too warm. Laurent took me in his arms and kissed my mouth, our lips on fire, our bodies aching to be one. So slowly, we found our selves rotating, drifting across the room, shedding more and more of our clothing until we had reached the edge of the bed where we were naked with passions fire in our hearts.
Picking me up in his arms, he kissed me as he laid me in the center of the huge, firm bed, and ended up on top of me, between my opening thighs. I could feel his hands on my breasts, his lips on my skin, his gathering limbs and those kisses that drove me mad with their want and its fever. With the slightest of movements I felt his body slip easily into me. We were like pieces of silk sliding across each, filling each other with treasures of incomparable craving and sweet scented moistures, treasures so immediate and terrible in their lasting fulfillment I could not help but moan and cry under it’s exquisite torment. He movements drove me into him and we pushed together, ground our bodies together like the long separated lovers we were. I and he pulled and thrust with such unwavering exactness I felt as if I was dying there beneath his power and that vivid image of his movements, even though my eyes could hardly open to that string of climaxes that kept me in it’s spell without rest, without any sort of desire to extinguish such bliss.
Love. I don’t know how many times and the hours slipped away into the morning with fulfillment and instant hunger repeating it’s lovely self again and again as we spread our bodies over each other time after time. And then without warning, in the middle of making love, at the height of my passion, Laurent took my blood and speared my throat like a wild but beautiful animal. Our love making was superseded ten fold by that action and I found myself beyond the sea of passion's wildest storm. I cried out, overcome with his power thumping through my loins and the beauty of his lust pulsing from his body into mine like a surge of eternal magic, incomprehensible to others of lesser experience.
And when my life was almost spent, he raised my back from the bed and cut one of his nipples. It bled with passionate streaks and I knew what to do. He leaned back and I suckled him like a baby as we kept up our love making. I pushed into his body, finding this experience terribly building, even deeper and more exquisitely than before. I drank his blood and felt the deep warmth flowing through my body, as Laurent had told me it would. I wanted that blood more than anything. I couldn’t get enough of it as well as his love. And as that unnatural epiphany of feelings filled my frame with a choir of arias, I felt myself fading from the world as the room grew smaller and drifted away like a gray morning mist filled me. And I fell asleep, his immortal heart beating in time with mine.
I awoke in my own bed, still trembling from the involvement of love making as Esmae brought in my breakfast tray. I was still trembling, somewhat from such an exquisitely, blissful, harrowing experience. How Laurent had brought me here, and disappeared without anyone seeing he or I, I didn’t know and understand, right now. I only knew I loved him. And I felt wonderful and complete. My life was without any vexation of body or mind. I was elated to be awake and couldn’t wait to get up.
Esmae, our maid, noticed the difference in my continence and attitude and in my body, for even though I looked the same, there was a kind of radiance in me, now. I could actually feel it. It was a kind of glorious wonderment to my body’s appearance that almost, but not quite, caused me to glow with my love. I can’t quite explain it other than there was a refinement of every quality that is good about my looks. I can say without flinching, that I was more beautiful, now, more so than I had ever thought of myself being, before this person, my Laurent came into my life. I wondered and got dressed while eating everything on the breakfast tray. I was ravenous and asked Esmae to bring me more food while I showered.
Drying off, I stared at myself in the wall mirror. I couldn’t believe the change. I was the same but changed, somehow, subtlety but teasingly. When Esmae came back, with me fully dressed and slipping into my new shoes, she was noticeably moved.
“I’m in love, Esmae. I have found my prince charming. I’m so happy.”
“Well, don’t get too happy,” she said, a woman who had had her heart broken several times. “Men always change, you know. They’re not the same after a few weeks.”
“Not this one. I’m sure of that,” I said, knowing I was four thousand years correct and certain.
[Be sure to read Part I. If you enjoyed this story please leave a comment. Thank you.]
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