Heart of the Night Part 13
Heart pounding, Quatre stood unmoving in the open doorway. "Is it Adrianne?" Vachel's voice rang in his ears. "Quatre?" He opened his mouth to warn the young man away, but he was too late. Vachel peered around the edge of the door and went deathly still. "You..."
Trowa's gaze slid to the black-haired man, narrowing as he seemed to size him up. "You know who I am?" He said flatly.
"Of course I know who you are, Lord Barton," Vachel stepped around Quatre and gave the slender brunette a mocking bow.
Trowa's eyes narrowed even further and faster than either Quatre or Vachel could react he grabbed the young man and propelled him across the small room, slamming his back into the wall. Vachel gasped in surprise, pain creeping through his limbs, Trowa's eyes almost seemed to glow in his anger.
"Trowa!" Quatre yelled, grabbing the taller man's arm. "Stop!"
"Who is he?" Trowa demanded never letting his gaze leave Vachel's.
"He's a friend!" The blonde cried.
Trowa saw Vachel wince at Quatre's words and knew that they were more than that. "You're in danger... anyone close to you could be a threat!" He dug his fingers into Vachel's throat. Hunger rose up in him, fierce from his journey, and he felt his teeth prick his tongue. He'd been so worried about Quatre's safety that he'd not stopped to feed... and now... rage at hearing their words combined with his need for blood were ravaging his senses.
Vachel saw a subtle change come over the man and his eyes widened. Something was not right... there was something... wrong with the person who had been Quatre's guardian. "Please... " He struggled to draw a breath. "I'm no threat... I'd... ne-never... hurt..." He let out a strangled sound as Trowa's fingers tightened.
"Stop!!!" Quatre cried again. "Vachel is no danger to me! I've known him since I came here..." He reached up and grabbed Trowa's face, forcing the man to look down at him. "He loves me..." His eyes saddened. "He loves me... will you take that away from me? Do you intend to deny me what you would not give me?" He said softly.
Quatre's quiet words wounded deeper than any weapon could. Trowa felt the rage drain from him, and slowly he loosened his grip on Vachel. The grey-eyed man slid to the floor, holding his throat, coughing and struggling to draw breath through his bruised windpipe. Trowa watched as Quatre rushed by him to kneel beside Vachel, speaking softly to him. Finally the young man looked up at Trowa, his blue eyes flashing.
"You have no right!" He cried. He stood suddenly, facing the taller brunette. Suddenly he reached out and slapped Trowa as hard as he could.
The taller man could have avoided the blow, but instead he stood firm, his gaze remaining steady. The only indication that he might have felt the blow was a flickering in the blazing green depths of his eyes.
"You have no right!" Quatre repeated his fists clenched in barely contained anger. "You are no longer my guardian... I am of age. You have had to right for nearly four years! From the time you threw me out of your life!"
"Quatre..." Vachel coughed reaching up to grasp the blonde's hand. "Don't... he's..."
"No!" Quatre said. "I told you how I felt all those years ago and you turned your back on me! You have kept it turned since... why would you bother to appear before me now?" He lowered his head to look at his lover. "Leave Trowa... you are not welcome here. I don't care what reasons brought you... I don't want to hear them." Tears filled his eyes as he knelt back down beside Vachel. "Leave us."
Trowa reached out and briefly touched the golden silk hair atop Quatre's head and when the young man raised his head to speak again... the brunette was gone. He started and looked around the room. He hadn't even heard the door. Shaking his head in bewilderment he helped Vachel to his feet and led him to the small bed. Sitting down beside him, he looked closely at the bruises forming on the man's throat.
"I'm alright Quatre," Vachel said softly, his voice hoarse. "Quatre, listen to me... I don't know for sure what passed between you two, but I can guess most of it. All I can say is, be careful of him... he's... there's..." He shook his head. "I don't know what it is... but just be careful."
"I doubt he'd cause me any harm," Quatre replied.
"Quatre," The black haired man grabbed his hands. "I'm telling you, there's something odd here. Please! Promise me! I'm afraid to leave you here with him around... but I have no choice! So, while I am gone..."
"It's alright, Vachel. I will be cautious. I don't intend to see him again so it shouldn't be very hard to do."
Vachel stood. "I have to go. I need to finish preparations for tomorrow. When I go, make sure your door is bolted." He couldn't shake the feeling he had that they were indeed in danger.
The blonde nodded silently as he followed Vachel to the door. Not a word was spoken as the pair kissed gently and then Vachel turned and left. Bolting the door Quatre leaned against it and closed his eyes. Sliding down the door, he sat on the floor, drawing his knees to his chest and let his tears slide down his face.
"Why now?" He whispered brokenly. "Why after all this?"
Trowa moved silently though the city streets, his eyes glittering like the predator he was. His hunger had grown so piercing that he was unaware of anyone but the man he followed. The travel... no feeding... the tumult of his emotions... had all combined to make him weak. And it had been a while from the time he left the boarding house, before he picked up the thoughts of someone suitable for feeding on.
An older man, his pocket bulging with the coin that he'd killed to acquire.
Had the brunette been stronger, he would have sensed the presence of others of his kind, moving just as silently through the shadows; trailing him like wraiths.
Glittering amber eyes turned to ones of deep midnight. "Normally I wouldn't send you after him... but he's weak... weak enough for you to overcome." He spoke with thought rather than words. "I don't wish him to know of my presence yet."
The woman nodded in understanding her eyes taking on a feral gleam. She was eager for the chance to strike at the person that had wounded her master so deeply.
"Go carefully, Bella, my beautiful fledgling." He melted further into the shadows as he watched her approach Trowa. His eyes glittered as he watched her raise her hands to deliver a powerful blow to the back of Trowa's head.
Trowa shook his head to clear it. What the hell had happened to him? All he could recall was lights exploding behind his eyes. Someone had struck him? Knocked him unconscious? Impossible! Only another one like himself would have such strength! His senses returning to him, he started to become aware of his surroundings.
He was tied in the center of a small shed, his arms drawn high and secured to the rafters with strong rope, his body stretched so the his toes barely touched the dirt floor beneath him. Someone had stripped his shirt and boots from him, leaving him clad only in his black breeches. Growling angrily he ignored the ache in his body as he started to move his hands to break the ropes.
"There's no sense," A hauntingly seductive voice washed over him.
He glared at the shadows in front of him as a young woman stepped from the deepest shadows. Her eyes were a clear midnight blue, her black hair framed her face in soft curls, and her lips were bright with the stain of fresh blood. "You were greatly weakened to begin with," She spoke, her voice flowing like honeyed waves. Reaching out she ran her fingers across the hard surface of his chest. "And I have drained you even more," Drawing her hand back, Trowa saw the glistening stain of his own blood before her pink tongue darted out to lick her fingers clean. "You have less strength than that washed out mortal you seem to be so bent on protecting. Your wounds won't even heal any longer."
Trowa snarled angrily, straining to break the ropes on his wrists.
All she did was laugh, "You very well may finally find death." Leaning in, she lapped at the rivulets of blood flowing across his skin.
"I know you..." He suddenly rasped. "I saved you!"
Her eyes narrowed. "Saved me? Nay! You dammed me with your attention! While you were destroying my attackers... he was draining me of my life... replacing it with his own!!" Her nails raked his skin, drawing more lines of blood. "I'm his creature now! I would have preferred rape at their hands! At least I would have been alive!!" Tossing her dark hair away from her face, she stepped back and raised her head.
"He's calling me back... I'll finish you tonight." She finally said softly throwing open the door of the tiny shed and walking out into the night.
Calling on the last reserves of his strength, his arms strained against his bonds as he struggled to escape. Blood flowed freely from his wounds and he let out a cry of sheer frustration, he had to escape... he had to get to Quatre. Instinctively he knew they'd target him next. They'd not let him die before knowing that they had destroyed the young blonde.
The ropes gave way and relief washed through him as he fell to the floor. He stood shakily and lurched forward to the door. Clutching the doorframe, he felt his strength draining from him as he slid down the door, heedless of the splinters of aged wood tearing into his skin.
"Quatre..." He whispered. "Get away; get out of there." His vision swam. "Please..." The last word came out in a drawn-out, dry, hoarse whisper.
Quatre's head snapped up so fast he struck the door behind him. Wincing, he climbed unsteadily to his feet, silently berating himself for falling asleep on the floor. Then he stopped and went perfectly still in the dark room. What had woken him anyway? He was dreaming... he had heard Trowa calling for him.
He had heard Trowa telling him to escape, but from what? Then a feeling of dark dread washed over him, leaving him breathless in its intensity. Lighting a lamp, he clutched the edge of his desk as he tried to sort his thoughts. What was happening to him?
Trowa, it was Trowa, he was in trouble. The blonde grabbed his coat and ran from the room, ignoring the memory of what he had said to the man. All he knew now was that Trowa might be in trouble and he couldn't abandon him if he was.
A voice pulled the brunette back. A voice sweeter than anything he ever thought he'd hear again. With great effort he forced his eyes open to look up into the clear, blue pools of Quatre's. He's here... he's safe. He thought as relief washed over him.
"Thank God," The blonde whispered, tears falling onto Trowa's skin. "I wasn't sure if I could call you back."
"I don't know... I just knew where to go." Quatre wiped at the blood on Trowa's face.
No, not safe! They will return! "You have to get out of here!" Trowa struggled to sit up.
"I need to get you to a hospital," Quatre replied, helping the man to his feet. "I rented a carriage, can you walk that far?"
"No hospital!" Trowa gasped. "Take me to the house I'm staying in."
"I'll be fine!" He'd suffered worse than this. "Please... Quatre... just do what I tell you, or we may both die."
The blonde paled but he nodded silently. Trowa leaned heavily on Quatre's shoulder and the smaller man helped him outside and into the waiting carriage. Trowa gave him the directions and he passed them on to the driver. Finally settling back in the seat beside the brunette, he started to clean his wounds the best he could with material ripped from his vest.
When they reached the cottage, Quatre helped Trowa from the carriage and went to pay the man, telling him that he didn't need to wait. He'd return to the city in the morning. Then, turning around, the blonde gasped as his eyes took in the shabby, run-down building; it looked about to fall in on itself with its rotting walls and broken windows.
"You rented this?" Quatre said quietly as Trowa staggered forward.
"No. It's abandoned... I'm borrowing it." The brunette replied weakly, holding himself up at the doorway. "I didn't have time to find accommodations in the city." Not ones that would be safe for me.
Quatre coughed as they entered the tiny cottage, stirring up layers of dust. Why wouldn't he take the time to find a decent townhouse? Looking around him, he winced at the sight of the place; it looked no better on the inside. He was sure that the only things that had entered this building in years had been rats and spiders. He guessed he could weather it for the rest of the night at least. Looking down at his snowy white shirt, now streaked with Trowa's blood, he sighed.
"Quatre," Trowa spoke softly from the doorway of one of the few rooms the cottage boasted. "Listen very carefully to what I say to you." His green eyes flickered weakly. "I have to rest,"
"You need a doctor!" Quatre snapped. Was he supposed to just sit back and watch his guardian bleed to death?
"No... I don't." Trowa let out a shaky sigh. "I have to rest, that's all. No matter what, once I enter that room, you are not to enter it. You are not to disturb me until I awaken. Is that understood?"
"Please! Quatre! Tell me I can trust you! It's important to your own safety."
The blonde winced, trust, he'd been accused of breaking Trowa's trust before. "Maybe I should just leave."
"No!" Trowa reached out a shaking hand. "Stay... you have to stay until I can leave here to protect you! Just don't disturb me while I sleep."
Wrapping his arms around himself, Quatre shivered at the flicker of pain and fear he saws in the green depths of Trowa's eyes. Slowly he nodded, "Alright."
"Thank-you," Trowa whispered before walking unsteadily into the room and softly closing the door.
Quatre looked around the small building, discovering one other bedroom. And as the sun started to peek over the horizon he managed to fall asleep in the dusty bed he found there.
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