Desire of the Erotic Vampire
By Emy Naso
A tale of desire, envy, sexual lust and an evil Vampire
Se’argo kept to the long cloistered shade, slowly walking passed the crowds in the market square, eyes furtively casting about at the mass of detestable humanity, mind fixed by cold blind range on the injustice that he was sure had been done to him.
Clutching the simple message he’d received last night, his fingernails dug into the paper in the way he wished to scour the skin of his master. Stopping by the bell tower, Se’argo again looked at the words from General Orlando. Simple, terse and with no remorse. It informed the humble lieutenant that it was Caston who was promoted to be Captain.
“If that is the gratitude, the great Orlando shows me after five years following his campaigns, then I will let chaos and bloody mayhem into his world,” Se’argo muttered and moved under a canopy of a fruit sellers stall, picking up an orange and tossing the young woman a coin, with a sly grin to test if she found his military uniform and dark wavy hair attractive.
It was not the thoughts of her flesh that brought him to the market. He knew Prince Brantano came to the church in the morning and he wanted their meeting to appear casual, so the words he had to impart weren’t seen as malice, but those of a friend. He heard the fanfare of trumpets, and then saw the red cloaks of the guards clearing a way through the crowd for the ruler of the city.
Striding across the square came the figure of the Prince, middle aged, with a shock of gray hair, but still noble and regal in the confident way one born to be a leader easily possessed. The guards formed a corridor for the Prince to enter the church, and as he did Se’argo moved from the shadows and stood, as if observing the ancient spire.
“Wait,” Prince Brantano instructed his entourage. “Is that you, Lieutenant Se’argo? Come and greet me, after all your master, General Orlando, is here with his mercenary army to defend us from the invaders.”
The plan had worked. Se’argo respectfully approached the Prince, dutifully letting the royal personage speak first.
“So how is the military genius today?” The Prince benevolently smiled, hiding the fear all inhabitants of Verusa felt, knowing the marauding hordes of Timonel were only fifty miles away and reports constantly reached them of the murder, mayhem and rape, inflicted on other cities by this fiend from the east.
“General Orlando will soon be inspecting the fortifications, my Lord,” Se’argo loyally answered, putting just enough emphases on the word soon.
“What keeps him from those duties, Lieutenant?”
It was the reaction for which Se’argo had hoped.
“A young and nubile lover would keep the greatest of men in their bed beyond daybreak, my Lord,” Se’argo answered without raising his glance from the ground.
“Such a famous warrior must have many admirers, Lieutenant. Who is the lucky lady?”
Se’argo kept his head bowed. The next move had to be exact.
“You will understand, my Lord, that it is but a rumor.”
“Why so serious, Se’argo? Soldiers have good appetites.” The Prince laughed and slapped the lieutenant on the back. “Come, fellow, tell me the name of the fortunate young lady who has captured the heart of the General?”
There was a slight, calculated hesitation. Then Se’argo uttered, “It is Demontia, my Lord.”
Two of the Prince’s entourage who stood within earshot, hearing the name looked aghast and frowned at the soldier. Prince Brantano’s face remained passive. He leaned nearer to Se’argo and in what passed as a whisper in one so regally arrogant, “Do you speak of my daughter, Demontia?”
The bell toiled loudly in the tower, calling the faithful to prayer. Se’argo looked up and shrugged helplessly to show he could not speak while the noise continued. When the last resounding peel died away he looked deferentially at the Prince and merely nodded. Prince Brantano’s eyes narrowed, he pursed his lips and tapped his hand agitatedly against the hilt of his sword.
Now more of his follows had moved closer. The Prince still remained silent. The thoughts of a cunning and aristocratic ruler could almost be seen at work. The great General and his victorious mercenary army had been summoned to the City of Verusa to defend it against the all-conquering army of Timonel, not to cavort with his daughter. He may have been powerful, but he was not of noble birth. There was another factor in this unfolding scandal. General Orlando was a foreigner from far of Cathania, who had the skin of his race, black and sleek. Do you show prejudice against the man who has come to fight your enemies? The Prince gave an imperious wave of the hand.
“Tell General Orlando I wish to speak with him urgently,” he addressed Se’argo briefly, then swept on into the church. After he had gone, the lieutenant allowed himself a small grin. He knew, even from the Prince’s guarded words, that he was mightily displeased with the General’s affair with his daughter and would soon bring an end to it. What Se’argo had not divulged was the true love between Orlando and Demontia, and the General’s open vow to marry her honorably.
Se’argo was pleased with this beginning. He would yet have revenge on the over confident General. There were other secrets in his heart.
Ever since he had seen Demontia he had harbored passion for her and Orlando’s love and the way she returned it, only fuelled Se’argo’s jealousy, now doubled by this insult of over-looking him for promotion. Then there was the even darker secret. These last two years Se’argo had been a changed man. He smiled to himself at the expression.
He was not even a real man. When they had been campaigning in Trans- Apennine, Se’argo had fallen in love with the sister of the Count. She had shown him such erotic ways and then in the height of their lovemaking, bitten deep into his neck, sucking and tasting blood, making him one of their own – the undead, the risen, the Vampires of The Cloven Hoof One.
That evening, in the assigned headquarters of the mercenary army, Se’argo busied himself with preparations for the possible attack of Timonel’s forces, while all the time watching the General and his newly promoted Captain, Caston, standing by the charts and talking softly.
“Se’argo,” the General called, waving for the Lieutenant to join them.
“Yes, Sir,” he answered and walked over.
“What thoughts do you have this evening, my trusty friend,” Orlando addressed Se’argo.
“I think the plans are well done,” Se’argo praised, but in his heart hating both the men standing before him.
“So why such a gloomy face?”
Again the Lieutenant choose his reply carefully, weighing their effect in his long term aims to destroy the General and have Demontia for her precious blood and pale moonlight flesh.
“It is not the war preparations that I worry about, Sir.”
“Then tell me what is your concern, Se’argo?”
“As you know, Sir, I have followed you longer than any officer. I hope my loyalty is without question?” He smiled modestly at Orlando and got back a hail agreement. Then he continued. “I hear…although I know nothing of the source…that Prince Brantano has learned of your love for Demontia, and he is annoyed, Sir.”
“I cannot believe such ignoble thoughts are harbored by the Prince,” Orlando said surprised. “Does he object to me fighting for his city?”
Se’argo and Caston shook their heads.
“Perhaps he objects to my black skin,” Orlando laughed heartily. “For surely this dark and swarthy complexion will save his own pallid and sunless skin,” the General joked. Caston and Se’argo joining in the jest, but the Lieutenant kept quiet that he suspected this was one of the reasons the Prince balked at the General’s love of his daughter.
The conversation came to and end, as a soldier marched in, saluted to the officers and presented Orlando with a scroll. The General unfurled it, read and then said,” Timonel has seized the Bregona Fleet and is attempting to outflank us. There will be much to do this night.”
As the soldier left their presence an emissary from the court arrived to announce the arrival of Prince Brantano. The ruler of Verusa swept in, acknowledging the greetings of the two junior officers. He sat by the table with the charts and gave everyone an authoritative look to indicate he wished to be alone with the General. The company left the room. Se’argo loitered by the door and when everyone else was gone, waited, hidden, listening to the conversation.
“I will come to the point of my visit, General,” The Prince’s voice was strong, with just the hint of caution. “Are you my daughter’s lover?”
“It would be more accurate to say we love each other. The though comes before the deed, good Prince.”
“Have you woven some kind of magic, General?”
Se’argo, from his hiding place, smiled, and thought, the only devilish magic in the air was the powers he would call upon to crush both Orlando and bring Demontia to his bidding.
“Let me call your daughter and she shall answers for herself,” Orlando defended himself to the Prince. He went to the door. Se’argo pulled back farther into the shadows he loved so well.
“Demontia,” Orlando called, waited and then took her hand as she came along the corridor. She went with Orlando, curtseyed dutifully to her father and looked at both men apprehensively.
“Your father believes I have brought you to our love by some type of enchantment. Will you answer him in your own words, my love,” Orlando asked.
Demontia know, like every woman, the pride and childlike egotism surrounding the male heart. These two men were fighting for her love, her recognition and confirmation of their own worth. She would have to tread carefully, like a dancer leaping over the scattered rose petals of a celebration.
“This is not an incantation, father. I know I owe you fealty, but it was your love for my mother that brought me into this world, and such emotion I now have for Orlando.” Demontia held her father’s hand and with such sweetness he could not remain angry.
“Now, the army of Timonel will not wait,” the General urged. “We have reports he has taken the fleet at Bregona, so it is there I must go.” Demontia stepped toward her lover.
“No, it would be too dangerous. You must stay here. And to show what love I have for you I will leave one of my trusted officers to guard you.” Orlando turned and called, “Se’argo.”
His lieutenant waited in his hiding place, not wishing to appear immediately, then walked briskly into the room, saluted the General and bowed to Prince Brantano and his beautiful daughter.
If she had known what lustful and lascivious thoughts that innocent smiled hid, her skin would have crawled as if infested by a thousand maggots oozing from the belly of the carcass of death.
The dust from the columns of soldiers marching out of Verusa faded into the distance, Se’argo standing on the parapet of the Citadel watching them disappear. He looked up to the moon and felt the energy of the night flow through his body. The first plan to discredit Orlando with the Prince had failed because of the soothing words of Demontia. Now another strategy came into his fiendish mind. The beginning of its implementation would serve two purposes.
Shifting like the wolf of the dark forest, Se’argo took the winding narrow stairs down from the high walls and came to an oak door. He knocked lightly.
“Who is it?” The voice was tender but alert. The lieutenant soaked in its feminine softness and let his thoughts imagine the smooth curves of a throat, which uttered such a plaintive sound.
“Se’argo,” he gently replied.
Locks slid back and the door opened to let a glow slither out in a wedge shape across the stone stairs.
“Quickly, come in.” It was Rohanne, the young maid to Demontia. Se’argo had long craved the warmth of her body, and was wooing her secretly.
He slid stealthily into the room and closed the door.
“It is late, Se’argo,” she shyly fidgeted as he held her in his arms and tried to embrace Rohanne’s young lips.
“The General has asked me to look after Demontia and if I can be trusted to take care of your mistress, surely you will have conviction that I will honor and love you, Rohanne?”
She lowered her eyes bashfully, but liked the words and the strength of his arms around her. He led her, not unwillingly, to the bed in the corner of the small room, with its one long arched window. As he guided her down on the bed, he felt for the roundness of her breasts, kissing her lips, being sorely tempted to let his mouth find the swan neck and take her into his realm with one blooding sucking embrace. Se’argo held back from his true nature. He needed the young woman in this world. Soon enough when Orlando was destroyed would he bite into her fair skin and find the veins of life.
For tonight, he would sugar his words to prepared her for the evil plan, and let his body enjoy the moisture of her deep sexual joy. With soothing platitudes, Se’argo undressed young Rohanne, let his tongue find the swell and hardness of her nipples, as his fingers opened her loins, playing passion with fingers around the silkiness of her youthful clitoris, then sliding his cock into her.
When he sensed she was in the spell of desire, with her knees raised and legs curled around him, he kept his pumping to a teasing, steady pace, whispering to her so the words would linger. “If you love me, Rohanne, you must help me watch and guard Demontia.” he kept subtlety repeating the need for her loyalty, and when she moaned in ecstasy, let her feel the power and final extent of his love seep longingly in the depth of her vagina.
Se’argo rolled onto his back and held the panting Rohanne in his arms. He was satisfied he had implanted both the idea in her susceptible mind, and his seed in her womb.
Demontia awoke to the noise of shouting and cheering. She got out of bed and called for her maid, Rohanne. By the time they had dressed and run down the corridor, passed the statuesque line of guards, and into the reception hall, her father, Prince Brantano was there with a crowd of excited courtiers and a group of soldiers from Orlando’s army. Demontia scanned the gathering but didn’t see her lover, the General. From the melee, Captain Caston strolled happily toward the lovely woman, bowed low, took her hand and kissed her on each cheek.
“What is the commotion?” Demontia asked.
“The enemies fleet has been vanquished,” Her farther smiled.
“And Orlando?” she asked anxiously.
“Safe…but still at sea, chasing the remnants of Timonel’s navy back to the ends of the earth,” Caston laughed.
As they hugged and talked animatedly, Se’argo, standing in a far corner, looked on and schemes. Seeing his fellow officer, Caston marched toward him.
“Excuse my exhilaration, Se’argo, but it was such a famous victory.”
“I am pleased for you, Caston. My surprise was more in the manner of your greeting for such a noble Princess. I would not take such a liberty with an embrace on her fair cheeks.”
Caston laughed and put his arm around the lieutenant.
“Come, come, Se’argo, do not show your upbringing. In the noble circles of my childhood it was common to show gracious and effusive greetings.” Caston took two glasses of wine from a tray as a servant walked passed, giving one to Se’argo.
“Drink and rejoice, good Se’argo.” The Captain clinked his glass and then went back to a jubilant group. Se’argo sipped grudgingly, hating Caston for his arrogance in reminding him of his lowly birth. The vengeance and loathing he felt for Orlando was now coupled with an equal hatred of Caston.
The lieutenant quietly signaled Rohanne to come over, took her hand and furtively left the crowd to celebrate.
Up in his room, he took hold of Rohanne and kissed her hard.
“See how that Caston fawns over your mistress. Kissing her in public can only have one meaning.”
Rohanne stared at him in puzzlement.
“Can’t you see it, my precious? Caston is in love with your mistress.”
“It can’t be,” she stammered, visibly shaken at the suggestion.
Se’argo stepped away from her. “First this Caston insults me about my birth, now you offend my intelligence.” He angrily pushed Rohanne to the floor. She got to her knees, imploring him to forgive her.
“I meant no offense, my darling.”
He pulled her up and held her tiny wrists together with one powerful soldier’s hand, hardened in many battles.
“Do you wish me to love you, Rohanne?”
“Yes…oh, yes,” she pleaded
“Then you will do as I say without question. Do you understand?”
She nodded submissively.
He led her over to his bare couch, took hold of her pretty face with his other hand and looked close into her eyes, his wolverine pupils making her cower.
“First, you will promise to find the evidence that Caston and Demontia are lover. You will be my spy.” She nodded again.
“And now my sweet and succulent maid, you will undress so I can teach your body what obedience means.”
Rohanne did as he said, standing naked and demure before him. He gestured she should lay on the bed. She complied, spreading out on her back, waiting for him to take his pleasure with her as he had done the previous night.
“Turn over,” he gruffly commanded. When she was on her stomach, Se’argo took off his belt and stood over her. She looked up at the wall in front and saw the shadow of Se’argo poised over her, arm raised.
As he beat her rear and she grabbed the wooden rail at the head of the bed to stop herself crying out, she turned her head and saw the mirror on the far wall of his room. Through her pain, she was sure he had no reflection.
When her ass was red, he patted it, and kissed her back and the nap of her neck. For one fleeting moment she felt he was going to bite into her neck, his teeth raw and sharp piercing her skin. Then she sensed him slipping his cock out, kneeling over her and performing an act of sexual depravity on her delicious maiden’s rear.
The vampire lieutenant left Rohanne sobbing, and as it was evening, walked alone in the gardens of the Prince’s palace. As he got to the row of roses, trained along rope swags, he caught the scent of their buds and it reminded him of the lady in Trans-Apennine, who seduced him, made him her slave, then initiated him into the undead with the ferocity of her bitten love. It was her fragrance and he felt for the mark on his neck, howling to the moon for something lost. It was the sleep of the dead, not this eternal wandering in a state of nothingness.
His meander took him into a small graveyard, resplendent with the fine tomb monuments of the noble families of Verusa. The lust had been satiated on Rohanne, but in his soulless body, Se’argo knew the reality. In truth he also loved the beautiful and fascinating Demontia. His hatred of Orlando was not just the slight at passing him over for promotion. It was the thought of the General’s passionate nights with Demontia, the access to her body, the lips on her naked flesh, the sweating, the groaning, the submission of her joys to the General. This love of Demontia was feeding his need for revenge. If he had to roam the world as an undead, he wanted it to be with her.
He sat on a gravestone and looked at the inscription. A simple Rest In Peace. Se’argo wept for that peace. He became a raging animal, clawing at the earth, scrabbling in the mud, seeking the worms and creatures of the soil. When he had dug deep, he smashed the lid of the coffin with his sword and stared at the corpse. In a baying, penetrating the night air, he fell on the dead and wished he was in the grave forever.
The bells rang out across the city. The victorious fleet of General Orlando had landed and at a proclamation in the town square he had announced the total defeat of the forces of Timonel. Then he told the gathered nobles he was to marry Demontia and they were invited to the celebrations that evening.
Se’argo crept out on to a balcony overlooking the great hall of Prince Brantano. He had Rohanne with him. Standing just behind her, with his arms enfolding her soft body he whispered into her ear.
“You have done well to learn that our Captain Caston does not hold his drink. Now go among the guests and if you see the treacherous Caston making advances to our Demontia, do not forget to denounce him immediately. We do this for our noble General and his new wife.”
With this instructions, the maid went to her duties, and Se’argo set about his next stage of the plan.
Strolling surreptitiously among the guests he kept away from conversation and the dancing going on. Keeping close to Caston, he watched the young Captain charm people with his highborn manners and easy ways. When the drinks were being taken to Caston’s group, Se’argo was quick to intervene, pretending to the Captain to be a friend and saying he would pour the drinks. This gave him the opportunity to spice the wine with potency.
Very soon his design showed its effect. Caston was becoming visibly drunk and less cautious in his manner.
There was a fanfare of trumpets and the great General Orlando entered the hall with his bride, Demontia. As the couple walked through the crowd, Caston made a remark to his fellows that the lady was a beautiful catch for the General and he wished he’d caught her eye first.
It was meant as a compliment to both of them, but in his induced inebriated state he sounded more aggressive that it was meant. Rohanne, primed to be on her guard, saw the remark as an insult and rushed forward to remonstrate with the Captain.
Hearing the commotion, Orlando stopped and walked over.
“What is the cause of this row, at a time when we should be at peace?” he demanded.
“This man offends my mistress,” Rohanne said with emotional tears in her eyes.
“Explain yourself, Captain?” Orlando asked.
It would have been better for Caston to quietly apologize. But the wine had hold of his tongue.
“I merely paid homage to your lovely wife, General.” His speech was slurred, his stance unsteady. Orlando was a man who believed in the dignity of soldiers and he was alarmed at this behavior, but sought to excuse the Captain. Proceeding to the end of the hall, he saw Se’argo, his faithful friend, and called him to one side.
“Tell me what this is about, Lieutenant?”
“Our Captain is an eager and brave soldier, Sir.”
“His courage is not in question. Why was Demontia’s maid so upset?”
“She is young.”
“And I am impatient for an answer, Se’argo.”
“Captain Caston is perhaps a little too merry, Sir.”
“Your loyalty to a fellow officer is commendable and confirms my feeling about your honor. But as your commanding officer I order you to tell me the nature of the trouble.” Orlando stood, his handsome black face, large dark, compelling eyes, and, characteristically, hands on hips, staring at Se’argo. A look that had petrified many an enemy and charmed the ladies.
“He is drunk, General.”
“That is evident. Now tell me why the maid was angry?”
“Well, it must have been…well, a mistake.”
“I am waiting…but not for long, Se’argo.”
“The Captain made a reference to Demontia.”
Orlando’s face changed from imperious to furious.
“What did he say?”
“He said he should be the one…I’m sure it wasn’t…to have married her.”
The General raised a hand to signify the conversation was at an end.
“Tell Captain Caston I wish to see him immediately out on the balcony.” Se’argo bowed and went to tell the Captain. As Caston went outside, Se’argo stood waiting. All he heard were the words, “You are dismissed from my presence for one month at which time I will consider your rank and position.”
You didn’t argue with Orlando. As Captain Caston left the audience, Se’argo held his sleeve and took him aside.
“The General will calm down, my friend. Can I offer a word of advise?”
“Please do, Se’argo.”
“Did he tell you why he was annoyed?”
“I assume it was because I am drunk.”
“No other reason mentioned?”
“Then let me say, I have known the General for longer than anybody. If I was you, I would seek out a private audience with Demontia and ask her to intervene. He will listen to her.”
“Thank you, Se’argo, you are a good friend,” Caston blinked and shook the lieutenant’s hand.
When he had gone, Se’argo sought Rohanne.
“Watch out for your mistress. That Captain is bound to try and see her on his own so he can declare this foul love. Be our eyes and sentinel, Rohanne,” he said and kissed her lightly.
Rohanne had wanted Se’argo to come to bed and comfort her after the party. She was upset with the incident concerning Caston. The lieutenant dismissed her fears and said he needed to be alone for a while.
The heat of the day had been blown gentle away by a breeze coming in from the natural lagoon, which had made Verusa such a naval power and trading city. Se’argo could hear the celebrations continuing in the palace as he walked down the cobbled street toward the harbor. The Inns were closing, landlords throwing out the last of the revelers and shouting for them to go home.
The docksides were packed with ships from all over the world, as well as the war fleet anchored just off the coast. He could see the flickering lights of the watch-guards on the frigates. An occasional party of drunker sailors passed him, swaying and singing, and, if they were lucky and had money, ladies of the night with them to un-stiffen their cocks and wallets.
The lieutenant enjoyed this time of day, staring at the stars, feeling the mother-moon shining on him, sending strength and not draining the vitality from him, like the dazzling, showy sun.
He leaned into an alcove to stay hidden from another group of rowdy sailors. When they had gone, he was about to move out. Two further figures came along the quayside. Stopping, for a moment, they moved very close together and the man kissed his young lady. Se’argo’s eyes were adapted to the dark and see saw clearly the face and figure of the girl. She was young, no more than eighteen, and the way she smiled sent a shiver through him. She was the personification of his temptress – the woman of Trans-Apennine.
Se’argo saw that the man was saying goodnight. He watched as he walked away, turning frequently to wave to his lover. The woman wrapped her shawl over her head and headed toward the city.
Holding close to the dock edge, Se’argo moved swiftly, and just as the girl crossed out of the quayside he stepped from the shadows, dagger in one hand, clutched her and stifled any attempt at screaming with his other hand over her pretty, wide mouth. With the blade pressed to her throat, Se’argo called upon his demonic power to simulate the distinctive deep voice of General Orlando.
“Do you know who I am, girl?”
Unable to speak, she nodded in fear.
“I am the savor of your city. Now you will be the first of many to give thanks.”
He pushed her along the dockside, into a warehouse, throwing her down on the bales of corn stacked against the wall. Immediately he was on her, dagger still demanding silence, and hands ripping at her dress. Not only did his magic disguise his voice, but also his supernatural powers clouded her mind, so she saw the handsome black face of the General violating her body.
“What is your name, girl?
“Emilia,” she trembled.
Helplessly she submitted as the specter of the General stripped her, forced himself between her legs and entered Emilia. Pumping hard and fast, Se’argo found great pleasure in assuming the form of his adversary, watching the girl, delighting in her whimpers and muffled protests.
When his lust was spent, he stood over Emilia, and haughtily said, “Tell your friends you have been taken by Orlando. No maiden in this city will be safe from my demands.”
With that, the figure disappeared into the murky night. Emilia pulled her clothes around her, and ran sobbing from the warehouse. A raven flew high over the bobbing ships and dipped across the lagoon, eventually flying to the turrets of the palace.
She walked along the arbor, with honeysuckle, white jasmine and vines, intertwining on the wooden supports, the buds swollen and ready to burst out. Demontia heard footsteps on the gravel path, turned and saw it was Captain Caston who she’d arranged to meet.
He greeted her warmly, taking her hand and going down on one knee.
“Please, that is not necessary,” she blushed.
“It is so kind of you to intervene on my behalf, my lady.”
“I cannot promise anything, Captain. But I will talk to my husband and try to get him to see sense.”
“That is all I can ask,” he smiled weakly, trying to remain optimistic.
“Now Captain, tell me what I should say?”
As the gallant and honorable Captain Caston, pleaded his case, still on his bended knee, from the semi-circle of trimmed laurel bushes Se’argo and Rohanne watched.
“Now do you believe me?” the lieutenant sneered. “Is their love not open.”
Rohanne wiped a tear from her eye, sad that her mistress was flouting the love of her husband, General Orlando, so openly. When Caston saluted and embraced the cheek of Demontia, she sighed for such betrayal, and became angry, watching the Captain disappear beyond the gardens. Just at the moment the General arrived calling to his new wife.
Se’argo and Rohanne approached, but then stopped as it was obvious Orlando and Demontia were in serious discussion and they heard the name of Caston mentioned many times. Lady Demontia looked despondent, and hurried away. Her maid followed her, while Se’argo cautiously approached the General.
The great war leader reached up and pulled a stray growth of the honeysuckle away from the main climbing plant, and studiously inspected it as if he expected to find the answer to his problems in the simple stem.
“Se’argo, don’t hesitate. I could do with some honest company.”
“You look troubled, Sir?”
“Why are humans so wayward and not like this uncomplicated plant?”
Se’argo considered. “Is not the sweetest honeysuckle a deceiving thing, Sir? It has to be tended and watched by the gardener. Let is alone, and its wandering tendrils will seek to climb and hug everything in sight.” The lieutenant kept his voice gentle, but cunningly studied the General to see if his subtle metaphor struck home. Orlando pursed his lips and sighed deeply. He clasped Se’argo’s hand and said, “You are a true friend, my brave lieutenant. Would be the woman in my life were so candid.”
The wine was the color of the autumn fruit from the mountains of Greniella, far to the south east of Verusa. Orlando poured two glasses and held up the flask of pure spring water, silently asking Demontia if she wanted her drink to be diluted. His dark haired wife nodded and waited for him to pass her the drink. It was an hour before dinner and her father, Prince Brantano had been invited for a banquet to celebrate the defeat of Timonel’s army.
She sipped the honeyed liquor, and snipped a small bunch of grapes by pinching the long stalk with the cultured painted nails of her thumb and index finger. Biting into a single juicy black orb, she dangled the rest of the grapes in front of Orlando’s face, offering him the fruit as a token of love.
He didn’t turn to look at her. Still holding the grapes, she ran her hand down his dark black svelte skin, got to his chest, pressed hard, and as the juice ran down, moved forward to lick and taste the bitter sweet berry and body.
Orlando was aroused from his thoughts, took her head in his hands and rolled her onto her back, his powerful arms and body submerging the delicacy of his wife. Kisses smothered her face and neck, his hands slipping the silk wrap from her shoulders so he could visually feast on the white naked breasts, with their soft crimson circles crowning the peeks of her nipples.
Demontia could see the fierce passion in Orlando’s naked body, his erection rising at the touch of her fingers and the anticipation of possession. She wanted him to take her completely, own and delve into her joy, not slowly but as the soldier, subduing and winning in passion’s conquest. Demontia surrendered, parting her legs, raising her knees and enticing the master of her pleasure to penetrate into her sex. Once in her softness, she could hold and tantalize, taking as he gave, receiving as he groaned.
His cock thrust in, now they were one, love joined in the beast of desire, the animal that makes humanity forget itself, the magic moment, neither body or mind, the nearest mortals could get to the gods.
She cried his name many times and Orlando moved rapidly to satisfy the hunger in his loins. The mountain summit took their breath away and then the slipped slowly, descending into the slopes of comfort valley, resting their weary souls. Soon both slept contentedly, for the while at peace and jealousy forgotten.
Rohanne tapped lightly at their bedroom door. Not getting an answer, she stole in, saw her master and mistress sleeping, was about to leave quietly, when she spied Demontia’s specially silk embroider handkerchief. On an impulse she picked it up and went to find Se’argo
The raven’s head twitched side to side, his beady eyes surveying the useless life’s of the little earthbound humans scurrying about their business down in the streets below the palace. He sat overbearingly on the ledge of the window, listening to the sound of the city. There was a creak of the door. Within a fleeting moment, the raven had vanished, and Se’argo appeared, standing in the room just as Rohanne came in.
“Look what I have for you,” she said, waving the handkerchief, seeking his approval.
He didn’t answer. His mind was elsewhere. All he could see was the young body of this woman, the passivity of her mind, the willingness to please him.
“It belongs to Demontia. It’s very special.” She spoke again to try and convince him of her devotion. Se’argo felt that need to punish others for his own entrapment. If everyone suffered, perhaps his lonely torment wouldn’t be so bad.
“Put it on the table,” he instructed.
“Have I done well?” she meekly asked. He shrugged and grabbed hold of her wrist, dragging her to him. He seized the top of her dress with both clawing hands and ripped hard and furious. It tore away from her body, so she stood naked to breasts and loins. The sight of her flesh sent him into a fever of craving. He dare not touch her, because out of control he would bite her neck and make her his undead mate. And that time was not yet. First he must destroy Orlando and take Demontia.
Se’argo slowly undressed, led Rohanne over to the bed, took a whip from a cupboard, lay face down and stretch his arms out, gripping the end rail tightly.
“Beat me, my love. Remove this passion from my soul…then I will lash your pale skin and make you howl like the she wolf crying to copulate with the wild dog.
The lieutenant left Rohanne in his bed, her beautiful ass red from the whip, her yielding clitoris, sore from his rampaging cock.
He crept along the corridors, listening to the noises of the sleeping palace. When he reached Caston’s room, he gently lifted the latch, relieved the bolt hadn’t been thrown. The room was dark, but to Se’argo it was a natural abode, his eyes seeing through the gloom.
Immediately he saw the place. He moved over to the end of the bed, contemptuously sneering at the browsing Captain, dropped the embroider handkerchief on the floor, and sneaked out of the room.
Heading for the main quarters, he saluted the guards as he approached the General’s living quarters. Lightly rapping on the door, he waited and was met by a servant.
“Is the General here?” Se’argo asks.
“Just a moment,” the old man said and gave the lieutenant an odd look, wondering if the man knew it was very late.
“Let him come in.” It was Orlando’s voice from inside. Se’argo marched in. The General was sitting at a table, a single candle on the table and charts spread everywhere.
“What brings you to see me this late, lieutenant? You are fortunate to find me up. I went to bed earlier but have risen to study our next campaign. Rosio, bring wine for Se’argo,” he called to the old retainer.
“I hope you know I am your loyal man, Sir,” Se’argo said, shifting on his feet.
“That I know. But tell me what news.” the General said impatiently.
Se’argo smiling on his lips, and hatred in his heart. “It is your interests, Sir, which are paramount to my duty.”
Orlando gave him a look of growing irritation.
“Does your wife own an embroider handkerchief with the crest of Brantano in gold and silver thread, Sir?”
“What is it you are saying, Se’argo.”
The Lieutenant coughed and tried to show humility. “Lady Demontia’s maid has come to me to say that such a handkerchief was seen by one of the servants.”
“Where, lieutenant? Speak quickly.”
“In the rooms of Captain Caston, Sir.”
There was a long pause. General Orlando stared into the space of the room. He suddenly turned to Se’argo and waved him from his presence. Once the lieutenant had departed, Orlando went into the bedroom, shook his wife and sat on the side of the bed.
Se’argo rushed back to his own room and told Rohanne that if she loved him, she must go to Caston, flirt with him and tell him the handkerchief is hers.
“But make sure you leave it with him, my darling. And if you want to please me, do not spurn his advances.” Se’argo kissed her, put on his cloak and said,” I wish to walk for a while. You must act as I command, my love”
Rohanne heard the door closed, put her head on the pillow and cried, sobbing that her man wanted to make her a whore for the army.
She tapped the door as lightly as possible, hoping he would not hear, and then she could return to Se’argo and say in truth Caston was not in his room. But a voice called, “Who is there?”
She breathed deeply and pushed open the door, her pretty young face peering around the edge with the innocence of the lamb that has been told of the slaughterhouse but still skips on in blind faith.
“Rohanne? Come in. What luck has brought you to my room?” Caston smiled and licked his lips, as any lustful and virile man would do if visited by a lovely maiden in the early hours of the morning.
She went into the room. He was sitting up in bed, the cover fallen from his bare chest. Her instincts told her he was naked under the coarse blanket.
“Well, Rohanne? Sit by me.” She demurely perched on the edge of the bed, her hands folded in her lap, eyes looking at the stone floor, for some reason following the crack in a tile, which like her life had no purpose or straight route to anywhere.
His hands started to touch her back. Visited by a pretty girl at this hour could mean one thing in his mind. She loved and feared Se’argo and so did not cry out or stop Caston as his fingers slipped beneath her dress and caressed the cold flesh of her small breasts. He did not need her enthusiasm to fire his desire. Just her presence and soundless acquisition.
Pulling her down on the bed, he undid the buttons on the front of her dress and exposed her breasts, first to his urgent hands, then his mouth joined in the delight.
Caston pushed the cover back, revealing his arousal, his hard cock upright with lust.
“Oh, Caston. Will you forgive me if the moon’s cycle makes my maidenhood a private place at this time.” He understood her excuse not to satisfy his desires with his shaft buried in her vagina, but he needed gratification.
“There will be other times, dear Rohanne. For tonight make your words still with the taste of my rod in that sweet mouth.”
She let him guide her head down to his loins, licked and fondled as she knew he demanded, then took the beast and sucked, listening to him pant and moan. His mounting climax resonated like a cavernous call of untamed sexuality, until the male sap erupted. Rohanne felt the feverish, saltiness of his relief in her mouth, its exhausted passion trickling from her rosy lips.
Her task was completed. He wanted her to remain in his bed, but she said there were duties waiting. As she got up and dressed, Rohanne picked up the handkerchief, pretending it was hers.
“A pretty thing for a servant,” Caston joked.
“A present from my mistress,” she explained. Then Se’argo’s instruction came into her head. “But you keep it, Caston, as a token of our night together.”
He tried to reach up to bring her back to his arms, but she smiled and insisted she must go.
Prince Brantano sat stony faced, looking up, tutting, and then staring down again at the letter in his hand. His advisors were silent, waited for their master to speak.
“Is the General on his way? The Prince asked.
At that moment, Orlando and his senior officers arrived, including Lieutenant Se’argo.
“Why such an early summons to your council, Majesty?” the General asked in his rough manner, showing none of the niceties of court etiquette. Prince Brantano threw the letter across the table. “See, here, General. The army of Timonel is re-grouping and are sacking the towns to the south our lands.”
Orlando studied the letter, sighed, and then immediately gave orders to his officers. Within minutes only Se’argo remained in the council chambers with the General, Prince Brantano and his entourage.
“These are but the stranglers of a defeated army, Majesty. I have given orders to have them killed,” Orlando said. The Prince got up and started to leave, pausing at the door and turning.
“How is my daughter?”
“Well enough,” Orlando replied with a barely disguised scowl.
The printed regarded the answer unsatisfactory, especially as his minister had that afternoon spoken privately to him about the rumors circulating in the city. It was being said but angry citizen’s that the soldiers were molesting the women and even the great General had been accused by a young maiden of foul sexual attacks. For the moment he let the matter rest, nodded to the General and left.
When they were alone Se’argo saw the chance to further inflame the General’s temper.
“Mention of Demontia troubles you, Sir.”
“You are a stalwart friend, Se’argo, to take such concern over another man’s marital woes.”
“May I make a suggestion?”
The General nodded.
“Put your suspicions aside and find proof, Sir.”
The lieutenant moved closer to the man he wished to destroy, smiled like the wolf charming the lost children in the woods, and spoke softly.
“It is early morning. Send the guards to have Caston’s room searched. Bring him here…but do not let his honeyed, cultured words weave a web of deceit. Insist his answers are straight and short.”
Orlando though, his dark eyes filled with sorrow. Then he stood up, called for his personal guards and gave instructions.
Within the half-hour, Caston was marched into the room. The General sat at a table, Se’argo to the side, positioning himself so that it appeared he neither favored Orlando or Caston, but was some fair arbiter of justice, instead of the fiend from hell.
“Well?” Orlando asked his chief guard.
“The man looked ill at ease. He put the handkerchief on the table. The General recognized it immediately as Demontia’s. Caston though it a fuss for something belonging to a promiscuous maid.
“Do you know who this belongs to, Captain?” Orlando questioned Caston.
“Yes, of course. But I do not wish to talk about the vagaries of my love life, General, but plead that my reputation is returned and I can once again serve you.”
“Please do not make speeches, Caston. Answer in a simple fashion.”
“Do you deny this handkerchief was found in your room?”
“No, General. It’s owner left it in gratitude for our night together.”
Orlando found it hard to control his volatile nature. Se’argo kept a passive and neutral expression, but he felt the sweet smell of vengeance in the air.
“What was the owner of this object doing in your room, Captain,” Orlando asked, his temper on an even shorter fuse.
“I know you have suspended me from duties, General, but are my sexual predilections such an important matter.”
“That is no way to talk about your lover, Captain,” Orlando raised his voice.
“She is no more than a dalliance, General. No more than a whore.”
The General stood up, his eyes raging as if lit by a forest fire, his hands twitching on the dagger at his belt.
“Take this man away before I severe his insolent head from his vile voice,” Orlando fumed, his striking face no longer contained in noble profile. All the hatred and broken heart of a wronged lover, scared his expression. Orlando watched as Caston was marched away. Se’argo, came up and stood just behind him.
“Gentle General, let me be your friend in this dire hour,” Se’argo intoned, insinuated himself into Orlando’s presence. “If I went to Demontia and questioned her to see if this is true, perhaps that would help you to a just cause.”
Orlando tried to control his heavy and quick breathing. He looked kindly at Se’argo. “Yes, good friend. If I talk to my wife at the moment, murder will be done in this place.”
The lieutenant stopped at the kitchen door. He was on his way to talk to Demontia and had taken the route through the servants quarters and passed the palace kitchens. It was still early in the day and the main meal wasn’t till the evening. He caught an aroma. Se’argo went in. A young woman was cleaning the wooden tables in readiness for the cooks who would arrive later. Along the wall by a row of windows were hung the succulent meats, being prepared for the banquets. Later they would be marinated. At the moment they were being bled, their red life forces dripping from their slit throats onto metal trays on the floor.
The woman was hot, sweat on her face and wetting her thin blouse, making it stick to her skin. Se’argo stood looking. It was obvious she wore no undergarments in the heat of the kitchen, her ample breasts, upright nipples and firm stomach being quickly outlined through the thin material of her blouse, accentuated with the heat of her body.
The juxtaposition of the dripping blood was a powerful morbid aphrodisiac for the lieutenant. His mind whirled, his vampire senses conjured pictured of the energy in the blood and the potency in the woman’s body. To taste both would bring power to him. To drink of one and subjugate the other made him aroused.
No one else was around. The interview with Demontia could wait. This encounter would give him strength. He moved lightly, drifting closer to her, imagining her body.
With lightning reflexes he pounced, bundling her into an alcove. The walls were thick and the kitchen in the bowels of the palace. He had closed the large oak door firmly behind him so there was no need to quell her screams. They became part of the high as he tore at her clothes, ripping the blouse away and then grappling her until the long skirt was shredded, and she was in his arms, naked and so vulnerable.
Se’argo impelled her forcefully against a wall, wanting her, anxious to take her, to make her submit. The smell of flesh and blood filled his nostrils. In that insane moment he bit into her neck, sucking warm, young blood. He stared into her eyes and saw she was one of the undead. He stood back, no longer mad for her body. The allure of the innocent had passed. Violation had no attraction.
Se’argo rushed from the kitchen, leaving the naked young girl crying in a huddled mass.
He wiped his lips, paused outside the door to compose his thoughts, knocked and waited for a reply.
The voice was tender. It made him shiver. Like most men that looked at her, Se’argo loved Demontia. His desire was heavily tinged with the lust of his vampirism, the need to take her into his world.
He went into the room. It was richly furnished, in stark contrast with what you expected of a traveling mercenary soldier. It must have been Demontia’s influence on the General.
She regarded the lieutenant, not knowing what to make of him. He was good looking but had something of the night about his aura.
“The General has sent me to talk to you, Princess,” he put in to start the conversation. Demontia raised one eyebrow, wondering what this man had in mind. He had none of the refined manners of Caston, in fact she detected a common accent and unsophisticated manner.
“It is about Caston,” he added, not assuming the humble stance he took with the General.
“I know nothing of it,” she answered defiantly.
“Unfortunately even though that may be true, your husband believed otherwise, and has powerful evidence to suggest you have been unfaithful to him, my lady.”
She was about to reprimand Se’argo for his insolent manner, as she was a daughter of a Prince and wife to the famous General. Something told her to hold her hand. This man gave out danger.
“Then why have you come to see me, Se’argo?”
“Because it is in my power to present new evidence which would show the General you are blameless.”
Demontia felt a growing unease. “Then it is your duty to tell the truth,” she said.
He smiled slyly and huffed. “The truth is a commodity we humble people cannot afford to toss around freely…as you aristocratic do,” he sneered.
“What does that mean, lieutenant?”
“Simple, my lady. I have a price for my honesty.”
“I suppose I should have expected blackmail and a demand for money. You are a mercenary.”
“I do not want money, my lady.”
Demontia became ill at ease, unable to fathom this man. “Then what is it you want, Se’argo?”
He moved nearer, his dark eyes standing out like luminous, seeking lights against his sallow skin.
“You, my lady,” he said huskily.
She stared, not understanding, her mind trying to follow his words. Then the expression on his face told her the horror of what he was suggesting.
“You must be mad, Se’argo.”
“Love is akin to madness, my lady, so perhaps you are right.”
“My husband will kill you when I tell him what you have said.”
He grinned. “At this month, the General believes you to be an adulteress and a story that I tried to seduce you would carry no conviction.”
Se’argo moved toward the door. “When Orlando comes to you and you see the strength of his anger, I think my proposal will seem reasonable to save your marriage and reputation. The offer will remain for twenty-four hours. When you are ready to submit to me, we can strike the bargain.”
He bowed low and left the room.
They had been so fierce in war, scorching the country, destroying the towns and pillaging the countryside. As Se’argo watched the captives of the defeated army of Timonel he thought how pathetic they now looked. This remnants of the hordes that had swept out of the Asia Steppes, following a Messianic leader, were now led in chains into the city. The lieutenant had been detailed to be in charge of the fighting men and also the baggage train, captured in a battle, and now straggling in after the marching soldiers.
The feared and famed cavalry cohorts were less awesome out of their saddles, and they were followed by the sturdy infantry, divested of their saber swords and hunting bow and arrows.
There must have been nearly ten thousand fighting men, and up to two thousand followers, mainly brave wives, prostitutes, the cooks and young lads who would have held the reserve horses and quivers of arrows in a battle.
Se’argo walked slowly along the ranks with four sergeants of Orlando’s mercenary army. As they did so, the lieutenant spoke low commands, and the quartet of soldiers took notes on soft clay tablets, marking the records with a quill stylus.
Following Sea’argo were a quad of the ordinary soldiers from the mercenary army. As instructions were given, they separated the men of the defeated army. The too old or wounded were bundled away. They had no further use and would be taken out to the far swamp area by the edge of the lagoon and killed. There was no sentiment. Feeding thousands of useless mouths was expensive.
The young and fit were taken off toward the city prison. Their fate would be to become manual slaves in the mines. When they got to the baggage train, Se’argo took more time in his decisions. The women would become domestic or sex slaves. They would be sold in the market and the money given to the General, who then distributed it amongst his men. That was after the very best had been selected by the senior officers. The lieutenant wouldn’t normally rank amongst these privileges but in this task he could use the position given to him to take what he wanted.
The young woman must have traveled with the army from her homeland, thousands of miles away. She was small in height, yellow of skin, with almond shaped eyes and jet black hair. Her dress was torn and she looked disheveled. Se’argo could image that when the baggage train had first been captured she would appeal to the soldiers and no doubt they had had their fun with her already.
He kept a cool expression as he tapped his baton on her rear and signaled to one of the sergeants to hold her to one side. Next, his vehement eye alighted on one of the cooks, a lad, maybe young man, of eighteen or so years. He pointed to him and the sergeant pushed the captive forward. He walked unsteadily, probably a birth deformity in a leg, and why he was merely a cook and not part of the fighting army of Timonel. The young man was slim, almost effeminate, with long black eyelashes.
“Carry out your orders,” Se’argo bid the soldiers. With a slight nod of the head he gestured for the two chosen captives to follow him. He walked slowly as they shambled behind him, their shackles on legs and wrists making it difficult to keep up even with his measured pace.
Reaching a large pitch of tents where the main army of Orlando was bivouacked, he went in one and held the flap open for his slaves to enter. Se’argo called two soldiers and instructed them to remove the chains. The slaves stood, eyes cast down, not wishing to look at their new master or think about the fate that was before them.
“Wait outside,” he ordered the soldiers.
Circling his two playthings, Se’argo examined them, touching and gazing upon their figures. As he did so, the devil’s disciple removed what little ragged and torn clothing they wore. His attention never left them, probing, investigating their bodies, from face to the most intimate scrutiny, knowing that they dare not resist, relishing the complete mastery he had over them.
“I do not need to know your names,” he whispered to them, “Like me you will experience my desires in the anonymity of this cruel life. To feel humiliation is doubly painful when you have no identify. You will taste that indignity.”
Se’argo took his sword from its scabbard and held the man’s wrist, cutting quickly so the blood ran, hot and fluidly. “Now take the woman while I watch.” He held the blade high in the air. The man knew he must obey or have his head severed. Moving to the woman, he held her down on the single couch in the tent, she didn’t resist, but submitted mutely as he pushed between her legs and penetrated her.
After a few minutes, Se’argo pulled the man away, hustled him roughly across the room and slammed his down on the table. Turning to the woman he growled, “Mount this man and prove to me you have more passion than he shows for your sex.” She sullenly looked at him and the sword in his hand, climbed up on the table and crouching over the male slave, let her loins fall onto his.
Se’argo let them fornicate to a heated state, moved behind the woman, put his hands around her, fingering her nipples, then kissing her neck. He called upon his pitiful undead spirit and bit deep into her neck.
When Se’argo came out of the tent to summon the two soldiers outside, they entered, saw the two naked slaves and waited for the lieutenant’s orders. The male was spread over the table, deep incisions into his chest. He was dead. The woman cowed in the corner of the tent, her eyes wild and hungry. She muttered over and over again. They didn’t understand what she said.
“Dump this body,” Se’argo pointed at the man.
“And the woman, lieutenant?”
“She can entertain the soldiers,” he icily shrugged.
What was that noise? Demontia couldn’t sleep. Orlando hadn’t come home. She’d received a message to say he was required to ride beyond the city to take command of skirmishes still going on with the fleeing forces of Timonel. She suspected it was an excuse not to come to the bed, and he was still angry at what he thought was her infidelity. Even more worrying were the rumors she had heard and found hard to believe. It was being whispered her husband preferred the whores in the dockyard to his wife’s favors.
She heard that screech again. Getting out of bed she went to the window with a single candle in a pewter holder. In the trees Demontia though she saw a large bird. It might be a raven.
The heat of the day had flown skyward, as the night was clear, without a comforting blanket of cloud to hold the warm into the hours of darkness. Demontia shivered, not just with the cold, but the thought of what she must undertake to take this nightmare away.
She wrapped her naked body in a silken cloak, wiped the moist tears from her lovely eyes and quietly opened, the door, sneaked into the corridor, and crept to the hour of her fate. It took her some time, as she had to hide in alcoves when the palace guards came around on their watch. Demontia didn’t want her shame to be the subject of barrack room gossip.
Eventually she reached her dreaded destination. Knocking at the door with trepidation, Demontia stood waiting for a reply.
Inside, Se’argo hustled Rohanne out onto the small wooden balcony, telling her to keep quiet. He went to the door and opened it. Demontia came in, her face ashen, eyes lowered. The lieutenant felt that deep love and desire he had always harbored toward her.
“My lady, I was beginning to think you valued your virtue more than your marriage.” There was an edge to his voice. It gloated and made Demontia tremble.
“You told me, Se’argo you had the power to clear my name,” she tried to sound confident. It didn’t fool either of them.
“Yes, I can. Your husband will believe me if I tell him of the misunderstandings…if that is what they are.”
“Then you must do that,” she pleaded.
“And the price, my lady?”
She didn’t answer. He went to her and held up her chin with his hand, looking at her directly, both understanding what he wanted. Without saying anything, Se’argo undid her cloak and took it from her, reveling in bare shoulders, breasts and eventually her rounded hips and soft pubic hair.
He kissed her brow and let his hand wander, ecstatically over her skin. It was a moment he had longed to savor.
“You will give yourself to me, Demontia,” he said in breathless tones. “Not just as a whore, on your back and legs straddling my urgent thrusts…but submissively on your hands and knees, presenting, offering yourself in complete compliance to my demands.” He kissed her repeatedly, letting his imagination run the full gambit of lust.
“But even this will not satisfy me. My cock will explore you, debase you, make your soft vagina a mere servant of its insatiable needs.” Se’argo took her by the hand and pushed her back down on the bed. He knelt on the floor before her, parting her legs and licking around her clitoris. Then he stood up and took out his cock, the erect shaft, red and gorged, baying for its prey.
From behind the drape on the balcony, Rohanne heard Demontia moan and call for Orlando. She couldn’t bare the woman’s degradation. Rushing out into the room, she screamed as she saw Se’argo about to enter her mistress, his eyes blood red, his skin glowing in an unearthly manner. She cried out when she saw the horns of the devil growing from his head.
In a blind panic, Rohanne took up Se’argo’s sword, ran at her lover and pierced him passed his spine and into his heart. He howled three times, fell forward and was pinned through his body to the bed.
Rohanne clutched her mistress, put a blanket around her and led her out into the corridor, and then back to her own apartment.
Orlando sat silently in the light of the early morning, his arms around Demontia. Much had been explained. An apologetic officer coughed and looked embarrassed that he was intruding. The General looked up.
“What is it, Grafarno?
“Begging your pardon, General, Captain Caston is outside as you instructed. Orlando kissed his wife.
“Stay and rest, my love. I have to humbly ask the good Captain for forgiveness.” Reluctantly leaving her, he went outside and on seeing Caston, immediately shook his hand.
“A great injustice has been done to you, Caston. I will not try and exonerate myself, but like everyone else I was under a curse of that fiend, Se’argo.”
“What has happened to him, General?”
“Come, Caston, you can witness he is no longer a threat to our sanity.”
Orlando marched along with Caston by his side. As he approached Se’argo’s room, the guard stood aside. They went in and stopped. The devilish lieutenant was as he had been left, transfixed and bloody.
The General went over, pulled the sword out, and with his boot turned the body over. Orlando and Caston jumped back. The eyes of Se’argo were open, moving, his lips quivering.
The undead arose, his skin peeling away from his body. With mighty strength he threw the two aside and walked, ghost like, from the room.
“Bring the guard out and stop that monster,” Orlando shouted as he got to his feet. The specter lumbered out of the palace, along the streets and onward toward the southern city gate. Soldiers pursued but if any got near and slashed at the beast with a sword, flesh would cut and peel, but no blood flowed.
The Se’argo monster shambled into a stables, the horses taking fright and kicking at their stalls to escape. The undead lieutenant held one terrified creature, jumped up on its back and rode from the city, with women and children running, petrified at the sight.
In hot pursuit, the General and a squad of soldiers galloped with swords raised and cries to raise the alarm. Some also carried flaming torches, hoping the fire would protect them from the devil’s emissary.
Out of the city, Se’argo turned left on the cobbled road, heading toward the camp of the army.
A young woman walked out of a tent. She was an Asiatic beauty, the one Se’argo had taken and abused as his slave. Her eyes were dead, but when she saw the rider, they lit up. She picked up a nearby wooden stake and cried something in the air.
Se’argo galloped at a tremendous pace, straight at the woman. She held still, her body dazzlingly radiant. The vampire rode directly onto the stake, impaling himself with a hideous scream.
He was thrown from the horse and lay on the ground, pierced through his cadaverous body. By the time the General and his troops reached the scene, the two undead were smiling in a grisly fashion, their bodies rotting as the crowd watched. Orlando took a torch from a soldier and threw it at them. Other soldiers followed, until the undead were consumed with a ring of fire.
From the intensity of hell’s heat, two black ravens flew into the air and headed high into the sunless sky.
Copyright Emy Naso