Stories Hub / Erotic Horror / Feast or Famine? Ch. 07

Feast or Famine? Ch. 07

by athena_by_night 07/31/05

Ivan slowly moved each limb, waking to torrents of rain. He had pain in his head and rage in his heart. He was slow to rise off the cold ground. Bending at the knees, trying to catch his breath as the cold night air ripped through his very soul, he grunted with exertion. Being that he was more soldier than leader despite his bluster earlier in the week, he knew he had to think what his choices would be carefully.

If Luka destroys Stephanos then I only need to stake one vampire's heart and the other way around also holds true. He worked out ploddingly. And oh his head hurt, he had tears forming in his eyes with that burden and shaking with cold and wetness. That little whore had much to answer for and I am going to teach her the proper responses. He couldn't muster a smile for his lascivious thoughts through his abject misery and so he started trudging towards Delacevic's manor.

*****

As they stood wrapped together, Marianna stirred against Stephanos' side; he immediately tightened his hold on her, silently compelling her to remain and growled softly at her forehead. It wasn't done in displeasure, but in the desperate need of holding her. He couldn't help thinking that he had almost lost her, so he held fast. He would be devastated if she was ever truly lost to him. Stephanos wasn't through with Luka by any means, but that could wait. Marianna's comfort and safety were the utmost thoughts in his mind.

"My Lord Luka, if I could freshen up before we convene at the table, I would be grateful." Marianna tried to be respectful to both men in saying this. Hoping to avoid stirring up any animosity with her request. She felt her pent up breath down to her lungs.

Stephanos inwardly cringed at her politeness and lack of anger over the situation. He was not so cowed. However, hastily he reevaluated the scene in his mind for the moment, he would have to bide his time he decided. But not for long. He had waited until now to find out what truly had happened to Danijela that dreadful night and he would have answers. He could not afford to wait longer; he needed the expiation or blame for her death not this limbo, but it would be resolved one way or another tonight. Then Luka would answer for the terror he had caused to his precious Marianna of that he vowed.

Nadia seconded Marianna in requesting this as well. Halfheartedly, Luka allowed her to do so, but not before he placed a kiss against her temple. He was mindful that he still could be without her if he was not careful. And so he was slow in responding to her request, not wanting this to be the last time he held her in his arms. Nadia shivered in appreciation of the brushing of his lips, despite her best efforts to remain aloof, as she was not ready to share her feelings as yet for Luka. A point that was moot based on her residing in the comfort of his arms.

She eased herself away from Luka and nodding to Marianna, led her to a guest room so that they could freshen up and perhaps talk. The rest of the party quietly went to the dining room and awaited their return. An uneasy truce between Stephanos and Luka ensued as they roamed the room staying well out of the other's path. Multitudinous thoughts running rampant in the minds of the vampires had them both muttering deprecations under their breaths. Stephanos stepped to the window to gaze out sightlessly into the gloom of night, wondering where all of his rage had fled. He found himself contemplating for the first time whether he and Luka could resolve their differences. But he kept these thoughts to himself.

Luka stopped at the table to reach for a few grapes. Chewing thoughtfully he stood motionlessly, still, deadly. The swirling vortex of emotions causing momentary pain in his head. Whether he should hold onto his residual rage, or pursue the possibility of Nadia and her love doing battle for supremacy in his thoughts. He brought one hand up to rub his nape, trying to relieve the pressure and then to pinch the bridge of his nose. Finally, understanding dawned. He did not have to be alone, that was his choice. To keep the cold comfort of his anger that had ruled his life for so long or find the warmth and joy of being in Nadia's arms.

The combined impact that Marianna and Nadia had on them was profound and out of decency for their respective loves they would continue to circle each other warily, eye each other with disdain, but refrain from further violence until their return. Neither wanting to give an inch or advantage to the other, they waited. Each was curious about what would come, but for the moment they would reserve their individual strengths and await the finish.

*****

Pyotr was looking around him in wonder at the sights and smells. The aromas of rare roast beef, simmering gravy and succulent squash in the covered tureens had his taste buds salivating in anticipation. He hoped they would be able to eat soon as his stomach rumbled at the remembrance of their meager breakfast long since past. He patted his belly as if to soothe it, with little success. And he looked longingly at the very fine wines that were on hand to accompany the repast. He fidgeted with his waistband, plucking and worrying an unraveling string.

Kolya smiled indulgently at him as he watched the play of emotions on his face, correctly guessing his young companion's thoughts. He was trying to be more practical himself, but the handsome lad had his thoughts on other appetites that needed to be sated. He thought better of suggesting that the two of them retreat to the barn to see to the dogs and wolfhounds, in case his master had need of him. He sighed, ignoring the heaviness deep in his belly at the sight of Pyotr in his innocence and loveliness. His desire to wrap his arms around Pyotr and ravish his sweet mouth would have to wait until whatever denouement was coming, was done.

He knew that he would regret if either he or Pyotr would perish, but he had had a long life and his recent memories of Pyotr's arms and body were a comfort to him. Oh, the loving they had shared had been beautiful and wondrous. It had been so long for him to feel such love and to have found it with Pyotr was still somewhat astounding to him. It had felt right and it had been truly glorious. Once or twice so much so, that he had yodeled out his pleasure in the pasture for all the sheep to hear. Pyotr had pleased him so very much and he knew he had pleased the lad. He couldn't wait until such a time could be found again.

He resolutely stood at one end of the table, Pyotr by his side, watching the silent men stew. When no one else looked their way, he traced his fingers along Pyotr's nape, letting him know that he was thinking of them and their time together. It was the first such gesture he had made since waking with him that morning. Pyotr almost purred under the contact but managed to refrain. He did not want two sets of tortured eyes cast upon him. The small gesture of comfort was enough for now.

*****

Marianna was not oblivious to Nadia's intent and actually welcomed the opportunity to converse with her, having witnessed the passion that had flared between her and Luka. She was now surer of her footing in the matter and was pleased by it. She wound a brush through her hair, patiently waiting for the beautiful young girl to start first. She didn't have long to wait.

"My name is Nadia. I don't know who you are or who the rest with you are. But I will tell you now that there will be no blood shed here." She stamped her foot in emphasis. "My return here is long overdue, I see. But there will be order restored in this household before I draw my last breath. Now, you will tell me your tale." She stated with a wealth of curiosity and determination in her voice. She was standing behind the seated Marianna, carelessly tousling her curls and seeking out her eyes in the mirror.

"Thank you, Nadia. I am Marianna and the man I am with is Stephanos. We have to talk." Nadia made a moue of displeasure, pursing her lips at Marianna's understated temperament and emotionless speech. She knew better having seen the earlier fire in her eyes upon breaking free of her bonds. This one was as willful as she and she had no time for mealy-mouthed sentiments. Luka was in danger and she would be damned if anything would happen to him because of politeness.

Marianna seeing it, felt her own temper rise in response. What right did this girl have to judge her? Breathe Marianna and be forthright. She can handle it. Look at the sparks in her eyes and the vibrancy of her hair in the light. This one has passion to spare and is not a fool. Holding back her venomous first thoughts as she kept her goal in sight, she continued. "I have much to tell you about recent and what I know of past events. So it is good that you are concerned. I mean neither you nor your family any disrespect. Nor do I consider you a fool. You and I will do very well together. And I will tell you the whole, sparing no details. " Marianna stopped to take another deep breath and then carefully laid out everything to Nadia, precisely. Nadia silently absorbed it all, raising her eyebrows several times and at one point she had a mutinous light in her eye as Marianna revealed the circumstances of her bath. When Marianna halted her speech, Nadia had her questions ready.

"Marianna, thank you for your candor and briskness. Luka can be obstinate and he doesn't always listen to reason. I suspect the same of your Stephanos." Nadia launched into her thoughts about the matter. Marianna raised her own eyebrows at her familiar use of Luka's name and the impudent assumptions in her speech. Then she laughed, realizing Nadia was a kindred spirit in willfulness and love and that they could join forces to break Luka and Stephanos' impasse.

Chuckling still, Marianna said, "Oh, Nadia, I have a feeling that we will be great friends. And I would that we enforce a peace between those two. I will not live in unease despite my love for Stephanos. Nor should you. It is long past time that differences and grievances were settled. Here's my suggestion…" The two girls put their heads together and conversed quietly for more than a quarter hour before settling on there plans. Embracing each other and with the light of battle in their eyes and measured steps they returned to the others in the dining room.

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