November 3

I Might Like You Better, Baby

The Cosmos:
{Phoenix smiles} That is good to know. {looks at him} Tell me how Genja ended up {whispers} stealing you.
The Universe:
{Alexei shakes his head, takes her hand and walks toward the gardens, quietly} My mistress brought me with her when she came to meet Genja who, at the time, was the new king of the realm. There are many domains around here that fall under Genja’s sway and my mistress was the lady of one of them. My mistress, however, was very arrogant and ambitious and refused to acknowledge Genja while I tried very hard to keep her from being offensive. Genja decided that my mistress was his enemy and should suffer an enemy’s fate, but that I did not deserve to share it with her. So my mistress was crucified in the courtyard and left for the sun and I have been here ever since. Genja then installed a new lord that would be loyal to him and the other servants and ghouls stayed to serve him, but he brought Siobhan here at my request because they had no other ghouls then to serve them and I knew Siobhan could be trusted.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} We have only been here about 25 years.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} Jace was still human then. He was ghouled shortly after. Sorrow was here but Morose did not come until a few years ago because he was trying to live among humans but he decided that life was not for him.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix quietly} Was this the same master you were telling me about earlier?
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Yes.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix frowns softly} Did she suffer the same at the hands of this vampire?

The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her curiously} Siobhan?
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix nods} Yes.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Yes. I believe in many ways it was worse to be woman under her rule.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix shakes her head, quietly} I can understand that.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} But Siobhan was not there for as long as I was. She was relatively new at the time.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix nods} So she wasn’t subjected to the same experiences?
The Universe:
{Alexei shakes his head} She was subjected to much, but not as much as I nor for as long.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix looks at him} Did you like what was done to you?
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix shakes her head, softly} I shouldn’t have asked, I’m sorry. It’s really none of my business.

 

The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} Why should you not ask? We are going to be very close. You *should* know such things about the men you are going to be close to.
The Cosmos:
{Nix tilts her head and looks at him} I just didn’t want to bring up bad memories for you again.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} They are only memories. They cannot hurt me now.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} You have such a good outlook on things.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} I have clearer vision than most.
The Universe:
{Alexei shrugs} Everything that was then is offset by something that is now.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} I see.. {looks at him} Do you miss it? The…attention?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} Some of it. But not all. And only sometimes. In some ways, things were more real then. These vampires are more…civilized. But only when people are watching. They rarely show their true faces. But then some show them too much.
The Cosmos:
{Nix frowns} I’m not sure I understand?
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} Jenna is a good example. She tries to be harder than she is. Colder. But the mask always slips when conditions allow. She is with Aiden and she would have you believe it is purely a physical relationship of convenience. Yet, Heather, I believe it was, said she has threatened the other women if they do not stay away from him. Jenna does not normally make threats.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} No but women who fear their men are going to be taken *do*.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles, nods} Precisely. If it were only a physical relationship of convenience, she would not care because she could simply replace him.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks over at him} So why does she want everyone thinking that?
The Universe:
{Alexei shrugs} Because to admit otherwise is to admit she cares and that could be a weakness others might take advantage of. Or because she does not want *him* thinking she is weak. Perhaps both.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} Perhaps she does not want him realizing he has an advantage.
The Cosmos:
{Nix shakes her head} I can see doing it to protect him, to allow him to keep his masculinity.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} And then there is that. But what kind of vampire worries about such things?
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles and shakes her head} I don’t know. I know the vampires where I came from just took what they wanted. Feeding where ever they felt like it. There were men who would grab women in the halls and just…right *there*.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods, looks at her} We have such vampires here, but as I said,,, they wait until no one is looking. And then we have Genja. You see him, most likely, as cold and mechanical. Some would even say bloodthirsty. But wait until the orgies start. When no one is looking, he worries about the 18 year old girl in his herd and whether she can continue with him as things have been or if it will destroy her. He considers letting her go because he does not enjoy her sadness.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at him and shakes her head} That’s the difference between your king and mine. Grandfather would have killed her before he let her go, or manipulated her memories until she *was* everything he wanted.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} And that is what most would expect of Genja. And there have been women with whom he has done such things, though, he would not manipulate them into believing they were happy. He has been more than content to let them be miserable. Sebastian took the librarian in beast form in the library. He wanted her, so he took her. There was no seduction and no consideration for whether she wanted to be part of it. He simply took what he wanted. Had she gone to Genja, he would have pretended to be appalled, but in truth, he would not care. But he would not show that face, his true face, to her. Because here, appearances are everything and we all do our part to *appear* to be civilized. Even human.

The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at him} Why? Eventually they will see it and be appalled.
The Universe:
{Alexei shrugs} Why do humans pretend to be what they are not? They do it to get ahead. They do it to gain status. We all do. To gain favor and influence. Vampires spend their entire existence pretending to be that which they are not simply to feed. Why should they *not* do it? Why *wouldn’t* they? It’s what vampires have evolved to do.
The Cosmos:
{Nix shrugs} I suppose…it’s just all so..civilized here.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} That is the illusion, Bella.
The Universe:
{Alexei walks into the garden with her} And that is why I say that in some ways, my previous mistress was more honest. But here, it is easier to live with the… masquerade.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks around, taking a deep breath, her eyes close, quietly} There’s a fine line between honesty and brutality.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods, quietly} My previous mistress, Mishka, was brutally honest. She did not hide her perversions. She did not keep them behind closed doors. When other vampires came to visit, she did not suddenly dress us up in pretty outfits and pretend we were a big happy family. If she had, of course, most vampires would have laughed her out of their society. But she would sit down with them and always had at least two of her ghouls on leashes at her side and one she would use as a footstool while she entertained. It was more than just her view of us but also a show of her power and dominance.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} Grandfather was the same way, and always had a fresh human “on tap” if not one of us.

 

The Universe:
{Alexei nods} We were freely available to any vampire that wanted us. With her permission, of course.
The Cosmos:
{Nix shakes her head} Oh we were freely available to any *guest*. And his hospitality knew no bounds. He was a very good host to his visitors. I remember this one vampire he was fairly young came with an older Vampire.. was exceptionally brutal and “accidently” killed one of the humans. My cousin and his granddaughter. He was just all like, “It happens that’s why we have so many.” I think he was more angry with the older vampire for not teaching the younger one manners.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Mishka was the same. Sh was overly concerned with her show of status and power. Genja, however, is different. While others worry about the size of their herds and… what is the word? How easily they can be controlled. Genja lets the size of his castle and the collective power of the vampires under his roof speak to *his* power and potency.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} True power lies not in one’s ability to subjugate the weak, but to influence and command the strong.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} *That* is what he would tell you.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} He seems to have a formidable grouping there. {nods} You’re right about that. {shrugs} And he’s not entirely wrong. {looks at him} So who’s behind the throne.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} Ava has much influence with the king. He values her opinion. Dominic can be quite.. formidable.. when it comes to subterfuge and subtly influencing the king’s decisions. Glen does not attempt to sneak around and influence the king by whispering in his ear. Glen will voice his opinion to the court as a whole in such a way that they would look like cowards to argue against him. When Simone staked Damien and Chloe, most of the court was calling for blood and Genja had decided to give them that. He sentenced her to face the sun. But Glen told the court that their fear of a single fledgling vampire made them weak and the sentence was one that showed cowardice. To argue with him without proving his words was impossible. And so, she walks among us even now.

The Cosmos:
{Nix blinks} Oh.. he’s sneaky. {smiles} I like that.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} He can be, yes. He has more influence than he realizes because Genja is very like minded.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} So there is no *one* power pulling the strings?
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} No one pulls Genja’s strings. He is not a puppet. He is too cold and mechanical for them to play upon his sympathies or compassion. He sees one thing. The realm. What is bad for the realm will not be allowed. He will listen to them argue, but he will make the decision he is required to make and when they don’t like it, he tells them that is why they are not king. Because they *can’t* make the unpopular decisions and there are very few decisions they can make without hours of angst and hand wringing.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks down at her hands, quietly} It sounds like he’s a good king then.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} If you want to influence the king, you must be logical and able to see the bigger picture. You must also be able to do so without looking like you are the one making the decision.
The Universe:
{Alexei shrugs} I myself do not attempt to influence the king unless it is a matter of the ghouls or humans specifically.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Lucien could be a good king if he were not so compassionate. He has too much compassion and too little control. Genja calculates every move and the possible scenarios and repercussions. Lucien simply acts without thought.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} My grandfather *never* would have tolerated a human talking to him that way.. none of the vampires would have and few of the ghouls.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} Lucien enjoys the banter. He is enamored of humans but more so he loves a good argument and he lusts anyone who will give it to him.
The Universe:
{Alexei laughs} In fact, that is what makes him a good politician.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} So he’s going to be lusting after the king’s…consort?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} I am not sure Ciara will give him a chance.
The Cosmos:
{Nix walks over and bends smelling a flower, sighs softly} What did she do to garner his attention?
The Universe:
{Alexei watches her, smiles again} When they were making the selections, she was one of the virgins. She told him he needed her.
The Cosmos:
{Nix straightens and turns to face him} I can understand him taking her because of the virgin thing.. hell they were few and far between in my castle and Grandfather got most of them. {quietly} Male *and* female.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} There was much.. of the same kind of behavior in Miskha’s house as well. Mishka herself had no specific preference and more than a few of the ghouls were.. effeminate males. Or androgynous. She chose only the prettiest t serve her and she enjoyed all manner of debasement.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods, quietly} I served Grandfather for 6 years before he grew bored. Most of his boys were…very young.. as were his girls. Very seldom did he choose a developed servant.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her, quietly} He was a pedophile?
The Cosmos:
{Nix swallows and nods} Yes. He was. I was a late bloomer. It is how I stayed with him so long. He also had his adult servants. He just preferred the children.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} One thing I can say about Mishka is that she drew the line with anyone who had not yet finished puberty.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} Eight was the youngest Grandfather would go. And 10 was when he started … training.
The Universe:
{Alexei walks over to her, looks at her} Does it upset you that he is dead?
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks up at him} Not really. He was an integral part of my life… but no.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} You asked if I liked what was done to me. Mostly, I did not. But there were some things that I grew to find pleasurable. I still do not like things around my throat or to have my breathing restricted. I am not the least bit interested in men or children. I wear leather cuffs under my sleeves because I am uncomfortable without them. I have always had a high tolerance for pain, but did not always enjoy it. But I revile acts of humiliation.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods, softly} I understand about the cuffs. {smiles} I grew very comfortable in my collar. Though I don’t think it would have the same effect now that it did when I was breathing. {quietly} Do you prefer top or bottom?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} I guess that depends on the mood I am in and the affect of the woman I am with.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} I see.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Which do you prefer, Bella?
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at him} Usually bottom. It’s where I usually was.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} We would switch often. When she was awake, we were all bottom. But when she slept or when she left us to our own devices while she busied herself with someone she specifically favored… things were a little less.. friendly.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} We were not allowed to touch others or ourselves when Grandfather slept. When he traded me to my uncle for a younger model, it was very much the same. His herd wasn’t allowed *any* release that wasn’t specifically given by him, or under his watchful eyes and permission given by him.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} We only had such restrictions when she was feeling particularly hostile or when she wanted us to fail. She knew what went on when she was not around us but she did not care. If it was not her concern how we handled each other. She would issue the command knowing that some among us would force the ghoul so directed to break it.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} She knew that many among us were jealous when we were not her favored of the night. She would often choose someone specifically *to* provoke us.
The Cosmos:
{Nix walks over and sits on a bench} I learned very young to control those impulses. Did you ever force someone to break it? {nods} It was that way with us as well. Jealousy is a powerful motivator.
The Universe:
{Alexei follows her over and sits next to her, nods} Yes, I did. {looks at her} I serve *vampires*, Bella. I do not and will not serve humans or ghouls.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} Nor should you serve any but vampires, Alexei. {looks over at him} You seem to very much enjoy it.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} It gives me purpose.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at him} And we’re nothing without purpose.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} We are something, but we are without direction.
The Cosmos:
{Nix turns to face him on the bench sitting so her legs are drawn up under her, her knees together and feet to the side, quietly} What do I inspire in you Alexei?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} You inspire in me the need to take care of you. Much more than other vampires do and on a much more personal level. The desire to be closer to you. And to no small degree, lust. I almost feel like you are fragile. But if you were, you would not be sitting here with me, now.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks down at his hands, smiles} You also inspire in me the need to protect.
The Cosmos:
{Nix reaches over and takes one of his hands} I like that. {smiles} And you’re going to be in the rather unique position of taking care of me.
The Universe:
{Alexei curls his fingers over her hand, nods} A responsibility I very much look forward to.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks up at him, obviously wanting to say something but not sure how without making it seem like she’s taking his man card or giving him permission to act, frowns frustratedly}
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her, quietly} It is just us here, Bella.
The Cosmos:
{Nix quietly} I know.. I just … I want you to get what you need too and I don’t want you to feel like you have to ask.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} While you were sleeping, there was a great movement I am sure you were not aware of called “feminism”. It is where the women of the United States openly and loudly protested the unfair treatment they suffered at the hands of the very evil male species. At its heart, the core value of true feminism is the demand for equal treatment and respect. The grand misconception, however, is that feminist are angry man-haters.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} I think I’m glad I missed that.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods, smiles again} These days, men are often expected to cook their own dinners or even cook for their wives. They are expected to do their own laundry. And in some cases, even expected to stay home with the children while the woman pursues her career and supports the family. Though, mostly, married people both have careers these days and tend to put off starting a family until they have reached some measure of success in their field.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} Jenna is a feminist.

The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at him} A real one or an angry man hater?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles] Oh, Jenna *loves* men.
The Universe:
{Alexei laughs} But then you have Hayden who says she is not one but it pisses her off when “anything with a penis” tells her what she can’t do.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} Oh.. {grins} we had women like that in my time.. we called them lesbians.

The Universe:
{Alexei grins} We call them that, too. Just not always when they can hear us.
The Cosmos:
{Nix laughs} So is she?
The Universe:
{Alexei laughs, shakes his head} She is not, no. In fact, she may not like penises telling her what to do, but that is probably the only time she does not like them.

The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} I see. Has she told *you* what to do?

The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her, smiles} She knows better.

The Cosmos:
{nix smiles} Oh.. and what would you do if she tried?
The Universe:
{Alexei shrugs} I do not know specifically. But I would be forced to put her back in her place.
The Cosmos:
{Nix’s smile turns wicked} Oh really?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles, nods} Of course.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at him suddenly serious} Punish her?
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} I have never had to resort to anything more than the spoken word with the ghouls here. They have always had great respect and much trust for me. I do not foresee that changing any time soon.
The Cosmos:
{Nix quietly} That is a good thing then.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Is something wrong?
The Cosmos:
{Nix shakes her head} No. I’m just wondering if you miss it sometimes.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} If I miss what specifically?
The Cosmos:
{Nix shrugs} The whips and chains and being controlled not having all that responsibility.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} I not miss having responsibilities, though… {shrugs} I suppose sometimes I miss the chaos.
The Cosmos:
{Nix leans past him and pulls a flower off the bush behind him, smelling it} So you’re happy?
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} I am content, yes.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} There is a vast difference there Alexei.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} Contentment implies occasional boredom but an overall feeling of well being. Perhaps even a certain degree of apathy. My life is not boring, but I would not necessarily say it is bursting with excitement either.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} Maybe we should change that. {her eyes glitter}
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} Perhaps we should start by going back to your room.
The Cosmos:
{Nix arches a brow at him, playing coy} Should we?
The Universe:
{Alexei watches her, quietly} We could. Or we could stay right here and I can take you under the full moon in full view of anyone who happens by. I a flexible.

The Cosmos:
{Nix’s eyes darken dramatically} What is your pleasure, M’lord?
The Universe:
{Alexei, still quietly} The king has said your status is such that you are on equal footing with the ghouls and humans. I would not enforce that publicly. Your status when we are alone should not be reflected upon your status among the others. You have a mountain to climb, Bella. You will not surmount it if the intricacies of our relationship are common knowledge.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods, softly} You are right. {looks at him} Did we cover everything we came out here to discuss?
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} I believe we have. Everything that needs to be spoken, at least.

The Cosmos:
{Nix holds his looks as she nods, softly} All right.
The Universe:
{Alexei stands and offers her his hand}

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Posted November 3, 2012 by The Universe in category "Fiction", "Vampires