Charlotte: Restrained

Charlotte grew restless in her stone prison. The iron gate tormented her, preventing access to the life Caleb promised. Their plasma packs were low; Charlotte knew he would need to leave; when he did, she wanted to go too. Her body contained energy, every cell wound tight, waiting to explode. There were vampire books covering lore and laws, some she read long before Caleb came into her life. They recounted a biased history and wrote of abilities each vampire could unlock. Charlotte growled about how Caleb was denying her this development by restraining her. She was ready to test her strength, pit it against his and learn how capable her body was.

Charlotte and Caleb

Caleb rolled over, a loud groan, pulling the bedspread around him. Their clothes scattered; she had seemed relaxed, satisfied. Sex should have served as a distraction. It amazed him how much energy Charlotte needed to release post-rebirth. When he and Lilith woke, the coiled springs, the energy of their cells exploded with their fear. It gave them the power to punch through their coffin and dig themselves out of the grave. Charlotte suffered no such fate, and her expulsion of energy came in waves. Caleb lay spent, his legs numb and sore from her bites. A few were too close to an area he wanted to keep for future use. Charlotte had laughed, blood dripping as she kissed him. Consumed by the pleasure principle and her calm exterior was a temporary illusion.

It was not the hunger; which created the problem but the need to flex her blood-infused cells. It drove Charlotte from their bed; she ran her hands through her tangled hair. She smoothed over her cold skin and clutched her breasts, squeezing them together. The hissing irritated Caleb. Charlotte developed an involuntary response brought on by the frustration of captivity. Some days he believed her pacing would wear through the stone. Other times, he feared she would hurt herself as the body crashed into the walls. Her fists bled from pounding, tears and desperate screams.

His home was a simple stone-built, two up, two down. The bathroom and Kitchen used limited space on their respective floors. Food might not be a part of Caleb’s diet, but he loved to cook. Visits from his children Juliana, and Cliff, were rare. Caleb had limited contact with them due to the rules of vampires raising human children. Juliana accepted his lifestyle, making it easier for them to forge a friendship. Things with Cliff remained strained, but they muddled through awkward conversations. Caleb saw them as the teens he met, despite them being grown. There was a pained look in Caleb’s eyes when they visited. These were lives he could not take part in and the five grandchildren he would never meet.

Caleb welcomed Juliana and Cliff, relieved both agreed to greet Charlotte. They were under no illusion this could be dangerous, as she might mesmerise and drink from them. Charlotte fidgeted. The scent of the visitors and the loud beating hearts made her mouth water. She imagined how it would taste, the warm blood as it flowed into her mouth untainted by plasma fruit. The peach-shaped fruit, a pinkish purple colour, with the essence of blood. Spellcasters and human scientists created a plant-based alternative to weaken and pacify vampires. The problem, Charlotte realised, with this concept was the flavour. The fruit was by nature’s design sweet. Whilst perfect for baby vampires, failed to satisfy a turned adult.

Charlotte, Cliff and Juliana

The children were older, embracing the human lives Charlotte she chose to reject. Caleb watched his girlfriend battling her inner nature. Impressed by her determination to prove herself in control. The conversation centred on Charlotte’s youth. Cliff made digs at their father for choosing a woman closer in age to his grandchildren. Caleb managed an awkward laugh. Vlad sired him at eighteen, Charlotte was nineteen, but the hundred or so years made a difference. Cliff cleared his throat. He wanted to enquire about Charlotte’s family, and how she felt never seeing them again. The silence echoed; Charlotte inhaled, paused, then released, her mind confused. In the desperation of her choice, her family never registered. She would never be able to say a proper goodbye, and they had not mourned her.

Juliana’s brow knitted as she tried to place Charlotte amidst a sense of familiarity. Charlotte stared, transfixed by her thoughts, unable to communicate. A weight of disappointment and anger grew in Juliana. Her heartbeat increased, drawing Charlotte’s attention and focus to her neck. The bitter words spat, Juliana’s face reddened, the foolishness of her father. Juliana bit back her tears; her voice faltered. How could she look at Patrick, knowing what had happened to his sister? Juliana could not follow through on a relationship with him despite how she felt. As a mother, the thought of leaving her children made her sick. Caleb reached for Charlotte’s hand as she hissed at Juliana. The woman stepped back; her eyes widened, breathing and heart raced. Caleb’s panicked tone ordered them to leave, gripping Charlotte tighter. He pulled her against his chest to restrain her. She twisted, eyes following Juliana as Cliff pushed his sister out into the sun.

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