After my own heart 8/?

Because icysilverpill asked, i figured i would tell everyone else who might be confused by the switch. Greta was retuned to her parents and the boy was captured by the hunters, we will return to those characters again, so don’t worry. 🙂 – Anyway, enjoy!

Saving Boxer – part three.

The demands are yours
I ask nothing
I just await the judgement
Coldness or kisses
For what i have done
But not what i am.

Is that not murder? Is that not a shame?

-M. Strunge

“There you are” Hiram said softly, i could see on his face, and hear in his voice that he was worried.

“Did you look for me?” I asked, smiling a little sweet smile at my beloved brother.

“I looked everywhere for you, all your favourite spots, i feared you might had left” Hiram whispered, settling down on the chair with a rustle of his heavy robe.

“I’m sorry, i did not mean to trouble you” I said, looking down at the pattern in the mosaic table between my hands that rested on the surface. it looked a little like a fucked up face, grinning at me, mocking my misery. “I just needed to be alone” i whispered.

“Listen closely Caleb, it wont be long before Master will look for me, it is soon time for my lessons for tonight, but i wanted to see you first” Hiram said, his voice a urgent whisper. “I tried to reason with Master, but he would not listen”

My eyes widened in horror, “What did you do, Hiram?”

“I told him i did not wish for his gift, i do not wish to be kindred, if you cannot join me” Hiram whispered, turning his head, looking over his shoulder to see where Balthazar was. “Caleb, my beloved brother, i thought about this for a long time, and i have no desire to be immortal if it is without you”

“Are you mad, brother?”  I gasped, “You were chosen for this gift, you are most fortunate, do not throw that away”

“For how long would you stay by my side, Caleb?” Hiram asked, his voice thick with regret and worry.

“Till my body gives up, and i die” I answered truthfully, who was i kidding? I would never be able to leave my brother, he had been my everything for as long as i remembered.

“That is just not good enough” Hiram whispered, “What is 80 years out of my eternity? a mere breath of air.”

“Don’t despair” I said, smiling sadly, “know there is no other place i would want to spend my life”

“Still” Hiram said, running his finger across the dusty table, leaving a clean line in its wake. “If i am to live for ever, so are you”

“Don’t be ridiculous” I argued, “You heard Master, there is no way, it simply cannot be done, so don’t think about it so much, you will only cause yourself sorrow. Just embrace what is yours, just as i will embrace what is mine”  

“What if there was a way? what would you say?” Hiram whispered, looking over his shoulder once more, clearly paranoid.

“What?” I gasped, “No Hiram, i am sure that if there was a way, Master would have found it”

“Now i listened to my teachings, and read some books on this subject, and there is a way” Hiram said, “But it could cost Master his life”

“Are you listening to yourself?” I said, looking at my brother terrified. Horror mingled with pure joy in the pits of my stomach, what if there truly was a way?

“would you be ready to do as i told you to? even if it is against everything you believe?” Hiram asked, his voice sombre.

A moment of silence, i bit my lip till i tasted blood, and then i nodded, sealing my own doom. “Y-yes, yes i would”

“Good” Hiram whispered, “That was the answer i had hoped for” He looked relieved, and i vaguely wondered what he would have done, had i reclined.

“But how will I know what to do? we rarely see each other these days” I sighed heavily “Master keeps you to himself, and i am alone in the shadows of this damned hotel, to spend my time as i see fit, while waiting for your rebirth”  

“I can will come to you during the day” Hiram said, “Master and Balthazar is still confined in the dark, but we are not”

I nodded, staring off into the thin air. “What if we’re caught?” I asked, “Won’t I be sent away?”

“No” Hiram said darkly “You would be killed, and so would I”

“What?” I must have looked like an idiot, since Hiram smiled sadly.

“The law states that siblings born of the same mother cannot embrace the rebirth, so it would be illegal for Master to make us both Kindred” Hiram said, his voice low, careful not to draw attention from anyone but me. “But if it goes wrong and Master is lost in the process, then we would be killers, worse than killers, we would be kinslayers, which would warrant an instant death warrant over our heads, which would be most unfortunate since none of us would know how to wield our new existence, and would lack any guidance”

“Lord” I whispered, not knowing how to respond, but i already gave him my word.

“We would be sent before the tribunal, and we would not leave alive, i am sure of it” Hiram whispered.

“And if Master lives?” I asked, my voice trembled.

“Then he will have to hide for the rest of his time, unless he too wants to stand before the vampire tribunal, for breaking the law” Hiram shrugged, “I saw the papers he sent when he filed for permission to create another Kindred, he only listed one of us” Hiram looked away, “Me”

“So the tribunal don’t know of my existence?” I asked, not even daring to question why you had to seek permission to create a vampire.

“No” Hiram said. “Which is a good thing” He smiled, suddenly reaching out ruffling my hair, “Cheer up little brother, everything shall be fine”

I laughed out loud, hearing my voice echo on the empty walls in the giant hotel, laughter was not a sound often heard here, and i wonder how long it had been since anyone had laughed in this place. “You should go to the study, Master would be looking for you, and i don’t want you to get in trouble” I said, my smile still lingered on my lips.

“Will you come to my bedroom at dawn?” He asked, looking so innocent and sweet that i could not deny him.

“Of course” I said. Standing from my chair i watched as Hiram too stood, going to the cupboard to get a drink before his lesson. I went out into the hall, on my way outside to look at the starlit sky, and maybe even venture to the cove, watching the dark water.

“Caleb” I heard Master say behind me, i could have screamed, not sure how long he had been standing there, had he heard what we had said before?

“Master” I said, my smile perfect, but my voice skittle. “Forgive me, i didn’t see you”

“Caleb” He said with a soft loving voice, “My son. How are you? I have been spending so much time with your brother, preparing him for his new life, that i have had no time to talk to you”

“Oh i know, Master, and i understand” I nodded weakly.

“You know i love you, Caleb, don’t you?” Master said, giving me one of he rare smiles.

“I do Master, and i love you as well” I said, knowing i meant it, even if i had been discussing his death just moments ago.

“You are such a beautiful child, and a gentle soul” He whispered, caressing  my cheek, i can’t recall he touched me like that, not before and not since, only in this strange magical moment. “I wish..” He took a deep breath “I wish I could do something for you, something to lift your spirit in these dark days” I think i wanted to say something, but i just leaned into his touch like a kitten asking for more attention. “Don’t be afraid Caleb, I know it might seem confusing now, but it will all make sense eventually, i promise”

“Yes, Master” I whispered. I remember feeling a strange sensation of loss as he withdrew his hand from my skin. “I just feel useless, i have lost my place”

“I know, son. I can feel your sadness, even the house can feel it, the walls seems to breathe your sorrow and confusion” Master said, “Do you wish for me to assign you a chore, something to keep you busy?”

I nodded again, “Please” I whispered, “I have accepted this is how it must be, i know you love me Master, and if you knew of any way to not separate my brother and I, you would do it, i have no doubt in my mind, Sir” I lowered my head and looked at the snouts of Masters shoes, “Forgive me, i have too much time to ponder, driving myself crazy with needless thoughts”

“I have need of some letters to be sent, would you want to do that for me?” Master asked. I don’t recall he ever asked me of anything, he usually just ordered something.

“But of course, Master.” I said, knowing that he tried his best to express his regret that he had to leave me as a mortal boy, while he snatched my brother and whisked him off like some evil witch from a fairytale.

“I shall ready the instructions for you, come to my study first thing tomorrow at dusk” Master said. the tenderness gone from his voice, now he was the master i knew again.

“Yes. Sir” I said, and as he looked away from me and over at Balthazar who stood and lurked in the shadows by the stairwell, I knew i had been dismissed. I know i should have said something to repay his tenderness, but i didn’t, i just turned my back to him and continued my flight outside.

“Caleb?” He called after me, “These are dangerous times, and i do not wish to send you from my side, so please follow my instructions to the detail, and do not question my word”

This puzzled me, but i just said that i would be careful and obey him, no questions asked. I think he cared, and i actually think he might had heard us in the kitchen, maybe he knew of Hiram’s plan? If he did, he never let us know.

“Would i have done what i did had i known how it would end? No i don’t think so, I think Balthazar was right when he told me to just tuff it out and live with what was my destiny” Caleb smiled to himself “Instead i had to change it, letting everyone, including me, paying the price”

He turned and looked at Boxer who slept at his side, he truly was beautiful, it was a shame that he felt that his soul was so impossible that he did not wish to live, such a waste. The ghoul stirred, slowly waking.

“Starling?” Boxer mumbled. “How.. ” He stretched under the covers, smiling like a cat, “What a beautiful and sad story”

“You heard me?” Caleb said, blushing, “I didn’t mean to invade your sleep, i just… i don’t know..”

“When I was alive” Boxer said, “I was known as Eden” He smiled at Caleb, “There, we’re even”

Caleb laughed bitterly, “Not even close mate”

Boxer slid out from under the covers, frowning as he looked down over himself. “Starling, why am i naked?”

“Your clothes was covered in blood, it needs to be washed” Caleb turned his head and looked at the stranger on his bedside. “You can borrow some of mine, or Snowballs, i think he has more stuff here than i do”

“Thank you” Boxer said slowly. “I really mean that” Arching his back till a slight click of bones was heard. “I’m starving” he stated.

“I’m sorry i fed off you earlier” Caleb said, sitting straight up in the bed, “I just wanted to knock you out, i thought some sleep might help to ease your mind, loosing your master is no little detail”

Boxer nodded, “That is the kindest anyone ever said to me” He whispered.

“No, no.. man, no more waterfalls” Caleb whispered urgently, as he almost jumped off the bed, but he was too late as Boxer was already wiping his tears away with his hand. Shaking his head in frustration, “So what do you want to eat?”

Boxer turned his head and looked up at Caleb, “Flesh” He stated blankly.

“Oh” Caleb was embarrassed by his own ignorance, of course a ghoul would eat raw flesh! “My neighbour has a fucking annoying cat that shits under my stairs, will that do?”

Boxer nodded, and Caleb smiled to himself, solving two problems at once, he was getting better at shit caretaker stuff. He was sure that even Trey would be proud. “Now i have to retreat, its almost dawn, so knock yourself out, and i know Snowball your saviour will be back to look in on you, so i will see you at dusk”



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