Fanfiction: The Lost Story I - Born to Darkness   
  • 01 Preface
  • 02 My Precious Moment
  • 03 The First Conversation
  • 04 Living Together
  • 05 The Lost
  • 06 Mortal? Immortal?
  • 07 The Great Idea
  • 08 The Queen of the Damned
  • 09 Life without end

My name is Jen Leung. I am now writing my story to you, to this world. My story with Louis and Lestat. Let me recall your memory. Louis is the author of “The Interview with the Vampire” while Lestat is the author of “The Vampire Lestat”. I think I will only give a brief summary to those books in my section. Both of them are vampires. They have not been humans for more than two centuries. If they don’t have their endless lives, I will not meet them in my lifetime.

For me, you may wonder who actually I am. You are right. I am not human, not being human for seventeen years that is a very short moment only compared to my eternal life. I know many humans eager to have such a life, but it means nothing to me. And on the contrary, I still cherish the time being a human that I have treasured most in my whole life. I always have a special feeling while I think about or hear the word of human. Unfortunately, I have no return now. I still don’t know if I regret for encountering them or not until now. But they have made me to make up my mind to publish my story to the world and with my reason and my incentive totally different from theirs.

Why hasn’t Lestat told you my name in his book? Actually, he has introduced me in “The Vampire Lestat” and his album but just in the original version. This version has been published once but later changed to a second edition with some reasons. But both editions don’t have much importance to me after all. I have become the thing helplessly that I hate at last.

I will never forget my time being a human.

When I was still a human, I was only twenty-two years old. I was Chinese, which was the only Chinese vampire in the world until now. I had inherited my parentage. I looked like my mother so much. She was a beautiful and charming lady. We were similar in height and with pleasant impression. I was 165 cm tall, thin but with good figure. My skin of course was yellow. I had long, black and shiny hair with little curls at the ends. I liked to tie them up with a ribbon when I was working or in a bad mood. I loved the black colour of my hair that could emanate a mystery feeling. And this feeling made the people around me willingly give me their in-depth study. Small round dark brown eyes with a straight nose, which liked my mother’s most, could be found on my little face. My eyes gave a shining of black crystal orbs. Those who looked at them couldn’t help themselves diverting their attention from gazing, just like their souls had been snared in them. In fact, I also loved to look at them in the reflection of the mirror and found them irresistible. They became more charming when I was smiling. They were in the shape of the crescent moons as if they bowed. And my lips were always pinkish that having the seductive power for drawing someone to kiss on them. Most of the people said I had a childish and angel face. They often guessed I was only around seventeen. But I wanted to give a more-mature impression to the people, so I always put on a pair of black plastic glasses even I had no short sight. These were the appearance my parents had given me. I loved it and felt it was so fit to me.

My parents had once lived in Hong Kong. They met and fell in love when they studied in the secondary school. They got married seven years after. Three years later, the only daughter, me, was born. We were a middle-class family and lived happily. We migrated to New York when I was five years old as my Dad was appointed to the head office there as a Chief Fashion Designer.

He was a genius in Fashion Design. He had been praised for many awards since his time in college. He was a workaholic. I loved to look at him when he concentrated on his work. My Mum always told me not to bother him since he would be in temper if I did so. Actually, I had seldom seen for his temper, he was a gentleman in my mind. He never beat me no matter how naughty I was. Sometimes, I found I was afraid of my Mum much more since she was very harsh to me. I liked to sit at a corner in his studio. I loved the studio. All the furniture was made of wood. My parents loved wooden furniture very much and so did I. The smell of it was so sweet just like the bees flying around the honey. I always stayed in it and had my own appreciation to his working figure without making a sound. His exclusive habitude was at its peak at this moment. The way his hand drawing, the way his eyes looking up at the ceiling, the way his frowning, the way he crinkling and throwing the rubbish on to the floor, these made me amazed. I loved these gestures just like other children moving closer and closer to the television for their favourite cartoons without any control.

My Mum was a pianist. She had her concerts and performances mainly in the United States and sometimes in Europe. She was a composer also. She told me she had played her music to me when she was pregnant. She was confident that I would love it. Yes, she was right. I loved her music and addicted to it. Each note she played gave me a virginal feeling and many angels danced airily with me on a big white cloud. The breeze made from my dancing could keep me smiled. The whiteness of the cloud would get my attention and let me become much quieter even I was very naughty in most of the time as my Mum always had complained. And the softness of it was so comfortable that I couldn’t resist to touch it and even to put my face close to it. I could feel my breaths followed the rhythms of the music. Most of the time, I would close my eyes and let it embrace me. I could feel my real existence in the embrace. Many people couldn’t find their meaning and even couldn’t feel their real existence in this noisy and annoying urban city. They had lost. It was rather lamentable. Luckily, there had been the invention of music and piano. I thought the piano music was the best music in this world. It could sweep away all the sadness and replenish the weary souls. I loved the magic of it.

But I let my Mum down that I had no sense in it. I enjoyed it but I couldn’t play even she had taught me over years since I was five. I could read the disappointment from her face. I knew she wanted me to become a pianist just like her. She couldn’t wait for my birth and bathe me in the music world once she was pregnant. And she even let me to touch the keyboard when I was still a baby. My Dad had stopped her and told her that I was too young to learn. She should wait me to grow up and see if I had any talent and interest in it. But she couldn’t face my stupidity in music finally even I had tried my best. She was so sad that hadn’t talked to me for a few weeks.

Fortunately, I had my talent in drawing. My Dad hadn’t taught anything to me on purpose. Yet, I loved to imitate my Dad while he was working. I drew pictures for him and my Mum. I drew pictures for those scenes I found beautiful. I was attached to drawing and colours. My Dad was enrapt about it. He sat beside me quietly to see my creations. He seldom made suggestions to me since he told me that the soul of the creations was from personal feelings. Nobody could have a better understanding than the creator. If the creations didn’t come from the feelings in the heart, they would be as same as the rubbish being dumped to the streets. This was the duty to the creator to give the life and the soul to them. So, he mostly despised of those people who stole the ideas from the others and claimed as their own. He always said to me they were just like the murderers taking lives of other people and destroying the souls. And he taught me the skills how to draw and how to use colour. Colour was very important and it meant a lot. It could not only make people feel sad but also could cheer them up. No body could resist the power of it, making the emotion fluctuated. My Mum was comforted finally that I still had been inherited the talent, although not from her.

My parents loved me so much and so did I. We used to walk hand-in-hand with me in the middle. Their soft hands held mine. I loved their kisses on my cheek and my forehead. It could give me a warm feeling. And I could fall into sleep easily when I was held in their arms and nestled up to them. When they caressed my hair, I would close my eyes to enjoy it. They would give all the good things to me and they wanted me to become the happiest child in this world. And I felt I was the most blessed child at that time.

Yet it was a dream only. I became an orphan after my parents’ death when I was only eleven years old. I witnessed it. I couldn’t sleep or even speak for several months after it. This struck me a lot even until now. My parents had few relatives in Hong Kong and none of them wanted to take care of me. No one wanted to take this burden. Finally, I was brought to a Christian orphan home in Seattle and grown up there.

Christian, I was taught there was a God in this world. His love was unconditional. He loved all the people no matter the race and the skin colour, also nothing dealt with the poor and the rich. He even gave his love to the sins only if they believed in him. But I didn’t know if there was really a God. If yes, why had he taken the lives of my parents? Why had my God permitted this to happen? If he loved me, loved my parents, why could he be so harsh and so cold? Had my parents done something wrong? Had I done something that angered the God and he had to punish me in this way? I couldn’t find out the answers. Yet the only thing I could do was to stay in the little chapel once I had my own time. I knelt down before the wooden statue of Jesus Christ. I looked up and studied it with my tears. I hoped it would move and talk to me. I was eager to see a miracle. I knew it was the only possible chance. I prayed for him day and night for sending my parents back. I prayed for him it was not real, it was only a nightmare. I was willing to give up all my things even my life to see my parents were still alive.

But as I had prayed for many times that I couldn’t remembered, I was in despair finally. And I knew there was no god, or he showed no mercy to me. It was not a nightmare. It was real. I couldn’t sever from the suffering. I couldn’t recover from it. I was guilty for the deaths of my parents. I couldn’t forgive myself. I always felt the sadness and the loneliness. I was abandoned. I was the quietest child among the kids. They were garrulous and loved to play while I placed myself in a corner and wept. All of them just thought I was so strange that they would not talk to me or even scared of me. They treated me as an alien.

Nobody understood me except Sister Doris. I knew she had noticed my strange act. She said nothing but just stood at the door when I prayed in the chapel every night. She held me with her soft arms and wiped my tears with her warm fingers. She always looked at me with her little blue eyes. Although they were so small, I could feel her will and her belief. Her eyes were full of love and the blue colour also gave the light to me. As times went by, I didn’t know why I trusted her even she hadn’t spoken for any special words to me. Yet, I could feel her concern to me. I talked to her after I had settled down in the orphan house for five months. She was the only one I would talk to. When I was in her arms, that feeling was just like my mother given me. She loved to caress my hair gently. She loved to touch my face endearingly. She could give me the love I desired for.

She was my teacher also. It was she telling me that I must have my life to go on, forget the past and walk through the shadow. It was she telling me my parents would be in the heaven blessing me. They didn’t want me to live in such a despair and darkness world. No need to cry and I should not give up all the talents they had given me. I should learn much more and work harder than before. I should live for them. I was not alone. And there was a real God, nobody could deny his existence. He was always with us. He had listened to my prayers. It was the challenge that was dedicated to me. He wanted me to grow up and make myself to be a stronger one. He did it because he loved me. I had to face it and overcome it. That’s my task I had to complete. I couldn’t let my parents disappointed. Sister Doris made me felt being loved again. She gave me hopes and dreams. I could see the light from her eyes. I could find my place in this world.

But she passed away when I was fifteen, she died of a lung disease. I couldn’t forget the pain and the suffering on her face. The strike was even greater and more serious. I felt sad and despair again. Why had such cruel things happened to me? My Mum, my Dad, my Sister Doris all passed away and I was abandoned again. I was in deep grief. I had done my best already to please the God. I had pulled every string to do it. But why did this God punish me again? Why did Sister Doris believe in such a cruel God? How could he take the life of his loyal servant? But the cheerful, exhilarating words and blessings Sister Doris had given to me were still in my ears like a non-stop playback. I remembered the moment before she died. She held both of my hands with her last energy and said “My child, you have to remember my words in your lifetime. No suffering anymore. Believe in our God.” These voices were always in my mind. I was nearly crazy. The questions in my heart pulled me to the darkness while her voice pulling me to the brightness. That’s why I was so emotional and fluctuated easily. And that’s why I became so contradicting with the character of construction and destruction.

I was helpless. I would not pray in the chapel like the way I did for my parents. I knew it was no use. I had to accept it as the fact. Nothing I could do for it but just forced myself on the study to forget all the sadness. Yes, I had to do it. That’s the hope of my Sister Doris to me. She wanted me to work hard and to do my best always. I won’t let her disappointed. I won’t let my Mum and Dad down. I knew they were blessing for me in the heaven. They were my loves. The only thing I could do for them was to live for them, do the best for them.

I was the most brilliant student in college and institution. My major was fashion design. I had chosen this because of my parents. I could feel being close with them, could contact with them spiritually to a certain extent. I could feel they were with me just like in the old days. It was my memory to them. But I also loved it and I could concentrate on it. Nothing could make me to have such a concentration. I was born to be a designer. I could bathe in my own world. I could find my confidence and my meaning when I was doing my designs. I could express my own feelings no matter the happiness or the sadness through my designs while I found it very difficult to communicate with other people in words. Actually, communication was my long lasting problem. I seldom spoke after the death of Sister Doris. I couldn’t find any energy to speak for my feelings. Or perhaps I couldn’t find the exact words to speak for it. And I wanted to hide my feelings from all the people who knew or didn’t know me. I had put all my time on the study to keep me away from recalling any painful memories. And most probably, I couldn’t find one to replace her or find one I could trust.

I was chosen as one of the costume-design assistants for the film “Interview with the Vampire”. Although I was criticized to be too young and with no experience to assist my crew leader, Vicky, she thought I was capable of doing it. She was a visiting professor in my institution. I was totally shocked once I saw her in the first lecture. The special feeling to her made me forgot my breaths. Also the fast heartbeat made me almost fainted. I had rubbed my eyes to let me have a clear vision. The energy emanated from her gestures, her confidence in her voice and the way she explained the theories, these all reminded me the working figure of my Dad in the studio. One of the theories she mentioned, the soul of creation. I was so invigorated that stood up amongst all my classmates in the lecture room. All of them included Vicky stared at me for a few seconds. Then, I smiled and sat down again. But I couldn’t hide my excitement in the remaining lecture. I even couldn’t sit still. I could see her talent just like my Dad’s. I knew I could continue my unfinished learning from her. I rushed to her and requested a private talk after the lecture had been just finished. I remembered I didn’t find any words to start the conversation. Yet after our long contemplation, I just said to her “I am so eager to learn from you. There is a voice in my mind telling me I must try no matter how many times I may fail. But, could you please give me this chance that I can’t miss?”

She also knew about my Dad. She had met him once in an exhibition in Hong Kong for a long time ago. They had heard about the name of each other. And in this first meeting, they found the cohesive power between them was so strong that they were just like bosom friends. And they even had a dinner together at that night and talked about any topic came to their minds freely for six hours ceaselessly. They talked about art, music, religion, politics, movies and any other else. She still remembered the detailed moment of that night even now. They kept in touch after he had migrated to New York. They supported to each other no matter on their work or personal matters. She was so sad and was burst into tears when she had read the news about his death.

She was so excited when she knew I was his daughter. She appreciated the talent of my Dad a lot and she said I had inherited from him after she had read my creations. I went to her office once I had my time. She even asked me to live with her family but I hadn’t accepted her invitation. I knew she sympathized for my encounter and wanted to take care of me instead of my Dad. Yet I thought she had already given a great gift to me. That was enough. I could take care of myself. She had her own family, her husband and her son. I should not disturb them although they liked me and always had gatherings with me. They thought I was one of their family members. I was so glad that Vicky had such a happy family. Sometimes, I felt not only the sweetness but also the loneliness when I was with them. Perhaps that was the real reason that I couldn’t live with them.

Vicky had taught me for more than two years. In this period of time, it was really hard for me but I was very happy. She always complained we should meet much earlier that she could share her experience with me. She wanted me to learn from her in a rush time since she knew other than her knowledge, there were still a lot to learn. Therefore, I learned day and night but I still wasn’t fed up of it. On the contrary, I could feel my increasing energy as I did more and more practice. She always said both of us were born to be designers. We got the enthusiasm and never allowed ourselves to be the cravens. She loved my character very much. She found we were so similar to each other and to my Dad. She said I should travel around the world and expand my horizon. So, she ignored the objection and decided to give me the chance to get experience from this large project. I knew I would do my best on the job and would not make her disappointed. I wanted to prove my abilities to the crew, especially Thomas who had made the strongest objection to Vicky. He also was the assistant in the film. He had assisted to her for more than six years already. He was her apprentice. I felt his hostility to me when Vicky became my teacher. I thought his objection was only because of his jealousy of the chance I had in such a young age and the praise from Vicky to me.

In order to get some ideas for this project, I had to read Louis’s book. Actually, I didn’t believe there were any real vampires in the world. I even didn’t believe Louis was real. I just treated the book like a kind of entertainment. No, it should be for my job actually. In my leisure time, I liked to read books, like scientific or horror frictions. I loved to read especially in green parks, since it made me easier to get into the story with the natural scenery. I liked to breathe the fresh air with the natural perfume. These all could strengthen my ability of imagination. I couldn’t have indoor reading except in my studio and my workshop since I felt like being trapped in the concrete. For this book, I specially chose St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 to read. It was the most visited gravesite in all of New Orleans, the purported resting place of voodoo queen Marie Laveau; it could be recognized as the unkempt tomb covered with the chalkmarked X's of devotees. I thought this place was the most suitable one for the vampires. They should live in a dark and silent place. and at least the most suitable one for me to imagine this story.

It was a Sunday afternoon. The weather was good. I felt the warmth from the sunlight. Birds sang around me. The light wind brought me along with a nice smell of grass. I couldn’t help taking a deep breath of it. I chose a wooden bench under an old pine that had a thick crown layer with a robust trunk. I could see the gravestones where I sat. And some people were praying to their loves who had passed away. I had a strange feeling when I saw the gravestones. Actually, I loved to watch them sometimes. They could bring an abnormal calmness to me. If I couldn’t stand for the yearning to my parents and Sister Doris, I would go to their cemeteries and sit by the gravestones. I would talk to them and told them how I missed them. I knew they were listening to me. And most of the time, I would talk for hours and even didn’t want to leave and stay late there. I didn’t scare for the dead quietness. People were afraid of it because they were unfamiliar with it. But why should I scare? Darkness and quietness were always beside me. They were my only friends. Although I thought I could find a spiritually comfort to a certain extent in there, I still couldn’t sweep away my loneliness.

I began reading.

Interview with a Vampire. Louis de Pointe du Lac told his story to a reporter. A vampire story. In 1791, he was still a human and he was the owner of a large plantation in Louisiana. Although he was so rich and had great ability to run the business, he was guilty for the death of his brother, Paul. Louis was regret for not believing in his words. And Paul fell from a long stair and died after their argument. The compunction couldn’t make him forgive himself. He was in pain and wanted to be ended his life by anyone.

Guilty and end the life?

The one listened to his prayer was not human but was a supernatural one, The Vampire Lestat. Vampires always could have spells on human beings, drawing them close to the vampires even they had to pay at any cost. It was true that the mortals couldn’t resist the immortals.

Spells? Sounded like magic. What were spells like? I really wanted to see them. Was it really difficult to resist them? It was so challenging. What did Lestat look like? Why couldn’t Louis resist him?

He was beautiful to Louis. He was so charming. His voice was just like the bell of an angel. He was like a redeemer to Louis and brought him back from his guilty and from his hell. Louis liked the spell cast by Lestat. He wanted to start a new life without diseases and deaths. An endless life without pain and suffering. It was an invitation. He accepted it and became a vampire.

I wondered why Lestat wanted a companion. Why did he share his dark gift and power? Why did he choose Louis? What attracted him? A human attracted a vampire? A mortal attracted an immortal? I was eager to know what Louis looked like. I thought the attraction of a vampire to a mortal should be apprehensible, but the attraction of a mortal to a vampire would be marvellous.

Vampires had different powers. They would have stronger powers with increasing age. Lestat was a powerful one and a strong one. He always acted as a leader. He had intensive physical power and could move in high speed. He was a mind-reader also but Louis didn’t have this ability. Louis was dependent to Lestat.

I thought Louis was rather weak, while Lestat was very strong. I was impressed with the power of Lestat. What would be the limit of his power? Did he have any weaknesses?

But the new senses and the new powers didn’t help Louis much. He could not adapt to vampire’s nature. He even defied what he was. He couldn’t take lives from humans and he only could drink from the animals for his survival. This endless life, given by Lestat, had to sacrifice other human lives to continue. He couldn’t do that. Lestat couldn’t bring him back from his guilty and his hell. Louis was in suffering again. The newly given life, once had attracted him, didn’t have a meaning to him after all.

Was it a tragedy? A vampire with the humanity but was not human anymore. But it was the seduction of Louis. It might be the reason that Lestat chose him. His weaknesses, his despair and his lost. And these reminded my weaknesses, my despair and my lost. The sympathy. Although I hadn’t met him, I could feel close to him with the similarity of us. I could feel him inside me. He was touching my heart.

Lestat tried his best to guide him, he really loved him so much perhaps. But he had chosen a wrong way. He revealed the nature of a vampire as a predator to the human-like Louis. He wanted Louis to accept his nature. He had already become the thing that there was no return. He should not be bound to the human soul that he had already lost.

How could Louis accept that? If I were him, I couldn’t accept it either. Predator, once was human and fed on human now. Lestat only had taken his human life but not for his human soul. A vampire with a human soul. Poor Louis. Yes, Louis told the truth, he was dumped into the hell wherever he was.

Louis hated Lestat so much that he wanted to leave him. He just thought Lestat chose him as his companion because of his rich. Louis wanted to know the meaning of their existence. But Lestat knew nothing and couldn’t teach him anything. The only thing he knew was blood. Louis was fed up with him and despised of his arrogance without any knowledge or even common sense. He wanted to learn by himself and found other vampires in this world.

But Louis made me disappointed.

He fed on Claudia, a five-year-old child. He sucked her blood when he was lost. He was lost in this dark world. But the irony was he only could find the peace when he locked on the neck of this little girl and felt her heartbeats against his sucking. The peace he never reached when he drank the animal blood. He could not deny his nature at last. He was a blood-drinker. He was a vampire. He was guilty again. But Lestat made Claudia became a vampire child in order to keep Louis with him.

I thought the word “lock” would be more appropriate. Claudia was a sacrifice. Poor Louis and poor Claudia. The evil locked him. The guilt locked him. And also locked me? Lestat, why couldn’t he liberate Louis? Lestat, he was really a cruel guy.

Oh, my stomach was aching now. That was my chronic ailment. It always hurt me when I was too nervous or hadn’t had my meals regularly. It was a common disease in the city. See the watch, it was one o’clock in the midnight already! I was over-concentrated on the book and I had read it for more than ten hours. I was very surprised that Louis’s story was so attractive to me that reading it without intermission. I wanted to know the remaining of it but it’s time to go home, I couldn’t stand for the stomachache now. I hadn’t had either my lunch or my dinner today. I deadly needed to eat something. I put the book inside my black sailcloth cross- knapsack.

Nobody was in the cemetery, so quiet. I used to walk home alone in this late time. Actually, I was quite love to do it. I could enjoy the moonlight without any disturbance. I enjoyed being alone in the street and having my free toddle. I could wind my body in full circles with my hair dancing in the middle of a street. The breeze made me a little bit cold now. It was the deep autumn of New Orleans. I hadn’t brought a coat along with me. I only wore a light blue T-shirt with middle sleeves and a pair of jeans with sneaker. I sneezed. I thought I needed to walk home quickly.

"Jen." I heard a voice.

A fancy voice.

I stopped and looked around. Nobody was in sight. I thought it was my delusion as I was very tired. I started to walk again.

“Jen, you have heard me, it’s not delusion. Come in this way." A man’s voice said.

The voice was so charming. It was a pleasant voice.

But a chill came over me. It was so late and so quiet but I heard a voice calling my name without a sight of human in front of a graveyard. The voice was soft but I was thrilled.

What would be this voice? A ghost? No, I did not believe in ghosts. I just believe in God. The God Sister Doris told me to believe. But even there were really ghosts in this world, I won’t be afraid as I had not done any harm to them.

Ok, ignoring the voice, I started to walk again but this time with a slower pace in order to tell him I was not afraid.

"Jen, you are so confident to yourself but I think you just don’t understand. This is only a voice to your mind, no physical form. Come, I will make you know it. I need you to come. Come to me."

Yes, the voice was so enamoring. I was attracted. I did want to see who owned this fancy voice. But come on, no use to play this trick to me! I won’t believe this! Just a trick!

"No, it’s not a trick! Just listen carefully and you will find the difference."

I was surprised why he could know what I thought. I hadn’t said a word to him.

Who on earth was he?

My stomach was aching seriously now.

I had no patience to play with him. He couldn’t scare me. Did he really think if he could scare me?

I laughed.

"Don’t play such a trick to me. Leave me alone." I said to him at the first time with my impatient tone and started to walk again.

"Ah, are you really not afraid?" A voice came behind me suddenly. I turned around once I heard it. I was sure I heard the voice. "Yes, you are right, the previous sentence was said physically in order to make you turn around. I don’t want to play the hide-and-seek game to you. And I want to start our conversion as soon as possible." The man was very near to me, almost nose by nose. I could feel his breaths. I reacted and fell a little bit backwards. My heartbeats quickened.

I saw a young man about twenty in front of me. He was six feet tall. He had thick blond curly hair, not quite shoulder length. His eye colour was a little blue or violet. His nose was a short narrow one. Mouth was well shaped and extremely generous. He had a good appearance. I was shocked for his attractiveness.

Our eyes locked to each other. I felt my heartbeat again. He was looking at me with an incomprehensible expression. I had a strange feeling when I looked at his expression, rather cute.

"Cute? Nobody has used such a word to describe me before." I heard the voice again but I didn’t see his mouth moved. I was looking around to see if there were another people in the cemetery. “No need to look around, nobody was in the cemetery except you and I." Again, it was no movement for his mouth. “Hey, who are you? Don’t play this trick to me.” “You still don’t believe?" “Believe what? Do you want to tell me that you are a ghost? No way!” "Ok, we can’t start our conversation in this way. I don’t want to confuse you.” "Don’t you still not identify me?" He said in a soft voice with his mouth moved this time. "I don’t know you. I haven’t met you before." I was studying him again to find if there was any memory to this person.

He had an extremely white, highly reflective and very smooth skin. He dressed up like a man who lived in the previous century. He wore long blue velvet with finery fancywork, a white lace shirt, a pair of long pants and boots. These fashions had been out-dated for a long time already.

"You have worn a makeup and dressed a costume. You are doing an act now." I said with confidence after my studying. "What a finding!" He laughed. "Has Thomas lend you these things? This is produced by Thomas, right? Where is he? It’s enough. Tell him he has lost in this game and don’t play this trick to me again. I have to go now." I was leaving. "Thomas? Just forget him. I have no interest in him, that old guy. What can I do to make you believe me? My power? I know you want to know how much power I have got. Do you want to try now?" He said in a fascinated tone.

Power?

His hands suddenly held my waist and I was moved. I could not see how this was happened but I just knew that he was holding me. I felt cold when he touched me. The coldness was not only from his hands but also from all parts of his body. I could feel it when he held me tight to his body. He was freezing. And we were moving in a high speed just like flying. I couldn’t see the detailed pictures around me. They were in fast retreating. As we stopped, I felt the dizzy. And after I had got a clear mind, I noticed that we had arrived at the New Orleans Centre just in a few seconds. I thought I needed at least thirty minutes to get here from St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.

How could he do it so fast?

He placed me to sit on the floor.

"You should believe in my power right now. I don’t know who is Thomas. No, I should say in this way, I know who he is from your mind, but I haven’t met him before. I know Vicky also." He paused for a second and continued. "Still wondering how we reached here? Just a supernatural power that you don’t have."

I was stunned. "Supernatural? Who are you? I don't know you. Why do you bring me here? Why do you want to have a conversation with me?" I was scared and in panic. My mind was in chaos and I didn’t have an idea on this so-called supernatural thing. "Finally, you are scared! You should know me." "Why should?" I asked. He was just standing there and watching me with his patience.

I was calling my intellection. I knew my panic would be useless for this moment. I looked at him with my careful study. No make-up, no costume, he had a white and reflective skin that I had not ever seen before. And his charming didn’t like an ordinary one. He could move in high speed that could not be explained. A so-called supernatural power that I didn’t have.

Not human.

"True."

And a mind-reader.

"Absolutely."

A voice just liked the bell of an angel and the seducing power he had.

"Have you reached you conclusion?" He said challengingly.

I recalled the book I had just read. An Interview with the Vampire.

"Vampire?" I shouted. "You have disappointed me a little bit that having a correct answer so late." He smiled. "You are Lestat?" I shivered when saying his name. "Ah, you have picked up quite soon." He smiled again.

His smile was fascinated.

"Are you serious? Are you really a vampire? I can’t believe it." I said to him with shaking my head. "Yes, I have been a vampire more than two hundred years. I know it is hard for you to believe, but trust what you have seen and heard." I had no voice. "Do you want me to prove again? Do you want me to taste your blood?" "No, of course not." I said immediately. He smiled. "Is this book real? Is Louis real also?" "He is real but most of his book are wrong." "Do you mean the parts to you?" I asked bravely. Actually I didn’t know where my courage came from. I still felt my sweats. "I don’t want to start from the book." He said sadly.

"Then, what do you want from me? Feed on me?" His eyes widened. "Yes, I am interested in you. But don’t worry, not in your blood." I was confused. "Me? Then, for what? I am just an ordinary girl. Nothing special." "Where is your confidence?" He was studying me just like doing an antique appreciation. He was very near to me. I could feel his nose on my cheek. I could smell his scent, the smell of the graveyard. "You should not tie up your hair. You will be more beautiful when they rest on your shoulders, a dark-hair angel." He said to me tenderly. I was shaking while he was unloosening the ribbon. "The dark-hair angel." He whispered to my ear. I felt the chill. "And the glasses don’t fit to you. They look so strange on your face. Your eyes should not be blocked by anything." He took my glasses away also. "I like your look much more now." He smiled.

What made him to be so interested in me? Not my blood?

"You are interested in the book and the movie!" I suddenly realized it. "Clever!" He stopped the appreciation and smiled again.

"Yes, really interested. It is you who have brought this message to me, Louis’s confession. I have been gone underground for fifty-five years. And it is you who have waken me up from my long sleep." My mouth was slightly open when I heard him saying these words. "Me? I have done nothing." "No, you read this book in the cemetery where I read from your mind. And I also know your feeling about me. I am a cruel guy, right?" "Then, what do you want?" "Nothing but just a conversation." "About what?" He said seductively, "Don't you want me to help you to do your job and let Thomas regret for his strongly objection?"

I was surprised but I was not stupid. "This is not your purpose." He was astonished by my answer. I was calmed now. "Tell me, otherwise no conversation." He raised his eyebrows and said coldly "How can a mortal say these words to an immortal? I can bring death to you just in a second." I stood up and said to him with my confidence. "If you want to do it, you have done it already. But I am still alive in front of you. I know my position. And I know it clearly is me to awake you so that I mean some importance to you, right?" He smiled. "Clever and clever. You are brave enough. I love your courage. I like you." I didn't worry about my safety anymore now. There was some invisible balance between us, of course not in terms of physical power.

We started to walk downstairs together. My stomach was still aching. I put my hand over my abdomen. "You need to eat." He said to me sweetly. This time was I to be astonished.

How could a vampire be so soft? With my perception of books or movies, vampires were fierce. They would do anything for the blood. And that Lestat in Louis’s book was a cruel vampire also. Louis thought Lestat wanted him as a companion because of his rich. And Lestat never respected the victims or even lives, he always played with them before the kill. Moreover, Lestat was ignorant to everything. He never thought about the meaning of the dark life. He just wasted the dark gift he had received. He wouldn’t have any appreciation to this world, he only took revenge to it. And his arrogance made Louis sick. These were the comments from Louis. Why was there such a difference? Were this Lestat and that Lestat in the book the same?

He laughed.

Ah, he read my mind again.

"Yes. I know there is a seven-eleven down this street. I need a bottle of milk. You have to wait here. I think nobody wants to see your dressing nowadays. Don’t worry. I will not flee. Even I want to do it, I’m sure you can find me wherever I hide, right? Actually, I have no intention to do it." I smiled and felt it was very interesting to talk to him.

I went to the store and bought a bottle of milk and two pieces of chocolate cakes. Chocolate was my favorite. It made me feeling happy. I opened the bottle and drank it. Better. Milk was a miracle to my stomachache. I did like milk. I took the cakes with me and walked to where Lestat was waiting. But I couldn’t find him when I had reached there.

I looked around and again his voice came suddenly behind me. "Looking for me? Care for me so soon?" He smiled. "You are absolutely an egomania…." But I paused for a few seconds. "You have changed your clothes!” He wore white turtleneck shirts and crisp khaki safari jackets. “Where did you get them?" I asked. He walked and ignored my question.

I knew. He couldn’t buy them from the store. It was so late that all had been closed. It was a stupid question. He got them from his victim. His victim. One of my kind had just died. I drank my milk while he was drinking for the human blood. What an irony! He was the one who needed to eat. He wanted me to be away while he was feeding on a human only. His concern to me was not true. He was still that cruel guy.

A feeling of disappointment came to me. I didn’t know why such a feeling came to my mind. He turned around and looked at me with an enigmatic expression that impressed me a lot and then he walked again.

"Were you once a human?”

"Do you mean to ask me in your mind?" He asked without looking me. I felt there was something in his mind but I was not sure. "Don’t try to understand me, no mortals even immortals, may be just few of them can understand me." "Then, you must feel lonely in your lifetime." I said bitterly. I didn’t know why I felt in this way, might be just because of my intuition.

He suddenly stood right in front of me and touched my face with his hand, which was warmer than before, and said, "You…..we should go now." Then he turned around and walked again. I asked stupidly. “Where?” He again ignored my question and kept walking. The only thing I could do was to follow him.

While I was following him, I finished the cakes that were very delicious. I could not help to smile a little. Suddenly, Lestat spoke again after his short silence. "You can be satisfied so easily." "What’s wrong with that?" I refuted. "I can feel happy when I am satisfied. That’s the simplest way to reach happiness."

But my heart tightened when I said these words.

He stopped and turned to me. "I think it will not be boring if living with you."

Live with me?

My eyes were widened. "What do you mean?" I only saw him watching the apartment in front of him.

Oh, I was back to my home in Esplanade Avenue now.

He smiled.

"Do you really mean to do so?" I asked after closing the door. He seated in my armchair excitedly. "You have no choice." He smiled naughtily. "It was not convenient." I objected. "How?" "I am accustomed to live alone. I don’t like a companion." "No, you want a companion, a housemate in your heart. Don’t betray to your mind."

I wanted a companion? How could he say that? No. I wanted to be alone always. I didn’t want anyone to disturb me. I lived in my own world. But it was so dark. I wanted to shout out in the dark. Shouted for my parents, my Sister Doris and my sufferings, just like the time I was in that little chapel. But no voice and completely silence, only me knelt down in front of Jesus Christ. A sad feeling suddenly came. Yes, he knew it. He could read my mind. A housemate, a friend extremely needed, my heart was calling it.

"But you are a male and I am a female." I still argued. "Nonsense." "But it is true that you are an immortal but I am a mortal. How can we live in a single house?" "Why not?" He continued. "Do you worry if I will feed on you? Ok, I make my promise to you, you will not be my victim. I’ll keep it until the end of time. That should be enough to put your mind at rest. It will be fine for both of us." I couldn’t believe what he had just said. "Fine? How can you say that? This is my own house! You are just like a vagabond!" I was in rage.

He looked at me and laughed intensively. “Interesting!” He said finally after his long laughing. “A dark-hair human girl is angered by a charming vampire!” “Sorry, I don’t think you are charming, you only cause trouble to me!” He left the armchair and walked towards the rooms. “Don’t make me laugh again. Your mind has betrayed you. It tells me you think I am charming and my voice is just like the bell of an angel once I have met you in the cemetery. You should not deny what your mind says. It’s no use. The words are still in it even you have put all your efforts in expelling them out.” His words shocked me.

I couldn’t help but only agreed to him. That’s my used style. I knew it thoroughly. It was no use at all. I couldn’t escape from it no matter how hard I had tried. The nightmare was with me always just like the sun rose in every morning.

He said again. “This house is lovely. Our house. There are three rooms, one is yours, one is mine. The other is your studio, right?” “You are ignoring me!” I really wanted to beat him, just like beating a naughty boy. “You are grimacing. So cute!” He was mocking me. He nipped my cheek slightly with two fingers.

I really had no choice. Even I kept objecting, he would still live in my house. The only thing I could do was to give in.

"But you need to keep my rules!” “Rules? I am born to be a rule-breaker.” He glanced at my grimacing and continued, “Ok, what rules?” “The first and the most important, no feeding in my house.” “No problem at all. I don’t want my house to be dirty.”

It’s my house!

"The second, no entrance to my room and my studio without my permission.” “Ok. But I will make you permitted if I want to enter them.” He laughed. “The third is no feeding in front of me.” “Don’t worry. I’m used to do it alone. And nobody can be alive if they have seen for my fangs. You have no chance to see them. For the most importance, I really don’t want to scare my little housemate.” He was circling my hair-end.

Housemate.

"You need to have a shower. You have a smell of the graveyard. I couldn’t stand for it any longer.” “Really?” He raised his arms and smelt for them. “There is a washroom for you, just the little room next to the living room. The one in my room is mine, don’t use it.” “Is it the fourth rule?” I blinked to him.

I demonstrated how to use the water-heater and introduced the daily cleansing materials to him. “So many things to remember.” “You can choose not to remember and leave my house right now.” “I won’t fall into you stratagem.” He smiled. “Then, don’t make my house exploded.” “And wait a second.” I left him to my room to find an over-sized T-shirt and a pair of trek trousers.

Ok, ready. Oh no, one important thing had been missed. Underpants!

"No need, just for one night.” He stood by my room door and said to me. “Shower now, see you.”

I felt exhausted and placed myself lying on the sofa.

Was it a dream? A vampire was having a shower in my house and would live with me! It was hard to believe! But it was true. The Vampire Lestat was in my house! The cruel one. But I was not harmed and I was safe with him. So ridiculous! How could I live with a vampire? This time was not “Interview with the Vampire” but “Living with the Vampire”.

I laughed. I took out the book from my bag and stared at it. I had read only a half of it.

Why didn’t Louis and Claudia come with Lestat? What would be the remaining story of Louis?

It had been four o’clock already. I wanted to sleep right now.

Sleep. How did they sleep? Oh no, the coffin! This was the most important to them but how could I find it in my house?

I entered the room that Lestat had assigned. It was a spare room. It was just a simple room with a single bed, a cabinet, a wooden desk and two windows with dark blue curtains. They were the settings from the previous house owner. I hadn’t collocated for this room since no friends would visit me. It was no use to me. My room and my studio were enough for me.

Vampires couldn’t meet the sunlight. How could I block it from the windows? Curtains would be no use at all. Windows ought to be sealed completely but I thought it would be better to open the windows in the evening if Lestat liked to. Mounted with jointed window boxes would be the best solution. Ok, I needed to arrange it tomorrow after Lestat had woke up.

I jotted down this point to my portable scheduler.

Then, for his sleep, what could be used as a coffin? Before the window boxes were mounted, he had to sleep in a sealed box. Not very suitable for him to sleep in the cabinet, he couldn’t lie down on it. The bin under the bed would be better. It would be more comfortable. He could sleep inside and covered with the wooden board and the bedcushion to block the sunlight. Ok, that’s my decision.

I used a towel to clean the bin for several times. I found a bedsheet and a blanket to cover it carefully. I put a small pillow inside it. And I tried the bin myself to see if it was comfortable or not.

Quite good. He should have a good rest in it.

"You are so considerate. Thank you.” Lestat bowed to me and said heartily. “Will these settings make you safe? I don’t know if these are enough or not.” "It would be ok. Thanks again.” I smiled and came out of the bin. He looked at me again with that incomprehensive expression.

"I have more questions to ask you.” I broke his muse. “When will you wake up usually? And I have to know your size.” “I am a early-riser, usually six. For the size, you should have your professional eyes.” He said to me while looking at my face. “You have to sleep, I can tell from your face.” “Actually, I have just slept for two hours last night. The most thing I need now is a hot shower.” He nodded, “Yes, it is a good thing. Ok then, see you tomorrow night and continue our conversation.”

He spoke again when I walked past him. “Don’t enter my room in daytime.” “Is it the first rule of yours?” “I mean it, I can’t control what will happen if my sleep has been disturbed.” He sounded nervous. “Then, you should lock the door although I have the key. And I have to remind you to close all the windows while you are having your sleep. It will be much safer. Good night.” I said exhaustedly.

I got into my washroom and had my favorite shower.

The purpose.

I thought of the purpose again.

It would be neither the book nor the movie. Louis? It should be him. Did Lestat love him so much even now? Then, why separated? I needed to finish the book as soon as I could. I was curious of what happened to them. And what would the crew think if they knew I lived with Lestat? He would help me to do the job. But I won’t let him help me. I could finish it with my abilities. I could not let Vicky down.

Louis, what did he look like? Could I have a chance to meet him and talk to him like with Lestat? I just thought of Louis. The sympathy again. His experience and mine.

I suddenly realized I had missed to jot down the second point in my scheduler. I was hurry to dry up my body and got my scheduler in my room and wrote it down, to buy clothes for Lestat. When I finished, I looked at Lestat’s room, the door was still open but no light on. I walked to his room with my wet hair.

I saw him sitting at the window side and watching outside. “Can’t sleep?” I asked. “I have slept for too long and still have sometime till dawn.” He said without looking at me. I sat opposite to him at the window side.

I hadn’t sat in this room and this window side before. I had rented this house for the production of the movie only for several months. Actually, my house was in Seattle after I had left the orphan house when I was sixteen. I had acceded to the bequeathal of my parents and the living expenses were not a big deal to me. As Louis had lived in New Orleans when he was still a human and some of his time being a vampire, the movie needed to be pictured here. The crew office and workshop had been also setup in Lafayette Street. For my living in New Orleans for these months, I found it was a city containing colorful history and unique cultural gumbo of African, Indian, Cajun and Creole influences. I liked this place.

This was the first time I sat at this window side and watched the view from it. There was drizzle outside. I could see the small raindrops under the street lamps. They were dancing in the yellow light. No vehicles were on the roads. A man was running and hurry to somewhere. The leaves were moving by the light wind. They moved in rhythms, just like the audience moving their heads and hands while listening to an orchestra. I could hear the music playing by the wind and the rain. It was lovely.

"Not afraid now?” Lestat broke my music. “No, not at all.” “You are the first mortal who are not afraid of me.” I smiled. “Actually, I seldom speak. I am always alone in the house and even in the crowd. I am the most silent one. I have doubted that I have a problem for speech in the past. Of course, I don’t really have such kind of a problem. I think I have spoken the most in this night from the time in the orphan home. Perhaps, you are right. It should be better for me to have a housemate. I don’t want to bury myself in the solitude deep down in my heart. I really want a friend, a companion. And I think I like to talk to you, I don’t know the reason actually. But I just find you can be trusted and I just can talk to you without any difficulties. I can express my feeling to you just simply say it. You are the second one in this world to whom I can speak by heart. I just think we can understand to each other somehow, can have communication that I can’t find with the others.” “Really?” He was surprised. “I don’t know.” I paused for a while. “Perhaps it is because I can feel your loneliness just like mine.”

His eyes were full of sorrow now.

Yes, he was lonely. He wanted to hide it from the others, so did I. That’s why I could feel it so easily. His loneliness and mine.

I was sad by reading his expression.

"What have happened?” I asked him in my mind intentionally. "Why don’t you say it?” “I don’t want to speak when I feel sad.” "Sad? Why?” "Is it a tragedy? Where is Louis?” No answer. He was in silence also while I was studying him. “Why do you want to know about Louis? Why do you want to meet him?” I was surprised with his questions.

I didn’t know. Yes, why? There was a special feeling to Louis in my heart. Our experience was so similar to each other. I was the audience. He was the orchestra. There was music between him and me. I felt his pain. I saw his despair. My heart was aching now.

"Don’t talk about it now, I want to have a nice sleep tonight.” I finally put these into words but my voice broke. And he was looking at me after what I had said. “It has been a tragedy in your childhood.” I was shocked. I couldn’t talk about it even a little bit more. I was ready to stand up and I needed to end our conversion now. “Don’t leave, be seated with me for a while more.” He caught my right hand with an expecting expression.

He was pleading me to stay with him without saying it. He was not a cruel one. He wasn’t like the descriptions Louis had given in his book. Was Louis wrong him? I was softhearted even I really wanted to be alone now, escape from his mind-reading, escape from the recalling of my memories.

I remained seated but I was in silence. He let go for my hand. I knew he was watching me but this time it’s me watching outside the window. Dead silence. I didn’t know how long we had sat without speaking a word, but the sky was becoming brighter. I knew dawn was coming.

"It’s time for you to sleep, it’s almost dawn.” I said finally. I noticed his hair was still wet. “Do you need to dry your hair?” I asked. He nodded. I got the hair-dryer for him. “Could you help me to dry them?” He asked me through his mind softly.

It’s his turn didn’t put it into words. He was sad.

I switched on the dryer and dried his hair gently. I knew he was watching my reflection in the mirror. He was in that expression again. I couldn’t look at his eyes. I knew I couldn’t control my tears if I did it. Finally, it was finished and I said good night to him.

I returned to my room and also dried my hair by myself.

Why did he talk about my tragedy?

I felt my tears rose eventually but I promised to myself I would not cry for it anymore.

Ok, didn’t think about it. It’s no good to me. I was very tired now, needed to sleep.

I glanced at Louis’s book which was placed on the small cabinet at my bedside. That’s enough for tonight, sleep then.

The doll again. My favorite doll, a lovely monkey. It was dropped on the ground. Oh. I had to get it. Didn’t want to lose it. This was my birthday present from Mum and Dad. I loved it. I loved them. I stretched to get it. I stretched inch by inch to get it. I found it very difficult to move, just like I was holding by an iron chain. Failed. Only a short distance but why failed? I could get it! I must do it again! My limbs had been extended to my limit already. But still failed! No. I didn’t want to lose it. But lost already! No! No, please! Who could help me? God helped me!

I found myself weeping on my bed. It’s that nightmare again.

***

When I woke up, it was eleven already. It was not a good sleep but the sunshine always made me felt energetic since all unhappiness and sadness would be swept away temporarily. Yes, that’s the spirit of Sister Doris. Even I couldn’t do it actually, but at least I always reminded myself needed to do so.

Many things needed to be done. After I had gone shopping for Lestat, it was late afternoon already. The craftsmen would come at seven when Lestat was supposed to have woken up. A short time left after I had returned home, I decided to take a nap on the sofa, I really felt tired after the rush shopping.

When I was awake, I saw Lestat seating in the armchair and looking at me by supporting his head with his right palm. That cute impression again. “What time is it now?” “Six thirty.” He said it without taking his eyes off me. “The craftsmen will come at seven. Have you had a nice sleep?” “Perfect. No disturb at all.” He smiled. “I have bought you some clothes and some necessities. Come and see.” I took the clothes out and showed to him. “They look good.” He said.

"This is the key of my house. Keep it. You are my housemate now if you keep my rules properly.” I smiled to him. “Ah, two things more. I don’t know if you want them or not. It is a mobile phone. I’ve had one already. We used to have one in nowadays. You can call me if you like. I have entered my phone number in yours. You can study the manual to see how it works or ask me if you don’t understand. And it is a make-up, a foundation cream. I think it will be better for you to wear it if you go into the city. Need a try now?” He nodded.

I did it for him. I put the cream on his face gently. His face was cold. He hadn’t had his feeding yet. His skin was white and even whiter than I had met him last night. Perhaps it was the ample light in my house let me have a real picture of him.

But I still guessed he had fed before he came to me. I couldn’t imagine what he would be like if he hadn’t drunk blood before I saw him. A long sleep without the human blood, how could he survive? Did he sleep like the hibernation of the animals? Would he look like a skeleton or an ugly monster in the hibernate state? Would he suck my blood insanely if I were the first human being he met after his rise? But the one in front of me was a handsome guy. Although I knew his nature, I couldn’t deny his attractive appearance. I had admitted it silently in my heart once I had seen him. That was the transcendental charm many people dreamt of. Those impressed me most were his thick and straight eyebrows and his eyes that were always full of confidence. I thought it was the source of his seductive power. It was the power that made me trust him and believe him. And it also made me follow him without any doubts. And I could also feel his assuredness from his voice and his words. He was swelled with pride. I thought he was born to be like this. That reminded me his claim he was born to be a rule-breaker last night. He couldn’t say that if he was not an egomania. How could I live with such an arrogant vampire? Would it really be fine for us?

"You look good.” I was appreciating after finishing.

More human.

There were two humans in the mirror now. But I saw sadness on his face. I was sorry to make him felt so sad.

Was it the weakness of all vampires? Wanted to be a human again?

Suddenly, he embraced me. I was stunned. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to….” I whispered. He looked at my eyes and put a finger on my lips tenderly. And he held me tight again. I felt his coldness and his breaths on my neck. I felt my heartbeat. His sudden movement made me really surprised, just like the lightening and the thundering in the silent night. This was the first time someone embraced me after the death of Sister Doris. The shock was exaggerated through the electricity running inside my body in all directions. I was shaking. Yet, I loved it. I loved to be embraced. I could feel the love from the others. I could feel I had some meanings to them. I could feel my real existence to this world. I was not abandoned. I felt the warmth even he was so cold that had made me shivered. I devoted to his embrace with closing my eyes to prevent anything from distracting my attention. I didn’t know how long he held me. But, it was the doorbell put an end to it.

He left hold of me unwillingly. I came to the door and opened it. It was the craftsmen. My heartbeats still hadn’t slowed down a bit. “This way.” I leaded. I glanced at Lestat and saw he was looking at me also. Fastened heartbeats again. I faced away. “The job must be finished by midnight. Come and I’ll show you.” I stayed with the craftsmen in Lestat’s room and discussed my ideas with them. But I still heard he was out finally. I felt my relief. After the discussion, I went out of the room and sat on the sofa again, just watching them working. Nothing could be properly functioned. I needed to quiet myself.

I was wondering. He was so cruel in Louis’ book. He never hesitated to take lives. He would do anything whatever he wanted. He wouldn’t take the advice from the others. Nobody could stop him. But he was so kind to me. And I saw his humanity, just like Louis. This cruel one was still having his own humanity. He could feed on me when he breathed at my neck. In fact, he could feed on me at any time he liked. But he still hadn’t sucked my blood. He even had promised me that I would not be his victim. The way he pleading me last night to seat with him for a while more. Why? Why had he pretended to be so fierce? Why had he presented himself as an evil? Was he really an evil? What on earth was going on? I couldn’t find the answers.

The job had been finished at around eleven o’clock. The window boxes fitted my idea. And I heard the door opened. It was Lestat. My housemate. A trendy teenager was in front of me. He wore my clothes, perfectly fitted.

This was my professional.

He smiled. “You need to eat.”

Yes, I was starving.

"Then, Go out to have my late dinner. Come with me.” I said and rushed to the door.

No buses could be found. We should take the taxi.

"No need, this is my new car.” He pointed to a black Porsche. “Your new car? That’s yours? It is a black Porsche!” I was astonished. “Don’t you know how to drive?” “No, I won’t and I won’t do it in my lifetime.” I said bitterly.

Driving? I knew I would not dare to drive a car in my whole life. It hurt me even I thought about it.

He stopped his movement to study me. I ignored him and got into the car. He ran in also but still watching me. “Stop reading my mind. You should know the most thing I need now is a dinner.” His mind reading was really a hassle to me.

"Any suggestion?” I diverted the topic. “Ah, you just drive to The French Quarter, I will choose from where we drop across.” I pretended to be energetic. He started the engine and drove. “How much is it?” He smiled but no answer. I turned on the radio. Some unknown music was playing. Actually, I seldom listened to the radio and was not sensitive to pop music. I loved piano music much more.

“Tell me, not like the clothes you got yesterday, right?” I was waiting for his answer. “If I tell you it is the same, will you get off the car right now?” He smiled to me. “Yes, I will.” I felt disappointed and said coldly.

Why disappointed?

I was opening the door. He stopped the car immediately. “You …… do you want to die? Are you crazy?” I ignored him and walked alone along the road. Very few cars could be found at this late time. If not so few, I thought there would be a car accident when he stopped suddenly. “Little stupid girl.” I stared at him angrily. “Am I stupid that I want to get off the car which is full of blood? Am I stupid that I let a killer beside me? Am I stupid that I let a vampire live with me?” I was in rage and he was astonished. “Calm down. It’s only a joke. I am really surprised that my joke has made you to have your strong response. I’ve bought it. Trust me. But if you really want me to show you the evidence, I will give those documents to you.” He paused. “And do you still want your supper?” He waited. I realized that I had misunderstood him and I was embarrassed for my over-reaction. “Of course.” We smiled together.

Finally, I chose an American pub. I had ordered one pasta, one small pizza and two cold drinks. I of course knew just only me to have the food. Lestat would not take them. But I would do the trick to the waitresses. I exchanged the cutlery and the drink with Lestat’s after a while I had used my own when the waitresses were not noticed. I was indulged in self-delusion. “You are really a little stupid girl.” I stared at him but this time with my smile. “Enough? Do you want any desserts?” “No, not a spoonful more. I’m really full. The food is very delicious.” I was satisfied. “I think you are bored.” I said to him. “No. I love to see you eating, your gestures and also your trick.” He smiled. “I just don’t want them to think I am a food incinerator.” He laughed loudly and I laughed back.

When we got home, it was almost two. I needed to finish reading the book tonight in order to prepare the crew meeting in the next week. I always did my work in the workshop of the crew office or in the studio of my house.

The crew always stayed overnight in the workshop. I loved to stay with them. Actually, it was the only team I wanted to stay with. I was used to be alone except with them. It was probably because of Vicky. She always taught me we were a team. We couldn’t do the job without any one of us. The assimilated feeling with them when we were doing the job together was nice. I enjoyed this feeling most of the time while I could still feel the hostility from Thomas. In fact, I used to do my work independently or even ignored him sometimes in these two years although Vicky was eager to see both of us to have some interact. She had made chances for us to communicate and co-operate but it was no use at all. No matter what I suggested, he would object to it. I remembered for once, he didn’t know the drawing called “A Beautiful Age” was my creation. He admired it for a long time and discussed with Vicky in an exhibition. After he had known who was the creator, he denied what he had said and gave his consistent and negative opinion to me. He was habitual to criticize to all of my things no matter it was my creations, my attitude or my character.

But of course, I loved my studio also. All the furniture in the studio was made of wood. Wood always made me having a sweetness feeling. The furniture of my old house in New York was also mainly made of wood. Besides, I had put a hi-fi in the studio. I loved to do my work while listening to the music. It could bring me many creative ideas. And I could feel my parents were with me. I could get their support and power. That’s why I collocated for it in this way.

I planned to read the story in the balcony of my studio, where was my favorite place in the house, after my shower. There was a white parapet. I always loved to lean to it and gaze afar for the sea. Especially for this late time, I wondered the scene before me which part was the sky and which one was the sea. I would gaze to it for a long time and have my guess. And it was so dark that I couldn’t see the tides but I still could hear it. It was the natural music. It was my loyal companion no matter I was happy or in my bad time. I used to share my feelings to it. So, I had chosen for this house since it was near to the shore. I could be close to the sea and speak to my old friend.

I opened the book.

They lived together happily even there were little detachments between them and Lestat. The style between them was so different. Louis and Claudia were very close to each other. They would sleep in the same coffin although Claudia had her own. He educated her all about he knew and even taught her the table manner as if she would use it. He told her she needed to appreciate the world with her vampire eyes. There were lots to see. Lestat treated Claudia as his brilliant pupil. He taught her about their survival and those could make them die. They shared the way they killed and the experience they played with the victims. Claudia killed without any hesitation just like the way Lestat did. She would grab the sympathy from the victims before her kill. She would act as a poor got-lost girl and weep in the arms of them. She didn’t know what humanity was since she had become a vampire in such an early age.

Claudia loved to read books. She always read them on the sofa without noticing dawn was coming. Louis had to remind her to sleep always. Sometimes she would ask Louis to tell her the stories. But her silence was unusual. She would stare at a doll for a whole night. The static stage made Louis confused. He found that he didn’t understand her. For sixty-five years, she still had a five-year-old body with vampire blood inside but she had been seventy years old already. She had a grown-up soul but was locked in a child body. She didn’t love her appearance at all. She remained weak in this little body. She wanted to have a mature woman body. She didn’t know why she could not change into it in these years. She didn’t understand why she had become this thing. She knew she once had a mortal mother and Louis also had a human family.

Was it a suffering? Yes, sure. Who should she blame on? Lestat or Louis? I thought it should be none. But if she really wanted to blame on, it should be both of Louis and Lestat. Louis was a vampire, he did it with his nature. Nothing could change it even he had tried his best to against it. Lestat loved him and wanted him to be together. He knew he couldn’t have his companion if he did nothing. Louis would leave him. She was a sacrifice. However, if Louis didn’t take her life and Lestat gave her another, she would die of the plague.

But Claudia blamed on Lestat after all, it was probably because of the detachments. She would not blame on Louis as they were not only the father and the daughter but also lovers. She wouldn’t leave him. Claudia was the source of the dark life for Louis. They loved each other.

Source of life? What was mine? And what was Lestat’s?

Claudia wanted to leave Lestat with Louis. She hated Lestat. But she knew he would not let them go. He was their maker. He acted like a leader. He would not let it happen. Claudia had her plan. She tempted Lestat to drink from the dead that he didn’t noticed. He became weak and she stabbed a knife into his heart finally. Louis didn’t help either Claudia or Lestat. He was just watching aside. They dumped his body into the swamp in Mississippi River.

Of course, I knew it just wounded him badly. He had survived after all. If I was Louis, I also took his role of spectator. The one was his lover, but the other was his maker, he loved and he hated.

Louis was in suffering and always. He was guilty for the death of Lestat. He just wanted to leave him but he had never thought about to kill him even he really hated for him bringing the hell. He didn’t mind to live with him and Claudia, the three of them together. But Claudia had done it at last. Louis couldn’t leave her and he was bathed in the love with her. He couldn’t lose her and live on his own. They traveled to Europe and wanted to find for their kind. They had found a coven in Paris. But the killing of Lestat also brought the death to Claudia, she was punished by the Theatre des Vampires. There was a rule of this coven that killing a vampire without the permission of the coven leader would be put to a death sentence. Armand, the leader of the coven and the oldest vampire in this book, gave his tacit consent to the vampires to do the execution.

A tragedy. Source of life was lost. How to live? How to keep on his life? Loneliness, painful and despair. Only these feelings accompanied Louis. No love and no light. He was the one who lost his soul and suffered forever.

Louis and Lestat were apart from each other after Claudia’s death.

The lock, from Lestat to Louis, was released at last. But the dark won’t liberate him till the end of time.

My tears dropped.

I took my eyes on the sea, feeling a breeze passing over my face. I let my tears dried by it. But I couldn’t calm myself. My emotion still fluctuated just like the tides moving endlessly in the sea.

His story was so sad. Her tragedy. His tragedy and mine. His life was endless, and so was his suffering. I couldn’t imagine for the endless time and the word “forever”. I couldn’t think on that. It would be a hell for me if I were in suffering and in despair with no time limit. How could it be when I saw no end of it? Nobody could stand for it. I would rather die immediately. I would make an end to it. Was he still in the suffering even after these years? Would he end his life? No, he couldn’t do it. I really wanted to see him and talk to him.

This was the end of his story. I wanted to leave the balcony. As I turned around, I saw Lestat sat on the sofa in the studio and watching me with my portable scheduler opened on his knees.

“Would you respect my privacy?” I got into my temper. I snatched my scheduler back. I saw a sketch on the turned page. It was me sitting on the glider and weeping.

I hated the sketch. I loathed my tears. And I abominated being known for my weakness. That’s why I always pretended to be strong and being the silent one. I knew I was so weak and easily fluctuated that I would collapse if anything could touch my wound that would never recover. I wanted to guard for it. I intended to hide my feelings. I didn’t want to see the sketch anymore.

I closed it and made my back to him. “I have told you not to enter my studio.” I said frostily. “I just want to ask your permission but you are too concentrated on your reading. So I just sit here and wait for you.” He said to me with his soft voice.

I had no intention to listen to him. In fact, I knew he would have my permission as he had said before. That’s true. I won’t insist this rule actually. I was in temper only because I didn’t want anyone to see me weeping. And the worst was he had sketched for it. I felt the pressure in front of him. I still couldn’t adapt to the existence of the other in my little own world. And I knew I had no privacy being with him. That made me furious when I intended to hide my feelings.

I put the book inside the drawer. I felt the weight of it in my hand and even in my heart. And I also felt its power causing the fluctuation of my emotion. I knew I couldn’t withstand to have it in sight tonight.

“Would you want a talk?” I had no answer but walked to the balcony again. My pace was heavy. He followed me and he sat on the parapet. I was shocked with his movement. “It’s very dangerous! It’s the fifteenth floor!” “I think you are still in anger. But you do care about me.” He smiled. “Come and sit next to me.” I hesitated. It was the thing I had wanted to do but not dared to. “Come.” He took my right hand. It was warm.

Ok, then.

It was wonderful. I could feel the excitement and the scare at the same time. But this wonderful feeling had only existed for a very short moment and my sadness followed again. My emotion still couldn’t be calmed down a little bit. I smiled bitterly. His hand was still over mine. I let him be since I didn’t dare to sit on it by myself. “You have flung into the role of Louis seriously.” He said softly but there was a power made my body shook when he said the name of Louis. “Not fling into, but just understand.” I said the words softly. “Understand?” “Yes, for somehow. But I don’t really know. Louis and I are of the same kind.” I paused. “Of course not in terms of physical form. Affectionate, emotional, sensitive and full of humanity.” I sighed. “I know. I can tell by these two days.” He nodded. “And the tragedy.” I was stunned when he mentioned for the tragedy again.

His words alarmed me. I had talked too much to him. I should not mention it. I couldn’t stand for recalling the painful memories. I had worked hard to forget the tragedy. I should not let him to wake me up from my hypnotism.

I had no words. “You should know not mention it does not have any meaning to you. It’s still there and deep down in your heart. Have you got any improvement for these years? Have your suffering been reduced a little bit? It’s just like a bomb. You should know it will explode at anytime. You should face and remove this bomb but not to forget it. The more you try to escape, the more you hurt. You should learn a lesson from Louis’s book. The more he tries to deny what he is, the more he suffers. That’s the theorem.”

That’s the truth.

I took a deep breath. “I am more worse than him but I am also better than him since I still have my rationality. Life has to go on if I choose to. I am not contented to die in this way. I can’t live in pessimistic way. I don’t believe only nightmares going along with me. I struggle for my destiny. Happiness is my dream. I want to reach the feeling of happiness. I have to source out all the ways I can reach it. The simplest way to it is once I am satisfied. No matter each time how small the happiness is, I will treasure and memorize it with my heart since I really know it is hard for me to reach for it each time. I live for it. That’s my source of life. That’s my only incentive make me alive. And I know it is the only element can fight against my sadness. I won’t give up for any chance to strengthen this element. I don’t want to live in this sadness. I really want to sweep it away. Although I have failed sometimes, I still will try my best.” I just found speaking these words was very difficult for me.

“Right, life has to go on. That’s true.” He nodded and smiled encouragingly. “That’s why I have waken up from my sleep.” “I have learned from my love, Sister Doris. If she hadn’t taught me these things, I would have died already.” He listened patiently. “I love her even she has passed away for seven years. She lives in my heart and so do my parents. They are with me always. They are blessing to me night and day in somewhere. I love them.” My tears rose.

I still felt sad while recalling the memories. There was no improvement at all. Failed again. I was a loser.

"You are not! At least you have told me your painful memories. You’ve had a great improvement already.” His hand tightened mine. But I realized suddenly. “I should not tell you these things. Why have I told to you? I haven’t told to any people other than Sister Doris. I even haven’t told to Vicky. Although she is my love, I don’t want her to share my sadness and let her worry. I really don’t want her to suffer from my suffering. I have pretended to be happy in front of her and even in the crowd. I have worn a mask. A mask I hate always. I only can find the real of me when I am alone. But when I see my real face, the loneliness and the despair have been even exaggerated. I feel my heart aching and bleeding. I can’t find the exit and I am decaying in the darkness.”

I stopped suddenly since I realized I had my confession to him again. Perhaps it was his power that made me confessed to him. I looked at his eyes and wanted to find a comfort. I loved to see his face. But his charm always made me wandering in the haze. I was even much more confused. I couldn’t find my logic. I was just like a stray child finding her parents in a huge park. “Why have I told to you? I have only met you for two days.” I thought he could feel my perplexity from the face.

“It is simple. Because you love me.” His voice was so soft and he smiled to me seductively. I didn’t understand his words as if it was an unknown language to me. And I was really shocked once I had heard it but these words weakened my perplexity a little bit. Actually, my perplexity wouldn’t be weakened if I had thought much more careful about his words. But for this moment, the only response was my horselaugh. “Come on, don’t tell such a joke. How can a human love a vampire?” I felt the heat because of my laughing. “Why do you think it is so funny? And why not? Why can’t a human love a vampire? It is possible. You can love the young boy lives in the next door. You can love even Thomas in one day. You can say you don’t love them at this moment but you can’t say it for the future. Nobody knows what will happen in the future. That’s the attractiveness, the beauty and the magic of it. That makes you continue your life if you want to see what will happen.” He insisted.

“But I still don’t think it is possible. Yes, I may find them cute or they can touch my heart tomorrow. I may love them because they are human. Yet, you can’t forget the truth is that human and vampire live in two different worlds!” I refuted. “No, we live in a single one. Remember the word “we”. You haven’t believed in vampires. You haven’t believed in the story of Louis. But you are talking to a vampire now, a vampire stated in Louis’s book. We are sitting and talking together now.” He argued. “You should know what I mean. Yes, we live in a single physical world but with different natures and living styles. Humans have their time limited while you don’t have. You will see us die and we will have our decay in the soil. You are the predator and we are the weak. You are the son of the darkness but we are not. That’s the relationship between humans and vampires. You can’t change it.” “It is a fallacy. You are telling only the limitations but not the possibilities. You thoroughly know it is possible.” I had no words for it. I knew I had lost in this debate. “The limitations and the possibilities.” I repeated his words and I let my head droop.

But I still couldn’t imagine how a human loved a vampire. If I loved a vampire, what would it be? Would the feeling just like loving a human? Actually, I hadn’t had a romance before. I didn’t know the exact feeling of it. Some classmates had shown their loves to me but I had simply rejected. Perhaps I wanted to focus on my study and I was afraid of losing my love again. What on earth was the feeling of it? A romance for two different species. Would we sleep in the same coffin? What would I do in the daytime to wait for our dark meetings? Would I kiss him while he was kissing my blood? What would he think about my wrinkles and my slow movements while he was still with his youth and his strength? And would he pray for me in my funeral? If this really happened, it must be a tragedy. I couldn’t see any happiness in it. I knew I must not let it happen. And I shouldn’t even think about it.

"There are many things that you can’t control in this world. Life and death. Love and hate.” He tried to convince me. “Then, do you mean you can read from my mind now that I love you?” I challenged him. “Don’t you adore me? You think I am beautiful and charming. You love to hear my voice that makes you energetic. You love my embrace and don’t want to lose it. You love to talk to me and you love to be with me. You can’t resist my spell.” I laughed. “Beautiful and charming don’t mean love. You are attractive with your appearance. I can’t deny it but your spell doesn’t have any effects on me. I want a companion to sweep away my loneliness and share my feelings. That’s all I want. I only trust you and care about you. And you know from my thought that I don’t love you.” I didn’t know why I said these hard words to him. I could feel his spirit losing while I was speaking. He didn’t argue for it and just sat there and sighed.

Why did he feel so disappointed? Did my words hurt him? Did he expect I would love him? Perhaps my words hurt his pride. He thought no mortals could resist his spells and resist him. Yes, he had the confidence that all mortals must love him. But I knew I didn’t love him. My mind was simply saying and feeling it. And I knew he could read it.

I diverted the topic. “Actually, I don’t agree the point to you in the book. I don’t think you are a cruel guy.” “Change your feeling to me so soon?” His eyes brightened again. “I can tell by these two days.” I mocked his tone. Both smiled. “But I am serious. You are not cruel. If you are, I have been dead more than three times already. I don’t think you will grant me the chances to challenge you. You have your own affection and humanity but presented differently from Louis. I can feel it. Louis hasn’t hidden it but you have just hidden it deep down in your heart because of your pride. Your pride surpasses all of your feelings, even your life will come with no meaning if you have lost it. You don’t want to reveal your weakness to the others no matter how much you miss the time being a human. You love humans. It is your weakness. But you know what you are. You have to go on. If you give up, that means you will kill yourself and destroy your precious pride. You won’t surrender and you won’t let you be a coward, you want to do your best with your dark gift. So, you never hesitate to kill and never bathe yourself in the humanity. You know all the pain comes from it. You won’t allow you to think about it even for a second. That’s why you have projected an evil image to the others. But that’s the crucial point that I’ve found you are not. I can’t found any evil from you but just only your capriccios. On the contrary, Louis is enchanted with the humanity. Perhaps, he wants to escape and hide from it as you do but he fails. But nobody seems to understand you, that’s why you feel the loneliness always and being detached from the others.” We were so similar to each other. Loneliness and detachments were like our shadows. We hid our feelings and weaknesses. We wouldn’t let other people see our sufferings since we could collapse so easily. But we won’t give up. We were not contented and we struggled for our destinies. We wanted to construct our own worlds.

He was astonished by my analysis. He sighed. “Do you really think it is the real of me? You are wrong. If you have seen my murders and if you have beside me in these two hundred years, you won’t have such a positive description to me. Vampires are born to be evil.” He laughed. But I thought he just worn his mask again. “Why do you still want to hide from me? If I am wrong, then, I may wonder why you’ve tried to tell Louis about your philosophy when he can’t find his way to be a vampire. You’ve said God kills and so do vampires. You’ve mentioned the universal killing. If you are evil, why have you said these things to him? Why haven’t you simply killed him as he wanted to leave you? And why have you made Claudia become a vampire as his companion? If you still have a concept of evil and you think you are a believer of it, then you are not evil because your humanity is still there no matter how much blood you’ve taken. The blood won’t wash it away from your heart. There are only sins but not the true evil. The true evil is without any spark of love. The true evil will not say it is evil. Lestat, what I can feel is your ardent heart that you are failed to hide.” His eyes were on the sea. “Louis has complained for years and years that I don’t understand him. But I understand him too much. Yet, I can’t change him after all. Louis is still Louis. Lestat is still Lestat.” He said these words in a very low voice that I could hardly hear but he paused at this moment. I knew he was recalling the memories. I looked at him.

His eyes were so gentle that I was bemused and I wondered again why Claudia killed him. The Lestat sat next to me was totally different to that Lestat in the book. Perhaps, Lestat was dead and the one holding my hand now had been reborn. What could change him? The knife? His long sleep? His heartbreak? Or his despair?

But his voice stopped my thought. “How can a mortal understand a cruel immortal? How can the mortal just live with the cruel immortal for two days but understand much better than the immortals have been together for sixty-five years? He even thinks in this way now. Two days are better than centuries.” I could read the pain from his face.

"You sound in a deep grief. Do you still love Louis?” He was in his thoughts. “Oh, it is a stupid question. I know you still love him even he has hurt you so much. You won’t hate him. You can’t hate him. You still care about him and you still mind what he thinks about you. One of the reasons for your rise is Louis. One of the purposes is him, right?” He smiled but still no answer. “Lestat, you should not hide your feelings anymore, especially to Louis. You should express everything to him as you love him.” He had a long sigh. “If I still have a chance to see him.” “Why have you said that? You will meet him in one day. The misunderstanding will be cleared only you express your feeling to him. The graveyard in where I’ve met you, I didn’t like you at all. However as I’ve talked to you more, I can’t agree with Louis. You have talked to me but why can’t you talk to Louis in this way? He will understand only if you will forgive him.” “Forgive? Yes, I’ve hated them. I don’t understand why they did it to me. Have I done something wrong to them? Do I deserve for it? I don’t know and nobody knows. But I don’t want to kill Claudia. I have my tears for her death. Her death really breaks my heart. She is my child. But it is over now. I am not angry to him or even Claudia. I can’t hate both of them. I have no right to forgive or hate since I owe them. We are even now. The kills have made it.” He sighed. “Then, let you and Louis start both of your lives again.” I encouraged him. “Can we?” He asked me as if a na?ve child. “Lestat, where is your confidence? Don’t forget the reason for your rise.” His eyes were widened and he looked at me now. “I love to talk to you.” He said honestly. I smiled. “So do I.”

We were watching at the sea. We were enjoying the silence with his hands on mine till dawn.

I was sitting at the desk and working. I had my favorite CD played. It was a soundtrack from a movie, Laputa. I could concentrate on my work more when I listened to this CD. I had worked for the drafts for a long time but I didn’t remember how long it was. My desk was full of books, fashion history, regional fashion and costume references from other movies. I had worked out a summary of the characters for the roles and had my drafts in my sketchbook. I had sketched for them over and over again. But they were still not perfect. I knew there was something missing. There was a lot of rubbish on the floor. They were my drafts.

Just not perfect. And not satisfied. How could I present these drafts to them?

Rubbish again. And some colour pencils dropped on the floor.

“You can’t have perfect designs like this.” Lestat said by the door. “You have just waken up?” My eyes still locked on my work. “You have heard me this time finally. You have ignored my voice in these days as if you are deaf. It’s eight already.” He waited for my reactions but none. “Have you had your breakfasts, lunches and dinners in these few days?” I scratched my head. “I can’t remember. I think I have eaten something when I can’t stand for the starvation and the stomachache. And I think I have slept at the desk also.” “You are over-concentrated and too nervous.” His tone was concerning. “Don’t waste my time. I have to do my work. Lots to be done. If you feel bored, you can just go out and have a walk.” I continued my work and still hadn’t looked at him once.

He suddenly took my hand and forced me to leave my studio. The fastness of his movements couldn’t let me have any reactions. But once I had found what’s happened, I struggled for his release but it was no use totally against his power. He locked the door with his high speed also. My hand was still holding a pencil. “I will keep this key for you tonight.” He smile was perky. I hated it. He put the key inside the pocket of his jacket. “Lestat! Give me my key!” I shouted angrily. “No way.” He stood by the door with hands folded in front of him and continued his perky smile. I tried to get his pocket but he stopped me by holding my little hand. “Come with me, I’ll show you something you are interested.” He used his angel voice again. “No way. I am not interested in your recommendations and you!”

He let go for my hand suddenly. I ignored him and tried to open the door. He forced me to the wall. I was under his arm and he said very near to my ear. “Go or not?” He was staring at me. I was still angry. “No!” I struggled for his hold but I failed. I really hated his strength. I did one thing to him that I thought no mortals dared to do this thing to him. I bite his arm. But his response really surprised me. He laughed with tears. Once I heard it, I stopped my bite. I could see the marks on his white skin. I wondered for his laughs, I expected there would be painful expression from him and he would release me from his arm. “Interesting! I’ve bite many humans and left the marks on their necks or their wrists. But tonight, I am bite by a human girl. I love your bite. Why stop? Continue and give vent to your rage, I love it. You are so cute when you are in anger.” He still couldn’t stop his laughing and put his arm near to my mouth but I pushed it away.

I scowled at him and he stopped suddenly. His facial expression had been changed from a laugh to a stark face so quickly that I was frightened a little bit. “Go or not?” He repeated his question word by word as if it was his threat to me. “No. What will you do for me then? Drink my blood?” But I still hadn’t given in. “You are so naughty.” His fingers were sliding over my face. “And I really want to kiss on your lips.” He smiled and his fingers were caressing my lips. “They are so soft and warm.” He had his breaths on my cheek and he was moving closer to me. I could feel my heartbeats.

Kissed me? I couldn’t let him do it. He did know my weakness. He won finally.

"You are the most abhorrent creature in this world!” I used my full force to push him away. The success for my action made me a little bit surprised. I thought if he didn’t let me to do it, I must be failed. I wondered if he really wanted to kiss me or not but I continued my acerbity. “I know my position once I’ve met you. I am overpowered by your supernatural strength! I have no choice! And I don’t think you will give up and you will force me to go by all means. You will never care about the feelings of the others. You are a selfish vampire totally.” He laughed again.

I was in silence all the time in the drive to express my discontent. He hadn’t spoken for a word either perhaps he knew I would keep on my invective to him once he talked to me. But he sang for some songs that I didn’t know instead. Although I thought it was pretty good, I hadn’t revealed my appreciation on my face. I didn’t want him to bathe him in the complacency. Yet his voice could really soothe me a little bit.

Finally, we arrived at Biloxi Bay. It took us approximately an hour’s drive from New Orleans. It was beautiful. It was bordered to the south by a white sand beach and was part of the longest man-made beach in the world. The sky was very clear and I could see the stars above. Their shine was so bright that I could read their smiling faces. I breathed deeply with the shore wind. It was good and refreshing. The breeze made me feeling better from my over-concentration dizzy. My discontent had come to an end. “I know you are right. But I’m just not satisfied with my drafts. I want to do better. I know something is missing.” I was down when I had mentioned about my work. “Don’t think on that now. You need a good rest.” I nodded.

I closed my eyes. I felt the breeze made my hair moved. I opened my arms and stood like a cross. And finally I stretched my body with my feet tiptoed. I opened my eyes. I turned my body around and repeated the circling until I couldn’t keep my balance and fell onto the sand. I let myself to lie on it for a while. I picked up some stones and threw them one by one into the sea. But I only could throw it around ten meters far away. “Lestat, show me how far you can throw.” He picked up one stone freely near his feet and threw. I couldn’t see to where he had thrown. “Show me again, I will see it this time.” He did it again as I requested. I put my hand over my eyebrows as if it was a telescope and could let me see that stone and the dropping point. But of course I couldn’t find it. As I turned to him, I saw he was looking at me in that expression again. I had wondered for many times about this expression. And I couldn’t stand for my curiosity anymore this time. I asked him. “Why do you always stare at me like that?” I frowned. “I just find you are cute and interesting!” I couldn’t help laughing. “Really?” I smiled.

"And beautiful. I always want to touch your soft dark hair. Your eyes, I can’t help but just looking at them. I won’t feel bored if I looked at them for a whole night. They have the power to lock me inside. I am trapped but I am willing to be trapped. I even want to live in them for my whole life. You see my heart. I can weep while your eyes were on me. Your smiles just like the sun that I have missed for a long time. They always give me light and brightness. They are magnetic and seductive. They can make me feel like dreaming, a dream with the sun and the paradise. And you are full of facial expressions, just like a brat, lovely and cute. And your gestures just like a child who is full of energy! I just want to hold you tight in my arms, like a father catching a naughty boy running around. Your voice, I love your voice. It is like a song played by a violin, romantic and shocking. It touches my heart. It caresses me and soothes me from my sufferings. I love to listen to each note of it. I am warmed always with your angel voice.” He paused for a second.

“But my emotion fluctuates as yours fluctuates. And your tears make my heart just like being torn apart. They hurt me even more serious than the knife stabbed by Claudia into my heart. It makes me bleeding. I only want to wipe away your tears by my kiss. And your weaknesses, I am willing to sacrifice all the things to protect you. I don’t want you to be alone and in suffering. Your are my dark-hair angel and my little stupid girl.” His voice was shaking while speaking. I was really astonished by his words. I felt the uneasiness. My heart was pumping like a pell-mell drum.

Why did he say these to me? I was just a mortal. An immortal thought a mortal was beautiful? I couldn’t believe it. He should not have these descriptions of me. They scared me. What did he mean? What did he want? What did he expect from me? What should be my response?

"What will you show to me?” I distracted his attention intentionally. “Why are you so confident that I must be interested in?” I calmed myself by taking a deep breath. “Nothing.” I felt his sadness by his voice. “Nothing?” My eyes were widened. “Yes, nothing.” I disappointed. “Why have you said you have no interests in my recommendations and me?” He hadn’t given up. He tried to back to that topic again.

I was surprised again that he minded my words. But I didn’t want to talk about the topic he wanted to talk anymore.

"Why?” But he insisted. “It’s just a mockery. I was so angry at that time. You have disturbed me.” “Then, you mean you are interested in my recommendations?” “Sure.” “And me?” He was looking at me and waiting for my answer. I couldn’t find a prompt answer. “What do you mean, Lestat? I can’t catch your meaning.” I looked away. I bent down and played the water with my hand.

He reminded me the night he had said for the limitations and the possibilities. I realized the purpose of his words now. I could feel it. And I told myself I had to pretend not to understand. I knew I couldn’t handle it. Lestat, please didn’t force me to give any response. That’s enough.

He turned and walked along the shore. I looked at his back where I was bending. He was walking with his head drooping. His pace was heavy and slow. His solitary shadow made me feel sad. I followed him finally. Both of us were in silence. He suddenly turned around and said to me softly. “Let’s go for your dinner.”

We went to LaCucina, an Italian Restaurant. There were not many people here. It was rather late for dinner. It had been ten already. There was a white piano in the corner. A pianist was playing a music that I didn’t know. In fact, I had not much knowledge on music. But the music was lovely. There were paintings of the age of Renaissance on the wall. It was the age I loved most. It was an amazing period. The paintings and the sculptures were my favorites. I could spend a whole day to visit a museum for my appreciation. All the furniture here was made of wood. It’s my favorite again. I loved this restaurant. “It is famous of seafood and desserts.” Lestat broke my appreciation. “Desserts? I love them!” My voice was energetic. “Chocolate flavor.” He smiled.

I was surprised that he remembered my flavor and he also remembered what I had said. I felt the pressure. The pressure caused me to think about his words again. I just felt the scare from his words was much greater than his nature and his fangs. I was really scared. I was in no mood of the appreciation and talking now.

I looked outside.

There was a family, a father, a mother and a child. They were walking hand-in-hand along the beach. The child was in the middle. He was a fat boy, around three years old. I thought he still had his walk learning. The every step he took was very cute. I could feel the eyes of his parents hadn’t left him for a second as if they worry he would lose his balance and fall onto the sand in the next step. But the boy did a good job. He hadn’t had a fall and even walked faster and faster. I thought he liked to walk on the beach. The woman was very slim. I was afraid if she would be blown away by a strong wind. She wore a one-piece white dress. It fitted her so much and it moved with the pace of her. The man was tall and had a beer belly. I always wanted to touch it and see what it would like. I could see the beard around his chin. All of them had golden hair. They were still so bright under the shinning of the stars. There was a brunch of red roses in the father’s arm. I could still see the bright color of them. They were beautiful and blooming. The family was smiling to each other. The boy looked up to his father and wanted to stop his walk by catching a corner of his shirt. The father bent down to his son talking something and caressing his golden hair. The mother kissed him on the cheek and three of them walked again until they were out of my sight. I was bemused and continued watching outside as if they were still there. Although I didn’t hear what they said, I could still feel their sweetness and happiness while my heart was aching.

"Excuse me.” I knew what was going to happen and I rushed to the washroom. I washed my face with the cold water. I knew the water combined with my tears was dropping to the sink. I couldn’t control myself. I let myself to cry for a while. I didn’t cried loudly after Sister Doris had died.

I was still a loser. I still got failed after so many examinations. Mum and Dad, where were they? I missed both of them so much. I wanted to be in their arms. I wanted to walk with both of them hand-in-hand along the beach. I was so jealous of that family and I was so jealous of that boy. We should be a happy family. Why did they leave me in this cold world?

I didn’t know how long it took me to cry. But finally I wiped my face with a towel. I saw my own reflection in the mirror.

Why should I cry? What for? What would my parents and Sister Doris think about my tears? Would I really want to live with it? Would I accept it as my fate? No, I wouldn’t and I couldn’t. I needed to walk through the shadow. Nobody could help me except myself. I had to fight against it by myself. I had to pass the test given by the God. I couldn’t believe I was a loser. Calmed down. I could do it. These were the encouragement Sister Doris had told me long time ago. And she had told me I had to remember for my lifetime. I couldn’t forget for her dying instructions. I always had her words in my mind. I could still hear her voice as if she was beside me. She was with me always. She was right here with me while I was in suffering. I was not alone.

I felt a little bit warmer. The flame was blazing again in my heart. I knew that’s the blessing from Sister Doris.

"Have you ordered the food? I’m very hungry.” I pretended nothing had happened. Lestat was gazing at me. “I know. I have ordered it for you. Hope you would like it.” He said softly and I knew he worried about me. “Thanks.” I said to him honestly. “I think I really need a good rest. I can’t remember if I have slept or not. I am exhausted.” “You should put the work aside tonight.” I nodded. “Do you like this restaurant?” “Yes. It is very comfortable. I feel relaxed.” I lifted up a glass of wine and took a sip. “Do you like this recommendation tonight?” I nodded exhaustedly.

I was afraid that he would start that topic again and I really didn’t want to have any conversation now.

The food came. He was watching me having the food and the desserts also. We didn’t talk for too much. He knew I wanted to have my dinner silently. In fact, I didn’t have the mood to taste it. “Delicious. Thanks.” I expressed my appreciation to him finally.

After all, I had fallen asleep in the car when driving home. A nap without dreams.

When I woke up, it had been almost five already. I was lying on my bed. I wanted to have my shower now. Hot water always could make me feel calmed. I felt much better now. I was full of energy again. I saw the light of the studio was on when I exited my room. I saw Lestat was sitting on the parapet again with his back to me.

What a mess!

I couldn’t believe what I had seen. Books were all opened. Some colour pencils dropped on the floor. Rubbish covered everywhere on my desk and also the floor. I had to tidy up my desk first to continue the work. I wondered how I could do my work in such an untidy room. After my efficient tidy-up, my studio was fine again. I smiled. But I realized I couldn’t see my scheduler on my desk. I opened the drawers and found it in the top one. And also the book. I always had a strange feeling when I had this book in sight and when hearing and speaking of the name Louis. I took the book and the scheduler out and placed them on the desk. I stared at the book for a while.

Interview with the Vampire. I always thought about the purposes for the rise of Lestat but I hadn’t thought about the purpose for Louis saying his story to a reporter. I didn’t understand. He had said he was apathy to everything but why he had his decision to tell his story. I didn’t think he was apathy, I just felt he also had an ardent heart just like Lestat. Did he want to confess to the world about his sins? Did he want to alarm all the mortals that there were predators feeding on them every night in some dark corners? Did he want to declare his love to Claudia as if she could read it in a remote place? Or did he want to confess to Lestat about his regrets and his misunderstandings? Would he expect Lestat want to find him and live with him again? I had an impulse to go out of my house and to find Louis in every street of New Orleans even I didn’t know where his place was. I just wanted to see his face and ask him about these questions. But the question I wanted to ask him most was, could he forget Claudia and live with his affection again?

I was surprised when I realized for my sigh and my sadness. I didn’t know why I had such a feeling but I didn’t want to think about it now. I opened the scheduler to read my notes jotted. Turning the pages as I always did, but I stopped at the drawing, Lestat’s drawing, I was weeping with the book in my hands. His story made me weep. I touched the cover that gave me a warm feeling even it was cool at the surface. I suddenly realized what was missing for my designs. I had got an idea in my mind. I walked to the balcony and said behind him. “Lestat, could you do me a favor?” He had no answer and his eyes still focused on the sea. I waited for his response. While I wanted to break the silence, he did it first. “Don’t say it.” His voice was so soft that I hardly listened to it and I was stunned by what he had said. “And go to sleep.” I hesitated but I left the balcony finally.

But the idea was in my mind and couldn’t be swept away now. That’s the missing part. I knew it. That would make my designs perfect. I knew I was an idealist and I would not accept my designs with any deficiencies. I knew I couldn’t hide the idea to myself. I knew I had to say it.

"Could you, could you please make a drawing of Louis?” I looked at his back and asked with patience. “And other vampires?” I finally made my request in words. I felt a relief after saying it. “I’ve told you! I’ve told you don’t say it already! Why? Leave me alone!” But this was his only response and his voice was furious.

I left the studio and I was lying on my bed.

It was the first time I saw his temper. Why did he react so strong? Had I said something wrong? Why did he reject my request? Did I request too much from him? I suddenly realized the reason for his aversion to my request. It should be his painful memories. He had to recall them for the drawings. Recalled the painful memories would make him heartbroken. Claudia, his fledging but put him into death. Louis, his lover but did not help him. He had risen from the sleep but he hadn’t fully recovered from it yet. I was selfish. Sorry, I should not do this to him. I should understand him. I should not force him to do the things he didn’t want to do. It’s my fault.

In the next day when I woke up, it had been in the afternoon already. I had to finish my work today and attended the crew meeting tomorrow morning. I sat at the desk and looked at the book and the scheduler. The scheduler was still open but with the pages containing some unseen drawings. Although no names were written down, I still could identified them.

The first page was a boyish teenager like an angel, Armand. He was around seventeen. He should come from Eastern Europe. He was expressionless but I still could feel the magic from his eyes. They had the power to read thoughts and the power to move the will. He could make you to follow him without a word or a gesture. I thought it was really difficult to fight against him. I could feel my heartbeats even looked at his drawing only. I couldn’t imagine how I could talk to him.

The second one was a child with an innocent face, Claudia. I was impressed with her curly hair. She was really like a doll. She was so pretty that I had to hold my breath when I saw her face. But she had been over seventy years old. It was really sad that a painful soul trapped in a five-year-old body. She was searching for her love and her life but the things she had only searched were despair, pain and death.

I felt my hand shaking when I turned the page. I knew the next page would be him. The last one was a man with sorrow. The one I wanted to meet most. My heart tightened when I looked at the drawing. He wore black cape, black coat and silk tie. He was tall and slender with long dark hair. His eyes were full of sorrow. The face suffused with feeling. Just like a human, a gentleman but he was a sad one. He was standing and looking at me with despair as if he was the only one in the world. This was Louis. I had looked at him for a long time while my hands were shaking. My heart beat like a running horse. And I felt my tears.

I was surprised again just like the way I sighed last night when I realized I had my tears for Louis.

***

I had worked for several hours for the drafts. I felt much easier to do it now. It was the completeness. My previous drafts were not satisfied since I knew the image I projected was not real. This would not happen if I didn’t know the vampires really existed in this world. And this also would not happen if I didn’t know the story of Louis was a real one. I couldn’t accept my imagination for a real story. I knew I had to see the face of Louis for the completeness of the whole picture. He was the core. Otherwise, the designs would never be perfect, at least I thought in this way.

At last, I finished my work at ten.

I left the studio and saw the door of Lestat’s room was open. But he was not in the house. I wanted to talk to him and meet him. I worried about him. I knew he must be in no mood after the drawings. I phoned his mobile for the first time.

“Yes?” His voice was soft. His voice was like an angel voice even it was in the phone. “Thanks a lot.” I didn’t know what to say to start the conversion. “Only this thing?”

Did he expect something more?

“Where are you?”

I wanted to see him.

“At some place.”

But he didn’t want me to meet him.

Silence. “Are you still angry with me?” I asked carefully. “No, not once since I’ve met you.” This made me even feel more guilty to him. Silence again. “Nothing more to talk?” He paused for my reply. “When will you return home?” “I don’t know.” I felt disappointed. “I will have the crew meeting tomorrow. The project will start soon. I may stay in the workshop with the crew from tomorrow.” “Yes.” I felt his aloofness. “About several days probably.” My voice broke. “Ok.” “You have to take care of yourself when I’m not at home. Call me if you like.” Silence. “Ok, then. Bye.” I wanted to hang up as soon as possible. I was sad with his coldness. I couldn’t stand for it. “Bye.”

I had sit up late to wait for him. I wanted to see him and talk to him face-to-face. But he didn’t show up even the sunrise had come. I knew he didn’t want to see me. I was very disappointed. I wanted to say sorry to him. But I knew he was still angry with me. I wanted to write a note for him before I left. But no words came to my mind. I only wrote the word “take care” to him and I posted on his door and left the house.

***

"Lestat is not like your descriptions! Yes, he is a vampire. He feeds on human. But he also has his feelings.” I argued. “Why not?” Thomas objected. “All of us have the same feeling to Lestat, except you. He is a cruel and fierce vampire. Absolutely.” “I totally agree with Thomas.” Gordon echoed. “This has been argued for too long. We should take a break.” Vicky finally stopped our argument.

Vicky asked me to follow her to the other room. She asked. “What have happened to you? That’s not your style. You seldom speak and argue with people. Why are you so sure for the character of Lestat?” “I just know it.” I said with my confidence. “How?” She waited for my reply with her arms crossed in front of her chest.

I wanted to tell her I was living with the Vampire Lestat. I understood him. He was my friend and he hadn’t fed on me. I was still alive. It was the adequate evidence to fight against their negative feelings to him. But I couldn’t tell her the truth. And I knew she would not believe me. She would think I was crazy.

She knew I had no answer, so she continued. “It will be fine if you have an impression on each role. But we are not doing literature study. I asked you all to read the book just want all of you to get the general style of the book. The script shows the character clearly and the book also says so. There are no contradictions. No need for us to argue. The most important for us to do is to know each scene thoroughly, knowing the emotion and the characteristics. This is our work to express to the audience and make them fling into the movie. I need the sensation but not a debate.”

I knew she would not understand.

"Vicky, do I let you down?” I was in low spirit. “No. Work hard, I know you’ve just got into the wrong direction. You are too young. You don’t have enough experience. You need to learn from the crew and how to co-operate with them. They are experienced. But I must show my appreciation on your designs. They are good and perfect. It is your talent.” She put her hand on my shoulder. “Just relax yourself. It’s time to have dinner. Come with me?” She invited. “No, thanks. I want to be alone for a while.” She left the room.

I sighed.

True, that’s the general image of Lestat. I had felt it once and Louis even thought in this way. How could I fight for him? Lestat intended to project this image to the others. He wanted to be strong. He wanted to hide his weaknesses.

I wanted to call Lestat and whined to him. I wanted to talk to him from the first night here in the workshop. I wanted him to know I was sad when the crew criticized him like this. I took out my phone frequently as my desire to talk to him. It was the sixth night already. I hadn’t called him. And I hadn’t received his call. What was he doing now? Was he alone? Did he feel bored? Would he recover from the drawings? I still worried about him. I really want to talk to him like in the old days. I had much to talk. But I should not bother him. His coldness I remembered. He was still angry with me.

I sighed again. I need to breathe for some fresh air. I felt hard to stay in the workshop. I should go out for a while. I need a walk.

There was light drizzle outside. I let myself wet. It was cold when the rain touched my skin. But the cold made my heartbeat became slower and it could calm me down a little bit from the strong argument and the admonition. I thought it was the strongest argument for Thomas and me in these two years. And Vicky hadn’t admonished me in such a serious tone before. I was really upset at this moment. I roamed along the street with slow pace. I walked while I was observing the passer-by.

A middle-aged man who wore a suit with his briefcase overhead running towards me with a hurry speed. No matter how fast he ran and how large his briefcase was, his clothes had been fully wet already. I had to step aside as he was rushing to me and I thought he didn’t see me in front of him. When he passed over me, there was rain splashing towards me. I didn’t loathe it and the feeling was rather good. It could let me have a clearer thought and vision from my sadness. A pair of lovers held each other in an umbrella and walked past me with their lovely smiles. The boy just put most part of the umbrella over the girl, prevent her from wetting her body. I could see the droplets on the right side of him. Most of his clothes had been wetted. He said something near to the ear of her. She shook her head and smiled to him. I thought he asked her if she felt cold or not. He was so considerate and she showed a warm face. I was attracted by this picture and stopped my ramble.

They were warm but I was cold. I could feel their love to each other. I just felt I had detached from the crowd. Loneliness. I always felt it even in the crowd. It was my shadow after the death of my parents. I couldn’t discard it. It should be the reason why I could understand Lestat and was so close with him. I didn’t want to make him upset. He was my friend. My only friend now. My treasure one.

I was shocked when I realized I thought in this way. It was sad that I had only one friend. It was sad that my only friend was a vampire. I sighed again where I was at the junction of the main street and an alley.

There was a lamppost giving a canary light at the opposite street. I was looking at it. It was beautiful. It was just like the guiding light in the dark. I always dreamt for an angel would descent upon me. She would bring me out of this crying world and guide me the way to my parents and Sister Doris. The rain reflected the light in different directions as if it could move. The light was not strong but it was dazzling in this dark night. I felt a little bit tingled for my eyes as my long staring. I remembered I had done such a staring once before but I couldn’t remember where I had done it. New Orleans? Seattle? New York? I couldn’t identify for this city and the street I was standing. Where was I? What should I go? I always couldn’t find my way although I was familiar with the city. Yes, I could easily get to my destinations, but where was my real destination? Did I have one? I didn’t know.

Many pictures were flashing in my mind. I really wanted to catch them but the flashing was simply too fast. My sadness grew and I let it be. This was my only way I could treat actually. I couldn’t control when it visited me. I only could accept its embrace helplessly no matter how much I wanted to escape from it. But this was its power, it could find me wherever I was. It could find me, however, I couldn’t find my place in such a large world. It seemed that this large city didn’t have any relationship to me. I had even no relationship to this world. I couldn’t find my face in the crowd. I wanted to be alone. Away from the crowd might reduce my sadness. I couldn’t stand for the crowd anymore. The detachment was killing me. I again wanted to find my own world, the shell for me to hide, my shelter.

I entered the alley.

It was dark. No street lamps could be found here. I liked it. Nobody could read my face and my expression. In fact, my shadow was my only companion here. This should be a good shelter for me to hide. Much quieter. I could only hear the rain singing. Although I still couldn’t quiet myself, the tranquil here was in harmony with my everlasting sadness.

As I walked in the alley, I saw two men at the end of the alley. I was walking towards them. I couldn’t see them with a clear vision as the rain became heavier and it was so dark. As I was approaching them, I saw one man lying on the floor and the other just standing beside him and watching him.

It was unusual. A man was lying on the floor in this dark alley with the other man watching. A robbery? A murder? But I wasn’t scared. Why should I be scared? I wasn’t scared for death. Death, to a certain extent, meant a relief to me. I could meet my parents and Sister Doris in the heaven. But I knew I wouldn’t end it by myself because it was given from my parents. This was the gift and the only thing they left for me.

I asked when I was near them. “Anything can I help? Is it something wrong for this man?” I pointed to the man lying on the floor. But there was no answer at all from the man standing in front of me. I couldn’t see his face as his head was drooped and the light was too weak. I stared at the man lying on the floor. A middle-aged man wore a jacket and a pair of jeans.

Fainted?

I bent down and wanted to get closer him. “Sir, are you ok?” No answer. I knew I should not touch him but I put my hand on his hand. He was so cold. I put a finger at this nose. No breathing. And finally I noticed there were two small blood holes at his neck. The bloodstains were diluting by the rain.

Blood holes? Not fainted, he was dead. Apparently.

I suddenly stood up and turned to the man beside me and faced him. I wanted to see his face. My heartbeat was fastened. He was watching me watching him now.

Long dark hair. He tied them up. He was tall and slender. He wore a suit just like a gentleman. The suit fitted him. I couldn’t tell his skin colour. It was too dark to see but I knew it should be same to the colour of Lestat. The rain droplets were running over his face. He let it be. I liked his eyebrows, dark, straight and thick. They made him so elegant but looked like deeply depressed. His eyes. His eyes were medium. They were green. I seldom saw green eyes. They were like the shinning crystals. The shinning was so bright especially in this blackness alley. But the shinning didn’t really give the brightness, it made me sad. That’s the infection from them. They were telling me that he was an evil. He was a damned and cursed creature. He was human-like but not human. The feeling, when our eyes locked on each other, I knew it was him. I couldn’t do or say anything but only looking at him. I couldn’t breathe either.

He moved near me and placed his hands on my shoulder. They were so cold and I could feel my warmth while they were touching me. He forced me to the wall. It was that speed again I couldn’t explain. I knew what he was going to do and I had already felt his fangs at my neck.

Pain.

He was kissing me and sucking my blood at the same time. I felt my blood was being drawn. My blood vessels were contracting. All the blood competed to flow to this exit like a severe flood that no strong dam could fight against it. My heartbeat was much faster and my breaths also quickened. My heart was clingy to his heart. I could feel the rhythms of our hearts were the same. We were just like a pair of lover dancing in a grand hall without any interruptions, only two of us. I was enchanted in it. I held him tight in his arms. I could smell his scent and I felt my daze. I didn’t know what made it, might be from his scent or his sucking. But I wasn’t scared.

"Louis, Louis de Pointe du Lac.” The words were just burst out but with delights. He paused at what he was doing but his fangs were still there. “I know you. Lestat’s fledging.” I touched his hair softly. I felt the pain while he was moving out his fangs from my neck. “You’ve read the book.” He spoke to my ear. His voice was gentle. It made me felt calmed. “Yes, but more.” My voice was weak. “More?” He was curious of my words. “Right, do you want to know?” He moved away from my neck and was studying me. I could see my blood on his lips and his fangs. I smiled to him. “I know I am going to die if you don’t want to know. But why don’t you give us a chance? A chance for me and also a chance for you. You can feed on me at anytime you like. I don’t mind. But I know you want to know.” I felt my confidence. He boggled for a while but he released me from his hands finally.

Those were the fangs they had. This was the way they fed. Lestat hadn’t shown his fangs to me even for once. Perhaps, he intended to hide his fangs to me. And I hadn’t seen his feeding either. He knew I didn’t want to see it, he even knew I couldn’t imagine it. But in this night, I was Louis’s victim. He had fed on me. He had drunk my blood. My blood was running inside his body now. I didn’t feel the scare, but the only feeling I had now was the excitement. The excitement of meeting the one I was eager to see. The excitement for my blood was in his body. The excitement that we were so close to each other.

I leaded him to my workshop. He followed me silently. My wounds were still bleeding. The pain hadn’t faded out but actually was getting more serious. I felt my thirst and my weak. The passer-by had put their eyes on me. They must think I was drunk. Everything in my sight was swirling. I hardly kept my balance and my pace was slow.

We went to the small conference room of my workshop. All the crew should be in the large conference room upstairs. Nobody would disturb us. I locked the door inside. Once I had locked it, I drank for two glasses of warm water to soothe my thirst. He was watching me drinking. We sat on the sofa. I felt cold and weak with the wet clothes but I couldn’t stop looking at him. I knew there were tears in my eyes but not much. He sat opposite to me.

The one, I was longing for, was looking at me now. He reminded me how much I wanted to see him and wanted to find him in every street of New Orleans. He was real. He was right before me. We were so close. I could hear his voice, see his face and even touch him. I could talk to him. The feeling was so solid. He was not my imagination. He was not the drawing.

I couldn’t hide my excitement. I knew anyone could read it on my face now. “Well, what is it?” He couldn’t stand for his curiosity. He broke my contemplation and asked politely. I was awoken by his voice.

His voice was like the bird singing in the morning. It told me that the morning had come. I needed to wake up and start a new day. It brought the sunlight from the dark. It brought the energy. It made me forgot the unhappiness and felt like dancing in a prairie with little animals and butterflies around.

"Here is the workshop of my crew, of the movie, Interview with the Vampire. My colleagues are upstairs. This is a private room for us.” His mouth moved a little bit. I knew he suddenly realized it. “Movie?” “Yes, it is based on your book, your confession. I’m one of the costume design assistants. Read the book and producing the movie.” “And?” He asked expectedly. I just smiled and no response to him. Actually, I was waiting for his response. “That’s the more you’ve said?” I could read his anxiety by the expression. “What do you expect from me?” I raised my eyebrows. He was just looking at me. He was questioning. He didn’t know what I meant. “The news of Lestat?” I asked again challengingly with my smile.

His eyes were widened. “You know him? You have his news? Where is he?” “Why do you have so many questions about him? Why do you so care about him? You still love him, right? You still love him after two hundred years. You hate him but you love him also.”

I felt his sufferings from his eyes. I should not be cruel to him. I just felt my sorrow when I saw him in suffering. I should not challenge him. I should not say these hard words to him.

"I’m sorry. I should not ask you these questions. I apologize to you.” He smiled bitterly.

I took out my scheduler and opened with the page containing the drawing of him. I was examining his expression. He was looking at it with a little smile first but followed with tears. “It’s Lestat’s. He is alive! He lost his elan and energy when I met him last time. He was decaying. I think he had been dead in that old house.” His hands were shaking when he held my scheduler. “And he still loves you.” I said to him softly. He was astonished by my words. “I could feel it from this drawing and his words.” “Words? You have talked to him?” He was shocked. “Yes, sure.” He was studying me from my head to my feet. And his eyes focused on my neck. “Don’t you believe me? I know you are surprised that I’m still alive. He will never hurt me, at least until this point of time. I will not be his victim as he has promised me.” “Promise? He has his promise to you?” I knew he didn’t think Lestat would have this promise to a mortal. “Yes, his promise. There are still some drawings on other pages.” I turned the page backward.

It was Claudia. He put his fingers on her face, just like to caress her. His face suffused with sorrow. Tears were in his eyes. He closed the scheduler suddenly and looked away. He stood up and walked towards the window.

Still painful with the sight of Claudia after these years?

My heart was aching when I saw his reaction. He still couldn’t overcome it. He still loved her so much. His lover, and forever. Long silence between us.

"Is he still angry with me?” He said with his soft voice. “I don’t think so. He can’t hate you. There is only love between you and him.” I paused. “Don’t you want to meet him?” I waited for his answer. “No, not now. I’m not ready.” He still put his back to me. “But he wants to. I know it will be much better for both of you to see each other. He is lonely and so are you.” “Really?” He turned as my words astonishing him a lot. “Why not? You have just misunderstood him for more than a century. He is not the one you’ve described in the book.” I again fought for Lestat. His eyes were widened. “He is a vampire. His nature shows his cruelty and so do you. He feeds on human just like your murder I’ve seen and your feeding I’ve experienced. He also suffers from Claudia’s death. The request for the drawings has made him felt painful. He still has his own humanity that presented differently from yours only. He has hidden his feelings with intention. Don’t you see it? Why don’t you understand him? He has been so harrowing that you’ve buried him in the swamp. He has been so despair that you’ve left him in that old house. He has been so sad after he has read your feelings to him from the book. He is hurt.” He was surprised with his mouth slightly opened.

“You understand him so much.” He whispered. “Yes, I do it better than you.” I nodded. “How long do you know him?” “Two weeks only.” He raised his eyebrows. “Two weeks? What an irony!” He laughed. “How could you understand him so much in such a short period of time?” “You don’t believe me? He lives with me! We have long talks which I can have a good understanding to him.” “He lives with you? How can a vampire live with a human?” “I have once queried for that but I’m still alive. A human can live with a vampire at last. That’s the point to proof he is not the one with the image you have projected. He is not cruel and fierce.” I felt his fluctuation and I continued. “He has gone underground for fifty-five years after being badly wounded physically and spiritually. He has risen when I read your book near his hidden place. He has risen because of you! He still cares you. How can I say he doesn’t love you?”

I heard his sigh. “Yes, I owe him. He has given me the dark life but I put him into death twice. I am the murderer. I am responsible for the death of Paul. I have killed Claudia. I have taken her life and I couldn’t save her from those vampires of the Theatre des Vampires. I only know how to take lives, take lives from the human. I am born to destroy. I am born to bring evils. I’m the worst creature in the world.” He couldn’t control himself but just weeping. I embraced him tightly without hesitation. “I don’t mean to hurt you, but I just want you to understand. I want you to understand someone in this world loves you. You are not abandoned. And you are not the worst in this world, at least I think you are not! You have to invigorate yourself. Life has to go on. Forget the past.” I said it in my softest voice. I felt my heartbeat.

We had to forget the past!

“Forget the past for what? I have no meaning to this world! We should not exist!” He couldn’t control himself now. “It is not the time to argue should or should not. You are here. You are right in front of me. You have this endless life. Couldn’t you do your best for it?”

I didn’t really want to see him in this suffering. I just wanted to guide him the way to the brightness and so for me. If he couldn’t walk through the shadow, I wouldn’t do it either. We were just like two bodies with a common soul. I couldn’t let us be in the darkness and in the hell. I saw his despair just like mine. I had to save for him and for myself!

"For whom?” He whimpered. “For those love you and you love. Don’t hurt those who love you. Lestat loves you.” He was wandering and he was lost. I couldn’t stand for it. “Louis, trust me and believe what I have said.” He looked at me with his sorrow eyes. I held him again and was weeping also. “I love you.” I whispered to his ears.

***

He had left. He claimed himself was not ready to meet Lestat. He had to restructure the feeling to him. He had to quiet himself and he would think over my words. I was alone in the room. My wounds had been staunch already but I still felt the pain. I wore a neckerchief to hide them. But I felt much better after I had drunk more water to compensate for the loss of my blood. I did not feel dizzy anymore. Fortunately, he hadn’t sucked all of it.

I couldn’t help but just thinking of him.

He still loved Lestat. He still cared about him. He wanted to know the news of him. If not, I had been dead now. I won this gambling of my life. That’s the chance he had given me and also for himself. I hoped he would meet Lestat in one day. They were a pair of lover. It would be a pity if they lived alone. The misunderstanding had made them apart from each other more than a century. A century had been long enough for the punishment already.

I was touching my wounds, recalling the time he fed on me.

What did he think when he put his fangs into my body? How many victims he had taken? How much pain he had felt? How much had he felt for the guilt? How long hadn’t he spoken? How had he lived for these years without Lestat and Claudia? Claudia, his daughter and lover. When he looked at the drawing of her, his expression made me heartbroken. He still couldn’t forget her. He had died with her. His affection had lost with her death. Claudia had taken all of his energy. A living creature lived without his soul. Would he drop off the past or just let himself continue to drop in his sufferings? How could I help him?

Tears dropped again.

The feeling, when I looked at him, it was real and solid. That strange feeling. Yes, I loved him. I was totally devoted to him. He could fully make my emotion fluctuated. I couldn’t deny and hide it anymore. When I saw him, I knew I couldn’t let him go. Even he wanted to suck my blood until the point of death, I wouldn’t let him go. I was eager to have him in my arms, touching his face and his hair. Yes, it was possible for a human to love a vampire. Lestat was right. But the limitations still existed. How could I love him? He was a vampire, he fed on human and he lived in the dark. I was a human and I had my limited time. The blood inside our bodies was not the same. We lived in totally two different worlds. No happy ending would be found between us.

The door was opened. “Here you are!” Vicky said. “I have been searching for you for hours! And I can’t phone you also.” I looked at my phone and realized the battery was used up. “Sorry, I have just fallen asleep.” I looked away to hide my lying face. “You should be very tired. You really don’t look good. You are so pale. Are you sick?” I felt the pain again while I was shaking my head. “We’ve met our schedule. I think you can go home tomorrow. It was too late for you to leave now. It’s already four. That’s also enough for tonight. Continue your sleep.” I saw her leaving the room.

But I didn’t want to go home. I still couldn’t calm myself. I wanted to stay in this room just feeling Louis was next to me. His voice, his face and his sorrow. He was in my arms. And I couldn’t have my privacy in my house. Lestat could read my mind. I didn’t want him to know my feelings. I wanted to be with Louis in my little own world. I felt his pressure. He could read all these things from my mind. What would he do if he knew I loved his lover? I was afraid of him not because of his power but because of his love. Love? He loved Louis. He loved me. No, he couldn’t love me. But that night on the beach, the words he had told to me, all showed his love. I could feel it. Could I deny it? I should not hurt him. He was my valued friend.

I was in the workshop for several days more. Most of the colleagues had left. I worked hard in order not to have any spare time to think, until Vicky came to me. “I worry about you. You haven’t talked in these few days. And you just lock yourself inside your world and nobody can contact you. You look so depressed. Tell me what’s wrong with you. I haven’t seen you like this before.” I could feel her love by her words. “Vicky, I’m ok. Don’t worry about me. I just want to finish my work.” My eyes still fixed on the designs. In fact, I didn’t dare to look at her eyes. I was afraid that she would know there was really something wrong with me. “No, you have to go home and have a good rest.” “No, lots to do here.” I put my hands over my ears. “Hey, you have far beyond the schedule already!” She snatched the sketch from my desk. “Vicky, I can’t go home now. I’m not ready. Please let me stay!” I looked at her with a pleading expression. “Why? Don’t find any excuse. You should know I worry you a lot. Go and get your belongings now. I don’t want to see you within fifteen minutes.” She said by the door. “I mean it.”

I felt unable to stand. I placed myself on the chair. I was really exhausted actually. I hid my face by my hands and began to weep.

What should I do? Why couldn’t I find a place to hide? Why did all of them want me to face it? Ran away from it or faced it! There were no more choices. I knew it was impossible for me to run away from it. I knew I had to face it, except I wouldn’t meet Lestat forever. I wanted to see him and talked to him. But I was so scared that I would lose him. Why did I care for him so much? He was my housemate and my only friend. I didn’t want to hurt him. But if I hid from him, it would hurt him even more. I should have my courage. I should not escape from it. This was not my style.

I started to get my belongings. I saw my scheduler. I opened it and turned to the page with the drawing of Louis.

Calmed down, calmed down. I couldn’t help Louis in this way. How could he take my advice if he saw me like this now? I should face it for Louis.

I turned page by page backward, Claudia, Armand, and me finally. I stared at it.

Lestat should not draw this, I didn’t like my tears. I didn’t like this drawing.

I was going to tear it off.

“Why to tear it off?” Louis said suddenly. I looked back and saw him. “You don’t look good.” He was under his control again. I was excited when I saw him. “Really?” I asked. He was examining the drawing. “By Lestat?” “Yes.” He looked at it for a while and said. “He seldom draws. This should be the first one of these four, right?” “Yes.” I couldn’t say any other words. “He drew it willingly but the remaining three are requested by you. I think he doesn’t want to do it. Am I right?” He always spoke so politely. “Yes. I think he doesn’t want to recall the painful memories.” My answer reminded me that night he was in temper.

“That’s your point of view. But mine is different. I have thought about our previous conversation. I think he loves you.” I widened my eyes. “You’re kidding!” I had to deny it once I had heard he said it. “Nobody can make him to do those he doesn’t want to do. You should know it. You have made him to give his promise. He hasn’t ever promised me anything. He only has sneered for my weaknesses. He has given his precious promise to a mortal whom he has met for two weeks only. You do mean a lot to him. And no human can live with vampires unless they have special feeling to them.” He said with confidence. “Right, special feeling, we are friends. I understand him, and he treats me like his listener. He is lonely and he wants a companion. That’s all.” I defended.

“You won’t understand what it means. Blood is a great lust to a vampire. You are flesh and blood. Can you imagine that every night he wakes up and feels your human scent at the moment when he is in his most drastic thirst?” I had no words. “I won’t force you to accept it. But you should know the nature of a vampire. And you should feel it. Although I can’t read from your mind, I can tell by your reaction.” I looked away. “Then, do you want to feed on me now?” I said coldly and I closed the scheduler without tearing it finally. He was stunned. “Of course not.” “Does it mean you love me? You and he also don’t feed on me, a mortal, your prey! Does it mean he loves me? Then you should also love me, right?” He was shocked by my logic apparently. “I really don’t want to talk about this topic anymore. I have been fed up of it already.” I knew I must stop this topic, otherwise I would lose my control.

How could I face it? I even didn’t want to talk about it.

"You are going to return home?” He diverted the topic. “Yes, reluctantly.” I sighed. “Why?” “Lots to do here, but Vicky has ordered me to leave.” I lied but he laughed. “You should take her order then, otherwise, you will be fired.” He smiled.

His smile was so charming and seductive. The spell and the magic. Yes. A vampire could cast spells to mortals. I couldn’t resist it at last. And I liked spells cast by him, just like he liked the spells cast by Lestat.

“You should smile more.” I was attracted. “Smiles can make you feeling happy easier.” I said. “Really?” He asked with his faint voice. “It’s true. You should try.” I encouraged him. “Ok, I will take your advice.” I was excited when I heard him said so.

Took my advice and forgot the past. Forgot Claudia.

I saw Vicky at the door. “Fifteen minutes have passed already.” It was her ordering tone. “Yes, going.” I answered her unwillingly. “Bye then.” She left again.

We walked together. “Why here?” I asked him. “Nothing special, just want to talk to you.” I smiled. “I’m really happy to hear that.” He smiled back. “I have traveled around the world in these years. I have visited for many countries, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Britain and other countries that I can’t remember. But I can’t settle down in anyone of those places, so I’ve returned to my birthplace, New Orleans. I can’t be apart from here that is all of my life. But time just goes slowly if compared with my lifetime. I can’t see the end of it.” He sighed. “You feel the loneliness, just like Lestat.”

“Yes, you are right. I’ve been to the historical sites, watching them aging. I’ve seen same operas with actors and actresses of different eras acting. I can tell the scripts at any time. I may be surprised for the beauty of a woman. I may be sad when I see a handicapped beggar beaten by a gang. I may wonder why the technology nowadays is so advanced. But I only have feelings on these encounters for a short while at the beginning and feel benumbed to them years after years. Actually, it means nothing to me. Why should it have meaning to me? I am not a human anymore. Everything in the human world should have no importance to a vampire. Nothing can give feelings to me. No passion to live after all. I even feel much more loneliness when I am in the crowd. I am only a living corpse that only know to take lives.” His voice lowered. “Louis, you are not alone. You have Lestat. And I am glad if I can be your listener.” “Really thanks. I’ve seldom talked in these years, except to you and the reporter.”

“I really worry about your safety. There should be some of your kind want to destroy you. You have broken the rule. You have revealed the dark secret and your existence to the world. It is dangerous.” I stopped walking and looked at him. “Sure. But they can’t hurt me. I am old and strong enough. I can take care of myself. But actually, I don’t know if I will fight or not when they come to me. Sometimes, I think if one day I was destroyed, it should be a relief to me.” I was stunned and I felt my heart sinking. I couldn’t imagine if he was destroyed in the sun, like Claudia. “Could you promise me one thing?” I asked him with my tears. “Don’t do it. Don’t destroy yourself.” I felt being frightened when I thought about destroy. He was surprised a little bit but he was thinking about my request. His eyes were looking upon to the sky and he took a deep breath. “I think I won’t do it. Thanks for your concern.” He smiled to me.

“I’ve once believed that I am apathy to everything in this world, to the way I kill, to the way I exist in this darkness and to the way I think of Claudia and Lestat. I think my feeling and my passion have been lost with the death of Claudia and the ruin of the Theatres des Vampires. But I’m not actually. I am so surprised for realizing it. I have felt for my emotion again in our previous talk. I don’t know why it will be back, but I’ve just heard the calling of it. And I’ve been fluctuated with my tears. I haven’t had my tears for a long time already. I’ve just found everything is so vivid in front of my eyes and the memories have been in my mind again as if I have been recovered from Amnesia. Perhaps I don’t want to face it and I let my consciousness stay in the dormant state. That is the invisible power from you calling me. I can feel your infectious power. It’s your affection makes it. You are the bridge that makes me contact with my lost world insensibly. I don’t know if I can have my life or have my passion once again but I’m really glad that I have not killed you at that night. And I’m glad I can have such a little mortal friend now. I know why Lestat treasures you a lot.” I was shaking when I heard his name.

Lestat. Treasured me a lot.

We finally reached my house. “Do they still hurt?” He pointed to my neckerchief and asked with regret. “Just a little bit.” I smiled to him. “Will you accept my apology?” He asked sincerely. “Why not?”

An apology to me because he had wanted to take my life? Did he repent to his victim that night I met him when he was watching him lying on the floor? How many times he had done that? It was his humanity. A vampire with a human soul. Why had he been chosen to be a vampire? Lestat had cursed him, he hadn’t given an endless life to him but only given him an endless suffering.

"Are you sure you don’t want to meet him? He should be right in the house.” I waited for his answer expectedly. “Still not ready. Please give me more time.” This polite voice again. “Ok then, find me if you are ready.” I walked past him but I turned to him and said again. “Find me if you want a listener. I welcome you always.”

***

I had been in front of my house door for a long time that I didn’t know. I was afraid. And I felt my body shaking.

Would he still angry with me? What should I say to him? Should I tell him all the things and my feelings? I didn’t want to lose him. He was my good friend, the one I treasured a lot. I should not escape from him. I should not and I could not.

I took out my key and put it into the lock. It turned. I saw him sitting on the sofa with the eyes on the television. But he was looking at me now. “Hi, Lestat.” I took a deep breath. “Hi, Jen” His voice was normal. I felt the uneasiness. Silence for both of us. “I go for the shower first. See you.” I rushed to my room without looking at his eyes.

What a sop! I hated myself! I had changed a lot after meeting Lestat. I felt my weakness always in front of him. And the pressure. He just liked a scanner. I couldn’t hide from him even I really wanted to do it.

I sighed. I saw my wounds at the neck in the mirror by removing the neckerchief. The wounds were deep. They could be easily noticed even after several days. I touched them with my little fingers. It still hurt.

How could once a human feed on human? That’s the suffering. But why did this bother me? I was a human. This suffering should not mean anything to me! But it was true that I loved Louis. I loved a vampire. I cared for his sufferings! What should I do? How could a human love a vampire? It would not be a fairy tale. It was not possible for a happy ending. I definitely knew it! Nothing could change it.

I left the washroom with my neckerchief on. And I wanted to talk to Lestat no matter how scared I was. The truth was that I still worried about him in these days.

Lestat was sitting on the parapet again. I hesitated but walked to him finally. “How’s your work?” He started the conversation first. “Fine. We’ve met the schedule. Vicky does appreciate my work. Thanks a lot, Lestat.” I was shaking when I said his name. He smiled bitterly. “How are you in these days?” I asked. But only silence was between us. “Why are we talking in this way now? So standoff!” His voice was furious just like the previous time I had my request. I looked away when our eyes had met for each other.

“Why are you so scared? Scared for what? Talk to me like the way you used to have.” He demanded. I didn’t dare to look at him. “Why do you still want to hide from me? You should have made up your mind already before opening the door and entering our house.” His words brought me a great pressure. “Don’t force me, please.” I couldn’t breathe. He suddenly embraced me where I was standing. I wanted to push him but failed with my limited physical power. “Why?” He cried. “Tell me why.” He repeated.

I was so surprised to see his tears. This vampire loved his pride so much that he always put on a mask and hid his weaknesses. But he was crying to me now. I didn’t understand and I was confused. We should not have any affection to each other no matter what kind of affection was. I should not even love Louis. Only painful feelings could be found if we did. It was a certain event. His tears told me so. He should know it also but why did he let it happen and didn’t even control it?

"What do you want, Lestat?” I had my grievous face. My voice was in a pleading tone. “You do know what I want!” His embrace didn’t loosen a little bit. “I’ve met Louis. The one I want to meet from the beginning as you know.” I paused and I was finding my words. “I’ve fought for you and tried to make him understand you still love him. He has known it and the punishment has been over now. He will come to you once he is ready. He is still your love and so are you to him. You won’t be alone anymore.” He had no response but just looking at me with his sorrow eyes. I wanted to stop my speech. “Go on.” He requested. "That’s all. What do you really want me to say?” I asked him in my mind. “About your feelings. I want to know.” His voice broke. "No, please.” I simply rejected it in my mind. "You can read by your power." I just didn’t want to put them into words, I would rather let him read my mind. “No. I want to hear you to say it. I don’t want to read your feelings against your will.” He insisted.

I knew I could not run away from him now and I said after a while. “I have been angry with the descriptions the crew made to you. I have argued with them. You are my friend who I treasure a lot. I don’t want the others misunderstand you. But they don’t believe me and they tell me to give the evidence to prove it. But how can I tell them I live with you, live with a vampire? How can I tell them you are real and also for the book?” I was waiting his response but none. I knew that’s not he wanted to hear about. I gave in and I knew he would not let me go if I didn’t talk to the point. I sighed and kept on.

“My emotion fluctuates with Louis without control. I am so eager to see him. It’s why I have requested you for the drawing. I have a strange feeling to him. He has been always in my mind. I have imagined for his appearance, his voice and the time we meet. I want to find him in the nights no matter where he is. I have been poisoned without realizing it. And I really have met him finally, but after it, that feeling is so strong and so solid that I can’t deny it anymore. I don’t care he has taken my blood and I even don’t care I will die in his arms. But I suffer when I see him in sufferings. I’ve tried my best to help him. I know he is dying, and so do I. He dies, I die. We are of the same kind as I’ve told you before. And I feel we are like a single human. I want to save him from the hell as to save myself. I want to change our destinies. I don’t want him and me to be alone in the dark world anymore.” I looked at him. “Lestat, my confidant, do you understand?”

He left hold of me and looked away. He removed my neckerchief suddenly. “Don’t you see it? It has been done by your Louis! He hurt you!” He was in rage. “It’s only an accident.” I defended for Louis. “Accident? No accidents for our feeding. We won’t be regret for it.” He sneered. “Why have you defended for him? Why do you see him as a saint? You can’t see it. Let me tell you! He is a vampire, a truly evil and so am I. We kill each night and we won’t feel sorry for bringing deaths. He has sucked your blood just like from his victims in these two hundred years. There is no difference between you and them. He doesn’t love you! Why do you still love him? It’s you telling me that a human will not love a vampire! It’s you telling me that it is impossible.” “I don’t care.” “Do you really not care? Then, why do you still struggle? Why do you feel sad when you know there is no happy ending? Don’t lie to yourself anymore. He still loves Claudia! He will never forget her! You won’t be his love!” My heart was broken again with hearing the name of Claudia.

“I know. He lives in the dream of Claudia forever. I know it thoroughly. But I just can’t control myself loving him. Then, what should I do? What can I do to change it? What can I do to change the destiny of him? What can I do to change mine? Who can end the sufferings of him and mine? These have been asked in my mind for uncountable times and I can’t find the answers! Perhaps there are none. But what can I do if there are none?” I whispered helplessly. “These are the all you force me to tell you. Then, what do you really want from me, Lestat? My friend, why do all of you want me to face it? Why must I face it and accept this challenge? I haven’t had the power and the strength to do it. Could you and the God let go of me? Show only a little bit of mercy is enough. But why don’t you all give me a time to rest? I just want a shelter, protect myself from being hurt again. Have I asked for too much?”

The flashing was here again. They were gray and red. A woman was lying on the road bleeding severely and her eyes were on me. She was trying to touch me just like I could help her but she couldn’t have the strength to do it. I was so scared that I couldn’t move. My body had been petrified. I watched her closing her eyes slowly. I wanted to scream and tell her not to sleep but I couldn’t find my voice. Her blood was flowing towards me and my white plimsolls had been changed into red. And her hand was still grasping for the monkey doll. It was in red also.

My Mum died in front of me.

After these years, I still see this scene.

“And I know I will never do it. Why have you said these cold words to me? Don’t you think I haven’t got enough painful feelings? I have been so exhausted that I have smelt the scent of my death already.” I was lost and felt the despair. “Tell me what I can do, Lestat. Give me the answers!” I pleaded to him and was burst into tears. He ignored me and was leaving the room.

He was hurt. I made him heartbroken. Yes, I owed him just like Louis did. He should not love me. I couldn’t give him anything. But he had told the truth. Louis wouldn’t love me. He loved his Claudia, his princess. Nothing could change it. He was willing to die with her. He was willing to be deeply drunk in his sufferings. He was willing to give up all his affections. He always kept their memories in mind. The way he looked at the drawing. I couldn’t save him and he wouldn’t let me save him though I really wanted to do it. I meant nothing to him. I meant nothing to anyone. My family passed away because of me. I was alone and I was abandoned. I should be cursed. Why had my life to go on? Why had all my loves left me? Why had the God permitted these tragedies? Mine and Louis’s. These all were lies. No God. No love. No meaning at all. I couldn’t stand for it any longer. The sufferings and the despair. Destroy was a relief. Yes, Louis was right.

As I turned around, I saw a black piano was in front of me. I was so shocked that there was such a piano here and it was same to the one in my old house in New York.

I saw my Mum sitting at the piano and playing her favorite song. She closed her eyes and her body moved with the rhythm. I always thought it was amazing that she could still play accurately with her eyes closed. I asked my Dad sitting next to me about this question. But each time, he would put his fingers on my lips and tell me not to disturb him enjoying the music. I loved to watch my Dad watching the back of my Mum. He looked at her with his warm smile and I could feel his love in his eyes. Every time after she played, she would kiss him and touch my hair gently.

I still could feel her touch. I caressed the piano as if I had met for an old friend. I had been close to it for a long time ago. It reminded me the time my Mum teaching me how to play. But she couldn’t lead my fingers moving on the keyboard and I couldn’t hear for her scolding anymore. Yet, I noticed that this was not our piano. There should be a mark on the top of it. I did it and my Mum had beaten me severely for that mark. Where was the mark? Where were my parents? I noticed that there was nobody except me in this room. I didn’t know what had happened and where I was. I only wanted to know where my parents had gone. But I could never see them again. This was the reality.

I closed my eyes and hid them with my hands. I had lost my control and my rationality.

I had lost everything!

I lifted the cutter on my desk and cut my left wrist deeply. The blood came out like a flood. Lestat rushed to the door and stared at me. “What are you doing? Are you crazy?” He was shocked. “Drink it. I owe you. You should kill me in the beginning. I’ve disturbed your sleep. I should be punished. I have no family. I have no meaning to this world. I have no source of life. I am a redundancy only. I should die with my parents. I have died with them already! I am only a corpse living without a soul! Don’t love me. I don’t deserve for it! This is the only thing I can give you.” He was staring at my blood. “Come and do it! Get what you want!” I knelt down on the floor. “Lestat, please! End my sufferings!” He left the room and I was crying.

Who could end my sufferings?

Just a second afterwards, he sat next to me with the first aid kit. He tried to do it but he failed. “How to use it? How to stop the bleeding?” The bandage fell on the floor. He was anxious. “How can a vampire know?” He was looking at me. My left arm was full of blood. And I saw the blood flowing out to my palm and then my fingers and to the floor finally. I was cold and felt the dizzy. “No, you can’t die. You must continue your life! You’ve said to me, life has to go on. You have to forget the past, walk through the shadow. Live for those love you and you love! These all are from your mind. Why have you forgot your words?” He embraced me tightly.

“These words are in my mind and I always say it because I just want to hypnotize myself. I know I can’t do it without saying it. But it is no use to me after all. The hypnotism has failed already. I don’t know why I must go on. What for? Nobody loves me. I should die with my parents. Why have I been rescued? It’s a punishment to me. I can’t stand for it any longer. I would like to die rather than living in this cold world.”

“Where is your courage? You have struggled for these years. Why must you give it up now? Don’t you remember your parents’ love to you and your Sister Doris’? You have promised to do your best for your life! You can’t break your promise to your loves. And you can’t forsake your life that your parents have given you. That’s the only gift they have left to you.” I felt he was shaking. “Promise me, keep your life on. You have the love from your parents, the love from your Sister Doris, and mine! My love to you is so deep that I feel like sinking in it. But that is my will, I let me be. I just can’t stop giving you more and more of my love. I can’t live without you. You mean so much to me. You are my entire life. I love you even you don’t love me. I don’t care! It’s you telling me that I must tell my feeling to my love. That’s why I always want to have conversations with you. I don’t want to repeat the tragedy and misunderstanding again. I want you to know everything of me and share with me. That’s my love to you.”

To live for my love and those loved me? He loved me while nobody loved me. He loved me even I didn’t love him. I felt his embrace and I felt his love embracing me also. There was a warm stream flowing to me, to my heart, to my limbs and my every vessel. That’s his love. I was shocked and touched. I was weeping and his speech was calling my rationality back a little bit.

I saw my bloodstains were on his jacket and also on both of his hands. “Lestat, why don’t you suck my blood? It’s your nature.” I asked him. “Yes, it is a lust. A great lust to me. But I have promised you. You will never be my victim. Even without the promise, I won’t do it to you. You are my love. I can’t hurt you. I only want to protect you.” My tears rose. “Lestat.” I sighed but smiled to him also.

He loved me. Could I live with his love? Could I have my courage again? I didn’t know. But he did arouse my spirit.

I took a deep breath.

I stopped the bleeding and bandaged the wound with my knowledge of first aid finally. He held me tight after I had finished it. “I don’t deserve for your love.” I said with my weak voice. “But I have totally devoted to you already. Nothing could change it. You must promise me never do such a cruel thing to me again! It hurts me much more than your love to Louis!” I sighed again. “Sorry, Lestat.” I held him for my first time. I felt warm in his arms.

I had rejected to rest in the hospital since I had a phobia to stay in it. The scare was same as to driving. I knew I couldn’t do both of them in my lifetime. Finally, it took me several weeks to recover from the loss of my blood. Losing blood for twice made a great damage to my vitality. And the scars. The wounds, made by Louis and me, were so deep that they would not disappear. I knew they would be there in my whole life. I didn’t hate them, but on the contrary, I loved them. They reminded my love to Louis and Lestat’s to me. I could always feel the love in my heart.

To live for my love and those loved me.

"Still hurt?” Lestat asked me gently while we were walking on the beach again. “No, not at all.” I paused. “Why is there a piano in my studio? I have been so surprised to see it at that night.” “I just want to make you to face it but I have failed at last and even make you feel more painful. Sorry.” He sighed. “No. I loved it. I have moved the piano from New York to Seattle and once have planned to move it from Seattle to here. I miss it. I can feel my parents are with me always. But I’ve cancelled this plan as I only will stay here for a short while. So, I’ve bought a hi-fi instead. Lestat, really thanks. I know all you’ve done to me are for my own good.” I smiled.

“I would like to ask you a question. What is it like?” I looked at him. “You mean the lust?” I nodded. He was stunned. “You don’t need to answer if you don’t want to. Just forget it.” He sighed. “If I could really forget ……. I think no vampire in this world can forget or overcome the lust.” His eyelids were lowered. “But you have overcome it, otherwise I have died already.” He smiled. “However it’s true, no way to forget it. Lust still is a lust. Blood is a necessity to us, just like water to you. But there’s something more. Our sensation is much stronger than human. Blood is so seductive to us. It is the beauty. There was a voice calling us to it. There was a cohesive power in between. We are addicted and enslaved to it. We are just like seeing the pumping of a heart and the blood running through the vessels. We can just feel the scent of it. We can’t help ourselves but just to lock on it. Blood is the only thing that brings peace to us.”

I felt the sadness. “Then, will you be guilty when you do it?” “Yes.” He said bitterly. “But no work around and no return. I only can run away if I want to kill myself. But I want to live. I do it as a justice. I kill those thieves, murderers and bad guys whom I can define through their minds. That’s the only way I can choose. That’s the way I will feel better. But Louis has chosen another way. He loved his victims. He killed them while he loved them. It’s so contradicting and so painful. But it only makes him even feeling much worse. That’s why he was always in his sufferings. Yet no use to feel the sorrow, we must live in this killing if we’ve chosen to live.” He sighed again.

He was kicking the tide water by his right foot.

My feeling was correct. He had as much as humanity as Louis. How could they live in this darkness and without an end?

"Could I have your permission to ask you a question back.” I hadn’t heard this polite voice from him before and he sounded hesitating. “Yes. I am listening.” “Would you,” he paused for a second, “would you want to become what you’ve just asked?” His question really shocked me.

To be a vampire? To be an immortal and live forever?

"Is it an invitation?” I counter questioned him because I hadn’t thought of it before. I needed time to clam down from the shock. “You should know I will do everything for your request. I am a vampire with no return. I really want to live with you forever. I can’t see you die even I can’t imagine for it. If it is an invitation, would you consider to accept it?” He was looking forward to my reply. “Do you mean you will do it to me if I make my request to you?” I still made my question to him. “Yes. Jen, tell me please.” He was almost pleading.

“I haven’t thought about this question before.” He was looking at me impatiently. I spoke again after a while. “I think I won’t. I can’t imagine how I live by taking other people’s lives. I just know I can’t do it. I don’t want to be an immortal and live forever. I am not interested in seeing the end of time. Perhaps, it is exciting for the first few centuries. But what about a thousand years? Millions? No purpose at all. It’s poor. It’s meaningless to live with an endless time. It’s the emptiness. It’s the despair Louis and you seeing it. I just want to meet my parents and Sister Doris in the heaven after I have passed away.” He was really disappointed.

“How about if there are none? To my knowledge, there are no God, no devil, no heaven and no hell in this world.” His voice was fainted. “Then, it will be the best for me to have a limited time. I should live with my best for my given life and have my decay in the soil to replenish the ecosystem, just like my parents and Sister Doris have done. That’s my contribution and my meaning to this world.” I smiled.

“How about for Louis?” He asked bitterly. “The purpose is to live forever with your love. It is possible only if you accept the invitation.”

Louis?

"No.” My voice became more confirmed.

"He didn’t love me.”

"If he loves you, will you?” His sad expression made me wanted to touch his face. “No, I know he will never love me. Yes, you are right. He will never forget Claudia.” My emotion didn’t fluctuate much this time. Perhaps I had accepted it as the natural phenomenon just like the sun rose in the east everyday. “You’ve only denied for the possibility that Louis loves you. But you haven’t denied for the possibility that you will become a vampire because of your love. That means you will become one of us if your love is a vampire. You will give up everything to be with your love. That’s the same to your dream to surrender your life for changing back the lives of your parents.” He insisted.

“No. It is not the same. Yes, I do love them but I want them back because of my guilt. My love to them to a certain extent is constructed on my guilt. It makes me in suffering. Perhaps it is a selfish thought if they can be back to life, then my sin will be reduced. Thus, I can be freed and reach my happiness again. So, I am willing to sacrifice all the things for their lives. But it is only a dream that can never come true. In these years, I only find one way to have my atonement is to do everything with my best. That makes me feel better and it is my source of life, nothing else. And I know I have to die. This is the truth for all human beings. I won’t become what he is. I don’t want to repeat his story. I know I must be the worst vampire in this world, even feel more sufferings and more despair than he does. I will lose my rationality forever by my death of human body.” He sighed. “You even don’t have a bit delight about my invitation. Then, I will lose you forever.” My heart was tightened again.

Yes, we must be apart in one day. We couldn’t change it. That’s our destinies.

"And this is your answer that you still have your choice.” His words hurt me. I stared at him and said seriously. “Lestat, you have understood what my will is. I won’t accept your invitation forever and ever. Don’t do it to me. Don’t force me to become what you are. You should know it is a destroy to me even you give me an endless life. Don’t let me hate you.” He shook his head. “It’s not what I mean.” He sighed.

I realized suddenly. “Lestat, do you mean you haven’t had your choice?” He sighed again. “Then, will you become what you are if you can have your own choice?” His eyes widened. “I don’t know.” He paused. “If I have my own choice……” He sat on the beach and I followed him. “Maybe no. I could live with Nicki and he would not kill himself. I could hear his violin again. I could have my performance in everywhere. I could stay on the stage and enjoy the acclamation of the audience. I would be a great actor. I could see the sun again. I could talk to a human whoever I want. I have no need to hide anymore. I could taste the wine and the food. I could do the goodness that I was dreamt of.” He paused again.

He was dreaming now.

“But maybe yes also. I don’t want to end my life so ordinarily. I can have my supernatural powers. I can have my adventures. My mother, Gabrielle can live with me forever. She will die if I haven’t given the dark gift to her. I can’t stand for her death. I can have a life without diseases and death. I can do things that mortal can’t do and I can do those things I can’t do in my mortal time.” He was in silence for a while. I was studying him. “But it is only an assumptive question. I have become what I have been for more than two centuries already. It is real. No use to think back, right? And the most important thing is I have met you. I won’t be regret.”

He won’t be regret because he had met me?

"Life still has to go on. I won’t give it up. That’s my style and yours.” He smiled energetically again. “But don’t you find the meaning in it? Don’t you know the origin? Has your kind become to exist in the beginning of the time?” I was curious of these questions. “I don’t know, but I know there are “Those Who Must be Kept”, they are the Father and the Mother of us in this world.” “Those Who Must be Kept?” I frowned. I didn’t understand. “This is told by Marius, the keeper of them. They are the origin. They have been existed for six thousand years. We can’t exist without them. That means they die, we die. There had been once some vampires wanted to destroy them and expose them under the sun. Fortunately, they were so powerful that only got burnt a little bit, but most of the young vampires died and the old ones wounded badly. It is the tale of them and Marius has told me to keep it in secret.” I still kept frowning. “Why have to? You have told me now and your kind should know it. They have the right to know. Marius should not keep it from them. I think they can find some meanings from the origin. Don’t you feel they are so poor that just walking without any souls? They need a meaning, a purpose.” He was looking at me for a long while. I could feel his shock.

***

About Louis, I had met him. He came to me again and wanted to talk to me. I told him what had happened that night. He was shocked with my action and words. He was shocked about Lestat’s love to me also.

"You are so brave. That’s the courage I don’t have. You are so similar to Lestat. Both of you are action-takers. He’s always surprised me a lot. I won’t do things in his way but you do. I’m really shocked that he loves you so much. He is a life-taker, only brings deaths. But he has overcome the lust and even wanted to save you. He has really changed a lot.”

"No, he hasn’t changed. It’s his nature. He wants to save you from your sufferings in the beginning.” He sighed. “Yes, it’s only me has misunderstood him for so long.” He paused and stared at me. “And I am also shocked about your love to me. Why do you love me? I don’t deserve for it at all. Sorry, it’s me bringing such pain to you. I should not bother your living. I should not talk to you. I should not talk to a human.” He said bitterly. “No, I am attracted by reading your book. I have imagined what you look like and I am so eager to meet you. And the feeling has become real and solid once I have met you. I can’t deny it. It is in my heart. I can feel it no matter I can see you or not.” I paused.

"And I don’t think I am similar to Lestat, but similar to you actually. My tragedy and yours. You should talk more. You should share your loneliness and your despair to those who love you. You should not live in your own world. It’s the way you have to do. I know you can’t live if you don’t do it. Because I just know I can’t live any longer either if I don’t do it. I have understood you too much. I am just like a helminth inside your intestine.” I laughed. He was surprised. He took a slower pace and was in his thought.

"And don’t say who deserve for the love, but just accept it. It’s enough. Don’t blame on yourself. That’s the way I have chosen. I still will give my love to you even you don’t love me. Don’t loot my chance to love you. That’s my choice and it’s my blessing to you. I will be happy for it.” He sighed again. “It’s no good to you. A human loves a vampire.” I shook my head. “Yes, I know. There will be no happy ending. I won’t force you to forget Claudia. I won’t force you to be with me. I won’t force me to escape from Lestat. I have no power and ability to do that. I have my own living and I am a human. I know my position from the beginning. I will die and I won’t be your kind. We are friends only, with special feelings.” He smiled. “I owe you.” “Don’t say such heavy words. That’s the way I’ve chosen. I do it without any reluctance.”

Everything was in balance now. But I knew Louis still was not ready. He was interested in everything of Lestat. But he told me that he dared not to see him. I understood. He needed time and both of them had plenty of it.

Finally, the production of the movie had been finished. My work was highly appreciated by my crew, especially Vicky and Thomas. The relationship between Thomas and me had been greatly improved. He explained to me why he had strongly objected about me to join. He thought I was too young and too emotional that I couldn’t control myself and would burden the crew. He knew I wouldn’t accept the opinions from the others. But the project we did now was a team-work even though designs somehow were personal products. He criticized I had failed in the beginning and brought a lot of trouble to the crew but I did it finally with Vicky’s guidance. He saw my improvements and he most appreciated my energy and the spirit. He was infected and found him being young again. After all, I had done my job.

I shared it with Lestat and I shared all the things in these days with him. He was my patient listener. We talked long as used to be. I didn’t feel much pressure with him now since I won’t escape from him anymore. Sometimes, I loved his mind-reading power as there was no need to explain my feelings to him. He could understand me without words.

***

I went to Biloxi Bay again where Lestat and I usually visited together. But this time I went there alone in daytime. This was the recommendation of Lestat. Yes, I loved it. I wanted to see what would be the difference between daytime and night. I brought along a video camera with me. I wanted them to explore here with me. I would record all the scenery and my feelings for them. That’s my gift to them.

I arrived before dawn. I wanted to see the sunrise and I hadn’t met it before. What would it like? I was anxious to see. Also it should mean a lot to them. It was the beginning of a day. The first light of the day was in my eyes now. Although the light was not very strong, I could feel the power and the strength of it. The sun rose slowly. The light overpowered the dark. The more the light came, the less the dark would be, until the dark was stoked. The light gave everything its shine and energy. Everything could begin its new day again. The air was getting warmer. I was very impressed with the sunrise.

It was a shiny day. The sunshine made me warm. I could feel embraced by it. My skin reflected the sunshine and looked like an aureole around me. The heat touched my skin and I felt so close to it, just like the feeling of falling in love. I bathed in it and was addicted to it. I couldn’t help smiling. That’ the day I felt most relaxed after the death of my parents. I enjoyed being in it.

A few white clouds were floating in the sky. I loved to look at clouds. I wondered what would be inside it. A Laputa? Laputa was a Japanese cartoon that was my favorite and it meant a castle in the sky. It was a civilized place with high technologies. But it was totally different from our living place on the earth. It was in the equilibrium. No pollution, no natural disasters, no quarrels, no sadness. Only happiness and smiles. People lived at there peacefully and in harmony. It was a heaven. A heaven all human beings were dreaming of. That’s my hankering also.

And I could see the mountain shape at the opposite side from the beach where I stood. It should be a huge mountain. It was very high with a broad base. I should visit there in another day. I wanted to know the feeling when I stood at the peak. I hadn’t climbed such a high mountain before. I could look down from the peak and embraced the earth. Although I might find myself like a sand to this world, I was one of its elements. This was my home.

The tides. It was fancy to listen to them. I could feel my heart dancing with them. It was just like two lovers holding each other and kissing on the lips. It was wonderful. All the sadness and sorrow could be swept away with this enormous scene.

The breeze. The shore wind. It was a little wet when breathed it in. I felt refreshing. It brought an invisible power into my body. I couldn’t help feeling energetic. The wind caressed my face, just like the way my parents and Sister Doris had done to me. Yes, they were with me always. Their blessings were waiting for me in everywhere. Why couldn’t I feel it in the past? I was not alone. I ran along the shore. Ran and ran back and started running again until I was so exhausted that I couldn’t move a little bit more.

And the sunset. Going down of the sun. It’s so beautiful that nothing could distract my attention. The sun needed a rest. Yes, it needed to recharge for its energy to give the source of life for the next day. The dark came. But it was not an invasion. It was not a conquest. The dark acted like the bedding. It gave protection to the sun for its recharging. It cared for it.

I lied on the beach and enjoyed all these things with my heart. Yes, everything was so perfect. Everything was so charming. I felt the hopes and the dreams. I see the light again. I was in their arms always. I felt their love.

***

I made two copies for them once I had reached my workshop, one for Lestat and one for Louis. I knew they would love it. I gave it to Lestat first and studied him while he was looking at the television. “You are really a little stupid girl.” He held me tight. “This is a dedicated gift for me and Louis. I can see the place, where I have always visited, with the shining of the sunlight. The sun I have missed for centuries. I just want to weep. And I feel holding you just like bathing in the sun.” It was the first time he embraced me after that night. And he was really weeping. “I want to have photos with you.” I asked with my soft voice. “Photos?” “Yes. Haven’t you taken one before?” “No.” He whispered to my ear. “Then, let’s do it.” He put his left hand across my shoulder. We both smiled. It was our photo and his first one. We smiled while looking at it. He knew all my feelings and the purpose of producing this gift from my mind. He hadn’t said much in this night but just held me tight in his arms.

***

"Louis, I have something for you.” I said with my smile. “For me?” His eyes were widened. “Yes. How long haven’t you received a present?” “Since Claudia’s death. More than a hundred years.” He said bitterly. “Come on, Louis. Who will receive a present with such a sad mood? Quick, open it.” He unwrapped it. “A video tape?” I smiled to him.

He was ardently attached to it. “Is this really for me?” He didn’t believed what he had seen. “Yes, sure. I know you have seen the sunrises in the movies and documentaries but I do this for you and Lestat only. It is dedicated for both of you. The sun for Louis and Lestat.” He was weeping like Lestat had done in the previous night. “I am so touched. The sun. The sunshine. The sunrise. The sunset. These all I have missed for so long. I can see them again which are dedicated for me.”

"Don’t you understand the meanings of them?” He was surprised with my question. He was looking at me and frowning. “The dark is not an evil. The dark is one of the elements of this earth just like the sun, the tides and other things in the world. You are not evil, the predator. You are a part of us, but just exist in a different species. We can live together peacefully in our Laputa. The dark is not an invader. It is a protector, a warrior. It protects the sun from over-use its energy and its sunshine. Don’t you know what the world would be if the sun loses its power? Everything will be destroyed and all of us will die. You can do it as a justice. Use your humanity to help the helpless. You can protect the human beings from the thieves, murderers and other bad guys. We need you. We are so weak but you have gifted the power to protect us. You are appointed. This is your mission.” He was totally shocked.

Yes, I needed to tell Louis and Lestat all these things. I needed to guide them with all my efforts. I knew I had to do it, otherwise the despair would make them decayed. Both of them were my treasured ones. I had to tell them before my limited time came. I couldn’t be with them forever. That’s all I could do for them. That’s the only blessing that I could give them.

"Mission?” “Yes, and it is the meaning of your life. Your world has not only darkness but also has its own light that can bring peace and happiness to this world. Can you stand for this cruel world? Can you just sit here and do nothing but you have the power to change it or at least to reduce the pain? You have told me you are not apathy to those crimes. You can help the weak just like you have rescued the little mortal child, Claudia, from the plague. Don’t you know how many Claudia is waiting for your help?” I shook his body. “Louis, tell me, do you have the courage to take this mission?” He put both of his hands on mine. It’s the first time. I felt he was shaking. “What should I say?” He paused for a while. His tears rose again. “I don’t know how to express my feelings to you now. I just know I have to show my gratitude to you heartily.” I smiled to him. “And one more.”

“One more? One more present?” He was surprised. “Open the envelope. I think you will love it.” His hands were shaking while opening it. “Lestat! I haven’t met him for more than a century.” He touched his face gently. He looked at it with tears. I felt his excitement. “How many times that I have dreamt of him I have already forgotten. He still looks good and always. He is still so charming. My old friend.” He couldn’t let his eyes off the photo. “It’s his first photo. He loves it also. He knows I will give it to you.” I smiled to him. “And this is his first photo with his love.” He said to me. “And I really want to have a photo for three of us.” I looked at him expectedly.

"Would you come to the first showing with me next week?” I said to him after he was a little bit calmed. “I don’t know.” His answer really disappointed me. “You don’t know? You have confessed in your book but you dare not to see it in the movie? So contradicting!” I laughed. “Will he go?” “Sure, he can’t wait to see it. He always asks me who act as you and him and what they look like. He says nobody can take the roles and have your and his charming. He wants to know the feeling when he sees his story on the screen. He thinks it must be very interesting. I can feel his excitement when talking the movie with me.” I smiled. “That’s the difference between us. He can see it as the entertainment.” He sighed. “No. You are wrong again. I know he must be sad for the story. Don’t you remember Lestat wept when he knew the death of Claudia in Paris? But should he weep night after night? It’s no use at all. The most important thing is he has learnt a lesson from it. And for you, you should accept and face it. It has passed for a long time. You should start you new life again. Here’s the ticket. Keep it. Lestat and I want to see you there. Please don’t let us disappointed.” I left.

I really wanted him to come. He had to face it. If he came, he would live in light again and I wouldn’t have to worry him anymore. I knew I couldn’t cheer him up forever. My time was under the count down. They had to meet. It was the best for them to live with each other. They were the perfect match. I smiled when I imagined they were together.

***

It was the night I looked forward to, the first showing. I dressed up in beautiful attire and wore a make up. I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked like a noble and very elegant. Lestat wore a dress coat. He was like a prince. “Is it ok for me? Do I look strange?” He was charmed with his mouth a little bit opened when he was looking at me. “I know, I can tell by your expression. I should be confident to myself, right?” I smiled seductively to him. “You look smart and handsome. I think you are much more attractive than the actors. They must be jealous of you.” I said whole-heartedly. “So are you. We are a pair of angels.” He kissed on my cheek and let his face touching mine. I was surprised by his actions but I didn’t hate them.

It was full of press. I looked around with my left hand in Lestat’s right arm.

Couldn’t find him.

A little bit disappointed.

"You should wait and see, don’t worry, he will come.” “Really?”

I looked at Lestat’s eyes. He nodded.

I saw Vicky and Thomas. We were invited to have photos. I introduced Lestat to them. He requested me to have the introduction through his mind. They were surprised by his good appearance. When I said his name, they were even more surprised. But I thought they would not know they were the same of this Lestat and that Lestat.

At last, I was so delighted when I saw Louis in the screen chamber. They met in silence, just looking at each other. They had the reunion. I smiled. Here they were. We watched the movie with me in the middle. They concentrated on it. I knew they were touched and their memories were recalled. I knew Louis had his courage now even I knew he would never forget his Claudia. But I was pleased.

After the movie, the costume designs were highly appreciated by the audience and the press. My crew was invited to have photos and short interviews. I saw Lestat and Louis talking at a distance. I was glad to see it. Although I wanted so much to join them, it was better they had their private time. There should be lots to share between them.

Louis left before I could talk to him.

“What have both of you talked about?” I asked immediately in the car. “Nothing special.” “Don’t keep it! You should know I do worry.” I was nervous and shook his hand. “No need to worry. He has changed a lot by you.” He smiled. “Me?” I was surprised. “Don’t you feel it? He has come and met me tonight. It’s a great improvement already.” I agreed what he had said. “I have gifts for you tonight.” He said it suddenly. “What are they?” My eyes were widened. “I will show you.” His face wore a mystery smile.

I couldn’t stand for my curiosity after back home. “What are they? Tell me, you know I can’t wait for it.” He smiled again. He took something from his room. “For you.” I opened the wrapping paper and saw a book and an album. I was shocked totally. They had the title of “The Vampire Lestat” on their covers.

No.

I looked at Lestat. I couldn’t control my tears coming out. “Don’t do it!” He had no words but just smiling. “How can you …… do such things?” He still ignored my words. “Don’t.” I put my back on him and left him in the living room. I put the gifts into the drawer and kept it locked in the studio. I closed my room door with a bang. I was angry with him.

I couldn’t think about it. I was just crying. I was lost. Feeling heartbroken again.

How could he do this? Why? Why did they love to expose themselves to danger? Why hadn’t the nightmares come to an end? They were my loves. I didn’t want to lose them. Why? They were not gifts. They were deaths. I could smell the death scent. He wanted to kill himself. No! I didn’t understand.

I was crying. I couldn’t imagine his death. I had just sat on the floor of my room for a long time helplessly. I had my shower to calm myself but no use at all.

Why? What was the purpose?

This question had been in my mind and couldn’t be swept away. I knew I had to find the answer and only from his book. And I knew I had to read it. And Lestat wanted me to read it. He said they were for me.

He was in danger. His book and Louis’s book. Why again?

I unlocked the drawer and took them out. The Vampire Lestat. I started to read it.

A story was about The Vampire Lestat. This book was for his loves, Jen and Louis.

He was awake. It’s me bringing the message of Louis’s book to him. Knowing the feelings of Louis to him, he was heartbroken. The one he loved more than two centuries hurt him so much physically and spiritually. He needed to set the record straight. It was only Louis had misperceived their whole relationship.

He was once a human. He was French. He was the seventh son of an indignant marquis, and one of only three sons who survived. His character was formed from the conflicting demands of being aristocratic but poor. At the age of twelve, he decided to pursue life in a monastery because he loved the rituals, orderliness, and sense of being good.

He loved orderliness? He had said to me that he was born to be a rule-breaker.

His father forbade it and took his books away. Lestat later attempted to run away with a wandering theatre group, but was once again thwarted. Responsive to change and resistant to monotony, he went out to hunt a pack of wolves and nearly died trying to fight off these eight hunger-maddened animals. As a result of his bravery, Nicolas, the son of a local merchant, befriended him.

That’s Nicki he had mentioned to me once. He loved him and still grieved for his death.

Together, he and Nicolas went to Paris, where they eventually became part of a theatre group. Lestat soon became famous from his acting. There, a vampire, Magnus, targeted Lestat to become his heir. Lestat resisted but was overpowered.

He had no choice but I knew he would become a vampire even he could choose. He would make himself bear the pain for being a vampire. He was totally in love with the supernatural powers. I understood his desire though he wanted to hide from in our previous conversation.

The same night he became a vampire, Magnus destroyed himself, leaving him to learn all by himself what it meant to be a vampire. His sense of adventure and curiosity propelled him into his new form of existence. He was only twenty-one years old.

He was abandoned. He was an orphan just like me. He was so young just like me. He had to face such a great change by himself with a junior age. I was very impressed for his courage. Yes, he loved adventures.

Eventually he made his dying mother, Gabrielle, a vampire, along with Nicolas.

He was lonely as doing it. He needed companions. And he couldn’t stand for the deaths of his loves. I understood him. If I had his power, I would also give the dark gift to my parents and Sister Doris. I would sacrifice all to have their lives back.

He loved Nicolas. But Nicolas always felt inferior to Lestat. He couldn’t stand for the inferiority and he couldn’t adapt to the dark life, so they broke apart.

In the process he encountered Armand and his coven, which then strove to bring Lestat's new existence to an end. They had existed for centuries according to a system of rules and rituals, and his "unvampirelike" behaviour, according to their ideas, threatened their manner of existence.

He was born to be a rule-breaker. Nothing could lock him inside. He would have the power and spirit to break it.

Much to Armand's grief, Lestat instead empowered the coven to break free of their long tradition of religious superstition.

Vampires had religion? For the dark and for Satan, they killed? But Lestat had told me that no god and no devil were in this world. Then, how about our religions?

Armand then wanted to join with him and Gabrielle, telling them his story in an attempt to gain their sympathy, but they left him behind in Paris. He decided to seek out Armand's maker, Marius, in a quest to find a deeper understanding of what it meant to be a vampire.

He was searching the source of life.

The search took ten years, and he eventually despaired of the leave of Gabrielle, Nicolas’s death and achieving no success of the search, going into the ground to experience "the first death."

Despair.

Marius then arrived and resuscitated him, taking him to an island where he told Lestat the tale of the origins of the vampire race and showed him the vampire Father and Mother, Enkil and Akasha.

The source of vampires? But if they had been once human like Louis and Lestat, then what would be the real origin?

Lestat found the Mother, Akasha, very beautiful and goddess-like. He brashly woke her and drank of her blood until Enkil torn him away from her. Lestat was almost killed by him. Fortunately, Marius came and rescued him.

He always put himself in danger. Did he know what danger was? But why did Akasha let him drink from her? Why didn’t Akasha hurt him? They exchanged blood to each other just like making love, and this act provoked Enkil. Did Lestat love her and how about Akasha?

Marius sent him away for his own good. He kept all told by Marius about “Those Who Must Be Kept” in secret as Marius had requested.

That’s why he told Louis nothing about the origin. But he revealed all these things to the world now! Would Marius kill him? Would other vampires kill him? He declared war to human and his kind!

And he arrived in New Orleans to be with his aging mortal father. When he encountered Louis there, he sensed in him an echo of Nicolas; an intense, self-destructive, and cynical nature, one filled with despair. Louis's beauty, refinement, and "staggering dependence" seduced him, and he made Louis into a vampire. Louis's anger and resentment strained their relationship until he made Claudia, both to see what would happen when the dark gift was given to a child and to keep Louis with him. It was true. He wanted to keep Louis with him. He loved him so much. He also performed the act in an attempt to feel like God, for he was creating another being in his own image. He enjoyed the little "family" he had created, but Louis and Claudia viewed him with fear and mistrust.

This was that misunderstanding. If they could understand him or Lestat could let them know his history and reveal his knowledge, there would be no such a tragedy. Or would it still end up in this way? He was killed by his ego.

After an uneasy bond that lasted sixty-five years, his two fledglings decided to seek their freedom and rise up against him. After the attack, he was considerably weakened and his injuries only increased when he sought out Armand to help him. Nursing nearly a century's worth of bitterness for having his life dismantled and for having been rejected, Armand pushed Lestat off a tower. He also used Lestat to help destroying Claudia so that Armand could have Louis for himself.

Selfish! What a squalor!

Lestat finally took refuge in a house in New Orleans, where he lived off the blood of animals. In 1929, he went into the ground for the second time to allow his battered body to heal.

That’s not only for the physical injuries but also the heartbreak.

But he was woken after fifty-five years by Louis’ book and the movie, Interview with the Vampire. And he wanted to see what would happen if he lived with a human. This had not been tried for any vampires before.

I was being put into a test, just like Claudia.

But it was out of control, he couldn’t help loving me. I was brave and arrogant. He felt like I was the shadow to him. No human could resist him. And no human dared to challenge him. I did it both to him. And my elaboration, he was touched and melted. He was warmed not by my blood but by my care. He was eager for my love.

But I was also Louis II.

Louis II? That was the name he gave to me?

Louis and I were of the same kind. I was his twin sister, with much worse character than Louis’s. Louis only sank in his sufferings but I would take action. However, I was also better than him if I could have my rationality. But if it was destroyed, I was a bomb to myself. The emotion, the fluctuation and the sensitivity would make me exploded. I had the powers of construction and destruction. The powers inside me were easily out of control, just like to see which side of them won. His felt love and hate for me. Hate of being ignored of his love. Hate of feeling my love to Louis. Hate of being overpowered. But he was seduced.

Seduced? I just felt terrible of my character.

He had quoted all the details of our living in the book. About the drawings. He had said that I had misunderstood him of refusing to draw because he didn’t want to recall the painful memories. He was not like Louis. He won’t escape from the memories. He refused to draw just was because he did know my love to Louis from the beginning. He knew it while I still didn’t feel it.

Yes, he was the mind-reader. Nothing could be hidden from him.

He didn’t want to do it because he didn’t want to consolidate my love to Louis. He knew I didn’t love him. He felt much more painful when I loved Louis even compared to Claudia stabbed the knife into his heart while Louis was watching aside a century ago.

But he could do nothing but only keep his love to me. He was surprised of himself could resist the lust. His love to me was greater than the lust I had given to him. When he saw my blood, the only thing in his mind was I couldn’t die, he couldn’t continue his life without me. He was so afraid that he would lose me. He had to protect me from all harms, even he knew I didn’t love him. He realized his love to me was so deep that he could fight against his nature. He could overcome it. Nobody had made him to do such a thing since he was born.

But Lestat still loved Louis. He confessed. But he hated his misunderstanding. He needed to counter his unfair judgement. He had to voice out the feelings deep down in his heart.

But I had already explained to Louis. There was no need for him to publish all these things to the world.

And he said in the book, this great idea was inspired by our conversation about the origin. He was so impressed of my point of view. He agreed the secret tale told by Marius should not be kept. All of his kind should know it. That’s the source of them. He didn’t know why they had existed. Were they the jury appointed from the God? Were they fallen angels? Were they the children of darkness? He still doubted for the meaning for his dark life. Only to kill? But he knew he must share the tale of “Those Who Must be Kept” to his kind. He wanted to see if any other vampires knew the meaning. And they had the Father and the Mother. They were in a great family. They had the right to know it. They had the connection and should be together. Moreover, he wanted to wake the Father and the Mother up. They should wake up and see who their children were. And he wanted to know why they had slept for so long and see what they would do after their long sleep.

And he had to declare his existence to the world. He wanted to be known. He won’t hide again. Why must he hide? He won’t hide the dark secret to the mortals anymore. He thought even the mortals should know all about his kind. They had their rights also, just like his kind. Both human and vampires lived together in this world. They should know that vampires fed on human. He thought if the human had the power, they should even fight against his kind if the vampires should not exist. Or being in the war, it would bring the meaning for his life.

He allowed all the creatures in this world, mortals or immortals to fight against him. Come out and come out. He won’t be frightened. He would wait for them. And the incentive to perform his idea was from me. He knew thoroughly that I would never be his kind. I would not give my permission. He knew I would die in one day. He knew he would lose me, which he couldn’t stand for. He knew he would die with my death. He wanted to have an answer. Would there be any return? Must it end like this? Would the Father and the Mother tell him what he could do for it? He would do it if anyone in this world, no matter it would be the mortal or the immortal, would tell him the answer. He was eager for the answer. He did it for the answer. If there was no answer or no return in this world, he wanted to end this if someone could do it. He did it for me.

I was shaking and I couldn’t help but just weeping. He hurt me just like cut my heart with a knife. How dare he did such a thing? Yes, he needed to tell the tale but he should not do it in this way. Didn’t know what was danger? I couldn’t imagine the fight and his death. Why did he do it for me? Didn’t die if I passed away, didn’t like Louis died with the death of Claudia. I didn’t deserve for it. Why? Lestat, told me why?

His great idea. He would become a rock star. Publishing the book and releasing the album. The album. I ran it.

Louis II

Louis Louis
What you meant for me
Not blood
Not lust
But my life
I see light in your eyes
I see dreams in your eyes
Warmth and sunshine
Kiss me
And love me
Close your eyes
In my arms
Human
I promise
And never be harmed

The lyrics were so touching. His voice was full of love. His angel voice again. That’s the dedicated gift, his promise and his love for me. His love was so deep, even there was no giving from me at all. Yes, I really owed him. How could he stand for it? Sorry. He loved me while I had hurt him so much. But I didn’t want to lose him. He also meant a lot to me. He lived in my heart. He was part of me now. I knew I couldn’t stand for the loss of any my love ones no longer.

Not Meant For Me

You think you're smart
You're not, it's plain to see
That you want me to fall off
It's killing me let's see
You've got the gall
Come take it all
The jury is coming
Coming to tear me apart
All this bitching and moaning
Come on it's on
I'm trapped in this world
Lonely and fading
Heartbroke and waiting
For you to come
We are stuck in this world
That's not meant for me
For me

His voice was appealing to the world. I could feel his heart bleeding. He was trapped and nobody could liberate him and his kind. He wanted a god or even a devil. He had been searching for them since he was born to darkness. But no heaven and no hell, human world was the only shelter for him. This human world only gave him the despair and the darkness. He couldn’t find the meaning of his existence after all.

Forsaken

I'm over it
You see I'm falling in the fast abyss
Clouded by memories of the past
At last I see
I hear it fading, I can't speak it
Oh yes you will take my grave
You feeling, finding, always whining
Take my hand now be alive
You see I cannot be forsaken
Because I'm not the only one
We walk amongst you feeding, raping
Must we hide from everyone?

He really hated for the hiding. That’s why he had destroyed Armand’s Coven and performed in the theatre. He wanted to walk with humans. He wanted to talk to them. He wanted to touch them. He wanted to be with them. He wanted to be a human again. He desired for the love. That’s why he had chosen me and expected me to give him all he dreamt of.

System

You fell away, what more can I say?
The feelings evolved, I won't let it out
I can't replace your screaming face
Feeling the sickness inside
Why won't you die?
Your blood in mine
We'll be fine
Then your body will be mine
So many words can't describe my face
This feelings evolved, so soon to break out
I can't relate to a happy state
Feeling the blood run inside
Why is everything so fucking hard for me?
Keep me down to what you think I should be
Must you tempt me and provoke the ministry?
Keep on trying I'm not dying so easily
I will not die

Why could he be so proud of himself that nobody could kill him? The human couldn’t do it, but how about his kind? One vampire couldn’t, two, might be three. How could he fight against? He wanted to die. Did he aim at ending his life as he woke up from his long sleep? He wanted to change for his destiny even the change was death. He was willing to do it at any cost.

Slept So Long

Walking
waiting
alone without a care
hoping and hating
with things I can't bare
did you think it's cool to walk right up to so save my life
and fuck it up
well did you
I see hell in your eyes
taken in by surprise
touching you makes me feel alive
touching you makes me die inside
I've slept so long without you
it's tearing me apart till
how to get this far playing games
with fist held cards
I've killed a million pity souls
But I can kill you

I couldn’t imagine his living for more than two hundred years like this. He was so contradicting just like me. Touching us made him feel alive, touching us made him die inside. He had killed a million pity souls and kept on going until the end of time. Time was meaningless to them. They would not have the sense of it just like the human always kept in mind. We worked hard for everything because we knew we were limited to our deaths. That’s why we treasure everything because we knew we would die. Our meaning to live was measured with time but that’s the thing that they would never have. Once they sensed it, they would not stand for it and would end their lives. Lestat, please didn’t do it.

Cold

We kiss
The Stars
We writhe
We are
Your name
Desire
Your flesh
We are
Cold
We're so cold
Your mouth
This words
Silence
It turns
Humming
We laugh
My head
Falls back

I was sitting still with my knees close to my heart in a corner of my studio. I hide my face in them. I didn’t know how long I had sat like this. I tried my best to tell me in my mind that it was a nightmare only. I had to wake up. I didn’t want anything to let me realize it was real.

I was so scared. I did know what would happen. These songs. Yes, he was not hiding. The world would know his existence. He declared a war!

I was crying.

"Don’t cry.” Lestat was here in the room. It was his angel voice again. “You have read the book and heard the album at last.” He walked towards me and held me tight with his arms where I sat. “You have been here for a week already.”

"You didn’t mean to do it, right?" I couldn’t put these in words, I couldn’t find my voice. "The booked has been already published today and the album has been released for a week. My MTVs are in every music channels night and day. Concert will be held at San Francisco three weeks later.” I couldn’t breathe when I heard his words. “You were killing yourself!” I was screaming in my mind. "No, I will be fine.” His voice was peaceful. “Don’t be arrogant now. You know what will happen! You are not only telling your story like Louis, but also showing your face! You’ve gone too far.” I was out of control now. “Don’t worry. I can handle it.” “How? How can you fight for your kind? You may win for those young vampires, but how about the old ones? You don’t know how many vampires are out there. And Marius? You have broken the promise.” “Marius will not hurt me. But I really want to see him. I miss him and so for other vampires. It is a good chance to meet them.” His hand was over my back and wanted to soothe me. “No use. You only can soothe me unless you stop your declaration. What can stop you? What do you really want?” My voice was fainted. “It’s too late now.” I was stunned.

Yes, it was too late now.

I sighed.

"You should know I do it for you. You should know nobody can stop this. You should know I can’t be contented if I don’t do it. I want to change my destiny. I want to change our ending and the ending for you and Louis. It can be a happy ending.” “You have no need to worry about me. I don’t care what the ending between him and me. But the most thing I care now is your safety!” His face was next to mine now. “I love you.” He said to me softly. He kissed my eyes. “I know. I know it clearly. Lestat, you should know I can’t lose you either. You mean a lot to me.” “Then, will you be with me?” My eyes still felt his kiss and I heard my sigh. “Yes. I will support you whatever it will happen. I will be at your side always.”

***

The Vampire Lestat was in the city! Everywhere, discos, pubs, radio, TV showed his face and voice. His album had been sold 4 million copies just for two weeks. The book was out of stock.

Louis came. It was the second gathering. “You are still so reckless!” He said to Lestat angrily but Lestat just stared at him with smile. “You want to kill yourself.” Louis’s voice fluctuated. “No, you are wrong. I love my life and love it much more than ever.” Lestat put his eyes on me and answered with a calmed voice. “But you expose yourself to such a danger!” The answer couldn’t calm Louis a little bit. “Louis, your anger makes me excited. You are still care for me so much after these years. But don’t you feel you only can live forever if you are always in danger? Adventures make you feel alive. And you only can understand yourself and your power through them. Don’t you want to know what will happen? Don’t you want to meet Those Who Must Be Kept and the old ones? We should have a gathering for our great family.”

It’s the testing again. And Lestat still was Lestat. He was the precursor always. But his act really made Louis and I worry.

"But you’ve declared a war! It’s a war that you can’t win. Lestat, this time is different to your past adventures. All creatures in this world are your enemies now.” His voice was shaking. “How do you know I can’t win? You can’t say that if you haven’t tried. That’s all what I want. I can’t sit here and wait for the concert. I really want it to be held by tomorrow. I can proof it to you. And how many creatures will be my enemies is not important to me but the most important is that only you and Jen can be with me. I want you to understand, Louis. I want you to understand what you haven’t understood for centuries.” Both of their eyes were full of sorrow now. There were tears in Lestat’s eyes and Louis was stunned when seeing it. I knew Lestat had seldom shown his tears. “Don’t you understand, my beloved Louis?” And they held each other.

They were together after a century at last. That’s what I wanted.

I smiled to them.

“But how can you not care about Jen? You’ve put her into danger now!” Lestat was astonished apparently. “Everyone wants to see her now. Who’s Jen? Who’s Louis II? What does she look like? Who can make you such a supernatural one giving your love and resisting the lust? What is her charm? You can read it from the mind of your fans.” Lestat was looking at me and said. “I just want to show to the world about my love to her. And I want her to know she is not abandoned.” Lestat refuted. “Lestat.” His words touched my heart. “Don’t just think of what you want. You should also consider her safety. She is only a human. No strength, no power. She can easily be destroyed by our kind! You should know out there must be a lot of your enemies want to destroy you! You’ve revealed your and their secrets to the world. They may be not strong enough to kill you but they must do something to defeat you by killing the one you most love. You may be more powerful than your enemies. You may win the war. But you may lose your little mortal lover. How can you protect her while you are fighting with other vampires? You still don’t know how many your enemies are.” “I am not scared!” I interrupted them.

“Jen and Lestat, don’t be so naive. Both of you are in danger, so am I. Danger will come to those who support his stupid act.” “Yes, it’s true.” Lestat whispered. “You should cancel your plan.” Louis was pleading. “But it is too late already. Everything is made known.” Lestat sighed. “Then, change those parts which Jen has been involved. She should be hidden. We should do as mostly as we can.” I put my hands on Lestat’s. “I’m really not scared. Don’t worry. Just do what you want.” He touched my face. “No. I should protect you. Nobody can harm you as I’ve promised.”

Then, the second edition of the book and the album came with my name hidden.

But would it be too late?

***

The concert would be held tomorrow night. We were in Camel Valley now. Louis and I were nervous. But Lestat seemed to be very excited. I couldn’t sleep well at these nights.

"Why don’t you say a word tonight? I know you are not feeling well these nights. You should see a doctor.” Lestat said to me. I gave him a smile unnaturally. “I’m alright. Wait. I have a present for you.” I put a gift box out of my pocket and gave it to him. “For you.” He looked at it for a while. “I’ve seldom received presents. What’s that?” He said while opening the box. He took a hand-band out of it. “I’ve twined for you. I have worked for several days. It is from a Japanese legend. Once you put it on, it brings you happiness and luck. I’ve also twined the first letter of your name and mine on it. That means it is the blessing to Lestat from Jen.” I put it on his left wrist. He was touched obviously. I could tell by his face. He embraced me while he was shaking. “You have to control yourself. I just try my best to make you happy. You were my treasure one. You should know how much I have worried about you. I don’t know what I can help you. I don’t know what I can do for you. I just want you to be safe. I just want you to be alive. I am so scared that you will not come back after your concert.” My tears rose. This time was me couldn’t control myself. “I love you. I know and I do know. Don’t worry about me. I just want to hold you tight in my arms now.” He said to me softly. I let him to do it. But I coughed suddenly. At the same time, Louis entered the room and Lestat stopped his embrace after he had seen him.

Why did he stop it? Actually, I loved it since his first embrace. It could soothe me from my sufferings. It could let me rest in a halcyon place and let my wounds recover. I still could feel warm no matter how cold his skin was. It had a miracle power to me. Each time he stopped it, I was just like in a mist. And I needed sometime to get rid of it. I knew I was to a certain extent addicted to it.

And now I saw there were two vampires standing in front of me. How many times had I wondered if this was real or not? Did I love Louis? Did Louis still love Claudia? Did Lestat love me? And did I love Lestat? What’s love? I wasn’t sure. I should have no doubt for my love to Louis. But how about for Lestat? Sometimes, I was confused. I just knew I couldn’t be apart from him. I wanted to live with him. I always felt warm and safe when we were together. But why did I have same feeling and same desire for both of them at the same time? I was lost at this moment. Or saying more exactly, I hadn’t had my thoughts clearly after I had met them.

Yet I was very sure for the feeling I had now. I felt the sadness and it was growing in my heart in these days. I was almost collapsed and I just wanted to cry at present. I didn’t know why. A strange thought appeared in my mind. It must be wonderful if they were not vampires. What would it be if they were not a vampire? We could live together and share everything until we died. We could see us getting old and jest for the wrinkles. It should be good. Why did I think in this way? And why was I so scared that I couldn’t see them anymore? But they were still vampires and nothing could change it. We had to be apart!

"You should have more rest. You don’t look good.” Louis broke my thoughts. I sneezed also, feeling tired. It had been three days already and getting worse. “I just can’t sleep at night. I really worry about both of you.” I couldn’t control for the drivel coming out. Louis gave me a tissue. Lestat was just looking at me dealing with it. “Don’t look at me in this way just like studying a monster.” Lestat smiled. “I haven’t experienced this for more than two centuries. How can I control myself not watching it? You should know no disease can be found in us.” “That’s your luck then.” I knew I had spoken for wrong words. “Sorry.” “It’s ok. Nothing can change it unless I die.” “Don’t say such a word, please!” I pleaded. “Don’t you know how much I worry?” I coughed again. “Hey, take it easy! Trust my power.” The confidence was always on his face. “Yes, it’s no good for you to worry now. Take it easy and have some rest.” Louis agreed to Lestat. I sighed. They had this night just as normal. I wanted to talk with them all the night. But I just felt dizzy. “The red-haired twins and the feast.” I heard them said. I was sleepy but I only wanted to stay awake. However, I still fell asleep finally.

Mum! Dad! Wait! Didn’t leave me! Wait for me! It’s me! Your daughter! I wanted to hold them but they vanished. Suddenly there were three doors around me. All were close. I knew I could see them if I chose the right one. But which one was correct? I opened one randomly. It was a house that I had never seen. It was small and simple with a white sofa in the living room and a set of table and chairs in the dinning room. The sunlight outside made the house very bright. Although it was small, I liked it because I could feel extraordinary warm from it. I had an unknown feeling to it. I didn’t know why. I looked around but there was nobody in the house. I knew I had to continue my searching, I left it as soon as possible though I really wanted to stay in here.

I opened the door that was at the right to my exit. It was the chapel that I had used to pray. Many children were standing in front of me and singing a hymn. I knelt down and prayed to Jesus Christ. “Please bring my parents back. I beg you. The only one God in this world, please shows your mercy to me. I promise for everything if you let me see them again. Please!” A hand touched my shoulder. As I opened my eyes, I found nobody there. And the chapel became very dark and no light at all. I was scared. Where was the statue? Where was the cross? Where was I? Sister Doris! Came and helped me! Mum! Dad! What had I done? Yes, they were angry with me. Come back. I would be obedient. Come back to me. I needed them all. I loved them all. Didn’t abandon me! But I only could find the feelings of loneliness, darkness, silence and death with me.

Again. Weeping. I found myself lying on the sofa with my head on Lestat’s knees. I was shaking. His hand was caressing my face. Warm. I embraced him tightly. “Lestat, where are they? I can’t find them no matter how hard I’ve tried. Why must they leave me? And you? Will you also leave me? Don’t leave me. I don’t want to be alone in the dark. That feeling scares me.” I was crying. “My love, I will never leave you.” He wiped my tears by his white fingers.

“My mum and dad were dead because of me. It’s me brought death to them. I’ve killed them.” “No, you haven’t.” His voice was soft. “Yes, I have. If I hadn’t dropped the doll, I would not almost hit by a car. Then, my Mum would not save me and hit by that car. My Dad would not kill himself after my Mum’s death. And I would not become an orphan. We could live together happily. We could be like the family I had seen on that beach.” The guilt grew again in my heart. In these years, I had focused on my studying in order to suppress this feeling. But now it was out of control. “It’s not your fault.” “Yes, it is. It is my fault!” I cried again. He kissed my tears on my cheek.

“If your Mum didn’t love you, you had died. If your Dad didn’t love your Mum, he would not suicide. If he didn’t love you, he would not want you to go with him. If you didn’t love them, you would not feel guilty now. For the sake of their loves to you, you must live and love yourself. For the sake of your love to them, you must forgive yourself and forget the past. That’s your fate. You have been rescued by your neighbour. You haven’t died with your Dad. You are ordained to continue your life. The God loves them, so he brings them with him. The God loves you, so he lets you be alive.” “But why doesn’t he bring me with him?” I didn’t understand. “It is so simple. Because your parents love you and want you to live.” “Really?” I still questioned. “Whatever what will happen, promise me, keep your life.” Lestat said to me with tears in his eyes. “Then, you should also promise me you will not die. I want to explore my life with you. Promise me. I love you, Lestat.” I kissed him on his lips.

Yes, I loved him. He was so important to me now. I couldn’t lose him. I wanted to be with him.

He kissed me also.

His kiss gave me the light in the dark. The feeling was just like flying to the moon and touching the stars. Everything was so small to see. The darkness was fading. I didn’t scare anymore. The light from the moon and the stars were so beautiful. They were winking and smiling to me. I hadn’t seen for such a beauty before. He gave me the replenishing power. Nothing could draw my attention at this moment. Was it real? And danger? I didn’t know and it didn’t matter. I had forgot he was a vampire. I had forgot he only brought deaths. The only thing I knew was I loved him. I had no doubt about it now. I wanted to be like this forever. He was with me. He was in my heart. He made me warm. If he sucked my blood now, I would let him do it. And I was even willing to die in his arms.

"I love you. I promise I will not die.” He gave me the promise again.

***

It was the night. I still felt not well but it’s time to go for the concert. I found them in the living room. Both of them were staring at me while I was entering the room. “It’s time to go.” I said to them. “You should rest. You are so ill and so pale.” Louis said to me. “No. I’m fine.” I lied. “No. You should stay here.” Lestat said without looking me. “Are you kidding? I must go with you.” I said to Lestat. “You can’t go with me. You will be safe here.” He hid from our eye contact. “I must be with you. I can’t let you go by yourself!” I insisted with my hoarse voice. “It’s too dangerous for you.” He put his back on me this time. “Jen, you should stay here. Lestat will be distracted if you are with him. Both of you will be in danger.” Louis said softly. “But I can’t stand for it. I can’t be apart from you.” My voice broke and I looked at Lestat with tears. “You should understand.” Louis said to me again.

I understood but I had to be with him no matter what would happen. I was not scared of the danger but I was so scared that he would die! But I was the burden to him. Louis said the truth. I couldn’t burden him. I had no strong physical strength. I had no supernatural powers. I only could support him with my love and wait for him here silently.

"Yes, I understand, Louis.” I said unwillingly. “You must keep your promise.” Lestat nodded. “I will be fine as I have your blessing always.” He waved his left wrist to me. “Lestat, you must call me once you’ve reached a safe place. I will wait for you.” “And Louis, take care.” I kissed them goodbye and watched them leaving till I couldn’t see their shadows.

Be careful.

I just sat still on the sofa. Nothing could be functioned properly. I had the phone in my hand. I grasped it just like the way my Mum grasped my doll. I switched on the television. There would be a live broadcast of his concert. I could see his face. I could watch his performance. I could know if he was safe.

I loved him.

It was almost ten. Many people were in the auditorium. Very crowded. Teenagers in Halloween costume poured through the front door. Whiteface everywhere, painted eyes and mouths. They dressed like the traditional vampires in the movies. Some even had fake bloodstains on their faces and lips. Excitement could be found on everyone’s face. Some were crazy in dancing and some screamed in front of the camera. The camera now focused on a vampire man sucking blood from a woman. Of course, it was a little act only. These were his fans and I could read their madness from their expressions and exaggerated movements.

How did he feel when he knew so many fans waiting for him? One of his dreams was to be a great actor. And now he could do it on the stage. Yes, he could do those he could not do in his mortal life now. But had their kind scattered in the auditorium already? There must be some inside the crowd. I couldn’t identify them since most of them had their make-up. And how many would be Lestat’s friends and how many would be his enemies?

Here he came.

I felt my heartbeats.

He was at the fiery white square of the stage. Behold the devil dance and sang with such obvious joy. His powerful tenor needed no electric amplification. His giant face expanded on the video screen as the camera moved in upon it. His blue eyes fixed upon me and winked.

I AM THE VAMPIRE LESTAT!
YOUR ARE HERE FOR THE GRAND SABBAT
BUT I PITY YOU YOUR LOT
WHY DON’T YOU KILL ME!
YOU KNOW WHAT I AM!
YOU CAN’T RESIST THE LORDS OF NIGHT
THEY HAVE NO MERCY ON YOUR PLIGHT
IN YOUR FEAR THEY TAKE DELIGHT
YET IN LOVE, WE WILL TAKE YOU
AND IN RAPTURE, WE’LL BREAK YOU
AND IN DEATH WE’LL RELEASE YOU
NO ONE CAN SAY
YOU WERE NOT WARNED

His laughter rose above the twanging scream of the guitars.

Ah, such a belief in goodness, in heroism.

DON’T YOU KNOW EVIL. WHEN YOU SEE IT?

In the flashing lights, he leapt high into the air and came down on the boards. His guitar players pranced around him like imps. The blood ran in tiny rivulets down his white face, as if from Christ’s Crown of Thorns, his long blond hair flying out as he turned full circle, his hand ripping at his shirt, tearing it open down his chest, the black tie loose and falling. His pale crystalline blue eyes were glazed and shot with blood as he screamed the unimportant lyrics.

How he loved it! There was not the slightest pretense. He was bathed in the adoration he was receiving. He was soaking it up as if it were blood.

And now as he went into the frenzied opening of another song, he ripped off the black velvet cloak, gave it a great twirl, and sent it flying into the audience. The crowd wailed, shifted. There was a long-curly-red-hair lady ran right towards the dancing figure. She was a delicate woman of thirty something.

Who was she? A vampire? His enemy?

I was sweating. She threw her full weight at him. Shutting her eyes, she locked her arms around his waist. Her left and went up, and caught a think tangle of his hair. He smiled down at her, saw the poreless gleaming white skin and the tiny fang teeth. His arm was around her, and then he lifted her on his hip, swinging her in a circle. And then as he set her down and bowed his head, his hair falling against her cheek, his mouth closed on hers. “Beautiful Jesse!” Lestat said, his hand lifted as if in farewell. She was carried backwards away from him, off the stage.

She was a human. His fans only.

I felt my relief.

I AM EVIL! EVIL!
I WANT TO DRINK UP YOUR SOULS!
CHILDREN OF DARKNESS
MEET THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT
CHILDREN OF MAN
FIGHT THE CHILDREN OF NIGHT
"ALL YOU REAL VAMPIRE OUT THERE,” he shouted. “REVEAL YOURSELVES!”

I couldn’t breathe. I was shaking and my heart was skipping. He was calling his enemies.

AKASHA AND ENKIL
WE ARE YOUR CHILDREN
BUT WHAT DO YOU GIVE US?
IS YOUR SILENCE
A BETTER GIFT THAN TRUTH?
MOTHER AND FATHER
KEEP YOUR SILENCE
KEEP YOUR SECRETS
BUT THOSE OF YOU WITH TONGUES
SING MY SONG
SONS AND DAUGHTERS
CHILDREN OF DARKNESS
RAISE YOUR VOICES
MAKE A CHORUS
LET HEAVEN HEAR US
COME TOGETHER
BROTHER AND SISTERS
COME TO ME

For three solid hours he danced, he sang, the band beat the hell out of the metallic instruments. Unbroken screaming, like fifteen thousand drunks on the town, right up to the final moments, when it was the ballad from the last clip, Age of Innocence. One mellow spot hit the place where he stood, his clothes streaked with blood sweat, his hair wet with it and tangled, the cape dangling from on shoulder. Into a great yawning mouth of rapt and drunken attention he raised his voice slowly, letting each phrase became clear:

THIS IS THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
TRUE INNOCENCE
ALL YOUR DEMONS ARE VISIBLE
ALL YOUR DEMONS ARE MATERIAL
CALL THEM PAIN
CALL THEM HUNGER
CALL THEM WAR
MYTHIC EVIL YOU DON’T NEED ANYMORE
DRIVE OUT THE VAMPIRES AND THE DEVILS
WITH THE GODS YOU NO LONGER ADORE
REMEMBER:
THE MAN WITH THE FANGS WEARS A CLOAK
WHAT PASSED FOR CHARM
IS A CHARM
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU SEE
WHEN YOU SEE ME!
KILL US, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS
THE WAR IS ON
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU SEE
WHEN YOU SEE ME

He closed his eyes on the rising walls of applause. It was finished and it had been one o’clock already.

However I knew it was the beginning only. I only could do is to wait here patiently. But with nervous and anxious, I was still sweating and shaking.

I looked at my phone.

I knew he would keep his promise. I was waiting for him.

Time went by slowly but it was five now. It rang at last.

"Yes, Lestat!” I answered it at once. “Sorry, let you wait for so long. I am safe. Louis is here and my Gabrielle, my mother.” I had no words but weeping. “I am safe! We are safe! Don’t worry anymore. It is so exciting! I am simply too happy to see Gabrielle.” He paused a second and continued. “I am in somewhere that’s safe for us. I couldn’t meet you tonight. Dawn is coming. We will be together again tomorrow night. I will have you in my arms. Much to share with you. I must tell you all about it. But the most thing I want now is to hear your beautiful voice.” “I love you.” These were the words I only could say. “I love you too. I’m really fine. Don’t worry anymore. I am in my hidden underground crypt now. You should go for your sleep now as I do.” “I’m fine. I just can’t wait the night to come.” I paused. No answer. “Lestat?” No voice. “Lestat?” My heart was pumping hard.

“It’s time for you this little stupid girl to say goodbye to my prince.”

A woman’s voice. It was a noble tone.

"Lestat!” I was still screaming for his name. “Who are you?”

“Akasha.”

A name came out in my mind and the call had been cut.

That’s only the beginning. He had awoken the Queen, Those Who Must Be Kept, the origin. He was abducted by her. She revealed her name to me intentionally. She abducted my love. Where were Louis and Gabrielle? Were they safe? Did Akasha harm them? I had to find them. But where?

I called to Lestat’s mobile again and again in the evening. It was answered finally. “Lestat!” “No. Jen, I’m Louis.” “Louis! Are you ok? Where is he?” My voice was anxious. “I’m fine. I don’t know. I can’t find him. He has disappeared.” He worried. “It’s Akasha! She abducted him near dawn. She has told me her name in my mind! The Queen! Your kind, the origin!” I shouted. “We must save Lestat! Louis, you must help him!” My mind was in chaos totally. “I know, Khayman has said to me he saw Akasha taking him. You have to calm yourself.” His voice was soft. “Khayman?” I didn’t know who he was. “Yes, he is an old one, our kind.” He paused for a while and continued. “I will come to you with him and Gabrielle, wait for us.”

I couldn’t help holding him and crying when I saw Louis. “What should we do now? How to save Lestat?” “Calm down, Jen. We will have a meeting with our kind at Sonoma Compound to discuss about it. I believe Lestat will be fine. Don’t worry. He always can survive after all no matter what danger he has encountered. And your panic can’t help him a little bit.” “Yes, you are right.” I felt better after his speech and heard for his voice. “Nice to meet you, Louis II.” Khayman drew my attention. I looked at him.

Oh, it was a very pretty young male face. I thought he might be an Egyptian or a Turkish. Big black eyes with fine soft wrinkles at the corners and rather smooth lids. His mouth was a nice, smiling mouth. The nose was neat and finely made. And the eyebrows, they were very black and straight, not broken or brushy, and they were drawn high enough above his eyes so that he had an open expressive, a look of veiled wonder that others might trust. His skin was much whiter than Lestat and Louis. And I had never heard for his accent. It should be something ancient. Yes, he was an old one.

I looked at the woman. She should be Gabrielle, Lestat’s mortal mother.

Calm and cold. But she was beautiful. Her eyes were like two crystal orbs gathering the light. Her face was white and perfectly smooth. There were tiny laugh lines at the edge of each eye, and a very tiny crease on either side of her mouth. Her lips were the softest shade of pink. She tied up her hair at the back. She gave me the impression of strong and independent.

“Nice to meet you Khayman and Gabrielle.” I said. “We have no time.” Gabrielle said coldly. “Let’s go then.” Khayman agreed.

***

We arrived at Sonoma Compound. It was a great place. The compound itself was unbelievable. It was at the end of an impossible unpaved road, to begin with; and its back rooms had been dug out of the mountain, as if by enormous machines, then there were the roof timbers. They might be primeval redwood. They must have been twelve feet in girth. And the adobe walls, positively ancient. There were ancient artifacts all around. The place was magnificent. A vampire meeting would be held here soon.

I had once not believed in vampires but now I would join their meeting here. Was I dreaming? I could meet not only Lestat and Louis, but also another vampires. How many were they in this world? How did they come into their existence? Had Akasha once a human? How did she transform from human into vampire? What should I do if they would not agree to save Lestat? What should I do if they have to destroy Lestat because he had broken the rules of their dark world?

I was troubled by these questions in my mind at the same time. I felt dizzy again. “Jen, you will get your answers in the meeting.” A red-haired woman said to me with smile. “I’m Maharet. The meeting will begin when all have come. You should have a rest first. You are so sick.”

A beautiful face with a warm smile. She was a tall and thin yet statuesque woman with a tiny waist. Her face had an Oriental artifice, saved for the remarkable intensity of the green eyes and the thick curly red hair pouring down over the shoulders. She was the owner of this place. Her colour was as white as Khayman. She should be an old one also. I could feel she was wise by her face and she must know the history. She might know where Lestat was.

"Is he in danger now and where is he?” I asked with anxiety. “He is still alive. I can feel it.” “Why did she abduct him? Will she harm him?” She took my hand. “Nobody knows. But don’t worry. We will help him.”

Helped him? She was his friend, not enemy.

I smiled to her with gratitude.

I needed to calm myself. I know my chaos would do no good to Lestat. I had to wait for all the vampires patiently. Maharet brought us to a large room with a long table in the middle. We settled here and had a short rest.

Louis looked at me. He had got a question in his mind. I could read it by his expression. “Yes?” I asked him. “Have you said that Akasha told you her name in your mind?” “Yes. Why asking this question?” “Nothing.” He answered. “He wonders why Akasha lets you know her name intentionally. He worries if she will harm you.” Khayman interrupted. Louis walked to the window. “She should have some meaning to abduct Lestat. Not for any harm. If she wants to kill him, she can do it once she has met him, just like the destroy I have seen before the concert. But she hasn’t done it to Lestat.” Khayman said. “Do you mean she has killed your kind?” I asked. “Yes, I have witnessed for it. She set them in flames.” “Flames?” I was shocked. “Just set them in flames by her mind. They couldn’t fight against and were burnt alive. Gabrielle and Louis have seen it after the concert.” I looked at Louis’s back. “Then, do you mean Lestat will be fine even he is with Akasha?” Gabrielle joined our conversation. “You should have got your answer in your mind already. She has even helped him from being harmed by his enemies after the concert. You have seen it.” “But why?” I didn’t understand. However, our conversation had been disturbed.

Here they came. The vampires. Armand, Daniel, Pandora, Marius, Mael, Eric, Santino. They should be the old ones, at least they were older than Lestat, except Daniel. Maharet introduced them to me in my mind.

Pandora, beautiful, brown-eyed. She was tall, cold and strong. She had dark brown hair. Mael, easily out of control. He was a tall overpowering man with long wavy blond hair and deep-set blue eyes. He worn a large pair of gold-rimmed blue-tinted glasses. Eric, was a youthful one but very emotional and depressed. Santino, a silence one with fine, neatly trimmed black hair. He should be an Italian.

No conversations to them, but they looked at me with a smile. No hostility.

"You are Louis II, the mortal!” Daniel said to me. He was thirty or something, wearing glasses. I just like a monster in his eyes. “My name is Jen.” Actually, I didn’t like the name Lestat had given me. “I know. I’ve read the original version. I want to meet you after I have read the book. And I know I will meet you in one day. Yes, you are so charming. Your eyes, your hair and your lips. The dark-hair angel.” He wanted to touch me but I blocked his hand by mine. He smiled. “You are always so challenging and with confidence. Lestat’s love.”

He was always impulsive and direct. He was the reporter. He was a tall, slender young man, with ashen hair and violet eyes. He had a youthful face. Who had made him into a vampire? Not Louis. He was still a human when he had the interview with Louis. But I thought he enjoyed being a vampire.

"Hi, Louis, long time haven’t seen you. Your book and the movie have a great success. I have contributed to the book so much. You should praise me for my hard work.” Louis smiled bitterly to him.

Armand, a squalor and a selfish one with boyish face. He had incited the vampires to kill Claudia and he had refused to give the healing blood to Lestat after he had badly wounded. Yet, he was beautiful and just like an innocent. His large dark brown eyes were filled with a vibrant light. And the expression on his face was so loving. There were tiny fine lines in his lips. He had auburn hair.

He was studying at me. I didn’t know what he felt about me but I knew he could feel my negative attitude to him by reading my face. But I didn’t care. I didn’t care about Lestat’s enemies. But I was shocked when Louis was holding him with his arms so friendly, just like two old friends hadn’t met for a long time. I didn’t understand.

And Marius, the impression he gave me was kind and wise. He looked like a philosopher and a teacher. His Iridescent eyes gathering the light from all directions. His tiny eyelashes were like strokes of gold from the finest pen. His hair was thick, white and gold strands mingled in waves fallen loosely around his face, and over his broad forehead. And his blue eyes might have been brooding under their heavy golden brows had they not been so large, so softened. His square face with its slightly hollowed cheeks, its long full mouth, stamped with terrifying gentleness and peace.

I felt close to him, it was properly because of his kindness and the close relationship between him and Lestat. They loved each other, just like the father and the son. He gave Lestat for his knowledge. He would teach him everything if they were together. But would Marius kill him? Lestat had told to the world for the secret that he didn’t allowed.

"Don’t worry. I would not kill him although I really want to beat him up. He is the damnest creature in this world.” He smiled. I felt my relief after Marius said to me in my mind. "But you should be more careful. They all except Louis, Daniel and Jesse could read your mind effortlessly.” “I can’t control my thoughts. And I know I can’t seal it from you all. That’s your power that I can’t resist.” “The thoughts can kill you. You should protect yourself, especially from Akasha.” "I am not afraid of Akasha!” I said it loudly on purpose. Marius put his fingers on my lips. "You act as Lestat so much! So challenging! But don’t say or think about it, she can read.” My words drew the attention of all the vampires in the room.

Maharet entered the room again. One more red-haired woman was with her. She was the woman I had seen in the concert.

A vampire? She still was not the vampire last night. What had happened to her? Why had she made up her mind to live in this way? Was it really good? I didn’t think so.

"Here all the vampires left in this world, without being destroyed by Akasha.”

Destroyed by Akasha? Why did she do it? Then, how about Lestat? What was the purpose to abduct him? What had made her to wake up from her long sleep? How long had she slept?

"Let’s begin. We don’t have much time. We should start with the source of our race. The Legend of the Twins. All of your questions will be answered.” All of us sat at the long table and listened to Maharet patiently and with our highly concentration.

"My twin sister, Mekare, and I once had been witches in a Palestinian tribal culture during the reign of the Egyptian King Enkil and his queen, Akasha. We had lived in the caves of Mount Carmel. Our mother had been a powerful witch. In Mekare and me, it seemed her power had been doubled, as is often true with twins. That is, each of us was twice as power as our mother.”

“Mekare was the more powerful witch; the one born first; and the one who always took the lead in things; the one who spoke out immediately; the one who acted as the older sister, as one twin invariably does. And I who had always been quieter of disposition, and slower. Our powers allowed us to attract spirits. They would understand anything we said to them. We divided them as sorcerers had always done into the good and the evil; but there was no evidence that they themselves had a sense of right and wrong.”

"The good spirits could love, and wanted by and large to be loved as well. They would answer questions about the future; they would tell us what was happening in other, remote places; and for very powerful witches such as my sister and me, they would do their greatest and most taxing trick; they would make the rain.”

“The evil spirits were those who were openly hostile to human beings and who liked to play malicious tricks. Those who possessed humans were often evil spirits. The bad spirits envied us that we were fleshly and also spiritual, that we had the pleasures and powers of the physical while processing spiritual minds. The good spirits were useful; the bad spirits were dangerous and nerve-wracking. To invite them to hang about could be easily be out of control.”

“And we believed that the residue of all living things contains some tiny amount of power after the life itself is gone. The consumption of the flesh of our dead was in our view the proper way to treat the remains of those we loved. We took into ourselves the bodies of those who’d given us life, the bodies from which our bodies had come. And so a cycle was completed. And the scared remains of those we loved were saved from the awful horror of putrefaction within the earth, or from being devoured by wild beasts, or burnt as if they were fuel or refuse. The consumption of the flesh was our tradition. But never, never, we hunt men to eat their flesh!”

“Akasha brought the ban upon all cannibalism in the Nile Valley. Enkil decreed that all the bodies of the dead must be treated with unguents and wrapped up. But it did not matter to us, we were very far from the Nile Valley. And when our supernatural abilities attracted Akasha's attention, she invited us to come to her court so she could find out our secrets. But the invitation was rejected since my mother said that there would be a terrible evil come to us if we accepted it. This rejection angered Akasha.”

“Except that several nights later, an evil spirit came to us, one which we called Amel. Enormous, powerful and full of rancor and telling us that we might soon need his help. He could draw blood from humans; and he liked the taste of it; and he would draw blood for us. But we just neglected him and drew him away because both of us just felt his evil. My mother died after several months, we had our funeral feast to consume our mother’s flesh. But the soldiers of the King and Queen came and pulled us up and away, and we saw the sacred feast falling into the dirt! And they killed all the villagers.”

"Mekare called for her loved spirits to take revenge. But that were only good spirits, there was rain and wind could do no harm. Akasha punished us for being witches and flesh-eaters. It was a youthful belief that she could make the light shine if she tried; that she could shape the world to comfort herself; and it was also a lack of interest in the pain of others. She knew others felt pain, but well, she could not really dwell on it. Mekare was being tempted to call upon Amel to have a gambling on our lives. But Akasha subjected us to public rape by the court steward, Khayman. We were then freed. If we called Amel, she would put us to death. We had no choice. We wanted our lives. From my rape, I had a baby, Miriam.”

“Mekare and I settled in a village with my baby. Yet, later on we were brought back by Khayman to Egypt to witness how one of our spirits, Amel, had transformed Akasha and Enkil, who now reigned over their people during the night hours. Amel had taken revenge as Akasha despised on its power. Khayman wanted us to expel the spirits from Akasha and Enkil. He wanted to save his King and his Queen.”

“When Mekare and I explained to Akasha the truth about her new existence, that she was now an immortal vampire. And the only way to impel Amel out of her body, was to destroy her body. Our words angered her. Akasha imprisoned us, sentenced us to die, and had my eyes poked out, had cut Mekare’s tongue. Khayman was made as vampire because Enkil wanted to reduce the desire of blood by sharing the spirit with other human. As I lay in prison awaiting the execution, Khayman made my sister Mekare a vampire, who then passed the Dark Gift on to me, in order to give us the supernatural powers to fight against Akasha.”

“But when we attempted to flee, we were caught. Reluctant to endanger the spirit which now occupied us as well as herself, Akasha decided that the best course of action to take was to separate us from one another. Taken to the eastern shore of Egypt, I was sealed inside a stone coffin and set adrift. I remained in the floating coffin for ten days and nights until the coffin sank and the water that seeped through opened its lid. I spent the next few millennia in search of Mekare, borrowing the eyes of my human victims so that I could see. Yet I never found anyone with any knowledge of my lost sister.”

"I avoided Akasha until three millennia had passed, then went to view for myself how the king and queen had become living statues. A thousand years later, I located Akasha in Antioch in Marius's shrine. By plunging a dagger in her heart, I was able to ascertain the truth of my suspicion: that Akasha contained the life force of the vampires and must thus be protected, that was “Those Who Must be Kept”.

That’s the origin. Life force needed to be protected. That meant they had to protect Akasha! How about Lestat? Who would help him? Who would save him?

Maharet was looking at me. Gabrielle said, “Jen is right. How to save Lestat? Akasha has her strong power which has killed most of the vampires already. How to defeat Akasha without destroying ourselves?” I coughed as I was heated. Louis was holding my right hand. “You all must save him!” I coughed endlessly this time. Louis put his hand on my back to soothe me. All the vampires looked at me again. “I think it’s enough for this night. Dawn is coming. We should continue in the next night.” Maharet said to me softly. “You should really take a good rest tonight. You can’t save Lestat with your disease. Doctor will wait for you in the morning.”

Louis brought me into my room. “Have a good sleep tonight. I really worry about you. Don’t hurt those who love you. It’s you telling me this.” I was crying. “They don’t care for him.” “No. You are wrong. They love Lestat. At least, I know Gabrielle, Armand, Marius and I will try our best to save him.” “Armand? He is his enemy.” “No, I’m sure. He hates him but loves him also. Although Lestat ruined his coven and didn’t allow him to join his adventure, Armand can’t help loving him.” “But Akasha is so strong…….” “I don’t care. I must save him even I will be destroyed!”

The destroy again.

It made my heart being torn. “I don’t want to lose either you or him.” He held me. The first time he held me in his arms. I was shocked. “Promise me, don’t think about it now. Sleep well tonight.” He held my hand until I had fallen asleep.

***

The next day, the doctor had been waiting for me in the morning.

Yes, I needed the doctor and the medicine. My disease was no use to save Lestat.

I took the medicine and felt drowsy and tired all the day. I had slept for a long time until late afternoon. I didn’t want to sleep again since I knew they would come soon and begin our second meeting. I had nothing to do but just waited for them. I switched on the television. I was shocked once I watched it. “Mass hysteria in Sri Lanka. Women killing men. Even male babies murdered. On the island of Lynkonos there had been mass hallucinations and an epidemic of unexplained deaths.”

Corpses everywhere? Special news program was in every channel. Was it an illusion after I had taken the medicine? What had happened? It’s terrifying! I was shaking and shivering. A murder! No. Murders! I couldn’t breathe and felt dizzy. I could see blood and dead bodies when I closed my eyes.

“……outbreaks in the past caused by contaminants in food or water. Yet no explanation has been found for the similarity of the reports from widely divergent places, which now include several isolated villages in the mountains of Nepal. Those apprehended claim to have seen a beautiful woman, called variously the Blessed Virgin, or the Queen of Heaven, or simply the Goddess, who commanded them to massacre the males of their village, except for a few carefully chosen to be spared. Some reports describe a male apparition also, a fair-haired deity who does not speak and who as yet has no official or unofficial title or name……”

Goddess and a male apparition? Akasha and Lestat? Murders. They killed people. They killed the innocents. Lestat had done this? No! No way!

“……from Lynkonos to several other islands before the militia was called in. Early estimates indicate some two thousand men may have been killed in this little archipelago just off the tip of Greece.”

Two thousand men! A hell, she had brought. She had called herself as the Queen of Heaven!

I laughed. Louis was beside me and held my right hand. I looked at him with tears. “She killed my race! Murder! It’s a mass murder! How could she……” My voice broke. “….she do such…..thing…….to those innocents……ar?” I paused with my choke. “Lestat…….has he joined her?” Louis had no voice but just embraced me. They all were here and heard the broadcast. I couldn’t even listen to a single word of it anymore. I rushed out of the room. I couldn’t control myself. I could hardly stand and keep balanced. “Lestat must be overpowered!” Louis said to me behind.

Yes, Akasha was so strong and so powerful. She could burn them all in fire! Lestat, my Lestat would not do this! He must be in pain just looking it happened. He suffered much more than I reading it from the news.

"Yes, he never will do this. He is not cruel and fierce. We must save him from this hell!” “And also save the innocents!” Louis agreed. My phone ranged at this moment. I was shocked and I looked at it. My heart pumped heavily and I felt my hand that holding it was shaking.

Would it be Lestat?

I answered it immediately. “It is a long distant call from Athens.” A telephone operator said. “Jen?” “Lestat!” Louis was staring at me and listening. “I’m still alive. Don’t worry.” “Where are you?” “Somewhere in Athens.”

Athens?

"Tell me what have happened!” “I want this nightmare will have an end! I just can’t watch her doing it! I can do nothing! I can’t assist her. I can’t do it!” “I know. I know. Where are you? I must see you!” “No, you can’t. Where are you? Are you with them? You must leave at once. It’s no good for you to be with them. You will be in danger! Just run immediately! You will be safe if you are in the crowd. You will be fine since you are a female. Female will not be eliminated! Only male……” I heard he cried. “I don’t know if I can…..I can protect them from Akasha. Louis…..Gabrielle……..Marius……. You just run now! I can’t protect you either!” “No, I won’t leave you! I must save you!” “Nobody can save me. Nobody can save them. Nobody can end it!” I was crying. “I must tell you I do love you! But it should be our last conversation. I won’t see you again although I do want to! Run now!” “Lestat!” He hanged up.

Athens. I had to go. Yes, I had to!

“What have he said?” Louis asked me anxiously. “I must leave now. Goodbye, Louis.” I looked at him with my dolorous eyes since I didn’t know if I would see him again. “Where are you going? I go with you.” “No, I go by myself.” “Don’t go.” He got my arm. “I must go.” I ignored him and ran to the front door. He blocked me with his speed. “No. You can’t go! Akasha will kill you once you see Lestat!” “I don’t care!” I shouted. “But Lestat does care for you. He cares for your safety. Yet, why don’t you care for his feeling? Do you want him in suffering while he is watching you are killed without doing anything? Or do you want him to fight for you against Akasha and both of you being burnt alive? You can’t save him in this way. It’s no use for you to go to Athens.” Marius said softly behind us. “Marius is right. You should listen to his advice.” “But what should we do? I don’t think we can save him by just sitting and waiting here.” Louis put his hand on my shoulder and leaded the way to the room where the vampire meeting was held last night. “They are actually coming.” Maharet said in the corridor.

“Coming?” My eyes were widened. “Yes. So you have to calm down. You should beware of your wordings. Otherwise, you not only can’t save your race, but also murder yourself.” Marius said to me. “And all of us!” Armand interrupted. I stared at him with hostility. “Selfish!” “It’s not selfish! If we all die, who can stop this horror? Who can end this nightmare? Who can save Lestat? By you?” He refuted.

Yes, it was true. They were the only chance. No human could end it.

Maharet sighed. “When I knew the Mother had risen. I did not guess what she might do. To strike down her children, to annihilate the evil that had come out of her, and out of Khayman and me and all of us who out of loneliness have shared this power, that I could not really question! What right have we to live? What right have we to be immortal? We are accidents; we are horrors. And though I want my life, greedily, I want it as fiercely as ever I wanted it, I cannot say that it is wrong that she has slain so many.” “But they are innocent! And she will slay more!” I cried again. “She will make her own world, her heaven.” Marius said. “It will not be a heaven.” I argued.

My Laputa! My Laputa would not be like this. I would not live in her so-called heaven. It was a hell to me and to my race!

“Unless Mekare come and she will. She will fulfill the curse. I made her what she is, so that she will do it. It is our curse now.” Khayman said with a smile. “And we’ll die, all of us!” Eric said. “There has to be a way to kill her.” Gabrielle said coldly. “You cannot change the prophecy.” Khayman whispered.

“We can use reason. This creature speaks now. She understands what is spoken to her. Perhaps she can be diverted…….” Maharet said. “Oh, you are mad, truly mad!” Eric said. “What does this thing know of reason, that inflames ignorant women to rise against their men? This thing knows slaughter and death and violence, that is all it has ever know, as your story makes plain. We don’t change, Maharet. How many times have you told me. We move ever closer to the perfection of what we were meant to be.” I agreed to the speech of him.

If she knew reason, the murders would not be there.

“None of us wants to die, Eric” Maharet said patiently, But something suddenly distracted her and Khayman.

Here they came. Akasha and Lestat. Her radient face. A dead and perfect thing, fine black eyelashes curling exquisitely. Beautiful she was, so beautiful. The goddess with her long black plaited hair. Yes, it was the spell, the magic. But it was the beauty and the goddess-like sickened me. Evil and the source. And the murder. And my Lestat, he was whiter, more ghastly to look at. His skin had a pearlescent gleam to it; and his eyes were even brighter, gathering all the colors of the spectrum and mingling them with icy light. Just liked he was bleached. He had changed.

All the vampires moved inside when they had entered the room. Eric was terrified obviously. Pandora and Daniel looked truly uncaring as they took their place beside Marius and Armand. Maharet and Khayman looked absolutely passive, collected, as if nothing could harm her. The others just stood and waited. They were expressionless.

I couldn’t control my tears when I saw him in front of me. "Why are you still here? I’ve told you to run at once!” Lestat was looking at me and wanted to hold me. “My little prince has met her little stupid mortal girl at last.” But he stopped suddenly in mid-way.

Her voice was tender, such a voice. In a way, it was like Armand’s voice; a voice that could caress you when it spoke to you. Draw you into yourself.

He was frightened and just looking at me in a distance. Louis held my hand and wanted to calm me down.

He was alive!

I smiled to Louis. “Quiet, my prince.” She said, unobtrusively and kindly.

“What you feel in this room is death, but it is the death of beliefs and strictures. Nothing more.” She looked at Maharet. “The death of dreams, perhaps,” she said, “which should have died a long time ago.” “It’s nothing,” Akasha whispered, “something long forgotten; for there are no answers in history now. We have transcended history. History is built on errors; we will begin with truths.”

She really did not know reason.

Marius spoke up at once. “Is there nothing that can persuade you to stop? What can we say? We want you to cease the apparitions. We want you not to intervene.” He continued. “Akasha, I beg you. Stop this rebellion. Don’t appear again to mortals; don’t give any further commands.” I nodded.

Marius was of my same kind also.

Akasha laughed softly. “And why not, Marius? Because it so upsets your precious world, the world you’ve been watching for two thousand years, the way you Romans once watched life and death in the arena, as if such things were entertainment or theater, as if it did not matter, the literal fact of suffering and death, as long as you were enthralled?”

“I see what you mean to do. Akasha, you do not have the right.”

Yes, it was the truth. She had no right!

I knew I was kindled. But I felt Louis’s hand tightened on mine. He shook his head to me. “Marius, your student here has given me those old arguments.” She answered. “But more significantly, I have given them a thousand times to myself. How long do you think I have listened to the prayers of the world, pondering a way to terminate the endless cycle human violence? It is the time now for you to listen to what I have to say.”

“We are to play a role in this?” Santino asked. “Or to be destroyed as the others have been destroyed?” His manner was impulsive rather than arrogant. “You will be my angels. You will be my gods. If you do not choose to follow me, I’ll destroy you. As for the old ones, the old ones whom I cannot so easily dispatch…..” She glanced at Khayman and Maharet again. “….if they turn against me, they shall be as devils opposing me, and all humanity shall hunt them down, and they shall through their opposition serve the scheme quite well. But what you had before, a world to roam in stealth, you shall never have again.”

That meant not following, no existence. How about Lestat? He was alive, that meant he followed?

Lestat shook his head to me. I smiled. I was so pleased.

"How is it possible, to break a cycle of violence through more wanton violence? You are destroying the males of the human species. What can possibly be the outcome of such a brutal act?” Maharet asked.

Yes, destroying my species. It was an absolutely violence.

Akasha answered. “It has been unimaginable until now. All those centuries I sat upon my throne in Marius’s shrine; I dreamed of an earth that was a garden, a world where beings lived without the torment that I could hear and feel. I dreamed of people achieving this peace without tyranny. And then the utter simplicity of it struck me; it was like dawn coming. The people who can realize such a dream are women; but only if all the men, or very nearly all the men, are removed. You know as I know that there will be universal peace if the male population is limited to one per one hundred women. All forms of random violence will very simply come to an end. The reign of peace will be something the world has never known. Then the male population can be increased gradually. But for the conceptual framework to be changed, the males must be gone. Who can dispute that? It may not even the necessary to keep the one in a hundred. But it would be generous to do so. And so I will allow this. At least as we begin.”

No! It was impossible! This act only leaded to the imbalance! Nothing dealt with the gender! She was only a pretended god.

"All right, the effects are obvious.” Gabrielle said. “But when you speak in terms of wholesale extermination, then questions of peace become ridiculous. You’re abandoning one half of the world’s population. If men and women were born without arms and legs, this might be a peaceful world as well.” “It’s just a temporary cleansing, a retreat. Now, tell me, how many men over the centuries have fallen at the hands of women? I am indestructible. You are equipped to be my angels. And there is no one who can oppose us with success.”

"That’s not true.” Maharet said. I was surprised. A little flash of anger colored Akasha’s cheeks. “You are saying that you can stop me? You are rash to suggest this. Will you suffer the death of Eric, and Mael, and Jesse, for such a point?” Akasha went on, her voice softening slightly. “I shall make the rhyme or reason. I shall make the future; I shall define goodness; I shall define peace. And I don’t call on mythic gods or goddesses or spirits to justify my actions, on abstract morality. I do not call on history either! I don’t look for my mother’s heart and brain in the dirt!” A shiver ran through all of us. Louis and I looked towards the mute figure of Maharet.

“My Queen, I don’t think you know it.” Marius said. “You know a world; but it is not the world; it is the world you have selected from a dozen other worlds for reason within yourself.” Akasha shook her head; another flare of anger. “Don’t try my patience, Marius. I spared you for a very simple reason. Lestat wanted you spared.”

She spared those Lestat wanted to spare? Why did Akasha spare Lestat’s loves? Did she love him? Was it the reason that she had abducted him and did him no harm?

"And because you are strong and you can be of help to me. But that is all there is to it, Marius. Tread with care.” A silence fell. “Even if it could be done.” He pressed gently. “Can you honestly say that human beings have done so badly that they should receive such a punishment as this?” He continued. “For two thousand years I have watched, I have witnessed in this short span has filled me with awe and love for all things mortal; I have seen revolutions in thought and philosophy which I believed impossible. Is not the human race moving towards the very age of peace you describe?” Her face was a picture of disdain.

“Marius, this will go down as one of the bloodiest centuries in the history of the human race. What revolutions do you speak of, when millions have been exterminated by one small European nation on the whim of a madman, when entire cities were melted into oblivion by bombs? When children in the desert countries of the East war on other children in the name of an ancient and despotic God? Disease runs rampant among the starving of whole continents while the sick in palatial hospitals spend the wealth of the world on cosmetic refinements and the promise of eternal life through pills and vials.” She laughed softly. “Did ever the cries of the dying ring so thickly in the ears of those of us who can hear them? Has ever more blood been shed!”

“There’s something you cannot see.” He said finally. “There is something that you fail to understand.” “No, my dear one. There is nothing wrong with my vision. There never was. It is you who fail to see.” “Oh, no, not so. Men and women are learning animals. They are creatures ever changing, ever improving, ever expanding their vision and the capacity of their hearts. You are not fair to them when you speak of this as the most bloody century; you are not seeing the light that shines ever more radiantly on account of the darkness; you are not seeing the evolution of the human soul!”

That’s true. That’s the beauty of human species! I loved my species! I enjoyed being a human! That’s the soul that your kind was lacking of!

Akasha glanced at me and so did those could read my mind. But Louis, Daniel and Jesse also looked at me as the others did it. Marius talked to my mind. “Don’t forget what I have reminded last night!" I could tell Lestat was worrying by his expression. I had still remained silence without speaking a word.

“True, what you say about war.” Marius continued and pleaded to her. “Yes, and the cries of the dying, I too have heard them; we have all heard them, through all the decades; and even now, the world is shocked by daily reports of armed conflict. But it is the outcry against these horrors which is the light I speak of; it’s the attitudes which were never possible in the past. It is the intolerance of thinking men and women in power who for the first time in the history of the human race truly want to put an end to injustice in all forms.”

We were approaching to this end now. We were doing it.

“I speak of changing philosophy; I speak of idealism from which true realities will be born. Akasha, flawed as they are, they must have the time to perfect their own dreams, don’t you see?”

“Yes.” It was Louis who spoke out. “It’s their world, not ours.” He said humbly. “Surely we forfeited it when we lost our morality. We have no right now to interrupt their struggle. If we do we rob them of victories that have cost them too much! Even in the last hundred years their progress has been miraculous; they have righted wrongs that developed a concept of the true family of man.”

“You touch me with your sincerity.” Akasha answered. “I spared you only because Lestat loved you. Now I know the reason for that love. What courage it must take for you to speak your heart to me. Yet you yourself are the most predatory of all the immortals here. You kill without regard for age or sex or will to live.”

“Then kill me!” Louis answered. I felt my sweat when I listened to his speech.

Louis, the one I loved. Didn’t say such words please.

"I wish that you would. But don’t kill human beings! Don’t interfere with them. Even if they kill each other! Give them time to see this new vision realized; give the cities of the West, corrupt as they may be, time to take their ideals to a suffering and blighted world.”

“Time.” Maharet said. “Maybe that is what we are asking for. Time. And that is what you have to give. You have meditated in silence of centuries upon your solutions. What is another hundred years? Surely you will not dispute that the last century on this earth was beyond all prediction or imagining, and that the technological advances of that century can conceivably bring food and shelter and health to all the peoples of the earth.”

“Is that really so? This is what technological advances have given the world. They have given it poison gas and diseases born in laboratories and bombs that could destroy the planet itself. It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe it!” Akasha said with the first sustained anger. “You haven’t accepted what I’ve been trying to tell you. Don’t you realize the gift I offer you? I would save you! And what are you if I don’t do this thing! A blood drinker, a killer!”

“You, Santino, you who governed the Roman Children of Darkness, when they believed they did God’s will as the Devil’s henchmen, do you remember what it was like to have a purpose? And you, Armand, the leader of the old Paris coven; remember when you were a saint of darkness? Between heaven and hell, you had your place, I offer you again; and it is no delusion! Can you not reach for your lost ideals?” Neither answered her. A dark fatalistic expression came over her. “Your precious mankind! It has learned nothing in six thousand years! You speak of me of ideals and goals!”

Marius interrupted. “You don’t believe that the women aren’t going to fight for their man?” Akasha laughed. She asked Lestat. “Did they fight in Sri Lanka, Lestat? Did they fight in Haiti? Did they fight in Lynkonos?” “Akasha, don’t continue this bloodbath. Please. Don’t lie to human beings or befuddle them anymore.”

Yes. He was still my Lestat!

"It’s a lie, Akasha; it’s another superstitious lie! Have we not enough of them?” Marius said with his tone careful again, fearful and almost pleading.

“A lie? What is the lie? Did I lie when I told them I would bring a reign of peace on earth? Did I lie when I told them I was the one they had been waiting for? No, I didn’t lie. What I can do is give them the first bit of truth they’ve ever had! I am what they think I am. I am eternal, and all powerful, and shall protect them….”

“Protect them? How can you protect them form their most deadly foes?” Marius interrupted again. “What foes?” “Disease, my Queen. Death. You are no healer. You cannot give life or save it. And they will expect such miracles. All you can do is kill." Silence. Stillness. “Akasha.” Lestat spoke. “Time, the thing that Maharet asked for. A century. So little to give.”

But I knew it was no use. She won’t change her mind. She would do it even this world rebelled her. She still would do it. Nobody could change it. We all would die.

"We should not argue anymore. It’s totally wrong from the beginning.” I spoke at last. Louis was shaking once I had spoken and Lestat’s eyes were widened. “It does not deal with the gender. You will insist your plan if you still think in this way. You once had a father. We all once had. What’s wrong with the male? Male and female have co-existed in this world for such a long time. It is the equilibrium of this world. If it really deals with the gender, the female should have dominated in this ecosystem. But you can’t find such scene now because you are wrong. If you eliminated the male, we would lose the equilibrium. Human species will become extinct. The selfishness and the greed are the true sources. They are the evil sources. The male has it and also the female does. We have female thieves, female murderers and female evildoers. You can’t get your defined peaceful world even you have killed all the males. You should eliminate the selfishness and greed inside our hearts.” Marius and Lestat told me to stop in my mind. Louis held my hand much more tightened.

But I went on. “You don’t know love. You have no mercy. You only love yourself. You sacrifice human lives to construct your heaven with the name you do the goodness to us. Don’t you have any feeling when you see piles of corpses? Don’t you be sad when you hear their screams for help? And don’t you know this heaven is not what we dream of? We don’t want a world constructed by violence and blood. You are the same to those who use nuclear weapons and bombs to invade other countries. What is the difference between Hitler and you? This time you are not killing the Jewish but killing for the males. We don’t want an invader! You only have a supernatural power but no more. You empower us just like you’ve empowered Lestat. Why don’t you eliminate all the human and construct a world with vampires only?” I coughed again.

“But the most important thing is you have no right to do it! You are no god. It’s not your kind. You are only a blood drinker and controlled by an evil spirit. We are improving. We are learning. We are changing. Human is an intellective species. We can get the Laputa in the end. Why must you disturb our growing? You can have your time to see it. Don’t you know how much pain they have for those who have lost their families? Why can you make these tragedies to the innocence? Why don’t you imagine if your male baby and your lover being murdered by a cruel, a so-called goddess?”

“How dare you!” Akasha was in her temper. “You don’t have your position here!” “No, I have. I am the most appropriate person here to tell you this. I am a human. I have the right to fight for my race! But you don’t have the right to do it! You are not my kind!” I was red.

“You are all my enemies, aren’t you? Even you, my prince? My lover and my enemy at the same time.” Her eyes clouded, her brows came together and the tears rose in her eyes. “I love you! But I can’t lie to you. I can’t believe in it! It is wrong! It is the very simplicity and the elegance which make it so wrong!”

Lover? He loved her?

"Is there not one of you who would stand with me? Not one who would reach for that dazzling dream? Not even one who is ready to forsake his or her small and selfish world?” Nobody answered her. Her face darkened again with anger. She turned to Lestat suddenly, the shock spreading over her face. “And you, my prince, who came into my chamber as if I were the Sleeping Beauty, who brought me to life again with your passionate kiss. Will you not reconsider? For my love!” The tears again were standing in her eyes. “Must you join with them now against me, too? How can you betray me?” Lestat didn’t answer. Her face was frozen.

“I will kill you first, the little stupid girl.” She stared at me angrily. “You have challenged my power and my position. You are always so challenging! I should punish you as I have punished the twins.” I was shocked but was not scared. “I haven’t ever been afraid of you! I just feel you are so poor that nobody stands for you. But I have my love ones. My father, my mother. My Sister Doris. My Lestat and my Louis. But nobody loves you. You are alone!”

“Your lover? Your Lestat?” She laughed. “Lestat, my prince. I command you to kill this little stupid mortal girl for me.” She smiled to me. “Let me see his love to you.” But Lestat stood still. The others were in silence also. “You won’t kill her? Then, I kill her by myself. But you should know it should be more pain if I……” “She is just a child! A helpless mortal child!” Marius pleaded. Akasha forced him to the ground as she stared at him by her invisible power. "I will bring death to whom want to help her!” Lestat whispered. “I’ll do it.” “No!” Louis’s voice broke. I let go for Louis’s hand.

The destroy was in my mind again.

"It is the destroy you’ve said to me. It is a relief, right? But at least I’ve spoken for my race. And at last, I enjoy being a human although I’ve had my tragedy and sufferings. But I’m proud of being a human!” I continued. “Lestat, do it for me. You can break your promise with my permission. I let you do it because of your love.”

I knew. It would end in this way once I met Akasha, as Marius had predicted. I knew all of us would die. We had tried our best already but she won’t change her mind.

"For the sake of your love.” I whispered to him as he was next to me. He let me lie down gently. He leant forward and kissed me on my lips. I closed my eyes and I heard his cry. “I love you.” “I love you too. Don’t you remember what I’ve said? I will be always at your side to support you.”

His mouth was at my neck. His lips were so soft. But he hesitated and waited there. "Just do it and no guilt.” I felt his fangs then. He drove his teeth into my body. It was painful but I was not scared since Lestat was beside me. My blood was being drawn. All my vessels contracted with his rhythmic sucking and my heart beat faster and faster. My breaths deepened. I could hear my own breaths in this silent room. Nobody made a sound. I held him tight and I knew it was my last embrace. The sucking I felt this time was much stronger than the previous one. Perhaps he didn’t want me to feel too much pain. He wanted to end my suffering as soon as possible. And I thought it was too cruel for him to taste my blood slowly now. His sucking reminded me that night I had cut my wrist. He didn’t do it in that night because of his love but he did it now also because of his love. Yes, he had proved it to me that I was not abandoned. I was liberated from the darkness and despair. I was freed eventually. He had ended my long-lasting suffering.

“My blood was in your body now. I would live with you forever. It’s your dream and it’s my last blessing to you. My love. My source of life was running to you. I would be alive in your body” My tears rose in my eyes.

He drained me almost to the point of death. He stopped.

I knew he had to since he could not drink from the dead.

I was stiffen and gasping. The pumping of my heart was very weak now. I knew I was dying. He held me tight in his arms which was the way I loved most. "You will be always in my arms, my beloved Jen.” He was weeping. "Don’t cry. You know we must be apart in one day. That’s the fact that you can’t change and that’s the answer we’ve found after all.” I could hardly move or speak. I heard Louis’s cry also. He held my hands tight. “I…. love you……Louis.” “No! You won’t die.” Louis cried again.

His cry made me feel a little bit comforted. He must cry for the death of Claudia at that time. And now he cried for my death. I knew he still loved Claudia but I also had meaning to him.

"What a touching moment! That’s the mercy I have shown to you. You can soon be together with your lost parents. Don’t you see it, Jen? That’s the power I can overpower you. I can overpower all human beings. I can overpower Lestat and all of my kind. I am the Queen. I am the Queen of Heaven. Nobody can disobey me. Ar, don’t you understand it now, all of you?” Akasha said.

But something else was happening. There was a great soft musical sound from somewhere. Glass shattering, a great deal of glass. I didn’t know the reactions of all of them. I was just lying in Lestat’s arms and with Louis holding my hands. I could hardly stand for the light now. I was closing my eyes. I could only use my ears to hear now.

The noise was growing louder. “Who is it?” Daniel said. “Mekare!” Maharet whispered.

The other red-haired twins.

"The curse, my Queen.” Khayman said. “All against me, all of you! Not a one who would come to my side.” Akasha shouted. “Queen of the damned……..hour of worst menace……I shall rise to stop you…..”

It was the curse from Mekare.

I just heard the scream of Akasha and the shattered glass. And Lestat fell to the floor. Louis released his hands from mine. I forced my eyes to open. I saw a red-haired woman held Akasha’s severed head by the hair! I didn’t know why it could happen. Perhaps it was just like the way Louis chopped off the head of Santiago with a great hook. The body of Akasha lay on the floor, blood gushing from the stump of the neck. Suddenly the right arm quivered; it was lifted, then it flopped back down to the floor. Then it rose again, the hand dangling. It was reaching for the head!

All the vampires struggled for help painfully and helplessly on the floor, just like me. The twins, they were beside the head and the body. Mekare, she should be Mekare, was staring at the head dully, with those vacant red-rimmed eyes. And Maharet, as if with the last breath in her, kneeling now beside her sister, over the body of the Mother, as the room grew darker and colder, and Akasha’s face began to grow pale and ghostly white as if all the light inside were going out. Blood spread out from Akasha’s head into the weave of the carpet; Maharet sinking down, her hands out flat, and Mekare too had weakened and bent down over the body. “The funeral feast! The heart and the brain, one of you, take them into yourself. It is the only chance.” Marius cried. I was now so weak to see. I closed my eyes again.

The third door. Only one door remained. I needed to do it as quickly as I could. I knew they were waiting for me. It was a long and narrow road with strong light. I didn’t know from where the light came. I followed it to a door at the end of the road. There was no sound at all but I wasn’t scared this time since the light cared about me. It was the guided angel I dreamt of. Yes, Dad and Mum. I was coming. Waited for me. I could get the doll. Soon, we would be together again! Mum, Dad and Sister Doris, we could live with each other forever. We would not be separated again. Nothing could separate us. I could sleep in their arms. The light, I knew this was the light from Sister Doris. The smiles and the warmth I had desired for so long. I was going to open it. I knew I would get their warm welcome after opening it. Yes, the warmth. But I was confused. The warmth I felt now was not from them. There was a hand pulling me back suddenly! It was a strong hand. It made me lost my balance and fell down. The door vanished at the same time and also the light had gone. It was so dark that I couldn’t see anything. I didn’t know what had happened but just felt my lips were warmed. And then my mouth, my heart, my limbs and my every vessel!

I had the strength to open my eyes now. I was totally shocked by what I had seen. Lestat’s broken wrist was on my mouth.

No! Lestat’s blood! Not for me! I couldn’t drink his blood!

I wanted to pull Lestat’s wrist away from my mouth. I was so scared of it as if it was a devil. Yes, I knew it was really a devil. And I knew if I didn’t pull it away at this moment, I would lose myself forever. Yet I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t control my body and my will. Was it mine? If yes, why did I want to continue the sucking? Why did I want more and more and didn’t want it to stop? It was the magnetism drawing me to his blood. I didn’t know why. Perhaps it was the lust Lestat had told me. I was just sucking. I couldn’t help it. My tears were running on my cheeks without any control. I looked at Lestat, he was in front of me and he looked painful. I felt his blood was flowing into me and running inside my body. His blood burnt me and warmed me. I closed my eyes and my resistance to it had been diminishing. My rationality had lost. The only one thing I could hear now was his heartbeat. His heart leaded my heart and mine echoed for his calling. I was dancing with him.

But the heart was slowing too quickly. My human death was coming and Lestat pulled me away from his wrist and he held me still. My eyes were open and seemingly blind. My lips quivered. My body was dying but my sense awakened much. I felt the pain inside my body. I was grasping and I couldn’t breathe either.

I knew thoroughly his blood working inside my body! Yes, it’s warm and hot. I loved it. But how could I love it? I could feel it running in my every vessel. It brought energy to my dying body. It was a song, a dance. My heart pumped faster and faster. The pumping was amazing. My heart was eager to embrace the blood. My body assimilated with the given blood.

The pain soon weakened. I had the strength to sit on the floor now. I was looking around. Lestat’s face. I touched his face with my little white fingers.

My fingers? They were mine? So cold and white! I was bleached. And the touch was so different. His face was so smooth just like silk. And Louis’s face sharpened. The reflection from their skins made aureoles around them. Some sound attracted my attention. It should be water flowing in the river outside. It was so different again and so clear as if I was next to it. Everyone was looking at me. Each movement of other vampires was so vivid, so detailed. These were from my vampire senses. Had I got giddiness? Was I dreaming? I couldn’t help but just weeping. I didn’t know why I wept for these things. I just thought they were so beautiful. I hadn’t seen such beautiful things in this world before. It was a fairyland, just like a dream. But my dream was interrupted. Someone shouted in my mind. Blood! Every vessel was calling for it. I hadn’t felt the thirst so severely in the past even after the sucking by Louis in that night. I couldn’t sit still and feel my heart pumping quickly.

The thirst brought me back to the reality. “How can you do this to me?” I said to Lestat. My voice was magnified and magnetic. I couldn’t believe this was my voice. I was looking at Louis. He was weeping also. No answer. “Tell me! You should know it! You should know I can’t live like this. You not only have killed my human body, but also killed my human soul that I treasure a lot! It is my only gift. Why have you robbed me the most important thing?” I shook his body. “If I don’t do this to you, I will lose you forever! I can’t see you die.” He said bitterly. “No! Just repeating Louis’s story again! That’s all I have told you! Why have you forgot our conversation? Why have you broken your promise?”

I was totally lost! What had happened? Where was I? Who was I? The thirst! I couldn’t stand for it! That voice repeated its word again and again. And that voice was getting louder. My vessels were contracting and I felt the chill. I was shivering and shaking. Blood, I needed it. I couldn’t control my thoughts. What could I do? Blood. No. I had to run away from it! But how?

I ran out of the room with an amazing speed.

No! I couldn’t. Blood! Every vessel was still calling it! I couldn’t suppress their rebellions inside my body. All of them shouted for it. And I heard the laughing. Where did it come from? Who laughed? I put my hands over my ears. The taste of Lestat’s blood. I wanted it again. Who could help me?

But Lestat was in front of me and blocked my way. “Don’t go and don’t leave me.” He pleaded. He wanted to hold me but I pushed him away. “No. You should know I can’t lose you. I do it just because I love you.” “You love me? You do it because you love me? But I don’t love my new form now. You should know it! How can you do this to me against my will? You’re so selfish!” He hold me tight, this time I couldn’t push him, he was still stronger than me even he had not yet recovered from the death of the Queen. I felt his blood running in his body just like seeing it by my eyes.

Blood.

"Drink. You need to drink now.” “No!” But my mouth was moving near to his neck and sucking his blood against my rationality. I couldn’t control myself or I was controlled by my nature.

I was lost. What was my will actually? Drank or not drank? Did I really have a choice?

The blood was going into my body. I felt comforted and soothed. All the pain and agony were gone. The rebellions had been suppressed. My body and my mind were quiet now. Yes, blood was the only thing could bring me the peace. I closed my eyes and tasted for it.

The blood was just like the kissing from a lover, sweet and warm. It kissed me at my forehead, at my eyes, at my lips and all parts of my body. It gave me the energy and it danced in my vessels. I was addicted to it. I couldn’t live without it. That’s my source of life. Yes, more and more. I loved it. I opened my arms and embraced it tightly. I couldn’t help and let myself bath in it. Come on, my love. That’s the beauty of the blood!

"It’s enough.” Lestat said to me with his softest voice. His voice broke my wonderful dream. I left his neck unwillingly and I saw there were two small blood holes. But they were getting smaller and smaller and disappeared finally. I looked at him and felt I was in a mist. “Lestat.” I suddenly cried. I was in reality again. “I can’t live like this, it’s killing me.” But I was still enjoying the taste of his blood in my mouth. “No, you have to. To live for the one you love and those who love you.” I looked at him without words.

I just wanted to have a shower to keep me calmed.

Yes, the hot water. It could always keep me from thinking anything.

But when I saw my reflection in the mirror, it hurt me again.

The white, the smoothness and the highly reflection. My figure had been sharpened. My hair and my eyebrows had a darker color that gave a greater contrast to my ghastly white skin. There were more curls to my hair. The eyebrows and the eyelashes became thicker. My eyes were darkened also but shined even harder. My lips became reddish. The beauty really surprised me a lot. I was tempted to touch it in the mirror. But I knew this beauty was not from a human. I was not a human anymore.

And the scars had gone. The scars, which reminded me for the love to Louis and Lestat’s love to me, had gone! All had gone. Even the new wounds made by Lestat had gone now. And the fangs! I saw them in the reflection. Little fangs. Was it a nightmare? I had to wake up! I put my fangs into my finger. Pain. Oh no, it was real. And the blood came out from the wounds. It was so beautiful and attractive to me now. I couldn’t help to drink it. I saw my own reflection in the mirror. The sucking scared me! How horrible I was. And poor. That’s what I had transformed!

Human scent. I was so shocked for it.

I felt it and I opened the washroom door. A man lying on the sofa. Lestat and Louis were in the room. They were pale, but much better than the last moment I had seen them. I thought they had their feeding already to recover a little bit from the death of the Queen. Louis didn’t look at me directly. I knew he couldn’t stand for my new form. It hurt him. And Lestat looked depressed.

The scent was so strong. The lust again.

"You need him.” Lestat said to me. “No.” I denied by my word but I knew I really needed him. The desire for him was getting stronger and stronger. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

The thirst.

“You can’t deny how much you want him now.”

Yes, he was right. I couldn’t deny it. I wanted him so much.

I said helplessly. “Then, could both of you leave me alone? I couldn’t do it with your watching.” I met Louis’ eyes. His sorrow eyes tightened my heart. And they left the room without a sound immediately.

He was fainted. He was about twenty years old. He was a trendy teenager. He wore a leather jacket and a pair of leather pants. He had a very short hair and dyed for blue color. I loved his nose, very straight and high enough. And also I loved his eyebrows, thick and straight, just like Louis’s. But the most I loved was his blood. There was a distinctive aroma from him.

I touched his face with my cold hand.

Warm. Yes, he was so warm. I could see his veins under his skin. They were so clear to me. I could feel their movements of contracting and expanding. And I could hear his pumping heart that was just like the rhythm of a drum. It’s the rhythm drawing me to him. It’s calling me to kiss him. I closed my eyes. My mouth was at his neck now. My lips were touching his skin. It gave me an irresistible sensation just like the magnetic attraction.

But there was a flashing. That flashing again! The blood was running to my white plimsolls. I wanted to step back but I was petrified. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t find my voice. I was enclosed with the blood. And her eyes were on me and whispered something. She closed her eyes slowly. And now she was lying in front of me. Mum? I met her at last after these years. I shook her body and wanted her to wake up. But I realized finally that it was my illusion only. He was not my Mum. But the flashing continued. What I saw now was that reflection in the mirror again. The evil face. So horrible! I was not a killer! I couldn’t be a killer! I shrank back. I was just watching him. He was a life. How could I take this life from him? I had no right to do it! I didn’t know him. Why must I take his life? He was innocent and I was evil!

"I can’t do it!” I was crying and said to them once I had opened the room door. “What do you expect from me?” I shouted to Lestat. “I was still a human three hours ago. And now you want me to kill a human? Drink his blood? Take his life? Once a human feed on humans. How can I sacrifice a life of an innocence to continue this evil life? How can I do it? How?” I paused for the answers. “Both of you even don’t have any answers to my questions. I know there are none. Both of you can’t find the answers since you have born to darkness. Why have you still wanted to transmit your own sufferings while you have suffered for more than two hundred years? Why must you choose me?” I said with despair.

The dead male bodies were in my mind again. Those horrible news. The mass murders.

"Lestat, tell me. Have you joined the mass murder?”

I didn’t know why I asked him this question. But I just knew it would be always in my mind if Lestat didn’t talked to me about it.

I was waiting for his answer.

Please, say no to me! I wanted a no from him!

But I could only hear his sigh.

He had done it. Why? Why had he done it? He had cheated me!

I was so disappointed. But I wanted to ask him one more question. “And tell me,” I had to find my courage, “do you….. love her?” I felt my heartbeats. But the only response he gave me was his look-away. I shook my head and looked at him with my abomination. “You have done it and you love her. Lestat, I hate you!” I cried out and I ran again.

The only thing I could do was to run away. Ran as fast as I could. Running could let me forget all these things. The running reminded me Louis had run just like me when he was lost with the choice of humanity and the vampire nature. But could he really run away? He failed and how about me now? I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I just wanted to leave Lestat. I just wanted to leave my kind, my new kind. I wanted to be with humans. I had been once a human. No matter how much I had detached from the humans in the past, I really wanted to be with them now. Why had I to be punished? Akasha had punished me. Yes, I should not bother her. I should not bother them. Why must I have these tragedies? When would these tragedies end? No and never. I knew I was cursed. And this curse would never end.

In the city again. Humans were around me. I loved all of them, human. I wanted to touch their hands and their faces. The race I was proud of. My previous kind. But they were so different to me now. Their scents, their veins and their blood. Yes, the most I wanted was to taste their blood. I hated myself for thinking of the blood again! I despised of what I was! No! Left me alone please! But I couldn’t. The more I resisted, the more I wanted. That’s the lust! I had to resist it. But it was a lust that never be forgot and overcome. Then, what should I do? I had to run away from them. I couldn’t be with them anymore. I couldn’t have them in sight anymore. I couldn’t control myself. I knew if I stayed here for one more second, I would have my first victim. I ran again.

I stopped at a lake finally.

Where could I go? Was there a place in this world with no vampires and no humans? I had to find somewhere for me to forget what I was. But where could I find such a place? I couldn’t live like this. I couldn’t let myself live in this way. Why did Lestat do this to me? It was much worse doing this thing to me than just taking my human life. I hate him! I couldn’t keep this evil life. I had to end it.

It was Louis found me near the lake. He spoke to me when I was watching the water moving. “I know the feeling. That’s the feeling in my heart once I have become a vampire. All of us know it. That’s the humanity we call it. Nothing can change it. It’s our fate. It’s our destiny. Even Lestat wants to change it, he wants to have an answer, but all we know now is there is none. It is impossible to change. If we have to go on, we must take the lives.” “We should not go on then.” “But it’s you to teach me to go on!” “But I can’t do it. I can’t live with this evil life by taking his life! I can’t take her life. My Mum. I love her but I have killed her and my Dad. The guilt has made me suffer in these years already. It’s enough. I can’t kill anymore. I just can’t do it! Then how can I go on? Teach me!” The high tone now I couldn’t bear with my ears.

“That’s you have taught me we are not evil! We are the protectors and the warriors! We protect all the human beings from those who really do evils. We clear the evildoers! This is our mission. Don’t you remember the video?”

The video, the dedicated gift for Louis and Lestat. Lestat.

My heart tightened when I thought of him.

“That’s only my innocence. I have told you by my point of view, it’s only a view from a human. The spirit is evil. Amel is an evil one. It’s him inside our bodies. The evil is inside us! You can’t deny it. We are born to be evil. We are killers! I only understand what you have actually felt in these years only after I have become your kind. I am a liar. I won’t believe in my hypnotism anymore.” I was out of control. “No. You have your reason. And what is evil? That’s only point of view. Amel is an evil thing. But we can change it since he is inside our bodies. He is locked. We can control it since he is nothing but just a spirit loves the taste of the blood. We still have our sensations and our wills. We can change this evil thing become a good one. Nobody is born to be a damned. Nobody is born to be a good. All can be changed by education and perceptions.” “Change the evil thing to a good one? Can we and can I?” I sneered. “Of course you can!” I was surprised by his confidence.

“Louis, I want to ask you a question that I have wanted to ask you for a long time.” I sound bitterly. “Yes?” “What’s your source of life in these years after Claudia’s death?” I was looking at him for his answer. “No source at all. All the source of my life has been taken as my mortal life ended. It is Claudia has given it to me again. I have been reborn. Yet with her death, I have been died for her also. But I just only know I must go on because I may have a chance to meet her again in my life. So I go on and on. Travelling around the world to meet her. That’s my only hope. That’s the only source of my life.” “But you should know there is none, right? You can’t meet her! She has been dead for a long time!” I thought I was so cruel to say it. “It’s only a lie to myself. I know this thoroughly. Maybe I am a coward to kill myself.” I was surprised. “Coward?” I whispered.

“Jen, but I have met my Claudia already.” My eyes were widened. “I’ve found the meaning for my life and your life. Don’t you remember what you have told me? There are many Claudia waiting for me to help. We can help the weak. And you have to live with us. You won’t be alone anymore. You are a member of our family.” “Family? A dark family? Why must I live with you all?” My head drooped. “Because we love you. And I love you also.” I shook my head. “Louis, thanks for you kindness but please don’t pretend to love me. That’s hurt me even more. I do know you don’t and won’t love me in your lifetime. The one you love is Claudia, no matter how long she has left you, you will still love her.” My voice was so inward that it could hardly be heard by any mortals. He held my hands. “But it’s true. I care and worry about you. So do Marius and other vampires. You are my treasure friend. I love to talk to you. I love to be with you. You can give me the energy and the hope. I can share with you all my sufferings and despair that you have advised me to do so. You have said it will be your pleasure to be my listener. Jen, you can’t deny your importance to me. And Lestat really loves you. He needs you. Don’t hurt those who love you. Give yourself a chance. All of us want to help you. Come with me, you can’t live on your own now.”

I didn’t know if Lestat really loved me. He disappointed me so much, his participation in the mass murder and his acquiescence for his love to Akasha. These all made me doubt about his humanness and query his love to me. This Lestat was so different from that Lestat who I had lived with. And I didn’t know where I could go. I hadn’t had any idea. I didn’t know how to survive. I didn’t even know what I was. Yes, I couldn’t live on my own now. And yes, I was trapped and lost in this world.

***

After the conversation with Louis, I was back to them since I didn’t know where I should go and what I should do. I started to learn how to be a vampire. Being with them was like a shelter to me. But I still couldn’t take any human lives. I couldn’t persuade myself to kill the humans and suck their blood. I couldn’t do whichever either like a justice or a brute. I couldn’t think or feel myself was superior to human. I wanted to be a human again. I wanted to be a mortal. I could give up anything to realize this dream. But I knew it was only a dream just like the desire for meeting my parents, there was no return at all. And I knew I had to live for this evil life forever.

I was really frightened when I saw humans. I felt I was even more evil and damned when they were in my sight. I couldn’t wipe off the flashing I had seen at that night. I fed on animals only. I hypnotized myself that I only took the food just like I had in my human time. I ate the pork, the beef, the chicken and other else. The only different was I killed the animals not for their meat but for their blood. Although I wept while I was sucking the blood, it still made me feeling much better. That’s made me feeling I was not so cruel and I was not the killer. I could feel my humanity just like I was still a human. I thought it was the most difficult topic for me to learn from them. I even couldn’t watch them feeding on human. I didn’t think I could suck for human blood in my lifetime.

And I refused to sleep in a coffin. I had slept in it once but it gave me a painful experience. I remembered I slept with Louis for my first night. My body shook and I struggled for getting out of it for the whole night even Louis held me tight in it. I was not scared being trapped in a sealed box. But I hated for it because it was a symbol for being a vampire whom must sleep in it. I still couldn’t admit to what I was. So, I just slept in it once and I told all of the vampires that I would go inside it for the second time merely for my death.

***

We all went to Miami, a vampire’s city, hot, teeming and embracingly beautiful. Melting pot, marketplace, playground. Miami. The happy hunting ground for the devil. That’s why we were here, the Night Island, Armand’s own personal creation with its five dazzling glass stories of theatres, restaurants, and shops. He drew the pictures for the architects he’s chosen. He gave the endless lists of the materials he wanted, the fabrics, the sculptures of the fountains, even the flowers, the potted trees.

From sunset till dawn, the tourists mobbed it, as boat after boat brought them out from the Miami docks. The music played eternally in the lounges, on the dance floors. The glass elevators never stopped their climb to heaven; ponds, streams, waterfalls glittered amid banks of moist, fragile blooms. Gorgeous the skilled mixture of old and new. Elevator doors rolling back on broad rectangular rooms full of medieval tapestries and antique chandeliers; giant television sets in every room.

Armand had gone over at sunset with Marius; and they were back now, Armand playing chess with Santino in the drawing room, Marius reading as he did constantly, in the leather chair by the window over the beach. Khayman sat in the downstairs study talking with Daniel. Pandora almost never moved from the television screen. They all like it here, even Gabrielle. Jesse had loved it here too, though she was gone now, to join Maharet in Rangoon. Nobody knew where Maharet had taken Mekare. Even Eric probably didn’t know either, but he’d left with them, promising to meet Jesse in Rangoon. We all liked a family.

After we arrived at the Night Island, Lestat locked himself in his room. I noticed it even I had pretended to ignore everything about him. We had not talked to each other for a single word since that night. I knew I would leave him soon. I couldn’t stand for the mention of his name and even having him in sight. The worst was I couldn’t stand for the hate to him.

But the powers he had given to me still amazed me a lot. My sensations were much stronger than before. I could see things in their full details, just like a slow motion to me. The light and the colour to my eyes have been exaggerated. The images were much sharpened. All things attracted my attention. I appreciated them with most of my time. I loved to watch everything in this world. I wanted to see all the things again with my new eyes even I had seen in the past. They were beautiful. They were the things that could only been seen in dreams. Everything was new to me.

The voice. I could hear the voice from distant places where I didn’t know. I had the ability to hear not only the physical voice but also the thoughts. I could hear those voices once I had woken up. Sometimes, they did annoy me much. They were non-stopping. I was learning from Marius how to filter them. I needed to select those I wanted to hear, otherwise, I would become crazy. But it was interesting to know what people or even my kind thought. They had no privacy to me, just like I had none in front of Lestat when I was still a human. But I couldn’t read from the old ones if they wanted to seal their minds. It was same to me. I could seal mine if I didn’t want to reveal it. And I couldn’t read from Lestat since I was his fledging. Marius told me Lestat couldn’t read my mind now either. Once I had his blood inside my body, the telepathic linkage of us was blocked. That’s should be the punishment for him. He was the one who had destroyed our relationship. However, even I had the ability to read his mind, I wouldn’t do it. I didn’t want to contact with him by any means.

The taste. The most sensitive of my senses although I couldn’t taste the food and the wine anymore. It was the blood, the only thing I desired for. I couldn’t deny it contained the most delicious taste in this world. The taste that I couldn’t resist, and I did know the more I resisted, the more I wanted. It was the lust of blood. The lust was just like the spell. I had met the spell but I couldn’t resist it finally. But it was no use to fight against it now. I didn’t know the taste of the human blood. I didn’t dare to think about it. I knew I would collapse if I let myself to imagine it, and I would have my human victims and lose my humanity forever. But I still could feel the sweetness from the blood of the animals. I could feel my complacence from it. It was true that it was only blood could bring peace to us.

The smell. This sense had been diminishing. Actually, it was not important to me now. I had no need to smell. Most of the time, I couldn’t identify the scents whether they were from my smell or just my sense. I just felt the scents. The scents from the flowers, the perfumes, the sea, the earth and the human. I should know these scents came from my smell but I couldn’t tell which one, the smell or the feel came to me first. I was besotted by it. Maybe my feeling sense was too active now. And I thought vampire was somehow a feeling-oriented creature.

Yes, feeling or touching oriented. The feeling was exaggerated at least by ten times if compared to my mortal time. I loved to be touched. I could feel the magnetic power of it. I loved this power. I could feel being close to the others. No detachment and no loneliness. The feeling of existence became much solid. I was a part of this world. I was one of the elements of it. And I knew it now why they always wanted to hold each other with their arms. It was true for me also, I loved to embrace Louis tightly and hold his hand when we walked together.

And it was very easy for me to weep since my emotion would be fluctuated my senses. These sensations assimilated with my emotion all the times. I could weep when I saw the beautiful moonlight. I could weep when I heard the song sang by a choir. I could weep when Louis was holding my hands. That’s the simplicity.

Marius revealed all the knowledge, which were supposed to be taught by my maker, to me when I was confused. Made me confused most were the unusual powers other than those senses. I could move things a little bit when I concentrated on it. I had tested this power for several times, but I felt very exhausted after doing it for each time. Marius said I was too young to keep track of the skill. Therefore more energy was needed to do it.

And I could run with a high speed. Louis couldn’t catch mine either. I could did things so fast that human could not see it. Sometimes, I did little tricks to human. They were scared. They thought their houses were haunted or they had met a ghost. I could jump for the height of six-storey. I could fly for a mile if I wanted to. Those had been the obstacles to me became little games to me now.

When I was in anger, although it was seldom found in me, I could shatter the glass with no physical motion. It had been once or twice. I had seen a rape to a pregnant woman and a murder to an old man. I had shattered the windows nearby without my intention to do it. That’s the power that I couldn’t control and I was frightened most. It amazed me a lot. I had tried it in the garden, but nothing happened eventually.

Marius told me that these were the powers given by Lestat. As he had drunk much from Akasha, the ancient blood had increased his powers a lot. When he gave his blood to me, I was his heir. I would find much more powers and the powers would be also strengthened when I was getting older. But getting older didn’t mean any physical change for the vampires. We could keep the existing appearance until the end of time. All the vampires had seen my powers and Marius told me that all of them were curious of Lestat’s unknown strengthened power now. Since he was locked himself in his room, nobody knew what his actual power was. But they could know his difference from his changed appearance once they had met him at the Sonoma Compound. The bleached skin.

These all were explored by myself and taught by Marius.

***

One night, Louis begged Jesse politely to describe to him the apparition of Claudia. Jesse was one of the psychic detectives of Talamasca where the Motherhouse was outside London. She had inherited from the supernatural power of her ancestors, the Twins. She could contact with the spirits. Talamasca was an organization whose sole purpose was to collect data on paranormal experiences and maintain those records for the study of such phenomena. She had been delegated by David Talbot, the head of the entire order, to study the vampire existence began with the friction of the Interview with the Vampire. She had visited the old house of the unholy family in New Orleans. She had met the apparition of Claudia and found her diary. That’s the experience that Louis interested a lot.

I was there and heard him begging her. The begging showed his love to Claudia. I was sad when hearing it. And Jesse’s voice, solicitous, confidential, “but Louis, it wasn’t real.” The sorrow was in his eyes again. His sorrow was killing me. He still couldn’t drop her away. And it was true that he would not forget her and would not love me. Although I knew it thoroughly in the beginning, I couldn’t sweep away my sadness about it. I knew he would go to the old house in New Orleans. It’s him had told me that he still kept his life since he had been waiting for a chance to meet Claudia again. I knew nothing could stop him. I couldn’t make myself continue to hear and the only thing I could do was to leave them alone.

***

And the other night, Armand came to me. “For you.” Armand gave me a floppy disk. “For me?” “You should read it.” “Why?” “That’s Lestat’s confession to you.” I straightened my face once I had heard his name. “Don’t react so fast. Just be patient to read it. You should understand him.” I even didn’t dare to look at it. “No, I will not read it. Take it back.”

“I know you have negative feeling to me. Perhaps, I’m not the right person to be the in-between. But you should know I have done all the things just because I am not selfish.” I looked at him disparagingly. “Really?” I sneered. “You are too egotistic.” He said softly.

“Claudia will die even I and the vampires of the Theatre des Vampires haven’t met her. She is too young to be a vampire. She can do nothing. She can’t live on her own. She will kill herself maybe several hundred years after. She is too weak to live. Her soul has been trapped in her little body. Not everyone can accept the unchanging appearance of us, especially this little girl. Time has no impact on us. Her death is a relief to her.”

Yes, I still was scared of the unlimited time, the forever.

"And that’s true that Louis really wanted to live with me at that time. That’s why he has lived with me for several years after Claudia’s death.” He paused. “And the refusal of giving the healing blood. The healing blood was actually no use to Lestat. He should get a lesson from it. He deserved for it. And the most thing he needed was the time. Don’t you agree that he has the responsibility for the attack? Why were Louis and Claudia so fear of him? Why was Louis just watching him wounded aside? Why had Louis misunderstood him for more than a century? You should know the reason clearly. He was too egotistic, just like you. He acted as a god that hurt Louis and Claudia so much. He acted just like Akasha had done. He couldn’t express his love to Louis and Claudia properly. The damage he had done to them was so great that you can’t imagine now. He should be responsible for their detachment. I knew he needed the healing blood but I also knew he would not die if I did not give to him. If I gave the healing blood to him, he would not think about all these things. He would get even worse and might lose his life by someone stronger than him in the end. I did it for his own good.” I was surprised with my mouth opened.

“It has been proved that I am right. He has changed a lot after his long sleep for fifty-five years. Don’t you remember the living between you and him, the love he has declared to you and the lust you have given to him? These all can’t be found in the years he living with Louis and Claudia. He knows how to love and how to express his love now.”

“Why have you said these to me?” “I just want you understand. All the things you see and feel can have distortions. Your feeling to me and your feeling to him.” “Don’t intend to say something good for him. He doesn’t deserve for it.” I could feel the coldness on my face. “Why are you so hard to him? Why are you so cold to him? You are not the one used to treat the others so hard and cold. Your heart is always full of love. I like you because of your goodness, confidence and courage. I like your ardent heart. I also like you because you are Lestat’s love.” His voice was so soft that just like a lullaby but it had no effect to me. I was relinquished to Lestat. “I’m not his love.” My heart was tightened. “Where is your love to him? Where has it gone? I don’t want to argue this with you. You know it thoroughly in your mind. Your mind hasn’t ever been as clear as at this moment. The vampire blood inside your body makes it.”

These questions should be asked from me. Where was his love to me? Why had he cheated me?

My heart still ached when I thought of him every time. He put the disk to my hand. My hand was shaking with it. “Had he told you to give it to me?” I asked him without taking my eyes off the disk. “No. I have stolen it and made a copy. But I think he knew it. As you know, his powers should make him know it. I think he wants me to give it to you anyway. Keep it and read it. I’m only a messenger.” He left after he had said all these. And the disk was still in my hand.

His confession. Why should I read it? Why shouldn’t I be so hard and so cold to him? Why couldn’t? He deserved for my coldness. I didn’t hate him for transforming me became a vampire. I didn’t hate him for joining the mass murder. Although these really upset me a lot, these were not the major reason of my hate. I did hate him because of his love to Akasha. I did hate him not denying it to me. I was the fool to plead all the vampires to save him from his love. He had loved her long before I was born. I did hate him for ignoring me after that night. I did hate him for letting me to learn all these things by myself. I did hate for my guardian was Marius. Where was he when I was in sufferings? Where was he when I was confused? I had said I would be always at his side. But I was just like a fool to him. He didn’t need me. The one he most needed was Akasha, not me. Why had he allowed Armand to give the disk to me? Why should I read his confession? Why did he confess to me? I couldn’t find any reason for it. I had no importance to him.

I was crying. I hadn’t cried since that night I was with Louis at the lake. I had refrained myself from thinking of Lestat in these days. But now all the things and all the unhappiness exploded like a volcano explosion.

My love to him hurt me so much that I couldn’t stand for. I hated him.

I locked the disk inside the drawer.

I left my room and wanted to join the others in the living room. Being with them would let me forget these things. But every time I left my room, I had to passed his room door. That’s Armand who arranged this intentionally. Every time I passed by, I felt his presence, I knew he felt mine also. But what for? I had no meaning to him. I was only a fool. I stopped at his door for a second. My memories had been recalled. “Promise me, keep your life on. My love to you is so deep that I feel like sinking in it. But that is my will, I let me be. I just can’t stop giving you more and more of my love. I can’t live without you. You mean so much to me. You are my entire life. I love you even you don’t love me. I don’t care!” He had said to me in that night that I cut my left wrist and wanted him to feed on me, end my life.

But it was a lie only.

I passed it and got down to the living room.

And only Marius was there. He was watching the television. I just sat at his opposite silently. “You don’t look good.” I loved his voice, showing kindness always. “No, I’m fine.” My eyes still locked on the television screen and pretended to watch it. “No, I can tell from your face.” He insisted. “Maybe I haven’t fed enough tonight.” “You should know it is not the reason.” I couldn’t find my words.

“He has locked himself inside the room for more than a month. He hasn’t drunk any blood but just sat there and wrote a book.” I gave no response. “The Queen of the Damned. You should see him. He needs you.” I was inflamed when I heard for the word of need. “He doesn’t need me. His silence is not because of me. He loves Akasha. He has his silence because of Akasha’s death. That’s his lament to her. That’s his love to her, not me. Please tell him, don’t quote my name in it.” “You’ve misunderstood him!” “No. I haven’t. Marius, don’t you know my sufferings?” I had my tears again but I had to control them. “Yes. You’ve revealed them to me through your mind.”

“You should read the confession then.” He said softly. “Do you know what he has written?” “No. But I think Armand has read it. If he thinks it is the confession to you, you should read it. He must have some points in it. You may have really misunderstood him.” “Really?” I didn’t believe it. “Do you really want to end in this way? Why don’t you give a chance to him and you?”

A chance? Had I really misunderstood him?

I was looking at the locked drawer in my room. I was alone in my room again.

I should give a chance to him and me, should I? Lestat, what were you trying to tell me? A last chance.

I put the disk into the floppy drive finally.

The Queen of the damned, by Lestat de Lioncourt.

Two hundred ago, he met Akasha in Marius’s shrine. He found her beautiful, he found her incomparably beautiful with the barest shape of real words. He heard her name at the same moment of speaking it. It sounded lovely to him. He drew closer to her without willing it, and he leaned forward and he almost kissed her lips. He wanted to. He bent nearer. Then he felt her lips. He wanted to make the blood come up in his mouth and pass it to her. The spell was deepening, and he looked right into the fathomless orbs of her eyes.

He saw Akasha had risen. She was right in front of him, and her black eyebrows came together delicately, barely and her pale pink lips opened to reveal her fang teeth. And then her arms enclosed him, and she drew him closer, and he felt the hand cupping his head gently, very gently, and he felt his teeth against her neck. He did not hesitate. He did not think about her limbs that were locked around him, that could crush the life out of him in a second. He felt his fangs break through the skin as if through a glacial crust, and the blood came steaming into his mouth.

He had thrown his arm over her shoulder, he was clinging to her, his living statue and it didn’t matter that she was harder than marble, that was the way it was supposed to be, it was perfect, his Mother, his lover, his powerful one, and the blood was penetrating every pulsing particle of him with the threads of its burning web. But her lips were against his throat. She was kissing him, kissing the artery through which her own blood so violently flowed. Her lips were opening on it, and as he drew upon her blood with all his strength, sucking, and feeling that gush again and again before it spread itself out into him, he felt the unmistakable sensation of her fangs going into his neck.

Out of every zinging vessel his blood was suddenly drawn into her, even as hers was being drawn into him. He saw it, the shimmering circuit, and more divinely he felt it because nothing else existed but their mouths locked to each other’s throats and the relentless pounding path of the blood. There were no dreams, there were no visions, there was just this, this gorgeous and deafening and heated, and nothing mattered, absolutely nothing, except that this never stop. The world of all things that had weighted and filled space and interrupted the flow of light was gone.

After the set apart, he still felt her presence was all over him like a fragrance, only she had had no fragrance, except that of the incense and the flowers that must have somehow managed to permeate her hard white skin. He felt his neck where she had touched it, and licked his lips and tasted her blood again. The effects of her blood were waning already. The first clear vision was clouded, and his limbs were once again his limbs. They might be stronger, yes, but the magic was dying. The magic had left only something stronger than memory of the circuit of the blood through them both.

He couldn’t stop thinking of her, wondering if it was her laugh he had heard in his sleep the night before. And he wondered that she had told him nothing in the blood, until he closed his eyes and quite suddenly things came back to him, of course, wonderful things, incoherent as they were magical. She and he were walking down a hallway together, no here but in a place he knew. He thought it was a palace in Germany where Haydn wrote his music, and she spoke casually as she had a thousand times to him. She wore a fashionable black hat with a great white plume on its broad brim and a white veil tied round the top of it and under her chin, and her face was merely beginning, merely young.

When he met her again after her abduction, he had feasted on her blood with an animal abandon, that Enkil was destroyed and she alone held the primeval power; and that she was causing him to see things and understand things that made him cry like a child.

It seemed there was a lucid moment in which he connected everything, the rock concert, the house in Carmel Valley, her radiant face before him. And the knowledge that he was here now with her, in this dark snowy place. He had waked her. Or rather he had given her the reason to rise as she had said it. The reason to turn and stare back at the throne on which she had sat and take those first faltering steps away from it.

Terrible things had happened. Over the whole world, terrible things. The execution of those who should never have been born. Evil spawn. The massacre at the concert had been only the finish.

He was now thoroughly confused as to time. Yet he was in her arms in this chilling darkness, in the familiar scent of winter, and her blood was him again, and it was enslaving him. When she drew away, he felt agony. He had to clear his thoughts, had to know whether or not Marius was alive, whether or not Louis and Gabrielle, and Armand, had been spared. He had to find himself again, somehow.

Akasha had got a great idea in her mind. Envision those mortals who had suffered through the long dreary centuries, the victims of famine and deprivation and ceaseless violence. Victims of endless injustice and endless battling. She wanted Lestat to kill for her. He was her instrument. His coming and her waking. And together they should realize all the world’s most enduring dreams.

And this was a Greek Island, this was the Mediterranean Sea. People had lived here up till an hour ago; but now the people were dead. In fact, there were many deaths on this island. And as he had lay there for a moment, drinking in the beauty around him, he saw the village in his mind where they had been before. They had brought the deaths. When he listened, he heard cries coming from the land behind him, over the crest of the hill. Men being slain. He leaned against the frame of the door. He tried to stop his heart from racing. Not his doing, he couldn’t have…..But he had.

Smell of their blood. How could it be so strong and so enticing, when he felt no thirst?

It was only the middle of it.

But I couldn’t read it anymore. This was only his lament to her. Was it a confession to me? I couldn’t see it. It was merely a confession to her! He confessed his love to her! It was his love declaration to her. He was still recalling their memories. He locked himself in his room with her. She had not died. Or perhaps, he had died with her just like the way Louis to Claudia. It was true, I had no meaning to him. I was only a fool. His book proved it. Yes, Armand was correct, I was too egotistic. I had believed I had importance to him. I had believed he loved me. I had believed he would deny his love to her. The book was the last hope. But my last hope had gone now. All were my imaginations only. Where was his love to me? Where was it gone? Or there was none in the beginning? Why did he hurt me? Why had he pretended to love me? To wake Akasha? I’m only a tool? An useful one? Yes, I had no Lestat. Akasha was not alone. He was with her forever!

A great sound of shattering glasses. All the windows I could see in the room were shattered. That’s not my anger had done it. That’s my despair had done it.

I knew it now. I was totally in despair with Lestat. I didn’t want to see him again in my lifetime.

I rushed to Louis’s room.

"Louis.” I said his name with my broken voice. “Yes.” He turned around. “I am leaving.” “Leave? Why?” He was surprised with my sudden decision. “Don’t ask. I just want to leave here as soon as possible.” He was shocked. “Tell me why. I worry about you.” I ignored him. “I just want to ask you if you will leave with me or not.” He had no response to my invitation. His silence made me disappointed. I didn’t know why it still disappointed me though I had known for his answer before I asked him this question. “I know you will not go with me. Actually I just want to say goodbye to you.” My voice was lowered. “No. I want to go with you, but I can’t go with you. The one you need is not me, is Lestat. If I leave with you, both of us will die. We are too similar to each other, we are always in despair and sufferings that will kill us finally. But Lestat can make you live and make you have your energy again. Why don’t both of you say a word to each other? You should not leave him like this.”

"If I don’t leave, I will die.” I said it without looking him. I didn’t want him to see my sufferings. “No, you won’t. What has happened? Tell me. What have made you to have such a decision suddenly?” I shook my head. “You are still asking me questions. I don’t want to mention it for a single word.” “But I care about you. You can’t leave. You can’t live on your own.” “No, I can. If I really fail to do it, then let me die. That’s should be the best for me.” He shook my body. “You can’t kill yourself. You have asked me to give you the promise not to do it. How can you do it? I won’t allow.” I sighed. “But I can’t stay with you all here anymore. It is killing me just like the corrosion. I will even die faster if I stay with him!” I hardly kept my balance. “Him? Lestat?” He whispered.

"Both of you need to have a talk.” He drew my hand. “Come with me!” He seldom acted so rude. “Where are you going? Where do you want to bring me?” I asked. “Go to his room and ask him the questions that have been long in your heart in these days. That’s the best for both of you.” “No. I have no questions. I have nothing to talk to him. No, please! Louis.” I pleaded. He was still pulling me. I stopped him with my maximum physical strength. “Jen, I do it for your own good and so for him.” He looked at me with his sorrow eyes. I looked away. “You should know you can’t force me to do what I don’t want.” My tears rose. “I know. That’s the power and the strength that Lestat has given you.” He sighed. “He has given those I don’t want and I don’t need but he has robbed those I treasure.” I said coldly.

"Jen, please ask to your heart, do you really hate him? Do you really want to end your love to him in this way? Do you really want to shun him for your lifetime?” “Louis, don’t say it anymore and please let me go.” I begged him just like he had begged Jesse. He enclosed me with his arms. “I know I can’t keep you here even for one more second. Jen, but I can’t see you die. Please stay with us.” He kissed me on my cheek. “Louis, I don’t love you now. I don’t even love myself. I don’t know what love is. I can’t find it in my world either. The feeling of the love once I’ve had is so real but it is not real in the end. It has run away from me as the play has its end. That night Lestat not only has taken my human life but also all I’ve owned and treasured. I’ve lost everything and my life is ending.” “No. You are wrong. You haven’t lost anything but you just escape from your loves. Lestat loves you and so do Marius and I. It will not end if you accept our loves and have your will to go on. The will you’ve used to have and have struggled for.” I sighed. “If you have read the book, you will understand. Love? It is a thing that I will never have.” “What book?” He frowned. “Just forget it. I leave now.” “Promise me, we will meet in future.” He said behind me. “I will keep my life until I can’t bear it no longer. That’s the only thing I can promise you. Take care, my beloved Louis.”

***

"I am leaving now.” Marius, Armand and Daniel were listening to me.

“You are leaving? How about Lestat? You leave Lestat here? He’s still locked himself in his room. I haven’t seen him for more than a month already.” Daniel had his fastest reaction. “Come on, what has happened between you and him? You love each other so much. Why do you want to leave him? He needs you.” I darkened my face. "Don’t say his name to me!” I said to them through my mind and I ignored his questions.

“Have you read it?” Armand asked. I had no response. I was just looking outside the window. “Have you?” He insisted asking his question. “Yes. I don’t want to discuss his book anymore. That’s meaningless.” “Meaningless? Is it really meaningless to you? He wrote it for you!” Armand’s reaction was so strong that made me surprised. “For me? I can’t see it!” I said coldly.

“Why are you still so cold or even colder to him after reading his confession?” He frowned. “His confession?” I laughed. “What do you expect from me? Run towards him and hold him tight in my arms? The one he expects to do such thing is not me. He needs Akasha. He loves Akasha!” My tears were out of control again. And my tears only made my decision more confirmed. “But your tears betray you. You still love him.” “No. I don’t love anyone in this world.” “It’s only….” Armand wanted to continue but I stopped him. “Sorry, Armand. I don’t want to talk about him, about his book, about his confession, about Akasha anymore. I just want to leave here immediately. It’s over now.” I looked at them with my pleading expression.

“Jen.” Marius’s voice. “Do you really want to go?” He held both of my hands. He was always so warm to me. “I can’t stay here any longer. Each time I passed his door, each time I heard his pleading to Jesse, I couldn’t make myself balanced. I will die if I stay with them, or I have died already after that night.” I sat the tears in my eyes. “You even don’t want to say their names. But you will die after leaving us.” His voice was fainted. “I don’t care. Or I should say I have no choice. I can’t find my source of life here. I must leave. And I know I can’t find it in anywhere either. Loneliness and despair always are with me.”

“Marius, I know you have helped me a lot, you have guided me to have a will to live. But I am failed to be your student. I can’t learn anything from you. I have the strong powers that many young vampires and mortals dream to have. However, all these things are not what I want. I only want a human life that all of you here can’t give me. I should end it at that night but I haven’t done it because of my love to them. But one doesn’t love me that I have known for it in the beginning. I have accepted that. But the other one has cheated me, cheated me in name of his love to me. The love he has given me is fake. I have no family, this dark family is not my own. Nobody loves me in this world. I can’t feel the love from my parents and Sister Doris. I don’t want them to see me living in this dark life, the way I desire for the blood. I can’t see the sun anymore that it gives me energy when I am sad and feel lonely in my mortal time. But no sun anymore, only this darkness, only this forever solitude, no ending of this suffering.”

"Jen, don’t do it please.” He held me in his arms and caressed my hair gently like his daughter. I shook my head. “I have my promise to Louis. I think if I still choose to do it, I will make myself appear to you all for once and say goodbye for the last time. You should know it is a relief to me, just like the relief to Claudia and to Nicki. My courage has died with my human body and my human soul. I don’t have the courage to live now, to live forever with this dark dream.” He let go of me unwillingly. “Goodbye, Marius, my teacher and my father.” I looked at him one more time. “I will not say it to you. I will see you again.” I smiled bitterly. “Goodbye to you all.” I left them.

This Island I had lived for them for more than a month, I knew I would not return just like I had no return.

***

I didn’t know where to go. I hadn’t had any plan for my travelling or even for my life. Without any ideas, I chose to return to New Orleans for my first destination because I had to get my treasure belongings.

When I arrived at the front door, I hesitated for opening it. I only stood there for a long time just like that night I returned home from my workshop. I was afraid of meeting Lestat that night. But I knew he would not be in the house now and ever. Yet, I still was afraid of entering this house. It reminded me the living with my ex-companion. It reminded me all about him and the sad memories. But my time planned for being here was short. I had to hurry. After a while, I took a deep breath and turned the key. As the door opened, I saw my lovely house. The air was stuffy as the windows had been closed for more than three months. I only had left here for such a short time, but my life had changed a lot already. Was it a nightmare? I really wanted it to be a nightmare and I still could wake up from it. It still could be ended.

I stared at the sofa where we had been sat together. I remembered the time of his embrace. I sat on it and touched the leather as if it could give me the feeling again. But there was no warmth and it was so cold that only chilled me. This feeling made me want to cry. Cried for his lies. Yes, he was a liar. I stood up and walked to my room and seeing a post on his closed door. That’s my post to him, “take care”. It was still there. I heard my sigh.

At the same time, I heard the piano music from my studio. I was surprised but I couldn’t sense for any presence of other creatures in this house. I entered my studio and nobody was there. I realized the music was from my hi-fi. It was still playing my favorite CD. It must be me who had forgot to switch it off before my leaving. It had played for more than three months. How ridiculous I was.

The studio hadn’t changed. All the settings were still the same. I sat at my desk where I had used to do my work. The desk was full of dusk but I still bent over the desk and closed my eyes. I didn’t remember how many times I had slept in this way at the desk. I did love this feeling because my Dad always did this. I found him very cute when he slept like this. Suddenly, I heard a signal from my watch. I looked at the watch and it had been ten already. I needed to be hurry. But my eyes focused on the top drawer. I wanted to open it but I was scared. I was so surprised that I was scared to open it. Where was my courage? I didn’t want to be a piker.

I opened it. Yes, here they were. The books and the scheduler. There was an indivisible relationship between them and me. My fate had been changed because of them. I opened the scheduler to the pages containing the drawing of me. I had once hated it but I was very surprised that I missed it so much now. I closed it and took a good look at my studio. I saw him sitting on the sofa with my portable scheduler and smiled to me. He was sitting on the parapet alone and having his temper. He was playing the piano with his intoxication. Lestat, the one I loved but with my hate at the same time. My heart still ached. I put them in the drawers and I knew I wouldn’t open it again. I glanced to them for the last time. Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. My memories should be locked inside also. I said goodbye to them in my heart. And I couldn’t stay here any longer just like I couldn’t stay at the Night Island. I knew I would collapse if I didn’t leave it at once. I left the room and locked the door.

I opened the cabinet in my room and took out the photo albums from it. They were the purpose for my return. They contained a few photos with my family and Sister Doris. I knew I couldn’t lose them. I knew I had to bring them along wherever I would go.

I opened the albums and turned page by page. It was happy to see their faces again. My parents were born in Hong Kong and met for each other there. Although I also was born in there, I didn’t have much impression for that place. Yet, I knew it must be a lovely place that my parents had met, got married and given my birth. And the photos showed the beauty of it also. I even felt myself loving it just by watching the photos. But several photos attracted my attention. My parents were sitting on a white sofa and at the dinning table with their warm smiles. It was that small house that I had seen it in my dream. The first door! The happiness and the excitement were so strong that I could feel my heartbeats when I knew it was real. It was not a dream. It should be the first house my parents had and the place I had lived in Hong Kong. I knew I must find it.

It’s only less than two hours left for me to stay in New Orleans. I had to get abroad to a private flight to New York in the midnight. I had planned for the tight schedule for three hours only in New Orleans intentionally since I was afraid of thinking too much if I stay in here for too long. I had to finish all the things here with a minimum time.

One thing I left was Vicky. I wanted to see her once more. But I knew I wouldn’t let her see me. I couldn’t imagine what would happen if she saw my face and my new appearance. Although I had my make-up and it should be no much difference from the humans, I still could not take this risk. I didn’t want to bother her living. I just wanted to know if she was fine, then I would leave her alone.

I knew she must be in her office. She was a workaholic. It had been almost eleven when I arrived. The door was open. She was there. She hadn’t changed too much just like the old days. I could see her at the desk and reading a movie magazine. It was about our movie. It had been nominated for the Oscar. She was excited with the nomination. She was a person that expressed her feelings on the face. I loved her directness. I saw her finishing the reading and walking towards the window. She was recalling the memories about our team working together for more than a year. Firstly we worked in New York and then we followed the production team here. She was thinking of me now. I could read it from her mind.

"Where are you, Jen? Why can’t I contact you for such a long time? I really want to share this good news to you. And I know you will share this to your parents and your Sister. That’s your effort and your inherited gift. You should not hide yourself in your own world anymore. You can do it. You can do the best and will not let your loves down. You are my brilliant pupil. I am proud of you. But where are you? I’m really worried about you. You should not give up now. I can teach you all of my knowledge and skills. You have lots to learn. You have a long way to go.”

My tears were called by her thoughts. I really wanted to show up but I didn’t dare to do so. She was my love. She was my honorable teacher. But it was the dark gift that separated us for each other forever. I couldn’t contact with humans any longer. I couldn’t predict what would happen if I did so. I couldn’t bear the risk that I would harm any of my loves and any of the innocents. That’s my fate. That’s the life Lestat had given me.

But I was glad that Vicky was fine. She was happy with her family. Her husband, Ivan, was very kind. I could feel they loved for each other so much. And her son, Edmond was six years old now. He was a cute boy and he was clever, although very naughty always. They all were healthy. It was a happy family that I always dreamt of. There was no need for me to worry about. She would always on my mind and I would have my blessing to her wherever I was. I knew it’s time to go now and I left with my smile.

When I was on the flight, I looked outside the window for the final glance to this city, New Orleans. I said goodbye in my heart. The feeling just like the night I left for the Night Island. And I knew I would never be back to this city again.

Before I took another flight to New York, I had a rest in a secret place that Armand had told me in the Night Island. These places were over the world. He taught me that I must rest in these secret places reserved for vampires in order to hide from the sunlight and the mortals. If we had to travel around, we had to take the private flights that were also specially arranged for us. I didn’t think if we could fly with humans. It was dangerous to them and to us. It was Armand who arranged all these things for me. He was so experienced in travelling. It was probably because he had always done it with Daniel. And he solved my great problem also. He knew I couldn’t feed on humans. He arranged large farms for me that I could go for feeding. Actually, I knew I couldn’t really detached with the dark family. I couldn’t hide myself from them and at least Armand would know my destinations. But I had told him to keep it in secret. I didn’t know why I could trust him. I remembered the hate to him in the early days but now, no hate and not enemy anymore. He was my friend now. He would help me whatever I had asked for.

And he had introduced me a lawyer, Sharon. He had told me that our kind would be getting richer and richer as time went by. That’s why he could own such a great place in the Night Island. And a lawyer could help us to deal with our properties and documents. The most important was she could do things we could not do in the daytime. So, it was a must. I had met Sharon for the first time in New York. She was Chinese also. She was a charming lady and about twenty-five. She was nice and I liked her. She knew I was not a human. In fact, I didn’t care if she knew it or not but I just knew she would be fine even she worked me. I didn’t know why I could be so sure for it. And she was the only mortal who could be close to me and could contact me. The first thing she had to do for me was to find out my old house in Hong Kong. I gave her the photos that my parents had taken for the house. I did know it was a difficult job for her to do since I had just given little information for the finding. But I really wanted to buy it and lived in it.

Then, I took flights for my travelling. It was Vicky had suggested me to look around the world. First, I went to Europe. I loved Europe when I still was a human. The countries I loved most were Greece and Egypt. I loved the historical sites and their cultures. But I felt painful when I went there. I couldn’t enjoy the trips since they only reminded me the origins of us, the story between Akasha, Enkil, Khayman and The Twins. I left there once I couldn’t bear. I moved to other countries in Europe. I had been to Britain, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Italy and France etc. But all of them gave the same feeling to me. I always wrongly identified the pass-by as Lestat and Louis. These counties only reminded me the stories of them, Claudia, Armand and Theatre des Vampires. These trips made me even suffer more. I knew I couldn’t stay at the Night Island, New Orleans and even for the whole Europe.

I continued to find my dreaming place. I had been to Japan, India, Thailand and Korea. The cultures were so different from Europe. I loved them since I had the same color of skin and hair to them. I didn’t know their languages and their traditions. It made me even being more interested in them. I stayed here much longer than the time I was in Europe. The country in Asia impressed me most was China. Perhaps, it was because I was Chinese. But she was really a great country. There were many tribes. They had different living styles, religions, and traditions. I thought Chinese was much more implicative than the Europeans but they had ardent hearts. Most of the time, they seemed to be apathy to the things not related to themselves. But, it was not true. They only didn’t know how to express their feelings. Perhaps, I had been inherited this characteristic also. Anyway, I felt comfortable when being with them. It was an invisibly close relationship between us. We shared the same source.

Sharon had been still searching my house in Hong Kong for these years and found it finally. Thus, I had my trip to Hong Kong and really wanted to have a good look for this beautiful place. Before I arrived, Sharon had arranged everything already. She had done all documents. I was amazed with her efficiency. But amazing me much more was this place. When she drove me to the house from the airport, it was almost midnight but I still could see there was full of people with quick pace and full of vehicles in those narrow streets. I was surprised there were so many traffic lights and we needed to stop again after driving for a short distance only. But I was not anxious. I had plenty of time. Actually, I even enjoyed the waiting time and it could let me to study this place in full details. The air was full of fuel smell. Usually, the people in New Orleans and Seattle would stay at home in this late time. And I couldn’t imagine for the high density of the people in such a small place also. The concrete blocks were kissing to each other in front of me as if they would not feel tired and boring. And the height of them were generally much higher than those in New Orleans. Different colors of lights were everywhere. This made the city bright and alive. This was the city that never slept.

I was really frightened of it since it should be a great danger for me to live in a place with such a high density. How could I hide from the humans? The lust was much greater then elsewhere. The lust was around me no matter where I was. Yet, I didn’t care for it now. I loved it at the first sight on the contrary. It was a hot and wet place. The warmth and the closeness, this place given to me, were wonderful as I felt cold always. It might be because I hadn’t ever taken the human blood.

And I could embrace the city. It was actually a metropolitan that assimilated with different cultures of the West and the East. I could see the artifacts and antiques from the Oriental. I could visit the Western architectures. I could find trendy accessories and cartoon toys from Japan. Different kinds of food such as Japanese Sushi, Indian Curry, Korean Barbecue, Chinese Cuisine, American Steak and Italian Pizza etc. could be found in streets easily. That’s my place. That’s my origin. All the people had black hair and brown eyes just like mine. They spoke Cantonese, the language that I had taught by my parents. It was my mother tongue although I hadn’t spoken or heard for it after the death of my parents. But I would never forget it. When I heard the people speaking it, I love it. I felt so close to them. I could walk with the crowd and feel myself was one of them. It made me forgot what I was. It gave me the energy one more time and made me reborn just like the time I was born in here. I had made a right choice. It should be the most suitable place for me to settle down.

My old house was in Telford Garden. It was only a small and ordinary flat but I loved it. Although I couldn’t find the forgot memories for this house, it had been enough for me already. I had been satisfied. It was the place I could smell for the scents of my parents. And I could still feel their existence. They were with me and lived together after all.

Sharon had decorated the house that was based on the photos. A simple varnish of the light blue color had been done. The furniture was mainly made of wood. There was a white sofa with a teapoy in front of it in the living room. A set of white dinning table and chairs were placed in the dinning room. And the house had two little rooms only. One was the study room and the other was the bedroom. I thought the study room should have been my room in the past. But now there was a wooden desk with a computer on it and two large bookshelves in the room. The bedroom was sealed completely. There was a double bed in the middle with two bedside lamps. A large wardrobe and a small cabinet could be found in it also. The house was simple. But I just loved the simplicity of it.

And I loved to look outside from the windows. I could see the terrace below. There was a playground. Many people were there also. The children were playing with the rolling circle and climbing the stand. Sometimes, they would chase after each other. They were so na?ve and so cute. The parents just sat there and looked at their kids playing or even played with them. They always carried smiles and I loved to look at their happy faces. And in the farther area, the open resting-place with a large fountain pool in the middle was so beautiful. There were spotting lights irradiating the squirt. And the color of the lights would been changed automatically. Many people always sat around the pool and had their rests. Some were reading newspapers or magazines. Some were having their snacks. Some were just sitting there and having their daydreams. I could stare at these pictures for a whole night. I really enjoyed doing it for my time.

But usually, the first thing I had woken up was to go to the large farms at the north. The feeding was the most important thing for me to do every night. I did it because I didn’t want to let my hunger build. I couldn’t imagine what would happen if I let it build. The stronger the hunger, the more the danger for the innocents. That’s the nature I had been familiar with and that’s the lust I couldn’t forget. It’s the safest way to live in such a high dense place. And it was the only way that I could be with my love, humans.

For the time left after the feeding, I always walk in the crowd. I dressed like a human and had my make up. I always tied up my hair and with my cap and glasses on. No mortals could identify me except they touched me. I would follow the chosen ones. I chose for them not because I wanted to feed on them. I chose since I found interesting to know more about them. I wanted to know where they would go, what they would talk and what they would do. But I would stick to my principle: I would not follow them over one night. That’s would be dangerous for both of the mortals and me if I did so. I wouldn’t have any contacts with them in the follows. I wouldn’t build up any relationships with them. I was in the crowd but I kept myself detached. That’s the way the vampires lived. Nobody could change it.

My story should be ended here.

***

I don’t know if I will really end my dark life after all. But I remember the promise I have given to Louis. I think if I will do it, I will see him and Marius for my last time.

Yet, you may wonder why I publish this book. Yes, I have my purposes. The living in Hong Kong makes me somehow alive again. But deep down in my heart, I know I can’t live for long with this temporary energy. And as I have said before, I may live for a hundred years or two. However, I can’t live like this forever. I am still not interested in seeing the end of time. I just want to be again a human, the race I am proud of and love.

For my kind, I haven’t contacted with them except Armand. He actively sends me emails about his latest news and wants me to tell him about mine. I reply to him just on occasions, may be once or twice in a year. From his emails, I know there are more books have been published after The Vampire Lestat. And none of the new books quote my name as I have requested. But I think I will not read anyone of them. I still don’t want to communicate with Lestat by any means. Thus, Armand also never mentions his name in the emails. Otherwise, I know I will stop our communication immediately. Actually, he really helps me a lot but I don’t know what he will think if he knows about this book. I haven’t told anyone about my idea.

Talamasca has been always on my mind in these years.

Although I have felt sad when I heard Louis begging Jesse for the apparition of Claudia, their conversation has given me a hope that I can have a chance to meet my parents and Sister Doris. The ability to contact with spirits or ghosts has drawn my attention. I have to go to Talamasca and have a talk with David Talbot. And the most important is to ask him if he can have any ideas to save me from this dark world with his long-lasting research and his knowledge. I don’t know other vampires can go on years after years like this. I also don’t understand why so many mortals want to have this endless life and they even think it is a gift to them. They think we are fallen angels and we are beautiful. Are we really angels? Do we really come from heaven? I don’t think so. The only thing I know is this dark life means nothing to me at all. An eternal life without love, only with despair accompanied.

I know I will go to Talamasca.

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