• wannabebloodsucker
    26.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (17/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : Heavy horror themes, body horror, violence, non consensual blood sucking.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 17/? (2314 words)

    Author’s notes : Eris is back, for better or worse…

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    “Professor ? Would you have a minute ?”

    I snapped my head up, suddenly realizing I had been staring into the void for the better part of an hour. Popping out of the office’s doorframe, Stephan Helder’s familiar, disheveled head of dark blond hair of made me force a little smile. I passed my hands over my face, and invited him to come in. It was already late, but I knew he preferred to work in the school library than at home, which was understandable.

    He stepped in, carefully closing the door behind me, as if doing it too loud would startle me. He put down his heavy-looking bag on the floor, and took a seat across from my desk, nervously bouncing his leg. I’d learned to know it wasn’t from actual anxiety, but more of small quirk of his. It tended to unnerve me, but I did my best not to be concerned by it.

    “So, what can I help you with ? Everything going fine in your classes ?”, I asked.

    “Oh, yes, sure, everything’s great. I mean, I’m not really here for me.”

    He took a pause, staring at me. “Well, what is it then ?”, I pressed, puzzled.

    “I-I was worried about you, professor, actually”, he began, avoiding my gaze by looking intensely at the leather-bound version of the Odyssey, at the end of my desk.

    “Worried about me ?”, I only repeated, hoping to have a bit more information.

    “Well, you haven’t been responding to my e-mails in some while, and, no offense, but you look sort of tired.”

    That kid would be the end of me. I leaned back into my seat. He was a bit annoying at times, but his boldness was at the very least amusing. I smiled at him, hoping it would put him a bit more at ease, as I could see he was already regretting his last sentence.

    “I am tired, actually, but you’ll see this when you’ll try and get a doctorate”, I joked.

    That seemed to make him have a couple of laughs, but he still had that crease between his thick eyebrows.

    “I know you met my mother”, he told me.

    Ah. He looked almost apologetic. Children seem to often have to find excuses for their parents, as they’re often more conscious of the feelings of others, while adults mostly aren’t. I knew that look, as I had found myself presenting it a lot.

    “I have met Mary Van Helsing, yes.”

    He shifted on the edge of his seat. “She told you about professor Balaur, didn’t she ?”

    Gods, more lies. What the hell was I supposed to tell this kid ?

    “She did, although I’m… not sure what to think of it”, I prudently told him.

    “I’m sorry”, he almost cut me off. “I’m- I’m the one who told her about him, I was worried and I didn’t think she’d actually come to you. I know she can be… Well. You know.”

    I wasn’t even angry at him. I could have been, easily, especially given how on edge I was. I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like. As children, we believe in monsters, hiding in the closet, or under your bed, lurking in the shadows. But at the very least, you had your parents reassure you, tell you they aren’t real. That they can’t hurt you. I wondered if his parents told him about all they did. Mary Van Helsing didn’t seem like the sort to go soft, but I hadn’t met his dad. With luck, he was a regular guy, and took care of not traumatizing his kid into anxiety disorders and paranoia. Although, on that particular count, he had been right. I wished he’d kept his worries to himself. Then again… That was an odd coincidence that he should show up exactly the semester after I met Vlad. I think he believed it was just that, a coincidence, but I was starting to suspect foul play there. Mary Van Helsing didn’t seem like one to leave things to fate.

    “Don’t worry about that”, I tried to reassure him as best I could. “I work with medieval historians all the time, it takes a lot to scare me.”

    He had a little laugh, sounding less nervous ans shaky than before.

    “You should know”, he added, a bit hesitant. “My mother has her flaws, but she is rarely wrong. Professor Balaur is often around you… I can only tell you to be careful.”

    I smiled, and promised him I would be. Gods, if he knew. He had a few more questions, about my class and the use of some cartography software that I knew for a fact was nightmarish to use. He then took his leave, while I remained seated in my office, without really having a reason to.

    I say “my” office, even though I supposedly share it with two other doctorate students. They were rarely there, and if it was only a coincidence that we never crossed paths, they didn’t seem to mind that I used half their shelves for my own stuff, and even their desks. More often than not, then, even here, I was alone. Now that I thought of it, my life since I finished my master’s degree had been more nocturnal than ever. If you asked anyone who would be more likely to be a vampire between Vlad and I, I’d be the surer choice.

    Realizing that I wouldn’t be able to get any more work done tonight, I decided to take my leave for the day. It was close to midnight, and the last tramways ran little after that hour, so if I wanted to avoid two hours of walking, I should probably find a way to get that last one. I gathered my stuff, and slipped my laptop into my bag. Once again, at that sort of hour, no one remained on campus. The empty corridors seemed too long, too narrow, repeating my steps after me, just to spook me. You know, that feeling when you start thinking “what if someone followed me”, and the more you try to brush it off and make light of it, the more you want to walk faster, and dread looking back ?

    At this point, I was practically running, when I forced myself to get a grip. I breathed in, deeply, and stopped. Standing in the middle of the main hall, only lit by pale moonlight, I controlled my breathing until my legs stopped shaking. Slowly, but deliberately, I turned back, my heart sinking into my stomach. Obviously, there was nothing to be seen.

    A bit reassured, if not completely serene, I continued towards the exit, and stepped out into the cold night air. If the silence of the inside was eerie, outside, the multitude of noises the night produced were worse. A rustle of leaves, a gust of wind, howling and whistling in the crooks of the buildings. I sighed. Everything was fine. Creepy atmosphere never killed anyone, as far as I was aware of. Still, I walked as fast as I could, not wanting to linger for more than absolutely necessary.

    Eris…

    The voice made me stop dead in my tracks. It echoed in my mind, soft, and deep, but somewhat… Metallic. Scraping. Like rusty gears coated in honey. I wondered for a second if it might have been Vlad, playing a very questionable prank on me. He didn’t seem like one to particularly enjoy practical jokes, except the occasional dramatic entrance. I elected to ignore it, and started walking again.

    Eris.

    This time, the voice was insisting, more firm. It still seemed to come from deep withing myself, which was… unnerving, as it left no idea as where to look for it. I stopped once again. Bracing myself, I turned, looking back. Nothing, no one.

    Right behind you.

    I swiftly turned around, not freezing for whatever miracle, only to gaze onto the empty campus once more. That was, until I turned back, and noticed a silhouette, over in the distance. It was tall, long. It almost looked like it… Shifted, undulated in the wind. Like something you see through great heat. It was dark, so much that I couldn’t actually distinguish any particular features, except two bright dots of light, where its face would be. I didn’t dare move, or blink. I was sure if I moved a muscle, or looked anywhere else, it might disappear, or move closer, like a sick game of ‘Red light, Green light’.

    Eris.

    The voice was even more grating, dark, so low that I could feel it vibrate in my bones. I had the gun. In a pocket I quickly sewed in the lining of my coat. I knew where it was, the movement I’d have to do to take it. Yet, I was unable to move. No matter how hard I tried, no matter the tears starting to stream down my face.

    I think fear doesn’t begin to describe what feeling was settling all over my body, from the pit of my stomach. It stretched over my every limb, like a fungus, spreading to every cell, encasing every bone in a mycellium of primal dread. The only sound I could hear was that of my own raspy, trembling breathing, coming out choked, and leaving me craving for air. I heard the faint sound of Leah’s ringtone, in my pocket. It turned off.

    It didn’t move, yet was closer. It wasn’t a thing. It didn’t feel human, it didn’t feel neither here nor elsewhere. A persistence of vision, engraved into my iris. For a moment, I wanted to believe I only fell asleep at my desk, and the whole thing was just a nightmarish delirium. Leah’s ringtone broke the silence again, and turned off. Again.

    It was feet from me now. I could make out the vague outline of a suit, that hung weirdly on the body. The body… If you could call it that. It could have looked like a human, if you only glanced at it, from afar. I didn’t have that sort of luck, however, and was very privy to its deformities. The sleeve stopped at mid-forearm. A long, thin forearm, hairless, skin white as parchment, so dry it looked like it would crumble to ash if I touched it. The hands were swollen, too long, too… they almost looked like someone gave a vague instruction as to what a hand looked like, and it grew them from that description. My eyes fell on his chest. The shirt was too small, the buttons struggling to keep it in place, even though the thing was sickly slender. What terrified me was the darkness behind the holes, stretched out between the buttons. Not as if its skin was dark in itself, but an utter and complete void.

    A hand stretched out, and still, I could do nothing but silently cry as a fingernail dragged across my cheek. Even though the movement was disturbingly light, and slow, I could feel the nail dig into my skin, and blood blend into my tears.

    I see why he chose you…

    Its mouth did not move. To be fair, it was more of a slightly agape slit than a mouth. The details of its face were fuzzy, shifting, like something… Crawled under its skin. I felt the other hand press onto my back, tearing through my clothes like paper, and into my skin. I couldn’t even scream. The hand near my face sunk into my hair, and pulled my head aside, revealing my neck. The slit opened, ripping the skin at the edges as it became larger, revealing dozens of needle-like teeth, gleaming in the absolute darkness of the mouth. The jaw unhinged itself as it opened wider, and lowered into my neck, excruciatingly slowly. I wondered if it enjoyed seeing me sobbing in terror as much as it would enjoy killing me.

    I had no doubt I would die, there and then. I started to feel the little points setting against my skin, on my neck, shoulder, my chest. They sank in with no resistance.

    What a waste…

    I don’t know if you have ever had blood sucked out of you, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not like bleeding out, after a cut. No. You feel your veins forcefully pulse from inside your body, the blood forced to turn back as it was supposed to run the other way. It feels like maggots, running inside your body by the hundred, and the worst part is the sound. That slurping, wet sound of tongue and teeth and the gurgling of-

    Everything was dark.

    I found myself standing in darkness like I’d never seen before. I had been in caves, lights all out, and still nothing compared to this. I could see myself, but no shadows set anywhere on my body. It was cloaked in some sort of robe, that felt more like a shapeless, thick smoke. I felt some solid ground, though I couldn’t have told what it felt like, even barefooted.

    “Is anyone here ?”

    My voice seemed to carry nowhere. No one answered. Was I already dead ? Was it what death was like ? Unending darkness and silence ? Nothing to feel, to touch, to hear ? The sudden presence that manifested behind me almost made me jump. It might always have been there, now that I thought of it. I didn’t need to ask if I was dying. I felt at peace with it, somehow. A low humming filled the silence. Not ominous. Almost like a lullaby. I closed my eyes, not that it made any sensible difference. A small tingle ran over my limbs, and as it went up, I lost sensation to them entirely, until nothing remained, but the humming. Soft, until my mind, like an eye, finally closed.

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @paracosmfantasy @lost-girl-inc

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 17 #fanfiction#fanfic#dracula fanfic#dracula fanfiction#dracula #Bram Stoker's Dracula #dracula castlevania#dracula au #dracula x oc #vampire #vampire x human #vampire x oc #romance#slow burn #enemies to lovers #horror#body horror #death ????
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    23.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (16/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : Graphic depictions of violence (death, gore, body horror). Reader discretion is advised.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 16/? (3111 words)

    Author’s notes : Leah’s pov. 

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    Once I got used to the way Carmilla drove her truck like a bumper car, and made my peace with my imminent death, I realized she actually never was anything close to hitting anything. She just had that crazy energy that called for concern, somehow. When I was able to shrug it off, though, I was actually pretty fun. She kept a hand on the wheel, not seeming to pay much attention to the road at all, and asked me a lot of questions.

    You’d think that would be the other way around, but she somehow seemed interested In knowing things about me. She wondered about my hobbies, my research subject, my favorite sound, or if I’d rather have licorice for teeth, or fruit-by-the-foot for arms. We ended up disagreeing on that matter, but to be fair, I figured licorice wasn’t that bad for someone who feeds exclusively on blood.

    She parked in my street, and I guided her toward a tall, 15-something stories high building I called home. It was old, but not enough as to be aesthetically pleasing like Eris’, or even have an old-fashioned charm. Nah, mine was from some forgotten architect’s mind from the seventies, who modeled the whole block out of the most boring version of brutalism possible. Like, I had nothing against brutalism per se, Le Corbusier buildings usually slap, but this one… Wasn’t it. When I first started to live there, I did the math of how many people could live in such a huge place, and the quick realization that it was well over a three-digit number gave me vertigo for days. As of now, it seemed perfectly normal, and I knew most of the people living there on a first-name basis. Carmilla was looking over the stark lines of concrete, dividing the façade in hive-like rectangles.

    “Well, that’s… Uninspired”, she commented, which made me laugh.

    “You’re nowhere near ready for the inside, then”, I replied, fumbling for my keys.

    I buzzed us in, the strong, metallic noise of the door making her cringe. I myself took some time to get used to it. The floor was covered in some cheap imitation of marble, and the walls by some faded, yellowed wallpaper no one had bothered changing or cleaning in years. The roof, as was the trend back when it was built, was a dirty white rough plaster, that too never cleaned, as parging was obviously nearly impossible to wash. I called for the lift, giggling at Carmilla’s cringe. As the red LEDs showed the lift’s slow descent toward the ground floor, I knocked on the wooden frame a few times.

    “What’s that for ?”, the vampire asked, curious.

    “Oh, it’s superstition, so that the lift doesn’t break down”, I replied, the absurdity of the ritual hitting me as I put it into words.

    “That doesn’t make any sense.”

    “Never said it did !”

    As the small screen indicated it reached our floor, with a small, rusty bell sound, I opened the door. It was the kind of elevator that had no doors of its own, but every floor had a swing door, opening onto the shaft. That always seemed like an incredibly hazardous system, especially considering the number of children I spotted running down the corridors every damn day. And no, there was obviously no security close to the doors, meaning anyone could just throw themselves down the elevator shaft at any given time. Miraculously, there had been no incidents since I moved there, except the one instance of a 60-something year-old man breaking his hip. The lift didn’t go all the way to match the level, because of God knows what kind of mechanical failure, and he missed the step. Thankfully, the walls are kind of thin here, and his scream quickly alerted a neighbor, who called an ambulance immediately.

    Still, there were always stories, the usual type you find in any buildings, really. One lady, scorned by her lover, supposedly threw herself down in despair, her cries still haunting the halls in moonless nights. On the thirteenth floor, the elevator would seem there, but as you’d open the door, you would only see the pitch black darkness of the shaft, and be pushed in. As I myself lived on that particular floor, I never had any instance of dying by supernatural forces in six years of residence. Not yet, at least.

    While the lift went up, the familiar slight squeaking noise was the only disturbance to the silence. I propped myself against the wall opposite the door, and she had her elbow pressed against the same wall, nonchalantly leaning over me. I tried looking as casual as possible, but I could somehow feel like she delighted in the effect she had on me. I wondered if it was perfume, but she smelled strange. Not bad, mind you, but something unusual. I could have described it saying it was spicy, yet sweet, like cinnamon and honey in a lemon black tea, but it felt more like a landscape. The more I focused on that perfume, the more everything seemed to fade away, placing images in my mind. Dark, orange dunes, undulating under a deep blue sky, ripples of golden grains softly running across their quiet surface. Tall ridges of red stone, carved by the winds and ancient, long gone rives into maze-like patterns, so narrow the bright moon couldn’t fit entirely in the gorges.

    The elevator bell suddenly brought me back to reality, and though still a bit shaken, I didn’t mention anything. I led her into the long corridor, bathed in an orange, flickering haze by the wall lights. I opened my door with the usual struggle, and as usual, proved the victor, pushing it in. Whoever put it on its hinges obviously did a marvelous job, as it was a bit tilted, and drew a circular black mark where it dragged every time I opened it. Seeing as she didn’t get in, I quickly invited her in, closing the door behind her with a kick.

    I regretted not putting a bit more order into the flat, even if I had no way of knowing I’d get a visitor. I mean, Eris did come over regularly, but we knew each other long enough that she didn’t pay any mind to the mess, knowing where to step to not squeeze out a cable or something like that. It wasn’t dirty, I just figured furniture was too expensive and not useful enough as to be something I’d waste money on. Most of my books were stacked in piles along the wall, which was arguably better than standing up anyways, concerning the warping of pages. My couch, tables, chairs were also the results of many DIY weekend with Eris, using pallets we found scavenging around big supermarkets, and a lot of time sanding, varnishing, and painting. Same for the cushions and the like, that we made ourselves too, buying a whole roll of cheap upholstery white fabric, and a metric ton of stuffing. In all, I think we did 90% of the whole house furnishing ourselves. It gave the place a singular look, very colorful, and a bit alien, with all the cables snaking across the walls, and the plants hanging all over from the ceiling or about anywhere. We also made up some overly complicated automatic watering system, that was more or less efficient, and only used whenever I felt like cleaning up the mess.

    The point was, it was a weird-ass apartment, and I wondered if Carmilla would like it. She looked around, and I chose not to read into her expression. She went up to a suspended spider-plant, in a pot hoisted up by a hemp net.

    “Did you make this yourself ?”, she asked.

    “Yeah, the net and the pot, actually”, I replied, anxiously waiting for her appreciation.

    She smiled, and gave it a little push, leaving the plant to softly swing around.

    “I love it.”

    I sighed with relief, which made her laugh. A bit embarrassed, I went to look for my tech stuff, and set it on the bar, booting up the computer. As it took its time, I went over the coffee machine, asking Carmilla if she’d like a cup. She only raised an eyebrow. Ah, fuck me. She said a polite “No, thank you”, yet sounded like she was lightly making fun of me.

    The sound of the whirring machine covered the one, a bit more faint, of my long, high-pitched squeal of embarrassment. I always felt like the mere feeling of the hot cup into my hands was enough to start up a working mood. I set the VPN running, for a start.

    “So, what exactly should I be looking for ?”, I asked Carmilla.

    “I think the records of the latest murders would be a good start, if you can access those”, she proposed, moving over behind me, eyes on the screen.

    If I can access those”, I scoffed, and started typing away.

    I did get caught fast last time, but I thought my only obstacle was breaking in, not being anonymous. That time, I wouldn’t make that mistake. Their servers were very well protected, but then again, nothing is truly unbreakable. Those especially powerful often get cocky, and being cocky often allows for mistakes. Mistakes I did a great job exploiting, if I do say so myself. Breaking into the archive of MINA’s wasn’t that hard. I, of course, focused much of my energy being certain I could not be identified. Being inside such a huge building, with tons of different IPs and internet traffic, hiding was not that hard. I came to be pretty disappointed, however, when I could find no trace of any of the documents. Some uninteresting incidents, very easily disputed in terms of paranormal activity, a lot of recordings, all labeled with an identification number, all starting with the letters MAG, which puzzled me somewhat. I didn’t think it over much, and reviewed the rest of the files. None matched those that Carmilla looked for. I groaned in frustration.

    “I don’t think they digitized those files yet, for some reason”, I told her.

    “Probably because the case isn’t closed yet”, she observed, and took a pause, thinking. “Which means there probably will be more to come…”

    “What do you mean ?”

    “Could you access the local police radios ?”, she asked, her confidence back on.

    Nothing easier. Tapping onto those was fast, and if you knew where to look, pretty efficient. The only problems were the important traffic, which made it complicated to find only the information that actually interested you. Trying to follow murders, while having no idea where to look or when to expect it was a bit complicated.

    I set up another post for my accomplice, and we got to listening, me going through the coffee pot, her changing her way of sitting every time I looked up at her. At some point, she was entirely upside down, her legs thrown over the back of the couch. After a while, something finally caught my attention. I quickly called Carmilla over, and she joined me, sharing my headphones.

    … complaint at 231 Cloverfield lane, nearby personnel please respond.

    Officer Price responding, am in the area, i’ll check it out. Do you have specifics ?

    Affirmative, officer Price. Got a missing person’s report for one Edward Leeds, resident at 231 Cloverfield lane, appartment B, break–

    Go ahead.

    Got a complaint for a smell of rot coming from Leeds’ apartment just now. Possible Major Crime, use code zero.

    Copy that, am en route. Over and out.

    I looked over at Carmilla. That sounded a lot like something that could interest us. She had the same feeling, and we quickly made our way out. I typed the address into my phone as we took the elevator down. It was a bit less than a ten minutes away, which meant less than five in Carmilla’s manner of driving. We were then quickly on the scene, and found the police car sitting in front of the building. I advised Carmilla to park a little ways away, as her car wasn’t exactly blending in. We found a spot in a parallel street, and hurried over to the place.

    “How are we supposed to get in ?”, I asked my partner in crime.

    “I have my idea”, she told me, and undid her braid to tie her hair back up into a tight bun. “Just follow my lead, and we’ll be fine.”

    Intrigued, I climbed the stairs along with her, and I opened the door, as to be able to invite her in. As soon as pulled on the handle, however, I was overcome with a putrid smell, so thick it started to choke me. I covered my mouth with my sleeve, and reluctantly stepped in, inviting Carmilla to follow me. The door to apartment B was cracked open, which explained why the smell was so strong. Even Carmilla seemed a bit disturbed, which was saying something.

    I once again was the first to step in, allowing her to follow. She then took the lead, as we were soon spotted by who I assumed was officer Price. She just had called for backup, and looked pale as a ghost.

    “This is a crime scene, you need to step out of the flat”, she urged us, sounding nauseous, but trying her best to be firm.

    “Officer Price, we are private investigators for MINA. I’m sure you understand the reason of our presence here”, Carmilla told her, taking a silky, sweet tone.

    The officer seemed surprised, and opened her mouth to answer, only an instant, and closed it, as if she forgot what she was going to say.

    “We’ll need to take a look, please go get some fresh air”, she told her.

    The woman seemed confused, but nodded, and left. I looked over to Carmilla. She winked at me, and crossed the living room. If she had seemed bothered by the smell, she barely winced anymore. I felt like I was about to puke, even with the double shield of my sleeve and my hands, but still followed her. Morbid curiosity, maybe. I knew I would regret it. We went towards an open door, leading into a dark room.

    The blinds were partly closed, only leaving a thin stream of pale sunlight through. Dust swirled and sparkled in it, and I got lost in the golden dance a second, not really wanting to look anywhere else. My eyes took a moment to get used to the dark. The apartment was ancient, the kind you see on historical TV shows about the 19th century or something. Wooden floors, high ceilings. I started by those, expecting they would be untouched by whatever horror was burning itself into my nose and lungs. That’s why I was all the more horrified to see the dark stains on the white moldings, dripping onto the chandelier, where, like garlands, intestines were hanging. Bile surged up my throat, and I almost threw up on the floor. Taking a second, eyes closed, I swallowed, hard. I hadn’t paid much attention to the noise, and I only now noticed the buzzing of flies.

    I gathered myself, and opened my eyes back. Carmilla was leaning over the bed, hands crossed behind her back. Carefully, apprehensively, I let my eyes follow up to what she was observing. You could definitely tell it had been a human man, at some point. Mostly naked, though strips of fabric clung to the skin, blistered and red, weirdly swollen, like someone tried to stuff him without really knowing what they were doing. Deep gashes ran across the torso, splitting it open, the broken ribs sticking out or sunken in. Most of the organs were unidentifiable lumps of meat, coated in a viscous, yellowed liquid, soaking the sheets and the skin in a sick, brownish sheen.

    The part that disturbed me most, somehow, in the atrocious mess, was the left arm. Don’t get me wrong, the skin was as red and swollen as the rest of it, but didn’t seem to have suffered the same rabid violence as the rest of the body. I got closer, my interest and curiosity momentarily overcoming my disgust. It seemed Carmilla had the same reflexion. No wound seemed to have reached that part, which was odd given the left had been… gnawed, like a dog’s chew toy. Only distinctive sign was a single puncture, right where you’d take a blood sample at the doctor’s office.

    Now that I thought about it, there was surprisingly little blood around the body. A few splatters, here and there, but nothing of consequence. The sheets, that I thought drenched in it, were only imbibed in the juices a corpse produces in decay, and the rot set the dark coloring. If that poor man was killed for blood, and if it had been transfused rather than drank directly from the source, that still didn’t explain the carnage.

    “This is not him”, Carmilla whispered, almost to herself.

    “What do you mean ?”

    “This”, she stated, a bit  of anger in her voice, “Is not the Elder’s work. This… Undignified slaughter, this macabre display of gore is definitely not his signature move.”

    “You think a human did this ?”, I squeaked.

    “No. I think he already has created himself Hunters”, she told me, as if I was supposed to know what that meant. Seeing my puzzled look, she kept going. “Newborns, that get him the blood he needs to grow stronger, to survive. Who can’t control their impulses.”

    Her tone was so disdainful, it almost made me feel inadequate too. She advised we should leave, and I heartily agreed, not too keen on staying in the rancid place. As we left the flat, we started hearing distant sirens. As we passed by Officer Price, Carmilla told her we were never there, to which she nodded, and looked past us like we disappeared. We made our way back to the car, and as soon as it was in sight, I felt nauseous again, and Carmilla barely had the time to pull up my hair as I emptied my stomach onto a street bin. Feeling dizzy, my arms shaking as they held onto the edges of the trashcan, I was only a bit relieved by her hand, softly stroking my back.

    “I need to shower for a week, now”, I croaked after spitting out the last of the bile out of my mouth.

    She laughed and opened the passenger door for me.

    “I’d be honored to help you with that as well.”

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @paracosmfantasy @lost-girl-inc

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 16 #fanfiction#fanfic#dracula fanfic#dracula fanfiction#dracula #Bram Stoker's Dracula #dracula castlevania#dracula au #dracula x oc #dracula x human #vampire #vampire x human #vampire x oc #carmilla#leah #carmilla x leah #wlw#romance#slow burn #not that slow for those two disaster lesbians however #horror#body horror#gothic horror #sort of??
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    22.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia - Masterlist

    wannabebloodsucker :

    image

    Accessible via a  page on top of this blog, this is the rebloggable version !

    AO3 link

    Act I : Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13

    Act II : Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 (coming 23/02) - Chapter 17 (coming 26/02)

    #sending this back up! #sola gratia masterlist
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    22.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia update !

    Hey everyone !

    First things first, thank you to all the new followers ! Hope you enjoy the series :)

    Also, I’m working on chapters sixteen and seventeen, which both have heavy horror themes, gore for 16, and mostly psychological for 17, but I’d feel better warning you about that (there will also be warnings on the episodes themselves).

    Anyways, the chapters will most likely be posted this sunday, and next wednesday ! I’ll try to keep that schedule from now on.

    Also, if you’re new and want to be in the taglist not to miss a chapter, don’t hesitate to ask in the replies !

    #vamp's rambles #Sola Gratia update #not fic
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    19.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (15/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : No particular warning.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 15/? (2998 words)

    Author’s notes : This chapter is under Leah’s point of view ! There will be a few of them from time to time, as I’d like to explore her vision of the events too, but don’t worry, Drac and Eris will be back soon ;)

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    I woke up in a cold sweat. Like right after a nightmare, although I couldn’t remember anything from my sleep. Hair splayed over her pillow, Eris was still fast asleep. She looked so peaceful, her chest rising softly with every breath. Seeing her so calm almost allowed me to put my mind at ease with the whole situation. She was very far from being an idiot, or careless. If she didn’t seem concerned with the man, maybe I could, or should, trust her judgement. She was rarely wrong in her instincts about people. Especially in that situation, I could hardly see her blindly give her trust to someone so dangerous.

    Holding back a loud sigh, I checked my phone. It was barely 6am. The dark outside was still bathing the room in a blue haze, the imminent sunrise only betrayed by a faint blush over the horizon.

    Knowing there was no way I’d fall asleep again, I jumped down from the bed, leaving Eris to finish her night. As always after a rough sleep, I was dying of thirst. Trying to make as little noise as I could, not to wake my friend or attract any fiend, I slipped out of the room, and made my way back to the living room.

    There, an opening in the wall I already had noticed gave onto a dining room, and I figured I would be able to find the kitchen from there. As I crossed the door, I was surprised to see a modern, fully equipped one. I mean, for someone who didn’t cook, that was almost suspicious. Shrugging it off for now, I found a glass in a cupboard, and went to the sink to get my nice, refreshing-

    “Thought I heard something.”

    I jumped, and dropped the glass, which shattered at the bottom of the sink. Quickly turning over, I noticed the tall silhouette leaning on the frame of the door. Letting out a long sigh, I waited a few moments to let my heartbeat to go back to normal. Of course she stayed. Her long, silvery hair was tied in a loose braid, softly swaying in her back. She traded her Renaissance outfit for something more, well, modern, so to speak.

    “I didn’t think I could scare you like this, please accept my apologies.”

    Her tone was sincere, but a twinkle in her eyes, and the smirk settling on her lips told me otherwise. I discreetly glanced around for a weapon of some sort, if it came to that.

    “Oh, don’t worry, I’ve already eaten, I’m not here for that”, she laughed.

    “Do tell, please. The suspense is killing me.”

    That’s right, dumbass, be sarcastic with the murder machine, see if that works out. She stepped towards me, and set her elbows on the island, leaning in.

    “Let’s say you got me curious”, she mused, smiling, her eyes narrowing like a content cat. “Not a lot of people would have dared threaten Drac like that. Fewer have done so and lived to tell the tale, actually.”

    A shiver ran down my spine. “Lucky me.”

    “Or, more likely, he’s not the man he once was”, she retorted, wincing.

    More than disdain, a twitch in her eyebrows betrayed worry.

    “I am worried”, she told me, as if she’d read my mind. “If we are facing the threat I believe we are, we should need Dracula The Impaler, not Vlad The Tired Grandpa”, she sighed.

    Nothing about Vlad screamed “grandpa” to me, but then again, I wasn’t that savvy on vampiric standards of fitness.

    “Why are you telling me this ?”, I asked, starting to feel a bit curious too.

    “Because”, she began, standing back up, “I need your help. I’ve gathered that you broke into MINA’s servers once before, is that correct ?”

    Ah, that. I confirmed, nodding.

    “Well, every murder I used to attribute to Vlad in the region is immediately classified, and brought to them. If I should hope to find their trail, I need access to those files, or at least, a crime scene.”

    She sounded frustrated. Being what she was, I could understand why she’d be a bit reluctant to go find her informations in a vampire hunter den.

    “So you need me to find that information, then”, I suggested, crossing my arms over my chest.

    She confirmed. I didn’t give any answer, and turned to the sink, decidedly picking up the shards of glass, placing them on the counter. I suddenly felt Carmilla’s presence close behind me.

    “No, let me, you’ll cut yourself-”, she softly told me.

    Obviously, my finger slipped on the sharp edge, which easily sliced through the skin. Red started pearling at the cut, and I could only let a small “fuck” escape my lips. I froze for a second, maybe waiting for Carmilla’s reaction as I felt her breath on the nape or my neck. I barely felt her hands grazing over my shoulders, one taking the glass from me, the other one wrapping around my hand, and bringing it up. Completely stunned, I didn’t react as her tongue slowly ran up my finger, catching the drop of blood before it could run further down. She took her time, and as soon as she passed along the wound, a jolt of electricity ran through my body. For a second, I felt my knees give out, but she had me secured, her arm firmly around my waist. As suddenly as she started, she released my hand, and I was surprised to find only a fine white line where my finger was open before. I turned back towards her, and must have looked as confused as I felt, as she started grinning. Her smile revealed two sets of fangs, poking from underneath her upper lip, slowly retracting. For a second, I could have sworn her icy blue eyes were entirely red, but in a blink, they were back to normal.

    “Vampire saliva has enhanced healing properties”, she explained. “Otherwise, we’d bleed people out every time we’d like a drink.”

    “I just assumed you did”, I replied, feeling out the barely noticeable scar. She had a crystalline laughter.

    “Can you imagine ? Humanity would already be extinct, if that were the case. Turns out you don’t need much of our help on that.”

    “How much blood do you need to be sated, then ?”, I asked, my curiosity taking the lead over my apprehension of the answer.

    I couldn’t believe I was actually asking those questions. Before she miraculously healed my cut, I still could have believed this was some very advanced role-play situation. There she was, leaning back on the island, lips slightly parted, a low, purring sound faintly coming from deep inside her throat. Those perfectly shaped lips, a perfect golden pink, darker than her skin, tainted on the corner by a drop of red. Her tongue darted out to clean it. I wondered if the feeling would be the same if I kissed her… Fuck, focus ! Focus !

    “Let’s make a deal, shall we ? You help me with my problem, and I’ll tell you everything you wanna know about vampires. Sounds like a fair bargain, doesn’t it ?”

    I pretended to consider it a second. She played along, even though I knew I usually did a terrible job at hiding my excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I was still mostly terrified, but how often do you get to do a study on actual immortal beings ? Were they actually immortal ? Could they eat anything other than blood ? Now that I thought about it, I never saw Vlad eat or drink something, ever. Huh, that should have been a red flag. I held out my hand, and she shook it in a falsely formal way. That had us laughing after a second. God, she had such a pretty laugh.

    “Well, you sure changed your mind fast.”

    Eris stepped into the room, and sat up on the counter. Her tousled hair was cascading onto her shoulders, her hazel eyes sparkling with mischief. I suddenly was very aware of the way Carmilla’s thumbs slowly brushed over my hands as she held them. I could feel my face go red. Ah, a taste of my own medicine.

    “Leah was telling me how she’d help with my investigation”, Carmilla told my friend.

    “Really ?”, she sounded genuinely surprised. “How ?”

    “I’m hacking into MINA again”, I told her. “I know what to expect now, and Carmilla says it’s the best way to get an edge on the bad guy.”

    “The Elder”, Carmilla precised, a dark shade over her bright eyes.

    Eris nodded softly, her face suddenly drained of all colors. She fidgeted with the belt cord of her pajama pants, doing and undoing the knots at the end. I couldn’t believe those assholes at MINA actually showed her pictures. Couldn’t imagine what that must have been like… Not pretty, I assumed. I shuddered at the thought that I might have to deal with those in the very near future.

    “I’ll go find Vlad, we still need to find a way to ensure safety to you both”, Carmilla told us.

    She let go of my hands, giving them a squeeze before she left, the click of her heels  fading in the halls. Still perched on the counter, Eris was intently looking at me, and she opened her mouth as to say something.

    “Don’t ! I’m warning you !”, I interrupted her.

    She laughed. “Come on, I’m allowed to point out the irony.”

    “There is nothing there to point at.”

    “Sure, right. You look thirstier than her, honey.”

    I let out a long groan, but couldn’t help but smile. I mean, yeah, sure, Carmilla was the most mesmerizing, beautiful woman I had ever seen in my entire life, but did that have to mean I had any feelings for her ? No. I mean, one can appreciate beauty without necessarily falling in love. Iwas fine. I didn’t have the time to further defend myself, however, as Carmilla soon came back, in the middle of an agitated conversation with Vlad, in something I assumed had to be a very accented Romanian. I had heard Eris speak it often enough, but hers had to be much more academic than theirs.

    “Is everything okay ?”, Eris asked.

    “Fine. I was telling Carmilla how the best solution would be that you both stayed here, where it’s safe”, Vlad replied, insisting on the last word.

    He somehow looked tired, his complexion almost chalky, eyebrows furrowed in a worried expression.

    “And I was telling Vlad we can’t let the Elder know we’re onto him”, Carmilla insisted.

    Vlad cursed under his breath, but Eris interrupted.

    “Vlad, I can’t stay here”, she told him in a soft, but firm tone. “I have classes, I can’t just ditch my students like that. I have a cat that’s probably tearing my flat apart because I didn’t feed him last night, I can’t go on a holiday unprompted !”

    “Do you understand the gravity of the situation ? I won’t have you end up the main attraction of a Penny Dreadful !”

    “First of all, no one talks like that. Second, you gave me a vampire-killing gun for that exact purpose.” She hopped down from the counter, and took a look at me. “I don’t know about Leah, but you are taking me back to my place as soon as I’m dressed.”

    She took his hand in both hers. They looked so tiny next to his. “I’ll be fine”, she almost only mouthed, looking at him, and smiling. He took a moment, then his shoulders dropped in defeat, and he sighed. “Fine”. Who wouldn’t have melted at her face, and her little smile ? God, she had him wrapped around her little finger, didn’t she ?

    She proposed we both got dressed, and I realized I was still only wearing a flannel shirt, mercifully dropping past my mid-thigh. Eris placed a little kiss on Vlad’s hand, and I followed her out. She almost gave the impression that she floated more than she walked, a dreamy smile plastered on her lips. As soon as we stepped into her room, I closed the door behind us.

    “Alright, something happened”, I accused her. “What happened ?”

    She took an innocent expression, but the pink on her cheeks fooled exactly no one. I pressed her, to which she still denied knowing whatever I was referring to. I leapt to her, making the both of us fall onto the bed. I pinned her down, and he pretended to struggle, which had the both of us laughing like schoolgirls. She finally took a deep breath.

    “We kissed”, she admitted, avoiding my gaze.

    “That’s it ? One kiss ? Are you twelve ?!”

    I was absolutely outraged. I mean, she had made me used to way better in terms of sentimental gossip. To say the least, she didn’t have the most stable, or calm relationships, and I always loved to hear the sordid details. And now, she was blushing like a little girl because of a kiss. I mean, you would have thought a crush on an actual vampire called for a little bit more action, damn. She reached over her head for a pillow, and bashed me over the head with it.

    “Oh, shut up !”, she protested. “It’s been a long time, alright ?”

    “Come on, you broke up with Sonja like two months ago”, I sighed.

    “Three and a half”, she clarified, sitting back up.

    Ah, leave it to me to bring up an ex and ruin the mood. They dated what, three years, before they started to “drift apart”. I always thought they were great together, and I felt like their break-up made me cry more than the two of them combined. They actually had to comfort me. They tried remaining friends for a while. That’s when she started her burn-out, and decided to fuck off to Romania for a week. I never was one to question her process, so me and Sonja stayed out of it and only helped her plan the trip. Turns out, maybe we should have sent her the weather predictions for that week, huh ? As she was already gone, Sonja found a contract in the south of the country, only to come back in the beginning of summer. I figured that might leave Eris the time to heal. And I thought, as she still seemed pretty down after she came back, that the handsome mysterious stranger could help with that. Had I known he tried murdering her a week prior, I would probably have reconsidered.

    We both got dressed, changing the subject to her next classes. She barely prepared them, given all that had been on her mind of late. She already had the dreaded meeting with Stephan Helder-Van-Helsing and Laurent, and the latter had agreed to tutor him on his master’s degree, enrolling Eris as a secondary tutor. The kid was eager, and she was sure to get an email from him every couple of days, asking for her advice on his research, or sometimes, sending her articles he thought she’d like. She pretended to be annoyed, but I knew she found it somewhat endearing.

    As soon as she was ready, she insisted on leaving fast, leaving me alone with Carmilla. I suspected this was some sort of revenge for my plotting at the faire, as she stepped out with a mischievous smile, and a wink. I gave her the finger, and she blew me a kiss. As I closed the front door, Carmilla came into the hall, holding a soviet Union looking industrial computer, and handed it to me. The bitch had to weigh ten pounds.

    “Let’s not lose any more time. We should get to work.”

    “I can’t work on this, Carmilla”, I told her with an apologetic smile. “I need my tools. I mean, they caught me once because I was careless. If they even notice someone is trying to hack them again, I’ll be their number one suspect.”

    She looked disappointed. “Well, what do you need ?”

    “I have everything at home. Plus, it’s always better to hide in a crowd, the city will be better.”

    She nodded along, and clapped her hands together. “Let’s go, then.”

    “Vlad took the car, didn’t he ?”, I enquired as we went outside.

    She shook a set of keys between her fingers. “I went for a snack last night, and brought back mine”, she told me, and pointed at a blue pick-up.

    It was parked sideways, and the tires had left deep marks in the white gravel. An old Chevrolet pickup, the paint chipping away to show a little rust, but overall, pretty well maintained.

    “That’s not what I expected”, I told her as I settled on the leather seats.

    “Listen, Vlad likes his cars expensive and shiny, I like mine reliable.” she gave a affectionate slap on the dashboard. “I’ve had her for more than fifty years, and she’s never let me down.”

    Her comment made me wonder how old she actually was. I mean, Vlad was a few centuries old, and they seemed to know each other pretty well. She probably turned younger than him, as she didn’t look more than thirty-five or so. She slipped on a pair of driving leather gloves, and started the car. The engine roared nicely, and I barely had the time to put in my seat-belt before she rushed off into the road. Instinctively grabbing the handle on the roof, I protested.

    “Hey, only one of us is invulnerable in here !”

    She assured me she never had an accident, which I seriously doubted. I was coming to regret Vlad’s smooth driving, compared to speed maniac cackling next to me. She turned on the cassette player, catching the middle of Mr. Blue Sky. She started singing along, and I joined her, laughing as the sun finished to burn up the sky.

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @paracosmfantasy @lost-girl-inc

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 15 #fanfiction#fanfic#dracula#carmilla#dracula fanfiction#carmilla fanfiction #Bram Stoker's Dracula #dracula castlevania#dracula au #dracula x oc #vampire #vampire x human #vampire x oc #slow burn #enemies to lovers #enemies to friends to lovers #dracula netflix#dracula bbc#wlw#wlm #also just so you know drac/eris are bi and carm/leah are lesbians #i don't make the rules
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    18.02.2020 - 1 year ago

    As promised, Carmilla in her Ren Faire outfit ! The background killed me dead, but it was fun !

    I’ll get to work on the next chapters, and you’re in for a little surprise ;)

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia Carmilla #Carmilla #Sola Gratia part 13 #my art#fanfic#dracula fanfiction#vampire
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    14.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Question:

    I am back home and Part 14 was amaizng!!!! You are such a phenomenal writer. 10/10 awesome series thank you so much for sharing your beautiful writing with us. Have a lovely day!


    Answer:

    I’m so glad you liked it!!! I really enjoy writing this series, so it’s great to see people enjoy reading it :D There’s a lot more to come!

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  • wannabebloodsucker
    14.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Question:

    I’m so glad you’re back! I’ve got to wait until I’m back home to read the next part, but I can’t wait! You’re such a great writer!


    Answer:

    Aaah thank you!!! I hope you’ll like it, have a great day 💖

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  • wannabebloodsucker
    13.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (14/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : No particular warning.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 14/? (2638 words)

    Author’s notes : I’m back, babey ! Anyway, here is the Second Act Opening (yeah, changed the Act stuff, i am unreliable at best.)

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    The ride to Vlad’s estate was eerily silent. Nestled on the backseat, hugging my knees to my chest, I tried to find some comfort in the pale light of the moon, bathing the countryside in a silver haze. I felt like I was wrapped in cotton, sounds coming off muffled to my ears, filled with the low humming of the car. Vlad and Carmilla were whispering to each other, and beside me, Leah seemed completely lost in thought. She had a lot to process, after all. Maybe I should have told her sooner…

    To the valleys succeeded an endless plain, covered in fields and woods, and the occasional farm. Not that far over the horizon, I could barely make out the dark, shimmering line of the sea. It grew as we left the main road, following a smaller one, that soon converted to a paved path, barely large enough to let the car pass. We crossed a large iron gate, opening a mossy stone wall. The inside was wild, the wind sweeping across tall grass, overrun by wild flowers and poppies. Tall umbrella pines cast a moving shadow under the full moon. At the end of the path stood a large house, practically a mansion. The walls were white, large limestone blocks neatly laid out at the corners, while the most part were rough stones, held together with a thick layer of white mortar. A large portion of the wall was overrun with ivy.

    The car stopped. I unfolded myself and tried to get out once before I remembered to take off my seatbelt, then trying to adjust my bodice to accommodate the now half open corset. Gods, my kingdom for a change of clothes. A quick look beyond the house confirmed that It was built over a cliff, the sound of the waves crashing down below soothing me like a lullaby. Leah’s arm curling around mine quickly set me back into the present situation, and I took hold of her hand, hoping to be reassuring. We followed Vlad through the main door, which he closed behind us.

    A good number of cardboard and wooden boxes piled up in the hall, unopened. Vlad apologized for the mess, arguing he didn’t expect company so soon after moving. Still, everything except for the main hall was pristine, the furniture very well assorted, much more than in his Romanian residence. I figured he must have picked everything himself, as it all seemed in good accord with his usual sense of style. In the living room, I went to the windows, which opened on a large terrace, directly giving out onto the sea. Vlad’s voice, softly calling out to me, had me turn back, and sit with them around the coffee table.

    Leah was nervously fidgeting with one of the ribbons of her dress. Where should we even start ? I was obviously not the only one wondering about that, as the silence had now been so long it was far over the limits of awkwardness.

    “So, who’s gonna tell me what the fuck is going on ?”, Leah finally blurted out.

    “It’s… a long story”, I started, hesitant.

    “Long as in ’it started during my mystery trip to Romania I was suspiciously evasive about‘—long ?”, she retorted in an accusatory tone.

    “Yeah. At least that.”

    She leaned back into her seat, staring at me. She didn’t even look mad, she just looked disappointed, which was worse. Since we met, I never hid anything from her. I could say safely that she knew more about me that I did, and I never had felt the need to not tell her something. These last months, not talking to her had been a torture. She had been my absolute best friend for years, I hated lying to her. I hated it.

    And so I told her. About everything. From the beginning. Vlad had a few protests during my recalling of the Romania Events, and Carmilla looked pretty entertained by it. I could swear I heard her laugh when I told how I stabbed Vlad in the end. Leah listened intently, not once looking away from me. When I stopped, she seemed to take a moment, and looked around the room. Calmly, without a word, she stood up, and took a step toward Vlad’s seat. She extended a hand, and swiftly reached for his sword, that he had set aside before sitting. Unsheathing it in an ample, yet controlled movement, she brought the tip under Vlad’s throat so fast even he didn’t have time to react. Surprise probably helped on that endeavor, still she had him tilt his head up, flat of the blade pushing under his chin.

    Her expression was terrible, calm, controlled, yet I had never seen her eyes so dark, her lips pinched so tight. Vlad didn’t move.

    “You… Have hurt the one I love most, beyond all that I could imagine”, she stated, her voice trembling with anger. “You have made her suffer, and now, you tell me she could be in even greater danger because of your fucking dad or some bullshit ?!”

    Her hand was steady, yet I could feel like the only reason she didn’t ram the blade through his throat was because she knew it wouldn’t do much of anything. I stepped closer to her, and wrapped my hand around hers. She held the grip so tight her knuckles were bone-white. I had her lower the sword, which she immediately dropped, and turned to look at me, eyes watering up.

    “I-I’m so sorry, Eris, if I had known… I would never… Fuck, he could’ve… He could’ve…”

    She held my hands enclosed in hers, and lost her words into incoherent sobbing for a second. Bringing my hands to her face, she closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and took a moment to calm herself down. Still holding my hand, she turned her attention back to Vlad.

    “I was too quick to give you my trust. That won’t happen twice”, she told him, glaring. “You put us into this mess, and you’d better handle it.”

    “I intend to !”

    “I’m not finished”, she snapped. “If anything, I mean anything happens to Eris, I will hold you personally responsible, and I’ll have your dismembered limbs impaled in my backyard.”

    Carmilla giggled, to which Leah snapped and promised her the same fate.

    “Now, you’re gonna drive us home, and I don’t wanna see either of your faces again, at least not until you handled the problem.”

    “You can’t be serious, you’ll be safer here-”, Vlad started.

    “Safer ? With you ?” She had a dry laugh. “Well, isn’t that the funniest thing you’ve ever said.”

    “At least, stay the night”, he insisted, looking over to me for backup. “I will drive you back as soon as you’d like in the morning.”

    She was about to protest, and I caught her arm, interrupting her. “Leah, it’s late, we’re both tired. Let’s just go to sleep, right ?”

    She took a second, and gave in, nodding. She insisted we slept together, even though the house had a good number of guest rooms, which was, in retrospect, pretty funny for someone who didn’t need sleep. He guided us to the room he had prepared for me, initially. It had to be about half my apartment’s size, and included a tower at the corner. Huge bay windows gave onto a balcony giving out a magnificent view over the sea.

    Vlad cleared his throat. “You will find a change of clothes in the wardrobe.” Leah gave him another killer look, arms crossed over her chest. He took his leave, but not before placing a light hand on my back.

    If you can slip away, I would like to talk to you.

    Ah, the most terrifying thing to hear. Despite that, the way his voice filled my mind was warm, and comforting. I silently nodded, and he took his leave, his fingers trailing along my back, almost as if he resented to break contact. As soon as the door closed, Leah had a long sigh, and dropped on the bed.

    “I can’t believe you kept this to yourself so long”, she told me. She sounded almost hurt. “I mean, why didn’t you tell me anything ?”

    I joined her on the opposite side, my head laying next to her. “I didn’t know how to. I felt you’d be safer if you didn’t know.”

    “But you weren’t !”, she protested. “You could have been hurt, again, all because I had no idea what kind of monster-”

    “He’s not a monster”, I cut her off, almost without thinking about it.

    She took a pause, turning her face towards mine, an expression of disbelief painted over her features, eyebrows furrowed in a way that didn’t suit her kind face.

    “Eris, please don’t tell me you believe that !”

    “I do. I’ll give you that the conditions of our meeting were, well, less than ideal, but ever since he came here, he did nothing but try to make amends.” She groaned. “Come on”, I insisted. “You’ve seen it, he’s been nothing but kind, and thoughtful, and actually a great help for my thesis.”

    “He also eats people, Eris”, she remarked.

    “He told me he didn’t kill anyone since he got here, and I believe him.”

    “Because he actually is trustworthy, or just because you want to believe him?”

    By all means, she wasn’t wrong. I mean none of her worries were anything I hadn’t thought of myself. I sat up, and started un-lacing my bodice.

    “You don’t know him like I do”, I told her, softly, knowing this wouldn’t do anything to convince her. “Let’s just go to sleep, for now, I’m exhausted.”

    She reluctantly agreed, and we disrobed, significantly faster than we dressed up. I though my corset would be ruined, but only the lacing on the back was cleanly cut, without even a dent in the ivory silk. In the wardrobe, I was almost surprised to find modern clothing. For the most part, he had my sense of style pretty well figured-out. Not finding any underwear was disappointing, as I had followed Leah’s advice on not wearing a bra underneath the corset, but also a bit reassuring, to be honest. Leah opted for a simple plaid shirt, that would have been a bit large on me, and therefore fell almost to her knees. I found an oversize black pajama ensemble, made of the softest wooly cotton. I joined Leah under the covers, and didn’t have to wait long until she dozed off, her breathing becoming more regular, and calm.

    I carefully removed myself from the bed, and slipped into a large dressing gown. I slowly opened the door, trying not to make the floorboards or the hinges creak. I only opened it enough to shuffle through, and exited into the corridor.

    The silence was only disturbed by the muffled sound of the waves, and my own breathing. I didn’t turn on any lights, as the full moon was well enough to see perfectly well. I wandered back to the living room, and walked to the bay windows. One was open, leaving a cool breeze inside. Wrapping myself tighter in my robe, I stepped outside, wincing at the feeling of cold stone under my feet. Over at the corner of the terrace, Vlad was leaning onto the balustrade, his hair disheveled by the soft wind. He also had a change of clothes, and had only kept his trousers, his shirt, and his cape, thrown over his shoulders. I suspected this was mostly a question of style, as I doubted he could even feel the cold. His gaze seemed lost over the horizon, watching the moon go down on the ocean. As I approached him, he turned his attention to me, smiling.

    “I knew you were good at sneaking around.”

    “Please, I bet you could hear me breathing from the other side of the house.”

    “Breathing, not so much, but I can hear your heart.” He was leaning on his elbow, head cocked to the side. Arrogant. I sighed, and took in the mesmerizing view a moment. No signs of cars, lamps, or electric poles in sight. Only the moon, and the ocean’s soothing voices.

    “Do you like the house ?”, he asked, softly as not to disturb my reverie.

    “I love it.”

    He laughed at the speed of my reply. “Well, I hoped you would.” He took a pause. “I am sorry about Leah, however. I know you did not want her dragged into all of this, and because of my blindness, she has-”

    Before he could finish, I set the tips of my fingers on his mouth, effectively closing it.

    “If anything, it’s my fault. I should have told her a while ago, I just never had the courage to do it…”

    He took my hand in his, strangely warm, contrary to what I expected. I felt my heart sink into my chest as a question rose to my  mind.

    “Vlad, I…”, I started, hesitant. He nodded slightly, encouraging me to continue. “What Carmilla said, back on the overlook…”

    I became physically incapable of saying one more word, my heart beating out of my chest for no reason. No reason at all.

    “You want to know if she was right ?”

    Gods, that voice, that deep, silky voice. Maybe it was on purpose that he talked in a hushed tones, maybe to drive me mad, or not outshine the ocean singing below. I nodded, unable to look him in the eyes. He called out my name, barely a whisper. He let go of my hand, only to pull me closer, an arm around my waist, his other hand cupping my cheek. So warm… He took a moment, playing with a strand of my hair, sliding a finger along my jawline, and slowly running his hand along my neck. I couldn’t help a gasp as a sharp nail traced over my veins. He hummed, seemingly amused with my reaction.

    “Are you still scared of me ?”, he asked.

    I couldn’t tell if he really spoke, or if I heard him in my mind.

    “No”, I breathed out.

    Really ?

    His lips brushed past mine, then on my jawline, and my neck. In a very poor instinct, I let my head fall back. The somewhat familiar feeling of his sharp teeth on my skin sent shivers down my spine. I closed my eyes.

    “I trust you”, I whispered, leaning back onto the balustrade.

    He opened his mouth, letting me feel his hot breath on my cold neck. For a second, his fangs pressed against my skin, soon replaced by a kiss, on the crook of my jaw, right below the ear. I giggled, and he closed his arms around my waist. Expectantly, he seemed to wait, for permission. For mercy.

    I wasn’t too long to grant it. Wrapping my hands around his neck, I closed the final space between us. As soon as my lips touched his, my heart stopped a moment, or several. I felt him sigh a second, and pull me closer. He was slow, intimate, perfect in every way. I felt electricity run through my body. His lips parted mine, and-

    Everything was red.

    The sea lapping at my ankles, the sky bursting with gold and blood under a starry indigo. Everything was the same as I last left. I turned around, and found him standing back.

    “Here ?”

    “I told you before, wherever you want to be.”

    I ran to him, and threw my hands around his neck, and he wrapped his around me, lifting me off the ground.

    “Makes sense it’s with you, then”, I whispered, and kissed him again.

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @paracosmfantasy @lost-girl-inc

    #sola gratia #sola gratia part 14 #fanfiction#fanfic#dracula fanfiction#dracula fanfic#dracula #Bram Stoker's Dracula #dracula castlevania #dracula x oc #dracula au#vampire #vampire x oc #vampire x reader #dracula x reader #dracula bbc#dracula netflix#slow burn #enemies to friends to lovers #enemies to lovers #romance
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    07.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (13/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : No particular warning.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 13/? (3475 words)

    Author’s notes : Final episode of Act II ! I’m taking a little break to work on the plotline and real life stuff, but trust that I’ll stay active, and will be back soon with more chapters !

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    The Dark Knight came up to me, and Leah gave me a knowing look. The fiend. I stood up, nervously glancing around me, and handed him my handkerchief. He took hold of it, and carried it to his helmet as to kiss it. The crowd cheered loudly. They must have thought it was part of the entertainment. I still felt the heat rise to my cheeks. Gods, maybe it actually was a calculated plot, damn Leah and her scheming. If I trusted the look of the ‘Royals’, over on the opposite bleachers, not everyone knew… He tied the scarf around the grip of his lance, and I could swear I saw two lights gleam into the darkness of the helmet. I sat back down as he left, feeling dozens of looks on me as I tried to maintain some composure. Act the part. Be a noble lady. Think… Catherine de’ Medici. There.

    Vlad had his horse come into place with ease, as I barely saw him touch the reins. His adversary, ironically, was wearing red, mounted on a white horse, and looked massive compared to the slender, elegant silhouette of the dark rider at the other end of the jousting lists. I couldn’t help but feel worried. He supposedly didn’t risk anything, but the lances were wooden, for hell’s sake. That’s just taunting the Devil. Or God, maybe, in his case. Taking a deep breath, I waited anxiously for the sound of the horn.

    The riders spurred their horses. They passed each other, once, twice, and a third time. The Red Knight made a move, and I saw his lance miss Vlad by inches. Not miss, exactly, as I saw him lean slightly to the side. I could picture his smug smile. That poor guy had no idea what was coming. Turning back in a cloud of sand, glimmering in the air, they galloped to meet again. This time, Vlad ran his spear into the Red Knight’s pauldron, nearly having him fall off his horse. He caught on at the last moment, and I could swear I heard Vlad laugh.

    They waited a second at the end of the lists, the Red Knight making his shoulder roll, brushing off his coach as he apparently came to make sure he was alright. He sent his his horse full speed at the sound of the horn, his best efforts insufficient to avoid him the lance that crashed into his shield, throwing him back into the dust, almost into the stands, which had a few people stand back.

    Without a second look for his adversary, Vlad untied the handkerchief from his lance, and raised his arm in the air in celebration, under the loud cheers of the crowd. He jumped down from the horse, giving the steaming beast an affectionate pat on the shoulder. He walked straight towards me, and took off his helmet. The dark waves of his hair cascaded onto his shoulders, prompting a few audible gasps. I could feel my heart close to beating out of my chest. He was a conqueror, a cocky smile on his lips, the sun playing on his hair and the gold on his armor. He discarded his gauntlets and gloves, leaving them behind in the dust, eyes locked on mine. I stood up, almost knocking over my chair, playing into the role I had been given. He dropped his helmet at my feet with a loud clang of metal, and knelt down. He held up the handkerchief, and I laid my hand on his, allowing him to rise. He gently placed the shawl on my shoulders, lingering along my neck, enough that I could feel my veins pulsing against the tip of his fingers. His eyes hadn’t left mine since he took off his helmet, and even under the midday heat, I felt goosebumps spread all over my body. He trailed along my arms, and took hold of both my hands, which he kissed, still not breaking his gaze. My chest heaving, I understood a little bit better why ladies tended to faint more often in corset-wearing time periods.

    He then stepped back, leaving the jousting area after a last look, a wink, and a hand gesture at a young groom, who rushed to pick up his discarded pieces of armor after him. A bit overwhelmed, I sat back down, as the presenter closed the event over the cheering of the crowd.

    “He wanted it to be a surprise”, Leah told me, eyes glimmering.

    “Well, it certainly worked.”

    She laughed, and dragged me along to the contender’s tents. I caught a glimpse of the Red Knight, armor off. His shoulder had a massive purple bruise, and I couldn’t help but wince. I sympathetically smiled at him, and he responded with a little wave. A bit further along, in a white and blue tent, the groom was helping Vlad undo the last pieces of armor, and carefully packing them up in a suitcase similar to the ones that had been Leah and I’s dresses. He noticed us and flashed us a smile.

    “That was great, Vlad !”, Leah exclaimed, coming up to give him a congratulatory slap on the shoulder. “Damn, you didn’t even break a sweat, did you ?”

    “It takes a lot for that to happen”, he smugly replied, taking off his gambeson.

    His shirt was open, and I found myself staring at his chest.

    “Is everything alright, Eris, darling ? You seem a bit… hot”, he mocked, slipping on his vest.

    “I’m fine”, I replied, looking away from both of them, as Leah seemed to revel in the whole situation.

    He buttoned himself up, and I couldn’t help but sneak a few peeks.

    “Where did you learn to joust anyway, Vlad ?”, Leah asked, understandably curious.

    “Well, I enjoy horseback riding, and the Middle Ages, what can I say ?”, he replied as the groom clasped on his livery collar.

    The kid looked up to him in awe, which had me a bit suspicious. I narrowed my eyes at Vlad, and stepped closer to him, putting myself so that Leah couldn’t see my gestures. I pointed at the boy with a nod, discreetly tapping on my neck. He took an almost wounded expression for a second.

    “Eris, I care about my diet, I don’t run around taking drinks from stable boys”, he whispered, falsely offended.

    I hummed, not entirely convinced, and he draped himself in his cape.

    “Aren’t you guys hungry ?”, Leah asked, putting down the bracer she was trying on. “I’m starving, and I heard there’s a huge buffet in the castle hall !”

    “I have to say, I worked up my apetite”, Vlad replied, looking down on me.

    I loudly sighed, and took his arm, following Leah outside.

    ~ ~ ~

    The rest of the day was tiring, at least for me, as Vlad obviously didn’t ever feel fatigued, and Leah was endlessly fueled by what could only be rainbows and kitten unicorns. Night started falling the sky taking vivid colors as we made our way to the town square, lit by candles and a large bonfire. A band was playing dancing music, and the air was filled with indistinct chattering and laughter. Leah holding onto my arm, Vlad taken in one of his heist stories, my heart felt so full, I was physically unable to stop smiling.

    “Oh, I see something that needs my attention”, Leah suddenly exclaimed. “See you later, you two.”

    She let go of my arm, freed a few strands of hair to frame her face, and cheerfully strolled to the bar. Her confidence astounded me.

    “I like her”, Vlad told me with a little laugh.

    “Yeah, me too.”

    “Tell me, did you ever get to practice your dancing ?”, he asked, innocently.

    “Oh, no.” I tried to get away. “I’m not dancing ! You got me once, but not twice !”

    “Oh, I think I am.”

    He caught my hand, and brought us close to the fire, indifferent to my protestation. Once arrived, he had me spin around, and brought me back against his chest. Feeling his breath against my neck, I forgot how to speak a second.

    “Follow my lead, I promise I will be less… Boorish than last time.”

    I groaned, and relaxed in his arms. I had to focus every fiber of my being not to trip on the pavement with my shoes, but Vlad actually supported me so much I felt half my weight was lifted off. I never liked dancing, to be honest. I had a terrible sense of rhythm, and it reminded me awfully of some family gatherings I’d rather forget.

    With Vlad, it felt… Different. Not great, mind you, it still was a bit aggravating, but I started to understand why people like it so much. Vlad picked me up like I weighed nothing, and spun me around. I couldn’t help but laugh, and he joined me. His eyes were gleaming with the light of the flames. The music faded out to a slower tune. Vlad slowly put me down, keeping a hand on my waist, the other looking for mine. I intertwined my fingers with his, letting him pull me close, trying to breathe away the erratic beating of my heart.

    “I can hear that, you know”, he teased.

    I pouted at him. “Then close your ears, it’s embarrassing.”

    “I would rather say endearing.”

    I looked up at him. He wanted to look smug, but most of his expression was tender, calm. I could have looked into his eyes for hours, the deep blue, washed over with the bright gold of the fire. Every step, he kept me close, only letting me go to spin me around, slowly, only enough to make the skirt flare. It might have looked beautiful to watch, if we hadn’t been the only two people there, dancing around the candles.

    “I want you to feel safe, with me.”

    His voice was gentle, his gaze, even more so.

    “I do”, I told him, moving my hand from his shoulder to cup his face.

    He closed his eyes a second, leaning into my palm. I brushed my thumb across his cheekbone. Cold, soft.

    “I have come to… care a great deal about you”, he continued.

    “I can see that happening, me being a giant, walking Bloody Mary”, I retorted.

    “Do you always resort to humor when someone tries to be serious with you ?”

    He was smiling.

    “I just- I don’t know how to respond to that-”

    “Then don’t.”

    He let go of my hand, leaving it placed on his chest, and slid his into my hair.

    “You’re going to mess up the-”

    “I don’t care.”

    Freeing his arms, he lifted me up. I was so close I couldn’t focus on the details of his face. The tip of his nose brushing against mine, his breath, short, trembling. He was waiting, expectantly. Whispered my name. My feet hovering above ground, my heart beating so hard in my chest it was almost painful, I closed my eyes, and- got a phone call.

    “It’s Leah’s ringtone”, I said.

    She never called if it wasn’t urgent. Vlad put me down, and I glanced around. She was nowhere to be seen, which would explain why she felt the need to call at that exact moment. When I reached my phone through the layers of fabric, it already stopped ringing.

    “It’s not like her”, I started, starting to get nervous.

    “Eris, do not panic”, Vlad told me, his voice somewhat calming my nerves. “She was with someone, wasn’t she ?”

    I did get a glimpse at her, while we were still dancing. She was at the bar, chatting up a woman in men’s period costume.

    “Yeah, but not well. She had very long, silver-ish hair, I think. Fair skin.”

    If it was possible, Vlad paled, and gripped my shoulders.

    “Call her again, now.”

    His tone beckoned urgency, and I obeyed immediately. She picked up fast, but her voice didn’t greet me.

    “She looks so pretty, don’t you think ? Better run fast, before it flows out. Garden overlooks, ten minutes.”

    The hanging up tone knocked the wind out of my chest, and I almost fell to my knees. Vlad enquired about the call. I didn’t even reply, and ran to the bar, asking for a map of the city, almost hysterical. Someone handed me a folded over leaflet. I thanked him, and quickly tried to find my way around the maze of streets. Right, left, left, up stairs, big door, left, and straight across. I tucked the map in the lacing of my dress, and started running, Vlad following without question. I cursed when I almost fell, and slipped off the cursed shoes, running barefoot into the streets. Thankfully, most of the tourists were gone, and no one crossed my way.

    “Tell me where to go, I can get there faster”, Vlad told me.

    “Garden overlook”, I hissed.

    He nodded, and next thing I knew, he vanished. I kept on running, cursing at the corset making my breath short. I don’t think I ever climbed stairs that fast in my entire life, and hurried through the huge door, carved into the high walls surrounding the gardens. As I tried to work the handle, to find it locked. Fuck !

    Considering the height of the wall, I looked around for another way in. Luckily for me, it wasn’t higher than a dozen feet, and I was a decent climber. Hiking up my skirts, I  placed a foot on a ledge, and caught on to a space made by a missing brick. As I was almost halfway up, the door creaked on its hinges, and Vlad appeared in the frame.

    “What in the name of all things Unholy do you think you are doing ?”, he cursed.

    “Finding a solution !”

    He urged me to jump down, and I did, leaving him to catch me. Not losing any time, we rushed into the gardens. Left, straight across. I finally found two silhouettes, standing next to the wall, on the overlook. I tried to cry out Leah’s name, came out empty. As I arrived, she turned to face me, a look of utter incomprehension on her features. She was fine. Fine ! Panting, I tried to catch my breath. She let go of the other woman’s hand, and rushed towards me, putting her hands to the sides of my face.

    “Eris, what happened ? What’s wrong ?”

    What’s wrong ? Leah, you- Oh. I can’t speak. I tried breathing in, wheezing, and  started feeling lightheaded. Vlad’s arms wrapped around me, and I noticed I was falling. Going limp, I looked over at Leah. Her lips were moving, yet I couldn’t hear her words. I felt a cool hand slip under my bodice, a ripping sound, and air rushed to my lungs. I took a moment to take my breath back, and glanced around. Vlad was holding me, but his look was directed elsewhere. Sitting on the parapet, the woman stared right back. The more I regained consciousness, the more I could make out her features. She was athletic, tall, and had incredibly long, silver hair, gleaming under the moonlight. Her eyes were an icy blue, and her pupils were two tiny specs of light at the center of the iris. A glance, and she terrified me. As I took some of my strength back, I slipped my hand into my skirts, and pulled out my gun. Leah had an exclamation of surprise, and I directed the barrel directly at the woman.

    “Oh, Eris”, she laughed. “You must be much more naïve than I thought, to think this would do you any good.”

    She hopped off, and started walking toward us.

    “And you, too cocky”, I replied, pulling the hammer back, finger on the trigger.

    “Carmilla, stop.”

    Vlad’s voice was much darker than I had ever heard it. I had never heard him angry, and I never really wanted to. The woman, obeyed, standing at a respectable distance from us. I didn’t lower my weapon, still leaning against Vlad for support. For once, Leah seemed completely speechless.

    “What do you want ?”, he asked, seemingly calm, holding an arm around me.

    “What do I want, Drac ?”, she purred, taking a step forward. “Well, for starters, some introductions. If I didn’t know you better, I’d almost think you didn’t want me meeting your latest pets.”

    “Don't”, he snapped at her.

    “Fine, your friends, if that’s what you call your snacks, these days”, she sighed, shrugging.

    “Carmilla, I am giving you one, and only one warning. Leave.”

    I felt his hand clench.

    “Leave ? I’m not here because I enjoy your company, especially when you’re in one of your phases, Drac.” She crossed her arms over her chest, her face taking a deadly serious expression. “I’m here because the Council sends me, because they know I’m the only one who has the slightest chance of making you come to your fucking senses.”

    “What I do in my free time is no concern of the Council, which I preside, might I remind you ?”

    He spoke through his teeth, seething with anger. His arm coiled tighter around me, almost hurting me.

    “That you presided, past tense”, she jabbed. “Since that stupid fucking incident, more than a century ago, you haven’t gone to any meeting, any reunion, not even responded to any damn fucking letter ! I had to do your job, while you what ? Sulked and brooded in your castle, and flirted around with mortals ?”

    “Do not push me, Carmilla.”

    She ran her hands through her hair, grasping at it, and started pacing.

    “No, I think I will push you !”, she shouted. “You left us alone, for your own selfish fucking reasons, and the moment you finally decide to get out of your what, ongoing midlife crisis ? You start wreaking havoc, and putting MINA back on our asses, when we spent decades putting them off track !”

    “'Wreaking havoc’ ? You call going to Renaissance faires 'wreaking havoc’ ?”, he snapped with a dry laugh.

    “I call butchering mortals by the dozen wreaking havoc !”

    She was seething with anger, but her face betrayed a complete, and utter disbelief. She thought it was him too. Vlad seemed to have regained some composure, his grip on me softening as evidence.

    “Does everyone here think I am some sort of rabid animal ?”, he asked.

    He was met with silence.

    “I don’t, but again, I don’t understand what the fuck is going on”, Leah intervened.

    “Well, that’s one out of three”, Vlad sneered.

    “Are you denying it, Drac ?”

    “Contrary to popular belief, I am neither an idiot, nor some kind of un-tamed blood-thirsty beast”, he snapped. “I haven’t killed anyone in some time, actually, if that’s of any interest to you.”

    Carmilla seemed to consider Vlad’s response. My hand was shaking from holding the gun so long. She threw her hands up.

    “Fine. Let’s say I believe you.” She stepped forward, glowering at me when I raised the gun again. “I’ve seen the pictures, I’ve been to half the scenes. No mortal was behind those murders.”

    She suddenly looked worried, and Vlad softly had me lower the gun. A glance at him made me realize he had the same look, which was not reassuring.

    “In truth, I wanted to believe it was you”, she admitted. “I didn’t want to think about the alternative.”

    “It is impossible, though”, Vlad flatly stated. “We made sure of it.”

    “Alright, are you ever going to tell us what the fuck is going on ?”, Leah snapped, fists on her hips.

    Carmilla turned towards her, lowly hissing.

    “What is going on”, Vlad interrupted. “Is that the Elder is back.”

    “The Elder ?”, I asked, not sure I really wanted a response.

    “He created most of us”, Vlad explained. “I have no idea how old he is, could be millenia. He started going mad, wanting more power, and planned a human genocide.”

    “He turned Vlad to be his most powerful weapon”, Carmilla continued. “The legendary Impaler, infused with the strength and unending life of immortals. As for me, I was made by one of the Elder’s first creations. As I was apparently the only one figuring out that a world without humans let very little dinner opportunities, I knocked some sense into this one, and we murdered the Elder.”

    “Not very well, it seems”, Vlad somberly commented. He held me a bit tighter against him.

    “Well, at least, the reason why he came back now is obvious”, Carmilla stated, looking straight at me. “He found the perfect way to torture you.”

    She took a pause, and looked up at him, a hint of disappointment behind her cold eyes.

    “He finally found someone you love.”

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @paracosmfantasy @lost-girl-inc

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 13 #fanfiction#fanfic#dracula fanfic#dracula#dracula castlevania#dracula bbc #dracula bram stoker #dracula netflix#castlevania#romance #enemies to lovers #enemies to friends to lovers #slow burn#vampire #vampire x human #dracula x oc #dracula x human #SpOILERS after this tag ! #Carmilla #Carmilla x human #Oh yeah my dudes Leah's gonna get a girlfriend #jousting #horse !!!! #sexy use of armor and combat #War Lord Dracula here #vlad tepes
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    07.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia update !

    Hey everyone ! Just a little update to tell you that chapter 13 will be posted tonight at 7pm (GMT+01, Paris time) !

    I’ve also finished the plotline planning, and can tell you the story will go on for at least another 19-20 chapters (depends on how long they are and if i decide to cut them differently) ! I don’t know how regularly I’ll be able to post because I’m a post-grad student and have a lot of work (I actually study archaeology, so if you have any questions about that, send it my way !). My goal is to be able to post chapters at least twice a week !

    I really hope you’ll enjoy it !

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  • wannabebloodsucker
    05.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Question:

    Part 12 was so good! I’m,,,, you write him so well, and how the reader acts in your story is so believable!! You’re such an amazing writer! Thank you for this wonderful series!


    Answer:

    Aaaah thank you ♥️♥️♥️ Glad that you like it!

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  • wannabebloodsucker
    05.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (12/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : Nothing in particular.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 12/? (3386 words)

    Author’s notes : Final episode of the second act, part one ! Those episodes will be longer than the others, hope you’ll like them either way !

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    It was a strange feeling, watching over the kettle as a very tense immortal was sitting on my couch, seemingly engaged in a vicious battle of looks with my cat, himself sitting on the end of the bar. At least, his attention wasn’t focused on the very pink dressing robe I slipped into as soon as I got inside. Leah bought it for me as a joke, but it was actually very comfortable. Vlad didn’t comment on it, but I caught him hiding a laugh with a cough when I came out of my room, wrapped in it.

    “Do you drink tea ? I mean, I know what you drink, but can you even drink or eat normal things, for all that matter ?”

    “Eating regular food males me sick”, he answered, still fixated on the animal rather than me. “I can, however, enjoy a drink or two.”

    “Good.”

    I got two mismatched cups – the only ones available –, and filled them both. I handed him one, which finally had him turn his attention to me. His cool fingers brushed against mine as he took it.

    “Careful, it’s hot.”

    “Half an hour ago, you accused me of multiple murders, and now you worry I might burn myself ?”, he laughed.

    I sat on the other end of the couch, sneering at him. He had a point. I stared at my cup, bobbing the tea bag as if it made any difference.

    “I am far from complaining, but why did you invite me in ?”

    I tried finding my words, remaining silent a moment. He didn’t press, politely waiting for an answer, giving intermittent looks to the cat.

    “I… Haven’t slept in days, Vlad.” I started, fighting against tears welling up. “Every time I close my eyes, I see them. I find myself jumping at every noise, every shadow in the corner of my eye, I-”

    I only noticed how much my hands were shaking when he took my cup, and set it on the table along with his.

    “When I believed it was you, I had at least the hope that you wouldn’t hurt me, or Leah, or someone I care about. Now I…” I took a pause to take a breath. “I’m terrified.”

    I risked a look. His brow was furrowed, but he had a little smile.

    “If you let me in for that reason, you really must be desperate.”

    I tried to laugh, but it got caught in my throat.

    “Eris, you have to go to sleep. MINA tried to scare you. For all you know, they could have lied to make you talk.” He took my hand in his. “I am surprised, but glad you did not.”

    He leaned over to catch my gaze. A feeling of peace washed over me as I looked into his eyes. I wondered if he could do that. Manipulate my emotions, just like that. I didn’t have the time to wonder for long, as he suddenly picked me up in his arms. I had a squeal of surprise, and threw my arms around his neck as a reflex.

    “Vlad, what-”

    “You need a good night of sleep, you look less alive than I do.”

    His tone was firm, but still tainted by amusement. “Well, that’s ironic. And I don’t need to be carried, I can still walk !” My protests were only met with a grin.

    “I know, but I can hear your heartbeats, and I like to have my fun.”

    I felt my cheeks burning up instantly. He stepped into my room, and laid me down on my bed. I slipped under the covers and he sat next to me, glancing around in the semi darkness. As soon as the sun set, I never turned off the set of fairy lights running across the walls, bathing the room in an ultraviolet light. His shirt was glowing, and I couldn’t help but wonder what his teeth would look like.

    “Can you tell me a story ?”, I asked.

    He smiled, brushed a few strands of hair out of my face. My heart stopped a second, while he seemed to think a moment.

    “Did I ever tell you about my first voyage into the New World ?”, he began. I shook my head, while he kept softly running his hands through my hair.

    He did have a talent for narration. His voice was soothing, and as the story went on, I found myself drifting, along the waves surrounding the frigate, the wind in the sails, the first cries of seagulls as they reached the shore. He talked softly at first, but was soon caught in his own tale, and I couldn’t help but smile at the passion in his tone. He started to fade, and I rested my eyes, just a second.

    ~ ~ ~

    A familiar smell dragged me out of my sleep, and I blinked off my drowsiness, slowly sitting up. After a glance at my phone, I noticed it was already past 10am. Most sleep than I had in the whole week. I stood up, and turned off the fairy lights. Stumbling to my living room, I was surprised to not hear my cat’s screaming, but a cheerful, definetly human chatter.I found Vlad sitting behind the bar, and Leah, at the stove, flipping pancakes, her hair shining like pale gold under the sunlight.

    “Hah, told you food would wake her up”, she told Vlad, smiling. “Grab a plate, honey, you’ll need strength for today !”

    “What’s today ?”, I asked, a bit confused.

    “Renaissance faire, don’t tell me you forgot !”

    Ah, right. I had to admit some of the recent events took my mind off it. It might be a good distraction, now that I thought about it. I sat at the bar, and thanked Leah as she put a pile of warm pancakes on my plate, handing me a bottle of maple syrup, and a cup of steaming coffee.

    “Well, good thing Vlad has a better memory than you, because apparently, he picked up some outfits”, Leah told me as she finished up her batch.

    Oh no. That wasn’t good.

    “Can’t we just go like that ?”, I asked, delving into the breakfast. As always, it was amazing, the absolute perfect balance in taste and fluffiness, an just warm enough. God, I had to marry her at some point.

    “Are you kidding ?”, she indignated herself. “No way. Finish up and we’re dressing up.”

    Vlad was quietly laughing, and I gave him a killer look, to which he only responded with a wink. With a glance around the room, I noticed two large leather suitcases, probably holding the outfits. As soon as I was half done, Leah excitedly dragged me back to my room, as Vlad helped bring the suitcases in. He then left, closing the door.

    “Ooh, this is going to be so much fun !”, she exclaimed, opening the first case. “This is yours, and the other is mine. We’ll do you first, come on, get naked !”

    I sighed, knowing protests wouldn’t do much of anything when she was in that sort of mood. She threw an embroidered, white linen chemise, that she insisted I wore no bra with, because “the corset will do the job fine”. For fuck’s sake, corsets. I glanced at the wooden box on my desk, holding the gun. As soon as this was done, I would shoot him.

    The corset wasn’t so bad, to be fair. Leah took care of lacing it loosely enough so that I wouldn’t faint at the first occasion, and the back support actually made it comfortable. Dressing up in the whole thing was pretty fun, even with the struggle of lacing up everything, making sure the many layers sat right in place and the overall weight of the whole costume. The fabrics were soft, finely threaded, the silk shifting colors and patterns in the light. If they weren’t “originals”, they had to have cost more than a year of my doctorate scholarship. If they were, well, as a historian, I had to say they were pretty much invaluable. Not an edge frayed, a thread misplaced. They looked almost brand new, yet I was certain none of the sewing was done by machine.

    “This is great, where do you think he even found those ? Do you think those are reproductions, for his work ?”, she asked as she did my hair.

    “I… Maybe. That would make sense. He must have picked them up while he was back in Romania.” God, I hope it was that, and not a dress from someone he ate back in the 16th century.

    Trying not to think too much about it, I helped Leah get into her dress. I had to say, he had some taste. Hers had an overall pastel tone, in blues and greens, the hem of the skirt embroidered with small flowers, climbing like vines along the slits in the fabric, revealing a pale silver-ish blue silk underskirt. She looked absolutely radiant, and I took some time braiding her hair up, leaving strands here and there. She could have been a flower nymph. I was a bit more surprised by the color scheme he chose for me. The dress was in a rich golden tone, patterned in arabesques and embroidered in dark red thread. In a small box, I found pearl necklaces, hairpieces and earrings. Fuck, he went all the way into this. I mean, being immortal had to do wonders for your bank account, but still.

    “Come on, I’m going first, I wanna see the look on his face when he sees you!”

    Not leaving me the luxury of protesting, she slipped away, leaving me to put on the shoes he picked for me. Covered with silk, embroidered in gold thread, and, to my demise, heels. Not that high, but he still broke his damn promise. Can’t trust men on anything. Leah called me over, and I sighed, preparing myself mentally. It was way more complicated to walk in this than the 19th century skirt – which I kept, after a trip to the dry cleaner’s –. I glanced at the box on my desk again. I opened the lid, considering the ornate weapon a moment. I had no guarantee that this would even work. I had no reason to distrust Vlad at this point, not much more than before, anyway. However, if I was right, if MINA was right on at least the nature of the murderer running free… Fumbling around to find the slit in my underskirt, I slipped the gun in the large pocket attached inside. Now that I thought about it, it was rather infuriating that period clothing had more pocket space than our modern stuff, and they didn’t even have smartphones to carry around.

    When I stepped in the living room, Vlad had changed in his own outfit. Mostly black, with navy blue and silver highlights in embroidery. Across his chest, a livery collar bearing the enameled sigil of House Draculesti, and the Wallachian coat of arms. He had a soft “Ah” when he saw me, and didn’t say anything for a while. I flattened the pleats of the skirt, nervously waiting for some kind of comment.

    “Well ?”, Leah asked him, a mischievous smile on her lips. He seemed to finally snap out of it, taking a breath as if he had been holding it.

    “This is fine. I’m glad it suits you”, he told me after clearing his throat. “Although, it misses something.”

    He picked up a box on the table, handing it to me. I opened it to find what could only be described as the most dramatic statement necklace I’d ever seen in my damn life. The center piece was a red stone, the size of a small plum, encased in intricate gold work, and surrounded by pearls and other smaller stones. The rest of it was other stones, bound together by gold chains and pearls.

    “What the fuck”, I couldn’t help but breathe out.

    Vlad took it out of the box, slipped behind me, and set it on my chest, the cool metal against my skin sending a shiver down my spine.

    “Believe it or not, it was my mother's”, he told me as he worked the clasp.

    “Vlad, are those real ?”, I enquired, containing a nervous laughter.

    “Depends on how nervous my answer will make you.”

    He had to think this was hilarious. Fucking rich people, I swear. “Very nervous.”

    “They are fake, then.”

    As he left, he negligently had a hand trail along my back. Leah obviously noticed, as I saw her eyes glimmering with evil intent from across the room.

    “Now that we all are hot and ready, we should get going ! I don’t wanna miss the joust !”, she exclaimed.

    Of course, there would be a joust. I didn’t even look at the program. I bid goodbye to Zardoz, burying my face into his fluffy belly, while ignoring his meows of protest, and we all left. I was almost expecting Vlad to have traded his Jaguar for a horse-drawn carriage at this point. He disappointedly did not, and Leah dragged me into the backseat. The whole drive to the small town, Leah told us about the programmed activities from a leaflet she printed out, giving us the very strict schedule she came up with so that we wouldn’t miss anything.

    While she exposed her thorough research, I let my eyes drift along the countryside’s landscape. Even if we were still early in the year, most trees had regained their leaves. The sky was a pale blue, and if the air was a bit chilly, given how many layers of clothing we were wearing, that wasn’t so bad. Vlad had even prepared capes for the evening, which was weirdly thoughtful.

    I only went a few times to the city we were headed for. It was built around the 13th century, and most of the buildings ranged from that time to the 17th century. It was rather small, isolated, on top of a hill, which was pretty impressive in the overall flat landscape. About two or three times a year, they hosted medieval themed gatherings, encouraging people to come in costume, or rent some. Most of the town’s activity was artisanal, and the main income was through tourism, which was fairly well developed. Going there truly felt like going back in time, as they made a big deal of using as little modern technology as possible, to give the “most authentic medieval experience of the country”. As such, it was an almost unavoidable checkpoint for every medieval history student in my university, and trips were organized every year, for the midsummer fest. I actually dreaded meeting some of my students today. I knew I would get no peace for months if I was spotted wearing that outfit.

    We stopped a little outside the city, in a dedicated parking lot. There was a little train to make the rest of the way, all in favor of authenticity. That bothered Vlad a little, and he ranted about how if they wanted historical accuracy, they should have brought a hay cart and horses, that steam-powered locomotives were only invented well into the 18th century. When Leah told him this train was actually electric, he let out an outraged scoff. Oh, he was going to be unbearable the whole day, wasn’t he ?

    We took the historically incorrect train, getting some compliments from the crew, themselves in costume. I think they assumed we were actors hired by the city, which Leah played into with enthusiasm. She got used to her attire pretty quick, including the heels, which was much more than I could say for myself. As we went onto the cobblestone streets, she had no trouble trotting about, I had to hold onto Vlad’s arm not to risk breaking an ankle, which seemed to delight him. I couldn’t say I completely hated it either.

    Every time we crossed a group of actors, we chatted a bit, and he spent the ten minutes following each encounter pointing out the inaccuracies in their costumes. He punctuated it with anecdotes of his time in Italy in the 1550s, which had Leah think he was really into character. When he talked about his affair with a Leonardo da Vinci, she burst out laughing, and he gave me a sideway glance, perfectly knowing I couldn’t lose my mind until we were alone. It seemed like he had done everything, witnessed every historical moment from the day he died to the 19th century. According to what he had told me, his assassination attempt had him miss most of the 1900s, including both World Wars, which he was pretty pissed about when he finally rose again in 1953.

    Even if he complained about details, I could tell he genuinely enjoyed the occasion. The way he carried himself inspired confidence, a hand on the pommel of his sword, the other arm focused on helping me stay in a relatively upright position. I got used to the shoes faster than I thought, but kept on pretending to be terribly at risk. I think he knew, but still kept playing into it.

    At around noon, we arrived at the jousting lists, which took place underneath the city walls. Even Vlad had pretty much nothing to say against it, but then again, he hadn’t made a comment in a while, only focusing on entertaining us with his anecdotes. Against the walls, they had built stands and placed chairs and benches. A couple, posing as King and Queen, were seated in a podium, a bit higher than the rest. Vlad suddenly excused himself, telling us to take a seat without him. Before he left, he handed me a fine square of silk, embroidered in red and gold. I took it, confused, but before I could ask for explanations, Leah caught my arm and dragged me off. Suspecting she was somehow in on this, I took a seat, keeping my eyes peeled for any incoming fuckery.

    “So, apparently, this is actual jousting”, Leah told me, reading a pamphlet she picked up at the reception booth earlier.

    “What do you mean, actual jousting ?”

    “There’s an equestrian center near here that has a jousting program, this doubles as a competition”, she clarified, visibly excited. “Not that there’s a lot of them, but some of the contenders are coming from all over Europe, from what that thing says ! That’s why I didn’t want to miss it !”

    Well, this faire surely took off in the last couple of years. Now that I thought about it, historical reenactment was getting pretty popular, these days. I couldn’t help but worry, though, knowing how many horrific jousting accidents there had been in history, killing nobodies and Kings alike. Trumpets announced the beginning of the tournament, and the crowd started cheering. The bleachers were full, and a lot of people were standing on the sidelines to watch the show. An announcer started a little presentation, confirming that the jousting would not be acting, but an actual professional competition. Contenders came from Germany, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland, which didn’t surprise me all that much, given the overall enthusiasm for medieval history in those countries.

    The first contenders arrived, in full armor, their horses pawing at the ground, raising clouds of dust. They passed each other a few times, just for show, then were given their lances. Under the raging cheers of the crowd, they spurred their horses, and rammed into each other’s shields a first time, went around, and back again. This time, one was thrown off his mount, his opponent’s lance breaking in the process, and crashed into the sand in a clatter of metal. The victor raised the remains of his spear under the acclamations of the public.

    A couple of more contenders confronted each other, sporting their country’s colors. At some point, however, a rider came into the field, mounted on a dark horse, wearing a  dark armor, which I didn’t take long to recognize. Blackened iron, gilded, and chiseled, battle-worn, but still gloriously shining under the midday sun. On the chest piece, stylized, the very recognizable coat of arms of House Draculesti of Wallachia.

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @paracosmfantasy @lost-girl-inc

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 12 #fanfiction#fanfic#dracula fanfic#dracula castlevania #dracula bram stoker #dracula bbc#dracula netflix#dracula#castlevania#modern AU#i guess#romance #i SWEAR THERE WILL BE ROMANCE #I'M A pLOT ORIENTED pERSON OK #enemies to friends to lovers #enemies to lovers #slow burn#extremely slow #self indulgent medieval clothing #horse is BACK #horse tw #do i like horses ? no. Do i hate horses ? also no. #i am Suspicious #at best #dracula x human #dracula x oc #vampire #vampire x human
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    05.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Need your input !

    wannabebloodsucker :

    Hey everyone !

    I’m writing chapter twelve, and I realised it’s going to be a hell of a lot longer than what I expected, so would you rather I split it in two parts, or have one super long chapter to close the “second act” ?

    Well, chapter 12 is officially 6700 words, so I’ll be splitting that in two or maybe three parts ! I’ll get to the editing tomorrow, and post the first part, then the others on the following days :) Hope you’ll like em !

    #vamp's rambles #Sola Gratia update
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    04.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Question:

    Personally, I prefer shorter chapters posted more frequently than longer ones with longer gaps in between posting, but you should do whichever works best for you! Either way, thank you so much for this wonderful series. Every time I get a notification that you’ve posted I’m always so excited. Have a lovely day, darling!


    Answer:

    Thanks a lot for your input ! I prefer short regular updates too, to be honest, I’ll just have to see where I can split this chapter so it makes sense :)

    I hope you have a great day too, anon <3

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  • wannabebloodsucker
    04.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Need your input !

    Hey everyone !

    I’m writing chapter twelve, and I realised it’s going to be a hell of a lot longer than what I expected, so would you rather I split it in two parts, or have one super long chapter to close the “second act” ?

    View Full
  • wannabebloodsucker
    03.02.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (11/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : Graphic descriptions of violence, Viewer discretion is advised (short paragraph)

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 11/? (2247 words)

    Author’s notes : The end of the second act draws nigh ! (also, I see some new followers, if you wanna be added to the taglist, feel free to ask !)

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    “Eris, anyone home ?”

    Leah’s soft voice dragged me out of the void I’d been staring into for the past… Well, Gods know how long. I raised my head to meet her slightly worried gaze.

    “Yeah, sorry. You wouldn’t believe how many of those can’t make the difference between a century and a millennium, it’s appalling.”

    She didn’t seem that amused at my sorry excuse for a justification.

    “Have you seen the bags under your eyes ?”, she reprimanded me in a hushed voice. “How long since you had a decent night of sleep ? You’re so pale, you look like a damn vampire.”

    I had a dry laugh. She wasn’t wrong, to be fair. For the past four days, I barely got any sleep, any noise waking me up in a cold sweat, when I just didn’t lay frozen in bed, unable to close my eyes, for hours on end, until the sun got up. Mostly, I only stayed up because of a carefully thought-out blend of coffee and anxiety.

    “I’m fine, Leah. I just didn’t put on any makeup this morning. That is my face”, I told her, trying to sound offended.

    “Don’t bullshit me. Go. Home.”

    Her tone didn’t invite arguing about it. She reached across the table, and took my hand in hers, smiling. She proposed calling me an Uber, but I figured walking would clear my head. I put away my stuff, leaving her to her books.

    The library was almost entirely empty at this hour, and the normally automatic lights didn’t even turn on as I passed through the halls. I slapped my badge on the door to get it open, and was welcomed by a gush of freezing air from the outside. The sun had only just set, and the orange lamp posts had everything seem grey, except the deep red of the sky, near the horizon. Everything was quiet, save from the intermittent cawing of a crow, or the rustling of leaves, in the light, but biting breeze that had set in with the night.

    I started walking. The sound of my boots echoed in the empty campus’ streets. At this time, there was about a tram every twenty minutes. If I walked fast, I’d catch the next one. As I started walking faster, I couldn’t help but feel followed. That feeling, once it crossed your mind, could only set, seeping into every pore of your being, until you… I turned back. Nothing. Not even a shadow at the corner of a building, a suspiciously flickering light. Nothing. Even so, my chest felt too tight to breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out.

    I kept on going toward the tram stop. Focus on that, the tram stop. Breathe in. I stopped, pushing my back against a post. Breathe out. I turned my head, trying to relax my tense muscles. In the corner of my eye, a shadow. I screamed, jumped back.

    “I dream of a day where your first reaction to seeing me won’t be that of a deer in headlights.”

    He stepped in the light, as elegant as always, in his long, dark coat. He looked exceptionally well, about as much as I had to look dreadful. He took a step forward, and I instinctively took one back. He stopped, a look of disbelief painted on his features. He looked almost hurt by me pulling back.

    “Is something wrong, Eris ?”, he asked, concerned, but equally demanding.

    I tried to find an answer. Yes. Yes, something’s wrong. Everything is goddamn fucking wrong.

    “I’m gonna miss my tram”, I muttered.

    I turned back to the way I was going, and in a second, I felt his hand on my arm stop me. My heart sank to my stomach, and I broke free of his grasp. My heart beat so fast I was almost gasping for air.

    “Did something happen while I was gone ?”

    “It’s just- I don’t- Nothing hap-”

    My words came stuck in my throat. I didn’t even know what to say. Where to start. He placed both his hands on my shoulders, calmly asking me to look up at him.

    “You… You are shaking, what on earth… Am I causing this ? Do I scare you ?”

    I raised my head to meet his gaze, jaws clenched not to have my teeth chatter. He looked so genuinely confused, I was finally able to take a deep breath.

    “Can I trust you ?”, I managed to whisper.

    He didn’t answer a moment, seeming less ton consider his answer, than what prompted the question.

    “Without question.” He was looking straight into my eyes, the intensity of his gaze leaving no place for a lie. Fuck, I wanted to believe him. The weight of his hands on my shoulders made me feel safe. How could it make me feel safe ? Wasn’t that just another trick ? Another way to make me trust him, just to make the job easier ?

    Tears I didn’t notice building up burned my cheeks as they rolled down. He moved a hand to my face, and erased them with his thumb, softly.

    “What happened ?”, he asked again.

    If we are to stop this creature, we need your full support. For some reason, he trusts you more than most. You cannot tell him about your knowledge of this place.

    I gently pulled myself from his grasp, and stepped back, forcing a smile.

    “Nothing happened. I’m just tired”, I told him. “I really have to catch my tram, Vlad.”

    “Nonsense, I’m bringing you home”, he insisted. “You are very obviously distressed, and lying to me. Get in the car.”

    The authoritative tone had me shiver. I knew I didn’t have any choice, in the end, and nodded. He opened the door for me, as always. I sat down, buckled up. Focused on the line of led lights, moving in a slow, red wave.

    “If you refuse to talk to me”, Vlad began as he started the car, “I can only assume this has something to do with me. Now, understand that I could take a minute and find out, but I meant what I said, when I told you you could trust me.”

    He kept focused on the road. I could tell him everything. That would be a risk. If he really was who MINA said he was, if he did… If he did what they said he did… That would most likely be my death warrant. If he started being too suspicious, he could just read my mind, and given how deeply those images were engraved into my brain, it wouldn’t be too hard. I had no idea how to go about this.

    “I found out the reason why Stephan was putting me off.”

    “And that is ?”

    “We looked into his family tree, and his mother is a Mary Van Helsing, from the Murray Institute for the Neutralization of Abnormalities.”

    I said that on a single breath, and awaited his reaction. His face didn’t betray any emotion, but his silence was speaking volumes.

    “They found us out pretty fast”, I continued, figuring I was on too deep already. “We were taken to their headquarters, or whatever that bunker was. They were suspicious that I was acquainted with a vampire, posing as the respectable professor Vlad Balaur.”

    “And what did you tell them ?”

    His tone was frighteningly neutral. “For some reason I still can’t explain, nothing”, I replied. “I had them believe I had no idea such things existed, less so that you were one.”

    He had a short hum, but remained silent.

    “They told me you were posing as a vampire they killed in 1896, Count Dracula, who apparently is quite the messiah in the Vampire World”, I jabbed at him. “That you probably manipulated my memories, my emotions, just so I’d end up like the others !”

    Tears were streaming down my face, and despite my best efforts, my voice was shaking in anger. I couldn’t help but think he could pull over and snap my neck at any moment. Might as well make the best of my last moments.

    “Would you please clarify what you mean by ‘the others’ ?”

    He sounded so calm, so composed. I tried not to think on the implications.

    “They showed me the pictures, Vlad.” My chest hurt so bad. I barely was able to keep taking. “In retrospect, you were pretty clean with the horse. I guess he deserved better than human beings do, right ?”

    “Eris, I don’t understand-”

    “Don’t fucking lie to me !” My voice broke. I had no way to remain calm, the taste of bile going up my throat. “I saw it, I fucking saw the- the-” I slapped my hand over my mouth, desperately trying to catch my breath.

    Vlad had the turning signal on, and pulled over. I couldn’t stop crying, my face buried into my hands, unable to form any coherent sentence. The car stopped. He didn’t say anything. At any moment, I thought I’d feel his hands around my neck, or his teeth. Instead, he only called out my name, softly, barely audible through my sobbing.

    “Eris, please.”

    I dried up my face as best I could with my scarf.

    “You promised. You promised you wouldn’t hurt anybody”, I managed to stammer between hiccups.

    “I have not-”

    “I saw the pictures !”, I repeated. “They showed me- So much blood-”

    I turned my head to his. He slowly raised a hand to my face, hesitantly, waiting for a rebuffal. I did nothing, and he pushed strands of hair off my forehead, and cupped my cheek. His touch was so soothing. Not a bad feeling to die on.

    “And you believed them ?”

    “I- I- Of course, they just- Who else ?”

    “I have no idea”, he admitted, his voice soft, and calm. “Eris, I have not, not a single time, done anything contrary to our agreement. I have not taken a life since our second meeting.”

    I wanted to believe him, so bad. I wanted to believe he wasn’t the monster responsible for the contents of Mary Van Helsing’s case-file.

    “How can I believe you ? How can I be certain you’re not lying to me ?”, I breathed out, still resting my head onto his hand.

    “You can’t. You can only trust me.” He leaned in, placing a light kiss on my forehead, as was his habit. He pulled away, keeping close. “Do you trust me ?”

    “Yes”, I replied, without thinking about it.

    I did. As stupid, dangerously stupid as it was, I did. What else could I do ? What was the better option ? Were the MINA guys that much more trustworthy ? Well, if you took into account the fact that they didn’t try to kill me yet, probably.

    “As for the fact that I would be my own usurper, I don’t know how to argue for it, to be honest. I have rarely been faced with the task of proving my identity.”

    He sat back behind the wheel, and started the car.

    “You would do well to remember that MINA was founded by people who were so terrified of me, they left without assuring themselves of the success of their mission, which led to accounts of my death being greatly exaggerated.”

    I couldn’t help but let out a small laugh.

    “There, I like that better.”

    The rest of the ride was mostly silent, which was still arguably better than crying. Vlad finally pulled over in front of my building. I got out of the car, took a few steps, but didn’t go further than that. Behind me, I head his door open.

    “Should I wait for you on your balcony ?”

    I took a deep breath. “No.” I turned on my heels to face him. “You’re taking the stairs, for once.”

    “I… Beg your pardon ?”

    “Just follow me, will you ?”

    He shut his door, and I went to open my building’s door. I buzzed us in, holding the door for him. Guess he didn’t need an invitation for the whole building, huh. What the hell was I doing ? There’s a difference between not thinking someone does gruesome murders in his spare time, and inviting them over for a cup of tea ! Especially if their drink of choice isn’t your damn Russian Earl Grey !

    Well, too late to turn back now. I tried to keep a sense of dignity as we climbed the stairs. It didn’t seem to put any strain on him, all the while I’d been living here for years, and was still dying inside. Catching my breath as gracefully as I could, I unlocked my door. Zardoz came running at me, agressively rubbing himself agaisnt my boots, screaming bloody murder, or, in that case, famine.

    “You have a… cat”, Vlad stated.

    I had a short laugh as I picked up the protesting beast. “What, are you allergic ?”

    “They… Don’t like me.”

    He looked at the animal with some sort of defiance.

    “Well, this one hates everyone, don’t feel like it’s personal.”

    He stood at the door, nearly taking up all the space of the frame. Holding the cat in my arms gave me courage, as I felt his low purr against my hands. I took a few steps back, and had a curteous bow.

    Voivode Vlad Dracula Tepes, me and this cat welcome you into our home.”

    He smiled, and stepped in.

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @paracosmfantasy

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 11 #fanfiction#fanfic#dracula fanfic#dracula fanfiction#dracula#dracula castlevania#dracula netflix#dracula bbc #dracula bram stoker #castlevania#vampire #vampire x human #romance#slow burn #enemies to friends to lovers #enemies to lovers #dracula x OC
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    02.02.2020 - 1 year ago

    desperatefrenchwriter :

    Here is the most detailed piece I’ve ever done, I think ! It’s self indulgent, but excellent practice, and I took a billion years researching renaissance fashion.

    Taking a break due to lack on inspo and lots of academic work on my plate, but enjoy this, which is sort of a preview on a chapter coming real soon!

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  • wannabebloodsucker
    30.01.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (10/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : Graphic descriptions of violence, Viewer discretion is advised (short paragraph)

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 10/? (2730 words)

    Author’s notes : Beware ! A Dracula-less chapter (-ish) ! I promise, he’ll be back soon, he really wants to go to that Renaissance fair… (Also yay, part 10 !)

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Mary Van Helsing.

    I asked Leah if she hadn’t made a mistake. She almost took offense. I sat back in my chair, staring at the ceiling. What ? How ? Van Helsing ? I mean, that could just be a freaky, freaky coincidence. I laughed nervously to myself.

    “Hah, you gotta admit that’s funny the Van Helsing kid wants to study the Balkanic middle ages”, Leah laughed. Ditto.

    Seeing as I didn’t reply, she asked if I felt alright. I took a deep breath.

    “Leah, there’s something I need to tell you.”

    “Yeah, of course, what’s- Oh, fuck.”

    She turned back to her laptop, and started frantically typing, cursing under her breath as she did.

    “Someone got my position. Jeez, whoever those guys are, they really don’t want anyone finding out they exist !”

    “What do you mean ?”

    “I mean there’s a very good chance we will have an unpleasant visit pretty soon.”

    She sounded nervous, which was a strange color on her. She activated an emergency shutdown, and closed her computer, taking a moment sitting still, eyes staring into the void. She then stood up decidedly.

    “We don’t know who it was, could be nothing”, I tried to reassure her.

    “Yeah well, not to boast or anything, but if they got through my defenses, I really don’t wanna know. Listen, let’s just crash at my place, there’s a chance they pinged on the VPN and actually here.”

    She was so determined, I didn’t even think to contradict her. She left her laptop there, only taking her bike helmet. I grabbed my bag, and followed her out of my office. Even though she was tiny, I had trouble keeping up with her fast paces. As we sped through the corridors, I caught a glimpse of dirty hazelnut hair, and grabbed Leah’s arm to take a hard right into another hallway. Felt like running into Helder right now wouldn’t be the best turn of events. Plus, I was supposed to give a class he was attending, so, that.

    “Thinking back exit ?”

    “What else ?”

    We kept half-jogging to the end of the corridor, turning a few curious heads on the way, pushed on a service door, and slipped outside. The sun blinded me a second, as we made our way to the parking lot. Leah dug her keys out of her pockets, and unlocked the pad on her motorcycle, cursing a few more times every time she ripped around the keyhole. She turned to give me her helmet, and stopped halfway, wincing. Ah.

    “Eris Cetero and Leah Fox. I’m going to need you to come with us.”

    A very sharply dressed woman was standing a few paces away, icy stare and tightly pulled dark hair. She looked composed, unyielding, and was flanked on both sides by two men built like wardrobes, poorly dissimulating a handgun under their suit jackets. Not the kind of person to try to run away from, then.

    “Listen, we didn’t mean any harm. We could all just forget it.”

    Sometimes, her bluntness had some perks. She had moved over in front of me, her hand grasping mine.

    “You are not in trouble. At least not with us”, the woman continued. “We thought we would wait more, but you forced our hand.”

    “We have no idea what you’re talking about”, Leah kept going, still on the defensive.

    I said nothing, trying to keep a straight face.

    “My name is Mary Van Helsing. I work in the Murray Institute for the Neutralization of Abnormalities. We have a lot to discuss, especially with you, Miss Cetero.”

    Ah shit. Let’s think about this rationally. There was no way I could escape that situation. I also didn’t want Leah to get in trouble, and I started to see she was about to keep on going if I didn’t do anything. I took a deep breath, which had her stop.

    “Alright. We have crossed a line digging into things we shouldn’t have. You are entitled to some explanations, and if you feel like this can’t be done in a parking lot, so be it. Lead the way”, I declared, trying to be as calm and composed as I could.

    I was met by a look of disbelief on Leah’s face, and an emotionless nod from Mary, who turned on her heels without a word. Can’t believe my incredible charm hadn’t worked on her yet. Leah’s hand softened, and I took a hold of it as we walked to the intimidating sedan waiting for us.

    ~ ~ ~

    The ride took a bit longer than I thought. From the moment Leah started going deeper in her search, and the moment they arrived, it couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes, and yet, it took well over half an hour to get to our destination. Maybe they were already close, and we just got unlucky. Seemed about right.

    We remained silent the whole car ride. You couldn’t have hacked through the tension using a damn chainsaw, at this point. Leah and I held hands, so tight I saw her knuckles going white. She was shaking a little, and I hated myself for putting her through this. If only I weren’t a nosy fucking idiot.

    We arrived to a decrepit-looking building, most likely turn of the 19th century architecture. Above the entrance, the stone looked like it had been engraved, a while ago, but the script was almost completely worn out. Inside, the emptiness gave an echo to every step, the ground overrun with cables coming from other parts of the house. We kept on going straight forward, went down a slope, and arrived to a huge freight elevator. It made a shrieking noise as it went down for a while, so deep we might as well have gone straight down to hell. If you believe in that sort of thing.

    The elevator shook as it stopped, opening on a surprisingly high-tech complex.

    “Ladies, welcome to M.I.N.A.”, Mary told us as we stepped off.

    The first room was a large hall, open on two more stories, visible through balconies, on which were plastered neon lights. In neatly aligned cubicles, employees worked on god knows what, piles of paper cluttering all desks, the intermittent sound of phones and the indistinct chatter of radio making the noise almost unbearable. Mary kept on walking, some people greeting her as she passed them, and giving Leah and I the strangest looks. Ooh, boy. That was about to be fun.

    She opened large fire-breaking doors, and we went on a corridor, making a few turns. As I had learned by now, I memorized the turns. Right, left at the weird plant, another left at the water fountain. She opened a door for us, leaving us to enter before her. That looked awfully like an interrogation room, with one table at the center, and two uncomfortable chairs. The double sided-mirror occupying one of the walls was also a dead giveaway.

    One of the guards stopped Leah as she went after me. As she protested, they told us they would explain the situation separately. If they actually knew anything, that might be the smarter option. I reassured her, smiling, and went into the interrogation room. One of the guards came with me, and closed the door, only to stand in a corner, silent. I dragged out a chair to sit, waiting for anything to happen.

    “Not really talkative around here, huh ?”, I asked, knowing I wouldn’t get an answer.

    Moments later, Mary came back into the room, holding a few files, one distinctly bearing my name. It does something to your ego, to have your name on a secret society’s secret case file, in their secret underground bunker. The woman sat on the other side of the table, leaning forward on her elbows.

    “Miss Cetero, do you really have no idea why you’re here ?”, she asked.

    Of course I know why I’m here. You know I know. You saw me try to fly into the wind with my partner in crime as soon as we knew you found us. I just had to put my best performance on. Tremble, Hollywood.

    “Well, we did hack into some pretty secure servers to get information that we weren’t supposed to get”, I told her, and shrugged. “That seems pretty clear to me.”

    “There’s that, but I want to talk about something else.”

    Her face was completely unfeeling, yet her voice was soft, a bit too maternal for my tastes. I had a little smile, encouraging her to talk. There was no risk if I wasn’t talking.

    “Do you believe at all in the, quote-unquote, supernatural ?”

    If she kept talking to me like I was a particularly simple child, I’d show her something supernatural pretty damn soon. I worked to keep down the wave of righteous anger crashing against the insides of my chest.

    “Do you mean… ghosts ?”, I ventured.

    “Among others. I’m talking more specifically about vampires.”

    Her eyes were gleaming behind the rectangles of her glasses. I didn’t react, other than a little laugh. Alright, keep it up, play dumb.

    “Vampires ? Come on, is this a joke ? Did Leah put you up to this ?”, I giggled.

    Not that dumb, fuck’s sake. Nobody was this stupid. I actually wanted to kill myself. I was so in character my voice went up an octave all on its own. Repressing a shiver, I kept on smiling like a brainless fish.

    “I’m afraid I’m dead serious. As… Phantasmagorical as it may seem, such creatures exist, and we believe you, and your friend, may be in grave danger.”

    Well, that seemed to actually work pretty well. Not really trying to think of the reasons why I had so little trouble passing as brain-dead, I had a nervous laughter, and kept going.

    “Do I have to look around for a man in a black cape next time I leave my building, Mrs. Van Helsing ?”

    “Doctor Van Helsing, actually. And rather, you should look around for the man you know as professor Vlad Balaur.”

    Ah, direct, I see.

    “I’m not sure I get your meaning.”

    “We have good reasons to think Vlad Balaur is a vampire, trying to pass himself up as Vlad Dracula Tepes, a character you of all people know well.”

    I didn’t say anything, but my heart sank to my stomach.

    “In what I will tell you, I want you to assume everything I say is true”, she started, leaning back. “In 1896, a team made up from Jonathan Harker, Quincey Morris, Mina Murray-Harker, and Abraham Van Helsing, put an end to the reign of terror of the vampire known as Dracula. It seemed he was no other than Vlad Tepes, the Impaler, who supposedly had, quote-unquote, “died” during the 15th century. At his return to London, he decided to create this institution, to be certain that should such a horrific event happen again, people would have the knowledge and resources to deal with it.”

    She took a pause, gauging my reaction. I tried to keep my innocent façade, but has strictly no idea wether she could tell I was faking. The feeling of dread creeping its way into my mind didn’t help either.

    “Bram Stoker was an accomplice to the whole ordeal, and published his book, which was explicitly branded as fiction. You know the rest, concerning the sometimes questionable turn of the theme into popular culture. However, vampires, among other numerous creatures, are still a threat on humanity today. And a lot of them take inspiration from ancient figures, like Count Dracula. This would not be the first time one of them fashioned himself the Dark Prince Returned.”

    “I’m sorry”, I interrupted, “But how can you expect me to believe any of that ? Do you even have any proof ?”

    I tried to keep my panic out of my tone. I didn’t want to believe it, but what if she was right ? She couldn’t be, right ? He knew so much about everything, and… I tried to calm myself down. Just need to get through this, I’ll talk this out with the man himself. All would be well.

    “Even if you were right, even if professor Balaur was a vampire”, I began as she only kept staring at me. “He never tried to hurt me, or had any reprehensible behavior toward me or Leah. Why would I need to be worried ?”

    She looked at me for what seemed like hours, and finally pulled a file from her pile, and slid it towards me. She then sat back, and lit a cigarette. She offered one, and I declined politely, asking what was in the file.

    “All around the city, for the last month, we had a count of twenty-four murders”, she declared. “Look at the pictures, and you tell me what kind of person could have done this.”

    Shaking a bit, I opened the file, and instantly had to put a hand over my mouth. You can watch hours and hours of horror movies, and never get used to anything like that. Everything was red. Seeping into the fabrics, clothing, mattresses, drapes. Splattered on the walls, dripping from the ceilings. Body parts, bent in impossible angles, flesh frayed, shredded in long clawing marks, leaving the internal organs and their contents spilling out of the deformed corpses. Throats. Open. So torn apart it just looked like a bundle of rubber tubes. On one of the victim’s descriptive notes, I glimpsed the word “pregnant”. I closed my eyes, looking away. There were hundreds. Mary offered again, and I took the cigarette. I closed the case file, taking a long drag.

    “What happened in Romania, Miss Cetero ?”, she asked, a bit more softly.

    I raised my head to meet her gaze. “I… Nothing happened. I- I visited some museums, hiked a little, why do you ask ?”

    My eyes welled up with tears, and keeping on a neutral smile was a physical effort at this point. I kept seeing flashes of teeth, the horse, inside out, bled dry.

    “We believe he might come from there, which is why he would identify with Dracula. He could have taken a liking to you there, and followed you here.”

    “I think I would remember an encounter with something that does… that does this on a daily basis”, I snapped, fighting through tears. That couldn’t be right. It couldn’t.

    “Your memory could have been wiped. It’s not uncommon, once again.”

    I started to feel dizzy. Maybe it was the cigarette. I didn’t smoke very often, so that was probably that, right ? I must have remained silent a while, because Mary leaned forward, putting back the file on the pile.

    “Listen, I will make this as clear as possible”, she snapped. “If we are to stop this creature, we need your full support. For some reason, he trusts you more than most. You cannot tell him about your knowledge of this place.”

    She slid a card across the table.

    “If you are ever in danger, or need any information, call us. We will call you if necessary.”

    She put out her cigarette on a portable ashtray, and I did the same, mechanically.

    “What did you tell Leah ?”, I asked.

    “Nothing more than she needs to know, which does not include anything about Vlad Balaur. We think the less people know, the safer it is.”

    I nodded, and slipped the card into my pocket. Nothing about this felt safe, or right, or anything but confusing, and nauseating. They escorted me out, and I still felt engulfed in cotton, everything muted, even when Leah nearly jumped into my arms as I got out. I barely realized I walked, or the time spent in the car, until they dropped me off at home.

    I dragged myself to my apartment, and went straight to bed, half expecting to see him there, on the balcony. Instead, I found a note. I opened the window, and took the folded sheet of paper. The same he used back in Romania, and the same fine, elegant handwriting. It was weighed down with a polished rock, which I noticed, upon further inspection, contained a multitude of little fossils.

    I have heard historians like old things, here is one.

    For another, I will be back soon.

    All my love,

    Vlad.

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse@angelicdestieldemon@bloodhon3yx@thewondernanazombie@battocar@moony691@mjlock@thebeautyofdisorder@festering-queen@paracosmfantasy@my-fanfic-library

    #sola gratia #sola gratia part 10 #dracula #bram stoker's dracula #dracula netflix#dracula bbc#dracula castlevania #dracula x human #dracula x reader #dracula x oc #vampire x human #slow burn #enemies to friends to lovers #enemies to lovers #romance#fanfiction#fanfic#dracula fanfic
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    29.01.2020 - 1 year ago
    Question: You’re a phenomenal writer! Thank you so much for this wonderful series darling. Have a lovely day!
    Answer:

    Thank you so much ! You made my day, I hope you have a great one too <3

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  • wannabebloodsucker
    29.01.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (9/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : General audiences, no particular warnings.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 9/? (2000 words)

    Author’s notes : I’m trying to get the chapters a more consistent length, I think 2000-2500 is good ! Means I’ll be able to work more consistently, but please don’t hesitate to tell me what you think about it ! Also, sorry for all the build-up, but a girl’s gotta set the decor a bit !

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    During the following weeks, the presence of the Count became almost familiar. Every day, he waited for me with a different kind of pastry. I tried to protest at first, but quickly had to make my peace with it. At some point, seeing me wince at my terrible coffee, he forbade me to drink it anymore, and added that to my daily breakfast. I asked him exactly once why he insisted on feeding me, to which he replied that he liked my blood healthy, with a toothy grin. I hit him over the arm, he laughed. Other than that, he was careful not to step over my boundaries, and seemed to find the way to only be there at the appropriate time.

    That was not the case for Leah, however, who was delighted to see Vlad was going to be a recurring presence in our lives. The two of them got along far better than I would have wanted. Vlad especially enjoyed playing along with her when she started asking probing questions about the both of us, although I had to admit he was an expert at deviating any question that could have revealed his true nature.

    It took me some time to fully realize how much he had actually seen, and lived. He died around the 1470s, which meant he had all the time in the world to see the Sistine Chapel being painted, the construction of the Eiffel Tower, or the damn french Revolution. He could have just been a very polyvalent historian, which is what I told Leah. She interpreted that as a challenge, considering he and I were, as she put it, “introverted nerds who need to see the light of the sun once in a goddamn while”. She started dragging us along in random activities. There was a pottery class, to which I was barely able to make the Leaning Flower Pot Of Pisa, while she somehow made an incredible owl sculpture, and Vlad had made a delicate greek-inspired vase. Seeing him, sleeves rolled up over his elbows, hair tied up in a ponytail, his long fingers working in precise, expert gestures, probably had noting to do with my absolute failure to make anything correct. I decided then that manual activities were a no-go for me in the car ride, where I sulked on the backseat, while Leah and Vlad were still crying-laughing about my sorry excuse for a pot.

    After the rousing success of that experience, she wasn’t about to stop. We did a haunted castle themed escape game, which Vlad curiously sucked at. That would explain some stuff. Leah then found out that a Renaissance faire was taking place in a small town, about an hour or two outside the city, and decided we definitely had to go. I tried to pretend I had too much work and wouldn’t be able to make it, but Vlad and her insisting, I caved, and marked down my calendar with the red pen of defeat.

    Being stuck in period costumes with the both of them wasn’t the only reason I tried protesting. Laurent really did throw a ton of work on my shoulders, and that wasn’t considering the whole Stephan Helder situation. The kid was highly motivated, sure, but he started making me feel uneasy, for some reason. After all my classes, he came to chat, and always found a way to ask questions about Vlad. Strangely phrased questions, or about how he couldn’t find publications under his name. Legitimate questions, to be fair, but his insistence was bugging me.

    “I’m telling you, that is weird. Those are weird questions”, I told Vlad, sitting on my windowsill. He didn’t react. “I am serious, what if he knew ?”

    “How would he know ?”, he sighed. “Why would he even want to know ?”

    “Well, that’s a fair question. Which needs an answer, don’t you think ?”

    He tilted his head, softly smiling. “I think you are being a bit paranoid.”

    “I spend most of my free time hanging out with an immortal murder-machine, I think I deserve the right to be a bit paranoid”, I snapped.

    “Fair enough”, he laughed.

    Being immortal had to have dulled his sense of danger. Although, I could see how a skinny 20-year-old medieval history student wouldn’t spontaneously raise red flags.

    “By the way, I am going back to Romania”, he told me.

    I felt a small pinch to my heart. “Oh.”

    “Only for a few days”, he completed with a smirk. “I have to pick up some things, and oversee the moving company. I do not trust them with half my things.”

    I furrowed my brow. “Moving company ?”

    “Oh, did I not mention it ?”, he innocently replied. “Before I even arrived, I bought a little something a little ways outside the city. The renovations are done, and you of all people understand I cannot live there without a decent library.”

    I took a second to process it. He had a smug look, obviously enjoying my confusion. I had to say I didn’t even think about where he spent his nights. I figured he either turned into a bat and hanged somewhere upside down, or simply didn’t sleep. Did he even need to rest ? Gods, so many questions I didn’t even think to ask. Every day, I felt like I discovered a puddle, only to realize it was part of a lake.

    “When I come back, would you come visit ?”, he asked, sounding a bit hesitant.

    “Sure. I mean, as long as I don’t have to wear heels if you decide to go feral on me.”

    He took a dead-serious expression. “I promise you, Eris Cetero, that as long as you live, I will never, ever, make you wear heels again.”

    I threw my head back with a groan of agony. Was it so bad that this kind of humor was actually funny to me now ? Was having a six century old bloodthirsty creature imply he might try to murder me again really that hilarious ? Apparently so, as I was unable to contain a giggle. Maybe it was because the look he had was all but threatening. Maybe because every time I was near him, even with all that happened, I felt… Safe. For a few weeks, I had been able to decide staying over at the University library until ungodly hours. I didn’t have to thing about what time I had to leave at before it became too risky for a woman with very limited knowledge of martial arts, alone.

    I mean, he was arguably more dangerous than any encounter I might have had, but still… I knew he wouldn’t hurt me. Maybe it was wishful thinking. Then again, he had plenty of occasions to lose it. Last week, for instance, I had no idea what to expect when I left my apartment, dosed with painkillers, as Mother Nature, that ruthless bitch, decided to drop by for her monthly visit.  He was simply waiting for me at the usual spot, looking a bit off, but holding a large box of chocolates along with my breakfast. He made himself scarce for the following three days, but I could tell he tried to act natural.

    “I should let you get some rest”, Vlad told me, dragging me out of my thoughts.

    I nodded, slowly. “When are you leaving ?”

    “Some time tomorrow. I will still pick you up, if that is what worries you.”

    He smiled, teasing. “Yeah, that’s… That’s it. I’d miss my personal chauffeur.” I looked away a second. “Now, get off my window, I need to sleep.”

    “Of course, my Lady”, he replied, and backed away with an overly low bow. “I bid you good night.”

    Once again, with a fluttering sound, the usual bat replaced the tall man. I called out to him, offering my hand as a perch. The tiny black creature gripped a finger. I would have expected a Vampire Bat, to be fair, and almost laughed when I realized it was a common little brown bat, only changing in the darker color.

    “Well, don’t you look adorable”, I told him.

    I could take a more frightening appearance, if you want me to.

    “Telepathy, huh ? That’s new”, I commented. Nothing surprised me that much anymore, to be honest.

    I try not to pry, it’s usually considered rude.

    “You don’t say.”

    He stretched out his wings. They were so thin I could see the tiny veins running across the membrane. I had to use all my will not to just scoop him up and pet his tiny head, or scratch his belly. Now, that would have been rude. Probably. Those kind of reflexions were a bit new to me.

    I would stay here all night if I could, but I am starting to feel a bit hungry.

    “Oh, by all means. I won’t keep you.”

    I heard a small squeaky sound I interpreted as a laugh, and he left. I closed the window, and the quiet made me rethink the situation. If he was gone, that would leave me some time to look into the Helder situation without him interfering. Now, I just needed the help of my favorite professional stalker. With a little smile, I slipped under my covers, and almost instantly faded into sleep.

    ~ ~ ~

    After Vlad let me off at the University, he only came over to say hi to Leah, and announce his departure. He left right after, with a kiss for her hand, and one for my forehead.

    “Do you need some ice ? You look pretty hot”, she snarked at me once he was gone. “A cold shower, perhaps ?”

    “Oh, shut up, will you ?”, I groaned, placing the back of my hands onto my cheeks.

    She snickered. She was the best friend I could ever hope to have, but man, as soon as someone was involved, she became absolutely unbearable.

    “By the way, I need your help with something”, I told her, lowering my voice a little.

    “Oooh, sneaky voice, I like it already. Tell me.”

    I brought her inside, and we went straight to my office, a small, cluttered room in the old building. I dragged a folding chair next to mine, behind the heavy wooden desk.

    “I’m having a weird feeling about a transfer student”, I told her. “I wondered if you could-”

    Before I could even finish my sentence, she had already taken out her laptop, her glasses sitting on her nose. She turned on a bunch of apps she left running in the background, and turned to me.

    “Name ?”

    “Stephan Helder, with ‘ph'”, I told her.

    I kind of felt bad about it. If it was nothing, I was just prying into his personal life – or having Leah pry, anyway. She began typing away, and in less than three minutes, she had results. Stephan Jonathan Helder, 18, your typical genius type. Skipped a few middle-school classes, finished high-school at 15, with straight-As. Spotless criminal record, less so for the medical one, with a few bad cases of pulmonary infections. Didn’t have one in years, though. Seemed like he was from a good family, but then again, no information on them showed up. Huh. I asked Leah to look into them.

    “That’s crazy”, she said after a good five minutes. “I mean, there’s barely anything.”

    “You mean he’s an orphan, or something ?”

    “No, it’s just blacked out. I mean, most of the stuff has been scraped, erased.”

    She sounded annoyed, but also excited. I knew she loved a challenge.

    “Nothing I can’t break”, she commented, and went back to it.

    After a few more minutes, she finally had a triumphal shout.

    “Got 'em”, she told me. “Stephan Jonathan Helder, the father is Thomas Mark Helder, and the mother is Mary… Huh. That’s a cool name.”

    “What is ?”, I asked, leaning over her shoulder to read.

    My blood froze in my veins instantly.

    Mary Van Helsing.

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @paracosmfantasy

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 9 #fanfiction#fanfic#dracula fanfic#dracula castlevania#dracula bbc #dracula bram stoker #dracula#vlad tepes#romance #enemies to friends to lovers #enemies to lovers #vampire #vampire x human #dracula x human #dracula x reader #dracula x oc #slow burn
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    28.01.2020 - 1 year ago
    Hey everyone !

    Thank you to all the new followers, holy hell, that went fast !

    Next chapter of Sola Gratia won’t be up until sometime tomorrow or the day after (it’s a big one, and i’m still working on the plotline).

    In the meantime, feel free to send asks my way about the story, the characters, headcanons or stuff like that !

    Thank you for your support, you’re making writing feel that much more exciting <3 

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  • wannabebloodsucker
    28.01.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia - Masterlist
    image

    Accessible via a  page on top of this blog, this is the rebloggable version !

    AO3 link

    Act I (31k) : Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13

    Act II : Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 (coming 23/02) - Chapter 17 (coming 26/02)

    #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia masterlist #dracula fanfiction#dracula fanfic #dracula x human #dracula x oc #dracula bbc #dracula bram stoker #dracula castlevania#slow burn#romance #enemies to lovers #enemies to friends to lovers #fanfiction
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    27.01.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (8/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : General audiences, no particular warnings.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 8/? (2033 words)

    Author’s notes : A bit shorter, but big one coming up next !

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    As soon as I dismissed the class, chatter started filling the small auditorium, along with chairs dragging to the wooden floors. The sun was almost set, and everyone, including me, was exhausted, and so the room emptied itself fast. Vlad, who sat at the back during the whole day, went down the stairs and joined me at my desk, a coy little smirk on the corner of his lips.

    “Well, what did the expert think ?”, I asked as I started putting away my stuff.

    “A few kinks to work out here and there, but overall, not too bad”, he commented, leaning back against the blackboard. “However…” He raised an eyebrow. “I see you snaked around a certain historical figure. An important one, if I do say so myself.”

    I groaned. “It didn’t mention what didn’t need mentioning in this class.”

    “You know, and not to be a narcissist, but there is a good chance half of your students took that class hoping to learn about the Infamous Impaler”, he commented.

    He looked so smug. If I didn’t know what he was, he could just have been a nerd way too much into role-play. With great fashion tastes, and nice hair. Anyway.

    “Actually, I did promise them last semester that we would do a class on that subject”, I told him, turning to face him, sitting back on my desk. “Then, I took a holiday, which somehow had me change my mind.”

    He winced, and took the sorriest puppy-dog face I had ever seen in my entire existence. For crying out loud. “Don’t play victim with me, jerk”, I grumbled.

    “Why, is it working ?”, he teased.

    Before I could reply anything witty, I was interrupted by a voice timidly calling out my name. A pale, tired-looking student was waiting awkwardly at the foot of the podium, expectantly looking up at me. I had no idea who he was, which was a bit frustrating, as I always paid attention to that sort of thing.

    “Do you have any questions about the lecture ?”, I asked him, inviting him to step closer. “Remind me your name, I’m sorry, I can’t seem to place you…”

    “Stephan Helder”, he told me with a little smile. “I just transferred here.”

    Well, at least, it made me feel a little bit better about the looming prospect of Alzheimer’s disease. I vaguely did remember an e-mail from Laurent informing me I’d have a transfer student from London taking my course, but I didn’t think it went further into detail.

    “Do you want the notes for last semester’s courses ? I could e-mail them to you.”

    “No, actually, I didn’t come here for that, I have something I’d like to ask you about”, he nervously told me, as his eyes kept darting to Vlad.

    “That’s fine, go ahead !” I tried to give him a reassuring smile. “This is professor Balaur, from the University of Bucharest. He might be able to help too. He’s very… Savvy on the subject of this class, to put it mildly.”

    I gave a quick look towards him, to which he responded with a half-wink.

    “I am thinking of doing my master’s degree here”, Helder began, seemingly a bit less tense. “I talked to professor Laurent Rasab, and he agreed to tutor it, but I would like to have your tutorage as well.”

    I was taken aback for a moment. No student ever asked for my tutorage on anything, not even advice on the assignments I gave out. Which wasn’t very wise, as I always offered, and always ended up correcting soul-sucking essays that made me want to retire before I even reached 25.

    “I don’t know that I’m qualified for that”, I told him with a laugh.

    “I’m very interested in your field of study”, he exclaimed. “I would like to study the real involvement of Vlad Tepes in the fight against the ottomans, maybe try to draw the line between fiction and reality, considering his reputation, even to this day. You’ve worked on the attack on Targoviste, right ?”

    At least, the lad seemed motivated. Behind me, I could hear Vlad fighting off a fit of laughter, that he hid in a cough. I took a deep breath, turned my attention back on Helder.

    “Listen, why don’t you send me an e-mail, and I’ll look at my schedule to fix an appointment ? I’ll get Laurent on it, and we’ll both discuss that with you.”

    He nodded, thanked me, and bolted, not before a last, strangely intense look at Vlad. I waited until the door clicked behind him, and let out a long sigh.

    “You will be the death of me, you know that ?”

    He stepped closer to me, and moved my hair out of my shoulders. I shivered as his fingers ran through the whole length of the strands. “Not with that high a neckline, you can be sure of that.” As he stepped back, he let his knuckles slide down my spine, and denied all responsibility when I protested. Bastard. I put my laptop in my briefcase, and went to turn off the lights.

    “By the way, when were you born ? Sources aren’t clear on the date”, I asked as we made our way to the exit.

    “March 14th.”

    “You know that’s not what I meant.”

    “I was born the first time on march 14th, the Year of Our Lord 1430, amen.”, he dramatically declared, signing himself upside down.

    “You are being childish, for a 590 year-old man.”

    “That was fast math, I’m impressed.”

    Couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic. I opted for a classic, and rolled my eyes at him.

    “I was hoping to see that delightful girlfriend of yours, Leah, was it ?”, he told me as we walked through the mostly empty corridors of the old building.

    I sighed. “Not my girlfriend. She’s at work today, and believe me, I would rather have spent the day with her.”

    “I will pretend I didn’t hear that”, he hissed, falsely offended.

    I was starting to get used to his company. Without being so drastic as to enjoy it, his presence at my side didn’t seem so ominous anymore. During my lectures, he had been listening intently, nodding along when I was in the right. I don’t know if he even noticed he did. Before every pause, he somehow slipped out of the room, and came back right as I dismissed class with coffee, and a written list of every historical character I mentionned, commenting on their personality, or their quirks. The whole time, he spoke in a hushed voice, half in french, so that no one but me would hear or understand. As a french person myself, I had never thought having a foreign accent was as sexy as everyone seemed to believe, which is why I worked on mine constantly. However. When he spoke french, the way he rolled his ‘r’s, or pronounced some words, sent darts to my chest. I sometimes had to gather all the strength of my will to listen to what he actually said.

    Lost in thought, I almost didn’t notice we were almost at his car. As usual, he opened the door for me. For once, I didn’t debate him, and just got in.

    I plugged my iPod into the radio, and set my ‘driving at night’ playlist, masterfully crafted over the years. Not necessarily sad, but definitely not upbeat. Vlad didn’t say anything, but I caught him mouthing the lyrics of the chorus, once he caught them. I nestled into my seat, letting my head press against the window. I watched the street lamps light up the raindrops on the glass as they rolled down. The whole ride was quiet on our parts, but it didn’t feel awkward, as it often does. When he stopped in front of my building, I stopped the music, and hesitated a second. Before I got out, I turned to Vlad.

    “Five minutes, wait for me at my window.”

    Not leaving him the time to reply, I got out, and through the front door. I don’t think I ever climbed my stairs so fast. Locking behind me, I hurried to feed the monster, already trying to climb my leg in outrage, and shut myself in my room. As I expected, he was waiting outside, on the fire escape stairs. I opened the window, kneeling on my bed. He sat on the windowsill, waiting for me to talk.

    “If we are to continue this…” I tried to find the appropriate term.

    “Relationship ?”, he proposed.

    “If we are to continue this”, I rephrased, gesturing to put emphasis, “I have to make some things clear.” He nodded, and I took a deep breath. “First, we don’t tell Leah what you are. I don’t want that on her mind. Second, you don’t murder people. I just can’t go around being friends with someone who drinks humans like Capri-Suns every night.”

    “How do you suggest I feed, then ?”, he asked. I didn’t think about that. He leaned closer, grinning. “Are you offering yourself in exchange ?”

    Instinctively, I jerked myself back to the edge of my bed. He apologised. Squinting at him, I sat back where I was. A bit too soon for that sort of jokes.

    “Can’t you ‘go vegan’ ?”, I asked, air-quoting. “Eat animals ?”

    He sighed. “I could. It doesn’t do me well, to be honest.” He looked… embarrassed. “You saw it firsthand. The horse just made me hungrier. Less… controlled.” He took a pause. “I would rather murder some humans than put you at risk again.”

    I felt a tiny pinch to my heart. Ah. “Does it hurt ?”, I asked, in the only tiny whisper that managed to get out of my throat.

    He snapped his head toward me. “I beg your pardon ?”

    “Does it hurt, when you feed ? The people you feed on, I mean”, I added, a bit louder, yet still coming out squeaky.

    He seemed to take a moment to debate his answer, taking an inspiration, and deciding against it a couple of times. “It does not”, he finally breathed out. “It takes you away, where you want to be most.”

    A beach, infinite. A dark sky and a setting sun. Soft waves, and golden sand.

    “Can you at least promise you won’t kill anyone ?”

    “Ah !” He sighed, seeming relieved, and a bit disappointed. He looked back at me, with a soft smile. “They will dream, and not remember, or feel a thing. I promise.”

    I slowly nodded, and propped myself up on the windowsill, feet still safely on my bed. I looked up at him, and his expression softened ever so slightly. The moon and the lampposts cast a blue and orange light on his features, playing along the curves and sharp edges of his face.

    “Is that all, dear ?”, he asked.

    “Don’t call me ‘dear’”, I instantly retorted.

    “Fine, darling.”

    I groaned, throwing my head back as I heard his soft laughter. As I brought my head back down, it was to find his hand, curled under my chin. His thumb brushed lightly past my lip, almost by accident, to finish on my cheek. My heart stopped a second. He hummed, and placed a kiss on my forehead.

    “Sleep well, Eris.”

    I breathed in, but just like that, he was gone, leaving me to look out for a bat, quickly vanishing in the night sky.


    Someone, close, was also looking out for the bat as it flew over the rooftops. A ray of moonlight caught a glimpse of silver hair, the frost of a blue eye. It couldn’t happen again. Not after the last disaster, and the one before that. The thin, long fingers clenched so hard into their palms, drops of red tricked down, slowly. Before any drop could be lost to the ground, a pale tongue took care of it.

    The Council wouldn’t be pleased.

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @festering-queen @my-fanfic-library

    #horse is mentioned #fanfic#fanfiction#dracula fanfiction #dracula x human #dracula x OC #dracula x reader #(ish)#romance #enemies to friends to lovers #enemies to lovers #slow burn #things are going to go down soooooon #Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 8 #dracula#dracula bbc#dracula castlevania #bram stoker's dracula #dracula netflix
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  • wannabebloodsucker
    26.01.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (7/?)

    desperatefrenchwriter :

    Rating / Warnings : General audiences, no particular warnings.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 7/? (2219 words)

    Author’s notes : Rated A for Angst

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Won’t you invite me in ?”

    I slowly turned my head to face him, the tip of my nose touching his for a second.

    “Do you think this is how it works ?”, I whispered. He inched back, probably picking up the anger I tried to conceal in the softness of my tone. “Do you think you, who has haunted my every nightmare, every dark corner, every space behind my back, for months-” I took a shaky breath. “Do you think you can invade a place I feel most safe in, threaten my dearest friend, threaten me, and hope a gift will make up for it ?”

    Keep reading

    Accidentally posted in my main blog :’)

    #dracula x oc #dracula x human #vampire x human #vampire#Sola Gratia #Sola Gratia part 7 #dracula bbc#dracula netflix #dracula bram stoker #dracula castlevania#slow burn#angst #enemies to friends to lovers #enemies to lovers #dracula fanfiction#dracula fanfic#fanfic#fanfiction
    View Full
  • wannabebloodsucker
    26.01.2020 - 1 year ago
    Sola Gratia (6/?)

    Masterlist

    Rating / Warnings : General audiences, no particular warnings.

    Fandom : Bram Stoker’s Dracula, BBC’s Dracula, various Dracula and vampire lore.

    Part 6/? (3370 words)

    Author’s notes : After a small break, here is part 6 of Sola Gratia ! It’s technically the first chapter of the second part, but I’ll number them continuously to not be confusing !

    Hope you all enjoy !

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    “Thank you for your compelling conclusion to this seminar, professor Rieder. I would like, once again, to thank all whose interventions have made these few days a most instructive and enlightening event. Now, for the part all of us have been waiting for since this morning, I will see you at the buffet next room over.”

    Scattered laughter and clapping closed my statement. A growing buzz filled the room, and I contained a sigh of relief. Turning off my headset, I laid it on the table next to me, giving a few awkward smiles to the eminent researchers still at my side. I focused my attention on the familiar face sitting front row, shoving her scattered notes in her bag. One smile of hers would have stopped a cyclone, and thus I melted inside when she hurried to meet me, pulling me in a bear hug. She was so tiny she couldn’t raise me past tiptoes. I closed my eyes, hugging her back. Her hair smelled like coconut oil, and lavender. She pushed back, still holding my shoulders.

    “That was great, see, told you you’d kill it !”, she exclaimed, eyes glimmering with joy.

    “Leaaaaah, stop it, you’ll make me believe it”, I replied, letting my head fall back. “I still have to hear from Laurent.”

    “Heh, speak of the Devil !”, she taunted, her eyes set somewhere over my shoulder.

    Laurent, my thesis coordinator for the past two years, was not a cheerful type person. He was six feet tall, salt more than pepper hair, neatly trimmed, the mustache always curled at the tip, and small, golden rimmed glasses. On anyone else, he might have looked like a nice grandpa. However, his strict demeanor and constantly furrowed eyebrows denoted an uncompromising attitude, which had proven a challenge in my research and field work. I was all the more taken aback by the huge grin plastered on his face as he came over to firmly shake my hands in his.

    “Excellent work, Eris. I couldn’t be more satisfied !”, he bellowed. “You will have to come take a drink with us now, I won’t have you escape this time !”

    If you weren’t used to his manners, he might seem a bit blunt, even abrasive, but his comment made me smile. I nodded, and he left me after a friendly pat on the shoulder, still having me stumble. Leah was almost vibrating with excitation, as per usual. Where she found her energy, I’d never know. She took hold of my arm, and practically dragged me to the reception room. The committee spared no expense, as the whole seminar had been financed by an anonymous donator, who had been more than generous with his funding. As we got in, we were greeted by a groom, holding a plate of champagne glasses. A bit over the top, if you asked me. Still, I was  on par with the standing of the venue, the National Museum of Natural History. It was huge, old, and honestly, so stuffy in the scientific department I had to think twice before I accepted to coordinate the seminar.

    I had taken a million years finding an outfit that wouldn’t clash with the tone, and wouldn’t have me looking like a talking toad in a bowtie. Leah looked great as always, her long, strawberry blonde locks bouncing freely on her shoulders, wearing a perfectly tailored bustier pantsuit. she could have worn a sack of potatoes and looked better than me, still awkwardly trying to walk in a straight line with the pair of stilettos she bought for me. Still, I’d rather suffer the little mermaid’s martyr than disappoint her.

    She grabbed two glasses for us, and had a few steps back, guiding me further into the center of the room. She handed me my glass, and held up hers.

    “To the first of many symposiums saved from death by your exceptional organizational skills”, she stated.

    “To the only reason I didn’t panic and make a fool of myself for three consecutive days, Leah Fox”, I threw back at her.

    We toasted, and took a sip. The room was packed. Still enough room to actually breathe, but I never were one for social situations of that type. Of any type, really. As soon as that glass was empty, I would beg Leah to get back to her place, which was, thankfully, close-by. I’d have to almost get across the whole city if I were to go back to mine, and in the state of exhaustion I was in, no way that was happening.

    “Hey, don’t look- Do not ! - but there’s a guy looking at you from over there”, Leah told me.

    I kept my eyes on her obediently, as she seemed to study said man. She had a look of mischief in her eyes that  announced trouble with a thousand golden horns. I indulged her.

    “Well, will you at least tell me what this Mystery Admirer looks like ?”, I enquired.

    “He’s your type, I gotta say. Tall, dark and handsome, you know ?”, she started, being less and less discreet about her staring. “Oh, and he knows how to dress, I have to ask where he found his tie pin- Oh, fuck, he saw me, abort mission !”

    She winced, knowing full well we couldn’t just run away like schoolgirls. Not if we wanted to keep some form of good reputation among the dozens of career-relevant academics chatting all around us. Seeing her head gradually lift up, I sighed, and prepared myself to get some human interaction. I put on my best fake smile, and turned around.

    “Eris Cetero, I have been dying to meet you again.”

    All sounds faded. Heart sinking into my stomach, I barely even heard the crystalline sound of the champagne glass as it broke between my fingers. I barely heard Leah’s cry of surprise, or felt the warmth of the blood gushing from my palm. I only saw the red around ocean blue eyes, and a split-second, sharp smile.

    My knees gave out under me, his arm slipped around my waist, catching me before all lights faded, blown out like candles in the wind.

    ~-~-~

    Muffled sounds of chatter were my first perception. Then, right after, a burning sensations from my nose to my lungs, that made me choke. 

    “Eris ? Are you awake ?”, Leah’s worried voice came to my ears before the golden halo of her hair above me. I could only respond with a pained groan.

    “I should hope so, this is very potent”, a silky, deep voice commented outside my limited field of vision.

    “I know, but no offense, who carries smelling salts on them in 2020 ?”

    “I do, and they proved useful, did they not ?”

    She sounded cheerful, as she always did. Every sentence he uttered had the effect of a sledgehammer to my chest. I tried to sit up, and leaning on my had me crying out in pain.

    “You’re injured !”, she exclaimed, laying me back down, a hand over my chest. “Just rest a little, will you ?”

    “Leah, you have to leav-”, I tried to warn her, too faintly for her to even notice I spoke.

    She turned her attention back to him. “Tell me, Professor Balaur, you were about to tell me how you met our faint-hearted friend ?”

    Professor ? That didn’t sound right, by all accounts. I couldn’t get rid of a faint ringing in my ear. Spots of light danced before my eyes. I had to do something. My heart was almost beating out of my chest. The back of his eyes caught the light just a second. Sharp teeth flashed before my eyes, as they had been embedded in my brain for the past two months, every time I spent too long, staring in the shadows.

    “Please, call me Vlad. You do well to remind me, it is a good story.”

    His voice was sickeningly sweet. Leah didn’t mind, seemingly genuinely interested in what he had to say, leaning into the palm of her hand, propped up on her elbow. Fighting through the numbness, I decidedly sat up.

    “Leah, we have to leave”, I snapped, ignoring her protests. “Now.”

    “You don’t seem well enough to go on your own”, the Count stated, his silky voice not helping with my nausea. “I could give you a ride, I have my car parked here.”

    “Well, I live nearby, so we can manage”, she began. “But… Considering her state, I would love the help. You’d have my eternal gratitude, and I’ll invite you in for a cup of tea !”

    Invite you in. No. No way. Not her.

    “I have to go home !”, I blurted out. “I… haven’t fed Zardoz this morning and he’ll- he’ll wreak havoc if I don’t.”

    Leah gave me a puzzled look. She knew I was lying. She could always tell. She didn’t understand why, but she wouldn’t ask. She trusted me. I promised myself I would tell her, at some point. If I had no other choice.

    “Well then, you can’t take the bus in that state”, the Count commented. “For my peace of mind, would you let me take you home ?”

    No, absolutely not. He kept his gaze locked on mine. I couldn’t let him anywhere near Leah. Never mind me, she had to be safe.

    “Alright”, I yielded. “Go home, Leah, I’ll be fine. I just need a second to get my bearings, I’ll be fine with…” I felt like I had to swallow bile. “With Vlad.”

    She hesitated, and I gave her the best smile I could muster. She agreed to take her leave, after making me promise to call her as soon as I got home. Scribbling my address on the back of her visit card, she handed it to the Count, and planted a kiss on my forehead. With a last wave, just like that, she left. I couldn’t contain a sigh of relief. A gloved hand appeared in my field of vision.

    “If you think I’m coming with you, you’re even more insane than I thought”, I snapped at him, not giving him the satisfaction of eye contact.

    “Oh, Eris. Let’s not pretend like there is any other outcome to this situation.”

    No matter how much I hated it, he was right. I gave him my arm, and saw his hand twitch as it brushed against the bandages. Leah had gone so overboard I could barely flex my fingers, but on the flip side, no blood seeped through. I wondered how he managed not to go feral when the cuts were still fresh. He took hold of my briefcase, and we left.

    Trying to dissociate myself as much as I could from the situation, I barely could make sense of my surroundings as the Count guided me to the outside. I heard myself say goodbye to Laurent as we passed him, giving a bullshit explanation as to why I was leaving with him. The word “date” was thrown around, which I’d have to be angry about later. I focused on not snapping my ankles on the stairs. Curse high heels and feminine fashion standards.

    We crossed one of the side doors at the entrance, and stepped outside. For a second, the night’s fresh air made me feel better. The large street, occupied only by a grassy railway, was lit by the orange glow of street lamps. In my fuzzy mind, It looked like a Van Gogh, a blur of light and colors, and the faint sound of the wind rustling into the trees. A welcome silence, after the noise of the inside.

    We stopped near a car. Black, sleek, elegant design. A step up from the creepy old van I rather imagined, if I ever got abducted. He opened the passenger door for me.

    “I’m not getting in”, I told him, a bit stubbornly.

    “Listen, I have told your friend I would get you home safe, and I will. I behaved myself even though you… Well.” His gaze lowered to my injured hand, which I instinctively hid behind my back.

    “Why, why on Earth should I trust anything you have to say ?”

    “Because, dear, I may be a monster, which you seem so adamant to believe, but I am not, and never have been, a man to go back on word given.”

    Looking at the situation objectively, I didn’t have much of a choice. No tram anywhere in sight, no people to scream to, and anyway, the Kitty Genovese thing made it clear that witnesses don’t do anything for your survival. And in her case, she was murdered by a human, which I wouldn’t be so lucky about. If he really took me home, that would bring him further from Leah, which was a substantial advantage. Taking a deep breath, I nodded, and got in the passenger seat. After making sure I was settled, he closed the door, and went around to sit behind the wheel. He typed up the address on the screen, and turned on the GPS. The car’s windows were tinted, and the interior was lit by a soft band of red led lights. Fitting.

    “Seatbelt”, he commanded.

    “Since when do you even know how to drive ? I would have expected a hearse, drawn by undead horses”, I sneered.

    “I am not the Grim Reaper, Eris. Also, everybody knows how to drive, these days, it’s an easy skill to pick up.”

    “Huh, pick up, is that what you call it ?”

    He laughed. As soon as I went back home, I had spent every waking hour I had to spare researching things like him. That proved to be a difficult task, given that 90% of the hits were either literature, were it good or bad, conspirationist websites with very disputable sources, or witnesses with incoherent, horny accounts of their meetings with seductive succubuses. I figured I had to not be the only one, but there was absolutely no way of finding anything credible, as truth often makes a worse audience than embellished fiction.

    At this point, I only had random bouts of legends I classified by percentage of credibility. Silver burned his skin, but didn’t seem necessarily lethal. It did seem to leave a scar for a long time, I thought as I watched the thin, white circle on the back of his hand, relaxed on the wheel. Antlers didn’t seem to be efficient either, or at least, not in a permanent manner. I wasn’t sure about direct sunlight, but cloudy weather seemed to be just fine to him.

    “What are you thinking about ? I can sense it’s a tad violent”, he teased, keeping his eyes on the road.

    “How are you here ? How are you alive ?”, I jabbed at him.

    “Are you disappointed ?”, he replied in a slightly mocking tone.

    “Thoroughly.”

    “Well !”, he laughed. “Strictly speaking, I was not alive to begin with. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    He tapped on the wheel as he drove. The rhythm reminded me of something, though I couldn’t quite place it. He had his hair cut, and was clean shaven, I noticed. Overall, he looked pretty much like a normal man, late fourties, more handsome than the usual, maybe, objectively speaking. He looked sharp, intelligent. Dangerous.

    “Are you going to kill me ?”, I asked, turning my attention to the road as well, trying not to have my voice shake as much as I physically was.

    “Kill you ?” He seemed to think a few seconds. “No. Not yet, at least.”

    “Then why are you here ? How did you find me ?”, I blurted out.

    “I tasted you, I’ll always know where you are”, he softly replied. He glanced at me, lingering a little. “As for why, let’s say that I am… curious. No one even tried to stake me since that funny little man Van Helsing.”

    I huffed out a laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Among all who could have taken interest in me, it had to be an immortal, bloodthirsty creature, who could smell me to the ends of the earth like a hellhound.

    “Stalker”, I laconically commented.

    “Stalk- What ? I’m not a- How dare you even-”

    He sounded genuinely offended. My sudden fit of quiet laughter cut him off. His outraged expression softened, and he let out a sigh, taking back his composure. He took a right into my street, and parked in front of my buiding. After turning of the engine, he leaned back into his seat.

    “Before you leave, I have something for you.”

    He reached behind my seat, and handed me a wooden box, wrapped a red silk ribbon. I gave him an inquisitory look, to which he didn’t respond. If he wanted to kill me, I ventured he would find a more dramatic way than a booby-trapped box. I mean, he wasn’t an Acme character. I untied the ribbon, noticed a lock. The Count handed me a key, attached to a thin, golden chain.

    “I’m more of a silver kind of girl”, I teased.

    “Very funny, but also a lie”, he replied, sliding a finger along my ear, and the three golden rings piercing it.

    A shot of electricity ran through me. He was about to lower his hand, yet I felt his touch, barely grazing along the small scars I knew were still swollen, still red, under the foundation I used to cover them up. Dozens of them, little cuts. Broken glass is something sharp. I heard him take an inspiration, as if to say something. I took the key, worked it into the lock. The lid opened on red velvet, in which was incased a colt. A gun. A gun ?

    “That is a gun”, I flatly stated.

    “Not just any kind of gun. This one is loaded with custom-made white oak bullets.”

    I remained speechless a moment, taking it from its case. The metalwork was intricate, and the handle, distinctively polished antler. I wonder if…

    “It is. I thought it would be… appropriate”, he told me, as if he had  read my mind.

    Appropriate. I scoffed. None of it was appropriate.

    “It’s simple of use, really, cock the hammer back, point, squeeze the trigger”, he explained.

    “I know how a colt works. I’m more concerned of the reason why I now have one.”

    “I would like for it to be a token of trust.” He shifted in his seat to face me. “I want to know that I am no threat to you. Should you not believe it, you now have this.”

    I tightened my fingers around the grip. “Will it kill you ?”

    “To the best of my knowledge, yes”, he nodded. “I have never died before, however, so this is brand new territory.”

    He laughed at his own questionnable joke. I cocked the hammer back, and set the barrel against his chest. “Give me a good reason I shouldn’t do that right now.” He didn’t seem phased in the slightest, which had me doubt the actual usefulness of his gift. He leaned in, his face inches from mine.

    “Curiosity”, he whispered, tilting his head to the side. “Everything you study in literature, I lived. Everything event you try to make sense of, I witnessed. Every battlefield you excavate, I have bled on it.” 

    I lowered the gun, and looked away.

    “As for myself, you have made me curious of this world again.”

    “Why me ?”, I muttered, feeling heat rise to my cheeks. His cool breath had the fine hairs of my neck rise up.

    “Well, what can I say, except that you have touched my heart ?”

    “Dear God.” I pinched the bridge of my nose, and groaned. “I’ll shoot myself.”

    “What do you say ?”, he whispered, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. I could almost feel his lips brushing against my cheek.

    “Won’t you invite me in ?”

    ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

    Taglist : @carydorse @angelicdestieldemon @bloodhon3yx @thewondernanazombie @battocar @moony691 @mjlock @thebeautyofdisorder @my-fanfic-library (tagging you if you wanna take a look !)

    #horse not here anymore :( #when will horse return from the war #sola gratia #sola gratia part 6 #dracula #bram stoker's dracula #bbc dracula#dracula netflix#dracula castlevania#dracula fanfic#dracula fanfiction#fanfic#fanfiction #vampire x human #vampire #enemies to lovers #enemies to friends to lovers #slow burn#very slow #actually simmer until unbearable for both reader and writer #dracula x OC
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