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The knife had been a gift from Frederick. One of the few things of his Chase had kept. It wasn't particularly long, the blade no more than five inches. A sgian dubh, the handle made of horn, the emblem of the now dead vampire tribe attached to the end of the handle. None of which mattered to Chase, then or now. What was mattered was the blade - strong, sharp, and pointy, able to slice, puncture, kill with the greatest of ease. And right now -
It was pressed against Krista's throat.
Krista, her fangs extended, bared her teeth in a silent growl. Knowing the slightest twitch of a muscle would cause the blade, already digging into her throat, to slice open her skin.
"Tell me why I shouldn't kill you?" Chase hissed.
Krista moved, her Adam's apple bobbing up, then down as she swallowed hard. The movement created just enough pressure on the blade to break her skin. It was nothing more than a trickle. But already, Chase could feel the hunger gnawing at her insides, the taste building on her tongue.
"Well?" Chase emphasized with the hand holding a fistful of Krista's jacket, shaking the woman hard. It caused the blade to dig in further. Krista winced, and Chase felt the visceral thrill of Krista's pain as a shiver running down her spine.
Krista's head slumped back, thumping against the cement wall. "Do it."
"Kill me," she exhaled raggedly, closing her eyes and waiting for the inevitable.
Chase licked her lips. Not out of desire but a subconscious stall. It was pure happenstance that she'd come across Krista, dirty and disheveled, hair and face matted with grime, digging about in the trash. Instinctively, fueled by the rage and anger that had festered since Krista tossed her down a stairwell, Chase attacked. Unlike before, the fight was over in seconds. Unlike before, it was Chase who ended up on top.
They'd both betrayed Marcus. Both had fallen from their pedestals. The difference was, Chase had fallen many times before. And in those falls, she'd learned how to land butter side up. Even if the last time had been one Hell of a fall caused by the woman with Chase's blade now digging in her throat.
Krista's words echoed in Chase's head. Dead heart pumped furiously in her chest. Because she wanted to kill her. Had fantasized for months all the ways she would do it. How she'd make her feel the pain, the hurt, the betrayal. How she'd given Krista everything. And at every twist, every turn, every opportunity, Krista had thrown it back in her face.
Marcus had been a fool for turning Krista. Chase had been a fool for wanting her even when she knew she shouldn't. When just an ounce of those feelings had never been returned.
"Open your eyes," Chase spoke softly.
Slowly, almost painfully, Krista opened her eyes. There was a deadness there as if she'd accepted her fate and was merely waiting for the inevitable. Something akin to sympathy twisted in Chase's gut. The blade still pressed against her throat, Chase released her grip on Krista's jacket. Brought her hand up and pressed it against Krista's cheek. Drew her thumb across chapped and dry lips. Lips she'd dreamt of kissing just as many times as she'd dreamt of silencing them forever.
"You know what I love about you, Krista?" She paused enough to let Krista's eyes connect to hers. "You always make things so very, very difficult. Things could have been different. For both of us. Now," she paused, fingers caressing Krista's face. "Close your eyes."
The fight drained out of her, Krista nodded subserviently. She began to tremble. A shake Chase had felt hundreds of times before, the death rattle of someone who knows they're going to die. Chase leaned forward, tilting her head upwards to press her lips onto Krista's, her free hand reaching up, fingers tangling into the mane of dark hair. A whimper exhaled between them. Whether it was Krista or Chase herself, Chase did not know. Nor did she dare to contemplate. So much had been sacrificed for this woman, including Chase.
She could feel Krista's hands tentatively placing themselves on the swell of Chase's hips. The acquiescence in her body, the wetness forming in the once dry mouth, the drumming of her heart, the slight upturn of her hips. And even as the kiss grew deeper, Chase knew it wasn't Chase Krista wanted, she wanted the connection, the warmth, the desire to feel something again. If it had to be Chase, then so be it.
And the betrayal burned within her again.
Her fingers tightened their grip on Krista's head. Chase yanked their lips apart viciously, splitting open Krista's bottom lip with two parallel lines. With one fluid motion, Chase snapped Krista's head backwards and before she could think about what she was doing drew the blade across Krista's throat.
Chase stepped backwards. Watched Krista fall to her knees, hands clawing at her throat. The blade had cut through skin, muscle, sinew and as Krista gasped for air, feeling it suck wetly into her lungs, she realized her esophagus remained intact.
"Why?" Krista looked up at her with confused and pleading eyes. Already, she could feel the tear beginning to heal itself, the edges sealing themselves together almost immediately.
Chase brought the blade up to her lips and licked the edge clean. Stilled herself as the reflexive shiver of delight rippled across her skin. The moment gone, Chase looked down at Krista. The pangs of hunger, anger subsided, replaced with the kind of emotions Chase hated to feel. But feel she did.
She knelt next to Krista, the woman recoiling instinctively.
"Are you going to kill me now?" Krista asked.
"Oh shut up," Chase rolled her eyes. She pulled back her sleeve, exposing the inside of her forearm. With a quick flick of her wrist, opened an inch long gash across the skin. She brought the arm up to Krista's lips, not waiting for the woman's response. "Now drink."
For the first time in months Krista tasted blood, real blood. Not the pints she stole from the blood bank, or the rats she feasted on in the sewers, all in some perverted attempt to maintain her humanity. Thick and wet and pulsing on her tongue, she growled and sank in her teeth, slurped hungrily at the life-force offered.
"That's a good girl," Chase purred, petting Krista's hair with her free hand. "We have to get you strong again."
When she determined Krista had enough, Chase pulled her arm away. Krista snapped angrily at the retreating forearm like a feral child teased with the first taste of candy.
Chase grabbed her chin and jerked Krista's face towards her. "Krista!" She spoke firmly. Watched the eyes on hers, the hunger, the desire. "Do you want more?"
It seemed to snap Krista out of her haze. The anger returned. The recognition that nothing from Chase was ever free. "Fuck you!" Spat through reddened lips she wiped along the back of her forearm.
"Mmm," Chase grinned a wide Cheshire cat grin. "As long as you promise to make it.. difficult."
Her features twisted into a mask of hatred and anger. Swiftly, she smacked Krista across the jaw with a backhand. The weakened woman slumped to the ground unconscious.
Chase rose to her full height. Took a moment to pull down her sleeve, smooth out the lines on her jacket, all while she gazed down at Krista.
The doors to the alleyway burst open. Two of Frederick's men, now her bodyguards spilled out into the alleyway. "We heard there was trouble," one of them spoke, eyes darting back and forth between Chase and Krista.
"No, no trouble at all," Chase smiled politely. "Bring the car around."
"What about her?" One of them sniffed distastefully.
"She comes with us. I have," Chase gazed down, the wheels turning as thoughts of opportunities and endless scenarios played behind her eyes. "Plans for her."
With that, Chase turned on her heel and headed for the limousine. A smile played on her lips, her real smile, the one she meant just for her. Krista was alone. Her family dead. Marcus and the House of Chthon having turned their back on her. Blade nowhere to be found. The only thing left - Chase and her plans. Of all the possibilities, Chase had never dreamt of this one. Krista was hers now. Hers and hers alone. And Krista would either love her -
Or she would die.
As Chase slid inside the limo, the smile beaming brightly on her face, she wasn't sure which one would please her most.
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