He made love to her slowly, in the well practiced style she liked. After twenty years, he knew this about her. She enjoyed her sex
predictable and lazy. He kissed her deeply, softly, skating his tongue across her teeth. His hands moved down to gently cup her breasts,
moving up to roll her large, dusky nipples until they hardened.
As he released her mouth he trailed feathery kisses across her chin and down her throat until he captured one of her tight buds, slowly
suckling until he heard her sigh while her fingers were combing through his long black hair. He nipped the hard nub and she murmured her
His hand journeyed lower until it reached the soft curls between her thighs. It still amazed him how wet and ready she was. She quivered
as he slowly parted her nether-lips, running his long finger and spreading her juices down her folds.
Everything gentle, non-rushed, with even her moans and responses almost kept secret. The soft caresses eventually led to slow, deep
thrusts as he entered her. She stroked his back, feeling his tight muscles. Finally, wrapping his thighs with her legs, she pulled him
closer, deeper. The muscles of her channel tightened like a fist around him and she issued her quiet moans and slight shudders as she
Curling up onto his broad tanned chest, she lightly twirled one of his dark chest hairs around her finger, hesitantly scraping the skin at
its base. She looked up into his midnight blue eyes and smiled in gratitude, lightly brushing his full lips with hers and fell back on his
shoulder to sleep.
Lucien looked down at her and sighed. He was bored to death. If a vampire could die.
But tonight was for her. He loved her, just as he had loved all the others before her. Each of his companions had their own unique way
of pleasure. Although the vampire's curse had never been appeased with the calm and comforting methods Lucien maintained with his many
loves, he continued to keep his true desires at bay, locked onto the promise that his next companion would have the passion to satisfy him.
This would be his last night with Heather. He brought the passive woman and her friends to his settlement high in the mountains two decades
Lucien quietly rose, careful not to wake her. He dressed in his buckskins and tied his hair back with a strip of leather. Glancing back
at her once, he left his house and went to the main hall.
Everyone was tense … because it was time.
Lucien looked down the length of the two long wooden tables noticing many of the settlers were still awake, gossiping and busying
themselves, making sure all was set for the Clansmen's ride in the morning. Lucien flared his nostrils. He could smell the excited
anticipation of his people.
The other vampires had already arrived and were seated at the shorter table at the front of the hall, chatting with some of the townsfolk.
Lucien joined them and sat in his worn, upholstered chair. It reminded him of the settlement. A sadly, threadbare throne in a sadly,
sagging village. The town desperately needed younger men to fix the weather beaten structures and beat back the encroaching woods. The
vampires were anxious to bring back new companions for their beds.
Lucien sat in the middle with Damon and Nathan seated on either side of him. Justin and Nicholas, the youngest of the Clansmen, sat at
the ends of the table. The five vampires talked quietly, finalizing their plans for the trip the next day.
Lucien stared into the flames burning in the stone fireplace letting his mind wander. Lucien and five of his closest friends had escaped
the turmoil Europe was embroiled in centuries earlier. He was over seven hundred years old now. He had carefully chosen the members who
would make up his Clan, noting their strengths and character. None had a fledgling to teach nor a mate to hinder their escape to the New
Upon arriving in America, once again they found themselves in a country trying to come to grips with the times. The Clan fled to the
safety of the mountains. At times they did try to assuage themselves onto the flatlands only to find witch-hunts (so unbearably reminiscent
of the Inquisition which had cost Lucien his brother and several friends) or war, which they did not want to be a part of.
For centuries they had gone down to where the mortals were only once every twenty years. Lucien smiled, reminiscing. Ah, the earlier
days of their self-imposed banishment when it was so easy. People disappearing in the wilderness of the mountains wasn't even noticed or
reported for weeks, if at all. Many were traveling to new homesteads, moving far away from their old life. If they were missed, it caused
but a brief attempt of a search party, always ending unsuccessfully, with no clue, no idea what could have befallen the missing. The
disappearances were blamed on victims falling prey to wild animals, Indian attacks, or groups getting lost and disoriented in the wild
overgrowth, not irregular occurrences.
The vampires still maintained a curious relationship with a band of Indians they had helped hide in the seclusion of the valley. Lucien
felt a certain kinship with the proud people. They had been hunted and vanquished by the people of the flatlands, just as his kind had
been. People unjustly feared their proud strength and differences. The Indians considered the Clan mysterious protectors that had allowed
them to co-exist in the peaceful valley safely hidden high in the mountains.
The last time the Clan had traveled to the flatlands they found things had changed dramatically. The searchers discovered the humans
missing within days. Men armed on horseback tracked the Clan and their new captives many days, losing them only when the Clan split up over
the higher rocky cliffs. All the Clansmen were several centuries old and had built strength to withstand the diffused sunlight under the
wooded canopy of the dense forest. The cliffs out in the open could only be crossed at night. Perfect for the enhanced vision of the
vampire, the searchers tracking them quickly lost their trail.
Lucien asked Nathan to discover and report on this new, dangerous development. He discovered their capture area was now divided into
"campsites", areas where people had to "register" at a "ranger station" and describe the number in their party, vehicles with tag numbers,
and length of stay. Thus, when the group did not pass back through the station on the agreed date, the uniformed officials went to
investigate and discovered the empty, stripped campsite and abandoned vehicles.
The vampires, the slave-master and his apprentice, Ethan, spent long evenings over the past two decades discussing methods of handling
future abductions. It was agreed the vampires would risk using their ability to give a strong mental 'push' of influence to the captives.
The danger in this was that it would steadily drain the vampires and the slave-master would have to assume greater responsibility for
discipline and control.
Lucien passed this information on to Patrick, the leader of the other Clan in the valley, at the last Harvest Celebration. Patrick had
been the only vampire to find his mate in this New World. To ease the discomfort to the rest of the Clan, Patrick established his own
capture area on the other side of the valley many miles away.
"Everything is set. We'll be ready to head out tomorrow." Nathan's blue eyes shimmered with the red ring of desire and anticipation
found in the eyes of all the Clansmen tonight.
The settlers shared the excitement. They had come to love their life in the peaceful valley and had no desire to return to the flatlands.
The new captives would be relieving them of the harder tasks and the women would become the new companions.
To ease their loneliness, the captive men had been paired together on their trip to the mountain twenty years ago. They had formed
strong, loving bonds with each other and were carefully deciding which of the vampires' released companions would join their home. Over the
past months, Lucien watched the men shyly approach the women. He had seen Carl walking with Heather several times and thought Carl's gentle
nature would be good for her. Pleased with the arrangements for the trip, Lucien went back to hold Heather through one last night.
In the morning, she looked up at him and smiled. She traced a finger over his full lips. "I hope you find her, Lucien. Thank you for
your kindness to me. I'll help your new companion get settled when you return." She held no bitterness. Heather loved the settlement in
the valley and was looking forward to a peaceful life with Carl.
"Heather, you've kept me good company. If there is anything you or Carl need, let me know. It warms me to see you so happy with him."
Lucien brushed the tears from her eyes. "I do love you."
"I have felt your love. I hope you find happiness." She kissed him quickly and rose from his bed for the last time. She would come back
to collect her things after Lucien left, and move them to Carl's cabin by the corral.
Everyone from the settlement gathered to watch them leave. "Lucien," a busty, blonde woman from the clothiers came running up to where he
sat on his huge brown horse. "Please, we really need some cloth. We'll be wearing leather underwear soon."
Sarah was Nathan's former companion. Lucien knew she was making a sly plea to join the men on the trip down to the flatlands. She didn't
want to leave the valley, but she didn't trust the men to realize the crisis she was in. She had no cloth to make garments for the captives
they brought back. She had stashed dresses in several sizes in Ethan's pack for the new companions, but there were no useful undergarments.
Two of the new elders, Paul and Zippo, would be heading toward the houses in the foothills. They would have three days after the
travelers split up to meet with the vampires and their captives at the base of the cliffs with supplies pilfered from the yards of the
flatlanders. After twenty years in the settlement, they knew what items held value for them. Tools, dry goods, metal, and Sarah's precious
Nathan smiled at her and laughed. "Don't worry, Sarah, you'll get your cloth. I'll have them find you a good strong burlap to keep your
bottom warm." Sarah realized not to push the issue or she would indeed find herself with something just as uncomfortable to go under her
tight buckskin skirt.
Lucien saw Heather standing by the dining hall with Carl. He knew from the beginning she was not his mate. Her gentle nature rebelled
against all his attempts to make her feel the pleasure in the pain he needed to inflict for his own sexual gratification. He was pleased
she would have happiness and comfort for her remaining years in exchange for the company she had been to him. Heather felt the warmth of
Lucien's dark blue eyes on her. She looked up, smiled and mouthed, "Good luck."
The townsfolk were excited that outsiders would be coming to tell them what was happening in a world they would never go back to. In
truth, they had been in the valley so long they didn't want to go back. Here, they were protected and comfortable with the daily routines.
There were few disagreements. They were part of the family of the settlement and they would make the strangers feel welcome.
No one had tried to leave the settlement for over ten years, and that had been Sarah. She stayed away two days, during which time Nathan
kept an eye on her. She came back on her own saying she couldn't leave her family and friends. Miserably, she declared she wouldn't know
what to do if she went back. Her punishment was to make herself a new pair of moccasins, using no thimble. Her fingers were sore for a
week and she still wore the patched moccasins as a reminder.
Yes, Lucien smiled at the small crowd, they are content. He wasn't worried about leaving them with the elder Slave-master, Charles, who
had accompanied them on their trip to the valley. The man, now in his early sixties, was still a commanding person. He had trained his
younger replacement, Ethan, who would be going with Lucien down the mountain. In addition to the elder Slave-master, Wind Seeker, a Tribe
warrior and chief's son, along with three other of the Indian's finest hunters, were remaining at the settlement to supervise until the Clan
returned. The Indians would receive one of the captured males as payment.
The Vampires and mortals were dressed in their usual buckskin shirts and trousers. They had leather boots and cowboy hats to shield the
little sun that made it through the trees. Except for Justin, they all wore their hair tied back with a piece of leather. Colored
kerchiefs around their necks were raised to their faces to block any unexpected glare from the rocks or water. To all appearances, they
looked like mountain men.
Paul was in charge of the raiding party. His unlikely partner was Zippo. Zippo had been hitchhiking and was picked up, stoned on the
marijuana that had already shortened his thought processes, a few hours before Paul and his friends decided to camp. Paul and Zippo had
become lovers since their abduction. Like their friends, they both liked their lives in the settlement and had no wish to leave.
The two of them would ride double with the Vampires until the bottom of the cliffs. There they would split up. Lucien would lead the
Clansmen and Slave-master in the abduction. Paul would lead Zippo on, as Zippo called it, 'a panty raid' where they would strip the clothes
lines and collect useful items from the yards of the homes in the foothills.
The only person carrying weapons was Ethan, the Slave-master. Attached to his belt was an arsenal of whips, canes and knives. He was an
expert with them.
With his back to the settlement, Lucien smiled and rode towards the mountains.