Take My Hand Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

            It was around the year 1880 and Carson had been a vampire for a short time. He stalked the shadows maliciously, mindlessly searching for his newest victim. He crept along the village streets of England, sniffing the air like a lion searching for prey. His senses caught the scent of jasmine and his mouth began to water. His eyes burned as the pupils expanded to fill the area and his skin tingled as the dermaglyphs appeared. He hadn’t quite learned to keep them hidden yet, and they showed in shades of red and black. Lust and anger were his only emotions for quite some time now. As his fangs lengthened, making his gums ache in anticipation, he crept to the edge of the shadows, listening to the soft footfalls of the girl coming toward him, the smell of jasmine radiating off her skin becoming stronger the closer she drew.

            As she stepped past the edge of the building, Carson quickly grabbed her and pulled her into the shadows, snapping her neck before she could scream. She slumped in his arms, and he easily moved her hair aside to lower his fangs to her neck. The warm liquid filled his mouth and he groaned in pleasure.

            As he drained her blood, her memories flooded his lust-filled mind, and he reveled in the power that flooded his system.

            She had a daughter who was dying, and most of her memories revolved around the girl.

            Her name was Evangeline. The girl was Annabelle.

            Her husband had committed suicide after the death of their son two years before.

            The woman’s memories of life continued to pour into Carson as her life drained away. It was like watching a series of snapshots. There were no emotional ties. It was always this way. He watched their lives slip away as their memories slipped in and around his mind before being discarded.

            Then something changed.

            Emotions flooded him as he swallowed the last of her blood. Fear. Anger. Love. Sadness. Pain. They all slammed into him, causing him to drop the girl as he fell to his knees, clutching his head. It was an emotional barrage that he could not escape, reminding him of the humanity he had easily forgotten. With her emotions returned his own from his life. Forgotten memories slithered in without warning, reminding him of his mother, his father, Dania. His own pain, anger, love, sadness, and fear returned full force, bring back the shades of his humanity and disposing of the animalistic single-mindedness that had possessed him since Dania abandoned him to this existence. The face of each person he had killed flashed through his mind, bringing him infinitely more pain than he could have imagined. He did not know how he had come to this point, but something in this woman had awoken him. His logic returned. His emotion returned. His morality, his mind, his memory returned. His humanity returned.

            As the reality of what he had just done and what he had been doing for years hit him, he doubled over on the pebble walkway and wept with abandon. He clutched the pebbles in his hands and allowed the tears to stream down his dirt-streaked face. His dermaglyphs pulsed in shades of silver to his agony, black to his self-hatred, and indigo to his sadness. He wondered how he had become so lost, such a monster. He slammed his fist into the pebbles, ignoring the pain radiating up his arm through his bruised knuckles, and vowed to never return to that point. He had lost himself for years. He had no power. The bloodlust had control, and he had willingly submitted. His morality and humanity had weakened over time and had lain dormant after a frustrating battle, but the sweet angel Evangeline lying dead beside him had revived him. For that, he owed her his life.

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