Bulgarian Hit


Note for Alexander

Left in his office atop the two sheathed swords, clearly written in Roderick’s handwriting. The letter is written in Classic Greek.


We know we’ve asked a lot lately so we wanted to do something to express our gratitude for your patience and understanding over the last few days. While we know most normal materials couldn’t stand up to use at your full potential, these swords can. More importantly we picked them because of the parallels they represent in the qualities we admire most about you. The swords will never falter no matter how much they’re put through, never bend or break no matter how much stress they’re under, and will remain eternally razor sharp and ready to be wielded against the enemies of the Family without reserve. We appreciate everything you’ve done for us and wanted to try and say what we never could enough: thank you.


Julius, Valko and Roderick

Written on the back of the card, also in Classical Greek.

“The young have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things—and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning…. All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything; they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.”

Eyes Wide Open

“Again, men in general desire the good, and not merely what their fathers had.”

Our three rescues decided to take Alexander’s offer of a safe haven and will probably be spending the next few days at his penthouse. I know they all went through quite an ordeal but with two Daeva in the group I can’t help but think there’s interested in more than safety by accepting our sire’s hospitality. When he informed the family, I could have sworn I heard the slightest trace of contempt in his voice which almost suggested he was either thinking something similar or upset at the idea that there would be Kindred outside the family staying at one of his sanctuaries. I’m only thankful he didn’t ask me to stay behind and babysit since the Witches are gone and I’m able to start building a future here.

My first night out without worry for a coven of Witches lighting me on fire was exciting, to say the least. I’m still trying to make things work with Vita but every aspect of our relationship seems so drastically one sided. She feels very disconnected from everything happening around her, almost as though she’d rather be curled up on a couch with one of her books than out seeing what the night had to offer. Maybe it’s her age, maybe it’s the company she keeps. Still, it was nice to see her perk up a little later in the night.

Vita introduced me to a place known as the Goblin Market tonight which felt like nothing short of entering a new world. I’d never even dream so many supernatural things could exist in one place and the marvels were nothing short of incredible. A woman who sold bottomless purses, a man who made indestructible weapons in exchange for blood, a slaver who keeps other Supernaturals like livestock, a man who sells pets out of a magical cage, a fortune teller who can see the future, another still that can answer any question at only the highest of costs. Even the more mundane, like the little girl who sold paper flowers, was truly fantastical and strange. Stranger still is that I with the exception of the second fortune teller, never once did I feel as though any of the vendors asked too high a price. Vita said that it took her quite a bit of work to merit an invitation to the market and it’s easy to see why. Still had I not been with her I undoubtedly would’ve been even more lost than I already was. I bartered for a few things that caught my eye: a white lion who seemed more intelligent than most humans I’ve known, a keychain I’m not even sure has a magical function, two swords that will never dull or break for Alexander, and of course the pureblood Ventrue I rescued from bondage. I was surprised to see a Kindred there, for some reason I just didn’t think one would wind up in a cage, which makes me more than a little weary of her. Still the price for her freedom was about two dozen fights for her former owner, a very powerful creature (according to Vita) named Anlo. I wouldn’t think to replace her chains with a set of my own but if she feels any gratitude toward me at all, Bulgaria is a great place to satisfy ambition. Overall I found the market to be a truly incredible place and I can’t wait to return in a months time. Shame the market is only open one day a month, but I suppose scarcity is good for prices. Just wish I knew how to navigate the market a bit better is all.

Tomorrow night I meet with Avery and attempt to do the impossible: separate her from her Circle. The night after I’m off to meet the Alpha of all Werewolves and begin the hunt for his missing kin. For an immortal race that has nothing but time, I’m surprised at the urgency of Kindred culture. Even Julius, several hundred years old, still goes stir crazy when he’s forced to sit in a room for more than a few minutes at a time. Vita and I spoke about the ghoul staff I want to create and I reluctantly agreed to provide a little more “balance” in what we’re after. Ghouls have the potential to be forever so it just seems like with my new immortal disposition, I can afford to be picky.

Room to Breathe

“It is the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.”

After making sure the Witches met with a healthy dose of fire after Alexander was back on his feet, I took the “Bound” (Alexander’s own nickname for us) into the House to have a look around. Searching the car beforehand revealed three sets of fangs and I feared the worse. The house itself was perilous and Deliverance left more than a few surprises waiting for us. Turns out the house was, at one point, used to hold Werewolves in the lower dungeons and the entire building looked like something out of a horror movie. In the dungeon we found the kidnapped Kindred and were able to free them thanks to Elle supplying the fodder for the traps lining their cell doors. Admittedly I don’t know if we could have gotten them out without her help, magical traps aren’t really something any of us have experience with. The three look like they’d been through hell but Alexander brought them back to the Penthouse to revive them. That seemed a bit off color to me, he’d made a fairly big deal about not letting anyone know the location of our safe havens and yet he readily brought three Kindred in who could easily gleam the location. Luckily Stannis came up with a way to “re-insert” their fangs. Since I’m not sure if they can regenerate them (and I imagine Madison is the only one that potentially could), I’m glad I took the time to search the car and find them.

Both Madison and Vivienne wound up losing themselves to the Beast when they came to and drank themselves full. They all seemed more than a little stunned when they realized what was happening. From what I understand they’re all fairly young which means they undoubtedly feel a bit beholden to Alexander after drinking from him and they will for some time. Levi seemed to be chipper and made it a point to thank Fevrier which I later found out was for saving him from meeting final death when they were in custody. That struck me as an odd move for her but it’s probably the only reason Alexander will overlook the part she played in their kidnapping. If only Valko and I were so lucky. As if Valko’s situation wasn’t bad enough with the three children we had to promise Fevrier, he also took the heat for the stack of hats we put on the Kindred in torpor when Julius loaded them up in the SUV. I also told him about approaching Fevrier on my own. While he made it clear he felt this was an oversight on my part I still hold that everything went exactly as intended but I’m not about to argue with him, especially given how far I’ve already pushed things. Still, he seemed favorable to how things played out and all of the family came out in one piece so I call that a win.

Valko and I took some time during the day to swing by the new place I had requested from Alexander. I was pretty surprised at how fast he managed to move on things although he told me it was largely Alexander that made things happen. The building itself is more than I could’ve imagined with a ridiculous amount of space. The bottom floor will be perfect for a gym area and the top is a well-furnished living space. The place almost feels like it was custom built for me and I’m pretty surprised at how precisely Alexander pegged my taste. I don’t think I could’ve designed the building any better myself. The best part was the surprise waiting at in the garage. Apparently the family came together and brought the car of my dreams all the way over from the States. I was pretty beside myself when I saw it, I’d mentioned it once in passing to Julius and I certainly wasn’t expecting anything so extravagant. The rest of the first floor is open space which will be perfect for the training facility I was wanting to build. I thought about asking Fevrier to help but I think i’d rather work on it on my own. The whole show was overwhelming, I’ve never had anyone do anything even remotely like that for me.

Vita and I had some time to talk about our relationship. I haven’t really had time to ask her what her expectations were or what she wanted out of the whole situation. I guess I’m still a little bitter she made such a life-altering choice on my behalf but the perks are pretty incredible so it’s hard to stay upset. Still, I need to try and move past it since there’s nothing that can be done now and the arrangement seems to be holding for the time being. I’m trying to open up to her and include her in what I have planned which she’s been pretty receptive towards. While talking I managed to finally pull out of Vita how she felt about me which definitely wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t think she saw me as anything other than “best possible outcome” but apparently I’m a lot higher on her list than I thought. I can’t really think of any reason not to be involved with her so, continuing my string of really bad decisions, I decided to dig myself an even bigger hole. Anyone I drink from won’t taste as good as her, anyone I want to spend time with won’t hold my attention like she does, and it doesn’t seem like this will go away any time soon. Once more this is the strongest I’ve ever felt about anyone and while I’m sure magic has played no small part in it I just don’t see the need to fight it. I’m sure more than a few members of the family would be upset but I want things to be good between us and so far everyone I’ve met seems a pale shadow of a comparison when put up against her. So why not commit to it? Why not try to make the best of it?

Since Alexander has set me to the task of liaising with other supernatural creatures in the city I need to start building an infrastructure which is my next step. I’d like to have eyes and ears among all the supernatural creatures in Bulgaria which is no small task. She seemed fine with the idea until I brought up the Mages but they’re pretty crucial and I already have my sights set on Avery since she seems to be the current ring leader and forerunner for Mages in Bulgaria. Her and I are meeting for dinner tomorrow so I can review a few things with her and warm her up to the proposal I have for her.

Outside of that I’m looking forward to what comes next. I already have plans for a network of Ghouls I’m hoping to establish and have begun designs for the infrastructure I want to build in Bulgaria. Come tomorrow night I’ll message Falko for the belongings of his pack I need to track them down which I’m hoping will lead to the acquisition of another supernatural ghoul. From there if I can infiltrate said individual back into “the pack” then I’ll have a strong foothold with the Wolves. I’m hopeful Vita and I will be able to come up with a way to hide what they are from supernatural scrutiny so they aren’t ousted since that’s well within her purview and I doubt anyone in Bulgaria could match her in raw power. Vita also mentioned something about the market which sounds interesting and she’s right in that I’m definitely attracted to the strange and unusual. I never wanted to be just another knuckle dragger in the Family (not that I don’t enjoy butting heads with the toughest supernaturals in Bulgaria) so the new role Alexander gave me was a very welcome change. I wanted to be more involved in the intel side of things and I’m already in over my head after learning some pretty devastating secrets about two Family members. Lots of secrets in this Family, seems like trust only goes so far even between Alexander and his own.

Up in Flames

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.
We are what we repeatedly do.”

We met with Falco after some convincing to bring him and his tribe on board. He was clearly weary and brought a small army to confront the six of us which seemed to rub Julius the wrong way. But seeing what Witches are capable of has been an eye-opening experience and I believe that if we really were hostile his dozen or so Wolves wouldn’t have been enough. There was some posturing between us and on more than one occasion I was weary of Valko and Julius’ ability to keep their reserve. He wanted to posture and reassert that Wolves weren’t just kindling for the fire which I let him work out of his system. In truth that’s a small thing to ask for what we were wanting of him. Fevrier volunteered to have her blood tasted so Falko could trust what we were telling him and I’m surprised she agreed. I think he might have gleamed more than even she planned which I’m hoping to hear more about at a later time. Despite Falko’s slight hostility toward me he still treated the girls with care which endeared him to me somewhat. I appreciated his caution with the girls and the respect he treated them with which mattered far more to me than listening to him beat his chest. Part of our agreement was returning eight females, all with “cubs”, to his fold from the Ferals that took them. I’ll admit I was surprised by his request. Either he wanted to get something out of our deal and that was next on his list of things to accomplish or he foresees casualties among his own should he take it on himself. Still, the rescue of his own Pack isn’t something I thought he’d entrust to us and in a weird way made me more trusting of him. While I don’t agree with his assessment of what makes a tactical advantage, I did agree to let him scout out where the Witches were held up in hopes of ambushing them before the meeting. I didn’t think he’d move on the Witches without us and I know he wants to keep his own casualties to a minimum so I assumed he’d exercise appropriate caution.

After returning to prep the Family and seeing them all to sleep for the day, we took to the roof to watch the sun come up. I appreciated being present for Julius and Falko’s reactions, I know I’ve never really known what it’s like to miss the day like they do. Even though it doesn’t mean as much to me as it does to them I feel like I can appreciate what I have more through watching how they reacted. A third of the Family can now operate during the day and that’s no small thing. After we spent some time relaxing a bit, or at least as much as we could. I watched Vita destroy Valko as easily as he beat me in chess and tried to help him save a bit of face by pointing out that Vita can see the future even though her and I both know it doesn’t work like that. She really is just that good and why wouldn’t she be? She’s had a lot of time to practice.

I’m still making an effort to build something between us. I know some pretty basic psychology so things like keeping her around in extremely personal situations, times when I’d much rather be alone, are hopefully going to help me make a connection to her. Still, our interactions are verbal sparing matches while we try to feel out what each other is made of. I tried to open up to her about my only qualm with Alexander and how there’s one thing I wanted that’s lacking in our relationship. She made a solid case for why which I hadn’t considered and the fresh perspective helped a bit Ultimately I didn’t want her to do anything other than just listen since I’m trying to help her understand more about who I am. If she knows what’s important to me it puts her in a position to make decisions conscious of my feelings which would go a long way to gaining my trust but the conversation ended abruptly. She made an off-hand comment about Elle and I being “debbie downers” which put me off. Not because I was offended by what she said, I know most of what I talk with her about is rooted in sobering subjects, but because it abruptly occurred to me that Elle and I might have been a better match than I am with Vita. Once more, Julius and Vita probably would’ve been better together than the two of us are. I think that bothers me more than anything else, the diea that we’ll spend the rest of our existence together realizing we could have made a better choice. That line of thought takes me back to the idea that Vita might take it upon herself to make decisions she believes are best for all of us without consulting us. She hasn’t done anything since our first meeting that would lead me to believe she would but I don’t think she quite understands that I’d rather take second place with my own hard work than have someone give me first. Still, I respect her gift for insight and if she consulted me first I’d probably almost always concede. Most of what she’s told me so far is smoke instead of substance, and the only thing I know that’s of any value to me about her is that she doesn’t want to be alone.

I spent the day coming up with contingencies for the battle and I’ll be the first to admit that having the Witches on our side was extremely handy. They were able to negate my most serious concern which could have resulted in one of our deaths had it not been accounted for. With very little ceremony, they crafted a spell to render us immune to Witchfire which was alarmingly effective. Once again I’m reminded of how truly dangerous Witches can be in their own element but there’s no denying that they bring a pretty extreme advantage to the Family. As optimistic as I am about what we can accomplish together, I’m even more weary of what might happen should we have a falling out. Like everything that had happened up until this point, the ceremony made me even more weary of Vita and what she can do. I’m truly unsettled by the idea that the only reason we’re standing on equal footing is because of her self-imposed limitations but the only thing I can think to do is bust my ass until I can stand toe to toe with her. The beast in me isn’t worried, especially after ripping Ereshki to shreds, but this one time I just can’t accept it. There’s too much at stake.

Overall the battle went well. The Alpha’s tribe was more or less one giant deterrent and didn’t have much to do in the fight but the Alpha himself proved capable as expected. Fortunately for him the fight was over quickly because Ereshki used her power to incite infighting among his tribe. Strange that the only casualties suffered for the night were by those that weren’t even involved in the fight. He left pretty shortly after the Witch heads hit the floor to calm his pack, and I’m sure he’ll fault us for the loss of life, but it’s clear to me that Falco’s tribe isn’t nearly as disciplined as the family is. Falco’s weakness in his in pack, while Alexander’s strength comes from his. Still, we expected casualties and I don’t know what more Falco could have expected from us since it was the family, not his pack, that hit the Witches head on when the fighting started. Once more Falko seems to have taken a liking to Fevrier, he seemed humored (aroused maybe?) when she interrupted him to talk over him. Neither strikes me as the type that likes to share, hopefully the Tower of Sass realizes that.

Even after my warning to the family that Witch blood could be extremely toxic, Alexander still sunk his fangs into Deliverance. The side effects were severe but he seems to be making a quick recovery as expected. While all eyes were on him I was more interested in observing how the Family reacted to seeing him vulnerable. It’s pretty clear by their reactions that it’s been some time since anything meaningfully threatened Alexander. Admittedly I was worried about his well-being, I don’t know that I’m even capable of turning that off, but unlike probably everyone else in the family I agree with the call Alexander made. He took the most efficient route to quickly disable his foe even at great cost and prevented what could have been some pretty disastrous fallout had Deliverance even had three more seconds to wreak havoc upon us. Once more he found a very elegant way to only put himself in danger, spare the Family, and secure a decisive and swift victory while dealing with the repercussions after the fight had already concluded. Alexander is every ounce the tactician I’ve read and for the first time in a long time I was impressed by another soldier in the field. I always knew that Alexander was a warrior without peer in body, it’s reassuring to see that his mind is just as sharp as his sword. Not that there was ever any doubt. While I’m sure most of the Family was put off by his decision even though they’d never question him, I feel the exact opposite. It’s the first time I ever felt like I was truly a part of something bigger than myself and I’ll always remember the first time Alexander and I took the field together with both of us acting as extensions of the same person in both body and mind. I’ve been struggling to find my place in the world but after the events that unfolded last night, I’m happy with where I wound up.

Turn of Events

“If there is an end for all we do, it will be the good achievable by action.”

I’ve made a huge mess of things trying to finish what Vita started. I’ve been over it about a dozen times in my head and I don’t think we could’ve come out of this more favorably than we did but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t without cost. I decided to approach Fevrier on my own knowing she’d probably blow me out of the water, which she certainly did. I only took her a few minutes to realize what was happening and work magic on me to force the truth. I had a feeling something like that would happen which is why I took the risk. I know putting Eelon in torpor was going to upset Alexander and even though this was reckless, I thought I could solve the problem without his sacrifice. I was right but it was a huge gamble that could have lost us this battle. But that didn’t happen. Even though Elle came along without any demands, Fevrier still asked a high price to be paid of Valko and I know Alexander is less than thrilled with how things happened. I really do believe this was the best case scenario for what we were doing although you wouldn’t know it by taking stock of the Family. All the same, Alexander asked me to win this battle and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

I feel awful about what happened with Viktor but I know I made the right call. Valko, Julius and I are signing up for an eternity of managing a relationship the ridiculously powerful Witches that will only become more so as the years count on. Viktor can’t even go a week without his on-again-off-again lover being furious with him so I don’t think he’d be able to, or even want to for that matter, manage a relationship as permanent as soul binding. Elle might not have spoken up but in the brief few minutes she was with Viktor she was already more than a little put off by her and the last thing we need is a Witch pushed to her limits. Viktor loves to test boundaries and an angry, sun-hurling powerhouse is something the family can’t afford to have blow up in their face. Viktor might not ever forgive me but at the very least I positioned the ideal partners for the Witches to give us the best chance at making this whole thing work.

We’re on our way to talk to the Wolves and while I know Alexander wants us to be stingy in our negotiation, I imagine it’s going to take ample coaxing for them to agree to face our common foe. I’ve decided to let Valko take the lead since he has far more experience in these matters than I do. While my own negotiations have gone well so far, I don’t have the intel or the experience to win the Wolves over so I hope Valko can make up the difference. He’s been exceptional in every problem I’ve put him in so far, so I don’t think this will be any different.

Tomorrow night we force the final confrontation. Over half of the Covenant has turned on their former friends and we hold the advantage but we face the two Witches whose purviews are the most destructive. Undoubtedly there will be casualties but hopefully they will be weathered by the Wolves and not our own. The situation so far has been pretty awful and I’ve done damage to members of the Family, and my relationship with them, that will probably never be undone. Alexander is furious, Viktor is hurt, julius is at his whits end, and Valko was forced to sacrifice his relationship with Alexander all to see this through. And all of it is because of me. For the first few days I was actually excited at the prospect of having a family to be close to for a change but right now I’ve never felt more alone. I’ll drag the Family through this battle and I will make sure we win the day but I’m sure most of them will resent me for it. And yet, this is all familiar territory for me. This is exactly how things worked when I was still a human soldier, so I know what comes next. I’ve already made arrangements and called in a favor with Valko to try and put some distance between myself and the Family, maybe they can heal some of the wounds I ripped open in my absence.

Change in the Wind

“Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.”

Thanks to Julius’ boredom, I found a way to reach out to the Wolves to hopefully bring them on board with the plan to end Deliverance and also just happened to find my new favorite night spot. To my surprise there were a few Kindred there. I keep running into Ellis at all the place I’m not supposed to go which makes me think he and I might have something in common, even if it is just how we choose to spend our free time. They’ve already reached out requesting a meeting the following night but it wasn’t soon enough so I had to push back to meet tonight. They’re going to need time to rally forces and I doubt we can buy more than an hour or so before Deliverance goes nuclear.

We had a lot of pieces of this plan in motion but we’re running out of time. I think our best chance right now is to goad Deliverance into bringing her Kindred hostages alone to a meeting I arrange and have the Wolves ambush her. While that’s happening we can approach the other two (hopefully with two Witches of our own) and bring them into our fold. Even if the Wolves fail in killing Deliverance, we’ll be more than a match for her with the rest of her Covenant on our side. Conveniently this will not allow me enough time to track down the First which is probably for the best. If she wanted to be involved she wouldn’t have sent us away. Something tells me she would have rigid expectations even if she joined the fight which wouldn’t sit well with Alexander.

My relationship with Vita is still strained. The family by and large doesn’t trust her even though she’s been cooperative and for the monumental tasks we’re asking of her, the costs come equally as high. Still we have to keep pushing forward if we’re going to beat Deliverance at her own game and the advantage we have is that the chains she’s used to leash her Covenant are built on fear and promises of power, not respect. We can give them what they desire, more effectively than she can, which means that they’re little more than mercs for higher at this point. I know mercs, I used to be one, and they always side with the highest bidder. I’ve had a few glimpses into the careful web that Vita has been weaving for me and I have a feeling recent events are more than the snap decision of a Witch pushed to the edge by an insane Covenant leader. I don’t particularly know what that means for us, where we’ll wind up, what she wants to happen between us, or who has what power in our relationship but I’m trying to play it smart. I know I won’t have an edge over her after the Covenant is disbanded and she no longer has need of the necklace that affords me the advantage over her and I know that I don’t wish her any ill will despite what she’s put me through. What I’m not clear on are her intentions and machinations which means now is the time to secure a foundation between us while we’re both on relatively equal footing.

Underneath it all I’m still trying to get a handle on my instincts. The beast separates me into two people: the man I want to be, and the man I am underneath it all. No small part of me is interested in seeing the family thrive but there’s something bigger happening here. The supernaturals have been divided for quite some time and if Vita proved anything it’s that we’re surprisingly effective when we work together. I’d be content to just be a part of this family and continue the status quo but what if meeting Vita gave me the chance to do something more? What if I could usher in a new age for the family? What if we were no longer confined to the night. What if we had powerful allies wielding impossible magics at our behest? What if I could bring together all of these creatures that, while impressive on their own merit, would be a force unlike any the world has seen? Seems strange that a week old Kindred would hold such lofty expectations for the Family, much less be the one to see them through, but the world is always changing and we have to adapt to survive. I have a vision for a more powerful Family unrivaled by any supernatural creature the world over. An army unmatched by anything else the world has ever known. Right now it may seem like we’re giving ground in order to survive but like it or not this is an arms race and I would see the Family holding the biggest guns.

A Lot To Take In

Where do i even start? Everything got turned upsidedown when we rescued Vita, the Witch that worked a spell on me the first night I was a Vampire. She answered all our questions and put all the pieces into place as to what the Mages and Witches are trying to accomplish here in Bulgarian. If nothing else i have all the answers now which, to my surprise, didn’t lead to more questions. Everything happening in Sofia right now is reminiscent of how things have always been: dark, brutal, final. Witches and Mages are both gunning for immortality, plain and simple. If Vita is right they’re both a ways from achieving it, Mages more so than Witches.

I don’t know anything about magic, souls, or much else for that matter, but this whole thing has a kind of credibility to it. When I hear what Vita says about what she did and how she went about it, it all just sort of makes sense. A part of me entertained the idea that she was manipulating me (more than the obvious I mean) even though I wanted to believe what she was telling me. We spent some time together while the others slept and I found out that my Disciplines work on her. I felt a little unsettled about the whole experience but I need to prepare for the worst. What happened next completely caught me off guard. The way she responded, the way we moved together, how she’s starting to feel about me and I’m starting to feel about her. . . Julius is right, I’m in way over my head here.

The more I witness the condition of vampirism the more it becomes apparent we’re highly evolved creatures, although after meeting the First I wonder whether it’s by design or natural selection. Everything from the way we feed to the fact that we can become infatuated with blood, a biological (if not outright magical) response guaranteed to capture our interest and inspire us seem to be all the Kindred need to keep the centuries vibrant. It’s no wonder most Kindred are slaves to their passions. After all the centuries they’ve lived, what else is there? What else is there for anyone, for that matter?

As much as I want to resent Vita for what she did I can’t help but feel some kind of wholeness when I’m with her. All the pitfalls so far seem little more than minor inconveniences compared to the perks. Sharing power between us makes us both far more powerful than we ever were alone. We sacrifice some conveniences to rid ourselves of our greatest weaknesses. Once more being around Vita is as easy as breathing and as much as I want to resent her for what she did, every time I let it bubble up within me I’m disarmed by those ethereal eyes of hers and it all just seems to slip through my fingers.

Alexander asked me if I could put her down should she get out of control when we woke her. I told him in confidence I could, I was sure of myself and my loyalty to the family but after just one short night with her I’m starting to question myself. What happens if Alexander decides this is all for not and wants to end things? Could I just let her go? I’m worried the answer is no but it’s only the human part of me that’s nervous. The human part of me is still concerned with things like staying alive and saving face. I think the beast has a more eternal perspective on things and knows that drawing lines and holding onto what’s important is worth risking everything for. I’ve never felt like I do right now. I’ve never felt apart of something bigger than just me, like I was meant to do something extraordinary. Terrible maybe, but extraordinary all the same. If we really are bound by our souls to one another then we’re two halves of the same whole. That’s a pretty devastating realization, and all this for a girl I’ve known for a grand total of 12 hours tops.

Tomorrow marks the end of my first week as one of the Kindred and as one of the Family. In the last week I’ve met an Ancient, fought a pack of Werewolves and animated marble children, bound my soul to a mage to grant her true immortality, started a war with one of the oldest Witch Covenants in the world, and forged an unprecedented alliance between Kindred and Mages. Something tells me eternity will be anything but boring if this first week is any indicator. Ironically I feel like, ever since I became immortal, my life is in far more danger than it ever was when I was alive.

Reading back over what I wrote, I realize it’s almost all about Vita. Maybe that’s true for more than just the worlds on this page. Dear God, what the hell have I gotten myself into?

New Day Dawning

I saw the sunrise this morning, just as beautiful as I remember from a few days prior. As far as I know I’m the only Kindred that can make the claim (while not bursting into flames for the viewing) and I can’t help but think it’s completely wasted on me. It’s been 48 hours since I last felt the suns warmth which is a fraction of a second compared to the other Kindred in this house. I wish I could have put one of them in my place. Maybe I still can.

Valko was surprisingly forward with me when we spoke about my place in the city and I began to lay out some of my designs. Kindred society is so cloak and dagger that I thought talking about any machinations, even among the Family, would be taboo. Once again the family proves that I’m the one having a hard time adjusting to them, not the other way around. I just keep waiting for the bottom to fall out like it always does. The second I become comfortable somewhere, when I let my guard down, i usually when I get burned the hardest. I know this is different and I know the Family is forever but I just can’t shake the feeling. Like the human part of me is having a hard time letting go.

I’m honored Alexander let me plan the confrontation with the Witches. I don’t think I could find the words to express how humbled I am that the greatest military mind that ever lived is trusting me with what he values most on probably the most dangerous encounter the Family has ever had. I know that teaming up with the Mages is the last thing Alexander had in mind but that’s why I think this is going to work. I know the Witches have been watching for a hundred years and that they can spy on us with nothing short of clairvoyant accuracy. That’s why we need to come at them sideways, hit them when we’re prepared and they aren’t. Most importantly we need to do something completely unexpected to throw them off and give ourselves the best advantage possible and I know working with Mages is the last thing they’d expect.

Still I’m worried about the upcoming conflict. I know everyone in the Family is a hell of a scrapper but against creatures that can drum up sunlight in the palm of their hands? That kind of power seems so limitless and overwhelming compared to the rigid structure of our own Disciplines. If we do come to blows with the Witches whether or not we win the day will probably set my precedence with the Family henceforth. I’ve been over the details a dozen times and I’m confident in the plan but I could always use more information. I don’t know what members of the Family are truly capable of. I don’t know how well they fight or what their dynamics are among one another. All of those variables are things I can’t account for which might mean the difference between life and death and it’s been eating at the back of my mind. Still, Alexander entrusted this to me and I’m going to see it through. Human me was always nervous before a big op like this, but Kindred me? I can feel the beast on the inside and it’s anxious for the fight. Valco said I should trust the beast to know what’s right and my instincts say this is the way to go.

I’ve been thinking about what happens if we are able to capture one of the Witches. How would we hold her? Could we convince her to help us? How could she possibly be trustworthy after one of her own attempted to kill us? It’s a long shot but if things are what they appear to be, if I can make this work and bring this Witch on board, maybe she can do for the others what she did for me. If that’s the case then I’ll be able to give the Family something they never even dreamed they could have. I know the scope of all this has a reach well beyond what I should be handling but i still can’t help chasing the rabbit.

The Taste of Things to Come

Another overly interesting night. Scary stories and creatures of legend are becoming as common as street lights, the city streets are painted with their blood and I’m one of the monsters now. I used to loathe the Family’s bloodthirsty ways. I told myself that I was principled, that I would never resort to the brutal tactics of what I viewed to be thugs ruling a city through fear and power. Turns out I was only half right.

Julius told me the Kindred select members of the Family from humans who have certain traits which make them ideal members which is why all of the Clans conform to certain stereotypes. I spent most of my time thinking about the differences between him and me, specifically what sets me apart from the Family. Turns out he was doing the opposite. He saw in me what I saw in him, even though I didn’t want him to. He must have known what I would be like when I was turned and once again Julius proved to me he’s a lot smarter than I ever gave him credit for. Now there’s this thirst that can’t be quenched feeding this new found power flowing in my veins. Instead of being relieved I made it out of the fight with the Wolves alive I’m thinking about the taste of their blood and that I can’t wait for another chance to sink my fangs into one.

There’s something else that came with this new power. I’m not the same person I used to be. It’s like I let an animal loose in my own head and all it wants to do is feed. These urges and instincts are something I’ve never felt before, something so very foreign to me, but they feel so natural… like they are another part of me I never knew was there. I can’t just ignore it.

When I came face to face with the Wolves the human part of me didn’t know what to do. But the animal? The animal knew exactly what to do. It was confident where I was timid, steadfast where I was unsure, and more importantly, when I thought I didn’t stand a chance, it knew we could win. I didn’t know what else to do so I turned it loose. Something inside me snapped when Julius rushed forward and sunk his claws into that monster and I just couldn’t let him stand alone even though I know he’s ten times the fighter I am. There was something surreal about the experience that I can’t get past. I’ve spent most of my life wondering about my place in the world, trying to find something that I could invest myself in. Something that made me feel whole. If this is it, if this is what I was meant to do, then I guess Julius knows me even better than I know myself. Maybe I’ve always been a monster and I just needed Alexander’s blood to accept it.

Strange as it sounds, scrapping with Wolves isn’t what’s been on my mind tonight. I keep thinking back to the club we went to, After Party, and the girl I met there. I didn’t want to drink from anyone, I was still high on Wolf blood and dwelling on ripping one’s throat out so I didn’t want to risk losing control. I can come to terms with the animal in me but there’s a time and place for violence, I can’t let it control my life. Whether it was those ethereal green eyes or the way she so confidently strode up to us, I decided to indulge myself. I’m still trying to piece together what happened after I drank her blood, the words she whispered to me through the cloudy memories I can’t seem to recall, but it’s all just a fog. I can’t stop thinking about her and the fact that whoever was waiting for her that night that shot her and kidnapped her. The man and the animal in my head rarely agree on anything since I was turned but both of them acted in unison when I saw her get taken. I want to find her. I have to find her. I have to know what she did to me. Why she singled me out of the crowd that night. What she is, where she came from. My head hasn’t stopping ringing with questions ever since we got back to the mansion.

I went to find Alexander after everyone else went to sleep, for whatever reason I felt the need to tell him what happened. I wanted him to know and I hoped he could answer my questions but he seemed just as puzzled as I was. Puzzled and something else. Proud, maybe? I’m still not quite to terms with how easy it is for me to trust him or how natural it feels to look to him as a Father figure. I don’t know whether my feelings are from respect and admiration of a great man or the chemical consequences from the blood he fed me my first night as one of his children. I had time while we were talking to put everything together, here’s what I think I know.

We woke up a first and she’s not likely going back to sleep. There are many legends surrounding the Firsts. They say they can walk during the day and that any Kindred that drinks their blood can too. The more powerful the Kindred, the more potent the blood. She probably has an arsenal of supernatural powers, including the ability to seem human and to look like someone else. We know the Witches are interested in the first since they view her as the greatest of their kind. We know they’re trying to keep her away from the Kindred. At the car, the van shot a crossbow bolt and pierced her chest. Julius tells me a wooden stake, or bolt, to the heart is the surefire way to put a Kindred down. I tried to use my “super speed” to get to her but something was holding me back, making it feel like I could barely move my arms and legs, as if some magic force field was stopping me from getting to her. I don’t believe in coincidences and all the evidence points to a single conclusion. I wish I knew why I was caught in the middle of all this.

I only know of one way to test this theory and since I can’t leave this alone I’m going to try. Tomorrow morning I’m going to greet the sunrise and find out once and for all if this girl is who I think she is.

Night Life

It started with a drink. Julius was setting me up for something I probably did’t want to do. Not that I could say no if he made up his mind. Ever tried to walk away from the mafia? Not a good way to keep on breathing.

We headed to a basement after that. I watched him nearly beat a man to death. Julius was tight-lipped about the whole thing. He didn’t answer any of my questions and he just gave cryptic responses when I tired to trip him up. All the while I couldn’t shake this feeling that something was wrong. Not that what we were doing was bad, I knew that already, but something was really wrong.

So he brought some goons and a few other people from “the Family” to meet us at the cemetery. We wound our way to the oldest part and entered a mausoleum which emptied into an expansive system of subterranean tunnels. What I saw next will probably haunt me for the rest of my days. A woman sleeping in a coffin. Only she wasn’t sleeping, she was dead. Only she wasn’t dead, she was sleeping. We watched her rise up, break off her nails and her hair, watched the fog eerily pouring out of her coffin, watched her move like people aren’t supposed to move. Easily the most unnerving thing I’ve ever seen, and from the look on Julius’ face I’d say he felt the same. She didn’t say much, only that she wasn’t what we were looking for. She probably could have recited the dictionary and I still wouldn’t be past the shell-shock of it all. So we left after she insisted, some of us broken-hearted but all of us empty-handed.

Then the zombies attacked. I’ll never watch a zombie flick the same way again. In the movies their clumsy shambling is almost comical and you always laugh at the main characters for getting eaten by them. In reality, they’re a whole lot stronger and scarier than they look. Four of them jumped me while we were trying to get away, almost outlasted them all too. Watched a lot of things happen that night. Watched Julius grow claws from his fingertips and rip them in half. Watched Victor put his own guts back inside his stomach then jog back to the car. Watched a bunch of rotted flesh monsters chew pieces of me and rip them off with their teeth. Watched the river of blood I left behind while I was running. Watched the ceiling of the SUV as I was bleeding to death. Watched Alexander shove his wrist into my mouth and feed me his blood.

I woke up. I shouldn’t have, but I did. No pulse, no scrapes or bruises, just me on a couch in someone else’s pajamas. Julius was there, looked like he’d been waiting a long time too. I never noticed all the little things until right then. Like how he never blinks. Like how he doesn’t breathe. Like how he can sit perfectly still, like he’s made out of marble. Just like I am now.

Now I know why he always called me “brother”. Turns out we’re related now, both children of Alexander. The Alexander, for the record. Alexander the Great. The guy that conquered most of the known world. Right here in Sofia, running the country with the children he’s sired into the world. They run this town because they’re supernatural. Humans call them Vampires. I call that an understatement. They’re far more powerful and terrifying than the movies make them out to be. I’m one of them now. The things they can do are incredible Survive explosions, outrun cars, upend dump trucks… incredible.

Truth be told I was a little resentful when I first woke up. Julius made a choice for me that would change my life forever without ever once asking me what i wanted. He wanted us to be family and now we are. Brothers by blood. But I was dead and I’d never see things like the Sun ever again. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to the day and that’s a lot to take in. So like I said, I was a little sore about it all. But then I felt it. The power in my veins that Alexander gifted to me. Julius wanted to make me into an immortal and I’ll be eternally grateful that, for whatever reason, he chose me. All the while I thought I was watching out for some knucklehead that was in over his head. That’s all true, except I’m the knucklehead and Julius is so much more than i ever even dreamed he could be. I wasn’t watching out for him, he was watching out for me.

Today I died, and it was the best day of my life.


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