Part 12: Endings
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We reached the club shortly after midnight. The outside was dark and quiet as if it hadn’t been opened in some time. The sign above the door that usually read “Club 69” in bright neon red letter was gone. But this was definitely the place, I was sure of it.

Chris stepped up to the door but before he could knock, it opened and a vampire peaked out. I recognized him from before.

“He’s waiting for you,” the vampire claimed.

“And you are?” Chris asked.

“Azael.” The vampire opened the door wider. “He’s not particularly happy with you.”

“I figured.” Chris grabbed Lucious’ upper arm and pushed him closer to the open door. “I brought a couple of servants. They won’t be any trouble.”

The vampire huffed, eyeing me from head to toe. “Indeed. Come in. His office is up the stairs and to the right.”

As we stepped inside, I could tell just why the club hadn’t been open in the last couple days. The bar stools were scattered across the floor, the mirrors above the bar were broken. Even the cage where the old vampyre woman was shown was broken. The stripper poles were gone. The beautiful floor was damp and smelled of booze. Had something serious happened here?

“Nice place,” Chris groaned.

But the vampire who’d let us in was no where in sight. I thought to speak up “Yes, it was nice until this happened.” But decided against it. Clearly, he didn’t even know this club was here. Maybe it was kept secret for a reason, but every vampire young and old from Southern to Northern city knew about it. How could Chris be so blind?

It was us. He was too focused on keeping us.

Upstairs was the office areas I hadn’t a chance to see before. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting, just a couple of doors and chairs sitting against the wall.

“Sit.” Chris directed us, and he approached the door on the right just as Azael had instructed before. “And don’t speak. Whatever you hear, whatever happens, don’t do anything.”

“Who is Raphael to you?” Lucious asked just then, and Chris glared at him without a word.

He knocked on the door, and I could sense the fear running through him. Fear? Never had I thought Chris could fear anything. He always seemed strong, much more than Serena even. How could a vampyre as old as Chris fear anything.

For a moment, I even thought I could hear his heartbeat—or what was left of it—pounding deep in his chest up to his throat. He swallowed as the footsteps echoed out from the office.

The door cracked open. “Chris. At last, you come to visit me.”

“You should of summoned me. I would have come sooner.”

Raphael stepped out into the hallway, immediately noticing us in the chairs, taking us in. “You brought guests… Your clan, perhaps?”

Chris sighed. “Part of it.”

With a chuckle, Raphael shook his head. “Come in. All of you.”

Chris glanced over his shoulder at us but kept quiet. This Raphael wasn’t our maker, but something about his voice was commanding enough. I stood first, followed by Lucious who kept his hand clenched around my upper arm. We were compelled to follow his orders.

Following behind Chris, we found our way to the corner of the room. Raphael closed the door, then stepped slowly toward the middle of the office. Chris eased closer to him.

“Sir, let me say, I-I know this isn’t what you instructed--”

“Isn’t what I instructed?” Raphael barked. “Damn right! On your knees and speak to me correctly!”

Chris was quick to lower himself to the floor. “M-Master… if you may let me explain?”

“I don’t need any explanations, Christopher. I can smell the blood from miles away. My blood, your blood, what the hell are you doing to the mixture?” Raphael wondered. “And where is your wife, Serena? Did she have a hand in this?”

“Master, Serena has unfortunately passed…”

“That’s a shame. I always thought you two made a good pair.” Raphael leaned down to him and cupped his face. “Explain to me what it is you’re doing, then?”

I tipped my head towards Lucious, who was seemingly entranced by the whole conversations. “Do you know him?”

He shook his head. “Only heard of his name a couple times,” Lucious whispered.

“Chris’ maker?”

Lucious breathed.

Surely, this Raphael wasn’t someone to tangle with, and Chris had pissed him off. When I glanced back, Raphael was staring right at us.

“A lovely pair you two are,” he chortled. “Young love and desire, huh? Is that what the luce does? Enthralls vampires into deep desire? Shameful!”

“Sir… I mean, Master. You haven’t let me finish,” Chris pleaded.

“I’ve seen enough, Christopher.” Raphael stood and approached us. “I recognize you. Silver hair, silver eyes, pale skin… You were still a child when Serena took you, Leo.”

Lucious’ eyes went wide. “I no longer know that name, sir.”

“Of course not. All good vampires change their name in time, but you still are a child.” Raphael turned around, and I heard Lucious grumble. “All this is wonderful, Chris, but it’s not what I had in mind. No worries. My brother Dregan has been reborn. He will now take over this area.” Raphael placed his hand atop Chris head gently.

“Dregan? He’s here?”

“Mn. The area’s coven will now be his order. You, Chris, should be asleep.”

“No! No, I cannot!” Chris pleaded.

“And your friends… Your clan here… they’re quite a feeble couple. Weak. You’re quite a disappointment to me, Chris. All these years and I thought you would do me well.”

Raphael stood once more and approached again. I was still too damn weak to fight against whatever was coming. That damn luce! Raphael flattened his hand on Lucious’ forehead. Strangely, Lucious didn’t deny him.

“Hear me… Lucious,” he said. “It is now time to sleep.”

And with that, all of Lucious’ energy faded from his body and he tumbled to the ground.

“No!” Chris whimpered.

I bent down trying to grab Lucious, but just as he crashed to the floor, so did his heat and life drain from him. As if he was never alive to begin with.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“You…” Raphael said, and I looked up at him. “You visited the club before with Sebastian. If only I could find that bastard who stole Nadia from me.” He laughed. “No bother. His day will come soon enough.”

He flattened his hand upon my forehead, and desperately I flinched backwards. I couldn’t fight or move. My whole body still hurt from the drug and the acts of the night before. And strangely, under Raphael’s watchful eyes, I felt the zap from his palm into my brain.

All the energy waning from my limbs, I crashed to the floor beside Lucious.

“Now, as for you Christopher… A lesson is in order,” Raphael’s last words echoed in my soon deafening ears.

The world went dark… for years to come…

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