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To Love a Sire

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The thing that no one tells you about death is that it is exhausting. As your soul slowly detaches from your body, much like a balloon would when untethered from its original host, you find your muscles become leaden and sore. Short puffs of air escape your lips in desperate gasps as sweat drips down the nape of your neck. The feeling was not far from if someone were to run a marathon without prior training. 

These are all things Talia Burns felt when she found herself sprawled on the grass outside of her nemesis' home, with a hole gaping in her stomach courtesy of a Legacy vampire. The first thing she thought was how, in any other situation, this would be the ideal place to die: lying in the grass as lanterns cast the space in a soft glow. The Georgia night air was warm and balmy, and Talia found herself yearning to give in to its comfort. 

However, this brief train of thought was thoroughly severed by the sound of anguished screams and the coppery smell of death. Talia cracked her eyes open and placed a shaky hand over her wound. All around her, vampires and humans alike clashed and fell. Her family was somewhere among them; were they alright? Images of Theo and Apollo lying in a position not too different from her current one sent chills up her spine. The thought sent a brief jolt of panic through her body as she struggled to sit up. Her arms quivered pitifully as she forced herself into an almost upright position. The underlayers of her tactical gear were soaked with blood, causing the material to stick to her skin.

Ignoring the burning pain that radiated from her abdomen, Talia struggled to drag herself to her feet. This effort was quickly thwarted as her arms collapsed from under her. The monster hunter's back collided with the unforgiving ground as she let out an agonized wheeze. 

"Well, isn't this a pitiful sight?" 

Talia struggled to crane her neck far enough to see Margot Fairmont hovering over her like a wraith. The woman strode over, completely unruffled despite the chaos unfolding around them. Talia was almost impressed. Almost. 

" Bi-Bitch ," she spat, her charcoal eyes boring holes in the vampire's skull. 

"I don't think that's fair; after all, your hunters were the ones who invaded my land in the first place. Not to mention interrupting a sacred ceremony," Margot tsked, shaking her head. "No matter, you will be carrion soon." 

"You know as well as I that if you let me die here, my family will stop at nothing to destroy you," Talia hissed, her shoulders shaking violently as she moved to sit up again. "They will stop at nothing to destroy everything you hold dear, and you know it. Your home, your fake little life here in Savannah, your  children.  All of it will be destroyed."

Margot shot forward, grabbing Talia by the neck and pulling her, so their noses practically touched. "Don't you  dare  threaten my children." 

"It's not my threats you have to worry about. After all, I'm carrion." 

The Legacy dropped Talia once more, causing her to hit the ground with a groan. Talia gritted her teeth and forced her vision to focus on the woman now pacing beside her. Margot appeared to be almost troubled by the remarks of the dying hunter. 

  Good, let my warning haunt her soulless husk of a heart,  Talia thought. The ground seemed to sway and shift as her hearing grew muffled. Sending a small prayer up to the Heavens for her family's protection, Talia Burns fell into her demise.

Her graceful end was cut short by the far-away sensation of her body being thrust upward. The sobering feeling of fangs penetrating her neck caused the woman to slingshot back into her body. A yell of anguish escaped her as Margot latched onto her. A sickening realization sent her heart plummeting to her feet; this was not a bite with the intent to kill. This was a bite with the intention to resurrect. 

--

Margot Fairmont detached her fangs from the woman's neck with a satisfied hum. The venom would take some time to spread through her circulatory system, which was good because she had more pressing matters to attend to at the moment: getting these humans off her damned property. She grabbed Mrs. Burns by the scruff of her neck and dragged the woman into the foyer of her home.

Pivoting on a heel, Margot marched off to find her family. Side-stepping corpses and piles of gore, the Legacy vampire carefully made her way to the wooded edge of her property. Margot caught sight of her eldest daughter in between the gaps of foliage and trees. Letting out a sigh of relief, she started hurrying toward Elinor. It wasn't until she got closer that she realized something was wrong. Horribly and irrevocably wrong, not with her daughter, but with the body lying beside her. Lying cradled in Elinor's arms was Sebastian. Letting out a strangled gasp, Margot hurried to her daughter's side. 

She felt the color drain from her face as she beheld the long silver-tipped spear jutting from her lover's chest. Placing a frantic hand atop the crown of her husband's head, she glanced over at Elinor. "What the hell happened?" 

Her eldest daughter, usually so calm and collected, was quivering and sobbing as she clutched her father's body to her chest. "A hunter snuck up on him. I couldn't stop it in time." 

Margot cried out anguish as she pulled her husband into her arms. "Sebastian, dear open your eyes." 

To her relief, the man seemed to follow her instructions. He looked up at his wife with hazy eyes and a watery smile. "Mar-Margot," he wheezed quietly. Looking over at his daughter, he gave her an adoring look, "Elinor."

Margot brushed his hair from his face and placed a tear-soaked kiss on his temple. "You will be alright; just save your strength." 

Slowly and with great effort, Sebastian lifted his hand to caress his wife's cheek. "Margot, I love you and the life we have created for ourselves more than I ever thought was possible. I just want you to know that, my dear." 

"Stop it; you aren't going to die. You promised me a thousand years together." Margot pressed another tender kiss to the man's cheek. 

He grinned and rested a hand on hers, "The love that we have shared, the love we created," he looked over at Elinor, "could fill whole lifetimes." 

Margot pulled the spear from his chest, gathered Sebastian up in her arms, and rose to her shaky feet. The hunters seemed to have retreated, or maybe they hadn't. It did not matter. Without breaking her lover's gaze, she said, "Elinor, find your grandmother. Tell her to meet us in the living room." Her daughter sprinted off without another word. Tearing through the property, Margot clutched her husband close. "Hold on, we are almost there." 

Inside the living room, Elinor and Davina waited impatiently. Margot rushed through the doorway and carefully set Sebastian onto the couch. Squeezing his hand, she turned to face her mother. "You have to help him, please. I know you can. I will do anything." 

Unperturbed by her daughter's outburst, Davina raised a brow, "Why would I do that?" 

"He isn't healing fast enough. He is not fully Legacy, Mother." 

Davina folded her hands behind her back and released an exasperated sigh, "I don't know how I am ever going to repair the damage done here tonight." 

"Did you not hear me? My husband is dying," Margot snapped, pointing back to where Sebastian lay, silent and fading. 

"Yes, a husband I never wanted you to marry in the first place. You will have to excuse me if I am not all that worried about your halfling, dear." 

"He is everything to me, Mother." 

"And he is worthless to me." 

Margot's face twisted into a look ill-used against the Keeper of the Emerald Malkia: primal fury. She opened her mouth to speak, only to be cut off by Elinor, who was crouched beside Sebastian. 

"Mother, please. He doesn't have much time." Margot shot one last look at Davina before turning her attention back to her family. Sebastian's skin had turned ashen and sickly. His hands hovered around the edges of the wound pierced through his chest. Still, he had the same adoring look he held moments ago in the forest. His eyes were filled with nothing but love and admiration as he gazed up at Elinor. Margot swallowed and sank to her knees. 

"I swear I tried, Sebastian. I'm so sorry."

He shook his head, "Don't be, just be here with me." 

Margot nodded, her hand intertwining with his own, "Of course." 

Sebastian Fairmont slipped from the world without much fanfare. No cracks formed in the Earth's crust, nor any dramatic declarations of revenge. No, Margot's husband died like the very end of a rainstorm, so quietly you hard would have noticed. It was an end with more dignity and grace than he could have possibly afforded at that moment, bleeding out on his couch. 

That was how Margot found herself alone, sitting in a too-large bed in a too-empty home. Elinor had gone out hours ago, claiming she needed some time away. Davina left with claims that she needed to start patching things over with the other Legacy clans before it was too late. So, Margot Fairmont sat, pensive and silent. 

--

When Margot awoke, it was to the sound of a door slamming shut. Shooting to her feet, she rushed down to the foyer. The first thing she noticed was the sign of obvious struggle. Blood streaked the walls and floor, and the hallway rug was pushed back, ruffled, and out of place. It was as if a wild animal had run through her house. Or, rather, a newly turned vampire. 

Sighing, Margot fixed the rug and headed for the kitchen. There, she grabbed her car keys from their hook on the wall. "Mrs. Burns, where have you gone off to?" 

--

When Talia first came back to herself, she was strapped to a gurney. A feral grunt ripped through her throat as she jerked against the leather strap that held her down. She was thirsty, painfully so. Her body cramped and screamed with need. The need for blood. She snapped her eyes open and  roared . She didn't know where she was or how she got there, but she did understand whoever kept her there was preventing her from satiating her thirst. She thrashed against the restraints, squinting at the glaring light of a fluorescent lamp that glared directly overhead. 

Looking away from the harsh lighting, she registered the form of people standing around her. They were speaking. 

"Make sure the straps are secure." 

"Dad, we can't just keep her like this. She's our mother." 

"That  thing  is not your mother. Not anymore."

A man walked around the table she was strapped to, and as they came in to focus, Talia realized it was Jack. A wave of relief surged over her; he would help her. Theo and Apollo, her beautiful boys, were safe and standing next to her. She opened her mouth to speak, only for a strip of duct tape to be placed over her mouth. Duct tape that had been placed there by her husband. Confusion and a thick coil of dread crept through her. She thrashed like a fish on a hook, muffled groans failing to break through the makeshift gag. 

"This is the same kind of monster that got your mother killed, Apollo. Your mother is worse than dead; she's damned." 

Dead? How could she possibly be dead if she was right there? She was horribly frightened now-   and, God, was she hungry. 

Glaring up at whoever was above her, the memory seemed hazy though she could have sworn she knew just moments ago. Her gaze settled on his neck, at the veins pulsing and fluttering just under his jaw. Under that fragile flesh, blood, fresh and satiating, pumped through millions of capillaries. Her mouth watered, and her entire body tensed. 

With one forceful push, the leather restraints burst. Shooting to her feet, she leaped for the closest person. Crashing to the ground, she tore the tape from her mouth and pinned the body to the floor. Then, suddenly, that wasn't a random human; it was Theseus, her son. Her child who was now staring up at her with no small amount of terror. A cry of anguish echoed through the chamber as Talia shot to her feet and sprinted from the room. 

Blood.

Blood.

Blood.

She needed blood and relief from the thirst threatening to overtake her body. Talia noted the footsteps echoing behind her as she tore through the front door and onto the front lawn. Just on her tail, Apollo, Theo, and Jack carefully formed a circle around the vampire. She snarled. 

"Theo, try and pin it down," Jack barked. "We need to put this thing down  now." 

"But Dad-" Theseus started.

"Don't argue. Just do it!" 

Theo lunged for his mother, only to have her dart away from him, quick as a crack of lightning. Apollo leaped forward, ripping his necklace off. Swinging to the chain, he slid behind Talia and wrapped the silver around her forearm. She let out a bloodcurdling scream as the chain burned against her flesh. Groaning and pulling, she shoved the man away, kicking the necklace away. 

Theo grabbed Talia by the back of the shirt and threw her to the ground. The vampire let out a squeal as she was pinned to the ground. Growling, she struggled beneath the man. Theo stayed firm, tears streaming down his face as he held his mother firmly in place. This struggle lasted a few more moments until Talia registered the entrance of a fifth person. A strange sense of joy overtook her as she realized who it was. Margot. 

The woman cleared her throat, "I recommend you let her go. Beating her into submission will not do what you hope." In tandem, Apollo, Theo, and Jack poised themselves for a fight. Margot scoffed and waved her hand. "Oh please, that will hardly work against me." 

"What the hell are you doing here?" Jack asked, fists still raised. 

Talia scrambled to her feet and bounded over to the Legacy. Her heart quickened at the sight of her, and her hunger became more bearable.  What the hell was happening to her? 

"I'm here to collect Mrs. Burns." 

"What gives you the right?"

"She needs me."

Apollo let out a harsh laugh, "She needs you like I need a railroad spike through the skull."

"That can be arranged," Margot sneered. "Besides, it was inevitable that I come and find the vampire I sired." Silence washed over the lawn as Talia stared up at the woman from where she kneeled in the grass.  

" You  did this to her?" Jack snarled. 

"Well, she did say she didn't want to die. I simply fulfilled her request." 

"I'll kill you!" Apollo roared, charging toward the woman. 

Talia felt a surge of panic rise through her at the sight of her son sprinting towards Margot. However, it was not for her child that she found herself fearful; it was for her sire. Leaping to her feet, she shielded the woman with her body. Apollo slid to a stop and shot his mother a baffled look. 

"When a vampire is first Made, they tend to be quite feisty when it comes to their Sire," Margot explained snidely. Then, side-stepping Talia, she shot the men a glare. "That protection goes both ways, so I suggest you go back inside and let us leave in peace." 

"Why the hell would we do that?" Theo snapped. 

"Because you have no clue how to kill me." 

Apollo opened his mouth to argue, only for Jack to speak up. "Fine, we will leave on one condition; you and the rest of your pack of monsters stay the hell out of our business." 

"Gladly," Margot replied cooly before grabbing Talia by the wrist and marching away. As she approached her car, she gently led Talia to stand outside the passenger side door. Carefully, Margot removed her jacket and stuck out her forearm. "I know you must be incredibly confused right now. Everything is too loud, your thirst seems unquenchable, and you are probably terrified. As you have every right to be, however, things won't get better until you feed from me."

Talia stared down at the woman's wrist through a haze of blurred vision. Then, without another moment's hesitation, she lunged forward and sank her fangs into Margot's wrist. The rich coppery tang that filled her mouth sent waves of euphoria crashing through her. The hunger pangs racking her body ceased, allowing her mind to clear. Finally, after a long, healthy drink, Talia let go of her wrist with a groan of satisfaction. She promptly proceeded to collapse into a dazed heap at the woman's feet.