Read Dorian's Destiny: Altered Online

Authors: Amanda Long

Tags: #romance, #vampire, #love, #god, #fantasy, #faith, #violence, #christian

Dorian's Destiny: Altered (8 page)

BOOK: Dorian's Destiny: Altered
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I am not going to allow the conflict I felt
in the alley emerge again. I am going to do what I was made to
do.

Envisioning the man as no more than a
rabbit, Dorian played his part of the fox. Bringing the man's wrist
up to his hungry mouth, he took only a fraction of what he needed,
but it still induced the same urges he felt in the alley. Luckily,
he knew what to expect and suppressed his impulse for physical
contact before Thomas reappeared.

When Thomas returned, his arms were loaded
with cash. “Found my money and a whole lot more. Don't look at me
like that, Dorian. It's not like he needs it anymore.” He frowned
while laying his bounty on the counter. “You didn't kill him, did
you?”

“No, Thomas, he's all your,” Dorian
responded, moving away from the body.

“Well then, step back and enjoy the show,”
Thomas announced while cracking his knuckles like a musician
prepping for a performance.

Enjoyment was not a word Dorian would choose
to describe how he felt about what he witnessed over the next few
minutes. The brutality showcased forced him to turn away.
Unfortunately, not having a visual of the massacre only slightly
lessened the revulsion welling up inside him. Thanks to his
heightened sense of sound, he still heard flesh ripping, bones
snapping, blood splattering, and agonizing screams so loud, he
feared his eardrums would burst. With every sound, he dug his nails
deeper into the wooden counter until finally, when silence
returned, he struggled to pull himself free. He turned back to
Thomas and the results of the show. Immediately, he wished he
hadn't. Nothing discernible remained of the proprietor of the
shooting range, just remnants from an apparent wild animal
attack.

Wild animal is a pretty good description of
Thomas.

Thomas rose from the carnage, licking the
blood from his fingertips as he swaggered back to the counter. “How
did you like the show?” He asked but instantly added, “Don't bother
answering. I saw you turn away seconds after I began disemboweling
my meal. I'm not bothered by your obvious disgust, even though what
I just did wasn't much worse than your treatment of the four legged
variety back in the forest.”

That statement had Dorian speechless.

He speaks the truth. I'm a hypocrite. I
mutilated scores of animals in the forest. The only justification
for those atrocities is, they were committed out of anger and
revenge not pleasure or sport. I never killed any of them but I
left them for dead. Although I can't see myself ever murdering so
viciously for pleasure, my past misdeeds are almost as bad.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound
of sirens.

“Here come the police!” Thomas emerged from
a nearby restroom, clean and fully clothed.

“Police?! Why? How would they even know?”
Dorian sputtered, confusion and panic obvious in his voice.

“Because I tripped the silent alarm before I
redecorated,” Thomas answered nonchalantly.

“Why would you do that?!” Dorian
demanded.

“For one thing, to see the
look on your face when I told you,” Thomas glanced momentarily at
Dorian puzzled expression, “priceless, and the other was just to
make things more interesting. You must lighten up, Dorian,” Thomas
joked, kneeling down to admire his masterpiece. Dorian opened his
mouth to speak when Thomas suddenly yelled, “Catch!”

Instinctively holding out his hands to the
command, Dorian waited to receive the object thrown to him. Within
seconds he held the bloody heart of Thomas' latest victim. Scanning
the lobby for the jackass, he realized he was alone. He stood
transfixed, clutching the heart, staring at the gruesome display
created by his friend as the sirens grew louder and louder. He knew
Thomas had abandoned him to take the blame for his
transgressions.

Why am I worried about a couple of human
police officers who I could easily rip apart if I desired?

Convinced his panic was
unnecessary
,
he
let the heart fall to the floor and ran into the bathroom to wash
his hands. Not in the mood for more carnage, he grabbed his clothes
and ran out the door, seconds before two police cars screeched to a
stop in the parking lot. Thankful for not adding to the body count,
Dorian darted down a nearby alley. A flash of silver in the corner
of his eye gave him just enough warning to leap over the hood of
Thomas' sports car instead of getting smeared into the
pavement.

“Nice jump!” Thomas yelled as he opened the
passenger door. “Get in before we both get arrested.” Dorian obeyed
and Thomas sped away.

“Did you actually think I was going to leave
you? Surely you don't think I'm that big an ass?” Dorian did not
respond, choosing not to speak during the drive back to Thomas'
house.

*****

With Dorian's silent
treatment grating on his nerves, he decided perhaps a peace
offering was in order. Finding him once again in the study, Thomas
entered the room bearing gifts. “I thought it might be time for you
to enter the world on your own, so I brought you some items to help
you with that.” Thomas took the seat opposite Dorian in front of
the fireplace.

Dorian placed his book on the side table,
fully engaging Thomas for the first time since almost being road
kill days ago.

The first item Thomas handed him was a brown
leather wallet. “Have you ever owned a wallet before?” He asked as
he watched Dorian caress the soft leather.

“No, never had any need for one.” Dorian
shook his head.

“Well, if you look inside, you'll notice,
you now have plenty of reasons to own one,” Thomas prompted. “You
never mentioned a last name and anyway, I imagine you want to
forget about your past life, so I picked one out for you.”

Inspecting the inside of the finely crafted
wallet, Dorian found a card with his picture and a name on it.
“Dorian Gray?”

“Have you heard of him?” Thomas asked, then
continued when Dorian shook his head. “That surprises me with as
much time as you spend in my library. Well, let me explain.” As he
spoke, he searched the many bookshelves for the copy of “The
Picture of Dorian Gray” he knew resided there. “Dorian Gray is a
fictional character who stays forever young while a portrait of him
ages. Now, of course, the story is far more complex than that brief
description, but I will allow you to discover its intricacies on
your own. Seeing as you will never age, the name seemed perfectly
suited for you.”

Finally laying hands on the hundred plus,
year old book, Thomas placed it in the hands of its new owner. “I
hope by reading this book, you will be inspired to be more
adventurous because from what I remember, your namesake enjoyed
plenty of indulgences. Back to the contents of the wallet, along
with the ID is some cash. You can ask for more when you run low.
One last thing,” he announced, tossing Dorian a set of keys, “I am
giving you the car from the other night. It seemed only right since
I attempted to run you down with it. Of course, I should probably
teach you how to drive, but that will have to wait until the sun
goes down. For now, would you like me to show you how to fight, in
case you meet another vamp that’s not quite as sociable as
myself?”

“Are there others?” Dorian asked on the edge
of his chair.

“Of course. You didn't think we were the
only two?” Thomas blurted out before considering where his response
would lead the conversation.

“I haven't thought about the possibility of
more of our kind, not since...” Dorian trailed off, back to the
night he had asked about his maker. “Have you ever met another,
besides the one who made you?”

“Yes.” The word came out barely a whisper as
Thomas rose from his seat. “Now, do you want me to teach you how to
fight? If so, follow me.”

Letting the brief answer go, knowing he
wouldn't get more information, Dorian followed Thomas to a set of
large double doors. Not noticing that he had stopped outside the
doorway to this undiscovered room, Dorian proceeded to enter.

“Dorian, wait!” Thomas yelled too late.

“Aww!” Dorian screamed in
agony.

Thomas carefully opened one side of the
double doors leading into the room just enough to reach in and yank
Dorian back into the darkened hallway. He stared at the steam
rising from Dorian's blistered arms. “Dorian, I am so sorry. I
tried to stop you from going in when I realized I hadn't shielded
the windows,” He assured through clenched teeth.

“What the hell?!” Dorian shouted as he
stared at his charred arms. “The sunlight has never done this to me
before.”

“Really?” Thomas asked with raised
brows.

“Yes, really! I would have noticed something
like this!” Dorian shrieked as he held up both arms.

“Sorry, what you said surprised me. Sunlight
has always burned my skin.”

Slowly calming down as the third degree
burns on his skin healed, Dorian explained, “Sunlight or any bright
light has always hurt my eyes, but as far as my skin, it was just
uncomfortable.”

“Interesting. Well, since you and sunlight
appear to no longer be friends, I would avoid it, if I were you. I
assume the reason for the change is your new diet.” Inspecting
Dorian's arms Thomas added, “Looks like you're all healed up. Let’s
go in.”

Entering the room for the
second time, Dorian noted its rectangular shape with an outside
wall made entirely of windows – now thankfully blacked out. The
wall opposite the windows was covered entirely with mirrors, minus
the double door entry. The two shorter walls were lined with a vast
array of weaponry.

“Welcome to my dojo.” Thomas gushed, arms
outstretched in the middle of the padded floor. “This is the room
you will most likely grow to hate as I will be kicking your ass
quite often in here.”

Choosing not to respond to his jab, Dorian
followed him silently to a pair of benches sitting just a few feet
in front of the left wall. Thomas picked up one of the two neatly
folded stacks of white clothes resting on the benches and handed it
to Dorian.

“When you're in a dojo, you have to wear a
gi,” Thomas stated, as if it was common knowledge while slipping
into his own.

Dorian followed suit then
accepted the long wooden stick offered him. He balanced the
six-foot chestnut brown weapon in his hands, expecting it to be
much heavier. Even after all these months, he was still amazed by
how strong he had become.

“I would have preferred starting with
swords, but because of your lack of experience, I decided that
might be messy. So, we will begin with staffs.” Thomas retrieved a
matching staff for himself. “I have these specially made, making
them far more durable against our enhanced strength. Just any old
staff wouldn’t last five minutes. You ready? Just try to block my
strikes. I promise to take it easy on you.” When Dorian responded
with a nod, Thomas moved into position in front of him, flashing
his signature wicked grin.

Gripping the staff firmly in his hands,
Dorian waited for the onslaught to begin. He knew Thomas was lying
about taking it easy but the level of difficulty Thomas exacted
didn't matter. Dorian had no idea how to defend himself with an
oversized walking stick. He hoped some innate instinct would kick
in. When that didn't happen, he was forced to watch helplessly as
Thomas advanced, striking three times and landing each blow easily.
Pain instantly erupted from shattered bones in his left leg, right
arm and jaw.

“Dorian, you were supposed to block those,”
Thomas teased.

Unable to respond
immediately, Dorian endured Thomas' smirk in silence, forced to
wait until the bones in his jaw fused themselves back together
before answering. “I knew you were lying, you son of a bitch!”
Dorian spat, still immobile.

“Awe, don't be mad. It’s
not as if you don't heal,” Thomas responded, unable to hide his
amusement.

“That doesn't mean it doesn't fucking hurt!
Not everyone enjoys pain like you do.”

“You're spewing out some exceptionally
colorful language. I may blush, although I am quite pleased to have
obviously had a hand in expanding your vocabulary. Since you think
I didn't play fair, I'll give you a freebee.” After letting his
staff fall to the floor, Thomas gestured to his left jaw. “Come on,
Dorian. You know I deserve it.”

Dorian knew striking him wouldn't punish
him, but he was infuriated, so he did it anyway. Blood splattered
the padded floor as the force of his revenge collided with Thomas'
face.

“Feel better?” Thomas spit
out blood.

Dorian smiled widely. “I
do. I should smack you in the face with a big stick more
often.”

“Sorry, but that was a once in a lifetime
opportunity,” Thomas promised him as he reacquired his staff.
“Enough fooling around. Time for me to instruct you properly.”

Thomas was an adept and tolerant teacher,
much to Dorian's surprise. More surprising was how steadily he
improved under his expert instruction. He never considered himself
athletic, always feeling awkward and uncoordinated. Since evolving,
as Thomas would say, those feelings were fading.

Sparring with Thomas soon
became Dorian’s second favorite pastime, even with frequent broken
bones and bloodied noses.

Over the next few months, Dorian spent his
days either sparring with Thomas or in the study reading. His
nights were spent in the city, tagging along behind Thomas, except
on the rare occasion when he braved the city alone. He witnessed
much brutality as Thomas' shadow, and although he never
participated, he did enjoy the spoils.

*****

Sipping his favorite drink, content from an
exceptionally invigorating and fulfilling trip into the city,
Thomas was primed to discuss another stall in Dorian's evolution.
Months had passed since his attempt to induce a leap in his
companion's progression. Although Dorian's initial reaction was
dismal, the end result showed promise. Now Thomas hoped to bring
him deeper into the fold.

BOOK: Dorian's Destiny: Altered
4.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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