Betrothed, p.17
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       Betrothed, p.17

         Part #6 of The Vampire Journals series by Morgan Rice


  Sergei opened his eyes, and quickly raised his hands to cover them, as they burned from the light. He struggled to see where he was.

  He was lying in mud, on a steep slope on the bank of a river. He turned his head again away from the light, covering his eyes, which burned a hole through his skull. He looked up and saw that he was underneath some sort of rotting bridge, and he scrambled into the shadows, recessing further and further back.

  Finally, he could breathe again, and slowly opened his eyes. He took stock of his surroundings, and could tell right away that he was in London. He was, in fact, under the London Bridge, a bridge he could recognize anywhere. He looked up and saw the rotting wood underneath it, saw the huge, stone foundations on the other side, saw the parade of boats passing through the Thames. He recessed further, deeper underneath the bridge, and rats scurried to get out of his way. Deeper and darker in the shadows, he was beginning to feel more like himself.

  "Hey you!" came a voice. "That's my spot!"

  Sergei saw a bum shuffling towards him, holding an empty flask of gin, stumbling. "You better move, if you know what's good for you!"

  Sergei was in no mood for a human now. This trip back had been especially rough, and his head was still splitting, as if he had a thousand hangovers.

  "Did you hear what I said?" the bum yelled. "I'm going to teach you - "

  Having had enough, Sergei suddenly jumped up and lashed out. In a single move, he used his long fingernails to slice the man's throat.

  The bum's eyes opened wide in shock as he dropped his flask and reached up to try to stop the blood pouring from his throat.

  Sergei felt his fangs suddenly grow long, and realized how hungry he was. This bum, he realized, had come along at the perfect time.

  Seeing the fangs extending from Sergei's mouth, the bum's eyes opened five times wider, and he stumbled backwards, crossing himself, trying to get away.

  But it was too late. Sergei was ravenous now. He leapt forward and sank his fangs long and deep into the man's neck. The bum screamed out, and Sergei reached up with his free hand and clamped his mouth shut, as he sucked deeper and deeper, the blood rushing through his veins.

  In a few seconds, he felt the bum's struggling body go limp. He drank his fill, then let the body collapse onto the mud.

  The man's blood coursing through him, Sergei felt himself again. He looked down at the lifeless corpse, and disgusted, gave it a hard kick.

  It rolled several times, then landed into the Thames, and started slowly floating downstream.

  Sergei smiled at the sight, watching the lifeless corpse bob and float along the water. He imagined the expression of a passing fisherman who came across it, saw it floating past his boat, and his smile grew even wider. He couldn't stand humankind, and he wished that the entire river before him was filled with nothing but floating corpses.

  But in the meantime, he had work to do. He had come back in time yet again to make amends to Kyle. He was still set on being Kyle's loyal servant, and on leading Kyle's army, on one day leading the war in New York, if Kyle should see fit to appoint him, and if he could find his way back. He knew that he messed up in Paris, letting Caitlin slip through his fingers. He thought that he had done his best to seduce Polly. He had used her and deceived her. He smiled at the thought. Nothing made him happier than deceiving and abusing women.

  But in the end, he had not succeeded. And now, in this time, and in this place, he would make it up to Kyle. He would find Polly again. He would find a way to deceive her again. It was his favorite pastime. And since he already attracted her once, he felt confident that he could attract her again.

  This time, he would use Polly to get to Caitlin, and then he would present them both to Kyle as his trophy.

  Sergei smiled at the thought of it. Kyle would love him forever.

  The sun was close to setting, and Sergei was beginning to feel like a new man. The thought of taking advantage of Polly, yet again, filled him with a perverse joy. He was so overcome with joy, that he couldn't help himself.

  He leaned back and summoned his vocal skills, and belted out an aria from a Beethoven Symphony. As he sang, in his professional voice, louder and louder, expertly hitting all the notes, the sound echoed underneath the bridge, and slowly drew a huge crowd of puzzled bystanders above, all wondering where it was coming from.

  Of course, they had no idea that it was coming from right beneath them, from a singular vampire who was intent on destroying them all.

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