A Few Sips Ch. 15
At just about five months old, Faith had cut her first two teeth, her bottom two incisors, and a month later, she was sitting up on her own and had gotten much better control of her wings. Spencer called her a mama's girl a lot, because Faith would always reach for Domino whenever she was in the room, and Domino, still glowing in the loving fascination with her young baby, was almost always in the room with her. By eight months old, Domino and Spencer were having a heck of a time keeping up with the precocious crawler who seemed to want to get into everything in the house.
They'd had to buy baby gates and locks and the coffee table had been shoved into the small attic because Faith had gotten extremely adept at bumping her little head on it. Cereal was either shoved forcefully into her mouth or rained about the room in little showers that were always accompanied by fits of laughter. The baby vampire was happy, very healthy, and used all of her wakeful hours exploring her environment and actively taking part in it, whether her mother wanted her to, or not. Faith was a happy baby who had gained weight and giggled and squealed and generally enjoyed life and brought happiness to those around her, despite the fact that she was exhausting to both her mother, and Spencer, who had taken on the roll of much older sister and caretaker.
Faith was about nine months old now, and it was only a matter of time until the little girl was pulling herself up to a standing position. In just a few more months, Domino knew that she would be walking, and flying, and that was what made her nervous. A flying baby was not something she wanted to deal with, she just hoped that Faith would be able to control herself. She'd enjoyed that exhaustive time where Alexandru had taken her up in the sky and caught her over and over again, she had given him her complete trust that night, but it gave her nightmares thinking that Faith might mess up, or get tired, and plummet to the earth below her.
So she'd started to put locks on all the windows that the little girl couldn't open, and Domino had placed cameras in every room so that she would be able to see what Faith was up to, on the off chance that she couldn't hear her, which Domino knew was unlikely. Jo had tried to assure her that things would all happen very naturally, and that Faith would be okay, but she worried, she didn't want anything to happen, not even the chance of it. Her daughter meant the world to her. Over the last few months, she had spent an increasing amount of time with Jo and her girlfriend. They were all very close friends now, which is not something that Domino had expected to happen. Jo had been able to give her some guidance on Faith's development and despite Domino's near frantic worry that Faith would somehow do something to hurt herself, the advice had helped calm her at least ever so slightly.
The vampire scientist had been born to a human female who had died giving birth to her, so Jo had been raised by her vampire father until they'd parted ways years ago. Her mother had lived in a tribe in Ethiopia, a part of the modern day Amhara. Her father had been from either Egypt or the then Arabia, what was now Saudi Arabia, Jo wasn't sure, as he'd refused to speak a lot about his own past. He had raised her in Ethiopia, and Domino could tell that she missed her homeland. She had spoken at length about her life among them, and how extremely different it was from the life she had now. Jo had beautiful brown skin with warm orange-red undertones and soft, curly, black hair that framed her oval face.
Her eyes were always smiling in the corners, their dark chestnut irises always seeming to suggest that she could sense the good in everything around her. It was a remarkable trait to see on a creature of the darkness, one would almost think that this particular vampire was born of the light. Domino couldn't help but be put in a good mood when she was around the vampire, and she had listened to her life story with rapt fascination. Jo had stayed in Africa until about eighty-three years ago when she'd immigrated to the United States. Apparently, she'd met Mr. Hughes somewhere along the way, and Marci had come along after the human woman was in her forties. Domino knew that Jo and Mr. Hughes had been intimate in the past, though they were only friends now, and she'd asked the spunky vampire once about it all.
"When you live as long as I have, you start to see sexuality in more fluid terms. Men are sexy, strong, sure of themselves, and sex with them can be fantastic. Women are powerful, sensual, caring, and sex with them can be equally fantastic. It's all relative, really. I like who I like when I like them. I've had lasting relationships with men and women. I'm a serial monogamist, I suppose. Never married, and I've only ever dated humans. Mr. Hughes, well, he was just for sport. I was visiting a friend who used to work for him and we kinda got it on a couple times. But yeah, I'm not gay, and I'm not straight, because I don't think, if you live long enough, those labels would actually mean anything. Pansexual? Is that it? I have no idea what people are calling it these days." Jo had explained, and Domino was pretty sure she understood. An eternity on this planet would give someone a whole different perspective on what life was like, what sexuality was like.
Though Domino had to admit, when she thought about sex and a relationship, her head was very much still linked to Alexandru. She missed him so much. Yes, she was angry, she didn't understand what had made him leave without telling her, she couldn't quite get past that, but she still loved him. She couldn't imagine ever not loving him as fiercely as she did now. Would she feel that painful ache in her heart forever, or would it eventually dull over time? Domino felt sick thinking there would be a time when he wasn't the second thing she thought about after waking at night, Faith forever being the first. Would that happen? How would that make her feel? The thought kept her frustrated, but she knew there was nothing she could do right now to figure any of it out. Everything was still very fresh for her. So instead, she spent her time with Faith and Spencer, and visited her other friends when she had time, and went out to feed in Madison or Green Bay when she had the chance.
Currently, Faith was sitting in the living room playing with some sort of blanket thing that made different noises depending on where you touched it, and Spencer was reading quietly on the couch behind her, while Domino stood at the sink in the kitchen washing the bottles that Faith had already consumed. A knock at her door made her frown, she wasn't expecting Jo or the other two vampires, and Marci was in Sioux City at her younger sister's house right now.
Going towards the door, Domino breathed in slowly and smelling the familiar scent she knew oh so well outside the door, she smiled and hauled the door wide open. Average height, stocky build, wide grin showing even, white teeth, and those dark blue, intense eyes all told her that Samir had finally come to visit. Moving forward, she hugged him close and then stepped back to let him inside.
"I didn't expect you to show up here." She said as she closed the door behind him, he had stepped into her house and was looking around it with appreciation in his gaze.
"This is a great place, Dom, it feels like a home to me." He smiled as he turned towards her and waved a hand around them.
"Thank you. I really do love it here." She nodded, walking with him into the living room.
Looking at the couch, she saw that Spencer had sat up and was looking at Samir with a timid look in her eye, which was the natural reaction to his extreme good looks, she supposed. She'd probably felt the same way about him herself when they'd first met. Now, he was just 'Samir, her friend.' A friend who'd bought her a sex toy, which she was still immensely thankful for, but a friend, nonetheless.
"Spencer, this is my friend, Samir. Samir, this is my friend and roommate, Spencer. I've written you about her." Domino sat down on the floor next to Faith and watched as Samir walked over to Spencer and shook her hand, a smile on his face as she slowly pulled her hand from his after, eyes wide as she looked up at him.
"It's nice to finally meet you, Spencer." Samir nodded and then moved over to sit near Domino and her daughter on the floor.
"You work at that spa that Domino had Faith at?" Spencer asked belatedly as she turned on the couch a little to see them better.
"So are you, like, taking vacation days or something?" Domino smiled tightly, a sparkle in her eyes as she looked over at Spencer, the girl had thought the idea of a sex spa was absurd, and had asked her a great many hilarious questions about it, including her conclusion that Mr. Hughes was a pimp. She'd assured the girl that that was not the case, but it was amusing sometimes, at the parallels that she would make.
"I think so," Samir arched a brow at Domino, "Mr. Hughes sort of told me to leave, so I am not sure if I'm on vacation or if I'm fired, really."
"What?" Domino gasped, she'd just talked to Mr. Hughes a few days ago, what had happened?
"We just had a little disagreement." Samir shrugged, and she could tell by the way that he focused on Faith that he had no intention of giving her any information about what was going in.
"Is this about her, the girl who's been staying there lately?" Domino pressed anyway, and was rewarded with a frown from Samir as his eyes flickered to her for just a moment.
"What has he actually told you about her?"
"Not much, other than saying that she's driving him bat shit crazy, he's really quiet about her." Domino frowned, Mr. Hughes seemed more stressed lately, but it didn't seem like it was the normal type of stress, this was a whole new level of weird for him. If he hadn't already cut his wings off, she might be a little worried about what he might do to himself.
Samir chuckled, "Something like that. He's annoyed, but it will work itself out one way or another. I chose to listen and take a vacation. Anyway, I bring news, Domino. News that you want to hear."
She looked at him curiously, "Yes?"
"We found Alexandru." He said softly, knowing by the way her body stiffened that she heard him very clearly.
"Belarus. Outside of Hrodna. Klaus has land there and Thorontur had some of the wood elves that work for him go into the area. By listening to the humans there, he was able to find one that worked for Klaus. Eventually, they found where he was, and where he was keeping Alexandru." Samir saw all sorts of emotions flicker within her eyes and knew by the way they clouded over a bit that she was still very much out of sorts about her lover.
"Alexandru?" Domino wasn't quite sure what she was asking, but she wanted to know, she wanted to know everything.
"He's being held in a basement there. Chained. Klaus has apparently been very angry lately, so Mr. Hughes is assuming that Alexandru isn't making things easy on the man."
"How can he make things hard? Klaus can compel him to do whatever he wants." Domino shook her head.
"He can't make him drink." Samir said in a voice that sounded a little strained, and Domino frowned, what did that mean?
"But he has to drink." She bit her lip and picked Faith up and put her in her lap, they had to drink, every night. Jo said their bodies had to have at least a quart of blood, if not more, to function properly.
"From what I understand, if a vampire doesn't drink nightly, they very quickly become weak and lethargic. Eventually, if they abstain from all blood long enough, it will kill them." He told her gently as he held a finger up for Faith, who grabbed at it and tugged at him, giggling as she did so.
"Faith is eight and a half months old, Samir, how long has he not been drinking?" Her whole body felt rigid, and her throat felt dry, dear God, what was Alexandru doing?
Samir shook his head, "They aren't sure, but Domino...there aren't any pregnant women there. Nor has there been since Alexandru arrived."
"So he's been starving himself since the beginning?" Domino felt herself hunch down over Faith a little bit as her eyes closed over the tears that filled them, Alexandru was choosing death, death over breaking his promise to her, no. No no no.
"We think so."
"How long can he survive?" She whimpered, not looking up, knowing all he would see on her face was pain.
"A year would be stretching it, Dom. Mr. Hughes said that through the years there are vampires that choose death this way, they tire of being here, of losing people, of being who they are, and they choose to waste away. Alexandru is doing this so that he doesn't have the energy to fuck, he doesn't want to put a woman through what you went through. And he loves you." He put a hand on her knee as he said that last part and Domino shifted away from him a little.
"Faith can't lose her father, she can't, she hasn't even really met him yet." She stood up, holding the little girl in her arms until she started squirming to be let back down.
Domino watched as the dark haired girl crawled quickly over to Samir, her wings flapping above her as she squealed and fell into his arms. Everything about the sweet child reminded her of Alexandru and about what he was missing. He had only had that one night, that very first night of her life with her before he'd had to leave his baby girl on that bed and walk away. Domino wiped at the tears under her eyes and looked over at Spencer who had been sitting quietly listening to them.
"So when are we going to Belarus?" Spencer tilted her head slightly, a sparkle in her eyes as she looked up at her friend from the couch.
Domino frowned, "Why would you come with me?"
"Wait a minute, Dom, Mr. Hughes is already working with the wood elves on a plan."
"It's not his responsibility to get Alexandru free, it's mine."
"There are some logistics involved, Dom, like the light, and the people who work there. He's got guards, both human and non-human."
"Well, it's a good thing I have a mermaid for a friend then." She looked at him intently and watched as the right corner of Spencer's mouth lifted in a knowing smile.
"Why?" Samir frowned, thinking of the powers of the mermaids he had met, there were several types of mermaids, most were of the light, but not all...
"Anya isn't the only siren out there, Samir." Domino smiled at the way his eyes widened and he looked over at the small, quiet woman who was still relaxing back against the couch.
"No, Samir, she's not a light siren. She's the other kind." Domino grinned, it could work, if Spencer could transform close enough to the building where Alexandru was being kept, the girl's song would reach the men protecting Klaus within and they would be summoned outside to listen to her song.
"Is there water near them?" Spencer asked.
Samir nodded, "There's a lake south of the mansion, maybe about a fourth of a mile away."
"Is that too far?" Domino asked and breathed a little easier when Spencer shook her head.
"It's actually a good distance, my mother said that they walk slowly, so it will give you more time. Once they reach me, I'll have to have help tying them down so that they don't come in the water. Otherwise, I'll have to stop singing." Spencer sat up straight and nodded at her plan.
The men who came to her would go into the water after her and drown, which was not really what they wanted, so their plan could only work if Spencer had help, but it couldn't come from Samir, it couldn't come from a man, at all.
"I need a woman, or women, to help. If there is a man there, other than a vampire sleeping, as they cannot be woken up, he would be lured to me, as well. It wouldn't work." Spencer looked at Domino.
"It can't be Jo or Fionna, they could never be in the light that long."
Domino snorted, "She may be non-human, but she's not like us in strength. Besides, she's got a million babies to take care of, I wouldn't want her to risk herself like that. It's too dangerous."
"Dom said that there was a dragon woman. Could you get her to help us?"
Samir frowned and shook his head, "Shu hasn't been seen for about five months now, I think. She is in hiding."
Domino frowned, knowing there was a story there, but now was not the time. She needed to be selfish and focus on her own problems, "Faeron, Faeron has like a bunch of sisters, doesn't he?"
"I think there are five of them, yes." Samir nodded, not sure he wanted to trust the rescue of the captive vampire to a bunch of wood elves, despite how Faeron had proved to be such an asset to Vorhees.
"Then I'll text Faeron and ask if he can have them meet us in Belarus. We'll need their help." Domino nodded, seeing Spencer nod a little more enthusiastically at her side, this could work if they planned it right.
"Domino, if you do it this way, I can't help you get him out." Samir furrowed his brow, knowing he would be affected by the siren song, as well.
"Samir, I never said I needed your help. I'll be the one getting him out. This is my family, MY fiancé, and I can do this. Once the male guards are dealt with, Jo, Fionna, and I can handle the females. They won't be expecting us."
"On the contrary, Domino, I think they will be expecting you." Samir said in a frustrated voice.
"No they won't, because we're attacking at dawn." Domino said with a wide sinister smile on her face.
"Yes, and we're the only ones that have it, she's never given it to other vampires."
"Domino, this is dangerous, you need to come up with a better plan."
"Oh, I will, and I'll do it with Jo's help. If she can figure out a way to break the bond between Alexandru and Klaus permanently, then we'll do it. Otherwise..."
"Otherwise you're going to kill Klaus." He sighed, killing a non-human was always a tricky thing, and killing a vampire was tricky...and disgusting.
"I might end up doing that anyway, unless, oh, if I kill him is it going to be all 'Lost Boys' and Alexandru becomes a human again? That would kind of suck." Domino asked, she hadn't thought about that, she just really wanted the asshole vampire to die.
Samir frowned at her, "Once you're a vampire, you're always a vampire, Domino. Klaus dying will not affect Alexandru. But you can't just go around killing non-humans. It's the kind of thing that pisses other members of the darkness off."
"You killed two gargoyles and you didn't die." She scoffed.
"I had the Lotus Family backing what I did." He told her.
"Then maybe you can help. Go talk to Wei and his brothers and make them understand that I need to kill that asshole." Domino thought he was going to refuse her, but he slowly nodded, his eyes falling to the little girl in his arms that was slapping his face lightly as the adults around her spoke.
"We'll need one more woman, someone who isn't a vampire to drive you, Jo, and Fionna to his mansion that morning." Spencer said quietly.
Domino bit her lower lip as she thought, Connor was a guy, and she would have him stay somewhere safe with Faith while they rescued Alexandru. She absolutely would not use Shi, or Anya.
"I know someone." Samir said after a bit, "As soon as you decide when this is happening, then I'll call her and let her know where to be, and when."
Domino smiled and walked over to him, squatting beside him to give the man a hug as Faith giggled between the two of them. This would work, it had to work, because she had to get Alexandru away from Klaus. It didn't mean she forgave him, but it meant that he would be safe, that he would not be in the clutches of a crazy vampire. Once he was free, well, a lot of that was on him, because she wasn't the same as when he'd left. For the past eight and a half months, she'd built a new life for herself in Wisconsin. A new home, and a new family. She wasn't sure where Alexandru's place was in it...yet. Or if he would have a place besides being Faith's father, but unless he got free, she would never know. And boy, did she want to know.