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Friendship Day

August 2nd is friendship day and I cannot think of two friends who have shared such a history as vampires Christian Du Maure and Michel Baptiste. For those of you who are new to my novels here is an excerpt from Immortal Obsession. On a March night in 1757 two twenty year old men made decisions that would change their lives forever. The seductive vampire Gabrielle had already turned Michel and the innocent Christian was about to lose his friend and so he impulsively chose life with his friend, no matter the cost, rather than losing him. Ah, the price of friendship.

Enjoy


Christian was out in the stables with his prized black mare, Starlight. He generally did his best thinking while working. Despite the cold, he found himself in the stables bailing hay and cleaning out Starlight’s stall. He was humming to himself when something made him turn around. Michel and Gabrielle stood framed in the doorway. Something about their posture, their hesitancy, alarmed Christian. He grabbed a lantern and slowly came toward them, wiping the sweat from his brow.

“What are you doing here? I told you not to come back until—” He began, staring into the dark eyes of his best friend. Gabrielle remained expressionless; her face flushed as it usually was after the three of them made love together. Michel spoke, but his voice seemed distant, as if his lips were not moving. The sound was coming from somewhere far away. “I came to say goodbye my friend.”

Michel’s words made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. Something in his beautiful face terrified Christian. His skin looked like alabaster and his light green eyes were dark and vacuous.

“So, you have chosen her I see.” Christian fought tears. “I suppose years of friendship means nothing to you.”

He studied Michel’s eyes for some response and found none.

“We can have each other, Christian, and Gabrielle too. We three can be together forever.”

“What have you done to him?” Christian shone the lantern close to her face. Rage filled him at the thought of this woman taking control of his closest companion. As if sensing his anger, Gabrielle stepped behind Michel.

“Tell him, Michel. Tell him what I am and what you have chosen to become.” She pulled him closer.

“What have you done, Michel?” He tried to shake his friend, but Michel felt like a rock and would not budge. He smelled of blood and dirt, as if he had been sleeping on the forest floor.

“Gabrielle is a vampire, Christian,” Michel explained in a voice barely above a whisper. “And I have chosen to . . . join her.”

For a moment, no one spoke or moved.

“You are what?” Christian asked, backing away and making the sign of the cross as he mumbled prayers.

“I have chosen eternity. I will live beyond this stinking, dirty place.”

He reached out for Christian, who fell backwards and almost dropped the lantern.

“We can barely survive the taxes the king levees on us. Look at you, Christian, so young and handsome, but soon you will die and for what? I have chosen the God of immortality.”

“You are talking crazy, Michel. Louis is our king. This is our home.”

“I love you dearly, my friend. You too can have the gift Gabrielle has given me. Think of it, Christian. We can live beyond this place. I am free, my friend, free through a gift beyond our imagination. We can be time travelers, together forever!”



Michel reached into his jacket and pulled out a gleaming dagger. He sliced his arm, and Christian watched as his blood welled up and then stopped oozing. The cut closed up as if it had never been there at all. Christian crossed himself again.

“And what if I say no, will you kill me?” Christian asked, unable to comprehend the reality of the situation.

“We go to Paris to meet up with more of our kind,” Gabrielle interjected. “We say good-bye tonight after I erase you memory of us. It is better this way.”

“No, Michel,” Christian cried out. “Please, do not leave me here.”

Hot tears ran down his face. He was embarrassed to be weeping like a woman in front of Gabrielle, yet unable to imagine his life without Michel. How could he have no memory of his best friend? Christian could not bear it. He surrendered the lantern to Gabrielle as she gestured for him to lie down in the hay. Christian closed his eyes as the cold lips of his best friend brushed his cheek and Michel touched his face.

“Come with me.” He whispered, and Christian could no more resist his words than he could resist the life Michel promised him.

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© 2019 Denise K. Rago

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