[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] Untitled Spark & Vainstrel Story 4

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY. YOU are the very first person to read it – I haven’t even read it in its entirety yet!

You WILL come across numerous issues including:

  • spelling mistakes;
  • grammar issues;
  • weak sentence structure;
  • repeated words;
  • unnecessary words;
  • missing words;
  • lack of details/descriptions;
  • confusing details/descriptions;

Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.

Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.

Vainstrel could feel is body shake with stage-fright, although he hadn’t had stage-fright since he was a young vampire child. The only thing that was causing this fear of failing was the beautiful, spunky witch excitedly looking over the cellphone case in her hands. Sparks were literally flying off and around Spark as she gushed.

“This is absolutely, absolutely stunning! Just look at all this gorgeous detail! Goodness, Vainstrel, I can’t believe you would drop more money on me like this again, all with a cellphone case of this quality. And look! It even lights up when I feed it electricty!” 

Vainstrel’s cheeks flushed a pleasant red, although his legs were fidgeting. What is wrong with my body and my heart? For I have not been as nervous since I first set foot on stage. This is the scenario in which I have practice over and over both within my mind and without…stage fright, you no longer need to have a hold on me!

Vainstrel glanced up at the waiter, who quietly put down their drinks – Vainstrel’s usual earl gray tea and Spark’s spicy hot chocolate. 

“Oh! Hot chocolate’s here!” Spark placed her new phone case onto the café table and took a quick sip of her hot chocolate. Vainstrel watched her tremble.

“Mmmmm!!! Just what’s needed on a nice cool day like this!”

Vainstrel nodded. “Indeed, it is, lady Spark.” He lifted up his own tea and took a sip himself. Unlike usual, he couldn’t taste anything. If there hadn’t been a cap on his drink, it probably would’ve spilled out everywhere. At least he could still feel the warmth on his hands. 

Vainstrel took a very brief look around the café area – they were seated at the side of their usual café, near the cobblestone streets. They were fenced off with beautiful iron lattrice fencing and grouped with a few scattered tables for outdoor dining. The day itself made it still considerably comfortable to sit outside, but there was just enough of a chill that made hot drinks like theirs welcome.

Vainstrel’s eyes darted back to the table, watching Spark place down her hot chocolate cup. She brought out her phone and started to push it into the brand new case Vainstrel had so kindly bought her – a yellow case with black, brown, and silver accents that perfectly complimented her clothes. Each piece was made with real sheets of metal as well, but it was specially coated so it wouldn’t interfer with her magic. It even had built in lights that dotted the border of the front of the case that, as Spark had earlier stated, worked with her magic. 

Vainstrel had saw it only a few days earlier as he had been out and about after the show he was starring in and just so happened to see it in a small shop not too far from the performance hall. He hadn’t even been thinking about getting a gift for Spark – he simply just saw it and found himself so excited, he went in and immeditately dropped the money for the case so perfect for her. After all, they hadn’t bought her a case (not that she needed it with all the magic reinforcements on her phone, but still). 

Vainstrel’s finger started to tap the side of his drink’s cap, glancing over at the empty tables beside them.

“Hey, are you okay?” 

“Huh?” Vainstrel looked back forward, seeing Spark poking her cheek curiously as she normally did. “Ah, yes, my dear Spark. Everything is fine.” 

“Okay, phew, good. You look like you’re nervous or something! Was there something else you wanted to talk about?” 

Vainstrel froze.

Spark took a sip of her hot chocolate. As she placed the cup back down onto the table, she gave him a smile that was just as warm. “Or did you just want to give me a phone case?” 

Vainstrel locked onto Spark’s eyes and held his breath.

Before he even knew what was happening, he had already grabbed her hands and leaned into her face. And out from his mouth, with the faintest quiver, asked: “will you form a blood contract with me?”

Pause. 

A long, pregnant pause. 

Cold sweat started to break out over Vainstrel’s face. 

He could see Spark’s beautiful brown eyes staring deep into his, unmoving…until she blinked.

“What’s that?” 

Spark’s question cut through the silence. Vainstrel’s shoulder’s dropped and his whole body shivered. If Vainstrel wasn’t as nervous as he was, he probably would have asked why Spark was raising an eyebrow at him. 

“I-it’s when a vampire and a non-vampire form a contract that prevents the vampire from drinking blood from anywhere else but that one non-vampire, until death truly do them apart.”

Spark’s stare seemed to choke him. 

Vainstrel continued to explain. “If we were to form such a contract, I would only be able to receive blood from you and no one else.” 

Vainstrel watched Spark’s stare shift into something that clearly looked like she was thinking. Still feeling stage-fright into the very depths of his being, Vainstrel leaned forward once more, grasping her hands tightly. “Of course, if we were to do such a thing, you can opt-out anytime!” 

He smiled, still completely nervous. 

If only he could see himself in the mirror (which he could…witch-hunting vampires can be seen in mirrors), he would be able to see just how crooked and awkward he looked. 

Vainstrel sat down in his seat once more, but still kept his hands holding onto Spark’s. He looked down at the table. “Truly, only if you desire to do such a thing, my dear lady Spark…” His voice trembled and trailed off. 

Vainstrel held his breath. Why can’t I look up? Goodness me, when have I, the great count Vainstrel, ever felt such a way as this? 

“Where…”

Vainstrel looked up a bit, his eyes widening at Spark’s face.

“…do I sign?!” asked Spark. 

Her usual smile was on her face, but flickering all around her was her usual sparks of electricty. 

And if Vainstrel knew what that meant by now, that meant her emotions were high. And based on the way they were dancing, flittering about her, she was…happy

“Y-you do not have to sign a thing, lady Spark,” replied Vainstrel. “It is simply an exchange of blood – a drop of mine, a drop of yours, preferiably form your dominate index finger.” 

Vainstrel’s whole body drained of nervous from the top of his head, all the way down to his toes. It was as if the earth beneath the cement was sucking it all out from him. His head raised and he could finally return a smile to her. Who is this goddess of lightning and how have a been blessed with such ease? 

Vainstrel found his mouth open once more, almost against his will, betraying the calmer deamoner that seemed to return. “Would you like to do the contract right now?” His smile disappeared. Myself, control yourself before you turn me into an utter bafoon! 

“Oh, yeah, sure! I’d love to!” Spark replied. Vainstrel soon found Spark’s dominate hand in front of him. 

Vainstrel gently took it in his, glancing up at Spark’s eyes. They glittered with excitment and anticipation..if they had been a mirror, he would have surely thought they were his own. His heart was beating loud, almost into his ears and his stomach twisted into knots at the pure excitement of doing what he had only dreamed of doing not so long ago. 

“Please stick out your tongue as well.” 

“You got it!” 

Vainstrel watched Spark close her eyes and stick out her tongue like a cat sensing its surroundings. 

Vainstrel opened his own mouth a little wider and allowed his fang teeth to lower to their full extent. He carefully nicked his own index finger on his right hand, watching a miniscule geyser of blood bead up on the surface of his skin. He then took Spark’s left hand and pricked her index finger with his fang tooth, watching the same phenomeon happen. 

Vainstrel brought his index finger to Spark’s tongue and Spark’s index finger to his. 

The single drop of blood from his finger dripped from his finger and Spark’s single drop of blood dripped from her’s into his mouth. 

Immeditately, a warm wave surged through his body, then bounced back up and almost out of him, leaving him feeling tightly hugged. 

“WHOA!”

Vainstrel had seen Spark jump up at the same exact moment. His own eyes looked at her. 

“Is there something wrong, my dear Spark?” 

Spark shook her head. “No, but WOW, that was a huge surge of magic!” Her body shivered. Vainstrel couldn’t help but think her scrunched face and bouncing side ponytail looked absolutely adorable. “It’s been a while since I’ve felt something like that!” 

Vainstrel chuckled. “That would be the contract being initiated.” 

“So amazing! I’ve never done something like that before.” 

Vainstrel watched curiously as Spark grabbed his tea and popped off the cap. 

“Not even with any familiars of sorts?” inquired Vainstrel, glancing up. 

“Nah, my family won’t let us do them. I guess it’s got something to do with the contracts we have with the elements or something,” replied Spark. 

plop plop plop 

Vainstrel looked down to his tea cup and couldn’t help but smile, watching Spark’s blood drip and merge with it. 

Vainstrel briefly licked his own prick on his finger and the wound quickly closed up. He reached out his hand to Spark. “May I? I would like to heal your wound.” 

“Sure!” Spark replied, replacing the cap onto Vainstrel’s tea. He watched her expertly swirl it around and place it back down in front of him. “And when you’re done with that and the tea, you can have even more of my blood, if you want to?” 

Vainstrel’s tongue clicked in delight. His eyes lit up to the point one could almost see hearts being reflected within them. “I would be more than happy to do such a thing, Lady Spark.” 

Spark put her hand forward. “You can message me whenever you want something too. I’d be more than happy to help you out.” 

Vainstrel brought her finger close to his mouth. “It would truly be my pleasure.” He stuck out his tongue and slowly, but gently, licked where he had nicked her moments earlier. He could feel Spark shivering. Or perhaps she was shuttering. 

He lifted up his head. “The wound has been healed. Are you alright, my dear Spark? Are you cold?” 

“No,” replied Spark. 

Vainstrel could her hear breath heavier than usual and her face seemed flushed. 

“Well, let me know my dear – I would be more than happy to treat you to another gift.” 

He watched Spark giggle, grab her hot chocolate, and sink into her seat in a way he couldn’t think of being anything else but some sort of embarassment. 

Is the dear alright? wondered Vainstrel, sipping his own tea. 

He shivered delightfully at the taste of blood and sparks of electricty that followed the tea down and into his stomach. A smile spread across his face as he relaxed into his chair. 

***

Vainstrel had tried to resist with all of his little vampire heart, but resistance had already flown out the window and over the hills. He found himself messaging Spark every moment of his freetime, just awaiting for a moment in their busy schedules for them to meet up. Which, much to his delight, had been available more often than not. 

Vainstrel couldn’t help but puncture her neck and her shoulders in all different places, enjoying watching Spark shutter in a way he could tell was absolutely delightful. Each sip of blood and flicker of electricty that hit his mouth ignited his body in ways he had never felt before…besides from Spark, of course. 

He always made sure her punctured skin was healed before they parted ways. The sillhouette of the bouncing witch always delighted Vainstrel. He had already been consumed by her in many ways and he couldn’t help but feel his vampire heart flutter. 

His eyes laid upon the dark circles underneath Spark’s eyes and the strange paleness to her otherwise perfectly permenant sun-kissed skin. The circles weren’t as dark as her natural birthmarks, but they were still dark enough to stand out. 

Vainstrel could feel his stomach twist into various knots. 

It had already been two weeks or so since they made the contract and Vainstrel hadn’t wanted to admit it, but the denial was draining out of him every single moment he had met with Spark. 

Vainstrel caressed Spark’s cheeks with both of his hands. “Spark, my dear, you do not look in the tippest of the most top shape.” 

“Huh?” Spark’s drowsy eyes looked up in Vainstrel’s only visible eye (as his other one was covered underneath his blonde hair). After a few slow blinks and her eyes darting around, she smiled. “Oh, I’m fine.” 

Vainstrel released Spark’s cheeks, watching her head droop and her eyes downcasting towards the ground. He reached out and grabbed her hand, pulling it close to his chest. “Lady Spark, I really must insist – you do not look well. Death of the vampire kind almost appears to be at your door. As a dear friend and a contract holder, I request you do not leave us quite yet!” 

Spark smiled slowly and stared at Vainstrel.

The vampire waited for a response from his witch friend, but he watched her do nothing but blink. 

“Spark?” 

“Huh? Yeah! Sorry!” Spark giggled. “I’m a bit sleepy.” 

“We did not have to meet up today if you must rest to restore your strength.” 

Again, Spark seemed to pause for a long while. Vainstrel’s hand tightened around her’s.

I am afraid that she is not well. 

“Aren’t you going to drink my blood?” finally said Spark. 

Vainstrel frowned. He wrapped an arm around Spark’s waist and used his other one to lift up her chin so he could look at her in the eyes. Her brown eyes has a glossy sheen that he was not too fond of – her usual glittering eyes seemed no where to be found. He could even feel the shallowness of her breath. “Truly, Spark, you need your rest.” 

Pause. Then out from Spark’s mouth was “I’m fiiiiiine.” 

“You are not!” 

Vainstrel suddenly found his mouth pressed up against Spark’s neck and her warm hand on the back of his head. “Drink!” Spark demanded. 

Vainstrel’s stomach knotted in the other direction. Obey thy mistress, so wandered up the thought from inside of Vainstrel. His heart pounded and cold sweat ran across his forehead. 

She is not well! Spark is not well! Must I truly do this? Yet the mistress of lightning has confirmed her own willingness. But is it truly okay if she loses her life? Will she do such a thing? Oh, how my heart worries for the Lady Spark, lightning queen! 

Vainstrel’s teeth extended and promptly sunk into her soft skin. 

He held her waist firmly, but gently, hoping to support her as he removed the blood from her system. 

Knots continued to form in his stomach and he couldn’t tell if what he was feeling on his face was just more cold sweat or rain from high above – after all, they were outside and in an alleyway. A lovely alleyway that was almost decorated like a long, narrow park with metal benches, a few bushes and flower beds, along with an iron arch at both ends of the path, but it was an alleyway nonetheless. 

Suddenly his grip tightened. His teeth was sliding out from Spark’s skin. 

Vainstrel snatched himself away from Spark’s skin, gazing down into the almost lifeless body of the young woman witch his heart was consumed by. Vainstrel’s skin, which had been almost peach in color for the past several days, paled. His teeth retracted and he found himself scooping up Spark into his arms.

“Spark! Spark!” he called. 

She wasn’t responding. 

A chill overcame Vainstrel. Did I…kill her? 

His eyes narrowed and scanned her whole body. The life force energy that radiated around her was fairly weak, but he could tell it was still potent enough for life. Her chest still expanded and contracted, albeit it with the slowness of sleep. 

He hugged her tightly. Vainstrel’s body started to tremble and he found himself on the verge of tears. What have I done? What, oh what, have I done? 

He looked down at Spark’s resting face. 

And he saw a single drop of water hit her cheek and roll down the side, dripping off and onto the ground. 

Vainstrel looked up. Had it started raining? 

No. 

The stinging in his eyes made him realize he was, in fact, crying

My greed took it’s toll upon your body. He gently caressed Spark’s cheek with one of his hands, while the other one held her tightly, ensuring her limp body would not fall to the ground. It was a grand responsiblity to take on as the contract initator and I have failed such one. What oh what will I do about you and this terrible accident of my own doing? 

Hugging her close to his body, Vainstrel pulled out his phone. He scrolled through his contacts and stopped on Spark’s name. He tapped it and pulled up her profile. His finger did one long swipe, bringing him immeditately to the very bottom of the entry. He let out a sigh. 

“I suppose the right thing to do is to bring you to your place of rest, is it not, my dear Spark?” Vainstrel asked, smiling gently at the sleeping witch. 

He placed his phone onto a nearby bench and pulled out a capsle. Within the capsle were two earbuds, in which he placed into both ears. Once he slipped the capsule back into his pocket, he grabbed his phone, tapped on the addressed, and followed the prompts to start the GPS. 

I shall only need to take this oh-so-far. I still should remember her home’s location, should I not? It was not oh-so-long ago.

Vainstrel lifted Spark up with both arms and princess carried her. 

***

Vainstrel approached the door, head held high. About partway to Spark’s home, he recongized the pathway. He had paused for a moment to rest his arms, remove his earbuds, and turn off his GPS. After all, he had not wanted to be rude when greeting Spark’s family! If that was even necessary. 

He reached the door of Spark’s family’s home. Staying partially on the stair steps, he supported Spark with one leg and one arm, while using the other one to knock. He then took Spark back into both of his arms and finished walking up the staircase. 

After a moment passed, the door finally opened and a man a few years older than Spark answered the door. Vainstrel watched as his eyes fell upon Spark’s body.

The man looked back up with a glare. “Who the hell are you and what happened to my sister?!” 

Before Vainstrel could respond back, the man gasped. “Wait a minute, you’re that man who dropped her off a few weeks ago.” His eyes narrowed. “What did you do to her?” 

Vainstrel bowed his head. “I am Vainstrel Balan of Balan Bloodworks and stage actor extradonaire!” Vainstrel turned back to the man and frowned. “I do apologize – my dear Lady Spark had fainted on the street and I, for lack of clarity and action, have decided to bring her back to her castle.” 

“‘Lack of clarity’? Girl, you crazy!” replied the man. Vainstrel watched as he lifted his nose in the air and lean forward to grab Spark. 

Reflextively, Vainstrel drew back. “No, no, I must insist – I shall carry her inside. I wish to stay beside her as she slumbers, so that I may greet her once she wakes.” 

“I really can’t let you do that,” replied the man. 

“Is there a reason as to why that is not possible?” inquired Vainstrel. 

Before the man could reply, the distinct voice of a child cut through. “Coal, who’s that?” 

“A nobody,” replied Coal, glaring behind him. “Mind your business.” 

The young girl peeked through the doorway. Her smiling face and sparkling eyes were similar to Spark’s, but rather than reflecting solar flares and lightning storms, it was the ocean on a bright sunny day. “Hi! I’m Aqua-Marie! Who’re you?” 

“Aqua!” snapped Coal. 

Vainstrel smiled down at the young girl. “Good day, Lady Aqua-Marie. I am Vainstrel Balan.” 

“Hi Vainstrel! Why do you have Spark?” 

“Aqua-marie, get your butt back in the door before mom and dad come back and drag it back in for you!” 

Aqua-Marie ignored her older brother who was clearly becoming aggitated. Vainstrel could see little flickers of flames in a similar manner to Spark’s sparks wisp off from all around Coal, like embers in a fire that is almost out, but still lit. He turned his attention back to the young child. “My dear Lady Spark has fainted and I simply wanted to bring her home to rest. I would like to stay by her side to ensure she is alright and apologize for my oversight.”

Aqua-marie paused for a moment, then her face lit up like the sparkling ocean once more. She grabbed a hold of Vainstrel’s hand that was closer to the ground. Vainstrel continued to hold onto Spark as the young girl’s surprising strength had him bursting through the door. 

“Come with me! Come with me! Lemme show you to Spark’s room!” 

“AQUA-MARIE!” snapped Coal. 

Vainstrel found himself making a sharp turn along with Aqua-Marie as Coal jumped in the midst of their path. Vainstrel pivoted his body as the clearly fiery Coal was starting to glow – from an ember orange to an eerie green all the way to a flurorscent blue. 

Then there was a distinct, loud SIZZLE

And Coal was dripping wet. 

Aqua-marie giggled as she continue to lead Vainstrel down the hallway almost at a maddening speed. 

“That damn brat, you’d think she’d had the curse too!” 

They turned the corner and Aqua-marie let go of Vainstrel’s hand. He watched the young girl run and nearly trip over herself, but managed to catch herself on the wall. She burst open a door and raised her hands, disappearing inside. “This way! This way!” 

Vainstrel slipped inside the room. He paused for the briefest moment, intaking the bright yellow walls and lightning motifs, before placing her down on the bed. He carefully rolled back the covers underneath her and covered her up. 

After scanning her with his eyes for one brief moment, Vainstrel sat down on his knees. He reached underneath the covers and fished out Spark’s hand. 

He held the sleeping lightning witch’s hand with both of his, giving it a kiss. He then placed his forehead upon it and closed his eyes. “Spark, I am sorry for failing you. For I was irresponsible as the contract initator and put your life in danger. That is not the purpose of such a contract. Next time, I shall be better than I was. For you too need rest to replenish the blood that coarses through your very veins.” 

Vainstrel kept his eyes shut and forehead closed for a good, long moment. He would have done it longer, but there was an odd constricting sensation he could not shake off. He turned his head and opened his eyes, seeing Aqua-marie staring at him with big, blue eyes that glittered like a rainbow seashell. 

“Is there something wrong, my dear lady Aqua-marie?” 

The smile on Aqua-marie’s face spread. “Are you Spark’s boooooooyfriend?” 

Vainstrel chuckled. “I am not, although I do love her dearly.” 

“Hnn…”

Vainstrel’s head whipped over to Spark, seeing her stir in her sleep. Her brow glistened with persperation that reflected the bright yellow walls of the room. He leaned in, gently touching her forehead. He glanced over beside him, seeing Aqua-Marie leaning in. 

“Is she waking up?” 

“No, but perhaps she has a bit of a fever.” 

Aqua-Marie gasped. “Water!” 

Vainstrel furrowed his brow. 

Aqua-Marie jumped up and turned around, running out the door. Vainstrel watched the door, still holding tightly onto Spark’s hand. 

After a moment, he watched Aqua-Marie walk back through the door with a medium-sized washcloth in which she was actively imbuing with water magic. As the young girl reached Vainstrel, she stopped the flow of her magic and held out the slightly dripping towel. “Water for Spark!” 

Vainstrel gasped. “What an amazing thought you have had! I thank you for your assistance, Lady Aqua-Marie.” He took the towel from Aqua-Marie and held it in both of his hands. He folded it neatly in half one way and then the other, placing it perfectly on Spark’s forehead. 

He watched Spark’s twisted sleeping expression slowly fade into a far more pleasant and relaxed one. Vainstrel found just watching her relax had him relax. How tense had I been? While still holding onto Spark’s hand, he used one of his own to touch his chest, feeling all the tension constantly leave. 

Aqua-Marie sat down on the edge of Spark’s bed, right beside Vainstrel. Vainstrel could see the little girl’s feet kicking in his perpheral vision.

Then a shadow appeared behind him and Aqua-Marie’s little feet were no longer kicking beside him from the bed, but were now on the ground. Vainstrel glanced beside himself, seeing the rather angry Coal barring his teeth.

“Don’t talk to the vampire,” hissed Coal quietly. 

Not quietly enough though – Vainstrel had heard him perfectly. Little needles began to prick his stomach. 

“Why?” asked Aqua-Marie. 

“Don’t matter – just don’t.” 

“But whhhyyyyyy?” 

“Shush, Aqua-Marie.” 

Vainstrel listened to Aqua-Marie whine as Coal lifted her up off the ground and carried her out. 

“Hey, vamp, you’re next!” warned Coal. 

Vainstrel tightened his grasp around Spark’s hand. I had only heard about what her family says and thinks, but I could truly only imagine the way someone such as I would be treated. No matter the hostility towards someone such as I, I shall stay here beside Lady Spark until she wakes from her slumber. Vainstrel lifted Spark’s hand to his mouth and kissed it. My dear Lady Spark, I do apologize and am deeply sorry for the irresponsibility from myself. I promise to do better. 

A single tear formed in Vainstrel’s eye and dribbled down his cheek. 

Vainstrel continued to sit on the floor and holding onto Spark’s hand as time went by, unmoving. All of his training for stage plays was coming in quite handy at this particular moment – there was no way in which he was going to move before he had a chance to speak to her, even if he had to be up for several days! 

“Hey, vamp!” called Coal. Vainstrel chose to ignore him, although his own senses were kept wide open – he wasn’t sure what kind of hostilities could be thrown towards him. 

He could feel Coal standing behind him. From the corner of his eyes, Vainstrel could see him standing there, clearly fuming. Embers were rising up off of him just like Spark’s bits of electricty. “Y’all gotta leave before someone else comes in here and kicks your ass.” 

“I shall not move until Lady Spark has reawakened,” replied Vainstrel. 

“You’r gettin’ off easy dealing with me, honey.” Coal sat down on the bed. “Get out of here, vamp.” 

Vainstrel turned his head up to Coal, seeing the embers flare up more around him. “As I said, I shall not leave until Lady Spark has reawakened and I have the chance to speak to her.”

The next thing Vainstrel knew, a ball of fire was thrust into his face. The intensity of the heat caused him to fall backwards, but he never let go of Spark’s hand. “Excuse me, Sir Coal, but I do ask you do not put a ball of fire up to my face!” 

“Coal, what are you even do…ing…” 

Vainstrel and Coal both turned to the door, seeing three people standing in the doorway. The one speaking was holding onto the doorframe above her head, looking as if she was about to step inside. 

“Who’s he?” asked a younger boy, standing in-between the two ladies in the doorway. 

“I told you you were about to get your ass kicked,” remarked Coal, turning to Vainstrel. 

Vainstrel rolled his eyes. His almost is reminding me of my wretched sister in many ways – including the disregard to the situation in front of us. 

Vainstrel turned to the three people in the door. He bowed in greeting. “How do you do? I am Vainstrel Balan of Balan Bloodworks and a stage actor. I am a dear friend of Lady Spark and I am awaiting her to reawakened, for I have many a thing to discuss with her.” 

“Balan Bloodworks? Isn’t that the vampire bloodbank?” remarked the other sister standing in the doorway. “I think one of my friends had gone there before.” 

“Ah! So you have a friend who has visited? It is not such a surprise, for Balan Bloodworks is simpliest the largest bloodbank in all of Ghopre – it would be a surprise if one had never had set foot inside and had called themself a vampire!” 

The air in the room suddenly tightened. Vainstrel could see the three people in the doorway all having those flickering traits that both Spark and Coal had shared. This time, the oldest looking girl in the door way suddenly had her hair start being tossed around by wind unseen. The young boy had little icicles forming around him and immeditately dropping to the ground. The other girl had flecks of dirt starting to come off from her, but they seemed to disappear before they even hit the ground. 

Vainstrel forced a smile upon his face. “And what are your names, if I may ask?” 

The young woman producing dirt exchanged looks with her siblings and took a step forward. “I’m Flower. And I don’t need to be rude, but what is the relationship you have with our sister?” 

“Ah!” gasped Vainstrel. “So, you are all Spark’s siblings, are you not? It is so kind to meet you all.” 

The siblings simply gave an “mmm” reply back to Vainstrel. 

“Y’all better not be Spark’s boyfriend,” snapped Coal.

Vainstrel could hear audible gasps from behind him. 

“No! Not at all,” quickly replied Vainstrel. “We simply do not have that sort of relationship. I simply was bringing her back to her castle, as she had fainted.” 

“Spark hasn’t been looking particularly well lately,” noted the oldest looking girl in the room. Her voice almost growled. Vainstrel watched as this woman approached him. He could feel strong winds surfacing around her. 

The young boy followed shortly behind. Vainstrel could see him creating solid ice balls in his hands and he didn’t look particularly happy seeing Vainstrel sitting there, still holding Spark’s hand. 

“Why are you holding my sister’s hand, huh?” inquired the young boy. 

Vainstrel turned to Spark’s sleeping face, who seemed to twist a bit as the room’s air become uncomfortably thick. “She is simply a dear friend of mine and I must speak to her at once once she has reawoke from her much needed slumber.” 

“I apologize, but you must leave,” said Flower. “We can’t be having a vampire in the house, let alone one holding our sister’s hand.” 

Vainstrel turned away from them all. “I cannot leave until Lady Spark has woken up from her slumber. I must request we all must put this to rest now, lest she awakens before her body is ready.” 

The wind-producing woman placed a hand on Vainstrel’s shoulder. “You really must leave. We’re saying this for your own good.” 

Just as Vainstrel was about to turn and attempt to give his reasoning once more, Spark suddenly grabbed a hold of him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders like a teddy bear. Vainstrel found himself being pulled into Spark’s chest – it was warm, soothing, and goodness, the sound of her heartbeat warmed him up. 

“I do apologize, but it seems Lady Spark, even in her sleep, would like me to stay with her.” 

The whole room seemed to turn icy cold, but not from the boy who had been producing the ice crystals. 

“Spark, you crazy sis, wake up and let go of the vamp’s ass,” said Coal. Vainstrel could feel Spark being shaked. 

“Mmmm,” mumbled Spark. “…no…” 

Vainstrel glanced up at Spark’s face. His beautiful partner was still fast asleep. 

“Hey, I think we should just leave him alone,” said Flower.

“Shush, Flower.” 

“No, I mean it – let mom and dad handle him.” 

The siblings seemed to pause. 

“Are you sure you don’t want me to fire up his ass?” 

“Yes, Coal, no need to do that. Let dad do that, if that’s really needed.” 

Vainstrel’s free hand tightened grasped at Spark’s bedsheets. What is with this family? Such a strange hostility. 

The air in the room started to clear with the footsteps that sounded like they were pouring out the door. Vainstrel could only hear the breathing of Spark and the annoyed grumble of Coal. 

“Girl, you lucky we didn’t whoop your tight ass to tomorrow, but you really should get out of here. Even if y’all say you ain’t Spark’s little boy-toy, I don’t think that’s how it is gonna look to our parents.” 

Spark’s grip on Vainstrel loosened and he found himself being able to lift his head up and turn to Coal. He looked into the ember boy’s face. He found a gentle smile was spreading across his own as he looked at the scowling Coal.

“I am flattered that you all think I am in such a relationship with your dear sister, Lady Spark. She is lovely and lives up to the name she was bestowed, I also thank you for the kind warnings you all have given to me, however, I must decline the invitation to leave – my dear Lady Spark and I must speak once she has awakened.” 

“…” Coal’s eyes narrowed. “…you’re weird.” 

“And so I have been told a many of times, but that is the true gift of an actor such as I!” 

Coal grumbled. “What is with you and the way you talk?”

“I simply love to speak in such a way that helps me to stay true to who I am at heart – a stage actor, always in a play. This play in which we have called ‘Life’!” 

“Girl, you need to calm your tits.” 

“And may ask you as to why you keep referring to me as ‘girl’?”

Coal flicked out his wrist and shook his head. “It’s just how I speak. I call everyone ‘girl’. I don’t care if you a man, a woman, or something else, y’all ‘girl’.” 

Vainstrel nodded and laughed. “What a fun thing to hear!” 

“I am serious though, girl, you are going to want to get out of here before our parents come back.” 

“Well, will they be murdering me?” 

“…no.” 

“Then there is no reason in which I shall leave until Lady Spark has reawakened.” 

Vainstrel paused for a second and turned to Coal, noticing the embers had completely gone. Instead, Coal seemed to be intently listening to him. “I suppose I must seem quite rude for declining to leave.” 

“You can say that again.” 

Coal stood up from the bed. “Don’t try anything funny.” 

Vainstrel gasped. “I would not dare!” he replied. “I am sure a family who is suspecious of people such as I would surely assume such a thing, but I can assure you that I truly only have the best of intentions for Lady Spark.” 

Coal kicked Vainstrel in the side, just hard enough to cause Vainstrel to wince. He spat out an ember towards the ground that disappeared just before it actually hit the floor and he walked on our. 

Vainstrel rubbed his side, feeling the pain throb where Coal had kicked him. His eyes then turned back to Spark and the pain seemed to melt away. He repositioned himself to sit on his legs and watched Spark’s sleeping face, completely unmoving. 

***

Vainstrel had been sitting for hours at this point. His face was relaxed with a smile and his gaze continued to stare lovingly onto Spark’s face. He couldn’t help but smile either – the dark circles and oddly pale skin on Spark had just about disappeared. His heart fluttered, just being able to look at her for hours. 

It was a curiousity that so many thought we might have been lovers, but as I sit here with my eyes agaze on the beauty that is Spark’s face, I am starting to understand why. Vainstrel sat up onto his knees and leaned over above Spark, gently carressing her face with his free hand. The other one was sweaty, but he refused to let go of Spark’s hand. 

Vainstrel could hear Coal’s voice in the hallway. Although he wasn’t listening intently – therefore unable to hear exactly what he was saying – he could tell that there was some level of expasperation within his voice. Vainstrel could feel his body knot up in all sorts of places and the air seemed to grow thicker by the second. Once again, he encountered a feeling of being suffocated. And he knew he had plenty of blood. 

“Hello.” 

A smile popped on Vainstrel’s face as he turned to the door. Peering in through the doorway was an older man and woman. Behind them stood Coal, sweating and emitting embers. His dark skin looked grayer than it had earlier. 

His eyes are screaming

Vainstrel directed his gaze to the two older adults, who’s lips were stretched across their face. “Hello, how do you do?” 

“Who are you?” asked the man.

Vainstrel bowed. “I am Vainstrel Balan of Balan Bloodworks and stage actor extradoniary! And who do I owe the pleasure of introducing myself to?” 

The man and the woman exchanged glances. 

The man took a step forward. “The vampire shop? Hm.” He folded his arms and lifted his head. “I am Hirom and I am Spark’s father.” 

“I am Sunny,” replied the woman. She simply shifted her position on the doorframe from the side of her body to her back. She folded her arms as well. “I am Spark’s mother.” 

Vainstrel could feel the heated gaze of Hirom on his hand that grasped Spark’s. 

“What are you doing with my daughter? I have heard you have refused to leave.” 

Vainstrel nodded. “Yes and I do apologize for my rudeness. Spark had a terrible fainting spell as we were out and about. The most I could do for her was return her to the very castle she comes back to every night.” 

“‘Castle’?” echoed the man. 

Vainstrel smiled. “Ah, yes. I suppose my own way of speaking can be a tadbit confusing, even for those around me. I simply use the word ‘castle’ for one’s home. I do apologize for any confusion.” 

Hirom clicked his tongue. Vainstrel felt himself flinch. 

“And what is your relationship with her?” interrogated Sunny. The woman’s voice tore through the air like knives and pierced Vainstrel’s skin. But still, Vainstrel did not move. He simply kept smiling.

“Spark is a dear friend to me and I am to stay here until she awakens from slumber. I simply have an important matter in which to discuss with Lady Spark that cannot wait for another day. I must ensure that she is well.” 

Both Hirom and Sunny entered the room. From behind them, Coal stared into the room. Vainstrel could see he was shaking. His eyes were wide much like a deer facing the light of an automobile. The ember-producing brother of Spark’s took a few steps back and soon turned around to disappear down the hallway. 

“You must leave immeditately,” said Hirom. 

Vainstrel stood up, still holding onto Spark’s hand. “I do understand I am being rude, but I must insist that I stay until I have a chance to speak to her once again.” 

“Your kind are not welcome here,” stated Sunny. “I don’t know what you are thinking, but we do not allow interspecies relationships.” 

Vainstrel’s chest tightened. “As I stated earlier, Lady Spark is simply a dear friend. If I am not mistaken, Lady Spark’s siblings have friends who are much like I, do they not?” 

Hirom laughed, but in such a way that was more like the claw of a tiger cutting into Vainstrel’s stream. “I don’t know who you are fooling, vamp. Our daughter’s brain might be a bit fried and you were able to trick her, but you aren’t fooling us.” 

Vainstrel sat down onto the edge of Spark’s bed. “There is no fooling – with all of my vampire heart, I simply wish to stay beside Lady Spark until she wakes from her deep sleep.” 

A bright flash of light suddenly covered the room. Vainstrel closed his eyes. After a few moments, the light faded once again and he reopened his eyes, seeing Sunny and Hirom staring at Vainstrel, completely stunned.

“It…didn’t work?” said Sunny. 

Vainstrel nodded his head. “Ah, yes, solar magic.” 

Vainstrel smiled at Sunny and Hirom. “I do apologize, but the species of vampire I am is not affected by such magic. If you wish to have me removed, you will have to either physically force me from this room or wait for Spark to reawaken and for me to have spoken to her.” 

“And what kind of vampire are you?” asked Hirom. His eyes narrowed as Sunny stepped in closer to him.

Vainstrel could help but give them a toothy smile.  His grip on Spark’s hand tightened. “A witch-hunting vampire.” 

Hirom and Sunny both gasped. 

Vainstrel turned back to Spark, looking down at her sleeping face. It was hard to believe that Spark was even from the same family as everyone else he encountered, save for the young Aqua-marie who didn’t seem to understand her family’s dynamics just yet. He gently carassed her warm skin and gazed so loving at her, no one could mistaken his expression for anything else but love. 

But was it love for his food or was it something else? 

“The curse…!” Sunny exclaimed. 

Vainstrel couldn’t see because he was too busy looking at Spark, but he was pretty sure Hirom punched a wall or the doorframe. This was followed by the remark. “Damn it all! Why did we have to have a cursed child?” 

“Get the supplies,” said Sunny.

“Once the vamp’s gone,” replied Hirom. 

Vainstrel heard their footsteps leave and the door slam behind him. 

HIs shoulders suddenly relaxed. Was I that tense? 

His heart was still pounding so very hard, he could hear it in his ears. 

Curse? Lady Spark, mistress of lightning, is cursed? There simply is no way! Vainstrel thought. He paused for a moment as a memory surfaced from many weeks ago. Oh…yes. Spark had mentioned such a curse before, had she not? But is that truly something that exists? There is no indication that she has such a thing within or around her. 

Vainstrel rubbed Spark’s finger gently with his thumb. I suppose it is something I could inquire about at a later time. 

***

Spark finally wakes up, pretty disoriented. Vainstrel hugs her and apologizes. Spark asks him why and he says that he could see that she was getting weaker and that he’s been too greedy sucking her blood – he was just so happy, but he did too much. Spark says it’s okay and Vainstrel says no, it’s NOT okay! They are partners and he wasn’t doing his part to take care of her. Spark pointed out that he got her the phone case and Vainstrel says not like that – he needs to take her needs into consideration. He tells her that he’s going to let her rest and he’s going to find out how to better take care of his partner. He doesn’t know a whole lot about vampire/non-vampire blood contracts, as they’re not all that common. 

Vainstrel held his breath, watching Spark’s eyes fluttering open. Her groans reach his ears like the sound of an orchestra warming up. The witch slowly sat up in her bed and rubbed her eyes. Vainstrel’s eyes soon met with Spark’s. Spark looked confused.

“What’s going on?” asked Spark, followed by a yawn. 

Vainstrel became overwhelmed by the urge to embrace Spark and followed it through – he lept up from off the ground and hugged her tightly. Even for himself, feeling tears streaming down his eyes naturally, without needing to force it for a play was new. But yet, they fell from his eyes as he buried his face in between her shoulder and her neck.

“Lady Spark, I do apologize for what I have careless put you through.” 

He could feel Spark’s warm palms pushing against his chest. “What are you talking about? Um…did I faint?” 

Vainstrel pulled back, holding Spark’s shoulders. “Indeed, you have fainted and I have brought you back to your castle. I have met your fellow family members and fought hard to stay with you until you have reawakened from your most restful slumber.” 

Spark’s eyes blinked a few times, before popping open wide. “Oh no! You’ve met them? Oh my goodness, I am so sorry!” Spark clasped her hands together. “If only I hadn’t fainted…oh goodness, they must have been so rude to you! Ugh…” 

Vainstrel gently carassed Spark’s cheek. “I suppose they had been rude, but I had been rude back. I ignored their requests for me to leave – I refused simply because I must speak with you at once, now that you are awake. But first I must ask the uptmost important question…” 

Spark’s lips lightly pursued as her head slightly tilted. The look was endearing. Vainstrel could feel his chest swell. His smile grew larger. 

“Spark, my dear, how are you feeling?” 

“Just a bit tired and a bit grumpy. I probably need some more sleep, but what did you want to talk to me about?”

Vainstrel lifted up a finger in the air. “Ah, yes, I first must apologize to you.” 

Spark lifted an eyebrow. “For what? You didn’t do anything wrong.” 

“But Lady Spark,” said Vainstrel as he tapped Spark’s nose. “I have done something quite wrong, you see.” He placed his hands back on her shoulders. “My carelessness caused you to faint.” 

Spark’s eyes widened. “But…how is that your fault? I told you that you could suck my blood.” 

Vainstrel clasped both of Spark’s hands in his. “But my dear lady Spark, it too is my reasonsibility. I have watched you grow weaker every day in which we have spoken and interacted with each other. I was full of glee that you so kindly have offered your blood up to me. I became full of such selfish greed, that I had not put a stop to my own selfish actions of sucking your blood, including when I no longer needed it for the moment.” 

“Um…but didn’t you try to stop me?” 

“I did not do enough.” 

Spark shifted her position. “I think you did enough though. I told you that you could suck my blood and it’s okay. I mean, yeah, I did faint, but, like, I was the one who insisted you drink it. You’re fine. It’s fine! It’s perfectly fine, Vainstrel.” 

Vainstrel squeezed her hands more. “But it is not fine, Lady Spark! It is not fine one bit!” He threaded his fingers in-between Spark’s, leaning into her. “We are partners, my dear, and I failed to do my part. I am meant to take care of you.” 

He watched Spark slightly flush. “B-but you have taken care of me…you buy me food and treated me to a new cellphone and phone case and stuff.” 

Vainstrel’s smile was soft. “Oh, dear Spark, those are a part of how I care for you as a whole, but those are not a piece of what I am referring to. We are in a blood contract together – just as it is your responsibility to provide me blood, it is my responsibility to ensure that you are safe, healthy, and alive. I have failed you once simply because you had not been safe, had not been healthy, and you could fallen into irreversable depths of Darkness, my lady. And I simply – no, we – simply cannot have such a thing.” 

Vainstrel bowed his head, feeling both his own and Spark’s fingers on his forehead. “For my lack of experience and the lack of responsibility and duty on my part, I deeply apologize to you for such a carelessness.” He lifted up his head, looking up into Spark’s eyes. He could see the reluctancy in Spark’s eyes. “I do apologize as well – this is the first time I have ever done a blood contract with anyone before. They are a rarity amongst vampires. I suppose I would have benefited from learning more prior to requesting a contract for you. I promise you, here and now, that I, Vainstrel Balan, shall ensure I receive the most correct information to be able to take care of your needs and mine!” 

Vainstrel placed hand on his chest, lifting his head up towards the sky. “I promise you, my Lady Spark, I shall truly take care of you from now on!” 

He watched Spark fall to the side. He still held onto her hands, but the witch was now resting on her side, looking up to him. “I’m sorry too, Vainstrel. I guess I should have listened to you, huh?”

“My dear Spark,” said Vainstrel. He caressed her cheek. “You do not to worry about such a thing. I could have simply refused.” 

Spark grabbed Vainstrel’s hands, holding his palm steady on her cheek. A smile arose upon her face. “I’m sleepy.” 

Vainstrel kissed her hand. “Sleep well then, my dear Lady Spark. I shall take my leave and return back once more to care for you properly.” 

Vainstrel slowly stood up and backed away, allowing his hand to just naturally part from Spark’s body. He couldn’t help but smile softly as he walked out of Spark’s bedroom door and exited the house. 

He could feel the sensation of needles hitting his back, but he shrugged it off. 

Nothing can keep me from my dear lightning queen. 

*** 

During this time, Spark’s parents ask her what she’s doing with a vampire. Spark says that he’s a friend. Spark’s parents say he isn’t someone she should be hanging out with – especially someone like him. He’s a witch-hunting vampire, which they can tell by his aura. He’ll want her for nothing but her blood. Spark says she doesn’t mind. Spark’s parents tell her that she’s forbidden from seeing him again and Spark says she can’t really do that…they’re partners. They ask her what does that mean and she explains that she has a blood contract with him, so he primarily gets blood from her – but don’t worry, she can opt-out any time! They call her stupid and never did they think that the cursed child of their family be cursed in such a way. Spark says she’s not cursed. They tell her of course she is – that’s the only thing the “family curse” is good for, which Spark mumbles that the “Great Uncle isn’t cursed”. Her parents demand that she undo the contract; 

Spark found herself shooting up from her bed at the sound of the door closing. Even though she knows she had been so sleepy prior to, well, waking up, it was as if none of that sleepiness existed at all. Her body was jolted awake and the only thing she could manage to gasp out of her mouth was Vainstrel’s name. 

When she looked over within the moment of speaking her vampire contract holder’s name, she looked over to see her parents scowling at her. Spark’s usually sparkling face grew dark like storm clouds overhead blocking out the sun and her brow slightly furrowed. She turned down her magic inside without much of a thought, hiding the fact she was ready to start squirming under her parents’ harsh gaze. Otherwise, her usual sparks of electricty would have given it away.

“What is your relationship with that vampire?” asked Sunny. Her voice was piercing as it often was when Spark would do something her mother did not like or approve of. 

Spark bit the inside of her lip and her hands balled the sheets underneath her. “…we’re friends.” 

Her father laughed. But in that sort of condemning way, where Spark knew that he didn’t believe that for a second. 

We are just friends, right? Spark cast her gaze to the side. 

“How ignorant do you think we are?” roared Hirom. He clapped a fist into one of his hands, his brow furrowed. “There is no way someone would refuse to leave just for a friend.” 

“You shouldn’t be hanging out with him – he’s a witch-hunting vampire,” explained Sunny. She clasped a fist into the air. “He will only want you for your blood.” 

Spark’s eyes narrowed. “…and how do you know he’s a witch-hunting vampire?” 

“The vamp said it himself!” replied Hirom.

If Spark’s parents weren’t there, she could have buried her face into her palms. Vainstreeeeeeeel, whyyyyyyyyy did you have to go and say that? 

“You know what they say, don’t you? They will suck a witch dry. They are the worst kind of vampire out there for us.” 

“You’re just going to get hurt, you know?” 

Spark’s fingers gently rested upon the spot where Vainstrel’s teeth had once punctured. Even though there was no trace whatsoever that he had pierced her skin, something about the memory of it made her skin warm and her cheeks flush. Her heartbeat raised and her gaze cast downward and too the side. She mumbled out from her mouth, “I don’t mind…” 

Her parents gasping snapped her back to the reality of the situation – she was getting in trouble for being in some sort of relationship with Vainstrel. 

“Do you hear what you’re saying, child?” 

“You’re not allowed to see him again.” 

Spark jumped up from the bed. “Wait, I can’t do that!” 

Both her parents glared at her. Spark flinched. 

“And why can’t you?” 

Spark met her parents’s glares head-on. “We’re partners.” 

Spark watched the color drain from her parents faces. 

“Dating a vamp–” Hirom started, but Spark quickly cut him off.

“Oh! We’re not dating!” replied Spark. She giggled. “I just have a blood contract with him so he can only take blood from me.” 

Spark couldn’t help but grin, even watching as her father collapsed into her mother’s arms, holding his forehead. 

“You can’t be –” 

“Oh! I am serious!” Spark’s lips curled. Even if her body was nervous, she couldn’t help but find the strength to be honest. “But don’t worry!” She clasped her hands together and tilted her head. “I can opt-out anytime.” 

“ARE YOU THAT STUPID?” Sunny screamed. 

Hirom covered his face with both his hands. “How did we end up with a cursed child?”

“To think the curse would lead to a child of ours being with a witch-hunting vampire.” 

As her parents groaned and complained, Spark couldn’t help but mumble, “I’m not cursed.” 

“OF COURSE you are cursed!” snapped Sunny. “Why else would you agree to such a thing?!” 

Spark frowned. I’m not even doing anything wrong. 

Hirom stood back up, shaking his head, his palm to his forehead. “Foolish, foolish child. The only thing the curse is good for is informing us of a cursed child – and that cursed child is you.” 

“Maybe if she hadn’t talked to him…” grumbled Sunny. 

Spark could feel her magic seeping out. The Grand Uncle isn’t cursed. Her brow furrowed at her parents. 

“Undo the contract! Maybe you’ll be spared from the worst of the curse that way,” Hirom demanded. “We don’t want it to affect us or the rest of the family.” 

Sunny simply clicked her tongue. 

And with that, both of Spark’s parents left the room. 

Spark collapsed onto her bed. She took a hold of her ponytail and began biting the very end in nervous thought. Do I have to stop with Vainstrel? I don’t want to…I don’t mind. I really don’t care if he takes my blood. It just…Spark fidgeted. …it feels really good. She buried her face into her knees. Oh man, I don’t think I could ever say that out loud though! I can only imagine what everyone would think if I ever even said that! 

Spark then sighed. She allowed her back to fall onto the bed, looking up at the white ceiling above her. What do I even do? “I guess if I had just listened to Vainstrel, none of this would have happened. But now we’re both in a pretty awkward position, huh?” 

Spark groaned and turned over onto her side. I don’t want to cancel the contraaaaaaact. 

***

Vainstrel found himself searching through stacks of books that had so much dust on them, it looked like a thin layer of snow. He found himself coughing as he moved each book out of the way, scanning the contents for exactly what he was looking for. No…this one does not tell me what I seek. No…this one does not either…what is with this dust and the neglect in which these books have suffered? Vainstrel sighed. I suppose I can hire help to clean up this library, so very unorganized and rarely ever used. 

Vainstrel restacked the books and moved onto the next pile. Before he began to move a thing, he couldn’t help but look around the library itself. Would there ever be a day I would have entered this library for research beyond that of the stage? ‘Tis not what I would have expected, and yet here I am, all for the mistress of lightning. 

Vainstrel then looked over to the grandfather clock and the swinging pendulum inside. Have I truly been search for so long? 

He felt nervousness creep its way up his back and into his arms. How long must I wait before I find what I seek? 

He glanced over all the books in the room once more before taking a leave and exiting down the hallway. Perhaps they know where…

Not too far from the library was the bloodbank entrance. He pushed open the double doors into the rows and rows of refridgerators and walked to the other side of that to another set of double doors to the main part of the shop. It was fairly quiet at the moment, but he did watch an older woman vampire and another vampire interact: the older vampire woman handed the vampire a small box of blood and the younger vampire person finished paying. He watched an older vampire man walk out from some doors near the older vampire woman right behind another person – this time a non-vampire who had a small bandage up on their arm. 

The moment the older vampires had stood next to each other – smiling – Vainstrel took a step forward. “Mother Dearest, Father Dearest,” he greeted, stepping into their line of sight.

“Vainstreeeeeeel!” greeted his mother. 

“Wow, what a treat to see you on the floor today – what brings you here?” inquired his father. 

Both of his parents looked Vainstrel up and down for a moment, before exchanging looks. 

Vainstrel’s mother smirked. “So it wasn’t a trick of the light.” 

“You’re looking better than we are, Vainstrel! How were you so lucky to get something so consistent?” Vainstrel’s father’s smile grew and he laughed. 

“Ah, yes, this is what I am here to speak with you about,” said Vainstrel. He lifted up a finger. “I am wondering if you are aware of the location of information regarding blood contracts?” 

Vainstrel’s parents eyes popped and the leaned forward eagerly. “Why?!” they exclaimed. Vainstrel was a bit taken aback by the glittering eyes that  were staring into his. 

“Erm…” Vainstrel cleared his throat. “I made have successfully initiated the blood contract…” A gentle smile grew on Vainstrel’s face. “…with a wonderful witch named Spark.” He then balled both of his fist, looking up into the air. “Lady Spark is a mistress of lightning – the electricity itself pulses through her very veins!” 

Vainstrel found himself placing his hands over his heart, his eyes dazzling with the thought of Spark lighting him just like her jolts of lightning when it entered his body. “Jolts so wonderous and magic so potent, she beckons me to come meerly at the thought of her. Paired with the a personality that matches the name she was graced with, I can no longer deny the beauty she has a whole!” 

Vainstrel clenched his hands on his shirt and winced. “It seems though I have been a bit too happy and have pushed my dear lady Spark beyond what she is truly capable of for days on end once our contract had been formed. I have caused her to faint – clearly a product of failure on my own part – and I have finally understood that I know nothing in how the contracts are meant to truly work.” He then lifted his hands at his parents, who were simply staring at him with huge smiles on their faces to the point…it was pretty uncomfortable. “I am simply here to inquire if you know the location of more information.” 

A moment of silence flooded the room that hadn’t been there before. No one but Vainstrel and his parents were in there before, but everything seemed pretty loud up until this moment.

Then, as if someone turned up the volume to max, both of Vainstrel’s parents let out an ear-shattering screen.

“OUR SON GOT A BLOOD CONTRACT!!”

“HE GOT ONE!!”

Vainstrel’s parents interlaced their fingers with each other, both kicking up a leg behind them and leaning into each other. “And it sounds like she’s a great catch too!!” 

The both opened their sparkling, curious eyes at Vainstrel, who found himself frowning. “How did you manage to snatch someone so powerful?” 

“…” Vainstrel clicked his tongue. “I do not appreciate you using terms such as ‘catch’ and ‘snatch’ for Lady Spark.” 

Vainstrel’s parents both frowned, their legs slowly lowering to the ground. However, their hands stayed together. 

Vainstrel down casted his gaze. His cheeks flushed pink and a small smile hinted itself on his face. “I am aware that I seeked a blood contract out from her primarily for sustenance, but truly, there is more to the Lady Spark of Lightning than I could have ever imagined…or perhaps I knew upon the first meeting in which I woke up and she called me out for messing with someone like her. Truly, everything about her is a wonderful dream made real.” Vainstrel turned his smile to his parents. “Perhaps best of all, she generally understands what I am saying when I speak. And how often does one hear that?” 

Vainstrel watched his own parents slightly blush and found himself chuckling. “I simply want to provide the best experience for my lightning mistress – she must be treated right. I do understand as the vampire in the blood contract relationship, I must be the one to ensure she is well-taken care of and kept alive. And for that…” He bowed his head. “I request that you help me with learning more about blood contracts.” 

Vainstrel’s parents both had covered their mouths, both looking teary-eyed and happy. They both had one hand over their mouths. 

“Vainstrel, you grew up!” squeaked his father. 

Vainstrel’s mother walked over to Vainstrel, rubbing his arm. “Our dear son, we are more than happy to help you find the information.” 

“Dear, you can go and help Vainstrel find the information,” said Vainstrel’s father, gently tapping Vainstrel’s mother’s lower back. 

She nodded. “Come this way, Vainstrel – where have you checked so far?” 

“The library.” 

“Which one?” 

“The one on the way in the bloodbank itself.” 

Vainstrel’s mother chuckled. “Oh dear, that place’s not gonna have it.” 

Vainstrel scrunched his forehead. “Then where would I find it?” 

“In the other library, silly!” 

“…we have another library?” 

Vainstrel’s mother burst out laughing, the laugh echoing down the hallway as she lead Vainstrel deeper down the corridor. 

*** 

Vainstrel sat in a better-kept library on the other side of the mansion. His initial shock of their being another library in his home and how well-kept it was had already faded. His mother had very quickly grabbed several books off the shelf and explained the relevance of to the blood contract each one was and Vainstrel could not help but sit down and start reading immeditately. There is no time to waste.

Vainstrel’s eye mostly skimmed through the content on each page, pulling out the most important bits of information as he went along. Blood contract between a vampire and non-vampire…yes, yes…I am well-aware of this matter…responsibilities of a vampire contract holder…“hmm….yes…yes…” 

Vainstrel sat back in his seat, a single-seater couch that was deliciously comfy, and looked up at the ceiling. The contract is similar to a marriage, is it not? 

Just then, he heard a familiar “SLAM” on the door to the library. He turned his head, seeing Ria with Vladimir in tow. Vainstrel found himself slumping in his seat, scowling at the presence of his sister. 

“What the heck, you background standee! You went and got a blood contract?” 

Vainstrel sat back up. “Yes. Indeed, I have.” 

Vainstrel watched Ria’s eyes dart between Vainstrel and…he assumed it was the book in his hands, but that’s not actually what Ria was looking at. Instead, she had been looking at his pocket. 

Ria pointed towards his pocket. “Don’t tell me that was who you were crying over a few weeks ago!” 

Vainstrel smiled, but his eyes remained just as annoyed. “Indeed, my dear sister, that is whom I was referring to.” 

Ria stuck out her tongue in disgust.

Vainstrel gasped, pretending to be offended by his older sister’s reaction. “My dear sister, how dare you react in such a way to my love of Lady Spark!” 

Vladimir peered over Ria’s shoulder. “‘Love’? Are you and your witch in more than just a blood contract?” As per usual, Vladimir’s smile was a calming force.

“Ah, yes,” replied Vainstrel. He slightly blushed.

Ria turned pale.

Vladimir’s smile spread across his face.

“Lady Spark and I are simply friends.” Vainstrel’s smile was gentle and his gaze was downcast. His vampire heart squeezed. Friends…yes…Something almost akin to jealousy shot across his chest at the thought of simply being friends. 

He could hear Ria loudly whisper to Vladimir, “don’t tell me he’s going to fall in love with his food!” 

Vladimir replied in an equally loud whisper, “it’d be cute!”

Then Ria whacked her husband on the back of the head and grabbed his hand. “Come, I’ve had enough of this cheap background standee and his love sickness!” Ria stuck out her tongue, dragging Vladimir behind her. “I’ve got accounting to study and curtains to finish making.” 

Vladimir simply laughed. 

Vainstrel watched the two of them pour out of the room and found himself sighing. 

After a moment of staring at the air, his eye returned back to the book sitting on his lap and he became re-engaged with it once more. 

***

Vainstrel approached Spark’s family home, both hands preoccupied with a medium-sized woven basket filled with a variety of goodies – cookies, breads, fruits, juices, and water. His face was slightly flushed, just simply at the thought of seeing Spark after a few days. However, his face was perfectly determined all the same – the past few days reading up on blood contracts truly opened his eyes to the importance of taking care of his own partner…and that’s exactly what he was doing, starting with replenishing her blood and showering her with gifts. 

Vainstrel approached the door and tucked the basket under one arm while he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He quickly messaged Spark of his arrival. Just as he hit the “send button”, his stomach jumped at the sudden click of the door in front of him.

Already?!

Vainstrel’s eyebrows lifted, only to be met face-to-face with Coal, who yelped at the sight of Vainstrel right in front of him. 

“What the hell?! Girl, what you doing here?” 

“I’m here bearing gifts for Lady Spark.” 

Coal’s brows furrowed. “You’re not allowed here, vampire. I suggest you move your ass before someone else sees you.” 

Vainstrel held the basket in both of his hands once more. “I must simply deliver these gifts to Lady Spark. She should be –” 

Coal tore the basket out from Vainstrel’s hands and immeditately turned the whole basket and its contents into ash. Vainstrel gasped, his face turning completely pail at the sight of the falling ash. Coal simply leered at Vainstrel. “Now you don’t. Leave.” 

Vainstrel’s mouth gaped open, staring dumbfounded into Coal’s face. For what reason other than the fact I am a vamprie in a relationship of sorts with the mistress of lightning has invited such hostility? I simply wanted to help my dear lady. 

“If you’re just gonna stand there and look dumb, move it!” A heated palm hit in between Vainstrel’s shoulder and chest, followed by the slamming of the door. “I got somewhere to be.” 

Vainstrel watched Coal trudge off into the distance and pull out his own phone. He could hear Spark’s older brother start screaming about Vainstrel into the phone. The last thing he heard from Coal was “‘calm down’? y’all think I can just calm down when someone’s in my way?” before his voice disappeared into the forest that surrounded the family home. 

Vainstrel pulled out his phone. His fingers quickly typed out exactly what had happened: Coal had gotten to the door before Spark and burned the gifts Vainstrel had hoped to have give his dear lady. He sent the message and simply held his phone, frowning. 

Such unpleasantness…so truly undeserved. Vainstrel glanced over to the side. Well, I suppose it is somewhat deserved. I did put Lady Spark’s life into jeaporady, after all, due to my carelessness…but no more! 

The door in front of him suddenly swung open and starting there was an exasperated Spark. She looked down at the ash piled on the doorstep and wimpered. She frowned at Vainstrel, placing both hands on her cheeks as she did so. “Vainstrel, I am SO sorry! If only I had seen your text earlier, you could have actually give me the gifts!” 

Vainstrel grabbed one of her hands, holding it with both of his. He gave her a gentle smile. “It is alright, my dear Lady Spark. So long as you are with me, I shall give you the greatest gifts of them all.” 

Spark’s frown rose into a smile. “Does that mean you?” 

Vainstrel laughed. “If I am a gift to you, then I will give you all of me.” 

Spark leapt down a few steps down to where Vainstrel was standing, linking her arm into his. 

The two of them exchanged smiles, only for Vainstrel to watch Spark’s gaze be casted down to the ground. 

“Lady Spark, something appears to be amiss, beyond the burning of the gifts. What ever could be troubling you, my dear?” 

Spark looked around, mostly behind her, and started dragging Vainstrel with her. “Hmm…let’s go talk somewhere with less of a chance of interference from my family.” 

Vainstrel rubbed one of the hands holding on his arms. “Yes, of course my dear. 

***

Spark’s family home had long since disappeared behind them and the only thing they were surrounded by was nature itself. The air all around was pure and crisp to the point the very presence of Spark and Vainstrel seemed to upset it. However, that was more than okay – it just meant it was easier to sense when others were around, after all. 

Spark finally released herself as they neared a small circle of large stones, all perfectly shaped for sitting. Vainstrel watched as the girl gave him the saddest smile he has ever seen on her beautiful face. His body flinched. Is she to cry? 

“My parents asked me to opt out of the blood contract with you,” said Spark. Her usually chipper demeanor was no where to be found. Instead, her shoulders hung down and everything about her seemed almost gray in comparison to how she normally was. 

Vainstrel felt himself tear up. He bit the inside of his lower lip and nodded. “Yes…I understand…of course. It is too much on your body and I was so careless.” Vainstrel opened up his mouth, allowing his fang teeth to grow longer. “I shall start the reversal process right away.” 

Spark suddenly threw her hands out in front of her. Vainstrel watched as her face briefly flushed red, only to return back to the gray dullness it had before. She almost seemed desperate. 

“Uh…um…” Spark’s gaze casted down to the leave-covered floor of the forest and her beautiful golden brown eyes seemed to gloss over like rain covering the ground. 

“My dear…what is wrong?” asked Vainstrel. 

Spark hugged herself. “I…uh…I don’t want to undo the contract though.” 

“You…do not?” 

Spark shook her head. Vainstrel watched her face becoming increasingly red and her body kind of squirm. 

“I…I don’t mind the blood contract at all. Actually…I like it.” 

Spark covered her face. “It tickles and…and feels good when you..b-bite me…” Spark’s voice trailed off, but Vainstrel heard her loud and clear.

Vainstrel’s own face flushed red. He retracted his teeth at the sight of Spark holding herself, standing so seemingly embarassed in the middle of the forest where no other humanoid seemed to be at the moment. He soon found himself inches away from her, grabbing both of Spark’s hands. 

“My dear Lady Spark, I am more than happy to continue with you!” Vainstrel’s eyes glinted. “Although I respect that your parents what is best for you, I truly know that you, Spark, are the only one that truly knows what is best for you. This is simply an agreement between you and me and no one else – there is no need for others to attempt to throt our partnership!” 

Spark’s eyes gazed into Vainstrel’s. The temptation to hold onto Spark’s waist and feel it with his fingers was high, but he refrained…such an intimate sort of relationship was not what they had…at least not yet. 

Vainstrel gasped, taking a step back. He bowed his head. “But first, my dear lady Spark, we must replenish your blood! For both your sake and mine!” 

Spark giggled. “And how do we do that?” she asked, almost in a whisper so seductive, Vainstrel felt a shiver run down his spine for the first time in a very long time. 

Vainstrel slightly turned his head away, almost uncertain if he could even look at his mistress of lightning straight in the eyes at the moment. “I suppose we could always return to my home together, gathering the extra goods that I had planned to bring to you in a few days time. In addition to regular rest, of course.” 

“Oh! I would love to do that.” Spark’s arms were now around Vainstrel’s shoulders and her smiling face and sparkling eyes were thrust into his. “When do we do that?” 

“I had been planning tomorrow.” 

The smile on Spark’s face spread even further. “How about today?” 

Vainstrel hesitantly wrapped one arm around Spark’s waist and placed another on her chin. “My dear Lady Spark, I would be more than honored to have you accompany to my home today.” 

Vainstrel’s lips curled. “Please do be aware that you will be meeting my parents and perhaps my wretched older sister and her far-too-kind of a husband.” 

Spark’s forehead bumped Vainstrel’s. “I can’t wait!” 

The little sparks of electricity floating around Spark tickled Vainstrel’s forehead, causing the vampire to laugh playfully at such an unexpected sensation. 

*** 

Vainstrel had a forced smile upon his face as both him and Spark sat in one of the studies inside of his family’s manner. In front of them both was Vainstrel’s parents, frantically and eagerly making tea in front of Spark. He glanced over Spark, feeling relieved to see her usual spunky demenaor was very much present. If anything, she seemed to be enjoying herself.

“An Alamental, huh? Goodness! Thank you for entering a contract with our precious son!” 

Vainstrel’s mother placed a cup in front of Spark. “Would you like some tea?” 

Spark waved her hand. “Oh, no thank you, Mrs. Balan! I’m not a huge fan of tea.” 

“That is more than fine. Would you like anything else? And oh, please don’t call me ‘Mrs. Balan’! Feel free to call me Lana.” 

Vainstrel’s father leaned in, holding out a basket of beautifully wrapped cookies. “You can just call me Rapoto – here, have some cookies! Freshly baked two days ago!” 

Spark giggled, taking a bag from the basket. “Thank you so much.” 

“Would you like something else with that?” inquired Lana. “We have so many more drinks available to you.” Vainstrel’s mother swung open a mini fridge and a cabinet, revealing numerous drinks.

“Hmm…I suppose I could go for water right now.” 

Lana delightfully gasped. “Yes, right away, dear Spark!” 

Both of Vainstrel’s parents giggled with glee in ways that even Vainstrel almost found annoying. 

Spark turned to Vainstrel. “I can totally tell they are your parents.” 

“Oh? How so?” 

“They’re just as eccentric as you are, tee hee!” 

Vainstrel blushed. Have I taken on the mantle of my parents by mistake? I…suppose it is okay. As long as I do not appear like my wretched sister, I am safe. 

Rapoto slipped a pillow underneath Spark’s feet, while Lana placed a cup of water beside Spark. 

“Oh, thank you!” said Spark, watching Rapoto fluff the pillow underneath her feet. She held both of her hands to her cheeks. 

Rapoto finished flushing. “It is truly my pleasure. Blood contracts are rare, especially amongst our kind.” 

Suddenly, Rapoto and Lana leaned into Spark’s personal space. Vainstrel went wide-eyed, leaning into Spark’s space, pushing his parents out of the way. “Please, dear mother, dear father, please give Lady Spark the space she needs to breath!” 

Rapoto and Lana pulled back. Lana went behind Spark, rubbing her shoulders. “I do apologize if our behaviour is a bit rude. We are simply delighted to have you here! And so unexpectedly too!” 

Rapoto clasped his hands together, leaning forward to meet Spark’s face. “It is such an honor to have you here with us. Please, do tell us – what had you decide on a blood contract with our dear son?” 

Vainstrel turned to Spark, watching her own gaze meet his. Spark slightly blushed and grabbed Vainstrel’s head. “It wasn’t really anything much. I love Vainstrel and I could just tell it was the right thing for me.” 

Rapoto and Lana (who was still massaging Spark’s shoulders) seem to melt. 

“Did you hear that, Lana dear? LOVE!” 

“Yes! Yes I did!” 

Vainstrel couldn’t help but cough. “She meant that as a friend.” 

Again, Vainstrel felt something like jealousy scratch itself across his chest. Friend. It was that word. Specifically, that word in relation to Spark. His eyes met with Spark’s. They seemed to dull a bit, reminding Vainstrel of his own feelings. His brow furrowed, questioning such a reaction from the lovely Spark beside him, holding his hand. 

Spark then giggled, Vasintrel watching her eyes light up. “I was already giving him blood anyway, so why not? Even if we hadn’t been in a blood contract, I would have offered it up anyway.” 

Rapoto suddenly pulled out a notebook. “Is it true that your blood carries a specific element within it?” 

“Yes, that’s right!” replied Spark. Her smile was absolutely dazzling and Vainstrel felt his vampire heart start to warm. He squeezed Spark’s hand tighter. “We’re elemental witches, after all. Our blood doesn’t just have regular magical energy, but also elemental energy. It’s pretty special, if you ask me! Tee hee.” 

“Special indeed, I do agree, Lady Spark,” said Vainstrel. “When I taste your blood upon my tongue, I am forever greeted with delightful sparks of electricty that dance all the way down and around my body. It is simply magnificent.” He took his other hand and placed it onto the one that was holding Spark’s hand. “I am truly honored that someone like you agreed to such a thing.” 

Spark leaned into Vainstrel, her long eyelashes fluttering. “Oh, you! Stop it.” 

“No, I truly mean it, Spark. You light me up in so many ways.” 

Spark tilted her head into her shoulder. A grin curled its way on her face. She simply giggled.

Rapoto and Lana couldn’t help but yelp and coo at the sight of Vainstrel and Spark. 

“Oh. My. GOSH!” squealed Rapoto and Lana. 

“Do you hear them?” asked Lana. 

“Loud and clear, so loud and clear!” replied Rapoto. 

Vainstrel glared at both his parents. “Please, mother, father, calm down! I do not know what you are referring to, but it is making me feel slightly uncomfortable.” 

Rapoto and Lana both ended up giggling in response. 

Spark and Vainstrel exchanged rather uncomfortable glances, only to end up bursting out laughing themselves at the sight of the far too giddy parents of Vainstrel. 

Vainstrel’s eyes caught movement in the dooway from the corner of his eye. 

“What is with you making all of that –––” Ria had started, but her voice quickly trailed off. Vainstrel could see the partial horror in his older sister’s face as her eyes laid upon the beautiful lightning witch sitting right beside Vainstrel, being catered to and pampered in all sorts of ways by their parents. 

Ria and Vladmir exchanged looks. 

For the first time in his life, Vainstrel watched his sister stiffly walk through the door and approach him and his partner closer. The smile on her face was so obviously forced, Vainstrel couldn’t help but frown.

“O-oh…you must be uh…my brother’s contract partner, yes?” inquired Ria.

Spark jumped up, smiling at Ria. “Yes, that’d be me! Nice to meet you – I’m Spark Alamental.” She put her thumbs and index fingers together, creaating a lightning bolt shape. “I’m a lightning or electricty elemental witch.” She then waved. “It’s nice to meet you! Are you Vainstrel’s sister?” 

Vainstrel couldn’t help but laugh a bit, watching his sister flinch. Yet, his sister kept on her forced smile.

“Y-yes, that would be me. I am this dun…erm, dear…younger brother’s older sister, Ria Balan. It is…a pleasure to meet you.” 

Vladimir waved from behind Ria. “I’m Vainstrel’s brother-in-law, Vladimir. It is a pleasure to meet you. We’ve heard quite a bit about you.” 

Spark put a hand to her cheek and giggled. Vainstrel looked up at her, seeing her smiling at him with many sparks flittering around her head. “Vainstrel, what exactly did you tell them?” 

“Nothing at all, nothing much at all. I simply was talking about you to myself when they had overheard everything I was crying out about.” 

Vainstrel looked back over, seeing Ria looking as if she was about to crack. She was poking the air in front of her and her brow was super furrowed. Her body trembled, but she still was smiling. 

Ria grabbed a hold of Vladimir’s shirt. “W-well, i-it was a pleasure to meet you, Spark. We m-must be going now. Good day!” Ria dragged Vladimir out of the room. Vladimir waved good-bye to everyone as he followed his wife. 

A moment after they left, a screamed came down the hallway that Vainstrel just knew was Ria.

Spark covered her mouth. “Is she alright?” 

Vainstrel snickered. “Had I not told you many times before? She is simply my wretched sister.” 

Spark giggled. 

***

Spark raised her hand. “Is there a bathroom around here?” 

Lana stood up, extending her hand up torwards the door. “Just out the door. Turn right and go down two doors. You will find one of our many bathrooms located there.” 

Spark curtesied. “Thank you so much!” 

Vainstrel, Lana, and Rapoto all watched Spark skip out the door. 

The moment she disappeared out from the doorframe. Vainstrel’s parents grabbed Vainstrel’s hands and leaned into his face.

“OH. MY. GOSH!” they both exclaimed. “She is PERFECT.” 

Vainstrel leaned back, attempting to get personal space from his parents. “That I must agree.” 

Both of his parents were wiping tears from their faces. 

“I truly thought you simply found a consistent food source,” said Rapoto.

Lana sniffeled. “But you brought someone with so much more substance than that.” 

Rapoto and Lana then clasped their own hands together and pushed their cheeks together, looking straight into Vainstrel’s face. “And she loves you.” They then fell backwards onto the floor, their free hands resting on their forehead. “And you so clearly love her.” 

“I do love Lady Spark, but she is simply just a friend.” 

Rapoto and Lana both scoffed. They immedeately jumped back up, furiously leaning into Vainstrel’s face. “And who are you kidding with such words? Do you not know the way that you look at her and the way she looks at you?” 

Vainstrel placed a hand over his heart. He closed his eyes. “I…do suppose I love her, but that is not our relationship at this moment.” 

Rapoto and Lana both snickered. Vainstrel frowned, seeing the smirks upon their faces. He then sighed. 

“I am simply happy that you have seen Spark for who she is and not just simply a food source for I.” 

Rapoto and Lana both nodded. “She. is. INCREDIBLE.”

Rapoto pulled out his notes, peering into it. “Do you not see how rare she is? Even amongst the Alamentals, her element is quite uncommon. And she is simply kind. And the way those sparks around her head when her emotions are being expressed is so very fascinating. And the jolt in which you get from her blood simply because it has electricty through it. And the ability to control the levels from within the body for the element’s flow? How fascinating, so very fascinating!” 

Vainstrel couldn’t help but smile. “I am simply glad that you both like Spark.” 

Rapoto and Lana gasped. “Like? We LOVE her!” 

Vainstrel’s eyes popped, watching the glittering in his parents eyes as they declared that they loved Spark. 

“Hi!” greeted Spark, bouncing through the door. “Wow, your bathroom was AMAZING! Are they all like that? It was so roomy and beautiful.” 

Rapoto smiled. “There are plenty more around here.” 

Spark’s eyes glittered. “Oooo. Vainstrel, you’ll have to show me all of them one day!” 

Vainstrel stood up, laughing as he did so. He reached out a hand to Spark. “Anything for you, my dear lady Spark. However, I suppose it is time I supply you with gifts once more.” 

Spark took his hand. “Sure!” 

Lana and Rapoto waved to the both of them. “Spark, please visit again!!” 

Spark waved back to them. “I definitely will!” 

Vainstrel lead Spark out of the room and down the halls, making the way to his room. 

***

Vainstrel turned the corridor. “I do apologize for my parents. They are sometimes a bit too overbearing.” 

Spark giggled. “It’s fine! I like them. They’re cute.” 

Vainstrel laughed. His mouth dropped open. “Cute? My parents? Such an absurd idea…!!” 

Spark rolled her eyes. “Is it really absurd though? You could just tell how much they love each other.” 

Vainstrel shurgged. “I suppose  that is true…”

Vainstrel stopped in front of his bedroom door and turned the knob, opening into his bedroom. He strolled in, listening to Spark whisper “whoa.” 

“Welcome to my room, lady Spark,” said Vainstrel, extending his free hand out to the rest of the room. It was large, spacious, and well-divided into different sections, all loosely paritioned off by furniture. 

The room has roughly 4 sections: the study, the lounge, the entrance way, and the bedroom. Each place had varying levels of messiness, the study being the most cluttered of them all. The entrance way stood in the middle of the room and extended from the doorway to about the lounge, which laid north of the door. The lounge itself was simply a fancy fireplace with a fancy coffee table and matching couch in front of it. The bedroom was a canopy bed, two night stands, a table with a few chairs, and a walk-in closet that was tucked into the corner of the room. The study contained many bookshelves, drawers, and a table. The bookshelves acted as the most obvious partion of them all, standing back to back, creating temporary walls. 

Up on the ceiling was a stained glass dome that easily reflected light onto the walls. Additionally, Vainstrel had two chandellers that hung above both his study and his bed area. 

“It’s…it’s so BIG,” exclaimed Spark. “And so beautiful!” She pointed up at the stained glass dome. “That’s so gorgeous!” 

Vainstrel nodded. “Thank you for your compliments, Lady Spark. Now…please accompany to my study so that I may present you with gifts.” 

“Sure, of course!” said Spark. “Lead the way!” 

Vainstrel guided Spark, who had her arm wrapped around his, and the two of them entered the study. In the corner, on one of the table, were two full completely gift baskets and several partway done. Vainstrel stopped right in front of them, extending his hand out to them.

“My dear lady Spark, this is what I have purchased for your enjoyment and replenishment. Feel free to take what you would like for now – I shall treat you to more.” 

Spark released herself from Vainstrel’s arm and leaned in, her hands on her cheek. “Oh my goodness, everything looks so cool!” 

Vainstrel thought Spark might start drooling any moment, but found instead she simply picked up one basket. 

Spark gave Vainstrel a big smile. “I’m more than happy to just take this one!! If it’s okay with you, could I eat some now? I’m feeling like I could use some of this juice and bread now.” The witch then giggled. 

Vainstrel took her hand. “Of course. Let us move to the table in my bedroom.” Vainstrel picked up one of the baskets and the two of them moved over to the table set up close to his bed. He placed it down a short distance from where Spark had helped herself to a chair. 

Vainstrel gently opened the basket’s cellophane wrapping. “Now, which items would you like?” 

Spark stood up and leaned over the basket, quickly pulling out a whole wheat sourdough half-loaf, some fruit jam, and some juice, along with a beautiful intricately-decorated glass cup that she poured the juice into. “Oh my goodness, every single thing looks delicious!” 

Vainstrel walked over to a small table against the wall that was decorated with utensils and condements. He took the knife from the utensil stand and placed it in front of Spark, as well as a plate form beside it. “Truly, anything for you, my dear Spark. If you have any more request, I am here to serve” 

Vainstrel watched Spark blush as she quickly spread jam on her torn pieces of bread. The way she stuffed her mouth with the bread was particularly endearing.

“MMMMMMM! This. is. SO GOOD!” 

Vainstrel smiled. “I am happy to here that, Lady Spark! I ordered it from the best bakery I am aware of, simply because you must have the best of it all.” 

Spark sighed. “This is so good. I’m so sad Coal burned the first one to a crisp. I bet Aqua-marie would’ve eaten this stuff with me.” 

Vainstrel sat down in a chair himself, leaning onto one hand. “I am aware of your family’s hostilities torwards me. I can imagine Aqua-marie would have been more than happy to share, however. She seemed like a pleasant girl.” 

Spark nodded. “Yeah. Aqua-marie’s too young to really understand the family curse and stuff.” 

“The one regarding your great uncle?” 

“You mean my Grand Uncle.” 

“Ah, yes. You have once mentioned it before.”

Spark sighed, taking another bite form her bread. Vainstrel watched her prop her own head up with one hand. “You know…when my parents found out that I made a blood contract with you, they called me ‘cursed’. Can you believe that?” 

Vainstrel’s eyes widened slightly larger than normal. “You know, I heard them refer to you as that as well when you were still slumbering. I was confused by such a thing – I do recall your family believes your Grand Uncle is cursed, but I am not sure what it has to do directly with you.” 

Spark grumbled, stuffing the remainder of the piece of bread spread with mixed fruit jam into her mouth. After chewing for a moment and taking a sip of juice, she leaned back in her chair and crossed her legs. She folded her hands on the table. 

Vainstrel hadn’t seen such a solemn look on Spark’s face before. Normally she was smiling. Even when she wasn’t, her frowns and neutral faces still looked as if they were about to dance with sparks at any moment. But the thickening atmosphere and seriousness on her face indicated something else.

“I didn’t really feel comfortable telling you about this before because it’s pretty crazy, but I think since my family was super rude to you, I think you probably should know.” A small smile appeared on Spark’s face. “Plus, we’re blood contract partners now and I so totally think you’re entitled to the ridicliousness of my family.” 

Vainstrel took a moment to look at Spark in the eyes. What is she about to reveal to me? He then rested his hands on top of Spark’s. “Mmm,” he vocalized, nodding his head. 

Spark closed her eyes briefly, before opening them again, looking at Vainstrel. Her small smile faded as she opened her mouth. 

“So, my Grand Uncle supposedly has a curse that was given to him by the Great Mother, so his sister. According to this curse, if anyone in the family talks to him, they will be the black sheep of them family and be condemned to a lonely life.” Spark then chuckled, but her face looked pained. “I think it’s soooo stupid – the Grand Uncle isn’t a bad person at all. I don’t even know what he did to anger his sister like that.” Spark’s face scrunched. “He won’t even tell me and the Grand Mother just simply said they were having a stupid fight like siblings do.” 

Spark gasped, then lifted up her finger, removing a hand from underneath Vainstrel’s. “Oh! So, the Grand Mother is actually the Great Mother’s mother! Um, you see, I guess the Grand Mother had married an elemental king forever ago and the Great Mother was their child, which is why we are all born with elemental abilities. The Great Mother is why we all have it, since she was the combined presence and the first one with markings like mine.” Spark pointed to the markings on her face and arms. “Um…I guess the Grand Uncle is actually only the Great Mother’s half sister, from what I’ve been told. I guess he’s not an elemental at all, but just a pure witch.” 

Spark placed both of her elbows on the table, leaning into them and pouting. “I don’t even get why she’d do something as stupid as curse the Grand Uncle. I wish someone would tell me, but no one does. I wish the Great Mother was still around, but I guess she left for the elemental realm forever ago. I really want a clear answer!” Spark grumbled. 

Vainstrel’s brow slightly furrowed. How fascinating…but yet, something is rubbing me as very strange. 

Vainstrel raised his hand, keeping his elbow on the table. “Spark, my dear, may I inquire how far back your family line goes?” 

Spark tapped her cheek. “Hnnn….I think several hundred years.” 

Vainstrel’s eyes widened. “And you speak with the Grand Uncle and Grand Mother?” 

Spark laughed. “Yeah! Of course! They’re both alive and well!” 

“But they are only witches, yes?” 

Spark nodded. “Yeah, they are.” 

Vainstrel grasped his chin. I am aware that we all have such long life spans, but a witch to span over several hundred years…I do not believe I have heard of such a thing.

“Oh, uh, they’re the Naitmaric.” 

Vainstrel’s eyes slowly rose to meet Spark’s eyes. 

“…the Naitmaric?” 

“Yeah!” Spark smiled. Then she frowned, tapping her cheek. “Well, the Grand Mother always says they’re Naitmarian. Well, she’s Natimarian. And Grand Uncle isn’t, but is…and…” Spark held her head, her eyes spinning. “Aaaah, this all gets confusing! But basically, I guess the Grand Mother is from a place called Naitmaric, which makes her Naitmarian, like how we’re Ghoprean, since we’re from Ghopre.” 

Vainstrel’s lips stayed slightly parted, all while looking at Spark looking rather fried. Even her sparks of electricty around her upper body looked like they were zapping her rather than dancing about her. THE Naitmaric? Those hidden among us, said to have founded Ghopre? And she descends from such ancestory? AND they are available to be spoken to at one’s leisure? 

Vainstrel paused his thoughts for a moment. 

Just who IS this magnificent partner of mine? What else is hidden within the depths of herself and within her family? 

Vainstrel clasped the inside of his cape, looking down on the table. “Do…do you think the Grand Mother would accept me?” 

Spark giggled. “Yeah, sure, why not? I mean, she got together with an elemental king, after all! I can’t see why she wouldn’t. I bet if the Great Mother was around, she’d be open to it too!” Spark then hung her head. “Well, maybe not, if she actually cursed the Grand Uncle…” She immeditately sat back up, full determination on her face. “No! Of course not! There’s no curse on the Grand Uncle or me or anyone else in the family!” 

Vainstrel felt tension leave his body. “I am simply glad that there is most likely someone other than yourself and perhaps your dear younger sister, Lady Aqua-marie who will accept me.” 

“I’m glad too…oh, I hope Aqua-marie won’t turn out like the others…I’m disappointed in Coal too.” 

Vainstrel sighed. “I am very pleased that my parents have taken a liking to you.” 

Spark clasped her hands together. Vainstrel saw the zapping lightning bolts around Spark’s head change over to the happy, dancing flickers he was all too familiar with. The glitter in Spark’s eyes even returned. “I’m so happy too!” exclaimed Spark. She then placed a hand on her heart. “I was afraid they weren’t going to like me.” 

“I had no doubt that they would like you. My own concerns were the perspection they were carrying about you and my wretched sister’s behavior.”

“Ria seemed nice!” 

Vainstrel began to laugh, but it quickly turned into a groan. “I am truly surprised at how long my sister maintained a smile on her face – it was forced and clearly had been breaking her. But no matter. It simply is how Ria is. It is not my problem.” 

Vainstrel then smiled. “As long as my parents enjoy your presence in my life, we shall see no hardships from my end.” 

“I’m so happy about that too!” replied Spark. “What did they say about me?” 

Vainstrel’s face turned pink, recalling his parents insistence that he and Spark were in love. He pushed the thought from his mind, looking up at her. “They said that they love you.” 

Spark squealed. “Ooooh! I’m so happy to hear that!” She then frowned. “I wish my family could do the same with you.” 

Vainstrel laughed. “Perhaps, one day, they will come around.” 

Spark laid her head on the table. “Booooo…I hope so.” She scrunched her face. “At least let Aqua-marie grow up not judgemental from seeing us…I wish Coal would come around too.” 

Vainstrel cocked his head curiously. “You keep on mentioning Sir Coal. Are you close to him?” 

Spark lifted herself up off the table and nodded. “Yeah. We’re actually super close. He’s always trying to protect me and I appreciate it, but like…I know what’s best for me.” 

Vainstrel leaned back, nodding his head as he did. “I will admit, the way in which he carries himself was certainly different than the rest. Despite the rudeness he has repeatedly shown me and the burning of the gift, he seemed far more willing to hold a conversation with someone such as myself, even when he was about to burn me with his embers.” 

“Uuuugh, I am so sorry about that. I will have to talk to him about it…” 

“It is alright, my dear lady Spark. If it had not been for that, we may have waited a bit longer before you had a chance to greet my parents.” 

“Well then, maybe I should thank Coal for that then!” 

Vainstrel could feel himself melting under the brillance of Spark’s smile. 

***

Spark pat her stomach and yawned. “Heeeey, Vainstrel, can we take a nap?” 

Vainstrel stood up. “Yes, of course! Let me lead you to one of the guest rooms.” 

Spark waved her hand, standing up herself. “Nah, no need! Your bed should be just fine.” 

Vainstrel blushed. “What? Is such a thing even appropriate?” 

Spark chuckled. “What are you? A Tarheian? Who thinks like that?” 

Vainstrel watched Spark walk over to his bed. His heartbeat began to bound as he watched Spark remove her underbust corset from around her waist and grabbed the yellow part of her dress and began to lift it up. His face flushed and he slammed a hand down on the table, while extending out another one. “Lady Spark, may I ask what you are doing?” 

“Um, removing layers of my clothes so it will be easier to sleep.” 

Vainstrel’s mouth gapped open.

Spark’s mouth curled. “What? Did you think I was getting naked?” 

Vainstrel gulped.

Spark giggled. “I’m not going to do that silly!” 

Vainstrel watched as parts of the witch’s clothing dropped to the floor – first the corset and the yellow and brown parts of her dress, followed by numerous petticoats that had been hidden beneath her dress. Spark slipped out from her boots and for the first time, Vainstrel was able to see just how the birthmarks beautifully wrapped around her ankles and ran up her legs. 

A thought lingered in the back of his mind: I wonder where else on her body those marks lie? The thought got his heart pumping and face heated. What an inappropriate thought for the moment

“Hey, where can I put these?” asked Spark. 

Vainstrel looked over, breaking his thoughts, seeing Spark had folded her clothes while he was immersed in thoughts of how she must look underneath the remaining articles of clothing. She hugged them close to her body with one arm, while the other held her boots. 

Vainstrel jumped, pushing the basket of food aside. “You can simply lay them on this table.” 

Spark smiled. “You got it.” 

Vainstrel took a step aside, watching Spark place her boots on the ground near where she had once sat and the clothes up on the table. She then removed the small witches hat from her head and placed it on top.

Spark’s hands were then pulling at Vainstrel’s arm. “Come on, nap with me!” 

Vainstrel attempted to pull away. “But Lady Spark, I am simply not tired!” 

Spark, with such amazing strength that Vainstrel’s eyes popped, threw both herself and Vainstrel onto the bed. Holding onto him tightly, she smiled into his face. “Then just keep me company until I sleep.” 

Vainstrel was going to pull away, but the words he read from the blood contract books began to surface and he couldn’t help but remember as long as it is non-destructive to you or the contract partner, follow their request. And this request, no matter how he looked at it, could be considered “non-destructive.” 

Vainstrel nodded. “Yes, my dear lady Spark. I shall keep you company until you reawken from your slumber! But I do request we at least lay on the bed properly.” 

Spark giggled. “Yeah, sure! Of course.” 

Both Vainstrel and Spark crawled onto the bed properly, laying their heads on the pillows. 

Vainstrel laid on his side and Spark followed suit, her back to Vainstrel. Vainstrel watched as Spark backed into him. Vainstrel could feel his face heating up. 

Spark’s body was perfectly pressed against Vainstrel’s. One of her hands reached over and grabbed Vainstrel’s nervous hand that had been clenching his pants to around her waist. 

“M-my dear Lady Spark, is this comfortable for you?” 

Spark looked at him, nuzzling his face. “Yeah, it is.” 

Spark then rested her head on the pillow.

Vainstrel stared at her hay colored hair and the small flickers of light around her head. Is this truly okay? What are we even doing? Am I able to take her love for me…far more seriously than I had been before? 

Vainstrel took in a deep breath. The scent on Spark seemed notably stronger than it had been before. Vainstrel leaned his chin forward, his mouth touching the very back of her neck. “Spark, my dear, how are you feeling in terms of your blood?” 

“Hmmm…I think a lot better.” 

Vainstrel paused for a moment. “…if it is alright with you, may I simply check? It is only a quick puncture. Just enough blood will be drawn to determine how well restored you are.” 

Spark turned to him. “Of course you can! Tee hee. I trust you.” 

Vainstrel carrassed her cheeks, gazing into her eyes. He gave her a warm smile. “Anything for you, dear Spark.” 

He kept one hand on her cheek, allowing her head to turn and rest on it. His other hand followed the side of her neck down to the top of her shoulder. His body pressed partially against her’s and he leaned into her neck. His fangs grew out of his mouth and he opened it wide, punching her skin.

“A-ah.” 

Vainstrel slirped once and removed his fangs. He licked the puncture mark close. The blood he had only taken a small sample of proved to be more than enough to anaylze by the taste of it. 

Vainstrel looked into Spark’s flushed face. “My dear Lady Spark, you are on your way to a full recovery, but there is still yet more days to go.” 

“Uh…h-how long is a more days?” 

“Perhaps no more than a week.” 

Spark bit her lip. “Are you going to be okay?” 

“Yes, I shall be.” Vainstrel smiled gently at her. “I have had plenty of your blood already and even the bit now is more than restorative with all that you have already given me.” He grabbed her hand and kissed it. He could feel her heart pulsing underneath him. 

The next thing Vainstrel knew, he was being embraced with both arms of Spark’s. His face rested in the side of her neck. Her body was warm and the electricty around her tickled just a bit. 

Vainstrel paused for a brief moment. Do…I have permission? he wondered. He wrapped his arms around Spark himself, slightly pulling her away from the bed. Their noses met. 

“Thanks for taking me into consideration.” 

“It is truly a pleasure, Lady Spark. Anything for you.” 

Spark lightly knocked on Vainstrel’s forehead with her own. 

Spark then flipped back over and fell back into place with Vainstrel, still making sure Vainstrel’s arms were wrapped tightly around her. 

The last thing Vainstrel could remember as he was dozing off was the warmth of Spark’s body and her heartbeat. 

**END** 

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[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] Shock Bite (Temp Title)

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY. YOU are the very first person to read it – I haven’t even read it in its entirety yet!

You WILL come across numerous issues including:

  • spelling mistakes;
  • grammar issues;
  • weak sentence structure;
  • repeated words;
  • unnecessary words;
  • missing words;
  • lack of details/descriptions;
  • confusing details/descriptions;

Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.

Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.

The final clap of the day and the shout of “THAT IS A WRAP” broke through Vainstrel’s flow. It deflated faster than a balloon losing air. The emptiness he was left with, as per usual, was huge. He made his way back to his seat and collapsed into the chair. Surrounding him quickly were numerous assistants, stripping him of everything he was wearing – make-up, wigs, most of his clothes. 

“You def look like you need sleep,” remarked the make-up artist, a rather trendy looking cyclops who looked out of place in the plain “STAFF” t-shirt he was wearing. “You sure you don’t need some help?” 

Vainstrel, just as his regular shirt was slipped onto him, placed his hand on his chest. The kitsune – only partially transformed – glared at him, but Vainstrel paid no mind. He was about to speak! “Your kindness is appreciated, Ceallach. And it has reached my heart well.” He pointed his finger up in the air. “But though my role is done for today, I shall continue on playing the great hero!” 

He could hear a mixture of giggles and cheers from around him. Yes – I play the hero beyond the stage. 

“Vainstrel, put down your arms,” snapped Airi the kitsune. She took a hold of Vainstrel’s arms and shoved them down. “And stand up.” 

Vainstrel scoffed. “You dare interrupt my speech?” 

Airi’s lips twisted. “Who could say?” 

Vainstrel stared at the flickering playfulness within the fox-girl’s eyes, before giving in. He stood up. “For you, Airi, I shall stand and make your job easier than the water flowing in a stream.” 

“Mmhmm.” 

Airi finished dressing Vainstrel back up within seconds. Upon securing his cape, Vainstrel grasped the front edges, wrapped himself, and tossed it aside, allowing it to almost look like it was flowing in the wind. 

He extended his hand out in front of him. “Thank you all once again for another day to remember! I shall see you all again tomorrow!” 

With that, he dramatically turned on his heel and strutted out the door, simply giving everyone a wave he hoped was more than enough to make his thanks and gratitude a point. 

He strutted down the hallway, out the doors of the performance hall in which he had been rehearsing, and well down the walkways farther from the building, not once letting down his head. However…the second he could no longer see the hall in sight, his body began to fold. 

Sixteen hours full of love, of drama, and of action. There is nothing more I could ask for, other than some drops of blood to replenish me once more for the day so that I can make it home safe. Vainstrel dipped into his pockets, reaching for his vials of blood he carried with him. He fished them out in handfuls…noticing each and every one of them was empty

Vainstrel dropped down to a knee, looking down at all the empty vials in his hand. “What is THIS? Nothing more than specks of blood fill these vials?” He dug out more from his pocket and sure enough…nothing. “Surely, I must have planned properly…is there a mistake? Or had a made a grave error?” 

After digging out each vial and seeing that they were all, indeed empty, his already pale face turned green and he dropped to his other knee. I do not have anything to restore me! The vials poured through his fingers and onto the grass and cobblestone below him, making both a clinking and gentle crunching sound. 

How could I make such a miscalculation and risk putting myself at such a terrible fate? A single tear began to shed. I can only hope that one finds me soon enough, before the start of the show. Vainstrel hung his head. 

Vainstrel allowed his body to collapse onto the ground. He stared up at the trees, with their bare branches, and the light of the sun over the horizon. peeking through, although it was still dark enough to see the stars. He closed his eyes slowly, allowing his weakness to envelope his body even more rapidly than before. 

I thought I had been careful as I had all the other times…was this day particularly grueling? Why oh why must I lie here to shrivel? Why?

As his consciousness faded and he could feel himself drifting off into sleep, the faintest, sweet scent of herbs wafted his way. He sprung up immeditately, whipping his head into the direction of the alluring scent of magic. 

There, in the distance, not too far from where he had been ready to slumber, someone he could see was a witch

He stood up immeditately. What good fortune is this?! Have a been blessed? Most surely I have! 

He scooped his glass vials that had been laying on the ground back into his pocket. His eyes stayed locked on the witch in the distance. 

He had no idea what she looked like in the front, but from the back, he could see that she was wearing a yellow dress with puffy sleeves and a puffy skirt, accented with dark brown and black. Around her waist was most likely a black corset and she wore black boots that reached up to her thighs. Her permanently sun-kissed skin perfectly paired with her hay-colored, curly blond hair that was neatly placed to the left-side of her head in a high ponytail. Her steps seemed to have a bit of a skip in them, causing her ponytail to jump all over the place. 

Vainstrel jumped up to his feet upon finishing picking up his vials (minus a few he missed because he needed food. NOW.)

His feet were light to the point you couldn’t even hear them on the cobblestone. The most noise he made was a whoosh similar to the wind that gentle shook the tree branches. He source of sustances surely would not be able to detect him. 

He was close to the witch within a matter of seconds. His fang teeth, which usually stayed perfectly hidden within his mouth, grew large and his mouth watered. So much magic, so much blood, and so unguarded. I need enough to return home to safety and arrive to rehersals on time. ‘Tis all, ’tis all. 

He reached out his arms towards her shoulders. His teeth hovered near the exposed skin of between her shoulder and her neck. 

He grabbed her shoulders and sunk his teeth into her soft flesh. 

Then came the sudden pain of voltage surging through his teeth, gums, and entire body, along with a yelp he could only be partially sure wasn’t his. 

And then…darkness. 

***

Vainstrel’s eyes fluttered. What is this shade that shields my eyes from daybreak? 

His vision finally cleared, seeing the smirking face of a beautiful young woman stairing down at him with beautifully large brown eyes that seemed to be decorated by dramatic make-up. Her eyes seemed to glint with the light of a lightning storm. 

With one hand on her cheek, the young woman said, “that’s what you get for dealing with an elemental witch.” She laughed. 

Or rather, she giggled.

She giggled with the beauty of a chiming fairy bell. 

Vainstrel licked his teeth, which had mostly shrunk back into his mouth, feeling little bits of blood. But mostly, there was a lingering pain in his gums and his whole body. 

But the fatigue he had been feeling was gone. 

If anything, he felt better than ever before! 

My, what was that shock? Vainstrel placed both hands on his body, one on his chest and one on his stomach, staring up at the beautiful woman. Even now, it is as if the current is still corsing throughout my body. The pain itself bareable for such a jolt. 

His eyes opened wide and gasped. 

Vainstrel stood up. The young woman, startled, fell backwards onto her butt. Vainstrel turned around and got onto his knees, grabbing both of her hands. “LADY OF MAGIC! Never have I, in my life as a vamp, encountered such a life-giving jolt! The pain in which was given to me through the piercing of your flesh is nothing in comparison to the freedom and lightness I can feel throughout my entire being!” He lifted one hand up into the air. “What blessing has been bestowed up me, being hit by such a shock!” He returned his hand back to the young woman – the witch from earlier – grasping both of her hands once more. “Please, do tell, lady of magic, what is your dear name?” 

The witch stared at him with her big brown eyes. Her playful smile from earlier had faded, replaced by one of confusion. She was still smiling, but most certainly confused. Her fairy-chime giggle returned. “You’re funny.”

Vainstrel blushed.

“I’m Spark Alamental.” The witch grinned. “What’s your name?” 

“A name that suits you beyond compare.” Vainstrel cast back his cape and bowed his head. “Vainstral Balan, it is a pleasure, Lady Spark.” 

He lightly clasped one of her hands in his. “My dear lady Spark, I do apologize for the sudden intrusion and disruption to your day. The foolishness of hunger had settled in for me due to an unfortunate missight on the part of me.” 

“You’re hungry?” 

“Yes, that I quite am.” Vainstrel sighed. “The jolt in which you had given me through means unknown has shook me away, perhaps enough to be on my way, but yes, I am quite a hungry for blood as it is for a vampire such as I.” 

He watched Spark tap her cheek and glance off to the side. Something seemed playful about her actions. The witch leaned forward, smiling right into his face. “Hmm…well, Mr. Vainstrel, if you’re really that hungry, I don’t mind giving you some blood.” 

Vainstrel brought her hand close to his chest. “Are you certain? And please – you may just call me Vainstrel.” 

“Yeah, I’m sure about it. I just gotta tone down my electricity.” 

Vainstrel paused for a moment. Was that it? “Electricty, you say?” 

“Yeah,” replied Spark. “I told you – I’m an elemental witch.” 

Vainstrel nodded just enough for it to be seen easily by Spark. I see…I see. Lady Spark is an elemental witch…housing an element within the temple of her own body. “Lady Spark, I would love to be able to suck your blood and feel the current of electricity within my body once more.” 

“Okay, good!” Spark used her free hand to cover it to giggle once more. “I can’t turn off the electricty, but I can tone it down a lot. Just give me a moment. 

“That is more than okay, my lady.”

Vainstrel released Spark’s hand as the young woman turned around. 

Vainstrel could sniff the change in scent in Spark. The peppery tone that seemed to be prominent in her aura had been dramatically turned down.  I see…I see. A peppery-scent for her electrical current housed within her. A current she can control…my…my…my…how fascinating a person she. 

“You can suck now.” Vainstrel watched Spark’s fingers  gently caress the spot he had bitten into not too long ago. 

Vainstrel got to his knees. He carefully lowered his hands onto her warm shoulders. His vision seemed shaky. Am I…trembling? For what am I trembling for? 

His stomach bubbled up. If it wasn’t for the smile on his own face, he would have thought he was nervous. 

He opened his mouth wide, allowing his teeth to grow once more. He leaned forward into the spot that he had pieced before. This time, though, rather than crunching into her skin, he gently pierced it with his teeth. 

He could feel little jolts of electricty dancing around his teeth, but it was nothing like it had been before. Still though…his body seemed to warm just from the feeling of it going up his teeth. He could actually feel his toes! 

The taste of her blood was also perfect. Perfectly balanced, he could taste each mineral within it and the embued magic that was imbedded within her blood was deliciously herby and peppery. Nothing fresh nor stored has ever tasted as complex as this. 

Vainstrel lifted up his teeth licking the blood off from his fangs. He unrolled his tongue and gently licked the holes where he had punctured her skin. He could feel her flinch with each gentle lick of his tongue. She is of true perfection. 

With a final lick, he lifted his head and released her shoulders. He watched Spark to him with a flushed faced and bated breath. Her long fingers brushed against where he had punctured her. Vainstrel couldn’t help but feel elated seeing the absolute look of surprise upon the witch’s face.

“WHOA, they’re almost closed up!” 

Vainstrel nodded. “Yes, my lady. It is a specialty of ours to be able to heal the wounds that we inflict with our fangs.” 

Vainstrel could feel warmth throughout his entire body. Looking down at himself, he could see his skin had returned back to his normal pale white color, although perhaps with a slight bit more pigmentation than normal. Did I drink more than necessary? 

His eyes shifted over to Spark, who had suddenly appeared underneath him, looking straight up into his eyes. Vainstrel jumped. 

Spark giggled. “Are you okay now?” 

“Y-yes, my dear Spark, I feel restored to life once more, in great thanks to you.” 

“Tee hee, that’s wonderful!” Spark clasped her hands together.

Vainstrel gazed at her as if she were a bright super full moon, illuminating everything from within the darkness with her breathtaking glow. Her smile, her eyes, everything about her embodied the beauty of lightning itself. Vainstrel couldn’t really even put into words what he was feeling. And he always had words. Always. 

He watched Spark’s knees enter into his vision field. He looked up, seeing the witch waving at him. “Welp, I gotta get back to work now. See you later, Vainstrel!” 

Later…

Spark began to walk off. 

Vainstrel gasped and sprung up off the ground, quickly grabbing her hand. “W-wait! Please!” 

Spark turned to him, cocking her head. “Is there something wrong?” 

Vainstrel pulled her hand close to his chest. “What can I do to thank you for all that you have given me for today?” 

Spark’s mouth gapped. 

Vainstrel stared intensely into her eyes. “Please, allow me to return the kindness to you one day soon.” 

Spark’s cheeks turned a light pink. “Uh…I appreciate it, but it’s okay. There really is no need. There isn’t particularly anything I want at the moment.” 

“No, there must be something in which you desire!” 

Spark paused for a moment. Vainstrel watched her tap her cheek numerous times. 

What an adorable gesture in which she uses. 

“Hmmm…” 

Vainstrel tightened his hands around Spark’s. “Perhaps we could exchange our telephone addresses of the numerical value so we may discuss the future?”

“You mean my phone number?” 

“Yes, that would be correct.” 

Vainstrel released Spark’s hand as she gently pulled it away. He watched her reach into her skirt pocket and pull out a phone. “Yeah, sure!” replied Spark. “Let’s do that!” 

Vainstrel whipped out his own phone. He opened up the contact exchange application on his phone. The two of them tapped their phones together and with a confirmation BING, they both exchanged numbers, names, profile picture, and even email addresses. 

Then came a second DING DING DING from Spark’s phone.

“Oh no! I’m late!” Spark exclaimed. She clasped both of her cheeks. She put her phone back into her pocket. “I am sooooo sorry, Vainstrel! I REALLY have to go now!” 

“It is all right, my lady Spark. Please take your leave and I shall see you again another day.” Vainstrel lifted up her hand and gave her a gentle kiss.

“Yeah, see you,” replied Spark. He could see the pink on her cheeks get even more flushed as she turned on her heel and skipped off. 

The moment Vainstrel could no longer see Spark, he collapsed onto his knees. He held his phone in both of his hands, looking down at the address book page of Spark. His body was trembling, staring down at her photo. Her glinting eyes and playful green touched his cold heart in ways he had never known and only dreamed of. 

He was completely smitten. 

Perfect blood and electricity to boot. A glittering gaze and a smile to match the electricty of her body. A beauty that could rival the moon. He brought the phone even closer to his face.

I must make her mine! 

He turned his gaze up to where she had previously stood. 

I will get a blood contract from her. 

**END**

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