Morgan has no
idea how long she's been asleep --
passing through the realm of dreams and
nightmares in what feels like an endless
haze. Every time she nears the edge of
those mists, she's dragged back down
again... She dreams of blood, she dreams
of death. She dreams of jagged yellow
teeth and purple-black gums... but the
closer she gets to finally waking, the
more often the bright blue eyes and
rose-colored hair of the girl from the
she does come to the surface again --
coming back to something that resembles
reality... or at least, she thinks it is.
Morgan hardly even needs to put effort
into warming her body again, the blood
flows through her veins with an ease
she's never known. Her heart beats almost
like she's alive again.
opens her eyes at last, Morgan finds
herself surrounded by gauzy pink curtains
and wrapped in the softest bedding she's
ever felt in her life or unlife.
The golden light of twilight filters
through the curtains, resting upon her
up, wincing and trying to escape from the
light, expecting the white-hot agony of
burning flesh but it never comes.
Instead, there is only the gentle warmth
of sunlight resting upon her face and
arms. Slowly, she begins to remember how
she had come to this moment. If the
sunlight didn't burn her, she must have
still been in that strange place beyond
the covers down, finding that she's been
dressed in a peach-colored silken gown --
not quite opaque but not quite sheer. The
fabric is so fine and so very delicately
woven that she can hardly believe it's
real... She runs her fingers over
it, marveling at the texture. In all her
time as a dressmaker, she had never felt
anything this luxurious, this marvelously
made. She finds her focus narrowing to
the sheer pleasure of the moment, lost in
the rapture of pure beauty -- the feeling
of the silk on her skin, the gentle
sunlight on her face and the sweet scent
of spring flowers carried upon the
Just how much
time passes while she's mesmerized,
Morgan can't be sure...but after at least
half an hour, she shakes her head and
shakes off the mesmer. She needs to
figure out where she is -- she needs to
figure out what's going on.
checks her arms and legs for any signs of
that horrifying encounter with the hag --
the only evidence still left are faintly
purple scars left where the jagged teeth
had pierced her flesh. Morgan shudders,
remembering the agony, remember that
terror and she's absolutely certain that
those sensations will join
her other nightmares...
Anyway, now that she's assessed her
physical situation, it's time to asses
her surroundings. She glances around,
taking everything in.
The bed she
finds herself laying in is possibly the
largest bed she's ever laid in; a
veritable ocean of sheets, blankets and
pillows, all beckoning her to stay and
lounge among them. Languidly, she pulls
herself from their embrace and moves the
The bed is
set in the center of a large but cozy
looking room. Raw timber frames white
plaster and flowering vines climb the
walls, hanging from the ceiling and
filling the air with their perfume.
Morgan glances around for any sign of
life but for the moment, she sees and
hears nothing. The sunlight is pouring in
both through a window above the bed, set
with leaded glass and a skylight set in
the ceiling overhead.
All in all,
it's a warm and welcoming space but...
she doesn't trust it. After all, the
hag's house had seemed warm and welcoming
and that had ll been an
illusion -- a trap to force her to let
her guard down. She wouldn't make that
same mistake again. A wardrobe sits
against the wall across from the bed and
a foldint screen covers the wall
opposite. She walks over to it and
examines the scene painted on it. It's a
tableau of early spring, bright green
shoots and pale flowers fighting back the
cold of winter. Shining gold paint makes
up the rays of sunlight that wake the
world from its slumber. On the other side
of the screen is a large wash tub, made
from a gold-veined white stone. She turns
away from the tub and the shelves full of
colored bottles and jars back towards the
rest of the room.
Next to a
vanity carved from a deep, rose-colored
wood is a door, open the slightest crack.
She takes another quick look around to
reassure herself that there's no one else
in the room with her and then silently
pads towards the door. The wood feels
warm beneath her bare feet, worn from
years of use -- soft and smooth. The room
is so comforting and downright beautiful
that Morgan almost loses herself in the
moment again. She bites down hard on
her lower lip to break the spell.
Damn her Bloodline's weakness to pleasant
sensations and surroundings!
Once she gets
to the door, she pauses again and simply
listens, straining her ears for any
sounds of life... faintly, she can hear
the breeze blowing through the trees
accented by the soft trilling song of
birds outside... the faint crackle of
burning wood comes from the space on the
other side of the door but she hears no
movement, no heartbeats. No sign that she
isn't alone in the building. Morgan sighs
in relief before she opens the door.
She finds now
that she's on the second floor -- an
ornately carved railing separates her
from the high ceiling of the room beyond.
More vines curl around the wood, little
white flowers that smell much like
honeysuckle dot the deep green leaves.
She steps to the edge...
she sees a beautiful fireplace, plush
looking furniture in various spring
colors and a large woven rug that takes
up most of the floor. Curtains cover the
windows but still let the faintest light
through. All of the wood is that same
warm rose-color. A door that she assumes
leads outside stands on the first floor
directly across from her.
She makes her
way down the stairs quickly and quietly.
A doorway leads under the balcony and
stairs and a quick peak inside reveals a
small, cozy looking kitchen with a rough
hewn table and chairs set in front of a
ceramic wood burning stove...
Now that she
thinks about it, Morgan realizes that she
hasn't seen even a sliver of metal -- the
doors are a solid piece of wood, the
handles made of a strange,
prismatic crystal. How...odd...
jumps out of her skin when she hears the
front door opening. Morgan whirls around,
for a moment her coppery curls obscure
her vision -- her claws and fangs
instantly extending as her muscles tense,
ready to pounce and defend herself.
The girl who
was entering lets out a squeal of fear
and winces. "I don't mean you any
harm!" She cries... and Morgan
realizes with a start that it's the
sunset haired girl from the woods.
I'm so sorry!" Morgan cries, her
hands flying up to cover her mouth as
she remembers the deep and binding
magic of the girl's promise not to
forces her inner predator to back
down, still shaking slightly even as
her muscles relax and her fangs
retract. "I didn't...I didn't
realize it was you."
washes over Morgan all over again. Twice
now this beautiful young woman had seen
her more bestial nature -- seen her with
fangs bared and claws out... how
humiliating. Her she was, a Nightingale,
a civilized vampire,
acting like a god damned sewer-dwelling
must think me such a monster..."
she says softly, slowly lowering her
hands to her side and averting her
Oh no, not at all!" The girl
says with a laugh. She's closed the
door behind her now, setting the
wicker basket she had been holding
down on the table nearest the door.
"You've been through so much
lately, I can't blame you for being a
bit jumpy." She fixes Morgan
with a bright smile and Morgan feels
her cheeks grow warm and her heart
flutter in her chest.
what may I call you? Surely you'd
prefer something other than
'you'." The girl continues,
placing the shawl she had been
wearing upon a hook on the inside of
twists the fabric of her nightgown in
her hands. "Ah...y-you can call
me Nightingale." It wouldn't
hurt to use the same name twice,
right? She knew she shouldn't just
give the strange, beautiful girl her
True Name...things were slowly
beginning to come together in
Morgan's mind as she stood there,
surrounded by flowers in the strange
mist, a strange ever-lasting twilight and
the girl's pointed ears put the pieces
together rather clearly. Obviously,
the girl must be Fae and Morgan...Morgan
must be Under the Hill.
The girl asks. "What a beautiful
name! I'd be glad to call you by
it." Her smile is soft, her gaze
understanding. "You may call me
Flower, if you wish,
Morgan is certain it's not the girl's
true name but it does suit
her well -- she certainly brings to mind
freshly blossomed flowers. Morgan smiles
at her, finding that her worry is rapidly
melting away, replaced with...
knows that she's desperate to taste
Flower's blood again-- to feel that
warmth filling her... But there's
something more than that. Morgan has
always found herself attracted to the
fire of mortals, knowing their flame
burned bright and brief. The flame that
lit Flower, however was like a raging
inferno that showed no sign of stopping.
She was a pure, brilliant beacon of life.
She didn't think she could truly resist
it. She wasn't sure she would
glad to see you're finally
awake." Flower says, making her
way past Morgan with the wicker
basket on her arm. "'Scuse
me!" She flitters past into the
kitchen. "I was worried...you
don't breathe or have a heartbeat
while you sleep -- I thought you were
dead at first until the dreams
Flower bustle around the kitchen --
setting a tea kettle over the stove,
pulling pastries and herbs from the
basket and laying them out on the table.
Before long, the scent of tea fills the
Morgan asks softly.
yes, you have...some truly dreadful
nightmares." Flower looks at her
with sympathy and concern in her
eyes. "You would wake up
suddenly, screaming and flailing...
even after I cleared the fever from
your veins, you kept having
purses her lips. "Oh.
was worried you'd never wake up, to
be honest. You wouldn't be the first
soul to get lost in Dreams
here..." Flower says, a shudder
wracking her form. "You can sit
down, you know."
her weight awkwardly. "Did you dress
me?" She asks suddenly -- realizing
the implication of her change of clothes.
The Fae must have changed her at some
point while she was asleep. Morgan feels
heat flare through her, a thrill running
up her spine...The image of Flower
peeling her ruined dress off and dressing
her sleeping form in this beautiful gown
filled Morgan's consciousness suddenly
and she found that it was incredibly
appealing. Maybe that was why Flower's
face and scent had eventually permeated
couldn't very well leave you in that
blood-covered pile of rags, could
I?" Flower laughs softly.
"We're both women, and I'm not
exactly an innocent maiden. It's
nothing I've not seen before."
There's something mischievous in the
smile that spreads across Flower's
face, her bright blue eyes
glittering. "Gave you a wash,
too -- had to in order to get the
poison out of the wounds,
feels her face go red all over
again... "Oh! Of course!
Th-thank you!" she laughs
nervously but feels unsure as to why
she's so embarrassed.
Morgan is no
stranger to nudity or the
pleasures of the flesh, she had been a
married woman after all... and while she
hadn't allowed herself to give her heart
to anyone, it wasn't as if she hadn't
taken lovers in the past thirty years.
something about Flower's smile, something
about the thought of those hands washing
the dirt and grime and blood from her wet
and naked body while she lay unconscious?
Well, it was
quite a lot to take in and she rather
wished she had been awake for it. Maybe
it was the knowledge that she had been so
utterly helpless, so at the mercy of
another person. She hadn't been
vulnerable like that in quite some time.
Part of it must have also been the
intense bloodlust Morgan felt for her...
with the scent of freshly steeping tea
filling the room, Morgan can smell the
flowery scent of the Fae's blood and even
though she doesn't truly feel any
thirst... her body is screaming for it.
Her fangs feel heavy and sharp beneath
sit down..." Flower's bright
blue eyes are fixed on Morgan, her
hands are folded on the table, her
head tilted ever so slightly to the
side. "It can't be comfortable
just standing there."
With a heavy
sigh, Morgan relents, walking into
the kitchen and sitting in one of the
roughly hewn chairs. "Can I...ask
you something?" She reaches for one
of the pastries, hoping that forcing
something into her empty belly will
distract her mind from the thirst that
are we and why did you save me? I-- I
nearly killed you earlier, I might
raises an eyebrow. "You could
try, but I doubt you'd manage."
Her laugh is like a bell
"As for your first
question, we're in the Kingdom
of the Spring Fae-- specifically, the
Twilit Wood... I have a cottage here
that I come to when I need to get
away from Court." She shrugs her
shoulders. "And I couldn't leave
such a beautiful woman alone to die
in the woods of poisoning, even if
she did try to drain me of my life's
blood.." Flower's brow
furrows."Now, I have a question
of my own...what...what are you?
You're clearly not human -- a mortal
would've succumbed to that poison
long before I found you and...well,
the Fae who feed on blood are nowhere
near as fair to look at as you
fixes her gaze upon the table,
tracing the grain of the wood as she
searches for words.
"Cursed, I suppose. Dead but
still living. I am vampire-- a
blood-sucking monster doomed to a
cold and empty existence of endless
night..." the bitterness flows
out, turning her voice to potent
venom as she speaks. "My heart
only beats because I've stolen blood
to make it do so..."
see." Flower murmurs. Her eyes
are wide, full not of fear but wonder
and curiosity. "You don't seem
like a monster to me..."
wraps her arms around herself.
"I am." She feels tears
pricking at the corners of her eyes,
tinting her vision pink.
if you are, you're welcome to stay
here until I can figure out a way to
get you back home." Flower
reaches out, gently placing her soft,
warm hand over one of Morgan's.
"I'm not afraid of
Morgan thinks I don't believe
that you are... The look in
Flower's eyes most certainly hadn't
been fear and her voice held a note
of curiosity that made Morgan want to
tell me how you got here while I
finish up breakfast and then we'll
figure out how to get you fed."