One Hundred and Forty-Six…

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One Hundred and Forty-Six: Deliverance

Contains disturbing content.

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“I’ll be back in a moment.” Vaclav’s hand eased down Lauren’s waist to her hip.

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They parted. He headed out of the room.

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Incredulous, Reznik held his aching head. Dizziness made the room spin and blur.

“Are you okay, Reznik?” asked Lauren.

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What a pair of balls she suddenly had, and not the ones that filled her tiny top.

He clumped over to her, seized her wrist and jerked it upright until she squealed.

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“What… did you tell him?”

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“Tell who? Vaclav?”

“Yes,” he hissed. “Stop playing stupid.” Reznik twisted Lauren’s scrawny arm and steered her into the den.

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They were going to have a nice little chat.

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“I won’t ask you again. Now what did you tell my dad?”

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“Nothing.”

“Lauren, stop lying.”

She removed his hand from her shoulder.

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“I told him the truth, Reznik. Alright?”

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“What truth?”

“About us sleeping together.”

“Did you tell him how you seduced me? Huh? Did you tell him that too?”

At first she didn’t answer.

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Defeated, he turned away.

“I only told him we slept together. Like he already said, he doesn’t blame you for it. Why are you acting so crazy?”

“Why? Are you serious?” He shook his head as he left.

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“Fucking unbelievable, Lauren.” He continued shaking his head. How could you be so stupid as to tell him? How?

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When did he hang Aubrey’s portrait in here? Lauren wondered. I don’t remember seeing it the other day. 

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Is Vaclav on some covert mission to drive me crazy? Out of jealousy because Rez humped me?

Didn’t really matter. As for Aubrey, she looked beautiful in the photo.

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“I could never measure up to you anyway.” I could never fit into your perfect but dark family.

I could never be the kind of mother you were. Reznik and I failed miserably in raising Azura. Not only do I have one dead grandchild from her, but two of them. Azura still grieves over the last one. She’ll be tortured by the memory for the rest of her life.

Some parts of Lauren’s memory had returned a while back. She wished it hadn’t.

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Funny thing was, she thought she still loved Reznik.

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But what did these partially blocked flashbacks mean? Seemed as if… never mind. She refused to think about it.

Hotel California played on her cell phone. It was a ringtone which signaled a call from Kat Haas. She hadn’t spoken to her in months and they hadn’t been close in years due to growing apart.

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She answered.

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Kat: “Hi Lauren. I know I haven’t called in forever.” A long silent pause. “Dad left an hour or so ago. I wanted to call you because he said some things that got me worried.”

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“Such as?”

Another silence. A pervasive sense of fear and dread jolted Lauren.

“Kat? What did he say?

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Kat: “Uh, just some weird stuff. I don’t know.”

Lauren: “That’s not good enough. Just tell me what he said because now you’ve got ME worried.”

Clank. Metal hit the wall as the bedroom door flew open.

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“Shit. Kat, I gotta go.”

Kat: “Wait…”

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“No. It’s too late now.”

As soon as she turned from Vaclav, he came up behind her.

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Scared the shit out of her as he brushed the hair from her face, and then took the phone away.

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“Lauren,” he said shoving the cellular in his back pocket. “I love you.”

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“I love you too.”

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Vaclav backed her to the wall, mouth devouring and hands searching beneath her skirt.

Lauren became lost in his kisses as the minutes passed; lost in his demanding touch. Swept off her feet.

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“I want to make love to you,” he said. “Fuck you.”

Yeah.” Their lips melted together, drifted apart, slammed together like some crazy, premating ritual. Vaclav rubbed Lauren’s ass and gyrated, lifting until her pussy was level with his hard-on, giving her a dry fuck.

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“I remember this,” she whispered.

“Yes. I’ll do a better job at fucking you than my son did.” His tongue ran over her bottom lip, licking, fangs nipping. “Much better.”

Wait a second.

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“Why did you bring that up? About Rez?”

“No reason.” He grinned, cupped her face and kissed her.

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She relaxed, allowed him to sweep her away with the soft feel of his lips.

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Again.

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And that night they made love.

Dwindling at the edge of Lauren’s mind was Kat’s muddled warning about Vaclav.

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But making love means everything’s okay between us. Doesn’t it?

Then again, the way he was making love to her was different. More aggressive.

And she’d be damned if she hadn’t looked upon his face and seen… animosity.

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Across town, Lucifer checked the mail.

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He sorted through the bills and junk, coming upon a letter addressed to him. With mixed feelings he recognized the writing.

He tossed the other envelopes onto the table, tore open the one for him. It was thick and filled with something aside from a tiny note.

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It was so full the contents almost spilled out into his hand. He dropped the envelope, shocked at those contents.

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A bunch of money. How much? He’d no idea. And then there was the short, curt but very poignant note:

Lucifer,

You were right. I apologize for everything. Here is a gift for your new family.

Love,

your Father

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Still in shock, Lucifer stuffed the note/cash into a drawer.

He didn’t know what else to do with it. Yet.

“Wow,” he muttered. “Wow. Wow, wow, wow.” Thank you, Dad.

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Maybe in a short time he could find forgiveness within his heart.

Nearly smiling, Lucifer closed the drawer.

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Mila went into labor.

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Although she was frightened and nervous, she wanted to have the baby at home rather than the med center. As always Dr. Hunter came through. Really he was the only one Mila and Lucifer trusted to deliver the infant.

He had injected a spinal anesthetic before Mila was fully dilated, meaning she wasn’t feeling much pain at all.

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“Push, push,” Hunter said. Mila groaned, knuckles turned white as she squeezed her knees.

That room filled with the soft sounds of a newborn’s cry.

“And another son to help complete the Haas Clan.” Hunter chuckled holding the infant. Mila sighed, slumped back on the mattress.

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Sammael. Because why not perpetuate the newish trend of naming children after fallen angels?

Hunter cut the cord, and cleaned the blood from Sammael using some disinfectant wipes. Then he tightly wrapped the baby in a receiving blanket.

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“Here’s your son.” Hunter lifted the baby into view.

Crazy, Lucifer thought gazing down at the squirming newborn. Probably the only reason you’re here is because of a curse. If it weren’t for that, I’m not sure your mother and I would’ve gotten together.

I’m so glad that we did. I’ve loved her now for four years. 

Next step: marriage.

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Lucifer spoke to Sammael in a silly voice. Suddenly he felt self-conscious, hoping Mila didn’t think of him as some rambling idiot.

“Hey, Sam. Good to see you.” Lucifer glanced at Mila. Her eyes were closed and she dozed off, snoring.

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About an hour after the birth, Mila held Sam while Lucifer cradled his head. Hunter took snapshots.

“Aw, he’s so cute.” Mila leaned over and kissed Sam.

Lucifer shouted for the remaining live-in family to enter the bedroom.

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Hunter continued taking shots of the family and their newest member.

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Lucifer reminded himself to call his father and Lauren later.

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On the other side of Shadowvale, Vaclav reread an old message from his son:

NOTE

He’d only read it one time, that time when self-made tragedy had struck the family. When one situation had led to another, and then another until Vaclav found himself screwing around with his son’s girlfriend.

Stale guilt bubbled to the surface as Vaclav read those meaningful words over and over. He then replaced the note into a desk drawer.

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How could Vaclav have been so easily led by an erection? Or maybe he was over-simplifying it.

Regardless, when he found out his son had slept with Lauren during a moment of weakness, Vaclav could not blame him. How could he blame Reznik when Vaclav had done the very same (and worse) years earlier?

But he had to blame someone.

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So that someone would have to be Lauren; who had a history of… doing certain things.

Reznik had tried to cure Lauren by spending days creating an elixir to get back her memory. She’d refused to drink the formula.

Lauren had tried to push all the blame on Reznik. Vaclav wasn’t stupid, however. He knew Lauren had seduced his son.

Those little resentments mounted in the last eight weeks or so. Piling up one-by-one like stacks of stone, building the foundation to Vaclav’s fury.

When the foundation’s complete, what will happen then?

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How small these resentments start.

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She’d taken down the goddamn picture again.

Vaclav stormed over to the bed. He knew Lauren had put the portrait beneath it, for that’s where she placed it all the times before.

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He tugged it out.

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Carefully, gently, he hung the portrait on its designated spot.

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“There you are again, my essence.” He kissed the tip of his forefinger, and touched Aubrey’s photographed forehead.

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Speak of the she-devil named Lauren.

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He watched her pace across the floor, daring her to notice Aubrey’s photo.

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Lauren rummaged into the bureau drawer. “Where’s that bracelet?”

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It got really quiet. Had she noticed yet?

Yes. Tap tap tap went Lauren’s feet.

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“Vaclav! I put away Aubrey’s portrait for a reason. Why do you keep dragging it out again?”

“Because I want it on the wall.”

“Why?”

“Because I do.”

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“It makes me paranoid. I feel like she’s watching us every time we make love.”

“You know that’s not the reason, Lauren.”

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A strained lull trailed his statement. Lauren looked like she wanted to kill him.

His eyes never left hers.

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They kept up that challenge for seemingly an immortal’s lifetime.

She moved to the portrait.

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“Lauren, I’m asking you not to do that.”

She extended the portrait high into the air as if preparing to smash it.

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“No,” he said.

“No what?”

“Don’t smash Aubrey’s picture. I’m warning you.”

“You have the balls to warn me, Vaclav?”

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“Yes. I’m warning you. Don’t smash the fucking picture.” He trembled.

“Go to hell.”

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Crash.

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Aubrey’s broken portrait lay near the lit candles, bits of her lovely face scattered like puzzle pieces.

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“I warned you… not—to—smash—it.” His trembling escalated into violent shaking. Steaming anger coursed from head to toe.

“Too bad. I was sick of seeing it!” She screamed twirling around to face him.

“This isn’t about the damn portrait,” Vaclav snarled.

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“Months ago Lucifer gave me the choice of conjuring Aubrey.” He fought to keep his voice calm, even. “I refused. A part of me wanted to stay faithful to you in case you ever decided to come back. And during that time you weren’t faithful to me.”

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“Not only that, but all of your adult life you’ve climbed the Haas family ladder that began with Jakub, then Reznik, and then me. Then back to Reznik and myself yet again.”

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“You’re nothing but a fucking Haas whore.”

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“So that makes you my blood-sucking pimp.”

He lost it.

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Vaclav tackled her. They wrestled until the wall crushed her backside.

He whipped out a blade.

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“I’ll show you… how much of a blood-sucker I truly am.”

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His mind lit up with pictures of Aubrey’s face… many pictures that Lauren could never touch.

Never.

Vaclav thrust the blade forward.

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Red-hot anger ebbed away. Lance’s voice followed.

“Dad, Lucifer called and said Mila had the baby.”

Finally he could see Lance, instead of the dark red madness that had fogged his brain.

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“Dad? What did you do to Mom?”

* * * *

Bloodlust’s final chapter/epilogue will be posted this Monday.

Thanks for reading. Sorry if this chapter made the series turn into a WB (wall-banger, as in books that readers want to throw against the nearest wall, lol). I will always make vampires true to their nature, no matter how violent it gets. At least for the most part.

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