026. Prologue – ‘Fragile’


Title: Fragile
Genre: Undefined
Characters: Libitina Aurelia, Abigail Alexander, Antonius Veta
Story Origin: Prologue to Knock it Down, Wings of Steel
Prompt: 026. Fragile
Word Count: 1,646
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Abigail is put upon.
Warnings: Suggestive Themes, Violence

Libitina stepped into the room, closing the heavy door behind her.  Abigail knew she was coming before she had entered, her stomach fluttering as memories of prior ‘meetings’ with the dark vampiress played through her mind.  Libitina was sure to play on her fears, letting her energy flow freely into the room, causing the hairs on Abigail’s neck to prickle.  All over, as if a cold wind had touched her beneath the layers of clothing, her skin felt cold.

“Little pet,” Libtina began, her voice like a cruel bird’s song–heavy and deep with an unidentifiable accent.  “It seems it is just you and I now.”

Abigail said nothing.  Libitina moved closer, her skirts shuffling against the wood flooring.  Suddenly, her hand clamped down on Abigail’s arm, spinning her around, forcing her to face those blood red, demonic eyes.  This woman was not simply vampire, she was a demon.

“Did you really think I’d let you take my toys away so easily?” Libitina’s voice hissed into Abigail’s ear, causing her to twitch.  Libitina had no true breath, only the cold, exuding energy that left her mouth when she spoke.  Everything was a trick, a guise.  Even her voice was laced with power and charm.

“I-I don’t… understand,” Abigail barely managed to reply, avoiding Libitina’s eyes.  Abigail was a Seer and the eyes were the window to the soul.  She had seen Libitina’s soul and it frightened her more than Eckhard’s.

Libitina ran a cool, pale hand over Abigail’s shoulder and down her arm, “do not play stupid with me, little pet.  I know what you’ve done.  Both of them clamoring after you like dogs in heat.  It’s pathetic, really… but it has ended, don’t you see?  Eckhard is mine now and you’ve all but put Antonius to death.”

Death?  Her face looked panicked for a moment and Libitina laughed.  She moved around Abigail like a shark.

“Poor, poor little pet…,” Libitina said with mock sympathy.  She seized Abigail suddenly, one arm bracing her torso, the other moving intimately over her face.  Her nails peeked through the ends of the gloves, moving gently across Abigail’s skin.  “Whatever will you do now?  You should have obeyed me.  You should have heeded me when I told you to stay away from Antonius.”

Abigail did her best not to shudder under Libitina’s touch.  She stood as still as she possibly could, not bothering to try and fight the much stronger female off.  Libitina’s finger traced the line of her jaw and down her neck, stopping just short of her collarbone.  She could feel her smiling, though she couldn’t see it.  The entire thing made Abigail’s skin crawl and her soul cry out soundlessly, as if trapped beneath glass.  Still, Abigail fought for composure.  Weakness was what Libitina wanted, what she lived on–weakness and fear.  Antonius wasn’t dead, she would have felt it.  He was still alive.

“You should have realized, my little, sweet pet… that next to me?  You are nothing.” The last bit was spat out in complete hatred.  It was followed by a forceful shove to the ground, which Abigail hadn’t expected.  She fell with a soft cry.

Nothing,” Libitina echoed, towering over her like a cruel shadow.  “Just a pathetic little Seer who can barely manage that!  Scant visions and slight sensitivity to others.  I should have simply let you die there.  They would have killed you had Eckhard not stolen you away.  They would have found you and hanged you.  Rightfully so, as you did accuse the son of raping his younger sister.  Naughty, naughty, little pet.  You see too much of people, but never the bigger picture.”

Abigail said nothing during Libitina’s speech.  She simply continued to fight for composure.  She focused on the slight tie she had to Antonius, even at this distance, even changed as he was.  She felt it, like the tiniest bit of thread, thin and worn… it was there.  He was alive.

Unsatisfied with Abigail’s lack of response, Libitina flew at her suddenly, ripping her up from the ground by her hair.  Abigail couldn’t restrain the cry that leapt from her throat.  She felt it even when Libitina released her, her scalp stinging with electric pain.

Libitina was in her face, suddenly, her body pressed improperly against her own.  Abigail gasped, but the sound caught in her throat and died.  She stared at the fangs, stained and elongated, looking nothing like the rest of her teeth.  They were even different from Eckhard’s.  This woman, truly, was not human in any shape or form she took.  They all became distorted, they all, eventually, degraded… unable to handle the power her soul now held.

Suddenly, Libitina’s hand moved across Abigail’s face in a violent motion.  The pain was intense and Abigail barely had time to shield her eye from the blow.  Those nails, those long, raking nails had come out to play.  They’d torn through her skin like an animal’s.  It was in that moment of intense pain, of worry and fright, that she felt it.  Like someone had plucked it, the string vibrated with a tension Abigail had never before felt.  Her head spun and her vision swam.  The pain became pronounced, but still, she forced her eye open.

She saw herself then, as if she stared into a mirror and her reflection stared back.  But there was no mirror and this was no reflection.  Her own face was twisted in pain and hatred, her violet eyes changing, darkening.  She saw the scratch that marred her face, bleeding and fresh.  Even more disturbing, she saw her eyes changed further and her face become more pronounced with hatred, more feral.  Her lips moved and a voice not her own spoke, deep and grating.  It seemed so surreal that the words spoken came from her own, pale lips.

‘Libitina!’

She felt emotions not her own wash over her in a great, pounding wave.  This had never happened before and Abigail found herself at a loss for explanation.  She could only watch as the scene played out, as her body moved with a volition that was not her own.  It caused Libitina to step back, but her body continued to advance, poised strangely for such a small, thin stature.

“A-Antonius?” Libitina gaped, unable to believe her own eyes or ears.  He was using Abigail, but how?

‘I told you to leave her alone, Libitina.  I warned you.  Now not only do you try to kill me, but you attack her?  You take advantage that neither I nor that blind excuse for a vampire is present to stop you?’

“How dare you!” She roared, suddenly, her voice reverberating with preternatural power.  “How is this possible?!  You are supposed to be dead!”

‘I live, Libitina.  And I’m coming for you.  You should have known better than to send a fool to do a man’s job.’

Abigail nearly cried out, despite her own wordless state, when Libitina lunged forward in a rage.  Reflexes not her own caused her arms to shoot out, blocking the vicious woman’s face and her fangs.  She was stunned, falling back, her red eyes glowing with malice.

“Antonius!  I WILL TEAR HER APART!”

Her voice wasn’t even human now, she didn’t bother trying to hide it.  She started forward again, only to be stopped.  Abigail felt her fear building.  Antonius had it under control now, but this wasn’t his body and she could feel him straining.  He was injured.  He was human again, now, but injured.  And yet he did this.  Abigail could not bring herself to feel emotion, too stunned for words or thoughts.

‘You’ve lost, Libitina.  It’s over.’

“NO!” Libitina roared, startling them both and jumping forward with a speed Abigail’s eyes could barely register.

The force rocked her, both her body and soul.  She felt it sever then, the connection, as if someone had come by and simply sliced the thin strand in half.  Everything went black.  Abigail’s body fell to the ground, useless and soulless, her own locked away in some deep recess.  It simply wasn’t used to being posessed by someone else, nor being thrust against with a power that was beyond this realm’s comprehension.

Libitina’s own form threatened to break away, too weak to handle such a display of power.  She should have just killed Eckhard–consumed him whole and sealed the pact with this body.  Foolish, foolish!

It was all crashing down now–everything had been put into motion.  She moved her gloved hand over her face.  Antonius was lost to her, this she knew more clearly than anything.  It was a hard defeat, a hard loss.  If he had simply died, it would have been simpler, but now he moved against her.  No longer would he hide in shadows, he was coming now.  She had Abigail, she could stave him off with the girl’s life, but for how long?  And what of Eckhard?  She would wait for him to return, yes.  She would wait and then she would finish this.  With her true, full power she could finally end this… Antonius, Abigial, all of them.  They would all fall and she would win.

She refused to die, she refused to be locked away in that horrible place.  She liked having a body, having power.  Yes, she would win.  They were in trouble.

She glanced down at Abigail’s fallen form again and sighed.  The girl would be out of it for a long while, it was perfect.  She’d simply have to move her to a more secure location, but where?  It was so much easier to have lackeys to do this for her.

‘Damn him, damn him!’ Libitina snarled under her breath.  This was certainly not how she expected it would all go down.

It’s hard for me to believe we’re so close to the end of these!  There’s still a few more left, a few things to cover, etc.  I’m not sure how many it will take.  Hopefully they continue to be enlightening to the whole situation and maybe fill in some holes about how this all correlates with what happens later.  :)

6 Responses to “026. Prologue – ‘Fragile’”

  1. jarasing says:

    It definately sheds a lot of light on what happens later.

    This was a mesmerizing piece. Antonius’ ability to be present through Abigail’s body stunned me just as much as Libitina. It saved her life but what damage has it done to Abigail herself.

    Thanks, Chari! That whole thing was made possible by the link and Abigail’s own, hidden powers. She’s not completely aware of what she’s capable of. Unfortunately, you’re right. But for now, she’s safe.

  2. Gayl says:

    I’m completely breathless here. I am amazed at Antonius’ power, strength much beyond what I thought he truly had. That he could possess Abigail’s body like that…and what of Eckhard I wonder? I know he didn’t die…

    I love these glimpses Mao. They bring so much to the stories that followed.

    Thank you, Gayl! I’m glad they’re bringing something to the plate. I really enjoy doing them. It’s so fun to explore the characters you really didn’t get to see.

  3. goodbye_sun says:

    That was a nice little twist, Antonius does have a few tricks up his sleeve then, and interesting to see Libitina looking so unnerved. I will be quite interested to see what Eckhards role will end up being as this all comes together.

    Thanks! Libitina is definitely thrown off her game. Eckhard’s role is a bit different than he painted it, you can be certain. ;)

  4. E. Black says:

    Well, damn! Antonius has more power than Libitina knew. This is turning out to be quite the rollercoaster. In a good way.

    Thanks! It’s about to get more, uh, hilly? Whatever you call it when it comes time for the rollercoaster to do those hills and declines.

  5. cheripye says:

    Absolutely stunning!
    I love reading all of this, the insight is so invaluable in order to truly understand the entire story!!!

    Thanks, Cherie! I’m glad they add to the experience. :D

  6. ruby says:

    o.O wow .. where did he pull that from? Nice trick Antony. I’m impressed.
    Of course he lives.. he has other things to do first but stil, wow! i look forward to what comes next!

    Pissing Antony off is usually not a very wise thing. Even Eckhard skirts around it.

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