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Opposites by Tasha

Opposites is a Highlander/Kindred : the Embraced Xover.


Part 3

Frank seemed somehow glad about the way the Richie had reacted. It made him feel that he hadn't misjudged the young looking man quite so much as he could have. There were no such feelings in Julian Luna, and he wanted answers. The expression on Richie's face said he was not in the mood to talk.

"I asked you nicely," the Ventrue said calmly, "now I'm insisting."

The Kindred pushed his face directly into the younger man's line of vision and Richie's eyes opened in shock as Luna's irises turned a violent yellow. Julian was not pulling any punches, and the force of his will came down on the Immortal like a tone of bricks. His mind really didn't like that much, but at first it was helpless.

"What is your full name?" there was no holding back with the enquiry, and Richie's will caved like a house of cards.

"Richard Ryan," he said dully.

"How old are you?"

"Twenty two."

"Why were you fighting?"

There was a slight hesitation before the young man replied.

"There can be only one," Richie eventually responded, as the familiar line came into his mind.

"One what?" Julian was quick to jump on the information.

"Immortal," the blond man responded with even more of a pause.

It wasn't taking long for Richie's mind to find a way to fight the influence that was being exerted. Unfortunately, it was not the most coherent defence and it was taking time getting going.

"How many of you are their?" if what this man believed were true, then the Kindred might find that they had a problem.

"Don't know," was the honest reply.

It was becoming more difficult to answer, and the words came slowly.

"Is Duncan MacLeod one of your kind?" Julian asked, oblivious to the fact that his control was slipping.

"Yes," the response was dragged out of the young Immortal, and now his inquisitor noticed something wasn't quite right.

"If there can be only one," Luna tried a slightly different approach, "why are you travelling with one of your own?"

There was a long moment when it looked like Richie wasn't going to reply, but he lost the battle.

"He's ... my friend," it was almost a look of pain that creased the Immortal's features.

"You're loosing him," Lillie commented as she watched.

The Prince just glared at her as if to say `I know' and continued.

"How do you kill each other," there was nothing for it, he had to try the direct line of questioning, before it was too late.

The battle being waged was slowly tipping in the Immortal's favour, and that was just the wrong question to ask. Some information was simply off limits, and that was the point when Richie's mind totally rebelled. He felt his mouth about to betray him and he dipped into the will power that made him what he was. What he found was as much of a surprise to him as it was to the vampire trying to influence him. He reached into himself and found Mako's unwavering following of the law, and he used it as a mental club.

Julian stepped back a little startled as he actually saw blue lightening lance across his subject's eyes. The essence of Richard Ryan fought back and the vampire felt what could only be described as an unadept, mental battering ram. The trance like state was broken instantaneously and the Immortal found himself staring into the eyes of a Kindred unmasked.

"Jesus," he managed breathlessly and, despite the command to stay still he sent, his body, moved backwards sharply. "What the hell?"

Frank knew the feeling and couldn't help but sympathise. He, however, wasn't an Immortal who seemed almost totally invulnerable, so the emotion lasted only a few seconds as he remembered that Richie was.

"Interesting," was all Julian said and let his eyes fade back to their normal dark shade.

The two vampires looked at each other as if they were not quite certain what to do, and then the Ventrue made a small signal with one hand that the Toreador understood instantly. A feeling of dread threatened to take Richie as he saw the smile that Lillie gave him: it was just so disarming.

"You're tired," she said gently, "sleep."

Now this was a totally different form of attack and the Immortal had no defence. This command gave no threat to what he was and he felt his eyelids become heavy before he could do anything. The Primogen of the Toreador clan waved her hand in front of his face and he literally relaxed into her arms.

"We have to know more," Luna said firmly, "but we're not going to find out anything by forcing it out of him. Have him taken back to the alley, and make sure he forgets all this."

With a thoughtful glance, Julian turned to the still slightly bemused police officer.

"Frank," he said lightly, "how do you feel about keeping an eye on this young man for us?"

"Are you going to kill him?" the cop asked suspiciously.

Kindred did seem to have a tendency to terminate anything they perceived as a threat.

"The truth is, I'm not sure," the Prince had learnt that he had to be honest with Frank, nothing else worked. "At this point I don't think so. I have to speak to Daedalus."

The only mortal in the room reluctantly agreed, what else could he do?

The first thing that occurred to Richie when he opened his eyes, was that there was no pain. This was odd since he definitely remembered a dagger protruding out of his chest in the recent past. The second thing that entered his head was that Frank was staring down at him with said dagger in his hand.

"You're alive," the cop did a very good job of seeming surprised.

Everything but the fact that he had been discovered fled from the young Immortal's head.

"Ah, I can explain," were the words that came flooding out of the blond man's mouth.

Now Frank was not here to be difficult about this, in fact he was sure the best way to keep an eye on this man was at a distance.

"Man, I don't want to know," the cop shot back with just the right amount of fear cum repulsion. "What I don't need is having to explain you to anyone, just get out of my sight."

Richie couldn't believe his luck, and he scrabbled to his feet quickly. He didn't quite know what to say, so he picked up his weapon and did as he was told. The street was empty as he virtually fled round the corner. In the alley, Frank counted to twenty and then very carefully followed him.

Alexae was mourning the passing of the young man and had tried, unsuccessfully, to find something to distract him in the Haven. As it was he couldn't get the pale face out of his mind, and decided it was time to go back to the apartment in which he was staying. He concluded thoughtfully, that in his current sate of mind he might even be able to produce a work of poignant pain. He was an Artiste, eventually everything came down to his next creation.

What he definitely did not expect when he wandered out of the club was the sight that met his eyes. Complete incomprehension washed through him, followed quickly by a wave of red hot desire as he watched his Adonis leave the alley opposite and jog down the street. When Richie had turned into a possession was unclear, but Alexae did not argue with his own psyche. All that mattered was that his life was incomplete without the youth heading quickly in the wrong direction, and he needed him. This Toreador was not going to go through the same experience of earlier that evening, again, and because of that he saw only one way forward.

With half a smile he set off after his living work of art, the logical course of action clear in his mind. He was not going to loose his Adonis again, and so he was going to take him home.

One moment Richie was moving rapidly down the empty sidewalk, intent on getting back to the hotel, the next his way was blocked by a dark figure. He was in such a hurry that he didn't realise who it was until he tried to go round, and the man moved to block him.

"Oh, no, not you again," the Immortal said.

Tonight the world seemed to be conspiring against him. As if dying in front of a cop wasn't bad enough, he had an admirer, who although he was very good looking, was of entirely the wrong gender for Richie's tastes.

"Look, I'm not interested, so would you mind just getting out of my way?" he was a little too annoyed, and way too aware of the bloodstain on the front of his shirt to be particularly polite.

"I can't do that," Alexae purred back, as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

This time the Kindred was in no mood to play mind games, they had proved too unpredictable. Instead he went for the direct approach and threw a very hard, very fast punch at Richie's jaw. The Immortal didn't stand a chance, even invulnerability had it's limits and he folded into blissful blackness.

It was just not possible, there was no way anyone could just vanish into thin air like that. Frank was having trouble believing that he had managed to loose Richie quite so fast, but the empty street spoke for itself.

"Damn Immortal's as slippery as Kindred," he whispered to himself, and tried to think of a way to break this to Luna. "Later," he concluded finally, "I'll tell him later."

There could be a trail, something to indicate where the blond man had gone, so Frank started to look around.

He was annoyed, very annoyed and Richie began to spit curses the moment he opened his eyes. He awoke to find himself tied to a chair in what appeared to be an art studio. This state of affairs did not please him, and what pleased him even less was that someone had relieved him of most of his clothes. On a quick inspection the only garments he retained were his boxers and his jeans. He remembered the last time he had been the victim of a mad artist and realised with a sinking feeling that there would be no MacLeod to rescue him this time.

"Oh, you are so beautiful," a voice said from just beside him, "truly one of mother nature's finest."

"Wait `til I get out of these ropes," Richie growled back, throwing all of his anger into the words, "then we'll see who's beautiful."

It really didn't surprise him when Alexae laughed.

"I can't explain how you're alive," the Toreador said with a wide smile, "maybe it has something to do with Luna, but I'm not one to question such good fortune. Neither did I expect you to understand all of this."

He closed his eyes and listened to his prisoner's heart beat for a few delicious seconds. He could almost feel the blood coursing through his Adonis' veins, and he could barely contain his longing.

"You're so perfect," he continued and ran his tongue over his lips, "so unmarked."

Richie never thought he'd regret his Immortality in quite the way he was doing so now. There was something very alluring about the man standing in front of him, but there was also something that made the younger man draw back as the other took a step forward.

"Tonight I'm going to change you," the Artiste said and much to the Immortal's growing horror, ran a finger down his cheek, "I'm going to give you forever."

"I already have forever," Richie couldn't help it, it was the only thing his desperate mind could throw up as a defence.

That drew another laugh from his companion.

"Ah, the young," the Kindred said calmly, "always so thoughtless to the rigours of time."

The young blond man stiffened as the prowling vampire wandered to the side of him and round behind where he could no longer be seen. The hand rested on the side of his neck, the fingers gentle, but oh so cold.

"You will understand soon," Alexae purred into his victim's ear, "and then we shall have eternity."

Long delicate nails stroked the side of Richie's neck for a tantalising moment, and then suddenly there was the pain as one of the fingers dug in. The Immortal would have cried out, but the sound stopped in his throat as a mouth replaced the hand and the agony became ecstasy. It was like nothing he had ever felt before, as he literally experienced the life being sucked out of him.

Part of his mind screamed, but the rest of him revelled in the sensation. His consciousness soared away as his body submerged in the overwhelming stimulation of nerves and muscles. His thoughts likened it to a Quickening, but this was all being taken from him, not given to him, and he surrendered to it like he never thought he could. A connection was being made, but it was not of his doing, and all he could do was let it happen. As his mind gave in to Kindred dominance all the events of the night came flooding back. He now knew everything that had gone on, but he had no will to care.

The mouth at his neck was more tender than a lover's embrace, and yet more savage than a sword's bite, all at the same time. The moan that escaped his lips was involuntary, but totally revealing as he gave himself to the pleasure of dying.

When something wet and metallic was forced to his lips, he was barely aware, only instinct led him on. Instinct and a gentle voice that coaxed him to drink, like a mother to a babe.

Alexae cut the ropes that bound his captive with one hand and prevented the young man falling out of the chair with another. His childe had collapsed into exhausted sleep, and the Toreador was pleased with his work. Gently he lifted Richie into his arms and carried him over to chaise by the far wall.

"So beautiful," he whispered as he put him down carefully, "like an angel. You're a fallen angel now, my Adonis," he continued quietly, "but you will be so for always."

With a smile he stood back and then picked up a paintbrush. With the joy of one who was doing what he loved most, he began to paint, and record forever the last moments of his childe's mortal life.

End of Part 3