Waking up in strange places seemed to be becoming a habit and Thom opened his eyes to find that he was once again not where he had been when unconsciousness originally descended. What was also very significant was that, soon after consciousness returned, he realised he was totally naked. Several other facts followed this one quite quickly: there was a rather possessive arm around his waist; he was spooned up against another naked body behind; he had an arm thrown over Jonathan who was lying in front of him; and they all appeared to be in a bed that was not the couch from Damian's rooms.
The moment he moved, the arm around his waist tightened a little and he half turned, realising that he was not the only person awake in the bed. He was not overly surprised to find that the firm body behind him belonged to Damian and he was even less surprised to see that a very much asleep Colin was curled up against Damian's back as well.
"Naked?" he asked, deciding that he would rather have an interesting conversation than a serious one.
"There are many things I allow in the Lair," Damian said, accepting his lead and smiling just a little, "grime is not one of them."
"I see your point," he replied, since he could not say he disliked the fact he was naked in close proximity to other naked men.
He could still feel the shift in the magic around him; it had not settled yet and it made his nerves tingle. It was impossible to say how long he had been unconscious, but it could not have been too long and he felt the need for sex beginning to make itself known again. Jonathan appeared to be sleeping peacefully in front of him, something that surprised and pleased him, but he was not sure he would be able to let it go on much longer.
"I can feel the need in you," Damian whispered to him quietly.
"You and Colin put on quite a show," Thom replied, feeling his cock beginning to stir at the memory.
"Orchestrated by you," Damian pointed out and the hand resting over him moved slowly over his skin. "You move people like chess pieces."
"Only when necessary," he said and gave a small moan as Damian kissed the side of his neck and clever fingers stroked down over his stomach, just brushing the hair nestling between his legs.
It was Damian who was making a move now and he almost gave in, but he managed to pull back control at the last moment. To his surprise he felt Damian smiling into his back.
"You have a will of iron," Damian said and seemed more amused than anything else.
"That is not the only thing made out of iron at the moment," he replied, feeling his cock throbbing as he rapidly hardened.
"Then I suggest you wake your sweet young thing," Damian told him, "and do something about it."
That did surprise Thom and he turned again.
"I am no longer the young man you met all those years ago," Damian said, no trace of the jealousy Thom had feared, "I am old enough to recognise necessity and I know the bonds which bind us can never be broken. He is young and we need to teach him how to share and be shared."
Now Thom slowly smiled; Damian really was the leader he had hoped.
"I cannot think of anyone I would rather share him with," he said and he genuinely meant it.
"Does that include me?" Colin sounded sleepy, but very much interested.
"Family is family," Thom said and looked back at Jonathan's slumbering face, "and I think it is time we taught Jonathan that."
Moving forward, he made sure he was nose to nose with Jonathan and then he let his fingers slowly trace over Jonathan's chest, causing the muscles under the taught skin to twitch just slightly. He smiled as Jonathan moved to clumsily brush his hand away and then settled back into sleep. Once his boyfriend was still, he started touching again, this time gently flicking over the one nipple he could easily reach. Now Jonathan made a low humming sound, clearly beginning to wake up, but not quite there and Thom kissed his boyfriend lightly on the nose.
Jonathan opened his eyes and blinked and Thom continued to play with the nipple below his fingers. He could tell the moment Jonathan's brain caught up with being awake at which point he moved even closer and all but demanded a kiss. Jonathan gave in easily, opening his mouth and allowing Thom to push his tongue in and Thom let one of his hands dance down Jonathan's chest to seek a bigger prize.
Damian's hands were fondling his arse and running slowly over his lower back, just reminding him that Damian was there as he took Jonathan in hand. Jonathan moaned into the kiss, clearly appreciating the touch and then Thom found himself moaning as well as a hand slipped between his legs and fondled his sac. Damian seemed very determined to make sure he remembered he and Jonathan were not alone. As Jonathan sucked on his tongue, he kind of forgot he was the one supposed to be initiating things for a while.
He enjoyed the attention for a while, from Damian behind and Jonathan in front, but it wasn't in line with his plan, so he eventually resisted it. They were covered in a light sheet, not really needing the warmth, but bowing to the niceties, but now it was in the way. Thom took the top of it, bunched it up and threw it towards the end to the bed, raising himself up into a half sitting position, twisted so that he was almost coming on to his knees.
"That's better," he said, letting his eyes run over all three other occupants of the bed, "now I can see."
Jonathan looked slightly uncomfortable to be suddenly without any cover in a bed with two other vampires he barely knew and Tom didn't want that to last for long.
"Time for proper introductions," he said with a mischievous smile and quickly climbed over Jonathan. "Move over," he instructed, while doing his very best not to fall out of the bed where he was now on the very edge.
That would definitely have crimped his style. Jonathan did as he was told, moving closer to Damian, but did not seem entirely comfortable with the action.
"What..?" Jonathan started to ask.
"Just relax," was all Thom said as he began to make himself comfortable, "you're going to like this."
He looked to Damian, who met his gaze and gave just the tiniest sign of acknowledgement; they were marching to the same tune. Thom felt the spark of excitement in his belly, making his body respond even more, but at that point he was more interested in his boyfriend than his own arousal.
Thom settled down behind Jonathan, aligning his body to Jonathan's and smoothing a hand over Jonathan's side, hopefully allaying any fears Jonathan might be feeling. He kissed the side of Jonathan's neck, pushing himself against his lover so that they were skin to skin and also making sure Jonathan could not move back. The next part was the first test and he let his eyes meet Damian's.
Colin was lying behind Damian in the same way he was behind Jonathan and seemed to be very interested in Damian's ear, but Thom could see Colin watching him and Jonathan as well. They were all still on the same page even as Colin caressed Damian.
Damian acknowledged Thom's look by leaning forward, moving a little way from Colin, although Colin's hands were still running over Damian's upper and lower body and they were only parted from the waist up. Damian stole a kiss from Jonathan and insinuated himself into a similar role as Thom had had before, while Thom caressed Jonathan from behind. For a few moments Jonathan was tense, Thom could feel it in his lover, but Damian was not easily put off and Jonathan slowly relaxed into the kiss. The fact that Thom could see Damian's hands moving over very less than innocent places on Jonathan had to have helped and Thom continued to lay gentle kisses on the back of Jonathan's neck and shoulders.
It wasn't long before Jonathan was kissing Damian back and moving to touch as well, at which point Thom decided to move on. Very slowly he began to work his way down Jonathan's back, curling himself round on the bed so that he didn't fall off the end. He layered kisses all over Jonathan's skin as he went until he reached Jonathan's back side, at which point he found it completely irresistible and he nipped at his lover's ass cheek quite hard. The resulting squeak was well worth the effort.
"Hey," Jonathan said, twisting and looking down at him, at which point he just grinned.
"It's not like you're going to bruise," he said in as cheeky a tone as he could manage.
"He has a point," Damian agreed and caused Jonathan to look between both of them and pout in the most adorable manner.
"Aww," Colin said, leaning up on one arm and all but leering at all three of them, "ganging up on poor Jonathan."
Thom's grin widened.
"Oh yes," he replied and had a good fondle for good measure.
He had very definite designs on Jonathan's ass and even as Jonathan tried to protest about the ganging up part, he urged his lover's top leg up and forward, eventually coming to rest over Damian's hip.
"Much better," he said and moved in on his target.
The puckered little hole right in front of his face was exactly what he was after and, spreading Jonathan with his fingers, he swiped his tongue across that particular spot. All protest from Jonathan died instantly and about the only sound Jonathan seemed to be capable of making was a low moaning, that Damian soon reduced even more by demanding yet another kiss.
If there was one thing Jonathan had never been able to resist it was a good tongue-lashing; it never ceased to relax Jonathan in a way just about nothing else could, which was why Thom had chosen his current form of attack. He gave the strong muscle another couple of swipes of his tongue, relishing the heightened experience that his vampire senses gave him. The quiet whimpering which resulted was very gratifying and he moved his attack up a gear, pushing his tongue against Jonathan hard. Jonathan broke out of the kiss with Damian then, head going back a way and breath coming in little gasps and Thom kept up his attack.
The way the muscle under his tongue quivered at his touch made him smile, or at least as well had he could without giving Jonathan any chance to gather himself. Thom was enjoying every second and he could feel Jonathan's hole giving in to his assault, relaxing in a trained response, which was exactly what he wanted. It took him a few more minutes, drawing quite a few vaguely strangled sounds from his lover, especially since Damian at no point gave up from the front either, but eventually he could feel that Jonathan was more than ready for the next step.
If the sigh was anything to go by, Jonathan thought he was having mercy when he finally pulled back, but he had no intention of being merciful for long. He wanted Jonathan to completely come apart under their touch; to surrender completely and finally realise that there was no threat from the others. Jonathan was territorial and overly paranoid and this was a physical demonstration that those instincts were now entirely redundant. This was love at its most primitive form and as such required very careful handling. Thom was going to claim what belonged to him, claim and then share.
As if Colin knew exactly what he was thinking, as he moved back up so he was lying along side Jonathan once more a small packet was thrown in his direction. It was a sachet of lube with the Lair's logo on it, which might have amused Thom had he not been more interested in what he was going to use it for. He gave Colin a nod of thanks and then ripped open the packet with his teeth, spreading it over his achingly hard cock. To say he was looking forward to what was coming next would have been the understatement of the century. He had been ready to take Jonathan before all the build up and now he was practically dying for it.
"Ready for me, Lover?" he asked in Jonathan's ear.
"Always," was the just about coherent response.
They had done this enough times in the past and Jonathan was prepared enough that they were both ready and Thom manoeuvred himself into position before slowly pushing into Jonathan's waiting body. Jonathan was tight, but there was no real resistance and as Jonathan groaned and flexed around him, Thom pushed home. He gave a breathy moan of his own as a sank into his lover, feeling his power moving under his skin as well as the sexual arousal the whole act was causing. It made him breathless and almost shook the control he was trying to maintain.
What he would have liked to have done was drive into Jonathan over and over again until they both dived over the edge into sexual ecstasy, but that wasn't the point. Jonathan was definitely going to get there, but Thom had no intention of letting go himself, not until his objective was complete.
He moved slowly against and inside Jonathan, pulling away and then bringing their bodies back together again and he demanded tight control of his own flesh. This was about Jonathan; a demonstration that had to be handled perfectly and he held to his lover, fucking him as carefully as he knew how. Jonathan responded with sounds of pure sex, moving against him, trying to urge him on, clearly wanting more, but he would not give it.
Damian still demanded attention from Jonathan as well, although Damian had his own distractions now since, as far as Thom could tell, Colin was making sure Damian knew he was there. Colin was definitely not willing to play a passive bystander it seemed and Thom really couldn't blame him.
"Please," Jonathan eventually began to beg, needing more than Thom was willing to give.
Thom enjoyed Jonathan's need and had every intention of letting Jonathan reach orgasm eventually, but not quite yet.
"Soon," he promised, holding back his own pleasure as he drove Jonathan on.
The whine that came from Jonathan's mouth when he completely withdrew was completely bereft.
"Turn over onto your other side," he instructed quietly and Jonathan was so desperate that his lover did exactly as he was told straight away.
It took a few moments of shuffling, but soon Jonathan was facing him and he moved forward for a kiss. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Colin's hand, slick with lube, working Damian's cock. This was the second stage of the demonstration and he had to keep Jonathan in the zone. He reached down and took hold of Jonathan's thigh, urging Jonathan's leg forward, at which point Jonathan seemed to catch on to what he was trying to do. The moment Damian moved in behind Jonathan, Thom felt his lover try to move away, but Thom held Jonathan firm, demanding another kiss in an attempt to distract his lover.
It worked long enough so that Jonathan could not move away before Damian slid into him and Thom watched Jonathan's expression change to one of bliss as Damian moved. It did not last long as Jonathan's brain caught up with instinct, but Thom was looking his lover in the eyes and fondling him with one hand by the time reality made itself known.
"Let him have you," Thom said quietly, "let him love you."
Jonathan appeared conflicted, clearly wanting sex on a physical level, but not sure he wanted it the way he was getting it. It was time to blow Jonathan's mind, figuratively and practically. He fisted Jonathan's cock firmly, demanding that his lover focus only on the sex; there would be time for thinking later. Jonathan's eyes closed and Thom felt his lover relaxing into the pleasure rather than worrying about where it was coming from.
Once again he began his descent down Jonathan's body, this time his aim was much harder, longer and thicker, but he had every intention of using his mouth on it as well. Jonathan quite obviously knew what he intended as well, because he heard his lover's breath catching in anticipation before Jonathan was moaning in pleasure as Damian moved inside him. Jonathan was trembling now and Thom knew his lover was close; it would not take much more.
Jonathan's leg was looped over his shoulder when he came level with his prize and he moved in quickly. He opened his mouth and quite deliberately swallowed Jonathan just about whole, opening his throat and taking the thick cock deep inside him. He had been gay a very long time and Thom might not have been an expert at deep-throating, but Richard had known how to do it for quite some years. Jonathan whined in over-stimulation as he bobbed his head, releasing Jonathan's cock a little and then swallowing his lover whole again.
With the way Damian was taking Jonathan from behind and he continued to suck and move over Jonathan's cock, Jonathan could not hold out for long. They moved in perfect union, their magic moving as well as their bodies and it drove them on all the faster. Jonathan finally cried out, trying to buck into his mouth, but he held his lover firm, instead sucking Jonathan for all he had.
Jonathan was left gasping and sated and Thom quickly moved back up the bed so that they were once again face to face. He held Jonathan's flushed face between his hands, looking directly into his lover's eyes.
"Do you understand now?" he asked, praying the Jonathan could accept the reality. "There is no mine, only ours. I love you, I will always love you."
Jonathan was still breathing hard, but he nodded slowly and Thom leant forward to kiss him. At last, Jonathan was finally seeing the reality of their situation.
"Thank god," Damian said, kissing the junction between Jonathan's neck and shoulder, "and now, if you would pardon my rudeness; there is something I have been longing to do for an incredibly long time."
Thom grinned and shuffled backwards and rolled over as Damian all but climbed over Jonathan to settle above him. He spared a glance for Jonathan and was glad to see Colin pulling his lover close and distracting Jonathan with a distinct case of wandering palms.
"Care for round two?" he heard Colin whisper, but by that point he was far more interested in Damian.
He put his head back and arched his back as Damian went straight for his throat, actually biting him and drawing blood. It heightened his sense of arousal ten fold and he groaned as Damian pinned him to the bed. He needed friction, he needed anything to help the ache in his loins, but Damian had him flattened just so and his cock was free from any contact at all. He could have demanded the attention he wanted; in spirit at least he was older and stronger than Damian, but that would have been cheating. There were other possibilities, but he was pretty sure he was about to be thoroughly fucked and if that was what Damian wanted, then Damian could have it.
Damian did not seem to be in the mood to wait and the coven's ex-leader moved between his legs, urging him to raise them. He did so without much thought to anymore foreplay and he felt Damian lining himself up in only moments, still slick from having taken Jonathan. Thom groaned as he was breached, his body giving in to the intrusion, but objecting at the rushed nature of it. There was a little pain, but he needed the connection more than he cared about that. He had been close to the edge since the first moment he had pushed into Jonathan and Damian's cock and Damian's magic were speaking to parts of him all at once.
This was not about finesse or stamina for either of them and after only a few moments for him to adjust, Damian was moving, demanding his surrender as he had demanded Jonathan's. They were both powerful vampires and magic users and it only made the experience headier for both of them. As Damian thrust into him, he strained to meet every move, almost animalistic in their intensity. No longer needing to be in control, he let himself go, moaning and grunting and rutting against Damian moving inside him.
Damian held him down, forcing him into the bed, pinning his arms beside his head and pushing their bodies together time after time. He could see the desperation in Damian's features, feel the need scorching both of their nerves in flames of passion. This was about dominance and power and love and unfinished business and they were almost in battle; each move increasing the intensity.
It could only end one way and despite his raw need, as Thom reached desperately for release, it was Damian who broke first. Damian bucked into him, crying out loudly, releasing semen and magic into him with equal measure. It felt incredible and even as he lay there, impaled, he came as his orgasm broke over him like a tidal wave. For a moment all he could see was white as his body shook under Damian's and it was quite honestly wonderful. As sex went it was right up there with the greatest ever.
Coming down was less fun as his ass complained about the rough treatment. He was a vampire; it wasn't as if it would last long, but it definitely made itself known for a few seconds and he found himself grimacing and breathing hard. Damian was still in him and above him and was looking down at him in a rather dazed fashion; clearly that had been a little more intense than Damian had expected as well.
"Wow," Colin's voice made him look over at the other two who appeared to have been watching them avidly; "do you two have friction burns now?"
It was typically irreverent and typically Colin and Thom found himself snorting with laughter. He wasn't really in a position to be laughing and he didn't really want to make light of what he and Damian had just done, but he couldn't help it. Thankfully Damian seemed to find it amusing as well and grinned before collapsing on top of him completely.
"Help," Thom said in a mock tortured tone, "I can't breathe."
"Then don't bother," was Colin's helpful hint.
Thom looked over at the cocky vampire; Colin was going to pay for that one. They had plenty of time and he was pretty sure he could make Colin beg in the end. When he and Damian moved apart by mutual consent and he looked Colin directly in the eye, Colin finally started to catch on and appeared kind of worried. This was going to be fun.
The club was closed with a notice placed on the door about emergency repairs, which meant there was time for the residents to adjust to their new arrangements. As far as Thom could tell, most of the coven were more interested in sex than anything else, and he couldn't blame them; the power surge had them all rather one track at the moment. That was the problem with sex magic: it was distracting. However, there were other things that needed dealing with apart from personal gratification.
When they had finally fallen out of bed, he had stepped into the shower and just about managed to dissuade the others from joining him. That meant he had had some time to think and, when he turned off the water, he was glad to find his head was much clearer than it had been. It was time to make sure everything was going to continue as they wanted and to add a new dynamic.
He walked back into the bedroom to find that Damian, Colin and Jonathan had had all the will power of a group of horny teenagers and although Damian had managed to pull on a robe, all three were back on the bed. Thom stood in the doorway drying his hair and smiled as he shook his head; clearly he was the only one thinking about anything but sex. He threw his towel over his shoulder and leant on the doorframe, watching the others for a few moments and enjoying the view. Jonathan had a serious case of submission going on as Damian and Colin played with their willing victim; it was hot to watch and almost made Thom forget what he was supposed to be doing.
"Every family needs a mother," he said, eventually shaking himself out of his fixation and drawing the others attention back to him.
All three gave him a once up and down and seemed to like the view as well, but then he was naked and that was a sure fire way to get their attention.
"Even a gay one?" Colin sounded as if he thought Thom was talking nonsense.
"Definitely a gay one when it happens to be a coven as well," Thom said, standing up straight and walking over to Damian's wardrobe.
They were close enough in size that he was pretty sure he could find something to fit.
"There is an element missing from our magic," he said, rummaging through Damian's clothes to see what he could find that wouldn't look ridiculous outside the Lair. "No matter how effeminate some of our members may be at times, they will never be female."
"You want to offer a place to your friend Laura," Damian said and Thom turned back to see his lover sitting up and looking at him seriously, all distraction gone.
Thom nodded and pulled out a pair of pants he thought would suit him.
"Her life out there is almost certainly over, whether the Sheriff believes her or not," he continued to speak as he picked a shirt. "Everything will have been entered into the computer and without telling the truth her defence sounds ridiculous. The Lair can offer her a haven and her inclusion will bring balance to our little family. We will be far more powerful when we can harness the feminine as well as the masculine."
Damian appeared thoughtful after his explanation, clearly considering the options.
"But how will she even fit in here?" Colin asked the first question.
"I think Rogers may be useful for one aspect of that," Thom said, smiling at how neatly the pieces were falling into place, "and you may be underestimating how appealing our lifestyle will be to a straight woman. You don't mind being mothered, just a little bit, do you, Colin?"
He looked to Damian to find out what his second had to say about that.
"The female of the species does not react to sex in the same way as the male," Damian said, showing far more knowledge of woman than Thom would have expected. "The controlling factor which unites us here is sex; she could bring chaos rather than balance."
Thom did not disagree immediately, he did not want Damian thinking he did not take the matter seriously, so he pulled on some underwear before answering.
"If we were just a coven I would agree," he eventually replied, "but we are a coven of vampires. A vampire's nature is inherently sexual and I have known several females of our kind. Laura will bring the softer, female aspect, but with no less passion."
"She deserves our help," Jonathan added to the conversation and to Thom's surprise his lover sounded very sure of himself.
Colin and Damian looked at each other, the years of having been a partnership showing through very clearly and then Damian looked back at Thom. Thom was pulling a shirt on, but paused to hear what Damian had to say.
"You have far more knowledge of this than we do, it seems," Damian said, climbing off the bed and walking over to him, "so we will bow to your experience, but if she becomes a problem she will have to be dealt with."
"Of course," Thom replied and smiled, he was as much a realist as Damian, "but we are getting ahead of ourselves. She may not even accept."
"You're going to her now?" Damian asked, ever ahead of the game.
Thom nodded, that was what he intended. The sooner this was done the better.
"Would you care for some company?" was Damian's next question.
"I think you are needed here," he replied, rather enjoying the way Damian's robe was hanging mostly open, but managing to drag his mind back on track, "but I was thinking of taking Colin, if he's willing."
He looked over to where Colin was still rather interested in Jonathan and was just in time to see Colin lift his head having realised that his name had been mentioned. It didn't look as if there was going to be any trouble between Jonathan and Colin from now on; the pair had adjusted very rapidly once Jonathan had exhibited his especially talented tongue. Thom had always been impressed and it appeared so was Colin, quite a change from the distain Colin had shown Jonathan previously.
"Me?" Colin asked, obviously surprised. "But I was the one..."
"That is why I would like you with me," he explained, perfectly happy to explain his reasoning; "Laura has to know we are serious."
Colin looked to Damian, another indication that things were definitely settling down and Damian gave a slight nod.
"If you want to," Damian said and then looked back at Thom.
"I'll take a shower," Colin said, leaving Jonathan lying in the middle of the bed and headed for the bathroom.
Thom leant forward and gave Damian a quick kiss, then pulled back and began arranging his choice of clothing. He was in a very good mood, which considering the last few days was quite an amazing thing.
Thom walked into the Sheriff's station the normal way even though he and Colin could have just walked straight into the cells. Sheriff Trout saw him almost straight away and looked more than shocked, especially when Colin entered the frame.
"Hello, Sheriff," he greeted, as if he was any other person in any other place, "please may we see Laura?"
Trout clearly didn't quite know what to do when confronted by two vampires on his own turf.
"I gave her your letter," the sheriff eventually said, all but puffing out his chest and making it clear he was top dog here, "but I told her what happened as well."
"Good," Thom said, attempting to appear as unthreatening as possible; "it will save some time."
The sheriff narrowed his eyes and all but glared at him, but Thom just stood there and waited for the man to decide what to do.
"What do you want with her?" Trout asked in a way that suggested they were getting no further unless their reasons were better than average.
It was kind of amusing how the sheriff still thought he could stop them when it came down to it. The man really didn't seem to truly grasp what he was up against.
"If we could step into your office," Thom said in as pleasant a tone as he knew how without being completely patronising, "we'd be happy to explain."
Stubborn as ever Trout just stood there for a while, but finally led them into the next room.
"Right, now I want the truth," the sheriff said, hands on hips and stern expression on his face.
Thom inclined his head and acknowledged the challenge.
"We wish to offer her the chance to join us," he said calmly and simply. "Without revealing the whole truth, which we can never do, her prospects in your world are low; in ours we will make her special."
The sheriff looked aghast.
"You have got to be fucking kidding," Trout said as if it was the most ridiculous idea in the world.
"Sheriff," Thom said very loudly and very sharply, "you do not comprehend what we are, only what we were, so do not deem to judge us. Laura killed Jimmy with no provocation, even with a battered woman defence her chances are slim on being set free. We can offer her what you can't."
Trout seemed a little shocked by his vehemence and Thom just glared at the other man to make sure his point was made. This was very important to him, not least of all because Laura was his friend.
"But you want to turn her into a monster," Trout said eventually, clearly not able to comprehend how this could ever be good.
"Not a monster, Sheriff," Thom said, refusing to back down in the slightest, "a vampire."
The fact that he was completely adamant about the subject seemed to be having an effect on the sheriff.
"And you think I should let you just walk in there and make her one of you?" the sheriff finally spoke again.
"No," Thom replied, feeling as if he was actually making progress, "we think you should let us in to see Laura so we can offer her the choice. It is her life, after all."
Trout did not appear happy, but neither was the sheriff looking angry either.
"We are no longer the enemy, Sheriff," Colin chose that moment to speak; "if we were, you would be dead already."
"Do you understand, Sheriff?" Thom asked, speaking plainly. "We do not have to ask; we have the power to just take, but that is not what we want."
The sheriff did understand, finally, Thom could see it in the other man's eyes. At last they seemed to be getting through.
"You have a plan if Laura says yes, I take it?" Trout said, sounding resigned.
Thom nodded and then he proceeded to explain exactly what he was thinking.
"Thom," Laura stood up the moment she saw him enter the cell block and he could smell her fear.
It had taken a little while, but he and Colin had finally talked the sheriff into letting them see Laura. There were conditions and Trout was still completely paranoid about them, but the sheriff had let them in.
"There's no reason to be afraid, Laura," Thom said, walking up to the bars, "no one is going to hurt you."
Laura looked to where Colin was standing behind him.
"I remember you," she said, backing up against the wall, "you were in Thom's house."
"That's in the past, Laura, this is Colin," Thom said, doing his best to draw Laura's attention back to him, "everything is different now."
"Because you're one of them?" Laura spat it at him like an accusation.
Thom did not like seeing one of his friends so distressed.
"I take it that's all the sheriff told you?" he said, placing a hand on the bars. "Did he mention that I healed him and we let him go?"
Laura frowned, looking less sure of herself.
"What are you talking about?" she asked.
Thom gave her a little smile.
"Sheriff Trout was shot when he, Jonathan and Deputy Rogers served their warrant on the Lair," he said simply; "he was just about dead. I used magic to bring him back before releasing him."
The clearly confused Laura.
"How would you know how to do that?" she asked and it was obvious she did not believe him.
"I'm not just Thom anymore," he said, doing his best to explain, "I am also a man called Richard DeVere."
"Oh great," Laura said, closing her eyes for a moment and clearly gathering herself, "not only are you a vampire, you're possessed as well."
Thom couldn't help it, he laughed at that, something which didn't please Laura at all.
"There is nothing fucking funny about this situation," she all but snarled at him and he admired her courage.
"I'm not possessed," he said, doing his best not to laugh again, "I used to be Richard DeVere; becoming a vampire awoke those memories within me."
"And the return of DeVere has changed everything," Colin added in rather sultry tone.
He half smiled at the intimation he could read from that tone, but of course that was lost on Laura.
"You're a vampire, he's a vampire," Laura said from her position against the back wall, "how is everything changed."
"We no longer need to kill," Colin answered for him and Thom just watched Laura for her reaction.
Laura looked very unconvinced.
"The vampires here on the Island were under a curse," Thom began to explain; "my curse. They only survived because their leader, Damian formed them into a coven. Vampires do not normally live in large groups and they do not normally kill their victims; it is too dangerous. I created Damian and in fear and ignorance he killed me. With my dying breath I cursed him, something I should never have done and the Lair is the ultimate result. When I awoke I removed the curse; the killing is over."
"And you think I'll believe anything you say, because?" Laura asked.
Thom gave a small shrug; this was turning into a familiar conversation.
"You're my friend," he said and looked her directly in the eye.
"But you're a vampire," Laura insisted.
Simple talking wasn't getting through and so Thom decided to use a little shock to help things along.
"So because I can look like this," he said, allowing his vampire traits to surface, "and I can do this," he stepped straight through the bars, "you refuse to allow me to help you."
Laura flattened herself to the wall looking very afraid and Thom let himself return to normal.
"Laura," he said, leaning back against the bars and staying back from his friend, "we did not have to walk in here. If we wanted to hurt you we did not have to use the front door or even set foot in here. We want to help."
That brought Laura up short, but she still appeared more afraid than anything else.
"Look me in the eye, Laura," he said firmly and exerted his will onto her mind.
Her head came up almost instantly and as soon as her eyes locked with his her gaze went glassy.
"See the truth, Laura," he said, voice deep and steady and then he gave her just a brief look at his past and his present.
It took only seconds, but even as he broke the connection he realised it had been too much for Laura's tired psyche and he jumped forward to catch her as she fell. He very quickly lowered her onto the bunk next to where she had been standing.
"Laura," he said, holding her and gently patting her face, "come on back."
It took a few moments, but eventually Laura blinked slowly and opened her eyes properly, looking up at him.
"Thom?" she said, confused and not really with it.
"Sorry about that," he apologised immediately, smiling as she slowly came to properly.
For a few moments they just looked at each other and then Laura very carefully sat up and extricated herself from his grasp. He let her go and waited and eventually Laura turned from where she now had her back to him and looked him in the eye. This time he did nothing.
"That was real," she said, half question, half statement.
"Part of you really is Thom," Laura continued, thinking it through as she went as far as he could tell, "I felt that."
"Part of me will always be Thom," he replied, perfectly honestly, "and I think that is a very good thing. Thom's life has been far different from anything my other life ever showed me. I know far more about compassion because of being Thom."
"And the other part is very old," was Laura's next statement.
"Very," he affirmed. "You have been a very good friend to me, Laura, which is why I am here. Because of what has happened your life is ruined, but we may be able to help."
"You want to make me one of you," Laura said and surprised him.
If he had managed to let that slip in their brief connection, Laura was far more perceptive on a psychic level than he had given her credit for. His desire to have her join them went up a notch.
"We can offer you a safe haven," he said, trying to convey his genuine desire to help her, "and things you have probably never dreamed of."
"But why would I want what you have?" she asked and seemed to be genuinely asking.
Thom took her hand.
"Because we can offer you a family that will never hurt you and never betray you," he said plainly. "You will be powerful and no one will be able to abuse you again."
Laura's face went blank and he was well aware he had hit a nerve.
"Or, if you decide you do not want what we offer, the Lair retains very good lawyers," Colin said and made him look around.
Colin just looked at him and it was impossible to read the other vampire's motives.
"How would you do it?" Laura asked and Thom focussed back on her. "If I just disappear they won't stop looking for me; I'm wanted for murder."
"Fake suicide," he replied without trying to pretty it up. "As long as the sheriff is convinced you are doing this of your own free will he has agreed to help and he will talk to Dr Belmont for us. You will write a note, we will drain you and leave you here and it will be written up officially as suicide brought on by remorse. Then tomorrow night we will collect you from the morgue and take you home."
Talking about how you were going to die had to be an unpleasant experience and Laura did not appear at ease with it, but she was clearly considering it.
"One woman among an army of gay men," she said with a small smile, trying to make light of it.
"Well we do have one little straight boy we haven't quite corrupted yet," he replied, smiling as well, "and I distinctly remember finding you riffling through my porn collection at least twice."
Laura blushed at that and there was a little chuckle from Colin behind him, but it didn't take long for her to become serious again.
"I need to think about this, Thom," Laura said eventually; "it's a big decision."
Thom nodded, he hadn't really expected her to make up her mind straight away.
"Here," he said, pulling one of the coven's necklaces out of his pocket, "when you have decided, hold this and think of me. It will summon us back. We would wait, but the sheriff will want to speak with you and if we stay he will think we are influencing you."
"But you don't need to be here to do that," she pointed out since she was well aware that no one had been there when she had found Tom.
"We know that, you know that, but Sheriff Trout does not seem to have cottoned on to that yet," he replied with a conspiratorial grin. "Just remember, you're not alone."
He reached out and took her hand, squeezing it and he was very pleased when she reciprocated the gesture.
"Thank you, Thom," she said and she seemed to really mean it.
He couldn't say whether she would take them up on their offer or not, but the fear was definitely going and that, at least, was good.
"We'll see you soon," he said, standing up, "whether it is to make you one of us or to call in the legal team. Think carefully."
Laura nodded and so he turned and walked back through the bars, fading out and fading back in again on the other side.
"That is a really neat trick," Laura said, trying to sound brave and cheerful now.
"One of many," he said and gave her a throwaway smile, "one of many."
Colin gave Laura a quick nod and then they went to leave, for the sake of the sheriff, the conventional way. He only hoped that things would continue to go his way.
"Why did you offer her a lawyer?" Thom asked as they walked out; he was not sure whether to be angry or not.
Colin was being inscrutable, which was a somewhat annoying ability.
"Because people with no choice make stupid decisions," Colin said in a perfectly reasonable tone; "this way you are sure what Laura decides is what wants."
There was no reprimand in Colin's tone, but Thom knew there should have been; it seemed it was Colin's turn to be the wise one. Thom smiled ruefully to himself; his obsessive personality was as bad as any of them.
"Thank you," he said, acknowledging what Colin didn't say and Colin just gave him a wicked smile.
Thom had decided to be optimistic and when he and Colin returned to the Lair, while Colin went to take care of some of the details of running the club that had been forgotten over the previous few days, he decided to prepare where Laura would live as well as finding some rooms for himself (four in a bed was fun, but not conducive to sleeping). The Lair had a lot of unused space; it was a huge building and he found some unused rooms that had not been left closed up for too long and began planning.
Damian had found him about half an hour in, after he had decided which rooms were going to be his and which were going to be Laura's. There was some furniture in the rooms already and he was doing his best to decide what to keep and what to put into storage. He would be able to pick up the furniture from his home eventually, once it was no longer a crime scene, but that would be a few days at least.
"You may be an artist," Damian said, after watching him moving things for a while, "but you are no decorator. We're going to have to air out and paint these rooms completely before their usable. I'm going to find some of the boys; they can be useful for something other than sex this evening."
And that was it; Damian took over. Thom just backed out gracefully, especially when Jonathan got involved as well. When Jonathan had moved in with him, his boyfriend had just about remodelled the entire house, so Thom was well aware of when to keep his mouth shut and let the self appointed experts get on with it.
It was two hours later he felt the summons from Laura.
"Damian," he said, from where he was watching Damian order around semi-naked vampires in a bid to redecorate the rooms, "Laura called. If she has chosen us I will contact you; it should be you, Colin and I who bring her over."
Damian gave him a nod and then turned back to the task in hand without comment; there was no need to talk about what they had already decided.
On his way out, Thom gave Colin a similar message and took the details of the Lair's lawyers just in case, but he had an overriding feeling that he wouldn't be needing them. It took him very little time to reach the sheriff's station and the sheriff met him virtually the moment he walked through the doors.
"Swear to me you are not going to hurt her," Trout said in a very firm tone.
"Laura has been my friend for a long time, Sheriff," Thom replied, equally as direct, "and I would never hurt her. If you believe nothing else then believe that."
Trout looked him in the eye, assessing him and then finally unblocked his path with a nod.
"You know the way," Trout said and Thom headed to where he knew Laura was waiting.
Once again, as soon as he walked in, Laura stood up and he didn't bother with protocol, he simply walked straight into her cell. Laura appeared nervous and her body language was anxious, so he was pretty sure he knew what she had decided.
"Would I really be powerful?" she asked, fiddling with the necklace in her hands.
"You will be the only female in the coven," Thom decided to explain a little, "and magic has balance, male and female, hard and soft; you will be the focus of the softer side. It will give you status and power; enough so that you would never be weaker again."
Jimmy's affect on Laura had been obvious over the time he had known her and he could see the scars in her psyche.
"The balance is missing from the coven at the moment," he added, reaching out and taking her hand, "and we will treasure you for giving it to us."
Thom had seen a lot of different theories on magic and its uses in his time alive and some believed in only male or only female, but he had experienced the truth of true unification and he knew its significance.
Laura gave him a small, nervous smile.
"Then yes," she said in a quiet but firm voice, "I would rather be with friends than in jail alone."
Thom smiled and stepped up to his friend, pulling her into a hug before he really thought about what he was doing; that made him incredibly happy.
"I will need to go and speak to Sheriff Trout," he said, strangely excited, "but if you are sure, I will summon Damian and Colin. We are the power base for the coven and it will be all three of us who bring you over."
Laura looked kind of scared.
"Will it hurt?" she asked and Thom realised he was running away with everything.
"Not if I put you in thrall first," he said and gave her a reassuring smile. "We will be very gentle with you."
"Then hurry back before I lose my nerve," Laura said and pushed him towards the bard. "Don't give me too long to think about it."
Never one to ignore good advice, Thom set about everything he needed to do.
The sheriff was difficult to begin with, but that was entirely expected and Thom was beginning to think that their alliance would be forever prickly, but eventually Trout was convinced. Thom had decided that he would leave Dr Belmont to Trout unless Belmont became a real problem, so once everything was settled he summoned Damian and Colin. So as not to spook the sheriff anymore than necessary, they arrived through the front door, although there was no way they could have made it from the Lair in the time it took them had they been normal human beings.
"Laura," Thom greeted as they went back into the cells, "you know Colin and you've met Damian before, but he was pretending to be someone else."
"Hello," Laura said, clearly very nervous.
"Good evening," Damian said, turning on the charm, "it is lovely to finally meet you properly, Laura. Thom has been talking about you all night, so distracted was he that Jonathan and I had to rescue your new rooms from his clutches before he rearranged them into oblivion."
"New rooms?" Laura appeared surprised.
"I was erring on the side of optimism," Thom said with a little smile, "and, luckily for you, Damian took over before I totally wrecked the rooms we're clearing out for you."
"Jonathan is playing foreman while I am here," Damian added, clearly trying to set Laura at ease; "he's having to keep a close eye on the others; gay men can become so flamboyant."
That made Laura smile and Thom thought she might have relaxed a little. It was quite amusing seeing Damian putting someone at their ease rather than being dangerous and mysterious; it was a side of his vampire child that he enjoyed seeing.
Trout had insisted on being present, just to make sure everything was above board. What the man thought was above board Thom had no idea, but the idea was to keep the sheriff happy so Trout was hovering in the background. When he looked over to the man, the sheriff walked forward and unlocked the cell door; it wasn't necessary, but Thom hoped it would make Trout feel useful.
"So how do we do this?" Laura asked, eyes flicking between them all nervously.
"Just look into my eyes and let go," Thom said, not wishing to drag this out any longer than necessary for Laura's sake, "and leave the rest to us."
To her credit, Laura did look into his eyes almost immediately and he smiled and sent peaceful signals her way. He didn't even have to say anything as Laura's eyes fluttered closed and she swayed slightly where she was standing.
"She'll be okay, right?" Trout did not seem to be able to resist putting his oar in.
"Laura will be better than okay, Sheriff," Damian said as Thom continued to concentrate, making sure Laura was very deeply under.
They had not planned exactly how to do this, but they seemed to naturally fall into place: Thom behind Laura, Damian to the left and Colin to the right. Thom wound a steadying arm around his friend while Damian lifted her left wrist and Colin the right.
"If you're squeamish about bites, Sheriff," Thom said, looking over at the hovering man and letting his teeth elongate as he spoke, "now is the time to look away."
Moving with complete synchronicity he leant forward sinking his teeth into Laura's neck as Damian and Colin did the same for each wrist. Laura made a small noise and stiffened slightly, something reaching her even though Thom held her in deep thrall, but it lasted only a moment and she relaxed into his embrace. Her blood was sweet and velvety on his tongue and he drank deeply, allowing his power to move through Laura as he tasted the essence of her life. This was the ultimate power of the predator and it was liberating not to need to curb his instincts as he kept drinking way beyond the point where he felt Laura's body begin to fail.
He could feel Damian and Colin in unholy communion with him as they stole away Laura's life and he reached out to them on a psychic level, pulling them yet closer. They were the power base for the coven, the unholy three: father, son and possibly the most dangerous piece of ass between the island and the other side of the country and their powers mingled in Laura, leaving the foundation on which her reawakening would be built.
With all three of them drinking it didn't take long and he felt Laura's heartbeat faltering as her breathing became laboured. He was holding her up now completely and as Laura's last breath passed her lips, he pulled back, perfectly in time with Colin and Damian. The blood high was a powerful thing, but Thom reigned in his senses and with the help of the other two, carefully moved Laura to the bunk. Her heart was still beating, just, but as he listened it faltered one last time and he felt life leaving her.
It felt strange even knowing that they would bring her back and he carefully moved some stray hair out of her face, making sure she was comfortable, even though she would be senseless until the next night. He did not want to leave her side and it took him a moment to gather himself and stand back.
With one finger he wiped away the drop of blood which had escaped his mouth and then he put away his supernatural nature.
"She is all yours now, Sheriff," he said, turning and looking Trout straight in the eye, "please look after her for us."
Trout looked very uncomfortable with what he had just seen, but the man did nod and that was all Thom needed. Now all they could do was wait.
End of Part 2