Home > Bloodlust (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #2)(2)

Bloodlust (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #2)(2)
Author: L.J. Smith

"Why do you keep making me do this?" he asked plaintively, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and wincing.

"You need to regain your strength." I prodded Clementine with the tip of my dirt-caked boot. She groaned softly, somehow still alive. For now, at least. But her life was in my hands. The realization trilled through me, as though my entire being were on fire. This--the hunt, the conquests, the reward of the pleasurable sleepiness that always followed a feeding--made eternity stand before us as an endless adventure. Why couldnt Damon understand?

"This isnt strength. Its weakness," Damon hissed, rising to his feet. "Its hell on Earth, and nothing could be worse."

"Nothing? Would you rather be dead, like Father?" I shook my head incredulously. "You have a second chance."

"I never asked for it," Damon said sharply. "I never asked for any of this. All I wanted wasKatherine. Shes gone, so kill me now and be done with it." Damon handed me a jagged oak branch. "Here," he said, standing with his arms open wide, his chest exposed. Just one stroke to his heart and hed have his wish. Memories flashed through my mind: of Katherine, her soft, dark curls, her fangs bright in the moonlight, her head arched back before she bit into my neck, her ever-present lapis lazuli pendant that sat in the hollow of her neck. I now understood why shed killed my fianc�e, Rosalyn, why shed compelled me and Damon, why she used her beauty and innocent visage to make people want to trust and protect her. It was her nature. And now it was ours. But instead of accepting it as a gift, as I had, Damon seemed to think it was a curse.

I cracked the branch over my knee and threw the shards into the river. "No," I said. Though Id never admit it aloud, the thought of living forever without a friend in the world frightened me. I wanted Damon and I to learn to be vampires together.

"No?" Damon repeated, his eyes snapping open. "Youre man enough to murder an old flame, but not your brother?" He shoved me to the ground. He loomed above me, his own fangs bared, then spit on my neck.

"Dont embarrass yourself," I said, scrambling to my feet. He was strong, but I was far stronger, thanks to my regular feedings. "And dont fool yourself into thinking Katherine loved you," I growled. "She loved her Power, and she loved what she could make us do for her. But she never loved us."

Damons eyes blazed. He rushed toward me with the speed of a galloping horse. His shoulder, hard as stone, plowed into me, throwing me back into a tree. The trunk split with a loud crack. "She lovedme."

"Then why did she turn me, too?" I challenged, rolling to my feet as I rebuffed his next blow.

The words had their desired effect. Damons shoulders sagged, and he staggered backward. "Fine. Ill just do it myself," he murmured, grabbing another stick and running the sharp end along his chest.

I slapped the stake out of his hand and twisted his arms behind his back. "You are my brother--my flesh and blood. So long as I stay alive, so shall you. Now, come." I pushed him toward the woods.

"Come where?" Damon asked listlessly, allowing me to drag him along.

"To the cemetery," I answered. "We have a funeral to attend."

Damons eyes registered a dull spark of interest. "Whose?"

"Fathers. Dont you want to say good-bye to the man who killed us?"

Chapter 2~3

Chapter 2

Damon and I crouched in the cemeterys hemlock grove behind the mausoleums that housed the bones of Mystic Falls founders. Despite the early hour, already the townspeople stood stoop-shouldered around a gaping hole in the ground. Puffs of air curled into the cerulean blue sky with the crowds every exhalation, as if the entire congregation were smoking celebratory cigars rather than trying to calm their chattering teeth.

My heightened senses took in the scene before us. The cloying smell of vervain--an herb that rendered vampires powerless--hung heavy in the air. The grass was laden with dew, each drop of water falling to the earth with a silvery ping, and far off in the distance church bells chimed. Even from this distance, I could see a tear lodged in the corner of Honoria Fellss eye.

Down at the pulpit, Mayor Lockwood shuffled from foot to foot, clearly eager to get the crowds attention. I could just make out the winged figure above him, the angel statue that marked my mothers final resting place. Two empty plots lay just beyond, where Damon and I should have been buried.

The mayors voice sliced through the cold air, his voice as loud to my sensitive ears as if he were standing right next to me. "We come together today to say farewell to one of Mystic Falls greatest sons, Giuseppe Salvatore, a man for whom town and family always came before self."

Damon kicked the ground. "The family he killed. The love he destroyed, the lives he shattered," he muttered.

"Shhh," I whispered as I pressed my palm against his forearm.

"If I were to paint a portrait of this great mans life," Lockwood continued over the sniffles and sighs of the crowd, "Giuseppe Salvatore would be flanked by his two fallen sons, Damon and Stefan, heroes of the battle of Willow Creek. May we learn from Giuseppe, emulate him, and be inspired to rid our town of evil, either seen or unseen."

Damon let out a low, rattling scoff. "The portrait he paints," he said, "should contain the muzzle flash of Fathers rifle." He rubbed the place where Fathers bullet had ripped through his chest only a week earlier. There was no physical wound--our transformation healed all injuries--but the betrayal would be etched in our minds forever. "Shhh," I said again as Jonathan Gilbert strode up to stand beside Mayor Lockwood, holding a large veiled frame. Jonathan looked to have aged ten years in seven short days: lines creased his tanned forehead, and streaks of white were visible in his brown hair. I wondered if his transformation had something to do with Pearl, the vampire he loved but had condemned to death after finding out what she really was.

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