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    C. Henderson
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Sacrum - 4. Chapter 4

I buried the book deep in my backpack, feeling as if I was going to get caught red handed at any moment. I couldn’t read it at the library, I needed privacy. So I hurried back to my room, where I locked myself inside and settled at my desk. My hands shook as I unzipped the bag and pulled the book back out. What things would I learn about myself from the manual? Would I be shocked? Surprised? Apprehensively, I began to read.

17 years ago, after the fall of the Carandini family, the newly formed government began to slowly rebuild trust with the humankind. The governing body, made up of ten vampires hailed as the wisest throughout the vampire world, put in place various mechanisms and laws to ensure that a tyrannical ruler would never again come to power. Many famous vampires were tasked with creating programs that would ensure equality between the human and vampire world, and that would help suppress any potential bad seeds if they tried to overtake the free government. Vinicius Antonius Valentini was one of them. I reread the name again and with great sorrow realized that I had never asked Vinicius to tell me his full name. How did I know so much about him, without knowing almost nothing at all? I kept on reading. Vinicius had grown up as a human and had been a famous scientist in his time. He continued his studies after his transformation—which was involuntary, the manual noted. He contributed to bringing vampires out of the shadows and modernizing their way of life. He invented the procedure which allowed female vampires to become pregnant and give birth to the dead—vampire children. Because of his huge scientific breakthroughs, he was chosen as the head of the Specials program, tasked with creating a handful of secret vampire weapons—one of them being me.

He was the one who helped to infuse them with unique gifts—chosen by their distinct mentor—that would be used if there ever was the need for them. I stared at the list with disbelief. There it was, right in front of my eyes. I read it out to myself.

Mentor # 1 was Francesca Normani from France. Her Special was named Antoine Debesse. His gift: the power of psychokinesis. I gasped, just looking at this information felt completely illegal.

Mentor # 2 was Rebecca De Rossi from Italy. Her Special was named Maurizia Tocci. Her gift: the power to heal.

Mentor # 3 Aurori Altieri, currently residing in Austria. His Special was named Luciana Elise. Her gift: the power to incinerate.

I gasped again at the sight of Mentor # 4, none other than my new teacher, Sebastiano Maratoni, currently a resident of America. His Special went by the name of Demetrius Algano. His gift: the power to cause pain. Of course, I thought to myself. What else would Maratoni choose for his Special but that. It seemed like the perfect fit and continued to confirm to me that Maratoni was not a good character.

My eyes moved over to the last name on the mentor list, the founder of the program. Mentor # 5 Vinicius Antonius Valentini from America. I read my full name out loud. Daniele Aleksander Marchesi. Our last names were given to us based off of famous vampires who had contributed to forging the peace between the vampires and humans. Then my eyes rested on my gift: the power to transform energy.

I had held great resentment against Vinicius for a long time for bestowing me such a gift. As a small boy, I felt slighted that out of all the cool things he could have chosen, he picked something so…useless. I could have had the power of invisibility, or shooting daggers out of my hands, but instead, I had a gift which I could barely understand, much less control.

I remembered an instance when I had complained to Vinicius, yet again, about how fickle my power seemed. We had spent years practicing and I truly wasn’t sure that I was getting anywhere with it.

“It will take time,” he mused patiently. I didn’t have any patience.

“It’s stupid and doesn’t work. What’s even the point? I won’t be able to help anyone when the time comes,” I replied bitterly. Vinicius regarded me for a while.

“You don’t need a special gift to help others, Dani,” he commented, “You just need to have the will.”

I continued to read more and take notes that I could slip into my essay. Things Vinicius was at liberty to have shared with me but hadn’t. Things that would get Maratoni off my back. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. I scrambled to put the book away in my bag. Did someone know? Were they coming to take me away?

But it was only Vincent. I quickly ushered him into my room.

“What the hell!” I exclaimed, locking the door behind him. He arched his eyebrow.

“What?”

“How do you have that in your possession, and why did you give it to me?” I asked. I had a hundred questions running through my mind.

“Never mind how I got it. And I gave it to you because it seems like you could use it, especially with Maratoni harassing you for information.”

“You know what would happen if someone found out you had this?” I asked, panicked.

“Well, let’s keep it just between us,” he said smirking, as if he was amused by my panic. He took a step forward and moved a strand of hair out of my eyes. His fingers long and slim. I couldn’t look away from him.

He gently placed his lips on mine, and we both jumped away immediately. The feeling was too overwhelming. Like a shock to the system.

“Wow,” he replied, energized.

“Yes, wow,” I replied. He slowly came back towards me again. He took my face in his hands and smiled.

“My little transformer,” he said, and I looked down, completely embarrassed.

“I can’t believe you know,” I said. He took my hand and gently pulled me onto the bed, where we lay facing each other. None of what I was doing was smart, but somewhere in time I had decided that I would trust Vincent—despite everything. I almost felt relieved that someone finally knew my secret, aside from my mentor and people in the government. He stroked my hair gently.

“I don’t have a lot of control over it, Maratoni says I’m behind all the other Specials,” I confessed.

“That’s natural, yours is the hardest one to master,” he replied.

“Really?” I asked surprised, and he nodded.

“That and the power to heal. They are intricate because they require a lot of the Special’s own energy and sacrifice. You’re not just projecting energy outward or manipulating something already existing, you’re taking energy into yourself and changing it. It’s a capricious process.” Nobody had ever explained it to me that way. He made it sound so simple. I leaned in again and he smiled.

“We have to pace ourselves; I don’t want you to pass out on me again,” he said. I gently touched his lips with mine one more time anyway. The feeling was overwhelming. I swiftly pulled away.

“Mmm,” he groaned gently.

“Seriously though, can you tell me how you got the book,” I asked, trying to read Vincent’s face. He looked away, frustrated.

“Dani, there’s some things I just can’t tell you,” he replied.

“Why? You seem to know everything about me,” I complained, feeling sightly exposed.

“I don’t want to lie to you, so please don’t force me to,” he replied. “I went out on a limb to give you that book. Take it as a sign of good faith. And don’t make it too obvious in your paper that you have new information, Maratoni will know, he’s not stupid.” I caressed his face, trying to take away his frustration.

“What did I get myself into with you?” I asked. He smirked, which made him look even sexier than usual.

“We’re just getting started,” he replied and leaned in for another exhilarating kiss, making all my doubts and worries disappear.

Copyright © 2021 C. Henderson; All Rights Reserved.

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Chapter Comments

The plot thickens, Maratoni's out to no good, question is, who are his allies and what role does he envision for himself?

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Interesting chapter, so he has way more information about himself and the others, no doubt that he will have learn fast to get up to speed, maratoni is not going to let up I  don't think

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Maratoni would naturally mentor the Special with the darkest power of all and no wonder one of the easiest to use and control. Unlike what Dani believes, I think he got the power which rivals them all.

Vincent having the book actually supports the rumors about a secret group out to restore the monarchy.

This Specials program was thought out ass backwards. I'd think it better if no one knew who or where they were. You don't reveal the location of your secret weapon.

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4 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

Maratoni would naturally mentor the Special with the darkest power of all and no wonder one of the easiest to use and control. Unlike what Dani believes, I think he got the power which rivals them all.

Vincent having the book actually supports the rumors about a secret group out to restore the monarchy.

This Specials program was thought out ass backwards. I'd think it better if no one knew who or where they were. You don't reveal the location of your secret weapon.

Thank you for all of your astute observations! I appreciate you being invested in the story. 

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