Hook and Bracket

Hook and Bracket

A Story by Arsenic Nemesis
"

Sequel to "Milk Teeth". Someone rather odd is coming to visit Garnet and her family...

"

Effortlessly, his fangs broke through the skin and into pale, moist flesh. In an instant, juice flowed over his tongue; mixed with a sticky texture and an ever-so-sweet taste. He pulled away, a light smirk on his face as he eyed the treat. Father would disapprove, wouldn’t he? The old fool would certainly find it sickening to watch. To watch his crazed son indulging in a toffee apple.

The pallid man twirled the stake in his hand, apple spinning on top with a huge chunk taken out of it. “My, my,” he drawled playfully, “how delicious”

Before him stood a little girl, cradling a shoebox full of the sweet fruits to her chest. With a smile, the man rummaged around in the pocket of his swallow tailed overcoat and produced a little, silk, sack. Then, he bit the apple between his teeth and poured the bag’s contents onto his gloved palm. Solid gold nuggets rolled onto the snow white surface, and the child gawked. Tucking away his container of treasure, the man removed the toffee apple from his mouth and grinned at her, offering out his hand. “Enough for the box, I presume?”

Lost in awe, the girl almost forgot how to speak. When she squeaked and held the treasure chest out. “O-Of course!” she exclaimed.

Giddily, the man made the exchange and carried the box under his arm, closing the lid so as not to ruin his attire. Then, thanking the now ecstatic girl, he made his way down the city street.  Already, he could feel eyes on him, but he wasn’t at all bothered. They could think what they want. At the present, all that mattered to him was making a surprise visit to his - to their - Father.

 

“I am most disappointed,” Father grimaced, his deep voice breaking slightly. He was sat forward, cold hands pressing to his temples and eyes cast down. Beside the elderly man stood Drake, as loyal as ever, smirking in Garnet’s direction. She sat with her legs crossed on the chair, pouting and looking the other way as she held an icepack to the bump on her forehead. Her burgundy and white striped top was caked in scarlet, and the sleeves had several slices in them, revealing cuts to each arm.

Again, the young vampire made an attempt at getting that slayer, and again she failed. Even for a human he was impossibly agile and did not lack in brute strength at all. Not to mention that pesky mutt - which she once found cute - was tailing after him constantly and would ruin her attacks. That night was no exception. In fact, as much as she hated to admit it, if not for Drake showing up on time, she would have been killed. Sharp wood, through the heart. She shuddered.

“Garnet...” Father sighed, “What are we going to do with you? I have honestly never been so upset by someone in my existence”

Garnet sent him a fleeting look and frowned. She wanted to argue, boy did she want to. The pure, hot rage inside her was enough to propel her across the desk and smack that man’s head clean off! But, one thing was stopping her- and that was the threat of Confinement. To be locked in that place, it’d be awful. Not to mention it’d stop her from taking part in the upcoming cross-country run. Now that would be torture; she’d been secretly training for that! (Yes, even vampires had to train for sporting events)

Brushing some dark hair from his eyes, Drake watched expectantly. Garnet knew exactly what was going through his mind, and that was to gain the pleasure of shutting her away himself. But, what she wasn’t aware of was that Drake had been following her around lately, watching her pathetic excuses for battles against the slayer. One, he knew, would be dead in half a second if he was to kill him. “Father,” Drake spoke at last, leaning to whisper into the old man’s ear, “perhaps it is time to consider actually-“

“You forget, Drake, “Father spat, shoving him away and folding his arms upon the desk, “that my reputation would be spoiled should I put her in Confinement at such an age”

Drake swallowed his groan and glanced at his sibling. She removed the ice from her head for a second and touched the bump. Wincing, she replaced the chilling sensation and met Drake’s gaze, sticking her tongue out. She was far too cocky for his liking. “That may be, Father, but you have been letting her off the hook for far too long now - the week is out; it’s been two months now”

Father grunted, contemplating what his son had just said. He stared at Garnet, who was fuming and throwing curses at Drake. She was tiny and frail, Father knew that much. Those weren’t good traits for a vampire to begin with, but also her naivety, childishness and attachment to the human world - though, thankfully, not the humans themselves - weren’t things to be happy about either. Perhaps time in Confinement would repair her, show her what it really means to be a vampire. To be a member of his family. Then again, she was young and it would be difficult to regain his reputation to the standard it was now - creatures of the night far and wide would disapprove. But...

Moaning, Father rubbed his forehead stressfully, when Drake cleared his throat. “Besides, putting her in Confinement would benefit the entire family”

At this, Garnet shot up from her seat. She snarled and dropped the icepack, the bump now bruising. “Are you kidding me? That won’t benefit the family, just you because I annoy you a little!” she snapped, and Drake growled.

“Annoy!? Annoy!? Garnet, you are a menace to this family, you’re a disgrace!” he retorted.

Garnet pressed her lips together. How selfish! She knew he didn’t care about their pride but his own.

Her mouth dropped open, revealing her baby fangs to him as a hiss escaped from her lips. Like a cat, her back arched and she bent her fingers into claws. “You’re so selfish, I hate you!” she shrieked. Drake winced at her tone, but Father was still stressing over his options to even take proper notice. Never before had she been so angry, even after losing to that stupid slayer! And it all boiled down to how much she despised him, the perfect son, the loyal one; bloody Drake.

In a flash, Garnet went to charge at him, when an arm slipped around her neck and pulled her back with a jerk. She let out a strangled gasp and gripped onto the assailant’s arm fiercely.

“Now, that’s no way to treat each other, is it?” a cheerful voice purred close to her ear.

Garnet stiffened and her eyes widened. Barely, she noticed both Drake and Father look up in awe also. From behind her, Garnet heard a loud crunch and something wet dripped onto her head. She then squirmed free in an instant and darted several paces from the attacker. Standing a couple of steps before Drake, she spun around.

By the door to Father’s study was a man, possibly in his early twenties. His hair was long, golden threads that sat comfortably on his shoulders. Skin was ghostly and without fault, except at each corner of his mouth, where faded scars were drawn long and thin. A pair of cobalt eyes gazed between sets of long lashes. He was tailored in a dark overcoat, a white shirt with elaborate frills at the collar, gloves and dark trousers. A typical male vampire’s assortment. In fact, Drake was actually wearing something very similar - minus the frills. However, unlike other vampires, this one didn’t make the suit look as refined or elegant as it should be; he carried it off with a wild, playful atmosphere instead.

Rory...” Drake grumbled with pure hatred; even more so than he ever held for Garnet, which surprised her. Especially when he stepped out in front of her, gripping her arm and pulling her behind him. She barely got chance to even gasp. Was he... protecting her? But, this was unlike her battle with the slayer. She could understand then; slayed vampires burden one’s pride after all. But this was another vampire, not only that but their brother who had once been locked in Confinement - since then he has “recovered”. Not to mention Drake was hell-bent in locking her up in there himself.

“A pleasure to see you again, Dragoslav,” Rory smirked, twirling a toffee apple idly in hand. Drake tensed at the mention of his full name. Rory rolled his eyes lazily toward him and snickered, taking a bite out of the treat.

Pulling on her arm, Garnet leant to the side, peering curiously at her older sibling. In all honesty, she had never seen her brother Rory in her life; only ever heard stories. Amongst the siblings and other vampires alike he was infamous. On occasion, they would actually speak fear of him, but this would be covered by laughs or pure ignorance.

Suddenly, the vampire smiled and bent forward, leaning past Drake and into Garnet’s face. “And you must be my baby sister,” he greeted cheerfully. Garnet couldn’t help but beam at him and nod enthusiastically, having forgotten he ceased her attack suddenly. He chuckled. “Good, then I have someone to share these with, don’t I?”

Garnet blinked at the box he held out, filled with toffee apples. She took an excited breath and, looking at him first for approval, snatched the box from him and scurried to her seat, stuffing her face. Rory smirked, pressing a gloved finger to his lips as he watched her with adoration. “Cute...” he mumbled.

Loudly, Father cleared his throat and grasped Rory’s attention. “So, then, s... son, what brings you here?” he queried with a clear shiver of the tongue.

“What?” Rory asked playfully, jumping up and perching himself casually on the edge of the desk. He leant back on one hand whilst he shrugged the other. “Am I not allowed to come and visit my adoring family?” he cast a glance to Drake, who relaxed some, though was still on edge. Then, with his eyes, Father gestured towards Garnet. Nodding, Drake marched over to her and ordered her to leave.

“Seriously!? But I wanted to talk to Rory!” she whined, knitting her brows together. Drake scowled. “You’re lucky you’re not going into Confinement right now, leave at once!” he barked and, grudgingly, she obliged.

Smiling merrily, Rory waved after her. “I’ll be sure to come and see you later!” he called, just as the door slammed shut. Sighing, Drake turned his back on the door and leant against it, arms folded as he stared at Rory carefully.

“So,” Father began sternly, yellow fangs snapping, “What really brings you here?”

Rory spun his sweet between his fingers, holding it high above his head as he looked past it and to the ceiling. “Me? Oh, nothing, just a rescue mission is all” he said nonchalantly. Drake arched a brow. “What? You planning on not letting Garnet go into Confinement or something?” he scoffed, “How touching...”

“No, no, no,” Rory sang, locking his gaze with Drake’s own, “you’ve got me all wrong. Heck, lock her in there if you fancy. I mean, a child can get really educated in there; I should know, I’ve experienced it firsthand”

“Then...?” Drake murmured, seeming almost bored.

“Dragoslav, you certainly are the impatient one, aren’t you?” Rory announced, kicking his legs, “You’d think you’re planning on staking Father in the day in your hurry to succession!”

Father sent Drake a glare, daring him to even think of such a move. No one would ever try to kill such an experienced vampire, no matter how old he is; he will always be stronger and considerably more cunning than the younger ones. Perhaps, the only exception being Rory, though they are equally as slimy as each other.  “What I meant,” Rory spoke, snapping Drake from his thoughts, “was that I’m here to look out for you, Father”

For a second, the elder was shocked, but soon regained his cool face. “Oh? And why is that?” he rested his hands on his stomach and inclined back into his chair, seeming most intrigued.

Grinning, Rory jumped from his seat, standing on the table top. “I’m glad you asked, Father!” he yelled, pacing across the desk, “And to put it simply I shall say this; slayers~”

Drake snorted and burst out into laughter, holding his belly as he doubled over. Even Father joined in with a snicker. “N-No offence, Rory, but Father will manage a couple of humans with sticks,” Drake managed, calmly from his laughing fit.

“Did I say humans?” Rory purred, pursing his lips and humming loudly. Then, folding his arms behind his back, he bent forward and grinned. “Ah - Nope! I did not”

“But, humans are slayers, idiot” Drake spat.

Rory tutted and wriggled his finger. “Wrong again, brother. Slayers are beings who slay, doesn’t have to be humans. If a dragon eats the knight, he is a slayer; and these critters certainly aren’t knights,” Rory turned to Father with a menacing grin, parts of his face shadowed, “They’re dragons

Taking a bite out of his toffee apple, and with Father staring at him with disgust, he crouched down onto one knee and stared with crazed eyes. “And, they are coming to take you down Father. To tear you limb-from-limb. Watch you bleed. Hear your bones break. Crush that soft cranium under their polished boots; possibly still caked in salt crystals. And,” he moved forward, close to the old vampire’s face, “they will rid you of your crown”

Then, he moved back and fell onto his tailbone, throwing the core of the apple away. “Or, that’s what I’ve been told, anyway,” he jeered, the menacing atmosphere replaced by his cheerful one once again.

“So, you are saying that vampires from overseas are coming and plan on killing me?”Father pressed, “Is that it?”

Rory shrugged. “Hey, it could be nothing " maybe they were kidding around?”

Drake’s face tightened. “Vampires don’t “kid around” Rory”

“Not unless they’re me, no,” he sang. Then, cupping his chin in his hand, he stared at a bookcase with a distant gaze. “Then again, I heard that Garnet enjoys a good laugh too”

Drake clenched his fists and bore his teeth. “Don’t bring her into this!” he ordered. Rory looked over his shoulder at him and smirked. “Oh? I thought the two of you didn’t get along?”

“We don’t, she’s annoying and makes a pretty bad vampire, but nonetheless she is my sister, and I - as her brother - shall prot-“

“You forget, I am her brother too, not to mention you want to lock her up” Rory purred, stopping Drake in his tracks. For one so prideful, he certainly had a weak heart. One that would be far too easy to toy with, Rory added as an afterthought. “Regardless,” Rory declared, jumping off the table and bowing to Father, “I have arrived to ensure your safety, Father. From here on out, consider me not a son but a loyal servant”

Father was astonished, but agreed otherwise. He dismissed Rory, but kept Drake with him. “It looks like Garnet isn’t the centre of our worries now, Drake,” Father grumbled.

Drake nodded. “I know”

“Rory is untrustworthy. I still can’t decide whether he is lying to me or not, either way you must keep an eye on him. Watch out for Garnet as well, her mind is already warped, there is a threat he could end up making it worse” Father explained gravely, “Drake, I put my trust in you; do not fail me”

 

“You were listening the entire time, eh?” Rory stated, having found Garnet with her ear pressed against the door upon his exit. She fumbled around, searching for an excuse, when the blonde haired vampire held his hand up. “No need, I’m not like the others, you’re curiosity is of no concern of mine. In fact, I welcome it” he said, taking slow steps up to her.

Garnet’s face was riddled with questions, excitement and fear of her older brother. She was different from everyone else, Rory noticed. At the very least everyone was cautious about him, but not her.

He crouched before her, reaching her eye level. “So, I’m sure that you’ve heard all those nasty stories about me?” he asked carelessly.

She nodded. “Yeah... Nutty Ro-“immediately, she covered her mouth with her hands. That wasn’t supposed to come out it-

Suddenly, she felt a hand upon her head and looked to find Rory smoothing her hair, his face a mask of happiness. Was he hurt? To her, he seemed so. “My nickname gets around, ey? Well, it’s better than them calling me a liar I suppose”

“A liar?”

“Not to blow my own trumpet, but I am rather cunning " now am I lying or telling the truth?” he rasped with a smile. Garnet opened her mouth and then closed it. “No, that’s not right...” Rory snapped his fingers several times, until he recalled the correct statement, “That’s it! Am I to be trusted?”

When Garnet’s lips parted, Rory pressed his finger to them, silencing her instantly. He smirked and shook his head. “No, no, no. Don’t tell me yet, wait and surprise me at a later date. Now, though, I must unpack in my room - enjoy those toffee apples” he whispered, before vanishing in a blink. Garnet looked from side to side and then behind her, finding him walking off down the corridor.

Slowly, she reached for another treat and brought it to her lips, when she noticed something on it; carvings. She looked and found it to be a message;

Don’t trust Father

He has been lying to you and Drake

Suddenly, Garnet heard the door to Father’s study creak and she bit the section of apple with the message. Drake emerged and sent her a look as she sat at the other end of the hall, eating the apples.

 

The question remains is who does she trust? The Father who threatens to lock her in Confinement? Or, the sweet-bearing sibling who suddenly turned up and who she, technically, has never met?

© 2011 Arsenic Nemesis


Author's Note

Arsenic Nemesis
Sequel to "Milk Teeth". Here I am, introducing Garnet's nutty brother Rory. I have an idea for a book around these characters in my head, but I'm not sure whether to go about with it or not. So, in case I decide not to, I thought I'd give every the chance to at least meet Rory anyway. This was checked through really quick, I'm a busy bee and I must fly - enjoy~
Also, I was listening to "Reclusion" by Anberlin whilst writing down Rory's character, suits him and sums him up quite well - I wonder what song would be Garnet's, or any of the others, though...?

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Reviews

Oh I loved this, you play with the reader and let our minds run away then snap us back to what you really mean. I can let myself imagine bits here and there and then you crack the whip and on we go. The pace is great and the characters also great; I do hope you write more, I'd love to read on!

Posted 8 Years Ago


This is great! I can't believe, it would go like this! This is so amazing! This is great, I want it to go on! Great job as always!

Posted 8 Years Ago



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656 Views
2 Reviews
Added on January 23, 2011
Last Updated on January 23, 2011
Tags: vampire, fangs, slayers, battle, confinement, garnet, brothers, sisters, slaying, puppy, milk, teeth, bracket, hook

Author

Arsenic Nemesis
Arsenic Nemesis

Redcar, United Kingdom



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