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    I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

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    Juliette Josse
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    I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:00 pm

    Juliette staggered down the street, her hands clutching at her right side, a low hiss emitting from the dark haired girl everytime someone nudged into her. I am not going to look at it, was the constant refrain running through her head. It was the only thing that managed to cut through the fog that had begun to settle in her brain. She wouldn't look at the wound. If she could just keep walking -

    Her legs gave way. Lurching forward, her arms wrapped around a streetlight, pressing her cheek into the cool metal. As hard as she was trying to pretend that this was nothing, the blood seeping through her clothes and sticking them to her bare skin proved otherwise.

    Merlin, she really needed to work on keeping her mouth shut. Maybe if she'd been able to, she wouldn't be dyin-

    Pulling herself from the streetlight with a little more force than she could afford to use, her vision swam, the passerbys and lights reduced to nothing more than blurs. Groaning, her green eyes slid closed, her eyelids shields from the world around as her fingers pressed into her bare skin. You had to apply pressure to wounds, right? Was that how it worked?

    When the world began to slowly solidify around her, she was in motion again, practically dragging herself into an alley. Leaning against the wall, she allowed herself a few moments to compose herself. A hospital. She needed a hospital. Ignoring the rising feeling of panic, her bloody fingers rubbed at her eyes, her breathing becoming more and more haggard. She didn't even know what the Wizarding hospital around here was called.

    St. Mungo's, then. Nodding jerkily, she pulled herself off the wall, concentrated, and turned.

    The pop of apparation was mingled with the sound of Juliette's screams. She'd overshot, instead of finding herself surrounded by annoying yet helpful Healers, her surroundings resembled a forest. But that wasn't her biggest worry. She was much more concerned with the searing pain in her right thigh that was beginning to rival that in her side.

    She had not been expecting to splinch.

    Her breath relegated to short, sporadic gasps, her hands clawed for her wand, trying her best to ignore the mind-numbing pain, and the darkness that was beginning to creep into the edges of her vision. She couldn't pass out. She couldn't die here. Not here, not now.

    But her body refused to listen to her desperate, silent pleas. It was shutting down, whether she liked it or not.

    Despite her fighting, Juliette's dull green eyes slid closed, unconsciousness claiming her a victim. And if a miracle didn't occur, death would too.



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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:27 am

    The scent reached the man almost as quickly as the agonized screams. Ethon altered his course, moving towards the injured person - a woman - and the smell of blood.

    He had come to the wood for solitude, finding himself in greater and greater need of it. Granted, Ethon had long been a loner, but this was different. It was as though his very person was shifting, causing him to grow ever more introspective. Perhaps it was largely due to how very old he'd been feeling of late. Ethon may have looked as he did at the age of 22 - which, granted, in his time was older than it was now - but recently, he felt his age. He felt... tired.

    That was neither here, nor there, of course, and Ethon turned his thoughts and attention to the stranger. She had grown silent, unconscious either from the pain or the blood loss. Judging from her slowing heart beat, it was the latter. Moving to her side, he quickly examined her. Her injuries were too great; healing her would not save her.

    How unfortunate.

    He rose to his feet, his mind effortlessly slipping into hers to ascertain her dying thoughts and see if there was anyone he should make aware of her passing. What he saw made him pause. Then suddenly, he was knelt beside her again, his hands on either side of her head as his focus intensified, probing her mind for her rapidly fading self.

    Do you want to live? The vampire forced the thoughts into her mind, willing her to comprehend and respond. I cannot save you - not from death - but I can ensure your continued existence. Do you want to continue? Yes or no. Answer now!

    He hoped that she was not too far gone to answer him, otherwise, he would have to make the decision for her.


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:56 pm

    Even in her state of unconsciousness, her brain worked, possibly even harder than it would if she was awake. It tried in vain to do something, anything that could make the girl it belonged to wake up.

    Juliette Josse didn't want to die. And what part of her brain was still ticking tried to make that wish a reality.

    And when such an opportunity presented itself, she leaped at the chance. She didn't care what she had to do, as long as she stayed alive at the end. As long as she could still look around, could still appreciate the world around her. Continued existence? Her answer was instantaneous.

    Yes. Yes. I want to live. Anything, I'll do anything. I just want to live.


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:19 am

    At her response, Ethon hesitated no longer. Bringing her wrist to his lips, he bit into her wrist and drank. Not much; just enough. Then, pulling her shoulders onto his lap, he tore his own wrist open with his teeth and put it to her mouth, letting his blood trickle between her lips and using his hand to massage her throat to force her to swallow.

    She was still dying; that was no surprise. She would have to have to die, anyway. Ethon had done what he could. Only time would tell whether her life ended or if she would awake again to one far different than what she had known.


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:00 pm

    The increase of pain registered in her brain, sending a jolt of pain racing through her arm. But on the outside, she showed almost no signs of it, though her breathing sped up, possibly more than it could afford to.

    But in comparison to the pain and the blood she'd already lost, this was nothing. Like a drop of water in the ocean.

    She swallowed the blood, more out of reflex than anything else. There was liquid in her mouth, and the simplest way to get rid of it was to swallow. She didn't feel any better, because truth be told, she was dying. Death was the only way to finish this transformation.

    Some time later....

    Her eyes finally flickered open. She blinked once, then twice, then three times, an expression of confusion settling across her face. Her gaze had been focused on the still dark sky above, but she flitted her green eyes away, staring at the man above her. The world seemed to shine, everything around in practically in high definition.

    "Who are you?" she asked softly, pulling herself out of his lap and sitting down across from him. Glancing around the forest, the memories of how she'd gotten here came flooding back. Her clothing was stained with her blood, but she felt perfectly fine.

    A relieved smile dancing across her lips, Juliette looked back up at the blond. "You saved me. Thank you. Thank you so much."


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:17 am

    Ethon waited with the patience of one who had eternity to wait. He was one of the few beings on earth that did. The man was able to sense it, the moment she ceased to be human and started to be something else. It had taken. Sometimes, it didn't. The human vessel was frail, after all.

    Eventually, she woke. Ethon had not moved except to turn his gaze on their surroundings. She pulled away, taking brief stock of herself.

    "The name is Ethon," the man answered. He waited for her to notice the smell of her human blood; how it smelled wrong, now. Then, after smells, she would inevitably notice sounds. She would hear his heart; then, she would realize that she could not hear her own.

    "I... turned you," Ethon replied, briefly meeting her gaze before looking at the ground. "Some would say that saved, others cursed. I've always been personally inclined to believe that latter."


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:45 am

    She brushed a hand through her hair, giving her head a little amused shake, a relieved grin beginning to dance across her face. She was alive. She was actually alive. And this man, this very amazing man, had been the one to save her. She didn't think words could possibly even begin to explain her gratitude. But she could at least try. "Ethon," she repeated softly. "I - I don't think I'll be able to repay you for this, not even in a million years."

    Rubbing her hands over her dried clothes absentmindedly, she glanced down at them, wanting nothing more than to change out of her bloody shirt and bury it somewhere far away where she'd never have to think about the painful aspects of this night again.

    A frown darkening her face, she brought the stained fabric up to her nose, giving it a tentative sniff. Her blood smelled...off. By no means bad, just strange. It was almost appetizing, really. She jumped, the hooting of an owl somewhere near startling her. And then she was on her feet, blinking down the blond.

    "What...?" She frowned for a moment before shrugging it off, returning back to the ground, crossing her legs.

    A dull thudding. That was all it was, wasn't it? Just a simple beat, counting down life, just like the very ticking of the clock, counting down to a time everyone dreaded but excpected. But the one she heard was coming not from her, but from Ethon. A hand pressing to where her heart should be beating, she stared down at it.

    "We're dead, aren't we?" She raised her gaze back up to Ethon, a cold sense of fear tugging at her stopped heart. She glanced around them, blinking slowly. "And this - this is the afterlife?" A wry smile flashed across her face. "Would've expected more, honestly."

    Juliette clasped her hands together, tilting her head at him. "Turned," she murmured, running the word over her tongue. She tilted her head back, the gears in her head moving. Turned into what? Rubbing at her head, she let a soft breath, her eyes closing. "I wouldn't say cursed. If I can still sort of live, then its a blessing, a gift." Blinking her eyes open, she offered Ethon a small smile. "Being a vampire can't be all that bad, right?"


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:27 am

    "We are," Ethon calmly replied, "But this isn't the afterlife. Still simply the earth, though are without the mortal coil."

    The man rose to his feet, gaze sweeping through the surrounding trees. "It's all depends on the vampire. It needn't be 'all bad,' as you say, but it will never be all good." He turned solemn blue-grey eyes upon her. "As I stated, I personally consider it a curse. I wasn't going to turn you. I seldom do."


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:45 am

    Dead.

    She was dead. Juliette gave her head a small shake, digging the heel of her palm into the quiet cavity of her chest. It was surreal, eerie to her that she couldn't hear it. For the last twenty-three years, she'd taken her heart for granted, exerting it unapologetically.

    And now she'd do anything to hear the sound of its beating again.

    "You still have a heartbeat," she noted dully, raising her green eyes up at Ethon. "Why? How?"

    She tilted her head up at him, nodding her head slightly. "I can't take this for granted. I was going to die - really die - and I'd be dead if it wasn't for you. A curse or a gift, I'm going to make the most of it." Her lips curling into a little smile, she glanced down at her lap, away from him. "Then I really should consider myself lucky, shouldn't I?" she whispered, flicking her gaze back to him. "I can never thank you enough, you know."


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:56 am

    Ethon inclined his head at her query, as though carefully considering the answer. Perhaps he was.

    "I am... different," he finally responded. "My brother is the only other vampire with a heartbeat. All others, save the rare half-born, are sustained without a working cardiac system.

    "You are welcome. Profuse thanks are hardly needed." The man seemed a bit uncomfortable with the idea of such thanks. "You must have questions. Undoubtedly, you are also beginning to feel hunger. I will guide you until you feel confident in being on your own."


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:15 am

    She took in his response, nodding slowly to it. That made as much sense as the whole turning into a vampire business. Why not have some people out there who retained a little more humanity than others?

    "I wonder why though," she thought aloud, scrunching up her nose in thought before shrugging it off. It'd remain one of those great mysteries.

    She fiddled absentmindedly with her shirt, now looking very out of place in the middle of the dark forest. "A few." That was a lie. She had a million questions buzzing through her head. She didn't have the slightest idea where to begin.

    The hunger she'd been ignoring, pushing away and focusing on something - anything else. She'd have to face it sooner or later, she knew that, but it didn't have to be now.

    She nodded her head, thanks shining in her eyes as she turned them back up towards him. "I'd like that." Shifting slightly, she flexed her hands absentmindedly. "So, blood. Does it have to be human? Or will anything work? And - And sunlight. What about that? And - I can travel over water, right?" Juliette frowned down at her hands. "And on average, how much longer does a vampire, you know, live?"


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:17 am

    Ethon paused. "Because my brother and I didn't become vampires like any of the others." She could make of that what she would. The man was not generally inclined to stating outright that Aurmerle and he were the first.

    With a wave of his hand, he spelled the blood from her clothing. Ethon wasn't certain where his wand actually was at the moment. He hadn't needed the old relic in centuries.

    "It can be animal blood. My brother survived for centuries on it," Ethon replied. "It tastes... rather like meat substitutes in comparison to real meat, I would guess.

    "Right." He frowned, then vanished only to reappear a moment later, holding a simple chain with a single blue gem in his hand. "Lapis lazuli," he explained as he handed it over to her. "Only thing known to protect us from the sunlight. Keep it on your person at all times and you'll have nothing to worry about in that regard."

    Ethon blinked. "Water..?" He gave an amused laugh. "By the gods, mortals have gotten many strange ideas in their heads, haven't they? Yes. You can cross water - assuming, of course, that you know how to swim. Even then, you can't drown, so it's hardly a problem."

    Her next query caused the man to pause even longer before replying. "It depends on the vampire. Most... not as long as you might suspect. There are hunters and wolves, a few other perils. Youth makes one reckless. There is no reason a vampire should meet their True Death. I'll teach you what you need to know to survive. Beyond that, it is up to you."


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:37 am

    Juliette nodded, mulling over his words. There had to be more than one way to become a vampire, she reasoned. After all, there were multiple ways of completing any one task, weren't they? And it was possible that because of that, Ethon and his brother had other abilities. She nodded again, this time in confirmation of her own ideas.

    Blinking down at her now clean clothes, a tiny smile flitted across her face. A murmured thank you on her lips, she gave her right side a small pat before opting to clasp her hands together in her lap. "Good. That's good." The idea of drinking blood - animal or otherwise - didn't seem very appetizing to anything other than her stomach. But she'd have to, whether or not she really wanted to. Starving to death wasn't an option.

    She glanced up at him, blinking in surprise when she didn't find him there. Shrinking back into the tree trunk, she frowned. Well, what had she expected? He probably had hundreds of other things to do then -

    Oh.

    Blinking up at him, a tiny smile flitted across her face. Taking the chain from him, she flipped it over between her fingers, admiring it as she nodded along to her words. Slipping it on over her head, she fingered it absentmindedly.

    "I read it in a book once," she said with a small laugh, ducking her head slightly. Though she hadn't particularly enjoyed the book, it'd been something to pass the time. "I've been swimming since I was a kid, I think I'll be alright."

    Chewing absentmindedly on her bottom lip, Juliette sat back on her hands, tilting her head up at Ethon. If this wasn't her life now, she would almost be amused by how even in death, there were still things that could kill her. Though, she supposed, there were less things that could kill a vampire. "Anything you have to teach me, I'll learn," she said softly, bowing her head in respect. Glancing back up at him, a corner of her mouth twitched upwards. "Would you like me to call you Master Ethon?"


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:16 pm

    Ethon studied her relief at his assurance that animal blood would suffice. That was only only mostly true, of course, and he felt a bit bad to have to clarify. "The first feeding will have to be human, however," he told her quietly.

    He gave a minute nod as she slipped the chain over her head. Gazing back at her, he took in her reaction. Either the shock had yet to hit her, or she was remarkably adaptable. Experience had him anticipating the former, although there had been some... Like her, he thought wistfully, mind going back to his reason for turning the child in the first place.

    "I've never been a fan of being called 'Master,' though there are some who persist in doing so. Just Ethon is fine, Juliette." He held his arm out to help her to her feet. "We should get you some sustenance," he declared, then added for her benefit, "No one has to die."


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:59 am

    She snapped her head back up at him, her green eyes wide as she searched his gaze. He was - this had to be a joke, didn't it? But what sort of person joked about something like this? Swallowing hard, she shivered. "Okay," she said softly, nodding jerkily.

    What choice did she really have? If her first feeding - she wrinkled her nose in distaste for the word - had to be from a human, she'd do it. But it didn't mean she had to like it.

    She'd just live off of animals after this. She would have done it either way, but now it'd almost become more important, as if she had to make up for what she had to do here.

    Juliette nodded. "Alright, Ethon it is." Taking his hand, she pulled herself up to her feet. Chewing on her bottom lip uncertainly, she nodded again before taking a deep breath to calm herself. She had to do this.

    A tiny relieved smile pulled at her lips. "That's - great. That's great. But..." she resumed the menial habit of chewing on her bottom lip. "They do get a choice, right? We're not just breaking into someone's house and drinking from them? They volunteered?"


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:36 pm

    Ethon reached out and ran a knuckle down the end of her chin. "You'll have no lip left if you keep that up," he cautioned, half-teasing. He regarded her intently for a long moment, then inclined his head.

    "There are... blood donors," he replied, using the euphemism. "That is certainly an option that is available. Most usually compel the person to forget.

    "We'll find a donor," Ethon stated decisively. He held out his hand for her to take.


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:24 pm

    She let out a little laugh, a smile flitting across her face. "I'll keep that in mind." Joking and being happy - she'd almost never gotten the chance to do that again. If Ethon hadn't shown up when he had....Juliette resisted the urge to thank him for it again.

    She nodded. Blood donors. It was better than taking people off the streets and drinking from them without their consent. It just seemed so wrong to her.

    "Good," she murmured, relief flooding onto her face. She took his hand, squeezing softly.


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Ethon Pyrrhos on Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:28 am

    A minute twitch coursed through him at her laugh, so quick and so minute that it would have been impossible to identify as a flinch.

      "Why are you laughing?"

      "Whyever not?"
      "

    Grey-blue eyes fixed intently upon the girl. Despite himself he couldn't help but wonder if she laughed the same as-- He could find out easily enough; he could sift through Juliette's memories for the answer and she would be none-the-wiser. But he wouldn't. At least, not just then.

    Ethon gave her a small reassuring smaller, his fingers closing with gentle firmness around her hand. And then they vanished from the clearing. It was time to teach his new progeny how to survive. He would not fail in this, although no success ever balanced the time he had.


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    Re: I Was Searching for the Breath of Life

    Post by Juliette Josse on Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:02 pm

    One moment, she'd simply been standing there, and the next moment it was almost as if she was flying. This was what running really was. Whatever she'd been able to do as a human couldn't even begin to compare to this.

    Giggling softly, the newly made vampire grinned. This was amazing! This was great! This was - she frowned. Well, it would be great if she wasn't on her way to find someone to drink blood from. Running her tongue over her teeth absentmindedly, she shrugged her shoulders. She didn't have a choice. Whether or not she wanted to do it, she had to. She wasn't going to die again because she was too squeamish to do something.

    Glancing back at Ethon, she tilted her head slightly, wondering where it was they were going.


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