For the Love of Sins
By: Savannah Hottinger
Sometimes in the dead of night, when everything is quiet in my small, cozy apartment, Kadeem actually manages to get to sleep. When he does though, I can hear him scream in his slumber, and his voice...oh his screams tear me up inside. I can't stand it to hear him in so much pain and agony. I have to wake him up from the nightmares.
I once asked him what he dreamt about that was so horrible and he has never told me. The most I ever get from him is a very serious, "I promise you that I'll protect you until your last breath, Catalina, and I'll do everything in my power to make sure you never see hell."
It sends a shiver up my spine when I think about it. It reminds me that hell is very real, and it's just as horrible and frightening as I was told when I was a child.
Kadeem, in his real, true form, is the most I've ever seen of hell. I had only seen him like that once, when I was a child.The day my mother died. He had gone into a rage so dreadful and so fierce he had transformed before my very eyes.
Standing at his full height, with bat-like wings that stretch eight feet wide, and the most devilish claws I had ever seen. His body was covered in scars, and his eyes...I'll never forget them. Blacker than black itself. Alien like. And he was so hateful. He was so angry.
It gives me chills. I don't like to remember that day.
Looking at my alarm clock, it read 5:27am. Kadeem was screaming again.
I leaped out of bed and ran to his room as fast as my feet would carry me.
I opened the door cautiously, and tip-toed to his bed. I had to be careful with him. Sometimes he's so far into his dream that he forgets that it's just a dream.
"Kadeem..." I whispered, eyes watering. I can't stand to see him like this.
I gently lower myself next to him and ran a finger down his cheek. Ever so softly I shake his shoulder. His eyes shot open and he pushed me across the room.
I gasped when I hit the wall and slid down. I gritted my teeth as the world began to come back into focus.
"CATALINA!" Kadeem shouted, rushing to my side.
"I'm so sorry..." His voice full of regret.
"It's ok. You were having another nightmare..." I replied. I reached out to grab his hand.
His hand gripped mine and he pulled me into his arms.
"I'm so sorry...I'm so sorry..." He murmured, his face buried in my hair.
I stroked his arm, letting him know that it was ok.
We stayed like this for 20 minutes until, finally, I let him go.
"I'll be punished for that..." He said, quietly.
I wanted to say that he didn't have to be but part of the servitude was that you weren't allowed to hurt your master.
'Another Scar...' I thought to myself, 'Another painful mark on his body to remind him of his sins.'
I sometimes wanted to ask him questions. Kadeem knew some truths to this world that I couldn't even begin to fathom. But I couldn't. Those were things I would never know until the day I stood in front of the Lord myself.
"It's ok, Catalina. He does these things for a reason." That was always his reply, and I never questioned it. He would know those things more than I would.
These nights...these nights were the ones I hated the most. It was nights like these that remind me of my mother. It was always hard to think about them.
I stood up and Kadeem followed suit. The melacholy mood was in the air and I worried if it was gonna be like this for the rest of the day.
"Coffee?" I offered, trying to switch the conversation and mood to something mundane.
He nodded in agreement and we went to the kitchen. I started the coffee matchine and grabbed two mugs from the cubbards.
"So, I was thinking about heading down to Love of Sins, tonight." I said.
Love of Sins was a bar down in The District. The bar was owned by Logan Alexander which is why I was going there in the first place.
"I figured you would be. I'll be going with." Kadeem answered, his tone held no arguement.
"I can handle it myself, you know." I retorted as I poured our coffee into the mugs.
Kadeem gave me a look. His eyes bored into mine and I couldn't look away.
"Cat, Logan is dangerous and so is Damien. Walking into a vampire bar with no back-up is stupid. I know you have more since than that."
I smiled. I set the coffee pot down and took a seat next to him.
"I know. That's why you're coming with me."
"You irriate me on purpose, don't you?" He asked.
He chuckled at this and the gloomy mood started to fade.
"Alright, here's the plan for the day. I need you to track Damien. We can meet back up at Love of Sins at 10pm." I informed.
"And what will you be doing?" He asked.
"I need to find out what happen to Angela. I need to know why she thought feeding Damien was her only option. I'm gonna find out all who was involved. I can't go after Damien yet, but I can at least stake some filthy vampires tonight. And when I find out a way to free Angela from Damien, then I will kill Damien." I said, my anger palpable.
"Cat...You know there isn't any way to break that bond and if there is...it would be the archives in..." I never let him finish.
"There has to be a way and I will find it. Even if that means going to hell myself."
"I will never, ever let you touch foot in hell if I can help it, Catalina Rose Nash, and I swear if you ever mention the idea to me again, I'll slap you around, Punishment be damned!" Kadeem shouted, jumping from his seat. His coffee mug went sailing across the room and shattered into pieces, coffee seeping into the floor.
I jumped up myself.
"Kadeem, so help me, I will do everything in my power to save Angela and if that means going to hell to find some book that has a spell..."
SMACK! The sound vibrated around the room, and my vision was black for a moment. I stayed with my head to the side, my hair covering my face, and the aderanline pumped through my body. My hands shook and I could feel the sting on my cheek, and I could taste the blood in my mouth.
There was a pained sound, and a cry as Kadeem flew into the wall. He's arms were held above his head by some invisble force. There was a whipping sound and Kadeem grunted in agony.
He was being punished.
"I will not let you stand in my way, Kadeem. I won't." I whispered, my tears sliding down my cheeks. I grabbed my purse, coffee forgotten, and slammed the front door behind me as I left.
I ignored Kadeem's screams and walked to my car.
Angela's house was in a small little neighborhood 10 minutes away from my apartment. I drove steadily but my thoughts were swarming around all over the place. I was so angry at Kadeem that my hands shook, and my knuckles were turning white.
'How could he...' I thought angerly.
Kadeem had always had my back. From the moment I was born until now. That was 23 years of friendship, loyalty, and trust. And he broke it. How could he tell me no? He knew how important Angela was to me. She was like my sister. She was all the family I had aside from Raymond. I would save her. How could he not understand that?
When I pulled into Angela's drive-way I realized I was still crying. I quickly whipped my tears away. I didn't want her to worry. She had plenty of problems on her own, she didn't need to burden herself with mine as well.
I was relieved to find out that Damien wasn't here. I don't know what I would do in my state of mind if I saw him right now.
I got out of my car and walked to the door. I knocked once and let myself in.
"Angela." I called out. There was a rustle from the kitchen and then her head popped out from around the corner. She smiled at me, and I couldn't help but smile back.
"Hey." She greeted, whipping her hands on a rag.
I could smell the breakfast cooking in the kitchen and my stomache rumbled.
"You hungry?" She asked.
I nodded and followed her into the kitchen. I sat down at the table, careful not to remember what had happen this morning.
"Where's Kadeem?" She asked. Of course she would ask that.
"At home." I answered, trying to keep the anger out of my voice.
I could see out of the corner of my eye that she had stopped stirring the pancake batter.
"What happened?" She asked, turning to me with concerned eyes.
Damn it. I should have known she would see right through me. She had always been able to. I could never lie to her.
"I don't want to talk about it." I answered, still not looking at her. I couldn't look at her because I knew if I did, I would burst into tears again.
I could tell she wanted to ask again, but she only sighed and went back to stirring the batter.
"You guys barely ever fight over something serious and wehn you do you fight like cats and dogs, and I don't know why. Everyone who sees you together knows you guys love each other. You guys are best friends, have been since you were born. I don't understand why you two fight with each other like this."
I sighed again. I understood. Most of the time when we fought it was usually in good-nature. We rarely fought over something as serious as this.
"Angela...I've never been this angry or hurt at Kadeem. I..." I trailed off, getting lost in my grief. The tears were prickingly behind my eye lids as I squeezed them shut.
Angela's fagile arms came around me as she hugged me to her chest.
"I know you're angry and though I don't know what happened...I'm sure you both probably have good reasons behind your arguments. Kadeem loves you, and you love him. You guys are best friends...you'll get over it." She whispered to me. I wanted to believe her but I was just so angry that I didn't think that I could.
"Angela, will you sit down please. I need to talk to you." I asked. I felt her arms slip from my shoulders and she sat down across from me. Her deep brown eyes, innocent, and caring as always staring at me.
"I came to ask you what happened. I need to know why you are feeding Damien." I got straight to the point.
Angela's face became pained. It hurt her to know that I disapproved. But I had to know.
"Look...I'll tell you what happened between Kadeem and I this morning, if you tell me what happened with you. Please, Angie, I need to know." I haven't called her by her nick-name in a long time but it felt approperiate.
Angela looked down but nodded.
"This morning...Kadeem was having one of his nightterrors...I had to wake him. When I did...he pushed me across the room..."
Angela interrupted me: "Cat, you know he doesn't do that purposely. He sometimes-"
"Yes, I know. That's not why were fighting. While we were sipping coffee, I had asked him to track Damien for the day. I told him I needed to talk to you to find out what happened. I told him that I was going to kill Damien for what he did, and if that meant that I had to go to hell to find the spell book to unbind you, then I would."
"NO! You can't! That's practically suicide! I would never let you do something like that!" Angela cried. I hushed her down, grabbing her hand.
"Listen to me. You, and Raymond are the only family I have left. My father has nothing to do with me, and my mother is dead. I will not let some horrible creature like Damien Steele take away the only thing I hold dear to me. I won't. You and Kadeem don't seem to understand this."
"Is that why Kadeem and you are fighting? Because he feels the same way I do about this?" She asked, hot tears burning down her cheeks.
"He doesn't seem to understand. He says that he would never allow me to step foot into hell and if he ever heard me speak of the idea again, he'd slap me, punishment be damned. So I tried to reason with him...and that's when he slapped me. He made me bleed, Angela. He's never done that before. I haven't seen him that angry since my....," I couldn't finish that part, "Angela, I watched him get punished. I saw him get whipped , I saw him bleed for hitting me. He knew what would happen when he hit me and yet he proceeded to do it anyway. Why?? Why would he stand in the way, and get punished for something as important as this? Why?!" I was shouting now.
My hands shook as I remembered again how very pissed off I was.
Angela squeezed my hand, and gave me a soft look.
"Oh Cat...don't you see? He doesn't want you to get killed. He's scared he'll lose you and he wont be able to protect you. He doesn't know how to express it, so he did the only thing he thought was right at the time. He turned his fear, and guilt into anger, because that's what he knows best. It was the same when your mother was killed." She explained, patiently.
And the more I thought about it...the more I realized she was right. Guilt washed over me. He doesn't want what happened to my mother, happen to me. He was only doing what he thought was right. I understood that. But I said I wouldn't let him get in the way, and I had meant it. I would go to hell if that was what it took.
"Angela...I need to know what happened to you." I said sternly.
Angela recoiled her hand away from me and looked down.
"I'm so sorry, Catalina. I felt I had owed you something. So I went to investigate myself. I wanted to try to find your mother's killer. So I started to look around. I had found a lead and when I went to check it out...I had been kidnapped..." She started to cry then and it took every ounce of me not to storm off and chase down whoever did this to her. Starting with Damien. "They had tortured me...and just when they were going to kill me...Damien saved me. He offered me something I couldn't refuse, Cat. He offered me his protection. And if that meant that I had to feed him then so be it. He saved my life. I wouldn't be here, if it wasn't for him. I know you hate vampires, Catalina, and you have good reason to. But not all vampires are bad."
I wanted to protest. To tell her she was stupid. But I held back. Damien had saved Angela's life the only way he knew how. It was my fault she was in this mess.
"Angie...You didn't owe me anything. If anything, I owe you. If it wasn't for your father, you, and Kadeem, I don't know where I'd be. Probably dead."
I stood up and hugged her.
"Don't worry, Angela. I promise I'll figure something out."
We ate breakfast, talking about anything and everything but nothing about our problems. Damien had saved Angela, but could I trust him? Could I really trust something that I swore to myself that I would hunt and kill for the wrong it had commited when it had killed my mother? Was Angela right? Were some vampires good?
I didn't know. But as God as my witness...I was going to find out.