Alexander Lockwood, normally so polite, considerate and loving, has changed. He’s being hostile to Madeline, refusing her advances, and leering at other women. He knows this is happening, and he doesn’t know why, but what worries him more is that he also realizes he’s been losing time, falling asleep at the office for no reason, and forgetting things.
Madeline is at a loss to explain the changes in Alexander. After twenty married years, she was certain that she knew him so well. Why would he hide such violent tendencies, pretend for so long that he was someone he wasn’t? No, she knows that something’s happened to him, that something is seriously wrong. She loves him more than anything, and she’s determined to have him back. But how can she, a vampire of little more than two decades, hope to stand up to a one with the power of nine centuries?
Then, one night, he loses control. He does something for which Madeline may never forgive him, and then he disappears. When his old friend, Lucian, who loves Alexander like a brother, offers to help, Madeline is hopeful. But will Lucian only make things worse? Or will they be able to save Alexander before he’s too far gone?
Alexander started to advance on Lucian, who gave ground, backing away, pushing Madeline back as well, trying to keep a manageable distance between them.
“She is mine,” Alexander said again. Then, amazingly, his eyes softened and he turned his gaze to Madeline. He stopped advancing and held out a hand to her. “Madeline,” he purred, “come to me.”
Madeline’s eyes glazed over and she took a stilted step forward. Lucian’s hand shot out, grabbing her by the wrist, holding her in place. “Madeline,” he growled, “snap out of it!”
Madeline shook her head, fighting the compulsion, knowing that her husband’s power over her was amplified by her desire to go to him, by her love for him, by the mere fact that she’d fed from him. She put her hand to her head, closed her eyes, and concentrated. A sharp pain split her head and she cried out. Alexander faltered. He heard her and he staggered back a step, losing his grip on her. Madeline opened her eyes, met his, and threw his power back at him. He fell back a few more steps. Deep inside him, something awakened. The poison began to lose its hold on him, and the real Alexander began to battle his way back, spurred on by that one cry of pain from the woman that he loved more than anything.
Lucian saw the battle in Alexander’s eyes and was encouraged. He pulled Madeline in close and whispered in her ear, then released her. Madeline held her ground, facing Alexander as Lucian faded to the side, away from her and in a wide circle to Alexander’s left.
“Alexander,” she said softly, “I miss you. Come back to me.”
Alexander’s head pounded, and his stomach reeled at the pain. He stared at the woman and the beast within roared in frustration as he struggled to hold it back. It demanded that he pounce, drive her to the ground, tear into her. It wanted nothing more than to feed on her life’s blood, take her body violently. Alexander’s heart broke as he fought, trying desperately to get back in control. He used a burst of adrenaline to try to claim control of his body, and he dropped to his knees with the effort. He met Madeline’s gaze. “Kill me,” he hissed through clenched teeth.
“I’m not in control anymore,” he rasped. “I need you to kill me before—” he stopped suddenly and the monster roared to life within him, ripping through his chest and head, the pain intense. He held his head in his hands, his teeth clenched, gasping for breath.
Madeline’s heart broke. All she wanted was to run to him, hold him in her arms, soothe his pains, but she realized that he’d just lost the battle again. The demon was back in charge. She took a couple of steps back, and saw that Lucian had moved in. While Alexander was distracted, he’d gathered his power. She could feel it crackling in the air all around, dancing over her skin. He focused his control and aimed it directly at Alexander. She bit her lip to keep the cry of warning in. Not wanting to see, she closed her eyes as Lucian released his attack.
Unchained Darkness is the third episode in The Lockwood Chronicles series. It contains adult situations and some violence and is recommended for readers over 18 years of age.