The Allegory of the City
Gabriel Laurent often forgot how lucky he was to be who he was. While Holy War raged on the American mainland, he watched it from atop his tropical castle on the island of San Baptiste, his television screen filtering the flow of bloody images. The coloured reflections danced on the darkened marble floor of his living room, and the light show it created when combined with the lights of the city below entranced the young man. He stood, watching as people died for a faith he'd never believed in. He couldn't quite understand what could drive people to such extremes.
Gabriel understood greed, and how it could drive intelligent men to madness, and wondered if greed wasn't truly at the centre of it all. He knew as much as anybody how the media walked the line to preserve the delicate balance between truth and propaganda. He could hear it now, the lies mingling with reality in the reporter's voice, the controlled modulation to show false compassion and grief tempered by professional detachment.
He was lucky indeed, born to the most powerful family in the Caribbean, heir to power and money beyond compare in the West. And he was about to throw it all away. He turned his gaze away from the screen, looked at the floor with its polished stone, then closed his eyes as he felt the movement behind him. It was a near-imperceptible change in the air, Dominic's silent stride forcing invisible particles aside. It was something Gabriel shouldn't be able to detect, but somehow he did, and he waited in silence.
He shivered as cold fingers touched his bare shoulder and slid smoothly up his neck. "Can't sleep?" Dominic's voice sent a shiver down Gabriel's spine, more so than the frigid touch. He couldn't find the words to explain to the vampire the simple fact that it was too late to sleep, that dawn threatened beyond the city and Gabriel had missed his chance for slumber. Life in San Baptiste waited for no one, much less for one of the Laurents. He felt he should pull away from Dominic, tell the vampire to go home as soon as it was safe and forget it ever happened, but he couldn't make his body obey the thought.
"I must see my sister," was all he said, and it seemed Dominic understood by the prompt way he withdrew his hand. How long had Diana loved Dominic without response? Gabriel could not think of the answer. She had to be told, warned about Dominic's true nature, made to understand he was not for her.
And then Gabriel would stand back and watch his city fall around him.