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The sun was beginning to set as he sat on the porch, the current rays too soft to cause him any damage, of his ranch house smoking a hand rolled cigarette, pulling the fragrant smoke into his lungs…Continue
Name: Clayton Forrester
Age: Looks early 30s; Really 177 | Birthday: April 21, 1840
Hometown: Dallas, Tx
Nicknames: Clay, Diablo(Never Used Anymore)
Species: Vampire; Turned
Relationship Status: Dating Aurantia Ailward | Sexuality: Heterosexual
Currently residence: Evermore City, CO | Ranch on Instar Diviner Territory
Face Claim: Scott Eastwood
Markings: Some scarring from his human life.
Positive: Easy going, loyal, perseverant, gentlemanly.
A Sorted Country Tale
The Wild West was more than just a story to Clayton, he was born into an unforgiving world where hard work was all he would ever know. Richard and Annabelle Forrester were far from rich but not in the poor house either owning a large chunk of land and like many during that time, raising cattle. Children weren't necessarily born to be loved during that era they were born so when they came of age they could wake up early and help tend the land and cattle. Both of his parents cared for him there was never a doubt about that but he knew it was his hard work they appreciated most.
From a young age he learned to care for his own horse, care for the animals, work the land and fire a gun since being able to defend yourself, cattle and land from cattle rustlers was a necessity. Each head of cattle fetching $5 to $10 a head in state which was a substantial amount back then. His father often times making month long trips to San Francisco to sell their cattle since cattle there would sell for five to twenty times the price. That meant his mother was a force to be reckoned with and one heck of a deadly shot while his father was away, the women having to be just as strong as any man which caused Clayton to be very respectful of woman.
As a young boy he went to school for two years before both of his parents decided he was more of an asset on the ranch which was normal for those days. After all a fancy education wouldn't get you very far in the old West since the things one learned in school were not survival skills. By the age of sixteen he was going with his father on the cattle drives to San Francisco and seeing a world and way of life he never imagined. It was something he could see but it was a world he knew he could never be apart of, he was a farm boy from Texas and it was a well known fact that was all he’d ever be. It wasn’t the era of telling your children they could be anything they wanted to be because if your family’s livelihood was based on a farm or ranch you worked that plot of land until you died and passed it on to your own kids or until the bank took it from you if things got bad.
It was during a cattle drive when he was nineteen that his father was knocked from his horse and trampled to death. They were only half a day from San Francisco so Clayton and the cattlemen kept going, wrapping his father’s body and putting it in the wagon. The cattle received a pretty fair price but it wasn’t worth what was lost. The price was so good because Clayton’s family had been driving cattle since the cattle drive began but he was told that wasn't the case for all and that it wouldn't be worth it to do much longer. Before leaving San Francisco he sent a telegram to his mother informing her of his father's demise so she didn’t have to wait months to hear the bad news, it was expensive but he knew it was for the best. It seemed that all Clayton was taking back with him was bad news and he hated that more than anything.
After the hard months of travel he returned home to find that his mother was in poor shape being sick with pneumonia. The small house was in disarray which was unusual for his mother who was very methodical about everything being in its place. It took Clayton weeks to nurse his mother back to health the woman having pretty much given up on life with his father’s death and the stress and worry of running the ranch on her own, fearing her son might not return as well. With his return his mother seemed to gain a spark of the life which she once had and began to regain her strength as he worked the land to make sure they were able to make it through the harsh winter months. An ice storm hit them hard freezing the livestock tank and killing a high portion of their cattle making it the worst year the ranch had ever had since even Clayton’s Grandfather’s day.
Once again his mother began to lose hope the situation causing her to fall into a deep sadness no longer wanting to help with the chores on the ranch. Most days she just stayed in bed sleeping, not wanting to eat or function. Everyday he begged her to get up, to do something, not to give up but nothing changed and it broke his heart to see her and the ranch in such a state. The bank came knocking in the spring and within the month the ranch which had been in his family for three generations was foreclosed on. Knowing no other way of life Clayton began to work for a larger ranch tending to their cattle and working the land, being wise in business the ranch was able to sustain itself and keep Clayton employed. It became his job and his home, the owner allowing himself and his mother to stay even though she was still catatonic.
Calling the doctor, Clayton sat with his mother and the doctor told him there was nothing that could be done in order to fix his mother. Physically nothing was wrong with her but she had mentally shut down, the will to survive no longer in her. A summer cold finally took her a few months later and the owner of the ranch was nice enough to allow Clayton to bury his mother on their land. Everyday Clayton would go to that wooden cross and speak to a mother who had given up on him, wishing she had been strong and could still be there with him.
As the years went on Clayton became the only steady year around help on the ranch, the owners knowing they could pay seasonal workers far less than full time help. In that way Clayton met a lot of different people and was able to learn how to properly read and write which was something that he had missed in his childhood only learning simple words. That helped with people no longer thinking he was simple minded since until he was in his twenties he had no idea how to read the signs in the window in the general store or anywhere else. Wanted signs had just been pictures with a dollar amount to him never a name and what they were wanted for. Such a small thing opened up a whole new world for the ranch hand. The rancher’s daughter, Caroline, teaching him about music and art which had always been pointless things within his life and now he was able to find beauty in them. Caroline would read her favorite stories to him after a hard day’s work as they sat under one of the large Live Oaks on the property.
Lessons turned into affections, though the ranch hand knew he was far beneath her since so many in the town showed her affection and asked for her hand. To Caroline’s father they were all over educated with soft hands and would try to take her away from the ranch. Caroline always seemed to find a reason to need him asking him for some other sort of favor or him to fix something else every day. Most nights he would see her out with another man knowing he couldn’t offer her much since he worked for her father, though he had been saving up his money. So one night he asked Caroline to accompany him to the dance hall and to his surprise she actually agreed. From that point on everyone in the community was talking, most whispering to the young woman that she could do better than a older ranch hand since most his age had already settled down and started a family.
Despite the words around town and the much better suitors to pick from, when Clayton asked her father for her hand he agreed. That was nothing short of a miracle since Caroline was most beloved in the community and many of the men in town sought her attention but she loved her easy going ranch hand. Their wedding was small in the little town church mostly those who worked on the ranch attending but it was a happy day, one of the happiest in Clayton’s life. Never had he met someone so kind and sweet in his life, she had the patience of a saint and he often referred to her as his Angel. The two were married for about six months when they began discussing children, Caroline in love with the idea of having little versions of Clayton or herself running in the pastures. For another four months they tried but unlike the fields which grew tall with wheat, their attempts at having children were just a barren dream. The doctors weren’t very hopeful that they would be able to conceive and it shattered Caroline’s heart, Clayton seeing the smile slip for his Angel’s face for the first time. There was no clear answer to their problem but they wouldn’t allow that to ruin their marriage.
Nothing lasts forever and all happiness eventually ends, it was a harsh reality that Clayton learned one night as he was awoken to his father-in-law yelling from across the pasture. Two gunshots rang out in the night and the young rancher felt his heart drop in his chest, as Caroline began to panic but he gently shushed her telling her everything would be alright. Telling his young wife to hide he grabbed the gun he kept in their room and quietly crept through the large ranch house. Reaching the front door he saw figures shrouded in darkness slowly making their way towards the house, he knew none were his father-in-law since he would have yelled out a greeting of some sort as not to be shot. “Don’t take another step!” Though Clayton was normally the last to hold a gun on anyone his survival instinct took over needing to protect his wife, his voice ringing out loud and clear. The rifle was leveled as he tried to focus his tired eyes on the figures in the field.
For a moment it seemed like those in the yard had indeed stopped but suddenly they came to life moving faster than the quickest stallion on the ranch. Clayton had no idea what hit him but a sharp pain radiated in his gut, his head hitting the wooden porch hard causing dark spots to dance across his vision. A blinding pain began in his wrist and he could vaguely make out someone at his wrist biting him, no that couldn’t be right it was the head injury causing him to see things. Hearing a scared scream that would remain with him throughout his days he tried to fight back, he tried to get to his wife but he was held down as if bound in place. The screaming was suddenly silenced and Clayton swore his heart stopped and in that very moment he internally died knowing Caroline would fight back until her very last breath. “Don’t kill him, I want him.” Was the last thing he heard as blessed darkness took him believing he would soon be reunited with his wife in death.
Death would have been preferable to the hell he suffered through feeling fevered and in a state of delusion as his body felt like it was being ripped apart. Those who killed the only family he had, spent the whole time taunting him and telling him that he would be dead if it wasn’t /her/ will though he had no idea who that was. What felt like weeks later, but what was only hours later, he was laying in his own filth in the cellar of the ranch feeling weak and on the verge of death but why would this torture and torment be allowed to end?
Limited consciousness returned to him as something warm, metallic, thick and rich slipped between his lips and down his parched throat. Something about the taste was intoxicating and he latched on his senses in overload as he drank deep reality coming crashing down as he jerked his mouth away hands going over his ears as everything seemed far too loud. The roaming of cattle not far off sounding like thunder running across his brain and he couldn’t focus or think. The warm metallic scent was driving him mad as he opened his eyes and lunged forward, sharp animalistic fangs piercing the woman’s neck as he drank.
Soft laughter began to leave the woman which seemed insane since his canines were latched to her throat though he didn’t fully understand why. “That’s a good boy, you’re going to be mine.” She said before grabbing a hold of his chin and forcing his fangs from her throat before driving her own set of fangs into his throat and painfully pulling the blood from his veins. Clayton was in a blood lust, a frenzy if you will and the elder vampire took full advantage getting exactly what she wanted from the fledgling.
When Clayton next awoke as a full vampire Sadie, the female who turned him, explained to him what he had become. The younger rancher feeling sick at the very idea since he didn’t have a violent bone in his body but he’d now been turned into a predator with no equal. Sadie was rather proud of herself as she explained that she was a blooded or born vampire and those with her were all men she had turned throughout the years to keep her company. The elder vampire liked new play things and that was why she and her other four male vampires had slaughtered his family. Rage began to boil inside of him as he lunged at the woman only be nearly ripped apart by two of lap dogs who held his arms out straight to the side dislocating both of shoulders.
“Rabid dogs get put down, you don’t want to be a rabid dog Clay.” Sadie’s voice was somehow sickeningly sweet as she leaned down and ruffled his hair as if she were petting a cattle dog. His injuries didn’t take long to heal and for the first time he truly loathed what he had been turned into. Everyday he and the other four male vampires slept while Sadie did whatever she fancied during that time period but come nightfall she wanted to cause havoc. A vampire would never feed from an animal but Sadie enjoyed slaughtering the livestock of those she killed.
The once kind and easy going rancher forced to do things he never wanted to like drink from and harm women since Sadie liked to play games. Clayton had sought an end to his existence, he tried to hang himself but he would never suffocate, he stepped in the way of a rattle snake and felt it’s bite but the deadly venom had no effect, he even tried not to feed but Sadie wouldn’t allow it as they blazed a bloody trail through North Texas. The other four were Rupert, a British Naval Man with a cruel streak, Christian, a soldier who fought for the South in the Civil war, Ramon, oddly enough had been a baker in Mexico and Walter who had be turned at barely eighteen. Rupert and Christian didn’t seem to mind what they were, making an easy peace with bloodshed but Clayton watched Ramon and Walter fight against their nature in a daily struggle same as himself.
For years Ramon and Walter were the only two who kept Clayton sane and he mentally collapsed in on himself during the nights as Sadie took the reigns and though Clayton had fought at first there was no winning against a blooded vampire who had two well trained turned at her side. Though he had wanted to end his existence he always ended up backing down from Sadie when she threatened to rip his heart out or force him into the sun. Every morning the feeling of self-loathing would kick in and he would think about walking into the sunlight and every night the cycle would repeat.
One night while the six were approaching a small farm house everything changed. Rupert and Christian had scouted the house for two days but apparently someone had also been watching them. Ramon had stepped on some sort of trapped and what seemed like a wooden pitchfork pierced his chest. It was the first time Clayton saw a vampire die and he was too startled to do anything more than stare as one of his only friends died. Sadie howled in rage her eyes fixing on the house as she told them to all stay alert. It was easier said than done as the smell of fresh blood reached their noses and Clayton was still relatively young and driven by hunger. Following the scent he heard the sound of a rope release and dove to the side barely saving himself as Sadie screamed in mourning again. As either Rupert, Christian or Walter fell.
Deep down Clayton believed they deserved this, to be hunted like animals for the crimes they themselves had committed and as retribution for the humans they had hunted and killed. Sadie yelled for him to come to the house, it was then he realized they were all alone no sign of the other three who had come here with them. “This hunter is smart but we can both take her.” Sadie said with confidence as she forced Clayton into the house before her an arrow slicing into his chest and driving him back as Sadie roared and lunged past him towards whoever had fired the shot.
“You? I specifically told them to kill you and yet you’re somehow still alive.” Sadie spat out at whoever was in the house with them since Clayton couldn’t see who it was.
A clear and forceful voice seemed to echo in the empty house, “You killed my father and my husband but you only thought you killed me.” He heard the pull of the draw of a bow and slowly moved forward as blood seeped from his shoulder, the arrow still in there since he couldn’t stand to touch it. Each step made him feel dizzy but he needed to know if the voice he heard could truly be real.
Standing in the hall was not only Sadie but Caroline, his wife, who was far from dead. Shock resounded through his body unsure of how this was possible since he thought she had been killed when he was turned. “Angel?” He asked in a somewhat weak voice not sure how one little wooden arrow could be causing him so much pain and weakness. Unfortunately his appearance only distracted her, Sadie tackling the woman through the glass window behind her. Finding the strength to push himself and move fast he reached the pair as Sadie was about the snap his wife’s neck. “No!” He roared out knocking his wife from the hands of his sire.
What little bit of humanity he had was resurfacing as he tried to protect the only thing which remained from his human life. “You shouldn’t have done that Clay.” Sadie snarled at him and lunged twisting the arrow in his shoulder and causing him to scream out as blinding pain overtook him. The sound of a gun firing echoed in the night and the last thing he heard was his Angel saying his name as darkness took him.
The next time Clayton opened his eyes he was in a dark, boarded up room in a house he didn’t know. His shoulder healed and no recollection of how he had gotten there. Closing his eyes he tried to focus his senses but it was hard since Sadie had only taught him how to use them in order to hunt and even then she hadn’t been a patient teacher. There was only one heartbeat and a matching set of footfall as someone paced downstairs. He could feel that the sun was still up and didn’t want to risk the rest of the house being filled with sunlight so he remained on the bed staring at the ceiling as he tried to clearly remember what had happened. The young vampire was still weak and he assumed it was from lack of feeding as he could do nothing but lay on the bed.
A few hours later the sun had gone down and that was when the door to the room opened, Caroline standing in the doorway staring at him as if she didn’t know him. Though he couldn’t blame her since his throat was dry and burning for blood, his body needing it, his eyes shifting from her face to her throat his tongue slowly moving to lick his lips. “You’re nothing more than an animal now.” She said in a pained voice as she slowly approached the bedside. Her blood calling to him like a siren’s song but he fought against his very nature.
“Angel you need to leave.” His voice was husky and strained his eyes trying to move from the soft blue veins which ran just under her skin. “I don’t want to hurt you.” He admitted as she ran a warm hand over his cold forehead.
“You can’t, at least not right now, not with the Daystar running through your system. Don’t you feel it burning? Weakening?” She asked curiously as she moved to put some distance between the two of them. “I thought they had killed you. That’s what Mason said must have happened but I was out for days from injuries and blood loss.” It was clear that without asking in so many words she wanted to know what happened to him and how he came to be this way.
A heavy sigh left the turned vampire’s lips as he realized what the uncomfortable and painful feeling moving through his body was. He thought it had just been the burning of hunger but it was apparently something more, something that weakened demonic beasts like him. “They were watching us for days, it’s a game Sadie, the female vampire, liked to play. She collected only men, mainly married or engaged men finding power in being able to take them from those they loved. The women always being killed because she was the only woman they needed in their life. She turned me into this...this devilish creature Angel…” There was so much more he wanted to say but he couldn’t, he couldn’t admit to her what he had done in order to survive.
There was such torment and self-loathing in his voice that Caroline couldn’t help but move forward and sit beside him taking his hand in hers. His wedding band still in the place it had always been despite Sadie’s rage that came with seeing it. Clayton’s wedding band being the only part of his old life he refused to allow Sadie to take from him no matter what. “You aren’t like the others I’ve seen. Clayton, you truly hate what you’ve become.” Suddenly she left the the room closing the door behind her. Silence filled the house as Caroline seemed to have left the property leaving him confined to this bedroom due to the Daystar in his system and weakness from hunger.
Hours passed Caroline returning with someone else the vampire catching two heartbeats before Caroline and a man he had never seen entered the room. “Mr. Forrester your wife believes there might be some form of redemption for you. I’m here to make sure she’s right.” His wife moved to sit at the edge of the bed baring her neck to Clayton his fangs seeming to itch, his throat burning and his mouth salivating.
How easy it would be to give in and allow his fangs to pierce the soft skin of Caroline’s neck but Sadie had never taught him how to stop, how to keep from killing. “Caroline I can’t. I won’t hurt you, ever.” His voice was stronger and more stern than it had been before. The man he later learned was named Mason was patient as he watched the two.
“Being a vampire does not mean you have to be a killer Clayton. You don’t have to cause pain from feeding, focus on making her feel good and listen to her heartbeat and not your own hunger.” The fledgling was terrified as he slowly moved towards his wife listening to what the man had to say. She didn’t shy away from his touch as he brushed the strands of hair away from her neck, his lips caressing her pulse point in a soft kiss before his fangs pierced her flesh. A soft moan of his name left my her lips, he was so hungry and slowly drinking was driving him mad. “Slow Clayton, slow.” His focus became her breathing and heart rate making sure neither began to drop.
After a few minutes Clayton pulled away feeling satisfied and stronger than before, Caroline’s heart rate still steady and strong. “It’s not a matter of killing to survive, it’s a balance of taking only what you need. Get some rest, there’s much to be explained.” For the first time in years Caroline slept with her head on his chest and he didn’t feel the initial fear which she had towards him. Within the next few days he learned that Mason was a Vampire hunter, though instead of being human he was a dhampir, half human and half vampire. Most dhampirs protected vampires but both of his parents had been killed by vampires who believed it was an abomination to mix the species. So Mason taught himself to hunt rogue vampires and had saved Caroline the night of Clayton’s turning.
A new option was placed before Clayton. The fledgling could have his life, keep his wife and gain redemption for the acts of blood and horror. It involved hunting down Vampires like Sadie and he didn’t see too much wrong with that since she had been sadistic to her victims and those she sired. Clayton wasn’t a rogue vampire he had only been trying to survive and now he was learning more about being a vampire from a human and dhampir than he had from five vampires. During dusk and dawn he was able to handle the lesser rays of sunlight and it was the first time he had felt normal in years.
What Mason and Caroline used most were weapons of Hawthorn and Daystar infused or coated weapons though neither were anything Clayton could handle. So they both taught him how to use his strength and speed since those were his strongest assets. Even a gun with normal bullets would temporarily wound a vampire and Caroline would often load Hawthorn bullets in his pistol for him and his weapon of choice was the bullwhip. The leather easily wrapping around throats or ankles to get a vampire to focus on something other than the human and dhampir approaching, it wasn’t as deadly as Hawthorn or Daystar but when Clayton wielded the whip he was a force to be reckoned with.
For the next year the trio took out many groups of vampires looking to cause harm and havoc in Texas and New Mexico. Caroline began to get tired and weak often, Clayton unable to feed from her not wanting to make her situation worse. The young woman finally stopped at one of the doctor’s offices in a small town and receiving news neither Clayton nor Caroline were expecting, Caroline was pregnant. It wasn’t the easiest of times to be a pregnant woman in but Caroline made due, the trio knowing it was best to remain in that town until the baby was born since that gave Caroline the best chance at a healthy pregnancy. Clayton had to feed from others in order to make sure he didn’t take the blood and nutrients that his wife needed, though when you were used to the blood of one person it was strange to drink from another. It was like a meal made with the same ingredients but cooked a different way, it just wasn’t the same.
Mason was the only one who really knew what to expect from a child of a human and a vampire so he began getting the couple ready for what would be their new reality. Caroline was incredibly thrilled and Clayton was as well but he was also weary of bringing a dhampir into the world especially with the lives they lived. After a discussion to was agreed upon that with a child on the way Clayton and Caroline would have to give up their life of hunting, at least for now. Mason actually agreed with the decision they came to, though he would continue hunting just without the two of them.
One night in the spring Caroline’s water broke and she began to have contractions. The poor woman was in labor for over ten hours the doctors unsure if the baby would even be born alive. Finally a small scream broke through the air, Caroline however was fading from consciousness. Clayton’s happiness coming to a sudden halt as the doctors realized that Caroline was no longer breathing. Tears flooded his eyes as he dropped to his knees praying to anyone who would listen to bring his wife back, there was no such luck for him as his heart broke into a million pieces. It was a life for a life and maybe he didn’t deserve the happiness of having two people that he loved and who loved him in his life, not after the families and lives he had destroyed.
Their child was a healthy and happy baby girl one he could already see so much of his late wife in. Unlike on the ranch this time he knew his wife was dead and would not be returning, her heart no longer beating. Their daughter he named Lilith Rose Forrester since the two had discussed names throughout the pregnancy. Thankfully a lady in town had given birth not long before Lilith was born and was able to nurse both children and Clayton had to quickly learn how to be a father and parent since he had never imagined he would have to do this part alone. Instead of just saying in the town until the baby was born Clayton found himself looking for some sort of work that could be done at night, sure he had money saved up but he knew it wouldn’t be enough.
Mason returned for Caroline’s funeral and helped Clayton with adjusting his life around training horses and raising his daughter. Lilith realized that she was different at a young age and Mason began training her to fight explaining to Clayton more about dhampirs and how his daughter would be naturally gifted with combat. When Lilith was ten Mason convinced Clayton to allow him to take his daughter away to be trained by dhampirs since in the next eight years she would have her ceremony and her weapon would select her. Clay didn’t want his little girl to go but he had to do what was best for Lilith and she wanted to go with Mason which deeply wounded the vampire.
Clayton kept in touch with Mason and his daughter, being there the day the bullwhip became her weapon, there was such pride within him knowing that Caroline would have been so excited and proud of their daughter. Lilith wanted to protect vampires and so Clay and his daughter continued to remain apart, never truly becoming close. The vampire knew that Lilith blamed him for the fact she had no mother, that he could have turned his wife but he hadn’t wanted this existence for her. That was something Lilith couldn’t seem to understand.
Clayton fell back into the routine of hurting down rogue vampires and stayed out of the eye of the public and was able to roam under the watchful eye of society for a little over sixty years seeing his daughter from time to time. In 1937 he was a big deal on the rodeo circuit for bull riding and went by the name Kenneth McDaniels. With his vampire abilities it was rather unfair for him to compete but it was rush and made him feel alive for the first time in over seventy years. As with all things he had to move on though since it was a dangerous sport and some were realizing he didn’t get as hurt and bounced back faster than some of the other bullriders.
After his early retirement of bull riding he had to find something else, most ranches were all day work and that didn’t make it easy given his aversion to the sun. Instead he was able to teach early morning horseback riding classes along with evening classes. He could only ever stay in one place for a few years, in the 1960’s he bought himself a medium sized piece of land in New Mexico and raised goats and cattle to sell, it only lasted about ten years before those around him began to get suspicious once more.
In 1995 he took a huge risk again, this time by qualifying in the widely publicized PBR National Championships. For the first time ever he was going to compete with what were now some of the most well known names in the industry since it had changed so much since the first time. The first night of the week long championship in Vegas he ran into a gorgeous and lively woman who loved to line dance, the Cowboy wasn’t too good at it himself but he tried and she liked him for it. This time everyone believed him to be named David Murray and Isabelle found him simply charming. It didn’t take much convincing for the Cowboy to take her back up to his room not fully realizing how dangerous of a position he was placing them both in.
The vampire had pretended to be asleep when Isabelle snuck out of his bed and room the next morning. He didn’t think too much of it since he mainly only did one night stands since he lost Caroline. She was the only woman he had ever truly been himself with, the only woman who loved him despite everything including being a monster. What Clayton hadn’t expected was to see Isabelle the next night during selection and find out she was the wife to the currently number one ranked bull rider in the nation. The woman seemed slightly surprised to see Clayton and when they were introduced he had to pretend like he had no idea who she was. He was placed at the same table as Isabelle and her husband and had to carry a conversation with both as if they were on the track of becoming friends.
That night Isabelle came by his hotel room, even though he didn’t allow her in at first he knew it would look worse if they stayed in the doorway conversing. Inviting Isabelle in Clayton tried to keep his distance from the intoxicating woman, she spoke of how her husband treated her as if she were little and told him they were getting a divorce but until it was finalized she had to act as if everything was fine between herself and her soon to be ex-husbands while in public. Being a fool, Clayton believed Isabelle and for that week they were together at nights after he competed, though how her husband didn’t notice her absence he didn’t understand.
The night before the final round of the championship it all came into focus as he listened to the guys talking. Isabelle’s husband talking of the sleeping pills he took at night and the strange times of waking up for his wife to not be there. His fears of losing her coming to the forefront of his mind, it was then Clayton realized everything Isabelle had told him was a lie. There was no divorce in the works and he could see how much the man actually loved Isabelle. Clayton felt terrible for what he had done never thinking too much about the man he would be hurting in the process.
That night Lilith showed up at his hotel room in a fit of anger, she had seen him on TV since the event was shown world wide. His daughter had been watching him with Isabelle the past few days as well and threw the mini-fridge at his head. It was easy enough to move out of the way but her words hurt the most. “You’re a disgrace! A stain to Mama’s memory! Maybe you really are the monster you thought yourself to be! She’s married Clay! Married like you were to Mama who would be so ashamed.” Clayton felt like a thousand tiny lashes were striking his very soul since Lilith was right. He had once been a man of honor and he knew better than to keep company with a married woman and he had done it anyway. Isabelle had been a snake though telling him what he wanted to hear instead of the truth.
Grown men don’t cry was a saying that an idiot came up with since Clayton was well over one hundred and the liquid pooling in his eyes began to overflow. Never had he meant to dishonor his wife’s memory since she had always been his Angel in his time need, now more so than ever. Lilith let up as she saw the strong man before her finally break, she had only been a baby when her mom died and Clayton had never taken the time to properly mourn her passing since he had to care for an infant. “I never meant to be a crappy father or an insensitive widower. Lilith you and you Mama mean the world to me.” Sitting down on the edge of the bed he pulled the golden chain from under his shirt, the simple worn and battered wedding rings hanging there, a complete set to go with his incomplete heart.
“You weren't always a bad father it was more like looking at me hurt you because I look so much like Mama and was the cause of her death.” The dhampir said softly as she looked at the floor before her father slowly wrapped her in his arms. The tears spilling from her eyes as well as things they had never discussed came to light.
For a few moments they just sat there in silence crying, Clayton finally realizing he was the reason his own daughter left. “I love you Lilith and you were the one thing your Mama wanted more than anything in this life. We tried for years before I was turned into what I am now to have a child and we never could. Your Mama would have given her life a hundred times over just to make sure you lived and I never blamed you for that. I’m not an easy man to read or always get along with which is one of the things your Mama would have explained if she were still here. I don’t admit when I’m wrong and I don’t lay everything out easily.”
The two talked until close to eleven at night when Isabelle came knocking at his door. The Cowboy allowing the woman in as Lilith sat on the balcony of his room which overlooked the city below, hidden from view of Isabelle. “Your husband is a good man Isabelle and he deserves better than this, I deserve better than this. You’re lying to us both like it’s nothing, you love him but you want a life with me and we both know that’s impossible.” The woman’s eyes began to fill with tears as she looked at him her gaze begging him to reconsider. “Don’t give me those eyes darlin’, I don’t take kindly to being played. Go back to your husband and either be the wife he deserves or let him go so he can find someone worth spending his life with.” His words were harsh but he didn't like being lied to and used. Clayton wasn't the sort to end a marriage but maybe it was for the best in this case.
Isabelle left after calling him every name in the book and even a few he had never heard. Finding restless sleep he awake to find Lilith was still there that night and intended to watch the final round of the championships since they both knew what he needed to do.
That night in the chute he could tell the bull was wound up as he held onto the rope. As a vampire it didn't matter since his reaction time and strength was far above those competing with him. The chute was opened and the bull ran out bucking hard right away Clayton keeping hold of the rope and to a point controlling the beasts movements with his own body leaning to get him to buck in a certain direction. Four seconds had past and his eyes found Lilith’s in the crowd and he allowed himself to be bucked off, his body slamming hard into one of the guard gates. Slowly getting to his feet as if groggy the bull charged and bowled him over hard his body rolling as the bull tried to kick at him before being forced into the chute once more. Remembering what it was to be human he laid there unmoving as the EMTs moved in to get him. That night he disappeared from the hospital David Murray becoming a missing person.
Taking his money he moved on, Lilith telling him of a place called Evermore, Colorado. The vampire took his daughter’s advice and found a plot of land outside of the city near the river bank. He was quickly able to fix the place up adding a few horses, goats and cattle to the acreage he had. When it came to his livelihood he invested in a local brewery which expanded to a distillery before he bought a majority of the company allowing the creators to stay the face of the company and run it. Lilith liked to joke that he was like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain. It was a simple life which was all Clayton ever wanted. Staying in one place helped Clayton to reconnect with his daughter and at times there was so much of her mother in Lilith that it did hurt but he was so grateful to have her in his life.
When the Vampire King moved into the city Clayton had no idea what to think since he had never really been around other vampires, now not even living within the same territory but that of the Instar Diviners. The rumors of the Vampire King made him curious and he found himself at the large Manor in the vampire territory. It was a strange meeting with the Vampire King but it wasn’t unpleasant, the man holding an intense aura of power that reminded Clay of staring down a wild stallion. The two came to an easy respect of one another and the lives they now decided on. Gideon’s life being far more complicated than anything Clay would ever want but he was always willing to lend an ear to listen the two even if the two came from very different backgrounds and ways of life. The younger vampire never allowing himself to lose the man he had been and was meant to be again, being successful in business and in his personal life even though he often keeps to himself.
Ambassador and King of Vampires. We're building a slow friendship since the King does take an interest in the lives of all vampires even if they are turned. Despite my darker beginning the King understands the reasoning behind my actions and agrees that I've mostly found redemption.
Lilith Rose Forrester- Daughter
Rekindling a relationship with this firecracker since for over a hundred years we left a lot of things unsaid and without discussion. She's my baby girl and if you hurt her I will cause you so much pain you're going to wish I'd let you die.
Aurantia Ailward- Friend
What's there to say about Aurantia other than she keeps me sane in a world I'm not altogether too comfortable with? We have similar pasts and interests which stem for the time and environment we grew up in. She understands my simple way of living and enjoys it just as much as I do. Which is what brought us together in the first place and after months of evening rides and sitting on the porch talking everything just seemed to reach a breaking point truths coming out about both of our feelings for one another and now she's moving in. If anyone threatens her they'd better make peace with whatever they worship since they won't have much time left in life.