I'm weary from concentrating. My ever waking moment is dominated by it and I'm starting to doubt my own soul. Am I thinking these thoughts or feeling these sensations? Does it make incusions into my waking mind? Or have I begun to feel it nestling like the proverbial viper in my breast? I must stay utterly focused. I can't drift into a world of emotion and sensation because that's how it takes control. It feeds on my anger and my lust for life. When I was angry, I killed for it. When I was impassioned, it had me charge all the way to London. My conscious mind and my will keeps it at bay.
So I'm told. I really don't know, do I? It's all so much mumbo jumbo to me. And it's this uncertainty that utterly frustrates me. This and the things I just can't do.
I can't share blood. It moves through blood. That's how it got me: it opened up a wound. It almost took Armand when he attempted to drink from its human host. I can't hunt because the very essence of killing is to release something primal and feed on the rapture of death.
And before you say it, it definitely, absolutely, unquestionably doesn't talk to me. We don't chat. I was unaware of it when it took hold of me and for the most part, I'm unaware of it still. Now that I'm alone with Louis' silent worry and the sweet roar of the ocean, I do sometimes wonder if I can sense something like black smoke or like the imagined presence of someone who has just left the room. Something out of the corner of my eye. It's not Amel. It isn't a confined and infinite being, desperate to uncoil its invisible form into a legion of immortal bodies. It's something else and it's getting on my damn nerves.
We immortal beings can all become detached from what happens around us. It's in the vampire manual. Second nature. I have this to fall back on. And if anyone knows how to dissociate themself from strong emotion, it's Louis. His presence calms me but I will never learn the art of absolute dispassion. It just ain't me. Yes, I have to maintain control. Yes, I have to avoid provocation and anger. I'm not happy about it but once my will is set against something, corporeal or not, it's history. The fire isn't lit, but I can work with ice.
You bet I'm serious. I'm a creature of passions. This is a hellish thing to endure but if you're going to taste hell, you might as well do it from paradise. I can make self-denial into an artform. And you'd better believe that.
We have left Armand's great mansion, where so many immortal beings come and go, and retreated to the Indian Ocean, to one of our beach-side haunts. Armand was glad to see me leave. I've asked enough of him already and his house is set too close to the mortal world. I'm avoiding London. It drove me there once to do its bidding. You want me there, parasite? Good luck with that.
I'm not beaten. Just because I haven't yet found a definite answer doesn't mean that I won't. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will. I've been busy. I've got some ass kicking to do.
The first kick: I have asked Ian to come to see me. It's a big ask considering that I almost ripped out his heart, but he has already arrived. He's brought Ruth with him which I have agreed to. She does demons. He does heads. He is a powerful mind-reader. We might not be able to dislodge it, but we can find out what it wants.