Jasmine had had an accident at the audition at the American Opera Center earlier that day. Luca had taken her to the hospital, holding her in his arms, inhaling the poignant fragrant delicacy of her being. Her sounds, still, even then, were filled with a gentle compassion. Jasmine had called his name between her pain filled breaths. He saw Jasmine's wise hazel eyes when she'd been his wife, Fiora, during the Italian Renaissance.
He'd carried her through the crowds on a large feast day. They'd finished a performance and the Italians, overcome with emotions, had reached for her. They were likely to tear her delicate person apart, he'd thought as he lifted her easily and carried her steadily through the cheering throng.
Luca had been filled with gratitude that day as he held her against his racing heart. Fiora's golden highlighted hair fell across his arms in a long delicate braid that had been woven with seed pearls and flowers. Fiora's patrons had finally accepted him as a suitable partner. His newfound musical stature had reassured their greedy natures and they'd consented to their marriage. They were preparing a meal for them later that day. His mentor,Cesco, and patron, Vincenzo di Medici, had been invited, no doubt, to also raise her patrons' stature.
Luca's mind filled with the scents and memories that had fed him these past five hundred years. While he'd waited for Fiora to return to him, or for death. But Vampayres were allowed release only when their soul's mission had been completed. He'd yet to succeed in the fourth trial which would allow him to leave his human body and ascend to higher realms. But he'd not wanted to leave before reuniting with Fiora. He was man and arch-angel. Demon and avenging spirit with Christ's compassion and Lucifer's temper and arrogance. He'd many trials to yet overcome.
Phisto, his beta-noir, his dark night, wanted to destroy Jasmine and bend her talent to the service of his greater fame and fortune. Luca could not allow that. And so the demon that he'd created, out of fear, and misguided compassion, as a young Vampayre, had survived and lived to destroy Luca and those whom he loved. He hadn't loved anyone these many years on earth, apart from Fiora, Cesco and now Jasmine. He'd heard her sound before she auditioned at the American Opera Center and he knew that the fourth trial was upon him.
He knew that Phisto had manipulated the accident that broke Jasmine's beautiful right hand. It had been his invitation to the final conflict. Phisto had known that he would get Luca's attention by hurting Jasmine. And he had. Luca's infinite vision and powers were now trained solely on Phisto. How could he destroy him if he couldn't love him. Love was the only weapon that bought that demon to his knees. Love and gratitude were his only weapons, despite his inhuman strength and gifts.
He prayed and waited for the love to return to his heart. Now he wanted revenge. A Vampayre's revenge.