Archive for June, 2013

Sorry for the delay with the chapter >_< My game is being unbearable right now. But it’s finally up.

And for a little warning. There are two photos that show a bit of skin in this chapter. But nothing naughty is shown, and it’s mostly just back skin, but a little warning none the less so no one gets a bit of a fright. Also I have decided that the Q&A special will be posted next Saturday, which gives me more time for questions and taking a few photos for it. 

*

The look in the boys eyes after the vampires had poisoned him was something that I could possibly never forget. The fear, the confusion, and above all else, the loss. To the boy, he had lost everything of which he was, and came from. Whatever hid  inside that needle, took it all away from him. His wolf, his connection to his people, to his ancestors. Gone. Broken. Severed, with the injection of those chosen herbs in the concoction. He may never again run with the night underneath the antique, blackened sky. Or at least, he would be forbidden for a while. Til the power of the liquid ran cold.

But who knew how long that could take?

And Rafe, the anger and venom in his eyes as we were left alone. I had left out so much, and told him so little. Who our parents were, mainly our father. A fact that held so much power here. The children of the Rebels. A prized possession to these old creatures. Aleksi Godwinn, protagonist of the war. Of all we had heard of him, the vampires spoke the most. and they were all unanimous in their findings. Crazy, soft, fool.

But that wasn’t what held him in such rage. Vladimir… I was his. This tiny, tiny little fact… The term was so possessive, but it was true. Even though it may have been what had saved us tonight, I belonged to a vampire, and his master. I understood how Rafe felt towards him, he trusted him enough to follow him here, but not enough to hand his life over to him like I had done mine. But Vladimir wasn’t who Rafe thought he was. There was a kind, gentleness about him.

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As I look up. Vlad’s blood stained eyes look back at me. The dark bruising shading his once pale skin. His shirt covered in specks of blood, and tears in the stained fabric. My eyes search his, and study his disheveled appearance carefully. The familiar vampire looked as though he’d been pushed down a flight of stairs and then some. Without words he crosses the room and throws himself onto the bed. “Vlad… What… What happened?” I whisper, my hands instinctively cupping his face.

“Nothing…” He replies monotone, he accent thick and heavy as he carefully composes his voice. Vladimir’s eyes look down, before slowly rising to meet mine, in an almost childlike and innocent way. “Not good enough?” He sighs, sensing the question in my gaze. “Azazel knew that I was hiding something, IE you and Rafe… He’d heard through the grapevine that I’d offered protection to a human, and… Well he was curious about why. Not thinking as much as it might be more about me, and not him. The old blood is… Paranoid, and with right, it is a war… But… But in almost six hundred years together, I have never claimed a human, so… He thought it odd. “

“I’m so sorry…” I whisper, sitting up and looking away from him. Those bruises, those cuts, were all my fault. Maybe if I were braver, and hadn’t asked for his help… But no, then it would have been a free for all with Azazel tonight. I frown, and my gaze drifts back to him. His injuries were now only slowly healing. If I was braver, then I could help him in some way. If only I was strong like him.

“Don’t be…” His sigh is forceful, and escapes through the grinding of teeth. “I wish you would  have told me who you were though. It… Complicates things… As in he thought I was hiding something, and I’ve the Princess of the rebels standing at my side. You must understand how that looks for me.” Princess… I blush at the tone he uses as he says the word. Almost as though he could believe it himself.

“I am most definitely NOT a princess, Vladimir.” I growl unconvincingly at him, trying to remove the uneasiness in my chest. The restlessness seemed to dig itself into my chest cavity and deep within my bones, suffocation feeling seconds away unless I did something. “Don’t you know that by now? Whatever Azazel might want from me, or think I am, is a lie. I’m just me. I’m just Vivian, nothing special. And I think that I like it that way.”

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“Vivian, you’re nothing, if not special…” As he says the words, he moves forward on the bed. His arms creeping up beside my bare legs, and suddenly I became aware of the fabric revealing my thighs against his soft touch. My breath deepens as his lips move close to mine, inches from my ragged breath. “And why act like you’re not? Vivian, you’re beautiful. Smart. And you have absolutely no idea how special you really are.” Deep red stains my pale cheeks against his words. My heart thuds in my chest. “You saved a boy tonight. Regardless of his species, or his parentage, you acted without fear of the consequence. Like you weren’t afraid to be somebody.”

“I thought that you were angry about that…” I whisper, trying to focus on the sound of my own voice. Vladimir’s blue eyes, twinkle against his pallor skin, and I feel almost trapped inside them. Like I could do just about anything that he wanted without a second thought.

“It was a trap.” The vampire stats calmly, but the hint of aggression he tried to cover up, still thick in his voice. “Azazel does it to test loyalties. Especially with the wolves. And taking into the account of my dishonesty, he thought it would reveal something tonight. He of course didn’t care about the boy’s life, but when you spoke up, every fear he had was realized.” Gritting my teeth I look away from him, but he draws me back in, with gentle stroke across my chin. He holds me so I’m forced to look at him. “I wasn’t angry you spoke up. Actually I liked how animated you became, and how strong, obviously, I wished it had of been for another cause, like mine. But you were something tonight.”

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Attempting to escape him, I kneel up, but his eyes draw me back in with a second glance. Slowly my fingers begin to trace the line of every fading bruise and cut. “I fell for his trap…” As I say it, my mind has images of Vlad getting punished for my own stupidity. Every drop of blood that he spilt, was blood on my hands. “If I had of known… I wouldn’t have… I mean, look what he’s done to you…”

“Superficial, my love.” Vladimir says biting the air in front of my face. “Just a scratch.” In my mind, I was trying to analyse his statement. It hadn’t been just a scratch. The healing had started before he had even arrived, and it wasn’t pretty to begin with. “But, Azazel doesn’t completely believe in the honor of our words, as to say you are mine.” Just the way he says it brings a blush to my cheeks.

“What does that mean-“

“That he thinks that I want you all to myself…” Vladimir whispers quietly. Effortlessly throwing me onto my back in one fluid motion. His strength is incomparable. To think that he could be bruised and beaten so easily… He takes a deep breath, and sniffs the air hungrily. A small smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth.

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“And do you?” I mumble out, desperately trying to shove aside the feeling of something from my mind. I didn’t understand the emotion or the feeling, but it made the idea of him wanting me all to himself something I wanted. It threatened to curve my own lips upwards. And to throw my arms around his neck as I pull him into me. But I couldn’t feel that way. Not unless my eyes gazed into his, then anything could be possible. Even us.

“I’m selfish Vivian.” Vladimir growls, his smirk devilish and sending shivers down my spine. I could try and fight it as much as I could. But in the end. I wanted it as much as him. “I see something I like, and I want it. I need it. The reason I offered to protect you, sweet heart, the reason I still do, is because I like you. Vivian…”

“Is that why you kissed me?” My eyes are dragged from his even as I say it. It was shameful, if what he admitted was true, then I already had my answer. But a part of me just needed to hear it again. My insecurities begging for relief to wash over me. But the part further down inside me, just didn’t believe it.

“I kissed you because I wanted to, no other reason, other than fulfilling a wish that I had since I met you.” As he says it, his eyes capture mine, and hold them for a second longer than needed. “Now what are we going to do to prove to Azazel that you are mine.”

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As he speaks, his tongue slides across my lips, before trapping my lower lip in his mouth, lightly applying pressure. One of his legs slide between my thighs as I watch him, slowly trying to work out what he wanted from me. Using his arms, he rests over my body, trapping me down, as my heart speeds up. The closeness of our bodies was already growing to be too much, as the flush in my cheeks sent my temperature soaring. I felt I was on fire, as his tongue slid down my neck, before he smiles up at me.

“What will you do for me, Vivian, to prove you’re mine…?” Vladimir questions, his eyes glinting as his fangs ever so slightly poke out from behind his soft lips. The longer I focused on him, the more I felt inclined to kiss him back. The urge was stronger than anything I had felt in my life. Begging me to give him everything that I was. And I couldn’t fight it, resistance was futile. The more I tried to fight it, the more I wanted to tear my hair out to drown out the screams inside me. I needed him, I needed to give him all of me… “I already know that you’re mine, so what is it?”

“Vladimir…” I whisper. The restlessness that his question had left me with was painful. I wanted… No, I needed to show him, to prove to him that I was his. That I was worthy of his protection. The thought echoed through me with strange reluctance. “Have me… All of me… Use me, Vladimir, anyway you want, I’m yours.”

“Exactly what I thought.” He growls, his teeth sinking into my throat. The blood gushing out like a river of red, soaking up into his awaiting mouth. His teeth penetrate deeper, growls erupting from his own throat. The pain burns like a scalding hot iron beneath his fangs. The urge to scream consumes me, but I can’t open my mouth, or form words. Overriding the deep, and paralytic fear was the joy. The joy that I was making him happy, and serving him. The way he wanted me to.

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As my eyes flutter open, the dawn burning at the windows,  I feel a body underneath my own. My hand grips down onto flesh. I groan, my consciousness allowing the pain in. Every inch of me burns and aches with exhaustion and pain. From the deep, purple bruise over my pale skin. My wrists, and neck, my stomach and chest. Stained with discoloration. Throbbing with the assault of the night. And that’s not all, the deep bite marks penetrating into my veins, standing out bleak against my black and blue skin. The red blood marking my willingness to please.

Pulling myself closer to him, a sense of comfort envelops me. I was his… “Good morning.” I whisper, a smile forming on my swollen lips. Reliving each bite and the rocking of our hips from the night before. All of it made the pain seem worth it. I had proved myself to him.

“Good morning, love.” Vladimir coos softly, stroking my hair lightly. His hand slowly travels down the curves of my back, bringing with it a burning pain, claw marks, gritting my teeth I pull away. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be so rough. But when I’m around you I can hardly control myself.” He lets loose a growl, a rumble from his throat as he says it like it’s a good thing.

“It’s okay, Vlad.” I smile unconvincingly at him. He raises an eye brow to give me the option to detest it, but when I don’t he climbs out of bed. Slowly pulling on pants, and watching me. “I don’t mind.” But the bruises did. The scratches on my skin. The bite marks digging into my veins. They screamed as if to protest but I ignore it.

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“I can give you my blood, sweet heart, it’ll make you feel better?” He offers, scratching his head and looking away briefly. But my eyes locked in on his body as he did so. The thin, muscular frame. The patches of hair. His exposed torso and stomach. I blush and look back up at him.

“No, it’s really fine.” I had seen what his blood had done to people. What it had even done to Rafe at one point. I didn’t want anything to do with that. “Besides, right now, I think I just want to be human. Or at least feel that way. Pain, blood, healing, it’s natural, and it’s completely human. And I think I need it. After everything, about my dad and all, you know being a vampire. I just… I need to be human right now.”

“Yeah, well…” His face pulls up into a strange expression. Almost confusion. But to be honest, I really needed to feel that way. Human. It seemed the only cure to my biting anxiety. The vampire part of me changed nothing. I was still me, wasn’t I? I had been part vampire since birth, finding that out wouldn’t suddenly make me into one. “I have meetings to attend. With Azazel here, there’s a lot that needs to be sorted. I do feel bad to just run out like this though. After… You know. But.. I’ve no choice on the matter.”

“And you’ll… You’ll be back?” I ask, trying to hide behind my frizzy, tangled hair as I do so. After what we had done, spent the night together in a sweaty mess, he’d come back. Wouldn’t he?

“Love, I ain’t done with you yet.” As he says it, his lips collide with mine. A small smirk tugs at the corners of his mouth as he smiles back at me. His fingers brushing the underside of my chin tenderly. His eyes draw mine in as he winks at me. “Smile, it suits you.”

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After he leaves the room, I search for anything to cover my bare body with, and to hide the damage from our night of passion. I pull a purple jumper over my head, and some pants. Grateful for the material to preserve some sense of false modesty. I hug myself tightly, a knot forming underneath and deep in my belly. I couldn’t hide these marks, nor could I hide their maker. And once again, I found myself saying yes, when I really needed to say no.

Biting back my sense of frustration, I make my way downstairs, and watch the small rag-tag groups of men formed into small groups. Attempting to form some type of cohesive training squad. But each man had his own idea for what was needed to be done. And almost all of the groups were like that. Except if any of it was going to work out, they needed to mold together, and form a single mindset.

“Girl!” The man at the front of Rafe’s group calls out. Stopping his action as he notices me watching. I recognized him from the meeting the night before. He had been one of the men to question me. His grey eyes all to similar. “Join if you want, there’s plenty of room! Azazel thinks it could be useful for a future politician to learn a bit of self defense!

“A future what-“

“Oh, you haven’t spoke yet!” The man barks out a loud bellowing laugh, that fills the room. The knot in my stomach tightens. Future politician. I knew that he thought I had some sense of it, but speaking for vampires and this war, wasn’t something I could actually do. Last night had to be a one off. But I had to admit, it felt good being the center of attention, and having everyone hang off of my words. The man says something to one of his men before getting back into it. But Rafe breaks from the crowd and towards me.

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“What the hell happened to you?” Rafe demands, crossing his arms. The anger seeming to steam from his ears, or so it would if he were in a cartoon. His eyes begin to  narrow in on my as I refuse to speak. But it was obvious every second left in silence, his initial reaction began to meld into worry. With every shade that differed from my own complexion, and every cut that he didn’t know the justification.

“Nothing-“

“You’re a terrible liar, Vivian, always have been, always will be.” Rafe snarls at me, no emotion crossing his stone cold face. Self consciously, I run a hand through my hair, and attempt to hide my own. But even the motion of moving my arm, strains my tired, bruised muscles, enough to make me wince. “Who did this to you?” The tone of Rafe’s voice tells me I have no choice but to fess up to him. “Vivian!”

“No one… It was just an accident-“

“Who did it!?” Rafe barks out again. Inching closer as he does so. My throat feels dry and tight, as his eyes study my body and skin for wounds and injuries. I didn’t want to explain it to him, not to my brother. About last night… What had happened last night. A blush creeps into my cheeks as I suddenly look away. Dreading what I knew I had to say. “Who hurt you, Vivian?”

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“I… IspentthenightwithVlad!” I almost shout in less than one breath. My cheeks turn a violent shade of red, as I look down, refusing to look him in the eyes. Everyone in the room takes a second to look at me, as I tremble slightly feeling mortified. “We… Spent the night… Together…”

Rafe face drops completely with shock. He goes to speak, but ends up stopping. With a shake of his head, the confusion rings on all corners of his face. “You… You and… Vlad… Together…” He mumbles one word sentences to himself, before his eyes narrow in on mine. “You slept with the vampire?”

“Rafe!” I squeal and look him in the eyes. Other than the pain that Vlad had left me with, the rest of the night had absolutely nothing to do with my twin. I was not going to talk to him about my sex life. And it had been an accident. The bruises, and bites unintentional. Kissing him… All an accident wasn’t it. Somehow a part of me didn’t want to even consider the possibility that it was more. Because if it wasn’t… “I… I’m not talking to you about… My… No…”

Rafe’s face contorts again. And for a second I delude myself into thinking that he might be too embarrassed to keep up the conversation. I mean I certainly wouldn’t want to discuss his… Private affairs. “A bloody vampire now?” His head shakes in part to confusion, the other emotions are clearly mixed with anger and rage. “Is that what you are now, a fang banger? Are you crazy? Take a look at what this guy did to you, sis. We’ve only been in town for five days, and you’ve essentially sold your soul to him and let him do whatever the hell he wants to you.”

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“It’s not like that, Rafe…” I sigh and look down again. Trying and struggling to find the words that I needed to explain it. But I couldn’t, it was like kismet or something, but when we were together, I was like a moth to a flame. And when he smiled at me or touched me, my heart seemed to skip a beat. And his eyes, there was something in the way that he looked at me that I could do anything for. “He’s not like that.”

“Oh please, Vivian, he’s a vampire… And a man at that. So of course he’s like that.” The way Rafe says man, makes me angry. As though being a man was excuse enough for anything. “The god awful things that I’ve said and done  to woman just to get them into bed, oh my god, Vivian, you can’t be that stupid.”

“Why am I stupid?” I hiss at him, feeling a lump form in my throat. “For thinking someone could actually want me for me, and not just someone to pass the time on a lonely night?”

“That’s not what I…” For the first time, Rafe’s face softens, and all the anger seems to erode from his features. He bites his lips, and I watch him anxiously. “I just don’t want you to get hurt, and god, look at you after one night, bruised and broken. By some guy that you barely know. You aren’t the kind of girl who just wants a… Who doesn’t want… You… Vivian, you’re a relationship girl, not a one night stand, or… I…” The longer he speaks, the more flustered he becomes, and I feel a stab of guilt. It was true. I didn’t want just a thing on the side, I wanted the real thing. “I just see you getting hurt either way with this guy. If you keep seeing him, he could wind up killing you cause he can’t control himself. And if this is it, you’ll still wind up hurtin.”

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“Rafe, I’m not a kid anymore, I can take care of myself.” I growl in monotone at him, feeling betrayed. My brother was a hypocrite. After all the fights, and V he had done growing up, and me not knowing if he’d even come home whenever he left the house. He did not have the right to tell me how to live my life.

“And who is gonna take care of you when you’re lying on the ground, bleeding to death?” Rafe states, our eyes locking intently. The intensity we get locked in, almost becomes a staring contest. Neither one of us daring to blink first, as though that would be conceding defeat. “After everything you went through with that scumbag in Appaloosa Plains, and now this. You can’t go through life thinking that every guy you meet will give you the same shred of respect as Lucian always did. This isn’t bloody disney, there aren’t always gonna be happy endings for us. And if you play with fire, then you will get burnt… And I swear to god, if he hurts you… I’ll kill him.”

“Rafe-“

“Umm… I’m sorry to interrupt, but Azazel has called upon you, and wishes you to come to him.” A man cuts in, standing nervously away from Rafe. He blinks at me a few times, before a small reassuring smile curves the corners of his face. I look at Rafe one last time, and he shoots me a worried glance.

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“I’m sorry to interrupt… That seemed important…” The man says, his head turning to mine as we walk through the narrow hallway.

“But not as important as Azazel obviously…” I glare at him, before feeling guilty. It really wasn’t his fault at all that he came. They were his orders, and he was just following through with them.

“I’ve been here long enough to just go with whatever they say.” The man shrugs nonchalantly, brushing the hair from his face. He pauses mid stride to give me a once over. “I just… I wanted to say thank you, from most of us lycans here for standing up for that kid. If not for you, he woulda been… I don’t want to say it again, but you know. We can’t defy him without facing trial, but…” His voice drifts out but his face looks relieved to say the words.

“You’re a lycan?” Blushing I change the subject. Any form of compliment or praise made me nervous. And I hated feeling that way. “I mean… All the ones I know, their eyes…”

“It’s the… It’s the drugs…” The man looks down and back up at me. His eyes turning shifty, and fearful. “It makes sure we don’t turn… Til they can… Trust us… But… Look, I don’t really wanna get caught talking about this. I’m not sure what Azazel’s views are about you… And…”

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“Look, I’m sorry…” I begin. “And I know it’s not my place to say, but… Aren’t you concerned that this whole war started because of some supposed vampire cure that they’re terrified of, and now, they’re making sure that you lycans lose your power over them. I mean testing your loyalties… They’re fighting to prevent a cure for them, but going to great lengths to find one for you… I mean look at you for example. You’re not you anymore, and why? To test you’re loyalties, or to cure you completely?”

His face seems to drop completely, as his lip twitches against his skin. “And, I know this isn’t my place to say, but, this isn’t the place a nice girl like you wants to be. This isn’t playground politics, and plenty of us have either been killed, tortured or punished for it. Vampires aren’t like you or me. They lie, and they hurt, for no other reason than to see us suffer.” He pauses and looks at me with a sad frown. “We both have things that we know deep down inside, but pretend we don’t for our own sanity. And I hope you don’t fool yourself into believing that you can trust anyone here.”

“Thank you for your help.” I reply with a swift nod. Turning my attention to the door I know I need to pass through to Azazel, and whatever he had planned for me inside. I take a deep breath as my hand touches the door knob. “Maybe we’ll both take some warning from this conversation.” The man smiles, his eyes still seeming to radiate worry as he does so, before taking his leave.

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“Vivian, take a seat, please.” Azazel muses as I enter the room, without him once taking his eyes off of the board in front of him. On the board lies photos, dates, maps and pieces of paper pinned to the board beneath. The news on the TV echos through the small room, the reporter talking about a new missing persons case. “Thank you for coming, I must understand that you must be quite confused as to why you’re here today…” I frown, and slowly inch towards the couch. “But firstly, before I get to the important stuff, why were you telling my wolf that I’m trying to cure his species?”

“You heard?” I reply shocked, my eye brows raising above my head. He’s a vampire, of course he heard…

“You’re quite the trouble maker, I see.” He muses, turning around to face me for the first time since I had entered the room. His eyes give me a quick one over, before a small and sadistic smile creeps over his face. “I’m not surprised though, but quite a clever observation on your part. I mean, it’s basically true. Once they’ve served their purpose. But why bother telling them, unless you’re up to something?”

“I’m not planning anything.” I whisper, gritting my teeth together. So it is true… He wants to get rid of them for good, after they’ve helped him win the war of course. Getting rid of the competition. They were of course, the only thing that could rival a vampire’s strength. “I just find it odd that they would fight knowing that it would bring about their end. And how little they seem to know about anything. The way Vladimir described this movement was as fighting with logic and intelligence. But you’re breeding ignorance instead.”

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“So then… What will you do to stop it?” He asks simply, turning his attention to the news and it’s reports on the dead. Their is no hint of aggression or challenge in his voice. Instead, curiosity. I couldn’t understand why, so instead of answering, I remain close lipped. “Vivian,my brother kills without cause or reason. I mean look at the news, he’s plastered all over it, demeaning the vampire name. Our name… If he weren’t so strong, his stupidity could be considered a laughing matter. But like every great war conqueror, he can talk a pretty lie, and convince thousands, even millions that his cause is their cause.  You humans and you’re Hitler, is a prime example of the consequences of letting such brutality exist.”

“Then don’t.” I say, my brows furrowing together deeply. It seemed simple enough, kill him. But if it were between me and Rafe, I would do anything in my power to save him from his reckoning. And I felt I could sympathize with the pure blood on that. “Why do you need me?”

“For being such a timid little thing, you can sure talk people into questioning just about anything.” Azazel states watching me intently now. “If we could get through to some of Asmodeus’ men, and convince them to jump ship and convert. You’re a pretty face, and you somehow have a way with words when you aren’t stuttering on you’re own tongue. But before any of that, I have rebels coming for the boy tomorrow. As a way to test your loyalty I want you to be the one to deliver him. It doesn’t particularly worry me what you choose to do from then, since I can have you all killed before any of you can take a breath. But if it works out, it works out good for everyone involved.”

*

As I waited at the bottom of the mountain with the boy, nerves began to eat away at my stomach. Would I come face to face with my father for the first time? Was this all a trap? I could see movement in the tree lines from the guards that Azazel had assigned me. Six in total to make sure that none of us stepped out of line. And to be honest, I was a little grateful for there presence. I had no idea who I would be coming face to face with tonight.

I didn’t want to assume who it was either. I knew I had just one mission tonight. Send the boy back home, to his rightful place among his people. It was that easy. Send him home. And then whatever came next, I would deal with.

And as I hear a snap of a twig, I look up and to the eyes of the rebels….

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“Luc….?”

Update

Posted: June 28, 2013 in Generation 1
Tags:

Guy I apologize for the time it’s taking to publish the next chapter. But the good news is that the patch finally went through, and about 90% of my CC is working again. However, for some reason, every time I open the game, Vivian seems to have lost her skin (she goes completely black), and it means every time I have to reapply hers, and try to color it back to the old way. which is never the same colour. And the game is still crashing every thirty minutes or so, but it’s gotten a lot better.

Other than that, the new chapter is about three quarters of the way done, including photos, and writing. Which means that it will either be out this time tomorrow or on Sunday night. Either way, expect a new chapter in the next day or so.

And as for the special, I am still looking for a few more questions since I don’t have an overwhelming amount. Due to the loss of important CC (including important hair styles and skins), I will be delaying the Q&A special a couple of days, so that I’m able to photograph for it. But before that time, bombard me with questions, any character, even me, and it will be added.

Sorry for the delays and as always, thank you guys for being so patient

“And as predators, tonight we shall make a sacrifice in honor of our heritage and blood. A sacrifice to show those no good traitors their place in our world. Vladimir, bring out the boy!” The white haired vampire bellows. His voice echoing throughout the dim warehouse. Azazel lets a growl ripple through his throat and out of his mouth as the crowd cheers for this most unholy blood sport.

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Three men in the crowd with glowing eyes step to the front of the crowd, stern faces as they give each other a small nod and wait. Vladimir bars his fang as he drags a small wolf from behind the curtain. The wolf was obviously young, it’s muddy red coat still specked with youth. It’s bright green eyes sparkle with a strange intelligence as it snarls at both of the vampires of stage. The animal was proud, even though it had been taken here to be slaughtered. No fear evident in it’s brave muzzle as it waits for it’s fate.

Azazel towers over the wolf with a cruel smile forming on his lips. “Children of the night.” He coos suddenly to the crowd, an excitement in his voice. “Here we have one of their cubs, an enemy to our fight, and to our pledge. This creature does not believe in our goal, or our war. And he will not bow before us. He will not admit defeat. Now ask yourselves, if your enemy will not admit surrender, and he believes only in the destruction of your brothers, your sisters, will you not strike him down? Would you not strike fear into those hearts that which you harm? As a warning of the fate that will befall him if he continues his path to self destruction.”

The small pup barks back, with a warning in it’s growl. My eyes search the crowd, everyone had their eyes and ears glued to the stage, a strange awe burning in their eyes. But Rafe, his face looks tortured as he watches the vampires circle the small wolf. It was hopelessly outnumbered and weaker than it’s attackers, and in a few seconds it would all be over. My stomach lurches as I immediately think of home, and feel a stab of guilt. Seeing this animal, it was like seeing Lucian, and being back with him again. And that surge of memory made me want to fight for this creature, and it’s life.

Before I can think or even consider my options, Azazel’s foot comes crushing down on the animals neck. A weak whimpering follows, small strangled sounds escapes the poor creatures throat as it struggles to breath or even move. It’s breath is ragged, and fulled endowed with pain. it wouldn’t be long now til it’s life left it’s body. My eyes drop to the ground as I try to focus on anything but what I had just witnessed. Slowly looking back up, struggling back my now overwhelming fear, I’m shocked.

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The wolf’s body, loses it’s fur before my very eyes. The black and red fur, slowly giving away to pink skin, and a mop of fur at the top of it’s new head. Azazel kicks it over and keeps pressure on his throat. Where the wolf once laid, a boy no older than eleven has now taken it’s place. His chest rises and falls with life as he blinks weakly back up at the old blood. He growls without fear as he remains still.

“H.. He’s c… C.. Coming f.. For you.” The boy croaks out with a violent cough as he struggles to focus his vision. My breath catches in my throat painfully. He was a wolf, and a child. And for that fact, Azazel wanted him dead. My eyes burn with a hatred at Azazel as he smiles back at the child. And for the first time since it had happened, I was glad for Vladimir’s offer of protection. Even if he was joining in on the attack, this vampire was his master. “May W… Wolfbane rise fr.. Fr… From the ashes, and the sh.. Shadows, and tear open the night, vampire.”

“You talk of gods, child, but do you think he can hear you now?” Azazel whispers, inches above the boys weak body. A surge of adrenaline shoots through my veins, as the vampires bares his fangs and strokes the boy’s face. This had to stop. “No one is coming for you. No one will hear you scream.” As he finishes off his statement, he tightens his grip on the boys face and lifts him high off of the ground. He kicks and struggles but his attempts are futile. My eyes narrow in on Vladimir, who smirks at me with a wink. Everyone here with the exception of about three or four others, wanted this boy’s blood spilled. My chest tightens as I take steps towards the stage.

“H… He’s al… Already h… here.” The boy growls, as a wolf howls from outside. It’s call rises with the wind, and echos loudly around us. I jump as the howl starts, as do a few of the other people here. Suddenly feeling afraid of what may lurk outside, and be stalking through the night.

“You do not scare me, child. Neither do your fables.” Azazel hisses, lifting up a knife and running it lightly along the boys throat. Without even thinking my body lurches forward, and without noticing the men who had been unimpressed this entire time did the same thing. Except my voice stops the entire room in it’s tracks.

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“Stop!” I scream out before attempting to cover my own mouth. Shocked that the words had even been spoken. All eyes in the room turn to meet mine, with confusion, anger, and in rare cases, a hint of gratitude. My heart thuds in my chest as I turn a deathly shade of red at the pressure of the moment. Last but not least my eyes rise to the stage, and to meet Vladimir’s and Azazel’s eyes. Vlad clenches his teeth together as anger burns in his eyes. But Azazel looks amused by my sudden interruption. My legs start to wobble beneath me as the weight of a hundred men and woman’s gaze buries into my mind.

“Stop?” Azazel asks, with the same bemused look as before. His grip tightens on the boy, as he watches me intently. Sniffing the air, he smiles at me. “Speak now, girl, and be quick about it.”  Vladimir growls from beside him as Azazel focuses in on me even more so than before.

My face burns red as I struggle for breath. My stomach flops, threatening to make me sick. Silence falls on the room, as they wait for my response. But I struggle to even make a sound. “I… Wh… What is it th… That you want from this b… Boy? Wh.. What does he rep… Represent that you want t.. T… To destroy?” I close my eyes, and try to focus on calming my voice. The words that I needed to say did not come easily to me, but I knew that they needed to be said. “This boy? Is just that, a child. Wh… What do you have to f.. Fear of him? That he will grow up to h… Hate what you stand for and so, fight against you? It isn’t a w.. Warning that you’ll send by k… Killing him, b… But an act of w… War…”

“An act of war?” A man says from beside me, somewhat confused. The man’s grey eyes, glow with the same vampiric haze as he awaits an answer. A woman on the other side of me repeats his statement as they question me. It seemed obvious that they followed their leader Azazel without question, or without challenge. When he spoke, they listened. I feel an anger burn in me once again as their confusion grows louder.

“An act of war, yes.” I reply without my previous hesitation or stutter. As I look through the room, everyone’s eyes focus in on mine, willing to give me an opportunity to speak. The boy whimpers as he watches me, now suddenly afraid. “He is someone’s responsibility, someone’s child. Where he comes from, there are people who want him home, and who miss him terribly. His family, his family’s family and their allies, if they find out where he went, what happened to him, and who took him, will they not retaliate? You aren’t warning them of their fates, you are lighting up the path that they should take next. If a child is taken, people look for him, and in their bellies along with that pain, and worry, is anger. If he dies, then they will come for him.”

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“If they come, then we can fight…” The man says looking up at his leader for any signs of what he was thinking. Everyone in the room grows silent again pondering their fates. None of them seemed afraid, but their was a feeling of uncertainty. The Lycans in the room, watch the boy with one eye, and their master with the other.

“So you will fight both Asmodeus and the wrath of the rebels?” I question them, looking each of them in the eyes. “Do the rebels seem a bigger threat than Asmodeus? Right now, it seems that you are both fighting the one enemy, while preparing war against each other. If you kill this boy, then war is almost certain. From all that I’ve heard, Asmodeus and his men come in the night and they kill and slaughter, everyone and everything. Humans drained completely, lycans massacred and his own kind? He punishes, he tortures and he kills. He is a brute, and he fights without fear of the consequence and that makes him dangerous. Asmoudeus’ army outnumbers us two to one, and his men fight without restraint. We are already outnumbered, and possibly overpowered, do you want to fight another army, who is already fighting our battle with us?”

“You ask us to fight with the rebels? As allies?” A young lycan growls from behind me in confusion and disgust. I bite my tongue and fight the evil words bubbling at my surface. These men wanted blood, and that was it. They couldn’t even see the consequences, just the overwhelming blood lust. But it was strong, it circled the air and tempted us.

“I’m not asking you to fight as allies.” I clench my jaw as I say it, all fear dissolving away. “I’m just asking you to fight, and to look ahead, for every action has a reaction, a cause and effect.” As I say the words, my mind drifts back to the one decision I made all those years before that changed my life dramatically. Leaving Lucian had brought about every change imaginable. I never imagined that this would happen if I left, and every single happenstance since leaving rushes through my mind. Crashing my car, almost dying, meeting Henry, losing Henry, the detectives, and now, involving myself in the happenings and politics of vampires.

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Azazel drops the boy, and turns to face the crowd. My eyes watch him wearily, as Vladimir whispers something into his ear and nods. “Vivian, is it?” My chest tightens as he speaks my name. “This boy, is a rebel fighter, and at the age of ten he doesn’t seem to pose a threat does he? But when the boy’s family attacked my security detail on the journey here, killing six men, and injuring three more, do they not have to pay the consequences? Do the families of those men not deserve justice? They lost sons, and brothers, do they not get their revenge too?” As he finishes, some of the crowd nods their heads in agreements, while others refuse too.

“Is he to be judged by the actions of his fathers?” As I say it, I relive the interrogation with the detectives. It was entirely possible that he believed in their course of action, but he hadn’t slain them.

“We do not deserve revenge? Justice?” Azazel repeats watching my reaction, hoping for me to squirm. But I don’t, instead I stare back, unnerved.

“Is it justice to resort to barbarianism?” As soon as I say it, I have to stifle a laugh, for some of these men, probably were barbarians at some point of their life, either natural or unnatural. For some reason, it finally hits me that these men were dangerous, and old, and with age came power. “To sacrifice a boy, in the name of honor and justice is crazy. And Azazel, I believed you to be a man of logic, and reason. You are in the middle of a war, and there will be casualties, but a child should not join that list. Lycans, and humans, you know what a bond with a child is, you know the love of a family, and a pack, the bonds that you share with your kin. It is strong, and powerful, and unconditional. You would kill for it. And vampires, this child represents something that you might never achieve. You are by nature, loners, and it has been a long time since some of you have known what family is and means. But those of you born in the last hundred years, look back to your humanity, and imagine your family being sacrificed for ‘justice.’ Know that what you are doing is wrong.” As I finish both Azazel and Vlad step apart and allow the boy to run.

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I expect him to escape the room, but he crashes forcefully into my arms, almost knocking me over. My hands instinctively move to protect him from the presence of evil, and pull him closer against me. The boy growls as he watches the stage and his heart beats forcefully against the walls of his chest. The frantic rise and fall of his chest as he cowers against me for protection.

“Let him live, Azazel.” I say trying to control my own breathing and voice, for something was happening inside me. As the boys hands clung to my body, I felt the adrenaline in my body reach to soaring levels, in my natural instinct to protect him. My heart felt weak as his eyes looked to mine for help. “He’s not what you’re looking for.”

“I’ve grown bored with this conversation.” His eyes capture mine and in an instant I feel trapped in his gaze. “You will leave back to the house, with the boy, and await our arrival. And the consequences that follow with your outburst.” Without any other thought, my legs lift me back up, my handing wrapping around the child’s own, as we turn and leave. In the corner of my eyes, I see Rafe’s face contort with fear as he struggles to reach me through the crowd.

And as I turn my head, when I reach the door. Both Azazel and Vladimir bite into their wrists, as a fountain of blood flows out and into awaiting cups. The energy of the room changes, and it seems that whatever just happened, has already been forgotten by the awaiting blood lust. Those that were here, were addicts, the majority of them anyway. That’s what made them so obedient towards Azazel, his ancient blood was more potent than anything they had ever tasted, and it’s high was even greater than they could imagine. He owned them.

I hold onto the boys hand as I walk. My unconscious mind taking steps for me, as a glassy looks covers my eyes. Step by step we walk in silence. The child doesn’t attempt to run, nor does he try to speak. He follows me blindly, his eyes as large as saucers as he takes in the sight of the city. As we open the front door to the house, I continue to lead him upstairs into the large dining room. I hear a step behind me and my entire body flinches.

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“Viv…” Rafe’s soft voice says, as his shoulder lightly squeezes my shoulder. I breath a sigh of relief, knowing that I still have time before the vampires would come back to deal with me. My eyes watch the boy, as he curiously looks upon each of the paintings on the wall.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, my voice flat. That was probably the bit that he had been waiting for since we got here. Vampire blood. “I mean the blo-“

“I haven’t touched the stuff in weeks. Thought with coming here, and all these vampires and lycans, I might need a clear head.” Rafe says, taking the seat to my side. He gives me a pained look, and sighs. “Besides, things got real bad, real quick after you left. Those guys, they lost themselves in the blood lust, and there was a punch up that got ugly fast. Vladimir will take care of it, but I’m glad for their distractions so I could slip out and come here.” He pauses again and smiles at me. “I think that you just saved that boys’ life… But why? I mean…” His voice trails off.

“I don’t know exactly why I did what I did… I thought about the consequences and everything when I did it, but…” I close my eyes, and furrow my brows together. I knew why I did it. Every reason, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to say them out loud. “It wasn’t right what they were planning, he’s just a kid. And… He reminds me of Lucian… I… I couldn’t let him die. I just thought what if that was someone from our pack, our town.”

I stand up and walk over to the couch and sit down, looking up at the child, I catch his eyes and smile reassuringly. “What’s your name?”

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“Ty…” He says, uncertainty in his voice. Slowly he steps over to the couch and sits down. Pulls his knees up against his chest and frowning. “You’re Viv… Vivian?” He struggles with the word as he recalls it, and smiles at me finally. “Thank you for saving me….”

“It was the right thing to do.” I rub my elbow, feeling awkward. This child had so many needs right now, he needed to get home, and to get far away from here. And I could just open the door and tell him to run. But I couldn’t. I didn’t know why, but I just couldn’t. I had to stay here with the boy, until they came. “How…. How did you turn into a wolf?”

“You know of lycans but not…” He pauses and frowns again as he thinks. Ty bites his lip and pushes his brows together in frustration. Rafe watches us from his seat and listens in. “I guess that the vampires influ-ence is respon… Respon-si-ble.” He sounds out the syllable as he stares deep in thought. “I’m one of the last free wolves. Before the war, we had the ability to turn into wolves, but then they came and started puttin bad herbs into us, and we couldn’t. Momma says it’s cause we’re more wild, and un-controll-a-ble as a wolf, but also cause we strong and they can’t tell us whatta do.”

“Have they injected you?” I ask, a feeling of nausea coming over me. I had never realized that the vampires had this much control over the wolves. My thoughts immediately return to Blackwater, when Lucian had turned, it was into a man beast, and not a wolf. They had been coming to Blackwater for years….

“Nope, not yet.” Ty clenches his teeth together and looks up at me. “But they can now I’m here. If they don’t kill me, they can send message other way… Taking away my freedom, it means they can control me, and I can’t return to my wolf… But I’ll be trapped somewhere between him and me. I mean, my pa could go to that place, on two legs and also wolf, but he was really strong, an he was an alpha. An it was different… He was still his wolf when he was there. But I’m scared they’ll take away my wolf.”

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“Why’d your pack attack the vampire?” Rafe says standing up and sitting on the ground by our feet.  The nervous pit in my stomach felt like it had grown by about ten fold since this conversation had started. As Rafe asks he question, the boy slumps down and frowns again.

He wanted to speak to the white haired man.” The boy says vaguely, he voice strained. My nerves claw at my stomach, knowing that they could come at any second now. Rafe drags his hand through his hair, and rests against the couch. “But when they saw him, they attacked… M… My father was there…. He was hurt real bad, and… They only wanted to talk, you know, not fight.”

“I’m going to make sure that you get home, okay?” Rafe says softly to the boy. I think that he had been feeling the same kind of kinship with the boy that I had. Which was why he was acting on it. At least that’s what I hoped, that he felt the same kind of justice rising up within him. But at that point, I realized that because of the years apart, I didn’t really know him anymore. Just the kid he used to be, and it would take a while. But I could tell that he was different now.

After that we just sit in silence, waiting for the front door to open, and for the two vampires to come down those stairs. With each passing second, I feel myself grow more impatient and nervous. Until it finally happens.

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“Both of these yours, Vladimir?” Azazel’s cold voice, drags us out of our thoughts as we look up at them. Vlad nods, keeping firm eye contact with me as he does. The first vampire sighs and shakes his head. “My name is Azazel, it is… It is strange that we meet under such circumstances, I had thought it might be otherwise, but, here we are. And you all are?” Despite already knowing the answer to his question, we know that we have to pander to him. Rafe grunts his answer without looking at the old blood. And then it’s my turn. I feel a panic take over my body again, and the urge to run consumes me almost completely. “How is it that you can speak so strongly in front of so many, but alone, the cat has your tongue?”

 “M… my name is V… Vivian G… G… Godwinn.” I stutter in fear, ignoring his patronizing question. I look back up at him, and see the amusement in his eyes, and the seriousness in Vlad’s.

“Now, now, Vivian, I know you can do better than that.” He tempts me to continue, as he strokes his chin gently. I grit my teeth together in annoyance at him. He just needed to get it over with, instead of playing this game right now. I wasn’t in the mood, nor did I want to play. “I know exactly what you are, both of you, so don’t stutter, girl.”

“M.. My name is Vivian Godwinn…” Once again, a strange confidence blooms in my chest and vocal chords. If he was going to kill or hurt me, he could do it, and nothing I could do would stop him. But right now, I could do everything in my power to free the child. “Daughter of Raveena, and the rebel Prince Aleksi Godwinn.” Rafe looks up at me and captures my gaze. Questions bubbling at his surface.

 “You look like your mother-“

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“How do you know my mother?!” Rafe growls, pushing forward off of the ground, pointing his finger out accusingly. The rage in his voice is strong and powerful. I stand up to calm him but it does nothing to relax his tense body. In that moment, I could imagine Rafe a wild lion, snarling defensively, and if he could have, roared upon the sight of Azazel.

“It was my brother that sentenced her to death…” Azazel mouths, a small and wicked smile forming on his lips as he watches our faces contort with shock and pain. Sentenced her to death…. Like some kind of animal, they had been figuratively taken out back and shot, like an old dog, or a horse with a limp leg. “I didn’t if that means anything?” The words roll off of his tongue sarcastically, mockingly. “I never did care much for your father, but your mother, her death was a tragedy. I do miss her.”

“Don’t talk about my mother.” I spit back at him, feeling her loss and trying to remember her sweet face. But it was because of all of this, the war, Azazel, his brother, that she was gone. Stolen from us as babies. Never to know the warmth of her smile, or the comfort of her touch.

“You’re lucky that it is because of my fond memories of your mother that I do not kill you both, for this outrageous act of disrespect.” Azazel smirks at us, but it seemed fake and contrived. This man did not look like he would have a genuine bone in his entire body. His face almost repelled the smirk on his face. He sniffs the air, and licks his lips in anticipation. His eyes seeming to flare, as his pupils dilate.

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“Enough of this, my Lord, she is mine.” Vladimir finally speaks, as his arm wrap around my waist as if to prove his words. I push my body against his, and stare blankly at the pure blood hoping that Vladimir had been right in offering me protection. I trusted that he knew what he was doing, but at the same time, this creature was as old as time it self. “The boy too, he is a new recruit, and I’ve gone through many hoops to secure his position with us.” Rafe glares at us both, and his eyes seem to linger on mine for longer than the vampires.

Azazel has a flash of emotion across his face, but in a second he composes himself again. “You spoke well tonight, the men seemed to trust you, and you’re words. You somehow seemed to convince them that it was their idea, and in their best interests to let the mutt go free. Despite them being hell bent on spilling blood when they got there. I’m not surprised, you being a royal and all.”

“A royal-“

“It means that both sides of your parentage descend from the royal class of vampires.” Vladimir cuts in, not taking his eyes off of Azazel. His fingers tighten around my waist at the mention of royals, as if he himself was surprised to hear the news. But something that should make me think twice, goes over my head, at being in the same room as this monster. “Let’s just do what we came here to do.”

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As Azazel walks towards the child, he captures eye contact with Rafe. “Do not interfere.” He commands, and Rafe obediently takes a step backwards. Vladimir pulls me into his chest, and away from the direction of what was happening. Once I’m buried in his chest, I can’t see the boy being ripped off of the couch against his will. Neither can I see Azazel pull out the needle with an evil smirk on his face.

“Do your worst, vampire.” The little boy puts a brave front on as he faces the vampire with no one to help him. He’s completely alone, my guilt ridden mind thinks. My hands clench Vladimir tightly, as though that would fix anything. And soon my tears stain his top, as the boy cries out, the needle piercing his skin.

When it’s all over, the boy lies on the ground, curled up into a tight little ball. Rafe looks as though he has seen a ghost, his skin seeming even more pale than before. Azazel stretches his arms, before turning to leave. He looks at both Rafe and I intently, muttering something under his breath. He growls and looks up at Vladimir, who’s face remains blank. “hva er hun? Visste du dette? Før min ankomst??”

“Jeg visste ikke hva hun var.” Vladimir responds, releasing me without saying a word, and following the angry vampire.

“We have much to discuss…” Azazel growls calmly, wrapping his hand tightly around the back of Vladimir’s neck. “Vivian, you’re quite lucky, you know. If you didn’t do well tonight, I would have had to kill you. But I think that you might be of some use.”

*

Author’s notes.

First and foremost, remember, any questions that any one has, you can post in a comment, or to the forums, and I will answer it in a special Q&A post 🙂

And another quick note.
My launcher was sneaky the other day, when I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention, and attempted to install the patch. I say attempted as it downloaded, started installing, and got to 99% before coming up with an error and cancelling itself. 
Since then… None of my CC is loading into the game. At all. Which means I’m missing almost everyone’s hair, skins and even Vivian’s hair color somehow got deleted. If I attempt to re install any of it, it gets downloaded no problem but still won’t show in game (even though it says it’s installed in the launcher). I’ve tried the manual patch and everything to try and see if patching will fix this. But same deal, it gets to about 99% and then an error pops up and it cancels. So until this gets dealt with I’m not going to be able to post any new chapters. I was planning on the next chapter on Thursday night, but I can’t get any photos because of this issue :/

As her forest green eyes open, lashes fluttering, trying to make sense of her world. The thick and heavy fog made it hard for her to make out anything beyond the length of her arms. But the rustic smell of the earth flared in her nostrils, as she breaths in deeply. Struggling to fill her now blue, and frozen lungs. A cough rattles her frail, pale body as she sits up off the cold stone beneath her. 

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The forest seems to spread out for miles in either direction around. The secret meadow hidden in the shadow of the mountains towering almost to the heavens themselves. The ghostly silhouette of the full moon, lighting up the dark world beneath. “Wake up, Lizzie, you have to wake up…” A male voice whispers, the figment seeming to sound from my own reality. But in the cold, dark night, I am alone.

Remember… I think bitterly to myself. How long have I been here? Why am I here? In my minds eye, I can’t fathom an explanation. In the heavy fog of this world, it lays thicker in my consciousness, like an impenetrable wall put up by my time spent here, to prevent my own sanity. My name… Who I was… Who I used to be…. It seemed like a thousand desperate miles away from me.

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But through the darkness, my mind captures onto a faded, and fragmented vision. It calls out to me, whispering sweet nothings to my untrained ear. The male voice, like sweet, sweet honey. Darling..?” A  warm hand on my icy cheek. And my eyes flicker, desperately holding onto this distorted reality. “This time I’m not leaving without you buried at my side. I’m yours completely. ” This man, this voice, I had heard his whispers to me since my arrival here. Never his face, or his warmth, but just the voice of my once living human heart. “I know you worry, but love, I’m not going anywhere.” But you did…

“Wil….” I whisper, almost silently. I longed and ached for his touch again, and to feel the warmth of his skin, and the smile upon his lips. For too long I had been trapped here, somewhere between life and death, between my world and the next. In this world of eternal darkness, with nothing to warm me up, no comforting smile, or reassuring touch. “Why did you leave me?”

Finding my feet, I shakily look across the ancient cemetery. Ten graves, on platforms above the musty, rotten earth beneath. Ten forgotten faces to the world, alone, and abandoned. Left to rot in this sacred place. Just like myself. Except, youth has captured their youthful faces, but no breath to pass their now blue lips. On each burial, lays a body. Somehow perhaps, in a different lifetime, I think that I might have known these faces, these once lively beings. A long time ago, before my memory failed and faded away. Ten graves, eleven bodies.

I watch the woman, flowers in hand, stand at the tenth grave. Her silky red dress, adorned with pale ginger hair glimmering with the moons cold embrace, dancing in the wind. Her porcelain white skin, shimmers with lunar essence. Feeling a strange feeling wash over me, I take steps towards the foreign beauty at the end of the meadow.

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“A wise man once told me, life is god’s punishment to us, and death his gift. It’s almost tragic, isn’t it?” The woman murmurs softly, standing over a man’s body. His chest perfectly still, and his skin is blue with death’s icy touch. “It seems pointless, the struggles and pains of life, only to wind up here to be forgotten, nothing but an ancient memory of a dying world.” She sighs deeply, before looking up at the probable sight of a fearful woman before her.

“Why are you here?” I ask, not sure whether to feel afraid or not. But the cold, vacant stare present in her eyes told me that I needed to be. For there was a look of death and danger present, and a terrifying intelligence present in her strange, glowing eyes. “What are you doing to him?”

“They say that roses are for the dead, my dear.” She coos softly, stroking his cold cheek. As her skin touches him, I could swear I see his chest rise with life. My eyes look back in uncertainty as she smiles softly at him. “And graveyards for the living. For the dead wander, but the living, they always seem to return. Never moving forward. Although I have seen many of the dead, fall back into their mortal ways.”

“Who are you?” My jaw clenches tight, as the wind rushes past us both, carrying with it the scent of death and pine sap. The woman just laughs, and cackles, her voice carrying up into the northern winds above. Her blue eyes glint wickedly, as their yellow ring in the middle of her iris shines vibrantly. “What are we doing here?”

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“Always with the questions, aren’t we? Who am I, Where am I, Why am I?” She shakes her head, with a sad pout. Her voice with an aggressive undertone. My stomach winces as I cup it protectively without knowing why. Had I been a mother at some point of my forgotten life? My eyes tighten on her face studying it’s features, there was cruelty. “Am I dead? Are you dead? Not all questions have an answer, and not all deserve one. But you know these words, and you know my name, Elizabeth…”

My name…. Maybe, perhaps, whatever it was, I didn’t like this woman using it. It filled me with dread, as though she somehow knew me, knew my story, my past. But she couldn’t, because she did not know me, and we had never met… Or had we… The woman laughs again, and smiles at me, batting her eye lashes as she does so.

“This?” The woman in red repeats, as though it were obvious. “This is eternity. This is where we come after we die, and to simply… Fade away… Move on… Some call it purgatory, others the Abyss, perdition, limbo… Whatever it is, is where we lie. And these, nine other men and women, ten including yourself, Elizabeth, are the chosen few. Chosen for what, it is not my place to say, nor ask, but death has handpicked you all for something big. Perhaps, you have lived it out, or you die with it in your veins. But my love, death will not pass you by so easily.”

“Death…” I whisper, feeling my eyes well up. Tears stinging at the edges. Is this what I was? But it was all in contradiction, obvious with every frantic bet of my tired heart, every rise and fall of my chest as I breath in the cold mountain air. “I’m alive… I… I can’t be dead… You… You’ve made a mistake… I… Oh… Oh god…. Please no… I’m alive…”

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Before I am even aware of what I’m doing, my legs are sprinting across the cemetery, and back to my own stone slab. I’m alive… Crawling on top of the platform, I scrape the dirt and the cobwebs off of the the stone that rested above my head. I wipe and scratch at it, until the letters appear beneath.

Rest in peace,

Elizabeth Godwinn,

Faithful wife, devoted mother,

With all the love in our hearts,

From this world to the next.

“I… I’m… Dead…” I whisper, as my memory explodes before my eyes. I remembered, I had been trapped here for… For..? Weeks? Months? Years? Decades? Time didn’t seem to exist here, but I knew… I know… I bite my lip, a wave of nausea rushing over me. “Where is Wil? I demand, not wishing to think of such things. The woman’s soft blue eyes, dance with a vibrant yellow ring in the middle. Almost seeming to shine and dance. I could not fully remember this woman, these people, my memory had been destroyed with every second stuck in this inbetween. But with all my memories, faded, and distorted with age, was him... Had he been my lover? My husband? My everything?

“Somewhere beyond the moor, under the mountain he lies.” The woman replies with a blink of her eyes. The way that she looked, the intelligent sparkle glistening in her eyes. She knew everything that lay in these stone cold mountains, and icy reservoirs. The way moon might dance across the sky, and winter’s harsh cold could sometimes envelop her almost completely. I think that she knew of these nine men and women also. Of us. Of our battles, and lives, our stories. Almost as though she had etched it on stone tablets and engraved the stones above our heads herself. “But I don’t know what you expect to find. If this world doesn’t want you together, if death does not welcome you to each others arms, then he is lost to you already.”

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I don’t stay to hear the woman’s final words, instead I let my legs carry me. Across the cemetery and across the forest. “I’ll always find you. Don’t ever doubt that. You can run, but I will always find you.” With each step across the forest floor, I hear his voice, soft like a lullaby. He promised he wouldn’t leave me, that he’d always find me. But where was he now, where did he lie?

There was a strange desperation as I run. For I ran for dear life, high tailing it out of the grave yard and away from the woman that often stalked my nightmares. I was dead, or so she said. And high above my head had been a little stone tablet, etched into it, words. May I rest in peace… If this was death, then I could not rest in peace. For this was a hell that no one could relinquish me from.

My legs ache and sting, and my feet burn as the touch the ground. Up ahead lay a clearing. The tree begin to open up revealing a large meadow, surrounded by an ivy, brick fence. And ten large platforms, with ten head rests and nine bodies.

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“Larka Godwinn…” The woman whispers uncertain, I note as I close the distance between us, with wide eyes, and pupils as large as saucers. “I wonder if you even know just how dangerous you are… What you can even do…. Such a pretty face, but I know why he wants you…. And if you knew why, you’d put a thousand miles between here and you. I would…” her face turns into a menacing scowl as her face lowers closer to the girls body, before her eyes raise to meet mine. “I tried to warn you…”

I sit down, my lower lip quivering badly. With the cold, or my bitter defeat, I do not know. Perhaps both. I hunch over my knees, and pull them tightly against my body, in a vain attempt to find some sort of warmth or comfort. “Who is she?” I whisper, my eyes staring blankly at the ground beneath my feet.

Her face contorts for a moment as she thinks of her response. Of the answer that she would be satisfied giving. “This, my dear Elizabeth, is your great, great grand daughter.” My mind tries to decipher her message. If she was, as this woman said, my great, great grand daughter… Then I had been a mother… My mind jumps nervously, as my brain starts to crank. My children…

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“Wake her up!” I demand finding my feet quickly. The strong, natural maternal instinct capturing my heart once again. I pull her closer to me, and wrap my hand around hers. Looking, hoping for any signs of life. “I know you can do it. Before, over there, with the man, he breathed. He moved when you touched him. Do it again! To her this time!” The girl’s lifeless body does not move as I squeeze her hand gently, and silently plead for her to give me a sign.

“Let her sleep!” The woman snaps, her voice piercing my ears painfully. There’s a fire in her eyes, as her eyes close in on me. My heart feels as though it could skip a beat at this moment, that it might just stop completely, as she glowers at me. “Do not attempt to wake her..”

“Why-“

“Because in her timeline, she is not dead yet.” As she interrupts me, I feel a wave of ice rush through my veins. A cold sweat forming on my forehead, and my hands. My jaw clenches tightly together as I try to take a deep breath but fail completely. “Perhaps she hasn’t even been born yet, but waking her up now, could destroy your timelines, and change everything. She could die before any of the others have been born.” My eyes close, as my hand continues holding onto the poor girls. I didn’t know her, I’d left that world long before her birth, but I already loved her. And the strength of that love made me want to protect her. And this woman, already knew that.

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To be completely honest, I didn’t even see the woman leave. My heart was consumed with a paralyzing fear. She wasn’t dead, but here she lay. Here they all lay. I couldn’t understand how it was possible, but it must be. And that terrified me. I had woken because I had died in my reality. And if she woke up? Would that mean that she was dead too? I bite my lip and look at the girl closely. Something that the woman had said, made me very nervous. To anxious to even move. If this girl died, then the others wouldn’t be born. And if I was the first… Did that mean that I had started this? That my children lay here too? My grand child?

Maybe the reason I stayed by her side for so long, was because i was afraid of the answer. For one, that my child might face the same fate as me, trapped in the world of everlasting darkness for eternity. Trapped, and destined to never find peace. Or… maybe I was scared that if one of them did not lay in here… Maybe I’m scared that I’ll be alone in here, forever watching over this dead, cold bodies. Maybe I’m scared of being alone.

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Not knowing what else to do, and to scared to look at the faces of any of these other bodies, I sit in the middle of the meadow, where a great pool lay. I lower my legs into the freezing, pristine waters. Watching the calm water move across the little fountain, and the water spurt out. My own reflection dances before me in the water. My long dark hair, my green, fearful eyes.

The further I look, the longer it seems, my own reflection seems to morph, and I’m transported somewhere else. Til my eyes no longer blink, I’m taken away somewhere. To a world within my own memories and blood. I see my mothers face, but not the mother I knew. I see her innocence, and her childhood flashing before me. I see her fall in love with a poor man, and the happiness and love within her eyes. The way she smiles as she looks upon his face. A smile that I had never seen her since my birth. The kind of happiness that I had never witnessed or imagined her to have. And then her parents, they’re yelling, they’re arguing. Threatening to take something away from her. I focus on her fear. They wish to take away her… Her unborn child… My mother cries. Hours of her glistening, crystal tears fall. And her lover, the one she loves, never to be seen again. And now, she’s old again, the mother I know. I can see the look in her eyes whenever I look away, or my back is turned. It’s regret…

Then I watch flashes of different memories from my own life. My children. My loves. My life. They dance before me, but end much too soon. But before I can blink, I see something else. Horrible things. Things I was not there to witness, far beyond my own lifetime. I see death. And pain. Carnage and blood. A plague upon my family.

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As my eyes finally close, warm hot tears trickle down my pale cheeks. Shining like diamonds, or the stars in the night sky. They don’t stop, my violent sobs shake my entire body. Wil was gone, dead, and we were separated. I couldn’t find my way back to him, back to his arms. And I wondered, was he looking for me too? My children were dead too, or were on their way, I couldn’t tell if I was looking at the past, present or the future. But my family and my… All of them here, they were in danger. They would join me one by one.

I stand up again, refusing to look back into the clear water. For fear of reliving those memories. I feel my heart in my chest, breaking, as those someone was holding onto it tightly and squeezing. I didn’t even want to think about it, not witnessing death itself all over again. Not to them. Not to my family.

And that’s when I hear it. The sound of someone sounding as though they were struggling for air. The panic in each breath they took rose and rose, almost like they were dying all over again. I hadn’t seen the woman in years. No, this wasn’t her, this was one of the dead.

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“Constance…” I whisper, looking at the face of my youngest born. Her breath is ragged and shallow as she struggles for life. Stroking her hair softly and cradling her against myself, I sing to her. A song from her childhood. Struggling at first with the lyrics, but once I started, I felt her tense body relax. her eyes struggling to find the light. They flicker briefly and hold my gaze for a few minutes.

“Mother…” She coughs out, as the colour starts to return to her cold, and blue skin. I feel the floodgates once again threatening to burst open. I could hardly watch my youngest daughter die, and return to my arms here. In cold, dark limbo. “I… I saw you die…”

“Shhh… It’s okay, Connie.” I soothe her, still stroking her hair, as her eyes close again. As I look down at her familiar face, I see myself in her, and parts of Wil. Both of us. And now… She was… She was dead. “It’s okay… It’s all going to be okay. Darling… I promise.” Even though I wasn’t sure of it myself, I would do everything in my power  to make it alright for her. I wasn’t sure how yet, but I would.

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Hours later, she finally wakes. Sitting up abruptly, she sits in silence, watching the world around her in the now dim moonlight. Her eyes scan the forests, and then up to the heavens, the moon and the stars, and to the nine other graves around us. And finally to me. “You’re dead…” Connie whispers, playing with the back of her hair anxiously. Her face is dark, and sullen. “And that means… I’m dead too.” Her voice is very matter of factly, whispers of finality. “What is this place?”

“This… This is limbo…” I reply, unable to look at her. I felt to blame for all of this. I started this. I’m the reason she’s here. The reason they’re all here. But I can’t dwell on it. Not yet. Because she needs me. “I don’t know what it is exactly, I can’t explain it. But there’s magic here, Connie. Dark, dark magic. I can’t leave, oh how I’ve tried, just running, miles and miles. And I always come back to here.”

Her eyes once again scan the cemetery, melancholy setting into them. “Has anyone… Is there anyone else? Has anyone ever left?”

“It’s just been me, all these years…” I whisper thoughtfully. There had to be a way out of this place. A way to leave. Someone had done it before. The woman in red, she had managed to leave. And come again, and then leave. She knew how. She could do it. “But… There is another. A woman. She comes and goes. She isn’t one of us.”

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Before I even finish my sentence, her arms wrap tightly around me. And first the first time in a long time, I feel the warmth of a touch, and I feel my heart begin to break again. “Mother… I’m sorry… If I had of known… I… I shouldn’t have left you alone all this time…”

“You couldn’t have known. And I’m glad, Connie, I’m glad you got to live a full life.” I respond lovingly. Trying to take out all hint of pain and misery from my voice. If she knew how scared I was, how much sadness my heart was having to endure, she might break. And I just couldn’t burden her with it. “I’m just… I’m sorry to see you here…”

“It’s okay, I was ready.” As she says it, she sighs, and pulls away again. And I could already tell what she was thinking. When she had died, she had left behind people, people she loved. Her son… Her husband… And I could feel the emotion thick in her voice as she smiles weakly at me. “But is there… Where are the others? Father, my sister?” As she asks the questions, I feel my breath catch. They aren’t here… They’re gone. Lost forever.

“Somewhere, out there.” I force a smile. The woman had said it herself. Under the mountain. Except, there was no way to reach them. We were stuck here. Until every last one of us, lived, breathed and died. And then…? And then I didn’t know. Perhaps we would move on. Or maybe this was it. “But lets not think of it now…”

“If we’re here… Then..” Her body tenses again as she springs up. “Aleksi!”

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My heart breaks as she stands over his dead body. Tears glistening in her eyes as she struggles to comprehend this sight. The power of a mothers love, I could feel it with her very presence. She murmurs softly to him, lightly stroking his cheek and hands. “Will he wake?” she asks, not yet looking away from him.

“Not until his life has been realized…” Constance doesn’t flicker. No new emotion across her broken face. I walk over to her, and cup her hand in mine, lifting her up to me again. “Let him sleep, the longer he does the better.” My eyes focus on his cold, pale face. The red, tangled mop cascading over his skin. I remembered him as a boy, just little flickers of memories and emotions. His tiny toddler body, and unintelligent squeals. I could remember holding him in my arms, just as I had done with Connie herself. I was shocked to find out that she was pregnant at such a young age, and without the father at her side, I was nervous. But she was always stronger than she thought.

“I just… I just want to sit with him a while.” Constance murmurs, sitting beside him and stroking his lifeless cheek. The look in her eyes willed him to be alright. And even though she understood that as long as he lay dead in this reality, then he was alive in his own. But the worry was written all over her face, as she speaks to him quietly. She had woken up here, just as I had, to find her child’s dead body lying somewhere next to hers. And her husband, only to be found in fragmented memories.

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It’s hard to tell how much time has passed, before my youngest finally joins me again. She pries herself away from her only born, and gives me a tortured look. “So… This is what death is. I think I always seemed to romanticize it a little more. You know, puffy clouds, eternal sunshine, surrounded by everyone you love…” Her platinum blonde hair seems to shimmer in the moon as she shakes her head sadly. “But this..?”

“This isn’t what I imagined either, darling.” I whisper, looking into the still waters beneath me. I blink a few times and look back up. Fearing I might see into their world again, and see those horrible things. But it hadn’t been all bad, because for a while at least, I was surrounded by my loved ones again in a happier place.

‘There has to be a reason that we’re here… I mean, why me and my Aleksi… Why not the others? Ethel? Sybil?” I knew that she was not wishing fate upon the others as she said so, but the sense of confusion on her voice nagged at my mind. Why had it been her? The others had children, and families… But what was it about Constance, Aleksi, the others that were special? “There’s a reason, isn’t there..? Dad isn’t here either. It’s us…”

“I don’t know why…” I state, deep in thought as she holds her hands out towards me. “But I do know that we won’t find answers in this world, but in the next.” My gaze drops towards the water, and then over to the white haired girl. That woman, who had stood over her, she feared her. That meant something. “The pool… I mean the water… There’s something special about it…”

“The water-“

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“I’ve seen things, Connie…” I interrupt her. I needed her to understand. I needed her to know what I had seen. What was going to happen. “Bad things. In the water… In my own reflection. Things that haven’t happened yet, things that I shouldn’t know about. Things long before my time. The water, Constance, is like a window to the other side.”

“What have you…” Her brows push together deeply for a moment forming deep worry wrinkles above the bridge of her nose as she does so. For a moment I don’t think that she believes me. “What do you see?”

“At first, when I looked beyond my own reflection… I saw my mother.” As I speak, I relive the all too real vision, as though I were there myself. She cocks her head to the side, and grips her sides tightly, as if to comfort herself. I don’t think I ever spoke about her, not to my children, not Wil, not even myself. “But not the mother I knew. I watched her childhood, I watched her grow into an adult. And I now understand, why she was the way she was. Why she could never love me… And then… The… The future…”

“The future…? What?” She demands impatiently.

“I saw them die…”

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‘All of them…” I whisper, feeling the need to hold her in my arms again. To feel something real, and human. Constance doesn’t resist. She lets me hold her, as she stiffens tightly. “There was a war, Connie, and… And not everyone made it through alive. It raged long after both our lifetimes… And…”

“And?!” Her voice gets high pitched as she says it anxiously. I could feel the fear in her voice, as her hands cling to me tightly. My stomach flops, I couldn’t say it. “Mother! Please…”

“I saw him die, baby…” I whisper, and feel her grip loosen as she walks away from me. Ten steps away, and I can hear her nearly silent sobs. Biting my lip, I take a deep breath. Maybe it wasn’t true, none of it. But… It felt so real… Tears sting at my eyes as I close the gap. “It’s just one possibility… It doesn’t mean it’s true.”

“He’s going to die?” She shakes her head again, and frowns at me. The anger burning in her eyes, as she looks at me. Behind the hate is fear. And I understood. “My Aleksi… My baby? How?”

“We all die sometime, Connie, dear.” I whisper, feeling the guilt beginning to work it’s way into my body. I shouldn’t have said anything. And it would all be okay. But it goes without saying. We were all stuck here, until we all left that world with the final beat of our hearts.

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“No… Not my Aleksi, not my baby. You’re wrong… He’s… No…” She rambles to herself, making little sense, as she begins to pace back and forwards. Tears finally beginning to fall, and drip down here stained face as she does so. “Aleksi, no… They’re wrong… She’s wrong…” As Constance pauses, I sense a change in her again. “Balt… oh Balt, where are you..? Please, you have to protect him… Please, Balt…”

“Connie…?” I whisper, trying to reach out to her, but she blinks back at me, heart in pieces. “You’re father once told me, “life’s going to happen whether you’re ready for it or not,” and it’s true. No one lives forever. And I know it’s hard, because you’re here, but… We will make it through this. We’ll figure out a way.” I wanted to tell her about the girl, I wanted to tell her that she may be able to help us. I wasn’t one hundred percent though, and I didn’t want to get her hopes up.

“Who is she?” Constance wipes the tears from her face, using the sleeve of her top. “The woman that you mentioned earlier?” The woman… The woman… With the silky red dress, and cruel blue eyes. “What does she want from us? What is she?”

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“Reaper…”

*

Authors note

So guys, one year one and here we all are. I’m still torturing these guys, despite how much I love them all. Nothing’s changed since I first started. Four generations into it, and six still to go. I just wanted to say a huge thank you to each and everyone of you, those of you who have been here since the beginning, and those of you who have only just started recently. If it wasn’t for you guys, I don’t know if I would have got this far. So thank you.

This doesn’t conclude the celebrations, as there will be another part to this one year extravaganza. The second part is a Q&A with me and all your favourite and not so favourite characters. Feel free to ask questions below, or on the official forum page, and I will post a special update answering those questions for you, as well as some pictures posted through the special. 

So ask anything and everything, and hopefully, I can post it next Saturday for you all. Which gives you a whole week to ask away. 

And once again, thank you for sticking with the crazy. It means more than you’ll ever know.

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Bridgeport… The towering city, stretched high above me in a way that the roofs of these mammoth buildings almost reached the heavens themselves. Daring to stand as tall and high in the clouds as modern architecture could possibly allow. The grand buildings tore a hole in the grey, bleak sky, illuminating the faded sunset. Their bright lights, replacing the stars that hid behind the thick clouds. And stretching out as far as my eyes could see.

The concrete jungle had wildlife. Everywhere my eyes drifted, pretty woman wiggled their hips as they strolled down the streets, and men with their lit cigars bellowing out. Billboards with famous models blowing kisses at the camera, selling overpriced lipstick. And overpaid footballers modelling an expensive brand of men’s cologne. The sun still dimly lit the sky, and that seemed to be the signal that their time was up, and they retreated back to their homes.

Bridgeport… Nothing I had ever seen could compare to it.

And through the city we went. Rafe driving determinedly from behind the wheel. Hardly blinking or looking away from his course, his path on the road. Through and through we drive. It had been a quiet journey, with few words spoken. What had happened in Appaloosa Plains had shaken me badly. Not only was Henry dead, murdered, but people were looking into me, and my family. My father, the vampire. Despite it all, Vladimir’s invisible presence calmed me deeply.

Driving out of the city, the truck passes over a large bridge. Running dark water beneath, surely anyone who fell in would be a lost cause. For the water was too deep, too quick. Past the bridge, we climb high into the mountains and finally pull up outside an old stone house. The house itself had no windows except for the top floor, and a green grey roof at the top of it’s five stories. However, other than that, there seemed to be nothing exceptional about the place.

As Rafe unloads the truck, and Vladimir’s coffin into the house, I wander out back.

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The view of the city in the faded sky was a marvel. The view itself proved as a testament to how far I had traveled to get here. From my home in Blackwater, and the painful memories of Appaloosa Plains, and now, to Bridgeport, the city that towered high above the sky. I sigh and lean against the wooden balustrade that preventing anyone from tumbling to the water and cliffs below. Even after all this running, had I managed to escape the thing that started this whole journey.

Lucian was just a faded memory now, yet behind the mist and fog that prevented me from returning to those painful visions, was something. I couldn’t explain it. But I knew, deep down, this running had in fact been in vain. And after falling in lust with Henry and his wicked lies, his death, had I moved on? After learning my fathers true identity and following Rafe in his endeavors to join the vampire, had I learnt anything real?

Why had I come? Had I hoped to achieve anything by being here?

I wanted to know about those three vampires. Akrin, Baltezhar… And my father. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something had happened to them. Maybe they were killers. But my father, and perhaps those men too, had been in Ravenwood at the start of the war. And my mother and father were kidnapped by vampires. Despite my deep unsettling fear, it didn’t add up. Aleksi had been taken in by the Lycans, if he were evil, they surely wouldn’t have done such a thing. The detectives had to have it wrong.

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Sitting down with my back to the horizon, I open the folder and in the light of the dying sun, I start to read. Pulling apart the different sections and focusing on each tiny detail. A part of my mind was telling me how important it was that I read this, that there was something that I needed to know. It was almost consuming as I flipped through the different pages.

The man that was seen on the docks. And seen after the Ravenwood disaster all those years before. We found him… He didn’t run or attack as we expected. An unnerving calmness about the creature with the red hair. He introduced himself as Aleksi Godwinn. Of course, we didn’t know how to react. The creature could kill us both before we even knew what was happening, and yet, he had called us here tonight, and we had come. The vampire told us that a great injustice was happening in the world today. Vampires, and humans alike, turning on each other in fear of thinking for themselves. Some fought to be superior, others to restore the natural order of the world, and others, because there was a way to live in coexistence. How could such a creature even talk of these things? Of loss, of losing the thing you love most in this world and of coexistence. I pulled my gun on him, and he disappeared into the night – Hardy, 2017

And I don’t stop there. I had to find out. I had to know.

The vampires we caught, they all referred to him as the rebel Prince. They said that there were many legends about him. Such as he had been working on an experiment that would change vampires forever, alongside the now excommunicated pure blood Prince, Arkin. When the two that bring death found out, they captured him. Aleksi lost his mate in the fray and for months she lived free. But they caught her, and sentenced them to the true death. They didn’t seem to know exactly what had happened next, but something had been set in motion. The queen and her traitor son disappeared, and war broke out. Somehow Aleksi escaped. They said that there was a rumor deep in the underground that a child had been born – Greyson, 2019

A child…

Our searches have turned up nothing new. A shipyard was raided, and witnesses state that they heard a wolf. Some even saw the large, black dire wolf. Where the wolf goes, he’s never too far behind. A gun shipment was taken, as well as ammo, and anti vampire artifacts. Other than that a few sightings near the southern border. But he is lost to us. There are rumors of a political rally in his name, and an ambush on a pro war protest. Whispers of his troops being on the move again, yet he is an enigma. Is there a way to draw him out? – Greyson, 2024

This date was written the year before I left town. A hint of desperation in the writing…

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A report was filed to us from Appaloosa Plains, and at first glance is nothing special. A girl south of the border was involved in a terrible accident, and when emergency medics arrived, she was in perfect condition. Photos of the crash state that she should have been near death if not there already. Yet not a bruise or scratch, but there was blood on her, and in the wreckage that belonged to her… V addicts sometimes get this affect if the blood is almost sudden and in great doses. Vampires also have healing of this caliber. The girls name is Vivian Godwinn, and looking at her birth certificate, I think we found our way of contacting our elusive vampire – Hardy, 2026.

The last entry in the thick folder was dated a few months before Henry’s death… They knew and they had been waiting for an opportunity. Now Rafe’s words seemed to have a lot fear in them. A lot more seriousness. These men didn’t seem to know about Rafe yet. Or maybe they did, and didn’t want me to know about it. All of it, leaving me alone with the folder, letting me go, it seemed like an elaborate game of cat and mouse.

They wanted me to know that they were coming for me. And that wanted me to know Aleksi, to find him for them…

I get to my feet tucking the folder away again, the last thing that I wanted was for anyone to know who my father was. Or what I was. It seemed dangerous. And Vladimir had asked that I visit him once the sun had fallen.

Slowly I open the door, following the loud music. The dim lights cascade in the room, and as my eyes adjust, I realize that I am not alone. Scantily clad woman strut through the room, the sweat and glitter sparkling in what little light there is. The sticky smell of sweat hits me like a truck, as does the sweet perfume and smell of blood in the room. What on earth was going on in here?

I spy one of the vampires I had seen training earlier, with a woman. Kissing her neck and rubbing his hands against her willing body. Her heavy breath moans against his own as his teeth sink into her skin, ripping the flesh. As I look through the other people, more and more of it becomes known to me. Ignoring the disgust I feel, I march up to where Vladimir slumbers.

Or so I think…

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The second the door opens, the distinct, metallic smell of blood hits me. Vladimir has a trickle running down face, as the harem of woman surrounding them have blood on their necks, thighs and wrists. Thick bite marks and running blood marks them as his. The tip of the vampires fingers pierced with his own teeth had specks of blood forming on top of them. These woman who had yet to taste, move closer now, smiling seductively at him before they drink.

My stomach lurches as I watch the blood fueled lust continue in silence. Maybe that was what was stopping them from noticing me. Or perhaps Vladimir thought that this blood sport was a game, and he reveled in my turning stomach. This scene however, seemed out of character for the old fashioned vampire.

“Ahh….” I slowly say, loudly enough for them all to hear. Vladimir’s eyes turn to me, with a glassy look in them, as though drunk. A slight chuckle passes his lips, as he smiles at me. “Vlad… What’s… Uhh…. I’m gonna go… I’m interrupting…” All these girls were beautiful. Lovely tanned, flawless skin, tight and toned bodies. And the little fabric they wore left very little to the imagination as for most only thin strips of fabric covered their sizable chests and hips. Flat stomachs, and long legs bare, all the way up to the pantie line.

“Hush, now, child.” Vladimir stands up in the blink of an eye, and appears before me. The girls lie back and bite their lips, looking at him as though he were a piece of meat. But the way the girls were presented, with nothing to preserve their modesty… “You will do nothing of the sort. I hadn’t fed in a long time, but now I have had my full.” He turns around and winks at the giggling girls. “You’ve nothing to fear from being here, my love.”

“It not fear that is making me tense.” I say awkwardly. His white shirt, almost completely unbuttoned, revealing a large portion of his chiseled chest, and tuff of fur clawing it’s way up from beneath his… I blush again, and look away. I take a deep breath, this man always had an unnerving effect on me. He stretches and sits at the grand piano in the corner of the room.

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“Maybe music will calm your tense nerves.” The tune he play, carries his fingers from one end of the piano to the next. Playing in perfect sync. “I can think of other ways, but… It would be deemed highly inappropriate.” His eyes stay closed, as he continues playing the beautiful melody. “That came out wrong…” A lopsided smile appears on his face, as one eye opens up to look at me. “I meant that I could make you a drink, or give you a massage.”

“How about send these poor girls away, Vlad…” I mumble, ignoring him, as three of the girls sway their body to and fro. As the other two, stretch out on the couch. It was wrong of him to do this to these woman, to force them to smile and laugh when all they could feel was fear. They were probably compelled to be here. It was sickening.

“I do not take the unwilling, Vivian. If that’s what you are alluding too.” He raises an eye at me as though half offended by my thoughts. “And these girls are much more than willing. Blood for blood, although, their fascination with the undead is a strange one, in fact it’ll probably kill them one day.” His hands pull away from the beautiful instrument, as he sighs. “Be away with you girls. I want everyone gone.”

“Why would they willingly come?” I ask as he stands up from the piano. Curiosity had me in it’s claws. And I couldn’t resist the questions. Even if the pit in my stomach was gnawing away at me.

“I’m not completely sure, for everyone it’s different.” Vladimir states as he thinks about it. “Some just want to feed their addictions, so they come for the blood. Others, want to become like us, so they come for the vampire. Others, they just like it. The feeling of my teeth piercing into their bodies, and me sucking and tasting them til they can’t even see straight. Those ones, come for me.”

“It’s wrong-“

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“So I should starve myself because you find my means of existence, distasteful?” Vladimir cuts in, interrupting me. A flare of anger in his voice as he steps in close to me. My heart skips a beat as his eyes burn before me. “Does the wolf not hunt the lamb? And man not take what he wants, without asking, without need? Does he not cut down the forests, and kill the animals out of greed? I am a vampire, I do what nature intends of me, I hunt the hunter. But do I take his life? No. I take no more than is needed and move on.”

“I’m sorry, Vladimir.” I whisper, feeling the weight of his words. All those girls walked out of here tonight with their lives. He could have drained them completely dry, but he didn’t. The natural order of the world. He hunted and drank blood, because that’s what his species demanded of him. “Those girls… It’s just… I don’t like the idea that someone’s choices could be taken away. The fact that you can enter someone’s mind and pluck an idea out, or put one in…”

“And five hundred years ago, that might of been how we had to do things. To survive, to feed.” The vampire lessens the intensity in his eyes. All anger disappearing once more, and finally I can breath easy again. His strange honesty had always calmed me, and unnerved me at the same time. “But now, the idea of vampirism intrigues that many people, we no longer have to take without asking. I have a dozen people I can call at a moment’s notice to replenish myself. Although… I’ve yet to taste the blood of sentimentality.”

“Sentimentality?” I ask as he watches the city from the window.

“They say when a vampire cares for a human, their blood tastes all the sweeter. The process is that much more intense.” As he turns around, the look in his eyes has changed again. Softer than before, and he smiles up at me. His glowing eyes seeming to dance in the moonlight. “I don’t think that I’ve ever cared… About anyone. But, an idea, a dream. I have full belief in those. I’d die for some of them. Although, I long for something more, on the briefest of occasions.”

“Why did you want me up here?” I change the subject quickly. The way he was talking made my heart ache. For we both had the same longing. For someone. For anything. I believed leaving Lucian was the right thing, and it would be best for him, yet that didn’t stop the longing in my heart.

“A very important man in my world arrives in the next few days.” Vladimir seems to be thankful for the change of subject too, as his deep voice comes back. Still thick with his heavy accent. “A pure blood, and the rightful heir to lead my kind. It’d be best for you to lay low during that time, for I’d hate for him to see you, and want you to himself.”

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“Why would you hate it?” I can’t stop the words coming from my mouth. It’s as though someone has control of my mouth and spits the words out. And after I say it, I unconsciously step towards him, with a small and timid smile. Every fiber in my entire core being drawn to him.

“He’d not appreciate such a woman as yourself.” Vladimir mouths, leaning in slightly. I didn’t know what it was, but my mind was trying to tell my body to stop. But it wouldn’t listen. “Azazel does not look for the sentimental.” My heart rate raises, either in protest to what was happening to my body, or perhaps to his words. “He would not see such a thing in you, love, and that would be a shame.”

“And neither do you…” I reply  turning away from him, allowing my smile to drop.

“You’re right, those girls were nothing more than a quick fix.” He allows me to take a few steps from him, as my noisy heart tells him everything he wants to know. And the beads of sweat on my cold forehead. A pure blood was coming, I didn’t know much about vampires. But I knew that the strongest, and oldest vampires were pure bloods. And if that man might want me, for my blood or otherwise, there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. “But, do not let my warning fall on deaf ears because of my actions.”

“Could you offer me some form of protection from him? Any at all?” My mind grows weary with fear. As long as I was in Bridgeport, then Vladimir was my keeper. And I couldn’t remove that thought from my mind. It wasn’t me, but it was planted firmly in my mind.

“Only one, for Azazel is a man of honour.” Vladimir murmurs as I turn around to face him again. My eyes close in on him, as a sudden cold rushes over me. “And that would be if you stood at my side. For a vampire would not touch a human that belongs to another. And if you were mine, he would not dare such a thing.”

“And if I was yours, what would that mean for me?” I fold my arms across my chest, my skin is clammy to the touch as nerves wrack my body. If I was his… The thought burns in my mind, as logic revolts the idea. But if I was his… I can’t rid myself of the thought. of the desire.

“Nothing if you did not will it.” Vladimir smiles at me thoughtfully. “For it is an ancient pact much older than myself. For another vampire should not break that ancient pact, for that would be sacrilege.” I nod unknowingly. I would be safe, that was all I could think of. Not of the repercussions or the consequences that could follow that one agreement.

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“Then I am yours…” Vladmir takes my hand in his. His other hand slowly grazes past my lips and onto my chin. Leaning in closer all the while. I just want to be safe again, I think to myself, while I still can. To be able to breath easy for the first time in a long time. I want to stop running. It’s all I’ve wanted for so long, shouldn’t I take the opportunity when I can. My brain is cut off as his lips press against my softly.

“To complete the ritual…” He whispers softly to me, still inches from my lips. My head swims with desire, and confusion, and fear. But I don’t resist. “I need a piece of you, and you a piece of me. Or it cannot be done.”

“What?” A breath out, my eyes locked on his. All fear and confusion lifting from my body, as his eyes watch mine. A deep calmness spreading through all my limbs, and I dare not look away.

“A blood sacrifice.” Despite the words, it does not strike fear into my body though I know it should. I do not fear Vladimir, nothing about him at all. But I should, but right now, with his eyes on mine, I don’t.

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*

My breath shudders as I stand and watch the huge crowd fill up every space inside the old warehouse. Every inch is almost filled to the brim as men, and women, human, lycan and vampire all in one room. I gaze up to Vladimir pacing restlessly on the stage as he waits impatiently. Tonight was the night, Azazel was here.

Next my eyes drop to Rafe, waiting in the front row of the crowd. His serious face prominent as he stands stiffly without movement. The tension is thick in the air, as each and every person here wears the same stern look on their faces. Some of the faces look afraid as their eyes dart from one end of the stage to the next. Just hopelessly waiting for the One to come. Their fear, mixed in with my panic is volatile. I feel sick to my stomach, as my hands run along the bit mark on my neck. Except now the mark made me feel like I was vulnerable, and out in the open. I had let a vampire feed off of my blood. Without hesitation or restraint, I allowed it. My mind wasn’t working.

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Vladimir nods to someone and a small smile curves his lips. “Silence!” He calls out, and in that instant the entire room clamps there mouths shut. “We have come today so that we may be free! Not living lies brought on fools like the rebels hiding in their caves, spinning tales of coexistence! For we are the apex predators of our age! We shall not bow, or submit to human authority! Or the lord of lies! Asmodeus is a fool! There is a natural order of the world, and he threatens to destroy our very existence! Will the humans not rise up if we are to force them into pens like little lambs!? Will they not reign down hell with every fiber of their beings to survive!? There is only one way! For our rightful king and heir, Azazel!” Vladimir coos across the room.

Everyone in the room erupts into a clash of screams, and yells. Clapping for the address that Vlad was giving the room. Around me I hear whispers of concurrence, they all believed his words wholeheartedly. Except out of the corner of my eyes, I see a flash of red hair in the crowd. And a few faces that had only just arrived, but didn’t see nearly as interested as the others. They give each other a strange look before separating into the crowd.

Vladimir moves off of the stage as a man with brilliant white hair walks into the middle.

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As he reaches the middle of the stage, the crowd immediately goes silent, just by the mans presence. “For those of you, who do not yet know me, I am Azazel Dragomir!” His tone his cold, and calculating as he looks out across the people. “I thank you all for coming tonight, for tonight you shall learn of the worlds justice! And be kings and queens, for one night alone, I offer you all salvation!” The crowd erupts again, excitement hyping in the eyes of the people here.

“We are vampire. We are Lycan. And above all we are predators.” His volume drops as his eyes scan the crowd. “Below us the humans. The lera – the prey animals. Everything in this life belongs in the natural order, and the food chain. And we sit at the very top, and because of that it is our job to preserve this very order. We do not kill without warrant, without justification, without need. We hunt the weak, the old and the wicked. For that is our purpose. The wolves of the wild, they attack the human’s lambs, but they take the slow, and the weak, for it is the prey that come winter, will preserve the pack. And that very law, that ancient law known by all predators, is what keeps this world going.”

“If we kill, just because we can, then we will wipe our survival off of the face of the world, and in turn, we’ll commit world wide suicide. And for what! Blood lust? The thrill of the kill? No! Our own greed, and lack of control. We are smarted than that, are we not? We live with reason, and logic, and for that reason we will not fall to our own gluttony. For if it is war that my brother wants, then it is war that he will get! And not justice done by the hands of fat and lazy men. But warriors! Predators!”

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“Asmodeus has grown mad with age and the passing centuries. He believes that he can enslave the humans, so that he may gorge himself on the blood of a dozen foreign beauties a night. But how long could he hope to survive? The humans will not die out so easily. They have a fighting spirit, as we all do, so that our species will thrive, and live on, and they will fight! They have already killed a number of our brothers and sisters. Murdered them and celebrated the victory of slaying on of us. And should we be surprised? No! Because Asmodeus has slain one family at a time, town after town, for his own greed.”

“If you do not listen to me, and heed my warnings, then we will follow Asmodeus into madness, and sign the papers to our extinction. If we destroy the humans as he plans, how will we feed? How will we survive? We have always lived by the laws of the shadows and of the hunters. And we have always survived. But what now? When we have slain their sons and daughters, vengeance must be taken, and then they shall do the same again to us. With intelligence of man, and of beast as we are, comes cruelty, and no one knows cruelty like they do. They will learn, as they already are, our habits, our weaknesses.”

“I am not asking you to fight for the humans. I am asking that we do everything we can to avert our futures from this extinction pandemic we face right now. Asmodeus must be brought down. And if we win against his tirade, then perhaps we can return to where we once roamed in the shadows, and the humans will forget about our own cruelty. Vampires should not hide in the shadows, afraid that man might come in the day to strike wood in his heart.”

“And coexistence is no better option. We are the predators, we must hunt the hunters for if not, man would grow wicked with power and might. We should not hunt them to extinction, but we should not live as equals, for we aren’t. If we are to remain top of the food chain then this madness must stop. I was born vampire, I know better than anyone that this is not a curse that need be cured. We have a blessing, we are superior. And we will not give it all up for a chance to equal the playing fields for humans.”

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“Many of you believe in the legends of the fall, when the traitor Prince Arkin was exiled and sentenced to death, that is a lie, for we have more than one traitor among us. Queen Morrigan spared the life of her son, despite him being a murderer of vampires and a conspirator against our own survival. Arkin alongside the filth of the rebel Prince were working on a cure and a blood substitute. The sick fact of that. They wanted to take away our power, our immortality. They wanted to tame us, so that we too can be mans faithful pet. But we aren’t! And we will not bow to such submission. For we are Vampires, and Lycans, the ultimate predators.”

“And as predators, tonight we shall make a sacrifice in honor of our heritage and blood. A sacrifice to show those no good traitors their place in our world. Vladimir, bring out the boy!”

One year anniversary dilemma

Posted: June 20, 2013 in special
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Okay guys, so the one year anniversary of this blog is on the 22nd of June, that’s right just two days away.

But I kinda left it too the last minute, thinking I had to August (I’m not sure why I thought this was the month I started) to think of something totally cool to do to celebrate.

And I’m still thinking of ideas of what to do. This may come as a shock but I really love Balt, I love writing him, I love photographing him, I just love him. But he was in the last special, so I can’t really do him again. And I adore Arkin to death and everyone else…. I can’t pick. I do have a few ideas though, but nothing concrete

So all in all I have no idea :/

If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them.

I was thinking I could maybe do a special on a character, or maybe you guys could give me questions to answer (either for me or a character to answer) or anything

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Walking through the streets, I take deep breaths. Leave, go away…

To Bridgeport…

Leave…

Again…

Each step is a silent torture as I make my way over the cracked and faded path beneath my feet. Don’t step on a crack I think determinedly, dodging swiftly with each clumsy step. I didn’t need any more bad luck, lest of all from superstition written a hundred years and a hundred more before me.

Somewhat defeated a car races past me, lifting my hair high above me, and blowing past my face. After struggling to remove it from my eyes and mouth, I see the cars parked up and piled outside the bar. More than there should be at this early hour. When the smell of the liquor from the night before would still stain and smother the heartbeats hidden inside.
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But at this hour… No, these people came for drinks. To forget the previous days happenstance. And then when the beer had warmed their bellies they stumbled home to their partners, to their children. And then the next morning? They got up, bright and early, ready to face the day ahead, and they would go to work, or take care of the kids. Whatever had brought them to the bar the night before would fade away for the day, and then, when the sun had begun it’s descent they would come.

But there was something about this scene. Right here, right now, that sent a chill down my spine. And I wasn’t sure why. I pick up my speed, no longer focusing on the broken cracks beneath me. Because in the light of the sun, there was something there.

The police squad cars were parked close to the front door. Along side a black SUV. The three cars in total seemed to not fit into the ideal picture of what I was expecting, or what should be there. Because behind them, the parking lot was full of regulars cars, who had been dragged out of bed extra early.

And for what?

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Pushing the door open I squeeze through. The noise of people talking loudly over each other fills my ears. Shelly whizzes around the room, comforting people, bringing with her various drinks and meals. Her face seems dark, and drained, almost as though she had been at this a while. Mixed emotions fill the room, but they are all in obvious concurrence of darkness. Sadness, fear and confusion across everyone’s face. My eyes scan the room quickly looking for any answer my tired eyes can find.

One police officer questions an older patron, the man, Willis, responds with a nod of his head and a few words silent to my ears. The officer shows a photo of a brown haired man, and the mans face drops with another swift nod. The two talk as the man in uniform writes down Willis’ answers. At the other end of the room, two other officers talk to a woman who seems distraught. As they talk to her, she wipes her eyes, and her lower lip quivers beneath the officers words. Her mascara smudges as she wipes her eyes for the umpteenth time since I had laid eyes upon her. But despite all these familiar faces, one was missing.

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Hands grasp my shoulders, sending a jolt throughout my body. Turning around the woman’s eyes start to tear and glisten as I’m pulled into a tight hug. My heart pounds loudly and painfully as I hug her back confused. What was happening? Someone who was meant to be in this room wasn’t, and I didn’t understand. “Oh god, Vivian!” Shelly sobs into me as my eyes still dart around the room. Looking, hoping for someone. “Oh my, love, you’re alright…? You’re alright…?” Despite it being a statement it sounded more like a question. And that scares me to death.

“Shelly…. Of course I am.” I smile at her briefly, watching her eyes search mine deeply. Her brows furrow together as her melancholy seems to deepen. I couldn’t understand, why wouldn’t I be? Unless Henry had worried that I left… But then, where was he now? “Wh… What’s going on? Where’s Henry?”

“Vivian….” She mouths, her voice cracking slowly. Shelly looks down, almost guiltily. My heart thuds in my chest again. Standing on the tip of my toes, I try to find him in the crowd. But to no avail, he familiar combed back brown hair is no where to be found. The curves of his face. Two men in suits meet my eyes.

“Where is he?” My voice gets a higher pitch than normal as she shakes her head at me. Despite this indescribable fear gripping at my chest, I wasn’t feeling what I should. The man, the one I love… Loved? My emotions seemed dull and weak compared to what I once felt. “Shelly…?”

“I’m so sorry…” Her head continues to shake as the two smartly dressed officers push past her. Their prim and proper black suits, and serious faces watch mine intently. “Detective Hardy… Detective Greyson…” Shelly wipes her eyes as she addresses them. “If you will, give me a minute to fill Vivian on these horrid events…”

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“My apologies, miss.” The dark haired man says without glancing at her. His partner doesn’t say anything, almost as though he knew what were to come. Unlike the other officers in the room, these two men, didn’t have on the standard police uniform. Their badges tucked into their belt buckle and on display. “But the lady here needs to come with us to answer a few questions.”

“Questions-“

“Please? It’d be best to hear such news from someone she trusts, someone she knows…” Shelly cuts me off as she argues with the detective. Her eyes plead with his. But he doesn’t fold.

“This way miss.” The first detective states, motioning his hand in the direction he wants me in. The second detective starts walking and I follow him. My mouth grows uncomfortably dry on the brisk walk to one of the back rooms.

Once inside, I sit down at the table, already prepared to conduct interviews. Both detectives sit opposite me with stern expressions. In front of each of them, a plain brown folder lies, and a couple of pens between them. This was serious. These men were here on very serious business, and it had something to do with Henry and his disappearance today. My skin turns cold and clammy with fear as neither detective says anything.

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The first detective picks up his folder and reads through some of the pages, turning the pages over, still glancing across different paragraphs briefly. His eyes flicker back and forth without any words. The second opens his folder and fishes out a photo before holding it and pausing. “My name is detective Greyson, this is detective Hardy.” His lips curve upward for a few seconds before returning to previous almost blank face. “Please state your full name for us.”

“M… My name is Viv… Vivian Maree Godwinn.” I slowly state, giving them a bewildered look. My eyes slowly focus in on the tape recorder in the middle of the table. The flashing red light signified that it was in fact on. And for a moment fear grips my body. “Wh… What’s this all about?” I squeak.

The other detective, Hardy, unclips a photo from his folder. Pausing briefly to look at the photo and back to me. “Did you know this man?” The man in the photo states blankly back at me. His handsome and familiar features calling out to me.

“Henry…” Less than a whisper passes my lips as the blood rushes from my cold and pale face. Why did these men have a photo of Henry in their clipboard? I knew the answer though. “He was my… I was his… Hen…” Mumbling I caress the corners of the photo. “Wh.. what hap… Happened?”

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“Early this morning, Doctor Henry Marshall was found dead in his home.” The words seem to hit me like a slap in the face. My breath shudders and my mouth drops as silence fills the room. Henry… Who would do such a thing? My mind races with possibilities. The whole town seemed shaken, no one here was a killer. Except… The vampire… “He was stabbed, three times in the chest. There was no sign of break in, the killer was some one he knew. Someone he trusted. Can you tell us about you’re partner, miss.”

“He was a good man.” I whisper in a low tone. This wasn’t the work of a vampire, of Vlad. If it was the body would have been drained completely. But stabbed? The shock numbs me from feeling the full extent of the loss. Perhaps I was lucky. “His patients loved him especially. Henry was so caring, and smart, he was a great doctor. And… Everyone in town, they all knew him by name, and… I don’t know who could do this. He was a good guy. Well liked…”

“Did you know about the other women in his life?” Detective Greyson asks in a slightly empathetic tone. My breath catches in my throat. Not until last night… But I couldn’t say that. It was motive enough in there eyes. Even if I was innocent.

“He was a good man-“

“So you did?” Hardy cuts in without a second thought.

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“Well, yeah…” I mumble this time. Henry was gone… It wasn’t really sinking in. Nor was it something I could even comprehend. “I suppose I always knew. But he was trying. I guess that’s all I could ever ask for. A guy like him, what did anyone expect?”

“And how did that make you feel?” Hardy continues scribbling onto a piece of paper. Little tiny scribbles on the page. “The man that you loved, loving other woman?”

“Umm…” Biting my lip I look back down at the mugshot in front of me. He was more than I could have ever asked for I think. He was to rich, to handsome, to smart for me. I guess it was what I deserved. To be alone. Tears begin to well up in the corners of my eyes. But it wasn’t what he deserved. Not this fate. “Love is a strange thing, detective. I still loved him. I still forgave him. For all it.”

“So tell us…” Greyson says interrupting my train of thought. I peel my eyes off of the stern looking man in front of me and face him. “Where were you last night? What happened?”

“I was working, and Henry… He drank a bit too much.” I start, trying to think of the right things to say. But if they knew that Rafe was in town. All eyes would go to him. I mean, he had threatened Henry quite clearly at the bar. Even if he didn’t do it, they were looking for someone to blame and he was an outsider. An easy target. “I left a little early and took him home. We got in a fight… About the other woman. And he… He apologised. Henry said he’d change. And I believed him. When I went to bed that night. Everything was fine. I woke up early, couldn’t sleep. So I went for a walk.”

“So where were you at the time of the murder?” Hardy says raising an eye brow at me. He shoots Greyson a disbelieving look and back at me. Henry was dead. It was only by chance I wasn’t home at the time. It could have been me. It could have been us.

“I… I was out for a walk.” I lie quickly. But it wasn’t really lying. I mean I had actually walked, it just wasn’t the whole truth. But I couldn’t tell them I was with Rafe and Vladimir. Both of them were easy suspects. And something deep inside me wanted to protect them both. “I said that already-“

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“But is that really a proper answer?” The first detective states, interrupting me again. I feel a rush of anger at his man, but I can’t do anything about it. Hardy smiles with a cocky, lopsided grin. Nervously I fidget with the hem of my top and stare silently at him. “Well…?”

“I didn’t… I didn’t… Hurt him.” I wince at the words passing through my lips. Hurt him? It didn’t matter what he could have done to me, and I wouldn’t have done a thing. The thought was almost shameful, that I had that little of a backbone. But that was me, weak. “I mean… Even when he told me about all those other women, I… I wasn’t angry at him, I didn’t want to get vengeance… I couldn’t have done that… Not to him. Not to anyone. I’m not… I’m not a k… Killer.”

Moments pass without any words. Greyson continues scribbling into his notepad and more words and strange lines colour the page. Hardy switches between watching me with a keen eye and inspecting the notes in his folder. The tension in the room is thick and heavy. Almost like the cat has my tongue, and control of all my limbs. I’m frozen with nerves and confusion.

Henry was gone… And I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. If there was something at all I might have been content. Anger, sadness, relief even. But nothing? That seemed even more shameful than anything I could have ever done. I was perpetually numb, and him, being gone, hadn’t completely hit me yet.

“Do you know who any of these men are?” Greyson breaks the silence with another question. As my tired eyes slowly drag themselves down, the detective has already I clipped the photo and laid it in front of me. “Take your time…” At first nothing about the photo seems out of the ordinary. Three men standing together, staring back at me with blank expressions. It isn’t until I actually focus in on it that I notice everything is not as it seems.

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The first man is striking. Big, bold, almond shaped eyes watch the camera with an almost childlike innocence. That could have been said about him if his eyes did not glow with an unholy red light. The vibrancy of the blood red eyes was inhuman. Frightening. He was a vampire. His neat black hair framing his face contoured his pale, ghostly skin. From this one look, this one photo, this man was the vampire always pictured in the movies. Like Dracula himself. Every hint of the ancient myth portrayed in his features.

The second mans dark, almost spikey hair falls over his face. His deep blue eyes, almost of the ocean pierces the camera with a strange intensity. This man, was a hunter. Danger seemed to echo throughout his entire body. He was a vampire, the strange, supernatural glow of his eyes deemed him that. A killer. Yet behind those intense sapphire gems, was something even more frightening and confusing. An almost heart wrenching sadness bellowed in their cascading lines. Like a wolf on a cold winter night. The hair raising, soul destroying melody brought with it danger, and fear. But behind it all left a terrible loneliness. This man was a wolf. His species deemed him a killer. But behind it all, underneath everything, long, long ago, he was just a man who had lost everything to what he was.

Now the last man. There was something about him, something I couldn’t put my finger on. But there was an air of familiarity about him. From his tangled red hair, and his deep blue green eyes. The contours of his face and the hunger in his eyes. This man had despite having never met or known him, was someone I felt some sort of a connection too. Whether the bond be emotional or sentimental I wasn’t sure. But it was very real, and the feeling was ultimately unnerving. Behind the thick red hair, and all to familiar eyes, he was a vampire. And that deemed us two very different people, through species and morals. He was something out of a fragmented dream though. Something I just couldn’t put my fingers on.

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“I don’t know these men.” I state somewhat apathetically. Despite the absolute truth of my words, they feel dirty as I speak them. Almost like a lie. But these men, these vampires were strangers to me. “But what does this have to do with Henry? I thought you said that he was… Vampires? I don’t understand. What do they have to do with this investigation?”

“We are just looking at every avenue of this case, Miss.” Hardy says without blinking. His eyes seem glued to mine. Greyson’s eyes flicker shiftily around the room and back to mine. “Not cancelling out any possible suspects.” Possible suspects? His answer is vague enough to leave me dumbfounded, but confuse me thoroughly. Could these vampires be suspects? Maybe they just didn’t want to jump the gun and say that it was in case they were wrong. But vampires didn’t stab people.

“You think they-“

“No-“

“Then what do three vampires have to do with Henry?” I demand suddenly, feeling a lot more confident than I did first sitting down with these two men. They wanted me for something. I had no idea what, but there was a reason that we were all here. And maybe it was enough to get me answers.

“It’s not what they have to do with Henry.” Greyson says with a glint in his eyes. My head cocks to the side, as I unconsciously hold my breath for the rest of his sentence. A hint of confusion once again wracking my sleep deprived mind. If Henry wasn’t the source… “It’s what is has to do with you.”

Hardy pulls out another photo and slides it across the table to me before I have the chance to speak. “Are you sure that you do not know who this man is?”

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Beneath the faded colours of this second photo, and the stained lines, he stares back. His red hair once again a tangled mess. The photographer hidden behind the tree line. Boxes stacked high behind him against the broken, rock wall. The vampire sits down in the moonlight, staring out into the night. Beside him a large, black wolf curls it’s lips back revealing a frightening snarl. To me, this seemed a strange sight, as both beasts seemed at each ease in each others company.

The wolf reminded me of a creature that I had dreamt of and seen of as a mere child. The same coarse black coat, and wicked golden eyes. Of my childhood innocence and stalking the forests with Lucian. Both of these creatures called out to me. Sparking memories long since forgotten.

“Who is he?” I ask blatantly, trying to shake off the overwhelming sense of deja vu.

“This man is Aleksi Godwinn…” That name… “His name, and his face has popped up in a number of our cases.” My mind fixates on that one name. Aleksi Godwinn. Swimming through my memories. “Disappearances, weapon shipments, bombings, raids, anything and everything. You name it, he’s done it. He’s a very dangerous man, and if you ask anyone in our office who this man was, they’d say evil.”

“And your office is?” I mumble out coldly. Looking down at the photo, I realize that this man did mean something to me. Although it didn’t make sense. But I knew one thing about my parents: Their names. “And once again, does this have anything to do with Henry or me?”

“We work for the V.D.F, the Vampire Defence Force.” Hardy says finally drawing his eyes away from his notes. For the first time, his eyes seem cruel and uncaring. From the start, I hadn’t thought that these men MUST be on my side. But now, it definitely seemed that they were against me. They weren’t here for Henry’s death. “We’ve been looking into this creature for a while now, and with no leads, no advances. The trail has been a little dry. And rest assured, this case meant absolutely nothing to us, until your name appeared on the list of suspects.”

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“And we already know that you have death in your bloodlines. Murder was forged with your unborn blood.” Greyson continues. I swallow painfully despite my mouth being bone dry. The gulp of air is only a temporary relief before the nerves hit again. The words they were to say, the ones I knew were coming, were only a few short sentences away. “Your father, Vivian is a monster. But Henry wasn’t killed by a vampire. All we want to know is where the apple falls. If you take after your father or not?”

“I did not kill Henry!” I growl dejectedly. These men were dangerous. That thought was more powerful than what they were telling me. They knew me and I had no where to hide.

“Henry kept notes on you, you know?” Hardy states, crossing his arms. “He was so close to figuring you out too. Is that why you killed him? Because he tested your blood, and saw the evidence, the insane levels of iron? Magnesium? Had he started asking questions again? He wrote that you growled in your sleep. And you healed a lot quicker than was expected of you. Although he was asking the wrong questions. I don’t believe that you’re a V addict, I think you are the V…”

“You’re all crazy. This man, is not my father.” Spitefully I spit the words out, looking at the only two photos I had ever seen of him. “My father is a coward.” I ignore the fact that I saw Rafe in him. I pushed past it. “And I am not a vampire. I walk in the daylight as a human. There’s no craving for blood. No murderous impulse. I didn’t kill Henry, I’m not your killer.”

“Could you convince a jury of that though?” Greyson muses with a raise of his eyebrows. “There’s clear motive, an unfaithful lover, a conspiracy theory. Your father is a wicked man, so some of that must be in you.”

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“Is that all, detectives?” I wipe my eyes softly and shoot them a sour look. My head abuzz with these possibilities. They didn’t really plan to pin this on me did they? And this vampire, he wasn’t my father. He couldn’t be. Could he? “My boyfriend just died. I think I’d like some time to mourn.”

“That’s all we have for now, Miss.” Greyson sighs, stretching his arms out. His eyes turn to Hardy’s, who nods at him after a moment of deliberation. “But if I were you, I’d keep my nose clean.” There’s a knock at the door, and another man calls through. Asking to speak to the men urgently. “We’ll be in touch.”

As they exit the room. I look at the folders nervously. Inside this folder was information. About me, about my father. And here I was alone in the room with it, and no one to escort me out. It seemed foolish but I could just slip out. Vladimir… He could get me out of this mess. I wasn’t sure why I thought of him, but I did. He could take me far, far away from here, and this mess. And if they followed?

I didn’t know what then. But I knew I had to leave.

Leaving the room, I tuck the folder under my shirt and into my pants. So I don’t run the risk of Shelly or anyone else wanting to speak to me, I slip out through the back door. I don’t have a lot of time. Once they realised the folder was gone, they’d be coming looking for me. So I had to get far away from here, as quickly as I could. There was no time for goodbyes, I only allow my mind to touch over that thought for a brief second.

Running… It seemed the only thing I had ever been good at…

As I turn around the old wall I crash into a man. His red hair dances in the wind, as he puts his hand across my mouth. The only thing preventing my loud scream from escaping. A surge of panic rushes through my blood. Rafe…

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“Shhh… We have to leave.” He whispers quietly, slowly removing his hand from over my mouth. Rafe half smiles at me for a moment. As I look into his face, I see our father in him. It’s a bittersweet moment. For our father, I didn’t have him, but his life echoed through Rafe. But at the same time his face pained me, vampire. Killer. Monster. Those cruel words pass through my mind. Our father wasn’t human. “There are some very bad men in town.”

“The V.D.F. right?” I ask, quickening my pace to match his as we walk through the trees to the road on the other side of the farm land. He shoots me a puzzled look and tightens his teeth.

“So you’ve met?” Rafe watches me as I pull out the folder from under my clothes. His brow twitches as I nod at him. He knew them too… Maybe he knew who we were… What we were. “I’m sorry about Henry… Everyone in this town is talking about it. You shouldn’t have to go through losing someone else. I’m sorry, Viv. If I find out who did it-“

“Stop, Rafe…” I smile at him weakly. I knew he didn’t approve of Henry, it was obvious from the start. But I knew he’d do anything to make things better for me. More death, more pain, wouldn’t heal anything. “The police are doing the best they can. Although my leaving isn’t going to help prove my innocence…”

“They can’t prove that you did anything.” He says resolutely as we make the final steps to the road. Despite his words, I didn’t believe it. “And those men, they’re not here to solve Henry’s murder. They’re here for you, Viv, a reason to take you far away.” From my time spent with the detectives, I knew that this was true. They didn’t care what happened to him, or who did it.

My eyes land on the brown moving truck and without a word, I know that this is the end of my time in Appaloosa Plains. And for a time, I had been happy here. But now… I was being forced out for my own survival. We don’t say anything as we clamber into the truck and for a while, it’s just the sound of tyres on the dirty road beneath us.

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As Appaloosa Plains grows smaller and smaller in the mirror, I feel a stab of guilt. Shelly had given me the world here, and had been a true friend. And I was just leaving her, no thank you or good bye. Nothing. She would think I had forgotten her, or that I didn’t truly appreciate all that she had done for me. And Henry…

I still wasn’t sure how I felt, whether the impact of his death had even hit me yet. But it wasn’t fair that he had been killed. Whether I loved him or not, I wasn’t sure, but it made no difference. His life had been cut short but a coward who came in the night. Henry might have died afraid, alone and confused. Something no one ever should. No one was there to protect him, or hear his cries for help. And if I was there, then I would have join him in his fate.

My eyes drift across to Rafe as I once again examine his features. It was a bittersweet feeling, that our father echoed throughout Rafe. In his looks, maybe his mannerisms, maybe his personality. The sole reminder of who our father was. But at the same time, it had been revealed that our father was a vampire. A monster…. But as I look at Rafe I can’t see that.

“Rafe, the detectives… They said something when I was in there. Something about our father…” I say interrupting the silence. His eyes divert from the road to study my face. “They said that he was a well known man to them, and to there force. They said he was a vampire, with many crimes against his name. That’s why the wanted me, why they’ll want you.”

“And yet it changes nothing.” He says strongly, his eyes drifting back to mine occasionally. “We are still us, and they’ll try to say things, and try to sway that idea. But Vivian, nothing will change who you are, who I am, even if they try to convince you otherwise.” As he says it, I flip the picture of the three men over. Examining the names etched into it’s back. Aleksi… Baltezhar… Arkin….

One things was for sure. They owed me answers. Each and everyone of them…