Archive for September, 2013

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Soft, frantic giggles pass my mouth with ease. Softly radiating my core and vibrating against my dry, aching throat, begging for sweet relief, and there was only one type of relief that I was looking for. The warm, intoxicating taste of his life, and gentle thrum of his inhuman heart beneath the curves of my pink lips. The faintest hint of an aged, forgotten memory staining my mind as he bleeds out before me. Euphoria opening up my veins and bringing vibrancy into my world. Colouring me drunk with passion and blood lust.

Aleksi was my target, the man who had provided me DNA so I might be born, but had left without a single letter, only negligence. And the hunt was just teasing anticipation. It would make the grand finale so much sweeter and glorious indeed. For now, I hid behind the silver bars, dancing in the shadows of his life. A predator, watching, waiting. And soon, a fool would come along, willing to free me from my sentence. No, it wouldn’t be long now. Their blood would stain these white walls, and my escape painting it red. And then the real game would begin. I’d play the cat, him the mouse, and together we’d dance til the music stopped playing. And who would be standing but me.

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A large crazed smile burns at my lips, curving them into a large lopsided smile. The anger within me seeming to tear away all forms of logic and empathy for the man. It made me long for him presence, to plunge my hand into his chest, and to curl my delicate fingers around the only organ in his entire body that provided him with life. I wasn’t a violent person, but there was something about the man that sent shivers down my spine, and the thoughts into my mind.

Kill him, Vivian….

They seemed to whisper so methodically towards me. Soft little coos amidst the silence of my mind. They told me that it would end my pain, and with every second closer to death he got, the hole in my heart would begin to sew itself back to together. And the feelings of inadequacy, of never being good enough would fade away. And the loneliness…

End your pain, do it. Do it for you, for your baby, that he took from you. Kill him…

My emerald eyes glint with the fascination and curiosity. What would it feel like? To kill the man who dared to call me daughter? Would it feel good? And this time I can’t help the smile, and curving of my lips from ear to ear. The cold, vacant stare that looked about the room. And beneath my tangled hair, the laughter start again. Starting in my stomach and erupting from my throat in a great bellow. My sides ache with every struggled breath as I blink away the sadness and misery nipping from underneath the haze in my fragile mind. A soft whisper screaming for help.

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Wake up, you have to wake up…

“Shut up, shut up, shut up!” I scream trying to silence the fear bubbling just beneath the fabric of my damaged psyche. The gentle delusion sounding almost hysterical. Almost familiar…. But, no… “No! You’re not real! You’re not!” I scream this time louder at the voice that threatened to break me, lost somewhere between a memory and a dream. “Go away! You’re not real!”

Momma, what did he do to you? Momma wake up. Please…

“My baby DIED!” I howl, the tears spilling down my cheeks softly, a warm liquid trail. I had heard her before, many times in the darkness. She whispered to me like the other voice did, except she filled me with a dark despair, and hopeless pain in my chest and womb where she should be. “You’re dead! You’re not real!” Demons, witchcraft. It was Vladimir trying to win me back by sending me voices of it… Reminding me. That was it.  “I don’t love you!” I hiss with a snarl, curling my top lip back revealing my white teeth. “Go away!”

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Be careful, momma. None of this real. Remember, please, remember…

“Stop it!” Jabbing out a finger accusingly I whirl around the room a few times, searching for the phantom not visible to my eyes. Alone… I was alone… But the voice was real, as real as you or me, and she taunts my mind to the light. Whispering lies of fallacy and cruelty. The fabric of the deception trying to blind me from thoughts of revenge, to tempt me from my path. “Stop talking!! Liar! You’re a liar! You don’t exist!” Almost confident my voice rages, trying to convince myself of the fact. This voice was evil. The other one told me how to get better, to kill my father, and I would be okay. But this wanted me to suffer.

If you love him… If you love any of them, then remember the name. Remember what he told you to do…

“You’re not here.” I whisper coldly to myself. Alone I stood, arguing with nothing but the silence and the wind. The flickering of lights, and the changing pictures on the TV. But her voice was as clear as day, as real as the bars that held me inside this room, and right now, I’d give anything for the other voice to come back to me. For anything but the confusion, and hurt, and guilt. And love? How long had it been since I had truly felt it? If at all? I had every right to my anger, to my sense of violence rising in my chest. I’d kill them all, I’d show them that they couldn’t just walk away. That they couldn’t just forget about me.

I wish that I could stay. More than this I wish, you could’ve seen my face… Wake up…

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And then the voice, the evil parading as soft pleas for sanity is silenced, almost as quick as it appeared. Gone. And my chest slumps with a great heave, a sigh and heavy breath passing through my airways. I can still feel the nagging probing sensation in my brain, like I had a forgotten word at the tip of my tongue, begging for remembrance. Had I forgotten something of importance? Someone told me to do something?

No! Lies!

The first voice shoots through my mind, and perhaps it was right. No, of course it was right. This voice only wanted to help me. It offered me salvation every word, and every syllable of the purring whispers. Salvation, the one thing on this earth that I needed to make me better. Step one, revenge. Step 2, happy. Nothing else could fix me. No one else could offer me what this voice was. The anger alone was proof that I needed it, that I needed him to die.

I’m sick. I’m broken. And the only way to fix me is to kill him, to kill them. This anger would continue to grow, like a hard lump growing in my stomach, and it would expand, and multiply, until finally, I exploded. And the fear, this cursed sickness had stained my blood since he had left me with a hole in my heart that nothing could fill. Footsteps in the hallway…  I’m drowning under a sea of my own insecurities and miseries. Choking on my own tears, filling my lungs to the brim and everyone around me is breathing.

And soon, I’d either die, giving up the fight, or break the surface, reborn in blood…

Soon, my dear, soon…

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“Vivian.. Who were you talking to?” The strong, husky voice murmurs under his breath. Lucian slumps against the wall, at his side a young boy, and a wolf with faded brown coat, and a speckling of gold on it’s coat. The animal cocks it’s head to the side, pricking an ear forward, a soft whine escaping it’s hungry lips as it stares back intelligently. “No answer then? Fine.” The anger is breathed out heavily, Lucian clenching his jaw together in frustration, and I can see it. Smirking back at him, I offer a cold half smile, with a sadistic glint in my eyes. It was hurting him to be here, and I wanted him to hurt.

“What do you want, mutt?” I hiss at him, drawing the words out slowly for emphasis as his face turns blank. Muscles tighten underneath the sunkissed skin of his body. And out from his pocket, he draws a pair of keys.

“I can assure you, that there is no chance of escaping, Vivian.” Lucian states, moving towards the door stiffly almost sensing the atmosphere in the room change. Maybe he knew what my plan was. “I may still hold some hope that you’re in there, but trust me, the others would not think twice about detaining you.”

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As he unlocks the door and steps inside with his troop, my wrists are clasped tightly behind my back. “Me? Escape?” I pretend to scoff at the idea of it, but in reality, he was playing into my game more than I could of imagined. Lucian was an ace in hole, and I could easily make him do whatever the hell I wanted. The angelic batting of my eyelids, warm tears following down my battered, beaten down cheeks, and then the words. Exactly what he wanted to hear. “I’m not going anywhere, Luc.” I whisper softly as the silver handcuffs burn my wrists uncomfortably.

“I’m sorry about the silver.” He breathes into my ear with a long, drawn out breath. And for a few seconds, my own breath deepens involuntarily, and I almost forget about the stinging sensation against my bare wrists. Keep fighting, momma.” And then I remember again, as he pulls away stiffly. “And that it had to come to this at all.”

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Before long, we follow the trail of the fading moon into the forests. The soft patter of our feet, and the summer crickets chirping echoes around us. Despite this noise, the place was eerily quiet, yet hauntingly full. It isn’t long before I feel watchful eyes on me as I stumble on. Through the trees they stand and stalk. And maybe, escape would be harder than I thought. The golden eyes glow from behind the forest’s foliage and about me.

Rain batters down onto my skin, soaking my clothing through and through. My feet squishing onto the forest floor, water rising between my toes of every thoughtless step. My eyes quickly gaze around, a strange memory of this place in my eyes, and what that had meant. But I push past it, that part of me was gone, that Vivian was gone. So whatever it was, where ever we were going, didn’t matter. Instead, I focus on the clouds of steam with every breath we take. The water droplets falling and beading on the leaves, and trees around us. The fog had begun to fall down from the mountains, and the air, was still stickily warm.

In silence we walk briskly, until the trees come to sudden clearing and the earth drops away from the trees, dropping down in sudden, thought out increments. Three sides of the strange square base at the bottom, rising with the steps carved from the earth itself, and stone. Large pillars rise from the ground and up to the tree tops marking the final side. The aged stone cracked and weary.

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Gritting my teeth, my mind fights against the anger haze in my mind, trying to recall the memory of the time that I had spent here as a young teenager. The forgotten stage calls out to me, as I see the young Lucian crossing across the path, pulling me close to his body, before his lips were planting delicately against my own. And in response, I small weary growl rumbles from in my throat as I’m led to the bottom.

My eyes dart around, flickering from Lucian to the ground. The haze trying to block it out again. Don’t listen to him, Vivian, it’s nothing but a trick… I square my shoulders as my feet touch the bottom, the stone revealing itself underneath the thick grass patches almost overrunning it.  And like I was all those years ago, I’m hit with a strange sense of awe of the place. Wondering questions of what it was used for, and who created it. The purpose that we all had.

“Why are we here?” I question, trying to pull my hands away from each other, but the silver confining them holds tight. Lowering his arm, Lucian motions for me relax, to just listen. Don’t listen, run… Fight….

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“I…” Lucian pauses, running a hand through his hair, and shaking off the water forming in it. “Vivian, I thought I should be the one to tell ya, that this… That this could be goodbye. Bridgeport is being overrun by reckless vampires, and too many people are at risk, including you. As head of y pack, I had to make a choice, whether or not to fight this fight, and I decided on the right thing to do.” The young boy looks at the ground nervously, before his eyes reach back up to Lucian. Fear evident in them. “And the right thing to do is to fight.”

Once again my mind struggles against the fog and clouds, trying to find the words that I needed to say. Wanted to say, for him… No, not wanted, needed to say so that I could be free. Stop digging! “So, you’d… Die, for me?” The words slowly form on my lips and fall around us. A soft guiltiness crosses his eyes very briefly before his eye brows push together. “I never asked you to, Lucian.”

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For a few minutes, we just stare at each other. My eyes narrow in on his proud face, he was to proud, and it would get him killed. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. One part of me felt a stabbing feeling in my chest, knocking the air out of me. But then the voice… Let him go, let him die by them… “No!” I snap at the voice, partly confused by what he was telling me. You don’t need him, so let him suffer… “No, I won’t.”

“No you won’t?” His head cocks to the side as a look of concern covers his face. Of course he couldn’t hear the voice, it was my voice. Only mine. He wasn’t good enough for it. Maybe he should march his pack to Vladimir’s den, that way they could all scream in agony together. “Vivian… I know you’re still here with me. And, once upon a time, you would have been sad to see me go.”

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“Well…” Grappling with my confusion, I can’t decide what I want anymore. I wanted freedom, to run with the cold breeze on my face, to be no one’s property. I wanted to stalk the night til I found my father’s body. To get that far I would have to take the life, or at least injure the people in the way, the man with the key. But as Lucian puts a hand around my neck, my muscles tense. And the unknown comes rushing back. “I… I’m not that girl anymore. She’s gone. She died a long time ago.”

“Perhaps, but I don’t think that you were the one who put her to rest.” He challenges with a fierce, and sad tone. And as his eyes bore into mine, the other voice screams so loud, I’m almost deafened by the sound of her. Fight for him, return to him, just go back.. They can’t hurt you now “Maybe after all of this is done, if either of us survive, you’ll come back to us.”

“That’s what she says.” I respond, my heart thumping paining in my chest. Full of longing and fear. My bones shiver against the warmth of the night air, and rain, shiver against each other. Don’t listen to her… She doesn’t want you to get better… No! They are the liars. Momma, don’t listen to it. It only seeks destruction! Hush! Trust me Vivian…

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“What she says?” Lucian questions but my mind is elsewhere. Focusing on the angry voices continuing to grow louder and louder. Now’s your chance, Vivian, attack him, grab the keys. My face pulls into a worried frown, my hands trembling as I pull against the painful metal around my wrists. Struggling for freedom, to fight off the screams. “Vivian?!” Fight them! You don’t need to give into him anymore! “Viv!?! Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Stop it!” I yell, warm tears streaming down my cold, porcelain face. Your still in there… So… “Just shut up! Stop talking, please!” I sob continually, feeling Lucian’s hand softly cupping my shoulders as I push away from him, half hysterical. Another voice, another memory penetrating my weakened mind. 

‘Kill them both 

The cruel male voice purrs, somewhere from my past.

anybody who tries to stop you, or who gets in your way…’

Out of the corner of my eye, I see the summer set wolf tense and bare her long, sharp teeth in my direction as I scream into the night, for all of my phantoms to hear and obey. “What’s happening to her?” The boy asks alarmed, taking a spot by Lucian’s side, as they restrain me.

‘… Dispose of them too. Do you understand..?’

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Before I can even pay attention or notice what is happening to me, two men appear from the shadows, with a sharp nod from each move to beside the boy. “Ty, you will go with Sampson and Ivan, take Vivian into the mountains, to the old abandoned mine shafts, there is an old shelter there, and lock her in the old cell in D block.” The young boy nods half halfheartedly, the possibility and reality of what was coming seeming to hit him right there and then. “And Vivian…” He whispers, softening his grip on my shoulders. “I don’t know the outcome of this war, of this fight, of whether or not we’ll both be here come tomorrow. But I’ll… I’m gonna go in there, and I’m going to tear Vladimir in half for all that he’s done to you, and then, I’ll bring Rafe back home… And I’ll come back to you, and drag you back out myself.”

My stomach flutters softly, as the anger begins to work it’s way back into my body. Except this time, it’s filled with dread, and confusion. Anxiety of what will come of this fight. But looking into his eyes, the tears begin to wash away with the soft rainfall, and I can feel the pulse of his heart through each of his fingers.”There’s nothing to come back too.” Soft lips caress my forehead gently before he pulls away, and the two strangers grip my arms and pull me away.

And even as I’m dragged up and out of the old site, my head turns around to see a large red wolf running back in the direction of town. It pauses for a moment, raising it’s muzzle into the air, a haunting melody climbing up and into the heavens. And in every fiber of my being, I could tell, war was coming.

*

Authors note

Okay so I apologise about ending the chapter slightly early. I was going to have some sneak peak photos of the next chapter. The wolves running, Aleksi arriving at the presidents residence in the daylight with guns pointed at his back from the security. But my game has frozen way too many times, and I haven’t even taken a single photo… Photographed the chapter no problem, go to do a few final teasers and it won’t even work.. Typical 😛

*

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On a side not. And a bit off topic, but can I have a moment to talk about how in love with Lucian’s and Becki’s son I am. Like the photo does not do him justice at all (sims look terrible in CAS), he is just… As an in game child, he still beats 99% of my attempts to create a good looking sim. I kinda just need a moment to… *Cough* Stare *cough cough*

I’m so pumped to show you our heir too (who I kinda spoilt already by having her in a special)

But all I can say is, that I am so, so stoked for the next generation 😉

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It had taken less than a few moments before Lucian had found his feet again. Pushing his muscular body off of the cold tiles below, he felt the anger rippling throughout his body, and his vision dancing before his eyes. The rise of the moon was restlessly burning in his mind as he found himself out on the road. His shirt and jacket almost torn completely off his raging hot body as it burnt with his emotions.

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He’d kill them, all of them, the vampires that was, if that would bring her back to him. And as he made the pact, his muscle began to shiver with the familiar ache of transformation. And Lucian growls, a vicious, monstrous snarl as his top lip curls back revealing his fangs to anyone who would dare to look.

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His body curls over as his fingers claw into the dirt. The fabric covering his legs and feet beginning to tear away as his shape begins to morph into something less than human. A dark, dirty red begins to cover his skin in tufts of fur to cover him completely. His face begins to form a long muzzle, with sharp, powerful teeth bared to the world as it lifts it’s nose into the air and howls. It’s haunting melody sings of heartache and loss, but bitter down to it’s very core.

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As the deafening howls turns to silence, it noiselessly turns to the woods, and begins to run. Wolves were common in these regions, and to anyone who might have spotted it under the cover of night, it would not be a strange sight. However, it was no ordinary wolf. Larger in size and strength, more ferocious, and with the stunning intellect of man. All over the world, man had seen this transformation and named him werewolf, a demon stalking the moon’s desolate path.

And tonight Lucian would follow the night to the North of the land. To where the ocean meets the land, and snow caps the mountains. Bridgeport… The journey would take almost a week to find the city in the stars, but when he did, he would hunt down every vampire in that city and tear their hearts out himself. And when he found Azazel… If in that city he even resided, he’d make him suffer.

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“Lucian…”A soft whine sounds behind the large, muddy red wolf. His prints on the forest floor cease as he lifts his muzzle into the dark night air and breathes in the musty scents around him. The forecoming scent of Autumn of the breeze, and one of his own. The soft careful steps from the smaller wolf, the colour of summer herself. Sensing her presence, the large alpha growls, the ripples errupting from the very depths of his stomach and rising to his throat.

“Stay away!” He hisses, snapping his head back in her direction, turning to gaze upon her proud strong muzzle, the speckling of gold running down the dark fur. And in that moment, under the cover of the moon, he was reminded of all the reasons that he had loved her. Not loved her in any sense of the word that he had been in love with her, but love, love as in the admiration and inklings of remorse as he looked into her deep eyes. Her wolf was strong, and agile, and beautiful. Becki had the true makings of an alpha with every thought out step of her sunlit paws.

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Even as the fur begins to fall away from her four legs, revealing soft pink flesh below, she’s stunning. Under the moon and the fall of dusk, she humanely reveals herself. Crouching before the angry red wolf, she takes a step towards it. Her golden hair flows behind her in long, wild locks. And a frown mars her face. Her lips whisper darkly. “Don’t do this…” Their connection is so clear cut. He could feel her on the wind, and her him. Even as his own fur begins to fall away in his own transformation. “This is a vampire war, Lucian. And she-” Becki pauses for a moment, hesitation crossing her words. “- She is child of the darkness. No good can come from this, if it was any one else, would you be so quick and foolish to fight?”

If it was anyone but Vivian..? The male’s lips curl back, revealing pointed teeeth in a vicious snarl. Turning away from her, Lucian tries to walk away, but she quickly cuts in front. Her eyes taunting with the look he knew far to well. Things were different now, but she had been his mate, and they, wild wolves. Adrenaline, and blood lust stained their very veins, and if it came to it, she would draw her fangs against him if need be. And she was walking on thin ice as it was with mentions of her... “Let me go…” Lucian responds darkly, not giving into her pointless questions. But Vivian’s face haunted his mind. Azazel’s and Vladimir’s too. And he’d get his revenge on all of them if need be.

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“No.” Eyes narrow in on his stiffly, as Becki’s lips pulls into a tight, frustrated line. The winds blows around ahem, bringing new scents, and a cool breeze onto their warm bodies. Her eyes twinkle sadly with a foreknowledge of what was to come. With the soft compassion burning as Lucian’s emotions raged against his own better judgement. And he doesn’t care. “We could leave this all behind us… Lucian, you wouldn’t need to fight, hell, this is not our war to figh-“

“Not our fight?” Growling, the male take a step towards her, but she doesn’t back down. And both sets of eyes bore into each others, unblinkingly and unchanged. “We are Lycan, yes, and they vampires. But shall we let them scar this land, and torch the forests we hunt, claim the boundaries we protect, and kill those we love? No. We have the choice to put our tails between our legs and hide, but we are also human. Becki, our land, our people are crying and bleeding. Vivian is… It’s not only about her… The vampires will not stop at mere mortals and their own kind. No one deserves their kind of power, and no one, not even them, can live forever.”

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Guiltiness covers her face, as she looks down, before her eyes climb back to his golden eyes. But it was true. this wasn’t just about her… It was about everyone. His pack didn’t need to fight this war, and neither did he, but could they allow their child to grow up in a dying world? To live, but for how long? The vampires were greedily ambitious, and power hungry, if they wanted to kill every single non believer in the south, and turn everyone not yet willing to die, no one would stand in their way. Not if members of his kind still thought of it as not their war.

“Just make sure that she isn’t the only reason that you’re fighting…” Becki finally responds, her voice is a slight above a whisper, and just as weak. Her eyes almost betray what she is thinking, for she is a proud wolf, and brave as the wilderness circulating her veins, yet when she thought of what they stood to lose, her heart rose to her throat. She thought of her son, an orphan by the age of two. Fatherless if she didn’t die by his side, by her pack. But what kind of life would befall young Nikolai if she couldn’t fight at all. Her eyes, somewhat unwilling tear away from the angry suns that were his own. “Then let us fight… Call the pack, we have a battle plan to discuss.”

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Lucian pauses, holding his breath as though it could help him think better. If it wasn’t Vivian, if she meant nothing at all, would he still be standing here, ready to fight? If she was anyone else, would he still bear arms? And the truth was, it took less than a moment to realize it could be anyone or no one at all, and this war would still be wrong. It was in his blood to fight this war. And maybe, just maybe it was fate that meant he’d fight for Vivian.

“Thank you for fighting for me, Beck.” Lucian’s strong voice falters for a moment. Through all of this, she had tried to help him, and he had never fought for her. Instead only led her onto believe that he was a stronger man, and that their road would be pathed with happiness. He had only broken her down, and yet still, here she was. “God knows I don’t deserve it.”

“But this pack does, Lucian.” Becki answers all too quickly, much more than she’d like to give him. Yet her voice is flat, and almost cold. She understood his words almost all to well. Yet… They were mates for five long years, they protected their pack as one, and she had mothered his first born son. They were connected irreparably now. Yet maybe she was too kind, too forgiving, but she didn’t hold it against him. Maybe she should, but she couldn’t.

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“I’m sorry.” He whispers gruffly as she slightly frowns. “Join me…” Lucian continues, sniffing the air once again. Almost proudly with the sense of security that these were his lands. “In calling our pack.” The slight emphasis on the word almost makes her smile. And together, they raise their mouths to the darkness, and the stars, and call. To their pack brothers and sisters, to anyone listening.

And on the breeze, change was coming…

*

“Where am I?” I call out loudly, yet not loud enough for anyone to come running through the door and give me answers. A small bed sat in the corner of my small confinement, with a porcelain throne, and wooden barrier giving some false sense of privacy. A small box TV sitting lonely, black against the white walls, screaming tales of horror and reality.

Silence surrounds me, except a deep, bellowing howl fills the night. Climbing up to the heavens themselves. And a shiver runs down my spine and consumes me. One by one, more and more wolves pick up the call, and the howls multiply. My mind instantly imagines Lucian. Perhaps it was his pack racing on the wind. And I laugh. It really did seem stupid, all of it.

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A man turning into a wolf. It was something out of a D-grade horror movie. And Lucian? Another laugh fills the room. The bitter anger choking my giggles and turning them sinister. And my father, I was right to try and kill him, I mean, look where he locked me up. The familiar excitement of the image of his blood flashes before my eyes, and I lick my lips hungrily.

I’d have another chance, he locked me up instead of destroying me. And of course he had visited me in here, telling me how sorry he was. I can’t help the tears stream down my face, as I struggle to breath, it was the biggest joke of all. The deep bellowing chuckle echoes all around me, serving to egg me on. He was weak and a coward. It wouldn’t be long before someone cracked and let me free.

And that would be their final mistake…

*

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“We must talk, Lucian.” A voice whispers from the darkness in the trees. And withing seconds, the owner appears in front of the alpha, bringing two men along with him for protection. The vampires ghostly green eyes glow with curiosity as his eyes all the wolves congregated in this place. One of his men, looks around the place with a strange look of boredom as he stares at the ground. The man opposite him, stands alert, his bright blue eyes disconcerting the pack ever so slightly.

“What about, vampire?” Lucian responds proudly. If his pack wasn’t around he might have just talked with the red haired creature, but now, with them as his witness, he had an image to uphold. They were free wolves, and he would not be ordered by some vamper to do his bidding. That being said, right now, tensions were frayed, and he felt the anger stirring in his belly for these creatures.

Aleksi pauses looking about the makeshift camp. He could feel his stomach churn slightly at the faces of these creatures, so prepared to die in the so called glory of war. And he could feel a terrible helplessness come over him. He, along with Lucian, were proud beings, and this was his war. It wasn’t their duty to die. “What is it that you are planning to do here tonight?”

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“Let’s cut the games, Aleksi, you know why we have gathered, that’s why you’re here-“

“I’d still like to hear it from your mouth, nonetheless.” Cutting in, he quickly looks away. His eyes gazing upon all the faces that were here tonight. Some wolves, some human, some something in between. And he could feel his insides once again tighten. He didn’t fight this war for glory, or anything like that, he fought so others wouldn’t have to. So they might be spared the horrible truth of what war really was. And yet right now, they all seemed rather self destructive.

“Aleksi… I…” For now he felt tongue tied. Lucian bites down lightly onto his lower lip, trying to collect his thoughts. “This war, it almost seems everlasting, that before it ends we will all face loss and the suffering that they inflict. I’m almost positive that there is not a single person on this planet who hasn’t yet been touched by this fight, and who will fight? If not us? We have fought for too long trying to prevent the war from really erupting, from taking weapons off them, and… The time for prevention is over… Aleksi, war is upon us, and I will take my pack, and take them north. We are lycan, we’re trained to kill vampires, and that is what we will do.”

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“Do you really believe that you could kill either Azazel or any of his captains?” Baltezhar questions, raising a quick eyebrow at the wolf. Scenting the air quickly, anger and uncertainty taint the breeze. “Vladimir is over six hundred years, and he is heir to Bridgeport, I assume that is where you are headed?” Although he admired their courage, their willingness to die was rather pathetic and weak in his eyes. They were fighting on sheer instinct alone, no plan, no knowledge of what they were walking into. “And then there is Azazel… War is not a game. And not one that any of you need to play.”

“Baltezhar, Aleksi, Phin…” Becki says calmly, trying to hide her quivering voice from the three vampires standing before her. The impact of the words spoken had shaken her. She knew it was true but had never considered the actual logistics of it. “I’m a mother, do you think I’d leave my boy’s side for something so pointless. What Lucian meant, was that no one will leave this war unscathed. They’re already infiltrating the south. It won’t be long until we’re forced into this fight. And I’d rather that we chose to fight, and had the element of surprise on our hands.” Her head turns slowly around the edges of the trees as she finds the faces of those who recognized, some that she didn’t. But they were all here for the same reason. Eyes clouded with both fear, and fierce determination. “Perhaps it is his love of your daughter, Aleksi, that Lucian so quickly sharpens his fangs, but would you not do the same. Does the love of your family not push you, all of us, to this same dark conclusion. We must fight, but maybe, we can work together to create a plan that works for us all.”

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A few of the men standing by with careful ears, growl and nod in response. Others murmur with acceptance, and talk of how their family, if not all of their families were worth the fight. Aleksi swallows hard, his eyes carefully studying the woman’s thoughtful face. “If war is what you all plan here tonight, then so be it. It is true, all of what you have said, however, know now, that if this is not your fight, then walk away now. If you chose to bear arms, then… We have plans to discuss.” As the vampire finishes his sentence with a soft nod at the alpha, he leads his family along behind both the male and his feminine half away from the group. “As you know, I have not feed on mortal blood in months on months. In some ways, I suppose it makes me stronger than they are, I can walk proudly in the day without fear. However my humanity also makes me weak. And if I am to join you, then I must feed, and grow strong again.

“And what would you have us do til then?” Lucian pauses with a deep breath. He runs a hand through his tangled hair, trying to comb through the knots, and collect his thoughts as he did so.

“The packmaster should surely have better tactical knowledge than this, shouldn’t he?” Phineas mumbles from the back of the group. breathing out his words in a long drawn out sigh. And his eyes flicker around his body, and into the trees. In his own core he could feel his own undead heart thud with the anger that had been built up over the years. The loss of his family would make this battle, and his own fight so much more vicious. A wounded animal.

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Lucian grits his teeth together painfully, capturing the bridge of his nose between his index finger and thumb. Gently pinching the bridge and breathing out deeply. “There is something is suppose… It’s a long shot…” His eyes peer nervously at the old vampires, not knowing how they’d respond or if they thought of it already.The five of them had a strange relationship, and right now he wasn’t sure where exactly he stood with any of them. At times they’d been an ear to listen, other’s he been thought an idiot. “The press conference held in Bridgeport, the one Vivian… And, er, even some press conferences since, President Cane has often been thought sympathetic to us rebels. Hell, there was that huge investigation with the V.D.F. and a whole bunch of ’em being charged. And, as I said it’s a long shot, but I’m sure he wants to take down Azazel just as much as us.”

For a moment, they all seem to hold their breaths waiting for a response. Baltezhar and Phineas held their tongues, as they let the younger vampire Aleksi lead the rebellion, and this, was his place to speak. Becki watches anxiously, her thoughts consumed by the son that she would leave behind. “Mr Cane… He does seem a reasonable man. Yet… He, just like many humans fear my kind, for what the twins fight for. However, like him, I too want to see an end to this war, and want to protect my people… Phin.” Green eyes fall onto the increasingly bored vampire situated in the middle of his maker, and the lycan. “I want you to take our men, and lead them north with the Lycans for the full moon. You will command them in the fight, and perhaps, we will not face so many casualties.”

A small smirk comes across Phin’s face, dreams of revenge on his mind. “Becki-” Lucian smiles softly for a moment, a solemn thing curling his lips. “- Our pack alone will not win this fight. But, there is one thing I would have you do.” She smiles encouragingly at him. Nervously awaiting her orders. “Run east, and to whomever’s land or pack you meet along the way, tell them of our fight, and convince them that it is surely theirs too.”

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“But-“

“Please, who could I trust more for this more than you.” His eyes almost plead. But he wasn’t telling the whole truth with the tiny explanation. If they would be intercepted on the way, or they arrived long before she did. Becki might be spared from the fight. It was guilt coursing his veins that made him want to protect her. “If I can’t be there to rally support, then you are our only hope.”

In her own mind, she understood why it had to be her to go on a different trail and to try to increase the size of their army. But she didn’t like it. Not one bit. She wanted to be there, fighting alongside him, not chatting to different packmasters about why they should lead their packs into battle. “Perhaps we can arrive there before the fight even happens… But do you think that perhaps Azazel’s wolves will fight us?”

“It’s hard to say, child.” Baltezhar responds quickly. His voice a mix between curiosity and wonder. All this talk of war had made him anxious. He had many times spoken to his son about human involvement in the war, but now that his son had mentioned the president, he felt his mind racing with the possibilities. His kind had never been accepted. Ravenwood, the town Aleksi had been born to, was built on their blood, and hunters pride. It could so easily fail… “But Azazel drugs them up for their obedience, they can’t turn fully, if at all. And many of them were taken unwillingly. However, the V makes them far more powerful than you can imagine.”

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“The bonds of their pack, and family ties can even over turn addictions and fears in some cases.” Aleksi adds onto his father’s statement. A kindness and longing burning in his eyes. He envied the Lycans for their sense of loyalty and love to their pack. Sometimes he felt that he had no one, and he could see that even though Lucian had felt alone and desperate, his pack had been their to support him. “A few will be just as scared as you to fight, and others will not want to turn against their own kind. That being said, there will be plenty of enemies to fight.”

“I will go with her, son.” Baltezhar mumbles quietly. “No doubt she can protect herself, but a member of your council at her side, delivering this bad news is a good idea. And Lucian, I may not be a pure blood, but my lineage is royal, and I would not allow anything to threaten her safety.”

“So that leaves you, then, Aleksi…” Lucian states almost questioningly.

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“I will join the fight, at the full moon. However, I must leave you all in the meantime.” For a second, his eyes twinkle with a hint of something. The emotion was quickly hidden before anyone could detect what exactly it was. “I fear I must retain my humanity just a while longer, and hopefully, I am spared the truth death for it. Human allies is too much of a turning point that I could turn it down for fear of it. I must see the president, and hope, that he takes pity in us all.”

“Blackwater will be sitting ducks… Especially with Vivian inside. I must secure there safety too.” Lucian breathes out. Gazing at the dark night sky almost completely hidden behind the thick tree tops, branching out over the heavens and hiding them from view. “I’ll lead them to the mountains, there is an old mine shaft that is big enough that with the right supplies, could house them until we returned. And Vivian… She must be kept hidden too. Vladimir and Azazel both know that we would not fight her, she’s too dangerous to let go.”

“And who will watch over he-” Interrupting the question is the sound of crackling in the trees. All of the conversations participants growl and bare their fangs at the direction of the strange sound.

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Knowing that his position had been discovered the young boy, perhaps thirteen or fourteen awkwardly steps out of the shadows and bushes. Pulling an anxious face he looks down, trying to mask his shame, yet even despite it, his body coursed with excitement of all the talks that were happening. “I.. I’m so-“

“Ty!” Lucian barks, stepping towards his half brother in anger and disappointment. A part of him understood the boys curiosity, but in the company of vampires, and such powerful allies, he couldn’t afford to be embarrassed by the boy. Especially with tensions as high as they were. “How long have you been listening?”

“Long enough to kn.. Know that we march for war.” Quickly he responds, trying to be calm, and strong. He wanted to fight alongside the others, to be seen as a man. And he couldn’t afford to screw this up now. Especially in front of the Rebel Prince… “I… I want to come with you-“

“No-“

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Before Lucian could finish yelling all the things he had in mind, the red haired vampire was inches in front of Ty. “You were the child my Vivian saved in Bridgeport?” Stammering a quick yes, the vampire nods. “I have an even more important job for you to do, than fight on the front line. But I need to be sure that you’re up for it. Vivian is… She isn’t herself, and I need someone that I trust to guard her safely. Can you do that.”

“Yes.” He chirps enthusiastically.

“But remember, vampires can control mind, sway their thoughts and make them do terrible things. This is what has happened to her. So you must never get close enough for her to do anything to hurt you. Don’t even look into her eyes, because she is part of me, and that means it is possible for her.” Aleksi smiles weakly at the child so willing to die. So excited over the idea of war and fighting. Was it something all boys dreamt of? Surely he hadn’t yet here he was. “But listen to me. War is not something that even I look forward to. I am immortal, and powerful, yet I cringe inside thinking of it. It is a terrible, terrible thing. Ty, it is not cowardly to fear such a thing, nor does it make you any less proud to stay behind. You are not old enough to see the horror, to watch your friends scream in pain, and fall beside you. You’re the lucky one, not us.”

As the boy walked back to town in the darkness. Both Lucian and Aleksi made eye contact. A sad lingering look between one another. The full moon was in twelve days, there was hardly enough time to prepare their armies, let alone themselves for what they were walking into. And neither knew who would walk out alive. Slowly the alpha wolf takes a step close to the vampire and smiles gratefully. “Thank you.” He whispers curtly, before following his blood into the night.

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As I feel the stake plunge into my father’s chest, over the left side of his body, his entire body tenses. And he coughs up a splatter of dark, red blood. “I’m sorry, daddy...” I whisper cockily, and without remorse. He hadn’t seen me coming, I was his daughter, of course he didn’t. The fool was a lover, and that was his downfall. I guide the sharpened piece of wood towards his heart, and as it scrapes the edge, his body convulses.

He grabs my hand, and attempts to pull me away, but he’s already weakened. Growling, his eyes flicker, as he pushes me off him and to the ground in one fluid motion. And I hiss. I wanted him dead, ashes on the grass to be blown away. Perhaps, and only then, he might be more useful. I didn’t want to injure him. I wanted him gone. In an instant, I’m on my hands and knees, crouching on the ground, looking him dead in the eyes. If I couldn’t stake him then I’d tear his throat out, or rip his heart out myself.

And I jump at the injured vampire, my hands with marksmen like precision around his throat. Tightening and my nails tearing the flesh. His red hair billows with the tiny breeze blowing though the home, and almost matches the colour of his blood. Almost fitting. And with every second, my grip grows tighter. Blood spurting out from the already deep wounds. And his growls are a strangled sort of sound.

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But my father rocks back, changing the momentum of the fight. And I’m easily spun around and caught in his arms. My back to his chest, as his iron-like grip refuses to let me go. “I’m so sorry, Vivian…” My father holds me tight as I struggle against him. Kicking and screaming. Trying to do everything in my power to end his pathetic, miserable life. “Maybe if I had of been there for you more…. If I had of stayed maybe things could be different…” His arms restrain me, and absolutely nothing I can do will break me free. I have to stop him, he never loved me. He deserves it. He deserves what’s coming to him. “You know, your mother never prepared me for what I was walking into, and after everything happened with the council, there was no way that I could stay.”

“I hate you!” I hiss over top of him. Biting into his arm as hard as I can. My fathers grip on me tightens letting me know that it hurts. And it sends a wealth if adrenaline into my tiny body. The taste of his blood entering my mouth. “I hate you so much!” And everything becomes brighter, clearer.

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“Vivian…” He whispers, his voice sounding rough and husky in my ear. “It’s okay, I don’t expect any less from you. I left, darling, I left you.” Snarling my mouth is detached from his bleeding forearm and the sweet blood. He wasn’t completely vampire, and his blood was sweeter than any human. “If I stayed, I could’ve protected you… Like I should’ve all these years. And this is my fault, Vivian. I can see it, in the way you look at me, and the hunger in your eyes. This is my fault, and darling, I’m so sorry. I’m your father, I should have protected you from him. And I didn’t… I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…”

*

The vampire stands, thinking he is alone, and resigned to his thoughts. Over every decision that he had made, and every ill fated path he had taken to wind up here. His mind couldn’t comprehend what was staring him in the face, and even though he tried to understand, he couldn’t. His daughter was lost. Not by body, nor breath, but freedom. The intricate wooden finishing that surrounded him, were lost in the anguish of his reality.

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His daughter, no, not his daughter, but his blood. Daughter seemed much to intimate of a word to use around a stranger. Yet that word, meaning family, was the only thing he wanted to call her. His loneliness had called out for her, Rafe, and even Raveena over the years. His heart had broken from the shadows, only a stranger on the outside looking in. But his daughter, had tried to kill him. Not by her will, or test of fate, but because she was no longer free, now more or less a slave to his will.

“Kill your father…” Aleksi could imagine the old vampire purring into her ear. The soft, cold tone of his voice, and the blank stare in his calculating eyes. His enemy had won, not only because the outcome didn’t matter, either he would die, or she would simply fade away. His son, Rafe, was also missing. And under every upturn rock and secret passage way he had looked for him and had come up empty. And dread began to seep into the vampire’s veins.

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Digging his nails tightly into the frail, wooden desk, a harsh, frustrated sigh passes his lips. With every passing second it seemed that not only his, but everyone’s family was dwindling. And there was nothing that he could do. The war that he was fighting, that they were all fighting was a losing battle. Azazel and Asmodeus were both too old, too strong, too cunning. “So it is true then…?” A grave voice growls through the silence of the room. “Vivian is-“

“Father, what am I supposed to do?” Aleksi almost whispers, every fiber of his body looked ragged and full of despair. Almost as though he had already given up. On himself, on this war, on everything that he knew and loved. “My son is gone, missing among the thousands of casualties this war has already taken, and I don’t know where… Or, if I will even find him. And Vivian, Vivian is gone…”

“I do not know…” Baltezhar responds stiffly. His blue eyes boring into the back of his son’s head. He could see it, he could even smell the shock and misery on Aleksi’s face and body. A pang of sympathy in his chest goes out to him. He had only lost his son for brief amounts of times, and he always came back. His first taste of blood, the pursuit of science, his hostage, and the periods since then when he had either given up or locked himself away. But he always came back, and in his son’s entire image, he knew he didn’t believe that his own children were ever coming back to him.

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“I have to go-“

“And do what?” The response is instantaneous, almost as though the gift of immortality itself had graced the creature with the stunning blue eyes, the perfect shade of torment, the ability to read minds. He had crossed the distance of the room, and now stood face to face with his son. “Azazel is older, stronger, more cunning. He’d kill you before you even got withing striking distance. That’s a fact. Yes, his death might restore Vivian to her previous grace, if he is the one behind it at all. But-“

“She is my daughter, father.” Aleksi almost cries out. His voice much to loud, much to hysterical. And behind his green eyes, he couldn’t hide his uncertainty, for which he could fill an entire room with. Yet the one thing that he was certain about, was that she was his daughter, and he couldn’t leave her to suffer the fate of a compulsion, never to be fulfilled. “What would you have me do..? If it were me, what would you do?”

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“I would fight tooth and nail to bring you back, and destroy myself in the process.” He replies unflinchingly. His eyes narrow in for a moment and study the young face of his son. Easily seeing the self destruction in the boy’s eyes and the thirst for his enemy’s blood. Which to his eyes, could only ever end with Aleksi’s blood. “You have to be smarter, or he’ll see you coming a mile away, and punish you for it. You can lay waste to your armies for the glory of revenge, or you can think about it for a second. Vivian is still in there, and she can come back. Do not doubt that. And Rafe, there is perhaps still hope… Trust in that, do not give into despair or it’ll surely sink us all.”

“She will not come back to me… After what she said, I don’t blame her.” Looking down at the ground, he feels the guilt burn in his stomach. It was his job to protect them, his children. But he couldn’t. He had cured them of their vampirism, and he had even managed to cure other fetuses still in the womb. And on his skin, he had felt the heat of the day without flinching. But by finding his humanity, and the light, his vampirism had suffered. He was weaker because his mortality had shone through. Every equation, every experiment he drew closer to his master’s dream, yet none stood to see. It didn’t even matter any more. Raveena and Arkin were gone. His children, his people were suffering. And there was nothing he could do. “Vivian would not return to me, who else is there? She is gone…”

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“Who is gone..?”

*

“She doesn’t love me, Balt!” I hiss at him angrily. Making sure that the vamper know full well exactly how this made me feel. Aleksi couldn’t stay after he dropped the bomb into my world, which only left Balt to take it out on. His piercing blue eyes flicker for a moment as he keeps his distance. “After every single god damn thing that we’ve been through, and dealt with… And for what?” In the final sentence my voice cracks, as I keep direct, pleading eye contact with him, with one question on my lips. Why? My hand reaches up and gently touches the bridge of my nose, covering my eyes. “Vivian is gone… And I… I love her…”

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The vampire stares back at me, and the image of a wild wolf pops into my mind. Strange, intelligent, and vicious. Baltezhar was a vampire, and he exuded power, and danger. But I always saw melancholy is those eyes. “Lucian.” His voice carries quietly through the room, his foreign accent on his lips. “You need to man up, and deal with this, as it is.”

“Excuse me?” My voice drips out coldly, and effortlessly. Betrayal stinging in my mind. Shouldn’t he understand? Shouldn’t he know what it is I’m going through, and feeling? The girl that I was hopelessly in love with, had returned to me, only because she had been compelled to do so. She didn’t love me, this was someone else’s doing. When she kissed me back before losing control, that wasn’t her.

“So what if she was compelled?” Baltezhar stares me directly in the eyes, not blinking as he does so. Cruel and unforgiving. Like the vampire who had done this to her, to me. “Would it make a difference? You’d still love her, or maybe not. Seeing as the girl you love was compelled to kill her own father, and god knows what else, and you’re just willing to give up on her.” We both growl quietly at each other. Feeling the atmosphere in the room change. A nervous energy, built on the verge of anger and violence.

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“She’s gone, Balt.” Vivian, my Vivian… She left five years ago in the night. She kissed me goodbye, and then she just left me alone here. And her memory is on the tip of my tongue, the vision dancing across my mind. But she’s just a hollow ghost of who she used to be. “When she came back, she came back to kill him… Hell, she attacked me, I could be on that list too… Ya know the one, pretend like you give a shit about Lucian, and then kill him when his guard is down.” That sweet, loving girl with the pretty smile, destroyed… Gone.. “Vladimir, Azazel, whoever the order came by, they’re old as hell, and we will never be able to reverse it.”

“And if she’s still in there?” This time, the old vampire breaks eye contact and looks down at his hand. His wedding finger to be exact, and the small golden band around it. You would never know it by looking at the guy, but he was a romantic. And the look on his face told me he was dying for his own lost love. “Even if we can’t reverse it, Vivian is still in there. And she comes from a long line of fighters, and if she’s in there, Lucian, she is fighting her hardest to get out. And after everything that she has gone through, what does she have left to fight for? Her child is gone, she tried to kill you and her father, the guilt wracking her body must be enormous, and then, knowing that the only person who had never given up on her, gave up because it was too hard on him.” Balt’s voice turns sour at the end. Making sure that I’m well aware of the part I need to play. “You said that she attacked you, but you’re still alive aren’t you? Which meant that the Vivian you loved, the Vivian you still love, stopped this new one from going through with it.”

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“Just drink my blood… Vivian, it’s okay…”

I… I can’t Lucian… If I do I won’t be able to stop, I’ll kill you…”

I trust you-“

Well I don’t trust myself…”

Was she trying to tell me? Had she been calling out for help, begging me to understand what it meant. She didn’t trust herself, but why was that? Did she know what she was going to have to do? I frown and stare at the ground, looking away from the vampire, and the survivor of his own cruel love story. I loved her, I didn’t need to question that. I knew I did. And if she was in there, looking for a reason to fight, I would fight tooth and nail for her. I had to.

“And what can I do…? Balt?” My eyes sting as I look down at the ground. Thinking of the cold hunger that was present in her eyes now. The vague emptiness. The way she laughed when her teeth pierced into the soft flesh in my neck. She was cruel, and calculating. And as I think about it now, I so badly wanted to believe that she was still inside that shell of the girl I loved. I needed to, it was all that I had left. “If she’s not… If she’s not there?” If my Vivian is gone? “Am I supposed to hope, and pray to god that my Vivian can wake up, and come back home to me?”

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The old vampire continues staring at the aged metal band around his wedding finger. A lost look accompanying his tortured gaze. His lips turn downwards into a small frown as his jaw clenches tightly together. “If you love her, truly love her, kid, then there ain’t a single thing that you won’t do for her.” I could tell by his mannerisms that he was imaging that he was me, and Vivian was Constance. “If you feel how you say you do, then fight, for the girl you knew, for the girl that you want to know. For the future that you want.” Biting back my pain, I put on my determined face. “Go to her, Lucian.”

And so I do. I let my feet carry me through the empty halls. Wandering and musing about what lay inside that cold room. Was she still going to be her, or was she going to be the thing that had attacked, trying to kill her own father? And the thought makes me nervous. I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough to be there if she wasn’t… But I had to, she was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It wasn’t like it was with Becki, I loved Vivian, like really, truly loved her. I wanted a family with her… I wanted to grow old with her… And right now, I just wanted her…

So I push the door open and step inside, to wear my answers lay. And as our eyes meet, they seem puffy, and red. Like she had been crying, and it felt like it was tearing out my insides looking at her sweet face, and knowing, that there was nothing that I could do to help her. Not to wrap my arms around her and to tell her that it would all be okay. Not to look straight into those emerald green eyes, and pull her back out.

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“Lucian…?” She whispers, almost with a sob, as she steps as far as the silver bars will allow her. Vivian’s lip trembles as she bites it nervously, and her face is one of devastation. Tears streaming down her pale, lifeless cheeks. And at that moment, I almost open the door and pull her into my arms. “Luc, why am I here? I’m so scared…. Help me, please, Luc…. I’m scared… Please, let me out, I don’t belong here… Please…”

And as she begs me, my insides churn together. This wasn’t the face of a would be killer. It was that of a girl, a harmless, confused girl. And it just couldn’t be true what they were saying about her. Vivian’s voice shakes as she sobs, pleading with me to let her free. My legs begin to feel weak, and wobbly as I watch her, helplessly. It was taking absolutely everything that I had not to do something, not to give in to her every wish.

“Please, Lucian, I’m so sorry…” Soft like a whisper he voice becomes. “I don’t know what I did…” Maybe she was still there, maybe that other girl was gone now. “I’m so confused, I don’t understand…” What if the compulsion had worn off? “Please, help me, please…” I’m sorry… “Why won’t you help me..?” My throat tightens as my mouth goes dry. “Don’t you love me anymore?” And that’s the part that kills the most. Of course I loved her. I couldn’t not love her. “Is that why you won’t let me out..? I’m not good enough..?” Focus. This isn’t her. This isn’t her. I repeat to myself. “I’m sorry that I never said it before, but… I love you too-” My breath catches in my throat, and I freeze. My eyes darting up to hers. “Lucian, I love you so much…”

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In that instant I bite back the tears and turn away from her. Don’t do this to yourself… It’s not her, so don’t believe it. Don’t let her sucker you into it… My hands tremble as I play around with my fingers in an act to calm my nerves. The first time that she had ever said that to me, had ever admitted her feelings to me, and it wasn’t even her. But it could be… Biting my lower lip, I try to focus only on my breathing, and not the girl begging me to go to her, begging me to give the the time of day. And god damn, why did she have to make this so difficult.

Maybe if I could just look at her, hold her hand through the bars… Maybe she would remember everything that we were together. And sneaking a look at her from beneath my dark hair is hopeless. When Vivian was still Vivian, when she was real, and human, she would have never chosen me. But even in despite of that, my heart swelled when she looked at me and smiled, and maybe, just maybe, this was our selfish endevour. To try and bring back a girl who didn’t care. Who had long since given up on the life she had before.

“Lucian, you won’t help me will you?” She whispers through the cracks in the cell. Her voice slightly changed as she eyes me suspiciously. And I shake my head. I can’t… And I wish she could understand, that I could understand. But it looked like her, spoke just as softly as my Vivian did. But she isn’t her… “Of course you won’t, Lucian, because you’re a coward. You could have had me, once… But I wanted a man, a real man to show me the way. And that’s the opposite of what you are. The other night you could have had me any which way you wanted me, but you chickened out again… It’s a wonder Becki ever really loved you-“

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“Stop it-“

“I mean, I surely didn’t. Surely can’t. Look at you, you’re weak, and pathetic.” She hisses, smirking slightly at me. And I feel a stab in my chest. A sudden dropping feeling, making me sick to my stomach. And I wish I could believe that it wasn’t her. I wish I could. Looking at her, the only thing that had changed was that she’d grown up. But it was her… And it makes me sick, weak… Dying inside with every ill fated word from her pretty mouth. “I could never love someone like you.”

“Th… That’s not you talking, Vivia-“

“You’re not that stupid, are you?” Her voice is cold as a whisper of winter’s last breath. A dagger carved from ice, the water frozen as it fell from the cave roof. An icy splinter sharp enough to tear apart my heart. “I left, Lucian, not because I was scared, but because I didn’t love you. And it made me sick, whenever you touched me, sick to my stomach. Even now, just being in the same room makes me ill. And that’s what you don’t get, I don’t love you baby… I never did-“

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Pushing the door back open, my legs fail me. And I fall to the ground struggling for breath. My head spins wildly, and anxiously, like an angry swarm of hornets, stinging and attacking me. Using my own thoughts and memories against me. In one moment, I could feel her lips soft as clouds against mine, and then her knife in my back. Was she even gone, or was this just her? Sobs rack my body uncontrollably as I try to catch my breath. But her words stalk the darkest corners of my mind. I don’t love you….

Was it wishful thinking that I could bring her back? Wishful thinking that she was even capable of feeling the same? No, she was there… She was still in there, and I’d save her. “I’ll kill him.” I promise resolutely to us both. Making the pact with a broken breath. “I’ll tear his heart out…”

Author’s notes

I am super sorry about the delay with this chapter. I wish I could blame it all on my laptop and game problems. But, I just could not get motivated for this chapter. This does happen a lot to me when I’m focused on events in the future (like the next generation *hint hint* and the next chapter *I finished that waaaayy before this chapter*). I’m a huge procrastinator as it is, and have the attention span of a guppy, so if I’m struggling with something, I can easily find a million and one things to do instead.

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This is literally what I’ve been doing everyday for almost a week with this chapter. Except I don’t have anything to do, except write this chapter. Honestly I will apologize in advance if it isn’t the usual quality, but I could spend another two weeks avoiding writing this chapter (getting the same result), or get it out the the way so we can move on. 

To let you all know how bad I’ve been, I’ve even started going for hour long walks as a form of procrastination  O_O

*

“Salamae?” I call through the house. My voice slightly tremoring at the rise in volume, but I continue. Right now, I had done as much thinking as I possibly could. About love, life and everything in between. What happened the night before with Lucian still ablaze in my mind. Drinking his blood, the taste of his life… “Mae? Are you home?” I call out again louder, trying to remove the tantalizing thought from my mind, and the taste from my lips. When hell was knocking on my door, there was no one I could talk to, or who could possibly understand. Except him…

My father… And the thought of letting Lucian know why or that I needed my father now, was just as scary as letting Aleksi himself know… But I had to find him, and I had to know why. Why me and not my baby? Why save me? I’d be lying if I said that I only wanted to know about my vampirism, or the guilt had haunted me every day since. I needed my father. I needed him to know. To know everything. To know me…

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“Yeah, down here.” Her voice is calm, and soft despite the volume that she projected. Bracing myself I turn into the kitchen, fixing a nervous smile on my pink lips. And I hope that she doesn’t notice. She smiles up at me behind her graying hair. Her delicate hands grasping a small, yet sharp knife as she chops up various vegetables on a small chopping board. “What’s happening?” Her eyes glance up for a moment, assessing me, before darting back down to the work at hand.

“D.. Do you..” Say it… Ask her, I think to myself. I have to find him. “Do you know my f.. F… Father?” Her brows furrow together for a moment before her lips curve as though to make a sound. But I quickly continue. “-I mean, recently…” I take a large gulp, realizing my words only sort of make sense. And a light pink stains my cheeks as my mind races with the possibilities that seem a million times better. “Do you know him… Recently..?”

Placing the knife down onto the kitchen bench, Salamae’s eyes slowly trace the lines in the granite. A soft kind of sadness in the way that her eyes can’t bear to look up at me. “Yes…” She says quietly, before her eyes finally meet mine. And a rush of nerves enters my body. I was close… To close, maybe. Was it really my fate to meet him? Despite my weak reasoning, I can’t shake the feeling, the desire. I don’t want to see him, I need to. “I… I saw the news those months back, love. Being a mother… I.. I can’t even imagine what that was like for you. Losing your baby…” I wince at the words, already feeling the guilt rising in my chest. And sinking my heart. A few tears spring at my emerald eyes as I look away guiltily. “The humans are sometimes worse than the few of us who do hide in the shadows. I’m so sorry, Vivian… But as for your father… I hope that you don’t blame him-“

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“I just… I…” I quickly cut in, feeling a sad kind of ache in my throat, almost turning me completely mute. And I wanted to speak, and I wanted to her to understand how it was, and how I felt, but I can’t. I wish that I could crawl onto her lap and tell her everything that was going wrong, just like when I was a child. But in the books they never tell you the true consequences of growing up. That you can no longer cradle your mother’s hand, or climb under the covers with your parents on a dark and scary night. You’re alone, with only yourself to console. “Mae… I have been going through a lot of stuff lately. Th… The baby, prison, V.. Vlad… I don’t blame… Anyone. I just… I mean, if my father is out there, and he is, don’t I ought to… Try and work it out. We’re a family.”

“Vivian, I’m so proud of you, after everything that you’ve been through, you’re still a good person.” Sincerity burns in her eyes, but behind it, lies a darker emotion. A sadder more pitiful one. But it was true, and it resonated powerful within my mind. She pitied me. Felt bad for me… And that was the thing, she didn’t even know the full story. Only what had been broadcasted for the entire world to see. And she didn’t know it, she didn’t know what else had happened, and she still pitied me. Was i really that pitiful? And yet still I was surprised that she was proud. After everything that had happened…

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“You… You’re… Proud?” Memories of Huttser and him forbidding my relationship with Lucian flash in my mind. I never knew how this woman had felt during this time. Even now, I do not know if she had felt the same as him, if she still felt that way. I was the reason that her only son hadn’t gotten married to the mother of her grandchild. Guilt hits my stomach and pools, multiplying quickly and pushing shame into my eyes. “But, why? I mean the wedding, and me le-“

“I raised you Vivian, you’re like a daughter to me. And I’m Lucian’s mother, I know exactly how he feels, and you, even if you’ve tried to hide it for years.” A soft giggles radiates her core as her lips curve into a friendly smile. But it doesn’t quite reach her eyes in it’s entirety. Aged memories from a different time swirling in the golden pools. “I always had an inkling that you two might… End up together. Huttser-” His name comes out in a dreamy, mournful breath. “- He sensed it to. But he was raised by tradition, and the natural laws of the land, and you might not believe it, but it hurt him to turn you away…”

“The pack comes first-“

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“Times have changed. And Lucian… I don’t think that he’d let you go again.” Our eyes bore into each other’s for a moment, as I play with my finger nails. picking at the edges and breaking them into shattered pieces as I do so. That statement should make me lose every sense of fear that I had with him. I love him. But instead, it fills me with a deep, anxious ache. Worry and another dark emotion settling in my stomach. “Your father does visit here frequently, between missions of course. He likes to check in with his commanders, and when he’s here, he likes to say it makes him feel close to home, without being watched over by the ghosts of his past. He comes for business, but stays in the hopes that you and Rafe will come back home one day.”

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“Well tell him that I’m home…”

*

Nervously I exit the taxi and slowly walk up the stone path ahead of me. Leading to the brilliant white building that held my father inside. The faded green grass turning on yellow in the summer sun. I frown, with my heart beating almost out of my chest. Doubt entering my mind with every hesitant step. Did I really need to my father? Did I really want to know him?

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He was a vampire, and he had walked out on me and Rafe when we were just babies. All of my insecurities stemmed from the fact that I was never good enough for him. My father, one of the only people in the world that was supposed to be there, and to love me unconditionally. And if he couldn’t love me, if I wasn’t good enough for him, of all people, then who was I good for?

Pausing, I bite my bottom lip. Trapping the pink skin between my sharp teeth, and lightly chewing. My hand slightly shakes as I lift up the back of my shirt, and lightly touch the wooden stake. The instant I make contact, I breath a weak sigh of relief. Despite what it may seem, I wasn’t here for revenge. Answers… I was here for answers. But… If anything happened, I wanted to be safe. If he did exactly what was in his nature as a vampire to do, then that’s what I needed. I didn’t trust him enough to go without my own form of protection.

As I open the door I’m greeted by two guards dressed in black. The shine of a handgun shimmering from underneath the back of their shirt. For their own protections, or perhaps their masters. Stiffening up, they both square their shoulders and stare back at me. Pouting slightly, I tremble at the toughness in their eyes, because they would definitely make me explain why I was here. “Excuse me,  ma’am-“

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“-Vivian..?” The voice foreign to my ears whispers as he appears from behind one of his guards. His familiar forest green eyes, the same shade as my own studies my face and features. He takes a nervous gulp as he takes another small step forward.

“So what do I call you? I can’t really call you dad, since I don’t even know you…” The bitter tone drips out with every word. But I can’t stop myself. The feelings of being young once again cloud my mind, wondering where he was, and why he wasn’t home. All the times that I looked up at the moon and wished he were there. The feelings of inadequacy, of not being good enough burns in my eyes. “Since you were never even there.”

For a moment, his face just drops. His tangled red hair covering his eyes. “Aleksi is fine.” He states stiffly finally looking up back up at me. The glow in his eyes is unnatural and horrifying. Reliving every bad experience with vampires that I had in Bridgeport, the weight of the cold wood pressing against my back becomes my safety net. “Guards, please, give us some privacy.” The guards turn towards the door, and file out. “Vivian, I just have to sa-“

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“So why did you do it?” Glaring at him, I feel my blood begin to boil, and my heart begin to accelerate. And every second that I was here with him, and that my eyes were on his, anger pulsed throughout me. “You left! You left me and Rafe alone. Why?” Pointing my finger out at him accusingly, my face turns into a snarl. I was here to talk to him about who I was, and what I was, but seeing him, hearing him… It was something else entirely.

“Vivian, I’m so sor-“

“Why…? Why did you do it?”This time my voice drops completely, almost completely silent. And we stare back at each other, and I can feel the emotion behind his eyes, and I know he can feel mine. The hurt, the confusion, but alas the hope. We could still be a family. Somehow, and no matter how hopeless that thought seemed to be, it was possible.  “Did you even care?”

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“Of course I did.” Aleksi speaks the second that I finish speaking. His voice is firm and urgent as he takes another small step closer to me. A small, sad smile forms on his lips. “When I woke up from almost near annihilation, I found your mother dead, my master missing, and war had broken out. And in that chaos, how was I to raise two babies? Surrounded by blood, and violence, and, hell, running… I’m always running, and I… I wanted you to have better than that, both you and your brother… I didn’t want either of you involved in this war, and it seems you both… Have a knack of finding trouble…” Slowly his arm raises up and softly cups my shoulder.

“So it was all for nothing, then..?” I respond without thinking. He had left to protect us, and in the end, the same result had happened. Except… Except that we had been alone. Lips quiver, despite my protests as I feel myself begin to break. I didn’t want to fight, I didn’t want things to be like this.

“At least you had the choice…”Frowning, my father pulls away, his eyes glued to the floor. Running a hand through his hair, his eyes finally meet mine again. “I know it was hard on you me leaving, but, leaving was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and it still kills me everyday. I’ve missed so much with you two, and… In Bridgeport-“

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“I don’t want to talk about Bridgeport… I don’t even want to think about it anymore…” I interrupt him with a guilty sigh. Breaking my gaze, I look away, feeling my eyes once again beginning to sting and haze over. My hands shivering with my own remorse, and lack of forgiveness. I couldn’t change what had happened. Pick up the pieces and move on..

Leaning in close, my father whispers into my ear. “I’m sorry, but I had to save you, I had to know you…” The trembling gets worse, and my vision starts to dance and swirl in my eyes. Except my cheeks are dry, as are my eyes. And my heart races forcefully, sending adrenaline through my body.

“But it’s not good enough is it?” I whisper through my teeth, still speaking in a low monotone. I become ultra aware of the wooden stake at my back. Hyper aware, and it begins to sing, and to call my name. Stop… Except I can’t… And my pain will never cease as long as we’re talking, as long as he keeps lying through his teeth. Lying about what Rafe and I were to him. He didn’t care, he never did…

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“You’re weak.” I hiss with a small smile forming on my lips as his face contorts. My redemption for killing my child would never be found with kind, fake words. No, never. And I can’t stop… Nor in books or thinking. Revenge is the sweetest medicine, and doctor, I’m sick. “You’re pathetic. We may be blood, but I will never be your daughter… But, blood…” My voice is thick and husky as I whisper the last word. Stalking closer by a step.

“Viv… I..”

Reaching behind my back, my hand tightly grips onto the thick piece of wood, tracing lines down the frame before I pull it out. Still hiding it away from him. “You never cared about us, just admit it.” My smirk almost widens as his face drops, and the blood seems to rush from it. He would never see this coming. “But, you could fix this, you know? Just one teeny tiny little thing. And it’ll all be over…”

“Wh-“

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As I feel the stake plunge into my father’s chest, over the left side of his body, his entire body tenses. And he coughs up a splatter of dark, red blood. “I’m sorry, daddy...” I whisper cockily, and without remorse. He hadn’t seen me coming, I was his daughter, of course he didn’t. The fool was a lover, and that was his downfall. I guide the sharpened piece of wood towards his heart, and as it scrapes the edge, his body convulses.