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The feeling of my eyes finally opening filled me with hope but I was confused as blackness covered the air. Am I awake or asleep? I put my arms out in front of me and felt something stop them. The object was soft like a pelt, but as sturdy as bricks. I pushed the thing but groaned as brightness blurred my vision. I closed my eyes and let them adjust to the light for a few minutes. When I reopened them I looked straight up to see a grayish ceiling made of cement. I slowly sat up as my back and shoulders ached from lying down too long but I tried to focus on the room around me. The blinding light attacked me from a small window in the wall behind me as the other three walls were made of dust covered shelves filled with unknown objects. I slowly stood as I looked down to the object I had laid in just a moment before. A wooden box covered in green mold on its lid where I had touched stared back at me as I was disgusted by the thought of sleeping under such a monstrosity. A small door lay on the opposite part of the room so I slowly crept my way to it. I tried to twist the handle but it was locked so I looked around for some other type of escape. A small wooden chair covered in dust and mold caught my attention so I quickly made my way over to it. I pushed it to the window as my mind raced. I crept onto it and pulled myself to look to the window to see a latch. I undid the latch before pushing the window out. Dust flew into my face and I had to hold my breath in order to not cough and alert anyone near that the dead had risen. I used my arm strength to pull myself out into a grassy area but was shocked to feel a rain drop on my bare neck as I pulled myself fully out of the window. I shut the window and then crouched in the yard as the sunlight slowly started to disappear behind a rain cloud. I listened and watched my surrounding to make sure no one was near before sprinting to a tree a few yards away. I darted from any type of covering to the next in order to get further from the window and did not stop till I reached what appeared to be a city. I walked through the streets as people ran past me to reach shelter from the cold water attacking the earth. I noticed how humans would stare at me a few moments before moving on so I looked down. A Grey colored long sleeve, button up shirt with red collars, silver chain going from my mid-chest to my shoulder pad added to the three ribbons of achievement with metals hanging from them, gray pants, black, mud worthy combat boots, and a grey hat with a golden eagle on its center above the visor finished the outfit. What country am I in? I looked to my right to see a pub and quickly went to the door. I opened the unlocked door as a small bell sounded. A man in a white shirt, black pants, and a white apron looked up to me from behind the counter, “I’m sorry sir, but we are not open yet.”
I stared at the young boy with awe, “Tell me, Sir, where am I?”
He gave me a look of confusion and concern, “Boston of course. Are you a traveler?”
I nodded, “Indeed.”
He put one hand on his hip, “You late for the freak convention or something?”
“Watch your mouth.” I hissed but looked up as a young woman stared at me from the back door of the pub.
“Oh, I thought I heard someone,” The girl whispered, “Don’t be so rude and kick this young man out, Emit! Let him dry off from the storm,” She came over to my side, “I will take your hat for you, sir.” She offered and I smiled as I took off my cap and watched the two peoples’ faces change to shock, “Oh! I’m so sorry! I mistook you for a man with your hair up!” The girl apologized.
I smiled again, “It is alright. You are not the first or the last to mistake me for a man, Miss,” I replied, “But if it is not too much, could I ask you for some clothes? I lost my luggage on my way here.”
“Of course! You can borrow something of mine!” She said with a warm smile and then led me through the door she had come through before. We came into a small home attached to the pub and went to the third door on the first hall. She opened the door and allowed me into the very plain room as she went through her closet. She handed me a very short purple dress and smiled, “Since it will stop raining soon and it is summer, this will be the best choice of cloths.”
“Thank you very much. Is it alright if I change?” I asked and she nodded. She left the room as I unbuttoned my shirt. I peeled off the fabric before removing the large bandage I had wrapped tightly around my chest to hide my breasts so I would not be killed for hiding my gender when joining the army. I then slipped off my boots and pants before pulling on the dress. It only went halfway down my thighs but looked nice on me. The girl came in and handed me a brush and pair of shoes. I smiled towards her before accepting the brush and pulled it through my mangled mess of hair. The brown curls that went to my hips finally lay at rest on my shoulders as I accepted the shoes from the girl. They were odd shoes of this new era that had only two straps to hold the bottom of the shoe to your foot that met up between your first two toes and went back into the bottom. I slipped them on and then looked to the girl, “I have forgotten to ask for your name, Miss.”
“Isabelle Muller, my family owns this bar.”
I stopped and stared at the girl, “You wouldn’t happen to be the daughter of Hank Muller?”
She gave an odd look, “No, that is my grandfather.”
I sighed, “The world truly is small,” I whispered to myself and then looked to her, “Would you mind showing me to your grandfather? I have actually come here to look for a Mr. Hank Muller.”
She nodded, “Follow me,” She whispered and then led me down the hallway outside the room till it dead ended at a kitchen area. I looked to the small wooden table in the middle of the room to see a very elderly couple and a fairly young couple. The familiar face, aged but still so familiar, watched me in shock, “Grandfather, this woman came in because of the rain and is apparently seeking you out.”
I smiled towards the group, “Yes, I am Veronica Simmons,” I added, “I have come here to seek you out Sir Hank Muller.”
Hank quickly stood and came to me. He knelt on one knee and bowed to me, “I have been waiting so long for your return, Nicky.” He whispered and then stood. He embraced me tightly as his words warmed me, “April 6th was so long ago!”
“Tell me, Hank, what year is this?”
He sighed, “It is 2010. You have been asleep for almost 70 years.”
I sighed, “I certainly was gone a long time this go around.”
He nodded, “Please Nicky, you must stay with us. Everyone in this house knows of your existence so that they can someday become a supporter for you and our master. We will all help you.”
I sighed, “I suppose, until I find my master, I can stay here.”
He smiled but then stared at the light pink line that went around the front of my neck. I put my hand over it as he looked to me, “Is that how you died?”
I nodded, “That devil of a man slashed my throat,” I whispered, “Along with the three other wounds he has given me.”
He looked away and to his son, “Could you sign Nicky up for school with Isabelle? She will look less suspicious if she goes to school.”
He nodded and then stood. He came over to me and bowed his head, “It’s an honor to meet you, Nicky. My father has told me a lot about you,” He looked to his wife, who nodded, before looking back to me, “I will show you to the guest room. You are probably tired.” I followed him to a room next to Isabelle’s and quickly went to sleep once I was left alone. I woke up in the morning to see a uniform lying at the end of my bed. I slipped on the purple and navy plaid skirt and navy short sleeve button up shirt. A pair of black shoes was also placed on me before I left the room. I went to the kitchen to see only Isabelle and Emit. They looked up to me and then back to the bread they ate. I went to the sink but looked up when Hank came into the room.
“Hank, I believe part of my skirt is missing,” I said but was shocked when he laughed, “What is so funny?”
He smiled, “For this time of day girl’s typically wear skirts that are very short.”
I looked back down to the skirt, “How will I stay warm?”
He came over to me and put his hand on my shoulder, “It is much warmer in this country than it was in Germany, also the style for cloths is much different.”
I sighed, “Well I guess I am used to such things. The alteration to military cloths was quite a step for me also.”
Isabelle turned to us, “Grandpa never told us when you were really born. Were you born before the second world war?”
I shook my head, “Certainly not. I was born on September 19th, 698 at the far end of the last Roman-Persian war of the middle ages.”
She froze, “Holy crap!”
“Holy crap,” I turned to Hank, “What is holy crap?”
He smiled, “It is an American expression meaning my goodness.”
“Oh,” I replied and then looked to his grandson, “That boy looks much like you did when we used to work together, Hank.”
He laughed, “He certainly does.”
“When I find my master I will be sure to let him see your grandson. He will be pleased to see another man like you.”
He smiled but then looked up to a clock, “Oh! You guys need to get going or you will be late for school!” I looked to Isabelle as she stood. I then followed behind her and we left the house. We walked for almost a mile and then finally reached a large building in the middle of hundreds of houses. I followed behind Isabelle as she led me to the front office and a woman smiled.
“This is the exchange student that will be starting school here.” Isabelle announced to the woman and I quickly went over to the woman.
“It’s a pleasure to be here. I am Veronica Simmons.”
“Well, Miss Simmons, your family here in the states decided it would be best if you had all your classes with either Isabelle or Emit so we made a schedule to accommodate to their request.”
The woman handed me a paper, “Thank you.” I said before following Isabelle out of the office and down a hallway filled with staring eyes. We went to a classroom where an older man asked me to sit in the back row of seats and tables in the room. The class was an entire four hours for some reason and lasted until lunch. When the bell rang I watched Isabelle and Emit leave to go with their friends at this time. I assumed they did not have any obligation to me once Hank was not around so I did not protest about it. I went out of the room and watched as people walked around with their friends. I decided standing in the middle of the hall was not the best idea so I made my way outside. I sat under a tree and read a book the old man in the classroom had given me written by Shakespeare. I had heard men in my platoon in the war talk of this book, Romeo and Juliet, but was shocked to see it was in my native language. I had been born originally into a society that only spoke like this and the book made me feel at home even thought I was nowhere near. When another bell rang I made my way back to the classroom and took my seat. An hour went by until we finally discussed the book I had been enchanted by.
“Would anyone offer to be Romeo and perform in the front of the class?” The old man asked and a boy at the front with hair of Ireland and eyes of the sea raised his hand, The old man nodded and the boy came up to the front of the room, “Would anyone offer to be Juliet?” He asked and no one raised their hand. He looked to me and smiled, “Miss Simmons, would you please do us the honor? I understand you are fluent in English so this shall not be too difficult.”
I nodded and slowly stood. I went to the front of the class and stood a few feet from the boy from the front of the class. He cleared his throat and then locked eyes on me, “He jests at scars that never felt a wound. But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she. Be not her maid, since she is envious; Her vestal livery is but sick and green And none but fools do wear it; cast it off. It is my lady, O, it is my love! O, that she knew she were! She speaks yet she says nothing; what of that? Her eye discourses; I will answer it. I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks. Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, Having some business, do entreat her eyes, To twinkle in their spheres till they return. What if her eyes were there, they in her head? The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven .Would through the airy region stream so bright . That birds would sing and think it were not night. See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek! “
I closed the book in my hand and looked to the boy, “Ay me!”
“She speaks! O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art As glorious to this night, being o'er my head As is a winged messenger of heaven Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him When he bestrides the lazy puffing clouds And sails upon the bosom of the air.”
I smiled, “O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I'll no longer be a Capulet.”
“Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?”
I looked to the class, “Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself. “
“I take thee at thy word. Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized; Henceforth I never will be Romeo.”
“What man art thou that thus bescreen'd in night So stumblest on my counsel?”
“By a name I know not how to tell thee who I am: My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, Because it is an enemy to thee; Had I it written, I would tear the word.”
”My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound: Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?”
“Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.”
“How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore? The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, And the place death, considering who thou art, If any of my kinsmen find thee here.”
“With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls; For stony limits cannot hold love out, And what love can do, that dares love attempt; Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.”
“If they do see thee, they will murder thee.”
“Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye Than twenty of their swords! Look thou but sweet, And I am proof against their enmity.”
“I would not for the world they saw thee here.”
“I have night's cloak to hide me from their sight; And but thou love me, let them find me here: My life were better ended by their hate, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.”
“By whose direction found'st thou out this place?”
“By love, who first did prompt me to inquire; He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes. I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far As that vast shore wash'd with the farthest sea, I would adventure for such merchandise.”
“Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face,Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight. Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny What I have spoke, but farewell compliment! Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say "Ay," And I will take thy word; yet if thou swear'st, Thou mayst prove false; at lovers' perjuries They say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo, If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully; Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won, I'll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay,So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world. In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond, And therefore thou mayst think my behavior light, But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true Than those that have more coying to be strange I should have been more strange, I must confess,But that thou overheard'st, ere I was ware, My true love's passion: therefore pardon me, And not impute this yielding to light love Which the dark night hath so discovered.”
“Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops—“
“O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.”
“What shall I swear by? “
“Do not swear at all. Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, Which is the god of my idolatry, And I'll believe thee.”
“If my heart's dear love—“
“Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract tonight: It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden; Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be Ere one can say "It lightens." Sweet, good night! This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest Come to thy heart as that within my breast!”
“O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied? “
“What satisfaction canst thou have tonight? “
“The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.”
“I gave thee mine before thou didst request it: And yet I would it were to give again.”
“Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?”
“But to be frank, and give it thee again. And yet I wish but for the thing I have. My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!
Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true. Stay but a little, I will come again.” I stopped reading as a bell rang and then followed the class to another room. I went into a room with a sign that said ‘locker room’ but stopped when I saw Isabelle, “What is this place, Isabelle?” I asked and she gave me a look as if I had asked her what my nose was.
“This is the locker room for gym. Here, you can borrow my spare gym uniform for today,” She said and then led me to one of the lockers on the top row of three rows. She put in a combination into the lock and then locker opened. She handed me a pair of navy shorts and a purple tank top. I accepted it and switched into them as I watched other girls in the room do the same. I jumped when a cold hand was placed on my shoulder but then turned to see a girl. I stood in only my bra and shorts so I felt slightly uncomfortable.
“Wow! You have a six-pack!” she said as she pointed to my stomach. I nodded and then watched her walk away. I quickly slipped on my shirt as an older woman blew a whistle while coming into the room.
“Let’s go ladies! It’s Friday so we are going to the weight room!” She hollered before I followed in the group as the other girls followed the old woman out of the room. We walked down three halls before reaching a door. When it was opened I saw machines of all kinds and boys walking around them as we came into the room. I stopped as I saw a boy lifting a bar with weights on either side while lying on a small bed like thing. I went over to the two boys who were watching another boy and smiled.
One of the dark haired, dark eyed boys looked from me and to the other one who was standing, “¿No es eso el nuevo niña?” Is that the new girl?
The other boy nodded, “Si, es el estudiante alemán de cambio.” Yes, she’s the exchange student from Germany. He replied and I smiled towards him.
“¿Es bien si utilizo esta máquina?” Is it alright if I use this machine?
They both froze and the first one to speak looked to me, “¿Habla español?”
I nodded, “Si, pero no mucho.” Yes, but not much. I replied but smiled towards the guy who had been lifting weights and stopped. He stood and looked to me.
“Soy hecho de todos modos.” I’m done anyways, he replied before walking away with the other two guys. I lie down on the bench and lifted the 45 lb bar and the 40 pounds put on either end with ease. I kept doing reps of the lifting until we were told by the old woman it was time to go back. I went back to the locker room and changed back into my uniform before the last bell rang. We were let out of school and I watched as Isabelle and Emit walked away with their friends to have me try to find my own way back to their home. It took me 45 minutes than it should have to walk back to their house since I got lost a few times. When I finally got there Hank opened the door when I rang the bell and he let out a sigh.
“Where have you been, Nicky? My grandchildren got back 30 minutes ago.”
I smiled, “Sorry, I left before them and got lost.”
“Are you alright, Nicky? You don’t look well,” He put his hand on my forehead and gasped, “You’re running a fever too.”
I sighed, “It is my body rejecting my soul,” I whispered as I walked into the house and Hank shut the door, “This happens every time I am reborn. My body wants to reject my soul since it has not been cleansed like most souls are when a person dies and their soul is passed on.”
“Is there anything we can do for it?”
I shook my head, “I will be deathly ill until I am reunited with my master.”
“Then let’s start our search.” He said and I nodded. I put down my book and the followed Hank to his car outside.
Sunday night I went out looking for my master and was displeased when Hank insisted his grandson go with me. I could not protest so I agreed and the young boy drove me around in an area of country to the south I had yet to search. I suddenly felt tingling in the back of my mind and looked around, “Slow down.” I insisted.
He slowed the car till it stopped, “What? Do you sense the guy we’re looking for?” He asked and I nodded towards him. I got out of the car and started walking towards the only building near which was an abandoned barn in the middle of a dead corn fiend. I quickly made my way over to the building but then turned back to the boy.
“Stay here and don’t leave the car.” I warned and he angrily slammed his door as he got back in. I made my way into the barn that was slowly rotting through its side pair of doors. I slid the left side open and then snuck in to see nothing of interest. As I slowly walked across the decaying and breaking wooden floor I was filled with numbing pain throughout my body and forced to drop to my knees. I quickly started breaking the wooden boards from where I collapsed and was relieved to see a piece of black varnished wood that was aged. I ripped away more of the floor before I could finally pull open the whole lid of the coffin. Inside slept my black haired master and his un-aged body. I quickly lifted his body from the casket and set him on the wooden floor behind me. I closed the coffin and then turned back to him. I pulled my small hand knife out of my jean pocket and flipped open the blade. I slashed it across my wrist and quickly placed my wrist over his mouth. I pride it open with my other hand as my wrist pooled with blood. I tilted my wrist so that my blood would flow directly into my master’s mouth and was relieved after a few moments when he swallowed. His eyes suddenly flew open and focused on my wrist as I acted. I used my other hand to lift his head and pulled my wrist towards him, “Revive yourself, Master Vladimir. I have come to get you, as I promised.” He seemed immortal as his eyes glowed red and his teeth pierced my flesh. I had to hold back a gasp of pain as his teeth sunk in, but once that was over the overwhelming feeling of endorphins always sent out when I was bitten by my mater. He slowly stopped drinking and licked my wrist as his fangs came out. His saliva made my wounds quickly heal. He looked to my face with relief.
“Veronica.” He whispered before fainting into my arms. I slowly stood and then carried him out of the barn. I brought him to the car where Emit came out to see me. His eyes widened when he saw my master.
“Here, I’ll carry him. You’re still sick.” He said but was shocked when I pulled my master away from him.
“Thank you, but no. If my master leaves my grasp he will awake and kill whoever has separated us,” I whispered and then followed Emit to the back of the car. He opened the back door and I slowly placed my master in the car before getting in myself. I put his body straight on the back seats, but had to bend his legs so he could fit. I lifted his head and placed it in my lap. I watched my master as the car start up and Emit drove us towards the house. I took my master’s hand in mine and lay my head on the head rest of my seat. When we reached Hank’s home Emit helped me get inside where I brought my master into my room and I placed him in my bed. I sat on the ground with my back on the bed and looked up as Hank came into the room. He smiled towards me and then kissed my master’s hand.
“It is good to see you once more, master Vladimir.” He whispered and then knelt down to me. He put his hand on my forehead and gave me a terrified look, “You’re turning pale, Nicky. You need to eat something or you won’t have enough blood to function.”
I sighed, “I can’t leave his side until I know he is fully awake.”
“I’ll go get you something.” He said with a smile and then quickly left the room. I looked up as Isabelle and her mother stood at the door.
“May we come in?” Her mother asked and I nodded. They walked over and took a good hard look at my master.
“Wow, he’s so young.” Isabelle said as she blushed.
“Watch out, young Isabelle. He catches his pray with his handsome face.” I warned as Hank came into the room.
“I remember. Master used to always attract women for their body’s and their blood but they would always come when he called,” He placed the food on a table in the room and then looked to me, “Should I leave it here, Nicky?”
I sighed, “Could you please give it to me?”
“Are you tired?”
I shook my head, “I was too ill to go out tonight to find my master and now realize I have pushed my body too far. I’m still in the rejection stage so I shouldn’t have done so much, but since I did I now cannot stand.”
He sighed and bought the food to me, “You should stay home tomorrow.”
I nodded, “I do not plan to leave this room until he awakes.”
“Wait, grandpa, what is the rejection stage?”
Hank looked to Isabelle, “When Nicky first wakes up her body tries to reject her soul since when a person dies their soul is usually cleansed and then given to someone new. But, with Nicky, her soul is still the same one she has always had and so once her body relives, it tries to not accept the un-cleansed soul.”
“How long does the rejection period last?” Her mother asked me.
“If it lasts more than a week, the person will die and the only way to stop it is to find my master and wake him.”
Hank stood, “Nicky, we will leave you to rest and eat.” He said and then led the two women out of the room before shutting the door.
When I woke up I could feel that everyone in the house was gone so I sat up from the floor. I noticed a stack of books on the floor beside me and a note on top. It was from Hank. He had left me some books he thought I would enjoy to read while I waited for the master to awake. I sat down on the floor and read another play written by Shakespeare called Julius Caesar. I did not stop reading the play till a sudden stirring came within the house. I looked to the door as Emit came into the room with a knock on my open door, “Can I come in?” He asked and I nodded. I slipped around my master and smiled as I slowly stood.
“What is it, Emit?” I asked as I looked to the books in his hands.
“Your teachers asked me to bring your homework to you since you will be out for a few days. Grandpa told them that you had the flu.”
I stood on the tips of my toes and kissed his cheek, “You truly are your grandfather’s child, Emit. In heart and soul,” I whispered as I took the books, “Thank you very much.” He left the room and shut the door as he went. I slowly claimed my spot next to my master and then checked his pulse. He had a rapid beat which meant he was soon to waking, most likely in the next two days. I sighed as I let go of my master, “Please hurry, master. My body cannot handle this pain for more than another day.” I started the homework and kept side glancing to my sleeping master. I did not stop this repeating process till there was another knock at the door and I looked up to see Isabelle, “What can I do for you Isabelle?” I asked and she slowly came to the edge of the bed.
“Well one of my friends saw the hottest senior at our school waiting outside of our gym class today so she went up to him to see what he was doing. He said that he was waiting to speak with you privately and so she was asked to pass the message to me so I could pass it to you.”
“A senior? I don’t believe I have met a senior at the school yet.”
“Well his name is Ken Martin. He’s the captain of the track team.”
I had to keep myself from shaking, “Isabelle, how long will it be till your grandfather comes back home?”
“He’ll be back in a few hours.”
“Alright,” I whispered, “Then could you get the thin black case from your father’s closet?” She nodded and then quickly walked off. When she came back with the long black box I took it and opened the case of my sword. I pulled out the long samurai like sword and she gasped.
“Why did grandpa have that?”
“I asked him to keep it safe for me when I went to war,” I whispered and then tried to stand from the bed, but immediately fell. I used my sword to help stabilized my legs and then stood, “That boy, Ken Martin, is either the man I tried to kill that killed me or his son. He is looking for me to kill me and my master so I must protect my master.”
“But your ill, Nicky,” She argued and then looked to the door as her brother came into the room. He gave me a frown.
“What are you doing up, Nicky? My grandfather specifically asked me to keep you in bed until he got home.”
“I need to protect my master. I have been too incautious when it comes to hiding my identity and now have been found.”
“Well at least sit down,” He persisted as he grabbed at my arm, but we both gasped when another hand grabbed Emit’s. I looked up in shock to see a very angered form of my master hissing at the boy touching his property.
“Lay your filthy hands off of her, human.” He hissed and Emit backed away with a pale face of horror. Seeing the ravishing creature with black hair the color of death and eyes that burned the deep red of a fire scared him like it did Isabelle who also moved away. I used my sword to support me as I blocked my master from reaching them.
“Master Vladimir, it is alright! You should not fear the touch of these children! They are the grandchildren of Hank Muller!” I insisted as he finally looked to my face. His eyes stopped glowing as his hand caressed the red line on my neck.
“What is this wound that has ruined your flawless neck, Veronica?”
“This is my mark of my past death, Master Vladimir.”
He suddenly pulled my body to his and looked to the two humans in the room, “Leave, children.” He hissed and I looked to the two kids.
“Let us have some time to talk. We will call you once we are done.” I whispered and they quickly left the room with a shut of the door. I looked to my master as he picked me up and then quickly placed me on the bed.
“You are ill. I shall heal you.” He whispered before grabbing my wrist and piercing it. I gasped but then was overtaken by the rush of endorphins. I slowly fell into a trance where I could see a dream that had haunted me since I died the first time. It was of a man crying atop a tomb stone with my name on it. He would cry by himself as the world around him would cry too. His body was slowly being drenched as he knelt above the grave and cried my name. When I came out of the trance I saw my master sleeping beside me on my bed and realized everyone was back. I slowly got up and made my way to the dining room. Hank flew out of his chair to come to me and he pulled my wrist up to his view. I looked to my bleeding wrist as Hank turned to his son.
“Son! Get the first aid kit!” He hissed and then quickly led me over to the sink. He stuck my arm under the faucet and turned it on. Cold water burned my cut until Hank’s son brought over the first aid kit. Hank used gauze to wrap around my wrist and then looked up to me, “Are you feeling ill?”
I smiled, “Don’t I always?” I asked and he sighed.
“Is there anything I can do?”He asked and I shook my head.
“I will be alright after a few hours,” I whispered but then grabbed his arm, “Has Isabelle talked to you?” I asked and he nodded.
“Ken is already hunting you and our master down. He is much faster than usual.”
I nodded, “But is this his son or is this the true Ken?”
“We cannot be sure. We will have to meet him to find out.”
“That is not an option. I cannot let that man get close to my master,” I hissed, “He is still top priority regardless of how much pain I am in,” I added but looked up when my master entered the room. Everyone froze and watched as my master came over to me and wrapped his arms around me.
“Master Vlad.” Hank whispered and then quickly bowed. My master looked to the man and then let out a warm laugh.
“My goodness, Hank! You have aged with the best of them! I barely recognized you! For a moment I thought that other man standing was you.”
“Yes, that is my only son and we do look much alike.”
“Now Hank, you must explain to me why my lovely Veronica spoke such a horrid name only a moment ago. She knows I displease of the name.”
“Master Vlad, it seems Ken Martin has already located Nicky and has asked through my granddaughter that they meet privately.”
“Oh? Kenneth has already spotted my lovely follower? What a quick child he is.” My master said as he squeezed me in his arms, “Well you must meet with him and kill him, my beautiful.”
“But, my master, Nicky is in critical health right now! She cannot fight such a skilled man such as him!”
“Hank!” I hissed, “Stop this! How dare you speak to my master in such a rude tone! If he wishes that I fight that man, then I shall!” I looked to Isabelle, “Miss Isabelle, please tell Ken Martin that I am willing to meet with him.”
When I went to school in the morning I was sure that my master was secured and safe for the time that the sun was up. I walked with Isabelle and Emit to class and went through the first part of the day with no problems. At lunch I sat under the same tree as usual but with a book about the ‘Middle Ages’ Hank had left for me. I looked up when Isabelle came over and sat beside me in the shade. “Who’s that?” She asked as she pointed to the picture I had been staring at.
“King Henry the second, he was my first lord and master.”
“Did your family work for him?”
I shook my head, “My father abandoned my mother and me after I was born and my mother died of an infection when I was 10. I worked for Charles the great from then till I met Vladimir.”
“Wow, so you’re like part of history?”
I smiled towards her, “More like history is part of me. Time keeps passing but I still have yet to die and stay dead.” I replied as I closed the book, “So has anything else happened with Ken Martin?”
“Are you really going to see him? Didn’t he kill you?”
I nodded, “More than once, actually.”
“Then why are you going to go to him?”
“If I do not go to him, he will come after my master or your family. You have all been so generous to a complete stranger; I could not let you all be harmed because of me. Also, my master told me to kill that man so I cannot stop till I succeed,” I slowly stood, “Well do you know where I could find that man?”
“He’s probably walking around with his friends or something.” She said and I nodded. I walked away and slipped my book in a small bag Isabelle had lent me this morning. I started walking around the large campus, but stopped when I heard someone calling to me.
“Chica!” A boy with skin darkened by the sun, eyes of a bear, and hair of night called as I saw the two others sitting on the bench beside him. I walked over with a smile as I recognized them as the three boys from the weight room.
“Hola. ¿Cómo es usted?” Hello, how are you? I replied
“Bien, ¿Qué hace usted fuera aquí?” Good, what are you doing out here?
“Trato de encontrar Ken Martin.” I am trying to find Ken Martin.
“¿Es amigos con Ken?” Are you friends with Ken?
I shook my head, “No, pero fui dicho que él me busca.” No, but I was told he is looking for me.
“Acaba de ir por aquí con sus amigos tan él es probablemente cerca por.” He just went by with his friends, so he’s probably nearby. The boy to the right said.
“Gracias!” I called before walking away. I walked around the area and finally spotted the dirty blond hair and blue eyes that always seemed to become my nightmares when I died. My whole body shivered as I remembered his tears streaming down his face as he pulled the sword across my neck and I fell. My finger’s quickly pulled the trigger of my gun before they became limp and he fell as I hit the muddy ground. I looked up to the dark clouds as rain fell on me and my eyes closed. I focused my mind and walked over to the group of girls and guys surrounding him, “Excuse me,” I said as I came upon them, “Do any of you know where I could find Ken Martin?” I asked and one of the girls in the group crinkled her nose.
“Who is this girl?”
I smiled towards the girl, “Well I was told by my second cousin I am living with, Isabelle Muller, that Ken Martin was looking for me.”
“You were looking for this sophomore, Ken?” The girl asked as her black hair moved when she looked him in the eyes.
He stared at me, “I don’t remember doing such a thing.”
I sighed, “Well then, I guess it was a prank or something. Sorry to have wasted your time,” I started to walk away but stopped when another guy in the group grabbed my arm, “Yes?”
“You’re pretty cute, new girl. Do you have a boyfriend?”
He pulled me towards him, “Then how about you and I go somewhere?” I was frantic for a way to escape. I knew if I hit this guy I would be in trouble, but I didn’t have any other way to escape.
“Please let go of me.” I insisted but looked up as the three guys from before came over to us.
“Chica, is this guy giving you trouble?” The guy to the left asked.
“I think it would be in your best interest to let go.” The middle one added.
The guy who held my arm laughed, “Since when have you guys ever stood up for a chick? You’re thugs.”
“Let her go man, then we won’t have to beat yo’ ass.” The right one said.
“Los chicos, yo soy bien. No utilice violencia.” I said with a smile.
“You a Mexican, new girl?” the guy holding my arm asked.
I frowned, “That is not any of your business.”
Suddenly Ken grabbed the guy’s arm and I looked to him, “Hey, don’t start any trouble. Let her go.”
“What? You just denied her!”
“Well I’ve changed my mind so f*** off,” I looked to Ken as he grabbed my arm, “Come on, Nicky. Let’s get outta here.” He said as he pulled me away from the group. I could feel my heart racing with adrenaline as we left school grounds.
I walked into Hank’s house when all lights in the town were out. I slipped in through the door but as I shut the door the lights were thrown on and I jumped. I grabbed my chest as I saw Hank staring at me, “You scared me Hank.”
He seemed angry, “Where have you been, Nicky? This country is not like Germany so you can’t just walk around without a care. You could’ve been raped.”
I sighed, “I’m sorry. I worried you.”
He stood, “Are you alright, Nicky? You seemed to be limping when you came in.”
“That’s why I took so long, I’m sorry.” I said but was shocked when Hank grabbed my jacket. He threw it open to see all of my blood and gasped.
“We need to get you to a hospital!” He hollered, “Son! Wake up!”
I grabbed his arm, “I can’t go to the hospital, Hank. I am not supposed to be alive so I cannot go somewhere that I need records.”
He looked to his son as he came into the room, “Son! Get the first aid kit and wake up my grandson! I will meet both of you in the kitchen.” He said as he picked me up and I watched as he quickly brought me to the kitchen, “Take off your jacket and shirt.” He insisted and I slowly peeled off the sticking layers. When I finally ripped my shirt off I looked to Hank as he froze. He stared at the large bleeding cut that went from my shoulder to my opposite hip.
“Don’t make such a face, Hank. My organs were not punctured so I will live,” I whispered but then quickly took off my shoe, “But my two toes were taken off and I am afraid if they keep bleeding that I may not last long.”
“Dear god, Nicky! Who attacked you?” He hollered but we both looked up as Isabelle and my master came into the door. I quickly flew from my chair and knelt on one knee in front of my master.
“I am sorry, Master Vladimir. I have failed you. I lost to that man once more,” I whispered but was shocked when Hank pulled me from the ground, “Stop it Hank! I must accept the punishment I need to receive when I have failed an order!”
“But you are injured and could die, Nicky!”
I shoved him away, “I cannot die, Hank! Do you not understand? I have failed my master and must be punished for such things!” I hissed but then shook as my master grabbed my arm.
“You have been punished enough, Veronica. You need to let Hank heal you or you will leave me alone once more.”
I looked away from my master and stared at the floor as Emit, Hank, and Hank’s son treated my wounds. I did not look up until Isabelle grabbed my arm, “This is exactly why I didn’t want you to go to that guy, Nicky! You could’ve died!”
“From the looks of her wounds, it seems she almost did.” Hanks son replied and Isabelle’s grip on my arm tightened.
“Do you want to die?” She hissed and I looked to her.
“Isabelle, what if your father needed an organ transplant and you had to work to pay for it even though the only work you could find was a hard one, would you still take the job?” I asked and she sighed.
I nodded, “Then what is so different from you and me? My situation may be a little more intense than what yours would be, but it is the same.”
“They are not the same, Nicky! That would be for my dad!”
I looked up to her, “Well I don’t have anyone to protect anymore other than my master, Isabelle. My parents died over hundreds of years ago. Besides, I can never fully die like you can.”
Hank’s hand went onto Isabelle’s hand that was on my arm, “You still have yet to know everything about Nicky, Isabelle. I do not even know everything of her, but what I do know is that Nicky chose to stay by our master’s side even though she is in pain every second she breaths.”
“Every second?” Isabelle asked and her grandfather nodded, “But why would you choose that!” She hissed as she looked to me and I looked away.
“I have my reasons.”
“Like what? Because your parents and master died you felt obligated to find a new one? Is Vladimir just a replacement for King Henry the second?”
I quickly stood and before I could stop myself I had slapped her across the face. She turned to me with shock, “Never speak of my master like that, child! You have no idea what we have been through so you have no right to judge!” I looked to Hank with a hiss, “Have you taught your grandchildren no discipline, Hank? They act like hooligans and talk the same way!”
“Don’t talk about my children like that!” Hank’s son hissed and I stared at the young man.
“Obviously they have gotten this rude behavior from their father,” I hissed and then turned to Hank, “Discipline your child, Hank.”
“I agree with my son, Nicky. You had no right to hit my granddaughter. She was just concerned for you.” He said as his arms crossed over his chest.
“She insulted your master, Hank, and yet you allow it?”
“She has rights too, Nicky.” He hissed and I grabbed his chin.
“You should kiss the floor my master walks on, scum!” I hissed and he grabbed my arms, “You are not a follower of my master any longer, I can see that now.” I added as I shoved him away.
“I am a follower of our master!”
I froze and analyzed the situation. I looked to my master and bowed towards him, “I am sorry Master, I cannot believe I allowed arguing to happen in your presence. I do apologize for my actions.”
“Have you stopped trusting Hank, Veronica? Your expression says so.”
I looked away from him, “Those who do not support you, Master, shall not be trusted by me.”
“You should rest, Veronica. We will decide what to do in the morning.” He whispered before I quickly followed behind him to our room.
Kenneth kissed me as his arms wrapped around my thin waist. He was in the clothes of a prince as I stood in the clothing of a dirty maid. He laid me on a bed and kept kissing me as he slipped off my clothes. Once we were both clothes-less he kept kissing me while his hands searched my entire body. He suddenly lifted from me, “Veronica, I love you so much. I will never let anyone else have you. No matter how long or far I have to travel; I will always make you mine.” He whispered and then kissed my neck. I felt ecstasy as he kissed me but my eyes were quickly thrown open and I sat up. I was now in 2010, nowhere near the time period of my dream. I started shaking as I cried but was sure to not be loud in fear of waking my master that slept soundly at my side. I quietly slid out of our bed and made my way to the kitchen. I splashed water in my eyes but my tears would not stop so I stood there and let the uncontrollable tears flow. I looked up as Hank’s hand was set on my back and then was surprised when he held back my hair for me.
“Let it all out, Nicky. It will be okay.” He whispered and I stayed there till my tears finally stopped. I looked up to Hank as they stopped and he sighed. He wiped the remaining ones off of my cheeks and then looked to me, “Did you have a nightmare?” He asked and I looked away from him as he sighed, “I’m sorry about earlier, Nicky. I understand why you were so insulted by Isabelle, my son, and me but you have to understand that since you died last time everything has changed. Now there are very few masters and no one is that obedient to one person.”
I put my hands on my face, “I keep wishing I was dead, Hank. I have never thought that way before.”
“I think that is because you see the way the world works now and you realize how much different you are.”
I looked away from him, “I cannot face my master while my mind is focusing upon another man.”
“It sounds like you have finally fallen in love.”
I grabbed his shirt in my hands, “I can’t fall in love! I am not like anyone else and I don’t want to hurt someone else!” I put my head on his chest, “I want this pain to leave my chest! I don’t want to think of any other man than my master! Please, Hank, help me stop this aching pain!” I cried as I grabbed my chest again.
“Get some sleep, Nicky, and think everything over.” He whispered and I slowly nodded. I went back to my room and stared at the ceiling till I fell back to sleep.
At lunch the next day I sat under my usual tree but looked up when someone blocked the sunlight that hit my body. I looked up to see Kenneth and he stared at me with intensity, “We need to talk.”
I looked to the book in my hands, “I have not been given an order by my master so I cannot go with you.”
“This isn’t about your master, Veronica,” He whispered and then knelt at my side, “I felt your heart calling to me last night. Now either you can come with me now or I can drag you off of campus and make a large scene.” I slowly stood and then followed Kenneth off of school grounds. He brought me to an alleyway and then suddenly grabbed my wrist, “You remembered the past, haven’t you?”
I looked away, “What past?”
“Our relationship!” He hissed and then suddenly hugged me, “Veronica, I love you so much. I will never let anyone else have you. No matter how long or far I have to travel; I will always make you mine.” He whispered into my ear and then kissed my neck, “I had planned to follow you to the end of time till you remembered the past but after the feelings I received from you last night I cannot wait,” He looked to my eyes, “Break away from that monster, Veronica, and come to my side once again.”
I touched his face and he smiled. I touched his lips with my fingers, “Why do you want me? I am a vampires’ slave for all of eternity.”
He sighed, “I have loved you since the moment I saw you, as a child, following behind my uncle. You were so determined to succeed in anything he asked and he treated you kindly because of it. You also were kind to everyone, but I became jealous when I saw how you treated other men just as you treated me.”
I grabbed his hand and placed it over my left breast. His face became flushed, “Do you feel that, Kenneth?” I asked as I stared at him, “I have no heart beat. I am a monster. I am not the girl who used to follow King Henry around, I am a demon.”
“But I gave up my royalty in order to stay with you for eternity! I don’t care if you’ve changed!”
I looked away from him, “You need to stay away from me.” I whispered and then quickly stabbed his gut with my hidden hand knife. I sprinted into the school and went straight to the bathroom. I washed my hands of Kenneth’s blood and then quickly reorganized myself before going to class as the bell rang. The second bell rang and within 15 minutes the school was put in lockdown. The teacher flew to the hall and ordered us all to stay in our seats. We waited till he came back, but when he was asked what was going on he could not tell us. Nothing happened for the rest of the day and I walked home quietly when I saw Isabelle and Emit going over to their friends. When I got there I was surprised to see my master, Hank, and Hank’s son sitting at the kitchen table with all windows closed. Hank seemed concerned when he saw me.
“Are you alright, Nicky? You look pale.”
I nodded and then quickly kneeled in front of my master with my head down as Hank’s grandchildren entered the room, “My master, I have finally succeeded in your order. I am sorry it has taken me so long to accomplish it.”
“That man is dead?” My master asked as I looked to him.
“Yes. I tore open his organs so he should die soon. I was sure to make his suffering long as you prefer.”
He smiled, “You have done well, Veronica.” He whispered and I felt warmth where my heart used to be.
“Wait was that why the school went into lock down!” Emit hollered as he grabbed my arm. I looked away from him but was shocked when he slapped my face, “You can’t kill someone just because, Nicky! That’s not right!”
My master let out a laugh, “She does not possess guilt anymore, child. She cannot feel sympathy for that man.”
“Everyone can feel guilt!” Isabelle argued.
My master shook his head, “No, every human can, but not every being. Only those left with a heart and soul can feel guilt and Veronica does not possess either of those.”
I looked away from everyone as they stared at me. Hank suddenly stood, “Why did you not ever tell me, Nicky?”
I watched him, “I knew you would feel terrified if you knew what I really was. I did not want you to know.”
“But I was your best friend!” Hank yelled but we both froze when my master laughed again.
“You humans are very funny!” He said as he stood. He continued to laugh as he came and helped me stand, “The only person who knows everything about Veronica is me. Not even she knows everything.” I looked away with regret as images of Kenneth filled my mind and I looked away from the group. I did not look back till my master put his hand on my shoulder, “Have you done what I asked you yesterday?”
I nodded, “I have already set up the tickets and bought a mansion per your request.”
“Tickets? Mansion? What are you talking about Master Vlad?” Hank asked as he came over to us.
“I shall be going back to England. My brother is coming of age soon so I have been asked to have him stay with me so that he can learn from me.”
“But where will Nicky go?”
“She will stay with me of course. She is the only reason I can stay alive, so she must come with me wherever I go.”
I bowed towards him, “Thank you for everything, Hank.”
“You’re just going to leave me behind again?” He asked with sorrow in his voice, “Just like before?”
I smiled as I looked towards the two children, “This past two weeks have proved to me that you do not need me at your side anymore,” I whispered, “Before you were lost and lonely but now you have a wife, children, and even grandchildren that I have no doubt will be there for you. I am not leaving like before; I am just letting you focus on your family.”
He came over to me and hugged me tightly, “I wish you could stay, but I know you can’t.” He whispered and I nodded. I wished time would pass faster so that I could quickly leave this place with the memories of this family and Kenneth.
When we arrived in England I obediently drove my master to the home I had bought for him. The sun was slowly rising in the east so I moved our car faster in fear of the sun. We got to the gothic castle before the sun rose and I made sure to get my master inside and into the room that would be his that had no windows. Our stuff was already here and set up so I requested he sleep. When he lay down in his bed I went downstairs and dusted off the furniture that had come with the home. I then went outside and took a 12 mile jog in order to inspect my new surroundings and all of the land my master now owned. When I got back to the castle I went to my room and took a shower. When I got out it was already late afternoon so changed into a long red dress and black heels and then sat on the couch in the living room and got a few hours of sleep. I was woken up when my master shut his room door. I sat up and quickly made myself presentable before smiling as he came over to me. I led him out to the car before I drove to the house I had known since before I died for the first time. The largest castle I had seen in my existence finally appeared and I stopped the car in the drive way. A butler opened the back door of the car for my master and I quickly followed behind him as he went into the house. I felt shivers go down my spine as I entered a room with over 50 vampires covering it while about 20 slaves, like me, followed them around through their bitty affairs. I froze as a pair of arms wrapped around me and pulled me against a warm body. I looked up to my master’s cousin and slightly bowed my head, “Good evening, Lord Damek.”
“How long has it been, Veronica? A hundred years or so?”
I nodded, “Somewhere in that range,” I bowed towards Damek’s slave that quietly stood beside him, “It is a pleasure to see you again, Denis.”
He looked down to me and his face seemed to loosen with relief and comfort. He looked to his master who let go of me as he came to my side. He kissed my hand and then hugged me, “It has been too long, dear friend,” He whispered and then looked to my face, “How have you been?”
“Well, and I hope you and Lord Damek have been the same. My master and I just got here so you will have to forgive my quietness.”
“You must be tired,” He said with a smile that slowly faded when he saw the pink line going across my neck, “What is this? Have you been injured?”
I sighed, “That is what killed me the last time, during the war.”
“Well I am glad you are with us,” He said and then let go of me and looked to his master, “We need to go to the king.” He insisted and Damek nodded.
“Have a good time, cousin.” He said to my master before leaving us. I quickly followed behind my master to the courtyard in the back of the home. I saw a Lord yelling at my master’s father as many people watched. My master quickened his speed and I quickly followed at his heels. When we reached the two men and their slaves we were turned to.
“What is the meaning of this hollering, father?” My master growled as I watched the man’s slave.
“Lord Elya insists that Neco will not be fully protected if he is being guarded by your slave. He says his slave is better suited for the job so Neco should go with him instead of you.” My master’s father replied and I looked to the ground, what reason did this man have to doubt me? Was it because I was a woman without a body-builder look?
My master darted his attention to Lord Elya and his slave, “My slave may look small, young, and frail to the naked eye, Lord Elya, but she could kill your slave if I ordered it.”
The man let out a laugh, “But I am certainly only one of many that doubt the skills of your slave, Lord Vladimir. We have all heard that you have died more than most who have existed twice as long as you because that slave is inept to protect you and certainly unable to guard a young boy.”
My master looked to me and I greeted his glare with power, “If people are talking nonsense about you, Veronica, you must show them your full abilities,” He insisted and then looked to Lord Elya once more, “I challenge your slave to a match.”
“I accept,” The man hissed back in an almost maniacal way as his glance went to me. I looked away as my master’s hand rested on my shoulder.
“Injure him, but do not kill him.” He ordered and I quickly dropped to the ground on one knee.
“I will not let you down, master.” I announced and then quickly stood. A large area was cleared between me and the slave of Lord Elya. He stared at me with intensity and smiled.
“You may attack first, girl.” He mocked and I smiled back.
“You will regret that move,” My master warned from my side as I looked to him, “Attack, Veronica.” He hissed and I moved before anyone realized. I slammed my fist into the slave’s stomach, which caused him to double over with a grunt as I took a few steps away. He smiled again to me.
“Lucky shot!” he laughed and then came at me. He was twice my height, but as his fist came at me I lunged towards it as I grabbed at the fist. I stopped its movement and quickly lunged away from the man as I forced his body over my head and onto the ground behind me. His back smacked the ground and made a cracking noise. I knelt slightly to the man and examined him as he cried out in pain.
“I told you not to kill him, Veronica!” My master hissed and I looked to him when he came towards me.
“I would never go against your will, my master. I merely bruised his back. Nothing is broken, he will just be in pain for a few days,” I turned to the man on the ground and spit on his forehead. Everyone looked to me in shock, “Make sure to never come near my master again, boy.” I mocked and then quickly went to my master’s side. He smiled as he looked to Lord Elya.
“My slave did not even receive a scratch, Lord Elya. So if I ever hear you speak poorly of her again, your slave will not get off so easily. She had to hold herself back from dismantling the man, but next time you will not be so lucky.”
The slave at Lord Elya’s side slowly sat up and gave me an upsetting look as I felt a slight tear in my soul. I looked to my master as his brother appeared. The young boy went to his father and seemed angry, “I want to leave, dad.” He hissed and the man sighed.
“Alright, Vladimir can take you to your new home now.” The old man said and I followed my master when he escorted his brother to our car. I got in the front as the house butler opened the car door for the two boys. When they got in I quickly made our way to our new home, but was concerned when I saw a tall man standing in the driveway. I quickly turned to my master and his brother.
“Please stay here. I will deal with this.” I said and then quickly got out of the car. When I did the tall man’s eyes followed me, “Excuse me, but this is private property. You cannot be here.” I said as I made my way to the man and he smiled towards me.
“Oh, I was called by Sir Denis and requested to become this houses’ lawn and yard keeper.”
“I don’t think it is necessary.”
“But I have already been paid for a whole year of work…” He replied and I sighed.
“Alright.” I said and then waited for him to leave. When he was gone I opened the back door of the car and let the two masters out. My master looked to me with confusion.
“Who was that man, Veronica?”
I sighed again, “It seems Denis hired a yard and lawn keeper for us and already paid for a year of services.”
I noticed as the young master grab his brother’s coat, “Who is Denis?”
“He is Damek’s slave,” my master replied, “He seems obsessed with Veronica and helps us out even if it is not needed. His master is also infatuated by Veronica.”
I turned to my master, “But I could never leave your side, master, so it does not matter what other men think of me.” I replied and then led them inside. I brought my master to his room and when he closed the door I turned to the young master, “I shall show you to your room.” I brought the boy to the next room and opened the door. He walked in to see all the things that had been sent over for him. I quickly went to the window and threw a black drape over it, “You will have to forgive us for giving you a room with a window. This house only has one room without a window and my master already received it.”
He smiled, “It’s alright. I like to look at the moon at night so I prefer to have a window.”
“Well then please make yourself at home,” I went to the desk nearby, “I will write down my cell phone number so if I am out during the sun hours you can reach me,” I wrote down the number and then look to the boy, “I keep my phone with me at all times so if you need anything, please call. But, the sun will be coming up in the next hour so you should get ready to sleep.”
The doorbell rang as I set the brew I was making to simmer. I went to the door and when I opened it I was surprised to see a young woman I had come to know well carrying a young animal wrapped in black, “Madie, what are you doing here at such an odd hour? And why is Lady Mila with you? The sun is still alive and proud.”
She smiled as she came in and I shut the door, “My master wished to see you regardless of the sun. When she heard from her brother that you were at the event last night she insisted to see you immediately,” She unwrapped the young girl with a body of 14 from the blackness and she turned the girl to me, “Here is Veronica as you requested, master.”
The girl of black hair and red eyes jumped atop of me with full force, “Nicky!” She called as I held both of us up, “I’ve missed you so much! You were asleep for so long!”
I patted her back, “Would you like to eat with us, Lady Mila? Madie can also eat with us.”
She nodded, “Yea!”
“Then I shall go inform my master of your arrival.” I whispered and quickly made my way to my master’s room. I knocked on the door and then slowly went inside, “My master, it seems Lady Mila and Madie have arrived here to visit. Is it alright if they stay to dine with us?”
He groaned from below a heap of black sheets, “Fine! Just let me sleep!” He hissed and I quickly bowed before walking out. When I went to the kitchen I was shocked to see young Master Neco sitting at the table talking to Lady Mila as Madie stood behind her master’s chair.
“Young Master Neco and Lady Mila, may I offer you something to drink?” I asked and they both nodded.
“Coffee.” Neco replied tiredly.
“Tea will be fine.” Mila added but I looked to Madie after.
“Would you like something also, Madie?”
She shook her head, “But I will help you.”
“Oh no! I can manage. Please sit down.” I said and she quietly took the seat that was open next to her master. I brought over the two drinks once I was done and then put my hand on Mila’s shoulder, “How was your birthday, Lady Mila? I am sorry I missed it.”
“It was nice,” She replied as she smiled up to me, “How long has it been since we last sat down like this, Nicky? I cannot remember.”
“It was in Russia, my master.” Madie whispered and Mila nodded with joy.
“That’s right! We were going to see my uncle and ran into you at a farmer’s market on our way there.” Mila replied, but I looked to Madie as her fingers brushed the thin red line on my neck and she seemed worried.
“What is this?”
I sighed, “I was killed last by being beheaded.”
“That sounds painful.”
I nodded, “I had not felt that much pain in a while.”
“Is it worse than when you were hung?” Mila asked as she scooted to the front of her chair, “You told me about that once.”
“Beheading me felt worse since when you are hung you almost automatically lose feeling.”
“I have meant to ask my brother, but how many times have you died?”
I sighed, “Twenty eight times.”
“Really? I have only died twice.” Madie replied.
“I think Vladimir is putting you through too much,” Mila whispered as she grabbed my arm, “Why won’t you come live with Madie and me?”
I smiled towards her, “I am grateful for the offer, but I could never even imagine a day without being at my master’s side,” I went into the kitchen and took the brew off the burner. I set it to the side and then came back over to the group, “Most slaves feel that way.”
“That’s not true; there are some who think of another person before their master.”
“Oh? Like who?”
Madie gave me an evil smile, “Denis.”
I felt myself become flustered as I sat down, “That is not true, Madie. He cares dearly for the wellbeing of my master’s cousin.”
“Just like his master, he thinks of you before anyone else.”
“He will get over it soon enough,” A voice said and I jumped from my chair as I looked to my master. I bowed to him as he came over to me, “Many men have fallen for my Veronica, humans, slave, hunters, and vampires alike, but they all slowly give up since they know she will never leave my side.”
“Shall I prepare the meal?” I asked as I looked to him and he nodded.
“I shall help you, Veronica.” Madie said as she stood. We went to the kitchen as the three vampires of the house went to the living room to talk. I started cutting up the chicken I had baked as Madie spooned out some of the brew for everyone, “The young Lord of the house seems to become angered every time his brother touches you, Veronica,” She commented and I looked to her knowing gaze, “You should keep an eye out for him. He may become attached like other men.”
I sighed, “I wanted to be nice to him so that we could get along, but that seems to have backfired.”
She put her hand on my arm, “So have you seen that man this life time? The only one who can make your heart waver, has he appeared yet?”
I nodded and looked away, “I-I killed him.”
Her grip strengthened, “Did you find something out? You seem more upset about him than before.”
I nodded, “I’ve almost figured out my entire past.”
I grabbed her shirt, “I was not the woman I thought I was.”
“What do you mean?”
I looked to her eyes, “I loved him. I-I was going to marry him and become a queen. But then a war came and split us which is when I nearly died and where I met my master.”
“Then why did you kill that man you love?”
“He made me doubt my master and made me think of things I have kept from my mind since now…” I whispered but then quickly pulled from her as I felt tears threatening to fall. I put the sliced up pieces of chicken into a bowl and looked to her, “We should get these things on the table,” I went to the dining room and placed down the chicken before going to the living room. I bowed to the three vampires, “Dinner is ready.” I announced but looked to my master as he came to me.
“Are you alright, my beautiful Veronica? You seem tense.”
I nodded with a smile, “Of course,” But I looked to Madie as she ran over to me from the dining room. She was flushed.
“There was an attack!” She whispered with regret and I grabbed her arms, “Damek and Denis were attacked by 7 hunters!”
“Is Lord Damek injured?” I asked with worry and she nodded with sadness.
“He’s not too bad, but Denis is in unstable condition at a hospital. All slaves in the area have been asked to come help because there is still a fight breaking out at their home.”
“I’ll go, you stay here.” I insisted, but looked to Mila when she grabbed my arm.
“You can’t go there, Nicky! It’s dangerous!”
I sighed but kissed her forehead, “But I am the most skilled slave when it comes to fighting. I need to go,” I whispered but then looked to my master, “Will you allow me?”
He frowned, “Hurry back.” He hissed and I quickly ran out the door. I drove the car to Lord Denis’s house to see three slaves’ dead bodies on the ground. I quickly pulled out my gun and sprinted in the direction of where I could hear yelling. I crept through the forest behind the home when I felt the presence of a hunter and quickly shot him as he saw me. He died without a noise as I moved deeper into the sea of trees. I dove under a pine as I saw a hunter stab a slave I had seen at the party recently. The young man died with a gasp and I quickly avenged his death by shooting the hunter, but this hunter was skilled. He sprinted at me with a sword and I pulled out my dagger. I tried to defend against the man until I heard a gunshot. A slave stared at me with regret as more of her deep black hair fell out of her bun and into her face. I quickly got away from the dead hunter and went to the woman as she slumped to the ground with a heavy breath.
“Tell me, slave, how many of us are left?”
She looked up to me as if I was unreal, “You are the only other I have seen alive since the attack started,” She whispered and then looked to the ground, “Three of the hunters are still alive and they are coming this way,” She whispered as I noticed her bleeding leg, “Run while you still can, child.” She added, but I quickly acted. I pulled my sweater off and wrapped it around the woman’s leg before picking her up and sprinting back to the house. I got her to my car and handed her my cell phone as she looked to me in shock.
“Call an ambulance. I will go see if anyone else is still alive and bring them here.” I whispered before sprinting back into the forest. I went past the area I had been in before and did not stop till I saw another hunter walking. I hid with my back to a tree but winced when a bullet struck my cheek. It barely grazed me, but I could not worry about that. I turned and shot the man but was stopped in terror as another hunter quickly appeared. He shot at me with his gun and I returned the favor before trying to get away, yet the bullet seemed destined for me. It hit my thigh and I slumped to the ground. Luckily my bullet hit its mark and the hunter died. I was overwhelmed with pain but forced myself to move under a bush of wild flowers as I heard someone running. I watched in hope I would not be found as the last hunter stopped to see if his comrades still lived. Dirty blonde hair swooped into his face, which I saw from my side view of him, as he picked up his fallen friend’s gun. He jerked his head up and looked around the area. I held my breath as I saw him turn towards me. My heart stopped as I saw Kenneth’s sweaty face and my body moved on its own. I crawled away by using my one good leg and my elbows till I was far enough away to breathe again. I looked up to the sky and just listened. I heard sirens in the distance moving closer as Kenneth finally ran away and search parties were sent out to retrieve all the assumed-to-be-dead hunters and slaves. I did not move from my spot in fear that someone would find me and see my tears of agony that came to me after seeing Kenneth’s face once again. An hour went by and I finally calmed down, so I slowly stood and limped my way out of the forest while supporting myself with anything I could on the way there. When I reached the edge of the forest I saw Madie holding Mila as she cried. I forced myself to walk straight up when I got to her and then put my hand on her young shoulder, “What is wrong, Lady Mila?” I asked and she looked to me in awe.
“Nicky!” She cried as she wrapped around me, “They said they couldn’t find you and thought you might have been taken captive by the one hunter who escaped!”
I sighed and squeezed her tightly, “Thank you for your concern, my Lady, but I am just a slave so I would not have been a loss if I had been captured.”
“What are you talking about, Nicky? You are extremely important! Damek already sent a search party to find you and Vladimir was setting up a group of slaves to go bring you back from the hunters!”
I looked to Madie, “Please have them cancel the orders. It would be a shame to lose someone because of all these misunderstandings,” I whispered and she quickly went over to a group of people, “Tell me, Lady Mila, did someone tend to the woman slave with black hair and moon colored skin that was in my car?”
She nodded, “That’s how we found out you had been seen in the battle and had made it here. If she had not seen you we would not have known if you had even made it to the battle,” She said as she looked up to my face but then gasped. She whipped herself around from me, “Someone needs to tend to the slave over here!” She hissed to the groups of people nearby and a man in a paramedic’s uniform quickly came to us.
“Where are your injured?” He asked me.
“My face and leg,” I whispered back, “There is a bullet still left in my thigh.”
“We need to get you to the hospital.” He ordered to me and I nodded. He picked me up and carried me over to an ambulance that was still left at the home. Madie ran over to me with concern in her eyes.
“Why are you taking her too?” She hissed and the paramedic turned around to her.
“She was shot. Now please move away. You should not be by the truck as we are leaving.” The paramedic said before closing the back doors of the ambulance. I lay down on the bed he had placed me on as he and another paramedic worked to cut off my pants on my left leg. When we reached the hospital I was forced to go to surgery because the bullet had seemed to have cracked my femur. I was put on anesthesia and could not feel the doctor and his two assistance who working on it. When they finished I was put into a cast and given crutches before I was allowed to get up and visit Lord Damek. When I went in and saw him sleeping on a bed next to the one they had placed Denis on they were both asleep. Lord Damek was covered in medical tape on a bruise that consisted part of his face with a sling for his shoulder and Denis had a cast on his wrist, leg, and other foot along with the brace put on his neck. I felt horrible since I had only cracked my femur, cut a large part of my face, took the skin off my elbows and knees, and had numerous scratches all over. I watched them sleep until the door opened. A doctor came in and stared at me with uncertainty.
“Were you the other survivor of the attack, miss?”
I nodded, “How are they?”
He sighed as he walked over to me, “Mr. Damek will be fine with just a little t.l.c. and therapy for his shoulder, but Mr. Denis…”
“Will he ever recover?”
He sighed, “He’s a lucky man. We were able to get to him before he needed to have his leg amputated, but he may never fully recover. His neck was almost broken and his foot was twisted backwards.”
I felt myself cringe, “Is there anything I can do? Do they need blood transfusions? I will donate.”
He smiled sadly towards me, “That is very considerate of you miss, but there is nothing you can do for them right now. However they will need a lot of help once they are allowed to leave.”
“How long till they can leave?”
“For Mr. Damek, he can probably leave tomorrow, but Mr. Denis is hard to guess. It will certainly not be soon.”
“But he is Mr. Damek’s bodyguard!” I hissed as I stood but was caught by the doctor as I started to fall over.
“Miss, please calm down! Do you want to end up staying here with these two also?” He hissed and I sighed as I took my seat again. I slowly felt tears rolling down my face.
“I need to do something for them! I am the reason they are in this mess and if Daniel can never serve Mr. Damek again…” I put my hands over my face to conceal my tears, “I just wouldn’t be able to forgive myself! He loves this job and I would take it from him!” The doctor sighed and kneeled down beside me.
“You should go home and rest.”
I shook my head, “Not until I can speak to them.”
“Alright, well please stay sitting.” He said before leaving me in the room. I forced myself to stop crying and just watched the two men sleep.
“How could I have failed?” I whispered to myself, “I made sure the wound was fatal, but yet he still survived! And now he has come to England in order to find us again and ended up nearly killing Daniel and injured Lord Damek! I know no other hunter is strong enough to take down Daniel so it had to be him. Did he go after Daniel because he was close to me? Who will he go after next?” I stopped talking as I heard Lord Damek waking up. I quickly grabbed my crutches and hobbled over to his side. I grabbed his hand on mine and he looked up to me.
I smiled sadly, “Yes, Lord Damek, I’m here,” I whispered, “Do you need something? Can I get you anything?”
His face turned grim, “Did they get to Daniel in time?” He asked with worry and I nodded. I pointed to the side and he turned to look to Daniel, “Has he woken up?”
I sighed, “I’m not sure. I have not been here long.”
He looked to my face and touched my wound, “You fought?” He asked with fear.
I nodded, “Madie was called to help so I went instead.”
“How many are left?”
I looked away from him, “I could only get to one other slave and…she died a few hours ago.”
“Did all the hunters survive?”
I shook my head, “Only one got away.”
“Well I’m glad you’re safe, Veronica. Daniel would not have been able to handle himself if he found out you died while trying to protect our home.”
I smiled, “I know.”
He looked over to the door as I did also and saw Madie who quickly darted to Daniel’s side, “Dear god!” She cried as she kneeled at his side. I could understand her pain since her cousin was so badly wounded. She looked up and brushed away her tears, “Lord Damek, I am glad to see you are awake.”
“Madie,” I whispered and she looked to me, “Did you speak to that woman before she died?”
She looked away, “No, she was in a coma.”
“If only I had gotten there sooner. Maybe she and the others would have survived.”
Madie looked to me again, “My master is going to be coming soon to visit. She insisted on seeing you.”
I sighed, “How is my master?”
“He is alright, but is angry.”
I nodded, “I assumed as much.” I whispered but was startled when the door to the room was knocked on.
“Then you should’ve been more careful,” My master hissed as he came over to Lord Damek, “How are you, cousin?”
“I am better.”
“That is good,” He said and then turned to me, “Madie said you were shot, but why do you have a cast?”
I sighed, “I was attacked by a hidden hunter while fighting another and his shot cracked my femur.”
“Those bastards,” He hissed as he looked to my cast, “Never the less, did you kill them all?”
I looked away, “I’m sorry, master. One got away.”
“Did you know who it was?”
My heart stopped as I was reminded what I had done. I turned away from my master and to the door. I wanted to hurl as I nodded. My hands tightened on my crutches.
“Well who the hell was it?”
I looked to Madie as her hand touched my arm, “What’s the matter, Veronica? You look pale.”
I looked to Madie as tears finally fell, “This is my entire fault!” I cried as I grabbed tighter on my crutches and leaned on her, “He was there! He lived!”
“What! But that can’t be!” She gasped and I looked to her eyes with regret.
“He was there, he appeared in front of me.”
“Did he get away?”
I looked away, “Yes.”
“What in the world are you talking about, Madie!” My master hissed, “I demand to know!”
She looked to my master, “The hunter that got away was….Kenneth Martin.”
“That cannot be! Veronica killed him while we were in America!”
I started shaking, “I don’t know how, but he was there. He was the one who attacked Daniel and Lord Damek.”
My master whipped around to his cousin as I looked to him, “Did you see the attacker, Damek?”
He nodded, “He was a tall man of about our age with the bluest eyes I have seen and brownish blonde hair.”
“Damn it,” My master hissed, “I’m going to go investigate this.” He said as he looked to the ground and then walked to the door. When he closed it behind him the slam rattled the room. I looked to Madie and then to the floor.
“Is there a possible way to find my master a substitute slave?” I asked and she gave me a look of horror.
“Of course not! You are to always be his slave regardless of how angry he acts!”
“But I cannot do it.”
I pulled away from her, “I refuse to stay at his side if he is not the only man on my mind! It is not fair to him! He deserves my undivided attention, yet my mind is filled with that hunter! I may not know my entire past, but there has to be a reason my master is not letting me know and yet I still think of another man!” I wanted to hug myself tightly but my crutches would not allow it, “I don’t understand! I should not be able to think of anyone else! Slaves aren’t supposed to be able to think of any person but their master! Why can’t I be like the others?”
“You fell in love, Veronica, that is why.”
I looked to Madie in anger, “No! I am not willing to accept that! I do not and cannot love anyone other than my master!”
“Then why do you insist to leave your master’s side, Veronica! You are going in circles!” Madie hissed back.
“I will leave and kill that man,” I whispered as I shook, “If he is gone then I will not have anything to distract me from my master. Then I can be at his side once again.”
“But you will be leaving your master without any protection! He may be killed while you are gone!”
I looked to her; she was right, “Then what can I do?”
“You will stay at your master’s side and fight this feeling. You must work on it while protecting Lord Vladimir.”
“You’re right,” I whispered and then moved my crutches to stand properly, “I have to fight this.”
She smiled slightly, “Every slave has gone through this process, Veronica.”
She nodded, “But the man I loved died before I was reborn so I did not have to worry much. The hardest loves to get over are those of the same species or of a vampire. I have heard stories of two slaves falling in love and also a slave and another vampire falling for each other,” She looked over to her sleeping cousin and I did the same, “I believe my cousin falls into the first category. He has fallen for another slave,” She looked to me, “He will be angry if he finds out he lost to another man that loves you, Veronica, so please do not tell him that the hunter who nearly killed him was Kenneth. He would probably do something irrational.”
I nodded, “I have learned that from experience.”
“Kenneth has gone after my master many times because he knows I would give my life for him. Kenneth knows that I would only do that for someone I love.”
She sighed, “Well I should go. I presume you do not want my master to see you right now?”
I smiled slightly, “I don’t want to worry her.”
She took a few steps towards the door, “I didn’t see you. I was told you were sleeping, correct?”
I nodded and then watched her leave. I did not move until I heard Lord Damek trying to get up. I quickly went over to him, “Please do not get up yet, Lord Damek.”
He sighed and did as told. He sat back down on the bed and looked up to me, “I wish there was something I could do to help you, Veronica.”
“Your health will be help enough, Lord Damek,” I whispered with a sad smile, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
He nodded, “There is,” I looked to him with curiosity, “Please lean down to me,” I did so, “Close your eyes.” He added and I followed the order. I was startled when he lightly kissed my lips. When I opened my eyes he smiled towards me, “That shall help my health substantially, thank you.” He said and then lay down. I fumbled over to Daniel’s bed and sat down in a chair between the two beds. “So what do you plan to do about that hunter fellow?” He asked and I looked to him with concern, “You do not have to worry. I will not tell my cousin about your conversation with Madie nor will I tell Daniel. I believe it is everyone’s best interest if those two are kept uninformed with this matter. It would only make them mad and I am confident you can handle the situation by yourself.”
I looked over to Daniel, “I wish there was something I could do. Daniel may lose his ability to do his job because I failed to kill that hunter.”
“You did not do it on purpose.”
I looked to my hands, “I stabbed him in the heart and watched him bleed before running away so how did he survive? It was too late by the time someone found him.”
He sighed, “Who knows. You will have to ask him yourself.”
I shook my head, “I lose my focus when I speak with that man. I cannot.”
“Then it shall forever be a mystery I guess.”
I nodded, “But what will you do without your slave, Lord Damek?”
“I will just have to get a second one. I would prefer not to, but it will help take some stress off of Daniel. He will be less worried about me.”
I let out a small, quiet laugh, “Regardless of what you do, he will never stop worrying.”
He laughed also, “That is true.”
Late the next day I was finally able to leave the hospital. I planned to come back later because I still had yet to talk to Daniel since he had not woken up yet. I was driven by Madie back to my master’s home and when I got out of the car I fumbled to try to keep myself standing on the crutches. This was my first chance to use the crutches on anything but solid ground so it was difficult to get to the door, but when I did, Madie was kind enough to open it for me. When we came in the sun still had not set, so I assumed the three vampires of the house were still asleep. Madie helped me over to the kitchen where I noticed it was cleaned. I smiled to her, “You did not have to do my housework for me, Madie.”
She smiled back, “I got bored today when the others were sleeping and you were still gone so I decided to make myself useful,” She replied, “Also, Lord Vladimir requested that I help him find a maid for the home because he thinks it is too much for you to train, guard, and serve the two masters of this house while still doing cleaning.”
I sighed, “Alright.”
“The maid I found will be here tomorrow night to start work so I will stay here till then to help you out.”
“Oh no! You and Lady Mila have done too much for me! I could never possibly make you stay longer! I can do the housework for tonight and tomorrow till the maid arrives, so once Lady Mila awakes you should take her back to your home so she can rest.”
“You and I both know she will not want to leave.”
“But she should. She has been sleeping in our spare room for the past few nights so she should go back home and rest properly. Otherwise I will feel horrible.”
“I will talk to her about it.”
I nodded, “Alright, well I shall start preparing the food.”
“No, I will do that. The doctor said you should not do anything strenuous for at least the rest of tonight because of the pain killers he prescribed.”
“Alright, then I shall go straighten up the den.”
“No, please Veronica. Give me some peace of mind and please just sit down. Lie on the couch and put up your leg.”
“Alright, alright.” I said as I went into the living room. I put up my leg on the couch but was shocked when a black cat came into the room, “Madie, is this your cat?” I called.
“No, it is a stray that young Lord Neco found and decided to keep.”
“Oh?” The small black cat crawled into my lap with a purr and I brushed my fingers down its spine which it enjoyed. I then scratched its ears as it brushed against my chest and legs. I did not look up until Madie came into the room.
“There, the food is ready,” She announced, “But that cat seems to adore you, Veroinca, yet it will not purr when any of the vampires in the house or I touch it.”
“For some reasons animals seem to adore me.”
“It must be your good hearted nature.” She said and then gave me a goofy smile. We both started laughing, but stopped when we heard someone walking. I looked to Lady Mila who smiled before yawning.
“Don’t stop on my account,” She said as she lay down on my side that I did not have my cast up on. The cat hopped down and Mila placed her head in my lap. She snuggled into my stomach and watched Madie, “How are Damek and Daniel?”
Madie sighed, “Lord Damek is alright and moving around but Daniel still has yet to wake up.”
“We will go see your cousin once he is awake.” Mila said in a very adult tone and I smiled to Madie.
“Thank you, my master.”
“Will you go with us, Nicky?” Mila said as she turned to look up to me.
“Lord Damek has requested my presence when Daniel wakes, so I will go if I am permitted to go by my master.”
“But what if Vladimir does not say you can go?”
I sighed, “Then I shall not go. My master’s wish is my command and I shall follow it.”
“You certainly are dedicated to Vladimir.”
“Of course,” Someone said and I looked up to see young master Neco watching me, “She is his slave.”
“I know that,” Mila hissed back, “But I wanted to make sure she would hold up to it.”
“Veronica, my brother wanted me to inform you that he is working and will not be coming to dinner.” Neco said as he watched my face turn to despair but I looked to Mila as she grabbed my shirt.
“Is everything okay, Nicky? You look upset.”
I smiled happily towards Mila, “Of course, Lady Mila, everything is fine,” I slowly got up but hunched when I heard a loud crack. Mila sprinted to me with horror.
“Are you alright, Nicky? What was that horrible noise?!”
I put my hand on her head, “It is alright, Lady Mila, that was just the screw moving when I got up too quickly.”
I nodded and then pointed to the middle part of my femur, “The doctor had to put two metal plates and eight screws into my leg so that I would not break the bone entirely. He said that the screws and plates may make noises when I move too quickly and will pinch a few nerves each time.”
“That sounds painful.”
“Do not worry about me, Lady Mila, leave your worry for Lord Damek and Daniel. They need it more than I.”
“But how will you run?”
“With enough time I will be back to normal,” I whispered and then adjusted my crutches. I hobbled into the kitchen to get the food but looked to Madie as she slammed the stove closed, “What is wrong, Madie?”
“Please do not give my master false hopes like that, Veronica. You and I both know there is almost no chance you will be able to walk properly again, let alone run.”
I sighed, “I just don’t want her to worry. If anything I don’t want to scare Lady Mila.” I whispered before hobbling into the dining room with only one crutch supporting me. I placed the food on the table and looked to Madie when she placed down food also.
“The doctor said you should not eat for the rest of the day, Veronica, so why don’t you go lie down.”
I slowly nodded to her and looked away. I hobbled my way back into the kitchen but quietly fixed another plate before going towards where the bedrooms of the home were. I quietly made my way to my master’s room and knocked on the door. “Neco, I told you to go already.” My master hissed.
“My master, it is not Neco, it is Veronica,” I whispered and he suddenly became silent, “I know you are working and I do not plan to bother you, but I thought you might be hungry so I brought you something to eat,” I waited for a response or movement but it never came. I let out a sigh, “Then I shall leave the plate outside your door. Please do try to eat.” I added in a whisper before hobbling away. I went back to the kitchen and picked up my other crutch before creeping outside without making a noise. I went to the boundaries of the property before I started my routine search of the acres my master owned. I reached a fairly flat part of the boundary line and gained some courage. I slowly dropped my crutches from my body and tried to take a few steps. I got one step with my cast but as I tried to put my weight on my injured foot I felt a sharp pain before my good leg gave out and I fell on my face in the dirt. I sat up and used a medium sized rock to pull myself up off the ground in order to try to grab my crutches but fell again in the process. I hissed at myself and then rolled over onto my back so that I could look up to the darkening sky. I casually put my arms behind my head in order to become more comfortable, “Wherever you are, wherever you hide, I will stop at nothing now to kill you Kenneth Martin,” I whispered and then closed my eyes, “I don’t care what this aching pain is that I get when I see you, but I will ignore it from now on. You have harmed Lady Mila, young master Neco, and Madie; you have injured Lord Damek, you nearly killed my friend, and you have tried to go after my master once more. This time I will stop at nothing to make sure you cannot touch any of them ever again.” I looked over as the black cat from earlier came over to me. Suddenly it sat down on the ground while making a hissing noise. I tried to get up to see what was wrong but froze as the cat slowly grew. It transformed into a young hunter male that pulled out a gun and shot. Ignoring my pain, I dove in the opposite direction of the man and looked around for anything to use as a weapon. My gun had been taken from me and I had yet to get it back so I was truly in a sticky situation. I thought out a plan and then quickly stood. I sprinted into the forest off to the side of the property and the hunter followed at a quick rate. I jumped and climbed into a tree close to the entrance of the forest and waited for the hunter to run past before hopping back down. I quickly sprinted towards the house, but felt a sharp pain in my leg, which was too much for me to grit and bear. I fell to the ground as tears filled my face but forced myself back to my feet when I heard the man coming my way. All I could think of was protecting my masters and Lady Mila so I blocked out the pain and sprinted faster. I got to the house and threw open the door. I knew the hunter had gained speed so I quickly ran into the living room where the three vampires and Madie were talking. They all looked in horror as I sprinted into the room and collapsed to the ground.
“Veronica!” Madie cried but I quickly looked up.
“Hunter! Outside! Only a mile back!” I hissed as tears ran down my face, “I need my gun!”
“You are in no condition to fight! I will do it!”
I quickly pulled myself off of the ground and yanked Madie’s second gun from her belt. I took it and turned to run but froze as I saw the man. He gave me an evil smile as he pointed his gun at young master Neco. I quickly sprinted to Neco and got there just in time. The bullet pierced my arm as I fell to the ground. I sat up with a hiss and shot at the hunter 8 times before getting up and going in front of my master. I held the gun close to me and shot the man again. I got him in the stomach, so I quickly sprinted to him as he slumped over with a grunt. I body- slammed him onto the floor and put the end of my barrel on the back of his head before he realized I had moved, “Coming after my masters while I am around, what an armature mistake. Make sure you do not make the same mistake in your next life, hunter.” I hissed before pulling the trigger and blood covered my face. I looked over to Madie as her hand came off of covering Lady Mila’s eyes, “Call an ambulance.” I whispered and she quickly sprinted away. Lady Mila and young master Neco shook with fright. I immediately got up and went over to master Neco, “Did that bullet touch you?” I asked with worry and he shook his head. I sighed with relief before slumping to the ground as Lady Mila ran to my side.
“Nicky! Your leg!” She cried as tears covered her face.
“It will be alright, Lady Mila,” I whispered as I looked to her with a smile, “Madie is with you so you will never get hurt.” I felt as if I was in a trance as paramedics filled the room and two took me to an ambulance. I closed my eyes as they started driving off and slowly fell asleep.
I awoke to see my master sleeping with his head on my hospital bed. I brushed a stray hair from his face as he slept, but was shocked when his eyes flew open. He looked to me with relief, “You’re finally awake.”
I smiled sadly towards him, “I’m sorry if I worried you.”
He sighed, “I would have never guessed a hunter was disguising himself in order to get you alone and kill us. That is a new method I knew nothing about.”
“I was shocked myself.”
My master looked away in regret, “The doctor talked to me earlier about the previous attack.”
I sighed, “So you know now?”
“Why didn’t you tell me you were instructed to stop moving around very much because of your artery?”
“Even if I had told you, I could not stop this. I could not just sit around and wait for you to be hurt,” I whispered as I looked to the ceiling, “So my leg, they had to take it off?” I asked with regret and gave my master a smile as he seemed to whiten. My hands gripped the sheets on me tighter as I held back tears, “It was expected. I had already cut my artery and the doctor said almost anything could start the bleeding again,” I closed my eyes, “I knew when I felt that horrible pain while running, it was over and I needed help, but I just couldn’t stop myself. Images of you being shot by that hunter kept flying through my mind and I just couldn’t stop myself from running to you. I wanted to protect you because I thought I was going to die so I wanted to save you before that happened.”
“You should have stayed where you were.” He whispered but I knew he wanted to yell it, yet he was too upset to.
“Do the others know about my leg?” I asked and he looked away with regret once more.
“I couldn’t bring myself to tell them.”
“I would have been the same way,” I whispered but then looked to the wheelchair near my bed, “Can you help me get into that?”
“You’re not supposed to move around.”
“I need to see Daniel. Has he woken up?”
He nodded, “He awoke while you were in your second surgery.”
“I have to go see him.”
“Alright.” My master whispered before slowly helping me into the chair. I looked to the end of my gown to see only my right leg remaining but ignored it and smiled up to my master.
“You should sleep. I will be back soon.” I whispered before using the wheels to push myself out of the open door of the room and down the hall. I went down the sleeping hall covered by darkness but stopped at Daniel’s room. Lord Damek had been let out yesterday so he went home for the night to prepare his home for when Daniel would be moved there next week. I pushed myself into the open room to see Daniel. To my relief his neck was already out of the brace and he sat, reading a book. I knocked on the door and wheeled into the room as he looked up. He smiled towards me, “I’m glad to see you’re awake.” I whispered as I came to his side. He put down his book and just looked at me.
“My master told me earlier that you almost stayed here all day after the attack and that you were injured during the battle.”
I nodded, “Yes, I cracked my femur,” I whispered, “But you looked close to death the last time I saw you. How are you feeling? Can I get you something?”
He shook his head, “Your company is more than enough.”
“How is your leg and foot?”
“Well the doctor said I will need supports on my leg for the rest of my life and will not be able to sprint as fast as I used to. Luckily I am recovering faster and better than expected so the doctor is pleased.”
“I’m glad,” I started to reply, but stopped as Lady Mila and Madie appeared at the door with my young master.
“Nicky!” Lady Mila called as she ran over to me and I turned myself towards her but stopped when she froze. She started shaking and tears slowly went down her face, “Y-your l-leg! It’s g-gone!” She cried and slipped to the ground as she cried for me, “No! This can’t happen!” Lady Mila cried and I quickly looked away from her and to the ground to my left.
“Brother!” Neco suddenly hissed as my master appeared at his side, “Why didn’t you stop them! They amputated her leg!”
“My young master, there was nothing they could do for me. I was told before I left the hospital last time that I should not do much or I would risk losing my leg so it is my fault.”
“But why did you come!” Lady Mila hollered at me, “Why did you fight that man if you knew it would cost you your leg!”
I looked to her with pure intentions, “Because that hunter planned to hurt my masters. Regardless of the cost, I was going to protect my masters.”
“You’re too reckless!” Lady Mila cried as she clung to Madie who was now also crying.
I looked to Daniel as he looked to me, “Who did this?”
“A hunter shot me during battle.”
“You killed him?”
I nodded, “Of course.”
“Has my master seen yet?” Daniel asked as he looked to my two masters that stood near the door.
“No, but he will eventually.” My master replied.
“Master, you should leave. The sun will be up in less than an hour and if you don’t leave now you will not make it home in time,” I whispered at then looked to Madie, “Could you trouble me by staying at my master’s home a little longer?”
“Of course, Veronica. We shall stay there until you are out of the hospital.” She whispered back before leaving with my masters in tow. I wheeled over to Daniel’s side but looked up as someone went by with a woman who was about to have a child.
“Did you ever live long enough to become a father, Daniel? I have forgotten to ask.” I said as I looked to the man.
He shook his head, “I was merely 17 when my master chose me to follow him,” He looked to his lap, “I still had yet to find a wife.”
“Oh? What year were you chosen by Lord Damek?”
“I believe he chose me in the summer of 1529.”
“Ah, so you were born during the Renaissance?”
He nodded, “I heard from another slave that you were born a thousand years after me.”
I let out a laugh, “Certainly not.”
“Oh? Then when were you chosen, Veronica?”
“My master chose me in the winter of 816, which was one of the early years that led to the Holy Roman Empire.”
“Dear lord! Then you are older than most slaves!”
I smiled, “I certainly am, but since I have died so often I look around your age.”
“How old were you?”
“I had turned 18 the previous fall.”
“Oh? Then you must have been married. I have heard that most people of that age were married by 17.”
I shook my head, “No, I was engaged when my master chose me,” I whispered, “But the man I would have married was not the father to my child.”
“You had a child?”
I nodded, “My daughter was born right before I turned 15. Her name was Lena, but I never met her father.”
“How could you not meet the father of your child?”
I looked to my hands, “I was raped after my 14th birthday by an unknown man so I will never know who her father was.”
“Did you ever see your daughter?”
I nodded, “She died on her 3rd birthday by an assassin that came after my King’s daughter and mistook her for mine. That is why I joined the war efforts and hid my gender.” I changed the subject quickly, “But I was pleased when Lord Damek picked you to follow him. He made a great choice.”
“But so did Lord Vladimir when he chose you.”
I smiled towards Daniel, “I wish I could agree to that,” I whispered but looked up when Lord Damek came into the room. He looked at my legs in horror and I sighed, “How are you Lord Damek?” I asked and he stormed over to me.
“What nerve that man has!” He hissed as he kneeled in front of me, “The man you spoke of last time is behind this! I am sure of it! It was revenge!”
I put my hand on Lord Damek’s shoulder and he looked to me. I leaned over and kissed his cheek, “Thank you for your concern, Lord Damek, but I can assure you that Kenneth did not do this.”
“How do you know?”
I clenched my hands and looked away, “We are too alike to be enemies, so I know what he thinks. He wants to kill me with his own hands just as I want to do to him.”
“You cannot go near that monster, Nicky!”
“I have to. If I do not, you may be attacked again,” I whispered as I felt like I would cry, “I am the reason you were both injured and my leg was to pay for my mistake. I did not kill that man when I had the chance.”
“Wait!” Daniel yelled and we both looked to him in wonder, “What do you mean you were the reason we were attacked?”
I looked away from Daniel and to his master, “Tell him, Veronica. He deserves to know and may be able to help us.”
I wheeled closer to Daniel and took his hand in mine, “Do you remember how I told you I was engaged before I was chosen, Daniel?” I asked and he nodded, “Well that man I was supposed to marry never died.”
“What do you mean? Did he turn into a slave too?” He asked and I shook my head, “Then how could he still live?”
“He chose to become a hunter,” I whispered and his eyes widened, “Everyone has tried to keep it from me but my sworn enemy of the hunter world was the man I loved. Kenneth Martin was the nephew of the king I honored and had chosen me to marry him before my child was killed in the war. When I went to fight for revenge I was stabbed and was going to die, but on the night everyone left the field I was dying on my master found me. He asked me if I wanted to live but was shocked when I told him I did not,” I squeezed my eyes closed, “But my master believed it was not my time to die so he took my memories in order to shield me of my past in hopes that someday my past could be forgotten. Yet, Kenneth found out and wanted to get me back from the vampires so he sold his royalty and soul to a hunter in turn of living for eternity in hopes of finally getting me back,” I squeezed Daniel’s hand as I opened my eyes, “The hunter that attacked you and injured you was none other than Kenneth Martin. He somehow found out that I was close to you and your master so he went after you in hopes that I would leave my master in order to hunt him. He believed that if I left my master I would return to his side,” I looked away as tears ran down my face, “I caused you and Lord Damek so much pain because of my mistakes made when I was still human.”
“And now that hunter plans to come see Veronica while she is at the hospital in hopes to get her back.”
I looked up to lord Damek, “How close is he?”
“Not even a day’s travel away.”
“I want guards around my masters, Madie, Lady Mila, Daniel, and you Lord Damek. We cannot lose any of you because of this.”
“I do not have the authority to put guards around my cousins, Mila, Madie, or you. Only Vladimir and Mila can request guards for them and their slaves.”
“But you will put guards around Daniel and yourself?”
He nodded, “If that is what you think is best.”
I smiled, “If anything, I do not want to get anyone else hurt,” I looked away, “Is there a possible way to make it so my masters, Madie, and Lady Mila cannot come to this hospital for today or tonight?”
“We will have to lie or my cousin will become outraged and refuse for you to be anywhere near the only hunter that can defeat you.”
I nodded, “And if my master is near, Kenneth will surely go after him. His largest grudge is against my master.”
“But your master saved you!” Daniel hissed, “Lord Vladimir has done nothing wrong!”
I looked to Daniel, “My master purposely took all my memories of my child and of Kenneth in order to keep us apart so that I would stay at his side forever and Kenneth sees that as a personal attack,” My glance went to Lord Damek, “Call and tell your cousins that I will be having tests run tomorrow so they should not come.”
“Alright,” He whispered but then handed me a gun, “Don’t miss this time.” He added and I nodded.
“I will watch him take his last breath this time.”
When I awoke to the opening of my door I noticed no one there. I expected to see the blazing blue eye of Kenneth staring back at me, but they were nowhere to be found. Rolling thunder filled my ears as I looked to the window to see the next lightning bolt. The rain picked up and when the next lightning bolt struck I could only tell because of light that bounced off of the water particles falling to the earth. It had rained just like this the night before I died the previous time and that made me unsteady. What if I was wrong about Kenneth and he would kill me while I was injured? I looked to the door again as it was pushed but once again no one presided at the door. I sighed and then looked down to my leg and stub but looked up when I felt someone watching me. Kenneth suddenly shut the door of the room but did so quietly before coming towards me, “Those guards that are here to protect you do not do their job.” He whispered into the room as he stood a good few feet away. I looked to my hands that were in my lap to avert his gaze.
“They are not protecting me.”
“Then why are they near your room?”
“They protect another under my request and by another’s order.” I replied as I looked to him with anger.
“Why does another vampire need to be protected when they already knew I was coming here?”
“Your appearance is the exact reason for the protection.”
“I don’t understand.”
I sighed, “You helped in the attack against Lord Damek’s home a few days ago in hopes of finding me, did you not?” I asked and he looked away with defeat, “Well you attacked a very dear friend of mine that is also here at the moment. For safety I requested his lord put guards around him.”
“I have no reason to fight him.”
“Then why did you attack him before?”
He talked after taking a very long pause, “My comrade who had been watching Lord Damek for some time saw that slave embrace you,” He whispered as he stared at the floor, “I thought you may be seeing him but when you were not there with him I realized I was wrong.”
“Daniel is just a friend.”
“He loves you.”
“What does that matter?” I hissed and he looked to me with shock, “He cannot leave his master’s side and neither can I so we could never be together regardless of how he feels for me,” I looked outside, “Why are you here, Kenneth? Are you here to kill my master? Well he is not here so you should go.”
“I heard you killed one of the oldest and best hunters of the world and found out you were hospitalized so I came to see you,” he took a few steps closer, “I was worried.”
“You are my enemy, Kenneth. Either kill me right now or get the hell away from me. I do not want to be near you.”
“I was worried because I love you, Veronica! You know that, so why do you push me away?”
I gave him a glare of death, “You wanted to test my skills so you sent that man to attack me,” I hissed, “No one would target me otherwise while I was severely injured.”
“What do you mean? I never heard you were injured.”
I clenched my hands, “Why the hell are you still here! I killed you in America!” I started shaking, “Seeing you at the attack upon Lord Damek’s home while I was injured startled me! Why aren’t you dead?”
He sighed again, “I was being followed by a comrade at the time and he saved me before I died,” He took another step closer and I realized with two more steps he would be at my side, “You were at the fight? I never saw you.”
“I hid because I could not stand and fight. One of your people shot my leg and cracked me femur,” I squeezed my eyes shut, “Then the man you sent to attack me broke my femur which cut my artery and I nearly bled to death,” I quickly threw back the sheets on top of my legs, “My leg was taken because of you!” I hissed as tears filled my face, “Now I am a worthless slave who cannot even stand, let alone protect her master!”
“Veronica…” Kenneth started to say but we both froze when the door was thrown open. I looked to young master Neco in horror. If he was here, so was his brother.
“Master Neco, why are you here? The sun is still up.”
The young master looked to Kenneth in disapproval, “I just came to check on you. Madie came to see Daniel so she brought me with her.”
“So master Vladimir is not with you?”
He shook his head, “No.”
I let out a sigh but then looked to Kenneth, “Leave.”
“I’m not leaving until we talk, Veronica.”
I tried to stand but leaned on the wall behind the headrest of the bed, “You are near my master so you know I have to kill you if you do not leave.”
Kenneth looked to the boy with a frown and then looked back to me, “Vladimir is not here so why must I leave?”
I grabbed my crutches and quickly went in front of the young master as Kenneth watched, “I am now the slave of two masters. This is Vladimir’s brother that I am also protector of.”
He seemed to hiss at the boy, “He and his brother are not worthy to be at your side, Veronica.”
“That is not your decision,” I hissed, “Now leave or I will kill you.”
He smiled slightly, “You can barely walk, how will you fight me?”
“Losing my leg will not stop me from fully killing you.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, “Do you think this boy can make up for your loss of Lena? Are you protecting him to heal the hole in your heart left when you could not protect her and she died?”
I felt something sting within me and I quickly pulled out the gun I had hidden on me, “I have no heart left,” I hissed as I cocked the gun and pointed it at Kenneth, “And my young master is not a substitute for Lena! I will follow him to the ends of the earth just as I would for his brother!”
“So you have fallen in love with this boy also?”
I pulled the trigger of the gun and Kenneth hissed as he grabbed his shoulder. The knife I knew he had hidden was flung at the door as my master tried to run in and I quickly hobbled in front of him, but I knew I was going to be too slow so I jumped as far as I could and fell against my master. He grabbed onto my shoulders as the knife struck my lower back. I slumped as Kenneth sprinted to the window. The glass shattered as my next bullet flew, but he was already gone when it got to where he had jumped. I let out a grunt before yelling, “Arschloch!” after him. I quickly pulled the knife out of my back and looked to the open window, “As if anyone could replace my darling Lena.” I added in a whisper before Madie and Lord Damek ran into the room. My doctor followed as well and took a look at my wound. I needed to get intensive care and receive stitches. When the doctor helped me stand and get my crutches, I made a bee line to Madie. When I placed my hand on her shoulder she looked to me in awe, “Keep a watchful eye on my masters till I get back, won’t you?” I asked and she nodded.
“Of course.” She whispered back before I was quickly taken away. I was knocked out and did not wake up till I was back in my hospital bed with a large bandage on my back and an artificial leg finally put in place. When the sun went down that day I watched the ceiling in anticipation for the moment someone would come save me from my circulating mind. When no one came I felt an ache in my body that grew larger when the sun rose. I fell asleep for a few hours but when I woke up no one was there as I feared. The doctor came in mid afternoon to help me into a wheelchair to be brought to a rehabilitation room. When we went down the hall I looked into Daniel’s room to see him talking with Madie. They did not seem to care I was awake and being moved which hurt me, but I focused on the man who helped me out of the wheelchair when we reached the rehabilitation room on the west end of the hospital. I was taught how to use my fake leg and seemed much faster at getting the hang of the leg so I was asked by the rehabilitation doctor to walk with him around the building. I struggled for two hallway’s worth of walking, but after that I got the hang of my new limb. We did not stop walking till I was covered in sweat.
The rehabilitation doctor stopped in front of me, “We should stop, Miss Simmons, you do not want to overwork yourself.”
I shook my head, “I will get out of this place by the end of the month, doctor, so I will keep going.”
He smiled, “You certainly are persistent.”
“I’ve been told.”
The doctor seemed to tense, “So you are Lord Vladimir’s legendary slave, correct?” He asked and I looked to him with shock. How did he know all of this? He smiled, “It is alright, Miss Simmons. I am also a slave,” He stuck his hands in his jacket pocket, “My master’s name is Nicholas.”
“Ah, yes, Lord Nicholas has been at many functions that my master attended.”
He nodded, “I was just chosen to be my master’s 4th slave.”
“So you were born of this day and age?”
He smiled, “I was born in the late 20th century.”
“Well since your master is a very high ranked nobleman he needs many slaves to protect him.”
“Your master is the only high ranked lord without at least 3 slaves,” He smiled towards me, “I am actually fairly new to the whole slave concept and when I realized who you were I was hoping you could explain some of this for me.”
“I’d love to,” I replied, “I remember when I first became a slave. It is a very confusing and stressful time.”
“Indeed,” he whispered, “So I was told you were attacked by a psychotic relative yesterday but I assume that is just a cover up for the humans. Were you attacked by a hunter?”
I nodded, “The prince of the hunters, actually.”
“My, my,” He replied but then suddenly grabbed my hand, “You are pale, Miss Simmons. We should get you back to your room so you can rest.”
I nodded, “And you can call me Veronica or Nicky. Saying Miss Simmons is too formal for someone of the same rank.”
We entered my room and he shut the door before helping me into my bed, “Really? I’ve never really talked to another slave before so I didn’t know exactly what to call them. I mean we call the vampire that owns us master and refer to any other vampire as Lord or Lady so I assumed slaves referred to other slaves with a small level of formal naming.”
I shook my head, “We call each other by our first name typically. Also all vampires, including your master, will usually call you by your first name.”
“Really?” He asked again and I nodded, “But do vampires and other slaves call you by your full name or nickname?”
“It is their choice. My masters call me Veronica but Lady Mila calls me Nicky. Also, Lord Damek’s slave calls me Nicky but the slave of Lady Mila calls me Veronica. Typically the name they call me is changed by what century they are from or how close we are.”
“How old are you anyways, Nicky?”
“My thirteen hundredth and thirteenth birthday will be coming this fall.”
“Wow! I knew from the stories you were one of the first slaves but I never knew you were that old!”
I smiled, “Most do not.” I said with a small laugh, “But I still have yet to know your name, fellow slave.”
“Detrick,” He replied but we both looked to the door as my doctor appeared, “Yes?”
“Your next patient is waiting Mr. Hans.” He informed us and then left. Detrick looked to me sadly.
“I will be back to talk to you later today, alright?”
I nodded, “I will see you then.” I whispered before he left the room and I was lost in my thoughts once more. I did not pay attention to anything until there was a knock at my open door. Madie smiled sadly towards me, “Wait there.” I said with a smile back and she seemed confused but waited at the door. I slowly walked over to her and she clapped when I reached her.
“Brava!” She announced, “After the attack at your home I never expected to see you walking so well ever again! You certainly are a fighter, Veronica.”
I nodded as I leaned on the wall next to us, “I saw you in Daniel’s room earlier. How is he?”
She sighed, “He’s annoyed with staying here.”
I let out a small laugh, “That is just like Daniel,” I replied and then adjusted my fake leg, “Have you seen my master lately?” She looked away and I felt my stomach drop. What was so bad that she couldn’t even look at me? “Come on, Madie, I need to know.”
“He has had numerous human women over the past few days that are less than sophisticated ladies and seem worldly.”
“Worldly? What is that supposed to mean? They have lived many places?”
She shook her head, “It is a fairly new saying which means the woman is conspicuous and whorish.”
“Oh,” I whispered as I realized why she would not look to me, “I hope your master is doing well.”
She seemed outraged, “Aren’t you angry that he is cheating on you so openly?”
“He is not cheating on me, Madie. He is allowed to do whatever he wants and I will always be at his side while he does what he chooses. That is the only relationship we possess.”
“Does he know you love him?”
I shook my head, “Of course not.”
“But how can you stand and let the man you love, that has brought you to his bed many times, cheat?”
“My master has no reason to love me back, Madie. He is a proud, mature vampire that can choose what he does with his life. He owes me nothing and so I certainly cannot tell him what he can or cannot do.”
“You are a fool, Veronica.” She hissed as she opened the door and waited for my reply.
“I’m sorry you feel that way.” I whispered back and she slammed the door shut behind her. I sighed and slowly hobbled my way to my window. I pulled a chair away from the side of my bed and put it in front of the window sill. I sat in the chair while propping my fake leg up on the window frame and watched outside. It was the first time in almost a week that there was sun shining in York and storm clouds were slowly rolling in from the east. When a nurse brought me food I did not feel like eating so I just left it and watched as it started to rain. A knock came to my door and I quickly looked around to see Detrick with a smile on his face.
“You had a guest earlier?” He asked as he walked over to the window and I refocused on the rain.
“Madie came. She is Daniel’s cousin and decided to pay me a visit before she left.”
He leaned against the wall beside the window and gave me a knowing glance, “I also heard she starting yelling at you as she left. Many of the nurses have been talking about your dispute all day,” He added as I noticed a strike of lightning outside.
“It seemed to end that way.”
He crossed his arms over his chest as I looked back to him, “Wanna talk about it?”
“There is nothing to talk about. Madie just did not agree with the way I handled something and ended up yelling. I’m sorry if it interrupted your coworkers. I will try to have it never happen again.”
“What is with that? You’re talking like I’m just your doctor or something.”
I gave him a side glance, “You are my doctor.”
He sighed, “If you don’t want me here, just say so.”
“I don’t mind your presence,” I replied and rested my head on my hand, “Madie found out my master has been sleeping with numerous women while I was in the hospital and she thought I should do something about it.”
“Why does she care?”
“She thinks that I should confess my feelings towards my master and I have yet to do so.”
“Why don’t you tell him?”
I looked to the storm again, “The hunter that attacked me while I was here is the reason. If I told my master I loved him that hunter would stop at nothing to kill him.”
“Why would the hunter care?”
I did not want to answer but nearly jumped when I heard a voice, “Because he loves her. That is why he chose to become a hunter. He wanted to follow Nicky to the ends of the earth.” Lord Damek replied as he came into the room and I stood, “Oh you received your new leg while I was away?”
I nodded and then walked over to him. He embraced me when I got close and I rested my head on his shoulder, “How is everything?” I asked as I pulled away from the embrace.
“It will go as best it can for now since two of the world’s best slaves are barely able to leave their hospital beds.” His face suddenly became grim as he looked away.
“What is it, Lord Damek?”
He looked to me as he put his hand out. In his grasp was a golden locket, “My slave that you tried to save in the attack at my home only had this to her name. When I went to see Madie yesterday she told me that when she saw the woman you tried to save she insisted that you should get this. It is a thank you for not letting her give up and giving her a chance to say goodbye.”
I slowly took the necklace and clutched it in my hand, “May you rest in peace,” I whispered and then put my hand on Lord Damek’s shoulder, “Thank you.”
“It was my pleasure,” He whispered, “But will you be okay? I heard you were very upset when you found out Sylvia did not make it.”
I smiled sadly to him, “This is not the first comrade I have lost, Lord Damek, and I am sure it will not be the last.”
He nodded, “I’m sorry my cousin has not come to see you. He has been very busy.”
I turned away, “You do not need to hide it from me, Lord Damek, Madie already informed me.”
“He is a moron to do this to you, Nicky. He can never find a better woman if he searched all of eternity!”
I smiled, “Thank you for your kind words, Lord Damek,” I whispered but took my hand off of his shoulder, “You should go spend some time with your wounded man.”
“Shall I tell Daniel you say hello?”
I nodded, “Please do,” When he left, I slowly made my way back to my chair and looked to the storm. I looked up to Detrick and then to the necklace I clutched in my hand, “When I was still human, in the time of the middle ages, that hunter who attacked me was the prince of my king. He fell in love with me while I was his uncle’s personal maid and ended up becoming my husband to be. Soon after, my daughter was born with an unknown rapist as her father, yet that hunter did not care. He treasured my daughter with all his being just like me until she died three years later during an attempted assassination of the king’s daughter of about the same age. War corrupted me and nearly killed me but my master refused to let me die even though I wanted to go to my daughter’s side.”
“How did Lord Vladimir convince you to go with him?”
I smiled slightly and quickly closed my eyes so tears would not fall, “He took my memory of my daughter and of that hunter so that I would undoubtedly follow and protect him. I did not realize my entire past till my recent awakening. Slowly, I remembered everything over a few weeks before we moved to England and that hunter knows so,” I held the necklace in my fists against my chest to keep myself from crying, “I could never understand why I seemed so determined to protect Lady Mila as much as my masters but recently I have realized the answer,” I looked up to Detrick and he seemed to freeze, “She looks so much like my daughter it hurts.”
For the next three days the sun did not show itself and all vampires of the area were able to roam even in the hours of light but that did not cause my loneliness to be subdued by anyone except Detrick. It had now almost been a week since I saw my masters and I could feel myself falling into depression. My soul reason for living was to protect my masters and now I was not strong enough to even leave the hospital to meet them. I read a newspaper Detrick had brought me two days ago once again and did not stop until someone knocked on the door, “Yes?” I asked and Detrick came in with a small bouquet of flowers. He put them in a vase next to my bed and smiled.
“These are from my master. He was very concerned to hear you were in the hospital and he seemed a little worried for the vampires of the world.”
I sighed, “How is it out there, in the vampire world, I mean?” I asked as I folded up the newspaper.
“Hectic. There have been more attacks recently.”
“How many casualties?”
I stood and he looked at me with curiosity, “I need to start training. I have gotten down the basics of running so now I need to learn how to fight without depending on both legs.”
“Are you sure you want to start training so soon?”
I looked to him, “Detrick, at some point in your life of protecting your master you will slowly evolve to only protect. For the past 500 years at least, I have only lived to protect my master and now that I cannot do so I have no reason to stay alive. I am still here right now in order to protect my master, not to sit in a bed and rot because things have become difficult.”
“I get where you’re coming from,” He agreed with a nod, “But how are you going to train?”
“Would you spar with me?”
When Detrick and I finally stopped sparring we were both covered head to toe in sweat with a few bruises. As we reached my room I sat down and he pulled up my loose fitting pants so that he could see the area where my leg connected to the fake part and sighed. I looked down to the area to see it was turning black and blue. “For the rest of the day you should stay off of your leg. Either gets around by crutches or wheelchair until tomorrow and you will be fine.”
“Alright,” I whispered and then smiled up to him as he looked to me with concern, “What is it?”
He looked to the window to see the light of dusk, “Do you really love him enough to be this determined?”
I sighed as I leaned back on a few pillows on my bed, “He is all I have lived for during most of history, Detrick, you will understand someday.”
“But I will never fall in love with my master like you have, Nicky. My master is a man, when I am only attracted towards women.”
I looked up to him and then back to my legs, “You’re right. I know that, but I can never fully love my master as you think I do, Detrick,” My hands squeezed my loose pants in my hands, “No matter how much I deny it, I cannot forget that hunter. The line between hate and love for both of us has become blurred and we love each other, but at the same time we want to kill the other one,” My eyes started to brim with tears, “Hopefully you will never be able to understand that concept.”
I smiled up towards him, “Well I should get some sleep.” I insisted and he slowly left the room. I was left to the four walls of white I hated so much but luckily sleep overcame me and I was taken from the world of reality.
I walked towards the horse barn in two light weight tunics for the heat of the year along with a stola over them. In my right hand was a brush and in my left was a pail of water I had gotten from the nearest stream. Water splashed out the sides of the pail as I hurried. It was getting very late and I had yet to clean my emperor’s horse. I was suddenly stopped when a man walked in front of me. With the light of the moon I could make out the man had dark, shaggy hair but what frightened me was his eyes. They were red, as red as blood flowing off of the clothes of the injured soldier I had been attending to earlier that day. I set my pail and brush on the ground before looking back to the man, “Are you lost? No one is supposed to be near here at this time other than myself.”
He watched me for a moment and I felt a chill flow down my back. When he opened his mouth a word did not come out.
I leaned down to grab my things off of the dirt path, “Well if you will excuse me, I must go.” I whispered but froze as I felt a freezing hand on my arm. I looked to the man to see his eyes were an even brighter red than before as his white teeth glistened in the moonlight, “Yes?” I asked but gasped as he pulled me away from the pail and brush and against his body. I tried to push him away, but he threw me to the ground as he followed closely behind. He pinned me against the dirt path as I felt his breath on the side of my neck.
“Be a good child and stay still.” A deep voice hissed and I gasped again as maniacal words were whispered into my ear so that I could not move. The man raped me quickly and before I knew it the man stood up from the ground and looked down to me, “Now sleep, child.” He whispered but as my eyes started to close I saw the side of the man’s face because of the moonlight.
I sat up from my hospital bed with horror, “No!” I cried as I felt the sweat and tears that covered my body. I shook as I felt myself break down. I knew immediately that this was the last piece of my memory I had to gain and now I knew the truth. I quickly got up but fumbled with my fake leg. It took me a moment to regain my balance, but once I had I quickly left my room to see it was about time for everything to start moving in imitation of a new day. I walked back to my room with the realization I needed to change. I was in my hospital gown still so when I got back to my room I changed into a short sleeve shirt and a pair of sweat pants. By the time I got upstairs to the rehabilitation center the hospital was already loud. I went into the room for rehab and was relieved to see I was the only one there. I quickly went to an area set up for when Detrick and I practiced yesterday so I could work out. I did not stop until my body was drenched, but my mind still raced. When an older man came into the room I quickly left and went down to a showering area. I changed into a hospital gown located there and then made my way back to my room. As I made my way to the small stack of clothes Lord Damek had sent to me a day or so ago. I slipped into a pair of black pants and a pink t-shirt before putting on my black tennis shoes. Next I went to the bed of the room and made it properly before leaving the room with my extra pairs of clothes in the bag I had received them in. I went to the front desk of the hospital and a woman stared at me, “Hello, I would like to check myself out.”
She nodded without a word and then looked to me after a few moments of typing on the computer, “We will send you a bill.” She mumbled before looking back down to the computer screen. I quickly took my leave from the hospital and realized I only had about 2 dollars on me so I went to the nearest bus station. I got on by myself since I was the only one there at 5:30 in the morning and paid. I did not get off for almost an hour, but when I did I realized how far from the city my home was. It took me roughly two hours to get to the porch of my master’s home and felt relieved to not have to walk across rugged ground anymore. I quietly made my way to the kitchen to see a note from Madie on the counter. She had gone to the store for food, so this was a perfect opportunity. I quietly made my way to the library at the other end of the house and sat down at the computer. This was where all the information on vampires had been moved to while I was asleep last so it took me a moment to find the person I was looking for. Lena Erben, the second daughter of the Erben family. I stared at the girl’s photo and felt sadness and relief strain me almost as though I was human once more and had a heart. I stood and went to the kitchen in order to make dinner. We were out of fruit so I quickly made my way outside to the garden the land keeper had made and placed some strawberries, blueberries, and peaches into a bowl I had brought along. When I came back inside I made sure to lock to the door before going to the sink of the kitchen and washing off the fruit. I placed them in the fridge so that they would not go bad before dinner as I started to clean the house. Madie had done most of the cleaning except for some dusting so I did that. The front door opened and someone quietly crept in. I turned to see Madie freeze in the middle of the entryway as she saw me cleaning a pair of blinds.
“Good evening, Madie. Thank you for doing the shopping. I appreciate it.”
“What are you doing here, Veronica? You are not supposed to be out of the hospital for a few weeks.” She retorted as she walked over to me.
“I’m perfectly fine now, but thank you for the concern.”
“How can you say you are fine?”
I looked into her eyes of uncertainty, “Because I understand my body better than any doctor. I have already begun training how to fight with this handicap so I believe I can handle other things.”
“You should sit down.”
“I’ve been sitting continuously for almost a month now, Madie. I am tired of sitting. I want to get back to my regular life.”
“Your master brought a human woman home last night. She left right before me early this morning.”
I looked away from her and started dusting again, “Will Lady Mila be joining my masters for dinner?”
“You don’t care that a girl was brought here last night!”
When I looked back to her I saw her face was flushed from yelling, “There are other things I need to do before I can worry about my master’s personal affairs.”
“You just don’t get it, Veronica! He is cheating on you!”
I tightened the grip on my duster, “I appreciate you and Lady Mila’s help lately, Madie, but do not ask so many questions of me or my masters,” I looked up to her, “I have been at my master’s side for thousands of years so I believe I know him best of anyone.”
“Don’t you love him?”
I watched her, “Of course. I respect my master and feel he is like family.”
“I mean don’t you love him as a lover?”
I dropped my head, “Of course not,” I hissed back, “I had a lot of time to think while alone in that hospital and I realized I should not and do not feel anything more than the love of a friend for my master. It is wrong for me to love him because I am his shield. I am his friend. I am his protector. I am his servant. But I am never planning to become anything more than that to him.”
“But I’ve seen the way your eyes follow after him, Veronica! That is more than protecting him!”
I shook my head, “You misunderstand, Madie. Maybe when you have been with your master as long as I have been with mine you will be able to understand me, but until then I do not want to hear another word on this subject,” I cleared my throat, “Now will the two of you be staying for dinner?”
She watched me in disapproval, “No. There is a ball tonight that my master and the two Lords of this house plan to attend. They should be up soon in order to get ready and leave.”
I looked away from her, “Oh, alright.”
“You will come too, right?”
I looked to my legs, “No, I don’t think I will.”
“My master will probably not want to show me as I am right now,” I whispered, “My wounds show how I have failed him. I do not want to shame him by letting other see my leg.”
“You shouldn’t be ashamed by that leg.”
I nodded, “I’ve been told,” I went back to dusting, “Who is throwing the party tonight?”
“The Erben family is celebrating their second daughter’s engagement that happened a few days ago.”
I froze and kept my body from shaking, “Oh.”
“Nicky!” Lady Mila hollered as she ran into the room. She embraced me tightly, “You’re back!”
I smiled towards her with a nod, “Yes, I just got here. How are you, Lady Mila?”
“I’m excited for the ball tonight! Lena’s youngest sister is one of my best friends!”
“You don’t say? Well then this will be a nice evening for you I’m sure.”
“Are you going to come, Nicky?”
I sighed, “I am not entirely sure.”
“Of course Veronica is coming,” Vladimir said as he walked into the room. I had to avert my gaze from him, “I was planning to get her from the hospital soon to bring her along.”
“Alright, then I will go.” I whispered but felt a shiver go down my spine as my master’s cold arms embraced me from behind. He kissed the side of my neck.
“Come with me to my room, Veronica. I have something to discuss with you.” He whispered and I nodded.
“Of course, please excuse us Lady Mila.” I whispered before following behind him as he pulled me down the hall and into his room. When we got there he locked the door behind me and then led me over to his bed. As he pushed me down onto the messed up sheet I wanted to scream. I had to get away, but the moment his teeth pierced the side of my neck I froze and went into shock. Usually this moment would have a short second of pain before I was filled with a sickening sweet feeling, but this time I went into shock. I could not move as he felt my body and we became coitus without my participation or consent. When he finally stopped I was tired and covered in sweat and tears. As he lay down beside me I put my hands over my eyes and kept my crying to silence so he would not look.
“You should go get ready, Veronica.” He said as he lay on his side with his back facing me. I quickly got up and went to my room. Once I got my emotions under control I changed into a dark blue ball gown with a tight waist that held the strapless dress up and the white beading all over the part that covered my chest and the bottom of the skirt that were the same color as my high heels. I then hurried outside to drive Madie, Lady Mila, master Neco and Vladimir to the party. When we got there a man took the car to be parked for me so I did not have to leave my masters’ sides at any moment. The large mansion was covered with guards as expected since so many attacks had occurred recently. When we went inside we were greeted by the youngest son and daughter of the family before Lady Mila and the young girl ran off together as Madie followed close behind. I followed Vladimir as he greeted people but I noticed Master Neco would hide behind me when anyone came up to us so I did my best to hide him. After about an hour of greeting, we finally sat down. Vladimir and master Neco ate while I stood and kept guard of the table and them, “Veronica, you may sit.” Vladimir offered but I did not look back to him as I shook my head.
“I am fine.” I replied as I watched people mingling but I was surprised to see Detrick suddenly coming towards me, “Detrick?” I asked as he came closer and my two masters seemed annoyed by the man who came very close to me.
“When I got to work today I was told you had checked yourself out. I was very shocked since you and I have only been training for two days. You really shouldn’t be here, Nicky. I don’t think you are ready if something were to happen.”
I smiled towards him, “Thank you for your concern, Detrick, but I am fine. Is your master here?”
He shook his head, “A few of us were sent to come to the party though.”
“Well give him my regards.”
“Is your master here?” He asked and I nodded as I realized he had yet to meet my masters.
I turned to the table, “Detrick, these are my two masters, Lord Vladimir and his younger brother Lord Neco,” I looked to my two masters, “Masters, this is the fourth slave of Lord Nicholas. He was also my physical therapist at the hospital.”
“It’s nice to meet both of you.” Detrick said politely, but we all were caught off guard when the lights of the entire house were dimmed.
“Welcome everyone. We hope all of you will help us welcome our daughter and our soon to be son-in-law.” The head of the Erben family said from the top of the staircase on the side of the dance floor. We all watched as a beautiful young man and woman came down the stairs, but when I saw the girl’s face I brushed away a tear as it fell. Suddenly the lights were put to their regular level as an alarm sounded. I gasped but quickly sprint over to Master Neco. I grabbed his hand and brought him over to his older brother before leading then both away from the windows of the room. They suddenly shattered as around 20 hunters came into the room. I quickly noticed one with a gun armed and ready.
“All vampires on the ground and all slaves hands up!” A hunter yelled from the top of the stairs and I looked him horror to see Kenneth holding a gun to the second daughter of the Erben family’s head. Her fiancé was being held by another hunter as my breathing stopped. I looked to Detrick who had followed behind me when the alarm had gone off.
“Protect my masters for me.” I whispered and he just watched me in horror of whatever I planned to do. I slowly slid out the gun I had hidden under my dress and shot the two hunters near me before they even knew what had happened. I started up into a sprint and got to the stairs at an incredible speed that even Kenneth was shocked by. He cocked the gun, “Release that girl, Kenneth!”
“What are you doing here Veronica? You are supposed to be in the hospital!”
“That’s beside the point!” I hollered, “Let her go!”
“Why do you care so much?”
I threw my gun down the stairs, “If you want to shoot someone then shoot me. I am unarmed so I will not fight back.”
“Hell no! I was sent to kill this girl!”
“No! Please, no!” I cried as tears finally fell down my face, “Anything but that! I’ll do anything you want, just don’t hurt her!”
He seemed concerned, “What the hell is the matter with you! Why do you care about this girl?”
I started to shake with anger, “I am not going to stand around and let you kill the thing that is most important to me!”
He slightly lowered his gun, “What are you talking about?”
“I won’t let you kill my Lena!” I cried in a hiss as he froze in terror.
“What?” He asked as he shook, “No! Lena died when we were still human!” He yelled, “That beautiful girl could never become anything this horrible!”
My legs shook from under me, “That is Lena!” I cried as I looked to him, “Her father is a vampire so she still lives!”
“Don’t lie to me!” He hollered and then I felt pain in my shoulder. His face was white as he shook also.
I put my hand over my right shoulder as blood dripped off my hand, “Prince Kenneth, stop this!” I hollered and the entire room went silent, “You loved this girl to death and yet now you are going to kill her?”
“Shut up!” He screamed, “This is not Lena!” A gun fired and before I could understand I had jumped in front of Kenneth and wrapped my arms around him. Everyone seemed horrified as I slumped to the ground with a bullet lodged right below my breasts. I gagged and blood covered Kenneth’s shirt as he shook. He grabbed onto my arm and pulled me so that I looked directly at him, “Are you crazy!” He hissed and I smiled to him.
“I guess the old Veronica came to life for just a moment,” I whispered with a laugh and then a groan, “Get out of here.”
“Come with me!” He begged and I looked away from him.
“You will leave right this minute and I will stay here,” I ordered, “Now go before I have to watch you die at the hands of someone else.” He kissed my forehead before grabbing his ally’s arm and sprinting out the door. Vampires sprinted after them as the other hunters escaped the ways they had come inside. I sat on the ground while facing my back towards everyone else. I stood after a moment and turned to the two vampires standing beside me while staring in horror, “Are you two alright?” I asked with a smile and they both quickly nodded, “I’m glad. It would be a terrible shame if one of you was hurt during you engagement party.”
“Veronica!” Vladimir hissed and I looked to the bottom of the stairs with despair. I slowly walked down the stairs as blood dripped from my mouth and my two wounds. I turned my head to the side when I came up to him and everyone seemed shocked by me.
“If you want the rest of my blood then go ahead and take it. I don’t care.” I whispered and he slapped me quickly. I looked to the ground as my cheek burned.
“Do you think I am cruel enough to do that?” He hollered.
I don’t know you anymore, so I have no idea.
“Why did you get between my shot and that hunter, Nicky?” Lord Damek demanded and I looked to him.
“You should understand this by now at least, Lord Damek. I want that man to die, but I do not want him to die at the hands of anyone other than me.”
“Nicky, we need to get you to the hospital!” Detrick said as he came over to me.
“I’m alright, Detrick,” I replied, “My lungs were not punctured so I will not die.”
“But you have to be in pain!”
“Am I?” I asked him and he froze. I let out a small laugh as I brushed a small piece of hair out of my face, “I can’t even tell anymore.”
“What the hell has gotten into you, Veronica!” Vladimir hollered and I looked away from him. My hands started to shake and I watched them like everyone else. I squeezed my hands into fists as tears started down my face.
“You are too cruel,” I whispered in a choke, “You are horrible, Master Vladimir.”
“Excuse me!” He hissed as he grabbed my arm but he froze as my terrified, soaked eyes looked to him.
“How could you not tell me?” I asked as my whole body started shaking, “How could you not tell me that my precious daughter was still alive!”
I yanked my hand from his grasp, “I thought you kept me by your side all this time for love or for at least friendship, but you made me live this long for your own selfish benefit!”
“What in the world are you talking about, Nicky!” Lord Damek hollered but I could not look to him.
I started to walk away but gasped as Vladimir grabbed my arm. “Where the hell do you think you’re going?”
I looked up the staircase at the couple hugging and then looked back to Vladimir. They did look alike now that she had grown up. I took a calming breath before looking to Lord Damek with a warm smile, “I’m sorry to trouble you once again, Lord Damek, but could you please set guards around Daniel’s room once more?”
“What are you planning, Nicky?” He asked me as he came closer and I looked back to the top of the stairs.
“It is not I who is planning something, it is Kenneth. He will be coming to meet me at the hospital tonight.”
“What!” Madie gasped as Vladimir’s grip on my arm tightened but I did not look away from Lena. I refused to.
“I forbid you to see that hunter!” He hollered but everyone seemed shocked when I gave him a glare of death.
“Then you will have to kill me, Sir, because I plan to meet that hunter and he plans to meet with me,” I tilted my head to the side, “Either slit my throat this very moment or let me go.”
“Since when does a slave give orders to her master!” He hollered as his claws went into my arm. I did not even flinch.
I looked back up to Lena and felt a sense of peace, “Then consider me to not be a slave anymore,” I whispered and everyone stopped what they were doing, even Lena who looked back to me, “If I had known the truth I would have never became the slave of such a selfish man.”
“Veronica!” Lord Damek gasped as I looked to Vladimir.
“You should burn in hell for what you have done to us.”
“Us?” Vladimir said in a laugh, “There is only you and me, Veronica. We are all we have left.”
I nodded, “I thought that was the truth for so long, but you could not face up to your mistake and rectify what you have done, let alone tell me,” I let out a small laugh as tears fell down my face again, “And to think I loved you, oh what a fool I have become.” I pulled away from his gasp and walked over to Lord Damek, “Please have Daniel guarded by midnight,” I whispered before walking to Detrick and smiling, “Shall we go?”
“Veronica!” Vladimir yelled and I walked off while Detrick followed quickly behind me. I was driven to the hospital by Detrick and when we got there I was given a room a level above Daniel so I felt better. When the bullets were taken out and I was stitched up I lay in my hospital bed while staring at the ceiling. I did not look away until Detrick came into my room. He sat at the side of my legs on the bed and I smiled.
He sighed, “You were right. The bullet did not hit your lungs. You should be healed after a month’s rest.”
I looked away from him, “I have a feeling I won’t be here for that long.”
“What do you mean?”
“There are only two choices left for Vladimir. Either he can kill me by draining all of my blood so I can never be revived or he can take my memory once again.”
“I’ve never heard you call him Vladimir before.”
I looked up to him, “Since I do not feel as though he is my master anymore I will not call him as such,” I whispered and then looked to the room’s window, “You should go, Detrick, he will be coming soon.”
“Okay,” He whispered and I was relieved he did not ask any further questions. When he left the room I pressed a button on the side of my bed so that the lights of the room turned off. I looked to the large, white moon that hung in the sky with sorrow. As the hospital fell to slumber I cleared my mind and started to drift off into sleep when I was suddenly touched by a warm hand. I jumped up from my sleeping position and grabbed my stomach as I felt the pain of aggravating my injury. Kenneth had taken a few steps from me and watched as I brushed some hair out of my face before smiling sadly up to him.
“Hey there, stranger,” I whispered, “You should pull up a chair so you do not have to stand.”
He nodded and pulled a chair from near the door to my side. When his hand touched my wound I looked to him with curiosity to see anguish, “Why did you take that bullet for me?”
“I have no clue. I did not even know I had moved until the bullet was in my back.”
“Why did you cry earlier, Nicky?”
I looked away from him and held back more tears, “I regained the last of my memory yesterday,” I started, “I remembered the night I was raped while I was still human. And by my dream I figured out who the father of my child is.”
“Who is it?” I looked to him with horror and he threw back his chair, “I’ll kill him!” He hollered, “That vampire’s head will be on a platter by the time daylight brakes!”
“Kenneth, please stop,” I whispered as I finally started to cry, “I can’t even get up to stop you.” I shook as he came back towards me, “Please, just don’t leave,” I whispered, “You’re all I have.”
“What are you talking about, Veronica?” He asked as he sat beside my legs on the bed, “You have all of those vampires.”
I shook my head, “I was only kept alive so that a noble vampire would not die,” I whispered, “I should’ve died on that battle field.”
“Why do you doubt yourself now, Veronica? You have been a slave for thousands of years.”
“Before yesterday I didn’t know my little daughter, my whole life, was alive once more. And worse, my own master is the man that raped me!” I hugged myself tightly, “At the least I thought he cared about me enough to give me back life, but I was wrong. He only kept me alive so that his daughter would not die!”
“But you loved Lena!”
I looked to him with horror, “I don’t know anymore! I loved my human child, not that—that monster!” I squeezed my arms in my hands, “I gave birth to a perfectly normal baby girl that looked nothing like him! But now—now she is his daughter! There’s no mistaking it! She looks nothing like me anymore yet I still cannot let any harm come to her!”
“It’s your instinct as a mother, Veronica.” Kenneth whispered as he placed his hand over my hand on top of my right arm.
“No!” I hissed as I looked to him while my eyes glowed and my fangs glared, “My daughter died! She died a human being and that is why when that vampire came to ask me if I wanted to live I said no! I wanted to go to Lena! If I could not be at your side, at least I could be with her in the next world!”
“Calm down, Veronica!” He begged.
“How can I calm down when I’ve found out my whole life is fake!” I screamed but gasped as Kenneth kissed me. I tried to push him off, but he grabbed onto my arms with all of his godly power. I gave up my struggle after a while and closed my eyes as he kissed me kindly. As he finally let go of me I opened my eyes to see his despair.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to suddenly attack you. I just couldn’t think of any other way to get you to stop and calm down,” He whispered, “You were becoming hysterical.”
I nodded as I gave him a faint smile, “You’re right, I’m sorry. I was taking out all of my problems on you.”
He looked at me like he used to, “I came here to check on you so I was expecting it.”
I let out a slight laugh, “You know me too well.” I whispered and then looked up to him, “But you shouldn’t be here, Kenneth.”
“I saved a hunter’s life and I refused the orders of my master repeatedly. I even talked back to him,” I looked into his eyes with pure intensity, “Soon I will be sentenced to death or a memory wash.”
“Just because you saved me?”
I looked up to him, “It is a very long-standing tradition that vampires kill hunters and vice versa. Anyone who does otherwise is considered a felon, but because of my long history of dedication and the help of some people I know, I was allowed to come to the hospital instead of a prison.”
“If they do anything I will be there to protect you,” He whispered, but before he could say anymore his cell phone rang and he quickly picked it up, “Yea?” He listened for a moment, “Alright I got it. I’ll meet you there.”
As he hung up the phone I smiled towards him, “You should go. It’s dangerous for us to be together right now.”
He gently caressed my cheek with his hand, “I’ll be back tomorrow night to see you.”
“And I will be waiting.” I whispered before he quickly kissed my cheek and hurried out of the room. I looked to the window of the room and saw the sun slowly rising.
For the entire day I did not leave my bed and just stared out the window, but did not look at anything in particular. I was startled when a hand touched my bare wrist. I jumped slightly as I looked to Detrick with confusion, “Hey,” He whispered and I nodded towards him, “The nurse told me you haven’t eaten anything all day.”
I smiled towards him, “I guess my wounds are making my stomach not feel well.”
“Listen, Nicky,” He said with a sigh so I knew something I did not want to hear was coming, “Lord Damek contacted me earlier. He said he has obtained the privilege from his cousin and wants you to stay at his home in order to recover.”
I nodded as I looked up to the ceiling. So this is the way Vladimir has chosen to keep me from Kenneth, “Alright, when will I be moved?”
“Lord Detrick already sent a car to get you.” He replied and I nodded once more.
“Okay.” I whispered before he slowly helped me up and into a wheel chair. Detrick then pushed me outside before helping me into the black BMW. When he shut the door I was quickly driven away but I nearly fell asleep on the ride to Lord Damek’s home. When we got there the driver of the car helped me into a wheelchair that had been brought out by a maid of the home and was then wheeled inside.
“Master Damek is in the library and has requested for me to bring you there,” The maid informed me before rolling me down a few hallways of the house before opening a door to the library. When she brought me inside I was unhappy to see Lord Detrick, Lady Mila, Master Neco, and Vladimir sitting in the large black leather chairs of the library while Madie stood behind her master and Daniel was in a wheelchair next to his master, “Miss Veronica has just arrived from the hospital, my master.” She informed him before bowing and leaving me to the dark eyes of all the vampires surrounding me.
“How are your injuries, Nicky?” Lady Mila asked with worry on her young face but she seemed better when I smiled.
“I am alright, Lady Mila. My injuries turned out not to be too serious so I should be healed in a week or so. But thank you for your concern.”
“I assume that boy you introduced my cousin to at the ball helped to accommodate to you?” Lord Damek asked.
“Yes, Detrick was very hospitable.”
“And you saw that hunter?” Vladimir asked with anger in his voice but as much as I did not want to look at the man, I stared him straight on. I was not going to back down and let him win this discussion.
“Yes, Kenneth spent around half an hour with me last night after I was put in my hospital room.”
Vladimir stood with anger but froze when his cousin grabbed his arm. I stared Vladimir down, “You may let him go, Lord Damek. It is of no matter if he injures me. I will be put to death soon enough.”
“Put to death!” Lord Damek yelled as he stood, “No one plans to put you to death!”
I looked at him with unwavering eyes, “I did not say I would be put to death, Lord Damek, I wish so.”
“What!” Madie and Daniel yelled at the same time, but Madie was the only one to storm over to me and grab my wrists, “What is wrong with you! Ever since two days ago you have not been yourself!”
I nodded, “That is because I do not wish to live nor do I wish to be anywhere near Sir Vladimir.”
“But he is the man you have loved for thousands of years!” She screamed, “You have told me time and time again!”
I looked away from her, “That was before I knew the truth.” I whispered and she seemed to become angrier.
“What truth could make you lose yourself?” She hollered.
I looked to her again but this time tears were brimming my eyes, “The truth that the man I loved and cared for was none other than the man that raped me as a young girl!” I hollered as I stood from the wheelchair as Madie froze in terror. She had never seen me this angry before, I had never wanted her to, “And Lena Erben is none other than my darling child I watched being shot and killed by enemy fire! The girl I did not want to live without has been alive all this time and yet her father would not even tell me!” I brushed away the first tear that fell down my face, “And to make things worse I realized that horrible man has been keeping me alive all of these years just so his vampire daughter would not die! He did not care for me in any way other than keeping that monster alive!”
“Lena is not a monster!” Vladimir hissed as he finally got out of his cousin’s graps, pushed Madie out of the way, and got to me. He started to grab at my wrists but I was as shocked as he when a person suddenly formed between us. Kenneth pointed a gun at Vladimir as he moved a little closer to me.
“Don’t you dare touch her you bastard!” He hollered, “If it wasn’t for Veronica’s request I would have killed you already!”
Vladimir smiled, “You could never kill me, boy,” He said with a laugh, “You are a few hundred years too young to take on someone like me.”
I grabbed Kenneth’s arm and everyone looked to me, “Leave.” I whispered as I stared off into space.
“Leave.” I repeated and he turned to me with terror. He took a hold of my shoulders and I looked to his face.
“What are you talking about, Veronica?”