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.