The Last Kingman: Ardennes
Nine LivesWhen I got to Mr. Dean’s car I saw Henry. He was leaning against the driver door while reading a book. He looked up at me and smiled. His pale skin looked paler than usual and his brown hair seemed darker. I went up to him and he stood regularly. “Hi.” I said as I hugged Henry and he hugged back. “How long have you been out here?”
“Only a minute or two. The bell for the end of school only rang 4 minutes ago.” He said and I nodded. Then a warm hand touched my shoulder and I turned to see Mr. Dean and Kevin. Mr. Dean unlocked the car as Henry opened the door. Henry and Kevin got in the back of the black, small four-person car while I got in the passengers seat and Mr. Dean sat in the driver’s seat. The car was started and we left the school in the direction of my house. Mr. Dean set his hand over mine, which was laid on the consol of the car. I looked up at Mr. Dean to see concern while he was watching to road.
“My sons tell me you have been having trouble with a group of vampires at the school. What’s happening there?” He asked me while looking at the road.
I looked at his turned face, “Vladimir Hale has been trying to get close to me, but I clearly told him that I wanted nothing to do with him or his kind. He knows something…” I whispered as I looked at my lap. “He knows something about my past. I don’t know why but he said something that seemed familiar.”
Mr. Dean quickly stopped the car and pulled over to the side of the suburb street. He turned to me very seriously and slightly squeezed my hand. “What did he tell you?”
I looked at him and then at our hands. “He said that he could easily kill any of the slayers at the school so I asked him why he has not. Then…” I whispered, as I looked back up to his face. “He said he wouldn’t kill you all… ‘Because they are your friends’.”
Mr. Dean leaned back in his seat and sighed. He looked at me sadly and seemed disappointed. “He must know something no one else does. He must have been part of that group of vampires that killed your family.”
“Mr. Dean…” I whispered and he looked at me. “Did I have a younger brother?” His eyes widened as he sat back up and stared at me. “I’ve been having dreams about a little boy’s voice. He keeps calling my name and pleading for me to help him. But then he is quiet. I think he was my brother and was killed with my mother and father.”
Mr. Dean looked away from me and nodded. “When I found you last year I also saw the remains of a boy in your arms. He must have been your brother.”
I looked at my lap and nodded. “I assumed so.” I whispered and Mr. Dean started driving again. When we got to my home I got out of the car and shut the door. I went to the front door of the house and watched the car drive off. Once it was out of sight I started to unlock the door of the house with my key, but was stopped when a chill went down my back. I quickly turned to see Vladimir jump out of a tree next to my front door. He smiled and I quickly kept myself from throwing up. The surprise and fear of his appearance made me sick. He set his cold hand on my right cheek gently and I froze.
“Is your stomach acting up?” He asked me in a sweet way and I quickly moved from his touch. I unlocked the door and opened it without a word. When I turned back to him I saw he was watching me.
“Are you going to come in?” I asked him in a rude tone and he walked in. I shut the door behind him as he looked at the whole house. I walked over to the set of couches in the living room of the house and watched him. “You can sit.” I whispered as I set down my backpack. He walked over and sat on the couch across from me. “There is one thing I must know as soon as possible.” I said quietly but with a stern look.
“Did I have a little brother?”
He looked at me with curiosity. “Why do you ask?”
I looked at him closely. “For the past two nights I have had the same dream. It is of what I think was the time of my families’ death. I can only see darkness, a burning home, and bodies all around me with familiar blood. Then there is this cry for help from what sounded like a small boy but was silent after a moment…” I closed my eyes tightly to try to stop the dream from playing further in my head. “Who was the boy?”
He looked away from me and towards the windows of the home. “Yes. The boy you heard was your brother and that was the night most of your family died.”
“Did your people kill him also?”
He shook his head. “The slayers must be giving you wrong information. A feaster killed your family, not a true vampire. A feaster is a vampire that has become obsessed with blood and cannot control their urges for it.” He looked up at me. “Feasters feed on humans, slayers, and vampires; so we are not on the sides of the feasters. When the feeders attacked your family my kind tried to save them. Sadly most were not savable, but we did save your brother…” He started to say as he unzipped his backpack and pulled out a small black cat. The cat looked right at me and immediately purred. “When we found your brother we could not get his body to react to his soul. The king of my kind decided it was a lost cause to save him, but my friend came up with a solution. We put your brother’s soul into a recently departed cat. This is your brother.”
My heart felt like a break in it had healed, but the odd thing was I had never even noticed the break before hand. The black cat jumped from Vladimir and went to me. It hopped up on the couch I was on and purred as it pressed up against the sides of my waist. I scratched its ears and it came into my lap. The cat put its paws on my shoulders and rubbed its face against mine while purring. “You are my brother?” I whispered to the cat and it let out a meow. But something odd happened after the sound that surprised me. The cat stared me straight in the eyes and I head a voice.
We finally meet again, dear sister. It has been so long I nearly forgot the way your heavenly face shines.
I jumped and the cat twitched its whiskers at me. “What is it?” Vladimir asked me curiously and I looked up at him.
“The cat…my brother…he spoke to me. I heard him in my head.” I looked back down to the cat that was now curled up in my lap. “It was the same voice I remembered from my dream. But… what is your name, brother? I don’t remember.” The cat looked up and me and let out a meow.
Tyler Alexander Violet. And your full name is Ardennes Roza Violet
“Tyler…” I whispered as I tried to see if I remembered the name, but the name sparked nothing in my memory. The cat nodded with a purr. I looked up at Vladimir, but quickly looked away. “Thank you for letting me meet my brother.”
He smiled at me and a cold shiver went down my back as Tyler looked up at me with curiosity. “It is my pleasure, dear Schyler.” He replied and my heart burned, but was quickly forgotten when the doorbell rang to the house. Vladimir’s eyes widened. “It is one of the slayer twins. Kevin Dean.” He hissed quietly and I quickly stood. I went over to Vladimir and took his hand in mine. I pulled him off the couch even though I did not want to touch him. I quickly brought him to the kitchen and hid him in the pantry. I handed him Tyler and let go of his hand.
“Stay here. I still need to know more about my family. I’ll get Kevin to leave.” I whispered and then shut the door of the pantry. I ran to the front door and opened it. Kevin smiled at me kindly and I faked a smile. “Hey Kevin. What are you doing here?”
“Can I come in?” He asked me and I nodded. He walked in and I shut the door. Usually Kevin would take my hand in his and go to the kitchen, but oddly he took my hand in his and then just stared at me. He set his right hand on my cheek and smiled. The he leaned into me and kissed my lips. I was shocked as I felt his tongue move inside my mouth. I tried to pull away, but he put his left hand on my back and pulled me towards him. Finally he took his lips from mine and I gasped for breath. When his lips started kissing my neck I froze.
“Kevin! What are you doing? Stop!” I whispered as I tried to keep from crying, but he would not stop. Before I knew anything, Kevin was off of me and holding his left wrist while cursing. Blood started dripping from his wrist and I gasped again as I looked down to see Tyler. The hairs on his back were standing up as he hissed at Kevin. “Tyler!”
“Why the hell did that cat attack me?” Kevin yelled and I quickly picked up Tyler. He settled down as I watched Kevin.
“He was trying to get you to stop, Kevin. I told you to stop touching me, but you wouldn’t and he was frightened you were hurting me.” I replied rudely.
Kevin sighed and looked up at me. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to attack you like that. I just…”
“When we got home from dropping you off here Henry told my dad that he would do anything to protect you from Vladimir because he loves you. I couldn’t stand the thought that you might fall in love with him too. When I came over here I was going to confess that I love you but I couldn’t control myself.” He admitted and I went over to the front door of the house. I opened it and he looked at me curiously.
I looked at him right in the eyes. “You need to leave, Kevin. I’m sorry, but I can’t handle this right now.” I whispered. “I can’t love anyone right now. I have to figure out my past before I can think about the present.” He walked out of the house and I shut the door. I quickly locked it out of instinct and went to the kitchen. I opened the door to the pantry but didn’t look at Vladimir. I went over to the kitchen sink and set Tyler on the counter beside it. I took a washcloth out of a drawer and turned on the faucet. I soaked the washcloth and set it to the side of my neck. For some odd reason the places that Kevin had kissed were burning. Immediately the spots felt better and I sighed. I jumped as I felt a cold hand set on top of mine that held the washcloth against my neck. I turned around to see Vladimir looking me in the eyes. “You can go sit back down on the couch. I will be there in a second.” I said as I looked at my feet, but Vladimir didn’t move.
“What the hell was that slayer thinking? He had no right to attack you like that.” Vladimir said sweetly and then held my hand in his. He lifted the washcloth from my neck and his eyes widened. “Am I the first vampire you have talk to that you remember?”
“I’ve talk to them before but nothing other than school or something formal.” I replied quietly. “Why do you ask?”
“The saliva of that Slayer burned your skin…” He said and then his eyes flashed silver and my heart skipped a beat out of fear. “The only way to get the burns to go away is to either let a vampire bite you or to use the saliva of a vampire on it.”
“I can handle a few burns. I’ll be fine.” I whispered and then walked over to the couch I was on before. Vladimir did the same and Tyler hopped into my lap. “How did you move a human soul to a cats’ body? I knew you could do that with a vampire’s soul but how can you do that with a human?”
“Tyler isn’t human, so it was easy to transfer his soul.”
“What do you mean? I’m human, so Tyler is too.”
Vladimir looked at me oddly. “The slayers don’t know what you are, sweet Schyler. You are not a human, you are a Kingman.”
“Kingman? What is that?”
“Well a vampire’s body dies after 100 years so their souls are moved to a new one… but there is a line of vampires that are different. After 30 times of changing bodies the Violet and Rosaman families formed into a new creature. The family was reborn, but not into vampires. They became vampires that are identical to humans except for they had new found powers, could be burned by slayers, and would not die if their blood was drank by a vampire. They were given the names the Kingman because one of our most prestigious kings was the half brother of the first changed vampire. The only problem is that feeders love human and other vampire’s blood, but they cannot live without the blood of a Kingman. They crave for it and that is why your family was attacked by feeders.”
“So Tyler and I are Kingman?”
Vladimir nodded. “You are two of the very small group of Kingman left. But there is one other problem with Kingman…every once and a while a feeder becomes obsessed with one Kingman and will stop at nothing to get him or her. Also a vampire can fall madly in love with a Kingman and when they are resurrected the vampire will search and stop at nothing to be with the Kingman.” Vladimir looked at me sternly. “That is why your family was killed. A feeder became obsessed with you and when the feeder came to take you from your family a band of feeders that were ruled by the feeder coming after you killed your family. Luckily my people came in enough time to save you from the feeder and were able to save your brother.”
“Is that the person who is after me? A feeder?”
He nodded and looked away. “The man who is after you is one of the most powerful feeders ever to live, but also a vampire fell madly in love with you before the incident and was the one who called my people to help you.”
“How long ago did the killing happen?”
He looked up at me. “During World War II. You had just turned twenty and the feeder decided to abduct you. Luckily the man that saved you was there.”
“Who was the vampire that saved me?”
Vladimir clenched his fists and I was startled. “The man’s name is Michel Gordon Hale. He is my older brother of three years.”
He nodded but did not look at me. “He took me along that night to go visit you. We came over and discussed matters, but were interrupted by the attack of the feeders. My brother was killed by the feeder.”
“Oh my gosh…” I whispered as I tried to think of a vampire loving me enough to give his life for me.
“When a vampire is killed it takes 75 years for their soul to come back. My brother has been asleep for 75 years as of tomorrow.”
“But how could the slayers find me in the sight of where my family died and thought it happened recently?” I asked. “And why can’t I remember the last 74 years?”
“For the protection of you and your family we remade the look of the battle so that the slayers would not kill you. And since you were with the slayers they could keep you safe from the feeder that is hunting you.” He looked me deeply in the eyes. “With your memory regarding to the last 75 years, you have been asleep for that time in a coma. You tried to kill yourself when the feeder got to you, but you were unsuccessful. When that happened your body went into a sleeping state and you woke up this year.”
“But who saved Tyler? You said it was a friend of yours.”
He nodded. “It was Dimitri. He is here to help me protect you.”
“Yes. We vampires may look scary, dear Schyler, but you are one of us in a new form.” He looked away. “My brother wants you to be there when he awakens. That is one of the key reasons I was assigned to protect you.”
I nodded. “I may not remember what happened so long ago, but I do know what came because of it. If it hadn’t been for your brother I would not be here. I should thank him and Dimitri.”
He nodded and stood. “I must go. My family will be expecting me.” I quickly stood and walked to the front door. He followed and I opened it. He set his cold hand on my face. “Until tomorrow, dear Schyler.” He said and then walked out of the house.