The Last Kingman: Ardennes
BurnedWhen I left my home the next morning my bag sat heavily on my back. Tyler was in there because I was scared to leave him anywhere, but he was a lot heavier than I thought. I shut the door behind me and the slayer twins smiled. “Good morning.” I whispered as I looked at them but didn’t smile. My dream the night before made it so I was slightly scared of the slayers. Mr. Dean, their father, had killed my uncle and cousin in front of my eyes and I had relived it last night. How could my protector be my enemy? “Good morning.” Henry said and Kevin nodded. I started walking towards the bus stop but jumped when Henry touched my hand. I gasped as the pain of his touch hit me. He quickly pulled away and looked as startled as me. “What’s the matter?” He asked.
I stuck my burned hand in my jean pocket and ignored the pain. “It’s nothing. I just have a cut on my hand and you touched it.”
He looked relieved but sorry. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
I smiled. “I know you didn’t.” I said and then was startled when Faith grabbed my shoulders and slightly pushed me forwards which followed with her pulling me back.
“Saved your life!” She yelled and I looked back to her as a piece of my hair went in my view. “Good morning, sunshine!”
I laughed slightly. “Morning.” I replied but could not add anything because of a yell from a boy in the crowd.
“Bus!” He hollered and I turned around so I was facing to large yellow vehicle.
“Are we going to wait for him?” I asked and she nodded with a blush. The slayers I was trying to stay away from went on the bus and we got on before Vladimir and his group. When Faith and I sat down in our seats we were confronted by the questions of Vladimir and Dimitri once again. They sat where they had yesterday and Vladimir smiled at me like we were best friends or dating.
“Good morning, dear Schyler.” He said sweetly to me and I smiled to a man I thought I hated just yesterday.
“Morning.” I said with a nod and then smiled more. “Tyler says good morning too.” I added and he slightly laughed. I unzipped my bag and Tyler’s head popped out. I whispered shush to him and he went back into the bag. I zipped it back up.
“Why did you bring him with you?”
“I don’t want to leave him anymore. If I do ‘you know who’ might try to get him.” I said, as I looked him in the face. “You forgot to tell me that Mr. Dean killed my cousin and uncle. I remembered it last night and also saw you from before.”
He nodded. “I don’t look much different. But neither do you.” The bus stopped at the school and Henry came back to Vladimir and me. He stared at Vladimir angrily as Kevin watched Dimitri.
“What did you not get about yesterday? I told you to stay away from Schyler.” Henry hissed to Vladimir and he started to grab Vladimir but I stood between them.
“Don’t touch him, Henry.” I hissed and he was shocked. “Leave Vladimir and Dimitri alone. They have not done anything wrong so stop trying to start a fight.”
“What?” Henry asked me in confusion.
“Move aside, boy.” Vladimir said angrily as he set his hand on my shoulder, but I accepted his cold touch. “We are leaving.”
“What did you say?” Henry yelled.
“Move.” I hissed and the slayers moved. I walked off the bus as Vladimir, Dimitri, and Faith followed me. Faith came up to me and was about to say something but was stopped by the bell that told us to go to class. She walked off with a wave to me. The slayers got off the bus and I watched them walk past us then Vladimir smiled at me.
“You didn’t have to stand up for us like that.” Vladimir said kindly
“Of course I had to. I owe you two so much.” I said and then turned to the scary vampire next to Vladimir. “Thank you so much, Dimitri. I don’t know what I would do if you hadn’t saved Tyler.”
He looked surprised that I knew that. “So you know everything?”
I shook my head. “Not everything, but enough.” I looked at the almost empty front lawn of the school. “We should go to class.” I said and Dimitri walked off as I did. Vladimir walked beside me and I was shocked when he pulled my burned hand out of my pocket. He was shocked as I looked up at him.
“Henry tried to hold my hand.” I whispered but quickly took my hand away from Vladimir as I stopped in front of my class. “I’ve got to go.”
“Meet me at lunch.” He said and I nodded. He walked off and I went into my class. Mr. Dean smiled to me and I quickly looked away. His stare reminded me of his murdering past I now knew of.
When I left my class after the lunch bell rang I saw Vladimir waiting for me. I smiled over to him and he started to me, but I was startled when Henry walked between us with his brother in tow. “Can we talk with you?” Henry asked me and I froze. I was saved from the terror by a cold hand touching my shoulder. I looked up to see Vladimir standing next to me.
“Vladimir…” I whispered in relief. He smiled at me, but then looked over to the slayers standing too close to us. Henry looked scary as his face changed to anger.
“Shall we go, dear Schyler?” Vladimir asked me as he held my hand in his and I nodded. He started to lead me away but was stopped when Henry moved in front of us.
“Move away from Schyler, vampire. We won’t let you drink her blood.” Henry hissed and Vladimir’s eyes flashed sliver. My blood froze even though I wasn’t scared of Vladimir anymore. I was afraid he would have to fight with Henry and Kevin.
“I would never think of hurting Schyler. I can assure you of that.”
“Why else would you be stalking an innocent human?” Kevin hissed.
“Leave us be, slayers.” Vladimir said and then quickly pulled me away from them. He quickly walked out of the school, down 5th street, and into an alley. I sat down on the ground as he did the same.
“So why did you need to see me at lunch?”
“How is your hand?” He asked as he lifted it from my side. My skin was red and blackened. He touched it and it hurt. “I can fix your hand and neck.”
“You can?” I asked and he nodded. “How?”
He slid my hair behind my right ear and watched my eyes. “You have to trust me, okay? And you have to agree to let me do what I have to do.”
“I trust you.” I whispered and he smiled.
“Close your eyes.” He whispered and I did so. I felt him lift my hand to his face and then felt him kiss my hand. He then kissed my neck, which made me freeze with shock. I felt him gently pull down on my chin and his fingers caressed my cheek. “Stay still.” He whispered and then I felt his soft lips touch mine. His tongue entered my mouth and slowly moved with mine. I let him kiss me for a few minutes and was shocked when he pulled away. I opened my eyes to see him smiling. He held my hand up so I could see it. There were no burns to be found. “Pure vampire saliva can cure a slayer burn.”
“Thank you, Vladimir.”
“I would do anything to help you, Ardennes.” He whispered and then looked me straight in the eyes. “Is it okay if I call you Ardennes?”
I nodded. “I like the name.” I had a small smile and he seemed happier. When he stood he held his hand out to me. I took it and he helped me up.
“When your last class ends I will walk you home. I don’t want those slayers anywhere near you.” He said and I watched him.
“Vladimir…ever since I met Tyler yesterday I have been getting burned by slayer touch. But earlier that day I was fine when a slayer touched me. Why did it change?”
“The presence of your brother brought out the true part of you. But tonight when my brother awakens you will be given all of your memory and powers back. My brother holds the key to your true self and when he awakens you will turn into a Kingman.” He said and then held my hand in his once again. “Remember this, sweet Ardennes, if anything goes wrong I will be there for you.” I nodded and he kissed my lips again. “I will make sure those slayers get no where near you.”
At the end of school the bell rang and I walked out of class. Tyler was still sleeping in my bag, which he had been doing all day, and did not stir even when I jumped as a cursed hand touched my arm. I was quickly burned but the hand was slapped away as fast as it had come. Vladimir was standing by me and quickly stuck his hand on my burn to hide it from everyone. Henry looked at Vladimir like he was going to kill him as Vladimir did the same back. “What do you want, vampire? This doesn’t concern you.”
“Anything that deals with Schyler concerns me.”
“Since when did you become her blood-sucking guardian?” Henry demanded and I quickly touched Vladimir’s hand. He let go of my arm and I quickly grabbed my arm as I moved closer to Henry.
“Please leave us be, slayer.” I said firmly and he gasped.
“What the hell did you do to her, vampire? She has never hated slayers! She has always hated vampires! Did you trance…?” Henry yelled but was stopped when his father came up to him.
“Why are you yelling in the middle of the hall?” Mr. Dean hissed and I slightly jumped. The murderer looked at me in a concerned way. “Get away from that vampire, Schyler. He may hurt you. Come with us. We will drive you home.” Mr. Dean was about to touch me when I squeaked a cry. Vladimir immediately slapped the hand away.
“Don’t you dare touch her!” Vladimir hissed and he grabbed my hand that covered my burned arm. He took it off the burn and all three slayers saw my burns. “You are hurting her more than you would hurt a vampire! Your touch burns her now!”
“Come to my classroom unless you want to be hunted, vampire. This is not a discussion to have near humans.” Mr. Dean said and I grabbed onto Vladimir’s arm like a child. The four men stopped and looked at me with confusion.
“You can leave, Vladimir. I will handle this.”
“I vowed to always protect you, Schyler, and that is what I plan to do.” He said and then we followed the three slayers to my History classroom. Mr. Dean locked the door as his sons watched Vladimir and me. Mr. Dean sat on the front of his desk and stared down Vladimir.
“What have you done to Schyler so that she is burned by our touch?” Mr. Dean demanded. “Are you hiding something in her bag to hurt her?” Mr. Dean grabbed my backpack from my back and I screamed.
“No!” I yelled and everyone froze. “You murderer! Let go of that bag!” I yelled and Mr. Dean was astonished. I had never yelled near him or his sons.
“What? It’s just a bag.” He said and then unzipped the top of the bag.
“Tyler!” I yelled and the ferocious black cat jumped out of the bag. He hissed and quickly scratched Mr. Dean. He then ran over to me and jumped into my open arms. I squeezed him closely to my chest and Mr. Dean stared at me. “Oh Tyler…” I whispered.
“Why the hell is there a cat in your bag?” Kevin yelled and I glared at him.
“Stay out of our affairs, slayer.” Vladimir said for me.
“YOUR affairs? Since when have you become friends?” Henry yelled as he walked towards me in anger. I quickly moved away from him and he was surprised.
“Vladimir is here to help me find out who I am! He is here to help me!”
“But I was helping you, my dear. The three of us were looking up who your brother was just last night.” Mr. Dean said and I looked down at Tyler.
“Vladimir knows everything of what happened. He was there!”
“He was there killing your family!”
“I thought that, but you only fed me lies!”
“You know all about keepers and Kingman but you didn’t tell me they existed! You never told me that I was being hunted or that my brother is still alive!” I yelled and then put my hand on my burned shoulder. “All the three of you can do is hurt me and deceive me, but the vampires can give me love and hope.” I looked up at Mr. Dean. “I have decided to leave the protection service of the slayers and leave my foster family. I am going to live with my real family.”
“But you were the only one who survived.” Mr. Dean argued.
“Then why is her brother with us right now?” Vladimir asked Mr. Dean and he gasped. “The cat with Schyler is truly her saved brother.” I slid my fingers through Vladimir’s and he looked at me as the three slayers did the same.
“We should go. I can’t be near a killer.”
“Killer! The only killer here is Vladimir Hale!” Henry yelled.
I stared at him. “No, the only killer in this room is YOUR FATHER! He killed my cousin and my uncle in front of me! I relived it last night.” I then looked over to Mr. Dean. “Goodbye, Mr. Dean.” I said with a frown and then went to the door of the room with Vladimir. He set his hand on the knob and it unlocked. We left without my bag and went to my foster house. I went to my room and got my precious belonging and a bag for Tyler. I also brought the 4 dresses I owned and put everything other than Tyler in a small cardboard box. I left a note on my dresser and left with Vladimir. He carried my box as I carried Tyler in his bag and followed Vladimir to his home. We stopped in front of a large castle looking home that was just outside of town. We went through the gate that surrounded the house and to the front door. Vladimir rang the doorbell and a butler answered. He bowed to us and then let us in. Noises came from inside the house as I handed the bag I had to a maid, but kept Tyler in my arms. A young girl that looked 10 or so walked down the staircase to the right side of the front entrance, which had another staircase on the other side. She looked at me with confusion but recognized Vladimir.
“Good Afternoon, Vladimir.” She said kindly as she walked up to us. Then she looked at me with curiosity. “Why did you bring a human into our home, brother?”
Vladimir watched her. “This isn’t a human, sister. This is Ardennes Roza Violet.”
Her eyes brightened as my name was said. “Dear god! Is it really you?” She asked me and I nodded. “And this must be Sir Tyler.” She said as she petted the cat in my arms.
“He is.” I whispered and she was startled by my voice like it was a beautiful melody. I heard footsteps and then a woman walked out of the room in front of us. She looked no older than 25 and was beautiful. Her eyes widened as she saw me.
“Marvelous job, my son. You have brought us our beloved Ardennes.” The woman said to Vladimir.
“Which room shall I bring her to, mother?” He asked her and she smiled. I could not get over how young his mother looked.
“The one next to your room will be fine.” She said and Vladimir took my hand in his.
“I will get her settled.” Vladimir said proudly and then led me up the left staircase. We stopped at a pair of large wooden doors and he opened the right one. We walked in to see a beautiful queen bed and dresser. My box and bag were already in there as I walked inside. I looked around and set Tyler down so he could go to the cathouse in the corner of the room. He checked it out as Vladimir shut the door and locked it. I looked over at him with curiosity and he smiled. “You trust me, right?” He asked and I nodded. He sat down on my bed and I followed. He brushed my hair behind my ear like before and smiled. “Close your eyes.” He whispered and I did so. I then felt him kiss my arm, but it wasn’t like earlier. Now it had an intensity that hadn’t been there before. He then kissed my lips and set his hand on my cheek. This time he did not have to open my mouth because I already had. Unlike last time he leaned closer into me as his tongue moved with mine. After a bit, he bent so close to me that I had laid down on the bed with him above me. He kissed me more than he did last time and did not stop. He then moved to kissing my cheekbone as I kept my eyes closed like he had told me to.
“Vladimir…” I whispered as I finally caught my breath. I felt his lips come off of my cheekbone and then felt nothing. “Vladimir?” I asked in a whisper.
“Ardennes…” He whispered and then started kissing my lips again. I slowly moved my hands off of my sides and around him. He slid his fingers through my hair as we got even faster at kissing and were closer together. He started kissing my collarbones and then started kissing further down me. I felt like I was going to melt in his grasp and his words sent my head spinning. “Ardennes…I l…” He started to say but was stopped by a knock at the door.
“Vladimir, help Ardennes get dressed so that she can join us to see your brother awaken.” His mother called.
“Yes mother.” He called back and then got off of me. I opened my eyes to see him going to my box of stuff. He pulled out a white summer dress I had bought last week and brought it over to me. “I have to get dressed, so while I’m gone you should put on this dress.” He said and I nodded. When he left I just watched the door until a cat jumping onto my shoulder startled me. Tyler purred and rubbed his head against my neck. I scratched his ears and he purred louder. He then meowed and sent me a message.
Tonight you will be changed back into your former self, dear sister. It will be hard when you remember our hellish past, but I will be here to help you. You just have to accept what and why everything has happened. You also have to accept Sir Michel and Sir Vladimir back as your guardian. Also there is something else…you are to be Sir Michel’s bride and will become the Princess of the vampires, since this home belongs to the royal family. We will live here soon.
“They are the royal family?” I asked and Tyler replied with a twitch of his whiskers. I sighed and nodded. “I’m glad you will be here for me, Tyler.” He purred in response and I smiled. I scratched his ears again as he licked my face to show happiness.