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The Last Kingman: Ardennes
I looked over at my small black alarm clock and let out a large sigh of relief. I had not fallen back to sleep all night. I turned off my alarm clock and stood up. Tissues fell off of my lap and onto the tan carpet below my feet as my book moved slightly on top of the sheets that lay on my bed. I stretched with a yawn and then pulled my loose, red-checkered pajama pants back up to my hips. I slowly walked over to my bedroom door and opened it. My new little sister looked from the end of the hall and at me with a frown of disgust. “You’re wearing pajamas to school? Are you serious?” She complained.
I sighed again and then blew a piece of white hair out of my face. “No because I still have time, Rachel. Our bus doesn’t come for 15 more minutes.”
“Well you better hurry. You don’t have a lot of time and as your sister I can’t let you make a fool of yourself by wearing something ridiculous.” She said with a slight indention in her frown and then she disappeared down the stairs as I went back to my room. I shut my door and looked at my pillow where tearstains were forming. I remembered the nightmare that had made me not want to fall asleep again last night and slightly shivered. I knew the key things of that dream would be stuck in my memory forever. Familiar blood, a burning home, and bodies around me while one person screamed to me, “Ardennes! Help!” A little boy screamed and then he was silent. Someone forcefully moved my body so that I went under a dark willow tree. A man, that was looking the opposite direction, turned to me and I saw THOSE EYES. They were silver, dark, and filled with death. That was where the nightmare ended and sent my head spinning. It had shaken a part of me I didn’t even know was there and frightened me even more. I hated myself for not even remembering my past that could tell me why my family died. I ignored the urges for crying and went to my closet. I took out a torn up jean mini-skirt and a plaid short sleeve button-up shirt that was hot pink and black. I put them both on and then slipped my feet into a pair of black flip-flops while putting my backpack on my back. I flew down the stairs and went to the kitchen where my new mother stood. Her almond eyes, snow-white skin, and black hair made her seem even more different than me just like my new sister and father. She nodded towards a chair at a table and I sat down. She brought over a bowl of rice with a fork and I smiled at her. She went back to the kitchen as I pretended to eat but truthfully slipped the rice into a brown paper bag that I put in my lap. Once I had gotten rid of the whole bowl of rice I stood back up and slipped the bag of rice into the trash. I put the empty bowl and used fork in the sink of the kitchen as my new mother smiled at me.
“Mr. Dean’s sons are at the front door waiting for you,” She informed me, “I will be gone for most of today, so the house will be empty when you get back.”
“Okay. I’ll be going.” I said quietly and then left the kitchen. I went to the front of the house and out the door to see two boys waiting for me. They were the Dean twins: Two boys identical in face and shape but with emotions that were polar opposites. Kevin was a perfect student, had few friends, and was not accepted very well. Henry was barely passing high school, friends with everyone who was anyone, and was accepted by all popular students. Henry was wearing a black shirt and a pair of jeans while Kevin was wearing his soccer uniform.
“Yo, Schyler.” Henry said with a smile.
“Hi, Henry.” I said kindly. “Good morning, Kevin.” I said sweetly to the church mouse staring at me like his brother.
“Hey, Sky.” He said as he slightly smiled. “We should start heading to the bus stop.” He added and I nodded. I started walking as Kevin stood on my right and Henry stood on my left.
“You were running late this morning.” Kevin pointed out to me. “Everything okay? It’s not like you to be late.”
I nodded to him. “I just got up a little late, that’s all.” I replied with a smile as the bus stop came into view. A group of kids stood at the corner of the road we were heading towards. Some turned our way, but a group stood out. It was a group of five made up of 2 girls and 3 boys. They were a few feet from the rest of the group covered in punk clothing. The group went quiet as I walked up with Kevin and Henry as they watched me. I looked away as I felt their gaze of torture, but was pulled back into sanity by the tight hug of my best friend Faith.
“Good morning, Sky!” She exclaimed and everyone heard. I blushed as she let go. She laughed as she touched my face. “You’re as red as a tomato.” She said and I took a step from her.
“Be quiet.” I complained, as I blushed more.
“Bus!” A boy yelled and we all turned as it pulled up. I started towards the bus but was stopped by Faith.
“Wait.” She whispered and I sighed.
“I’ll see you later guys.” I said as Henry and Kevin left me. I looked at Faith as people started onto the bus. “What?”
“I want to get on when he gets on.” She said excitedly. The he she was referring to was the head of the group that watched me. His name was Vladimir and he was very handsome, but turned down everyone that asked him out. Now Faith was in love with him and was completely obsessed. The group of five started towards the bus and Faith quickly pulled me with her towards the group. I went ahead of Faith as she walked onto the bus in front of Vladimir. When I got onto the bus I sat down at a two-person seat in the back of the bus. Faith parked herself into the seat in front of me like usual, but then something different happened. One of the followers of Vladimir named Dimitri came back to us and I realized the regular seating of the bus was changed slightly. Usually Dimitri would sit with Vladimir, but their seat was taken and they needed new seats.
“Can I sit with you?” Dimitri asked Faith and she nodded. She thought Dimitri was cute, so sitting with him was great for her. She looked back at me and slightly smiled, but her face changed as mine did when Vladimir walked to the back of the bus. He smiled at Faith and I as I shivered. He turned directly to me and looked at me.
“May I sit with you?” He asked kindly and my heart raced. Just the sight of him frightened me, but his voice scared me half to death. I looked around the bus to see I was now the only person left sitting by myself, which meant I had no choice.
“Um, Sure.” I said quietly as I scooted towards the inside of the seat. He sat dangerously close to me as the bus started. Faith turned to Dimitri as he talked to her, so I was all alone. I kept my glance from Vladimir as I felt him watching me.
“You’re friends with Faith, correct?” Vladimir asked me and I looked up at him. His eyes sparkled as I looked at him. He smiled and the sight of his sharp teeth scared me. He had the same vampire teeth as the man in my dream last night.
“Uh, Yea. We’re best friends.”
“She seems to be getting along very well with Dimitri.”
I nodded. “She is a very friendly person.” I replied quietly and then looked straightforward. I jumped when something cold touched my left arm. I looked down to see Vladimir’s cold hand on my arm. I looked up at his eyes to see disappointment.
“Your name is Schyler, correct?” He asked and I quietly nodded.
“Yes, and you are Vladimir.”
“How did you know my name when I’ve never talked to you before?” He asked me curiously.
“Faith really likes you and knows a lot about you and since I am her best friend, she has told me everything she has learned.” I explained. “But how did you know my name? I’ve never talked to anyone that you are friends with.”
He smiled in a way that made me tense. “I have heard a lot about you and how you came to live in this small town.”
I looked at him. “All of your kind seems to know something about me that I don’t.” I said with a frown.
“My kind?” He asked me and I became irritated.
“You are a vampire. You make it too obvious.” I said angrily and his eyes widened with surprise.
“Have you told anyone?”
I shook my head. “Do you think anyone would believe me if I said ‘Vampires exist and are watching me’? Yeah right. I would never tell anyone but I do know people who have figured out your secret.” I said and then looked towards the window. “And I also know your kind has the key I need to remember my past. I know you all had something to do with the death of people that haunt me in my sleep now. I also know that some vampire is after me and that is why I am being watched all the time by slayers.” I said and then the bus stopped. I was surprised when Vladimir was quickly pulled up off the bus seat. I looked up to see Henry pulling up Vladimir with his twin brother behind him. Dimitri quickly stood and grabbed onto Henry’s hand. “Henry! Put him down!” I whispered in a hiss. He looked up at me and then looked back at Vladimir.
“Why are you trying to get so close to Schyler?” Henry ordered.
“Why can’t I sit next to her?” He asked, as he acted clueless. Faith looked at me with confusion and I quickly grabbed onto Henry’s arm. He looked up at me.
“Henry, I asked him to sit with me. There is nothing going on here,” I said quietly, “So please. Don’t make a big scene out of this.” I gave Henry a look of sadness and he let go of Vladimir. Dimitri quickly grabbed Vladimir and pulled him away from the slayer twins standing next to me. “Come on Henry. We should go.” I said sweetly and he frowned. He clenched his fists as he spoke.
“But we were ordered to…” He started to say but stopped when I put my hand on his soft face. He blushed and looked at me with confusion.
“I know, but can’t we let him slide? I was the one talking to him. He did nothing wrong.” I said sweetly and Henry automatically nodded like he was in a trance.
“Okay.” Henry said and I slightly smiled.
“We need to get to class.” I said quietly and he nodded. He took my hand in his and then led me off the bus while Kevin and Faith followed. I quickly went to my classroom and then Henry and Kevin left. Faith stayed with me since we had the same first class. My History teacher smiled at me kindly as he looked over the book in his hands. His face was almost identical to Kevin and Henry’s faces, but my teacher was a mixture of his two sons. He was very outgoing, but was very studios. He was a perfect slayer and father. He was the key slayer protecting me right now; with the help of his sons I had not gotten near a vampire until today. He nodded towards me and I quickly went up to him. Faith thought he was my true godfather and that he knew my passed parents so she let me have peace with the man. I went up to him and smiled broadly.
“Well good morning, Miss Schyler.” He said formally as he set down his book. He took his reading glasses off and smiled back at me. “You look a little paler than usual. Are you feeling alright?”
I nodded automatically. “I’m just a little tired. I stayed up later than usual last night because I was still studying for a test I have today. That’s all, Mr. Dean.” I lied in a believable way.
“Ah…” He started to say, but was stopped by a bell ringing. I quickly went to my seat and watched the teacher.
When the bell for lunch rang I left my classroom to see Vladimir and his band of followers outside the door. I stopped in mid step as I felt my blood quicken through my veins. Vladimir smiled in my direction and then started walking towards me. I got a cold shiver throughout my body even though it was hot in the school. My head started to spin, but was stopped by a familiar warm hand that touched my shoulder. I turned to my left to see the beautiful face of Kevin. He smiled sweetly to me and then let go of my shoulder. I looked back to Vladimir and his group, but they were gone. I turned back to Kevin as his smile widened. “Hey.” He said kindly and I felt much better.
“Henry has a test to make up during lunch, so it’s just you, me, and Faith today.” He said and then slowly held my hand gently in his. “Where do you want to go today?”
“I’m not hungry…so where do you want to go?”
“He wants to go to McDonalds.” Faith said as she walked up to us and I smiled at her sweet face. “Isn’t that right, Kev?”
Kevin laughed and then smiled again. “Sure.” He replied and I nodded. “We should put our stuff up and then go.” He added and Faith left. Kevin followed me to my locker and we put our bags up.
When I returned to school with my two friends in tow we sat at a bench outside. Faith had eaten a burger on her way back to school and was now sharing her large fry with Kevin. I sat down and slowly sipped out of my iced coffee. When the five-minute bell rang we all went inside and stopped at my locker. I got out my bag and Kevin’s bag then we all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. I went down to my English class and sat down in my usual seat. My teacher did not assign us seats, but everyone had their own spot. I was in the back left corner of the room with a girl I kind of knew and an open seat next to me. To my surprise, as the bell rang, the open seat was sat in by someone. I looked up to see Vladimir smiling at me. My heart stopped for a moment as a cold chill went down my spine. I looked over to see his seat next to his usual friends was empty. I quickly looked away from him and at the teacher, but was shocked by a cold hand set on my shoulder. “Hey.” He whispered in a friendly way.
“What are you doing over here?” I whispered angrily as I turned to him.
“I wanted to sit by you. Is there something wrong with that?” He asked me quietly with an evil smile.
“Unless you want to die by the hands of the slayer twins I suggest you get away from me.” I spat back as I looked at the teacher but still spoke to him.
“You seriously think I’m scared of those two? All they have is swords but I have powers beyond most my age. I could kill them in seconds.”
“Then why haven’t you? If they are such a nuisance then why haven’t you gotten rid of them with your powers?” I whispered in an unpleased manner.
“Because they are your friends, correct?” He asked and my heart stopped again. Those words were familiar but I did not know where I had heard them before. I looked over to Vladimir as my cold sweat kicked in. His eyes flashed quickly from a blue to silver and my head started spinning. He slightly smiled as I started feeling sicker. “You may not know about your past, Schyler. But I know all about it.”
He just smiled for a moment. “You will understand in time. But first you have to learn to trust me. I am one of the few vampires that know of you and was sent here to protect you from the man hunting you.” He said and then looked me straight in the eyes. “We should meet after school today. Can you get away from the slayers for a few hours?”
I nodded. I wanted to know everything of my past. I didn’t care if I would be terrified or if I would have to trust a vampire. I needed to know who that little boy in my dreams was. “My house will be empty from the end of school until 8. You can come over there so that the slayers can’t see us.” I replied and he smiled more, but this time it seemed to be in a more evil way than usual.
“Perfect.” He whispered and I looked back to the teacher.
When 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.
When 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.
There was a knock at my new room and I looked over as Vladimir walked in. He was in dress pants and a white dress shirt. He stared at me as I smiled. I had on the flowing white dress and had my hair straightened and flowing down to my shoulders. I walked over to my bed and picked up Tyler. A bell quietly rang and Vladimir walked over to me with curiosity. “What is that on Tyler?” He asked as he saw the collar I had made. I lifted up the red ribbon to show the bow at the bottom that held a small gold bell.
“I thought he should have something special to wear for tonight, so I made him a collar. He really has enjoyed the bell.” I said as I slowly looked from Tyler and back to Vladimir. He watched me in a stunned way but then smiled. “Shall we go?” I asked and he nodded. He took my right hand in his left as I held Tyler in my left arm. Vladimir brought me down the hall from before and stopped in front of a dark black door. He opened it to show a bed with a handsome man sleeping there and three people standing beside the bed. The people were Vladimir’s sister, mother, and who I presumed to be his father. They looked over at us and Vladimir led me to them. I curtsied and they smiled. “Good evening.” I said formally as I let go of Vladimir’s hand and held onto Tyler in both arms.
“Good evening, Ardennes.” Vladimir’s mother said and then looked at her husband. “This is the last family member you have not met. This is the father of the household.” She explained to me and I nodded.
“Good evening, Sir Hale. It is a pleasure to meet you again.” I said and surprised myself. I was not acting like my usual self anymore. I was acting like I did in my dreams. I looked over at Michel and was stunned to see him resting so quietly. “How long until Sir Michel will be waking up?” I asked the mother.
“Any moment, my dear. But he has requested that you be at his side when he does awaken.” She said and I nodded. I handed Tyler to Vladimir and he held him. I walked over to Michel and sat at the edge of the bed. He seemed familiar and for some reason I slowly held his cold hand in mine. I lifted his hand from his side and up to my face. I kissed it very softly and then watched his face as I held his cold hand in mine.
“Please awaken, my love.” I whispered and his eyes slowly opened. He immediately looked at me with surprise as his hand slowly held onto mine. He smiled at me in a longing way. “Michel.” I whispered in happiness.
“My sweet Ardennes. It is a blessing to see your face once again.” He whispered in a deep voice that struck my soul. I felt tears start down my face as I smiled. He sat up and set his cold hand I was not holding on my cheek. “It is okay, my love. Do not cry.” He whispered and then I let go of his hand as he hugged me. I cried even more even though I did not know why. I was just so moved by the return of this man. He lifted away from me and looked me straight in the eyes. Then he leaned in and kissed me like no one ever had. I cried even more but was then shocked as my mind was filled with every memory I had lost. When his lips left mine I gasped as I realized my true past I had missed and wanted so badly to know. I remembered the night I was killed, how Tyler used to look, how much I had loved Michel and Vladimir, and how much I hated slayers like Mr. Dean. I now knew who my mother and father were and where I had lived. I remembered how fond I was of Vladimir’s sister and of Dimitri. I knew who I was and what I dreamed for. I was Ardennes Roza Violet and was never to re-pretend to be Schyler.
“Everything has comeback to me…” I whispered and Michel nodded.
“You gave me your memories before we were killed so that we were assured to meet again.” He replied and I nodded as I slid my fingers through his hair. He was my fiancé and the man I loved. I looked over at his sister and she seemed eager.
“It is good to see you again, Dahlia. It has been a long time. I’m sorry I did not remember you.” I said kindly to her and she jumped with glee.
“I knew you hadn’t forgotten me!” She yelled in happiness and then looked over at Vladimir with an evil smile. “Ha! I told you she wouldn’t forget me!” She bragged and Michel laughed. She looked over at Michel with a smile.
“You are too funny, Dahlia. I have missed that about you.” He said kindly and I let go of him. He looked confused at why I had let go of him.
“Go hug your family, my love. They missed you.” I said kindly like a delicate woman and he nodded. He stood and went over to them. I looked over at Tyler and he jumped from Vladimir’s arms. He came over and hopped into my lap. I scratched his ears and he purred. He let out a meow and I received his words.
Are you all right?
I nodded to him. “You may not look as handsome as you used to, but the bow does suit you, Tyler.” I said kindly and Michel walked over to me. I looked up at him and he smiled as he then looked down to Tyler.
“This is Tyler?” He asked and I stood.
“Well this is his form until I find a way to bring him back to human ways.” I replied and then scratched his ears again. “I’m just blessed he is here with me.”
“I don’t think death could ever separate the two of you. You are too close.” Michel said as everyone watched us. I looked down at Tyler and he twitched his whiskers in response and I laughed quietly.
“He agrees with you on that.” I said and Michel smiled. He leaned down and petted Tyler who purred loudly.
“It is good to see you, Sir Tyler.”
That night I spent time with the royal family as they celebrated the return of Michel and me. When I went back to my room with Tyler, I was exhausted and quickly went to sleep peacefully.
I walked down the left staircase in my short black dress. Now that I had remembered my past all I wanted to do was wear dresses. This one was the most modern of all of my dresses and seemed suitable for a woman of my era. I had on a pair of dressy sandals that looked good with the dress and had my hair straightened with black hoop earrings in my ears. I carried Tyler in my arms and reached the bottom of the staircase. I walked into the dining room to see Vladimir sitting and eating cereal. He was dressed in deep blue jeans and a black shirt that flattered him. He immediately looked up at me when I entered the room and seemed shocked that I was in a dress. “Good morning, Sir Vladimir.” I said kindly with a smile and then walked over to him. I sat down in the seat next to him and set Tyler in my lap.
“Good morning Ardennes.” He said formally. “By the way you don’t need to call me Sir Vladimir. It is too formal for this day and time.”
“Alright.” I said kindly and was startled when a plate was set in front of me with buttered toast on it. I looked up to see a smiling Michel looking at me.
“Good morning to you, my love.” He said kindly. “I hope you still like toast.”
I nodded. “Thank you.” I said kindly and he sat next to me. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and a red shirt. “Why are you up so early?” I asked him and he smiled.
“I am going to school with you and Vladimir now. We are all in the same grade and I have the same schedule as you.” He informed me kindly. “Also my mother will take care of Tyler while we are gone.”
“Oh. I must thank her for the favor.”
He shook his head. “No need. She is happy to do it.”
“Alright.” I said and he smiled. I ate one piece of toast as the two men ate also. When they were done we got up and their mother appeared by the front door we were walking towards. She smiled at me kindly.
“I will take care of Tyler while you are gone, Ardennes.” She offered.
“Oh, thank you.” I said with a smile and she nodded.
“Well the three of you should hurry to the bus stop.” She said and Michel took my hand in his as we followed Vladimir out of the home. He brought us to the bus stop and we walked up to his group of friends. They bowed to Michel and I in respect, but then Michel brought me with him as he walked away. I notice Faith talking to a girl that was in one of my classes. I looked at her with confusion.
“She doesn’t remember you, Ardennes.” Michel informed me. “All the humans know you as a friend of Vladimir’s that is kind and is named Ardennes.”
I looked up at him and slightly squeezed his hand that held mine. “But what about the slayers? They will remember.”
He nodded. “We will just have to deal with them.” He said and I nodded. Speaking of the devil, the slayer twins walked up to the bus stop and looked straight at me with shock. I was in a dress, had a lighter complexion, cold skin, and was thinner than before. I now looked like a super model vampire and not like the Schyler girl I used to be. I quickly looked away from Henry and Kevin but felt their gaze.
“They are watching us like hawks.” I whispered to Michel and he looked over at the slayer twins.
“They are THAT MAN’S sons, aren’t they?” Michel asked and I nodded.
“They are my enemies.” I whispered and he nodded. “They are identical to their father. How could I have thought they were good people?”
Michel set his hand on my cheek and smiled. “They deceived you, Ardennes.”
When I got off the bus with Michel I was stopped when I saw the slayer twins standing in front of Vladimir. I let go of Michel and quickly ran over to Vladimir. I set my hand on his shoulder and he looked at me. “Vladimir?” I asked him curiously.
“It’s fine. They aren’t going to hurt me.” He assured me and then I felt Henry glaring at me. I looked to him and his brother with anger.
“Why are you two bothering Vladimir?” I asked them angrily.
“We’re trying to figure out why no one knows who Schyler is and why your real friends don’t know you anymore.” Henry said firmly and I glared at him.
“Because Schyler doesn’t exist anymore.”
“What?” Kevin yelled at me.
“Schyler has died. Forget about her.” I said firmly.
“But you are right in front of us!” Henry yelled and I frowned even more.
“I AM NOT that Schyler girl you wish I was. I AM Ardennes Roza Violet: your enemy.” I hissed at them. “I am a Kingman once more.”
“What?” Henry yelled and I frowned.
“My love, why are you associating with these slayers?” Michel asked me and I looked up at him with a sigh.
“They are harassing Vladimir.”
“Ignore them.” Vladimir said with a slight smile to me. “They are just angry they have lost Schyler and won’t accept that you are with us.”
“But you hate vampires!” Kevin yelled and I looked at him.
“Neither Schyler or I hated vampires. She was told they killed her family when truly it was not a vampire that did it.” I said and then set my hands on my hips. “You children will never understand adult things.”
“Adult? You are the same age as us!” Kevin argued and I hissed at him. My fangs were shown and he was shocked.
“I am older than that damned man you call your father. You are children compared to us and need to accept that Schyler is gone.” I said angrily and then took a hold of Vladimir’s hand. “Come on Vladimir. Let’s leave these children.” I said and he nodded. I walked off with him and Michel as the slayer twins watched. When we got inside the school the bell to go to class rang and Vladimir left us. Michel followed me to our first class and when we went in Mr. Dean’s eyes widened. He stood up and I brought Michel over to him. “Excuse me, Mr. Dean. This is a new student to our school. He will be in this class.” I said as I slightly squeezed Michel’s hand that I was now holding.
“We need to have a word, Schyler.” Mr. Dean said firmly and I frowned.
“I am not Schyler, sir. I am Ardennes.” I retorted and he did something odd. He closed his eyes and chanted something in Greek. When he opened his eyes they were black with swirling gold flakes in them.
“Freeze time for all except for my sons, I, and the three vampires I must speak to. Bring all of them to this room.” He said in a very deep voice as everything stopped around us. I moved slightly but nothing else did. Henry and Kevin pushed Vladimir into the frozen space. Mr. Dean snapped his fingers and everything around us disappeared. All that was around us was whiteness that went on forever. Then 6 chairs formed with three facing the other three. “Sit.” Mr. Dean ordered and I felt something move me to the middle seat of one set of three. Vladimir was moved to the right seat and Michel was moved to the left one. Mr. Dean sat in the middle seat as his sons sat on either side of him. I felt like a pressure was pushing on me that I could not see, but kept me in this seat.
“Where are we?” Vladimir asked Mr. Dean and he frowned.
“We are in my domain, boy. There is nothing other than us here.” Mr. Dean said and then looked at me. “Now I demand you vampires return Schyler to her true self.”
I hissed at him. “I am my true self now! You don’t know who I am, Slayer!” I yelled at him. “My true name is Ardennes Roza Violet! I am the leader of all Kingman that are still alive.” I held back tears of anger. “So don’t even try to demand anything from me you murderer!”
“I am not a murderer, the vampires sitting next to you are. They killed your family.” Mr. Dean argued.
“No they didn’t! The things that killed my family were the feeders and YOU!”
I hissed again. “I have gotten back all of my memories from before and now know what you really are! You are a murderer! You killed my uncle and cousin in front of my own two eyes! You killed them just because they were Kingman!”
I stood even though the force pushing me down fought me. “You killed Sir Grant James Violet and his son Samuel James Violet on July 18, 1943! I remember! I was the young girl with them! We were walking in my garden while talking when you and other Slayers attacked us! You killed both of them with your own hands and then tried to kill me but were stopped by my father!” Tears ran down my face. “Schyler trusted you! I trusted you! But you tried to kill us!”
“Let us go, slayer.” Vladimir said firmly. “You have upset Ardennes enough.” Mr. Dean got up and in a split second he had a knife held up at Vladimir’s chest and was jabbing it quickly towards him. For a moment, time seemed to slow or I quickened. I ran in front of Vladimir and hugged him tightly. Time started moving at a regular pace as I felt the hand knife pierce my back. I squeezed my eyes shut as I felt blood start down my back and everyone was silent for a moment. I felt weak quickly and my grip loosened on my embrace of Vladimir. I slowly slid to his lap before Vladimir grabbed me and tried to keep me from falling. I couldn’t open my eyes but heard Mr. Dean whisper something.
“Dear god. What have I done?”
Then I heard nothing.
I woke up in my bed in the royal families home and just lay there. I was on my side and could see the doors to my room were ajar. I heard footsteps but was surprised to hear a quiet bell also. The right door to my room slowly moved a little wider open and a familiar black cat with a ribbon and bell around his neck trotted in. He meowed loudly.
Tyler quickly hopped onto my bed and came over to me. He purred and pushed himself against me. He followed with licking my nose, which tickled. I laughed quietly to myself and then scratched his ears. I looked up when the door to my room opened even more as the Queen walked in. She smiled and seemed surprised to see me. “Hello.” I said.
“I’m glad to see you awake, Ardennes. You took a long nap.” She said kindly.
She nodded as she sat on the edge of my bed near me. “You have been asleep for a little more than 3 days, my girl. After the incident with the slayers at school, you have been asleep.” She brushed a small hair out of my face like my mother used to.
I gasped. “Oh god! Is Vladimir alright?” I asked frantically and started to sit up but the queen quickly stopped me. She made me lay back down.
“He is perfectly fine, dear. But don’t move so quickly. You will re-open your wound.” She said and then calmed slightly. “When the boys came home with you passed out they were so worried you were not going to be okay. Vladimir took it horribly and felt like it was his fault. He is extremely worried.”
“Where is he?” I asked quietly.
“He is at school with Michel.” She said sweetly. “They will be getting home any moment and will be extremely pleased to see you awake.”
“Can I go meet them?” I asked her and she was surprised.
“What do you mean?”
“Can I go meet them at school? I want to see them as soon as I can.”
She smiled. “I don’t see why not.” She replied. “I will have someone drive you there.” She said and I nodded.
The Honda slowly came to a stop in front of the school and I waited for the butler to open the door. He then helped me out of the car slowly. I had on a pair of loose jeans and a baggy t-shirt so that my cloths would not touch my back. I walked over to the school slowly as the bell for the end of school sounded. I got into the main hall as kids started walking out of their classes. For some odd reason everyone stopped when they saw me. I smiled slightly and kept walking as everyone stopped and watched me. I went to Mr. Dean’s room as the door opened and a student stopped in mid-step as I smiled. “Ardennes?” The student asked me and I nodded.
“Yea.” I said quietly. “May I go past you?” I asked and the boy nodded. I slowly went past him and everyone stopped what he or she was doing in the class. I walked over to Vladimir who hadn’t noticed me yet. I tapped him on the shoulder and he turned but immediately stopped. He stared at me with amazement. “Surprise.” I whispered kindly.
“Ardennes…” He whispered and then quickly hugged me. I winced as he accidentally touched my injured back and he quickly moved away. “Sorry! Did I hurt you?” He asked me with concern and I smiled.
“I’m fine.” I whispered and then someone ran into the classroom. It was the only sound other than Vladimir and me. I turned to see Michel watching me with amazement. “Surprise, Michel.” I added and he came over to me. He hugged me and made sure not to touch my injury. Everyone around us luckily left and I smiled at the two guys.
“When did you finally wake up?” Michel asked me curiously.
“About 20 minutes ago.” I whispered and he seemed happy. “I couldn’t wait for you two to come home to surprise you, so I came to meet you.” I added but was stunned when the slayer twins ran into the room that only held them, Vladimir, Michel, their father, and me. They sounded out of breath as they watched me. I ignored them and looked at Vladimir. “I heard you were really worried I wasn’t going to be okay.”
He smiled slightly. “You looked dead for a while.”
I smiled back and then looked slightly away. “I’m used to the look I guess.” I replied but was startled when Mr. Dean walked over to us.
“Schyler how is your back?” Mr. Dean asked me and I watched him. I turned to Michel and Vladimir.
“You two can go to the car waiting outside for us. I will be there in a minute.” I whispered and Michel nodded, but Vladimir didn’t.
“You sure?” Vladimir asked me and I nodded. He left with his brother as the slayer twins walked over and stood beside Mr. Dean. They watched me for answers.
“It’s healing.” I replied quietly and he nodded.
“Schyler…”He started to say but I interrupted him.
“Ardennes, is there any way we can go back to the relationship you, my boys, and I had just days ago?” He asked me and I watched him with uncertainty.
I shook my head. “Don’t you understand? Those relationships I built as Schyler were not real. I was not myself then so it wasn’t me you had the true relationship with.”
“But I can’t go back to hating you…”
“Then what do you propose, slayer? That I forget everything you have put me through and just say it is fine and dandy? I can’t do that.” I looked at his sons. “And why are you involving your children in deadly matters? I could kill them.”
“But you were friends with them. I know you could never hurt them.”
I hissed. “I have wanted to kill your family for as long as I can remember, slayer! What makes you think I will spare your children from my hatred! You killed my family!” Tears ran down my face. “I had to watch my uncle, cousin, brother, father, mother, and friends die because of you.”
“I know, Ardennes. But I want to prove to you that I have changed from the teenager I was. I want to help you with the feeders hunting you.” He said quietly.
“I want to prove myself to you. Please Ardennes, let us help you.” He explained and I was stunned. I didn’t know what to do.
“I…I don’t know.” I said quietly and he nodded.
“I understand. Take time to consider the offer and you can answer us whenever you want.” He said and I nodded.
“I should go.” I whispered and Mr. Dean moved out of my way.
I sat in my room and gently scratched Tyler on his back. He purred like an out of control motor, but stopped when the door to my room opened. Michel slowly crept into the room and locked the door behind him. He came over and lay on his stomach like I was but to my right side. He scratched Tyler, but the cat left after a while with a twitch of his nose. He was glad that someone was here to reprieve him from staying up with me. I smiled over to Michel and he kissed me kindly, “Is you back doing better?” He asked me sweetly and I nodded.
“It is healed pretty much.” I replied and Michel sat up, but I felt a sudden cold flash go through me as I felt my shirt lift by my back. Michel caressed the area around my cut and I then felt his gentle, cold lips kiss my scar. He then leaned down towards me and kissed my neck. I laughed lightly and turned over as he kissed my neck more. He suddenly moved and I felt a sharp pain in my neck. I quickly pushed him away from me and he was shocked with confusion.
“Ardennes?” He asked as he tried to get closer to me but I moved further from him.
“I think it is time for you to leave, Michel.” I whispered and he just watched me. When he realized I was serious he slowly got up and left my room with a quiet shut of the door. I quickly turned off the light at my side table and slid under my covers. I squeezed a pillow in my arms as tears seeped onto it. I could not believe what had just happened. Michel had just tried to bite me…but even worse was when he did that I had to keep myself from moaning Vladimir’s name. I had wanted it to be Vladimir piercing my neck. I wanted him to kiss my scar and play with my body so late at night. But I loved Michel. I was going to marry Michel. Yet I still had wanted that to be the touch of Vladimir. Without know it I had fallen for Vladimir, but why? Before my family died I had thought nothing like this towards Vladimir, but now I wanted him to hold me and kiss me like he had before Michel woke up. I am in love with Vladimir, not Michel. Now what should I do?
I sat at the table quietly and just looked at the meal in front of me. I could feel Vladimir watching me with concern, but I could not make myself look back to him. If I did I would either start crying or fall under his gorgeous spell. I heard someone stop at the doorway of the room and I looked up to see Michel watching me. I quickly stood up and got away from the table. I walked past Michel on his right and he quickly grabbed my arm to stop me, “Ardennes, please.” He whispered and I shoved his hand away from me. I took a step to the side and then looked to him again.
“Don’t touch me, Michel.” I hissed and I felt his heart freeze for a moment. He was stunned by my anger and I could feel my instincts kicking in. I wanted to break his neck in half for what he had done, but the presence of the man of the home distracted me. I smiled towards the man and he watched me with concern.
“Is something wrong, Ardennes?” He asked and I quickly shook my head. I stood straight to show I was perfect.
“There is nothing wrong, sir,” I replied kindly and then took a step towards the man, “Please excuse me. I must get ready for school.” I added and then left the three men. I went up to my room and cleared my mind of anger and sadness as I changed into a navy colored dress that was very short. It just barely covered my underwear, but it was what I needed today. If I wore this I would be a hit with the guys and that would infuriate Michel. It would also attract the attention of the Dean twins so that they craved my companionship more. I slipped on a pair of sandals that looked good with my dress and then went to my bathroom. I put on makeup and decided that the deep v-neck of my dress needed a necklace. I put on a necklace with a black gem with sparkles in it and a bracelet that matched. I went over to Tyler’s house and he quickly came out to me. He purred as I picked him up and scratched him. He licked my cheek kindly and I laughed. I carried Tyler downstairs to the woman of the house and then went to the front door. I saw Vladimir sticking books in his backpack by the door and Michel was not near, so I took my chance. I grabbed my bag from its spot by the door and quickly left the house. I walked down to the bus stop and Faith smiled to me. She ran over and hugged me like old times as I hugged her back and realized my powers had worked. This morning I had figured out how Michel had changed the minds of the humans around me and changed it back so that everyone knew me as the old me, except the only difference was they did not think I ever lived with my old family and knew me as an orphan that lived with her fiancé’s family. Faith poked my cheek with a laugh and I looked at her curiously.
“Your face is going to get stuck in that frown you had on earlier!” She laughed and then sighed as she stopped poking me, “So what is wrong? Boyfriend problems?”
I nodded, “He’s been acting like an ass lately.” I agreed even though I knew Michel was standing just a few feet away with Vladimir. I turned when I heard familiar footsteps and then looked back to Faith, “I’ll be right back.” I said and then jogged to the Dean twins. They were surprised by my appearance, but seemed to enjoy it. They both kept looking at my skimpy dress and I felt my spell falling on them, “Hey you two.” I said in a giddy way.
“We saw you hugging Faith, how did that happen?” Kevin asked me quietly and I got closer to him.
“I fixed the memories of all the humans in the area to make it so they know me as an orphan living with a close family friend,” I replied and then looked to Henry, “By the way I have decided to accept your assistance in my situation right now. So now we can try to reach the place we used to stand at.” I added and they both smiled to me, but Kevin’s smile slowly faded.
“But we can’t touch you without hurting you…” He whispered and I smiled to him. I kissed his right cheek quickly. He became flustered with confusion and I laughed slightly.
“We’ll work it out.” I replied in a sweet way and then turned away from them. I happily walked back over to Faith who smiled to me.
“What was that about?” She asked in a naught way, “Is there something going on between you and Kevin?”
“Maybe.” I said in a taunting way and she laughed.
“Oh Ardennes! You naughty girl!” She mocked and we both started laughing. I felt the longing gaze of the Dean twins and the angry gaze of Vladimir and Michel, but for just a moment I ignored it. For just that second I only focused on my best friend and my happiness. The dangers and problems in my life were out of my mind and I loved it, but when the bus came the moment of joy was gone as fast as it had come. I craved the feeling to come back as badly as I craved blood all the time now. I went onto the bus and sat in my seat behind Faith’s seat. Suddenly Faith sighed in a lovesick way and I was curious so I gave her a questioning look, “God,” She whispered as she looked in front of us, “I don’t think Vladimir could get any hotter.” For the first time I actually understood what Faith was saying. I then realized that once Vladimir was surrounded with his large group of vampire friends he seemed to glow with comfort. How could I be so selfish and want to take him away from all of this? If I told him my feelings towards him it might wreck his whole life and make that glow never come back. I slid down in my seat with a sigh, “Something wrong?” Faith asked me as she leaned over the top of her seat and into mine.
“Nah. Just tired.” I replied with a reassuring smile to her. She sat down in her seat and I suddenly heard music. She must have turned on her MP3 player so that she would not be bored on the ride since I did not really want to talk to her. Even if I was her friend again she still did not know me. No one could relate to me, not even Tyler. The bus stopped at the school and I stood. As I guessed, Faith put away her MP3 player and stepped in front of me. We waited for others to get off and time seemed to creep by.
“So did you take that quiz in history last week?” Faith asked me in a very out-of-the-blue kind of way.
“Yea.” I replied, as we finally started moving. Faith took a pause to look where she was walking, but turned to me once we stepped off the bus.
“That was so hard! I got a D!” She complained in a whine.
“Really? That stinks,” I replied but before I could add to my words I was stopped when a familiar hand lay on my shoulder. I turned to see Dimitri watching me in a very concerned way so I looked back to Faith, “Hey Faith, I have to talk to Dimitri so I’ll catch up with you later, okay?” I asked and she nodded. She quickly walked off to give us privacy, but Dimitri still seemed unsure to talk. He grabbed my hand and led me to the side of the school where there was very few people, “Something wrong?” I finally asked him and he sighed. He pulled his fingers through his hair.
“Vlad is really concerned something is wrong with you, but he refuses to come talk with you. I thought maybe if we talked I could help out.” He said as he put his hand back to his side and looked directly to me.
“Nothing wrong, Dimitri. Really,” I replied with a smile, “I’m just angry at Michel, that’s all.”
“Did Michel do something?”
I shook my head, “I would prefer to not talk about it if you don’t mind,” I replied, “Could you tell Vladimir to not worry?” I asked and he nodded, “I’ll see you around.” I whispered and then quickly left. I scurried into class and smiled up to Mr. Dean as I took my seat. He persuaded his two sons that I assumed had shared my news to go to class before smiling back.
I walked out of class as the bell rang and looked up from my feet as Michel called my name. I frowned towards Michel as I noticed Vladimir at his side. I quickly pulled my backpack strap further on my shoulder and then walked past them, but then realized they were following. I went outside, but stopped in the front lawn when Michel grabbed my shoulder. I turned to him with my frown returning, “Ardennes, please. Let’s talk.”
I turned to Michel and he let go of me. I crossed my arms across my chest and looked directly to him, “I’m listening.” I hissed.
“Look, I’m sorry about what I did. I shouldn’t move that quickly.” He said and Vladimir looked at me curiously, but all of our attention was moved when Kevin stopped at my side.
“Hey Ardennes.” He said kindly and Michel hissed to him.
“Don’t talk to us, slayer.”
I quickly turned to Michel, “Don’t talk to Kevin like that!” I hissed and then turned to Kevin with a smile, “I’ll meet you over by your car, okay? Just give me a few minutes.” I said and Kevin nodded. He walked off and I turned to Michel and Vladimir.
“Why are you even speaking to that slayer? His father killed your family members.” Vladimir said to me, but I looked from him and to my feet.
“It is neither of your business what I do.”
“Of course it is my business! I’m your fiancé!” Michel yelled and I looked up to him angrily.
“I’m really starting to get annoyed with you, Michel. And I’m really starting to wonder if our engagement was a mistake.”
“What?” He yelled to me, “But we love each other!”
I frowned, “That was a long time ago that I told you I loved you, Michel, and now I’m starting to doubt my feelings towards you,” I whispered, ”I know you are fully in love with me, Michel and I know you wouldn’t try to hurt me but I don’t think I feel the same way for you anymore.”
I looked away from both of their gaze, “I need some time to think,” I announced, “I’m going to be back late tonight so don’t wait up.” I walked away quickly and found the three slayers that waited for me.
I walked into the house and quietly shut the door. Wandering till it got late had made me tired and all I wanted to do was sleep. I went upstairs and got straight into the shower. I washed my hair and then scrubbed the blackening spots all over my body until it hurt, but they would not get smaller or go away. I then gave up and got out of the shower. I slipped on a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt before crawling into my bed. Tyler snuggled up against me and I slept.
A meow from Tyler made me finally open my eyes, but I did not hear the words he wanted to tell me. I turned to my stomach and pulled my pillow over my head, “Go away Tyler!” I complained in a yawn and I heard him leave my room. I closed my eyes and felt sleep overcome me again, but it did not last long. I was in and out of sleep because my side suddenly started hurting more than it had before. A meow came from Tyler but I could not hear his voice again. Without lifting my pillow off my head I shoved the black fur ball away from me, “Tyler!” I whined, “Stop it!” But before I could go back to sleep I felt a cold hand touch the back of my neck. I quickly sat up and looked to Vladimir as I realized I was covered all over with sweat and was freezing, “Vladimir!” I gasped as I noticed he was staring at my face. I was blushing! I was blushing just because he had touched me!
He put his hand on my forehead and it felt odd, “Ardennes, you’re burning up. Are you feeling okay?”
“Tyler came to get me because he is worried about you.”
“Tyler?” I asked as I looked to the cat that meowed to Vladimir, but I could not hear him.
“He doesn’t think you can hear him.”
“That’s odd. Maybe your illness is blocking your hearing of him,” Vlad said and I looked away from him and to my body. I could feel that my arms were covered in drops of sweat, but the hairs on my skin were standing at end, “What are your symptoms?” Vlad asked me curiously.
“I’m freezing and sweating.” I replied quietly and he thought for a moment as he looked to his feet. He then looked to me as he sat down on the bed, at my side.
“That sounds like the symptoms of a slayer burn,” Vlad said, “Did you accidentally touch one of those slayers yesterday when you left with them?” He asked me and I quickly looked away from him.
“No.” I replied as I thought of what I had done yesterday.
“Where is it?” He asked and I looked to him.
“I know that you lie when you can’t look at me while answering, so tell me where it is.” He said and quickly scooted away from him and to the other end of my bed.
“I’m fine!” I protested and quickly got off my bed. I went around it and to the door, but was stopped when Vlad grabbed my arm. He wrapped his arms around my waist and picked me up off of the ground, “Let go of me!” I yelled as I tried to pull away, but he threw me onto my bed and pinned down my arms and legs before I could escape.
“There is no one at the house to help you other than me, Arden,” He said and then looked to Tyler. Tyler trotted out of the room and Vlad looked back to me, “Now where is it?”
I felt tears run down my face and turned my head away from him, “Let go of me.” I whispered in a cry.
Suddenly I felt Vladimir kiss a spot on my neck near my jaw. I felt his tongue move against my skin and I felt a hot flash go through my body, “Why won’t you tell me?”
“Because I did something I should not have,” I whispered, “I had sex with Kevin. Yesterday afternoon. I was so mad at Michel and was so angry that I could not tell you what I needed to that I just gave into temptation.”
“Tell me what?” Vlad asked.
“I couldn’t tell you that I love you more than Michel and that you have stolen my heart,” I whispered and then felt Vlad let go of me. I sat up on my bed and watched Vlad go to the door of my room, “I’m so sorry.” I whispered as his hand went towards the doorknob, but froze when I heard my door lock. I looked up to Vlad as he turned down the lights in the room and then came back to me, “What?”
Vladimir’s hand caressed my cheek and he kissed me. He leaned into me and I leaned backwards. He lay on me as I lay on my bed and we kissed more, “I know you would never do anything to intentionally hurt me, Arden. And even though I am mad that you had sex with Kevin I can’t get over you telling me you loved me,” He kissed the side of my neck, “Last time we were like this my mother interrupted us before I could tell you I love you. After Michel woke up I did not want to interfere so I stayed away, but now I won’t stop. I am not going to let you get away from me again before I can prove how much I love you.”
“Vladimir…” I whispered as tears of joy started down my face.
“You trust me right?” He asked with a smile and I nodded.
“I trust you more than anyone else.” I whispered and he started kissing my neck again. He took off my shirt and kissed everywhere instead of just the blackened areas like he was supposed to. I realized this was really happening and loved it.
I quickened my steps as I felt someone watching me. I quickly turned a corner and then turned the next one in hopes of loosing whoever was giving me this feeling. I stopped when someone walked towards me from the alley ahead. I froze as a young man I had never seen before came up too close to me, “You look lost, baby.”
“No. I’m not.” I said as I turned to the right and started to walk off, but the guy grabbed my wrist.
“Hey. I didn’t say you could leave,” The man hissed and I froze when his other hand went to the side of my neck. His cold fingers caressed my skin and I heard him laugh, “I’m glad you have still left your neck untainted for me, dear Ardennes. I was afraid one of those vampires would get to you before I found you again,” He licked the side of my neck and I felt paralyzed, “Now I want you to go back to Michel and stop the engagement. If you do that for me, my dear, then I will let you go on with your life and not interfere. You must also meet with me every night to satisfy my needs or your precious little brother will die,” He let go of my wrist and wrapped his arms around my waist, “Do we have a deal, my love?” He whispered into my ear and a tear trickle down my face.
“Yes,” I whispered and then felt a sharp stab to my neck. I gasped as my body wanted to double over, but the man kept me from moving, “Ulrick.” I gasped and he let go of me. I sat on the ground since I was weak and he smiled as he knelt in front of me.
“Good. You remember me,” He said and then kissed my forehead, “Until tomorrow, my beautiful Ardennes.” He whispered and then walked away. Tears poured down my face as I set my hand over the holes in my neck and felt them close. Once I had calmed down and had gained enough strength to get up I slowly made my way back to the Hale house. When I walked in I heard Vladimir and Michel turn to me, but I could not look to them. I kept my eyes to my feet and quickly walked past them. I went upstairs and to my room. Tyler came over to me as I lay on my side on the bed and meowed to me.
What is it sister? You seem upset.
“I don’t want to talk about it, Tyler. Please just let me sleep.” I whispered to him and he lay down next to me. I gently brushed him as I slowly fell asleep with the confidence that Tyler would not be killed.
I had not talked to anyone all day because of my pain, but I still forced myself to sneak out of the Hale house and go back to where I had been attacked yesterday. The young man walked up to me when I showed up and smiled. He grabbed both of my hands and quickly pulled me to him. His fangs pierced my neck and I winced. Yesterday he had just drank for a few minutes, but today he did not stop for a long time. When he did I fell to the ground again and he quickly left. I slowly made my way back to the Hale house, but was shocked when I saw the light on in the front of the house. I slowly walked over to the light and realized Vladimir was sitting on the front porch with Tyler. They both looked to me when I opened the front gate and it creaked. Tyler hopped from Vladimir’s arms and waited for me as I walked over to them. I sat down near Vlad and Tyler crawled onto me. He put his two front paws on my shoulders and licked my face. He then pulled away and looked directly to me with a meow.
You were crying. He informed.
“Why did you leave so late at night? It’s already been two hours since I noticed you had left.” Vladimir said and I looked away from him.
“It’s nothing.” I replied quietly and then scratched Tyler’s ears. I have to work on the way I show myself from now on. They are concerned for me.
I walked into the alley at midnight two nights from the day I met Ulrick again, but became frightened when I could not find him. I waited for an hour or so and then became terrified. Ulrick must have backed out of our deal! He has probably already killed Tyler and the Hale family while I was gone! This is what he has been planning! To make me get away from them long enough for him to kill Tyler! Maybe I’m not too late! I started running and did not stop until I got to the house of the Hale’s. “Tyler! Tyler!” I yelled through the sleeping house as I ran upstairs. Vladimir and Michel ran from their rooms since their parents and sister were out of town as I sprinted past them. I threw open my door and ran to Tyler’s small home. I looked in and two yellow eyes looked up to me. Tyler meowed.
What is it, Ardennes?
I dropped to my knees and finally started crying. I pulled Tyler to me and squeezed him to my chest, “Thank god! I’m not too late!” I cried as I held him tighter than before. I then pulled him from me so that he was looking to my face, “I have to find a safe place for you.” I thought out loud, but looked up when Michel put his hand on my shoulder.
“What are you talking about, Ardennes?” He asked me with concern and I quickly looked away. I felt a deadly presence and turned to the door of my room. I set down Tyler and quickly ran over to Ulrick.
“What are you doing here?” Vladimir demanded in a hiss and Ulrick laughed. He set his hand on my face and looked to me.
“Sorry to frighten you in such a way, my darling.” Ulrick apologized, but I smacked his hand away from my face.
“Don’t touch me!” I hissed and everyone seemed to stop breathing by how quiet the room became, “The deal is off, Ulrick!”
“You were planning to come kill Tyler and the Hale family tonight weren’t you?” I demanded, “But I got here before you thought I would and now you are too late! I will not let you use me to kill people!”
“Don’t talk to me like that!” He hissed and before I could block my face he slapped me. I fell to the ground and hit the floor with power. I quickly looked up to Ulrick, but froze when a gunshot went off. Blood started down Ulrick’s arm as he hissed and turned to someone, “Damn it!” He yelled and then sprinted off. I heard him run out of the home and slam the door. Dimitri ran past Mr. Dean and to my side. He knelt at my side and just watched me in shock. Mr. Dean came into the room also.
“Ardennes, we need to get you out of here.” He demanded but I pushed him away from me. I quickly stood up and ran out of the room, but was stopped in my attempt by the firm grasp of Mr. Dean’s gloved hands.
“Don’t follow him, Ardennes,” He whispered and then pulled me closer. One hand left my arm and pulled my hair from my neck, “He has taken too much blood, Ardennes. You should not be standing.”
I slapped his hands from me, “If I don’t go after him he will kill someone else!” I yelled, “I may have Tyler safe, but what about Faith! What about Henry and Kevin! What about the other Hale’s! They are all in danger! I have to stop him!”
“I have already hidden all of them, Ardennes. They are all safe. But you can’t follow Ulrick.” He said sternly and I felt my body weaken. Dimitri came over to me and picked me up. He brought me into my room and sat me on my bed next to Tyler who crawled into my lap. Tyler meowed towards Mr. Dean but I was too weak to hear him.
“Tyler asks how much of his sister’s blood has been taken by that evil creature.” Vladimir told Mr. Dean who sighed.
“I’d guess around 80 percent.”
“What!” Michel yelled as he looked towards me, but I looked down to Tyler who looked to Mr. Dean as he meowed.
“Tyler asks if there is anything you can do to help Ardennes.” Vladimir said quietly as he kept his gaze at Tyler.
“I do not have it with me, but my sons have something that will help.”
“Then what are we waiting for!” Vladimir hissed to Mr. Dean who frowned at the young vampire.
“Keep your tone in check, Mr. Hale. I am doing you a large favor right now that I do not need to do.” Mr. Dean hissed, but when I stood I could feel both of their anger turn to shame.
“We need to get everyone else to wherever your have hidden the others as soon as possible. Ulrick is still close.”
“How close?” Mr. Dean asked sternly and I glanced at him.
“You are bonded to that man by blood now, Ardennes. You can tell how close he is.” Mr. Dean explained and I thought for a moment. An image of Ulrick flashed in my mind before I felt an eerie feeling.
“He is almost a mile to the southeast.” I whispered and he nodded.
“Mr. Hale, please carry Ardennes to my car. I will drive all of you to the shelter.” Mr. Dean said and Vladimir walked closer to me but I moved further from him.
“No. I want to walk.” I hissed and Vladimir seemed concerned. I slowly picked up Tyler and then went to Mr. Dean’s side. He led us all outside to his car and I sat in the front seat. The three men sat in the back as Tyler sat in my lap and Mr. Dean drove. He drove the car a few miles north from town until we reached an office building. We all got out when the car stopped and then followed Mr. Dean inside. We went down 12 flights of stairs till we reached a locked door. Mr. Dean opened it with a set of keys for the 6 locks and then opened the door. Before I could go inside Faith jumped at me. She hugged me tightly and sobbed on my shoulder.
“You’re alive!” She cried as she squeezed me tighter.
“Faith…” I whispered sadly, but was surprised when Mr. Dean pushed both of us closer to the door.
“You two can talk inside. It’s not safe out here.” He retorted and the two of us went into a large room of white walls. There were 11 beds and a kitchen, but nothing else. I saw Mr. and Mrs. Hale, Dahlia, Kevin, and Henry. Faith pulled me to one of the beds and sat at my side, but our attention was brought to Mr. Dean.
“Kevin! Henry! Get everything we’ve got on feeder bites! Quickly!” He hissed and Faith turned to me with fear on her face and heart.
“Feeder bite?” She whispered in a shaking tone, “You’ve been bitten by that man?” I looked away from Faith and towards Mr. Dean who signaled for me to come to his side. I did so and he used his gloved right hand to tilt my head to the side. He examined my bite marks more closely.
“He’s about ten miles out of town now,” I whispered to Mr. Dean, “He is going to find the rest of his kind. He will then bring them back with him to kill all of you and then kill me. They want what happened 70 years ago to repeat so that they will become powerful enough to take over the hunters and vampires. He believes that my blood has become more than he imagined and that it will help them since it is mixed with vampires and hunters now.”
“Hunter and vampire blood?” He asked in a whisper as one of his sons handed him something he set over my wounds, “That is all we need. If he gets a hold of all your blood we will perish.”
I looked to the floor, “He is going to kill all of us either way. Ulrick is more powerful than last time and so is my blood. With the amount of my blood he holds right now he could take over the whole country.”
“If you knew that then why didn’t you stop him?” Mr. Dean frowned.
I pushed his gloved hands away from me and took a few steps away, “Why didn’t I stop YOU from killing part of my family, Mr. Dean! I am too scared and weak to stop anyone! Just like before! I can’t stop Ulrick and I certainly can’t stop a whole ban of feeders!” I quickly walked over to an empty bed and lay down. Tyler curled up next to me and hissed when people came close. First it was Mr. Dean, then Michel, Henry, and Vladimir. I thought through this situation but still could not find an answer. Faith walked over to me and I sat up before my brother could hiss at her. Faith sat to my side and laid cold towels upon my wound. The coldness felt good against my deep wounds, but the shot Faith put into my neck was not near pleasant. She handed the needle to Mr. Dean who handed her a band-aid. She placed it over the spot where the needle had gone into my neck and then hugged my arm.
“We’re not here to patronize you or fight, Ardennes. We are here to help and stay safe,” She whispered and I looked to the crown of her head that rested on my shoulder, “Now let’s try to heal your wounds.” She sat up and examined me.
“He did not rape me, Faith. I can assure you that what you’re imagining is nowhere near the truth. Ulrick just took my blood and kissed me.”
“He kissed you?” She whispered in a shiver.
I looked away, “Once I was weak he could’ve done anything to me, but he just kissed me. I can feel that he really loves me, but his love has gone out of control. He wants to control me and keep me for himself.”
“Then why does he take your blood?”
I looked into Faith’s marvelous brown eyes, “That is a vampire’s way to bond with someone they love and before Ulrick was a feeder, he was a vampire. This is the only way he knows how to show me his feelings.”
“But he wants to kill you! He can’t love you!”
I slightly smiled to Faith, “He knows how I feel and he wants to take me out of my misery of royalty.”
“You want to die!” Mr. Dean yelled and I looked to Tyler who hissed.
“No, but I do not want to live the way I am now. Fighting with the people I care for, lying to everyone, hurting all; that is not the way I want to live. I do not want to go back to the way I used to be, but I cannot stand what is occurring in the present.”
“What do you mean, Ardennes?” Michel asked and I slowly stood. I went over to him and put my hand out to him. He put his hand under mine and I placed my engagement ring in his palm.
“I do not love you, Michel. I may have loved you 70 years ago, but my feeling as not for you anymore.”
“Ardennes…” Michel whispered and I looked to his deep eyes.
“I’m not going to lie anymore, Michel. I don’t want to lead you on when I do not have feeling for you anymore.”
“But we were destined for each other, Ardennes!”
“I’m sorry, Michel, but we weren’t,” I whispered and then put my hand to my head, “I need some air.” I whispered and Mr. Dean tried to stop me, but Vladimir stopped him.
“I will watch her, Sir. We will not go far.” He whispered and Mr. Dean nodded slowly. I went out of the bunker and Vladimir shut the door behind us. I started up the stairs and could hear Vladimir following three steps behind. When we reached the top of the building we left and stood outside. I was surprised when Vladimir took my hand in his and then led me to the side of the building. He sat on the grass and pulled me beside him. The grass had dew on it that made my cloths damp, but I ignored it and focused upon Vladimir’s movements. He pulled me off of the ground and onto his lap. His legs were straight out and I sat with my legs bent and my calves against the grass. He lifted his head off the brick wall and kissed me. I kissed back and ended up being pulled up against Vladimir with breasts against his chest and his hands sliding up my shirt. I helped him slide my shirt off, but was surprised when he pulled me off of his lap. Within seconds I was sitting with my back against the brick wall and Vladimir upon my lap. He caressed my chest as I moaned and kissed him more. When his lips left mine I immediately ripped off the bandage on my neck and he seemed shocked.
“Clean my body of Ulrick,” I whispered, “I want every time he bit me to disappear.” With my command Vladimir kissed me once more before moving to my neck. His teeth felt hot against my skin and did not hurt when they pierced my flesh. He dank my blood as his hands caressed my body, but when he lifted away I stared into his dark eyes.
“Cleanse my blood of any that does not contain you.” He whispered as he put his neck in front of my face and pulled my head closer towards it. I bit into his skin and felt the hot flash of his blood coursing through me, “Take all of me, my love.” He whispered in a groan.