AttackLate the next day I was finally able to leave the hospital. I planned to come back later because I still had yet to talk to Daniel since he had not woken up yet. I was driven by Madie back to my master’s home and when I got out of the car I fumbled to try to keep myself standing on the crutches. This was my first chance to use the crutches on anything but solid ground so it was difficult to get to the door, but when I did, Madie was kind enough to open it for me. When we came in the sun still had not set, so I assumed the three vampires of the house were still asleep. Madie helped me over to the kitchen where I noticed it was cleaned. I smiled to her, “You did not have to do my housework for me, Madie.”
She smiled back, “I got bored today when the others were sleeping and you were still gone so I decided to make myself useful,” She replied, “Also, Lord Vladimir requested that I help him find a maid for the home because he thinks it is too much for you to train, guard, and serve the two masters of this house while still doing cleaning.”
I sighed, “Alright.”
“The maid I found will be here tomorrow night to start work so I will stay here till then to help you out.”
“Oh no! You and Lady Mila have done too much for me! I could never possibly make you stay longer! I can do the housework for tonight and tomorrow till the maid arrives, so once Lady Mila awakes you should take her back to your home so she can rest.”
“You and I both know she will not want to leave.”
“But she should. She has been sleeping in our spare room for the past few nights so she should go back home and rest properly. Otherwise I will feel horrible.”
“I will talk to her about it.”
I nodded, “Alright, well I shall start preparing the food.”
“No, I will do that. The doctor said you should not do anything strenuous for at least the rest of tonight because of the pain killers he prescribed.”
“Alright, then I shall go straighten up the den.”
“No, please Veronica. Give me some peace of mind and please just sit down. Lie on the couch and put up your leg.”
“Alright, alright.” I said as I went into the living room. I put up my leg on the couch but was shocked when a black cat came into the room, “Madie, is this your cat?” I called.
“No, it is a stray that young Lord Neco found and decided to keep.”
“Oh?” The small black cat crawled into my lap with a purr and I brushed my fingers down its spine which it enjoyed. I then scratched its ears as it brushed against my chest and legs. I did not look up until Madie came into the room.
“There, the food is ready,” She announced, “But that cat seems to adore you, Veroinca, yet it will not purr when any of the vampires in the house or I touch it.”
“For some reasons animals seem to adore me.”
“It must be your good hearted nature.” She said and then gave me a goofy smile. We both started laughing, but stopped when we heard someone walking. I looked to Lady Mila who smiled before yawning.
“Don’t stop on my account,” She said as she lay down on my side that I did not have my cast up on. The cat hopped down and Mila placed her head in my lap. She snuggled into my stomach and watched Madie, “How are Damek and Daniel?”
Madie sighed, “Lord Damek is alright and moving around but Daniel still has yet to wake up.”
“We will go see your cousin once he is awake.” Mila said in a very adult tone and I smiled to Madie.
“Thank you, my master.”
“Will you go with us, Nicky?” Mila said as she turned to look up to me.
“Lord Damek has requested my presence when Daniel wakes, so I will go if I am permitted to go by my master.”
“But what if Vladimir does not say you can go?”
I sighed, “Then I shall not go. My master’s wish is my command and I shall follow it.”
“You certainly are dedicated to Vladimir.”
“Of course,” Someone said and I looked up to see young master Neco watching me, “She is his slave.”
“I know that,” Mila hissed back, “But I wanted to make sure she would hold up to it.”
“Veronica, my brother wanted me to inform you that he is working and will not be coming to dinner.” Neco said as he watched my face turn to despair but I looked to Mila as she grabbed my shirt.
“Is everything okay, Nicky? You look upset.”
I smiled happily towards Mila, “Of course, Lady Mila, everything is fine,” I slowly got up but hunched when I heard a loud crack. Mila sprinted to me with horror.
“Are you alright, Nicky? What was that horrible noise?!”
I put my hand on her head, “It is alright, Lady Mila, that was just the screw moving when I got up too quickly.”
I nodded and then pointed to the middle part of my femur, “The doctor had to put two metal plates and eight screws into my leg so that I would not break the bone entirely. He said that the screws and plates may make noises when I move too quickly and will pinch a few nerves each time.”
“That sounds painful.”
“Do not worry about me, Lady Mila, leave your worry for Lord Damek and Daniel. They need it more than I.”
“But how will you run?”
“With enough time I will be back to normal,” I whispered and then adjusted my crutches. I hobbled into the kitchen to get the food but looked to Madie as she slammed the stove closed, “What is wrong, Madie?”
“Please do not give my master false hopes like that, Veronica. You and I both know there is almost no chance you will be able to walk properly again, let alone run.”
I sighed, “I just don’t want her to worry. If anything I don’t want to scare Lady Mila.” I whispered before hobbling into the dining room with only one crutch supporting me. I placed the food on the table and looked to Madie when she placed down food also.
“The doctor said you should not eat for the rest of the day, Veronica, so why don’t you go lie down.”
I slowly nodded to her and looked away. I hobbled my way back into the kitchen but quietly fixed another plate before going towards where the bedrooms of the home were. I quietly made my way to my master’s room and knocked on the door. “Neco, I told you to go already.” My master hissed.
“My master, it is not Neco, it is Veronica,” I whispered and he suddenly became silent, “I know you are working and I do not plan to bother you, but I thought you might be hungry so I brought you something to eat,” I waited for a response or movement but it never came. I let out a sigh, “Then I shall leave the plate outside your door. Please do try to eat.” I added in a whisper before hobbling away. I went back to the kitchen and picked up my other crutch before creeping outside without making a noise. I went to the boundaries of the property before I started my routine search of the acres my master owned. I reached a fairly flat part of the boundary line and gained some courage. I slowly dropped my crutches from my body and tried to take a few steps. I got one step with my cast but as I tried to put my weight on my injured foot I felt a sharp pain before my good leg gave out and I fell on my face in the dirt. I sat up and used a medium sized rock to pull myself up off the ground in order to try to grab my crutches but fell again in the process. I hissed at myself and then rolled over onto my back so that I could look up to the darkening sky. I casually put my arms behind my head in order to become more comfortable, “Wherever you are, wherever you hide, I will stop at nothing now to kill you Kenneth Martin,” I whispered and then closed my eyes, “I don’t care what this aching pain is that I get when I see you, but I will ignore it from now on. You have harmed Lady Mila, young master Neco, and Madie; you have injured Lord Damek, you nearly killed my friend, and you have tried to go after my master once more. This time I will stop at nothing to make sure you cannot touch any of them ever again.” I looked over as the black cat from earlier came over to me. Suddenly it sat down on the ground while making a hissing noise. I tried to get up to see what was wrong but froze as the cat slowly grew. It transformed into a young hunter male that pulled out a gun and shot. Ignoring my pain, I dove in the opposite direction of the man and looked around for anything to use as a weapon. My gun had been taken from me and I had yet to get it back so I was truly in a sticky situation. I thought out a plan and then quickly stood. I sprinted into the forest off to the side of the property and the hunter followed at a quick rate. I jumped and climbed into a tree close to the entrance of the forest and waited for the hunter to run past before hopping back down. I quickly sprinted towards the house, but felt a sharp pain in my leg, which was too much for me to grit and bear. I fell to the ground as tears filled my face but forced myself back to my feet when I heard the man coming my way. All I could think of was protecting my masters and Lady Mila so I blocked out the pain and sprinted faster. I got to the house and threw open the door. I knew the hunter had gained speed so I quickly ran into the living room where the three vampires and Madie were talking. They all looked in horror as I sprinted into the room and collapsed to the ground.
“Veronica!” Madie cried but I quickly looked up.
“Hunter! Outside! Only a mile back!” I hissed as tears ran down my face, “I need my gun!”
“You are in no condition to fight! I will do it!”
I quickly pulled myself off of the ground and yanked Madie’s second gun from her belt. I took it and turned to run but froze as I saw the man. He gave me an evil smile as he pointed his gun at young master Neco. I quickly sprinted to Neco and got there just in time. The bullet pierced my arm as I fell to the ground. I sat up with a hiss and shot at the hunter 8 times before getting up and going in front of my master. I held the gun close to me and shot the man again. I got him in the stomach, so I quickly sprinted to him as he slumped over with a grunt. I body- slammed him onto the floor and put the end of my barrel on the back of his head before he realized I had moved, “Coming after my masters while I am around, what an armature mistake. Make sure you do not make the same mistake in your next life, hunter.” I hissed before pulling the trigger and blood covered my face. I looked over to Madie as her hand came off of covering Lady Mila’s eyes, “Call an ambulance.” I whispered and she quickly sprinted away. Lady Mila and young master Neco shook with fright. I immediately got up and went over to master Neco, “Did that bullet touch you?” I asked with worry and he shook his head. I sighed with relief before slumping to the ground as Lady Mila ran to my side.
“Nicky! Your leg!” She cried as tears covered her face.
“It will be alright, Lady Mila,” I whispered as I looked to her with a smile, “Madie is with you so you will never get hurt.” I felt as if I was in a trance as paramedics filled the room and two took me to an ambulance. I closed my eyes as they started driving off and slowly fell asleep.
I awoke to see my master sleeping with his head on my hospital bed. I brushed a stray hair from his face as he slept, but was shocked when his eyes flew open. He looked to me with relief, “You’re finally awake.”
I smiled sadly towards him, “I’m sorry if I worried you.”
He sighed, “I would have never guessed a hunter was disguising himself in order to get you alone and kill us. That is a new method I knew nothing about.”
“I was shocked myself.”
My master looked away in regret, “The doctor talked to me earlier about the previous attack.”
I sighed, “So you know now?”
“Why didn’t you tell me you were instructed to stop moving around very much because of your artery?”
“Even if I had told you, I could not stop this. I could not just sit around and wait for you to be hurt,” I whispered as I looked to the ceiling, “So my leg, they had to take it off?” I asked with regret and gave my master a smile as he seemed to whiten. My hands gripped the sheets on me tighter as I held back tears, “It was expected. I had already cut my artery and the doctor said almost anything could start the bleeding again,” I closed my eyes, “I knew when I felt that horrible pain while running, it was over and I needed help, but I just couldn’t stop myself. Images of you being shot by that hunter kept flying through my mind and I just couldn’t stop myself from running to you. I wanted to protect you because I thought I was going to die so I wanted to save you before that happened.”
“You should have stayed where you were.” He whispered but I knew he wanted to yell it, yet he was too upset to.
“Do the others know about my leg?” I asked and he looked away with regret once more.
“I couldn’t bring myself to tell them.”
“I would have been the same way,” I whispered but then looked to the wheelchair near my bed, “Can you help me get into that?”
“You’re not supposed to move around.”
“I need to see Daniel. Has he woken up?”
He nodded, “He awoke while you were in your second surgery.”
“I have to go see him.”
“Alright.” My master whispered before slowly helping me into the chair. I looked to the end of my gown to see only my right leg remaining but ignored it and smiled up to my master.
“You should sleep. I will be back soon.” I whispered before using the wheels to push myself out of the open door of the room and down the hall. I went down the sleeping hall covered by darkness but stopped at Daniel’s room. Lord Damek had been let out yesterday so he went home for the night to prepare his home for when Daniel would be moved there next week. I pushed myself into the open room to see Daniel. To my relief his neck was already out of the brace and he sat, reading a book. I knocked on the door and wheeled into the room as he looked up. He smiled towards me, “I’m glad to see you’re awake.” I whispered as I came to his side. He put down his book and just looked at me.
“My master told me earlier that you almost stayed here all day after the attack and that you were injured during the battle.”
I nodded, “Yes, I cracked my femur,” I whispered, “But you looked close to death the last time I saw you. How are you feeling? Can I get you something?”
He shook his head, “Your company is more than enough.”
“How is your leg and foot?”
“Well the doctor said I will need supports on my leg for the rest of my life and will not be able to sprint as fast as I used to. Luckily I am recovering faster and better than expected so the doctor is pleased.”
“I’m glad,” I started to reply, but stopped as Lady Mila and Madie appeared at the door with my young master.
“Nicky!” Lady Mila called as she ran over to me and I turned myself towards her but stopped when she froze. She started shaking and tears slowly went down her face, “Y-your l-leg! It’s g-gone!” She cried and slipped to the ground as she cried for me, “No! This can’t happen!” Lady Mila cried and I quickly looked away from her and to the ground to my left.
“Brother!” Neco suddenly hissed as my master appeared at his side, “Why didn’t you stop them! They amputated her leg!”
“My young master, there was nothing they could do for me. I was told before I left the hospital last time that I should not do much or I would risk losing my leg so it is my fault.”
“But why did you come!” Lady Mila hollered at me, “Why did you fight that man if you knew it would cost you your leg!”
I looked to her with pure intentions, “Because that hunter planned to hurt my masters. Regardless of the cost, I was going to protect my masters.”
“You’re too reckless!” Lady Mila cried as she clung to Madie who was now also crying.
I looked to Daniel as he looked to me, “Who did this?”
“A hunter shot me during battle.”
“You killed him?”
I nodded, “Of course.”
“Has my master seen yet?” Daniel asked as he looked to my two masters that stood near the door.
“No, but he will eventually.” My master replied.
“Master, you should leave. The sun will be up in less than an hour and if you don’t leave now you will not make it home in time,” I whispered at then looked to Madie, “Could you trouble me by staying at my master’s home a little longer?”
“Of course, Veronica. We shall stay there until you are out of the hospital.” She whispered back before leaving with my masters in tow. I wheeled over to Daniel’s side but looked up as someone went by with a woman who was about to have a child.
“Did you ever live long enough to become a father, Daniel? I have forgotten to ask.” I said as I looked to the man.
He shook his head, “I was merely 17 when my master chose me to follow him,” He looked to his lap, “I still had yet to find a wife.”
“Oh? What year were you chosen by Lord Damek?”
“I believe he chose me in the summer of 1529.”
“Ah, so you were born during the Renaissance?”
He nodded, “I heard from another slave that you were born a thousand years after me.”
I let out a laugh, “Certainly not.”
“Oh? Then when were you chosen, Veronica?”
“My master chose me in the winter of 816, which was one of the early years that led to the Holy Roman Empire.”
“Dear lord! Then you are older than most slaves!”
I smiled, “I certainly am, but since I have died so often I look around your age.”
“How old were you?”
“I had turned 18 the previous fall.”
“Oh? Then you must have been married. I have heard that most people of that age were married by 17.”
I shook my head, “No, I was engaged when my master chose me,” I whispered, “But the man I would have married was not the father to my child.”
“You had a child?”
I nodded, “My daughter was born right before I turned 15. Her name was Lena, but I never met her father.”
“How could you not meet the father of your child?”
I looked to my hands, “I was raped after my 14th birthday by an unknown man so I will never know who her father was.”
“Did you ever see your daughter?”
I nodded, “She died on her 3rd birthday by an assassin that came after my King’s daughter and mistook her for mine. That is why I joined the war efforts and hid my gender.” I changed the subject quickly, “But I was pleased when Lord Damek picked you to follow him. He made a great choice.”
“But so did Lord Vladimir when he chose you.”
I smiled towards Daniel, “I wish I could agree to that,” I whispered but looked up when Lord Damek came into the room. He looked at my legs in horror and I sighed, “How are you Lord Damek?” I asked and he stormed over to me.
“What nerve that man has!” He hissed as he kneeled in front of me, “The man you spoke of last time is behind this! I am sure of it! It was revenge!”
I put my hand on Lord Damek’s shoulder and he looked to me. I leaned over and kissed his cheek, “Thank you for your concern, Lord Damek, but I can assure you that Kenneth did not do this.”
“How do you know?”
I clenched my hands and looked away, “We are too alike to be enemies, so I know what he thinks. He wants to kill me with his own hands just as I want to do to him.”
“You cannot go near that monster, Nicky!”
“I have to. If I do not, you may be attacked again,” I whispered as I felt like I would cry, “I am the reason you were both injured and my leg was to pay for my mistake. I did not kill that man when I had the chance.”
“Wait!” Daniel yelled and we both looked to him in wonder, “What do you mean you were the reason we were attacked?”
I looked away from Daniel and to his master, “Tell him, Veronica. He deserves to know and may be able to help us.”
I wheeled closer to Daniel and took his hand in mine, “Do you remember how I told you I was engaged before I was chosen, Daniel?” I asked and he nodded, “Well that man I was supposed to marry never died.”
“What do you mean? Did he turn into a slave too?” He asked and I shook my head, “Then how could he still live?”
“He chose to become a hunter,” I whispered and his eyes widened, “Everyone has tried to keep it from me but my sworn enemy of the hunter world was the man I loved. Kenneth Martin was the nephew of the king I honored and had chosen me to marry him before my child was killed in the war. When I went to fight for revenge I was stabbed and was going to die, but on the night everyone left the field I was dying on my master found me. He asked me if I wanted to live but was shocked when I told him I did not,” I squeezed my eyes closed, “But my master believed it was not my time to die so he took my memories in order to shield me of my past in hopes that someday my past could be forgotten. Yet, Kenneth found out and wanted to get me back from the vampires so he sold his royalty and soul to a hunter in turn of living for eternity in hopes of finally getting me back,” I squeezed Daniel’s hand as I opened my eyes, “The hunter that attacked you and injured you was none other than Kenneth Martin. He somehow found out that I was close to you and your master so he went after you in hopes that I would leave my master in order to hunt him. He believed that if I left my master I would return to his side,” I looked away as tears ran down my face, “I caused you and Lord Damek so much pain because of my mistakes made when I was still human.”
“And now that hunter plans to come see Veronica while she is at the hospital in hopes to get her back.”
I looked up to lord Damek, “How close is he?”
“Not even a day’s travel away.”
“I want guards around my masters, Madie, Lady Mila, Daniel, and you Lord Damek. We cannot lose any of you because of this.”
“I do not have the authority to put guards around my cousins, Mila, Madie, or you. Only Vladimir and Mila can request guards for them and their slaves.”
“But you will put guards around Daniel and yourself?”
He nodded, “If that is what you think is best.”
I smiled, “If anything, I do not want to get anyone else hurt,” I looked away, “Is there a possible way to make it so my masters, Madie, and Lady Mila cannot come to this hospital for today or tonight?”
“We will have to lie or my cousin will become outraged and refuse for you to be anywhere near the only hunter that can defeat you.”
I nodded, “And if my master is near, Kenneth will surely go after him. His largest grudge is against my master.”
“But your master saved you!” Daniel hissed, “Lord Vladimir has done nothing wrong!”
I looked to Daniel, “My master purposely took all my memories of my child and of Kenneth in order to keep us apart so that I would stay at his side forever and Kenneth sees that as a personal attack,” My glance went to Lord Damek, “Call and tell your cousins that I will be having tests run tomorrow so they should not come.”
“Alright,” He whispered but then handed me a gun, “Don’t miss this time.” He added and I nodded.
“I will watch him take his last breath this time.”