"It's A Girl"
A warm breeze blew through the garden of Croft Manor. A few meters from there was the cemetery and the family chapel, where a slender woman, dressed in an elegant black dress and her hair in a bun, was standing before a fresh grave. The tombstone read:
WERNER VON CROY
1932 – 2002
Requiescat in pace
“A chance to forgive,” Lara muttered, placing a rose on the gravestone. “I’m sorry, Werner. Wish I hadn’t been so proud.”
She had his remains brought from Paris and buried there, together with her ancestors. He’d forever have a place of honor in her memory, for he had made her who she was.
She turned and slowly left the cemetery. A few steps away from the gates, a strong man, attractive despite his sullen expression, was looking at her memorial statue, carved when she’d been left for dead. “Y’know, it doesn’t do you justice,” Kurtis said. “If I were you I’d have it removed. Not nice to have your grave always in sight.”
Lara laughed. “I dare not. It’s very expensive and I don’t want to upset Father Dunstan.” She took his arm and walked back to the manor. There beside the gates was Kurtis’ motorbike and all his baggage. “So you’re leaving,” she said, unable to hide a slight disappointment in her voice.
He didn’t answer immediately. “Lara, we’re different. You have your life and I have mine. I can’t follow you wherever you go, and you shouldn’t condemn yourself to the shadow world in which I move. Karel’s death was just one of my goals. I’m tied to a mission, a fate that, as a member of my Order, I must accomplish.”
“Kurtis, your Order’s dead,” she said. “And you’ve spent your life trying to deny who you are.”
“I’m tired of it. I regret having failed my father, my people. I don’t know if a day will come in which I’ll settle my debt, but for now I’m bound. Wherever I go, I must go alone. It’s my duty. Nephili are dead at last, but there will always be demons to hunt, evil creatures no one can face but me. It’s my life mission and I need to face it.”
Lara looked at him, and suddenly he seemed to be again that stranger who came across her in a Parisian ghetto, more than a year ago. She realized she still didn’t know him at all. Kurtis Trent had part of his life steeped in mystery.
“Also, there’s my mother,” he said, taking out the dreamcatcher and kissing it. After so many months, he’d enough confidence to make that intimate gesture before her. “I have to see her and tell her that she’s free - that she doesn’t have to hide anymore, that our greatest enemy no longer threatens us.”
“What’s next?” Lara bit her lower lip.
“Next...I’ll go on. I can’t stay long in one place. I’ve no home, I’m a transient.”
“This could be your home.”
Kurtis stared at her. She meant it, totally. He roamed his eyes over the elegant manor, over the manicured garden. Then he looked back at her. Yes, she meant something more.
“And what would I do here? Live at your cost? No, Lara. It’s better this way. I can’t stay.”
“Should I assume I won’t see you again?” She said with feigned indifference.
Not to see you again...who could stand that? “I wouldn’t say so, M’lady. Whenever you call me, I’ll come.”
“Really?” Lara began to smile.
“That’s the oath of a Lux Veritatis,” he said taking a fist to his heart. “I’ll come wherever I am. And if I’m dead, I’ll go out of my grave if you ask me.”
Lara laughed and hugged him tightly. “I’ll miss you, Kurtis. I got used to my silent warden.”
“Take care, okay? Don’t make a mess of things when going around.” He left her and walked to his bike, pulled from his luggage a little portfolio she instantly identified: his sketchbook. “Take that,” he said. “I made them for you, and guessing by your reaction in the Jeep, I think you enjoyed them.”
Lara glared at him. “So you were awake!”
“Couldn’t resist the temptation, M’lady.”
The last kiss was long and intense as every moment they had lived together. Then he got on the motorbike and took off, disappearing down the road. He didn’t look back, and neither did Lara when she quietly retraced her steps and entered the manor.
Already in the top of the stairs, she opened the portfolio and flipped through the sketches. She smiled at seeing the last drawing.
It was a beautiful woman asleep on a bed and dressed in an austere monk’s robe, showing a foot with a bandaged ankle.
The woman –which was her, of course– was sleeping with a frown and pursed lips. A lovely expression from someone who displays a strong spirit and makes her way through life with courage, confidence, and pride.
Giselle slowly climbed the gangway to the ship. One employee, upon seeing her, rushed to help her with the luggage. “Thanks,” she said, smiling with her white teeth.
“Heading to Argentina on vacation, ma’am?”
The Nordic blonde looked uneasy at the employee - but his smile was honest and the question innocent. “Yes,” she said. “I want to relax a little. I’ve had too much work and that’s not good for the baby.” She touched her swollen belly.
The employee estimated about six months, feeling surprised that a pregnant woman wasn’t accompanied by anyone, but refrained from asking questions. “Congratulations,” he said. “You already know what it is?”
Giselle smiled again and said nonchalantly: “It’s a girl.”
If you got here, thank you very much for reading my fanfic. And if you enjoyed it, you’ll probably also like to know that this sequel to AoD has, in turn, another sequel. This continuation of “The Golden Seal” is called “Lilith’s Scepter”, and this fanfic is much longer and with higher doses of mature content (sex, violence and strong language). I hope it is to your liking and thanks again for being there.
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