With everyone gone and complete silence following their absence, there was nothing but just the presence of us two. I saunter my way across the room, gracefully placing one foot in front of the other, accommodating to my new flow of life. My path was solely focused on the crib that holds the two pieces connected to my soul, soundlessly they lay curled up to one another as I stand above them, watching over them.
My heart soared with tranquility. I never knew such feeling existed until the moment I found out about their existence, underneath the anxiousness and fear that swelled up inside of me then: the slither of happiness shone and grew with each passing day as much as they did. I reach forward and pass my hand over Cassius’s head of hair, the softness of it tickling my fingertips.
Delano does nothing more than watch me, not rushing me further to start the long-awaited conversation. A few moments more, I stand and watch as life passes through my twins, calmly as they slept, my thumb grazing their skin ever-so-slightly. Pulling away from the crib, I turn and find Delano standing in front of a dresser with a framed mirror behind it, unbuttoning his black coat to his suit. Sleeve by sleeve, he removes the day’s weight off his shoulders, tossing it over the arm of a red-cushioned single chair that was perched diagonally of the dresser.
The white dress shirt clings to the muscles that flexed with every moment, the markings along his wrist that lead to blanket his arm visible to me for a short moment. A stir of heat gathers at the core between my legs causing me to turn away from the scene that played out before me, heading to the king-sized bed that centered the room. I bring the tension of today’s event off my feet, taking a seat on the soft red bench placed in front of the bed.
Loose strands of hair slip over my shoulder to frame my face as I bend down and unstrap the heels from my foot, flexing my toes once they were free from their confinements. I choose this moment to look up in the direction of Delano, to already find him gawking at me with those blue daggers of his through the mirror.
“Is there anything particular you wanted to know, amore?” he suggests, loosening the button clips around his wrist.
Tossing my own shoes off to the side, I shrug to ignore the tingling feeling the simple word brought to my body and appear casual; while extending my legs into a stretch, the silk of the dress pooling on the floor.
“Not that anything comes to mind right now, no,” I say in return, looking from beneath my lashes.
“Well, I’ll start with the difficult one first,” he begins, turning towards me and watches me with dark eyes.
“The Epyra dimension was once earth.”
Both he and I stare aimlessly at one another, his words hovering in the air like a balloon waiting to escape to the edge of the world’s atmosphere, waiting to burst. Delano watched me with scrutinizing hues, focusing on my face, anticipating my reaction. My brain wasn’t capable of finding the correct words that were suitable for how I was felt; a part of my conscious wanted to find the lie in his words, laugh in his face and praise him for his joke yet the other part knew there wasn’t one, my reason for the air I breathe now being the thing I thought as a child was a myth. The simple reminder of what I’ve endured over the course of months coming back tenfold. All I physically could do was tilt my head back and sigh heavily, shaking it from side to side, the tiniest of a deranged chuckle heaving through my nose.
“Of course,” I mumble to myself.
“I know it hard to trust what I’m saying, as surreal as it sounds, but ’tis nothing but the truth.” Delano adds, “My kingdom was once called home to humans when all supernatural’s used to co-exist peacefully together.”
I watch as Delano’s vibrant gaze shifts and dulls in color gradually, pulling himself down memory lane. “To calmy start off, vampires were the first before any other species to walk the terrains of this world; to whoever created us still unknown. Through generations, our blood has been untainted and void of any other species blood. . .”
His eyes return to their normal hue, fixated on the crib as warmth pools in his eyes, consuming them completely with an emotion I’m sure he wasn’t ready to utter from his lips. Watching him silently, my own version of warmth emerges from the cracks of my heart and flows like a tide washing tenderly up against the beach shoreline over my veins and leaves a fuzzy sensation in its wake.
“In the early stages of the world’s creation, humans were last to enter this cycle of life,” he continues, “At their existence, they are immediately seen as weak within the minds of mythical creatures, who range in power and strength. So, they turned to look for help from vampires.”
Delano uncrosses his ankles and takes the two strides to the right to sit in the single-cushioned chair. He relaxes his body and shuts his eyes briefly with a short tilt of his head backward.
“Being that we were already held on a pedestal by being the oldest things that walked this world; they worshipped us, bared gifts and offering so in return we would give them protection.”
I cocked my head to the side, a smidge of a perplexed look on my face. “Wait. . I thought vampires fed off humans.”
“We did,” he meets my gaze, curling his lips into a fanged smile. “Gifts and offerings can only go so far.”
A shudder ran down the shape of my spine, rattling the bones like a xylophone.
“Due to their near extinction, we don’t solely require their blood to survive.”
Pulling my legs closer toward me, I sit up straight, peering in his direction with a cautioned look. “Extinction? What happened?” I question, unsure if I really wanted to know the answer.
The atmosphere in the air changes, the hairs on my legs react to the sudden shift, the air clogging with a dark undertone of energy: the air so tight it’s as if I could physically feel it pressing against me. The cool expression that once settled on Delano’s face was replaced with a cold, menacing look at the mention of ’demons. His knuckles were laced together, his elbows resting on the chair’s arms, his finger tapping lightly at his upper lip as he looks out into nothing, once again getting lost in the recollection of his history.
“The Buio dimension was created solely for the beings that reside their existence in darkness. The appearance of demons was no surprise, but their initial motive for letting their existence be known drove the world to destruction,” he explains, an edge taking place at the end of his worlds.
“What’s a world without war?”
The question runs freely through the air.
“What’s a world without greed, death, jealously. . . power?” he asks rhetorically again, planting the seed of images within my head.
“There isn’t one,” I respond quietly, keeping my eyes downcast; absorbing the weight of his words.
I feel him glance in my direction, the heat of them creating a patch of warmth on my cheek. I knew if I spared him a glance of my own, I’ll be lost in the depth of those baby blue orbs that pulled me deeper by the strings of my heart; they would glitter and molt to a vision of the brightest star that lit up the night sky, anchoring themselves to something deeper inside my being.
“They attacked the humans knowing they were the source of our strength,” Delano projects out, rising to his feet in one fluid motion, heading toward the crib.
He looms over the twins, his face hidden from my view, one hand in his pocket while the other tapped quietly on the wooden bar of the crib.
“My ancestors were left at a stand-still, unsure of what they could do to prevent the death of our fellow brethren and extinction of humans. Vampires weren’t very religious beings, but it seemed like our silent prays of hope were answered, and thus,” he rolls up the sleeve of his dress shirt, revealing the beautifully designed markings that covered his left arm from the should down.
"Il potere di dio è nato. . .” his tongue glides effortlessly over the language, gazing down at his arm, admiring the work of art himself.
“Behind these markings lies a power that can destroy anything within the holder’s will,” he manages a tone above a whisper. “The distribution of this power didn’t go unnoticed as more demons appeared across sections of our land, slaughtering the inhabits of the kingdom. My ancestors had no choice to use to what was gifted to our lineage, ending the thousand-year war, leaving us with more than half the human population gone.”
“The amount of bloodshed and dark energy spilled in that time frame shifted the world into a dark age, which is the reason there is no ‘light’ in this world, just darkness. To also prevent the remaining population of humans from disappearing, a portal was created to the earth as you know it now.”
Delano pulls his sleeve back in place, hiding the markings once again, and turns his head to stare out the window through the partially closed curtains, the thin laced fabric that swaying to the lightest brush of wind. “That was centuries ago, and still, the power that was given is passed down to the firstborn male offspring, waiting to be used again.”
He fingers Cassius’s hair behind his ear, his touch furthering bringing our child into a deeper slumber.
“There’s no doubt that demons will make their rise again,” he concludes, “the incident with Victoria and those creatures being a prime example that some still inhabit this world and are working to overthrow the kingdom once more.”
The satisfaction that filled my veins as they image of ripping her head from her shoulder, draws a smile on my face, replaying the scene over and over again.
Delano clears his throat, grabbing my attention once more, and turns his back, slowly making a path toward me. “I believe they weren’t completely wiped out back then, a few of them surviving and hiding away so they could replenish their numbers and strength and return to take they so eager to have.”
“I tell you this because they may turn their attacks toward Adelia and Cassius,” he tells me with gentle eyes.
Yet, those eyes do nothing to stop the rush of pure rage at the simple thought of harm coming to my children. My lips curl above my fangs, a low hiss rising deep from the depths of my chest.
“I would like to see them try,” I say in a guttural voice, the anger clearly woven tightly in each letter.
Instead of surprise littering the contours of Delano’s face, a smile graces the corners of his lips, his strides ending his path directly in front of me, my neck craned to meet his gaze. He bends down until he balanced his weight effortlessly on the balls of his feet, his hands clasped in front of him.
“Which,” he pauses, softly willing me to calm down, “is why I say my offer of protection still stands; I’m going to keep the three of you safe.”
My fangs retract back into my gums as I look off to the side.
“I can take care of myself,” I say stubbornly.
I almost jump out my skin at the feel of Delano’s hand grabbing ahold of my own, the shockwaves rushing over my veins, making all my senses hyperaware of his touch. I turn to face him again, those once guarded, cold eyes: that withheld every secret and agonizing thought that has walked his mind, staring up at me like an open book.
“I know you can,” he credits me, caressing his thumb over the back of my hand, “there are still many things that you have to accommodate to after turning, additional, I want to protect my family.”
Those eyes revealed the truth behind his words, luring me to trust him, trust that he means what he says and they no danger will ever set more than an inch before us. Unknowingly, my heart soars and opens inch by inch, slowly allowing his presence to trickle inside.