“I have no intentions of pursuing war, Lucca. You know very well that I have been through one too many while my father was still alive. It is the kind of life I would never go back to. I would rather drown in solitude than to conquer one coven after the other. Unfortunately, the news that she received told her otherwise. That is why she wants a union between mine and hers. She only wants to sink her fangs into my domain.” I paused as I turned to face him. “I was betrayed for power by some of my council members. Those whom I have trusted for two centuries. I barely made it alive when she kept me captive. I do not seek revenge either, I only want her to stop this madness. I made it fundamentally clear from the start.” Lucca stared back at me with a blank expression. He held his tongue and waited for me to continue as he knows that I have more to share.
“She has broken many of our laws just to silence me so she can freely take what belongs to my people. I will be honest with you. I accepted your invitation because I have caught wind that there is a conspiracy taking place and you were mentioned along with the Australian primus.” His eyes widened a fraction upon hearing this and I held my hand up to stop him from saying anything until I was done. “This is not an accusation, but merely a query. I am aware that you loathe Octavia, however, minds change like the direction of the wind and there is no certainty in this world. Tell me, Lucca, what lies beneath this invitation of yours and where do we stand?” I asked standing in such a way that is both confident and prepared for anything so that I can move out of the way quickly in any case this ends badly.
He observed me for a moment and then shook his head when I did not move or say anything more. “We stand on the same respectful grounds, Alastair. As long as I rule there will never be a change in the wind’s direction between our treaty. Perhaps it was because of her unanticipated visits that one might think that I have sold my soul. I would never even near-death consider conspiring with her. The only reason for my invitation is to understand,” he answered. “Then, would you consider standing beside me when needed?” I asked. “I will not take sides. I do not wish to take part in your dissension. Nevertheless, I will do what is needed and what is just when the time comes.”
“And what is needed and just?” I questioned. We stood still in front of each other as if we were statues. Waiting. Evaluating. Our silence stretching on. “Upholding peace, honor, and equality,” he finally answered and I gave him a nod of approval. He may not have voiced his thoughts out loud, but I understood what was implied. “Allow me to state this once. I do not take deceit lightly,” I warned staring directly into his eyes. “My word is bond, old friend. Let me protect you for as long as you are in my country as a way of proving myself,” he tendered, bowing his head slightly as a sign of conceding. “There is no need to concern yourself with my safety while I’m here, Lucca. Ishmael took it upon himself to do that. Besides, I will not be staying long. I must go back home soon to prepare for what’s to come,” I admitted and his eyes gleamed upon hearing his predecessor’s name.
“Ah. Ishmael. How is the original heir to this throne?” he playfully asked. “Enjoying normalcy last I saw him. Still unwelcoming and a nonconformist,” I smirked. “He never once visited this place since he renounced his post. He only wishes to live outside these walls free from all the duties he has to fulfill but never willing to move to another land,” he wistfully sighed. “He scorns the structure we box ourselves in, but never the land and its people,” I countered as I head for the door.
The streets have been almost emptied as I made my way back to Ishmael’s home. I took my time passing through the streets as a normal human being would but quickly dashed away once I reached the woodsy part of the town. I have been feeling extra cautious since I left Lucca’s home. Call it paranoia or instinct, but I can sense that someone or something is following me. I readied myself for a full-on attack as I weaved through the trees while studying my surroundings mentally planning my route of escape and line of attack. If tonight is going to be the end of me, then I will not go down without a fight. If by chance I am out-numbered, then I must take as many as I can to hell with me I thought to myself as I surged forward.
Suddenly, two figures took shape on either side of me. The one on my left swung its arm in lightning speed at me and I narrowly dodged the blow. I stopped abruptly sending them skidding a few feet away before they are able to stop. Two vampires, a man and a woman both dressed in all black stood before me. “Who sent you and what is your business with me?” I calmly asked. The woman leered at me while the man rushed forward raining down punches and kicks on me which I matched with my own countering blows. Before the woman could join in, my palm landed on the man's chest sending him stumbling backward. I didn't wait for the woman to advance, instead, I launched myself to where she is quickly punching a hole through her chest, but not enough to kill her just yet. I took a hold of her heart and squeezed making her groan in pain almost dropping to her knees.
The other vampire froze in place once he realized what was happening. "Who sent you?" I harshly asked adding more pressure to her heart. "Aaaarrghh!" She screamed and my lips curled giving her a disdainful glare. "W-we'll n-never t-t-tell you..." she coughed as she tried to look defiant, but failing miserably. "Suit yourself," I answered ripping her heart out without giving it a second thought. The man wailed in anger and darted towards me. I swiftly moved out of his way, took a hold of his neck, and ripped his throat out. Whoever sent them knows exactly where I was going to be. Perhaps, there are more traitors than I originally thought in my midst.