Blood and War

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Chapter 68 - More Truth

“She set you up. Her father failed her, so she shifted her ambitions to you,” Catherine concluded, and Goran suddenly smirked.

“I would have been damned impressed if it hadn’t been me in her trap,” Goran’s smile died quickly as he shifted.

“And her death,” Catherine pushed harder, and his eyes met hers.

“She’s not dead, she was turned into one of you. It didn’t quite work though. I suspect her lover was not as strong as she thought.

He keeps her in a castle in the mountains, and he does not dare let her out. She’s too dangerous,” Goran’s eyes never wavered. Catherine never even doubted the truth of his words.

“She took a vampire lover while married to you? What about the story that you made her life such a hell that she killed herself?” She asked, and this time he raised one cynical brow.

“That would be tales of one spineless Thomas to influence his nephew against me and get his silly little revenge on me for killing his father.

Who went missing some years later, through none of my doing and for ‘driving’ his sister to her death or undeath, whatever you call it.

She could do no wrong in his eyes. I didn’t bother to tell him the truth,” he toasted her mockingly, and Catherine found herself almost smiling. It was difficult not to like him.

“Why did you send Dillon away?” It was the hardest question, and his eyes darkened instantly.

“Dillon was sick, and nothing I did made him better. It was only later that I realized that Thomas paid Dillon’s nurse to give him small doses of a poison that induced vomiting.

Thomas claimed that it was the cold mountain air and that according to tradition, since Dillon was the only heir to what remained of their estates, he had to return home.

I refused, and Dillon got worse. I started to doubt myself, and I thought, let’s see if he gets better if he is away from the mountains. Dillon recovered within weeks. I foolishly believed Thomas.

Then he forged my signature and seal on a document stating that I relinquished all rights to my son. That since he is sickly, I denounce him as my heir.

I left all, and I went to get my son. Dillon did not want to see me, and he ran away into the woods. When we finally found him, he was almost frozen to death. He would not even let me carry him,” Goran’s fist came down hard on the wooden table or would have if Catherine hadn’t caught it in her own and prevented him from inadvertently destroying her favorite table. Her strength surprised him.

“It got political, and I never saw my son again...” Goran shifted his fist, and Catherine let go, but instead, he folded her hand into his.

“You dislike vampires,” she reminded him, and he smiled at her.

“I don’t dislike you,” he stated in a matter of fact tone.

“Why?” She insisted, and he frowned slightly.

“You loved my son. You mourn my son. You’ve suffered, and you have survived,” Goran sat back, finally relaxing as much as he ever would.

“I’m pregnant,” Catherine watched his face grow blank in shock, and she realized that was wrong, Goran didn’t know.

She frowned. That put a whole new spin on things. Why would Aldrich tell him so much of her life and leave out that? With her armor on, you could not see it. She frowned and then she waited for the inevitable question of paternity that never came.

If Darcon didn’t know about the baby, why was he so pissed and if he did find out, would he change his mind? She wondered and then grimaced to herself. She would not be so lucky, and if his father had no objections, then he would have no choice.

“How?” Goran asked more out of shock than anything else, and she found herself smiling almost gently.

“Oh the usual way, I guess,” she teased and Goran the great suddenly smiled that devastating Dillon smile, and she could see why women would fall for him.

She missed Dillon, hated that he would never know the truth. Hated that he would never get to know Goran and see just how much he was his father’s son.

“Would it be ok? Would you be okay? What would it be?” His worry and eagerness was endearing, but she couldn’t quite forgive him for forcing her to marry. Even if he thought he was doing right by her and Dillon.

“Yes, yes and she’ll be a vampire. It would have been different if I were the human. It should have been impossible, yes, but I guess fate knew better,” Catherine explained.

Goran let go of her hand, and it took all of her willpower not to shift away as he lay a single finger on her abdomen. Even though she still had her armor on.

“A girl?” he asked, and she nodded. She thought he would be upset for Dillon’s child to be a girl, but instead, he smiled fondly.

Catherine had no idea why she suddenly had such a strong feeling that it would be a girl, when before she thought it might be a boy.

“My first grandchild and my first girl child. She’ll be just like you,” Goran murmured.

“Flattery won’t make me less angry at you Goran, I do not wish to marry again,” Catherine stated it flatly to fight her growing fondness of her child’s grandfather. She could already see the way he would be with that child.

“It’s still going to happen,” Goran’s voice was just as flat, and even as their eyes battled, she knew it would do her no good. He raised his glass to her.

“To Elizabeth Catherine, my little vampire,” Goran’s toast caught her off guard. He was both infuriating and... sweet.

How dare he name her child and how could she say no to that? Who knew, Goran, slayer of armies, defiler of virgins, Conqueror, Monarch, legend and a big old softy.


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