Laurissa must have fallen asleep. She woke to see a layer of snow had fallen all around her. It is peaceful and quiet. The world has disappeared, leaving her in a pure white blanket. The color reminded her of the veins of power. Laurissa moved her hand and touched the snow. It is soft and brittle and kept her handprint. She wanted to stay there forever. She no longer had the desire to fight.
Dunkan must die.
It no longer seemed to matter.
The snow began crumbling around her as footsteps approached her. A hand gripped her shoulder. “Laurissa?” Vass’s voice sounds young and full of life. “Are you well?”
The calmness of the quiet winter day soothed her. The earth’s song became a very quiet lullaby as the creatures and vegetation slept. The weakness continued binding her. She felt like the day after she killed Zillah. The despair is too strong to fight. She did not understand why she felt so tired. She slept an entire night. Perhaps she had grown too fast and pushed her power too hard over the last week.
Laurissa’s body began to rise up from the ground as Vass lifted her into his arms. She did not protest. It does not seem to matter what happens to her.
She must continue.
It is time to rest.
There is work to be done.
The despair is much too strong.
Lord Dunkan will win if you do not get up.
“You are soaking wet and ice cold.” Vass’s voice interrupted her argument.
Laurissa did not respond. She hung limply in Vass’s arms. The sun hid behind dark clouds that threatened more snow bringing in the winter season. Vass traveled to Madwell to seek shelter. As he walked through Madwell, people offered to help. They knew Laurissa and cared deeply for her. Several people offered their home to rest in. Vass knew they did not know what Laurissa is. It is best to be isolated until she can control herself. Vass found an abandoned building and laid Laurissa on the bed. The room is large enough to have a bedroom and a separate room for cooking and visiting. “Why did you bring me here?” Laurissa asked weakly. She felt so tired.
“It will do you no good to lay in the cold snow.”
“I am vampire Vass. The elements do not affect me.” Her voice came out in a whisper.
“None the less. You should remain dry.”
Laurissa did not care to argue. She closed her eyes to rest. She only needed sleep. Perhaps with a rested body, she could resume her training.
Laurissa woke to a warm body and a fresh scent. Edna laid protectively beside her, and a young maiden stood in the room. Laurissa knows the maiden. She is a daughter to one of the smiths in town. She would be sent to the breeding houses if Dunkan caught her. Laurissa did not have the strength to move. She did not feel hungry. She simply felt tired and weak. Laurissa allowed her body to rest and drifted off to sleep. It is not time yet to free herself.
Boros had a duty to Lord Dunkan. He was to tend the humans and rotate them accordingly. Triston is no longer able to perform those duties. While Boros kept busy with his duties, Vass stood watch over Laurissa. He worried for her. She has not moved since he found her yesterday morning. The scent of virgin blood should have woken her. She did not stir when a vein was broken. Edna described the scream she heard as full of sorrow and pain. The ground seemed to shake and groan with Laurissa’s anguish. Edna has watched the anger grow and consume Laurissa. She feared Laurissa would lash out and kill her. Laurissa’s anger was not toward her but toward Dunkan. It does not mean she will release her anger on an innocent being.
Vass met with Boros the night Laurissa requested to speak to Boros. Boros is an unusual vampire who seems to have wisdom beyond his years. Vass was immediately attracted to Boros, like a brother, and followed him to the farm house despite Laurissa’s warning. He saw strength in Boros, similar to Laurissa. Vass does not consider himself to be a weak male; however, he is not a leader. He has no desire to create and build a house of his own. He only wishes to be part of a family and contribute his strengths.
Vass and Edna took turns watching the home Laurissa rested in. Vass spent the day with her while Edna spent the night with her. This was done so Edna would not meet Dunkan or his family.
“I do not understand why she does not free herself as she claims she can. Why allow all this anguish when she can simply end it and leave? It is frustrating seeing her like this.” Vass said to Boros as Boros documented the breeding houses and checked the females.
“It is not time yet.”
“When will it be time?”
“When it is time.” Boros said and continued out of the houses.
“I do not understand.” Vass had to speed up to keep up with Boros. “Boros, stop for a moment.” Boros stopped and quietly looked at Vass. His power prevented him from showing the emotions he felt unless he wanted them seen. Vass and Edna are too worked up over Laurissa’s situation. Her body seems to hibernate, and her mind has induced a coma. She is preparing for her battle and saving herself the anguish of being with her captor. They can not see it, and it will take too much energy to tell them. There is nothing that can be done.
” You seem intuitive about what is happening. When will she wake.”
“When it is time, Vass. Do not interfere with her. She is at her most dangerous. Your queen is doing exactly what needs to be done. She must do this on her own.”
“She is not your queen?”
“She is my master’s mate.” He has had enough of this buzzing. He began to walk away. Hoping Vass would leave him be.
“You make no sense. You follow Lord Dunkan, yet you know Laurissa plans to free herself. I am told one of them must die in order to accomplish this. She fights against Lord Dunkan, and you show compassion.”
“My Master knows of her treason and does nothing. It is not my place. I suggest you stay out of it.”
Vass stood stunned and watched as Boros continued through the town. Boros returned to the farmhouse to wait. He must also wait until it is time for her to rise.
Vass returned to the building Laurissa slept in and saw Edna patiently waiting next to Laurissa. “Any Change?”
“No. she will not wake or talk to me. Her mind is quiet. If not for her breath and beating heart, I would say Laurissa is dead. Did Boros tell you what he knows?”
“No. Only Laurissa must wake on her own, and interfering could be fatal. He literally told me to stay away from her battle. He said she will wake when it is time.”
“If she does not wake by tomorrow evening, I will bring Lord Dunkan. He may be able to wake her.”
“He will kill you, Edna.”
“If he can wake Laurissa, it will be worth it.”
Edna is very special to him. He remembers the day he saw her walking in Killhurst. At first, his desire was to capture her and fulfill his desire. Females were for a male’s pleasure. A female vampire walking alone invited him to play. Once her brown eyes met his, he could see her jubilance and determination to correct a wrong. His heart pulled him to help her and protect the joy within her. She reminded him of his human sister he seemed to have forgotten.
Edna still has the joy of a child; however, it is slowly dying as she worries for her queen. He felt the need to protect her more than ever.
“Allow me to bring his attention. Leave Madwell tomorrow night. I will tell one of his females where she is.”
“I will do as you ask.” Edna said quietly. She has come to respect Vass greatly. He has become a close friend over the past week.
Laurissa opened her eyes to an empty room. The loneliness is welcomed. Edna’s presence is never unwelcomed, however being alone with no duty, no thought on ‘what if’, or no need to run felt freeing. She felt hungry and weak. The weakness is within. It is not due to over-exerting herself. The door to the building opened then closed. Soft footsteps could be heard. They came near then walked away. Despite her hunger, she felt too weak to rise. The door opened again.
“Boros? Why are you here?” Edna’s voice came. The silence is broken. She breathed deeply with annoyance. She wanted the quiet. She wanted to be left alone. She had only been a vampire for two months, and yet she feels much older. It feels like she has been alive for hundreds of years, and each day she struggled to learn secrets and look for a weapon strong enough to kill a god. Her quest is nearing its end, and yet she only wanted to sleep. The frustration mounted once again.
Edna is her charge. She will protect her to her dying breath, even if that meant taking her life. Laurissa tried to send Edna away to protect her from Lord Dunkan. Her love of Edna is great; however, her constant need to be near is beginning to feel suffocating.
Boros did not answer Edna. He came to check on Laurissa to see if there have been any changes. Her time is fast approaching. He is as anxious as Edna and Vass are for a different reason. This vampire is destined for great things.
He continued to study Laurissa’s body and noticed the subtle difference in her aura. Edna’s presence is not welcomed.
“Is Laurissa awake?” Boros ignored Edna and watched Laurissa’s aura flicker in response to her voice. They are in danger.
Edna’s footsteps began to approach Laurissa, then stopped.
“If you do not allow me through, I will kill you.” Edna growled. Laurissa has never heard Edna show any dominance or strength. This came as a surprise. Edna has grown, and she is missing watching her bloom into a strong vampire. It does not matter. They are all dead if she fails in her task. She must be patient and wait. Laurissa longed for the quiet. It is not yet time.
Boros grabbed Edna by the neck.” Do not be stupid, girl. Leave your queen alone! Remain quiet, and you may learn something.” He said quietly, then released her.
“Please, Boros. Tell me what you know! Do you mean to kill Laurissa?” Edna pleaded. Her shrill voice reminded Laurissa of the day she met Edna at the doorstep to her house. Lord Dunkan had commanded her to turn a human into a vampire. Edna’s husband abandoned her and ignored her pleas to be given yet another chance. Laurissa heard Edna’s heartbreak and knew she would be a good companion if she chose to accept turning into a vampire. Edna’s heart is at risk of making such a heart-wrenching noise once again. Even the pleas of her charge cannot lift the fatigue and sorrow.
“Look at her. Do not look at her body or mind. Look at her being.”
Silence filled the room once again as Edna searched for what Boros saw. It was enough to allow Laurissa to fall asleep.
“I see a woman sleeping on her side. She has not moved for three nights. If she does not wake, she will die.”
“You see a vampire, not a woman. Look at her! Do not see a vampire. Do not see a female. Do not let what you think you know blind you.”
“Tell me what you see.” Edna pleaded.
Thisisgettingtiresome. “Your queen will rise when it is time. If you wake her, she will be violent.”
He has already explained this. Her constant energy is preventing her from seeing everything. If only she slowed down a moment.
“How do you know this? If you do not tell me, I will go to Lord Dunkan. He must feed her.”
The name of her master woke Laurissa. She kept her eyes closed. There is a struggle as Boros pinned Edna to a wall and put his hand over her mouth. He saw the flair of Laurissa’s aura. She is in a great deal of pain. Any animal will strike out when it is angry or in pain. She must work through her grief, or the consequences will be deadly.
Silence once again entered the room. Laurissa noticed her heart beat fast within her chest adrenalin coursed through her with the pain of anguish. As the room silenced, so did her pulse.
“Listen to me” Boros projected to Edna. “You must remain quiet! Do not speak.”
Edna nodded, and Boros let her go. “Calm your thoughts and relax enough to fall into a deep sleep.”
Boros waited until Edna could contain her emotions of worry and doubt. “Do not speak with your body or mouth. Remain perfectly still. Allow the peace to flow through you.” Edna’s body became limp as her muscles relaxed. “Very slowly, with grace and the peace you have, turn and look at your queen.”
Edna did as she was told. She saw an aura of white light emanating around Laurissa’s entire body. “What am I seeing?” she projected.
“That is her energy. I saw it as a human the night I was turned. My master’s aura is dim compared to her’s, and he is the strongest vampire here. She is not who she is presented to be. Look into the white light. Concentrate on it.”
Edna started to approach Laurissa. The light brightened in warning, making Edna stop. Edna very quietly knelt onto the ground. Wrapped around
Laurissa’s entire body is a black vine. The white light pulsed and dimmed then pulsed again. In places where the vine wrapped around Laurissa, the white light is dimmer than the rest. Edna fought the panic that shot up inside her. She continued feeling relaxed as she backed away and returned to Boros.
“Is this what you see all the time?”
“Yes. The vine grows, and the light dims. She is trapped and struggles to free herself. It has drained her strength. I believe the vine is my master.”
“You feel she will wake on her own? Why do you think she will be violent?”
“I am uncertain. A feeling I suppose. Her aura flickers when she is upset. It has been glowing brightly for some time.”
The door opened to let Vass and several flurries of snow in. A cold wind blows through the house. Vass looked at Boros and Edna.
Vass nodded. “I will go out and inform Lord Dunkan.”
“No, Vass. Let us see if she wakes on her own.” Edna said
“She will die if she does not feed tonight.”
“Then she dies.” Edna said with determination.
“What are you saying!” Vass looked at Edna, surprised to hear those words. Edna has fought to help Laurissa where she could. She is constantly worried Laurissa’s anger will madden her. To hear Edna give in was not what he expected.
Edna looked at Boros, then Laurissa laying on the bed. “Laurissa said she would free herself when the time is right. When vampires mate, it is for life. One way or another, one of them must die. Perhaps she chooses that death. It grieves me to think that. We must honor her decision.”
“I will not allow it!” Vass attempted to pass Edna and Boros.
“Do not approach your queen.” Boros warned.
“You say there is no change. She has not moved. I wish to try to wake her.”
“Perhaps she will not be violent, Boros.” Edna said as she put a hand on his arm. Her eyes pleaded with him for hope.
Boros lowered his eye and stood aside. “Go.”
Vass went to Laurissa’s body and took her in his arms.” Laurissa. It is time to wake. You must feed.”
“Laurissa!” he growled, then bit into his wrist. He fed before beginning a potentially long night. The blood is fresh in his veins. Vass forced his wrist into her mouth.
Laurissa stirred slowly. Boros backed toward the door slightly. The white aura pulsed a brilliant white.
The fatigue is gone. Hunger told Laurissa she must eat or perish. The silence of the room is broken once again. She is reminded of her predicament, and anger pulsed violently through her. She opened her eyes to see Vass looking down at her with relief.
“Thank the Gods!” He breathed and grinned at her
“Get away from me!” Laurissa said as she sat up and pushed Vass away. She looked around the room and saw Boros and Edna near the entrance of the house. “What are you all doing here?”
“My Queen, you have slept for three days. We were worried for your health.” Vass said quietly as he stood and stretched a hand to her.
“You should be worried for your own health. No one is safe here!”
Laurissa pulsed power and ran out of the building. The fools! They will get themselves trapped and killed. Boros is one of Dunkan’s. Dunkan would have been watching through Boro’s eyes. Lord Dunkan will ensure she kills them. She does not want that guilt.