Chapter 33: It ends with darkness
I ran home in a slow manner, it wasn’t like I really wanted to go home if she wasn’t there anyway. Ah yes, my Ashira, my Promise angel, my mate and the only woman I could ever love.
That girl, no, that woman did crazy things to my heart mind and soul. She had ripped my heart out of my chest the moment I first laid eyes on her and only now did it seem like she was starting to treat it with care.
I love her. Goodness, I love her so damn much.
We would be together forever now. Nothing will keep me away from her ever again and I will never let anyone harm her. Her scent still lingered on my tattered clothing and I hoped my brothers wouldn’t as too many questions as to why I was in this condition. Not that I would mind telling them what happened, I would gladly brag about what happened but I had a feeling Ashira wouldn’t be too pleased with me then.
I knew my continent like I knew the back of my hand so my mind just went on autopilot as I got lost in my own thoughts. When I registered that I’d reached home I neared it slowly. Was Ashira alright? How would she cope if they hadn’t forgiven her? She wouldn’t try to kill herself again… would she? I shook off the thought. No, she wouldn’t, she promised to come back to me.
I believed in her.
She would come back to me.
And we would be together forever.
“You’re back.” Oberon suddenly said as I passed the living room and I turned to face him slowly. He looked me up and down, “What on earth happened to you?”
“Well, I found Ashira.”
He raised a brow, “And? Why is she not with you?”
Cherise cut me off with a worried voice, “Did the two of you make peace or not?”
I smiled a little and muttered to myself, “That’s not the only thing we made.” I looked up and cleared my throat realising they’d thankfully not heard what’d I’d said, “Yeah, she forgave me.”
Cherise let out a relieved breath and grinned broadly, “I’m glad. After everything the two of you have been through I think it’s only right you end up together.” She placed a kiss on Oberon’s cheek and bounced up from the couch they’d been sitting on. “So where is she?”
I sighed, “She’s… getting rid of her heavy heart.” When Cherise looked like she was about to start screaming at me in raw fury I added, “Don’t worry, she’s coming back, she just needs… time.”
“Time?” Oberon questioned. “Away from you? And you’re actually allowing this?” He glanced at Cherise, “I wouldn’t.”
Her smiled softened and she turned her concerned gaze to me, “You’re sure that she’ll come back?” I nodded, “Good, I need my sister.”
I loved how much my family loved her. It was amazing. It was like they’d known her their whole lives, not a mere two weeks. “Yeah,” I found myself saying when I turned to go to my room, “I need her too.”
I smiled all the way as I walked up the stairs. The room looked just as Ashira had left it the last time she’d been in there and I picked up the stuffed lion that laid abandoned in the corner of the room, “Hey Fluffy.” The moment the words left my mouth I frowned. Since when did I start talking to stuffed animals? I put the lion on the bed an observed it a moment before I turned and walked away.
After my shower I plopped down on the bed and sighed. I looked around, the room seemed so empty without Ashira. Had it been like that before I knew her? I turned around and scrunched up my nose in disgust when I smelled a male’s blood. Red blood stained the white sheets and it took me a moment to realise whose blood it was. It belonged to that human who’d been infatuated with Ashira.
She’d been covered in his blood after the… incident and she must not have bothered to clean up before getting in bed. Her tear streaked face flashed before my eyes and I cringed, I’d never seen her like that before.
I’d burn these sheets. She would never forgive herself if she ever saw them… She’d killed him… she’d killed Rustin.
After I was dressed in more appropriate clothing I went downstairs again to find almost everyone sitting in the living room in silence.
Without warning I was hit on the back by Jagger who’d appeared behind me, “Glad to have you back from the dead brother.”
I smiled a little, of course I’d been dead without Ashira in that time that she’d ignored me. She was the only reason I had for living. If what I had could even be called life. “Thanks, I guess you heard what-“
“Alex!” Zaiden burst through the open front door at top speed and slammed into me before he managed to come to a stop.
I helped him stand again and chuckled a little, “Slow down Zaiden. What’s wrong?” The smile was wiped off of my face when I saw his terrified expression, “Zaiden? What happened?” I asked intently.
“I w-was running, to s-see if I could find you since you’d been away for such a long time and- and I saw- I saw…” His whole body shook and I took hold of both his shoulders to steady him.
“Zaiden look at me.” I ordered him and he hesitantly met my eyes, “Calm down and tell me what happened. What did you see?”
“The demon. He’s looking for you.” Zaiden told me in a shaky voice, “He’s looking for all of you and he looks pissed. Well,” Zaiden added after a moment, “not pissed really, he just looks deadly calm. Like he’s about to kill everyone.”
Cherise clung to Oberon and whimpered. He wrapped his arms around her, “He’s back already?” she hid her face in fear.
“What happened after you saw him?” I demanded, panic setting in my voice. We’d taken him down before, but then we’d had a plan and the advantage of surprise. He would be ready for us now and I wasn’t so sure we could take him if he was coming for us.
“I ran, I’m sorry Alex I didn’t know what else to do but come to you for help. I just- I didn’t-“
I put my hand on his shoulder to calm him down and steady him, “It’s fine Zaiden, I’m glad you had enough sense to come here right away. Now we know what’s coming…”
“Where did you see him?” Viktor asked with burning eyes.
“About seven hundred kilometres from here, but he didn’t seem to be in a hurry. He was heading the other direction. So you might have time to prepare for his arrival.”
My eyes widened in fear, “Where was he heading when you last saw him?”
“He was heading towards…” Zaiden’s eyes widened as well, “Where’s Ash? Don’t tell me she’s-“
I didn’t hear what else he said because I was already out the door. “Alexander, no! You can’t go out there alone!” Heskel called after me.
I didn’t even slow down. Of course the demon knew I’d found my Promise Angel. He must know that she’s a newly turned vampire as well and that she was alone. I wasn’t with her to protect her.
I didn’t know exactly where the demon was, where my father was, but I knew where I was heading. I had to get to Ashira. I just had to.
The world was a blur of bright colours and sounds muted by the air that whooshed past my ears. I couldn’t recall that I’d ever run his fast before, but then again, I’ve never had a reason to do so before now.
Ashira. Oh please just let me get there in time. Please let her be alright. Please.
I snarled viciously at nothing in particular. That demon, if he so much as laid a finger on her I’d have enough rage to take him on all by myself.
Suddenly the world that had been no more than mere background noise snapped into focus and I came to an abrupt stop. I looked around frantically, my eyes searching for the demon whose foul scent had brought me back to reality. I didn’t see him anywhere, but I knew he was close. I could feel his overbearing presence that felt like it was trying to dominate me, conquer me and that wanted to control me.
I growled lowly, I wasn’t going to be his little slave.
Not. Ever. Again.
I had Ashira to live for.
Footsteps crunched through the dry grass and sticks on the ground, slowly coming closer and my entire body tensed in anticipation. He was coming right for me. His scent grew stronger and by the time the he was standing fifty paces in front of me I could smell something else. Something sweeter, almost like…
My eyes widened. It smelled like Ashira.
No. There was no way- she wasn’t- no.
The demon that stood staring at me looked no different than any other human, but his modern clothes looked rather awkward on him. The parts of his eyes that should have been coloured were as black as the darkest night. In a moment it was almost as if I were looking right at Oberon, but the demon’s features were sharper and he was built larger. I’d forgotten how much we all looked like the demon. Norabo and Neculai walked the way he did, Oberon’s face resembled him and Viktor had his temper. Jagger had his cunning mind and Heskel his playfulness that could easily turn into murder. I was him, but with my mother’s kindness, with Oberon’s sister’s kindness.
I clenched and unclenched my jaw as I tried to stop my murderous thoughts before I spoke, “What do you want?” I hissed at him.
The demon’s eyes glinted with mischief and cruelty and a mocking grin broke out across his face. “It is good to see you again, my son.” He narrowed his eyes, “Though I would not have needed to say that if you and your brothers hadn’t pulled my body apart and thrown me into the hottest burning fires of hell.” His voice that had been filling with hatred suddenly sounded chirpy again, “Well, never mind that, all children need have their rebellious stage at some point. I trust that you have come to see reason in these past centuries. Have you seen the error of your ways?”
A vile snarl escaped my lips, “Never. You are the monster, you do not own us and we won’t do your bidding. You have no control over us anymore.”
Something that looked almost like excited amusement filled his wicked eyes, “Oh?” He took a step towards me and on instinct I took one backwards.
I cursed my stupidity. I shouldn’t have backed down, not against him. I shouldn’t have let him intimidate me like that, I showed my weakness and how truly terrified I was of him. He could kill me, but even worse he could kill Ashira.
My Ashira. “If you don’t leave we’ll tear you apart again, over and over again till you truly die.” I threatened him calmly.
The demon snorted, “How disappointing. You speak with such conviction and yet I can see how you bend to my will even from afar.” Without missing beat he continued, “I might have been… out of commission for a little while, but I felt when you found her. Your promise angel I mean.”
My entire body stiffened. Was my connection to the demon still that strong? “You’re lying, I haven’t met her.”
The demon clicked his tongue, irritated, “Let us not pretend, my son, that you actually have a will or a mind of your own.” His challenging eyes met my own, “You must be disappointed.”
I shouldn’t ask about what, he was only trying to provoke me, but I couldn’t stop myself, “About what?”
“Your promise angel.” He said nonchalantly, “She is not as beautiful as Oberon’s PA. She seems so… plain.”
I snarled, “What do you know of her?”
He chuckled, “I have seen her and truly the only word that had come to mind was, plain, plain and sad.”
“Sad?” The question had left my lips before I could stop it. I needed to stop this, I was bending to his will by talking to him like this. I was acting like nothing was wrong while everything was wrong. He should be dead. The real question shouldn’t have been why she was sad, it should have been when, where and why he’d seen her.
The demon nodded and walked closer to me. I didn’t dare move a muscle, “It seems like she killed a human and she is rather depressed about it. The other humans screamed at her and she broke down a few blocks away in an abandoned alley.”
I edged forward. Ashira, oh no, they’d reacted in the worst way possible when she’d told them about what happened with Rustin. I should have insisted on going with her. I should have been there. “Why were you watching her?” I questioned intently, “What did you do to her?”
He shrugged and fiddled with the bottom button of his shirt, “I have to say, I do not understand the clothing of this era.”
I grabbed hold of his collar and screamed my burning question at him, “What did you do?!”
The demon grinned and took hold of both my wrists, pulling my hands off of him like I was no more than a child, “Nothing, I merely observed… and took this as a little souvenir.” He held up what I knew to be Ashira’s shirt. It was the torn up and dusty shirt she’d been wearing the last time I’d seen her. That was the shirt I’d torn off of her body when we’d made love.
No words formed in my head. He’d been that close to her. And if he had her shirt, what on earth was she wearing?!?
I punched him so hard he flew through the air and collided with a tree a few hundred meters away, smashing everything in his path. I snarled again, glaring at him where he was trying to sit up in the debris of all the trees I’d sent him flying through, “I will warn you only once. Stay away from her or you’ll be dead for good.”
The demon looked at me with a slightly confused expression for a moment before he started laughing and I stiffened, my feet rooted to the spot. His laughter rang through the atmosphere like the screams of tormented, soulless people. It was pure evil. The air was quiet but for his laughter, like every living creature recognised the sound for death and was cowering away from it. “You are quite funny,” he commented casually. “I always thought Heskel was the only one of my sons who had a sense of humour but it seems that I was wrong.” His expression turned serious, his black eyes narrowing and faster than I could blink the crossed the distance between us, grabbed me by my neck and smashed me into the ground. My lungs compressed under the immense pressure and air that had never been breathed rushed out of me.
He was stronger than I remembered.
A lot stronger.
He let go of me and took a step backwards, brushing his hands together to get the dust off, “Now, where was I before you so rudely interrupted me? Ah yes, I was about to comment on what an affective system you and your brothers have devised here. I was very impressed when I woke to find that you’ve all taken control of some part of the world,” He chuckled darkly, “And the weak humans that populate it.”
With shaking arms I pushed myself aright and quickly stood up. He’d taken me down without much effort. I watched him carefully, he could kill me and I’d never even see it coming, but something was … off about him. Something just seemed wrong. He was acting too friendly, too generous and playful after he’d spent so long being half dead after what we’d done to him. He was planning something.
“And the fact that you’ve been exchanging the humans is absolutely brilliant as well!” He continued to praise me.
“Just tell me what you want.” I snapped at him.
He shook his head sadly, like he was ashamed of me for speaking to him like that, “You’ve always been the blunt, hard headed one, haven’t you?” I didn’t move. “Fine,” he finally admitted after meeting my gaze for a long time, “I have come to offer you my forgiveness.”
He nodded, “Yes. I am prepared to forgive you and your brothers and leave you Promise angel out of all of this if you all just… let me take control of the world again. Let me have the position you have stolen from me.”
I stared at him wordlessly and then the word just fell from my lips, “No.”
“What?” His skin moved, looking almost sluggish on him, like he was struggling to keep his human form.
“No.” I repeated the word with more confidence. “I won’t let you take control again. You’re a senseless murderer and I will not become your slave again.” Ashira would hate me if I just let someone as cruel as him take over, especially after all that she’d just been through. I couldn’t believe the demon was really back, he had truly crappy timing.
“I am your father boy and you will do as I say.” The demon hissed and I cautiously took a step backwards, “You were born to serve me, so don’t fight it you fool!”
The air around the demon glimmered with power before it settled down again and the demon sighed deeply, “I should have known you wouldn’t see reason.” His black eyes met mine, “And here I was hoping you had grown smarter…” he shrugged, “Oh well, I guess there is only one thing left for me to do then, you have left me no choice in the matter.” He crackled his knuckles, “You will serve me Alexander.”
Faster than I could ever hope to comprehend he flew at me.
I didn’t stand a chance.
He was going to kill me. I’d gone to save my love but now the demon was going to kill me.
Ashira, oh no, if I was dead she’d-
I was in sitting in a little heap on the ground, dreading life. They hated me now. My only friends in the world hated me.
At least I had Alexander.
I would always have Alexander.
Only death could separate us now and that was impossible since we were both immortal and he was one of the strongest vampires in the world.
I might have lost everything else, but I had Alexander and I loved him more than anything else in the world.
I needed to get back to him. I needed to feel his arms around me and his voice telling me that everything was going to be alright.
I’d be fine as long as he was with me.
I slowly looked up when I heard a vampire running towards me and turned around to face it. I smiled weakly when I recognised him, “Zaiden.”
Zaiden’s clothes were wrinkled and his blue eyes haunted and sad when they met mine. He fell to his knees in front of me and grabbed hold of both of my hands, pressing them to his forehead and he muttered something even I couldn’t hear before he looked up at me again with determination in his eyes, “Ashira Redmourn, my lady…”
I looked around frantically to see all the nobles coming towards me with desperation written all over their faces. “What’s going on?” I asked Zaiden in a shaky voice when all the nobles went down onto their knees around me.
“You are our majesty now Ash, you are our royal and master.”
I frowned, “What are you talking about? Alexander is your master.”
Zaiden bowed his head, “His soul called out to us to protect you Ash, his mate and his equal. As if now you are our only master.”
“W-what are you saying?” I asked softly with dread filling me.
“The demon killed him Ash. Alexander is dead.”
I stared at him, feeling my dead heart shrivel under that possibly, “You’re lying.”
“I’m sorry Ash.” Zaiden said, putting an arm around my shoulders, “Come, let us take you to him.”
I couldn’t believe it.
No, it couldn’t be true.
There had to some mistake.
I needed him.
He was all I had left.
I could see it all in my mind.
Alexander standing in the kitchen with the smoke of burned food around him, looking absolutely adorable.
Alexander standing in the moonlight with his eyes challenging me, daring me to watch him undress.
Alexander laughing proudly with bright eyes as I tackled Heskel to the ground.
I could feel Alexander’s arms around me, holding me tightly to him to keep me safe from the world.
I could hear his voice, whispering sweet nothings into my ear and saying my name like I was the most important thing in the world.
I could feel his lips on mine, his fingers leaving a trail of fire in their wake.
I could see him standing there, there where we had first met. The sun setting behind him.
He couldn’t be dead, my Alexander just couldn’t be dead, but as I stood over his lifeless body the truth slowly started to become reality to me.
He really was dead.
It didn’t matter how easily I could remember him alive, he was gone. After everything that we’d been through to finally be together. He was gone.
With shaking hands I reached for my mouth and dropped to my knees next to Alexander’s lifeless body. The knees of my pants soaking in his blood.
Numbness filled me and a sob escaped my lips. I grabbed hold of his hand that was colder than it had ever been ever before and unable to hold the tears back any longer I cried.
After a while I couldn’t stand being so far away from him and with a heart broken cry I threw my arms around his body.
His headless body.
The demon had ripped his head clean off.
That was the only thing that could kill a vampire royal.
Alexander Redmourn was dead.
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