Part 2 Chapter 25
When I awaken, warm, content and fully energised, I instantly notice Darrius’ absence. There is little warmth next to me and when I open my eyes I’m a little shocked to see Claudia sitting right next to my bed, reclining on a chair as she reads a book, feet resting on the side of my bed.
“Hi,” Claudia closes her book and gives me a guilty smile, “Sorry for coming in here I just needed some space from Johnathan...”
“That’s okay,” I say, stretching and sitting up in bed, pulling the covers in when I quickly remember that I am still naked. I look over to the couches by the fire and then back at Claudia, giving her a funny look, “Were you... watching me sleep?”
Claudia actually blushes and looks guilty before laughing.
“Being a vampire means you never really see people sleep and now that I’m human I’m sort of not use to needing to sleep so often. But I’ve always found it fascinating to watch how someone looks so peaceful as they sleep... but I swear I was just reading,” she leans forward to put the book on the bedside table.
“Well, okay,” I try not to laugh at her because despite that funny fact, her eyes looked slightly red like she had been crying recently, “Are you okay?” I ask with concern.
“Well,” she looks down, sighing, before looking back up again, “You’ve slept for hours, Jennifer. Some of Eddrick’s blood was retrieved and we’ve mixed it with yours in the tapped blood supply and have been curing the vampires since then. Some want to remain human, some will be turned again into vampires when they regain strength and-”
“Is Johnathan back to normal?” I interrupt, excited that everything would soon be peaceful and calm once again in the vampire palace now that the cure to insanity was going around. Claudia nods, but pauses in responding - her eyes starting to tear up once more, “What the heck happened?”
“Once he was cured of his insanity... he couldn’t look me in the eye, and walked off,” she says, barely holding back the tears.
“Why on earth would he do that?” I ask.
“Because he remembers everything he did and everything he said to me,” Claudia takes her feet off my bed and leans forward in her chair, looking at the floor, shrugging, “I don’t know why he wouldn’t just talk to me, he couldn’t even look me in the eye.”
“I’m sure it’s to do with the fact he can’t stand that he hurt you,” I propose, “Or that he killed that many people in the street - he was always the good vampire remember? He doesn’t like to kill anyone or hurt anyone. Where is he now?”
“I don’t know,” she admits, sighing, “I have no idea.”
“I’ll help you find him,” I suggest, “We’ll look for him together?” she nods, smiling.
“I guess we should find him,” she agrees.
“Well I better have a shower and get changed first!”
Claudia is already starting to look more at ease. Helping her would be the least I could do for such a lovely friend!
We look everywhere for Johnathan. His room, the recreation rooms, the kitchen, the throne room and now we were heading for the dungeons. That is when we see him from a distance, on the other side of the hall. He is entering a staircase down to the dungeons. Claudia grabs my arm and stops me from following him.
“Let him be,” she says, “At least I know where he is. He is helping Darrius and Xavier cure the rest of the insane vampires.”
“Okay... you know I often wonder... those vampires were all turned because of the power in Jaime’s blood, I wonder how she feels about that?” I ask the question to myself, puzzling over it. Knowing my blood and Eddrick’s blood cured vampirism made me feel pretty good. I bet Jaime didn’t feel too eager about the dark magic her blood contained.
“That’s another thing, I think Raphael has left the palace with her,” Claudia says quietly, “Keep it to yourself, no one has noticed yet and I don’t want to worry Xavier. He is proving to be a grumpy King -”
"King? I heard he said the King was out for the count in the kitchen but did he actually replace him?” I ask.
“Yeah, it happened while you were gone,” she says, “Darrius didn’t tell you? Oh well... I guess he was too busy doing other stuff to you...” she gives me a wink and I just try not to die of embarrassment. People had to stop finding me naked in his bed!
Claudia and I decide to get some food together but we are interrupted by Rory burping loudly while exiting the Kitchen as we enter. When he sees us he blushes a bright red at having us catching him burp so loudly.
“Sorry,” he laughs nervously, “I just had my first meal in years.” Claudia and I stop to talk to him.
“So you were actually one of the insane vampires?” I ask curiously, “What was it like, your thoughts...?”
“It’s something I don’t ever really want to think about ever again to be honest,” he admits, “You girls should follow me - I have been linking what’s been happening lately to the prophecy and coming up with some new theories... if you’re interested in my conspiracy theories, that is?”
“No, that sounds interesting,” I quickly jump on the opportunity and then look guiltily at Claudia, “Can food wait?” Just in time her stomach growls loudly and she shakes her head.
“I’ll grab some salad rolls and come over,” Claudia goes to grab some food while I walk with Rory.
“What do you have to suggest about the prophecy?” I ask while Rory grins as he thinks of his amazing ideas, “Well? Tell me!” I really wanted to know!
“I guess you could say it doesn’t have much to do with the prophecy and more to do with moulding it to our desires, what we want the outcome to be - we can make it happen. That’s how prophecies work, they act as warnings to test human and supernatural thinking. To make us decide our own destiny. There are two types of fate; the good and the bad.”
“Yes... so?” I ask, just as we reach his door, which is not too far from the kitchen.
“Take a seat,” he motions for the one couch he has opposite his TV which is still on from when he left it on previously, “I was thinking... your precious blood needs to be protected. But how do we make you stronger? You are immortal but you don’t have a vampire’s physical strength...” he comes to sit next to me, grabbing my shoulder to emphasize his excitement, “What if -?”
“I was turned?” I ask, “I already know the answer - your friend, the great witch Meredith told me that I would die because of lack of blood and simply reawaken exactly the same because I am immortal. Darrius’ blood - any vampires blood inside me, won’t do anything to change my body.”
Rory sits back in the seat, looking sorely disappointed as he takes in my explanation.
“Well... I guess that makes sense...” he trails off while he thinks.
“Thanks for your suggestion anyway -”
“Why don’t you try it anyway?” he asks, “What’s the harm in trying?”
“Why would I try? I trust Meredith’s advice -”
“I don’t,” Rory interrupts, looking a little guilt admitting this. I pause as I realise he is being serious.
“I thought you were good friends with Meredith when you brought her to me the first time she came to me,” I say, confused. I bring my knees up onto the couch and hug them to me to get comfortable as I watch Rory contemplating something important. Something he wasn’t telling me.
“I am her friend,” he says slowly, avoiding my gaze, “But that means I know her well and she, like everyone else, is solely focused on their own agenda. What they want. What they desire.”
“You sound like you know her pretty well,” I say, smiling at him, trying to lighten his mood because he looked really upset now and I didn’t know why, “I feel like you know something I don’t - but you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, of course.”
“You are a very sweet girl, Jennifer,” he says, sighing as he leans back into the couch, catching my eye now with a small smile, “And if there was one person I would trust in this world, it would be you. I know I hardly know you - but I do know it is written down that you were basically born to be good. Your twin - got the bad deal of the bargain, deep down she will soon surrender to the darkness lurking in her. But you, you were born with goodness, light, well-being, health, good-fortune, honesty."
“That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me,” I reply, “But it still doesn’t explain why you don’t trust Meredith.”
“Jennifer. It is because I trust you that I am going to show you something... just don’t freak out,” I narrow my eyes at Rory, a little worried. It’s just then that Claudia knocks on the door but I see Rory snap out a hand and I hear the door lock. I jerk a little, surprised. How did he do... that?
I’m frozen to the spot as I watch Rory’s eyes start to change colour - into a bright green that is hard to look at. His face and body seem to contract into a smaller, pointier version of himself. His ears grow pointier, his hair grows longer and wispier - floating with the power emanating from his very self.
I can’t do anything but stare with eyes so wide I feel they’ll burst from their sockets, drop to the ground and roll away so I am never able to see again. Instead they stay inside my head - even as I watch a green mist appear around us, making my ears buzz.
“You can speak now,” he says, his voice coming out in a scary smooth, completely different tone to what he usually sounded like, “I have stopped time, and Claudia cannot hear us.”
“You... stopped time?” I ask, my own voice sounding funny to my own ears.
He grins, showing sharp pointed teeth - sharper looking than any vampire fangs I had ever seen. He laughs a type of laugh that frightens the living daylights out of me but I can’t do anything but sit frozen to the spot; looking at his dramatic transformation.
“Well I lied, I admit,” he explains, “I just briefly took you and I, and this couch - into the other realm. My realm.”
“You’re a... a...” I can’t say it, a little to overwhelmed by the sight of him.
“I’m a fairy,” he says for me, “And so is Meredith and Eddrick. They were once married - a long time ago. Everything has gone to hell for fairy kind ever since our worlds collided. Meredith and Eddrick use to be the King and Queen of Fairies. Until human-kind divided them. It is too much of a long story to explain to you while I have limited power. All I am saying is that Meredith went her own way, she has different desires to Eddrick. That is all that divides them. Fairies rule their lives on desire, not reason, remember that.”
With the last word he speaks, everything stops.
Everything goes black, then blurs, then colour enters my vision, 3-D objects appear. The warmth of the couch at my back. The TV showing the news is flashing. Claudia sits beside me eating her salad roll while she laughs at a joke Rory makes. He looks again like his vampire/human form.
Sound is the last thing to come crashing back into me and I cringe and close my eyes for a second as everything is abruptly back to normal once more.
“Are you okay, princess?” Rory asks, like nothing just happened, like Claudia wasn’t just freaking transported right in front of me to sit in-between me and Rory. I just stare at him and gulp, still hugging my knees to my chest.
“Yeah, you look a little pale... as usual, food?” Claudia offers me a roll and I smile and take it, “Funny, I don’t know why I didn’t offer it to you as soon as I came in!”
“It’s okay,” I whisper, taking the second roll from her. I look to Rory and he just winks at me.
“Oh look!” Claudia points at the TV, “It’s Clyde Rosedale, he is old but handsome, wouldn’t you agree?”
“He is Caitlin’s father!” I blurt out, looking at the screen as a reporter is about to speak to him, “Shh, listen!”
We all go quiet as he speaks to the reporter.
“That’s right,” he says, “I do believe I have found a way to replicate the girl’s blood to save countless ill-treated, forcefully turned vampires. I just need someone, anyone to catch - ah, um, I mean acquire Jennifer, the vampire’s princess, from the vampire palace and bring her to me. I will send out a reward of one million for anyone who brings her to me. Human safety is my number one priority.”
I stop eating and so does Claudia. Rory gives me a knowing look.
“That’s weird,” Claudia mutters.
“Well... I think Eddrick has something to do with this,” I add, looking to Rory for confirmation.
“I wouldn’t know, princess,” he admits, shrugging, “But I would say you are most likely correct in your assumptions.”
Only one thought was going through my head right now and for some reason I was too terrified to ask Rory the question.
How do you kill a fairy?