“Let her go Harcard!”
There was almost a look of amusement on his handsome face. He curled the woman in question protectively against his broad bare chest.
“I do not believe I am holding anyone against their will Benedict..”
Khryssa tugged the sheets up higher to cover her nakedness. She glared at her cousins, though she spoke gently. “Guys, I am not being held against my will.”
Christof turned pale at the sight of Khryssa with the vampire. Tess just looked away, seemingly embarrassed. Benedict, on the other hand, grabbed the holy water from his backpack. Throwing the water upon Khryssa, she yelped in response.
“What the hell Benedict? That is cold!”
Benedict looked surprised when she did not start to scream in pain.
“You are not one of his zombies.” It was stated rather dumbly by the young man.
Xavier spoke before Khryssa could. “I am not one for necrophilia Benedict.” A hint of amusement was there in his voice.
Finally Christoph and Tess came to their senses and with it the need to protect their Khryssa. They raised a cross each. Xavier recoiled behind Khryssa. His arm rose to protect his eyes from the holy objects.
“All three of you, get out!” Khryssa shouted.
Tess spoke first. “Khrys, we are not leaving without you.”
A sound of exasperation came from the raven haired beauty in the bed. “Fine, leave the room and let me get dressed. I will come with you. Bloody hell. Why do I feel like I am in that silly Lost Boys movie?”
A glance to the retreating children, she sighed. Khryssa knew they meant well. Christoph had lived with their great-grandfather for years, he was the son of Khryssa's aunt. Tess and Benedict were the children of Aunt Allessi. Allessi was a very close family friend.
Xavier started to protest. She shook her head at him. “It is okay Xavier, I will be back.” Leaning down, kissing the vampire tenderly, words brushed against his lips. “I promise.”
He nodded, with a frown. Khryssa dressed in yesterday’s clothes. Finding a tie for her hair in a pocket, she tried to make herself look as presentable as possible. “Xavier I will return as soon as I can. This might take a while.” She sighed gently and leaned down to kiss him goodbye. “I love you, Xavier.”
“I love you with all of my being Khryssa.” There was sadness in his eyes when he looked at her. Xavier Harcard looked lost for a moment. Anger filled is soul at what had been interrupted, yet starting into the eyes of his fiancée quelled that anger. He didn’t want her to leave. He did not want the earlier moment to end.
“Will you go get Calla please? I left her at home.”
Xavier nodded. “Of course.”
She opened the door and then turned around. Looking back at him she mouthed three little words before disappearing down the hall.
Khryssa walked with the younger members of the family back to Henrik’s home. They stayed mostly silent during the walk, at least Khryssa did. Benedict tried to ask her questions, she was not answering him. She would have to play twenty questions when they saw Henrik. She entered the house first. The children were close behind. Khryssa felt the need to enter first, in order to prove that she was not under any vampiric influence. She sat down in one of the living room chairs and waited.
“HERR HENRIK!!” Benedict called out.
Henrik came from the kitchen where he had been preparing dinner. Wiping his hands on a towel, he looked surprised. “Khrys, I didn’t expect to see you today!”
She smiled wanly. “Well I didn’t expect to be here today Papa.”
He came over and gave Khryssa a hug. It was then that the large engagement ring caught his eye. He looked surprised. Reaching for her hand and lifting it up to get a better look. “My god Khrys when did this happen?”
Benedict finally spoke up after hearing the exchange. “Herr Henrik we brought Khrys home, from the castle.”
“What do you mean from the castle? Harcard’s castle?” The kids had called the vast home of Xavier Harcard 'the castle' for as long as he could remember.
All three of children chimed in. “Yes Sir!”
The four of them turned to stare at Khryssa. She rolled her eyes heavenward. This was not going to go well she thought, possibly even worse than she originally considered while lying in Xavier’s arms.
Henrik started slowly. “Khryssa what is going on?”
“It is nothing.”
Chris spoke up first. “Papa, we found Khrys with Harcard.” He emphasized with.
Khryssa glared at Christoph. She didn’t say a word, instead feeling that at nearly twenty-seven years old she did not have to explain her love life to anyone. It was Tess that spoke next.
“Herr Henrik, Harcard had Khryssa in a rather compromising situation.” Tess tried to put it as gently as possible.
“What? Oh! Khryssa, he did not force you did he?”
Shaking her head slowly she replied with a hint of exasperation in her voice. “Oh dear god, of course not!”
“I have told you the stories of Dracula since you were a child. You know what he is. You know what he can do.” Henrik looked not displeased as so much as rather hurt and disappointed.
Khryssa dropped her forehead into her hands. “Kids. Papa. This isn’t any of your concern. I am an adult. I have been an adult for quite a while.”
The realization dawned on Henrik. The ring was large and expensive. There were not many people that could afford such a thing. All of a sudden he felt very old and tired. He had sworn he would protect his family and another one of them walked right into the wolf’s den willingly. “You are planning on marrying Harcard?”
Benedict, Chris, and Tess looked at each other with the news. How could she do that to them? It was the ultimate betrayal.
“I love him.”
“You know what he is Khryssa. You know who he is. You know that he is a murderer. You know that he is a fiend. He has no capacity to love. He only knows how to ruin and kill. How can you do this to yourself? He will destroy you eventually. He will turn you into a vampire. You will lose your soul. You will lose your life. Most importantly, you will lose yourself completely.”
“It isn’t like that Papa. I love him. I trust him. He would never hurt me.”
Henrik slammed his hand down on a table top. “He already hurt you Khryssa! I saw with my own eyes the hand shaped bruise on your throat. Are you going to tell me that was from someone else?”
Never having seen Henrik lose his temper like this before, Khryssa was stunned to say the least. “Yes he did that. I will not deny that. We both lost control that night. It will not happen again. I know you do not understand this. I know you cannot comprehend this. I do trust him. I trust him completely.”
“You are being foolish.”
“No Papa, I am in love.”
Henrik leaned in and spoke in a low tone. It was only for Khryssa to hear. “You know that Harcard is the one that” He wasn’t sure how to say it. “Arne.” It had been rumored that Xavier Harcard killed Henrik Helsing's adopted son.
There was a look of surprise on her face. Khryssa spoke softly as well. “You know how I feel about Arne.” It was a statement. She did not explain, there was no need to. Henrik knew what had happened and he simply nodded.
Khryssa stood up. She had enough of this. “Kids, thank you. Thank you for caring. It is sweet that you are worried. Your worry is unfounded though.” She turned slightly. “Papa, I understand your fear. I do. It is unfounded as well. Look, all of you. I am fine. I am well and truly fine. He is a good man, to me at least. I am comfortable with that. I am comfortable with him. I bid you all a good day.”
She gave each of them a hug. She did appreciate their concern. “I love you guys, with all of my heart. But please, if I make a mistake let it be my own.” Turning and heading out into the night, Khryssa noticed the worry etched on four faces of people she loved. There was nothing to be done about that. She simply went home to the man, the vampire, whom she was very much in love with.
The next day Henrik Helsing made an appointment. He needed to speak with Harcard and this was the only way he knew that it could be done without much incident. Harcard’s assistant was able to squeeze him in on the same day. It was quite the surprise. Henrik did not tell his young charges what he was doing or where he was going. The arrival at Harcard Industries went unhitched. Within a few moments he was escorted into Harcard’s office. The vampire stood when Henrik entered the room.
“What a day this is Helsing, you came announced for a change.”
“Your need to hurt this family runs so deep that you are willing to destroy to an innocent woman with your lies Harcard?”
“I have never lied to Khryssa, nor do I wish any harm to come to her.”
“You are pretending to love her Harcard. Your deceit knows no bounds!”
Xavier moved from behind his desk. Walking around Henrik Helsing with a slow precise gait, he looked at the older looking man with anger. In a booming voice that made his staff outside of the closed office jump, he spoke.
“Spare me Helsing! I do love Khryssa Hart with all of my soul. It is just the unfortunate turn of affairs that she happens to be a part of your family.” He snarled at the other man. “You know nothing of my affairs of the heart, or the Hart for that matter.”
“I know you Dracula. You will kill her when she begins to lose her newness.”
The vampire sighed heavily. Khryssa’s family was exhausting to say the least. “Helsing, I will not harm her. I will not kill her. I have already vowed to Khryssa that I will never force her into anything. If the day comes, that she wishes to become immortal then she must beg for it with every bit of her being. BUT I WILL NOT DO SUCH A THING UNTIL THEN!” Harcard sat heavily upon a chair across from Henrik and began to speak again.
“You think of me to be incapable of human feelings Helsing. Perhaps I am in many ways. There is something about Khryssa that makes me feel mortal again. It is disturbing at times, but it makes me love her all the same.”
“Harcard, I do not trust you.”
“Then why are you here Helsing?”
“I have come to make you a deal.”
“A deal?” Xavier laughed bitterly. “What could you possibly have that I could want?”
“Take me, erase my memories. Take the children and erase their minds of the knowledge that you and your kind exist. We shall never hunt you again. Just spare Khryssa. Hurt her now by turning her away from you but leave her alone forever.”
There was a pique of curiosity in the vampire’s eyes, though it quickly vanished. “You do not seem to realize Helsing that I have no desire to make such a deal, even as promising as it sounds. I want Khryssa to be my wife. I want Khryssa to share my everything.” He paused for a bit while staring at Henrik Helsing. “I would almost become mortal for her if I could.” The words sounded wistful.
It was Henrik’s turn to stare. Dracula had proclaimed his love of the immortal life so many times before that this had to be yet another lie. “You cannot even tell the truth now Harcard! Why do you insist on hurting her? What has she done to you?” The last sentence was but a mere whisper.
“What has she done to me? She made me love her. I will protect her at all costs Helsing.”
“Who will protect her from you Harcard?”
If it was possible, the vampire blanched at the words. He knew that there was a likelihood that his enemies would use her to get to him. He did not respond to the question, instead turning to look out the window.
“I have lived for centuries Helsing. Being alone, is something I am used to. I am drawn to the fire that lights Khryssa’s very soul. I have no wish to extinguish it. Instead, I wish to cultivate it. There has never been a love greater than what I feel for her. I was afraid of it at first.”
Xavier stood once more and started to pace. He did not enjoy admitting fear at all. “I did not know that anything could feel like this. I tried to push her away. I bruised her flesh with my own hand. Yet, I could not stay away from her. She hated me for that and all I wanted to do was love her.”
Xavier paused, thinking back on something. “You know Helsing; she knew what and who I was before I could ever mention it. She did not care. She did not judge. She did not let what she had been told from birth cast me in a bad light. She accepted me as a man. Khryssa loved me for what I am. For that alone I love her. But it goes so much deeper than that you see.”
Henrik was speechless at Harcard’s declarations. “If you love her, then let her go. What will happen when she starts to age?”
“If she does not wish to become immortal I will age along with her.” It was stated simply.
“You realize that she is not entirely human don’t you?”
Xavier nodded. “I figured as much, but what she is I know not.”
“Khryssa was born to two human parents. Her mother and father are biologically her parents. That is not what changed her. At some point during Jael’s pregnancy she was bitten by a vampire. Perhaps once or perhaps many times, we do not know. Khryssa’s mother does not remember it at all. We only figured out what had happened from the marks upon Jael’s neck. The vampire was thus destroyed shortly after we knew and then found him. We tried to track down the vampire’s maker, Henriko.
We never found him. The vampire that we destroyed, we know nothing of what he did to Jael. Somehow he infected the unborn child with some of his genetic makeup, we believe. Khryssa has vampire blood coursing through her veins as well as human blood. She does not have any specific powers, but her genius is caused by that incident more than likely. Khryssa is also faster to heal than most. She is also physically quicker than most humans. Though you found out that somehow she can make you appear human in a photograph as well. That was something that we did not know until then. None the less, she is not quite human.”
Xavier sat back down, stunned. His mind was a whirlwind. It made sense. What Helsing was telling him was an old vampire tale. He had never seen it before, nor did he know any other of his kind that had. It had always been stories to entertain and spread through the night. Xavier himself tried to create such a being at one time, it did not work. “Helsing is there anything else I need to know?” Xavier asked quietly.
Henrik shrugged and looked at his hands. “Not that I know of, there is so little known about this phenomenon that we can only take into consideration what we can see.”
Looking up suddenly, the vampire spoke two words from the heart. “Thank you.”
Henrik nodded. “Take care of her Harcard. If you harm her in any way, I will kill you. This is not an idle threat. It is a promise from the darkest recesses that I have.”
“I will take care of her. She is priceless. She is mine.”
“No, she will never be your’s Harcard. She will always be herself. Khryssa will love you and never stop loving you. She is a pure soul in so many ways. Yet, she will always be her own person. She is your equal Harcard, never forget that.”
Henrik Helsing rose abruptly from the chair and simply left. His heart was breaking for his great-granddaughter. He believed that she would never know complete happiness. At the same time he also knew there was no stopping her.
He stared after the retreating figure. Xavier then realized just how much his bride-to-be was loved and not just by him.