Ravyn's Nights - Book 1

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Chapter 19

“Isn’t this what you wanted?” Haven interrupted Sean’s thoughts as he glanced over at the distraught looking man who rode upon the horse next to his own, “What is bothering you so much? Having second thoughts?” Haven prodded his newly made childe, though gently.

“I didn’t say anything.” Sean returned shakily as he glanced over at the man who honestly still did not look any older than his late teens, despite how far off that figure truly was, as they rode slowly towards Sean’s home that night, a mere three nights after Sean, and his entire life had changed so thoroughly, if ‘changed’ was truly the right word, at all.

“Like you have to. I can easily tell how you feel, at any time, remember?” Haven returned in the same gentle tone, speaking more wisely than his extremely youthful appearance would ever let on.

Haven had attempted to dress more simply than usual that night, having already had over one hundred and fifty years to establish himself as an extremely wealthy man, simply using the cover of having inherited a large fortune from his deceased family, as he moved from town to town, as most of his kind eventually always had to, for the sake of their inability to age, or other odd quirks, not letting on to any of the humans surrounding them, about what they truly were.

Haven’s long blonde locks were tied back into a loose pony tail, as were Sean’s red-blonde locks as their horses slowly moved them ever closer to the home where Sean and Claire had already shared the last twelve years of their lives, and the last twelve years that Sean’s life even had.

“Yeah, you’re going to have to teach me that trick.” Sean scoffed, though, with a lack of feeling behind it, as he was more than a bit distracted by what might lay ahead of them that night.

“You already have it, you just have to learn how to use it, so to speak.” Haven assured with a small smile, “Don’t worry, you can use it tonight, when we see her.” Haven added more quietly.

“What? I’m not using any magic, or whatever, on her.” Sean said with increased volume, despite the fact of who he spoke to.

“It’s not magic, not compared to some things you’ll find yourself able to do, soon. It’s just a new way of seeing things, seeing people.” Haven assured, still speaking as gently as any new father, despite the fact that Sean did now appear to be over ten years older than the other man, though appearances were more than deceiving, in this case, “It just will let you know how she feels.” a slight pause, “Especially when you tell her, if you still want to, that is.” Haven added pointedly.

“I have to tell her.” Sean said, firmly, though quietly, then added, “I share a home with her. I share a bed with her.” he paused only a moment, “She’s been the only one I’ve really had in my life, for over a decade, now. I love her.” he added in a voice that would have been nearly inaudible, to anyone but Haven, that was.

Haven sighed softly before responding, “Which is why you should think, long and hard, about telling her at all. It could cost more than you think.”

Sean sighed as well, then returned, “I’ve already lost my life. If I lose her too, there really is nothing else left.”

“Sean!” Claire greeted her husband with true happiness as he bravely forced his feet thru the door of their tiny home late that night, Haven trailing slightly behind him, quietly awaiting his first true meeting with the person who was obviously the most important to his new childe, at least in the previous version of his life.

“Hello, love.” Sean told her with a smile which did still manage to hide some of his current worries once she rushed into his arms to offer him a huge hug in greeting, after having not seen him for several nights.

“Oh, hello.” she said with a slight blush as she only then noted Haven waiting outside the doorway behind Sean, self-consciously wrapping her arms around herself as she was already dressed in her long nightgown, which was quite conservative in and of itself, but in that day, for another man other than her husband to see her in it, was a bit on the scandalous side.

“Hello, Lady Beringer.” Haven greeted her by she and Sean’s surname, though with a polite nod while his own smile seemed forced, almost as though he were as distraught as Sean, suddenly.

“Lady?” she let out a somewhat nervous chuckle, still self-consciously holding her arms around herself, “That’s a bit official.” another smile, “I’m sure Sean wouldn’t mind you calling me Claire, right darling?” she asked, smiling up at Sean as she spoke.

“Of course not.” Sean offered, though spoke even more quietly and tentatively as he moved inside nodding for Haven to enter as well.

“I’m just going to go and find my robe. You’re terribly cold though, darling.” she added to Sean with concern as she gently touched his cheek, “Would you, and your friend, like me to heat up the stew I made this evening?” she offered.

“That’s not necessary, love. Haven and I ate earlier.” he responded, trying to keep his voice from shaking in response to her observation as well as her question, not to mention, her warm touch upon that skin of his which was now, truly, as cold as death.

“Ok, then.” another awkward smile, “Haven? What a unique name.” she smiled again with yet another nod to them both before heading into the other room of their home to go and find that robe.

Once she was out of earshot, Haven immediately spoke up, though in a nearly inaudible whisper, “Sean, I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“T-tell you what?” Sean stammered, seeming honestly thrown by Haven’s question.

“About the baby.” Haven returned, his voice growing even quieter.

“The-the what?” Sean responded, knowing he would have choked on the words, had he been able to.

“God, you didn’t know.” Haven returned, turning quickly away, his own upset more than clear as he shook his head, “I’m so sorry.” he repeated again, sounding truly sympathetic.

“Wait, how could you even possibly know some---” Sean began desperately, forcing his words to a halt as Claire returned from their bedroom.

“Sorry, should I leave again?” she returned with a worried smile, the fact of interrupting their seemingly private conversation, easily noticed by her, and her unconventionality for a woman in that day or age, failing to check her words, as it often did.

“No, love, it’s fine.” Sean returned, forcing a smile which seemed to hide so much more as his voice broke.

“So, Sean showed me some of the dresses you’ve made. They’re beautiful.” Haven forced his own collected nature to the fore as he was sure Sean was way too upset right at that moment to even pretend a calm that wasn’t anywhere close to the truth.

“Thank you.” she smiled with the same awkwardness, casting Sean one more worried glance before forcing the manners that were expected of her, and gestured for them both to take a seat near the fire that gently burned at the side of the small room for heat on that cold Massachusetts night. Though only Haven took the offered seat, as Claire followed politely, while Sean stayed frozen in place, his expression unreadable.

“Yes, makes me wish my sisters hadn’t all married and moved away.” Haven continued the conversation, using the cover for his life that applied that particular decade, before he had to move on once more, to yet another place with yet another story of some other life, to hide what he truly was.

“Haven.” Sean stated, knowing that Haven’s words were not entirely true, as no member of his mortal family had even walked the earth in nearly a century.

“And I saw Sean’s writings too. Even bought a few. They truly touched me.” Haven assured Claire, ignoring Sean’s silent request for him to end the conversation, knowing Sean needed more time before he was expected civil communication of his own, right then.

“You bought some of them?” Claire returned happily, their previous secretiveness all but forgotten as she smiled back at Sean, “I told you it was only a matter of time before someone realized what a great artist you are, Sean.”

“Yeah, you know what they say about people only caring about your art once you die.” he returned shortly, causing Haven to give him a brief look of disapproval, knowing that, thanks to him, Sean was truly not in the state to start that conversation with her, just yet.

“Actually,” Haven interrupted more loudly than usual, before Sean could say more, “I should probably be leaving soon. It is late.” he said, forcing a polite smile to Claire as he stood once again, “But your hospitality was greatly appreciated, Claire.” he smiled as he gently kissed her hand, as she then stood again, as well.

“Well, do you live far?” Claire asked with concern, trying not to let herself think much of Sean’s odd behavior as he had probably had a long day of traveling already, as it was nearing midnight, as Haven had pointed out.

“No, not far.” Haven answered her, “I don’t want to keep the lady of the house from her sleep any longer, anyway. After Sean walks me out to my horse, I’ll be sure to quickly return him to his lovely bride.” he told her softly, his entire demeanor screaming a tangible kind of charm that was rare to see in even a man who was twice the age that Haven appeared to be, “Sean.” he stated to Sean with a well disguised brevity to his tone and his nod, causing Sean to sigh a moment, but he still didn’t stop himself from following his sire back outside, once more.

“Since when do you need an escort thru the dark?” Sean asked a bit roughly after they left the house, making their way to the small barn, a little ways off from the cabin, where they had tied the horses earlier.

“I know you planned on telling her what you are now, but in your current state, as well as hers, you might want to consider waiting just a little while before doing that.” Haven told him quietly, though he somehow still sounded more concerned than angered.

“I still would really like to know exactly how you think you can just assume that there’s a baby at all, when you can’t possibly have any proof based on the ten minutes of time you were with her, and the fact that she’s never said any such thing to me, the supposed father.” Sean told him, his attempt at denial cooling his tone considerably.

“Remember, I see things differently. You would too, if you just let me show you how to.”

“Right.” Sean scoffed, shaking his head as he looked over their shoulders at the house they slowly moved away from thru the light coating of snow on the ground, the temperature itself not having any bearing on either of their current moods, considering.

“When you look at her, really see her, really see what she’s feeling. You can if you just let yourself admit that you can, now. And when you make it work, you’ll see all her emotions, all at once.”

“And her emotions told you she was pregnant?” Sean scoffed again.

“No, but there is the fact that I didn’t just see her emotions and her feelings when I looked at her. Cause she’s no longer just her. She’s got someone new inside of her. I saw theirs too. Let yourself look at her, the way I did. You’ll see it too. You’ll see both of them, just like I did. That will be your proof.”

Sean just sighed again as they stopped near the barn, “I guess life and death really do happen at the same time, don’t they?” he told Haven softly, realizing that Haven had no reason to lie to him about the fact of his child. How distraught its existence seemed to initially make Haven was proof of that, as well.

“Considering what we both know now, I have to ask…are you positive you want to tell her exactly what the father of her baby now is, and what he never will be, again?” Haven asked Sean in a soft whisper as he gently touched Sean’s cheek, the way Claire had, only moments earlier.

“I don’t know Haven.” Sean said as he shook his head, looking down as tears, now made of blood, appeared in the corner of those ice-colored eyes, “I don’t know anything anymore. Everything I thought was true about the world, and me, and my life, and even my death…none of it is true anymore. How can I make a decision like this in a world that isn’t anything like I thought it was for my entire life? How do I do that?” Sean asked desperately as Haven pulled him into his arms letting Sean have that moment of weakness, and being there for him as he did, since Haven may now be the only one Sean would have left in that new world, after all.

After several long moments of allowing Sean to finally let out all those emotions that were plaguing him all at once, the two of them finally caught sight of the last candle in the house being blown out, both looking toward the windows of the cabin, from the seat they had moved to inside the small barn, a single lantern being their only light source as well.

“I guess she got tired of waiting for me to come to bed.” Sean said softly, wiping away a remaining trace of red from his pale cheek.

“That could be a good thing.” Haven attempted to assure, his arm still around Sean’s shoulders.

“A good thing?” Sean scoffed quietly, “Having a little trouble believing those exist anymore.” he added quietly with a shake of his head.

“What I originally thought could have been a plan for how and when to tell her, that plan may not work so well anymore.” Haven offered, knowing that Sean needed some kind of guidance now, more than ever.

“You had a plan for how to tell her that her husband is now a walking corpse who's allergic to sunlight and needs to drink blood?” Sean asked with a bit of sarcasm as he raised his brow, “And when were you thinking of telling me about any kind of plan that could cover that?”

Haven tried not to smile at the way Sean had phrased things, as neither had much reason to be jovial at the time, “I was going to tell you tonight. Then we got distracted, obviously.” Haven added more quietly.

“So tell me. What plan did you honestly think would work?” Sean prodded, his despair only adding to his desperation to know how to possibly deal with his new existence, as well as finding some way to help Claire to deal with it, at all, either.

“Well, Sean, there are a couple choices you did have.”

“Really? Cause I don’t feel like I have any at all, any more.”

“Like I said, choices you did have.” Haven sighed, “Obviously, those choices all need re-worked, now.” another sigh.

“Fine, what were my choices?”

“One, just let her believe you’re dead, and never see her again. That’s what we all usually end up having to do, eventually.” Haven told him sadly.

“Next.” Sean said without hesitation.

Another sigh, “Another choice, that you used to have, is to make it so she’s still alive, but she still wants to be with even this version of you, and she still loves you, maybe even more than she did when you were truly alive.” Haven began softly.

“That one sounds pretty damn good to me.” Sean stated matter-of-factly.

“Like I said, you used to have that choice.” Haven responded more softly.

“Well, tell me how to do it. How do I keep her from running screaming when she finds out I’m a goddamn vampire. That’s the one I want.” he insisted.

“Sean, I said you used to have that choice.” Haven repeated himself more firmly.

“What do I have to do?” Sean continued stubbornly.

Haven just shook his head, “Fine, I’ll tell you but you won’t like it, especially now.” Haven began to give into his childe who he already held more than a bit of admiration for, despite all extenuating circumstances.

“I’ll decide that.” Sean continued with conviction.

Haven sighed once more as he searched for the words to explain what he previously did truly want the plan to be if Sean had insisted on keeping Claire as the one tie to his mortal life, “Fine, if you want her to still love you in this incarnation, or any other, and love you forever and without question, no matter what you are now, or what you ever become from this night forward, what you would have to do, is somehow find a way to get at least one drop of your blood into her food or drink, on three separate nights. Only then will you have her love no matter what.”

Sean took a long moment to take in that information, pacing the small barn in front of Haven as he gnawed at a nail, visibly pondering the idea, before finally speaking, “Assuming I can get over the idea of feeding my own blood to my wife,” he shook his head slightly, “Why do I think there’s more to it than what you’ve said?”

“Cause there is more. The more that is the reason that’s no longer the obvious choice.”

“Tell me, Haven.”

“If you do this to her, she’ll still be alive. She won’t be a vampire, like us, though, which is, I suppose, another choice I’m sure you may have considered, until now.” Haven added as an afterthought.

“Well, I didn’t want to make her a vampire, at least not before I knew for sure, what, exactly, it even means to be what I am now, myself. But please tell me, why is the blood thing no longer a choice?”

“Technically, it is still a choice, but one with consequences you may not want.”

“What consequences, Haven?”

“The blood would keep her alive, and in love with you, as well, but it would also stop her from aging, stop her body from getting any older, and stop anyone else who needed to live off of her body from growing, or getting any older, either. She no longer would have anything that she would need to keep the baby alive long enough to ever even be born, at all.”

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