Ravyn's Nights - Book 2

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Chapter 38

It wasn’t too long after leaving Sean’s and Claire’s home that Aidan arrived in Haven’s instead. He found Haven at the desk in his study once more and moved to take a seat in the chair across the desk from his Prince. As Aidan took that seat, his body language made his mood obvious even without Haven using any of his extra sensory perceptions to discover it on his own.

“Problem?” Haven offered in greeting, his own British accent much more subtle than Aidan’s considering how long he had made his home in the new world now.

“I think I’ve somehow managed to destroy the entire fabric of the universe as we know it” Aidan sighed regretfully.

“On only your second night here? That’s both impressive and terrifying” Haven added wryly “care to explain that assumption just a bit though?”

“Last night, I barely had a chance to talk to Sean and Claire before it was almost dawn. But nothing seemed that off, other than them being a little distracted and quiet” Aidan just shook his head, running the events of the night through his head once more.

“And now something is off?” Haven pressed with his own concern. Especially after having been under the impression that his childe and grandchilde had made leaps and bounds toward repairing their relationship in recent years.

“Way, way off” Aidan mumbled to himself before looking back up at Haven, a pleading look in his dark eyes “can you just please tell me what has been really going on with them since… since Erica’s death” he added more quietly.

Haven’s eyes turned downward at the sound of that particular question and all the many answers that it had “you are asking me to explain the last thirty-five years, you know” Haven stalled a bit.

“Well someone needs to. Because I am so far beyond confused right now” Aidan told him, that same plea in his voice still.

“What exactly happened, Aidan?” Haven had to ask as he narrowed his blue eyes over at the other man.

“Have the two of them really not had any kind of relationship in thirty-five years?” Aidan asked, stalling his own answer “because I don’t know why she would say that, or… if it wasn’t true. But the way Sean…” Aidan just shook his head.

“You do realize that if you don’t start completing your thoughts verbally…” Haven left it at that.

Aidan sighed again as he braced himself to answer “Claire came into my room tonight and plainly told me that she and Sean have barely even touched each other in the last three and a half decades. It was hard to even fathom that, but harder to fathom why she would lie. Especially about Sean” Aidan shook his head again “so I believed her, as little sense as her words made. Why wouldn’t I believe her?” he added with a slight stammer to his voice.

Haven just shook his head as he pushed long locks out of his face in thought. He easily filled in the rest of the blanks after Aidan’s words, even without having to consciously peer into the other man’s mind to do so. After another long pause, Haven spoke again “they did spend years trying to put the pieces of their lives and their relationship back together after they lost her” Haven allowed “but lately things had actually seemed to improve greatly between them again” he added with another soft sigh.

“Then why? Why on earth would she… do what she did?” Aidan decided on, lowering his voice a bit.

“She wouldn’t” Haven stated simply, casting the slightest glare at the door to the main room, as that had been the last place he had seen the one who was very likely behind this current attempt at wrecking his family’s lives once again.

“But she did!” Aidan scoffed with disbelief “and now Sean hates me, and he hates Claire, and it’s just all so fucked up” he added with another sad shake of his head.

“I seriously doubt she did” Haven returned, not sure the truth was all that much better than the lie that Aidan had believed, and acted upon.

“You think I’m lying?” Aidan asked with disbelief.

“No I don’t think you’re the liar in this particular scenario” Haven answered.

“Well, if you don’t think I’m lying, and you don’t think Claire would have lied about something like that either… then?” he left the question at that.

“You remember our little blonde friend from last night?” Haven responded, the seeming subject change catching Aidan off guard.

“What about her?” Aidan asked with further confusion.

“Do you remember what she said when you asked her who she was?”

Aidan scoffed “something about she might be anyone?”

“And do you remember what I said then?” Haven pressed.

“That it was probably the only true thing she ever said…” Aidan answered slowly.

“She’s a Ravnos, Aidan. And she’s become very close to Awsha over the last two decades” he attempted to clarify.

“What does any of that have to do with what Claire did with me tonight?” Aidan questioned impatiently.

“I take it you haven’t heard much about Ravnos?”

“No, Haven. Why?” Aidan returned in the same tone.

Haven sighed heavily once more. It was true that he didn’t have absolute proof that Taylor was behind the events of the evening. But he had enough to find no other probable solution “Ravnos are masters of illusion and deceit” another sigh “when one of them is around, and people start behaving in ways they would never ever behave in; It makes a certain culprit come to mind” Haven finished with some combination of anger as well as sadness.

“And if you think that this girl could do something like that... why on earth would you let her stay around?” Aidan asked, trying not to place any blame in his voice, though it was difficult.

“What law has she broken, Aidan? She’s a total nightmare who creates chaos everywhere she goes. Yes, that is true. But last I checked there wasn’t technically any law against that. Not to mention her relationship with Awsha. And anything I do in regards to Awsha could turn out… badly” he decided on, knowing that Aidan most likely wasn’t privy to the prophecies that had been hanging over all of their heads for nearly sixty years now.

Aidan just scoffed as he stood, raising his voice slightly “Who cares? If she really did something this hurtful, something that destroyed both Sean and Claire this badly, then how can you fucking sit here and talk about laws? You’re the Prince last I checked, aren’t you?” Aidan returned angrily, though it took a bit of will to even speak out that strongly against any Kindred with the kind of majesty Haven inspired in all those younger. Without allowing himself to look back for fear of what reaction Haven would have to his words, Aidan left the room again; no longer sure who he could even turn to for any peace of mind at all at this point.

When Awsha neared Haven’s home once more that night, her eyes immediately moved toward the beach. There, standing about a hundred feet off from the dock that Ford patrolled once again was Sean. She swallowed a bit as she allowed a moment to take in his appearance. That night Sean was standing in ankle high water, as the tide ebbed and flowed, pushing the water over his knees and receding again while he just stood their numbly looking out at the waves. Forcing her feet to carry her close enough that she could see the wind playing in his long blonde locks, she also noted the red streaks running down both his pale cheeks as he stared, devastated out at the dark expanse of ocean before him.

Though she was close enough now that he was easily aware of her presence, he still stood frozen, no words passing his lips, no glance turning her way. Awsha swallowed again as she tried to find any words in the face of the intensity of that despair and rage that saturated every inch of his aura that night.

“I swear I didn’t tell Claire, Sean” she managed to choke out the words.

“I know you didn’t tell her, Awsha” he stated in a tone so devoid of all of those otherwise overly apparent emotions that is was eerie “but the fact that you already know what happened tonight; that just further proves who it actually was in that room after all. Did you put her up to it? That’s all I wanna know” he asked as he finally moved those bloody pools of blue back to her to see if she would even attempt to deceive him.

“No, Sean” she assured him “that was the one promise I kept. Remember?”

“No, you didn’t tell Claire, but you did tell Taylor, didn’t you?” he stated in that same icy calm tone.

“But Claire didn’t actually do anything. It was all Taylor. And as messed up as that is, it still wasn’t Claire who tried to hurt you tonight” she attempted to reason.

“No kidding, Awsha” he returned, the anger finally coming through in his tone.

“But Claire didn’t do anything…” she attempted again.

“No, she didn’t. But Taylor made me think she did. Taylor’s the reason Claire does know what you and I did now. Taylor’s the reason that made me crush Claire with that knowledge” he bit out, forcing back despair to replace it with fury.

“I didn’t want her to do that, Sean. If I wanted to break my promise to you. I would’ve just told Claire myself. Wouldn’t I have?” Awsha made one more attempt at reason.

“Would’ve. Could’ve. None of it even matters now, does it?” Sean took another moment before continuing “the only good thing that’s come out of this is now I no longer have to tiptoe around, just hoping that you weren’t going to use that one thing against me; against us. After all, there is no us anymore now” he finished in a whisper.

“When you say us…” Awsha attempted to have him clarify that statement, but the darkness in his eyes silenced her.

“You’ve lost all of your leverage against me. And I’ve lost everything” he told her in the same whisper as he looked back at the sea again.

“You do know we can’t drown, right?” Awsha couldn’t help making any attempt at swaying him from his promise of self-destruction he had made when asking her to first keep that secret for him.

“I can’t kill myself anyway, Awsha” he replied, almost distantly “there’s nothing left to kill” he added, his voice breaking a bit with the strength it took to admit that out loud.

“Sean” she whispered, her own sadness actually coloring her tone “that’s not completely true. As long as Claire’s still alive…”

Though he didn’t let her finish “you’re right” he stated in that same eerily emotionless tone as he looked back at her once again “there’s a few things left. Like despair, regret, rage, and power; let’s not forget that one. I’m the second strongest Kindred here and that’s all that’s left of me now. Nothing else. And I will kill Taylor the next time I see her. She’s the one that forced me to destroy the only thing that kept me human. So humanity be damned. Every human part of me is gone now. And I think you know what that leaves.”

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