When Sean arrived at Haven’s home for the first meeting of 1760, he entered the main room to find Haven and Karin upon the sofa together sharing a more than passionate kiss.
“Didn’t mean to interrupt” Sean stated warily as they broke off the kiss upon his arrival and turned to him.
Haven just chuckled “at least it was you and not one of the other Primogen, who already are so enamored with their ‘degenerate’ Prince” he joked as Karin placed another little kiss upon his neck.
“And lately, it’s hard not to interrupt something like that in this house” Karin allowed her own giggle as she placed another quick kiss over Haven’s lips.
“As much as it pains me, my love, we shall have to take a brief reprieve until after the meeting” Haven told her with an apologetic smile.
Karin just allowed a small whimper as she pushed herself up from the couch “no fun at all” she chided. She then added “and don’t take too long with your meeting. I might get cold up there in your bed all alone…. Without a stitch on” she growled slightly before moving off up the stairs with a mischievous smirk.
Sean just watched her head up the stairs with a raised brow as Haven let out a heavy sigh of frustration “honestly, Sean, I don’t know how you do it” he told him with a shake of his head.
“Sounds to me like you are quite adept at doing it, yourselves” Sean smirked.
“Very funny” Haven smirked “but I meant how you can leave Claire’s bed long enough to come to these tiresome meetings” he complained, though he wore a smile as he pushed himself up from the couch as well.
“Wow, we’re at that status already?” Sean furrowed his brow once more.
“Status?” Haven returned questioningly.
“Comparing you and Karin to me and Claire” Sean stated, though warily.
“Well she has been here for a decade now. The last half of which has been very… stimulating” Haven added with another wry grin.
“So, couldn’t help hearing what you called her” Sean dared as the two started toward the meeting room “is that just you being British” a small smirk “or are you saying that after three centuries, you’ve finally found love?” Sean had to ask.
Haven couldn’t help another grin as awkward as it was as the two reached their regular seats “I guess I can say I’m a little more open to the idea than I have been at previous points in this long life” he admitted.
“Interesting time to come to that conclusion” Sean added with another wary look as they took their seats.
“Meaning?” Haven returned as he looked back at him.
“Can’t help wondering if…” Sean just shook his head “Never mind. I shouldn’t be second-guessing your happiness.”
“Wondering if what, Sean?” Haven prodded, though still held his smile.
“Well, I’m just wondering if this sword of Damocles hanging over your head is what’s made you more willing to be open to such a thing after all this time” Sean managed, watching his sire closely for his reaction.
Haven looked down slightly, but still managed some semblance of a smile “perhaps the possibility of my imminent death is changing my outlook. But at least I’m currently happy, despite all of the unhappiness that’s just lying in wait for us. And being happy is something I haven’t spent a lot of my life doing. So, shouldn’t I try to enjoy it? At least while I still can” he added more sadly.
Sean looked down slightly at Haven’s words before finding more of his own “oddly enough, that’s very similar to conversations Claire and I have had in recent nights” Sean admitted.
“Meaning?” Haven asked with concern.
“There was a lot more to the prophecy... after the part where you die and I become Prince” Sean confessed quietly.
“You’ve never mentioned the rest of it to me” Haven replied, his concern deepening.
“It’s the parts after you die. Didn’t think those were really something you would even have to worry about” Sean stated in the same soft, sad tone.
“Well, consider me worried. I think I’d like to know what my successor and childe may have in store” Haven pressed.
“I really doubt anyone would like to know about inevitable doom, would they?”
“Doom?” Haven asked with further concern.
“It’s basically all Claire and I have been able to think about, really, since Awsha woke up and went off to join her new master” Sean stated sadly “the first part already happened, Haven. It’s a little difficult to believe that the rest won’t too. And just waiting for it to all happen… it’s torture” Sean repeated Claire’s own words.
“Please tell me, Sean” Haven asked again.
Sean just shook his head sadly before answering “after the part where you die and I become Prince, the next part says that ‘snakes will come to devour love, trying to eat it all away’” Sean allowed a broken sigh “which basically means that once I’m Prince…” he couldn’t even finish that sentence as he looked down. Haven was silenced for a long moment as well, his own sadness just as apparent. Finally, Sean had to speak up again “I don’t think I want to ever be Prince, Haven.”
When Haven did make his way back to his bedroom after the meeting, he was wearing a sullen expression. However, when he pushed the door open, Karin was indeed waiting for him there in his bed, without a stich on. That sullen expression did take a hit then as his lips couldn’t help curling into a smile, as she hadn’t even bothered covering her body with a sheet.
“That didn’t look like a very happy expression when you first came in” she purred.
“Well, my mood has improved ever so slightly now” he returned as he closed the door and opened his jacket.
“Just slightly, huh?” she returned in the same tone as she moved to crawl forward across the bed to greet his approach.
“Working on it” he smiled again as he dropped his jacket to the floor and started unbuttoning his shirt as his feet moved him closer to the bed.
Only when he was within her reach, Karin pushed herself up to her knees and took over undressing him where his fingers had left off “so what was so upsetting during the meeting?” she asked as she pulled his shirt down his arms, dropping it to the floor.
Haven smiled as he watched her fingers move to begin unbuttoning his pants then too “well which is it that you want to do? talk about by bad mood, or improve it?”
“I can’t do both?” she teased as she began pulling his pants down from his narrow hips.
“Not simultaneously I’m afraid” he replied with a smirk.
“Well, if I improve your mood then you might very well forget what darkened it to begin with” she suggested innocently as he stepped out of his pants and kicked his shoes away before moving to join her on the bed.
“Promise?” Haven returned with a slight growl before pulling her atop him, his body already hardening at her offer.
“I’m nothing if not a devoted subject” Karin smiled back down at him before moving to a place astride his hips, easily sliding him inside her once again and putting a definitive end to the conversation for at least that moment.
Once their lovemaking ended again, Haven lay next to Karin, caressing those red locks as she laid her head upon his chest as he stared up at the ceiling in thought. Her voice then interrupted those thoughts “so, did it work?” she asked, her lips smiling against his chest.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to be more specific, love” he responded with his own shadow of a smile.
“Did I improve your mood?” she teased as she turned those brown eyes back to his face.
“Oh I’m sure you noticed a vast improvement during that last hour of pleasure” Haven returned with a slight chuckle.
“So what had you in such a bad mood anyway?” she asked as she moved to prop her arms on his chest, resting her chin on them so she could continue to look up into his blue eyes.
Haven paused a moment as his mind returned to Sean’s sad revelation about what his Princedom would likely bring. He allowed a soft sigh before giving Karin any response “can I ask you something?”
She looked a little caught by that, but hid it quickly “yes, my Prince?”
“What exactly made Marcus choose to make his other childe his heir rather than you?” Haven questioned her, which caused Karin’s lips to curl into a grin as she thought on her answer.
“Are you saying that you could actually see me making a good Prince, myself?” she had to ask, referring to the fact that even female Kindred were referred to as Prince in Camarilla society.
“Well better than some. I just wondered why he chose his other childe over you. I mean he must have had some reason” Haven stated as he turned his eyes back to her.
“You mean a better reason than his other childe just being embraced before me?” Karin returned, her tone only darkening slightly.
“Well was that the only reason?” Haven continued.
“Well, you chose your eldest childe for your heir, didn’t you?” Karin dared, keeping her tone even.
“Yes I did, but…” he just shook his head.
“But what?” she couldn’t help pressing, hoping upon hope that her true aura and thoughts would remain hidden behind the illusion provided.
Seeming to have not yet noticed any change in her aura, Haven continued “well Sean and Awsha are very, very different creatures” he supplied that answer, sad though it was spoken.
“Meaning?” she couldn’t help pressing.
“Meaning that if Awsha had actually been what I had hoped she would be, then maybe I would’ve given her the throne after all. It’s not like Sean actually wants it, himself” he added more quietly.
Karin then had to steel herself to respond the way ‘Karin’ would respond “so where is Awsha now?”
“I imagine she’s off doing the serpent’s bidding again. One small blessing though is that he no longer seems nearly as interested in the torments he’d visited on us in the past. So maybe, the threat really is over” he stated hopefully, though there was obvious doubt in his tone.
“So you don’t think there’s any chance that maybe she’s seen the error of her ways?” Karin stated quietly, again forcing any emotion out of her voice.
“He’s mentally bound her to him. That’s more permanent than even the blood bond” Haven sighed, his voice breaking sadly as he continued “Awsha will never be Awsha again until the serpent is dead” he admitted as he bit back more emotion, not noticing the way Karin seemed to be biting back her own right then too.
“That’s very sad” was all she managed as she turned away from him to hide her own tears right then.
Upon waking the following night, Haven placed a gentle kiss over Karin’s hair before squeezing her shoulder slightly and moving to attend to more of the duties of his station. Karin didn’t appear to have much motivation to leave the bed herself though. After several long minutes passed, the bedroom door opened again. Freya stepped into the room, raising a brow slightly at Karin still curled around a pillow atop the bed.
“Problem?” was Freya’s greeting.
Karin sighed heavily as she slowly forced herself to sit up against the headboard “he still loves me” she stated softly.
“Ok can we start from the beginning of this conversation instead?” Freya returned sarcastically as she moved to take her own seat.
“Haven: He actually does still love me” Karin answered sadly.
“One; isn’t that the point of this whole exhausting charade? Two: what do you mean ‘still’?” Freya returned.
“Even after all I’ve done, and all the ways he tried to punish me, teach me; after all that he still actually loves me” Karin simply shook her head sadly.
“What are you even on about?” Freya replied impatiently.
“He told me last night, that if maybe I had never done the things I did. Or at least if I would have learned from them; then he might have actually considered making me his heir after all” she whispered.
Freya was a little caught by that “well, him giving you the throne is the whole point of this as well, isn’t it?”
“You don’t understand. I’m talking about the real me. He still loves her. He still would’ve given her a chance. But instead…” she just shook her head again, tears forming in her eyes “instead I let you introduce me to Baron” she finished nearly inaudibly “and now it’s too late for any of that anymore” she finished with a slight sob.