Ravyn's Nights - Book 2

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Chapter 58

When Haven next had a moment to retreat to his study to silently gather his thoughts, it was not long before he suffered another interruption. One of his servants came to the door looking just a bit rattled by the fact that Haven had a rather unexpected visitor to his home that night. When Haven exited the study to greet his visitor, he too was a bit surprised by it being none other than the blue eyed blonde haired personification of chaos herself, Taylor.

Haven allowed only a moment to grace her with a questioning look before speaking “well, you are literally the last…” he then corrected “second to last person I expected to see in my home.”

Taylor braced herself as he entered the room, still being affected by his very presence no matter how much that fact had always bothered her. But she soon found her voice nonetheless “I won’t waste your time, as I’m sure you have very little patience to listen to anything I might have to say” she began.

“Lo, she is able to speak the truth” he returned sarcastically.

Trying to ignore his obvious yet understandable disdain, Taylor forced herself onwards “I can lead you to Baron’s home” she stated simply.

That particular statement did manage to pique Haven’s interest despite him no longer having need of that mystery to be unraveled “that is a surprising offer, to say the least” he responded as he watched her closely, attempting to read her aura despite how fruitless that had always been in the past.

However this time he was allowed to see that she did indeed seem to have the color of fear readable in that normally hidden aura. Though who that fear was of, that was yet to be fully determined.

“And what has suddenly given you this desire to turn on your master?” Haven had to hear what her explanation was for this alleged turning of her coat.

“Baron thinks that I’m so broken now that I would never dream of turning on him, even without a bond to him” she stated quietly “but the way he did break me only assured that turn” she added in a whisper.

“That does sound like a fairly interesting story” Haven allowed “but I must know, why now? You’ve been back with Baron for thirty years now I assume. But it took you this long to finally decide to turn on him after all?” he put the question to her with clear skepticism.

“Do you really have four other Princes ready to unleash everything they have on Baron?” Taylor had to confirm before she shared any more of her own information.

“I see my little bird has returned to the serpent clutching my message” Haven couldn’t help a small smirk, bitter though it was.

“Is it true?” Taylor asked again.

“Well Awsha seems convinced of its truth, does she not?” Haven answered with another question “and you still have yet to tell me exactly why it is that you’ve come to me instead of just running from your serpent. Especially if you also believe the truth of his inevitable defeat that is” Haven prodded.

“Because he’s not the only danger; At least not to me” she admitted what little she was willing to as of yet.

“Do continue” Haven replied, not giving up any more information than she.

Taylor took another moment to force her next statement, as asking for any kind of help or admitting any kind of weakness were very foreign concepts to her; let alone asking it from someone who already hated her so “if I help you find Baron, I need you to help me with something too.”

Haven couldn’t help a slight chuckle, which only caused a bit of anger to flash through that finally visible aura of hers “and I have so many reasons to help the likes of you; don’t I, Taylor?”

She simply glared back at that statement “which is why I’m offering my information in return for your help” she stated, trying to force the anger out of her voice at his obvious lack of sympathy for her.

“All right, I’ll bite. I am lacking on amusement these days. What on earth do you need my assistance with, darling?” he asked, still not quite able to hide his condescension or sarcasm as he had never had much patience at all for Taylor, even before she had wreaked such havoc on he and his.

Taylor braced herself again before answering “I need you to kill Theo.”

Haven raised a brow at that “Theo?”

“I’m sure you’ve met him. He’s been shadowing Awsha for the last three decades after all” she added, though quietly.

“Your sire, Theo?” Haven asked, still wearing the same look of skepticism that was almost permanent in the presence of any Ravnos.

“That would be the one” Taylor admitted grudgingly.

“Baron really does get off on having beautiful women trying to kill their sires, doesn’t he? I can’t help wondering about his relationship with his own sire” Haven added, with obvious disinterest in Taylor’s own needs.

“Believe me, Baron isn’t the one who wants my sire dead. So, will you do it or not?” Taylor pressed. Her tone made it apparent that every second Haven dragged out her request for help was beyond painful to her.

“Not that I wouldn’t heartily enjoy staking that raping bastard and leaving him out in the sun…” he began in the same unmoved tone.

“He’s the one that orchestrated the attack on Deborah” Taylor interrupted, well aware of Haven’s fondness for the girl.

That did cause the slightest crack in Haven’s composure, as Awsha had never even shared that particular piece of information about Theo. Though that was most likely because Awsha knew that Haven would very likely end him when he heard it, just as Taylor now was hoping that he would.

Haven was silent a long moment before replying “whether I did take it upon myself to do as you wish” he paused only momentarily “there really is nothing I need from you any longer. So if you were hoping that you had some leverage you could use to save yourself, you are sadly mistaken, dear girl.”

That did do well to shake Taylor’s barely held composure further “but Baron’s home…”

“Is not a valuable piece of information to me any longer” he finished for her, causing another crack in her forced blank expression.

Taylor was silent for a moment then too, searching her mind for her next attempt at somehow gaining Haven as an ally, volatile though any alliance would be sure to be “Awsha said you still loved her” she finally blurted out.

Another skeptical look graced Haven’s features at that “I’m not sure what that has to do with any of the rest of this conversation” he stated quietly as he watched for Taylor’s response.

“You broke the mental bond Baron had on her once, didn’t you?” Taylor returned, watching him just as closely then.

“What of it?” Haven replied, not seeing any point in denying such.

“He’s done something to her again, mentally” Taylor informed quietly “if your mental powers can match or even cancel out his own, you might be able to save her this time too” she finished in a near whisper, her hatred for what Baron had Theo do to her granting her the will to give Haven such information.

“You really do hate that thoroughly repulsive sire of yours, don’t you?” Haven spoke the statement softly.

“More than I could ever put into words” Taylor admitted in the same hoarse whisper.

“How long did he hurt you for, Taylor?” he asked her with gentleness he had never graced her with in all the six decades since they had first met.

That was when Taylor looked down quickly to hide those tears that she would never want anyone to see, let alone an enemy “I’ve told you that you may be able to save Awsha, now will you please end that horrible man for me?” she asked in a near whisper.

Haven was quiet another moment, her tears finally showing him what was possibly the only bit of humanity left in this girl. Though guessing at what had been done to her, it was understandable that there would barely be any such thing left in her at all.

“Theo does need to be ended. That much we do agree on. But it doesn’t change the fact that I doubt I could still save either you or Awsha” Haven admitted quietly.

“What?” Taylor choked on the words “you’re just giving up on Awsha? And you’re going to kill me anyway? Even after I’ve come to you like this, begging for your help?”

“I have tried every way I can to save Awsha. Her fate with the serpent was sealed in prophecy long ago. I’ve spent a century trying to fight it. There are some battles that cannot be won” Haven admitted sadly before forcing himself to quickly move on “and I’m not the only one who you’ve wronged, Taylor. I’m not the person you have to fear will kill you. But that person is coming here and I doubt I’ll be able to hold them back from doing just that if they were to lay eyes on you again. Your only option is to flee. This is what your serpent should do as well. As I said, some battles cannot be won.”

When Haven got into bed alone in the pre-dawn hours, awaiting his daily slumber to overtake him once again; that’s when his mind found its way back to his conversation with Taylor. More precisely, it wandered back to the end of the conversation where he had finally admitted, out loud, to the belief that there was no way to stop Awsha’s fate of permanently belonging to the serpent. Of course, if he truly believed that there was no way to save her, then that would also mean that he would have to accept that there was no way to save himself either.

His mind paused a moment, hanging on that thought. Haven couldn’t help wondering if he had at last truly accepted his own death. Perhaps his 344 years on the planet, enduring the constant fight to keep that inner beast from claiming his humanity; perhaps that was finally too much for him to bear any longer. Perhaps he was ready to finally give into that darkness that he knew was all that waited for him upon his death. Perhaps the only reason he had kept fighting this long at all was because of his fear of what would become of those he left behind. Perhaps losing what he thought may have been actual love after waiting so long to even open himself up to the idea of it at all was indeed one pain too many. Perhaps losing the childe he did honestly love was the last straw after all. Perhaps there really was no way to stop any of the prophecy from coming true and he had finally, at long last, accepted that fact.

Of course, if he were to accept that he couldn’t stop the second part of the prophecy, he would also have to accept that there would be no stopping the rest of it either. And he had not even been the one who had heard the prophecy in its entirety. That was Sean’s and Claire’s weight to bear. But knowing how hard it was for him to bear only the parts that he was aware of, that made Haven’s heart ache even more at the idea of leaving Sean and Claire behind to endure the rest without him.

And so on that thought, Haven used all of his willpower to resign himself to continuing that possibly very futile fight against fate. After all, he still had another childe whom he loved dearly and who was not lost to him the way Awsha now seemed to inevitably be. And doing all he could to try and prevent the coming darkness from swallowing Sean and Claire whole was something he could still at least try to do. Though if he still had the strength for a fight with fate itself; that was yet to be determined. And the thought that battling fate was indeed a battle that could not be won; that very thought is what caused the drop of red to trail down his cheek and come to land upon his pillow as the sun rose and forced him to have to endure the entirety of yet another of his endless days before he could even try and find any way possible to win that battle with fate once and for all.

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