The next month in the seaside settlement that would one day be known as the city of angels, was indeed the bloodiest in the entire century since Haven had first come into his throne there. The four weeks following the arrival of the ships and the decimation of Baron’s home included a joint effort to end any remaining hold the serpent still had on Haven’s territory.
In that month, Haven’s council teamed up with the subjects of the other three Princes who had crossed the ocean to join this fight. There were particularly plucky Kindred pulled from the ranks of Columbus, Paris, and London Princedoms to come and deliver a very definitive message on behalf of all the Camarilla, not to mention Griffyn’s own line themselves.
Night after night for four weeks straight, the Kindred troops of the Camarilla were sent out to bring a very bloody end to each and every vampire and all of their ghouls who were not known to be loyal members of the Camarilla there in Haven’s territory. Though it was a brutal solution, all involved agreed that it was the only way to ensure that if Baron had somehow survived the attack on his home, that he would not have a single ally left to him inside Haven’s territory; had he been foolish enough to stay at all. It was also their best bet for discovering any sign that the serpent had actually survived. Though by the end of that month, it appeared that they had indeed cleansed Haven’s entire territory of any foul remnants of that serpent.
As the ships made ready to return to the mother country, all the members of Haven’s line who remained there had gathered together for what was meant to be a victory celebration; though it was severely lacking in many feelings of victory or joyousness considering the very real grief their Prince did still seem to be suffering from.
“To victory I suppose” Daniel attempted as he raised a glass of red to the others seated around the table with him.
They all murmured their quiet agreement and raised their own glasses, before silently disappearing behind their next sips once more. When Haven did finally look up from his glass he found all their eyes watching him with varying degrees of sympathy, concern and worry.
“You’re all looking to me like I’m supposed to be some kind of leader or something” Haven attempted lightness, though his tone easily belied it.
“It’s hard, we know. All wars have casualties. That has always been quite an unfortunate truth” Daniel attempted to offer in his best politician’s voice, considering he had never even met the childe Haven now grieved for.
“Quite true” Haven managed to agree as he took another sip. There was another long silence before Haven saw that their eyes still remained on him, looking to him for guidance when he was likely the most lost of them all “sorry, I’ve been fighting against Baron’s corruption for so very long now…” he attempted, though his voice trailed off a moment “that I find myself at a bit of a loss right now. It’s hard to accept a lack of conflict after it had been one’s natural state for over a century” he finished quietly as he took yet another slow sip.
“I think we’ve celebrated all we can for one night” Sean interjected as he set his glass down and moved to stand “and I think we all need to just let this new reality sink in before we can have any truthful reactions to it at all.”
“My heir, ladies and gentleman” Haven stated with an attempt at a smile.
“That would be me” Sean stated with an attempt at keeping the emotions that fact still inspired in him out of his voice.
With that, they all nodded to Haven and began moving out of his home to leave their Prince to adjust to his new reality as well. Aidan, Daniel and Anastasia headed out first, making their way back to the Toreador house as they were the least affected by the conclusion of this war. Sean and Claire moved more slowly to exit the home, pausing a moment outside Haven’s front door to glance after their companions.
“It’s still early” Sean referred to it being just barely ten p.m.
“Have something in mind?” Claire asked as she looked up at him.
“It’s been a while since we visited the cove; her cove” Sean added more quietly as he looked down the beach toward what had always been one of Erica’s favorite spots, for various reasons. Claire simply allowed a sad smile as she nodded her agreement and let him lead her by the hand down the beach under the stars that night.
As they reached the cove and took seats in the sand with a stunning view of the moon and stars above them, Claire gently laid her head on Sean’s shoulder, their fingers still entwined. After a long moment of them each taking in the beauty of the water and sky that night as the other Princes’ ships slowly began pulling away from Haven’s home, Claire spoke at last “how long do you think it will take Haven to get over losing her?”
Sean sighed softly “I’ll tell you right after I get over us losing our child” he stated, though the way his voice broke on that last word, it was hard to tell if it was Erica that he was actually referring to, or another child they had lost nearly two hundred years earlier.
Though it was obvious which child Claire couldn’t help thinking of at the sound of his words, as she then just broke down in sobs against his shoulder as he pulled her close, his own tears gracing his cheeks as well then.