It was spring and Kenneth, Ailis and Carmelita were sitting in the library. Kenneth was watching Ailis as she was reading and even though she was ready to burst, Ailis was as beautiful as ever. Carmelita was secretly watching them both when the butler came in. He announced William, Kenneth’s new second in command. Ailis had chosen him as the second because of his character and the meaning of his name. “His name means Brave warrior.” She had said. “I wouldn’t want anything less watching your back.” William apologized for calling so late but he’d gotten news about the prisoner’s camp. After they sat down he told them they’d gotten some information from the agent they’d planted. The women were being held in the remains of the castle in Cadbury near summerset.
It meant nothing to Kenneth or Ailis but at the sharp intake of breath from Carmelita they could tell that it meant a whole lot to her.
“What is it Abuela?” Ailis asked worried. “Do you know this place?”
Carmelita looked through them instead of at them. “He has taken them to Camelot.” She said.
“What do you mean?” Kenneth asked.
“The old castle remains are all that are left of Arthur’s wondrous city.” Carmelita answered.
“I don’t understand.” Kenneth stated.
“It has to be a coincidence.” Ailis said. “How could Monolo know what that would mean to us? He doesn’t know of our lineage.”
“I learned a long time ago that few things in this life are coincidence.” Carmelita answered. “He is somehow involved and we need to find out how.”
The next four weeks were full of meetings and plans being made to go in and rescue the women without too many casualties on either side. Ailis was not going to blame Monolo’s followers for believing the lies that he was feeding them. They had been able to bring so many of them into the council, she was sure that if they knew what Monolo was really planning that they would abandon him.
Monolo has been telling them that he is doing this for the betterment of all vampires. Most of them had no idea what his true agenda was. Finally the day had come to send the men off. Ailis was a ball of nerves as she kissed Kenneth goodbye. Kenneth assured Ailis that he would be careful. He watched her disappear through the rear view mirror and prayed that their plan would work. They planned to park their car in Glastonbury and take the twelve-mile trip to Cadbury where they had three large vans waiting about a mile from the site ready for the return trip. From there they would hike the remaining mile and radio the vans to pick them up when they had assured that it was safe.
Ailis paced the house for an hour or more, Worried to death about tonight. Carmelita came into the room. “What if they don’t make it?” Ailis asked her. “What if something goes wrong?”
Carmelita walked over and stood beside her. “There is nothing more that you can do right now.” She told Ailis. “You are worn to the bone. The best thing for you to do is go upstairs and take a nap.” Ailis went upstairs as she was told but she knew there was no way she was going to sleep. “Yeah, right.” She thought, pacing her rooms for the thousandth time. Kenneth was walking into what could very well be certain death. I hate this queen shit, she thought frustrated. She’d already hung up the twins. So to speak, they were in a lighted display case in the ball room of their house in Madrid. She could always call them to her and had on gut instinct a couple of times already but her newly practiced powers were way more effective against her current enemy. She still absently reached for them occasionally. She missed the comfort they gave her. She huffed a breath as she flopped down on the bed. She wanted to be fighting next to Kenneth. Instead, he was out there fighting her fight while she was stuck here at home like an invalid. Her current condition required she stay in the safety of the headquarters. She thought looking down at her belly smiling as she rubbed her fingers across it absently. Their daughter was restless tonight. Ailis wasn’t sure if she knew enough about what was going on outside to be in fear for Kenneth as well or if the baby was just feeling what she was.
Ailis breathed deep in an effort to calm herself. Kiera had told her that it was her job as queen to delegate action and protect herself as well as her unborn heir first and foremost. Once we get her back, Avalon can never be without a queen again. Kiera had said. This thought angered and frustrated Ailis anew. These were her people who were being brutalized. Her job, her responsibility, she thought venomously. She would bring her daughter safely into this world and then she would continue her fight where she belonged, at Kenneth’s side. She was raised to fight for what was hers and there was no way she would sit idly by like a weak woman when she had a bottomless well of power from which to draw from. She thought. All she had to do was learn to control it. She tossed and turned for more than an hour before she finally fell asleep.
She was suddenly in a dark room that smelled of herbs. She could see a young man sitting by a bed with his head down. There was a woman in the bed. Ailis crept slowly forward. In the dim light of the candle she could see Morgaine’s face. She was ill, very ill. She raised her hand to the young mans face. “Arthur” she said. Arthur raised his head and looked at her. “I need you to take care of Ailis for me.”
Ailis stopped dead in her tracks. Why was Morgaine talking about her? “I have lost two of my daughters and Ailis is the last. She must survive. Do you understand?” Morgaine went on. She must survive to have a daughter.
Our line will stop with her otherwise.” Ailis then realized that Morgaine was not talking about her. She was talking about her daughter. Kiera and Igrain were dead, But from what? She asked herself.
Arthur was crying now. “Don’t talk like that.” He said. “You will get better and you will be able to take care of Ailis yourself.” Ailis kept looking right at Arthur. He was about fourteen now and Ailis just knew there was something familiar about him But that would be impossible, right?
Morgaine wet her dry lips with her tongue. “The fever has taken two of my children and it will take me too. I need to know that you will protect her.” she said. “Don’t stop the search for the cure for what our race has become. Do what you can. Promise me Arthur.” She begged.
“I promise.” Arthur told her. “I will never give up. I will continue what you have started.” Morgaine gave a small smile and breathed her last breath.
Seven hours later Kenneth and the men were crouched on the outside parameter of the camp. At exactly two o clock two guards came to relieve the guards at the gate.
According to their Intel all other guards where not back from their nightly hunts yet. They waited fifteen minutes and then Kenneth gave the signal to start. He prayed that all of their careful planning would pay off.
William’s father was a scientist when he was human and it had taken him nearly three weeks of testing to come up with a tranquilizer that should be strong enough to take out even the strongest vampire. “Don’t waste those.” William said to Kenneth. “Dad said those darts were hard to come by.”
Kenneth hoped this would work. This was the strongest sedative that he could find. Sure enough as if the Gods had answered his prayers, both guards fell the second they were hit.
Within minutes they were in the center of the camp. A small building stood there with no guards or anything. Kenneth scanned the area. He could not sense any other vampires, yet he had the worst feeling that they were in a whole lot of trouble. Before he could warn William, the door flew open and there was at least twenty vampires running at them. Kenneth caught a glimpse of about thirty women huddled in a corner at the back of the room before he was forced to defend himself.