Disclaimer: See previous chapters
AN: I had to revise this in order to add my thanks to those of you who have reviewed this fanfic. I'm grateful for you reading this, whether you reviewed or not. The thanks are at the end of this chapter. For now, just read away...
That night was the beginning of a new era for our kind. Lycan and vampire. And like all beginnings, it was a delicate and turbulent time for us all. When we returned to Ordoghaz, we had learned that Octavia had fled; in fear of what would happen to her should we return and Kraven fail. It came as a surprise to me that the covens had welcomed Marcus back. Despite Kraven's deceptions and lies, they were still loyal to the Elder. This proved to be both a blessing and a curse, for when Marcus initiated a peace union between vampires and lycans, many rejected it and him, feeling that since he was a hybrid and no longer a true vampire, he had turned against them. Also, some of the lycans felt bitter because of the years of conflict and brought added tension to the peace. But despite this, many remained and in time learned to accept the lycans and the lycans in return.
Meanwhile, Kraven and Octavia had rejoined and together with a group of vampires, who opposed the new order, they created their own sect. At first Marcus let them be, since the one that left, he felt, were simply adjusting to things and needed more time to sort it out.
Then they struck at us. Right at us…
The once dark and silent building was now alive with activity of chaos and mayhem. A large portion of the building had been blown off on the side. Smoke was still billowing out from the vampire sanctuary and body littered the grounds outside. Inside, the same chaos was rampant as Marcus stormed out from the throne room. He caught sight of one of the guards, whose body was dirty and covered with dust.
"A bomb, sir. Michael discovered a bomb within the catacombs and tried to get rid of it, but it…"
The destruction was an obvious answer to him. "Michael? Is he…?"
"He's still alive." the guard answered. The young hybrid made a swift impression on everyone these past months and many liked him because of his gentleness, despite his frightening power.
"He was able to get away before it exploded, but the east wing of the mansion has been blown up."
This caused Marcus's mind to snap, 'East wing? Oh, no. Erika…'
Without saying another word, Marcus moved past the guard and swiftly through what was left of the mansion. A massive opening was presented before him, with the stairs leading upstairs virtually gone. Without breaking a stride, Marcus swooped up to the second floor and onward through the wreckage. He finally reached Erika's room where a horrible sight greeted him. Much of the floor was destroyed and everything within was tossed asunder. In the midst of it lay Erika in a nightgown that was now saturated with her blood. He quickly moved over to her and bent down, cradling her in his arms.
He repeated his plea and slowly, her eyes opened. There was much pain, he knew, in her now. But he was determined that she would not die. He wouldn't allow it. Lifting his forearm to his mouth, his razed his fangs across it, allowing a gash to rip across his arm. As blood seeped out of the wound, he lowered it to Erika, who at soon as she sensed it, began taking small gulps of his lifeforce. After a minute of this, she stopped and gasped lightly.
"Stay still." he whispered, caressing her hair lightly. "You'll be fine."
Marcus soon lifted her up and brought her out of the destroyed room. As he moved on, he saw the surviving remnant and those who were more fortunate on the move. They would head to the Council chamber where they would be safe from the approaching sun. As he moved, he surveyed the damage and his fangs began to bare out from his mouth.'Who could have done this? Could it be…?'
He stopped himself, not wanting to consider it. He knew that in accusing them, he would quite possibly start a war with his own people. Vampire against vampire. 'But who else could have been responsible?' There was no one else. As these thoughts plagued his mind, a Death Dealer came up before him. It was Victor.
"There are many casualties sir. A lot of vampires are going to need rejuvenation and we're moving them below." However, now was time for the bad news and Victor's voice softened, "But many…will not make it."
"And the bomb?"
"Yes. One of our men recognized Lucas exiting the building just before it happened."
'Lucas.' After Octavia left the mansion, Lucas was the first to seek her and Kraven out and join them. This unfortunately confirmed his fears.
"Then it was them." he whispered gravely. There was no way out of it now. He had hoped that they would simply live away from them in peace, albeit, by their own rules. But now he realized that was a mistake. They were loose ends and they had attacked them openly. Now an answer would be needed. As he looked down on Erika's body, he whispered softly.
"Si vis pacem para bellum."
Lucas blinked, "Sir?"
Marcus looked up at Lucas, his eyes now set in stone, "Bring Selene to the crypt. She has work to do."
Si vis pacem para bellum…Latin words. The translation: If you want peace, prepare for war. Indeed that's what he did. And so it was that the Death Dealers were reborn, with a new purpose and with me as their leader. As I trained them, I was surprised that Michael had asked for me to train him as well. Although he still abhorred violence, the destruction of that night had caused him to change his mind. I knew. I still remembered how he looked at those that had been slain by the explosion. Bodies were everywhere before him and I saw the helplessness in his eyes. What was also new was that a few lycans joined our ranks as well, to become the creatures they had once feared.
Once done, we began our hunt for the two renegades. Ethan, who had heard of the destruction, joined us in the search. It was through him that we found out just how far gone the two vampires had went. To amass their forces, they had been pulling humans off the streets and turning them into vampires. Those that survived joined with them. Those that hadn't became their food. What made it worse is that their 'recruiting' had gained the attention of the humans, slowly putting us in the public eye.
They had to be stopped, immediately…
After almost a year of tracking, we found them in an abandoned castle that had been converted into their headquarters. Ethan said that it was irony that they would be in such a place. Our forces gathered and we stormed in. The sect was swiftly defeated, but Octavia and Kraven managed to slip away again. But not for long.
After all, Ethan had a promise to keep…
Through the thick of the nearby forest, Kraven dashed through the trees in escape. His clothes, once regal, were now worn out tattered rags. He held a single gun in his hand and his face was dirty from his narrow escape, but that didn't matter to him. What mattered was that he escaped and survived. 'Live today, fight tomorrow.' He finally decided to stop for a moment to take a breather. He was almost certain that he wasn't followed. If he was, he would have seen some signs of pursuit earlier. But nothing. No one. He must have lucked out again.
Kraven's eyes snapped wide and he jumped up to see a shadowy form emerge from the woods in front of him. The vampire lifted his firearm at the form as it materialized before him. It was Ethan, walking toward him casually.
Kraven cocked the hammer of the gun, but Ethan chuckled darkly at his action.
"Don't bother. I already know that you ran out of ammo long before you entered this forest."
"You've been tracking me the whole time." Kraven snarled. The thought that he was being watched like prey didn't bode well with his ego. Ethan stood where he was, still chuckling.
"That's what lycans do." He then moved back and lent on one of the trees, folding his arms in the process. "I came to tell you that you my pack has this forest surrounded. You go into those trees, they'll track you down in no time and rip you to shreds."
"If that's the case, then what are you doing here at all?" An inquisitive glance came over his blue eyes. "You want something, don't you?"
When Ethan didn't answer, Kraven tilted his head to the side in amusement. "As I thought. You're just like your brother. You know just how valuable I can be."
Ethan suddenly laughed, "That conniving mind of your never ceases to amaze me. But you are right. I do want something from you. But before you find out, I want you to know…that you are dead."
What little relief Kraven felt was gone in those last words. "What?"
"As I mentioned before, my kin await in the trees ready to take you down. But even if you manage to get by them, it is too close to sunlight. You'll never find shade in time to avoid it." The lycan's eyes bore deep into the vampire's. "You will not live past this day. That's for certain."
Kraven couldn't believe what he was hearing. This dog…came that whole way just to tell him that he was going to die? Dumbly, Kraven stammered, "But…"
"But nothing." Ethan interrupted. "You will die, Kraven. I'm here to give you a choice."
Kraven blinked in confusion as Ethan unfolded his arms and reached behind the tree. Ethan then flung an object before Kraven, which clanged on the grassy floor. Kraven looked down at the object. It was a sword.
Ethan moved forward, keeping the sword in between him and Kraven and holding a blade of his own on his side. "Here are your options. Option one. You run and be torn apart by my brethren. Two, you slip out somehow, only to die by the fiery rays of the sun. Three…" His eyes lowered to the sword. "You pick up that sword and we fight.
"What kind of options are those?" the vampire grimaced.
Ethan's response was cold, "These are your choices of death. Die like a coward, a snake, or a vampire. I doubt you gave Kara those same choices." he added with some venom in his voice. Ethan then took a step back, giving Kraven some room. "What shall it be, Kraven? With the last choice, you at least have a chance to kill me and take me with you. But either way, this night will be your last."
Kraven's eyes shifted from Ethan to the sword and back again. Holstering the empty gun he took a careful step forward and bent down to pick up the sword. For a moment, Ethan seemed satisfied that the vampire would in his last moment show some sort of courage. But as soon as Kraven grabbed the sword, he made a mad dash through the woods with the weapon in tow. Ethan made no move to follow; there was no need to. He had already given Kraven his options and he chose the one of cowardice.
Meanwhile, Kraven moved swiftly through the trees, keeping the sword in hand for when any of the lycans came to him, he would be ready to fight them off. 'He was a fool to give me a silver blade. A single nick will be enough to drive them off.' He fully believed that Ethan's claim was a bluff, but he didn't want to take any chances. He soon reached the edges of the forest where he began to see clear land. There was light, but it was faint. He still had some time before sunrise. And there were no lycans in sight. 'He was bluffing after all.'Shhkkkkkk!!!!
Kraven suddenly gasped and jerked forward, his fast moving body flying through the air until his face his the grassy pavement. A low moan escaped his lips and he sat up to see what had happened. Another gasp came out as he saw that his leg had been slashed. 'But how? There was no one in sight.' But that proved false as grass behind him moved, revealing a lycan. Only, the lycan was in his human form. Clutched in his hand was a bloodied knife. The lycan had been laying in wait, readying for his approach. As Kraven struggled to rise on his wounded legs, he held the sword forward for when the lycan attack. But the lycan made no move toward him and simply watched him stumble off into a run again. Kraven continue to approach the clearing, but suddenly the grass shot up from beside him and another lycan slashed his other leg. Kraven cried and fell down once again, this time, dropping the sword. Ignoring the lycan altogether, the vampire crawled out while the second lycan watched. Kraven finally reached the forest's edge and stumbled out into it. Now that he was out, all he had to do was find somewhere to shade himself from the sun. The lycan's weren't following, so that was one less problem.But…why weren't they?
His answer soon came as he took a couple of steps. The clearing was much wider than he thought. It was open grassland as far as he could see. There was no hiding place anywhere. Even if he could run, he would never find anywhere to hide from the sun, which was currently beginning to rise.
"I told you."
Kraven whirled back to the forest to see Ethan emerge out of the woods, flanked by a few lycans who remained in the woodland. He now held Kraven's fallen sword in his hand.
"I had really hoped that you would have chosen option three. The fight would have given me a sense of vindication and on some level, respect for you. But that will not be the case. I guess it will be something I have to live with.
Ethan had no intention of letting the others kill him, just maim him enough to realize the consequences of his choice. Moving near the wounded vampire, he lifted the sword that Kraven had dropped.
"I'm surprised that you didn't recognize this. It's the very sword you impaled Kara with."
Kraven didn't bother looking up, for the sun's rays had finally reached them on the horizon. As the sun came to the full, Kraven lifted his arms in a futile effort to shade himself. The sunlight smothered Kraven and his body smoked and soon erupted into flame. The vampire howled as his body steadily turned to ash and smoke. As the lycans watched this from afar, Ethan whirled the sword and in one deft movement, he plunged the blade into the burning vampire's heart. Despite his hatred of Kraven, no one deserved to suffer like that. Through the smoke, Kraven's face seemed to flash in surprise, but that was only a moment as the sun came up over the horizon completely. The ashen body disintegrated and all that was left was smoke, remnants of ash, and the sword that was now impaled into the ground. Ethan simply watched the last of the fires lick away in front of him and turned away. The deed was done...at last.
"Kara…It is finished…Rest in peace now, my love."
Octavia lasted longer than Kraven did, but she was soon cornered as well. And the one who did it surprised me as much as it surprised me when she asked for training as well.
Octavia moved swiftly across the dock on the bayside, virtually rushing to reach the ship up ahead. Her escape. She would be able to get on board and disappear into the boat's destination, Paris. She had to flee; had to keep moving. She had no intention on ending up like Kraven. Dust and ash. No, she would escape.Bam!
Her thoughts of flight however where cut down as a bullet tore into her leg, causing her to let out a cry and tumble onto the wooden floor. As she groaned and moved to rise, the shadows behind her shifted until finally a dark garbed figure strode out, holding a gun that was currently being reloaded with UV bullets. Octavia snarled and looked up at her assailant, expecting it to be Selene, only to be stunned by whom.
"You…A Death Dealer…?"
A shimmer of light came over the figure to reveal Erika. Her blond hair was now tied back in a ponytail and her eyes flashed with lightning blue. The vampiress smiled at the surprise.
"Selene said the same thing. You know what I said?" She cocked the hammer, "It's the last thing anyone would expect."
Octavia frowned and continued to glare up at her, "So what now? Are you going to kill me?" She then scoffed, "Of course you will. Because he told you to. Yes, I know about you and him." She made a effort to stand and succeeded halfway on bended knee. "Or at least you. I know that look in your eyes. You love him. At one time, I loved him. But he will never love you." she crackled. "You will forever be in the shadow of that dead bh of his."
If Octavia's words had affected her, Erika made no show of it on her features. However, her voice did soften, "Perhaps. But I have forever to wait. Which is a lot more than what you have."
The rebellion was finally over and things settled from there. Ethan had his own problems with rouge lycans, but they never last long since they were always uneasy being away from the pack. As for the Covenant, Marcus let it stand, removing the law that separated the lycans from the vampires. Although that would take more time for people to work through, at least there were no serious problems with it, after what had happened. Marcus also wanted to re-establish the Chain, with myself and Michael. But Ethan reminded him of the pain he had undergone when he was only allowed to be with Amelia in secrecy and only for one night after two thousand years. Ethan suggested that something different be made. A Chain that would be one vampire, one lycan, and one hybrid. Marcus was the hybrid, Ethan the lycan, and Victor, the former Death Dealer and apparent hero throughout the fight against the rebellion, was the vampire. With this, a new rulership was established, one that would protect the lives of all our kind. As for me, I left with Michael. Our days of fighting were over and I wanted to see where my life would go with him. But I had one final stop to make before I could move on fully and put the past behind me.
I returned to the place…where it began for me. My home…
Selene couldn't believe that the place had remained for all these years. Judging from the care she saw in it, she could see that someone must live there. As she looked around the outside, a rustle of noise alerted her. Turning her head, she saw a young girl holding was looked like a pail in her hands. She had brownish-red hair and her amber eyes connected with Selene's.
"Can I help you?"
Selene sighed, "I was just looking. This is a nice place."
"This is my grandpa's house." the girl answered.
Selene turned to the girl fully and inquired, "What are you doing up so early?"
"I have to feed Ally."
"The horse." She answered with a matter-of-fact tone. She'll whine if I don't feed her early.
"Oh. Can I see her?" In all honesty, Selene didn't understand why she asked that question. But regardless, the girl turned around to the back and waved.
As the little girl led the way, Selene regarded her curiously. Why would a girl even talk to someone like her? Even in an out of the way place like this, it would be dangerous for a girl this age to be out by herself. But still, perhaps this was routine for her. After all, it was rural country and things like this were common. Entering the stalls in the small stable, the girl moved up to the large animal that was standing inside. It was a black horse, with sleek skin and a partially messy mane. The little girl poured in the contents of the bucket in a trough and the horse craned its neck do to eat. As the little girl watched her eat, Selene stood on the opposite side and stroke through it mane gently. The horse stopped eating for a moment and then resumed again after letting out a simple neigh.
The girl smiled, "Thank you. I think she likes you too."
Selene continued to pet the horse while it steadily ate. Her eyes seemed to cloud as she spoke again. "I had a house like this once, and a horse too."
"What was her name?"
Selene stopped and let out a small smile, something she had been doing a little often ever since she met Michael. "His name. Thomas." She released a small sigh, "I used to ride him every weekend."
The both of them blinked at the call from the house. The girl…Melene jumped up and grabbed the bucket.
"That's my grandpa. I have to go."
"Oh, okay." Selene whispered, not wanting whoever that was inside to know she was there. As the girl moved away, Selene called lightly.
"Bye…" The girl sudden began to frown after realizing that she didn't know the woman's name. "Uh…"
Selene smiled again, "My name is Selene."
Melene's face brightened, "Okay. Bye Selene. It was nice to meet you."
Melene soon entered into the house and Selene made her way away from the stable and the house. The light of the sun was just visible on the horizon and it wouldn't be long before the sun itself appeared. She continued to walk, entering the trees. She didn't walk for long. There leaning on one of them, was Michael.
"How was it?"
"Nice…I thought that I would have nightmares after seeing it, but…it was just…nice."
"Children can often have that kind of effect."
Selene snorted lightly, remembering that Michael's senses would have enabled him to listen in on the conversation. She turned around to look at the house again, against the mural of the sunrise. Michael moved close behind her and whispered.
"The sun's coming up."
"I know." She whispered back. Despite being a hybrid, Selene had avoided the sunlight. Michael did his best to encourage her do go out into it, but she adamantly refused. After some time, Michael realized that she simply wasn't ready to face it and stopped asking her about it. With a sigh, he began to move away to find shade when a hand stopped him from going.
"It's…been a while." Selene continued quietly while holding his hand, her back still facing him halfway. "Share it with me."
Michael's eyes widened for a moment before they relaxed and he smiled. Taking her arm in his hand, he moved back over to her until his chest was touching her back. Releasing her grip, he swept her arm in front as his other arm moved around her. Their hands soon met in front of Selene and Selene relaxed in his embrace, feeling the soft warmth from her love. The sunlight continued to lift up until finally, the sun itself peeked over from the horizon. The light came over the house and everything. Michael felt her tense up as the sun overcame them, but she didn't leave his embrace. For added reassurance, Michael gently tightened his grip and she soon began to relax again. Her eyes were now glued on the object in the sky, something she had not seen hundreds of years.
"I have forgotten…how beautiful it was."
My first sunset after hundreds of years. Even after I became I hybrid, I refused to enter the daylight. Years of living in darkness had tempered me greatly. I felt that now, with Michael by my side, it would be the best time to throw that aside per say; the last of my painful and ignorant past gone. Well, not complete. The necklace…Sonja's necklace, clung around my neck as the sole reminder of everything that happened to us.
Of the love we shared and would always have…
As she had declared, Erika waited. She waited for as long as I could remember. We knew Marcus had developed deep feelings for her, but he had never openly declared them as far as I knew. But he didn't have to. The way they were when they were together was obvious to everyone. As for Ethan, he had arranged it so that lycans would continue to be the daylight guardians of the vampires. Guardians, not slaves. They would protect the vampires during the day and at night; they would shelter and protect them. A cycle in which we would all survive together.
I had once entertained the notion that he would have joined with Sisera. But that wasn't to be. Sisera found another mate several years afterward and had the first lycan child in a hundred years. She named him Ethan in his honor. That seemed appropriate, for without him, we might have been all killed that night. I will never forget that. A thousand years from now when our children will know of this story, they will know of the one who served as the lycan Elder of our coven.
The one who even now remains…a lone wolf…
My thanks to the completion of this fanfic goes to the following...
Tiger5913, Sheila, Vampiress221, Chronicles Bailey, Stormyronin, Manda, Deep Damnation, Dirbatua, Maelthra, moose ), ecm84, sdakerrigan, Karla, Kanaloas Wrath, joe, Bobbie, vamp, DarkMoon, Dark and Prone to Violence, Nonymouse, Sarge1, dark88poet, Rachel9, Molk, magot123, V-airniiDroog, Darkpixie132004, Kaminari - Thunder, Great Merciful Goddess, Umbra the Dark, lewisa, hanna, svu-chick-katarina, btm452, goatfish ), Nobody's Princess, klinox, cutleryismyfriend,AstaraelUndomiel, jam
My special thanks go to…
Falcon Horus, vampirehuntr00 ), Nightborn Angel, XxVampire Bethica, Demon-In-My-View13, TheMoosey, Tiantian Wang, jo bond ), Victoria Wolf, syrai, ntan, jerrylee
Extra special thanks to Lady K2 (Cool name by the way)
My thanks to you all and sayonara.