Disclaimer: I still own no one that you recognize…yada yada yada…
A/N: Well, it's been a long time, but here I am. Time is a hard thing for me to come by now, and my muse for this story has been fading, but I'm going to try and dust off the cobwebs for this treasure chest. Thanks a million to those who reviewed the last time and for those who are still following the story after so many long breaks in updates. Your support is appreciated immensely.
"Khalon!" I looked up from my cell as Kristoff, the one vampire I actually associated with in this godforsaken hellhole, came running towards me.
"What?" I asked him. "What's wrong?" Kristoff was fumbling for the keys to my cell. I could tell something was up since he would never dare to let me out without Jaeger's permission, and well, let's face it, I was never going to get that.
"It's Xaria," Kristoff said, flinging open the cell door. My heart caught in my throat. She may have betrayed me and literally stabbed me in the back, but she was still my daughter, whether I wanted to admit it or not.
"What about her?" I asked him, fearing the worst. He shook his head and grabbed my hand to haul me down the hallway in the direction of my daughter.
When we got to the hallway that held the room that my daughter and Jaeger shared, I saw that a large group of vampires had formed around the door. There was quite a bit of muttering and hushed voices discussing something. My heart sank. Whatever had caused this kind of commotion that involved my daughter was not likely to be a good one. I let Kristoff push a way through the crowd for us. He needn't have bothered considering that everyone backed away from him when they saw that I was with him, and I was well known to be the vampire "rebel".
When I finally did make it inside the room, there were no more fears; there was only dread and pain. My daughter was sitting slumped up against a wall, a huge gash in her stomach, and blood everywhere on the floor and wall surrounding her. I rushed to her side.
"Xaria," I whispered, looking at the damage that had already been done. Being a vampire she should have healed herself with no problem…why wasn't she?
"Father…" she whispered, and a ghost of a smile appeared on her face. "I…thought…that you…you wouldn't…" she trailed off, and I took her into my arms.
"Forget it. It is behind us now. Why…why aren't you healing?" I asked her. She gasped from pain and I loosened my grip.
"Jaeger…took it away…took away…immortality…" she whispered.
"He can do that?" I asked, turning to Kristoff. Kristoff nodded.
"The dark Sire has many powers that most never see." He said. I turned back to Xaria.
"Father…promise me…you'll never make another…Promise me…" She whispered as she took her final breath. I nodded through my tears. I would never make another. Never. Suddenly the body in my hands was not lifeless and the head was vibrant and awake.
"Wake up, Father." She said to me clearly, sternly. "Wake up…"
I woke up with a start, realizing that I was laying face down on the floor in my living room. I jumped to my feet, and stumbled when I discovered that they were still very much asleep. I fell back to one knee and winced when it hit the hardwood floor. I grabbed the edge of the coffee table to steady myself, and quickly glanced at my arm to see that it had not healed itself yet, but it also wasn't gushing blood either. I suddenly turned to look at the couch, to check on Amy, only to realize that she wasn't there.
Panic filled my mind quickly, but I tried to shove it back down.
I turned around to the opposite side of the room, and there she was, sitting in a chair, looking cool, calm, and collected as if she hadn't been screaming in pain for the past week and a half, and hadn't just bit a huge chunk out of my arm.
I was completely baffled by the sight of her. How in the hell had she gotten out of the handcuffs? And why in the hell is she so calm now? I didn't really know what to say to her after all that had happened from her transformation. I didn't know how she was going to react to the idea of being immortal at the terrible price that it cost.
But I had to see.
"Are you all right?" I asked her as I managed to make it to my feet. She turned to look at me with a blank expression on her face, and said nothing. My brow furrowed.
"Amy?" I asked, starting to take a few steps towards her. Her eyes suddenly grew wide in terror.
"What?" I asked her, stopping in mid-step. "What's wr-" I was hit from behind before I even had time to finish the question. I flew forward onto the floor yet again, and whirled around to see who the executor was. Needless to say, I was shocked into a momentary silence.
Standing right in front of me, in the flesh and blood was the same creature that I had killed in the desert more than four thousand years ago. He looked only slightly similar to the way I remembered him, apart from the one trait that made everyone fear him.
The eyes of a killer.
"I'll take it from the shocked look on your face that you remember me, Khalon. Or, is it Chris now?" he asked me, taking a step closer. "No matter. You see, I am only here to complete a matter of business between myself and my…associate here." He gestured towards me, and I was suddenly confused. I was by no means his "associate" and had thought that our "business" was over four thousand years ago on Egypt's sand. It was only when I saw Amy walking over towards him that things clicked. I closed my eyes with understanding and sudden anger.
I had been set up.
"Now Khalon, I know that you are as dull as the day is long, but allow me to explain at least part of this to you so that your simple mind can understand what is happening here." Jaeger said. "You see, you possess a certain trait that I lack, something that I need in order to carry out my orders."
"I wasn't aware that you had orders, Jaeger. I always assumed that you were in it for the fun." I said. Jaeger stared at me for a moment.
"You don't sell your soul to the devil and just walk away, Khalon. I thought that you of all people would have understood that by now." Jaeger said coldly. "It took me a total of five thousand years to get what I sought from you, and now…I finally have it." He said looking at Amy. "Which means, Khalon, old boy, you've outlived your usefulness." He leaned in closer to me, and I became suddenly paralyzed. Not with fear or uncertainty, but just…paralyzed as if he had some sort of invisible hold on me. He leaned in to whisper to me.
"Just like your friend Anna…and your daughter before her…and your wife before her…" He whispered. I wanted so desperately to kill him in that moment, and loathed the fact that he still had as much power over me that he did five thousand years ago. Despite my hate for him, I suddenly became curious.
"How did you survive?" I asked him forcefully. "How could you survive? I drove a stake through your heart!" I shouted. He smiled at me.
"Therein lies your weakness, Khalon. You rely too much on what other people tell you and not enough on experience." Jaeger said.
"But all of the others were destroyed by that method, why not you?" I demanded.
"Khalon, by killing me…you only made me stronger." He said, his voice indicating impatience. "The others were weaklings…slaves."
"So how long have you been following me?" I asked him.
"Ever since you left that desert." He said. "I was with you as you single handedly destroyed the entire army that I had built for the merging of the worlds. I was with you when you met your beloved doctor, and I was with you when you brought vengeance upon the small town. However, I must say that it was a little too drastic for my taste…She was after all, only following orders."
Jaeger pulled a syringe from his coat pocket.
"Orders from whom?" I asked him.
"Technology finally serves its purpose." He said, ignoring me.
"Orders from whom?" I demanded.
"It will do the same job as I did to your daughter, though it won't look half as glorious. Eventually you will be drained of all of your blood and it will transfer straight to me, destroying our bond…and your life." Without another word he thrust the syringe into my arm and emptied its contents. I winced at the motion and felt a wave of heat flare up from my arm and spread over my body.
"Such a shame that a great warrior like yourself will bite the dust because of such a waste of human emotion. I can't believe that you thought she loved you Khalon…No one loves you now…not even your God." He said. "You are no longer a vampire Khalon. You are no longer immortal. And you are no longer going to be a thorn in my side."
I glared at him as he let my head fall back to the ground. I was still being held by his invisible grip. The grip that he had created when he had merged our blood. I watched him as he kissed Amy and wrapped an arm around her waist as they stood there, waiting for me to die.
It was almost obvious to me now, as I lay there, feeling the numbness set in that I knew would lead to humanity again, and eventually, perhaps mercifully…death. She had looked like Adina…she had "taken me back" after finding out that I was a vampire…she had been able to follow me to figure it out…How could I have been so blind?
All of the flashbacks I'd been having…they weren't to remind me of what I lost…they were trying to warn me…warn me of my impending doom. My last dream of Xaria telling me to wake up instead of making me promise that I wouldn't make another was proof enough for that. I tried time and again to move just an inch, but failed repeatedly. I had wanted this death more than anything. Hell, I probably deserved it, but I would gladly wait longer for it now. I had to stop him. I had to stop whatever they were planning, but I had no way of doing so.
My vision began to swim from the pain of the liquid that he had pressed into my arm. What was the "trait" that I had that he lacked? What did it mean? I may never know.
My time of judgment was drawing nearer, and for the first time in my life, I feared it. I feared what every mortal creature did – the end of life. The end of a legacy. The end of a five thousand year servitude in hell. I watched, almost from far away as the darkness began to creep in from all sides of my vision. I watched as they stood there, smiling down on me, waiting for the end, and as the world went black, I heard a voice like it was being whispered to me…
It's not your time yet.
Keep an eye out for the sequel to this story, Starless.
(Inspiration for this story provided by the song "Heaven's a Lie" by Lacuna Coil.)