the Cardinal mused as he moved towards one of the heavily draped
windows, "I should think that that is up to him and not
This said he flung aside the drape and the light of the sunrise flooded the room. At first Dracula jumped back instinctively but then he remembered. He was human again. He stood tall and walked over to the window, letting the light wash over him.
"I think I would like to leave with my bride, if she will have me."
He turned and looked at Nicola before going down onto one knee.
"You were my bride in my vampiric life," he continued anxiously. "Will you be my bride in this life too?"
"Yes!" Nicola cried as she ran to him and their kiss lasted a long time.
"Then all is settled," stated the Cardinal as they moved apart. "May God be with you my children."
He turned and left as the others looked after him.
"Oh Nicola," cried Arene, "when he was gone, "I am so happy for you."
"It is all thanks to you ma chere," the other woman replied. "We must meet often you and I. I feel as if we were sisters after all we have been through together!"
"Oh yes and you will have the wedding here won't you?" asked Arene.
Nicola looked at her lord who nodded then gave a smile.
Carl and Van Helsing came up to the three of them and Nicola turned to them both.
"Carl," she said hesitantly, "I should be so happy if you would be the one to give me away."
"I would be honoured," answered Carl, a lump in his throat.
She held out her hand to the friar and he grasped it firmly.
"We will be friends always, you and I," said Nicola as their eyes met.
"Gabriel...I'd....I'd like to thank you," Dracula stated as he turned to his former enemy.
Van Helsing hesitated a moment as the centuries of anger at Dracula came back to him but he brushed this aside. Things had changed so dramatically during the evening that he hardly knew what to make of it.
Finally he held out his hand towards the other man.
"It seems that we shall now have to be friends, for my daughter will want you and Nicola here often. Perhaps we should make a new start and," he paused then smiled, "reintroduce ourselves."
Dracula returned the smile as he took Gabriel's hand.
"I am Vladislaus," he said.
"Gabriel," the Knight replied and they stood like that for a moment, hand in hand till Carl coughed and they started and moved apart.
"So," the friar asked," when is the wedding?"