Last chapter (blows nose) Enjoy!
My first feeling was of furious disappointment. How did Octavian get to his sword before I could? Those feelings were quickly replaced with cold fear when I felt the edge of Octavian's warm sword against my neck. His chest heaved against mine and I found myself breathing ecstatically as well. His arm around my waist was tight and restrained. I could scarcely breathe.
Dracula immediately stopped in his tracks and I found myself glancing between him and Octavian. Where Dracula was cold and calm and in control, Octavian was nervous with his teeth bared and his eyes darting side to side. I heard Dracula let out a husky chuckle and he tsked, "Octavian…you aren't nearly as clever as I thought you to be."
My heart began to speed up. Dracula! Do not pressure him into slitting my throat! Octavian let out a shaky breath and I could practically see his face flinch. I gaped at Dracula, my eyes entirely screaming that my life was now in his hands. "Shut your mouth, Count. I'll cut her. I'll cut her across that beautiful neck of hers," Octavian spat.
I groaned in discomfort when I felt Octavian's slimy tongue glide across the back of my neck. Dracula growled and took a jerky, menacing step forward. Octavian immediately stumbled backwards and I nearly tripped over his feet. With every move he made, my neck was pushed harder against the blade of his sword.
I let out a strangled gasp as I felt the blade pierce my neck slightly and I felt hot liquid slowly trickling down my chest and into material of my dress. Dracula hissed angrily and lunged forward but before he could reach me, I was suddenly thrown to the side. I winced as my head cracked against the floor and quickly wrapped my hands around my bleeding neck.
"You!" I heard Octavian cry in disbelief. I jerked my head upwards to see Thomas with a large old board. Octavian was clutching the back of his neck and glaring daggers at Thomas's quaking form. Apparently, Thomas had knocked Octavian on the back his head with that board and that was why he dropped me.
Dracula took his chance and grabbed Octavian by the neck and shoved him up against the wall. Octavian pried desperately at Dracula's fingers to get free, but Dracula held fast. "You brought on a very unpleasant death for yourself. What was your purpose?" Dracula asked with his eyes narrowed. Octavian glanced at me before putting his eyes back on Dracula's. "I love her…" Octavian managed to breathe out.
I widened my eyes and my lips parted in surprise. He loves me? Why? How?…When? This came as a very big surprise to me. Octavian loves me. Well…he certainly had a strange way of showing it. Dracula laughed mercilessly and shouted, "You don't know what love is, friend! I do recall you losing your life to love once! Why chance it? Why chance it when you knew the same fate would befall you?"
Octavian just kept his eyes on me, and it almost broke my heart to see all the pain and sadness in his eyes. Almost…Dracula noticed this and gave Octavian another harsh shove against the wall. "Quite right, Octavian…get in one good look, just one more good look of my little angel! Because she's the last thing you'll ever see before you die!" Dracula declared furiously. Dracula's mouth lengthened and his teeth grew to longer sharper canines that I gladly rarely saw.
Thomas suddenly grabbed my hand and jerked me away from what was about to happen. Dracula was going to kill Octavian. "The Brides!" Thomas whispered frantically into my ear. My eyes widened and I spun towards the door as it was kicked open. Just before Dracula could sink his teeth into Octavian's neck, the Brides burst into the room, their dresses flowing around them wildly, and pointed their fingers at me.
"My mask! You stole my mask you little thief!" Verona accused with glowing eyes. I narrowed my eyes in confusion and glanced at Thomas. Dracula turned his head to the side in surprise. "Get back to the Masque now! Take Cassidy!" Dracula hissed. Marishka glanced between him and Octavian then landed her eyes on me. "What is going on here?" she asked in wonderment.
Dracula growled so loudly that the Brides actually whimpered in disdain and crouched on the floor. Octavian glanced at me, then at the wolf in the cage. I furrowed my eyebrows in realization. Oh God! "Dracula!" I cried. He turned towards me with concern, but that was all Octavian needed to get free.
I had to thank my little Cassidy for distracting her lover so I could get free. I kicked Dracula away from me and ran for my sword. The little fop Thomas got in my way, actually thinking he could prevent me from my destination. I threw him aside easily and plunged my sword through the bars of the cage, thrusting the blade into the wolf's abdomen.
It howled piercingly and the Brides covered their ears and hissed. I smirked at the blood coated sword and ran for Dracula. This would be the end of it all…the end of everything. I'd get my Cassidy in the end. I'd get Cassidy…in my death. What I didn't expect was for Cassidy to tackle me to the floor before I could get to Dracula. She wrestled my hands for the sword and I couldn't help but be amused at her actions.
I carelessly threw her off of me and she hit the wall. Concern filled me when I heard the dull crack of her head against the hard stone, but I had no time for it. Dracula had to die. "What do you plan to use your sword for in a pointless battle, Octavian?" Dracula taunted with a ghostly smirk. I cried angrily and ran at him. He easily dodged away from me and appeared behind me.
He laughed haughtily as I whipped my sword around crazily. I didn't care what I stabbed…as long as I had stabbed him in the end.
I shook my head in mock disapproval at Octavian's wild actions. The mad swinging of his sword was going to get him nowhere. My brides watched in stunned silence as all this unraveled before them. Poor dears…have to swallow all the truth in one quick violent dose.
Octavian, obviously dizzying himself, fell to the floor with a cry of helplessness. I threw my head and laughed at his pitiful display. He touched my Cassidy, loved… my Cassidy! What did he expect to receive? A pat on the back and congratulations? How sad.
Just then, Thomas ran over Octavian's fallen form and rushed to Cassidy who was now on the floor clutching her head with a pained expression. I frowned and took a quick step forward…and very quick to regret. Hot searing pain shot up through my chest. I hissed, clenched my fists above my head, and jerked my head down to the sword sticking out of my chest.
Octavian grinned half-heartedly at me from down on the floor and kicked the hilt of his sword so it buried itself into my chest. I growled, ignoring the cries from my Brides on the other side of the room, and dropped to my knees, feeling weaker than I ever had.
His sudden shrill hiss of pain brought me out of my own pain. Dracula had dropped to the floor and was clutching his stomach where blood was gushing freely. A loud, earsplitting scream sounded through the dungeon and it took me a few moments to realize it was coming from me.
I pushed Thomas's arms away from me and rushed to Dracula. I dropped at his side and gently pushed his hands away from his wound so I could inspect. It was revolting. "Oh God…Oh God…how did this happen…how did I let this happen…" I whispered to myself over and over.
I heard a weak chuckle and gazed down at Dracula. "Perhaps, that old saying is true…old habits die hard…" his eyes turned serious for a moment and he cupped my cheek. I blocked out Marishka and Verona, who were now clutching and crying at Dracula, and kept my quickly tearing eyes on Dracula…my first and only love.
"You'll be ok won't you? It will heal…won't it?" I asked hopefully…but inside I knew the answer quite clearly. He merely chuckled and pulled me slowly closer to his face. "I wish to have one…last…kiss," he whispered. My tears finally broke free and a strangled sob escaped my parted lips and I leaned down closer to him. The gut wrenching pain in my heart nearly killed me. His blood was all over me, coating my hands and my dress, but I did not care. Nothing mattered at this moment. Not Octavian…not the Brides…not the Masque…and not Thomas…The only thing that mattered…was Dracula…and that last kiss…
3 YEARS LATER:
"Cassidy! Quick with the bread, dearie! We got starving men out here!" Madena cried from the doorway. I snapped out of my thoughts and nearly tripped on my way to the oven. It had been 3 years since that night and I still feel like it only happened yesterday. I now work as a barmaid in a small little tavern just outside of Transylvania. Madena, my boss and friend, hired me when she found out how well I was at cooking and "serving".
Thomas and I lived together in a small cabin on the edge of the village's woods and are living comfortably. But every night…I have the same dream of my last kiss. I slowly raised my hand to my neck and felt the two little punctured scars just to the side and slowly drifted back to that night….
He pulled me forward and I closed my eyes for the kiss, but it never came. A sharp pain shot through my neck and I opened my eyes to see Dracula clenched to my neck. I gave a small whimper when he let go, feeling weak and completely drained.
"Consider it a vampire's kiss," he said quietly, before dropping his head to the floor and his eyes closed. "No…no! You can't die! Vladislaus!" I cried to his empty body. The Brides cried and raised their hands to the skies and I watched numbly as their bodies cracked and their skin pealed. Their skin seemed to crumble to dust as it fell from their bones.
I slowly backed away as Dracula's did the same, only slower and more grotesque as his blood absorbed itself into the floors. His bones turned to ash and I bit my tongue to keep from screaming at the top of my lungs and killing myself all right there.
I felt a cold hand on my shoulder and I turned to see Octavian smiling at me sadly. "Farewell, my love…" he whispered before he hit the floor in a heap of bones. Thomas appeared and slipped his hand into mine. He gave it a light squeeze and said, "It's over…we're free…" I barely registered what he had said…but nodded and allowed him to lead me out of the dungeon…and out of the castle.
"CASSIDY! NOW!" Madena shouted. I stumbled over my feet in surprise and just about dropped the trays of bread. "I'm coming!" I shouted exasperatingly. I walked across the wooden floor and out of the old oak kitchen that was so unlike the kitchen I worked in at the castle. I served the regulars first, since I always knew exactly what they wanted, it was just easier to get them done with first.
Madena came up to me and pointed to a dark corner of the tavern where a dark hooded figure was seated. "That man asked for you to serve him, he refuses anybody else," Madena said suspiciously. I squinted into the darkness hoping to make out who the figure was. "Bit strange if you ask me. I've never even seen him around these parts. But, he asked for you, so go on!" Madena said giving me a small shove towards the corner.
I gulped involuntarily and approached the dark man. I managed to keep a cool air about me and asked, "Would you like some coffee, sir?" "I don't drink…coffee, my dear," the cool voice replied. I nearly dropped my pitcher when I heard the familiar iciness inthe man'svoice. It was so much like his.
I soon realized that I was staring at his hooded figure with wide eyes and quickly caught myself and asked shakily, "Will…will you be requiring something else tonight?" He chuckled and I nearly fainted. I grabbed onto one of the empty chairs at the table and took a deep breath. " No…thank you, love." He said back with his thick Romanian accent. Oh, I swear…I swear over my life that I had heard this voice before.
"Have a lovely night," he breathed into my ear as he stood to leave. I only nodded in reply and watched transfixed as he walked away. Before he left, he turned his covered face to me and said, "Oh, and Cassidy…" my breath hitched, "see you soon." And he left. I let out the long breath I had been holding and held my stomach. I didn't feel very well.
As I lay in bed that night, I wondered about the strange man I had encountered at the tavern. He was mysterious and his voice was used with words of years of history. Why did his voice sound so familiar? How…how did he know my name? I shook my head and sighed. He was probably just some guy I had met at the tavern before. I fell asleep, thinking about his last promise. See you soon.
OK! I know the ending was a tad bit…off, hehe! But it will all become much clearer in the SEQUAL! I was so nervous about writing the last chapter and I know it was like, longer than an essay, lol, but hey it had to be done! My reviewers…I LOVE YOU! You guys helped me make it thru this whole story and I thank you one hundred billion times for that! Thank you Gem, Lady Kathrin, Maddie, BlondeHeroine, Diner123, Count Kendra, and Remember for all the great support and ideas! Love u guys a billion! And to my faithful reviewers: Almost-Lost-Hope6, Riah Riddle, TranslucentFlame, DancerGirl245, Ivory Core, DarkBird1345, Velfin, MasqueCurse, VampyGirl, DallyJackLover, Dreamer Like Mr. Barrie, Punk Rock Prinsses, AnotherBlastedRomantic, Nyssa Damaskinos, Ethalas Tuath'an, Joker, and hey Stacey lol! I love you guys so much and I'm glad you guys remained faithful and kept those lovely reviews comin! For anybody else who ever reviewed, THANK YOU! See you guys in the sequel! Countess Alana