The first night went peacefully in the Valerious mansion. Sophie woke a few more times during the night, but Anna was right there to comfort and soothe her back to sleep. Van Helsing watched from the door in wonder and amazement. When he first met Anna, she was all about killing Dracula and avenging her family. Now, she was caring for an innocent child with the utmost love and tenderness he had ever seen her show. Indeed, he did like this softer side of Anna, but he knew that at any moment the child's life or hers was threatened, she would become the Anna he first met and fell in love with. He loved her with all of his heart. Everything from her wit to her Romanian accent drove him wild. For the rest of the night, he stood there and watched Anna.
A few times his eyes shifted to Sophie, the child they had taken in, and wondered if he was ready to take on a child. Already, he knew that Anna would want to adopt her into her family and take care of her. Inwardly, he debated with himself whether he should become a father to this child since her family was murdered. Ultimately, he decided that both himself and Sophie would benefit from him becoming a father to her.
The next morning, Anna woke to find Sophie not lying next to her. A feeling of panic rose within her chest, but soon subsided when she saw the child playing with her dollhouse on the floor. Anna remembered that dollhouse from when she was a child herself. Her father had made it for her when she was about seven years old as a birthday gift. It was one of her most treasured possessions. After watching Sophie play for a few minutes, she bent down beside the child.
"You know, my father made this for me when I was a child," she said picking up one of the dolls near Sophie's feet and placing it in the house.
"Really?" asked Sophie.
"Yes, it was a birthday present from him and my mother," Anna replied.
"My papa was going to make me one," Sophie said sadly. "Then they came and took him and my mama away from me."
"Who took them away?" Anna asked curiously.
"The Vampires, Kierra and Aliana," answered Sophie.
"I see," Anna replied.
"Are they going to come and hurt me too?" asked Sophie in fear.
"Not as long as I'm around. You are safe with me," Anna declared.
Sophie pulled herself closer to Anna and hugged her. Anna knew that she had to protect this little girl. Already she felt strong maternal instincts within her and a bond with the child. Though she had not mentioned it to Sophie, Anna intended to make Sophie a Valerious when she was ready. When Anna lost her family, she was never given the chance to have another with parents. Now, she wanted Sophie to have that chance. After a few more minutes, Anna decided to find Van Helsing. Sophie became alarmed when she started to leave the room.
"It's alright, I will be back. I'm just going to find Gabriel to talk with him. Stay here and keep playing," Anna said to reassure Sophie and calm her down.
Anna ran down the hall Van Helsing's room. Softly, she knocked on the door and he answered. For a moment he looked shocked to see Anna standing in his doorway, but his facial expression softened and allowed her in the room.
"Is something wrong?" he asked.
"No, I just thought I would come and visit you. I was playing with Sophie and realized something," Anna replied.
"What is that?" he asked curiously.
"Now that she has no family, she is an orphan. After spending time with her, I've decided that I want to adopt her as my own and make her a Valerious. No child should ever be alone; I know that truth from experience. I just want her to have a…"
Anna's words were cut short by the piercing screams of a child and the cackles of two Vampires. Both Anna and Gabriel sprinted down the hall back to Anna's room to find Sophie unconscious in Kierra's arms.
"Hello, princess," sneered Aliana, "you wouldn't mind if we took her for a while, now would you?"
"Actually, I would. Why are you taking her? She is an innocent child," Anna snapped.
"You took something important from us, now we take the most important thing to you," said Kierra.
"What did I take from you, I don't even know you!" exclaimed Anna.
"Dear princess, do you not remember how you drove a silver stake through our mother, Aleera's heart?" Aliana asked.
"She deserved it many times over. What has this child ever done wrong? You've killed her parents and now you're going to take her," Anna shouted.
"Yes, we are," Kierra said as they flew through the window.
Anna ran at them and tried to grab their feet, but missed. In an instant, a stream of guilt hit Anna full force and she became increasingly frustrated. Van Helsing stepped forward and tried to console her, but she pushed him away.
"I promised her," she cried, "I promised her that she would be safe with me. Now, those monsters from hell have kidnapped her and I couldn't do a thing to protect her. She's probably somewhere far from here, frightened and alone."
"We'll get her back, I promise we will. First we need to find out if they are living in Castle Frankenstein or their father's old castle," he said, resting his hands on her shoulders to calm Anna down. "Carl!"
Carl came running in the room, confused and puzzled.
"I heard a commotion in here, is everything alright?" he asked.
"Vampires have taken Sophie. We're going after her, but we need supplies," Van Helsing explained quickly.
"How could they come out in the middle of the day?" Carl asked.
"They had cloud cover from the sun," Anna said, "Now get things ready, we're leaving by sundown."
A/N: So, another chapter finished. How did you like Kierra and Aliana? Thank you to everyone who has reviewed so far. Sorry I haven't updated in a few days, I've been super busy. Well, until next time.