Hey sorry this took so long guys. I had lots of work as you all know it's that time of the year. Damn finals. So thanks for sticking through and waiting for my lazy ass to write. Anyway please do enjoy!
I pushed the heavy door slowly. I could see Athan sitting forward in his chair his head cradled in his hands. As my feet made soft padded noises he lifted his head. He looked almost scared to see me. Are you afraid I'll hate you? Afraid that I'll never forgive you?
"I'm afraid that I have scarred you." He responded to my thoughts. I didn't say or think anything in return. Athan focused on the ground running his fingers through his dark hair. "You never should have seen that…" Athan's fingers constricted pulling on his hair for a moment. This really was bothering him. I couldn't help but feel the slightest bit of pity for him. I tried to keep an apathetic mood but it was starting to fade, slowly.
Athan's fingers fell slowly out of his hair as he looked up at me his eyes looking as though they were searching through me. He must have felt a trace of my growing sympathy for him. I looked away from his penetrating gaze. I could hear him raise from his seat his feet making no noise against the marble. As he came closer he stopped some distance away sensing my anxiety.
"I understand." Athan's voice sounded almost hurt. "It will be near impossible for you to forget everything that happened." He extended his and out to me. "Can you forgive me and trust me again even for a moment?"
"Why?" I asked unsure.
"Honestly I want to get out of here, too many probing minds, and my father in particular. He has been concerned on how I've been handling this situation." I stayed still not moving. "Please." Athan was begging me? Was he truly sorry? In a moment of weakness and in desperation of wanting to forget, I extended my hand out to his. He slowly walked up to me and embraced me. His alluring scent and touch took over me even though I tried to fight it off.
"Well it's a start." He whispered in my ear. His cool breath making my body shiver whether it was in fear or pleasure I wasn't sure. I closed my eyes trying to keep the different horrifying scenarios out of my head. It was to no avail. No matter what I tired I imagined Athan's eyes turning red like they had before and him now plotting how I should die. I squeezed my eyes tighter as though it would ring the thoughts out of my head freeing me of this nightmare.
The once warm air of Athan's study was now cool. I could feel a breeze playing with my hair and taste salt on my lips. I opened my eyes I was standing alone at the edge of a cliff. I could hear waves crashing into the rock below. I had been here before. Athan had brought me here in my first days of living with him. I turned around looking for Athan. He was standing at the very edge of the rock looking outwards on the sea. He closed his eyes for a moment.
"Do you remember what I said to the first time I brought you here?" He opened his eyes slowly and looked at me. His crystal blue eyes almost shining in the moonlight. He continued on. "There are two things I want to remind you of. First I have no intention, no matter what you think, of killing or even hurting you and second you have a wild imagination." Athan smiled softly at his last comment.
"Oh really?" I responded. "Well what I have been 'imagining' is what actually what happened that night. I haven't been building it up and how can I believe you have no intention of hurting me when you nearly killed Alima, a woman who would gladly give her life for you?" Athan interrupted me.
"Well," Athan chuckled. "That would be a waste, I'm already dead." He seemed rather pleased with his remark, almost smug. Then his tone got a little more serious. "Listen Rebecca I am not here to defend my actions I'm here to help you understand why it happened."
"Why you murdered a girl in front of me?" I could feel my heart rate increasing as my anger built up inside.
"No, why I showed it to you in that way." I was taken back by his statement. "I'm not sorry for killing her and I'm not sorry for showing it to you. It's apart of my life and now a part of yours that we both have to deal with. The truth of the matter is you were thinking of me and my sisters as humans and you needed a rude awakening. However, how I showed that nature was not the way I had planned."
I interrupted him. "Then how exactly was it planned?"
"I don't know. I was still working it out and then I…I just did it. I was overtaken by the hunt and… it's impossible for you to understand."
"What do you mean?" I was infuriated he was belittling me.
"I mean I'm not normal and until you experience what it is like to a Vampire you will never know."
"So I'm just supposed to accept you could brutally murder me at any time."
"I would never do that." His fangs barring Athan raised his voice and came close to my face starring me intensely into my eyes. His eyes burring like blue flames. He closed his eyes for a moment and collected himself. "I've told you over and over I won't hurt you."
"What about Alima?"
"What about her?"
"From what I understand she has been serving you for hundreds of years and I don't understand how you could turn on someone like that?" Athan looked away as though he was thinking over my words. "If I'm going to even remotely trust you again I need to know how she forgave you."
Athan closed his eyes was silent for a few short moments. "I honestly don't know how she did."
"How's that possible you can read minds." I was slightly agitated I felt like he was toying with me.
Athan opened his eyes slowly and looked at me. "Yes well I set boundaries for myself." Athan walked slowly over to the cliffs looking out on the dazzling sliver sea. He crossed one arm over his chest and used it to support the arm with his hand cradling his head. "The best way I can describe what happen with both you and Alima is I was drunk."
"What the hell do you mean, drunk?!" I questioned.
"It's the only way you can understand how it feels. Blood can make a Vampire feel a sense of ecstasy but also take away the suppression of our inner desires. So we act in ways we don't normally act." He paused. "That's what happened to Alima. I returned home from hunting and I was so captured by the thrill I wanted more." He grew silent. "When I was younger I would use her to fulfill that desire but one day it went out of hand and I nearly killed her. I guess you could also think of it was unleashing a caged animal. It's because of that state that I have… lost other Societi who were great servants to me."
"You mean like Stephanie?"
Athan let out a low breathy chuckle. "Isabella mentioned her?"
"She, Stephanie, filled my mind with unattainable dreams which resulted in her death." I could hear a slight undertone of pain in Athan's voice. "It's because of her fate that I decided you should see my true nature. I was only trying to protect you and it back fired." Athan turned to me his eyes full of guilt and sorrow.
My anger and loathing of him faded away with the salty breeze leaving me only with compassion and pity for him.
"I don't need your pity, Rebecca." He said that to me the first time we were here.
"Athan," He turned to me the wind whisking his hair across his face. "I think it's about time that I learned more about you then maybe I wouldn't pity you as much."
"You would never be able to read the volumes of books that my life encompasses."
"While that may be so I can still learn something."
Athan smiled softly nodding to my remark. "Very well however it will have to be mutual."
"I don't know what more you could learn about me."
"Plenty, you can remind me of what it's like to be human. Didn't Jacqueline mention it to you?"
"I do recall."
"Speaking of which…" Athan gazed out into the distance. "…while I am very happy that you are becoming friends with my sister be careful of her."
"Why?" I questioned.
"Well," He turned back to me. "…let's just say she likes to create drama. When ever she gives you information ask me about it and I'll give you the truth."
"Rebecca let us think of this as a new beginning however," Athan reached his hand out brushing away the stray pieces of my hair. "…never forget about the past. Can you do that me?"
I nodded slowly. I could feel my horrible memories slowly fade away into the wind. I didn't know whether to be overjoyed or in absolute terror that he had so much control over my emotions to be able to wipe my memory of such a horrifying experience.
I could see a soft smile come across Athan's face. "So what shall we talk about now that the tension seems to have faded?" He tilted his head slightly to one side.
"Well…I…maybe its time I learned more about you." I suggested.
"I agree with that. However, I wouldn't know where to start."
"How about from the beginning."
Athan chuckled softly. "Well it has been so long since then. To be honest after all this time I barley have any fragments of memory of my human life. It has all faded with time and I think I may have made up most of it but one thing I am sure of is this." He turned and looked out at the ocean. The brilliance of the moon had faded and the dark water scarcely had any sliver light dancing in its waves. I waited for him to continue but he said nothing.
"And what is that?"
He remained silent for a moment. "It was here thousands of years ago that I was born and that I lived my childhood and trained under my father to succeed him as a war lord."
"So this is where your home was?"
"Yes, but now... that home is nothing more than rubble, a testimony of my age."
"So, is this where your father died while you were at Troy?"
"Yes and also where my nephews died and their children and their children's children until the blood of my family faded away and disappeared."
"But your family still lives on through you."
"No it doesn't. I can not continue my family's blood for I can never have children of my own therefore the blood of my family is dead in me and in all man."
"But you are alive that is enough isn't it?"
"I may seem to be alive but I am dead. Instead of choosing the uncertainty of death, the underworld, Heaven or Hell I choose to live my afterlife on earth feeding on and as of recently ruling over the living."
"My Father used to tell how for thousands of years Vampires stayed in the dark and suddenly appeared and obviously dominating over man, why?"
"Well…Let's just say we had no choice."
"But why hide in the first place?"
"You are asking questions I can not answer." Athan's once kind face turned cold and emotionless. Athan felt distant from me now. I didn't know how to speak to him at moments e would be warm and kind and instantly by one comment cold and distant. His actions confused me. However, there was no hope in that changing. He had probably always been polar in his action and after 3200 years there was no way a small blip in time, such as myself, could change that.
"We need to go." He voice was still cold. He walked slowly up to me.
"Why, the night has barely begun?" My head was now titled looking up at his perfect…stoic face.
"You need rest we are leaving at sunrise."
"To go where?" I questioned.
"To attend my Father, Kyros' awakening. He has been asleep for nearly 150 years."
"You don't need to know that." He grabbed my waist, I half expected him to pull me in roughly and yet he acted softly pulling me slowly and tenderly into in his chest. He put his head next to mine. His grip tightened and we were gone, cutting through the salty air.
I leaned into Athan ear. "Where is he, your father?"
"The same place Jacqueline took you not long ago."
On our way back I wondered what his father was like. Was he similar to Athan, Jacqueline or Isabella? How old was he? What had he seen?
The wind stopped and I felt ground at my feet. For a moment I felt Athan brush over my neck and suddenly flashes of the night before came into my mind. Survival instinct told me to push away and run but I was being held back by strong arms. Athan pressed his cheek near my ear.
"Remember I'll never do that again." He seemed to be his warmer self.
"I know." I said shakily. "It's going to take some time to forget it."
"Sadly, you probably never will." He let me go and looked down at me. "I know you're not tired but try to relax for the rest of the night." He turned and started to walk away.
"Where are you going?"
"To alert all the kings formally about my father's awakening."
"Yes you are going to meet them all tomorrow night. So bring all your finest dresses you have a lot of impressing to do." He smiled and continued walking down the street.
"M'Lady." I turned to see Alima bowed lowly to me. "If you do not mind we have a lot of planning to do for tomorrow."
I nodded and followed her inside. Thinking about tomorrow made me nervous. I had to meet Athan's Father and all the kings of the Vampiric Empire.