Title: The dark swan
(Revised version after reading Dark Demon)
Rating: M (R)
Author: the mean kitten
Plot: This is my first try at Carpathian (Christine Feehan) fanfiction, this is a story where a new Carpathian from a bloodline long lost, finds his lifemate among the human, he's not the average Carpathian, he has lived with humans most of his life, he's used to society, he understands humans and even likes them, when his foster parents died centuries ago he remained, now he's very old, centuries old, so he goes to the Carpathian mountains to find his prince, to ask for his help to seek dawn…
Note: the story takes place after Dark Celebration and Dark Demon. I did not intend to do a sequel to the books but in the end it came out like that, there will be another reunion in this story, and a follow up to some of the situations left unanswered by the books.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything, Christine Feehan does, I'm a fan of her books, but I feel Dark Celebration left one too many loose threads for my taste, and I love continuity. You know me, I love drama mixed with romance, so enjoy…
The dark swan
The mean kitten
Mikhail stood in front of his beloved Raven wondering who was this familiar yet completely unknown redheaded Carpathian who dared come to his house and knock on his door as if it was any other day visitor, such coincidences where unknown to Carpathian, even more to the shock he had called using skype, warning the prince and his lifemate that he'd be dropping by their home soon.
"You look extremely familiar to me, though I can't picture. Where is it that I've seen you before in my life?" Mikhail said puzzled with the male Carpathian standing in front of him. He felt no threat coming from him.
"You haven't, but you might remember my father; I've been told I'm the spitting image of him."
The new Carpathian offered his hand in greeting. "My name is Tristan, my father was a distant cousin of your mother … my father was Erick Ferdichenko also known as Erick the red, or the red one." Tristan said his father name with reverence, he was after all, quite a legend, a famous vampire hunter, he had died just about the same time as Vlad and Sarantha; he had died protecting his family, Tristan had been raised by humans after that, a dozen generations of McBride to be correct.
"My God, yes you do! He had Viking blood, the long red braids, the silver armor and he was as big as Thor. You are the spitting image of him." It was quite a miracle to know that a bloodline lost so long ago was still alive. "My God, your father used to awe me when I was a child! He had an axe the size of my entire body, and he had such a commanding height and built, he was taller and bigger than every other male."
"I fear I don't have those particular features, but I am a redhead." The first redhead male Carpathian Mikhail could remember seeing in centuries. "It's a pleasure to meet you as well. I've waited many centuries to meet the prince of our people and his mate. I had only dreamed of finding you for so many bleak centuries." Tristan said addressing both Raven and Mikhail.
"Oh forget my manners, please come inside, I just… I've never seen a male Carpathian quite like you before. And I really though all the Ferdichenko were dead, I should tell the Daratrazanoff their foe still live." The prince said as he stared openly at his peer.
Tristan didn't have those overbearing manners all of them have, and he looked quite modern, he was wearing dark denim with a t-shirt and a leather jacket, he had short hair and he had used styling gel, and more to his credit he wore perfume and after shave. He was what women call a handsome, charming gentleman, and very much humanized for an ancient. "They have a long history of haunting each other, their clans." Mikhail explained to both Raven and Tristan as they looked puzzled with the reference.
Raven smiled to the stranger and shook his hand. Mikhail growled deep in his throat, he didn't enjoy Raven checking out the stranger. "My name is Raven, and this is Mikhail, my husband, the prince of all Carpathians." Raven said filled with pride.
"What business brings you here?" Mikhail cut to the chase; he wanted the handsome treat gone ASAP.
"I've been feeling strange lately. I have craves I can't control, I was hoping a healer may help calm me instincts… or seek dawn." The prince stood between his lifemate and the stranger protectively.
"You must find a lifemate, she's the only one who can do that for you." Raven said from behind, she felt a terrible sadness coming from the man, he was still quite in control of his emotions but they were becoming darker, he could no longer see colors and the thought of blood was almost the only thing that aroused him.
"Raven is right; you must find your lifemate." Mikhail admonished in a stern voice.
"Well, with all due respect, I've been looking for her for the past two thousand years plus, and I still haven't found her; if you do find her, tell her to give me a call." Tristan said sarcastically, he felt a bone deep yearning for the things the prince had, a family, a lifemate, friends, a life full of joy and now a new baby too.
Tristan though about his human family, he had seen dozens of generations come and go, one after the other, always an uncle, never a father. He had seen as soon as he entered that Raven was carrying, she had a special glow about her and she also had a bit of bump, nothing easily spotted yet, but Mikhail had placed the bulk of his body in front of her abdomen when Tristan came inside the house, protecting his unborn child subconsciously.
"I've never felt you before. Do you not know how to communicate telepathically?" Mikhail asked thinking back about all the Carpathians he kept and eye on, he was definitely not on that list.
"Aside from a vampire or two every other century, I've had no contact with your people at all." Tristan replied sincerely. But the truth was that he was in a huge disadvantage, he couldn't ask for help when needed, he probably didn't know how to heal his wounds from the inside or even wave barriers.
"How in god's name did you manage to survive so long without this knowledge?" Mikhail asked genuinely puzzled once again. "How did you know how to kill a vampire if no Carpathian had told you?"
"You don't live out in the world much, do you?" Tristan said as he fingered a curious crystal snow ball that Raven had placed next to the window earlier. "We are not a secret, Mikhail; people are incredibly drawn to immortals, they want to know what is like never to age, never to feel disease rotting away your body. They are so curious about us that they fall for the vampire's lure. I protected my family from them, so I had to learn the hard way how to kill them."
He placed the crystal adornment back on the stand and continued his monologue. "There's a dozen different books written about us out there, Dracula for example was named Vlad, don't ask me where they got it, but they knew he was the prince of our people, that book told you how to kill him, they had to cut his head and then extract his heart and expose it to the sun for burning. I also learned that the stake was only a temporary remedy before the extraction of the heart and the beheading."
Mikhail had a new sense of pride and fear about this man. "You've been with humans all this time." It must have been very hard to survive alone in the world, with nobody to look after him, always in peril.
"I have, they looked after me when I was weak, they fed me when I was hungry and I in return I protected them from vampires, thieves, marauders, etc. I was basically a very smart watch dog." Tristan paused for a moment and then the face of a lover came to him; he felt sorrow grip his heart for a second and then nothing. It was as if he could no longer mourn the loss. "Now my last cousin has died and I don't have a reason to stick around, so I came here wondering how I could end my painful existence easy and quick, before I'd turned into one of those beasts."
"You should stay here, with us, we'll find your lifemate, if she exists, in the mean time; you should go underground. You do know how to go underground, don't you?" Mikhail asked with a hint of sarcasm.
"Where do you think I went for twelve hours a day everyday? Of course I know about burying myself, I'll find a nice little spot where to hibernate, mean while you should loosen up a bit, I'm not a vampire just yet, my prince. So you can't stop thinking I'm going to tackle your lifemate." He might not know telepathy but he could read body language quite easy. "Chill, ok, I haven't crossed to the dark side yet." Raven burst out laughing, he was so truly amusing, and he had seen the ultra famous Star Wars too.
"The force be with you, Obi Tristan." Raven answered, Mikhail didn't quite understand the reference but he knew it was funny.
"See? You wife knows what I mean, Darth Vader. Misa is leaving, I'll see you around, give me a call if you do find the mate." Raven couldn't hide his amusement, in fact she liked Tristan, he would be a great lifemate to any human, she was sure the chosen girl was out there, and with the clan's help she would find her for him.
"What's Star Wars?" Mikhail said after he knew the redhead was totally out of earshot. Raven burst out laughing again.
"Oh, baby, it's a movie, I'll buy it for you. I'm pretty sure you are gonna like it." Raven replied placing the prince's hand on top of her belly, she was hardly showing, just a little round, but she was still glowing like every other pregnant woman. Mikhail restrained the wave of sudden emotion he felt when the baby moved against his hand, barely, almost perceptibly, like a soap bubble sliding away above the water, he drew closer to Raven and she welcomed the warmth and protection of his body. They silently begged for another daughter, one as beautiful and wise as Savannah.
3 weeks after
Amanda leaned down to stretch her long legs, she was doing warm up before her last function of the day, ballet was a very demanding discipline, and her company was no picnic.
"Mandy are you ready?" Elizabeth, Amanda's closest friend and partner on the New York Ballet Company asked; they were dancing Swan Lake that night for the last time in Romania, the tour through Europe would end in Berlin in three weeks, until then the dancers would have a vacation.
"You have more flowers, Lizzie." Amanda replied, watching the amount of colors that decorated their dressing room, Elizabeth was Odette, the prima ballerina, while Amanda was Odile, the black swan.
A bouquet of white roses arrived just at that moment. "See? To my beloved Odette, you make Tchaikovsky proud."
And then a single black rose appeared on top of Mandy's corset, it had a card underneath: black paper written with silver ink, it said "simply beautiful" Amanda felt a little taken off by the gesture, but something told her she was safe, she drew the card to her face and a soft smell came to her, something like perfume, it faded but it was definitely alluring.
She took the black corset and the tulle skirt and went behind the curtains to put it on. When she came out she had become Odile, the black swan.
Amanda Johnson was a tall, slender, new Yorker, a ballet dancer since she was only seven years old, she had grey-blue eyes that seemed at times too big for her small, heart shaped face, she had very fair, almost translucent skin and blue-black hair, she was quite striking in contrast as the dark swan in fact, she had also played Juliette on Romeo and Juliette, the princess on The Nutcracker and many other fine characters but now, it was Lizzie's turn to be the prima ballerina, and Mandy was in fact thankful for it, this part was less demanding.
None the less, Odette and Odile were usually played by the same ballerina, it had originally been Mandy but she had had an injury several weeks in the past, a fractured ankle. And after that, she had only danced small parts, the change had been received grandiosely by the public and that was tragic for Mandy, she was no longer the favorite and that had taken a toll on her spirit. In fact she had started considering retiring at her early 25 years of age; she was becoming a little old for ballet standards.
Mandy herd the call to stage and she placed her black feather tiara on, as well as her black slippers and went out to meet the public. She was determined to give a great last performance for Romanians; after all she may never be there again with the New York Ballet Company.
Someone was watching her as she danced, staring at her more likely. Tristan had been coming to the show for weeks, he couldn't help but been drawn to the black swan, there was something about her he couldn't quite take away, even in black and white she was exquisite, even if he could no longer have feelings, he felt something for her, he felt so much he had sent her a single black-red rose to match her outfit.
He was sitting on the first row, closest to her as he could get, suddenly she had an awkward landing as she made a twirl and the moan of pain awoke him, as it happens on movies, suddenly all things turned to color, her dress, her face, his own clothes, it was all alive, and at the center of this richness there she was, Odile. He felt yet another moan and a small cry of pain, her ankle was twisted again, oblivious to the pain she danced on to the very last second of the music, keeping the pain at bay, she would probably never dance perfectly again, she had broken her ankle and after that everything had seem to go on from bad to worse.
She hadn't been fired but she was been watched closely, just one slip and her career was over.
Tristan couldn't believe his own eyes, her, it had to be her, he ran faster than light to the back of the theater, he went behind the curtains and saw her, she couldn't land her foot on the ground to stand again from the bow, it sent darts of electrical pain up as high as her waist. The fracture didn't mend well, she was skinny boneless, and she ate very frugally as most dancers did, so her bones were too fragile, she noticed his staring, and that made her surge with pride, she hated pity, so she stood up taking a hold on a column and then she stumbled to her dressing room, tears welling on her eyes but never falling.
He felt the pain, the single mindedness, the relentless will; she was a warrior, a lonely, beautiful warrior. He loved her instantly, on first sight as human called it. He felt her brake a sob and shut the door violently behind her, he wanted to comfort her, to heal her and most of all, and he wanted to claim her… after so many centuries of barren existence he had found her, his black swan.
Why do you guys think? Do you like the revised version? Because I just love Opeth, here's a song to complement the prologue…
Don't forge to review me!!
The mean kitten.
Hours of Wealth
a way to rid myself clean of pain
And the fever that's been haunting me
Has gone away
Looking through my window
I seem to recognize
All the people passing by
But I am alone
And far from home
And nobody knows me
Never heard me say
Never shall I speak to anyone again
All days are in darkness
And I'm biding my time
Once I'm sure of my task I will rise again…