I thought I should tell you this part of our story myself. Because ours is one of such sorrow, that you couldn't possibly understand that unless I told you myself.
What you need to understand, before I begin, is that I truly loved Steve. And nothing he did could ever changed that, I had those feelings for him until the very end and still carry them with me now, and they never faltered, not even during the lowest points of our relationship. And possibly, some of the hardships we endured brought us closer, kept us together. Because when you're alone in the darkness, all you want is another soul to hold on to.
And despite what I'm about to tell you, Steve was a good person. I knew it, deep down he was a good person, with a heart and a soul and capable of love. He was just driven by lies, anger and fear his entire life, and nothing good could ever come from that.
And I tried, believe me I tried. I knew the path he was on would lead only to pain and despair, but he was strong minded, and nothing I could do would stop him, and inside I knew I had to leave him to follow his path alone, but I couldn't, because I wasn't strong enough. Because how, just how could I leave the most important thing in my life behind and return to nothing.
But we had our years of happiness, and at least I can be thankful for that. We had a handful of years living together in peace in our apartment, until it all started to change.
I remember the night we met the Vampaneze perfectly. The sky was terrifyingly dark when the purple skinned man had approached us out walking the dog. I would have been horrified had I not already known they had existed. Steve had shown me his many vampires' books and over the years I had become convinced they existed. Then we discovered the Vampaneze and Steve became fixated, obsessed even. This was what he wanted, he had the bloodlust and the desire for power, and truthfully I was scared. But I couldn't leave him.
The Vampaneze went by the name of Gannen Harst, and he wanted to speak to Steve. They had already met, and Steve had told him the story of Darren and the vampire. By then I also knew. He told him the story of Darren becoming a vampire prince, and the predicted war between the two sides. He wanted Steve to lie in their coffin of flames, a coffin that only the lord of the Vampaneze would survive being inside.
Steve agreed, instantly. I had been terrified as he stepped up to do it and begged him for many hours not to do so, crying countless tears, but this was what he wanted, and I couldn't take that away from him, as hard as I tried. But when he emerged, everything changed. I was so overcome with relief that at first I didn't realise the impact this would have on our lives and within weeks we were completely different people.
One demand Steve had, when becoming the lord of the Vampaneze was that I came with him. And suddenly, I was second in charge of an unstoppable army. As the lover of their lord, I was worshipped and obeyed as Steve was, and whenever Steve and I were apart, I had an armed guard of six Vampaneze. And in all honesty, I liked it. I enjoyed the power and the control I had over them, though they were all capable of killing me in seconds, none dared even look at me wrong, and I was always referred to as 'my lady' by the Vampaneze.
Within a year I was changed into a half Vampaneze and was living on human blood. I had never been a violent person, but taking those lives, watching the lights leave their eyes as I drained them made me feel powerful, untouchable. And I imagined every one of those faces belonged to my parents, and I felt justice had been served.
But Steve hadn't been turned, and I couldn't understand why. Surely turning their lord was the most important thing? More important than myself anyway. But he wasn't turned, and I soon found out why.
Steve was to return home, without me, and impregnate Darren Shans younger sister. I, was furious.
We rowed about it for days on end, until I gave in. He had to go, this needed to be done. The child would be used as a pawn in the coming war and there was nothing I could do about it. I knew inside that he wouldn't enjoy any of it, because I knew just how deeply he loved me, he would die for me, but that didn't take away the knowledge that he would be with another woman, and nothing could take the hurt away.
The months he was gone were the worst of my life. I had never felt so alone, despite being in a house filled with Vampaneze. We had set up temporary base in an abandoned house, where we would wait whilst Steve was away and plan strategies. But I became a shell of my former self without him there and knowing where he was. I barely slept, plagued by nightmares of him with her and woke screaming, being held down by Gannen and others. I barely drank blood and had to be force fed to keep me alive. I had never felt so much pain before; I craved him and would call out of him during the night. You cannot understand the despair I experienced, unless you experience it yourself. It almost destroyed me.
Then, late one night, a young Vampaneze came to wake me with news, Steve had returned. I had raced from bedroom and downstairs to find him in quiet talks with Gannen, he looked tired, a little wind swept, but he was still my Steve. I threw myself at him, so overjoyed to finally be in his embrace and overwhelmed by the way he held me so tightly and whispered to me how much he had missed me that my anger with him evaporated and within minutes we were in bed together and he was mine again.
Then the war began and it went on for years. We were never a huge part of the fights. Steve was too valuable and Mr Tiny told him that his time would come, and he would never risk sending me out to battle, despite my expert fighting skill.
And when his time did come, years into the war, he had to leave me again, to gain Darren Shan's trust and pretend to be a human. So we parted again for a while, and I went to fight whilst he went behind enemy lines. He was back with me within weeks. I had been in the cavern when Crepsley had died and Steve had revealed himself, though Darren didn't recognise me. And then things got serious. We travelled for months on end, anticipating the battles between Darren and Steve, myself terrified whenever the two former friends met.
And then Steve killed that poor snakeboy, and still I couldn't stop myself from loving him. I knew inside he hadn't wanted it, he didn't kill children, but it had to happen, he needed Darren to feel that rage, that hatred, but he knew he would never kill Darius, his own nephew, Steve's son to Annie. And as we left that place, and the weight of Steve's actions hit us all, we knew the end was near.
It ended that same night. I was left behind to tend to Gannen who was injured and when I finally arrived at the battlefield, Steve was gone.
I howled with pain and loss, grief, sorrow and despair, crying for Steve to come back to me, to stay with me as he promised it would. But nothing could change those events, and I came to understand they were meant to be. And after I while I came to terms with losing Steve and joined Gannen, and Darren's friends in campaigning for peace between the two conflicting sides. And though I knew Steve would never approve, I just couldn't handle it anymore.
After it was all over, I had a long talk with Evanna, who was after all, Steve's half sister. She told me that Mr Tiny was his father and that it was Tiny himself who had made sure I had found my way to Steve, and made sure I fell in love with him. I was told Steve needed me, I was the driving force behind his burning desire for power, he wanted to do it all for me, to keep me safe and happy, to be able to give me everything I'd ever wanted and more. But also to make sure he was filled with rage and anger, which my hospital stay at the hands of my parents had secured. I then understood why I never had the power to leave him when I should have, or the drive to kill as willingly as I did, because Desmond Tiny made it so.
To learn I was a pawn in the twisted game made me feel sick. My entire life had been for the soul purpose of entertaining Mr Tiny. He had put me through all the pain and horror, all for himself. And that's why I had to join the fight for peace, to ruin his plan. I was told of the way he rejected Steve as he had been dying and begging for acceptance, and I wanted him to pay for that. I had to do it, for Steve.
There you have it, your real ending. Thank you very much for sticking with this until the end, it's been fun and also a huge drain on me, I worked incredibly hard for this story, but it was definitely worth it.
I hope you've enjoyed and I hope I did the characters you love justice. I can't thank you enough for your enthusiasm, reviews and support. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have, and goodnight.