Chapter 30 (Realisation)

Everyone had left the room leaving myself, Mr Crepsley, Seba and Paris all trying to calm me down worried I might pass out again if I didn't control me breathing.

"It is alright Darren you are safe in the mountain." Seba soothed as he rubbed my back.

After a while I stopped crying and sat up straight so I could breathe, Paris passed me his handkerchief and I giggled slightly "I didn't know people still used these anymore."

"Well I got that from a once lover of mine way back when I was a little older then you, I didn't know what it was till I saw everyone else using them." We all laughed a little and I lay back on the stone bed. "How long was I out for?"

"Not that long really" Paris said before anyone else could answer. I looked at Mr. Crepsley. "How long?" I knew he would tell me the truth.

"Almost 2 weeks." he replied softly

I laughed "Felt more like years"

"What happened to you Darren? Duncan and Zak can only tell us a small amount" Paris asked before anyone else had the chance Seba shot the prince a look "He has only just recovered please give the boy some time."

"I know it is not ideal Seba but if there is a virus that had done this or a contaminate I need to warn people. I am sorry for asking but I need to know for the clan." Paris placed his hand on Mr. Crepsley's shoulder and waited for his approval.

"Please Darren, tell us what happened, did you get sick?" Mr. Crepsley asked but I could see he felt bad for asking. I got out of bed and walked around stretching, Seba and Paris took the seats next to the bed where Mr. Crepsley had remained seated on it.

"I was in my human house, with my human family, I relived the same morning over and over I seemed to go on forever. Every morning my sister would knock the door, my mom would make me an omelette." Paris looked confused obviously never encountering the omelette before. "It is an egg dish you eat for breakfast." He smiled for the explanation and I continued. I told them everything I could remember, about the garden the living room, the evil me and our conversation but when it came to talk about the demon vampire me I struggled but I had to battle through the last room of my story. I sat on the floor and held my knees up to my chest, just wanting to become as small as possible.

Mr. Crepsley walked over to me and sat on the floor next to me, he dangled his long arm over my shoulder and rubbed my arm, I smiled at him and rested my head on his shoulder. "We know you could never cut my head off Darren. You are too short to reach." We all laughed and I lightly punched him on the arm. "Zak and the others are probably worried about you, they are in the food hall maybe you should go and meet them and eat while you are there." He smiled at me and ruffled my hair I stood up and walked over to the door and looked back.

"Are you not coming?" I asked looking around at everyone.

"We will join you shortly I just have some things to discuss with Seba and Paris which would only bore you." He smiled at me again and I trundled off my belly rumbled loudly at me so I picked up my pace.

Once Mr. Crepsley was sure I was gone, he shut the door and began "Mr. Tiny came here not too long ago. He said that Darren would have to choose whether or not to go with him or stay with us." Mr. Crepsley said clearly scared for me, Seba and Paris shared a worried look.

"Why wasn't I informed?" Paris asked

"I did not find it necessary at the time my main concern was Darren." Mr. Crepsley looked at the floor like a child being scolded.

"When Mr Tiny is involved it is everyone's business to know, I know you and the boy are close, I admit there is something about Darren you just have to like and get close to, but if Mr. Tiny shows and interest in just one of us it affects us all." Paris stood up now acting on his role as prince rather than a close friend.

"If I may sir?" Seba asked also standing so he didn't need to raise his voice. "maybe this is for the best, if only we three know there will not be any panic, we are on 'tender hooks' as it is with the issue with this vampaneze bat, we would be wise not to start any unnecessary panic on top of this." Seba placed a hand on Paris's shoulder.

"I guess you're right, last thing we need is panic ridden vampires running about, but you still should of said something if not to me then at least to Seba." Mr. Crepsley nodded in agreement and apologised. "Now what we have discussed doesn't leave this room, and put your face straight Larten." Paris joked and pushed Mr. Crepsley.

It took me a while to get the food hall, and when I got there I was deadly tied. I stood in the door way and scanned around for Zak, his purple cloths normally stood out like a sore thumb with everyone else wearing either black or going topless.

"DAZ!" I looked to my right and was greeted with the smiling face of Zak running over to me. He wrapped his arms around me and flung me around in a circle like a rag doll.

"Hay Zak. Please stop spinning." I said feeling my face turning green. Zak let me go and I fell in a heap on the floor and the room continued to spin. Zak dragged me up and helped me over to the table he sat me down and thrust a mug of blood under my nose. I smiled my thanks and happily drank it down. I looked around and noticed the table was empty apart from me and Zak.

I was about to ask where everyone was when I felt a monstrous hand slap me on the back making me spit out my mouthful of blood. "Darren! Good to see you up and about, gave us quite a scare, thought you was dead." Duncan laughed and I just looked blankly at him trying to smile. "Dow worry if you had of died I now S.P.R" He winked at me and both me and Zak burst out laughing.

"But seriously, you alright?"

"Ye I am fine, still don't know what happened." I looked down at my cup hoping that would be the end of it.

"So what was it like? Do you remember anything about when you were out of it?" Zak asked before shovelling food in his mouth. I looked around I didn't know how to answer then I had a brilliant idea. "Ye I remember you coming into my room and confessing you loved me. It was touching really." Duncan boomed out laughing as Zak choked as he tried to swallow and laugh all at once.

"DARREN!" I turned around slowly and was knocked off my chair and onto the floor,

"Hi, Emma." I wheezed, she flung her arms around me and hugged me so hard I thought I would pass out again. "Emma as lovely as this is please let go... I need to breath." I laughed

"Oh sorry." She gave me a shy smile, turned bright red and helped me up and back onto my chair. Once I was settled again she punched me in the arm. "Ouch! What was that for?" I laughed

"I thought you was dead!" she tried to look at me menacingly but I could tell she was hiding a smile.

"I'm sorry." I smiled and took her hand and kissed it. She blushed. I smiled at her again and turned to eat my food Zak had grabbed for me.

"So have I missed much the past 2 weeks?" I asked

"Not really, I've been fitting out the new rooms and thanks to these 2 we're going to get it done quicker than expected." He pointed to Duncan and Emma.

"Ye if it hadn't been for us it would have still been a few months behind but we made the time back." Emma added smiling at Duncan

"Yep we are super heroes." Duncan and Emma laughed together for a while longer while I and Zak just chatted as normal.

"Darren it is nice to see you up and about." A soft voice interrupted, I turned to see the smiling face of Queen Eve standing behind me, she placed her hand on my shoulder as I tried to stand and bow, "Please, continue your meal, I am here to speak with Duncan, but I am glad you are up and well, maybe now Emma will stop worrying so much." She laughed and kissed me on the head. Duncan stood and left with the Queen looking as happy as ever.

"Hay Emma, can I ask ya something?" Zak asked leaning over the table.

"Ye sure" She said wiping her lips with a napkin. I never knew where she got them from but every meal time without fail she would have a nice clean one.

"Is there something going on between Duncan and Queen Eve? I know it's not of my business, it's just that I have never seen a man as happy as Duncan is when he is with the Queen?"

"They unfortunately aren't mates, as my mother is queen she can only mate with one and even if that mate dies she is still bound to him." She smiled sadly

"That's sad. I feel sorry for them." Zak stared off into the distance and didn't say much else for the rest of the meal.

"Well ladies and gents I am going to head back to my room. I am getting a head ache." I said as I stood from my seat Zak stood up to. "Ye I should head back to work. Coming Emma? I could do with your help again if you wouldn't mind."

"Na I don't mind. You gotta have someone telling you how to do it right." she laughed and pushed Zak

"Ye whatever." Zak laughed and pushed her back "Well Daz its nice having you back, when your 100% you can come help to." He slapped me on the shoulder and headed for the door.

I looked at Emma and smiled, we hugged and I kissed her on the cheek. "Do not let his head get too big." I joked

"He is alright, talks about you a lot you know. Says you are more like a brother to him, I can see why. You would be lost without each other." she put her hand on my cheek and smiled. "I'm really glad your back." she hugged me once more and left catching up to Zak who had been waiting for her by the door. I headed for the door to the sleeping chambers when I saw Seba standing outside talking to one of his many helpers. I stood back waiting for their conversation to be over before I went to him.

"I cannot believe how much like Larten you look Darren. I remember when he was your vampire age he was a terror." Seba smiled at me and asked me to walk with him. As we walked I noticed I was just a tiny bit shorter then Seba I smiled at myself. "You have grown much since you first came here Darren. You have been through so much since your trials."

"I sometimes wonder if the Gods are constantly testing me." I confessed

"They most likely are, but that is only because you are special Darren. The God's have a plan for you." He placed a hand on my shoulder and smiled.

"But why me? Why can't I have a normal vampire life?" I sighed lightly

"It is cannot not can't." he corrected me and I just laughed. "The God's never make things easy Darren." I couldn't help but sigh again; Seba ruffled my hair. "I know you and Larten have been through much, but you are both strong and I can tell your bond is very strong to, whatever the gods have planned for either of you, I am more them positive you will be great."

We walked around for a while not saying much, he showed me some new tunnels, a new breed of spider he had found hiding in the depth of the mountain. We eventually ended up sitting in the chamber of final passing, it was oddly relaxing, just the sound of the water flowing by. I looked at Seba wanting to ask him something but decided not to.

"Ask your question Darren." I looked at him confused "It is not hard to see when a child has a question." He looked at me and I scowled "I am not a child."

"To me Darren you are a child. I still saw Larten as a child until he took you as his assistant, so please ask your question?"

"What was Mr. Crepsley like before all this?" I asked looking down at my 10 scars on my fingertips. Seba looked at me oddly obviously not expecting that to be my question

"Well when I first met Larten he was a blacksmith, owned a shop in a small village, I could tell he had a rough life, but there was something hidden, he had potential. I started bringing him my weapons from time to time. I think he always knew I was different from the first time I walked into his shop. He was a rare type of person the kind you knew who was born to be a vampire."

"How can someone be born to be in this vampire world." I asked puzzled

"Ask Larten why he blooded you, why he changed his whole view on assistance just for you, He could have had his pick of assistances. Everyone wanted to learn from him, but he refused them all every one of them. That is until he met you."

"We don't talk about the reasons why he blooded me. There are many things we do not speak of" I confessed

"Well maybe you should, it would give you a better understanding to Larten. I now he is not the easiest of people to get along with. He was my assistant for many, many years and I sometimes found it hard to be around him, but I spoke with him and I understand him as he understands me." Seba smiled at me, stood and left.

I watched him leave and looked around the room thinking to myself, "Does he think I need to talk to Mr. Crepsley about something?" I stayed in hall listening to running water till I fell asleep.

I hadn't been asleep long when I started feeling like I was being watched; I sat up slowly and looked around rubbing my eyes free of sleep. There was no one as far as I could tell. I stood up and headed to the door what was once a nice relaxing cave was putting me on edge.

"Master Shan, leaving so soon?" A voice called from behind me, I froze I knew instantly who it was. My gut told me to run but my legs wouldn't work

"Now I didn't recommend you running Master Shan. I would hate to have to break your legs."

I turned slowly and smiled weakly "Mr. Tiny. What brings you here?" Mr. Tiny smiled and walked over to the bench I had only moments ago fell asleep on, he tapped the seat next to him and I reluctantly walked over and sat down on the edge just encase I needed to make a quick escape.

"I'm glad you woke up. I was starting to think you would never learn what I sent you in there to learn." He laughed at my face, shock, horror and fear filled my body. "Yes Larten had that face as well when I came and saw you when you were sleeping."

"What?" I was lost. "Mr. Crepsley did not mention you had of came to see me." I stood up ready to leave and find Mr. Crepsley so I could ask him when I felt the bone in my leg snap clean in two. I could feel the colour leave my face as I fell on the floor.

"I told you I would. Now I don't care what Larten tells you or not. You know why I'm here. It's time you took your rightful place next to me. I can give you everything these filthy vampires cant." He opened his arms, was he expecting me to embrace him?

I laughed fighting back the pain in my leg "If we are so filthy, why are you saying my rightful place is next to you sounds hypercritical to me." I continued to laugh. That is until Mr. Tiny grabbed me round the throat "Don't EVER laugh at me and NEVER back chat me. You don't understand what I can do to you; you stupid boy. Steve took his place thankful I chose him! Now it's time you took yours." He let go of me and I feel again on a heap on the floor. I was so scared I couldn't talk. My mind was racing 'What does Steve have to do with this?'

"Steve is the yin to your yang, your other half in all this. In the end there can only be one but I have seen the future, if you come with me you will win against him and both clans will be yours. If you stay here this clan will fall, everyone will die and you won't be able to do anything about it until it is too late and your turn into that demon you saw."

I lay on the floor speechless; the Gods really were testing me.

"You have 10 years to make up your mind, and for your sakes I hope you see sense and say yes. I would hate to have to kill everyone close to you." I looked up to speak but he was gone. My head ran around in circles, all I knew was I had to get help for my leg. I dragged myself to the door; the pain was unbearable I cured the gods for everything they put me through.

I checked the corridor hoping someone was down here, but there was no-one. "Great! Well thanks a lot God's you really are perfect!" I continued to drag myself along the floor till I decided this may be easier if I could get up, at least then I could hop. I clung to the wall and tried to lift myself, I was half way up when I lost my grip on the wall. I hit the floor hard and landed on my broken leg. I screamed in pain and didn't move.

I lay there for at least 15 minutes to scared to move I could hear faint footsteps in the distance, I looked around to see if I could see anyone and my eyes lit up. Queen Eve was walking in my direction. "Darren I was in the hall of princes when I heard a cry of pain. What happened to you?"

"How did you hear me from the top of the mountain?" I asked forgetting the pain in my leg for a moment.

"I'm the Queen of the bat clan; my hearing is second to none." She moved her hair away from her ear. They were long and pointed at the top a lot like elf ears. I moved to get a better look but moving hurt my leg and I winched in pain.

"We shall talk of this later right now I think we should set that leg." I looked at her horrified "What do you mean 'set' my leg?" my face again drained of colour

"We need to put the bone back in place, if we don't it could heal in that awkward position and it could make walking on it near impossible." She smiled at me and put her hand on my cheek "I will be quick; you won't even know I've done it." She looked down at my leg then around the corridor. She ripped two candle holders off the wall and bent the metal into two straight lines and placed one either side of my leg. She would look at me and smile whenever she came close to my leg as I would finch and it would hurt.

She ripped the bottom section of her dress into one long strip and placed it on the floor next to my leg. "OK are you ready?" She looked up at me, I shook my head franticly I was far from ready. I opened my mouth to say "no" when all I felt was a pull on my leg, and a tight squeezing feeling straight after. I felt sick; it hurt so much I couldn't even shout.

"See all better that wasn't so bad was it?" She smiled at me and helped me up onto my good leg. "I could carry you. It would make the trip back a lot quicker"

"No thank you." was all I could muster to say

"I'm sorry I now it hurt but if I had of said it will hurt like hell you would have been even more afraid, and it will never be that bad again, trust me."

"Oh and how many bones have you had set?" I asked sarcastically, she was a Queen she wouldn't of broken any bones, or so I thought.

"I have broken 497 bones over my lifetime so far, every one of them I have had set back in place. I'm so use to it I could do it myself now. The only bone never to have been broken in my body is my little toe." she laughed at my face, the thought of setting my own bone made me feel sick.

"I bet you thought just because I'm a Queen I would have other people to have their bones broken in my name." She looked at me waiting for an answer.

"Well to be honest yes I thought you would be too important to have any bones broken." I half laughed

"Well 70% are down to training or wars. Mostly wars if I'm honest and the rest was down to fighting with my late mate." She stopped smiling when she mentioned him.

"He would fight you!" I was disgusted "How dare he! What a coward!"

"It is ok, I broke more bones in his body then he did in mine." she tried to make it like it was no big deal. "It is far from ok, I could never hit my mate, it is cowardly and wrong!"

"It is nice to see that chivalry isn't dead, If only you had come along 500 years ago." She smiled and I blushed which only made her laugh. "But seriously Darren, that was a while ago, I snapped his neck clean in two when he took it too far." I wasn't surprised by this, she was a powerful women, He was either a very foolish or a very pig-headed man by raising his hand to her.. We didn't speak any more about it on the walk and hobble back. She was about to take me to the medical halls when I spoke against it.

"With respect I would just like to go to my room."

"Are you sure? A doctor should really check your leg over."

"I think a Queen who has had 497 bones set is more than capable of doing a better job than the doctors." I smiled at her praying she would just take me to my room, I had spent enough time in the med halls and I didn't want to spend any more time there. Thankfully she agreed and took me to my room.

She helped me into my coffin and told me to shout if I needed anything, she pointed to her ear "I'm sure I'll hear you" She bid me good night and left. Now I was alone I could worry about what Mr. Tiny wanted with me.