"Does anyone have a plan," Carl asks, looking around nervously," it doesn't exactly have to be Wellington at Waterloo, but some type of plan would be nice."

"We're going in there to kill Dracula," Van says unhelpfully. Way to boost team morale, big brother. Carl and I share a look—him taking my cold hand in his own. That feels nice, like my hand was made to fit perfectly in his. I squeeze his hand, laying my head on his shoulder.

"Well, killing Dracula sounds fantastic," Isaiah replies in a bored tone," but I think the real question is how we are gonna get in because those doors aren't easy to open." Smirking, I let go of Carl's hand and jump on his back, one arm stretched out in front of me.

"Onward, my noble steed!" Van pulls me off Carl's back and puts me on his own before grabbing Carl and Anna. What is he doing? My question is answered soon after when he jumps up to a high window and inside the castle, Isaiah right behind him.

"Have you always been able to do that," I ask with my eyes wide with shock and slight fear. My brother fall to his knees, letting out a small animalistic growl. The realization dawns on me; finally, what Carl was talking about earlier makes sense. "Oh my God, you've been bitten!" Carl places a hand on my shoulder reassuringly; helping me to stay standing.

"There's a cure," he whispers to me," we'll find it and set things right." I have trouble believing that. Van stands up again, breathing heavily with a determined look on his paling face.

"We need to get moving," he says, taking the lead once again. Isaiah looks doubtful, moving closer to the doors as if afraid of something. What's his problem? I face forward, taking Carl's hand again. We're in a large room filled with lit torches...and egg-things that hang from the ceiling. Oh yes, that's exactly what I want to see.

Before we can go far a pale, hunched over man walks out into the open, mumbling something to himself. Hmm, I guess that's Igor; the brides were right, heiscreepy! Van throws one of his blades, pinning Igor to the granite column behind him. He tries to yank it free to no success.

"Please don't kill me," Igor begs, his deep voice struggling to get out of his misshapen lips. "Please!" I let out a snarl, sensing the evil that comes off of him just as surely as Van Helsing can.

"Give me a reason not to," my brother growls, gripping Igor's shirt collar. Igor lets out a terrified whimper, pulling at my brother's arm to try and get him off. He'd have better luck prying the blade out of the column!

"Van Helsing," Isaiah says softly, a hand on his shoulder. "You deal with this monster, I'll take Mari and we'll find Dracula's coffin." Van looks like he's about to protest but Isaiah stops him with a wave of his hand. "Relax, the bastard's not in it, but he does keep diagrams there—ones that could be very useful to us." Carl's grip tightens, pulling me slightly away from Isaiah.

"You're sure you can get there without detection," Van asks, looking worried and distrustful. Isaiah nods, pointing to a wall on our left.

"I know all this castle's secrets and can get to Dracula's coffin room easier than the Princess can decapitate Igor." Carl and I share a look before looking back to where Isaiah and Van are talking. There's something about Isaiah, something different than when I first met him. "Trust me, Van; I'll take care of her." Slowly, Van Helsing nods his consent.

"Alright, Mari, come here." The two of us walk until the others cannot hear us. "Do you think you'll be alright? With Isaiah, I mean." Letting out a sigh, I nod.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure I can take him if he tries something funny." I'm pulled into a tight hug, much like the one he gave me years ago when we first encountered Dracula. "Alright, big brother, let's go kick some Vampire butt." We smile at each other and walk back to the others. "C'mon, let's get this over with." Isaiah smirks, leading the way over to the wall he pointed at.

Carl grabs my arm, forcing me to stop and face him. "Be careful," he says softly. I smile at him reassuringly. Surprisingly, he pulls me to him and gives me a kiss. It was deep and filled with all of the feelings the both of us had to suppress over the years. "That was nice."

"Damn right it was!" After another brief kiss, I run after Isaiah—into a small tunnel he'd opened. I let out a deep breath, following him into the darkness. Even with my sharp senses it is hard to see my hand in front of my face and I can't tell which direction we're going. "Isaiah?"

"Right here, Marishka," he answers, sounding different somehow….Darker. We walk into a large room, lit torches high up on the stone walls. He grabs my hand, pulling me up against him. "Do you remember how we used to stand like this in the gardens?" My eyebrows scrunch together in confusion.

"What are you talking about?" He has an unnerving gleam in his gray eyes. "Isaiah, knock it off!" I try to pull away, but he merely tightens his grip, one of his strong arms around my waist.

"Surely you remember," he insists," we would spend hours together while your brother and my father tried to defeat the very man who made us like this!" I wince, knowing I would have a bruise from where his hand is gripping my arm. "Dracula knew I was heartbroken without you and made me a deal; if I would become a Dhampir he would bring you back to me." I hear a crack and the pain that follows tells me I have at least one broken rib.


"My name is Nathan! Why can't you remember—Marishka, you should know all of this! We loved each other back then and I know you still love me now!" I slap him across the face, shocking him enough that I was able to get away. The door we came through is shut and locked.

"I love Carl, not you!" Anger fills me as I realize what Nathan has done. He sold his soul just so he could have me as a possession. He never loved me, he thought I was pretty and wanted to add me to his collection. "Let me out of here!"

"I don't think so, my dear, you're mine now—and you will learn to obey me as a wife should." He backhands me, flinging me across the room and into a wall. "Now get up and apologize." Growling, I lunge at him, knocking him into a wall. When I stumble back to my feet I see he's unconscious. Good, he can stay that way for all I care, heck, he could die and I wouldn't shed a tear at this point!

"Van Helsing," I breathe. Oh God, I have to help him! I grab the key to the door from Nathan's pocket and run over to the large door to unlock it. I have to get to Van and help him kill Dracula; he can't do it on his own! Sprinting, I come out of a tunnel and onto the stairs leading up to a tower. Agonized screams reach my sensitive ears, renewing all my efforts. I'm coming, big brother; hang on for a little longer!

(A/N): Alright, I'm going off the book again so give me a break if there are any mistakes. So, the next chapter will be the last one!