I run into the lab, breath coming out in gasps as I look around me. Where are you Van, you can't fight this monster on your own! Growling reaches my ears and I instantly begin to run towards it, not stopping to think that it might be Dracula. What I see causes a scream to tear out of my throat. Van Helsing is lying on his back, cuts all over his body, but the one that catches my attention is on the side of his neck, blood quickly escaping it.
"Where are you," I scream, pain evident in my voice. "Come out here and face me!" A pale hand wraps around my throat, forcing me to turn to face the person it belongs to. Electric blue eyes clash with brown; the smug look on Dracula's pale face tells me he has me exactly where he wants me.
"Marishka," he says in a low voice. I don't look into his eyes; he'll only hypnotize me if I do. "Come now, look at me." I keep my head down, looking instead at my older brother.
"Go ahead and kill me, but if my brother dies you can be sure I'll come back and kill you myself," I threaten, finally meeting his gaze head on with no fear. I'm too exhausted to fear him, or anything else for that matter. He looks at me with curiosity, fingertips brushing against my ashen cheek.
"How about a deal, Mari? I will not kill your brother on one condition." This takes me by surprise—this condition must be a big one for him to spare Van's life. My eyes narrow in suspicion immediately, expecting some kind of trick.
"What is it?" Dracula chuckles darkly, releasing my throat and walking a few feet away from me.
"You become my bride as you were meant to be all those years ago." He looks at me over his shoulder, the corners of his lips turned up in a smirk. "For that I will heal your brother and send him on his way."
"Carl and the Princess will be spared also—if you cannot do that then you better kill me now and hope I do not rise again!" My eyes show the terrible anger I keep locked away, simmering just under the surface. He turns to face me fully now, not looking the least scared at the death glare I send his way.
Carl has to survive at least; I….I love him too much to allow him to die when I can do something to prevent it—even if that means giving up my soul. My brother's pained groan makes me turn slightly, a tear making a trail on my cheek.
"N-no, Mari..." He trails off, unable to speak without having blood cut him off. I lower my head in shame, unable to meet his desperate gaze. I can't let him change my mind when I'm so close to saving so many lives.
"Do you swear," I ask, voice breaking near the end. Dracula places one of his hands on the side of my neck, tilting it to expose the tender flesh there. He hisses slightly, smelling my blood.
"I swear." With those words his fangs sink into my neck, sucking greedily. This time I've no flashback to distract me from the pain, instead I look at my brother—he tries to get up, to get to me and tear Dracula to pieces, but he can barely manage to lift his head.
"Mari!" Carl's voice reaches my ears now, filled with panic and horror at what is being done. The edge of my vision is ringed in blackness, everything else turning a shade of gray. Dracula growls, obviously taking satisfaction that my brother and the man I love have to watch me become the monster the three of us hate with such passion. Everything fades away then when his venom reaches my heart—the agony causing me to faint….
Two men on horseback ride into the small town of Vaseria, a feeling of déjà vu washing over them. The young friar, Carl, ignores it, but his companion, Van Helsing, thinks of it as a warning. "So, you have memories of the past seven years but nothing before then," Carl asks, wrapping his cloak around him tighter.
"Not now Carl." Van Helsing can sense the tension, something he doesn't particularly like. There's also something else, like he's missing something. The feeling has been nagging him ever since he got back after killing Mister Hyde—he doesn't like that either.
"There must be something you can remember," Carl insists, not paying much attention to his surroundings.
"I remember fighting the Romans at Masada," Van Helsing said seriously.
"That was in seventy-three A.D.!" Carl, having known his friend for more than a few years has a bit of trouble believing Van Helsing, though he knows his friend isn't lying
"You asked." A tall man with oily white hair steps in front them. Neither of the two men feels the need to trust him.
"Welcome to Transylvania," he says, his voice sounding bittersweet. Carl and Van Helsing get off their horses hesitantly. The man grins, showing everyone his few teeth. Behind the man, it seemed the entire town had gathered. They hold pitchforks, knives, and machetes.
"Is it always like this," Carl whispers to his friend. Van Helsing nods slowly, looking around him. Something's missing, something that is important, but he cannot put his finger on it.
-Meanwhile in Dracula's Castle-
A Vampiress walks towards her Master, Dracula, with a confused expression on her porcelain face as to why a Dewergi would drag her out of her coffin before sunset. She walks with her chin raised proudly. No matter how many times he'd tried, Dracula couldn't break her pride, or stubborn streak for that matter.
He'd made another deal with the Devil—let Marishka stay a Vampiress, but turn back time to when she and her friends first arrived in Vaseria, Mari on Dracula's side this time. Van Helsing and the friar would not remember Mari at all, Mari would not remember them, and her test of loyalty would be to kill her brother. Dracula thought it was well worth it to see if his youngest bride could go through with it.
"Master," she says softly, lowering her eyes to the floor of the balcony overlooking a frozen wasteland. Dracula nods his head in acknowledgement. His dark eyes land on her, a feeling of triumph washing over him. She had been his goal for many years, the one person that could break Van Helsing, and now she is his.
"Marishka," he says, just as quietly. Neither one wish to break the early morning quiet, the one moment of peace before the castle's residents are completely awake. "Have your sisters and yourself been getting along?" The bronze-haired Vampiress lowers her head at this, a small frown on her lips. The three of his brides have a tendency to fight amongst themselves, mainly over trivial things.
"Fine, Master." Dracula nods again, looking over the balcony instead of at Marishka, something she was relieved about. Marishka can't remember much, it's like chunks of her memory have been ripped out. She does know that she was turned against her will, though not much else about her past.
"Tell Verona I wish to speak with her," her Master commands, his back still facing her. "Then get a little more sleep." Marishka nods obediently, hating the control he has over her. Dracula watches as she walks towards the back of the castle, a small crease between his eyebrows is the only sign he's even the smallest bit worried.
He will tell Verona that she and Aleera will bring him the Princess and Marishka will be the one to kill the "strangers". Anna will be his bride whether she likes it or not. Verona, being his oldest bride, is more tuned to his thoughts and will not disobey—knowing the consequences will be severe if she does.
-Back in Vaseria-
"I'm here to help you," Van Helsing says, looking over the Princess' shoulder at the three shapes coming their way.
"I don't need any help," the Princess says stubbornly, refusing to believe this stranger could be of any use at all. The shapes are closer now and Van Helsing can tell they are Vampires—female ones at that. The nagging feeling hits him full force when he sees one with bronze hair. Her distorted face seems familiar to him, but he cannot place it.
"Really?" He soon has his crossbow out, aiming for the Vampires—hitting one a couple times. The bronze haired one snarls at him, her sharp teeth in plain view. For some reason he feels guilty about shooting her, like she's supposed to mean something to him. Carl feels a surge of anger rush through him when the bronze-haired Vampiress is injured, though he doesn't know why. He should want these monsters dead, not safe.
When the sun begins to peak through the clouds my sisters and I immediately head for the well in the town center. I will not be turned into a Crispy Critter just because the Master wants the damn Princess! While safe in the darkness strange thoughts begin to fill my head, thoughts of the two strangers. Have I met them before?
They must be from my past and very important to me because it's hard for me to wish harm on them. A small nudge from Verona signals it's safe to come out again and continue our attack. The three of us shoot out of the well, startling everyone in the square. While I have time, I grip Anna tightly and begin to fly.
"Hope you're not scared of heights," I laugh, briefly looking down at the human. Unnoticed by me, she pulls a small knife out of her boot and, before I can stop her, she cuts my foot. Growling in pain and anger I let the Princess drop and spiral away. My foot heals quickly enough and I know I should kill the strangers as Master commanded but I know this will be the hardest kill I've ever made.
As I fly forward again, a wave of arrows hit me, knocking me through the roof of a house. Okay, now it won't be so hard to kill that guy, I hate it when I'm shot with freaking arrows! Despite my inner rant, I know it won't change my feelings much. I stand again and burst through the doors, throwing him a few feet before landing on a balcony.
The man stands up, grunting in pain. Smirking I change back into my human form and begin to pull the arrows out of me—the wounds begin to heal quickly. I see a flash of recognition in the man's dark eyes, eyes that were once familiar to me. Shaking my head, I leap at the man, not expecting for him to grab my waist and throw me to the ground.
Everything blurs for a second before coming back into focus; the man is sitting on my stomach, silver stake in position to pierce my heart. Strangely he's not doing anything except looking into my eyes, as if seeing something there. "How do I know you," I ask quietly, not moving for fear of the stake.
He shakes his head, eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. "I don't know." The answer is simple, unhelpful, and it hurt slightly that he does not know me—I do not know why. For a few moments more we stay like this, not even moving when Verona and Aleera fly away without the Princess. "You're so familiar," he breathes, eyes softening.
"As are you, stranger." I break eye contact, looking instead at the stake. It's getting harder to fight the feeling that I should know this man, that I should protect him no matter the cost. Finally, I come to a decision—one that would keep the man and his friend safe from me. "Please." One of my hands gently wraps around one of his wrists. "I don't have it in me to kill you."
He lowers his head, lips brushing against my cold cheek. "I know you," he whispers," but how I do not know." My grip tightens a little as I force the stake to complete its purpose, ignoring the pain that flares through me.
"Van Helsing," I gasp before death consumes me.
Van Helsing looks shocked at the place where the young Vampiress once lay, memories filling his head. Mari, he'd just murdered his little sister! Tears flow freely down his cheeks as he picks up the stake. "I'll kill him," Van Helsing says determinedly," I'll get him for you, Marishka."
Carl lowers his head, fighting back his own tears. Mari would want him to be strong and help her brother. The friar's hands close into fists, white-hot anger filling his entire body as he thinks about what Dracula had caused. Marishka will be avenged, Dracula will die. With that, both men are ready to take on the Son of the Devil—planning to strike soon.
(A/N): Yeah, maybe not the greatest ending and I know it's gonna make my uncle and one of his soldiers mad that I killed Mari, but oh well. Just so it's clear, Drac changed Mari into a Vampire and made a deal with the Devil to alter the timeline so that instead of being with Van and Carl she would be with him. He also had everyone's memories changed, but at the end Mari, Van, and Carl remembered a little of what happened. Hope you guys liked my story and thank you to everyone who has read/favorited/alerted/ and reviewed this story!