(Awakenings and Warnings)
Dracula's point of view
I don't think I've ever seen Dragos look as relieved as he did when we landed at SeaTac International airport in Seattle, Washington.
"Faptul că crap este cele mai multe cu siguranţă nu muzica!"Dragos abruptly declared rising to his feet. Reaching the front of the plane and close to where I was sitting he added, "Cum pot vă tortura-mi ca asta? Ea poate fi fiica ta, dar merită mai bine decât asta!" Glaring at me he added, "Nici un vampir de meu inteliigence ar trebui să fie subjucted pentru că noice insuportabil!"
"Dragos răbdare nu cred că ei sunt conştienţi de dumneavoastră antipatie pentru rap. În afară de aceasta, ele sunt tineri şi exemplu, de îmbarcarea într-o călătorie nouă."
"Răbdare fundul meu fiica ta are nevoie de o lecţie în muzică!" His voice serious.
I gave a slightly amused smile. "Atunci poate că ar trebui să dea ei o lecţie în apreciind muzică clasică," I suggested. (Then perhaps you should give her a lesson in appreciating classical music.) Dragos seemed to consider my suggestion and then giving a mild shrug he departed the plane.
Watching him go I was somewhat dissapointed I would not be joining them. Still Memphis was wise in his statement that the longer they didn't know I was alive the more of an advantage it would give us. I looked over to see Hope looking at Memphis concerned. "I'll be back soon.," he assured her. Hope reluctantly nodded and Memphis began heading toward me. I noticed him glance at his son only a moment.
"We'll try not to keep you waiting too long," Memphis commented reaching me.
"It is Hope that may become intolerable if you take too long," I told him. Memphis cracked a smile and nodded at me. I don't know why but I found myself giving a faint smile as well. Perhaps it was because we both understood the agony of being separated from the women we loved. Then again it may have been the amusement associated with the fact two individuals that had been such lethal enemies to each other in the past were now suddenly allies.
I watched as Memphis departed the plane. Some of the wolves followed after as did Crina. I couldn't help but wonder what I would do of the course of the next couple of hours. Katie was still asleep and I was not interested in joining in with Hope and Michelle's girl talk. 'This could be a long two hours,' I told myself. Memphis was good and they knew where they were going. I doubted it would take longer than that; something I was thankful for.
"What did Dragos say?" I looked over to see Angel's blue eyes looking at me with open curiosity. "What language was that anyway?"
"Romanian," I replied. "Let us say Dragos does not have an appreciation for your…rap music."
"Is that why he got so…testy?" Raquel inquired. I gave her a nod.
"What exactly did he say?" Angel asked. When I didn't respond she added, "I know the jist of it but I want to understand."
"Yeah the last couple of words he said sounded really mad," Raquel commented.
"The last words I will not repeat," I told the group of teenagers.
"He was cussing wasn't he," Malcolm said knowingly.
"He was voicing his displeasure," I agreed. Angel giggled and I looked at her. "Dragos prefers classical music. However the only music he truly detests is your friend Raquel's rap music."
"So now I have a means to get even with him if he ever annoys me too much," Angel said openly delighted.
"Don't test his patients too much, Fox," I warned. When she gave only a mischievous smile I couldn't help but feel a tad concerned for my old friend.
Dragos' point of view
I couldn't help but remain irritated as we made our way to downtown Seattle. The noise I had forced to endure on the plane had me anything but calm. I don't know how Vlad can stand it. It was worse than listening to a couple of cats fight.
A glance to my right revealed a very amused Crina. "Cum poţi fi atât amuzat? Cu siguranţă să nu vă bucuraţi că scuză slab for...music, Crina." (How can you be so amused? Surely you don't enjoy that poor excuse for...music, Crina.)
"Cred că probabil vizionarea se în jurul muritori adolescente ar putea dovedi a fi foarte distractiv," Crina replied flicking a piece of blonde hair away from her. (I think perhaps watching you around teenage mortals could prove to be very entertaining). I opnely glared at the woman.
"Should we know what you to are saying?" Tyler asked looking from Crina to me. I could tell the wolf wasn't sure what to think of us speaking in our native tongue.
Crina smiled at the somewhat uneasy wolf. "Dagos does not enjoy rap music."
" Care nu este muzica este intolerabil torturii!" I ranted.
"Nu spun că nu sunt de acord cu tine."
I couldn't have been more surprised as I realized it was the slayer, Memphis, that had spoken in Romainian.
„You understand them?" Isaiah said just as surprised as I was.
„Yes," He replied. „Dragos said that's not music it's intolerable torture. I agreed with him."
„I thought you liked rock," Tyler commented.
„Rock yes, rap no," Memphis stated.
„I would not have thought you would understand let alone speak Romanian," I commented. I had heard many americans speak french, spanish, and even italian but not romanian. It made me curious if he would understand other languages. Crina must have had the same thought because she then spoke in another tongue.
„Koľko jazykov hovoríte?" Crina asked.
„Anglicky samozřejmě, rumunština, Česká a omezené množství Slovanian," The slayer replied.( I speak English of course, Romanian, Czech, and a limited amount of Slovanian)
„Rather impressive," Crina praised. „What made you decide to..."
„Is it because of Vlad?" I asked him as the slayer went quiet.
„no," Memphis replied. "we're here," he said as the vehicle came to a stop. The door opened and we each emerged from the vehicle. It was time to find the slayers and their target.
Katie's point of view
Slowly I opened my eyes. I immediately had no idea where I was. I looked over to see what appeared to be a small window. Slowly I sat up. I looked down to find myself dressed differently. 'It really happened,' I said without a doubt in my mind as I looked at the midnight blue gown I now wore.
I rememebred going to the ball and ending up in Darcula's arms. What I remembered most however was the feel of him. The feel of his lips on mine. The feel of his lips and hands on my body. I closed my eyes as the memory of him taking my body came rushing back to me; I could still feel him. The sounds of our lovemaking resounded in my head.
Slowly I slipped out of the bed and went to the window. I cautiously opened it and looked outside. Seeing wings i understood I was on an airplane and that we were still on the ground. 'Angel,' I thought to myself. I left the window where it was and immediately went to the door.
I took a deep breath and slowly releasing it I stepped out from the room I was in. As I emerged from the room I immediately heard laughter and the sound of my daughter's voice. My eyes immediately went to her. I couldn't stop myself from smiling at the sight of the happy girl.
"You finally woke up." My eyes immediately went to where she sat in a chair closer toward the front of the plane.
"Yeah I guess I was...tired." Looking past her I saw the count sitting almost across from the main door to the plane. His eyes were fixated on me.
"I bet you were," Michelle teased. I got the knowing expression out of the corner of my left eye but didn't respond. I couldn't take my eyes off Angel's father.
„Good grief he really wore you out you've been out for hours!" Angel complained.
"Fox!" Angel's father said in a stern scolding voice. "That will be enough."
"Yes sir," I heard her reply obediantly but not hiding her dissapointment.
"Hope, Michelle, Watch them," The count said rising to his feet and setting a newspaper he'd been reading down. "Katie and I will return in a short while." His brown eyes fell back on me. He gestered to the door and said, "Shall we?"
For probably the first time ever I didn't hesitate to obey his command. I walked toward the front of the plane past the group of teeangers and the two female wolves and walked off the plane and descended the staircase at his side.
It was dark out and I shivered at a cool breeze before suddenly feeling fabric wrap around me. I looked at the cound and was surprised to find he was putting a cloak around me. "Thank you." He nodded and we continued to walk until we were just a little ways away from the plane.
We stopped walking and the count turned to face me. "Who am I?" He asked me in a calm nuetral tone.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't confused. I knew I was supposed to answer and that we was asking me but I didn't understand the question. "Did you hit your head?" I asked. His question made me wonder if somehow he'd lost some of his memory or something since I'd last been awake. He looked at me and his look was not amused.
"I don't understand," I told him. "I know you want me to answer you but I don't understand your question."
He nodded and after a moment of silence said, "If someone were to walk up to you and ask you who I was what would you tell them?"
"That you were Angel's father," I replied. I saw him nod but I couldn't miss the look of dissapointment in his eyes. "What would you have me tell them that you were Count Dracula the most feared man in history?"
"What do you want me to say count?" I asked as I suddenly began to feel frustrated.
"Don't call me that."
I looked at him surprised. "You are..."
"To them not you!" He said becoming angry. I stepped backward before I could stop myself. I only got a step before he stopped me.
"What do you want me to say?" I asked begining to fear his anger. I didn't actually think he'd hurt me here and now but I just wasn't sure. He'd hurt me before and I did not want to be on the recieving end of his anger once more. I felt my body start to barely tremble but I couldn't stop myself.
"I won't hurt you," he said in a calm voice. His brown eyes looked into mine and I saw no anger; frustration but not anger. He put his hands in my hair but he wasn't cruel. He was gentle as his fingers rubbed the back of my neck and my scalp. I felt myself instantly become calm.
"How should I answer others?" I asked keeping my blue eyes fixated on his. „I know I'm not answering right but I don't know what I am to say."
"Did I not tell you when we communicated for the first time apart what you may call me?" He said sounding almost sad.
My brain instantly went to my memory of our silent conversation. It was only a moment and I remembered his reference to me being the mother of his child. "Vlad."
"Yes. You are always to refer to me by name."
"How are others of your kind going to feel about a human calling you by your name when they don't?" I asked.
Dracula's point of view
I smiled at the woman before me as I let one of my arms fall to hold her behind her back. I stroked my hand threw her curly hair that was no longer put up. "They are not the ones I'm bedding. Nor did any of them bare me a child," I told her. "I am Angel's father but we are also lovers." I saw her blush and look down at my chest and couldn't stop myself from pulling her closer and whispering, "I very much enjoyed loving you earlier."
"Vlad!" she said and looking up at me she gently swatted my arm.
How I loved hearing her say my name. I pulled her closer and kissed her gently. Katie didn't fight me and there was no fear as I kissed her this time. I kissed her fully and then ending the kiss looked into her eyes once more. "You must always address me by my name. You are the only human woman that may call me by my name and there is only one female vampire that is permitted."
"What are you trying to tell me?" Katie asked.
"Not everyone will be pleased that I have a human woman that I will wed or that together we have a child. You and Angel could easily become a target," I warned. "No matter what anyone says to you never back down to them. You are my only lady Katie. Even should another claim they are also my lady do not believe them."
"This is your way of telling me theres a female vampire that wants you isnt there?" katie said sounding annoyed.
"They want power and I am power," I told her. I touched her cheek gently. "You are the only woman that will be in my bed, carry a child by me and become my wife."
"Do I get any say?" Katie asked.
"No," I told her. "You belong to me and that is the way it will be." I kept my voice neutral but I was not entirely pleased she'd asked. It may have simply been she wanted me to give her the choice but I was not willing to take a chance that the choice wouldn't be me.
"Will I be allowed say in anything?" She asked.
"At times," I told her. "Katie I brought you out here away from everyone for a reason."
"I'm listening," she replied sounding almost dissapointed.
"Katie you must obey any command I give you," I told her. I knew she would object immediately so I didn't give her the chance. "I cannot be questioned by them. If I allow you to question me they will. They must also see that you are obediant to me and will adhere to anything I say even if they know you don't like or agree with something. You will have to observe things you don't want to. As will our daughter."
"You are human and must show them that you are not one they can touch. You must show you will abide by our ways even if you don't agree with them. You and Angel will both have to witness and understand how to deliver punishment."
I saw Katie flintch and knew the memory of my beating had surfaced in her mind. "What I did to you was mild in comparrison to what Danielle suffered," I told her as i watched her look away. I gently took ahold of her chin and turned it to look at me. "I never want to harm you again. Obey me and I won't."
"I'm just to do whatever you want without question? Follow you blindly?" she said not hiding she hated the thought.
"You may ask me in private when we are alone," I told her. Her arms were away from me and crossed before I realized. "Katie you must understand you will be tested." A frown crossed her face as she looked down. "Look at me." Reluctantly she raised her head.
"Very good." Katie looked at me confused. "I know your mind Katie. You need to obey me but that does not mean I would not discuss something with you before i did it. Things as simple as raising your head just now is what they will be looking at. They will be watching you for consistency."
"So just obey you and we'll talk about it later," she said not thirlled but understanding me.
"Yes. Though if I am away you need to obey Mecia, Dragos, and Crina."
"I don't even know who they are!" Katie snapped and stepped back from me openly angry. "I am not abot to obey some random vampire!"
I could've yelled at her but I didn't. Katie wasn't wrong in how she felt. Even I recognized i was asking a lot of a woman that was only now coming to terms with belonging to me. "Crina, Mecia and Dragos will protect you from others. They are the only three vampires I trust completely. Crina is the only other woman allowed to address me by name," I told her gently. "If they tell you to do something it would only be to protect you or help you. If you question it you can always contact me through here," I said and gently touched the side of her head. "Nothing can ever seperate us again Katie."
"You had them get Angel," Katie stated becoming calm once more.
"Crina and Dragos yes," I confirmed. "Mecia I left at the castle to keep order while I came for you and our daughter." I watched as Katie tried to process what she was being told. "I will never be far without one of them at your side if I am not."
"How do they feel about you keeping a human and having a child thats half human?" Katie asked clearly uneasy.
"They do not mind as long as you obey me and them when needed," I replied. "Though I admit Dragos is not fond of Fox and Raquel's rap music." I watched as a smile crossed her face.
"Memphis didn't like it either." Katie went quiet for a moment and then looked at me. „Don't hurt Memphis."
"Hurt him?" I said. "Memphis is coming with us." Katie looked at me confused. "He and Hope were..."
"Hope's the wolf he loved!" Katie sounded suddenly pleased and anger free; her arms dropping before her hands clasped in front of her. "That's wonderful!" Now I was suddenly confused. "Memphis helped me more than once. As many years as we've spent with each other there probably isn't a lot we don't know about each other."
I don't know why but I suddenly felt a tinge of jealousy. I knew nothing had ever happened between the slayer and my lady but it still botheres me. I didn't want anyone to know Katie bette than I did.
"Memphis and I are friends, nothing more," Katie said. I hadn't realized until my eyes focused on hers that i'd actually looked away. "You have no reason to..."
"I know your relationship is platonic," I told her. Gently I reached over and took her hands in mine. "Things may be strained in the begining but they will calm." Katie gave only a nod she understood. "You will not have your own room." I sensed Katie felt uneasy but she did not voice any concerns she held. I had given her a room of her own in the past but not now. As long as I'd been a vampire I'd never shared my bedroom with any woman. It would instantly tell others Katie was my property. Vampires are possessive over claims and we viewed claims as property. I knew Katie would not appreciate this so I simply didn't tell her.
"I feel like you're leaving something out," Katie said watching me closely.
"When we first met you saw me in my natural state. I can be cruel, relentless, and heartless." I stopped her before she could look away; grasping her chin. "These vampires know me in that state. The power I possess and my ruthlesness." Gently I slipped my hand down her throat;enjoying the feel og her skin under my hand. "I am not completely the same man I was then." As I touched her skin I watched my hand move over her throat and the way her skin reacted to it.
Slowly I shifted my eyes back to hers. "Would you agree that there is a change in me since the first night we met?" I asked her.
"There seems to be," she agreed almost breathless. I watched as her eyes nearly closed at the sensations I was causing. My touch was gentle but associated with the memories of earlier that evening it made it sensual.
I gently grasped her head in my hands. "You and our daughter have awakened other emotions inside me. I am the man before you now. The man that made love to you and touches you gently." Katie's eyes showed understanding and even hope. "I am what is before you but I am still the vampire I was when we first met as well," I said becoming serious once more.
Katie looked at me and saw the warning in my eyes. "But would you do to me again what you did then?" I didn't answer her as I was not sure which part she meant.
Katie's point of view
The count looked at me and I realized he wasn't sure exactly what I meant. "I know you will never let me go," I told him. "I have no doubt you'd find a way to make me agree to give you my body if I refused. Would you humilate me and..."
"No I won't release you," he agreed. "Deep down you don't truly want me to anyway. Yes I would use leverage against you again as I did before."
"The last?" I asked hesitently.
"Had you not given yourself to another I would not have punished you!" he said not hiding the fact he still hated what I'd done.
"If you had treated me differently it might not have happened." The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.
"Rather simple to say now isn't it?" he replied flatly.
"You kidnapped me, killed my boyfriend, and decided I was going to be yours no matter what!" I reminded him. "You scared me to death and when I disputed your authority you burned me!" I shouted at him. „You didn't even give me a chance to understand anything. And don't try to say you were in love with me because you werent!"
"No I was not," he agreed. "I was obsessed with you and determined to have you but you are correct. It was not love I felt for you. Desire and lust yes, but no not love." I looked at him without surprise.
The count sighed for a moment before reaching over and uncrossing my arms; taking my hands in his. "I do not wish to harm you again," He told me; his eyes showing complete sincerety. "If you go to my enemies," he began.
"I won't," I assured him. "They wanted to kill Angel and i remember?"
"If you lie in the arms of another man..."
"It would never happen," I interupted. "Even if I wanted to you'd stop it or Mecia, Dragos, or Crina would."
"Can you tell me you love me?" Angel's father asked. I knew what he wanted me to say but I couldn't. I had emotions where the count was concerned but I couldn't call it love. Not now anyway. I lowered my head not knowing what to say.
"Do you at least accept that you belong to me?" He asked calmly.
I raised my eyes to look at him. "I haven't doubted your claim on me in years. I may have feared and do fear you but yes I'm aware that Angel and I are yours."
"Yes you are and I will never share you with another," he replied. "Believe no one that says otherwise. My bed alone." I looked at hium surprised. "You are a very beautiful woman Katie. Because you are human they will believe you can be easily swayed or convinced of anything."
"That is one warning I didn't need," I assured him. "I would never believe that even if Dragos told me. I have no desire to end up on the table again."
It may have been years since i'd been strapped to the stone table in one of the towers of dracula's castle but I had never forgotten it. I'd never forgotten how hard the table was or the blood stains i'd seen on it. Even now I could feel the stone against my bare skin. I was still thankful it had been so dark I hadn't seen the intruments of torture that had lined the walls of the room. My mind hadn't forgotten the feel of the switches he'd used on me. The sting that had made me cry out as he brought the switch down over my naked body.
"Good." I looked at the count. "I would much rather give you pleasure than pain." Gently he pulled me towards him and kissed me deeply.
"If you are truly both the man you are now and then than you still enjoy enflicting pain," I told him. I'd seen the pleasure he'd gotten at inflicting pain or speaking of inflicting pain.
"I didn't say I didn't," he admitted. "However it is others I would wish to enflict pain on. I wil enjoy enflicting pain on my enemies. I will enjoy teaching you how to enflcit pain."
"That's a lesson I don't think I want to learn," I told him uneasily.
„Perhaps not, but you will learn none the less." Before I could respond he said, „Come it's time to board the plane. I imagine the others will be returning soon." He took my hand and we began walking toward the plane.
"Where are we?" I asked looking around and realizing we were clearly not in Nevada."
"Seattle, Washington. Memphis and Reth had something to take care of." I raised an eyebrow at him. „They needed to prevent an old friend from being killed by a group of slayers."
"What? Isn't there something we can do to help?" I aske concerned.
"Memphis is a very capable slayer. While I may have always appeared aloof where slayers were concerned he is one that I am quite aware is very lethal. He will be fine. I sent Crina and Dragos with him and Reth. Now come." I didn't argue and we headed for the plane.
Angel's point of view
I couldn't help but feel a sence of excitement as I watched my parents walk off the plane together. After so many years apart we would finally live as a family.
"Most people aren't okay with the thought of their parents having sex," Malcolm commented.
"Yeah well most people's parents love each other or at least did," I replied. "This is the first time she hasn't had waves of fear coming off her at the sight of my father or mention of his name. The closer they get the more likely my mother will be to finally fall in love with him."
"Wht doesn't she love him? I mean they created you," Raquel said.
"My father kidnapped her and took her prisoner," I informed my best friend.
"It may not have started out the perfect way but the count does love Katie," Michelle assured the group of teenagers.
"Yes he does," I agreed before turning my blue eyes to Phoenix. "So how do you feel about everything? You do know he didn't know about you."
"I'm aware," Phoenix replied. I kept my eyes on him waiting for him to say more. „Angel, I don't know him. What do you want me to say?"
"Are you at least going to give him a chance?" I watched as the blonde wolf glanced away. "I'm alive because of him. In a sense so are you and your mother."
"He may have protected you but he had nothing..."
"Fox is right," Hope told her son. „If your father hadn't have lured the other slayers away we both would have been killed. I know I have said some heartless things about him at times but it was because I didn't undertand. Now that I do I wish I could take them back."
"Memphis forgives anything you've said against him," I told her. She looked at me questioningly. I smiled and said, "Does he have any anger in his eyes when he looks at you?"
"No," she replied.
"There you have it." I didn't feel the need to tell her I was at an aedvantage to knowing his thoughts. I wasn't even sure if my father knew. My father knew I had marked my mother. It had been by accident when I was only an infant but it had still happened.
I had marked Memphis however when I was six. I'd gotten a piece of meat in my mouth and trying to get it out had gotten dental floss stuck in my mouth. Trying to get it out memhis had accidentally recieved a puncture wound from one of my teeth. From that day on I'd found I could hear his thoughts at times. I didn't fully understand it or how to use it then but I did now.
I don't even know if Memphis knows. I've never let him know I could hear him. I somewhat wondered if i shouldn't tell him. Though in truth I wasn't sure he didn't know. I had a habit of going to him before he actually called or correcting myself during training without him opening his mouth.
"You care about Memphis a lot don't you?" Hope commented.
"Yes," I confirmed. There was no reason to deny it. "Memphis has always looked out for my mom and I. Tyler was around and all but he had to stay hidden. It wasn't Tyler that stopped Parker from forcing himself on my mom it was Memphis."
"Parker... when did this happen?" Michelle asked becoming upset.
"Years ago. It's what caused Parker to leave. My mom wouldn't give him any," I informed them.
"Parker better hope your father never gets ahold of him," Phoenix commented. I looked at him and noded in agreement.
Hearing footsteps I looked toward the door and watched as my parents came back on board. I couldn't have not smiled for anything.
"I'm turning on the music!" Raquel declared and got up to turn on the music.
"No you are not," My father announced. Raquel's face instantly fell. "I do not believe Dragos can tolerate anymore of what you consider to be music." Raquel crossed her arms and flopped back down in her seat in a pout. I couldn't help it and giggled. It earned me a glare. Unfortunately it only resulted in me laughing harder.
"Răbdare fundul meu fiica ta are nevoie de o lecţie în muzică!" = "Patience my ass your daughter needs a lesson in music"
If I didn't translate something I use Bing's internet translator.