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I felt my body like lead, I had nausea and my head was aching when I woke up. I moaned quietly.
“You’ll feel better in no time. The fight from yesterday took a lot of energy out of you, but you’ll recover soon” I heard Amarth’s voice, which sounded quite kind according to him.
I risked a faint smile. I’ve managed to smile – cool. I still had control over my body. Great.
“I feel like someone who was flattened by a roller” I opened my eyes carefully. It wasn’t pleasant.
“It’s no wonder after such an outbreak.”
Finally I managed to focus on the man. He was beautiful. There was no better word for it.
“I’m glad you like me” he smiled.
“Hey, don’t read my mind!”
“I have to apologize.”
“Amarth, why are you this kind to me?”
“I had been always kind to you… in my own way” he caressed my arm. I felt that there was no need to doubt his words.
“You’re right” I nodded obediently and smiled “And I’m feeling better” I stretched.
“I’ve told you.”
“And you were here, sitting awake on my bed the whole night?”
“This is very kind of you” I caressed his face. He took my hand and kissed it looking deeply into my eyes.
‘No, this is natural.’
“Just like in the old days when once in a blue moon I was sick or injured.”
“Exactly” he answered on a low tone, scanning my face.
“You know I loved those days.”
“Because then I could felt behind your coldness that you loved me to some degree.”
“I still love you.”
“Really? After all those years?”
“After all those years. But I was the Lord – I couldn’t show emotions.”
“You’re still the Lord. You can’t show them even now.”
“Yes, I am a Lord, but the situation has changed just like the circumstances did. I was hoping that one day I’ll be able to see you again. You were the strongest warrior in my castle. I felt your absence.”
A little voice in my ear said that Amarth was lying, but I shushed it right away, cuz I couldn’t imagine looking into those beautiful blue eyes that they were lying to me. Suddenly I forgot all the things he’d done to me in the past – he just had to obey to the orders of the Elders after all.
“I’ve missed you, Amarth!” suddenly I hugged his neck and my body happily greeted the familiar feeling as his strong arms embraced my thin figure. I couldn’t see the satisfied smile on his face. He took my face into his big hands and within a moment I could already feel his kiss on my lips. He slid his tongue greedily into my mouth while he laid me down onto the bed. My whole body started to crawl all over, but Dave’s face popped into my head.
‘Forget him! Now you’re just mine.’
‘Let’s celebrate our reunion!’
It wasn’t me who said this! It couldn’t be! I wouldn’t say such a thing to no one, but I’ve really said it. But after a minute this term seemed so natural…
‘That’s it my little witch…’ I heard his voice in my head for the last time then I let him get rid off my clothes.
Deep inside I wasn’t sure that this was okay, but this feeling was suppressed over and over again by the familiar desires. My other self thirsted for Amarth’s every burning move and after a while I wasn’t against it either. He knew very expertly where to touch my body to turn me on beyond words. He was totally different to Dave. He possessed me and took me roughly and quickly and he was huge – not that size matters, but it was unbelievable what he could do with it! My whole body was swimming in sweat as it moaned his moves. I submitted to him like never before. He could do with me whatever he wanted to do. I was his slave.
Before the night exercises I had a few hours to rest and pull myself together. I was quite full of energy. I felt a bit sorry that Amarth had to go, but one part of me was happy to be alone for a while. I had to think about yesterday’s happenings. I knew that my powers had awakened. Or at least a part of them. This became clear yesterday. From now on Tegara will teach me how to keep them at bay and how to control them. Although I was already able to move smaller objects with the wreathing energy around me. Now it was glistening in the air quietly in a gold colour. I think it was visible just for me. I thought it was amusing to move things without touching them.
I’d just finished my shower and stepped out of the bathroom with a towel around my body, when I saw Dave standing in front of the window.
“Why are you here?”
“Because of you.”
“I thought you can’t come here.”
“Uh-oh, you’re disobeying to an order?” I stopped and leant against one of the bed’s pillars and folded my arms in front of my chest. He came closer to me.
“Please don’t mock me. I have something important to tell.”
“Uh, how exciting! It was important enough to bring you here…” I looked at him with big eyes. I had no clue why I was like this with him.
“No. You know Dave it’s strange that I haven’t seen you for days… for weeks then you suddenly appear just to say stupid things about Amarth…”
“Wait, how do you know that I want to talk about him?”
“I can see into your head, Gahan. Oh my god, you know I’d have been able to kill for this a few years ago…”
Dave came closer with a nervous expression but stopped a few paces off.
“Have you slept with him?”
I could feel his burning anger. “Oh, your legendary nose can trace anything, right?”
“You’ve slept with him.”
“I think I don’t have to explain myself to you. We didn’t promise eternal fidelity to each other. I don’t know why I should tell you with whom, when and how many times I was with!”
I saw that my words hurt him, but somehow I didn’t care. I cared just about Amarth.
“Liz, you’re not yourself. Please, listen to me! In the morning Amarth marked you with the second sign. I guess he marked you with the first one earlier during the night” he grabbed my shoulders “The first provides attraction towards Amarth, but the second one influences the control over you. It partly takes away your free will! He can make you do such things without noticing it, which you wouldn’t do from your own will!”
I laughed. “Dave, this is absurd! He wouldn’t do this, he loves me. You say this just to dump on him, because you’re jealous!”
“Liz, for God’s sake listen to me! See? I’m talking about this! He just wants you to believe he loves you. In truth he wants to control you so you won’t turn against them! Look, they’re planning something dangerous and big. You can’t give in to them…”
“Dave, I think you’re getting pushy here. How could Amarth hurt me? He had been waiting for centuries to see me, to embrace me, to kiss me, to…”
Dave shook me hard by my shoulders.
“Liz! Or Elizabeth, it doesn’t matter… You can’t forget the things he’d done to you this easily! He humiliated you, he used you! And he wants to do these things again! Remember!”
“Dave, I think you’re r... No, you say stupid things!” I felt awfully dizzy. If Dave hadn’t been holding me, I’d have landed on the floor. “Uh-oh, I think I’m starting to act like a skizo…” I put my hand on my aching head.
“Liz!” he sighed “I was talking about this. Although I can understand it, cuz the old and new you had not fused yet and the two vampire signs can disturb the process as well.”
“And what should I do now? I don’t want to be under his sway” I grabbed his arms.
“Well, you can try to fight against the signs, although I haven’t heard of anyone who could do it, but maybe there’s enough power in you to do so. I don’t know. The main point is that you know about them.”
Suddenly I put my arms around his neck. I’ve missed him so much!
“Thank you, Dave!” I felt the towel loosening around my body and it’d have fallen onto the floor, if it wasn’t stuck between our bodies at the front, but I didn’t care, I was just enjoying his closeness.
“Your scent became a bit different” he noted sniffing into my hair.
“I’m sure it’s because of her” I shrugged thinking of Elizabeth then I couldn’t bear it anymore: I kissed him. He returned it quickly and greedily, stroking along my back and butt, but before we could go further, I pulled back a bit.
“It’d be better for you to go now” I glimpsed up at him, still nuzzling to his body.
“Yeah, it’d be better” he answered, but before he let me go, we exchanged a few more short kisses.
When I was finally alone again, I sat down onto the bed totally confused, holding the towel in front of my chest.
Tegara made a good job – soon I was able to close the energy and the fire completely into me and it came out as much and when I wanted it. I was thinking a lot about the things Dave had said. I couldn’t decide whether they were true or not until I’ve got my proof. Maybe five days had passed since Dave’s visit when Amarth showed up at my door after one of my trainings. Until that day I’ve managed to refuse his approximation saying that I was tired – which was true after the practices – but it seemed that he had enough and he charged me and I obeyed to him against my free will. Technically he raped me. From that moment he’d changed totally towards me. To be more exact he’d returned to his cold and calculating self like back in those days and I’ve started feeling the same hatred towards him like in my dream. After every humiliating this feeling just grew inside of me, but I buried it deep. I tried to resist a few times but the bonds seemed to be too strong. I had to gain more power.
But there were two good things too. First I was my old self again, cuz the “old Elizabeth” gave me her knowledge and faded into the background with her desire for revenge. The other thing was that Dave’d visited twice and we loved each other with such passion like never before.
But then this day had arrived too. The day when they’ll tell me what I’ll have to do the following night. I have to play sleekly. I guess I won’t like the thing they’ll ask from me. Dave led me into the room again where everyone showed up. He walked next to me stiffly and without a word then he took his place next to Van Tesse. The four vampires were sitting by the usual table and they were watching me. After one minute of silence count Karnstein started to speak.
“We’ve heard from Tegara that your preparation had finished successfully. It’s time for you to know what we’re expecting from you.”
“Well, I guess you know how much your power attracts vampires” he waited until I nodded “It’s a remarkable ability and it can be the ruin of our enemies. Maybe you don’t know yet, but our clan has two enemy clans since the dawn of time. One of these clans is responsible for chasing you to America. Your task will be an honorable and important duty. I’d do it myself too, if I had the power to do so.”
“Please just tell me” I saw that Amarth’s eyes flashed from this disrespect of mine and it was as if someone threw a stone onto my soul.
“You have to bring the Gehenna for us.”
“What?” I looked at him with big eyes. From the corner of my eyes I saw the shock appear on Dave’s face. This didn’t seem too good.
“Of course the real Gehenna can be brought just by Cain or by his ancestral children and that’d mean the end of the world for both the vampires and the mortals, because the legends say that the rain of fire would destroy everything on its way. But because no one knows anything about Cain’s whereabouts and because we know that your parents’d managed to destroy one of his strongest children, Judas, we can’t count on his arrival in the near future.”
I pressed my lips together when the diary came into my mind. It mentioned that Judas was just one of the many names Dracula had in the history.
“Your task’ll be to call the hostile vampires to you – by the way your power had already allured the majority to America – and you’ll have to push them into the purgatory for their mean deeds.”
“You expect me to act like a perfect weapon and play God, who judges over them? You expect me to participate in this ‘religious’ madness?”
“Exactly. Or you don’t want to finish off your mother’s killers?”
“What’re you talking about?”
“Yes, they’d killed your mother, you’ve heard me right.”
“No, I won’t listen to this anymore…” I turned around to walk out of the room, but I felt Amarth’s power reaching after me.
“Elizabeth, you stay here!”
“I’m not willing to…”
“Yes you do. You will do it!” Amarth stood up with keenly flashing eyes “I command you! This time you won’t get away!”
To my greatest shock I fell onto my knees from the enormous power he was radiating and my shaking lips formed the words unwillingly “Yes… Master…”
Immense anger and hate awoke in me towards him – towards them – but I couldn’t do anything.
“Tomorrow is the night” the count continued “Until that to prevent you from doing something reckless, I should tell you that we have your beloved Mr. Gahan’s wife and daughter. If you dare to resist, it’ll be their loss.”
I looked at Dave shocked, who had a terrific expression on his face.
“What?! How dare you?!” he stepped closer, but Ditta’s power forced him onto his knees too when she looked at him angrily.
“Don’t you dare, Dave!” she hissed on a hoarse tone, which didn’t fit to her perfect face “They are here just for safety’s sake. This way your little girlfriend won’t be able to cook up any rebel ideas!”
I saw on Dave that he was fighting with anger’s bitter tears as he was looking down stiffly at the marble stair in front of him, his Master’s power forcing him to kneel still.
“Alright, I’ll do it. Master, you can release me” I said quietly and I felt my body easing up. I put on an emotionless face as I looked up at the satisfied vampires. Just Tegara looked back with regret in her eyes. Dave was still kneeling, Ditta was holding him firmly.
“Great. Tegara will prepare you and she’ll tell you what you’ll have to do” the count waved and the witch next to him stood up obediently. She walked to me then led me out of the room.
“I can’t believe this!” I exclaimed when we reached my room.
“Please, be quiet. Listen! It was to be expected that they’d do something like this” the older woman whispered checking that no one was listening and to prevent this she murmured some spells.
“What? You don’t agree with them either? I thought you were on their side.”
“No, I’m just on my side. I’d gladly break loose too, but I know that count Karnstein’s bonds reach back too far in the past, making me his servant. If he falls, I fall too.”
“But can’t we…”
“No. Never mind” she took my hands as we sat down onto the bed “You’re still so young, you have the chance and power to survive this whole thing with Mr. Gahan and his family.
“But tell me how?!”
“Listen very carefully – I’ll tell you what you’ll have to do…”
The next day around midnight Armando, the servant from the first night, came for me. I straightened my back and adjusted my rusty corset – the fitting skirt covered my weapons perfectly. As I stepped into the room, I saw much more vampires. It seemed that every member of the clan got an invitation so I won’t burn them accidentally. I took my place and waited. I didn’t look at Dave – I could still see the desperate begging sparkles in his eyes. Or at least his thoughts suggested this, but I closed him out of my mind.
“My dear friends, the members of our Clan!” the count rose from his seat in the rope of men and women. They seemed as important and powerful as he, so I was sure they were the other Elders. “First of all our host, Miss Ditta Van Tesse asked me to tell you that it is a huge honor for her that she can receive all members of our clan! I’m really glad myself to see you all here and let me announce: our plan is at its final stage. The witch, Elizabeth Goldwing, won’t let us down this time and she’ll fulfill her destiny – she’ll purify our world from the sweepings of the vampire society. They had endangered our lives with their foul deeds for too long.”
Here the vampires started clapping, but they stopped after a minute in the same time as if they had obeyed to one will.
“I’m sure every one of you can feel the pull, which radiates from our perfect weapon. The aim of this is to lure the enemy closer so that later she can push them into the purgatory of the Gehenna. But don’t be afraid, you aren’t in danger. The fire threatens just our enemies.”
I looked at the count coldly then my eyes wandered onto the hundreds of guests and finally I glimpsed at Dave. I felt the energy run and ruffle around me, but I held it back a bit in the same way I suppressed my anger when I saw the burning red cut on Dave’s face. I had no clue how did they manage to harm him in such a way that even his perfect vampire skin couldn’t heal it. I was sure that Ditta was hard upon him to keep him quiet and stop him from searching for his family.
The vampires in the room felt the small stroke of my energy and now every one of them turned their heads toward me, leaving the count’s figure behind.
“Elizabeth, the time is here. Let’s start it!” he said finally when the clock started beating midnight.
‘What a dramatic timing…’ I thought disdainfully, but Amarth’s will forced me to nod and begin with it.
I’ve started whispering ancient spells, which were echoing louder and louder from the walls. A circle of runes glowed under my legs in the same time my eyes changed to the same gold colour and the energy shot out of my body. Soon it was under my control and I’ve sent it out in the night to lure the bloodsuckers even closer. I thought it wasn’t bad to free the world from a few of them. I felt them. They came in an enormous number! And everyone from the other two clans had reacted to my calling, although I knew that this number was too small to be the world’s full vampire population.
‘That’s it, Elizabeth! Burn every single one of them!’ I heard Amarth urging me but I pushed him roughly out of my mind. I felt the magic shot out of me with elemental power. I raised my hands and a river of fire started flowing, but I was the only one who could see it. The first mortal screams came within moments and I felt the bodies turn into dust. Their screams swished in my ear like otherworldly silver paper, but I didn’t stop. Their number was shrinking quickly. They wanted to escape me, but there was no way out of my grab. I sent another stroke of power on its way to reach the souls of the far ones too. Soon every one of them was burned to death.
“Yes! That’s it, Elizabeth!” Karnstein started “Beautiful! The Gehenna had purified…”
Suddenly he went silent when my head turned from the ceiling to him and I set the old vampire on fire. The whole room stirred. The vampires jumped up, tried to escape or attack me. The fugitives all died from the fire-cupola I drew around the estate and which made the heat inside nearly unbearable, but somehow my hair was moving from a cool breeze.
I set another wave into motion, which finished off the Elders and the stronger vampires too. My heart was beating like mad and my body was on the edge as I mapped the castle with my inner eye and phasing out Jennifer and the crying Stella from my power’s way I destroyed every moving figure. But then I felt Amarth’s commanding power. It hadn’t have such a big influence on me like earlier, but it distracted me from concentrating – especially when he threw some kind of powder into my eyes which made everything dark. I was conscious, but the fire-cupola had vanished and I couldn’t see a thing, although I felt the tears pouring from my eyes. The magic circle has protected me from the attacks, but I felt Amarth weakening it.
Although I couldn’t see, I knew exactly the remaining vampire’s number in the room. Just Amarth, Ditta, Zenon, Rowan and Dave were alive. Tegara was lying dead next to his Master’s body. It came into my mind that she said that she knows she’d die if her Master did, but she didn’t mind it. She had lived already for too long. But she helped me and taught me everything she knew, because she saw her young self in me. Back then she hadn’t got enough courage and power to break out. But I had! I felt it! I was ready to fight! Slowly my vision got better. I felt the vampire blood activating in me, which made my eyes glow. Although I saw everything in a gold light after my human eyes had let me down, at least I’ll be able to beat the rest of them like this!
I tore off my heavy skirt – I was farseeing enough to put on black trousers under it – and my dagger and sharp katana was already in my hands. Rowan and Zenon flew towards me like two shadows, but from one move of my hand which was holding the dagger they turned into ash. Ditta howled and was in front of me within a second, but my protecting aura didn’t let her to seize me by the throat. Her right hand turned black as she tried to reach through the hot air. She nearly succeeded thanks to Amarth’s weakening, so I quickly pushed him over with a shot of energy. He slid a few meters away on the dusty marble. In that moment Ditta managed to grab my throat, not caring about the hot pain which ran up her arm. All of a sudden I stabbed my dagger into her heart. She screamed on an otherworldly voice then backed away a few steps with disbelief on her face. Finally she laughed into my face.
“You fool… if you kill me… he dies too!” he laughed on an earsplitting tone and fell onto her knees. Her body turned into black ash, which slowly fell apart on the floor. The dagger clashed on the dirty marble loudly.
“Dave!” I exclaimed as I picked up the weapon and started to run towards the throne, where his familiar figure was squirming. “Dave!!”
But then I felt something hitting me from the right and I drew a long path on the dirty floor. It was Amarth, who was already standing there with his sword in his hand. My anger flared up again because he tried to hold me up.
“You can’t save him. Without his Master he dies just like you if you kill me” he grinned contentedly.
“Don’t think too much of yourself, Amarth! Your power isn’t that strong over me anymore” I attacked. Our blades met in a loud clash.
“Oh, really?” he narrowed his eyes and my hand with the dagger moved lower, weakening my stand so I rather jumped backwards and attacked again. “It’s really hasty, huh? You want to get to your dead lover?” he cut my naked forearm which made me hiss.
“Don’t play with me, Amarth!” I yelled back and for a few minutes only our panting and our blades’ loud and quick clashes could be heard. He was the last one standing in the room. He was the only one who could stop me from saving Dave – if it was possible at all.
We didn’t spare each other. More and more injuries covered our bodies. Every time I raised my hand to the final blow, with his power he moved my hand to the side. Then I had enough. Playing upon one of his false steps I pushed him to the ground with my power, kicking his sword out of his hand and I looked at him, my dagger ready to stab. Now it was in vain to strain against my magic – somehow it sucked his into mine too and turned it against him, keeping him in my captivity.
“Elizabeth, no! You know that I love you!”
“Lie. You can’t move me” I hissed at him “I’ve been waiting for this moment for long centuries, you traitor!”
“Fool! If you kill me, you’re dead too!”
“I’m not sure about this anymore” I smiled and stabbed him with full force.
Amarth howled then he looked at me. “Bitch! You’ll regret this…”
“Oh no, I won’t regret it. And you won’t be able to reborn either, I promise!” I whispered and moved the blade in his black heart, not caring about the pain in my own chest.
As I straightened my back – letting the knife still inside of him – fire came out of it and it reached every part of Amarth’s body, eating up the vampire with his painful expression. I felt unbearable heat, I was swimming in sweat, but I pulled myself together and spooned myself up from the kneeling. I pressed my hand onto my aching chest and stumbled towards Dave, murmuring spells. They slowly tore all of my bonds between my dying “Master” and me.
When I reached the top of the stairs, which were covered with ash and blood, I let my sword slide out of my hand and I fell onto my knees next to Dave. He was still breathing but very weakly.
“Dave, Dave, can you hear me? Can you hear me?” I patted his face gently. He slowly opened his slightly glowing green eyes.
“Liz. I’m so sorry… that I’ve dragged you into… this! I shouldn’t have… brought you here” he whispered hoarsely.
“Dave, don’t say silly things! We couldn’t avoid this. But it’s over! We are free. I defeated them. Don’t you dare dying now! Jen and Stella are alright! I’ve protected them.”
While I was talking, I desperately tried to figure out a way I could drag him back from the gates of death, where once he had already been. Suddenly I realised what I should do and I’ve started murmuring the same spells which helped me to tear apart my bonds with Amarth. I hoped that it’d work on Dave too. I had no intentions to let that bitch drag him along with her into hell!
“Thank you, Liz. For everything. But you can’t save me… It worked just on your own Master… I’ve lasted until now because your blood had protected me… But this is goodbye…”
“No! Don’t you dare! Do you hear me?” I grabbed him by his black shirt and felt the hot tears falling from my aching eyes “I’ll save you! Do you hear me?! I’ll save you, because… I love you!” I shouted, but Dave didn’t answer anymore.
I sobbed hard then using my last idea I reopened the wound Amarth cut on my forearm and held it to his mouth. I felt my blood – which was filled with my magic – pouring from the wound. I put my head onto his silent chest. I was getting weaker and weaker; I felt my body shivering as my power slowly returned into me. The warm air circled around our cold bodies nicely. I was floating in a half-conscious state of mind and I knew that I was doing magic. From my instincts.
After a few minutes I felt Dave’s heart thudding under my ear. I smiled but remained motionless. Finally Dave swallowed and slowly stuck to my wound. I looked up at him dizzily. His eyes – glowing in yellowish-green – popped up in that very moment as he gasped for air. My blood filled his mouth in an accelerating pace. I wouldn’t have cared if he sucked out the last drop. I was so glad that he was alive. I let my head fall back onto his chest very weakly. It was moving in a steady rhythm. Then darkness dragged me with him.