Love Comes In Many Dangerous Forms


I left Vera in the hallway to find Tristan and Zach and told her if she saw Elizabeth or Shane to send them to my father’s office. I made my way up two flights of stairs leading to the study. I reached up, standing painfully on my toes to reach the top of the door and retrieve the key that was resting there. I quickly unlocked the door and entered the room.

I leaned against the door, heaving a sigh of relief, bolting the series of locks on the inside, checking the windows as well. I only sat own after I made sure everything was secure and then I got to work.

I put the Glock on the desk, making sure the magazine was still in place before I set it down. I unlocked the drawers with the same key that was clutched in my hand, and skimmed through the files for what felt like hours until I found those whom I was looking for.

Every being that has been documented was in the cabinets surrounding the room, thousands upon thousands of files. Mine were stashed away in one of the hundreds of cabinets with my families.

I laid the seven thick files on the desk and started with the file labeled neatly: Vera Evangeline Thorne Ballen. I took out her slave papers that named her previous owners, basic information, how long she had been a slave, who owned her currently, and if she had caused any fatalities.

I tossed every single one of those papers into my father’s trash bin. And one after one of those papers from Vera, Audrey, Carly, Elizabeth, Athen, Zach and Shane piled up so that the bin was overflowing with parchment. Tristan didn’t have one, and Jimmy’s were destroyed a long time ago.

I reached across the desk, next to my father’s pipe that had soot spilling out of the opening, for his matchbook. I pinched one of the matches and struck it against the rough strip on the outside of the cardboard box.

I lifted the match up my face, watching as the flame danced on the thin piece of wood, eating away at the pinewood. The light scent of sulfur wafted towards me as the flame descended closer to my fingers that were holding onto it so tight that tiny splinters drover under my skin drawing out a few specks of blood. It wasn’t until the flame got close enough to me that pain started to register I automatically released it and it fell right into the papers. And the flame, like a disease, spread contaminating everything in its path.

I took in an uneven breath, forcing myself to tear my eyes away from the incandescence light. I walked slowly back to my father’s desk, my legs ached from fatigue, my eyelids were heavy but the last bit of adrenaline was still rushing through my veins. I grabbed his signet ring and the block of red stained wax, leaning over to hold the block over the rapidly grown flame, holding it there until I saw the wax melt and fall of the end of the stick like droplets of blood. I took the seven folders, letting the hot wax run onto the parchment forming small lopsided puddles. I threw the last bit of wax down letting it ruin the wooden floors. I hurriedly pressed my father’s signet ring firmly onto each of the cooling pools of wax leaving my last initial and family crest on the bottom left corner of the folders.

And they were free.

I heaved a sigh of relief. No one, not even the council, could harm any of them every again.

But a dark thought loomed over my head. I knew Vera, Zach, Audrey and Tristan would stay, but what about the Launers? I had no doubt that Athen wouldn’t stay for too long after he got back, and Elizabeth would probably follow after with Carly. And Shane would have nothing left here and he would leave.

I bit down onto my bottom lip as I felt pain engulf my chest. It felt like someone shoved a dagger and was wrenching further and further until it finally reached my heart. I convinced myself it was because I didn’t want to lose anybody else, but I knew that if he really wanted to leave, I would let him. But, I also wouldn’t let them go without giving them a good solid reason to stay.

I touched the months old scar on the side of my neck and smiled a short lived smile, but a smile nonetheless.

There were tentative raps against the outside of the door. My hand was suddenly around the gun, my finger on the trigger as I aimed at the door.

“Cassiel?” I heard a small feminine call out.

I lowered my Glock and hurried over to the door undoing the series of locks. I quickly twisted the knob, opening the barrier letting Elizabeth inside and redid everything.

“You wanted to see me?” she asked warily.

“I need your help,” I gestured for her to sit on the leather couch that was withering away into nothing.

She stared at me with tired eyes, so I continued, filling my lungs with oxygen as if I had just come up for air, “Something happened to Clara, I need to know what it was and you’re the only one she fully opened up to.”

Her green eyes suddenly went hard with determination, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I bit down on my bottom lip, fiddling with the ring that was still in my grasp, “Clara left me a note saying, ‘Don’t let history repeat itself.’ She showed me your conversation with her, and I’m guessing it was the last time you talked to her,” I added on.

“I swore to her, ask Blaine,” she couldn’t look me in the eye as she twisted her wedding ring around her left ring finger.

“You still haven’t found him yet,” I inferred solemnly.

She was still silent.

I glanced over to the desk and gathered up the four manila folders on top and handed them to her. For a minute she looked confused, I watched her eyes carefully as they grew wide when she saw the stamp and she quickly shifted through the papers. She sat there, unmoving; I suppose she was trying to come to terms with what she held in her hands then.

“I set you and your family free, and if Athen isn’t back by nightfall tomorrow, I’ll send out a search party to find him,” I promised her as sincerely as I could.

“Why?” was the only thing that came out of her mouth.

I smiled softly at her, “You know why.”

“You are just like Clara,” she stated sadly, grasping onto the folders as if it was her only reason for life.

“Would you please tell me what happened to her?” I plead, desperate to know what my fate would be.

She stared at me for a moment, and then nodded her head in defeat, “Where would you like me to start?”

“The begging would be perfect,” I sat down in my father’s recliner, giving her my full attention.

She took a deep breath before she started, “Clara and I were friends when we children, I believe we were in first grade if I remember correctly. She didn’t know what I was; my siblings and I lived next door to her and her family, hiding our true selves in secret,” she paused for a second, waiting for my next move.

“Clara was human?” I asked for clarification.

Elizabeth nodded, “We lived in a town that was once known as De Beque, Colorado. Stuck in the middle of nowhere with only the population of four-hundred people, it was easy to go unnoticed as long as we didn’t attract any attention to ourselves. Well Clara and I had our own secret hideout that we found when we were ten, it was a cliff overlooking the Colorado River and ten years later we went up there – her fate was sealed.

“I was twenty and I was just about to marry Athen, I guess it was our bachelorette party. Clara wasn’t known for her gracefulness; she fell off the thirty-foot cliff, breaking her back and neck in five places. I couldn’t do anything, I hadn’t changed yet so I couldn’t turn her,” she shook her head as if to shake the memory away.

“Then how did she become a vampire?” I frowned.

“This was a few years before the immortal outbreak, and as you know, none of the races had leaders. Well, a vampire was hunting nearby and heard her scream. It would have been an easy kill, but I think he saw something in her face. Then she was gone, I didn’t know what happened to her, and for the next three years I never heard from her.

“I grieved over the loss, but I had to move on. I was pregnant with Shane and Athen was off fighting against the mortals, I was living in the village outside Derik’s castle. I owned a little décor shop that was right next to the castle, and one day I saw her. She looked exactly the same, I thought I would never see her again, but there she was – before I could talk to her she disappeared. I found out everything I could, I heard that she was living with the king, so I went to the castle, bearing gifts for King Derik and his new bride hoping to find Clara working as a maid. I saw her there, sitting next to him on a throne, wearing his ring on her finger and clothed in the finest dress. I didn’t understand at first but when she saw me I realized that she was his bride-to-be and that Derik was the vampire that stole her away from her home.

“She remembered me and embraced me with open arms, crying for hours and she told me how much she missed me and how happy she was now that I was back with her. She had a way of talking me into things, and she convinced me to stay with her at the castle. Derik didn’t mind, whatever made her happy, made him happy.

“Everything was right again, to the people around her for all they knew she was the happiest person on the face of the earth, but I knew better. I could see it in her eyes that she was never truly happy with him. Clara was the type of person to give back more than she received, and she felt like she owed him for saving her life and the only thing he wanted was from her was for her to marry him,” Elizabeth gazed at the curtained window, like she could she behind the thick fabric and out to the forest.

“But she never did,” I concluded.

Elizabeth smiled slightly, “Right. It was the night before the wedding, and Clara was a wreck but she was very good at masking her emotions. I confronted her about it, and she broke down, she told me that she loved someone other than her betrothed.”

“Blaine,” I breathed, running my hand through my limp hair, my engagement ring getting knotted into the weak waves. I quickly undid the tangle and did not dare to glance at the ring. That was not a box I was ready to open tonight.

“Blaine and Derik were as close as Clara and I were. Blaine was still the prince of his father’s kingdom at the time, but nonetheless was one of the most powerful beings on the face of the earth. He was nothing like Derik, he was a gentleman, he was unselfish; he was kind. Derik was more of a demon than he ever was, as you know.

“Clara never forgave herself for hurting Derik but what else could she do? She deserved so much better than him, she deserved Blaine. Derik swore that he would get his revenge and he kept that promise. He made their lives a living hell, he killed most of the demons that could live on earth, made them illegal, brought them into slavery and took everything away from them. I have no doubt in my mind that Derik killed them, he didn’t rip their hearts out, but he set the plan in motion.”

“Is that it? I’ll just die,” it was surprisingly easy for me to say that one sentence, it almost sounded like I wanted it.

Elizabeth stared at me, her green eyes never leaving my face, “I don’t think that would happen to you, I pray to God that it won’t happen to you.”

“What?” I felt my mouth run dry, but before she could answer, the sound of wood breaking from metal echoed off the walls.

As if it were reflex, I jumped from my seat and grabbed my firearm aiming at the man standing in the door way in the matter of seconds, at his feet laid the splintered remains of the oak-wood door. His red eyes were glaring straight through me as he approached looking more like a snake about to strike than anything. I gazed back, slowly lowering my gun, but did not put it down.

“Athen,” Elizabeth breathed, rushing over to her husband.

“We need to leave,” he stated as he wrapped his hand around hers, glancing back at me like I was a disease.

“No, Athen,” Elizabeth shook her head, pulling her hand from his. “We don’t have to hide anymore, Cassiel granted us our freedom.”

He was still glaring at me, “We don’t need your pathetic seal; it’ll be useless in a few days anyways.”

Elizabeth slowly backed away from her husband, “What did you do, Athen?”

“I solved the problem,” was his only answer.

I stayed silent as Elizabeth asked, “What problem?”

“I finished what Blake started. I went to the council.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Oh yes, I went there ;D
I want to dedicate this chapter to my friend, Megan, who passed away a little over a month ago
Love you guys