Pandora paced back and forth in the infirmary of Vamp’s Lair where she was recovering from her wounds. She had been brutally attacked by three very ancient, very deadly vampires. She had held her own, but alas… they would have bested her, had it not been for Va’lis, Cassius, and Flavius. They pulled her out in the nick of time, but they would be dammed to go home empty-handed. They went back in and risked the ancients summoning the rest of their ugly lot. Against a pack of them, they would have all perished. But Pandora would not be leaving that dreadful mountain without Isonu. Isonu, who was good, just, and fair and so much a reflection of everything she wanted all her sons to be. No… her heart would not allow it. And somehow they did it. Isonu was now in my infirmary, recovering, but he had not regained consciousness yet. This worried me. Worried her.
Va’lis summoned all his strength knowing I was not at full capacity. Using his Blood Magic, he was able to take out the youngest of them, which was a half-breed — how dreadful it must be to have your own blood incinerate you. Stefan and Illyana Draco would be much much harder. This duo had been fighting for years together, they had it down to a science. But luckily, I have the blood of Enkil in me… so even tired and half-drained, I’d still be one hell of a challenge! They didn’t expect me to be so strong, the shock of my blows clearly adorned their faces. So they went after Va’lis… and well, me… sure come at me all you want, but you do not touch my family! With a ferocious hunger, I ripped through them as Va’lis used his greatest Blood Magic abilities to immobilize them enough so that I could rip their hearts out… one at a time. Drenched in blood, we both pressed on knowing we had but minutes…. tired, and growing weaker and weaker by the minute — especially Va’lis whose powers draw on his own blood — but we couldn’t stop. We had to get Isonu! A few younger guards accompanied by the Yomotsu came at us, we had to fight!
My eyes lit up at the sight of poor little Naomi cradled in her mother’s hands at Monticello. I could sense the rise of Va’lis’ rage as he turned on his heel. I demanded of Cherry to lock down the line in Monticello to get all the Razele’s in the house immediately! I followed Va’lis out as he ported over to Zento. We looked around and found traces of a fight just outside the city by the docks… we followed it.
Finally, a large pool of blood that I could smell was Isonu’s greeted us at the edge of the south western shore. Va’lis stopped. “They’re gone… and took him.” he said. “But he’s alive, right?” I paused for a moment, “Right? Va’lis.” He stopped looking over the water, “Yes, I feel him still.” With that, I started to strip to my bare necessities, Va’lis stood looking into the water, where you could see the traces of blood into the mist. He looked to me, “What are you doing?” As I unbuckled my Gucci skirt letting it drop on the grass revealing my armor, “What does it look like I am doing? I am going after them!” Va’lis shook his head, “I am afraid I cannot let you do that.” “Let me, Va’lis,” I smirked; he sighed. He knew he couldn’t physically stop me, “Go fetch Flavius, Cassius too. I’ll need our elder vampires.” He just looked at me, as I walked backwards towards the edge of the water…. I disappeared into the water.
I walked into the emptiness of Romanus Manor. Cherry had gone back to where she belonged, with her husband. I felt the chill of the air that runs through the whole house more so than ever before. I miss him. With every fiber of my being, with every pore of my preternatural flawless skin, I look at my hands… my left ring finger that adorns several stacks of rings, all with such different meanings and capturing such memories for me. One in particular… an eternal band of small round diamonds… stands out for me. It was the ring he gave me when we adopted our daughters, Saralyn and Brelynn. Oh how I miss them. They humanized me in a way that no other had ever before, or after. I became a mother. My heart opened and embraced the very many facets of this prism of life because of my girls. Marius said to me when he gave me this ring…
“No other love will ever be like my own as the love of our twins… and the love of the many more we will have for eternity blesses us with this joy a thousand times over.”
I walked into the lab completely drenched in soot, dirt, and ash. Va’lis was there reading through his father’s notes and journals. He looked up at me, “Did I miss a mud wrestling contest?” I gave him the flatest of flat looks as I placed a strongbox that also was just as wrecked with soot, dirt, and ash as I was on the counter.
“Is that?” He said as his eyes lit up. He was still enamored and fascinated by this stuff and he just couldn’t help himself, went straight for it with bare hands. I of course had to stop him. “Va’lis! No!” I exclaimed as I took his wrist and held it just an inch from the box. “Protection, son!” I reminded him. And this is why we needed Piper. I cannot trust that his eagerness will not get the best of him. She was much more careful in handling the stuff and would be mindful to ensure Va’lis was careful as well.
Va’lis was working in the lab already when I got there late last night. I wanted to drop off another set of notes and books that Piper and I had found in Marius’ office at Romanus Manor. Of course his level of frustration was visible. Him and Piper just have not been able to cross paths. Piper, as she is still quite young, must keep herself to the dampness of the dark nights, while Va’lis being much more tolerant of the Malas sun tends to squeeze in some time throughout the day. Of course, he does have a city to run.
The High Council came in and sat at their respective chairs. Chancellor Gray shook her head once at our David and I knew. I just knew. I stood up and placed my hands flat onto the bulletproof glass that separated me from the forum; from him. He looked up to me and smiled his usual smile, one that always made me feel like we could face anything. My eyes started to rim with tears that I fought so hard to blink away. They asked all parties to stand, and Chancellor Grimm read the verdict and sentence.
I listened to what Natasha and David had to say, “Absolutely not. I actually want my husband to come home. If you put Va’lis up there he’ll blow up the minute Draco hollers anything at him. Then everything will go to pot. No. Hell no.”
Va’lis looked at me, “Let me do this Pand, I can keep it together at times you know. I know I can get them to see how we were tied together long before I was ever registered to this stupid Order.” I turned to him, “And that’s exactly what I mean, this “stupid Order” has been around for thousands of years. We respect it. We abide by it. To you, it’s just a joke.” He sat for a minute there thinking long and hard, shielding his thoughts from me.
Ahhh a familiar face, “Hello my darling,” I said as I kissed Bianca’s cheek. She smiled and kissed my cheek right back m, then ran to Merida and enveloped her in her arms. Merida and Bianca were still very close. Matter of fact it was Merida that refused to sign the divorce papers back in Sosaria where plural marriages were allowed. I assume if Bianca wanted to marry again or found love of her own, Merida would reconsider. The toddlers of course immediately recognized their Auntie Bianca and embraced her. Bianca was a natural with children and had trained as a midwife many centuries ago.
Marius looked at her, and Bianca felt his stare upon her so she stood up and faced her sire. “Bianca,” he said. “Don’t ruin the moment by speaking Marius,” she said as she went to hug him. She lingered a bit fighting back tears. Her love for him had never faltered, it had never subsided, not even for me. Marius held her softly and didn’t let her go.
I stared into Marius’ eyes. I could see his worry that Lestat and I would be overwhelmed with having to step into his shoes as head of this family. I shot Lestat a quick glance and nodded in understanding. Lestat was amazing this way, when he HAD TO step up he stepped up in a big way. He was clutch like that. I knew he would do his very best and he would be the one to hold Pandora together.
I could see how much Marius loved Mary, my sister, and how he worried that with the threats made against her, she would be harmed or killed. He could not bare that thought. It hurt him to have to tell her to stay and he was thankful that Flavius was home and that he would take care of Mary.
I could also see how he longed for Va’lis who had become like a brother to me, much more so than my wife’s sire. He had grown to love him and everything we’re going through now was really because he loved him so much that the harm that came to Carrie at the hands of The Draconians so vexed him that he could not contain his rage. I know my sire. I know his brutality and for him to have lost all control like that takes a lot. It is not something anyone would want to witness.