As the fight with the Draconians continued, we knew that David now had first hand knowledge that Merida and the twins, Maharet and Mekare, had special powers that persisted through their transition into vampires. This is something that was so unusual, but because this power came from the elements it stayed with them. Of course, finding out that Merida came from Maharet’s mortal line was a shock to us all, most especially Va’lis. My son, because that’s who we both — Marius and I — believe him to be now, has a severe protective nature over Merida. Not only because it was the first he ever turned, but also they kind of grew up together, if you will. Despite their tumultuous relationship, they found a very happy medium and celebrate their family now… especially because of the kids now. As Merida and Armand have expanded their family, it has brought all of us such joy.
The evening of May 7th we were all celebrating another double year for Saphira. Saphi grows twice as fast now as she is part dragon, so she’s moving along nicely in her development. Marius and I took our happy butts home to Romanus Manor and Cherry took the kids back to Monticello for the night as they were spending the weekend with her and Va’lis. Val decided to stay and chat with Armand and Merida over a bottle or two or six of wine. The laughed and told jokes… the three of them finally got along well enough to really enjoy the night. Val finally decided to mozey on home and Merida decided to walk with him back to Monticello. Armand stayed and like the dutiful husband he had become cleaned up the house and patiently awaited his wife to return for a romantic night alone. So he waited… And waited… And waited.
And then when the sun rose, he panicked a bit and took the chance to land himself at Monticello’s doorstep. Cherry was surprised to see him. Va’lis had not come home and thus he thought he had just stayed over at Villa Vizcaya. This clearly had not been the case. Cherry’s worry set in just the same. She made sure that the children didn’t feel their heightened state of alert and she ended up asking Carrie to watch over the kids while Armand and Cherry went to let myself and Marius what was going on.
I immediately knew something was wrong and woke up to meet Cherry walking through Romanus Manor with Armand in tow… meeting her at the top of my stairs, she at the bottom looking up. “What’s wrong?” I asked, “Merida and Va’lis are missing!” she stated, “What do you mean missing?” Armand chimed in to answer me, “Merida was just supposed to walk with Va’lis back to Monticello, well she never made it back home and Va’lis didn’t make it to Monticello.” I immediately called out to Marius. Marius put things in motion and told Armand to return to his kids and wait there. He complained but Marius commanded him to do so. Nothing could be done about that, Marius was Armand’s maker.
Forces were mobilizing at this point and within 15 minutes we had the entire Romanus army under Cherry’s command had started the search for Va’lis and Merida. Cherry was dressed to the nine’s, full body armor, both her swords and slid under her breastplate was her two favorite GLOCKS. She was walking towards her nightmare, Ash when Marius stopped her. “Cher… you cannot be involved in this, as I told Armand. This is too close to you. You cannot be objective and we’ve already had shit happen before that almost got a bunch of us killed… these people are not your average vampires… they are ancients!” She looked at him, still putting on her gloves, “You got another thing coming if you are going to bench me. I am the General here!” Marius’ jaw started to square the way it always does when one of his subordinates misbehaves. “I am not benching you, I am ordering you. Stand down.” With that, she back off. She knew she would be in a world of hurt if she didn’t back off… her eyes started to water. I knew this came from a place of grave concern for her husband. “Marius… don’t shut her out, Va’lis is her husband and he is our adopted son. Makes us no different.” I told him as I hopped up on Ichabod. He sighed, because he knew I was right. “Cher… come on, let’s go.” With that Cherry made a sharp turn and jumped onto Ash but her demeanor had changed. Her watery blood tinged eyes told her story. It was good that Marius was leading this effort.
After 6 hours, there was no trace in Sosaria of them both. It was like they simply vanished. Our family’s concern was that the Draconians had once again attempted to take Merida, for they desperately seek to leverage her powers for their own benefits and that Va’lis had likely interfered and they both had gotten caught. We didn’t think they’d come back to Sosaria at all, after we nearly destroyed the majority of their armies. We came back to Romanus Manor, summoned all the Elders and headed to Trinsic Hold in Felucca. It was time to formulate a real plan, one that would summon us all to Earth.
Louis, Lestat, Armand, Bianca, Amroth, Cherry, Marius, and I were joined by Maharet, Mekare, and Khayman. Flanked on our sides were Flavius and his Praetorians. I told Flavius to take a seat next to Cherry. Our Legion Commanders continued the search throughout Sosaria as we strategized our next move.
Just as we had ironed out a plan to scour both Sosaria and Earth, Commander Spy burst into the Council Room to tell us they found Va’lis. Armand immediately stood up, “And Merida?” Lucius shook his head, her scent had been traced to the portal that the Draconis has established and that’s where it had stopped. Armand lost it. It took both Marius and Amroth to pin him down. I told Lucius to meet me outside. I went with him to where they were keeping Va’lis… he had been badly hurt. I felt it.
When I walked in, I couldn’t help but gasp, “Unchain him!” Lucius replied, “I am afraid I cannot ma’am, if we do that he will force himself onto us to escape to run after Mrs. Romanus.” A slight whisper came out of Va’lis’ mouth, “at least you know…” I couldn’t help but to sigh. *sighs*
“Va’lis what the hell happened?” I said as I bit into my wrist and offered it to him. He rejected me. “You will let me go, first or I will bleed out here!” He was so badly hurt, but he still knew how to manipulate my love for him. “Va’lis you cannot go after Merida on your own, you know that. David and his clan are thousands of years old and… ” He cut me off, “If you do not, I will not accept your blood and you will bury me… again.” His eyes were dark, I knew the anger in him had taken over. “Twice now… twice they’ve taken her… and twice you’ve failed to protect her. Now unchain me.” He demanded. “If I do, will you take my blood to heal?” My eyes met his searching for a sliver of the Va’lis I had known… just then Cherry burst into the room. She threw herself at him, but his steely dark eyes remained unchanged. Cherry also took to her wrist, and I stopped her. “He won’t take it unless we unchain him.”, I said to her. “Then what are you waiting for? He’s badly hurt!!!”, she replied. “If we do, what do you think he will do?” I asked… “I will go with him. I will stand by his side, now unchain him Pandora!” She demanded. I looked to Lucius and nodded once. He and three of his legionnaires came in the room, they proceeded to unchain him.
As the last of his chains came off, he suddenly and abruptly attacked Cherry for her blood. I pulled him off of her, held him up by his throat. Cherry screamed, “NO! Let him go… he can have my blood!” And so I did… and she offered herself to him as a slave to a master. I couldn’t watch. I think she really believed he would let her go with him, but in an instant she fell to the floor and vanished. He had taken so much of her blood, I had to replenish her myself. She then sat in a corner and puller her knees to her chest and started to sob. I wrapped my arms around her, “It’s not him. He’s scared, anguished, and pained,” I told her. “But I would move mountains for him.” she whimpered. I told her that while he knew that, he also couldn’t bare to think that the two people he loved the most would be in such danger. That he in his detachment was trying best he knew to protecting her. But I wondered if that was really true for a few minutes. I concluded that it was.