I sat there in my seat with my elbows on my knees after hearing the verdict and sentence. The guards came to read my sire, my father his reprimands and statues before cuffing him. I heard Pandora, my sire-mother, yelling and screaming and Marius yelling back to her. Lestat stood there and when they turned Marius around he wrapped him a hug. I couldn’t even look at him. If I had I would have broken down.
It was now on us, Lestat and I, to hold this family together. And that weight was instantly upon my shoulders pushing me down into the seat. I couldn’t move. Once they hauled Marius away, and Va’lis had taken Pandora with Lestat back to our hotel, the room was cleared. Yet I sat there unable to move. Merida stayed behind me. I felt her presence as she moved closer. She put her arms around me, “Come my dark angel, come. We have to pack and get our kids home to be with our family.” Her voice was cracking with emotion for she too felt pain at the sight of Marius being torn away from us. I reached up and gently touched her arm. Then without warning, I just broke down. Tears flooded my eyes and my wife came around kneeling in front of me. She cried with me, “How many times my love have you been there for me? Wiped away thousands of my tears? I’m here now for you. I will help you. You are my world Armand. You have given me a whole new life, children, true love, honesty. I’m a complete woman because of you. We are just a good a team as Pandy and Marius. Together we will hold it all together. We will make Marius proud of us.” She sat up a bit and hugged me and held me in her arms. I knew I had chosen the right one as my wife. Meri was and will forever be my beloved. I hugged her back and pulled her onto my lap. We sat there in each other’s arms for what seemed like hours. When we left, I took a quick glance back to the door where they had taken Marius, and through our bond, “Marius, I love you and I will lead us and keep us safe.”
Merida and I returned to our hotel room. Saphi tan to me and asked, “Where is grandpa?” Oh, the pain of breaking your child’s heart as you tell them they won’t be able to see their grandfather for a while. “I’ll tell you what, babygirl. I’ll take you shopping back in Italy. Anything you want.” Saphi wiped away her tears, “Okay, but I’ll miss my grandpa lots. I miss Ro. Can we buy her stuff too daddy?” I smiled and nodded. My heavy heart would take comfort in my children.