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.
My time at the orphanage has been short, but feels like an eternity. I’ve made new friends, Rowan, Britney, Frisco and Zachary. The director, Miss Merida has been an angel to me. I tend to shy away from men, I still don’t trust them much. Funny…given my best friend is Ariok Razele. We almost dated, but it felt awkward, and I can always trust him to give me a helping hand when I need it. Or if I’m too stubborn to ask.
I managed to hide away enough coin to get me a small fishing boat, late at night when everyone was asleep I would go to a dock and sail off into the open waters. I loved fishing, it was a big part of me that I can never forget. The water calmed me and my raging thoughts. One night I slipped away to Britain’s docks and began to climb aboard, three grown men approached me, “ello poppet…’ow bout ye and me mates ‘Ave ah bit o’ fun…?” I was petrified. I froze in place and could do nothing. I didn’t know how to fight, I had no magic to help me. I panicked! it was then I heard a soft soothing voice. “If I were you, I’d leave the girl alone….or else things might get messy….” it was a boy, my age at least. His hair was dark but his eyes, oh his eyes were brilliant blue. He stood as tall as a man, 6’3″ at least. His body was built, I could tell that through his school shirt. He was a Britain student. He came close to me and faced the men, suddenly their eyes were filled with terror and they booked it. He then turned to me with a smile, I felt my knees shake.
“No, no, no!” I resisted the urge to set my harp alight, choosing instead to scream out my frustrations at my inability to play properly of late. Wanting to cry, I glanced down and noticed just how much my hands were trembling. Was the stress getting to me more than I’d thought? I sighed softly as I set the lap harp down beside me, thinking back over the last few weeks. Ever since The Royal Britannian Guard found my aunt, it feels as though I’ve been on a downward spiral.
Counselor Windsor was first at bat with Va’lis. I knew this was a huge gamble on our part. We all know how volatile Va’lis can be. None the less, here we go.
I decided to leave Natasha up at the box to continue questioning Va’lis so that he’s prepared for every possible question they might throw at him. As they sworn in Carrie, she seemed strong… undoubtedly gaining some strength from her sister’s encouraging words. Counselor Windsor stood up but did not approach the witness.
Couns. Windsor: “I have nothing for this witness, Chancellors.”
Chancellor O’Connor: “And why is that, Counselor?”
Couns. Windsor: “She brings nothing useful to our case here today.”
Chancellor Gray: “But you are basing your charges against Mr. Romanus on the fact that she and Mrs. Romanus are, or rather were, rogues. How is it that she brings nothing to this case?”
Chancellor Grimm: “Counselor Windsor is within her rights. Duly noted.” *looks to Counselor Talbot* “Any cross examination from the defense?”
Couns. Talbot: *smiles* “For certain.”
Marius turned to Lestat and I and said, “They are putting Va’lis on the stand.” Lestat immediately winced, “They not only forced him to make Carrie, they then abducted, tortured, and beat her. You really think he’ll be able to keep his cool? I know I wouldn’t.” I sat there thinking before I spoke, “I have some faith in him. I mean those are the biggest reasons we are here to begin with. Them taking Va’lis and holding him hostage for a week then forcing him to create a progeny. That’s a huge break in the laws. Even for rogues, you’re not allowed to force the creation of progeny on anyone.”
Marius looked at both of us, but said nothing. David came back and Carrie soon followed. She looked resolute, but I wondered for how long. She looked at me and smiled trying not to look at the Draco’s. Natasha apparently stayed up preparing Va’lis.
Carrie was sworn in without any dramatics and her questioning began. Counselor Windsor always going first.
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.
On the way back to the others I caught carrie in a tight hug. “Be strong sister, I’m with you, do us proud.” I kissed her cheek and watched her go to the stand to take her place. As I entered the room with the others I Immidiately hugged Va’lis. I hate the man sometimes but when I’m strong for too long I need my sire’s arms. I then sat with Pandora and hugged her. “I hope what I said was enough.” Her smile told me I did them proud. That was enough for me, The door to the box opened to reveal Maharet. I jumped into her arms immidiately, feeling her comfort. “You did well. David and Natasha have called a comfirment. Something is up their sleeves.” I looked to her and tilted my head. “What could it be?” Maharet shook her head, ” another witness perhaps.” I glanced at Va’lis for a moment and thought…well…this could go two ways.
Merida was being escorted from the private boxes where the families were being held by the Order guards. She looked defiant and slightly annoyed at the whole process. Armand seemed to be talking to her, to which she smiled at him, placing her hand over her heart. The love between these two was quite obvious to anyone that was around them. It was the first time I had seen Armand so settled and the first time I had ever seen a couple of our kind live life so… normally. It was as if this affliction wasn’t something that was ever going to hold them back or keep them from being human beings. Quite refreshing to see. My maker smiled and looked over to Armand, giving him a wink. I think he rather liked Merida and you could not have guessed that at one time Armand and Lestat were mortal enemies fighting over the love of a man that could not love either of them back because his heart had been so broken; our dear Louis. As Merida moved past Marius she turned to him and she smiled at him too… Marius nodded with a wink. I witnessed pride in him for this woman. How fatherly of him.
The deputy took his position and went to swear Merida in. She promptly replied, “Tell the truth… yada yada… so help me god… yada yada. Can we get on with it?” So much like Maharet. She sighed dramatically and said, “I do.” Then sat down in the chair, crossing her legs, looking very much like the noblewoman she now is. Counselor Windsor would go first.
I watched my wife walk in, fully dressed in a slate Prada skirt suit that hemmed well above the knee, Dolce ruffle shirt that showed off her amazing rack, and Louboutin maroon heels that accentuated her toned legs. I couldn’t help but smirk. Long gone was the little girl I had met at the Brew… Baroness Merida de Romanus stood firmly before us rolling her eyes at the guards escorting her. Even Lestat looked at me and winked in full approval of her attire. She turned to look at me and I mouthed to her, “I fucking love you.” She smiled then looked at Marius who gave her a nod and a wink. The old man was proud of her. Not just for this but of how she had stepped up to help Cherry care for Carrie in the aftermath of her rape and torture. She was now a full grown woman. When we got home I was going to spend hours making love to my woman. Mine. All mine.