Chapter – 79

Breaking from Lestat’s grasp I grab my skirts and rush over to the group of my friends and family from Brendlewood and Learia as fast as my long silk gown will let me. “Mother! I was so worried something bad happened to you!” Luke yells in excitement and hugs me tightly. But before I’m able to reply, Cade, Nora, Arthur, Bonnie, Jax, Tulip, and Roonie crowd around us anxiously. “Oh my gosh! Shel! We never thought we would find you!” Tulip says excitedly. “What happened to you since you left Brendlewood?” Arthur questions. “The last vision Nora had was of you throwing up blood and being with that thing over there! What happened to you?” Roonie pipes up. “It’s pretty clear what happened! She ran away to her own kingdom to marry that wretched ex-husband of hers!” Bonnie huffs. The group runs wild with questions and concerns about what they think things happened after I left Brendlewood, but they don’t know the whole story. “Give the poor girl some breathing room. How on earth are we supposed to get to the bottom of things if you don’t allow her to answer our questions,” Cade adds. “Why don’t we move this conversation in the great hall and discuss things more privately?” I suggest as I notice Melina and Nerissa standing behind everyone. The group comes to an agreement and follow me into the great hall. As we all take a seat I begin to explain, “A lot of things have happened since I left Brendlewood. I left to search for Thatcher. I thought he might have begun his search for Juliana, and I felt the only thing you all wanted to do was celebrate with your feasts instead of searching for Thatcher. When I left that night, I found the perfect place to set up a camp for the night. It wasn’t long after I fell asleep that I was attacked by a few big ugly trolls.” “Trolls? So close to the village? Was there a cave nearby?” Jax interrupts. “Not that I could see, but I did travel through the forest. I’d suppose they could have come down from the mountain to hunt,” I reply.

“Good heavens! How did you escape?” Nora inquires. I then begin to explain everything that happened at Carolin’s castle. “What happened after you got here? Is our baby brother alright?” Arthur asks worriedly. “Yes. Elijah is just fine, even though he was born early,” I reply and inform everyone of everything else that has happened leading all the way up until they were announced. “So we have twin baby brothers?” Arthur asks. I give a little smile before replying, “Yes. Edmund and Elijah. They’re both healthy and doing well.” Turning my attention to the rest of the group I say, “I know it’s a lot to take in, but don’t be angry with Lestat. It was always our destiny to be together. He’s no longer a vampire, but a hybrid just like I am. We were both born this way. It was the Lycans fault that things got so messy between us. They tortured and turned him into one of them. He left Brendlewood to get help because the scent of our blood made him want to feed on all of us. He compelled me to think that he was leaving me because he knew I would follow him or at least try to find him. He found his Grandmother Charlotte and she performed the Lycan removal spell, but she did it the only way she knew how. Which was to turn him into a pure vampire.” “Your so-called husband compelled you to forget everything but yet you remarried him! Sounds like he’s pulled the wool over your eyes to me!” Bonnie scoffs. 

“Listen, Bonnie if you don’t like what you’re hearing, then you can just wait in the other room! I’m not the same helpless faery that I was before I left Brendlewood. I have fed on Lestat and seen his memories. Everything he has told me is the truth. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have married him. Thatcher’s loyalty now lies with Farah and their unborn child. Both of us have moved on.” Melina folds her arms and furrows a brow in disbelief before saying, “After everything my father has put us through, I can’t believe you can honestly trust him!” “I think we should sleep on all of this new information. Perhaps everything will settle down and look better with a new day. Congratulations Lestat and Shelly,” Cade interrupts. Lestat and I thank my friends before I pull the long rope next to the fireplace to summon for the maid. Within just a few minutes Maid Marcie enters the room. She gives a little curtsey and says, “You sent for me Majesty?” I give a little smile a reply, “Yes, Marcie. Can you show my friends to the guest wing? They had a very long journey and need their rest.” Marcie says that she will before she gives a curtsy and the others say Goodnight before following her upstairs. “That went rather well,” Lestat says while I’m lost in my own little world. I give him a playful punch in the shoulder and say, “Don’t sneak up on me like that! You scared the hell out of me!” He gives a little chuckle and pulls me to him and kisses me on the forehead, “I’m sorry Darling. I didn’t mean to scare you.” “Mhm. Sure, you didn’t,” I say playfully.

“What do you say we tell our guests that the feast is over and we turn in for the night?” Lestat inquires. “That sounds like a grand idea. I would love to have some alone time with you,” I smirk and give him a little wink. He smiles in return and the two of us leave the study. As we enter the ballroom, the violinists continue to play their soft music while the guests dance gracefully on the glistening tile floor. Lestat and I grab a wine glass as the footman passes by us with his tray of drinks. Lestat taps his glass with a spoon and wraps his arm around me as he says, “Ladies and Gentleman, Scarlett and I would like to thank you for coming and being so patient during the events of the evening. It was a pleasure to have you all here to celebrate our joyous occasion. We also want to thank our talented violinists for their beautiful music and their help to make this occasion possible. Thank You all and have a good night.” The guests applaud and the violinists take a bow and they begin to leave the castle. A tap on my shoulder catches my attention and I turn to see my grandparents and uncle standing behind us. “Pardon me Majesties. I know you’re wanting to turn in for the night, but your grandfather, uncle and I didn’t get to introduce ourselves. I’m Queen Azura of Farwater Gleam and this is your Grandfather Warrick, and your Uncle Lockston. We wanted to give you your wedding gift, but then all of the commotion of this evening took your attention away from the celebration. If you follow us outside to our carriage your grandfather and I will personally give you your gifts,” Azura says.  

“Outside?” I question curiously. “Yes, Majesty. I’m afraid your gifts were rather large and we couldn’t bring them in by ourselves. I’m sure you will find them quite useful in the battle against that preposterous Queen Carolin,” Azura explains. Lestat smiles slightly and says, “Before today, Shelly and I thought you all were dead. Her parents never spoke about any of you. May we ask why?” Azura frowns a little, “Your mother left to marry that vampire husband of hers when we had a deal for her to marry one of Merlin’s grandchildren. We almost had a war with the wizards until his grandson Ganondorf decided he wanted to see her happy and didn’t want to split that vampire and Natalia up, so he refused to marry her. To get to the point, your grandfather and I didn’t approve of this union. One late stormy night, Natalia snuck out of the castle and ran away to Hidden Springs, where she married your father, and we never spoke to or seen her again. We tried our hardest to get her to agree to marry someone who wasn’t a night-walker…. someone who was alive and not dead, but she just wouldn’t listen.” Azura turns her attention towards me and says, “Oh pish posh! Look at me rambling on about the old news when I’m sure you would like some alone time with this handsome young man. Besides, it’s getting late and we best be on our way. We have a long journey home.” 

“You could stay here for the night if you would like. We have plenty of room, and it would give you time to get to know Shelly better,” Lestat offers. “That sounds like a splendid idea, but sadly we really must be on our way. Farwater can’t run itself, you know,” Warwick chuckles. “I hope you don’t find it rude if I have our guards follow us outside to retrieve our wedding gift. With everything that has happened to us in the past, we can’t be too careful,” Lestat says apologetically. Azura smiles and says, “We don’t find that rude at all. We completely understand. After all, you really don’t know us.” “In fact, we wouldn’t expect anything less than you protecting my niece,” Lockston pipes in. Lestat gives a nod and calls for the guards who are right outside of the ballroom and they follow us out to the courtyard and take their places in front of the door. “Your gift is in my bag, if I may quickly grab it?” Azura questions. “Of course you may,” I reply. Azura then heads to her carriage and I curiously watch as she reaches inside and grabs a golden staff out of her bag. Azura then gently taps the staff on the ground. “Here they come mother!” Lockston shouts excitedly. Suddenly, a ferocious roar echoes throughout the kingdom and Azura smiles with excitement and points up at the night sky.

Lestat and I look to the sky in the direction my grandmother is pointing in, to see four bat-like creatures soaring around the castle. As they come closer into view, I can make out what looks like four huge dragons emerging from the clouds and sour around the towers of the castle. The scales on the biggest one looks like a big ball of fire and the medium-sized one blends in with the moon with its moonstone colored scales, the smaller one glistens a light blue, and the smallest one’s black scales look like glitter in the moonlight. The ground tremors and a thunderous crack sound follows as the four dragons land a few feet in front of us and let out a deafening roar. As I nearly fall to the ground, Lestat grabs my hand and helps me up to my feet before gently pulling me back to him in fear of what the beasts will do to us. “There’s no need to fear them. They won’t hurt you. Really, they’re gentle creatures, won’t harm anyone unless they are trying to harm you. That’s how we’ve remained safe all of these years. Their parents have been the protectors of our realm. Now their children are your protectors. They hatched the night that you were born. After we received word of your birth, your grandmother and I went to the dragon pit and found their eggs had hatched, and have been waiting for you since then. We’ve raised them and trained them in hopes the heir of Far Water should return. Here you stand, and here are your dragons,” Warrick informs. 

“But that’s-” I begin, but Azura interrupts. “Impossible?” I give a little nod in return before she continues, “Nothing is ever impossible deary.” “But I thought dragons only exist in stories and books?” I question curiously. Lestat releases me from his embrace and approaches the dragons. He circles around each of the smaller dragons and inspects each one before standing in front of the biggest one who towers above them all. “Careful with that one dear. Jakarta doesn’t like strangers much,” Azura warns. Ignoring Azura’s warning Lestat continues to inspect the dragons before saying, “Talons look good and sharp, rough scales to protect their skin, horns of gold are sharp…all and all, they’re very good looking young dragons.” Jakarta lets out a thunderous roar and Lestat stands as still as can be before the smallest dragon places her head on his shoulder. Turning my attention towards Lestat I question curiously, “I didn’t know that you knew anything about dragons?” Lestat smiles before replying, “Dragons were around hundreds of years ago. Long before you were born Carolin had dragons at her court, but years and years after the war with the mad king of shiverman Peak the dragons died.” The mad king? I’ve never heard of him or his court,” I curiously inquire. 

“I’m surprised your mother never told you about him or at least told you the stories. King Howard was the fat insane king of the Northern court of Shivermane Peak. Many years before the war, he was a kind King and his kingdom flourished that is until he went crazy. He became cruel and evil. He married eight times. Four of his wives either died after or during childbirth, the other four he beheaded. He made war on Carolin because she refused to murder her husband… my father to take him as her new King. He knew if he took her as his wife, that he would become the new king of Dragon Valley and combine the two kingdoms and have control over Carolin’s dragons. When Carolin refused him, he became quite angry and found a wizard who created a magical weapon that could pierce through the scales of the dragons. He murdered hundreds of dragons with a large magical harpoon until they went extinct…or so we thought.” That’s awful! Those poor creatures…” I exclaim as I approach Jakarta. He lets out a low growl before baring his teeth and taking in my scent. As he rubs his head against my hand Azura smiles in excitement, “He’s never taken to anyone like this before. He has chosen you!” Chosen me for what exactly?” I question. “He’s chosen to be your protector and you to be his rider,” she replies. “You can’t be serious! I don’t know anything about riding dragons!” I gasp.

Lockston chuckles and says, “That’s nonsense! Your ancestors were pros at dragon riding. Jakarta wouldn’t have chosen you otherwise. My parents and I have all tried to interact with these dragons, but they wouldn’t allow us to get near them unless it was to feed them. You are indeed the first dragon rider we have seen in a hundred years.” Warrick hands me a chunk of raw beef of a cow and says, “First of all, you need to learn how to command your dragon. Just toss the meat in the air towards Jakarta and say spiritus ignis.” Turning my attention back to Jakarta and stepping back a little, I toss the piece of meat to Jakarta and say, “spiritus ignis!” Jakarta lets out a thunderous roar and uses his fire breath to cook his meat and eat it. Lockston claps his hands in excitement before saying, “We all should be getting home. It’s rather late and we still have a long journey ahead of us. You’re doing so well with your dragons already. Here’s a list of their commands. Trust me, you’ll be needing them. You can even make up your own as you begin bonding with them and preparing them for the war. I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other in the future. It was a pleasure to meet you, my dear niece!” He grabs my hand and kisses it before giving me a quick goodbye hug. Turning their attention back to me, Azura hands me the golden staff before she and Warrick say their goodbyes and the three of them get into their carriage and begin their journey home. 

Turning his attention back to me Lestat inquires, “What shall we do with our four new friends?” “There’s a barn that isn’t being used. It should be rather big enough to hold all four of them,” I reply. Turning my attention to the guards, I ask them to bring our new friends to their new home. The guards bow and take the dragons out to the barn. Taking Lestat’s hand in mine I say, “I’m not sure about you, but I’m ready to turn in for the night.” Lestat places a kiss on my forehead before agreeing to head inside where we find an angry Thatcher storming into the foyer. He rares back and just misses me as he throws a hard punch to Lestat’s’ face, knocking Lestat to the floor. Quickly getting to his feet, Lestat throws the next punch, sending Thatcher to the floor. A few moments later, the group of sleepy bed dwellers wake and rush downstairs to see what all of the commotion is all about. Angrily Thatcher shouts and lunges at Lestat again, “This is all of your fault!” Cade quickly holds Thatcher back from punching Lestat again as Logan grabs a hold of Lestat to prevent him from killing Thatcher in return. “What Exactly is my fault!? What are you blaming me for this time!?” Lestat shouts in return. “Farah almost lost our baby because of your stepmother!” Thatcher yells. “What the hell does that have to do with me!? I haven’t seen or spoken to my stepmother since I left Dragon Valley!” Lestat shouts angrily. 

“If you hadn’t convinced me to allow your sister to join us in an alliance, this wouldn’t have happened! Shelly sure as hell wouldn’t have turned into a vampire or Lanterian, and we could possibly still be happy!” Thatcher yells in return. “So we’re back to this argument again? Shelly is no longer a creature of the night. She’s back to being a hybrid thanks to Poseidon and my Grandmother! I kindly suggest that you point the blame at someone else! All of these things happened because you allowed yourself to get separated from your guards and get captured to begin with!” Lestat shouts and breaks from Logan’s grasp and manages to get through the group to get to Thatcher. Punching Thatcher in his mouth, Lestat sends him soaring through the air and falling into a nearby table. Breaking the table in half, the potted roses which once sat on the table now lay scattered on the floor along with the beautiful pottery they once sat in. Blood trickles down Thatcher’s nose and chin before he wipes it off with the sleeve of his fur coat and yells, “How dare you! I am the king of this land. You can be charged with treason for this! Guards take this man away!” The guards glance from Thatcher to Shelly and look rather puzzled. 

Putting my hands on my hips I angrily say, “You mean you were once the king of this realm, which you no longer are! Poseidon put me in charge to run this kingdom and removed you from the throne. Therefore, you have no say over what happens here! Considering you stormed through the castle to find Lestat and throw the first punch, I can have you arrested and locked away in the dungeon! Instead of locking you up, I would like to find out what happened and why you’re so angry first.” Turning my attention to Lestat, I say, “Darling, would you mind waiting for me in your quarters? I need to get to the bottom of things here. I’ll be up shortly. I promise I won’t be too long.” Lestat smiles slightly before kissing me tenderly and gives me a little wink, “I’ll keep the bed warm for you. Just don’t be too long.” I nod in agreement before he exits the room and heads upstairs. Returning my attention towards Thatcher I question, “Now, what’s this all about?” Cade and Logan help Thatcher to his feet before he begins to speak, “After you left the room, Charlotte and Lady Elizabeth were able to save my son. Although he is in critical condition he will survive. However, after Farah awakened, I asked her how she was feeling. She managed to whisper in my ear about what happened after she left the privy. Your pal Erick was waiting for her outside and pressed her against the wall before he whispered in her ear.”

“What exactly did he say to her?” I curiously ask. “He told her that trouble is coming. Carolin is gathering her army of Lycans to attack Blue Haven and the other surrounding kingdoms, and that she, our unborn child, and her precious king will suffer for protecting you,” Thatcher informs. “Erick is normally a puss, but he has been rather angry since Austin was killed. I wouldn’t doubt that he’s changed alliances. Where is he now?” I question. “Pardon me for interrupting Milady, but Erick has left the kingdom. I saw him slip out during the celebration. I didn’t think nothing of it until now,” my royal guard Anton informs. “That preposterous Carolin’s at it again! Will she ever stop before more people die?” Bonnie huffs. “Shel, after you left Brendlewood, I managed to gather some men to prepare for the war. Were you able to form any other allies or gather more men, since you have been in charge?” Cade asks. Folding my arms I reply, “I have gathered other allies and we currently have thousands of armed men prepared for this war. King Michael and Queen Charlotte of Oakenvale Landing have agreed to join us in battle with their armies.”

Turning my attention to the group I shout, “My friends and family of Brendlewood and Learia, we have all grown sick and tired of the threats and murders the Mad Queen of Dragon Valley has bestowed on us! This time she has threatened an unborn child’s life! It’s time to take a stand against the mad queen and take her and her kingdom down! Who’s with me?” The group shouts “here, here! We’re with you!” “Then let’s gather our allies and prepare for the war of the Mad Queen!” I shout. The group goes wild in cheer and Cade says, “I’ll send word to Brendlewood to send out our troops to come here so we can begin preparing.” “I’ll do the same, “Luke adds. “I’ll get Charlotte to send word to her kingdom as well. That evil Queen will get what’s coming to her,” I reply. “Sorry to intrude Majesty. There’s a messenger here to see you,” the guard Malcom informs. “Send him in,” I reply. Malcom gives a bow before leaving the room and sending the messenger in. “Your Majesty,” the messenger says as he gives a bow. “You may rise,” I tell him. “Majesty I have a message for you from Dragon Valley,” the messenger informs as he hands me the sealed parchment. Taking it from his hand, I inquire, “Who’s it from? Caroline?” Shaking his head, he replies, “No Milady. A concerned villager sent it. She asked me not to give you her name. All I can tell you is that she resides in the castle. I swore I would keep her secrecy.” 

I give a little nod and inquire, “Your name is?” “My name is Lance Turner, Majesty,” he replies. “Very well Mr. Turner. Let your lady friend know that her secret is safe with me. You’re free to go,” I reply. “Thank you, Majesty,” Lance says before giving a bow and leaving the castle. “Well, what does it say Darling?” Lestat questions as he enters the room. I give a shrug and crack open the seal and unravel the parchment. The others gather around me as I read the letter silently. I let out a little gasp and say, “It appears that King Stephan hasn’t been ruling Dragon Valley in quite some time.” “What do you mean he hasn’t been ruling the kingdom?” Lestat asks. I then hand him the message and he quickly scans the letter. After reading the parchment, Lestat angrily says, “Carolin…my step-mother has taken my father hostage! She has him locked up in the dungeon of his own kingdom!” “You mean to say that as long as you were in Dragon Valley you had no idea your father was locked away? Isn’t that just convenient!” Bonnie huffs. The group gasps and narrows their eyes at Bonnie for they can’t believe what she had just said. “Bonnie!” Roonie pipes in. “What!? I’m just saying how convenient it is that Stephan’s only son had no idea that his father was locked up. Wasn’t it you who saved Shelly from the dungeon?” Bonnie inquires. “Well…yes, but…-” Lestat begins but Bonnie continues. 

“Didn’t you reside there at the castle for quite some time after leaving your grandmother’s kingdom?” Bonnie questions. “Yes, but I didn’t see him in the dungeon. Shelly was the only one that was there. There wasn’t anyone else down there other than her,” Lestat replies. “Maybe it was too dark for him to see the King. Maybe, Carolin, had him tied up and gagged so that he couldn’t speak,” Roonie adds. “That’s ridiculous! Why would she do that when she clearly trusted Lestat?” Bonnie scoffs. “Nothing is impossible Bonnie! After all, you did get possessed by a witch!” Tulip pipes in. “Mind your own business Tulip!” Bonnie shouts. “Hey! Don’t talk to Tulip like that!” Roonie squeaks. “Stay out this Roonie!” Bonnie scoffs. “Take a few deep breaths and calm down before you say something that you might regret later,” Tulip scolds. “I’ll say what’s on my mind, unlike you idiots!” Bonnie shouts and shoves Tulip. Roonie shoves Bonnie in anger, “Hey! Don’t shove her!” Within seconds the girls are in a shouting match, arguing back and forth amongst each other, a few shoves here and there, and a few slaps to their faces. Nora tries to separate them but gets shoved to the floor before I can interject. “GIRLS STOP THIS AT ONCE,” I shout, but my voice goes unnoticed as they continue their ridiculous brawl. Finally, the men interfere.

Arthur tries to grab Bonnie as she takes another swing at Tulip and knocks him to the floor with a hard thud. As the screaming and slapping match continues, Arthur goes unnoticed on the floor rubbing his cheek. “What the heck is wrong with these women?” Arthur mumbles and quickly gets up to grab Bonnie again. Jax, Arthur, and Luke each grab their women as they continue to scream, kick, and swing at one another. Cade helps Nora off of the floor and I try to get the girls’ attention once again. “THAT IS ENOUGH OF THIS NONSENSE!” I yell at the top of my lungs. They quickly grow quiet and freeze instantly, attempting to smooth their disheveled hair. “Just look at yourselves! We’re best friends and family…some of us are even royalty. How can you behave like this? You’re all acting like….like ninnies!” I inquire. Roonie’s hair now hangs in a maroon frazzled mess around her shoulders. The puffed sleeve’s of Tulip’s dress is ripped from its’ seams, and Bonnie’s left eye now a purple puff. Roonie burst into tears and buries her face into the palm of her hands. “How typical,” Bonnie scoffs. “For goodness sake Bonnie, Shut up!” Tulip barks. “Both of you stop it! I shout, “Look, I know things are hard right now with everything that has happened, and I know that’s the only reason you would be so awful to one another, but we’ve got to keep our heads on straight! Otherwise, Dragon Valley and the other evils win! They want us to turn on each other and part ways. They want us to lose our allies.” 

“Whatever Shelly. I’m going to my room and draw a hot bath. I don’t need to apologize to anyone for being hateful to me or for speaking my mind,” Bonnie huffs as she storms off. “Good, because I’m not apologizing to anyone for anything that I didn’t start!” Tulip barks before storming off in the other direction. “Girls…” I say softly as one last attempt, but Bonnie and Tulip pick up the pace and leave the room. Luke puts his arm around Roonie, “There, there now Roon. Everything will work out for the best. You’ll see, by morning everyone will be in a much better mood, and all will be forgiven.” Roonie sniffs hard and wipes her face, “This is why I don’t speak my mind. Every time I do, it never turns out well. I don’t really like or trust Lestat either, but I didn’t think that it was right for Bonnie to be making accusations.” Placing a hand on Roonie’s shoulder I say soothingly, “I know Roon, but everyone is scared and on edge right now. Bonnie was just asking questions and speaking her mind…she was just being her typical Bonnie self. You know that she would never intentionally hurt or point the blame at anyone.” “I know they didn’t mean a word of what they were saying, I just got upset with the way she was treating everyone…including you and Nora,” she says in between hiccups. “Cm’on Roon. Why don’t you head up to our room and have the maid draw you a nice hot, relaxing bath? Luke suggests. 

Roonie nods in agreement and says, “That does sound nice. You wouldn’t be upset if I turned in for the night would you?” she asks. Luke smiles slightly, “Of course not Darling. I’ll be up as soon as I can.” Luke kisses his wife tenderly before she heads to her quarters for the night. Cade runs his finger through his hair and chuckles, “Well, this has been quite the entertaining evening.” “You can say that again,” Logan says. “Since things have finally calmed down, shall we head into the war room and prepare to take on Carolin?” I ask. “You can count me in!” Cade and Jax add. “I’m certainly up for it!” Melina chimes in. The rest of the group agrees before they follow me into the council quarters to prepare for war. As we enter the war room, a large navy blue carpet edged with little silver leaves sits in the middle of the room with a big oval cherry wood table and a huge map spread out on top of it. A huge bookshelf sits against the far wall filled with tons of old books and a few stacks of books lay on the floor around the bottom of the table. To the right, a nearby desk sits in the corner of the room with parchment papers sitting on top of it. To the left numerous barrels of scrolls sit scattered against the stone walls of the room.

I take my place at the head of the table and the others gather around me. Archer enters the room to join us, “My apologies if I’m late Majesty.” “Your Grace, I didn’t invite you because your loyalties have always laid with Thatcher,” I reply. “Forgive me Majesty. He was the king and is my best friend, but my loyalties lie with the crown, and you are my Queen. My loyalties now lay with you Milady,” Archer replies. “Very well then, you can take your place next to Jax,” I tell him. Archer gives a bow and takes his place where I instructed. “My Lords and Majesties, we will now proceed with our invasion of Dragon Valley. We will start by freeing the villagers of the kingdom, I begin. I turn my attention to Archer and say, “I support you as commander of our armies. If you have the will and the stomach for the fight.” “Milady, I can only thank the Gods for the chance to win honor and glory in the field,” he tells me. Archer, then turns his attention to the others and says, “What man would not prefer to die with a sword in his hand defending the surrounding kingdoms and free this land from the Evil Queen and her army of the Lycans…rather than a bed at their own court?” “Aye,” the group replies in snyc. “My Lords and Majesties, I have vowed to bring Queen Carolin under submission, and I will fulfill that promise! If she refuses to surrender to us, then death shall become of her!” I demand. “Here, here!” the rest of the group cheer. 

“Long live the Queen!” The group rest of the group cheer. I then gesture to the group to quiet down and point to the map of the ten kingdoms of Lesterwood. Pointing to the castle of Dragon Valley I say, “Look, there are 4 towers and 4 walls. Archers are always sitting at the top of those towers while each of the four walls has two guards who walk back and forth. We can take them, but it’s going to take a lot of teamwork. If just one of those guards see any of us, he’ll immediately yell for someone to ring the bell and guards will swarm the walls. Once we break through the castle gates, we’re golden. Queen Charlotte says she has enough ships with armies to swarm the coast, and that isn’t including the army she has that will be on foot and horseback to ride along with us.” “King Cade, I need you to send word to your armies to inform one of my guards of their arrival and we’ll meet them in front of the barn,” I inform. Cade gives a nod, and leaves the room to send a raven out to Brendlewood. “Luke, go ahead and send word to Learia to gather your army up and head here,” I tell him. Luke agrees as well and he too leaves the room to send out a raven. “I’ll go ahead and send a raven to King Michael and Queen Charlotte for them to join us in battle. Queen Carolin has seen the very last of her days!” I scoff and leave the room. 

Chapter – 50

Somehow this one got lost. Sorry about that….Happy reading!

Fresh snow falls gently to the ground as Cade, Luke, Roonie, Jax, Tulip and Nora gather comfortably in the grand hall. While Cade and Luke discuss Luke joining the troops for the Parfon battle, Nora tries to ease Roonie’s worrisome mind about Luke leaving for combat. Tulip and Jax are warming by the fire, and Tulip sits staring into it apparently somewhat lost in thought. Jax nervously looks back and forth from Tulip to the fire. “C’mon Tulip how long are you gonna keep this up? I’m leaving for battle, doesn’t that mean anything to you?” Nora hears Jax say. Tulip turns to look at him, her face formed into a look of hurt. She replies, “I’m dealing with alot of pain right now Jax. How can you not understand that? When I’m just gliding through life happily and then suddenly receive traumatic news, it sometimes takes awhile to recover. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same after this.” Jax sighs, and runs his hand through his hair in frustration, “Look Tulip you of all people know that when I’ve had to much to drink I’m not myself. I didn’t do this on purpose, and besides how was I to know that Clover was just gonna show up after being gone for almost 2 years.”

Tulip whips around in her chair quickly so that she is face to face with Jax. “WHAT!?” she shouts. Roonie glances over at them but Luke catches her eye and gently shakes his head “No”, as if to suggest that she needn’t intervene. Jax’s eyes grow wide, and he begins to wring his hands. “Wait what are you talking about?” he asks. “Never mind that right now! You didn’t tell me that Clover was back. How dare you even speak to her after what happened the night of the festival! Did you…No I don’t wanna hear it, my gut tells me I know what happened between you two-” Tulip snaps. “Tulip, would you just hear me out?” Jax pleads. “NO!” Tulip says as silent tears roll down her cheeks. Continuing she says, “How can you keep doing this to me Jax? Don’t you love me? Remember when we were kids, and you’d push me in the swing by Mr. Leafstone’s farm? Remember what you told me?” Jax somberly hangs his head and gives a nod. “Y-You said you’d always make sure my heart was safe!” Tulip sniffs. Jax looks up and tries to wipe the tears from Tulips cheek, but she leans back and shakes her head. “I can’t do this anymore Jax. You have no idea what I’ve been through the last couple of days, and now learning about you and Clover…I just can’t. I’m sorry Jax, it’s over” Tulip tells him before fleeing the room sobbing. “TULIP WAIT!” Jax calls out, then turns to the fire resting his elbow on the mantle, his head leaning upon his forearm. Roonie and Nora exchange downcast looks as Nora notices Jax’s shoulders shaking slightly. He stands upright and wipes his face, grabbing the fire poker to stir the coals a bit. Cade whispers to Luke, “Keep an eye on him would ya?” Luke nods and the two of them go over to check on Jax. 

The next morning Luke, Jax, King Jude, and the troops prepare to leave. We say our goodbye’s and the villagers crowd the sides of the street to bid farewell to the men. Luke shares a kiss with Roonie, before taking his place next to Jax and King Jude at the front of the line. Roonie’s wings sag slightly as she looks on trying to hold back tears. Looking around Nora see’s no sign of Tulip, but notices Jax wearing a very serious face waiting with the other troops in line. The fanfare sounds and King Jude gives a command, then Jax shouts “FORWARD, MARCH!”, and the soldiers march forward down the street as the villagers cheer. Some of the women wave small handkerchiefs occasionally dabbing their eyes. Down the road they march until finally they have left our sight. 

As the villagers cheers subside, suddenly we hear a bloodcurdling scream in the distance opposite the direction of the soldiers. Everyone gasps, as we see a woman making her way towards us. Nora see’s a few villagers rush to meet the woman, and the crowd gathers in the street to try to get a better look, speaking with worry to one another. With Nora’s view almost entirely blocked, she can just make out the woman who appears to be limping down the road and clutching her arm. “BONNIE!” She shouts frantically desperately trying to break through the crowd. “OUT OF HER MAJESTIES WAY!” shrieks the herald, and the villagers step aside. Reaching Bonnie she finds her in a terrible way, she’s been badly burnt on her arm and face and she is sobbing. In a whirlwind of frenzied madness we are able to get the fire put out, and Bonnie back to the castle into bed. Cirrus is able to perform a spell that takes the pain away, but is unable to reverse the wound itself. “I’m afraid with the burns as bad as they are it will scar my dear” Cirrus tells her. She applies some salve that will help reduce the scar appearance but it unfortunately won’t remove it completely. I suggest that we let her rest awhile and everyone departs from the room.

After a few hours of rest a guard announces that Bonnie has awoken. Arthur, Cade and Nora make their way to the guest chambers and find her awake lying in bed. Arthur has a seat next to the bed, taking Bonnie’s uninjured hand in his and kisses it. Cade and Nora join them and she asks Bonnie how she is feeling. “I guess I feel as good as expected” she replies downheartedly. “If you are ready to talk about it, we would like to know what in the world happened” Nora explains. Bonnie nods, “That’s the thing, I don’t exactly know! I went to the village to the troops send off, then decided to head over to the school for a bit. I hadn’t seen the children in awhile and wanted to leave them a message. As I was writing a message for them on the chalkboard I heard something crash and then a boom sound. Suddenly the whole place was up in flames! I was able to find my way out, but as I neared the entrance something looked as if it was going to land on me, so I put my arm up to protect my face. It hit me, and my arm and face became filled with excruciating pain as I ran from the building. I must have tripped over something on the way out because I fell. The rest you know” she tells them. “How awful! Oh Bonnie, I’m so sorry!” Nora sympathizes. “What could have happened that caught on fire?” Arthur wonders aloud. “With all that’s been happening, part of me wonders whether or not this was an accident. Bonnie I hate that this has happened, and I will get to the bottom of this!” Cade declares as he rises from his seat. “Please excuse us” he continues, as he motions for Nora to join him. She gives Bonnie a kiss on the forehead and follows Cade out of the room. 

After Cade informs Nora that he is heading down to the village with a few guards to check out the school, she decides to ask him something that she’s been pondering over. “I was thinking with Tulip having no family left, that we might bestow damehood upon her, and invite her to become a permanent guest at the castle. What are your thoughts?” Nora inquires. “That’s a wonderful idea my love! There’s a book in our chambers that explains how to do that if you would like to take a look” he tells her. Taking her in his arms he kisses her tenderly, “How lucky I am to have such a beautiful, wonderful wife and Queen” he says. She blushes and replies, “I do believe I’m the lucky one.” He gives her a wink and calls for the guards. Nora requests that one of them stays with her, and asks him to find Tulip and have her meet Nora in the throne room. “Yes your highness” the guard replies, and heads out to seek Tulip. 

Once Tulip arrives in the throne room Nora can tell that she has been crying again and she hugs her tightly. “Welcome, please have a seat. Cade and I were talking earlier, and I’ve been doing some thinking. You have been nothing but loyal and kind to us, and we would like to honor you as a royal Dame of Brendlewood. You would live at the castle for as long as you choose, and also be able to marry a royal if you desire. Do you accept?” Nora asks her smiling. Tulip’s eyes widen with excitement, “You really mean it? That would be wonderful! Oh my gosh, thank you!” she exclaims, “I-I don’t know what to say…I would be honored to accept this title!” Nora grins brightly, “Wonderful! I’m glad you accept. Tulip, please stand before me” She requests. She rises from her seat and gives a bow. Nora also rises from her seat and says, “I hear-by dub thee Tulip Petal Warner, Dame of Brendlewood. You may rise.” She stands and smiles proudly as Nora tells her that Cirrus and Roonie are waiting for her in the enchantment room. “Cirrus is going to begin training you and Roonie in the art of enchantment spells” Nora explains. Tulip claps her hands together excitedly, “Oh! Thank you Nora. This is so exciting! Let’s go meet them now” she replies as she hugs Nora tightly and they exit the room.

As Tulip and Nora enter the royal enchantment room, they find Cirrus and Roonie standing in front of a huge metal pot. “Well look who’s a Dame!” Roonie says playfully. “Glad to see you’ve accepted!” Cirrus chimes in. “Thank you” Tulip tells her as Roonie gives her a congratulatory hug. “Now that we have the two of you here, it’s time to begin your training. The first thing you need to do is begin learning the ingredients and the spells. The spells you will find here in this leather book” Cirrus instructs pointing to a large bound book. “Now, in this book you will learn all about the different ingredients to add to your faerie dust. This is what makes it possible to perform certain spells. Roonie why don’t you start with this one, and Tulip with the spellbook. Whatever you do, don’t speak the words aloud until you have learned what they are, and what they do. Don’t worry, I’ll start you off with an easy spell to learn” Cirrus continues. Tulip nods then walks over to the large book, and starts looking over the inscriptions. “Well I will let you ladies get to it, I have some other matters to attend to. Let me know if you need anything” Nora tells them with a smile before leaving the room.

Once evening has fallen, and we’ve all filled our bellies with scrumptious glazed ham and new potatoes, the lot of us stand gathered in the dining hall talking. “I’d like to discuss plans for the upcoming Dragon Valley battle, won’t you join me in the library?” Nora hears Cade ask Novus. He nods in approval and tells him that sounds just fine. “I couldn’t help but overhear you’re having a private chat in the library, I think I’ll head up there and grab a book for the evening before you all need to use the room” Roonie mentions. Cade and Novus tell her no problem, as Tulip and Nora chat about her first day working with Cirrus and enchantments. Bonnie and Arthur congratulate her on her new royal title as Thistle happily skips off heading out of the room. “Where are you off to?” calls Arthur. “Just to our room for a bit of reading” she smiles. Bonnie smiles warmly and replies, “Alright not long though, you’ll be needing to get to bed soon.” Thistle nods and continues skipping. “That girl loves to read!” Arthur mentions, and the group of us continue talking. 

A servant enters the room and requests for Novus to see her in his chambers for his uniform fitting. “I thought I had already taken care of that” Novus tells her. “It’s just some of the measurements were a bit off” she explains. Novus shrugs and tells Cade that he’ll meet him in the library shortly and heads off for his fitting. Cade kisses Nora’s cheek sweetly and tells her that he’s heading to the library to talk with Novus and he’ll catch up with her later. 

As the group of us resume our conversation we laugh at some of Arthur’s corny jokes before Tulip continues describing her first day with enchantments. “The healing spell looks like it will take awhile to-” She starts but stops short as suddenly the castle goes totally dark. A few of us gasp with surprise, and try to find some sort of light source. The maids come pouring into the room with lit candles, and go throughout the dining hall and bathrooms placing them. Handing us each a candle they quickly leave the room. “What happened?” Bonnie asks. “A blackout! Maybe some animal has chewed through the wires again. That happened once before. Darn things!” Cirrus replies. “Oh! Thistle is all alone in the dark!” Arthur exclaims. “Don’t worry I’ll go find her” Nora offers, thinking she would check on the others as well. Half way up the stairs Nora can hear Roonie shrieking from the dining room, “NOVUS IS DEAD! NOVUS IS DEAD!” Nora clutches her chest in fear and turns to go back downstairs, but remembering little Thistle all alone in the dark she decides to find her first, then catch up with the others to find out what’s going on. 

Walking along the dark empty hallway Nora makes her way to the room Bonnie, Arthur and Thistle are staying in. The moonlight streams in through the windows here and there and toward the end of the hall she thinks she spots a small figure. “Thistle?” Nora calls and lightly jogs toward her, but once she reaches the spot where she thought she saw her, she finds no one. Suddenly a gust of wind through a nearby open window steals the light of her candle and suddenly she is left in total darkness. The only light source is that of the faint moonlight shining through the hall windows. Nora feels something whoosh past her, just grazing the back of her skirts. Turning quickly she tries to adjust her eyes to see what it could have been, but she can’t make out anything. All at once she feels someone grab her, their hand covering her mouth, and a slimy tongue sliding across her neck. She tries to jerk free but they cover her mouth with a cloth and she can feel herself losing consciousness. 

Cold winter air dances across Nora’s skin and she shivers, opening her eyes. She grasps her head as it throbs with pain and suddenly jump to her feet as she looks around in terror at her surroundings. Large gray stones cover the walls met with a bare cold floor. The room is completely empty except for one old wooden chair. There is but one door in the room, big, and wooden, and locked tight. “How can this be…” Nora wonders to myself, “….Madame Parfon’s.”

A high slit of a window provides little light and standing on a chair Nora is able to just barely see out. Off in the fields in the morning sunlight she see’s two or three dozen troops making their way back to Madame Parfon’s. “They must be retreating!” Nora thinks to herself, and shortly afterward Madame Parfon’s screeching voice comes echoing through the vents. “WHAT!? What do you mean they drove our troops back!?” Nora hears her snarl. One of her men replies fearfully, “I’m sorry Ma’am but we just lost too many men to continue the battle.” As their bickering continues Nora smiles to herself knowing that surely Cade will find her and they can take down Parfon!

Hours pass and Nora awakens, startled of her whereabouts. Now moonlight fills the empty stone room she’s being held captive in as she hears voices in the hall. A guard opens the door and woman stands in the doorway. Her slender figure adorns a face of malice and cruelty, and stringy brown hair hangs from her head. Her elegant robes do her no kindness and she points a bony finger at Nora, motioning for her to go to her. “Come with me wretch” the woman sneers before turning to leave the room. Silently Nora follows her down the hall, descending the stairs, and into a room of Madame Parfon’s that she hadn’t seen. “Sit down” she commands. Nora has a seat politely, then she can’t believe her eyes as Cade enters the room with…Madame Parfon!? “Nora my sweet!” he says rushing to her, “They didn’t hurt you did they?” Nora shakes her head no still utterly confused. He kisses her forehead and states, “So we’re settled then?” Madame Parfon scoffs and replies, “Yes. As agreed Nora is freed and your kingdom untouched so long as you deliver the lycan scum to my cousin and I.” The other woman wrinkles her nose and jeers, “…and if you don’t, then we destroy your village and your Queen will become our slave!” Cade pierces his lips together and scowls, “That wasn’t part of the deal! You shall have your lycan filth to do with what you will. My Queen and my kingdom will not be part of your treachery!” The woman throws her nose in the air, and Cade takes Nora’s hand leading her out of the evil Madame Parfon’s home. 

Outside Cade and Nora mount his horse and he shouts for the horse to take off quickly. Once we they’re well outside the boundary of Madame Parfon’s, Cade sets up camp for them. As they sit by the roaring fire he’s built, Nora glances over at him. He sits slightly slumped, forearms resting on his knee’s, staring into the fire. “Cade…are you alright?” Nora softly asks placing her hand on his arm. “Huh? Oh, yea I suppose so” he mutters shifting his eyes from the fire to the ground. “Now c’mon. I know that tone, what’s bothering you?” She asks playfully. He looks at her with a frown, deep frustration covering his face, and replies, “Nora I love you! You’re the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me and I let this happen to you. A king is meant to protect, I’ve barely begun to be King and with Novus’s mysterious death and your kidnapping, I’m not off to a very good start. A husband is meant to protect! I feared you wouldn’t understand why I made a deal with Parfon, but with the lycans in her hands, it will leave Queen Carolin to us. I thought over and over this but I just don’t know if it’s the right thing. All I know is that I had to get you out of there. I always knew one day I would become a King but to be honest…I just, nevermind.”

Nora gently runs the tips of her fingers through his hair and looks into his eyes, “My darling I love you as well. No one knew they would take me, you can’t blame yourself. You are an excellent King and husband, don’t doubt yourself or your abilities. That’s what they want, that’s how they chip away at you. Don’t give them that power!” She tells him. His face softens into a sheepish smile and he kisses her sweetly, “You always know what to say my love. I’ll never let this happen to you again!” Bringing his lips to meet hers once again he kisses her passionately and gently leans her down to the blanket by the fire.

Back in Brendlewood the next day, Cade and Nora sit in the throne room talking, the door bursts wide open as Luke enters the room with a guard right behind him. “What is the meaning of this?” Cade asks. “Sorry your majesties, I tried to announce Sir Luke but he rushed past me” the guard states. “I’m sorry for the intrusion, but I really need to speak with you, Nora and Roonie. I have news of the Parfon battle.” Cade sends a guard to retrieve Roonie and a few minutes later they are all gathered for Luke’s news. “Lukie! Your back!” Roonie smiles as she leaps into his arms, he kisses her and places her down. Roonie looks slightly confused and asks what all this news is about. He looks down at the ground then from one person to the next, stopping at Roonie. He takes her hands into his and begins, “I’m afraid I have returned with some terrible news. I regret to tell you that, King Jude has fallen during the battle.” Roonie claps her hand to her mouth and cries, “Daddy!” She tries to contain her tears until Luke has finished explaining and scrunches her eyes tightly. “We did all we could to protect the good King, but we were caught off guard when we were hit with an ambush from behind. Cade, Roonie, I’m very sorry to bring you this news. I grew to know the King well, he was a good man” Luke finishes somberly.

Cade stands and walks to the window looking out as he rubs his hand over the hair of his chin. “Father…” Nora hears him whisper. As Luke embraces Roonie, Nora see’s the sunlight catch on a single tear that is sliding down Cade’s cheek. Discretely he wipes it away and takes a deep breath turning back to face them. “Has he any word for us” he asks strongly. “Yes, he wanted me to tell you to believe in yourself the way that he has always believed in you. Roonie, he told me to make sure I take care of you.” Luke replies and then continues, “I had hoped for a more joyous occasion for this to occur, but after talking with your father, he made me promise to do this as soon as I had returned.” He then kneels down before Roonie, and reaches into his pocket as a small black box emerges. Opening it up it reveals a glittering diamond ring, and he holds the box extended as he takes Roonie’s hand. 

“Your father gave his blessing for your hand in marriage before we reached Parfon’s home. Roonie Meadowstone, I have loved you since first glance. Yes, as you came round the corner and knocked that vase off the table I smiled and knew you were the most incredible creature I’d ever seen. I can’t imagine my life without you in it. You are my one and only true love, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” he asks. Roonie stands speechless for a moment, then bursts into tears. Luke raises an eyebrow and glances to Cade who smiles. All Roonie can do is nod fervently, and Luke grins ear to ear as he places the ring on her finger. Nora holds her hands against her heart and smiles excitedly and lets out a squeal of delight. “Congratulations! We’ll give you two a minute” Cade smiles and kisses his sisters cheek. Out in the hall Nora tells Cade that she’s going to find Shelly so Roonie can share the good news, and he grins and rubs his belly, “Well I’m going to find a snack! I’ve got a hollow belly and I just know Cookie will have something tasty made up!” Nora giggles and takes off to find Shelly. 

As Nora passes through the hall she see’s Thatcher standing by the bathroom door. “Why Thatcher what’s the matter?” Nora asks in response to his worrisome expression. “Well Shelly’s in there and she’s pretty sick. I don’t know what’s wrong, nor do I know what to do to help her” he replies. Nora gently places her hand on his shoulder and gives him a warm smile before replying, “I’m sure she’s alright, but if it will make you feel better, I can check on her if you would like.” Thatcher perks up a bit and says, “That would be great! Thank you!”

Nora gives him a smile and enters the bathroom to find me with my head resting over the toilet. Kneeling down Nora gathers my hair, pulling it from in front of my face and asks, “Oh dear, are you alright? What can I do to help?” “I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I felt great last night, and I woke up feeling like this, this morning. Maybe I’m coming down with the flu?” I say with a small frown. “Aw sweetie I don’t think anyone’s been sick around here lately. Maybe we should see Cirrus, she might have something to help you feel better. She’s in the royal enchantment room just now, but I’m sure she’s not too busy to see you” Nora tells me sympathetically. “You’re right. There have been alot of strange things happening around here lately, and I don’t wanna take a chance on this being something serious. Nora, you’re a dear friend of mine, would you mind coming along with Thatcher and I to talk to Cirrus?” I ask. “Not at all! Let’s get you to your feet and be on our way” She tells me. 

As we enter the royal enchantment room, Cirrus is explaining spells and ingredients to Tulip. Cirrus glances at  me, then at Thatcher, then Nora. Tulip will you please give us moment,” Nora asks her and She nods leaving the room. “My goodness child! What’s happened to you?” Cirrus asks. “I wish I knew. I was feeling just fine until I woke up earlier. I think I may be coming down with the flu” I explain. Cirrus gives me a grin before speaking, “Oh sweet girl, it’s not the flu! You have a special light to your eyes, and your skin is radiant! There’s a look about you, it’s the look every woman gets when she knows she’s about to become a mother” Cirrus beams. “A wha-” Thatcher exclaims pressing his palm to his head in bewilderment. “I-I’m with child!?” I blurt out in shock. Cirrus just smiles ear to ear, then replies, “Yes. It’s true! I can give you something for the nausea and to help you relax.” “That would be wonderful” I reply. “Oh, Shelly! How delightful! Congratulations to you!” Nora cries out. Nora grabs me and embraces me in a snug squeeze, and I smile a rather confused but happy smile. Cirrus then hands me some ginger from her herbal cabinet and says, “This will help with the nausea, just mix this in your tea three times daily. It will help you feel better in no time. Now, this is a salve you can rub on just like a lotion, it will sooth your anxiousness, and help you relax. Congratulations my dear, congratulations to you both” Cirrus says giving Thatcher a wink.   

I give Cirrus a slight smile and thank her as I walk over towards Thatcher who appears to have wandered away from us, and is mumbling to himself in what appears to be confusion. “Neither one of us planned for this to happen, and I don’t want you thinking this is some scheme I came up with to get you to stay with me. I’ll fully understand if you decide to just walk away from me” I tell him. Thatcher wraps his arms around me as he gently places his hand on my belly and replies, “Shelly, I’m just as shocked as you are, but I’m not going anywhere! That night when I met you in the forest, I saw something in your eyes I had never seen before, and I knew from that moment on that I wanted to be a part of it. Shelly, I’m in love with you. I have been from just after the moment I met you. My heart stopped when I realized you are with child, but only from excitement. You’re carrying the gift of us, and our future together. I couldn’t be happier!” I burst into emotional tears and Thatcher smiles scooping me up in a loving kiss.

Chapter – 78

A few hours later, we released Thomas Cromwell and Kristen from the dungeon and told them if they caused any more trouble they can easily be put back in the dungeon. They gave a bow and curtsy before agreeing to our terms and left the room. Upon Thatchers’ request, Ector was also released. Thatcher promised he would keep his cousin on his best behavior. Reluctantly I agreed to Thatchers’ request. “There you are Majesty! Sorry to intrude but I couldn’t find the king,” General Tallis says before giving a bow. “I’m afraid you wouldn’t find the king because at the moment there isn’t one to find,” I reply before giving him permission to rise. I then explain how Thatcher was removed from his court duties and I was placed as the ruler and decision maker of the kingdom until the boys become of age. “You said you were looking for the king. What did you need him for?” I question. “My men and I have searched far and wide, but we haven’t been able to find the evil enchantress Mylene anywhere. I’m sorry we failed you Majesty,” General Tallis informs. Smiling slightly I reply, “I’m sure we’ll find her. There are only so many places she can hide, and I bet I know just where she’s hiding. Thank you, Tallis. You may leave us now,” I reply. Tallis gives a bow before leaving the room. Turning his attention towards me and extending his arm Lestat says, “It’s been one hell of a day. Will you take a walk with me in the royal garden? We have much to discuss.” 

“I’d love to take a walk in the garden with my future king,” I reply and take his arm. “You two kids have fun and behave yourselves,” Charlotte calls out to us. I let out a little chuckle before saying, “I’m not sure who’s more excited about all of this, Charlotte or us.” “I’m sure it’s a little bit of both my love,” Lestat replies before leading me out of the castle gates. “I thought we were going to the royal garden. Just what are you up to?” I question. “I have something else in mind. I’m taking you to one of my favorite places in the kingdom,” he says giving me a wink. I give a nod in agreement and lay my head down on his shoulder as we walk hand in hand. Momentarily, we arrive along the water of the cove which surrounds the kingdom. Suddenly Lestat stops me by the beach and says, “I wanted to do things differently this time Shel. I thought it would have been kind of lame to propose the same way as before,” he says. Taking a knee, he takes my hand into his and reaches into his coat pocket. Pulling out a small black box, he opens it before holding it up towards me to expose the sparkling diamond sitting on top of a silver band. Tears fill my eyes as he says, “I loved you from the first moment I laid my eyes on you, and I have loved you from a distance in fear that you wouldn’t feel the same for me. A year later we were married but we didn’t get our happily ever after. Destiny separated us for a little while and brought us back together. We’ve been through a lot the past few years, but I have loved you even though we were apart. The truth is Shel, I never stopped loving you. You have been my best friend, my soulmate, the mother of my children, and the woman of my dreams. You have always had my heart right from the start. Will you do me the honor and marry me again?” I let out a little gasp as tears slide down my cheeks before saying, “Yes! Yes, I will marry you!” He then slides the sparkling diamond onto my finger and we share a passionate kiss before heading back to the castle. 

Four days pass as the wedding plans were made, and before I knew it, the day of our wedding has finally arrived. The maids scurry about making sure the final touches are made as my ladies in waiting finish dressing me. A gentle knock disturbs me from my thoughts before I chime in cheerfully, “Come in.” The door creaks open before Isabelle steps into the room. “How do I look?” I question and straighten out my dress and look hopefully at the group of girls in front of me. Isabelle squeals and grabs my hand. All of the friends I have made over the past year were here. Though I wish my friends from Brendlewood could be here for this special day. Catching my reflection in the mirror, my long silk white dress shimmers in the candlelight, and the designs in the lacey train really pop out in the right lighting, but my smile glows even brighter. “You look beautiful Mother. Everything looks just amazing in the cathedral and we can’t wait for you to see how all of the decorations turned out,” Isabelle says. “I can’t wait to see it! Have all of the guests arrived yet?” I ask curiously. “The guests have already arrived at the cathedral, and Rohan is waiting outside by the carriage for us with the royal guards. We better hurry or we’re going to be late! Isabelle says in the most peaceful way only a completely stressed out person could say. But, she was right. The group of ladies in waiting quickly left the room, and soon it was just Isabelle and I. “You’re not having second thoughts are you?” Isabelle asks sounding genuinely worried. 

“Of course not.  Lestat is the one, I’ve always known that. If he wouldn’t have compelled me to think he wasn’t coming back, I wouldn’t have remarried and would have waited for his return. He makes me feel more alive, more than anyone else ever has. He can make a dull stroll through the courtyard seem like our honeymoon,” I reply. “Then why are you standing here and not walking down the aisle?” Isabelle asks. “Because who’s going to walk me down the aisle? My parents are both gone. Logan is in hiding so Kristen won’t kill him. I don’t have anyone,” I explain as Isabelle embraces me in a tight hug. I have been hiding these feeling from Lestat, but I could never tell him. I didn’t want to ruin our wedding day. Isabelle smiles slyly as a knock on the door breaks our conversation. Breaking from our hug, she opens the double-doors and there he is, my brother standing on the other side. Running as fast as my giant silk gown will allow me to, I pull him into a tight hug. “Logan! You’re back! I can’t believe it!” I exclaim. Dressed in his navy blue suit adorned with a sword at his side and looks slightly wounded he says, “Of course, I’m back. I wouldn’t miss my big sister’s wedding!” “You’ve been bleeding! Are you alright?” I ask. “I’m perfectly fine and all bandaged up,” he replies. “Let me take that shirt and clean it up a bit,” Isabelle tells him. He gives a nod in agreement and takes off his shirt before handing it to her. “Hey! A letter or some form of word as to how you have been doing would have been nice!” I tell him in my most parental voice and punch him playfully on the shoulder. Suddenly the door bursts open and Rohan’s red mane pops out as Isabelle hands Logan his clean shirt, “Sorry for intruding Mother, but the cellist and violinist will begin playing soon.” I give a quick nod and the four of us head down to the courtyard where my carriage awaits. Rohan, Isabelle, and Logan mount their horses as the royal footman helps me into the carriage. As we make way down the dirt trail, the royal guards’ horses trot happily in front of us as they lead us through our journey to the church. The villagers of Blue Haven stop along the trail to wave and cheer as we pass them by.

It’s a short and pleasant ride to the cathedral. The carriage suddenly stops in front of the stairs that lead the way into the cathedral, and Logan dismounts his horse before Rohan helps Isabelle off hers. The footman opens the doors of the carriage before extending his hand. I give him a smile before accepting it and I step out of the carriage to greet my ladies in waiting. “Shelly!” They shout before embracing me in a tight group hug. “I’m so glad you all are here! I would be a nervous wreck if you all weren’t here with me! Still, I’m a little saddened that my friends of Brendlewood can’t be reached. I would love for all of my friends and family to be here today,” I tell them. “I’m sorry they can’t be here for your special day, but you have all of us and the people of Blue Haven to cheer you on!” Lady Savannah says. “You’ll do just fine my dearest friend. If you should need any of us, we’re right here by your side,” Lady Jane adds. Here! Here! The rest of the group of ladies shout with excitement. “Oh! Majesty! You look very radiant in that gown. It really suits you! You’re mother and father would be so proud of you, as I am proud of my son,” A familiar woman’s voice calls out behind me. Turning to face the woman, I notice Lady Elizabeth who is smiling proudly. “Thank you! I couldn’t be happier than I am today. I really do miss my parents and wish they could be here,” I reply hugging her tightly. Breaking from our hug, she gives a smile before kissing me on the cheek and heads inside followed by Rohan and Isabelle.

The guests wait patiently in their seats as the cellist and violinist begin playing their soft music. Lestat stands at the altar in his finest navy blue colored suit with two red ribbons draped over his vest under his jacket, awaiting his bride. Lord Sebastion, Lord Jon, Lord Shamus, and Lord Henry stand to wait to accompany the ladies down the aisle. Isabelle accepts Rohan’s arm and they make their way down the aisle. Next, Lady Jane links arms with Lord Sebastion and they proceed. They are followed by Lord Jon, Lady Savannah, Lord Shamus, Lady Annabelle, Lord Tucker, and Lady Mirabelle. The cellist and violinist begin to play the bride march before Logan extends his arm and I accept. The guests rise from their seats as the cathedral doors open, and Logan and I take our first step into the room. A cascade of flowers and happy faces await for us to accompany them towards the altar. To either side of the cathedral, huge stone columns stand with wooden benches in front of them, and a red very long narrow red carpet leads to the front of the building. With Logan by my side, I don’t feel even a tad ounce of nervousness. White and pink flower petals show me the way to my future king who has tears in his eyes as Logan and I make our way down the aisle. Rohan and Isabelle’s son, Prince Abel is the ring bearer, and Princess Juliana is the flower girl. Her little smile is bigger than ever as she continues to throw flower petals onto the floor. My heart pounds, but I don’t have a care in the world because at the end of this aisle, stands the man I’m about to marry. 

“You look radiant Sister. Mother and Father wouldn’t have missed this day for the world and I believe they’re both here in spirit,” Logan whispers. “Thank you, my dear brother. I couldn’t help but notice the young lady sitting in the back of the pews eyeballing you. Who is she?” I ask curiously. “I’ll introduce you to her after the wedding, “Logan whispers as we stop in front of the last row of pews and wait for the royal officiate to speak. A small hunched over elderly man stands behind the altar. His face is covered in freckles and the top of his white leathery hair is covered by his hat. A pair of small glasses sit on the tip of his pointy nose as he begins to speak. “Who gives this woman to this man?” Friar Thomas asks in a raspy voice. “Her brother does,” Logan calls out. He then places my hand in Lestat’s before kissing me on the cheek and takes his seat with the guests. Lestat’s eyes widen before whispering in my ear, “You look beautiful darling.” “Thank you, my love,” I blush and reply. Turning towards Friar Thomas he begins, “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of these witnesses, to join Prince Lestat Francis Lioncourt and Queen Scarlett Michelle Debenshire in holy matrimony commended to be honorable among all, and therefore is not to be entered into lightly but reverently, passionately, lovingly, and solemnly. 

Into this – these two persons present now come to be joined. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.” After a few moments of silence, Friar Thomas informs, “Lestat and Scarlett have prepared their own vows they have written to each other,” Turning towards Lestat he takes my hands and says, “I’ve been reading alot of William Shakespeare trying to find the right words to describe the way I feel about you. But, then I realized that we have our own story. It’s about a Prince who met a beautiful Princess and how she was able to draw out the man hidden behind a monster. They shared many physical, symbolic, and emotional tangos, but eventually, they were finally able to meet in the middle. When they finally did he found himself wanting to share every dance with her. She gave him something he had thought to have lost a few years ago, his humanity. So it only made sense that he’d find himself drawn to wanting to be the man she fell in love with so that he could have a future with her.” For a moment he glances away from me and over to the spot where his mother sits. She smiles and motions for him to keep going before he locks his eyes on mine and continues, “Shel, our love story is far from perfect. It’s messy and complicated, but it’s real and it’s ours. A lot has changed…I have changed. But there will always be one thing that will remain constant and that’s my love for you. In my darkest days, it’s you who I’ll turn to because in you I find light because you are my light. I made a promise back then to be your husband, although I tried my best, I failed miserably and did the worst thing I could have done. 

I won’t fail this time my love. I promise you with everything that I have and everything that I am, I’m not giving you up this time. I’m seconds away from being your husband for the second time, and I look forward to staying true to all of the promises that we have made to each other. I’m going be the partner that you have always wanted, be the father that our kids have always deserved and make things right with them. I’m also going to be the best grandfather to their babies as I can possibly be. I love you Darling, and it’s because that I love you that I’m standing here today in front of you and our family and friends waiting to say I do. You are the most beautiful, loving, although annoying at times, the most kind-hearted woman I know, and you keep me on my toes each and every passing day. I promise to be with you and love you for the rest of our lives.” Tears spill from my eyes as Lestat lifts our interlaced hands together and presses his lips to the top of my hand before placing the wedding band on my finger. “Scarlett?”  Friar Thomas says as he nods his head towards me. Fanning myself and gently tapping a tissue under my eyes I say, “Oh God! I don’t think I can even top that.”  The guests let out a chuckle before I hand my bouquet to Lady Jane and continue, ” I once met my knight in shining armor on a long and winding road. He comforted and loved me when I needed him. I eventually even began to develop feelings for him, and I feared he would never feel the same for me as I did for him.

Until one day I accidentally let it slip that I was falling in love with him.” For a moment my eyes leave Lestat’s and move to the empty seats where my parents would be sitting. Instead, I find Logan’s eyes looking back at me, giving me an encouraging smile. “On a trip back from France where you took me to get away from things and spent a little time together,” I begin but pause for a moment. Lestat and I share a knowing smile as we recall our first carriage trip together. Lestat, smirking remembering all of the special moments he had with Shelly in France, and the last picnic they had where he decided he wanted to be with her forever. “The day you told my parents about us, was the scariest moment of my life. I didn’t quite know how they would react, and I was so afraid they would send you away. The moment they left the room, and you told me you were a prince, I felt relieved. Relieved because they couldn’t send you away unless I rejected you, and because I knew then and now that you are the one I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with. I didn’t meet a stranger at my home in the Kingdom of Hidden Springs that night, I had met my soul mate. You snuck up on me Lestat and for so long I denied what was in front of me. Your love was never the problem, it was me because I allowed my fear to get the best of me.

I was afraid to fall in love with you again because of how many times I had been hurt, not just by you, but by others as well. But once I got over that fear I ended up realizing that I never felt more alive than I do when I’m with you. You bring me back to life in more ways than one. I know this is scary and that there will be darker days, but we’ll survive them because we always survive. Look at everything we’ve been through and yet here we stand today, getting married for the second time! You’ve made me realize that home doesn’t need to be found in a place. It can be found in a person. You are my home Lestat Lioncourt and that’s why I’m standing here, waiting to say I do so I can go home to you. I promise to love you and be with you for the rest of our lives until death do us part,” I continue before placing the silver band onto his finger. Lestat’s eyes fill up with tears as he takes my hands in his. ” Friar Thomas clears his throat before he begins to speak, “Scarlett and Lestat, you have chosen to be joined in marriage today. The bible states that two are better than one; they receive a good reward for their toil because if one fails, the other can help the companion up again. In my presence and in the presence of your family and friends, you have exchanged vows and made promises. You have opened your hearts to one another, declared your love and friendship, and united yourself with the exchanging of rings. Therefore, with the blessings of God, it is my pleasure to now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride!”

I can feel the sweetness of Lestat’s breath as he parts his lips to kiss me. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I pull him closer towards me, kissing him hard and passionately as Friar Thomas announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mr. and Mrs. Lioncourt.” The guests rise from their seats as they applause and cheer for the newlyweds. “The feast is being held in the formal dining hall at the castle. Hope to see you all there!” I shout as Lestat takes my hand in his and run down the aisle as the guests toss birdseed over our heads. Stopping in front of the church doors, Lestat dips me before kissing me passionately and we climb into the carriage and head back to the castle. As we turn and look behind the carriage, the guests wave and cheer while the horses in front of us trot along happily, and we wave in return. Lestat caresses my cheek before kissing me passionately, leaving me breathless and weak in the knees. Breaking from our kiss and smiling I say, “If you keep that up Mr. Lioncourt, we’ll never make it back to the castle.” “In that case Mrs. Lioncourt, I’ll just have to keep kissing you,” he replies with a smirk and kisses me again. Within a few moments, we arrive back at the castle. The footman opens the carriage door before Lestat steps out. Turning to face me, Lestat extends his hand before saying, “At your service Mrs. Lioncourt.” “Why thank you, my dear husband,” I reply before taking his hand and we both let out a giggle as I step out of the carriage.

As we enter the castle, all of the servants and maids congratulate us on our marriage, and we thank them before entering the formal dining hall. The room is decorated with 3 rows of tables with blue tablecloths and white roses placed in the center. Momentarily the guests arrive and begin filling the tables and chairs as Lestat and I take a seat. After a few moments, Lestat rises from his seat and taps his wine glass before saying, “Thank you all for coming. The footmen will begin to bring the food trays out in just a moment. If you would all take a seat at a nearby table we can begin to celebrate and have some cake.” The guests who remain standing, quickly take a seat at a nearby table and the footmen begin bringing silver food platters filled with baked wild boar, vegetable stew, fresh crane, salmon, trout, fresh bread, cheese, butter, and different varieties of freshly picked fruits. My mouth waters as the savory smell of fresh fish and wild boar fills the air. As the footman makes his way around the tables, everyone takes a serving off the platters and places a small portion on their plates as another footman follows to fill the wine glasses. A few of the villagers congratulate Lestat and I before a late middle-aged woman stands followed by her family members and requests for a toast. She no doubt was beautiful, though strands of gray had begun to overtake her golden brown locks. She stood as tall as her aging back would allow, and smiled brightly at those seated nearby. With a clink of her glass and her blue eyes dazzling she began her toast.

A slightly older man stands beside her to her right. His silver hair slicked back and a little on the muscular side. His emerald green eyes sparkle as he gives a bow and a kind smile. There’s no doubt this man is her husband. They have a young man with them who can’t be much older than me, whose hair is a sun-kissed brown color, amber colored eyes, well-trimmed beard, and very handsome. Raising my glass, I give a nod politely before she proceeds. “We’ve all waited for a very long time for the return of the Royals of Farwater Gleam. We’re finally proud to announce the union of our kingdom and propose a toast to its new king and queen. Here’s to our Grand-daughter and her King, Lestat! May you both be blessed of many years and many heirs to the Farwater throne!” the woman toasts. The guests raise their glasses and burst into cheer. “Here’s to my lovely niece! You look beautiful tonight my dear. Hail Queen Scarlett and King Lestat, long may they reign!” a young man toasts before drinking from his glass. Lestat leans over and whispers, “You’re grandparents and uncle? I thought they passed a long time ago?” “That makes two of us! I never met anyone else from my family other than my brother and parents. My mother and father never spoke of them. If they have been in Farwater all this time protecting it, that could be the very reason I know nothing about them,” I whisper in return. 

Looking into the faces of the people who claimed they’re my family, I try to see if any of them strike any resemblance of my parents. But it’s really hard to tell. The woman has the same kind and caring eyes of my mother, but so can anyone I guess. Once everyone has finished their dinner, the footman brings out the wedding cake and sets it down on the table. “Guess that’s our queue,” Lestat whispers in my ear. I give a nod in agreement and he leads me over to the large wedding cake. I take the knife in my hand before Lestat places his hand over mine. I smile happily as we cut the cake. Lestat laughs, “This is alot harder than it looks!” The guests give a chuckle as Lestat and I make one long slice into the cake with the knife. We cut two pieces and put them on small separate plates, and I smile happily as we feed it to each other. I give a little giggle as I gently wipe some icing off of Lestat’s lip before stealing a kiss. Everyone applauds and cheers us in awestruck as we share our quick kiss. Picking up his glass from the table, one of the footmen approaches him and fills his wine glass before Lestat takes his spoon and taps it lightly making a tinging sound. Lestat motions for everyone to quiet down as he begins to speak, “I would just like to thank everyone for being here and witnessing our marriage. It means a lot for Scarlet and I that all of you were able to be here on our joyous event.”

Just then, a very drunk Kristen rises from her seat before raising her glass, “Here’s to my brother, the one who never gave up on the little hussy! I was right about one thing my dear brother, some things never change! You will always choose that little harlot over your own family! Here’s to your Queen Floozy and all of the other men’s hearts she’ll break in the future!” Facepalming and shaking my head in disbelief, I lean over to Lestat and whisper, “You’re sister has a lot of nerve! She shouldn’t be at an event such as this if she can’t handle her liquor.” Thatcher rises from his seat and grabs Kristen’s arm before saying, “That is enough of this nonsense! Leave at once or I’ll have you removed myself!” Kristen pitches a fit of laughter as she turns to Thatcher and says, “That’s very funny considering that you have no power here!” “Maybe he can’t make the decisions here but I can! Guards, see this woman to her chambers and make sure she stays there to sleep it off!” I command. The guards give a little bow before removing Kristen from the room. Thatcher shoots me an apologetic look before raising his glass, “To the newlyweds! May they have many years together!” The guests applaud before Lestat announces the that the party is moving into the ballroom. Upon entering the room, the violinist begins to play as Lestat leads me to the middle of the ballroom to share our first dance as husband and wife. The applause of the guests dies down as I try to ignore the stares we receive.

“Hold on just a second,” Lestat instructs before heading over to the violinist. He leans over and whispers something to him before returning to my side. At last, Lestat and I take our places and wait for the violinists’ soft music to begin. Once it started we take a step forward and bow to one another. We circle each other, our gaze remains locked. Lestat places his hand on my lower back, my hand on his shoulder, and our free hands finally meet. Together, we dance to the music, our feet in perfect sync to the beating of my heart. As the song progresses, I feel relaxed and allowed a smile to form on my lips. He’s perfect. His eyes, blue as spring rain, are deep and irresistible. One thing is for sure, I’m one lucky woman to receive a husband like him. The guests applaud before Lestat whispers, “Thank you, my darling. Thank you for everything you have done. Giving me a second chance, allowing your heart to love me again, and for becoming my wife for the second time. I love you my darling.” “Smiling widely I whisper in return, “There’s no need to thank me, my love. I never truly stopped loving you. I have loved you always, and I will love you always and forever.” Lestat’s eyes well up with tears before he kisses me tenderly. After our dance, the marble dance floor begins to fill up and Logan taps Lestat on the shoulder before asking, “May I cut in?” Lestat gives a nod before placing my hand in Logans’. 

As Logan twirls me around on the dancefloor I curiously ask, “So who’s your lady friend?” He blushes a little before replying, “That’s my fiance, Lady Juliet from Stone Ridge. She’s one of the noble ladies who attends to Isabelle. Rohan gave me permission to marry her. She really is a sweet lady and I would like for you to get to know your future sister-in-law.” “She sounds very nice. I would love to meet the very one who stole my brothers’ heart,” I chuckle. After our dance, I take Logan’s arm and we head over to Juliet who’s standing to the side enjoying her wine. Logan kisses her on the cheek before introducing us. “Juliet, this is my sister, Scarlett. Sister, this is Lady Juliet, my fiance.” Giving a little curtsy Juliet says, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Majesty.” “Please, call me Shelly. We’re basically family. No need to bow or curtsy to me. Join me in a glass of wine?” I offer. “I would love to,” she replies. As I lead her to the powder room I turn to face Logan, “Don’t worry my dear brother. I’ll have her back in no time at all.” Logan waves to us as us girls head out of the room. As we enter the powder room, we each take a seat at one of the vanities to freshen up. “So how did you meet my brother?” I ask as I put my lipstick on. “We met at the festival in Stone Ridge. He was staring at me from a distance, which I found pretty odd. When I brought it up to Queen Isabelle, she said that I should go talk to him and have fun at the festival. We walked and talked for hours and just enjoyed each other’s company. 

Right before he asked if he could see me again, the herald announced Isabelle making her way down the stone path. As we stepped to the side to allow Isabelle and the parade of people behind her through, Logan fell right into a huge pile of horse manure. I bit my tongue so as not to laugh at him. It took me quite a bit of reassuring him that all is well for him to ask me out, and It took even longer for him to propose. I don’t know what he would have done if he didn’t have King Rohan to talk to. Can you just imagine though? Logan with shaky hands and sweaty palms wanting to ask me out so badly that he falls right in the middle of horse excrement?” I give a little laugh before telling her that I could just see it all happen in slow motion. “Yes, well Logan always was a clutz when it came to the ladies. Even got rejected by a Lady who would attend my mother. He wouldn’t quite take no for an answer so she pushed him into the lake,” I tell her. We both burst into laughter before I realize how long we’ve been gone. Gasping I tell her, “Gosh! We better be getting back before they send the party out to look for us!” Juliette gives a nod in agreement and the two of us head back down to the party. As we enter the ballroom, and I link arms with Lestat, he whispers, “I’ve missed you, darling. What kept you?” “Juliette and I were just freshening up and exchanging stories about my brother. I didn’t mean to be gone for so long. I just wanted to get to know the one who my brother intends to marry. She’s really very sweet. I kind of like her,” I reply with a smile.

Smiling back at me, he gently places a kiss on my forehead before Thatcher taps his wine glass with a spoon. As he wraps his arm around Farah, he says, “I have an announcement to make. I’ve decided to take a friend’s advice before she departed back to the other side. I’ve asked Farah to marry me! It won’t be long and she too will have a wedding to plan!” The guests burst into cheer before Lestat and I approach Thatcher. As he rubs Farah’s little baby bump, I raise my glass and say, “I just want to congratulate the two of you. I wish nothing but happiness to you both.” Thatcher and Farah raise their glasses and we share a drink together. “I’ll be right back my love. I need to freshen up a bit,” Farah tells Thatcher. He smiles and kisses her tenderly before she leaves the room. Turning my attention towards Thatcher I say, “I’m sorry things didn’t work out between us the way you had hoped, but at least we can remain friends and both of us can be here for our children.” “Just because I’m being mutual towards you doesn’t mean that I agree with any of this. You broke my heart Shel. I will never forgive you for that, but I can’t go against what the Gods have planned. Just know that we are far from friends. I’m counting down the days until Edmund takes the throne and we can all finally be rid of you!” he says angrily before storming off. Throwing my hands up in confusion I scoff, “Ugh! He has alot of nerve and has no room to talk! It’s not like I was thinking straight! He had an affair knowing very well what he was doing! I really thought we were past all of this!” “I thought so too my love. Come, lets’ not allow him to ruin the rest of our evening,” Lestat smiles before kissing my cheek.

Taking my hand, he leads me out to the middle of the floor and dips me before kissing me passionately. The guests cheer as Lestat pulls me closer to him. “I love you, my darling wife. Don’t ever forget that,” he whispers in my ear as he embraces me in a slow dance. Suddenly one of Farah’s ladies comes rushes into the ballroom crying and screaming. The violinist stops playing his soft tune, and the guests grow quiet. “Majesty! I’m so sorry to interrupt your night, but it’s Farah! She’s in her quarters and there’s a lot of blood!” Lady Ellette says before giving a quick curtsy. “Gasping I reply, “Take me to her at once!” Lady Ellette gives a little nod and I rush upstairs to Farah’s quarters with Thatcher and Lestat on my heals. Upon opening the double doors to Farah’s quarters, I notice her laying on her bed as she tries to shove her bloody chemise in between her thighs as she lays screaming, “My boy! I’ve lost my boy!” Rushing over to the bed, I sit on the edge and gently rub her back before questioning, “I’m so sorry my dear. What happened?” “Like you really care! Why don’t you go back downstairs with that thing you now call a husband and leave us alone!” Farah shouts. “Now that’s not fair! I do care. I care more than you and Thatcher will ever know!” I reply. Farah takes a deep breath and sighs deeply before saying, “You’re right and I’m sorry. I’m not sure what happened. I think I might have overdone it at the joy of your wedding. 

I felt tired, but I wanted to spend more time with Thatcher. I should have been resting instead of dancing. After I freshened up in the powder room, I felt really tired, so I figured I would lay down for a bit. As my ladies were helping me undress, I felt a sharp pain in my stomach and something warm run down my leg. When I looked down I noticed I was bleeding. That’s when I sent my lady down to get help.” “Majesty, the midwife is here,” Lady Elizabeth announces. “Please show her in,” I tell the lady. The midwife gives a little curtsy before saying, “I need everyone to clear the room while Lady Elizabeth and I tend to Lady Farah.” “Of course! Just let us know if you need anything,” I reply. “Thank you, Majesty,” the midwife smiles before approaching Farah. Dropping to his knees and hugging Farah tightly, Thatcher says, “I’ll just be right outside darling. I won’t leave you ever again!” Farah strokes his hair before kissing his forehead and says, “I love you, my love. I’ll be ok. I promise. I’m in good hands. I’ve heard good things about Lady Elizabeth.” Thatcher gives a nod in agreement and leaves the room to wait out in the hall while the midwife and Lady Elizabeth tends to Farah. 

Placing my hand on Thatcher’s shoulder I say, “I know you see me as this horrible person who broke your heart, but it doesn’t mean that I will ever stop caring about you. I’ll do whatever it takes to help where I can be of service.” Turning to face me he says, “I’m sorry Shel. I shouldn’t have talked to you the way I did earlier. I know you weren’t in your right mind when things went bad between us. I just can’t help but think about where we would be right now if I wouldn’t have been captured. I don’t hate you, and I don’t think you’re horrible. I will always think of you as a friend. Thank you for helping Farah. You didn’t have to do that considering what I did and how I treated you. I should have been more patient and waited to see what would have happened. From this day forth, you have my respect and an alliance with my kingdom, whether I’m running it as its king or not.” Pulling him into a tight hug I reply, “I accept your apology. You can’t live in the past. I’ve forgiven you for everything. I know you will always love me, but I also know a part of you loves Farah or you wouldn’t be so worried about her. I’m sure she will be just fine. Just hang in there. She’s gonna need you to lift her spirits up. Just promise me you’ll do right by her and treat her right. She’s so different from me. I don’t think she’ll go poking around where she doesn’t belong if you were to ever get captured again.” 

“Once again, you’re right. I do love Farah, but part of me will always love you. Afterall, you were the first woman to ever steal my heart and drive me crazy! I know she’ll be alright, I just hope she didn’t lose the baby. You two should be downstairs celebrating your wedding. Go on. I’ll be fine,” Thatcher says as he places a kiss on my forehead. I give a nod in agreement before Lestat and I head back to the ballroom. As we enter the ballroom, I announce Farah’s condition and suggest that everyone say a silent prayer for Lady Farah and her baby. The guests nod in agreement and we say a quick prayer before the celebration of the wedding continues. Extending his hand Lestat smiles and says, “May I have this dance?” I smile in return and accept his hand before saying, “Of course Majesty, but you might wanna keep an eye out for my husband. He can get quite jealous.” “Well I guess I’ll have to try my best not to anger him,” he replies with a chuckle. As approach the middle of the dance floor, Lestat twirls me around before his eyes lock on mine. “You’ve come so far from the young woman I met in Hidden Springs, and I’m proud to call you my wife,” he says before kissing me tenderly. Lestat’s hands begin to wander around my waistline and I let out a gasp before breaking from our kiss. Gazing into his eyes curiously, a playful smile forms on his face before he tickles me mercilessly and begins twirling me once again. As he twirls me towards the door I let out a gasp in disbelief. A couple of my guards stand in the doorway with a small group behind them. Placing their trumpets to their lips, the Brendlewood and Learia fanfares echo throughout the castle, before the guards announce both Brendlwood and Learia’s King and Queen. I smile widely as I tell the guards to allow them through the doors where Lestat and I greet them. 


Chapter – 77

The following day, as the morning sun rises in the East, the villagers scurry about, selling their finest accessories, deer skins, and vegetables. After my ladies dress me and I’m ready for the day, I head to the throne room to help Thatcher with his daily activities. As I take a seat on the throne next to him, one of the villagers approaches us and gives us a little bow. “You may rise,” Thatcher tells him. “Now, what’s this all about?” I question. The villager rises before shouting, “Something has to be done with those Lycans! They’re destroying my crops, and eating my cows and chickens!” “We have been dealing with the Lycans the best as we can. Haven’t my men been doing their job with keeping you all safe?” Thatcher asks. “No! Do you not remember those pesky creatures also murdered my wife not so long ago!? Something has got to be done!” The villager angrily shouts. “What is your name Sir?” Thatcher inquires. “Thomas…Thomas Cromwell,” the villager shakily replies. “Well Mr. Cromwell, you have earned yourself a few days in the dungeon! Guards, take this man away for disrespecting his Queen and demanding things out of his King. Let this be a lesson to you Mr. Comwell.” Thatcher instructs. “Y-You can’t be serious!? I’m an old man!” Thomas shouts as the guards remove him from the room. Leaning towards Thatcher Archer says, “Majesty, don’t you think that was a little harsh? The old-timer came to you for help. He didn’t demand anything from you. He just wanted to know where the kingdom stands with the Lycans.” Turning his attention towards Archer Thatcher replies coldly, “I suggest you hold your tongue or you will be next to visit the dungeon…Brother!”

My eyes widen in disbelief at Thatcher’s behavior. Placing my hand on his I say, “Darling, this isn’t like you. You would never lash out at Archer like that, and you certainly wouldn’t send your own people to the dungeon for getting a little angry with you. What’s with you lately?” “I don’t have to answer to you, and I certainly don’t have to answer to anyone else for that matter!” Thatcher scoffs. “Majesty…brother, don’t you think you should calm down?” Archer suggests. “I will not calm down! This is my kingdom, and the people will respect their king and queen! I can and will handle people the way I see fit!” Thatcher shouts.That is where you’re wrong!” Archer shouts. “I’m warning you Brother. Stay out of this or you will be next to be in the dungeon!” Thatcher says coldly. “You shall watch your tone before a God!” Archer shouts angrily. “I’ve had enough of this nonsense. Not only are you stupid, but you’re also crazy! I warned you to watch yourself! Guards! Take the Duke to the dungeon. He shall remain there until I say otherwise!” Thatcher yells. As the guards reach for Archer, blue flames surround him and water sprays up from the ground, slowly rising him up into the air. Shedding the skin from his body, a new form takes place and the spout of water gently places him back on his feet. Standing before them stands a tall slightly muscular man. His chocolate brown locks surround his gorgeous chiseled face, and his sparkling deep ocean eyes glisten beneath his thick brows. They had never before seen a man of such handsomeness, even his skin seems to glow with an aura of radiance. 

“Just who the hell are you, and where is Duke Bronswick?” Thatcher shouts. Pointing the palm of his hand towards the fountain by the throne, water ejects from it, splashing onto his sword, and magical dew drops sprinkle around the blade and the silver metal melts, revealing his golden trident. “Do you not recognize me?” the handsome gentleman asks. “If I knew who you are, I wouldn’t be asking you for your name, now would I? So I’ll ask this one last time! Just who are you?” Thatcher sneers. Standing straight and tall and holding his trident upright he replies, “The real Duke Bronswick is locked in the dungeon, unharmed. I am Poseidon, God of the seas, earthquakes, and horses…brother of Zeus and Hades. Surely you’ve heard of me. After all, your kingdom is an ally and home to the kingdom of Castlerock and its merfolk. Which brings me to this question. If you don’t mind Majesty, just where were you when Castlerock fell?” Thatcher rises from his throne before giving a bow and explaining, “I was in Brendlewood helping their kingdom out while Blue Haven was being rebuilt. The Lycans destroyed our home and Castlerock a few years later.” Raising a brow Poseidon shouts, “So let me get this straight… While the Lycans were taking over Castlerock, your ally, you were in Brendlewood celebrating with your petty feasts and playing house!? It has been brought to my attention that you Thatcher Mason, King of Blue Haven have been having an affair with your previous fiance and threatened to murder an innocent child! I rebuke your actions of adultery and the attempted murder of an innocent. I hereby revoke your duty as King. Your contract of marriage is declared null and void. Thatcher Mason, you are hereby relieved from the throne and your court duties!” 

“You can’t do that! I am the son of King Silas and Queen Saphira, the previous king, and queen of Blue Haven. I’m the only heir to the throne!” Thatcher scoffs. “That is where you’re wrong! Alex and Ector could take the throne, but the kingdom would fall if either of them should be crowned. I gave your family this land, and I can easily take it away! Instead of taking it from your family, I will allow your children to remain the heirs to the throne, and Scarlett will remain the Queen of this land. You are hereby demoted to Duke Mason. You won’t have any duty to the court. Scarlett will be in charge of any decision making of the kingdom and your children. Also, Scarlett is now free from your grasp and can marry whoever she chooses,” Poseidon says. He then holds up two documents. The first is the contract of our marriage and second one Thatcher signed to claim the throne. “You see these contracts? You failed the terms you agreed to on both of these documents” Poseidon says. “What about Shelly? She has been messing around with that so-called ex-husband of hers!?” Thatcher says defensively. Poseidon raises a brow and shakes his head in disbelief before saying, “In Scarlett’s defense, she was compelled to forget a lot of things and lost her memories. She thought she was still married to her ex-husband. You, on the other hand, made the choice to have an affair and get Lady Farah pregnant. There is a difference.” Thatcher rolls his eyes and sighs deeply in response before plopping back down on his throne. Suddenly small spouts of water circle around the papers and the crown on top of Thatcher’s head before the objects disappear altogether. “The deed has been done. I need you to step off that throne now,” Poseidon tells Thatcher. The doors behind Poseidon burst open before Lady Elizabeth joins us. “Majesties!” she says as she gives a little curtsy. Turning his attention towards Elizabeth, Poseidon points his index finger at her before shouting, “Imposter!” “Excuse me? Just who are you?” she asks curiously. “You know very well who I am, just as I know who you are!” he shouts angrily. “I-I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about! We’ve never met before!” Elizabeth exclaims.“Don’t pretend you’ve never seen me before! I know all of your tricks, and you know exactly who I am!” Poseidon shouts. Raising his trident and pointing it towards her, water ejects from the tip, and it circles around Elizabeth’s body. “You are not who you claim to be! Show your true identity witch!” he shouts. “What are you talking about?” I ask curiously. “Majesty, there’s a witch who disguised herself as your friend. Sometimes when witches need to hide from those who have seen their true form, they body hop so they can’t be detected by the normal eye.” Poseidon explains. Momentarily Elizabeth falls to her knees, and a young lady steps out of her body before the water stops circling Elizabeth. “Who is that?” I curiously ask. “This is Freya. She’s a witch who likes to cause mischief, but she also manages to do some good things. She imposed as your friend and was giving out false information. She not only betrayed you but betrayed Queen Carolin, Prince Lestat, and this realm. Thatcher isn’t one of Merlin’s descendants and you weren’t betrothed to him. In fact, Carolin would be very upset if she knew she had sent your actual betrothal to pursue you. All of these years, she thought Thatcher was a royal of the Fae, but she couldn’t have been more wrong. Thanks to Freya, the King of the light has been kept hidden. She planted fake scrolls in order to keep the royals away from their kingdom, little did she know the king was right under her nose the whole time. You are indeed a royal of the Fae and you must seek help from Queen Charlotte for the cure. You weren’t supposed to be a Lanterian or a creature of darkness. You were born with the light and it must be protected,” Poseidon explains. 

“My kingdom? Are you saying I’m to return to Stone Ridge?” I ask. “No. The royals of the Fae have their own kingdom. It’s a kingdom my brother Zeus had given those blessed with the light. You’re the daughter of Natalia, Queen of the Fae. You are the next heiress to the throne my dear, and your people have been waiting for your return,” Poseidon says. “What about Blue Haven? I can’t just abandon the kingdom, and I can’t leave my sons here without me or their father,” I reply. “You will remain here until the boys come of age to take the throne. Since your mother and father married and began ruling his kingdom, there have been court officials taking care of your duties while you and your family have been away. I will inform my brother of your return once your children come of age,” Poseidon explains. “What about this king of the light you speak of? You say Carolin would be angry if she knew she sent him to pursue me, who is he? It’s certainly not Lestat. He was a hybrid when I met him and was later turned into a vampire by magic to remove the Lycan part of him,” I ask curiously. “That’s something only you can find out for yourself. I cannot tell you who or where he is. All I can tell you is that he’s out there somewhere and that the two of you have met before,” Poseidon replies. The townspeople suddenly burst into an uproar that can even be heard through the thick stone walls of the castle. Stepping out onto the balcony I shout, “My fellow people of Blue Haven, what seems to be the trouble?” 

“Is it true, Our king has been dismissed from the throne?” One of the villagers asks curiously. Gasping I reply, “I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from, but I can assure you the kingdom is perfectly safe. There is no need to worry.” “Tis I, Maid Abigail who gave them the information. It is after all the truth Majesty. Something you royals know nothing about!” she shouts. “Do you know what you just did is treason!? You could be arrested and hung for this! Just be lucky that I’m the one who is on the throne and not your king. Lady Abigail, did you fill in the rest of your neighbors that your king locked a man from the village in the dungeon today? Did you also inform them that it was I who stood up to the king about the matter? Your neighbor will be in the courtyard to greet you and go home in a matter of minutes. I suggest you all get your facts straight before you go around harassing your Queen! Now, I highly suggest you all return to your homes before I change my mind!” I reply. The townspeople glance back and forth mumbling amongst one another before heading back to the village. “Amelia?” a voice whispers from behind me. Turning around, I come face to face with a tall, slender man with blue eyes and his skin appeared to glow. “Umm…No. I think you have mistaken me for someone else,” I reply. “Do you not remember me, my love? We were married two-thousand years ago today. Surely you remember me!” he tells me. “I’m sorry, but you have me confused with someone else. I am Scarlett Debenshire, Queen of Blue Haven. I’m not sure how you got up here on the balcony, but you better make it back down the same way you came up before my guards see you!” I tell him irritably.

As I walk away from him to head back inside, he grabs me by the arm and twirls me around to face him. His eyes have grown a darker shade of blue, and his gasp becomes tighter around my arms. “What do you think you’re doing!? I can have you arrested for treason!” I tell him. “Amelia, my love, do you really think you can fool me? I know it is you and not some queen. You’re the one who turned me into a Lanterian on our wedding night and you know very well your pathetic human guards are no match for me!” he says. “I don’t even know your name. I’ve never met you!” I snap. Grabbing a stake from the inside of his jacket, he presses it to my chest before saying, “My love, it’s me, Tyrion, but you already knew that. We could have been together forever, but you decided to have an affair and have someone else’s child while we were married. Do you have any idea what that did to me? How much you broke my heart? It made me go insane to lose you! I have always loved you, Amelia!” he sneers. “Let go of me this instant!” I yell. “Guards! Guards!” I shout. My guards come rushing out onto the balcony, with their swords at ready, and Poseidon right behind them. “You don’t belong here amongst the living!” Poseidon shouts as he points his trident at Tyrion. “Amelia is mine! Step back or I will stake her!” Tyrion yells. “Let her go brother!” a female voice says. “Amara! I knew it would be a matter of time before you found me! Amelia and I must be on our way now,” Tyrion tells his sister. 

“Tyrion, that isn’t Amelia! You know in your heart that isn’t her! Now, stop this nonsense and return with me to the other side!” Amara demands. “I can’t do that sister. This is Amelia! Just look at her! There is no mistake! She looks the same as she did when we were married so very long ago. Don’t let her fool you! She’s made a new life for herself and took a new name so I wouldn’t find her! I’m not a fool. I know this is her!” Tyrion says as he tries to kiss me. “Tyrion…brother, you murdered Amelia. She’s in heaven with the Gods. The person you are holding captive is Queen Scarlett Debenshire. Amelia’s doppelganger. Amelia is a long distance relative of hers. That’s why Scarlett resembles her. Now let her go and come with me,” Amara says extending her hand to Tyrion. Shaking his head Tyrion replies, “No sister, I simply won’t do that. We’re finally back home after 1,500 yrs. You were once the enchantress here, and you can be that again. We have so much unfinished business here! There are so many people here that need to be taught a lesson! Look at all of the lies, scandals, cheating, and adultery that has been going on around here in our kingdom! I can’t leave until I have taught all of these people a valuable lesson!” “Tyrion you can’t be serious!” Amara scolds. “I’m dead serious!” Tyrion says before shoving the stake into my shoulder and I let out a deafening scream before falling to the floor. 

Thatcher rushes out onto the balcony with his sword at ready. “You are hereby banned from this land bloodsucker!” Thatcher shouts before stabbing Tyrion in the heart with his sword. Tyrion turns his attention to Thatcher and smiles evilly before removing the blade from his chest and tosses it over the balcony. “Your pathetic metal cannot harm me human! Even silver doesn’t harm vampires. Do your research!” Tryion scoffs before disappearing. “Shelly! Are you alright!?” Thatcher shouts as he rushes to my side. Glancing at Amara and turning his attention back to me Poseidon inquires, “You…opened the veil to the other side!? Why?” I explain how I thought my father had come to me through Juliana, and how Charlotte found a spell to open the veil to be able to speak with the dead. Raising a brow in frustration Poseidon shouts, “The dead should be exactly just that! They aren’t meant to be roaming the land of the living! Stupid girl! Do you have any idea what you have done!? You let all of the supernatural beings out! Now I have to fix your mistake!” Turning her attention towards me she says, “Let me help with that Majesty.” I give a nod in agreement before she takes a knee and quickly pulls the stake out of my shoulder. 

As I scream out in agony, Thatcher gently lifts up my head and lays it in his lap and lovingly caresses my cheek as Amara places her hand over the wound on my shoulder. She closes her eyes for a brief moment before a vibrant blue light escapes the palm of her hand and beams onto my wound. “What are you doing?” I ask curiously. “Just a moment Majesty. Hold still this won’t hurt a bit,” Amara says reassuringly. Momentarily the blue light fades and she removes her hand from my shoulder. “It is done,” Amara says with a smile. As I pull the sleeve from the wound and look down at my shoulder, I notice that my wound has fully healed. “Thank you,” I tell her as Thatcher helps me up. “You’re welcome. It’s the least I can do for you after what my brother just did Milady. My brother was right though. So much has happened and changed since we’ve been on the other side. There’s so much hate, lies, deceit, and scandals. This used to be a land of kindness and love. When my brother and I found this land many moons ago, we became friends with the merfolk. A few years later, Poseidon gave this land to us. About a year after we built the castle, Taliesin found this kingdom and a few months later he told me he was in love with me. We were supposed to be married by the river on the twenty-seventh day of April, but he murdered me the night before our wedding. I guess he thought that murdering his bride was far more sufficient. Little did he know I had already created the other side for my brother and every other supernatural being,” Amara says as I slowly stand up.

“So you’re the first enchantress of Blue Haven? Does that mean that we’re related?” Thatcher asks. Rolling his eyes Poseidon says, “That’s exactly right. Amara is a descendant of your father King Silas.” “That’s such a sad story. Taliesin, isn’t that?” I begin but Lestat quickly interjects. “The father of Merlin. The very one who created the very first vampires,” Lestat informs as he approaches us. Rushing over to him I hug him tightly, “I thought you were leaving?” “I’m leaving in the morning. I sensed that you were in trouble, so I rushed up here. Are you alright?” he asks as he slides the bloody material down my shoulder. “Yes. I’m fine now. Amara healed me. See, my wound is completely gone. I’m as good as new!” I reply. “Just who is this?” Poseidon questions. “This is Prince Lestat. The former Prince of Dragon Valley,” I inform. “Dragon Valley? You’re Carolin’s boy!” Poseidon inquires. Lestat then explains how he was taken from his mother and what Carolin did to him through the years. “Be careful with this one. He’s a heartbreaker for sure,” Poseidon whispers in my ear before giving me a wink. Clearing his throat Poseidon says, “I have one last thing to do before I leave and that’s to close the veil. Amara, I suggest that you say your goodbyes before I begin. Once I start to close the veil I can’t stop. No matter what the circumstance is.” 

She gives a nod before turning her attention back to Thatcher, “There is so much I would like to tell you, but I don’t have enough time. If you should visit the waterfall near the river, I left my journal there. You can learn about what my life was like here, and more about your ancestors.” “Shelly!” two familiar voices call out. As I slide past Thatcher to get a better look at who’s calling me, I notice my Mother and father rushing towards me. “Shelly, are you alright? I heard you screaming,” Mom says as she looks down at my arm. “Yes, Mother. I’m perfectly fine. See?” I reply pointing out where the wound was on my arm. “We were worried about you sweetheart. What happened?” My father asks. I then explain to them what Tyrion did and how Amara helped me. Mom, Dad, There’s no time to waste. Poseidon is getting ready to close the veil. He’s given us enough time to say our goodbyes before he begins the enchantment,” I explain. A tear escapes Mom’s eye, and she quickly wipes it from her cheek before saying, “Then it’s time for us to go back to the other side. We’ll be watching over you and those precious grandbabies of ours.” My parents hug me tightly one last time before heading over to Poseidon to wait for Amara. Smiling slightly Thatcher hugs Amara tightly as the two say their goodbyes. Breaking from their embrace, Amara approaches Poseidon. “I’m ready now,” she tells him. 

He gives a nod in agreement before pointing his trident towards the sky. Thatcher approaches Amara and says, “I have so much to ask you.” What would you like to know? Maybe I can answer at least two questions,” she replies.  “What about the relationship between Shelly and I?” Thatcher questions. Smiling slightly Amara replies, “You weren’t meant to be. Let her go. You have someone right before your eyes who loves you dearly and has never stopped. Go, be with her. Let your love be known.” “What about Farah?” he inquires once again. “Like I said, let your love be known and be there for your unborn child! Just remember, I’ll be watching over you, so you better do what’s right!” Amara smiles before her voice and figure fade and disappear. “That’s it! The deed is done! I’ve done what I came here to do. Shelly, Keep this kingdom safe. I know your Prince Edmund will do just fine when he is king.” Poseidon says before leaving the kingdom. Turning his attention towards me Thatcher questions, “Edmund? Does this mean you finally picked out a name for our son?” Smiling sweetly I reply, “Yes! I’ve been wanting to tell you, but the timing was never right.” A smile forms on Thatcher’s face before he continues, “Edmund is a proud name! Shel…I should apologize for everything. I didn’t mean for anything to happen between me and Farah. I only wanted to make you happy. I lost my throne because my love for you clouded my judgment. I knew I had lost the love you had for me, and I began to lose my mind because of it. I was starting to become my father. He wasn’t exactly a very good king and was so cold and cruel to my mother. I did the one thing I swore I would never do, and that’s to take a mistress. I’m so sorry Shel…can you find it in your heart to forgive me?” “Of course I forgive you. I just can’t be with you. I’m so sorry Thatcher. I wish things would have worked out the way we planned, but you and I just don’t work. We’re both in love with another. You should go to Farah. Tell her how you feel and be there for her and your child,” I reply with a smile. You’re right! I’m gonna find her right now!” he replies and heads inside of the castle.

As I turn around to face Lestat I notice that I’m standing on the balcony with only my guards accompanying me. “Where did Prince Lestat run off to?” I ask one of the guards. “He looked upset Milady and went downstairs. He mumbled something about taking off his sunlight ring,” the guard replies. “Thank you. All of you are dismissed now,” I tell the guards. They give a bow and I head downstairs to find Lestat. ‘Now where would I go if I were upset about something?’ I think to myself. Then I think of the very place I would go if I needed a quick drink and possibly let the sun in through the windows. Rushing to the sitting room, I open the doors to find Lestat leaning against the fireplace drinking his bourbon. As I approach him I suddenly come to a stop as he begins to speak. “I wanted to apologize,” he says as he stares into the roaring fire of the fireplace. Folding my arms I let out a sigh and sarcastically say, “Good!” “Just…please let me finish. I said I wanted to apologize, but then I realized that I’m not sorry,” he begins but I quickly interject. Taking a deep breath I slowly begin approaching him and stop in front of him before saying, “You handed me over to Thatcher knowing that I don’t love him. Lestat, you didn’t even let me make that decision for myself. You made it for me and I’m just supposed to be ok with that?” 

“I didn’t say you were supposed to be ok with it. What I really am is selfish? Because I make bad choices that affect you.” Pointing to his sunlight ring laying on top of the mantle I yell,” “I see you were about to make another bad decision. What were you gonna do Lestat!? Let the sun in through the windows and kill yourself!?” He hangs his head down before looking back up at me and replying, “I made the decision for you Shel because I thought you were sired to me. I had to be sure your feelings were real. I had to get you away from me to be sure. I’ve done a lot of things that I regret Shel. Yes, I would rather die than live another day without you. I would rather die right now than spend my final years remembering how good I had it with you and how happy I was before I screwed it up. I would rather die right here than watch you walk away from me and be with Thatcher.” Looking at him in disbelief I take a deep breath before replying, “Fine, but I’m not sorry either. I’m not sorry that my parents introduced us. I’m not sorry that we had a wonderful life together. I’m not sorry that even in my immortal life you’re the one who makes me feel the most alive. You’ve been through a lot and have done some terrible things. You’ve made all of the wrong choices but so have I. I’ve killed and murdered innocent people in cold blood, but there’s one thing I’m not sorry for. I’m not sorry that I’m in love with you!” 

Lestat’s eyes widen before rushing over to me and embracing me in his arms. Caressing my cheek with his hand he whispers, “Say it again.” Locking my eyes on his I say, “I love you, my love. I never stopped loving you!” Pressing his lips to mine we share a passionate kiss before he says, “I have waited for so long to hear those words from you, my love. The thought of losing you all over again nearly killed me and I just wanted to die. Now we have only one problem left. What are you going to do about Thatcher?” Reaching into my pocket, I pull out the documents Alderan gave me and hold them up for Lestat to see. “Alderan freed me from the contract Merlin had with my parents. I’m free to marry whoever I wish,” I tell him smiling. “Just who do you wish to marry?” Lestat asks teasingly. “You! It’s always been you, my darling!” I tell him before pressing my lips to his once more. “Oh! Sorry to interrupt, but I’ve come with a gift for your Majesty,” Charlotte says as she enters the room. Breaking from our kiss I curiously ask, “What is it?” I mixed the cure for you Milady. You and I both know you weren’t supposed to be a Lanterian or any other creature of darkness,” she says. Folding my arms and looking at her sternly I reply, “Let me guess, a certain God by the name of Poseidon paid you a visit as well?” “The one and the same!” she replies. “She’s right Shel. You weren’t meant to be like this. I think you should take the cure. I heard what Poseidon said you’re supposed to do, and the last thing we want to do is piss off a God. The choice is yours, my love. I’ve overstepped my boundaries before, and this time I’m leaving the decision to you. 

Giving a little sigh I reply, “I’m not sure if I want the cure. With the Lycans still out there, and Carolin wanting to kill me, I don’t think it’s a very good idea. Besides, we’re together now. Surely Poseidon won’t allow a Lanterian to rule Blue Haven by my side.” Taking my hands into his, Lestat replies, “Then I’ll take the cure with you. I would do anything for you, Shel. By now you should know that. If taking the cure with you means we can grow old together, then I’m more than happy to take it.” “My dear boy, you can’t take the cure. It will kill you because you were a Lycan before a vampire. I can’t allow you to take something that will only bring your death,” Charlotte explains. “I was born a hybrid and turned into a vampire. Won’t the cure kill me as well?” I question. Shaking her head Charlotte replies, “No my dear. You were born a Faery hybrid who was turned into a vampire later, but you still have faery blood running through your veins. The cure will only put things back to the way they were meant to be. It’s perfectly safe my dear.” I give a nod in agreement before turning my attention back to Lestat, “If the cure is going to kill you, then you can’t take it with me. I would rather die a thousand deaths than not to have you in my life at all.” Holding out a tray of tiny vials Charlotte says sweetly, “Come, dear. Take one of these and drink. Your destiny awaits you.”

Grabbing one of the tiny vials of potion from the tray, I pull the cork from the tiny vial before asking, “Are you sure this is such a good idea?” Smiling Charlotte replies, “Of course! It’s perfectly safe. I wouldn’t give anyone I care about something that would hurt them.” I give a little shrug before saying, “Bottoms up” and drink the pink liquid. Different colored dew drops sparkle around me as my pale olive skin turns back into its normal tan color. “Are you alright darling?” Lestat asks in a concerned tone. “How do you feel my dear?” Charlotte asks. “I’m alright. I feel a little different,” I reply. Grabbing a hairpin from my hair, I prick my index finger to find that it isn’t healing itself. “Look! It worked! It isn’t healing!” I shout with excitement. Lestat smiles and places a kiss on my forehead before grabbing one of the other vials of potion from Charlotte’s tray. “What are you doing!? You can’t take that! You’ll die!” I shout. “You were a hybrid just like I was who was turned into a vampire. I am also a Lanterian just like you were. I want to live a normal life with you, and I want to rule by your side. You’re right, Poseidon won’t allow me to rule this kingdom with you as a Lanterian. I certainly can’t stay like this so you can die and leave me here to live a life without you in it!” Lestat says before drinking the potion. “Stupid boy! What have you done!” Charlotte shouts angrily. Momentarily the vial slips from Lestat’s hand before he collapses to the floor. “No!” I shout before kneeling down by his side. Placing my index and middle finger to his neck, I’m unable to find a pulse.

“Charlotte, I can’t find a pulse and he isn’t breathing! What can I do to help him!?” I ask with tears streaming down my cheeks. “I-I told him not to drink it. I told him it would kill him! I’ve never dealt with this sort of thing before. I don’t know how to help my Grandson!” she replies horrified. “There has to be something we can do to help him!” I shout. Laying my head on his chest and sobbing uncontrollably I cry, “Please don’t leave me, my love. We’ve just found each other again. I can’t bear to lose you! Come back to me, darling. Please come back.” As my tears land on Lestat’s chest, he begins to rise from the floor with balls of light spinning around him and I take a step back and stand by Charlotte. A shaft of light shines through his body, and little sprinkles of glittering dust surround him as he gently gets put back on the floor. His chest begins to rise and fall as he takes a few deep breaths before slowly rising to his feet. Gasping, tears of joy slide down my rosy cheeks, for the love of my life, is very much alive. His hair turns a beautiful golden brown, and his skin shines ever so brightly before returning to its normal tan color. Approaching him, I run my fingers through his hair and gaze into his vibrant blue eyes before he grabs my hand and gently places it on his cheek. “Shel…I feel different. The craving for blood is gone. But there’s something else,” he says before I interject. “What? What is it darling?” I ask worriedly. “It’s nothing to worry about really. I just feel a source of power that I haven’t felt before,” he explains.

Lestat kisses me passionately, and a brilliant blue ball of light beams as it circles around him before lighting up the navy blue sky. Dropping her tray of potion Charlotte lets out a little gasp. Breaking from our kiss I question, “Charlotte, what is it? Are you ok?” “I’m sorry. It’s just that I didn’t think it was possible!” “You didn’t think it was possible for your Grandson to live?” I curiously inquire. “No, not that. Majesty, do you not see what has happened here?” Charlotte asks. “Of course, I saw what happened. It’s a miracle that he’s even alive,” I reply. “You’re not understanding. Your tears brought him back. They somehow healed him Majesty, you’re standing next to your true king. Poseidon told me that if Lestat took the potion and he died and came back to life, it would mean he’s the true king of the light. I never would have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes!” Charlotte says. “The king of light? Are you sure?” I question. Giving a little shrug Charlotte replies, “That’s what Poseidon told me himself when he came to visit me before leaving the castle. If Poseidon has taught me one thing, it’s you never ever question a God.” Turning my attention back to Lestat I smile widely before saying, “We can get married! This all seems like a wonderful dream come true!” “I also have some more great news to share! Princess Juliana has returned to her normal age. She’s back to being a little toddler!” Charlotte informs. “Everything seems to be getting back to normal darling! Now you can do what you do best! You have a wedding to plan!” Lestat says excitedly. 

Chapter – 76

We all gather in Juliana’s room and notice her sleeping soundly in her bed. As I head over to her, Charlotte stops me, “Something isn’t right. Wait here, I’ll check on her.” I give a nod in agreement and Charlotte heads over to Juliana’s bed to check on her. As she reaches her bedside, Juliana’s eyes flutter open before quickly sitting up. “I was hoping you would return. Did you really think you could defeat me? Even on the other side I still have more power than you could ever imagine,” she says in a raspy voice. “Come over here. We need to send this evil witch back to where she came from!” Charlotte says as she gestures us to come over to her. I give Lestat a worried expression before he kisses me on the forehead. “Everything will be alright, I promise,” he whispers in my ear before nudging me towards Charlotte. As my mother approaches us she says, “I’m of no use to you, I’m not a witch.” Shaking her head Charlotte says, “Nonsense! I need all of those who have magic. In fact, I have already sent for my husband.” “Sorry, I’m late! I had to get Lord Snow to handle my duties while I was away. Gee whiz, where are my manners! I’m Michael, King of Moonlit Falls,” Michael says as he approaches us. “Nice to meet you,” my parents and I chime in. “I’ll just sit right over here,” Richard says pointing to the chair by the bedroom door. Charlotte gives a nod in agreement before the rest of us join hands with her. 

“We five come to you in this circle of light to save this child with all our might. A dark witch’s soul hides behind an innocent face. Our circle of five’s magic cast you out of this place. Evil witch of the lands you are banished for all the years to come. Return to the darkest places of hell which you are from” the five of us chant with Charlotte. Suddenly a radiant blue light explodes in the middle of the circle, knocking us all down to the floor. “You may have won this time, but you haven’t seen the last of me yet! Carolin will destroy this land, and all of those in it!” Morgana laughs evilly before leaving the kingdom. The light in the circle grows dim and disappears as fast as it came. Charlotte turns towards Juliana who lays peacefully sleeping. Leaning over and placing her hand on her forehead, Charlotte says, “The fever is gone. Lets’ give it a couple of hours and see if she returns to her normal age. Michael and I will be in the enchantment room searching for spells just in case,” Charlotte says before she and Michael disappear into thin air. “I really hope by banishing the witch, everything will go back to the way it was. I’m so scared for my little girl. I can’t begin to imagine everything Carolin has put her though,” I say. My mother turns towards me before embracing me in a tight hug, “Shh my Darling. I’m sure everything will be alright. You have hope and love for her, and right now that’s just what she needs.” “That’s right sweetheart. Never lose hope. She’ll be just fine,” my father says approaching us. 

“Speaking of love, where are the other little grandchildren of ours?” Mom asks. “Edmund and Elijah are in the nursery. I can take you to see them if you would like,” I reply. “There’s no need sweetheart. We know how to get to the nursery. We’ve been watching over all of you, remember?” Richard replies. “Very well then. You two go ahead and spend time with the boys. I’ll be there soon,” I reply. Dad gives a nod in agreement and Mom follows him out of the room. “Cm’on love, let her rest. She’s gonna need it after everything she’s been through,” Lestat tells me. Smiling slightly, I give Juliana a gentle kiss on the cheek before Lestat and I leave the room. Closing the door behind him Lestat says, “Darling, I have something to tell you and you’re probably not gonna like it.” “What is it, my love? What’s bothering you?” I ask curiously. “Will you join me in the formal dining hall?” he asks. “If I join you, will you tell me what’s wrong?” I ask him. “Yes, but it’s not something I don’t care to discuss in the middle of the halls,” he replies. Smiling slightly, I hesitantly agree to go with him. The two of us enter the room and notice Maid Molly lighting the fireplace. “Molly, would you mind giving us a little privacy?” I ask her. “Not at all Majesty,” she says before giving a little curtsy and leaves the room. 

Lestat lets out a heavy sigh before replying, “I’ve been thinking long and hard about our last conversation. You said you needed some time and space to figure things out. I can’t keep playing second best forever love, and I can’t stand to see a family torn apart. I’ve summoned for Thatcher to meet us here so we can all talk.” “You were and never will be second best! What’s this all about?” I ask. “It’s about finally announcing you as the Queen of Blue Haven to our people. They have been waiting for this moment for a very long time, and now is the time,” Thatcher says entering the room. “You can’t be serious! This is my decision to make, not yours!” I scoff. Turning towards Lestat I sigh deeply before saying, “This isn’t fair! I love you!” “Life isn’t fair love. You made your feelings very clear to me back at Stone Ridge. Charlotte says you could be bonded to me the way the Lycans are to their sire. You could think your feelings for me are real by a sire bond. It rarely happens in vampires, but this could be the reason why you think you’re in love with me. The only way to possibly tell is to separate us. Darling, this is the only way I can think of, and it’s for your own good,” he replies taking his hands on mine and resting his head against my forehead. “My heart has always belonged to you, and you alone. Everything I have ever felt for you has been very real, not because of some sire bond! You’ve got to believe me when I say that I love you!” I reply as tears stream down my cheeks. 

“Shel…Majesty, you were in love with Thatcher before I came back and I ruined everything the two of you shared together. I can’t let your children suffer for our actions, and I can’t apologize enough for everything my family and myself have put you through. It’s time for you to move forward with your family. Even if that means your life doesn’t include me in it. I’ll always be watching over you. Now that you’re a Lanterian, I can sense when you’re in trouble, and you know I’ll be right there to help you. But this is the way things have to be. At least for now,” Lestat replies. Shaking my head in disbelief I say, “This isn’t your call, it is mine! No one else’s! Damn it Lestat! I really can’t believe you right now! Either of you!” I shout. “Majesty, just know that I’ll love you always and forever,” Lestat says with tear-filled eyes. “Hugging him tightly I say, “This isn’t fair! I should be able to choose whoever I want to be with for love, not because of some wizard’s demands, or some sire bond you think I have!” Wiping the tears from his eyes, Lestat says, “We can’t change that love and you know that. It was your parents call to make that promise. Not mine. I’m afraid this is the way it has to be. It’s not just because of the promise your parents made, we also have to make sure your feelings for me are real, and not just something you think you feel for me. I love you Shel, and it’s because that I love you, I can’t be selfish with you. I don’t deserve you, not after everything I’ve put you through, but Thatcher does. I sure in hell can’t ask you to leave your kingdom to be with a nobody, which is exactly what I am. I don’t have a title, nor do I have anything to offer you.” Lestat then places my hand into Thatcher’s. Accepting my hand Thatcher thanks, Lestat before leading me towards the door. Turning my head to get one last look at Lestat, he runs his fingers through his hair as tears stream down his cheeks. Painfully he watches me being lead out of the room by Thatcher.

The following evening after my ladies dress me for this evenings event, a gentle knock stirs me from my thoughts. “Come in,” I call out. It’s just us sweetheart. Your father and I wanted to see you before the coronation. How are you holding up?” Mom asks. Tears slide down my cheeks before saying, “Do I have to go through with this? I don’t want to be announced as his queen. In fact, I don’t want this at all.” “Now sweetheart, you mean to tell me you never wanted any of this? Because if my memory serves me right, you told me back at Stone Ridge you love him and want to be with him. What has changed your mind?” Dad asks. Hugging my father tightly, I reply, “Oh Daddy! I really thought he was the one! Lestat had left me, his step-mother is a psychopath, and his sister a murderer. Thatcher came in at the right time and I thought I was truly over Lestat. I really thought I hated him, but the truth is I never stopped loving him,” I tell him before continuing to explain everything Lestat had compelled me to forget. “Hmm. He actually made you think he left you and wasn’t coming back only because he knew you would follow him?” Dad asks. “Yes. I saw it in his memories after I fed on him. He was right you know. I would have followed him because I would have done anything to make him stay. I wouldn’t have cared if I was in danger or not,” I reply. 

“What can I say? the heart wants what the heart wants. What did Katherine say anything about this before she passed?” Dad asked. “I simply told her what Alderan said, and he said he would kill her if she didn’t remain with Thatcher. However, I don’t think Shelly had been turned yet. Not sure how a Lanterian marrying a human ancestor of his would benefit him,” Katherine says as she enters my room. Natalia raises a brow and gives Richard the death stare, but remains silent not saying a word. Running up to her and giving her a tight squeeze I shout, “Katherine! “I’m so glad to see you!” “At least one of us is,” Natalia mumbles. Turning to face her I sternly say, “Mother, if you can’t say anything nice, then you can just escort yourself right out of my room.” “You’re right, sweetheart. I’m sorry. I just let my emotions get the best of me. This is your day, and I’ll do my best to keep myself content,” Natalia replies. I give a nod in response before saying, “So what exactly am I supposed to do?” I ask my parents. Gently placing a hand on my shoulder Katherine says, “Due all respect Majesties, but I think Lestat was right. Shelly, just keep going on about your day. Do whatever gets you through it, and just wait this thing out. You’ll know by tomorrow afternoon if it’s the sire bond or if your feelings for Lestat are real. Now, lets’ get you upstairs where Thatcher is waiting for you. Can’t keep the man waiting forever.” I give a nod in agreement, and my parents and Katherine walk me to the bottom of the stairs where Thatcher awaits.

Taking Thatcher’s arm, the royal guards follow us up the stairwell where the fanfare announces their king. The villagers gather in the courtyard, and upon seeing Thatcher atop the balcony, they burst out into cheers. Smiling he waves at them and puts up his hands for them to fall silent as he begins to speak. “My fellow people, you have waited a very long time for this event to take place, and I’m finally ready to give you peace. On this very evening, I’m very pleased to introduce to you, not only my wife but your Queen! Please give a warm welcome to Queen Scarlett Michelle Mason!” Thatcher announces. The townspeople nod and shout happily on Thatcher’s announcement. As I approach Thatcher, something by the right tower catches my eye. As I turn my head to see what it is, I notice Lestat starting to heading towards us before stopping himself. His eyes fill up with tears before he disappears once again. Every ounce of me wants to rush over to him and hold him in my arms and embrace the pain away, but I know that I can’t. I have to go through with this horrible nightmare. At least until we can figure out if I’m sired to him or not. Putting his arm around my waist, Thatcher nudges me towards the front of the balcony. “My dear people, I give you, Queen Scarlett! All hail to your Queen of Blue Haven!” Thatcher shouts and applauds. “Here’s to the Queen!” one of the villagers shouts. “Here, here!” the townspeople shout and applause at my appearance. 

Once the proceedings of the coronation have concluded, Thatcher and I attend to matters in the throne room. “Now that you have been properly announced as my queen, I suggest maybe tomorrow you take a walk in the village. Introduce yourself to some of the townspeople. They are very interested to meet you,” Thatcher says before turning his attention to Kristen who’s yelling in the halls. One of the royal guards shoves Kristen through the double doors before shoving her towards us and saying, “We found this creature loitering around by the doorway,” one of the guards says before shoving Kristen in front of us. “Giving a little curtsy Kristen says, “Your Majesties.” “You may rise,” Thatcher says. “I-I’m not sure why I’m here. I wasn’t loitering by the doors, I was just-,” Kristen begins but Thatcher quickly interjects. “Silence! I’ve had enough of you creatures thinking you can take and do whatever you want in my kingdom! You especially have caused nothing but trouble and murdered our poor friend Cirrus, the elder queen of Brendlewood!” “Majesty, I acted that way because my humanity was off. Surely you wouldn’t punish me for something I had no control over!?” Kristen questions in shock. “That’s enough out of you! You also took Shelly’s life. Not to mention you compelled me so I would sleep with you and have my child which is treason! Speaking of this…child, where is it!?” Thatcher shouts. “Like I would tell you where the child is! I have trustworthy people raising the child as their own, and that’s all you need to know!” Kristen shouts back. “Guards! Take this creature to the dungeon to rot, and bring me some trustworthy men! I want that child found and disposed of!” Thatcher growls. “No! You can’t! You mustn’t!” Kristen yells as the guards take her to the dungeon.Thatcher leans over and tenderly kisses me, “Don’t worry darling, I’ll take care of the child. He or she will never hurt us.” Locking my eyes on his I say, Maybe I’ll give you another chance and make everything up to you later. Perhaps a quiet dinner for just the two of us?” I propose. “Majesty, Lady Farah is here to see you,” one of the guards announces. Rolling my eyes and leaning back into my throne I reply, “Please, show her in.” The guard gives a bow before opening the door, allowing Farah to come through. “Your Majesties,” Farah says as she curtsies. “You may rise,” Thatcher says. “Thank you, Majesty. My Queen, I have some news for you I think you might find of some interest. May I speak freely?” Farah says slyly. Thatcher raises a brow and hangs his head in disbelief as I look at her curiously, and tell her that she may before she continues. “Majesty, the news I have you might find disturbing, but I think you have the right to know. Your King- your husband Thatcher and I have been having an affair. I’ve visited his chambers many times now, and you should know that I’m with child. The baby is indeed his. He has even asked me to be his mistress even though your memories have returned to you,” Farah says smiling sweetly. “That’s a lie!” Thatcher yells. “I’ll handle this darling,” I reply before getting up from my throne. Heading over to Farah, I place my hands on her swollen belly. Listening closely, faintly I can hear a tiny heart beating at a fast pace. Looking towards Thatcher I say, “I-It’s true! Did you know about this!?” Glancing at me, Thatcher’s looks down at the floor and avoids my question. “You will answer the question! Now I’ll ask once again. Did you know about this!?” I shout frustratedly. “Majesty, the answer is right here. Our contract in his own hand,” Farah says before handing me the scroll.

After reading over the contract, I hand it back to Farah and shake my head in disbelief. “You! I trusted you! To think I actually was thinking about making things right! Asking her to be your mistress, and hiding her child!? A child you’re the father of!? You disgust me! Did you really think when I found out I would be ok with this!? That we could just pick up where we left off before you left Brendlewood!?” I continue to shout. Silence spreads the room, enough to where you can hear a pin drop. “Damn it, Thatcher! Answer me!” I scream. “Everything she’s saying is a lie!” he says. “So you mean to tell me everything she just told me is a lie!? The proof is right here in my hand! I saw you! I saw the two of you together before I gained my memories back. You were in your study embracing her in a kiss!” I yell. Turning towards Farah I shout, “As for you! You’re lucky I’m not a vampire right now because I would rip your heart out and crush it with my bare hands!” Throwing my crown and wedding ring at Thatcher, I rush to his chambers. “Shelly! Wait! he calls out, but I ignore him and keep going. “We’ll talk about this later,” Thatcher tells Farah with clenched teeth before running after me. “Are you really going to let her talk to me that way!?” Farah calls out, but Thatcher ignores her. Slowly entering his chambers he finds me standing by the fireplace. “Shel…I-” he begins but I quickly interject. Folding my arms I say, “Why don’t you try telling me the truth for once!” “The truth is, I’ve been trying to stop thinking about you, and I can’t. Stay with me Shel, and I promise everything with Farah will stop. I’ll even send her away if that will show you how much I love you,” Thatcher replies. 

Frustratedly I try to walk away as Thatcher tries to grab me by the arm, and I quickly snatch it out of his grasp. What do you think you’re doing! Keep your hands off of me!” I shout and turn to walk away again. “Don’t turn your back on me!” Thatcher yells. “I should’ve turned my back on you ages ago!” I retort. “Why are you so mad? It’s not like you weren’t messing around with that so-called ex-husband of yours! Exactly what are you so afraid of, Shel?” You! I’m afraid of you!” I shout. “What have I done to make you so afraid of me, and what can I do make it all better?” Thatcher gently asks. Rolling my eyes I reply, “Do I really have to spell out exactly what you did!? To really top it all off, just like your father, you’re a hunter! But yet you ask me why I’m afraid of you!? Do I need to remind you that you hid a big part of your life from me!?” “What exactly do you want from me!? An apology? Shel, all I can say is I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’ve tried breaking it off with Farah, but she wouldn’t listen. She threatened to come forward and tell you everything if I didn’t stay with her while you were a vampire just so she could see you possibly turn me. When you regained your memories I told her I was going to come clean with you. She then hit me over the head with a vase, and knocked me out cold,” Thatcher explains. “I really don’t know what to believe anymore! I can’t do this Thatcher. I need some time alone to think things through. You’ve lied and cheated on me! I have always been completely honest with you. Don’t come after me! I’m done with this conversation!” I scoff before leaving the room and heading to my chambers. “Oh come on Shel! We can work things out!” I hear Thatcher shout before punching the door. ‘Ugh! I can’t believe him! Does he actually think all of those things are forgivable?’ I think to myself. Gently turning the door handle, the door creaks and I enter my chambers. 

Pacing back and forth I think, ‘Work things out! Has he gone crazy? There’s nothing more to work out! He’s shamed me in front of the whole court, and made me the laughing stock in front of the entire kingdom! After a few moments of pondering on what to do, I decide to step out onto the balcony to get a breath of fresh air. The night is crystal clear, with a million stars in the sky glittering like diamonds. A gentle warm breeze greets me, and I take a moment to gaze up at the brilliant night sky. The sound of the ocean’s waves can be heard crashing along the shore in the distance, and my mind wonders off about what Lestat is doing at this very moment. Since he left me earlier, I feel as if there’s a hole inside of me, an emptiness that burns. Glancing up at the brilliant full moon, all I can think about is him, and how I would give anything to be wrapped in his gentle embrace right now. When I’m enveloped in his arms, I feel safe and loved, and time just seems to lay down at a standstill. I miss him so much that it hurts. Is this the sire bond he was referring to or is the love I have burning for him a fantasy? It’s hard to say because it feels so very real to me. Tears stream down my rosy cheeks before heading back inside. As I close the balcony door behind me, a gentle knock disturbs me from my thoughts. “Come in,” I call out and Lady Gemina enters the room. “I’ve just come up to dress you for the night before heading to bed myself Milady,” Lady Gemina says. 

Smiling slightly, I give her a nod in agreement and she helps me out of my gown and into my nightgown. “Will that be all Milady, or would you like a nice cup of hot tea before bed?” she asks. “That will be all for the night,” I reply. Lady Gemina gives a little curtsy before leaving the room. Plopping down onto the bed, my thoughts begin to race and I cry myself to sleep. “Maybe she’s dead?” I hear Lady Hester say disturbing me from my slumber. Elbowing her in the side, Lady Gemina replies, “Stupid! She’s already dead! How much more dead can you get than being a Vampire or Lanterian you idiot!?” “W-What’s the meaning of this?” I ask before sitting on the edge of my bed trying not to stifle a giggle. “Quickly standing straight, the two ladies say in a stutter, “W-W-We have been trying to wake you for hours Milady. We were beginning to worry that you might not wake up.” “What time is it?” I ask wiping the sleep from my eyes. “It’s 2:30pm Majesty. We’ve tried waking you several times for breakfast. We’ve been instructed to make sure you have this when you wake,” Lady Gemina says as she hands me a blood bag. “Thank you. Will you be helping me dress, or shall I do it myself?” I ask curiously laying the bag on the bed beside me. Giving a little curtsy, Lady Hester says, “Sorry Milady! I’ll get your gown right away.” As she turns to head over to the closet, she bumps into Lady Gemina who already has my gown in her hands. “Clumsy! Watch where you’re going!” Lady Gemina shouts as she thumps Lady Hester in the head with a shoe. 

I shake my head in disbelief at the two morons who are preparing me for the day before saying, “I can take it from here. You’re free to go.” Lady Gemina lays my gown and shoes on the bed before the two give a curtsy and leave the room. After they shut the door behind them, I plop back onto my bed and grab a pillow to muffle my laughter. ‘What on earth was wrong with those two? I’ve never witnessed such idiocy in my entire life!’ I think to myself. After dressing myself, I sit at my dresser drinking the contents of the bag Lady Gemina handed me earlier. “Knock, knock,” My mother calls out as she enters the room. After drinking the last of the delicious liquid, I sit the empty bag on the dresser before my mother approaches me with a slight frown. “Your father and I never wanted this lifestyle for you. We were thrilled when you turned on your eighteenth birthday to find out you took after the Fae more than the vampire. I’m sorry Carolin did all of those awful things to you. She used to be a dear friend of mine. When your father and I heard she had a son, we were more than happy to have her as our ally. We even hoped you and Lestat would fall head over heels for each other. Sadly, things didn’t work out with him either,” Natalia rambles on. “Oh my gosh! What time is it mother?” I ask. Glancing at the clock she replies, “It’s only 4:00pm. Do you have plans with Thatcher?” she inquires as she placed my brush back in its’ drawer. Springing from my seat I reply, “Lestat! I have to find him!” I say before rushing out of the room. 

As I round the corner, I peer into Thatcher’s study to find him at his desk. Gently knocking at the door I call out, “May I come in?” Glancing up at me from the documents he’s reading, he rises from his chair. “I didn’t think you would ever speak to me again after what happened last night,” Thatcher says. “I still haven’t forgiven you for what you have done. May I speak freely?” I ask. “Of course,” he replies as he gestures for me to take a seat before sitting back in his chair. I take a seat in one of the chairs in front of his desk before saying, “I was actually thinking about apologizing to you for everything I did when I had lost my memories. But then I realized, why should I be sorry for something I had no control over? You had control over your actions. You made the bad decisions. I didn’t force you to do those things. As for Kristen compelling you to do with you as she saw fit, I can forgive that. But as for what happened with Farah, I’m sorry but that’s unforgivable. Whether she pursued you first or however it happened, you had the choice to turn her down, but you didn’t. You went right along with her escapade. I didn’t come here to pick a fight with you. I came here to tell you that I’ve come to a decision of what I want, and what I want is a divorce.” “Oh come on Shel! I didn’t mean for anything to happen with Farah. She saw that I was feeling down and I took comfort in her arms. That’s all that happened in that situation. There’s no love for her in my heart. I’ve already promised you that it will never happen again. What more do you want?” Thatcher retorts. 

For starters, I want a husband who isn’t a liar and a cheat. One who won’t allow others to pursue him. One who’s honest, loyal and true. As for you, none of those things suit you! There’s no sense of trying to talk me out of this. I have already made up my mind!” I reply and head to Lestat’s chambers. Opening his bedroom door, I find Lestat nowhere in sight, but a male figure stands with his arms crossed, looking out of the window. “We have much to discuss Princess Debenshire,” the strange man says turning towards me and gazes at me coldly. Looking at him curiously I ask, “Is there something I can help you with? A-Are you searching for someone?” “I have been searching for you, daughter of the light,” he replies. As he approaches me, his chestnut hair and warm amber eyes glisten in the candlelight. “Stay back! That’s far enough!” I yell as he reaches the fireplace. Ignoring my demands, he continues his course and stops in front of me. “Do you have any idea who I am, Majesty?” the stranger asks. “I have no idea who you are, and if you try anything, I’ll scream!” I reply. “You really have no idea who I am, do you? My name is Alderan. I’m sure your injured vampire friend told you all about me,” he says in a cold tone. “Merlin’s great-grandson,” I mumble. “That vampire friend you’re talking about was my stepmother! How could you be so cold and cruel to someone who came to you for help?” I scold. “You better watch your tongue Majesty. I still hold your life in my hands and I can choose if you live or die!” he berates. 

Suddenly, a cloud of turquoise smoke appears behind Alderan. As the smoke clears, a beautiful young slender woman stands. Her soft curly midnight hair is pulled together on the side and hung over her shoulder. As she approaches us, her perfect porcelain skin shines in the candlelight, and her dazzling blue eyes gaze at us with curiosity. “Who-Who are you?” I cautiously ask. “I am Odessa, wife of Alderan, and sorceress of the realm,” she explains smiling sweetly. Clearing his throat Alderan says, “My Great Grandfather was promised that the daughter of the light would mary one of his descendants. That promise has been broken! Scarlett and her people must be punished!” he says angrily. “Now dear, we married for love, we weren’t forced! Don’t you think these people have been through enough? Perhaps we should allow them to follow their hearts?” Odessa adds. “No! My Great Grandfather saved her mother’s life, and in return one of her daughters, if she were to have any, were to marry one of his descendants. Which clearly she has not,” Alderan shouts. “That’s where you’re wrong! I kept that promise and married King Thatcher, but now I want a divorce. He’s been lying and cheating on me since Farah came into the picture. I’m just done with this whole situation, and I don’t really wanna go into full detail,” I explain. “I don’t care what he’s done, or what you want. You’re the daughter of the light, and your mother made a promise to my Great Grandfather. You can’t just take it upon yourself to back out of it! 

As long you live, you will honor the vows to your marriage!” He shouts. Silence spreads the room before Odessa begins to speak. “Darling, I think you’re going about this the wrong way!” she says. “Nonsense woman! I know-” he begins but Odessa quickly interjects. Putting her index finger to her lips, she motions for him to be quiet and listen. After five minutes of listening to silence, I roll my eyes before Alderan says, “I think you’re going, crazy woman! I don’t hear a damn thing!” “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! She doesn’t have a heartbeat or any other signs of life,” Odessa explains. Turning towards me she asks, “What are you, my dear?” “I-I’m a Lanterian. Princess Kristen killed me while I was in a coma, and I turned into a vampire while I had vampire blood in my system. Queen Charlotte and Prince Lestat saved me and helped me become a Lanterian. So you see, I’m useless to the Lycans and Vampires now,” I clarify. “You’re still among the living. You will remain with Thatcher until death do you part,” Alderan demands. “Darling, to be fair, she’s already dead, and she did marry the King. If the King has proven to be untrue to his vows, I say we let her out of the marriage and allow her to marry whoever she chooses,” Odessa says. Taking the folded contract Farah gave me from my pocket, I hand it over to Odessa. “What is this?” she asks curiously. “It’s the contract between King Thatcher and his mistress. When you unfold it, you’ll see that it’s clearly written in his own hand and was sealed with his family ring,” I explain. Odessa looks over the contract carefully before opening and reading it. Gasping, she hands the document to Alderan. After reading Thatcher’s contract, his amber eyes lock on mine before saying, “It seems to me that you have done your part and even kept your promise to my family,” he says. Retrieving a rolled up piece of paper from his pouch, he unravels it and holds it up. “This is the contract your parents signed,” he says as he shows me the document.

“Why are you showing me this?” I ask curiously. The door creaks open once again, and this time Thatcher enters the room before Alderan gets to answer my question. “What is the meaning of this intrusion!? Who are you and what are you doing in my kingdom unannounced!?” Thatcher shouts. Rolling his eyes, and coldly gazing at the King, Alderan says, “I think you very well know who I am. You were just listening to everything outside of the door, were you not?” A few moments of awkward silence spread between the two before Thatcher says, “I-I simply heard strange voices coming from this room and I was just investigating to see who could possibly be rummaging through Lestat’s quarters.” Turning her attention to Thatcher Odessa scolds, “Liar! You followed your wife to this room. I bet you were hoping to catch her and Lestat together so you could have your guards take her away for treason! Weren’t you!?” “No! I would never do that! I love her…I’ve always loved her and I would never do anything to hurt her!” Thatcher retorts. “What of this contract Queen Scarlet has just shown us? Seems to me you weren’t thinking clearly…or perhaps you were thinking. Clearly thinking with the wrong head!” “I-I didn’t mean for that to happen. Farah came to me in a moment of weakness. I called off everything because I just want my child to be safe,” Thatcher replies.

“Nonsense! This contract is written in your hand, is it not!? Do I need to read aloud what this piece of paper states!?” Thatcher hangs his head down in defeat before saying, “No…you don’t have to do that. I’m just trying to make things right with Shelly.” Odessa raises her left hand and points it at Thatcher. and he suddenly begins floating up in the air, as little beams of light circle around him. Slowly he falls back to the floor and his clothing plops back on top of him. “Then you clearly are the swine of this realm!” Odessa shouts. Slowly and cautiously I begin pulling the clothing off of his body hoping to just find that he just disappeared, but only a pig remains. Gasping in disbelief I manage to inquire, “You…You turned him into a pig?”  “I’d say that measly farm animal suits him perfectly! Here stands King Thatcher, King of the pigs!” Odessa laughs. “B-But who will run this kingdom without him?” I carefully question. “You are a Queen are you not?” Odessa inquires. I give a little nod, carefully not to make her any angrier than she already is. “Then you will be in charge of the Kingdom. After all, you are still the Queen of Blue Haven until after your divorce,” Odessa says. “That’s nonsense. How can I be a Queen without a King?” I question. “The King has indeed committed adultery and has threatened an innocent life. I will turn Thatcher back into his human form, but there will be certain consequences when he returns to the throne,” Alderan adds. “What kind of consequences?” I ask. “I can’t give you any more information. I’m afraid I’ve already said enough,” Alderan replies.

Waving his right hand below the paper, the document catches fire before Alderan replies, “The contract is invalid, void, and has never existed from this day forth.” Crossing my arms I ask, “What exactly is that supposed to mean?” Rolling his eyes Alderan replies, “It means you’re free to marry whoever you choose and get a divorce if you shall please. Even if it is that…creature of the night of yours you should want to marry.” “I-I’m free?” I say smiling slightly?” “Yes my dear, you’re free from the contract your parents signed so long ago!” Odessa assures. Pointing her hand at the pig on the floor, Thatcher returns to his human form. “The information my husband has given you cannot be spoken about to anyone,” Odessa says. “But why can’t I tell anyone?” I question. “Come darling. Lets head home,” Alderan says extending his arm. Odessa smiles widely and accepts his arm before the two disappear before telling me why I can’t tell anyone what I just heard. Grabbing a nearby blanket, I wrap it around Thatcher and lead him into his quarters. After helping him to his bed, I quietly leave the room and head to my chambers to ponder on the information I was just given. Stepping out onto the balcony and gazing up at the stars I pray, “I know there’s a God who is listening to me, and see’s my pain. I can’t go on like this with Thatcher. How can I possibly love a King who has become so cold and cruel? He’s committed adultery, lied, and cheated on me with a woman who is now carrying his baby. I’m the laughing stock of the entire kingdom! I thought I loved him, but he has shown his true colors. I’m in love with another but I can’t truly be his when I’m married to another. Please help me and give me your guidance.” The gentle wind blows through my hair, and I get a strange feeling as if someone has been listening. I give a little shrug and head back inside where I turn in for the night.

Shelly Debenshire: Choosing a King

Shelly 2The time to vote has arrived! First of all I would like to thank all of the creators who have given us all the wonderful CC they create. Without them, this story wouldn’t be possible.

Both Lestat and Thatcher are in this story. If you have not read the storyline, please do so before voting. I’m looking for truthful and loyal votes as to who your favorite King to be is. Thatcher May be a King, but is he the perfect fit for Shelly?

Two suitors and only one of them can be with his true love. You only get one vote, and you can’t change your answer once you have voted.

Just to refresh your memory on who is who bc I had to switch back to TS4 a while back, below are two pics of the suitors. Again, you can only choose one of them, and no, you can’t take them home with you lol

Lestat Lioncourt


Thatcher Mason


I’m holding this POLL because Shelly is confused with her feelings. But I do have to say that she loves one more than she does the other. Lestat has been my baby character from day one, and Thatcher was made tons of chapters after the first with Lestat. So this is very hard for me lol

Chapter – 75

A few days later….

Katherine’s passing was sudden, and though tragic, it was good to see the kingdom undoubtedly place their trust in Thatcher for guidance in this time of grief. With a bit of magic, I successfully became a Lanterian thanks to Charlotte and Lestat. My hunger for blood has decreased significantly, and I’m finally able to control it. In return for upholding the alliance with Blue Haven, Charlotte has agreed to send donations of blood so I won’t have to feed on others. Thatcher had gathered with his ally of Stone Ridge, informing King Rohan and Queen Isabelle of the chaos that has fallen on his kingdom. Rohan and his men naturally agreed to help the people of Blue Haven from the despicable terror that has been overtaking it. Charlotte has been staying in my chambers for assistance and moral support the past few days as the spell continued to work its magic. The following morning, a gentle knock on the door wakes us. “Come in,” I call out wiping the sleep from my eyes. “Good morning Majesty! The sun’s out, and the weather is nice. The children have been sleeping soundly, and the kingdom greets us with a new day! Come Milady, it’s time to get up! Thatcher has summoned for you,” Lady Molly says cheerfully. “Has there been any word of Juliana?” I ask as I get out of bed. “No, Milady. I haven’t heard anything. Perhaps Thatcher has some news for you,” Lady Molly replies as she dresses me.

Once I’m ready for the day, I head downstairs to find Thatcher waiting for me at the bottom of the stairwell. Turning towards me, a small grin forms on his face before saying, “Good morning my love. I hope you slept well.” I give a slight smile before replying, “Yes, actually I slept pretty soundly. I am curious to know why you have asked for me. Is there any word of our daughter?” Extending his elbow, I take his arm, and he leads me into the formal dining room before informing me there has been no change in Juliana’s condition. “I have requested the maids to set the table for just the two of us before everyone else to gets up to have breakfast. I thought this would be the perfect chance for us to get to know each other again and to catch up on things,” he replies. He pulls out the chair for me to take a seat, and then takes a seat across from me once I’m comfortable in my chair. The maids bring in platters filled with fried eggs, muffins, toast, bacon, fresh squeezed orange juice, cows milk,  and a pot of freshly brewed coffee. As they lay the delicious looking food on the table, the aroma fills the air, and I suddenly begin to feel sick. “Are you alright darling?” Thatcher asks worriedly as he grabs my hand. “I’m not sure. I just got dizzy all of a sudden. I’m not sure if I should be eating……you know, this kind of food,” I reply. Snapping his fingers, one of the maids rushes into the room and hands Thatcher a small plastic bag. “Here darling. Try drinking this first. Charlotte said you might feel sick at first and this should help, “He says as he hands me the small bag. 

“What is it?” I ask curiously. “It’s a blood bag from Charlotte’s personal stash. She said if you begin feeling sick when introducing you back to human food, you should try to drink that first. It will help you feel better,” Thatcher explains. I give a nod in agreement and drink from the bag. “How do you feel? Any better?” Thatcher asks as I drink the rest of the liquid. “I feel much better,” I reply as I sit the empty bag on the table. “Glad to hear it,” he replies and nods to the footman to pass along the delicious breakfast from the platters. “Charlotte says you’ve gained the rest of your memories back,” Thatcher says as he spoons a fork full of eggs into his mouth. “Well, most of them. They’re still coming back to me in pieces,” I reply smearing butter on my toast. “Have any of your feelings for me returned?” Thatcher asks before Rohan enters the room. “Sorry to interrupt Majesty, but I have some important news,” Rohan says. Thatcher nods towards an empty chair and asks him to sit with us. As Rohan takes a seat he says, “I’m afraid we’ve had an encounter with a witch.” “Has Morgana paid a visit to your kingdom as well?” Thatcher questions. “No Majesty. Mylene was a well-trusted enchantress of Stone Ridge. My grandfather trusted her, but I’m afraid he trusted her a little too much. We just found out she had slipped some dead man’s blood into his tea when the kitchen maids weren’t looking. When one of my royal guards approached Mylene about this matter, she burst out into a fit of laughter. She then told me how she poisoned him and slipped him a potion to make him age. We also found out that she was working for Carolin all of these years. When my men tried to arrest her, she disappeared into a cloud of smoke. We weren’t able to relocate her Majesty,” Rohan replies. 

“Silent tears stream down my cheeks before saying, “I’ve known Mylene since I was a little girl. I never thought she would do something like this.” Taking my hand in his Rohan says, “I’m so sorry Mother. I loved Grandfather too. My only wish is we could have known him the way you did and had more time with him. Now that we know what happened, and who poisoned him, we can begin the search for this witch.” “Do you have any idea where she would have gone other than Dragon Valley?” Thatcher questions. “We’re clueless. I don’t even know where to begin,” Rohan replies. “Have you sent word to Learia?” Thatcher asks. “Yes, and even my brother King Luke hasn’t heard anything. I’ve sent some of my men to begin searching in the surrounding villages, but so far we’ve come up empty-handed. I’m sure she’ll turn up somewhere. Unfortunately, it will be somewhere we least expect. Seems to always happen that way,” Rohan explains. “What about Charlotte? Do you think she would help?” Thatcher asks me. “Possibly. I mean this can affect her kingdom as well. If Carolin really wants to take out the whole realm, then I can see her sending Mylene to different kingdoms,” I reply.  

“Very well then. “I’ll send some of my men to search for this evil enchantress or yours. However, I won’t be sending them to Dragon Valley to be in the middle of a bloodbath. Perhaps we will find her in a different realm. Either way, she will be found and dealt with!” Thatcher replies. “Thank you, Majesty. I’ll send some of my men to join in on the search. I’m sure she will be found,” Rohan says before leaving the room. “Now as we were….” Thatcher begins but Archer interrupts. “Sorry for the intrusion Majesties,” Archer tells us. Thatcher sighs deeply and rolls his eyes frustratedly before asking, “What is it?” “It’s Lady Elizabeth Majesty. I’m afraid she’s fallen ill,” Archer explains. “Then get the doctor to look after her,” Thatcher scoffs. “I’m afraid it’s not that simple. The doctor has already taken a look at her and can’t figure out what’s wrong with her. I also bring news of your daughter,” Archer replies. “Juliana!? Is she alright!?” I ask worriedly. Archer shakes his head before replying, “I’m afraid not Milady. The fever has spiked again and it’s only a matter of time before the aging process begins again.” “Darling, you can check on Elizabeth while I tend to our daughter. We need to find out what’s going on with her, and we can’t be in both places,” I tell Thatcher. He gives a nod in agreement before Archer escorts me to Juliana’s room. 

Upon entering Juliana’s quarters, I give the nurse a break and hold the cool cloth to Juliana’s forehead. “Oh my darling, I wish I knew how to help you. It hurts to watch you suffer,” I tell Juliana. “Mommy?” Juliana calls out. “Yes darling, Mommy’s here,” I reply. “I have a message from Grandfather. He says you shouldn’t cry so much. He says you’re not a failure, and even he has made mistakes. He also says he’s very proud of the woman you have become,” she says. Smiling slightly I reply, “Sweetheart, you shouldn’t be talking. You need your rest.” “I’m sorry Mama. He asked me to tell you those things, “Juliana says. “You’re grandfather…. is he here right now?” I ask curiously. She places her hand on mine before saying, “He’s always here. I’ve been able to see him for as long as I can remember. He says you can talk to him anytime, he can hear you.” ‘This sounds crazy,’ I think to myself. “I miss you so much, daddy. Nothing has gone right, and now Juliana’s sick and I don’t know how I can help her,” I say out loud. “Grandfather says everything will fall into place, and you should ask Charlotte to help. He says she also has the power to speak to the other side,” Juliana explains. “How do you know Charlotte?” I question. “I don’t, but grandfather does,” she smiles. “Alright. I’ll summon for Charlotte. This better not be some kind of joke, “I tell her as I head for the door before opening it. Peering out into the hall, I notice two of Thatcher’s royal guards standing just outside of the doorway. “I need you to summon for Charlotte at once,” I tell one of the guards. He gives a little bow before leaving to find Charlotte. 

A few moments later the guard announces Charlotte into the room before leaving once again. Approaching me Charlotte says, “You summoned for me Majesty?” “Yes, I did. This is going to sound a little crazy, but Juliana has the ability to see and talk to the dead. She says my father is here and he suggested we ask for your help. Do you have the ability to speak to the other side?” I ask. “As a matter of fact, I do. Your daughter is right, your father is indeed here. I’ve been sensing a disturbance from the other side. It’s as if they’re trying to warn us about something,” Charlotte explains. “Warn us about what?” I question. “I’m not sure, but I have my ways to find out,” Charlotte explains. “You’re not exactly doing your best at explaining things. You said you have ways to find out what my father is trying to warn us about, but you didn’t exactly say just how you’re planning to do that,” I inquire. “I forgot that you don’t know how to use your powers just yet. Not to mention that you don’t know much about us Lanterians. Considering there are three of us who can perform spells it will make this a lot easier. All we need to do is form a circle and concentrate once we have all of the ingredients. Your father’s spirit will come back to earth so we can talk to him and find out just what’s going on. This is only a temporary. He can’t stay here,” Charlotte says. 

“What do you mean by temporary? How long will he be here?” I ask. “Just long enough for us to figure out what’s been going on with Juliana, and then I have to close the veil. Maybe he will have some information on where the former enchantress of Stone Ridge is,” Charlotte says. “You know about what happened in Stone Ridge?” I question. “Only because I was heading down for breakfast when I heard Thatcher speaking to someone about it,” she replies. I give a shrug before replying, “Alright then. Just long enough to figure out all of this madness.” “Then we need to begin gathering the ingredients I’ll need for the spell to work. I’ll need some Jade Vine, Ghost Orchid, Corpse Flower, Black Root, the staff of Sidhe to get the spell ready. We will then need one of your father’s hands to create the hand of glory. When we have all of those things, we can open the veil. ” Charlotte explains. the staff of Sidhe? But isn’t that…I begin but Charlotte interjects. “The staff of Merlin? Yes of course,” Charlotte says. “Just how are we going to get our hands on that? There’s no way Alderan will just hand that over,” I question. “Then I guess it’s a good thing that I already have it. Before you ask how I got it, Merlin gave it to me before he died. You see Merlin was my dearest friend and also taught me enchantments. After he passed and his son Alderan took over…..lets just say we didn’t see eye to eye on things. “Very well then. Follow me to the enchantment room. We might have the ingredients in one of the cabinets there,” I add. 

Charlotte agrees and follows me to the tower. As we enter the enchantment room Charlotte heads over to the cabinets and begins to look through the ingredients. “Ah, here we go. Just what we need,” she says as she grabs some of the jars. “Do we have everything you need here?” I ask. “Everything but Richards’ hand,” she replies. “I don’t have that here. Rohan’s men took my father’s body back to Stone Ridge for a proper burial. It’s a few days ride. Do you think I should send some of our men to gather the last required item?” I question. Smiling sweetly Charlotte says, “We don’t need to go all the way to Stone Ridge, and we certainly don’t need to send any men out to risk their lives,” she replies. “Then how on earth are we going to get my father’s hand?” I ask curiously. “By simply using magic my dear. I’ll teach you everything I know once everything in the realm has calmed down.” Within a snap of a finger, Charlotte holds out my father’s hand in her palm. “I can teach you how to do that little trick too. It beats having to risk your life looking for something. As long as it exists, you can get it without even having to leave the kingdom. Now, we really need to get the potions brewing. Can you be a dear and find Lestat for me? We’ll need him to perform the spell,” Charlotte asks. I tell her I’ll find him for her and quickly leave the room. 

As I pass the throne room, I can hear Thatcher and Rohan making plans on where to send their men. After looking all over the second floor, I decided to check the sitting room. ‘Maybe he decided to have a glass of bourbon,’ I think to myself. “Just what are you doing roaming these halls? Is there something I can help you with?” Ector asks as I enter the sitting room. “I’m just looking for Lestat. have you seen him?” I ask. Pouring himself a drink Ector replies, “Actually I haven’t seen him since earlier. I’m so glad I can talk to you alone Princess….or um, excuse me, my Queen. I tried to tell Thatcher he was too good for you and to move on. Would you believe the stubborn arse wouldn’t listen to me? He assured me the two of you were in love and you would make a great queen, but I was against it from the start.” Before I can even get a word in, Ector continues as he slowly approaches me, “Have you seen him lately? Do you know what it does to him when you’re out gallivanting around with your so-called ex-husband!? You’ve done nothing but break his heart. He and I may not agree on some things, but it doesn’t mean we’ve stopped being family.” 

Glancing at the floor and looking back up at Ector I reply, “I saw him this morning and he seemed fine. Are you sure you’re not just trying to pick a fight with me?” Grabbing me by the throat and leaning me against the wall by the door Ector says, “I don’t know what it is about you that makes two grown men want you so badly, other than you’re mouth-watering gorgeous. Even Austin wanted you back with him. Do you realize how hard it has been for me retain myself from ripping the gown from your body? Maybe if I had just a taste of you, I would understand why all these men want you so much.” “Look, you’re drunk. maybe you should go sleep it off.” I softly tell him trying to fight him off. As I look into his eyes, I can see the alcohol has completely taken over, but there’s also something else about his eyes. I just can’t put my finger on it, but the color of them seems so very familiar. “I can see why my cousin is so mad about you. Just look at you. Your soft olive skin would drive a man wild,” he says as he presses against me. “Please don’t do this,” I whimper. As he leans in to steal a kiss, Thatcher and Rohan enter the room. “Just what is the meaning of this!? Thatcher shouts. “Well, I was just….” Ector begins but Thatcher quickly interjects. “You were just trying to force yourself on my wife! What about Kristen? What will she think when she hears of this?” Thatcher scoffs. “Do you really think Kristen would care? After all, she did sleep with you and have your child! Besides, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was just teaching your precious wife here a lesson!” Ector huffs.

“I don’t give a damn what you think you’re doing! Get your hands off of my mother you filthy dog!” Rohan shouts. “Filthy dog!? That’s why the color of his eyes look so familiar to me! He’s one of them. That’s why Kristen wants to be with him. He’s a lycan and together they can create their own hybrid army!” I shout. “Just shut up!” Ector yells as he begins choking me. “Let her go, Ector! Just because you’re family doesn’t mean I won’t kill you!” Thatcher scolds. “Sorry cousin. I told you to leave this one alone. Don’t you see what she’s doing to you? She’s done nothing but break your heart. Gallivanting around that filth of an ex-husband of hers, while you patiently wait for her memories and feelings for you to return. Do you realize how pathetic you look in your own kingdom? When we were kids, you always said how you couldn’t wait to be king, and how much better things would be than it was when your father was on the throne. Just look at yourself Cousin! You’re letting all of these vile creatures run your own kingdom! Your father thought he could be friends with these….these things too and just look where it got him! It got the rest of the family killed!” Ector scoffs. “This is your last warning Ector, let Shelly go!” Thatcher demands. A sickening grin forms on Ector’s face before replying, “Sorry Cousin. I just can’t do that. I would rather see the life drain from her body than to see her parading around that so-called ex of hers!” 

Rohan draws his sword from the sheath, before Lestat punches a hole in the wall from the other side, grabbing Ector’s hand and twisting his wrist in one fast motion, snapping it like a twig. As I wiggle one of my legs free, I kick Ector in the groin until he loosens his grip on my neck. Growling in pain, Ector falls to the floor before Thatcher orders his men to lock him up in the dungeon. “Mother, are you alright? Are you hurt?” Rohan asks as he embraces me. Before I’m able to answer Lestat enters the room. “Darling, are you alright? Why didn’t you defend yourself?” Lestat asks approaching us. “I-I couldn’t….I don’t wanna hurt anyone else. I couldn’t control it before, but I can now. Enough people have gotten hurt because of me. I won’t allow myself to hurt anyone ever again,” I reply. “Sweetheart, defending yourself isn’t hurting anyone. It’s called protecting yourself from those who are trying to hurt you,” Thatcher soothes. “You think I don’t know the difference? All I can see every time I close my eyes are the faces of the innocent people I’ve killed. I will not inflict any violence if I can help it. Besides, there’s only one person in this realm who I would love to get my hands on. Carolin will get hers very soon!” I reply. Turning to Lestat I say, “I was actually looking for you. Charlotte asked me to find you. She’s waiting for both of us in the enchantment room.” He shoots me a little wink and replies, “Then we shouldn’t keep her waiting.” I give a nod in agreement and Lestat follows me to the enchantment room. 

Upon entering the enchantment room, Charlotte’s smile turns into concern as her eyes look up to meet mine. Gasping Charlotte says, “Good gracious child! What happened to you? Ya look like you’ve gotten into a fight with a lion!” Thatcher’s lycan cousin is what happened, but he’s been taken care of,” I reply. Caressing my cheek Charlotte says, “Lycan cousin? I’m not sure if I even want to know how exactly that happened. Don’t you worry. I’m sure Thatcher will deal with him as he sees fit.” Turning towards Lestat and approaching the cauldron Charlotte says, “The Hand Of Glory and the potion are both ready. All that’s left to do is cast the spell to open the veil and get the answers we’ve been searching for. We need to get Princess Juliana well and back to her rightful age. Of course, we’ll also need a sacred place to perform this spell. Do you have a mausoleum in your cemetery?” “As a matter of fact, we do. Only the Royals are buried in there. Follow me, I’ll take you to it,” I reply. “Wait just a second,” Charlotte says as she motions for me to come to her. As I approach her she says, “Consider this as your first lesson my child. Grab onto our hands, and think of your destination. Don’t think of anything else but the mausoleum. This is the fastest way to get there and time is running out. We need the moon to be full or the spell won’t work,” she explains. 

Grabbing Lestat’s and Charlotte’s hands, I focus on the old building in the cemetery. It’s the only building that had survived the attack of the Lycans that killed the previous king and queen of Blue Haven. Before opening my eyes, the smell of mildew, black mold, and death fills the air, and that’s when I knew we have arrived in the mausoleum. The sound of Charlotte lighting the torches brings me back from my thoughts. As I quickly look around inside of the old building, I notice hundreds of names engraved on the walls, and a few crypts scattered around with names engraved on the stone. “You’re learning pretty fast Majesty. With a little practice you will be able to fast travel on your own,” she says turning towards me smiling. Charlotte then places the hand of glory down on one of the crypts and positions 6 white candles around it. Once everything is in order, Charlotte deposits the staff of Merlin in the palm of the hand of glory. “Come you two. We need to form a circle in front of the hand before splashing it with these vials of potion,” she says holding out her hands signaling for us to take our places. Lestat extends his hand, and I place mine in his as we hold hands with Charlotte in the circle. A few moments of silence fills the room before she splashes her vial of the black potion onto the staff.

 “We come to you, the circle of three to gain your wisdom and your guidance. The power of three commands you to open the lock to the dead men’s knock! No lock or bolt can keep the dead men asleep. The veil opens wide as wide might me.” Charlotte chants. Holding our hands up, she signals for Lestat and I to splash the remaining veils of potion onto the hand. Grabbing the small veils from our pockets, we toss the remaining liquid onto the object and join hands with Charlotte once again. Taking a deep breath she continues, “When the sun has set and the moon is bright, once thought lost can be reunited. Life for death and death for life.  Now open the door between living and Dead. With the staff of Sidhe in Hand of glory, I lift the veil to the other side!” Suddenly a gust of wind flows through the room and brilliant bright light beams right after, blinding us all. After the strange wind settles, and the intense light vanishes, the three of us stand trying to get our eyes to adjust to the dim room once again. “Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to welcome me?” a familiar voice says. Blinking my eyes finally getting them to adjust, I turn around to see who has just spoken and I can’t believe my eyes. Gasping I choke out, “Mom!?” Smiling sweetly she replies, “Yes my darling! It’s me!”

Pulling her into a tight hug I say, “Mom! I can’t believe it’s you! I have missed you so much!” With tears streaming down her rosy cheeks she replies, “I’ve missed you too my darling!” “Ehem! What am I? Chopped liver?” I hear a familiar man’s voice call out. ‘It can’t be?’ I think to myself. Releasing my mother from our embrace, I look beside her to find my father standing straight and tall waiting for me to respond. As I stand mouth agape he says, “Well, aren’t you going to say anything, or are you just going to stand there and stare at me all night?” he asks. “I-I’m sorry it’s just that…..I never thought I would see you again!” I finally manage to say. Rushing over to him, I hug him tightly before saying, “I’ve missed you too daddy!” “I’m sorry to rush this little family reunion, but we have a limited amount of time before I have to close the veil,” Charlotte interrupts. “Which is a very stupid thing you did my dear. We died and went to the other side, where we were supposed to stay. Now you opened the veil there’s nothing to stop the others from getting out!” Richard says. “The others? You mean there’s more of you?” Charlotte questions. Shaking his head he replies, “You really didn’t think that we were the only ones there did you?”  As Charlotte begins to speak, Richard interjects. “The other side was created by Amara, a very old enchantress. Her brother, Tyrion was a very well known enchanter who used to help people in need. Until one day Amara created the other side for her brother and every other supernatural creature that should die.”

Releasing my father from his embrace I reply, “That’s awful! Just why would Amara create the other side for her own brother?” “Ehem. We don’t have time for stories,” Charlotte says folding her arms sternly. “No offense Majesty, but you better make time!” Richard scolds. Charlotte puts her hands on her hips and sighs deeply, before gesturing towards Richard to continue. “Now where was I?” Richard questions. “You were telling us why Amara created the other side for Tyrion and other supernaturals,” I remind him. “That’s right!” Richard remembers. 

Tyrion used to do some wonderful things for his people including healing them from illnesses. Then one day he met a Lady of the court named Amelia and the two fell head over heels in love. In just a few months the couple was married and not long after that they were expecting their first child. In just nine months, their son Keenan was born, only for Tyrion to find out he wasn’t the father. Enraged, Tyrion took the boy and threw him into the river, and then turned on his wife.

Gasping, I clasp my hands to my mouth before saying, “The poor baby! Was his wife able to escape him?” “Sadly no,” Richard said before continuing the story. 

He strangled her to death. When Amara found out about what he had done, she threatened to banish him from the kingdom. Tyrion then got down on his knees and told Amara he never intended to hurt anyone, and promised he would never put his hands on anyone ever again.

Two years passed by as his anger brewed inside of him. He began to seek virgin ladies and courted them until he found another to claim as his favorite. Amara had finally had enough of his nonsense and confronted him about his behavior. He told her that he meant no harm, and he was just simply trying to find the perfect match for him. Amara nodded in response and gave him her last and final warning about his behavior at court. Tyrion shrugged off her warning and continued courting several different ladies a week. A few months later, Tyrion told all of the ladies he had been courting to meet him by the river when the sky grew dark, and if one of them could convince him she was the one he was destined to be with, he would take her as his bride. Only none of the women he had charmed expected to find over a hundred ladies waiting to see him. “What is the meaning of this? I thought you asked me here to prove myself to you? You’re just like most of the men in this land! Filthy pigs!” one of the women shouted before she spat in his face. Angered by what the lady had said, Tyrion softly chanted something under his breath, and all of the women fell into a deep sleep. Tyrion was so angry that he took all of their lives that night, and bathed in their blood before hiding their bodies. 

Four years later, Amara decided to expand the castle’s walls down by the river. As Amara was sitting in her study one foggy morning, one of the guards announced the builder Samuel. “Sorry to intrude Milady, but he says it’s important,” The guard told her. “Very well. Send him in,” Amara told the guard. He gave a bow before leaving the room and let Samuel in. “Mr. Samuel, what can I do for you,” Amara asked. “Milady! It’s just awful,” Samuel said frantically. Amara rose from her chair before she asked, “What is it? What’s awful!?” “Six-hundred women Milady! We found over six-hundred women!” Samuel barely managed to say before he fell to the floor in shock. Amara raced to the door and twisted the handle before she shouted for the maid to quickly bring her some water. Momentarily, the maid returned with a vase of water and handed it to Amara. “Thank you. That will be all,” Amara told the maid. She kneeled down by Samuel, and gently lifted his head and helped him drink the water. After he calmed down a bit, Amara asked him what he was talking about before he collapsed. “I bring some grave news Milady. Rather sad and horrible news really,” Samuel told her. “Go on. What is it? What has you so scared?” Amara asked. “Well. We were digging. Of course, we were digging,” Samuel began but Amara quickly interjected. 

“Samuel, you’re rambling. Take a few deep breaths and then try to explain,” Amara soothed. “While we were digging, part of the ground gave way, and we recovered six-hundred bodies. All of which were women. It’s looked like it was a bloodbath Milady,” Samuel explained. “Six-hundred women!? That’s awful! Were you able to identify any of them so we may send word to their families? Those innocent women should be laid to rest as soon as possible!” Amara gasped. “I was able to identify only one of the women. I’m sad to say she was someone close to you. It looked as if she hasn’t been dead for that long though. I would say she passed away late last night, maybe early this morning,” Samuel told her. “Someone close to me? Who is she?” Amara asked. “I-I’m afraid it’s Lady Catelyn Milady!” Samuel sadly told her. “Lady Catelyn? Are you sure?” Amara asked downheartedly. “Take me to her,” Amara demanded. Samuel gave a nod in agreement, and the two headed out of the castle. Momentarily, they arrived by the river. Amara gasped in shock to see all of the lifeless corpses laid in a row on the riverside, and her only hope is for someone to identify them. “Over there Milady!” Samuel said as he gestured for Amara to follow him. She followed him until he came to a sudden stop by a beautiful patch of wildflowers. “I think whoever did this favored Lady Catelyn,” Samuel told her. 

“What makes you think that?” Amara asked curiously. “Well….because he buried her near the waterfall and her body was placed in the middle of this patch of wildflowers. After all, this is a very romantic spot. I think whoever did this was planning to propose, or maybe even confessed his love for her. Perhaps she rejected him and he became angry with her?” Samuel told her. Amara slowly pushed passed him so she could get a better look at Lady Catelyn. She knelt down slowly at the sight of her best friend who appears to be sleeping. “Oh my dear sweet friend,” Amara said as tears slid down her rosy cheeks. “Who did this to you?” Amara asked Catelyn’s lifeless corpse. She grabbed Catelyn’s hand, and flashes or memories of what happened before her life came to a horrific end came to her. Catelyn and her lover followed the river north, and as they walked along she would collect a wildflower or two that sparked her interest. As they came upon a bend in the river, the rushing of water could be heard not far off. The banks of the river were filled with wildflowers of every color imaginable, and soon a great waterfall stood before them in the distance. Its rushing water crashing into the large rocks below it, made the scenery surreal, and she drew in her breathe at the captivating sight. Her lover edged his hand toward hers ever so slightly, until she felt his fingertips brush her hand. She unfurled her fingers and let his entwine around hers until she could feel the heat of his palm pressed against her own.

Catelyn’s long blonde hair glistened in the moonlight as it swayed back and forth at her waistline. The cool midnight breeze brushed against her porcelain skin as the young man turned towards her and tenderly grabbed her waist. “Let’s stop here for just a moment,” Amara heard a familiar voice ask in her vision. He kissed her softly as her fingers entwined in his hair when he suddenly stops, leaving her yearning for more. As Catelyn opened her eyes and locked them on her male companion, Amara could see his face for the very first time through the eyes of her best friend. Facing her lover, Tyrion took a knee before he took her hands in his. “Lady Catelyn, I have loved you for as long as I can remember. You’re beautiful, kind, caring, and special in every way imaginable. I’m forever yours just as you are forever mine. Will you marry me?” Tyrion asked. Catelyn gasped with disbelief, “I-I’m sorry, but I can’t marry you. I’m betrothed to another. I didn’t intend to fall in love with you, it just sort of happened.” Tears welled up in Tyrion’s eyes as he heard her say those words. “How can you say that? I’ve been courting you for quite some time now. Why didn’t you tell me this sooner!?” he said angrily. “My father only informed me about my betrothal yesterday. I just didn’t know how to break the news to you. I tried to get him to see just how much we love each other, but he just wouldn’t listen to me,” she replied in sadness.

Rage took over the sadness, and without warning, Tyrion shoved Catelyn to the ground before shouting and cursing at her, “You little harlot! What is with all of you so called women!? Every time I get close to one of you, I get the end of the shaft! All of you floozies are all the same! Take what you can get from a good man and then leave them! Well, I’m done being the good guy, you can bet on that!” “B-But I-” Catelyn began but Tyrion quickly interjected. “There’s nothing you can possibly say to excuse your behavior!” he yelled before he grabbed her by her hair and jerked her off the ground and brought her body close to him. He then spun her around and grabbed her arms firmly before he continued to yell, “Catelyn, I loved you. You were my one true love and you ruined everything!” Tears pored from her eyes before she replied, “Is this the way you treat the one you love? If this is love I don’t want it! I can see why Amelia left you!” Tyrion slid his sword from its’ sheath before yelling once more, “I’ve had enough of your nonsense! You want to be with him, then so be it! If I can’t have you, then no one can!” Tyrion then slid the blade into her stomach and shoved her down to the ground before he fed on her and drained all of her blood.”

“That’s awful Daddy! Did Amara find her brother and punish him for what he did to all of those poor women!?” I sadly ask. Richard sighs before saying, “Yes she did, and that’s why she created the other side.” “I noticed you said he fed on her. Was he a vampire? How did Amara find out Tyrion killed the rest of those women?” I ask curiously. Shaking his head Richard replies, “No he wasn’t. He was turned years earlier by his wife who was a Lanterian. Amara found out he was the one preying on women by touching them and seeing their last memories.”  Gasping Charlotte says, “I-I had no idea. I heard this story before, but I was told it was just a story and Amara was just a myth!” “Well, she’s far from a myth! Now that you opened the veil, you not only let us out but every other supernatural being as well as Amara and Tyrion! Who knows what kind of havoc he will cause, and she won’t rest until her brother is back where he belongs!” Richard explains. “I wouldn’t have opened the veil, but your grand-daughter needs help! She said you told her if we open the veil you would know what to do!” Charlotte informs. Richard sighs in disbelief, “I have been watching over my family, but I haven’t talked to anyone. It’s Morgana! She has the ability to disguise herself and make you see what you want to see. Take us to our grand-daughter, and we’ll see what we can do to help.” Charlotte gives a nod and teleports the five of them to little Juliana’s room. 


Ruby, Luke, Oceania, and Kolt are creations of silverwolf_6677 and her Facebook Page Stranger Than SimFiction


The Mausoleum by jlwind

Blue Haven Castle by lmfordham (Me) 

Princes” Hill Palace is the creation of Lyhandros  Love Nova Vita  (Tumblr) and his Facebook page Lovenovavita.

Chapter – 74

A few weeks later…..

The gentle morning breeze flows through my bedroom windows. As I lay my head on Lestat’s chest, I think about how lucky I am to have him. Wrapping his arm around me and smiling he says, “Good morning Darling. How did you sleep?”  “I think that’s the best sleep  I’ve had in months. Can we just stay here for the rest of the day?” I reply with a grin. “As much as I would love to just stay in bed with you all day, we simply can’t do that. It’s been a few weeks since you said you would talk to Thatcher. Have you spoken to him about your plans? Not that I’m complaining about lying here with you, but we can’t keep sneaking around and avoiding him forever. You have to tell him something. I don’t think I can keep this a secret much longer. I wanna tell the world that we’re together, and show everyone just how happy we are.” he says. My smile turns into a slight frown before saying, “I haven’t spoken with him yet. I just want it to be us for now before we tell everyone. Call me selfish, but I want to keep you all to myself. I’ve waited for this moment since you left Brendlewood.” “I don’t call it selfish love, but it’s not fair to him if we keep sneaking around behind his back,” Lestat says. I give a little sigh before saying, “Yeah….you’re right. I just can’t bring myself to look him in the eye and tell him that it’s over. I don’t wanna hurt him. Then again, that’s all I’ve done these past few months. I’ve hurt everyone I love and care about, including you. I’m so sorry my love. I never meant for any of this. I’m going to find Thatcher and talk to him.” I tell him as I get up and get ready for the day.

After dressing for the day, I exit the bathroom to only find Lestat had already dressed and left the room. I then leave my chambers to find Thatcher. Rounding the corner I bump right into the maid Molly. Dropping her mop bucket Molly says, “Oh! Majesty! I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. I’m so sorry!” Giving a little giggle I reply, “It’s quite alright. Nothing to be sorry for. We all get lost in our thoughts from time to time.” I then get down on my knees to help her wipe up the water that’s now on the floor. “Majesty, you don’t have to do that,” she says. “Nonsense. If it wouldn’t have been for me being in such a hurry, this wouldn’t have happened.” I reply with a smile. With the two of us wiping up the mess, the floor is dry in no time at all. “Thank you Majesty, but you really didn’t have to do that,” she says. “I know I didn’t, but I wanted to. Maybe you can help me in return?” I question. “Sure, Majesty. What do you need me to help you with?” she asks. “I was just on my way to see the king. Do you by chance know where I can find him?” I inquire. “Of course. I just passed him in the royal garden. He was just admiring the sunrise,” she explains. “Thank you so much, Molly. I better be on my way, before he decides to be on the move again.” I tell her. Molly gives a little bow, and thanks me before I head to the garden.

Upon entering the garden, I notice Thatcher sitting on a nearby bench, looking as if he’s deep in thought. Approaching him, I ask, “Mind if I join you?” “Sure,” he says before moving over to make room for me to take a seat. A few moments of silence spread between us, before I say, “I’m sorry I bit you. I really didn’t mean to hurt you.” “It’s alright. I know you weren’t in your right mind. If you were as you are now, you wouldn’t have hurt me, or anyone else for that matter,” he replies. “Thatcher, why did you send Lestat to come look for me instead of you?” I ask curiously. “I sent him because lately, it seems like he can get through to you in ways that I can’t. You listen to him. You trust him, even when you can’t trust me,” he says in sadness. I didn’t mean it….” I begin but Thatcher interjects. “C’mon Shel….after everything we’ve been through you can admit it.” Shaking my head, I reply, “You have been so strong for me. Trying to help me. Fighting for the woman who chose you. The woman that I was when I died in my own bed. I love you so much for wanting to find a cure because I want nothing more than to get her back. Because the woman that I’ve become is different and somehow darker. I’ve changed. What I want….” “What you want, or who you want?” he interrupts. Glancing down to the ground, before looking back up at him I reply, “Something’s changed….between Lestat and I. Much more than it was before. It’s like everything that I felt for him before I was turned into a vampire….”

“It’s been magnified. I know. Lestat explained this whole vampire feely thing before you turned. I just-I don’t understand. After everything that’s happened between the two of you, you’re still wanting to give him another chance. He left you, hurt and all alone. Then you were captured, and he takes your memories away and makes you believe the two of you never split up. Suddenly that’s okay with you? My love, if you could just remember….” he says, but I interject. “But he did, and nothing can change that. I know that I loved you, and we were happy….I-I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t remember how it felt to love you,” I tell him. “My darling, what you feel for Lestat, isn’t real. You know what’s real? It’s the way you felt for me,” he says before rising from his seat and taking my hand in his. Pulling me close to him, we begin moving in a circular motion in the grass. As he spins me around in a slow dance he says, “Our first dance together was in Brendlewood castle. We had a Christmas celebration after your divorce. As we were dancing, something magical happened. Everyone else faded away, and it was just the two of us in that ballroom.” “You’re trying to stir up memories. I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I tell him worriedly. “Look, I waited for you to wake up, hoping things would go back to normal so I could be with you,” Thatcher explains. I let out a sigh before saying, “I know. Look, do you want me to feel guilty? Because trust me I already do. I feel horrible. What else do you want me to say? I don’t remember the feeling of being in love with you.”

“After all this time, and everything we have been through, there’s no way that every feeling we shared has been erased. Some things just can’t be erased, Shel. My feelings for you will never change. I’ll love you until the last beat of my heart,” Thatcher says in a brittle tone. “This just all feels so very wrong. I-I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come,” I tell him as tears fill my eyes. Grabbing my left hand, Thatcher places it onto his chest. “What about this Shel? Does this feel wrong?” he asks as I feel the beat of his heart. Shaking my head I reply, “I’m sorry. I know we had an amazing life together, but when I look into your eyes, I feel like I’m looking at a complete stranger.” Darling, please don’t do this, I love you. With Alex missing, and without you the kingdom will fall to Ector, and our children will be in danger. Do you really want that to happen to our family?” Thatcher begs. “Look, I care about you. I do. It’s just that…I’m not in love with you. I-I need time to think things over. Just give me some space,” I reply. “Sweetheart I…” he begins but I quickly interrupt. “Just leave me alone,” I whisper before running towards the castle. 

Upon opening the doors, I run right into Lestat. “How did your talk go,” he asks as if he already knows the answer. “Please Lestat, not now. I need some time to think things through. I need some space,” I reply before heading to the sitting room. Opening the door, I notice the room empty, so I head over to the mini bar to pour myself a bourbon. “What do you mean you need some space? Didn’t seem like you needed it this morning,” Lestat says as he enters the room. Grabbing my glass off the bar, I head over to the couch and sink into it. Tears spill from my eyes before saying, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t love him, but if I leave then the children will suffer for my actions. I know what I want and who I want. Darling, I want to be with you, and take over your stepmother’s kingdom. Then there’s Thatcher. The guy who everyone loves and adores. I care about him, but I don’t love him. Ugh! This is all so confusing, and I hate being confused!” Leaning against the shelf of the fireplace Lestat says, “Then it’s clear on what you must do.” “Don’t say it! Don’t you dare say it!” I say frustratedly. “You have to be with him. There’s no way out of it. I love you, and the children, and I can’t watch them suffer. He loves you, darling. He’ll take care of you, all of you. He would do anything for you,” he says downheartedly. “No! I can’t and won’t be with him! My mind is made up. I don’t want to be with him, it’s you that I want. Darling, can’t you read between the lines? It’s always been you!” I tell him affectionately.

“You’re sure this is what you want?” he asks. Placing my hands on his cheeks I reply, “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life!” Grabbing me firmly, but lovingly, he places a kiss on my forehead before saying, “Hearing those words come from you makes me feel at ease, and I haven’t been happier. I just hope Thatcher can let you and the children go. I love you so much sweetheart, and I’ll spend the rest of my immortality showing you.” “My love, you don’t have to show me how much you love me. I already know. You have been there for me, fought for me, and disobeyed your stepmother to save me. You already have shown me love in every possible way there is,” I tell him as I place a kiss on his cheek. Suddenly the doors burst open, and two of the king’s royal guards rush inside and bow before me. Turning to face them I shout, “Just what is the meaning of this!?” “You may rise,” I continue. “I’m sorry to interrupt Majesty, but the king needs you at once! There’s some sort of a problem with Princess Juliana.” Glancing back at Lestat with an apologetic look, he replies, “Your daughter needs you. Go take care of her, we can meet up later.” “Thank you, darling. This is why I love you so much!” I reply before placing a kiss on his cheek and follow the guards to the nursery.

Upon arriving in the nursery, Thatcher who seems very worried approaches me. “What is it? Where’s Juliana?” I ask fearfully. “Juliana is in her room with the nanny. I’m afraid something has happened. The doctors can’t figure out what’s going on, and neither can Lady Elizabeth. Follow me, and you can see for yourself,” Thatcher replies. I give a little nod, and follow him to Juliana’s room down the hall. As we enter her room, the nanny sits on Juliana’s bedside holding a cool cloth to her forehead. As I get a little closer, I notice what looks like an 8-year-old child laying in bed. “W-what is this? Juliana is just a toddler. Who is this stranger in her bed?” I ask. Turning to face me, Thatcher says, “It started out with a fever, and then she began aging. The doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with her, or why she’s aging so fast. Didn’t Tulip say she would age slower than normal children?” Gasping I reply, “My poor little girl! Tulip said she’s special and will age slower than normal children. she also said Juliana has the gift of being able to see the dead, but she didn’t say how this gift would affect her. Did you ask Elizabeth why this might be happening?” “She did come to see if there was something she could do, but she knows just as much as we do. Even Elizabeth doesn’t know what’s wrong with her,” Thatcher replies.

‘How can this happen to her, and why?’ I wonder. A gentle knock on the door disturbs me from my thoughts, and Thatcher opens the door to find Farah on the other side. “I’m sorry to barge in unannounced like this Majesties. I’m afraid I’ve come with some grave news. Archer and his men have returned from their journey with a badly injured woman. She claims to be the former queen of Stone Ridge. Archer brought her to the infirmary where the doctor can properly examine her,” Farah explains. Placing my hand on Thatcher’s shoulder, I say, “It sounds like Katherine! She’s been searching for the wizard for months now. I must go to see her!” Turning towards me Thatcher says, I think it’s best if the doctor sees her first. We don’t know what’s happened to her, or if the wizard has some sort of spell on her.” “Very well then. I’ll just sit here with Juliana for a while before returning to my chambers,” I reply. Giving a nod in agreement, Thatcher follows Farah out into the hall and closes the door behind them. Pulling Farah towards him, Thatcher embraces her in his arms. “I’ve missed you so much, darling. Can I meet you in your chambers? I have something important I would like to discuss with you,” Farah says. “Of course. Meet me there in about an hour. I’m curious as to who this woman is, and I need to speak with Archer,” Thatcher replies and kisses her tenderly, before the two part ways.

Upon entering the infirmary, Thatcher notices Archer giving orders to the nurse to inform him if Katherine’s condition changes. Clearing his throat Thatcher asks, “Do we know anything about this woman?” Turning to face Thatcher, Archer replies, “I haven’t been able to get much out of her due to her being in this weakened form. However, I do have a name. She claims to be Katherine Debenshire, the formal Queen of Stone Ridge. She mumbled something about a wizard and an ambush before going into a coma. Majesty, she’s also a vampire. Could she possibly be related to Carolin and Kristen?” Slowly getting closer to her bed, Thatcher says, “This woman is exactly who she says she is. She left Brendlewood to find the wizard several months ago and never returned. She’s no relation to the preposterous Carolin and her family! She’s no other than Shelly’s stepmother. Hopefully, she has brought good news of this wizard. Shelly’s life depends on it!” “I’m sure Katherine has some good news, but what will we do if her mission went sour? Do you have a backup plan Majesty?” Archer replies. “If her journey didn’t go as planned, then we’ll come up with something. I have no idea what we would be up against. For now, one can only hope we get some good news. I have a meeting I need to attend. Inform me if there are any changes in Katherine’s condition,” Thatcher says. Archer then gives a bow, before Thatcher leaves the room.

A few moments later, Thatcher enters his chambers to find Farah sitting on the sofa by the fireplace. Rising from her seat, Farah says, “I was beginning to think you weren’t coming my love.” “I’m sorry darling, I got held up in the infirmary. I see you’ve been busy while I was away,” Thatcher says pointing out the candles and wine. “You know I love to decorate. Your room seemed so dark and bare. I just felt I needed to brighten it up a bit. How’s the woman Archer found? I hope she’s not badly hurt,” Farah replies. “I’m not sure if she’s going to survive. She’s in a coma and is very weak,” Thatcher says downheartedly. “You care for this mystery woman. Do you know her?” Farah asks curiously. With a heavy sigh, Thatcher replies, “She’s exactly as you described her to me, and is Shelly’s stepmother. She’s a very kind and noble woman. It just bothers me to see her in such a fragile state.” Smiling slightly, Farah takes Thatcher’s hand and leads him over to the sofa by the roaring fire. “I’m sure she’ll be just fine. She has one of the best doctors with her. This evening is supposed to be about you and me, and frankly, you’re distracted with your king duties. It’s my turn to distract you from everything,” she says as she kisses him passionately. 

As she unbuckles his belt, Thatcher grabs her hands, “Farah, You know I have feelings for you, but this has to stop. I can’t do this anymore. I’m still a married man.” “Then why do you still call me sweet names, such as darling and sweetheart? You have told me that you love me and you always have. Even when you thought I was dead,” she tells him.  “That’s true, but I’m very much in love with my wife. If I expect her to give me another chance at all when her feelings for me return, then I have to stop this. I think it’s best if you retire to your chambers for the night,” Thatcher tells her. “Not just yet. I’m not sure how else to tell you this, but I’m….pregnant!” Farah says. “Are you sure? We’ve only been together a couple of times. Is the baby even mine?” he asks. “I’m positive I’m pregnant you dimwit! I started seeing the midwife when I began feeling sick every morning, and I didn’t receive my monthly bleed. Considering you’re the only man I have been seeing, the baby is yours,” Farah explains. Sinking into the couch he says, “What do you plan on telling everyone? Are you keeping the baby?” “Well, I plan on telling everyone the truth. My father didn’t raise a liar. As for the baby, I’m keeping it. There’s no way I would ever have an abortion, to even think about something like that shames my family! I plan on raising the baby myself.” Farah replies frustratedly.

“Very well then. I’ll respect your wishes. Our child will be well taken care of, and I’ll do everything that I can to make sure the baby gets everything that he or she needs,” Thatcher tells her. “Darling, don’t you get it? You can have everything you ever wanted. You can have me and your wife if you take me as your mistress,” Farah says excitedly. “I-I don’t think that’s a good idea. With Shelly being a vampire, and not being able to control her temper, you and our unborn child would be in grave danger. I can’t put you in the middle of all this. I have to think of yours and our child’s safety. I can get you a cottage in the village if you would like, but I don’t think staying in the castle is safe for you,” Thatcher replies. Folding her arms Farah says, “You would cast me and our child out of your life just like that!? My family has stayed here in the castle long before I was even born! We were supposed to be married for crying out loud! You said you would respect my wishes. This has always been my home, and I’m not leaving!” Alright! Have it your way, but we just simply cannot be together. It shouldn’t have even gone this far, but I let my emotions get in the way. I’ll have the maids make up a big enough room for you and the baby. What has happened between us can never happen again!” Thatcher scoffs.

A few moments of silence spread between the two until the sound of someone knocking on the door interrupts Thatcher’s thoughts. Cracking the door open, and peering out into the hall, he notices Archer standing on the opposite side. “Sorry for the intrusion Majesty, but there’s an issue in the infirmary which requires your immediate attention,” Archer informs. “I’ll be out in just a minute. You can tell me the rest then,” Thatcher replies before closing the door. Turning to Farah Thatcher says, “We’ll finish this conversation later. Something really important has come up.” “More important than me and our child?” Farah says putting her hands on her hips. “Don’t you go there! Archer says this matter is very important. I think the safety of this realm is more important at the moment!” Thatcher sneers before leaving the room. “As you were saying before I came out of my chambers?” Thatcher questions as he approaches Archer. “The former queen of Stone Ridge has woken Majesty. She says she has news for you about the wizard, and she’s asking for Her Majesty,” Archer replies. “Very well. I’ll head to the infirmary now, and you can let Shelly know her stepmother is asking for her,” Thatcher replies. Archer gives a bow before heading to the queen’s chambers.

Meanwhile, in the sitting room, Lestat sits on the couch drinking his bourbon as Charlotte enters the room. “My dear boy, are you alright? You look like you’ve lost your best friend. Is there anything I can do to help?” she asks approaching him. Lestat sighs deeply, before explaining to Charlotte what happened with Shelly and Thatcher earlier. “I love her, and I can’t bear to lose her again. I shouldn’t have left to begin with!” he continues in sadness. She takes a seat next to him on the couch and hugs him tightly. Stroking his hair she says, “I don’t like seeing you like this. I wish I could snap my fingers and make this feeling go away. Sadly, this is something only you can overcome. My child, you know in your heart who Shelly’s supposed to be with. I know you love her, but do you love her enough to let her go if she should choose Thatcher?” Charlotte asks. “Aunt Charlotte, I would do anything for her. I would end my immortal life if that’s what it takes! I only want to see her and the children happy. We were happy together once, but I ruined that. I missed so much while I was away,” Lestat tells her. “You came to me to seek help. Have you told or at least showed her?” Charlotte asks. “I’ve shown her everything, including what happened to me as a child. I’m just at wit’s end. I don’t know what else to do,” Lestat explains.

There is one thing you can do for her, and I know it would mean the world to her if you did,” Charlotte says. Breaking from their hug, Lestat says, “I’ve done everything I know of to try and make her happy. If there’s something else I can do that would mean something, please tell me, because I’m all out of ideas.” Smiling sweetly, Charlotte says, “My child, you are a Lanterian, which means you’re nothing like the others. You now possess the same powers as I do, which means you can not only perform spells, but you can also give Shelly back what was taken from her. Something she hasn’t been able to regain.” “You mean I have the power to give all of Shelly’s memories back to her!? Lestat says ecstatically. “Yes, my child. Now that you have this new power, I trust you won’t be selfish with her, and give her the one thing that has been missing for many months now?” Charlotte asks. “Just what makes you so sure I want those memories back? He has Farah, and I’m happy with Lestat. Why can’t everyone just be happy for us and leave us alone!?” I shout as I enter the room. Rising from her seat, Charlotte gives a little bow before saying, “Majesty, I didn’t mean any harm. I just figured you would want all of your memories. Don’t you want to remember how Thatcher made you feel?”

“Why should I care how Thatcher made me feel? If he cared for me, he wouldn’t have slept with that tramp of his in the first place!” I shout again. “All due respect Majesty, but you hated my nephew before he even took the memories of Thatcher away from you,” Charlotte says. Grabbing Charlotte’s hand Lestat whispers, “What are you doing? You’re going to anger her, and we’ll all be locked up!” Holding up a finger Charlotte continues, “Majesty, I can assure you that your husband loves you very much. He didn’t pursue Farah at all, it was her who pursued him. It’s never too late to make things right. Lestat can give you the rest of your memories back if you would like.” “Majesty, the king needs you in the infirmary at once!” a familiar voice calls out from behind me. Turning around, I notice Archer standing in the doorway. “Is there something wrong with Katherine?” I ask worriedly. “No Milady. Katherine is awake, and she’s been asking for you,” Archer replies. “Thank you, Archer. Would you mind escorting me to her?” I ask. “Not at all Majesty,” he replies before I take his arm. “Is everything alright Milady? It looked as if they were upsetting you when I entered the room,” Archer asks. “Not at all. We were just discussing Katherine’s illness and the oddness of Juliana’s aging,” I reply.

Upon entering the infirmary, I glance across the room to find Katherine sitting up in her bed talking with Thatcher. Turning towards me, Thatcher motions for me to join them in their conversation. I give a nod in agreement and head over to the bed, and take a seat in a nearby chair. Katherine places her hand in mine before saying, “I’m so glad to see you again. I’m so sorry for all you have been through. Being a new vampire is hard. Your father never wanted this for you, but he would be happy just to have you alive. Thatcher has filled me in on some of what has happened while I was away, but I feel you should be the one to fill me in on the rest.” “You had us all afraid we wouldn’t see you again. I’m so glad you’re here! We have so much to catch up on,” I reply. Darling, can I speak with you for a moment,” Thatcher asks motioning towards the door. “Of course,” I reply before I tell Katherine “I’ll be right back.” I then follow Thatcher right outside of the infirmary. Turning towards me he says, “I’m not sure how to break this to you Shel, but she doesn’t have much time left. The wizard put a nasty spell on her. One that no one can break. Charlotte has tried to break the spell herself, but nothing works. She gave her something for the pain to make her more comfortable, but she only has a few hours left.”

Silent tears slide down my cheeks as I take in the news I just received. Thatcher wraps his arms around me in a tight hug before saying, “Just be with her darling. We have done everything we can do to make her comfortable. If you should need me, I’ll be here for you as I always have been. I know I wasn’t there when your father passed, and I’m truly sorry I wasn’t. I should have been there for you always.” I give a little nod before wiping the tears from my eyes and enter the room to be with Katherine. Smiling sweetly, Katherine takes my hand again as I sit back down in the chair. “How are you feeling?” I ask. Katherine glances down and softly says, “Not well I’m afraid. I don’t want to worry anyone though, especially you. You have been through so much but look at you. Even after everything you have been through, you’re still a strong woman. Richard would be so proud of the woman you have become.” “I’m not so sure of that. I have done a lot of awful things,” I reply before informing her of everything that has happened since she left Brendlewood. “Nonsense my dear. You didn’t know what you were doing. It’s hard to control the hunger when you’re a new vampire. It’s happened even to the best of us. Your father would’ve understood that. He loved you very much, and he only wanted to see you happy,” Katherine says. “Wait….what did you just say?” I question. “I-I simply said your father loved you and only wanted to see you happy,” Katherine replies. “You’re right! I know exactly what I must do. Thank you so much, Katherine!” I say before she grabs my hand once more. 

“Just a moment child, there are a few more things I need to say before you go. Now sit back down and listen!” Katherine instructs. I give her a nod in agreement and quickly take a seat before she begins to speak. “Rumor has it, King Cade of Brendlewood wants to be rid of all vampires. I’m sure your friend Charlotte can help you. Even I know you’re not just a vampire. It was Lestat’s blood that turned you. Just like Lestat you have Lanterian in your bloodline. I’ve heard the rumors and whispers in this castle. The maids and nobles are always buzzing about how Lestat was half Lanterian, and Charlotte turned his bloodline pure. Surely between the two of them, they can help you. I’m afraid something might happen to you if you don’t seek help. The Fae of Brendlewood has had enough of being in the middle of the war between the Vampires, Lycans, and Humans. They’ve been gathering armies from nearby kingdoms so they can not only defeat Carolin, but wipe out any Vampires and Lycans they come across,” Katherine explains.  Gasping with disbelief, I manage to say, “But I’m one of their best friends. Surely they would spare my life?” “I’m sorry my dear, but that’s where you’re wrong. Friend or no friend, they won’t take any chances. If you’re a vampire, then you’re in grave danger. As for the wizard, I knew Merlin had passed a very long time ago and gave his powers to his only son. From that moment on, before a wizard dies, his powers are given to the next heir of his family,” Katherine says. 

“If Charlotte agrees to help me, will I still have to worry about the surrounding kingdoms coming for me?” I ask. “Considering the Lanterians are a peaceful race, I highly doubt you have anything to worry about. Like faeries and enchantresses, they use magic to help and heal others, unless they feel threatened,” she says. “What about one of the ancestors of the wizard? Did you manage to find one of them?” I ask. “As I was approaching the edge of the forest, heading into the prairie, I was attacked by a Lycan. Although I was bitten, I was still able to fight him off. I was barely able to make it to the realm where I found Merlin’s Great Grandson Alderan. Unlike Merlin who was an honorable man, Alderan was quite cold and cruel. Even though he could clearly see I needed help, he continued to ignore the fact that I was dying. If it wasn’t for his wife Odessa, I wouldn’t have left their realm alive. She conjured up a potion to slow down the process of the Lycan venom. 

When we discussed your predicament, he completely went mad. He shouted some words I don’t care to repeat, I’ll just leave it as they weren’t very nice. He said to tell you that if you know what’s good for you, you’ll return to Thatcher or he’ll kill you himself. Shortly after our argument, he cast a spell to enhance my condition once I reached the forest, and said to let that be a warning to you,” she explains. “Surely he wouldn’t,-” I begin but Katherine quickly interjects. “Take it from me, sweetheart he would. His power has completely gone to his head, and I can assure you Alderan has gone mad. However, my time here is running out. Find Lestat and Charlotte and seek their help. Go now my dear,” Katherine tells me. “Thank you so much for everything you’ve done. I’ll never forget it. Can I ask one last thing before I go?” I ask. She gives a little nod and smiles in return. “When you see my father, can you tell him I’ve never stopped thinking of him and tell him I love him?” I ask her. She smiles sweetly before saying, “I certainly will. I know we haven’t known each other long, but the way your father spoke of you makes me feel like I’ve known you for a century. I love you as I would my own daughter. Now you must go find your friends, and get their help.” I give a little nod and hug her tightly before leaving the room.

Rushing into the sitting room, I find Charlotte and Lestat sitting on the sofa chatting away about his new powers. Leaning against the fireplace, and catching my breath I manage to say, “Thank goodness you’re still here!” Is everything alright Majesty?” Charlotte asks curiously. “Well, not really,” I reply before informing them of the information Katherine had given me about Brendlewood and Alderan. “There’s something else I need to ask other than to turn me,” I continue turning towards them. “What is it darling? You can tell us anything,” Lestat asks. “Thanks to Katherine, I know what I need to do,” I reply. “What is it dear? We’ll do everything to help if we can,” Charlotte asks. “Katherine reminded me of who I am, and what my father would want for me. Is it too late for one of you to give the rest of my memories back to me?” I ask. “Y-You decided you want your memories? Is this going to change anything for us, and what I mean to you?” Lestat asks downheartedly. “I’m not sure, but it’s what my father would have wanted. He wouldn’t want me walking around with pieces of my life missing. He always told me that he wanted me to live a full life. How can I do that when pieces of it are still missing?” I reply. Very well then. Lestat will give back what he has taken. Won’t you my son?” Charlotte says turning towards him. Running his fingers through his hair Lestat gives a heavy sigh before saying, “If this is what you truly want, then yes, I’ll give them to you.” “Are you sure this is what you want my dear? Getting the rest of your memories back could change everything, and people could get hurt,” Charlotte asks. 

“I’m sure this is what I want, and it’s what my father would want. Without the remaining parts of my memories, I feel as if there’s something missing. When I look at Thatcher, I feel like I’m looking at a complete stranger. I just want to feel like myself again,” I explain. “Then I know what I must do,” Lestat says rising from his seat and approaching me. He gently runs his fingers through my hair and says, “Please don’t forget how much I love you. If you decide to be with Thatcher after this, I won’t say it won’t hurt, but I’ll understand.” Gently caressing his cheeks, I place a tender kiss on his lips before saying, “I won’t forget you, my love. How could I? You have always been a huge part of my life, and I never completely stopped loving you. I’ll always love you know matter what happens.” After placing a kiss on my forehead, he says a few magical words before biting his wrist. “The spell is ready for you. All you have to do is feed on me, and every memory that’s missing will come back to you.” Gently taking his wrist, and placing it to my lips, I begin to feed on him. Falling to the ground, from every memory of meeting Thatcher to every single feeling I ever felt for him comes flooding back. Lestat quickly falls to his knees, embracing me, and asking if I’m alright. As the spell completes, I open my eyes, and in a weakened voice, I reply, “Yes. I’m alright my love.” “I’ll go get the doctor. I’ll be right back,” Lestat says and rushes off. Slowly getting up and rising to my feet, Charlotte asks, “Are you alright?” “I-I’m fine. A little dizzy, but other than that I feel fine,” I reply. “Are you sure you feel alright? The spell can sometimes be a little overwhelming,” Charlotte says with a smile. Turning towards Charlotte, I reply, “I’m fine. Truly I am. I don’t feel sick and I’m not in pain. However, I only have one problem left.” “And what’s that my dear?” Charlotte asks in a concerned tone. “Not only have my feelings for Thatcher returned, but I also love Lestat,” I reply. “Just what are you trying to say, my dear? You sound confused,” Charlotte asks. “What I’m saying is, I’m in love with both of them. How can I possibly choose one of them?” I explain.


Chapter – 73

Later that night in the queens chambers, Shelly sits up on her bed, and stretches before rubbing her eyes. “Morning Darlin. Sleep well?” Lestat asks. “As a matter of fact, I did. How exactly did I get here? The last thing that I remember is running towards your mother and Charlotte. I don’t remember anything after that” I tell him. “I can explain that…” Lestat begins, but a gentle knock on the door interrupts him. “Come in,” I call out. “Sorry to intrude, but his Majesty wishes to see you in the sitting room.” Elizabeth tells me. I let out a sigh and reply, “I wonder what he wants with me now? He better not be trying anything stupid. Tell him I’ll be down in just a minute. I just want to clean up and put on a fresh gown.” Elizabeth smiles slightly, before giving a bow and leaving the room to inform Thatcher.

As Lestat and I enter the sitting room, Lestat closes the door behind them, before we approach Thatcher. “Alright, you got me here. Just what is it that you want?” I ask. “Darling….” Thatcher begins, but I quickly interject. “Don’t call me that! I told you I never loved you or Lestat. Now, lets get on with whatever you’re up to, and get this over with!” Shelly retorts. “Very well then. Charlotte, Elizabeth, won’t you please join us in our conversation?” Thatcher calls out. The two enter the room, carrying the twin boys, wrapped snugly in their royal blue and silver blankets. As they approach Thatcher, they give a little curtsy and address him. “You may rise” Thatcher tells them. Turning to Shelly Thatcher smiles before saying, “I thought it’s time for you to meet your sons….our sons. Archer found our first born right where Kristen said we would find him. I’m not sure what to name him, so I thought I would leave it up to you. If you think you can control your hunger, I’ll allow you to hold them.” Shelly crosses her arms sternly and coldly replies, “I knew you were up to something. Why would I care to hold them? They were born in my past life, one that I no longer care about. Not to mention, they’re human. All I have to say is, they aren’t mine, but yours. You obviously care about the little weaklings, so you can have them. They’ll make a poor excuse for a king one day, just like their father!” 

Thatcher frowns at what he had just heard. He never thought he would hear those harsh words come from Shelly. The door opens again, this time, the nanny enters the room, carrying a little girl wrapped in pink. She hands the little one over to Thatcher, before bowing and leaving the room. “What about our daughter Juliana? Shelly, you can’t tell me you stopped caring about her as well.” Thatcher says. Shelly shakes her head, “You truly are a moron! What part of the children are from my old life don’t you understand? I don’t care about you or anyone else! You can stop trying to get me to turn my humanity back on because it isn’t going to happen! I’m living a stress-free life. I don’t have to worry about anyone, and I certainly don’t feel pain. I can live my immortal life in peace. Look at it this way, you’re a free man. You can be with Farah if you wish to do so. I know there’s a part of you that’s still in love with her, and the two of you have my blessing. Move on with your life Thatcher. I don’t wish to be a part of it anymore.” A few moments later, the maids and the nanny enter the room, to take the babies back up to the nursery, before leaving again.

The doors then burst open again, and this time, Tristan and Melina enter the room excitedly. Smelling the fresh scent of faerie, Shelly looks at Melina as if she’s a delicious meal. Lestat catching Shelly’s expression instantly rushes over to her. “You can’t do this Shel…she’s your daughter,” Lestat whispers. “Do I really need to explain myself to you again? She’s nothing more than food,” Shelly says coldly. “Is everything alright?” Thatcher asks carefully as Tristan and Melina approach him. “We’ve come with some wonderful news! We’re engaged!” Melina announces. Extending her hand, the brilliant diamond sparkles on the band. Smiling widely Thatcher says, “Congratulations my dear! I think a feast is in order to celebrate your union. I’m happy for the two of you!” Leaning over to Tristan Thatcher whispers, “If you hurt her, I’ll have your head. Don’t take that as a threat, that’s a promise.” “Sir, I’ve loved Melina since the day I laid eyes on her. The only thing I want more than anything in the world is to spend the rest of my life making her happy. I would never hurt her. You have my word.” Tristan whispers in return. Pulling Melina into a hug Thatcher says, “You have my blessing. As the two of you know, Shelly isn’t very well, and I think it would be safer if we held off on the wedding until she feels up to it. Now, if you would be so kind as to tell Colette to prepare for the feast. Inform her the celebration shall take place tomorrow evening at sun set.” “Sir, we appreciate everything you’re doing for us. We just want to thank you,” Tristan tells him. 

Thatcher smiles before saying, “You’re very welcome. The two of you deserve the very best, and that you shall have. Now, you two run along now, and talk to Colette.” Tristan gives a nod in agreement before Melina gives a little curtsy, and the two exit the room. “Awe. Why did you have to make them leave? We could have had a lot of fun, or couldn’t you handle the thought of me sinking my teeth into their delicate skin?” Shelly sneers. “Darling, you need to turn your humanity back on. If you were to hurt anyone, you would never forgive yourself,” Thatcher says. “I told you to stop calling me that! Now, if you don’t mind, I’m heading down to the grand hall for a drink. I’ve had enough of all this small talk.” Shelly tells the others, before turning to leave the room. “Wait! Majesty! you know this isn’t right. Your husband and Lestat care about you. You know deep down what you’re doing, and how you’re acting isn’t you. I met you when Lestat brought you to the cottage in the village of Moonlit Falls, and you were such a sweet young woman. As much as you don’t want to turn your humanity back on, you really need to listen to your friends and family. Please turn it back on. You’re going to end up losing everyone you love and care about, if you keep going on like this, or even wind up getting yourself killed,” Charlotte tells her as she places her hands on Shelly’s shoulders.

“I don’t want or need your help! The young woman you met at the cottage so long ago, is gone and isn’t coming back. That’s just the way it is. Now, I must be on my way. I really can use a drink. I have grown tiresome of all your small talk,” Shelly says before leaving the room. “Majesty, I really must be heading to my kingdom, to gather the men you had asked for. I’ll return with them shortly,” Charlotte tells Thatcher. “Very well. Thank you for all your help, Your Highness. You certainly have been a lot of help,” Thatcher replies. “I’m sorry things didn’t go as planned. I was really hoping she would come to her senses once she has seen the children. I’m happy I could be at your service,” Charlotte says. “I wish she would just turn her humanity back on, so we could at least try to get things back to normal. I’m all out of ideas of what to do in this situation. Enough about that though. Please be careful on the trip to your kingdom” Thatcher says. “Trip? Oh, my dear, there won’t be a trip. I just teleport where-ever I want to go. I just simply concentrate on my destination, wave my hands in the air like so,” she says before disappearing altogether. “I really need to learn how to travel like that,” Thatcher thinks to himself.

Lestat lets out a sigh before asking, So…what do you propose we do with Shelly?” “I think it’s best if I lock her up in one of the dungeon cells where she can’t hurt anyone. At least until we can figure out what to do with her,” Thatcher replies. “All due respect Majesty, that’s the worst thing you can do. I think I may have a plan, but you’ll have to trust me,” Lestat says. “I’ll do anything to help her. What’s your plan?” Thatcher asks. “I would tell you, but there’s a problem with that. Even though Shelly’s not in the room with us, she can hear our conversation. Lanterians and vampires can hear conversations at a great distance. We can also hear heartbeats. That’s how we can determine if someone’s lying to us. If you’re telling the truth, your heart beats at a steady pace, when one is lying….then the beat of the heart begins to race,” Lestat explains. Thatcher takes a deep breath before asking, “So, what are we going to do now?” “Come with me into the grand hall, and follow my lead. No matter what happens, you must play along with what I’m telling her,” Lestat whispers. Thatcher gives a hesitant nod, and follows Lestat down to the grand hall. 

Upon entering the grand hall, Thatcher and Lestat walk in on Shelly throwing bottles of rum and wine at one of the maids. “Can’t you get anything right!? I asked you for a simple bottle of whiskey, and you bring me rum instead!” Shelly shouts angrily. “I-I’m sorry Majesty. It won’t happen again,” The maid Edith apologizes. “You’re damn right it won’t happen again!” Shelly shouts. She then lunges at the maid and sinks her teeth into her neck. “No! Shelly, stop!” Thatcher shouts walking towards her. Blocking Thatcher from going any further Lestat says, “You can’t just approach her like this, she’ll kill you!” “Then what do you propose we do? Stand here and watch?” Thatcher sarcastically asks. “I suggest you let me handle her. That would be the safest thing for you to do,” Lestat says. Holding a finger up Thatcher says, “We’ve tried that remember? We’ve tried doing things your way, and you failed miserably.” “For crying out loud, Majesty. I’m looking out for her. Do you know how guilty she will feel if she hurt you? That’s it! I think I know what to do!” Lestat explains. Releasing her fangs from the maid’s neck Shelly says, “You know I can hear the two of you scheming right? Awe. Are you poor pitiful fools still trying to figure out what to do with me? Well, I have your answer. The answer to your plan is to simply do nothing. Considering there’s nothing you really can do, other than kill me, and everyone knows the two of you don’t want to do that. You two dim wits are so much in love with me it’s pathetic.”

The maid lies weak in Shelly’s arms, not to far from death. “Please, spare my life Majesty. I’ll make sure I get everything right from now on,” the maid pleads as she gasps for every breath of air. A sickening smile spreads across Shelly’s face before saying, “Sure. I’ll spare your pathetic life.” Shelly then plunges her hand through the maid’s chest, and pulls out her heart, before crushing it in her hand. Dropping the maid’s lifeless corpse to the floor, Shelly turns to Thatcher and Lestat before saying, “Let this be a lesson to both of you. I will not be told what to do, and I won’t turn my humanity on. From now on, if the two of you try to plot against me, I’ll find another maid, or perhaps a villager to feast on. Perhaps I’ll just find your darling Farah and feast on her. I’m done playing games with the two of you!” Nerissa enters the room and notices the maid lying lifeless on the floor. Approaching her, she shouts, “Stop this madness! Shel…Majesty, I know you well enough to know when you snap out of this, you’re going to hate yourself. After all, we’re friends, and I know that you really don’t want to do this. Taking a life is something you would never do. Remember? It was you who told me all life is beautiful.” “That was before I realized how great I would feel as I do now. As for us being friends….we were never really friends. In fact, I don’t need you either. I release you from the duty of being my lady. You’re no longer welcome here, you’re free to leave at once,” Shelly tells her coldly.

Tears stream down Nerissa’s cheeks after hearing what Shelly just told her. “If that’s how you really feel, then I’ll just be on my way,” Nerissa replies. “I really do think that’s best for all of us. We don’t need someone like you lurking about,” Shelly tells her before leaving the room. “I’m sorry Nerissa, she didn’t mean what she said. You’re always welcome here. When she turns her emotions back on, you’ll see, Thatcher says. “I’ve got an idea of my own, but I need to find Tristan and Melina,” Nerissa tells Thatcher and Lestat before leaving the room. As she rounds the corner, she bumps right into Melina. “Mph. Nerissa, is everything alright?” Melina asks concerned. 

Wiping the tears from her cheeks, Nerissa says, “It’s just your mother. With her humanity off she can be quite….cruel. She said the most horrible things, but I know she doesn’t mean any of them. I do have an idea though. Actually, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. What would you think if I asked you and Tristan to accompany me to the kingdom of Learia? Since Brendlewood can’t be found, I can’t help but to think that maybe they would know how to at least contact them.” “Melina! There you are! I was just looking for you. The plan for the feast is all settled. Colette’s preparing the meal now as we speak,” Tristan informs. “I’m afraid we’re going to have to bail out on our celebration. My mother needs help, and Nerissa thinks Brendlewood can possibly help her. She has asked us to join her in her journey to Learia since the kingdom of Brendlewood can’t be found,” Melina explains. “If she can help, then we must leave at once. Your mother needs all of the help she can get!” Tristan replies. The three agree to the trip to Learia and head down to the barn to get ready for the long journey ahead. 

Meanwhile in the grand hall…….

Turning towards Thatcher Lestat says, “Majesty, I need to head upstairs to gather the things I need to set my plan in motion. Please, don’t approach Shelly until I come back here to get you.” Thatcher gives a nod in agreement before Lestat exits the room and heads upstairs. A gentle knock breaks Thatcher from his thoughts, and the maid Lilly enters the room, with a few others to clean the mess Shelly left behind. “Sorry for the intrusion Majesty. We’ll be out of your way in just a few moments,” she informs. Pouring himself a drink at the mini bar Thatcher says, “You and your fellow servants must be devastated. Edith was a good worker and a great listener. I’m sorry you all have lost one so close to you.” The maids thank him in return and exit the room after cleaning up. Grabbing another drink, Thatcher sits at the piano and begins to play the kingdom’s fanfare. “I always thought that you play really well,” Shelly says as she listens. He rises from his seat before she says, “There’s no need to stop. Just because my humanity is off, doesn’t mean that I still don’t have a good ear for music.” “Shelly, are you sure you won’t turn it back on?” Thatcher questions. Approaching him, she presses her index finger against his lips, and says, “Shh. I don’t even want to think about that right now. I came in here because there’s something I need and want from you.” “What is it, my love?” Thatcher whispers. Shelly gently presses her lips against his and kisses him tenderly. 

He unties the laces on the back of her gown, kissing her passionately. Slowly breaking from their kiss, Thatcher lets out a little sigh, “Are you sure this is what you want?” She gives a little nod and begins kissing his neck, before sinking her teeth into him. He lets out a little gasp before saying, “Darling stop. You can’t control yourself just yet.” Shelly squeezes him tightly, sucking on his neck, and moaning before Thatcher falls to the ground. She looks down on Thatcher in disbelief, “Cm’on. Get up. I’m still hungry. My heads fuzzy, I can’t think straight, and I need more. “Shelly….stop….please,” Thatcher pleads. His head falls back to the floor with a soft ‘thud’ before Shelly says, “But you taste so good!” With a sickening smile, she jerks Thatcher off the floor and goes for his neck again. Kristen enters the room, mouth agape. Within a flash, she grabs Shelly by the throat and pins her against the wall. Shelly tries to push Kristen off of her before Kristen says, “You can’t do this anymore. You’re cut off.” “Let GO of ME!” I shout. “Stop it!” Kristen tells her. “Enough!” Lestat calls out as he jerks Thatcher off the ground to a standing position. “You’re acting like a little-spoiled brat! You know that? You think that we can’t punish you for what you’ve been doing. Well….maybe I can’t punish you, but I can sure punish him.” Lestat sneers. 

“Shelly…..” Thatcher begins, but Lestat squeezes the back of his neck, motioning him to be quiet. “Seriously? You think this is going to make me…..” I begin, but Lestat quickly interjects. “Shut up! I’m done playing nice! Thatcher wanted to have you locked up. Maybe I should have let him do so, but my love for you clouded my judgment. Turn your emotions back on right now Shelly, or I’ll give you something to feel sad about! I’ll kill your precious husband right here in front of you!” Lestat says. “Lestat, stop this….” Kristen says, but Lestat interrupts. Forcing Thatcher to kneel down, Lestat says, “Don’t Lestat me! If she doesn’t love anyone, prove it! If I’m wrong…what difference does it make? One less king to worry about, and less competition for me.” Staring into Lestat’s eyes I coldly say, “You wouldn’t do that! I know, because you would lose all possibility of you and your sister to take over Dragon Valley. You’re bluffing!” Frustrated at Shelly’s response, Lestat angrily snaps Thatcher’s neck. Kristen releases me from her grasp, as Thatcher’s lifeless body falls to the floor with a hard ‘THUD.’ I let out a gasp and take a step towards Thatcher. Frozen in my tracks, I gaze from Lestat to Thatcher and take several quick breaths in disbelief. As I take a few more hesitant steps towards Thatcher, tears fill my eyes. 

“How about now? Do you feel anything now?” Lestat says. Standing mouth agape, I can’t find the words to say. I just can’t believe he’s gone. I did this to him. There’s no one else to blame but myself! “Are you angry that I just turned your husband into a lifeless corpse? Or are you sad, because the guy that everyone loved the most is just a decomposing pile of bones?” Remember when the two of you first met? Just a young man, warm heart, goofy smile, with his whole life ahead of him?” Lestat asks. Kneeling down and lifting Thatcher’s hand up, showing the ring that he’s wearing Lestat continues, “Guess it was a good idea for him to be wearing this.” I let out a sigh of relief, before falling to my knees, and holding his hand. Sobbing uncontrollably, I manage to say, “Oh, gosh, Thatcher.” Placing his hand on his chest, I begin to caress his cheek. “Do you feel the weight lifting off of your chest? That’s joy because your husband isn’t dead. Shelly….that’s emotion. That’s your humanity.” Lestat explains. Taking a few more deep breaths, reality begins to kick in. ‘How could I do this to him? Why did it have to get to this point to get me to turn my emotions back on?’ I think to myself. Reaching out to grab my hand, Lestat says, “Shelly, you’re going to be alright.” Avoiding his grasp I say, “No, no, no! It’s not alright!” Rising from his knees, Lestat approaches me by the mini bar. “What..what did I do? I almost killed him….and Lady Regina….and the other maid who brought me rum instead of wine.” I sob as I remember all the horrible things I’ve done. 

Kristen tries to comfort me, but I push her away. “That maid…” I begin before Lestat tries to grab my hand. Jerking my hand away from him I sob, No, no, no. I killed that maid. She was an innocent person, and I killed her!” Punching the mini bar, tears of anger and frustration, and sadness stream down my cheeks. Lestat grabs my hands, and gently says, “Hey! Look at me, I know this stage, okay. You’re being overwhelmed by your emotions. Look, you just have to focus on one thing.” No! I can’t….I-I can’t,” I sob uncontrollably. “Just find that one thing that makes you happy and strong. It’s in there, and once you find it, just latch onto it. Channel everything you’re feeling at this moment, and channel it into one emotion. Find the number one thing inside of you that makes you want to live,” Lestat says. 

Shaking my head, I reply, “I killed all of those people. How am I supposed to live with myself knowing what I did?” Come on Shel….find it and let it in,” Lestat tells me. A few moments of silence spreads between us, as I find the things that make make the strongest, and what makes me want to live. I think of my past with Lestat, my children, meeting Thatcher, and my friends in Brendlewood. I then begin to calm myself, as each breath becomes more slow and steady. “That’s it, let it in. That’s good. Slow deep breaths Shelly,” Lestat says soothingly. Taking a few steps back, I get hit with a splitting headache. Placing my hands on my temples, I let out a scream, before taking a few more deep, but slow breaths. Placing a hand on my shoulder Lestat asks, “Are you okay?” Shaking my head I reply before heading into the sitting room, “No. I’m not okay, but I know if I give it some time, it’ll get better.” “Should I talk to her? It wasn’t so long ago that you helped me turn my emotions back on. Maybe if I talk to her it would help,” Kristen offers. “Sister, after all of the awful things you have done, I can honestly tell you that she hates you. I’m the one who should talk to her. If you really want to help, summon the guards and have them take Thatcher to his quarters to rest comfortably,” Lestat says before exiting the room.

Upon entering the sitting room, Lestat notices Shelly sitting on the sofa by the roaring fireplace. Grabbing a nearby fleece blanket, he wraps it around her before asking, “How are you feeling?” “The pain, the grief, and the shame…. are all still there, but I get it now. Shutting my emotions off was a cheat. I mean, you put up a wall, and shut out everything that makes you who you are. Nothing effects you….nothing matters. You don’t feel anything except for emptiness….but things do matter…..people and human life matters. I’ve done things that can’t be undone, and now I know there’s something I need to do about that.” Darling, what you need to do is rest. Take it easy for a couple of days, maybe even a few years,” Lestat replies. I-I’m done resting. I have to get ready. I have so much to do,” I tell him. “Wait…what are you talking about?” Lestat inquires. “Think about it. Isn’t it obvious? Go back to everything that has happened since the day our children were born. There’s one person who brought us to this….who ruined our lives….our children’s lives. Just look at yourself….everything that’s happened to you, she did that. She sided with the lycans, and sent them after my family. She turned you into a vampire. It all comes down to Carolin. You said to focus on one thing that would make me the strongest. So I did. I focused on hate, and I loathe her so much!” I explain.

Smiling slightly, Lestat says, “Darling….that’s not exactly what I meant. Shelly, Carolin isn’t worth your time. Even if you spend five minutes of your life loathing her, she wins.”  “Not if I kill her before she gets the chance to hurt anyone else,” I reply coldly. “Look, you’re the one who said to focus on something else, so I did,” I continue. “Yes…but, I thought it would have been love, or compassion. Not Hate. You can’t win against her Shelly. She’s five-hundred years older than you. However, if you hold off on this wanting to kill her spree, you will have the army of your kingdom on your side. All you have to do is wait, and perhaps train while you’re waiting. You have an alliance with Brendlewood, and Moonlit Falls. You my dear, will be stronger than before. Come with me, I have a few people who have been waiting patiently to meet you,” Lestat tells me. Giving a little nod I follow him to the second floor of the castle, until we suddenly come to a stop in front of one of the doors. Taking out a piece of cloth from his pocket, Lestat ties it snug around my eyes. “Really? a blindfold? You can’t be serious. How am I supposed to meet these people like this?” I ask. “Don’t be silly. You won’t be keeping this on the whole time,” he chuckles. He takes my hands and guides me into the room, before we once again come to a stop. “Alright, you can take it off now,” he says. Removing the blindfold from my eyes, I blink frequently to adjust to the well lit room. 

Looking around the room, I notice Thatcher sitting in the rocking chair in between the bassinets. Slowly rocking a baby wrapped snug in his blanket. “Shelly, this little one is our son, Elijah. He was the second born son. Our first born son, and heir to the throne is here, in this bassinet,” Thatcher says. Tears stream down my cheeks as I look down on the twin boys. I-I remember you saying your men found them in a nearby village, just like Kristen said,” I reply. Falling to my knees, I sob at the memory of telling Thatcher I didn’t care about them. “What is it Shel?” Thatcher asks. “What kind of a mother am I? The first time I ever laid eyes on them, I said I didn’t care or want them. What kind of a mother says that?” I cry. Lestat kneels down beside me and says, “Shel, you’re emotions were off. You didn’t mean those things, we all know that. You have something alot of us rarely get, and that’s a second chance to make things right.” “He’s right darling. You weren’t in your right mind. Now you have a second chance with me and our children,” Thatcher adds. A little hand sits on my shoulder. Turning my head, I come face to face with a little girl, who can’t be more than two years old. Smiling at her, I study her face curiously. The girl’s head is adorned with curly jet black colored hair, and her little royal purple eyes blink at me curiously. Glancing up at Thatcher he says, “Shelly, this is Juliana. Lestat made sure she returned to us safely.” Tears pore from my eyes, as I pick the little toddler up and sit her in my lap. “I-I never thought I would see her again. Lestat, you have done so much for me, and I’m grateful to still have you in my life. Thank you so much!” I tell him as I snuggle Juliana close. 

Lestat, who is feeling rather uncomfortable says, “Majesty, you and your family have been through so much. I think you could all could use some time alone. I’ll be down the hall if you should need me.” Smiling slightly Thatcher says, “Very well. Thank you for everything.” Lestat gives a little nod and tells him that he’s welcome, before leaving the room. A few moments later, I exit the room and find Lestat still out in the hall. His eyes look saddened as if he were about to break down and cry. Gently pulling him into a hug, I say, “Thank you darling for bringing my family back together. It’s been so long since I have laid eyes on Juliana, and you made it so it’s possible. Don’t think for a second that this changes anything though. I love you, I always have.” Lifting my head to face him, I notice the tears streaming down his cheeks. “Darling, I can’t be with you. You belong with Thatcher. You’re his queen, and you have a family with him. Maybe things would be different if I hadn’t left, but I did, and I can’t change what happened,” Lestat tells me. “Darling, didn’t you hear what I just said!? I love you, and this doesn’t change anything. I want to be with you,” I reply. “Then what will you do about Thatcher? You know he will fight for you. He would rather see me dead, than allow you be with me.” Lestat says. “You let me handle Thatcher. You don’t know him the way I do. He would want me to be happy, and it’s you who makes me happy. I’ll meet you in my chambers in a couple of hours.” I tell him before heading back into the nursery.