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 of had alot 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 alot 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 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 heart beats. 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 maids 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. You’re mother needs all of the help she can get!” Tristan replies. The three agree on 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 judgement. 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 for 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 onto 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.

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Started work last week

Susul. Hello Simmers. I just wanted to let you all know that I really appreciate all of you who follow me and read my stories. Sadly the time has come where I had to go back to work. I have crazy hours which makes it difficult for me to be able to take any screenshots and get any writing done. This story is so close to coming to an end, but I just can’t find the time to write at the moment. By the time I get home, I’m so tired that I just go to bed, and in the morning, I have enough time to wake up, and start getting ready for the day. All I can really say is, keep an eye out for posts. I just don’t know when I can get one out. I have one chapter finished, all it needs are the pictures, but I just can’t find the time. Hope I can get Chapter – 73 out sometime this week. Thanks again for being so patient.

Chapter – 72

Almost a week has passed since Shelly left the kingdom. Every day the maids scurry about, performing their daily duties in hopes for her reestablishment, while the villagers live in fear of her extended absence. Lestat searched far and wide for any signs of Shelly, but sadly has returned empty handed. As he enters the foyer of the castle, Elizabeth stands, smiling slightly. “Judging by the look on your face, you haven’t had any luck in finding her. I on the other hand, think I know just where to find her” she tells him. His frown turns into a smile before saying, “I hope you’ve had more luck than I have, because I have searched everywhere I can think of. I’ve found trails of bodies across the country, but she was no where in sight.” “I had a vision of her, but I must ask you a question before I go further into detail.” Looking rather puzzled Lestat replies, “Of course Mother. You can ask me anything.” “Are you sure she turned her humanity off? I’m asking you this, because she returned to Dragon Valley to take on Carolin by herself.” “I saw her turn it off right before my very own eyes. Judging the way she treated Thatcher and I before she left, only confirms that she turned it off. What kind of a question is that?” Lestat says frustratedly. “Calm down my son, I’m getting to the point. Which is, she tried to kill Carolin by giving her some of the dead man’s blood that you gave Kristen. Naturally, since she isn’t as strong as most of the vampires there, she failed. She’s been arrested for attempted murder on the queen, and is locked in the dungeon. I’m afraid she’s scheduled to be executed within two days. You must go to her, and get her out of there before it’s too late!” Elizabeth exclaims.

Lestat hugs his mother tightly, “Thank you. I’ll bring her back, I promise.” Breaking their embrace Elizabeth says, “I know you will my son, but don’t you think for a second that I’m going to allow you to go there by yourself. I’m coming with you!” “Mother, I can’t allow you to come with me. It’s dangerous there, and the kingdom is overrun with vampires and lycans” Lestat says. “Which is exactly my point! I’m not going to let you go there alone! Besides, I know of a spell that will put the whole kingdom to sleep. We can get in there, get Shelly and Juliana, and get out of there without being seen” Elizabeth explains. “Well, then there’s no time to waste! Let’s get going!” Lestat says as he turns to face the door. “Wait. Why would we travel by horse, when my way is so much faster?” Elizabeth questions. “I thought only witches can travel by their magic” Lestat says. “Nonsense my dear boy. Just take my hand, and and we’ll be there in no time” she replies. Lestat then places his hand in hers, and Elizabeth closes her eyes, and begins chanting. Within a few moments, they’re standing on the border of Dragon Valley. “Now this is what I call fast travel!” Lestat says. “Now, I need a few moments of quiet, so I can begin the spell” Elizabeth tells him. Lestat gives a little nod, and watches his mother sprinkle a little bit of this and a little bit of that onto the threshold of Dragon Valley, before she begins chanting again.

Momentarily, Elizabeth opens her eyes and says, “Alright, everything is in order. The only thing that’s left to do now is to enter the castle, and get them out of there as fast as we can. The spell will only last for a few hours.” Turning to Elizabeth Lestat says, “Now, it’s time to show you a little magic. Climb onto my back as if I were giving you a piggyback ride, and we’ll be inside of the castle within the blink of an eye.” Elizabeth gives a smile in return as she climbs onto her son’s back. He grabs her firmly behind the legs so she doesn’t fall off, and within a flash, Lestat’s standing in the foyer of the castle. Carefully letting his mother’s feet touch the floor he says, “Do you know the way to the witch’s tower? I think it might be wise to get the little princess, considering Shelly’s humanity is still off.” Turning to Lestat, Elizabeth replies, “You won’t have to worry about Shelly. The spell I used has put all of the vampires and lycans in this Kingdom to sleep. Go get Shelly, and take her some place safe. I’ll get Juliana.” “I don’t think it’s very wise to split up like this. I think we should stick together” Lestat adds. “No, my son. Your Grandmother is still here. I can feel her magic. She can take you hostage, and use you against me. You mustn’t go with me. Just do as I said, and get Shelly out of here. I’ll take care of the rest” Elizabeth replies. Lestat gives a nod in agreement, and hugs his mother before saying, “Please be careful. I just got you back, don’t leave me again.” “Oh my son. I’ll be just fine, I promise. Time is ticking, you must go now. Get Shelly to safety” she says. Lestat agrees, and heads down to the dungeon to free Shelly.

Elizabeth closes her eyes, and begins to chant in old Latin, and within a few moments, she’s standing in front of the door leading into the witches tower. As she places her hands in front of the entrance, she can feel the magic coming from the force shield that protects the room from anyone who tries to enter. Grabbing a piece of paper from her corset, she recites the words, “Ilya ye man termáre- -esse front -o sina door must n- manwa or te cannot minn.” Within moments of the spell being broken, the shield disintegrates, and Elizabeth enters the room to find Juliana asleep on the altar, and Morgana stirring ingredients into the cauldron. Elizabeth slowly eases her way into the room, and approaches the altar, where Juliana lays. As Elizabeth scoops Juliana into her arms, the baby lets out a little whimper. Morgana quickly turns to notice the baby missing, and no one around her. Grabbing onto her amulet, she gets a vision of Elizabeth just outside of the castle’s doors, waiting for Lestat and Shelly. Furious at the very sight of someone trying to take the baby, Morgana waves her hands in the air, and teleport’s herself into the foyer to meet the very person who’s trying to steal the baby. Elizabeth gasps at the sight of Morgana, who is standing in front of her. “Well, well, well. Look who we have here. What are you some kind of kidnapper? Just how did you get past my shield? Hmm? No matter. I’ll just take care of you right now” Morgana says. “Wait! Aren’t you the least bit curious of who I am, or why I would be here to take the baby in the first place?” Elizabeth questions.

With a puzzled look Morgana replies, “Not in the very least, but I do find it a little odd how a complete stranger could take down my shield, and march into the room without being seen. So, yes. Do tell.” “Well, you see Morgana….I’m your daughter. That is how I knew how to take down your shield” Elizabeth explains. “Impossible! My daughter died a long time ago” Morgana says. “I can assure you that your daughter is very much alive, and is standing right before you” Elizabeth tells her. “If you are indeed my daughter, tell me something that she would only know” Morgana replies. Elizabeth nods in agreement before saying, “My father died before I was born. You taught me all about magic, and that our magic is pure and comes from the earth when I was a little girl. You and I used to have a strong bond, that is until I wanted to move into the village of Dragon Valley, in which you forbade me to do so.” “Lizzy?” Morgana questions. Smiling widely, Elizabeth says, “Yes, Mama, it’s me!” Morgana furrows her brow in anger before saying, “How dare you! How dare you come here, and interrupt my progress of the Queen’s orders! I told you if you left, it would be as if I never had a daughter. I’ve lived my life in peace, until now! Give me the child, and I’ll let you walk out of here alive. If you refuse, I’ll put you in a coma-like state until the day you take your very last breath!” Elizabeth’s smile turns to concern, “You know I can’t do that, and you know this isn’t right. If you’re afraid of the Queen, please let me help you.”

“A sickening smile spreads across Morgana’s face, “Me? Afraid of the queen? Ha! Don’t make me laugh! You poor stupid child. I don’t need your help! I am one of the most powerful witches in the realm. Even you can’t defeat me!” Just then Lestat rushes over to his mother and whispers. “Shelly’s gone! I freed her from the dungeon, and as I reached the forest with her, she came to and snapped my neck. I don’t know how long I have been out…but she’s gone!” “Awe. What’s the matter Elizabeth? Your bastard son return with more bad news? I can see the look of defeat written all over your faces!” Morgana laughs. Lestat clenches his teeth, and gets ready to lunge at her, before Elizabeth pulls him back shaking her head. “No my son. This is my fight, not yours. Listen, the spell must be wearing off. Quickly take little Juliana to her father in Blue Haven. I have a spell over the kingdom so that if anyone means any harm, they will fail to get in! Go now, my son, as fast as you can!” Elizabeth tells him. Lestat gently takes the baby from his mother, as Morgana bursts into a fit of laughter. Elizabeth and Lestat exchange confused looks, before Morgana begins to speak, “Do you really think that your measly little spells can defeat me? You can take the child wherever you like, but I will find her, and continue the Queen’s orders. There’s no magic that can take me down. You might as well just hand the child over to me.”

“Leave now, my son! I’ll handle your grandmother” Elizabeth instructs. “Mother, I can’t leave you. Surely you know that she’ll kill you!” Lestat says worriedly. “My son, that wasn’t a request, it was an order. Now, go!” Elizabeth commands. Lestat gives a nod, and within a flash, he and Juliana disappear into the night. Shaking her head Morgan says, “Tisk, tisk, tisk. Now you’re all alone, and with no one to help you. Hmm. Just what should I do with you?” After pondering about what sort of nasty things she can do to Elizabeth, Morgana continues, “Ah! I have just the thing!” Morgana waves her hands around in front of her, as she begins chanting. A pink mist surrounds Elizabeth, before she screams out in agony. “Oh, we’re just getting started my dear, and I can promise you, that it will only feel much worse than this! I’ll teach you to interrupt another witch’s spell!” Morgana says. “Let her go, before I put you down witch!” a woman’s voice calls out from behind. “I highly doubt that, but your welcome to try!” Morgana says as she continues to torture Elizabeth. Bolts of lightening surrounds Morgana, before entering her hands and traveling through her arms. Elizabeth falls to the ground, and the stranger helps her to her feet. “Quickly, grab my hand, and we’ll take care of her, once and for all” the strange woman calls out. Elizabeth gives a quick, but hesitant nod, and takes the woman’s hand, and link together as one, before the two begin to chant, “Omarh tosdoa wha eteleht- us -o sina evaile ar send -yes ana helliolo!”

Morgana clenches her fists, screaming in pain. “This isn’t possible. What’s happening to me?” Morgana manages to say, before her body grows limp, and falls into a coma-like-state. Removing her hand from the stranger’s grasp, Elizabeth turns to her and says, “What exactly did we do to her, and just who are you?” The woman replies, “I’m Charlotte, Larson. Don’t worry my dear. We didn’t harm her. The only thing we did, was drain her of her powers. She won’t be able to harm the little princess, or anyone else ever again.” Elizabeth stands, mouth agape before saying, “Charlotte? You mean the Elder Queen of Moonlight Falls?” Charlotte gives a little nod and says, “The very same my dear. I’m sure you have alot of questions for me, but unless you want to answer to Carolin, I suggest we be on our way.” “Where exactly are you heading?” Elizabeth wonders. “In one of my visions, I could see that you will need plenty of help. I came here to help you, and then return with you to Blue Haven” Charlotte replies. “Are you sure it’s a wise decision to come back with me? The King isn’t to keen on your kind” Elizabeth says. “Yes, well, I’m sure he’ll change his mind when he meets me, and hears what I have to say. After all, I am here to help. With me and my kingdom as an ally, Carolin might as well start packing. I’ve grown tired of Carolin’s wickedness, and kingdoms falling at her command. The word of Learia falling was devastating news, and I will not stand for that to happen again!” Charlotte explains.

Suddenly Shelly rushes towards us, with Lestat on her heals. Elizabeth places her hands on her hips before asking, “What is the meaning of this, and where’s Juliana!?” Stopping in his tracks Lestat says in a panic, “Don’t worry. Juliana’s with Thatcher in Blue Haven. Sorry Mother! There’s no time to explain! I saved Shelly from a witch who was going feast on her…..that is until she figured out that she wasn’t human. I also believe this witch is behind all of the disappearances of the children from the surrounding villages.” Lestat’s eyes widen as he notices Charlotte standing beside his mother. “Grandmother Charlotte! What brings you here?” Lestat asks her curiously. “My dear boy, you know that I have my visions, and if things look rather ugly, I often come to help. In this case, Morgana won’t be endangering anyone else for a while” Charlotte replies. Within a snap of her fingers, Shelly falls to the ground. Lestat rushes to her side and cradles her in his arms, before looking up at Charlotte. “What happened to her?” he asks. Smiling slightly Charlotte says, “She’s perfectly fine. She’ll be asleep for a couple of hours. We can’t take any chances on her running off again, before we reach Blue Haven.” “A very wise idea indeed. Now, if you’ll both take my hand, we’ll be inside of the castle within the blink of an eye” Elizabeth says. Lestat, holding Shelly with his left arm, grabs hold of Charlotte’s hand as she takes Elizabeth’s, and teleport to the castle.

Upon entering the castle, the four of them appear before Thatcher in the throne room, who is performing his daily court duties. “What is the meaning of this, and who is this strange woman you brought into my kingdom without permission!? Thatcher yells, rising from his seat. Elizabeth turns to Lestat and instructs him to see that Shelly gets to her chambers, and that her guards are with her, before returning to the throne room. Lestat tells her that he will, and carries Shelly upstairs to her chambers. Charlotte gives a little bow, “Majesty, I do apologize for the intrusion. I’m Charlotte, Queen of Moonlight Falls, and I helped rescue your daughter from Carolin’s grasp. I’ve been meaning to speak with you for quite some time, but I wasn’t able to locate your kingdom until now.” Thatcher raises a brow, “What makes me so sure that you’re any different from the other foul creatures that are here!? Let me guess. You want to help us the way Kristen has helped this kingdom? Help yourself to our blood and take whatever you want? Is that your plan?” Smiling sweetly Charlotte replies, “I can assure you that isn’t my plan at all. I’m nothing like Kristen or Carolin, but I’m not like King Stephan either. In fact I’m not a vampire.” “If you’re not a vampire, then what are you to be exact?” Thatcher interrupts.

“I’m a Lanterian, which is short for the old ones. We’re also known as a blood witch. I’m cursed, kind of like Lestat’s father, but much different. Instead of being turned like Lestat, I was born this way. I stopped aging when I turned the age of eighteen. His grandfather, Alaric, is the same as me. He too was born this way. We are like vampires in many ways, but not the same. We are good, and can be cured, the vampires, however, can’t be cured” Charlotte says in sadness. “Alaric and I choose to remain this way, despite of what his mother’s wishes were. We chose a different path because this is the only way we have ever known” Charlotte explains. Thatcher ponders for a moment before saying, “How do I know you aren’t lying to me?” Moving closer to Thatcher, Charlotte places her hands on his cheeks. Showing him visions of her past and present. Thatcher lets out a gasp. Flopping back into his throne Thatcher says, “Sh-she’s telling the truth! Will we constantly have to live in fear that Carolin or some other vampire will come and kill us?”

“If you join me in an alliance, you’ll have my protection. Carolin wouldn’t dare try to start a war with your kingdom. I can assure you that your realm will be perfectly safe. The vampires and lycans will not come into my territory. I can honestly say, that Alaric and I are the only two people who Carolin fears. I have an army that would crush her within a snap of a finger, no matter how many vampires and lycans she has under her wing. Carolin thinks she’s so powerful, because she was the one who gathered the blood from Shelly to have Morgana create the moon rings, in attempt to take down the surrounding kingdoms.” Charlotte replies. “So…do you drink blood like the vampires?” Thatcher inquires. “Yes, we do, but our villagers donate blood to us, and we take care of them in return. We don’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. Think of it as we have our own blood bank. Our skin is really sensitive, but we can go out in the daylight, because of a spell the wizard’s son, Nolan found. That allowed him to create a potion for us. There are no others like us, only Alaric and I are cursed. However, I am the only one of our kind who can perform magic spells. Think of me as a hybrid witch with an army” Charlotte explains. “So you can guaranteed the safety of me and my people?” Thatcher questions. “You have my word!” Charlotte replies.

Rising from his seat, he shakes hands with Charlotte to seal the deal, before Lestat enters the room. Turning her attention back to Charlotte Elizabeth questions, “What of your grandson, Lestat, is he like you or is he like Carolin?” “Lestat was turned by Carolin, but he has Lanterian in his bloodline. There’s only one way to know for sure though” Charlotte replies. Turning to Lestat Charlotte calls him over to her. Approaching her, she places her hands on his cheeks, closes her eyes, and takes a long hard look into the day he was turned. Opening her eyes she says, “He’s mostly like Carolin, only he’s not heartless like she is. He cares about his family and the people around him. In fact, I think I can fix it to where he’s not like that evil queen at all.” “How exactly can you do that?” Lestat asks rather puzzled. “Now this is where I can show just how marvelous my magic really is. Elizabeth, would you be a dear, and grab the goblet over there on the table?” Charlotte asks. Elizabeth says she will, before quickly grabbing the goblet and handing it to her.

Charlotte thanks her in return, before biting her wrist, and holding it over the goblet, allowing some of her blood to trickle into it. She then closes her eyes and recites the words, “Símen tye termáre- yenya me perina veteribus, -esse faila pretium, tye indóme n- quanta Lanterea!” Once the spell is complete, she hands the goblet over to Lestat and instructs him to drink it. “Is it…safe for me to drink?” he asks. Charlotte gives a little frown before saying, “I wouldn’t be giving it to my only Great Grandson if it wasn’t safe for you to drink, now would I?” “I suppose not. After all, if you wanted to kill me, you wouldn’t have helped me after the lycans bit me” he replies before drinking the liquid from the goblet. Taking the cup from him Charlotte asks, “Well, how do you feel?” “I feel….different. It’s like I have all this magic burning inside of me, and I don’t really crave blood. I mean, the hunger is there, but not like it was before” he replies. “That means you’re not a vampire anymore. You can come home with us, where you’ll remain safe” she tells him. “What about Shelly? I can’t just leave her with her humanity turned off!” Lestat says. “Like you would leave her alone anyway” Thatcher sneers. “Don’t you dare go there! I’ve done nothing but help her! Where were you when she was captured by Carolin, not just once, but TWICE! Both of those times she was supposed to be in your care!” Lestat shouts.

Thatcher raises a brow in disbelief, “What about when you left her!? Do you know how much she cried for you at night!? You really wanna talk about taking care of her, I don’t call wiping out her memory, and placing new ones, or turning her into one of those things helping her at all! So if you really want to start pointing fingers at someone, why don’t you start with yourself!?” “That’s enough of this nonsense! You two arguing isn’t going to change anything!” Charlotte shouts. The two men quickly nod their heads in agreement, before apologizing and giving her a yes ma’am, before quieting down altogether. Turning her attention to Lestat and changing the subject Charlotte says, “Now, you were telling me, before we left Dragon Valley, about the witch who had Shelly as her hostage. Can you tell me a little more about her?” “Well, the best way to describe her is, when you first meet her she’s stunningly gorgeous, and quite friendly. You know the type. Long golden blonde hair, blue eyes, slender build, big….bust” Lestat begins. Charlotte shoots him the death stare, telling him to “get to the point.” “The type of girl a man can only dream of. She lures you to her little cottage deep within the forest, and wants you to eat all of the delicious meals she prepares to fatten you up. As soon as she thinks she’s have enough fattened up enough, she eats the very flesh from your bones. I could feel the presence of children there, but there were none to be found. This creature kind of reminds me of the old fairy-tale, Hansel and Gretel. Only she’s different. I only thought of that story, because I remember reading it to Melina when she was young” Lestat continues.

“I know of just the creature you’re talking about. If my memory serves me right, she’s called an Empusa, but it wouldn’t make any sense for her to take Shelly. An Empusa normally takes on a human form, either male or female, and acts just like the witch in your story book. Normally she feeds on children, not other mystical creatures, such as Shelly. That is, unless she is really a male who is looking to find a mate, and mistook Shelly as a human. I bet the creature was really mad when he or she found out Shelly is a vampire” Charlotte explicates. “She couldn’t have been a male. She tried to kiss me!” Lestat adds. Charlotte lets out a little giggle before continuing, “Then perhaps your little creature friend is a little confused, or maybe he’s bisexual….” Lestat then turns all shades of green, before running out of the room. “Well…that’s interesting, and we have had children in the village come up missing, but we thought perhaps the lycans were taking them to turn them. We never thought we would encounter one of those creatures, in fact I have never heard of them until now” Thatcher says. “Nor would you. These creatures are rare, and are hardly ever heard of. We encountered a nest of them in my kingdom two hundred years ago. I thought we had torched them all, but in this case I was wrong. There’s only one way to kill this creature, and that is by fire. It doesn’t have any other weaknesses. We must capture it and kill it, before anymore innocent people get hurt!” Charlotte tells him.

“Just how do you propose we capture a creature such as this?” Thatcher questions. Glancing at Thatcher, Charlotte smiles sweetly, “That’s easy, we just need live bait.” “Sounds like a plan. Just who will we get to be the bait?” Thatcher asks. Looking up at Charlotte, Thatcher notices the way she’s looking at him. “Oh no! Don’t look at me! I’ve been through enough of this mystical-supernatural garbage to last me a lifetime! She kissed Lestat, maybe she would prefer to have him instead” Thatcher says as Lestat enters the room. “I heard that! There’s no way I’m letting that he-she thing near me again!” Lestat shouts. Suddenly, the doors behind them fly open, and Archer enters the room, carrying a small bundle in his arms. He gives a bow, before Thatcher tells him he can rise. Approaching Thatcher he says, We found your son, just like Kristen said we would. The couple didn’t put up a fight, but they weren’t happy that we took the baby either. Can’t say as I blame them though. They have been taking care of him for a few months now. Majesty, may I speak freely?” Archer says. Thatcher tells him that he may, and Archer continues, “I couldn’t help but to overhear you talking about needing bait to capture something. I would like to volunteer, that is as long as I have back-up.” “Archer, there’s no way in hell I’m letting you go in there! You’re not only my best friend, but my best man as well. I’ll go in your place” Thatcher tells him.

“All due respect Majesty, you have a wife and children. I on the other hand, am not married, and I don’t have any children who would mourn me. It would be an honor to kill whatever this thing is to ensure the safety of our people. Please let me take this journey. Let me slay this beast for you and our villagers” Archer replies. Turning to Charlotte, Thatcher asks, “Do you think you can help us get rid of this creature?” “I can have fifty men or more ready to journey with your friend within a few moments Majesty” Charlotte replies. “Very well then. Archer, you may have this run, but I beg you to be careful. You have always been like a brother to me. Besides, my children will need their uncle to help their father keep them safe” Thatcher tells him. With a puzzled look, Archer questions, “Uncle?” Approaching Archer Thatcher says, “That’s just what I said. You have always been there when I needed you the most. Like it or not, you’re now a part of this family. Take a knee my brother.” Archer smiles slightly as he takes a knee before his king. Grabbing his sword, Thatcher says, “I hereby dub you from General, to Duke of Blue Haven. It is an honor from this day forward, to call you my brother, and my children shall know you as their uncle. You may rise, Duke Bronswick.” “I-I don’t know what to say Majesty. Thank you!” Archer tells him. “There’s no need to thank me brother. Now you have family to come back to, and await for your return. Please be careful” Thatcher replies. “I’ll return to you and your family Majesty. I promise” Archer tells him. Thatcher smiles widely before saying, “I’ll hold you to it! Now, go on and get armored up.” Archer gives a bow before handing the baby over to Thatcher, and heading to his chambers.

Turning his attention back to Charlotte Thatcher says, “Getting back to our conversation we were having just moments ago. You said you have an idea of how to get Shelly to turn her humanity back on?” “Yes Majesty. She hasn’t seen Juliana in such a long time. Has she had contact with the other children that reside here?” Charlotte questions. Thatcher then explains everything that happened with Shelly upon her arrival to his kingdom, before continuing, “So you see, we’ve had to keep Shelly from Elijah. We couldn’t take any chances on her trying to feed from him, but what does this have to do with her humanity being off?” “I see….however, I do think this is exactly how to get her to turn her humanity on. Do you think you can arrange the children to be in one of the rooms together? I think if we reunite Shelly with your children, she will snap out of this nonsense” Charlotte explains. Stepping forward, Elizabeth says, “Actually, I don’t think that’s a very wise decision My Lord. I do, however know of something else that will help….something that made her want to turn her humanity off in the first place.” “Well come on, out with it then” Thatcher scoffs. “Her brother, Logan…he’s still very much alive. I replicated the stone in his ring, and made him a necklace to wear. He was wearing that necklace when Kristen signaled her men to kill him. Maybe if she see’s him, she’ll turn it back on.”

Raising a brow in frustration Thatcher huffs, “And you’re just now telling us this!? How could you think this information wasn’t important enough to inform me!” “Majesty, I needed to be sure Kristen’s humanity was back on, and she wouldn’t try to have Logan killed again. You know how Shelly feels about her brother. Look at what she’s done to keep herself from feeling the pain of losing him” Elizabeth explains. “Listen witch, I don’t care who you are, from now on if I find out you’re with-holding information from me, I will have you arrested and charged with treason. Do I make myself clear!?  Thatcher shouts. Folding her arms, Elizabeth mutters, “Crystal clear, Majesty.” Turning back to Charlotte Thatcher says, “I’ll gather the children in the nursery. When Shelly wakes, I’ll summon her into the room.” “Sounds like a plan Majesty. Only, there isn’t much time left before she wakes. We need to hurry!” Charlotte says. The baby gives a little cry, and Thatcher looks down at him smiling proudly. Charlotte smiles sweetly, before clearing her throat, signaling they need to get everything ready before Shelly awakens. Thatcher gives a quick nod, and the three of them follow him upstairs to get Elijah and Juliana.

Chapter – 71

“Which one of you gets it first?” Thatcher asks as he glances from Noel to Abel. “P-Please don’t kill us. We’re only following orders” Abel pleads. Elbowing Abel in the stomach, Noel says, “Shut up will you! Geez, you sound like a whining baby. We are vampires, we don’t beg the humans for anything!” ‘These guys are thicker than two short planks’ I think to myself. “Do you know which cell he’s in?” Thatcher asks. Shaking my head I reply, “Do you have this under control, so I can take a look around” I ask. “Yes I will keep an eye on these goons, go ahead and get him out of there.” Immediately I rush to the cells and start searching them frantically for Lestat. Swinging the last door open to see an empty bed the realization hits me, “he’s not here” I yell to Thatcher. “Didn’t your witch friend say he would be here?” Thatcher yells back. “Yes, but obviously he isn’t. All of the cells are empty, without a trace of him. Perhaps there’s another hidden passage?” I inquire approaching him. Thatcher shakes his head and says, “I’m afraid not. This is the only one, perhaps your witch friend was wrong about Lestat’s whereabouts?” Suddenly Noel grabs Thatcher’s sword and casts it aside. “You pathetic human, you didn’t really think that sword would kill us did you?” Noel sneers. “It would have if he decapitated your head!” I say sarcastically. Showing his fangs angrily, Noel lunges at Thatcher and suddenly falls to floor screaming out in pain, along with Abel. “What’s happening to them?” Thatcher questions. Before I’m able to answer his question, the sound of a woman chanting in Old Latin comes from behind us. Turning to face the woman, I notice no other than Elizabeth.

Glancing up at me, she says, “He’s in the last cell of the dungeon. You must hurry child, before Kristen’s two idiots come to their senses.” “But he’s not in there! I have searched every one of those cells” I explain. Elizabeth ponders for a moment before motioning us to follow her. She swings the dungeon door open, and asks Thatcher to stand guard outside of the room, as she hands him his sword. Thatcher agrees and takes his place in front of the door, and the two of us enter the dungeon cell. “You see, he’s not there!” I tell her. She smiles sweetly and says “nonsense child. He’s right in front of you.” “B-but I don’t see” I begin but she quickly interjects. Putting a finger to her mouth, she motions for me to be quiet. I give a nod in agreement, and watch her closely, as she waves her hands over the bed, and begins to chant again. Momentarily, a very faint image of Lestat appears on top of the bed, and within a few moments, his body turns into a solid form. Turning to me she says, “Kristen’s witch friend must have put a spell on these old dungeon cells. Lestat was here the whole time. You just couldn’t see him, because he was cloaked. In fact, no one would have seen him, unless you know of the very spell she used. Listen to me rambling on when we still have work to do! Go on now, pull the dagger out!” Reaching down, I pull the dagger from his chest, but nothing happens. “Why isn’t he waking up?” I ask worriedly. “Sometimes these things take some time.” she replies. Suddenly Lestat feels energy coursing through his very being as if being struck by lightning, jolting from his slumber, Lestat sits up, gasping for air.

“What happened? Where am I?” he asks. Sitting down beside him on the bed I reply, “It’s alright sweetheart. Kristen thought she won again, by taking someone that I care about away from me. Naturally she failed, thanks to your mother.” Lestat glances at me, and then notices the dagger that I’m holding in my hand. “Where did you get that dagger?” he questions. “I-I pulled it out of your chest. This is the dagger Kristen stabbed you with” I reply. A fit of uncontrollable rage washes over Lesat and he vanishes. “Now where do you suppose he ran off to? I hope he’s not going to try anything stupid” I ask. Elizabeth smiles sweetly, “Knowing my son the way I do, he’s planning to attack Kristen the smart way. My guess is that he’s heading to the forest to feed, and gain his strength. He can’t take on an elder vampire while he’s in this weakened form. That dagger that you’re holding, it really took it’s toll on him. Carolin’s witch made it to weaken him, to put him in a coma-like state.  May I see the dagger dear? I might be able to lift the spell on it, so that it can’t harm him again.” “I can’t believe this is happening. Seems to me he was better off without his stepmother’s side of the family in his life. All they do is hurt him. How can individuals such as Carolin and Kristen be so cruel? I mean after all, Carolin did raise him, and Kristen is his half sister” I inquire as I hand her the dagger.

Taking the dagger from my hand, she thanks me before replying, “The thing is deary, Carolin has a cold heart, and well, she only cares about herself. She doesn’t even care for her kingdom, or her husband. She only married him because the villagers wouldn’t accept a single queen, and they feared her. They needed a king, not only have an heir, but to lead them and to teach them. They needed to feel safe and secure. Although, they didn’t know she would marry such an aberrant failure, who’s willing to agree with almost anything that she see’s fit. Sadly their daughter turned out just like her mother. Cold, and cruel. The only difference is, Kristen at least has a heart. You just have to make her find it. I saw her heart melt in one of my visions. One where she had a baby boy. I also saw it break when she asked Thistle and Alex to raise it as their own. Like I said, she has a heart, you just have to make her find it.” I sit mouth agape before saying, “Kristen had a child? When did that happen?” Elizabeth gives a little smile, “All in good time dear, all in good time. Now, be quiet for just a moment, so I can concentrate only on the dagger, ok?” I give a nod in agreement, and watch her as she begins to chant. The silver dagger, slowly floats into the air, as Elizabeth continues chanting. A few moments pass, before Elizabeth throws the dagger onto the floor. “No! It can’t be! It’s impossible!” she shouts. “What’s impossible?” I ask. Shakily she replies, “I know the witch who put the spell on the dagger, and who is also holding your daughter hostage!”

I let out a little gasp before asking, “Who is she, and how do you know her?” As Elizabeth gets her thoughts under control, she slowly explains, “The witch’s name is Morgana. I know her because she is my mother. She taught me all about spell casting when I was young. I assumed she was dead after all of these years. I don’t know how she’s still alive, or what has happened to her since I moved to the village of Dragon Valley many years ago.” “Well, what can Carolin possibly want from her?” I ask curiously. “Carolin must have found her. Perhaps she persuaded her to join her kingdom. I don’t think my mother would have joined her willingly, because she always hated vampires, and hated the fact that the kingdom was ruled by them. I’m not exactly sure why my mother would have joined Carolin, but whatever the reason is, it must be huge” she says.

A few moments of silence spreads between us as I take in the new information. “Do you think Juliana is alright? You don’t think she would hurt her do you?” I ask but get no response. Turning my head towards her, I can clearly see that she’s in a daze. Rising from my seat, and placing a hand on her shoulder, I ask, “Hey, are you alright?” “Elizabeth, snap out of it!” I continue as I give her shoulder a little shake. Slowly blinking her eyes, as she snaps back into reality, she replies, “We need to find Lestat and gather a meeting with Thatcher in the throne room as quick as possible. I just had a vision, and we need to act rather quickly. I’m afraid this means life and death for your daughter!” “Life and death? For Juliana? Do explain!” I demand as I cross my arms. “Since Carolin took Juliana from Brendlewood, she’s been trying to figure out a way to drain her of her powers. In the vision I just had, I witnessed Morgana find a spell that will surely drain the little Princess. Of course she has to cast a spell that will age Juliana into a ten year old child” she explains. “A ten year old child!? Why does she need Juliana to be ten years old?” I ask. “Because, that’s how old your daughter will be when she begins to develop her powers. Carolin’s afraid if she waits until Juliana’s an adult, she will have more than enough power to bring her kingdom down. Well, I don’t think I need to explain it any further, as you know Carolin, and if she’s afraid of something, well…she needs to destroy it! Now, as I was saying, we need to find my son, and gather the three of you in the throne room!” Elizabeth replies. Giving a quick nod, I follow Elizabeth and Thatcher out of the basement and back to the finely decorated part of the castle. Pulling Elizabeth off to the side, I tell her that I’m going to head to the forest to find Lestat, and bring him back to the castle safely. She gives me a friendly hug in return, and tells me to be careful. I tell her that I will, and head out to the forest to begin my search.

As I enter the forest, the cold wind howls as the colorful fall leaves spill from the trees. Fall is among us, and in a few months, the snow will begin to fall. ‘The perfect weather for making snowmen, and for snowball fights’ I think to myself. It seems like I’ve been searching for hours, as I arrive in the center of the forest. A very loud ‘Crack’ sound comes from one of the trees in front of me, as it begins to fall. Running as fast as I can to get out of the path of the tree, I run right into Lestat. Turning to face me, his eyes widen in surprise before saying, “Shelly, you shouldn’t have come.” Smiling slightly I reply, “I had to find you. You’re mother had a vision, and needs us to meet with her and Thatcher in the throne room. She said it could mean life and death for Juliana.” “I mean you shouldn’t have come, because there’s a hunter on my tail. I’m sure we can lose him though. C’mon, I’ll race you back to the castle.” “Ha! Are you sure you can beat me? I mean you know I’m a little faster than most new vampires” I kid. Lestat gives me a little wink, before taking off as fast as he can. “Hey! That’s cheating!” I shout before chasing after him. As I catch up to him, Lestat says, “I think it’s wise if you enter the castle alone. By now I’m sure that my sister has found out that I’m no longer her prisoner. Don’t worry love, I can still get in. All I have to do is use a little vamp power to scale the walls. I’ll find you later. I would tell you where to meet up, but if Kristen confronts you, she will think that you’re lying and compel you to tell her where I am.” I frown at the thought of Kristen capturing him again, and I agree to his terms, before we enter the castle separately.

Upon entering the castle, Kristen greets me in the foyer. “Well now, this is a surprise. I set a trap for my brother, and behold I catch his lover instead. Come, join me in the sitting room” she says grimly. Giving a nod in agreement, I follow her into the other room. Standing in front of the fireplace, I can’t help but wonder what she has up her sleeve. Slowly approaching me, she continues, “I know you have been with my brother, and that you helped him escape. Don’t try to deny it, the two of you were seen in the forest together. You can either tell me where my brother is, or I can compel you to tell me. Either way, I will get the information that I want. So, we can do this the easy way, or the hard way. The choice is yours.” Folding my arms, I reply, “Just what makes you think that I will tell you anything?” Pointing her scraggly finger at me she says, “I have ways of making you talk.” Kristen then snaps her fingers, and her guards bring Logan to her. My eyes widen in shock as my brother approaches her with his hands bound together. “You let him go or I’ll-” I begin but she quickly interrupts. Folding her arms and squinting her eyes, she says, “Or you’ll what!? There’s nothing you can do. You can’t beat me, and you know that. Besides, I don’t want to hurt your precious brother. In fact I want to make a deal with you. More of a trade really. Your brother for mine!” Pondering for a moment I inquire, “If I tell you where Lestat is, you’ll let my brother go?” “You have my word” Kristen replies. “Just like that?” I carefully question. Shaking her head she says, “Just like that.” “But I don’t know where he is. You can compel me if you want to, but I can’t tell you where he is, if I don’t exactly know where he is” I reply. “Then it’s the end for poor Logan here. Such a pity” she says as she grabs him by the throat.

“No-wait! I don’t know exactly where he is, but I can tell you where to begin to look” I blurt out. Shoving Logan into the hands of her guards, Kristen approaches me and questions, “Where exactly do I start looking for my brother?” “He’s somewhere in the castle. That’s all I can tell you.” Grabbing me by the arms, and looking deep into my eyes, she says, “Nonsense. My brother wouldn’t be so stupid as to hide here. I have eyes all over this castle, surely someone would have seen him.” “I wasn’t lying. I told you that I don’t know where he is” I tell her. Her pupils grow small, and the color of her eyes go dark as she compels me to tell her where Lestat is. “Alright you little tramp, I’m going to ask you one last time. Where is my brother?” Kristen asks angrily. “I told you, I don’t know where he is. All I know is that he’s somewhere here in the castle” I explain. Slowly letting go of my arms, Kristen says with a conniving expression, “We’re going to play a little game. You either find him and bring him to me, or you can kiss your brother goodbye.” “Why would I bring him to you? All you and your mother have ever done is hurt him!” I yell. 

Grabbing me by the throat and lifting me off the floor, she says, “I’ve grown tired of your nonsense. The only reason I have put up with you this long, is because of my brother’s love for you. He betrayed me by killing Austin, when all he did was leave my mother’s realm to help us take her down!” Before I’m able to respond to what she had just said, Thatcher enters the room flanked by his guards, with his sword ready. “Take your hands off of my wife!” Thatcher shouts. Turning his attention to Archer, Thatcher says, “Arrest that creature for the act of treason!” Archer gives a nod before saying, “Miss Lioncourt, you are under arrest for treason, and the disloyalty of the King and Queen of Blue Haven. Guards, take her away!” As Thatcher’s guards surround Kristen, Archer approaches her with iron cuffs. Kristen loosens her grip from my throat, and I fall to the floor with a hard ‘thud’. “Do you really think you can take me that easily? That I would be willing to let you put me behind bars? I think not!” she sneers. Back-handing Archer, he falls to the floor and hits his head on one of the tables, knocking him out cold. She then snaps her fingers, and her guards attack the men and hold them hostage. Within a flash, she grabs Thatcher’s sword, and casts it outside of the window. Grabbing Thatcher by the neck she says, “Did you really think that a pathetic mortal like you could defeat me? Such a pity that I have to kill you. Don’t worry, I’ll let you die quick and painless, so as not to suffer.” 

Kristen then sinks her fangs into his neck, before Lestat shouts, “Leave these people alone. T’is I that you want, and I am standing here before you. I won’t let you harm these innocent people. I’m not going anywhere, and I’ll go with you willingly.” Rushing to Lestat’s side, I hug him tightly before whispering in his ear, “Sweetheart, no! You can’t go with her, she’ll kill you!” He kisses me gently on the cheek and whispers, “She’ll kill all of you if I don’t. I swore to your parents that I would protect you, and I’m not about to break that promise. I have to go darling.” Kristen shoves Thatcher down to the floor, and rushes over to Lestat. “My dear brother, playing the savior again I see. Well, never mind that. It’s about time that you came to your senses, but I’m afraid you’re a little too late. You see, your pal Thatcher over there doesn’t have very long to live. I’ve drained him of almost all of his blood. You and I both know that draining him like that will make his pitiful little heart work faster to supply more blood. His heart won’t be able to take it.” Giving her fingers a little snap, her guards kill the king’s men, and approach Logan. Two of her guards hold Logan so he can’t move, as one of the other men removes his ring before snapping his neck. “No!” I yell before rushing to his side. Tears slide down my cheeks, and I stroke his hair. He’s really gone this time, and there wasn’t anything I could do to stop this from happening. Guilt stricken and sorrow washes over me as I weep. I then grab all of the Gin and Rum I can get my hands on, and begin pouring it all over the furniture, floor, and my brother’s body. 

“What are you doing!?” Kristen shouts. “Everything is gone! My husband is dying, my parents and brother are all dead. Now, you’re going to kill the remaining love of my life! I have nothing left! This castle, is nothing but bad memories, ones that I no longer want, so I’m gonna burn it down to the ground!” As I head over to the fireplace, Kristen rushes to my side. Smiling slightly she says, “I can help you.” “I don’t want, nor do I need your help!” I snap. Approaching Lestat, she whispers, “You know what to do to help her. I suggest you do so before I kill the little wench!” Lestat takes me into his arms and hugs me tightly as I sob uncontrollably. “Listen to me darling. I can help you” he says as he wipes the tears from my cheeks. “You don’t understand. Everyone that I love dies! I’m poison Lestat. You better leave me before you die to!” I cry out. “Shhh. It’s alright darling. I’m not going anywhere. I can help you. Please, just let me help you” he says soothingly. “How can you help me?” I ask in between sobs. “Turn your humanity off” he tells me. Thatcher gasping in pain, manages to get to his feet before saying, “No! Shelly, don’t listen to him!” “Just turn off your humanity, and all of the hurt that you’re feeling right now will just go away” Lestat explains. “How do I turn it off?” I ask. “Just reach down, deep inside yourself. You’ll know what to do” he replies. 

Lestat takes a few steps back from Shelly, before Kristen approaches him. “Bravo my brother. I didn’t think that you had it in you!” she sarcastically says. Smiling slightly he replies, “I didn’t.” Giving him a puzzled look, Kristen says, “Oh but you did. You got her to turn her humanity off. A very brave thing to do, considering that you actually love her.” Turning to his sister, Lestat plunges a syringe into her arm, and injects her with a dark red liquid. Grabbing the glass tube, and throwing it to the floor, Kristen says in a weakened voice, “W-what did you do to me?” “I’m sorry sister, but you have caused enough trouble. I injected you with dead man’s blood. Now, my mother can help you, but unless you stop this madness, you can meet your maker!” Lestat tells her. “Y-you would kill your own sister?” she questions before falling to the floor. Kneeling down and smiling slightly, he replies, “I don’t want to kill you, but you’re not really giving me a choice now are you? While you had your plan set into motion, I was planning my own scheme against you.” Rising from the floor, he shouts, “Bring in the prisoner!” A few of Thatcher’s guards bring Ector into the room with his arms bound in front of him. 

“Exactly what are you up to?” Kristen inquires. Rising from the floor, and folding his arms, Lestat replies, “I know that you turned off your humanity, and that is why you have done all of these horrible things to everyone. It’s time for you to turn it back on, or your poor human lover gets it!” “I can’t and won’t do that!” she shouts. “Oh, but you will. You see, I’ve been trying to figure out why you’ve been stringing poor Ector here along, and I finally figured it out. You actually care about him, maybe even love him. Just like I figured out that the two of you share a daughter. Just think sister, if I can find out that you have a daughter out there, I can surely find out where you are hiding her. It won’t be to hard to track her down, just like I can track down Alex and Thistle to find your son! So, what’s it gonna be?” Getting to my feet, I grab the other syringe that’s on the floor next to Kristen, and plunge it into her arm. “Shelly, what are you doing? If you give her too much of that stuff, it will kill her!” Lestat shouts. Smiling slightly, I give a little shrug, before one of Kristen’s guards grabs me. “Let go of me!” I shout as I try to break free of his grasp. “No, Shelly. I’m trying to save my sister, not kill her.” Lestat says. “I don’t care. That bitch deserves to die after everything that she has done to us!” I yell. “Guards, take her Majesty into another room where she won’t cause anymore trouble” Lestat commands Kristen’s guards. They give Kristen a puzzled look, but she quickly gives them a little nod, and they remove me from the room.

Lestat shoves Ector away from him, and rushes to Kristen’s side as he notices her clenching her chest. “Something’s wrong. It’s getting harder to breathe. Am I dying?” she asks him. Cradling his sister, he places his hand on her cheek before saying, “Sister, your skin feels like it’s on fire! I’m afraid you don’t have much longer to live. You have too much of dead man’s blood in your system, and your body can’t handle it.” A look of sadness washes over Kristen’s face, as she turns her humanity back on. “I’ll never get to see my children again, nor will I ever marry. Brother, you have been nothing but good to me, and I have been just horrible to you. I don’t want to die knowing that you hate me, can you find it in your heart to forgive me?” she says as she wipes the tears from her cheeks. Tears fill Lestat’s eyes before saying, “I forgive you Sister. I just wish things could have been better between us. You were always so jealous of me. Even when we were kids, you were always afraid that Father was giving me more attention than you, when in fact, you were his favorite. I was always afraid that I would be a bad father just like he was.” Kristen places her hand on his cheek, “Nonsense Brother. You are a great father. You’re nothing like him. Your children will see that just as I have. I know I don’t have much longer, and I do want to be able to say goodbye to Ector. I just have one last thing I want to tell you” she says. Giving Lestat’s hand a tight squeeze she continues, “When Shelly gave birth to Elijah, he wasn’t the first and only heir of Blue Haven that was born.” 

Lestat sits mouth agape before saying, “Sister, are you thinking clearly? Even the midwife said Shelly and Thatcher had a son. Meaning only one child. She said nothing about twin boys.” Smiling slightly, Kristen replies, “Actually, I compelled the midwife and everyone else who was in Shelly’s quarters to believe there was only one child. I’m thinking very clearly my brother. Two boys were born, and Elijah isn’t their first born. He is the second heir to the throne. The other boy remains hidden.” “So….exactly where is this child?” Lestat asks. In a weakened voice Kristen replies, “I had Thistle take him to a village called Bradford. The town isn’t far from here by horse. If you go there, you’ll find the baby. The villagers there don’t like outsiders, so I’m sure you will find him with out difficulty.” “If the villagers don’t like outsiders, just how did Thistle manage to get a family to care for the baby?” Lestat asks. “That was easy. Thistle is from Bradford, and the villagers know her. It wasn’t hard for her to find foster parents for the child” Kristen replies. “Then I’ll gather my men to search for my son” Thatcher says before falling to the floor.

Meanwhile in the Queen’s chambers, Kristen’s guards stand guard outside of my bedroom door. Quietly I  crack the door open, to see where they are, and quickly close it again. Plopping onto my bed, my thoughts begin to race. ‘Just who does he think he is? He surely can’t think that he can keep me in here. Maybe I should just go back to that room and remove his heart from his chest! That man just loves to be under my skin, but maybe one day he can be of use to me. C’mon Shelly, think. You know you can get out of here, but how can leave this room without being seen and alerting the guards?’ I think to myself. Then it dawns on me! Daylight is approaching, and I know exactly how to lure the guards in here. although this may hurt a bit at first, but then again what’s a little bit of pain?” I think. Flinging the curtains open, the morning sun immediately pores into the room. A smile spreads across my face, as I brace myself against the wall, in the shadows. Taking off my sunlight ring, I quickly throw myself into the harm of the sun’s rays. Screaming out in pain, the guards rush out of the halls, and into my room, where they lead me back into the shadows, and close the curtains. “Majesty, is everything alright” the head guard asks. “Yes, one of the maids must have left the curtains open again. Thank you for coming to my rescue” I tell them. “You’re welcome Majesty. Is there anything you might need, such as ice or maybe something to drink?” the other guard asks. “Actually, there is something you can do, but there are too many ears in this castle” I reply. Motioning them to move in closer as if I were to whisper to them, I quickly reach out and snap both of their necks, before dragging them into my bathroom. 

As I enter the sitting room, I can’t help but to smell the fresh scent of Thatcher’s blood trickling down his neck. Within a flash, I grab Thatcher by the throat, and take a deep breath of the deliciousness I’m about to feast on. “Shelly, put him down! You know this isn’t right!” Lestat calls out. “Oh but it is! You know you want a taste. Why don’t you come over here, and we can finish him off together?” I offer. Rushing to my side, Lestat turns to me and places his hand on my shoulder, before saying, “No. This isn’t you. When you turn your humanity back on, you’ll hate yourself for killing him. I know there’s a part of you that still cares. Just turn it back on darling.” Giving a nod as I act like I’m actually considering on turning on my humanity, I sink my teeth into Thatcher’s neck. Lestat shoves me to the floor, and says, “Stop this madness! Shelly I love you, therefore I can’t allow you to do this!” Glaring at Lestat I reply, “Since when do you control my every move? For a change, I feel alive, I feel….free. You can’t tell me what to do, or try to control me. I’m not that pathetic faerie who was always afraid, and who was too fragile to handle her own affairs. Right now, I don’t care about anything or anyone, and I feel nothing. If you want to protect our food chain, then so be it! I will not protect them. From now on, I’ll treat them as they should be treated, which is for no other than food!” “Darling, I beg of you, please think about what you’re doing. You can’t go on like this. I love you….Thatcher loves you. Do you really want to push us away?” Lestat pleads. 

Getting to my feet, I approach Lestat and look him in the eyes, “I’m sorry, but I don’t love you. I don’t love either of you, nor do I care about the two of you. “Now, I have other things on my agenda. If you don’t mind, I’ll be on my way” I tell him. “Where are you going?” Lestat asks. “That’s just for me to know, and for you not to find out. It has nothing to do with you” I explain. Lestat stands mouth agape not knowing exactly what to say. Glaring at him, I say before leaving the castle, “That’s right, Lestat. For a change, what I say and what I do, has absolutely nothing to do with you or that idiotic human over there.” Lestat kneels in front of Thatcher, before biting his wrist and says, “You need to drink my blood Majesty. It will heal you.” Thatcher pushes Lestat’s arm away and says, “No! I know it can heal me, but with you and all of the other creatures here, how do I know that none of you won’t turn me? I don’t want to become a monster like you!” “Then I’ll have my mother put a spell on your chambers so that supernatural creatures can’t enter. Majesty, with all due respect, if you don’t drink my blood, you will die, and you will never get to meet your oldest son” Lestat tells him before sending for his mother. A brief moment of silence spreads between them, before Thatcher gives a nod in agreement. Lestat then puts his wrist up to Thatcher’s mouth, and he slowly drinks his blood. Within moments, The wounds on Thatcher’s neck begin to heal, and he begins to feel like his normal self.

“You wanted to see me?” Elizabeth says as she enters the room. “Yes. Mother, There was an incident, and I had to help Thatcher by giving him some of my blood. Can you put a spell on his quarters to keep supernatural beings out. He’s afraid that one of us might turn him” Lestat explains. She gives a nod in agreement, and waves her hands in the air as she chants, and then suddenly stops. Turning to Thatcher she says, “It is done. You won’t have to worry about any supernatural beings bothering you.” Smiling slightly, Thatcher thanks her. “Mother, I know this is alot to ask, but do you think you can help my sister now that she’s turned her humanity back on? I don’t think she’ll be giving us anymore problems” Lestat asks. “I do have a potion that can help her, but are you sure she won’t be stirring up anymore trouble around here?” Elizabeth asks. Lestat then tells her that he’s completely sure. Giving a nod in agreement, she gives the potion to Kristen, before disappearing once more. “Guards, can you see that my sister gets to her quarters? Her Majesty needs her rest” Lestat instructs. The guards give a bow in return, and carry Kristen up to her bed. Helping Thatcher to his feet, Lestat says, “Come now Majesty, let’s gather your men, and find your son.” “No, Archer will be leading my men for the journey as soon as he wakes, so no need for you to go along. You just find Shelly, and get her to come to her senses!” Thatcher instructs. “Very well, Majesty. I’m pretty sure I know of just the place to find her. However, with her humanity turned off, it may take some time to get her to turn it back on and bring her home safely. She attacked you, so you know just how dangerous she is” Lestat explains.

“Sorry to interrupt Majesty, but there’s a messenger from Stoneridge here to see you” one of Thatcher’s guards informs him. “Stoneridge sending word here? Please, by all means, send him in” Thatcher replies. The guard gives a bow, before leaving the room, and returning with the messenger. “Majesty, King Rohan and Queen Isabelle instructed me to bring you and your queen this letter” he says as he hands the sealed paper to him. “What is your name?” Thatcher asks. “My name’s Atkins, Majesty” he replies. “Thank you Atkins. Please stay while I read the letter, just in case I should need to send one in return” Thatcher says. “Yes, Majesty” Atkins replies.Thatcher slowly reads the letter, as a smile forms across his face. “Majesty, what is it? Is anyone hurt? Are they under attack and need our assistance?” Lestat asks. Thatcher places a hand on Lestat’s shoulder, you’re to be congratulated. Rohan and Isabelle have a son and heir to the throne. You’re a grandfather! Congratulations!” Lestat smiles widely, “A grandfather? I never thought I would live to see the day.” “Congratulations to you as well Majesty, for you too are a grandfather, since you’re married to Shelly” Lestat points out. Thatcher clears his throat, “Yes, well….thank you. Now about Shelly, you should head out to find her, I’m going to write a letter in return to congratulate the new parents on their new addition to their family.” Lestat then gives a bow, before heading down to the barn to ready his horse.

Chapter – 70

“I can’t just sit back and do nothing! I’ve got to go after him!” I think to myself. No sooner does that thought cross my mind, I turn to head towards the stairs as my two guards approach me. “Majesty, we need you to remain in your quarters where you will be safe. I’m afraid enemies have broken inside the castle gates!” Caleb informs me. Gasping, I ask where Lestat is, and my guards inform me that he too is trying to keep the enemy from getting inside of the castle. “Elijah! I have to get my son!” I shout. Shaking his head, Lorenzo replies,”It’s far too dangerous Majesty. You’re better off staying in your room where it’s safe.” Listening to their hearts beat as I glance from one to the other, I can tell they’re becoming nervous as their hearts begin to race. It’s almost as if they’re hiding something from me. “The two of you are acting pretty weird. Normally if I needed help with something, you would go out of your way for me. Do you not want me to get my son? Is that it?” I ask curiously. 

The two exchange glances before replying anxiously, “N-no Majesty. If you need us to take you to your son, then we’ll do so!” “I’m….getting a strange vibe from the two of you. I don’t think the enemy is outside of the castle at all. I think Carolin’s goons have been here the whole time, spying on ME!” I shout as my eyes begin to glow in anger. A low growl comes from the two guards, proving that I was right. Showing my fangs, I grab Lorenzo by the throat choking him, before saying, “You! I trusted you!” Rage washes over me, and I throw Lorenzo clear across the room, before turning to the other impostor. I then grab Caleb who looks more scared than anything. Plunging my hand through his chest, and removing his heart, I turn my head towards Lorenzo. “You can tell your so called queen that I have had it with her! Tell her that if she wants me, to come get me herself, and to leave my son alone!” I hiss as I crumble Caleb’s heart in my bare hand. Petrified, Lorenzo replies, “I’ll relay the message, only it won’t do any good! It’s not you that she wants, it’s the child. She wants Blue Haven for herself, and she’ll do anything to get it! When that child grows older, he will be the next heir to the throne. As long as there’s an heir to the throne, that heir has rights, not only to the castle, but to the realm as well. Her Majesty can’t have anyone getting in the way of having the most powerful kingdom.”

Suddenly, Thatcher, Lestat, and the General, followed by the twenty-five men that accompanied Thatcher back to the castle, emerge from the stairs. The men draw out their swords, and point them at Lorenzo. “Trader! We overheard every word you had just said. When I led my men to the village to clear out the lycan trash, you can imagine my surprise when I over heard a female lycan tell your alpha that Carolin lead them into a trap….that they weren’t supposed to breach the castle walls. They were the decoys in which your queen sent to get me away from my kingdom! You were sent to spy on my queen, and to kill my son….my ONLY son! Oh believe me when I say that you aren’t going anywhere! You’re under arrest for treason, and the disloyalty of the King and Queen of Blue Haven! Guards, take this man away!” Thatcher shouts. “I’m not going anywhere with you, and you can’t capture me either!” the lycan sneers before jumping out of the window and landing on his feet. “Seize that creature! We can’t have him returning to that demon queen of his!” Thatcher orders. The men give a bow, and head out to begin looking for Lorenzo. 

“Darling, are you alright?” Lestat asks as Thatcher and his general turn to leave the halls. Shakily I give a nod, and tell him that I am before he continues, “I was so afraid that he might have hurt you.” “I knew something was wrong when they were trying to convince me that I would be safer in my chambers. I figured it all out when their hearts began to race, and they became more nervous when I asked them to accompany me to get our son. He is our son isn’t he?” I inquire. “Of course he is darling, why do you ask?” he reassures. Giving a little frown I reply, “Well….it’s just that Thatcher keeps saying that Elijah’s his son, and the way he talked to that lycan. It’s almost as if he was telling him that I am his queen, but that’s impossible. I would remember something like that wouldn’t I?” “Yes, my darling you would. Just give it some time. I’m sure you will regain all of your memories, but you can’t rush these things. It will all come back to you all in good time. When that time does come, you will have some questions for me, and I’ll be happy to answer them all, but only when you get them back” Lestat says. “Well I wish they would hurry up already! It’s frustrating when you have to listen to others tell you about your past when you can’t remember it yourself!” I reply. 

What about Austin?” I ask. “What of him? You were right Shelly, I shouldn’t be going after him, especially alone” he says apologetically. Wrapping me in his arms, before kissing me tenderly, he continues, “Shel, stop worrying. You will get your memories back, I promise. Until then, enjoy what’s happening right here, right now.” “Mmmm. I like the way that sounds already. I love you” I whisper. Caressing my neck with his lips, he whispers, “And I love you. Shall we move this into your chambers?” I let out a little moan, before giving a nod in agreement as he presses me up against the door to my room. Feeling around frantically for the doorknob, he kisses me passionately as his hands slide down my lower back. After a few moments of searching, I finally find the knob and give it a little twist. The door swings open, when I hear what sounds like someone clearing their throat. Glancing over Lestat’s shoulder, a tall, slender, blonde man, with blue eyes, stands before us. Lestat gives a sigh, before turning to face him. “Tristan!? How did you…when did you come to court?” Lestat asks clearly knowing who he is. “I came with Melina. I found her when she was searching for the kingdom. Sir, may I speak with you in private?” Tristan asks. “Do you mind darling?” Lestat asks me. Smiling slightly, I tell him that it’s alright and that I’ll keep the bed warm for him. He gives an a apologetic smile, before placing a kiss on my cheek, and follows Tristan into the other room. 

“What’s this all about son?” Lestat asks. “Well, as you know, I have loved Melina for a very long time, and since you are her father, I need to speak with you.” Well, go on son. I’m all ears” Lestat replies. “May I have your daughter’s hand in marriage? I know I’m not a prince, nor am I of royalty, but I love her!” Tristan continues. Lestat ponders for a moment before replying, “Has my daughter told you that she would marry you?” Tristan looks at the floor, before looking back up at Lestat, “Well….no. I haven’t asked her yet. I wanted to do this the honorable and right way, which was to ask you first.” “All I have to say is, ask her. If she says yes, then you have my blessing!” Lestat replies. Tristan beams, “Really!? Thank you Sir! I’m gonna go and ask her. I planned this whole romantic picnic thing in the royal garden.” Lestat chuckles before saying, “Just know this, if you hurt her, you’ll have to answer to me!” “Yes Sir!” Tristan replies before heading down to the garden. 

Returning to Shelly’s chambers, Lestat climbs into bed with her, thinking they can pick up where they left off, only to find her asleep. Rolling onto his side, he moves a few strands of hair from her face. She gives a little smile in return, before the nightmares start rolling in. “I can’t handle this. You have to remember me, you must. Lestat I love you so much, and I have waited so long for your return. Luke and Luna need you, just as our other children and myself do. Please come back to me” she says as she sleeps. It is then that Lestat realizes that she’s dreaming about the time he had lost his memories. When he had forgotten her, and his family. ‘How can I continue to put her through this, knowing what I went through when I lost my memories. Angry or not, I have got to tell her the truth, although she may hate me for it. I just hope she can find it in her heart to forgive me’ he thinks to himself. Slowly climbing out of bed, he returns to his chambers to find Logan still asleep. Taking comfort by the roaring flames of the fireplace, he sits thinking about how he’s going to explain to Shelly about everything that he’s done.

Meanwhile back in the queen’s chambers, Shelly continues to toss and turn in her bed as she dreams of her past. Jolting from my slumber, I swing my legs over the side of my bed, wiping the tears and sweat from my face, I take in the horrible dream I just experienced. I had woken up in a strange place, with strange people asking me all sorts of questions about some robbery that had taken place in their village. ‘There’s no way it could have been real. After all these years, why would I dream something so horrible about the kingdom my mother used to tell me stories about?’ I think to myself. Looking around my room, I notice Lestat hasn’t returned. Thinking maybe he went downstairs to have a cup of coffee, I get dressed and head down the hall. As I enter the landing on the second floor, I hear Thatcher talking to someone in the study. ‘I never did thank him for rescuing me and my son. Since I’m right here, I might as well do so’ I think to myself. Opening the door I let out a gasp. There in the study I find Thatcher and a brunette with their arms around one another, locked in a passionate kiss. Hearing the door opening, Thatcher glances up from his lover. His eyes widen at the sight of me, and he breaks from their kiss. “I-I’m sorry Majesty. I didn’t mean to…UGH! I’ve always had bad timing. I-I should go” I tell him as I turn to head out of the door. 

Grabbing his shirt, he follows me out into the hall. “Shelly, I didn’t intend for this to happen. She came to thank me for saving her life” Thatcher begins but I quickly interject. “There’s no need to explain yourself to me. I heard you in there talking to someone. I should have knocked first. I’m sorry for interrupting” I reply turning away from him. He then grabs me by the arm, and I turn to face him. “I don’t know why I’m jealous. It’s not like you and I have ever been together, nor have we been in a relationship, but every inch of me wants to remove her head from her shoulders!” I continue. His deep purple eyes lock on mine as he begins to speak again. His gentle voice fades into the distance, and I’m hit with yet another splitting headache. “Shelly, are you alright?” Thatcher calls out worriedly as he catches me before falling to the floor. After fifteen minutes of trying to get me to respond, I finally snap back into reality. Fluttering my eyes open, in a weakened voice, I’m able to tell him that I’m alright. As I try to get up, Thatcher says, “Are you sure you should be getting up so soon? I mean shouldn’t you relax for a minute or two?” Getting to my feet, I tell him, “I’m a vampire. You know, basically already dead. So there’s no need to really worry. You’re the one who should be worried.”

Turning to leave the room, Thatcher grabs my arm before saying, “Just what am I supposed to be worried about?” Locking my eyes on his I reply, ” Every time I get these headaches, years of memories rush back to me.” “So you remember everything?” he asks. “Well, not everything. There are still things that are still a blur, but as for you, I remember you, and I remember Brendlewood.” Smiling widely he replies, “Oh my gosh! Shelly, That’s great news!” Hugging me tightly he continues, “I think a feast is in order! This is an occasion to celebrate!” Breaking from his hug I reply, “Well maybe to you this is a joyous occasion, but gathering from what I just saw in your study, just tells me that you were hoping that I didn’t gain my memories back.” His smile turns to a frown before saying, “How can you say that? I sat by your bedside the whole time, waiting for you to wake up. I even had to sit there and watch to your ex-husband flaunt all over you. Every time I tried to tell you about our past, you would become irritable. I just didn’t want you to hurt anyone.” 

Pulling me close, he continues, “Darling, I just want us to be the way that we were before all of this.” Anger washes over me, and I shove him away from me before saying, “Well maybe I don’t feel the same way you do. Just because I remember you and our life together, doesn’t mean that I feel the same way. Things have changed between us. Wasn’t it you who told me that you didn’t know if you could cope me being a vampire? And wasn’t it you who said that you hate my kind?” “Well…yes, but….”Thatcher begins but I quickly interject. “Then kindly tell me, if you hate my kind, and you don’t think that you can bare to be with me because I’m a vampire, just how is it that you love me!?” A brief moment of silence spreads between us before I continue, ” That’s just what I thought! You can’t cope with all of this. Sorry I wasted your time! Maybe your lover who’s still waiting in your study will still have you!” Storming up the stairs, I hear Thatcher calling out to me, but I’m to angry to even look at him. As I open the door to my chambers, Lestat approaches me. “Darling is everything alright?” he asks. Rage suddenly takes over the anger, and I give a hard slap to his face. “How DARE you! How could you do that to me!? Make forget my friends, my children, my husband! Did you really think that would win you a second chance!? You made me believe Elijah was our son and that we were still married!” 

Running his fingers through his hair, he says, “Shel, you don’t understand…-” “Oh I understand plenty!” I shout. As he tries to comfort me, I say, “Don’t Lestat….you’ve done enough!” Grabbing me by the arms, his vibrant red eyes lock on mine, “I don’t want to hurt you. I only want to show you everything that has happened. If you feed from me and concentrate on seeing my memories, you will see what I have been telling you is the truth.” I try to break from his embrace, but I’m no match for him. “There’s no point in trying to run away. Since you clearly won’t listen to me, maybe when you see for yourself, you’ll see things in a different perspective” he says. His pupils grow small, and the color of his eyes beam bright as he compels me to feed from him. Nodding in agreement, I sink my teeth into his wrist. “That’s it, now concentrate on me” he says. I close my eyes and concentrate on finding his memories. Flashes of everything he has done since he was taken from his mother rush to me. The day we met, our wedding day, the fight we had before he left Brendlewood, and everything that has happened at Carolin’s castle until the present comes to me. His eyes then change back to normal and the muscles in his arms relax. As he lets go of my arms, tears slide down his cheeks before saying, “There you have it. My whole life was nothing but a lie. I wanted to tell you about your past with Thatcher many times, but I didn’t want to confuse you and make you angry. A vampire with a temper is a very bad combination for innocent people. But, that wasn’t the only thing holding me back Shelly. I don’t want to lose you either. I’ve never felt this way about anyone. It’s always been you Shel. No one can ever take your place.”

“Why did you compel me before you left Brendlewood? You made me believe that you left me, and that you weren’t going to come back” I ask. “I did that for your protection. If I had told you that I was leaving, I know exactly what you would have done. You would have tried to follow me and talk me out of it. I wasn’t just a vampire anymore, but a hybrid lycan, which is basically a lycan on steroids. Brendlewood was crawling with faeries, including you. The hunger was growing stronger so I had to leave. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, or you in that matter. I told you that I wanted to leave to seek help from Charlotte, but you begged me to stay. No matter how hard I tried to explain to you why I had to leave, you insisted on coming with me. I couldn’t put you in that kind of danger, so I had no choice but to compel you.” “I remember all of that now, but what I don’t get is why you would tell me to move on” I say. ” I told you to move on because I didn’t think I could be cured. I knew nothing of the lycan removal spell, that is until I found Charlotte and asked her for help. But you already know all of that now, so why do you ask?” I let out a sigh before saying, “Maybe I just needed to hear that from you.” Now you know everything that has happened in my absence, and why I came to Stone Ridge to find you” he explains. Rubbing the back of his neck he continues, “Now the question is, what will you do about Thatcher?” 

“What of that goon!? He’s only a mere human, who should be treated as nothing more than food!” Austin interrupts. Furrowing a brow I say, “You better hold your tongue!” Erick smirks, “Or else what? You’re gonna kill us? We joined up with Kristen. If you kill us, you will have to answer to her!” “Just who says I’m scared of that old bitty?” I question before fake lunging at him. Erick lets out a girlish scream and hides behind Austin before shaking his fists and scolding me, “That wasn’t funny!” Lestat points a finger at Austin, “You have alot of nerve to approach us after everything you have done!” Austin shrugs before shaking his index finger, “You know something, I don’t regret it either. I’d do it again if I had the chance! After all, she is very tasty!” Lestat furrows his brow in anger before shouting, “You ever lay a hand on her again I’ll kill you!” “Ya know, I’m just gonna let the two of you duke it out!” Erick says as he backs away slowly, before bolting down the stairs. Austin smirks at the fact that he knows Lestat’s temper, and just how far he can push him before he gets enraged. Letting out a little chuckle, Austin says slyly, “You have everything I ever wanted. You have Shelly by your side, and you have a kingdom in which one day you will run.” Snapping his fingers, Austin continues, “Oh that’s right! You really aren’t a prince are you? You’re just the King’s bastard son! I guess you don’t really have a pot to piss in now do you!?” Rage washes over Lestat and his eyes glow vibrant red once again. Fear stricken, Austin runs as fast as he can downstairs, with Lestat right behind him. “Lestat! Wait!” I shout running as quick as I can to catch up to him.

Momentarily, the sounds of yelling and furniture being thrown around in the sitting room echo throughout the halls. Rounding the corner, I bump right into Erick, who is guarding the doorway that leads into the library. “Ah so you want to join the party too? Might as well watch your boy toy get what’s coming to him!” he sneers. Lestat glances toward the door as it shuts behind Erick who is holding me hostage. “Oh the things we’re going to do to you! It’ll be just like old times. I’ll make sure you enjoy every minute of it,” he says before licking my cheek. Turning to look to see who’s winning the fight, Austin breaks one of the legs off of the chairs, and runs after Lestat who is rushing towards Erick and I. “Look out!” I scream. Quickly turning around, he grabs Austin by the arm, and plunges his hand through his chest. Austin screams out in agony before Lestat grabs his heart and rips it from his chest, and crushes it in his bare hands.

Austin’s body then grows limp and his eyes roll to the back of his head. “No! Erick yells before turning his anger on me. Grabbing him by the throat, I shake my head and tell him, “Earlier, I gave Austin mercy, and look what happened. I don’t want to kill you, but I will if I have to!” Kristen enters the room which is now trashed due to the fight between Austin and Lestat. “What in the world happened in here!” she yells. before any of us can get a word in she continues, “Never mind. Lestat….Brother, we’re supposed to be keeping the peace, not murdering others who ask to join us” she says as she places a hand on his shoulder. “Sister, these are the two lycan goons who held us hostage in their little hideaway. He broke a leg off of the chair to make a stake, and he tried to kill me. I didn’t have a choice but to kill him” Lestat explains. Pondering for a moment, she says, “I’m sorry brother, but you just leave me no choice.” Taking the dagger from her skirts, she plunges it into Lestat’s chest. His eyes widen before they close, and he falls to the floor.

Letting Erick go from my grasp, he falls to the floor with a big ‘THUD’. Pointing and shaking her scraggly index finger at me, she says, “ah, ah, ah. I can’t have you sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong. Now don’t be foolish. Run along and find Thatcher. I’m sure that king of yours would love to spend some time with you. I’ll take care of my dear brother.” “B-but you killed him, you self centered BITCH!”I shout in anger. “I’d watch your tongue if I were you! You may be stronger than these two fools, but you’re no match for me. I can rip you to shreds within a blink of an eye!” she says evilly. Within a flash, she’s standing in front of me, and she grabs me by the arms, getting me to my feet. Bringing me closer so that we’re face to face, she locks her eyes on mine. Her glowing red eyes widen as she compels me to leave the room. I try to fight off her compulsion, but it’s a big ole fail. She’s right, it’s a non-winning battle with her. No matter how hard I try I can’t fight off her compulsion. Giving a little nod, I agree to find Thatcher. Smiling sweetly she says, “Now that’s a good girl. run along while I clean up this mess.” Loosening her grip from my arms, I leave the room to find Thatcher. ‘Maybe finding Thatcher is a good thing. Maybe he can put an end to this mess, or maybe Logan can help. Logan! I had forgotten about my dear brother. He should be waking soon. If he’s the hybrid that Elizabeth was talking about, perhaps he can help’ I think to myself. Rushing up the stairs and into Lestat’s quarters, Logan’s still laying on the bed sound asleep. I really hate to wake him, but he might be my only hope!

Sitting next to Logan on the bed nudging him, I whisper, “Logan, I need you to get up now. I really need your help!” Wiping the sleep from his eyes, he asks where he is and how he got here. “You’re in Lestat’s quarters. His mother helped you before you were able to complete the change. Brother, I really need you to get up! Lestat’s in trouble and you might be the only one who can help me” I tell him. Sitting up and stretching before letting out a yawn, he says, “What’s going on and how can I help?” I then fill him in on what I had remembered about Austin and the lycan hideout, the fight, and what Kristen had done to Lestat. “I still don’t understand what you want me to do to help. I mean you saw what she did to me” he replies. “Logan, you’re a hybrid wolf! Stronger than both races. As long as you wear that ring, you will have more power than any of them. The moon is still full, and I have seen with my own eyes that you have power. With that kind of power….” I begin to explain, but once again am interrupted. “With that power comes responsibility. If you don’t know how to control it, alot of innocent people will die. Do you really want that kind of blood on your hands?” Elizabeth says as she enters the room. “Elizabeth….how is it that you always show up when there’s trouble?” I blurt out.

Smiling slightly she says, “You have always been my family. You took me in as one of your ladies when I had no where to go. I owe you my life for the kindness you and my son have shown me. Just because I’m not around much, doesn’t mean that I don’t know when you’re in trouble. You have seen what I’m capable of when we were in the forest. I have visions of those who are close to me if they should be in trouble. Logan can’t help you because he doesn’t know how to control the wolf side of him yet, however I can help you.” “You can help? Lestat is dead, how can you help?” I ask. “Oh pish-posh, he isn’t dead. Kristen sneaked in here while you and Lestat were out hunting, and stole that dagger that he had taken from one of Carolin’s guards, before the two of you escaped her castle. If you remove the dagger he will awaken, but you must be prepared. He’s gonna be pretty thirsty, not to mention pissed when he wakes up” Elizabeth informs. “I watched him die, there’s no way he can possibly be asleep” I reply. Elizabeth smiles slightly, “I can assure you that he is very much alive. Carolin had her witch put a spell on that dagger so it will only put him to sleep. I promise you, that if you pull out the dagger, he will wake up.” “Just how am I supposed to find him without Logan sniffing out his trail?” I ask. “Kristen isn’t stupid, she moved the body far beneath this castle. There are hidden tunnels throughout the keep. When Cade helped Thatcher rebuild the castle, he added the old with the new. In one of my visions, I saw Lestat being dragged through a wall in the basement. Perhaps there’s a hidden door down there, but he is still here. I can feel it! Thatcher lived here when he was just a boy, maybe he would know his way around” she replies. Hugging her tightly, I thank her before exiting the room to find Thatcher.

As I frantically search the castle for Thatcher, I hear him with someone in his chambers. Hesitantly, I give a gentle knock on the door. “Who is it?” he asks. “Thatcher, it’s Shelly. Can I come in?” I ask. “Just a minute” he replies. Momentarily, he slowly unlocks the door before opening it, and he invites me in. Glancing around the room, I notice two empty plates and a candle that lay on a nearby table with two wine glasses. Clearly indicating that he had company. A few moments of awkward silence spreads between us, and I can’t help but to think that his lady friend might still be here. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important” I tell him breaking silence. Clearing his throat he replies, “Yes. Well, is there something I can do for you?” “I need your help. Kristen took Lestat, and all I know is that he’s below the castle somewhere. You know this place better than anyone, are there any secret passages in the basement?” I ask. “Just what makes you so sure that I will help you find that creature!?” he asks frustratedly. “Because you’re a good man, and because he has helped you when I first turned into a vampire. Face it Thatcher, if it wasn’t for him, I would have killed you!” I say. “If it wasn’t for him, you wouldn’t be the creature you are now, and I would still have my wife!” he yells. “No, you’re right Thatcher, I wouldn’t be the creature I am now, because I would be dead right now!” I shout back.

As the two of us argue back and forth, a woman’s voice shouts, “Stop it! Both of you! Thatcher, what is wrong with you! This isn’t you! Clearly, she needs your help or she wouldn’t have come to you!” “And you are?” I ask folding my arms. “I’m Farah. Thatcher and I are good friends. In fact we have know each other since my family and I lived here in the castle before it fell” she explains. Turning to Thatcher she continues, “I have known you my entire life, and you have never acted like this. Surely this poor girl needs your help. The real you would do anything to help someone. Now go on and help her!” Pondering for a moment Thatcher says, “You’re right my dear. I will help her. We’ll carry on our conversation when I return.” Farah gives a warm smile before he kisses her on the cheek, and we exit the room. As we stroll along the castle corridors, Thatcher stops before feeling along one of the walls. “If I’m not mistaken, there’s a hidden passage here that leads to the basement” he says. “Wait. It looks like there’s a crack here in the paneling” I tell him. As I run my fingers in between the crevice of the wall, it makes a clicking sound, and the door swings open. Cobwebs fill the entrance as Thatcher holds his candle in the doorway. “Looks as if someone hasn’t been down this way in a long time. Stay close. We don’t know who or what could be down there” Thatcher says.

Closing my eyes, I follow Thatcher through the tunnels. The air smells damp and musty. A really good hiding spot for anyone who doesn’t wish to be found. Rounding the corner, we come to an old stone staircase. “This is the way. I’m surprised these old stairs are still here. We’re almost there now. C’mon and we’ll see if we can find him” Thatcher says. Grabbing hold of the railing, I follow him deep down below the castle. Away from the finely decorated rooms, away from the delicious smells of the kitchen, away from the servants and the maids. As we step off of the stairs and onto the platform, the cold gray walls of the basement now surround us. Cobwebs are caked in every corner, and the only sign of light comes from our candle. “Are you sure he’s down here? I mean there’s no sign that anyone has been down here for quite some time?” Thatcher questions. Shaking my head I reply, “I’m not exactly sure. All Elizabeth said was she saw someone dragging him through one of the tunnels in the basement.” Thatcher lets out a little sigh before saying, “If my memory serves me correctly, there’s another passage behind one of these old bookcases.” “Do you have any idea which shelf it would be?” I ask. Pondering for a brief moment, Thatcher replies, “I think it was this one!”

Thatcher approaches one of the shelves that contains a bust sculpture. He gives it a little twist, and a tiny shelf pops out of the side of the bookcase, revealing a lever. Thatcher gives it a tug, only to find that it’s jammed in it’s place. “Here, let me give it a try.” I tell him. “It’s no use, it’s stuck. You can’t open it” he says. Grabbing hold of the lever, I give it one big pull, and the wall swings open. “Well I stand outsmarted, once again by a vampire. Couldn’t you have at least made it look like you had a hard time opening the door?” Thatcher asks sarcastically. “I could have if I actually knew my strength. I’m still getting used to this whole vampire thing” I reply. Holding his candle up, we enter the tunnel. As we near the end of the cold, damp hall, we notice dim lights in the distance. Thatcher puts a finger up to his lips, motioning me to be quiet. I give a little nod, and lean against the wall as Thatcher pulls out his sword. “Shhh. It sounds like someone’s coming” we hear a raspy voice say. “Hello. Is anyone there?” another man’s voice calls out. “Ah forget it Noel. There’s no one there. You’re hearing things. I am getting a little hungry though. Can’t we go upstairs to get something to eat?” the man asks. “You heard Kristen. We’re supposed to stay here and not let her brother out of our site. You see what she did to him? Imagine what she would do to us if we disobeyed her orders. Here, have a couple of my cookies. It should at least take the edge off the hunger” Noel says. As Thatcher nears the archway, his toe hits a tiny rock, making it roll in the room with the other men. “You see, I told you someone is here!” Noel shouts. The men enter the tunnel, and they immediately put their hands up in defeat, as Thatcher points his sword towards them.

IWSG #1: Critique Partners/Beta Readers

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group convenes the first Wednesday of the month. Participants share their worries, insecurities, triumphs, hopes, and fears.

A little bit about me;

As most of you know, I started Twisted Fairytale 3 years ago on October 10, 2013. I love writing, but I do get discouraged easily. I have really great friends, who say I’m a really good writer, and they push me to keep going with this story. 

My love for writing began when I was in my first year of Middle School. Every Sunday, I would watch a TV series with my Grandmother called, Murder She Wrote, which really inspired me at a young age. I didn’t really think I had it in me to possibly make up a really good story, and consider the possibility of it becoming a book. 

Then, the comments started rolling in. The more feedback I get, the more excited and focused I get about writing. I love to see my readers thoughts and favorite parts of the chapters. They really encourage me to keep going. This is my very first story, which is getting close to the end on my blog. As soon as it’s finished, there will not be any pictures and it will go further into detail. Sorry readers, you will just simply have to use your imagination lol. 

I did in fact start this story to just pass the time, and do something fun and creative. I never expected it to take off or be as long as it is. I really have enjoyed writing it, and hope it will do even better when it’s published. As of right now, I’m working on Chapter – 70 on my blog, but obviously there won’t be as many chapters when the pictures are taken out. 

I’m a stay at home wife/mother of 5 girls, one of which graduated high school. Where do I find the time to write you ask. Daytime is really bad for me, just simply because it’s too busy, and too much is always going on that I just don’t have the time. I normally find myself writing late at night when the house is sound asleep. Then there’s plenty of quiet time for not just writing, but to think of plots and twists for my book. Enough about that though. 

This month, the IWSG question is:

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

As a fictional writer, I love the fact that my mind can take me to places I have never been. Whether it be to a fictional castle, such as the human realm of Blue Haven, or maybe a vampire castle like Carolin’s. I get to bring all magical characters to life on paper, and I love every minute of it. Getting to bring my world and characters to life feels great.

Thanks for reading and showing your support.

                                                         -Lisa

Chapter – 69

A shadowy silhouette slowly emerges from the bushes, and fear-stricken, I firmly wrap my arms around Lestat. Thinking this could possibly be a hunter, Lestat draws out his long sharp nails and demands, “We know you’re there, show yourself!” The figure stretches it’s arms out, signaling defeat, and slowly approaches us. As it draws nearer, we can make out the shadow figure to be a long haired woman, who says, “Please, don’t shoot! You don’t need to fear me. T’is I, Elizabeth.” Lestat lets out a little sigh of relief, and I loosen my grip from him before he says, “Elizabeth, what are you doing out here, and all alone?” Standing before us, she replies, “I had a vision that you needed my help, and well, who am I to refuse to help you. I know we had a spat back at the castle, but I would never turn my back on you.” Lestat and I glance at one another and I reply, “All do respect, it’s only the two of us out here. We came here to bury my brother, we don’t need any help.” Before Elizabeth has the chance to reply, the sounds of someone groaning in pain in the distance continues. Gently tugging on Lestat’s coat, I whisper, “Do you smell that?” Taking a deep breath of the forest air, Lestat replies, “Blood?” Looking around to see where the delicious scent is coming from, Lestat notices Logan’s body missing. Within a flash, I take off through the forest, following the sweet aroma that fills the air, with Lestat right on my heels. “Shelly! Shel…WAIT!” he shouts. Ignoring him, I keep running, until I come face to face with my brother, who is leaning down by the creek, wetting down a piece of ripped cloth. “Logan! I-I thought you were-” I begin, but Logan quickly interjects. “Dead? Yeah I kind of figured that out when I woke up to you two digging a hole in the middle of nowhere. As you can see for yourself, I’m far from dead!” he says angrily.

As Elizabeth and Lestat catch up to us, Lestat stands, mouth agape at the site of Logan. Letting out a little sigh, I reply, “We didn’t know you were alive, or that wouldn’t have happened. Just how is it that you’re still here….with us? I saw Kristen snap your neck back at the castle. There’s no way anyone could possibly survive that, not even if you’re half faery.” Elizabeth glances down at the ring on Logan’s hand, which contains the family crest, “I think I may have an idea of how this has happened. May I see your ring?” “Father gave it to me after I came back from one of my hunting trips before I turned the age of sixteen. He said to never take it off, because it would keep me safe from harm, but sure you can see it” Logan replies and hands her his ring. Elizabeth closes her eyes and begins chanting something in old Latin before saying, “The amulet in this ring has been bonded to you by the enchantress of Stone Ridge. It keeps you safe against other supernatural beings by bringing you back to life as long as you are wearing it, and to keep you from turning on the full moon if you chose not to. However, if you should die of natural causes, or by the hands of a non-supernatural, then it doesn’t contain the power to bring you back.” “So since Kristen is a supernatural who killed him, it was able to bring him back?” I question. Elizabeth gives a little nod before continuing, “Yes, but there’s also something else…something dark. He is not the hybrid you all think he is, but he is indeed a hybrid.” “Ok. Back up one second. He’s not the hybrid we think he is, but he is a hybrid…what in the world is that supposed to mean?” Lestat inquires. Turning to Logan, Elizabeth opens her eyes and smiles slightly, “You are not a vampire hybrid, but a wolf. I have seen the memories of this enchantress, and it is she who is your mother, not the Queen of Stone Ridge. This ring that you have, it binds only to you.”

“That’s not possible! I was with my mother through my whole childhood. I would know if she was an impostor!” he yells. Shaking my head, “I was with her during her whole pregnancy, I would have known as well. I was home the day my father took her to the midwife when she was about to give birth. I have to agree with Logan on this one. This is truly impossible!” Elizabeth smiles sweetly, “I know this is alot to take in, but it’s not impossible deary. You see, your mother’s child was stillborn. With the enchantress having her child on the day after your mother, your father struck a deal with her. She could still reside in the castle and see Logan everyday, with the condition that he and his queen raise him as their own. If she refused, she would be exiled from the kingdom, or even worse, she would be hanged for witchcraft. Needless to say, the enchantress was more than willing to accept the offer.” Taking all of this new information in, the evening breeze softly blows through my hair. I can’t help but to look up at the starry night sky as the clouds uncover the beautiful moon at it’s fullest. ‘Oh gosh! The moon!’ I think to myself. Glancing over at Logan, who’s eyes have turned a fire green color.

Gasping, I tug on Lestat’s coat, and point over to Logan who is turning into his wolf form. Groaning in pain, he yells, “What’s happening to me!? Please make it stop! I can’t take it anymore!” Turning to Logan, Elizabeth focuses just on him, and again begins chanting. Within a few moments, Logan slowly returns to his normal human form, and rolls onto his side. He then falls into a deep sleep, and the muscles in his body begin to relax. Running over to him, she gently lifts his eyelids to find they have turned back to their natural blue color. Placing the ring back onto his finger she instructs, “You need to get him back to the castle, and make sure that no one see’s you.” Lestat gives a little nod, before picking Logan up, and gently puts him over his shoulder. Elizabeth then follows us to the carriage, where we thank her and offer her a ride. “No need dearies, I’ll get to my cottage within a flick of my wrist,” she replies. Elizabeth closes her eyes, and within just a few seconds, a bright yellow light with blue lightening bolts appears over her, before altogether disappearing. A look of confusion spreads across my face, before Lestat says, “It’s just a way that she gets where she needs to go. Witches gave up on brooms more than a hundred ago.” I shrug my shoulders, before Lestat helps me into the carriage, and jumps into the drivers seat, and we head for the castle.

Upon reaching the castle, Lestat says that it’s a good idea to let Logan stay in his room so Kristen doesn’t find him. I give a nod in agreement, before he takes him up stairs and gently places him on the bed. Considering all is calm inside of the castle for once, I decide it would be nice to just go to my chambers and sit with a good book. Rounding the corner on the second floor as I head to the library, I bump right into Thatcher. “MPH! Majesty! I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you coming. I’m just so tired, and I need to relax.” I tell him. “No need to worry my dear. I was actually looking for you. I heard about what that mad woman did to your brother, and I know it may be a little soon, but I was wondering if you have any funeral plans for him?” he asks. Running my fingers through my hair I reply, “Well…actually I do. I’m sending his body back to Stone Ridge where he can be properly buried next to my parents.” “Alright, well I do want to say that I’m sorry for your loss, and if you need anything, just let me know. I’ll do my best to help in any way I can.” he tells me. Before I can reply, I’m hit with a splitting headache that brings me to my knees. “Darling, are you alright?” he asks as he helps me to my feet. Bracing myself against him I reply, “Yes, just help me to my chambers. I have been getting alot of these headaches recently. They just come from no where, and I find that if I just lay down and sleep for a bit, they go away just as fast as they came.” He gives a nod in agreement, and puts his arms around me, and takes me to my room.

A little while later, down in the foyer, Kristen’s guards inform her of two male lycans who want to join forces with her. “By all means, show them in, but don’t you dare leave me alone with them! You know how these animals can be!” Kristen tells them. Giving a little bow, the guards reply before leaving the room, “Yes, Majesty. We’ll be with you the whole time.” Within a few moments, the guards return to the foyer, before saying, “Announcing, Austin Jones, and Erick Draven.” “Majesty, my best friend and I have grown tiresome of that Dragon Valley’s queen giving empty promises. Sure she gave us the moon rings that she promised, but she also promised she would give us a royal tittle for being the most loyal to her, but she didn’t keep her word. We would be most honored, if you would allow us to leave her kingdom, and join forces with you.” Austin says. Kristen smiles sweetly, “I would be honored to have you here, but on one condition.” “Yes! Anything Majesty! You just name it, and we’ll do it!” Erick blurts out. “There will be no biting or feeding from any of the vampires or villagers in this kingdom. If I find out that you have been committing such a crime, you will be beheaded for treason! Do I make myself clear?” Kristen continues. “Yes Majesty, you make yourself very clear. No need to worry about us, we will follow your rules” Austin replies. “Very well then. You can stay in one of the rooms downstairs. My guards will show you to your rooms” Kristen replies. Giving a bow, they thank her, before the guards show them to their room.

The following morning, as the sun beams through my bedroom windows, the burning rays graze my skin, and I scream out in pain. My two guards, Caleb and Lorenzo rush into the room where they find me leaning against the wall, away from the suns harmful rays. “Majesty! Are you alright?” Jeremy asks. Trembling, I reply “Lestat! Get my husband please!” Concerned, Caleb says, “It’s alright Majesty. Lorenzo and I will find him.” As they turn to rush out of the room to search for him, Lestat bumps right into them. “Can’t you two nitwits watch where you’re going!?” he shouts before rushing to my side. “Sorry Majesty, we were just leaving to find you” Caleb replies. Lestat runs his fingers through my hair, “It’s alright sweetheart, I’m here now. I heard you scream from down the hall. What happened?” Catching my breath, and calming down a bit, I reply, “I must have forgotten to close the drapes last night before going to bed. Clumsy of me really. You would think that I would think of these things ahead of time….at least until your friend makes the sunlight amulet for me.” Looking at me apologetically, Lestat replies, “Darling I’m so sorry. I meant to give this to you last night, but after everything that happened with your brother I completely forgot! Elizabeth made the sunlight amulet for you. It will protect you from the sun.” Lestat tells me. Quickly closing the curtains, he turns to me, holding out a necklace, with a beautiful deep blue amulet on it, and he asks, “May I?” Smiling sweetly I tell him that he may, and turn around for him to place the necklace around my neck.

Staring in awe, Caleb’s attention is torn away from us as Lorenzo elbows him in the stomach. Caleb lets out a little groan before whispering, “What the hell was that for?” Instead of Lorenzo answering a stupid question, he grabs a fist full of Caleb’s hair, and leads him out of the room before saying, “You know bloody well what that was for! You can’t think of her Majesty in that way, or you will be hanged!” Rubbing his abdomen, Caleb replies, “But brother, I wasn’t….I didn’t mean any harm. I was just thinking why we can’t find the sort of love that those two share.” Lorenzo shakes his head, “The love of a woman would be nice, but we are guards, we don’t have time for that nonsense. We’re here to do our duty and protect the royals, not find ourselves in another’s arms. Besides, she’s not in love with him. Everyone knows the story of those two, and Lestat is not who she truly loves….at least not anymore. Now cm’on, we still have to perform our daily patrol outside.” Caleb gives a little nod, and the two of them head downstairs.

Meanwhile in the throne room, as Thatcher’s performing his court duties, the trumpets blare Blue Haven’s royal fanfare. “Announcing Nerissa Riptide. She wishes to see you Majesty. She says she’s traveled from Brendlewood, and that you know her.” “Yes, I know her. Please send her in” Thatcher replies. The guard bows before exiting the room, and quickly returns with Nerissa and exits the room once again. Upon approaching Thatcher, she winces as she gives a little curtsy, “Majesty, I have some grave news. On my way here, there was a messenger who was searching for Brendlewood, but was unable to discover the kingdom. He said he was from Blue Haven, and had a very important message for Cade. So I offered to take him to Brendlewood. After hours of searching, I found that I too was unable to locate the castle grounds. It wasn’t long after we began heading to Blue Haven, that we were attacked by a pack of lycans. I was lucky enough to escape with a few bruises, but as for poor messenger Adam….I’m afraid he wasn’t so lucky. I’m not sure, but I think Carolin or maybe one of her goons put a spell on Brendlewood, so that no one can find it. I do hope Shelly is out of harms way. Can I see her?” Taking in all of the information Nerissa had just gave him, Thatcher replies, “Yes, well Carolin needs to be dealt with and fast! We found Juliana, but I’m afraid Carolin’s witch has her in a tower of the castle, which has a some kind of shield around the room so no one can enter. We have a friend who is also a witch, but she isn’t powerful enough to take the shield down. As for Shelly, she’s here, but you mustn’t try to talk to her right now. She’s no longer a faery. I’m afraid she has became one of the creatures that I have hated my entire life. I’m just not so sure I can be with her anymore.”

Nerissa frowns before replying, “Oh my! That is dreadful news! Majesty, if you don’t mind me asking, how is she taking the two of you being apart? Surely she’s depressed from not being able to be with you.” “Nerissa, you’re among friends here, please call me Thatcher” he tells her before explaining everything that has happened. Suddenly, the double doors of the throne room fly open as two guards rush into the room, before giving a little bow. “Sorry for the intrusion Majesty, but the village is under attack! I’m afraid it’s over run by lycans” one of the guards manages to get out, “Carolin! Nerissa, I need you to gather Melina and Tristan, and stay with the baby. I can’t take any chances on Carolin’s goons attacking the castle and killing my son!” Thatcher says. She gives a little nod and heads out to find the others before Thatcher turns his attention back to the guards. “As for the two of you, quickly gather the best men that we have. We need to clear the village of this evil, and take care of the villagers who have been bitten!” Thatcher demands. The guards bow and rush out of the room as Thatcher heads to his chambers to prepare for his journey to the village. Moments after reaching his chambers, Thatcher’s armored up and heads out to the barn to meet his men, and ready his horse.

As Thatcher arrives in the barn, his eyes widen in surprise, for the guards were able to gather a total of fifty men, who were more than willing to help the poor villagers of Blue Haven. Each of the men give a little bow as they notice their king standing before them. Smiling widely Thatcher says, “You may rise. Thank you all for coming here tonight. Each and every one of you will be gaining a new royal tittle for your bravery against the lycans. I know most of you are afraid that you may not return to your families, but my fellow men, this is your time to shine against this evil. It is an honor to fight with you by my side against these foul beasts, who think they can come to our land and take whatever they want! Are we really going to let them have our homes, our families, our children, or are we going to fight back and claim what’s ours! I say no way! This is our home, and we aren’t going anywhere! Who’s with me!” The men go wild and cheer “Here, here! We’re all with you till the very end Majesty!” “Then lets saddle up and show them we aren’t afraid, and get them out of our home land!” Thatcher says as he raises his sword. The men all cheer, as Thatcher ready’s his horse, and they ride off towards the village.

The horses run along down the winding path towards the village. Lightening emerges from the clouds, and loud claps of thunder follow not far behind. Within moments, the winds pick up, and the rain begins to fall. A few drops fall onto Thatcher’s head before he calls out, “There’s a storm brewing. We need to get there as fast as we can, before it gets any worse out here!” “I agree Majesty. We’re almost there, not much further now!” General Archer replies. “Look, dead ahead!” Archer continues as he points to a pack of lycans running after a few of the of the villagers. Thatcher gives a thumbs up, before commanding his horse to gallop faster. Arriving in front of one of the cottages, Thatcher and his men command their horses to come to a halt, and they dismount their horses. The men follow Thatcher, swords at ready, awaiting word from their king as the make way into the village. Several villager bodies are thrown about the village, blood splattered on almost all of the cottages and shops. Innocent women and children have been slaughtered on this very night. A farmer lays in one of the horse troughs, with a huge hole in his chest. Thatcher puts a finger to his mouth, signaling the men to keep quiet as they noiselessly move through the village. Suddenly a villager crying out for help breaks the silence, and Thatcher gives the signal to round the corner of the shop. “Please, someone help me!” a female villager cries out. “There’s no one here to help you. Scream all you want” one of the lycans growls.

General Archer aims his bow at the lycan’s leg, before taking a deep breath and releasing his arrow. The arrow soars through the air before puncturing the thigh of the lycan. Howling out in pain, he lets the woman fall to the ground, before she runs towards the men who are accompanying the king. Running round the corner where Thatcher stands, not noticing him standing there, he covers her mouth so she doesn’t make a sound. The woman tries to scream before Thatcher says softly, “Shhhh. Don’t scream. I have brought some men to help you and the rest of the villagers.” She gives a quick nod in agreement before turning to face her savior. Her eyes widen in shock for her king stands before her. Giving a little curtsy, she whispers, “Majesty! I-I had no idea it was you who was grabbing me. I’m so sorry.” Almost falling to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably, Thatcher catches her, “My father…oh god my father. The one who had grabbed me, jabbed his claws into his chest and tore his heart out. When he heard me scream, They threw him into the horses trough, and then went after me. Almost everyone here is dead. Most had gotten away, but there aren’t many of us left. I’m afraid that whoever was left has either been wounded or murdered. I-I don’t know what we would do if you hadn’t come to save us!” Thatcher really feels bad for this woman, as this only brings back the painful memories of the day he had lost his parents to the lycans. Hugging her tightly he says, “There, there now Miss Hamilton. Try to calm down. Take long deep breaths.” he tells her rubbing her back soothingly.

Quickly approaching Thatcher, General Archer says, “My lord, I’m afraid that we have a problem. The lycans know that we’re here, and we need to act fast. They’re searching all of the cottages and markets.” “Alright, Miss Hamilton, here’s what I need you to do. Hide in that bail of hay behind us, and we’ll come and get you when we have cleared out the village.” Thatcher instructs her. Breaking their embrace, she gives a little nod, and hides just as Thatcher had instructed her to do. “What’s the plan Majesty?” General Archer asks. “I think we need to spread out and surround them, rushing towards them in a group would be an epic fail. When I give the signal, you know what to do. Archer, I want you on one of the rooftops where you can get a clean shot. As for the rest of you, spread out and catch them off guard.” Thatcher replies. The men all agree on the plan, and go to their positions as their king has instructed. “I know you mere humans are here, we can smell you” the alpha male calls out as the other lycans begin to smash through some of the smaller cottages, looking for the men. A female lycan emerges from one of the cottages and says, “All of the cottages are empty Seth. There aren’t any villagers left. Do we head for the castle?” Standing proud, the alpha male Seth says, “Her Majesty did say to get rid of the village first, then take over the castle, and kill the king’s first born son. Burn the buildings down, then we’ll make way to the castle.”

“Over my dead body!” Thatcher calls out as he steps out from behind one of the cottages. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t the king himself. I know you didn’t come alone, no one would be that stupid. Over your dead body you say? That can be arranged, or we can take you hostage, and make you watch your only son bleed out!” Turning to his fellow lycans as they emerge from the buildings, Seth growls, “Don’t just stand there, go get HIM!” Three of Seth’s lycan’s run towards Thatcher as General Archer jumps down from one of the rooftops, slicing off one of their heads. The other two lycans stop dead in their tracks as a couple of rocks hit them in the back of their heads. Turning around to see what may have hit them, they can’t help but notice the forty-nine men who are now surrounding them. Giving a little shrug, the lycans put their hands above their heads in defeat. All but Seth that is. “What are you idiots doing!? Change into your wolf form, and get out there and fight! We’re stronger than these pathetic humans!” Seth snarls. “If you think we’re going to go through the pain of changing, you can forget it Seth! Can’t you see that we’re out numbered? There are only twenty of us, and fifty-one of them. Face it Seth, Carolin set us up to fail! She never wanted us to reach the castle!” the female lycan says. Thatcher turns to General Archer and says, “We have to head back to the castle! This was a decoy! Carolin sent her real army to the castle to kill my son!” “Then we must leave now, but My Lord, what shall we do with the foul beasts? Sir Thomas Archer asks. Thatcher then commands half of the men to stick together, and take care of the wounded and kill the beasts, while the General and half of the other men accompany him and Miss Hamilton back to the castle.

A few hours later, Lestat and I decide to head down to the kitchen to get some lunch before almost bumping into Austin and Erick. “That’s just what this castle needs, is more vampire filth” Erick mumbles under his breath. Lestat’s mood instantly changes from good to annoyed before yelling, “I heard that!” “You gonna do something about it filth!?” Erick says clenching his fists and getting in Lestat’s face. Lestat shows his fangs before replying, “I’ll show you filth!” Getting in between the two and facing Erick, I yell, “I don’t know what your problem is or why you’re looking for a fight, but I think that it’s best that you be on your way.” Glancing up at me, Austin says, “Shel…is that you?” Austin?” I question. “Yeah it’s me. Look I just wanna say” he begins but I quickly interject with a hard slap to his face. “You don’t need tell me anything! You killed my mother right before my eyes, and Erick tried to rape me. I don’t know exactly what happened when you disappeared that night in Midnight Hallow, nor do I care. Frankly I stopped caring about the two of you a long damn time ago!” I shout and storm up the stairs with Lestat right behind me. “Shel wait…. Shelly please stop and talk to me” Lestat pleads as he grabs my arm. “You know what they’re capable of, but yet you were gonna fight him. Don’t you understand that if he were to bite you that you would die? I won’t have you dying on my watch!” I yell and continue down the hall, before Austin catches up to us. “Look Shel… I’m sorry. I don’t know what else I can tell you other than I was desperate to get my hands on a moon ring. We needed your blood to have the moon rings made. You don’t understand how painful it is to have to go through the change until you experience it yourself” he tells me as he places his hand on my shoulder.

Giving a pure look of disgust, I gently grab his fingers with my fingertips, and remove his grimy hand from my shoulder, and turn and glare at him as if he were some sort of bug that needed to be squished. “Didn’t the lady tell you to leave her alone!? Lestat buds in, but I tell him that I can handle it. Lifting his hands above his shoulders, Lestat backs off. “Don’t you ever put your hands on me again! Your words have no meaning to me. Once upon a time I would have cared about what you had to say, but not anymore! Now get out of here before I find a rolled up newspaper!” I yell before turning to leave him standing there. Grabbing me by the arm he says, “Please Shel… I need you to accept my apology. I truly am sorry.” Rage floods over every emotion I have managed to bottle up since I laid my eyes on him downstairs. “Didn’t I tell you not to put your hands on me again!?” I yell and show my fangs as I grab him by the throat choking him. “Darling, c’mon. Let him go. I think he’s got the point” Lestat pleads. Looking into Austin’s eyes as he gasps for air, I tell him coldly, “I should just kill you for everything you have done, not just to me but countless others as well. You know you’re weak compared to me. I used to be the puny weak one that you thought you could have your way with, but not anymore! You know, it wouldn’t take much to kill you, right here, right now, but instead I’ll let you have your pathetic life. Just think, I may have given you your life, but mark my words, you will die in this war! I’ll personally make sure of it!” As I let him fall to the floor with a loud “THUD” the splitting headache that brought me to my knees last night returns in full throttle. Screaming out in agony, I almost fall to the floor before Lestat catches me. “What is it darling? Are you alright?” Lestat asks worriedly. Before I’m able to reply, more flashbacks come rolling in as I lay in his arms.

In one of these flashbacks, Austin enters the room where Shelly was being kept hostage, and takes her into a horrifying room. Blood splattered all over a torture table, and a stand alone chair sits in the middle of the floor with past victims blood dripping from it. Her eyes followed Austin, as he walked further across the room, to a man who she recognized right away. Lestat sat on the floor with his arms bound behind his back wearing a blindfold. As she called out Lestat’s name and tried to run to him, Austin shot her an ‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you’ look. She remembers pleading with Austin to let her husband go. Instead of listening to her, Austin walked over to Lestat and bit him in the neck, and threw him back onto the floor like he was a rag doll. Suddenly Lestat’s very own words come to mind, “Run to Brendlewood Shelly, run and don’t look back.” ‘Brendlewood? I’ve heard that name before, but from where?’ I think to myself.

As that memory passes, another takes it’s place. It was after Austin had taken Shelly back to that room she was in, before he took her to see Lestat. They had an argument and he slapped her before shoving her down to the floor, and forced himself on her. As the memories of that dreadful place come back to her, she’s reminded of all the pain and agony she went through. Countless times Erick and Austin raped her and drank her blood, each of them taking their turn. Lestat was turned into one of them, but she was eventually able to have time alone with him, and get the key for the bedroom door to escape. Most of all she remembers Austin getting her pregnant, and she gave birth to little Dimitri while she was on the run from that horrible place. Sadly, she had the little prince too soon, and he passed away the following day. The last thing she can recall from the forest, is crying out for help as blood trickled down her leg, before blacking out. Everything else before then is still a blur. ‘I don’t know how I survived, but someone surely helped me. The question is who?’ I think to myself. Looking up at Lestat, I loosen my grip from his coat. “Sweetheart are you alright?” he asks. “I think so, but more memories have came back to me. Speaking of memories! Is our son the only child that we share? I’m asking you because when I was taking a bath the other night, I had some flashbacks, and one of them consisted of me giving birth to triplets, two boys and a girl. I believe their names were Rohan, Arthur, and Melina. I wanted to ask you before Carolin’s guards brought my brother in. Lestat’s smile turns to a frown before saying, “There’s alot of things that I need to tell you, but I’m afraid you lost your memory before coming here for safety. If I were to tell you all of those things now, you will get confused, and it could make you very angry, and I don’t want anyone to get hurt.” Austin stands up, rubbing his neck before quickly leaving the halls, clearly hearing everything I had just told Lestat.

What was that all about?” Lestat wonders. “I think it has something to do with me getting my memories back” I reply. Lestat helps me to my feet before asking, “What would him running off have to do with that?” “I remember everything that happened when we were taken to the lycan’s sanctum, and he better hope that I don’t get my hands on him, because the next time I will kill him!” “Listen, Shel….what he did to us was horrible. I didn’t think that we would ever get out of there, and it only got worse when they turned me into one of those….things. Look, we never really talked about what happened while we were there. Did they hurt you?” Lestat asks. A few moments of silence spreads between us, before placing his hands on my shoulders and soothingly says, “Darling, you don’t have to be afraid to tell me. We’ve always been able to tell each other anything. If you’re afraid that I’ll think any less of you, I won’t. I promise.” Closing my eyes I take in a deep breath, and reluctantly tell him everything that happened when the lycans took us hostage. Lestat furrows his brows in anger, before shouting, “I’m gonna kill him! No man or animal is gonna put his hands on my wife and get away with it!” As Lestat turns to storm off to find Austin, I quickly grab him by the hand and he turns to face me. I place my arms around him in a tight hug before saying, “Darling, just let it go. It happened a long time ago. Let the past be left in the past. There’s no point in dragging all of this up again.” Lestat lets out a sigh before breaking from our embrace, “I’m sorry, but I can’t let this go! He’s gotten away with it for far too long! What if he had taken advantage of Melina? Would you be so calm then? I think not! You would want to kill the bastard, which is exactly what I’m going to do!” In a fit of rage, Lestat storms down the hall as I call out for him, but he doesn’t respond and heads downstairs.