“What do you mean she is dead, do you know what this means for us.” Levine said, he was a beautiful man who was 254 years old, but didn’t look a day over 21. He became the leader of this coven around the time Josephine was killed. That had been a horrible time for everyone, humans and vampires alike.
“I don’t know what happened; I found her laying there in the corner of the old ally. She had two puncture marks in her neck and a stack through her heart. Whoever did this is one of us” Aiden said. Aiden was the newest member to the coven, he had only been with them for 5 years but he was Levine’s right hand man. Aiden was young, 21 years old and had only been a vampire for 6 years. Unlike the others he was still very human, Aiden made sure not to lose his humanity and give in to the darkness that was now his soul. “We need to figure something out because the hunters are not going to agree to a treaty now that this has happened”
“Was she the last of her kind” Levine asked with a thoughtful look on his face. “If she was then we have nothing to worry about, the hunters are each in sectors. Now that there are so few they can’t replace them. If she has no children then we have nothing to worry about, but if she does then this could mean the end of us.”
Aiden looked up at his leader, the man that he had called father since he came to the coven shaken, scared, and almost dead. He had never seen fear in on Levine’s face until now. This calm level-headed vampire, that was strong and thoughtful, that was trying to bring peace between the coven and the hunters. “You must go and investigate, keep it quiet amongst the others. If they find out what’s going on the coven will be in mass chaos. We have to know if there is another, and we have to figure out who did this.” Aiden could tell that Levine knew more than he was saying.
“Levine, father do you already know if there is another one.” Aiden said very slowly.
“It is possible there is, but we need to be sure,” and then in a low said voice he said, “you must go into their world, dig for some answers.” Then he pulled out a picture that was hidden in the drawer of his desk. “This girl may very well be the other hunter.”
Aiden took the picture and studied it. He found that he was staring at a beautiful girl; she had long straight dark hair, and the deepest brown eyes that he had ever seen. The eyes that shone what her soul was thinking. In those eyes he could see sadness even though she had a dazzling smile on her face.
“Her name is Rebecca, she was Helena’s daughter. You need to find out if she knows what her mother was. If she doesn’t then we have nothing to worry about.” With that Levine turned his back to stare at the fireplace. “If I knew my prayers would be heard I would pray that she has no idea what her family is.”
The chiming from the doorbell shook Rebecca from her thoughts. She had no idea who that man was with the dark coat and the strange hat. He walked looking down the whole time so Rebecca never got a look at his face. All she could tell was that he seemed to be older because he was walking like someone who had been on earth for awhile. In the two years that Rebecca lived with her grandmother she had never seen a man like that before. In fact she had never seen anyone visit the big old house that was now her home.
Rebecca crept out of her room to the top of the stairs; somehow Ms. Shepherd was already down the stairs at the door. Rebecca didn’t even remember seeing her leave the room.
“Why if it isn’t Mr. Duskiv” Ms. Shepherd said in a tone that Rebecca had never heard her use before. “It has been awhile since we have seen you in these parts, the lady of the house is not back yet, if you would like feel free to make yourself comfortable in the parlor.”
All Mr. Duskiv did was nod and walked to the parlor as if he had known every inch of the house. Rebecca went back into her room to collect her thoughts. The whole situation seemed so abnormal to her. Nobody ever came to visit, and Ms. Shepherd who was normally very short with everyone she came in contact with, was so professional. There was so many things that she didn’t know about her family. She didn’t really understand why everything was such a secret. As she sat down on the edge of her bed she decided right then and there that she was going to get to the bottom of what was going on, even if it killed her. What Rebecca didn’t realize is that the truth just might actually kill her.
Aiden was sitting on the train looking out the window lost in thought. It had been awhile since he had been outside the coven on his own. He was excited, and scared at the same time. He couldn’t let Levine down, or his family that had taken good care of him over the years. He still couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that there was something Levine wasn’t saying. He felt it in the pit of his stomach, there had to be more to this story.
Just then Aiden was pulled from his thoughts by a pretty blonde girl who sat down in the seat across from him. She looked like she was no more than 21 years old, and was wear heeled black boots that went up to her knees, black mini and a bright red shirt that was very low cut. Her gold blonde hair was pulled up in a messy ponytail and her make-up was smeared around like it was from the night before. “She must be making her way home from a long night “Aiden thought as he stared at the girl.
“Hello, my name is Athena like the goddess.” The blonde said with a bright smile on her face.
Aiden smiled “Of course it is I can see why your parents named you that.”
“Oh they didn’t give me that name; I changed it when I was 18. I am very interested in mythology, especially Greek mythology.” Aiden couldn’t help giving a smirk “Mythology really that is a topic I am very experienced in” Before Athena knew it Aiden was closing the door to the little cabin and sat himself right next to her at a very close distance.
“Oh” Athena said as she tried to scoot away from him. “What area interests you the most?”
“Vampires” and with that Aiden lunged right for Athena’s neck. Next thing Athena felt was a pinching feeling as his fangs pushed through her skin. Then she blacked out.
This was the part that Aiden hate the most about himself. He didn’t want to hurt people. Normally he fed on animals but he had been on the train for so long that he needed to feed. If he had to feed off of humans he always made sure not to drain them, just enough so that they would sleep but when they woke up they would only be a little confused, maybe even lightheaded.
Aiden adjusted Athena on the seat, put a blanket on her and then went back to his own seat, staring out the window, watching the sun go down.
Rebecca jumped up off her bed, looking around confused. She must have fallen asleep while she was laying there thinking about all the things she did know about her family.
“Coming!” Rebecca yelled. She never understood why anybody continued knocking when nobody answered. Rebecca stopped at the mirror on her way to the door and smoothed out her hair. She was sure the Ms. Shepherd was at the door and she really didn’t want to hear her complain about her sleeping in the middle of the day.
Rebecca was surprised when she opened the door, instead of Ms. Shepherd it was her grandmother.
“Oh” Rebecca said in a small voice. It wasn’t very often that Nan came knocking at her door. In fact she never did. Rebecca usually never really saw Nan except for their once a week meal together. Nan was a tiny woman but had an air about her that made her tower over the tallest of people. She had that kind of personality that demanded respect, but she never raised her voice or even said a single harsh word about anyone. She always wore the top of the line designer clothes and somehow was in great shape for her age.
“Rebecca dear, I need you to join me for dinner tonight. I know it’s not our normal scheduled time I have a visitor you may like to meet. He has been a close family friend for years.” Nan said in a cool calm voice that demanded attention. “Dinner will be in the main dining room at 8 o’clock sharp, and please dear dress nicely” She said as she eyed what Rebecca was wearing.
With that Nan turned around and walked down the stairs before Rebecca could say anything. “Hmm so I guess I’m going to me mystery man then” Rebecca thought to herself as she closed her bedroom door. “He had been a close family friend for years, that’s strange because I’m sure I never met him. Maybe all the family friends stuck with the part of the family that had money. We surely didn’t have any and nobody came around us, not even to lend a helping hand.” Rebecca picked up the picture that was sitting on her night stand. It was the very last picture that was ever taken of her mother and her. They were sitting on the ratty old couch huddled close together. Her mom was holding the camera in front of them trying to get a good shot. Rebecca smiled as she remembered her mom having to take at least 10 shots before they got the right one.
“Oh mom, I wish you were here. I wish we could have had more time together, and most of all I wish you had of told me about our family.” There was a part of Rebecca that was still mad at her mom for keeping her family a secret. She remembered growing up asking about them, but she always got the same response. “We don’t need to work about people that aren’t around, just worry about the ones you see every day.” That’s what her mom had always told her, but Rebecca could always see that she was hiding something from her about them. All you had to do was look in her mother’s eyes and you could see everything even if her face never showed it.
The eyes are where your soul lives, that was the philosophy Rebecca had, and just like her mother Rebecca’s eyes always told a different story then what her face and lips were saying.
She turned and walked to her closet to find something to wear for tonight, if she was lucky she will get to find out some information about her family. Even though for some reason she felt scared about having dinner with mystery man, she kept telling herself that this would be her open door to get some answers to the questions that have been nagging her for years.
“Sir is the lady alright.” The attendant asked standing in the doorway of the cabin.
“Yes she was tired and decided to take a nap.” Aiden said smoothly with a brilliant smile on his face.
“Ok sir, just want to make everyone aware that we will be reaching the station in about 20 minutes, and thank you for choosing to ride with us.” With that the man turned away and went to the next cabin.
Aiden turned to look at Athena, laying there peaceful probably dreaming about her night of partying. He knew she wouldn’t remember anything about the encounter with him when she woke. Aiden fixed her blanket, grabbed his suitcase and moved to the dining car. As soon as the train stopped he had to find a car and race to the airport so he could make his flight on time. He wanted to be sure he was in Maine by tomorrow night.
Aiden was already feeling a bit home sick, as much as he wanted to help Levine the thing he wanted most right now was to just be back at the compound. He hated to be outside of it and hated even more now because of the recent death of a hunter. It wasn’t safe for his kind at the moment. He didn’t fear much, but the thing that scared him the most was dying a second time. Once that happened there was no coming back for him.
Finally the train came to a stop and everyone moved towards the doors. Aiden slipped out and into the parking lot before anyone else. Quickly he found a car towards the back of the parking lot. He was able to pop the lock and start the engine in the matter of 30 seconds. Quickly he wrote a note and left it on the ground under the car, then headed toward the airport he had less than an hour to get there and on to his flight.
Rebecca got dressed and headed downstairs to the dining room. She had finally gotten her nervous to calm down enough that she could walk without her knees wobbling. As she got closer to the French doors that opened up to the grand dining room she spotted Ms. Shepherd.
“Child, you better be on that best behavior. You will be in the presence of a grand gentleman who has a lot of power in the world. I told your grandmother not to have you attend but she insisted. Now mind your manners you hear child…” Ms. Shepherd was still talking when Rebecca opened up the doors and headed inside.
In front of her stood a long dining table that sat at least twelve people. Her grandmother must have hosted many grand parties over the years. At the farthest end of the table sat three place settings. Her grandmother was already there sitting at the head of the table. To her right sat Mr. Duskiv. Rebecca had to make sure she remembered his name; she certainly could call him mystery man all night. Slowly she walked over to the seat on her grandmothers left. As she went to sit down Mr. Duskiv stood up and walked over to her. Next thing Rebecca knew he grabbed her hand, bowed his head and gently kissed the top of it.
“My dear you look exactly like your mother.” He said in a very soft soothing voice. Now that he was standing directly in front of her Rebecca saw that he wasn’t very mysterious at all. Instead she found herself staring into gentle eyes. He reminded her of the kind of man she thought a grandfather would be. All of a sudden she felt safe in his presence.
“You knew my mother?” Rebecca asked in a very small voice.
“Why yes my dear, I knew her when she was a child. She was so full of life and always getting herself into some kind of trouble. Your mother was very adventurous my dear and she was so brave. She used to give your grandmother here a heart attack” He said with a big smile on his face. In his eyes she could see him reminiscing about a time long ago. Rebecca felt the sting of tears coming to her eyes. She told herself over and over that she would not cry, not here not in front of a man she didn’t even know.
“I think we should have a seat dinner is being served.” Nan said in a tone that startled Rebecca out of her thoughts.
Mr. Duskiv walked Rebecca to her chair and after she was seated he turned to go back to his own seat.
“So Rebecca what have you been up to since you moved in with your grandmother?” Mr. Duskiv asked as he took a bite of salad.
“Well Sir I haven’t been doing much of anything other the volunteering at the school. I help tutor child that are struggling in their class. It’s something that I love, I’m even thinking about taking some classes at the local college so I can become a teacher.”
“Well you certainly would make an excellent teacher my dear.”Mr. Duskiv said, but something in the way that that he said it made Rebecca wonder if he really meant it.
“So Katherine,” Mr. Duskiv said turning to her grandmother,” I think that we should help the girl out.” Then turning to Rebecca he said, “My dear I will pay for your schooling…”
Before he could even get another word out “Oh, Mr. Duskiv you...” Rebecca couldn’t believe her ears. This man that she had never met before now was willing to pay for her to go to school and for once in her life achieve a goal she had for herself.
“Now my dear there is something that you have to do as well. I expect first and for most that you get good grades. Your studies are important and I will not waste money if you aren’t serious.”
“Mr. Duskiv I assure you I am very serious.”
“The last thing I want from you is that you start training in self defense. I am going to hire a private teacher for you to learn how to defend yourself, build strength as well as learn how to use a sword, knife and such. This world is a lot dangerous than anyone wants to admit and you are a beautiful girl, I want you to be able to protect yourself. I did the same for your mother when she was younger; she turned into a mighty strong woman from what I was told.”
“Rebecca, I think you should take a day or so before you make a decision.” Katherine said. Rebecca almost forgot she was sitting there, she hadn’t really said a word at all the whole dinner.
“My Katherine, don’t you want her to be able to protect herself?” said Mr. Duskiv irritably.
“You know I do but I want her to think long and hard before making any decisions, I think this discussion is over. Rebecca thank you for joining us but I think it’s time for you to retire to your room. As for you Jonathan lets go to the library I have some things I would like to discuss with you.” With that Katherine stood up and walked out of the room.
“Thank you Mr. Danskiv, I don’t know how I will ever be able to repay you.” Rebecca said as she stood up and pushed her chair in. She didn’t care what her grandmother said; she wanted to be able to follow her dream, even if she had to take some self defense classes. How hard could it really be, right?
“Well you should listen to your grandmother, but if you are really sure let me know in the morning and I will put a call in. You are so much like your mother, not just in looks but in determination as well.”
“Mr. Danskiv, can you tell me more about my mother? Rebecca said pleading him with her eyes.
“Rebecca can I help you upstairs.” Even though Rebecca couldn’t see who was saying it, she already knew who the voice belonged to.
“No thank you Ms. Shepherd I’m heading up now. Thank you again Mr. Duskiv I will give you my decision tomorrow. Good night.” Then Rebecca headed upstairs, but once again she had an uneasy feeling about what happened at dinner. Everything was fine until he said about self defense classes. Why would her grandmother have gotten so upset over that? “There is something that they aren’t telling me, but I will get to the bottom of this, I have to.”
“What do you think you are doing?” Katherine asked through clenched teeth. “I told you not to involve her. She is all I have left and I will not loss her like I did my daughter. She has no idea at all what her mother did and I intend to keep it that way, do you understand?”
“I hear exactly what you are saying, but the decision is not yours to make. They killed Sophia do you understand. We were trying to work on a treaty but now we can expect a revolt on our hands. We have to be prepared.” Mr. Duskiv said as he sat down in the arm chair next to the fireplace. “We cannot let this go, they think now that Sophia is dead we won’t be coming after them. They know our numbers are small, if we can train her we could catch the whole coven by surprise.”
Mr. Duskiv got up and walked over to Katherine and put his arms around her in a tight embrace.
“I know you miss her but you have to see Rebecca is so much like her. You don’t have to worry at all. Phillip is the best teacher and you know that.”
Katherine did know, Phillip had taught her as well as the other hunters before her. He himself was one of the hunted but because he despised what the monster inside of him was he set out to teach the hunters how to defeat covens such as Levine’s.
“Katherine you must do what is best for all of us, you know that.”
Katherine looked up into Mr. Duskiv’s eyes, tears on the verge of spilling out of hers. “I know and that is what I am afraid of the most.”
Just then their lips met sealing the path they must do. She knew that no matter how much she wanted to protect her grand-daughter for the terrors in the world, she had to think of others. Deep in her heart she knew Sophia would forgive her for allowing this to happen.
It was nearing 2:00 a.m. when Aiden finally landed in Maine. The airport was empty as he made his way to the car rental station. Behind the counter was a small brunette that looked overly happy to be at work, but Aiden didn’t complain because she would be easy to hypnotizes into giving him the keys to any car he wanted.
All he had to do was look directly into her eyes a boom it was done. Exactly five minutes later he was pulling out of the parking lot in a brand new BMW with tinted windows. He still had a few hours before getting to his final destination. Before he got on the interstate he pulled over on the side of a dark road. He was hungry and needed to hunt. Tucking the keys into the pocket of his jeans he ran into the deepest part of the woods and waited in silence for the sound of wildlife around him.
Finally he heard the sound of a black bear walking slowly by the tree next to him. As quickly as the speed of light Aiden attacked the animal, with one quick slip of his hand he snapped the bears neck to the side and sunk his fangs in before the bear could fight back. Within minutes Aiden was walking back to his car very full.
He slid into the driver’s seat and started heading towards Bath, Maine where his final destination would lead him the girl he was looking for. What Aiden didn’t know was what exactly he was going to face when he got there.
Rebecca had no idea how she got into the woods. All she knew was that something was coming at her and it was moving fast. Next thing Rebecca knew she was running, she had no idea where she was running to. She only knew what that small voice inside her was say “run and run fast”.
She pushed herself harder, her legs and chest were burning. She wanted to turn around so badly but knew that whoever was chasing her was so close. The next thing Rebecca realized she was flying through the air but before she felt herself hitting the ground she woke up.
Rebecca jumped out of bed not realizing where she was. Her legs and chest were still hurting her and her heart was beating out of her chest.
“Clam down Rebecca” she said to herself when she finally caught a grasp on reality. Looking around Rebecca saw that she was in her enormous bedroom. She slowly sat down on the bed and contemplated whether she wanted to go back to sleep. Finally she decided that she could sleep again so soon after that dream, and walked downstairs to the library.
She had never really walked the halls of the grand old home at night. She felt like she was in a whole new world but it didn’t frighten her. Instead she began to imagine her mother as a child growing up here. She probably would run through the halls laughing and playing, sitting in the library for hours reading book after book. Thinking about her mom always brought the pain back to her heart and the tears pooling at her eyelids. She thought by now that she should be able to think about her mom without having these feelings but it never happened, she always became a nervous wreck. So instead of letting the tears flow she decided to push the thought of her mother out of her mind.
She finally reached the door to the library and pushed it open. Every time she went inside the grand room it took her breath away. Bookcases lined the walls with books that dated back centuries. There were even some books that her ancestors wrote. Rebecca remembered one time her grandmother telling her that the stories that were told in those books were nothing more than made up stories. Even though her grandmother told her that she still encouraged Rebecca to stay away from those books.
Rebecca walked to the bookshelf that held her ancestors books and grabbed the first one. Then she walked over to the little desk by the window and sat down to read. As she sat down she noticed that one of the drawers wasn’t closed all the way. Without thinking about it Rebecca pushed the drawer but it still wouldn’t close. She pulled the drawer out to see if something was stuck when a folded paper fell out of a tiny hidden compartment at the bottom of the drawer.
Rebecca picked up the paper and started to unfold it. She didn’t usually go through other peoples belongings but this was hidden. It was something that nobody wanted found. When she finally got it open she couldn’t believe her eyes. It was a letter for her grandmother but the person who wrote it was what really shocked Rebecca. It was from her mother and had been dated the day before Rebecca found out she died. Even though the tears were streaming down her face at this point blurring her vision, she couldn’t help but to read the letter.