WAR: Never Complete

Never Complete
Hanna Clay
15 April
Ruins of New Jerusalem

The acrid scent of burning was still thick in the air.  After so many years, it still smelled as if the destruction had only happened only days before.  There was a distinct separation in the destruction: the damage to what had been the long-dreaded forest had definitely taken place before what had been done to the city.  And yet no matter how different the areas had been from one another, let alone how different the inhabitants of either were, the destruction took both without preference or prejudice.

He stood silently, staring out into what had been the forest, trying in vain to sense where the Cairn had been.  It had been the first thing destroyed, long before the destruction that took the entire city with it.  August and her damned Infernal magic that had poisoned and twisted the forest killing, mangling and maiming with fervor.  All to spite…her.

He froze, as he always did, when he thought of her.  He knew she was out there somewhere.  The bond he had shared with Jonas she had taken up, however reluctant she had been.  He had to beg her to do it, even though they both knew she would never have allowed him to die…

*******************************************************

She stood with her back to him, unable to face the naked pleading in his eyes.  She knew what he needed, what he wanted, more than she would ever admit.  But how could she give him her heart if she wouldn’t even give him her blood?

“Don’t ask this of me,” she whispered, a sound made all the more terrible by the damage that had been caused to the inside of her throat.  She was quite capable of healing it, but was completely indifferent about it, and nearly anything else.

“You know I wouldn’t unless it was necessary. But His blood is gone.”

He never mentioned “His” name. He couldn’t bring himself to utter the name of the man who would always come between them, no more than
she could bear to hear it. “I will begin to age soon, once the withdrawal begins. And with my age, the decay would take only a few hours to kill me.”

“Only?” A few moments passed before she spoke again. “I always felt it was wrong, Freidrick. However much we needed you, or however much you wanted to be there. You are Garou. But with His blood, for so long, you’re only a tiny step away from Abomination.”

He shivered slightly at the word. Abomination. Forbidden in all their worlds. A Garou who had been Embraced. Few had ever been created, every last one hunted down and destroyed, and their Sire with them. Is that what she truly thought of him?

He was caught completely off-guard when she turned to face him, took a step and was in his arms.  He had forgotten how quickly she could
move now.  So much had changed about her since the night she finally killed August.  The night Jonas had told him to scatter his ashes.

She buried her head against his chest, though with as tiny as she was, she barely reached his midriff.  Kneeling down would have been
insulting to her, so he lightly pressed her head to him, stroking her hair.  He didn’t quite know how to deal with her emotional outbursts, especially those directed at him.  She had always been kind and caring, trusting and friendly, though reserved and quiet.  He found himself wondering how much the events of the past year had truly changed her.  She was no stranger to pain and suffering, surely no stranger to loss, but never so much in so little time.  The torture and damage caused by Horton, Davistch and August, the children she had attacked in the cemetery after her cement “burial”,
the destruction of New Jerusalem, the loss of her Childe Starr, Diablerizing August, and the Final Death of her husband and Sire, all in the matter of a few weeks.  How on earth did she find the will to survive?

He hadn’t realized he had spoken the last aloud until she answered, “Because of you.”  He stiffened as she pulled back, looking up into his eyes.

“I have the strength to survive as long as I have you.”

********************************************************

He didn’t remember how they had ended up in his room, their clothes torn and discarded on the floor. There was a vague sense of gathering her into his arms, bruising her lips with his own, as he carried her up the stairs. The rest had been a rush of heat, and he couldn’t remember which of them had been more fervent; she had ripped off his shirt with as much force as he had used to rip off hers.

As they had moved together, neither wanting to let the other go, the blood had passed between them. When she had burrowed into his neck, he could barely control himself. Though he had used Jonas’ blood to sustain his life over the years, he had never fed directly from him. And never, in his almost 1600 years, had a vampire ever fed off of him. The moment he felt her teeth sink into his skin, felt her draw the blood and life from him, he suddenly understood why so many others had been unable to resist a vampire’s kiss.

Still heady from her drawing from him, he felt no shock as she drew her tiny hand over her left breast, the nail of her index finger cutting into her snowy flesh. And as her blood began to flow, he put his head to her chest…

********************************************************

“It’s a good thing I’m a friend, or you’d be long dead,” a raspy voice snickered from behind.

He opened his eyes slowly. By all the forgotten gods, how much he wanted to hold her again.

“Hello Marcus.”

The old Nosferatu sighed. “How long has it been since you last saw her?”

“Leave it to you to go right for the throat,” he muttered.

Marcus winced. “There’s trouble, Freidrick, or I wouldn’t be here and you know it.”

He did know it. Marcus had watched every last one of his Nosferatu Childer dragged kicking and screaming into the burning light of day, while he hid with the remaining children of the orphanage, keeping them safe from Davistch and August. Marcus would never forgive himself for letting his Childer perish, even though he had save over a dozen children from worse than anything death would bring.

He turned to face his old friend. “What trouble?”

Marcus hesitated, that itself a testament to how bad it had to be. “It’s Caine.”

Freidrick had to remind himself to breathe. What did Caine have to do with anything?

“Hariod contacted me. Hanna is hunting Caine.”

About Kristi Deming

RAFO

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