Phaedra had spent the last thirty minutes digging into the family archives. The large room was a spacious as a mid-sized class room and filled with wall to wall volumes of books documenting the family’s history. The Draco Line, the name of his bloodline had been in existences for hundreds of thousands of years, extending well beyond the beginnings of humanity. The 17th century chandelier that hung 20 feet above their heads was the only supplier of light in the room. When she finally found what she was looking for, she glanced at Damien with a smile of victory and motioned for him to join her at the small woodened table that was the focal point of the room. The large, heavy book was thick with pages made from Egyptian papyrus leaves; an indicator of its antiquity and his mother carefully opened the book and gently flipped a few dozen pages before landing on the right page to begin her lesson. “Aha,” she said using her index finger to scan through the wording that was written in the Old Language. “Here we go,” she said. “Seers, the mystical peoples whose origins that tie them to the Neters of Kemet and the lands of Mesopotamia,” She read. “You see, your mate is of African ancestry,” She continued reading. Damien nodded, totally aware that his “mate” was black and had long dismissed what should never be considered an issue. Phaedra continued on: “They are to be approached with caution for their powers are many and great. They can see into the future, into the past and into the mysterious realms that we vampyr have yet to aspire to. Seers are mostly birthed as female, although there have been reports of males. They appear as blind or severely lacking in sight due to their strange colorless eyes, and some may be rendered unable to see into the physical realm with great clarity, which gives them greater power in the mystical and the spiritual. Their abilities rest primarily within the elements, some even able to call forth the weather to do as they please, but the most common element is fire. Seers are notoriously hunted by Slayers and Lycans alike for their gifts and are often deemed as a threat by Faeries whom are also gifted with the elements. Seers are not immortal but are close to it with life spans exceeding that of 1000 years. Seers make formidable opponents in battle when properly trained which is why it is of great importance that vampyr revere instead of fear them. The strongest gift possessed by a Seer is hiding in plain sight.” She closed the book. “So, that is it?” Damien inquired. “That is all the knowledge that we possess. The rest of the documentation focuses on the genealogy of the various Seers that have aided our family since the 2nd century A.D.. I had a Seer once when I was young, and your father’s closest confidante was a Seer. I did not like his confidante at first because I thought she was vying for my husband’s attentions,” Phaedra chuckled. “But, in the end she proved herself loyal until the day that she died.” “How did she die?” “Rothbart.” Damien froze. “Father said that the Slayer was spotted in the area. Have you any word on that?” “No, your father has not said anything more.” “Aren’t Slayers only destined to kill Night Stalkers?” “They are destined to destroy what their beliefs tell them to and Rothbart is hell bent on destroying anything that is not human. But enough about that,” Phaedra said quickly. “When do I get to meet your mate?” Damien smiled and rubbed his fingers through his raven colored hair;. “Soon. I have to be sure that father will not make an attempt on her life because of my refusal to marry Guinevere.” Phaedra sighed. “Your father will not kill her but he surely will not make her feel welcomed. Before you came he was working out an agreement with Stefan regarding the arrangements of your marriage to Guinevere.” Damien rolled his eyes at the mention of Stefan and Guinevere’s names. “Guinevere has been sick with grief and worry that you will not wed her because of your love for what she perceived to be human. The entire aristocracy is talking about it.” “I don’t give a rat’s ass about what a bunch of superficial pricks think.” Damien retorted. “I don’t either and neither does your father but he has to do something. But, you were wise in informing us about this particular Seer because now it changes things.” “How so?” “Your father’s law states that no vampire can wed a human; but your Seer is not fully human, which is a slight technicality that happens to work in your favor. You are free to be with this Seer.” Phaedra smiled triumphantly. “The only thing is unless your father replaces you with Lucinda to the throne, your mate will not be accepted as your mate and she will definitely not be accepted as Queen which means that you may still have to marry a vampire at least in writing to maintain your position.” “Fuck!” Damien slammed his fist on the table. “Do not fret my son you still have time. I will work with your father to absolve the betrothal to Guinevere. Unfortunately this may come off as a snub to Stefan and his family and I am sure we will be met with some retaliation, but then again I do not think Guinevere wants to come face to face with Lucinda again.” For the first time, Damien could smile with relief as he felt the burdens that came with the throne were lifted from his shoulders. Thank the good lord above for his sister, his mother, the technicality in his favor, and the fact that Kennedy’s father was a Fae. He reached across the table and pulled his mother into a heartfelt embrace. She laughed in delight. “I have never seen you this happy,” she said displaying a toothy grin. “Oh you have no idea what this means mother,” he said. He kissed his mother on the cheek before releasing her. “Go to your mate son but the next time you return bring her with you!” Damien had dematerialized into the nothingness before Phaedra could finish her sentence.
It was well into the afternoon when Damien appeared at Kennedy’s door. He was enthusiastically greeted by Hubert when caught the same vague presence of evil close by. He locked the door behind and peered out of the window and noticed the same red Honda that had been parked off and on outside of her house for the last few days. He focused his sight on the driver and recognized him instantly. Rothbart! Using his vampire abilities he extended his senses beyond the interior of the house. Kennedy was upstairs talking to Lucinda. Good. Rothbart was up to something and whatever it was, he was going to have until nightfall to act. He needed to take Kennedy somewhere safe and get his sister back into the safety of the mansion. He could take Kennedy to the mansion too but then again, he would be putting her in possibly more danger-safe house. There was a safe house a few miles east that he could take her for a few days.
He dematerialized into the first level bedroom where Kennedy slept and where they had shared some of their fondest memories and searched her closet for a duffel bag. When he found none, he stumbled upon an old suitcase and made a mental note of how much he hated the color forest green. He popped open the suitcase and left it in the center of the room and went into various drawers of hers grabbing whatever he thought she would need for more than just a few days. Hell, after today she would never live in this house again. He must have been making so much noise that Lucinda called out to him from the doorway, looking completely puzzled. “What are you doing brother?” She asked, her arms folded tightly into her chest. “Look through the peephole of the front door. Rothbart.” He said not breaking his stride as he dumped more clothes into the suitcase. Lucinda’s eyes widened and in an instant she disappeared to the front door.
The suitcase was full.
Damien cursed. “I’ll just buy her whatever else she needs,” he mumbled to himself. Lucinda returned, her expression paled and those grey eyes of hers filled with disbelief and terror. “He is really here,” she whispered with emotion. “How long has been here?” “I have no idea,” Damien sighed. “Probably as long as I have been here…what is Kennedy doing?” “I’m right here Damien,” Kennedy said from behind Lucinda, still dressed in a pair of grey sweats, a white tank and her braids pulled back into a single braid, like his. He smiled at the sight. “Kennedy,” he said carefully. “You have to come with me for a few days…” “Uh, ok but may I ask why?” Kennedy said as she gently eased passed Lucinda who remained where she stood, but this time her eyes were focused and her head tilted as if she was listening for something. Damien heard it too, someone was approaching the door. Lucinda’s hands became like talons: their form extended to long, pointy and sharp; her eyes narrowed and her fangs retracted giving her the appearance of a living nightmare. Damien’s eyes narrowed too, until Hubert barked and Kennedy’s smile lit up and then came the voice that proved itself to be more than just a simple inconvenience. “Kennedy open up! It’s me Marisol!” Lucinda growled, Hubert barked once more and the love of his life chirped with excitement. “Oh my God I finally get to introduce you to my bestie!” Kennedy squealed and hurriedly moved past Lucinda without noticing the violent rage that bubbled through Lucinda’s veins like poison in a hot cauldron. “We do not have time to deal with another human Damien,” Lucinda said between clenched teeth. Damien sighed and shook his head. “I know…but this human just might be useful,” he added rubbing his jawline. “Can I eat her?” Lucinda gave Damien a wicked grin. He frowned. “No.” “You are absolutely no fun.” “Just suck your teeth in and retract your claws. This human is not blind…”