Writer Notes: This was the last chapter made on Vivian the PC before her death. I was able to recover the files. Why haven’t I posted it before? Well, I wasn’t sure if there was enough content in it to be a chapter, but after writing it all down, I decided it was time to post it.
Warnings: backflashes! Inner thoughts, some references to Book 1. Evil people scheming evil things, a vampire poking fun, and an Elf being Vaiden.
“And what did they say?” Victoria Steel asked.
“High Tower is on lock down.” Trudy Coristor answered. “It seems we’ll be spending the night in here.”
“How long can this spell last I wonder?”
“Forever if it wants to.” Trudy snickered. “Now be a good little Elf and be quiet.”
“Your words are merely words.” Victoria huffed. “You will not hurt me. Your master would not approve of it.”
“Latimere is not my master.”
“Then what is he, I wonder?” the Elf inquired. “You adore him or you would have fought to get back to your husband’s side. Do you love him then? Is there an affair?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Trudy said. “You have evidently never met Latimere. He doesn’t take lovers. And I would never betray Harry. As for why I stay a part of Greenbrooke Estates, that is not of your concern.”
“It is mine.” Siren then said. “Dad just fears Latimere will kill us, but you do not. You stay willingly, Mother. The Elf is right about something. You care about Latimere.”
“You cannot understand, my girl.” Trudy sighed. “But I can tell you that I wandering the world when Latimere found me the first time.”
“It was sixty years ago and I had grown accustomed to the darkness.”
“Plasma fruit had not yet been discovered and there was only one way to feed.”
“I wasn’t proud of myself or the terrible things I had done, but I had done them to survive.”
“I didn’t quite understand for what though.”
“Latimere didn’t judge. He said survival was something we endeared, but he had lived it. He didn’t want anyone else to suffer as he had.”
“So he offered me security, warmth, and a place to call home. It was too great of an offer to resist. I didn’t understand who he was back then, but I did find him quite…alluring.”
“His court had always been small, but he had powerful players.”
“Lacarra, of course, though never a master, still old enough to be presented as one.”
“There was a Mr. Collins once. He was a master, but he stayed in Latimere’s shadow. He worshiped him, almost like a god. I don’t quite remember what happened to Collins. Perhaps he is still alive.”
“Aliana was a Viking, cold, but loyal. I knew when I first met her that, though she would never go against the Greenbrookes, her loyalty resided with another.”
“Lizabeth La’Belle was a monster, but when I had first met her, she seemed so lovely. Latimere had maintained her for such a long time. When she broke away, she started a war path that would eventually kill her.”
“A young master, like me, had been so afraid to join courts. Usually the master of that court would eventually kill you or cast you out, but in Latimere’s court, I felt welcomed.”
“But I also felt compelled to please.”
“I will say in my youth it was hard not to find Latimere attractive. He had given me a home, security, everything he had promised in the beginning. For someone in that day in age, it was a blessing.”
“Latimere treated everyone in his court with respect and often gave them gifts, but I felt special. I was so naive.”
“Mr. Collins has returned,” Trudy began. “House Ren and the Lees have agreed to the stand off, but he is not sure how long it will last.”
“Good,” he answered.
“Who is she?” Trudy then asked.
“Who is who?”
“The painting of the girl, she looks from medieval times. Was she…”
“She is not of your concern.” he replied.
“I’m sorry,” she sighed. “It’s just, she seems important to you and I thought if I knew…I’m sorry I upset you”
“Do not fret, lovely Trudy.” he smiled.
“The past is a shadow.” he said. “I choose not to linger over it.”
“That is wise.” she blushed. “Perhaps I too will forget it.”
“You don’t forget it.” he said. “Simply learn from it. It is there as I am here for you. I do hope we can move forward, lovely Trudy. ”
“I heard something much different, like an invitation.”
“That night, La’Belle argued that Latimere should take action against the other masters.”
“Why do we sit here while House Ren and the Lees control the majority of the city? Why should we mediate their war any longer? We should give them no options. We should rule them!”
“I have and will never rule over this city.” Latimere replied. “Each master can do what they please with their courts. It had has been this way since the fall of the Last Empire and it will continue to be this way. I will not be dragged into another war.”
“It did not sit well with La’Belle. She planned to leave Greenbrooke Estates and asked the others to join her.”
“I chose to warn Latimere. Perhaps he could convince her to stay.”
“Because it was no secret that without Latimere, La’Belle would be unstoppable.”
“What are you doing in here?” he asked.
“I…Lizabeth. She’s planning to leave. She wants to…”
“I know.” he said. “If she is so unhappy here, she can leave. It is the same for everyone. I do not keep you prisoners, Trudy.”
“Oh, I see.”
“And now you may leave.” he said.
“Latimere…I…I’m…” Trudy sighed.
“I wanted to ask you something earlier today, but I was afraid.” she said. “I am a Master Vampire too and…”
“Are you asking my permission to leave?”
“No, I’m asking…” she took a breath. “I-I love you. I don’t want to leave. I want to grow in these estates along side of you.”
“Trudy, stop.” he demanded. “You cannot think that I…”
“Is it so hard to grasp?” she asked. “We are both masters. We both want the same thing, don’t we?”
“Please, Latimere, just…” The look in his eyes made her stop.
“You don’t love me?”
“No, I do not.” he said. “It does not mean I do not care for you. I do very much.”
“But you must put this silly fantasy out of your mind.”
“But you said…”
“Whatever you heard was not what I said.” he replied. “Trudy, you will find someone who shares everything you want in life, a partner, an equal, but that is not and will never be me.”
“I see. I will go with La’Belle then.”
“If that is what you wish.”
It wasn’t, but I felt if I stayed, I would resent him and probably help La’Belle kill him.
“Do you want me to stop her?” Lacarra asked.
“No, she made her decision.”
“She will be back.” his sister assured him.
“I’m sure she will, but we must deny her.” he answered.
“Until I am certain she no longer wants me.”
Leaving with La’Belle was a terrible mistake. Everything that followed was a mistake, except of course meeting Harry.
We, of course, survived La’Belle, but that wasn’t without more mistakes. They say the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Jen was not our friend. She was a nightmare that we called upon because we wanted out of the situation at hand. She offered us a way out of La’Belle’s court, but of course that meant La’Belle had to die.
We blindly followed, claiming it was the only way to survive. But what harm did we cause?
I was afraid so I went to the only place I knew that was untouchable.
Latimere had changed. His court was gone. It was only him and Lacarra. I felt guilty. Is it because I had left that others followed?
I asked for his help, but he refused.
“You made your decision long ago.” he said.
“But La’Belle is out of control and Jen…”
“And how is that of my concern? You chose to be with La’Belle and you chose to make deals with this Jen. That is your own doing, Mrs. Coristor.”
“You will not help me?”
“He has made that much clear.” Lacarra said.
“It was then that I discovered how naive I had been. Latimere didn’t care about me. He only cared about the things that were ‘his.’ And I certainly was not one of those things anymore.”
“So you stay because if you left, he would reject you again?” Victoria asked.
“I stay because I want my children to live. Latimere would give his life protecting what is his.”
“Good evening, Mr. Greenbrooke, we have been expecting you.” Julianna Fairchild smiled triumphantly.
“You idiot!” Vaiden snapped. “You knew it was a trap!”
“Yes, I did.” Latimere stared at Julianna. “I know you, but I cannot think of where.”
“Oh, it has been a long time.” she laughed. “But I’m afraid this reunion won’t be filled with balloons and cake.”
Latimere looked at the ground. “A lovely trap I see.” But, the markings were in Elvin.
“Gregory, how nice it is to see you again.” Latimere hissed.
“The pleasure is mine, I’m sure.”
“Coastal will be very much interested in knowing you’re involved.” the Vampire snickered. “I wonder what the bigger crime is. Romping with this sorceress or trying to kill your own family?”
“My family will be fine.” Gregory said.
“You are such a fool!” Latimere huffed. “But you are looking from only one direction. I suppose I should be more lenient.”
“Enough!” Julianna snapped. “You have not the slightest clue what is happening.”
“We’re going to make the world all sparkly again.” Honey smiled.
“I hate glitter.” Vaiden scowled.
“Is my daughter…safe?” Gabriel had to ask.
“She is fine.” Latimere answered.
“Victoria will find a way out.” Seamus said. “And with you gone, who will protect High Tower? Lacarra? Zarah? They’re not even masters. Trudy? Once she finds out about her husband, she will go to his side. His children too. That leaves no one. You have left High Tower completely vulnerable.”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“High Tower is mine, but that isn’t the goal.” Julianna claimed. “After tonight everything will change. You will be my witnesses. The world will be rebuilt anew in my image.”
“Why?” Latimere had to ask. “You want to change it. What is it in you that believes it will change? Magic? You think by forcing everyone to do as you want, they will? What if none of them will? Are you going to globally destroy everyone who disagrees with you? Then you won’t rule anything.”
“Don’t patronize me, Mr. Greenbrooke.” Julianna huffed. “You will see, you all will see as your society crumbles. People are cowards, Latimere. You know this. They will bow because they want to live.”
“I survived the Dark Ages, Ms. Fairchild.” he said. “There is nothing you can do to me that will make me bow to you.”
“Oh, but don’t you see?” she laughed. “I don’t want you to bow to me. I’m going to kill you so all of your kind knows. They will not win. They will either die or be mine.”
“And then everything will sparkle.” Honey smiled.
“From the ashes, we shall rise and the world will be ours.”
“Or I’ll kill you first.”