Brennie had given up on trying to find out what they were hiding for the time being. She knew that eventually she would discover their secret and she was sure that it most likely involved something they thought that she as a female, should not be a party to. Sometimes, they were far too noble and over protective when it came to how they treated her. It often annoyed the crap out of her. Their ancient chivalry and their extremes in guarding her virtue and her reputation as the highly prized female of their family had worn thin about three centuries ago as far as she was concerned. She thought to herself, was it any wonder that she had never found a mate… Any man who looked at her with that sort of interest was as Svein put it to one such fool hearty male some time ago, “Yer either vera vera brave or yer just plain stupid, I believe yer stupid if ye think I’ll be lettin the likes of you near my Brennie!” Well, Mr. Stupid had quickly made his exit from her life, obviously showing he was not the brave sort. After that last experience, she had taken great care not to introduce any casual dates to her surrogate relatives. It was safer that way, and unfortunately she had never found one quite brave enough or interested enough to willingly volunteer to venture into that particular realm.
So, now thanks to these men, she would most likely be the world’s oldest spinster Vampyre! She didn’t know whether to be eternally grateful to them for saving her from all of the frustrations of a life time mate or curse them both to Hades for it. Most of the time she silently thanked them.
Right now, she needed to refocuse her thoughts on finding a way into the heavily guarded Dragon Valley. As she spent the night sorting through a maze of maps, red tapes and other assorted warnings, she wished that some of those ridiculous myths regarding Vampyres were true. It would certainly be so much easier if they could just turn into bats and fly right into the compound. Who on earth had come up with these myths and stereotypes anyway, she grumbled to herself as she filled out countless forms and documents to verify their identities, their references and their need to be in that restricted area. There was no way they could just use some sort of mysterious vampyre powers and sneak into the place undetected. It’s defense and protection system was after all designed by Vampyres, Witches and Fairies. Realistically, the only sort who might actually be able to gain access would probably be some undetectable, unassuming threat as a human.
While she struggled with the mess of paperwork, the men made their own preparations. Svein’s choice of preparation involved brute force if need be. He was not above using what ever was at his disposal and he was of the mind that it might just come down to an all out battle of some sort. In fact, he was fondly hoping it would. It had been some time since he’d had a good brawl, a fight on even terms of those equal in strength and wits to him and he was looking forward to such an outcome. He had a few scores to settle with some and he hoped they would show up to join in a fight. Svein knew that the Council would never go so far as to allow a true death battle but they would on occasion, sanction a physical match of wills in the name of honor or vengeance. So, no matter what the outcome, he would have his battle time and he intended to be well prepared for it.
Eric, on the other hand, spent his time in deep soul searching and cleansing thought. He knew that he had to control his emotions in this situation else he might destroy the whole blasted place in a rage of unknown proportions. Should he let go of the fear and the rage within, he could possibly cause so much more damage and chaos than there already was in that place. He knew that he had to go into this with a completely focused mind, a clear conscience and a true heart.
As he spent time with his thoughts and his memories, he realized one thing for certain. His heart was true, it was true to Judith and he knew that he would do what ever it took on his part to see her safe and to see her world safe. He came to understand and accept something else that had been weighing greatly on him for some time. It had to do with a conversation he and Judith had once about the differences in their lives, their souls. Judith’s reasoning and belief was that in some ways they were not so different. They both lived many lives, endured many heartaches and painful lessons. The key difference was in the death. As she had put it, humans lived many lives and experienced the deaths, the wiping away of the memories in order to begin again. Vampyres lived all of those same lives but did not get that reprieve to have the painful memories erased, they must live on with them always somewhere in their mind until that one last final death from which they never returned. She reasoned that there was no need for them to come back… they had that eternity to learn their lessons in the darkness of the world and when their time came, they would walk into the light to appreciate it even more so than others who took the light for granted.
Some of her reasoning made sense. He had seen a few elder Vampyres at their end, embracing that sudden glow of light surrounding them, reaching out to it with some sort of intense joy on their faces. He had seen others, however, cringe in fear and agony at the touch of the light burning their souls. He put that to her and her response had been, “It’s no different. Some fight death right to the end, refuse to accept it, fear what’s to come, are not a peace with their fate and do not have a clear conscience or heart. Maybe they have not learned their lessons and see a glimpse of what’s in store for them on that other side, that next class room… Perhaps they do not want to face their judgement and their next lesson. Makes no difference whether they be humans, witches, fairies or vampyres.”
Whether that be the case or not, Eric knew in his heart that he did not want to say Good Bye to Judith this time. He knew he had spent moments in time with her in her past lives on different levels and had even watched her die more than once. He did not want to do it again, not this time when he had finally understood that she was his destiny, his soul match. He could not do it this time, say good bye and then wander through life until she reappeared and they must start all over again. No, if he must say good bye this time, then he would willingly go with her and take the chance that she was right in her belief… that they would go together into that light. So, now the time would come for a decision and he would leave it up to her, should he find her safe and sound. It would be her choice…. he would never ask of her to become Vampyre. She must choose it on her own, but if she could not do it, then he would seek out that uncertain and sometimes fatal reversal that was being researched. One way or another, no matter what, he vowed, this constant agony of Good Bye would be done with for him. He could not take it any longer, and a certain part of his soul profoundly prayed that she would choose not to become vampyre because he was so weary of this eternal life.