Anya gazed out across the landscape. Every now and again she found herself drawn to the young man beside her. It was strange but she suddenly felt more at peace. It was an angry frustrated peace and peace where she trusted no-one and hated everyone but as much as knowing she’d been shared sickened and hurt her knowing who the father of the child was, was preferable to the uncertainty she’d had over the last few weeks. At least now she knew her baby would be …. A baby and just a baby. Not a demon or something else just as horrific.
She didn’t even know why she’d agreed to go with him, the thought of seeing the baron again filled her with dread and the more she thought about it the more terrified she became.
“He won’t hurt us will he?” she asked nervously.
“Why would he hurt us?”
“Because we ran away”
“No Anya….. he won’t hurt us. I’ve told you he’s a good man, a kind man…” Marcus replied.
“Then why did you run?” she asked.
“I told you, I made a mistake… I wanted you for myself, I saw a chance to get you…. But I realise now you never love me, everything you loved was within Vincent… it just carried across to me because you thought I was him”
“I didn’t love anyone” she growled defensively.
“Yes you did” the young man replied sadly. “I saw the way your eyes lit up when I… he walked into a room. This was all my fault”
“How do you reason that?” she retorted.
“He was struggling to tell you…. He wanted too but he was scared, I rushed him perhaps if I’d let him take his time you would have accepted it”
“I would NEVER accept being the wife of a demon” she hissed.
Suddenly Marcus pulled hard on the reign’s of the wagon pulling the who thing to a standstill before turning to her. “Anya you have no concept of what you speak, I will not deny the blood has changed him that the blood corrupts but men like Vincent and my Father fight against it. They try and be the good men they were in life”
“You forget I see his “goodness” in my dreams”
“I know it must be hard, I still can’t fathom why Isabelle did it but they were isolated incidents when he was a very young vampire. He could not control himself back then, if I had the time I would tell you of all the good things he has done over the years but somehow I doubt it would make a difference?”
“It wouldn’t” she agreed as Marcus started up the small wagon again.
They travelled in silence for a while but eventually she found she had another question. “So do you expect me to believe these men that are hunting him are the evil ones?” she asked.
“I don’t know” he replied, “I would not like to pass judgement. I know they believe they are doing god’s work and that the church backs them. I know many would consider them godly men. However I seems to me that men who kill indiscriminately based on factor’s a person cannot help such as race are not as godly as they would like to think. Do you think your niece chose to be werewolf?”
“I guess not” she admitted, not liking to think of Skye at all. The thought that her own niece wasn’t human was practically more than she could bare.
“Yet they would slaughter her like a pig” he snorted, “Except perhaps with less dignity”
“She’s just a child” she whimpered.
“The inquisition go after anything more than human… Vampires may often choose this path, but werewolves, mages they are born to it, but that does not matter to the likes of those… they kill them all the same and then proclaim it’s in the name of god”
She paused to think about what he said, she didn’t want to but perhaps she like them was making judgement on things they could not help. “Did the Baron choose his life”
“He did” Marcus agreed, “Though I dare say he did not understand it then, he’d just lost his wife and daughter he was mourning he took what he saw as a way to end his pain”
“And did it?”
“For a while… perhaps” he nodded. “For a while he struggled to think of anything but the blood as your dreams show you, but when he started to regain himself …. He found all he’d actually done was submit himself to an eternity of pain”
Suddenly Marcus froze.
She didn’t understand why until, she noticed blood gurgling from his mouth, looking hurriedly around she noticed the wicked looking arrow piercing his back. Frantically she looked around, noticing men coming from the bush’s. “Marcus!” she wailed.
She watched in horror as Marcus clawed at the front of the wagon, seeming to try and pull himself out of his chair “Anya run!” he gasped.
“Marcus!” she whimpered again, looking left and right terrified as more men appeared seemingly from no-where.
“Lady Anya” I suggest you climb down from the wagon and come here” The leader of the men suggested his voice a low growl.
Nodding terrified, she complied, watching in horror as another of the men dragged Marcus from his seat.
She considered for a moment bolting running as Marcus urged but her feet would not comply. If these where indeed men of god they were like nothing she’d ever seen before.
They were dressed in fine black armour painted with the sign on of the cross, but for all the finery’s of their dress the men looked rough and cruel. Almost every one of them bore heavy scar’s, two were missing eyes and one was missing a hand. Suddenly she found a man behind her, his hands grasping her arm tightly enough that she knew he intended to not let her run anywhere.
“So!” the leader sneered… heading towards Marcus who had been pushed onto his knee’s. “You must be, Marcus?”
Marcus didn’t answer he swayed unsteadily, threatening to fall there and then. Grabbing a handful of hair the man pulled him forward grasping the arrow in his gauntleted hand and pulling it free.
Suddenly Marcus seemed to recover, regaining his balance he managed to shoot Anya a terrified glance.
“Don’t look at her” the man growled bringing his knee up solidly into Marcus’s face. “I want all your attention here” he said pointing to his own.
“Im not telling you anything!” Marcus growled, spitting blood out and onto the soil.
“Oh but you are… Now tell me. Where in the house does your master sleep?”
“I won’t tell you anything” Marcus hissed defiantly.
“Won’t you?” the man asked, as though Marcus’s refusal was somehow amusing.
“Please” the man pressed, smiling wickedly “We are on quite a deadline, I’d like to get there before your master wakes”
“Go to hell” Marcus growled.
“You will tell me, because if you don’t I will kill every man woman and child in that house…. Starting with HER” he grinned pointing the sword in Anya’s direction.