Anya followed her husband though the weave of corridor’s in the duchess’s castle. She’d only been here once or twice before but it was only now she understood the scale of it. Daniel’s castle was large, larger even hand Gabriel’s but the duchess’s castle dwarfed both with ease.
The Baron seemed in a hurry but not so much that he used the speed she’d seen him use once or twice before. As though he wanted to give the devastation around him the respect it deserved. Dead lay everywhere.
It was clear the castle had been taken by surprise, there was no sign of an army or great battle simply people dead, some still in their night things.
“What Killed them?” she asked nervously, tight knots forming in her stomach.
“The Tzimisce” he replied grimly. “You can tell by this…. “he said kneeing by the corpse of a dead woman, tilting the face towards her. She gasped, the woman’s face was somehow changes… the mouth and nose where gone, as if she had been made of clay. Someone had simply rubbed them out.
“What happened to her” she asked, her voice coming out in barely a squeak.
“The Tzimisce can craft flesh and bone. Their own and that of others ….. “ Vincent replied, “It’s a disease really” he explained.
“The people here didn’t stand a chance” she decided.
“No they didn’t and it’s my fault.. If I’d left Arabella here this would not have happened”
“Arabella could kill this thing?”
“Not alone but she could have called me. I could have got here in time. Then things would have been different”
“This isn’t your fault” she reasoned.
“How do you know” he retorted angrily, “You don’t understand, everyone I bring into this life dies. Do you want to know why I haven’t created a child?”
“Because they die!” he hissed, “I was not Siren’s only child… yet I am the only one that still lives. It’s a dangerous and terrible world Anya, One in which you are completely alone. You can’t trust anymore”
“You trust Isabel and Arabella?” she reasoned.
“No I don’t” he hissed. “Arabella would kill me and drink my soul the moment she saw an opportunity and Isabel… to her I am an amusing plaything, she’ll kill me the moment the mood takes her… I should never have bought you into this” he decided.
“But you did” she reasoned, “I’m here now… come on, let’s find Sara.. I mean Siren” she corrected still unused to the duchess’s true name.
“I think she would rather you called her Sara” he smiled “Siren was the name given to her by her Kindred maker… he said it suited her because she lured him into creating her. She hated it as almost as much as she hated him.…. No I think she would rather you called her Sara”
She noted how sad he sounded when he spoke of his maker. “You love her?”
“Yes” he nodded, “As a mother, my kindred mother you understand?”
“I suppose” she nodded.
“Come then let us find her” he nodded, offering out his hand. She took it, ice cold he’d clearly not even thought to warm himself now she knew the truth. It was slightly unsettling but she took it and ran with him through the corridors.
Eventually they reached a small room, beneath the main bulk of the castle the door was slightly ajar and she could see the lock had been smashed off. He paused as though frightened of what he might find before pushing the room open.
The small room was In a state of disarray, furnisher and bookcases where lying in a mess. Someone had been clearly been searching for something. The question was had they found it.
The Baron wasted no time, clearing the rubble out of the way while she looked on, kneeling she watched as he seemed to fiddling with what looked like a loose piece of flagstone. That quickly revealed it’s self as something more.
Watching as he heaved the heavy rock out of the way, she peered into the darkness to what looking like a cage containing someone or something with a shock of red hair.
“She’s alright…. “he smiled back at her clearly relieve. “I don’t think they found her”
“Either that or they weren’t looking for her” Anya replied.