Vampire Girl 2:Midnight Star(3)

By: Karpov Kinrade


Madrid responds, but her words blur together, like two composers playing different songs at the same time.

My eyes close, and the world turns upside down. Something hard hits my head. Someone yells. Hands on my body. Cold. So cold on my hot skin.

I'm being lifted and carried and I don't care because all I want to do is follow the darkness into nothingness.

And so I do.



***



When I wake, I'm wrapped in layers of blankets and wearing a long cotton gown. My hair is a nest of tangles spread over my pillow, and my head still aches, but at least I'm not hallucinating. I try to sit up, but a voice stops me. "Take it slow. You're still weak."

Madrid comes into my view, her flawlessly youthful face juxtaposed against her long white hair and ancient eyes. Her pointed ears are tipped with silver earrings shaped like waves, and she wears a long sea foam green gown pulled at the waist with a thin silver tie. Silver and blue designs cover the hem and chest, and a blue cape falls over her shoulder.

"How long have I been here?" I ask.

"You slept through the night and most of the day. I gave you medicine to heal your illness. Still, you'll feel tired for a few days." She slips a hand behind my back and helps me sit up. The room is warm, the fireplace blazing. I've soaked through my clothing and sheets, and my skin feels clammy, but not nearly as hot as before. "My fever broke," I say.

Madrid nods. "I should have seen how sick you were, but there were other matters to focus on. It was careless of me. You're too valuable to lose."

I look around to make sure the creepy man isn't around before I ask my next question. "Durk said you just needed my blood. Why?"

She hands me a cup of water and sits on a chair by my bed as I drink greedily. I didn't realize how thirsty I am.

"The magic of our people is dying," she says. "When the demons came from the sky and slaughtered the High Fae, the Spirits left us."

"Spirits?"

"There are five, and they go by many names. We call them Riku, Wadu, Tauren, Zyra, and Yami. Riku is fire, passion, and the shaping of truth. Wadu is water, peace, and healing. Tauren is earth, strength, and life. Zyra is wind, knowledge, and wisdom. And Yami… Yami is all of them, and none of them. Yami is life. Death. Balance. Hope. He has more names than the others. One you may have heard… the Midnight Star."

She stares into the fireplace, her eyes distant, lost in some faraway memory. "When the last High Fae died, Yami died with her. Our magic began to fade. The other Spirits grew weak and turned to slumber. They were locked away, hidden throughout our world, to be kept safe for when…" She stares into my eyes. "For when Midnight Star returns."

I swallow the lump in my throat. "I can't help you."

"You can. You will." She grabs my hand. "If your blood is strong enough, and I believe it is, you can reverse our plight. You can bring back the ancient ones and restore our magic. Only then can we survive. Only then can we live."

I pull my hand away. "I'm the wrong girl. Find someone else."

She smiles, and it's a sad, wistful smile. "There is no one else. We Fae are bound to our magic. And when our magic dies, we die."

I say nothing. I can't tell her what she wants to hear.

Madrid sighs. She opens her mouth, as if to say something, but then she stands and heads to the door. "I'll leave you to bathe and dress. Now that you're awake, we mustn't lose any time."

Before she leaves, I have one more question. "Did you know my father?"

She pauses. "Yes, I knew him well. You have his eyes."

"What was he like?"

She cocks her head, thinking. "He was impetuous. Reckless. Careless. But he was also kind. He was a good man who didn't deserve his fate." With those words, she closes the door, and I hear the lock click.

I carefully lift my body out of bed, testing my own weight on my shaking legs. The cold stone floor is covered in carpets that cushion my steps and keep my feet warm. I walk slowly to the door I assume is the bathroom and find a large tub in the center filled with steaming water. There is a robe draped over a chair by the bath, and jars of scented oils and soaps sit on the ledge. I step in, testing the heat with my toe, then pull off my gown and sink into the hot water.

My body is full of bruises and aches, and the heat steals some of them away, at least for a time. I sniff at the bottles of soaps and pick one that smells of roses to drop into my bath.

Then I lean back and close my eyes. I wish I could escape for a moment. Pretend I am home with Fen, with Baron waiting for me on my bed. Or more likely sitting by the bath with his head leaning on the tub's ledge for me to pet.

Home. Is that what Stonehill is to me now? Home? Not Oregon? Not my mother? But Stonehill Castle and Fen and Baron and Kayla and…

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