My eyes fluttered open to a room submerged in darkness.
For a few seconds I was disorientated, not remembering anything that had happened. But then it all flooded back; Jester chained to the wall, Katarina demonstrating how dangerous and incredibly immune she was to any form of attack. We had finally stumbled across the Evil and we were totally unprepared. When would we ever be prepared though? She was obviously very potent and powerful, much more so then Scott.
I sat up against the headboard, wincing as I did so. It would seem that some of the pain Katarina had bestowed upon me was still lingering within me, ready to flare up at any sudden movement. What had she done to me?
'Ana?' Lukah seemed to materialize out of nowhere. 'How are you feeling?'
'A little out of it actually,' I told him.
He came to sit beside me on the bed, folding his hands behind his head.
'You got hurt pretty bad. I told you it was dangerous getting involved with the Evil.'
'It's not like I had a choice,' I scoffed. 'She had Je- Jester! Where is he?!'
Lukah fell into silence and I groaned. 'He didn't come back with us, did he?'
'I'm sorry Ana,' he said quietly. 'You were unconscious and I think he panicked. He just burst into this catlike creature and attacked Katarina. I took you out of the room and said the spell Demrin had told me and we wound up back here.'
'Great,' I sighed. 'All of that for nothing. Am I ever going to get him back?'
An awkward silence ensued. I realized how difficult it must be for Lukah to hear about these kind of things and I bit my tongue for my tactlessness.
'Sorry, I shouldn't be telling you this. How's Reuben?'
'I don't know actually, he's been holed up in his room.'
'I suppose I should see him,' I got off the bed, ignoring the flare of pain shooting through my head. I padded across the hallway and knocked lightly on the room my brother had taken up residence in. Moments later, the door swung open. His expression completely changed when he saw me; his eyes lit up and a massive grin stretched from ear to ear. I hadn't missed the flicker of emotion before that though, he had been troubled.
'Ana!' He pulled me into a hug. 'I'm so glad you're safe. Sorry to hear about Jester. I'm sure there's some other way Demrin can bring him back.'
'Yeah thanks. Listen, is something bothering you?'
'Lukah says you've been holed up in your room. Like a hermit.' I joked half-heartedly.
'I just - I was just worried about you, that's all.' He looked away.
'It's more than that isn't it?' I said seriously.
'Calla's pregnant,' he replied bluntly.
I was stunned into complete and utter silence.
'It was awful, she just broke down. I didn't know what to say, it was like she was really suffering from it.'
'Bloody hell,' I whistled. 'Who's the father?'
'She doesn't know,' he went on. 'It could be either Adder or Demrin.'
'I didn't know vampires could even have children. I didn't know that was possible.'
'Neither did she,' Reuben shrugged his shoulders. 'I just left her to it anyway. I don't deal with pregnant hormonal women well.'
'Wow, could you be any more insensitive?' I arched an eyebrow. 'I'm gonna go see if she's okay.'
I left him alone and creaked back across the floorboards, knowing already where she'd be. Of course she was in the piano room, a figure slumped with misery and heartbreak, fingers flying almost automatically across the ivory keys, creating a melody so melancholy that I really felt her pain and sorrow.
'Calla?' I called softly. She didn't turn at my voice, she just continued playing. I wondered if it was soothing to her, to be able to put her emotions and words she couldn't express verbally into the melodies that the piano provided her with. I sat down beside her on the piano bench.
'I heard about your news.'
'Reuben told you.' Her voice was dead.
'Yeah, he was worried about you,' I half lied. 'Have you told Adder or Demrin?'
'I told Adder,' she sniffed glumly, finally looking up at me. 'Of course he didn't believe it. I have a hard time believing it myself. Vampires can't create children, neither can succubus's. What kind of a fucked up world is this?! Is this some sort of sick joke?'
'Calla relax,' I soothed. 'Things'll turn out okay.'
'How can you say that Ana?' her eyes, tear-stained and darkened by her mascara searched mine out wildly, her forehead creased.
'I just...they have to don't they?' I said quietly. 'They can't stay like this forever. Things have to change. Tell Demrin. Maybe he'll know what to do.'
'What? And risk getting yelled at by another loved one? I don't think I want to thanks.'
'Adder yelled at you?'
'He was furious Ana,' she sighed. 'Which is understandable.'
I pulled a face. It didn't seem right to me that Calla should have to suffer more than she already had. I suddenly thought of Jester, trapped in that godforsaken room with Katarina, getting tortured time and time again...
Before I knew what I was doing, I had left Calla in the piano room and was now knocking on the door of the person I least expected to be talking to.
'Go away, Ana.' Adder's voice called from inside. It unnerved me a little that he knew it was me without even looking, but I ignored the twist in my stomach and pushed the door open, trying to display as much confidence as I could muster.
'Adder...what are you doing?'
'Please, just get out.' He was laying on the bed, staring at the ceiling. His brow was furrowed and his fists were slowly clenching and unclenching across his stomach.
'Look, I know we've never gotten on before and it's probably none of my business, but Calla doesn't deserve this. Don't you think she's suffered enough? You yelling at her and acting like none of this matters isn't going to help the situation.'
'So what?' he sat up suddenly. 'You think you'd just waltz in here, have a go at me for the way I acted when I found out I might be having a child? You're so naive.'
For some strange reason, this made me angry. 'No. I'm not having a go at you at all. What I am going to tell you though is that life is too short and life is fragile. Right now Jester's locked up in London and there's nothing I can do to save him. He could even be dead for all I know. I just don't understand how you can brush Calla off like she's nothing. You have to appreciate the time you have with the ones you love, because in the blink of an eye it could be over.'
'Don't you think I know that? That's not the case. It's...' he sighed, exasperated. 'The fact that it may not even be mine infuriates me so much. I can't even...can't even express any emotion at it because Demrin would know. Of mine and Calla's love.'
'Even so, don't you think you should be there for her, regardless of the outcome?'
'I want her to be happy,' he began.
'But she's not,' I cut him off. 'Even I can see that. It's as clear as daylight. She's not going to be happy unless you acknowledge that this life, this child could be yours. You might be a father Adder, and that's a big responsibility. You don't want this child to grow up wondering "what if" do you?'
I tried to smile at him. 'Sort it out. Before it's too late.'
I pulled the door shut behind me on the way out.