“Chrystel, NO!” I yelled but she had already disappeared through the door, Padhllum right on her heels.
“Come on!” Liam yelled as he we took off after her. My heart raced as my feet thundered on the hallways hard wood floor. We slid around the corner and found ourselves at the top of the stair case. The mansion’s front door was wide open and snow slipped through onto the marble flooring below. But that wasn’t what troubled me. On the floor was an older man with a regal intelligence about him, Chrystel’s father. He was pinned below an all too familiar figures boot. His blind eye glaring up at me as I stared in horror, agonizing memories of the past flooding back to me. Lira snarled as Liam tried to near her. Under her angry talons was Padhllum, Chrystel was nearby lying weakly on the ground.
“Ah Vladimir, so good of you to join us. It all seems like yesterday doesn’t it?”
“Fenrir! I’LL KILL YOU MYSELF!” I roared. His twisted smile grew.
“You’d like that wouldn’t you, to clasp your hands around my throat. To squeeze the life from my veins!”
“Damn Right! You murdered my parents you BASTARD!” Tears dripped down my face as the pain stung in my shoulder and heart. Liam looked up to me sensing something was terribly wrong. I fell to my knees at the top of the stairs, my hand tightly clutching my mother’s necklace.
“You could have saved them Vladimir, if you hadn’t hidden. You were a coward and your parents died because of it! It’s your fault they’re dead!” I looked up, shocked. It felt as if a bullet had struck my heart. Doubt crept into my mind like a mist. What if what he says was true? What if it was all my fault?
“VLAD! Don’t listen to him!” Chrystel yelled bravely. My gaze shifted to her. I felt my emotions constricting and coiling like snakes. Liam nudged my cheek, his crimson eyes glaring.
“You didn’t put the knife into mother or father. We fought back all those years ago, remember? Because of us he is blind. We hid to one day find their killer and bring him to justice! To avenge their wrongful deaths! Now get on your feet and fight like a true Markov, without doubt or fear!” Liam spoke honestly yet with a guiding tone. He pushed me, urging me to my feet.
“Never give up Vlad!” Chrystel said with a weak smile on her face. I stood feeling an energy surge through my veins, hope. I glared at Lira and her master.
“Let them go!” I demanded. The murderer just laughed, Lira purring loudly as Padhllum struggled to get free.
“You are in no position to deal,” he said venomously. Delicately he pulled a knife from his coat, the one that had wounded me and murdered countless others. The man crouched next to Chrystel’s father and pressed the blade lightly against his throat. The father whimpered softly as his peacock soul lie unconscious beside him. I gasped suddenly seeing what the man had put in place.
“You my dear Vlad, have a choice. I came in here to kill one person and my thirst will be sated! But I leave it to you to choose. Will it be your girl?” He pointed to Chrystel as Lira dug her fangs into Padhllum’s neck momentarily, Chrystel screamed trying to pull the invisible teeth from her neck. Tears poured off my face as I could do nothing but watch her suffer. Lira let her bite go and she stopped.
“Or will be the father? The one who torments his daughter and where nothing is good enough for him. Where his daughters perfection must be perfected! The one who started it all!” I felt as if my own heart had been ripped out.
“You…” I said breathlessly staring at the father. He looked up to me terror and regret filling his eyes.
“I’m so sorry. I never wanted it to go this far! It wasn’t supposed to happen like this!” He sobbed. I took a few steps down the stairs as the murderer drank in my awful realization.
“Why?” I choked with emotion, but he didn’t acknowledge me and only looked to his daughter.
“Chrystel I’m sorry for all of this. For what I put you through, for everything. I love you and don’t you ever forget that!” Chrystel just watched her father with glassy eyes. The murderer presses the knife a bit harder into the fathers neck and he yelped loudly.
“Choose Vladimir! Or I will !” Lira snarled in agreement. I looked to Liam who was shaking beside me, tears dripped from his crimson eyes. He was in as much disbelief as I was.
“Stop!” I shouted shutting my eyes. My features slackened with resignation. “Take me, just leave them alone. Don’t hurt them.” Defeated I looked the murderer straight in the eye. Shock flitted across his features only momentarily before he stood.
“Without a fight?” His voice seemed to muse. I nodded.
“NO Vlad! What are you doing?” Chrystel screamed at me, trying to stand but failing. I looked at her feeling the color drain from my face and the shimmer in my eyes dull.
“I’m doing what I couldn’t do 10 years ago. I’m saving the one I love.” I turned to the murderer, not wanting her expression to change my mind.
“Shall we Vladimir, you and I are going to spend some quality time together before I’m done with you!” The murderer taunted viciously. I walked out into the numbing storm, but couldn’t feel a thing. My senses and feelings had fallen numb. I had saved Chrystel and her father, which gave me some solace. Liam slunk next to me his head and tail down eyes staring just a pace ahead. Lira and her master appeared behind me and pushed me into the trunk of a small jet black car. I didn’t fight it, this was the end. Why fight the inevitable. He closed the trunk, Liam and I lying side by side.
“I;m sorry Liam.” I whispered as I hugged him tightly, feeling his soft fur on my face. He just looked at me, silent as the grave.