Blade and Fang stood like they were posing a handshake in a photo. Only they weren’t looking at the imaginary camera, they were looking at each other. Tawny, though fatigued from Kyo’s power, presided over them and treated whatever it was they were doing like a wedding.
“The blood that resides in you both shall unite you. Do you agree to this?” she asked.
The both of them nodded without moving their hands. Tawny produced a knife and beckoned for them to separate their hands. She drew the blade across their palms and beckoned for them to take each other’s hand again.
“Speak now your loyalties” she said.
“I guess I’ll go first. The older brother has to set the example, eh? I guess… I wont try to turn Hallie or to turn her from you. You can call upon me if you need me and I will fight to the death if it means protecting you or your friends” Blade said, his gaze drifting to me as he said ‘friends’.
“And you may call upon me in times of need, brother. I will fight to the death if it means protecting you or your friends. And finally, should I be too far for you to reach, I give you permission to summon me through blood. The blood that this minute flows through both of our veins” Fang said, wincing slightly as Blade squeezed his hand.
“The same to you, brother”.
Tawny pulled their hands apart to inspect their healing. Where the cuts had been now lay a light scar. Tawny nodded at them and they took each other’s arms just above the wrist.
“Blood brothers” Blade said.
“Brothers in arms” Fang said.
“And still no last name. Or reasoning for first names,” Tawny said, mustering up as much energy as she could, “What? I have to keep you guys talking. There’s a strange magic involved in blood brotherhood”.
“Blade for the cause of death” Fang said.
“Fang for the transformation. And for what was left behind” Blade said as Fang pulled a cord necklace with a human canine from underneath his shirt.
“Redfern for the blood of nature” they said together.
“Fang and Blade Redfern” Tawny said quietly.
From their scars a light emanated. Not particularly bright or big but clear enough to be seen through their hands. Tawny smiled, nodded and collapsed onto a nearby sofa. The two brothers shook hands and Morrigan had to stifle a sniffle.
“Brothers” Blade said.
“Forever” Fang said.
“And always” they said in unison and stalked off to opposite sides of the room.
The next few hours were spent discussing what was to happen. Deaths had to be reported and any changes to gangs as well, though the blood brotherhood was to be kept a secret. Aya and Morrigan slipped off to feed and regain their strength, sensing that Blade wasn’t a threat. Tawny said she would wait and Lilith had refused.
“I’m not sure if we can cope with two more mouths to feed. And no offence but it’s two more threats to Hallie” Fang said.
“Only one, brother. I’m not staying” Blade said bluntly.
“Where will you go?” Fang sounded a little desperate.
“I don’t know yet. I always liked South America but Vienna sounds pretty good at the moment. Or maybe Scotland. They drink so much there you can practically get drunk on their blood. It saves a lot of time”.
“Good luck. And good hunting”.
“That’s another thing. I’d appreciate if you didn’t tell The Union about my travelling. I’ve begun to doubt them and, well, I don’t want them following me while I see what else is out there”.
Fang nodded. It seemed Blade was leaving now. He double-checked his swords and knives and headed off into the night. After a long and tearful man hug with Fang, of course. The two of us watched him until he was no longer visible and the sun was creeping into the sky.
Kyo didn’t stay. He mumbled something about giving Ciara a proper funeral and dashed away from the house. As he ran I swear I saw his skin start to glow again.
“Fang, I’m sorry I believed him over you” I said quietly. I never had to speak loudly around the vampires.
“It’s fine. I guess it’s partly my fault for not telling you anything about myself. But Blade always did have a silver tongue. Some of The Union thought it was a power but he never thought so. At least, if he did he never showed it”.
Aya and Morrigan returned, bubbly and excited. Tawny and Fang headed out and I slipped up to my room. I had no intention of sleeping but I just wanted to be alone. I betrayed my friends. Maybe Apollo should have killed me. Maybe he was supposed to kill me as my punishment. I lay back on the bed and stared into blank space. As the light started to filter into the room, my mind began to wander. What happened to Niko? We all just left him. Maybe Blade had completely killed him. What if Apollo wasn’t really dead? What if the only way to kill a vampire was a stake through the heart? No, don’t doubt them. They know their own weaknesses. A sigh escaped me and I heard the door open. Whoever it was made no effort to talk, they just seemed to want to be there. Maybe it was Lilith, coming to stalk the human. Or maybe it was Morrigan. I hadn’t seen much of her lately what with being kidnapped and guarded by Tawny and Fang. When I looked up there was… no one. Had I really heard the door open? Yes. But there was no one in the room except me. Maybe Tawny was back already and had gone into her room. I figured it best not to dwell on the matter and tried to sleep, all the while sensing that someone was in the room with me who didn’t want me to know. Just before I drifted off I hear the door open again and a set of footsteps walking out of the room. Whoever it was, I was glad of their company.