Time moved much more slowly in the realm of Darkness then it did for the rest of the world. For Layna, it had only seemed as if hours had gone by. For Adrastos, it had been an eternity. The sun had set seven times on the dragen since his beloved was taken by the ancient vampire. He did not eat, drink or even move. He had barely inched from the spot he dropped at after reaching in vain for her. The shock and pain of losing Layna had utterly paralyzed him, until that moment he heard her sorrowful voice in his head. The jolt of it seemed to jerk him upright, knocking him out of his miserable state. 

“Layna.......Layna! No! There will never be goodbye for us. I will find you. I will search forever if need be....”

Before she heard him, she could feel him. His power and emotions seemed to surge into her mind and body, enveloping her like his arms had done not so long ago. Whatever hope she had lost of seeing or even feeling him was now returning.

“You...can hear me?”

“I can, love, and if I have to tear apart the earth and sky, you will be at my side once more where you belong.” Adrastos rose to his feet, the air around him coming alive with the same fire that raged inside him. As it burned he swore to himself that once he found her, Naris would die.

“Call upon the fire...Only then can you retrieve the half that makes you whole...the Fire will be salvation...”  The voices reverberated through his mind, calming him. It seemed familiar and comforting. Instinct took over as Adrastos closed his eyes and focused his mind on both Layna and the power that surged through them both.  As he reached down towards the earth in front of him, blue fire began to snake upwards from it. The Dragen raised his arms outward and the flames seemed to reach the treetops now, yet they burned nothing they touched. In the center of the wall of flame, darkness spread. 

“Fire, I call upon you to find what is mine…." 

His voice whispered through the chamber. "Layna, feel it, reach for me.”  and as she turned to look for it, she could see an small light growing in the corner. It grew larger and, as if looking through a window, she could see Adrastos on the other side. His appearance frightened her for a moment. She had witnessed his change but this was something more, something intense. The fire that burned around him was blinding and radiated a supreme power unlike anything she had ever seen. Adrastos seemed to be reaching for her. Hesitating for a moment, she began to step towards the image that stood before her. Reaching her hand out, she touched it.

Just as Naris made his way towards the chamber, horror and panic shot straight through the vampire as the voices returned to taunt him once again. "Not yours…Not yours…never….yours…" 

“No, no, no, no!” The vampire’s howl raked through the darkness as he ran back to his chambers, destroying the door and he burst into the room.


“She is MINE”! Naris leapt in vain for Layna as she disappeared into the light. Just as he had taken the female dragen for himself in an instant, she disappeared from him just as quickly. He crumpled to the floor, digging his nails into the very spot her feet had just left.

“No, that was mine..she was my prize! It was gone..I..I wiped it from existence myself..” Disbelief took over as Naris lay in a heap, rambling on in the dark. He had felt this power once, long ago as he fought and destroyed what he thought was the last Dragen, until capturing Layna from the other. He had assumed they were half-breeds when he came across them in the forest. 

Naris had been wrong. The female dragen, his prize, was now gone, taken by something he never imagined would return. 

Dragen. They had existed since the beginning of time. For Naris, they were a plague created by the wretched gods to his Darkness at bay. As his hatred for them grew, so did his power to control the feeble humans the Dragens were supposed to nurture and protect. They were so easy to manipulate and along with his vampire children, he used them to destroy the Dragen one by one. It was only a matter of time until he stood face to face with what he had thought were the last. These Dragen, once the heart of source of power for all, suffered an excruciating and deliberate death at his hands. Naris remembered the night twenty-five seasons ago when he stood over them, their hearts still beating while his children feasted on their flesh. 

The ancient one never knew about the few Dragen that had escaped into the skies, far from his reach, taking with them the last male child. He had never known, until Layna, about the two who had fled from the mountain, using magick to save their child, the last female. 

Slowly Naris lifted himself from the floor, his mind becoming a frenzied mess, with reality slowing slipping from it's grasp.Walking over the bed, he ripped the blanket from it and held it to his face. "I will tear down their mountain, I will…use the stones to beat the life from that one…..rip their skies apart and shove it down his throat….he will watch as I lay claim to my prize…my prize…She will be mine…always mine…"

With a crazed look in his eyes, the vampire continued to ramble as he left the room, dragging the blanket behind him.



The End

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