"Kendra!" I sobbed as I heard her scream upstairs. "No! You let her go, you bastard!"
Erik and I were pulling on the door handle with all of our strength. Gertrude and Howard hung in the back at Erik's orders, cradling the terrified kitten. With another tug, the doorknob popped out of the door and I stumbled back into Erik.
The door opened and I gasped in horror as Kendra was thrown back in. She was covered in blood. I caught her and fell to my knees.
"I'm sorry," she said in a hoarse voice. "He said that-that if I did it, he-he would let you live." Her eyes were closing. "He lied."
"Oh Kendra," I sobbed and looked over her body. "Oh, you never should have made that deal! He would sure have not followed through!"
There were bite marks everywhere. She had one on her neck, five on her stomach, and several on her thighs. I sobbed when I realized what happened.
"Kendra, did he give you any of his blood?" I asked. Her eyes were closed and her chest was barely moving. "Kendra!" I said, shaking her. "Kendra, you open your eyes this second!"
She moaned but obeyed. Gertrude sobbed.
"No, Mama," she managed. "He bit me but he didn't-"
She coughed, blood coming out of her mouth. Color was draining from her face and I sobbed.
"I am so sorry. I am so very sorry."
I bit into the left side of her neck and drank some of her blood. Her gasp was wet as she choked on her blood. I quickly pulled back and bit frantically into my wrist. I pressed it to her lips but her eyes were shut and her breathing labored.
"You have to drink," I said. "Please, Kendra, if you do not drink you will die!"
She opened her mouth and I pressed my wrist to her teeth. She closed her eyes as she drank my blood and I sobbed, hating myself and the monster upstairs. Kendra's head fell back and her body went limp. I was shaking and waiting just as Erik had waited when he turned me.
Her eyes blinked open, no longer brown but blue.
"I am so sorry," I repeated and held her tightly.
"It's okay, Mama," she rasped. "I am tired."
"Sleep," I whispered, stroking her hair.
She looked at me, her eyes dull.
"Will I die?"
You already have.
"No, sweetheart," I said.
Cami struggled free of Gertrude's arms and jumped onto Kendra's chest. Kendra smiled at the kitten and her eyes slowly closed. I looked up for Erik but he was gone. The door was wide open and I lowered Kendra to the floor. I stood up, feeling unnaturally calm.
"Where did he go?" I asked quietly.
"I-I don't know," Gertrude said. Howard was lifting Kendra into the bed. "Once he saw poor Kendra, he ran out."
I groaned and focused. I could see him somewhere in the house, fighting Benjamin. Fighting the monster that raped and nearly killed my daughter.
I felt my fangs grow and snarled, running out of the room, too. I'd find the bastard and kill him!
I followed the smell of Erik's blood up the stairs. Dead servants were scattered through the halls and I kicked open a door. There, on the floor, were Erik and Benjamin. They were locked in a fight. Erik's vampire was close to taking over and I knew mine was, as well. I saw blood on the sheets and Benjamin tried to bite Erik's neck.
The world went black.
"Mama, wake up. Papa said it's time to wake up."
I groaned and blinked, looking around. I was on the floor of the room Benjamin and Erik had been fighting in. My head was in Erik's lap and I looked over. A mangled body, its head severed, was beside us.
"Do not look, Kendra," I said, my voice hoarse.
"I've already seen it," she whispered and I looked at her.
I caressed her cheek, my hand covered in blood that wasn't mine.
"I am sorry," I said again.
She managed a smile. "It's okay. I promise."
"Go downstairs, Kendra," Erik whispered. "I need to talk to her."
"Yes, Papa," she said and left the room.
"What happened?" I murmured as he helped me sit up in his lap.
"What is the last thing you remember?"
"That bastard raped her," I sobbed. "I had to turn her, Erik! I saw you fighting him and found you. I saw the blankets and then he tried to bite you."
He nodded. "Your vampire took over," he explained, stroking my hair. "Your anger and grief for Kendra overwhelmed you." He sighed. "So, when you came in and saw us fighting, you tore him off of me. You fought for a few minutes then you.... Well, you ripped his head off and threw it in the fire." He gestured to his body. "I did that."
I gasped in horror, covering my mouth.
"Did I really?" I whispered and he nodded grimly. "But I would never do such a thing!"
"Your vampire would, though," he said. "That is what happens, Camille. Your vampire will do anything to protect you and those you love."
I looked at my body. I was covered in blood, blood I still knew wasn't mine. My hair was sticky with blood and Erik was wiping blood off of my face.
"All those servants in the hall," I said. "Were they you?"
"No," he said, helping me stand. "Ilya helped."
I frowned. "How did he find us?"
"Richard," he said. "Apparently, Benjamin was able to stop us from getting to Richard. When the fairy realized something was wrong, he contacted Ilya. I ran into him as I was going to find Benjamin once I knew you had helped Kendra."
I sobbed. "I had to turn her."
He held me close even though I was drenched in blood.
"You saved her," Erik whispered. "She holds no ill will toward you. Come on, we need to go."
"Go where?" I asked.
"I want to see if Kendra still has her marble."
We walked downstairs. Ilya was standing with Gertrude and Howard. Kendra stood to the side, stroking Cami. The door was open and I sighed at the pouring rain.
"Do you still have the marble?" Erik asked after hugging Kendra.
She hung her head. "No. He threw it in the fire when I tried to use it to get away."
"It is not your fault," Ilya said, putting his arm around her shoulders. "Do not blame yourself."
"But I promised Richard I wouldn't lose it."
I kissed her forehead. "I am sure he would understand."
I sighed and stepped out of Erik's arms. He let me go as I walked outside. I turned my face up to the rain, feeling it wash the blood off my face and out of my hair. As I put my hand on my stomach, I wondered if that prophecy had been true. Now that he was dead, though, I didn't really care.
Someone walked up beside me and Kendra held my hand. Cami was under Kendra's arm, hiding from the rain. I was surprised the kitten had survived it all. I sighed and Erik came up on my other side. Gertrude held Kendra's hand, Howard held Gertrude's, and Ilya put his hand on Erik's shoulder.
"What now?" Kendra asked after a while.
"There is a new... colony of sorts," Ilya said. "It is called New York. It is in America." He smiled at us. "It seems like as good a place as any to make a new start, would you agree?"
I smiled and leaned into Erik. "Anywhere away from London," I sighed.
We stood quietly in the rain. Eventually, I let go of Erik's hand to put mine on my stomach. Erik put his arm around me and I held Kendra's hand tighter. This was my family and I would never let anyone hurt them again.