"I hate the rain!" I groaned, irritated, as we trudged through the mud.
"No you don't," Ben said and I glared at him. "Oh, relax. We're almost there; I'm sure of it."
We didn't rest once. The full moon gave me the boost I needed. The rain impeded our journey a little but I was too anxious to get to Richard. Also, whatever this presence was, was making me nervous. I felt like if we stopped then we would be attacked. There was no way I'd be able to defend myself in this state.
"Look," Ben said suddenly and pointed ahead of us.
I squinted through the rain.
"Is that smoke or am I seeing things?" I asked
"No, it's smoke," he said. "And it looks like a barn. You think that's the one?"
"I certainly hope so," I said, shaking my wet bangs out of my face.
We got there a few minutes later and I knocked on the barn beside the door.
"Hello?" Ben called.
A man came fluttering off an upper deck and I stared in wonder. I had heard of fairies but never saw one in person. He grinned at me as we walked in, gaping.
"Well, it took yeh long enough," he said then looked over his shoulder. "Yeh know, Mr. Bailey, I think there's somethin' up here that yeh've been missin'."
My heart skipped a beat. Could it be?
I struggled up the ladder, tossing my bag up first. Richard helped me when I stumbled. When I stood up straight, Kendra was standing on the other side of a small table, looking as stunned as I was. I blinked a few times. Was it really her?
"Oi!" Ben shouted. "Gape at her later and get out of the way."
Kendra turned pink and I stepped to the side quickly. He got up and sighed. I swayed a little and he supported me. I thought back to what Duke Moreau said. Kendra had sat back down and the duke and duchess smiled at us.
"I am glad that you were able to find him," Duke Moreau said and I nodded.
"Thanks to Kendra," I said and she flushed.
"He's almost here, folks," Richard said suddenly and I looked around at their grim faces.
"Sit down," he said and Duke Moreau helped me sit down beside Kendra.
Just being near her made me feel stronger and I resisted the urge to reach over and hold her. Richard handed me a bowl of stew and I ate eagerly. It wasn't blood but it gave me something.
"Many years ago, yeh tried to assassinate Duke Abbott," Richard began and I snorted.
"I didn't try anything. He died."
Richard shook his head sadly. "No, no I'm afraid he didn't. He joined our ranks before yeh got to him. That's why it was so easy to get to him."
Duchess Moreau frowned. "You mean he is a vampire?"
"No," Richard said. "He's a fairy."
"You don't seem very happy about that," I said.
"Not all fairies are good," he said. His face and voice were sad. "I can't help yeh fight 'im. I can give yeh my protection when the time comes, though."
I laughed. "Fight?" I repeated. "Yeah right. I can barely walk."
Duke Morea turned to me. "I was trying to tell you but I kept getting interrupted. If you feed from-"
"Come out my friends!" a voice said and I dropped the bowl. It shattered as I stumbled to my feet. "There is no point in hiding anymore!"
I felt like my stomach dropped out of me. It was true. He wasn't dead.
Camille ran for the ladder.
"Camille!" Erik shouted. "Do not just- Damn it!"
She already disappeared down the ladder and so had Kendra.
"Kendra!" Solomon gasped, stumbling to the ladder.
"Solomon! Stop it!" Benjamin said. "You can't-"
He ignored him, though, and jumped down. Everyone froze at the bottom. Duke Abbott was hovering several feet off the ground outside of the barn. Unlike Richard's wings, which were white and a little see through, Duke Abbott's were black and resembled smoke.
"Ah, my dear daughter," he said and Camille snarled. Her vampire was about to take over. "It is so good to see you again."
"I am going to kill you," she snarled.
He looked hurt. "But why? I am alive; you should be happy."
"You had me tortured!" she screamed and Solomon's jaw dropped. So this was their connection. She really was Duke Abbott's daughter and the vampire that escaped. "Then you tried to feed an innocent little girl to me!"
Duke Abbott looked at Kendra whose eyes were red.
"Ah, but it looks like you have taken good care of that innocent little girl." He sneered at Camille and Benjamin stopped Solomon from running forward. This monster tried to make her kill Kendra!? "I really should thank you, though. It was because of you that I thought to become a supernatural being. Now I can never die. But you can. And you will."
Camille was gone now and her vampire ran for Duke Abbott. He looked shocked as she flew through the air and locked her hand around her throat. Erik and Kendra screamed for her as Richard held Colin back.
"Yeh can't do anythin'," he said to a struggling Colin. "He'll kill yeh."
The vampires all ran into the rain, trying to keep an eye on the battle above them. Before Erik could move, Duke Abbott whistled. The air was suddenly full of black imps and they stuttered to a halt. Solomon gaped around at them all. There was no way he could survive this....
"Get ready everyone," Erik said, glaring and snarling at the imps. "Get ready."