Cedric watched quietly as Xeann sunk her teeth into her third rabbit to drink it dry. He heard her thirsty gulps of blood and a satisfied sigh when she dropped the dead body next to its friends.
‘Rabbit blood has never tasted so good,’ she moaned and licked her blood stained lips.
‘Are you satisfied, Mummy?’ Cedric asked with a curious tilt of the head.
‘Yes, I am,’ Xeann lay back in the grass and breathed happily ‘It’s good to indulge when you’ve been deprived for over a year.’ She closed her eyes and smiled. Cedric smiled back and snuggled into her arms, hugging her tightly whilst resting his head upon her bosom. Xeann ran her fingers through his hair with a sigh. ‘So what was it like living with your Father?’
‘It was uncomfortable,’ Cedric said as he sighed softly under Xeann’s touch ‘Father would make me torture the condemned and experience sex with them.’
‘Aw, my poor baby,’ Xeann cooed and pressed a kiss onto his forehead ‘Don’t worry, Mummy’s here.’ Cedric closed his eyes whilst Xeann looked up at the tower. ‘Cedric, can you get me any closer to the tower?’
‘Sure I can,’ Cedric said as he slowly opened his eyes ‘In fact, I think the Queen is out with her daughter right now.’
‘Out of curiosity, what did the Queen name her?’ Xeann asked as they both stood up.
‘I wasn’t told that information,’ Cedric shrugged helplessly.
‘Really? Your Father won’t let you know the name of your younger half-sister?’ Xeann raised an eyebrow.
‘How do you know she’s my half-sister?’ Cedric frowned.
‘Please, if the Queen doesn’t have a King then clearly her right hand man, Nightmare, has impregnated her.’
‘Uncle Horror might have impregnated her…’
‘Did Horror impregnate her?’
‘…No.’ Xeann smiled and kissed Cedric’s nose.
‘Come on, let’s go to the tower,’ she said and led him towards the tower.
As they walked through the beautiful forest, Xeann took her time to examine her surroundings. There were so many woodland animals and so many different plants Xeann hadn’t seen in over a year. It brought a warm smile to her face as she smelt in the fresh air and listened to the animals. She ran her hand amongst the bushes as she kept walking in the direction of the tower. Cedric trailed behind her, a content smile on his face as he watched Xeann hum merrily to herself. Xeann eventually stopped when she saw the clear blue sky above them and turned to Cedric.
‘The Nightmare Blanket isn’t around the crater,’ she said and Cedric nodded ‘Are there any other places where there’s a hole in the blanket?’
‘There are small holes over some cities and towns that have agreed to co-operate with the Queen,’ Cedric nodded ‘Those who work for the Queen are gained the luxuries of having natural sunlight and normal conditions of that area.’
‘Well who’d have thought?’ Xeann hummed ‘People actually have agreed to work for her.’
‘We’re here.’ Xeann paused as they stood behind a couple of trees. Xeann slowly climbed the tree she was behind and crawled onto one of the thicker branches. She pushed away the leaves gently and saw that she was above a large field of forget-me-nots. In the middle of that field was Florence with a small six month old baby in her arms. Xeann could hear Florence singing to her daughter whilst tossing her in the air. The baby giggled and gurgled happily. Xeann could see that the baby had a fine layer of dark blue hair over her tiny head, confirming her suspicions that it was Nightmare’s daughter.
‘So that’s your little half-sister and you don’t even know her name,’ Xeann whispered to Cedric who remained to stay on the ground. Cedric shrugged helplessly as Xeann looked around more. Her eyes narrowed when she saw Nightmare standing by the entrance of the tower with his signature grin, watching Florence with his bright blue eyes. She scanned the area more to see Horror with a younger looking woman who had her long sleek silver tied up into a tight braid, flirting with her shamelessly. Rolling her eyes, she continued scanning the area. Her lips curled up into a snarl when she smelt a werewolf and saw Cody nearby. He was just relaxing in the sun in his tame wolf form, his brilliant golden fur glistening in the sunlight. Xeann averted her eyes to avoid being blinded.
‘Oi, you!’ Xeann looked around in alarm and yelped when someone landed on her back. The branch she was clinging onto snapped and Xeann screamed as she fell and landed in the field with a loud thump.
‘Iris, you need to be gentler!’ another voice said as the person got off Xeann’s back.
‘Iris?’ Xeann perked up and glanced up at the young woman with long black hair and deep purple eyes ‘Iris Miura?’
‘Who wants to know?’ Iris raised an eyebrow and popped her bubble gum that she had been chewing and blowing.
‘Your sisters are worried sick!’ Xeann said as she got up to her feet ‘I believe you had another sister named…Cecilia?’
‘Yes, that’s me!’ a young woman with long white curly hair and bright golden eyes ran over with a soft giggle ‘Hiya! What are you doing here?’
‘Cecilia, you’re not supposed to be friendly to intruders,’ Iris sighed and rolled her eyes.
‘Aw, but I haven’t seen someone new in such a long time!’ Cecilia pouted and hugged Iris tightly.
‘Well don’t get so friendly with a hot woman like this!’ Iris snarled and looked away ‘You know I don’t like it when you make new friends!’
‘Aw, there’s no need to be jealous,’ Cecilia smiled warmly and kissed the corner of Iris’s mouth ‘You know I’ll always love you and only you.’ Xeann grimaced sympathetically when she saw the light blush across Iris’s cheeks and took a deep breath.
‘Let me guess, you two ran away from home so your parents wouldn’t find out about the incest lesbian relationship between you two,’ she said.
‘Who wants to know?’ Iris snarled at her and Xeann raised an eyebrow.
‘That is a very rude attitude you have there, young lady,’ she retorted.
‘Well if it isn’t our little birdie!’ Horror exclaimed when he saw Xeann. Xeann snarled at him and brought her blades out when everyone jumped to their feet when they acknowledged her presence. Florence blinked when she saw Xeann and smiled, standing up with her daughter in her arms.
‘This is an honour, Miss Murphy,’ she said and curtseyed to Xeann ‘I am very happy to be graced by your presence this fine day.’
‘The feeling is mutual,’ Xeann said curtly as Cedric stepped forward.
‘Ooo~!’ Nightmare exclaimed and cackled when he saw Cedric ‘Has little Cedric found his Mumsie?’
‘You no longer have any responsibility over my son,’ Xeann snarled ‘Now that you have another ‘experiment’ to play with, I won’t let you have my son any longer!’ Florence reacted sharply by stepping back and cradling her daughter close to her, glaring at Xeann. Nightmare grinned and mocked fear.
‘What are you going to do, dearie?’ he asked ‘Are you going to…kill me?’
‘With my holy water, I hope so!’ Xeann snarled and ran forward to attack Nightmare. She froze and skidded to a halt when Florence abruptly stood in her path. Florence smirked and unzipped her dress down to reveal that she was wearing a dark purple tank and matching shorts. Xeann saw that her daughter was in the other young woman’s arms by the tower. She stepped back warily as Florence stepped out of her dress to show off her dark purple ballet shoes. Florence smirked and unsheathed dark purple claws from her knuckles.
‘I want to fight you,’ she said and grinned widely at Xeann ‘Please fight me.’ Xeann’s eyes widened when she saw a familiar glint from Florence’s mouth. Studying her further, Xeann covered her mouth with wide eyes.
‘You’re a turned vampire,’ she said and narrowed her eyes ‘You’re underage! That is punishable by silver whip!’
‘It’s not illegal when a demon has a hand in it, dearie,’ Nightmare grinned and wagged his finger at Xeann.
‘You…’ Xeann snarled at Nightmare then turned to Florence ‘I accept your challenge.’ Florence’s eyes lit up happily and she clapped gleefully.
‘Oh good! I’ve heard so much about your technique from Horror and Nightmare!’ she grinned and widened her stance, ready to fight Xeann ‘Come and get me.’
Xeann narrowed her eyes and charged towards Florence. Florence giggled and pirouetted out of the way, making Xeann screech to a halt. Florence turned sharply and attacked Xeann by raking her claws down Xeann’s shoulder when the vampire was disorientated. Xeann snarled in pain and swiped one blade at the teenager. She stumbled as she got hallucinations of the deaths of her children and shook her head to get rid of them, slashing her other blade at Florence to try and distract herself from the visions. Florence leapt out of the way and giggled, pirouetting on the spot.
‘Come and get me, Xeann,’ she challenged as her bright magenta eyes glowed eerily ‘I’m waiting…’
‘You’re a very arrogant lady,’ Xeann growled and Florence just simpered.
‘Why thank you,’ she curtseyed gracefully.
Xeann narrowed her eyes and stood tall. She took her cloak off and let it fall to her feet. She snapped her utility belt off next so she was in just her bodice, trousers and boots. She brought her blades up and ran towards Florence again, slightly quicker now without the heavy weight. Florence bent her knees and leapt over Xeann with a smirk. Xeann skidded to a halt again and hissed when Florence dug her claws into her back. Everything became distorted for Xeann as the claws dug deep into Xeann’s flesh.
‘This is so disappointing,’ Florence sighed as Xeann looked over her shoulder to glare at the shorter vampire ‘I was so hoping to have such a challenging fight after all these months of having to use magic and making sure I didn’t miscarry my child.’
‘I’m sorry but I never learned how to dance ballet,’ Xeann growled in distain towards her ‘But I did learn to tango.’ She quickly pulled her back out of Florence’s claws and turned swiftly, high-kicking Florence in the face. Florence grunted in pain and stumbled slightly from the sudden attack whilst Xeann fell to her hands and knees as everything rushed back undistorted. Florence giggled to herself and clapped her hands.
‘Bravo, Xeann,’ she grinned ‘I knew you were just getting warmed up!’
Xeann glared up at her, panting heavily before taking her gloves off and spitting in her hand. She smeared her saliva on the claw marks on her back before placing her gloves and blades down and got up, readying her fists for more fighting. Florence grinned and ran towards Xeann with her claws. Xeann suddenly grabbed Florence’s right wrist and jerked her arm up sharply so their bodies were pressed together. Florence blinked in surprise as Xeann grabbed her left wrist quickly and sharply kneed her in the belly. Florence grunted in pain and Xeann held her wrists together and began spinning her round and round until she finally let her go and sent Florence flying over the trees of the forest next to the forget-me-not field. Nightmare and Horror gasped in mock wonder and clapped her with grins.
‘Simply wonderful, dearie,’ Nightmare cackled.
‘Encore, encore!’ Horror jeered and Xeann narrowed her eyes at them, her fist simply itching to punch them in their faces. Florence came back quickly, pulling some branches and leaves out of her hair and grinned at Xeann.
‘I didn’t expect any less from the great Xeann,’ she giggled and Xeann brought her fists up again to fight her ‘Let’s kick it up a notch!’
Xeann’s eyes widened as Florence suddenly disappeared from view and growled in pain when she felt claws digging into her side. She turned her head sharply towards the side as everything became distorted in her vision again. She saw Florence’s wide smirk and heard the cries of her children. They were calling to her, telling her to come back home and Xeann saw visions of them getting killed by soldiers behind Florence. Her eyes were wide in terror as the claws dug deeper and deeper into her skin until finally she collapsed to the ground. The claws slipped out of her body as they did and she heard the jeers and cheers from Nightmare and Horror. She looked up at Florence’s smug face and snarled at her in contempt. Her hands felt the familiar handles of her blades and Xeann gripped them tightly on instinct. Florence poised her claws above her head and went to claw at Xeann’s face. Xeann was quicker though. She used all her strength to slash her blades across Florence’s face. There was a shriek of concern as Florence gasped in shock as the force of Xeann’s blades threw her back and she landed in the forget-me-nots, blood covering her face. Xeann scrambled to her feet and pressed a hand to her wound in her side tightly as she looked down at Florence with laboured breathing.
‘Get her back inside!’ the young woman with Florence’s daughter shouted and Cody rushed to Florence’s side to pick her up and carry her into the tower.
‘Iris, you know what to do, pumpkin,’ Horror winked at Iris and Cecilia who had been watching from one of the trees. Iris scowled and stood up, her shadow covering Xeann as she did so.
‘Destiny!’ she shouted and the earth shook at her voice. Xeann stumbled and Cedric rushed to her side to support her.
‘Mummy, we need to get out of here!’ Cedric shouted over the loud rumbling and began pulling Xeann away.
‘Why? What’s Destiny?’ Xeann asked as she stood her ground.
‘No. LXXXVII,’ Cedric explained and Xeann’s eyes widened in a panic ‘Destiny and I don’t know her real name to shut her down.’
‘Your Father really knows how to inconvenience people,’ Xeann sighed tiredly and yelped when a hand sprouted from the earth. She stepped back warily as a young looking girl with short white hair to her shoulders and neon blue eyes crawled out and stood still in front of them. She was about Xeann’s height but her facial features looked so young, Xeann would say she was about five or six years old.
‘Destiny!’ Iris shouted to her ‘Kill the Vampire Mother and her eldest son!’ Xeann stood in front of Cedric and watched as Destiny raised her hand up to turn it into a gun.
‘Oh dear,’ she whispered softly.
‘Mummy, let’s go!’ Cedric gave Xeann another sharp yank and Xeann ran with him into the forest. Destiny began shooting them and Xeann grunted as her hand was caught by one of the bullets. Cedric dragged her into a shady spot where they were safe from the bullets and Xeann hissed as she pulled the bullet out.
‘Silver bullets,’ she whispered as her hand began steaming and threw the bullet aside ‘Cedric, is there anywhere that’s safe?’
‘We have to keep moving every fifteen minutes at least,’ Cedric breathed as he used his cloak to wrap around Xeann’s hand.
‘No, don’t do that!’ Xeann hissed at him and pulled her injured hand away ‘This wound needs to bleed out for about a minute to get the silver out of my system. Just get me into one of the caves in the crater!’
‘OK, Mummy,’ Cedric nodded and led her away through the forest. Xeann ran with him, leaving a trail of blood on the grass and leaves behind her.