Chapter 2: Before the duel
“So she wants to help me I hear,” Marcus stated as he handed Luke a wooden practice sword.
“You heard that? She does want to help you that’s right.” Luke answered taking the sword.
Marcus shook his head. “I don’t know how she thinks she can help me. Her offer is generous, but she doesn’t know how deep the scars I have are.”
“I know, but she’s never afraid to try. “
Marcus was silent for a moment, looking down and the sword he held. “She’s only human. The bond you have with her is not possible with me. What power does she have?”
Lucas chuckled. “I think you underestimate her Marcus. You saw her memories. You know as much about her as I do. She cares. She can feel emotions more than anyone I have ever met in my life. She doesn’t know you well but that doesn’t matter.”
“True, you have chosen well for yourself. Now let us begin. Pretend that I am Damian. Balance is important. Your footwork has to keep you away from his blade. You will be able to anticipate my moves. However, you have the keep your grip on the handle light enough that you can move but not too strong.” Marcus stepped forward taking a swing at Luke his blade aimed at his shoulder.
Lucas stepped back, almost tripping and blocked Marcus blade at the last second. “Alright.”
Marcus stepped backward and moved at Lucas again maker his moves faster and more direct. His swung his blade diagonally at Lucas. Lucas dodged the blow as the blade hit the ground inches away from his side. Lucas got to his feet and shoved his sword upward towards Marcus’s face, which he promptly blocked.
“You are moving too slow. Your moves are broken and clumsy. In sword fighting, you need to move as if the sword is a part of you.” Marcus instructed, stepping back again.
Lucas nodded, realizing the blade didn’t feel a part of him yet. “This is harder than it looks.”
“It takes practice. I wasn’t this good in the beginning. Again.”
Lucas starting pacing, careful of his footwork as Marcus followed suit.
“If you become too emotional your focus will be clouded.” Marcus reminded him.
He moved his sword again and Luke blocked the blade. Marcus started to push him forward, surprising Lucas. Marcus shoved his blade further putting more pressure on Luke’s blade. Lucas hit the nearby wall, still holding his blade. Lucas growled and kicked at Marcus, he flipped over landing on his feet onto the wall. Marcus came at him again spreading his bat-like wings. His blade came down at Lucas in a vertical motion but Lucas blocked out, batting the blade out of his way. Lucas ducked again as Marcus tried again, the blade hitting the edge of the ceiling. Lucas climbed on the ceiling and managed to grab Marcus’s leg, pulling him to the floor of the ceiling. Marcus blocked Lucas blade as he was aiming for his chest. Their blades met multiple times, Lucas kept up with his footwork easier this time. Lucas threw his blade at Marcus which he dodged, but Lucas turned around and grabbed him from behind, catching him off guard. Lucas bit down on his shoulder hard. Luke spread his own wings and started to bring them back down to the ground. Marcus was struggling to try to pull Luke off him. He clawed at Luke’s hand, which caused him to release his grip from that hand. However, Lucas was managed to keep his grip on Marcus’s shoulder. They both crashed to the floor, Lucas crawled out from Marcus and grabbed his sword, pointing at him as Marcus stood pausing. Marcus was already starting to heal the bite mark on his shoulder.
“Good, you are making progress. I don’t know if Damian will choose to bring anything with him.”
Lucas pulled that blade away from Marcus’s neck and nodded. “Probably not. But you never know with Damian.”
“You have more motivation to fight than Damian does,” Montavius replied, watching them practice a safe distance away.
They were now located in the spacious gym area.
Luke nodded. “Yes, I do. I’m not going to lose.”
Montavius handed a large book with several different symbols engraved in gold on it. “I would study this if I were you. These are some counterspells you can use against Damian. “
Luke took the book. “Thank you for all of your help. Marcus, I realize I don’t know you well yet but I appreciate your help.”
**Meanwhile in Chicago***
Mathias studied the map of Chicago, showing William the red tacks on the map where they had spotted Derek’s pack last.
“We saw him on West Roosevelt Road near the Oak park but after that, we lost them. We tried tracking his scent but the trail went stale.” Mathias rumbled pointing to the other areas they suspected places that Derek and his pack members had relocated to or had been sighted.
William studied the map, tracing his fingers carefully across where they had spotted him last. “Do you know why he left your pack? Besides trying overthrow you as Alpha did he give a reason?” William asked.
Mathias growled. “I know he expressed his dislike of our allegiance with the vampires often. He also wanted to be the Alpha of this pack ever since I gained my status as the Alpha. He greed for power was always evident. He was supposed to be a submissive one in the pack but he constantly was challenging me. Eventually, he tried to fight me and he lost. He took anyone that didn’t want to keep this allegiance with him and he has caused trouble with the humans ever since. I don’t think he cares how many have to die before his crazy goal is obtained. I have never questioned our allegiance with the vampires. That is why I want to destroy his pack as soon as possible.” His amber eyes burned with anger, he clenched his white teeth.
Mathias was a well-built werewolf. He used to work as a bodybuilder before he was bitten. His dreadlocks were always well maintained and his wolf was the color of the night with amber eyes. He was a good looking African American man, his arms were thick as tree trunks. He was not one to cross when angered.
William nodded. “I understand. I will do what I can to help you dispose of him quickly.” William’s hair was the same fiery reddish-orange like his brother but he kept it down. His eyes however were blood red. It was at times shoulder length and appeared more like a frenzied mane. He wore a similar necklace that Marcus wore but its symbol was different. The symbol was a wolf print with stars surrounding it.
“William we have reason to believe that Derek is in contact with one of the vampires from the house of Abraxas. I want proof to be sure. We think it is Damian. We do not know why they are in contact with one another.”
William’s eye widened. “Even if you suspect his involvement I have to notify Marcus or Montavius immediately. You realize then that they are violating the allegiance between both races. His pack does not follow the allegiance.”
Mathis nodded. “I know; you may tell him. I was going to contact Montavius but I feel finding proof first is important. We believe one of his camps in is an abandoned warehouse near the west side of the city off of Wayman street. A few of my pack members are scouting it out, they should be returning shortly.”
One of Mathia’s werewolves by the name of Lydia knocked on the door. Mathias opened it and Lydia ran in.
“Mathias, we spotted one of Derek’s werewolves enter the warehouse. The whole place has their scent all around it.” She was breathless from the journey over.
“Please sit down Lydia. I will have a meeting with everyone and we will plan an attack on them tonight. No one will leave that warehouse alive if I can help it.” Mathias growled acidly.
She sat down in the nearest chair. She was dressed in a black t-shirt and leather jeans. Lydia looked up at him and nodded. She had brown eyes and long curly blonde hair. “Understood.” She sensed William and looked him, surprise all over her face.
“William? I didn’t know you were here.” She stammered.
“That’s alright. I understand your pack has had quite the dilemma keeping the rogues in control. You are Lydia?”
She nodded. “My wolf is snow white with brown eyes, the very end of my tail is black,”
William smiled. “I have seen you around, Mathias has spoken highly of you. When Mathias destroyed the Alpha, I think his name was Tyler, he said you helped pull the remaining members together.”
“I…that is kind of him. I helped him lead in a time when there were no other good leaders. I still do now. We need our pack to be unified as much as possible. I hope you can help us. You and your brother are legends here.”
“I have warned Marcus of Damian suspected involvement with Derek. We will need Derek alive to know his involvement unless they can get Damian to talk.” William sighed.
“I was afraid you would say that. But after we get the information we need from him, I want him dead.” Mathias insisted.
William nodded. “I think he will find we can be very convincing.”
Mathias walked out of the room into the darkened hall. “It is time for me to prepare the pack for our attack plan.”
***Back at the House of Abraxas outside of Chicago**
Marcus stiffened as his brother summarizing the information he knew from Mathias about Derek and Damian. He informed Montavius.
“The problem is; we don’t have any proof. But if Mathias plans to attack them tonight we might get our answers.” Montavius muttered, troubled.
Lucas groaned. “Damian will never stop being a jerk. He won’t tell any of us why he is in contact with, Derek.”
“He might if Derek is kidnapped,” Marcus noted.
“I need to address the entire house while he is still unconscious. I think we need to put him in the basement until he wakes up. If Mathias and William are successful we can question him. If not, we will release him but I am putting him on parole.” Montavius decided.
The basement was glorified dungeon that they rarely had to use but in the past had to in times of war. For vampires, there were silver based cuffs, silver entrapping them in the prison-like cell. For werewolves, it was same design but laced with wolfsbane. Wolfsbane was deadly for werewolves. Protective spells were around the whole manor, inside the prison. No intruders could come in or out. Montavius left the gym with Marcus and Luke close behind. He entered the large living room and summoned everyone. His necklace was glowing blue, the chandelier for a moment was lit with the same bluish light.
“I have some bad news. William has informed Marcus that Mathias and his pack have suspected that Damian has been involved with Derek in some way. We don’t know why or how, but I need to inform you of this betrayal. We don’t have any proof, but steps will be taken to find the truth. When Damian awakes he will be in the basement. Also, Luke plans to duel him if Damian continues to challenge him directly or with his human guest present. If Derek is not found, Damian does not confess, we will release him but put him on a strict parole. I am saddened and troubled by this happening in our house, I had hoped we all had higher standards. I had led this house many years, and Damian power here will be adjusted accordingly as I see fit. In the light of recent events, I may choose someone else to succeed me. Damain for a long time was my first option, however, that is not the case. Does anyone object to this?” Montavius asked, scanning the room. No one objected, but there were shocked whispers of surprise, sadness, and anger.
“Can’t we just kill Damian? If Mathias kills Derek and we kill Damian, our problems will end!”
Shouted one of the vampires in the middle of the room. He was a shorter, skinnier vampire than the others, his bright blond hair was combed back. His name was Caleb. He was loyal to the house and Montavius, but it was also clear he wanted to succeed Montavius.
Emilie looked at Montavius expectantly. “That is something that might be necessary Caleb. However, I would prefer to know why Derek and Damian are in contact with each other. Lucas would also like to duel Damian if that is possible. Lucas is going to establish his rank here in the house.” Montavius explained nodding to Caleb.
Caleb fell silent. “That makes sense.” He muttered.
“If anyone else has any concerns they may come to me as they wish. Caleb and Lucas, I would like your assistance in moving Damian to the basement please.”
Caleb and Luke met Montavius under the chandelier. Caleb grabbed Damian under his shoulders, Luke grabbed his feet, the carried him to the basement where Marcus led them. There was a hidden staircase in the library that led to the basement. Montavius lifted the protective spell temporarily. Luke and Caleb chained Damian in one of the cells. Montavius handed Luke the key and Luke locked Damian inside the cell. Montavius took the key and placed it around his neck.
“Thank you both. I will reseal this entrance when we leave. He should awaken by sunrise. We will see if by then William and Mathias’s pack are successful or not.” Montavius replied.
Montavius left last and waved his hand over the secret entrance. The air rippled as red sparks covered the air briefly and disappeared.
Lucas and Caleb were still in the library when Ivy appeared. She seems upset and was wiping bloody tears from her eyes. Her hair was reddish brown hair was tied back in a high ponytail. She was wearing a light yellow dress with a white ribbon tied around her waist.
“Montavius…can I talk to you alone?” Ivy asked hesitantly.
Montavius nodded. “Of course. Why don’t you talk to me outside?” He suggested, leading to them to the door.
“I should have told you sooner but…he threatened me,” Ivy whispered hoarsely, struggling to hold back her tears.
Montavius waited until they were outside. He sat down in the one of the patio chairs. “Tell me what is wrong and who threatened you?”
Ivy was crying now, “I’m so sorry, please don’t be too mad. I was afraid to tell you. I-I- saw Damian leave yesterday. It was in the daylight when everyone was asleep. I walking to my room and I saw him open one of the windows, he altered the protective spells. I tried to hide but he saw me. When he came back he said he would kill me if I told you that he had left. Now he’s working with Derek…this is all my fault!”
Montavius listened carefully for a moment. “Ivy, are you certain?” He asked calmly, sensing her distress, fear, and anxiety.
“Yes, Montavius. I was always afraid of him, but now I have a good reason to be. He will kill me when he finds out I told you. If you want proof, drink my blood, please.” She pleaded, shaking slightly.
“Alright. Ivy, I am not mad at you. He has power here, you were in a bad place at a bad time, however, this may help us. He is not going to kill you. I will make sure that doesn’t happen. I need to drink your blood to see what you saw. Thank you for telling me.” Montavius explained calmly.
Ivy nodded. “I…please do. I’m not lying I swear.” She wiped her face with the back of her hand, leaving red streaks on her pale skin.
“I need you to look at me with not just your eyes, but your third eye also. I need you to try and relax.”
Ivy closed her eyes and opened them again, her third eye located above her forehead. She instantly became calmer, her breathing slowed. Montavius had her look at him directly with his third eye also open. He had the gift to also calm negative emotions.
“Good. You’re doing great.” Montavius got up and walked towards her, and bite into her neck, he drank some of her blood and this is what he saw.
She was walking down the hallway and the sun was starting to come up. She froze when she saw that the window was open and there was Damian at the edge of the window with his back to her. Ivy could hear him chanting something she didn’t understand. She didn’t dare move but he must have sensed her there because he turned around. He saw her and looked directly at her.
“You never saw me.” Was all he said before the air outside rippled, and revealed a grid-like shape and then the image was gone. The spell had been broken and Damian jumped out the window with his wings spread. He seemed to be flying in the direction towards Chicago. Later on in the day, when Ivy couldn’t sleep, he suddenly was in her room. She jumped up startled, and he grabbed her hissing in her ear with venomous rage,
“If you even think to tell Montavius about this I will kill you. Do you understand?” Then he was gone, leaving her alone in her room.
Montavius opened his eyes. He knelt by Ivy as she watched him. “Do you believe me now?” She asked, tired.
He sighed. “Yes. He clearly has something to hide. Ivy, I want you to know I will do everything in my power to protect you and find out what is going on. I am the head of this house, it is my responsibility entails making sure everyone here feels safe and well care for.” Montavius said determinedly.
“I’m so sorry Montavius, I wish Damian wasn’t doing whatever he’s up to. Thank you.” Ivy shuddered, she sat up.
“Of course. I want you to move your room for a bit. If necessary, you may move in Emilie’s room. Go inside and get cleaned up.”
“Will you tell the whole house this?” Ivy asked, concerned.
“I will, however, this is only part of the evidence we need. I need proof he is working with Derek. This only proves he is leaving the house, he has a reason to hide this, otherwise, he wouldn’t be threatening you. It is enough that he threatened your life.”
Ivy nodded. “Yes, that makes sense. We can’t jump to conclusions but Mathias saw them together.”
“Yes. Do something for me Ivy. Do not give Damian the power and live in fear now. Please tell me if anything else happens.” Montavius replied gently but firmly.
“I will. Thank you.” She hugged him briefly and stood up looking back at for a moment and then went inside.
Montavius stood, feeling a growing resentment for Damian. Ivy ran into Emilie in the living room and made her way to Emilie room. She explained everything that Damian did and what Montavius would do about it.
“I’m so sorry Ivy. I know Montavius will take of everything.” Emilie replied as she helped Ivy wash off her face.
“I know, it’s just…I wish I wasn’t so afraid of him. Of Damian I mean.” Ivy replied, drying off her face with a towel.
“Don’t give him the satisfaction of being afraid. I understand why you are afraid, that will only make him see you as a target.”
Ivy sighed. “I know, that’s easier said than done.”
Emilie nodded sitting on the cover of her coffin. “I think you should talk to Caleb. To take your mind off of it.”
Ivy hesitated. “Look with Montavius biting me, I wasn’t coming in between you and him.”
Emilie looked surprised for a moment. “Ivy, I’m not worried about that. I appreciate your concern but he needed to know what happened to you.”
Ivy relaxed relieved. “Good. I’m going to find Caleb. I want to practice in the gym.”
By practice, she meant testing out the newest weapons the house when it came to defending themselves from any possible threat.
Emilie smiled. “That sounds like a good idea,”
Ivy smiled pausing at the door. “Unfortunately, my room is near Damian, would it possible if I switch rooms with someone for a while? I’d rather not die in my sleep.”
“Hm, well we can have your coffin moved into my room if you want.”
“I can switch with Caleb too but I don’t want him to get hurt either. I’ll think about it and ask him.”
Emilie nodded. “Let me know what you decide.”
Ivy nodded, biting her lip, then she left, searching for Caleb. She found him in the living room.
“It seems Montavius has been very busy,” Caleb noted, drinking blood from a wine glass.
“Yes, Damian has caused him to be busy a lot. Caleb, can I talk to you for a moment? Alone. Somewhere quiet, I was going to practice in the gym.” Ivy asked quickly.
Caleb looked at her and set his glass down. “Sure. Is something wrong?”
Ivy looked around. “Yes. I’ll tell you in the gym okay? Montavius is going to address the entire house again but…”
“Alright. Let’s go.”
They both headed to the gym. She sat down on the floor of the gym, she had her legs crossed. She had her back up against the wall. Caleb sat down next to her and waited for her to talk.
“I already told Montavius…and Emilie but, I didn’t tell you yet. I saw Damian leave yesterday during the day. Everyone was asleep and I was heading to my room to go to sleep and I saw him in the hallway. He was able to use some kind of magic to lift the magical barrier. He was near a window. I didn’t move but I think he could sense me because he turned around and looked right at me. Then he left. I couldn’t sleep and he showed up in my room, threatened me. He said if I told Montavius about him leaving, he would kill me.” Her voice broke at the end of her sentence and she stopped talking.
“I can’t believe this! I’m going to kill him. Ivy, I’m so sorry. You must be exhausted.” Caleb exclaimed, frustrated, angry.
“You’re not the only one that wants him dead. He’s in the basement. That’s good. I was so scared, I didn’t want to tell anyone but when Montavius told all of us that Mathias suspects him working with Derek, I had to say something.”
Caleb listened. “It’s a good thing you told him. He will figure out what is going on. Now Marcus is here also.”
“Yeah. I’m so glad Marcus is here, Damian can’t or wouldn’t dare do anything with him here, I hope not.”
“You and Luke’s girlfriend would be targeted but nothing is going to happen. Ivy, trust me. That is why Marcus showed up.”
Ivy looked at him. “I know, I’m still afraid. She’s only a human Caleb. She’s more vulnerable than I am. If Damian is working with a psycho werewolf Derek... I don’t want to know…”
“Ivy,” Caleb said reaching out to pull her face nearer to him. “Stop. Don’t worry about what could happen. Please, you’ve been through enough.” He looked intently into her red eyes.
“Sorry.” It was the only word she could utter before her composure broke. Bloody tears filled her eyes.
“It’s okay,” Caleb replied, hugging her as she started crying.
“Don’t…tell anyone about this. It’s bad enough I’m one of the younger vampires like Luke.”
“I won’t. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean anything. You have a lot of abilities.” Caleb replied.
“Oh yeah? Like what?” She asked, laughing sarcastically.
“You can walk through walls. You can also become invisible and hide in the shadows. You can camouflage yourself to anything in the environment. You and Emilie were some of the first vampires to help Abby feel comfortable here.”
“Alright, that’s all true. It’s not enough to protect me from him.”
“Then let’s practice a bit with some weapons shall we?” He asked.
She had recovered and nodded, wiping her face. “Emilie just helped me clean up. Ugh.”
“Hold still a second,” Caleb asked, taking Ivy’s hands and bringing her closer to him.
“What are you doing??” Ivy asked, taken aback. He took his hands and wiped off the tears with his face.
“There.” Caleb stepped back.
Ivy smiled saying nothing and walked over to the room next to the locker-room. There was an armory with all the weapons that used to train, practice with. Ivy grabbed two different stake shooting guns. She handed one to Caleb. They walked into the gym and set up target signs to shoot at on the wall. The both loaded the stakes into the chamber and raised their guns at the target sign. They exchanged glances and then both shot at the targets. There was a loud bang as both stakes hit the center of the target. Ivy continued to shoot three more stakes from the gun until it was empty.
“Feel better?” Caleb asked, sensing she was channeling all of her anger into her gun.
She nodded, looking back at the targets. “Yes. We’re getting better with our aim it seems.”
Caleb grinned. “It always helps when you’re imagining shooting at Damian,”
Ivy smiled shaking her head up and down. “Of course.”
Montavius pulled Luke and Marcus aside and explained what happened to Ivy the previous day.
“He clearly has something to hide,” Luke replied scowling.
“Let’s hope Mathias can get information from some of the werewolves,” Montavius replied. “I need to address the house again; I want everyone to know that Damian has something hide. He will not threaten anyone in this house again, or attack anyone.”
Montavius sighed, hoping that this was the last time he would have to address the house with more troubling news in one day.
“We don’t have proof that Damian is working with Derek-however I have received news that Damian has in fact threatened someone in this house. So to keep everyone safe, he will remain in the basement until I find out what I need. Damian apparently had left the house when everyone was asleep. Ivy saw him. Any vampire threatening another is unacceptable.” Montavius announced.
There were shocked glances and exclamations of surprise. Others stayed silent. There seemed to be an air of tension and worry throughout the whole living room where everyone had gathered.
Marcus signaled for the others to be silent.
“If needed, -Damian will be dealt with. His status and power in this house mean nothing to me if he violates this allegiance. I know I will not be the only one wanting his execution but it may be necessary. His actions are his own and his arrogance is foolish. He still represents this house. So we will punish him appropriately.” His eyes were like chips of blue ice and his words were as cold as steel.
“Like Marcus said, that is our final decision if it comes to that. Hopefully not. However, let this be a lesson to you all. Whatever Damian did, violating the allegiance puts us all at risk. I saddened that Damian has done this. I am sorry to have given you all such news again in one night.” Montavius sighed.
Ivy, Caleb stood in the back listening. Luke waited for Montavius and left going up to his room. Montavius found Emilie in the group.
“Montavius…you look tired.” Emilie noticed.
“I just feel that Damian would need to know a strong enough kind of magic to lift the protective spells. Regardless, I am going up to my room.” He took her hands in his.
“Do you want me to join you?” She asked sensing he wanted something.
“I would like that. It has been a long day.” Montavius answered as they went up to his room.
They reached the door of his room. Montavius stopped and kissed Emilie. She kissed him again and tangled his white blonde hair in her fingers. They both passed through the door.
Ivy sighed, relieved that Montavius was done. “It will be sunrise soon.”
Caleb nodded. “Yes. You haven’t slept at all. I’m surprised you haven’t passed out.”
“Well, I had a lot on my mind. I’m going to sleep but, I was wondering- if you wanted to stay in my room? I ask because I don’t want to be alone right now, Emilie is well you know with Montavius.” Ivy laughed nervous, looking down awkwardly.
“I get it. Ivy of course. I’m not going to do anything you don’t want me to.” Caleb replied smiled, taking her hand.
“Thank you, Caleb. You are a good friend.” Ivy led him to her room. Caleb walking inside and waited as she got into her coffin.
“I just realized yours in your room yet.” She said, mentally hitting herself.
“It’s alright I’ll manage.” He replied casually.
“But you’ll never fit in here, you’re so much taller than me,” Ivy exclaimed crawling back out.
“They really need to make them bigger. Then again dead people are only one person, they never keep in mind vampires, though.” Caleb noted chuckling.
Ivy groaned looking around. “It’s too narrow to sleep on top- wait, the couch.”
Caleb looked over at the black couch. “Alright.”
Ivy walked over to it and picked the far right side of the couch. Caleb chose the other side; it wasn’t long before Ivy was asleep.
Mathias made an announcement to everyone in the pack about the plan to attack the warehouse that Derek and his werewolves were in.
“I want everyone to be clear that we need Derek alive to know why he is working with Damain. Understood? He is the only one we will spare. But after we know what we need, he will be executed.” Mathias announced.
Since the war with the humans, his pack had lived underneath the city of Chicago. It was a very similar setup to Lucian’s old pack in New York. The previous alpha had almost driven the pack into extinction- Tyler. Mathias had killed him, but Derek had wanted to be the Alpha ever since. Mathias beat him to the role as Alpha.
“The weapons we will use have the silver bullets in them. We also have wolfsbane, but be very careful with it. Always use gloves. They might have wolfsbane on them also. They might have similar weapons-however Derek does not have access to these weapons, which is they very reason why he leaving us was so foolish. Take whatever weapons you wish. We will leave shortly.”
Everyone started getting ready for battle, grabbing whatever weapons were available. Many were strapping on vests and other gear. The only downside of putting on protective gear was that it was harder for them to shift into their wolf form. Some chose not to, taking the risk of getting hit with bullets and healing afterward. Mathis for a few years had been working on creating an antidote to the silver bullets. William chose a crossbow that held silver arrows. Many other weapons included machine guns and hand guns with silver bullets. There also rifles, pistols. They knew that place would at least have a few guards, but their goals was an invasion. Derek would be the only werewolf they keep alive. Lydia was Mathias’s second in command she was an Omega werewolf. She was prepared for battle and nodded to Mathias. Her eyes glowed for a moment. They planned the attack right before dawn, knowing that Derek would expect them at this hour. Mathis had a pack that was strong, Derek was widely outnumbered. Mathias signaled that the pack leave, William was with them, they left going through the drainpipes. The moved quickly, not wanted to cause suspicion. They headed towards the west side of Wayman street to the warehouse. Mathias saw the guards posted outside first, and paused, shifting from his dark brown wolf, into his human form. He pulled out two guns and shot both of them in the chest before they could use their weapons. The bullets would act like a poison now in their system. He led them inside, catching the scents of the others inside. He started shooting the ones that came at him. William dove past him in his massive black wolf form and speed down the hall looking for Derek. Lydia shot at one the women and grabbed her.
“Tell me where Derek is.” She snarled, squeezing the werewolves throat.
“I’d-rather die than tell you.” She answered acidly. Lydia shifted into her white wolf and tore at her throat, stained her mouth with blood.
William found Derek on another floor and tackled him. The impact was like a car getting hit by a semi-truck. Derek hardly had time to react, snarled in rage. William bites him on the shoulder and half dragged him, telling the others that he had Derek. Derek struggled to try the free himself. William responding by clawing his back, enough to rip his jacket to shreds. Mathias managed to meet him on the second floor and helped William drag Derek to the first floor. The battle was taking place on the first floor, it was very clear Mathias was winning. Gunshots rang out everywhere, including silver arrows. The sound was deafening, like fireworks going off.
The remaining werewolves of Derek’s pack attempted to stop William and Mathias, but Lydia and the other pulled them back, shooting them down.
“You lost Derek. Your little revolution and acting like a spoiled brat is over. Tell us why you are contacting Damian from the House of Abraxas.” Mathias ordered, shifting back into his human form, pinning Derek down and strapping a pair of silver cuffs around his wrists.
“Why would I be working with vampires? Mathias really.” Derek answered snidely, scowling.
“Wrong answer. I saw you talking to him. He was wearing a hood around his face, and gloves, but that was him.” Mathias lengthened his claws and took one swift swipe at Derek's face. Derek yelled in pain as Mathias left a very clear bloody mark.
“The next time I’ll claw your eyes out,” Mathias said flatly. “What purpose did you have contacting Damain?”
Derek held his face in his hands. “He wanted lessons. I was using magic, he wanted to know who my teacher was.”
“Since when did you practice magic? Who is teaching you magic?” Mathias demanded.
Derek smirked. “I’ll never tell you.” He had hair short dark black hair that was spiked up. He had a small amount of facial hair. He was good looking but was a complete traitor. The deaths of his pack members seemed to not affect him.
Mathias promptly reacted after this in rage, he grabbed Derek and with a sickening snap, he broke Derek’s arm as if it were a twig. His pack members watched.
“I’ll ask you again, who taught you magic?” Mathias snarled.
“He’s a warlock. He goes by Dante.” Derek gasped. The name caused everyone to shudder. Dante was a warlock that served no one but himself and his magic was dark black magic. He was said to summon powerful demons.
“You practiced under Dante? You really are a foolish boy. Is Damian practicing under him as well?”
Mathias asked, pinning Derek the wall. His arm hung at an awkward angle, his body was trying to heal.
“I don’t know. I think he is. I know he wanted to know spells that would get him through the protective barrier that surrounds the House of Abraxas.” Derek panted, afraid.
“Could it be he wants to take over the house?” William asked sharply, his gaze piercing.
Derek winced. “He wanted more power. He wanted to contact Dante himself. I told him how to.”
“What kind of magic is he practicing? What kind did you learn?” Mathias asked, ready to move.
“I don’t know,” Derek responded.
Mathias snarled. “You’re lying.” Mathias twisted Derek other arm breaking it quickly.
“First, it’s the bones, then I’ll take out your eyes boy. Tell me what kind of magic.” Mathias threatened.
Derek yelled out. “Damian knows better than I do. Some kind of black magic.”
Mathias amber eyes narrowed. “Damian will be dealt with. Put a collar on him, we will take him back with us. I don’t believe he is telling us everything.”
Two of his werewolves came and pulled Derek away from the wall. One strapped on a metal collar to Derek’s neck, with a metal chain that he yanked hard, causing Derek to stumble forward. Levant, Jovan were the two werewolves. Levant was well built; Jovan was slightly shorter than Levant. Jovan had long wavy black hair, he had a small mustache with facial hair that lined the edges of his face, his eyes were dark brown. Levant had long wavy dark blond hair, his eyes were dark gray. Levant and Jovan pulled Derek forward, Levant was behind Derek with a gun against his back. Others surrounded Derek, a pack member on every side so that Derek could no escape. He was handcuffed and chained to the collar.
“Mathias-I told you everything!” Derek protested. Jovan yanked on the metal chain, causing Derek to gag.
“I don’t trust you, Derek. Not if you are threatening this allegiance, allying yourself with a warlock like Dante, giving a vampire like Damain information on black magic. Silence.” Mathias growled, giving a look of burning rage that was nothing short of hatred.
William explained to Marcus, what he knew about Derek’s involvement with Damian. He also explained that Mathias was going to question him further.
Derek was brought back to the city underground, where he placed in a cage with silver bars. Two guards were posted to watch him. Adalwolf and Bruno were guards.
Mathias waited to pace. He would wait to extract more information from Derek. Derek struggled in chains, realizing how would have to wait until night to try and summon a demon, then he would escape. He tried several times with no luck. He was hoping that the demon wouldn’t know the difference of the time because they were underground.
**Meanwhile in the House of Abraxas**
Marcus was the only vampire awake during the day. Abby awoke to find Luke asleep. She got dressed in casual clothes. She got downstairs to the kitchen, getting something to eat. She almost jumped out of her skin when she found Marcus sitting in the living room.
“I forget you are the only awake at this hour,” Marcus remarked.
“I-I guess I didn’t realize you stay awake,” Abby replied startled.
“You don’t know this, but it the coven in New York, two vampire’s elders sleep while one ruled awake. I was asleep for a thousand years before I was awoken early. I don’t need sleep as much as the others.”
“Wow, that is a long time. But those two other elders were Amelia and Viktor.”
She nodded, continuing to eat her cereal. “Did your brother say anything yet? About Derek?”
Marcus sighed nodding. “Yes, they destroyed his pack. However, Derek said that he was practicing black magic by a warlock named Dante. Damian was interesting in contacting Dante to learn magic from him also. Damian wanted to be able to get through the barrier around the house whenever he wanted.”
“Why would Derek want to practice this magic? The barrier around this house is what protects us. Montavius established the barrier to keep out intruders.” Abby replied confused.
“I don’t know about Derek, but I have a feeling Damian has some kind of reason to leave or wants to leave, return during the day. Mathias is keeping Derek for now, he wants more information from him.” Marcus replied.
“Well for Mathias’s sake I am glad Derek’s revolution is over. It makes sense, but who is this Dante?”
“Dante is a powerful warlock. He practices magic but he doesn’t serve any council. He is unchecked and doesn’t answer to anyone. Black magic is dangerous, he has been able to summon demons and use them however he wants.”
Abby shuddered. “Demons? He doesn’t sound stable.”
“He isn’t that’s the problem. Now we have proof of Damian’s involvement.”
“Yes. I don’t want to keep bothering you about this.”
Marcus shrugged. “It’s alright. This is a serious matter affecting the house.”
“Will he come after us? Damian I mean. He seems powerful.”
“He’s in the basement, you were asleep when we moved him down there,” Marcus explained.
Abby breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s good.”
“He will never be able to threaten anyone. If Luke chooses to duel Damian that is his choice.”
Abby nodded. “I want him to duel Damian but I don’t want that to make things worse.”
“We haven’t made a decision on what to do with Damian yet. If Luke wins, that will put Damian in his rightful place.” Marcus stated.
“Yes, that’s a good point.”
“Good. Now I think it’s about time we take a break from discussing such matters.” Marcus replied standing.
“Okay. What do you have in mind?” Abby asked curious.
“If you are comfortable, I would like to dance you with you.”
His request came as surprise to her, it was not something she was expecting. “I’m okay with that.”
“You look surprised. Do you think that Luke would mind?” He asked, raising his eyebrows.
“No, it’s not that. I don’t dance often that’s all.” She replied embarrassed.
“It’s a dance from my time. I’m not expecting you to know it. I’ll teach you.” Marcus offered her his hand.
She took his hand, he guided her along the dance. “The last time I did this was with Amelia. That was a long time ago.” Marcus remarked, spinning her around.
“Well I’m sure she did a better job than I am.” She replied, stumbling for a moment. She laughed. “See what I mean? Totally not graceful. I didn’t take dance in high school for this very reason.”
“I could say differently. You’re doing fine.” He assured her, catching her and balancing her.
“You’re just being polite.” She replied laughing.
“Do you always act like this with Luke dancing?” Marcus asked chuckling.
“Well, yes but worse. He keeps insisting that I do fine. I just don’t believe him.”
“There’s a difference between being self-conscious and confident.” Marcus replied.
“True, I’m going to just need more practice.” Abby responded. He was facing her, his left hand on her waist, her hands were interlocked in his.
“Perhaps, you’re doing fine.” He responded calmly. His movements were fluid and smooth. He had a certain air of grace to him that was surprising. He always carried himself with a sense nobility.
The dance ended and Marcus stopped and stepped back. “Thank you. You did well.”
“Thanks.” She replied smiling.
“I’m going to ask you something. Do you want to see what my other hybrid form looks like?” He asked, his blue eyes getting brighter.
She thought about it, surprised by his sudden offer. “I-Sure. I have never seen a vampire’s other form yet.”
He sensed her uncertainty and smiled. “I’m not going to be offended if you refuse.”
“No it’s alright. I need to see it. I know Luke can transform into a different form too.”
Marcus studied her face and nodded. “Alright.”
He opened his mouth and his fangs got longer and his face shifted, large wings grew out of his back. His face was now that of a demon looking bat, his ear was pointed and closer to his head. The color of his arms was now a dark gray. His chest and face were pale white. His eyes were completely black. He wore an engraved belt with a ragged-looking black cloth underneath. His talon-like were open and dark gray. His hands were webbed as bats would be, his large black talons gleamed.
Abby stared at him not moving, afraid to do anything. He was muscular and his wings were at least 6 feet wide. “Marcus?” She asked hesitantly.
He turned his gaze to her saying nothing. He folded his wings back. Her urge to run was strong. The fight, flight or freeze response kicked in. The was a scream that was frozen in her throat.
“Yes?” He responded, his voice sounding no different than before.
She jumped startled. “I didn’t realize you could talk in this form.”
He responded by smiling which revealed sharp white fangs. “I can yes.”
She took a cautious step toward him. “The sunlight doesn’t bother you?”
“No, I can walk in the daylight but not all vampires can,” Marcus answered.
She hesitantly kept walking toward him. She faced him, gently touching his face noticing the coldness of his skin.
“How are you able to walk in sunlight without burning up?” Abby asked.
“It’s a rather painful process. It involves applies a solution that is like a salve but its eats away at your flesh and burns. You have to put it all over your body in order for it to work. The other problem is, you have to let the solution soak in your skin first, you can’t just wash it off. The agony of that experience is almost not worth the results. However, it does work.” Marcus explained grimacing.
“That does sound awful.” Abby agreed wincing at the thought of going through so much pain.
“Let me take you somewhere.” He offered.
“Alright, we don’t have to go far. Let’s just go to the beach right by the lake. It’s just outside the house.” Abby suggested.
Marcus nodded carefully picking up Abby. “That sounds like a good idea.”
He walked outside out of the house and spread his wings. The sun was shining brightly; the grass was still wet with morning dew.
Abby tightened her grip on Marcus as he lunged into the air taking off. She held her breath for a moment as she felt him ascend into the air. She could hear the steady flapping of his wings, the wind made her hair whip around her face. She looked out to the approaching shoreline of the water. The water glittered and there were whitecaps surfacing from the waves. Marcus landed on the sand carefully. Abby released her grip on Marcus’s neck and stepped onto the sand. She looked up at Marcus and he had already transformed into his vampire form again.
“Do you think Luke is ready to duel with Damian?” Abby asked as she sat down on the sand.
“That depends. But I think that you can use your connection to him as an advantage.
Abby nodded, looking out at the waves. “I want to talk to Damian, Marcus.” She stated calmly.
“Why do you want to talk to him? Given the situation I wouldn’t advise that.” Marcus answered quickly, his scowl across his face showing his disapproval.
She looked over at him. “I know. But I need to know why he doesn’t like me. I want to be able to ask him myself to his face.”
His icy blue eyes flashed in surprise. “I can take you to him, but I know Luke wouldn’t like this. But something tells me that I can’t convince you otherwise.” Marcus responded sighing.
“I know he won’t. I need to try Marcus. Please.” Abby insisted, her voice fading.
“You’re not going to like what he has to say. What makes you think he will even tell you? You are doing exactly what he wants. He is playing mind games with you.” Marcus countered sternly.
“You don’t know me well enough yet, but I don’t give up. I have to try. I want to know why.” She exclaimed frustrated.
Marcus studied her for a moment. Then a wry smile flicked on his features. “Luke will have my head if anything happens to you. You take no for an answer. Alright then.”
She relaxed slightly, the tension in her features was disappearing. “Thank you. I trust you. I know he can’t hurt me.”
“It’s not him hurting you that I’m worried about. He might not be able to get out, but it’s his words that can hurt. Be mindful, be careful.” Marcus warned.
“I will be careful.” She assured him nodding.
“He might not be awake yet.” Marcus said.
“How long will it take for him to wake up?” Abby asked becoming tense again.
“Not long. I can wake up him up.” Marcus responded smiling revealing his fangs.
“Good. Can we go?” She asked, standing.
Marcus nodded. “We can.”
They arrived back at the house as Marcus led them back into the library to the secret entrance to the dungeon. Marcus had to unlock the sealed entrance with the spell the Montavius had used. The air around them rippled in a bright red light with geometric shapes for a moment, then it faded into thin air. They descended down a stairwell which led them to the cells with silver bars. There in the nearby cell lay Damian unconscious. His hands and feet were chained.
Marcus touched the symbol on his necklace and said in, loud, commanding voice: “Arise Damian. Get up.”
Damian’s eyes suddenly flew open and he coughed. He looked around and growled and his realized where he was. He struggled to get up but got to his feet and directed his murderous gaze at Marcus, his red eyes now black. “What do you want? I see I’m imprisoned without proof of any crime.”
Marcus crossed his arms, ignoring Damian’s other remark. “Abby wants to speak with you, she has a question to ask you.”
Damian expression shifted, his gaze shifting from Marcus to Abby.
“I thought I could smell you were here. I’m surprised to see you without your bodyguard Luke. You want to talk to me little human?” Damian asked, sneering. He sauntered over to the edge of bars, as the chains start to burn into his skin. He smirked.
“I just want to know why you hate me so much Damian. What did I ever do to you?” Abby asked ignoring her own fear and wondering if this would get her the answer she wanted.
“I never said I hated you. What makes you think I hate you?” Damain asked snidely.
“I know you don’t like me. I’m not stupid.” Abby snapped quickly, frustrated.
“Answer the question Damian. No games.” Marcus interjected coldly.
“Lucas was never one of the strongest vampires in the house. It wasn’t a surprise when he fell for a human. All humans are the same they are weak. All they will ever be good for is exactly what you are, a pet. Nothing more, nothing less. You make him weaker than what he already was. Does that answer your question? I pity you really, you are just something someone can use.” Damain answered maliciously.
“That’s what you think. You’re wrong. I have message to give you, Lucas is going to challenge you to a duel. Whether you are guilty of what you did will be determined and I know he is going to destroy you. You just better hope he doesn’t kill you.” Abby spat angrily, her green eyes flashing with rage.
“I think it’s time we leave.” Marcus suggested lightly tapping Abby’s shoulder.
Abby didn’t move at first, still giving Damian a death like glare.
“I’ll make sure Luke will win.” She growled, turning away from Damian.
“I’ll look forward to dismantling Luke myself.” Damian countered.
Marcus led her out of the dungeon and resealed the door.
“I want to help Luke win. I will do whatever it takes.” Abby stated determinedly.
Marcus looked at her and nodded. “I know. Let’s wake him and utilize what connection you do have with him.”