Chapter Twelve -
Gideon read and re-read the last passage at least twenty times. He dreamed when he went to ground that he was in Aidan's place. He drove himself mad with the thought of her blue eyes looking up at him as her pink lips surrounded him. He dreamed of knotting her silky red hair in his grip. He tortured himself with the sound of her begging him to take her and the feel of thrusting himself in her tight maiden womanhood.
He returned to the pub near their home, scanning the crowd hoping to see her profile in the booth where he first found her. He tried to burry himself in women, returning to Constantine's home and his many "dinner parties." But nothing could wash away his hunger. It took weeks before he read the next and last passage in her journal.
"I woke in the early hours to find him sitting across from me in his chair, gazing at me so intently, his fingers templed at his mouth. I went to him and crawled naked onto his lap, resting my head on his shoulder.
'This can not happen again, Lisbeth.' He stated with finality in his voice. He built up new walls that I knew I would never be able to break thru again.
'I know' I conceded, 'I don't understand why, but I know.'
'I have learned that most of my enemies have died off but there is still one left who wouldn't think twice about using you to get to me.' He looked down at me and he must of seen the look of doubt, heard in my mind the words I was planning to say to try and argue with him.
'Don't you think I would have sought you out? Come to you earlier? Why do you think I have kept my distance?' he asked.
'I never considered it. The idea of someone hurting me just to spite you. I guess I have never thought of the world past you and I.' I answered.
'Do you really think me so cruel?' he asked, lifting my chin so he could see my eyes. I think I broke his heart in that moment when I remained silent; knowing anything I said would be a lie.
'Is this the end? The end of us?' I asked, new tears falling from my eyes.
'No, God no, child.' He sighed and kissed me as if to prove it was the truth.
'I will still come to you has I have in the past. You will never be far from my heart, little bird.' He whispered into my ear.
After a long silence I made a decision. With resolve in my voice I said, 'Turn me then.'
He grabbed my shoulders with a fierce strength and said loudly, 'Listen to me when I say this to you and do not argue. For once in your life do not ask this. I don't know if I will have the strength to deny you, but know this, I will not turn you into one of my kind.'
'Why?' I asked, those damned tears falling from me again, 'If I am like you, they won't hurt me, I will be strong.'
'Vampires can still die, and that death is more horrible than you can imagine. Or worse you find your self locked in an eternity of hunger, as you found me so many years ago. I promise you it is not like some epic romance.'"
For once Gideon found himself agreeing with his whole heart with Aidan. He looked over the words again and began to respect the older vampire and his reasons for keeping Lisbeth at a distance.
"He held me there for what must have been a long time, our fingers entwined with each other. The moments till dawn creeping up on us faster and faster.
'Aidan, that night in the forest, when you were so angry with me.' I paused, 'Why did you not remember what happened?'
He considered my question for a few moments; I could tell he was struggling with weather to tell me the truth. 'I am the last of my kind. I am not like the other vampires, which is why they thought I was dead when really I was only interred. My kind are as old as the earth, we have lived here in this land long before human kind came into existence. We were a mix of faeries, vampire, and dragon. We come from the oldest of Fey magik. If faced with a rage or a fear that is so primal,' he paused, ' I am unable to control it, I can turn into our true form.'
I remembered the red glowing eyes and long fierce fangs from that night, a shiver running thru me. I thought back trying to hold the moment in my mind, and once in focus I could see what I now know for certain to be scales shining in the light of the night sky.
'I was not in full control of myself that night, I will never forgive myself for what happened.'
I took his face in my hand, looking him in the eye, 'you must forgive yourself, as I forgive you right now in this moment.'
A deep sigh released from him that felt as though he had been holding his breath for all these years.
We stayed together as long as we could, until the day came upon us like a train barreling down the tracks, forcing me to get up and dress.
I will never forget the way he looked standing there, his face blurred by my tears, slowly becoming smaller and smaller as Conner pulled away from the house, my sobs the only sound.
I love him, my dear little journal, my heart will always beat in time to his own. I only pray he can defeat the things that chase him in his own dreams and in his life so he kind find the faith to come for me.
Gideon closed the book on the last page, wanting to tear the small leather bound thing into small pieces. This thing had become his obsession, the words within it a curse. He screamed outloud in frustration knowing with absolute certainty he would never be able to make his fantasies come true, not with her. It was simple enough to see and to understand, he would never be able to replace Aidan. What little hope he had in his heart to one day make her is own was torn at her final words, "my heart will always beat in time to his own." Gideon would have to accept this fact if he were to ever find peace.
Even in his agony he was unable to free his mind from her image. Only now the sights had changed from glimpses of her and him together, to images of her hurt, tortured, or worse. He could almost hear her screams, her cries for help, as some unseen hand tortured her. Her sweet face contorted in pain and agony, eclipsed by the imagined laugh of Aidan's enemies. This was one thing he knew for certain, she was in danger. He was not sure where this impulse this paranoia was coming from, but it struck in him so deeply he was convinced it to be a sign.
He laid his hand on the cover and swore to himself in that moment that he would watch over her, protect her from Aidan's enemies, and fight to the death to save her. Gathering his courage, he took the book and placed it into an envelope with a letter:
You do not know me, but we share a common affection.
I came upon your "little bird" a few months ago in a pub near her home. I was immediately drawn to her, something so isolated and fragile holding steady as the human world bustled around her. I found her writing in this journal which she dropped as she left the building. It was wrong of me to take it and read her intimate thoughts, but I am ashamed to say I did not have the control to keep myself from it. I had to know more about this stunning woman who captured my attention with nothing more then a gaze across the room. I am sure you are more then familiar with the effect she can have on a man's heart and soul.
I won't lie to you and say I never approached her; I tried many a time, watching her from a far not daring to come closer. Only once did we speak but she kept her distance and did nothing to encourage my deepening affection. I will also say there were times when I wanted you dead and punished as I read her words. Not until the last sentences in this journal did I finally come to see you for who you really are and what she means to you.
I think I love her and God help me I long to see her happy even if that happiness can only be found in your arms. I now understand, with a heavy heart that her only true bliss can be found with you. She has been and will continue to be yours and yours alone.
I also can not shake this feeling that she is in danger. I know you have a connection with her so perhaps you can sense it as well. If so then you know my concerns are not all together unfounded. I want to protect her for this coming storm. You have been underground for so long I know you have few allies left to fight with you and you will need help.
I understand your first reaction will be to tear me limb from limb, and trust me brother, I have thought the same of you, but hold that instinct, for I wish nothing more than to give you this promise. I will swear an oath that you have my allegiance, I will join in the fight against your enemy, and I will lay down my life to protect your love, your Lisbeth.
I am not near as hold as you, but I am old enough to remember the ancient ways. I am willing to meet your challenge and complete the ceremony to seal my bond with a blood oath.
I am sure you will respect my not wanting to negotiate these terms in private. If you choose to accept my offer, and you choose to meet on common ground, I believe this can be arranged. You may recall Constantine Atratinus, who claims to have met with you in the past. You can make arrangements for this meet thru him, I have included his information.
Please allow time for your anger at my invasion of your lady's privacy to pass before you make any final judgments.