Peace was concept buried deep within childhood memories from a time so long ago. Sometimes when I caught remembering my Mother or Father, I would pause and think- was this real? The images of those days were fragmented and dull. They seemed more like a passing dream then a fond memory of my parents. So much time had passed since then and like many young men of my time, I had grown up in battle. This admittedly made me feel more of a soldier than a King. Fighting vampires in the frozen wastelands of my homeland felt more comfortable than sat in this mortal world holding this girl’s hand.
Morgan Hale, I thought bitterly, the girl who ruined my chance to end this five hundred year war. I close my eyes shut and saw the Mad Vampire Prince stood there, in my fortress, chained and bound surrounded by my soldiers and his execution imminent. The orders were given, and for a few seconds those memories of peace and my parents became a little less dull. My father once told me that nothing burned brighter or harder than the dragon flame and I had always believed in those words until I had seen that bright blue flame… a flame made of pure spirit.
The drip alarmed and I opened my eyes. A nurse came in and fussed over the bleeping machine, Morgan stared vacantly up at the ceiling. Her heavy eyelids revealed a pair of blue eyes that reflected an unnatural chemically induced inertia. She looked like a fallen saint with her red hair spilling across the pillow like a demonic halo. I had so much hate in my heart for this girl, it overwhelmed me. I wanted her to suffer for what she did and the dream of peace she robbed from not just me but from every creature that lived in fear of the vampires. Truly, I wanted to destroy her, I wanted to watch her suffer, I wanted… My eyes drifted over her hand and I noticed a dark mark on her skin. Gently I brushed the pad of my thumb over it hoping it would come away. When it didn’t I realised it was another bruise. Something inside me twinged. Something inside me that I could not understand or rationalise- I did not like seeing this girl covered in scratches and bruises. Her hand lay limply in mine, delicate and soft, a stark contrast to my own hands, rough and calloused after years of weathering from handling a sword. She was so vulnerable.
The curtain suddenly shuffled and a familiar face slipped into the cubicle. Standing well over six and half foot, my second in command Bram, was a feared and respected warrior. I had a suspicion he would come after me the moment he knew I had fallen into the mortal realm. Bram squeezed into the room and pulled the cubicle curtain across. “How bad is it?” I asked.
“Pretty rough,” Bram replied. “The vampires attacked and overwhelmed the fortress a few hours after you left. Now every portal from here to eternity is being goose guarded by those bastard vampires.”
“Vali will reclaim them back, Bram.” I replied reassuringly. My cousin, Vali, would lead in my absence. Like me, he grew up in the war and was an excellent soldier. I had every confidence that within a short period of time he would reclaim a few portals back from the vampires.
Bram eyes drifted over to Morgan, “Why the hell haven’t you killed her?” he asked. The dragon inside me bristled protectively and Bram suddenly felt too close. Bram shook his head and continued, “Why are we sitting around playing these games, Erik? You should have disembowelled her the moment you came out the portal.” The dragon did not like these threats and neither did I. “Bram, go and wait outside.” I ordered.
Bram smiled humourlessly, “So is this what you plan to do while we wait for a portal,” He snapped irritably. “You’re going mess around with some girl!” Throwing him ice cold look I replied sharply, “Morgan Hale is clearly not ‘some girl’.” Bram laughed, “Oh I see. You’re enamoured with the girl. Taken a shine to her I suppose, all that pretty red hair and fierce blue eyes, oh yes there is something stunning about that girl who caused you to lose an entire fort!” My patience snapped and I raised my hand, “That’s enough Bram.” Backing away Bram hissed, “Is it, Erik?”