A/n: Hello everyone! No, I have not gone MIA. Thank you all who have been encouraging me despite my occasional absences. And yes, I do appreciate the occasional nagging and story praises (sometimes even the update requests).
So as proof that I do care, please enjoy this chapter.
Shock is written over Alvena's face. I call her name, but she doesn't give me a response. Do I need to repeat?
I part my lips to say something, but she holds a thin finger to my lip as she shakes her head in contemplation.
"They want me dead." Alvena finally sits down next to me.
"Should I confront Master?" I ask hopefully.
Mistress shakes her head. "He won't protect me," she bites out bitterly.
I believe, deep inside, Master will protect her with his life. But if I do...
Alvena looks at me with her beady eyes and places her hand atop mine.
...if I do, I'd steal her freedom forever.
Without another word, I take her hand and take her out of Argid. She doesn't ask where we're going, only trusting me with all that she is.
My mistress...is an interesting woman.
For all she knows, I could be bringing her to Master.
Even after getting hurt by vampires time and again, she still chooses to believe in one—a Disabled one at that.
Because she whole-heartedly believes, no matter how strong rules and social conventions may be, there are things that might just be stronger.
I too, am testing this theory one final time as I reach for the door standing between a chance of escaping and a dead end.
A guard sticks out his head from behind the gray castle walls and looks upon our cloaked figures. He eyes us suspiciously in which I kindly return the gesture.
Upon recognizing the red color in my eyes, he shows a slight discomfort before sending his companion to relay the message to their lord. It appears they are weary of us.
Minutes pass and still no one arrives. Alvena tugs at my sleeve and I spare her a glance.
"Let's just go," her small voice sounds from underneath her oversized hood.
I shake my head slightly as I look back up at the guards whispering among themselves. Suddenly, they stop and stand back on guard as haste footsteps sound across the hallways.
There's an urgent excitement in his steps, as if he's itching to abandon his noble walk.
"Open the gates!"
Alvena and I step cautiously into the Emberwind castle. Standing in the front waiting for us is Lucien with a worried expression sitting on his otherwise flawless face.
"Eve!" he cries in joy as he takes the chance to embrace me in his arms.
"Will you help us or not?" I ask sternly.
Lucien's emerald eyes brush by a quiet Alvena before returning to me.
"Yes...of course," he finally says in defeat. "But what I did last time was the right call."
"They took Nero away."
My blunt statement didn't get much reaction from Alvena. On the other hand, Lucien looks offended.