man," Seth said. "My siblings are gone, my parents. Only
family I have are the Hunters and some distant great-nieces and
nephews I barely know."
a way, it's a blessing that you can't have children," Dirk said
sadly. "You'd either have to watch them fight along side you, or
grow old and die. I think that it was as well that my wife and
children died before the war. That way, they never had to see what
I've become." He turned away, unable to meet their eyes. He felt
shame for the first time in decades. "I've done horrible things
in my time. Remorse isn't something that comes easily to my kind."
took his hand. "It's the remorse that separates you from the
others. It's what keeps me loving you." She kissed his fingers
as she gazed into his eyes.
cleared his throat uncomfortably. "I don't think that it's
possible for any of us to live without regrets. We all have more than
other two nodded. They had killed enemies, seen friends and loved
ones die and lived with the consequences and the memories.
shook himself. "This doesn't get us in there without being
bound to anticipate that we can't resist such a gathering," Seth
said. "What I find mind boggling is that he'd sacrifice his
coven just to get us."
sire let his children die horribly when I went to kill him. I still
don't know how I lived through that."
and tenacity," Seth replied.
was gonna say sheer stupidity," Dirk teased. "But okay."
he knows we're coming and he wants us there for his own purposes, it
will be easy to get in," Rafaela said. "Getting out
presents a problem. If we deliver our special with Dirk in the room,
it could kill him. If we fight our way out, delivering our gift is
he doesn't go in," Seth said. "The Lord wants us as
more," Dirk interrupted.
more, than Dirk. Won't he wonder if we go in without him?"
can Houdini out," Dirk suggested.
bound to know you can do that. What if he's figured out a way to keep
a risk I'm willing to take," Dirk said. "If it kills me
too, one less vamp to worry about."
looked away. "That was my attitude yesterday. Then you saved
Rafaela's life, risking your own. I may not like you much, Dirk, but
that counts for something."
up to me, huh?" He punched Seth's shoulder.
in a million fucking years."
a million years, if we're all still alive, I guarantee we'll be
friends," Dirk replied.
spent the rest of the day planning and arming themselves from the
weapon stores from the cabins. Dirk was impressed. He usually relied
on his vampire abilities to see him through a fight, but this time,
he wasn't averse to arming himself to his fangs. Having been a
soldier more than once, he looked through the armories with a
carry the light bomb," Seth said. "I'm more familiar with
it than you two. If they take me out, at least you both know what to
forgive my reluctance to have anything to do with it," Dirk
said, shying away. "God forbid anything goes wrong with it, I
am, quite literally, toast."
he was reluctant to touch it, Dirk learned how to arm and set the
timer on the light bomb. He didn't like touching it, but made himself
deal with it. Their lives could depend on his ability to set it and
he wouldn't let them down.
ate a light supper before retiring for the night. They planned to
head out in the morning. It wasn't a long drive, but they wanted to
stop nearby and get some rest before proceeding to the Vampire Lord's
mansion. Rafaela was loading the dishwasher. Dirk took Seth aside.
to man, I need to ask a favor."
already planned to head home for awhile. Gonna catch a nap," he
replied, looking somewhat uncomfortable. "I don't begin to
understand this relationship you two have, but I know the kind of
love you share. If I could get Miri back, even for one night...."
He sniffed sharply, shaking his head. "You know what time we're
getting on the road. I'll be back. Don't keep her up too late."
Honor," Dirk swore.
weren't a Boy Scout," Seth remarked with a frown.
the contrary, I was a founding member. You just won't find my name on
any of the historical documents."
chuckled. "That's just outrageous enough to be true." He
called goodbye to Rafaela and left.
joined Rafaela in the kitchen, helping her clean up. When the
dishwasher was going, he took her in his arms, kissing her deeply.
this is going to be our last night together, I want to make it
count," he murmured. "I love you more than I can possibly
love you too, Dirk. You are the best thing that's ever happened to
worst, too, I bet," he teased.
What you said about having a child.... My deepest regret is that I've
never been able to have your baby."
Dellani Oakes 2017