Raythe says …
So we continue on with some of the small back stories for the characters in the gay vampire romance Ever Dark. This time listen to the dramatically read villain’s story about how the decision to kill the Harrows …
PRECEPTOR CAEMORN LOSUS &
LORD ARTEMIS ALUCIUS
Sixteen years ago …
“You cannot let them live, Caemorn,” his Master Artemis Alucius said as they wandered through the graveyard.
Mist curled around the stone gravestones. Most of the inscriptions had been erased by rain, wind and simply the action of time. Caemorn tried to keep his expression as empty as those headstones.
“The Harrows are famous. Killing them would draw attention,” Caemorn pointed out. His hands slipped behind his back, crossing at the wrists. That would stop him from fisting them at his sides. “We could bring in Confessor Xerxes to take their memories and put in aversion thoughts whenever they consider looking into the existence of Vampires again.”
Confessor Xerxes was a powerful member of the Eyros Bloodline. He was not as good as Balthazar Ravenscroft at mind control, but, then again, no one really was. Balthazar wasn’t nicknamed “Eyros Reborn” for no reason. But just thinking about the exiled Vampire lord had his lips compressing together and he needed no extra stress with this meeting with his Master.
“Wiping their minds is not possible, because then Xerxes would know what the Harrows do and he would have to be eliminated as well. And he is actually useful, not to mention his Second Death would be very noticed,” Artemis answered with a put upon sigh as if Caemorn were very stupid.
Artemis stopped a few feet ahead of him and lightly perched on top of a headstone. His Master appeared a lithe youth with blond hair and an angelic smile. He looked completely at home in the graveyard, a Seraphim that had come to Earth to wake the dead from their slumber and walk once more. And they were there for that purpose, but the dead would work for them not any god.
“How can you be sure what the Harrows have found if you will not let someone follow them through the gate?” Caemorn asked.
The thought of a new city in the Ever Dark open to them was thrilling. The fact that humans had found it was slightly unnerving, but in the end, it didn’t matter. The city would be theirs! But then Artemis had stopped him from alerting anyone about it.
“I have followed them through,” Artemis admitted.
Caemorn lifted his head up in surprise. “What?”
His beautiful Master’s expression was ugly. Full of shadows of old anger and hurt. Artemis’ pink lips were pulled back from his teeth and her fangs were out.
“You heard what I said, Caemorn. I went and saw the city. I know it’s his. I know it is Nightvallen,” Artemis said with a toss of his mane of blond hair.
“Nightvallen,” Caemorn whispered the word with more reverence than he intended to.
But Nightvallen was the fabled home of the Vampire King Daemon. Caemorn had read the sacred texts, memorized them really, far before he had ever joined the Order or become Preceptor. His original awe at the thought of the Immortals – gods that one could actually see proof of in the old cities and the magic gates – had dimmed over the centuries. He’d learned that the Immortals were much like the mythical Greek gods with all of the foibles that humans had but just exaggerated. But Daemon – King Daemon – was different than all of them.
Daemon had gone to sleep to await the day when a man or woman was born who would be strong enough to become his fledgling. Though Caemorn had been turned by Artemis, he still sometimes hoped that the death’s head tattoo on his wrist – the sign of the Kaly Bloodline – would suddenly shift into that of an infinity symbol proclaiming him Daemon’s. If he were honest with himself, sometimes he still wished for it.
But if Nightvallen had been found then Daemon …
“Is — is the king there?” His voice dipped again in volume.
Artemis gave him a sharp look as if he heard the longing in Caemorn’s mind. “Of course, he is!”
“But how do you know? Did you see the tomb? Did you gaze upon –”
“I know, because I know. Are you questioning me, Caemorn?” Kaly’s voice sounded even, but he was furious.
Caemorn dropped to one knee. “No, of course not, my master.”
That seemed to mollify the other Vampire. But then he was pacing again, stroking his chin.
“The Harrows have got to be eliminated, Caemorn. Now. Tonight. No more waiting. We cannot take the chance they will reveal this to others.”
“What about …” Caemorn swallowed. He normally had little compunction about killing, but killing children always bothered him and Julian Harrow was twelve. “The boy? Their child?”
“Getting squeamish, Caemorn?” Artemis sounded amused.
“I doubt he knows anything about this. No parent would tell their child –”
“Again with the child!” Artemis tipped his head back towards the moon. He was smiling even as he seemed put out. “If Julian Harrow truly is unaware of his parents’ work then he can be spared. Otherwise … you have to get rid of him personally.”
Caemorn nodded, feeling a sick mixture of relief and fear. Hopefully, the boy knew nothing and both of them would be spared his death. He already would be killing the boy’s parents. That was enough pain for anyone to bear.
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