New Kingdom: Australian Court Ch. 06byMicKay©
This is it! The final chapter of the New Kingdom series. Many thanks to everyone who emailed, voted and left comments. Special thanks to Willie for sticking w/me til the end and proofreading this last chapter. Take Care!
Gabriel ran to the edge of the property watching helplessly as his mate was taken from him. Resisting the urge to panic, he surveyed the scene before him and digested the information. Two sets of creatures had flown through the air carrying passengers with them. One was his mate. The other he had once called friend. Answers to several questions now became clear.
"Gabriel?" Edward called racing behind him. "Oh god, they took Alena and Matthias?"
"They took Alena," he answered with a growl. "And Matthias helped. He is no friend and hasn't been for a long time."
"What? That can't be right. He's fought with us."
"For appearance sake," Gabriel answered turning to the house. "Bring your mate to me."
Gabriel turned to his brother pinning him with an angry glare, "I do not have time to answer your questions. Bring her to me."
Edward watched as Gabriel moved to the house. With a sigh, he quietly called to his mate telling her the news of her sister and relaying Gabriel's request. He could feel her fear as he moved closer to the house and realized that he echoed her sentiment. Killing Alena would be the quickest way to the destruction of the New Kingdom.
Gabriel stormed through the house mentally noting everyone that he would need. Finding his daughter at the door, he pulled her along silently ignoring her tearful questions. When Antony opened the door to his rooms, Gabriel pushed him aside and searched for Emma.
"Alena has been taken," he said while leaning close to Antony's newborn mate. "I need you to come with me."
"Wait just a damn minute ...." Antony started but quit when Gabriel was suddenly gone. "Emma, no. You are not ready to do this."
"Apparently he thinks I am," she said moving to the door. "And you know that I don't have a choice."
Antony hesitated for a moment before following his mate. As they proceeded through the house, Alex approached Gabriel and stared at the man. With a nod, Gabriel relinquished the hold on his daughter and offered her hand to Alex.
The group continued through the house until they met Iona standing in the foyer. She approached Gabriel and put her arms around his neck. Pulling his head close to her, she whispered, "She's safe. Alone in a room."
Leaning close to her ear, he sighed and ordered, "Break your connection to Edward."
"Gabriel, wait," his brother argued.
"Now!" Gabriel snapped.
"Why?" Edward asked quietly. "Because your mate is gone, you're taking ours away too?"
"No because the connection is not from a tryst with a woman. It's from your sires. All of you! You sired others and they betrayed you," Gabriel explained looking at his brothers. "Iona, can you still communicate with her?"
"I can feel her fear but it's safer for me to break our link. Talk to her. Tell her that I'm coming for her now."
"He's coming Alena. We're coming for you," she said out loud and then looked at Gabriel. "She hears voices coming near her. Two men arguing."
"Ask her to describe everything around her and anything she saw when she arrived."
"Tell me where you are," she asked her sister. "Describe it to me." After a few seconds, Iona relayed, "It's a large house. Dark with no exterior lighting. Windows are broken. Smells bad like death is surrounding her. She can smell blood and decaying flesh." Iona inhaled and said, "They're here."
"Where is she?" Gabriel demanded turning to Conlaoch. "Think about the place she described."
"I...I don't know," Conlaoch stammered. "Alex?"
"Ask her if she noticed any stables?"
"Alex wants to know if you noticed any stables," Iona repeated. "She's quiet. Someone is in the room with her. Oh, yes. She said yes."
"They're at the caretaker's place," Alex explained. "The stables were built next to Con's old house. My mother considered herself an equestrian champion until the horses arrived. So he had to abandon his former home and build this one away from the smell."
"Show me the way," Gabriel demanded. "Emma, I need you to stay close and separate your thoughts from Antony."
"Oh god, Gabriel, please don't do this," Antony begged. "I'll go with you and we'll bring her back."
"Wait," Conlaoch interrupted. "I can show you a better way. It's been sealed for years but shouldn't be difficult to access."
The group followed Conlaoch to his office and stopped at the large bookshelf. "Help me move this," he instructed. After removing the furniture and drywall, Gabriel stared into the darkness before him.
"Let's go," Edward said and then stopped when Gabriel's hand landed on his chest. "You can't. He reads you and you read the others. I can't take that risk. "
"Dad," Joshua said from the doorway. "I'll come too."
"It's not safe for you now. You'll be especially easy for the boy to read."
"Then why are you taking Abigail?"
Gabriel looked at his daughter and knew that she understood, "Bait," he answered. "Iona will communicate with her sister and Emma can move around them without being seen."
"And Alex?" Conlaoch asked quietly. "Damn it Gabe, he's my son."
Gabriel looked at the human man standing close to his group, "He'll fight."
"He's standing right here," Alex added.
"Gabriel, a moment please," Conlaoch requested pulling his brother away from the group. "He cares for her and he will speak to you about his intentions."
"And you're telling me this because you think I'm leading your little lamb to the slaughter?"
"He's bought a home for her!"
"I hope it's big. They'll need the room."
Conlaoch's eyes widen as the meaning of Gabriel's words registered. "We must respect his choice to remain human."
"It's a good choice," Gabriel said turning away, "until it's taken away from him."
Alena remained quiet as the two men entered the room. One, whom she recognized as her abductor, was average build and appeared too dignified to be associated with these monsters. The other, whom she assumed was the boy created by the Panthralges, appeared to be less human than monster. Ignoring her sister's questions, she listened to the two men argue searching for some information that would help her escape.
"Alena!" the young man announced. "Welcome to my home. Oh, may I call you Alena?"
She quickly answered out loud hoping her sister would understand the answer, "Yes."
"If only you had found me, then I could call you Mother," he continued kneeling beside her chair. "Why didn't you look for me?"
"I...I didn't know..." she hesitated when his lips snarled. "I came looking as soon as I heard. They hid you so well."
"I know. I know. I know," he said rising to his feet. "My fathers were so protective that I sometimes thought they were more of a hindrance. But that's in the past. And you're here now."
"What do you want from me?"
"Oh, no!" he said returning to her side. "I'm not just taking from you but giving too. As a matter of fact I will give more than I take."
Alena tensed as the young man's fingers stroked over her face. Forcing a smile, she asked, "What could you do for me?"
"I will give you the world!" he added threading his fingers through her hair. "As you probably know, I will be the ruler of the New Kingdom very soon. Prophecy dictates it."
"You know that's not how the prophecy is written," he responded tugging her hair. "My sister and I will rule together but I expect she will be otherwise occupied."
"Oh," she mumbled. "Oh, so it's not Joshua?"
"No. I know you thought you were raising the two heirs, and I don't blame you for the mistake, but he was a mistake. I will make sure you feel no pain from the loss."
"That's what I will give you," he said resting his head on her breast. "Comfort. Companionship. I will be son and mate to you."
"I have a son and mate," she whispered.
"Not for long, mother. That sounds too formal, doesn't it? We'll have to work on something special but we have forever to do it."
"What...what do you mean that I won't have them for long?"
"Oh, don't be sad but they will die soon. Look at this from my point of view. Joshua has been trying to usurp me since birth. Gabriel...well, he thinks he's so damn smart, that he is ...oh, oh, shhh," he said placing two fingers to her lips. "Don't ruin the surprise."
"No, of course not...uh, I'm sorry. What is your name?"
"My apologies. My fathers named me Gregorii. What should you call me?"
"Gregorii, what surprise?" she asked ignoring his question.
"I know you can communicate with your mate so I can't tell you everything. Although he has tried to break the bond with his brothers, he missed something."
"Gabriel missed something?"
"Yes but let's not talk about that. It will be over soon. So, you should know that I have some gifts you've probably never seen before," Gregorii said moving from her side. He walked to the center of the room and removed his robe. "No, no. You must look at me."
"I, uh, I don't see my son undressed now that he's grown," she explained keeping her gaze down.
"Look at me Alena."
When she was staring him in the eye, he flexed his shoulders allowing his wings to stretch full span. His pale skin reflected an iridescent glow in the dimly lit room. The slim body which had appeared malnourished while covered was now lean and muscular. Standing at full height, Gregorii demonstrated a body honed as an athlete's. Avoiding the area below his waist, Alena looked up to the young man's face and gasped.
"Don't be afraid," he whispered. "My true nature should not scare you."
"No. I...I'm not scared. You are amazing," Alena said out loud. "The, uh, the ones that took Abigail...you made them?
"I did!" he exclaimed. "You saw them. Joshua can only call for an army but I can make one." He moved to her side and asked, "Are you proud of me?"
"You told Joshua that you were proud of him," he explained with a slight tone of irritation. "I made my army."
"Of course," she finally said nodding her head. "But that is hardly the word that describes how I feel. You have wings like a dragon and can sire hundreds just like you. Everyone fears you but I see that you are truly great."
"Fear me? Really?" he asked with a smile. "Am I as feared as Gabriel?"
"I suppose you may be more feared than Gabriel. His family trusts him."
"A foolish mistake. He allowed too many to get close and it made him weak."
"Why would loving his family make him weak?" she asked fighting panic.
Gregorii knelt before her and wrapped his hands around her waist. Leaning close to her ear, he whispered, "Because he's leading them to their deaths."
"How is Gabriel leading his family to their deaths?" she asked stopping when he growled. "What's wrong Gregorii?"
"Why are you doing that? Repeating everything I say as a question?" he asked looking around. "Ah. You can't hear him. He's blocking you. Oh poor baby. I would never lock you out of my life like he has. But who are you talking to? Hmmm. Ah, yes I see her now. Iona."
"You...you see her?" she asked with a tremble in her voice. "How?"
"How?" he asked with a grin. Whispering in her ear, he added, "Because my sister's mind in screaming in my head."
"Abigail? You can hear..."she stopped when he slapped her hard across the face.
"There will be no more of that," he snarled. "Avoiding my guards at the gates was a brilliant idea but bringing that silly girl was incredibly stupid. We've managed to move...well Matthias actually moved everyone in place to greet them at the tunnel."
"Don't! Now, be quiet and I just may be a little compassionate when I punish you later," he said placing a kiss on her cheek. "But then, why should I deny myself that pleasure when you have done nothing to please me."
"How can I please you?" she whispered.
"Give me another reason to slap you, Mother. I like that sound."
"He will kill you," she whispered immediately feeling the pain of his blow. Tasting the blood in her mouth, she added, "Especially when he finds out that you've hit me."
They stared at each other waiting. One, expecting an attack. The other, expecting a rescue. Both, expecting something. Anything. And as the silence dragged before them, they continued to stare. The sound of something falling in the hall was anticlimactic but still broke the silence. Gregorii turned and looked toward the door.
"Matthias?" He questioned moving to the door. "Who is there?"
Focused on her captor's movement, Alena was startled when a blur suddenly moved in front of her. A beautiful blond gently touched her cheek and leaned close to whisper. In a panic, Alena listened while watching Gregorii. With a nod, the blond moved almost vanishing into thin air just as he turned around.
"What was that?"
"Mmm?" she moaned.
"Was someone here?" he asked turning when a lamp fell from an end table. "Who is here? I knew you were coming. Show yourself and maybe I'll spare you."
A feminine giggle responded from another corner of the room causing Gregorii to spin in a circle. Another lamp was turned on and off while a book fell from a shelf. Moving across the room, Gregorii growled and stopped.
"The new born," he said suddenly. "Of course. You were invisible as a human so certainly you would be more agile now. But tricks like this? Gabriel!" he shouted. "Is this the best you can do?!"
"It is," Alena whispered.
"I was answering you that it is the best he can do," she repeated. "Actually, that's a lie. I was telling them that the tricks were pissing you off."
"Do you have any idea what will happen? They will be destroyed! I will have each of them carried in here and torn apart right before your eyes. Except for the girl. Matthias has plans for her. He's such a sick bastard that she will regret not dying with the others."
Grabbing Alena by the hair, he lifted her from the chair and dragged her toward the door. "He thinks he's so smart," he growled. "I'll save him for last of course. He can watch until I'm finished with you."
"You can't beat them," she cried struggling against his hold. "Not one of them and certainly not all of them."
"Oh, my dear, he left them. Why? Because I have their blood and I can hear them. And he alone is no match for my guards. Oh yes, love, they will hurt him and then hold him while I feast from your body."
He pulled her against his naked skin chuckling as she continued to struggle against him. "He may even die from just watching me fuck you," he whispered against her cheek.
Moving his mouth closer to her lips, Gregorii cried out when a man's hand wrapped around his throat.
"You were correct," a deep voice growled. "Emma is an impressive newborn. She can now hide another person under her cloak. And yes, it probably would kill me to see anyone touch her." Emphasizing his next words, he slowly broke each of Gregorii's fingers clutching Alena's arm. "But that will never happen."
As the winged creature's body was tossed across the room, Gabriel pulled Alena into his arms searching for any signs of injury. Grabbing his sleeve, she tried to pull him towards the door.
"Gabriel, we have to go now. It's a trap. Didn't Iona tell you?"
"Baby, it's ok. I need to finish this," he said gently touching her face. "Stay with Emma."
"No!" she cried "He has guards waiting to kill Abigail."
"She's with Alex and your sister. Trust me. They'll be fine."
"How do you know?"
"I know my brothers," he added with a smile. "We wouldn't be in this mess if they had ever listened to me."
Waiting in the tunnel, Alex paced between the two possible points of entry. In the dark, his eyes were of no service but his hunter's instinct was on full alert. Tensing, he felt a vampire moving near so he quietly unsheathed his weapon of choice. When he could sense the approach of the newcomer, he twisted in the direction they had just taken from Conlaoch's house.
"Hello sweetheart," Iona chimed moving around Alex. "Will you let me explain?"
"I can't believe I let you break away from me!" Edward growled. "I can't believe I stood there like some helpless fool while Gabriel dragged you away."
"He didn't exactly drag me love. And you should know that I would have never agreed to his plan if he didn't promise that you would be minutes behind us."
"Of course but he needed Emma to get him in there."
"What?" Antony roared from the darkness. "I can't believe that fucker took her in there."
"They're coming?" Alena and Gregorii asked in harmony just before Antony crashed into the room.
"You can't win!" Gregorii exclaimed rising to his feet. "Don't you understand? You can't kill me because I am the ruler of the New Kingdom."
"What the fuck is he talking about?" Antony said pulling Emma behind him. "Why are you just standing there, Gabriel?"
"He knows that I'm telling the truth!" the young man said clapping his hands. "So the Third Creation surrenders. Matthias was right. Who needs weapons when you can defeat kingdoms with fear?"
"I'm not afraid of a little fucking mutant," Antony said stepping forward.
"No? Why? Because you've killed my fathers? Because I'm just one man? Because until this very minute, you've always had the control? When will you learn that there is more than what you see?"
"It's not this abandoned old house but the world that I have taken,"
"Gabriel, what the hell is he talking about?" Antony demanded moving near his brother.
"The prophecy. He thinks he is the heir."
"And I can prove it," Gregorii added walking to the window. "Of course you know the words but I have already proven to be better than Joshua. He calls but I create. Did you know that I am even superior to you, Gabriel?"
"Because you kidnap women?" Antony snapped. "Or that you've taken a gift and sired these pathetic creatures?"
"No, because I've deployed my army all over the world," the young man replied with a laugh. "You think your lands are safe but you only prepared a home for my children. You'll never win."
"You've taken a gift and used it as a weapon," Antony whispered.
"Your gift created me, yes," the young man responded quickly leaping across the room. "You sired hundreds but failed to care for them as you were ordered. My fathers took them. Cared for them."
"You mean deceived them."
"And created me and I have created a new race that will bring order to this world."
"Who exactly did your fathers take?"
"Those first sired by the Third Creation," Gabriel explained. "When I saw Matthias take Alena, I finally understood. We knew that we had been compromised and had assumed that a woman had betrayed us. Unfortunately, we neglected our first newborns and they were taken from us. In this house alone, they found Conlaoch's first changeling."
"But you never sired one before Alena."
"He hoped to complete the package by taking her," Gabriel answered and quickly grabbed Gregorii. "A fatal error."
"You can't kill me. I am the heir."
"I don't believe that."
"But do you know, with absolute certainty that I am not? Because, if you are wrong, then the New Kingdom will collapse with my death."
"You will die tonight," Gabriel replied.
"You keep saying that," Gregorii snapped. "But you can't kill me because you have no assurance that I am not the rightful heir."
"But I do," Joshua said stepping out of the shadows.
"Alex?" Abigail whispered. "What are you doing?"
"Watching. Are you ok?"