The Destruction of the Vlkolak Ch. 07bylilgirlsix©
Thank you for your continuing interest in the Vlkolak and the story of Guillame and Orsolya. There is still more to come so don't worry. This isn't the end of the story. I promise there will be more. As always, a huge thank you to Archangel_M for his incredible editing.
Guillame walked through the darkness of the early morning to the docks and finally found the clerk. "Hello there. Any word if the ship will sail today for America?" Every day he had been here, and every day he had asked the same question. The answer had been no. He wished he knew something about the sea to know if they were telling him the truth or just waiting until there were more passengers to load onto the ship.
The man looked up at the familiar face that had found him daily for the last week. "Yes, Sir. The ship will sail today. Have your people here at six A.M." He liked the well-dressed gentleman that had been prowling the docks for the last seven days. It was obvious, to him at least, that the man was sending a precious cargo to the New World. But usually it was the husband who left his wife and children behind and would send for them later. He saw the profound sadness on the man's face when he told him the ship would leave today, but it was not for him to wonder.
Guillame made his way to their rented rooms. He kept hoping for an excuse to let Orsolya stay here with him. But what could he do or say that would make her go against her father and Alpha? He had to keep her safe, but how could he do that without knowing what the danger was? As much as he wanted to deny it, this was the best course of action. At least she would be with Zsigmond and his family. They would help her. They would be with her when their cub was born. With that thought, he punched his fist right through a brick wall. He pulled it out slowly, feeling a dull pain. He looked at his bleeding knuckles and watched as the flesh healed before his eyes. If only he could destroy their enemies as easily as he could destroy bricks and mortar. He couldn't show Orsolya that he was upset. He had to be a strong anchor for her. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly before walking through the doorway.
Orsolya was waiting for him at the door as he entered. She had felt him return. She had felt his anger, his hurt, his sorrow, and his steadfastness. And she loved him more for each of those reasons. She saw his face when he walked inside and knew it was today.
"You leave in two hours. We must go now so you can be settled before the ship leaves the dock." His hand touched her face, gently stroking her jaw. He had it memorized already but he took every opportunity to feel her skin and inhale her scent.
Orsolya threw herself into his strong arms, sobbing into his shoulder. How could her father make her do this? How could Guillame let him? But she already knew the answers. Her father felt it was the only way to save her, and she and Guillame were both compelled to follow the orders of the Alpha. But she couldn't even feel the bond with her father anymore. They were so far away. She barely felt her grandmother's presence in her mind. She wondered when she would be totally alone. When would the bond with Guillame be silent? The thought of it made her cry all the more. She could feel Guillame pulling her into his lap as he sat on the bed. He rocked her as he stroked her hair.
It broke his heart to hear her weep. "Even when I am not in your mind, I will be in your heart, my love. And you will always be in mine. It is all we have left and it will have to do." As he spoke to her through their bond, he kissed her gently on her forehead, her cheeks, her nose, her lips. He didn't leave one bit of available skin untouched. "Know that I will be doing all that I can to keep you safe. And when the time is right, I will come for you, my love. I have already been in contact with the Council Archivist in America. He has agreed to watch over all of you for me and send me reports of your well-being. I will still be with you, my little red-haired kitten."
Orsolya did her best to stop crying and pulled back from Guillame's broad chest. He smiled at her and licked the tears from her face. "I love you more than I ever knew to be possible, Guillame. I will always love you."
"I know, my love, I know. And I will always love you, my sweet kitten." He stood, his mate still in his arms, and gently lowered her to the floor. "But we must go now. I will get Zsigmond. Pack the rest of your things."
Rudolf paced nervously in his rooms. Guillame had answered his dispatch and said he would return but had business to attend to first at home. If a member of the Council were to die with the Vlkolak Rudolf would have to answer for it. He had sent word he wished to be informed when Guillame had returned to his home in Belgium, but was infuriated when told they hadn't heard from Guillame in two years. What was that fool doing? He couldn't possibly have any idea what was planned. He felt the sudden drop in temperature in the room and turned slowly.
"Is everything in place for tonight?" The pale creature stood quietly near the window, his ever-present hooded cape hiding his face.
"We might have to postpone. I have not heard from Guillame. We cannot go through with the attack if he is still with them." Rudolf was not prepared for the speed of the creature who crossed the room and gripped his throat with a strength that surpassed that of any werewolf. Rudolf struggled to breath and to escape from the demon's grasp. He tried to force himself to shift but was unable to bring his wolf forward. He grabbed hold of his attacker's arms, trying to break his hold. He felt his feet leaving the ground and kicked furiously, hoping to make contact with the demon and dislodge himself in time.
Erobos watched dispassionately as the werewolf sputtered and struggled. He saw the face turning red and then blue. He could feel the pulse quicken and then become erratic and slow. He waited just a few moments longer. He could hear the heart beating irregularly. He waited. The kicking slowed and then stopped. Erobos loosened his grip, and the werewolf dropped to the floor with a heavy thud. He casually stepped over the writhing body that was gasping for air and sat in the ornate chair that the head of the Council kept in his private chambers.
Rudolf clawed at his throat. His trachea had been crushed. He waited as the healing process began, trying to withstand the pain and force himself to breathe in enough air.
"Now, is everything in place for tonight? There will be no postponement, Rudolf. I am sure you are in agreement with me on that point." He smiled as Rudolf struggled to nod. "Good, now, my people will join with yours just before sundown. We will encircle their compound, and then crush them. There cannot be any escapes. But I want the female. I will take Leona myself." Erobos looked off into the distance as his eyes seemed to glow red. "Your time has come, Leona. You are mine!"
Rudolf cowered on the floor of his chambers. What had he done? What was this thing he had made his alliance with?
Guillame and Zsigmond carried the meager belongings of their group onto the ship. Their quarters would be cramped, but they would make it liveable. At times like this, being pack creatures was to their advantage. They actually enjoyed curling up together in a pile on a bed. They could hear the humans complaining about how they would sleep with one bed and five or six family members.
Guillame took Orsolya aside for one last moment together before he had to leave the ship. He pulled a package out of his pocket and placed it into her small hand, closing her fingers around it gently. "Do not open this until you can no longer feel my presence." She looked down at the package in her hand, but his fingers held her chin and tilted her face up to his. "Promise me, my little red kitten."
"I promise, my big brown wolf." She held it carefully and put it into her pocket where it would be safe. Then she flung her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her. She kissed him desperately, knowing this would be the last kiss she would have from him. She didn't stop until he forcefully took hold of her arms and pushed her away. "I will not say good-bye, Guillame. I will only say, until we are together again."
He smiled sadly at his beloved mate. "We will be together again, I promise." He took her hands in his, holding them tightly, and brought them to his lips. He looked over to Zsigmond and nodded imperceptibly.
Zsigmond put an arm around his sister and gently pulled her away from Guillame. He would hold her as she cried for her mate. He held her tight when she struggled to follow Guillame out to the deck. "No, Orsolya. Remember, he is in as much pain as you, little sister. Do not make it harder for both of you." He kissed the top of her head and squeezed her shoulder. "Fate brought you together once, perhaps it will be the same again in the future. You must have faith."
Guillame stepped off the gangplank to the pier. He turned and watched as the ship left port for its journey to America. The sun rose across the horizon as the ship put out to sea. He stared until he could no longer see the masts. He was so intent on watching where the ship had last been that he was startled by the sudden hand on his shoulder.
"You will see her again." The clerk smiled at him. He'd seen it time and again. He watched the sad gentleman walk away from the shipyard into the city.
Half a day into their voyage, Orsolya felt a sudden panic. Guillame's presence in her mind was gone. She could feel a faint echo, but that was all. He had been talking to her through their bond since she left. That had given her the courage to make it through this, but now he was gone. She suddenly remembered the package he had given her and fished it out of her pocket. She carefully unwrapped the small box and inside found a gold locket. It had the most amazing engraving. On one side was a large wolf and on the other a panther. She smiled to herself. She gently undid the latch and opened the locket to find a picture of her on the side of the panther and Guillame on the side of the wolf. They had gone to a photographer when they had reached the first human city on their journey. It had been almost a month before. He had told her he wanted a picture of them to carry with him. She hadn't realized he had thought of her as well. How silly of her, of course he would think of her. She hugged the locked to her chest and kissed the wolf engraving. She slipped the chain around her neck and felt the locket fall against her skin between her breasts. She would never take it off. Never.
Guillame waited half a day. He couldn't feel her anymore. He had gone from the city and wandered into the woods outside Hamburg, aimlessly walking. When he no longer heard her responses to his messages, he knew they would never be able to contact each other again. He took the picture out of his pocket. He stroked the glass picture lightly. He ripped the clothes off his body and shifted. His wolf immediately ran for high ground. The sun was setting and he felt a need to see the moon. He ran for miles, finally finding a hill to climb. He made his way to the top and stopped, staring at the full moon above him. He let out a mournful howl. He wasn't sure how long he continued, but when he saw the shadow moving across the orb he stopped. The Lunar Eclipse had begun. What was happening to the pack?
He had planned on defying the Alpha and returning to help them after he had delivered Orsolya and her brother's family to the ship. But the delay had made him forget. And now it would be too late. He ran back to where he had left his clothing and luggage. Human transportation would be faster than he could travel as a wolf. Maybe the Council would change their minds. Maybe when he arrived all would be well. Maybe he would be able to send for Orsolya and the rest of the pack and all would be as it was. Maybe.
Erobos stood on a hill not far from the Vlkolak compound. From here he had a perfect view of the ongoing Lunar Eclipse. When it was full, they would move. Soon Leona, soon. He looked down upon his army, here to do his bidding. They would follow his instructions to the letter or die. He spotted the few werewolves that Rudolf had sent. They seemed strong, but would they be loyal to the purpose? Or would they flee if there was a fight? Erobos formed a smile on his stern face. If they ran they would just become more casualties. If only Rudolf had been here. He would run. He would have died. It would have been enjoyable to the shrouded being.
"Master." The deferential soldier lowered his head. "They are in the clearing. I think they are praying."
"Fool, weres have no God. They do not pray." With a flourish of his cape he walked down the hillside and towards the unsuspecting victims of his rage. "Follow me." The brightness of the moon had faded and a dark disc was all that could be seen in the sky.
The assembled fighters followed their leader through the woods. The scouts had not found any guards posted. Could the Vlkolak really be that stupid? But He didn't sense anyone lurking in the woods.
Erobos looked at the group of wolves and the one sleek, black panther who stood in a circle around a fire in the open area. His soldiers easily outnumbered them and had them surrounded. They didn't seem to notice. He stood quietly and listened to the quiet howls of the pack. This made him glad his people had moved beyond these silly little rituals.
He stood directly behind the panther. "Leona, your time has come." He watched as she shifted and turned slowly. Even after eight hundred years she was breathtaking to behold. Her silken black hair fell over her shoulders, fanning out along her perfect skin. After all these years, it affected him the same way. He could see the contemptuous look on her face as she stared back at him. "I will give you the same choice, Leona."
She replied in a low even voice. "And I give you the same answer, Erobos. I will never be your mate."
"Then you doom this pack to the same fate that befell your father's. Is that what you want? To watch them all die?" He scanned her face closely for a reaction. There was none. She cloaked her emotions well. She had learned. The last time he had given her this choice she had shrieked her hatred of him and stormed away. And days later her family had died.
"And this time, Leona, I will kill them all. There will be no time to escape. I have spent centuries tracking every one of the cubs your father sent away. But I found them all. And now, I have you." He pulled his lips back in a gruesome smile. He reached out and grabbed her arm and heard a loud growl from the black wolf next to her, just before it leapt up and bit through his arm, breaking the bones. The sickening cracks were heard by all in the clearing. "AH! Damned dog!" He kicked at the wolf and sent the animal flying across the clearing. His arm dangled free for a moment before the healing process began.
The wolf shook himself and then stood and shifted. Ártur stood proudly. He would not cower in front of these demons. He was the Alpha of the Vlkolak. His pack needed his strength right now. "What manner of being are you, Erobos?"
The gruesome creature stepped menacingly towards the Alpha before stopping in front of him. "I was once as you, Alpha. I was born a werewolf. But I evolved. A vampire turned me into some sort of hybrid. And in my search for blood I found a dire wolf. It's essence made me stronger than I ever could have believed possible. I captured every dire wolf I could find. Each added to my strength. But I want more!" He turned, and his eyes bored through Leona.
"You want her blood?" Ártur was stunned that this thing had once been a werewolf.
"I want her. Our children could rule the world. The panthers carry much power. Combined with mine, they could take over this earth. But she refused me, and her pack paid the price. And now, Alpha, yours will do the same."
"I wish to thank you, Erobos." Leona's sudden statement left all speechless.
"For what? Your deaths?" The pale face stared into the stunning features of the panther.
"For leading me to my love. If not for you and your evil, I never would have found Gellert, my true mate. So thank you, Erobos. You brought happiness and pleasure to my life. And now it will end. I am not sorry for my decisions." She stood proudly, defiantly, in front of her enemy. She lifted her head, ready to die. "We cannot fight you, Erobos. You outnumber us; you are stronger than we are. So kill us, and be done with it for all time."
"That easily? You give up without any fight at all?" Erobos suddenly realized the pack was not very large. There were no cubs present. His nostrils flared as he turned to face the panther. "Where are the cubs, Leona? Did you try to mirror your father's mistakes? I found and killed every cub. Do you think I cannot do it again?"
"Our females have been barren for centuries." Ártur was stone faced. Anyone who didn't know might think he was telling the truth. None of his pack reacted. They remained as wolves, letting their Alpha and the elder bitch lead.
"Really? No cubs at all?" Erobos didn't believe a word of it.
"My daughter did have one cub, but she died, along with her own cubs." Leona pointed to the remains of the pyre. "There are no others. We have inbred for too long. We have not taken in any new blood for some time. A pack will collapse when that happens."
A pale hand stroked its gaunt face as he pondered what had been said. Who ever heard of a were pack without cubs? Could it be true? He looked at the Alpha and Leona. His eyes narrowed. He spun around and grabbed at a small grey female wolf, picking her up by the scruff. "Shift!"
The little female shifted and stood shivering, the demon's hand tangled in her long hair.
"Where are your cubs?" His eyes stared into the wide eyed green orbs that faced him.
"I have none. There are no cubs in this pack. We cry every day for it." Her voice was soft. Her body trembled with fear. She shrank from the red-eyed creature that held her tight.
Erobos threw the bitch aside with disgust. Ártur went to her side and helped her up to her feet. Her mate whined at her feet. She dropped to her knees and hugged him tightly by the neck. Ártur bent down to whisper in her ear, and by the time he had straightened, she had shifted and was leaning against her mate for comfort.
"Should I believe you?" Erobos looked at Leona, then at the Alpha. "I do not believe you. Now, how shall we proceed?" He nodded to two of his soldiers who took another of the females from the circle and held her between them. Erobos strolled over to the trembling little brown wolf. "Shift, little bitch." He waited for her and appraised the frightened little female before him. "How long do you think it will take her to tell the truth? How much pain do you think she can take, hmm?" He reached out a hand and slid his fingers along her naked skin. He laughed as she shrank away from his touch.
Leona and Ártur exchanged glances. Ártur nodded slightly.
Erobos leaned in closely to the little female's face. "Do you want to be my next meal, little wolf? Tell me the truth. Where are the cubs? Where are they hidden? If you tell the truth, I will make your death quick. If not, well, I think you can imagine that it will not be pleasant." He bent down and nicked the skin of her neck with his teeth and lapped at the blood that came to the surface. His smile was grotesque as he pulled away, the female's blood coating his lips.