The Dawn of Wynter Ch. 03byelle137©
Hello lovelies! I am so sorry for the (extremely long) hiatus on here. My life took over and did not leave much room for writing! However, I've been sitting on this chapter for a while, toying with it and I decided to finally submit it, or else I never would! I hope you all enjoy it! There is a lot of back story here, a lot of flashbacks, and some questions are answered, while new ones are raised. I sincerely hope you love reading about these characters and their lives, because I love writing them! I may post another chapter this same week, depending on time and if I can learn to stop tinkering with things!
Again, I'm left awed at the amazing feedback you have given me on this story so far! Please please please continue to comment, vote and email me! It makes my day reading all your comments and suggestions!
Chapter 3: Answers
Zara stood in the vast room for the thousandth time. It was dark, no light penetrating the space. Even with her supernatural vision, the darkness pressed on her eyes, and all her senses were alert. As many times as she found herself here, she hated the fear that crept into her soul. She knew what was coming. She waited for the light in the center of the room to glow, as it always did.
Sure enough, a few seconds later, she recognized its bright glimmer. She began making her way to it, as if in a trance. The closer she got the harder the thrumming in her body became, as if her entire being were alive. It fed off the strange glimmer in the room. Her arm was outstretched, as if to touch it, when out of nowhere, a hand slapped it down. She looked up to find Xander towering in front of her. He smiled at her, but his eyes were sad.
"You're not ready Zara."
"Xander, let me pass. It's been waiting for so long," she begged, almost painfully, straining to look around him and see the glimmering light. She had no idea what was waiting or why she knew it was, the words just flew from her mouth.
"You're not ready," he repeated.
All of a sudden the room began to shake and the floor beneath her gave way and she fell, clawing at the air while screaming out for Xander; Her protector. He was supposed to keep her safe, yet he merely watched her fall, with that sad look in his eyes. She kept falling, into an infinite black abyss.
"Zara! Zara, come now chérie, wake up!"
Zara felt her body being shaken slightly as her eyes flew open to find Philippe bent over her, his hands clasping her upper arms tightly. She sat up, looking around only to find herself in the library. Damn it, she was sleep walking again. If anyone had told her she would become a sleep walking vampire, she would have laughed in their face at such a ridiculous concept. Yet she found herself waking up in strange places at least once a week.
She made to get up, but Philippe's strong arms gathered her up before she could do or say anything, and lay her on the chaise in the center of the room. He sat at the end staring at her curiously, neither of them speaking. She was about to get up and head back to her room, before she died of embarrassment, when he spoke.
"You were screaming bloody murder, my dear. I thought you had come in here to finish the job you had started earlier today in the gym," he smiled," until you collapsed on the floor there and began thrashing about like an animal in agony."
Damn it. Of all the people to be in the study when she sleep walked, it had to be Philippe, she thought angrily. She did not like that he saw her momentary weakness. She couldn't control the damn dreams or the late night strolls, and it irked her to be out of control of her own body, especially in front of this powerful vampire before her.
"Just a bad dream," she commented casually, crossing her arms over her chest. She didn't sleep in much, usually a thin camisole and mini shorts -- either that or nothing. She thanked whatever deity was watching over her that she had decided to put something on tonight, however skimpy. It was enough that Philippe was staring at her like a juicy meal already.
"I see...does it happen often?" he asked, curiosity taking over.
"Why does it matter, they're just dreams," she said irritably, rising out of the chaise and making her way to the door. She did not want to think about her dream, or Xander. It was just another mystery on her long list of questions that drove her mad.
A strong hand caught her arm at the entrance and swung her around, pressing her back against the wooden door. Zara made to push him away but his arms held her in place like an iron grip, his body too close for comfort. I'm tiring of this position, she thought irately, fighting not to roll her eyes at his show of typical Alpha male dominance.
"I don't know Zara," he whispered, his eyes locked on hers, "dreams are said to be the key to the soul. They can hold so many answers..." he trailed off, his nose running along her long slender neck, taking in her scent. "You seemed to be in such pain." His voice held a tone of concern. She brushed it off as one of his acts, to get her to soften up to him.
"Dreams are dreams, Philippe, nothing more than the strange meditations of the brain. Now let me go, I'm quite tired of kicking your ass once today."
He threw his head back and let out a booming laugh. "Hmm yes, I must pay you back for that ma petit coquette. You look simply delicious," he rumbled while pressing himself against her.
The nerve of this man! Was his skull so thick, he didn't understand that she had no interest in sleeping with him? Did the words 'stay away from me' not make it clear enough? She struggled at his grasp, freeing one arm and grabbing him by the neck before turning them so fast it was a blur, so that he was pressed against the door, their positions reversed.
"Let me make this clear for you, since it doesn't seem to be going through that sweet little head of yours Philippe. Parlez-vous Francais? Ce n'est pas possible," she gestured between them, "Now, get out of my way," she growled, throwing him aside. He crashed into a console table holding a desk lamp and it crumbled into pieces beneath him. She flung the door open roughly only to walk into a wide, muscled chest.
"Zara? I heard screaming and -- ", he paused seeing Philippe brushing debris from himself, "Everything ok?" Kai asked, looking worriedly at his sister and back at Philippe.
"Just peachy!" she grinned, before pushing past him, storming off to her room, mumbling curses under her breath. He thought he heard something like men, intolerable, ego maniac in the same sentence.
"Philippe," Kai began in a warning, "If you harmed my sister --"
"Be calm, Kailan," he said, his palms up and his voice just as serious, "I did not harm her."
"Then what the fuck is going on?" he asked gesturing to the broken table.
"I was merely admiring your collection of books, when she walked in. Before I could say anything she collapsed and began screaming and writhing like a person possessed."
"Damn it, she's sleep walking again." Kai was running his fingers through his hair.
"Again? How often does this occur Kai?"
"She won't say, but I suspect since she was turned. We've always just assumed it was a part of her...uniqueness."
Philippe was silent. His brain was whirring. Did Xander know of this? His friend had some questions that needed answering right away. His surprise that she had not been brought to their attention in all this time was magnified even more. Perhaps Xander had something to do with that too. He knew she was extraordinary, and how his kind would be intrigued by her, maybe even fear her.
She had scared him half to death when she was on the floor. She looked in such agony. He did not like seeing her in such a way. She appeared so terrified when she woke up, that he had wanted to hold her and never let go. Listen to yourself Philippe, he thought, you sound like you care deeply for the girl. He shocked himself with that thought. He had seen her as merely another conquest, along with something to protect from whatever Xander thought was coming. But to care for her? Surely not, Philippe had not cared for anything in almost four millennia. He closed off any possibility of that with the death of Véronique. He stopped himself short with that thought. He turned back to Kai.
"Yes, she is not your average vampire," he agreed, staring past Kai, into the hallway where she had disappeared.
"Kailan," he sighed, "from all I have seen," and all I have been told he added mentally, "your sister is an anomaly in our kind. The Vyrkaryan are not yet aware of her as anything but a regular vampire. They will begin digging once you join us to gain leverage, what they find I cannot say. I suggest you convey to her to control herself as best she can, just as we discussed. You can put it off no longer my friend."
"I figured as much. Perhaps it was a mistake to ask her to come back here," he said more to himself, than to Philippe.
"I think you made the right choice, it will be easier to watch her here, than elsewhere."
Kai did not reply, he merely paced back and forth across the room. He came to a stop in front of the shattered table, looking up at Philippe.
"You never mentioned how the table became fire wood..."
"Ah...I may have...provoked you sister's wilder side," he said with a sheepish grin.
"You are truly a glutton for punishment, Philippe," Kai chuckled.
Philippe merely shrugged his shoulders, and sat down in the chaise Zara had occupied previously. Both men were lost in their thoughts. Kai excused himself after some time, no doubt to check on his sister. Philippe felt for the young one. He knew what it was like to love one so much, the fear of losing them was almost paralyzing. It was that reason that kept him from caring too much.
Xander had the foresight to see the Vyrkaryan's interest in Kailan would expand to those closest to him. They had been looking for a new member for a while, as one of their eldest grew tired of the politics. Kailan Wynters had been on the top of the list to replace him. He had considerable wealth and power, but he was not flashy about it. The Vyrkaryan required discreetness.
Xander watched from the sidelines, Philippe keeping him informed of all the news coming from the meetings, when he was unable to attend himself. He had been enraged when he learned of Kai's potential involvement in the ancient council. Xander had always had an unusual obsession with the Wynters family that Philippe had never understood, until that day. He learned his friend was Zara's maker, and she was in turn her brother's. He also learned a little more about Zara, although at the time he suspected Xander left out certain things.
He could see why his friend obsessed over them now. Kai was loyal and had become a true friend over the years. Philippe considered him one of his most trusted allies, and he had known people for much longer who could not even come close. His sister, Zara Wynters was singular, unique and she had somehow pushed herself into Philippe's cold heart, whether he knew it or not. He found himself struggling to pinpoint what it was he felt for the woman. Desire was most definitely the dominant emotion, but there was more. He grew curious as to how she came to be the person that stood before him only a few moments ago. Could he possibly be coming to care for her? He snorted, absolutely not. Philippe Desmarais cared for only himself. Sure he was loyal to friends, kept his word, but when it came to his heart, it was as cold as an Alaskan glacier. He had a feeling however that it was not a mere coincidence that Xander had chosen him to watch over this unique family. There were undeniable similarities between himself and the girl. He stood suddenly, he was going to talk to the woman, prove it was purely physical. Once he got her out of his system, he would leave and let Xander deal with her. He was her maker after all; he could deal with the mess he had left behind centuries ago. He strode out of the study and began making his way to her wing.
"Come in," Zara sighed. She heard her brother behind the door, before he even knocked. The door creaked open slightly and Zara saw her brother poke his head in.
"One day, I will manage to sneak up on you," he teased, closing the door and making his way over to her bed and flopping down beside her, linking his hands behind his head.
"You've been trying for over a millennia," she laughed, "I'm not about to drop my guard now."
"Good, because you're going to need to be extra careful. Stéphan told you..."
She had turned on her side, facing him now. Her face was crumpled a frown. Her brother's face was a determined calm. They resembled each other, enough to deduce they were related. His eyes were a lighter green, sometimes bordering on hazel. He was a man, in every sense of the word; rugged, tall and muscular. He took up half of her bed at the moment.
"About how you're joining the Vyrkaryan? Yes. Although I'm still wondering why I did not hear it from you first? "
"Zara, we all have our secrets at times, you should know that better than most. I was waiting until the right time. Now that you're no longer in the dark about this, you should know that you have to seriously rein it in with your...talents for the next couple of weeks. People are watching and I need to know you're safe until I gain my seat amongst them."
"Kailan, I don't like it. They are powerful beyond measure; you know nothing of what they can do, what they have already done. It's an assembly shrouded in secrecy and speculation. I don't want to lose you to such a group."
"That is precisely why this is a good thing, for both of us. You may have been turned before me Zara, but I am still your older brother. I will do whatever it takes to protect you. This puts me in a prime position to ensure no one ever learns of what you can do. This is why I came to talk to you..."
"Kai, I can protect myself, I have done so for over 1,500 years, and I will continue to do so! We have never had cause to believe I was in any danger. If anything you joining them puts us in the very danger you speak of. I beg you, don't do this. I have such a terrible feeling..." She heard her pleading tone, but she didn't care. She did not, could not lose her only family, and she knew this was the beginning of something terrible.
"Zara, we haven't had much time to catch up since you have been back. I didn't go looking for this position, it came to me. You do not say no to the Vyrkaryan. If I did, they would surely speculate there was a reason behind it and come looking. This is the only way. Besides, you know me...I love power, and since I can't seem to gain it around you and Stéphane," he chuckled, "I can shine elsewhere!" he ended grandly.
"If I wasn't so worried about you, I'd almost feel sorry for that group of pretentious old hags, they really have no idea who they are asking to join their ranks," she laughed lightly.
"Exactly, which is why you shouldn't worry. You know me better than anyone, what you see is most definitely not what you get. The monster within slumbers, until someone decides to fuck with me or my family," he growled, hugging his sister close to him, planting a kiss on top of her head. "And who are you calling pretentious?" he joked, nudging her in the ribs, both of them breaking into a fit of giggles.
"I love you Kailan," she whispered a while later, hugging him tightly, trying to put so many words into that one gesture.
"Love you too sis."
They sat hugging for some time, before Kai had to ask, "So, you're still sleepwalking..."
Zara stiffened and unwrapped herself from her brothers strong arms. She swung her legs over the edge of the bed and sat facing away from him, her long hair obscuring her face from his gaze.
"Just leave it Kai, I don't want to think about it, or my dreams before you ask about those too."
"You must talk to someone Zara. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like living without seeing my maker for seven centuries. I can barely take half of one without seeing you."
"It's always the same Kai, there's nothing to talk about. He never helps me, he just watches. He looks so sad too, it breaks my heart," she sobbed, the sound wrenching at Kai's own heart. "I miss him Kai, yet I don't deserve his friendship, I should have died the day I was born into this life."
"Zara, no..." she felt his hand on her back as she let her tears fall freely.
Just then she heard something at the door, her head snapped up. She flew to the door in a blur, and flung it open. Philippe stood there, his eyes wide and his hand held up as if about to knock.
"Did your mother never tell you it's rude to eavesdrop?" she said in a stone cold voice, the fire building in her tear filled eyes.
"Forgive me, I --"
Before he could finish, Zara had grabbed him by the throat again, not caring that her nails were crushing his windpipe this time. She began walking forward, pushing him back with every step. He didn't even try to fight; he just let her hold him by the neck, staring into her eyes, confused.
"I'm tiring of finding you in every corner of this house Monsieur Desmarais, especially when I'm having a private discussion with my brother," she hissed.
He tried to speak, but her nails had dug so deep, his windpipe was close to crushed.
"What's that? I couldn't hear you?" her voice was cold, contradicting her pain filled expression, and the tears on her cheeks. She flung him back just as she heard her brother yelling, "Zara, no!"
Philippe landed hard on the marble floor, Kai rushing to help him as he tried to gasp for air, his throat still healing. She walked passed Philippe, who lay on his back stunned, and made her way to the grand hall of their home. She heard Kai helping Philippe up and apologizing for her behavior. She snorted in disgust, why should he apologize for her? It was Philippe who should apologize. The man was a pain in the ass and he was taking the only thing she cared for in this sad world away from her.
She flew out of the house and got into her car, not knowing where she was going but her foot never left the gas pedal as she twisted and turned on the road. She followed the path until she saw a trail to her right half an hour later; she turned into it instinctively, and followed it until it led her to a large grassy opening, the view of the city opening up in front of her. She parked and stared out ahead. The view was spectacular, how had she never found this place before?
She got out of the car and walked to the edge of the clearing, staring out at the bustling city in front of her. The darkness accenting the city lights. She lost herself in her thoughts, unaware of the tears flowing down her cheeks until she tasted their saltiness on her lips. She let out an agonizing scream, all her frustration put into that one roar. She screamed until her throat was hoarse and she lost her breath, collapsing on the ground. I've lost my mind, she thought, all of a sudden laughter came bubbling out of her. She laughed hysterically, tears still spilling from her eyes as she lay back in the grass, looking up at the sky.
"I didn't realize crushing my throat could make anyone so happy," called a voice behind her.
Her laughter died in her throat as she sat up and stared at Philippe, leaning against the hood of his own car, looking bored.
"You must have the thickest skull of any man I know," she said incredulously, "that or you have a death wish to follow me out here!" She stood, her hands curled into fists, anger rippling down her body. He just didn't know when to give up!
"Peace, Zara," he said in a quiet voice, it wasn't a request, it was an order. His hands were held palms up in surrender, "I simply came to apologize, and see if you were okay."