Chapter 31: Dawn
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I stood there in the icy, pouring rain, listening to the conversation between Lucious and Serena just around the corner. Sebastian stood, his back leaned up against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest. I was sure he could hear the conversation as well.

My breath was shallow as I anticipated the inevitable, the loss of my partner. I was certain Serena would scoop him up and take him away once more. And I, so weak... so powerless... could not do a thing to stop her.

Sebastian turned around and scraped his long nails along the brick wall catching my attention.

“Well, my work here is done,” he said, staring at me coldly.

“That’s it?” I questioned him.

His eyes focused in on me, measuring me from head to toe. “I pulled you away before Serena arrived, what more should I do for you?”

“But why did you pull me away?”

He breathed. “I didn't want you mixed up in their bullshit. It's not your fight Mikael, it's between Lucious and Serena... and I just want her to be happy.” Immediately, he stared at the ground in silence.

I could tell there was something different about him. The usual lively Sebastian who stood before me had gone, and now I saw a vampire full of despair and trepidation. His expression was soft, yet a concealed pout had begun to appear on his lips as he started to walk away from me.

“Sebastian.” I whispered as he stepped a few feet away.

He stopped and crossed his arms against his chest again. “What?” He groaned.

“Help me....” I pleaded.

He was silent for a moment. He gave me a side-long glance. “I did. Now leave!”

“No! Help me save him,” I spoke up.

He immediately turned around to face me. “I'm tired of her whining ‘Lucious, I miss my Lucious. Sebastian where's my Lucious’. Do you really think I want to keep hearing that for another fifty years?”

“Then come with us.” I ran up and stood next to him.

He refused to look at me. “Yeah, right. Where to? I've been together with Serena for a century, you cannot expect me to just up and leave.”

“But you want your freedom, do you not?” I asked. “To be away from her crying, bitching... you could do whatever you want!”

I finally had caught his attention.

“I could be free?”

“Of course you could.” I assured him “Help me rescue Lucious. We'll run.. we'll leave.”

“Always be running due to this damn chain!” He huffed.

“And if there is a way to break it, we'll find one!” I proposed.

He turned his head away from me once more, brushing his long, black hair behind his ear. He silently contemplated my proposal.

“Don't think I'm doing this for you. I wouldn't be caught dead hanging out with you two... and whatever it is that you do. No, I'm doing this for myself. To be free?” He paused for just a moment. “Hell yeah! And I have an idea... follow me.”

We walked around the small market building to the back where there was a staircase leading up to the roof. It was quiet and dark back here as the rain finally slowed to a sprinkle.

The stairs were slick as we carefully stepped up, one wrong move and we may have slipped and fell down to the ground.

As we reached the roof, it was extremely dangerous and slick as well. We walked around the second floor of the market and leaned up against the wall.

“Okay, here's what we'll do,” Sebastian began detailing his plan. “I'll distract Serena away from Lucious.”

“That's it?”

He leaned around the wall and looked out across the street. “That's it... you two run and I'll be right after you. Are you ready?”

With those words, he got down on his hands and knees and crawled slowly out over the top of the slick roof to the edge where he propped up on his toes to look down at the front of the market where Serena was. I followed him, carefully crouched down and sliding my way to the edge of the roof until I was next to him.

We silently watched as Serena continued to challenge Lucious. She had him cornered to the wall just underneath the awning. Her voice was loud as she focused on prosecuting him until he was scared to run again.

“You're mine, Lucious! Forever! Don't you get that? You cannot run and be free of my grasp, I'll find you every time and you know that,” she barked loudly as she interrogated him.

And the fear grew inside me. Serena frightened me. This whole situation frightened me. To lose him to her again, if this plan did not work, I would be lost for answers.

“Ah, well you beat me!” I overheard Chris call from a distance.

How was this plan to work now?

“Chris... go away, I found him first. He's mine!” Serena hissed, almost like a cat fighting for her meal.

“Certainly, my dear. So he's yours, fair and square.” Chris smiled as he continued to approach her. “But, I had hoped you'd have reconsidered by now.”

“No reconsideration, Chris. I have the bond with him. I was the one who originally found him and I've done it again. Now leave!” She huffed.

“Half for me, half for you. How does that sound?” Chris wore his devious smile. “Split right down the middle.”

Serena stepped away from Lucious to face Chris. “You're insane, Christopher. You want to steal him away, that which is rightfully mine. You never could admit to something that wasn't yours, you've wanted it all from the day we met!”

“Oh now, my dear. And what about you? Blaming me for everything that you couldn't have. Say, a child, for instance. Do you really believe that's all my fault?” Chris chuckled.

“Go to hell!” She pointed and stomped her foot on the ground.

Just at that moment, Sebastian turned to me, “I'll take Chris. You grab Serena!” And hopped down to the ground and grabbed Chris by the throat.

I hadn't a moment to think. I jumped down just seconds after he did and grabbed Serena by the abdomen and pulled her close to my body. Securing her tightly around the waist and neck, I looked to Lucious who stood in shock by the invasion.

“Run!” I yelled out to him.

He swiftly gathered himself and dodged past us. I dropped Serena and took off after him as fast as I could, hoping that Sebastian had done the same.

Across the road we ran, Lucious ahead of me had leaped up to the rooftops and prepared to take to the skies. However, I could sense something wasn't quite right.

Sebastian wasn't behind us. I looked momentarily to see what was causing the delay and noticed Chris had his arm wrapped around Sebastian's shoulder, and Serena already getting up from the ground where I dropped her.

 

-----

 

“Uh uh uh, where do you think you're going?” Chris wondered as he caught Sebastian by the arm just as he was trying to escape.

Sebastian looked across the road in worry. We had slipped away without a scratch.. however, he was going to pay the price for our escape.

“Look who it is, Serena. Isn't this your other spawn?” Chris wondered as Serena stood up with anger in her lips.

“Damn you, Sebastian. What the hell do you think you're doing?” she growled.

Chris unwrapped himself away from Sebastian and stood with a smile to watch the action.

“My queen, my lady, it was a mistake, that's all. I had no intention of—“

“You betrayed me.” Serena interrupted. “And this isn't the first time you let those two get away, is it?”

He shook his head and his eyes dropped to the ground. “No, it isn't.”

“Sebastian...” Her voice turned to a whisper. “... this is the end.”

 

-----

 

I stood on the opposite side of the road watching everything. Sebastian had been caught, and I was in fear of what would happen to him. Certainly she would figure out he had decided to help us. Would she allow him to live now after all that has happened?

“Mikael!” I heard Lucious's voice. He stood up on the roof top above me. “Come on!”

I jumped up to where he stood. “But I can't leave him. Sebastian... he helped me rescue you, we must help him now.”

“No!” Lucious demanded. “Leave him. It was his fault to get himself caught.”

“But—“

“Mikael, let's go. He can fend for himself.” Lucious showed faint hesitation though what he said was absolute.

True, I knew we should leave immediately less we get caught again, however I wasn't bound to leave Sebastian behind after all he had done for us now and in the past. I turned back to the market where the argument persisted and shook my head.

“You go,” I whispered. “I'll be right behind you.”

Lucious stood silent for a moment. I could hear his shallow breath pour from his lips. The cold rain soaked into his snow white hair. He didn't say another word, he took to the sky and left me behind.

I crouched down on that roof. I wanted to make sure Sebastian would truly get away and if not, I was tempted to help him although I was extremely weak compared to Chris's strength.

He had helped us numerous times, although we may have been too determined to notice, I couldn't remember.

However as I knelt up there on that roof, I soon grew wary that Sebastian wouldn’t be able to escape. He was always so loyal to Serena despite the fact he helped us so many times and I could see the fear in his eyes, even from this distance, as he faced her.

Serena grabbed him by the arm as he pleaded. I watched her take her sharp claws and dig them straight into Sebastian's chest.

“No!” I yelled as Sebastian went crashing to the ground, his hand placed to his bloody chest.

Chris and Serena both looked up at me. They left Sebastian there and ran quickly to catch me.

I stood and turned to disappear into the sky yet I hesitated for just a moment. If I went the same way as Lucious did, I would be directing them exactly to where he was. Therefore, I set off and turned the opposite direction away from where I sensed he was.

The rain now had finally ceased and I could see ahead of me the outskirts of the city. I looked behind me, a shadow in the distance moved quickly after me. As the shadow drew closer, I realized it was Chris. Serena must have went towards Lucious.

I needed to find a place to hide from him. I looked ahead and noted an old run-down trailer park just behind a grouping of old pine trees. There I could hide away in hopes that Chris wouldn't find me.

I tucked myself just behind a mobile home. Arriving here before Chris did, I could only pray he didn't spot me as I landed in the middle of a small community playground. I could feel myself shaking violently in fear that he would find me.

I swallowed and slowed down my breathing to a slight hum and looked around the home anxiously.

“Youuuu hoo. I know you're here, Mikael.” Chris called.

My eyes opened wide. So he did follow me.

“I can feel your fear radiating from inside.” His voice came to me loud and clear. “Don't worry, I won't harm you.”

Soon, his shadow came from around the trailer followed by his figure. He walked slowly, seemingly convinced that he would find me. I heard him whistling some tune that I didn't recognize yet must have been familiar to him as he even stopped to sing along.

I slid my body along the siding of the mobile home, around the corner and stood in absolute fear.

“Come on, Mikael. I promise I won't hurt you.”

My trembling persisted, my stomach knotted, and my heartbeat pound in my chest. He drew closer and I contemplated running. Why was he after me?

I turned to face the road. No obstacles stood in my way and I had the perfect opportunity to fly away. But before I could make my escape, Chris's strong hand was wrapped around my neck pressing me up against the cool siding of the trailer home.

“Don't you trust me?” He crooked his head and looked up at me.

I struggled under his power, my legs kicking out trying to hit him as I wrapped my fingers around his forearm. “No...” I panted under my breath.

“Really?” He wondered, perplexed by my answer. “I've never done anything to hurt you before, have I?”

I tried to shake my head 'no'. He pressed me up against the siding harder and I could feel the moisture from the rain soaked wall leak through the back of my shirt.

“Of course, I haven't. Hell, I've actually helped you in the past, remember? And you repay me by socking me over the head with a golf club?”

Had he helped me before? I searched the memories I'd since recovered yet I couldn't remember if he was being truthful.

“Oh, that's right. You lost your previous memories when Lucious turned you.” He began digging through his coat pocket while he continued to hold me. “I can help you with that.”

He pulled out a small vial, like those I saw during my stay at Serena's, then he pulled the cork out with his teeth and held it close to my nose. I kicked harder, grabbing his arm as hard as I could and tried to pull him away but was unsuccessful.

“Chill out, Mikael. Why would I lie? This will help you recover the rest of your memories with... well, very little assistance from you.” He smiled devilishly as he pressed the vial to my lips and tipped the liquid up to my mouth.

I resisted. Spitting the small drops of the poison back out into the vial. He tipped it more and massaged my neck with his thumb straight under my throat to force me to swallow. I felt the concoction drip into the back of my throat causing me to gag. Finally after choking on half of the poison, he let me go and I dropped on my knees to the ground.

“There ya' go.” He knelt down above me and patted the top of my head. “That should be kicking in any moment now.”

“Bastard!” I spat the taste from my mouth.

How could I have allowed myself to be pressured into consuming his poison?

“What? You should thank me, Mikael. You shouldn't need to strain yourself just to recall one little memory.” He rested his hand atop of my shoulder. “Now, before I leave, I need to know... what's your true connection with Lucious?”

I looked up at him in question. “A blood bond...” I murmured.

“Yes, yes. I know you have a bond with him. But the connection you two share is much different. What is it?” he wondered.

I hadn't a clue what he spoke of. We had a blood bond, we shared emotions, we couldn't live without each other, we loved....

Just then I grew nauseated. My head began to spin and as I shut my eyes to the ground below, it was as if a film of images started to play within my mind.

Chris's hand snaked around to grab my chin and tip my head to look at him.

“Well? What is it?” he questioned before looking behind him at the approaching dawn's light. “Shit!”

He seized onto my upper arms and pushed me backwards. My back crashed against the bottom of the mobile home. I faced towards the rising sun now that was just beginning to make it's appearance.

“You love each other,” he said, patting me on my knee. “That's it.. isn't it?” He gave a slight chuckle. “I never thought it possible, to love.”

I looked at him with a scowl. Would he leave me to die here after knowing the answer?

“Well,” He lifted himself to his feet. “I better go. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be able to escape.”

And with that he left me to myself and the welcoming dawn.

He couldn't be any more wrong. I was left weakened more than I originally was from the drug that he forced down my throat. The drug was doing what he told, persistently showing me every single memory I had lost from the beginning of this journey.

Images of Lucious coming towards me at the motel when I first met him followed by Serena's mansion, we're hanging by chains secured tightly into the ceiling. The film continued, showing me Sebastian's first betrayal of Serena when he originally helped me rescue Lucious. He hit me... he kissed me... he tried to deny his affection... it all came back to me like a movie running through my mind.

And as I rested there on the cool, icy grass, the invading sunlight became brighter and brighter. The first rays started shining down on my pale skin and underneath my closed eyelids, I saw the shadows light up.

I peaked out, the bright rays of light burning my vampire eyes. Scrambling for an answer while the memories persisted to run, I thought to pick myself up and hide in the fading shadows yet my body seemed frozen as I was unable to even move my toes.

It was inevitable... I was left to die here.

Brighter and brighter, the light burned so much that I slammed my eyes shut. I felt the skin on my body begin to warm and ignite. However, the memories that ran through my head now seemed to all but calm my fears of dying.

Lucious and I collapsed in each other's company. Our lips pressed tightly together, I exploring his naked chest with a curious hand. I could feel his breath along my cheek as I snaked my hand around his waist and caressed him.

In the dimly lit room, where Serena sat silently still watching as we shared such intimate moment together. Both of us drunken from that elixir and prepared to enjoy eternity there in each others arms.

And that memory quickly faded away as the next one began... each of those like a film now ready to be watched over and over again like movies on old cassettes. Yet they would never wear out, they would be in my mind for eternity. I could now remember how I felt on those specific days without needing to pressure myself into recalling them.

I enjoyed seeing them again as my body burned in the bright sun that now fully exposed itself to my night time skin, drying and causing it to crack and tear away from my flesh. Despite this, I was relaxed in my weakened state, coming to terms with my inevitable death.

Lucious.... how I wish to feel your lips upon mine just one last time...

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