Chapter 39: Sunrise
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Minutes later we arrived to where we last sensed Lucious. The streets were quiet and the cold night air stung at the grass. I looked up at a three-story building as old as the rest of them in this downtown district. He was there.. or was at one time. We just had to find out.

Serena looked up and soon sprung to the top of the roof. She knelt down and positioned herself to look into the window. It was covered by a shade, however she immediately looked back at me and waved me to follow.

I hopped up till I was beside her. I surely could sense he was here. I also could sense other vampires besides for Lucious and Chris.

“A party?” I questioned silently.

Serena looked over at me. “Probably. Chris likes his company.”

Finally, Serena jumped down to the ledge and broke the window open with her elbow. Passing by the sharp shards of glass, she eased her way inside and I followed quickly.

We took our separate ways, Serena walking straight out from the window and I turned to face a grouping of couches and a bright candle still lit in the corner of the room.

“They're gone,” I said softly.

Serena stopped in her tracks. “They were here, Mikael.” She looked around as if trying to use her vampire senses to track their whereabouts. “I can't locate them at all.”

I walked around the couches and around the corner, I found a small room.

Peeking inside the closed door, I spotted the chains hanging from the wall. Those were the strange clanging noises that I must have heard earlier before our connection was lost.

“What did you find?” Serena wondered. I heard her footsteps coming closer.

I took a deep breath. “They were here.”

She stopped behind me examining the room that I couldn't help but stare into. A few seconds and she moved around me, opening the door to enter.

“It's sick!” she exclaimed.

I shuttered. How could she say that now?

“You've done the same to us,” I whispered.

She stepped forward into the room and looked around. It was quite bare, only a tipped over chair, a candle in the corner and the chains affixed to the wall. However on further inspection, I spotted a syringe laying on the floor underneath the chains.

“I don't drug you, rape you, or take advantage... do I?” she asked as she looked down at the chains and the paraphernalia that sat below them.

I stepped into the room and stood behind her silently.

“He's a damn mess,” she began. “Can't even pick up after himself. And this is just one reason why I left.”

“You were... a couple?” I asked.

She turned to look at me now. “Unfortunately so. We were married centuries ago.” She took a deep breath. “It was the worst... and yet the best years of my life...”

I remained silent. Pondering what it could have been like for her to live with a man such as Chris. I hadn't known much about him other than what I’d come to believe from our previous encounters. Quite a man of mystery before but now I understood what he was all about. Drugs, potions, special elixirs... I was sure he could do just about anything. And that was what made him all the more dangerous.

“So where do we go now?” I asked Serena.

She looked as if she was in a daze. Staring out at the wall in front of her, she looked angry and confused.

“I think I know,” she said with assurance. “I know where he went.”

“Do we go now?” I questioned.

Her eyes wandered to a small, curtain covered window in the room. Just outside, the sky began to light up slowly with the arrival of dawn.

“No point in going now. We shall wait here until night has fallen again.”

Gently she pushed past me to the closed door. She quietly entered back into the main room and I followed nonchalantly until we reached the small love seat.

All we could do was wait. It wasn't quite yet dawn however if we left now, we may get caught in the daylight or we would have to wait when we arrived.

I sat upon the seat next to her and watched as she placed her head in her hands. It was because of her that I was here. I had teamed up with her to help retrieve Lucious although my fears had told me I was too weak. Now, I was seeing just how insecure she could be.

This strong woman next to me seemed just as weak as I. Once that bond had been broken, she appeared to have cracked.

“Do you...” I began, “Do you love him?”

Quickly, she turned her head and looked out at me in question.

“Love him? Lucious?” she asked.

My eyes met the floor as I felt slight shame come over me for even tempting to ask.

“I don't love him, as you say, Mikael. He is my property! I own him and have for close to a century.”

I nodded in agreement and decided to make no other conversation. She surely was self-centered, not considerate of anyone but her own self. If animosity had taken control of any one of us, she surely was that vampyre. Of course, Chris battled with his own emotions and now I wondered who could have been worse. Serena or him.

“I can't even imagine the meaning of that little word now,” she explained. “So what's it like? To love, I mean.”

I fixed my eyes on the floor. My brows came up as she asked that very question.

“I... cannot explain to someone who doesn't feel it,” I told her silently.

I heard a breath escape her throat “okay”. With that, she laid her head upon the arm of the couch and positioned her arms underneath her neck. Her legs came across to lay upon my knees. She couldn't be comfortable but I assumed it was time to sleep for the day.

I struggled to feel the slightest bit ready to slumber. My thoughts raced about Lucious. Where could he be and what was that mixture Chris had given him? Was he even still alive, or was he chained up again? I just wanted to rush out to find him, and I knew I couldn't. I had to rest.

Leaning my back on the cushion of the seat, I carefully closed my eyes until the night.