Takes place after Kian took Brenna to see Aidan Fitztancred about the Crone’s Axe.
Brenna had been quiet the trip back. But then daytime tended to make any vampire silent as a grave. Once night had fallen and Kian awoke he found that Brenna was not there.
Trina told him Brenna had business to attend. Two nights passed before Brenna contacted Kian. She left a message for him that if he wanted to get together she would be able to tonight.
Mystified by the sudden halt of their quest to find this Axe, and curious as to what she’d found out, he appeared in Elysium and requested a private conference room with her.
Kian had been waiting for a few minutes when Brenna walked in with William behind her, shuffling through a stack of papers ans her saying yes or no. “William please arrange the meeting with Foster, his earliest conveinence. With that you may go, and thank you.” She excused her aid and closed the door.
Her clothing was an exquisitely tailored suite. She wore hip hugging style silvery grey slacks that were made of a shimmery material, though it was more a flat shimmer than sparkle. She had a matching satin dress top and suit jacket that stopped mid calf accompanied the outfit and she completed the outfit with a pair of matched heels.
“Glad you could make it. I thought it would be good to discuss what I found out, what it means, and what the next step will be. Do you have the time now?”
He nodded. “I’ve been pretty curious.”
“Yes. It was enlightening. So to speak.” She moved to a chair and took out the ever growing journal.
“I was accurate in many of my assumptions, surprised by some things and have a “it figures” response for things I feared. So let me start with this. Freya and Aiden helped fill in blanks and reassure my research. No this will take to long. Okay I will start over.
“The axe was taken or rather kept by Haakon who is still alive. He told Freya he was taking it to the Giants Causway and giving it to the hand of Kulac. This is halfway between Ireland and Scotland.
“My research is accurate as to what happened. The group took the axe, Haakon killed Kellach for what they thought was stealing it. Though he was trying to do the right thing and return it. Haakon sent his childe Aiden and Freya to finish off the enemy, the Magda. He could not after meeting her. This was after the battle that Aiden killed Dorian. Haakon went on with the axe.
“There was another Kindred there and no he or she never left. What they did with the axe, and what we must undo for this to succeed is this. The axe was used to call the totem spirit of the pack, place it within a kindred, then kill the kindred. They severed the pack from it’s totem. In order to restore this, we have to reverse it. Call the spirit out it in a kindred and release it.
“We can go find Haakon with you. He is your Grandsire and he you will know when he is near.
“Why did we have to stay a night? I imagine the Magda wanted to see me. She promised Dorian long ago she would protect me, watch over me. So she has.
“Yes, I learned other things. Though they are of little relevance to this mission.
“One last thing. Freya called a favor of me. We are not to return there to them untill it is time for you to see Aiden again. None of us on pain of death. If any of us do venture there without you, death will be instant.”
Kian chuckled. “He was always pretty strict. So my grand sire still exists. That’s pretty interesting. Do we have any clues where to being looking for him? A thousand years is a long time and theoretically a person could be anywhere in the world by now.”
“Yes we do.” She said. “So is that what you want to do next. Go look for him?”
“Is that what we have to do get this Crone’s Axe back?”
“Possibly. We could bypass it and go to where the axe is supposed to be and see if we can find it. The point in seeing him would be to find out if he actually got rid of it.” She paused. “I found it almost impossible to dislike your sire. He and Freya are a good thing to see.”
Kian scowled. “I never got to meet her. I just had to guard a worthless piece of dirt while he actually paid attention to you.” Kian was very obviously disappointed he hadn’t had the chance to meet his sire’s chosen mate. But he shoved the feeling from his mind as he concentrated on more important issues.
“Well, I’m getting the impression that my bloodline doesn’t take all that well to visitors. If we can maybe look and see if we can find this axe first that might be best. Then,” he continued, “we could try to find gramps as a last resort. From what you told me of the history around this stuff, gramps might be a major grump over this axe issue so it might be best just to avoid him unless we have no choice.”
“It was not some worthless peice of dirt you were gaurding.” She said firmly. “It was the Magda. Your sire gave you a great honor in letting you assume his post. A father saying his child is good enough, worthy enough to fill in for him. Brief as it was. But you will see it how you wish.
“Besides I needed the time with Aiden to speak to him. You will get to meet Freya one day, I suppose.” Brenna had longing in her eyes. Then let it wash away.
“We will plan a trip then to the Giant’s causway. Our next step will be to search for the axe. This means leaving Belfast again, and facing who knows what.”
“Well,” Kian said, “you have the best idea where the axe is, you’ll have to lead that search. I’ll provide muscle, backup, and all the scouting we might need, of course.
“As far as having the honor of guarding Magda, I really don’t think much of an ‘honor’ wherein instead of being asked, I am ordered to do a thing on pain of death. Sort of loses it’s spark, you know?
“Anyway you realize he’s just doing that to salve his own conscience. That’s not honor he’s trying to uphold. It’s shame he’s trying to assuage. And as I recall, what happened here over a thousand years ago was a lot more his shame than mine — and by that I mean Dorian’s. He’s doing penance — as I think he should.
“But don’t get me wrong. I don’t think ill of him. In fact, I probably respect him more for knowing that he had a very human… well, failing. And he’s trying to fix it by doing the right thing. I really do think that. And if he chooses to share nothing of his own life with his own Childe, then that’s his prerogative. But being that I am that Childe, I don’t have to like it.” Kian sighed. “Well at least he’s also shown no interest in my own life. That’s a plus I suppose; I don’t have to share anything with him, either.”
“It hought this was your test Kian. To not be part of his life for ten years. To make it on your own for that time. It is not so strange really. But perhaps that is my age and time talking. Or perhaps it is centuries of the Magdas influence rubbing off. He has participated in the wedding ceremony after all. But then other clans might have that as well. Who is to say without research. ”
Kian shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess it’s just not important if I met Freya or not then since he never mentioned that to me, or even what her name was. I spent all this time thinking it was a guy, a comrade in arms.”
Brenna’s expression and manner softened. She stood and took him by the hand. “Come with me.”
Brenna lead him thruogh various back routes, so that she would not be disturbed. She locked the apartment door behind them. Kian noticed that the pictures he had given her were framed and on the wall.
“How long were you with your sire before he told you to leave?” She said as she took a seat on the couch.
He walked over and sat down next to her. “Six months.”
“Six months is not very long. Are you so sure he does not want to be in your life?”
Thinking about it she restated. “Sorry. You have told me the importance of when one of your line chooses to protect someone. He shares that oath with Freya. So anything else is not as important as that charge right? If that is the case, would he feel it necessary to tell you all the details of his life?”
“If it were your childe and you were going to be sending him off on his own to live or die, would you be more concentrated on teaching him to survive or filling him in on all the details of your past?”
Kian shook his head. “That’s not the point. The point is that he chose to share something with a complete and total stranger rather than share something with his own Childe. And yes, I’m positive he’s not interested in me or my life, or else he wouldn’t have told me he didn’t want to see me around for ten years.”
He looked at Brenna. “Look, I know you are trying to make me feel better, and I do thank you for it. But the facts are the facts; he only took me in because he thought his charge, the Magda, expected it of him. I was apparently nothing but a burden to him for that short time he had me under his wing and it seems he could hardly wait to send me off with Roma — whom he hates, by the way.”
Kian stood and paced back and forth once, then he stopped and looked Brenna in the eye. “But you know what? I really don’t like him. I might not have been his choice to make a member of the Khaibit line, but I’m still his Childe. He just can’t seem to accept that. He’s been an asshole to me since the moment he sent me with Roma and Aife and I’ve never done anything to deserve it. So screw him. I think I’ve proven I don’t need that jerk. I don’t care if my line seems to be even more rare than the Lhiannan. He can go die off for all I care.”
Kian smiled for the first time since they got back to Belfast and it seemed a cloud had lifted. His posture was again his normal cheerful self.
“So, when are we going to hunt about for this Axe?” he asked her.
“True that he had never met me. But I am no stranger to him. If he had any guilt for killing Dorian though it was a noble death then I am his way to atone. I am part of his world not this one.” She paused and looked away for a moment. “Sorry that is not what I meant.”
“I know enough that whatever I say will make little difference to you. So I will speak with Eife and we will leave as soon as preparations can be made.” Brenna turned her head to the side trying to choke back tears. She felt one slide down her cheek and she wiped it away with a slender hand.
Kian tilted his head and blinked in surprise. “Why… why are you crying?” He held out his hands, as if to embrace her, but paused in momentary uncertainty.
“I wish it was you with your sire that night. I wish you had seen him with his bride and not me. I am trying to accept my role here, but it is so very difficult for me.” Her words were soft as she spoke. Looking at him she continued. Her eyes held unshed tears. “You got to move on and change with many lives to forget me. But I didn’t.”
Kicking her shoes off she curled her legs in. “I get to be me, the same me with the same feelings and no way to change them. With no way to fulfill them. I see what role I have to take and it is difficult for me because I miss him so much. You hate your sire for a misunderstanding. You don’t know him enough to hate him. I have every reason to hate him and yet I find that I envy him.”
Sad she did not accept his offer of comfort, he let his arms drop to his sides. “Because he has Freya?” Kian continued. “I knew him for six months, and I know him well enough to make my own opinions based on how he treats me.”
“I know how you are with your choices. I am not arguing your reasons for it, just saying I see it and accept it. It is not becasue he has Freya, more that he has what I once did. What he took from me.
He told me they looked for me. Because the Magda promised to take care of me for Dorian. That they looked for She Who Sleeps, as they did not know my name. Magda did. I can’t really recall her, but I guess I met her before with Dorian.”
Brenna stood and moved slowly to Kian. Taking his arms, she wrapped them around her. “You are you, and I am the same. I will never have what I did. I am trying to be okay with it. It is so very hard for me though. Seeing and speaking with Aiden only brought back so many memories.
“I know you think I am trying to make you Dorian. Or that all I see you as is Dorian. I want you to understand my pain is because you are not Dorian. I know that. Once maybe, but now you are new and different than when last we touched. You returned to me, but in a different way.”
She looked into his eyes. “I am the bride of Dorian, not Kian. For Kian I am a friend, and lover.”
Kian was reassured at her touch. He smiled slightly and said, “You know, if I was in Dorian’s place a thousand years ago and saw you as I do now, I would never have tried to hide you away to protect you from your destiny. I would rather live, love, fight and die with you beside me than without you at all. While you slept, I must have lived and died many times, but none of those times mean anything to me like the lifetimes I’ve had with you in them.”
Brenna held him tightly. “Veronica really has trained you to be quit eloquent. Do you remember the other lifes? I guess it does not matter.”
“I was nearly dead after the wolf attacked me.There was no time to heal me, and he wanted me to live. Dorian was a great warrior and I doubt he thought he would be killed and not be able to return for me.
“I am sorry. I stayed away for two days hoping this had passed so I would not burden you with this. I see who you are now, and feel who you were then. I see a little of who you once were in you now. I wish I could bury Dorian have him no longer be a burden to you. But I also think I understand the limits of this relationship. I so want for more, but I understand your fears on it. So I can accept that.”