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|Can't she ever be happy?||
Gabrielle called, "Ryan, dear come to bed. It's nearly sunrise."
"Just a second. I'm locking the door. You wouldn't want a slayer coming in the middle of the day, now would you?"
Gabrielle looked at Rebbecca tucking the eighteen-year-old Richard into bed. He made small whimpering sounds as Rebbecca softly suckled his wrist. "Rebbecca, stop torturing the poor boy. He's been here for nearly a year. Either release him or make him your human servant. I'll even do the job for free."
Rebbecca looked up and her long black hair fell across half her face. Her smile revealed a small drop of blood falling off her long, canine teeth. "I thought you promised Ryan that you'd stop working?""
Gabrielle turned her head and examined the boy, who looked twenty-one with shoulder length red hair and aqua eyes, standing in the door. "Ryan, you wouldn't hate me for freeing Richard from Rebbecca?"
"As long as he's still breathing you can try, but I never knew Rebbecca to let go of a man so easily." Ryan padded over to the window and pushed the heavy sheets of velvet back. "You guys are getting better. The sun is over halfway above the horizon and you are both still talking. I am quite impressed."
"Being five hundred and sixty-four years old has its advantages. Now get your butt into this coffin or I'll sleep on the floor."
"I'm coming, not because you told me to, but because I don't feel like chasing your floating body all over this house." Ryan laid in the protection of her folded arms and closed the lid. "Good morning Ri, try not to die on me."
"Ryan...I am already dead." Gabrielle giggled as she spoke.
"You know what I mean." Ryan's comment was never answered.
Rebbecca had tucked Richard into the mahogany bed and given him tow new scars before she retired to her own coffin. She extinguished the flames around her resting place then closed the lid.
Ryan awoke around noon and climbed out of the satin. He lit one of the candles and padded to the kitchen for a midday snack. He took his sandwich to the front porch and found that it was pouring. As he walked down the mud-flooded streets he found the world void of all human voice.
Two soldiers approached Ryan with their rifles pointed. "Don't move." The older with grayed blond hair and faded green eyes bellowed.
Ryan stood his ground. "Wow you guys took a long time in deciding to seek me out again, what is the charge this time?"
"Voluntarily serving a vampire. It just became a crime punishable by death. Now you legally no better than a witch."
"Oh so now you are burning human servants, how ironic."
"Just follow us."
"Shouldn't we burn you for you voluntarily serve a government that is sucking the freedom out of its people."
"Shut up, you know nothing of freedom." The younger one hit him on the back of the head with the butt of his rifle.
Ryan followed the two soldiers into the jail. He had sat in the same cell three times before: once for stealing, and twice on murder charges. He had been acquitted all three times.
Gabrielle awoke a few minutes before sunset to find Ryan was gone. She stepped carefully into the open darkness and lit the four candles around her coffin. She grabbed one of the lanterns on the nightstand and lit the wick. "How odd that Ryan got up and left the house dark."
"They took him." Through the shadows Gabrielle could seed that Richard was a wake.
"Where, and who?"
"The soldiers arrested him this afternoon. He is in the town hall now."
Gabrielle flew to the closet. She tore off her nightgown and slipped into a white dress with a blue bodice. Rebbecca walked in as she struggled with her boots.
"Dear why the peasant clothes. And such the rush my dear." Rebbecca's voice held an ice edge as she spoke.
"They arrested Ryan. I'm trying to look normal and get him out."
"I told you that you should have made him a vampire. Then this would have never happened. But alas you never did listen to me."
"Rebbecca, he said no."
"As did you, but since I didn't listen you are still alive, so to speak."
The candles flickered and two went out. Gabrielle pulled on her boot and tied it. "Rebbecca we can talk about this after he's home. Be happy he's still human. Male vamps have a tendency to become impotent, and I know how much you enjoy the sex."
"It was your idea to have a threesome."
"And even when I was a child and you my nanny you still emphasized sex. If it wasn't for you I would never have learned the phrase menage à trios."
"It was your choice to listen."
"No it wasn't. I told you no when you asked if I wanted to be a vampire. I said now when my mom asked me if I wanted to be a prostitute. I told my father now when he asked if I wanted to leave Japan and move to France. No one ever listened, so now I am a vampire ex-prostitute living in France."
"You forgot assassination. That was totally your decision and I believe I was against it."
"I have to go."
"Yes go run to the human. By the way who is the master and who's the servant again?" A few more candles blew out as an artificial wind swept the closet.
Gabrielle ran out of the house slamming the door behind her. She trudged down the mud streets into the jail. She found silver crosses lining the door and windows.
"So much for begging for his release." She walked around and saw only two crosses on the bars. "Ryan!"
"Ri? What are you doing here?"
"Getting you out." The crosses began to glow white as she spoke. " Just get those crosses down or covered." Gabrielle looked up at the garlic. "Someone should tell them that garlic doesn't work. Although it does smell bad."
"Don't worry about me dear. They don't have anything on me. I've been arrested before and I'm still alive and intact aren't I. My trial is tomorrow morning and I'll be home by noon."
"Please let me help you. You aren't innocent this time. Just cover the crosses. It's been a long time since you last arrest, times have changed. Please Ryan."
"Don't worry I'll be fine. I grew up here. The people are against all the superstitious laws. The judge will throw the case out. I promise. Go home and change into some real clothes. Comfort Richard, he could use it."
Gabrielle looked into his eyes and smiled as a red tear slid down her cheek. "I love you."
"Then have faith in me. Now go before you're seen.'
"Give me your hand." Ryan held his hand through the bars and felt her press his hands around something cold and metallic. "If you need me just call."
Gabrielle ran back through the rain. Ryan opened his hand to find a silver amulet. A small dagger stuck into a hear set on a pentagram. It was their connection, the combination of their chi.
Ryan slept through the night in the urinated straw. He tossed and turned holding onto the small amulet. The soldiers came just before sunrise. They poked him with their bayonets. "Get up spawn."
Ryan rose to his feet and dusted himself off. "Lets go."
"Arrogant, aren't we."
"I have the truth on my side."
The soldiers marched him up to the courthouse. The judge was freeing a witch when Ryan entered the court. "Next" Cried the levitated robe.
The prosecutor stood up and looked at Ryan. "Your honor, this man is Ryan Des Bois, he was born in 1601, as you know this year is 1703. That would make him 102 years old, yet he looks 21. The only possible explanation since he was walking during the day is that he's a human servant."
The judge looked at Ryan, "What do you have to say for yourself?"
"The prosecution has no proof I am Ryan Des Bois. I am an orphan and have no surname. I am just Ryan. I believe that the lack of evidence would constitute a dismissal."
"Usually I would agree with you, but everyone knows you live with and probably sleep with a vampire. If we ever found out where she resides you would be free, yet you keep quiet. For your own good I grant you freedom by fire to be administered tonight at sunset."
"Can I at least have until sunrise?"
"No, your freedom must be granted before the creatures of hell awaken."
Ryan held the amulet find a certain peace in that he'd die a human. That after 82 years he had held to his decision. The soldiers had to carry him through the glass shards falling from heaven trying to destroy the hell he enjoyed.
They tied him to the stake as the sun's fingers grabbed the horizon. He began to squirm against the ropes as Psalms was read. He could feel the fires of hell leaving as he pushed his energy out of his body and to Gabrielle.
The man in the black potato bad set the torch to the hay as the priest said a prayer. Ryan dropped the amulet and screamed.
Gabrielle awoke to the rush of power. She three the lid open and rose to Rebbecca's laughing. "It serves him right for being so arrogant." The candles and lantern were lit.
"Rebbecca don't you even care that he's dying out there?" The tears swept two red rivers down Gabrielle's face.
"Oh stop crying, he's only a mortal."
Gabrielle grabbed the nearest lantern throwing it an inch above Rebbecca's head. Then ran into the streets towards the smoke. Her black silk nightgown fluttered around her. The faster she ran the quicker the tears fell.
Gabrielle pushed her way to the front of the crown just below the hay. Ryan's silhouette could be seen through the orange flames. Near the fire the amulet was lying undisturbed. Gabrielle went to grab it, but it flew into the flames. Gabrielle watched as it melted into a silver puddle that spread around Ryan's feet.
She collapsed to the ground into the light of the fire. The smoke surrounded her small figure and protected her from the rest of the world. Her life had been the same for eighty-four years, now there were only pieces left, pieces burned to ashes.
|First Love||Roses & Thorns|