Looks like I’ll only be posting on Friday for a while to come. Still, some writing is better than no writing. I’ll be trying to switch up the prompts, too. This week brings us a prompt from Our Write Side I haven’t tried yet – Two Word Tuesday!
Another contribution into A Vampire’s Bride.
Prompt: Niveous and/or Wintry
Another wintry breeze shoots through me as we head back to Nadya. Niklaus pulls me closer despite his discomfort. Though it seems he’s relaxed, I know he’s still struggling – it’s in the set of his jaw, the careful way he moves his eyes around my wound, as if he can only barely avoid it.
“One of them got away.” Nadya greets us with the grim news. She’s crouched by the body of one of our attackers, searching her pockets.”Did you get the fledgling?”
When she turns, her brow furrows at the sight of Niklaus. “Why are you shirtless?”
“I got hurt – my shirt is all bloody.” That’s when she finally looks at me and her eyes widen.
“Are you okay?” She rushes over, and I don’t miss the way she removes me from Niklaus’ grasp and places herself between us. “Did he bite you?”
For a moment I’m not sure if she means her brother or the fledgling.
“No – just a scratch. It looks worse than it is…” Still, she insists on examining it, so I let her. Careful not to touch my skin, she unwraps my poor bandaging job. I can’t help but look at Niklaus the whole time. With Nadya between us, he’s more relaxed, safe in the knowledge that his sister will intervene if he attacks me. “Told you, it’s fine. I think it stopped bleeding already.”
“It did…” Despite her words, she re-wraps it. “We need to head back – report to the council that there was more than just a fledgling…”
“Are you sure that’s wise?” Once Nadya finishes re-wrapping my wound, I walk over to the dead vampire. “These vampires knew we were coming – the only other ones that know that are in the council.”
“What are you saying?” Niklaus finally speaks again, some of his ease coming back.
“The fledgling was bait. This was a trap, though why they thought two vampires and a fledgling would be enough to take the two of you is beyond me.” The dead vampire doesn’t look familiar, but there’s still something about her that I feel I recognize. “I don’t know much about your politics, but is there a chance someone is vying for your positions?”
“You think the council set us up?”
“Could be a possibility. You’re first in line, and I’m infertile. Your bride is ‘dead’ and you won’t take a new one.” Nadya leans back against a tree. “I don’t doubt their desire for monarchs that will keep our bloodlines going.”
“Who’s next in line?”
“The council would choose another family.” Niklaus crosses his arms. “Not that I care – if it were up to me I’d abdicate in a heartbeat.”
“Why can’t you?” If abdication is an option, why hasn’t he already taken it?
“Abdication is death.”
“They don’t want a purebred not in their control running around making new vampires and threatening their hold on the population.”
Do any humans know the way vampire politics work? This is the first I’ve heard of these details. “And your parents can’t do anything about it?”
Nadya laughs. “Their rebellion days have been over for a long time – they’re firmly under the council’s thumb.”
Niklaus’ eyes meet mine and a whole new set of fears seeps in. My life – and those of my fellow humans – isn’t the only one in danger anymore. If the council – or someone else – is trying to dispose of Nadya and Niklaus, could that mean that these attacks are meant to draw them out? Or are they separate issues?
“We should report back to the council, either way.” Nadya pushes herself off the tree and moves to examine the body one more time. “Can’t let them know we’re suspicious. For now, we should keep doing what we’re doing.”
Niklaus agrees, and I follow suit. After all, they’d know how to handle the situation better than I would. Nadya decides to take care of the bodies while Niklaus takes me back home. We’re down to two horses now, so I have to climb on behind Niklaus.
The ride back is silent, and I wonder how many hours we have before sunrise. It feels like our hunt took most of the night, but the sky shows no sign of the morning.
And there we go – the plot thickens! At least, what little plot has slowly trickled its way into Ariella and Niklaus’ lives.
As always, think happy thoughts!