✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Crown's Obsession Chapter 491 - 500 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


What goes around... - Part 1

~Thank you for everyone's wish doing better than yesterday XOXO~

Music Recommendation: The Burnt Orange Heresy Theme by Craig Armstrong


Vladimir stepped inside the old mansion that had a typical scent lingering in the air. It was hard to point out what precisely the smell was, but he could tell from where it was coming from. Without a hint of his expression changing on his face, the vampire made his way to the room where the maid took him to and asked him to sit on the old couch. Some sides of the couch had torn, but it was still kept clean. 

The room looked dull with paint that had come off, and so did the wallpaper on one side of the wall leaving patches on it. The windows were closed, and the curtains were drawn to cover it so that no one would come to peep and see what was inside the room. 

Rosamund Wilmot. 

The woman would not have been in his list if Madeline had not mentioned the vampiress when they were in his castle. Hearing the footsteps approaching towards the room, Vladimir did not attempt to stand, and instead, he continued to sit on the couch with one leg over the other as he stared at the scarce objects in the room.

When the vampiress and the maid arrived at the door, the maid stood behind without entering the room, and Rosamund stepped inside to look at the stranger whom she had never met until now. Vladimir finally stood up, and Rosamund said, 

"My maid said that you wanted to meet and talk to me. I don't think we have met before to hold any conversation." 

"No, we haven't met before, but I was hoping to acquaint myself with you," Vladimir stared at the vampiress who held a similar pride like her mother. 

It had been a few weeks since her son had died, and in those few weeks, things had changed upside down. She and her family were thrown out of their mansion, unable to take a single object from there. The job that Rosamund's husband had was taken away from him, and the house they thought they could afford was only a percentage of what they once used to own, they couldn't buy it either. 

Rosamund's red eyes narrowed, "Are you from the royal court?" she asked. 

She was not scared about the officials snatching her wealth away, because she had arranged things in such a manner that the King would not be able to cause any harm to her wealth. Rosamund had stayed low-profile until she believed no one would hound her. No one could prove that the wealth belonged to her family. It was only the days after being banished from the castle did things turn extremely difficult, where people had jeered and commented at her family—throwing stones or rotten vegetables at them when they were still struggling. 

"No, I am not," replied Vladimir. "I am not here from the royal court, but for my gain." 

"I have nothing to offer you. It would be best if you leave right this instant," said Rosamund on her guard. 

Vladimir chuckled, "So scared of being found out by someone," he murmured to himself. "Why don't we take a seat because I have some questions for you." 

Rosamund took a look at the man and his clothes that were slightly unusual in the land of Devon. 

With an apprehensive look on her face, the vampiress took a seat on the chair, while Vladimir took his seat back at the couch again. 

"Who are you?" questioned Rosamund because she didn't know if she could trust this man with anything. There was a glint in his eyes that looked familiar, but she couldn't point out where she had seen it before. 

"I go by the name Vladimir, and I live in the castle that comes near Belmount," replied Vladimir with a smile. "Won't you offer me tea?" his eyes then shifted to look at the maid who hadn't moved from the entrance of the room. 

"We are out of milk," responded Rosamund, being on her toes with this stranger. 

Vladimir smiled, "I was thinking about blood tea. Just pure blood will do too, the girl looks quite fresh," he took a deep breath, looking at the maid who was a human. 

Rosamund's eyes narrowed, and she turned to her maid, waving her hand, and the maid left to the kitchen. "What questions did you have for me?" asked Rosamund. 

Vladimir was still looking around the room with eyes curious, and the woman heard him ask her, "Where is your family? It must have been a while since I saw Lady Sophie, your husband and your son...Markus." Vladimir's eyes went back to meet Rosamund's eyes that hardened. 

"We don't have money, and my husband doesn't have a job. He has been looking for one so that he can support the family," she answered, her eyes gauging the man who was sitting in front of her.

"I suppose if you cut down the costs in hiring the maids and instead of living in a mansion, live in the village. You will get to save more money, isn't it?" murmured Vladimir. Rosamund didn't know who this impudent man was, who had come to her house and was running his mouth on what she should and shouldn't do. 

Though her maid had gone to prepare tea, the vampiress had also signalled to get the men from villages to come here if this man was going to pull a trick on her. Since her family had been cut off from the royal family, people were always ready to pounce and take advantage of her family. Men had tried to assault Sophie physically and mentally before moving into this house, but Sophie had saved herself. Sophie had come back crying more than three to four times when she stepped out, that she now refused to leave the mansion.

"Is this why you came to talk to me?" Rosamund was ready to stand up when Vladimir waved his hand for her to sit back down. 

"I came here wanting to know about the Hawthrone family. I have been greatly interested in their history and would love to hear more about it," Vladimir, who had been leaning his back now came forward to place his hands on his knees, showing his interest in the matter.

"There's nothing fascinating about it," Rosamund didn't want to do anything with the Hawthrone's right now. Even though it was once her family name, it wasn't anymore. 

Vladimir stared at Rosamund, "That would be hard to agree on. I have been eagerly waiting to hear it from you."

"As I said, there's nothing to hear about it. My parents', brother, his wife, and my son, they are all dead," Rosamund glared as she said this. 

"How unfortunate. How did they die?" Vladimir taunted the vampiress. "Is it true that the present King, Calhoun Hawthrone killed them?" there was a spark of pride in his eyes and his tone was calm. 

Rosamund had enough, and she stood up. This was something she didn't like talking about, and she raised her hand pointing towards the door, "Leave this place right now, and do not show your face to me."

Vladimir didn't bother to get up and instead he stared at the vampiress who was a spitting mirror personality of her mother. "Your mother must have forgotten to teach you manners. Sit," ordered Vladimir and by his one word, Rosamund felt someone push her to sit down on the chair. 

Startled by this, Rosamund tried to get up, but every time she tried to move, the chair also moved along with her. "What are you doing?!" she asked alarmed, noticing something strange about this man. 

"I was politely talking to you before you decided you wanted me out of this house because your conscience is coming to attack you, making you feel uncomfortable," remarked Vladimir. 

"Rubbish!" Rosamund exclaimed while trying to get up. "Let me free right this instance, unless you want me to call the guards and forcibly throw you out from here!" 

Vladimir let out a sigh pass through his lips. "Guards? I don't know which guards you are speaking about because the last time I checked, you have no one. And even to pay for the one's from the villages, you need money for it that I have taken care of. I heard that you were too intent on sitting on the throne so that you could rule the land. So what's the story? Princess fell into poverty because of her greed."

Rosamund was not pleased with Vladimir's words, and she was going to say something when Vladimir suddenly appeared in front of her in a blink of an eye. His fingers and his hand moved nothing less to a snake, circling the vampiress's neck. 

"People think vampires are stronger creatures, and it might be true because they are stronger compared to humans, but what if there was a creature higher than the vampires? Do you think it would be easy to snap the neck with just one movement?" asked Vladimir, seeing fear start to creep into the woman's mind. "I thought it was your mother who was pulling strings, but now that I see you, it wasn't just her but also you. Power makes you do unimaginable things, doesn't it?" 

"What do you want from me?" asked Rosamund because it didn't look like the man had come here for a mere chit-chat. 

"Truth is I want your soul, but I will take it later," Vladimir's tone was casual. "Do you remember Constance?" 

How could she forget, thought Rosamund to herself. It was that human's son that had put her in such a state. 
What goes around... - Part 2

"What do you want to know about her?" she asked him.

"Everything. From the day she entered the castle until the day she was thrown out of the castle by the royal family members," said Vladimir, he increased the pressure on her neck, letting her take a peek at his strength. 

Rosamund felt him move his hand away from her neck, and she felt the tension in her body slowly starting to subside.

Vladimir didn't go to the couch to sit, and instead, he went to the window, his eyes looking through the intricate gaps of the curtain. He knew what happened to his daughter. How Constance had left Belmount and ended up in the Hawthrone castle, of how she was thrown out and misused by many men and how she died. But he wanted to know more about her life when she still lived in the castle. 

It wasn't many who knew how his daughter was, not like the way he knew her. The people who mostly knew about Constance, they believed her to be a woman who sold her body to make a living, a whore. Vladimir's hands clenched into fists before he released them. Constance's name had been sullied, and people didn't know the kind of person she was. 

On the vampiress's question, the answer was simple. He missed his daughter. Somewhere he was glad that Constance had left a piece of her behind, her son, Calhoun, to be the only family he had right now. But that didn't mean it reduced the existing emptiness in his mind. 

"Why do you want to know about Constance?" asked Rosamund. Was this one of the men who had used Constance? wondered Rosamund.

And as if Vladimir heard her thoughts, Rosamund started to shake in her chair as bolts of lightning passed through her body. She could feel the bolts biting into her very bone and drying up her blood from inside. She gritted her teeth in pain until Vladimir stopped the pinch of torture. The vampiress metallic taste in her mouth. 

Hearing Rosamund's screams, who was being punished by Vladimir, Sophie came running into the drawing-room to see her mother on the chair and there was a stranger present in the room. Her mother was huffing for air and appeared to be in pain. 

"What's going on?" demanded Sophie. "I will call for help right away!" 

But Vladimir moved his hand towards her and it had Sophie sit on the couch without her free will so that she wouldn't be able to leave. "Who are you?! What are you trying to do?!" Sophie went on to speak, and when Vladimir snapped his fingers, her mouth suddenly sealed itself. Sophie no more had lips, and it was left with a smooth surface.

Sophie's face turned into horror, and so did Rosamund's on seeing the mouth disappear from her daughter's face. 

"Don't hurt her!" Rosamund screamed, "What did you do to her?"

"She's too noisy and whiney. I made sure that she wouldn't interrupt our conversation," responded Vladimir. He then said, "I lack patience. Tell me about Constance," he stared back at the barren land that was next to the mansion. 

Rosamund was distracted by her daughter's mouth being sealed, and she couldn't help but question who Vladimir was. And as much as she was her mother's daughter, she was also shrewd enough to know where to stop pressing someone's buttons. Worried for her daughter, she looked back at the man to see a shadow of evil behind him.

"I will tell you everything that you want to know, but please don't harm my daughter!" pleaded Rosamund. She had lost her son, and then she had lost her stature. People didn't respect her anymore, and she was a nobody. Her husband and Sophie were all she was left with. 

"Speak," ordered Vladimir, not bothering to hear her pleas which he was hardly interested in. 

Rosamund tried to remember from the beginning, and the girl's face that she had always tried to forget often came to haunt her. 

The vampiress started, "My brother Laurence was the one who introduced her to me in the castle. He had met her in one of the soirees through another woman, who had given Constance shelter. Laurence fancied the girl, and I still remember how he wouldn't shut up about it. Mother didn't care much about it because most of us believed that she was just another passing time for my brother. Laurence was the apple of my parents' eyes. The male heir who would rule Devon."

"Poor Rosamund was being ignored?" Vladimir's voice didn't have a hint of sympathy in it. 

Rosamund looked down at her hands that had turned paler than before as if her death was right around the corner, and it would only speed up if she didn't answer Vladimir's question. 

"I wasn't ignored, but my position was less important compared to what my brother held in my parents' hearts," replied Rosamund. "Constance was beautiful, and my brother hardly found any time to look at other women whom my mother brought in for him to build a relationship with. There were proposals from the richest and highest status of the Dukes and Lords daughters, but he spent his time with Constance."

"And what were your thoughts on it?" questioned Vladimir, his body turned along with his gaze shifting to look at the older vampiress. Sophie made squeaking noise like a rat, and Vladimir said, "Keep doing that and I will rip your throat out so that you won't have any way to make a single sound ever again." This was enough for Sophie to stop making any sound, and silence fell in the room. 

Rosamund said, "I didn't like her. She smiled too much, and she was too nice to people around her, not knowing where to stop speaking and whom not to speak. When my parents' were still ruling the lands, things in the castle were much more strict. We had rules to follow, and it wasn't just for servant's but also the members of the royal family," she shook her head, remembering Constance's face that was sweet and pleasant. 

She knew why her brother had fallen for Constance, it was because there was no other woman who was as pure and beautiful as her, but at the same time she was naive with the lack of knowledge of how the royal family worked. 

The older vampiress continued, "Laurence was smitten by her, and all of us could see it. He boldly insisted on having her come to stay in the castle. I thought it would be for two days or a week, but never would I have imagined that she would be living in the castle for more than a year. Obviously, my mother didn't like a poor girl hanging around in the castle by the word of my brother."

"Hmm," Vladimir responded, "I heard that you gifted her a chain. You must have loved her dearly, supporting your brother." 

Rosamund's eyes snapped to meet Vladimir's eyes, "What?" 

"The chain? Didn't you gift the chain to Constance that was supposed to be cursed and kill the person over time?" Vladimir let his body lean back, and he folded his hands across his chest. 

Hearing this, Sophie, who was quiet, turned her eyes to look at her mother in question as she had never heard about this. 

Rosamund's lips trembled without a word. No one knew about this! This was something that only her mother and she knew about. How did this man know?! She then tried to school her expression, her lips opening and closing many times. 

Under the scrutinizing gaze of the man, Rosamund closed her eyes, "My brother was planning to have Constance as his wife, and it was not only causing a strain on my mother, but also me… My mother didn't want to lose control on the throne, while she also wanted someone much more suitable to be his wife, not some one picked up from the soiree." Rosamund continued to speak, "Mother spoke to brother about looking at other girls, but it didn't work. At that point of time, the Hanima's treasures were not seized by the High House as they didn't exist at that point of time. We somehow got a hand on one single piece, and I gave it to Constance as a gift."

"I wonder why I shouldn't kill your daughter. For someone who doesn't think about other's lives, you don't deserve to have a daughter," Vladimir brought his hand in front of him when Rosamund caught sight of his nails that started to elongate. 

Rosamund quickly shook her head in dread. 

"I only did what my mother wanted! Constance wore it for two days, but she took it off her neck, keeping it with her without wearing it," Rosamund had a confused expression on her face. "I don't know why she did it and it had failed the purpose. At the same time, a misunderstanding broke between Laurence and Constance, and my mother used the opportunity to set my brother with my sister-in-law."

"You don't look pleased about it," observed Vladimir. 

 Right now, Rosamund looked nothing less to a criminal who was being interrogated by a person, who had disappeared her daughter's mouth from her face. 

"Let me guess, you wanted to have control, instead of your brother," guessed Vladimir, and the guilty expression on the older vampiress's face said it all. "You know we would have been friends if you didn't do what you did to Constance. But knowing what happened, you automatically turn to my enemy."

Rosamund gritted her teeth before she said, "Everyone knew I was the better choice when compared to my brother. He was just half-assing while I was the one who worked hard. But I couldn't openly fight for the position."

"So you took the passive approach," stated Vladimir and Rosamund raised her head, holding it high before she nodded her head. 

"Though Constance was removed from my way, my brother went ahead and got married to his wife, Samara. All they needed was a male heir to clinch the throne. At that time, I wasn't married. I had to have a male heir to place on the throne and call it mine. Samara had a couple of miscarriages, and everything was going according to my plan. The only child Samara had was Lucy, and by then I had already married and had my first male child, Markus. Everything was perfect," said Rosamund as she recollected it.

"Before my father died, he wrote his will where if Laurence didn't have a male child, the throne would automatically go to Markus. But who would have guessed that Constance had already given birth to Laurence's child. It was something unexpected."
What goes around... - Part 3

Rosamund didn't expect Constance to give birth to Laurence's child. When the time arrived where Markus could ascend the throne, her brother had jumped to grab Calhoun, keeping the boy at his side so that the throne would not slip away from his fingers. When Calhoun was presented in front of everyone, it was like a slap to not just her but also her mother's face. 

As eager as Laurence was to have Calhoun as his wife could not bear a male child, Morganna was upset because she didn't want the whore's son to sit on the throne of Devon. 

"Why do you even want to know about Constance or our family?" questioned Rosamund. 

"Because I am the girl's father whom you tried to kill by presenting her the cursed chain. I am the Devil you should fear for your life and the sins you have committed against her and my grandson. Vladimir Lazarus, the ruler of Hell in the literal sense," stated Vladimir, and his red eyes suddenly looked like fire was burning behind it. 

Vladimir released Rosamund who suddenly got up from her chair and went to her daughter's side. The room's door shut itself close, leaving no chance to escape for them from the Devil. 

Fear consumed both the vampiress's mind, and Sophie, who had been freed from the chair, she got up, and both the mother-daughter moved towards the wall. 

The fire in Vladimir's eyes didn't disappear, and he stared at them. "Something tells me that you are hiding a piece of vital information. Why do I feel that way? Don't you love your daughter?" 

Sophie shook in terror when Vladimir's hand touched her head. "I did nothing! My mother orchestrated everything!" 

Suddenly the closed windows exploded, breaking and falling inside and outside the room. Wind passed through the open space, and the curtains flew. 

Vladimir said, "I just left your brother and mother in the market-place at the mercy of the public. Tell me what is the most precious thing to you, Rosa? Because it doesn't look like it is your son. Else you would have sacrificed yourself during the court trial." 

"It wasn't I who put my son for execution. It was Calhoun and the High House members who framed him! I never wanted anything to happen to my children," said Rosamund, pushing her daughter behind her protectively. "Everyone who witnessed the trial knows how biased the judgement was. Without any solid proof, Markus was labelled to be guilty, when it was Calhoun who was responsible for the murder and other matters." 

"Did he now," hummed Vladimir. "I heard Markus tried to poison Calhoun. Of course, I will deal with him later, but I am thinking what is the most suitable punishment for you." 

With one single glance of Vladimir at the young vampiress who stood behind Rosamund, Sophie looked like she was in sudden pain and she tried to scream as her face contorted in pain, but with her lips sealed, no sound came out. Sophie stepped away from Rosamund, and her mother looked worried. 

"Sophie?!" Rosamund was in panic. "What are you doing to her?? You have issues with me, why are you hurting her!" 

In the past, Rosamund had come across some people who had abilities, calling themselves to be demons, but back then she had not believed it. Looking back at the man, who stood in front of her with a peaceful look on his face, she believed this person was indeed a bigger demon than those people whom she had met in the past. 

"The pain you have caused me, it is very personal, Rosamund Wilmot. You and your mother threw her out of your castle, but you didn't leave her be. Your brother has been truthful in mentioning how it was you who was responsible for Constance's misery after she left the castle," Vladimir ran his thumb's nail on his index finger to see blood appear. "Weren't you the one who sent the men at her? To turn her life miserable so that she never steps anywhere near the castle?" 

Rosamund spoke in a rushed voice, "Sophie is innocent! Please spare her life! You can do anything to me-"

"Now that's the problem. You don't care what happens to you, but you care enough for your daughter's life. It is good to know, you have a pinch of conscience still residing in your mind." 

"Please!" Rosamund pleaded, turning to see Sophie's lips slowly start to open but it looked like webbed skin that was trying to pull away haphazardly, through which blood poured out that had been contained in her mouth. 

"You stole my daughter from me. I don't see why I shouldn't do the same to you. An eye for an eye, but then I have the habit of taking something more than the eye," Vladimir had a lost expression on his face. "Do you understand the pain you have caused me?" The sky had started to turn dark, and Vladimir's rage didn't lower down, but it only increased. 

The objects and the things in the mansion caught fire, that moved in every direction. 

"Please! Please, don't hurt her for my mistakes!" Rosamund was frantic. Sophie finally stopped spewing blood, and her mouth turned back to normal. Both the mother and daughter held each other, staring at Vladimir in terror. Seeing how Vladimir was still waiting for her to spill the last information, she said, 

"I just wanted her gone! I shouldn't have gotten her to wear it again!" confessed Rosamund with tears in her eyes. 

"Killing you would be too simple," said Vladimir to Rosamund, "Let me open the door to the world that you pushed my daughter into, and see how you survive," the Devil slowly smiled as the mansion started to burn and the women in the room screamed. 

The door made of wood broke down and seeing the Devil not do anything, Rosamund pulled her daughter Sophie out of the house, and they noticed how the mansion continued to burn.

Rosamund saw how every part of the mansion blazed, burning down until it turned to ash. The last remaining of her savings had gone up in flames, and her family was homeless. Similar to the way she had pushed Constance into. 
Thread of Hope- Part 1

The fire continued to blaze as it wrapped itself around the broken mansion, breaking it further as time passed by. Rosamund stood in front of the mansion, watching the place which she had hoped no one would find and let her family live in peace. She couldn't believe this was happening and she was consumed with shock.

Her parted lips trembled, but not a word came out of her mouth, and her eyes looked livid. 

"Stop it!" Rosamund pleaded with the man who had suddenly appeared next to them. "Please!" her knees gave away and she fell on the ground, pressing her forehead on the cold snow. "Please don't make my family walk in the path of misery. Those mistakes were committed by me. My husband and my daughter had no part in it. Your ange-"

"Be happy that I am not breaking anything in you, and only taking away things that you cherish. Killing you would be meaningless as it would be over within a second and you won't be able to know the pain that you put Constance through," said Vladimir, his eyes bright as he looked at the flames. He could torture Rosamund just like he had done it to her parents and her brother, but this woman had done far worse than what they had done. "For a woman who wanted to rule Devon and was ambitious, I believe this is only fitting that you continue to see your downfall from here."

Sophie had fallen on her knees, sobbing as she saw the smoke move up in the air. 

"Don't think about killing yourself, because if you try it, I will make sure to bring you back to where you started. I hope from this point, you enjoy your time and life that you deserve," said Vladimir, and he started to walk away from the two vampiresses. Rosamund looked back and forth before she tried to follow the man to beg him for forgiveness, but Vladimir had disappeared in thin air after taking six steps. 

Far away from where the flames had started to extinguish, Madeline blew air into the fireplace to increase the heat in the room. Holding a hollow rod in her hand, she continued to fan the fire at the logs of wood that slowly continued to catch fire. 

Madeline let go of the rod, and she then stood up before making her way to the bed where Calhoun sat at the edge. He stretched his hand for her to take, and Madeline placed her hand in his. 

"How are you doing today?" Calhoun inquired, tugging Madeline closer to him so that she would come to settle between the space of his legs. "I know you are hurting," he had a disapproving look on his face. 

"I didn't want you to worry," said Madeline. Her hand slipped away from his hold, and she placed her hands on his shoulders before it circled around his neck, and played with the ends of his hair. 

"I will worry even more when you don't tell me, and I find it out through your emotions," stated Calhoun. His hand reached for her waist, rubbing it soothingly. "You are too important to me. If something were to happen to you, I will crumble, Madeline," he said, looking into her brown eyes. 

Madeline shook her head, "Nothing will happen to me. How could anything happen when you are with me." 

Calhoun stared into her eyes while he listened to the way her little heart beat continuously yet calmly. The heart that once was scared about the big bad wolf had found its comfort in the wolf's den. 

"Since when have you been feeling the pain?" questioned Calhoun and Madeline pressed her lips. 

"Before I got back my wings at night. I thought it was just the usual reflex of my body, but even without the presence of the wings on my back, I feel the ache in my chest as if the strings of my heart are being pulled every time I breathe," came Madeline's truthful reply. 

Hearing this, Calhoun's eyebrows furrowed in worry, and this was exactly why Madeline had not brought up about it with him. It wasn't her intention to hide it, but all she had wanted to do was to let this day pass before she would tell him anything about it. It was only hours since they had fought with the demons and the fallen angels; they deserved some time of peace. 

"I am okay now," she murmured and Calhoun pulled her closer to him, holding her waist.

"We need to ask the physician to take a look at you. I would feel unsettled until I find what is hurting you. The angels don't go through pain like this, and I wished they did. That way they would get off our backs," there was an unimpressed look on Calhoun's face. 

"Paschar and Michael said they would let me be," said Madeline but Calhoun shook his head. 

"Those are words only to extend the time to allow them to be ready to take you away from here. The angels and demons have been at war for so many years, they are both stubborn and they won't back down that easily," stated Calhoun. "It would be only wise to stay on guard."

Madeline nodded her head. "Beth woke up two hours ago."

"How is she?" asked Calhoun in an uninterested tone of voice. 

"Lost right now. She barely spoke to me, and she has been crying. I thought maybe it would be only right to send her where my parents are. This way, the demons would not follow her thinking she's still here in the castle, and she will be safe there," said Madeline thoughtfully. Though Beth was not completely cured, she was still able to hide her werewolf traces, and for now, that was more than enough, better than a werewolf going rampant in the towns and villages. 

"I will have Hammond prepare the carriage so that he can take Miss Elizabeth to where your parents are right now."

If they had sent Beth with her parents, instead of staying behind in the castle, she wouldn't have been bit by the werewolf nor would Raphael be dead. There was nothing but the possibility of if's which couldn't come true as the moment had passed. 

Leaning forward, Madeline let her chin rest on Calhoun's shoulder, and he hugged her. "I am sorry about Raphael," she whispered. 

Since the time they had reached the castle after placing Raphael in the coffin, neither of them had found time to speak about the card reader. Raphael was a good man, someone everyone could count upon. She only hoped that the demon was in peace, but knowing what type of place Hell was, she wondered if anyone ever found peace after entering Hell. 

"There are times when a person's death feels surreal and hard to believe that the person is truly gone. Sometimes we hope that miraculously the person will return to us," said Calhoun, and Madeline who had earlier placed her head on his shoulder lifted it and sat on his lap, staring at the passive look that Calhoun's handsome face adorned. 
Thread of Hope- Part 2

Music Recommendation: Repeat until death by Nova Amor


Madeline knew Calhoun was not just speaking about Raphael, but also about his mother. 

"I will never hand you over to those darn angels." 

Leaning forward, Madeline pressed her lips on his cheek, leaving a tender kiss. "I am not leaving the big bad wolf," she said.

Calhoun had not spent a lot of time with Raphel compared to the time he had spent with Theodore, but that didn't mean the demon's life didn't hold any value in his eyes. Most of the people viewed the King of Devon to be cruel and heartless, considering his history when it came to killing men who had bad-mouthed his mother or when it came to killing women whom he had bedded only to find out their ulterior motives. He had done it all to protect the things and people he cared about. 

He looked at the girl who sat with him in his company. Though he had fallen in love with her the moment he had spoken to her during Hallow, Calhoun had truly come to love Madeline for the person she was, and she did the same, accepting him with his faults. And even with the possibility where the demons or the angels could come for them again, Calhoun still looked at their life to be perfect as they had each other. And now he had a grandfather too. 

Picking her up in his arms, he placed her in the middle of the bed before he joined her side. Madeline had a tranquil expression on her face, and she turned her body to face him. 

"I didn't get to spend time with you the way I thought I would do. But I don't think anything ever goes according to the plans," confessed Calhoun, reaching for her hand and bringing it in front of his mouth. He pressed his lips on her hand first before kissing each tip of her fingers. 

"What are you doing?" Madeline whispered her question as Calhoun seemed to be moving one inch of space at a time, making her smile. 

"Loving my wife, and worshipping her the way she deserved to be cherished," he replied to her, every word he uttered was interrupted by a kiss that he dropped on her finger and Madeline didn't complain about it. 

Right after their wedding night, they had been thrown into danger and dealing with other things where they hadn't been able to find time for each other like this. To laze on the bed as if there was nothing to worry, like there was no Salvette Mortem that had appeared in the corridor, or how there was still a possibility of more demons and fallen angels coming for them.

A small giggle escaped Madeline's lips, and she asked, "How did you think we would be spending our time?"

Calhoun's eyes shifted from Madeline's fingertips to look up into her eyes. "Not let go of you even after the rays of the sun has touched the land. And to keep you in my company and in my arms. To make love to you until you lose yourself in me before repeating it all over again." 

"I don't think either of us would be able to get any work done," Madeline's lips broadened, feeling Calhoun's hand play with her fingers as they pressed and released the tips of her fingers. 

"That would be lovely, and maybe it is time," said Calhoun, and as he said that, the off-white nightdress that was on her body started to change its colour to black until it started to dissipate itself into soft black feathers. 

With Winter still prevailing in the lands of Devon, Madeline could feel the cold air on her naked skin. 

Calhoun pushed himself up to hear Madeline's heart skip a beat when he hovered above her. Balancing his body with one hand, he used the other hand to brush her cheek. 

Madeline felt less shy about her nakedness, but her heart continued to beat faster at their closeness as the loose shirt that Calhoun wore had disappeared similar to her dress. 

Eyes still on him, she asked curiously, "What happens to the dresses?" 

"They go back in the cupboard," answered Calhoun, feeling her skin heat up because of him.

Even though she was part angel, things like this still fascinated her as if she was seeing it for the very first time. 

Madeline had come far from being the innocent girl who didn't know about the existence of the creatures she was part of. Calhoun knew what the angel's meant, about her power, and he had felt the strength of it. It was one reason why he believed she would be alright during the fight as the dark angel in her knew how to defend herself. Madeline's hands that once used to be covered in mud because of planting plants were now covered in blood. 

But to Calhoun, she was still the same innocent girl he had met during the time of Hallow, as well as the small girl who had shown him kindness by offering her handkerchief to him when he was falling into a pit of darkness. Not a single person was able to warm his heart the way she did, and it was because she had his heart with her. 

"That's good," Madeline raised both her hands to brush Calhoun's hair away from his forehead, letting her fingers weave through the thick lock of his hair. Her eyes continued to stare back at him with a faint smile on her lips. 

Leaning forward, Calhoun's lips met Madeline's lips, and she opened to him even before he could touch her. Madeline welcomed Calhoun into her arms, and she kissed him back with more ferocity than she had done in the past. Both of them got lost in each other's kisses and touches, their hands holding a certain fervor in them. 

Amid their passionate touches, Madeline pushed herself up and her fingers traced to feel the length of Calhoun's strong shoulders, and then his chest before touching his abs that were firm and taut. 

Calhoun's hand moved from Madeline's chin to move towards her jaw before bringing both of their faces closer to each other so that he could place a kiss. She was like water while he was left in a desert thirsty, and he couldn't get enough of her. When he bit into her bottom lip, he heard her gasp and her heart hitch. The drop of blood that appeared, he lapped it with his tongue, sucking her lower lip to feel her body starting to turn on as it was filling itself with desire for him. 

He weaved his fingers through her lustrous hair, having her head pulled backwards he went back to kiss her as if wanting to possess and keep her with him so that no one would ever come to take her away. His lips made its way to kiss her slender neck, and he took his time to love her the way she deserved to be loved. 

"Ah!" she gasped when he bit one side of her breast. His fingers had made its way between her legs to feel the wetness as if she was waiting for him. 

"So precious," he whispered in the shell of her ear. More gasps and groans erupted through their lips, letting their lips and hands roam around each other's body. 

When Calhoun pushed himself into her, Madeline lost herself in his arms. She was barely able to think as every single cell in her body could think nothing, but be filled with the feeling of pleasure that Calhoun was making her experience. When she was close to her orgasm, her eyes closed and her toes curled, while her body shuddered until she finally climaxed. 

It felt like Heaven, and maybe it was the only Heaven she would like to go with Calhoun.

Calhoun wasn't too far away from his release, and with half-dazed eyes, Madeline saw Calhoun's face fill itself with pleasure, and it was one of the fascinating things she had seen until now, that only heated her body up. He was insatiable, and his lips continued to love Madeline, raising goosebumps on her skin. Their second orgasm wasn't too far, and Madeline slowly felt her senses return. She felt Calhoun kiss the nape of her neck, and she sighed. 
Thread of Hope- Part 3

After their lovemaking, Calhoun put his hand around Madeline's waist before pulling her to him so that he could spoon her whilst he nuzzled his nose between her neck and shoulder. She smelt like a garden full of roses that had blossomed just for his sake, and the scent brought a certain calmness in his mind. 

Madeline hummed in satisfaction, feeling Calhoun's nose brush against the side of her neck. She placed her hand on his. She felt him interlock his fingers with her fingers. Calhoun was a gentle lover in the bed, taking his time as both of them reached their climax. The silence that fell in the room felt comfortable and soothing. The wind strongly blew outside their room as if a blizzard was taking place, but the couple who were in each other's arms were unaware of the blizzard. 

As minutes passed, Madeline wondered if it was possible to bring Raphael back. Given the Devil didn't do anything for free, she had hoped Vladimir would have brought the card reader back. But instead, the Devil had offered them a deal to find an innocent person to sacrifice, in return for Raphael's life.

"Why is it that Raphael ended up in Hell and not in Heaven? He was a good man, wasn't he?" questioned Madeline in thought. 

"Heaven probably has a high standard that picks only high quality souls," she heard Calhoun speak not too far away from her ear. 

"Do you think if I did something bad, the angels in Heaven would not welcome me into their place?" 

"Right now, I believe even if you killed an angel, they would still take you in. They worry what might happen if you were to one day go against them," stated Calhoun, and Madeline turned her body. Calhoun's hand loosened around her waist so that she could now face him. He then continued, "They are desperate to have you."

"But I don't want to do anything with them," her eyebrows furrowed and Calhoun's lips twisted into a smile. Paschar was never around her, and it made little to no difference now with him being there or not. "How was he? When he was in the High House. Paschar I mean." 

"He listened only to Helena because she was righteous compared to the other demons. He was always quiet, intelligent and resourceful when it came to helping me. He never knew I was a demon and only saw me to be a vampire, not knowing until recently that I am a demon like the rest of them," he replied to her. Madeline had grown up in the presence of the fallen angels, and in that, some of her relatives, including her grandparents, had tried to kill her. Calhoun wondered if Madeline was trying to acknowledge Paschar as her father. "You can call him your father if you want to." 

Madeline shook her head, "I don't think we share a bond like that."

"What about Vlad?" They hadn't heard anything about him since he had left the forest near the abandoned town. "Did you hear anything from him?"

"Nothing yet. He must be enjoying torturing people in Hell. Did he do anything to you when you were at his castle?" questioned Calhoun with a frown. 

"I am fine. Vlad gave me tea to drink and locked me in the room when he sensed you arrival at the castle," responded Madeline. 

Calhoun rolled his eyes, "Crazy old bat." Seeing Madeline stare at him, he asked, "What happened?" She quickly shook her head. 

"I was just thinking how similar you both are," Madeline adjusted her position so that she could look at Calhoun without her having to crane her neck too much. 

"It is slightly annoying," admitted Calhoun, but Madeline could sense that both the grandfather as well as the grandson would work out things without locking their horns. Vladimir had mentioned about him being involved in their lives and she believed he would only want to stay here with them in the Hawthrone castle, and be part of the family as Calhoun was the only person he had. It was good to know that Calhoun had someone apart from her, who genuinely cared about him. 

"Do you think he will stay here?" she asked Calhoun. "It would be nice, to have him here," she thought out loud. 

"Why do you say that?" asked Calhoun.

"Even though he's a devil, I think he's a good person." 

"You will find good even in the worst of the worst person. You possess eyes that has the ability to look past every mistake that has been committed by a person. Remember what I said before," Calhoun placed his hand below her chin, "Your heart is made of diamond. Crystal clear." Calhoun didn't care what those fucking angels said, because they hadn't spent time with Madeline like he did. 

Madeline's eyes lowered, and when her eyes raised to look into his, she said, "I thought you were bad." 

She had never said it out loud to him until now, but memories had come flooding since Calhoun had mentioned her and Constance being in a similar state to Vladimir. But he had slowly changed, and somewhere she had tried to understand how Calhoun had lived his life.

It had taken her some time to understand that she was his thread of hope—something he was tightly holding on to, to not to be swallowed by darkness. 

The love and trust they had for each other was different because even if people didn't understand their lives, Madeline and Calhoun understood each other.

"I told you I was the bad wolf," said Calhoun, leaning forward and this time pressing his lips against her forehead. He let his lips linger there longer, and heard Madeline say,

"A warm wolf." Nuzzling below Calhoun's chin, Madeline fell asleep in his arms. 

As Madeline drifted into her dreams, she found herself to be surrounded by darkness, and as her eyes adjusted, she heard an owl hoot, and she realized she was in a forest. After having a couple of dreams in the past, Madeline had come to realize that her dreams were not her subconscious making up things, but that it held some sort of knowledge in it. 

She continued to walk, stepping out from the edge of the forest to end up in the abandoned town that she had visited the night before. Unlike a day ago, the place had light as lit lanterns were hanging outside the houses. Some people walked in her view, one of them passing through where she stood to continue walking in front of her. 

"You're finally here," came a voice, and Madeline saw a woman who had golden-blonde locks of hair that was let down. The woman was petite in figure, a smile on her face and for a moment, Madeline wondered if the woman had spoken to her. 

But then came a voice in the direction where the woman was looking at. "I was looking for you." 

Madeline turned around to see a person with a hood on his head, walking towards them. Her eyes widened in surprise, when she caught the glimpse of the man, who had long silver hair.
It's all grey- Part 1

Music Recommendation: Elisa's Theme Alexandre Desplat


Madeline stared at Paschar who had appeared at the place, that looked less of a town and more of a village. She wondered what time of the past she had entered and she heard him ask the woman,

"I thought we were going to meet after ten days. What are you doing here, Marina?" 

The woman was a few years older than Madeline's age. Her eyes lowered down at Paschar's question, and she said, "I wanted to see you. I was looking for you." 

"I know," answered Paschar. His long silver hair was tied, he had pushed it to one side of his shoulder, and his grey eyes looked at the woman. "It is why I am here. Was there something you needed from me?" Unlike the woman, who had smiled at him, Paschar held a passive expression on his face. 

Marina stared at Paschar, her brown eyes staring into his grey ones. "I wanted to let you know that there have been demon sightings in this place."

"Where are they?" asked Paschar, his eyebrows furrowing in thought. He turned behind him, looking at the people who walked on the streets. 

"There's some suspicious things taking place next to my house," informed Marina. "When do you want to check the place?" she asked, pulling the hood over her head so that she could cover it. 

"Now," answered Paschar, and they left the place. 

Madeline didn't know what she was doing here or why she was here. The woman named Marina, she had hair that resembled hers, blonde and golden locks of hair. Was this her...mother? It was hard to tell because she had never asked who the woman was, who had been involved with Paschar. 

Following the two of them, Madeline tried to touch the people who were nothing less to air that blew past her, who didn't know she was there.

Madeline's feet caught up with the duo who walked away from the village. They were walking next to the forest, and Madeline heard the loud growl of thunder from the sky. If she hadn't confirmed it earlier, the weather was enough to tell that she had travelled to the past. 

If the person who was walking in front of her was really the woman who had conceived her for the very first time, then that meant this was the time when Paschar had stepped into the living world, and it looked like he was still serving Heaven. 

The Paschar she knew in the present and the Paschar in front of her appeared to be two different people. The angel here had a passive look, and it reminded the angel Michael's facial expression. 

"My neighbours haven't stepped out of their houses for more than two days, and it has me worried. I knocked on the door, but there has been no response," explained Marina. "It is because Mrs. Sawyer always shows up in front of my door to borrow sugar. Last night I heard some noise. There has been no light coming from the inside of the house." 

"You didn't inform the magistrate of the village?" questioned the angel. 

The woman shook her head. "I think the magistrate is involved in it. You told me to inform you if I see anything odd because you hunt demons." Paschar passed a glance at the woman from the corner of his eyes before looking ahead of him. It seemed like Marina didn't know about Paschar being an angel. Of course, letting a human know about demons or angels was not accepted.

Reaching the isolated houses that were away from each other compared to the present time from where Madeline came, where the houses were built closer. Marina stopped walking near one of the houses, while Paschar walked towards the house's door, and he knocked on it. 

"Is anybody home?" asked Paschar. His knocks were loud and clear. Hearing no response, he kicked the door open and stepped inside. 

Madeline who couldn't hold in her curiosity, she followed Paschar, and she brought her hand forward, "Light." A luminous ball of fire appeared above the palm of her hand, and she let the fire to guide her inside the small cramped house. 

Though she didn't belong to this time period, she could still smell the stench coming from the house, and she didn't have to see to know that it was coming from dead bodies. 

Paschar didn't need light. As he was born as an angel, he had powers that allowed him to look past the objects and find the human's dead bodies, who were stacked in the cupboards. 

"Did you find them?" came Marina's voice from behind. Paschar turned around and stepped out of the house, not letting her to see or smell what was inside the house. The woman gave him a questioning look. "What happened?"

"The people in there are dead," answered Paschar, "And the place has a thick smell of demon in there. As if the demon was there a few minutes ago, but left the place."

Marina frowned, "What are we going to do? This is the second death taking place this month. At this rate, the demons will kill everyone here."

Paschar suggested, "Go to your parent's place. Or any relative who will take you in until the matters in here settles down." 

The woman stared at the angel before saying, "I don't have anyone," and she looked away. "I live by myself because I have no one. Do you think I could live with you until then?" she looked back at him. 

Madeline didn't get to hear what Paschar's answer was to the woman's question as the scene started to dissolve in front of her and she was taken to a time further than where she had been, as if someone had sped the time before putting a pause. Suddenly she stood in a house, and she heard Marina's voice. 

"What do you think we should do outside the house? I have asked John to place the wiring mesh around the house so that no animals or people come in," she said to Paschar who was next to her. The atmosphere between them seemed to have changed as Paschar looked more relaxed. 

It's all grey- Part 2

"Do the demons still worry you?" asked Paschar, "I am here with you," and Marina smiled. "I have sent all the demons back to their places so that they don't bother you or anyone else here."

Marina had a concerned look on her face, and she said, "You are a kind man, Paschar."

"Isn't that because of you?" he offered her a smile. "I sense something strange in you, Mari." 

Madeline, who stood there felt as if she was intruding the couple's time, noticed how Marina's face turned slightly tense, and she tried to smile. "You do?"

Paschar said, "Yes. You look dull and worn out. Is there something that is bothering you? You know, you can tell me anything, right?"

"Yes. I think it's just the heat of the sun that is affecting me. I will be alright with some sleep," she placed her hand on Paschar's hand. "If there's something worrying me, you will know. You always do." Saying this, Marina hugged Paschar, and the angel hugged the woman back. 

The smile on her lips lowered down which Paschar couldn't see, and she stared at the wall behind Paschar. 

Madeline wondered why Marina had a look of worry on her face. Walking towards the window, she noticed it wasn't the same village she had earlier stepped into. This was another village, and knowing how Paschar had mentioned about being with only one woman, Madeline turned back to take a look at the woman's face. This was her mother, the person who hadn't given birth to her as Marina had died before she could bring Madeline to the living world. 

"Do you think we should move from here?" questioned Marina. 

"Where do you want to go?" questioned Paschar, pulling away from the embrace they shared, the angel looked down at the woman. 

She shrugged her shoulders, "Anywhere would do," she smiled at Paschar. 

Paschar raised his hand to caress Marina's face, and Madeline could tell that he really loved the woman. He then thoughtfully responded to her earlier words, "It might be a good idea to change places. Sometimes I worry my brothers will come to find me." 

"Do you miss them?" she asked him. 

He dropped his hand from her face, going to hold Marina's hands. 

"On rare occasions, but they should be doing fine. They are just angry that I left...without letting them know," answered Paschar. "But that doesn't matter anymore. I am happier here." 

Madeline stood there watching the couple speak, finding Paschar had not spoken to Marina about who he was as she seemed to not know about who Paschar really was. There were no conversations regarding the angels, but only the demons who were causing a stir. 

With the dream that continued to prolong its time, Madeline saw Paschar leave the house for some work while leaving Marina back in the house. 

Madeline closely watched Marina as she had never got to know about this person. All she knew from Paschar was that he had fallen in love with a human, who had later been killed. Angels never left Heaven, and when they did, it was marked as the time where the angel turned to a fallen angel. And Paschar had left Heaven to live with this woman. It only meant how important she must be to him. 

She was angry at Paschar for letting her down. For not searching and helping her when she was in the coffin, left to rot not once but twice. He loved Marina, but didn't he love his and Marina's daughter? The angel had taken her soul out of the dead woman's womb, and he had hidden her soul until she finally was reborn in this world. Madeline didn't know if Paschar considered her to be his daughter or not. 

The woman who had first conceived her, she appeared to be a good person. A gentle smile on her lips, and her voice was calm. Madeline felt her heart skip a beat when Marina turned around and saw straight at her. Madeline wondered if the woman could see her, and her heart started to thunder in her chest. 

"Mama?" Madeline whispered, feeling goosebumps forming on her skin. 

Marina smiled and Madeline who had stood not too far away from her, took a couple of steps towards the woman when they heard a knock on the door. Marina's gaze shifted to the door, and she asked loudly, 

"Is that you, Regi? Did you forget something?" She walked towards the door and opened it. The smile Marina had on her lips slipped from her face, and she stared at the visitor. 

"Are you not going to welcome me inside your sweet and warm house?" Madeline heard a woman's voice from the other side of the door. 

"What are you doing here?" the sweetness in Marina's voice dropped and it turned sharp.

"I thought I would visit you as it has been quite a long time since we last met. I was worried, where you forgot about me while playing as the angel's lover." The woman stepped inside the house without any invitation, and Madeline caught sight of the same woman whom she had seen in her dreams, where Paschar had strangled the person. 

Was this person going to kill Marina? Asked Madeline in her mind. Marina looked visibly worried, and her eyes went to look outside the house where no one was there. 

"That's the most unwelcoming look I have received in a while from you, Mari," the woman went towards the chairs and sat down in one of them. "How is life with the angel? I can tell you haven't told him that you know who he is or who you are, have you?" 

Marina stared at the woman, "Did you come here alone, Astrate?" 

"Just by myself to meet my good friend. So how are things going, Mari? Darian is upset that you haven't returned by completing the task quickly. You're taking too much time to sway the angel, or has he swayed you?" 

"That's rubbish, Astrate," replied Marina, "Things like these take time. It has barely been two months since he left Heaven."

Astrate chuckled, "Whatever you are doing, do it quickly because when Dairan comes, you will be answering him. I can tell that you are in love with the angel, and don't try to deny it. You should know that you are not supposed to fall in love with the angels." 
It's all grey- Part 3

The woman named Astrate stood up, turning around to face Marina, "You should let him know who you are, and then see how he reacts. He wouldn't be happy to know that you are a demon. Let me help you with that."

When Marina's eyes turned pitch black, Madeline's eyes widened. Oh, dear God, she thought to herself. 

"Don't you dare. You won't do anything like that! I can handle things here," Marina gritted her teeth when Astrate laughed before the smile on her face died down. 

"Don't forget why you stepped into the living world. Our goal is to turn the angels against each other. To put doubt in their mind so that we can infiltrate Heaven. Do it when he still thinks you are an innocent human." 

In a blink of an eye, the demoness named Astrate disappeared from the house, and Marina raised her hand at the door for it to shut close just by her gesture. Madeline, on the other hand, looked at Marina with her mouth wide open. This couldn't be, she thought to herself. The person who had conceived her was not human, but a demon. And here she thought things couldn't get more complicated than it was in her life. 

When morning arrived with the sun shining brightly in the sky, at the Hawthrone's castle, Madeline's dream dissolved into something happier, turning her mood subtly back to the way it was before she had closed her eyes to dream. 

Madeline snuggled closer into Calhoun's chest, her face pressing on his taut muscles while breathing in and out softly. Some of her hair had come to hover in front of her face, and Calhoun who was awake long ago, pushed her hair away from her face so that he could look at the sleeping beauty. 

Feeling Calhoun's fingertips brush against her skin, Madeline started to wake up from her sleep, stretching her body while moving only closer to Calhoun. 

"Good morning, my sunshine," Calhoun whispered, leaning forward and pressing his lips against her forehead to hear her hum in response. 

"Good morning," whispered Madeline, still groggy with her eyes closed. 

"Sleep some more if you want. There's plenty of time before we go out and make an appearance. Or I have a better idea, stay in bed," Calhoun tucked the piece of her hair behind her ear. 

"Maybe this is why everyone wants the throne," whispered Madeline with a smile, "So that they can sleep as much as they want." Her forehead creased when Calhoun caught hold of her cheek with his thumb and index finger. 

"A person is restless when he's chasing the crown, and he might think the restlessness stops once he gets it, but it doesn't," said Calhoun. "When you have the crown on your head, there's another kind of restlessness of where one fears of losing their life."

Madeline opened her eyes to look at Calhoun's deep red eyes. 

"But you don't feel that way," said Madeline as she raised her upper body so that she could look at Calhoun.

"Must be one of the advantages of being a demon, vampire and the Devil's grandson," Calhoun grinned, and Madeline returned it. Moving her elbows on the bed as she crawled closer to him, she pecked his lips. "Something seems to be bothering you. Bad dream?" asked Calhoun, staring at Madeline's brown eyes. 

Things had only settled down in their lives after dealing with the demons and the fallen angels, and Madeline had hoped that at least for a day, they wouldn't have to deal with anything bad. No, not a day, but forever.

The dream she had dreamt wasn't vivid anymore, but that didn't mean she forgot about it. It was still there in her head, "It wasn't bad," she responded to Calhoun's question, "But I am not sure if it was good either. Life used to be so much simpler when I was ignorant about some things, and it makes me question if I should let some things as it is." 

What happened before she was born, was it worth walking down that path? Madeline told Calhoun what she remembered from her dream whilst they spent their time in the bed. 

Calhoun patiently heard what Madeline had to say, and once she was done, he said, "Your father still has no clue that he fathered a child with a demoness." 

Madeline shook her head before taking a deep breath and letting it out through her lips. "She, Marina didn't want him to know that she was a demoness. I think even the other demoness who had killed her, didn't get the opportunity to reveal it to Paschar."

"The world is not black and white as people perceive it to be. It is grey," said Calhoun. He pulled Madeline close, to hug and comfort her. 

The King and the Queen of Devon lazed in the bed talking to each other, while Madeline moved closer to Calhoun's chest to hear his heartbeat. 

"How is it possible?" she whispered, "That a vampire's heart can beat just like a human." 

"Because vampires are the creatures of the living world, just like humans. It is why we make use of a stake, pushing it through the vampire's heart to kill them," Calhoun brushed the back of Madeline's hair with his hand, weaving and feeling the texture in between his fingers. 

Calhoun could feel the heaviness in Madeline's heart, but he didn't ask her, knowing her thoughts were lingering back to the dream she had while she was asleep. Paschar had failed to notice him being a demon until recently when he revealed it to him. Therefore, he didn't find it surprising that the angel had not been able to find his lover to be a demon. 

He wondered what Madeline's dream meant. He didn't want her to feel burdened by anything right now. "What would you like to do today?" he asked her. 

Madeline lifted her head from Calhoun's chest and looked into his eyes, "I was thinking about visiting the graveyard." Receiving a questioning look from him, she said, "It has been a while since we last visited your mother."

Calhoun gave her a nod, "Graveyard it is." 

Prayers of peace- Part 1

Music Recommendation: A life Well Written by Christopher Willis


She stood at the window, staring at the grounds of the castle, noticing things had turned back to normal as if nothing had happened two days ago. Her dark brown hair had been tied into a braid, and her eyes looked empty. Since Beth had seen Raphael die, the incident had left her shaken. As hours passed, the reason about his death only sunk into her mind, in the realization that she was the reason why he was dead. 

Her green eyes continued to stare at nothing in particular while she was in deep thought, alone in the large room she had once craved for. Madeline had spoken to her last evening, consoling her that it wasn't her fault, but she knew that it was her fault. So far, all her decisions had brought nothing but ill omen towards people near her, and she wished for it not to happen again. 

Remembering the blood covering her hands that was red and warm, belonging to Raphael, Beth stepped away from the window. She had been having a disturbed sleep as every time she was pulled into her sleep, she was woken up with the memories of what happened in the forest. There were moments in her dreams that turned the scenes even bloodier with gore than what had happened in reality. 

Turning around, she walked towards the bed and bent near the pillow. Lifting the pillow in one of her hands, she reached for the plain card that she had placed under it. It was the card of the fool. Beth remembered when Raphael was still alive and held this card, it had a picture of a clown on it, but since he had died, the markings on it had disappeared as if to confirm the card owner to not exist anymore. 

Placing the card in her pocket, Beth stepped out of the room, making her way towards the front side of the castle corridors when she met Madeline, who was walking towards her. 

"Good morning," Beth greeted Madeline with a bow. 

"Good morning, Beth. We will be going to the graveyard. Would you like to come along with us?" asked Madeline, knowing her sister would like to visit Raphael's grave. 

Beth nodded her head, "Will you be leaving right now?" she inquired. 

"Probably in an hour. Calhoun said he has to attend a meeting with the ministers and the magistrates of the villages and towns. We'll be leaving once he is free," informed Madeline. "Did you have your breakfast?"

Beth offered Madeline a smile, "Yes. The maids brought it to the room."

"That's good," Madeline placed her hand on Beth's shoulder, "Are you feeling alright now?" She had been worried about Beth since they had found her in the forest. It was like something had snapped in Beth's mind, and she had turned completely lost. Madeline had made sure for the maids to attend to her sister when it came to bathing or eating her food timely. 

Madeline had never seen Beth in this condition before, and it worried her. 

The smile on Beth's face fell as she couldn't hold it long on her face. Both the sisters stepped out of the castle corridors and entered the garden. Sitting in one of the benches, Beth said,

"I don't know, Maddie. I feel like I am drowning in the guilt for what happened. I have done a lot of things in the past, things I am ashamed of, but this beats them all," she held her hands together on her lap, staring at the trimmed bushes that surrounded them. "I know you told me not to worry or think about it, that Raphael knew that it might cost his life...but it doesn't make things easier." 

She had never wished for someone to die by her hands. In the past, she had tried to poison the King, but she doubted it was what she wanted. She had blindly followed Markus' words, wanting to please the man and get his praise, not realizing what she was going to do. 

Madeline furrowed her eyebrows, hearing Beth's words.

"Don't let his effort go in vain, Beth. When Raphael received the glass vial that had the antidote, he knew making you drink it would not be easy. But he wanted to help you, save you from what you were going through so that you could continue to live as before," Madeline tried to comfort Beth. 

Beth shook her head as if not wanting to accept what had happened. "If only we could go back in time. So many things could be fixed, so many lives could be saved," whispered Beth. "How do you continue to live, Maddie? Knowing you have killed people. Does sleep come easily without any hauntings?" she turned to meet Madeline's eyes. 

In Madeline's case, the people she had killed were the ones who had committed grave sins, but in Beth's case, she had injured Raphael when she was in her werewolf form. Madeline wondered how long it would take until Beth would finally make peace with what she had done. 

"Sleep does come when I go to bed," replied Madeline to Beth's question, "But the dreams aren't all good. Most of them are disturbing with what has taken place in the past, and sometimes even things you believed to have justified yourself, it comes back. The worry never stops, until I am wide awake knowing what happened was in the past, and not something that is going to happen."

There had been recurring dreams where Madeline had dreamt about Calhoun lying dead next to her. It was around the time when she had killed the head maid of the castle. 

"You are not a complete werewolf right now. Because some part of the antidote worked on you, and you can now control when you turn and don't want to," said Madeline.

"I would have been fine being a werewolf. It's not like I would have remembered anything anyways," a dry smile appeared on Beth's face. And no matter how much she wished she could fix things, it had broken without any possible repair.