A/N: IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!! I'm sorry that there has been so much time in between my updates, but I was concentrating on my other story- Royal Trepidations- you might want to go read that one (over 100 reviews!). Anyways, I'll try to do better and thanks for your reviews!
About the Reviews:
nimrod: Thank you! Keep reading!
fae-crazed: Hot isn't he?
krissa amberia: I know there isn't much now but it's starts picking up really soon!
Jyna Aliasbeth: I know! So many summaries out there SUCK along with their stories! However, I happen to be one of those people who write the most awefulest summaries! This one was written on inspiration! My other story Royal Trepidations is much better than this one but it doesn't have such a great summary...
Neko: Goddess of Writing huh? I rather like the sound of that! However Artemis, who I am named after (shhhh, don't tell anyone) was the goddess of the hunt... I kinda like the writing thing better though... Ahh *huggles Neko* I LOVE YOU!!! you and Tanaka were my first reviewers of Royal Trepidations and now this *tear*...
medieval-rougue: thank you so much for reviewing! I rather love this story too but no one really reads it and I think that they like Royal Trepidations better so I just concentrate on writing that one. This one is sort of on my back burner. Glad you liked it though- I have a slight obsession with vamps myself! Drake *sigh* I'm rather partial to him as well if you know what I mean *wink*.
"Aramis there you are," Her grandfather called out as she entered the large library. He took off his large tortoise shell rimmed glasses and set them between the pages of the large book that he was reading, effectively marking his place.
Leaning back behind his large mahogany desk, which was framed by the large floor length windows behind it, her grandfather gestured for her to sit in one of the full backed armchairs in front of him. A fire was merrily blazing to his right and on his left was a sofa seated in front of myriad shelves of books. This room always made Aramis feel safe and at the same time powerful. The room some how resonated with an undertone of sheer MAGIC that she could never quite put her finger on.
Taking a seat, she looked at her grandfather questioningly.
"You wanted to talk to me Grandfather?"
He sighed heavily and got up to pace.
"Indeed I do. There are many secrets, my dear, that your mother has not told you and that your father took to his grave. So, so, many secrets. And there are other things they have refused to believe or learn, and therefore it is then my job to pass on our family history and the duties that come with them to you..."
His eyes glazed over and he began to speak, seeing only past memories.
"Do you see this library? Every volume, every tome was not only bought from the bookstores. There are some that are records our family has kept for more than three hundred generations…"
She glanced around the room, gazing at the thousands of yellowing pages mixed in-between perfect covers.
"I suppose that I should start at the beginning. First off, my dear, you must know that vampires are very much real. They have been here almost as long as there have been humans in the world. However, not everything that you have heard about vampires is true. Yes, they drink the blood of the living. Yes, they can spread their disease of the undead to others, but they are NOT necessarily evil!
"Many stories that you heard of are about vampires are in reality stories about Vampyres- spelled with a 'y'. There is a vast difference.
"Vampires (with an 'i') are relatively harmless. They drink only as much blood of the living as they need to survive and contrary to belief, they do not kill nor do they have the power to convert the living into the undead. These vampires usually rely on animal blood instead of human blood to survive and they are NOT necessarily evil. In fact they function almost as normally as you do.
"The things that you have heard about holy water, and crosses are absolutely false. Actually if you believe in something enough it will protect you. You could take an apple, believe with your whole being that it was holy- magical- and it would protect you from evil. For you see my dear, it is not the object itself but the BELIEF behind it that drives away evil. Who can tell you what is holy and what is not? Nobody."
Aramis shifted in her seat. Her grandfather still looking blankly into the fire.
"But I'm digressing from the subject at hand. As I was saying, humans have vast stories about vampyres but they constantly blend and mix vampires and vampyres.
"Vampyres are evil. All vampyres are evil, it is their nature and nothing that can change that. Vampyres differ from vampires in that vampires may drink the blood of animals to sustain them, vampyres cannot. Only the blood of humans can satiate their thirst- and if that weren't enough, every full moon they must drink the soul of a human to survive."
He heaved a large sigh into the silence.
"There are not as many vampyre hunters as you might think. Very few actually. The fact is that most hunters hunt vampires for the glory of the hunt. With twisted thoughts that they are saving humanity from evil. Hunting vampyres is much more dangerous than hunting vampires. To hunt a vampyre and live you must need have Grefein- a type of magic- coursing through your veins. For you see vampyres are creatures of dark magic- putting it simply: you must fight fire with fire."
She interrupted her grandfather at this moment,
"Grandfather...why in the world are you telling me this? We are not the ones hunting these... Vampyres."
"Ah," he sighed, "there lies the secret of our family. A deep haunting secret that is usually passed down discretely from father to daughter, mother to son. You see Aramis" he took his attention from the fire to look her straight in the eye, "we ARE vampyre hunters my dear. There are only five families that remain left to hunt vampyres, although if you want to get technical there is only two..."
Aramis shook her head in confusion, "WHAT are you talking about grandfather?"
He heaved another great sigh.
"I know that this is hard to accept, but you must try. Now as I was saying there are five families left to battle them. This is simply because the others have died off. I have said that you must have power to battle and hunt the Vampyres and only five families still have the ancient powers running through their bloodlines."
His eyes grew hazy again as he started to recite what he had learned all those years ago from his own father,
"Four sides of the Koven for the Four Ways of power:
The Dynasty of Gemini: guarded by the divine twins Apollo and Artemis, children of Leto. They are the hunters. Trained at birth to kill the living dead and every other foul thing that is a threat to mortals.
The Dynasty of Nike: protected by Athena, goddess of wisdom. They are the prophets; the spell casters.
The Dynasty of Cycoes: guarded by Hephestus, God of Fire; the crafters- Master forgers in the ancient art of weaponry.
The Dynasty of Apols: protected by Hebe, goddess of youth. These are the master healers, their power lies within herbs and limited magical potential for healing only.
"Years ago there were five families for each of the four ways of power- so a hundred in all. Now there only remain five. Two families belong to Gemini. And the reason I'm telling you this is because ours is one of them. My dear granddaughter, have you ever wonder why I have taught you the ancient tongues? Why I have taught you martial arts since you were three? Why I have trained you to wield almost every weapon forged by man since you were ten? You were born to be a hunter in every sense of the word."
"I-I'm one of the g-Gemini?" Aramis stuttered in disbelief.
Her grandfather smiled.
"No my dear you are one of THE Gemini. Unfortunately our family has boiled down to two remaining children. You and your cousin John... You do remember him right?"
She searched her memory. The name sounded familiar but nothing surfaced. Aramis shook her head no.
"Well, he is considered your half cousin because- well, I don't know. We've always called him that because my brother disowned his mother. Nevertheless he knows of his destiny and I am sure you and he will keep our dynasty alive.
"But I'm talking in circles. Here's the bottom line. You are one of THE Hunters, one of the Lunare Hunters to be exact. Unfortunately I have been informed just today that John's mother has recently died and that leaves you as the Warrior of Artemis."
"Whoa, Whoa- STOP" Aramis held up one hand, her eyes wide from the news.
"The Vampyers and Vampires I believe. The Dynasties I believe- I even believe in that half-baked idea that our family is part of this hocus-pocus. But telling me that I am to stand as a WARRIOR for a lost GODDESS and that I have MAGIC in my veins is WAAAAYYYY too much for me to believe! I love you grandfather, but sometimes I think that you are insane."
"NARRARO EGO VERUM! And it's Grefein not magic- I explained it once to your mother today- I really don't want to do it again for you."
"Whatever. Anyways telling me in Latin that you are saying the truth isn't helping grandfather. But even if I did believe you, what makes you think that I am the Warrior of Artemis and not John?"
"The Warrior of Artemis is usually a woman of our family. She is our patron goddess. Artemis prefers that her warriors be women- she doesn't trust men. But I've taught you mythology, you must remember..."
Aramis again searched the shelves of her memory.
Artemis- Goddess of the Hunt. Protector of newborn animals and forever a wild young maiden of the Woods. By her side were fifty nymphs and four golden hinds pulled her chariot. She, one of the three virgin goddesses never married and hated men. Her silver arrows were painless shafts that caused immediate death. Artemis was a cold, pitiless goddess to be feared- she once turned a man that had accidentally looked upon her from her bath and turned him into a stag, letting him keep his mind of a man. She then turned his own hounds on him, letting them rip him, their master, apart piece by piece.
"I remember" she said softly.
"Then you must remember that fact above all else. Artemis does not like her Warriors um" he blushed, "sleeping with or in any way loving a man- not until the men have proven themselves loyal to her charges. To do so without her approval is almost certain death. However you my dear granddaughter, are somewhat of an exception."
"Take a look at this" Her grandfather handed her a painting.
It showed a woman creeping upon a stag. Her eyes fierce and determined- her bow tightly drawn, and a quiver of arrows was hung over her shoulders. Midnight black hair piled loosely atop her head, held together with a pendent of a half moon and a lithe but very evidently womanly body. But there was something strange about the painting... Aramis held it closer to her, examining the woman's face closer.
"It's ME!" She gasped.
"No my dear, that is the Goddess Artemis. Painted by one of her Priestesses in the year 23 C.E. But you are right. You do look Extraordinarily like her and that is why I am concerned. On the one hand she will protect you all the more for looking like her, believing that you are like her. Unfortunately she will also expect you to act like her- despising men. And it is doubtful that she will let you love any man."
It took awhile for the information to properly sink into her head. But when it did...
"WHAT THE HELL?!?!?! Are you telling me that I have to remain CHASTE all my life? Not getting married, not having kids, and dying an OLD MAID?????"
Her grandfather snorted, "Of course not. Which is why I gave you the option of choosing between Maxwell and Drake."
Upon hearing their names Aramis saw red.
"WHAT IN THE NINE HELLS DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?" She took a deep breath calming herself, "I thought I was marrying one of them for the merger of your companies."
Her grandfather looked at her oddly, "Yes a merger of our companies to get Waldon to agree to the deal, for you see the Silverton Family is the other branch of Gemini- protected by Artemis's twin Apollo."
Apollo. God of truth, light and music. Arrows of harsh and hard gold- The playboy god- oh GREAT. She thought, sneering.
"Waldon didn't want the families to merge, preferring that the two branches of Gemini stay separate, but when I threw in a merger of our companies together he couldn't refuse!" Her grandfather smirked satisfied, looking like a cat that had just swallowed a prize canary.
"I can't BELIEVE you did that!" Aramis shrieked, "Now they'll think I'm desperate!"
"Of course they won't. Waldon knows full well that his two grandsons are the only hope you have of love."
"And why is that?" She asked through her teeth.
"Because both of them are under the protection of Apollo, and it is well known that the only man that Artemis ever truly loved was her beloved twin Apollo. If Artemis was to ever approve of you loving anyone it would be someone who was under the protection of her brother."
"And so I have to choose between two BASTARDS or forever live alone?"
"You got it in one. And a lady should never use such foul words."
Aramis growled. This day REALLY wasn't going her way.
"And between the two bast-"
"Ah" he held up his hand, wagging one finger back and forth.
"Fine. And between the two GENTLEMEN, which one is the Warrior of Apollo?"
"That question is actually a very good one. The fact is that we don't know. We were actually hoping that YOU would tell us."
"ME? How can I do it?"
Her grandfather shrugged.
"Well you ARE the Warrior of Artemis- well at least you will be. We were hoping that you would recognized your other half."
Aramis snorted in disgust. And then something hit her, "What do you mean I WILL BE the Warrior of Artemis? Are you saying that I'm not it yet?" A spark of hope had lit in her.
"Of course you are the Warrior of Artemis- just not officially. On the night of the Harvest Moon you will officially enter her temple and be crowned her champion- figuratively speaking of course."
"Of course." Her head was spinning from all the details that just two hours of talking with her grandfather had caused. SO MUCH information. It was going to take a while to digest.
"By the way," Started her grandfather again.
Oh dear Goddess don't let it be something else, she thought.
"Your cousin John is flying here next week as soon as he gets his affairs in order. We, unfortunately cannot fly to England for his mother's funeral but I will send him our condolences."
Her head snapped up from the cradle she had made of her hands. "She was my aunt. Why can't we fly to England- especially since I'm testing out of school?"
Her grandfather sighed, "She is still disowned child. I swore, never to see her again for what she did to our family"
"ENOUGH!" He heaved a great sigh- it seemed as if he was sighing a lot today, "Go to sleep my Aramis. Today has been tiring for you. I will see you tomorrow and we will speak with your principal to take you out of that confounded school. Good night."
"GOOD NIGHT Aramis."
Meekly she got up to leave. "Good night grandfather."
He nodded once before going back to whatever book he had been reading before she had entered.
Damn- nothing could beat today. First she figured out that her love life was limited to TWO bastard, admittently gorgeous bastards of course but nevertheless bastards. Next she learned that she didn't have to go to that damn school where she didn't fit in again (HALLELUIAH!) and to top it all off she then learned that the Winters family (A/N: Aramis's) were Vampyre hunters who had magic- no Grefein in their veins.
This had to be a dream- yup yup, definitely a dream. Tomorrow she would wake up, go to school and bitch at the jerk Bryan again. She nodded her head fiercely. Yup yup, this was all a dream alright!
Longest chapter yet. But there are a few things that I must clarify:
For those of you who think I'm wrong and that Artemis was the goddess of the Moon and that Apollo was the god of the Sun. Please recheck your sources because I assure you that you are WRONG- no offense hehe. Perhaps you are thinking of Diana, she was the goddess of the Hunt as well as of the moon because the Romans like the idiots that they were (can you tell that I don't like them?) mixed everything up rather badly. Artemis was the goddess of the hunt and SELENE was the goddess of the moon. Apollo was the God of Light and HELIOS was the god of the Sun.
Just trust me on this okay? I'm like an expert on Greek and Roman mythology- I won all the way up to State JCL (junior Classical league) Mythology tests I'm so good. For those of you who know what I'm talking about you know it's a big deal. For those of you who don't just trust my judgments please?
I'm telling you this because I wanted you to have a clear slate before I go on. Some people hold stubbornly onto their old ideas and the story won't make sense if you do.
Sorry for griping. It's comes with writing such a complicated story.
Okay Now for Pronunciations:
Vampire= VAM pyre
Vampyre= vam PYRE
Difference in accent is all that is different but they are two entirely different um, species (at least in my book).
Anyways, thanks for reading! And review!