Author's Note: This epilogue was written at one of my best friend's insistence to know what happed to the heart. I hope you like it.

The ashes that were left behind were now mixed in with endless specks of sand, but almost by an unseen force, a gust of wind lifted the ashes and swept them west. The white ashes made a cloud of fog that swept over the running vampires and werewolves that had watched the fight. The ashes swept over them, caressing them for a split second before rushing through the air.

Over the ocean and to the land of the Valley of the King, this strange, pale cloud swept into the tomb that was never to be found. The ashes crept through the cracks and slid into the gold tomb that held the beginning of her first bloodline. The ashes settled evenly over the perfectly active body of Kyelke and they sunk into her dark skin. Her power rose and her eyes opened. The brown, almost black, eyes opened. They shone red for an instant before returning to the sharp brown. Her thin lips filled to retain the shape body the ashes once were. The curly black hair straightened.

The sarcophagus held one body, but two vampires. A sigh escaped her lips and her eyes closed once more to go back to the never-waking slumber of the half dead.

Epilogue

In A Heartbeat

1

3/21/19

Excerpt from the last page of Jessica's Journal.

Nothing's quite what it was before. We had our own version of the Cold War years ago, a silent war fought with screams and blood of our kind, and yet completely oblivious to the kind we were before. We used to be myth to the humans, but we walk among them now, living like we used to.

We would all be dead- or deader that we are now- if her heart hadn't survived. It still beats, by an unconceivable force. I know Richard hopes that this means she will return, but she's ash now.

J

2

"Richard… that is sick," Jessica said after what seemed like an eternity of silence. "No – it's not sick, it's fucking weird."

"I know," Richard responded, and stared around. Three women stood around him, each one staring at him with varying expressions of disbelief and horror. "I want to do it."

"Why?" Sarah asked and cleared her throat. She glanced at Jessica as if she couldn't believe what planet she was on.

Cheri stood by with a look on her face that could only be interpreted as, "Are you fucking kidding?"

Richard shifted his weight from foot to foot and looked around the three faces. He knew that this idea was totally off the rocket and judging the look on their faces, they thought so too. Still, it was the only way to keep what remained of her with him. "So?" He prodded.

"No! There's no way I can do that, I mean… where the hell did you get that idea from?" Jessica said, her voice slightly high pitched.

Richard turned to look at Sarah, his eyes were inquiring. She bit her lip.

"I know that if we say no, you'll do it yourself," she said and glanced at Cheri and Jessica. "If you really want to do it… I'm up for it. I dissected a fetal pig sophomore year…twenty years ago," she smiled.

Jessica sighed and Cheri looked slightly nauseous. "I guess. When?"

"Right now?" Richard suggested.

The whole process took at least twenty minutes. Jessica stood over a fully awake Richard, while Sarah stood next to the black, still beating heart of Ria. The heart was very much ominous looking. It pulsed rhythmically, a slow easy beat of someone that has been sleeping. The strange thing about the heart is that it was strangely dry. No longer bloody; it was like holding a perfect sculpture of a heart. Sarah looked down at it, and wondered if Ria could feel it.

Richard lay shirtless on the dining room table, under a bright light. Jessica was coming through the archway that led to the kitchens, her brow slightly furrowed, and she carried a dish. She shook her head when she saw him laying calmly waiting for her to cut him open, and picked up a small knife and held it poised over his heart.

"You do realize I might have to cut out a piece of your lung, right?" Jessica put in, a weak attempt to change his mind.

"I don't breathe," Richard quipped. "Vestigial structures, Jessica."

Jessica sucked in a breath, and stilled her body, seemingly turning into a statue and made the first incision: a clean cut to the right of Richard's heart, and two more cuts that enabled her to peel the skin from his ribs. Sarah's lips pursed and she made a mock gagging noise. Jessica smiled and took a tiny saw and ignored the high pitched, ear-splitting noise of the saw cutting through Richard's ribs. It was a barbaric version of open-heart surgery.

"Remember, you have to do it fast before I heal," Richard said, beads of sweat on her forehead. There was a trickle of blood coming from the open square on his chest, and Sarah looked in. She wrinkled her nose and said, "Ew."

Richard's heart was bright red, and it beat easily. Jessica had a crazy urge to poke it to see what would happen. Blood pooled in the open square and then dribbled down his side.

Jessica quickly reached in the hole and disregarding the grunt of pain that tore from Richard's throat and tried to make a space between his lung and his heart. Sending an 'I-told-you-so' look to him, Jessica picked up the knife and cut a piece of gray lung off. There was a space now. She had made a perfect scoop-like space in the lung. She dropped the piece of bloody, gray lung on the plate and watched it turn to ash.

"Wow, I didn't know that happened," Sarah commented.

"The heart," Jessica said briskly and glanced at Sarah when she dropped the black heart into Jessica's open hands.

"I can't believe I'm doing this," Jessica muttered, and slid the heart into the gaping hole in Richard's chest.

At first the heart did nothing but beat slowly, but then it sped up and Richard's back arched off the table, and a yell tore from his throat. Jessica shrieked and her hands clamped onto his shoulders and tried to hold him down.

He was strong, and Jessica had to put her whole Vampire strength into holding him down. She looked down to the where the hole was and she very nearly let go. The heart was fusing to Richard's body. The aorta was fusing it self to Richard's and he gripped the table and tried to be still, but his body was still spasmodically jerking. The heart was beating rapidly and Richard's was also speeding up. The thumping of their hearts was so loud Jessica was sure that if she was able to dream she'd have nightmares, Edgar Allan Poe style.

She looked at Sarah who was staring fixedly at the heart and then Jessica felt a strange sensation. It was almost like feeling something or someone in the room. Jessica cursed when Richard's back arched again and she looked down again to see the hearts racing, they seemed to almost be competing with each other.

"I think this was a bad idea!" Jessica cried and gasped when Richard went still. It was inhuman the way the hearts were racing one second and then beating at a normal pace the next. They weren't beating in sync with each other. That was the last thing Jessica saw before the hole closed, the ribs re-knitted together and the flap of skin that had fallen in place meshed together with the rest of his skin. A few seconds later Jessica stared at Richard's face.

His expression was that of someone who didn't know what was happening. 'That feels really strange," he said.

Jessica stood back when Richard sat up and swung his legs over the side of the table. He stood up, and it looked as if he was waiting for something to happen. After a minute when nothing did, he looked sheepishly at Jessica and Sarah.

"It feels like I shouldn't do anything really quick," he said and picked up his discarded shirt. Jessica wordlessly handed him a damp towel and he wiped the dried blood off his side and put in his shirt. He stood for a moment, his eyes narrowed and a focused look on his face.

"It feels really…weird," he said and put a hand over his chest. The two hearts beat out of sync with each other.

"Hey, you'll be extra hard to kill now," Cheri said.

Richard grinned.

Richard was speeding down the drive when he smelled the musty smell of earth. He turned and stared at the sky. Dark clouds seemed to follow him overhead and he turned off the high way heading to head for his destination – and they seemed to follow him.

He sped down the highway, a black blur on a white sky. Richard didn't know what his destination was until he stood on the very spot where his brother died. The clouds rolled over him and soon he was wet down to the bone. Thunder bellowed from the sky, and lighting split the sky. Richard looked up and let the drops hit his face. The howling wind whistled in his ears and his hair was blowing around wildly.

He doubled over suddenly, sharp pangs where the hearts were and for brief second their beating stopped and he wondered if he was going to die.

The thought stopped and his hand slid over his chest and he felt the rhythmic beating of the hearts behind at the same pace.

fin

AN: This epilogue is dedicated to illegitimate sister, Jessica.

Also … I'm not an anatomy major, so I know some of the operation stuff isn't accurate, but bear with me.