'Not too much farther, keep going, she's counting on you,' The thought swam around in Marius's head as he bounded from tree to tree with the ease of someone walking down the street, though there was nothing at ease about Marius's posture. His body was coiled, like a spring, and his eyes continually scanned his surroundings. He couldn't sense anyone but his instincts told him that they were closing in, and he always gave his instincts the benefit of the doubt. They had saved his life more than once and it was because of them that he had discovered his greatest happiness, but he did not have the luxury of thinking about that now, Marius glanced down at the bundle he carried in his arm, the face of a sleeping child looked back him. It was all for him, this child. The was a rustling sound, then a soft growl, Marius jumped down, slipping the child back into the sling on his back as he descended, grabbing a lower branch, he swung in a complete circle and went sailing both feet first into his pursuer. The creature howled in pain as Marius's feet slammed into its chest, the sound of cracking bones could be heard as the lycan fell backwards out of the tree. It slammed into the ground with a sickening thud.

Marius crouched on the branch and stared at the creature, it lay twitching on the ground but he could see the bonesreforming in its chest. In another five to ten minutes it would be up again. Marius cursed under his breath, a lycan could only mean one thing, Ivan was nearby and that meant there were at least three other lycans nearby. They would be drawn by the sound of their brother, he had to keep moving. Marius turned around, and ducked just in time to dodge as another lycan leapt at him from above. The creature soared over him with a snarl of frustration; Marius did not wait to see where the creature would land. He took off back in the direction he had been heading, the trees and plant life blurring past due to his great speed. In a few minutes he had put nearly a mile between himself and the pursuing lycans, but Marius knew that the gap would not last forever. The lycans extremely high stamina made up for their lack of vampire levels of speed, and with Ivan commanding them, these lycans most likely would be able to take quicker routes. Ivan knew the woods even better than Marius did, and he would make use of his knowledge, of that Marius had no doubt. Marius leapt to the next tree, as his foot landed on the branch he heard the distinct sound of a weapon flying through the air. He paused just in time to avoid a battle-axe as it flew past him and slammed into the tree on whose branch he was standing on, the tree splintered from the force of the axe. Marius winced as a stray splinter from the tree sliced him across the cheek.

"This is as far as you go Marius," A voice said with a thick Russian accent. Marius turned his head to see Ivan, crouched on the branch of an opposing tree, his other battle-axe in his hands.

Marius looked at Ivan who even now in the year 1900 still looked like he belonged in time of the barbarians. At 5'7", Ivan lacked height, but he made up for it with the build of a blacksmith. With his broad shoulders long black hair and animal skins draped over him, he was the living embodiment of a hunter. He gazed at Marius, his gray eyes steady, these were the eyes of one who had hunted many vampires, lycans and humans;, though Ivan said that humans gave little sport. These eyes were the skilled eyes of one who knew the dangers of cornering, any beast, and that was what Marius was feeling like right now. Marius gazed back at Ivan evenly, "Get out of my way Ivan, this doesn't concern you,"

Ivan shook his head, "That I can not do Marius, you are to stand trial. If you will not come with me peacefully, then I will have no choice," Ivan shifted the axe in his hand.

Marius kept his eyes on Ivan; he stood perfectly still. From behind him, he could hear the two lycans as they crouched on the tree behind him. Suddenly Marius shot forward in a brazen leap straight at Ivan. Ivan's eyes went wide for a second; he brought his axe across in a furious side slash. Marius braced himself as the weapon collided, Ivan's axe striking the air rather than Marius. Suddenly realizing Marius was gone, Ivan blinked once then swore, "Damn you Marius, and your tricks," He looked to his lycans, who after a moment caught Marius's scent and took off in pursuit. Ivan leapt after his pets, grabbing his axe out of the tree as he jumped past. Clicking his radio, "He's heading in your direction, Zack," He said curtly. There was a chuckle on the other end, "Fooled you with one of his tricks did he?" Ivan merely growled, the voice chuckled again, "Don't worry Ivan, I won't tell the council that their top hunter was bested by a renegade, I'll deal with him," The voice clicked off. Ivan muttered several choice words in Russian as he hurried to catch up to his pets.

Meanwhile Marius had put a fair bit of distance between himself and Ivan. He was getting close to his goal it was good thing too. Night was beginning to fade; the sun would be up in a few hours. The child stirred in his resting place on Marius's back, "Hang on little one, we will be there soon," Marius said, as he continued leaping from tree to tree, dodging the limbs that slapped and grabbed for him. Suddenly Marius stopped, he stood there, poised on a tree branch, perfectly still, his ears heard nothing, and he saw nothing, but his mind and instincts told him that someone was close by.

"I know your here Zack, just come on out and let's quit with these games," Marius said quietly, scanning the foliage.

There was chuckle then a branch moved as 'Zack' dropped down from where he had been hiding in a higher branch. "Still as good as ever Marius," Zack said with an easygoing smile. At 6'0" he was only an inch shorter than Marius, he wore a black three-piece suit that looked very out of place in the middle of the woods, his eyes were dark black along with his hair. In one of his hands, he held several throwing knives, in the other, he held an ornate dagger, Zack looked at Marius and shook his head. "So it comes down to this, I never thought I'd see the day when Lord Damien's own son would chose a filthy lycan and the abomination on your back, instead of your own kin," Zack said, his voice one of disgust.

Marius's eyes narrowed, and his teeth clenched, "Do not speak of Isabella that way, she has more dignity than any of our species, I will not allow you speak ill of her,"

Zack chuckled, "Still as noble as ever, hmmm Marius, that line of thought died out nearly a thousand years ago,"

"Regardless, I have made my choice,"

Zack smile turned to one of malice, "Indeed you have," With a quick flick of his wrist he sent three knives shooting in Marius's direction. Marius reacted instantly, by dropping low so that the first knife would shoot over him, bringing up his left arm, he swatted the second one off to the side, twisting his body he brought his right arm around, knocking the last one of course, he saw movement out of the corner of his eye.

Suddenly searing pain shoot up his left arm, Marius bit his lip to keep from crying out, as Zack drew his dagger out in a long sweeping motion. Marius stumbled and fell from his branch, reaching out his good arm he grabbed onto a low hanging branch. Marius hung there by one arm, his other arm hung useless at his side; on his back the child was surprisingly silent, watching everything. Zack landed down onto the branch, he looked down at Marius and shook his head, "You have no idea how pathetic you look right now Marius, hanging there looking like a bloody slab of meat in a butchers shop,"

Marius smirked, suddenly with a pull of his good arm, he launched himself upwards into the air, the branch cracked and splintered from the force of the pull. Zack's eyes went wide as the branch collapsed under his weight. Marius's smirk was still on his face as he shot to eye level with Zack. Leaning back while still in the air Marius kicked both his feet into Zack's chest sending him shooting back into the trunk of the tree. Zack grunted and fell to the earth unconscious. Using the momentum of his kick, Marius spun in the air until his feet were under him, landing on another branch, Marius wobbled and nearly lost his balance; with one of his arms wounded, he would have to take it slower, but he was almost there.

Ivan cursed as he bound through the trees only just behind his lycans as they followed Marius's scent. Suddenly the lycans ahead of him stopped, they seemed to be studying something on the ground. Ivan bound up next to see what they were looking at, and he could not help but smile at the sight of Zack unconscious on the ground. Jumping down from the tree, Ivan went and shook Zack. Zack groaned, he opened and blinked looking around, "What happened, no wait I remember, Marius," Zack growled. Ivan smirked, "Now if you are done with your nap, perhaps we can continue the hunt before he is lost for good, the sun will be up soon,"

"Right," Zack getting to his feet, he brushed the dirt from his suit.

"So where is he going anyway, have you figured it out oh great hunter?" Zack asked sarcastically. Ivan gave him a look and then merely pointed, "The Lycans will tell us, and by the blood here I assume you managed to wound him?"


"Good that will make tracking him that much simpler, now let us go," With a rush of air, the two vampires were gone, back in pursuit of their prey.

Marius came to a stop, he leaned against the trunk of the tree, panting. He looked down in the forest, thorough the trees he could see the manor, the lights shining out through the windows from inside had never looked so welcoming. He leapt down to the earth, and walking quickly, entered the front courtyard. The courtyard looked ordinary enough, but Marius had no doubt that there were plenty of surprises that awaited an unwelcome guest, he could only hope that he would be a welcome one. Walking up the front door, Marius knocked firmly, a young man, a vampire, Marius could tell by his scent, opened the door, "Yes, how may I help you Sir?"

Marius smiled and tried his best to look casual. Not an easy thing when your clothes are scuffed up from running through the woods; and with one arm cut up and bleeding Marius knew he was quite a sight, "I would like to see Baron Arrelius please," Marius asked politely, shifting his bad arm to where it was less noticeable though the wound was quickly mending. The butler for his part did not seem to notice or if he did, was too professional to mention it; he glanced at the child on Marius back for one second before looking back at Marius.

"And who should I tell him is asking?" The butler said, professionally.

"Just tell him it's Marius," Marius answered.

"Very good Sir, if you will wait in the parlor I will inform the Baron,"

"Thank you," Marius said, the weariness of the nights events finally catching up to him. He entered the manor quickly.

The sound of piano music drifted throughout the halls of the house, seated at the bench of a beautiful antique piano a pale man with white hair played quietly. His face had the look of a young man though his eyes told a different story, they spoke of a long life and a lot of wisdom gained from it. Baron Zechs Arrelius, or Zechs to those who knew him personally, was higher up in the ranks of those of the Kindred Blood as they called themselves. During the time of the Great War of the Clans, Baron Zechs had distinguished himself by his exemplary performance on the battlefield. In the days of peace following, he appeared to just as easily to fit into the role of politician; he was generally well liked and respected and had been given charge by the council over a small area in the countryside northeast of Berlin. Despite all his political leverage however, Baron Zechs seemed to have little ambitions, and seemingly was content to live in his country manor.

A servant walked up behind, and stood there waiting to be acknowledged. "Yes, George?" Zechs asked, his voice showing a light Romanian accent.

"There's a gentleman downstairs to see you Sir, says his names Marius,"

The Baron stopped playing at that announcement, "I'll be right down,"

Marius stood in the downstairs parlor of the Baron's home, and tried to contain his urge to pace, while on his back the child began to fuss. "Tired of sitting there are we?" Marius said with laugh. Shifting the weight onto his good arm, Marius picked the child out of the sling, working slowly as to avoid moving his other arm too much; Marius laid the child down on the floor. The child sat there for a second, looking up at him with big gray eyes, then its attention was else where as the small tot crawled around the room.

"A truly curious child," A voice remarked behind Marius, smiling Marius turned to see Baron Zechs Arrelius. The Baron smiled at Marius, "It is good to see you Marius. How long has it been anyway? Let us sit down and talk, you can tell me what trouble you've gotten yourself into now."

"And that's the truth," Marius said, sitting back, moving and stretching his bandaged left arm. At his feet the child sat playing idly with the carpet. The Baron sat across from him, deep in thought.

"You have put me in a very tough position Marius, what you ask, is difficult," Baron said quietly.

Marius nodded, "I know and I am sorry my old friend, if I had any other option…" Marius trailed off.

There was silence for a moment, then Marius stood; he picked up the child, "I'll go Zechs, I am sorry to have…,"

"Sit down," The Baron interrupted, Marius sat back down, the child on his lap. The Baron stared at the child, "Such death and destruction, all for such a small child," The baron shook his head with a small chuckle, "The council must truly fear him to have sent so many of their best to find you,"

Marius didn't answer, he rubbed his son's smaller hand with his own, "Regardless he is still my son whether he be full vampire or not,"

"Indeed," the Baron answered, he looked at the child again.

"Are you sure you want to do this Marius?" Zechs asked looking Marius straight in the eye.

"It is the only option left to me Zechs. It is too dangerous to take the child with me. If he stays here, the last place anyone would look for him, he at least will stay safe," Marius said, his eyes showing how painful the thought of leaving his son was to him. The Baron sighed, "Very well, if this is truly what you wish, I will help you,"

"Thank you Zechs," Marius said, he walked over to the Baron, and then with a final squeeze he set his son in Zechs' arms. The child's lips puckered as if he had just swallowed a lemon, and he began to sob.

"Shhh little one, do not cry." Zechs rocked the child slightly, looking surprisingly comfortable with him. Marius stared at his son for a long moment then without a sound he turned toward the door.

"Marius," Zechs called after him. Marius stopped, his breaths deep, "Yes, Zechs?" He asked, his voice betraying him.

"What is the child's name?"

Marius paused, "Fenris," He said finally.

Zechs nodded, "A good strong name. I will make sure he grows to bare it well,"

"Thank you my friend, God willing I will come back for him one day," Marius said, though he did not believe that for a minute. Zechs looked at him, his eyes showing that he knew as well this was probably the last time they would see each other, "Farewell Marius, may the peace you always wished for find you at the end of your journey, wherever it takes you,"

"Goodbye my friend," And with that Marius was gone.

Zechs looked down the child, "Fenris," he whispered softly; the child looked at him and whimpered.

"Do not worry. I will take care of you Fenris, as your father wished, I will raise you as my own,"

Zechs looked up to see George standing in the doorway, the butler stared at the child, the child was wanted by the council and George knew the danger of the Baron keeping him; if the council found out their deaths were certain. He looked at the Baron, who was staring at him, waiting, finally George spoke "Shall I lay the child down in one of the guest rooms Sir?"

Zechs smiled, "Yes, thank you George,"

The butler merely nodded and took the child from Zechs, the child smiled up and cooed seeming to settle contently into his arms. George looked at him for a moment then turned heading up stairs to lay him down.

Zechs stood there for a minute, "Tessa will have to wonder about this," He muttered.

Marius raced thorough the trees, half blinded by tears. It broke his heart to leave his son behind but it was too dangerous to bring him along with the council's elite chasing him down. In the distance, Marius could see the pinkish glow of the sun as it toyed with the horizon. 'I have to hurry,' he quickened his pace, his feet were barely touching the ground as he shot forward.

From behind him the sound of paws hitting the ground became so audible Marius turned to see all six of Ivan's lycans behind him. The heavy sound of their breathing started to fill Marius' ears as the lycans began to close the gap between them and him. In the skies, the shadows continued to recede as the night closed to an end. Marius pushed himself to go faster then he even thought he could. Up ahead the trees parted and the vast expanse of the ocean was shining in the light of a growing dawn. Marius winced; he felt the light burning his skin. If he did not find shelter soon the sun would finish the job for Malyk and the others.

Suddenly the ground in front of Marius vanished; he skidded to a stop. Below him the waves of the North Sea crashed against the jagged cliffs. He turned to see the lycans growling and staring at him, forming a perimeter to prevent any escape. Behind them, he saw the forms of Ivan and Zack. The two vampires stood in the shadows but both looked uncomfortable in the rising sun. The lycans themselves looked wearied by the light, and it was obvious that only Ivan's power kept them from fleeing into the shadows of the woods.

"Surrender Marius," Zack called, "It's over, hand over the child and perhaps the council will show leniency. Please don't be as foolish as Isabella was,"

Marius froze at that statement, "Where is Isabella, what have you done to her?" Marius asked his voice trembling.

Zack didn't answer. "She was killed like the animal she is," a voice said from behind Zack. In the shadows stood a tall figure. The being smirked revealing a set of vampire fangs. "Hello Marius, its been awhile," Marius clenched his teeth; his hands in fists at his sides. Behind him, the sun continued its assault on his body; as old as Marius was, even he could not stand the power of the sun for very long.

"Malyk, you despicable wrenching," Marius, said, his voice trembling with rage. Malyk narrowed his eyes a moment, then a smug smile of malice came to his face. "Would you like me to tell you how I killed her? How she screamed and called for you; how I ripped her in pieces and scattered her body for the wrenchings to consume? Would you like to hear every word Marius?" Malyk asked, his voice dripping with poison. Marius could not handle it any longer; with a scream of rage Marius shot forward, one fist outstretched straight for Malyk. The lycans reacted jumping to intercept. Marius leapt to the left and with one burning fist knocked the lycan backward into the ground. Growling, the other five leap at Marius from all sides. Marius glared at the dogs, "Get out of my way," he screamed, leaping upward. Marius spun kicking the lycans back and sending them flying in all directions. Landing in a crouch Marius charged straight for Malyk. Malyk stared at him calmly, waiting. Marius began to stagger as the sun continued to eat away at him, but his pain fed his rage and his rage kept him going if only for one last shot at vengeance. Suddenly Malyk shot forward and backhanded Marius back into the air over the cliff, "Be gone Marius, and let your weakness trouble us no more,"

Marius could feel himself falling; he could feel as the sun ate the last layers of skin on his body exposing bone. He stared at the water rushing up to meet him through lidless eyes, 'Isabella my love, I'm sorry, Fenris my son, be strong,'

The water filled his vision and he knew no more.

Malyk, Zack and Ivan watched from the shadows as Marius disappeared, "Well that's the end of that," Zack commented.

"No," Malyk answered darkly, "It is not over, not until we find the child. As long as that child lives, Marius's legacy lives. Until we crush the one with the twisted blood it will never be over."