A/N: Really sorry for the long wait. Unfortunately, this chapter isn't very long but it gets down to the point really fast. Thanks for keeping with me for this long, guys. I really have appreciated it.
The Departure Of A Vampier And The Uniting Of Two
"...and so it is decided that the vampires are free to hunt but are no means permitted to kill humans." Dimitri Vintiacoff declared with finality. The council members behind him nodded their heads in agreement, warily keeping an eye on the observing vampires around them, a mix of Secri's and Mequ's that had wisely surrendered after Zack's fall.
"Well, I'm glad we are in agreement." Miguel offered a pale hand and the human gripped it. They shook once before the leader of the Shadow Defenders headquarters turned on his heel and exited the ward with the council members following behind.
Sarah paced relentlessly across the lino floor, her hands clenched so tightly that her sharp nails made the palms of her hands bleed. Miguel was at her side in an instant, taking hold of her hands in his gentle grip. His touched soothed her worry and she relaxed marginally.
"He'll be fine, Sarah. He's in good hands." He reassured her with a smile. He bared her no ill will for her previous declared hatred. All was forgiven. Sampson, Christopher, Brody and Damian watched the exchange with smiles while Cameron looked after Dominique who didn't seem to want to stop crying at this point.
A white-coated doctor stepped out of the emergency ward with a tired expression. Those seated quickly stood at his entrance. Sarah rushed forward.
"How is he? Is he all right?"
"I am no expert on the workings of a vampire's body. I cannot say whether we got it all out or not, but he does seem to be fairing well. You can go in and see him if you wish."
Sarah all but ran past the doctor, appearing immediately next to the bed where her mate rested. Her breath caught in her throat and she very nearly collapsed into tears. He held her gaze but his vibrant red eyes were dull and blank. His skin was pasty. Black shadows hung under his eyes. He was hooked up to machines and whether they helped vampires, she wasn't sure. She just hoped they would.
"Hello, Sarah." He smiled slightly at her and held out a tube littered hand towards her. She took it, avoiding entangling her fingers in the tubes. She sat down on the chair beside the bed and leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder. His other arm came up to wrap around her.
"I really thought you were dead." She sniffed, breathing in his faint scent.
"As if that bastard could kill me." He joked.
Sarah gave him a stern look and he frowned back. "He very nearly did that."
"No need to remind me."
"Well don't you look a little worse for wear?" Miguel said as he entered the room, closely followed by the others. Lucifer limped in, his injured leg wrapped in a heavy cast.
"What's my diagnosis?"
"Doctor didn't tell you?"
"He spared me details. I recall something along the lines of 'not dying' and 'unfortunate'."
"Charming place," Cameron muttered, carefully cradling Dominique in his arms. Miguel frowned at the apparent disregard the previous doctor had had for his friend. It seemed something had to be done about compassion in this facility, vampire or not. Lucifer whimpered as he half-crouched on the floor, preparing to lay down but found that it was a very difficult challenge. Without a word, Sampson carefully helped the wolf to the floor, and as he looked up, he met the questioning gaze of Amon and his sister. He gestured with a wave of his hand.
"Someone needed to help him."
Damian shoved past him, eyes glowing furiously as he stood on the other side of Amon's bed. "And that someone did not need to be you."
The blond vampire recoiled slightly at the shape shifters loathsome gaze. He wasn't in the good books just yet. Miguel and Brody sighed while Cameron looked just as furious as Damian, his eyes boring a hole into the Mequ's back. Wisely, Sampson made his exit from the ward, skittering around Cameron, keeping his distance.
The vampire in questioned turned around, respecting the elder.
Cameron's eyes were like cold ruby, hard and unrelenting. "I will never forgive you. Do you hear me? It was your fault she died - your fault that Sarah was without a mother!"
A nerve seemed to tick in Sampson' jaw and the muscles in his body tensed as though he was about to spring. The response was instant. Miguel and Brody were suddenly blocking his path, eyes hard, yet sympathy was somewhat apparent. His shoulders relaxed and he backed off a pace, intending to leave, but not before he got the last word out over his shoulder.
"I'll never forgive you from taking my mother away from me."
And he was gone.
The silence was extremely thick and no one seemed inclined to break it. Cameron simmered, clenching and unclenching his jaw as though that would sooth his anger. Sarah pouted in something akin to confusion and annoyance. Why in the hell did these fights usually have to revolve around her?
Miguel brought his hands together in a calm clap of attention. "Right. The day is young, and I am quite sure they could use our help cleaning up the mess in the park. Amon, stay here until you're healed." The younger Vampier gave his master an unreadable look. "Damian, Christopher and Brody are to come with me. Zack's body needs to be dealt with."
The three moved out of the ward.
Sarah allowed a brief sigh of relief. Through all this hardship, she was surprised she still had the strength to remain mobile. Eyes drifting closed, she rested against her mate. Cameron smiled ever so slightly and backed out of the ward, whispering to Dominique as he went.
"So, this is the end of it." Sarah murmured to herself.
"No, this is the beginning."
Her eyes opened to stare at her mate and she slowly nodded, her mouth tilting up into a smile.
"I love you, Amon."
"And I you, my love."
Damian, Miguel, Christopher and Brody watched over the burning husk of Zack's body as it melted into the sand. They had taken it all the way to the beach where the savage water would wash away what remained of the formidable vampire. The Vampier inconspicuously rested a hand over his still heart, wincing as it ached.
"He's gone for good then?" Chris whispered.
The Vampier's reply was quiet. "For good," and as the others walked off ahead of him, he murmured, "and so am I."
"Argh. No, no, and no! We can't have black flowers! She is wearing a white dress!"
"Oh, right. Sorry for having no fashion sense, drama queen."
"Damian," Miguel warned his eyes glittering threateningly. "Do you want to bring this argument to the bedroom? Because I have no qualms in spank-"
"Whoa! No bondage conversations!" Brody and Christopher both blocked their ears as they entered the room. This weeding was strictly PG, apparently. No tonsil hockey for the bride and groom and definitely no groping games between Damian and Miguel. The Vampier promptly rushed from the room with a dramatic sweep of his tailed-suit, his top hat seemed to be levitating a few centimetres above his head for some odd reason.
"I think he's going to fake a magic trick." Damian offered to the two confused males. "There's probably a white dove under there or something."
Christopher and Brody just looked at each other before sighing heavily. Miguel would never change.
Sarah paced in a small circle on the raised chair, basically hyperventilating. Everything was fine. The wedding was well-organised. The guests were on the correct sides. Did Miguel have everything right? She gripped her hair and just about pulled it out in her nervousness. Something would go wrong – it would have to. It was a vampire wedding for crying out loud! The few female vampires around her adjusted her dress: a floor-length wedding dress with no straps and a rather small waist meant to emphasis the bust. The train was over-done, basically. Sarah fidgeted; fingering the material of her dress until one of the women gently slapped her hand away.
"Relax, Sarah. It'll be just fine."
The woman in question eyed her critically. She didn't believe her. There was a small knock at the door – more like a scratch, actually. Lucifer stepped in, wearing a rather cute blazer, tie included. Sarah would have run over to hug him if her heels hadn't been so precarious. She
glared down at her feet for good measure. Being a vampire did nothing to help her balance in heels.
The wolf's eyes appraised her, and if he were human, she was sure he'd be smiling.
"You look beautiful, Sarah."
"Thanks, Lucifer." She stroked his head as he came to stand next to her. Cameron moved into the room, and instantly attracted the attention of the other female vampires. He ignored their goo-goo eyes and grinned at his daughter.
"Are you ready?"
"As ready as I'll ever be." She replied and stepped off the chair, threw the veil over her face and left the room on the arm of her father, with Lucifer following behind – much to his distaste – acting as a flower girl by carrying her train in his mouth.
The wedding was organised in an actual church with crosses and the like. It was proving to the humans that they respected them enough to have a normal Christian wedding in a normal church. Could vampires be Christian? Sarah wasn't exactly sure but it didn't hurt to still have faith in God. She stared at the double doors before her and gulped down the anxiousness in her throat. There was nothing to be worried about. She was a Vampier – a wielded of magic and vampire powers. She could face anything! The doors opened.
The church was beautifully decorated for the occasion with white streamers, flowers and various bouquets along the aisle coated in a thick red carpet. She didn't let her eyes reach the end, for if she did, she knew she would just stand there and stare at her mate. Instead, she fixed her gaze on the people on her right and left who were currently standing. Most of them she didn't know, but she smiled at them anyway. With no bridesmaids, this was going to be a short walk. The music began to play and with a light tug on her arm, Cameron led her forwards. Since this wasn't an overly normal wedding, no way in hell was there going to be normal music.
Everytime We Touch by Cascada suddenly floated through the speakers and Sarah fought the urge not to just skip down the aisle. They walked to the beat, not too fast and not too slow. There was a tug on her train and she looked over her shoulder to see Lucifer padding along behind them, bobbing his head pleasantly to the beat. She smiled happily and ignored the following few tugs.
They reached the stairs and Cameron hugged her before she took the offered hand of her mate. She didn't dare look at him just yet. Walking up the rest of the stairs, she turned to smile first at the priest and then at her mate. He looked positively gorgeous with his hair swept back neatly. He wore an ebony suit with a white tie. Miguel, Damian, Christopher and Brody stood further back wearing similar attires, expect Miguel had a top hat and tails. She shot him an amused look and he winked at her. Her eyes scanned for her son and she found him now in the arms of her father in the front row, wearing a cute little tux. Her brother stood off to the side, well out of reach of the other males. He smiled at her, issuing a little nod of encouragement. With a turn of her heel, she smirked at him before facing her future.
The priest started with the usual formalities and the audience listened with polite patience – especially for vampires. The ceremony didn't last long, and it got right down to the I do's before anyone really noticed. Sarah caught her breath, tears sparking in her eyes.
"I do." Her voice was full of emotion and some part of her wished very much that she'd been human for this experience.
The priest gave his permission to kiss.
Reception equalled disaster at this point. They'd held it in a rented hall not too far away from Venma. Vampires were going nuts and the alcohol consumption did nothing to make them concentrate. Sarah rolled her eyes at some of the songs the DJ was playing. The Macarena was hilarious, of course. Half the guests were on the dance floor, completely out of time. Christopher was doing what looked like a very sensual version of the dance but Lucifer was by far the funniest. He wriggled his hips to the beat and when it was time to turn around; he jumped up two feet in the air and started again. Brody was charming a few of the vampiress's, Cameron was acting as baby-sitter for Dominique beside her and Damian and Miguel - well, it wasn't too hard to guess what they were doing. Doing the Macarena together looked quite the challenging sport considering they were interlocking limbs the majority of the time. The beat of the music abruptly changed, and Numa Numa by O-zone started.
"Oh, no," she groaned in horror.
Now everyone was out on the dance floor, singing and going absolutely ballistic.
"Alo! Salut!" They all sang in chorus. Miguel saluted the bride. She glared at him for good measure.
"Cheer up, Sarah." Amon threw an arm around her shoulders and held her close, his lips touching her ear. "This is our wedding after all."
"I know, I know." She sighed heavily. "I'm easily annoyed these days for whatever reason,"
"Menopause, perhaps?" Sampson commented under his breath as he stepped up behind her chair. She tilted her head back to glare at her brother, noting Amon flash his fangs threateningly at the other male. Cameron had gone stiff and his eyes seemed to darken further.
"Don't get cute."
The blond smirked ever so slightly and touched her shoulder, watching the two males on either side of her carefully. They behaved for the time being. Sarah felt intensely relieved that she had a family again – even if her brother had tried to kill her on more than one occasion. The problems, for the time being were at an end. She took the time to think about everything that had happened to her in this short period of time.
The music came to a slow halt as Sarah stood. "Everyone, I'd like your attention, please."
The crowd looked up at her curiously, as did the males beside and behind her. "The majority of you are familiar with my previous status as a shadow hunter. The organisation was called Shadow Defenders, I believe, because it sounded cool."
"She's grown up." Damian gasped in disbelief.
Miguel chuckled. "Indeed she has."
Sarah continued, ignoring their little interruption. "Although we have been told not to kill humans, Dimitri Vintiacoff and his slayers are still free to kill as many of us as they wish." Her eyes glittered fiercely as she glanced down at her son, still very defenceless in his early age of development as one of the most fearsome killing machines.
"I say we create an organisation of our own. The real Shadow Defenders. The defenders of the shadow creatures: vampires."
A deafening cheer of approval rose up from the supernatural crowd and the music started up again. The dancing was more enthusiastic and vampires were shooting respectful looks at the vampiress. Amon enveloped her in his arms and kissed her tenderly on the forehead. Cameron clasped her arm and leaned in to kiss her cheek. Sampson ruffled her hair, and thankfully, the other two did not mind. They laughed as she snarled under her breath. Dominique gurgled happily and his arms reached out to his mother. She accepted her son and looked down on him, her lips curling into a smile. Perhaps eternity wouldn't be so bad. Tears sparked in her eyes as she looked to each of the faces of those who she loved. For as long as she lived, she would protect them. She would be a true Shadow Defender.
Miguel drifted apart from the dancing crowd and met Sarah's eyes. She recognised the sadness and rose to follow him. The others did not stop her as she placed Dominique in her father's arms.
The old Vampier led her outside the church and into the extravagant garden. He paused under the gazebo to wait for her as she stepped up beside him.
"What is it, Miguel?"
To see such sadness in his eyes was extremely odd. It worried her. Damian was obviously having too much fun inside to bother coming after them, or more accurately, his mate. Miguel looked away from her, towards the setting sun. His eyes were unreadable as they met hers again.
"It is time for me to leave, Sarah."
"Leave? Is there a holiday I don't know about?" Sarah narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
His smile didn't meet his eyes. This was a very different Miguel to the one she'd known.
"My full-blooded brother is gone, and believe it or not, I cannot exist without him here. We were made from the same essence, the same blood. He was my life force just as much as I was his."
Understanding dawned in her eyes and she gaped at him. "No! No! What about Damian? What about-"
She did not get to continue as he placed a finger to her lips. "Time heals."
"Miguel, you can't do this!" she sniffed and wrapped her arms tightly around him, intending to keep him there but she knew she would not be able to. She had not had blood recently. He placed a hand onto her head and threaded his fingers through her hair.
His smooth voice dropped to a whisper beside her ear. "You and the others are the vampire's future now. Never give up, no matter what happens. Look after Damian for me, won't you?"
He leaned down and pressed his lips softly to hers before pulling himself away from her.
"Miguel..." she croaked. "Don't leave. We need you here."
She sensed the others behind her but did not turn to face them. She didn't even react as Amon stepped up beside her.
Damian stood shocked, mouth gaping open.
Miguel smiled weakly at him before he turned and slowly materialized into thin air, but not before his voice echoed. "Good luck, all of you."
The shape shifter collapsed to his knees and his cry of despair was momentarily cut off as Lucifer's howl rang through the air. The cries were echoed through the hall. Everyone felt the loss of the old Vampier. Amon bowed his head but he could not hide the bloody tears that streaked down his pale cheeks.
Gunshots were suddenly heard. Sarah whirled with a snarl as she smelt the stench of human. The slayers were back.
"Come on!" Amon roared to the others, his face now looked like a fearsome war mask with the blood staining his skin. "Let us make Miguel proud. Let us be the true Shadow Defenders!"
Sarah could barely hear over the roar of agreement before she rushed forward at the oncoming slayers to not only defend herself but the future of vampires.
She realised three things as she ran.
She was a defender of vampires.
She was the future of vampires.
She was a Shadow Defender.
And it felt fucking awesome.
A/N: Yeah, guys. I really hate to say it but this is truly the end – A VERY CRAPPY ENDING AT THAT! I would write more, drag it out for more chapters but I can't. I'm sorry guys. I'm going to miss this story more than any of you can possibly understand. I really hope you've enjoyed this ridiculous roller coaster of a story and I hope that when the time comes, you'll ride it again sometime.
My other stories will be completed, but it will take some time.
If any of you need further reasons for Miguel leaving, please enquire. Or if you're curious about the loose ends.
Will there be a sequel? Oh, yes, there will be. Don't worry about asking. I owe you guys a fantastic sequel.
When will it be out? Before next year. Put it that way.
Will it change like the trilogy did? No. I refuse to cancel out major playing characters this time.
Peace and love, guys.
Thank you to the following readers/writers:
Rhythm. Of. My. Soul
Puppy dog eyes
Mystic dancer lilith
CRAZY FOR APPLES
Step the Star
I couldn't have done it without you guys. Thank you very much.