Call to Arms
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Epilogue
Life with Chase Laliberte was… eventful.
Our mutual obligations to Esra saw that we never really took to thinking of one place as being our home. The region was large and there were a great many matters to which Esra directed our attention. In time, I finally understood exactly what Chase had meant when he'd described himself as an enforcer of Esra's reign.
At times, our duties involved mediating vampire disputes – particularly between clans – but sometimes, and thankfully not very frequently, we were required to deal with rising dissent. In some ways I was reminded of Kaiser. I'd been way out of my depth at the time and had relied heavily upon Chase and Zander's experience but I'd gotten my first glimpse into the keen tactical awareness that only a vampire of their proficiency could possess.
It had been both alarming and humbling to realise that I was expected to join the vampire elite in such a way. With Chase's guidance, I'd slowly overcome my fear of the expectations I'd suddenly faced and found that I embraced my new lifestyle.
I still struggled from time to time with any violence we faced and I did notice that Chase wordlessly tried to minimise any chance of my having to hurt anyone. It was the most chivalrous thing anyone had ever done for me.
Day by day, the residual pain I felt over Will's death and everything that had happened alongside it eased. I never forgot – those months were forever burned into my memory – but I developed an acceptance of what had happened and that was perhaps a greater blessing than I'd ever expected.
Jas remained in India, which I soon learnt was the only domain whose borders were exactly that of the human political borders. Elsewhere in the world, some regions were fractions of countries or spilled over into other nations. I still had a hard time keeping track, much to Chase's continuing vexation. Regardless, Jas remained in India in a diplomatic role intended to strengthen ties between the Indian vampires and those under Esra's govern. The last time I'd seen her, she'd never looked so happy.
Lucy and Brad were now married; much to everyone's mingled horror and amusement. Lucy was the most impetuous and free-spirited person I knew while Brad was the most volatile. To my knowledge, their relationship was somewhat volcanic but no matter how many times they screamed at each other, their fights never lasted to the next day.
Peter went on to establish his own accountancy firm with a very large shifter and Irvine client base. Last I heard, he was working enormous amounts of overtime because he had a large amount of reports due (he told me about them but I have no mind for accountancy) and he'd left them all to the last minute.
Bree had been the only one of my friends to make a life for herself within human society. She'd accepted a job working as a marriage councillor and found a significant amount of success and fulfilment from it. Her clients could never work out how she always knew when they weren't being honest with her – or even themselves.
Raelene, on the other hand, gained worldwide fame for her art works. Colin Bradbury, a highly esteemed art critic, described her style as being "whimsical alternate history", a review that Raelene had received with great indignation. To this day, no one had found it in their heart to tell the stunning red head that although her art work was breathtakingly beautiful, she'd never really grasped human history properly and there were a great many inaccuracies in her paintings, as well as a few hints of vampire history. It was perhaps for this reason that a few of such paintings hung in a gallery of which Esra herself was benefactor.
Zander and Helge remained at Kaiser and as the years passed, neither of them showed any inclination of wanting to move on. Chase and I visited from time to time and I always felt the same overwhelming sense of returning home. For this reason, I never questioned why they stayed at Kaiser. I could only be grateful that they did.
Meanwhile, Elliot returned to Ethan with the formal explanation that Chase had no need for Elliot's assistance at the present. Ethan was aware, and perfectly consenting, that Elliot was Chase's eyes and ears in the area. Chase had a great amount of trust for Ethan but given the considerable distance of the area from our base in Germany, Chase liked to be kept updated on what was going on with the nearby clans. It never hurt to be sure and Ethan welcomed Elliot back with no trace of hard feelings and the understanding that Elliot would be free to leave if Chase recalled him.
When the topic of Elliot's relocation had first come up, I'd finally asked Chase how it was possible that both Germany and my home could be part of the same region despite the geographical distance and time zone discrepancy. I'd been stunned to realise that it had come about as the result of a wager, the specifics of which Chase had refused to discuss. Elliot had been kind enough – before Chase's intervention – to hint that it had something to do with Gluhwein and a particularly beautiful woman.
Sometimes, I wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn't been at my human university that fateful night. I never would have been hunted by Vincent and Zander wouldn't have rescued me. Chase wouldn't have forced his way into my life and turned my world upside down. I wouldn't have made the friends I did and I wouldn't have become quite the person I had become.
All I could think, as unlikely as it had once seemed, was that maybe I'd been in just the right place at just the right time.
A/N: Ahhhh, after 3 instalments we have finally reached the end of the Kaiser series! Thank you so much for everyone who's read along and given me your support through all your comments. I've loved hearing what you think – both good and bad. The good because, well, it's always nice, isn't it? The bad because without your constructive criticism I wouldn't have learnt what I have. So thank you!
I've discovered (quite accidentally) that I really have preferred being able to write the story completely and then post it all together as I have the second half of Call to Arms. I think it's led to better quality and made it much more interesting. For this reason, I'll probably do this in the future.
If you have any requests, provided it is within the fantasy / urban fantasy genre, please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment here. I'll keep my profile updated and let you know if I'm working on other story. Otherwise, feel free to follow me on twitter ( FictionLana ). We can have a chat about any future stories that might be in the works.
Importantly – If you have any questions you'd like me to answer about anything in the Kaiser story, please post a review and I'll answer them all in about a month's time. There were so many little things I didn't explicitly mention in the series because it wasn't entirely relevant to what was happening at the time and perhaps someone noticed. So please, feel free to ask away and I'll give you an answer =)
July 29, 2012 – I will post the Q&A.
(Please note, I'll post it as a separate "story" so keep an eye out)
Take care everyone. Thank you again!