Pairing: S/B, at some point.
Rating: PG-13, I think...
Author's Notes: Thanks to Jos, Nif and Chakram for the FB, and you all guessed correctly. It is indeed from Sam's POV ::grins::
By the way, don't be fooled by how how 'Aiofe' is spelled. It's pronounced EE-fa.
And she was there. Not that I ever doubted her, mind you. I had known Rhian for two years at the time, and I had never seen her back down from a promise.
Want to know something?
I’m severely claustrophobic.
Great timing for that little personal revelation, I think. Stuck inside a small box, six feet underground…
Hi, I’m Claus Trophobia. Nice to meet you. Hmf.
I panicked, I admit it. It seemed to take forever, but I eventually managed to break out of the casket and dig my way to the surface. I was extremely happy to trade the stuffy warmth of my grave for the cool night air, no doubt about that.
I was so worked up that I gulped in several lungfulls of air before I realized that I didn’t need to breathe anymore.
Then I got the strangest urge to go diving. Without the gear, of course.
Vampires could save a fortune on Scuba classes. If they ever wanted to go, that is.
Drifting, I apologize.
Anyway, like I said, Rhian was there. She pulled me out and just held me for a minute, letting me become accustomed with the new way my body worked.
It was such a strange feeling. I sat there on the cold grass, and I felt nothing. Well, almost nothing. My senses were working on overtime.
But my heartbeat was gone. There was no blood rushing through my veins, no heat emanating from my skin. Strange how you don’t really miss things until you don’t have them anymore.
The service had been beautiful, she told me. She had been there, along with the parentals and all of our friends from school.
She had been inconsolable, Rhian told me. She had seen it herself.
The funeral had taken place during the day, and I did wonder how Rhian had attended for a moment, but only until I remembered that she was a Mage. The sources of power she can tap into are extremely potent. Enabling her to walk in the sun for a short time is no problem, believe me.
The idea of her being upset heartened me somehow, I must say. Maybe the bond we had shared hadn’t been as frail as it sometimes seemed.
Rhian took me back the clan’s headquarters, an old Victorian mansion a few miles out of town. It had been bought by Morrigan around 1900, and the clan members shifted the ownership back and forth every 50 years or so to avoid suspicion.
Morrigan, Declan and Rhiannon had been the ones to start the clan. They had come to America some 150 years before I joined them, and had decided that new members should have an Irish name as well, so it would be easier for us to know if they were one of us.
Seemed like a smart move to me, since the clan had grown considerably since it was formed, and had more than 1000 members in the USA alone.
Morrigan, Rhian told me, had been the first one to change her name. She had wanted as few reminders as possible of her past life, and had thus taken the name of the Goddess of War from Irish mythology.
I would be given an Irish name too, though what it was to be, I didn’t know just yet.
We drove up to the mansion in Rhian’s 1964 Ford Mustang, a car that, in my opinion, should not have been running as well as it did. Back then, I believed that any car more than 30 years old was surely nothing but junkyard material.
I voiced my thoughts to Rhian, and she told me that the Mustang had indeed been bought from a junkyard seven years back. Conor, another clan member that lived in the mansion and had been turned in the sixties, had been a mechanic while he was still human, and he had been more than delighted to get his hands on one of ‘his’ cars.
“Bye the way, sprite.” Rhian had smiled as she stopped the car and jumped over the door of the convertible. “If’n ya ever go inta Conor’s room, donna be surprised. He was a hippie in the sixties and begods if he isn’t still one.”
We met with Morrigan in the basement, and I must say that she looked nothing like I had expected.
I mean, from what I had learned about her from Rhian, I thought I would see some half country-bumpkin, half distinguished leader type. Nothing prepared me for the sight of the leader of my new clan.
Morrigan was at least six feet tall with long, straight mahogany hair and a lean frame of olive skin, generously packed with solid muscle. Her eyes were green like Rhian’s, but while my redheaded friend had eyes the shade of the ocean, Morrigan’s eyes were as dark as pine-needles.
I could tell from the slight laugh-lines around Morrigan’s eyes that she probably smiled often, but at that moment her eyes were hard with determination.
“’Tis na enough, Morrigan!” Her sparring partner yelled, easily blocking every punch and kick our leader aimed at her. “Strike harder, move faster!”
As we watched the match continue, Rhian explained to me that the other woman’s name was Aiofe. She was the oldest and, apart from Morrigan, most respected member of the clan.
“947 years old, she is.” Rhian told me with a smile. “Doesna look it though, aye?”
I had to agree with my Sire on that. Aiofe didn’t look to be any older than 25.
My eyes couldn’t help but follow Aiofe as she sparred with Morrigan. She seemed to be around my height, and had wavy, golden hair tied back in a ponytail. Her cerulean eyes were narrowed in concentration as she blocked, ducked and sidestepped each attack with the agility of a feline, a small smile playing at her lips the entire time. She was strong, and an excellent fighter, easily holding off Morrigan even though her lithe form would make you think otherwise.
I glanced at Rhian, admitting that she too seemed to have a good amount of muscle on her, though not as prominent as Morrigan had.
As far as I could tell, the vampires of this clan needed to be in prime physical condition for the battles they would endure, and Aiofe was the trainer.
I watched as the blonde saw an opening in Morrigan’s technique, and sent the taller woman flying across the room with a well placed spin-kick. Morrigan ground out a string of words in what I recognized as Gaelic, and I decided that I didn’t really care to know what they meant. Aiofe just grinned.
I swallowed nervously. “Oh boy…”
Aiofe heard my voice, and pinned me with her eyes, the blue orbs narrowing slightly as a piratical gleam entered them.
I must have looked more than a little apprehensive if the chuckle coming from Rhian was anything to go by.
“Ach, leave the lass be, Aiofe.” Morrigan had gotten to her feet and joined us by the wall. “’Tis a new one. You’d have her poor behind fer lunch if we turned her over ta you.”
“I be jestin’, Morrigan.” Aiofe rolled her eyes and walked over to us. She took hold of my chin with one hand and raised my head slightly, looking curiously into my eyes.
“Aye.” She smiled softly, giving an almost imperceptible nod as she released my jaw and looked to Morrigan. “The powers be strong in this one. ‘Tis good.”
I gave Rhian a confused glance, but she just smiled at me. Vampires can be an enigmatic bunch when they so choose.
“Welcome, Samantha.” Morrigan grasped my hand firmly and smiled at me before tuning to Rhian. “Show the lass ta her room and get her settled in. When ye be ready, come find us.”
“Aye.” Rhian nodded and placed a gentle hand on my arm, leading me away from the two women.
My Sire guided me up three flights of stairs. When we reached the top floor, she gave me a soft push to the right, leading me down a hallway. There were three wooden doors on each side, and a glass door at the end, which opened to a small balcony.
We stopped at the third door on the left, and Rhian indicated that I should open it. I did, and we both stepped inside.
The room was large, a good deal bigger than my old room back at the Palace. The walls were painted a beautiful shade of dark green, and the floor was covered by a brown, long-haired rug that I just knew that I’d be walking on barefoot all the time.
The furniture, which consisted of a vanity, a king-size bed, a double closet, three bookcases, a large desk, a dresser and a nightstand, were all made from dark cherry wood. There was also a comfortable-looking leather couch situated by the left wall, accompanied by a pair of matching recliners and a low table, also in cherry. The walls were mostly bare, only adorned by two landscape paintings and a blown-up, framed underwater photograph my Dad had brought back from a business trip where he’d gotten to go Scuba-diving off the Florida Keys.
Rhian stood silently by the door while I walked around the room, eventually clearing her throat to get my attention.
“I’ll leave ye alone fer a while, sprite.” She smiled. “My room’s across the hall, come get me when you’re ready ta go.”
I nodded, and watched her close the door behind her before sitting down one the bed and running my hand over the smooth, white covers. I’d never gone for much in the way of creature comforts when I was human, but then again….
Coming home to this after an arduous battle wouldn’t be too bad.
I smiled a little and stood up, walking over to the closet and opening it to examine my selections. Damned if I was going to wear clothes that reeked of grave for any longer than I had to.
Rhian and I had begun slowly sneaking clothes out of my old home after she’d made the suggestion, just in case. If I had ended up saying no, the clothes would simply have been returned bit by bit, so there hadn’t really been any reason not to do it.
We hadn’t been able to move any of my favorite personal things yet though. My family would be going through all of my things these days, and they would surely notice if something important was missing. The salvaging of things such as favorite books and the like would have to wait until the parentals decided to dispose of them.
I sighed and pulled out a white polo, a pair of black jeans, clean underwear, clean socks and a pair of dark sneakers, along with a black choker and a white ribbon for my hair. Time to get changed.