Bethany pulled up to the prince's house. She knew he had left, but she was still nervous. He was still there. She opened the door and let herself in. She walked quietly into the house and down the stairs to the holding cells. She didn't dare look at him as she entered. Fear coursed through her, her heart beat and breathing fast. She went into the Antony's sleeping chamber and found the book she was looking for.

She grabbed it and made her way out. However, she looked at him as she was leaving. Now, her heart was beating fast for an entirely different reason, and it frightened her even more.

"Im sorry.....' He said in a low heartbreaking and pain filled tone "IM so sorry" his head was in his hands

Bethany backed into the wall and said, "You... Just stay away. Please." She glared at him, despite her fear. "I will not let you hurt my daughter! Adamina and I don't want you in our lives! So just stay away from us!"

When he heard her voice and colors invaded his mind he knew who she truly was to him and his heart sank, his mind was so confused but he knew one thing, he could not risk the chance of becoming a monster again, before he didn't have the stomach for it an before she could leave, he said the binding words and felt the click of their souls coming together

Bethany said, "No! No, no, no! What did you do?!" Tears welled up. "Take it back! Take it back right now! I won't let you hurt us again!"

And she ran out of the house. She had to get away. The farther she got from him, the more she hurt. She made it back to Erik's house and ran to Meghan.

"He did something to me!" Bethany cried. "He said some words and now... it hurts! What did he do?!"

She called for Erik, unsure of what to do.

Erik appeared, peeling Bethany off his lifemate, and said, "Can you feel her emotions, Meghan?"

"their everywhere....fear, sad, happy, angry...they are giving me a headache"

"Their?" Erik asked. "Bethany, did he say..."

"He said something and now I'm different," she said. "Can you fix it?"

"No," said Erik. "He is your lifemate."

"No!" she yelled her denial. "I refuse! I want Adam!"

Erik held Bethany like a child, taking the book. "Meghan, wake Anastasia and perform this ritual. Bethany needs her."

She sighed anas woke Ana, the second she did the crying and screaming started

Bethany heard Anastasia and ran to her. She hugged her friend. Erik stood behind Meghan and recited the words, calling on years worth a peace to be given to Anastasia. A light engulfed Anastasia.

She went silent "how....beth? whats wrong?" she asked slowly holding her

Meghan sighed in relief and stumbled back towards Erik

Erik took her out of the room to give Bethany and Anastasia time alone.

"That man, the vampire that took me," Bethany cried, "he said some words and now... everything changed. It hurts. I can't make it stop, but I refuse to be his lifemate."

Ana looked to Erik and Meghan "how that possible?"

"I have never come across a situation like this, but it does seem possible," said Erik. "She is his mate and will have to learn to..."

" can you expect her to be ok wit this? e kindnaped er and raped her..." Ana said "is there anyways to undo this?"

"No," said Erik. "There is no way to take back the binding words. She is his mate, destined to be with him by fate. I can say he is no longer a vampire. So, she will be safe and everything will work itself out. Learn to be with him."

Ana sighed and held beth "maybe...if you think about it a different way beth....think about how he became what you knew him as...he lost hope and himself"

"I don't care!" Bethany said. "I will not let him near my daughter! Adamina deserves better! I refuse to be with him! I choose Adam!"

Erik sighed and said, "Bethany, you have a visitor. He is a mile out, and walking towards us."

"Make him go away!"

"You need him. Because of the binding words, you are feeling the separation."

"im sorry beth....but for your daughter and yourself you need to be strong right now, if you refuse him you and your daugter will me I know" Ana said softly "I will come with you if you like"

Bethany nodded. "I can't be alone with him, and I refuse to let my daughter near him."

She nodded and got up wit her

Bethany walked outside. At the edge of the trees stood Rasputin. Anastasia could feel Bethany begin to shake, but her eyes held nothing but anger.

Calm yourself Beth Ana said in her head

Bethany took a deep breath, trying to push the anger and fear away. They stopped halfway to him.

"What do you want?" Bethany asked.

"I wanted nothing...I was only trying to get closer so you would suffer less" he said in a sincere tone without looking at her

"Just go away," she said. "Haven't you caused me enough pain?"

"I wish I could say it was not me" he said grabbing his head "But that is not true....all I can all I wish for now is to make up for what I have done...I will not ask anything of you......just let me stay near so that I may make your life easier.."

Bethany's eyes teared up. She hated the sincerity in his voice. Stasia. If I stay much longer, I'll go with him. I hate and fear him, but...

From what Erik found in his head he was born a vampire...its rare but possible...which means he has never know anything but that he has bound you..beth unless the binding is complete he could return to being....a vampire

"I......I promise....I wont come near you or....or...our...your child....I will stay close enough just so you do not suffer and protect you where ever you go...I will not even touch you mind....." he said still not looking at her

He fears his face will cause you pain... Ana said

Bethany said, "The cuffs you used on me... I saw all 700 years of your life. I... I fear you because of the cruelty you used on your victims, myself included, to produce a male child. If not for my mother, I would have given you what you wanted. Now, I have a daughter. Look at me and tell me, in all honesty, the truth. Right now, I can't believe your words because you won't look in my eyes."

She gripped Anastasia, telling her not to let her go.

He looked up, blood tears stained his face, his eyes held so much pain it was hard to look at them "what truth do you wish from me" he said in a uneven tone

"That you... you aren't..." Bethany swallowed a lump in her throat. "That you aren't going to hurt me, or Adamina. That there will never be a repeat of what you did in that cave."

"I can not....I do not know much about the way I am now, I know a lot about Carpathians and I know that unless something that I would never ask of you that I may return to being the way I was born..but I promise this I will geet the dawn before that happens..." he said sincerely

He is talking about finishing the

I can't do that with him! The thought of him touching me...

"Is there some other way for you to not turn that doesn't involve you and me..." she asked.

He shook his head and looked away from her "I would never ask it of you....which is why I only plan to be with you for a short amount of time....when the time comes I will greet the dawn and you will be rid of me" will suffer and your daughter will suffer....if he dies you will live half a the point you will not be able to take care of your daughter

Bethany gasped and said, "No! You would hurt us again! I need time to wrap my head around this! I'm still human! I mean, I don't even know your name, yet you're my daughter's father, and...!"

" name....I know its not much....but at least you have a name for the monster you fear..." he said with pain in is tone

"I'm... Bethany," she said. "You're name... It means 'a mystic.' Are you? Someone mystical, I mean."

"I dont mind....Its like I have been living a nightmare and only now I have awoken..."

"So... you are starting over? Like, being reborn? How fortunate for you."

"Nice? this is anything but nice....." He said with so much pain in his voice it crack

"I nearly lost Adamina because I was on the run from you for six months. I didn't have food or clean clothes." She began shaking. "I have live in constant fear because you killed fifty women after you promised to let them go! Because you raped me!" Before Anastasia had a chance to stop her, Bethany crossed the distance and slapped Rasputin. "And you come and claim me?! How is it fair that you get to start over with a clean slate and I have to relive everything every night?!" She began crying. "I am constantly watching the shadows, wondering if my daughter will be taken from me. I can't live in fear anymore, Rasputin. I have a child depending on me and this," she waved between them, "this is a mistake. Find someone else." For some reason, she became jealous of the unknown woman she was trying to send him off to. "I'm not the one."

Without saying anyting he disappeared into mist

" shouldnt have done that..."Ana said

"Why? I finally got it off my chest, Stasia. I had too, or else I wouldn't be able to live with myself." She sat down hard. "Honestly, I didn't like it... but I had to say something and then it was like the flood gates opened."

"yes but....look Its horrible what he did but....saying he gets a new slat.....did you ever stop to think about what he must be going through beth....its like he had been trapped inside of a monster....doing all these horrible things and then one day waking up with emotions...feelings....tell me...if someone had compelled you to do everything he has done the last seven hundred years and then one day the compulsion weres off and you are able to feel again how would you feel? how would you cope?"

Bethany looked away from her and said, "I know you are right. I know I hurt him. I just wanted to tell him how scared I am, and it snowballed, okay? I didn't want to hurt him."

Ana sighed "I know...but now I am afraid he might greet the dawn.." she said in a worried tone "Beth I know your scared but we are with you...I think its best if you let him come back to he house with us"

"After what I did, I agree... as long as he stays in a different room when I sleep, and doesn't try to take Adamina."

"call him with your mind I know you can" she said as they stated walking back

Bethany calmed herself and reached out. Rasputin?

Do not say that must hurt you when you hurts me....


Xaviera woke up on the bed. She could hear Caldwell closing the earth. She sat up.

"Caldwell?" she asked. "Why don't I feel... different? I mean, I don't feel human, but... I'm still afraid to have you touch me. I though that would go away when I was converted and I could be a real lifemate, but..."

"what you failed to realize in your monstrous ramages is that carpathians are not monsters...the conversin does not change who we are" he said dressing himself, scars marked his back and arms from years of hunting

Xaviera threw a pillow at him and said, "I know that, you idiot! I'm the monster! I just thought... that maybe..." she curled up and put her head on her knees, "I thought that the conversion would fix what those men did to me, make it go away. I want to be a real lifemate for you, but I can't when I don't want you to touch me."

He shrugged "I can wait for such things......." he said tossing her a botttle of blood

She caught it and drank it. "No, you can't. I feel the darkness in you, Caldwell. You can't wait."

"Im old darling I have a lot of darkness in me" He said in a black silk tone that made her shiver

"That is why you can't wait," she said. "This is why you deserve a better lifemate than me. I can't give you what you need most."

"there is no such thing as cant....only the limitations you set for yourself, If you want to let them win then continue to say cant" he said plainly

Xaviera said, "I am weak and scared, Caldwell! Don't even care at all?!"

"its not that I dont care but only you can change your weaknesses and overcome your fear" h said plainly as he went and sat down and petted one of the wolves "from what I have seen iin your mind it was nt to long go you enjoyed inflicting such emotions on others"

"I didn't like it!" she denied. "I hated it! I always wanted to be with a Carpathian! I was weak when I awoke, my brother took advantage of that! If I had known the truth or let it sink in, I would have stopped! I never wanted to hurt anyone!"

"I was in your head Xera you had many opertunities to stop, many people tried to warn you but you refused to listen, which is why I will not help you over come this, tis is something you need to do on your own, if you cant I will greet the dawn and you will live a half life" he said in a emotionless tone with a stone face

Xaviera said, "I'm asking for your help. Please. Yes, I refused to acknowledge the truth, I admit that. But after accepting it... I need your help to heal, Caldwell. Please. I will take my punishment for the pain I caused, but I must heal first. I don't know how I know this, but I am unable to heal alone."

"I cannot do that unless we finish te binding which requires me to make love to you...touch you he said in that silk tone that made her shiver

Xaviera shivered and said, "Fine. Maybe... maybe that's what I have to do to remove the memory of their touch from my body and mind."

"I want to make love to you because you want me too not because you are trying to forget something"

"I want to be with you! I do! Can you blame me for my fear?! Make love to me so that I know what it feels like to actually be cared for! Please!" She began crying. "I don't want to hurt you anymore."

"you are only huting yourself darling....I will not touch you until you are ready...if you like there is a hot springs further in the an go soak if you like"

"If I don't do it now," she said, looking at him with determination, "I'll never find the courage to do again. It's now or never, Caldwell. I want to be the lifemate you need."

"if it is that way then it wil never be...if you musthave courage to make love to me ten you are not ready" he said standing up "I will leave you to rest" he said and started walking away

Xaviera ran to him and hugged him. "I want to make love to you. I fear what my fear will do. That's the truth, Caldwell. I don't want my fear to push you away." He could feel the sincerity in her voice.

"then over come your feat darling...thats the only way I will make love to you"

She growled and said, "I'm trying and you won't help me!"

"I cant help you..." he said not looking at her

"Making love takes two," said Xaviera. "Now, finish claiming me or I'm going to find someone who will!"

He growled "Do not threaten me woman with empty threats you know its not possible for someone else to claim you" he said pushing her away from him and walking away

"Then finish claiming me!" she said, shaking in anger.

She threw out her hands and sparks flew. He felt bonds around him, but he also felt how weak they were. She had tears falling. I want to be with you... I know you hate me for harming your people, but I can't help but want to be with you. Can't you see I'm fighting myself for you?

He broke the binds and with a growl pinned her to the wall, her hands above her head "And do you see how wrong that is?! do you not see how you having to fight yourself just to lay with me might hurt me? You are so consumed by your own needs you do not see the needs of others! I will not claim you until you can come to me without having to force yourself to do so!"

"You are fighting yourself!" she said. "You want to claim me! Yet you deny yourself! Stop being a hypocrite!"

"My fight is a noble one yours is out of cowardliness" he said releasing her arms and stepping back

"When I say I'm going to do something, I put everything into it," she said. "You've been in my mind. You know this. Why do you question this? I want you. Please. I'm trying to heal, and I need your help, but you won't let me. Do... so you like me broken?"

"If you have to ask such a question then you sense of judgment of broken too..." he said with hurt in his tone

"Caldwell, I've lost who I was so fast," she said, sitting down. "I woke up to a strange world and no one to help me. I grew up believing my brothers were great mages. Now that I know they used me, my world is broken. Those men, they broke my mind and body. At this point, you could tell me what to do in an authoritative voice, and I might do it out of fear." Her eyes got big. "Do that. Order me around until..."

"I have no need for a slave Xera" he said simply

"I'm only good as a slave," she said. "Or a murderer and torturer. I hardly remember when I helped deliver babies or healed the land. I hate myself, Caldwell."

"you can never love another the way they deserve unless you love yourself first....go bath...take time to think afterwards we can discuss things once more, if you still wish to lay with after we can talk about it"

Xaviera went to the hot springs and stopped. Fear gripped her. She back peddled and fell, shaking. She couldn't bath unless...

"I can't," she said. "Not yet. Six months, and they destroyed me."

only you can break their hold Xera....the are dead get int the spring.....over come what they did or they win

Xaviera crawled her way back up the wall. She took hesitant steps forward. When she got into the water, she was shaking so hard, her teeth were chattering.

I'm scared...

Let the water sooth you...let it was away your fears....feel it? feel it warming your body and healing it

Her breathing became faster. He's coming! I hear him! Master Mad Dog is coming! I have to get out! He'll beat me! He'll...!

No on e is coming not let your fear blind you...focus on the water

She went under the water. I'll hide! I'll stay under the water and he won't find me! Then I can get away! Yeah, I'll finally be free! I have to get away! If I can escape on my own, I can live my life and be happy.

To your left....there is a tunnel....on the other side there is someone waiting for you,
to hold you and love you

Xaviera waited until she "heard" Mad Dog leave. She slowly, quietly got out of the hot springs. I'm a danger to everyone. I don't deserve to be held or loved. But she kept walking.

only you can change that Xera

If I can get free, it won't matter if I'm loved or hated. I'll be free to run my own life again. I can hide, I can make a living for myself, and someday, yes, find someone. But I have to get out first.She peeked around the door before running out of the cave. She ran until she came to another entrance and ducked in, as if hiding. After about ten minutes, she smiled, the first real smile he saw. She went back outside and breathed in the air deeply. I'm free. I'm finally free.

Are you?

What do you mean? I got away. I can live my life again. Sure, it's not the one I dreamed of, but I can do as I please now.

I dont think so....your fear still makes you set limits....I feel them....if you are truly free then find me....touch me without fear

Xaviera laughed and said, Where are you?

find me Xera

Xaviera giggled and went running back into the cave. She found their living area, but it was like she was seeing it for the first time. She was in awe. She stopped to touch everything. I feel you. In this room, in these things. She found herself hugging the pillow, breathing him in. I need you. I want to love. Please, come to me.

He suddenly sat down on te bed "I was never far"

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