Trials and Infatuations 4

Elena coughed and shook in his arms “I don’t like this feeling” she said coughing “fear...I don’t like it...why are you afraid?”

Michael hadn't even known he had been afraid. Now that she was safe, he could comprehend what he had felt. Fear.

"I could not lose you," he said. "I was afraid of you being taken from me. Now that I know you will live, I am no longer afraid. I will convert you as quickly as possible. I will not chance losing you like this again." He looked at the house. "I wonder what started that fire." He looked at the ground. "Or rather, who."

She coughed hard “Why did you save me when you left me to be punished?” She asked.

He looked at her, shocked, and said, "I did not set the fire. I was upset, yes, but I would never harm you. I am incapable of harming a woman, you most of all. I also went to go feed. After feeding, I was able to think more clearly. You did nothing wrong, Elena. You asked reasonable questions. Jealousy and hunger over ruled my judgement."

“Jealousy? Why? What did I do..” she asked

"Not of you," he said with a chuckle. "Of the unmated men you asked to escort you during the day. Elena, I want you to myself, no man near you. However, you seem to draw them like magnets. I am old, and have a certain way of living. I cannot help but feel anger towards any man who could possibly try to steal you from me and harm you. I want to protect you always."

“My brother and the alpha are they ok? I like the pack, they feel natural and don’t fake how they feel, I promise to stay away from other men” she said in a sincere tone

"The alpha has yet to find his mate," said Michael, "which is what makes me feel uneasy. Your brother is fine, and any male that has their mate. But all others, I would prefer that they stay away from you."

“I feel safe with them though...my blood runs through their veins...I can’t explain it but I feel connected to them”

"I understand that," he said. "That does not change how uneasy I feel. It is because of that connection that I have them protect our sleeping area during the day."

“But....” she began

"I Cannot change how I feel," said Michael. "No more than I can ask you to suddenly obtain your own emotions. I will say that if none of the mates makes of the pack are available, the alpha can go. It is what modern women call a compromise."

“What if I want another man to touch me?”

He growled and said, "To have another man touch your body, to make love to you... it is unheard of and those who do that are often destroyed because they have a sickness that keeps them from being loyal to their true

“But I feel what others feel, if a man lust for me that is what I feel, though...even though I felt I wanted that man to touch me how come I ripped his arm off?” She said in a confused tone

"Because those were false emotions within you," said Michael. "Your true emotion is that of feeling sickened when someone other than myself wants to make love to you. I am the only one for you. Your true emotions, the ones that make you Elena, are trapped by a spell. I will break the spell so that you can express your true feelings."

“But I didn’t feel sick, I wanted him to touch me, but my father taught me how to feel with my mind, meaning to think, be more logical, in a split second I knew if he touched me it would anger you...but with you....when I feel your emotions, the fill me deeply, I am unable to think”

"Emotions do not come from thinking, Elena," he said. "They come from your heart. I lost my emotions, and in a way, my heart. I could not feel to hunt the vampire, who could have been family and childhood friends. I would have died. But you gave them back to me. I want you to feel with your heart now, not your mind. Those are not feelings, Elena. I know. I used to remember my feelings but after a time, even that was forgotten. Let us find your emotions so that you may feel."

————————

Anya removed her hood, her silver eyes meeting her fathers, a long scar went down the side of her face “I think I know of who you speak but I believe the biggest thing he was good at was boasting, even when he was out matched by his daughter “ she said in serious tone yet her eyes held a playfulness only gregori would know

Alexander bowed to his father “as tired as I am she still puts fire in these old bones” he said in a sincere tone

Alexander looked at Anya and nodded “ we are here for three trials today, one for the wanted xaveria on crimes against the innocent and Carpathian people by use of dark magic and forces” Alexander said in a booming voice that spread dominance in the air “second will be the trial of Anastasia Dubrinsky on the suspicion of alliance with the dark mage Ragnar and the wanted criminal River dragonseeker” Anya said in a stern serious tone that made people shiver like a cold breeze swept through the room “and third” Alexander said looking at Anya and she nodded “the trial for Anya and Dracula Daratrazanoff, Alexandru and liliana Dubrinsky to gain passage to join the ancestors in their final resting place”

The room filled with shocked gasps as they hear Anastasia's name. Then, voices of protest erupted at hearing Anya's final trial.

"Silence, please," Mikhail called out, his voice soft yet it silenced everyone immediately. "I purpose a fourth trial be held as well, one for this River Dragonseeker. Though she is not here, we will want to hear of her."

"Yes," said Gregori. "There are some here that have said various things about her. This trial, which we will personally wait for, is one that holds great significance. Until we can get her here, hearing what she has done will have to suffice."

"First, the trial of Xaviera," said Mikhail. "Step forth onto the platform." When Xaviera had done so, a light seemed to emanate from it. "You have a lifemate. He must stand next to you as our decision will also effect him."

"Please, this should be my fate alone," said Xaviera, tears falling. "He had nothing to do with what I did. He should..."

"This is also so that he can feel at ease," said Gregori. "With you on display like this, he is anxious. Besides, upon completing the binding ritual, he has tied his fate with yours."

Caldwell stood up next to her and bowed taking her hand “I offer my mind and body” he said willingly

"But do you offer hers?" ask Mikhail.

"He doesn't have to when I offer my mind and body myself," she said, taking Caldwell's hand.

"You do know that this means every second of your life will play out on the pillar before you for all to see?" Gregori asked.

She paled and said, "I do now. If it gets the Carpathian people the justice they desire for the wrongs I have done, then so be it."

Mikhail sighed, "That is not what happens. It was a test." He smiled. "You passed, but the next one will be more difficult. Suzianna, tell us the crimes of this woman in detail, if you please."

Suzi stepped up and they saw instantly she took after her mother, her red hair matched her attitude just like liliana as she went into detail not leaving any detail out. Including the crimes of rape against the Carpathian women, including Erik’s lifemate and the multiple deaths of innocent men and woman and even children.

Xaviera hung her head in shame. She did not speak, did not try to defend herself,

"I see a bag upon the stone table as evidence," said Mikhail. "Please explain what it contains and place it on the alter for examination."

“Hero silver “ she said plainly “but I do not trust it” she said honestly “something seems off about the area I had to place it in, also I dont sense Anastasia presents anymore in the silver but someone else’s”

Erik had to hold Antony back. As soon as she said "Hero Silver", he tried to grab at it.

"Calm yourself, Antony," said Mikhail. "Suzianna, place it upon the alter." When she had done so, Gregori began to look at the bag and feel the energy of it's contents. "What does it contain?"

"It is indeed Hero Silver," said Gregori. "And Anastasia's essence is in there, but fading fast." He looked out at the people. "What makes Hero Silver so rare is that the magical ability fades if it is not purified. This is an even rarer form of it. The essence within change when in proximity of a hero. This gives off a Dragonseeker feel to it. I would say that this person risks themselves daily for our people."

"Xaviera, can you explain how you got this and what purpose did you intend for it?" Mikhail asked.

She looked up and said, "It was taken from Anastasia's bones from when Erik and I healed her. It was causing her pain, but I knew of it's value upon seeing it. I wanted to use those three stones to help Anastasia regain her memories. I had asked Suzianna to purify them for me and create a necklace for Anastasia to wear for one month as Suzianna is the closest female relative, and because... I do not possess the ability to use my magic to it's full potential right now. I can do minor spells, but it will take centuries before I can gain it back completely." The pedestal glowed beneath her. "What does that mean?"

"It means you are telling the truth," said Mikhail. "The light has yet to dim, showing your sincerity in all you have done during this trial."

Gregori said, "Suzianna, after Xaviera's trial is completed, you will need to quickly place the Hero Silver here in the place that Xaviera told you. It will be beneficial to the Carpathian people to have Anastasia return to being her true self."

“About that...” she said with a growl “I can not do so” she said “while we have been in trial Ana’s heart has been giving out, I fear the necklace will not be made soon enough to be of use” she said in a dark tone “at this very moment healers are forcing her hear to beat. “

"There is a way to save her," said Xaviera. "It will require sacrifice."

"What are you suggesting?" asked Gregori.

"She is pure good," said Xaviera. "There for, if Erik will perform the spell, I who was once pure evil, can make the sacrifice." She looked at Caldwell. "You won't like the outcome, but it will be necessary. She is with child and she has risked so much for everyone. She deserves to a chance to live, and this will buy her time to gain her memories."

"I will do it," said Erik.

Antony didn't wait. He went and had Anastasia brought in. He placed her in front of Xaviera. Erik, who had talked with Xaviera, began chanting in the old tongue. Xaviera bit open her wrist and placed it upon Anastasia's lips. She felt the magic take hold. It felt as if her life force were draining away from her, yet she kept a soft smile on her lips as she kept running her hand over Anastasia's head in comfort and encouragement. When it was done, Caldwell had to catch Xaviera. Anastasia didn't look any different, and neither did Xaviera, but the feeling about them both changed.

"What did you do?" asked Mikhail, more so the others would know.

"I gave her my life energy and tied us together in that way," Xaviera said. "I will be as weak as she is, but she will also live long enough for the purification and necklace to work. Once done, our fates lie with her."

"That was brave," said Gregori.

"She deserves to be saved," said Xaviera. "I know it was dangerous, but to lose one such as her... it would be a travesty. I know it does not make up for what I have done, nothing ever will, but I simply wish to aid where I can. I do not hope to be forgiven, nor expect it. That will not stop me from doing what I can to help the Carpathian people from this day forth."

“Or clever and deceiving “ Suzi growled “please tell me I’m not the only one who knows by binding herself to Anastasia she can now not be killed” Suzi said in a dark tone “also why the hell did you all let someone who is on trial and as been know to use blood magic bind herself to the princes lifemate! You realize now that if she says jump we must ask how high!” Suzi said and her anger shook the room. She suddenly grabbed Caldwell and put her hand through his chest “if you don’t unbind yourself from Ana this very moment I will rip his heart out and deal with the consequences later, since everyone seems to not be using their brain in this room don’t blame me for taking action” she said with a growl

"After everything," Erik said, "after Anastasia spared me from a trial, you think I would aid in a blood spell?"

Mikhail said, "Suzianna, it was not a blood spell and while Xaviera is tied to Anastasia, Anastasia is not tied to Xaviera."

Gregori said, "It also doesn't bind the soul but the body. A binding of the soul would take the binding words of a lifemate to destroy. In this case, easily done."

"I developed it before the sleeping spell was put on me," Xaviera said, panicking. "Even evil, I never used blood magic! Please, let him go! If I didn't send my life force to her, she would have died!" She looked at Antony, despiration in her eyes, before looking at Suzianna, defeat and sorrow. "I'll do it! I'll cut my life force off from her! Just let him go!"

"You can't!" Antony said, his own despiration jumping forward as an order. "Until she is healthy again, you will keep her alive! Suzianna, let Caldwell go!"

Mikhail growled and everything quieted down, allowing him to say, "Xaviera would never have been allowed to do blood magic. And as you can see, the spell didn't require her to give any. She was trying to give blood to Anastasia through wound contact."

"She was hungry," Xaviera said. "But she couldn't drink it and with no IV, I utilized the spells effect to push my blood into her. The spell often causes blood to leave the body, a side effect I could not fix. Gregori almost didn't allow me to do the spell. I was going to agree but Antony insisted that I give her blood. I wouldn't be near as weak if it were not for giving her blood."

“Ana said there were two ways, the hero silver and for her to die and be brought back, it must be convenient for your blood silver to be needed huh? If Ana was to die and be brought back there would be no use for you, now not only have you stopped one way for her to be fixed but so conveniently have you tied yourself to her, even if it is not blood magic this situation works in your favor not ours or ana’s, and Anthony man up and stop panicking like a human woman! There are many ways we could have kept Ana alive, and Erik yes I do believe you would use blood magic for god sakes most of that damage is done by you! You lied and tortured her without conscious or remorse, anyone here after knowing what you did to her would believe you would use blood magic, as far as I am concerned the silver you have forever tainted her with is worse then blood magic” she said harshly “I will not take any more lies, tricks, or males making stupid decisions because of fear or guilt!” She said pushing Caldwell to his knees “according to our laws I am second in command, the prince is still in suspension Until the council reviews him which means I have authority in this hall” she said in a dominant tone “unbind yourself from her now” she said in a serious tone

"Stay your hand, Suzianna," said Mikhail. "The choice to do this did not come lightly. Translate the words, if you would, Gregori."

Gregori said, "Xaviera of the Mages forfeits her life in favor of Anastasia
To whom the world owes a debt.
By the power of earth, fire, water, and air
Xaviera ties her energy to Anastasia for it to be kept.
Anastasia, free of this bond and with no ties,
Only her life be lengthened
Will have two months ahead
If her resolve not strengthened
However, should Xaviera die before that time
for any reason,
Anastasia will remain alive
completing one full calendar season.
"

"It is because there is no threat to Anastasia that we allowed this," said Mikhail. "Only Xaviera and Caldwell will die if you kill him. Anastasia's fate is not tied to Xaviera's, but Xaviera's fate lies with Anastasia."

"Do you want to be the reason Anastasia dies today?" Antony asked. "Or the reason she was saved? Xaviera said she doesn't expect forgiveness but the pedestal shows she has yet to lie, a first for everything. If you are done trying to act like our mother, then I suggest you let the trial proceed. This was an emergency, and Anastasia was dying. It was the only way to give you time to purify the silver and make the necklace."

"It was brave of her to give up her life, knowing no one wanted to accept her doing it," said Gregori. "Brave but stupid. In your place, I would be acting the same. But we can see into her mind and can see the truth, even if she tried to conceal it."

“If Anastasia dies today it will because her lifemate made her not trust him and she felt the need to do everything herself and she trusted the wrong people” she said glaring at Erik as she let Caldwell drop to the floor, two hunters carried him out of the room “and if you had any bit of our parents in you Antony maybe you would still have some honor, as for the silver it will not be used and neither will the necklace” she said in a dominant tone “The trial may proceed but the evidence will not be used”

"But..." Antony began, but Mikhail silenced him.

"We will agree to this," said Mikhail. "Suzianna, in three days, you will be the one to retrieve Anastasia's soul from the tree of life once it has been determined that it has officially left her body. Erik, it will be your duty to control Antony, who will be on the verge of turning vampire. Can you agree with this, Suzianna?"

“As long as someone of my choosing accompanies Erik, I will agree to this but I will not be the one to retrieve her soul, Anthony will be” she said flipping Anastasia onto her side and pointing to a script on her rib cage “Anthony must accompany her to the tree of life, if he does not the lifemate bond will be broken once she is returned to her bond, if she goes alone it is the Equivalent of tearing both of their soul. The only way for her to come back whole is if he goes with her. I am blood and I can anchor Anthony but it will be his job to bring her back with him, but I will ask you my ancestors your opinion if we should hold Anastasia trial before or after we attempt this”

"Granted," said Mikhail. "As for Anastasia's trial, I think the creation of Hero Silver would be enough to say she is innocent, however, we will proceed with it after her memories have returned. This way, she can at least defend herself should the need arise." He looked to Xaviera. "For now, we will wait for judgement on you. All decisions will be announced at the same time. Place her in the holding chamber with her lifemate for now. Suzianna, let us proceed with bringing Anastasia back."

The guards escorted xaveria out and Anthony woke Anastasia up. She cried in pain and her body curled up and she started to shake, every bone was visible through her pale scared skin “because of the child we must do this quickly, we have about two minutes before the child will lose oxygen “

Antony laid down next to Anastasia and said, "Hurry."

"I'm taking your lead," said Erik. "Mostly because I have to. Dante, however, he seems on the verge of tearing the room apart. He knows something could happen to you. Don't get yourself hurt doing this. It is dangerous at best to play with these things."

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