The Ball Rolls 2

Dracul got the herbs and stayed by her. When she finished, he collapsed next to her.

"Thank, God," he said, then he looked at her. "So many things are triggering old memories I long ago buried... I'm sorry. I almost made it worse on you because of it. But you are fine. Both of you are fine." He touched her hand, and his was still shaking. "I'm just glad I made it this time." He looked up at the sky. "Last time, I was still a kid, and the woman taking care of me had a child. She was taken away. I had grown to love her like a mother. I ran after Xavier, but I couldn't keep up. She kept screaming and the baby was crying... I got to the door but... she was..." He looked at her again. "I was too late. I already had powers. I knew I did. But I wasn't able to save them, from the magic that used them as sacrifices. After seeing Zane again, the flood gates on those memories opened. I lost him and Yana once, and I don't want to again unless absolutely necessary. And my nanny and her child... they were my family too, Anya. I kept losing those I saw as family over and over. The thought of losing you two, especially to magic... I'd never be able to shake that, not even in the next world."

She slowly pulled out the piece of wood “Dracul....I......” she sighed “I might know a way to save them” she said in a defeated tone

"Anya," he said, trying to contain his joy, "thank you. And, after all this time, I'm not going to tell you not to use magic in battle. That would be wrong of me. I know how hard that was for you to say that, and I know I just have to work my through this again. But, in the end, even if you tell them, they have to want your help. After everything, will Zane accept it? We all kind of messed up when talking to them. We don't know what they went through or the hell they have lived." He took her hand tightly. "I want to try, but if you have no other choice... I won't stop you."

She met his gaze "I won't kill them unless I have to and if it comes down to it I know you will want to do it" she said

"Thank you," he said. "Now, let's get you two someplace where you can rest. I'm glad you found my note and thought to give me another chance."

"What letter?" She asked standing up without his help. She removed her blood from the area quickly.

"The one on the coffee table," he said. "It said I came to get MaryAnn's advise on how to start a difficult conversation with you and then I'd me in the training yard all night. That way, you knew I was trying to give you time to think over things and I could figure out how to tell you everything that I can remember. You know, to keep my promise."

“I didn’t see a letter “ she said in a emotionless tone as she started to walk away “you can go back to the cabbin I have things to do”

"No," he said. "You will rest. Anya, you are so close to giving birth, just moving around is getting difficult for you." He took her hand. "So, why don't we both go back to the cabin. I'll take care of your paperwork for you and you can take a nap. Doesn't that sound good? Besides, you must be tired after that. You force yourself to stay up, but I can feel your exhaustion most days. With him so close to being born, perhaps now is the best time to rest and save up your energy so you can bring him into this world. If you want, we can have Anastasia nearby."

He knew instantly that was a mistake to say, she removed her hand from his with a growl “you haven’t learned anything....to even suggest someone as broken as her to be near....” she said in a appalled tone “it’s obvious I still can’t trust you to make good decisions, leave me alone, I’ll let you know when your son is born but I need some time away from you” she said in a stern tone

"Anya, she knows what it's like to give birth," he said. "Or do you not remember? She'd know the methods on how to ensure you and him are safe. Besides, I heard she's gotten better. She actually managed to not leave a scar on a hunter. I mean, she didn't have any distractions, but still. I never said she'd be your healer. More like another pair of hands to help you out."

The look she gave him said it all, she no longer trusted him " after all I've read and seen I thought lifemates was suppose to be the one person who would truly understand you....you have greatly disappointed me. Being that you are so much older then me you should be wiser but your not, and I'll make it clear because you are too blind to see it and this will be the last time I point the obvious out to you, every fucking woman on this ranch knows how to give birth, you could have recommended anyone of them, but instead you suggest ana not because you actually think she is the best choice but because you are trying to fix your own damn trama through me! You feel shitty about being a bad sibling fine but don't use me to get over it! I meant what I said to her, we no longer have a relationship and that is want I need, it's what's best for me, so since every fucking action you seem to be taking is about you then why don't you leave me alone and work on yourself because I can't deal with it anymore! And before you try and say that's not what you are doing let's look at something, you didn't notice ana fighting style problem, you recklessly almost got your heart torn out, you almost attacked my cousin who is half your age and you have cried more in the last few months then you have your entire life! Figure out what's going on with you because this is not the man I agreed to be bonded with!"

"All you said is true," he said instantly, not bothering to deny it. "I want you to have a relationship with her I didn't get with Zane so you wouldn't regret it later. I've blinded myself to facts because of my own past. I'm jaded but who isn't. We all have moments like this. But I'm seeking help to try and work through it. Sometimes, talking to someone outside of the situation, someone you aren't close to, helps. It isn't I don't trust you, but... I honestly don't know how to talk to you about it. I'm ashamed of my past, Anya. I mean, I let down every family I ever had and you are the last person I want to fail, yet I keep doing just that. Do you think I'm okay with that? With hurting you like this? I'm not. I know Zane isn't the boy I grew up with, and Anastasia can't be trusted when she's barely healed. Hell, I know that I still have a lot of work to do on myself." He sighed. "Since coming to South America, so many memories are surfacing and I don't know what to do with them. I'm seeing them everywhere. I don't even know of the connection yet. I don't remember coming to South America, but I think I did. For all I know, they are false memories. Hell, the woman and her child? How do I know that's even my memory? I can't tell you anything about them, just that I felt they were family. There are no records of them. I'm looking into false memory planting. MaryAnn agreed to help me today. I didn't tell you because how do you tell someone who is so overworked as it is that they have this burden too? I didn't want that for you. The past month, it's been the same. I mean, how can I have the woman and baby and Zane and Yana? I can't. Zane, Yana, and I were in Romania." He looked at her. "That woman, baby, and whoever were here in South America. I feel the pain of losing them, but it's not me. Someone got in, and I don't even know how. I'm letting the false memories take over because I'm thinking on how to find the culprit, stay strong when I'm scared as hell for you and Grigore, and I'm upset with your father for giving you paperwork to keep you from your true calling. I'm stressed Anya, and I'm causing you more stress by passing it on to you. It isn't right or fair, but I'm no closer to finding them. I care for Zane, but he's a threat. Anastasia is far too broken to be of use yet, but she is trying. And me? I feel like a goddamn puppet. Hell, maybe I'm driving you away on purpose to protect you." He turned to leave. "I'm going to find whatever ancient prisoner is doing this and making them stop. I... might be gone for a while, but this is something I have to do, for you. You should rely on me, and if someone can control an ancient like me, it's bad. Very bad."

"Your right it is" she said and his world went black

A few hours later, Dracul set up slowly, saying, "Anya, was that necessary? My head feels like it's about to split open."

------

"It was just hearing you talk about someone else," she said. "Later, the lectures. At first, it was jealousy. Andor idolized Anya, and that made me jealous. Instead of being a big girl and talking to you and mom, I kept trying to do more and more to get him to say stuff about me again that was good. Eventually, I equated that attention with love. When you would lecture me, bouncing around in my head was 'If I was Anya, you wouldn't say that. Why do you love her more than me?' Because Anya did this, I had to do it too because, well, you talked about it. Telling you guys after I grew up a bit made me feel insecure. I mean, I acted out all the time. Why would you see me telling you about this be any different? I isolated myself to spare myself the pain of being rejected for these feelings. They are ugly. And who could love someone like that?"

“You need to love yourself first Amera before you can love anyone else properly and I am glad you are not your cousin, what anya does...it would break you and you would have died long ago, and it’s not because she is better then you Amera it because to be a hunter like her, to use dark magic like she does, that’s a different kind of strength, one that you do not have, you wear your heart to much on your sleeve but you are strong in your own way Amera, we suggested you be a healer because that’s the heart you have, tell me honestly, after being with that vampire, are you still jealous of anya? Knowing she has to fight them, I would think you would be worried for your cousin, proud her and grateful that you have such a strong woman close to you, someone you could go to when you needed help, not jealous of her” He said “when you were kids and you started being mean to anya she told her father it was because she thought you hated her and when he asked her why she thought that do you know what she said?” He asked

"After everything that he did," Amera said, "I wouldn't wish that on anyone. And I know, deep down, I am amazed by her strength and I am proud and worried. The problem is that I've focused so much on the ugliness and jealousy inside, that's all I can see." She clenched her fist, taking a breath, and kept her voice even. "What did Anya say? Why did she think I hated her?"

"For the reason she felt Anastasia hated her, that you were too good for her, no body but my brothers know this but from a very young age Anya always knew your uncle's magic was passed to her, she felt that darkness. She thought you felt it too and that's why you were so mean to her" he said with a sigh " I'm not telling you this so you will forgive Anya amera I'm telling you this so you realize, even Anya struggles with who she is and so does your brother that you idolize so much, everyone does" he said " but the solution is not to blame others but to better yourself,become the person you want to be"

"I had only wanted to keep her away from Andor so she wouldn't take him from me," Amera said. "I didn't feel any darkness in her. She knows who she is and what she wants to do... it's no wonder Andor idolizes her. She's so sure and I'm... not. I don't even know what I want to do." She looked out of the window. "How did you know you wanted to be a healer?"

He was quiet for a while "it took time of getting to know who I was before I knew what I wanted to become" he said softly " don't hide from yourself any more amera, your biggest enemy is not Anya or anyone else, not even the vampire who took you, it's yourself"

She took a deep breath and said, "I... don't like hunting. I don't if I like healing because I never actually put myself into it." She smiled and closed her eyes. "I remember painting, drawing, and playing with animals all the time. I stopped doing it openly because... Anya didn't do it. I would hide my sketchbook all the time." She looked at the door. "Dad, get my sketchbook. It's in the RV in a bag inside the plastic plant. I have a picture in there, one that Andor needs to see and one Anya needs to see. Please."

“I will as soon as I can, i have to go for now, remember to use this time wisely Amera” he said and she could hear the sound of his chair moving.

Amera got up and found some paper, pens, pencils, and a few other materials she could use for drawing. She sat down and began to sketch. At first, she doodled, not sure what she wanted to draw. But as time went on, she found herself sketching people. Her aroma manipulation filled the room as calm filled her. Within a few hours, she had drawings of Anya that seemed to move over the page, Andor staring at the moon, and her parents sitting next to a campfire in a loving embrace. But while they each had one or two pictures, there were at least ten of Zach. Some were portaits, some held movement, and a couple were of his chest. But one, the one she wanted to draw most of all illuded her. It was Zach, asleep and relaxed. She loved waking up and just staring at him. But the lines didn't seem to convey what she wanted. She would take a break and draw something else, but it didn't help.

"What is wrong with this?" she asked, putting it down again. "I can't get it to look right at all. His pose is perfect, and he looks real, but no matter how I draw him, he feels stiff." The scent she gave off now matched her agitation. "What am I not seeing?"

She looked out the window. The stars seemed normal, but she couldn't feel anyone outside. It felt empty to her. She got up and paced.

"So, I'm jealous of Anya," she said aloud to herself. "What else? If I'm going to get out of this, I actually have to start looking at me." She looked at her picture again. "Maybe I'm not seeing the real emotions that should be here. He should be calm and relax, not stiff. But..." She turned away. "What do I want...? I want... I... URG! This is too hard! It seemed so easy when I was eight! I could even use my aroma manipulation easily! I mean, I couldn't make plants grow with it, but it was still cool then. I was afraid Andor was leaving me. Why didn't I talk then?" She put her head on the window. "Because of this. I'm alone, the last thing I wanted, because I was afraid to say anything." She sat on the floor. "I'm still afraid. Maybe I've always been afraid. If I had said something, I could have been reassured. I remember I wanted to be like dad, able to make people feel better. Then, I twisted it and kept telling myself that I wanted to be a hunter. Being told to go back felt like a slap in the face." She closed her eyes and thought back. "I just need to remember."

She opened her eyes and she saw it play out. The last day she knew who Amera was.

"I can't wait to see Anya and Anastasia!" her younger self said.

"Me either!" a young Andor said, holding her hand. "What game should we play?"

"I like doctor!"

"You always want to play doctor. I want to do something else."

"Okay, you be the hunter and I'll be the healer that saves you after you defeat the vampire!"

"Silly, that's still doctor."

"No, it isn't. I'll heal my Sally Doll first, then you fight the evil vampire and save us. You get to play Vampires and Hunters while I'm busy with Sally Doll and I get to heal you up to say thank you."

"Amera, it's still doctor. You just want me to have fun fighting.... Thanks anyway. It makes me happy that you want me to have fun my way."

"I like making you happy. You're my brother."

Then, Anya came in and she was practicing some fighting moves she had just learned. Andor didn't play. He watched her.

"Andor! I finished healing Sally Doll, you were supposed to--"

"Anya's so cool! She can already fight like a real hunter!"

"But Andor, our game!"

"In a little bit. I want to watch Anya some more."

"That was it," Amera said as the memory faded away. "Because he wanted to do something else, I passed the blame onto Anya. I... I wanted to be a healer. I knew it back then. I wanted to heal. I looked up to dad, not as a hunter, but as a healer. I wanted to be the one with Andor to heal his wounds, not get them with him." She purposefully banged her head on the wall. "Instead of seeing how Andor and Anya were amazing at what they did, I focused on how they weren't seeing the same in me. I let my childish fear hurt others over and over, acted like someone I'm not, and nearly killed Anya because I thought my own power relyed on Andor and everyone telling me they were proud of me for being like Anya and Andor and everyone else." She looked at her hands. "The prince is leaving in a week and a half. How do I even start getting back to that? I'm a... a healer. I've always wanted to help people. I should have stuck with that. I mean, instead of looking at how great Anya was at hunting... I could have found my own hero. I mean, I only got jealous when people talked about Anya, but they talked about Anastasia too. She and I were a lot alike. Why didn't I look to her back then? She and I are both healers." She stood up. "I should want to be a healer now. So... why can't I find the motivation to do it? Zach knows I'm a healer at heart. Everyone does. So why can't I bring myself to want that?"

She remembered her father's words you are your own worse enemy echo in her head

"Telling me I'm my own worse enemy doesn't help," said Amera. "I mean, how do you win against yourself? And isn't in natural to want someone to see the good you do? To hear that they appreciate you? I don't see what is wrong with hearing it." She got up and went to her room to lay down. "So... why am I the one who feels empty? I'm happy when people praise me... aren't I?" She curled up. "I mean... I did the things that made people happy... I should be happy too... right? So... why don't I?"

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