The first thing gregori and savannah and dracul heard was screaming. The next thing was the earth exploding. Dracul opened his eyes to see Anya gone. He leaped from the earth only to be greeting by something he couldn't see that threw him back, it wasn't magic, it was almost like his body was being controlled. gregori was fighting on the ground trying to crawl over to them. Ana hitting anya. The smell of her blood filled the air. Anya couldn't move and was not able to defend herself. It was clear by the way they looked that ana had dragged Anya from the earth and was trying to kill her
Dracul saw red. He wanted nothing more than to kill Anastasia in that moment. But a fleeting touch in his mind stilled the rage. Like Gregori, he crawled to them, trying to get to his woman, but it felt as if he were crawling through drying cement. He and gregori reached them at the same time. Just as ana had shoved her hand into Anya's chest going for her heart. Gregori stopped ana while dracul pulled Anaya now broken body awake. He could feel her broken bones as he pulled her towards him. Gregori forced ana to sleep and suddenly they could move again.
"We should heal Anya," said Dracul. "Anastasia's mind is far to broken to hold this against her. When she is healed, this will weigh heavily on her, especially if she sees evidence of it."
"Savannah put ana in the ground" gregori said as he went over to Anaya "hold her mind dracul, keep her calm because if I had not put that ward on her right now we would all be hurting or worse, I can feel her powers going against those that ward"
Dracul gently held Anya's mind and said, "Anya kept me from killing her sister. I would have tried if not for my lifemate. I could not see past the attack."
"It worries me that she could" he said "keep her calm or she will force me out" he said before turning into healing light and going into her body
"Anya, kont o sívanak, focus on me," he said. "I have yet to learn the things you enjoy, but I know a warrior when I see one. I've seen no greater in any war I witnessed, or any battle of the undead. And I have seen many. Yet, looking upon you, knowing the love have within you and the strength you hold in your hand, I cannot help but see all of them, be they knight in armor or soldier in uniform, lacking. You are a true warrior and should be proud. There is no other like you. And no other I would call my lifemate."
it hurts she said, her voice brushing his mind through the fog of her own
"I know," he said. "It will be gone soon. I swear. Do not dwell on it, Anya. Focus on me, on our combined strength. Do you feel it? Even for a moment, do you feel me residing in you?"
Gregori was pushed from her body and swore in Carpathian tongue "I fixed her heart but the rest is not fatal but it was meant to be extremely painful. I don't want to stress her out to much" he said "it might be best to put her to sleep and let mother earth heal the rest natural"
"You hear that, kont o sívanak?" said Dracul. "All is well. I know you hurt. You just need rest and to let Mother Earth do the rest."
Her eyes remained closed but tears slowly ran down her face. Dracul kissed them away as he put her to sleep. When she was placed in the earth, far from Anastasia, He stood up.
"I should go train," he said. "It's time I reminded my muscles of their duty."
"I will have Zev come to watch over them, I have things I need to attend too" gregori said standing up
"Perhaps there should be another," said Dracul. "One to help keep Anastasia from rising again. Just in case. I know her mind is not her own, but that is all the more reason."
"Stephan is her lifemate so he will be accompanying Zev" gregori said "you should go meet up with Alex , he is expecting you"
He nodded and sighed before saying, "Having a parent suddenly appear in one's life is a pain. My father is here to walk me to school."
"You might want to have him check you mentally, your lifemate was just attacked and your cracking jokes" gregori said in a harsh tone standing up
"He's the one who said it," said Dracul. "He doesn't yet know what has happened."
He didn't say anything and just left the room slamming the door behind him.
Dracul bowed to Savannah and said, "I am sorry if my words have caused you any distress, but I should be going."
She nodded "be well hunter" was all she said as she sat in between ana and Anya's earthed beds. She began humming softly while touching the top of the soil.
Dracul exited the house and glared at Razvan, saying, "Your timing was abominable."
"So Gregori told me," Razvan said.
"And you are to be the instructor today?" Dracul asked as they walked through the trees.
"Actually I am not" they said as they came upon mikhails home "you need to learn more about your woman before anything I think it will help lessen your stress so will have a easier time adjusting and learning, Alex awaits you in the back, I'll come back when your done"
"I thought you were teaching us about acceptance and meditation," said Dracul. "Seems the rumors were wrong." The door opened as they stepped onto the porch. "Evening, Mikhail."
"Gregori would normally be here but he is still..." Mikhail began.
"I know," said Dracul. "It will go a long way if we can get Anya healed. Even better if we can heal both my lifemate and her sister."
"Do not worry about her sister, she is not your concern but her lifemate concern, you focus on you and Anya, no one else" Razvan said as they reached the door
"I'm just saying that it would make Gregori more agreeable," said Dracul.
"And I'm just saying your lifemate is to hurt for you to be overwhelming yourself with others, keep in mind she is very sensitive to your thoughts what you feel and know she will , don't upset her with being overwhelmed, it's best she doesn't know her sisters Condition or anything bad and you can't keep it from her"
"I believe that is already too late," Dracul replied sadly. "Anastasia attacked her this rising and Anya touched my mind just enough to rid me of the need to kill and the rage that came with it. She understands that Anastasia is not to blame for her actions. Xavier is."
"And with her mind being as broken as it is unless you remind her she won't remember, take my advice or you will do more damage to both of you" he said in a serious tone
"I will try my best," said Dracul. "But, before I take another step, I want to give you my allegiance, Mikhail. I know it is not much now, but I will be once I am retrained, and even more so once Anya is healed."
"It's enough for now, I have things I need to do but Alex is in the back" Mikhail said letting him in
"At least you were sensible to not trust me until I had pledged myself," said Dracul. "I'll go visit with Alexandru. Perhaps he can shed some light on my mysterious lifemate. It's... not the ideal way to learn about her, but to aid her healing, I'd try anything."
He nodded and left. When dracul went back there he noticed Alex was not alone and could tell the hunters with him were old and powerful, though he did not recognize him "dracul I presume" Alex said standing up from the bench he was sitting on as he took off his fighting gear, it was clear he had just been sparing someone
"Yes, I am Dracul of the Dragonseekers," said Dracul. "And there is no mistaking the prince's heir. It is a pleasure to meet you Alexandru. I would like to speak to you before my own sparring match."
"You won't be sparring today" he said simply "in fact it bothers me that you have time to think about such things when Anya is the way she is, I would think you would be more focused on helping her and learning about her" he said in a aggravated tone
"Alexandru, I could learn every aspect of her life but how could I protect her if I am too slow in battle?" he said, sitting down across from Alexandru. "Right now, she must rest. She is unable to protect herself. But I am going to learn about Anya, and I will be the best of students. Also, you're my teacher, so please, instruct me about Anya's likes and dislikes. Please."
Alex stood up "she is more then dislikes and likes....just ask me your questions" he said changing into new clothes
"What calms her down?" he asked. "When she awakes, her mind is so chaotic. Because I didn't get the chance to meet her before everything happened. This will go a long way to healing her mind."
He sighed "Anya is not something I can put into words, she is much more complicated then most people I know, most of our brothers and sister are born not knowing what calls to them until they are older but Anya always knew, she was a fighter from day one and she grew up with everyone else telling her otherwise and what she should be" he said sitting back rubbing the back of his neck
"I have felt her strength," said Dracul. "I would not be happy leaving her behind when there was a battle to face. She belongs beside me. I know a warrior when I see one, and she wouldn't be happy staying at home any more than I would. I meant, does she meditate, or practice battle styles, or..."
"Her alone time, bit you can't help her with that. Sadly Anya is a very secretive person because of everyone trying to keep her from practicing anything, fight, magic the list is quite large. She did have a cave she favored, maybe you will find something there or maybe if you take her there it would do her some good but I might as well be a honorable man and show you everything" he said linking to his mind you have no right to be angry with what you are about to see, until yesterday you didn't exist to us he said
You think none of us had childhood crushes? Dracul asked. I will not attack, but I cannot help my reactions otherwise. If I thought anything like attacking you, Anya would touch my mind and take the rage away. Have no fear, Alexandru.
I don't, because it would be unwise for you to try and hurt me in anyway he said and began to show him memories of Anya, he knew he was keeping some to himself but he was showing enough that he was able to watch her grow up. She was a wild child, through and through. She was always getting in trouble, climbing trees playing with large animals. Even from a young age she wanted to train with the boys her age and time and time again gregori took her away crying from the training grounds.
Seems like she wasn't cared for properly, growled Dracul. No father should dismiss their child's desires like that. And Gregori dares to reprimand me for claiming my lifemate.
remember your place hunter, he is the second to the prince and things have always been like this.males not wanting their women to fight he said as he continued to show memories. One in particular he speed by but dracul caught it. It was the last time Anya cried in front of anyone, she had grown fond of a bear cub that she had played with since it was a baby. But when hunting season rolled around gregori kept her from going to protect the adult bear. They had come back from a trip and the city started hunting season early due to animal attacks. When Anya found out she wanted to rush to help guide the bear up the mountain to a safe place but gregori refused to let her and went as far as warding her in her room knowing she would try and go anyways. The next day Anya found out the bear had been killed, she cried for days this is why women can not be hunters, your emotions make you vulnerable targets gregori told her caring doesn't make me weak and your weak for thinking it! There was no need for him to die! I could have stayed invisible to the humans, you could have went to save him, something! she yelled at her father it's the circle of life Anya and humans are unpredictable and who knows if the society would have taken advantage of hunting season, if it's a bear or you it will always be you he said slamming the door shut it's that thinking right there that get innocents killed!
Alexandru, if you were in my place, what would you use to heal her mind? Dracul asked. I love how she cares and wants to protect. It's what makes her a great warrior. While attacking without emotions can be seen as helpful, if you cannot show mercy or empathy, it makes those you save see you as little better than the monsters you protect them from. The trick is to know when to shut them off and when to feel. I do not how to do that, but those that have had their emotions returned should know how to.
take her away, take her some place familiar, here is the location to her cave, take her there. That's were she has a strong connection too and it will keep her away from Anya. Be tough with her, be dominate Anya needs a dominant male, but a true dominate not someone who will just boss her around.
Thank you, said Dracul. And did I see a training area just off of the Tree Cavern? She did a good job at creating the items in it. I doubt any other could have done better.
I'm only showing you enough to give you a glimpse of who she is only because I no longer know if that is who she is, trauma changes people, and I don't want you to try and force her to be her old self or hurt her more by reminding her.
Do you really think a lifemate would do that? Perhaps you should study them more. I can lead her as her man, but I cannot make her into anything she is not. If she is meant to be a warrior, as is her nature, then so be it. But if not, I will support her no matter what.
I know how lifemates work but I can also sense what you have been hiding from everyone else he said breaking the mind link "if I were you I would go talk to your father or Jaques" he said
"What do you mean?" Dracul asked. "How would talking to them help Anya heal?"
"I'm talking about helping yourself" he said
"I'm fine," said Dracul. "I haven't snapped at anyone. I believe I am calm. I should be raging, but I am not. In fact, though not like my father, I've been rather Zen about the whole affair since waking."
"I'm telling you to go get checked" he said in a more condemning tone
"Besides my lifemate, tell me one reason why I should do this thing," said Dracul.
"Because if you don't I won't allow you to go near Anya" he said
"Until you are prince, you have no authority," said Dracul. "Even then, not even you can keep lifemates apart."
"Since Anya has now been named my second I am in charge of her care, on top of that the prince trust my judgment and if I say you are dangerous then he will listen," he said in a serious tone
"Except that we have completed the binding," said Dracul. "She is no longer in your care, but mine. Once found, a lifemate leaves the care of others for that of her lifemate. If all you're going to do is give empty threats, I'll leave. You have no power yet, and you have no authority over Anya's care. Goodbye." He stood up. "Can't say this has ended on a pleasurable note, but at least I know more about my warrior woman."
"Actually if you remember right may times have we kept lifemates separate for their own safety, now I won't keep you from her mind, she does not deserve to suffer the separation but I can keep you from being near her. So you have two options, you get checked out or I will move Anya here to my house where you will not be allowed to come near her until you go get checked out" he said in a calm tone not getting up
"Excuse me?" Dracul said. "Did Gregori die in the last hour? Because that is the only way you could presume to have any authority, but still, it is lost the moment I spoke the binding words. If you attempt to do such a thing, it would not be a very princely thing to do."
"Unlike you who tries to do everything alone my family does not, I have the support of my father and gregori in this matter. My connection to Anya is strong, only second to yours , I also have knowledge that you do not, this is also not a matter of my feelings towards her but as her best friend and someone who knows her better, your mind is dangerous right now, the fact that you do not see it makes it more so, I will not allow you to harm her or be harmed, I will do what is necessary to protect you both because you are important to her future. So if you fight me on this then I will have no choice to take action, action that once again I'll remind you is backed up by not only the prince but your lifemates father"
"No prince ever comes between lifemates," said Dracul, turning to leave. "And because I have claimed her, Gregori has no say."
"Once again you wrong with both things you have said and if you really wanted to care for you properly then you should have had the senses to get checked after you were rescued, why didn't you? "
He looked at Alexandru and said, "I didn't trust anyone. Would you trust strangers after so long of being ignored?" He held up his hand. "Yes, I know it was the spell, but this did not stop the thought from cropping up over the centuries. Still, why would I trust my care to those I did not know?"
"Them why give your loyalty to the prince of you do not trust him? Why sleep next to your lifemates family? Why seek council with your father? If you don't trust anyone then your actions are contradictory to how you feel. After all you heard and all you have been a part of are you telling me that there is not some part of you that knows something is wrong or is this how you talk to everyone" he said holding up a mirror towards him showing him his reflection. His ganges were about and his nails were sharp. He looked like he was ready to attack someone
Dracul said, "What spell have you placed on the mirror? I-" But he stopped when the finger on his hand was the same as the reflection. "I was... being calm." He sighed. "I didn't know anyone at first. I am trying to trust, but it is difficult. I slept near her family because it was for her sake. As for Mikhail, it is simple. It is the duty of a Dragonseeker to give his allegiance to the prince and provide protection to him when needed. It isn't about trust, but doing what is necessary."
"Isn't also necessary to protect your lifemate, I'm am standing here telling you, your mind is not ok, that we want to help, whether you believe or trust me. isn't it your duty to her to make sure you're okay"
Dracul growled and said, "Fine. Bring on these paragons of sanity. Let's see what magic they can weave."
He called Maryanne and ( her lifemate lol) "relax hunter this is for you and Anya"