Story: Forbidden Love (all chapters)

Authors: Blackwolf58

Back to chapter list

Chapter 1

Title: Vampire introduction

[Author's notes: This is a story that's been knocking around in my head for a while.  I don't know the specifics of it yet, but hopefully it'll go better than my other stories.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy this first part.]

Vampires.  The stories and legends surrounding us are vast.  Sunlight, garlic, crosses, caskets, etc…  Some of them are true and some of them aren't.  But I'm not going to go into detail about any of that.  There is one myth that I wish to address.  Well, it's not so much a myth as a common belief.  You see, whenever humans consider us, we're thought of as soulless, or having no feelings.  Some would say that we do feel, but only for the purpose of power.  As creatures of the night, we should be incapable of all but the darkest of emotions.

This is where you are all wrong.  Vampires have more capacity for emotions than most humans.  You are all just so limited in what you allow yourself to experience.  Most of you are so consumed with your day to day lives that you never let yourselves go and just feel.  For instance, when someone close to you dies, you mourn, but eventually move on, saying that it’s good enough that you carry their memory with you.  The pain you feel is momentary.  For us, we mourn them for as long as we continue to walk on this world.  It is a pain that lives with us, that remains with us forever.  The pain of their passing is a lesson, and a gift to them.

The same goes for love.  You fall into love, and you fall out of it so easily.  It seems, almost meaningless to you, like you say it to make each other feel better without really knowing the true strength of it.  They’re just words, it seems.  For us, we love with our entire beings.  And when we fall in love, it is like the sun lives within our bodies for that person.  Every touch, every glance, every word spoken shows our devotion.  We are incomplete without our loved one, and just like the pain of mourning, our love lasts until we are no more.

*Chuckle* I think I insulted a few of you.  I can already see you saying “that’s not true” and “of course I love my partner with everything that I have.”  Maybe you do, and if so, I do apologize.  There are a few humans capable of the feelings that we have, especially when you are inebriated in some fashion.  I think it’s because it’s easier for you to let go.  There are several stories written about such love, and devotion through death.  So, obviously there is an understanding of the concept.  But do you really feel that strongly about your loved one?  Does your night become day whenever they walk into the room?  Do you feel acute pain whenever you are away from them, and the purest joy imaginable when you are together?  Every time you look at them, do you get down on your knees and thank whatever higher power there is that you have them in your life?  This is the love that I talk about.

Maybe it’s the difference between life and death.  You are still alive, and therefore have so many things to do that you can’t stop and simply feel.  Work, kids, shopping, cooking, sleeping, etc…  Only so many hours in a day, right?  Since we are already dead, and therefore have eternity on our hands, maybe it’s just easier for us.  In truth, I don’t know.  I guess I really never thought about it.

But I digress.  It’s because of our powerful emotions that we keep in the dark and to the shadows.  In all honesty, we love the sunlight, but that’s not part of this story.  We work to control our feelings around humans, for if we were to feel pain while feeding from you, we would starve.  There are even some of us who have such powerful emotions that we can affect those of you who are around at the time.  Have you ever walked by someone and all of the sudden felt like it’s the best day of your life, or maybe sunk into the deepest depression that you’ve ever felt?  That’s us.  So, as you can see, it makes it difficult for us to interact with you, unless you are somehow inebriated, once again.  Hence, the darkness, and the clubs.  Plus, if you fear us, you’re less likely to come looking for us.

So, it is because of our powerful emotions that there is one rule, that must never be broken.  Never fall in love with a human.  To do so means the death for us both.  If we left our loved one human, then we would have to deal with death of that person, since they are mortal and it is part of their destiny.  This would cause us to become a shell of ourselves, with the only option of complete death, which is quite a long and difficult process.  If we were to try and change our significant other after falling in love, the pain of the process would live between us for as long as we were together, causing bitterness and hatred that could start wars (trust me, it’s happened.)  Remember, love and hate are not mutually exclusive, just different sides of the same coin.  There’s also the issue that since they are merely human and therefore prone to erratic emotions, they may simply leave.  In which case, they might as well have died, as far as we’re concerned.

This rule became an enforced law after the 60’s.  Yes, we got caught up in all the love, same as you.  Actually, many of us felt that it was the perfect way to finally come out of the dark, and we not only embraced the culture, but fed into it as much as we could, those of us that could, that is.  It wasn’t long though until strife and unrest started occurring in all of the covens.  The numbers seeking complete death rose astronomically, and wars started all over the world.  Eventually, the elders brought their families under control, and it became enforced that if any vampire was to fall in love with a human, both would be killed automatically.

So now, I’m sure you’re asking, what’s the point in me telling you all of this?  You have stuff to do, and you don’t have time for me to ramble on about inane vampire issues.  I do apologize for the long introduction, but it was, necessary, for you to understand the depth of the story to come.  For you see, I broke the rule and fell in love with a human female.  So, this is the story of our forbidden love, and perchance our death, as well.

[End notes: Well, I hope you enjoyed the beginning.  Please review, as always.]

Chapter 2

Title: The Beginning

[Author's notes:

In the previous chapter I mentioned complete death, and will do so again in this one.  I wanted to signify the difference in death for humans and vampires.  Since vampires are already dead, I felt it wasn't appropriate for them to just die again.  Hence, complete death, where a vampire passes on to wherever they go.

And, in case you noticed, I changed the name of the human Maurice falls in love with.  As I was writing today, the character seemed to be more of an Emily than a Helen, and since I only do what the characters want me to do, Emily it is.

Anyway, here's the next chapter finally.  Hope you enjoy it.


Ah, but I forgot to introduce myself.  I apologize for my bad manners.  My name is Maurice, and I have been a vampire for 212 years.  The story of my human life and what led me to be a vampire is not important, so I will not bore you with the details.  There is one aspect that is necessary to talk about, though.  You see, as a human, I was incapable of emotions.  I was, empty, I guess you would say.  I never knew the emotions of love or hate, happiness or sadness.  I was, for all intents and purposes, a blank canvas.  I do not know why I was that way, for nothing traumatic ever happened to me.  I had a loving family, some friends, and quite the boring life actually.  I just never felt anything.  Upon my change to my current life, and learning about the emotions of my new family, I hoped that for once, I would know what love felt like.  Alas, my emotionless state continued into my new life, and up to recently, I still hadn’t had a single feeling.

Ah, I can see you scowling at me now.  Here I just went off about how vampires have more knowledge of passion and pain then humans, and now I just admitted that I, a vampire, have worse emotions then you do.  In all actuality, I am the only one of my kind, and therefore a freak, I guess.  However, it is because of my ability, or inability, that I am the Death Dealer.  Since I feel no pain over the loss of loved ones, it is my job to enforce the laws, and to execute complete death when necessary.  Needless to say, the ‘60s were quite the busy time for me, and it is actually where my story finally starts.

Several of my family members got caught up in the movement, and therefore it landed on me to clean up the mess.  It was my job, and didn’t really bother me one way or the other.  But there was one case that was different.  A young vampire named Seth, only 45 at the time, was one of those that felt emotions so strongly that he could affect those around him.  Well, everyone except me, of course.  Anyway, he was still in the process of learning to control himself when he fell in love with two humans, a man and a woman.  Not common, but, not unheard of either.  All of his little gained control went right out the window, and he devoted himself to them entirely.  He lived with them for a time, one of the many nameless wanderers during that period.  I want to believe that they all were happy, that they did love Seth at least a little.  The problem was that they were solely committed to each other, and they could never give him the same devotion that he desired.  Over time, his need drove them apart, and the humans left.  Right before I executed the boy, he asked me to watch over his loved ones, to make sure they led a long and fulfilling life.  I didn’t understand at the time how he could still care about the ones that had, in all essence, broken his heart.  I am still unsure as to why I agreed to his request, but I gave him my promise that I would protect the human couple and their offspring to the best of my ability.

In all honesty, I forgot about the promise for a short amount of time.  Those were such chaotic times for us, that that one small death, that one small promise was pushed to the back of my mind.  It wasn’t until the elders brought everything back under control, and the new law was instated, that I remembered the boy, and decided that even though I couldn’t feel the pain of his passing, I could instead use my promise as a remembrance of him.  In all my years as a Death Dealer, his is the only one I’ve wanted to remember.  I never really thought about why, I just accepted it.  Strange, huh?

And so I went in search of the human couple, Sam and Sarah, and watched them from afar.  In the intervening years they had bought the stereotypical house in the suburbs with a white picket fence.  They had a little boy, whom they had named Seth.  I visited them once, when young Seth was around 6 or 7, to tell them of the passing of his namesake.  I was curious to see how they would react, these humans that a vampire had died for, and to try and understand why they were remembering him through their son.  They were truly saddened, and told me they had known he had passed away some time ago.  When I asked how they knew (vampire deaths are kept strictly secret, as I’m sure you could guess,) they said they had felt it.  That was why when they learned they were going to have a son, they decided to name him Seth.  Their own remembrance of a sweet boy they had loved at one time.  They were one of the few humans I’ve ever met who were capable of the same emotions as my brethren.  I understood a little better why Seth wanted to protect them.  It wasn’t just because he loved them, he wanted to protect the love they had for each other.  He wanted to protect the love they could bestow on others, as they had for him, for a brief moment in time.

I never visited with Sam and Sarah again.  It was too dangerous, even for an emotionless vampire like me.  I watched little Seth grow into a young man that I believe his namesake would be proud of.  He had a little sister, named Elizabeth, and was different from Seth as night and day.  Where Seth was sweet like his namesake, Elizabeth was a little terror that continually got into as much trouble as she could.  I saved her life more than once as I watched her grow.  In all honesty, I’ve forgotten the number of times I’ve pulled her out of situations that would’ve caused her and her family great pain.  I’ve heard of humans rebelling when they became teens, thinking they are adults and trying to break out from under their parents.  Elizabeth started rebelling when she was 5.  Even though she was always showered with love, she constantly fought back.  I never understood Elizabeth and why she reacted the way she did.  Maybe that was why I was so fascinated with her.  She was an enigma, like me.

Seth and Elizabeth actually got married on the same day early in the year 1984.  Seth because he was in love with a young woman named Trina, Elizabeth because she got knocked up by a boy in her senior class.  They said they were in love, but I didn't believe it.  Elizabeth didn't seem capable of that emtion, at least, not the one strong enough to get married for.  Nonetheless, the deed was done, and eight months later she had a little girl named Emily.  I stole into the nursery the night after her birth, curious as to what an offspring of Elizabeth would be like.  As I looked down at the sleeping baby, I had a premonition that my life, what there was of it, was going to drastically change.  As it turns out, I was right.


[End notes:

So, there it is.  Hopefully I can get the next chapter up soon.

Please read and review, as always.


Chapter 3

Title: The First Meeting

[Author's notes: Yay, next chapter already.  Hope you enjoy it.]

Elizabeth’s marriage didn’t last long after Emily was born, and though she never remarried, the number of men in and out of her life is best to remain unmentioned.  I worried for a time how this would affect the growing psyche of Emily, but she seemed to accept it with a grace and aplomb that I have rarely seen in my life, human and vampire alike.  No, having men moving in and out of her life didn’t really affect her, but having Elizabeth as a mother certainly did.

Emily was, special.  That’s the best way I can put it.  She was really smart and observant, and I know that these attributes helped her develop into the person she became.  I think Emily was around 6 years old when she learned that speaking of love around Elizabeth usually met with neutral or negative results.  She learned quickly that while her mother did care for her, at least a little, it was more an act of responsibility then any real love.  She also learned that Elizabeth rejected any love directed at her, so little Emily started to bottle herself up, and kept her own emotions in check.

I hoped for a while that her grandparents or her uncle, all of whom brimmed over with love and devotion, would realize what was going on and help.  But like I said, Emily was smart, and put up quite the act while she was around them.  She knew that they would worry if they knew what was really going on, and Emily was always concerned about the welfare of others over herself.  She was always that happy little girl around them, but to my trained eye I could tell she still held back.  Afraid that, just like her mother, they might still reject her.  Thinking back on this time, I should feel hatred for Elizabeth, for making her daughter feel afraid of fully expressing herself.  But, at the time, I could only watch from afar, and be amazed.

You see, and I know I was the only one aware of this, was that little Emily was capable of a wide range of emotions, emotions so strong that they affected those around her.  Yes, very similar to some of my brethren, but because of her practice of bottling all of it up, no one ever realized it.  She never let herself go unless she thought she was alone.  She would play the most amazing games with her stuffed animals and dolls, a family she was free to love without fear of rejection.  When she was a little older, she would take trips to the hills outside the town, and just let go.  Running, jumping, spinning, letting go of everything that she constantly kept bottled inside.  It was at this time that I noticed how she affected those around her as the forest animals, animals that most of the time would run and hide, would come out, drawn to her happiness and sunshine.  Even I myself, emotionless being that I am, felt drawn to her, drawn like I never had been before.  It was just another thing that I accepted, like how my promise to look after her grandparents had changed and now focused entirely on her.  I didn’t question it, it just was.  I now have a theory as to why this was, but it’s a little too early in the story for that particular revelation.

As the years passed, I watched, concerned, as Emily continued to remain withdrawn and hidden from family and friends.  She would always put forth the happy and carefree smile.  She would hug and speak of love, but I know that she was simply doing what she thought was required to get by.  I was worried that Emily would start to accept this form as normal, and when her excursions to the forest started to dwindle, I was truly anxious.  As I’m writing this, I can’t help but shake my head at myself.  Concerned?  Anxious?  I was such an idiot, but once again, I just accepted it and continued to watch, until I just couldn’t watch anymore.

There really wasn’t anything special about that night.  Emily was 22, getting ready to graduate from college with a bachelor of science in animal sciences.  She was planning on heading on to a Veterinary Technician school.  I think she liked working with animals because she didn’t fear rejection from them.  They accepted her love and gave it right back.  Animals are really special like that.  Anyway, I remember that the skies were clear, but there was just a hint of rain on the breeze.  Emily was heading home from work, walking the four blocks to get to her apartment.  I was getting ready to head back to my own place when I heard the scuffle and quickly silenced screech.  I ran to where the sounds were coming from.  It was an alley, and though dark, my eyes easily saw what was going on.  Three men had drawn Emily down the alleyway, attracted undoubtedly by her beauty.  However, it was the fear she was unconsciously projecting that had the men attacking her, egging them on, though they probably didn’t realize it.  It took me less then a second before I reacted.

It didn’t take me very long to deal with the ruffians.  I mean, they are merely humans, and no match for a young vampire, much less the Death Dealer.  After I had dropped the last lifeless body into a dumpster, I turned to check on Emily.  In the scuffle, she had inadvertently been tossed to the side and had hit her head on a building.  Concerned with the blood streaming down her face (and, contrary to popular belief, the site of blood does not turn us into ravaging monsters), I knelt down next to her and placed my hand on her cheek.  I parted her golden tresses to check on the head wound, relieved when it seemed to just be a small cut.  Just as I was getting ready to pick her up and take her someplace better, her eyelids fluttered open, and eyes the color of the summer sky locked onto mine.

The sensation I felt at the time was indescribable.  If I had needed breath, I don’t think I would’ve been able to draw it.  If my heart was still beating, I’m sure it would’ve stopped.  I was frozen, just staring at her, and she at me.  At first I saw confusion, then fear, then amazement, then acceptance, and amazingly enough, happiness.  I wanted to ask her what it all meant, but my mind couldn’t form the words.  Slowly, oh so slowly, her hand reached up to cradle my cheek.  I had never been touched so intimately before, and the warmth that flowed through my entire being was frightening in its intensity.  My mind finally wrapped around the concept that I shouldn’t be feeling this, that I couldn’t be feeling this, but no matter how much I tried to deny it, the fact was that I was.  And when Emily brought her second hand up to cup my other cheek, and slowly drew my lips down to hers for the sweetest kiss I had ever known, I understood what the feeling was.  Two hearts, two souls joining together for all eternity.  Something I thought would always be denied to me, but now so much a part of me, I wondered how I had survived before.

When Emily eventually pulled back, she finally broke the silence and said "My dark angel," before closing her eyes and slipping back into unconsciousness.  I simply held her, processing everything that had just happened, and everything that was bound to happen.   Because, despite the fact that I had finally found the life of my life, I knew the best thing I could do for her would be to disappear before anyone else found out.  The pain of impending separation was just as powerful as the love I felt for her, and it almost drove me to my knees.  But, resolutely, I picked her up and carried her back to her apartment.  After laying her gently on the bed, I carefully tended her wound, cleaning the dried blood and making sure there wasn't going to be any lasting damage.  After putting a couple of butterfly bandages on the cut, I got up to leave.  I stared at her for a little while longer, trying to imprint as much of her as I could into my memory.  I should've known that it wouldn't be enough, that I couldn't just walk away, but I had to try.  For her, I had to leave.  And so I did, pushing the newly awakened emotions down into the emptiness from which they had come from, leaping out her window without looking back.  Little did I know that this was just the beginning of things to come, that no matter how much I tried, being separated from her was no longer an option.  It was a lesson that I would never forget.


[End notes: As always, please leave a review if you wish.  I most humbly accept all suggestions.]

Chapter 4

Title: Lunch at a Diner

[Author's notes:

This chapter is quite a bit different from my previous ones in that there is more dialogue.  My other characters were getting tired of Maurice having all of the spotlight.



After going back and disposing of the bodies in a more adequate way (it would do no good to Emily if three dead men were found where she was attacked), I decided the best course of action would be to go back to the coven.  I had gone back several times during the intervening years, to catch up with my family and complete any assignments that needed to be done, but each visit had been very brief so that I could go back to Seth’s humans (and now mine, I guess).  Now, I hoped to go back and stay.  It was too dangerous for me, for Emily, if I stuck around any longer.  I couldn’t afford for her to possibly fall in love with me.  If she did, we would both die.  Before I left, though, I wanted to check up on Emily one more time.  Just to make sure she was okay, of course.

The next day (it was a Tuesday, I believe,) she called her grandparents to meet her at a local diner.  This was a perfect opportunity for me to get some information, so I made sure to obtain a seat as far from them as possible, but still be in hearing distance.  Luckily, the diner was small, and I was able to sit at a darkened corner table all the way across the room from them.  As soon as Sam and Sarah saw their granddaughter, they were immediately concerned.

“Oh my God Emily!!  What happened?” exclaimed Sarah.  She’d always been the more vocal of the two, while Sam preferred to show to his care and concern through touch.

Emily reached up and touched the side of her head.  The band-aids that I had applied last night were still there.  There was substantially more bruising, though the swelling had gone down a bit, I was pleased to notice.  “I was attacked last night on my way home from work.”

At this, Sam leaned forward and covered her hand with is own.  “Are you okay?  Have you contacted the police?”

She nodded her head.  “I called them this morning when I finally woke up.  An officer came by, took my statement, suggested I visit the hospital just in case of a concussion or something, then left.”

“Wait, when you woke up?  Why didn’t you call them last night?” Sarah asked, confused.

“I was knocked unconscious when I was attacked last night, then woke in my bed this morning.”  Emily chuckled a bit at Sam’s and Sarah’s expressions, which clearly said ‘huh?’  “Let me tell you what I remember.

“I was walking home last night when some men pulled me into an alleyway.  I tried to fight them off, tried to scream, but there were three of them, and they easily overpowered me.  Then, all of the sudden, they were gone, and I was thrown against the wall.  My memory gets really hazy after that.  I remember hearing some fighting, and then silence.  Then someone was there, in front of me, checking me over.  I think that’s when I lost consciousness, because the next thing I remember was waking up in my own bed, cleaned and cared for.”

“So, someone saved you?” Sam asked.  At Emily’s nod, he inquired “Do you remember anything about them.”

Emily shrugged.  “A little bit.  Like I said, my memory is kinda hazy about what happened.  I remember soft hands, short brown hair, and dark eyes.  In the alleyway, they looked black, but for some reason I want to say that in the light, they’d be a deep chocolate brown.  I also want to say that whoever it was was a woman, but that doesn’t make any sense.  How could a woman no bigger than myself deal with three men like that?”

She actually remembered all of that?  She also knew what my true eye color was, despite not having seen it clearly.  I squirmed a little, fighting down new feelings of anxiety and giddiness.  I had hoped that she might have forgotten about me, for that would make my leaving that much easier.  Secretly, though, I was glad that she had remembered.  The continued conversation distracted me from my musings.

“I don’t know what to say about that.  It’s not unheard of, especially if she’d had training,” Sam commented.  I chuckled a bit, thinking of the 200 years of training I’d acquired.  “While I’m glad that she saved you, I have to admit, it concerns me a bit that she knew where you lived.  And I’m assuming you lock your door when you leave?”  At Emily’s nod, he continued.  “Then not only does she know your address, but she can get into your locked apartment.  Have you noticed anyone following you around, recently?”

Emily shook her head.  “No.  Why would anyone want be following me?  I’m not an important person or anything like that.”

You are too an important person, I vehemently protested in my mind. You’re gorgeous, and sweet, and caring, and...and my mind derailed for a second, as I realized I was arguing for why a creep would be trailing her.

“Did you give your description of her to the police?  She might be a stalker.”  Sarah asked, concerned.

I stiffened up a bit at this accusation.  I was in no way a stalker.  I was more of an… an observer.  It just so happens that I’ve followed her around her entire life, that’s all.  My irritation at being branded a stalker was relieved by Emily’s next words.

“Even if she has been stalking me, I truly believe she doesn’t mean me any harm.”

“But, how can you know that?”  Sarah asked.

A small smile played around Emily’s lips, and she looked down a little shyly, as she replied “Because when she was taking care of me, I felt loved, and protected.  I felt…precious, to her, I guess.  It’s because of that I know she doesn’t want to hurt me.”

I couldn’t help the pleased smile that spread across my face, and I know that if I’d been able to, I’d probably be blushing.  She could tell all that by that brief encounter, I thought.  I put my hand over my stomach, wondering why it felt like I had butterflies fluttering around in there.

“Well, honey, we’ve always trusted your feelings in the past, and they haven’t led you wrong.  But, still, promise us that you’ll take some extra precautions, just in case?”  Sam asked, patting her hand in entreaty.  No need to worry about that, Sam, I thought sadly.

Emily nodded her head in compliance.  At Sarah’s inquiry about whether the police had found the men who had attacked her, Emily shook her head and said “No.  They called me not long before I came to meet you.  They checked all through the alley where I was attacked, and besides some blood found in one of the dumpsters, they couldn’t find any other evidence.”

I was a little upset that they’d found even that much.  I tried to justify it by saying that I was short on time when I disposed of the bodies, but the truth was that I just wasn’t paying that close of attention.  My mind had been otherwise occupied.

“And you don’t remember anything else?”  Sarah asked.

“No, nothing.”  At this I turned away, focusing on my plate of untouched food.  Even though I knew it was for the best, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that she didn’t remember our kiss.  I later found out that if I had continued to watch her, I would have noticed that a slight blush had covered her cheeks after she had spoken.

Apparently convinced that they had asked all the pertinent questions and that Emily really was fine, the rest of the afternoon was spent chatting about family and work.  Knowing that I had gathered all of the information that I needed, and that it was time for me to rejoin my coven, I got up to go, leaving a sizable tip next to my untouched plate.  The only problem was that I had to pass by their table on my way out the door.  Putting my sunglasses on and a ball cap over my shoulder length hair, I hunched my shoulders, put my hands in my front pocket and headed out.  As I walked passed their table, I thought I heard a slight gasp come from Emily’s direction.  Stifling the urge to either turn towards the sound or to just start running, I continued my slow pace and left the diner.  Right after I left, however, I quick-stepped across the street and around the corner.  To passerby’s, I was merely a mirage.  Looking back to the diner, I saw Emily and her grandparents outside, looking around.  Despite my hidden appearance, she had known it was me.  I felt the butterfly’s again, and finally linked them to the absolute joy I felt at that knowledge.  I also knew, though, that it was even more imperative that I leave.  If she had recognized me at that brief glance, then knowing her, she would search all over town for me.  My coven would be the best place to hide while she forgot me.  In spite of the pain I felt at that thought, I was convinced that it was the best option, for the both of us.  I turned to leave, refusing to look back.

I never made it to the coven.  The circumstances that later occurred during that fateful day made me realize that my life was no longer my own, and that destiny had a different plan for me, and for Emily.

[End notes:

So, yeah, hope you liked it.  I'm hoping for even more character interaction in the chapters to come, and for new characters to make an appearance.

As always, please review.  Both positive and negative comments are appreciated.


Chapter 5

Title: Vampires and Werewolves, Part One

[Author's notes:

Sorry about the shortness of this chapter, but don't worry, the next part will be up soon.  I just had to get this part down before I forgot it.  It is impossibly hot in my house right now, however, so spending a long time at my computer right now is not very comfortable.

Anyway, enjoy.


Later that night, I stared morosely down into my glass of whatever the bartender had given me.  My inability to get drunk had never bothered me up until this point.  What I wouldn’t give for the chance to be incapacitated right now.  I now understood why humans liked to drink.  It was to forget the crapshoot that was their life.

Just as I was about to leave the city, a messenger from the coven had arrived with a letter for me.  Hoping that it was my elder, Cassius, summoning me for some duty, and therefore giving me an excuse to leave, I eagerly accepted it.  As fortune would have it, it was a job, but not one that I was happy to get.

Pups in your vicinity.  You are the new Watcher.


“Stupid werewolves,” I muttered.

The stories about the bone-deep revulsion between vampires and werewolves are one of the few facts that are true about our species.  In fact, those of us that I term anomalies, vampires, werewolves, fairies, succubae, etc…, tend to keep our distance from each other.  I’m not sure of the exact reason why.  I just know that as soon as someone is turned, an automatic contempt rises within us for other non-human creatures.  But there is no greater contempt for us vampires then werewolves.  Of all other non-human creatures, they are the only ones with a population to match our own, and that is where the problems arise.  There is simply not enough room for the both of us.

The wars between lycans and vampires have occurred since we came into existence.  There are no stories as to what started everything, but that has no significance to this tale anyways.  It is important to note that about 500 years ago, after a particularly bloody battle where nearly all of the werewolves were killed, a peace treaty (of which my elder Cassius was a part of) was made.  The contents of said treaty is, once again, not important, but from that time on we have, for the most part, been at peace.  I’ve actually met a few werewolves that I can honestly say don’t repulse me, but I still wouldn’t spend a comfortable evening with them.

A few years ago, word reached the coven that some young lycans were starting to cause trouble.  Descendants of old fighters that detested the treaty, they were raised on the old stories of war and glory.  Now, they were trying to incite others to join them.  After years of peace, though, most were unwilling, and sent them on their way.  At first, we just considered them an annoyance, and waved it off as the foolishness of youth.  After 8 years, however, their following has grown to be about 40-45 young werewolves.  For a full, experienced coven, this would still pose no problem, but a potential for the peace treaty to be broken had Cassius concerned, so Watchers were set up wherever the upstarts went to keep an eye on them.

As fate would have it, just as I was getting ready to leave, the leader of this little group, Jason, and his six “lieutenants” decided to pay a visit to a local club.  It was now my job, as the new Watcher, to obtain as much information as I could about them, as well as make sure they didn’t cause any trouble with the locals.  This outing was simply celebratory in nature, however, as they were congratulating themselves on some recent additions to the resistance.  Barring any catastrophe, they would drink and be merry, and then leave at first light, with me not far behind them.  It was the best scenario I could have hoped for.

Enter catastrophe.  A group of women walked into the club, and right in the middle of them stood Emily.  My jaw nearly unhinged at the sight, and I’m pretty sure some circuits in my brain sizzled out and died.  She was dressed for a night out on the town, though it was obvious she really wasn’t comfortable with the attire.  The high heels, short jean skirt, and low cut blouse were definitely not her style of choice, but I certainly wasn’t complaining.  I vaguely remembered Emily telling her grandparents that some friends of hers were going to take her out to try and help her forget about the attack.  Apparently, her style of dress was of their choosing, as I was pretty sure that Emily never owned those clothes before this night.  Their idea of getting her to forget her ordeal was very revealing, to say the least.

When I finally snapped myself out of my stupor, I noticed I wasn't the only one who had seen them come in.  The werewolf boys had zeroes in on them the moment they had entered, and I could practically see their adolscent hormones stand up and do a little cheer.  I couldn't help the groan that escaped me, and I just barely prevented myself from hitting my head on the table.  My night had just become impossibly complicated.

[End notes:

So, yeah, there it is.  Like I said, the next part should be up soon.


Chapter 6

Title: Vampires and Werewolves, Part Two

[Author's notes: Sorry about taking so long to update.  Life got in the way.  Anyway, hope you enjoy it.]

Now, I feel I should clarify something.  I keep calling these werewolves boys, because, to me, they are.  Due to the recent peace between our species, they haven’t had any experiences that would cause them to mature and be less idiotic.  They’ve been spoiled rotten, and are too dumb to even realize it.

However, in all actuality, they are in their mid to late 20’s.  And, like most fantasy creatures, and to my dismay, they are quite good looking.  So, for the women walking through the door, these guys that were sauntering towards them seemed too good to be true.  Just as I had seen the boys’ hormones stand up and take notice before, I watched as all of the women practically swooned.  Well, all except Emily, I was pleased to note.  She just sighed and rolled her eyes.  She had easily spotted how small these boys really were, and probably would’ve just ignored them if given the chance.  Unfortunately for her, and for me, she was outvoted by her peers, and the two groups quickly introduced themselves and split into pairs.  Since my luck was going so well today, it didn’t surprise me that Emily ended up getting stuck with the pack leader.  Once again, I just barely kept myself from beating my head against the table.

The next hour was practically torture for me.  I had to watch as he flirted and danced with my woman.  And to make matters worse, Emily seemed to be having a good time.  Oh, I could tell it was mostly an act, and she would probably have had a better time at home, curled up on the couch watching a movie and eating popcorn.  But the fact that she was trying to have fun with this creep was eating me up.  I continued to down glass after glass of alcohol, all in an attempt to prevent me from getting up, throwing him through the nearest wall, and tossing her over my shoulder like a caveman (or cavewoman in this case) to take her to my den.  It didn’t help to remind myself that I hadn’t actually made a claim on her, and was in reality trying to get as far away as possible.  At that time, I really, really wished I could get drunk.

I was so focused on Emily and her “date” that I never noticed how the others in the group were faring.  It completely slipped my notice until it was too late the other groups had slipped out into the night, leaving the leader and Emily the last two to make their exit.  When I finally noticed we were the only ones left, I took some comfort in the fact that the others wouldn’t do anything without their alpha.  After Emily and her werewolf date had left, I waited for a few seconds before making my own exit.  In all actuality, I should’ve waited longer in order to make sure I wasn’t discovered, but I just couldn’t leave Emily alone.

Outside, I quickly stepped into the shadows of the bar’s exterior.  The entirety of the group was standing on the opposite end of the gravel parking lot, with the girls gathered around Emily.  They seemed to be pleading with her about something, but unfortunately with the traffic nearby, I ended up being too far away to hear what was going on.  Eventually, though, Emily reluctantly nodded her head, to the screams of the rest of her girlfriends and to the smiles on the boys’ faces.  They all piled into cars and drove off, heading towards to the northern part of the town.

Great, I thought.  I’m going to have to follow them on foot now.  I silently cursed myself for never learning to drive, always preferring my own two feet to travel.  I was old fashioned like that.  Luckily, the werewolves had an easily traceable odor, so actually following the trail wouldn’t be that difficult, even with all of the other city smells.  I just hoped I wouldn’t be too late to prevent something, anything, from happening.

I followed their scent to a nearby park.  Ironically, this was near the place Emily often came when she was younger.  When I put my hands on one of the hoods, it was still warm, so I knew the group wasn’t too far ahead of me.  I continued to follow the trail as it led deeper into the forest.

Finally, I came to a clearing, and hiding in the shadows, took in what was going on.  The full moon was shining bright enough so I could see everything clearly.  I noticed the groups had segregated again.  The boys were on the side farthest from me, talking intently with each other.  The women were in the middle of the meadow, appreciating the night sky without the glare of city lights, content to ignore the men for the moment.  The vision of Emily, her face glowing in the moonlight as she tipped her face to the sky was entrancing, and unfortunately is the reason why I was unable to prevent the first leap of a turned werewolf into the group of girls.  I reacted as soon as I noticed, though, quick-stepping into the group and throwing the wolf as far away as I was capable, but the damage was already done.  One girl held a bloody arm to her chest, teeth marks clearly present on her pale arm.  Another girl was unconscious, knocked aside during the lunge and hitting her head on a rock.  All of the others were in various stages of shock or fear, huddling together for protection.  My attention was drawn back to the werewolves when the leader spoke.

“Bloodsucker, what are you doing here?  You're trespassing on our territory.”

So, that’s why we came so far into the forest, I thought.  Out loud I said “You forget, pup.  You have lands due to our good graces.  There is nothing in the treaty that prevents us from coming and going as we please.  Besides, you broke the rules by bringing these women here.  No humans are supposed to know about our existence.  I’m going to have to report this to your alphas and to my elder.  They will decide on your punishment.”

Jason barked out a short laugh.  “We do not acknowledge any treaty with you bloodsuckers, and this land is ours because I said it is so, not because you “gave” it to us.  In the olden days, a trespassing vampire was killed on the spot.  That was the law of the pack, and one we are more then happy to follow tonight.  Oh, and as for the woman, don’t worry.  They won’t remain human for long.  Say hello to the new Alpha females of our little pack.”

I noticed then that the all of the others had shifted to their wolf form, leaving only the leader as human, though I could tell from his stance that he was ready to change at any moment.  Crouching down a little, I growled out a reply.  “You’ll have to get through me first, boy.”  The wolves were more than happy to comply, as, to the startled screams of the women, they rushed as one towards us.

Normally, seven full-blown werewolves would be more than enough to tear me limb from limb.  Add to that the fact that if I killed one of them, the treaty between our people would be null and void, and that was something I wanted to avoid at all costs.  However, they were used to trying to overpower their opponent, and had never fought someone with my speed and finesse.  I, on the other hand, had 200 years of fighting skills at my disposal.  I also had an almost uncontrollable rage at the thought of what they were planning to do.  In the end, it seemed like child’s play to me.

The first one to leap at me was taken down with a quick jab to his unprotected throat.  He landed with a crash, gasping for air.  As long as he remained in his werewolf form, his airway would heal just fine, but it would take a while, and since I intended to end this fight within the next few minutes, he was no longer a worry.  As soon as he crashed to the ground, I was already moving to the next wolf.  Before this one even had a chance to leap, I was at his side and with a powerful punch, sent him flying across the meadow, only stopping when he crashed against a tree.  Amazingly, the tree was able to withstand the impact, and another wolf slumped to the ground, out for the count.  Sensing movement behind me, I quickly dropped to the ground and rolled away just as a huge paw swiped through the air where my head once was.  I regained my feet, only to jump away as another opponent took a swipe.  I continued to dodge attacks from these two, waiting for an opportunity to strike.  It didn’t take long, as they got tangled together when they both leapt at me at the same time.  Stepping in, I grabbed the sides of their heads and smashed their skulls together, causing both of them to slip into unconsciousness at my feet.  Four down, three to go.

The last three, one of which was Jason, warily backed off and regrouped.  They had easily figured out that fighting me one on one was not an option, but they would most likely just get in each other’s way if they fought as a group.  Their best bet would be to wait and force me to attack them, or else face the consequences of the others regaining use of their facilities.  When the two remaining lieutenants rushed at me, I decided that these pups were truly idiotic, and just possibly deserved to die so that they couldn’t reproduce and pass on their genetic code.  It wasn’t until I saw the leader jump towards the group of girls that I deduced the true purpose of the attack; diversion so that the leader could fulfill the original purpose of the outing, which was to change the girls into their werewolf brides.

To this day I am still unsure as to how I defeated the two I was fighting without killing them, and still be able to get between the leader and his leap at Emily, who was bravely standing between the huddled group of girls and their attacker.   One moment I was fighting the two wolves, and the next I was swatting Jason away as if he were a fly.  Unfortunately by then, all reason had left me, and all thoughts of treaties and promises disappeared deep into my rage-empowered mind.  All I could think about was that this pup had dared to attack my Emily.  All of the frustrations, jealousies, and furies of the night rushed through and consumed me.  Maybe if I’d had more practice with controlling my emotions, things would’ve turned out differently.  Maybe not, I don’t really know.

I evaded two of his clumsy swipes and one biting lunge at my figure before I plunged my hidden dagger deep into his heart.  A look of surprise crossed his wolf face before he slumped to the ground, my dagger still is his chest.  I stared incomprehensibly down at his form for some time, only coming back to myself when Emily approached and put her hand on my arm.  Even though my first instinct was that something else was attacking me, somehow my body knew her touch, and the rage that had so entirely consumed me disappeared like the passing wind.  It was then that I realized what had transpired, and that I had committed the most atrocious of acts.  The treaty between our species was broken, and a war was most likely unavoidable.  Emily must have sensed my sudden unease because she cupped my face, much like she had done the night before, and turning my face to hers, asked with concern “What’s wrong?”

Looking into her caring blue eyes, I wanted to lay everything before her.  However, my need to protect her from the dangers to come had me taking a different track.  Putting my hands on her shoulders, I said “I need you to do something for me, Emily.”

Showing no surprise at my use of her name, she quickly replied “What is it?”

“I need you to take the rest of the girls out of here.  Somehow convince them that what happened tonight wasn’t real.  Get them drunk and tell them strange men attacked you, or something.  I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to forget what they’ve seen tonight.  But none of you can tell anyone what happened here.  Do you understand?”

She nodded, and I’m sure she approved of the idea of forgetting the night altogether.  “What about Linda?  She needs to be taken to a hospital, and they’ll ask me questions that I won’t be able to answer” she asked, pointing to the girl with the bloody arm.

“Linda comes with me.”

“What?  Why?”

“Emily, she was bitten.  I’m sure you’ve seen enough fantasy shows to know what happens next.  She can’t remain with humans.”

Tears slowly filled her eyes as what I was saying filtered through her mind.  Unable to handle the sight of her crying, I gathered her to me and hugged her as tightly as I dared, hoping to transfer some of my strength into her.  Losing your friend to death or hardship is one thing.  Losing your friend to the unknown, and not even being able to share your sadness with someone would be unbearable.  I was giving Emily quite the task, and could only hope she was strong enough to endure.

Eventually, she pulled back and wiped the tears off her face with her sleeves.  When she looked at me again, the moon sparkled off her tear-stained eyes like diamonds, and I could no sooner have stopped my lips from lowering to hers than I could have stopped the dagger that I had plunged into the wolf’s chest.  This kiss was even sweeter than the last, since both of us were active participants this time.  I would’ve been more than happy to continue but my internal senses were telling me that the other wolves would be regaining their facilities soon, and I wanted Emily and myself long gone by them.

Reluctantly pulling away, I deposited one last kiss on her forehead and said “We need to go.”  I was about to turn away when her hand grabbed mine desperately.  When I turned to face her again, she asked “Are you coming back?”

Unable to resist, I gathered her to me once again and whispered in her ear “Wild wolves couldn’t keep me away.”

Chuckling a little at my jest, she pulled away and let me go this time.  I quickly scooped Linda up in my arms, the other girls too catatonic to realize what was going on.  I looked towards Emily one last time and said “I’ll be back as soon as I can.  I promise” before running out of the clearing.

Her reply of "You'd better.  I need my Dark Angel to continue protecting me" was lost to the wind.


[End notes:

Once again, sorry for the wait on this one.  I did want to touch on a couple of things.

I decided in this chapter that the leader of the rebels needed a name, especially since his death will end up playing a very important part in the story to come.  I went back and added his name in the last chapter, so if you didn't re-read that before reading this one and were confused as to where this Jason came from, that's why.

Also, I would like feedback on my fight scenes.  I've never written one before and was wondering if I made it too easy for my main character.  I debated with even putting any of the fighting in between Maurice and the other wolves, since the climax of the chapter is her last fight with Jason.  Should I go back and change it, or leave it as it is?

Lastly, I've decided to make this story the first in a series that I'm thinking of writing.  Some of the stories will be tied to this one, some will be completely separate.  I left the addition of stories open so that others can post their stories in this series if they want to.  The only requirements are that they are fantasy based, be original stories (I would prefer not to have characters based off of well-known ones that someone else created, though I am open to debate on this issue) and lesbian themed, of course.  I would also like to beta-read anything that people want to post before I okay it.  I'm kinda anal like that.

So, yeah.  There you have it.  I would appreciate any comments, and hopefully will know what's going to happen in the next chapter soon.


Chapter 7

Title: The Official Introduction

[Author's notes: Sorry about the wait.  I haven't had a lot of time to write lately.  But, here it is.  Hope you enjoy it.]

Linda thankfully remained unconscious for most of the trip.  The few times she woke up we talked about what would happen next.  I made her promise that she would never mention that her friends were in the clearing with her.  If the alphas knew there were others that knew what had happened, they would hunt them down.  Keeping us unnatural beings a secret is the highest priority among all species.  I also made her promise not to tell the others about the death of one of their own.  Eventually they would figure it out, as things like this have a way of getting out, no matter how much you try to hide it.  I just wanted as much time as I could before that happened.  At the end of our journey, I only hoped Linda was coherent enough to remember all of her promises.  Our lives depended on it.

After a day of traveling, I finally reached the edge of a friendly pack’s territory.  Their alpha’s great-grandfather was the one that had signed the treaty with my elder.  They were fiercely loyal to all that it entailed, and Linda would be well looked after here.  Unfortunately, I could not cross into their territory without permission, so I had to leave her for one of the pack to find.  I debated about whether or not I should stay and give an my own account of what happened, but in the end decided it would be best if I just left.  I figured the less the others could connect me to Linda for right now, the better.  It would buy us a little more time before everything went to hell.

Now, I know at this time that I should’ve returned to my coven and told Cassius everything that had happened.  He had always been a fair elder, and I’m sure he would’ve found a way to straighten everything out without too much hassle.  However, I believed that in order to do so, he would have had to lock me up so I could stand trial for my actions.  The outcome of that trial would most likely result in my complete death, which would leave Emily all alone, an idea that I could not stand.  Besides, I had already promised Emily that I would return.  I found that in the recent decades, keeping my promises had become very important to me.

By the time I returned to the city, it was in the middle of the day, and I figured Emily would be at work.  I debated whether I should go there to meet her, but in the end decided that with all we had to talk about, privacy would be better.  Besides, since I was new with this entire love and emotion thing, I didn’t think that since I had finally accepted our relationship that I would be able to control myself that well around her anymore.  My desire to express everything to her would be immeasurable.  So, I waited…very impatiently.

Finally, as the sun was setting, I felt her drawing near.  I started to pace as nervous energy flowed up and down my body.  I really had no idea what I was going to do or say.  I tried to calm myself by standing by the window and watching the sun go down.  I thought I was successful until I noticed my foot was tapping instead.  Finally, heaving a large sigh, I folded my arms and sat on the windowsill, accepting that whatever was soon to transpire, my actual control over it was very limited.

The key rattled in the lock before I heard the door open and close.  She set her purse down on the hallway table, then kicked her shoes off by the door before walking further into the apartment.  Emily had always had this weird thing about being barefoot while inside, and realizing how cute I found this, I couldn’t help but smile.  She was taking her earrings out as she walked around the corner, and upon seeing me, she froze.  Fearing that maybe in the day and a half I was gone she had changed her mind, I uneasily stood started nervously rubbing the back of my neck, trying to think of something to say to excuse myself.  Her first words to me eased my fears.

“You came back.”

Heaving a relieved sigh and smiling a little, I took a step towards her “I promised you I would.”

She in turn took a step towards me.  “We have a lot to talk about.”

Thanking the fact that her apartment was small, my next step took me within arms reach of her “Yes, we do.”

Her step brought us almost toe-to-toe, and I realized that she was slightly shorter than I was, as I had to tip my head slightly to look into her eyes.  “Before anything else, I have one question to ask.”

Wanting nothing more than to take her into my arms, I slowly nodded my head.  “Okay.”

Looking back at me, she tilted her head a little, and with a small smile asked “What’s your name?”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at this.  With all that had transpired over the past several days, we had never been formally introduced.  I couldn’t help but find this funny.  Taking a small step back, I dipped into a bow and took her hand.  Bringing it to my mouth, I said “I apologize, my lady, for my rudeness.  My name is Maurice,” before laying a small kiss on the back of her hand.  Straightening up, I refused to let go of her hand, drawing her even closer to me.

Blushing slightly, she replied “Well, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Maurice.  My name is Emily.”  I found it endearing that, even though she knew I knew her name, she still felt the need to formally introduce ourselves.

“Trust me when I say, the pleasure is all mine.”  Not being able to stop myself any longer, I drew her the rest of the way to me, and closed my arms tightly around her.  I couldn’t stop the shiver that coursed up and down my body as her arms slipped up my back, to hold me just as tightly.  Without the fear or possibility of danger nearby, this embrace was the most peaceful and sweetest we had had so far.

We simply held each other for a few minutes, and I truly believe I would’ve continued holding her if she hadn’t pulled back.

“Can we sit down?  I’ve been on my feet all day, and would like to rest a bit.”

Cursing myself for not noticing her discomfort before, I immediately led her over to the couch and helped her sit down.  She gave me somewhat of an odd look as I held her elbow until she was fully settled.  Not knowing how to interpret the look, I simply sat next to her, and then not knowing what to do with my hands, I started to nervously rub them up and down my legs.  Emily solved my dilemma by calmly taking my hand in hers, and my anxiety instantly died down.

Looking down at our entwined hands, she suddenly said “You’re a vampire.”

This was a statement more than I question, but I felt that it still required a response.  Nodding my head, I replied “Yes, I am.”

“And those guys the other night, they were werewolves.”

“Yes, they were.”

“And Linda, she’s going to become a werewolf as well.”

“Most likely, yes.”

Looking up hopefully, she replied “You mean, there might be a chance that she won’t become a werewolf?  Is there a chance that she can come home?”

Hating to dispel her hope, I shook my head.  “I’m sorry, but no.  What I meant by ‘most likely, yes,’ is that if she survives her first change, then she’ll definitely become one.”

Looking at me fearfully, hoping that my words didn’t mean what they meant, she asked “If she survives?”

“I’m sorry.  The rate of survival for humans to become werewolves is about 30%.  Their bodies just can’t take the stress of the first transformation.  Only about 10% of the women bitten actually survive.  Most packs are made up of purebloods, those born as werewolves.”

A confused look crossed her face and she contemplated my words.  “Wait, those boys wanted to change us into their mates.  At those odds, none of us would’ve survived our first change.”

“Apparently, it was a risk they were willing to take.”

She dropped her head back down, mulling over my words.  I wish I could give her better news about her friend, but there really wasn’t much I could tell her.  We had always wondered why the odds were so low, but only a few outcast vampires had tried to study the phenomenon.  Needless to say, all of them were killed before their experiments were finished.

Obviously having all of her questions about that subject answered, she moved onto a new topic.  “How old are you?”

I started to fidget a bit, as I knew these questions would be getting more personal, and I didn’t know how she would react to the answers.  “It has been 212 years since I was turned into a vampire.”

“And how long have you been following my family.”

This was the question that I dreaded, because I knew the answer definitely fit into the creepy category.  “I have been watching and protecting your family for the past 40 years.”  Knowing she would want to know the story, I launched into the telling of Seth and his death and my subsequent promise to him.  I continued on with how I met her grandparents, and watched her mom and uncle grow up.  I amused her with some of the problems her mom got into, but could tell she wasn’t too surprised by her antics.  She knew her mom too well.  As I reached the point in the story where she was born, I couldn’t look into her eyes.  I told her how I watched her grow up, how I followed her out to the woods where she played with the animals, how much it worried me when she stopped going.  I finished the story with the night in the alley, and waited for a response.  As always, Emily continued to surprise me.

“Well, that certainly makes things easier.  You already know everything about me, so trying to hide my bad habits isn’t necessary.  Thank God as I’m horrible at it anyway.”

Looking up, I was surprised to see the look of caring on her face.  She knew I expected her to act troubled, and she was doing her best to ease my fears.  Even though she seemed to be calm, though, I could tell her emotions were chaotic.  She was trying her best to hide it, like she usually did, trying to make everything okay until she can deal with stuff in private.  Disengaging one of my hands, I reached up to cup her face, making sure our eyes were locked so she could see my sincerity.  “I want you to know you don’t have to hide from me.  I do know everything about you, so I know when you’re trying to contain your emotions.  Please, just let go.  I won’t hurt you.  I promise.”

Now it was her turn to look surprised, and at this she tried to pull away, but I wouldn’t let her go.  I was trying to will her to let go, but she was resisting.  Finally, I decided that now wasn’t the time, that more trust needed to be built before she would be herself.  Giving one last smile, I drew her head down to me and placed a kiss on her forehead.  As I did so, I heard her stomach growl, and a laugh escaped both of us, easing the tension.

“Obviously it’s time for me to eat, so I’m going to go make myself something.  Can I get you anything to eat?”  She asked as she rose to go to the kitchen.  Realizing what she had just asked, she paused and blushed.  “Ummm….”

I simply smiled and also rose to my feet.  “No need to worry about me.  My feeding necessities are very minimal, but thank you for the offer.”

Still blushing a bit, she nodded her head and headed back towards the kitchen.  Following afte her, I couldn't help but think "so far so good.  I wonder how long it will last?"  I could only hope that it would last forever.


[End notes:

So, there you have it.  Don't worry, the next couple of chapters will have more character interaction.  Hopefully real life will actually let me write it.

As always, please read and review.


Back to chapter list