Maeve walked through the town. This was her last task. She created an army and made peace with her family and now it was time to face Hunter.
Meanwhile, at Alexander’s house, Hunter and Alex were planning. They had been planning for a while. Hunter tried to make Alex see reason. “If you mother is present in there somewhere, you will kill her.”
“No, I will save her. I will set her soul free.”
“How do you know? Do you know what he did to that stake? It’s a trick! What if you stake her and she turns to dust? Listen to reason! He claims to love her! What if he is breaking the vampire’s control over her? Do you ever think? What if he wants to darken her soul?”
Alexander was angry. He needed to choose and doing nothing was not an option. “What do you suggest? We have to do something?”
Hunter was pacing in Alex’s living room as Celeste walked in. She watched both of them. She knew everything and was trying to figure out what to tell them. However, Celeste only knew what Maeve knew and nothing more. As she walked in, she sat on the couch as she contemplated what to do. Alexander came over and took her hand. “I’m so relieved that you were not hurt.”
“She was kind. I know you have a lot of things to ponder.” She looks up at him. “Your mother loved you.” She knew Maeve’s conscience was still intact. “Hunter I know you are questioning your actions. I can see the love in your eyes. I know if you had to do it again you would do things different.”
“How do you know what I did? What we did?” He was confused and angered by her. She had the gall to question him and his choices.
“I know, I wasn’t there but I can see it all now. She gave me her memories. Please believe me when I tell you this woman is Maeve. She is the woman you fell in love with, the woman that bore you a son and the same woman that was hurt by your rejection.”
He had feared this, all his life. All his life he justified his actions by saying this his wife was dead. He turned pale. “No she died. Maybe her soul is trapped, but that’s it. We will stake her with a normal wooden stake. One we make and that isn’t tampered with.”
“How do you know it won’t hurt her?”
“I don’t.” He kept pacing.
Celeste walked up to him. “Please, you know she was a fairy. You know she had magic. How is it you still think her weak? She told you she was still Maeve Why didn’t you believe it?”
Hunter was more angry now. He didn’t like being questioned. “Control your wife Alex!” He looked at Celeste with his fist clenched as he held them by his side. “You know nothing!”
Alexander knew better than to question his wife. Celeste looked at Alex waiting for his response.
He got up and put his hand up. “Sorry father you’re on your own here.”
She turned back to Hunter. “She loved you. You need to go to her before it’s too late.”
Hunter didn’t like being spoken to like this. His face was red as he still held his fists by his side. Rather than do something he would regret, he stormed out of the house.
He walked fast as he calmed himself his pace slowed.
Maeve saw him. This was the first time she came face to face with him. Maeve had been walking along the bay. She stopped as he turned the corner. I’m not ready for this she said it to herself. As soon as she saw him she knew.
“I was wondering when you would come find me.”
Maeve looked up, she had no words for him. She marveled at how old he had become. She thought of how different their life would have been had Marius not come to her that night. Maeve was lost in thought for a moment. She pictured herself as an old woman walking hand in hand with Hunter.
“No words!” He walked over to her. “What am I supposed to do? Fight you?”
These words hurt Maeve. “You want to fight me?” She stood gazing up at him she knew her feelings for him never faded. His words hurt her though just as they did many years ago. She didn’t understand how he could still hurt her.
“Isn’t that why you’re here? To turn everyone against me! What’s your plan? Take over the town? No that’s too little for you. You don’t care about anyone. What the world? Are you going to turn everyone here into whatever you are?”
His words sliced at her heart. She turned from him and sat on the bench. Maeve looked at the water for looking at him was just too painful. She couldn’t bare to look at him.
Hunter thought of what Celeste said. He wondered it if were true. If it were then, “Maeve” he called to her almost questioning whether it was her or not. “It’s true then isn’t it. You kept your conscience, your soul.”
He had not seen her in years but as she sat on the bench staring off at the bay, Hunter could see the pain on her face. He wouldn’t have believed it had he not seen it for himself. Celeste was right. He became overcome with regret. He couldn’t believe how much he had hurt her. Reality hit him. If she was hurting now, then she was hurting when he turned his back on her. She must have been hurting all this time. Hunter watched as tears streamed down her face. They were dark red tears, and they seemed darker against her pale complexion.
He put his hands over his face and fell to the ground crying. He covered this mouth to muffle his cries.
Maeve looked over as her face was now red from her tears. She watched as he fell. His guilt was over taking him. She could hear his gulps as he cried trying to keep breathing as he cried “Maeve!” He called to her.
She sat on the bench wanting to run to him but fear was paralyzing her.
He looked up and saw her. “Maeve please.” He was now begging her for forgiveness.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
She looked over as he was now kneeling in front of her holding her legs. She put her hands on his face. “Hunter.”
He pulled her close.
Maeve shook in fear. She wanted him to love her. She wanted him to hold her but she was scared that he would attack her. “Please, please don’t hurt me.”
“Oh Maeve, I’m so sorry.” He stood up and sat down next to her. “I thought you were dead. I mean your soul. I thought they replaced you. I lost either way. I don’t want to hurt you. That is the furthest thing from my mind.”
Maeve took his hand. “I was hurt but you never lost me. I’ve always loved you and I have always been here. I know you thought you were doing the right thing that night.”
He squeezed her hand. “You look so young. All the color is gone from your face.” He took his handkerchief and wiped the tears from her face and then leaned in and kissed her.
She had longed for him to come back to her, to love her. She moved hand to his side and moaned as he kissed her. “Hunter.” He pulled her close as she kissed her. “Come home with me. We can start over. We can fix this.”
She smiled, “I would love to have my family back.”
He stood and put his hand out to her as she took it. “I won’t let them hurt you., I have hurt you more than anyone and I will have to live with that. I will die before I see you hurt again. I never want to see you hurt again.”
She smiles, “I missed you so much. The darkness does things to you. It makes you forget and it’s so painful.”
He takes her hand as they walk to his house. Maeve looked at him as they walked. “I’ve been watching you know. Your life, Alex’s life. I watched him grow and Matthew. I saw it all.”
He frowned. “Every time I say him, all I could see was you. I know I was an awful parent. I didn’t know how to do it without you.”
She stopped walking and turned to him. “Hunter, what were you supposed to do. I would have stayed. I would have done everything I could for you.”
“I know now.” he smiles as he stood there looking at her. He opened the door and walked inside.
Maeve stood on the porch and Hunter wondered why she didn’t come in. “Maeve?”
She laughed, “It’s well you have to invite me in. The cabin is different that was our own. This is your home.”
“Well Maeve, come in because this is not longer my home but ours.”
She stepped inside as the invisible barrier came down. Hunter pulled her close and kissed her. Maeve kissed him back. “But I’m old now. I haven’t done this since you.”
Maeve kissed his neck. “I don’t care how old you are, I’m just as old as you. I love you. Let me show you.”
Hunter’s face flushed as he held her. “I would carry you upstairs as I did on our wedding night but I’m old and frail now.”
Mave touched his face. “Hunter, you still love me. That’s all I need.”
Hunter leads Maeve to his room. As soon as she walked in she saw her picture on the night stand. She picked up and look at him. “Its our wedding photo?”
“It is. I look at it each night before I go to bed. I thought you were dead.”
“I maybe cold. I might be pale and my heart may not beat like it used but I am very much alive. You of all people knew I had magic. I could keep my memories, my soul I guess.”
“I know. Now I know. I love you.” He pulls her to the bed and wraps his arms around her waist. She laughs as they lay on the bed. Maeve wrapped her legs around his as they kiss.
Celeste and Alexander were still at home. “We have to check on him.” She said.
“I know. We can go to his house and see if he is there.”
As they walked to the house, Alex notices that the door is open. He turned the handle and motioned for Celeste to keep back and stay quiet. He stepped in and looked around. Everything seemed in place. Celeste stood behind him watching. She looked all over the downstairs and the basement. He walked back into the living room, “I don’t know where he is or why the door was open. He never does that.”
Then he heard some muffled sounds coming from upstairs. He looked at Celeste. “Stay here.” He walked up the stairs listening as he wondering what it was. As he come to his father’s room he saw that the door was ajar. He knew the noises were coming from inside the room but he never expected to see what he was about to see. He pushed the door open trying not to make a sound. As the door opened he gasped. He was grateful that they were both under the covers. He had the courage to speak up, “So I guess this means you’re not going to kill each other?”
Maeve and hunter jumped up as they recognized Alexander’s voice. Hunter pulled the blanket over Maeve. “Alex can you give us a moment.” His face was as red as Alex’s.
Alex shut the door and walked downstairs. Celeste noticed something was wrong. “What happened?” She walked over to him, as Alex poured a shot of rum.
He drank it fast and then poured another shot. He looked at Celeste. “My parents.”
“Yes, what about them” She looked concerned.
“Their upstairs,” He turned and looked at Celeste. “In bed.”
Celeste smiled, “Awe they still love each other.”
Alexander was disgusted, “Oh just stop! He’s like 80 and she looks like she’s 30. A few hours ago he was talking about killing her.”
“He loves her. She loves him. Why does anything else matter? Be happy for them. They found each other after being apart for years. They forgave each other. You know both of them were hurt. Can’t you be happy for them?”
“I can be happy for them but I don’t want to see it.” He sighed, “And now I don’t know what to do. How do we help her? How do we free her? If they are just uniting now, how can I take that from them?
Maeve looked up, Hunter was blushing. “Are you embarrassed by me?”
He looked at her and started to laugh “No, well I’m embarrassed but not of you.” He smiled and stroked her hair.
He kissed her neck, “I just don’t to leave. What if this here is all we have?”
She tried to hold her tears back as each time she cried her tears were of blood. “Hunter, please don’t speak like that.” She sat up and held him. “You and I have been through hell. We can make it through this. We need to. I don’t want to lose you again.”
“Maeve, you will never lose me. I made awful choices, I hurt you, And I will have to live with that all my life. I will fight now, I will fight for you and our family.”
She smiles and touches his face. “I need all the help I can get I love you so much.”
He smiles, “I love you too.”
Maeve and Hunter come downstairs to where Celeste and Alex were waiting for them.
Maeve felt uncomfortable. She knew they were doing upstairs If she could blush she would have but Hunter was blushing enough for both of them.
“So what do we do now?” Alex asked.
Maeve wasn’t sure what to do. “I still have a master, I don’t know how to break that connection.” She had She knew that was because of Hunter. The more light she had she loved Jonathan and the more she loved Hunter. Was she two different people? One of light and one of darkness. Could she fight this? She had to fight!
“And the shadow king? What about him?”
“I don’t know. He has a plan but I don’t know all of it. Some how he wants me to become darker. To be more powerful but I don’t know how he will accomplish this.
“The stake he must have cursed it. I told you that was a bad idea!”
“Yes, but a regular stake would kill her.”
“Maybe Libby would know more. We could ask. Maybe she would know how to break the connection.” Celeste knew Justin had been talking to Libby and Cari.
Maeve looked at her in awe, “Really?” She couldn’t believe it.”I could be free?” She sat on the couch in a daze as she thought of her freedom.
Hunter sat next to her and took her hand. “We will find a way.”
Maeve put her head on Hunter’s shoulder. “But, it could be dangerous. Just kill me and this nightmare will be over.”
Celeste looked at her in shock. “You’re giving up? But why? All the memories I have from you show me that you are strong?” She didn’t understand. They were all here to help her now.
“I am strong, but I have caused all of you so much pain.”
“I was the one who caused you pain. If not for me you could have been happy. We could have done this years ago. You and I fighting together for our family.” Hunter looked at her with love in his eyes.
“But how do we do that? How will we know what to do?”
“I don’t know a lot. Some basics but fairy law. I know little of vampire law. He kept me away from that. Now the shadow realm is different.”
“Then Libby could help us. She could research and Maeve you know magic. I’m sure together we could figure something out.” Celeste knew much of what Maeve knew. So she knew they could fight. She knew fairy law now and the laws of the shadow realm. “I’m sure we could do it.”
Maeve was overcome with emotion thinking she could have her life back. “I feel like this is a dream.” She looked at all of them. “I could get my life back.”
“Justin asked Libby for help when we came back. Maybe she found something.”
“Justin did that?” She knew he was bright but she was moved, not only by his hug but she knew now he was fighting for her too.
“Yes ever since we came back, he’s been searching for answers.” Celeste knew this information would be important to Maeve.
“He’s so bright.” Maeve smiled.
“Then let’s go. We can plan here. Get them. Libby, Cari, Justin.” She was about to say Luke but then he looked at Maeve.
“Free them. All of them.” Alex look at her trying to assert his authority,
Maeve didn’t know what to say. I could free Luke but the others were better where they were now. Being a part of Jonathan’s army gave them purpose.
“I can’t let them all go. I don’t control them. It’s not like what my master did. Maxwell and most were homeless before I came.
“I’m sorry but it’s the truth. Most of them were homeless before I turned them and many of those were veterans. They were sick and dying left out in the cold. No one was there for them. The town turned on them like they turned on me.”
“They have purpose now. No longer are they aren’t hungry or freezing. They now have something they can be proud of. I can’t take that away from them.”
“I know. I guess we never realized how bad it was for then.” Alexander felt ashamed. He knew how the town had treated these men and he did nothing to help them.” He sighed, “Ok but Luke. You can release him?”
“I can.” She was thinking of going to Luke. “He would be lost in the woods. I need to tell him.”
“I will go with you. I just got you back. I am not letting you out of my sight.” Alex replied.
“We can meet back here then. I can get Cari, Justin and Libby. We can all meet back here.” Celeste stood and took her coat.
Hunter stood up. He was not about to let her go by herself. “I’m coming with you.” He looked at Maeve . He was afraid the Shadow King or her master would come to her. “I need to protect you.” There was something very humorous about this. An eighty year old man vowing to protect his vampire bride from the forces of evil.
Jonathan and Maxwell were having a difficult time watching Maeve gain of light.
Jonathan was watching from the shadows as all these events unfolded. The shadow realm is unusual. Its also a mirror image of the real world. Everything is dark and lifeless there. Everything was in black and white. Flowers didn’t grow there. They died. It was a desolate place. Shadows in the real world acted as a mirror of doorway to the Shadow Realm. This was a window into the real world.
Jonathan watched Maeve from such a window. He knew Maeve had more light now in her because of Hunter. He knew once Hunter begged her forgiveness she would grant it to him. Even though it pained him it was still part of his plan. He needed to break the connection she had to her master. He also needed her to chose him when the time came. He wanted her to choose him. He needed that.
Jonathan knew only Alex could break this connection. He told Alex what to do and now he needed to ensure that Alex did just that.
As Jonathan watched Maeve and Hunter he would scream out in pain. All the residents of the Shadow Realm trembled in fear as they heard his cries. Some of them knew of his plan but not all of it. They couldn’t understand why he put Maeve their mistress into such a difficult position.
Jonathan walked out of his room as some of his souls of guards were standing at attention outside. They could see how angry he was. Most in the realm heard his screams and most were smart enough to avoid his gaze. However one poor soul looked right at him.
Jonathan was shaking as he tried to get the images of Maeve and Hunter out of his mind. How she touched him, how he kissed her and how he professed his love to her. It was all too much for him to bare.
He walked over to him and smacked him. He imaged he was hitting Hunter. “You fool,” He hit him again, “You think she loves you.” He kicked the man as she fell over. “She loves me. You idiot!” He continues to kick the man as he lay on the floor. “It’s all part of my plan.” He emphasized the word “my”. It was his plan, but he hated watching Hunter touch Meave. As the man lay on the floor all he could see was Hunter. The frail old man laid on the floor bleeding and crying. Those who witnessed this were terrified. They could see their Lord was unraveling before their eyes. Meave was the one who kept him calm. She helped him think and have a clear head. Many of his subjects fear this plan of his would be disastrous but they would never tell him this.
Maxwell was loyal to Maeve, not controlled by her but loyal to her. Jonathan knew this. As the man still seeing him as Hunter, he saw Maxwell approaching. “What do you want?” He said as he was still upset seeing Maeve with Hunter.
Maxwell could see how upset he was. “My Lord, you know my loyalties are to your Queen. I fear the light she is received. Allow we to help her. What can I do?”
Jonathan kicked the man who laid motionless on the ground as the man’s blood sprayed up on Jonathan. He wiped his face and looked at Maxwell. “This is all part of my plan. This is a difficult part but I need her to have this light. She will always have light. She needs it. I know you don’t understand. Trust me. I have her best interest at heart.”
“Yes my Lord but it is hard to watch.” He bowed.
Jonathan snickered, “Oh, I’m sorry you think this is hard to watch. Poor little solder.” Jonathan scoffed thinking Maxwell had the gall to say it was hard to watch. Maeve was his wife not Maxwell’s.
“I apologize I know this is for more difficult for you then me. I am offering my services to you.”
“I know you are loyal to Maeve. One day she will be powerful and dark.”
Maxwell did not understand. He wasn’t sure how he would accomplish this. He feared his mistress’s safety and her sanity.
Jonathan could see how troubled Maxwell was for he too cared for Maeve. “I understand. You must have faith in her. However, we will visit her. You will see as I will that our Maeve is still there.
As Maeve made her way to the barn to get Luke, the air around her turn cold. She knew Jonathan was nearby. She felt like her heart, her mind, and her soul were tearing in two.
There was this light this hope she could feel. It was warm. It represented her love for her family, for Hunter and Justin and Alex. Love for Matthew and his entire family. Even love for Celeste. She had power in the light. Her fairy magic and the magic of love made her strong.
But there was another side to Maeve. This said was dark and cold but there was still a little glimmer of light. Just enough so she could love Jonathan. He gave her this light, but it wasn’t enough to counter the darkness. This Maeve was cruel. She tortured many people over the years. Her subjects loved her for they knew she would stop at nothing to protect them. Maeve was also calm and reasonable despite her madness. She could keep their king, Jonathan, in check. They balanced each other out.
Maeve once pulled the fingernails off a man who dared to question Jonathan. Each day she would feast on this blood and remove another part of his body from him. Jonathan was aroused each time he watched Maeve torture. He could come to her after almost after every victim and kiss her. He would pull her close despite any blood that was on her. He loved how wild and untamed she looked. Most of the times he took her to bed afterwards.
Now as Maeve stood in the woods feeling the cold, she could also feel the pull from both sides of her conscience.
Jonathan watched her as the air turned cold.
“Maeve, what’s going on? It’s freezing.” Hunter would ask.
Just then Jonathan moved his hand over the area and froze everything in time. The entire town was frozen from the woods to the center of town.
Jonathan and Maxwell then emerged from the shadows and walked over to where Maeve stood. Maeve stood frozen just as Hunter stood next to her frozen.
Jonathan touched her cheek, pulling her into his time. “Hello my dear.”
Her eyes widen in fear. Fear that Jonathan would be angry with her. Just standing in such darkness. This made her own darkness emerge “Jonathan.” She touched his face as the darkness ran through her veins. She held onto him as the pain ran through her body. For darkness was much for physical then some realize. It is emotional and physical pain. The anxiety and the depression she felt when Hunter abandoned her and took her son from her was far to real and physical to ignore. Her eyes darkened as the darkness took its hold over her.
Maxwell stood in the back waiting.
“Jonathan. You’re here.” She smiled. Then she felt bad standing next to Hunter. She looked over at Hunter and then back to Jonathan. “I messed everything up.”
“No my love, you didn’t. I have to admit it was hard to watch you and Hunter, but I know it was for the greater good. This is all part of my plan.”
“I do. It’s just the old me came back. She is weak.”
‘No my dear, she is not. She is a part of you and you are not weak. Have faith in yourself.”
“How is all of this part of your plan? Please tell me your plan.”
“It is better you don’t know. Don’t you trust me?” He asked.
“I trust you, but you don’t seem to give me the same trust.” She looked at him with determination. Maeve didn’t want to mess things up. She wanted to know.
He laughs, “Oh course I do, but you are doing much better not knowing.”
She gives up this argument and holds him close. “Please don’t go. Don’t leave me here with him.”
“You will be fine. I needed to show Maxwell that you are still here. He was concerned for you.”
Maxwell nodded as he stood nearby.
“Good evening General.” She smiled seeing him knowing he was loyal to her.
“My lady.” He added.
“Now what do I do? How do I go back to being with Hunter?” She kisses him. “You can’t expect me to go back to go back to him.”
He moans as she kisses him. “Please Maeve, you have to. It’s part of the plan.” He tries to stop her and protest against her advances.
Maeve kisses his neck. “Jonathan you can’t tell me you don’t like this.”
Even though he tried to push her back, he was taken by her aggressiveness. “Oh Maeve.” He kissed her back as he pushed the memories of watching Hunter and Maeve together away.
“Come on, please don’t send me back. Not yet. Not to him.” She batted her eyes at him as she gazed up at him trying to be seductive.
He was more and more aroused by her. “Oh Maeve.” He grabbed her and kissed her.
Maeve rubbed her legs against his as she kissed him. Her eyes became wild and almost frantic as she kissed him.
It was as if the two thought this was the last time they would be together. He pushed her against a tree as she take off his clothes. He laid her down on the cold ground as they made love.
Maxwell turned around to give them some privacy as he was the only one who was not frozen in time.
Maeve rubbed her hands on his back as she wrapped her legs around him. “Jonathan.” She would call to him as they made love.
He held her close as he whispered in her ear. “My love, you will fight a great battle. A battle for your soul. You have two minds. Sometimes the light will take hold, sometimes the darkness will, but it’s okay. Don’t fear when your love for Hunter comes back. I will use this love to destroy them.”
Maeve knew what that meant but in her state of darkness she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go back to that. She aware of both sides of her personality. She knew when her light side was in change what the dark Maeve had done. It pained her to know how evil she had been.
This dark Maeve was often ashamed at what she did when she was light. How weak and forgiving she was? Are you gullible, naïve? Forgiving Hunter?
As the air warmed Hunter awoke Maeve was sitting on the ground crying. She had her head on her knees as she sobbed. Hunter knelt next to her and put her hand on his shoulder. She didn’t move as she kept crying.
Hunter sat next to her and pulled her into a hug. He didn’t understand why she was upset but he assumed the shadow king and something to do with it.
He did, Maeve felt awful. Maeve couldn’t believe what she did with Jonathan. She knew what she did but she also that her dark side was in control. Jonathan wanted the darkness to take over.
“Hunter, I can’t control it.” She said without looking up.
He didn’t understand. “Maeve you can fight it.”
“Hunter, you don’t understand there are two Maeve’s. One has light and the other darkness. Jonathan, that’s the Shadow King’s name, he wants to get rid of the light. So there isn’t any there.”
“I won’t let that happen. We will fight this as a family. Like we should’ve years ago.”
Maeve smiled, “I hope so.”
Hunter took out his kerchief from his packet and wiped her face, “Come on. Let’s get Luke.”
As they arrived at the barn, Luke was standing at attention in from of it. “Luke, you are free.” She said.
Luke fell back as he woke from at once and lost his balance. Once he got his bearings straight. He looked at Maeve with hatred. “What kind of monster are you?” He lunged at her. Hunter jumped in front of Maeve trying to protect her as Luke knocked him down.
“Hunter!” She yells as he falls into her arms.
“Why the hell are you with this monster!” Luke yelled. “Why would you jump in front of her?” He didn’t understand as he was now pacing in the background.
Maeve ignored Luke as she cared for Hunter. She held him in her arms. Hunter moaned as she held him. “Maeve.”
“Shh, I’m here.” She smiles as she runs her fingers through his hair.
She helps him up. “I know you wouldn’t get hurt but I couldn’t let anyone hurt you.”
Luke stood bewildered.
“Sheriff this is my wife, Maeve. You will not touch her.”
He spoke with such determination. Such that Luke had never heard from him before such passion.
“We came here so you would know how to get back to town.” Maeve was trying to make peace but she knew it would take time.
“Fine, show me the way but if you don’t mind. I will stay behind you.” He said as she looked at Maeve still not trusting her.
Hunter took Maeve’s hand. “Everyone is meeting back at my our house. Cari will be there waiting for you.”
Luke turned to Maeve. “What you didn’t attack her did you?”
Luke didn’t understand “you couldn’t?” He didn’t understand.
“I’ll let Cari explain it to you.”
The three of them headed out of the woods and into town, There was an uncomfortable silence as they waited for the others to arrive.
Maeve smiles as she looked around the house. She felt like she was dreaming. This was their home. They could start over. She could have a life. She walked in the kitchen and touched the stove and sink. “We could have had an amazing life.”
Hunter came behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “We still can.”
She leaned into his arms and put her arms around his.