It was very good seeing him again, my dark father, but it was even better to see the results of this little venture. Muriel had gone with us inside and looked oddly uncomfortable with the situation. It was bizarre to see her out of her element. The naturally strong fighter in an emotional corner. But she was a woman as well, one that had lived for centuries and known possibly the extremes of every emotion. Still, she wasn't at her best.
Faith smiled at the two of them, sitting next to me on the sofa while Afentis and Muriel sat in separate chairs. She held my hand, it felt nice.
Afentis's warm voice was spiked with love. "It's so good to see you again. Why didn't you visit me more often, I've felt you around."
She rallied marvelously. "It's still difficult to see you. Besides, she should never have been turned." She looked at Faith... I thought.
"You would have killed her", his voice still kind, "the blood took away her dreams and she's since not hurt anyone with her gifts."
"And what about two years ago? Would you call that the absence of that gift? I've always kept an eye open for her, she's still dangerous. It's not even supposed to be possible."
Faith squeezed my hand. She wasn't worried, she already knew of this. Most of me just wanted to whisper to her, asking what was going on, and if Muriel meant the strange state she'd been in before. The squeeze was therefore meant to comfort me, rather than the other way around. And, to be honest, I did feel a little lost in this conversation. Yet, it seemed like it was something all of them wanted me to see. To learn about the dark side.
"The blood has a price, it takes away our dreams and replaces them with thirst. It has always been like that. I couldn't let Faith die just because she had a few nasty nightmares."
"Nightmares? She was an accurate clairvoyant, sought after by the Silver Abbey to find us. Her sights could have easily been abused by anyone, were they able to get their hands on her."
"They didn't, I did. And I gave her the gift to chase her dreams away."
This was going nowhere. "Muriel, he did what was right. You've seen my pain with Khuna and Valerie, you know that friendship does count for something. Faith is as evil as the sword you use. She could have been used as a tool for great evil, but rather it was wielded by someone with good intent."
She looked at me, surprised by the argument. "That may be, but obviously the blood does not take away her gifts completely. If any survivors of the Abbey ever find out, they will chase her."
"And Afentis will protect her."
She sighed. "Amy, we're not as strong as you think we are. They can move during the day, we cannot. They have the resources to find us if we pose a large enough threat for them. Especially if you live in a place such as this." Her hand indicating the castle around her. "All it takes is a swift slice of the sword while you slumber for eternity to end." She sighed deeply. "They know about us, probably about you too. The reason they do not kill us is because we would retaliate if they attempted to slay the nice ones. It's surprising those fledglings lived as long as they did."
She looked straight at Faith. "If they know, they won't stop."
It took me a moment to take all of this in. "Do you know about the Circle and the children?"
She nodded. "I wasn't there when you released them but I heard of it. Nice work, actually, getting them on the grid. It's a fairly safe assumption the Circle was originally a project by the Silver Abbey, to breed clairvoyants to help them. It's a thin line though, as it's technically witchcraft."
It made some sense, a 'super-natural' project started by those that knew it existed, but taken over by the ones supplying their funds as soon as they found out it actually worked. Easy way to earn money in the stock market. But they were destroyed now, weren't they? Out of children, out of a leader. Well, that wasn't entirely true. But I hoped the blows to their setup had severely diminished their plans to try it again.
Faith spoke. "Muriel, can't you stop hunting for one night?"
She grimaced but the expression changed quickly when Afentis had stood up in a flash, taking her hand romantically and looked at her. "Please?"
Muriel, instead, looked at me. "Amy, you've seen some of the dangers, even killed one. What do you think?"
The words came to me so easily.
"You love him. In this world friendship is not a burden but a blessing. Standing all alone makes you vulnerable as well."
This amused her.
I smiled back at her. "Besides, it's not very often I get to see Afentis at someones whim."
"Alright," she smiled warmly, a light blush on her cheek, "I will stay the eve."