Hours later, when the captain announces we will soon be landing, I watch out the small windows as we touch the ground. Black SUVs and cars surround the plane and I wait, holding my breath as the door is opened and armed men sweep inside. I do not put up a fight as they search and cuff me with silver and lead me toward one of the cars parked near the plane.
“Where are you taking me?” I finally ask one of the vampires holding a gun to my chest. A gun I’m sure is loaded with silver bullets—the only thing that can possibly kill my kind.
“To the king.”
I lift my chin and wait. I knew this would happen. I just pray Isabel and the life we created are safe.
When we reach Samuel’s castle on the outskirts of London, I’m led inside and delivered to the throne room. Samuel is seated in the middle of the vast space on a throne made of red velvet and jewels, surrounded by men and women, all of them vampire. Some of them I know. I study his face. Like me, he hasn’t changed much over the centuries. He’s still good-looking with shoulder-length blond hair, skin tan from the sun, and bright blue eyes.
“You finally came.”
“I don’t think you left me a choice.”
“You know the law,” he states harshly, never taking his eyes off mine.
“Yes, but there are things you don’t know, things you and I don’t understand.”
“Isabel has been brought back to me. She’s somehow been brought back into this life. This time and place.”
“Do not come here thinking you can tell me stories and that I will allow you to keep her,” he growls.
“I’m not telling stories,” I growl back, taking a step toward him, ignoring the guards getting closer to me with their guns raised. Most who know my name know exactly what I’m capable of, have heard rumors of the time I fought at Samuel’s side. I fought along with him to place him on the throne he sits on now. Helped rid the world of the tyrant king before him.
“It’s not.” I pull in a breath trying to control the rage I feel. “Somehow, my beloved Isabel has returned. Somehow….”
Murmurings erupt behind me and he stands. “Quiet!” he barks then looks at me. “You know I cannot let you go or let her live just because you have come up with this story.”
“Touch her and I will destroy you.” My voice is deathly calm, and he studies me for a long moment before looking over my shoulder, lifting his chin.
“Take him to his room. Maybe with some time he will realize what he’s done. And accept what must happen now.”
Men surround me then cart me away. I don’t say a word. I keep my chin high and attempt to come up with a plan.
I stand watching as my friend is escorted away. The look on his face moments ago is one I’ve seen before. Hopelessness is an ugly, empty emotion that has lived and breathed within my own chest for centuries. I lost my own wife and our unborn child on the same night I was changed and forced to face forever without her, just as Cameron was forced to live his eternity without his beloved.
Cameron’s words ring in my ears as I take a seat on my throne, trying to recall if I ever remember telling him about my wife, or telling anyone about her for that matter. Beatrice was mine and only mine, the only light in my life, the only good thing I ever did. I turn the heavy wedding band, now on the opposite hand, and stand. Only one person will know if what Cameron spoke of is possible.
As much as I doubt, I hope, because I’d give anything to have my Bee back at my side.
“Have you heard anything?” I take a seat on the couch across from Angus, pulling my knees to my chest.
My heart and head ache. It’s been over two weeks since Cameron left, and I feel like a part of me is missing. A vital part I know I won’t be able to survive without. How did he live after I died? How did he carry on everyday? I close my eyes for a moment, praying for some kind of relief.
“Are you all right?”
I open my eyes at his question. “I need him, Angus.”
“I know,” he agrees quietly.
“You don’t know. You don’t understand that I feel… I feel like a piece of me is slowly dying. I know it’s crazy, but I…” I pull in a shuddering breath. “I don’t think I will be able to survive much longer. I feel exhausted and hungry, but I can’t sleep or eat without him.”
“I need to go to him. I need him.”