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Author's Chapter Notes:
Final Chapter until the new story is begun
Chapter 25

Nickolas awoke early the following evening he was still lying on the floor of the chambers where he had been when Katherine had ended Nathaniel’s life. She would pay dearly for what she had done; she would pay with one of her own. He wondered what Katherine held close, what she held dear to her.
“You will pay dearly for what has been done to me.” Nickolas vowed. Nickolas looked toward the moonlight and howled deeply and took off into the night.

Katherine looked up toward the moon, she knew that Nickolas was out hunting, but that didn’t change her plans, she would finish the spell. The very spells that would end her problems with Nickolas, but would her children handle the change that was in store for them. Three hundred years of sleep, sleep that would pass quickly for the vampires but for the humans it would pass slowly, generations would come and go and many would forget Katherine and her brood, many would continue to remember the vampires from the house that sat beyond the iron gates. But she knew they would become nothing more than legend and dream. Nickolas would fade from all memory and they would try to fade from existence. There was another effect that this spell would have, those connected to Nickolas in anyway would fall into the sleep and remain that way until the day of his return, she knew that her heart still held a place for Nickolas and that meant that she may too fall prey to her own spell. She gathered the ingredients again and began chanting the spell.
“From this day till the end of the three hundred years, you and yours shall sleep. Sleep for three hundred years, to you nay a day shall pass that will change for you. Days and months shall pass without your knowledge; you shall remain in a slumber that none shall be awakened. When the day comes that it shall tell the day of your return, the skies shall turn of blood, and they shall rain for three nights signaling your return. You shall return with no knowledge that time has passed, but one shall come forward to tell you of the passage of time, the curse that shall be laid upon the one that chooses to stay with you, the one that shall be your keeper during your slumber. That demon shall remain your constant protector, the one that shall keep you during your slumber, but upon your awakening that demon shall die, a fitting fate for the one that dare betray all that is good. At the stroke of midnight this spell shall be cast, it shall spread across this land like a plague and your followers shall fall where they stand, and you will return to your crypt and lay in slumber.” Katherine chanted; she knew that in her heart this spell may be her own undoing but she wished for Nickolas’s end to be swift. She wished that she could take his life and in three hundred years she may have the strength to do such a task. She dropped the final ingredient into the pot and bound the spell, watching the smoke fill the tiny room she knew that it would make it’s way out into the hall and out of the mansion and into the streets like a fog. She slowly stood and watched the smoke; seeing that it did not touch her but away from her it went, out of the house away from the one that cast the very spell. She walked into the hallway and closed the door behind her.
“Come my children, for tonight we feast, tonight we shall see the end of Nickolas and his brood from our world. For the spell is cast and for three hundred human years he shall remain in slumber, never to take another life, never to haunt another dream. Come tonight we shall celebrate the end of Nickolas and the beginning of our lives anew. But beware he shall return. In three hundred years he shall return with the skies of blood and the rains that shall remain for three days time. That shall foretell the return of the demon, the demon that wants to rule the world.”
“Then we shall destroy him while he sleeps.” Darcy spoke.
“No, for it is forbidden to end the life of any vampire that can not defend itself. And you would only parish with him.”
“Then we shall celebrate his downfall, and then prepare for his return. We shall grow stronger over the time of his slumber.”
“Yes that we will.” Katherine said she knew that her spell would not end her life or make her fall into a deep slumber, but would Bianca be so lucky. Bianca had yet to exit her chambers, Katherine wondered if her journal was keeping the young vampire occupied.
“Has anyone checked on Bianca?”
“She is fine mistress, just reading.”
“Has she fed?” Katherine asked, looking down at Angelina.
“Not yet but I will be sure that she feeds. Go, you must feed gain back the strength that you lost during your spell casting.”
“I shall, I shall return before midnight. Remember we are all family, and as such this spell should have no effect on us. But be warned if your heart is at all with Nickolas you will fall prey to this spell and spend the next three hundred years in your coffin.” Katherine warned. All in the room nodded, Katherine took Darcy’s hand and they disappeared into the darkness.

Bianca looked around and saw that the new night had just begun, but she wished to continue her reading, learning more and more of Katherine’s past before making her choice, a choice that could mean death or life to her.

It has been a lonely five years since my uncle has passed. My cousin has not been kind to me, as I rule at his side. Very few that he has courted wished to become his queen. His angry heart and dark demeanor had always kept those that could care for him at bay. He wants me to marry the English lord, but as handsome as he is, there are things about him that frighten me. I’ve spoken with the old wizard and he too fears something is not right with this man. I fear that my time with the old wizard is growing short. My only friend within the lonely walls of my prison is dying. He tells me that all life comes to an end and with that end a new beginning is found. He says that I will continue what he’s taught me and become a powerful sorceress if I so choose to. That it’s my destiny to become more than I am, but I fear that I do not see the world the way he does.

I’ve lost my only friend. The old wizard had died, and my cousin could have shown no more feeling for his passing than that of a dog. I hate who he has become, when I first came to the castle he was kind and loving, but as the years passed and he knew he’d become king he has become cold and unfeeling. The king now as he rather be addressed has chosen to lay the old wizard to rest in a small, unmarked grave, he said his life was insignificant and that why should his death be any different. His indifference to a man that called him son angers me. I’ve felt my power grow the angrier I become. He has felt this power and now fears who or what I’ve become. He says he will force me to marry the English Lord to rid himself of my nuisance. But for what I’ve seen I shall give this man a chance, ladies around the castle say he is a kind and sweet man. Maybe someone I could love. For now I shall give him a chance, maybe he will be the one to take me away from this.

It seems that my cousin has gotten his wish, the forced marriage between me and the English Lord has come to pass, for on this day I shall become his wife. Many in the castle greave this, and I am unsure why, the ceremony only begins just after sunset, and in the months since I gave this man a chance that is only when I see him. Lord Nickolas Craven, he says that he much prefers the night than the day. But I often wonder if there is something he is hiding. This night, just before the stroke of midnight I shall no longer be asking that question, as I will be his wife.

It seems that his lies have come into the light, or darkness as one would say. I have changed, not by my own choosing but by his, saying he’d remain with me forever and saying that we’d be together forever. He changed me, my screams could be heard in the village below his home, but none came to help me, his own servants begged him to let me be. Now I am as he is, a demon, a child of darkness. But now my true path has been revealed and to his anger he finds that my powers are my own alone. He cannot control what does not belong to him. He says that he will never leave me. But this I do not believe for the man I called husband is now also my creator, the man that has taken my human life and left me with this demon existence. The days do not mean anything to me any longer, for I sleep as the sun rises and awaken with a thirst that I cannot control. I have killed a great many and changed a great many more. He has left me, this very night he said he’d be feeding and would return but did not. I am alone in this world I am alone to find my way in a world I do not understand.

Bianca now knew why Katherine was so angry, and why companionship meant so much to her, why she needed to have someone to love her. But could she love her, there were things that Nickolas offered that Katherine did not, and Nickolas said he’d never leave her, yet he told Katherine the same thing. Her thoughts where a jumble as she walked from her chambers, who would she choose? Angelina looked up and smiled at her.
“Are you going to hunt with me?” She asked, her voice dripping with sweetness.
“Yes, I am famished.”
“We must hurry.”
“Mistress says we are to return before the stroke of midnight and it’s nearly that now. So we must go,” Angelina said, taking Bianca’s hand they hurried from the mansion and into the quiet night.

Katherine returned to the mansion a short while later, the clock said it was nearly midnight and most of her children and returned from their hunt, all but Angelina and Bianca. This worried her but she felt they would return before the stroke of midnight. The spell would begin and any that would follow Nickolas would be caught by the fog, she could see the fog beginning and knew that the spell had begun it’s way across the land. All that dared follow Nickolas would be cursed, and the one that betrayed her would be cursed to stay at his side till the day of his return. Angelina hurried into the mansion but she was alone, Katherine looked passed her and wondered.
“She chose him?”
“She suddenly was enveloped by a fog and turned and walked away from me mistress.”
“Then she is cursed to remain at his side until the day of his return. Her life shall end the day he awakens.”
“Such a pity, she was such a good lover.” Angelina said with a smile.
“She was just that, but making her choice she will find that she will never return to us again.”

Bianca walked mindlessly toward Nickolas’s crypt, she pushed the large stone door open and walked inside. Nickolas struggled to stay awake as he looked at her.
“She cursed you as well, a choice was made and yet you said nothing.”
“I was unsure, but my heart had made the choice before my mind.” Bianca answered, her voice laced with anger. “I would have rather chosen her, but my heart chose you.”
“Then with me you shall remain. Katherine’s spells work quickly and never fail.”
“I will not remain here with such a demon as yourself.” Bianca shouted, she pulled a wooden stake from the inside of her coat and lifted it high above her head, she quickly plunged it deep within her chest. Nickolas screamed in pain as he watched her fall to the floor. He lay back in his coffin and closed his eyes, the large lid slowly closing on it’s own signaling his long slumber. Bianca’s body slowly disappeared as the final stroke of midnight was heard.

Katherine screamed as she felt Bianca end her own life, Darcy moved to her side to steady his mistress.
“What has happened?”
“She did not choose him, but would not remain at his side.”
“Bianca choose me, her heart choose him. She ended her own life. I can feel it. I can feel that she is now gone. But Nickolas is in deep slumber and will harm no one.”
“Come, it has been a hard day for you, it is time that you rest.”
“Yes rest.” Katherine answered. Darcy led her down the hallway to her chambers he helped her into her coffin and waited for her to close her eyes. He closed the lid to the coffin and walked from the room, pausing for a moment.
“Sleep well my dearest, for the fight has only just begun.” With that he closed the door and walked down the long hallway.