Disclaimer: I don't own Eragon or anything associated with the Inheritance Cycle.
Claimer: I, SussieKitten, own this plot and the story. Borrow or steal my plot, my original characters (Aksel or Eragon's kid) or story and I will report you. I also own my version of Saphira/Thorn's human appearances, and the universe and versions of the creatures I use in this story (hydras and chimeras in particular).
Warnings: Slash/Shōnen-ai – meaning mild guy x guy action. Femslash/Shōjo-ai – meaning mild girl x girl action. Swearing or strong language. Supernatural creatures – there will be mainly elves, dragons, vampires and werewolves in this. Mpreg – meaning male pregnancy people! If any of this disturbs you, click on the "back" button. I won't tolerate any flames.
A/N A huge thanks to everyone who reviewed and to those that still reads this story. It means a lot to know that you guys haven't given up on it yet.
I have to thank dragonrider713 for helping me out with this chapter. It has been quite a while since I actually sent in this chapter, but I haven't forgotten the help you gave me. Thank you so much.
So, what has then been keeping me, you might be asking. In short; life and school. Stuff like that will always get in the way. But I have more time on my hands now; I just need to get those plot bunnies going.
I do have to apologise for the long wait between chapters. Self-betaing is hard, especially this piece. It seems like all of my language mistakes thrive and breed within its pages. Hopefully it's not too painful of a read.
See the bottom note for notes about this story, as well as my others. I'm not quitting; I'm just adding some general info for anyone who has questions about my stories.
Word – word written in my language Andelan.
-Speech.- Eragon/Saphira talking to each other mentally.
Part Eighteen; Bleed
::April to May::
Things seemed to go back to normal after the attack. The weeks slowly passed by, and suddenly it was Aksel's birthday.
Eragon tried not to feel excluded, but it was hard not to when everything was about Aksel that day. He felt bad for feeling that way, but in a way he had gotten used to being the centre of attention. Eragon scolded himself. He couldn't be on everyone's minds all the time. Actually, he was going to enjoy a night off. Yes, that sounded better.
The day had started with a birthday breakfast made for a very embarrassed birthday boy. It was very obvious to Eragon what Aksel and Vanir had spent the night doing.
That was another thing Eragon scolded himself for. Aksel deserved happiness. He had no right to feel jealous. Aksel had finally found the guy he was going to spend the rest of his life with. And Eragon was happy for him. He just wished he had that bond with someone.
Aksel had gotten his gifts and had barely had time to open them before running off to see his mother. He had somehow managed to pull Vanir along. Eragon wished him luck. Aksel took after his mother, after all. Even though Vanir loved Aksel, Aksel's mother was something else entirely.
The afternoon had been quiet. Aksel and Vanir had returned around dinner time, looking exhausted to boot. Vanir had explained that they had stopped by Ellesméra to see Arya's mother. It was then Eragon had noticed that Arya must have gone with them. Seeing as they had covered that much distance in just a day, no one had any objections when they turned in early.
Well, 'turned in'. Everyone knew that sleep was the last thing on their mind.
And now the evening was there. Arya and Nasuada had gone to bed already and Brom was, as usual, off somewhere. What surprised Eragon was that Saphira was gone as well. Thorn had gone back to the cottage earlier, so it was just Eragon and Ren left.
Suddenly he felt very lonely. Eragon looked down at Ren and sighed. He had fallen asleep. Now he really was alone.
Eragon got up and walked back to his room. He put Ren down into his crib and pulled the blanket over him. He caressed his son's cheek before leaving the room quietly.
When he came back to the living room, it was still empty. Eragon sighed. The one time he wouldn't have minded to be bothered, and there was no one around to bother him. Typical.
The brunet walked back to his room. He grabbed the book on his bedside table and turned to leave. He could have stayed there, of course. But somehow, the thought of staying in his bedroom with his sleeping son made him feel lonelier than he would have felt staying in the living room. Eragon walked over and checked on Ren. He checked that he still had the baby-monitor on him and walked out.
He stopped in the doorway to the living room. The book suddenly felt like it weighed a ton. His grip around the cover tightened. He strode inside and sat down with his back to the terrace doors. He then opened the book and started to read.
Five minutes later he realised that he had been reading the same paragraph over and over without even realising it. He couldn't concentrate and didn't know why.
Eragon sighed and closed the book. His fingers caressed the cover softly. While it didn't feel as heavy anymore, there was a slight weight that he knew didn't come from the book alone. One of his fingers stroked over the title. Of Vampires and Vampire Lore – the full story.
Suddenly feeling ill, he put the book on the table and looked away. His eyes met the terrace doors and he cursed. He looked away and was met by a painting that looked disturbingly like the man Eragon knew was outside. Frustrated, he closed his eyes. He couldn't get away. Everywhere he looked, there he was.
Eragon jumped slightly at the sound of his own voice. He had gotten so accustomed to the silence that he was startled to hear himself speak.
He shook his head. He had been right, though. He couldn't stay out here anymore.
He pushed himself to his feet. That was as far as he came. He wanted to step forward, but something was holding him back.
Eragon glared at the terrace doors. He knew what was holding him back. There was an invisible pull there that kept him from leaving. There was a voice whispering in his head, telling him that one little look wouldn't hurt.
He cursed again. That was always the way it started. 'Come on, one bite won't hurt' and after that bite, the voice would whisper 'one more won't make a difference'. And then, ten cakes later, you were well on your way to becoming fat and no longer caring about it, because the cake was so damn good.
He shook his head. He was going to leave, and he was going to do that now.
His legs finally seemed to agree and he made his way to the door. He raised his hand to grip the handle, but found that he couldn't. His hand wouldn't grip it. It refused to obey him.
Eragon was for a short moment tempted to shoot himself. Dammit, why wasn't his own body listening to him?
A frustrated shout built up in his throat, but he refused to let it out. Given how frustrated he was, he was bound to be loud and then would probably wake Ren up. He slammed his fist into the door and felt his shoulders sag. He slammed his fist a few more times into the wood. The anger, frustration and confusion were choking him. Even the pain blooming up in his hand couldn't take his mind off of it.
"Make it stop," he whispered. "Please."
But it refused to. It refused to go away.
He felt his knees buckle and he fell to the floor. His knuckles scraped against the wood, ripping them up further. Eragon didn't really notice it. It was like that pain wasn't his; he was just witnessing it.
He stayed there for what felt like hours, but it had probably only been a few minutes. His strength had left him, but he still slammed his fist into the door.
Once that time had passed, the world didn't seem to be choking him as much anymore. He could think again. Eragon looked up and was surprised to see that the world was foggy. He wiped at his eyes and gritted his teeth when he felt the pain in his hand and as the salty water seeped into the tears on his skin.
Eragon pushed himself to his feet. He wobbled a little, but he could stand. Whatever had just happened, Eragon was not going to let it happen again.
Unwillingly, his eyes strayed over to the terrace doors. The gap in the curtains remained empty. Eragon shook his head. He hadn't expected anything less.
He reached out with his uninjured hand and gripped the doorknob. He turned it and started to walk out. He consciously held himself back this time.
If one look was all it took to stop the urge from reappearing...
Before he could change his mind, Eragon stalked over to the terrace doors and looked out.
At first he could only see darkness. A cloud moved away from the moon a second later, the moonlight making him able to see the contours of the dark world outside. The yard in front of him was completely empty, and for a moment, the terrace looked to be as empty. Eragon turned slightly to walk away. It was then he saw him.
His dark clothes made him appear almost invisible. The wind made the unzipped jacket flap slightly. Eragon could almost hear the sound. His pale skin was practically shining where the moonlight hit it. The dark hair moved with the wind, sometimes being cast forward to darken a patch of skin. Eragon could barely see his eyes as they were mostly hidden by a windblown forelock.
Eragon couldn't help but to think that it was ironic that someone so beautiful could be so ugly on the inside. If Murtagh had a heart at all, it had to be as black as his eyes and as poisonous as his bite.
He shook his head and walked away. He had gotten his look. He could go back to his normal ways now.
April turned to May. It had been a year since the fatal meeting that resulted in the child in Eragon's arms. Saphira could tell that everyone was getting restless. There had been no signs that Formora was going to strike again. Then again, that was probably her intent; to lure them into a false sense of security.
There were some that were more affected by the tension than others. Nasuada and Arya appeared unaffected, though Saphira could see it in their eyes. They felt it too. Aksel and Vanir were still too busy with each other, though Vanir went back and forth between the cottage and the house regularly. She knew that he was more aware of the tension as he saw both sides of it. He saw the anger that Murtagh was no doubt showing and the worry that kept flashing in Eragon's eyes.
Thorn was becoming harder to calm down. Saphira was tempted to challenge him now, just so they could focus on something else for a change, but it was hard. She didn't want to leave Eragon. She couldn't leave Eragon.
The exam season ended and Brom had more time on his hands. Saphira tried to keep him occupied by asking him questions about vampires, but she could tell it was only working so much. Then again, she was asking about the people that were after his pseudo-son.
Eragon only really showed his worry when Ren was asleep. Then he would gaze down at his son with a worry that showed in his soul. Otherwise he put on a brave face that no one really bought, but that seemed to make him feel better somehow.
Saphira wasn't sure how Murtagh was taking the never-ending silence from Formora, but she doubted that he was handling it well. She was tempted to ask Thorn, but she didn't want to worry him more.
Saphira blinked. She looked up and found herself staring into Brom's face. She blushed slightly. Her mind had wandered again.
"I'm sorry, Brom." She bit at her lip. "I was just..."
"It's quite alright. I do remember what it was like to be your age," Brom chuckled. "I'm not that old."
Saphira looked at him. He was indeed not that old, but his hair was turning grey prematurely along his temples. The rest of his hair was a cold brown shade.
"...How old are you?" she felt herself blushing again when she heard what she had uttered so carelessly.
"A true gentleman never reveals his true age," he said amusedly, "but I suppose I can tell you that I'm in my forties."
That meant he had been maybe twenty-five when he met Morzan for the last time, Saphira mentally calculated, and that he had fought in the war when he was only twenty years old. Even for a man like Brom, that was young. Magic took a long time to master, even with a dragon by your side.
"Now, where was I before you dozed off on me?"
Saphira smiled sheepishly. Truthfully, she couldn't remember. Ever since the twins – as Brom called the vampires – had attacked a few weeks earlier, they had managed to get together for a few 'lessons'. Saphira learned a lot, even though they never managed to catch more than an hour or so before Brom left to teach a class or Saphira was needed elsewhere.
Brom chuckled again.
"Maybe you should ask whatever comes to mind?" he suggested.
There was something radically different about the two sides Saphira had seen of Brom as a teacher. In front of a class he was sharper and tolerated little to no disturbances. He was more relaxed when it was just the two of them. She would never have known him if it hadn't been for Eragon. There was a lot that Saphira would never have known if she hadn't met Eragon. She would never regret meeting her rider.
Saphira leaned back and looked around in Brom's study. Like his library, it was filled with books, and she thought she had seen a few that were also in his library, but most of the books in this room was about mythology and nothing else. There were drawings of several creatures on the walls; anatomical and normal ones, and a large map of Alagaësia and Surda. If she looked closer, Saphira could see small colour-coded pins that most likely marked off territories of different species.
She studied the pins more closely. The yellow ones stood for werewolves, according to the small note next to the maps. There was a pin right next to Carvahall. She knew there were werewolves in the Spine, but they rarely ventured down. To the North-East, there were several green pins, representing what Saphira believed to be different elven cities that weren't on any map you could buy. Saphira was surprised to see that there were green pins near the mountain as well, though a different shade of green. They appeared to be elves as well, and in the back of her mind, she remembered Brom telling them about forest and mountain elves and how they had their subtle differences.
Along the Surdan border, she could see a few red pins. She didn't need to check the note to know that they represented vampires. She felt her mind wander a bit as she looked at them. It was hard to believe that it was been a year since she had been sitting in Brom's classroom listening to him talk about vampires. Now they were almost too intimate with one of them.
"Sir?" Saphira frowned as she thought of something. "You never told us about how vampires treat vampires that have killed one of their kin."
Brom fell silent.
Saphira looked over at him. During his 'lecture', he had been standing by his desk, almost leaning against it. Saphira watched as he sat down on the surface and crossed his arms.
"They aren't as strict as other species or humans, but they have their rules," he began. "It's rather common that a vampire kills another as a show of strength. But the council rarely lets a vampire kill more than one of their kin without intervening."
She looked away and toyed with a lock of her hair. She had suspected as much.
"You're asking because of Murtagh."
She looked up. It hadn't been a question, but she nodded nonetheless.
Brom sighed. "In his case, he has been killing in self-defence. I'm not sure the circumstances with Kialandi, but the twin was definitely an act of self-defence. The council might go after him for Kialandi's murder, maybe even Formora. They are both highly regarded within the vampire society, or were in the case of Kialandi." Brom paused. "If he's called in for a trial, he might be excused for both murders."
"...And if he isn't?"
"Then he'll be executed."
Saphira looked away.
"It is a wonder he hasn't been trialled for his father's murder, really," Brom said, almost to himself.
"Oh?" Saphira asked.
Brom hadn't said a lot about Morzan's murder, for reasons that Saphira suspected he kept to himself, so to hear him mention it freely made her want to dig deeper immediately.
He nodded. "His father was the head of the coven that guarded the vampire council."
Her eyes widened. Morzan must have been a really powerful vampire to have gotten that position.
"To my knowledge, the council let Murtagh go with a warning. Since he was his father's child and clearly would become as powerful as him, if not more, they didn't want to kill him. But I know that he longs to kill Durza as well. If he does, then he will be executed. There is no way the council will let him live with five vampire deaths on his shoulders. Six if he kills the other twin."
This was the same man Saphira had let hold her best friend's son. Suddenly she felt even guiltier for what she had done, and amazed that Eragon had forgiven her so quickly.
Thinking about Murtagh and Eragon made her think about that mated couple Brom had brought up only months before. It had been called off when Formora had made her first appearance. And since then, making the two get along had been pushed aside so that they could focus on keeping Eragon and Ren safe.
Saphira wondered if Eragon could still meet them once this was all over. Then again, if Murtagh perished while protecting Eragon, what good would that do?
She bit her lip in thought.
She looked up. Brom was looking at her with a slight frown. Saphira figured she must have been silent for a while.
"I was just thinking about that couple you talked about. You know, the vampire and his mate?"
Brom's frown deepened for a moment, then he nodded.
"I haven't given them much of a thought lately. There are too many other things going on."
"What made you think of them?" he asked.
"Talking about Murtagh and Formora made me think of Eragon and then I just remembered them," she answered.
"Mm," he hummed. "Maybe someday we can go through with that."
Saphira only nodded again. A part of her really hoped that they could go through with it someday.
Suddenly everything stopped. Something was wrong; very wrong.
The snow had disappeared sometime around the first week of May. The wind was still chilly, but Murtagh felt none of that. He just shifted from listening after soft footsteps in the snow to shuffling and twigs breaking on the bare ground. Vampires were deadly silent, but, if caught off-guard for just a second, could make enough noise for him to hear.
But it wasn't a sound that alerted Murtagh of someone's presence; it was a sense. Someone was looking at him.
With the wind coming from behind him, he couldn't smell who they might be, but he didn't need to. He knew that look.
"Too afraid to face me?"
A chuckle answered him. Murtagh forced himself not to shudder.
"Good evening, Murtagh."
Murtagh turned to face the voice.
The man was standing about 10 metres away. He was wearing the same type of clothes that Murtagh had seen him in last time. Because the sun had only just set, the black clothes did nothing to hide him. But once the darkness would take over the sky, the man would have become harder to spot.
Then again, his too pale skin and fiery red hair made him stand out under any conditions.
Murtagh clenched his jaw and glared at the man. He didn't step down from the porch, though he wanted to. He wanted to run over there and rip the man to shreds. But he couldn't.
Not yet, anyway.
"Get lost," Murtagh said as calmly as he could.
Durza only smiled. It looked wrong on his face. His face was not made for smiling.
"Not happy to see me, I take it?"
Murtagh didn't answer. He just glared at him. His hands were curling into fists, his nails digging into the skin of his palms. He would start to bleed if he pressed any harder.
"Leave now, or I swear I'll kill you."
"I come in peace," Durza said and raised his hands. "I have a proposition for you."
"I don't want to hear it," Murtagh snapped.
Durza carried on like Murtagh hadn't spoken. "Join us, and I'll make sure Formora never hunts you again."
"Fuck you," the dark haired vampire snarled.
"Come now," Durza chuckled. "You can't be...happy with these...mortals. Come with me, to where you belong."
Murtagh's body was curling into a leaping position. He didn't bother to straighten himself. Durza had taken a couple of steps forward. There was no way he was coming any closer to the house than he already was.
Murtagh was positively seething. "If you come any closer, I will kill you."
Durza stopped. Something flashed in his eyes. It was gone so quickly that Murtagh almost missed it. But he knew Durza; he knew him well. Durza was getting irritated.
"I know your dirty little secret," the redhead said then, his voice dropping to almost a whisper. "Come and I'll spare them."
He actually expected Murtagh to trust him? Murtagh sneered.
The redhead sighed. He looked disappointed, but Murtagh knew that he was actually irritated. Irritated that he hadn't gotten his way.
"...It was nice knowing you, Murtagh," he said almost sadly.
Murtagh didn't buy it for one moment. "Go to hell," he spat.
Durza made to leave, but something stopped him.
Of all days he decided to take a stroll outside, did he have to pick today? Murtagh tensed even further.
The terrace door didn't shut. Clearly Eragon had been stunned by what he had stumbled upon. Murtagh wanted to scream at him to go inside, but the words wouldn't come out of his mouth.
A slow smirk spread on Durza's lips. "And who do we have here?" he purred.
Murtagh didn't like that voice one bit. He moved to stand in front of Eragon, who still hadn't moved. Murtagh ached to snap at the boy for not checking out the situation before stepping right into it.
"Stay away from him," Murtagh hissed.
Durza looked positively gleeful. Murtagh wanted to reach out and claw his face off.
"Don't you see the things I can do for you now, Murtagh? I can turn him and you can spend forever with your...beloved," he said the word like it was foreign to him.
Then again, it probably was. To his knowledge, Durza had never taken a mate – vampiric or otherwise. Then again, he could be wrong. Murtagh didn't spend much time wondering about Durza's sex drive.
But none of that matter right now. Keeping Eragon away from Durza was all that mattered.
"You stay away from him!" he roared.
In a flash, Durza was standing in front of Murtagh. Judging by the gasp Eragon had come with, he hadn't seen Durza move. But Eragon wasn't a vampire. Murtagh was. He had seen Durza move just fine. His arms had spread and were preventing the red-haired vampire from moving past them.
The other leaned in close. Murtagh held back a flinch when he felt Durza's hair ghost past his chin.
"Now, now, Murtagh," Durza whispered in his ear. "I don't ask for much in return; just you and your little mate."
Durza managed to utter that last word before Murtagh moved. He pushed Durza as far away as he could manage. The other vampire did a quick back-flip in the air and landed on his feet. He was now about 15 metres away.
If Durza hadn't caught himself, Murtagh was sure he would have been thrown twice that length.
He remained crouched in front of Eragon as Durza brushed himself off and looked their way. Murtagh knew his teeth were bared and that his fangs were clearly visible. His insides were humming.
"What a shame." The older vampire sighed. "You would have made a nice contribution to our coven."
Before Murtagh had a chance to reply, Durza turned around and was gone.
Eragon wasn't sure what had spurred him into walking out onto the terrace when he knew Murtagh was there, but one minute he had been walking towards the kitchen and the next he was halfway out of the door.
He knew now what a mistake that had been.
The exchange couldn't have lasted more than a minute or two, but it had still scared and shocked him. There had been a vampire there, but he hadn't been attacking. No, he had been talking to Murtagh. Talking like he knew him.
Eragon was once again struck by the thought that he knew nothing about this man who was his mate. Granted, they weren't actually mated, but he didn't know what other label to give him.
A minute passed after the red-haired man had disappeared. Eragon slowly felt the shock and fear lessen. The feelings were still there, but they weren't holding his heart prisoner anymore.
His hand, which had been holding onto the doorknob for dear life, let go and fell to his side. Suddenly he was just confused. Why was he there? What had happened?
The movement seemed to break Murtagh out of whatever thoughts he had been in. He straightened to his full height and turned around.
Eragon was suddenly very aware of how much taller the vampire was than himself.
For a minute, neither said anything. They just stared into each other's eyes. Eragon saw his eyes slowly fade back to hazel. He silently wondered what the other vampire had done to piss Murtagh off so much.
Surprisingly enough, Murtagh was the one that spoke first. Eragon was so shocked that he was actually speaking that it took a few seconds for the words to register.
"What did you think you were doing?"
Eragon felt his tongue start the journey to lick his lips, but quickly forced it back. That was probably one of the worst things he could do.
But as for speaking...Eragon had no idea what to say to that.
"I don't..." he trailed off.
Murtagh's blank face suddenly turned murderous.
"You don't know?" he asked snidely. "You don't know why you decided to walk outside when you know there is at least one vampire that wants you dead?"
Eragon felt a new emotion flare up. Murtagh had no right to talk to him like that! Eragon glared at him. "No, I don't. It's not like I did it consciously."
"You couldn't come with a better excuse?" Murtagh sneered.
"It's not an excuse!"
Murtagh barked a laugh. "Funny. It sounded like it," he said snidely.
Eragon surprised himself by walking up to the other and glaring up at him. At that moment, he didn't care about who or what Murtagh was. He didn't care that this was the man he was unwillingly mated to. He didn't care that, until just a few months ago, this man had wanted him dead. Right then, all Eragon saw was a guy that changed moods so fast that anyone that tried to pay attention would just get whiplash. And one thing was for certain; he was sick of it all.
"I'm sorry I walked in on your little rendezvous," Eragon heard himself say angrily. "Obviously you didn't want me there. And I'm sorry I don't have a better excuse for you than 'I don't know'. Because know what? I really don't. Let's call it temporary insanity, because I sure as hell didn't come here to visit you."
Eragon heard himself say all this, but it didn't sound like himself. It was like he had floated out of his body and was watching it happen. And before he could stop himself, he had finished his little speech and was walking away.
He didn't get far, however. Suddenly there was a hand clasped around his upper arm, holding him back.
The fear flared through him again. He had problems swallowing.
He felt Murtagh walk up behind him. Eragon could feel him back there, but there was no warmth that other people, other living people, radiated when they were this close. If the strong grip on his arm hadn't been enough to remind him of what Murtagh was, the lack of heat was reminder enough. He was a vampire that previously had shown that he had no qualms harming or even killing people if it pleased him. And Eragon had just pissed him off.
Murtagh leaned in close, much like the other vampire had done to Murtagh earlier. Eragon suppressed a shiver. He told himself that Murtagh wouldn't harm him. Murtagh needed him to stay alive. Or rather, he needed his blood, but that was the same, right?
"You will not come out here again," Murtagh said calmly, too calmly. It was far too obvious that he was battling other emotions, none of which were good. But still, Murtagh had no right to boss him around.
"You're not the boss of me." Eragon ripped his arm out of Murtagh's grasp, stumbling a bit when he actually managed to get loose.
Murtagh said nothing as the brunet stormed back inside the house, and for that, Eragon was eternally grateful.
Saphira blinked when she stumbled upon Eragon pacing back and forth, muttering things to himself. He didn't even register her or the fact that his son was stirring.
Saphira walked over and checked on little Ren. He gurgled at her happily. Saphira smiled at him. After she was sure he was ok, Saphira turned her attention back to Eragon.
He was still pacing. Whatever it was that was bothering him, it was enough to make him completely unaware of his surroundings.
As relieved as she was that Eragon was alright, something had clearly upset him. She hadn't arrived in time to see the stressor, but a quick talk would tell her why. But Ren needed to be taken care of in the meantime.
She made up her mind quickly. Saphira walked out of the room and rushed back to Brom's office.
"Could you watch Ren for an hour or so?" she asked him. "I need to talk to Eragon."
Brom blinked in surprise. Saphira had never seen that look on his face before. Then again, she had never walked into his study without knocking before.
"Is something wrong?" he asked and closed the file he had been reading.
"It's probably nothing, but something's bothering him, so I want to make sure I can talk to him without Ren interrupting us."
Brom thankfully agreed. Saphira took him to Eragon's room and handed Ren over. Eragon didn't even register that.
Brom shot her a slightly worried look.
Saphira gave him a reassuring smile.
Brom cradled Ren a little closer to his chest, then walked off. As Saphira watched him go, she could almost imagine him doing that twenty or so years ago. It seemed like he knew quite well how to hold a baby and had known to take the diaper bag before Saphira could even remember to give it to him.
Saphira vowed to puzzle over Brom's mysterious past later. Now she had to focus on her best friend.
Saphira closed the door and walked over to Eragon. He was still pacing, though the muttering had stopped. She sighed.
The sound actually startled Eragon and made him look right at her.
He blinked. "Where did you come from?"
"Oh, Eragon," she sighed.
Eragon just looked confused.
Saphira led him over to the bed and pushed him into a seated position. He complied easily. She then sat down beside him.
"What's wrong? You've been pacing in here for God only knows how long."
First he frowned, then he seemed to understand what she was talking about. Then, to Saphira's surprise, anger flashed in Eragon's usually soft eyes.
"Don't you dare say it's nothing," Saphira said, interrupting him when she saw him open his mouth.
There was no way she was letting him lie to her. He was explaining himself. He rarely got pissed off, even these days when he had cause to be.
Eragon gave her a sheepish look before the anger returned, though milder this time.
Saphira really wondered what had caused such a reaction from him, though something told her she could guess the cause.
"I just had a disagreement with Murtagh, that's all," he said simply, like this was something that happened every day.
Saphira blinked. She fought the urge to pinch herself to make sure she wasn't dreaming. When had Eragon spoken to Murtagh? And how could he sound so calm while talking about it?
"When did you speak to him?" she asked, sounding much calmer than she actually was.
If Murtagh had actually dared to step into the house, then she was going to-
"Earlier," he answered, cutting short her train of thought. "I don't know why, but earlier I suddenly found myself outside and before I knew it, I was arguing with Murtagh. Sort of."
Saphira blinked once, then twice. Eragon was holding something back. Nothing about that story told her why they had argued or what about. The fact that they had argued at all baffled her, but she pushed it aside. She could focus on what that made her feel later.
"Tell me everything," she demanded.
Eragon didn't look too happy with that, but he complied and told her what had happened.
Saphira took it all in. From what Eragon had told her, the man Murtagh had spoken to was probably Durza, and she told him so.
Saphira sighed. Of course he wouldn't remember who that was.
"The current head of the vampire council," she explained.
She could literally see him making the connections with what Brom had told them months ago.
"Oh," was all he said, however.
Saphira looked at him and wondered just what had possessed him to go outside earlier. Eragon tended to even avoid the doors to the terrace like the plague. For a minute she was worried that someone or something had lured him out there. But her rider seemed fine now. If it had been a spell, he wouldn't have come to his senses so quickly.
The hydra hadn't really thought about the lack of magical bond between her and Eragon before, but she did now. Every rider that she had heard of had learned magic from his hydra. The tattoos on Brom's arms told her that he had done just that. Then again, Saphira knew he had fought in the last war. It was possible that riders didn't study magic unless it was needed to battle.
But she knew Murtagh could do magic. She had felt it. When the vampires had attacked only months before, she had felt Murtagh use magic to defend himself. She and Eragon had never discussed the topic before, but Saphira now wondered if it was time to do just that.
"Still," she said, breaking herself out of her thoughts, "I can't believe you argued with Murtagh."
Eragon had a look on his face that told her he didn't quite believe it either.
"I don't know why, but when he told me never to go out there anymore, I got angry." Eragon bit his lip.
"He's just trying to protect you."
For some reason, that didn't seem to make Eragon feel any better. Saphira hadn't really expected it to do that anyway.
"I'm not sure protect is the right word to use," he said and looked down at his hands.
Saphira chewed on her bottom lip. There were few times when she couldn't tell what was going on in Eragon's mind, and this was one of those times. She hated it. It made it near impossible for her to help her best friend.
"He's trying to keep you out of harm's way."
He snorted. "Yeah, right," Eragon's hand curled into fists. "What a bang-up job he's doing with that."
An alarm sounded in her head.
"Did he -"
Eragon didn't let her finish. "No, he didn't hurt me," he licked his lips. "He just grabbed my arm, that's all."
They fell silent.
"When all this is over..." Eragon whispered.
Saphira watched him closely. He looked really nervous, or perhaps uncertain about something.
"What happens?" he finished.
Her eyes softened. Oh Eragon. "I don't know," she said honestly.
He wrought his hands.
"You would have to talk to Murtagh about that."
He was wincing even before she finished speaking. "The less I talk to him, the better."
Saphira couldn't help but to agree on that. But somewhere deep inside of her, a voice was still praying. It went against all of her Hydra instincts, but with her connection to Thorn, she couldn't stop a small part of her from hoping.
"I guess I can only wait and see," he said and looked at her.
Saphira wished she couldn't see the despair and sadness in his eyes. Whatever spunk that had possessed him earlier was gone. The boy – because he really was nothing more than just that – before her was lost and confused.
And it hurt her. It hurt that she couldn't help him. But right now, the only thing they could do was to wait.
Murtagh wanted to kill something. Anything would probably do at this point, but what he really wanted to kill was vampiric, had oily red hair, wore black clothes, was fucking ugly and went by the name Durza.
How dare he? How dare he come there and pretend to be looking after Murtagh's best interest! Did he think Murtagh was stupid? Murtagh knew him better than that. It was all too clear what Durza wanted.
From his time there, Murtagh had been able to sense that the Council was getting less powerful. At the very least it was getting smaller. And a vampire of Murtagh's standing would make the Council appear more powerful, and perhaps even gain some more members thanks to his good looks.
But there was no way Murtagh was ever joining them. Durza triggered a nearly insatiable strong urge to kill and Formora was after his blood. Either he killed them or they killed him. Both of those options therefore sucked.
Besides, even if he had wanted to, he wasn't leaving Thorn. Even though their bond sucked far worse at times, Thorn was all he had. His mate and offspring didn't count.
Murtagh leaned back against the side of the house and tried to keep himself from breaking into the place and killing the first person he saw. Days had passed, but the urge to slaughter hadn't disappeared. It never disappeared easily after seeing Durza.
Murtagh closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths. He hadn't mingled with Thorn or Vanir since Durza's visit. A part of him was scared – no, certain, for Murtagh didn't get scared that easily – that he would kill them if he saw them now. The last thing he needed was to get a pissed of female Hydra after his ass, as well as a very skilled ex-Dragon Rider.
He opened his eyes and checked the perimeter before walking to the back of the house again. Murtagh had taken to alternate between sitting on the balcony and in front of the house. The whole house was basically surrounded by wilderness, but it was worst in the back. That was also the easiest entrance to the house.
He really wished that Formora would just get it on already. If she attacked, then at least he would have something to go after. The wait was killing him. She hadn't even sent the other twin! Granted, Murtagh would have killed him easily now that his twin was gone, but Formora hadn't made any sort of move since then. He was getting very agitated. If something didn't happen soon, he was tempted to go after the bitch himself.
The night went by agonizingly slowly.
Murtagh did a final walk around the house a few minutes before six. Everything appeared fine.
Thinking that made Murtagh want to stay there until the sun rose. Thanks to it being May, the sun wasn't due to rise until around eight or nine. It was still relatively dark. The horizon wasn't even showing a hint of lighter blue yet.
Something felt very wrong. Murtagh had felt it before the attack of the Twins, and he knew when to trust his instincts. Something was going to happen soon, he just couldn't tell when.
Murtagh found a hiding place and waited for the sun to rise; fighting against his instincts to hunt down whatever was watching him.
He was positive two hours had never felt longer before. Each minute seemed like an hour. Each second felt like an agonisingly slow minute. When the sun finally started to rise, Murtagh was beginning to question his instincts. They had never failed him before, but it had been two hours, and the sun was coming up. Few vampires wandered around during daylight unless they absolutely had to.
It was then he understood. This was what Formora had wanted. She was watching him to see when he came and when he went. That meant he couldn't leave; not until he was sure someone powerful was awake in Teller's house.
Another hour ticked by slowly. As he felt someone start to walk around in the house, Murtagh realised he wasn't feeling watched anymore. He was up and running before the scream echoed from the inside house.
Fuck, he was an idiot!
A/N I am the Queen of Cliffhangers. You know this. You also know that killing me means that you won't find out how the story ends, to please be nice? Ahem.
Now, over to my little story notes.
Obsession: You should be pleased to hear that I've managed to get past a MAJOR bump when it came to the sequel. I'm still nowhere near completing the first chapter, let alone the rest of the actual story, but I'm past a very important bump in the road. But what does this all mean? Well, it means that I can post chapters nineteen and twenty soon, without feeling too bad. You'll understand what I mean when I post those chapters. Everything is very closely linked now, and I didn't want to post more before I had a better grip on the sequel.
Now I've Seen it All: I have sadly not even started on the fifth chapter. And it's hard to post something that you haven't even written yet. I need to go about it slowly, as to not agitate myself further, so please be patient. The chapter will come, hopefully soon.
Just Another Ordinary Day: Sadly, the same applies to this story. I have not written the fourth and final chapter. I have a vague feeling of what I want to happen, but I'm not there yet. Please have patience.
Poison: I'm a little stuck on the twelfth chapter. A lot of things are happening in the thirteenth, so I have to lead up to it all. And that isn't as easy as I thought it was going to be. I hope you can all be patient.
Restricted Access: If I'm lucky, this is the story I'll be able to update while I'm struggling with the others. Sadly, I haven't rewritten the entire piece, so you're going to have to be patient here too. But I have actually written the skeleton of this piece, so it's easier to get going. Hopefully.
That is all I have to say about this chapter and my stories. I cannot say for sure when anything else will be updated, but hopefully something else soon before the summer is over. I have missed uploading like you wouldn't believe.
On an unrelated note; I am now on Tumblr. You can find me under sussiekitten, shockingly enough. lol. If you're interested, it's a way of knowing that I am alive, reblogging weird shenanigans and moaning about the weirdest plot bunnies in all of existence.
That is all for now. See you soon, hopefully.
Andelan – A language that is also called "Old Tongue".