Chapter Eight

White hit fire again coursed through Beth ripping another tortured scream from her lips. Her body arched off the table and sweat streamed down her face. She swallowed hard once the electricity was again shut off. The Council has been at this for hours she was sure, but exactly how many hours that she didn't know. What she did know was she and the twins couldn't take much more of this torture. It would either kill her or them if it continued much longer.

"Very impressive Beth," Nathaniel said smiling.

"You have lasted longer this session than the last several sessions," Edgar stated.

"Yes, most mortals die after three or four consecutive sessions of electrocutions. But you have survived them all," Nathaniel said.

"As fascinating as that information is, I'm ready for it to stop," Beth whispered.

"What you want isn't important," Edgar snapped.

"Then kill us and be done with it," Beth returned.

"Are we starting to detect your mortal weakness," Cornelius asked smiling slightly.

"Call it what you want, Vampire! I'd like to see you lay here for hours upon hours being electrocuted," Beth snapped.

Nathaniel laughed and clapped his hands together. "There's the fire I knew was inside of you."

Beth closed her eyes taking a deep calming breath. Nathaniel had showed his hand by reacting to her outburst. They wanted her to get angry. But why?

'Because they want to see what we can do.'

Beth's eyes snapped open hearing a new voice inside her head. 'Who are you?'

'I'm your son. Mick was shielding me during your dream. He said I should remain quiet, but I wanted to meet you too.'

Beth glanced around the room until her eyes found Edgar. What was he up to? He was no longer sitting with Nathaniel or Cornelius. 'And I want to meet you as well, Michael. I can't wait for the day I get to hold all three of you in my arms.'

'Except that won't happen unless we get out of this situation soon.'

Beth sighed watching Edgar as he slowly approached the table she was strapped to. 'I know, Mick. I'm sorry.'

'You have nothing to be sorry for, Mother. This isn't your fault. These monsters don't deserve to live.'

'Michaella!'

'She's right, Mother. It's taking all the will power we have not to start feeding on your blood. I don't k or how much longer we can hold out.'

Beth bit her lip knowing that Mick was right. She had gone at least twelve hours without any blood for the babies. And even with them starving themselves, she was beginning to feel weak from her own hunger. 'I know, Mick.' Her eyes widened seeing Edgar pick up a silver whip with a wooden handle.

'No, he is not going to kill us with that. This ends now, Mother.'

'Michaella, please don't, baby. There's too many of them. You give me the strength to kill him, then they'll all attack at the same time.'

'I'm sorry, Mother. I refuse to allow any more of them to hurt you or us.'

"So, you do know what this will do to you and the fetus growing inside of you," Nathaniel said drawing Beth's blue eyes away from Edgar.

"Yeah, I know if I get too much silver in my bloodstream it'll kill me. And silver is poison for vampires," Beth replied turning her head back toward Edgar's approaching form.

"Good. Then let us begin," Edgar said cracking the whip on the stone floor.

Beth sighed feeling her strength return plus more as the babies tapped into their Vampire half. She knew they were right. It was better to die fighting then to not lift a finger to defend herself or them. She closed her eyes and relaxed her body this time allowing their strength to flow through her without any resistance. She opened her eyes seconds later and ripped her limbs free from the restraints holding her to the table. She smiled hearing Edgar's startled gasp.

"That's not possible," Edgar said taking a step backwards.

She climbed off the table glancing around the room expecting an ambush. "Since I feel cooler and from your expression Edgar, I can only assume I look like a vampire."

"Do not approach her, Edgar. This is a fascinating new development indeed," Nathaniel said drawing Beth's attention.

She watched him rise to his feet slowly, what was he up to? She glanced at Edgar expecting him to attack. Instead, she saw him stepping farther away from her. She turned her eyes back toward Nathaniel surprised to see he was simply watching her.

"It appears your child is trying to help save both of your lives," Nathaniel said clapping his hands together again.

Beth raised her eyebrows as she watched him. "That's because you are trying to kill us."

Nathaniel smiled and nodded his head. "I suppose that is one way of looking at this situation. But now I see I was very wrong."

"No, you weren't. You still have every intention of killing us. Why are you stalling?" She glanced around the room to find Edgar still standing a couple of feet away from her, but Cornelius had moved closer toward her.

'Mother, they plan to attack at the same time,' Michaella warned.

'I figured they would eventually do that,' Beth agreed.

"On the contrary Beth, I'm not stalking at all. I'm thinking about the best way to end this ordeal."

"If you truly want to end this Nathaniel, then tell Edgar and Cornelius to back off. Then simply let us go in peace."

"I could do that," Nathaniel agreed. "But then what kind of example would I be setting? Besides, we don't know what adverse effects your child will have on our kind."

"My child can't hurt you," Beth growled.

"Perhaps…perhaps not, but alas we can't take the risk," Nathaniel said snapping his fingers.

The crack of Edgar's whip drew Beth's attention, but she focused on Cornelius who was closer to her instead as he charged. For a vampire with a limp, he moved extremely well. Even in the heat of battle, she found it fascinating the level her natural senses could be heightened to as a vampire. It reminded her of her time high on black crystal, except this time she knew what she was doing.

She quickly flattened herself on the stone floor and watched Cornelius's eyes widen in what she figured was fear. While she had focused on Cornelius, the sound of Edgar's whip cracking on the floor behind her reminded her of his presence. She didn't know how he planned to attack her, but she found out seconds later. Using the Vampire speed given to her by the triplets, she rolled herself out of the line of fire. She brought herself slowly to her knees and watched Edgar's whip connect and wrap around Cornelius's neck as he was a good inch shorter than she was when he ran.

Beth rose to her feet hearing Cornelius scream in agony. Blood ran freely down his body staining his white shirt red. She glanced at Nathaniel expecting him to attack her or send another vampire at her, but instead she found the head of the Vampire Council starring at Edgar and Cornelius. It appeared none of the vampires were paying any attention to her. She knew this was the best time for her to run, but her instincts told her to wait.

"Forgive me, Cornelius. I swear I will make her pay for this outrage," Edgar said before he glared at her.

Beth watched in horror as Edgar gave the whip a yank pulling Cornelius off his feet. He spun in the air before landing on the stone floor headless. A gasp echoed around the room sending chills down Beth's back. Now she knew without a doubt, she couldn't allow Edgar to touch her with that whip. She retreated while Edgar advanced wiping the blood off the whip with a cloth. The look in his eyes told her loud and clear he was determined to have her head on a pike before the sun rose.

"Now, I see fear in your eyes, Beth. Your blue eyes," Edgar added smiling slightly.

Beth's hands immediately touched her stomach and she reached out through her mind. All she heard back was silence. They were exhausted she knew, but were they all right? Had she lost them in this fight?"

"Your child still lives, Beth. But not for much longer," Edgar growled.

She was unprepared for his Vampire speed and felt the sting of the whip hitting her arm. Beth glanced down at the wound surprised to find it was nothing more than a scratch. It was barely bleeding. Granted it was only the tip that had hit her, but after seeing what had happened to Cornelius she expected the wound to be worse. She glanced up noticing Edgar's shocked expression. It told her he too had expected the wound to be worse.

"It would seem your child is defying all vampire weaknesses," Edgar said cracking the whip again on the floor.

"Well, I am mortal. And silver in moderation isn't poisonous to us."

"Yes, but if your child can give you the appearance and abilities of a vampire, then it is reasonable to expect silver to hurt you," Nathaniel said from behind her.

Edgar nodded his head vamping out while cracking his whip. "I agree with Nathaniel. It is not possible for that abomination to have the ability of turning off it's vampire side."

Beth frowned and shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know about that, Edgar. But what I do know is that my child is half vampire and half mortal. He or she can clearly do things that none of you will ever be able to do. Does that make him or her dangerous? I guess in your eyes it does, but the fact remains the same. I'm carrying a baby not an abomination."

"Then you won't be carrying a baby very much longer," Edgar growled cracking his whip. "Nor will you be alive to mourn it."

Beth bit her lip to keep the comeback on the top of her tongue unsaid. She and the triplets were in enough trouble as it was. She didn't need to make the situation worse with her quick wit. She understood why the babies did what they did, but she now found herself at a huge disadvantage.

Edgar smiled showing his sharp fangs. "I'm surprised I've silenced you. Now, let's finish this," he growled cracking his whip.

Beth watched Edgar stalk her and crack his whip causing her to jump every other second or two. All he had to do was attack using his Vampire speed, and she knew he'd succeed in killing her. So, why was he stalking her like a mortal? She began taking several steps backwards glancing over her shoulder for Cornelius's body. The last thing she wanted to do was trip over his body or slip and fall in his blood.

'Mother!'

Beth spun her head around seconds before the whip connected with her arm wrapping around her left wrist. She grabbed the whip with her right hand screaming when she went flying through the air. She curled her body trying to protect her growing babies before landing hard on her left hip. Pain exploded through her body traveling from her left shoulder down to her left hip.

She glanced up feeling Edgar's steel gaze on her. He yanked his whip lifting her off the floor the slammed his arm into her chest sending her flying away from him. The whip unwound from her wrist slicing it open. She landed hard on her back gasping for the air that had been knocked out of her and feeling a cold liquid seep into her clothes. She rolled herself over slowly to her knees wrapping her right arm protectively around her ribs. With the hit Edgar gave her, she wouldn't be surprised if a couple of her ribs weren't broken.

"So, you do bleed. I'm going to enjoy draining you dry," Edgar snapped.

Beth took as deep of a breath as she dared while taking her outer shirt off and wrapping it tightly around her left wrist. "I'm human, so yes, I bleed."

"And you will bleed even more before I'm finished with you," Edgar growled.

Beth nodded her head agreeing with the vampire as she glanced down feeling something sharp pressing against her hip. She wasn't by any means giving up, but she'd be insane to think Edgar wasn't right. "You're right, Edgar. I probably will bleed more, but it won't be at your hands."

Edgar growled at her while she slowly rose to her feet. She knew she had pushed his buttons and expected him to lose his temper. She smiled prepared for his attack which he delivered seconds later. He charged her clearly ready to rip her head off of her shoulders. Instead, he gasped before falling to the stone floor frozen in place with a wooden stake sticking out of his chest.

Beth heard the angry bosses and growls from the rest of the vampires. She quickly pried the silver whip from Edgar's still fingers. It was the only weapon she had. She cracked the whip expecting a new challenger, but none came. She knew she had two choices when it came to killing Edgar. She had to take off his head or set him on fire, and the torches were too far away for her to reach.

"You won the fight, Beth. You don't have to kill him."

Beth glanced up at Nathaniel shaking her head. "But I do, Nathaniel. If I don't you'll just send him after me again once you remove the stake."

Nathaniel shook his head and rose to his feet. "I won't, Beth. I promise. You're free to go with my blessing. No one will harm you or your child."

"I don't believe you," Beth replied tightening her grip on the silver whip.

"Then allow me to prove my word is true," Nathaniel said walking over to a nearby wall grabbing a torch. "I'm not going to attack you," he said walking slowly toward her and Edgar.

Beth knew better than to trust the ancient vampire and proved her point of not trusting him by cracking the whip. Her action brought Nathaniel to a stop. She knew in order to reach him with the whip she'd have to take a step toward him. Instead, she gasped and took several steps backwards seeing Nathaniel toss the torch toward her and Edgar. The room erupted in shocked whispers as Edgar went up in flames turning immediately to ash.

"I thought you didn't want him killed."

Nathaniel smiled before taking several steps backwards. "I never said that, Beth. I just didn't want you to be the one to do it."

"Why? What difference did it make who killed him?"

"It made all the difference in the world. Him dying by my hands is my first gift to you. My second gift is your freedom and my oath that we will never come after you again."

'But he'll come after us once we're born.'

'No, he won't Mick. Your father and Uncle Josef will protect you.'

'You'll protect us as well, Mother.'

'I won't be as strong as I am now once you're born, Michael. But I'll protect you the best way I can.'

"Include my child in your oath then maybe I'll believe you."

"I can't do that, Beth. Now go before I change my mind and kill you myself," Nathaniel said waving his hand.

Beth walked backwards toward the exit wanting to keep her eyes on the vampires. She continued walking backwards down the tunnels knowing with her injuries she wouldn't be able to run. Feeling her heels hit stairs, she spun around and climbed them ready for some smoggy Los Angeles air. She reached the main floor of the cathedral moments later surprised to hear nothing but silence behind her.

"My child, are you all right?"

Beth gasped lifting the whip ready to strike if she had to. " Stay away from me."

The priest lifted up his hands and moved out of her way. "I won't hurt you, child. I'm just concerned seeing all this blood."

"It's not all mine. You stay there," she said as she passes him.

"Nathaniel gave you his oath, Beth. I'm also bound by it. I will not hurt you."

Beth nodded her head before making a fast retreat for the front doors. She didn't slow down her walk until she was a mile away from the cathedral. She needed food and the triplets needed blood. There was only one place she could go to get it since she was closer to it than to Mick. The first rays of sunlight was just breaking the horizon when she reached the hospital. She silently hoped as she snuck down toward the morgue that Guillermo would help her.

She waited until she was sure Guillermo was alone to step out of the shadows. "Guillermo, it's me Beth," she said softly seeing his tense body language.

Guillermo glanced up and raised his eyebrows. "Beth, what the heck happened to you? Wait…are you pregnant?"

Beth smiled seeing the vampire's shoulders relax deciding then to ignore the second question she answered the first question. "It's a long story. I need your help."

"I'm listening."

"I need some stitches and a bag of blood."

"Is Mick hurt?"

"No, as far as I know Mick is fine."

"Then why do you need a bag of blood?"

"There's no easy way to say this except to just say it. Yes, I'm pregnant, and I need the blood for my child."

"Say that again Beth, because I know I didn't just hear what I think I heard."

Beth smiled and nodded her head at her friend. "Yes, you did. I'm pregnant with Mick's child. I've just been tortured for the last twelve hours by the Vampire Council. My child needs blood."

"The Council is here in LA?"

"Yes, but they aren't after anyone except me and Mick."

Guillermo nodded his head grabbing his gloves, needle, and thread. "I figured as much. I'm just surprised they left Europe. It's so uncharacteristic of the Council I heard about. Let me get you stitched up then I'll get you that bag of blood. Knowing Mick, he's going out of his mind worrying about the two of you."

"Thanks, Guillermo. I really do appreciate this."

"It's no problem, Beth. I'm happy to help you and Mick."