4 years earlier
"Come on, cherie," Serafine dragged Amy to another fancy club in New York. Rheya's orders. She told the French vampire to find a manner to lighten her bad temper. Her behavior was getting on the First Vampire's nerves. "This one est magnifiqué, you'll see."
"You said that about the last three clubs we went, and they all sucked. Not even a single mortal soul to entertain me. Not even a decent drink to get me drunk enough to deal with all this world domination crap."
"Courage, cherie. Our Goddess has elected you as her right arm, besides being her granddaughter. What else could you ask for? I'd give anything to be in your shoes."
Serafine was right. What else she could ask for? She had endless power, wealth and could bend any living being to her will. So why that feeling of emptiness still persisted inside her? Why couldn't she find anything that could keep her satisfied?
"I have an idea, why don't we use some mind tricks to make this night a little more fun?"
Amy agreed. First she went to the bar, compelling the bartender to produce drink after drink for her to taste, until he achieved what she considered perfection.
Then, she went to the dance floor. Activating her vampire senses, she began to feel the mortals' pheromones on her surroundings. Some of them were the perfect targets for the purpose she desired. While Serafine rented the secluded VIP room, she started to seduce each one of them with her psychic powers, together with her physical features.
"How many did you get?" Serafine asked.
"Five," she told. "I assume it's more than enough."
Lured by their mind tricks, male and female mortals started undressing. The two vampires exchanged a look, while their eyes went blood red and fangs emerged from their mouths.
"Time for fun."
Amy advanced to a female mortal. Her golden brown skin matched perfectly with her brown hair and eyes. She reminded her someone she knew, a long time ago.
Her mouth devoured the woman's, as her hands explored every inch of her body. While she made her moan under her touch, her fangs softly punctured her neck, drawing some blood.
But some wasn't enough. She needed more.
She could get no satisfaction.
She was the Blood Goddess descendant after all, and the Goddess inside her demanded a sacrifice.
"Ugh! I JUST CAN'T," Amy's frustrated scream caused a vase in the living room to explode in a million of pieces.
"Y-You... you just exploded a vase with your mind," Lily stared at the scene in shock. She had been following her to the training sessions with Kano for some assisting. "That's definitely something."
"It's not. Unfortunately I can't explode Rheya with my mind."
"You can always practice. With Aiko, for example."
"Kamilah didn't sleep home last night, did she?" Amy asked, heading to the fridge. A bag of fresh blood was everything she needed at the moment to restore her strength and bring some peace to her tormented mind. Due to the circumstances, she had been spending more time at the penthouse. And obviously, the Vampire Queen wanted to avoid her at any cost.
"Yeah..." Lily lowered her eyes, focusing her attention on her cereal bowl, as if her expression would hurt Amy any less. "It has been happening a lot lately."
All because of her presence. If Kamilah knew. If she only knew the truth. "I've been by Rheya's side this whole time so she wouldn't come after you," she wanted to shout. "In my own way, I was keeping you safe."
Amy was the only thing that prevented Rheya from leaving United States before. Knowing her friends were hiding somewhere out there, she managed to convince her.
Being part of the First Vampire's bloodline, not only she inherited her abilities, but her persuasion skills. She could be as manipulative as her psycho grandmother when she wanted. "I suggest we wait," she once told. "We need a stronger army first. Not every vampire community will be so open minded to our ideals."
Rheya had chosen her as her personal advisor for a reason. She trusted her. She was not irresponsible as Priya, or wild spirited as Serafine. She was wise. She had learned exactly when and how to strike, she no longer acted by impulse. None of Amy's actions ever failed. She made herself the First Vampire's most prized weapon.
"Morning, Amy," Jax walked into the living room. At least now she was calling her by her name again. "How are the training sessions going?"
Everybody knew. There was no reason to keep lying to them. Honesty was the key to regain their trust.
"Like crap. I can't barely defeat imaginary creatures with my psychic blasts. Kano claims something's blocking me."
"But she just exploded Kamilah's ancient vase," Lily added. "We'll have to clean it before she returns."
"When she returns," Amy let out a frustrated sigh. "If she returns."
"Hmmm," as Jax finished chopping the ingredients of his breakfast, he fell pensive. "Isn't it obvious?"
"Kamilah's avoiding me, I know. I guess I'll find some other place to meet you guys."
"This is not what I'm talking about. Your unresolved situation with her, this is blocking you."
"What can I do?" Amy approached him. "She's engaged."
"Talk to her."
"I already did. When she showed up in my hotel room and we almost had sex."
Jax's eyes went wide at the last part. Considering all the angst of the last few years, it seemed like a surprising event for everyone.
"And what did you do when she told you she was engaged?" He wanted to know.
"Nothing," Amy huffed, covering her face with her hands. "I just stood there paralyzed as she got dressed and left. I spent hours staring at the ceiling."
"I ignored it. I've been trying to act like it never happened. Like if nothing existed between us."
"This is what's blocking you," Jax placed a hand on her shoulder. "Talk to her again. Solve things out."
"Jax has a point," Lily agreed, stealing some food from his freshly cooked breakfast. "You always create this wall around your feelings. You muffle them, you hide them, you keep it all to yourself. Look how bad it ended last time. If only you had told us about Demetrius and your visions."
As much as Amy hated to admit it, they were both right. Dealing with her mother's abusive behavior caused her to close herself inside a shell. She never allowed herself to show her feelings or to display her weaknesses.
"You should open up to her," Jax insisted. "Not only it'll help you, but it will help us all too."
"How? She treats me like the 2020 plague, someday she'll start wearing a mask around me."
"The 2020 plague," Lily let out a small laugh. "The one Adrian helped to develop the vaccine in secret, but Rheya took all the credit for donating that insane amount of money for research?"
She only thought it could be him. Even in such dark days for vampires, Adrian was still putting the human kind wellbeing above everything. Amy wondered what would've been of him if he had been allowed to live a free and normal life. Maybe he'd have a career in politics.
"Figure out," Jax told, just before he finished his breakfast and followed to the penthouse's gym. "We believe in you."
His words made the corners of Amy's mouth curl up in a small smile.
A while later, the door opened and Kamilah walked in. She was still wearing the same clothes from the previous night, when Amy last saw her. She felt a knot in her stomach to imagine where she had been, or what she had been doing. The idea of her Kamilah being in somebody else's arms just seemed wrong in every possible manner.
"Good morning, kids," the female vampire said, grabbing herself some coffee.
"Good morning. I was just about to leave," Amy excused herself. Not that she had to, but she wanted to. "I only dropped by to get some blood."
The female vampire shrugged and ignored her comment, sitting at the table and preparing herself to read the daily news.
"How's the training going?" She asked, without taking her eyes off the newspaper.
"Progressing. She exploded one of your vases," Lily answered in anticipation. "With her mind."
"Oh, Spencer, I know how things tend to explode themselves in our presence."
"I mean it... this time."
For the first time Kamilah acknowledged Amy's presence in the room, gazing deeply into her eyes.
"If we were truly progressing," she told, "at this time we could be inside an airplane, ready to defeat Rheya."
"It takes time," Amy had the courage to speak for the first time. "I've been rusty for three years now. But I'm starting to feel it again."
"Let's be honest, Amy. To grow the Tree until its full potential, you must gather a lot of power. Rheya has done it by murdering thousands of people. So tell me, is it what you're planning to do?"
"In the last few years, she has been doing it without the need of bloodshed. She has grown different kinds of trees, plants and flowers in the backyard, according to her tastes. I can do it too."
"Let's hope so," Kamilah sighed ironically, turning her attention back to her own businesses.
Her phone started buzzing, getting her full attention. Amy could only assume it was Aiko. She and Lily exchanged an annoyed glance.
"The Five wants to meet us tonight... for a celebration?"
"What are we celebrating?" Lily wanted to know. "We never celebrate anything."
"Apparently Henry is too optimistic about our future."
Amy's phone started buzzing too. Iola was freaking out about the house getting crowded by the reality show's crew, while Rheya was doing a new charity event that night. She rolled her eyes. She hated that life, every minute of it. If she could throw her phone in the ocean, she would.
"Make sure to be there," Kamilah spoke as she started to leave to her home office. "You too, Amy. Your presence was requested."
"This is your chance," Lily whispered.
Indeed. Amy's best friend took her to some of her favorite clothing stores in Tokyo to assure she'd be wearing the most perfect dress that night. She also helped her with her hair, make up and accessories.
"So?" Amy left the suite's bathroom wearing her sexy red dress. "How do I look?"
"Yes!" Lily celebrated taking a look at the results. "Quest Getting Kamilah Back is almost completed."
"Whoa, I think I'm gonna hire you as my personal stylist when we return to New York."
"I'll pass. I don't want to be anywhere near that eerie mansion of yours."
"It gets even creepier at night."
Both of the girls laughed, but deep down, Amy was haunted by the memories of the sleepless nights in her enormous room. Where the guilt, together with the sorrow of losing the woman she loved, were her only company.
A car went to the hotel to pick them up for the party. Differently from what they assumed, the event wouldn't take place at the club. The Five had hired a small space to accommodate the guests.
"I still don't get it," Jax commented once they found their table. "What is it all about? We can't have any exposure and they know that!"
"I know," Kamilah added. "It's strange. I don't have a good feeling about this."
"You never get a good feeling about anything, Kamilah," Lily said.
"And I'm never wrong. Am I?"
"Come on," Adrian interrupted. "I doubt Henry or any members of The Five would do anything to put us in danger. Journalists have been banned from the event."
While the argument flowed between the group, Amy's look crossed with Kamilah's by the opposite side of the table. Since their arrival, they couldn't take their eyes off each other. She could sense the female vampire's eyes burning in desire as she stared. Retributing the gaze in the same intensity, it was almost like they both could erupt into flames at any second.
"Ahem," Lily cleared her throat. "Guys, it's me or it's getting way too hot in here?"
"Yeah..." Amy sighed, dismissing completely all the feelings and thoughts running through her mind. "I'll get a drink."
"Me too," Kamilah told.
As she made the motion of getting up, Lily softly whispered in her ear:
"Now. Do it."
When Amy arrived at the bar, Kamilah was already placing her order. She slowly approached, trying to appear confident. It was surprising how even after all those years that woman still had so much impact on her sanity.
"Gin on rocks, please."
"And I want what she's having."
"You hate gin," Kamilah said once the bartender turned around.
"I... I've changed," Amy lied. "A lot of things about me actually."
The female vampire let out a small and soft laugh. That was the first time Amy heard that sound since she arrived in Japan.
"Not really. You're still a terrible liar."
"Only when I want to."
She grinned, Kamilah returned the gesture. In that moment, all the tension between them had vanished. Maybe it was the right time for their conversation.
"I wanna talk to you," Amy spoke, after taking a deep breath.
"Amy..." Kamilah sighed. "There's nothing left to be said."
"Kamilah, I love you. I know I made an unredeemable mistake. I tried to change fate, I allowed darkness to control me and I broke your heart but... please, just let me prove you I've changed, that I really changed."
"Did you? You said you haven't used your powers in years but, what will it be when they return to surface? What about Rheya? Will you really be able kill her this time?"
"I..." Amy took a step forward and took Kamilah's hand. "It's different now, I promise. I'm training with Kano. Just give me a second chance, please."
Kamilah was tense for a second, then she relaxed, giving in to Amy's touch.
"I don't know," she closed her eyes. "I need some time to think."
"Okay. As long as you need."
Kamilah turned around and walked away. As a member of The Five she had some people she was forced to speak to. She barely left when a panicked Lily appeared by Amy's side at the bar.
"Girl..." she hyperventilated, "you have to... improve your telepathy!"
"Slow down, Lil," Amy told. "What's up?"
"I was trying to warn you through my mind, Aiko was observing you two the whole time. She had that psycho look on her face."
"Oh, I don't receive people's thoughts at every moment. But I couldn't care less about her, I was only talking to Kamilah. Yet, if she has a problem she can come at me. I'm ready."
"As much as I'd love to see you kicking her ass, be careful. She can be quite crazy."
The party food buffet was excellent. Amy couldn't remember eating such a perfect japanese food back home, even in the best restaurants around.
"It's beyond delicious," she spoke, with her mouth still half-full.
"Thank you," Akeyo smiled. "I prepared most of it myself. Jax helped me too."
"Oh my god, you guys should open your own restaurant. Seriously."
"May I have your attention, please?" A voice coming from the stage interrupted every conversation in the room. Everyone's attention focused on Aiko Nakamura holding the microphone.
"What is it about?" Amy asked Akeyo.
"I have no idea," he answered. "Whatever it is, she forgot to inform the rest of us."
"I'm pleased to announce Nakamura Enterprises has closed a big deal this morning," Aiko continued. "With our merge with an Australian company, I shall be leaving the country for the next few months."
Not bad. Not bad at all. A smile appeared on Amy's mouth. That was the chance she needed to finish her training with Kano in peace, and also gain Kamilah's heart back. With Aiko far away, her task would be so much easier to accomplish.
"There's another announcement I'd like to make. Because of this sudden news, my wedding with Kamilah will be anticipated. All of you are invited to attend our lovely ceremony in Australia."
Amy felt her heart sinking. Kamilah hadn't mentioned this earlier. She gave her a quick glance, the female vampire avoid her eyes.
"Kamilah, my love, come here at the stage. Let's toast to our everlasting union."
Kamilah joined her on the stage. Amy couldn't read her feelings, her face was emotionless.
"I..." she cleared her throat. "I admit I was caught by surprise with the news, but I'm truly happy. I can't wait to share this amazing moment of our lives with all of you."
Aiko pulled her for a long and fiery kiss, Kamilah didn't seem to be bothered. Instead, she retributed with the same passion. From far, Amy could read her lips muttering "I love you" as they parted.
"I'm gonna go home," Amy quickly stood up and headed to the front door. "I've seen enough."
Getting in the first taxi she spotted, she ordered it to drop her at the park. The same park where she and Kamilah professed their love for the first time, years ago. Inside the car, she could finally let the tears fall down.
It started raining. The driver asked her if she was sure of her destination, she confirmed. She didn't want to go back to her hotel room yet. Her chest was feeling heavy, to the point she felt suffocated. She needed air. She needed space.
When she left the car, she ran through the park as fast as she could. The rain got heavier, soaking her clothes completely. She could barely see the path ahead.
"It can't be..." Amy cried. "It can't be... I can't lose you again!"
All her strength seemed to have left her body in that moment and she fell on her knees. Images from the past started flooding her mind, since the day where she and Kamilah first met in Adrian's office to the moment where she surrendered to darkness.
"No... let me fix it, please..."
A vision started playing in front of her eyes. The Opera House. The moment of the tragedy, where the loss of one of her friends was inevitable. As Rheya made that one final move, Kamilah jumped in front of her.
"NO!" She yelled, watching the female vampire squirm in pain as the dagger stabbed her stomach. "Kamilah... no..."
It was too late. Kamilah fell on the floor as Demetrius' lethal blood started to poison her body and mind.
"Amy, I'm so sorry," she spoke, weakly. "I couldn't bear losing you again."
"But I can't lose you too! I love you!"
"This is okay, Amy. I always longed for the day I'd find peace, redemption and you brought this to my life. You made me happier than I've ever been in my entire life. Thank you for loving and accepting me for who I am."
"Kamilah," Amy cried, shaking the woman she loved in hope to bring her back to consciousness. "Stay with me! I need you! I... I can't do this without you. I can't!"
"You're stronger than you think, my love. If there's someone who can defeat Rheya, it's you."
Kamilah placed one last kiss on Amy's lips. Her mouth felt extremely cold. Then, she handed her a stake.
"You know what you have to do."
"Please," the female vampire held her hand firmly around the stake. "My life has come to an end. And I want this last moment to be with you."
Amy closed her eyes, ready for that final blow.
"I love you, for the rest of my life," she spoke, tears running down her face.
"I love you too," Kamilah responded, before closing her eyes. "See you on the other side, little firefly."
Amy pushed down the stake through her lover's chest. Kamilah let out one muffled cry in pain, before starting dissolving into ashes.
"No..." the girl sobbed, looking down at her hands. At that moment, everything seemed clear. "I... I gotta let you go. Goodbye, Kamilah Sayeed. I love you. I'll always love you."
She was brought back to reality. She had to let Kamilah go, one way or another. She should accept her fate was to lose her, to death or to somebody else.
"DAMN IT!" Between tears, Amy punched the floor repeatedly. She could feel her fists breaking, tearing and bleeding. "I can't do this! I can't..."
Her body was flooded by a sudden and extreme force. A force she was familiar with. That one ready to consume and control her body and her soul.
She couldn't allow it. Not again. She wouldn't lose herself to darkness.
She wasn't Rheya. She would never be. She was different.
"NO!" Amy screamed at the top of her lungs. Her voice had the strength of a thunderstorm. The floor around her began to shake. The rain seemed to pour even heavier than before and when she noticed... everything had gone dark.
Tokyo was completely emerged in shadows.
"What... what have I done?"