London by Night

The Long Night

Merris thinks back on his family's Embrace

Helena thinks I am asleep. And I should be, after the last few nights; sleep should come easy. But how can it? How can I sleep after what we, what I, have just done? What I have done to the people closest to me; I have killed them. I never thought of myself as dead, not until Helena mentioned it, I think it’s just another thing Evangeline never told me. My life had not meant much to me for years, but now I am dead, I regret being so…stupid. And now I am dead, I feel alive, more alive than I think I ever have. I can complain about my…condition, as much as I want but, I have to be honest with myself, without being a Kindred, everyone I love would be dead.

But in some senses, they are.

No. They are here with me, and I am with them. I can look after Lucy; I can be the parent I should have always been. I can’t make up for my past mistakes, but I can make her happy, I can keep her safe; I am never letting her go again. Helena has suffered more than I care to think about. I am not letting her suffer anymore. I would love to say that all she needs is someone to hold her hand and stand by her, but I would be lying to myself. I will try and be whatever she needs me to be, but I think the words come too easily. Part of being a shape-shifter I think.

I don’t think I can put into words how I feel right now. Lucy and Helena are Kindred now. I don’t think that will ever settle in. I never wanted to sire Lucy, but I had been thinking about it since she got burned. She would be more survivable; she would not be looked down upon by other Kindred, and most of all I could be with her in her waking hours. But at the same time, I missed her childhood, and I have robbed her of her adult years. I am no better than the monsters that have haunted her nightmares.

But we are together.

I would be lying again, if I were to tell myself I had not thought about siring Helena. It’s a selfish thought that I had kept hidden. But I could never deny that I wanted to. I just never expected her to suggest it. For all my selfish thoughts, I would never leave Lucy alone, and I know Helena would not either. What had to happen was obvious to both of us, I think. But I would never make such a huge choice for Lucy. I may be her Father, but she deserves better than that.

I tried to act as confidently as I could for Helena’s siring. I only just learnt to feed without her, and now I was doing this. I was terrified, so I just did it. And it felt great, better than I had ever imagined it would. Then I realised what I was doing. I was killing her. I wanted to stop; I wanted to hold her close, I wanted to spend the days with her. I…I couldn’t stop. It was too late. And then it was done, she fell limp in my arms. I had killed her. Of all the people in the world, it was I who killed Helena. I am glad neither her, nor Lucy could see my face. The moment before she awoke, I felt broken. I try my best not to hurt anyone, and I had just killed, the woman that I…I…

I think Lucy locking the door broke me out of wherever I was. I could not help but smile; it took the edge off the moment. Well, until Lucy saw Helena, slung over my shoulder. When she finally woke up, I think both Lucy and I almost jumped out of our seats. Lucy really does love Helena to pieces.

Lucy never ceases to amaze me. She wanted us both to sire her. Both of us! She is an astounding little lady. I don’t know where my mind was at this point. I did not want to take her life from her, and I did not want Helena have to go against everything she has ever held dear, and do the same.

But at this point, there was no going back. We could not look after her as she was, and as we were. And I don’t think she would have let us not sire her at that point. She seemed so… adamant about joining us. At the time I slightly hoped she would change her mind, I thought the same about Helena as well, but, its better this way. I just wish it did not have to be.

Lucy wanted to be sired in her room. I feel bad for leaving the logistics up to Helena, but I was not as composed as she was. We both kept our faces as straight as we could, but inside she seemed more structured, while I was falling apart. She was able to get all the food we needed, all I could do was stay by Lucy’s side, and hope; no, hope is not a strong enough word, that everything would go well. I could not lose Lucy. That was not an option.
As soon as I saw Helena’s fangs, I buried my head in my hands. I closed my eyes as tightly as I could, and pretended we were all somewhere else. A beach, a park, in France, then back in the garden.

“She’s gone. Do it now. Now “.

Those words brought me out of hiding, and I did it. I brought her back. She took longer to wake up but she came back; she came back to us. I was overloaded with emotion; she was so chatty, so excitable, so ready. For a moment my doubts and my worries slipped away. But Helena was exhausted; I could see it in her eyes, she could not handle anything else that evening. We managed to put Lucy to bed, and finally settled down for the morning.
The chatter between us kept me going; the sense of normality. The ability to do such a thing made me feel like we were a family. To be able to just talk to Helena, something so simple, made me feel so close to her. It’s such a trivial thing, but it made forget about my doubts, and think of what we could be.

Lying here in bed, I can feel I need to sleep. My mind is swimming; did I just kill my family, or bring them to life? I can’t answer those questions now, or even by myself…but I don’t think I need to; not now. I can sleep easy knowing I won’t have to wake up alone anymore.
And I can spend my nights with the two people that mean so much to me. Life cannot be perfect and death even less so, but right now I feel complete. I can feel a smile spreading across my face, just thinking about waking up tonight.

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