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Son of a King

Summary:
When women begin showing up dead all across Toronto with distinctive puncture wounds on their necks, Vicki Nelson, PI, is on the job – along with her 450-year-old vampire partner. But if he’s not behind the attacks – who is? A strange, young couple new to the city could hold the key to discovering the truth. Handling two kinds of vampires was hard enough. Just how many different sorts were there? Second story in the “Different Sorts” series FINAL CHAPTER -- NOW POSTED!


Notes:
ATTENTION READERS: DO NOT STEAL MY STORIES. Someone has stolen some of my stories from this website and posted them as their own on fanfiction.net. It is plaigarism, it is stealing and it is illegal. Read, enjoy -- but don't steal. Second story in the “Different Sorts” series -- takes place after "Different Sorts." Crossover with Buffy and the new “Blood Ties” series on Lifetime. Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


13. Chapter 13

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1667   Review this Chapter



* * *

The apartment was mostly empty now. Just a few cardboard boxes left to be taped up and marked for their destination and a couple suitcases by the door. Late sunlight streamed in through the windows. Bella and Edward would wait until sundown to leave. It wasn’t far off now; probably less than an hour away.

Buffy yanked a strip of packing tape from the roll and used it to seal off another box. She repeated with a second strip of tape, then lifted the box and shifted it out of her way. She pulled off another strip of tape and moved to the next box. Angel, Spike, Willow and Xander were doing the same, while Bella and Edward finished packing the last of their things into other, half-empty boxes. It was a little sad; most moving days were. But the packing had gone swiftly with the help of their friends.

It had been like this for Bella and Edward the last few years. They never stayed anywhere too long. Just long enough to exterminate the vampires and demons, and then they would move on. They hadn’t quite finished in Toronto – but after the battle in the sewer, they were more than ready for a change of scenery. Plus, they knew they weren’t leaving the city unattended. There was another pair of soldiers prepared to take on the night and all of its creatures.



But there was another reason for the sadness; the melancholy in the room. True, they had won their battle … but that’s all it was. Just one battle in a very long and endless war. Buffy had been fighting it for years and she’d known for a long time that it would be her life’s war; that she would die fighting and the war would still rage on without her. It was the Slayer’s war … an eternal and ceaseless thing. The sadness had always weighed upon her, though the load had truly lightened when she was no longer the only Slayer. She carried her share of the weight willingly. Angel understood it, as well. He’d been a part of the war for more than 250 years – and he’d fought for both sides.

Edward finished taping up a box and shifted it into the corner with several others. He sighed and flung the roll of tape aside. He was not accustomed to the burden of war; or the burden of taking human life. It weighed on him heavily. Bella had been watching him carefully the last few weeks since Vicki’s change. He had not been himself; instead, temperamental and moody. Quick to anger. He’d even snapped at her a few times; he’d apologized – but that didn’t change the fact that he’d snapped at her. Edward never snapped at her; not like that.

The window changed color. Outside, the sun had set but deep orange and violet light still illuminated the sky. Edward growled under his breath and stalked out of the room. Bella watched him go in silence, and then listened as the sliding glass door in their bedroom swished open and he stepped out onto the balcony. He was still brooding. So much brooding. Bella remembered Buffy tell her once that Angel used to brood, back when he was still a vampire. Bella understood now why it was so irritating. It took a great amount of patience to stand by his side when he was in such a mood.

Bella turned, as Angel stepped beside her, also glancing toward the empty doorway through which Edward had disappeared. “He’s not doing well, is he?”

Bella sighed. “No. Not since the fight; not since … not since Vicki.”

Angel nodded. “He doesn’t like changing humans.”

“He thinks he’s taking away their souls.” Bella paused, then continued, “I’ve tried talking to him. But he won’t listen. He’s so quick to temper these days … I don’t know what I can do. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do.”

“I could talk to him,” Angel said. “If you want.”

“Will it help?”

Angel shrugged. “I don’t know.”

Bella nodded; sighed. “Go to him. I’ve tried … he won’t listen to me. He doesn’t want to.”

* * *

Edward sat on the concrete of the balcony, his legs dangling over the edge through the steel bars of the railing. He clung to the bars, like a prisoner in his cell. He pressed his face against the metal, his eyes closed as the last of the fading sunlight touched his skin; warmed him. He breathed out loudly when he heard Angel step onto the balcony behind him. Edward pulled back from the bars, opened his eyes and stared at his lap.

“What do you want?”

“I know what you’re doing,” Angel said, leaning against the railing. He gazed out at the city below them, not even glancing towards Edward. “And you’ve got to stop.”

“Stop what?” Edward said, morosely.

“Oh, knock it off,” Angel replied, now turning to the vampire, annoyed. “You’re not the first vampire to walk around with a guilty conscious. You have no idea the extent of the heinous acts I committed when I was first turned … and when I lost my soul the second time, what I did to Buffy; to her friends. And then I was cursed, given back my soul … and I remembered everything. Everything, Edward. Do you understand? Every child I’d killed, every woman I’d tortured … my own father, my own family … I remembered it all. But I suddenly had a soul, a conscious. But I lived with it; I pushed through it. I became a better person for it.”

“Then you understand my guilt,” Edward said. “I killed the woman I loved and then I killed Vicki. I can’t keep doing this …”

“Edward, you saved them.”

“I killed them!” Edward yelled, his voice echoing off of nearby buildings. “I killed them and I can never take it back. I regret my actions …”

“Do you regret changing Bella?”

“Yes.”

“You’d rather you’d have let her die, live alone and let her die …”

“No, I never wanted her to die … she was supposed to live.”

“Edward,” Angel said, sighing. “She was dying … and you saved her. If you hadn’t bitten her, hadn’t changed her … she’d be buried six feet under by now. You gave her another chance. And she loves you for it.”

“No.”

“You are loved, Edward.” Angel sighed. “And in the end, that’s the only thing that really matters.”

Edward shook his head. “I lived for more than 100 years with my eyes closed. I was so hollow. Then Bella came along and changed everything. She filled me up – but she changed everything. Now I don’t know what to do. I keep thinking this life was a mistake; changing her was a mistake. Living, as I do, is a mistake. It’s all wrong.” Edward groaned in frustration and ran his fingers through his hair, tugging on it angrily. “Maybe I should just give up.”

“Don’t give up,” Angel said. “It feels heavy because it is … the weight of the world. I’ve carried it for a long time; so has Buffy. But we have friends who love us and who help carry the burden. So do you.” Angel crouched down and got on eye level with Edward, and stared fiercely into his eyes. “Sometimes the world seems too dark or too bright. Or everything is too loud, or you can’t hear anything at all … sometimes. God, sometimes you just want it to all go away. But you can’t let it swallow you. Don’t drown … swim. Push to the surface and breathe. Because it’s worth it, in the end … you are loved, Edward. Don’t waste that.”

Angel stood back up and glanced, once more, at the city. The sky had turned to purple, only an orange haze on the farthest horizon, and stars were slowly beginning to twinkle above them. Angel took a deep breath and let it out slowly, contentedly. Then he turned and walked back inside, leaving Edward alone in his thoughts.

And in the lonely silence, in the darkening light … Edward figured it out.

* * *

The last of the boxes had been taped up and taken down to the waiting truck. The others stood around, waiting for Vicki and Henry to stop by for their goodbyes. It hadn’t been dark long enough, so they had a few minutes still to wait. On the empty kitchen counter, Bella rooted through her purse – checking to make sure she had everything: lipstick, compact mirror, wallet, keys, wooden stake. She looked up when movement broke the silence.

Edward swept back into the room, ignoring the others, and went straight to Bella. The world seemed to slow down as he moved towards her, but still he pressed on – each step making him stronger, more determined. He pushed through the weight bearing down on him, broke away from it – broke free. And as he got closer to Bella, he felt stronger, freer, lighter. When he reached her, finally, he didn’t say a word – instead, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her, deeply. Their mouths connected in electricity, igniting the room with a brightness. Lips, tongues and tonsils danced and it didn’t matter if others were watching – for Bella and Edward, there was only each other. This was love; this was passion. This was true.

“I love you,” he said, breathlessly, when they finally parted.

She smiled. “I love you, too.”

Edward smiled back at her – the first time in weeks. “I know. I finally figured it out.” He closed his eyes and sighed. “I’m loved.”

"Truly, you are.” She brushed her fingers through his hair, watching the tiny movements in his face as he savored her touch.

“I won’t let go again,” he promised. And together, they turned to face the night.

* * *