Blood and Snow 11: Resolved to Rule (5 page)

“You can’t be here.” Truthfully, I was happy to see him. I wasn’t alone. Did that make me weak?

“I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” he said.

“No,” I whispered, closing my eyes.

He touched my face, his fingers pressing against my jaw slightly when the blade sank and retreated. “Do you remember what Abernathy said? That I would know what I needed to do when the time was right?”

“Y-Yes.” Tears stung my eyes, and burned a path down my face, into my ears, and hair.

“Tonight I was pacing in a room without a door when one suddenly appeared.”

I opened my eyes. Had these beings—the Unknowns—brought Dorian here as well? “Was there a blue light?”

He gave me a strange look. “Not blue, but a bright gold. I tried the door handle. It opened immediately, and before my eyes materialized a golden hallway. I followed it. On, and on, and on. Until I found you. I’m so sorry I didn’t get here sooner.” The knife tore into his flesh again. He closed his eyes and his fist at the same time. Then he continued. “As soon as I saw you lying on the altar, I knew. My purpose is to save you.”

“You can’t…”

He stopped me, covering my mouth with his fingers.

“I’ve always somehow known. From the moment you tripped up the stairs of Professor Pops’ front door. I looked into your beautiful eyes, and thought: this girl’s meant for me.”

“We were eight the first time we met. You were into cars, and video games.” As I said the words I smiled. I remembered the look on his face that day, and every time since then. I finally understood all those moments in my past when I’d been curious about Dorian, and what he wanted, or was thinking. He’d been there for me, regardless, and no matter what.

“I’m sorry you’re suffering.” 

 

Chapter 11

 

He forced a smile. “Can I kiss you?”

I nodded. He could do whatever he wanted. If only he would go. I couldn’t watch him die.

The blade went into his back. He closed his eyes. “I love you, Snow White. Always have, and always will.” He gently pressed his lips to mine, and moved them tenderly.

The blade went in again. And he caught his breath.

I kissed him back with all the gratitude, and love in my heart. For all the years he’d cared for me without ever requesting I reciprocate. Images of each time he’d been there for me, and loved me unconditionally, flashed through my mind.

The night I told Professor Pops, the brothers, and Kenmei I never wanted to see them again. I’d awakened with my mother’s blanket over me. At the time I hadn’t realized who did it. Now I saw Dorian. He brushed tendrils of hair from my face, and covered me with the purple blanket.

Or the night I got scared. Right after I saw the vision of myself eating the heart. Gabe came over, but Dorian stopped by as well. To make sure I was safe.

The night I was first bitten. Dorian demanded I stay in his room, and he checked on me several times during the night.

There were so many images I couldn’t keep track. He’d been in the backdrop, looking out for me, since the day we met.

And one thought filled me up. Every crevice, and cranny.

This is what it means to be loved.

In that moment something peculiar happened. Brilliant sparks burst from Dorian, and into me. Starting with my lips, and moving through my neck, my arms, torso, legs, and feet. Right down to my toes. It moved like lighting.

Fireworks, I thought.

And I sucked in a breath at the strength of its heat.

Love. Astonishing love.

I heard the Unknowns shriek, and groan, as though they were suffering a terrible pain.

“This is unexpected.”

“The plan has changed.”

The blade above Dorian and I vanished.

The glittering red of the Seal still swirled lightly, basking Dorian’s peaceful face in an extraordinary glow.

I could move my body again. The hole in my chest, near my heart healed instantly. “Dorian,” I said, shaking him. “You did it. They’re gone.” I patted his cheek with a hand. “Dorian.”

The room began to quake, and chunks of black rock fell around us.

I tried to move him, to get out from under him. His body slid to the side, but he didn’t wake. “Oh, please. Dorian.”

I felt for a pulse at his neck. He didn’t have one.

I jumped off the altar.

Dorian’s body collapsed, so he was on his stomach. His shirt was sticky with blood, a gaping hole in his back.

“No. Dorian. No.”

I had a flash of Gabe. When I thought I’d killed him. For an instant my feet wanted to run, but I was different now. I wasn’t the girl I’d been with Gabe. I was a vampire. The Seal.

And I could save him. But only if I stayed.

Sucking in a ragged breath, I climbed on the altar, kneeling next to him. I placed both hands over the wound, and poured all the love I had for Dorian, all the love he gave me, into my desire to heal him. The seven colors of the magics rushed from my hands into Dorian. They lit the room, and beat slowly under my hands.

“Come back, Dorian. Come back. I need you,” I pleaded.

The colors grew stronger, and surged through his body, until he was bathed in them. “That’s it. You can do it. If your love saved me, then let mine save you.” I choked back my fear. “Please.”

His body glowed as the colors grew brighter and brighter, until I had to look away. An eruption of light flashed.

When I turned back, Dorian was gone.

I stared at my hands, covered in Dorian’s blood, and screamed. The sound vibrated through the crumbling rock. One struck me on the head, and I tumbled off the altar. Slipping in the blood, I fell to the ground.

All I could focus on was the blood streaked on the altar, dripping to the ground. My shoes, jeans, and arms covered in it, a mixture of mine, and Dorian’s. Amongst the ashy rock, and our blood, something began to form on the altar. Pushing myself up, I moved closer. To my astonishment a black gem appeared. It was spinning fast, and grew bigger and bigger. Suddenly, it stopped.

The gem hovered. It was the size of an egg. Specks of silver, green, blue, red, brown, gold, and indigo covered it. The colors of the magics.

“I see her.” Cindy’s voice cut through my anguish, and the falling rocks.

I took the stone, and shoved it in my pocket. I didn’t know what the conception of the jewel meant, but I wasn’t leaving it behind.

A large boulder struck me on the shoulder, and I went down. I was glad to see Cindy, but if she was close, that meant Gabe was too. How could I face him, the brothers, Professor Pops? How would I tell them Dorian was gone?

I struggled to my knees. The Seal was supposed to be all-powerful and should’ve saved Dorian. But it hadn’t.

Maybe you don’t have as much power as you think, my inner voice growled

“Snow,” Cindy shouted, tossing rocks out of her path with magic as she made her way over. She knelt down, and I saw Gabe was behind her.

“I couldn’t save him,” I said in a voice that wasn’t my own. “I tried. I did. Kenmei said use love. I swear I tried.”

Gabe knelt on the other side. “Who?”

“Dorian,” I whispered. “He protected me, all of us, but he’s gone. I don’t know where.” The words came out choppy, and garbled, but I couldn’t make myself stop crying.

Gabe’s face twisted in agony, and his eyes filled with tears. “It’s okay. You’re okay.”

Cindy pulled me into a hug. “It isn’t your fault, Snow.”

But that wasn’t true. It was my fault.

I closed my eyes, trying to shut away the agony. But Dorian’s face, his smile, and the way he’d kissed me... What he’d done. Saved me. Saved us all. Abernathy’s words to Dorian rang in my mind,
“Very few have the capacity for love, to love, like you.”

“Dorian,” I murmured.

“Let’s get her out of here,” Gabe said to Cindy. I felt his hands pull me into his arms.

 

Chapter 12

 

“My mom?” I asked, searching Gabe’s face.

“She’s alive. They brought her to the infirmary while I was there.”

The weight on my spirit lifted a tiny bit. At least my mother hadn’t died.

“We need to help her. She’s in danger.” I tried to climb out of Gabe’s arms, but he held on tight.

“Right now we need to leave. This is our one shot.”

Cindy grabbed hold of my hand, and said “Eradicus seemungus.” There was a rustle of wind and the three of us went from the rocky rubble to the colorful surface of Mizu Atlantica.

In the distance was the sound of giant wings beating against the night sky. Gabe set me on the ground, but I leaned against him.

I breathed in deeply, trying to pull in some clean air, hoping it would sustain my devastated soul. The air was wet, and smelled of brine, but there was also a hint of fragrance—honeysuckle. My mother.

Gabe held me steady. “Abernathy’s coming. We need to go right away. Before Devoran realizes we’re missing.”

I wasn’t leaving without my mother. But Gabe was right about one thing. He and Cindy needed to escape Mizu Atlantica. With them out of the way, I wouldn’t worry.

I shuddered. Another death would end me, I felt sure.

Abernathy landed. “Where’s the human?” he asked, searching my grief-stricken face.

I placed a shaky hand on one of his golden scales near his mouth. He was warm.

Cindy answered, “He’s gone. Something happened. I’m not sure what.”

I knew, but I couldn’t make my lips say the words.

The dragon grunted. “It’s just for now. Climb on. I can hear Devoran and his guards preparing to come against us.”

Gabe eased Cindy onto the dragon’s back. Then he reached for my hand. “I’ll help you,” he said kindly. His jaw flexed in frustration.

I shook my head. “I can’t leave my mother. You guys go. I’ll find another way to get her and I out.”

Abernathy huffed, and smoke swirled from his nostrils, sending the smell of sulfur into the air.

Gabe shook his head, angry. “Dorian is dead. You nearly died. We need to regroup, figure out our next move. We can’t do that if we’re trapped here, fighting for our lives.”

“Snow,” Cindy began, crossing her arms. “We don’t know anything about this place. Staying is crazy.”

“I know,” I said, absently patting Abernathy’s cheek. “That’s why you need to go.” I swallowed. “I’ll be better off alone.”

Abernathy shook his mane. “You need your friends, your family. Without them you’ll lose.”

I cleared the emotion from my throat. “Dorian is dead because of me. I can’t be responsible for any more.”

The dragon snorted. “You’re alive because of that boy. Don’t destroy Dorian’s selfless gift by going into battle without preparation.”

Tears stung my cheeks. “I can’t leave my mom.”

The screeching of metal on metal rang through the night. I turned toward the sound. The green circle Abernathy landed on when we first arrived slid open. At least a hundred armed guards slowly ascended. They held bizarre guns, aimed in our direction. Devoran stood in the guards midst, an arrogant fury on his face.

“I swear an oath we’ll come back for your mother, young vampire. But now is not the time.”

Gabe reached out for my hand. “Come on,” he said.

An angry shot ripped at the skin on my forearm. The bullet appeared to be made of light. I stared at it mesmerized as it sizzled, and turned to ash, leaving a burn mark momentarily until my skin recovered.

More of them hissed past me. Several hit Abernathy, and he roared.

“Get on my back, you stubborn girl!”

Another bullet struck me in the thigh. I looked up, and noticed Cindy was bleeding from a wound in her shoulder. Gabe was bleeding on the chest, his arm, and a thigh.

They weren’t going to leave without me.

“Fine,” I yelled, and jumped on. “Go.”

Abernathy shot into the air. He swung his head at the guards, who were running toward us, and let out his fiery breath. I thought for sure they’d all burn, but at the last second a rectangle door of light appeared and the guards vanished into it. Abernathy growled and flew toward the bubble suspended over the city.

I kept my gaze on the street, on Devoran. He stood on the pearlized road, his hands on his hips, his feet wide apart, his chest heaving in anger.

“I’m coming back,” I whispered.

 

Afterword

 

Thank you for reading “Resolved to Rule,” volume 11 of 12 in the Blood and Snow series. In this volume, Snow is forced to tackle her fate. Writing this section was a tearjerker for me, but it was a journey Snow had to take.

If you enjoyed “Resolved to Rule,” please leave a review on amazon. It only takes a couple of minutes, but helps me out a great deal.

 

Sincerely,

 

RaShelle Workman

 

Additional Works by RaShelle Workman

 

YA Series

 

Blood and Snow volumes 1-4 (Blood and Snow, Revenant in Training, The Vampire Christopher, Blood Soaked Promises)

 

“Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love’s blood, become the Vampire, Snow White.”  Every thousand years the Vampire Queen selects a new body, always the fairest in the land, and this time she’s chosen Snow White. To purchase the Blood and Snow 4 pack, click
Blood and Snow volumes 1-4 (Blood and Snow, Revenant in Training, The Vampire Christopher, Blood Soaked Promises)

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