“Why always so sentimental?” Dave laughed again and followed James who had simply left him there. “It’s been so many years…150? Right? Don’t you think it’s time to let go?” Dave teased him.
James turned around quite fast and held Dave by his collars. “I hate you for what you have done to me!” He muttered between his teeth.
“I saved you!” Dave yelled rolling his eyes impatiently.
James let go of him and continued walking. At that moment he wanted to talk to no one. Diana was there with Jack and he was hurting. He knew Jack would be alright for the poison he put in his drink wasn’t enough to kill him. He just wanted to scare Diana. Then Dave’s last statement rang in his head and he turned around to face him.
“You saved me?” He said in a questioning tone looking at him. He felt like laughing out loud at that statement but instead, he came to a halt and stopped Dave by putting a hand on his shoulder. “You cursed me.” He said serious. “I am a monster!”
“I saved you!” Dave insisted. “You were a zombie after Ida’s death. I made you a favor!” James clenched his jaw in anger.
“YOU KILLED HER!” James yelled. “She died because you killed her!” James accused. Dave laughed malefic and James clenched his fists controlling his anger. Dave was stronger than he was. He had other powers.
“I know…” He admitted. He had admitted it long ago, right after he had turned James into a Vampire. When the town where they lived was searching for wolves in the forest for Ida was bitten all over. After his transformation, for he was a very notable man in Glasgow, James had to travel all over Scotland and England, until he finally settled in Winchester.
“James…that woman had a daughter outside marriage.” Dave argued.
“Don’t you dare to talk about her in that way. What are you implying? Ida was a widow. Her husband had been killed by the sheriff. He was hanged!”
“I am sorry…she was too pretty to resist.” Dave laughed again. James felt like crying again. Ida had been the love of his life, at least until Diana. “She looks like her…” Dave commented out of the blue, though James knew he was provoking him.
“Stay away from her!” James menaced.
“Let’s go inside, shall we?” Dave opened the door of the tavern and James got in. His night couldn’t be worse than that; first Jack Byron and after Dave McNamara, his evil maker. They sat at a table and James was hammering on his last remark.
“Do you know she promenades herself alone during the night in the garden?” Dave continued. James looked at Dave horrified. He had been spying on Diana. James could control his brood but he couldn’t control Dave at all.
“Leave her alone!” James said again.
“Are you afraid, James?” Dave cocked a smile that made James’ stomach churn. “Why don’t you just transform her? I’ve given you that power.”
“Because I don’t want her to be damned the way that I am. Eternity is hell.” James said.
Dave rolled his eyes. “You have transformed others. You have your own brood. So why not transform her.” James punched the table irritated.
“Because I don’t want to.” He insisted. “I transformed the others because I needed company. I felt lonely, that’s all. I would not condemn Diana to this life ever.”
“Is that love James? Or is it just because she looks exactly like Ida?” James frowned and then felt himself shrink in his chair. Dave could be so nosy.
“What do you mean?” He asked then.
“What do I mean?” Dave began to laugh again. “I know you’ve followed Ida’s family around. You followed her daughter, then her granddaughter and so on. Diana’s mother was Ida’ great grandchild. Diana is related to Ida and that is why she looks so much like her. That’s why you wanted her to be around and that is why you fell in love with her isn’t it?”
“SHUT UP!” He raised his tone and Dave laughed again.
“It bothers you that I know the whole truth. I wonder what the girl would say if I tell her this story.” Dave menaced. James trembled a bit. Diana couldn’t know. That wasn’t the reason, he had fallen in love with her because of her way but he was afraid she would never understand it.
“Shut up!” James said again.
“You’re such a pussy…” Dave shot serious again. “Are you going to let her marry that boy?”
“It’s better that way.” James said.
“Then why don’t you set her free? Why terrorizing her by poisoning her husband to be?” James stayed silent. It was jealousy. Pure jealousy.
“You have two ways of doing it. Either you transform her and you stay with her or you let her marry and live her life. She seems to like the boy. They kissed today in your garden.” Dave said. James raised his eyes shocked and looked at Dave’s. Was he lying? It didn’t seem so.
“Are you telling the truth?” James asked rather innocently. Of course Dave could be lying.
“It was already dark, but I’ve seen them. Ask her if you doubt my word.” There was this amused glitter in Dave’s glare. He was having so much fun with that story much to James disgust. “Or…I might …you know…” James jumped off his seat and grabbed Dave’s collar again.
“You don’t touch her!” James said.
“Or what?” Dave dared. “James…James…” Dave shook his head. “I am more powerful than you are. You can’t fight me.”
“Try me.” James also dared. Though Dave was his maker, he had broken his relationship with him long ago. James owed him nothing, not even obedience, and Dave…well, Dave wanted his revenge for all that.
“I will enjoy this story first.” Dave said confident. “I think I want Diana to live to know about Ida, her ancestor with whom you were so in love with, and with whom she resembles more than to her own mother. I wonder what she’ll think when she knows you have followed her whole family until her generation, until you found her…James…you made it on purpose. We all know that, you don’t fool me.” James hated to be exposed like that.
It was true that as Diana grew up, she began to look more and more like Ida. It was also true that he had followed her family through generations and when he met little Diana for the first time, he knew she was going to look like his long lost love. He made everything he could to make them stay in the palace. Still, it wasn’t that the reason of his love. He wanted Ida’s family to be alright but he never planned to fall in love. Diana would never understand if that story would be told. It must be kept as a secret.
“Are you going to tell her?” James asked though it didn’t matter what the answer would be. Dave was very inconstant, so today’s answer might haven’t been tomorrow’s reaction.
“Not yet.” He said. “Toast?” Dave raised the glass of Scotch. Last thing James wanted was to toast with that man.
Hours later he came back home. Diana was still up and pacing around in front of the door. He looked at her surprisingly and she narrowed her eyes first thing as they hit him.
“What did you think you were doing?” She shot immediately.
“Is he alright now?” James asked hanging his coat as if nothing was happening.
“Look at me!” Diana took a hand to his shoulder and span him around. “I really mean it when I tell you to leave Jack alone.” She said looking deep in his eyes. He looked down at her and he softened. He wanted to kiss her again.
“Did you kiss him today in the garden?” He asked instead. Diana stepped back. She didn’t have to answer to confirm Dave was telling the truth. The way he saw her disarmed said everything. “So it’s true?” He whispered.
“How do you know that?” She asked.
“It doesn’t matter!” He yelled. “Someone told me! Did you like it? He grabbed her arm so strong that she winced. Suddenly, she had fear written in her eyes and he began to hear her heart beating fast. The smell of her blood invaded his nose and she saw his eyes turn from the normal blue to green. She tried to pull away. She was trying to run away from him.
“Let me go.” She said. “James…” She called his name seeing his grip wasn’t subsiding.
“Did you like it?” He insisted.
“Yes.” She said looking right in his eyes. “I liked it.” She said again, then she managed to pull away her arm. “Satisfied?”
James pulled himself together. Though feeling all his human body being crushed, he nodded. “I’m glad.” He said proudly. Diana curled an eyebrow. Was he serious? She thought he was going to yell and tap his feet on the floor. Tell her he loved her, that nothing he had told her was true and instead, he says he’s glad.
“I hate you, you know that?” She spat.
“I know.” He said. “I won’t say I am sorry.” He said proudly for in reality, he had nothing to be sorry about. Now with Dave near, it was even better if she would stay away from him, because that’s where she would be safe. Diana looked at him with tears in her eyes and turned around, going away. James stayed there watching her leave, as if Ida herself was leaving. He was losing her once again.
Diana entered the bedroom where Jack was staying. Martha was there to help and not to leave her alone too. Constantine had called the doctor to see him and then sent Ralph to his house to warn about what had happened, and that he’d be spending the night in the palace. Diana sat down on the bed and drenched the towel on the water on the bedside table and then put it on his forehead. Martha watched her doing that and then caress the boy’s red hair, she knew there Diana would marry that young man.
Jack’s eyes blinked a bit and then opened slowly. He stared up at Diana and she smiled down at him.
“You should rest.” She said.
“Thank you for taking care of me.” Jack whispered weakly and then held her hand, resting it on his chest, his hand over hers. Martha watched all that from the chair in the corner of the bedroom. Jack was in love with her young lady.
“It’s my duty.” Diana said. Her heart still beating a bit fast from her encounter with James. Her eyes wanted to cry but there was this thing about Jack that calmed all her emotions.
“You should rest.” He told her.
“Lord Byron is right my lady.” Martha said. “Go to your bed. I will stay here with him.”
Diana looked back at Jack who had fallen asleep again. She took her hand away softly and then played with his hair.
“He’s so handsome.” She said smiling.
“He is my lady.” Martha told her and smiled as she watched Diana marveled with Jack’s beauty. There was something growing between the two of them. Diana might not be in love with Jack, but she was close to it. Martha had never seen her like that with anyone.
“I will stay here with him.” Diana said determined. If that was her fate, she’d take it. Jack was gorgeous, sweet and gentle, and she liked him.