"Dèithe Shine solas buailte linn, saor sinn ó olc an marb"
Ailbe slowly moves in front of the old woman and mockingly strokes her shoulder. The predator taunting its prey before the kill "Tut tut Brigid, you're on my territory now, You know that. Your magic has no power here" He runs his tongue along his perfect white teeth and then pulls her hair back so her throat is exposed "Ask your God for protection from evil, but do it in vain. He won't hear you"
The whole of Brigids family lay slain before her eyes. Her son, his wife, her husband, her sister, her brother in law, her nephews and her nieces. She knows she can't scream for help, what's the point? Ailbe calls this abandoned factory his home, not that there's anything homely about it. But the chains on the wall and the appliances that are on old work benches prove that this is where he belongs, where his coven belong, because it represents evil. And that's exactly what he is.
There are no hearts beating in this room except Brigids, and the faint flutter of another heart, one that has not been slain yet either. She smiles, knowing she can fight and turns to face her tormentor "You are an abomination, you will die and I will be the one to send you to hell. I'm not afraid of you but you should be afraid"
This does nothing but pleases Ailbe and he roughly let's go of the grey hair and puts his hands on the knees of his soon to be victim
"I must admit Brigid, I am going to miss you. All of you. Your coven has given me so much satisfaction over the years. But the fight between good and evil is over. I won. Now how shall we do this? Shall I end your suffering quickly?" He gently strokes her cheek and saliva splattered with blood makes contact with his face. His jaw clenches as he wipes it away and a low growl makes its way from the depths of his throat "Have it your way, slow it is -"
"Ailbe!" His hand that was ready to strike Brigid falls to his side and he sighs, clearly annoyed that he hasn't ended this yet
"What Lorcan?" Ailbe turns to face the man that has stood by his side for centuries, his oldest friend and confidant. A man that Ailbe gave immortality to. The person who he holds in high regard but also the person that contributed to the death of this coven. He always knew Lorcan wanted more, but he didn't think he would betray him to get it. Ailbe smirks when he follows to where Lorcan is looking and he crouches down over the woman that is still holding on to her life, but he can see from the blood on her neck it is a fruitless fight. But still, he has some admiration for her none the less
"Sian, sweet Sian. I thought Lorcan had finished you off. I must admit, I'm impressed" He lets out a small laugh that to human ears sounds like a sweet song, but Lorcan can hear the malice behind it. That's the way Ailbe is. He doesn't have one decent quality, he's a killer. Yes it's his nature but he is also cruel with it.
"A ... Alannah ... My baby" Lorcan looks away from the fading blue eyes. Death is so close that he doesn't even know if she can see anymore, instead he desperately hopes that she can see that white light everyone talks about, the light at the end of the tunnel. She is bitten on her wrists, her neck, all the arteries where her veins pump her blood. Lorcan has taken lives, he's a beautiful dark angel among the dead but he has never made his victims suffer, that is the one redeeming quality he thinks he has. Ailbe holds the dying woman's hand and kisses it before squeezing it so tightly all the bones shatter beneath his touch. She lets out a pained screamed and now her eyelashes flutter against her cheeks
"Don't worry, your baby will die quickly. There's nothing as satisfying as innocent blood. Or, I might just raise her and then when she's eighteen I could always turn her. If her powers are anything like yours she will be strong, she would make a welcomed addition into my family. Would you like that?" His face holds the most beautiful smile, it could possibly be the most happiest he has ever looked. With one last spurt of fight Sian's back arches and with her other hand she pulls Ailbe down to her so he is now only centimetres from her face
"You'll never ... Have ... My baby"
"Oh really?" He places one finger into the open wound on her neck and when he brings his fingers back up to his mouth he sucks off the liquid "Your blood is getting colder, there's nothing you can do"
Sian's head moves to the side and a single tear leaves her blue eyes "There's always something"
She says this so quietly that no one would hear her, but to a vampire the words are loud and clear and her threat brings Lorcan to his feet
"Enemies may fall, enemies may attack. I am not afraid, death will bind us all. Enemies may fall, enemies may attack, I am not afraid, death will bind us all. Enemies may fall -"
"What the fuck is she doing?" Ailbe snarls at Lorcan but all he gets is a confused glance
"Enemies may fall, enemies may attack -"
In one swift move Ailbe reaches down and breaks her neck, bringing an end to her chanting. He stands up and looks at Lorcan once more "I hate witches" he laughs and Lorcan nods at him once. The melody of Ailbes sweet sound disappears when another voice fills the room
"Enemies may fall, enemies may attack, I am not afraid. Their death has bound us all" Brigid stands holding the baby, Lorcan knew this was always the plan. Sian had told him that if her coven failed and they couldn't win then Lorcan must bring her to the edge of death, it was the only way Ailbe would believe that his friend was still on his side. Of course Lorcan refused. They fought, they shouted but in the end he knew Sian was right. They had to win, and the baby would be the one to keep their powers alive.
Brigid raises one eyebrow, mocking her tormentor "I bind you Alannah, I bind you from harm whether that be from the living or the dead. I bind you Alannah, I bind you from harm whether that be from the living or the dead"
"I've had enough of this! End her!" Ailbe shouts at Beatrix, the beautiful un living witch that has been a part of his family for over one hundred years. Before he turned her she was a young witch, inexperienced with her powers. But since her death she has become stronger, and the fact that she has magic and a wicked soul makes her one of the darkest evils in this room. She smiles and steps forward but then stops
"What is it?" Ailbe demands and Beatrix holds her cheeks
"The warmth, can't you feel it?"
A confused frown graces his beautiful face and now, yes, he can feel it. Fire
"I bind you Alannah, I bind you from harm whether that be from the living or dead. We are bound by blood, through magic and power. Hear us ancestors. Protect us from this evil" Brigid pulls the blanket from off of the child's head and even at six weeks old she already has thick black hair. The same colouring as Sian's. Brigid holds the baby in her one arm and then reaches up with her other hand and feels the blood on her head from the first blow Ailbe attacked with. She studies the redness on her fingers and then looks back down at the bundle that looks so peaceful, so unaware of the death around her. Ailbe realises what's happening and crouches, not necessarily through fear, but because this is his stance before he kills. Brigid knows she is running out of time so she puts her hand near the child's mouth
"I'm so sorry, it's the only way" she gently rubs her fingers over Alannah's mouth and silently tears fall as the child scrunches up her face and cries as Brigid's blood makes contact with her tongue. It all happens in slow motion, Ailbe lunges, Lorcan stays frozen to the spot and the baby opens her eyes. Brigid has bound them together, now she needs to end it
"I bind us Alannah, I protect us with the veil of light. Earth, Air, Fire -"
Brigid looks into Alannah's eyes and the element she has been gifted with burns behind her Iris's. The veil is strong and invisibly pushes Ailbe back. He fights to run forward but he can't break it, and then from the veil flames burn and rip through the factory. Explosions erupt and the last thing Brigid hears are the screams from the undead.
She did it, They did it
Twenty four hours later
Brigid stands on the docks and softly rocks the pushchair back and fourth. The Irish Sea air whips her grey hair across her face but she can't feel anything. She can't taste the soft faintness of salt on her lips or the way the wind assaults her cheeks, the December weather is cruel but the fire of yesterday still burns inside of her. After losing near enough everything she had, she's not sure she will feel anything again. Somehow this seems bitter sweet to her.
The voice brings her back to reality and she turns to face the man who's eyes don't meet hers. He has a hood pulled over his head and he bows so his face is concealed
"Where is he?" Her tone is clipped but she doesn't care for the other persons feelings, she knows deep down he doesn't have any
"He's gone underground, to heal"
Brigid steps forward and pulls back the hood but not far enough that the fishermen on the docks will take notice. She gasps when she sees the flesh has burned away, it's an image she knows will never leave her mind "How long will it take you to heal?"
Lorcan pulls the hood back down and shrugs "Maybe a week. That's when Ailbe will come to the surface again, but you'll be long gone"
"We are only going to England, an ocean is not enough separation! He will find us -"
"He thinks you died in the fire, he doesn't think there's any way you could have survived it. She's so ... Young. He only thinks you bound yourself to her, he doesn't know you all did"
She lets out a sarcastic laugh and then looks back out at sea "Well, I'll sleep better knowing my son, my daughter in law, my husband, my whole family and coven died for something"
"Brigid, I'm so -"
"Sorry? I bet you are"
Lorcan stands in front of her and places a set of keys into her hand "There will be a driver waiting when the boat lands in Staithes. It's a small village, I think you'll like my cottage. Well it was mine. It's yours now. Yours and Alannah's. I've transferred money into your back account, it's a significant sum but there will be more -"
"Well aren't you the hero"
Lorcan steps back and pushes his hands into the pockets of his jeans "I told Patrick and Sian if anything happened I would look after her, after you too. I'm going to keep that promise, but I also promise to keep out of view. No one knows that I own a cottage, I bought it when I needed my own time, away from the world. I know you hate me, and I accept that -"
"For centuries your kind have been killing off covens, and now you've slaughtered mine. It's not so much I hate you Lorcan, I hate what you are. My family believed you were good, my son, he believed it. And now he's dead and I'm running!"
She's glad she can't see his face right now, she's not a vicious woman. Strict? Yes. Firm? Of course. But she is glad she can't see his expression. Not that she entirely expects vampires to even express emotions. They are dead, inside and out "What happened to the factory?"
"It burned down to its foundation. I went back last night and gathered the remains. I buried your family on holy land. I thought that's what you would have wanted"
A single tear leaves Brigid's eye and as much as Lorcan wants to comfort her he knows he can't. Maybe thats his one last human emotion, compassion. But he can never act on it. Humans and vampires cannot coexist, Patrick was wrong, Lorcan knows that now. He hands Brigid a folded note with her new address and he bows his head before turning to leave
"When will you come to England? I'm afraid Lorcan. You know that once she's eighteen her powers will reach its peak. She will be a beacon for your kind, he'll find her"
Lorcan looks over his shoulder but still his face is out of sight
"I'll always be around. I made a promise. And I intend on keeping it"
He leaves the docks, he leaves the woman and child behind and returns to the closest thing he has to family, and yet it's the thing that reminds him most of hell