He had left before she had risen.. She was near to waking and he could tell it… her breathing had shifted in the telltale way it always did in the moments before she would wake, when consciousness was not far off..

So he had left.. Purchased a horse, and left through the portal.. He needed time to process what had happened.. what she knew.. what it might mean.. The dark of the night as he rode the countryside offered familiar comfort.. and as he followed the coastline he came to the small town nestled along a small cove..

He hunted there by the night, channeling the power of the Shadow Realm in the strange new way of the world he now found himself in.. His grasp on it was returning, and though he was still weakened by the journey.. what she had given had done much to set him back to right again..

What she had given… What he had Taken.

The same cycle.. desire.. seduction and the inevitable question.. How can I be what you are?

He recalled well his own desire as he watched those that had made him.. They seemed like Gods compared to his frail body.. Forever strong, Forever young.. who could stand beside it absent desire for such..? He had never fully understood why She had wished he remain as he was until she had asked..

What she was asking for was her own death.. If he could turn her was aside the point.. whether she rose, or stayed in the grave, she would nevertheless have to Die. His own death remained a vague.. disjointed and horrible nitemare.. nonsensical images strung together in ways that still refused to come together to any great meaning..

He could only recall the burning.. the long unending agony..

He dismounted the horse, leaving it to graze in the field as he followed the coastline up.. he could see the lights of the village across the bay.. but he did not wish for company this night.. At least not the company of those contained therein..

Even aside from the thought of killing her.. taking her soul… damning her to this tiresome unending existence, just to mitigate his own loneliness there was the mechanics of the matter.. Sursa had always said only one her Sire approved would rise.. the one time he had seen one turned absent his consent..

He shuddered at the memory, as if the attempted mime of mortal mannerism might somehow banish the memory of the thing that had returned.. and what he had inevitably been called on to do to it..

But even beyond that.. only a female could sire.. it had always been so.. Sursa had sired him.. his mate.. the brothers he had never known.. the brother he -had- known.. all the Family had stemmed from her.. save Father.. and her Sire. But no.. that wasn’t.. precisely so..

Arianna was her Sire.. and yet.. she was not. Wasn’t Nathaniel truly the progenitor of the bloodline..? He had never met the grand sire.. but he knew Sursa worshiped him as a god.. The very embodiment of Death itself.. yet.. was he truly so?

Was he divine.. or was he simply so old he seemed as godlike to the Family as they themselves seemed to mortal eyes..

So many lies.. so much manipulation.. everything an attempt at control.. Subterfuge.. deception. Could it be the tales of siring were told to stop the attempt.. to keep upstart childer from starting their own Families..? After all.. her hands were hardly entirely clean.. Had not the Elder brother he had never known remained locked in his crypt for little more then idle defiance of convention? A fate he all too likely would have shared.. absent timely departure..

He stood a midst the field, the Shadows heeding his call and taking shape, reflecting his own form back at him.. This was what he truly needed, chance to sharpen his skills, and lose himself in the endless dance of combat.. of training.. of blade-play..

The sound of metal rang out in the silence of night, as his thoughts twisted in time with the movement of his blades..

Perhaps.. Perhaps.. it was possible. Perhaps he could turn her.. but that he could.. did not mean that he -should- the age old distinction.. And even if he decided it was the best course.. what if he was wrong.. what if all he could offer was final, cold, Death.

It was too much too risk.. not on her.. he would need another.. someone who would make a worthy childe, were he to succeed.. but someone he could stand to kill.. if he were to fail..

He strode forward, blades in high guard to meet his shadowy twin, a thin cold line of a smile forming on his lips in the moonlight.. his words coming soft and murmured, preceding the clang of metal by scant instant..

"And so now I must find such a one.. "

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