The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 88

The next day Andrei decided that Nicoleta would have to return to her convent.

“It’s much safer there,” Andrei told Ieana that morning, sitting at the table, cutting from a loaf of bread, “There’s no chance the vampires will be able to get to her there inside those walls.”

Ileana shrugged her shoulders in agreement. “Though it’s so nice having a child around.  It’d be nice if we could have one,” Ileana commented, a warm smile crossing her face, “And she’s a sweat girl.  I’ll miss her.”

“Maybe you should go with her, then,” Andrei suggested, pointedly gesturing with the knife in his hand, “Just for the time being, of course.  Just until things are safer here.”

“But what about you?” Ileana asked.

“Someone needs to look after the shop during the day.  And defend it at night.  Don’t worry about me, I’ll have Vasile and Anton here to protect it with me, and to help me rebuild our defenses.”

“And Lina?”

Andrei shifted in his seat before he responded, taking a napkin to wipe his lips and standing from his seat.  He spoke cautiously, “She would be safer in Terem too.  But I don’t think they’ll take her.  Though, I would feel safer if she were there.”

Ileana found Nicoleta sitting in the workroom, bored, and she bent down and said to her, “We’re taking you back home today.”

“What do you mean?” Nicoleta asked, turning to look at Ileana.

“To the convent in Terem,” Ileana said, “You’ll be safer there.  And it is your home, of course.  I’m sure there’re people there who miss you very much.  You do like it there?”

Nicoleta nodded and then asked, “What about Lina?” gesturing in the direction of Lina who was still huddled in the corner of the workroom, “It’s her home too.”

Ileana hesitated as she thought exactly how she might respond.  Lina interrupted her, though, announcing, “They don’t want me there.  I don’t have a home anymore.  You needn’t bother.  I’ll be safe here.  I can certainly defend myself against vampires.”

Nicoleta approached Lina slowly and then sat down on the floor next to her, her shy little eyes bent down to peak under Lina’s hood.  Nicoleta said to her, “Madalina, I want to tell you something.”  Lina just raised her eyes, to peak at Nicoleta through the hood.  “I do forgive you for what you did, for kidnapping me and getting Sister Oana captured.  And I really, truly thank you for freeing me.  Even if you got me captured in the first place, the thing you did for me is above and beyond generous.  It makes me feel bad about all the mean things I said about you while in the convent.  I’m sorry.  The girls and I didn’t like you.  That’s no secret.  But we were wrong.”

Nicoleta then reached forward and did the best she could to hug Lina, even though Lina was still wrapped in her cloak with her knees against her chest and seemed unresponsive.  Nicoleta reached around Lina and gripped her for a moment before she let go.  As Nicoleta stood up and walked away, Lina said, “Thank you too.”

Andrei told Ileana just before she left, “Be careful.  The road to Terem’s dangerous.”

Ileana simply rolled her eyes and walked out the door, telling him, “I’ve rode far more dangerous roads than that.”

She pulled her horse from the stable and placed Nicoleta in the saddle, saying, “I’m guessing you haven’t ridden a horse before.”  Nicoleta shook her head and Ileana mounted the horse along with her and kicked it into motion.

As the horse galloped down the road towards Terem, the wind blowing through their hair, Ileana asked Nicoleta, “Is this fun?”  A big smile spread across Nicoleta’s face as she nodded excitedly, her eyes staring forward at the trees that zipped by on either side.

Ileana brought the horse to a stop at the doors of the convent.  The great doors of the main gate were currently closed, but not locked, and when Ileana pushed the door open it gave way.  In one hand she led the horse forward by the bridle and in the other she held onto Nicoleta, who hid behind Ileana as they entered.

The main courtyard was alive with people, moving back and forth about their business.  Several nuns in black habits, as well as a few novices and a great many servants moved this way and that, apparently so engrossed in their duties, that they didn’t notice the entrance of this stranger with her horse.

It was finally Sister Elisabeta who noticed the stranger, and came forward asking, “Is there something I can help you with?”

As she asked the question, she looked down to see who the young lady hiding behind the stranger was.  Nicoleta peaked out from behind Ileana and Sister Elisabeta’s mouth dropped with shock.

“Nicoleta?” she whispered in disbelief.  She then asked Ileana, “This is really her?  Am I really seeing her?”  Ileana nodded and Elisabeta burst out with joy.

<-- Go to Part 87         Go to Part 89 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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