I heard my mother's voice telling me that "there would be a softening in the wind." It was one of her signature expressions for when she felt that times had gotten too tough. It gave me courage for I knew that she was referring to Cairn. I had become too agitated to tune into the battle with any real clarity. So I called on my faith.
I knew that Storm had labeled the Beltaine ritual as pagan even as he sacrificed virgins and young female animals to the fierce god that he had served. Such was the path of political might. The voices that rang with the loudest condemnation were often the same ones that committed the most heinous transgressions. The rumors said that Storm was born with a terrible physical defect that a witch had caused by cursing his pregnant mother. Others said that his mother had serviced influential men in their small Roman village, and that he hated women ever after. Who knows what forms the heart of a demon to beat within flesh and blood? But demon he was. Vampire demon.
The magical fires burned like bleeding torches and surrounded the cottage in a fiery womb. I no longer feared for my safety. If Cairn were taken from me I wanted to join him and my mother in realms beyond this earthly template.
Dawn began to spread across the sky like rose petals scattered on a bridal bed. I didn't think that I'd see any bridal bed today or any other day. Not without my partner. I closed my eyes to see if any of the images had cleared. I fell to my knees when I felt Cairn's energy. It was weakened but steady. I felt Reiki's energetic heat leap in my hands. I knew that he yet lived. I ran to the window and noted that the fires were banked. I searched the awakening distance for his form. My vision had begun to blur when I saw a flickering movement. I tore out of the cottage oblivious to my safety or anything other than Cairn. Perhaps I was running to Storm's arms. Either way, this hideous night spent at death's altar was ending. I was ready to face the outcome.