A vampire breeder marked for death, is assigned a Vampire Hunter for protection.
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In the heavens, a quarrel broke out over The Ultimate’s faith in his newest creation, man. Out of nothing, the Ultimate created this being and required tribute. Unlike the Greek Gods of old, The Ultimate would allow no direct tampering with His creation and declared it illegal to walk the earth unless housed in human flesh and blood. Taking it further, He required all human flesh to have free will.
The Ultimate waited. Shaitan or Lucifer as he is also known, entered, bowed low and sat at His feet.
“What do you want, Shaitan?”
“I have come to pay tribute.”
“Why? You have disobeyed, refusing to pay tribute to my creation. You no longer have a place here.”
“Master!” Shaitan cried, falling on his face. “I can bow to no other than you. My love for you is such that I cannot give to another, that which belongs only to you.”
Silence thundered through the heavens as Shaitan’s word stood on the scales of justice, the truth weighed. Shaitan remained bowed, face to the floor.
“A tribute you say?”
“Yes my master. A challenge, a game if you will.”
“Rise,” The Ultimate ordered. “Tell me of this competition.”
Shaitan grinned, but shuttered his face before he stood before The Ultimate. So far, his gamble paid off. Boredom stifled creativity. Eternity lasted long; a challenge would break the monotony and offer him a chance for revenge.
“Your creation inhabits your planet, but he may choose to pay tribute to you or not. You desire him to love you on his own. Is that correct?”
The Ultimate nodded watching him closely. “Yes, I want him to come to me of his own accord. I make no secret of this.”
“How will you know? How will you ever know if the creatures…pardon me,” he corrected hastily at The Ultimate’s glare. “I meant your creation comes to you of their free will?”
The Ultimate stared for a moment and relaxed in the chair that appeared beneath him. “You have me intrigued. What is this game?”
“Not a game my Lord, a challenge. Will your creation love you if they go through trials? Will they reverence you still as I have?” He took a moment, waiting for permission to continue. It was critical to set the stage so the game could begin. A vessel awaited him in the place of beginnings, but first he needed permission.
Glad to be escaping to the tranquility of her mountain estate with her secret safe. Skye leaned back on the soft leather and breathed deeply.
A slight stirring of air preceded Emas appearing in the seat across from her.
“Hello, Skye. Did you have difficulty getting away? Is that assistant of yours giving you more problems? I swear that Fem is odd.” His light brown eyes teased taking the sting from the words.
“No,” she answered with a large smile as the tension ebbed. The feeling of dread dropped away when Emas touched her hand. She debated and decided against telling him of her earlier concerns in the foyer. Her internal alarms had quieted. She decided it had been nerves.
“I am so happy. Finally, after all this time Emas, I am going to be a mother and raise my child.”
“All it took was a four year debate, with yourself I might add, numerous blackouts, bed-rest, and numerous treatments before you are finally following doctors orders, my dear. And, as your doctor and the father of this little one, I must say I am pleased with your progress. No more blackouts, nausea, shortness of breath?” he asked, assessing her with a slow look from head to toe.
“No, not since before this pregnancy,” she squealed, clapping her hands. Glad to be free of the debilitating problems that had beset her.
“Any bleeding?” He took her wrist, pressing his fingers on her pulse point.
“No, nothing.” Skye sat back in the soft leather seat, a melancholy sigh escaped. “I have given birth to over two hundred babies in the past three centuries and this is the best pregnancy I have ever experienced.” Her face warmed at his indulgent smile.
“I have you to thank, Emas,” her voice gentled. “I know you never planned to be a father, especially after Marcus passed.” She reached over and squeezed his clasped hands, recognizing the flash of pain across his face at the mention of his beloved.
“But I believe your diagnosis was correct. I have noticed that I feel jubilant whenever I think of sharing the baby with you. No other male would ever consider what you are doing for me. My health has improved. I believe it is because of my happiness.”
“I think it goes further than your joy, Skye. Many of the Breeders have been suffering similar maladies. You are simply the first to take this bold action. This child and the nurturing that comes with him are critical. I informed Waliff that your raising this child was essential to your long term good health.”
“Choices, choices,” she said, her voice thin and weak. “Do I obey the law and never interact with the babies I birth, continue having health problems and possibly die. Or do I disobey and have a relationship with my child and keep my health and sanity?”
A tear trekked down her cheek, warm, free and without shame.
“I am no martyr, Emas. I want this child with every breath I take, my heart beats in anticipation of being with him.” She met his kind eyes. “Did you know I have never held any child before? My empty hands shake in terror and in excitement.” She turned, blinking back the water that filled her eyes.
“It’s okay Skye.” He patted her hand. “The Ultimate created you, a Breeder. The Council may have had valid grounds for prohibiting a mother and child to have any contact after birth two hundred years ago. That is not the case today. It is past time the Council realized breeders are nurturers. It is in your DNA to reproduce and care for children, similar to a gift or calling. You have been forced to deny that part of yourself for centuries. Your body went into a downward spiral; the blackouts were just the beginning. The result, your blood counts were haywire, your immune system shot.” He took her hands and squeezed reassuring her.
She clasped her trembling lips together and closed her eyes in a silent prayer that Emas was right. “I am scared of messing this up,” she whispered. “Waliff has sworn me to secrecy. He is the only one on the Council who knows I will raise the baby with you. I’m not sure why, unless he fears the males will be upset.”
Emas waved his hand before glancing out the window. “They will be fine. Remember Skye, you and all the Breeders have always had free will in this. You agreed to the law of no contact with the children in the beginning because the need was great, our people were nearing extinction. It seemed practical at the time. You understood the emergency and delivered healthy children without complaint. As a faithful patriot, you have done a superb duty for our people. Now, you must take care of yourself. Otherwise, we will find ourselves back in the same spot we were centuries ago, only this time ignorance will not be responsible.” He patted her hand again and glanced at his watch. “I must be off. I will meet you later tonight.”
She smiled and nodded, too pleased to speak. His words brought added comfort. Motherhood was the gift she sought from The Ultimate. Skye desperately wanted to be a mother in every way.
He returned her smile, and disappeared.