I heard his call, and my heart broke. Could it be true? Was Enkil really still alive, and calling to someone to reach him?
Silently, I made my way to him by the sky, looking down to the ground to find him, or a proof of some kind of bad prank. I knew it wasn't one. I was feeling it deep inside. He was there, not far, I could feel his power, hear his heart beating. That noise that had nearly driven me insane when I was with Marius.
Slowly, carefully, I landed a few feet away from him, in front of him. Silently, I made the last steps seperating myself from him and fell on my knees as his feet, eyes locked on the ground respectfully.
I stood from the bench I sat on and walked up to the prostrate Pandora. I gently rested my hands on her shoulders.
"Rise my child. My heart rejoices at your presence. It has been many, many years since I have seen one of my children. And I am so glad it could be you my dearest Pandora. I have much I would like to talk about. Come. Sit with me."
Again, I sat upon the bench and waited for her to join me.
I slowly got up, looking at him in amazement. It seemed impossible to me, but it was real. He was really sitting there, in front of me, and moving, talking. I felt relieved, somehow I had been terrified just to imagine that I could find him as still as he was, lost in his own silence.
"Thank you." I said softly as I sat down by his side. "Please forgive me for this question, but.. How can this be? I thought you were dead."
I smiled to him.
Seeing her smile made me glad, a feeling I had not felt in a very long time.
"No need for apologies. It is a valid question. When that bastard Lestat awoke my wife, she attacked me. She fed off of my royal blood and made that heathen her new king."
I felt a spark of rage ignite within me as I spoke these words and I dug my sharpened nails into my thigh to contain myself.
"She fed off of me and drained me nearly to the point of no recovery. She also attacked Maurius, along with you, my loyal keeper for many centuries. She left us both for dead but my will was to strong. I crawled. Dragging my slowly weakening body until I could find a beast to feed off of. I eventualy gained enough strength to make it to a cemetary. I holed myself up in a mausoleum. Removing one of the older caskets, I emptied the decayed remains and enobmed myself. Just like the kings of old. Entrusted unto the earth only to rise once again triumphant and new.
"I haven't been up for long. It's only been a few days. Slowly regaining my strength. Taking mortals as I please. Though this is not the world I remember. This is not even the world of my apparent death. So many things have changed. Oh, what I would give to be back in my kingdom. Though next time, if given the chance I would take a different queen. I would never let that vilanous snake return to my sight.
"But I have questions I need answered. Is she still alive. I honestly can't tell. And where is Maharet. And Mekare? And Kayhman? Are they all still alive? My senses are still dull from my slumber. And I need your help Pandora..."
With these words I once more set my hands on her shoulders, looking into her eyes with a look of longing, despair, and youthful helplessness.
I listened without a word, nodding once in a while, in contemplation of what he was saying. So, he had survived to Akasha, to her awakening, to her wrath. This was unbelievable, and relieving.
I slowly looked at the ground, unable to keep looking into his eyes. When he asked me if Akasha was alive, I felt my heart breaking. "Akasha is dead." I said in a whisper. "She went insane and killed many of us, and many mortals. We had to stop her.. And it killed her. Maharet, Mekare and Khayman are all alive and well. They are as strong as they have always been." I slowly looked up to him, sadness glowing into my eyes.
Talking to him was reminding me those moments I spent taking of them with Marius, of my Isis and my Osiris. They were my Gods, and Akasha had disapointed me so much...
My hand searched for his own and found it on my shoulder, resting on his hand. "You shall have my help, Enkil. I shall help you as much as I can, in every ways possible. You can't know for how long I was wishing to see you moving, yet being terrified the very little times you did..."
When I heard the words "Akasha is dead" escape Pandora's lips, I was lost in a tummultuous sea of emotion. All at once I was enraged, dumbstruck, heartbroken and relieved. I was lost for words.
"How...When did...Did he? Why would she kill her own children? Our children? What would drive her to do such things? To commit such sins?" I was betrayed. My love, my queen, my other half had betrayed me. I didn't want to belive it but I knew it was the truth. She had slaughtered many of our children and had brought about her own demise. Maybe it was better this way?
"It was him wasn't it? The immortal that stole her from me? The bastard Lestat. I understand he has earned much fame with the mortals." I let loose a heartly laugh like I had not done in a millenia. I found it ironic that he sought communion with the mortals, my cattle, that we both preyed upon nightly.
Once again, I dug my nails into my thigh to contain my anger, this time drawing my own blood. A singular crimson-tinted tear fell down my cheek in memory of my fallen queen. With this gesture, I pushed her from my mind and moved on with our conversation.
"I am glad to hear Maharet and Mekare are well. I'm sure one has taken the throne by now? Khayman would be better off dead. Sad, he escaped my queen's wrath...
"Now my dear Pandora, I have one last question to ask of you. How is your old friend and my loyal guardian, Marius? I hope he is well. How I would love to see him again. Such a noble, strong immortal has survived these turbulent times?"
"I am sorry." I whispered. "I would have prefered not to be the one telling you this. Believe me, I also felt betrayed. She was my Isis. And I discovered that she wasn't what I was thinking at all..."
I looked at the ground. "Lestat have nothing to do with what happened, other than his music woke him up. He wasn't wanting to hurt the mortals. He felt bad about it and ended up turning against her, mostly for that reason, I believe. But.. Yes, she really killed immortals. Many of them. I believe she tried to kill Khayman, she just failed. Khayman is too old to die, even by her power."
I went silent for a few seconds, lost in my thoughts. I usually was trying to force myself not to think about all of this, about what happened, about Akasha's death. It was hurting me too much. I slowly wiped away the blood tear on his cheek, carefully not to insult him with my touch. I was never sure how to act around him.
"Khayman, better dead? I don't believe. I don't want to make you angry, but I do believe I like this immortal. I haven't met him very often though."
I went silent a little more, then added. "I think Mekare took the throne.. Or is it Maharet? It is hard to know. They are always away and very secretive..."
A soft but sad smile lighted up my lips as he asked about Marius. My fight with him came back to my mind, my fight about the death of my fledging Romeo. I sighed. "Marius is well. Very well, even. He survived and is as strong and proud as he was. He never changed..."
Those names rang a chill in my black soul. Memories were returning. I remembered why I hated Khayman.
"I hate him for what I made him do. What I had him to do to the twins, Maharet and Mekare. I should hate myself for ordering it. I should despise myself but I hate him as proxy. Maybe one day I can finally atone with him. Only time will tell."
I then realized how much I missed him. His beautiful golden-white hair and his unnaturally blue eyes. He was a vision of the day. His hair the sun and his eyes the sky. He was beautiful. And I missed him. I thought for a moment that I might call out to him as well, but I decided to wait and to savor my time with Pandora.
"And you have not changed either. Still a vision of beauty..."
"Enkil..." I whispered. "Don't hate him for following orders. He was faithful to you. And what he did, raping Maharet and all.. It is what saved Maharet's familly and line. It gave her a beautiful little girl, did you know that? Maybe it's because of that that her familly didn't disapear yet." I smiled sadly to him. I knew it was a little ridiculous to try to find a positive reason to all of this. But it was stronger than me, I had to.
I felt myself blushing to his words. "Why, thank you." I said softly, smiling. "Immortals never change. I am not sure if it is a good thing or not..."
I went silent, lost in my thoughts for a few seconds. "Tell me, Enkil..." I whispered. "What makes you want to move more than before? I am curious, I'd love to know. Is there anything in these years that is making you want to live instead of just looking in front of you?"
"I grew weary of sitting still, frankly." At this i stood and began to pace slightly in front of Pandora.
"I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I wanted to see why Akasha had tried to kill me. I wanted to see what the world was like now. I wanted to be free again." I took her shoulders in my hands.
"Come with me Pandora. Come with me to the ends of the world. I want to see it all. And I want you to come with me. It's all up to you of course, but I want you to be my companion."
I waited pensievly for her answer.
"I see." I said softly. "Frankly, seeing you both sitting still was driving me insane.. It is the reason why I refused to go back to Marius, so many years ago. I was wanting to, but then we got closer to his mansion and I heard your hearts.. And I lost courage."
As he took my shoulders in his hands, I smiled widely. "Are you saying this seriously? Nothing would make me happier." I said. I went silent and thought for a while. What would Marius say if I was leaving with Enkil? But then again, Marius have Armand. He was happier with him and I was never able to get close to him, so why even trying to fight? No, years would reunite us again, I was sure. For now, I would accept Enkil's proposition.
"I shall follow you wherever you want." I said respectfully, smiling again to him. "I shall be your companion for as long as you will need me."
Overjoyed, I lifted Pandora off the bench and spun her in the air above me. Her frame was nearly weightless.
"Excellent!" I shouted. "I lready have our first destination chosen. We shall first venture to my motherland, Egypt." I set her down on the ground gently.
"Go now! Prepare yourself for travel! We depart on the morrow!" With this I kissed her lightly on her forehead, turned on my heel and began to walk away. As I walked away, I sent her a mental message to return here the following evening as soon as she awoke and ready to depart. And that I was thrilled to have her with me.
I shall. I told him silently, walking slowly to my house.
As I reached it, I found a wide backbag and searched for some clothes to put on it. Nice dresses, more comfortable tops and pants, shirts, dresses, anything I could find. It was wide enough anyway, and it wasn't like I would need anything else. I wouldn't need food or anything of that kind.
I grabbed soap and throwed it in the bag, then my brush, and my cd player with a few cds, just in case. As I looked around, I found some money, throwed it at the bottom of the bag to be sure that nobody would steal it, then a few jewels and rings.
I wondered if I should warn Marius that I was leaving? Or at least Santino, or Jesse? Someone? Maybe it would be safer? Then I laughed. Safer? There was no danger for me, so how could I be even safer than now?
I took a piece of paper and started writting down.
Enkil is alive. I am not sure how it is possible, but he survived. I answered to his call earlier, and now I am leaving with him tomorrow evening for Egypt. I accepted to be his companion.
I wanted to tell you just in case you need me, but I doubt you will. You are strong, and you have Armand.
I don't hate you about Romeo. You were right, it wasn't your fault, and I shouldn't blame you. I am his maker, I am the only responsible for his suicide. I hope I will forgive myself with time.
I will always love you, my beloved Roman. Remember that.
I added the date and put the paper on my desk, beside my bed.