March 10 at 9:30 PM
Photo courtesy of Ivan Bliznetsov (iStockPhoto)
"Then that would make you responsible for the tragedy in Mayenne," said Lawson. "Why do you do such things, my lady?"
"We both scouted Mayenne for the same reason, Lawson. After all, they were vampires. Surely you do not object," she replied.
"Vampires did not control the entire village. There were innocents, too." Lawson turned aside as they trotted along. "I doubt you came all this way for a horse. Why are you here, Enura?"
"Shhh..." She closed her eyes. "Do you hear that, my love?" The wind swept through her ivory hair. "The shore is not far. Come." She whipped her reigns.
The tan mare bolted forward. Lawson pursued, careful not to lose her as she zigzagged through the crowd. He had been wise to give her a timid Caspian; no matter how far she thundered, he easily closed the distance. As Taurus broke across the white sands, Enura disappeared from view. Nearby, the caramel steed lingered, dipping its snout in the tide.
"Do you remember our time together by the sea?" Enura whispered in Lawson's ear, wrapping her arms around his waist.
"You are mistaken, my lady. I know of no such thing," he replied.
"Look closer, my dear." She kissed his cheek.
For a moment, the hunter lost himself, stars and debris flashing by. As he shook it off, the tide flattened, then pulled inward. There was little time to react; the ocean would crush them, and all of Vissorouy. But instead of crashing down, the waters parted, dragging up a three-mast ship by its bow. It smashed down before them, dousing them in a frigid bath, its hull repairing itself inside out.
"Impossible," Lawson uttered. "The Chasseur."
"Come." She beckoned, stepping aboard the ship. Her white hair darkened, pale eyes filling with the color of the sea.
"Endolyn," Lawson gasped.
"Is that who you see?" Enura slipped behind a table, fresh linen draped over it.
"What spell have you cast over me?" Lawson stumbled.
"Not spellcraft, darling, but memories, desires..." She picked up her dress and sat down.
"This fantasy I hold dear, you use it as a mirror mask." Lawson's eyes filled with tears.
"What am I guilty of now, my love?" Endolyn reached forward, and touched his hand.
The hunter crumbled in the chair. "For so many nights I have longed for you. Still you are not an inch closer."
Enura eased her hand from his, and opened a jar of sugar. She dumped a teaspoonful into her cup, and stirred. "You will not survive this, Lawson. None of them will. Leave now, while you can." She took a sip of tea.
"But what of my child? I cannot give her up," said Lawson.
"She is already lost to you."
"I do not accept that!" he snapped.
"Accept it or not; time moves on, regardless." She took another sip. "Take the others with you, as many as you can carry. Leave on the Chasseur, my final gift to you."
"Please, help me understand why you are doing this," Lawson pleaded.
"The same reason men build fires." She stared off into the distance.
Lawson followed her eyes, and spotted a group of men marching up the hill, flaming torches in hand. "No!" He stood.