Castle Roland

Who Is He

by Eric Aune


Chapter 29

Posted: N/A

As the estate came into sight, Zebulon and Marius stopped and looked to the gated compound. The large manor house could be seen poking up above the trees that blocked the view from the road to house. They were in another large house directly across from Robert's property. Right about the time that the families had been attacked, Marius and his people had quickly, and as quietly as possible, attacked and taken the three estates that were across from Robert's estate. They had not bothered with the properties on either side of Robert's estates. They believed that it would be too easy for Robert's people to hear them attack if they did so. They would take care of them later. Once they were finished, they would burn all of the houses down, so that it looked like a tragic fire had swept through the small neighborhood.

It was fairly easy to take the three houses. Marius had his men disguised as cable repairmen and when the owners of each of the houses had opened the door, Marius' people had attacked and quickly killed the adults, leaving the kids alive, because their blood would be used to give any of the injured Nosferatu the ability to heal quickly when they drank from them. The kids from each house were now all held in the centrally located house. There were five boys and two girls. The boys ranged in age from seven to fifteen and the girls were ten and thirteen.

Zebulon had taken pleasure in watching as they were all forced to strip, some were gagged and then were all bound hand and foot. He glanced into the living room of the house where they had been placed after being bound. The looks of fright and the tears on their faces gave him a thrill. All of them had seen their parents killed in front of them during the initial attack. The oldest boy had a bruise forming on his cheek, when he had been struck after trying to fight back. He noticed Zebulon's gaze, and glared at him, even though he also had tears on his face as well; which caused Zebulon to chuckle. He knew that the oldest one would be the last killed. He might even be "invited" to join his family.

The house held the massed forces of Nosferatu and Vargr. In the street in front were the vehicles that they had arrived in; vans, SUV's and motorcycles. Marius had thirty of his people with him; this was most of his pack. He had left a small force to protect his people, because he was sure that Eric would be too busy to do anything against his pack tonight. After tonight, Eric would no longer be a problem. Zebulon had brought his entire clan, all twenty of them. Between the two of them, they believed that Robert would be unable to stop them. He was certain Robert did not have their numbers and they would be unable to stop the inevitable. One way or the other, this would be settled tonight; Robert or him, and he planned to make sure Robert was the one destroyed.

They had not heard from the Vargr sent to take care of the human families that Robert was protecting. By this time it should be over. They expected to hear from them soon. Marius had sent six of his stronger Vargr and the family's protection consisted of five young Ulfs. They believed that there should not be anything to worry about. He had given orders to capture the three teen boys, if at all possible. He had plans for them to become a part of his clan, whether they wanted to or not. Any of Robert's clan that survived the night, and were captured, would be made to watch as he turned those three boys, then they would be destroyed, ending Robert's clan forever. He had not seen any of the boys personally, but had been assured that they were all the type he liked, young and very attractive. He could hardly wait.

Zebulon turned to Marius, "Let's send ten of your Vargr with five of my clan around the rear of the property. If they attack at the right moment, it will more easily ensure our triumph."

Marius mulled the idea for a few moments before nodding his agreement, "They will, of course, suspect we will do something like that, but if we send the fifteen you mention, that will still leave us with a force of thirty five for the main attack. Since our enemy does not know our numbers, he may concentrate the majority of his forces toward our attack, so that the fifteen will be a surprise when they attack," he explained.

The two leaders split up and went to their people. A few minutes later, ten Vargr changed to their wolf form and the five Nosferatu left the group. The Nosferatu and a couple of wolves went in one direction while the other went in a different direction. Both groups gave the estate a wide berth as they headed toward the rear of the property.

"We'll give them time to get in position before attacking," Zebulon stated.

Marius nodded in agreement. While they waited, Zebulon turned and sauntered over to where the captives were sitting. He sat down on the couch across from them and gazed silently at them. All of them whimpered as his gaze fell upon them. All except the oldest boy, who tried to just glare at Zebulon. He grinned at the boy and got up to walk over until he was standing looking down on him. The boy continued to glare at him. He reached down and grabbed the boy by his arm and jerked him to his feet. He tried to cover himself, but Zebulon's grip did not let him move his hands.

Zebulon leaned forward and the boy tried to pull away from him. He brought his face close to the side of the boy's head and breathed deep, taking in the boy's scent. He let his tongue flick lightly against the boy's neck, tasting his sweat. The boy shuddered and a small whimper escaped his lips. Zebulon smiled at him. He reached down and gently placed his hand on the boy's groin. He caressed him causing the boy to whimper again. "I can wait. I promise you that I will enjoy this better than you will," Zebulon promised.

This time the boy let out a small moan, "No, please…please let us go. We won't say anything. I swear," he pleaded as his legs became weak in fear.

Zebulon chuckled before letting him drop to the floor and walking away.

He went to rejoin Marius, when they both heard something that sounded like firecrackers going off down the street. As they headed toward the door, Marius' cell went off. He quickly pulled it out and answered it.

"What?....You're fucking shitting me!...What the hell happened Bron?.........Shit!....All of them?....How soon can you get here?.....What the fuck happened to you?.....Okay, fine, head back home and rest. We'll see you when we finish this."

He looked up at Zebulon as he hung up the phone, "The humans escaped. There was more protection than we expected and they were armed with silver," Marius admitted.

Zebulon snarled and was about to say something when more of those firecracker sounds were heard again. They both went out to the front yard, heard the squeal of tires from down the street and more of what, were clearly gunshots, now that they were outside and could be heard clearly.

"We go now!" Zebulon ordered. They got their people together and started across the road to Robert's estate.

Inside Robert's manor, he was meeting with Cliff, who was representing Eric until he arrived after picking up the families and bringing them here. Inside the room were also several other vampires of Robert's clan along with several wolves from Eric's pack. Both of them were looking at a large map, which showed the house and the grounds.

"Clifford, once Eric gets here, we will have your twenty and the ten members of my family. I also have five members of my household here that can fight. I sent the rest of the staff away once Eric called about Marius' men. I don't know about any of the boy's fathers that will arrive with Eric, but if any of them can shoot, I plan to arm them as well. I am worried that we are still outnumbered if, as we suspect, Marks attacks tonight or tomorrow. It depends on how many Marius brought with him."

Cliff looked at the map silently for a few moments before saying anything, "If Marius brings all of his people, then we are in trouble, but I don't think he'll do that. However, I think you're right and we will be outnumbered. If we had more time, we might be able to call for more help, but I don't think that we have that time."

Robert was about to say something more when something caught his attention.

He looked at one of his people, "Philip, go see what that was about," he ordered.

Philip quickly left the room while the others stood up. They heard the front door slam and Philip was back in seconds, he had a grim look, "They were gunshots from down the street. I heard what sounded like the squeal of tires and several shots. I think they're coming." he told them.

Robert checked his watch, "That might have been Eric returning. I agree Philip, its time. Clifford, get your people ready,"

Cliff nodded and his people stood up, stripping quickly as they changed to their wolf forms.

"Philip, if that was Eric, they may try the back way. Get our people ready, I will have the staff ready themselves." He ordered.

Philip gathered the other vampires and they headed to their places as well.

Robert left the room and met up with his staff that was presently in the kitchen. The five men and one woman looked up at his approach. "Arm yourselves. I want you to go down to the back entrance and wait. I think Eric will be arriving through that entrance very soon. If any of the people with him are willing, arm them as well. Once everyone is ready, head to my study and wait, I will meet you there."

The staff members put down their cups and headed down to the cellar, while Robert returned to his study. Once there, he activated a wall panel and several large monitor screens were revealed as the panel moved aside.

The staff members made their way down stairs. They went to one wall and George, who was Robert's human assistant, went to a wall and opened a hidden panel, inside he placed his hand on a plate, it flashed green and a hidden door slid back. They others followed him in the armory that was revealed. They quickly grabbed a variety of automatic weapons and pistols. They also filled a couple of backpacks with spare magazines. Once they were ready, George led them to another part of the cellar and once again, after opening a hidden panel, he again placed his hand on another biometric scanner which glowed green and opened a hidden door. Beyond that there was a ten by ten room, with a large metal door on the opposite wall. Next to the door was a computer monitor attached to the wall. He pushed a button on the screen and it came to life. He looked at it for a few seconds, seeing only darkness in the tunnel behind the metal door, he turned to the others, "Now we wait," he said.

Upstairs, Robert watched as Cliff marshaled their forces and sent them out to prepare for the battle. The majority were sent to the front of the estate, while a few were sent to watch their back. Robert would have preferred that they could send more to the back, but with the numbers that they expected to be facing, they hoped that the ones that they sent could hold off whoever attacked from that side, or at the least be able to give them a warning before they would be attacked from the rear.

Once all the orders were given, Cliff led them out to the front of the estate. In the study Robert went to a six foot tall safe, that had been hidden behind the panels that had concealed the monitors, and quickly worked the combination. He opened it and drew out a sheathed long sword from inside. He closed the safe and drew the sword from its sheath. He examined it before returning it to its sheath and buckling the attached belt around his waist and settling the sword so it hung comfortably at his side. He turned his attention back to the monitors to watch as events unfolded.

The household staff, in the basement room, were brought to their feet when the monitor showing the tunnel flared brightly. George stood up and looked closer at the monitor. He saw that the tunnel lights had been turned on.

He turned to the others, "Get ready, just in case it's not who we expect," he ordered.

The others stood up and checked their guns, while George turned back to watch the monitor. A short time later he saw movement in the tunnel and he held his hand up to get everyone's attention. Their guns were brought up to the ready position. George watched for a few more minutes before standing up and motioning toward the door, "Open it up, it's them," he said.

Two of the men, slung their arms and went to the door; they un-dogged the edges, before turning the large wheel in the middle of the door. The sounds of the steel bolts sliding back could be heard. Once the wheel hit the stop, they pulled the door open. The others in the room, held their weapons ready just in case. They relaxed as they saw Eric walk up with the twin wolves next to him. They stood to the side while Eric led the way into the cellar proper.

Once everyone was through they started to close the door, when Eric stopped them, "Wait, Allison should be here in a moment. She is securing the other end," he told them.

George nodded, "Get ready." The staff took positions with their weapons pointing down the tunnel. They heard the sound of someone moving quickly toward them and fingers tightened on triggers.

They saw a figure moving swiftly toward them and tensed up. "Hold your fire. It's Allison," George said.

He hit a button and the lights in the tunnel went out as Allison came up to them. Once inside, George motioned to the two men to close and secure the door. Once closed he turned to the female staff member who had come with them, "Jane, you stay here and monitor the tunnel. Any movement you see and don't recognize, let us know," he ordered.

She nodded and took a seat facing the monitor, while the others joined everyone else in the cellar.

George looked at the group, "You may as well leave those shotguns down here. Come with me and we'll get you something a bit better. Have any of you have experience with automatic weapons?" he asked.

Ben raised his hand, "Army."

George nodded, "So you're familiar with the M16?"

Ben nodded and George turned to one of the staff members, "Gary, get an M16 with extra mags for…" he paused and looked at Ben.

"Ben," Ben supplied.

"Ben. For the others grab a couple of M14's with extra mags as well," George told them.

When they brought the guns out and distributed them, he looked at Mike and Rich, "These are semi automatic. It fires each time you pull the trigger. The magazine holds twenty rounds. Do you think you can use them?" he asked.

Both looked the rifles over for a moment before nodding.

"Good, then we're going to head upstairs to the study where Robert is waiting." He gestured for the other men to close the armory. Once the door was closed and locked, George turned and led them upstairs.

Out front, the Vargr and Nosferatu moved forward. They headed straight for the ten foot walls and were quickly up and over them. Once on the other side, the Vargr turned into their wolf forms and started running through the trees and bushes that screened the manor house from the road. As they reached the edge of the woods, the Ulfs and Draugar attacked from above. They jumped down, out of the trees, onto those passing below. Five Nosferatu were destroyed in the first seconds. Five Vargr were incapacitated by lucky attacks from the Ulf's who, upon landing on them, broke their necks as they hit them, taking them out of the battle.

Once on the ground the others turned on the attacking Ulfs and Draugr. The battle spilled into the open lawn between the trees and the manor house one hundred yards away. Because of a little bit of luck, the numbers were nearly equal in strength. Instead of one big battle, there were several small battles scattered across the lawn. After their forces went over the wall, Zebulon and Marius made their way over the wall behind them, and strolled through the trees until they were at the edge of the trees. From there they watched the battle before them.

Robert also watched the battle as it unfolded before him on the monitors. He turned around when he heard the study doors open behind him. George came in, followed by the rest of the party.

Robert gave them a grim smile as he greeted them. "I'm sorry that we meet again under such circumstances." He gestured to the monitors, "As you can see we have a problem. It appears that Marks decided to attack both of us. If I had known you were going to walk into this, I would have made other arrangements. However, there is nothing we can do about it at the moment," he took note of the guns. "I see that you are as prepared as we can make you. At this point, all we can do is stand ready," Robert told them.

Eric and the twins stood at the door, "Robert, we killed five Vargr back near the tunnel entrance. The boys and I are going to check the back area of the estate for more, because I'm sure that there must be more of them, plus some of Zeb's people. Those two would not pass up an advantage like attacking us from the rear."

Robert nodded and turned to his people. "Patrick, Allison, go with Eric. If they find any of Marks people, they will need your help. Jason, you stay here with us. George, secure the door once they have left the room. Everyone else, make yourself as comfortable as you can."

Robert watched, as George waited until the five left the room, before he closed the door and engaged several strong locks. Robert looked at the scared and worried faces around him. "Please, have a seat. There are drinks at the bar. We are well protected in here. The window is covered by steel core wooden shutters. The doors are also steel core. They will withstand quite a bit. We are holding them off right now. If anyone gets this far, the guns will take care of any Vargr, and Jason and I will take care of any Marks' Nosferatu."

The mothers nodded in understanding of what Robert was trying to do and they were soon able to start calming the younger kids down. They clung to their moms, where they were sitting on the couches. The three men stationed themselves near their families, with their guns held comfortably but in a way that they could bring them into action quickly. Chris and his two friends went to the bar and got some drinks for everyone. They all settled down to wait.

Out front, while leaning back against a couple of trees that were near to each other, Zebulon and Marius watched as their slightly larger numbers started to cause problems for the estate's defenders. They had noted a couple of Robert's clan members disappear in a flash as they were destroyed, followed by the dust that marked all that they had been fighting as it fell to the ground. There were also a couple of Eric's Ulf's who were now lying motionless on the ground in pools of blood. They were back in their human forms, their throats ripped out.

Eric led the way out into the back of the estate. The five of them conferred and Eric made the change into his wolf form, like his sons. They took the lead with the two vampires behind them. They first checked the outbuildings. They were all clear until they got to the horse barn. Jamie stopped at the entrance of the barn. They stopped and Jamie changed to his hybrid form. He motioned for them to follow him and they moved back to a workshop building that they had just checked out. His brother and father both changed into their hybrid forms as well.

Jamie looked at the others, "I think there are, at least one, maybe two, in there and I think one is a vampire," he whispered.

Eric nodded, "Patrick and I will go to the other side of the barn. Once there, I'm going to try to spring the trap. I want them to think they have me, so wait a moment or two before you attack them. Use your werewolf form when you attack, I want you at your strongest. Unless it's a large number of them, we should be able to quickly silence them. Okay?" he said in a low voice. Waiting to make sure they understood.

The others nodded and he and Patrick started off first. A moment later, Allison and the twins moved quietly to their original position and waited.

Once at the other side of the barn, Eric and Patrick saw tracks in the ground. There were two sets of wolf prints and one human type print, which meant at least two wolves and one vampire. Eric changed into his werewolf form. Once he was changed, he nodded to Patrick and yanked the door open so that it banged against the outside wall and he walked in. He had gone just a few steps in when two wolves attacked from nearby stalls and one vampire leaped from the loft above. Their combined weight slammed him to the ground. Eric pretended to be dazed and the vampire leaned back from where he was sitting on Eric's chest and smiled, "Well, well, a tasty snack. I wonder who you are. I guess I will find out in a moment," he said before looking at the wolves, "Rip his throat out!" he ordered.

From the open door of the barn, there was a noise, and he looked and saw two smaller wolves coming into the barn. They had walked in and pretended to be startled. The vampire stood up and was hit from behind as Patrick practically flew at him from the door that Eric had entered from. The twins charged quickly, turning into their werewolf forms. One of the Vargr lunged for Eric's throat as the other jumped up and changed to his werewolf form to meet the two younger wolves.

At that moment, that's when things went south for the Vargr and Nosferatu. The wolf that had lunged at Eric's throat found out that Eric was not dazed, as Eric grabbed its muzzle and with his other hand, grabbed it by the neck and closed his powerful hand and ripped the throat of the wolf out. It didn't even have time to whimper as Eric threw it to the side and stood up. The twins were attacking the larger Vargr from each side, keeping it busy when Eric leaped onto the back of the Vargr. As he bore it to the ground the twins leaped in and each grabbed an arm. He quickly grabbed its head and twisted it all the around as they heard the crack of the werewolf's neck. He then yanked hard as the body went slack, ripping the head off of the body. They turned around, saw that Allison had joined Patrick and they had the vampire down, Allison held a wooden stake against its chest.

"Please spare me," the vampire pleaded.

They could see that it was a younger vampire, probably early twenties in appearance, and not more than half a dozen years since he was changed.

"Why," Patrick snarled with his hand clamped down on the younger vampire's throat, "You attacked our home,"

The vampire took his eyes off the stake in Allison's hand and looked at Patrick, "I'll….I'll tell you where the others are," he squeaked out in desperation.

Patrick looked at him, "Where are they?" he growled as he closed his grip a little more.

The vampire tried to squirm a little, but Allison pushed the stake until the point pierced its skin and he froze. "They're about one hundred yards back in the trees, waiting for us to report what we found," he said.

"How many are they, and I want the truth or I will let my wolf friends rip you to pieces, slowly," Patrick threatened.

The captured vampire gulped before answering, "Two wolves and four vampires," he said.

"Is that it, or is there more?" Patrick pressed him and Allison pushed the stake a little deeper.

"There are five more wolves out there somewhere, but they might have joined them by now. They were supposed to check a different part of the area and then join the others. I swear I've told you everything I know," he pleaded.

Patrick looked at him and then nodded and lessened his hold on the vampire. You could see the relief on his face as he carefully brought his hand up to touch his throat.

"But we can't leave you behind," Patrick said calmly.

What he said registered only for a moment and his eyes widened as Allison plunged the stake into him, dusting him.

They all got up and saw that none were hurt. Eric and the twins resumed their wolf forms and the five of them quickly, and quietly, made their way toward the area they had been told about. Once again they split up, Eric and Patrick one way, Allison and the twins the other way. They made a wide arc as they came into the area from opposite directions. They were careful when they moved forward, until they could hear voices. They moved even slower until they could see into a small clearing.

They saw three male vampires, all in their early twenties in appearance, and not long in darkness. There were also two werewolves, young but powerful looking. Patrick pulled a stake out of an inner pocket and looked at Eric; he held up his fingers and counted down, three, two, one. They charged with a howl as Eric changed into his werewolf form, followed by an answering call from the other side as the twins and Allison charged in.

The enemy was surprised as Patrick staked the vampire nearest him, dusting him in seconds. The other two jumped and rolled to the side forcing Patrick and Allison to turn and face them. Eric grappled with one of the wolves, while the twins took on the other one. The fight was on, as they fought against each other and rolled around the small clearing, tearing bushes out of the ground. The vampires charged at each other and slammed into the ground as they rolled around trying to get the advantage against the other.

For the vampires, it wasn't much of a fight against two older, more powerful vampires. The twins kept darting in at the werewolf trying to hamstring him. Eric and his opponent had rolled into the surrounding bushes and you could hear the growls coming from the surrounding wood. Patrick had his opponent against a tree and staked him. Allison's opponent was trying to hold the stake that she held above his chest away. She gave a sudden yell, pulled him over on top of her with the stake held upright, and because he wasn't prepared, he landed on it and she was covered in his dust.

Allison stood up and brushed herself off, giving Patrick a little smirk. There was a blur of movement from behind her, and Patrick saw the broken branch come out of Allison's chest just before she dusted, revealing a female vampire behind her. The female's smile of satisfaction lasted only for a second as Patrick had thrown his stake and it registered on her face that she was done. The branch and the stake landed on the ground where she and Allison had once been standing. Eric charged out of the bushes and he and his sons quickly dispatched the last werewolf.

Patrick glanced at where Allison had fallen before turning back toward the house, "Let's go. I think that ends the threat from this side."

The four of them turned and ran towards the house as fast as they could run. They planned to go through the house and join the fight out front. As they entered the house, there was a large crash and they ran toward the sound from the direction of the study. They changed directions and just as the study came doors came into view, automatic weapons fire came through the broken down doors. All of them ducked and watched as three wolves were flung back out the door by the impact of the silver bullets. It was followed closely by a vampire's head that turned to dust as they watched it fly through the air. The gunfire ceased, and Eric and Patrick slowly got up.

As they neared the door, they froze when they saw the guns pointed at them, but George yelled, "Hold, its Patrick."

The guns were pointed away from them, but still in the ready position and looking beyond the two of them.

One of the staff members yelled "Shit!" and let his gun hang from the sling as he ran past Eric and Patrick.

They both turned and saw Jamie and Nicky changing back into their human forms, and moaning. They had apparently gotten hit by the gunfire. They ran over, picked the two teens up, and carried them into the study.

Nicky looked up as his dad carried him, "I guess I didn't duck fast enough huh?"

They laid the two boys on the carpet. Robert looked at Eric, "I'll take care of them, and they need you out in the front. They're beating our forces back. That's why this group got inside the house. They finished off the ones they were fighting and broke for the house," Robert stated.

Eric nodded, and he and Patrick turned and ran toward the front of the house to join the battle.

Out front, they could hear the gunfire, but Robert and Eric's forces had inflicted heavier losses than Zebulon had anticipated, and other than the group that had smashed in the front door to go after anyone inside, no others were freed. They could see the remains of wolves and vampires all over the lawn and they saw that they were slowly pushing the forces back to the house. The fight had moved until they were at the edge of the lawn with only the driveway separating the combatants from the house. Suddenly there was a howl and a large werewolf and a vampire charged out of the house. They each pounced on the nearest enemy.

Eric, ripped a wolf apart and stood up throwing the pieces in two directions and yelled, "MARIUS! YOU COWARD, WHERE ARE YOU? YOU ARE MINE!"

Marius and Zebulon had moved calmly forward as the fight had moved away from the trees. When Eric issued his challenge, Marius growled low in his throat and changed to his werewolf form, "ERRRIIIICCCC!" he yelled.

He then started to run toward Eric, who also charged toward him, when suddenly automatic weapons fire came from the tree line behind Marius and Zebulon. Marius was shredded and flew forward to land in a heap unmoving. Zebulon was hit several times as well, and fell from the force of the bullets hitting him. He put his hands down to push himself up and turn toward those who had just fired on them, when a huge weight landed on him, driving him back into the ground. He snarled and fought against it, but it was Eric who held him down.

Eric and Roberts forces were heartened by the fall of the two leaders and fought with renewed vigor, until a loud voice came from the doorway of the manor house, "HALT! THIS IS DONE!"

Slowly the fighting wound down until the combatants pulled away from each other. Two of the Vargr, upon seeing Marius dead, turned to make a break for the far wall, they were met by gunfire from the trees near the wall and they both crumpled to the ground dead. The others backed up but didn't make a break for it. Finally, the fighting had ceased as Robert came out of the house and crossed the driveway. From the trees, several SWAT members advanced with their weapons at the ready and halted a short distance from the trees.

Behind Robert came Jason and the rest of Robert's staff. They had their guns at the ready as well. Robert made his way over to where Eric held Zebulon down.

"Well Zebulon, the time for reckoning is upon us." Robert said with a small smile.

Zebulon looked up from the ground and growled, "I demand my rights as a clan Patriarch."

Robert nodded and stepped back, "Eric let him up. He has that right."

Eric moved back, changed to his human form.

"My boys?" he asked.

"They are being tended. They will live," Robert replied.

Zebulon gave a snort, "You think you will finish this?" he sneered.

Robert looked at him calmly, "I can have Milos' sword brought out if you wish. I have it in my study. It would be no problem at all to have it brought to you. Perhaps it will bring you better luck than it did him."

Zebulon said nothing, he just reached inside the long coat he wore and drew out a sword from a hidden sheath. "No thanks, I have my own," he said.

Robert nodded, drew his as well, and saluted his opponent.

Some of those surrounding the two patriarchs stepped back to give them room. A couple of wolves changed into their wolf form and took a chance to try and get away. The SWAT team had not relaxed, and the sound of automatic fire ripped through the air, one of the wolves was slammed to the ground motionless, the other staggered a few steps before falling.

Lieutenant McCoy stepped up, "Hopefully no one else gets it in their head to run. We have plenty of silver bullets and we don't mind the target practice. Sorry for the interruption Robert," he said.

"Shall we discuss the arrangements, Robert," Zebulon stated.

Robert nodded, "Of course. If you win, you and…." Robert paused as he looked around, "…the few members of your clan that are still alive may leave unmolested. My people will not stop you, nor will Eric's people." Robert offered.

Zebulon looked around and saw that there were only five members of his family left alive. "I accept, but I want something else as well. These humans…." he said contemptuously as he gestured to the SWAT team, "….will not interfere either and the rest of Marius' people go free as well."

He waited for Robert's reply. "Very well, I accept," he looked at Steve McCoy, "I expect you to abide by this agreement, Lieutenant," he said with a serious look at McCoy, until the Lieutenant nodded his acceptance.

"Very well, my turn, if I am the victor, the remaining members of your clan are to leave this area and never come back, on pain of the final death, there is no appeal. If any, that are of the Marks/Beloch clan, are found anywhere, they will be hunted down and killed. All of your properties in the area are mine as well. Anything you own outside of this area can be fought over by anyone that wants them. My people will accompany the survivors to your estate to claim your records. In addition, Marius' pack must also leave the area, never to be seen in this area again, on pain of being hunted down and killed on sight," Robert stated in a stern voice.

Zebulon again looked at Robert's implacable gaze. "Then I want the same, your properties are mine if I win," He waited for Robert's response.

"No, my clan will claim my property if I have fallen. If that is not acceptable, I will order my people to destroy yours without any mercy immediately. You do not have the strength to enforce such a request. You have only to say yes to my terms as I have stated them, or fight. Right now, we are two to every one of yours, and that includes those that you sent behind us, they have all been destroyed," Robert said calmly.

Zebulon looked around and saw that, counting the SWAT team, there was more than a two to one advantage against him. He and his people would be able to kill some of their enemies, but Robert's overwhelming numbers would cause them to lose in the end. He brought his sword up and saluted, "I accept your terms. Before we begin may I have the time to remove these fucking bullets that your human lapdogs put into me?" Zebulon said pointing his sword to the SWAT team.

Robert nodded, "Of course, I wouldn't want anyone to claim that I took unfair advantage of you." He relaxed his sword and waited.

Zebulon nodded his acceptance and looked around at the few members he had left, "Truman, come over here and assist me," Zebulon ordered.

Truman was the oldest vampire of his clan left alive from the Marks clan and moved quickly to his Patriarch's aid.

Zebulon took off his long coat and laid the sword down on it. He then stripped off his shirt as well. Truman moved behind him where a few bullet wounds could be seen in his back. There were trickles of blood seeping from the wounds. Truman immediately started digging into the wounds with his fingers, causing a little more blood to flow. Zebulon kept his face impassive and stared at Robert as Truman worked. It took about five minutes before Truman was finished. Truman bent down and picked up Zebulon's shirt and handed it to him. He put it on and picked up his sword.

"Are you ready or do you need any more time?" Robert asked.

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