"What is it?" Mr. Park ran in and looked around, ready for anything that might interfere with their already troubled lives, be it vampires, werewolves, or alien invasion. His wife thrust the note at him harshly.
Mom, Dad, I've run away. I'm not coming back until you, Adam, and Elissa make up. This is completely ridiculous and I'm not going to stand for it. Don't worry about me, I'm safe. But make up, or you're never going to see me again! Signed, your angry son, Ian.
As he read it, his wife went over to the phone and dialed up their son. "Wha?" Adam had never been an early riser, and that hadn't changed even though he was married and a father by now.
"Your brother just ran away!" his mother snapped in his ear. Adam was awake a moment later.
"What? Mom? Ian's left?"
"I think you and Elissa had better get over here, now!" his mother told him.
"I would if Elissa were here!" he growled. "But I'm on my way at least!"
Susan nodded, then hung up. As what Adam had said sunk into her brain, she stared at the phone in shock. "I think Elissa left Adam," she whispered. This was confirmed ten minutes later, when a solitary son knocked on the door harshly.
His father opened it up. "Adam."
"What happened?" the Black Ranger wanted to know at once. He wished he could control his changes, he felt the intense need to howl right now!
"Ian ran away," his dad told him, showing him the note. "Where's Elissa?"
His son sighed deeply. "I wish I knew."
"What happened? Did you two have a fight?"
Mr. Park didn't quite understand. "Then why did she leave you?"
"You two!" Adam felt more like fighting than howling now, didn't his parents understand anything? Were they so wrapped up in their mundane lives they couldn't see what was going on right in front of them?
His dad frowned. "What do you mean? I thought you guys were inseparable!"
"So did I," Adam grumped. "But she thought my family was more important. She left me."
"Oh, Adam!" his father had never been more upset; he'd never thought something like this would happen! He sighed. "We have to find Ian. Do you know where he'd go?"
Adam thought for a moment. "His friend Don's house?"
"We'll try there," his dad said as his mom headed for the phone. She glanced over at them after a quick conversation.
"He's not there," she reported, grief in her eyes.
"Is there anywhere else he would go?" Mr. Park wondered. Adam stared at his parents hatefully, hardly wanting to stay in the same room as them.
"Not that I know of."
His mother sighed. "Look, he said he wasn't coming back till we talk things over. Adam, is there any way of finding out where Elissa is?"
Adam closed his eyes. "One. If she'll answer me." Elissa. He could only hear her mental tears. Elissa, please talk to me. My parents want to talk to us, to work things out!
It's too late, Adam. Michael is trying to find out how to break our bond. I'm leaving.
NO! Elissa, please, I can't live without you! The past few days have been murder on me! You are everything to me, and have been since the moment I laid eyes on you!
And the present is killing me.
It doesn't have to be like this! Adam quickly told her about what his parents had been like since Ian's disappearance, how they were finally willing to listen instead of judge.
Please, give it one last chance, please!
I'll come back to help you find Ian, but I can't do it, Adam. There was unutterable grief in her mental voice
Wherever you go, I'm going with you, Elissa. With or without the bond. I loved you before it, and I'll love you forever. I don't want to LIVE without you, don't you get it? I can't and won't live without you!
You follow me and I'll kill you.
I'd rather be dead than be without you.
So be it! Elissa declared. I am coming there. I will help you find Ian, and then I'm gone. One HINT that you are following, and you will be.
I give you that hint now. I will follow you to the ends of the Earth and beyond, or die in the attempt. I love you.
I love you, too, tenderness and love filled her mind.
But I can't be with you anymore. Please understand that. I can't be with you, and I can't tell you why!
I will always love you.
I'm coming, Adam.
She sighed. The sooner you stop talking to me, the sooner I'm heading home!
"Well?" Adam looked up to see his mother looking at him. "Are you going to contact her, or just sit there?"
"I already did," Adam looked at her, still annoyed. "I thought you knew everything about us. We're telepathically bonded. We can communicate mind to mind." he looked up as Elissa teleported in, drinking in the sight of her.
"Let's get this over with," Elissa sighed, not wanting to show the fear she was dealing with. Adam handed her the note.
"Back when we met," he asked. "How did you track me and Billy in the snow?"
She told him, "I used your scent. Adam, you could do that on your own!"
He shook his head. "You're better at it than me, and I didn't think of it until just now."
Elissa sighed. "Somehow, I think we should follow Ian's wishes, or at least try to. Then I'll do it." I'm not going to tell them Ian's at Rocky's. I'll do this much before I leave. No matter how much I don't want to.
Mr. Park nodded. "Let's talk."
"Where to begin?" his wife wondered. Mr. Park took a deep breath.
"Elissa, first, who were those other two vampires the other day?"
Elissa sighed. "They were Evanthe's parents, who were supposed to be dead the past six centuries."
"They weren't like her," Mr. Park shivered.
"She thought they were dead," Elissa sighed. "Mr. and Mrs. Park, believe me when I tell you that Evanthe is nothing like them. She wouldn't hurt a flea. The only reason she drinks blood is because she's a vampire. She has only killed someone once in all the time I've known her, and she turned him into a vampire."
Mr. Park raised an eyebrow. "Who?"
"Billy," Adam sighed. "And it tore her up to do it. Because it was forced to happen."
Elissa explained in quiet detail about the Blood Lust, and how Evanthe had been forced beyond all reason to transform her beloved into a vampire. "That's hideous," Mr. Park moaned when she was done.
"How do you think Evanthe felt about it?" Adam asked. He had never forgotten the look of horror in her eyes when she and Billy had been brought back to the Command Center. It was as if everything she'd ever believed in had been turned upside down and inside out. He glanced over to Elissa, to see her looking around nervously. "Elissa, is something wrong?"
"No," she shook her head. I can't tell him the truth. For Gwen's sake.
"I never thought," Adam's mother shook her head softly. Adam glared at her.
"That was rather obvious on occasion. What did you think that Evanthe liked being what she is? That Elissa and I enjoy turning into wild beasts once a month?" Adam refrained from mentioning he rather did enjoy it!
His mother lowered her head. "No."
"We didn't know," his father sighed.
"And now that you do?"
The two of them exchanged glances, communicating in that wordless way only couples of long marriages can. "We're sorry. More sorry than words can say. We were wrong."
Elissa glanced over to Adam, shivering, then back at her parents-in-law. "Can you accept all of us for who and what we are?"
Mr. Park nodded. "Yes. You are what you are, you can't change it. And shouldn't. And we don't want you to."
His wife agreed. "I was wrong. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive us."
Adam glanced at Elissa as she stood up. "You'll find Ian at Rocky's," she said, nodding. Bye, Adam. I love you.
Elissa, don't go!
I have to!
She shook her head as she started out of the house. Don't forget me, Adam. As swiftly as she could, she ran out of the house. Adam followed her. Adam, I promise you, I'll kill you if you follow me!
For Gwen's safety, let me go!
Adam stopped. Gwen?
Elissa kept on running, and was soon out of sight as Adam stood there, watching where she'd went. "Elissa," he said softly. He looked behind him to see his father there.
"Want to talk about it?" Mr. Park asked. Adam sighed.
"She said something about it being for Gwen's safety," he told his dad. What's going on, Elissa? he wondered. What aren't you telling me?
Billy banged as hard as he could on Evanthe's door. In the past two days she hadn't stepped out of it except to feed, and she hadn't spoken to him or any of the other Rangers or anyone since her parents had vanished from outside the Parks' house. "Evanthe! Talk to me! Don't shut me out!"
Her next door neighbor, Lieutenant Stone, poked his head out the door. "Billy? What's all the noise?"
"Evanthe has shut herself into her house. I'm worried about her."
Stone frowned a little. "Did you two have a fight or something?"
"Worse," Billy sighed, looking at the closed door.
"I don't get it," Stone frowned. These two never argued at times, it seemed!
Billy sighed. "It's a long story. But I am starting to worry about Evanthe," just as he said that, the door opened and Evanthe stood in the doorway. Her hair was greasy and tangled, her eyes had dark circles under them, and she still wore the same clothes she had two days earlier. "Evanthe!" he smiled, pulling her into a hug. His sensitive vampire nose wrinkled at the odor arising from her.
She pushed him away from her. "I only came out to tell you stop the noise," her voice grated on his ears.
"You, young lady, need to get out more!" Stone told her sharply. Evanthe ignored him.
"Just leave me alone, Billy," she told her boyfriend. "I don't want to see anyone!"
He reached in and grabbed her by the arm, dragging her completely out of the house and to the swing on the front porch. "I'm not going to be easy to get away from! We need to talk!"
"There's nothing to talk about," Evanthe sighed as Lt. Stone left them to their conversation. "My parents are scum, they're just like Sophie and Girard," All those centuries I wasted caring about them! And now that I have them again, they're not worth the having! "And that's all there is to it!"
"Hello, daughter!" they looked up to see the two couples appearing just a few feet away. Evanthe sighed. "And here's the scum now."
Sophie grinned as she pulled out a gun, and aimed it with deadly precision at Evanthe. Before any of them could move, she'd fired. Evanthe dropped, rendered relatively comatose for a few minutes by the bullet. Sophie smiled as she pulled a stake out from under her jacket. Billy noticed she was wearing gloves to protect herself from the poisonous wood.
"Sophie!" Diana was surprised, she'd never imagined this would happen. They'd never said anything about killing their daughter! "No!"
"What?" Sophie glanced towards her. "She has broken the code of the vampire!"
Diana growled. "She's my daughter, my real daughter! I gave birth to her, I won't let you kill her!"
"How can you stop me?" Sophie mocked, seeing Girard coming towards her. Her eyes widened a bit as she saw Girard being stopped by Chris, who had suffered the same crisis of conscience that his wife had. Diana charged her, and for several moments they grappled for control over the stake. Billy stared as he hovered protectively over Evanthe. He didn't know if he should take her to the Command Center or not, this was way out of his experience!
"You don't have the gall to use that on me," Sophie grinned as Diana took control of the stake, ignoring the pain as it touched her unprotected skin. She smiled coldly at Sophie.
"Watch me. Bitch," she moved quickly, thrusting the sharp stake into Sophie far faster than any human could have ever moved. There was no time for the magical Rose Fire that was the only remedy for wood poisoning, Sophie simply let loose a blood curdling scream, and was dust.
"Billy!" Chris snapped, taking his attention away from Girard for a moment. "Get Evanthe into the house!" as Billy did so, Lt. Stone came back out.
"What's going on?" he wondered. Diana glanced over at him.
"Nothing," she purred. "Just visiting my daughter, and met an old enemy. She's gone now."
Stone looked at them all with curious eyes, then went back inside. Girard glared at Diana and Christopher. "I'll be back for Evanthe!" he promised as he vanished. He had something else to take care of first.
Diana glanced to her husband. "We were so wrong, for so long," she whispered. He nodded.
"I hope she can forgive us," for so many years they had listened to the lies of Girard and Sophie, who had sworn they only wanted what was best for Evanthe. Their minds had been poisoned, and it had taken the near-death of their only remaining child to cleanse them.
As they went inside, they found Billy with Evanthe on the coach. She was still unconscious from the bullet, but Billy looked up at them as they entered. "You saved her life. Why?"
"We were wrong," Diana sighed. "About her. About Sophie and Girard. About a lot of things."
Christopher nodded. "I hope she can find it in her heart to forgive us."
A soft, pale voice whispered, "Mother. . ..?"
Diana went over to Evanthe, who's eyes were beginning to open. "I'm right here, honey," she said, taking her daughter's hand. "You need your rest."
"Father," Evanthe's eyes fluttered a trifle. Chris smiled and took her other hand.
"Didn't you just hear your mother? You need your rest!"
Evanthe smiled. "After all this time. . .you've never stopped being my parents.. . .," she drifted off into a deep sleep. Billy smiled gently at her as she did so. I love her so much. She's the one, the real one.
He looked up as Chris touched his arm. "Billy, can I talk to you outside?" Evanthe's father asked. Billy nodded, and kissed Evanthe on the forehead before joining him outside. The older vampire began to speak. "In my life, I have made many mistakes, as has my wife. But none can compare to one we made recently."
"What do you mean?"
"Sophie and Girard threatened a friend of yours, through their child."
Billy's eyes went wide, this explained everything. "Elissa!"
Christopher nodded. "It was my idea," he sighed. "I wish I had never thought of it."
Billy was ignoring him now, though. "Adam!" he practically shouted into his communicator. When Adam's depressed reply sounded, Billy launched into a torrent of words, explaining everything that had just happened.
"What?" Adam leaped to his feet. "I gotta find Elissa! She's trying to get our bond broken!"
Elissa looked at Michael sadly. "You really found a way?"
"Yes," the werewolf king nodded. "Are you certain you want to do this?" Oh, please be certain!
"I don't have a choice," Elissa sighed. To save Gwen's life, I have to leave Adam forever.
"Then let's begin," Michael decided. They sat down, the situation almost identical to when he had created the bond between them.
Elissa sighed deeply. Good-bye, Adam. "I'm ready."
Elissa, no! Adam shrieked in the vaults of her mind as Michael began the ceremony.
I'm sorry! she told him. They both looked up as Adam broke into the room. "Elissa!" he shouted. "I know what Sophie and Girard threatened, you don't have to do this, Sophie's dead! All the way dead this time!"
Elissa looked at her husband quietly. "I don't believe you."
"Ask Evanthe's mother!" Adam insisted. "Ask Billy!"
She ignored him and glanced back to Michael. "Do it."
"Elissa," Adam held his hand out to her. "This is all that's left of her!" he poured the dust out, thankful he'd stopped by Evanthe's before coming here. Elissa looked at him, eyes bright with tears.
"Girard is still alive!" she reminded him. She turned back to Michael. "You going to finish this?" she glanced at Adam. "Adam, leave!"
Adam shook his head harshly. "No!!!"
Just as Michael was about to complete the ceremony, Girard appeared, with Gwen in his arms and absolutely furious! "Your friend's mother killed my wife!" he roared to Elissa. "So I'm going to kill your daughter!" Elissa's eyes widened in shock as she saw the silver blade in his hands. "And you get to watch her die!"
"I kept my side of the bargain!" Elissa screamed. "Leave her alone!" they said if I stayed away from Adam, they'd leave her alone!
Girard laughed. "Bargains were meant to be broken! You didn't really think we were going to let this child live, did you?"
"Kill me!" Elissa offered. "Leave Gwen alone!"
"Oh, I'm going to kill you both! She just goes first!"
Elissa lunged at him as hard as she could, trying to get the knife away from him. "No!"
"All right!" Girard laughed and casually tossed Gwen to one side. "You first then!"
Elissa growled as she attacked him with all her strength. "You bastard!" was the very least of the things she said to him. Girard laughed hideously.
"You can't hurt me, you pathetic dog!" he mocked her, ignoring Gwen as Michael and Adam went to the little baby's help. Elissa roared at him in outrage.
"I'm going to tear your head off!" Elissa told him, fully intent on doing so. Girard laughed at him, bringing the blade closer and closer.
"Promises, pro-urk!" that was the last Girard Dubois said as a stake went through his heart. His last act was to drive the silver dagger into Elissa.
"You've had that coming for a very long time," Evanthe practically purred the words out as he transformed to dust, his long career of evil ended with at last. Elissa collapsed to the ground, blood pouring from her wound. "Elissa!" the vampire ran over to her.
That knife was silver, Elissa whispered to Adam. Michael was already searching for a way to save her, moving through his stacks of cures.
"Evanthe!" he snapped. "Bring her downstairs! We must hurry!" he grabbed a pouch of wolfsbane, hoping that they would be in time.
Bye, Elissa spoke softly to Adam's mind.
Elissa! No! Please don't go!
I ca. ..
"NO!!" Evanthe and Adam's screams mingled in raw pain of the heart. Michael did what he could, then sighed and shut Elissa's eyes.
Evanthe crumpled up. "No! Not today! Not today, of all days! I get my parents back, and lose my best friend!" she threw her head back and howled in frustration. "What good is living forever if you lose everything that means anything?"
Long, agonizing moments passed. Adam looked up as he heard a voice in his mind. Don't cry for me, Adam. All is not lost.
E. . .E. ..Elissa?
Come to my body. As he slowly did so, she spoke again.
Look at my face. Am I at peace?
As he looked, she opened her eyes, reached up, grabbed him, and pulled him down to a deep and lasting kiss. Through the kiss, Adam breathed out her name in joy.
"She's alive!" Michael screamed. Adam and Elissa simply kept kissing in pure and true love. ELissa sat up, smiling at them.
"What?" she asked. "You thought you could get rid of me that easily?"
Adam shook his head. "Never!"
"So was I right about where Ian was?" Elissa asked. Adam nodded.
"Mom and Dad already brought him home, and we're invited over for supper tonight!" Adam told her. Elissa shook her head. "Elissa?"
She smiled. "I need sleep! Tomorrow maybe, but not tonight!"
Adam giggled a little. "It's a date!"
"Elissa, I have some good news," Evanthe said softly, wiping away mixed tears of joy and sorrow. "My parents are my parents again, and Sophie and Girard are both gone forever!"
Elissa hugged her friend. "That's great news!"
Evanthe smiled warmly. "Let's just say, Mom and Dad got some sense blown into them, courtesy of a .45!"
I think we'd better let Michael watch Gwen. We need some time alone, Elissa told Adam, who nodded softly. She reached out and touched the hole still present in Evanthe's shirt. "Was this the sense they got blown into them?"
Evanthe nodded. "Sophie had a stake too. She was trying to get rid of me permanently."
Elissa laughed. "And ended up in the dustpan instead!"
"As soon as I woke up and heard what was going on, I knew where you'd be, so I came over to help Adam stop you," Evanthe's eyes glinted with joy. "And got here in time to take care of Girard," she sighed. "I've wanted to do that to him for six hundred years."
"Closure," Elissa nodded, then glanced over to Michael. "You watch Gwen, just bring her back by tomorrow afternoon."
"It's a deal!" Michael smiled a little as the three of them left. He turned to the little baby in his arms, and smiled darkly. So you are the one. We will just have to see who fulfills their destiny, little one. We shall just have to see.
That night, Elissa and Adam were doing their best to make up for the time they'd been apart. "I missed you," Adam whispered. Elissa nodded, then turned from him, wiping away tears. "Elissa? Is something wrong?"
"I almost went through with it," she whispered. "I almost broke our bond."
"Why were you going to do it?"
"So you wouldn't follow me," she told him. "For Gwen."
Adam sighed. "I would have followed you anyway. Somehow. But I understand."
Elissa turned back to him. "Even if I had told you the truth, would you have followed?"
Adam nodded. "Of course. Right after I staked Sophie and Girard through their black hearts."
"You love me way too much, Adam!"
He touched her gently. "Elissa, if you really wanted me to leave you alone, because you wanted it, and not because someone was forcing you to, I would leave you. It would break my heart, but I would do it."
She put a finger to his lips. "I don't," she told him. "But I do ask you to respect my wishes."
Adam nodded. "I will."
"Then if I ever leave again, and tell you not to follow, will you respect those wishes, no matter what the reason?"
Adam sighed. "Yes. But please don't leave."
"I'm not planning on it," she told him. At least not now.
Adam began to kiss her gently and tenderly. "Elissa, everything's all right now. No one's going to bother us or our child, and if Rita and Zedd try anything, we can handle it! After all, we're Power Rangers!"
Elissa smiled. "I know," she began to cuddle against him. But you never know!
Moments later, they were both asleep.
Sleep was far from four vampiric minds, though. Billy smiled to Evanthe, who had bathed, brushed out her hair, and changed into clean clothes by this time. A broad smile lit her face. "It's good to see you smiling at last!"
"I really feel like smiling at last!" Evanthe sighed happily.
"So, when are you two getting married?" Diana wondered. It was strange to be with their daughter again, and to see her so very happy.
Evanthe glanced at Billy. "He hasn't asked me yet!"
"After we graduate!" Billy promised her. Evanthe smiled.
"You're going to wait till then to ask me?"
Billy chuckled. "It's only what. . .two months away?"
Evanthe nodded as Billy pulled her onto the couch with him. "And we have to worry about Prom first!"
"What's to worry about?" she asked. Billy smiled.
Evanthe giggled. "Let's just go out and grab a bite!"
Her father smiled at her. "It is nice to see you happy. I think I should apologize to Elissa tomorrow morning, though."
"I think she'd like that," Evanthe sighed. "I just realized. We both have something the other can't have."
"What's that?" Billy wondered.
Evanthe shrugged. "Well, I have my parents, and she has a child."
"I don't follow," Diana frowned.
Evanthe explained. "She can't have her parents back, and I can never have a child."
"I wish there was," Diana sighed. Evanthe glanced over to Billy, tears in her eyes.
"Not nearly as much as I do!"
Diana suddenly sat up straighter. "Evanthe! Did you not say something earlier about Elissa never having a chance to say good bye to her parents?" when Evanthe nodded, Diana continued. "I think I may have found a way to make all this up to Elissa!"
Diana smiled. "Do you think she'd like to say good-bye to them?"
Evanthe nodded. "I know she would!"
"Then she shall have her wish!"
Evanthe smiled and looked at her mother. "Mother, are you thinking what I think you're thinking?" Diana nodded. "She'll love that!"
"Love what?" Billy wondered what the heck they were talking about.
"Elissa's going to get something she's wanted for nearly a hundred years: the chance to say good-bye!"
Billy frowned; the feeling of being totally clueless was completely unfamiliar to him. Evanthe quickly explained. When her mother was mortal, she had studied forbidden arts of magic, and her skills had been enhanced with her vampirism, as well as her age. Billy smiled once he understood.
"I think she'd like that!" Billy grinned.
Evanthe smiled warmly. "Trust me. She's going to love it."