Vincent, the Vampire King, watched the recorded memories of his chosen bride, Evanthe Foster. During one of the sweet kisses he'd stolen from her, he'd copied everything in her memory. "So," he mused. "That werewolf means a lot to her!"
Liana, his chief servant, a beautiful female vampire, nodded. "Indeed she does, my lord. It is most strange to see a were and a vamp as allies, much less as friends!"
"That it is," Vincent agreed. "But I can use that to my advantage!"
Liana nodded. "What do you have in mind, my lord?"
"Find out all you can bout her! I want to know if she's bonded, who she loves the most, anything you can, and hurry!"
"At once, sire!" Liana bowed and teleported out. Vincent stared into a painting of Evanthe, one he'd liberated from a European museum not long ago. It was this painting that had stirred up his desire for the beautiful vampiress.
"I will have you, Evanthe," he promised. "Even at the cost of your friends' sanity!"
Elissa and Adam stepped out of their apartment, heading down for the car. Fear filled the werewolf woman's eyes as she and her husband prepared to leave. She sighed. "I don't want to!" she said finally.
She almost glared at Adam. You have to ask after that you saw in my dreams last night?
Can't I just stay inside today?
No! his mental voice was firm. You need to get out. We are not going to let him hurt you, you know that!
If I see him, I'm shutting myself in my room forever! she declared, stepping a little closer to the car. Adam sighed.
"You're not going to see him!" he promised. Liana, a shadow against a tree, smiled to herself.
So they are bonded. That is the only way they could be speaking.
Elissa sighed and took a deep breath. "I'm glad your parents are watching Gwen for the weekend," as Adam nodded his agreement, Elissa smiled briefly. "Can you believe we have a child?" she winced suddenly. "Dang it, she had another surge!"
"Not really," Adam smiled. "Especially since you told me that first time that weres couldn't have kids. I hope you're going to be okay: both of you."
Elissa sighed. "I will be. As soon as Zordon identifies this strange power in Gwen."
"I hope that doesn't take too long!"
His wife nodded. "Same here. And maybe they can figure out why I'm having these surges, and not you!"
"That is rather strange," Adam said as Elissa leaned into him. "I love you, Elissa."
"I know," Elissa sighed. Ever since Vincent had touched her trying to get Evanthe to agree to marry him, she'd been terrified of stepping outside of her house. Even being near Adam was rather nerve-wracking.
Adam touched her hand gently. "Let's get to the Youth Center. You know Evanthe wants to talk to us about your matron of honor dress!"
Elissa nodded briefly. "Let's go."
As they drove, neither noticed the shadow against the tree melting away as Liana returned to her master.
"Sire, I have returned!" Liana reappeared in the vampire king's mansion. Vincent looked up from his pacing.
"What have you to report on the wolf?"
Liana bowed, then began. "She is bonded, and they have a child!" she quickly ran off everything that she had learned and inferred from watching them for a few moments. Vincent's eyes narrowed in thought.
"This will be a little harder than I thought. The bond will be easy to take care of. It's how to deal with. . .," he paused for a moment, then snapped his fingers. "A memory block!"
Liana remembered something, "Something was almost mentioned about the wolf being your chosen's matron of honor at a wedding, and from the inference, it was not to be a wedding to you!"
"Little does my chosen know that it will be! Once I'm done with that wolf, I shall have fun with her!"
Liana nodded. "What else do you require of me, sire?"
"Go find that wolf," Vincent produced a syringe, filled to the brim with a glowing blue liquid. "Inject this into her and bring her here. Make sure you freeze her bonded one as well."
Liana vanished, eager to do her master's bidding. Vincent leaned back and studied his fingertips, smiling. It won't be long now, Evanthe. Not long at all.
As they walked up to the Youth Center doors, Elissa held onto Adam tightly. I don't wanna be out today!
It'll be okay! Adam insisted. Almost before his thought had faded, Liana appeared.
"Greetings from Vincent!" she shouted, freezing Adam before he could stop her.
It will? Elissa thought sarcastically. She almost flinched before the force of his mental Yes!
Adam? there was a sudden emptiness in Elissa's mind as Liana jabbed something into her arm. Adam? "Adam, what's going on?"
"My lord desires your company!" Liana laughed, vanishing with Elissa, who had time only for one primal scream. Adam screamed out his wife's name as they vanished.
"I'll get you back, Elissa," he swore. "I won't let them keep you."
Billy and Evanthe sat together in the Youth Center, pouring over pictures of various gowns and tuxedoes. Billy gestured to one of them Evanthe liked. "There's hardly anything to that dress!"
"Like you'd care!" Evanthe grinned, taking care not to show her fangs. There were just too many people around for that.
Billy chuckled. "What, you think I want someone look at you in that?"
Evanthe leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Maybe for the wedding night?"
"Like you're going to be wearing anything then!" Billy teased. Evanthe grinned and nodded, looking up as Adam ran in. "Adam? Where's Elissa?" Billy wondered as he came over to them.
"Some woman," the young werewolf whispered, "Must have been a vampire. She took her, froze me. She said she came from Vincent!"
Evanthe paled as Billy swore, and he gripped her hand tightly. "We'll get her back!" he promised her. Evanthe didn't seem to hear him.
"What is he going to do to her?" she wondered. Billy squeezed her hand.
"Nothing!" he swore. "We won't allow him to!" he glanced to Adam. "Can you contact her?"
Adam shook his head, fear filling him. "No."
Billy and Evanthe both looked terrified as they remembered the last time Adam had been unable to contact Elissa, when for only a few moments she had been dead. Adam sat down next to Evanthe, shaking. "She can't be. . ."
Evanthe growled, "I will kill him if she is. I don't care what happens to me!"
"I'm helping you if she is!" Billy swore. He knew neither of them was in any condition to leave the Youth Center just yet, but that didn't matter. They would get their own back.
Vincent watched, chuckling, as the werewolf's eyes opened slowly. "So, you are awake," he said, his voice carefully neutral. He wasn't one hundred percent certain that what he was trying would work, and wanted to know before he said anything more.
She looked up at him. "W. . .who are you?" she asked gingerly, not quite certain what was going on here. Her mind was a complete blank, a slate just waiting for someone to write upon it.
"I am Vincent," he smiled a little. "And your name is Elissa."
Elissa nodded briefly, accepting the name. He looked so friendly. . ."Why can't I remember anything?" she wondered plaintively.
"You hit your head in a battle, my daughter," Vincent smiled. This was one of his sweetest plans ever!
"Daughter?" she looked up at him. "You're my father?" when he nodded, she asked next, "Okay, dad, how do I get my memories back?"
"They will come back in due time," he promised, sending Liana on her next mission with a casual flip of his hand. Elissa frowned a little.
"For some reason, I'm scared," she said, shivering. She couldn't understand this fear, it didn't seem to be rational. She was with her father, she was obviously safe, so why would she fear? She remembered he had said she was in a battle. "Who was I fighting?"
Vincent could hardly restrain himself from laughing. "A woman named Evanthe. You and she are mortal enemies."
"She will try again to destroy me? And why are we enemies?" Elissa listened in shock as her father told her about werewolves, vampires, and how Evanthe had dedicated her life to destroying Elissa. She shuddered. "Is there no way to trap her, and end this?"
Vincent smiled nastily. "Perhaps," though if she is indeed trapped, it is not true death she shall find, but a glorious marriage to me!
"I cannot wait to exact my revenge on her!" Elissa's smile equaled his in evil.
Adam tried over and over again to get in touch with Elissa, failing every time. Evanthe was forcing herself not to cry as thousands of different possibilities of what Vincent could be doing went through her mind. Billy tried to comfort them both. "I'm sure she's fine, she's probably just unconscious."
"Maybe," Evanthe nodded. "But he still has her!"
"And we'll get her back," Billy promised. "Just like always."
Evanthe sighed as she leaned against Billy. "Will he never leave me and those I love alone?"
"He'd better!" Billy growled. They all looked up as Liana suddenly appeared next to them.
"Greetings from Vincent!" she laughed softly. Adam glared at her, eyes burning with an unholy hatred.
"Release my wife!" he demanded, echoed by Evanthe's near-identical demand. Liana only tossed them a cylinder.
"This will explain everything you need to know for your surrender!" she told Evanthe, who caught it even as she swore vengeance on Vincent if he harmed Elissa in any way. "Wait till you see her! Read that, and contact me!"
Evanthe hissed as she reached into the cylinder to draw out a piece of paper. She read it quickly, and her hands clenched into fists.
My beloved Evanthe,
You have three hours in which to surrender to me, before I put your wolf friend to the slowest, most painful death I can imagine. And I can imagine a lot.
King Vincent Delreese.
Adam and Billy stared as Evanthe dropped the note and dropped back down into her chair, as pale as a ghost, and with fury and despair warring in her violet eyes. "What is it, Evanthe?" Adam asked. He picked the note up and read it, his own countenance filling up with hate.
"She's not going to die," the vampire woman swore. "I won't let it happen."
Adam looked at her. "You're going to surrender?"
Evanthe nodded. She had no choice in the matter. Billy wrapped his arms around her. "We won't let you stay there long," he promised. He was sick and tired of people threatening Elissa to get to Evanthe; but he knew he would never change that aspect of her that made it such a disgustingly perfect idea, her complete loyalty to those she cared for. She kissed him gently and tenderly.
"I will always love you, and I know you will get Elissa out," she told him. "But I don't know about me. Vincent can control me, and if he does," she shivered, not really wanting to think about that.
Adam reminded them, "He can also control Elissa if he wanted to."
"I'd better go," Evanthe took a deep breath, trying even harder not to think about Vincent controlling her best friend. "The faster I'm there, the faster he'll release her."
Adam had turned a trifle pessimistic with this. "If he releases her!"
"Only one way to find out," she sighed, then called out Liana's name. They were in an isolated corner of the Youth Center, and the vampire servant appeared quickly.
"I see you made your choice," she ignored the two men sitting there, wanting only her master's chosen. As Evanthe nodded, she held out her hand. "Come then!"
"Release Elissa," Evanthe demanded as she took it.
"Sorry!" Liana laughed. "She's also not leaving!" the two of them vanished into thin air. Billy stood up, he'd suspected something like this.
"We need to get to the Command Center," he declared. Adam nodded. Now they had two to rescue.
Vincent looked up as Evanthe and Liana appeared. "Ah, perfect!" he'd known this would work.. "Hello, my chosen one!"
Evanthe wasn't interested in pleasantries, or talking to Vincent, though. "Let Elissa go!"
A voice came from within the next chamber. "What if I don't want to go?" Evanthe stared in surprise as Elissa emerged, clad in leather pants, a loose black blouse, and black boots. The entire effect was somewhat vampiric, and sinister, with emphasis on the sinister. "Time to meet your doom!"
"What?" Evanthe backed up from her friend. "Elissa, what has he done to you?"
Elissa shook her head, one hand was still held behind her. "He hasn't done anything, you did!"
"What are you talking about? I'm your best friend, I would never do anything to you!"
"Best friend?" Elissa laughed harshly. "I don't think so! Prepare to fight!" she pulled a sword from out behind her and advanced on the confused vampire.
"Elissa, I'm not going to fight you!"
The amnesiac werewolf laughed as she rushed upon the weaponless vampire. "Then you will die!" from behind her flew a sword, tossed to Evanthe by Vincent. The Purple Ranger caught it on reflex, and blocked Elissa's attack skillfully.
Never thought I'd be THIS grateful for those fencing lessons I took in 1623!!! "Elissa, what has he done to you?"
"Like I said before, nothing! Now fight!"
"Elissa!" Evanthe tried to get through to her. "I will not fight you! You're my best friend, and have been for a century!"
Elissa snorted. "That's not what my father said!"
"Your father has been dead for eighty years! Elissa stopped as Evanthe told her that. A memory, faint and wiggling, tickled at her mind. Then she shook her head.
"Liar!" she accused, and attacked again. How dare this monster try and turn her against Vincent???
Evanthe blocked every blow Elissa aimed at her, but refused to attack. "I would never lie to you, Elissa!" she declared.
"He is my father!" Elissa gestured to Vincent, who watched the proceedings with great interest. "And he does not look dead to me!"
Evanthe glanced at the blades, and took a risk. She dropped her sword and stood there. "Kill me if you want to, Elissa. I won't fight my friend, and if you want to kill me go ahead. Vincent is not your father, he is the king of the vampires, and he hates you."
"So be it!" Elissa drew the blade back and thrust it through Evanthe's stomach with all her strength. Evanthe grunted as she fell.
I forgot how much getting stabbed HURTS!!! Good thing metal can't hurt me anywhere near as badly as wood can! "Elissa," she whispered. "I am a vampire too. . ."
"So?" Elissa laughed, then suddenly grabbed her head as an enormous pain surged through it. Evanthe grunted, slipping the sword out of her guts.
"Elissa," she asked, "Are you all right?" a power surge from Gwen! Yes!
"What is happening to me?" Elissa hissed.
Evanthe got to her feet, tossing the bloodied sword to one side. "That is a power surge from Gwen, your daughter."
"I do not have a daughter!" she insisted. Both she and Evanthe jumped as they suddenly were no longer in Vincent's base, but in the Command Center. Evanthe chuckled to herself, she'd known Billy would get at least one of them out. Vincent's tendency to theatrics had enabled her love to get them both out, though! Elissa looked around in shock. "Who are you? And why have you taken me?"
Adam came over to them. "Elissa, it's me!" joy filled him, they had her back!
"Do I know you?" she asked, a trifle coldly. What was going on here, why had they taken her from her father?
"I'm Adam, your husband! What's wrong, Don't you know me?"
"He wiped her memories somehow," Evanthe told them. "Michael should be able to get them back."
Adam glanced over at Evanthe, worried. What Elissa had told him about a price being asked worried him. "Who is Michael?" Elissa asked, beginning to relax a little. They did seem to be incredibly worried about her. Was it possible Vincent had lied to her?
"He's a werewolf," Evanthe told her. "Just like you, just like Adam."
"I am?" Elissa raised an eyebrow. Evanthe nodded as Adam gently took Elissa's hand.
"Come on," the vampiress decided. "We'd better get to him quickly."
Adam was pounding on Michael's door almost before they were fully solid again. The werewolf king came out, raising an eyebrow. "What is it?"
"You have to help Elissa!" Adam demanded. He quickly explained what was going on, what Vincent had done to her. Michael grinned, this was a chance he'd been waiting almost a hundred years for!
"I can fix that," he said, letting them in. "But it's going to cost you!"
Adam sighed. "I was afraid of that! What?"
Michael savored what he was about to tell them. "Your bond. And you and Elissa have to separate."
"What!?!" Adam stared, eyes dancing with raw hate. How dare he ask for this! Evanthe snarled, "That is cold, Michael!" and it's my fault! It was my idea to come here!
"That's my price," the monarch werewolf shrugged. "Take it or leave it!"
Adam looked to Elissa. "We don't have a choice," I have to help her. This is the only way. Oh, God, Elissa was right about Michael all along, and I thought he'd changed. All he was doing was waiting for the right time. For the right opportunity, and Vincent gave him that. Are Elissa and Evanthe the only decent vampire and werewolf around?
"When I remember you," Elissa said softly. She could tell now they had told her the truth. "I will regret this. But remember all that we have shared."
Adam kissed her tenderly. "I will always love you, Elissa," he promised. "No matter what."
"When she regains her memory, you two may share one last night together, and that is it!" Michael granted generously. This was only the beginning of his plan. It was all he could do not to laugh with triumph.
"Can we even see each other as friends?" Adam asked. Michael sighed, smiling a little, but concealing it well.
Adam looked at the werewolf, growling. "We're both Rangers! We have to see each other when we're needed to fight!"
Michael unbent just a little. "Then that will be the only time! Come, Elissa, we must get your memory back."
The two of them went downstairs, and Michael did what was necessary both to restore her memory and begin the bond-breaking. As Elissa's memories flooded back in, other memories, those of the past twenty four hours, faded briefly.
Elissa. There were pure tears in his mental voice, and Elissa frowned as she walked upstairs.
Adam, you sound so faint. What happened?
Oh, Elissa! Adam quickly filled her in on the last few events. Elissa felt as if her heart had been ripped out by now, as she emerged to join Adam and Evanthe in Michael's living room.
Why? Why did you agree? there was no reply, no sense of his mental presence in her mind. Adam? Adam? "Adam?" she stared at him. It was done, they both could tell. Their bond was broken.
"Because it was the only way to get you back to being yourself!" he told her harshly. Elissa turned to glare at Michael, who had followed her up once the bond was gone.
"How could you? How could you?" she railed at him. Michael smiled.
"That was my price!"
"I will never leave Adam!" she told him. "Bond or no bond, I love him, I can't live without him, don't ask me to!"
Michael shrugged. "That was the price," he repeated. Watching them struggle with what he'd asked and done was rather amusing. It was good at last to not to have to pretend to be their friend anymore!
"I won't pay it!" Elissa swore. "That's too high of a price!"
Michael's reply was short, and to the point. "Then you'll die."
Adam came over to his true love. "Elissa, he gave us one final night together. Let's enjoy it," he forced himself to be calm, as calm as he could, anyway. "Since it will be our last together."
Elissa glared to Michael, hate filling her eyes. "You will pay for this, Michael, mark my words, you will!" she turned to Adam. "Let's go."
Evanthe headed home, as did Elissa and Adam. Michael sat down, and laughed to himself. "Phase one complete. Thank you so much, Vincent."
Vincent leaped to his feet as they vanished, screaming hate-filled words to the stars. "No!" how had this happened? He calmed himself almost as quickly. This was just a minor setback. "I will have her!"
"Indeed you will, sire," Liana agreed. "But how? As long as she has such friends, there is little chance of it. They will never stop looking for her if you take her away!"
Vincent nodded slowly. "Then she shall lose her friends!" he declared. "Her friends shall all turn on her, and it seems already as if two might have a very good reason!"
"And she will come crying to you for help!" Liana laughed, as Vincent nodded.
"She will have no one else to turn to!" he was already thinking of how to do this.
"And you will have your bride at last!" there was a faint hint of distaste in Liana's voice that Vincent didn't notice. He was too busy plotting.
Elissa and Adam lay together in their apartment, exhausted from all the events of the day. "Elissa, no matter what, I will love you until the end of time, and even after," Adam promised.
"I don't want to lose you," Elissa whispered. Adam shook his head.
"You won't. Not where it counts, not in the heart."
Elissa sighed. "I can't believe his price was us losing each other, after we searched so hard for each other!"
"I know," Adam nodded. "I didn't think he was that cruel!"
Elissa nuzzled his neck tenderly. "Guess I'm a single parent now. How are we going to explain this to your parents?"
"We tell them the truth," Adam said as he kissed her. Elissa smiled as she began to kiss him in return.
"I love you, Adam!"
"And I love you, and will forever," he swore. There would never be anyone else for him, he knew. They were forever.
"Let's make the most of tonight," she whispered. Adam nodded.
"We'll make it memorable forever!"
Elissa smiled and began to reach for the only man or werewolf she would ever love. "You know how to make a woman feel good!" she purred in his ear.
"Maybe one day we can be together again," Adam suggested as they curled around each other. Elissa nodded, thoughts of Michael dying flitting through her mind.
"We will see each other when Zedd and Rita attack!"
Adam nodded as their love for each other, and expressing of it, increased. "I know. I might actually start looking forward to their attacks!"
Elissa's reply wasn't verbal, but was most definitely affirmative as they truly did make that last night memorable.