"Indeed it is! I do hope the Rangers enjoyed their 'vacation' from us! Because it's over!" for the last month, the evil monarchs, and their crew, had been on a quest to a different galaxy, seeking out the next weapon in their never-ending fight against all that was good and decent in the universe.
Zedd held up a vial that glowed a dark blue in the pale shadows of his home. "And now, Blue Ranger. . .it is time for you to destroy your wife!" he took his rightful place on the throne, noticing with pleasure that it wasn't the slightest bit dusty. His spells kept their place in excellent shape. "Goldar!"
His chief warrior nodded, stepping over to him. "Yes, sire?"
"Spray this on the Blue Ranger and bring him here!"
Goldar took the vial from his master, and nodded. "At once, sire! As you command!" with a flash of golden light, he had vanished from the chamber. Rita laughed.
"What a perfect plan you've made, Zeddy!" she complimented her husband. Zedd leaned back in his throne, gathering her into his arms.
"And now we wait for Goldar to come back!" he declared, gazing down at her. Rita smiled.
"With our latest and greatest weapon. ..the Blue Ranger!"
Evanthe wasn't with him that day, she was taking care of William. Until he turned thirteen and certain hormones kicked in, he would be eating and drinking like a normal child. The two of them generally took turns taking care of him, though it did mean they had to hunt alone. Neither truly minded.
"Greetings, Blue Ranger!" Billy looked up in shock as Goldar appeared in front of him. The vampire-Ranger growled something viscious.
"Not what I needed today!"
Goldar laughed, spraying the contents of an odd blue vial on him. "Maybe this will change your mind!" he declared. Billy did his best to cover his face, but fell to the ground, his mind already blanking out. "Rita and Zedd want to talk to you!" he laughed, then vanished, the unconscious Blue Ranger in tow.
"What is it, Alpha?"
The little robot whirled around the room, nervous in the extreme. "The computers say Goldar has just appeared on Earth!" he checked again, and jumped away in fright. "He's kidnapped Billy!"
The vampire king growled out several naughty words. "Can't we find a cure in peace?" he cut off his language as the Rangers began to teleport in, Adam looking very worn out. He obviously hadn't slept much recently, and he had a reason not to. His dreams were filled with nightmares about Elissa never waking up, and he'd had his fill of them.
"What's going on?" Evanthe asked, glancing around. She bit her lip a little when she saw Billy wasn't there. Where is he? Her eyes narrowed when Alpha told her what had happened, and she did what she normally did when she was angry: showed off what over six centuries of involvement in some of the worst dives on the planet could do for her vocabulary.
Tommy asked the next question. "Any signs on why they did it yet?"
"Nothing yet," Alpha shook his head as he kept on scanning. This would be a lot easier with Billy around. . .but Billy was the one they were scanning for!
Evanthe paced back and forth, her eyes flashing with anger. "First Ernon does this to Elissa, and now Rita and Zedd have Billy. If they so much as scare him, they'll pay for it!"
"We'll find him," Adam promised as he held Elissa's hand. He looked as if he were on the verge of a major breakdown; too many things were happening to him at the same time.
The Purple Ranger closed her eyes, praying to whatever might possibly listen to a vampire. "We'd better."
"In our palace," at the other voice, he turned to see a tall woman and a taller . ..thing. ..there. They were looking at him with something like kindly expressions on their faces. Well, face. The male didn't actually have one; he had a silver mask across his head.
The man blinked. "Who are you?"
"I am Rita," the woman introduced herself. "Rita Repulsa, and this is my husband, Lord Zedd. We are your employers."
"Employers?" he looked and sounded confused. "This may seem strange, but who am I?"
Zedd growled fiercely. "It appears that her attack gave him amnesia!"
"Your name is Girard," Rita seemed to be unsurprised, but if he'd been attacked, perhaps she had expected that sort of thing. She must be a medical person of some type.
He slowly began to sit up, still disoriented somewhat. "Whose attack? What is going on here?" at Zedd's question, he confirmed he didn't remember anything at all, his mind was all but blank. Rita explained that he was a vampire hunter, whose latest prey, the vampiress Evanthe Cranston, had tossed him over a cliff during their battle.
"We barely managed to save your life," she finished. Girard nodded quietly, holding onto the bed he had awakened on.
"You must recover your strength as soon as you can. She is probably going to try and kill you again," Zedd advised. Girard nodded quietly.
"I will have her dead," he promised. Rita smiled nastily.
"We will provide you with everything that you will need to kill her," she told him. Girard thanked her, bowing low, then laid back down to rest.
Zedd laughed heartily as 'Girard' fell into a deep, enchanted slumber, and he and Rita danced into their throne room. "This is going to be fantastic!"
"This is too easy!" Rita declared. Their finest plan. .. to wipe Billy's memory and make him think he was a vampire hunter instead of a vampire. . .then to destroy Evanthe, and eventually the other Rangers with him!"
"He will destroy his own wife!" Zedd proclaimed, hugging his wife deeply.
"And not even know it!" Rita had never felt so purely evil! This was truly what life was for. Now all they had to do was wait for nightfall.
The voice was low and dark and sent chills even down her hardened spine. She looked over to where it was coming from, seeing only a figure clad all in black, a hood pulled across it's face. "Who are you?" she asked, pausing.
"My name is Girard. Vampire hunter."
A chill passed through her at that name, though she knew others had it beyond the one she hated. She jerked her mind back to what was going on now. "I don't hunt for pleasure. I hunt to feed, because I must." Some vampire hunters only hunted those who killed for pleasure, respecting the good vampires like her as fellow hunters and leaving them be.
The next words made her realize this wasn't one of those good ones. "Doesn't matter. You are going to die."
"I won't die easily," she growled, falling into a combat stance. Tommy had taught her some things about self-defense, and she knew she was stronger than this hunter was anyway, just by virtue of what she was.
Girard stepped forward, and she could see a stake in his gloved hand. "So I've been told by my employer."
"Who is your employer?" she frowned when her attacker laughed. I know that sound. ..don't I?
"You will not know that information."
Her eyes flashed with anger. "Afraid I'll kill them after I kill you?" she taunted him.
"You will not kill me."
Evanthe growled deep in her throat. The hunter was close enough for him to touch him, and she was tired of not knowing the face of her enemy. "I want to see who you are."
She moved quickly, jerking his hood off, expecting to see some horrid image looking back at her, scarred by some childhood tragedy. Instead, the face of someone else looked back at her. "Billy!?"
"Girard," he said calmly. "Time to die."
She shook her head harshly. "Billy, what's wrong with you? It's me, Evanthe, your wife!" he said nothing, only moved towards her, the stake ready to strike and looking perfectly ready to do it. "Billy! Don't you remember me?"
"How many times must I tell you my name, vampire!?" he growled, stepping towards her again.
"Billy, your name is Billy, and you're not a vampire hunter, you're a vampire, just like I am!" he only laughed, stepping closer to her. "I won't hurt you, Billy! I love you!"
He threw his head back and laughed. "You shall die!" Evanthe took one look at him, so determined to kill her. ..and every inch of her resolve broke. Tears in her eyes, she turned and did what she'd never done from a vampire hunter: she ran away. He snorted. "I shall hunt you down, vampire. Mark my words." With a flash, he teleported back to the moon. He needed to talk to his employers.
"I just picked up Billy on the sensors. He was on Earth for a few minutes!"
The Black Ranger frowned . "Where?"
"Evanthe was hunting there," Alpha gave him the co ordinates. "Now she's at their place. ..crying!?"
Adam sighed. All the others had left; he was the only one there for over an hour. "I'll go talk to her."
"Who is it?" she sniffled a little.
"It's me. Adam." She sighed, opening the door, fresh tears still in her eyes. "Alpha told me that Billy was on Earth."
She nodded quietly. "I saw him."
"Want to talk about it?" he offered. Evanthe sighed, sitting down slowly on the bed, trying to find the strength to say something about the horror, the obscenity she had seen.
"He. ..he doesn't remember me. He...he said that he was Girard. ..a....a vampire hunter."
Adam's eyes went wide. "What!? They must have him under a spell!" Don't they ever give up!
"He tried to kill me!" Evanthe almost stuttered, and Adam put a hand on her shoulder, repeating his conviction that they would get him back. Evanthe looked at him, seriousness in his eyes. "Adam, if he doesn't remember he's a vampire, he won't feed. And if he doesn't feed. .h...he could. .."
Adam said what she couldn't. "Blood lust."
"No," she murmured, trying not to think about it. It would not happen.
"We'll get him back before then," Adam promised her. Evanthe closed her eyes.
"We have to. I won't let him go through what I have," she promised. Adam quietly nodded, then wrapped her arms around Evanthe as she cried her heart out. Never before had she seen Billy looking at her with that much hate in his eyes. Adam did his best to comfort her, thinking about how just over a week ago, it had been her best friend that held when she needed it. And both of our others will be back, he knew it. He couldn't, he wouldn't believe anything else. They would be back.
"That I will. And just who is this Billy she talked about?"
Zedd shook his head. "No one. She likes to pretend she knows a hunter who comes after her, to get them to let their guard down, so she can kill them more easily."
"So there have been others who have tried their hand at her?"
Rita nodded. "He's killed them all. Without remorse, without so much as a tear."
"This may work to my advantage," Girard chuckled wickedly. "Who is she close to?"
Rita waved her hand, showing an image of a young man and a little boy. "There are three in particular, but only these two are available. Adam Park and William."
"I shall try the elder of them, but if I cannot get to him. .the child." he didn't want to hurt an infant.
A sudden idea sparked into Zedd's mind. "That child. There is something you should know about it."
"It is your child," Rita figured where her husband was going . "She stole it from your wife. ..before tearing her throat out."
Girard nodded. "Then I shall take them both!"
"Evanthe deserves only death for all that she has done," Zedd declared, an evil glint in his eyes. Girard nodded his agreement firmly.
"And that is what you will deliver to her!" Rita ordered. Girard laughed, lifting the stake he still held gripped in one hand.
"With the deepest of pleasure."
He was about to stretch out when he felt strong arms encircling him, holding tightly. "What the---" that was all he managed to get out before a tight gag was wrapped around his head. A very familiar voice hissed in one ear.
"This is what you get for being friends with a vampire."
Then they both teleported out of his bedroom, and straight into danger.
"The name is Girard. Vampire hunter. And I've come for my son."
The vampire sorceress grabbed her grandson tighter. "Your name is not Girard, Girard is dead!" She ran out of the room with William in hand, in search of Evanthe's spare communicator. She always left it there, in case of emergencies, and this most definitely qualified. She quickly grabbed the device out of the drawer, then snapped a picture from the nightstand, turning to show it to Billy as he came up behind her. "This is you! Can you not see that Rita and Zedd liked to you!"
Girard glanced at the photo, frowning. Something that might have been a memory flickered across his face, and Diana continued. "You are Billy Cranston, husband of Evanthe Cranston, father of William Cranston. You are a vampire. One that must feed soon, or suffer blood lust!" she looked at him, and could see the memories starting to flow through his mind, stirred by her words. "Please talk to me. Tell me you remember who you really are!"
"D. ..Diana?" Billy whispered, staring up at her. She smiled briefly, and nodded.
"Yes. It's me. Are you all right?"
Billy blinked, his mind slowly clearing from the effects of what Rita and Zedd had done to him. "Adam. ..oh, God, I've got to get him back!"
Diana shook her head briefly. "You must feed." That was the central tent of a vampire's life, and one like Billy seriously needed to die. He shook his head.
"I'll go get Adam first."
Diana touched his shoulder. "Hurry, Billy. You're nearing Blood Lust."
The Blue Ranger shrugged, this was more important. "I'll be fine." Quickly, he teleported out. Adam needed him.
"Go to hell."
She chuckled, running a hand down his cheek. "No way. You're kind of cute all chained up like this."
Adam trembled, both at her touch and at the memory of Ernon's own violation of him. "Leave me alone!" he almost begged, moving as far away as his chains permitted: which wasn't much.
"No," Rita laughed as she pulled his head into a kiss. She stepped closer to him, her hands starting to drift all over. "I'm going to have a lot of fun with you."
Adam shook his head, screaming mentally, knowing that it was of no use. "No. Please don't.. .not this. ."
"Ohhh? And why not?" she chuckled evilly.
Tears filled up his dark eyes. "I don't want you to."
"But I want to," she told him. "And I'm going to." Slowly she slid her fingers down his shirt, unbuttoning it as she went. She knew she was going to enjoy every last moment of this, and Adam was too. ..once he accepted it was inevitable.
"Stop right there, Rita!" both of them looked over to see Billy standing there, his eyes flaring with rage.
Rita glared. "Girard, aren't you supposed to be trying to kill a vampire?"
"You are not going to do that to him! He's been through enough!" he almost flew over, his eyes blazing and his fangs showing. "And I am not Girard."
Rita smiled. "So, you remember. Too bad for you." Without a single fanfare, she vanished. Billy snorted after her, then turned to rip the chains off Adam. They could stand up to a werewolf, but not to a vampire. Adam was about to thank him, when he saw his friend looking at him with glistening red eyes.
"Um.. .Billy?" Adam stepped back a little, then screamed as Billy shoved him to the floor and sank fangs into his neck. "Billy, no!" Adam screamed. "You can't feed off me!" he screamed even louder when Billy drank deeply of him. A moment later, the blood-lusting vampire jerked back, jerked his head to the side, and started to throw up.
"A. ..Adam?" Billy murmured. Adam shoved all thoughts of what had been interrupted out of his mind and put an arm around his friend, supporting him.
"Come on. We've got to get you to the Command Center," he touched Billy's communicator, and both of them teleported at once to their headquarters. As Billy upchucked some more, Adam pulled out the standard bottle of blood that was kept there. "Here you go," he handed it to Billy, watching as he drank deeply. "Feeling better?"
The vampire nodded. "Yeah. I'm sorry."
"You couldn't help yourself," Adam shrugged, accepting it. That sort of thing was common for them these days.
Adam, keep it down. You sure know how to wake the dead.
Sorry, Elissa. ..Adam responded to the quiet voice in his mind, then did a doubletake. "ELISSA!?" his head jerked around to see his wife sitting up, her eyes just barely open, but alive. Quickly he went over to her, the horror vanishing totally from his mind at the sight of her back with him. "Oh, Elissa. ..."
She smiled as they hugged. "How long have I been asleep?"
"About a week," Adam looked at Billy. "You might want to let Evanthe know you're okay again."
"I will," Billy smiled. "Good to see you awake again, Elissa. I'll tell the others."
As he vanished, Elissa looked to her husband. "What did you mean by that?"
"Let me get you caught up on recent things," he started telling her everything that had happened since she had been put to sleep. The last thing he said was just that Billy had arrived to free him. He said nothing about what Rita had tried to do to him.
Adam? How did you get Billy back here? What happened on the moon? Elissa preferred mental speech to talking with Adam, and she could tell he was leaving something out.
"I. ..Rita. .she. .." Adam couldn't say it, but he also couldn't conceal the fact something had happened. Elissa sighed.
Not again. These ladies need to keep their hands off my husband!
I wish they would.
What do you say we go home and catch up on some other stuff? I've still got a week left of my vacation.
Adam grinned. "All right!"
"Who knows?" Rita growled, angry because of her interrupted amusement. Zedd laughed, remembering a secondary instruction he'd implanted in Billy's receptive mind.
"Well, he's got one more surprise coming to him!" Zedd chuckled, and Rita agreed. "A very pointed surprise! Yes, Blue Ranger...go home to your wife. .and kill her!"
"B. .Billy?" her eyes widened even farther as he ran towards her, holding her in his arms and nibbled softly on her neck. She smiled broadly. "It is you! You know me!
Billy said nothing as the two of them kissed deeply, but Diana, standing near Evanthe, saw something that her daughter didn't: a stake in his hand as he started to bring it closer to her. "Billy, no!" she shouted harshly. Evanthe's head jerked up as the stake began to come down towards her.
"Billy?" she stared at him in shock. What in the world was going on here?? Didn't she have him back...?
Her husband backed away, just scratching Evanthe's shoulder as he jerked the stake away. "What's happening to me?!" he shouted, not understanding why he wasn't able to control his own body.
"Billy!" Evanthe shouted as she fell back. "Stop!" she touched her shoulder, wincing in more than one form of agony at the pain that lanced through it. Billy threw the stake away, tears falling down his cheeks, not knowing just what was going on.
"Billy?" Diana looked at him. "What happened?"
He shook his head. "I don't know. All of a sudden, I had a stake in my hand, and I wasn't me anymore."
Diana nodded. "Come on. We need to take Evanthe to the Command Center, and get that wound treated."
"Thankfully Elissa is awake," he said, going to help Evanthe up. She flinched quickly away from him, biting her lip at the gut reaction. "I'm sorry, Evanthe. Please, believe me."
Diana went over to her daughter. "I'll help her. Let's go." Evanthe refused to even look at Billy as they teleported away to the Command Center. The emotional wound of the person she loved most in the world doing this to her was deep.
Alpha checked her shoulder over quickly. "It should be all right, but I don't think you should move it," he advised, wrapping it up into a sling.
"Forgive him, please," Evanthe glanced over to see Elissa teleporting in. She smiled briefly to see her friend again.
"He tried to kill me, twice," she said. "I know it wasn't his fault, but.. ."
Elissa nodded. "It still hurts."
"It hurts a lot. ..," Evanthe murmured, thinking of the horror she had faced to see her beloved as a vampire hunter.
"Try being him," Elissa advised. "I know how he feels. Just remember how I was when we first met. How shortly after, I had to kill two of the closest people to me in my life. ..how you coaxed me back to the land of the 'living' after that happened."
Evanthe took a deep breath. "I know. Billy?"
Her husband looked over at her. "Evanthe?" Quickly she walked over to him, and planted a kiss on him that blew every other kiss she'd ever done completely out of the water.
As he started to return it, Elissa giggled a little. "Go home before Alpha hoses you off. I have a neurotic husband I have to take care of."
As she vanished, Evanthe frowned. "What's going on with Adam?"
"I wonder how much more of that he can take?" Billy sighed. Evanthe looked sharply at her husband.
"Billy! Talk to me!"
"Something I walked in on...Adam chained to a wall...and Rita...well...let's just say, it happened again."
Evanthe growled fiercely. "Zedd's blood might be poison. .but I wonder if hers is?"
"Evanthe," Billy touched her hand gently. "Let Elissa deal with this one. You can't protect her and her family forever."
The Purple Ranger smiled. "Old habits are hard to break."
"I'm sure," Billy smiled. "But right now we need to work on our relationship." As she nodded, he smiled even wider. "I take it I'm forgiven for earlier?"
"I love you, Billy. Nothing Rita and Zedd can do can ever stop that."
He smiled as he kissed her. "Let's go home."
"I'm here," she turned around to see him on the bed, and went straight over, putting her arms around him. She could tell he was forcing himself not to flinch away. "I wish they'd leave you alone."
"So do I," he murmured.
She touched his forehead gently. "Trust me, though. I ask you not to forget how."
"I could never forget that," he smiled at her.
Elissa smiled, sitting next to him. "want to know what I thought about while I was in my 'sleep'?"
"Our first night together," she glanced over at him curiously. "Adam, something I never asked you. Was that your first time?" When he nodded, she smiled. "How would you like to go there? Tomorrow."
"Yeah! I'd like that!" Adam smiled as Elissa began to kiss his neck. "I love you, Elissa."
"You are my soul, Adam," Elissa purred. "You are my life, and I will always love you, in every form possible."
Adam smiled at her, running his hands over her. "As I will always love you."
"Shall we go to bed?" she asked impishly. "I may not be tired, but I haven't been with you in a week!"
Adam giggled merrily. "Sounds excellent to me!" he moaned loudly as she ran a finger up his spine once she'd removed his shirt.
"I still remember what you like," she told him, nibbling his neck erotically. Adam smiled, he could easily tell that, and told her so. She moved around so she could see into his face, and looked at it, her eyes filling up with tears suddenly.
"Elissa? What is it?"
"I can't believe how close we came to losing each other..again!"
Adam shook his head. "We didn't, and we don't."
Tears began to spill down her cheeks. "Hold me, Adam," she asked softly.
As his arms wrapped around her, he whispered softly. "I love you for eternity, Elissa."
"I am glad she is gone," she whispered. She barely heard Adam's agreement as she cried into his shoulder.
"I love you, I love you, I love you!" he whispered over and over into her ear, hoping she would hear him. Apparently she did, as she slowly began to wipe the tears out of her eyes.
She tilted her head, looking at him. "Adam, what would you have done if I had really died?'
"I would have lived the rest of my life remembering you and crying."
"I'm glad I didn't then," she slowly kissed him on the lips, softly and sweetly. You are the BEST!
No, you are.
As she laughed through the kiss, she accidentally bit his lip, and he winced. "Ohh, be careful."
"Then don't make me laugh," she admonished. Adam kissed her deeply, and she mentally giggled. That's more like it! A sudden slippage resulted in both of them falling onto the floor, and both erupted into laugher. "Oh, yeah, you married a klutz!"
Adam smiled. "That's okay. You're my klutz!" he reminded her. Elissa laughed as she pulled him over for another kiss, and could feel his arousal rising. Want to stay down here or get back up on the bed?
I don't wanna move.
Elissa giggled, giving him a swat on the tush as she reached over to throw a blanket over them. Don't want to take any chances that someone might teleport in here.
Adam grinned. "Now. .where were we?"
Elissa grinned. "Right here!" she started kissing her way down his chest, and as he returned the favor, they both forgot that anyone could even try to keep them apart.