The Fae Worlds

The Other Vampire

A Bad Idea

It was just before dawn. Anne knew she should be going to bed, to the room they’d set up specially for her, but she hated the thought of leaving Henry when he was sleeping. If she didn’t she have to explain why she wasn’t she simply wouldn’t. Telling everyone immortals only chose to sleep during the day wasn’t the best thing she could do, because it would cause more fear and hatred, so she’d leave that for the right time – if there ever was a right time. Sighing, she slowly started walking in the direction of her room, telling herself Henry’s men would be able to protect him, and it was something she had to believe if she’d ever make it to bed. Sleeping was probably a good idea. She had just changed someone into an immortal. She never thought she would. The very thought of making someone into the creature she’d become had been difficult. Actually doing it…
As Anne reached out to touch the door handle someone grabbed hold of her from behind. “You made a very big mistake, Anne.”
“Tell me something I don’t know.” She pulled free and turned to face her attacker. “You’re the one who was going to change him, aren’t you?”
He smiled. “At least you aren’t totally stupid.” He shook his head. “You are going to work with me.”
Laughing, Anne shook her head. “No, I’m not, unless you can give me a reason why I should be. All I know at the moment is that you wanted control of the throne, and I’m not certain you are the person who should have control.”
“You have to admit Henry isn’t either.”
“Henry is the King. Saying things like that is treason.” She looked around to make certain no one would hear her. “I’m not saying you’re wrong, however.” She thought for a moment. “Come into my room. I think the best thing we can do is talk about things away from ears that may be listening.”
“I can kill those ears.”
“Killing the ears is not the best of choices. I have learnt how to drink without hurting people, and I don’t want anyone to know you’ve been here. The King cannot know I was talking with you.”
Nodding, he smiled again. “You’re right.” He gestured for her to open the door. “I think the two of us can learn how to work together, Anne, because you are just as smart as I was told. When I found out what you’d done I did have my doubts. A smart Immortal shouldn’t change someone when they’ve already been marked.”
“Trying to take control of the King wouldn’t have worked for you.” Anne opened the door and smiled. “Please, enter.”
“Thank you.” He stepped into her room, and she followed him. Once the door was closed she felt a little safer. “You’re probably right about that, but it was obvious how much he wanted the immortality I was offering him, so I thought, with time, he might come to accept me changing him.”
“All you would have done was make Henry very angry. He has to be in control of everything, even though there have been plenty of times when he wasn’t in control of anything at all.” Anne sat on the bed. “Now that we are slightly more protected from those ears I’d like to know your name.”
“I’m known as Edward right now. You may call me by that name, but there may come a time when I tell you one of my older names, if you prove to be someone I can trust.”
“Right now I need to know you can be someone I can trust. When I changed Henry it was because I didn’t feel I had any other option. The King is easily led. If the wrong person was to take control I dread to think what might happen.”
Their eyes met. “My whole reason for being here was my same worry. There are Immortals I don’t trust who have been thinking about what our lives would be like if we could come out of the shadows – and they wanted to use Henry to do that. Anyone who has any understanding of his court knows the way Henry works. You, I hope, are ready for what’s coming next.”
Anne sighed. “I’m as ready as I can be for this, Edward. The choices I have made were based on what I knew and what I knew could never have been enough. As I knew there was another Immortal involved I was ready for something untoward to happen. That isn’t going to change now I’ve met you. I’m not a fool.”
“Good.” Edward studied her. “You are a young Immortal, so there are going to be those who think they will be able to make you do what they want. I knew from the beginning it wasn’t going to be that simple. I have been in court before and I’ve seen you. You aren’t someone to underestimate, Mistress Boleyn, and I’m sorry I made that mistake. However that doesn’t mean you’re ready for the job of guiding Henry.”
“I knew that when I made the decision. Guiding Henry isn’t going to be easy, and I’m not ready, but that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of doing it. When he wakes the two of us will talk about what it means that he’s a immortal, because that’s something he needs to understand as soon as possible. Being an immortal changes everything.”
“You need to be there when he wakes. Letting a human enter the room would be a mistake.”
“Charles already knows not to let anyone in until I get there. The doors are locked from the outside and I’m the one with the key to the lock. Henry doesn’t know, but he will understand when I explain it to him.” Anne hoped he would, anyway, because there was no way she could be certain how a newly Immortal Henry would react to finding he was trapped in his chambers. “He loves me. He believes I love him. That will be enough to get us through the difficulties at the beginning.”
“Are you saying you don’t love him?”
“I’m saying I’ve changed. Becoming an Immortal…” She ran her tongue over her lips. “Things are different. Some of the things I was striving for don’t matter as much as they did before. The love I once felt for Henry…” She shook her head. “It’s hard to explain. The words are eluding me. I want to be able to explain the position I’ve found myself in, but it’s nowhere near as simple as I want it to be.”
“Even though I’ve been a Immortal far longer than you could possibly imagine I understand what you’re saying. I remember what it was like to reassess my life when I became a immortal. Most of us leave everyone we loved behind. You made the choice to spend more time with them than you ever had before, which is a little difficult to understand, but then, considering what your life was like, it seems to make sense. Until you became a immortal you felt a distance.”
“I spent a lot of my childhood in France, growing up away from my family. Being the youngest daughter means I’m needed even less than Mary is, and it was hard to come to terms with when I was younger, which was, I believe, why I was so focused on becoming the Queen of England. Now I don’t feel that need. I don’t need to have a reason. I just want a chance to be able to help the people I love, and I do love my family. My siblings, especially, even though there have been times when Mary and I have hated each other. That’s the way with sisters, though.”
Saying goodbye to Mary had been the hardest thing Anne had to do. From the moment Anne walked into the bedroom they shared Mary knew why she was there. The flash of anger in her eyes was to be expected, but it quickly faded – far more quickly than Anne had thought it would, if she was honest, because Mary was the one who’d been so badly used by Henry. Whispering apologies was something Anne believed could never be good enough. Yet Mary was quick to forgive, to accept, to give Anne her blessing.
“Yes, it is.” Edward’s voice dragged Anne out of her thoughts. “I had three sisters and there were times when they hated each other. Then there were times when they were the very best of friends, so they’d do anything for each other, and I have seen you with Mary. To me it seems like any other sibling relationship.” He smiled. “You are lucky to have her. You’re lucky to have all of your family.”
“They have been good to me. When I went to them, after I was turned into an Immortal, I was certain they’d turn me away. My father and I talked about what had happened to me, about what it meant, and he didn’t judge me. He didn’t blame me for what had happened. We came up with an explanation for our disappearance together, knowing that was the first problem we had to deal with. After that he helped me to deal with the blood lust that swept me. I never expected him to go to those lengths for me. I did wonder if the reason he did it was so I would owe him, but he didn’t bring that up when he asked me to change Henry, so I think he did it out of love for me.” Anne shook her head. “It never once crossed my mind my father might actually love me.”
“You’re his child. I don’t know any parent who doesn’t love their child, although there have been plenty of times when those parents haven’t been able to show it. You were lucky to have such an understanding family and I hope you understand it’s not going to be so simple for other parents to accept their Immortal children.”
“Which is why this can’t be known about too soon. Henry is going to want to make an announcement straight away, but that’s because he can’t understand what he doesn’t know.” Anne sighed. “I can’t explain what I don’t know.”
“He’s not going to accept me straight away, because I was the one who wanted to change him originally, but, if you believe it would help, I could send one of my children to help you tonight. He has been by my side for a long time and he can explain everything you both need to know.”
“I think that will help, thank you.” Relief filled Anne. “I will be with Henry at sunset. If he could arrive about ten minutes later. I’ll tell Charles to expect him.”
“A smart person is always willing to accept help when it’s offered.” Edward nodded. “You are not the wrong person, as I feared. The one I’ll send is James. He has a lot more patience than my other children, so he’ll be able to answer the stupid questions without making either of you feel stupid.”
“When will I see you again, Edward?”
“I’ll be around. If you desperately need to see me all you have to do is tell James. He always knows where I am, even when I don’t want him to.” Edward stepped over to the door, before looking at her. “Good luck, Mistress Boleyn.”
“You can call me Anne.”
“Thank you.” He smiled. “Good luck, then, Anne, and I will see you soon.”
With that he was gone and Anne was alone. For a moment she thought about what her next step was going to be, before deciding it should be going to bed. Even if she only slept for a short time it was better than dealing with an irate Henry when she’d had no sleep at all.

Henry Wakes