Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chapter 36: Kvornan Writes In The Dust

Mon, November 16, 2074 10:16 am: Ethelden Palace- Amhurst, Veronaville


Alexei grabbed Kvornan's upper arm and squeezed as though he were making certain of Kvornan's solidity. There was a time when Kvornan thought that his friend simply did not know how to exercise restraint in matters of bodily contact. He had since come to realize that Alexei spoke a language of vulnerability with his every gesture. It was effectively misleading. Alexei was a much better, much subtler predator than Kvornan could ever hope to be. Kvornan was sloppy in everything he did from his brushstrokes down to his bite.

"Still mortal enemies with your razor and shaving cream, I see," Alexei said coolly. Kvornan shrugged him off.

"Is there a reason for this visit or have you merely come to bask in the warm glow of my affable disposition?"

"It's been ten years and that's the best you can do in the way of unpleasantries? I should have thought that you would have stored up at least a few more demoralizing sentiments for me." Kvornan squeezed his eyes shut.

"You're a waste of my already worthless and inexhaustible time," he growled. Alexei smirked appreciatively.

"Yes, that's the Vincent I remember. May we have a seat?" He gestured towards the chairs behind them with a nod of his snowy head. Kvornan shrugged, his lips thinly pursed, and sat down.


Truth be told, Kvornan was not entirely aggrieved to see the man that sat before him, static and unreadable as a pillar of salt. As much as he longed to despise Alexei, he knew that he would never be rid of his lingering affection for the man. Ten years should not have been a sufficient amount of time to pardon Alexei of his crimes. But as Kvornan tried desperately to conjure up images of the girl that Alexei had dismembered with his bare hands, Kvornan could not summon the same fury and anguish that he once felt. He was over it. And maybe it was a little hypocritical to hold that sort of grudge anyway. God knew that he himself had done some lamentable things in his lifetime. But never had he done them just for the pleasure of it. Moreover, if there was such a thing as guilt by association then Kvornan was just as much to blame. He stood by like a coward while Alexei ripped that girl apart. His inaction would plague him for the rest of his life. But his guilt was more direct than that. He had, in effect, created a monster. Alexei cleared his throat.

"With as much as I missed you and your disposition, that is not the only reason why I am here. I am here because I'm looking for Antoine. He went missing about six years ago." Kvornan blinked passively.

"Why should I have seen him? This is probably the last place that he would want to run to. I hate him and he knows it."

"Ah but I know how you hate me and yet, here I sit." Kvornan closed his eyes and sighed heavily through his nose.

"I don't hate you, Alec."


A moment of silence passed between them. Alexei didn't flinch but Kvornan could almost hear the gears shifting in his head. He was calculating just how close he could get away with leaning in towards Kvornan, just how much he could get away with saying. Ultimately, he decided to play it safe.

"Emilia sends her love," Alexei said quietly. Kvornan sat up, slightly more alert than before. Dear, sweet Emilia who was infinitely wise and heartbreakingly beautiful.

"How is she?"

"Well. She's happy, anyway. Married to a man. He doesn't know what she is. They're expecting a child in the spring." Kvornan shook his head slowly.


"I don't know why she does that to herself. Having children only to watch them grow old... die..."

"She isn't like you, Vince. She's not so afraid of loss that she would turn her back on living." Kvornan fidgeted. Tara had said something similar to him not long ago. He didn't dispute the fact but preferred not to discuss it. Alexei sensed as much. "But moving on," he continued. "How are things with the Ib?"


This change of topic was far worse. Kvornan suddenly longed to go back to the discussion about his feelings. This mention of Elise was not idly made. He knew what Alexei was driving at. But Kvornan's duty to Elise came first above all things, even unto his personal happiness.

"Things are not so good. She lost both of her parents. My goal right now is to get her here. I haven't told anyone this but I'm telling you now- She's a bit of a time bomb. She has enough magic to level whole cities to the ground. All that she would need is to feel threatened or to really lose her temper. The faes can help her learn to master her abilities. At the moment, she's almost completely unaware of what she is and what she can do. And yes, after I have her safely installed here, I will seriously consider leaving."

"Whatever you decide, you always have a home with Emilia and I. We love you. Perhaps against our better judgment but... You're family."


Alexei was his family. With Alexei, Kvornan found a camaraderie and a common sense of suffering that he didn't experience with other people. And more than that, their life forces were physically entwined.

"Of course, I am contrite enough to come to you if necessary," Alexei offered. Kvornan shook his head and cast his eyes downwards.


"No, I want to come to you. As soon as she's here and safe, I want to start over again." Kvornan couldn't really guarantee that things would go this way. The best-laid plans rarely unfolded for him. His was a promise written in dust. Alexei stood.

"If you need anything at all-"

"I'll ask. And I'll keep an eye out for Antoine."

"Thank you. Take care of your filthy, unshaven self."

"I'll do my best." At this point, Kvornan was at a loss. Before the incident with the girl in the woods, they might have embraced. But back then, they wouldn't have said goodbye at all. "We'll see one another again soon," he resolved. Alexei smiled weakly.

"I'm holding you to that."


  1. During the years that Kvornan and Alexei lived together, Kvornan went by "Vincent" because they were living out in the open in Pleasantview, pretending to be Townies. This is also Kvornan's birth name.

    Lastly, Antoine and Emilia are Alexei's siblings. If anything else was majorly confusing in this chapter, don't hesitate to ask. :)

  2. Ohhh! Okay! I was like Vincent who?! *scroll, scroll...scratch head* Thanks for explaining!

    Wow! The Hotness is...HAWT!! Hard to see him ripping about a girl with his bare hands but than again looks can be deceiving! I loved this chapter. The interaction between the two...or lack thereof speaks volumes.

    And Tara...does he really think she's just going to let him walk away?

    I like this line : She's not so afraid of loss that she would turn her back on living.

    YAY for updates btw! I was stalking! Haha! Great chapter!

  3. Now I'm really interested to see what Kvornan and Alexei and Co. really are. I'm guessing they were born as humans, but then something happened and they became some sort of immortal beings?

  4. Phoenix, it's all late and stuff! hehehe

    Part of me wanted Kvornan to have a thought that was something along the lines of him feeling strange about being called Vincent again (as a clue to the reader) but I couldn't really see him thinking that. In fact, he would have felt a lot weirder if Alexei had called him Kvornan.

    I know! Alexei has this really sweet, innocent little face. But it's all part of the illusion that is Alexei. His eye color isn't even real. He wears contacts to cover-up his starry, coppery vampire eyes.

    You'll learn a little bit more about the girl-ripping incident in the next chapter. Unfortunately.

    Worse than thinking that Tara is just going to let him walk away, he thinks that Tara is going to chase him down! Which, as much as Tara would like to do that, she isn't really at liberty to.

    Alexei has Kvornan pinned down (metaphorically). He knows what makes Kvornan tick. And what makes Kvornan tick is mainly his fear of losing things. Kvornan has lost a lot, not the least of which was his 12-year-old son. And that pain has not gone away for him.

    Thanks Phoenix! You're almost always one of the first gals to read my updates. ;)

  5. Dinuriel:

    Ah ha!

    They're vampires. But Kvornan is more than a vampire. Alexei et al were born regular human beings. Kvornan was not.

  6. Hmmmm. But, one can't be BORN a vampire, right? So Kvornan must still have been something other than human at birth. Maybe an elf-vampire? Fairy-vampire? It would be cool if he was a merman or something and Tara could be a kelpie. Oh, well, whatever the answer is, I know it will be interesting and creative!

  7. No, no one can be born a vampire.

    Hmm I'm not sure how much I'm going to let on at this point. It's not a big sekrit but here's what we know about Kvornan so far:

    1) Whatever he is, there are five parts to it and Elise is one.
    2) In chapter 32, Tara refers to him as a man, a monster and a deity.
    3) He has, as Roan would say, the magics! Other vampires don't have this.

    And then of course, there should be a lot of questions about vampires. How many are there? Where do they live? How do they live (underground, with normal folks)? Do normal people know that they exist? How close are these vampires to the common western vampire folklore (garlic, crosses, stakes through the heart, turning into bats, can't see their own reflections, etc)? How much and how often do they need to drink blood? How does a person become a vampire? How did Kvornan end up a vampire?

    I could do a BBL post about most of this later if that interests anyone.

  8. BBL post? Excellent!

    On a completely unrelated note, they sure choose some silly could-be words for the word verifications on this site. *Spams Blue Lake*

  9. It asked you for a word verification?? Does it always do that? Is there a way for me to turn it off?

    I'm not a big fan of those since:

    #1 Who would bother to spam me?
    #2 It doesn't always load correctly.
    and #3 If you press "enter" when you're confirming, it deletes the message!

  10. Ok. I'm so glad you mentioned that, Van! I turned it off. Man, I've had this blog for 5 months with that crap on??? Wack ass!

  11. Loved this line: "His was a promise written in dust."