My Dark Starr

by G.D.S. Balk aka (GoldieDoc)

Foreword: My fantasy piece pays homage to Christine Feehan’s work “Dark Series” Novels as one of her biggest fans. This series inspired me to create my own characters based off her beloved Carpathians to whom I fell in love with. See her work here:

If You *Borrow* From This Work In Anyway, Please Do Right, Be Integral, And Acknowledge It. If You Are *Inspired* By It, I Would Appreciate A Recommendation.Thank You!

Charter 12

2006 (Spring) Romania, The Carpathian Mountains

Several weeks had past without incidence since Voltar’s and Starla’s last altercation. It was due to the truce struck up between friar Josef and Voltar regarding their Starla Xzanadria, and her new found temperance since that night in the cave. The other Carpathians had not been privy to what had transpired to cause this small wonder. But they were surprisingly pleased with the outcome. Starla had become quite congenial, especially, to the women, as she instantly clicked with Raven, Dr. Shea, Natalya and Savannah, becoming fast friends. She even patiently tolerated The Healer, Gregori’s, discerning probes, as he and the other research healers thoroughly examined her.

All of them had marveled at Starla’s differences. However, Gregori and Lucian, the more ancient of them, had made a surprising discovery about some of her hidden powers, but they had decided to keep that information to themselves for the time being. It might prove useful for later. But for now, Starla had mellowed out and had ceased giving Voltar flack since that night in the cave with him, after friar Josef had left. She had even taken to giving her lifemate/husband long, loving, passion filled looks at odd times, like when the men would be gathered together discussing strategies, test results and so forth, and he seemed to be relishing it. After Voltar and the friar had their chat several weeks ago, he had received a new revelation about his Starla Xzanadria, bringing forth his new found change, and better understanding of her and of her actions.

Friar Josef had been patiently waiting for Voltar outside their cave on their rising that next evening. The two men had tread into the deep woods to converse, privately, without Starla’s cognizance, they thought. But she had been thoroughly preoccupied with her research talk with the female Carpathians, to snoop on the two men’s private conversation. The women had also been giving her the finer points of being bound to a male of their species. They had even explained how Voltar was able to enter her cabin that first night, even with its strong safeguards in place. Raven had smilingly said, “It was because you invited him in, simply by offering yourself, your life to him that night. Unknowingly, you married him, with those innocent and honorable words, ‘you may have my life, I give it to you willingly.’

In the world of The Carpathians, that is all it takes. There is power in your words, my dear, as you are aware, I’m sure. With Voltar’s acceptance of your offer, he then had the authority to enter into your world freely.” Then Dr. Shea chimed in with her take on it. “Each of us have experienced similar matings, in our own unique stories. But had you not offered your life to your lifemate/husband that night, I am most certain he still would have found a way to breach your safeguards and mate with you anyhow. It is the way of The Carpathian males, Starla. It was fated. Nonetheless, we are glad you are here.” She smiled. “You are home.” Thinking back on all these new revelations, Dr. Starla Xzanadria could only smile, herself, and wonder what had occurred between her two favorite men on earth, to cause the sudden change in her overbearing and intense lifemate/spouse since their private talk, weeks ago. They now seemed like the best of comrades, or dare she think, close family.

As it had happened, Friar Josef had begun the conversation with Voltar after the two had strolled along, deeper into the woods, in eery silence. “She is far different from the average Carpathian female, even after having successfully undergone the conversion, Voltar,” he began. “It is highly unlikely that she will ever change. The two of you must make adjustments, as your case is unique.” “Do you mean to tell me how to deal with my lifemate, Josef?” Voltar snided with hidden bitterness. “Especially, after both you and Montenegro, wrongfully, deprived me of the opportunity of getting to know her as I should have back then. Instead, I was sent on a decades long, wild goose chase after you, all to distract me and my interest in Xzanadria. Why should I listen to anything you have to say now?”

“You should listen to, and heed what I have to say, if you truly want to understand your lifemate, deeper than you do now. As I am the only other soul on earth, who knows Xzanadria to the core of her being. After all, I raised her from an infant, and bonded with her long before her mind fully developed. I have secret pathways into Xzan’s mind that not even she is aware of. I understand her as if she were my own.” “But she is not,” was Voltar’s quick rebuttal. “That is correct. Nonetheless, I know her far better than you, her most intimate desires, her needs, her aspirations, and her most profound dreams. Xzanadria’s greatest dream is to belong… to be loved unconditionally, respected, and valued for who she is. Just as she is, without someone expecting to come along and change her.”

The friar then looked pointedly into Voltar’s piercing eyes, and stated, “Can you accept that?” “I already have,” Voltar replied. Josef nodded. “Xzan needs a measure of freedom, and space to soar like the golden eagle she is. My Little One, has never appreciated the feeling of being tied down, or chained in, in any regards. It has been so since her early childhood. Yes, I was aware of her secret midnight excursions on her blasted stallion.” Voltar remained silently listening on. “It was there in the stables at the compound, where you two first encountered one another, was it not?” Josef asked, with a wisdom far more ancient than Voltars’.

“It appears, you already know that as fact,” He answered. “Yet it still does not justify what was done, friar. You and Montenegro both knew that Xzanadria was my lifemate, when I had not. And you deliberately withheld that information from me. Since I had not lost my colors or emotions then, I would not have known for certain with her being that young. As the honorable man that I pride myself on being, I decided to wait on her to mature and develop into womanhood before I staked my claim on her, even as I had not been aware as to why I wanted Xzanadria as my lifemate, knowing that she was not Carpathian or an adult at the time. I just felt unnaturally drawn to her, and at ease when in her presence back then. But the moment she came of age, in societies sense, she fled and eluded me for more than two decades, largely due to the handiwork of both you and Montenegro.” Voltar huffed before continuing.

“The two of you behaved as if I would have brutally forced myself upon Xzanadria the moment I laid claim to her. I would not have.” “Oh, did you not do just that, and almost drain her dry of blood, within minutes of claiming her only weeks ago, instantly impregnating my csitri, when you have had more than twenty two years to prepare for your joining?” Josef asked while giving Voltar a look far wiser than any sage would. “What makes you believe that you would have done differently, had you claimed her then, at the tender age of eighteen, when she was yet a child, innocent in truth, to the ways of womanhood, and terribly afraid of you? It was foretold that the two of you would conceive on your very first joining. And she was far too young for that to occur back then, after just coming of age, and still not mature enough yet for motherhood. She must have sensed this threat to her freedom, even then. Xzanadria was not ready for that, and would have undoubtedly, resisted your claim on her out of natural instinct, even while feeling the strong pull of your souls to join together. And you would have certainly taken her by force, the way you desired her even then. The beast within you would have been unleashed, as the Carpathian male that you are.” The younger ancient remained silent, taking in all that the friar was disclosing to him.

“All knew this as fact, and was concerned, Voltar,” Josef stated. “Xzan truly was not ready for you then, for you intensity. In any case, it would have destroyed her spirit, and ruined her faith in men for life. She would have surely hated you, and sought to destroy you any way she could, thereby destroying herself. I would, no doubt, have intervened. War, unlike anything you have ever imagined, would have ensued. That is why I left, and why Montenegro set you after me. He wanted to give Xzanadria a chance at life, a chance to grow into the fullness of womanhood on her own terms, and learn to survive and rely on her own powers, while coming to terms with her fate as your lifemate, which is what she has now done. It just took her much longer than each of us had ever imagined. That is what happens with freewill. As each of us are given the power to make our own destiny with the choices we are allowed to make. I have come to accept this truth over time. It is called growth and maturity to allow others to make their own choices and live their lives their own way.” “All that being said, you and Montenegro robbed me of her innocence, friar, which was my right to claim,” Voltar quietly remarked.

“She has loved others before me. I keenly felt it when it happened. I just knew from the depths of my soul. Yet, I was unable to find her, them… All paths to her were blocked from me then. I felt powerless and hurt… A feeling I would wish on no lifemate.” His honest words felt tangible to the friar. “Yes, but she loves you unlike any other, she’s ever loved. Look at it from this perspective, Voltar. The select few that Xzanadria’s been intimate with, does not compare, or even come close, to what she now has with you. In many ways, it was good that she was allowed to have those experiences. At least now she will not wonder what being with another would be like. In her eyes, you are the best thing ever. You see that, the love she has for you, in her starry gazes. Appreciate that, while knowing that she is, likewise, aware of the multitudes, over the centuries that you have had prior to her. It does not even balance. In many ways, it all prepared Xzan for you. As you, Voltar, are not an easy man, in any sense, especially from csitri’s point of view. Be grateful, and see the positives in this entire situation. You have found one another at long last, and this is your time.”

Voltar’s expression remained inscrutable as friar Josef continued to speak. “To Xzanadria, you are terribly imposing, and fierce in your stance, regarding what you claim as yours. Did you not go on a killing rampage of the undead, when you first learned of her disappearance, leaving no one safe from your wrath then, not even Xzan? Am I right?” Josef asked. Voltar only shrugged his huge shoulders. “The Grand Friar knew all of this from the beginning. He knows much, even that Xzanadria is a free-spirited and rebellious, adventurous, and open-hearted soul. It is who she is, and no one can change that. If she feels a threat to her sense of freedom, she will flee, make no mistakes about it. No one will be able to stop her. Trust me on this. As she is far more powerful than any of us, in all our centuries of wisdom, know.” Josef then pat Voltar on the shoulder and finished their chat.

“Xzanadria is a mystery unto herself. But take heart in the fact that she has now accepted you as her lifemate and husband, and father to your unborn children. She will do right by you, and love you as no other, forever. Just do not attempt to impede her freedom, or betray her trust in you, or I fear we will all come to regret it. Give her some space, and support her passions, old friend, if nothing else.” That understanding had been reached in the woods, several weeks ago, and so far Voltar seemed to be heeding the friar’s very sage and candid advice, and taking into consideration all that he had disclosed to him regarding their Starla Xzanadria. Thus far, all seemed to be working like a charm, with Voltar’s less dominating ways, and her very loving behavior and attitude toward him, as she excitedly engaged in their research projects, encouraging him to get more involved as well.

This particular night, the gathered Carpathians, were having another formal meetup at Mikhail’s home for some much needed entertainment, including some trusted human and other-worldly associates in attendance. One of the more mysterious of the guests was an ancient female seer, with other-worldly beauty, in addition to her ageless wisdom. She was giving readings, and all were enjoying themselves as they took their turn with her, if only to see what she had to say regarding their lives. Starla even encouraged Voltar to get his own reading, and just to appease her, he did. Although she had declined to participate herself, as her readings with Mircalla had been enough for her.

Starla had not even seemed bothered when the extraordinarily beautiful woman took her lifemate’s hand, in a rather intimate way, and began the reading, as she was far too curious to know what the wise woman had to say about his future. “It will get much worse, before it gets better. In the end, it will be as it should be. All will be well. Just hold fast to you faith in love, and trust the process,” the seer told Voltar before abruptly dropping his hand. Then the peculiar beauty with the thigh length, raven black hair, and mystic purple eyes located Josef, as if drawn to him. She grabbed a hold to his hands with both of hers, almost too familiarly, and went into back into her seer mode.

Starla had been watching on from a distant corner, seated away from the others, with an inscrutable expression on her face, while intently taking in everything being foretold, as her hearing, as well as her sight, was now impeccably acute. “You were told that you do not belong to the priesthood,” the seer said. “They cast you out.” The friar remained silent. “You are a creature of the earth. Passion flows through you like an internal inferno, awaiting a release. You yearn for something. For someone. Yet, you have admirably fought this hidden desire for ages. But now the need is consuming the essence of your soul. It is time. Your lifemate lives in this realm. She is waiting for you, with an equal yearn. You will know her, instantly. The time has come, Josef.”

Everyone in the room became instantly silent. Starla’s heart thumped deep within her chest, before she immediately slowed its beat down, with pure will, while shutting out any thought from her mind. The mental blocks were up in force, as she silently faded from the room like a wraith, without anyone detecting her exit, as they were so caught up in the seer’s reading, even Voltar. It was several minutes later before, he realized that Starla had left the room. Josef noticed as well, and immediately went in search of her mind through through their private mental pathway, but found himself shut out. Understanding as only he could, he went in search of her, just as Voltar had.

Starla was sitting outside on a large rock, quite a distance away from the prince’s house, slumped over, lost in private cogitations and looking utterly alone, not even aware of the men looking on. Keenly feeling his lifemate’s despondency, Voltar was about to go to her, but Josef placed a light hand on his shoulder and said, “I would appreciate if you would allow me to go to her. I am aware of what the matter is.” Voltar hesitated, but then nodded his head in concession. He remained where he was, avidly watching on, and feeling helpless, while diligently battling the urge to go to Starla. Her inner conflict felt tangible. Sensing his presence before he reached her, Starla raised her head up and watched Josef approach.

Her eyes sparkled like radiant gems while filled with unshed tears. She immediately tried to clear them away before Josef noticed, but failed. Taking the tips of his fingers, he gently lifted Starla’s chin up so that her eyes met his obsidian dark ones. “Do not try to hide what you feel from me, csitri,’ he said with compassion. “No one will ever take your place in my heart. Nor could they. We are forever tied. I will always look after you, and love you. I made a vow in blood, years ago, to always see to your well being. Do not fear to share my love with another. It is what I do for you and Voltar, your lifemate. No one can change how we feel for one another, Xzan. You are the first female, I have ever truly loved, and you will always be my csitri. Forever. Never forget that, no matter what the future brings.” With this blessed assurance, the tears ran free down Starla’s face.

She leaned her forehead into Josef’s large chest, as she had done on many occasions as a child, and wept. “I know it is wrong to feel as I do. Though it is my nature to give, I have never learned to share… what I considered was my own. You too, are my first love, Josef. And I am finding it very difficult to categorize the love I have for you versus the love I have for Voltar. With him, the love is absolute, and passionate, beyond anything I could have ever imagined, even with my ridiculously vivid imagination. For you, it is safe… comfortable, and enduring, nostalgic even,” Starla confessed. Then looking up to her friar, she said, “You broke my heart, Josef. Big time. And I am still coming to terms with it, after the many years I spent grieving for you, over the way you left me… alone.” “I have always been with you, Xzanadria. A shadow in your mind, even when I slept for years, missing you. Never-the-less, it had to be done that way for all concerned. I am here now.”

“If I had only known that then. But I must concede that I did sometimes feel your reassurance when things got a little too hectic for me, when it seemed as if I could no longer go on, yet somehow, I did. Thoughts of you, at those times, never failed to give me the strength I needed to carry on, just one more day, until the spell had past. It was the hope that I would see you again in this lifetime, to make right, the wrongs I believed I’d done you, that got me through. In my heart, I knew that I would see you again. I just knew it. And those warm thoughts, sustained me.” “I sent them to you,” Josef put in quietly. “I’m so glad to know that you did not hate me for being so childish and selfish back then, Josef.” “I could never hate you, Xzan. You are love, my csitri. I have always loved you, from the moment I first looked upon your sleeping, beautiful, angel face, when Montenegro placed you into my arms as an infant, and charged me with your care.”

Starla smiled, after letting all these new revelations sink in. “I am happy for you Josef, knowing that there is someone, very special, out there waiting and longing for you. I will accept her. For you deserve the world after having sacrificed so much for me, for all those years, and loving me unconditionally. And for that I thank you, with everything that is within me. I promise to be better, more understanding, and tolerant, going forward.” Then Starla grinned, sheepishly, and stated, “One thing I know for sure, your lifemate, whomever she may be, will not be displeased being forever bonded to you, Josef. You are one powerfully sexy man, despite your so-called piousness. I detect a raw passion in you just waiting to be unleashed. Wo unto her when it does. It might even rival the intensity that both Voltar and I shared only weeks ago, that produced, not one or two, but three wee ones inside of me.” She laughed “My God, I love that man, overwhelmingly so.”

Josef raised his thick, dark eyebrows in amusement. I realized the two of you would need a chaperone, during your initial joining period. However, that revered, Alpha male, has been commendably adjusting to his new role with you, csitri. And being surprisingly reasonable in the process. Appreciate that.” “He has, hasn’t he?” Starla was all of a sudden, happy again. She jumped off the large rock, and gave Josef a quick peck on the cheeks, along with a tight hug. “Thank you,” she whispered. “For everything. From the bottom of my heart.” The in the next instant, Starla turned, facing Voltar, who was watching on, very alert, in the distance. No doubt, he had heard every word said between Josef and herself. While heading his way at a brisk pace, he met her.

Starla caught Voltar’s large hands in hers, and walked into his embrace. For a few moments she lay her head against his broad chest, just lovingly hugging him. The onlookers were smiling in approval, as the loving couple began to walk slowly into the woods, hand in hand. But in the distance they both stopped, simultaneously, and turned in unison, toward the direction of friar Josef, who had been watching the couple’s loving interaction from a distance, in obvious approval. Starla stretched her free hand out toward him, and he went to them, in a leisurely stroll. She then took the friar’s hand, and the three of them turned, wordlessly, and proceeded into the forest, hand in hand, with Starla in the middle. This was her family now. They would dwell together, from now on, come what may.

Charter 13

2006 (Spring) Romania, The Carpathian Mountains

It was several evening later, when the Carpathians had gathered in the forest to discuss some disturbing news, regarding a migration of the undead, headed to Eastern Europe and spreading out, while violently searching for something. An ancient hunter had arrived with the news, informing the prince that some vampires had wreaked havoc in South Florida, before setting out to Spain, and then onto Italy. Voltar and Josef became very quiet, after realizing the vampires were desperately seeking their Starla Xzanadria. The persistent group must have picked up their trail, and lost it again after her conversion. But during Voltar’s desperate call out to his species for assistance in saving his lifemate’s life, the undead had heard the call as well, and had picked up their trail, despite all the safeguards and blocks they had put in place, leading them into different directions.

Realizing the impending threat to Starla’s life, Voltar was once again, in Harrier’s mode, fiercer than he had ever been. He would go on the hunt again to neutralize, or eradicate any potential threat to his lifemate and their unborn children. None would be spared who presented harm to his family. Yes, Voltar was once again, the ice cold, killing machine. It was visible in his eerily quiet demeanor, as he listened to the discussion happening around him. Josef was just as silent, with a strangely savage look within his obsidian eyes. Neither of these two fiercely protective men, vocalized their ire. They rather showed it, when necessary, in no uncertain terms.

In the distance, Starla made her way toward the gathered group, along with Raven and Dr. Shea. Each had odd expressions plastered across their beautiful faces. Sensing the unease, their respective Carpathian lifemates instantly stopped what they were doing, turning to regard their women as they approached. The moment Starla reached Voltar, she looked up at him in disturbance, while gripping her forehead with a severe grimace. Alarmed, he caught her arms as a sharp pain pierced her head with magnum force. A bright light flashed before Starla, in her mind, and she collapsed in her lifemate’s arms. Fluidly, Voltar lifted her up into his massive arms and teleported them into their private chambers at Mikhails home. The others followed in deep concern.

Josef and Gregori were the first to meet them in their chambers, and then the prince, along with the others. Starla was now laying on the chaise lounge with everyone surrounding her, as she came to, while trying to set up. But Voltar was gently holding her down. “What is it, mon ange? I feel your distress.” “The headaches. They started a while ago as we were conversing, and then progressed. It was sudden. Each of us felt it as she did. But could not detect a source,” Shea stated, with worry. “It’s Rob,” Starla uttered. “He’s in trouble. Big trouble. He contacted me telepathically, as he is a strong psychic. The pain came as a level ten warning. Meaning the worst. Something’s happened. Very bad. And he is terrified. I have to find out what,” She rambled on in an unusual panic.

“I need my cell phone.” Instantly, it was in her hand. Starla sat up with everyone curiously watching on. She started talking to herself, aloud. “Ya see, I just knew this would happen. Damn, damn, damn! Why did I let him into my heart? Now look at what’s happened. He’s in trouble. I warned him. But no, that grade A idiot, wouldn’t listen to me.” The phone rang several times, before it was answered. “What is it Rob?” she asked, not beating around the bush. He was hysterical. “Oh Starr, honey. I am so worried for you. Humberto is dead!” Her beat stopped for a moment, and her stomach churned, unnaturally. Poor, sweet, meek Humberto, who would not harm a fly. Then she calmly asked, “What happened” “He was killed, horribly, by something unnatural. A creature. It was after me!” Rob exclaimed.

“The thing had obviously followed me home when I had left your cabin, after I’d gone out there to check on you, several days ago. I was very worried about you, Mia. Especially, since you had not contacted me when you promised you would. And you have never broken your promises to me since I’ve known you.” “I’m sorry about that, Rob. Something had happened to me. But I’m fine now.” She hesitated. “I warned you, repeatedly, to never go out to that cabin looking for me, unless I invited you. I feared this would happen. Where are you, Robbie?” “I’m hiding in Miami, at South Beach. The Mandarin Hotel. I closed my shop, until further notice, after the cops were done in the investigation. They believe it was a hate crime. But I know differently. I am afraid, Starr. Why are they after you?” he asked in tears.

“Was it daylight when you went to the cabin?” “Yeah, honey. You know I get creeped out, driving out to your place at night, in the woods.” “It was a minion of the undead. I’m afraid you would not have fared so well if it had been the, wholly evil creatures, you encountered then,” Starla stated matter-of-factually. “This particular creature was wholly evil enough for me,” Roberto countered. “He/it was a foaming at the mouth, relentless brute, who gave chase after me. Gracias A Dios, I had left my car door open with the motor running, when I went to your front door. The rabid beast came from behind your cabin, from the lake area. One look at its insane eyes and foaming mouth, I jumped back into my Range Rover and I hightailed it out of there, without looking back.” Calm down Rob. Take a few deep breaths, let them out, and then continue,” Starla said, while mentally sending him calming vibes.

After a few shakey breaths, Roberto continued, filling Starla in on what had happened leading up to Humberto’s murder. “I should not have gone back to my place. It must have picked up my scent and followed me there without my knowledge. I had spent that night in Boca Raton at an all night party getting drunk, trying to discount what I had witnessed, after being unsuccessful in contacting you, Starr. It was when I returned that following day, that I found Humberto slaughtered, horrendously. His neck was severed, and claw marks covered his entire body, as if someone had taken razors to him. His blood was drained, and I vomited wretchedly.” Starla closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Rob, what happened to Humberto’s body?” she asked.

“He was taken to the county morgue where they were set to perform an autopsy. But it mysteriously disappeared.” “For the love of God, Robbie. You must flee Florida, at once, if you value living!” Starla exclaimed now no longer calm. “Listen to me now, if you have never listened before. This is not Alice In Wonderland. You are marked, and your home is under surveillance. Do.Not.Go.Back.There. For anything. You are in peril! If you do not want to become the undead, then do as I instruct, right now, while it is yet daylight there. Go to M.I.A.(Miami International Airport) and hop the next flight out to DFW in Texas. Do not be flashy. Be as inconspicuous as possible. TRY to blend in, and be as untalkative, as you can be. Tell NO one of your plans. Trust no one, Roberto. I mean it! Take with you as little as possible, and do not be sentimental. Lose the cell phone. I will have someone meet you in Dallas, at the airport. No worries. He will find you, and you will know him.”

Starla took a few more deep breaths. “His name is Hawk, a Native American, who will instruct you further on what to do. Do not be flippant with him. Show respect. Take the ticket and information for a new identity, he will give you, and board the next flight to Budapest. I will meet you there. Do not try to contact me again. If need be, I will contact you. And Rob… Please be safe. I do not want to lose you too, Mio. Te amo mucho.” Then Starla disconnected, and slammed down her cell phone. “Absolutely not,” Voltar snapped, before a word could come out of her mouth. Everyone in the room had heard the entire phone conversation, and collectively agreed with her lifemate.

“I will grieve to death, if Rob is killed,” she said. “He is like family to me. He was there for me when I had no one, which is why I stayed in South Florida for so long. Rob, Humberto and I, were each other’s adopted family. We had one another’s backs. He has no one else, but me. And I will have his back now. This is not up for debate family.” “You will not go to him, Xzanadria. You are hunted by the undead and other creatures alike. They want you desperately, and will stop at nothing to have you,” Voltar insisted. “I will not allow it.” “You cannot stop me,” Starla countered. “I will go.” Sitting up straight she affirmed. “No power in hell will stop me. You are welcome to follow if you’d like. But know this, I will go to him. He is terrified. I feel his pain, tangibly. Roberto is my big brother, and I love him.” “I will meet him in Budapest,” Voltar said. “That frilly idiot, will not bring danger to you and our children, or to the prince’s doorsteps. If need be, Roberto will be dealt with. For your safety, and that of our species take precedence.”

Starla’s heart lurched in hurt. “What are you saying, Voltar?” she asked in derision. “You would harm Rob, instead of help him, when you know just how much I care about him?” “I am saying that should he become a liability to our you, or our family, he will be the sacrifice. Take it however you would like it, Xzanadria.” Voltar was steadfast in his resolve on this issue. Hurt, but livid now, Starla’s eyes took on that peculiar, celestial color, that both Voltar and Josef knew all too well now. Hell was about to break loose. “We will go together,” she proclaimed to her lifemate. “Or I will go alone. He won’t trust you. And I defy you, or anyone to try to stop me.” Everyone in the room, even friar Josef, agreed with Voltar on his stance. “Make your decision before sundown,” Starla said while, exiting the room with the women following closely behind in silence. She was dead serious. It was then, that Gregori and Lucian spoke up. “Voltar, we would have a word with you, in private, if you will,” The Dark One said.

The six Carpathian uber, Alpha males, congregated to the prince’s private, and secure quarters, away from supernatural hearing range. Each realizing the extreme peril that Starla was placing upon herself, and them, to save her human friend, but feeling powerless to stop her interference, they devised a plan to neutralize her powers, for her own safety, and that of Voltar’s and their unborn children. “She will count it a betrayal,” Josef warned quietly, but was in agreement with it, all the same. “She will get over it,” Voltar responded angrily. “I can do no other, than put her, and our children’s safety first. “The agreement was in order. Though none were sure it would actually work, as they were aware that Starla Xzanadria had reserve powers, still undetected by any of them, because she was something far more than the rest of them.

The women were gathered in a sitting room, anxiously awaiting the men to exit their private meeting. Although each of them, agreed that it was very dangerous for Starla to go along with Voltar and some of the others to collect Roberto in her delicate condition, they understood her view point as well. It was extremely difficult for lifemates to be apart for prolonged periods of time, without touching minds frequently. And one could not do that too much while in battle with the undead. Focus could easily be distracted, and the battle, inadvertently, lost. Starla walked into the room, filled with the remaining lifemates of the male Carpathians. The women had been privately debating the situation amongst themselves. “I detect treachery,” Jaxon had said, being a former cop herself. “No one’s choices should be taken from them.”

Catching the end of the conversation, Starla said, “I have many choices, and no one will take any of them from me. I will not abandon a friend in need. It is not who I am. Once I call you a tried and true friend, also known as family, I will sacrifice the world for you. Turning my back on one, is not an option for me. It is not who I am. Voltar will learn that about me, or suffer the consequences of the high price paid for betraying my trust in him.” “He only has your best interest in mind, Starla,” Francesca said with reason. “And that of your unborn children. The two of you must reach a compromise on this, for the good of all concerned.” “What if you were you?” Starla asked. “You know the situation.” They were all very quiet for a while. But before anyone could reply, the men shimmered into the room with solemn expressions on each of their, normally, inscrutable faces. Josef lowered his head, as if in prayer, while Voltar stared at Starla with a touch of sorrow in his bluish, silver eyes.

“Xzanadria,” he said in a formal tone of voice. “Josef, Lucian, Gregori and I, will travel to Budapest to collect Roberto. We will bring him back with us safely. It should only take a night. You will stay, sleep, and be safe.” Starla’s heart lurched, and she was suddenly filled with dread. Something was not right. “I will not stay,” she whispered. “Then you leave me no choice, other than to put you to sleep until I return with your friend.” Immediately, Starla attempted to shut down her mind, sensing the treacherous intent. But to her utter shock, a barrage of forces bombarded her mind, closing down her protective barriers with such speed and force, even against her valiant efforts to resist. The darkness filled her head, as the pressure of the six, super powerful, Carpathian forces converging on her, simultaneously, from every direction, overwhelmed Starla, shutting down her mighty powers from within, with astounding cogency.

The six Carpathian males stood rooted in place, telepathically, forcing their tremendous wills on the astonished, lone woman. She would forever remember the painful expressions on Josef’s and Voltar’s faces as she weakened. It seemed as if everything was happening in slow motion. In utter shock, Starla’s eyes widened, before the profound hurt reflected in them. They glistened with unshed tears like celestial gems, crystallizing, as she stared into her lifemate’s eyes. He would forever remember this moment in agony, as her eyes began to slowly close, and she started to fall backwards. In preternatural speed, Voltar was there to catch Starla’s fall. He lifted her up into his arms as she lost consciousness. Tears streamed from her closed eyes, and down her painfully beautiful face, as he held her close to him for a moment. Then with the tip of his thumb, he wiped at a large tear drop, and turned it into a diamond, even as his own eyes watered.

“You will sleep deep, my Starla Xzanadria, and will not arise until I give the command. Je taime, mon ange.” The women in the room were equally shocked, and livid at what had just occurred. The men had forcefully attacked Starla in unison, with a formidable compulsion, stripping her of all her mighty powers. She would never forgive them, they realized. “I will take my lifemate to ground now, and meet you all, momentarily,” Voltar said, before shimmering out of the room with Starla’s lifeless looking body cradled in his arms. The heaviness weighing on Voltar’s heart as he lovingly laid his beloved Starla Xzanadria beneath the earth, in the princes’s guest chamber, practically, crushed his spirit. He could only hope that she would one day forgive him this betrayal. Someone was going to pay for this travesty, he swore, starting with Roberto. That grand idiot.

Charter 14

2006 (Spring) Romania, The Carpathian Mountains

Deep beneath the earth, around noon the next day, Starla’s mind stirred weakly. The void there was very dark, as she valiantly fought her way to consciousness. Love and worry for Roberto gave her the strength to keep fighting while under the bondage of the super powerful compulsion to stay asleep. She was utterly trapped, and alone. Desolation hit her with profoundness. Her heart began to feel like a leaden weight. Using every spiritual capability available to her, she called on the Archangels, Raziel, whose name means, the secrets of God. Raziel presides over the action of turning knowledge into practical wisdom and helps us humans ply our knowledge until it becomes spiritualized and second nature to us.), for instruction on unraveling her powerful bondage, Gabriel, (the messenger of God) and Raphael, (God’s healer) to help heal her broken heart so that she could better see how to survive this treachery, and to save another of their kind. And finally, she called out to Archangel Michael, (The most powerful of the archangels. Michael is an exceptionally strong angel who protects and defends people who love God. He carries the sword of light, to give you courage in overcoming fear and hurt. He is powerfully concerned about truth and justice.) For she would have justice for all the wrongs done to her. And Amen!

At once, the light was back on, in full force, stronger than ever. Courage and resolve, power, unlike anything she had ever experienced before, infused her, as she surrendered to The Greater Power, God’s. With this total surrender into the realm called “Allowance”, Starla Xzanadria let go, and let her angel spirits take over her completely, superseding everything else that she was. Her mind reached out to Roberto and her Native American friend, Hawk, informing them of an immediate change of plans. Roberto was then instructed to fly to Sicily, Italy, and from there to Athens, Greece, where she alone, would meet him there in two days. That done, Starla departed from the earth, bursting forth, from the ground like an angry geyser, transforming into mist, as she launched herself skyward in broad daylight.

Every mental path to the Carpathians was firmly sealed off, as she raced across the azure sky, headed southward, from Romania to Greece. The moment Starla had awakened, Voltar and Josef instantly knew. Though they were bound to ground until the late afternoon. “She has arisen,” Voltar telepathically said to Josef, as they lay miles apart from each other, for safety reasons. “She is gone.” The friar, replied. “Xzanadria is angry and hurt, unlike anything I have ever witnessed in her. Our connection is broken. She has severed the ties, for the first time ever. I feel the void.” “It is the same for me, but far worse,” “I am experiencing a sense of complete loss. I feel dead in some way,” Voltar added. “I feel her spirit slipping further and further away from me, in no particular direction. Where could she have gone? And how on earth did she break free of our combined blocks?” “That is it,” Josef said in wonder. “Her power is not of the earth. It is spiritual. Heavenly. Xzanadria, after all, is an angel-spirit, a powerful demigod, herself. She can go where we cannot, as we are. She called upon the archangels and they aided her.”

“Josef, she could be anywhere now. What if she never returns? I am aware of her abilities to time travel and visit other worlds. I acutely feel the separation and the distance. It gets further by the minute.” “That is the separation effect that all lifemates feel in the other’s absence. Without the mind touching, the despondency will only increase to make you believe it is far worse than it is. She will not go anywhere without her friend’s safe rescue. But I will aid you through the separation process until we find her again. We will find her again,” Friar Josef assured.

“We must,” Voltar quietly conveyed. “Or I fear, I will become lost to the undead, Josef. I will loose havoc the like the world has never seen, if I have permanently lost her. God have mercy on humanity and Carpathians alike. It would take that.” “We will find her, the friar stated. “Where do we look?” “The answer will come, in time.” “Time, I do not have, friar. I need her soon. Or I will die.” “The seer told you, It will get much worse, before it gets better. But it will get better, Voltar. You will sustain. “I love her, unlike anyone, or thing I have ever loved,” he confessed. “I know,” was Josef’s reply.

The other Carpathians realized that Starla had gone, and felt the disheartening wrench from her absence as well. An immediate loss of color and emotions occurred for those that her presence had provided for. They had pushed her too far, and would now pay the penalty. That would not bode well for any of them, especially Voltar, they all realized. The moment it was feasible to leave the earth, Voltar and Josef surged into the air from beneath the ground, at the same time, streaking toward Budapest like a comet, in the hopes of beating Starla there, believing that was her primary destination, to collect Roberto before them. Then the two were certain to run. As she had several hours ahead of them.

The Journey

Charter 15

2006 (Spring) Athens, Greece

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After an arduous trip at such breakneck speed, Starla rested in the crowded airport of Athens, Greece. It had been two days since she had set out from The Carpathian Mountains in Romania, and her colossal powers were all but depleted. Hunger beat at Starla, as her acute senses tuned into every pulse beat of the passing people, scurrying about their way, not even noticing her presence, due to the fact that she had dimmed her aura, appearing invisible to them. Then she spotted him, warily making his way through the airport. He looked completely lost. The forlorn expression on his exotically beautiful face, was equal to hers. What on earth were they to do now? Then he saw her, looking like a beacon of hope. Both practically ran into each other’s arms.

Hugging Starla tightly, with tears in his eyes, a relieved Roberto said to her, “Dios Mio. Gracias a Dios que estás bien, Mia. I have been having the worst visions. I have never been so frightened in all of my life.” “We will be alright, Rob,” she said softly, in almost a whisper. “I’m glad you’re safe. I would have never forgiven myself had something dreadful happened to you, especially because of me. As it is, I am despondent over what happened to Humberto. I am so sorry. How are you, really?” “I’m fine now that I am with you again, Starr, though my heart is broken. Realize, mijita, that you have no control over what haunts, or hunts you. But together we will defeat this great evil. You gave me courage, and the fortitude to survive. And I will always have your back. Now let’s do this thing, mi ángel,” Roberto said. With Starla’s hand in his, they exited the airport together. She had only smiled, with much fondness por su hermano mayor, while not feeling so desolate now.

“There is so much I have to tell you Robbie. You will never believe it all. It’s quite shocking, to be honest.” “Starr honey, after what has been happening to me, and seeing what I saw several days ago, nothing can shock me anymore.” “I hope you’re ready then,” she stated with bluntness. “I am no longer human.” Starla waited for a typical Rob response. “Were you ever?” he teased. “I’ve always realized that there was something different, something more, about you, Starr. Something angelic, ethereal, and that is what drew me to you. You permeate love. It is your aura, and it is good. Your color is wonderfully, beautiful. Golden. Even more so now. There is nothing evil about you.” “I can be,” she quietly stated. “I am not afraid of you Dr. Starla Xzanadria, my beautiful and magical, Starr sister. However, we all can be evil at times. It is nature. Now share with me your secrets, sweetie. I want to help you, as you have helped me countless times. My loyalty speaks for itself. Trust is a none-issue with me. You know that. And I owe you. As I, too, always repay my debts.” “You owe me nothing, Rob. Your loyalty and acceptance of me, just as I am, means the world to me. It is payment enough. Now we will go rest. But I must feed first. Then I will tell you everything,” Starla said, looking as exhausted as she felt.

The hotel suite that Starla and Roberto shared had double beds, and was quite luxurious. They had registered under then names of Sara and Ralph Agular, brother and sister. Though they looked nothing alike, but were each exotically beautiful, in their own rite. With Roberto being a remarkably tall and handsome Latino male, and Starla being a golden, ethereal, but definitely haunting, female beauty, even more so than Roberto had recalled. Yes, he had immediately sensed the difference in Starla, the minute he laid eyes upon her in the airport.

At midnight, Starla appeared at the hotel room. She had not explained to Roberto where she was going earlier, only that she would tell him when she returned later. The weary woman had urged him to get some sleep, and had even used a slight compulsion to help him rest easy. But nothing like what had happened to her a few evenings ago. It had felt worse than she imagined rape would feel. And the Carpathians would definitely pay for that. She vowed. Voltar would pay most of all. What he and Josef had done to her, along with the others, hurt her deeply. No, it had devastated her to the core of her being. And it would take a very long time to trust either of them again, if ever.

Starla silently entered the dark room, but she could see well with her supernaturally heightened, visual acuity. Roberto was in a deep slumber on the bed while still fully dressed, in his dark premier designer duds, jeans and a T-shirt. He simply did not understand the true concept of dressing down. Starla thought fondly, while watching her brother-friend, looking like a fallen angel as he slept. “Awake, Rob,” she said softly. He did, instantly. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Roberto sat up in a state of confusion. “Qué hora es?” he asked. “I slept like the dead. I must have really needed it. As I have not really slept well since the night I found Humberto murdered.” “You did need the rest, hermano.” “So I did. And I have. Now let’s get this talk out the way, Starr. Then I will freshen up and eat.”

It was well past three in the morning when Starla and Roberto had finished their conversation. She had been very candid with him, in every way. As Roberto had insisted on every detail. Fascinated, he exclaimed, “Aye Carumba! How absolutely, freaking fabulous is that, Starr baby?! You are a bonafide angel, a warrior-goddess-queen! And you are mi hermosa hermana pequeña. No, I could never fear you, or what you now require to live. Please use me to feed. I am clean. I offer myself to you freely, Starr. I want to become what you are. I give up all that I am to be like you, my beautiful angel-warrior.” She remained quiet.

“Please, Starr. I implore you to make me like you. I want to be strong, and not only be able to defend myself against the dark forces after us, but to help protect you as well. Especially so now. You need me, honey. And I am willing. I also, fully understand all the implication, and what I give up to become like you. I vow to every good angel and Carpathian rule, with my life. Accept me, and what I offer, por favor. Do this for me, and save my life. For undead and the Carpathian males are now after mi cabeza, as well.” Starla was still quietly contemplating. “I fear that Harrier husband/lifemate of yours most of all. At least, give me a fighting chance, mijita ” “Rob, even if I successfully converted you, you would never be able to go up against Voltar and win. He is an extremely powerful ancient, the Elite of the Elite, a warrior-god, unmatched for centuries. And you would be a mere fledgling, even with my angel powers and skillful training. Never think along those foolish lines, brother,” Starla warned in all seriousness. “I would never allow you go up against such a force. That is why I am here, to protect you.”

“Would you rather the undead convert me, Starr?” Roberto countered. “That is what will happen to me if something should, God forbid, happen to you. Or if that terrifying giant of yours catches up to us. That man is absolutely obsessed with you, and will never let you go in peace, Sis. He will no doubt murder me, let alone the others, should they happen to get their hands on me, and I would not have a chance in hell of defending myself, or even fleeing should it become necessary. Now that will be on your head, Starr, if you have the power to help me, help myself, and you refuse.” “You’re not playing fair, Rob.” She stated with a slight grin. “You are yet the con artist, even now.” Laughing she said, “Alright then, as you wish. I have never done this before, and if something goes terribly wrong, that will be on you. Not me. As I have only recently been converted myself.”

“We do this thing,” Roberto stated with an excited grin. “Let’s rock.” “You know it takes three blood exchanges, and it is terribly painful, I heard. As I do not recall my conversion, being as I was at real deaths door at the time. And you will become sensitive to the sun, and I know you dig your tanning and all.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve already told me all that, Starr. Hurry up, you’re wasting valuable time.” Roberto eagerly appealed. “Quit procrastinating, and get on with it. The sooner the better, so we can get started on the training before your pregnancy becomes too taxing, sweetie.” Starla laughed. “By that time, Rob, you will be ready for my shadow warrior, Erik. You will absolutely adore him, in all his golden glory.”

Starla took Roberto’s hand, and they sat on side of the bed, as he folded into her embrace. Her razor sharp incisors, lengthened as he offered up his throat to her. She sank her fangs into the pulse, rapidly pumping blood, in his smooth neck. He felt the white hot pain, before the feelings of sure bliss assailed him. Roberto moaned in ecstasy, as his muscular arms rested around Starla’s tiny waist. Her mind merge with his, fully, as she sent him magical images, and amazing knowledge. His spirit was catapulting into an unknown dimension, wondrous and beautiful. An experience unlike any other, over whelmed him. He never wanted it to end. Power, in mega force, shot through him, and it was completely erotic. The euphoric feeling of pleasure had Roberto floating as his body began to fall backwards onto the bed with Starla feeding in his arms. Sensing that she had taken enough blood, she sealed with wound with her tongue, and then lengthened her finger nails to that of a talons, and punctured a hole into the pulse in her own neck. “Feed,” she urged with the compulsion. He did with relish, as the power and oneness that Roberto was experiencing was so intense, he felt himself on the verge of passing out. Dreamily, he opened his eyes, looking deeply into to Starla’s celestial orbs as twinkling stars danced there. All too soon, the exchange was over.

“That was wonderful, Starr,” Roberto slurred. “I can’t wait until the next exchange. When will it be?” “On the next rising, Rob. Now sleep well, mi amor.” He rolled over to his side, and went into a deep sleep. Starla quietly regarded her brother-friend, as the sleep compulsion over took him. Then she kissed his beautiful forehead, and vanished into thin air, seeking her own rest beneath the earth, to further replenish herself, and to ensure that no otherworldly power could break through her safe guards and locate her.

Ten days and nights had come and gone since Roberto’s successful conversion. Much to Starla’s relief, he had taken to it like a trooper, and had not complained about the terrible pain he had experienced during the process after that third night. Roberto seemed to be gracefully and expeditiously, adapting to the Carpathian and Angel-Warrior lifestyles. They shared the ground together now, for extra safety measures, but still used the hotel rooms for appearances. They went there only during the early evenings, for a while, before heading out to the deserted forests for battle training. Starla had taught Roberto her fighting techniques, and the art of killing the vampire, as a hunter, by removing the head and heart, and mentally incinerating them with a summoned lightening bolt. To her surprise, he was an accelerated learner. In this case, he had no other choice but to be, and Starla was glad of that. It eased her worries some.

One other surprise was that Roberto’s appearance had drastically changed after the conversion. He had become, even taller, much broader and muscular, more masculine even. But he seemed not to have noticed these very conspicuous changes. So Starla said nothing about it, though he was now two heads taller than her. The male angel-spirit had given Roberto a wind-blown, perfectly cut, demigod appearance. He now rivaled that of the legendary Carpathian males, renown for their outstandingly masculine, good looks. Maybe he was even more attractive, and compelling. As his stare had become just as dark and intense. His manner was implacable in his resolve to learn all he could, in the shortest time possible. Though his sense of style remained, it was much less flashy. Roberto had also began to stare at Starla, when he thought she was unaware, in a rather peculiar manner.

She would enter his mind, only find no discernible thought pattern there, other than his resolve to protect her. Starla had also taught him how to shape-shift into wild animals, with a simple thought, and allowance. His aura was silver to her gold, and in the angel-spirit form, he was resplendent. Feeling satisfied that she had successfully trained Roberto to her full abilities, Starla Xzanadria allowed herself to breath a little easier. This late evening, the two celestial beings were strolling the streets of Athens after both had feed well from the patrons of the city, due to vigorous training sessions earlier, when they heard a terrified screech from a dark alley behind some nearby buildings.

Instantly, Starla and Roberto dissolved into mist, in unison. Both acutely in tune to the other. They reappeared, but in the alley where the cry had come from. There in front of them, was a horrifying sight to behold. Two very tall and gaunt, male figures lurched at a crouching female, who was paralyzed with fear. She managed to dodge their initial attacks with a grace that seemed unnatural, but she stood no real chance against the wholly evil creatures converging on her. “Well,” Starla said to Roberto. “Here’s the chance you’ve been waiting for to go up against a bonafide vampire. Let’s see what ya got, dude.” “Let do this thing, mi chica,” Roberto replied with a sexy grin.

In preternatural speed, the two of them launched at the nasty creatures in a bold attack, as one of the vampires was about to make another strike at the female. Sensing the unwelcome presences about to rain on their parade, the two vampires suddenly turned, facing them, hissing and spitting venom, from their bloody mouths, emitting a very fowl odor in the air. A battle ensued. And within minutes, both Starla and Roberto, simultaneously, rammed their clawed hands into each vampires chest cavity, and snatched out their rotted hearts. Lightening flashed, and with their other hand, produced swords that swiftly decapitated the creatures heads. Another flash of lightening, and the bolts struck the organs, and the rest of the vampires, incinerating them to ash, which blew away on a fresh breeze, removing the wretched stench that had permeated the area.

Both angel-warriors had landed back on their feet, like graceful jungle cats, while giving each other high fives. “Atta boy, Rob!” Starla proclaimed with sheer glee and pride. “You Rock, dude!” Gleaming with pride himself, Roberto exultantly exclaimed, “Dios Mio, Mia! How liberating was that?! That was Awesome, Starr!” The terrified female was still crouched in shock, watching on as the two supernatural beings reveled in the distance. Then they both turned to her direction in perfect synchronization, and smoothly approached her in a none threatening manner. “Easy there friend,” Starla compelled in her sweet, south western tone of voice. “You are safe now.”

The woman stood slowly, while warily eying the two amazingly beautiful, and powerful beings speaking to her. “We will not harm you,” Roberto said in his hauntingly beautiful voice. The woman began to stare at him with something more than awe. His stark beauty was captivating, definitely angelic, as he approached her. She, herself ,was a raving beauty, upon closer look. With her crystal brown, but slightly hazel eyes, and mid-back length, brunette hair, she was a Greek goddess. “The vampires bit me,” she said while holding the left side of her neck to suppress the flow of blood. “Will I turn?” “No honey. We will help you.” Roberto assured her. “How many times have they taken your blood?” Starla asked with concern.

“This was the first time ever. But I have not taken their blood. However, their fangs contaminated me, and it burns, terribly. I am usually very careful to avoid such toxic creatures, as I have certain special abilities of my own,” The woman openly admitted. I am of the Jaguar species. I am solely alone, and hunted, with no people to call my own, as my family was slaughtered a long time ago. I have wandered since then, from place to place, around the world, to maintain my safety, and I’ve just arrived here from New York City, after having spent almost a decade there. Suddenly, I felt the strong urge to return here. And I always follow my instincts. But the vampires found me, after having hounded me for years, but never catching me, until tonight. Why do they want me so badly, I wonder? Now I must leave here soon, before others arrive, now that they’ve picked up my scent. But I have no where else to go. I am hurt, and afraid.”

“What’s your name?” Starla asked, after reading her unusual brain patterns. “Demetra,” she said. “My name is Starla Xzanadria, or just Starr, and this is Roberto. I call him Rob, or Robbie sometimes. He is my family now, and we are alone as well. Would you like to join us?” “I would only bring trouble to you. It follows me,” Demetra sadly conveyed. At that both Roberto and Starla laughed. “Welcome to the club, Demi,” Rob said with a twinkle to his dark eyes. “Come with us,” Starla offered with her out stretched hands. “Join our family. We will heal you, and you will never have to be alone again. I promise. We won’t leave you, or forsake you.” Demetra, detecting no treachery in them, placed her hand into Starla’s, and Roberto took her other one, and they simply vanished into thin air…

The next few chapters will follow in a few days. Sorry, this week has been another extremely busy for me. Other paid work, and family have taken precedence. I will get to it when I can. Enjoy the read, As these are some of my most favorite chapters. Your positive input and recommendation is greatly appreciated. Again, Thank You! ✌☺✌

Xo (GoldieDoc) ©

The Journey
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