I found him.  But he was not the man I knew who embraced me those many years ago.  He was different. Cruel where he had once been kind, indifferent where he had once cared; watching me learn a new skill.  I stepped forward.  “Thom it’s me Mery.”

I saw a glimmer in his eyes, I thought that he recognized me but then it was gone.  He was surrounded by a group of cloaked men hiding their faces in the hoods.  I was alone, female and in a group of suddenly hostile men. I stepped back.

He stepped forward, the others followed and he waved them back with his hand and a harshness I had never heard before.  “Alone.”  He rasped, “I need a few minutes.”

He grabbed my elbow and whispered, “If you ever cared for me you will leave.”  His hand shook on my elbow.

I stopped disbelief on my face, as I looked at him. There were lines on his face that were never there before. A darkness that I had never felt.  And my sire was old and for something to do this to him, I shivered a little.  “I have been looking for you for ever since you left.” I spoke slowly, unnerved by the changes I saw in his face.

For a minute I saw the old sire in his eyes and then the mask slid forward again transforming his face back into the harsh lines it bore now.  “I found my people.” He was referring to his family; that he had been looking for as long as he had been living alone, in those northern woods till he found me.

“You did?  That is great!” I stopped, something in his face again told me to pause.

“I did but in finding them…our ancient enemies found us and changed…”  There was a new hopelessness in his voice that had never been there before.  “I am hiding you…” And with that the conference was over as we were swarmed by men.

Men began hitting me, stabbing me, I reacted and struck back.  And then I saw my sire go down buried beneath a sea of men and I saw red……