Cordelia woke up in the unfamiliar room with a gasp, propping herself up quickly. Where was she? The vampires…
“Oh good, you’re up.” Morgyn’s voice reached her. That was it. Morgyn’s room. She was ok. She was safe. The vampires were not here.
“You can use my bathroom to freshen up. There should be a spare towel.” The sage told her. “And feel free to borrow some of my clothes if you’d like to get changed.”
Did that mean she was smelly, Cordelia pondered? She probably was.
“I’ll go find us something to eat.” Morgyn left her on her own, exiting the room. She just sat on the bed for a moment to take her environment in. The room seem very glamorous.
And then it hit her that she was in Morgyn’s room, and had just spent several hours sleeping in the same bed us them, cuddling. She tried to suppress a squeal.
The bathroom was just as glitzy and golden as the rest of it. Of course it was. Morgyn’s bathroom… A small niggling part of Cordelia’s brain kept trying to remind her of the events that brought her here. The awful vampire ordeal she’d been through in the last couple of days. A part of her thought she’d never get to leave that room.
But she didn’t want to think about that. She told her brain to shut up, slipped out of her clothes and into the shower, washing the horrific experience away.
It felt good to just stand there, warm, safe, at peace. She would be ok. And she was with Morgyn now. She could feel her troubles evaporating into the air, along with the hot steam from the shower.
But how did she end up there, in Morgyn’s room, exactly? She remembered hearing Morgyn’s voice in the vampire house. And that creepy vampire child showing up… being trapped in the catacombs… and then Micah showed up. He fought that terrifying vampire woman. But he didn’t do that to save Cordelia, did he? She heard what he said to the woman. He came to claim her as his prey. But then, didn’t he say he didn’t want to kill her?
She groaned. The more she tried to shut her mind off, the more it was coming back at her with questions she had no answers to.
Maybe Morgyn returned and saved the day somehow. Shoved Micah out of the way to rescue her…
Cordelia liked that idea, as dumb as she realised it was.
Of course, she could just ask Morgyn at breakfast. Or whatever their meal would be, seeing that it was already so late in the day.
Wrapping herself in a towel, Cordelia exited the bathroom. That silly feeling of giddiness at being in Morgyn’s room came back to her.
Not that she intended to snoop, but just looking at the decorations was fascinating. No wonder the sage was underwhelmed by her little shack, she thought.
She noticed a movement behind her. Her blood froze. All she could think of was those catacombs and the pain of vampire fangs piercing through her throat…
But the movement had just been her own reflection in the mirror.
Cordelia sighed. Like she needed to add more items to her list of terrors. Sprites, masked people, vampires… What was it like to live without fear, she wondered?
“You are safe here,” she told herself out loud firmly.
She headed over to Morgyn’s huge wardrobe to find some clothes.
Morgyn eyed her up and down as she entered the large dining hall. “It’s a little ill-fitted.” The sage commented. “But we can’t have you looking better than me in my own clothes, naturally.”
“Thank you for letting me borrow them.” Cordelia said, sitting down next to them.
“Help yourself to the food,” Morgyn gestured towards the large plate of eggs and bacon on the table. Actual food. Cordelia’s mouth watered. She hadn’t even realised how hungry she was, but her only meal in the last two days had been the cannoli Micah brought. She quickly scooped up some of the scramble, for once thankful that Dandelion wasn’t in charge of the food. She needed something proper today.
For a moment, neither of them said anything. For some reason, Cordelia suddenly felt anxious about how she wound up at the Magic HQ, but she had to know.
“So… I’m a little hazy on everything that happened.” She cleared her throat. “When I was at the vampire house… I thought I heard your voice at one point.”
“I didn’t realise you were within earshot.” Morgyn replied. “Had I known you were that close, I would have just swooped in and saved you.”
“Isn’t that what you did anyway?” Cordelia asked, her voice betraying her.
“Something like that,” the sage said. “But I’d be lying if I said it was just me. It was actually one of those very vampires that got you out of there and brought you here.”
“Micah.” Cordelia whispered. She didn’t know how to feel.
“Yes. I hear the two of you spent some time together.” Morgyn said casually.
What a strange way of putting it, Cordelia thought. Although not technically untrue. “He… he seemed kinder than the others.”
“I’d be inclined to agree.” The sage nodded. “He did save your life, after all.”
It felt surreal. A vampire saved her life. Saved her from other vampires. Vampires he knew well. Why? He did say he didn’t want to kill her… and apparently, he did want her to live too. “I’m very grateful to him.” She manged to say. And it wasn’t untrue. Whatever the reason for his change of heart, she owed him.
“I’m sure you can tell him that yourself.” Morgyn replied nonchalantly.
“What?” Panic washed over her. “He’s still here?”
“No.” The simple word eased Cordelia’s tension. Except the sage didn’t stop at that. “But he did need a new home, seeing as he can’t exactly return to his old coven after betraying them like that. I can’t imagine the others would view you being freed by him all that favourably.”
Cordelia’s throat felt dry. “So you gave him a home.” Well, that seemed nice of Morgyn, she tried to rationalise with herself. They rewarded the vampire for helping. Seemed fair.
“So I gave him a home.” Morgyn confirmed. “Conjured a house in Glimmerbrook. And you know that I’ve been dying for you to get an actual house, so I figured, two birds…”
Cordelia dropped her fork in awe. “You gave my home to a vampire? After everything that’s happened?!”
“I did not give your ‘home’ to anyone, I conjured a brand new one.” Morgyn corrected her. “Last time I checked, you didn’t have any home worth speaking of. Now you do, if you’re willing to share.”
Her camp. Gone. Belonging to a vampire now. Cordelia felt like she was going to feel sick.
“I may not have had what classes as a house in your book, but I did have my little plot of land. You can’t just give that away!” Her voice was trembling.
“Oh really? And you own this plot of land, do you? Have a deed for it?” Morgyn’s voice sounded annoyed.
She was speechless. This had to be a bad dream. She was still asleep in Morgyn’s room. That had to be it.
“Why are you doing this?” She whispered finally. None of this made any sense. After everything she’d been through in the last two days, why would Morgyn possibly want her to share a house with the very vampire whose room she’d been trapped in?
“Look, this is for your own good.” The sage seemed oddly calm. “We may not have seen the last of the vampire coven that held you. I don’t believe they know where to find us as of now, but they certainly have the time to dedicate to an investigation. And if they do come after you, living with another vampire – especially one that knows what we might expect of them – will be your best line of defence.”
“If he doesn’t kill me first!” Cordelia burst out. “He’s one of them… what reason would a vampire have to protect me if the rest of them come anyway?”
“This vampire gave up everything just to bring you back home.” Morgyn told her quietly. “His home, his family, everything he had. If he killed you now, all of that would have been for nothing. He won’t harm you. May as well end his own life if he did that.”
A million thoughts were spinning in Cordelia’s head. Perhaps this was all true. But how could Morgyn know for sure? The events of the last few days unfolded so quickly, how did Morgyn have the time to strategise?
“Do you see everyone in your life as a chess piece?” She asked, her voice flat.
Morgyn didn’t reply straight away. For once, she’d manage to catch them off guard, Cordelia thought bitterly. Too bad there was nothing to celebrate.
“What sort of a question is that?” The sage finally spoke. “Cordelia, he saved your life, sacrificing most of what was important in his in return. The least you can do is show him some courtesy.”
Courtesy. This was insane. Show the vampire courtesy for not having ripped her throat open…
“I can’t believe you’d do this to me.” It was all she managed to say. Dizzy, she stood up and left the room. She couldn’t feel herself walking, exactly, her body just drifted out of the room.
So there it was. The new house. That belonged to the vampire. And to her, supposedly.
Cordelia listened to the water stream falling from the top of the house. It all seemed so unfamiliar.
Her old shack was still at the back, but even that had changed beyond recognition. The only thing that remained the same, the only constant, was the tree leading into Sylvan Glade.
Dandy. Cordelia ached for her friend, and the familiar comfort of his meadow. It was the only place she could possibly think of going now.
He was gardening. And the sprites were fluttering around him, in their tense state, though he seemed to pay them no mind. Why on earth were the sprites here, Cordelia wondered?
But she wasn’t sure she could handle any more information that day, at least not right then and there. She was too exhausted and heartbroken.
The elf was on his feet almost as quickly as those vampires managed to move. “Cordie! You’re ok! I was so worried!”
“You knew I was missing?” She asked, surprised. While it felt like an eternity, it had only been a couple of days, after all.
“Did I know? I saw those vampires! And then Lulu turned one of them into a gnome…”
L Faba turned a vampire into a gnome? Nothing made sense anymore. Maybe the vampires had killed her, and she was now dead, and all of this nonsense was just a product of her brain checking out. Whatever the case was, Cordelia decided that she definitely couldn’t handle any more information.
“Dandy… I… I don’t want to talk about it right now. Any of it. Can I just… Can I stay with you for a few days?” She asked. Even she herself could hear the exhaustion in her voice.
“Of course!” The elf beamed. “I’m just happy you’re safe. Even if you decide to stay here forever, that’s fine by me.”
Cordelia melted in his arms. And in that moment, in spite of everything, she felt like maybe, just maybe, everything would be ok again.