I headed down the long hallway, up the stairs, and into the room I now shared with Sol. I’d initially balked at the idea of sharing a room with him. I mean, we were adults, not related, and both men. Yet pure logistics won out in the end. It was a hell of a lot easier for us to find each other when it was time to trade off guarding Devlin and Hayden. With Valerian still off somewhere plotting revenge, I was taking no chances.
I lay down on my cot and tried to sleep. After fifteen minutes of thinking of all the terrible things that could be happening to Nancy, I gave up and took out Abraham’s box. I’d long since looked at most of the pictures, but I was still working my way through the letters. I’d paid Leri to enchant them, so that they’d last as long as Dev told me I was going to on the longevity potion he acquired monthly for me from Titus.
I read for an hour, thinking about how much more I knew now of Abraham than I had when he’d been alive. But he’d never spoken of his past to me, other than to say he’d been married and had a child. There was so much more to the story.
Abraham had been turned pre-Civil War and taken part in the reconstruction, though for the actual war he was not in the states during that time, but had instead gone west with a few other vampires, as many vampires and other non-humans were killed during the war. When the war was over he’d settled in New Orleans. Somehow, he’d ascended the throne there, though there were no letters here that spoke to that. This little I knew of his life as a vampire before I’d met him came from a slim diary in his hand at the bottom of the box.
The many letters were all of his love for his wife, Vera, and his son, Xavier. They didn’t tell of graphic battles, denial, or betrayal. They were of mundane things, like seeing parents for holidays and speaking of plays. But mostly they were of planning dates when he would be in town to meet her, and telling her he longed to see her again, that he couldn’t wait for the day they would marry. The last ones spoke of how much joy Abraham took in his son and how much he hated to be apart from him because of his business travels.
I always got emotional reading these. The first reminded me of the letters I’d written to Mara, my fiancee years ago, even if I’d been nowhere near as eloquent or even as good as a speller as Abraham was. But the latter I couldn’t even grasp. What would it be like to have a child to teach things to? What would it be like to have a mate, a woman to come home to? Abraham wrote of how happy it made him, his "one reason for happiness." Maybe one of the reasons I was never that happy was because I hadn’t experienced either of those things.
The letters abruptly stopped in August of 1857. I guessed that was when he’d been turned, as the diary began again in late 1868. Better than ten years were missing, with no explanation. What had Abraham been doing out west during the Civil War? Who had turned him? He’d told me a vampire had done it so Abraham would use the skills he’d learned in mortal life to manage a city. But that city hadn’t been New Orleans, as I’d always assumed.
Dev had alluded once that he had turned Abraham. He likely had the answers, at least some of them. The trouble was I wasn’t comfortable bringing up the subject to Dev. Abraham hadn’t left his family willingly. Just thinking that Devlin had made my good friend lose everything he cared about upset and angered me. Hearing him relate the tale would make me furious...
"Lash, you’re on," Sol said tiredly as he came through the door. He headed into the shower, stripping off his clothes as he walked.
I got up, and reluctantly put on the chest armor plate Titus had custom made for me. Wallowing in loneliness would have to wait until twelve hours from now.