The thought had been itching in the back of my brain, but when I saw Greyson’s half dead body being dragged by Vosk’s Champion through the streets, that’s when I finally made up my mind and walked straight to Greyson’s home. By then most of the servants had abandoned it. Those who stayed did so for his daughter’s sake or because they simply had no where else to go. The woman who greeted me at the door eyed me suspiciously as I told her that I was here to take Megan with me. After all, Megan had no family to take her in and these were not times when people were willing to take in a stray child, not another mouth to feed. I was living alone in my family’s large home and had enough money to take her in. “I also wish to hire one of you,” I told the woman at the door. “I will need a nanny to care for her while I am at The Watch, and I could use help maintaining the house.”
The woman stared at me hard for some time. Finally she spoke, “I will go with you and care for Megan on one condition. You are not allowed to feed on either of us.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” I responded.
And so, Megan and her nanny, Elma, now live with me. It was a very awkward start. Our first dinner together, no one spoke to each other for a long time. Megan was the one to finally break the silence. “I thought you only ate people, not real food.” She said.
“Megan!” cried Elma. “Hush up and don’t be rude to our host!”
“It’s alright, Elma.” I replied. “I know this is a strange arrangement, but I want you both to think of this place as your home. I want you to feel comfortable to speak with me and I hope that in time you will learn not to fear me.” I looked at Megan. “I am half vampire, Megan. I do not need blood to survive. I don’t eat as much food as a regular human, but I still need it.”
“They told me a vampire killed my mother,” Megan said sadly. “But I heard people talking and I know that it isn’t true.”
“What did you hear them say?”
“They said my dad killed her.” She began to cry silent tears. “Did he?”
My heart broke for her but she had to know the truth. We don’t live in Jura any longer. Megan is a child growing up in Ravenloft. She must be strong and she must not be naïve or she will not survive. But I do not want to steal the spark of hope in her by stomping on the remains of her life, so I sugar-coated it a bit. I told her that her father thought he was doing the right thing to save Megan. I told her that he loved her enough to do anything to save her. I told her that her mother loved her enough to give up her life for her.
“Once I had a daughter,” I told her. “And I loved her enough to die for her.”
“Where is she now?” She asked.
That is a good question, Megan. It is the question that fuels my being. I hope that wherever my Astrid is, someone is caring for her, someone is taking her into their large empty home, has hired her a nanny and is keeping her safe.
“I wish I knew.”