Despite the cruelty of years marked by a bitter and expanding rift, Sabrina still had the power to drive Michael to his knees.

The story of their romance never made it into the pages of Eyes of the Seer, but it made a significant contribution as they decided the fate of a vampire assassin. Like two parents arguing over the future of their child, Michael and Sabrina warred over their ignorant newborn. Only the roles were reversed: Sabrina would be the demanding task master of a father while Michael would seek to nurture the young immortal and help Flynn toward his own path.

The following could be called an outtake. For anyone who reads Eyes of the Seer, it could be a behind-the-scenes look at one scene in which Michael storms away after exchanging angry words with Sabrina in French. In just that brief exchange, however, sixty years of travels and a century of history tumbles onto the page. Sometimes, as writers, this is the easiest way we can give characters dimension: by also giving them a history.

***

The Journal of Michael O’Shane
December 22, 1983

“Pen and Journal”

San Francisco seems like an eternity ago on most nights. On other nights, it feels like it just happened yesterday. My arms buzz as though Sabrina still shivered in them, scared and uncertain of how the world had changed now that we were no longer its gods. The woman I have known since that day has been the victim-turned-villain of her own tale.

Most nights I try to avoid the arguments. They seem to happen anyway. Tonight was another of those incidents I regret, but fell into like the fool that I am. I don’t know why I care what happens to Flynn. His fate has been etched in stone since the day he was turned. When he took to the sword, Sabrina found the perfect use for her pet.  The woman once terrified of the word ‘seer’ laughed at my expense when he beat me in a sword fight, as though I should’ve been a match for somebody born to slay vampires.

I suppose it was her form of poetic justice. “Teach him how to be an assassin, Robin.”

I should’ve said no. I should’ve risked derision and exile and thanked The Fates for the blessed release when I no longer had to wake within the confines of this prison. There are a hundred places I could’ve gone with warmer reception and better opportunities. I keep returning to this, though. The devil I know.

But I said yes in a moment of weakness, one that had nothing to do with her. As she made the request, I realized in all of this, Flynn was an unwitting pawn. I had allowed her to turn him vampire instead of murdering him when I had the chance. I had shunned him when it was my normal duty to instruct the vampires in this coven. In doing so, I spared him the benefit of a saner, sounder mind. Now, she had a mission for him and disaster loomed should her plans unfold without my intervention. I said yes because my younger brother needed an advocate.

I have been rendered impotent, though. Whatever love he and I have fostered hasn’t eclipsed her siren song and now, he seeks to do her bidding. I have spared myself the comparison between him and Timothy and lie to myself right now, saying it doesn’t sting. He wasn’t mine to start with. But I see him walk to his demise and wish these past few months of instruction had done more than reinforce his ability to handle a weapon. I am at a loss. Maybe there was something more I could have done. Something I failed to do. He wasn’t mine to start with and here I am, second-guessing myself.

I should leave, but I know I won’t.

As she entranced him with strokes to his ego, I saw her tendrils of seduction coil around him and I didn’t experience the concern I should have. I felt jealous. I remembered the times she used to lull me into the sweet embrace of decadence and tasted envy on the tip of my tongue. I stormed away not only because she was winning the battle, but because I couldn’t risk losing my composure in front of Flynn. I won’t leave this coven, but only because she has yet to win the war.

She is a bitter pill I keep swallowing; a smouldering torch I continue to bear. On the nights when San Francisco feels more like yesterday, I am back in 1941. The cross I carry for her seems much more reasonable, because she is a scared and wounded woman and I am the man who protects her. This is 1983, though, and she no longer desires my plebian ambitions and I care little for her devious schemes. I should be done with this at last and decide what to do with my next century.

A vampire not even a year old dangles by a thread, though, stuck to the web she continues to weave. I wish I could say I lingered to protect a lover, but neither would have me. I am a second and a mentor, choking back his own pride in the hope some beauty is forged from the ashes. Perhaps I should stop living in the past. She might unnerve me less if I do.

‘Is fhearr fheuchainn na bhith san duil.’  It is better to try than to hope.

Sláinte,
Michael

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