One Thousand Years to Forever (My Beloved Vampire)
One September day Katherine MacNamara goes to work like any other day but this is not just any day, it just so happens to be the day of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center Towers and she is there for a meeting. She doesn't know but today is going to change her life forever and she is going to meet the creature who has loved her for one thousand years. She just doesn't know that yet.
On that fateful day she loses her husband, is rescued by Colum and starts a chain of events that will ultimately bring her death... but will Colum be there this time to really save her forever?
About the Author:
Mary Moriarty lived in Cambodia for 11+ Years. That helped her with the writing of her first book The Kings of Angkor. It also gave her a deeper appreciation of her own country.
She now lives in Camden Maine with her husband, 4 of her 7 children, 6 cats and 4 dogs. She really wished she had a dragon also...
When not writing she is a part-time, call, paid Fire Fighter for her town. She is the only woman fire fighter for that town. She realizes she found her calling too late in life but loves her job.
She is working on the editing process of the 3rd in this series, which should be out in March. She also has a novella that will be out soon after it. The Kings of Angkor will be reissued this year with a brand new cover. Plus she is working on the 2nd in that series of The Kings of Angkor.
Books out by this author:
The Kings of Angkor:Army of a Thousand Elephants 2012
One Thousand Years to Forever 2013
I've been Waiting for You (Sequel to OTYtF)2013
Soon to be out
Redemption at Midnight (3rd in the OTYtF Series)
The Witchling Grows Up (From the OTYtF Series)
You can find Mary here on Facebook.
“Sir, I think there is something you should see...”
Colum O’Heachthanna looked up to the sound of his butler’s voice, he was looking out at the view that lay in front of him. As Colum stood, the door to his office crashed open and in walked his father. His steps, matched the size of his body: Long, large and strong.
Cormac O’Heachthanna barely looked at his son as he moved silently to the window next to their family butler.
Colum came to stand next to the two men, all three silent sentinels to the tragedy that was quickly unfolding. All three were quiet as each man was lost in his own thoughts. Then Colum spoke.
“Does anyone know what happened?”
The butler barely turned from the scene that was unfolding in front of them to the huge flat screen on the wall to their right, it blinked on.
As the three men watched the drama unfold the voice of the newscaster rose and fell with emotion and then, “Oh My God, A second plane…it’s…it’s hit, it’s hit the South Tower... ”
Colum started to pace. “I can’t let this happen again... she’s in the North Tower... ”
His father looked over at him calmly. “Katherine?”
Colum stared at his father, incredulous. “Of course Katherine!” He passed his father then brought his hand slamming down on the nearest table, a priceless antique within his reach. The table looked like it would withstand the blow but then gave way.
Cormac looked at his son and then at the table. “Do what you need to do to get her out safely.”
Colum threw on his leather coat and went for the door of the balcony. “Thank you, father. I don’t think I could go through another lifetime waiting for her to grow up.”
“Try to get as many out with her as you can.” His words were swallowed by the wind that came into the penthouse suite of their office from the balcony.
Their butler, Travis, looked at Cormac. He had been with them for almost one thousand years and he knew both men like they were his own family. They were in fact his family, since it was Colum who had created him after he lay dying on the battlefield at Clontarf. He had been Mael Morda, enemy to King Brian Boru but also the King’s brother-in-law. Cormac and Colum, father and son, had fought along with the High King but had respected Mael as a leader.
“If I know young Colum, he will do his upmost to get as many out as he is able to. Sir... ”
Cormac turned tired eyes on Travis. “How many times do I have to remind you that you don’t have to call me Sir? You are, in fact, my equal.”
“Begging your pardon, S- Sir, but if you don’t mind I will always be calling you Sir, as I am no longer in charge.”
Cormac needed something to break. Not only was the world, his world, under attack but his son was going into harm’s way. However, he had complete confidence that he would succeed. He had been on tougher missions and he was, after all, not human, though he appeared to be. He was, in fact, half Fallen Angel and half vampire.
“Don’t worry, Sir, he will be fine. He is after all, destined to be your successor. And, if I may say so, I think he will make a very good King.”
Cormac looked out at the scene in front of them, to the smoke that shot to the sky from both towers, along with fireballs and debris that fell from both the buildings. He, Cormac O’Heachthanna, had seen too much hate, war, and destruction in his time especially as King. It would be good to step down in favor of his son.
“Yes, he will make a very good King, actually, a great King but he needs his Queen.”
* * * * * * *
John MacNamara knew he was in a dream. He felt like he was just floating along but he knew from the speed that he must be running. Smoke and debris fell as he ran. He looked around his beloved city and he knew something bigger than he had ever seen was happening. He tried to look up but he wasn’t able to or allowed. He was moving with a purpose and as he looked down he saw he had his turnout gear on. In his hands he was holding a box flashlight and an ax. As he was moving forward, he saw others moving out of the building that he approached.
He knew from instinct what was expected of him. He knew the chances that he was going to get out were slim. It was a gut feeling, but it was his job to get as many out as possible or die trying. He entered the building as people pushed past him. He could almost smell the smoke as he started to climb stairs, heard his breathing as he ran up the flight of stairs in the stairwell. As he climbed, floor after floor, there was a reason for his coming in here. The people around him were not panicking but moving with a purpose, trying as they may to get down and out while he continued on and upward.
He reached the twelfth floor and there she stood. She was framed by dust and smoke that was filtering down and she looked wild. Her red hair was a mess and her green eyes framed by black from her makeup but she was beautiful and she sighed a sigh of relief as she saw his face. She knew him, knowing him in his gear. He knew she would be thinking that together they would get out now. He was right behind her, but he wouldn’t be going with her not today, not ever. He had to get her out, but how to get his wife, his Irish witch, out of this hell that was soon going to descend upon them? Then he saw the man behind her, the biggest, tallest man he had ever seen but, where had he seen him before? Probably on the streets and he happened to be in this building. Looking him in his eyes they communicated silently to each other. Somehow John knew this man was meant to be here. That this man was meant for Katherine, his Katherine. He heard him say, “I will take care of her and your children, don’t worry. Your memory will be honored.”
He saw the look in his girl’s face, knew she would fight. She was, after all, a fighter and hadn’t they fought this morning over this very same thing? It had been a while since they had had such a fight but they had and now he knew he wouldn’t be coming home to talk, to make up, to make love, like they always did. There would be no going out on his bike for a long ride and finding a spot for just the two of them. No, he wouldn’t be going home now or ever. But this man would take Katherine out of here, out of harm’s way.
He reached up and touched her face one last time. Saw the tears pool in her beautiful eyes and then start to spill down her cheeks. Saw people pass by, trying to escape the fate that would not meet them today, but would be his. Then he heard his voice. “Get her out!”
Heard her scream, heard all the screams as they vibrated off the walls as he walked past and felt her body one last time and then felt her body as it was lifted up and away. She screamed, kicked and tore at the man who now carried her down the stairs as he kept going forward and up the stairs. He felt the shudder of the building and knew something worse had happened. Heard the screams of those around him but he kept going.
But this was just a dream and he would wake up and his little witch, his Irish witch, would be nestled next to him and he would turn her over and kiss her and make love like they always did and he would go to work and everything would be fine, because this was just a dream, after all...
* * * * * * ****
Katherine MacNamara stood, as did others, in the elevator of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. She was late, as she always was. Due, in fact, because of her kids and the fight she’d had with her husband, John. He had left just before her to start his shift at the fire station but not before they had one of their knock down drag out fights. It happened about twice a year and when it did the whole neighborhood knew the MacNamara’s were fighting. The Fighting Irish some called them in their neighborhood. Now, as she rode the elevator to the 106th floor she tried to think just what the fight was about. She looked at the people around her and saw everyone with their suits on, carrying brief cases. She noticed the floor marker read 60th floor, when all of a sudden the building shook with such force she thought earthquake, as did a lot of the others who voiced it in the elevator. She saw the time on her watch was 8:45 am. The lights blinked twice and then they went out. They all stood there quietly and then someone got out a lighter, another asked, “Does anyone have a flashlight?”
Katherine, being the wife and daughter of fire fighters, said, “Yes.”
All done calmly... a little too calmly, she would think later. After prying open the roof of the elevator hatch, they saw that they were still near the 60th floor, so one by one they started to climb up and out. What met their calm and quiet as they got out of the elevator shaft, was mass mayhem. Katherine stood there and then raised her voice. “We need to get to the nearest stairwell and start down.” Seeing women in heels like herself she said, “Off with the heels. Carry or throw but get them off.” She then pitched her briefcase because she knew it was going to take all of her strength, and maybe more, to get out of what had just happened. They were working their way down stairwell B when her phone went off. She saw it was her husband.
“Honey where are you?”
Katherine sighed as she, along with others, headed down the stairs as orderly as possible.
“I’m probably on the 59th floor, stairwell B... ”
Another voice in the crowd yelled, “We are on the 58th floor... ”
“58th floor and moving. What happened?”
John MacNamara was on one of the fire engines making its way to the World Trade Center. He was a Battalion Chief for the borough where they lived. “Honey, first listen, I’m sorry about this morning; second, I love you; third, keep moving. Don’t let anyone tell you to stop. Keep all that are with you moving. We are getting there as quickly as possible. Help is on the way.”
She listened to her husband and knew he wasn’t telling her what she wanted to know just to keep her moving. She knew whatever had happened was bad, beyond words, and he knew it may freeze her. “You’re not telling me what happened... ”
She could hear someone yell. “My Mom just called me, we, New York is under attack. A plane hit us... ”
Another said, “It must have been an accident... ” They had no sooner said that when they felt the building shake again. Someone swore and Katherine yelled, “Keep moving, we have to keep moving.” They kept going down the stairs, flight after flight. Moving faster, but still orderly.
They had reached the 34th floor when Katherine’s phone rang again. “Kat, you’ve got to keep moving, we are here, I’m coming in and I’m coming up your stairwell. Keep moving... ”
“Help’s on the way, keep moving, we have to move... ” They kept it as orderly as they could, until someone screamed, “The South Tower has been hit!” And then people started to run until someone from below screamed up, “Don’t run! Keep going steady... ” then “Kat! Kat, are you up there?”
Katherine yelled, “Yes!” and ran into the arms of her husband first, and then her father and father-in-law. All four hugged as people filed past.
John looked into the eyes of the woman he had known all his life. The girl he had teased in school who had turned far too many heads of the guys when they hit high school and who had finally said ‘yes’ to his invitation to their junior prom. From then on they had been together. He had a feeling that unless he was incredibly lucky he wasn’t going to make it. He was in here, not just to rescue his wife, but to get as many out as possible... so he wasn’t going down the stairs with her.
“Honey, you have to get out. I have to go on.”
Katherine looked at her husband and knew he wasn’t going to telling her anything.
John tried to listen to the traffic on his radio from the NYPD. “The South Tower is... ”
The transmission was lost in the noise that was hitting them. People stood still in stairwell B. All that could be seen was flashlights from rescue workers and from people on the stairwell. An occasional curse could be heard but it was amazingly quiet considering what was going on. People moved with calm and courtesy as if sensing that if these were their last moments on earth, they were going knowing that they didn’t panic, didn’t mow down their fellow neighbors on the stairs. Some were hurt and were being carried by others who were trying to get them out. The fire fighters who had come up with Katherine’s husband directed and continued to move up the stairs with the grim determination that they were going to do their job.
John looked at his Kat. “I need to move, you need to move, get moving now. Dad, Da, go with her... ”
Both father and father-in-law looked at John, knowing what he knew. “We will get her out.”
For the first time, Katherine started to cry. As she was ripped from John’s arms she started to scream. “No, I’m going with you. I’m a EMT, I can help!” Katherine searched for straws to grasp to stay with the man she loved more than life itself. Knowing what he knew... he would stay and she would go, but not without a fight.
John knew she would say this. “No, you can’t. You don’t have an air pack and I’m giving you an order. Go, now! Go or I will write you up when I get back to headquarters.”
Katherine was screaming as she was pulled away from him and then all of a sudden she was lifted up off the floor and was being held by a stranger.
Colum looked down at John MacNamara and felt pain. Felt the pain that John felt, because he knew he was going to his death. “I promise to get her to safety... I promise to watch out for her and watch over her, from now on.” Then silently, “I will take care of her and your children, don’t worry. Your memory will be honored.”
John looked up into the eyes of the man who held his wife, who for the moment was quiet. The man was a giant. Standing at least 6’ 8”. He looked like that guitarist, Peter Steele. Maybe that was who it was, with long black hair, high cheekbones. “Thank you, get her and as many as you can out... I have to go on.”
These two men gazes locked one last time, and then Colum clasped John on the shoulder. The moment he moved, Katherine started to scream and kick again. “Put me down! Let me down! I have to go with him... ”
Colum listened to her for the next thirty some odd floors as she screamed, kicked and hit him. As they made their way down the stairwell, they felt the South Tower come down. More people screamed and started to panic. Colum yelled out for them to keep moving, not to run. Katherine had stopped hitting him. She was just whimpering by the time they reached the bottom floor. He got everyone who was with him out and away from the building, along with her father and father-in-law. They got up to one of the rescue trucks when the ground started to shake. He was about to put her down when he thought the better of it and moved the small group he had guided, further away.
They watched as the North Tower start to pancake down, dust billowing up like a cloud. He yelled, “Run!” They turned and ran as far as they could. He could feel Katherine cry as he turned the corner. As the last of the building came slamming down Katherine let out a wail and beat on his back, dug and pounded on him with every bit of strength left in her. He let her down and held her against his body to protect her from the blast of debris that spread all over the area and them. They made a tight huddle covering one another as the dust and parts of the building rained down on them, then all was quiet. They all stood there, still, no one saying a word or moving and then one by one they all let go and looked around. What met their eyes was complete destruction like nothing anyone had ever seen. It looked like the city had been annihilated.
Colum gently let Katherine go. She looked up at him, her face a mess but beautiful to him. She looked the same as she had each of the lifetimes she had been with him, and taken from him. This time he had won. He had loved her, for a thousand years and more, and he was determined not to lose her this time.
Katherine didn’t know what to think, what to say. She stood with destruction surrounding her beyond anything she had ever thought she would see in her lifetime. She looked up at the man, the giant who had carried her out of the North Tower like she was nothing. He now stood looking at her, covered in dust, all a greyish white. All that was visible were his eyes and mouth.
Colum looked down at Katherine. He knew what she was getting at but he wanted to hear her voice because he knew it would be a while before he would become part of her life again.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Why did you save me? I wanted to be with my husband, I could have helped him... ”
Colum wanted to pick her up and shake her. She was as stubborn as she had always been, she just didn’t know this was her make-up down through the ages.
Colum watched as her father and father-in-law turned and touched her on the shoulder. They spoke in unison, “Had you stayed with him, your children would have ended up being without both parents.” Both had tears spilling down their cheeks, making paths through the grayish white dust that covered all of them. Chief MacNamara leaned into the shoulder of Katherine’s father. Katherine’s father wrapped an arm around his daughter.
Colum watched as the range of emotions hit her. Others in the group just stood, trying to take in what had just happened. Some were trying to contact family members to tell them they were safe.
Colum saw Katherine go from mad to all of a sudden knowing what her family had said was true. She let out a wail and collapsed, beating the ground. Both her father and her father-in-law dropped to their knees, covering her with their sobbing bodies.
Chief MacNamara looked up at the man who had carried his daughter in law down those thirty-four flights like it had been nothing and saw anguish. “I want to thank you for saving her. I don’t know what’s in store for us, whether we will find my son, but at least their children still have a mother.”
Colum looked down at Katherine who was fighting off her own father as she rose to her feet and started to run to the rubble. “John!” She screamed. “John!”
She was met by police officers who tried to pull her back but Colum and the men of her family were behind her and soon all were among the searchers, listening as the PASS Devises from the fallen firefighters air packs announced with the shrill scream the location of those closer to the top. Others could be heard but deeper beneath the depths of the rubble. They were soon digging through the rubble with bare hands, and anything they could lay their hands on, finding survivors and victims.
Hours later, someone found a part of some stairs and their beams, and then they found a cluster of bodies... all like they were just sleeping, all curled up. Katherine was on top of the searchers before anyone could pull her off. Colum heard her wail. He ran to her and caught her as she fell on top of the body of her husband. She looked up to the sky that was black with the night, but lit up with the brightness of the searchlights. She screamed to the heavens over and over, clutching on her husband’s body, and then on Colum’s as he held her tighter. Holding her as she cried and screamed in turn. If it had been possible he would have brought her husband back to life. He had no joy in the fact that he had saved her and that her husband had to die so that he could have her. He could have taken her husband up in his arms also, saved him too. He was more than capable of doing so much, but he had gone with the sole purpose of saving her. Saving her so she would be with him some day and possibly change her. That way he wouldn’t have to go through eternity without his mate any more.
She looked up into his face and so softly said, “Why?” Great sobs raking through her body. “Why?”
Katherine let her fist beat on the chest of the man who had saved her. Then she let her head fall and rest on his chest as she whispered “Why?”
* * * * * * *
Colum stood off in the distance from the group of mourners as they lay John MacNamara to rest. It was raining that morning but as they clustered around the grave site, the sun came out and a rainbow seemed to be resting right on the group of mourners. Colum watched as Katherine looked over at him. Travis stood behind him. “She is still the same, Sir, still so beautiful.”
“Yes, Travis, still beautiful. A bruised rose but still beautiful.”
Katherine spoke to her brother and pointed to the man standing off to the side. “He’s the one who carried me out of the building.”
“I want to go thank him and ask him to come to our home.”
Katherine looked over at the man, she had never found out his name. She told her brother that that would be fine. But when they looked again they were gone.
William O’Brien looked at his sister and then at where the men had been standing. “They were there weren’t they?”
Katherine looked around. “Yes... ”
As the service finished, the priest walked up to her, saying a few quiet words. Katherine tried to comprehend that it was truly over. When they left, her husband’s coffin would be lowered down in the ground. But for the moment it was still there. As the bagpipes started their mournful cry, their sound reaching her ears and going up to the heavens as if to take her husband’s soul away from her, Katherine shrugged off her brother and father’s hands, and fell over the coffin crying. The tears came hard. They tore from her as she cried and then screamed. Then she beat on the coffin. She felt hands pulling at her. She didn’t care. She would mourn as she wished. It was almost as if the Priest understood because she heard him speak, ever so softly to the men of her family, and they stopped bothering her.
William O’Brien, one arm in a sling and a cast on his leg, stood back from his sister like the Priest had told him to do. He looked around to see if he would see that giant again. Nothing. It was like that man and the one next to him had disappeared into thin air.
A scream rent the air. He was jolted back to the present. His sister continued to beat the coffin and scream.
“This can’t be happening to me... you... us... come back to me, John! Come back!” She cried till she thought she would just float away on the tears. Maybe that would happen and she could go to be with him. She knew she wasn’t thinking clearly but she didn’t care any longer. She just wanted John. She didn’t try to hide how she felt as the bagpipes kept playing.
She lay there on the coffin and then she felt another emotion. It wasn’t just sadness it was fury. She wanted to find who was responsible, those who had killed her husband and all the others... thousands. So many others were mourning their loved ones. Not just her. She looked up and saw a cameraman standing discreetly in the distance. She got up and started to walk.
William, their Dad, and Katherine’s father-in-law all saw Katherine and saw the look in her eyes and they knew someone was going to suffer if they didn’t intercede.
“No, Kat... wait,” they said in unison as they started to run after her.
Katherine walked with a purpose towards the small group of news people who now had a shocked look on their faces wondering what was going to happen. An angry woman was barreling towards them, with a group of men running after her, calling her name.
Katherine saw the man with the camera back up as she approached at a fast clip.
“I want to make a statement,” she said, while her family members stood behind her.
“Katherine, you aren’t thinking clearly, come home... ”
Katherine ignored them. “What do I have to do to make a statement so it will be aired?”
The cameraman and a woman from the nightly news looked at each other then back at Katherine.
“What would you like to say Mrs. MacNamara?”
Katherine watched as the cameraman got her into focus. Then counted down three, two, one and pointed at her.
“My name is Katherine MacNamara. I am a widow, became a widow on September 11th. My husband, John MacNamara, is not coming home anymore. He left children without a father, a wife without her husband.”
Waving his helmet that she had brought with her, “This is all I have left of him from his last day on earth. He died to save lives. I don’t know why this horrific act was done but I do know he and those who were attacked in the two towers, the victims on the planes, the field in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon, they died heroes. My husband was a hero. I ask that whoever was responsible to come see me. Come. I want to ask you if you feel good about what you did. Then I want to put a gun to your fucking head... ”
“Katherine!” Her father pulled her away. “No Katherine! You can’t be saying that.”
Katherine pulled away from her beloved father. “I can’t say that?” She screamed “But they can take over planes, kill all of those innocent people on the planes and buildings? But I can’t say what I want?” She turned to the camera. “I have a right to say what I want... after all, I just lost my best friend, the father of my children. I’m an American, and I was attacked. I want to have the chance to confront and kill, if at all possible, whomever was in on this cowardly act. I invite you, one on one... I may be a woman but you just pissed off the wrong woman. You have taken from me what was mine... My husband, my friend, my lover... ”
She screamed and cried as her family led her away to the waiting limo.
That night on the nightly news the funeral of John MacNamara was aired. Also aired was Katherine’s tirade against those who were responsible. Some said it never should have been aired. Others said it needed to be said. Calls from servicemen said they would do what they could for her. Emails arrived to the news station, supporting her. It was like a call to arms or Remember the Alamo...
There were others who viewed the newscast. They sat in a smoke filled room in a Middle Eastern Country. They talked amongst themselves. One in particular, his voice rose above the others.
“The infidel whore will regret saying what she said. Who is she to say such things? She will meet us when she forgets her pretty speech; when she is all alone. Then I, or one of us, will go and dispatch her to wherever her husband is. She will no longer mourn her mighty and brave husband. She will be with him.”
All sat talking and smoking. Some broke off into small groups. Most agreed that they were far too busy to worry about that woman. One sat there playing the news over and over again. An evil smile spread on his face. “Yes, someday we will meet and then you will regret the pretty words you said,” he whispered to himself.