Ian strolled with slow and uncertain steps through the well lit streets of London; his hands on his pockets, forcing his long coat shut against the wind, while his curly hair fly savagely all around him. Still, Ian walked undisturbed on his thoughts, occasionally kicking an unseen adversary that momentarily took form in an empty can or misplaced rock.
He missed a cigarette, he thought as he kicked another smashed can out of his way; that rough and bitterly sweetness that, in those last months, became the taste of his tongue, the little tingling light in his fingers that moved at the rhythm of his thoughts, the speed and clearness of his mind picking through the curtain of smoke. He could really use a cigarette right now! I was not that his body still felt the need for it, his addiction to nicotine was gone; but he missed how it used to help him concentrate.
Ian hadn't felt so lost since his first nights as a vampire. His entrance to the covenant, his enflaming relationship with Adam and his acceptance of his fate as the Raven King's bringer had rescued him from insanity. Things looked like they were falling into place right before he died next to Adam, before he rose as the messenger. Ian had imagined himself growing powerful as a Dracul, and resting peacefully in Adam's arms by dawn.
The vampire lifted his eyes from the ground and looked up. It was going to start raining any time now. He slowly parted his lips as to take a deep breath, only to close them back again without feeling anything. He felt empty and feared that that was to be his true destiny. The Raven King, in whose belief and loyalty Ian fond strength to wake from torpor was now failing him. The Raven king would bring knowledge, unite the worlds and sit in a throne of darkness. Or so Ian thought! He kneeled and threw his soul at the feet of the king.
Who he believed his king would be.
The Raven King would spread his dark wings and bring order to the Realms. There would be no Secrets of hell, nothing more hidden in dreams and mortals would overcome their fear death. There would only be Knowledge and those who are ready to learn. The Dark King would unite the covenants and slaughter his enemies. Alain would turn to ashes, as would his false idol and only The true king would rule. Or so Ian had expected.
Was he the one who did not understand who his king was? He believed so quickly when Bran pretended to be the Raven King; and Ian was sure many others would do too. The false King seemed strong and powerful, righteous and unmerciful; and Ian had felt so grateful when he said the Lancea would pay for the blood of His followers.
Ian closed his eyes before turning his face down once again. How could he be the messenger if he felt so drawn to the enemy's ideals? "Benjamin... I need your help." But Ian did not know what to ask of him or where to start. He truly wished he could be what was expected; he wished he could stop his personal vendetta and give a purpose and a meaning to his war with Alain, as Diane said he must. But how could he? The emptiness he felt was only filled with his hate; if he controlled it there would be nothing left but Adam's music echoing inside him.
He kept walking slowly, unaware of the world passing around him. It had started raining but Ian was just now realizing how soaked he was. For the first time since becoming a vampire, he missed the chill of a winter's night and, specially, the comfort he would find in the warmth of a house. He was starting to realize a vampire was just that, a frozen being unable to feel anything apart from his own hate, distant from those he loved and cherished just two months ago, forever alone, casting another shadow on a street, while reliving in his mind his few moments of happiness.
It was a little more complicated than that now, he had just revealed to Bran he and Jacob were back and their whole plan of bringing the true king. Now was not the time to be longing for warmth or comfort. He would enjoy throwing himself into Samuel's arms and forget every fear and doubt and just feel... safe. But now was not the time. Alain will want to know of the king's messengers, and Samuel will probably be in danger again.
Ian turned a corner of the street, still cursing his own stupidity, as he reached Samuel's apartment. He didn't know how to protect Samuel, now that he had once again endangered him, but he was sure he would not loose anyone else to Alain. Ian knew he couldn't protect him by hiding the truth or sending him away. Not this time. Maybe he had to learn to trust those around him, starting by the one who should be closer, so he could, as it is time, be more than a man seeking vengeance.