Maya awoke the next morning a little after noon. Her normal hours were normally from noon to midnight, her enhanced abilities as a half breed allotting her prefect sight in daylight and darkness.
Glancing at her door, Maya wondered for a moment why it was closed. Then the events of the previous night hit her hard. The green skinned vampire she had met was still here, probably sleeping. He was a pretty rude and cocky bastard for what she saw of him the before, but Maya had seen worse.
Stretching, Maya hoped out of her bed and placed on some of her older, worn clothing that she wore mainly around the house. She went to the market at most once a week and always in her studded leather armor and cloak. She had been spotted by hunters and guards more than once when not wearing her cloak to make it an essential part of her outfit.
Maya quietly opened the door, not wanting to disturb her "guest". She saw him laying on her couch, a small quilt pulled over him. He seemed to be sleeping heavily, but Maya was still as quiet as she could be, walking into the kitchen grabbing a few cubes of sugar out of a jar on her small table.
Maya walked outside breathing in the fresh air. Despite how clear it had been the previous night. It was decently overcast, looking like it would rain soon. Maya hoped it wouldn't; if it did her guest would most likely request to stay another night.
"Hell be damned, I don't even know his name," Maya muttered as she approached the small fenced in pen where the horse the vampire had stolen was grazing. Unlatching the gate, Maya whistled to the horse. He looked up momentarily at the noise, and then continued to graze.
Maya approached carefully, unsure how the stallion would react. He didn't seem to care until she got within a foot of him. He snorted at turned his head to keep an eye on her. Taking out one of the cubes of sugar, Maya held it out to him. The stallion immediately slurped the sweet treat down.
"Now will you let me ride you?" Maya asked, placing her hands on the horse's back and hoisting herself up. The stallion only raised his head and awaited her commands. The reins were still on him from the previous night, so all Maya had to do was grab them and put a little pressure on the horse's flanks. The horse began at a walk, Maya getting reacquainted with the feel of riding. She slowly worked her way up to a trot, than into a fast canter. Feeling herself drawn into the feel of riding, Maya smiled. She hadn't ridden for a long time and had missed it.
She rode out all of the way to the tree line were a few apple trees grew. Maya often wondered if this place used to be an orchard that somehow may have burned down, leaving these few trees on the edge of the great forest. Maya dismounted and picked on of the smaller green apples. They would not be ready for harvesting for a bit, but she knew the stallion would enjoy it anyway. And he did.
As Maya stroked the stallion's mane, she muttered partially to herself and to the horse, "You should have a name." Maya vaguely thought back to her old mare, a beautiful chestnut by the name Sunrise. But that bright shining name, or any one like it, would not fit this dark, prideful stallion.
"How about Shadow? Would you like that?" The stallion nuzzled against Maya's hair in agreement. Maya smiled and hoisted herself back up on Shadow's back and proceeded back towards her house.
During her ride back to her house, Maya felt a few drops of rain splatter on her face. She urged Shadow to move faster so she would not get caught in a downpour.
As she came into view of her home, Maya was shocked to find the vampire waiting for her at the entrance to the pen. Riding shadow up next to him, Maya looked down on the vampire and asked, "Shouldn't you be inside? Vampires burn in sunlight I believe."
The vampire smirked, "I have evolved beyond the stage were sunlight is harmful to myself." Glancing at Shadow, he added, "I see that you can ride a horse efficiently."
Maya accepted the statement, unsure if it was a compliment or a twisted insult. Jumping down from on top of Shadow's back, Maya turned a curious gaze on the vampire, "Were you not afraid I had gone to the guards at the town?"
The vampire shook his head, "No. First, you headed in the wrong direction, from the path of the horse's hooves prints. Also, you would be killed by a guard if you so much as approach one."
"His name is Shadow."
The vampire gave her a confused look so Maya gestured to the stallion. "Shadow?" he asked skeptically.
"Yes. It is a fitting name. And speaking of which I never remember getting yours."
The vampire smirked, "I never gave it to you, nor will I."
Maya glared, "I helped you out. I at least deserve to know who the hell you are."
The vampire considered her argument for the moment, and replied, "I am Kain."
"For someone as… unique looking as you, I've never heard of you. For a bit, judging on your looks, I thought you might be this other vampire I heard of: Vorindo or something like that."
"Vorador. I knew him. Annoying bastard he was," Kain muttered.
"You knew him? So he is dead?"
Kain flinched, angry with himself that he gave away the extra information, "Not yet, but he will be."
Maya raised a questioning brow, "Not yet? You plan to kill him?"
"I will not be his murderer. A mob of vampire hunters will be."
"And how do you know this? Can you predict the future?"
Kain scowled, "I am not answering every question you throw at me."
Maya met his scowl with one of her own, "I have no intention of doing you any harm; what harm would it do to tell me things?"
Kain chuckled, a cold sound, "You have no idea. Fate always has a way of turning the simplest things around to come back and bite you in the arse. I have no intention of doing or saying anything else that will be detrimental to my future."
"Did you ever consider not telling me something could affect your future?" Maya questioned, giving Kain pause.
"There is a difference."
Kain turned and snapped at Maya, "Either way, I am telling you no more!"
Maya's face was turning red with anger, "Fine! Well, if you don't want to tell me anything, than just answer one more thing for me, and I will ask no more questions."
Kain sighed, just wanting the half-breed to shut up, "What is the question?"
"What the hell do you want and what can I do to get you out of here faster?"
Kain was taken aback by the question, but answered it truthfully, unsheathing the Soul Reaver strapped to his back and holding it in front of Maya, "I seek to unforge this sword."
Maya glanced at the Soul Reaver without much interest, "There's a blacksmith in town you could take it to."
Kain laughed, "If only it were that easy. Here is magic binding the sword, which makes it indestructible. Also, there is a… spirit held within the sword that I want to release, unharmed."
"How about a priest?" Maya asked.
Kain gave her a skeptical look, "Would you seriously trust a priest to do such a favor for a vampire?"
Maya nodded at the logic displayed in Kain's question, but began to look at the sword closer. After a moment or two, she remembered why it had seemed so familiar. She had seen it before.
"I've seen that before."
"You've seen this sword before?" Kain asked surprised.
"Well," Maya said hesitantly, "not the sword but a carving that looked just like it."
"In a cavern, in the town where I used to live. With my… parentage, I stayed away from most children and explored the forests and hills. I remember seeing a picture that looked like the sword though."
"And how would you remember that?"
"Well, you would remember too if you were a young child and a ghost nearly scared the life out of you after you saw the picture."
Kain stared at Maya apprehensively. This was too convenient. Too unlikely that he would stumble upon a half-bred that may have seen an ancient vampire ruin with a picture of the Soul Reaver on it. He would normally see Fate working its wicked ways and turn away from this half-breed, trying his hardest to defy Fate and his destiny by choosing the less likely route.
But could that be exactly what Fate was planning?
Taking a chance, Kain asked, "Do you remember where this… ruin is?"
Maya narrowed her eyes suspiciously, obviously not liking where the conversation turned nor where it seemed to be headed, "Yes, at least a general idea."
Kain gave a small nod, "You will take me there."
Maya's eyes widened, "Oh, no I will not!"
Kain's eyes lit with malevolent amusement, "Yes you will, or you die."
Maya shook her head, "No. First, you won't kill me because then you will never find the cave. Second, going back to my old home is like committing suicide, and lastly, I'm not leading you around like some deluded servant."
Kain brought up the Soul Reaver faster than Maya could see and set its' point at the base of her throat, "Actually I will kill you if you do not obey me. As of now, your knowledge of the ruin is the only thing keeping you alive. If I kill you, I will be no better off than when I first came here." Kain paused, considering whether or not he should mention that Soul Reaver's other attribute to Maya, and by the angry, stubborn look in her eye, Kain decided it was necessary, "And dying by my blade will be much worse than death by any sword or weapon of a human."
"Oh, really, and why would than be?" Maya asked, standing her ground.
Kain's eyes flashed, "The particular spirit I wish to free from the blade happens to be a soul devouring one. Not only will you die, but your soul will be consumed. To exactly will happen after that, I can scarcely imagine. Oblivion perhaps, but that is the most favorable outcome."
Maya could feel herself pale and hated Kain with all her heart at that moment. Oblivion for her soul was not the most ideal choice for her. She didn't really have a deity that claimed her spirit. When she had question her mother once of deities, she had said that she believed in no god, but the essence that was life, of the earth. Maya had always assumed when one died, the spirit would enter a state much like sleeping and would be at peace forevermore, giving life to the land.
Now, when threatened with oblivion, Maya could not help but feel apprehensive. Death had always frightened her, and oblivion, wandering an unknown place for eternity, was not appealing.
Sighing, Maya removed her eyes from the glowing blade, which she could almost feel the strength radiating off of it, and met Kain's yellow eyes. "I'll take you there, only if you promise not to kill me… or have anyone else do so for you."
Kain seemed to consider her offer sincerely. Maya could only hope he saw more value in her than he was letting on.
Kain was unsure of whether he should agree with her terms or not. He had the upper hand. She was completely at his mercy. Besides, she could be of some use to him. If they had to venture into the city during the day, she would be better able to do so. She would not attract nearly as much attention as he would in a public setting, even if he had his cloak on.
Also, it wouldn't be too bad to have a decoy to use if he needed one.
Kain gave a nod, agreeing with her terms. Maya gave a relieved smile and Kain spoke.
"We leave at dusk."