Writer Notes: AU UPdate. So excited! 🙂 It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been busy, of course is my answer. A lot of RL stuff getting in the way of my inspiration.
Warnings: unexpected intro of Dad, graveyard stuff, talking about prom, chilly weather, and an interesting discussion
“Senior pictures.” Delania smiled at her boyfriend, Cory. “Are you ready?”
“Ready for what?” Dahlila asked. “To pose and smile? It’s not that hard.”
Taryn rolled his eyes at his best friend. “Well, at least we don’t actually have to go to school today.”
“I can’t wait to hang out tonight.” Cory said. “The graveyard’s gonna be awesome.”
“Hiiiii, Dad!” Dahlila shrieked.
“Hello, Mr. Zarren.” Taryn said in the same breath.
“I do hope that you kids aren’t thinking of vandalizing the sacred sleeping grounds of the dead.”
“Of course not.” Taryn tried to play it cool. “We found a cemetary that hosts a scary movie night…kind of like a drive-in movie theater.”
“The whole senior class is going.” Delania added. “Can we please go?”
Vaiden let the silence fill the room for a second for effect. He didn’t want the girls believing he’d let them get away with just anything.
“Well, if the whole senior class is going then it wouldn’t be whole without you. Sure, you can go.” he said. “But, you’re to be home before one o’clock and no one’s to come home with you.”
Senior pictures. What a drag. Thirty minutes of finding the right poses, remembering to smile and look pleasant for a couple of snap shots then you’re done. Seems like a waste of time, but it’d be hanging on your wall or in a family album to reminisce about later.
Actually, the whole senior class didn’t wind up at the graveyard. The Coristor twins were absent. They evidently had something already planned with their family. Even so it was a great night for the teens to hang out, watch a B-rated movie, and make some memories.
Not that anybody actually watched the movie.
“I just don’t like it.” Dahlila said. “I don’t see the point of dressing up for a night to dance to crappy music and drink bubbly soda. What’s so special about that?”
“It’s prom.” Kristy said. “You have to go. I’m going…well Mom’s making me because she didn’t get to go to her prom because of the police academy. She says it’s something that she wished she didn’t miss out on so she’s making me go.”
“Yeah, I’m being forced too.” Dahlila sighed. “Between my mom and Delania, I’d never hear the end of it.”
“What’s your dad think about it?” Kristy asked.
“He…doesn’t see the point to it either.” Dahlila replied.
“Well, they didn’t have prom back in his day.” Taryn snorted.
“I always forget your dad’s like 200 years old.” Austin smirked. “He looks good for his age, really good.”
“Ok, let’s stop talking about my dad.” Dahlila shook her head. “And that’s kinda creepy, Austin.”
Austin just shrugged a smile on his lips.
The air started to get cooler so Dahlila decided it was time to get a hoodie. She was glad for the break from her friends. It was a little awkward right now with all this talk about prom. Kristy liked, liked Taryn, but Taryn wanted to go with Dahlila. Austin would end up going with whoever was leftover, but Dahlila really did not like being in the middle of this. If only Kristy would just tell Taryn how she felt, maybe he’d go with her.
But even more disturbing was the sounds coming from the deeper parts of the abandoned graveyard.
“You hear it too, hey?” Ellen asked.
“What is it?”
“I don’t know.” she replied. “Sounds like someone’s out there though.”
“Well, I’m just gonna have to take a look then.” Dahlila smiled.
“Be careful, Dahlila.” Ellen called. “Who knows what it is.”
Dahlila didn’t scare easy, not even when they got kidnapped. She was more angry than anything about that, but in the dark, alone, with all these old tombstones staring at her, she couldn’t help, but think it was a little eerie.
She was more irritated at the long grass and bugs though, but that’s when she heard the whisperings.
At first she thought it was shadows playing with her mind, but it became more and more apparent someone was out there in the graveyard this night.
“What-the-hell are you doing here?” she asked.
He smiled. “Miss Dahlila, what a pleasure.”
“Again, what are you doing here?”
“Miss Siren Coristor told me you have some questions for me.” Latimere Greenbrooke said. “She said you have been worrying about the incident.”
“Uh huh.” Dahlila let the suspicion fill her voice. “So what? You came all the way out here to lure me into the shadows so we can talk.”
“Why, of course.” he smiled. “It would be quite a situation to get your friends involved.”
“Ok,” Dahlila let him have that one. Her friends didn’t need to know exactly what happened those few weeks ago.
“What has been troubling you?” Latimere asked.
“It’s weird that a Master Vampire of your caliber would come out here by himself, instead of sending someone or summoning me or whatever.” Dahlila snorted. Latimere just stared at her. He didn’t need to explain himself to her.
“Why’d you use us to put Zarah and Mrs. Coristor in your servitude?” Dahlila then asked.
Latimere smiled pleasantly as if they were talking about puppies. “I believe in a fair exchange.”
“What’s fair about it?” Dahlila asked. “They didn’t ask for us to get kidnapped or for you to save us.”
He raised an eyebrow to that. It did sound a little ungrateful even to Dahlila, but she just had to make her point. That was her dad’s gene’s talking.
“Yes, you are right.” Latimere replied. “I didn’t have to save you and your sister or the Coristor children, but I believe it would have been quite…disasterous to let them take you, especially after I killed one of them.”
Dahlila nodded. “Well you ruined your moment of heroism after the fact.” she said.
“I can see why you would think that.” he answered. “The situation reguarding Ms. Dellawood and Mrs. Coristor is strickly Vampire business. You would not understand it.”
“I understand you used us to get them to agree to serve you. Whatever that means.”
Latimere’s smile never faltered. “I may have taken advantage of the situation, but it matters not. What has been done is done.”
That made Dahlila angry. He did not seem to think “owning” someone as a big deal. Just how old was Mr. Greenbrooke?
But Dahlila let it go for now. “Do you know who the kidnappers are?” she asked.
Latimere’s smile then slipped. “I’m afraid not.” he said. “They covered their tracks pretty well, but I assure you, my people will find out who they are.”
“Thank you.” Dahlila replied.
“Of course.” his smile returned. “In the mean time, why don’t we go back to our original arrangement, you not worrying about the kidnapping or its kidnappers and I making sure they never do it again.”
Dahlila blushed. She had forgotten about that. “Well, worrying is in my genes.” she said. “I just can’t help it.”
He nodded as if that explained it all. “On your way.” he said. “Your friends are waiting for your return.”
She hid another blush and walked away. Mr. Greenbrooke sure had an effect on her. Usually no one could make her blush, but her dad because of the obscure things he randomly brought up. Maybe it came with being as old as they were, though Dahlila had no idea how old Mr. Greenbrooke was.
Latimere knew how to evade answering direct questions like why put Zarah and Trudy into servitude. He knew how to confuse people. He did it well, but he knew even now that Miss Dahlila Zarren was persistant. He doubted that this would their last conversation.
Even though that should have troubled him, Master Vampire Latimere Greenbrooke could not have been more excited. Dahlila was the daughter of an Elf named Vaiden. He had not realized at the moment of the exchange that he was her father, but now that was clear. Even more that Coastal Coster was Dahlila’s grandmother. Latimere knew that this situation could only get more and more interesting. He also wanted to get to know Dahlila and her sister more. Maybe they were just as talented as their father or possbily their grandmother. That would be something Latimere would surely invest in.