Writer Notes: Ready for it?
Warnings: mission compromising phone call, little language, Vaiden…being Vaiden, story time by Coastal = flashback, and age problems.
“Target in sight.” Vaiden said into his microphone.
Proceed with caution. A voice replied.
“So…” Recruit Liam Jenkins began. “This is our first time partnering. How long have you been in the force?”
Vaiden usually didn’t chat while he was on a job as it was apart of his ritual, but Tatiana had been nagging about him having no work buddies. Why did he need work buddies? He didn’t know. He had one good friend, wasn’t that all that mattered?
“Around 215 years.” Vaiden replied.
Liam got quiet, real fast. Most people didn’t know Vaiden was over 200 years old. It always shocked the hell out of them.
“I started when I was 20.” Vaiden went on to say. “Back then the enemy wasn’t drug lords, it was ‘gods.'”
“Oh.” Liam managed. “So you saw…”
“I saw a lot of things that I’m not going to discuss with you.” Vaiden was quick to reply.
“Geez, I didn’t mean to…”
“Hold on a second.” Vaiden interrupted.
There’s a call for you, Zarren. the voice said over the frequency.
“Send it through.” he replied.
“Hey honey, how’s hunting?”
“I have a deer in sight.” Vaiden answered.
She could see the smile on his face. He loved hunting. At least that’s what she kept telling herself it was. It made it easier to believe Vaiden was hunting for deer instead of assassinating a very dangerous drug dealer, who owned an army. Yep, Vaiden’s just hunting she told herself.
“Sir, you’re not suppose to take personal calls on duty. You could compromise the mission.”
“Who’s that?” Tatiana asked.
“Some new recruit.” Vaiden replied. “How was court?”
“Like this guy’s head is about to be.”
“Vaiden…” Tatiana shook her head. “Any way, the judge has agreed to dismiss the prosecuter’s original claim because of the ongoing investigation. So he wasn’t very happy about that, but it gives us a chance to show that the Felines are not an underground network of crooks or whatever.”
“Everyone has an underground.” Vaiden said. “Some a little less hostile than others.”
“We just have to prove that they are less of a concern than others for now.”
“Ask the Coristors, they have all the dirt on the Vampires.”
“I doubt the Coristors are going to give up the own specie, Vaiden. They’re in the middle of a reform after all.”
“Sir, you really shouldn’t be on the phone.” Liam said. “They could have bugs around here. They could pick up on your signal and not only discover our location, but the location of whoever you are talking to…”
“Any way, so when are you coming home?”
“In your time?” Vaiden thought about it. “Around dinner time.”
“Good,” Tatiana smiled. “We have the place to ourselves.”
“Really? How is that?”
“Delania is over at Gabriel’s. She’s helping Penelope with some school project. Samuel is suppose to be over there to watch them as Gabriel’s at the Elvin Kingdom.” Tatiana replied. “Dahlila’s at your mom’s.”
“Why?” Vaiden couldn’t help the suspicion in his voice.
“I don’t know.” Tatiana said honestly. “She just wanted to spend sometime with Coastal, I guess.”
“She didn’t say though?” Vaiden sighed. “Coastal will tell me later then.”
“Vaiden, you need to let your mom and her granddaughter have secrets.”
“Sir, I’m going to have to report this to the director.” Liam said. “You cannot let your personal life conflict with our missions. They are important and weighed with heavy risk, not to mention national security.”
“Honey, I’m going to have to let you go so I can kill this bastard.”
“All right, you take down that deer, baby.” she said as a single shot pierced through the static on the other end.
“Well,” Vaiden huffed. “Let’s go.”
“How could you…” Liam shook his head incredulously. “You were on the phone with your wife and you just…”
“You’ve got a lot to learn, recruit.”
“There’s nothing to worry about.” Rista claimed. “Vaiden is far out of harm’s way and I’m sure he’s already taken care of business.”
“I know.” Coastal sighed. “It’s a mother’s worry.”
“We all worry.” Dahlila said. “But he’s my dad. He’s stronger than Superman.”
Rista smiled. Vaiden was indeed strong, but it was his attitude that worried her.
“He’s a man who gets done what needs done.” she said. “And that’s what the department wants.”
Rista looked at Dahlila’s face. Even though Rista was head of operations, it was still hard for her to look at her men’s children and wonder: what if they didn’t come back? She had absolute faith in Vaiden and his abilities, but even so, she had grown quite close to him and his family as she was dating his mother. She hadn’t meant to bond with the family, but it had been all too easy. They were wonderful people.
Still Rista was torn. She didn’t need her emotional attachments interfering with her job. She had worked hard to get to the top of her branch and that had not been easy with all of the competition as men.
But tonight she would have to ponder about it alone. Coastal wanted some time with her granddaughter and Rista had to understand.
Coastal plopped down with a cheesy smile on her face as she watched Rista leave. She hated seeing her companion go, but tonight was a special night with Dahlila. It was uncommon for Dahlila and Delania not to be together so Coastal knew Dahlila wanted to talk about something important, perhaps even a little personal.
“Grandmom, I’ve been wondering about something…something Dad was talking to Mom about and I had just overhead…”
“What is it dear?” Coastal asked a slight suspicion in her voice.
“How do you know Latimere Greenbrooke?”
For a moment Coastal just blinked at her.
“I know it’s a personal question.” Dahlila said. “But he has pictures of you like he praises you…it made me kinda uneasy.”
Then Coastal laughed. “He praises me? It is more like the opposite.”
Dahlila tilted her head. “What do you mean?”
Coastal sighed. “Well, if we are going to go through this I suppose it is proper to start at the beginning.”
“I was about your age in a time when Elves lived in the woods. Even so I did not actually live in the village. Elves with large concentrates of magic or High Elves were sent to live in total isolation, far away so if our magic became too great we could not hurt anyone. Magic can make you crazy, dear, that it is why it is important to learn how to control and maintain it; therefore it does not get out of hand.”
“But eventually it would get out of hand, like a mad scientist mixing chemicals, someone would find a new power that proved lethal. In my time it was the Blue Mist. It’s source was water. High Elves had lost their sanity and created a magaical mix that would make water into poison and this poison would then take to the air and create a ‘mist.’ If you caught in this mist you would die.”
“Our eldest High Elf had followed the training of the Blue Mist. He was not very liked by fellow High Elves nor the village so he acted on revenge as he had been shunned. Many of the High Elves had died. Some had escaped. I had been young and left behind, unknown of what our elder had done. I knew to run as soon as the mist hit the air and so I did.”
“But you could never run too far. The mist would always catch up. So much death was found in the forest from rodents to trees. All were victims if caught in the mist. Alas, I was startled…”
“…when crossing the path of two beautiful creatures. I had never met anyone outside of Elvin-kind at this time though I had heard plenty of tales involving creatures outside our own. Vampires were among these tales, but they were spoke in a whisper as if to say their name was to speak with Death.”
“Yet, two Vampires stood before me and I was thrilled by the company of others.”
“Perhaps they would help me escape the mist.”
“They brought me to their estate, an isolated manor far away from the villages of the Elves, far away from the mist. It was unlike anything I had seen at that time. The beauty of stone walls and floors, furniture, windows…I was baffled by it all.”
“But even more I was struck by the owner of this enchanted place. Latimere…he was so beautiful as he still is, frozen in that beauty for all time.”
“Even so I did not stay with him and Lacarra for very long; however, I found myself returning to them after the end of each of my journeys. They took me in every time with such kindness. I’ll never be able to repay them for everything they had done for me.”
“And that must be a big deal to Mr. Greenbrooke because he likes to make his deals.” Dahlila said.
Coastal shook her head. “I have never made any deals with Latimere. Everything he has done for me has been out of friendship and kindness.”
“Ohhh…” Dahlila giggled. “You two…maybe…were in love?”
“Of course not.” Coastal snickered. “Although I do love Latimere very much, I could never be in love with him as you both know I’m not involved with men.”
Dahlila was in thought. She did not know what to think about Mr. Greenbrooke now. She had been hoping he had met her grandmother through some elegant ball or trade…something that made him into vision Dahlila had thought up, but evidently there was more to Latimere than Dahlila had suspected.
“How old is Latimere?” she then asked.
“Such a random question.” Coastal laughed. “Why do you want to know?”
“Curious is all.” Dahlila answered.
“Latimere was well grown by the time I met him.” Coastal said. “It never occured to me to ever ask how old he was so, my dear, I have no idea. He is older than me for sure and I am over two thousand years old.”
“Well,” Dahlila frowned. “I guess, I’ll just have to ask him myself.”