Writer Notes: Still don’t have my posting schedule balanced out, mostly because my work schedule varies. This chapter has been made throughout three weeks in my spare time. I honestly don’t know when The Gang will be updated, but hopefully today I’ll make some head way into that chapter.
Warnings: multiple scenes, re-intro of character, language, early morning wake up, inner thoughts, conflicts, making deals, teasing, half nakedness, aggravation, violence, pixelated blood, and need of a quick decision.
“And that is all Vaiden told me.” Zarah said.
“Is that all he knows or is that just all he’s saying?” Trudy Coristor was quick to ask.
“I’m sure Mr. Zarren isn’t keeping valuable information away from us, Trudy.” Latimere replied. “After all, we have his children.”
“But with Mystic Crane destroyed…”
“We cannot afford to linger.” Latimere interrupted. “If this witch Fairchild is able to control the Marshalls, then she will be able to find us.”
“My husband may need to know about this.” Trudy said. “Everyone is in danger now.”
“Shall I wake the children?” Lacarra asked.
“Yes, my dear sister, go get them. Be gentle and let them grab what they can carry. We must leave at once.”
“And where can we go that Fairchild or the Marshalls cannot find us?” Zarah asked. “Even all of your estates are on their radars.”
“This is why we should have never signed those Humans laws, giving them access to all of our property.” Trudy spat.
“We will be safe in High Tower.”
“But they found you there before.”
“High Tower is the perfect place.” Mrs. Coristor smiled. “Just the magic there will keep them at bay.”
“Or beckon them in.” Zarah countered.
“It matters not.” Latimere said. “High Tower has optimunal security, magic or otherwise. If we are to take a stand, we shall use all the power available to us.”
“Can we at least know what’s going on?” Dahlila shrieked. “I, for one, want to know why the hell you woke me up at three in the morning!”
“Please Dahlila, everyone is tired and frustrated. Do not give us grief.” Zarah said gently.
“Come along, we have a long road ahead of us. It is best to go in silence rather than complaint.” There was nothing gentle in Latimere’s voice, just the cold.
“I’ll complain if I fucking feel like it!” Dahlila exclaimed. “Sorry if I don’t appreciate getting up before fucking Jesus.”
“Geez, remind me to never wake her up before the alarm.” Yolanda laughed into Elan’s shoulder.
“A little mouthy, isn’t she?” Siren grimaced.
“I’m sick and tired of all your damn secrets, just tell us what the fuck is going on!”
“Does she get this from the father or the mother?” Lacarra asked.
“A little from both. Mom’s explosive with her anger. Dad’s…well…Dad.”
“Silence!” Zarah screamed.
“O bonitatis, Dahlila, you want to know what’s going on? Could you please wait for us to explain first!” Zarah sighed. “Your father contacted me and gave me bad news regarding the…situation. It is no longer safe here. We have to move you for your protection.”
“I apologize, Latimere.”
“No harm, no foul. I expect a certain amount of resentment with early wake-ups from such…young ones.”
Latimere held no grudge, but Delania knew her sister. She would not take being embarrassed. Was it the lack of sleep, general restlessness, or something more that made her so furious with Latimere.
Delania could not know. But she did know her sister was different around Latimere. She made a mental note about it. Perhaps later an opportunity would present itself for Delania to confront her sister about this behavior.
She knew anything with Dahlila would be a fight, even just a simple conversation. Dahlila had, for the lack of a better word, obsessed about Latimere while they were at college. She looked up information about his estates and any history about his family. There wasn’t much to go on. Perhaps it was the mystery around the Greenbrookes that intrigued her.
Or perhaps it was something else. Again Delania could not know. Her sister had the oddest thought process. Nothing was logical. She was getting so emotional and angry, but wanted nothing more that sympathy and comfort; yet, she looked like she wanted to punch him. What did she want from Latimere? Delania knew it wasn’t such a simple question.
Dahlila was too conflicted for simple things.
“This is not the same, my brother.”
Harry Coristor was a man holding on by a string. He had poured all of his investments into reforming the Vampires. He wanted for them to coexist peacefully, but under the order of a Vampire council, seven elected officials from each Master. Some in the region seemed to like this idea. Others were reluctant. Then there was Latimere Greenbrooke and his flock, who wanted no more than to live in the “old ways” or in isolation. They were selfish and disgusted Mr. Coristor.
“AND he has my children write me letters, telling me how ‘well’ they are? Is this some type of joke? They are his prisoners!” Harry fumed. “I should have challenged him then and there a year ago and been done with it.”
“And the worst part? The worst part is I know I would have lost…then.” Harry sighed. “But now I have lost my family to him.”
“Your family is your strength?” Honey Fairchild asked, but like she already knew the answer.
“Of course!” He exclaimed. “Trudy is my soul mate, my partner. We have always been a powerful pair, but only together. And my children…Siren is my heir, our heir.”
“What would you do to get them back?”
To that Harry raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean? They’re my family. There is no price I wouldn’t pay for them.”
“Oh, that is lovely.” Honey smiled. “You see, my mother is on a vendetta. It just so happens that this Latimere Greenbrooke is apart of the people she wishes to be rid of, as a reward, your family goes free, unscathed. And just a tipper on the scale, we will use all of our power to get you your council. Now how does that sound?”
“Too good to be true.” Harry laughed.
“Oh, but it will be so true.” She claimed. “All you have to do is give us the information we desire. Latimere Greenbrooke will no longer be a threat to you, your Vampire reform, or anyone.”
“What information do you need?”
“I don’t care what you say, Vaiden.”
“I drive just fine.”
“You drove through a red light, missed a stop sign, AND almost hit that old lady.” Vaiden huffed. “And you just drive fine? Jay, take off that hat, it’s messing with your mind.”
“I’m not taking off the hat. The last time I did, we walked in and there was a dead guy on the floor. It’s good luck to wear the hat.”
“A hat can’t give you good luck.” Vaiden frowned.
“Whatever, you’re just a hater.”
“Jaaaaaaay! Long time no see!”
“Hi Evan.” Then Jay glanced at Vaiden. “Be cool.”
“Word on the street is that the cops are tracking down Feline underground organizations.” Evan said. “Wouldn’t know anything about that, now would you Jay?”
“Little ol’ me? No, I haven’t spoken to the cops in over a year. Must of been those cats on Golden Avenue.” Jay may not have been the smartest of guys, but at least he knew how to lie. His “innocence” had led to many waved tickets in the past. He knew how to play people and for that reason alone, Vaiden had let Jay join him on this mission.
“Funny,” Evan raised an eyebrow. “Those cats said you’d be the one to talk.”
“Oh, they’re always so high on nip, what do they know?”
“Maybe you’re right, but they also said…”
“I’m sorry, but I have to intervene.” Vaiden huffed. “We’re not here so you girls can gab to your hearts’ content. We have business.”
“Straight to the point,” Evan smiled. “You must be the hard-as-nails type?”
“No, I’m lived-over-two-hundred-years-and-am-not-going-to-put-up-with-bullshit type.”
“Shade Elves, you’re all work and no play.” Evan sighed. “Fine, what’s your business?”
“We’re here to meet a contact that may have some information on a witch named Fairchild.”
“I know the one.” Evan said. “Let me get out of my stage clothes and I’ll bring you to the contact.”
“Vaiden, hang back.” Jay said. “I need a word with you.”
“You know, that could have gone smoother. I mean, I am a Feline. Let me talk down my people.”
“No, you would have went around the point for an hour and compromised yourself. I’m trained to handle these situations.”
“No, you’re just an arrogant, control freak bastard that doesn’t know what subtle means.”
That made Vaiden smile. “Does kitty need a time out? Or has kitty forgotten what I’m also trained for?”
“Dear sister, I brought you two guys who need some information.” Evan called.
Jay gasped. “Erin…”
“YOU!” Vaiden growled.
Erin Watski wasn’t just an underground spy. She was a traitor.
“Of course you know about Fairchild.” Vaiden huffed. “You probably work for her.”
“No, I don’t.” Erin hissed. “If you let me go, I’ll tell you everything I know.”
“I don’t think so.” Vaiden stepped forward. “I know ways to make you talk.”
“You forget, Vaiden. I know the same ways too.” Erin smiled, but then frowned. “Fine, if you won’t make a deal with me and you won’t let me go, I’ll just do what I do best.”
Vaiden quickly reached for the gun in his jacket, but Erin was already on top of him. He forgot that Felines were faster than average, especially a trained spy like Erin. She had to be faster than everyone.
“Oh, my gosh, Vaiden, to the right, the right! Up, UP! Don’t let her…oh you let her…”
“Dammit, shut up, JAY!”
Happy Chapter 30 for AUB2, what a milestone. In complete set, this story has 84 chapters (including interludes). WOW!