Writer Notes: Wahoo! Took these pictures yesterday and decided that I did not want to wait till tonight to work on it some more. So get it finished before work! Oh yeah, I tell you guys, it’s like having two jobs sometimes XD
Warnings: arguments, reintroducing maybe forgotten characters, threats, lots of talk of the past, a history lesson, aggravated girl, smiling girl, pondering Vampire, making deals, and a lurker.
When Vaiden took Jay to the hospital he did not call anyone. He had to know the details first. When the doctor finally told Vaiden Jay would live, he picked up the phone and immediately called Lewej. The second person he called was Gabriel.
“Erin Watski is an underground spy. She worked for both Vampire Master La’Belle and Jen the Unfavorable in the past. She’s a double-crosser.”
“But she could still have told you about Julianna Fairchild.” Gabriel said. “I know you, Vaiden. You let the past cloud your judgement.”
“I couldn’t trust anything she said.” Vaiden huffed. “She probably does work for Fairchild though she denied it.”
“That doesn’t matter.” Gabriel insisted. “Julianna wants to find the girls and that means we need to use every source possible, even if we don’t truly trust them. Vaiden, this was a missed opportunity.”
“Don’t patronize me, Gabriel.” Vaiden growled. “I know what I’m doing.”
“Evidently not.” Caden Pearson called down the hall.
“I didn’t call you.” Vaiden said.
“No, the hospital did.” Caden chuckled. “I’m number one on Jay’s contacts as he usually needs legal aid.”
“Is everything all right, Vaiden?” Josie, Caden’s wife, asked.
Vaiden sighed. He knew he couldn’t lie to Josie and Caden. They were Tatiana’s best friends. At that, Caden was her boss.
“Jay will be fine, but Tatiana…”
“So she is apart of this?” It did not sound like a question from Caden.
“She’s going to die unless I can find a witch named Julianna Fairchild.” Vaiden answered.
“And what do you plan on doing to this witch?” Caden asked.
“Whatever necessary to save my family.”
“Vaiden, I know you and Tatiana have kept a lot of secrets from me and others about what happened all those years ago and I’ve always had the feeling that you did it for ‘illegal’ reasons. But you can tell me anything. We’re family.”
Vaiden thought about it. The Pearsons were one of the only people who knew that Tatiana was magical and that Vaiden had once been an assassin. They had taken the news well, not even lifting a finger to think twice about it. They were true friends and Vaiden knew he could trust them, but at the same time, he was conflicted.
“This is not the time or place.” Vaiden said. Noticing the security guard passing down the hall.
Maybe a lawyer like Caden Pearson did not have a problem with talking about illegal happenings, but Conner Benson was a detective for the Misplaced Stream police department.
“Hi, there, I’m Conner, Lewej’s…friend.” he held out his hand to Vaiden, who didn’t even look at it.
“Lewej’s…friend?” Vaiden raised an eyebrow at her. “The detective, I presume.”
Conner’s hand felt heavy. “Yes, and I was called by Lewej, not just as her friend, but also as the detective working the Feline case. Since Erin Watski is one of our number one suspects, would it be too much to ask if…”
“I have no interest in helping you.” Vaiden snapped. “Find crooks on your own time, not mine and certainly not when you’re suppose to be comforting Lewej.”
“So I’m taking it you didn’t warn your ‘friend’ about Vaiden.” Gabriel smiled.
Lewej just cringed.
Conner finally took back his hand. “Well, that sounds a little defensive, Mr. Zarren. I would think a decorated Black OPs officer like yourself would cooperate with the ‘law.'”
“If that was suppose to be a threat, you need to work on your delivery.” Vaiden shrugged. “As a Black OPs ‘officer,’ I’m inclined to tell you that anything in our involvement is classified and will not be shared with the press or police.”
Conner laughed. “But with crooked lawyers like Pearson here?”
“Caden’s a special member of our group.” Vaiden bluntly replied.
“Something’s going on here and I think it goes ‘way’ back as Pearson here inquired not two minutes ago.” Conner began. “As a detective I could arrest you for falsely misguiding information not only about this case, but others as well, as I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to dig through your record. If anything I can charge you with suspicion and intent of witch hunting, which is against the law and can only be enforced by the Marshals, which you are not.”
“Is that all?” Vaiden rolled his eyes. “I’m sure a fine detective like yourself knows better. Because if I am Black OPs and have a ‘record’ then that probably means I’m a pretty dangerous guy.”
“Don’t threaten me!”
“See? You didn’t have to question whether or not that was a threat, but Detective Benson, I’ll give you just the one warning. Stay. Out. Of. My. Business.”
“Party’s over!” Lewej shouted, waving her hands at Conner.
Gabriel also quickly stepped in-between them. “You took that a little too far.”
“A little too far?” Conner was angry. “How about next time instead of doing it yourself, you take it to the police so another one of your friends doesn’t get hurt!”
“You know nothing, detective.” Vaiden spat.
“I know how to follow the law!”
“Then you know nothing, but a fairy tale. A fairy tale designed to keep proper citizens in their place, but there are those that cannot be contained by your Human laws no matter how hard you try. They are too powerful, too dangerous. Your Marshals won’t save you because they’ll be in control of this witch! Then what are you going to do, detective? Who are you going to turn to?”
“Oh my goodness, I’ve never wanted to get out of a vehicle so much in my life!” Dahlila shrieked.
Zarah giggled. “Well, we still have quite the journey ahead of us.”
“I hope you enjoyed the ride.” she continued. “Because it’s walking from here on and up.”
“Why can’t the trucks go up there?” Delania asked.
“Magic and machines don’t agree.” Latimere replied afar.
“Or maybe you just want to torture us some more.”
“Never, Miss Dahlila.” he insisted. “But please, the walk is long so we must begin.”
“I’m sorry about her.” Delania said to Latimere once Dahlila was out of earshot. “She’s always been difficult, but lately…it’s gotten a lot worse.”
“There’s no reason to fret.” Latimere smiled. “I expect a certain amount of resentment.”
“You’ve said that before.” Delania noted. “But, I just feel bad because I don’t think Dahlila understands what this means for you and Lacarra. I mean, you two are not just putting up with us as guests. Fairchild will fight you to get to us.”
“You are very smart, Miss Delania.” Latimere nodded. “But do not worry. We will be well guarded in High Tower.”
“I…I know, I mean I hope so.”
“Have you ever heard the story of High Tower?” Latimere then asked, obviously wanting to change the subject.
“No.” Delania replied. “Well, yes a little bit. Grandma Coastal said it was originally a haven for magical Elves, hence named ‘High’ Elves after the tower.”
“You sound very proud to know this.”
“I love history.” Delania smiled. “It’s my best subject.”
“Then you must be interested in how I acquired it?” Latimere asked.
“Well, yeah, you’d think the Elves would want to keep it from themselves. Not just as a haven and maybe a school for High Elves, but a relic, a museum of their history.”
“It once was a school of sorts.” Latimere began. “But, their ‘teacher’ became mad with blood magic. He locked the students inside and brainwashed them into being his slaves and created the most evil of dark magics.”
“Don’t forget that he killed all that entered.” Lacarra called.
“Anyone who could enter.” Latimere corrected. “High Tower is protected by a magical seal that still stands today, which is the reason why the trucks will not work past this point.”
“So what happened to the teacher?” Delania asked.
“His ambition killed him.” Latimere replied. “He was foolish enough to challenge all the greatest warriors of the world. Though he did kill all of them, it was the one unknown that defeated him.”
“Let me guess, that unknown was you?” Dahlila rolled her eyes.
“Easy.” Zarah whispered.
Latimere was quiet for a moment. “No, it was another Elf that did the deed.”
“What happened to the students?” Delania asked.
“They died with their teacher.” he replied. “Blood magic ties cannot be broken.”
“So how did you get High Tower?”
“I killed the Elf.”
“Honestly, I’ve never understood magic.” Harry Coristor said. “Though I’ve come to know that vampirism is a sort of magic. Are we dead or not? They say ‘undead,’ but what does that really mean? You unbutton a shirt. It means it is no longer buttoned. You are undead. You are no longer dead? No, that doesn’t quite make sense.”
“So since it doesn’t make sense, I must stop analyzing it and just live, find a purpose, and settle down.” Harry continued. “I know my purpose, but it is the Vampire nation that doesn’t want to cooperate. It is Latimere Greenbrooke that will not cooperate.”
“Such a beautiful way to describe deceit.” Honey smiled.
“Deceit?” That made Harry raise an eyebrow. “I know a lot about it as I have been involved in one of the biggest double-crosses ever.”
“Oh you must mean La’Belle and Jen!” Honey clapped.
“Yes.” Mr. Coristor replied uneasily. “I would still not change what we did. La’Belle had to be taken down, but…it is one of the reason many of our own kind do not trust us. But they do not understand. They did not have to suffer under La’Belle.”
“Why would anyone deny Jen the Unfavorable?” Honey asked. “She was so powerful and so ingenious.”
“She was a monster!” Harry shrieked. “But she was the better monster to La’Belle. La’Belle killed her own so she was the elite Master Vampire. Do you know how hard it was to be a Master Vampire under her and know that one day she would turn on you? Jen…yes, she gave us a way out and still we are the bigger traitors than La’Belle.”
Honey laid her warm hand on top of Mr. Coristor’s. “I understand what is like to be an outcast. I was for my whole life. This is why we, Fairchild, want to help you. You are a brilliant leader, Harry. And your ideas to help your own kind are incredibly noble. Latimere Greenbrooke stands in the way. We shall destroy him and any other who does not want to follow you. Together our families shall dominate this world and be remembered for the beauty we brought it.”
“Yes,” Mr. Coristor replied breathlessly. “That is what we will do.”
“My daughter Honey, you are such a good girl.” Julianna smiled. “You were quite a hard one to track down Mr. Coristor, but I think it is worth it. Not only can we two strive the finish what we started, but we can do it together. I only ask you for information.”
“And what information do you need?” Harry asked. “I can give you what I know about Latimere Greenbrooke, but there isn’t much to find.”
“He is ALWAYS so secretive!” Honey laughed.
Julianna stepped forward and offered her hand. Harry took it and she pulled them in closer. “We will make a great team.” she said. “Two powerful families together and I’m sure one day truly united.”
Harry Coristor looked at Seamus behind his mother and Honey behind him. Would they want to become Vampires and marry Siren or Elan? A Vampire with the abilities of an evil witch? Harry smiled. They would be most powerful.
“I’m glad that you approve.” Julianna smiled. “But Seamus belongs to another. Honey, however, is fully available for anything you may need.”
Harry shook his head. “I’m sorry, you never said what information you needed. I would hate to take advantage of your hospitality without making a fair trade first.”
“Oh, all I want is simple. I know where Latimere will be, but there is another player in the shadows and is out to slay me.” Julianna fell serious. “What can you tell me about the Shade Elf?”