Writer Notes: In-between chapter is an in-between chapter. Big stuff coming up in the next chapters!
Warnings: mostly dialog, caption-less photos, pixelated blood, tears, reunited, some language, fishing for answers, and threats.
“What exactly is Julianna’s plan now?” Latimere Greenbrooke had to ask.
“She will come to High Tower and destroy you.” Harry Coristor snarled.
“Well, she tried that already.” Gabriel pointed out. “He withstood her magic.”
“Does this witch realize when she gets here, she’ll be stuck here?” Zarah asked. “High Tower is on lock down. All the magical seals have increased ten fold, especially now that Latimere has returned.”
“She will defeat you.” Harry said. “She will bring a storm and crush you under its weight.”
“I am tired of this game, Mr. Coristor.” Latimere huffed. “Your plan was bound for failure at the beginning. This witch’s vengeful raid comes to a close once she’s trapped here. You either surrender, Coristor, or you will die with her.”
“He gets a choice?” Vaiden rolled his eyes. “If he manages to escape some way, I’ll hunt him down.”
“He’s not going to give up anything.” Gabriel sighed. “Maybe I can get something out of Victoria?”
“What is going on?” Trudy Coristor asked. “Why is that Elf here? How did he get here?”
“Fairchild is on the move.” Lacarra replied. “Now we must pull together to stop her once and for all. Siren, you can come out if you promise to behave yourself.”
“You.” Victoria hissed. “You’re suppose to be imprisoned until I return.”
“What is going on?” Gabriel asked. “What is this plan Julianna has? How does she plan to destroy Latimere?”
“You cannot trick me into submission, dear father.”
“I’m trying to help you!” he snapped. “If you help us, maybe I can convince Latimere to hand you over to me.”
“What do you mean the witch is coming to High Tower?” Trudy inquired. “We are on lock down. Nothing can come inside or leave.”
“I will explain this later.” Lacarra said. “Right now you need to be with your son.”
“Victoria, please help yourself! If you tell me her plan…”
“I will never help you!” She exclaimed. “You let my mother die while you did the king’s bidding, while you rather play adventure with that Shade! You are a failure, a disgrace. Now go! I will say no more.”
“I’m so sorry, princess.” Vaiden whispered. He held her close. She was still shaking.
“Yolonda?” Siren stepped back. They hadn’t told her.
It was really only hours ago that they had lost their friend. To Dahlila, it felt so long ago.
Trudy held her son. He was broken. He would not be useful to them in the fight against Fairchild. Lacarra knew this. She was trying to create a plan that would put all the children out of harms way.
“We will take good care of her.” She assured him.
Latimere entered the room. “Mr. Zarren, can I ask you to stand with Ms. Dellawood in the main hall. I trust that if anyone was to enter, you would be the most qualified to stop them.”
“And might I have a word with Miss Dahlila?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” Vaiden answered. “That’s up to her.”
“Would you be so kind, Miss Dahlila, as to speak with me in the hall?”
“What do you want?” she hissed. “We’re kind of in the middle of mourning over our friend.”
“I apologize.” Latimere sighed. “But I need to know something.”
“What did Julia tell you?” he asked.
“Really? That’s what you want to know? Didn’t you live it?”
“Please, Dahlila, you must know what is lies and what is real.”
She told him. What choice did she have? She also added in some tidbits of her thoughts like how Julia was crazy and obsessed over him.
“You are very observant.” he said. “Julia…I didn’t know she had dipped her hand into blood magic until after she killed her husband. That’s why I stayed afar.”
“You should have kept Felicia at your hip.” Dahlila replied. “You let that poor girl get tangled in your mess.”
“Truly you do not understand.” Latimere sighed. “I didn’t believe she was in any danger. Julia loved her niece. To this day, I do not understand why she killed her.”
“Maybe you need to learn about the woman specie.” Dahlila rolled her eyes. “We hate competition. Someone crazy like Julia thinks the only way to get what she wants is to eliminate said competition.”
“I’m sorry you had to endure her insanity.” he returned. “I had long forgotten her threat to destroy me. Perhaps this is all my fault.”
“Of course it is!” Dahlila snapped. “Don’t you see that leading girls on does terrible things? You got my family into this mess! And the Coristors! And Yolonda!”
“My friend is dead and for what?” she asked. “To be some example to this witch’s scheme! Tell me how this makes any sense, how this is fair!”
“I’m sorry about your friend!” he snapped. “But I cannot turn back time. I cannot bring her back.”
“Yes, you can!”
“As a vampire?” Latimere took a stepped back. “No, Miss Dahlila, that is something I will not do. No one deserves to live a cursed life.”
“Is that how you see your life? Cursed? You lived for what? Two, three millenniums and all you have to say is: it’s so terrible?”
“All I have to say is: I’m sorry. If I knew things would have turned out the way they have, I would have done things differently.”
“You would have married Julia?”
“Then you really don’t understand her problem.”
“But I suppose, I can forgive your ignorance.” she snickered. “But you have to fix it. You have to make sure she can’t hurt anyone else.”
“Of course I will!”
“Don’t break a gasket, Lati.”
“What did you just call me? My name is Latimere.”
“Latimere’s too long so Lati.”
“I do believe Dahlila is the same number of syllables. Shall I call you Dah?”
“Whatever floats your boat, Lati.”
“How are the kids?” Zarah had to ask.
“A wreck.” Vaiden replied. “Hey Harry, I wonder if you know that Julianna’s little planned broke your son’s heart. You must feel real proud to be apart of that.”
“So the young lady is dead?” Zarah shook her head. “She was a very beautiful soul.”
“She was human.” Harry rolled his eyes.
“Well, so were you and me at one point in our lives.” Zarah pointed out. “You must feel something, Harry. Elan needs his father, especially at a time like this.”
“Like you haven’t told him lies. Everything I’m doing is for my family. Julianna has promised a full sweep once Latimere is gone. There will be no one else standing in the way of our reform.”
“Your family is tired, scared, and confused.” Vaiden snapped. “As is mine! The fact that you still believe this is about your little vampire reform just shows how stupid you are!”
“Vaiden is right.” Zarah said. “You need to smarten up, Mr. Coristor. Julianna is playing with you. If she is able to defeat Latimere, why would she bother with the likes of you?”
“She’ll disregard him like the shit he is.”
“It must hurt knowing Latimere’s right.” Zarah added. “You’re plan was doomed from the start. Either way, Harry, you lose.”
“You will see. You all will see!”
“Cliche?” Vaiden rolled his eyes.
“What you will see, Mr. Coristor, is your family taken from you because of your stupid decisions. You’re going to lose everything in the process. So why are you still fighting? Give us what we need and maybe, just maybe, Latimere will let you live out your days in a magical prison.”
“I thought you were against mercy?” Zarah laughed.
Vaiden sighed. “I’m against stupidity.”
“Harry Coristor is no threat to me in a prison.” he added. “But if he–you–manage to escape then my family is in danger. I will find you and kill you.”
“That’s the Vaiden I know and love.” Zarah laughed.
The Shade Elf just rolled his eyes.
“I see.” Lewej said to the person on the other line. “Well, how does that work? And that’s the plan?”
“Ok, Zarah.” Lewej sighed. “That’s not very much. Yes, I will tell them.”
“It sounds to me, we are playing the waiting game.” Coastal said.
“Latimere was able to get everyone back to High Tower.” Lewej replied.
“How long do we have?” Tatiana asked.
“Now that you’re awake? Not long, my dear.” the High Elf replied. “But I’m sure our plan will work.”
“This Julianna thinks she’s the only big magic in this town.” Coastal huffed. “She’s about to learn a valuable lesson.”
“Then let’s go.”