“She said she’d be five minutes.” Zander was impatient, even more so when it was Charlotte that he had to wait for. He swore she took her sweet time just to tick him off. “She’s still talking to that guy.”
“I’ve never seen him around before,” Silas commented. “But I’m sure that he’s a mage.”
“Of course he is.” Zander lowered his eyes at the fair haired male across the room. “He better not be saying anything to get her into trouble. I swear, I’ll rip his damn head off.”
“Mr. Gray wouldn’t like that,” Silas said calmly.
“Alistair,” Zander emphasized, “wouldn’t mind if I was protecting his daughter.”
“You’d be setting back progress that he’s worked so hard to make.” Silas threw his legs up onto the chair. “A couple years ago, it’d be strange for a vampire to be training under the keeper of magic.”
“To hell with what those traditionalists say,” Zander spat. “Alistair is doing a damn good job keeping order. He should be in charge, not that imbecile who calls himself the headmaster. That guy is a menace, and gives us vampires a bad name. Altiere isn’t any better.”
“What did you say your name was?” Charlotte eyed the guy suspiciously. He sure asked a lot of questions.
“Miles,” He said impatiently. “My name is Miles. I’m a friend of your dads’, both of them and Sienna too. Tell me that everything is alright.”
“Everything is fine.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “What are you going on about?”
“Something big is going to happen. I can’t divulge, but it will happen sooner than later if you don’t loosen the vampire’s hold on Moonlight Falls. Your dad has to keep fighting to keep changing things.”
“Why can’t you just tell my dad this yourself?” Charlotte asked. “If you know him.”
“It’s dangerous,” Miles said carefully. “He’s watching your dad and Adeline. Thankfully he doesn’t think that you’re powerful enough to stop him. Let him keep thinking that and use that time to grow stronger.”
“I don’t follow. Who’s he?”
“I can’t say it out loud. There’s a ehx on me,” He explained. “If I divulge any specifics I’ll explode and anything or anyone in the vicinity will explode. Even your friends back there. Listen, just keep an eye open for any strange things happening around you. You should get back to them, that vampire is glaring at me, I can feel it.”
“Oh Zander does that to every-” Her voice trailed off as she turned back to look at Miles. He was gone.
Charlotte begrudgingly made her way back to her friends. “That was strange.”
“What did he want?” Zander asked.
“My soul.” Charlotte rolled her eyes. “And in exchange I’d get 72 virgins. What a bargain right?”
“Sounds like a trashy deal to me,” Silas teased. “You already have a virgin over here.” He pointed to Zander.
“Like you’re not a virgin,” Zander complained. “You don’t even seem to have an attraction to another person.”
“I simply could care less,” Silas explained. “I am trying to strengthen my magic. I do not need someone slowing me down.”
“Ditto.” Charlotte stretched her arms over her head. “Honestly, I’m just trying to keept the peace. I’ll die a virgin, it makes no difference to me.”
“Nah, babe we’ll get married.” Zander smirked. He was the only vampire she associated with besides her own sister. She knew he cared deeply about her, but he teased her a lot. Their relationship was that of a brother and sister. Silas on the other hand was closer to Millie because they were both mages. They could relate in ways that Charlotte couldn’t fathom.
“Where’s my ring?” Charlotte smirked, playfully throwing her arm around the boy.
“Your dad would kill me.” Zander laughed.
Charlotte was surprised that her sister was home when she arrived. Millie had usually been home, but Adeline was rarely around. It really annoyed Charlotte that neither of her fathers had a problem with Adeline’s behavior. She got too much slack for being the perfect little purebreed vampire. She hated that she looked at her twin with disdain. Such disdain. She felt like she didn’t even know Adeline anymore. “You’re back,” Adeline said. She reached out to touch her sister, but Charlotte kept at a distance.
“I could be saying that to you,”” Charlotte answered coldly.
“Char,” Milie warned. “We’re all family here, can’t we get along?”
“We’re not family,” Charlotte replied. “She’s not one of us. She’s more Altiere’s daughter than she is dad’s! She isn’t a Gray.”
“Char-” Millie began. But Adeline held her hand up.
“I can’t be angry at her for something that she doesn’t understand. This is not a burden I want,” Adeline began. “And before you say anything, I cannot simply shirk my responsibilities. Still, I’d like us to be on good terms if we may.”
Charlotte looked at Millie and then shook her head. “I can’t associate with someone who wants the vampires to rule over everything. The vampires here are shitty. At least the ones that you want in power.”
“I don’t want that at all,” Adeline tried to explain. “I want us to all live in a peaceful Moonlight Falls. No more fighting. To do that we need a strong leader. It has nothing to do with whether or not that leader is a vampire.”
“Damnit Adeline!” Charlotte nearly shouted. “Dad is trying to do that. Dad should be the leader not yourr false prophet! Dad has made it so that people are venturing out of their comfort zones and are talking to each other. I’m a vampire and my sister is a mage. My best friend is also a mage.”
“Those are all great accomplishments, but Dad’s power is needed with the mages,” Adeline replied.
“If you cared so much, you’d be there with us when Dad gives lessons! Silas, me, Zander and Millie, we’re the ones making a change. You’re just repeating the cycle with a different vampire. I’m telling you this now. If it comes to it, Adeline, I wpn’t hesitate to squash you.” Millie watched Charlotte, with a pained expression on her face. She reached over to touch her arm lightly but withdrew when she saw Charlotte’s fervent glare. “I’m not lying. Mills, if she tries to ruin the peace, I’m going to stop her.”
“It’s not going to come to that,” Millie said. “Right, Ade?”
“So be it,” Adeline said calmly. “Squash me if you must. I return the sentiment dear sister.”
Charlotte’s glare only intesnified when she heard her father’s shouts for the girls to come down the stairs.
“I found him wandering around,” Ethan chuckled. “Reminded me of another human lost in Moonlight Falls.” He stared ovingly at his husband. Apollo was aging, much more slowly than the average human thanks to potions, but he didn’t have the magic in his body to sustain the effects permanently. Unlike Alistair and Ethan, he’s eventually reach elder status. None of that mattered to Ethan, as he sat proudly next to his lover. “So, I figured why not help him out before our little friend, the headmaster gets to him.”
Alistair leaned back into the sofa. When his father promised him interesting news, he didn’t know what to expect. But, a human? He had forgotten what it was like to be on the other side. Even if he had just been there to drop his daughter off. This guy would get eaten alive if he didn’t have the right protection. “I can most definitely help him, if I’m sure he’s not a threat.”
“I’m not a threat,” Jeffrey answered.
Alistair stared at him and let out a low chuckle. “Of course you would say that, but how can I be sure? How did you get here?”
“I don’t know,” Jeffrey answered truthfully. “I don’t remember much. A family tie thats pretty vague. I know my name, and where I’m from. A few faces and names, but thats about it.”
“You love mysteries son!” Ethan practically exclaimed, a smile on his face. “He’s a human. I don’t sense anything strange about him, but let the girls check him out. If he doesn’t hold up, they’ll know. I personally don’t think we should let a human wander around with no protection. But, I’m not the keeper of magic.”
“So much pressure.” Alistair rolled his eyes. He smiled to himself, thankful that Declan was asleep upstairs at this hour. He’d definitely fight Ethan on this.
“You called daddy?” Charlotte asked.
“Yes, girls. This is Jeffrey Bennett. Your grandfather found him wandering around Moonlight Falls. You probably sense that he’s a human right off the bat. Well,” He turned to Jeffrey. “You don’t mind if they inspect you, do you?”
Jeff shrugged. “As long as they don’t bite me or-” He hadn’t bother to look up at the girls until now. Their skin was an odd pigment, their eyes a bright yellow. Something about them made him feel uneasy. “Whats going on here?”
“You thought I was lying about supernaturals didn’t you?” Ethan rolled his eyes at the boy. “Magic, and the rest of the unbelievable, it exists.”
“How is that possible?” He asked in disbelief. “It isn’t-”
“Thats what I said when I first got here,” Apollo answered, quite fond of the memories. “But he’s not lying. You’ll get used to it. Just walk around a bit for yourself, you’ll see what I mean.”
Charlotte took the distraction as an opportunity to approach the boy. She’d be damned if she let Adeline be the prize child yet again. She could analyze people too, what made Addy so special? She leaned forward towards the boy and stared intently in his eyes. “What are you doing?” He asked, creeped out. “You’re really close to me.”
“You’re supposed to look in my eyes. It’s like this hypnotic gaze. You’re supposed to be hypnotized!” Charlotte looked at the boy wide eyed. “It’s not working.”
“You never were a good vampire,” Her father joked.
“Thats not funny,” She complained. She reached out for Jeffrey and pulled his shirt collar so he was inches in front of her own face. “Look into my eyes.”
“What are you doing?” He tried to pull away from her, but her grasp was incredibly strong. “Let me go!”
“Not until you look into my eyes, damn it!”
“Jeffrey Bennett, child of Robert and Grace Bennett. You have 5 siblings. Drew, Alex, Jennifer, Amanda, and Diana. When you were a child, you witnessed-” Adeline stopped talking. She held her hand to her heart and shut her eyes. She looked deep in thought for a moment. “It’s okay. There is no room for that pain here. I am sorry for even mentioning it. It’s not my place to talk about. Daddy, he is okay.”
“What the fuck?” Charlotte demanded. “I was working on him!”
“You were harassing the poor fellow,” Apollo told her.
“Grandpa, I was just trying to get my powers to work, thats all! She didn’t have to jump in like that!” Charlotte crossed her arms over her chest and slid into the chair next to her dad. She was getting real tired of Adeline.
“Baby.” Alistair stroked his daughter’s hair. “Relax. Her powers are just a bit more developed than yours. No need to be so upset.” She hate dthe words he was saying but his voice was so soothing. She closed her eyes and leaned against her father.
“She isn’t one of us,” Charlotte kept repeating in her head. “Not one of us. An outsider.”
Millie stared in horror at the scene unfold. “Just stop fighting you two! I already lost one sister, I’m not losing another one, alright?”
“No need to fight now girls,” Apollo said. “I apologize for the actions of my family.” Being the oldest one in the room, Apollo felt responsible for the girl’s actions. He turned to Jeff. “Are you alright.”
“Yeah,” he muttered. “That was strange. How did she know all of that?”
Adeline didn’t answer, she just stared at him. Ethan stepped in to speak. “She’s special. There is no one like her here.”
“Purebreed vampire,” Charlotte mocked, eyes still shut tightly.
“Vampire? Then you’re one too?” He asked in shock.
“Apparently not a strong one,” She muttered.
“Enough,” Alistair said, stroking his daughter’s hair. “Don’t be a baby. You’re both incredible girls.”
“My daughter says you’re alright,” Alistair continued. “That means you’re okay in my book. I want you to come to my magic lessons tomorrow. Do you have a place to stay?”
“Not exactly,” Jeff replied. “I kind of just woke up here. I don’t know…” His voice trailed off. He was watching Adeline from the corner of his eye.
“Father, he has a connection to our family. Caleb Gray,” She said. Jeffrey tried to keep a straight face. Had she found out so quickly? “His uncle…Gene Bennett? Yes, his name is Gene Bennett, he was friends with Caleb Gray.”
“I do recall Uncle Caleb talking about a Gene he met on some television show when he was younger,” Apollo recalled. Jeffrey gulped. They didn’t know about Drew, did they? And the other dimensions? Mason told him to make sure they didn’t know the truth. He had no other plan so he was sticking to it.
“Thats interesting,” Jeffrey said. “I had no idea.”
Alistair smiled. “Another reason to trust you then. You can stay here for the time being until we can find you a place to stay.”
“Nonsense.” Ethan interrupted. “He’s staying with me and Apollo. He’s a grown man and you have three beautiful girls in this house.”
“I would never try anything, sir,” He added the last part quickly.
“An old man can never be too precautious, now can he?” Ethan asked aloud. “Of course, Adeline would sense if you were up to no good, and Charlotte and Millie could take you down with their eyes closed. Thats besides the point.”
“You can stay in our guest room,” Apollo said. “It would be no problem to have you over.” He suspected his husband might have wanted to watch over the mysterious boy.
“Thank you, sir.” He nodded graciously. “I really appreciate that.”
“We’ll take good care of you,” Ethan said.
“Alright, then it’s set.” Alistair stood up. “Come tomorrow morning. I’ll have a few students over for lessons. You’d benefit greatly if you listened to a lecture and maybe did some hands on potion making. This isn’t the other side. It’s dangerous here. You can’t let your guard down.” Alistair must have heard the boy gulp, or saw the terrified look on his face. “Don’t worry, Charlotte and Millie will be here. As long as you’re a guest of mine, they’ll protect you, isn’t that right girls?”
Charlotte rolled her eyes but nodded. “I sure as hell am not going out of my way though.”
“You’re in good hands,” Millie told him. “We’re all pretty powerful. Even grandpa Apollo and he’s human just like you.”
Apollo chuckled and ruffled the girl’s hair. “You’re too kind to me darling.”