Charlotte glared at the door bell. How many times would she have to ring it until someone came to answer it? She didn’t like this house, it gave her the chills. She could sense that immeasurable pain was caused here, yet it’s where her grandfathers chose to call home. She never understood why. She only insisted that they come over her dad’s house, rather than her go there. But, today was different. She needed to see Jeff. For two reasons. One, she had to tell him about the lead she found. Nobody else knew about Patrick’s mission. And two, she wanted to apologize. She had thought over her words and felt terrible about being so mean. Really, Charlotte wasn’t so bad, she just let her emotions get the better of her. She was told it was a Gray thing, and she couldn’t do anything about it. She could rectify the situation afterward if Jeff allowed her to. “Grandpa…any day now. Open up. Hello?” She tapped her foot impatiently by the door. What the hell were they doing that made them ignore the door bell. “Grandpa!”
“I’m right here, relax.” Charlotte looked up to see Ethan. “What brings you here sweetheart?”
“Is Jeff here?” She asked.
“Wow, look who’s suddenly interested in that human she despised.” He raised his brow playfully at his granddaughter. “Change of heart?”
“I just want to apologize to him, because of what Grandpa told me. It has nothing to do with me liking him. At all. Gross. He’s human.”
Ethan stepped aside and let the vampire enter his home. “Whats so wrong with humans? Your grandfather and dad are humans.”
“Declan used to be a mage so that doesn’t count, and grandpa is an exception. He’s been through a lot and brought his family happiness, prosperity and strength,” Charlotte said.
“You don’t know that Jeff hasn’t done that,” Ethan said. “You can’t be selective and say you hate a whole species and then pick and choose. You know, that sounds very racist.”
She sighed in annoyance. “Don’t say it like that, I don’t hate humans! I just don’t think that they belong here. I think that they should stay where they belong unless they can keep up.”
“This is what we’re fighting,” Ethan explained. “Equality for all species and occults. You’re not above Jeff, I don’t know how many people have to tell you that. Just because you have powers and he doesn’t? I hate to tell you this, but Jeff can hold his own against you, Charlotte. He’s tough, and smart. What he lacks for physically, he has mentally. Have you had a real conversation with him where you’re not arguing? He has a lot of smart things to say, and he’s humble. I like him more than half the supernaturals here.”
Charlotte didn’t look impressed. “Are we talking about the same guy? Jeff is so great, yeah. Okay. I’ve yet to see that.”
“Every time I see you talking to Jeff, or about Jeff, or hear about your run ins with Jeff, it’s always negative. Char, you have to play nice with people. I love you to death, but you really have a temper, and you think that you’re better than everyone,” Ethan said. “You could learn something from Jeff.”
“Granpa!” Charlotte cried. “You’re supposed to be on my side. I’m your granddaughter, he’s just some moocher! Does he even work to help you pay bills, or-”
“Charlotte.” She could hear her grand father getting annoyed, which didn’t happen much. She just didn’t use tact when talking to people. “Do you pay bills in your house?”
“My dad is the keeper of magic, it’s different,” Charlotte said.
“It’s not different. You’re dependent on your father’s income. Well, Jeff is dependent on us. You can actually work, he can’t. He has to be accompanied by a supernatural at all times. You’re fortunate that your family is who they are, otherwise you’d be facing much tougher circumstances. Just ask Declan what happened to his parents.”
“If I wanted a lecture, I’d have stayed home,” Charlotte said.
“Act your age Charlotte. You need to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you.” He sighed in annoyance. “Alistair spoiled you too much. It’s because of all the time he missed. He created a little diva.” Ethan shook his head. “Not in my house. There are rules here, and you won’t act selfishly. If you want to have a civilized conversation with Jeff, he’s upstairs. But if I hear that you did something, I’m going to punish you.” Why had it taken 20+ years for someone to discipline Charlotte? She was out of control.
“Jeff…” He groaned as he heard the voice. He looked up from his book.
“You tracked me down here to yell at me, haven’t you? Can you save it? I’m in the middle of reading something important.” He looked back down at his book. He was only teasing her. For some reason, annoying her brought him great joy. It was something about seeing her face twitch, and her demeanor change. She had feelings, that meant.
“I come all the way down here, listen to my grandfather’s lectures, to come second to a book? Yeah right. Close that thing and pay attention to me,” She demanded. She was on edge, frustrated even. Did her grandfather think she’d benefit from hearing she wasn’t center of attention? She knew she wasn’t, and she’d never be. Did he have to rub that in her face? Did he have to make her feel worthless, more than she already did?
“Wow, Charlotte. You’re hitting a new level of needy. You like me that much that I have to give you my full attention?” Jeff teased.
But Charlotte wasn’t in a joking mood. “You think that you’re so special? I deserve your full attention, I don’t deserve to stand here and be treated liek this-”
“I’m joking,” Jeff said finally. He hit a sore spot and he knew it. “I didn’t mean anything. You’ll always have my full attention if you want it. It’d be rude to ignore you, my parents raised me better than that. Vampire or not, you’re still a lady, and I can’t ignore a lady when she has something to say.” He looked up at the ceiling. “Thanks for that lesson mom. Now I’m stuck listening to this crazy girl.”
She wanted to say something to him, but she understood. “Your mom is…?” Her voice was quite, and low.
She slowly approached him. Jeff looked away, embarassed. Talking to his mother was something he usually did in his head, but ever since he got to Moonlight Falls, he tried to escape his thoughts. They always led back to Mason one way or another. He didn’t know why, but his words were still fresh in his mind, no matter how far in the past they were. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I’ve been intolerable and-” She stopped. Normally, something like this wouldn’t phase her, but she understood, at least to some degree. Mothers were another topic that drove her insane. “My mom-” She stopped again, unable to find the right words. Was this happening right now?
“It’s okay,” Jeff mumbled. “Don’t. I-” He stopped as well. They just stared at each other, unable to formulate words. Jeff couldn’t steady his thoughts, and neither could Charlotte. She closed her eyes to focus on the male. She could feel the vulnerability slightly and she tried to distance herself from that. She didn’t want to feel his pain. If Adeline was here, she’d be weeping by him, she had a way of knowing someone’s emotions better than even they knew it. Charlotte could sense things, and feel a tinge of what they were feeling if it was strong enough, but it was easy for her to block it out if her mind was clear. “My mom was shot,” He said finally. He hadn’t planned on telling her at all, but he felt like she needed to hear it. Or, maybe he needed to say it out loud. To make it real, to ground him. “By this crazy woman who wanted revenge on my father. He…he got shot too. He…” Jeff shut his eyes, recalling the moment. “You’re lucky to have the family that you do. They care about you. You have a great life.”
“Do I?” She mumbled. “I mean, yes. I do. Compared to what happened to you, but…I’m sorry…damnit!” She held her head in her hands. “Why did you tell me that? What am I supposed to do with that information? I can’t do anything to help you, I can’t even say anything coherent about that!” Charlotte was blabbering. Hearing Jeff’s confession made her nervous, and filled her with anxiety. She felt so much more pressure. Jeff frowned. Why the hell had he told her about his past? He shouldn’t have even opened his mouth to begin with, but he counldn’t control the words. They just spilled out. He hadn’t even told her everything. She stared at him, eyes cloudy with tears. “You just told me your parents were shot, what do I say?”
“Nothing.” Jeff stood up, his breath steady and even. “You don’t have to say anything. I just felt like telling you that about my life. I thought you might want to know a little bit about me. Or, I don’t know, I don’t have a real reason for telling you that. I didn’t mean to cause you stress. Sorry.”
Charlotte looked away and quickly wiped the little bit of tears that had fallen over her left eye. She was confused, and when she didn’t have a handle on the situation, it terrified her. You see, Charlotte was really more talk than walk. She stopped what she was doing when she felt something hit her. “What the hell?”
Jeff grinned mischeviously, a pillow in his hand. He didn’t know why she was so upset. She began to say something about her mother, but he stopped her. Did that bring back memories, or had she felt bad for him? Either way, he felt like he caused her distress and he wanted to fix it. “KEep your guard up, you’re a vampire. You didn’t sense that?”
“Bennett, I’d back up if I were you, I’m the best at whacking people in the face, trust me.” With lightning fast speed she had dashed to his bed and grabbed the other pillow that was lying there. “You sure you want to challenge me?” Changing the subject was good. But, she felt a warm sensation in her heart, that Jeff had opened up to her made her feel giddy for some reason. At least she knew there was a reason behind his attitude. Or rather, his reaction to her attitude.
Charlotte stood triumphantly. “Like I said, Bennett. Police training could do nothing to prepare you. I’m the best.”
“You’re extremely violent, is that healthy?” He asked, rubbing his neck. “I didn’t know a pillow could hurt so much.”
“Don’t be a wuss.” She was acting as if their previous conversation never happened, and he was greatful. He didn’t want to revisit it, and she didn’t know how to approach her own feelings, let alone helping him sort his. “You said you can handle yourself, right? Well, if you let a little pillow hurt you, I probably can’t take you with me to see this journalist. I wonder what kind of supernatural he is? Oh, I hope he’s not a vampire, that might be sketchy.”
“Huh?” Jeff blinked. “What journalist?”
“Oh yeah, that stupid fairy ruined our conversation yesterday. I found a lead regarding that thing Patrick told us to do. This guy seems to know a bit about the state of the Darich Curious Shoppe. Thats the museum where we met Patrick. It’s supposed to be owned by Robin, one of the guys we’re looking for. Well, this journalist guy has written quite a few articles about the musuem as it declined. I think he may know a bit more about the situation than we do. it’s worth checking it out.”
Jeff frowned. “Is this smart?”
“Of course it’s smart,” Charlotte said. “We have to solve this mystery.”
“I used to be a cop,” Jeff explained. “I know all about solving the unsolvable, but sometimes you need to know when a situation is dangerous. This is one of those situations. With Patrick I mean. It screams bad news to me. I think you should tell your dad.”
“I can do this,” Charlotte said. “I’m tired of people doubting me.”
“I’m not saying that you can’t,” Jeff said. “I’m saying that it might unearth something really dangerous. Your dad is the keeper of magic, and this guys is supposedly his friend but doesn’t want him to know that he’s alive? Why doesn’t he want your dad to know? It seems fishy to me. I don’t think this is a good idea.”
Charlotte hesitated for a moment. But then readied her powers anyway. “I’m sorry Jeff, but I really need your help for this. You can’t blab to anyone about my plans.” Jeff was vulnerable in this moment, and she was able to slither into his mind. He wasn’t guarded, and fighting it, so not much power was needed. She filled his mind with thoughts of silence. She needed to make sure that he didn’t rat her out, even if he didn’t come with her to this journalist’s house. She had a bad feeling that he would tell her dad himself. She wanted to prove to everyone that she could do it. She was capable of doing something big.
He stared listlessly into space for a few moments while Charlotte rearranged his thoughts. She could influence someone’s thoughts, but she couldn’t read their minds. She wasn’t powerful enough, Adeline probably could though. She didn’t bother to keep track of her sister anymore. “Now, Jeff,” Charlotte began. “Tell me what you’re not going to do.”
“I’m not going to say anything.” His voice was in a monotonous tone. “I will not interfere with your plans.”
She grinned. “Ahah, good. It worked. If you would have just gone along with me, this wouldn’t have happened. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to go.” She stepped away from him, shrieking as an angry gaze fell on her.