Charlotte crossed her arms over her chest. Dionysus had told her that the person she was looking for was in the cemetery. By the time she had left the consignment shop, it was already dark. Because of some religious beliefs held by the Elven people, Dionysus could not step foot into the cemetery himself. The Elven people had their own mourning ground in their village. She wouldn’t impede on his beliefs, so she headed off on her own. Keeping the Elven leader happy would be best so that they would ally themselves with her father’s cause. Her cause. if they were to dethrone Damian, they’d need all the help they could get. The people of Moonlight Falls would have to stand together. So far, the fairies and werewolves were staying neutral and they were two large factors in this fight. Their support would turn the tide of battle instantly. But, before Charlotte could focus on that, she’d have to get rid of the intruder. She felt what Dionysus was telling her. Someone was messing with her heart and emotions. She frowned at the thought of her unstable emotions. She had yearned for a good relationship with Adeline since they had begun to drift apart. It was a terrible feeling fighting with your twin. They were supposed to stick together, and now Adeline was making the effort. It all seemed strange that she was being so forward. Things weren’t making sense, so of course when Dionysus suggested that someone was tampering, she believed him.
“Charlotte…” She jumped at the sound of her sister’s voice. “You did not think that I wouldn’t follow you, did you?”
“How did you know?” Charlotte asked, eyes lowered at the girl.
“I returned to the consignment shop to revive Dionysus, but it seemed like he was fine. He told me the same thing that he told you. I could not leave you to handle this alone. Especially not when I know who is behind this.”
“You know?” Charlotte asked. “You know and you didn’t stop them?”
“I’ve just pieced it together myself,” She admitted. “There is something constricting both of our hearts. I am a bit more tolerable than you are to it. It’s because of my powers, but when I revived grandpa, it left me vulnerable. Her effects were able to take root, hence yours and my unusual anger.”
“What about your unusual kindness?” Charlotte asked, annoyed. “That’s strange too.”
“I’ve always been on your side, I’ve just never been able to show it the way I’d like to.” She frowned. “This war is a tricky business. I’d like to think that I’ve kept you out of danger.”
“Danger?” Charlotte shook her head. “There’s always been danger.”
Adeline contemplated coming clean, and then sighed. It seemed rare that Adeline ever smiled anymore. “My allegiance is with you, not Altiere. I would like a peaceful world just as much as you.”
“It doesn’t seem like it,” Charlotte answered.
“Of course not, you’ve always been too stubborn to see whats in front of you. You’re alienating everyone who cares about you and I’d like to blame it solely on the person whose been manipulating us, but I don’t think that I can. For the most part, you’ve been in control of your emotions. It’s getting worse now because they’ve brought someone into this realm who should not be there. But, you’ve been insufferable before that.”
“Gee, thanks. For a second there I thought that maybe I was wrong for hating you all of my life.” Charlotte crossed her arms over her chest impatiently.
“Am I lying? You push everyone away. Even your friends. You keep Zander and Silas at a comfortable enough distance where you don’t have to open up. Millie feels like she cannot ask you about certain things because you’re very guarded and thats your own sister saying that. The worst of all is not the family that you push away, because we will always come back. It’s the others. Like, Jeff.”
“I’ve had enough of this conversation,” Charlotte said. “I’m not here for this.”
“See?” Adeline asked. “You’re running away. You never face things head on, and you always put up this tough girl act. Just stop. There is someone out there who understands the past that you’re trying to run from. Someone who knows even more about time travel and loss than you think, but everytime he tries to get close you get scared and act irrationally. You know he holds you in a high regard. He’d fight this battle with you if you asked him. But, I can tell that he’s losing his patience and will to hold on to that image of you that he once saw. I don’t know why he puts up with you, given his past, you represent everything that he hates, everything that has destroyed his life. How much longer do you think you can shout at him and treat him like your punching bag before he wakes up and realizes that he deserves so much better?”
Charlotte was livid at the accusations of her sister. They had hit her hard, mostly because they were true. Her sister could read people, but no one more than her twin. They were connected by blood and heart. She clenched her fists. “Do I care about what Jeff does? Let him leave if he doesn’t like me! You can leave too, see if I care. I don’t need you or anyone else, really.”
“Is that what you really want? Because I’ll tell him right now thats how you feel, and you’ll never have to deal with him again, my beautiful daughter.”
Both girls turned to face the new arrival. “I was afraid it was you,” Adeline said. “I was really hoping it wasn’t.”
“What are you accusing me of? Other than trying to visit my two beautiful angels,” She replied.
Charlotte looked at her pale skin, glowing golden eyes and blue hair. There was no doubt that this was Aria Woods, her birth mother. “You have tampered with our hearts. Our father didn’t neglect to tell us what you did to get him to sleep with you. It is obvious that you wanted children, and now I finally understand why. You have some convuluted plan,” Adeline answered calmly.
“I’m sorry that it took so long for me to see you girls again. I really wanted to come back into your lives, but your father is such a shrewd man. He wouldn’t let me within inches of you guys-”
Charotte cut her off angrily. “What the hell did you do to our hearts?”
“Nothing, that would be impossible,” Aria answered simply. “I’m a vampire, not some kind of mythical wizard.”
“I have figured it out,” Adeline told her sister. “Now that she is within a close range, I can see the connection between all of our hearts, It is not what you’d expect, I am not talking about bonds, but a physical chain. That’s the best way I can explain it.”
Charlotte stared at the woman in front of her and was reminded of a conversation with Jeff she had had only a few short days ago.
“My mom is the daughter of the headmaster.” She tried again to vocalize her history. “She somehow sped up time…I don’t know how, but she did and somehow, manipulated my dad into sleeping with her. She was trying to get the vampire genes to revive Altiere and well, he came back to life anyway. But, he and Aria are a part of me. I’m bad because of them, I’m never be able to be as great as my father, because I don’t have the family that he has. I’m reminded of that everyday of my life.”
Jeff slid next to Charlotte. “Is that what you think? That because of some genetics you’re a bad person?”
“I’m a terrible person and you get the brunt of it every single day,” Charlotte said. “It’s just facts.”
Aria was everything that she feared she would become. A heartless wrench of a woman who used people for her personal gain. Charlotte had exhibited that same trait more than once. She had slammed any attempts of comradery between her and Jeff. She even went as far as trying to brainwash him. Her insecurities were more deeply rooted than she pretended. Charlotte’s biggest fear was being forgotten. In her lifetime of being second to the wonderful and perfect Adeline, she felt more and more insecure about her entire being. She had never believed that she was worth a grain of salt. She was average, but she wanted to feel like she wasn’t. She had been insufferable to a really nice person, because he was a human, she thought that by putting him down, she’d feel at least a little superior. But, every time she saw his look of aggravation, she felt horrible about what she had been doing. It soon became a thing of pushing him away, because he had been getting to close to what she really felt. She was afraid more than anything, that he’d see the woman that Charlotte would inevitably become, so she pushed him away, as far away as she could. It was working, apparently and it didn’t feel satisying. It felt terrible, but such was tthe life she deserved.
As if sensing everything, Adeline frowned. “Charlotte…”
“Your emotions are overwhelming, even for me,” Aria said.
Charlotte held her head in her hands. “Please stop.”
“You should not be able to feel her emotions,” Adeline said. “You’re not purebred.”
“We are all connected, and have been since you were born. All four of us. You girls, me and of course your father, the real one, Altiere” She tucked her long heair behind her ear. “We are going to be a real family.”
Charlotte’s eyes widened in shock. “No, absolutely not. I want nothing to do with either of you!”
“The last part wasn’t meant for you, dear. You’re a half breed. You inherited more of the host than my dear husband. Adeline will be our wonderful daughter in all of her father’s glory. You can stay with your pathetic witch of a father.”
“Alistair Gray is my father, not Altiere,” Adeline said angrily. “Charlotte is my sister. You cannot change that fact.”
“You are not a Gray, you are part of the Woods family,” Aria replied.
Charlotte looked to her sister in confusion and shock. What the hell was this woman going on about? “Are you an idiot?” Aria asked, annoyed. “We’ve been lying to you this whole time. My father, me and Altiere, we’re all purebred vampires. We made up some lame family history to trick Moonlight Falls, how else do you think my father was able to reach such an indeterminate rule?”
“All of this time, you thought that Altiere was going to help you defeat my dear dad. That he’d start his own rebellion, and that you’d let him defeat Damian and then betray him, huh?” Aria turned to Adeline. “Just like that pathetic pink haired male thought he could do. Everything Altiere did was planned, since the minute Alistair was born. I really thought that Ethan Nair would be smart enough to realize that Frost Bite was working under me when she gave him that disgusting brat, not Emit. You guys really need to check your facts. We’ve been alive for centuries, and will be for a thousand more.”
“That is disgusting,” Adeline practically growled. “What do you gain from targetting my family?”
“It isn’t obvious?” Aria asked. “The Grays have been so preoccupied with fighting Mason and the guardians that they have been the perfect family to manipulate. As for what we gain, Moonlight Falls. Everyone will fall. Except for you, my darling. You are not one of them. You’re part of my family, and will be for many more centuries.”
“The hell?” Charlotte asked, suddenly. “You stupid bitch, why connect me to your stupid convoluted heart!? All of this time I’ve spent pushing people away in fear of hurting them and turning out like you! All of this time, I had a fear of people, and I was starting to understand why…our hearts are connected. But if you didn’t need me, then why?”
“We had no idea that one of you would be born with more Gray genes than the other. The imprint was since birth. I’m sorry it turned out this way, you’re a gorgeous little thing, but we can only take purebred vampires into our Kingdom. We’ll be creating a new race of perfect vampires.” Aria turned around and faced in front of the mausoleum. “Adeline, your time is now, venture forth with me.”
“Absolutely not,” She said defiantly. “I am not Adeline Woods. I am Adeline Gray. You will not use me as your pawn and I will not abandon my sister.”
“You will,” She said. “I am in possession of the person who is causing so much strain in your family. Your grandfather is going to die if you don’t come with me.”
Adeline bit her lip. “How can I believe you?”
“They’re in there,” Charlotte said. “Whoever they are. It says so on the amulet.” Charlotte held up Dionysus’ amulet. “I trust him.”
“I must thank him. We weren’t working together, but it seems like his act of good will led you all to me. I was going to come get you myself, but this is wonderful timing. Adeline, come with me. I will allow you both to enter the mausoleum, and Charlotte may leave with the person in question. It is a fair trade, is it not?”
“I don’t trust her,” Charlotte growled.
Adeline shook her head. “I know, but what other choice is there? I will handle this. Go home.”
“No,” Charlotte answered. “I will not let this bitch keep doing what she’s doing. I’ve dreamed about meeting her my whole life, and I had more than just a few choice words for her.”
“Charlotte.” She let out a sigh, knowing she couldn’t stop her sister. “If anything happens and I tell you to leave, do it, alright?” She nodded. “No matter what happens, I have always loved you, and I will always be a Gray.”