“I’ll get it!” Millie called from the living room. “You and Jeff keep talking. It seems really important.”
“Thank you, dear. If it’s anyone important please let us know,” Alistair replied.
Millie opened the door with a puzzled expression. “Uh, can I help you?”
“My name is Lorie Relevart. I’m your great grandmother’s sister, so like…your great aunt I think? It doesn’t matter. I need to speak to Alistair Gray.”
Millie crossed her arms over her chest. “It does matter. I’m not just going to let a stranger into my house. My great aunt would be dead by now, don’t you think?”
Lorie grinned. “Not if she’s a time traveler! My dad is Emit Relevart, so your great great grandfather? It’s really complicated with this family, but I really need to speak to your dad.”
Millie took a step back, still eyeing the woman. “Dad! Get in here, I think we have a problem.”
“Let the guest in,” Alistair called. He turned to Jeff. “Pay very close attention to whoever it is. They might have a clue about the wherabouts of my daughters.”
Jeff nodded. When the woman walked in, Alistair turned his head in confusion. “Can I help you?”
“Yes, and I can help you,” She said. “The name’s Lorie Relevart. I’m your grandmother’s sister.”
“I vaguely recall a Lorie,” Alistair said thoughtfully. “Let me guess, time trouble?”
“How did you know?” She frowned.
“My father fell ill a couple of days ago because of a person who wasn’t supposed to be here. There’s a hole in the timeline or something, correct?”
Lorie nodded furiously. “Good, I don’t have to explain it to you then! Aria brought my sister back to life. That would be a direct connection to Apollo which explains his illness. If she doesn’t leave this timeline, well, I’m sure you know what happens.”
Lorie peered behind Alistair. “He’s not going to be a problem, is he? I’m about to explain some really deep family secrets.”
“I’m sure he’ll be family soon enough.” Alistair said low enough that Jeff wouldn’t hear him and smiled. “Anyway, he’s my investigator. So I’d like him to stay and listen. Jeff, this is my uh…relative from the past, Lorie.”
She nodded. “It’s up to you. I mean, it’s nothing serious anyway, but I know a lot of people want to see the Grays fail. Anyway, nice to meet you Jeff.”
“Likewise.” He nodded in acknowledgement. He was playing with his hands, too nervous to look up. Not at the newcomer, but at the idea that Charlotte could be in trouble, when he had seen her so recently.
“Let’s get down to business, shall we? I’ll start from the beginning. Cora Lyons is my mother. She is working quite closely with Aria Woods, and as payment she asked for her daughters to be resurrected.First, Aria tried resurrecting me. But, my father, Emit, got to me first. I’ve been training under him along with your sister, Pandora, to help manage and oversee the timelines. When Aria’s plan didn’t work the first time, she tried again, this time with Altiere’s help.”
“The other vampire?” Jeff recalled a moment in which Charlotte expressed her hatred for the man. Now, it seemed rightfully so.
“You mean?!” Alistair’s eyes widened. “Then…he really is trying to take Adeline as his heiress. He wants her power to rule over Moonlight Falls.”
“Yeah, and he’s working with that other scum vampire as well, Damian Woods.”
“Dad!” Millie had overheard the conversation and ran over. “This is not good at all! We are not prepared for the three most powerful vampires teaming up.”
“They’re incredibly powerful, but I know where their base is. I can sense Leia. She’s in the graveyard. I checked there before, and I think your daughters are in the mausoleum.” At everyone’s confusion, she sighed. “I watch over the timelines, so I know all about everything thats happened since I died. You don’t have to catch me up.”
“The mausoleum? We have to go then!” Millie exclaimed.
“They’re expecting, at least, Alistair. You’re the keeper of magic, you can’t go. If anything happens to you, the resistance is over,” Lorie said.
“Let me go,” Jeff said, standing up. “I’ve been in the heat of battle before. I can handle it.”
“You’re human,” Millie said. “We can’t let you go.”
“Hold on!” Alistair moved his hands to get everyone’s attention. “I need to call some people and then we can have a real discussion about this.”
Apollo’s eyes widened. “This is…weird.”
“She really is my great aunt then?” Millie asked. “So cool!”
Jeff looked down at his own hands. It worked for him, why wouldn’t it work for her? “Not, so cool,” Ethan said. “Cora is at it again, for the…what is it? Third time. I am getting so sick of her and her little gang. We have to finally end this.”
“I agree,” Alistair said. “But we have to tread with caution. There are three powerful vampires, and some other supernaturals involved in this.” He thought of Patrick and the others. “The resistance needs to be really strong to win this war.”
“The first order of business sshould be saving your daughters, and getting my sister back in time with me. She’ll die if she stays any longer, and everyone else who came after her will as well. You won’t exist.”
Alistair felt his mouth going dry. He knew the war would be bad, but he didn’t think it was this bad. “Does anyone have a plan?”
“Send me in,” Jeff said impatiently. “I’m human, does that allow me to slink under their radar or something?”
“It’s dangerous,” Alistair said. “But…maybe.” He hesitated. “I can craft a potion that can diminish the aura you let out. Altiere isn’t familiar with you, so he wouldn’t be able to sense you in that case, but you’d need someone to go in with you in case anything happens.”
“I’ll go with you, Jeff,” Millie said. “I’ve been training forever for this. it’s time for me to use what I learned out of the classroom.”
“I…” Alistair bit his lip. “It was just a suggestion, but…”
“You don’t want them to go, do you?” Ethan asked. “Afraid of what will happen?”
“Go with them,” Alistair said. “Please, dad.”
“No,” Lorie said. “This man needs to stay right by his husband. You need a steady magic source in case Apollo gets another attack. Alistair, keep your defenses up. I will go, personally.”
“You?” Apollo asked. “No offense, aunt Lorie, but these vampires don’t play games.”
She shrugged. “Neither do I. I don’t have any powers, but Cora is my mother. Considering she wanted to try so hard to bring me to life, I think it’ll be a good distraction. Jeff and Millie can sneak in and get the girls.”
“There’s no other option?” Alistair frowned.
“Mr. Gray,” Jeff said. “I’ve done so may stealth jobs, I can do this.” I want to save Charlotte. But he wouldn’t say that part out loud. “I want to do this.”
“Let him do it,” Declan said. All eyes turned on him. “He’s been in several of your lessons, Alistair. And, Millie will be there as well.”
“I’m shocked you’re the one wanting them to take risks,” Apollo said.
Declan looked sincerely at the man. “If I could go in myself and do it, I would. But Altiere hates me, and he knows my aura quite well. Damn it…this is my fault isn’t it?”
“No,” Alistair said. “It’s not. Don’t ever say that. This is Damian and Altiere. Not you.”
Declan shook his head. “I could have stopped this so much earlier. We could have…it was right in our sights. I gave it all up.”
Alistair tried to hide the frown that made it’s way on his face. Was Declan regretting giving up his powers for him? Alistair put his heads in his hands. “Its not that simple. I…damn it, Declan. I can’t do this right now.”
He frowned. “You know I didn’t mean it like that, I love you, and the life we made for each other.”
“I said, not right now.” Alistair stood up. “Jeff, Lorie, Millie, come with me. I’ll get you guys the potions.”
“Shit,” Declan muttered, rubbing his eyes.
Adeline and Leia sat across from each other, back to back. “I’m sorry.” Adeline looked up at the blue haired woman who had opened her mouth.
Adeline frowned. “For what? This isn’t your fault.”
“I…do not know what is going on. I know that me being here causes a problem, but I don’t know anything else. I feel uneasiness around that woman who claims she’s my mother.”
“I think she really is your mother,” Adeline replied. “But, she isn’t worth you worrying about. She has been terrorizing my family…our family for a long time. Her and everyone else she’s working with.”
“That is…horrible!” Leia cried. “Can I make it stop?”
“We have to wait,” Adeline said. “I have no power left to act on my own, but I’m sure someone will come. He’ll come, to save her.”
Adeline turned to answer, but stopped when she heard loud footsteps.
Adeline jumped to her feet. “Where is my sister!?”
Altiere put his hands up in front of him to calm the girl down. “Do not concern yourself with Charlotte anymore. She is a Gray.”
“I’m a Gray too,” Adeline said. “I always will be, no matter what you try to force me to do.”
“Your blood says otherwise,” Altiere said calmly. “Even your that man you call a father is a copy of me, can’t you tell from the resemblance?”
Adeline covered her ears. “Stop talking! I know about my dad’s circumstances, and it was the guardians. Are you working for them?”
“Angel is a pest. I would be glad to rid myself of her, and that time traveler, well, he seems to hate my presence, for whatever reason.” Altiere listed off things. “I won’t concern myself with lower beings. We will be the perfect race.”
“I don’t want a perfect race. I like things the way they are!” Adeline cried.
“Don’t be naive!” Altiere shouted. “We are outnumbered in this world. It is foolish of you to think that we vampires can live a normal life.”
“Why can’t we?” Adeline asked. “I’ve seen Charlotte do it for so long. She has friends who are not vampires, parents who love her…what more does one need?”
“But, what about you?” Altiere asked. “What about the life you want to live?”
“I’m living it,” Adeline said.
“In your sister’s shadow. You have to play daddy’s little spy while Charlotte gets everything she wants. A life like that is superficial. You need a place where you can strive. That is with your family, here.”
“No.” Adeline shook her head. “I am happy.”
“You’re not. I can see it in your face. How much of life have you given up for the rest of your family to be happy? You are the powerful one, embrace it. Take what is yours.”
Adeline clutched her head but she couldn’t block out the incessant pounding. Leia looked on in silence. What would she say? She knew nothing of this world, or of herself.
“You, girl. Look at me.” Altiere demanded Leia’s attention. “How much of this do you actually understand?”
“Nothing,” Adeline answered for her. “You’ve returned her a blank slate.”
“Very good.” Altiere nodded. “As planned.” He looked back at Adeline. “True power is beckoning us. I’d really like for you to join us of your own free will.”
“And, if I don’t?” Adeline asked.
“Oh, it’s quite simple, really. I kill your sister. She’s going to die regardless, but do you want her last memory to be in a cold, hard, bloodied cell? How much longer do you think she can last with no fresh blood to drink? Oh, maybe I’ll unleash that boy and let her eat him. That might be fun.”
“Don’t you dare!” Adeline argued. “Jeff didn’t do anything.”
“Jeff?” Altiere smirked. “That’s the boy’s name. Very well.”
“Damn it…” Adeline muttered. “You tricked me.”
“Just open your eyes,” Altiere said. “None of this really has to be painful. They’re all going to die anyway. Ally yourself with me and survive. Better yet, live the fulfilling life you want.” He walked to the door. “I’ll come back soon to hear your answer.”
[AN: Take this picture of Charlotte that I posted on tumblr. Follow me on legendofsim.tumblr.com to get sneak peeks and other insights at my stories!]