“One more time,” Charlotte said in disbelief. “There’s no way you’re that good of a kisser. I mean of course it’s amplified by my abilities.”
“Woah there,” Jeff said. “You don’t get to question my kissing abilities. You keep coming back for more, don’t you?”
“Yeah, to test out my theory,” Charlotte argued.
He laughed. “Can’t you just admit that you love me too? Or at least like me.”
“I love you,” She said. “Don’t ever ask me to say it again, because I won’t and I’ll deny it until my last breath.”
“Ouch, my pride,” Jeff said. “I only get to hear it once?”
“Don’t be all playful and flirt with me,” Charlotte said. “I still hate you.”
“You just said you loved me,” Jeff replied.
“Yeah, but I hate you too.” She plopped back down on her bed. “You make me so confused.”
“I knew it was too good to be true. Never in a million years would Charlotte Gray be nice to me.” He leaned against the wall and watched her.
She curled up into a ball. “Nope.”
He walked over to the door and shut the lights. “Hey, what are you doing?” She let out a yawn.
“You need to rest. You’ve been through a lot,” Jeff answered. “You’re still tired.”
“I’m not,” She said. “I’m wide awake. I’m a vampire, remember?”
“You just yawned.” He sighed. “You’re like a child. Get some sleep.”
“Whatever mom.” She rolled her eyes. When she heard the door open and light flood into the room, she opened her eyes. “You’re leaving?”
“Yeah. If I stay, you’ll be distracted and never get the rest you need to recover,” Jeff said.
“But you said…” She leaned over the bed and reached out to him. “That if you leave, I’ll get into trouble. You said you weren’t going to leave.”
“I’ll only be downstairs,” He said.
She shook her head fiercely. “Telling me you’re never going to leave me, and then you just leave. So rude.” She smirked as she heard his footsteps approaching her.
“Move over, brat,” He mumbled, a blush on his face. She did as she was told and Jeff got into the bed. He wrapped his arms around her and she leaned her head on him. He shut his eyes. It’d be good for him to get some rest as well.
Everyone was gathered around the table. “We should wait for Charlotte, she’ll be angry that we’re having a meeting without her,” Millie said.
“I’m going to talk to her separately. She needs her rest. Plus, her role in all of this is different. Shes more than proven her allegiance to the cause and her family. She’s the one I want to officially lead this war against Damian and Altiere.”
“What?” Declan asked.
“She’s the only one who can do it.” Alistair shrugged. “She has the hatred and the strength that everyone else lacks. She has something that will no doubt send the vampires running.”
“I don’t know about this,” Declan began.
“You don’t know about a lot of things,” Alistair snapped.
“Dad…” Millie said quietly.
Alistair glared at Declan. “What’s wrong with you? Has something happened?” Declan asked.
“I’m sick and tired of you, is what,” Alistair said, unable to contain his emotions any longer. This had been brewing for years, he felt. But, seeing his girls in trouble threw him over the edge. “You made me keep the girls with Altiere to begin with.”
“We both agreed it was a good idea for the girls to learn from the only purebreed vampire there. And they were fine, Patrick was there-”
“Enough!” Alistair slammed his fist on the table. “Stop lying. Please.” His last word was an act of desperation. To get through to his aloof husband.
“Daddy…” Millie said once again.
“Millie,” Adeline said calmly. “This has been on dad’s mind for a long time.”
“It has?” She frowned. She had noticed the strictly business relationship between her two dads. It was always, ‘I’m doing this to save the world’ not to support one another. But, this was hardly the time and place to discuss it.
“This is a conversation Declan and I will have later.” Alistair looked hurt. He counted off the number of warning signs that he had ignored in his head. Declan hated Alistair’s nephew, he had allowed Adeline and Charlotte to be with Altiere,the other day at the house he had made a remark that made it seem like he regretted giving up his powers for Alistair… something was up with him. But he couldn’t deal with it now. He turned his attention to the others at the table. “I apologize for airing our dirty laundry out in the open.”
Lorie spoke up to break the awkward silence. “What now?”
“I’d like if Declan left the meeting for the time being,” Alistair said.
“What?” He asked in shock. “You’re kicking me out?”
Alistair nodded solemnly. “I…I have to do whats right for all of us. You know exactly what I’m referring to.”
“I don’t.” Declan stood up. “I’m your husband. We do everything together! This Keeper of Magic thing has really gone to your head.”
“Wait, I think he should stay,” Lorie said. “I get that theres some tension, but remember, I have seen your timeline.” She looked at both of them. “I know what both of you are feeling right now, but all of that has to be pushed to the side so that we can fix this mess.”
“You saved your sister. Leave the rest to me,” Alistair said coldly.
“It’s not just about that,” Lorie explained. “Leia and I have to leave, sure. Emit will handle our situtation. But what about this war?”
“What about it?” Alistair asked angrily. “I have it under control!”
“You do not!” She stood up angrily. “I see it ALL. You have nothing under control! You saw what happened to your daughters!”
“It’s because of him!” Alistair pointed at Declan. He was now standing as well.
“Don’t blame me,” Declan said in defense. “I have done nothing but protect these girls. Even when you left for Watcher knows how many years. Adeline and Charlotte aren’t even my flesh and blood, but I love them like they are!”
“How can I not blame you? You’ve done the same thing before! You lead people on until you can get their power. Do you think I’m idiot? I thought that everytime you threw a wrench in my path it was a coincidence. I ignored it because I love you, but damn it! Our…no, MY DAUGHTERS nearly died! I’m NOT Altiere. You can’t pretend anymore that you love us to take what power I have left.”
“How the hell could you say that?” Declan demanded. “I love you more than anyone in the entire world! I gave up my powers for you!”
“Shut the hell up!” Alistair yelled, angrily. He didn’t care who was in the room any longer. “Patrick. That was the first lie, what explanation do you have for that?”
“What are you talking about?” Declan asked in shock. “What are you saying?”
“Maybe we should let them do this on their own,” Leia said quietly.
“No.” Lorie shook her head. “This involves all of us. The truth is going to be set free any minute now, and we can’t move on until it reveals itself.”
“You know what is going to happen?” Millie asked.
“Not a clue.” Lorie shook her head. “Dad showed me false timelines,” She said in realization. “It makes sense, the Gray timelines are ever changing, it’s why the guardians are so concerned with you guys.”
“Then?” Leia frowned. “It still feels wrong.”
“It’s what has to be done,” Lorie said. “I’m sorry girls, that you have to see this.”
“I suspected as much,” Adeline said sadly. “But I didn’t want to think it was true. Declan has always been good to us.”
“What’s happening?” Millie whispered. “What’s dad talking about?”
“Declan has been lying to dad. I looked the other way, because I thought the same as dad. That, Declan would never do this. But, it is foolish to ignore my instincts.” Adeline rubbed her eyes. She was glad that Charlotte wasn’t here to see this. Her sister had an explosive temper.
“I thought this was a meeting about ending this war with Altiere and Damian….” Declan’s voice trailed off as he saw the malice in Alistair’s eyes.
“You…never loved me,” Alistair mumbled, a look of hurt spreading across his face. “I gave up everything for you. There were so many people who loved me, and I pushed them away for you. Was Sienna involved too?”
“I dont know what you’re talking about. I’ve always loved you,” Declan said. “And I always will.”
“No.” Alistair shook his head. “I’ve been analyzing every aspect of this war. Everytime I try to make a move, a move that I’m certain Altiere doesn’t know about, him and his little posse of misfits show up. How is that?”
Declan was silent as he watched Alistair. He wanted to tell him it was a mistake. But it wasn’t, Declan had wanted to do this. “Tell me there was a reason for you to betray me like this,” Alistair said quietly. “I want to believe that you wouldn’t go to such lengths to help out Altiere. Tell me-” Alistair dropped his head. He knew it was too late to make ammends. The man he loved had been working with Altiere the entire time. He started to piece things together and it made sense.
“Somebody clear this up for me,” Millie said. “How is my father aligned with Altiere? I refuse to believe it! Dad, tell him!” She pleaded with Declan. “Tell him that he’s making a mistake. You have an explanation right?”
“Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?” Alistair asked. He turned to face the group who was sitting at the table, as if he was teaching a class. “I came to Moonlight Falls when I was eighteen years old to find my siblings. My father had died and I needed to fulfill some stupid legacy thing for the Guardians. I was the only mage in my family. My siblings, who I’ve had to cut off contact with because of this mess, were all humans.”
“We know the family history,” Millie said quietly.
“Just listen,” Adeline urged her sister.
“I met Declan, his sister Sienna and their best friend Miles. The three of them were my classmates. We sat each and everyday learning from my grandfather, your grandfather Ethan’s dad. He was not the ideal granfather, but he grew on me and supported my journey every step of the way. He had urged that Declan and I work together on a group project, similar to the one I gave you.” He looked at Millie, then at Declan who was watching him silently. “Declan and I hated eachother. I was the one thing thta stood in the way of him becoming Keeper of Magic, the one job he thought could help him defeat Damian for what he did to his father.”
“But eventually, he decided to give his powers up, right?” Lorie asked. “To bring Ethan back from the dead?”
“Yeah,” Alistair said. “We needed my dad to open the portal to Imaginationland to save my siblings. The whole situation was a fiasco. Grandpa was going to die for Ethan, but neither I or Declan would allow it. There was a loophole, because of Altiere, so Declan was able to bring Ethan to life. I was against it, but you know him, he has to do things his own way.”
“I love you,” Declan said simply. “I would give up anything.”
“In theory, that all sounds nice,” Alistair said sarcastically. “But that’s not the truth at all. Is it? Where was I?” He thought for a moment. “Oh right, conveniently, Altiere was filling my head with lies, and when you come back, poof! There he is, in the flesh. Because that power you gave up was your own magic, which allowed him to manifest, slaughter my grandfather and kidnap my daughters.”
“Slaughter?” Millie stuttered.
“Isn’t that strange?” Alistair asked aloud. “Altiere came to life, because of you. Then, you act all mighty and try to protect me, but he still gets my daughters.”
“Are you insinuating that I planned to bring Altiere to life?” Declan asked. “I was the one who killed him in the first place.”
“You killed him for the power, but it was made clear to me that both of you had feelings for the other. Fine, I was willing to overlook that. But then, when I come back from imaginationland, which you urge me to go and leave my daughter’s rescue to you, they’re with Altiere still, learning to hone their skills as vampires. I was against it, but PAtrick was there, right?”
“I don’t get it,” Lorie said. “What am I missing? What about the time distortions? He couldn’t have planned those, if that’s what you’re getting at.”
“Aria did,” Alistair said. “She told me herself, she and Altiere maniuplated my brain, and I was causing the time distortions due to the emotional distress. Just to sum it up.” He looked at Leia who nodded to let him know she understood and was following along. “He is working with both of them.”
“Dad, spell it out for me,” Millie said hopelessly.
“Declan wanted to be Keeper fo Magic. That’s why he killed Altiere, took his power and then went to my grandfather. He figured he’d learn everything from Lucas and then take over as Keeper of Magic. But I stood in his path, and when Lucas made it clear, hed rather family get the position, Declan cozied up to me. All the while, he was working with Aria and Damian. Then, he heard the voices in his head, right? From Altiere, and there was a plan to get him out that seemed more lucrative and fulfilling than the Keeper of Magic thing, right? So you…” He looked at Declan. “You figured, bring Altiere to life, because you needed his power, and you would be his link to the rest of the war effort and anything else he needed, even access to my daughters. Right in your own house.”
“That can’t be true, what about me and Astra?” Millie asked. “He wouldn’t go that far, right? Just to get his lie to be believed. I don’t believe that daddy would be working with the guy we’re all against.”
“He is,” Adeline said calmly. “He told father that Patrick was with Altiere to get him to be more trusting. I’ve been spying on Altiere this entire time, not working for him.” She looked coldly at Declan. “I was right to keep that between Dad and me. Declan has been feuling the fire between me and Charlotte as well. He acted like the caring father, but always threw it in Charlotte’s face that I was different. Then, he picked up her pieces and painted me out to be the bad guy.”
Alistair looked like he couldn’t bear the pain anymore. “There are so many other things you did. From day one, Alistair told me he hated you. I just thought, someone who gave up their powers to save my dad, actually loved me. But it was all part of something larger. You, Altiere, Damian, Aria, Cora, Patrick, Miles, Robin, Hayden, Kat and probably Sienna were all in on this. It’s no wonder when I first had the girls and ran from Aria, that you and Sienna seemed untouched.” Alistair stood up, knowing if Declan just said that he loved him and his husband was blowing things out of proportion, he’d fall into the pink haired male’s arms. “Just get out.”
[AN: Woah. Declan pretty much wrote himself. What do you think? Does Declan realy love him, or is what Alistiar is saying true? Astra chapters will be coming soon, after about a chapter or two more from Charlotte because I want to finish up this little segment of her story. I was using Astra and Charlotte as test subjects for double heiresses, but I have to admit, I don’t care for it that much at all. I’d much prefer to focus on one heir and flesh them out a little bit more. So, gen 6 will continue from one of Charlotte’s children. Astra’s story will end when her and Thad get together officially, and then I will continue with Charlotte’s story for the rest of the generation. Let me know what you think.]