AN: I have added a drabble page via the menu above. It includes short drabbles from all generations.
“It’s getting dark,” Adele murmured, looking up at the sky. “That sky is unforgiving sometimes.”
“What does that mean?” Jeff asked.
“The darkness here has a mind of it’s own.” She shrugged. “It’s nothing to be wary of. Our light cycles just fluctuate based upon the position of the moon. There is nothing to lament about until the dark period.”
“The dark period?” Charlotte asked. “What does that mean?”
“Every few years, Fortitude becomes swamped with darkness. The vampires seem to quite like it, the others not so much.” She threw her arms over her chest. “It affects our crops, but other than that, the darkness harms no one.”
Graciela shuddered thinking about it. The darkness hurt no one. She wasn’t sure she believed that. “Mom,” She whispered, grabbing onto her hand.
Charlotte looked down at her daughter. “What is it, honey?” She already knew that the prospect of prolonged darkness terrified Graciela. Frankly, it sounded problematic to her as well.
“We can’t stay here, if this is where the darkness lives,” She whispered back, not wanting Leon to hear her. “Please.”
“Sweetheart.” Charlotte stopped walking and gathered her daughter into her arms. “I will not let anything or anyone hurt you.”
“Promise?” Graciela asked, tears forming in her eyes.
“Always.” Charlotte kissed her daughter’s forehead. “If any darkness wants to get to you, they’ll have to go through me first.”
“Whats the hold up?” Adele’s firm voice drew Charlotte from her daughter.
“Do you mind? This is more important than getting inside.” She glared at the woman.
“Trust me, it is not. At least, not by the gates. We’re safe once we’re further in.” She motioned for the group to follow. “It’s ok mom, thanks.”
Graciela felt a tug on her arm. Charlotte gave the boy a smile. He had taken quite the liking to Graciela, and she was thankful. Recently, her daughter had felt like an outcast. Pax had Camilla, she claimed, and Nerissa spent most of her time doting on Pax. She felt alone, even though she adored her best friends and brother. Charlotte wasn’t sure if they’d stay here long, depending on what this danger was that Adele spoke of, but if they decided to, it’d be wonderful for Gracie to have a friend. “What?” Gracie asked, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“Are you scared of the dark?” Leon asked innocently.
“No,” Graciela mumbled. “Only babies are afraid of the dark.”
“It’s okay to be afraid of the dark,” Leon told her. “Everyone is afraid of something.”
“What are you afraid of?” She asked. “Is it bugs? Dinosaurs?”
“Pssh, yeah right.” He held his arms up, flexing his little muscles. “I can take on bugs and dinosaurs!”
“You said everyone is afraid of something,” Graciela pointed out.
“You’re right, I did say that.” He put his finger to his chin, thinking about it for a moment. “Oh! I’m afraid of being alone.”
“But you were alone in the forest when we met,” Graciela said.
“Not like that.” He shook his head. “I knew my parents and friends were behind the wall, so I wasn’t alone.”
Graciela tried to make sense of that concept. She had family she cared about but she sometimes felt like she was overlooked. Was that kind of the same thing? “What if you know your family is there, but you still feel alone?”
“Maybe that’s different, I think.” He shut his eyes, trying to imagine it. “I’m not sure what that feels like. But I would be afraid to find out, I think.”
“That’s cooler than being afraid of the dark,” She muttered.
He shook his head. “Yours is easier to explain.”
“Trust me, it isn’t.”
Adele ushered the group into her castle. The outsiders were in awe. Charlotte was expecting something, but it wasn’t this. Her place was huge. Not as huge as Audric’s, but enough to fit Charlotte’s whole family and then some. “Welcome to my humble abode.”
“Humble?” Charlotte raised her brow. “There is nothing humble about this.”
Adele simply shrugged. “Now, let’s feed the children and us adults can talk.” She called for a servant, and one walked in almost immediately. “Fetch the kids some food. Whatever they’d like, nothing is off limits.”
Charlotte gave Camilla a waning glance. “Dinner, not ice cream.”
“But…!” She sighed. “How about for dessert?”
“Pax, make sure she eats her dinner before she has ice cream,” Charlotte told her son. He nodded.
“Me too, ma’am?” Leon asked.
“Yes, run along. If we need you, I’ll be sure to usher you in.” Adele gave him a warm smile.
Once the kids were out of ear shot, Adele gave the group her full attention. “First things first, I want to know how you tracked down our little town. We’re not exactly on the map.”
“A seer’s tale,” Adeline said. “My husband and I deciphered it.”
“You two?” She seemed impressed, looking from Adeline to Erik. “How?”
“We had a lot of resources.” Erik gave her as vague an answer as possible, just in case.
“Tight lipped, are we?” She shrugged. “Fine, I guess I’m not entitled to that kind of information. Where did you get the seer’s tale?”
“The vault of antiquity,” Adeline answered. “In Moonlight Falls.” Her father had access to forbidden files because of his status as one of the three keepers.
Adele furrowed her brows. Shocked was an understatement. “The maiden voyage made it…they really made it.” She let out a breath, eyeing her confused guests. “This was legend, but there may be more truth to it than I originally thought. Where do I begin?”
“How about the beginning?” Jeff asked. “That would help.”
Adele nodded. “Indeed it would. In the beginning there were two groups fighting for power over Fortitude. The halfbreeds and the purebreeds. Halfbreeds included any mix of beings, human or otherwise. When the two sides fought, the purebreeds were a clear winner, having much more strength than their halfbreed counterparts. The halfbreeds who were unhappy living under the new rule were run out of town. They declared they’d make a new society called Moonlight Falls. People assumed they had died on the way, or that this was all just an elaborate legend. But I guess it was true. There are supernaturals in Moonlight Falls. I cannot believe it. We must send people to investigate right away.”
“Good luck,” Charlotte said. “We’ve been sealed out of it. No one can enter or leave Moonlight Falls.”
“Trust us,” Zayne interjected. “We can’t get back there.”
“Which would explain why you’re here,” Adele replied. “But why were you sealed out and by whom?”
Charlotte gave the others a warning glance to alert them not to speak of Audric. They didn’t know this Adele woman just yet. “A very powerful wizard who wanted to contain the war happening between a purebreed vampire and the people. Altiere, I don’t suppose you’ve heard of him?”
“Altiere…? I know of one, and he is from the legend. He was the first king of Fortitude. As long as wasn’t killed, he’d be able to maintain his life force this long. Though, how likely is that?”
“Extremely,” Millie answered. “The guy is a weasel. Trust me, he has his ways of doing things. But why go after Moonlight Falls and not return to Fortitude?”
“That’s the second part of the legend,” Adele said. “After the war was over, a shroud of darkness came upon Fortitude, blocking it away to visitors and travelers alike. The closer one got to the walls, the stronger and more lethal the shadows got, taking people in their wrath. That is why we stay in the walls, and why we limit the amount of adults who enter.”
“But you made an exception for us,” Jeff commented. “Very nice of you.”
“Yes, human. It was. No one has found us in years. I was curious as to how you all could, children and all. It’s very likely Altiere wouldn’t return because, he simply couldn’t find us. Or, there was something much more valuable to him in Moonlight Falls.”
“We want him gone, because until he is, I can’t see my dad and grandfather,” Charlotte answered. “And I want them at our wedding.” She squeezed Jeff’s hand tightly. “We won’t get married until we know they’re safe and sound.”
“Noble of you, but what can I do if the world is sealed off?” Adele asked.
“Allow us to stay in Fortitude. We have nowhere to go. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if there weren’t kids and pregnant women in our group, but there are. We will take the fight back to Moonlight Falls, because we aren’t running anymore. But we can’t do that unprepared.”
“You need a place to set up shop then?” Adele asked. “It’s more than possible to keep you here, but I’d like to know what exactly is happening in Moonlight Falls. This information you’re hiding…that is your prerogative and I won’t pry. But, Moonlight Falls is not a subject I’ll drop so easily, especially if you want my help.”
“Erik and I can tell you all we know.” Adeline stepped forward. “Altiere is very interested in me because I’m a purebreed vampire. I can explain what happened to him, my father, my siblings and our children. All of it.”
Adele nodded. “Very well.” She counted heads. “So names would help, yes? I know you’re Charlotte, the leader. Your fiance is Jeff and I believe Leon referred to your children as Graciela and Pax, correct? What about the little one?” The conversation carried on like this until everyone had introduced themselves.
“In the morning, I can have three houses ready. We have some vacancies in town, because we don’t get many visitors. You will all be comfortable, I assure you.”
“Can I ask you a question?” Charlotte asked. Adele nodded. “You seemed so sure about us, and you’re giving us a chance without even asking for proof. Why?”
“My dear.” Adele shut her eyes and took a deep breath. “I’m sure you were aware that your sister could read people. I can do the same. I know that you are all good people. I also know that something big must be happening for you to track down our town. Some of us are tired of living in hiding with the same faces. If we can expand, and travel around other parts of the world that are populated with supernaturals, well that’d be incredible. So, we can help each other out.”
“There’s another vampire working with Altiere. Damian Woods and his daughter, Aria. But those two are half breeds like me,” Charlotte replied as her offer of thanks. Information was what Adele wanted anyway.
“Those names don’t ring a bell, but it wouldn’t be shocking to me if Altiere worked with who was prolific already in Moonlight Falls. Was that the case?” Adele asked.
“That’s exactly it,” Erik said. “He was the head master until my father-in-law came and started to fight against the unjust rule.”
“We have a lot to discuss. But we can do so in the morning. You must all be tired, please taker a rest. I’ll have meals made for you. Let me make a few calls about the houses.” She gave them a short wave and headed out of the room.