5.89 Camping [Part 1]

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Charlotte closed her eyes and enjoyed the sunlight on her skin. Thankfully, Adele wasn’t stingy with the alchemy potions available at Fortitude. Charlotte had requested some aging potions that would stop the aging process for both her husband and her dad, but she didn’t want to offend either by bringing up the topic. Jeff had told her that he missed his family. She felt responsible. She felt like she wasn’t enough. “Penny for your thoughts?” She jumped at the sound of Zayne’s voice. “Woah, you’re never caught off guard. What’s going on?”

 

“It’s Jeff,” She mumbled, knowing she couldn’t pull one over on her brother-in-law. “We talked last week, I can’t get the conversation out of my head.”

 

“Talked about what?”

 

She frowned, picking at a loose thread on her shorts. “He wants to age. I know it’s still early, but I just…I want him to live forever. With me, and our kids. I don’t want to watch him get old and die.”

 

Zayne sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I told him this too. Ethan told him this. But, he’s dead set on it.”

 

“He said that he missed his family. Is my family not enough? I’m trying to give him everything I can.”

 

Zayne frowned at her impassioned plea. “He missed out a lot in his last life. His wife, Lisa, was too pushy. She pushed him into promotion after promotion…he was never home to raise his kids.”

 

“He has kids here,” She replied. “Are we just the replacement that he realized isn’t working?”

 

“Woah,” Zayne said. “Calm down. You know that’s not the case at all. Jeff loves you and his kids. This is the family he wanted all this time.”

 

“Then what?” She asked. “I don’t understand.”

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Zayne paused, trying to think of a way to explain the whole thing to Charlotte. “Imagine that you wake up and you’re a stranger in a new place. You still have your memories, but your sisters, father, grandfather, kids…all of them gone.  What do you do? Saying move on is not what’s on the tip of your tongue, I can tell.”

 

“No,” She mumbled. “I’d try to get back home. But this is different! It’s been years.”

 

“I agree,” Zayne said. “But the wedding must have brought back memories. He missed out a lot on his children’s lives. His siblings, everyone. He was the one who held the burden of the family on his shoulders for so long. He loves you, this is the life he has wanted to live but you can’t erase memories.”

 

“Can we bring them here?” She asked. “Can we go there? Can we do something? Anything?”

 

“I don’t know,” Zayne said. “Give him some time. Let him think about it. He might change his mind, watching his kids growing up. Maybe, he’s being hasty.”

 

“I hope you’re right,” She mumbled. “I don’t want to lose him. I love him so much, Zayne. I…I would do anything for him.”

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Alistair looked at the children. He was glad that Charlotte had invited Zayne, Millie and Harmony. The nice weather would be good for his pregnant daughter. She was happy with Zayne, and so, he was happy. Fortitude wasn’t Moonlight Falls, but he was happy. Spending time here, he almost forgot about the turmoil in his old home. “Alistair!” He felt Callen’s tattooed arms wrap around him. “Good to see you buddy.”

 

“O-oh,” Alistair mumbled, flustered. “Hi.”

 

“Sorry, sorry,” Callen replied, taking a step back. “I should have made sure you were good with touching first.”

 

“That was fine,” Alistair replied. “You just caught me off guard. Not many people besides my kids, rushing to hug me.”

 

“Don’t laugh, but I forgot what it was like to have friends. So if I get too much, tell me. Give me a good slap on the wrist, yeah?”

 

Alistair nodded. “You’re doing fine. With the way you keep hinting at it, I think you want me to ask you why you have no friends.”

 

“You got me.” Callen let out a laugh. “Now that I know that you don’t care, it’s driving me mad. Anyone else would have tried to get the information out of me.” Alistair opened his mouth to talk when Callen nodded. “Yeah, yeah. Not like everyone else. Got it, hot shot.”

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Alistair grinned. Callen was the one who wasn’t like…anyone else. Not that he’d met at least. His fiery personality was complimented nicely with his serious side. First and foremost, Callen let everyone know that he was a father. Braylen was his world, there was no doubt about that. Alistair could respect that. “Tell me if you want,” Alistair said.

 

Callen shook his head. “It doesn’t feel right, yet. I know, it sounds weird. But since you’re not asking anymore, I’m going to take advantage and make sure you like me too much to leave me before I tell you.” He winked, causing Alistair to laugh himself. “I have no idea what Bray is talking about, I’m totally a cool dad.”

 

“You really love being a dad, huh?” Alistair mused. “I can see it written all over everything you do.”

 

“I’ll admit, when I first heard Farrah was pregnant, I was beyond livid. Like, pissed. I was shouting at her and her parents. I mean, the goal was to get her pregnant. Not my goal…er, my people.” He scratched the back of his head. “Ugh, I told you if you hung out with me enough you’d get my whole life story.”

 

“I can tell you more of my perilous tale,” Alistair said. “But I want more out of you.”

 

“Gross, people being interested in what I have to say,” Callen mocked. “The point is that I didn’t want Braylen, but she didn’t want him because he was like me.” He pointed to his wings. “These things scare people away.”

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Callen walked over to his tackle box. “So, after all that, she didn’t even want your son?”

 

“Yeah,” Callen said. “That pissed me off. But, it made me feel better because I had someone else. Now, I know I’m not alone.”

 

Alistair couldn’t help but smile. Kids were the greatest gift. He had been fortunate to have four..five. A pang of guilt invaded his stomach. He had just handed his son over to Burke, a painful reminder of a past he didn’t want. He wasn’t as good a man as Callen was. “What’s that look for, huh?” Callen attached his bait to the end of his line.

 

“It’s uh…nothing.” Alistair shook his head .How could he look Callen in the face and tell him that he did the same thing as the mother of the man’s child? “I just thought that you only had Braylen on the weekends. What’s that arrangement like?”

 

“Tradition states, the mother has to take care of the kid. Farrah is good to him. I don’t like her having him, but she treats him well. Braylen loves her, and I think she came around and loves him too. She fought so hard not to be with me, and I fought so hard too but tradition always rules out. She knew there was a possibility of my ability being hereditary. I just wish she accepted me as much as she accepts Braylen. She’s not hurting my son, so I guess that’s good enough for now.”

 

“Oh,” Was all Alistair could muster. “Aria, the mother of my daughters, got knocked up so she could use my kids against me. It didn’t work.”

 

“Women,” Callen scoffed. “Ok, I’m being unfair. Not all women. Let me rephrase that. Our ex women.” He scoffed again, causing Alistair to chuckle. “No use dwelling on the past now, right? Here, I’m going to teach you how a fairy fishes. Guarantee you never saw techniques like this magic boy.”

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Graciela separated herself from the others and sat down by the lit fire pit. Being outside in the sunlight was a nice feeling. She liked the warmth on her skin, but she also felt safe. Braylen and Pax were having a race, and she walked away before they could invite her to join. Leon was here too, or he was supposed to be. She remembered calling him on the phone a few days ago to ask him. She was so nervous. Her father had to ask Leon’s parents if he was home, and her heart was beating the entire time. But, when he answered she forgot how nervous she was. He was laughing about some beetle that was crawling on his window. Leon excitedly told her he would come to the camping trip. He went sometimes with Callen and Braylen and he always had a fun time. But he wasn’t here.

 

Graciela felt better when he was around, not because he had her back. Pax, Camilla, and even Nerissa when push came to shove, had her best interest in mind. Her parents were here too, and so she wasn’t scared. But Leon was funny and he paid attention to her. He didn’t get mad at her when she wanted to be away from the other kids. He never told her that she was holding him back like Nerissa did. And he believed her about the darkness. When they had first met, she didn’t think she’d like him so much because he was rude to her brother.  But she realized now that was not who Leon was. He liked to joke around, but he wasn’t mean and he didn’t hate her sibling.

 

“Hiya Gracie!” She looked up to see the boy in question, smiling brightly at her with two bags of marshmallows under his arm. His mother was behind him smiling. She was undeniably a human. “Sorry I’m late. Mom has to go somewhere but she drove me so I didn’t have to carry the Marshmallows here by myself.”

 

“They’re for smores,” His mother replied politely. “We bought chocolate and graham crackers too.”

 

“Thanks mom!” Leon leaned up and kissed her cheek. “This is going to be the best.” He stuck a marshmallow on one of the sticks he had brought and handed it to Graciela. “Ever make smores before?”

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She shook her head. “No, I haven’t. Not like this at least.”

 

Mrs. Sikes knelt down by Graciela’s side and helped her. “It’s very nice to meet you Graciela, Leon tells me a lot about you.”

 

“Thank you for the smores,” She whispered, nervously. “I like Leon too.”

 

“Of course you do!” He exclaimed, mouth full of marshmallows already. “We’re gonna get married mom.”

 

“Married?” She chuckled. “That’s very cute. But only if Graciela wants.”

 

“I’m gonna convince her,” He said. “Step one is by making the best smores ever s othat she’ll never leave me.”

 

“That’s not how you get someone to marry you, Leon.” His mom rolled her eyes and ruffled his hair. She turned to Graciela, noticing how nervous the vampire was getting. “Ok, let me help start you off with the Graham crackers before I leave.”

 

“Thank you,” Graciela whispered. The woman smiled, happy that her son had found a friend that he cared so much about. He loved Braylen, but he didn’t brag about him all day. He had begged his mother to take him shopping so he could buy supplies to impress Graciela. She looked at Graciela’s parents and smiled, happy to see another human in love with a vampire.

 

 

8 thoughts on “5.89 Camping [Part 1]

  1. I understand why Char feels like she’s not enough. It’s hard to think that someone you love so much still wants what he left behind. That was a nice thought she had of going there or getting his family here. I wonder….
    That picture of Callen hugging Al! I almost thought they were going in for a kiss. Callen is starting to open more to him. Have to admit I’m dying of curiosity about those wings. Poor Al he should feel guilty about his son and yet I understand why he let Burke take him. It’s a sad situation 😟
    Gracie and Leon are the cutest things ever. It’s going to break my heart to see all the trials and hardships they’ll have to go through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Callen hug was autonomous too! Well, Al hugged Callen but who’s checking? 😉 Al could take over the world and sell out the Grays and I would still love him <33 Product of Ethan and Apollo? I can never hate him! You'll learn about the wings soon! Poor Char :/ But, possibilities have been opened…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. More Callen! You’re spoiling me here, but I’m not complaining. Keep on with it 😛
    I ship Gracie and Leon. He’s too cute ;_;
    I’ve never actually had smores. It’s a pretty American thing and, you know, often too cold or rainy to have a BBQ or a firepit going here xD I’ll have to try them one day though.

    Liked by 1 person

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