Bloodlines Chapter 4

blood.png
When Keith Roseberry meets Genevieve
his life and his world are changed forever and home will never be the same.

 
 

Bloodlines
Chapter 4

By
Amethyst

Here's chapter 4 for Bloodlines, there's a lot of information about Sena Island in this chapter but I've tried to balance it well with the story telling.
Thanks as usual to EoF for creating such a wonderful universe for us to play in and thanks to EoF, Maggie Finson and Donjo for their input.

Chapter 4

Gwen got off the plane first and Genevieve and I quickly followed suit after grabbing our bags, anxious to stretch our legs a bit. As I hopped onto the dock I heard Gwen curse. I looked to see what caused the reaction when I saw it. A hooded figure in black stood waiting for us, I couldn’t tell if they were male or female, I couldn’t see their face; it was they were like a part of the darkness around us. This person was downright creepy, and keep in mind that’s coming from a Vampire. Odd, I thought to myself, I know Sena Island has never been a place to encourage tourism but I’ve never known us to actively roll out the Unwelcome Wagon.

The shadowy figure looked the three of us over in turn and before turning around and walking away spoke four words. “You have been summoned.”

We all watched the figure turn and walk off in varying degrees of shock and confusion. Genevieve was the first to react, picking up her duffel bag and moving to follow, muttering, “They don’t waste much time here do they?”

Gwen sighed, shaking her head sadly, “Welcome to Sena Island.” She too moved to follow, leaving her bags with Rick, “Let’s go get this over with; it looks like it’s going to be a long night.”

“Just fucking great,” I muttered as I hefted my duffel bag and joined both my ‘cousins’ following the creepy shadow figure and turning to Gwen I asked, “So what’s with the overly creepy summons? Is this the Witch idea of a practical joke?”

“I’m not laughing are you? This is serious K.”

“Hmmm, yes it is. By the looks of our welcoming committee, this is dead serious.” Both my companions cracked a smile at that so I continued, “I’m no expert on this but I figure if we go in there looking guilty or like they’re going to be able to push us around things likely won’t go well for us. We need to go into this with confidence not like we’re walking to our deaths. Carly wouldn’t have let them push her around and I won’t either.”

Genevieve smiled down at me, ruffling my hair “You’re right we’ll go in there with our heads held high and see what they want. Hopefully we can prove we can be useful to this town of yours.” By this time our ‘guide’ had arrived at a black limo and motioned for us to get inside. The windows were tinted so that nobody could see inside and once we were seated and the door was closed behind us I could see that we couldn’t see out either. I guessed that our mysterious hosts didn’t want us seeing where we were going.

We drove for quite some time, taking many twists and turns that I was pretty sure were intended to make us lose our sense of direction before finally coming to a stop. A moment later the door opened and we stepped out into what appeared to be the mouth of a long man-made tunnel. Our guide turned without a word and taking a lit torch from a sconce in the wall began walking down the tunnel. As we moved to follow I muttered to my companions, “Who uses torches these days? There’s this little thing called electricity.”

“The Coven tends to follow traditions,” Gwen responded with a shrug.

Genevieve nodded, “That and I would imagine they’re trying to scare us and put us off balance. They started the psychological warfare as soon as we landed to try and keep an advantage.”

“Whatever floats their boat,” I said crossing my arms defiantly. “Let them think they have their advantage if it makes them happy. I’m sure we have enough surprises of our own to keep them off balance if we need to play their game.” I smiled just a little as I thought what would happen if one of our hosts tried lying with Genevieve in the room.

We arrived at a pair of large wooden doors with cast-iron handles and hinges that looked to have seen a lot of years. I expected a loud squeaking when the black entity opened one of the doors but there wasn’t a sound, making me think that this place must be well cared for. With our creepy companion holding the door for us ever so politely, the three of us stepped through into a large circular chamber. The chamber contained several benches, one of which was occupied by a lone woman, which we passed on our way to the open area in the center of the room which faced a large dais in the back. On that dais were five imposing figures with their features hidden by deep hoods and long black robes, much like our creepy friend now waiting outside. Each figure was seated in a large chair, with the center one being slightly higher than the others.

The center figure spoke up, “Do you know why you have been summoned?”

“Well I don’t see a basket of fruit, so I’m going to assume it’s not to welcome us to the neighborhood.” I answered tartly.

Genevieve gave me a stern look, “Hush. Don’t antagonize the Witches.” She then turned to the five figures, “You most likely want to assess whether or not we are a threat to you. I assure you we are not.”

“You’ll understand if I don’t just take you at your word.” The figure just to the right of the spokesperson scoffed and turned to Gwen, “Miss Roseberry, what are your opinions of these… Vampires.” I could tell even with the voice being muffled that the last was spoken coldly. I clenched my fists as I tried to remain quiet.

Gwen cleared her throat and took a deep breath before answering. “They have shown remarkable restraint given their nature. They don’t kill when they feed, they make sure the victim forgets, they protected me during our fight with the Hunters, and they try to blend in and not draw attention to themselves.”

“How then did you come to be attacked by as many as twenty Hunters if they are so careful not to draw attention to themselves?” asked another.

Gwen looked at me guiltily, “I believe Kayla may have attracted their attention. While she has gotten control of her hunger, she is still a fairly new Vampire and is still getting used to her abilities.”

I scuffed my feet on the floor nervously as another, the one on the far right snorted at that, “Why then should we welcome these strangers to our home? One is a child obviously not in full control of herself yet and the other has shown no reservations about turning a child.”

Gwen looked apologetically at me, knowing she could only speak the truth, “Because Kayla isn’t a stranger, and she was born here. She wasn’t that age when Genevieve turned her either, there were unforeseen complications and she regressed in age.”

“I don’t recall anyone by that name on the Island. How is it that you were sent to Toronto to find your missing cousin and return with two Vampires and a bullshit story?”

I swallowed the sudden lump in my throat, knowing what was coming even before the words left Gwen’s mouth, “I was sent to find my cousin Keith and I found him, he contacted me before I even left. Kayla is… was Keith.” You could have heard a pin drop for the brief instant before the room exploded into chaos.

After several minutes of everyone trying to be heard over everyone else order was called and the person to the far right of the spokesperson asked, “What proof do you have to back this claim?”

I clenched my hands tightly; having had more than enough of people talking about me like I wasn’t there. “Well I am standing right here, you could always ask me. I don’t bite… much.” I gave the five shadowy figures a long look, crossing my arms.

The figure on the far right snorted and I could almost feel them rolling their eyes, “And what guarantee do we have that you would tell us the truth, girl?”

I was about to retort when I felt Genevieve’s hand squeezing my shoulder reassuringly as she spoke up, “You could always test her if you don’t believe her, and ask things only Keith would know. I guarantee you though that while I am here she cannot tell a lie.”

“And why should we believe you Vampire? You’re going to cover for your own if it gets you what you want.”

Genevieve merely smiled, remaining perfectly calm. “Oh I could quite easily be lying, but nobody else around me can. I have an ability that makes it impossible. And as much as I would sometimes like to, it’s an ability I can’t turn off.” There was another brief uproar at that before Genevieve continued. “If you don’t believe me, why not ask Gwen here? Or get someone you trust to test it.”

The spokesperson spoke up now. “Very well, let’s have our Inquisitor test this Vampire’s claim. She motioned to the benches behind us and the woman who had been seated there stepped toward us and the dais. She looked to be in her early thirties, with blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, cold blue eyes and a very serious look on her face. The woman said nothing at first, merely nodding to the five seated figures before turning to look intently at Genevieve.

Genevieve smiled at that, a predator’s smile as she stepped closer and looked at the Inquisitor just as intently, “Now remember I want you to try to lie to me. So my first question is what is your name?”

The Inquisitor seemed to think a moment before saying, “Katherine Taylor.” Her eyes narrowed at her answer and she brought her fingers quickly to her lips.

Genevieve moved on to the next question, “Why are you here?”

“I am the Inquisitor for the Coven.” Again her eyes narrowed and she seemed ready to bore a hole through my Maker’s skull with her look.

Genevieve seemed unaffected by the look through, remaining perfectly calm as she kept her eyes on the other woman, “What color is blood?”

The Inquisitor looked at Genevieve furrowing her brow in determination, “Blood is red.” She was beginning to look very frustrated at this.

Genevieve shrugged looking at the Coven members, “It doesn’t need to be me asking the questions either, Go ahead and ask something.”

The spokesperson nodded before asking, “What is your middle name?”

“Eunice,” She answered, and seemed to blush a bit at that one.

The five Coven members whispered amongst themselves for a moment before the spokesperson spoke up again, “That is a handy ability you have Vampire.”

Genevieve nodded, still remaining perfectly calm. “Yes it will come in handy when I start my work as a Psychologist.”

“We would like to question the girl before we make a decision regarding the two of you.”

I rolled my eyes, crossing my arms, and had to refrain from stomping my foot in anger, “The girl has a name you know, and I’m standing right here.”

“The spokesperson nodded, “What is your name then girl?”

“Kayla Marie Dunn,” I answered truthfully, like I had any choice. Then I quickly added, “But that is the name my Maker gave me. My human name was Keith Aaron Roseberry.”

There was some muttering amongst them at this before the questioning continued, “Are you the same Keith Roseberry who grew up here on Sena Island?”

“Yes.” I answered.

“What were you parents’ names?”

“Carl Kairns and Lena Roseberry,” I nearly spat out the last.

“Please tell us everything that led up to your disappearance and what has happened since until you arrived here. At that I began to relate everything that happened leading up to us arriving on the island. I had to pause once to collect myself when I came to Carly’s death and began to cry. Genevieve and Gwen held me, comforting me as I wept until I managed to collect myself and finish the story. As I finished I took a deep breath, watching the five whisper amongst themselves until the spokesperson spoke once more, “We have made our decision.”

)==()==(

I laid in my bed in one of the guestrooms at Aunt Helen’s house. The house was huge and has been in the family since the founding of the town. I used to play with Rick and Gwen in the house when we were kids and it was a great place for hide and seek. I felt like hiding now, but not from my childhood playmates. Now I wished to hide from my situation. I was home and there were so many conflicting feelings about that, so many things I didn’t know about before, and so many things that I would have to face that I would rather not.

The Coven had decided they would petition the Unseen Council to allow us to stay, under certain conditions. There was supposed to be a meeting of the Council tonight and as soon as we were done with the Coven we were once again driven blindly around town until we came to the house where we would be guests for the time being and encouraged to rest. I had slept very briefly but I found that I was too nervous to stay that way for long.

Eventually I decided to shower, taking my time and letting the hot water wash away the grime and soothe both my body and my mind as I got lost in the ritual of getting clean. Once I had patted myself dry I took my time carefully drying my hair as I chose what to wear. I chose a simple pleated red plaid skirt with a black lace crinoline underneath, a black and blood red corset, torn fishnet stockings, fingerless black lace gloves, black knee-high leather boots with buckles all up the sides and of course my choker. My hair I decided to let hang free and a little wild looking.

One would think I should have chosen something a little more low-key for tonight’s meeting but I decided I’d rather be myself then go out of my way to please others. If the Unseen Council couldn’t respect me wanting to be myself when I met them then I really didn’t give a shit what they thought of me. With this in mind I blew a kiss at the blue-eyed beauty in the mirror and left my room to see who was around.

)==()==(

Genevieve was still asleep but I found Gwen and Aunt Helen in the kitchen having lunch. They looked up as I walked into the kitchen, both giving a tired wave and a good morning, though Aunt Helen seemed to take a long appraising look at my attire before she finally spoke, “How would you feel about going on a tour of the town today before the meeting? I’ve arranged for a few kids your age to show you around.”

I raised an eyebrow at that. “Well first I already know the town having grew up here, second there are no ‘kids’ my age seeing as I’m 25, and lastly I’m not some child you can dupe so tell me what the hell you’re up to.”

Aunt Helen sighed, “Someone let it slip to Lena that Gwen came back last night and she and Carl are going to be coming over to see if she found Keith. I thought you might want to put off seeing them for a bit.”

Gwen nodded, her eyes not leaving me, “Also you look like you’re new here, and nobody is going to know you’re Keith. There’s only roughly three thousand people living here and most know each other or have at least seen one another in passing. A new face is going to attract attention, especially with your looks and the way you dress. People will expect a new girl to be getting a tour of the town from people her age, so if you’re going to blend in here you’re going to have to do it sooner or later.”

I frowned at this information, “So you’ve hired some babysitters to haul me off so I don’t blow up and cause a scene, and you figured you might as well kill two birds with one stone.”

Aunt Helen frowned, “No Kayla, if you want to stay and talk to your parents it’s fine, they’ll be here for New Year’s dinner before we have to go to the Unseen Council meeting anyway, I just thought you’d prefer to have some time to prepare yourself. Also these kids are other Unseen and one in particular you have something in common with. I thought you might want to try to make some friends and get to know a bit about Sena Island from the Unseen perspective. It might help you adapt to your situation better.”

Sadly I could actually see the logic in this plan so I shrugged and gave in. “Fine, I’ll make nice with the kiddies and make like a good tourist. So who’s picking me up and when does this disaster start?”

Aunt Helen gave me an encouraging smile, “They should be here soon, I asked Natalie Poole to show you around and she asked if she could bring friends and make it a group outing. I wouldn’t be surprised if she brings Sarah Taylor and the McGreggor boy, those three seem inseparable.”

I went back to my room to get a jacket, mostly for show, since it was the beginning of January and to put on some sunscreen. Once finished I put the sunscreen and some other necessities in a black leather purse and returned downstairs. When I returned to the foyer there were three teenagers standing there dressed for cool weather. The tall slim girl bore a strong resemblance to Rick, having long black hair, a pretty face and dark blue eyes. I assumed of course that this was Natalie. The brown haired girl beside her wasn’t quite as pretty but she had the most intense green eyes and she seemed about my height. Finally there was the boy. He was absolutely huge, at least six feet two inches and built like a linebacker with light brown hair and dark brown eyes.

They all looked me over even as I did the same with them. The girls made their assessment quickly and greeted me with a smile while the boy, if you could call someone that big a boy, couldn’t seem to take his eyes off me. I thought his jaw was going to hit the floor. As I approached he seemed to sniff the air, wrinkling his nose slightly before staring again, though not as intently. I reached the trio and forced a smile, “Hi I’m Kayla, thanks for offering to show me around. Just so you know I can’t spend a lot of time in direct sunlight, maybe an hour at most.”

The tall girl nodded seeming a bit nervous and self-conscious as she spoke. “I’m Natalie and this is Sarah and Jason. We were just thinking of showing you a few of the important things and let folks see you a bit and then we were thinking about going to Gino’s, it’s open even with the holiday today and we can get a booth in the back where it’s dark.”

I nodded and actually smiled at that. Gino’s serves the best pizza ever and they have great hot wings too. It was one of the few things I had actually missed about Sena Island when I left. “Sounds good, can we get going then?” I took a cautious look around as if expecting my former mom to jump out of a closet, “I’d really rather get out of here before the other guests show up.”

I followed the three teenagers out to a large white half ton truck with an extended cab, which I was told that Jason had managed to borrow from his dad. We all climbed in, Sarah and I taking the back while Jason drove and Natalie rode shotgun. As soon as we were all settled in and on our way I thought that I might as well lay all the cards out and spoke what was on my mind, “So Natalie, I don’t remember Risk having a younger sister, but I do remember that his brother Nathan would have been about your age.” There were three sharp intakes of breath before Natalie turned around and looked at me slightly confused. “W-what?”

I raised my hands in the classic ‘I’m harmless’ manner. “Don’t worry I’m not here to cause trouble, in fact I’d like to avoid it. Do you know why Gwen was in Toronto?”

Sarah answered since Natalie still looked like her eyes were about to pop out of her head. “She was looking for her missing cousin and Rick’s friend Keith. Most of the Witches on the island, including my mom, have been looking and turning up nothing. My mom is starting to worry he might be dead. “

“Well she found me,” I shrugged, giving an awkward half bow.

The two girls looked confused a moment and suddenly Natalie gasped, staring at me, “You’re Keith!?!”

Jason slammed on the breaks and turned to stare at me, “You were a guy?! Damn, first Nate and then you, no offense to any of you but I’m really glad I’m not from a Witch family right now.” He looked Sarah over and grinned at her, “You sure you were born a girl?” Sarah responded by punching him in the shoulder as he turned and started driving again. While we drove I told the three of them how I ended up in my current situation, and this time I managed not to cry, just barely, as I related what happened to Carly. Natalie then told me her story about a long lost family heirloom that changed her from Sarah’s future Warden to a fellow Witch. We all promised to keep these stories between the four of us as we arrived at the edge of the woods outside town which covered most of the islands 120 square kilometers.

We all left the vehicle and Jason gestured to the forest, “Growing up here you probably heard the stories of people getting lost in the woods and never coming back right?” I nodded and he continued on, “Well most of those stories are true. If people get lost we’ll launch search parties and try tracking them but not even Unseen will search the Valley, people who go into the Valley usually don’t come out again.”

Sarah nodded solemnly, “Yeah search parties won’t go that far, the people of the Whitefeather tribe think the Valley is some sort of holy ground and the Unseen here don’t like to enter the Valley without permission from the Sacred.”

“The Sacred?” I asked, not quite sure I wanted to know.

Natalie gave me a weak smile, “That’s what we of Witch blood call them; some people call them the Fae or other things. Believe me they exist and there’s good and bad ones.” Her eyes looked distant for a moment as she shivered. I had a feeling it wasn’t from the cold.

“Okay so don’t enter the Valley, got it.” I said, looking out into the woods. “Anything else I should know while we’re here?”

Sarah pointed up in the air above the forest, “Well there were several reasons our town founders chose this island to settle on. One of them is up there.”

“Fresh air?” I ventured.

Sarah laughed at that. “No, up there is a Crossroads. Five ley lines intersect there making this island a bit of a hotspot for magical energy. That’s why your ancestor Sorcha Roseberry and Aaki Whitefeather, the Nui-chal-tulth Shaman at the time chose the island. From there John Whitlock chose the site of the town for the hunting and fishing available.

“I thought the town was founded because the Nui-chal-tulth and the Irish settlers were tired of British colonial rule?” I asked.

Natalie shrugged, “That story works well for the Norms and it’s mostly true except that the Irish and the natives weren’t the only ones included, Weres, Witch families and some other Unseen were a big part of it as well. In fact all four of us are from some of the major families which founded the town.”

I mulled that over for a moment, “Okay so I get the three of us are from Witch families but what about you Jason? You said you weren’t.”

Jason grinned broadly, “I’m a Were, a moose to be exact.”

With his size I could certainly believe it but it struck me as a bit silly, “A were-moose? Seriously?” I asked, pretty sure he must be pulling my leg.

He merely nodded. “If you want I’ll show you one day when we’re not pressed for time.”

We all took that as our cue to return to the car and Jason drove again until we reached the ocean. We were in a large bay with a sandy beach and an expanse of large rocks at one end where a large group of seals appeared to be sunning themselves. Once again we left the truck and moved close enough to watch the seals from a distance. Natalie pointed and said, “This is Sorcha Bay, do you see all those seals?” As if I could miss them.

The name was not lost on me given my recent history lesson and I nodded as I answered, “Yeah, I see them.”

“I bet almost half of them are Selkies. A large portion of the Irish settlers who came here were Selkies. We have a Nereid family or two here as well. The island is almost the perfect location for them. A lot of us Unseen here on the island know each other and can be ourselves when we’re with other Unseen. Just remember not to mention anything about Unseen matters around the Norms.”

“Ummm what are Selkies and Nereids?” I was beginning to feel pretty stupid and mentally cursed my birth mother for hiding all this from me.

Jason shrugged, “Nereids are a bit hard to explain but Selkies are a lot like Weres. They’re people who change into seals like my family changes into moose.”

It continued like that for the next half hour, them taking me to important spots and telling me about them and answering my questions. Places I grew up with like Whitlock Beach and Aaki Square were given new meaning with my history lessons. Eventually we ended up in town at Aaki Square where a lot of the town’s shops were located. We didn’t have very many big name corporate stores or restaurants in town as almost everything was locally owned. My cousin’s store ‘The Book Mark’ as well as Gino’s were both located in the square.

)==()==(

We sat at one of the booths in the back where it was fairly dark. It wasn’t very busy due to the holiday and there wasn’t anyone but us at the back so we had a bit of privacy. When we had entered Gino’s I got a lot of curious looks but everyone seemed content to leave me alone seeing as I was with some of the local kids. The four of us talked as we ate and I found myself growing to like them all. “I remember Gino’s pizza tasting so great.” I placed my barely eaten slice of meat-lovers back on my plate, a bit disappointed, and took a sip of my coke with a sigh. “It’s a pity I can’t eat much, and that I can’t taste it. Usually this pizza would be to die for.” I made a weak attempt at a joke and a smile.

The three of them smiled at my joke and Jason took a quick look around before saying, “I was wondering about that, you seemed to be eating well enough.”

I shrugged, responding quietly, “I can eat really small amounts, it helps me appear human but I can’t eat very much and it doesn’t really do me any good. I need blood to survive.” They all looked a bit uncomfortable at that so I was quick to assure them, “Don’t worry I can control myself and I only feed on guys. Plus I think feeding on another Unseen might be some kind of taboo, though I’m pretty new at all this.” They relaxed at this, all except Sarah who suddenly started frowning. It was a moment before I realized she wasn’t frowning at me but rather something behind me toward the entrance. “What’s wrong Sarah?”

The other two looked in the direction of the door, Jason having to turn to do so, and they too frowned as Sarah responded, “It’s Eric Peters. That arrogant jerk has been after me ever since ‘Nathan’ left the island. He’s a Norm and he figures with Nathan gone he can move in on me.”

Natalie practically growled, moving her hand to hold Sarah’s. “Yeah the asshole didn’t wait very long. And then when I started back at school as Natalie he tried hitting on me too. He thinks he’s God’s gift to women.” She gave an exasperated sigh, “Damn he’s coming this way.”

A muscular guy with sandy blond hair approached our table, his attention on Natalie and Sarah. He wasn’t as built as Jason but he seemed to make up for it with attitude and that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. “Hello ladies,” I didn’t need to see his face to know he likely had a smarmy grin on it. “How about I join you? I know you’ve both probably been missing me with school out for the holidays.”

Jason started cracking his knuckles, “Listen Eric, they’ve both asked you repeatedly to leave them alone, besides the table is full. Take off so we can finish our meal in peace.” The look on his face made it quite clear what he intended to do should he choose not to.

Eric turned, seeming to see Jason for the first time, “I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to…” And that was when he saw me. His eyes did a quick appraisal and he obviously liked what he saw. I groaned in preparation for the inevitable. “Hey there gorgeous, I haven’t seen you around here before.” He tried his smarmy grin on me and I briefly wondered what kind of idiot this guy was before I decided I already knew the answer.

“No you haven’t,” I said simply.

“Ouch, that hurt, don’t be so cold baby.”

I narrowed my eyes at that, wanting to do a number of unpleasant things to him at that moment even as my hunger insinuated he might make a nice snack. It was far too public in the middle of a restaurant though, even if it wasn’t that busy, and I was trying to keep a low profile. I looked quickly around to make sure we weren’t being overheard and then I looked deep into his eyes and felt the flick of the mental switch as I got him under my control. “You’ve interrupted our meal and your advances aren’t welcome, you’re very rude. I think you should apologize.”

“I’m sorry, I was very rude,” he answered.

“I think you should go eat and forget you talked with us. You saw us in passing but you never spoke to us. You won’t even think about having seen us until we are gone.” He didn’t say another word; he just left and made his way to one of the bar stools at the counter to place an order like everything was normal. My three companions just stared at me for a moment as I smiled at them, “Well I’m finished, I’ll eat something a little more filling later.”

Sarah suddenly burst out laughing and the others weren’t far behind as she grinned at me, “I have got to learn to do that.”

)==()==(

It was dark and almost dinner time when they dropped me back off at Roseberry Manor. The three left with a promise to call the next day and I actually found myself looking forward to it. They were good kids and I felt that if I were going to be stuck as a teenager then it wouldn’t be quite so bad with friends like them. I took off my jacket and hung it and my purse in the closet before making my way toward the formal dining room, where I was told we’d be having dinner tonight, not that I would be eating yet.

I stepped into the dining room to see Genevieve and my former mother staring daggers at one another, while my father, Gwen and Aunt Helen watched the two of them like a lit dynamite stick. All eyes turned to me as I stopped in the doorway and I silently cursed. Genevieve smiled warmly at me, “Welcome back Kayla, did you enjoy your time out?”

I nodded, answering cautiously, “Yeah I did. It was fun and very educational.” I looked at my former mother at this and she shrunk back a bit. That told me all I needed to know. She’d been told. “Maybe I might have stuck around if I’d known before that Sena Island isn’t as boring as it seems.” I left unsaid that doing so would have prevented this. My aunt’s maid, Julie, entered the room and began setting the table for dinner at that point and we all went quiet. Once everything was set and dinner was on the table Julie was dismissed and told that we weren’t to be interrupted.

After a few minutes of eating, my human mother broke the silence. “Keith, I’m…”

I cut her off, “There’s no Keith here, Keith is dead.” Both my birth parents winced at that. I felt a bit bad about dad being hurt by this but he wasn’t free from blame either.

She tried again, “Kayla… I love you; I hid our heritage from you to protect you. I wanted you safe from all the dangers of being Unseen.”

“Protect me?!” I yelled, before making a show of laughing at that. “Look how well that turned out! You didn’t want to protect me, you wanted to protect yourself! You just couldn’t stand the thought of having a son instead of the daughter you really wanted! Well congratulations it’s a girl!” I clenched my fists at my sides, glowering at her, “Do you know what it was like growing up knowing that I was a disappointment to you because I was male?! I hated myself! I hate you!” She paled at that and seemed on the verge of tears, but I didn’t care, I needed to get this out after all these years.

“I…. I was…. wrong.” I stared at her as she said that, the words I never thought I’d hear from my mother’s lips. Tears were running down her face as she continued. “I kept emailing you; I wanted you to come home for Christmas. We were going to tell you then.”

My father nodded, “I managed to convince her we were only hurting you, I wanted to have you become a Warden like me.”

“Too fucking late! The damage is already done and has been for a long time!” Bloody tears streamed down my face as I clenched my fists and closed my eyes against the anguish that had been building since I was 8 years old. I felt two sets of arms around me and I looked up expecting to see Genevieve and Gwen, but saw instead my parents. I just closed my eyes and kept crying.

“I know I haven’t been the best mother and I did want a daughter but I never loved you any less, I just was never very good at showing it. I didn’t know how to relate to a son. I… we want to make it up to you.”

At this time Genevieve interrupted. “You may want to make it up to her but you need to realize that Kayla is her own person now and she is going to have issues trusting you. Also there is her adjustment to her life as a Vampire and her family background. You need to rebuild your relationship with her and her trust.” I felt them release me at that and saw them both nod as she continued, “As for you Kayla, I think you need to give them a chance, let them help you where they can. I’m not saying move in with them or even try to jump into a relationship, in fact I think you need to ease into this. This is a unique situation that we all need to adjust to and I feel that having sessions where we can all have talks to get to know one another would be a great benefit.”

My parents agreed to this and Genevieve looked at me, trying to reassure me. I knew she cared, she wanted what was best for me, and she would never let me get hurt. I even knew deep down that my parents cared. So I took a deep breath that I didn’t need to take and said, “I guess so.” I knew there was a long road ahead for us all.



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