I went all over town looking for him, damn! Figures he wasn't anywhere in town, actually that was pretty smart considering I was there most of the time. Finally in a cave a few miles from town I felt him, I appeared at the mouth of the cave, calling out to him as I felt my powers fade. "You know, after 5 or 6 hundred years of sleeping at night I've kind of gotten used to it my friend." Gregor came out of the cave had almost reached me when he stopped short, "Shit John what has happened now?" He asked, "You need someone killed?" He started to laugh when I smirked at him.
"Oh I see, it's Lana um hm, sit my friend and tell Gregor." So I sat, I hadn't really had a real friend since Gregor had been ripped from my life by his father.
He listened intensely 'til I got to the part about spanking his sister, then I swear he couldn't stop laughing. "She actually said that?" He gasped for air, another round of all out laughter. When I finished I wore an extremely serious face, "Damn it John, NO!
you know how dangerous it is and you being a mage I'm not sure I could do it to your mind. John don't do this! Haven't you tortured your self enough the last 200 years? Damn it man! Give your self and you busted heart a fucking break! "Gregor," I started, "I can't, I can't do this again you are the only one who knows just how bad our fathers pushed me. I can't chance falling for her again, they stepping in trying to force me and her to dance to their whims, I won't allow it I can't allow it!" "John, we've been friends a long time, if you do this and it holds, it would be as bad as if you were dancing to their tune.
You'd lose a lot more than just the memory, you'd lose a lot of you, I know John, I've done this a few times I've seen it happen." Gregor said as he sadly shook his head. "Damn it!
I have to do something I can't concentrate, I can hardly formulate plans against them. If I can't clear my head soon it will be over before it even starts." I told Gregor.
"John you need to learn to channel all of this into a new way of thinking and planning, with the energy you are getting from this you should be unstoppable!" Gregor said his excitement growing Sighing I tried to concede but felt I was lost I didn't know how to re-channel my energy, I'd better learn quick or I was a dead duck for sure. Gregor bid me good bye and went back into the cave as I started to walk away, finally I was far enough to feel my powers return.
I wish everything was that simple then I might not be as stressed out as I was, yeah I was really starting to think I needed to kill my father and hers too. Appearing in my room I got ready to go to work, god only knew what they had in store for us today. I dreaded that they might hear something about us being out last night then they'd never stop, with a groan I headed out. For the first time in days the day started rather good but I knew something was coming I wasn't stupid I could feel it creeping slowly up on me with cold fingers out stretched.
Though I really didn't expect to see her towards the end of the day I started looking for her to pop in at any moment. Shaking my self I realized I was starting to act like a love sick puppy mooning over everything in sight. I heard the train as it was approaching town, grabbing my assistant we headed out to the station. They'd just started to off load my packages when I felt a sensation of almost pure evil run up my spine. Turning toward the train I saw a box being off loaded, damn it!
From the feel of this one this was an older vampire, though he was alive when near me he was still formable, even becoming human didn't slow the older ones down a whole lot. I was about to ask who's box it was when a couple of lackey's grabbed the box, turning they stared at me. Yeah they knew what I was and what I could do, this was unexpected I'd have to prepare for what ever this new threat was.
It was a damn good thing father had worked me up so bad, I now had at least 2 active wards with me at all times, hey better safe than sorry right? I watched for a few minutes as the half dead helpers of the vampire carried the box toward the building Lana was in.
Well screw that idea all to hell, there was no way I was getting any where near her now not with.
what it was that had just arrived. Dan and I arrived back at the office an hour later to find one of the lackey's waiting. In a raspy voice it told me as it handed me a wax sealed letter, "Madam Vishnew wishes your company tonight, she says you can not turn this down nor should you try.
She'd rather not have to destroy the whole town if you become angry, she has said she finds it extremely quaint." I bowed to the lackey, surprising him and told him I would accept the gracious invitation of Lady Vishnew.
The lackey smiled and left. Damn it! Vishnew was here? Son of a bitch! What the hell did she want? Though not as old as Vidon Lana's mother was still a creature I didn't want to tangle with if I didn't have to.
Sighing I told a wide eyed Dan good night and headed to my building to dress for tonight. As I expected Lady Vishnew had gone all out, as she always did.
Really? I shook my head a seven course meal? I. wait!
Food real food? Ok what was going on? She'd never been this accommodating towards me, something had definitely changed that was for sure. Walking in I was seated at the far end of the table, moments later Gregor arrived not looking all that pleased his self. within moments Lady Vishnew and Lana entered I felt both their hearts start to beat and Lady Vishnew was actually breathing, she seemed to be enjoying it. "Thank you for attending tonight, Gregor, Mr.
Timmings. I must say this is a wonderful experience, I can't remember the last time I actually breathed in the air." Lana had her head down, though at times she peeked a look up at me and her brother, the look she held gave me pause, shit something was definitely a foot.
"As you probably know, Mr. Timmings, there have been many endings in the clan both clans actually, what you may not know is just how bad.
At last count well over half the vampire clan was gone, nearly as many from the mage clan." I looked at Gregor and he shrugged obviously he hadn't known either, I got almost the same look from Lana well at least they weren't in on any of this. "My Lady," I started, "I do not wish to be impertinent, but why are you here? Might it have to do with a certain betrothal? As I told your husband Lord Vidon, that is a dead subject that I do not wish to ponder on." A small smile lit her face damn she was enjoying making me squirm!
"I therefore respectfully request to be excused as there is nothing to keep me here." This got the reaction I was hoping for the smile turned into a grimace, good I don't like to be played. As I stood up to go, Lana spoke for the first time, "Sir Timmings if you leave now neither mother nor I will be able to enjoy this feast." Lana demurely flashed me a smile, son of a bitch!
They were both in on it! Then I saw Gregor also smiling out of the corner of my eye. Turning to Gregor I sighed, "Et tu Gregor?" Gregor quickly dropped the smile and stared at me like he was innocent.
Trapped like a rat in a trap! Sitting I consigned my self to be as unemotional as possible, fat chance there! Though I tried to not get involved, I was beginning to find the Lady Vishnew as charming and lovely as her daughter. Near the end of dinner I discovered that I hadn't really had that bad of a time but I still had no inkling as to why her mother was here.
"I have to say," Lady Vishnew started, "I quite frankly enjoyed that, as I said it has been a very long time since I actually ate food. Now then I am sure you are wondering why I called you here." I nodded my acquiescence.
"My husband is not a delicate creature, he never has been. He has seen the union of you two as a way to save the clans and nothing else, what he didn't see was that you would be as strong as you are. Do you know you are the only being to ever resist my husband?" I nodded no, "Now more than ever he wants you and Lana to wed. As do I, though for entirely different reasons. As you said to Gregor, yes he basically wanted you two as breeders, I do not and will not agree with that decision. I do not know what happened that night, nor do I wish you to expand on it, but I remember that for once Lana was happier than I'd ever seen her." I knew that Lana had been happy back then when we had first met, and yes I realized that it might have been the first time since she had become a vampire.
I also knew it had made her mother happy as Gregor had told me later, but as for her being the happiest ever that I had not known. "Thank you Lady Vishnew, I would like to forever expunge the memory from my mind," I replied a grimace on my face. Lady Vishnew noticed this and didn't press any further.
"I for one believe in love, yes we vampires can love, though it is quite different from anything you might know. The chance to love as a human is a unique opportunity, as many know the range of emotions is far more extreme for humans.
I firmly believe that this union would just be good for the vampires but the mages also." Looking directly at him and smirking Lady Vishnew, continued, "I also believe that the union would be good for both of you, I've seen the difference in you since you entered here. I've also noticed a difference in Lana, a difference I must say I find truly refreshing." I had moved to leave almost out the door, when Lana's mother stopped me for a private word.
"Mr. Timmings, I know more than you think, as I said before I don't know what went on, nor am I concerned about it. That is unless it interferes with the union of you two, then you can rest assured that I will bring the full force of the family resources to solve it." "Lady Vishnew, this," I said waving my arms around, "In all honesty is one of the main reasons that we didn't stay together.
I am a man, not a puppet, I will not be made to dance for anyone else, to do so would make me less than I am or can be. So yes you might say there is something interfering, it just happens to be my father and your husband." The look of shock, then the smirk on her face let me know she'd guessed they were the reason behind my resistance.
"Hmmmm I see, it was about as I thought, it appears that I need to contact Evelyn." I was shocked My mother?
Even father tried to stay out of her way when she was mad, Now how did Vishnew know my mother? "So, if they were out of it, then you and Lana would have been together before now?" Vishnew said. Sighing I tried to explain, "It wasn't just them it was the clans in general, neither of us were free to be ourselves we were expected to be something neither of wanted to be. I will not have my life dictated, I am not one to take it lightly either.
I thank you for tonight and regret that nothing has been resolved, perhaps one day but not now." I left also thanking Lana and her brother, then heading out toward my building.
I was almost home when Gregor caught up to me, "what do you want traitor," I half heartedly told him. "Hey," he said, "I was trapped and drafted into it. I have to say you made a definite impression on mother, now more than ever she wants you and Lana wed." "Hell Gregor," I started, "I have never doubted that your father wanted us wed, but for some reason I've always felt your mother was dead set against it.
Can you tell me just what has changed her mind? I know it can't be the dying in the clans, so what?" "If I understand her right," Gregor replied, "you now have her respect, as she said you are the only being that has ever resisted father not an easy feat in its self. Though I wouldn't suggest doing it too many times, you may have shocked father yes, but I can't see him letting this go on for much longer." Turning back to face Gregor he was shocked at the intensity on my face, "I don't care Gregor, not then not now, this is my life and hers for what they are.
If we let them make us do what they want us to do, then how are we better? No, I don't care if I have to take out a whole damn clan, I won't submit to yours or my father's whims." With that I turned and left a stunned Gregor out side my building though as started in I thought I saw him smile a wide grin.
I had just reached my room when there was a rapping at my outer door, huh? What the hell, I know I'd set my wards. Opening the door I was shocked to see my mother, and her 2 assistants, Damn Lady Vishnew wasted no time at all I see. "Johnathon," she started, "so good to see you." "Uh huh, right mom we haven't seen each other in a hundred years, what did Lady Vishnew tell you?" The mock shock she wore on her face, let me know I'd hit the nail on the head.
"Vish, just expressed a concern that your father and her husband might be interfering with you and Lana. I'm just here to make sure that doesn't happen." She then smirked looking at me sideways, "You are still interested in her aren't you? I hope this trip isn't a waste of my time, I DID have things to do you know." Leave it to mother to try and give me a guilt trip, especially when none of this was my fault.
"I don't know mother it's been well over a hundred years since we did anything and." I started. "Oh? A little bird told me that you two went to dinner the other night, please son don't insult your mother's intelligence," she accused.
Damn leave it to her to always see through me, sigh, I guess there was no getting past it. "Mother, I'm not sure ok, I'm just not sure," I stated. "Well Johnathon, we'll just have to change that won't we?" I looked at her through slitted eyes yup she was up to something though what and how I wasn't sure.
"Just what do you mean change that?" I stated, "What if you don't like what I decide? You going to banish me again? Ha! Good luck with that mother! In case you haven't noticed I am my own man now, who." "Who seems to be more confused now than he was 200 year ago! Look you can't fool Vish or me, we know there is something going on, Lana was practically floating after she got home the other night, and was still like that when her mother arrived.
Now, as far as I know you are the only one that has EVER been able to elicit that kind of a response from her. So, no matter what you both say WE know that there is still something between you two." Holding up her hand she stopped me before I even started, "Don't even try to start that old, tired, bull shit again about you hate each other, there's nothing there.
Vish and I are well over 1000 years old WE know, the problem is how are we going to fix it?" I'd listened to her almost the whole time, but she was venturing where both mine and Lana's father's had gone.
Suddenly I felt the anger swell then burst in me, "You won't do a damn thing!" I yelled, "It was just this sort of thing that separated us last time. Interfering people pushing us together! You want her so damn bad? You fucking marry her!" With that I flashed out, not caring that she was the second leader of the clan and to do so was an insult.
I appeared in an alley way in New York, almost as far as I could get from out west, where we'd been, still seething I didn't notice the huge hole in the wall directly behind me. Lady Vishnew had just awoken when she received the thoughts, <Vish,> she heard Evelyn, <I think you are right about them still having feelings for each other, but when I brought it up Johnathon became enraged and left, I'm feeling him on the other side of the continent.
It appears there is something else going on here, I've never seen him this upset.> Lady Vishnew let this digest a moment, <Yes, I feel you are right but somehow Lana has hidden it from me, Gregor's mind from that night is almost completely blank, your son is far stronger than I've ever felt in a non-vampire form. I too am at a loss for the moment.> <I was thinking of us contacting our husbands, but I swear they handle everything with almost total brute force.> Evelyn replied.
<Yes,> started Vishnew, <If this isn't handled right, it might be another 200 years before they'd even think of facing each other, I think the key lies in what happened that night.> <I agree with you, but how to find out? I fear the only one who may hold the answer is the very one we are trying to help.> Evelyn cried. <My dear,> Lady Vishnew started, <it is obvious that WE are going to have to fall back on our strongest suits.> <You mean our power and authority?> Asked Evelyn.
<Oh no my dear,> Lady Vishnew replied, <your son is far too powerful and my daughter far too smart and suspicious for those to ever work. I believe it is time for us to use our sneakiness and beguilement to further confuse and drive them together. Now first you and I are going to send a message to both that we are leaving.
That I think will bring Johnathon back then.> I had wondered New York City for days not really caring where I went or did. As long as Mother and Vishnew were there I had no desire to go back, though I was feeling for Lana stuck there with those two nosy busy bodies.
I knew I couldn't stay gone for very long Mother could always find me, she always had though I think this time she might not appear in person. I was sitting in a cafe when one of mom's assistants appeared next to me, "A word Mr. Johnathon?" "Yeah, I've got one for you," I replied sneering at the sub-mage (don't ask me that's what mom had always called him).
"It's death pure and simple, you have 2 options leave and live stay and you'll be dead in the next minute." "Fine," he said, "your mother is leaving tomorrow," with that poof he was gone. Hmmm, I knew my mother, she NEVER gave up that easy (just ask my father he hadn't won in well over 800 years and he was stronger). I'd have to keep an eye on her and Vishnew. Sighing, I decided I ought to go back I know Dan was about to go out of his mind trying to keep up with everything.
Looking over at the play bill I had in front of me, ummm tomorrow, there were quite a few things more pleasant than facing mother right now I wished to attend to. Besides this was as close to civilization as was back home, as I could get to, though the colonists and the English were starting clash more.
Damn it leave it to them both to spoil my fun. Flashing out I arrived in my room, yes I could still feel her presence, here I had hoped that she'd be gone by now. That way there wouldn't be uncomfortable silence, stares and accusations (though well founded on my part). Stepping into my office I was astounded to find mother sitting there waiting for me.
"I am not here to argue," she started, "just to tell you that your father has requested that I return, as you know I am the best healer of the mages. I have heard that your powers have surpassed your father's, I am extremely proud of you my son." "Are things really that bad mother?" I asked.
"Yes, I am afraid we are going to lose a good number of both clans before this is over, though I and a few others have managed to halt it in a good many, it still continues to ravage the rest." she said sadly.
"I should have been recalled, my powers are beyond yours and father's I know I could have wiped it out by now," I spit out almost ashamed that I wasn't there to help. "No Johnathon, it is far more important that you remain here and build up the fortune here in America, in case we have to bring the clan here." My mother said sadly, "I would not like to have to be here in these primitive conditions." "I understand that mother but I could be home in no time, I've found a way to cross, it only takes about 2 hours," I said.
Evelyn hid the shock she was feeling, 2 hours? Just how much more powerful was her son? Shaking the thoughts from her head she kissed her son, gathered her assistants the poof was gone. Breathing a sigh of relief I was about to sit when I saw several of Lady Vishnew's lackeys loading her box onto the train. Ok, now I was REALLY suspicious, both were leaving? Both at the same time something was definitely up, and I wasn't about to believe that bull shit story my mother had given me, no they were up to something.
The only problem was I who always had as much information as I could before I moved on something, had nothing a most unusual position for me, one I'd definitely have to amend. I was about to turn when one of the lackeys broke from the others and approached me, "I have a letter from my mistress, she thanks you for the other night and hopes to partake of such a night again in the future." With that he left a wax sealed envelope in my hand and even more suspicions in my mind.
Walking into the office again, I could see Dan sitting at my desk about to pull his hair out trying to figure out todays accounts, I had to saw he'd learned a lot in the last year could almost do everything simple in the books, but still couldn't grasp all the ideas of advanced math yet. "Alright Dan, I'm back let me see them," I told a very relieved looking Dan.
"Thank you boss, I was afraid I'd mess them up if I went further than I did I got the starting amounts down after that I lost it," he said. Looking at the books he'd actually did quite well, hell he'd saved me an hour or 2 of work.
2 hours later I managed to finally open the letter from Lady Visnew. <Mr. Timmings, It is with a heavy heart that I must depart, it appears that other concerns of my Lord have come up that I must attend to. Please accept my apology, we will try to visit again in a few months when more time is in order. Her Grace Lady Genevieve Vishnew> My eyes narrowed, she was making an official announcement?
Damn, Damn, Damn, now I was even more suspicious that they were up to something. Sighing I knew I was trapped there weren't many that had escaped the clutches of these two when they got together, and now it appeared Lana and I were targeted as their latest victims.
Hmmmm, I thought then a smile crossed my lips there was a way to turn this back on them, I didn't want to but in the long run they'd finally leave me and Lana alone. I hoped.