Disclaimer: Don’t own any of it. My world, their characters. Capiche?
Pre-Edit Count: 2,467 Words
Song: Who We Are by Switchfoot
Charlie sees the shocked reaction of the young man but thinks nothing of it as he reaches out to shake his hand. “Charlie Swan. It looks like life is getting interesting.”
Teo snorts, “Interesting is not quite the word I would use, but it will work.” With that, he leaves to go back to his computers to let the word go out that they have their Queen.
Concerned, Eric holds his mate to him, using his blood to make sure she is ok. When they had boarded the plane he had at Port Angeles, he had taken her directly to a couch and settled her carefully on his lap. She had fallen asleep on the way to the airport, and he is concerned. There is no way that with the volume of blood she had just taken from him that she should be anything but all over him.
Benedict sits down in the chair in front of them; no one is able to get past him to them. He too is running his eyes over his new charge, as worried as his brother. But they will wait, Eric plans to call Dr. Ludwig in to check her over, but Bella had pointed out that she had no sleep, then put through the minor torture session. She just wanted sleep, then a shower when they got home, and then more sleep.
Agreeing with her then, Eric relishes the idea of her home where she belongs, by his side. However, he does not like how exhausted she is. Once they are home, anything that needs to be done can be taken care of immediately. Unlike being on the plane, where there is nothing at all they can do while in the air, all there is worry and hope that they can make it to the Nevada soil to bury them if it comes to it.
Boarding the plane, Charlie is escorted to a seat so that he can see his daughter, but not where he can be in danger of Eric’s wrath. Godric seats himself next to Charlie and continues the explanation he has been giving Bella’s father. “Right now, he is checking her with his blood, and to be frank, we are all worried.”
Charlie shakes his head. “She had her hours turned nocturnal, then Alice had her up at 7 am? Sure she is tired. She is human.” He is not sure why they are all worried so much about her. She looks tired as he suspects. In a way, it is odd how worried they all are about her.
Making his way to his seat, Ewan collapses his lanky frame next to them, his own eyes watching his sister. “Not with Eric’s blood, not as much as she took. She should be wired. She looks so exhausted and his blood should have healed it. Shit, even if she took that amount of blood of as a baby vamp, she should be better than that.” Thinking it over, he starts planning in case there is something wrong, what will need to be done. With that in mind, he has his security searching out safe places for Eric to take her to ground if need be.
Frowning, Charlie asks, “The age of the vampire means something?” Charlie tries to understand why they are worried.
From his seat, Caius snorts, but he explains to the only other human on board, “In their world, it means so much. The age of the vamp rules everything. Eric is one of the older ones at a thousand. But you are sitting next to a real Elder of the race.” He nods towards Godric. “He is over two thousand years old.” He looks around the room. “In fact none of the vampires in this room are young.” He cocks his head to the side, realizing that unlike what had been reported about the Gaul bloodline, this is proof that it is much bigger than thought. Caius can sense them all having Godric’s blood in them.
Coming in last from the vehicles, needing to shut down the computers that he had been on, Teo slides into his place. And soon has his computers running. Charlie shakes his head, “You are as addicted as any geek I have ever seen.” He had been amazed watching the younger looking vampire engrossed on the laptops he had opened. Charlie had seen him hand them off to another vampire when he boarded.
Preoccupied with his phone, Ewan snorts, “Wait until you see his true home.” Ewan is watching the reports coming in as they look over the places and have the rest of the grounds swept just in case. They don’t need their new Queen to be in any danger. Not with how Eric is right now.
Teo just rolls his eyes, “For your information, what I do is so beyond your comprehension.” He waves off the rest of the teasing from the others on board as he has his lines of information flowing and making adjustments to what he is seeing as well as throwing his own ideas at Ewan and his crew.
Watching them all, knowing what the real reason the joking is going on, Godric groans, then tells Charlie, “He shows off all the time.” But he smirks, “However, he does have a reason. Teo is in charge of the computers, numbers, all of it. He is always on a computer, but he is always working. We know he plays, but all the pure work he puts in would boggle your mind. Only because Eric likes to talk with him is the reason he brought his progeny who is as bad as he on board with us at our home.” Sending his approval to the entire line, Godric continues the charade. But he is already making plans in his head if Charlie becomes a problem.
They all chuckle at him. Charlie is shaking his head. “So you guys have been here all along?” He is heading back to the conversation he had been having with Godric in the car.
Looking back up since his teams are working on his questions, Ewan nods. “Also, there have always been humans who know who we are. My Clan is one of the trusted of the Bloodline.” They had been bouncing him from one to another on purpose to keep Charlie off focus.
Looking shocked, “Clan?” Is that what they called each other’s groups? Though it wouldn’t be as bad as some of the names Charlie had heard from teens in Forks. Covens. Like they are witches.
Ewan stands up and bowing slightly to the man, “Ewan Locheil, Chief of Clan Cameron at your service.” Besides Eric, who had been King, and Godric, who held the same level of authority over his tribe, he had been the highest ranked human. But since they are keeping the attention off Eric, this helps.
Charlie looks to him then at Eric, “But I thought he is the leader?” He is still frowning trying to figure out what is going on.
Looking up from his screens that are telling him they are set at home, Teo laughs, “He is our King, but he is the King of Nevada. He took it over the night he met your daughter. When he said he brings a Kingdom as her bride price, he really means it. But Godric is the acknowledged head of our bloodline. Ewan is the leader of his clan, but while he is a king, he is not one that any group will recognize. It’s why his clan is under Eric now, being protected by him.” He is amused by this game, and if it keeps the peace, he will play it with the rest of the family.
It’s not like they are giving away state secrets. Now that they are out, some of the information will be released to the public. The good stuff at least.
Leaning his head back, he mutters, “So much.” It boggles his mind how much history must be on this plane alone, and the fact that the youngest is actually the oldest of them all. Though he does acknowledge that for the time that Godric probably lived, he might have been middle aged.
Pleased that their tactics to keep him off of Eric and allow him to care for his mate have worked, Godric nods in answer. “And you are getting full disclosure. The rest of your race only got the bare essentials. But we were told if this didn’t happen tonight, that there would have been backlash.” He smiles. The full disclosure for a human not mated to a vampire that is.
Listening and respecting their tactics with Charlie, Jasper, who had been silent all this time, comments, curious on what the rest of the Volturi would have done. “Caius, how will they backlash if we have everyone?”
He growls, and stretches out his feet. “Whoever killed Chelsea, we owe an enormous debt to. Before, everyone would have done things. But Aro is not happy. Really not happy. Expect him to try to do something, but you took the winds out of anything they could have done right away with your revelation.” He smirks as he thinks on how tactical the attack had been. He had been surprised even.
Watching his charges, Benedict finally asks, “Can you guys keep it down.”
With those few words, every eye turns to Bella and Eric. You can see that Eric is holding her, but it looks as though he is asleep. All the vampires know that Eric is going into a trance to try to see what is wrong with Bella.
Godric nods, watching them. He knows Eric put himself in downtime, knowing that there is not a single member of his family who would not protect him when he is so vulnerable. He hopes that he can find what is wrong with his mate, but when he see’s Eric’s shoulders sag, and his eyes open to look down at his mate, he sighs.
Concerned also, Teo watches them, and with a glance to his brother, he sends the message. The reply is fast, the good doctor will be there waiting for them.
Shocked by how orderly them getting off the plane and getting here is, Charlie is still shaking his head as they pull up to what is obviously a new casino. Though he knows the strip is only a few feet away, it is like he is stepping out onto a forested area. “Wow.” He is starting to feel somewhat better if this is where his Bells will be. But then, Edward had money as well.
Having passed Eric his findings, Ewan nods his head. “Amazing what money, weres, and witches can do. And there is nothing to even suggest that anything but smart landscaping is the reason.” He is proud of that fact. It had been his Queen’s suggestion, but he had been the one to carry out that idea of hers.
Thinking of how calming it is, Charlie looks up at him, “How much noisier is it going to get with the public?” If it is this quiet, maybe he will come back. He never was a golfer, but maybe he might take it up to have something to do when he visits.
Looking up at the trees at the sky that is magically available to them, Godric stops, “None. The witches have cast spells on this area, and this will be known for being restful, fun. It is nature brought to Sin City, and your daughter is the key person who came up with most of this.” He smiles. The spell is not powerful enough for a human to notice, but all Supes will be able to see the stars, unlike how the stars normally would have appeared in the light pollution that surrounds the Sin City.
Looking around him, Charlie just shakes his head in apparent bemusement. The group moves indoors, and Godric stops Charlie. “Sorry, but if you wish to follow, you need a blindfold. The way to their sanctuary is known to very few, and we would like to keep this secret.” This is a point that they agreed that Godric will press. Charlie seems to respect him. But there is no way he, as he is now, is allowed to know where the Royal suites are.
Thinking of how they said they were literally dead for the day, he can see the sense in the protection. Charlie nods his head. “Yeah, sure, sure.” Within moments, he is blindfolded, and then picked up and taken somewhere fast. All he can feel are the sense of movement and the wind going by.
When he opens his eyes, he is watching his daughter being placed very gently on the couch of a very opulent room by Eric. He looks around, surprised how open to the sky the rooms are. The whole place is very exposed, but at the same time, he gets the impression this is on purpose.
Moving aside a lock of hair that had fallen across her face gently, Eric watches his Bella. He knows her father is here, but right now, his mate is his focus. When the brownie pops in, he greets her, “Ludwig.” He ignores the sound from Charlie, intent on seeing what is making his fiery mate sick. This is not normal in any world.
She nods at him, with respect. “Majesty.” The Northman had been one she had loved to needle in the past, but seeing him with his head bowed, as well as knowing from the email she had received this is his mate, she gives him the respect she has always had for him. She heads over and looks down at the woman below her, “How much blood and how long ago?” She asks it, already pulling items out of her bag, set to find out why this young woman is not bouncing around the room.
“She completed the second bonding with me two hours ago, and easily a liter. I took much less, just enough to complete the bond and to taste her.” Eric’s voice is low, conveying what she needed to know in as few words as possible. He is still torn if he should have taken any blood, but he wanted the second bond so much, as did she.
Hearing yet again on how Eric had drank from his daughter, Charlie’s hands cannot help from clenching, but he refrains from saying anything. This is her choice and an informed one from what he can tell.
The tiny doctor nods. She checks Bella’s vitals, and then checks her body over, hissing slightly when she see’s the bite scar on her wrist. She murmurs under her breath a spell and her hands hover over Bella’s body as she looks at the spells results. Shaking her head, she mutters yet another spell.
The bloodline is gathered around, some of them outside the building, but the doors are being held open by other members as they all listen to what is being done for their Queen. If Charlie could see all the beings that are in the trees, all over the grounds, and even in the ground in the hive waiting, he would understand how much his daughter really means to these beings.
After a few tense minutes, Ludwig rolls on her balls of her feet then looks up to the anxious mate. “She is exhausted. That is some of it. But she also is showing the effects of fighting whatever it is that they did to her, as well as it seems your blood is healing bone damage, not all of it recent. However, there are some bruises on them.” She shakes her head. There is so much that she sees signs of other things wrong, but all her spells and tests are coming back negative.
Eric’s growl is echoed by the rest of the bloodline. Hearing how many are around him, Charlie looks up, his eyes wide. But his head is brought back to the tiny doctor, as she mutters, “So much damage.” She looks up at Eric. “I don’t know which to recommend. To bring her over now, or have her suffer while we try to heal her.” She blinks again, then mutters, “Poor little one. What the hell have you gone through?”
Looking at his beloved, as he weighs the pros and cons, Eric’s eyes look at hers, and he asks, “How much suffering?’ Bella had already told him her wishes in regarding being turned. He cannot allow her to suffer if there is no reason.
Growling at the question, Charlie shakes his head and steps forward, evading Teo’s grab for him, “Woah. Wait a minute. Are you talking about killing her? My daughter? Why?” The last is said through clenched teeth. He is tired of all of this, but he is going to get some answers. His daughter is not going to die just because they want it!
Swinging around to face the angry man, and stepping in-between him and his mate, Eric growls as he demands of her father, “We are talking about how much pain she will suffer until she is healed, which the good Doctor has admitted may not happen. There will be no pain for her to become mine. Not the way I do it. Now, why would you want her to suffer? You have been told that my blood is ancient, should have healed her, and we hear now that it is still healing her!” He stands there, slightly hunched, and ready to do anything to protect Bella.
Quickly realizing this is going downhill, the doctor looks at the man, then back to Eric, “Who is he?” Her eyebrow is lifted, waiting to see what authority this man could possibly have with her patient. In her world, mate trumps everything.
Still staring down the human, Eric’s jaw clenches as he holds himself still, “Her father,” he spits out. This man will not be the reason why his mate suffers any more than she is now.
Blinking, Ludwig turns to the man. “Do you understand what is going on here?” How can any child want their child to be in more pain? So she can only think he is lost here.
Charlie crosses his arms in front of him, “Not really. Why don’t you tell me to make sure I do?” He never looks at her, facing the Viking.
She shakes her head at the idiocy of the man in front of her. The Viking took over the monarchy of this state for less. But she tries to explain. “Your daughter was subjected to psychological warfare to make her submit to a Cold One. Everything about them is designed to lull a human to them. The marks I see healing under her skin is from needles stuck into her far enough, hard enough to bruise her bone. So someone was drawing her blood, not caring about the damage they were doing. So we have an unknown substance that had been in her bloodstream, subduing her will, someone drawing blood from her very often. We also have the fact that unknown substance, from what Eric has told me, had a withdrawal response from her the first time that made her a zombie. All that she suffered the first time will happen again.” She is blunt, trying to make him see what a mistake he is making.
Paling from the words, Charlie doesn’t get to say anything as she continues, “And then we have the healing agent in a thousand-year-old vampire’s blood that would usually heal all of that quickly in the quantities he gave her. Not even mentioning as her mate, his blood is especially influential in her. And she is sleeping, looking like she has not in weeks. So yes, this will be painful, enough that it may make her wish to be dead. So you tell me you wish her to go through a worse version of what you have seen, with the additional damage she has suffered from?” She is almost accusing at the end as she thinks through all the suffering this man may put his daughter through for no real reason.
Needing a clarification from something she said, Jasper steps forward, and he asks, “Did the needles go only to the bone? Or did they go deeper?” He is worried and as much as he doesn’t want to say anything, if he is right, it is imperative that they find it out right away.
They all look at him, shocked at the question, but they all turn back to the doctor, whose face had gone hard. She turns back to Bella, and with a muttered spell, she turns back to the Cold One, “How did you know?” Her voice shows how much she wishes he wasn’t right. This is worse than she had thought.
Jasper looks sick, hearing that the woman he cared for as a sister and his savior has been subjected to what he thought is inhumane as he explains. “It’s something Emmett did when he drained his singer. He took the body, and no one could tell it was human afterward. He had cracked the bones to get anything that had blood in it; had anything of the flavor in it. I hear it is actually not that uncommon. A singer normally has no chance to live; I just don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier. It is why he kept her away from everything and everyone.” He says the last softly.
Quick on the uptake, as it had been one of the thoughts going through his mind, Eric growls. Then in the next second he is gone with Bella. Charlie makes to move, and Benedict is the one who stops him this time as what he is, their guardian. This man has now become a liability, a threat.
When Charlie yells at him, “Let me go, I will stake that fucker before he kills my daughter!” He is turning red in the face with his rage.
Godric shakes his head, “Too late. He will not allow his mate to suffer. Do you understand what Jasper just said?” Godric is hoping that maybe explaining will allow Bella a little longer with her father. Otherwise, he suspects she will lose him sooner.
Charlie is still struggling against Benedict, “He said Edward would have broken her very bones. She is alive!”
Breaking in, Ludwig’s voice only holds sorrow for the shortened life of the Northman’s mate, “She is living on borrowed time. The Cold One took her marrow, that which makes your red blood cells, that without it, you have no immune system. It is as if she is in the late stages of AIDS. In fact, it was the first thing I looked for, but she has nothing. But there is no way to guarantee that a cold won’t get to her. Maybe some germ from you being in her presence. Any of it will kill her. It is why she is so tired.” Her mind is quickly thinking of what they can do, who she can contact to see how they make her life last longer if needed. She will do anything to give her that much.
Charlie just stares at her. “So he is killing her?” The pain is in his voice. He is going to lose his daughter, and she is going to turn into a walking dead.
Benedict sighs. “She is going to become one of us. He will wait until she wakes so the Bonding will be finished, but once he feels it, he will finish the turning, sending her into a deep sleep. Eric is the gentlest of us all, even Godric in turning.” He explains to the man. Benedict is sad, he, as everyone else, had looked forward to meeting their Queen that Eric had designed so much for her to see as a human. He wanted her to come to him and ask to be turned.
Charlie sags, “How…why?” How do they know he is gentle? Why is he the one to turn her? How did it get to this?
Understanding the pain of losing a child, Godric comes to put his hand on his shoulder. “We all have been ordered by my maker to turn children, and then foster them out to others, all for the survival of the bloodline for a later time that they will be needed. That time has come now. But Eric is the eldest of them all, but since him, they are all close to his age, those in this room. There are more, and Eric’s own children are here, except two. And they will all tell you, he truly has them suffer nothing. But if you excuse me, I need to be elsewhere.” And with that he answers the call he received from Eric. There is hope in the call, so he doesn’t want to delay in case there is something that can help.
Benedict is still holding Charlie, but he looks at his other two brothers, worry in his features. Charlie is sobbing, collapsing, and Benedict guides him to a chair. They all stare back at him, the same look in their features, and they can feel it through the bloodline that is standing outside.
Finally, Benedict looks to Ludwig and raises his eyebrows. She looks at him, “All we can do is pray. If he called for Godric, well.” She shakes her head, then looking down at her phone as it goes off. She tilts her head to the side muttering, “That might actually work” as she disappears.
Final count, 4,312 words.