Story by T.Charters copyright (C) 2017. email@example.com
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, Gods or Demons, living, dead or imaginary is purely coincidental.
The unknown police officer strode into the butchers as though he owned the place. He glanced around then stared at Bob behind the counter. "Master Watcher," he said.
"Marshall," Bob replied. He clearly knew the man but he couldn't look any less happy to see him. He stood up then slowly stepped around the counter. "It's not often we see one of the chief council enforcers in here," he said coolly. "I assume you're not here for pleasure, or to purchase anything?"
Marshall shook his head. He was tall and powerfully built but beside Bob he somehow managed to look scrawny and weak.
Bob called for Jessica then both he and Marshall stepped into the back room.
"Drink?" Bob offered.
"Where's the girl?" Marshall asked ignoring the offer.
"Girl?" Bob said shaking his head. "What girl?"
"Don't play innocent with me!" Marshall snapped. "You know very well who I'm talking about. Her body's gone, it's been taken from the hospital. Where is it? I want it!" He sounded a little desperate.
"Gone, destroyed," Bob revealed, smiling inwardly. Secretly he enjoyed making the life of the enforcers more difficult than needed. He'd do anything to stop their persecution of normal Fey.
"The Watch?" Marshall suggested as though he didn't already know. He didn't sound happy.
Bob nodded. "As is out way," he replied.
"Who was involved? Tell me their names?"
Bob turned and stared. "I will tell you nothing," he said incredulously. "The Watch does not answer to the council and never has. It's members put their lives on the line every single day to protect the Fey. I will not have them further victimised by someone like you."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Marshall asked.
Bob laughed. "You are cruel and unfeeling," he explained as if the other man wasn't already aware of his own nature. He sounded disgusted. "You think nothing of killing. You see it as some sort of sport. Your kind is the reason the Fey need to hide."
Marshall scoffed and shook his head in defiance. "I will find them," he sneered. "Any who get in the way will pay with their lives."
Bob lunged at the other man. He suddenly seemed a lot larger. For his size he was surprisingly quick. With a single hand he seized Marshall by the neck and hauled him off his feet. His hand was huge, encircling the other man's throat completely.
"You will not touch them," Bob growled, glaring angrily as he spoke. "If I hear of anyone being hurt in the slightest you will answer to me personally. I don't care if I have to fight through the entire council to get to you." He tightened his grip just to make the point.
Marshall scratched feebly at the hand around his throat. He struggled for breath, eyes bulging his legs flailing wildly beneath him.
"Did you really think The Watch didn't know you were up to something," Bob continued. "We've been aware of you for days. There is nothing you can do without us knowing. Nowhere you can hide. You make it more dangerous for all of us. Pretending to be human without any care whatsoever. I'm amazed they haven't guessed already."
"Humans," Marshall wheezed while trying to spit. "This world should be ours not theirs."
The door to the front of the store abruptly opened and Jessica stepped into room. "Gees get a room you two," she joked. She didn't seemed shocked in the slightest. She casually stepped around them, retrieved something from the cold room then returned to the store.
Once Bob have overcome his considerable surprise he threw the other man to the floor. "Leave," he said as pleasantly as he could manage, which wasn't very much. "Don't ever come back. I promise you it won't be as enjoyable an experience."
"You'll pay for this," Marshall croaked.
"No," Bob replied, "I don't think I will." He physically escorted the other man to the door then shoved him out into the street, afterwards he slowly and nervously turned and looked at Jessica who was now sitting behind the counter. "Um, about what you just saw," he said.
Jessica smiled and rolled her eyes like any number of teenagers. "I already know dad," she revealed.
"You know? You do?" Now he really did sound surprised.
Jessica nodded. "Mum told me years ago," she explained.
"She told you!" Bob blurted out with a number of confused expressions playing with his features. He was stunned, bewildered, annoyed and disappointed all at the same moment. He had wanted to be the one to reveal the huge family secret.
"Well, I guessed really," Jessica clarified while grinning a little. "It was obvious that something was going on," she said. "You or mum disappearing for months on end, and the hair," she added sounding quite disgusted. "Do you know how much hair you shed?"
"I don't shed," Bob replied indignantly while crossing his arms. "I moult!" He stuttered with fury, trying to regain some small amount of his dignity. "If you knew then why the Goth outfit?" he asked. He didn't understand. It didn't seem quite so amusing to him anymore.
"For you and Amanda mostly," Jessica replied with a shrug. "You find it funny and she could always do with a laugh."
Marshall picked himself up, rubbed his neck then returned to his car. He painfully fell into the driver's seat, punched the steering wheel in frustration then cursed under his breath. After a time he brought the engine to life then pulled out into the early evening traffic. He drove into the city and turned into a carpark beneath an unnamed high-rise.
It certainly wasn't the largest building in the city, nor was it the most unattractive. In all respects it appeared to be a typical inner city apartment block, pleasantly featured and not completely displeasing to the eye. During its construction questions had been raised about the size of the plant room and the pumps designed to move air and water around the building. They had seemed far too large for a building of this size but in the end the question had been left unanswered and the room unchanged. Scattered around the globe there were dozens of such buildings. The humans who now lived in them were blissfully unaware that they were helping to hide a secret greater than the human world had ever known.
Many Fey thought it ironic.
Marshall drove to the lowest level in the carpark then passed through a solid security door into a heavily protected area. On levels above the numerous carparks were numbered with the apartments which they related to. Here there was nothing. He parked in an empty spot then made his way to a lift in a secluded corner of the garage. There were a number of cars scattered about the space, mostly high performance and extremely expensive, none of which seemed at home in a mid-priced apartment complex. He used a proximity card on a scanner beside the lift, the doors slid opened and he stepped inside. He scanned the card once again then waited for the doors to close. There was no keypad within the lift or buttons for levels, just a card reader connected to a security system which was more closely monitored than any human apparatus anywhere in the world. He glanced up at a camera in the corner of the cabin, the doors closed then the lift began to rapidly drop.
"You realise that the change is to going to hit you one day?" Bob said sympathetically. He knew all too well that it was never an easy time in any young Yeti's life.
Jessica nodded. She shrugged. For the moment she didn't seemed fazed by the knowledge or maybe she just hadn't thought about it enough. "But not Rachel?" she asked.
Bob promptly looked up and stared. He was stunned. He was so surprised that he almost dropped his enormous, ever present mug of coffee. They were sitting together in the back room with the door open so they could see anyone who came into the store. "You, you know about Rachel?" he stammered. He sounded shocked. He really hadn't been expecting that at all.
"Mum told me," Jessica explained once more.
"Did she leave any surprises for me?" Bob asked grumpily. He sat back in his chair, crossed his arms and pouted playfully. At times like this he tried to be more than her father. He was also her friend.
Jessica smiled. "I don't think so," she replied shaking her head. "So why not Rachel?" she asked again.
"The change always skips the first born," Bob revealed. "Your mother and I thought it would be easier for her to be raised with a human family. She would have been little more than an outcast in the Fey world."
"And if you're wrong?" Jessica asked.
Bob chuckled. "Then her boyfriend is in for a rather nasty shock on her twenty-first birthday," he laughed.
"Boyfriend? Twenty-first?" Jessica inquired. She both sounded and looked a little surprised. "You know she has a boyfriend?" she added. "You've kept in contact?"
"Of course," Bob replied sounding a little taken aback. "I'm not a monster."
Jessica grinned a little nervously.
Bob smiled in reply.
"Does Rachel know about me? About us?" Jessica asked.
Bob nodded. "Who we are but not what we are," he explained.
"Can I meet her?"
"You really want to?" Bob asked sounding a little unsure. "You can't tell her anything about the Fey. Not even what we are. Nothing at all!"
"I know," Jessica replied sounding a little disappointed, "but she's still my sister. I could take Amanda with me," she suggested while quickly looking up. "She'll make sure I don't say anything out of place."
"That's a good idea," Bob agreed, nodding seriously. "You might want to wait a few days though," he said. "Amanda has her hands a little full at the moment."
Jessica immediately frowned. "With what?" she asked.
"Something I urgently need to speak with her about," Bob replied seriously.
Jane became a little quiet and a worried frown crept across her face.
"What's the matter?" Amanda asked. She had finished checking Jane's dressing and was now sitting beside her on the edge of the bed.
"If I was human I wouldn't have survived, would I?" Jane said looking up.
"I don't think you should worry about that," Amanda suggested.
"Would I?" Jane pressed.
"Probably not," Amanda replied shaking her head.
"But if by some miracle I had, where would I be now?"
"Still in hospital," Amanda explained, "with many months, maybe years of infections, skin-graphs and therapy ahead of you." She didn't pull any punches.
Jane nodded glumly. "So you're saying being a vampire is a good thing?" she said. She was still struggling with the knowledge of what she was.
"In this case, yes," Amanda responded. She didn't sound that happy herself. She appreciated the benefits of being Fey, but had she been given the choice she would certainly be somewhere else.
"Do you think it was an accident?" Jane asked hesitantly. "What happened to me?"
Amanda paused. Eventually she gently shook her head. "No," she replied sounding quite disgusted. "Some of your injuries are too specific. Not random enough to have occurred within an accident."
"So someone did this to me?"
Amanda didn't immediately reply. Throughout her working life she'd had to frequently witness the abject horror that one person could inflict on another, but still, even she couldn't understand how anyone could intentionally harm another being, regardless of what species they were. To her the very thought, the action was abhorrent. It made her sick to the stomach. She looked up and smiled. "But you got away," she said. "You escaped and someone must have helped you."
"They did? Who?" Jane asked sounding a little brighter.
"I don't know," Amanda replied. "All I know for sure is that someone must have left you outside the hospital."
"But they didn't stay, did they?" Jane said becoming glum once more.
"No, they didn't," Amanda agreed, this time sounding more serious. "But they cared just enough and that saved your life."
Amanda's phone suddenly buzzed and vibrated in her pocket. She pulled it out then stepped into the lounge to answer it. When she returned Jane looked up at her.
"Who was that?" she asked.
"Bob," Amanda replied smiling fondly. "A friend of mine," she explained happily, "it was him who got you out of the hospital." She again sat on the edge of the bed and her expression changed into something a little more solemn. "He told me that someone very unpleasant was looking for you," she revealed. She chose her words carefully. "Luckily," she added, brightening some, "he thinks you're dead and now believes that your body has been destroyed. This man works for the council. It seems that you might have been very important to someone."
"What, what are we going to do?" Jane asked, stammering over her words while looking up and sounding quite frightened.
Amanda smiled and tenderly ran her hand through Jane's hair. "We, are going to get you better," she said sounding quite determined, "then together, if you wish, we'll find out who you were." She bent down and gently kissed Jane on her forehead. "Now sleep," she said, whispering into her ear. "You don't need to worry anymore. You're safe here. No one is going hurt you again. Not while I'm around!"
Marshall slowly pushed open the door then cautiously stepped inside. He appeared to have lost all of his self-important swagger and seemed far less certain than he had been previously.
The door was spectacularly ornate, as was the enormous room beyond, polished marble floors and columns normally only witnessed in the palaces of old.
"Well," a woman prompted as Marshall slowly stepped around the door. Her voice was instantly recognisable. She rose from her desk and glared. "Where is she?" she demanded. The woman was tall and slim with golden hair and alabaster skin, her beauty was obvious but for her sour expression. She was dressed in an elegant gown of silver and gold which seemed to perfectly match the equally grand surroundings.
"Gone, destroyed," Marshall replied tentatively.
"DESTROYED?" the woman shrieked. "And how am I to prove that she's dead?"
Marshall bowed his head in shame. He somehow seemed smaller and weaker than he'd ever appeared before. "The Watch..." he began to reply.
The woman abruptly advanced then savagely backhanded him across face. She struck him so hard that he actually lifted from the floor then flew backwards and crashed into the door slamming it shut. He fell to the floor then lay whimpering at her feet.
"What am I going to do with you?" the woman asked sounding unnaturally pleasant. "You only had one task to complete and you failed."
"Anything you wish Milady," Marshall replied as he knelt then bowed before her. His words sounded hollow as though somehow they weren't his own. He seemed unaware of his badly split lip and the blood dripping from his chin.
"I found you in a gutter and I can send you back there anytime I wish."
"As you desire," Marshall responded automatically, sounding as hollow and as disconnected as before.
"You begged me to turn you," the woman added angrily, she looked quite disgusted. "I can still taste your putrid flesh. Get out of my sight," she ordered, "I will summon you if I ever need you again."
As soon as Jane was asleep Amanda went and collapsed on her own bed. She was exhausted, confused and more than a little embarrassed. She had no idea why she'd kissed Jane. David was right, she'd never bonded with anyone so fully before and she had no clue why. There was a connection between them it was obvious, but if it was some sort of nurse, patient, surrogate mother, daughter or something more personal it wasn't clear. Amanda couldn't remember the last time she'd had a real relationship with anyone. Sure there had been one night stands but since she'd been turned she now had the strength and stamina to transform any partner into a quivering mess. Few had ever returned for a second night.
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