Winter Wars

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Even though Marcy has been talking to people again, but I’m still pretty clueless as to what’s going on. I mean, I know the gist. She’s making alliances, getting on the other Alphas to get their act together—as politely as possible—trying to arrange a meeting with Claus Conley, the supposed leader of the Eastern Patriots. Yes, that’s the name they’ve come up with. I don’t know why kickass werewolves and vampires want to sound like a football team.

Other than that, I have no idea about the details. She could be asking the Alphas to plan a coordinated line dance and I won’t catch wind of anything. It’s sad, but unfortunately true.

Around Wednesday that same week, royalty returns. I pause my show (I honestly have nothing to do without direction and because of Marcy, I don’t have one) to greet them.

“Hey, honey,” Dana says. “Have you seen Marcy?”

“She’s sleeping,” Dana—well, she doesn’t really pace, just takes large steps in one direction, the turns and takes more large steps in the other.

“It’s only eleven,” she says in surprise. “We came as early as we could, for vampires anyway.”

“She’s catching up on much needed sleep. It’s been stressful for her lately,” If only I knew why. Details, I need details. “What’s up? I could probably help.”

Trevor gives me a cautious glance. “I do believe that it would be best if we could speak to Marcy.”

I narrow my eyes. Am I invisible? What is it going to take for everyone to believe that I am as equally important as Marcy? I’m not trying to preach or anything from a high horse, but I’m not useless. (I think). I talked to people for a living, being a nurse and all, and I soothed just as many heartbroken family members as I have given them hope. If anyone should be at a meeting to solidify an alliance, it should be me.

“Marcy is sleeping because it’s been very stressful,” I start. “Ryner is taking her place and Ethan is with him. Jayson is also busy training the kids on how to defend themselves. I am your last and only choice. Take me or don’t because it won’t just be us whose alliance will be at stake.”

Maybe my words penetrated their thick skulls, maybe they realize that they won’t get anywhere if they don’t take me because taking anyone else would be an insult, but Trevor gives me an approving look and says, “If it is a must, then we will gladly have you along.”

“It’s gonna be such a long drive,” Dana complains as we start towards the front door.

“I have a better idea,” I say quickly turning us around to the kitchen. Jebus knows what might happen if I go to meet the witches in a pissy mood. We start tromping out to the forest, careful to avoid being seen by Jayson.

“Are you nervous?” she asks.

“Not really, I’ve been in dangerous situations before.”

“You know something, I don’t get why it takes a war to make alliances. Witches and werewolves and vampires and everyone else are basically the same. They both have leaders, neutral meeting grounds, something creepy and weird, some of them are assholes—but that last one goes for humans too.”

“But werewolves are disorganized and often go head to head with each other over territory. Vampires have monarchs and witches have their Circe—if the supernatural community ever did go to war just within themselves, wolves would be screwed.”

“A very sound analysis,” Trevor nods. “But vampires aren’t entirely organized either.”

“You wouldn’t believe how many coups I have to stop a year,” Dana grumps. “Aggravating.”

“Onyx!” I call once we’ve reached a good spot. Onyx herself is still at the field medic training facility, but sending parts of her here to help keep Westmoor safe is what she’s been doing recently. How she does it is beyond me, but I’m glad she’s here.

The ground shifts and tilts and lifts until Onyx is standing in front of me. “Hello, Trina.”

“I’ve got a question,” She nods for me to go on. “Are you good with overland travel?”

“I could probably take you anywhere in the western hemisphere in a matter of seconds. Why? Where are you going?”

Being a fairy, she can tell when I’m lying, so I stick with the truth. “We’re going to meet with witches.”

“Hmm,” she hums. Her eyes narrow as she looks at all of us. “Marcy doesn’t know.”

It’s not a question, but I answer anyway. “Nope. Will you take us there?”

She slowly nods and snaps her fingers and dirt starts to lift from the ground until a perfect rectangle, the side of and average door, appears. “Sure, but if something goes wrong, it’s on your head.”

“Are either of you dizzy?” I ask from the ground. Onyx apparently isn’t any good with height because we dropped from six feet in the air. “Because I’m positive there were only three of us.”

Trevor holds out his hand to help me up. My feet are lifted off the ground. “Yeash, and I thought Marcy was strong.” Although, if it ever came down to it, I’d put my money on Marcy.

I brush the leaves from my hair and look up at the massive house looming in front of us. It looks a little like Westmoor with tall doors, old wood, and a gazillion windows. But it’s bigger, grander, and darker. Mom and dad wouldn’t have liked it. They didn’t want grandeur, they wanted accommodating.

“Be aware,” Dana says as we approach the door. “Witches aren’t easy to offend, but don’t bring up any stereotypes.” I wouldn’t even if I saw one. I hate werewolf stereotypes as much as I hate black girl stereotypes. It pisses me off in the worst way.

The front door swings open and a short women with a pixie haircut (Marcy would get the irony of this) greets us.

“Your Majesties,” she curtsies. She looks at me. “And you are?”

“Katrina Winters.”

Her eyes narrow. “Tiffany Holt.” She turns and marches forward.

“She doesn’t take well to new people,” Dana whispers. “I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“When around someone as sardonic as Marcy it’s hard to take offense too much.”

Dana giggles as we turn the corner to a large dining room. Just like the outside, the inside is grand, big, and dark. Dark cherry wood, deep velvet curtain, plush red carpet. If anything, this fits the vampire house stereotype.

A woman is sitting on one side talking quietly to someone on her phone. After the mile long trek down the table (who needs this many chairs?) and she hangs up and stands. “Trevor. Dana.” She turns her grey eyes on me. “You’re Katrina, not Marcelletta.”

“No, but I’m her sister and Luna. Seeing as she, herself, isn’t at all diplomatic, we assumed it best to send someone of equal value and importance who is also tactful.”

“Very well,” She sits and we follow suit. “I’m Veronica Vermouth. Call me Vivi.”

And so we sit, and so we talk, and so I pull words and sentences from my ass because I have no idea just what everyone has been talking about. After five minutes of batting around the recent topics (curtsey of Trevor and Dana who have my eternal gratitude), I start taking over the conversation.

“My witches are as loyal as they come,” Vivi says again. For some reason, I’m almost positive she thinks I’m questioning how reliable her witches are.

“Loyalty is what we need,” I nod. “We’re truly not asking for much. I understand that you don’t want to be extremely active in this war, and you won’t have to be. We only want you to grant us assistance when we need it and being privy to your wishes, it won’t be often.”

“And just think,” Dana chimes. “If you have this alliance with us now, it might just stop another war from breaking out against the humans. So many people are afraid of witches already, but align you with a strong Pack like Marcy and Trina’s along with dead monarchs, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

“And,” Trevor adds. “If a war amongst the supernatural happens, you won’t be attacked due to the additional protection of both our parties, and, perhaps, the fairies.”

“Fairies?” she asks cautiously. “We’ve never truly been on good terms.”

“While I encourage reconciliation with all, that’s not quite what he meant,” I say. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or, in your case, comrade. Maybe you don’t care for the other, but there are two things in the world that can always bring people together: death and a common enemy.”

“Perhaps… perhaps you can be the mediator,” Vivi concedes. “You have a way about you that I like.”

“I do my best,” I smile. “For right now, our relationship with the fairies is neutral, but we’re working on getting a sound agreement. As for the diviners and everyone else, they’ve made themselves scarce.”

“Except for Matrianna,” Dana says. “She’s been popping up in everyone’s live because of the war.”

“Yes,” Vivi frowns. “She’s made her position on this clear. She’s neutral for all intents and purposes.” I furrow my eyebrows together, but don’t say anything. Matrianna hadn’t explicitly said she’s on our side, but her actions speak otherwise.

“Well, thank you for coming here,” Vivi says as we stand and make our way to the door. “It’s quite refreshing to talk to a woman instead of a man—no offense, Trevor.”

“None taken,” he smiles. “As my wife would tell you, taste in shoes would put to shame the most dedicated of women.”

“Just saying,” Dana puts her hands up in mock surrender. “No one should have almost three hundred pairs of shoes that look exactly alike.”

“If you were human, you’d make a great president,” Vivi says ignoring the quarrelling couple. “Believe it or not, there haven’t been any presidents who have been inherently good at being diplomatic.”

“Well,” I shrug. “I’m sure there are better suited people than me, but thanks. That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me.”

She looks above my head and furrows her eyebrows, but keeps a smile on her face. “It’s great to have you as an ally.”

As we walk away I pat my head. “Was there something on my head? She looked at me weirdly.”

“Oh, no.” Dana says walking with her large steps. “She did that to us too. A Circe has this ability to see how long someone has until they keel over. She said she felt bad for Trevor because we’ve got a long time before either of us kick the bucket.”

“I’m just glad you both love each other enough,” I can’t imagine living for thousands of years and always being with the same person. Not that I couldn’t love them, I would just get tired of living.

“Yeah,” Dana kisses Trevor’s cheek. “He’s worth it even if he is an ass sometimes.”

“Your words inspire me, my dear.” Trevor smiles as I call for Onyx. The earthen door appears and we walk through and this time we’re ground level.

“What time is it?” I wonder pushing open the back door. “If it’s not too late—early, whatever—we could talk to Marcy and—”

“You do have a death wish,” Jayson says from the fridge. He’s holding two apples and an orange in one hand, five sticks of celery in the other, and a jar of peanut butter under his arm. Does he ever eat anything unhealthy?

“Why do you say that?” The microwave blinks 3:23 AM.

“Ryner has been spazzing out because Marcy didn’t let him come after you,” He takes a bite of his apple. “They fought over it. Marcy refused to help him.”

“She… she didn’t mind that I left?” I ask cautiously. “She was okay with it.”

He snorts. “Of course not, but she thought it through and figured you’d be the best person to do it.”

“Are they still awake?”

“What do you think?” he asks wandering out of the kitchen. I loiter in the kitchen for a minute after Dana and Trevor beat feat to wherever they’re staying. Slowly I make my way upstairs. I had almost forgotten about Ryner and Marcy. I can deal with Marcy, she can be unorthodox, but reasonable under the right circumstances. But Ryner…

Well, as they say, worst first.

Jayson winks at me as I pass one of the spare rooms. I loiter again outside the door, before pushing it open.

Jayson was right to pick a different room to sleep in because God, Ryner is pissed.

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