The Riots Gone
True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils.
The next day was littered with confusion and chaos, and this was just breakfast. At the coven, Nora and Sookie were freaking out about what Franklin and Bill told them the other night.
“Vampires are conspiring to divide the alliance between the witches and wolves.”
“Why would they do this Nora?” I asked, she knew I was scrutinizing her. Franklin and Bill’s conspiracy theories are useless unless we know who the mastermind is or if the great divide can actually be accomplished. In all honesty, I wish they would have kept their fucking mouth shut. I hate it when those two get my girls panties all twisted unnecessarily.
“You know that it was a vampire who bombed Fangtasia, they’re blaming the wolves, saying it was the coven paid them to do it!” Sookie was beside herself with all the rumors and upheaval; she’s never been the one to handle stress well.
“Does Bill have any proof of that Sook.?” She’d believe that the blue sky was polka dotted if Bill told her so.
“We don’t need the proof when we already have the motive,” Nora chimed in. “I can tell you why some vampire would do this. There are so many reasons but the main one is power, the second is retaliation. Whoever is after us, wants us divided, that is the only way they can conquer.”
I nodded, that makes sense, Nora always makes sense.
“That night when the witch hunters broke into my house, Absalom broke through the realm.” I’m not sure why I chose to confess that now. But there was never going be a good time to give them the bad news. A chorus of gasped echoed in the breakfast nook. Ruby frowned; Sookie looked visibly shaken and Nora was just furious, she peered my way, face resolutely unimpressed.
“This happened the same night as the bombing, didn’t it?” She questioned but didn’t wait for my response, she already knew the answer. “You saw us the very next day and said nothing... at all” She stood and began to pace the room in frustration, “Would if Absalom had decided to visit us last night? We would have been completely blindsided. As Aether, it is your duty to be our beacon, to shine the light on the darkness.”
“I took care of it. I didn’t tell you because I don’t want our people living in fear. I want them to feel safe and secure.”
“Nothing has changed with you, Tara...” She sneered at me, her face reddened with anger.
“Nora...” I began, but I really didn’t know what to say, she was right after all. I should have told them.
“How many of us will have to die before you realize that we are all in this together.” Her eyes began to water with tears and she stood from her seat.
“Nora wait...” I stood and reached over for her shoulder, she jerked herself away, turned and left the kitchen nook.
“Let her go,” Ruby said calmly, just as I was about to walk out of the room. “I’m pissed too, I knew those assholes were witch hunters but how could you not tell me about Absalom.”
I sighed in defeat. “OKAY!” I shout out in exasperation, “I get your point, if Absalom shows her hideous face again, I will post it on my Instagram, Facebook and my Twitter account!”
“This is all got to be connected somehow,” Sookie mumbled. “This is no coincidence.”
“I think you are right Sook and tonight we need to all meet, our vampires, wolves and the entire coven. We need to find out what everybody knows.”
Sookie nodded her agreement and left; I won’t see her until Bill rises for the night.
“I agree with that too, until then, I want to show you something.” My aunt took a leisurely sip of her coffee and a nibble of her cranberry orange scone.
“Can it wait until later?” I asked, “Since this is an impromptu meeting, I want to make sure all the leaders are available. Alcide and his counsel need a formal invite, and I’ll send the vampires an urgent text, I hope it’s the first thing they read at dusk.”
“You’ll want to have this information at the meeting.” She said, grabbing another scone and pulling it apart. She took a bite, smiled, chewed, swallowed and took another sip of her tea.
She took another bite of her scone.
“Well, what is it?” I snapped impatiently.
“Sit down and have something to eat, you could use some meat on ya bones.” She snicked and popped a piece of food into her mouth.
“My meat and bones are just fine Ruby,” I swear she is getting battier by the minute. She hasn’t handled Lafayette turning very well and I’ve done my best to help, but with Ruby, nothing is ever really helped. “Would you just tell me already.” I sighed, folded my arms and waited.
She glanced at me, rolled her eyes and then took another sip of coffee. She knows what she’s doing. She waited for the vein in my forehead to show before she finally spoke.
“I have a The Black Pullet and The Voynich Manuscript.”
“OMG! The Pullet and the Voynich...How...Ruby.” Unbelievable, she’s sitting there sipping her coffee with her pinky finger in the air as if it’s no big deal to be in the possession of the most powerful Grimories in the world.
“Give them to me now! Naomi will need to find as many counterspells as possible.”
“She already has the Voynich, she’s working on something that will knock their socks off. There’s nothing useful to our fight in the Pullet, that book is strictly for us clairvoyants.”
“Enjoy your breakfast, Auntie.” My voice and expression could not hide my annoyance.
“Stay humble niece.” she sassed, sipping her coffee evenly.
I got the hell out of there as fast as I could. I love my aunt, but she gets on my goddamn nerves.
The sun was already a friendly ball of yellow above, promising more heat as the day progressed. All in all, I couldn’t have asked for better weather. I left the twins with Cathy and I walked the gravel path behind the mansion to the cabins Alcide and his pack members resided. The single men in his ever-growing pack, the ones Alcide deemed tamed and responsible are housed in the modern two-bedroom cabins located at the furthest end of the property.
Although Alcide is my coven’s knight and shining armor and a true ally to our family, my relationship with the handsome pack leader has been a challenge. I didn’t see him for an entire year due to the fact that Eric had glamoured him into deeming me the most repulsive creature on the planet. It was Laffy who figured it all out. Last Halloween, my Coven threw a party and everyone was there, wolves vampires and witches, all mingling and having a good time. I was dressed as a Jabba’s Princess Leia, chain and all, the costume included the sexy bra top, briefs with skirt, belt, choker, arm band, hair clips, and headpiece. I was hotter than a firecracker on the 4th of July and not one straight man or gay woman in the room could keep their eyes off of me, except for Alcide. He told Lafayette that I looked like Jabba The Hut with lipstick! At that point, we all knew what was up. I immediately had Nora reverse the glamor, but it didn’t mend our friendship. He hated Eric for glamorizing him and rightfully so, but I never could figure out why he still kept his distance from me after that. Avoiding me at all cost... I suppose he feels it’s best, due to Eric’s behavior, or perhaps he feels I should be the one to come to him. Well, this has been the first time in two years that I must speak to him face to face, so maybe, just maybe we can mend our broken friendship now.
I knocked on the first of six cabins and waited patiently. I closed my eyes and drew in a lung full of the woodland air.
“Tara.” Although his face held no sign, I could sense his mood changing, he was happy to see me; wolves are so easy to read.
“Alcide, hi...” He’s wearing a grey wife-beater, dark blue jeans, and Timberlands. His hair is longer and his beard is thicker, and I swear he’s even more toned and muscular than before.
“Come in,” His mouth twitched like he wanted to smile.
“How are you,” I asked, stepping into his cozy cabin and following him to the living room. He and his men built these impressive, yet simplistic, rustic log cabins themselves.
“I’m fine, and you.”
“Take a seat anywhere you like,” he motioned towards the chocolate brown microfiber sofa sectional. “Can I get you something to drink, I have water and coffee.”
“No thank you, I just had breakfast with the girls,” I said and took a seat on the couch.
“So, what brings you by?” He asked sitting in the chair across from me. His arms folded over his chest. I thought I’d start out with an appetizer, well sort of small before I got to the meat and potatoes.
“Lafayette is a vampire now.”
“Really, it was only a few nights ago.”
“What can I say, news travels fast in the Supe-World. I haven’t seen him yet.”
“No shit.” I smiled, feeling his excitement and curiosity for my cousin. I felt the same way. I couldn’t wait to see what type of vampire he would be. Although it was of a wolfs nature to dislike vampires, Alcide remained tolerant and taught his pack the same. He and I realize as Supes we are the minority and must stick together. Now that Godric has built a legacy, the vampires will have to come around...I hope...
“Was there anything else...” He asked ready to help in any way he could, that is another trait of his that I admire. I open my eyes wider, keeping the smile. He nods and takes a sip of his coffee, offering no ongoing conversation of his own, so I begin again.
“I’m holding a meeting tonight with all the high-ranking officials in my coven, all of Eric’s trusted vampires and of course you and any wolf you’d like to attend. I believe that a vampire or vampires are trying to compromise the alliance between the coven, the wolf packs and the vampires.”
“Bill and Franklin said that vampires are blaming wolves, saying that witches ordered the attack.”
“That makes no fucking sense.” He scoffed, “what would be the gain for wolf or witch?”
“Nothing, I think it was a tactic, a way to break the trust. I know it’s working because I was totally slandered at the last Vampire meeting.”
“This is bullshit, fucking fangers are never going to trust us, they don’t even trust each other.”
“That’s why we’ll have the meeting tonight, have something to bring to the table and assure them that you and your pack had nothing to do with this, and I will do the same.”
“We shouldn’t have to do that, it’s not us that’s the problem.”
“I know, but the problem will have an effect on us, so I choose to be a part of the solution. Are you with me?”
“I made a promise to Godric that I’d always be there for the Coven, for you.” His eyes were the color of deep sienna, with a mischievous glint that seemed to reflect the corners of his mouth, which were fighting a smile. His loyalty was like no other and my eyes lit up, a million new ideas were streaming through my brain. I’m seeing something new, something amazing like I knew I would. Now I’m as eager as ever to have this meeting.
“Thank you,” I said, “And... I’m sorry for not coming around... I have no excuse. I clearly like you, in case you couldn’t tell.”
“I know.” Alcide gave up hiding his smile and grinned in a way that melted my heart. “No apology necessary. We needed that time apart otherwise I would have felt like shit for hitting on a happily married woman.”
I let the shock show on my face and I laughed. One of those deep, invigorating belly laughs. His behavior after that night made sense, he still held a strong desire for me and I’d be lying if I said I felt nothing for him.
“I’ve always felt connected to the witches, you know Lycans and Necromancers are the cursed ones.”
“All wolves are descendants of Ancient Roman, King Lycaon offended the gods by serving human meat to them at dinner. The god Jupiter punished this misbehavior by transforming Lycaon into a werewolf. In his werewolf form, he could continue his abomination of eating human flesh with less offense. My ancestors abandoned cannibalism and fled to America to start over. For centuries, we were free from persecution until the vampires came to the new world and tried to enslave us, using there highly addictive blood as an encouragement tool. They manipulated many of us to revert to our old ways. The rest of the bloodsuckers stood by idly and watch the innocent witches burn, or worse, became another one of your persecutors.”
I nodded, fully understanding where he was going with this. Vampires have had an obvious impact on the werewolf and in areas where Christianity was prevalent, being a werewolf was associated with witchcraft, the vampires used this to their advantage. Alcide is conflicted, he wants to move on from the past, but some vampires make that difficult. It’s no different than an African American trying to move past the horrible injustices of slavery.
“We are not just a dumb beast like most vampires think we are. Over the years we’ve lost our way but look at us now. We’ve become a pack, a true pack, we are unstoppable. My father, brothers and I have Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas are all united, no flesh-eaters, no V-addicts.
“That’s amazing Alcide.”
“It’s because of you Tara, watching you become a leader inspired me.”
“I don’t know what to say Alcide.” Although Alcide is a gorgeous specimen of a man, He’s not usually the kind of guy I fantasize about. For starters, he’s brunette and I’ve always liked blondes. I lust after blue-eyed men and Alcides are a rich brown like my own. But my god, there is something about this man that draws me in like a moth to a flame. I’m going to get burned...
“You don’t have to say anything,” his brown eyes turned bright hazel and twinkled like embers in a flame. I candidly recalled the time when that used to frighten me. But my heart was racing for a different reason now.
“I’d better go now.” I stood on weak knees and tried not to walk too fast towards the door.
“I’ll see you tonight.” He said and walked up to me slowly and pulled me closer to him wrapping his strong arms around me, gently rubbing my shoulders. His body was warm like a hearth, my body instantly melted into his.
“Yes, tonight, I will text you the exact time.”
We hugged again for goodbye.