In Your Blood: Blood Lines

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Chapter 10

SCENE ONE

Fred Norwich and Jean-Marc walked into the mansion of Jean-Baptiste Lafitte. The mansion looked like it was out of a southern gothic novel. Large column pillars, a wide porch that surrounded the entire mansion. It looked like the set of “Gone with the Wind.” They went deeper into the mansion until they got to Jean-Baptiste’s study. The walls were filled with floor to ceiling book shelves. A fire was roaring in the golden fireplace. Jean-Baptiste sat behind a giant mahogany desk. He had long dark hair pulled into a ponytail. He had dark brown eyes that were red where the whites should be. He had his long fingers steeple on the desk top.

Fred dragged a shackled and leg ironed Jean-Marc up to his father’s desk. “I delivered this traitor to you. He admitted to me that he ordered his half-breed offspring to attack your sons”

“It’s a shame you brought this filth into my home.” Jean-Baptiste snarled. “The sight of it makes me ill. I can smell the half-breed stink on him.” He walked over and spit on Jean-Marc. “The idea of my son mating with a werewolf! Having wolf pups!” He slapped his son. “As if that was enough of a disgrace, he turns against his brothers by ordering their execution!

Jean-Marc had tears in his eyes. He held out his hands and then put them on the desk. “No Papa! This man is lying! I would never order anyone to attack my flesh and blood.

Jean-Baptiste threw back his head and laughed. He stood up and smacked the hands of his son. “Do you really expect me to believe you? After being gone for so many years? “Prodigy a reprezante retounen. Ki jan manyen” (The prodigal son returns, how touching.”

. “Mwen regrèt mwen gen dezakò rivalite choimhlint nou Choinnigh nou, reyèlman pou bato sa a. Tanpri Padonnen m 'lan. (I am sorry our disagreements have kept us apart for so long) Jean-Marc said. “I could not help who I fell in love with.”

Fred snorted and put his head down. He then bent over holding his stomach. “Oh man I almost peed my pants with that one.” He rocked back and forth. “Shit, if I keep this up I will get the hiccups.”

Jean-Baptiste glared at Fred. “I am surprised you understand our conversation.”

“My job required I know different dialects of Creole. So I got the Rosetta Stone on Haitian Creole.”

“The actual Rosetta Stone? That is not possible.” Jean Baptiste said.

“It is a set of audio books called the Rosetta Stone.” Fred said.

“Never mind about that.” Jean-Baptiste pointed at Fred. “My son does have a point about you lying. It could be that Alister Stirling sent his pet to trick me and my family.

Fred sneered and folded his arms. “I am nobody’s pet. I work for myself. I only work for the Stirling’s when the price is right. Besides, I owe them payback for all the grief they caused me and my wife.”

Jean-Baptiste smirked and shook his head. “Yes, I have heard of the family drama over the years. Yet, I am surprised you are here.

“Fred said. “I believe in the old saying “Revenge is a dish best served cold. I hope it is so cold they choke.”

Jean-Baptiste laughed. Jean-Baptiste got up and went to the liqueur cabinet. He brought out two bottles of Scotch. He poured two shots. He raised his glass, “Here’s to the Stirling’s choking.” Fred and Jean-Baptiste drained their shots.

Jean-Baptiste gestured at Fred. “Since you are here, I might as well hire you to finish the werewolves off. The Jones family is out tracking them now. I need a man with your expertise to wipe them out forever.”

. “I thought you had a treaty with them? Fred asked.

“The wolves claim Jean-Paul and Jean-Luc broke the treaty when they had relations with two of their pack member’s mates. One of them is related to my traitor son. Leo, alpha pack leader claims that Jean-Marc told he would offer help against his own family.” Jean-Baptiste said.

“Those wolves take their mates seriously. They imprint on someone and go crazy if anyone touches them.” Fred said. “Once they imprint, they mate for life. Nothing can break that bond. Just ask Jean-Marc.”

“I don’t care; they will pay for hurting my children.” Jean-Baptiste said. “Now, are you interested or not?”

“How much?” Fred asked as he walked toward the desk. He leaned on it and smiled.

“How does $50,000 sound? Plus $25,000 bonus on completion.” Jean-Baptiste said.

Fred whistled. “I accept the offer. What do you want me to do?”

“I need them completely wiped out of the Bayou. Those pesky dogs should have been gone long ago. I want them blown to kingdom come.” Jean-Baptiste said. “I won’t have to suffer the embarrassment of half-breeds tainting the Lafitte name.”

“It will take some time to set up and gather explosives. I will need at least a week.” Fred said.

Jean-Baptise pounded on the table. “You can take as long as you want. Don’t stop until there is nothing left of those mutts.

“Now we have to take care of another matter.” Fred said. “You asked for proof that there is a traitor in your family. I have proof that Jean-Marc’s betrayal runs a lot deeper than the werewolves. He has plan with the Stirling family to wipe out the Lafitte’s and Jones family.”

“What do you mean?” Jean-Baptiste asked. “What could possibly cause the demise of my family dynasty?”

“Not what, but whom. Someone who has blood ties to both the Stirling’s and Jones family. Also the Davis family” Fred said.

“That is impossible! The only such person has been dead for almost 10 years!” Jean-Baptiste gasped.

Fred grinned and waved his hands in a hocus-pocus gesture. “Seems there has been a miracle. Molly Dillon has risen from the dead!” Fred pointed at Jean-Marc. “Jean-Marc has known about her for years. He was one of the few Alister Stirling told. Your dear son was sent here to run interference. The Stirling’s sent him here to keep you occupied. I believe the whole mess with the wolves was really their idea.” Fred shook his head and laughed. “That idiot, Alister, thinks I came here to help.

Jean-Marc backed away from his father’s desk. “Papa, do not listen to him. He is crazy! Molly has been dead for over 10 years.”

Fred said, “You have to wonder why he has come back after all these years. He claims he wants to make peace. I think he is spying for his friends, the dear Stirling family.”

Jean-Marc sniffled and breathed heavily. He struggled in his shackles He screamed. Blood ran from under the wrist shackles.

Fred laughed. “You got to love silver lined shackles.”

“Papa, he is lying. He set me up. He is working for them, not me.” Jean-Marc yelled.

Jean-Baptiste reached up and tugged on a rope. A bell sounded. “Let’s see what your brother’s has to say. Jean-Claude and Jean-Luc are the only ones well enough to be out of bed.”

Two men walked into the study. They resembled Jean-Baptiste. They gasped when the saw Jean-Marc. Jean-Claude glared at him. “Ki sa ki se ke trayi Jezi fè isit la?” (What is that traitor doing here?”

Jean-Baptiste clucked his tongue. “Is that any way to greet your brother?”

Jean-Claude spit on Jean-Marc. “I only have three brothers. Jean-Paul and Jean-Luc and Jean-Pierre.”

“Li te vini nan fè lapè. Li lanse tèt li sou pitye nou an.” (He has come to make peace. He throws himself on our mercy.) Jean-Baptiste said. “Kote se konpasyon ou a? padonnen ak bliye, dwa?” (Where is your compassion. Forgive and forget, right?)

Jean-Claude snorted. “I will never forgive or forget what he has done to our family. He abandoned us and worked with our enemies.”

Jean-Marc spoke up. “It was business. I went to seek my fortune and used the Stirling clan to my advantage. I never meant it as a betrayal.”

Jean-Baptiste leaped across the desk snarling his fangs sharpened. His drew his claws. He raked his claws across Jean-Marc’s face. “Ou te toujou trè estipid!” (You were always very stupid) Did you really think I would buy your story? You are here to spy for the Stirling’s.”

“No father!” Jean-Marc cried. “I was never a friend of their clan. My loyalty was always with you.”

“You are found out.” Fred said. “Your father is way too smart to fall for such a stupid lie. You have been the Stirling’s snitch for almost a century.”

Jean-Claude gasped. “What are you doing? I thought you were friends of the Stirling’s?” He walked toward Fred shaking his head.

Fred burst out laughing. “I am tired of being a lap dog for the Stirling’s. I came to offer Jean-Baptiste some assistance with a rouge werewolf pack. A man has got the right to take care of himself.”

Jean-Marc said. “Please Fred, do not betray me. Tell them I am loyal to my family.”

Jean-Baptiste screamed and slapped his son. “I tire of your drivel, show some dignity and shut-up!”

Jean-Marc let out a screeching sob. Tears fell from his eyes and snot came out of his nose.

Jean-Baptiste looked at Jean-Marc with disgust. He kicked him. “Ou te toujou pi fèb la. Se mwen menm wont yo rele ou pitit gason m '” (You were always the weakest. I am ashamed that you are my son.)

“What are we going to do with him?” Jean-Claude asked. He shook his head in disgust while he glared at Jean-Marc.

Jean-Baptiste smiled. It was shark’s grin. “First, we need to punish him for harming his brothers. I want to hear him scream and beg for mercy. After that, Fred can dispose of him.

“I always did enjoy a good torturing session.” Fred said.

Jean-Baptiste chuckled. “It will also be very entertaining to see this wretch tortured. Jean-Claude, help Fred take your brother to the dungeon.”

“I doubt you want to help me. Or come into the dungeon.” Fred said. He walked over to a large steel box that resembled a foot locker. He opened it and pulled out silver chains. They smoked and sizzled. “You think the shackles he has on now are bad? These are from my own special recipe for infusing weapons with silver. I melt silver and threw the chains and other implements of torture in the solution.” Jean-Claude and Jean-Claude backed away while coughing and gaging. “See, you are already affected. “I only have one gas mask, that stops someone from breathing the vapor in.”

“I will go. You need to check on your brothers. See if they need anything.” Jean-Baptiste said.

“Yes Pappa.” Jean-Claude left the room.

Fred kneeled down and ripped the shirt off of Jean-Marc. He put the chain against the belly of Jean-Marc. He laughed when Jean-Marc screeched in agony. Red welts streaked across his belly.

Fred then put the manacles on the wrists. Jean-Marc gasped and tears flowed from his eyes. Blood flowed from under the manacles. He was thrashed on the floor. Fred stood up and dragged him down the hall towards the dungeon.

Jean-Marc let out a loud shrieking wail. His chest heaved. He pulled at his hair. “Gen pitye pou mwen papa! Gen pitye! Gen pitye!” (Have mercy on me father. Have mercy! Have mercy!)

SCENE TWO

Fred stood in front of Jean-Marc. He had a silver blade in his hand. In the other hand he had a blow torch. He took the blade and put it under the blow torch. The silver blade turned blazing hot. “The blow torch will heat the blade up very fast. A hot blade will melt the silver and make it more painful.”

Jean-Marc was upside down. His legs were shackled to a bar that hung from the ceiling. Jean-Marcs arms had red slits oozing with bubbles of blood. Several buckets were underneath him. Filled with blood. Jean-Marc was silent. His mouth was hung open and his tongue lolled out to the side. His eyes were shut. He was screaming “Gen pitye!” over and over.

Fred jammed the blade into Jean-Marc’s belly. He dug in deep then slashed it across, pulled the blade out then jammed it the belly button. Fred left the blade stuck there. Fresh red lines appeared and blood gurgled out. Jean-Marc’s eyes popped open and he shrieked.

“Alright, if you think that hurts, it will only get much worse. Next I will shove the blade down your throat. Or I could use the blow torch.” Fred said.

Jean-Marc gasped and blood splattered out of his mouth onto Fred. Fred jumped back and gagged. Jean-Marc coughed. His voice was barely a whisper. “I will talk. Molly is alive. “The death was faked by Alister and his son Andrew, who worked for social services. They hid Molly for years. Molly came out of hiding a few days ago. She is at the Stirling family house right now.”

Jean-Baptiste slapped his son’s face. “No doubt you helped hide them by acting as a double agent!”

“No father. I had no idea.” Jean-Marc screamed.

“You expect me to believe you? After what Fred said?” Jean-Baptiste said.

“Father, the man lies. He is the one who knew the secret all along. He is the one who is a double agent!” Jean-Marc said.

Fred laughed and shook his head. He put out his hands and said, “What are you going to do? You have two versions of a story. Jean-Baptiste, you are a smart man. You need to wonder, who has the most to gain by staying loyal to the Stirling’s? Your dear son has been in business with them for decades, against your wishes. I have had to battle those bastards for years over my daughter, Nicole.” Fred paced back and forth in front of Jean-Marc. “Plus, I have proven my loyalty to you. Remember the information you got in 1990? That was my idea.”

Jean-Baptiste nodded. “That was very helpful. That clan of filth was nearly wiped out. The few that were left ran scared for a decade.”

“That information was given to you to pay back the Stirling family for taking away Nicole from me and my wife.” Fred said. “Do you really think they would trust me to keep the plot about Molly secret?” He snorted. “If they did, I would have told you years ago.”

“Fred, you make excellent points. Jean-Marc, all you offer is pathetic drivel!” Jean-Baptiste said.

“Please father, listen to me. Trust me, your own flesh and blood. I have always been loyal to the Lafitte family. It was just business with the Stirling clan.” Jean-Marc said.

Jean-Baptiste sighed and rolled his eyes. “Finish him off and get rid of him. Now that we have the story straight, we need to call on the Jones family. It is unfortunate that they are out werewolf hunting. Excuse me, I have business to attend to.” Jean-Baptiste left the dungeon.

SCENE THREE

Fred threw the dagger down and got the key out of his pocket for the shackles. He put a finger to his lips. He unlocked the shackles. He bent over and whispered in Jean-Marc’s ear. “Sorry, I had to find a way to throw your father off. I had to make sure he did not suspect me.”

Jean-Marc whispered, “You play a dangerous game.” He then passed out. Fred left the dungeon. He then returned with a large canvas. He wrapped up Jean-Marc and carried his body out of the mansion. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed. “Hey, I got something for you to hide.”

SCENE FOUR

An hour later, four men are gathered around a table. They are wearing camo clothing and their rifles sit beside their chairs. One man has long gray hair and a gray beard. His face is lined and tan. The other three men are younger but resemble the older man. Jean-Baptiste sits at the head of the table. “Welcome back Jones family. I have someone here bearing good news.” He motions toward Fred who sits beside him. Fred stands up. “I will get right to it. Molly Dillon is alive.” The Jones family gasps. The eldest member, Eric Jones jumps up so fast his chair falls down behind him. “That is bullshit. I know the Dillon family had a funeral.”

Jean-Baptiste holds up his hands. “I heard the news from Jean-Marc.”

“How can you trust anything he said? It could be a trick.” Eric said.

Jean-Baptiste grins. “Fred persuaded him to talk.”

Fred grinned and said, “The Lafitte family has on less member. Jean-Marc was gracious enough to give up the secret about Molly.”

“That not enough proof to go on.” Eric Jones said. “How do we know this is not some huge ruse to get us all to go and get slaughtered?”

“The only way to find out is to go to Juliette.” Fred said. “I think you should fly. The sooner you get there; the sooner you get Molly back.”

“That is exactly what the Stirling’s will expect. We can’t run in there halfcocked. If we leave today and travel by car, it will give us time to plan.” Eric said. “

“Stop right now! Who said anything about leaving today!” Jean-Baptiste said. “Come back to my study and I will make arrangements for you. Maybe my sons can help you.”

Eric Jones glares at Jean-Baptiste. “This does not concern you! Molly is my family and no one or nothing will keep me from her. I thought she was dead for ten years and I will not wait to see her! I promised my son that I would bring Molly back to the Jones family.”

Jean-Baptiste pounds on the table. “You all need to stay here and help Fred with the werewolves. You fulfill your obligations to me first, before anything else.”

“I don’t’ give a shit!” Eric yelled. “Molly is more important than any job you have for us. Fred can handle it.”

Fred nodded, “You need to hurry, if you wait too long, Molly could be hidden again.”

“You heard the man. Boys go pack your things.” Eric Jones said.

Jean-Baptiste shakes his head. “Fine. Go on and take care of your family. If you waited to get a concrete plan, my family could help you. Don’t come crying to me when your family gets slaughtered.

The Jones family walked out of the room.

“I’m sorry about that. I should not have interfered.” Fred shrugged. “I only know from experience the lengths the Stirling’s will go to steal your family away.”

“That is alright. I know you want revenge on that filth as much as I do.” Jean-Baptiste said. “If it is any consolation, you will get revenge on their mutt relatives during the wolf attack.”

Fred grinned. “I am looking forward to that.”

Jean-Baptiste picked up his glass. “Cheers to roasting some dogs.” Fred clinked his glass with Jean-Baptiste.

Jean-Baptiste cleared his throat and sipped from his drink. “You know, a man like you could be very useful to me. I would like it very much if you would stay here on Lafitte Island.”

“I will consider it.” Fred winked. “If the price is right.”

Jean-Baptiste threw his head back and laughed. He clapped his hands and rocked back and forth. “You mean if my price is higher than the Stirling’s?”

“They are stingy bastards.” Fred grumbled.

“That is very true.” Jean-Baptiste said. “You can consider it while taking care of the werewolves. Do you have everything you need?”

“I need get some more explosives. I need to get them from someone in the city. I am supposed to meet him at 10:00 pm.” Fred said.

Jean-Baptiste nodded. “Contact me when the job is done.”

Fred gets up and leaves the mansion with a smirk on his face. Oh, I think you will know when the job is done. He pulls out his phone and dials a familiar number. Plan Trojan is set in motion. You will have company in less than 24 hours. Jean-Baptiste told the Jones family they are on their own. I am positive.”

After Fred left, Jean-Baptiste went to the room of the Jones family.

Jean-Baptiste walked up to Eric. He put out his hand. “I am sorry for acting so harsh. I reconsidered and decided to offer you some help. What do you need?”

Eric shook hands with Jean-Baptiste. “There will be at least 5 vampires there. More if Alister calls in all of his sons. If we have vampires it will even the odds. Plus, I doubt the Stirling’s will expect anyone from your family.”

“Fine. I will alert Jean-Claude and Jean-Luc that they are going on a trip to Juliette.” Jean-Baptiste said. “I would send more, but they are the only ones well enough to get out of bed.”

“Thank you, for letting your sons help us.” Eric said.

Jean-Baptiste waved his hand. “I suspect the Stirling’s are responsible for the wolf attack. They deserve payback. I would go myself, but I need to tend to my injured sons.”

Eric nodded. “You know; I don’t trust Fred. It seems strange that he delivered Jean-Marc here as a traitor.”

“That man is out for himself. Nobody trusts him. Don’t worry, I can handle him.” Jean-Baptiste grinned. “As for Jean-Marc, he is or was a traitor. I hired Fred to deliver him to me. When the wolves are taken care of, Fred will no longer be useful.” Jean-Baptiste waved his hand. “You need not concern yourself with such a petty annoyance. You need to get Molly back.”

“Alright, lets gather the rest of our family. Brantley, Todd and Elijah will have to stop partying. The Jones family got up from the table and went to get ready for their trip.

SCENE FIVE

Alister hung up the phone. He was shocked that Fred set the plan in motion so quickly. Everything else had spun out of control on his end. He did not count on Andrew’s reaction or betrayal.

Nine days ago, everything was quiet. Now his family’s life erupted in chaos. He was so sure the plan to keep Molly safe would work. All he wanted to do was keep peace between the families. He looked up and saw Nicole standing in front of him.

“Was that Fred on the phone?” Nicole asked. “What plan has he cooked up?”

“We need to hurry. I am calling a meeting right now. Trouble is on its way.” Alister said. “I need you to find Sean, Colleen and Molly tell them to meet in the kitchen. You need to grab five emergency kits.”

“Why?” Nicole asked.

“The Jones family is on their way. All of you are going to stay in the safe zone. You might be there for a while.” Alister said.

“No way, I want to fight. I don’t want to hide.” Nicole said.

Alister grabbed Nicole by the shirt and shook her. “You need to help protect Molly. She needs to be kept away from the fighting. You go where she goes, Is that clear? Now move!” He shoved Nicole towards the door.

Nicole nodded and ran to find Molly.

SCENE SIX

Nicole found Molly in her room. She sat up in bed when she heard Nicole run into the room. “What is going on?” Molly asked.

“We need to go right now. There is a meeting in the kitchen.” Nicole said.

She grabbed Molly by the arm and dragged her out of the room. She then dragged her down the steps.

Nicole saw Sean and Colleen in the kitchen. “Do you know where the emergency kits are?”

“On the shelf in the basement.” Sean said. He walked down the steps. Nicole and Molly followed. Nicole found the shelf and grabbed the packs. Sean opened a panel that looked like it contained circuit breakers. He punched a key pad. The wall beside it slid open.

Molly jumped back in shock. “What the hell is that?”

“I take it you never saw the movie Panic Room?” Nicole asked.

Sean scoffed and snorted. “This house had this room long before that movie. We have been building underground rooms since this house was first built in 1850.” Sean said. “This place was a safe house in the Underground railroad. Over the years more tunnels and rooms were built. We added this room in 1990. There are many secret underground tunnels leading to other rooms.”

“Is anybody else coming with us?” Molly asked.

“No. The rest will be defending this house.” Colleen said.

“Who is coming to attack us?” Molly asked

“The Jones family wants to have a family reunion. They want to officially welcome you to the family.” Nicole said.

“Over my dead body.” Colleen said. “No way in hell I am going to go down in that hole! I will fight for my family.”

Nicole reached out and put an arm around Colleen. “Grandma, it would be better if you stayed with Molly and I. That way you can make sure we are safe.”

Sean walked over to Colleen and took her hand. “Nicole makes a good point. It makes much more sense to stay with your family in order to fight for and protect them.”

Colleen kissed Sean’s hand. “You’re right my dear.”

Sean put a hand to his chest and gasped. “That is the first time in almost 50 years of marriage you said that to me!”

Colleen smirked and said, “That is the last time you will hear it.” She sighed and shook her head. “We might as well go to the safe hole.” She put her arms around Nicole and Molly.

Everybody went into the safe room. It was crowded with four people in it. The walls were gray concrete. The floor was gray like the walls. It was laminate meant to look like concrete.

“I forgot how small this place was. This is barely bigger than my bedroom closet.” Nicole grumbled.

“You underestimate Malcolm and I. Do you really think this is it?” Sean chuckled. “Move over to the right corner.”

Nicole, Molly, and Colleen moved. Sean went to the left corner. He grabbed the linoleum and peeled it back. Real concrete was under the floor. In the middle of the floor there was a wooden panel. Sean pushed it back and revealed a smalls set of stairs.

“Shit, I’m an old lady. I can’t climb down those rickety things!” Colleen said.

“This is for the girls.” Sean said. “You and I will climb down only if this room is discovered.” He looked at Molly and Nicole. “Down there is a room twice as big as this one. There are several hidden doors in the walls. Two of them are exits. You don’t need to worry about the other doors.”

Molly nodded. She did not care as long there was a bigger room down the steps. “I can’t believe you guys built this. Was it because Malcom and Claudette are vampires and need protection?”

Sean grinned. “No, it was because everyone was afraid of nuclear warfare. After the Cuban missile crisis, the Stirling’s decided to build bomb shelters. It kept getting more elaborate during the Cold War in the 1980’s.”

Nicole said, “Of course it is useful for protection and punishment of vampire hunters.”

“Nicole, shut your mouth.” Sean said. ‘Now is not the time to discuss such things. Besides, the other rooms are not being used. For now,”

“I think Molly has a right to know. Especially if she is going to live here.” Nicole said.

“Stop talking like I am not here!” Molly yelled. “I am so sick of people keeping secrets from me. I am not stupid.” She sniffled and wiped her eyes.

Colleen gave Molly a hug. “Nobody thinks that you are stupid. We don’t want to overwhelm you with information.”

“Also,” Sean said. “I don’t want to talk about anything unless I clear it with Malcom. It is his house. A lot of the secrets are his.”

“I think we all need to sit down and try to relax.” Colleen said. “How about we eat something. There is food in our packs and there is food in the downstairs room. You girls should go down and check.”

Nicole nodded. She pointed at the stairs and said, “After you, Molly.”

Molly sighed and climbed down.

SCENE SEVEN

Malcolm paced in the living room. Alister sat and stared out the window. Claudette sat on the couch. Claude and Bruce also sat on the couch. The silence was broken when Alister spoke up. “We should call Andrew.”

Malcolm stopped pacing and glared at his father. “Why? He is of no use to us. He refuses to listen.”

Alister stood up and walked to Malcolm; an inch away from his face. “You can’t deny that we need his help. We are spread very thin. Allen and Fred are in Lafitte Island; Sean is downstairs with his family.”

Malcolm said, “We could call Jack and John Davis. They owe us.” He looked at Alister. “Did they know Molly was alive?”

“John did. Zack is too unbalanced to keep a secret.” Alister said.

“You mean insane?” Malcolm said. “Of course you can’t blame him. Excessive guilt has a tendency to eat away sanity.” Malcolm shook his head and laughed. “I am sure he has fond memories of torturing me.”

“That attitude is exactly why I won’t call them.” Alister said.

Malcolm raised his hands. “I don’t mind John. He has always been a decent man. He never had perverted tendencies like his monster brother.”

“Enough.” Alister said. “Now is not the time to dwell on the past. It disrupts focus.” He poked Malcolm in the chest. “You need to think of the oncoming threat.”

Malcolm growled and batted his father’s hand away. His fangs came out and his claws became unsheathed. “I am completely focused.”

Alister’s claws and fangs came out in a spilt second. He shoved Malcom across the room. “If you are focused, an old man like me could not best you.”

“Gentlemen,” Claude said. “Do not change just yet. You will burn up your energy.” He got up and sat down on the floor. He crossed his legs. “I think the best way to focus is meditation.”

Both Malcolm and Claude snorted and laughed. Claudette stood up and joined her brother on the floor. “I agree. It is always good to balance your Charka’s before a fight.”

Alister rolled his eyes. “We need to get back on track. I feel we should call the Davis family and ask them to keep an eye out for their cousins. I am sure the Jones family will come through West Virginia.”

“If they want to help. We have not had contact with them since 1993.” Malcolm said.

“We keep in touch. We send each other Christmas cards.” Alister said. “I do it to subtly remind them of the favor they owe us.”

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