Sixty Five Years Later...
Oh how I loved New York in the fall. The city hustled around me as I went from group to group, checking the innocents of lower Manhattan. It was so easy to hide in a city so big and diverse. Some of our innocents had found men to love them. But the question of children was still an issue. Could the innocents have children with human men? We still didn’t know.
It had taken a long time to get all our people to band together. Letting humans in on some of our secrets, never ends well in my book. As for children, not one mixer has had a child since they been made. I believed they goofed up thinking we could breed with the creatures. But really, I was glad of that we couldn’t. I’d seen too much in these sixty five years. Brining a child into this kind of world could lead to real problems not only for us, but for the mortals as well.
The Vampire Council was getting together that month to discuss options about where the innocents could live other then the cities. We’d had a couple problems recently and now many were wondering if they should even be in the human population or should they be separated from them?
But if you ask me, there was something off about the vampires lately. Most of us felt that the vampires should be held responsible for his problem of the innocents and the state and care that is needed for them. But no one wants to tell the damn blood sucker the truth...Which I found to be a terrible injustice.
I walked to our headquarters in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, to check in with Trixie and grab something to eat. But this morning, it was really bad.
Not since that night I woke up so many years ago with Chan have I drank blood. But I craved it terribly. Every day I fought with my inner beast to get myself under control. But for now I preferred a bagel and schmeer with a hot cup of coffee from our local Jewish deli.
But if the calling for blood dose hit me, I would go for something a little stronger like alcohol…like Everclear. That burn going down your throat helped quench any thirst that popped up. Which was quite often, unfortunately. (If you saw me drinking on a bad day you’d think I was a terrible alcoholic, but I’d rather drink than possibly rip out one of my friend’s throats.)
I stepped into the lobby of the old gothic building and gave Trisha a quick nod hello at the front desk. She waved her hand for me to stop, so I turned and headed for her. Trish’s big green eyes peered up at me from the desk, a little agitated. “Molly, thank goodness you came in. Eddie said to go to the conference room right away. It’s an emergency.”
“Okay.” I shrugged going to the elevators, lost in my thoughts. I felt a tap on my right shoulder and turned to see who it was, but nobody was there. On my left Sorin pulled up next to me, laughing, with Thomas smiling right behind him. “Man, you are so easy! I swear I get you every time with that!” he laughed.
Sorin’s joy was to annoy me like a little brother would annoy his older sister…and he did it very well. “Laugh it up, wolf boy. It’s good to know you can still crack yourself up,” I sighed, pushing the button.
He gave me a wide smile as we waited for the elevator. “It’s wolf man, Molly, not wolf boy. There are no boys in Romania,” he grinned.
The elevator dinged as the doors opened, and we stepped in. Thomas stepped to the back, leaning against the wall and watching our little banter, while Sorin came and stood next to me, still smiling.“You know, if you’re looking for boys, you could always go to England. The whole country is full of them.” He smirked.
I cracked a smile at his statement. We both looked over at Thomas, who clearly thought his joke was not that funny. “I resent that statement, mate. England is chock full of warriors!” and with that Sorin and I started laughing.
We made it to the twentieth floor and headed into the hallway. I looked over at Thomas, who seemed to have a lot on his mind. “Do you have any idea what’s going on?” I asked.
“I have no idea what’s happening, but Dorin seemed very vexed when we spoke.” He answered.
Sorin pushed by Thomas so he was right in front of me, walking backwards. “And why did you not ask me what was going on? Maybe I know.” He growled.
“Yeah right, Sorin, I forgot you know all.” I smiled
He stopped and I walked on by him. “You know, I do know all! Don’t forget it!” he barked, tromping away.
“You must like to poke mad animals just to agitate them, don’t you?” He chuckled.
“You found out my favorite secrets,” I winked.
“I know a couple more of them, don’t I,” he answered with a frown. Yes, he did, but I didn’t want to speak about it again.
As we got closer to the conference room I could hear yelling coming through the closed doors. I picked up my pace, and the two men followed right behind me.
When we opened the door, Georgie and Dorin were screaming at each other from across the table, Calista was so pissed she was almost purple, Eddie and Adric were trying to calm Dorin down, and Ryuuji was talking calmly but firmly to Georgie, while the rest sat in complete silence, watching everything unfold around them.
I was taking in the situation when Nikki looked over at me. “About bleeding time you showed up! All hell’s broke loose and you’re nowhere to be found!” she hissed. Everyone stopped and turned their heads my way. Sorin looked just as confused as me, but he and Thomas both took their seats and I walked towards mine.
“Where the hell is your phone? I’ve been trying to call you for two hours!” Georgie yelled. Ryuuji put his hand on her shoulder, trying to calm her down.
From my pea coat pocket I pulled out my phone, which died earlier in the day because I’d forgotten to charge it, and placed it on the table. Her mouth hung open when she saw it. “If you had your phone, why didn’t you pick the damn thing up when I was calling you?” she hissed.
“It died earlier today; I forgot to charge it last night,” I shrugged.
Trixie looked over at Georgie and then to Dorin as she stood at the head of the table. “Well she’s here now, so let’s get her up to date, shall we?” she told them all in an exasperated voice. Obviously she hadn’t been able to get them to calm down till now.
“We just received these pictures about two hours ago,” Trixie said as she slid the folder down the table to me. I opened up the manila folder and couldn’t understand what I was seeing.
There were pictures of dead women lying piled together like someone was throwing away their trash. The next photo was the same thing, but in this case there were babies lying with them. I went through five photos of the most horrible sights I could possibly imagine.
Closing the folder, I looked up at Kitty who I could tell had been crying. “What the hell are these?” I asked. But she could only stare at me as her bottom lip trembled. I looked over to Dorin. “Well?”
“These are photos of mixers that have been drained of their blood, but also photos of women who have given birth. But we don’t know why the human infants are there.” I looked over the photos again, trying to wrap my mind around this. I looked up from the photos with what must have been a look of complete horror on my face. “What?”
Lennox looked over at me. “What you are seeing is innocents being drained of their blood and killed for caring for human children… That’s what we’ve concluded this far.
“We received some information from the London cluster that some shady creatures have decided that they want to make money by selling the blood of the innocents. The problem is, they’re not sure how they got around without the cluster finding out what they were up to, but somehow they have.”
“What about the babies?” I asked.
“We do not fully understand why there are infants among the dead. We only know that they are human,” Lennox answered.
A low murmur went around the room as the group whispered their concerns. Eva, who was always present, was as quiet as ever. The look on her face was strange; she didn’t seem upset like everyone else, but her emotions always ran in a strange direction. You could never tell what she was really thinking, and for that reason I would never trust her.
Dorin cleared his throat. “The mixers Council of Seven has been called to leave for London tonight. The Vampire Committee has asked for your help. The women are being drained of their blood, which of course leads suspicion to their race. And knowing that mixers have gained acceptance and respect among many of us, I personally think they don’t want to tarnish their uptight reputation. So that means involving the Seven to keep them out of public ridicule.”
“Okay, so what time do we leave?”
Georgie stood up and slammed her fist on the table, causing everyone’s eyes to turn to her. “No! You’re not going. She cannot meet with those vampires. I told them that from the very beginning! And I’m not changing my mind now! There are those of us who know why she can’t go… Leave it at that!” she fumed.
I got up from my chair and walked over to her. Calista came from the other side so we could speak in our own little huddle. I caught sight of Eva leaving the room with a cell in her hand, unnoticed by all except me. Making a mental note to see what she was up to, I turned my focus back on Georgie. “I thought the two of us would be going?”
“We have no business going to speak to the Vampire Committee; you don’t understand the consequences for us.” She shook her head.
“Well, what do you think?” I asked Calista. She wasn’t part of the Council of Seven, but she was part of Georgie and me; you could call her our adopted little sister.
She sat on the table next to Mackey, playing with a piece of hot pink hair, thinking. “Well shite, meetin’ with vamps is never a good thing. But seeing that you’re part of the bloody Seven, I don’t think they’re going to give you a damn choice,” she answered, in all honesty.
Georgie sank back down into her chair, clearly unhappy with what was being said. “You know Cal’s right. You and I were chosen to be a part of the Council and we accepted it. If that means we have to meet some unsavory people from our past, that’s what we’re going to have to do,” I shrugged.
“That’s easy for you to say; you don’t remember any of them.” She said with a small laugh.
Calista started to laughed at that, and I smiled. “Good, now get your ass up, quit arguing with everybody and go pack. We’re going to London,” I winked.
The room cleared out quickly after Georgie had come to terms with us going. But I hung back; something was amiss in this little group. I could feel it. My mind wandered back to everyone’s actions, going over every detail meticulously, their actions and words.
Someone came and stood in front of me, pulling me out of my thoughts. Pale blue eyes under light brown hair smiled down at me; the affection Dorin showed me when no one was around always threw me off.“Why are you still here? I thought you were getting ready to leave?” he asked.
“I’m piecing things together. Or I’m trying to, with the information we have,” I explained.
He let out a sigh, coming to sit next to me. “And what have you come up with? And don’t tell me nothing, I know that look,” he said, crossing his arms.
I stood up, not wanting to get into the particulars of what I had in mind so far. “Nothing… Really, just gathering and sorting. You know my brain.” I smiled.
His hand took my wrist, pulling me close to him. “Why can’t you trust me enough to tell me what you’re thinking? Your always so evasive. Eve after all that we’ve been to each other, you still keep me at arm’s reach.” He murmured kissing my neck, settling me between his legs.
Giving him room to take what he needed, but needing to stop, my hands went to his face. “You know my rules. Whatever I do with you, to you, it’s nothing personal. You’re not my only lover.” I reminded him.
I could tell my comment hit its mark and the hurt in his eyes bled through a little, though he tried to hide it. Damn, it was hard to keep people at arm’s length. Some knew and accepted it; others wanted to fight it tooth and nail.
His hands ran up my back, going into my hair and pushing my head forward. When his mouth met mine, I opened up as his arms wrapped around me, pulling me tight against his chest.
He wanted more than I could give him. I knew this, but lately fighting him off was becoming increasingly difficult. The lust for his blood was painful and the sex wasn’t enough anymore, I wanted to take more, and my will power was slipping by not taking what I wanted so badly.
I pulled back from him, and he reluctantly let me go. “I don’t have time for this, Dorin,”
“I know you care for me, Molly. But I can see the change in you. I know you’re falling in love with me,” he growled.
There was nothing more to say to him; I just continued out the door. Having him see past my mask was very disconcerting. If he could see, then maybe others could, putting all that I cared about in harm’s way.
Lately I’d seen many changes with the mixer women. Even though it was very subtle in most, it was happening. No one knew everything about us, since we were a new breed, but I could see it. Even Georgie was acting stranger than usual.
I made it back to my apartment, I had just enough time to throw a dresses in my luggage and grab the bag I always have packed for an emergency. I walked through and made sure everything in the place was turned off. Then dropped a feeder tablet into my fish tank, turned on my dishwasher, grabbed my keys and headed for the door.
When I pulled my front door open, I jumped not expecting to find someone standing there. Lennox frowned as I threw my hand over my heart. “Oh my gosh, do you want to give me a heart attack!” I huffed.
He didn’t smile; he just stood there looking at me with those ebony eyes then walked into my apartment. I cleared my throat, hoping he would say something. But he didn’t, he just stood in the middle of my living room with his back to me. “Lennox, I was heading out to get Georgie, is everything okay?” I asked.
His hands clasped behind him. His long black hair moved like there was a breeze around him, exposing some black feathers at the back of his neck. Lennox was one of my dark secrets. Not even Dorin knew about my relationship with him.
“Hey, is everything okay?” I asked him quietly.
“I want you to be very careful when you’re in London. Something’s off, I can feel it. Pay close attention to what’s going on around you. See who is acting strangely, and but don’t intervene if you don’t have too. Do you understand me? Don’t take unnecessary risks with yourself.” He growled.
He was right in front of me now. I looked up at him, wondering what on earth brought this on. “All right, I’ll be careful,” I assured.
His mouth was in a hard straight line. I just stood there, waiting for him to say something more to explain his odd behavior, when he reached out, took me in his arms and kissed me.
His tongue licked my lower lip, asking for entrance that I could never deny him. At first the kiss was soft, loving. Then his arms wrapped tighter around me, hands grabbing fists full of my shirt, pressing me closer to him. I moaned, wrapping my arms around his neck, enjoying the taste him as well.
If we didn’t stop now, I knew where it would lead. Whenever I was with Lennox I didn’t think straight, I’d always felt the sexual attraction that he threw off. Lust is one thing, but it was more with him, but then again, it’s always so much more than just a kiss with him. When he released me I stood there, a little dazed. It was such a passionate kiss, but it felt like a goodbye kiss as well.
I looked at his lips, which were now swollen from our kiss, and reached up and felt my own. He cupped my face with his hand. “I fear I might lose you now. I always knew this could happen. But I couldn’t let you leave me without one last kiss,” he .
He brought his head back down, lightly grazing his lips with mine. “Goodbye, Molly. Please take care of yourself.” And just like that he was gone.
My mind was still reeling from all that had happened this morning with Dorin and now with Lennox when I got to Georgie’s flat. She came out of her room, giving me an earful about always being late. Ryuuji was there too when I showed up sitting on the end of the couch, his eyes always following Georgie’s moves. When Georgie walked off to grab her things, he focused his attention on me; the dragon was regarding me thoughtfully.
Seeing him looking at me from the corner of my eye just pissed me off, so I continued to ignore him. “Shake your tail, George, we’re late!” I shouted.
“We wouldn’t be late if you would’ve gotten your ass here in time,” she hollered back. I could hear her grumbling from the bedroom.
The dragon was still staring at me... I couldn’t handle it any longer! “What? What do you want?” I hissed.
“I wonder what happened to make you late,” he commented in a knowing tone.
“Nothing that has anything to do with you,” I glared. Good Lord, woman, please hurry up!
Ryuuji chuckled at me. “Your lips are swollen, did someone come and kiss you goodbye?” He asked. But just turned my head completely ignore him, and waited for George. Ryuuji gave a sigh. “You know, he thinks you don’t love him, and that you’ll never come back to him,” he surmised.
What the hell, did he know that Lennox came over? What the is this old dragon talking about? Lennox never acted like I was his…ever. That was the one thing that made it easy for me to ignore my attraction to him.
Ryuuji looked at me, seeing all the questions that were going through my mind. He gave me a slight chuckle. “But I know better, I also know that you hide your feelings. This is how the mixers work.”
He got up from the couch, regarding me again. “He might not completely like how he gets you back, but he will.” He came closer; his face was in mine now, looking deep into my eyes. “I see the changes coming. I can make out the role that you’re going to play. It’s not as clear as I would like, but I see it. Your time of hiding is near an end. The warrior and leader that you’re meant to be, you’ll not be able to deny any longer.”
His hypnotic eyes fell from mine. “Some will lose your love, but I feel he won’t.” He drew a deep breath, like it hurt him, as he turned to Georgie’s bedroom. “It’s hell to fall in love with someone who’s not yours to love. But not having her in your life, now that’s a pain beyond words.” Looking back at me, he had a sad smile on his face. “I think our kind couldn’t have found a better punishment for our sins, when we created your kind.”
At that moment Georgie walked into the room, dragging three bags with her. “You better not be being mean to her. We’ve already had this discussion, didn’t we?” she warned.
Ryuuji smiled warmly at George and kissed her forehead. “Yes, we did. I promise I will behave to your cousin.” He took her into his arms and gave her a small hug, then kissed her cheek. “We will discuss things further when you get back.” She shook her head yes, making him smile even more. “Well, good luck to you, ladies,” he bowed, and left.
We went out to the cab and started putting our luggage in the trunk. Georgie was sulking by the time we got into the car. “I wish you and Ryuuji would just get along,” she pouted. Oh man, here we go again.
“We do get along, we just don’t always see things eye to eye,” I shrugged. She reached into her big purse, pulled out a pair of sunglasses and slipped them onto her face. “Yeah right, that’s why you two always bicker.”
I laid my head back against the seat, smelling all the scents around me. Yuck, did someone just have sex in here…so gross. I put my hand up, pinching the bridge of my nose and trying to keep all my thoughts in check. “Look, sometimes he kind of freaks me out, okay. Like he’s got some old Chinese trick up his sleeve, knowing what people are thinking. It’s weird.”
Georgie’s hands flew up in the air dramatically, like I was crazy. “Well, first off he’s Japanese, not Chinese,” she informed me. To which I shrugged my shoulders. “And second, he doesn’t have any weird tricks. He’s just been around for a long time, so he can read people. That’s all.” She turned forward after her little speech to defend him was done... Hold on!
I sat up quickly, turning my head towards her. “Wait, wait, wait, are you falling for him?” I asked, watching her reaction. When she didn’t answer me, I pointed my finger at her accusingly. “Because you’ve always told me that we can’t get seriously involved with a specific man. I mean, we can have a good time and all that…but not fall in love, and especially not the men around us! That’s forbidden. We agreed on it!”
She sat in her seat relaxed, with her hands folded in her lap, and sighed. “Oh shut up, will you. Get your Kindle out, it’s going to be a long-ass flight.” She sighed, evading my question. But the one thing I did noticed was she definitely didn’t say no either.