Part 2 Chapter 15
Xavier and I decide to meet the werewolves together, with Owen as backup including some younger recruits working on being defence for the palace. They would stay back in the trees surrounding Oak Meadow while me and Xavier faced the wolves head on.
I made sure Jennifer stayed inside the palace, where she could speak to Meredith and help her keep Maximus and Isobel alive enough until we could get some of Eddrick’s blood. I didn’t trust the witch, but she was my only hope of saving my best friend. Leah wasn’t too much of a worry because it was just her injured leg that was a problem and she was also stubborn as hell.
“So we are telling them everything?” Xavier asks, with a hint of disapproval as we walk across the field towards a small group of werewolves in the middle of the enchanted meadow. The perfect place to talk without the threat of violence.
“We are telling them everything,” I say firmly, “We have to, in order to stop Eddrick from causing anymore havoc in the supernatural world.”
Xavier gives me an irritated look but doesn’t argue. He couldn’t think of a better plan and neither could I. We owed the werewolves the truth anyhow, as they spared our lives in the Evergreen forest this early morning.
It is now just the beginning of night, but we can see clearly across the field with our vampire vision. I spot Christian with his girl, I suddenly remember her name to be Ruby. There are also two other back up werewolves.
As we stop before them, no one offers to shake hands. We all stop and glare at one another. I particularly have to try hard not to say any smart-ass comments. We had to work together.
“You’re wolves were morphed by Eddrick into killing machines,” Xavier speaks first, “They are dead, we had no choice but to kill them –”
“What?” Christian hisses, and I glare at Xavier. What a way to piss them off from the beginning.
“We have the bodies,” Xavier snaps, “We will return them to you after we speak.”
“You came here to tell us all you know about Eddrick, to propose a truce. Instead you come here to tell me that my two missing scouts have been killed,” Christian growls, teeth bared.
“We haven’t explained to you what happened yet, it’s more complicated than that,” I snarl, “Eddrick changed them. Jennifer and another girl’s blood, her twin’s, to be precise, mixed separately with Eddrick’s own blood creates two powerful potions. One cures vampirism, god knows what it does to werewolves,” Christian looks taken aback and I feel smug that I’ve clearly caught him off guard, “The other potion clearly makes supernatural creatures raving mad, extremely strong and blood thirsty.”
“We can’t kill Eddrick,” Xavier adds in, “We need his blood. Meredith has spoken about the rare form of his blood and how it is one of a kind. It is too powerful to waste. Hence, we must stop Eddrick from kidnapping and changing anymore vampires or werewolves, but we must also keep him alive.”
“How am I to believe any of what you are saying,” Christian says, suddenly deciding now is the time to disregard our information. He laughs mockingly, “Where is your proof that he used potions to change vampires and werewolves?”
“Bring out the bodies!” I yell over my shoulder.
In no time, Owen runs out and dumps two bloodied, deformed wolf bodies before Christian and his pack mates. Then he retreats back into the forest. Ruby gasps, taking a step back from the bodies. Christian’s face goes blank.
Before them are two monsters, what appear to be werewolves transformed half way towards wolf.
“This is our proof,” Xavier says quietly, “They were let loose inside the vampire palace and killed many before I stopped them.”
Christian studies the bodies a bit more before cursing loudly and glaring up at me and my brother.
“Why do we have to keep this bastard alive?” He snarls the question, “He killed my mother. Now Eddrick has done this to two of my scouts.”
“You’re not the only one who was affected,” I pipe in, “My youngest brother was also transformed into a monster. We also know that this particular potion seems to make whoever is transformed, loyal to Eddrick. Johnathan had gone on a killing spree in the city, I’m sure you’ve seen it on the news. He then came back into the palace, acting oddly, we had to tie him down. He was clearly up to something... anyway, the point is Eddrick must be stopped, two of my friends were hurt by these two monsters here,” I point to the werewolves, “I need Eddrick’s blood to save my friends. This is why we need him alive.”
I reluctantly admit this, but I feel I should be completely honest with the alpha-werewolf to get him to trust me more.
“Well aren’t you lucky,” Christian growls low, he reaches back to one of his werewolves and Xavier and I both tense as he turns back around holding... a grey shrivelled up hand.
“I sliced that off him,” Xavier explains to me and Christian, “Why did you keep it?”
“Anything can be used to track down someone’s location when you have witches to help,” Christian says smugly. Witches tended to be on the side of werewolves more so than vampires, he was just rubbing that fact in, “I’ve already used it to track down Eddrick’s location, however if you want it – we need to agree to some terms.”
“Like what?” I ask, suspicious of what Christian is going to ask.
“I understand now from what you have explained that we will need to work together to stop Eddrick, however these ‘potions’ need to be eradicated. Eddrick has to die. You have his blood from this hand. Just let me kill him. That is all I ask,” Christian gets to the point, surprisingly throwing the hand at me and letting me have it. I grab it and screw up my nose at the disgusting smell emitting from the dismembered limb.
“Deal,” I agree, suddenly smiling. Xavier also nods in agreement.
Meredith would get Eddrick’s blood but I wouldn’t be agreeing to everything she wanted. I would gladly agree to kill Eddrick off, even if it simply pissed her off. Now I could do that and save Maximus, Isobel and Leah.
“Eddrick is powerful,” Xavier admits, “But together we can kill him. We can hunt him down as a team.”
“Just this once, we will work together,” Christian growls in acceptance, reaching down to pick up one body. Ruby picks up the other and then they turn and head off in the other direction.
“We can’t waste anymore time, we need to go back,” I remind Xavier. We didn’t have much time left to save our friends.
It was time to bring them back to life.
Meredith is more than happy to help try and keep Maximus and Isobel as strong as possible while we wait for the return of Darrius and Xavier. She does this by slipping in some magic glitter-like substance past Maximus and Isobel’s lips every now and then. Of course, she doesn’t tell me what the magic potion is but I don’t have to ask when I see their chests rising and falling before me. It was subtle and weak but enough to keep them with us for a little while longer.
I try to ask how Eddrick’s blood will help save them properly, but she says she cannot say until Darrius and Xavier can be guaranteed to return with Eddrick’s blood. It made me suspicious but I wasn’t overly concerned considering how nice she was being to me and Leah. Claudia had left to talk to Johnathan, who Owen had caught and tied down as he was asked.
God knows what was happening with him now. I just hoped Claudia stayed safe while she helped deal with her crazed boyfriend.
In the meantime to pass the hours, Meredith asked about how life was as a princess to a vampire, and she seemed worried about me in a loving way. I liked Meredith, I just didn’t understand why Darrius hated her so much.
“So what actually happened?” I ask, hesitant at first, “To... you know, make you and Darrius so hateful towards each other.”
Meredith smiles, sitting on the couch opposite me, she leans forward and whispers, “I embarrassed him in front of all his friends, decades ago.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“He challenged me to a dual,” she explains, chuckling “He lost.” I can tell she doesn’t want to give away any more details than that, she even adds, “Ask him about it, I’m sure he’d love to fill you in on the details.” Note the sarcasm.
“Okay, I’m looking forward to it,” I reply with a grin. Heh, Darrius being beat down? That was a story I had to hear! I’d somehow get the truth out of him.
“I know the story,” Leah pipes in, she has calmed down and even though she is still sick, Meredith’s glittery potion helped bring some temporary colour back into Leah’s cheeks, “But I agree, Darrius should tell her.”
“I really want to know now!” I exclaim, with wide eager eyes, keen for one of them to just spill the beans. However they both refrain from doing so.
Meredith’s face suddenly goes still in intense concentration.
“I can sense their return...” Meredith mutters and then sighs in relief, “They have Eddrick’s blood. I can feel it. There is one more thing you need to do, Jennifer.”
“What is that?”
“Go find your twin, and bring her here,” Meredith explains.
“What? Why do we need Jaime...?” I trail off as it hits me, “You’re going to mix her blood with Eddrick’s blood.”
Meredith clasps her hands together, trying to look relaxed, “It is the only way to bring them back to life.”
“But they’ll both be crazy,” I say, in an accusatory tone. She didn’t say this at the start because we would have refused. I guess she also wanted to see the effects of the potions. This whole time, this was about her getting something out of this, more so than her empathy.
“I’m going to need your blood too,” she says, looking at me intensely, “It will hopefully reverse the side effects of the transformation.”
"Hopefully?" I ask, shocked.
Meredith sighs and leans back into the couch, her eyes softening.
“I’m sorry, Jennifer,” she says, “I can’t be sure of the consequences. After your twin’s blood heals their bodies back to full health, then we will use your blood and Eddrick’s blood. Either your friends will turn back into their normal selves as vampires... or your blood will completely turn them back to their true forms. Human souls in human bodies.”
“What else might happen?” I ask.
“Your blood won’t work,” Meredith says stonily, “But I doubt that. I’ll make the second potion strong with your blood to help reverse the effects. Have some faith in me, Jennifer.”
Leah lets out a sigh and leans her head back against the couch’s arm rest, a scowl now showing on her face.
She would have to go through the same process to save her leg.
“If I turn into a monster,” she says quietly, “Or a human... I will personally rip someone’s throat out. Regardless of who or what it is,” Leah opens her eyelids briefly to look at me and then Meredith, then she flits them shut again.
I hope that didn’t mean I would be her first target.
I gulp, suddenly nervous.
Maximus, Isobel and Leah were all going to be changed.
Either they will heal, they might go crazy, or they would no longer be vampires and they would be transformed into humans.
I would have to pray that they would simply heal back into their vampire selves.
After all, Leah would be utterly furious if she was transformed into a human.
Isobel wouldn’t mind.
Maximus though... oh gosh, I couldn’t even think of what he would feel about this after it was over.
Hopefully Meredith’s plan, if a little selfish for her own secret ends – because she certainly had secrets – helped my friends and transformed them back into what they were just a couple of hours ago.
I would soon find out because the door suddenly opens and Darrius and Xavier enter the room... holding Eddrick’s hand. Darrius and Xavier were not going to be happy when Meredith explained what she was going to do.
“It is done,” Darrius says, grinning, he throws the hand at Meredith and she catches it with one hand, getting to her feet graciously.
“Perfect,” she mutters.
It was time to find out the consequences to her plan.
Now all we needed was Jaime.