“You did not just invite that human over.”
Marie can’t help but roll her eyes at her father sometimes. She respects him, yes, but sometimes he acts like such a bigot. “Father, Dastan is not just a human. He’s a descendent of Miss Ella. And he’s a friend. So yes, I did invite him over.”
“It’s your heart that’s goanna get broken, not mine. I’ll be in the bedroom if you need me.”
“You’re still a child.” Is the first thing Dastan says to her, shortly followed by a long line of questions. She waits for him to finish before speaking.
“Yes. I’m still a child. And I will remain a child for a long time to come. Not forever, mind you, but too long. I’m sorry for not telling you before, I just... can’t let too many people know. I’ll be hunted if I am.”
“I can’t say I’m not shocked, but Damian and I have kept you a secret since we were both children. You know I won’t tell a soul.” A pause. “But can you at least tell me why you’re aging so slowly? It’s fascinating.”
She opens her mouth to speak when her father’s voice carries itself from inside the shack. “Marie! A word please?”
Dastan takes his cue to leave, and Marie enters the house once again, knowing full well that the lecture is about to begin.
“Marie... I understand that you wish to be accepted by those you call friends. But I draw the line at spilling every little secret we have. You know what would happen if we were ever found out.”
“You need to distance yourself from him and from your entire aunt’s family.” He continues. “They don’t know who we are and I intend to keep it that way. I won’t let you jepordize your own life for some silly crush on a boy who will only be here for a blink of your life.”
“It is NOT a crush! And I’m not putting myself in danger by making friends. So what if he knows about us? If anything he can help me. People are bound to start noticing me soon, and you cannot just pull me out of school. I’ve been a child for over two weeks already. Two. Weeks. Before that I was a toddler for even longer. People tend to notice stuff like that, especially with such a large population of vampires here-.”
“Then we should leave.” He interrupts. “Just like before. We’ll keep moving until you’re of age where this won’t be noticed. Whatever abilities you may have inherited from your mother won’t manifest themselves until you are of age. And even I have no clue when that will finally be thanks to your mother’s magic. I thought this place would be safe, but now I’m not so sure.”
“You said the same thing of the Striker’s safe house! And Mister Archer’s as well before that! You’ll never deem any place safe and its not my fault that nobody likes a vampire with magic! I feel a connection to Dastan and Damian’s family. I won’t just leave them because you feel guilt over the mistakes of one of your precious pupils! Get over your damn angst issues and be a man!”
Merrick can NOT believe his sweet little girl just said that. She gets more and more like her mother each day.
Fine. She wants to play mind games? He’ll play mind games. “Alright then, kiddo. Marie’s so smart, Marie’s so grown up. Need I remind you that you’re still just a little girl? You don’t know what you’re talking about. I think maybe you’re just tired. A nap might do you some good, lets go cuddle up together and I’ll read you a story from that old fairy tale book you like so much, okay? We’ll talk about moving again later after you’re rested.”
“I do not appreciate being patronized, father. I have been alive for over 40 days. Most normal vampires would already be settling down on a job at my age. Most humans would be already married and spitting out babies. You’d been on your own most of your life by my age! Already working for some of the toughest vampires in Bridgeport!”
“But you’re not a regular vampire! Your not human! And you most certainly aren’t me. Your mother and I both wanted a better life for you. Thats why she did what she did. Thats why...”
He cuts himself off, holding back tears and instantly Marie feels ashamed of herself. She’d never met her human mother, knowing the woman only from a single photo her father caries with him. Olivia was her name. With light red hair like fire, and the bright green eyes Marie inherited. She was also a witch, a strong one at that. Strong enough to make sure her husband would never die, be it from age or injury. When the elder vampires had found out, their entire family had been ordered killed. The only reason Marie and her father were alive today was thanks to her mother’s sacrifice and their friends kindness. Her father didn’t need any stress from a rebellious child. She was being cruel.
“I’m sorry father... if you want to leave. We will. Just please allow me to say my goodbyes. A few days is all I ask. A blink in time really...”
Back with the Starrs, Nero realizes his time is up on his way downstairs to hug his grandsons goodnight.
Translucent is a good luck for you Nero... you can rock anything.
Grim pauses to admire the portrait of Ximena that Nero placed in their bedroom. She looks so much like her grandmother. Same nose.
Joy’s heartbroken. Both her parents passed away not long before Dante was born. She grieved them, but not very hard. Nero helped her through the loss, warming up to her immensely after Ximena filled him in on the predicament with Franco.
Ximena isn’t sad. Death is just another adventure. They’d be together again soon. Plus the dead were never truly gone... not while there were still people here who remembered and loved them.
So when Dastan decides he needs to talk, he picks her. He was always a bit scared of his grandmother while growing up. But right now he needs her. “She doesn’t want me to tell anyone about her, but she won’t tell me anything about her either. I want to trust her, but if she’s hiding something then I think I should be scared. I don’t want to betray her trust... but I also don’t want to be getting myself into something I have no knowledge or understanding of.”
“It all really depends on what your gut says.” Ximena answers after a minute. Nero was always the best advice giver in the family, the only one with a level head. So unlike her. But she was giving this her best effort. “If you feel like something is wrong, then I suggest backing off.”
“Yeah I guess... but I also feel like turning my back on her would be the worst possible thing to do.”
“Well if you’re so in love with her then screw all the rules, grab her, and run for the hills. Make a life together somewhere hidden where she won’t have to hide and you won’t have to keep secrets. Because you really are terrible at holding your tongue.”
“Thank you grandmother... you are too kind.”
“But anyway, whats this mystery girl’s name?”
Ximena’s face perks up instantly. “Did you just say Merrick?”