June 26th, 2012 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
Anna woke up when her stomach started rumbling again and was slightly surprised to find David sitting by her bed. The smell of cooking bacon floated up the stairs and made her stomach rumble even more.
“Good morning.” He gave her a warm smile. “How are you feeling.”
“Much better, thanks for catching me yesterday.” Her stomach gurgled again and she blushed slightly.
“Tanya’s cooking breakfast,” he told her then.
“That explains the smell of bacon.” she grinned at him and sat up, pleased to find that she could do it on her own. “It smells good.”
“Ah, good you’re awake,” Tanya said from the doorway. “Do you think you can make it down to the conservatory to eat?”
Anna considered the question and then nodded. “I think so.” She carefully swang her legs out of bed and stood up. Her knees buckled slightly but then recovered and she began to walk slowly towards the door. “Yeah.”
“You still look a bit wobbly there,” Tanya noted. “Why don’t you give her a hand Dave.”
“Sure,” he wrapped his arm around her waist and helped her down the stairs and through in to the conservatory. The sight of the bacon on a large platter on the table made her mouth water and her stomach rumble even louder.
“Help yourself,” Tanya said. “I’ll go and get the rest.”
* * *
“We’ll take you home this evening,” Tanya said after they had finished eating. “You need a bit more time to recover and I want to talk to a few people first. Are you sure that he is gone from your head?”
Anna considered the question as she sipped her tea and then nodded. “Yes, I’m sure. I can’t feel him at all. But shouldn’t being ill have weakened my defences rather than improved them?”
“We should be sure she’s home before sunset at least,” David said. “After what happened two nights ago.”
“What happened two nights ago?” Anna asked.
“Oh yes, we never told you about that because you collapsed, did we?” Tanya said. “Your stalker attacked David. He was lucky to get away.”
“And how did you get away,” Anna asked. “When he was in my head I could sense that he was really dangerous.”
“I-” David looked down at his empty plate, obviously uneasy.
“Well first he whacked him in the face with his crucifix – twice,” Tanya said. “And then he went and got himself rescued by another vampire and two werewolves.”
“What?!” Anna’s eyebrows shot up. “Well that’s different. I hope you’ll be redacting that bit from the formal report. The council wouldn’t take it well.”
“Tell me about it,” Tanya said. “You don’t seem especially appalled by this.”
“I’m not, perhaps I should be but I’m too intrigued,” she said. “I want to know why the vampire saved him. There are uncomfortable implications.”
“What about the werewolves?” Tanya asked and Anna shrugged.
“Mum used to tell me stories about werewolves, very untypical stories that cast most of them as the good guys. Given that Rhiane is a total headcase it rather colours my perspective of them. I’m not really surprised that they helped. The vampire though – that’s interesting. Do we know why he saved him?”
“She actually. And as near as I can tell she took a liking to him after he tried to kill her,” Tanya said. “And she doesn’t seem to have any intention of killing him. It has, as you said, uncomfortable implications.”
“Ones that bear consideration though,” Anna said. “But probably not public ones. I doubt the council would like that.”
“I wouldn’t mind, neither would Meredith or Liam, but the others? No they wouldn’t.”
“How many Councillors are there anyway?” David asked.
“Nine,” Tanya said. “Four vampire hunters, four werewolf hunters and one spectral hunter. It used to be three of each, but about three hundred years ago there was something of a coup against the spectral branch. It was about the time The Order hardened its line against werewolves and vampires. The spectral hunters refused to go along. They nearly got wiped out as a result and have never recovered from it.”
“That sounds bad,” David said. “But what do you mean hardened its line?”
Tanya smirked at him. “Do you remember what I told you about them yesterday? That they don’t attempt to kill their targets until they’re sure that they’re evil? That used to be the way the entire Order was, though the older notes have been carefully redacted to hide this fact. There’s always been hardliners of course, but the rules only became so set in stone back then. The spectrals didn’t like it. They argued the point and then purged their own hardliners. It nearly got them purged right back and it certainly shattered their powerbase. If they hadn’t given in to the demands of the other two branches to give up two seats and not take transfers in they would have been wiped out. It’s a mess I’d like to clean up. Liam’s a great guy, he doesn’t deserve to be treated like a borderline traitor. The spectral hunters deal with things on a daily basis that make the worst vampires and werewolves look tame and they get shit upon because they don’t kill things that don’t deserve it. Sometimes they’ll even ally with them against the things that do.”
Anna cupped her chin her hand as she considered that. “They sound like we could actually learn a lot from them.”
“It does,” David said. “But the Order didn’t used to kill all vampires or werewolves? What changed to give the people who wanted to such an edge?”
Tanya sighed. “A few very serious incidents, I think. I’m trying to reconstruct the real records from before the change but it’s not easy. I think Merry is as well. I suspect the spectral branch has better records of what happened since they’re all aware of it, but Liam has no reason to trust me.”
“You don’t trust him, he doesn’t trust you,” David said softly. His eyes were strangely unfocussed as he stared into space. “May be one of you needs to take a risk and break the ice to get anything done, and something needs to be done.”
“That’s…” Tanya hesitated. “That may actually be a good idea, Dave.”
David shook his head and his eyes cleared slightly. “Er… what may be a good idea?”
Tanya gave him a long, thoughtful look, “Do you have any idea what you just said?” she asked.
He shook his head. “I said something?” he asked.
“Hmm.” She nodded. “You did. It must have been a psychic incident. We’ll need to mention it to Merry. It seems you have more than one talent in your skull.”
“Oh,” he said. “That’s cool I guess.” He looked down at his hands. “But I think it would be a very good thing if we could get the Order back to the way it used to be.” He blinked. “I wouldn’t have said that a few days ago.”
“Having your life saved will change your perspective as Meredith can attest,” Tanya said. “I think I’ll call Meredith and ask her to come over tonight after we’ve taken Anna home. I need to have that talk with her that I mentioned and you need another training session. I’d also like to see what she thinks of what happened the other night. And you’re right we should take Anna home before sunset if we can, the sun will give us a slight advantage if he attacks.”
“I think that’s a good idea,” Anna said.
“If we can. It depends on how quickly you recover. It’d worry your brother if you were wonky like this when you get home. We’ll wait until you’re less wonky. The food should help. If we have to leave after sunset we’ll just have to hope he doesn’t want to tangle with my SUV.”
“We should carry lots of blessed stuff as well. He really hates holy items,” David said. “My crucifix gave him a nasty burn when I whacked him in the face with it. Leisa and I hid out in Saint Theresa’s until the werewolves saw him off. He seems to have issues with werewolves.”
“Hmm, so your vampire friend has no problems with holy ground,” Anna said. “That definitely suggests she isn’t evil.”
“Yes, we’ll all carry a couple of flasks of Holy Water and at least two crucifixes,” Tanya said. “I’ll try some vampire proofing on the SUV as well.”
“Couldn’t Linda cover for me for another night if needed?” Anna asked. “I mean Jason would think it was odd but if it’s safer.”
“That’s what I was going to do if you were still sick,” Tanya said. “But I don’t think it’s wise unless it’s absolutely needed. Like you said, he’ll get suspicious and that just won’t do.”
“I suppose.” Anna’s stomach roiled. “But I have a bad feeling he isn’t going to let me go so easily. He’s out of my head now, but I remember how angry he was. I think it’s imparing his judgement since the common sense thing to do at this point would be to forget about me and get the hell out of dodge, and while he’s definitely evil he didn’t seem stupid.”
Tanya chuckled at that. “Oh, obsession and anger can make anyone carry the idiot ball for a while. He may also be overconfident. Elder vampires tend to be since so few things can threaten them.”
“That makes sense,” Anna said. “But what will I do all day?”
“Rest,” Tanya suggested with a smile. “Watch TV. Normal stuff. I’ll call Merry and tell her I want to see her again this evening. Then I’ll see to the car.”
A/N: Could peeps who backed the Land of Myth IndieGoGo campaign please take a peek at this post on my dreamwidth blog and answer the question therein here or there? Thanks!