Just after midnight, Wednesday, November 3, 2004
After a few moments, the boy looked over at Jackie and with a shy grin on his face softly said, "I think it is time that I introduce myself to you."
Jackie glanced over at the boy and raised his eyebrow. The boy laughed at this, as it was something the man Jackie called father would have done.
Clearing his throat and taking a deep breath, he sat up and held out his hand, "Hello, my name is Ranger. Ranger Tair Lowell to be exact. It is a pleasure to finally get to make your acquaintance Jackson Sabre."
Jackie raised his eyebrow again and shook the offered hand, "Likewise. But, um, do you always sound so formal?"
Ranger giggled, "Yes, I know of no other way to be. Will this be a problem?"
Shaking his head and letting out a small giggle, Jackie relaxed and leaned back again, "Nope, just different is all."
Ranger imitated Jackie again and leaned back. The two stared at the night sky, each lost in his own thoughts. Ranger glanced over at Jackie from the corner of his eye. While sitting there he thought 'follow my heart', which is what he was told to do.
Taking a deep sigh Ranger softly said, "I know your father, he is the only true friend I have."
Jackie looked over at Ranger in shock, "You know my father? How?"
Ranger continued to look up at the night sky and nodded, "I met your father in 1981. I was thirteen years of age and your father was twelve. Well, I was a thirteen year old who had lived for two hundred thirteen years at that time."
Jackie shook his head, "I don't get that. How does that work anyway?"
"That is a long story, for now can we wait until we have more time for deeper discussion?" Ranger asked.
"Ah, okay then, can you tell me how you know my father?" Jackie glanced at Ranger.
Shaking his head no, Ranger stated, "Not without your father here. It is his story to tell, not mine." Glancing over at Jackie, Ranger stated, "What is really important is the question of what brought you out here in the middle of the evening and had you talking to the stars."
Jackie sat up and pulled his legs up into his chest. He laid his head down on his knees and looked over at Ranger. Ranger followed his example, copied the way Jackie was sitting, and looked over at Jackie.
The two boys sat there just looking at each for a few moments while Jackie tried to decide if he wanted to confide in Ranger or not.
Jackie sighed and started to tell Ranger everything that had occurred and all the information that the boys had gathered together. "We just don't understand how he disappeared into thin air two years ago. His team has documented that they saw him start to turn and then he was gone, vanished. It has been two years and there is no new information. No one knows who he went to meet and the government says there was no meeting set up. It is as if everyone is giving up, and I won't give up."
Ranger got a very worried look on his face, "It has been two years. I just thought that his mission was taking longer than normal."
Jackie shook his head no. "We got word the next morning. The government denied knowledge of any meeting. Dad's team looked everywhere. Investigated, searched, researched past missions, and still came up empty. We can't find him." Jackie's voice started to crack as tears were threatening to fall.
Ranger moved over closer to Jackie and put his arm around him. "I am so sorry, I did not know. What is happening now?"
Jackie leaned into Ranger and cried, "Mom says we have to let go, the team says there are no new leads to follow, that the mission has gone cold, there isn't anything more they can do. But, I have to try and do something. I don't believe he is dead, he can't be. I can't just let go."
As Jackie started to cry harder, Ranger pulled him closer and held him while he cried. Jackie continued, "We promised to love him while he was gone, and I won't ever stop looking or loving him until I know what the truth is, I won't do it." Jackie glanced up, while he talked his crying turned to sniffles, "Do you understand what I'm saying? Do you understand why I can't stop looking and hoping that he is out there? He needs us Ranger!"
Jackie pulled back some and softly said, "He was the father he didn't have to be. I need him so much. I'm not strong enough to be the person my brothers need to look up to and come to for advice. I can do it for short periods of time, but I am not him. We need him so much. He is my strength, my guidance, my best friend. I have so many questions that I can't talk to mom about. I feel so inadequate and insecure in the tasks he gave me. He can't be dead, he just can't."
Jackie started to softly sing;
"He Didn't Have To Be"
When a single mom goes out on a date with somebody new,It always winds up feeling more like a job interview.My momma used to wonder if she'd ever meet someone,Who wouldn't find out about me and then turn around and run.
I met the man I call my dad when I was five years old.He took my mom out to a movie and for once I got to go.A few months later I remember lying there in bed,I overheard him pop the question and prayed that she'd say yes.
And then all of a sudden,Oh, it seemed so strange to me,How we went from something's missing,To a family.Lookin' back all I can say,About all the things he did for me,Is I hope I'm at least half the dad,That he didn't have to be.
I met the girl that's now my wife about three years ago.We had the perfect marriage but we wanted somethin' more.Now here I stand surrounded by our family and friends,Crowded 'round the nursery window as they bring the baby in.
And now all of a sudden,It seemed so strange to me,How we've gone from something's missing,To a family.Lookin' through the glass I think about the man,That's standin' next to me,And I hope I'm at least half the dad,That he didn't have to be.
Lookin' back all I can say,About all the things he did for me,Is I hope I'm at least half the dad,That he didn't have to be.
Yeah, I hope I'm at least half the dad,That he didn't have to be.Because he didn't have to be,You know he didn't have to be.
Lyrics by Brad Paisley, copyright.
"While all the words don't fit us, so many do. He really was Ranger, he was, no, he is the father he didn't have to be. He didn't have to rescue me, bring me home, and they didn't have to adopt me and raise me as their own. But he did, and I need to find and rescue him now. Can you understand that, do you see what I mean?" Jackie whispered.
"Yes, I understand." Taking a deep breath, Ranger continued, "Your father left letters for each of you. In case anything happened and he did not return home alive from a mission he would always leave letters with me to give to each of you. He would then ask me to watch over you and protect you while he was gone. Would you like your letter?"
Jackie stiffened and pulled back slightly, "He left letters? You have been watching us?"
"Yes, that was my promise to your father as his best friend. I was honor bound, as his brother, to protect those he loved most, his family." Ranger nodded at Jackie.
Jackie just stared at Ranger for a moment, not sure what to do. He couldn't help but think, could he have left something in the letters to give a clue as to what happened to him. But, if he accepted the letter did that mean he needed to accept that his father was dead. Taking a deep breath Jackie asked the question, "Did he tell you to give us the letters if he died or just if something happened?"
Ranger took a deep breath, "He said to give the family their letters and to let them know of my presence if I found that he did not return home for any reason. He told me that I would know if the time was right."
Jackie just stared into Rangers eyes. "Do you think the time is right, because right now I don't? If I accept that letter then I feel as if though I am accepting that he is dead. No, I can't accept it, I won't accept it." Jackie attempted to jump up to run away but Ranger held on tight.
"Shh, it is alright. We won't give up hope as of yet, this I promise you. Not yet. I will hold the letters in reserve for now. Shh, just cry, let out your grief." Ranger whispered into Jackie's ear.
Jackie did just that. He melted into Rangers arms and let him hold him while he cried. After a while Jackie looked up at Ranger and with a sniffle said, "You must think I'm some cry baby. Oh God, what a way to make your acquaintance, huh?" Jackie let out a giggle at that, with a sniffle right behind it.
Ranger moved his hand to Jackie's face and brushed the tears away, "It was a perfect way to make your acquaintance." And with that Ranger leaned forward and gave Jackie a quick peck on the lips and then smiled at him, "but right now, you need to get some sleep. Will you permit me to get to know you better Jackson?"
Jackie looked into Rangers sad brown eyes and touched his finger tips to his own lips. Still in a state of shock at the small kiss all he could do was nod yes.
Ranger smiled at Jackie and helped him to stand. He pulled Jackie into his arms for a hug and then pulled back enough to place his hands on Jackie's shoulders, "Good, I would like that very much Jackson."
Jackie couldn't help but smile at the formality. "Ah, it's Jackie. You can just call me Jackie like all my family and friends do."
"Jackie it is then. Until we meet again Jackie, good night then. May sleep surround you in pleasant dreams for the rest of this evening." Ranger leaned in for another quick kiss and turned and walked away. He disappeared just as quickly as he arrived.
Jackie couldn't help but stand up and stare in the direction that Ranger walked off into the swamp. He finally sighed, turned and walked back towards the house. When he got there he went back upstairs, got undressed and wiggled his way back in between his brothers and fell asleep. He dreamt of being kissed for the first time.
Ranger knew that there were young boys watching over Jackie and the family so he headed for home. He traversed the swamps until he wandered onto his own section of land. Ranger walked up to the small shack type home he and the other men of the family built for him. It looked small and worn from the outside but when you entered you saw neat, orderly rooms. There was only a living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. There was a generator hooked up to supply power. On one wall was a bookcase filled with mystery novels from all different periods of time. He moved a book and pressed a button to open the bookcase so he could descend into his private sanctuary.
Being in a dream state, after getting to kiss the boy of his dreams, he didn't notice some of the lights on in his underground home. As he headed over to his bed he stopped in his track, looked over and noticed three young boys reading his books. His mind quickly processed that two of the boys were around fourteen years old and twins, even though one was stockier than the other. They both had light brown hair. One wore his hair straight and the other had his spiked. The third boy was around ten years old with spiked brown hair and eyes. He was smiling and Ranger could see the boy had attitude with his cocky grin and deep dimples. Without thinking he reached out with his telekinesis and removed the books from the young boys hands.
"Good choices of reading material. You have selected my original and autographed copies of...let me see here, Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Pit and the Pendulum', the original Play of 'The Octoroon' by Dion Boucicault and of course, my favorite...my own notes from Harry Houdini, T. Nelson Downs, Adelaide Herrmann, Chevalier Ernest Thorn, Jack Gwynne and others." Ranger turned and very carefully placed his prize possessions back onto the book cases, "Yet, they are not for young ones such as yourself." Ranger turned back around to see looks of shock on the boys' faces, "Now, would you like to tell me how you appeared in my home?"
Ranger turned as he heard a voice he knew very well speak behind him, "I brought them with me, my friend. I hope I am still welcome in your home after being gone for so long."
The smile that split Rangers face just before he launched himself at his long lost friend lit up the room. Just as he wrapped his arms around the man standing before him, Ranger yelled, "Zeke! Where have you been? I have missed you so!"
Zeke wrapped his arms around his young friend and sighed, "It is a very long story Ranger, and one I would like to save for later. But, we need a place to stay for a few nights." Zeke set Ranger back from him a bit, while keeping his arms wrapped around him, "May we stay in your home with you for a few days?"
Ranger looked at his friend and let out a small gasp, "That is why you have not been home? How long ago my friend?"
Zeke looked at his friend, "Just under two years. I rescued these boys along my journey and while an adoption isn't final," Zeke shrugged and then smiled, "they are now my sons also."
Ranger laughed, "Of course they are." Ranger looked over at the boys while he said, "The two were too young." Ranger looked back to Zeke, "Of course you must stay."
"How are Katie and the boys? Are they alright, safe?" Zeke finally asked what he wanted to ask as soon as he began to talk.
"They are watching and waiting your return. I fear that Jackie is not going to wait much longer, my friend. He becomes impatient for answers." Ranger stated as he walked over to his book case, pulled out copies of two of the books that the boys were reading and then pulled out 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' and handed the books to the boys. Each boy smiled and said thank you as they relaxed and began to read again.
Ranger and Zeke sat down on another couch and filled each other in on everything that happened over the last two years. Just as they were getting tired Ranger rubbed his hands down the front of his pant legs, trying to remove the clammy feeling on his skin, then he stood up and began to pace. Zeke watched his friend, knowing that Ranger would state what was on his mind when he was ready.
Finally, Ranger stopped and knelt on one knee in front of Zeke, then Zeke saw him shake his head and mumble, "If you are going to do this, then you need to stand and ask as a man."
Zeke watched Ranger stand and Zeke moved his hand over his mouth to cover the fact he wanted to burst out laughing. He couldn't figure out what had his friend so frustrated, but he found his action amusing.
Ranger rubbed his hands down his pants leg again, straightened his shirt, then ran his hands through his hair making it spike out in every direction again. He then stood ram rod straight and asked, "Zeke, my friend, may I have your permission to court your son, Jackson?"
At this, Zeke couldn't hold back any longer, he burst out with a deep belly laugh, "Ranger, you really need to move out of the nineteenth century. You date now, not court, and you really need to ask him, not me."
"But, but, Zeke, that is not proper. I must have the fathers permission to court his child." Ranger insisted.
Zeke calmed a bit in his laughter, "If you really feel you need it, you have it. I couldn't ask for a better man to date, umm, court my son." Zeke stood and gave Ranger a hug and before they knew it, the sun was beginning to rise and they decided they needed to sleep.
Jackie started to stir just before the alarm went off and felt the weight of his brother's on each side of him. His arms were still asleep from holding them throughout the night. He gently moved himself out from under them and felt the needle like pain of feeling returning in his arms.
He rubbed his hands up and down his arms to assist the blood in circulating again as he walked over and shut the alarm off. Since he didn't get to sit in his window seat the night before, he went over and did so now. Looking out over the swamp, he saw what he always did, nothing new, not what or who he was hoping to see. He just sat and stared out over the scene for awhile, waking up and thoughts crowding his head.
He looked over at his brother's and smiled at them. While he stared out over the swamp, the two of them found each other in their sleep and Talon protectively wrapped Ulee into a hug. Jackie was torn about what he wanted to do. He was going to miss them if he did what he was thinking of.
Then the part that fiercely needed to protect them said he couldn't do what he wanted, yet felt he needed to. The two sides warred inside of him. He knew he couldn't take them with him but he also knew he could no longer stay and do nothing.
Sighing, Jackie got himself centered and walked over to Talon and Ulee, grinning devilishly, Jackie jumped them and started a tickle attack. Talon and Ulee screamed and started laughing hysterically. Squirming and attempting to get to Jackie, they finally succeeded and had Jackie beneath them giving as good as they got.
All of a sudden there was a knock on the door and they heard their mom yell, "School boys, start getting ready and stop tickling each other." They heard her laughing as she walked away and headed downstairs.
Jackie pulled his brothers into a hug and whispered, "We better get ready to go." He kissed each of them on the top of their heads while they returned the hug. They both got up and, still laughing, and headed for their rooms across the hall.
As usual, the three of them met up in the hallway and continued to grab, push, and tickle each other all the way down the stairs and into the kitchen where Katie had breakfast waiting for them. Katie couldn't help but smile at their antics and while admonishing them to stop long enough to eat breakfast; she secretly loved every moment of their laughter and smiled at them.
As they arrived at school, Steven and Lily ran up to join them. Talon glanced over at Lily with a shy grin. Ulee poked him to tease him. The two boys took off running as Talon chased after Ulee, he allowed Ulee to always stay one step ahead of him.
Jackie, Steven and Lily laughed at their antics. Talon and Ulee turned around and waved good-bye as they each headed off to their own hallways. Jackie, Steven and Lily followed more slowly as they headed off to their own section of the school.
At the same time Jeremy, Tyler, Therin, Chad, Travis, Curtis and Mark all followed closely behind.
Bruno arrived at the school with Coach Lewis. A few people looked over, but no one thought anything of it since Bruno played football. They walked into the office and Coach Lewis handled all the paperwork to have Bruno's name changed from Bruno Rampa to Bruno Taylor. He also made sure all of Bruno's emergency contact information was changed and that the school had a copy of Bruno's adoption paperwork.
As they walked out of the office Coach Lewis stopped Bruno, "This is your chance, Bruno, to start changing into the man you want to be. I know it is going to be difficult to not fall into your old habits of being the bully. If things get too difficult you know where to find me and we can talk about it. Alright?"
Bruno looked up at his coach and swallowed, "Yeah, but I'm afraid that my old friends won't understand."
Coach smiled and put a hand on Bruno's shoulder, "Well, then, if they don't then they weren't your friends to begin with. Maybe it is time to make new friends."
Bruno sighed, "I can only try. See ya after school Coach." Then he whispered, "pop," where no one could hear him, turned, and walked down the hallway to his first class of the day.
Later, during lunch, the three met back up again and sat at their table. They started to discuss the boy they met the day before. "He sure seemed arrogant, didn't he?" Lily asked as she took a bite of her lunch.
Jackie looked thoughtful for a moment, "I wouldn't so much say arrogant as I would confident. More like an arrogant confidence that says 'I have no worries, I know exactly who I am and where I am going.'"
Steven nodded in agreement. "That is how I saw him. More adult than your average teenager, but then again, he did say he was two hundred and thirty six years old. How do you think something like that happens?"
Jackie mumbled, "He wouldn't tell me, said it was a long story."
Steven and Lily looked over at him and said at the same time, "What did you just say?"
Jackie looked back at his friends and repeated, "He wouldn't tell me, said that it was a long story."
Steven looked shocked, "When did you see him again?"
Jackie blushed slightly, "Um, last night. I couldn't sleep so I went outside and he came up and asked if he could join me while I was looking at the stars and thinking. We... talked some." Jackie shrugged his shoulders as if it was no big deal and continued to eat his lunch.
Steven and Lily looked at each other. They both saw the slight blush and smiled. Each thinking that it was about time Jackie found someone that he could like and possibly be with. With a nod to each other they also went back to eating lunch.
Lily looked around the lunch room and commented, "There's Bruno in the lunch line. He looks lost. Wonder what happened yesterday after the lunch incident to make him look like that?"
Steven looked around when she said that, "You know he does seem kind of lost. What do you think happened, Jackie?"
Jackie looked at the table and then back up at his friends, "I really can't tell you anything, but I will say that he is alright and that he had a major upheaval last night. I would like to invite him to sit with us. He is going to need good friends."
Lily was shocked. "What? After what he did to me? You, you of all people, want to be his friend."
Jackie looked at her with determination in his eyes, "Yes, me of all people want to try to be his friend, even after what he did to you. And I hope that you will hear him out when I ask him to sit with us."
Lily stared at Jackie, then really looked at him. After all the years she has know him she said, "Okay Jackie. You have to have your reasons, and you have to had learned something. If you think it is safe for him to be with us, I will give him a chance to explain. And it better be good Jackie."
"It will be Lily, I can promise you that. And he is going to need us to help him."
Lily just nodded. Steven smiled and said, "No problem bro. You know best."
Jackie stood up and walked over to Bruno. Lily and Steven saw the shocked look on Bruno's face and watched him listen to what Jackie was saying to him. They then saw Bruno nod and walk over to the lunch table to sit with them.
Bruno sat down with his lunch and didn't say anything, Jackie just looked at Lily and Steven, "Bruno, I know Steven and Lily have a lot of questions so why don't the three of you come over to our house for dinner tonight. It has been two years since our dad left and we always have a big dinner. Then after dinner we can talk and catch up on everything."
Bruno glanced up, "You didn't tell them?"
Jackie smiled, "That isn't for me to do Bruno, that is your choice."
Bruno looked over at Steven and Lily, "If the two of you would give me a chance I would like to tell you." Then he looked at Lily, "And...umm...if you would give me a chance, maybe we could try to be friends and then, someday, if we can be friends, maybe..." He trailed off, not able to finish his thought.
Lily looked at Jackie in shock, this was not the boy who tried to rape her last weekend. Seeing Jackie smile and nod, she just said, "We'll see."
Jackie looked back over at his friends and sighed. "It is time to head off to class. This day is dragging. Do you need a ride out to the house tonight Bruno?"
"Umm...no, I think my new dad will take me if I ask." Bruno hesitated, because he really wasn't sure because his old dad wouldn't have done it.
Jackie nodded, "Call me then if you need a ride." He quickly wrote down his phone number and gave it to Bruno.
He got up from the table to throw his lunch trash away and placed his tray by the return window. His friends followed and they walked out of the lunch room to finish their school day.
Ranger walked outside after he woke up. He looked around to see his adopted family moving around. He smiled and thought how lucky he was to have this family. Then he frowned, remembering how many he loved, lost and buried over all the years of his life. So many that he watched grow from cradle to grave.
He made his way over to the graveyard for the family and sat down by Miz Zelime's grave. "We each owe a death. But sometimes... oh, God, sometimes the road to the end just seems too long..." Ranger cried over the grave of the woman who had come in the darkness of the night to find him. Who loved him first.
The first whom he remembered losing.
"...sometimes, it is just too long..."
He sat crying as he reminisced about the years past. He sat and wiped his eyes. He thought of his best friend, sighing, "Miz Zelime, I know that you cannot hear me, yet I must speak with you now. I do not wish to lose another who was yet so young and has so much to live for. What am I to do?"
He felt a fragile hand on his shoulder. He looked up over his shoulder to see Miz Odilia standing behind him, smiling down at him.
She softly spoke to him, "Do you remember my eternal boy what was once told to you by my sister Miz. Azelie? I may have been eighty-two that year but I still remember very clearly her words spoken to you my child."
Ranger whispered, "I remember Miz. Odilia. I thought I loved him and found he couldn't return my love that way. I felt so lost and alone. She said to me:"
Ranger flashed back and saw Miz. Azelie speaking to him, "Do not worry, child," she crooned, "for I see much that circles around you. You have a great calling, one that cannot be fully explained...and, as with all those with great callings, great rewards are there as well. Some rewards come even before you finish your task and destiny. There are the Walking Dead, the Sleeping Lords and the Eye of Time. There are Beasts who Speak, Spirits who Know and Mortals who Endure. Much will you touch, and much will only touch you through the Union of Brotherhood only.
"Do not fear, child. You are not destined to be alone forever. Take courage, do what your heart tells you is right, and, one day, the one who will steal your heart will find you. And the result of his theft is that you will not be superior to him in any way..."
"What does that mean?" the small boy trembled.
"It is for you to discover," she crooned. "As always, the future reveals itself but reluctantly. But my words are not of the future. They are of Destiny. Watch and wait and follow your heart... and when all seems most lost, remember that last. Follow your heart."
"Are you going to stop crying for yourself my child?"
"What if he doesn't want me? The last time I thought I was following my heart it ended up not to be." Ranger sighed as he thought of his best friend, asleep in his home.
"Stand up and follow your heart. The time is near and you need to be ready to go where your heart leads you." Miz. Odilia said while wiping the tears from Rangers face.
He slowly stood, and then bent down to give the old woman who had helped to take care of him a hug. Pulling her into his arms he whispered, "Thank you, I love you!"
She pulled back and looked up into his face, placing her small fragile hand on his face she smiled, "As we love you eternal child. Now go get ready to follow your heart." With that she turned and walked away.
Ranger watched her go and then turned and looked down at the grave of the first woman to ever loved him and whispered. "Thank you for being there for me. Rest my friend, rest." He turned and headed towards his home.
Just as Jeremy and Tyler arrived at the house their comm badges went off, "Hello Jeremy, Doc here. Your little bomb buddy Seaver Carson is ready for you to pick him up. It is with all of you guys that he wants to be. I will warn you though, we have not been able to restore his memories."
"Thanks Doc. Tyler and I are on our way." Jeremy answered quickly and then barely got out, "Daileass..." when they both disappeared.
A few moments later they re-appeared. Renaud walked over to Seaver, "Therin, Scout and I were just getting ready to go watch a movie in town. Would you like to join us? I know when I got outta that bio-bed and was able to leave, the first thing I wanted to do was get out and about."
Seaver smiled, "I'd love to!" Then he frowned, "since I don't remember what it's like to go and see a movie. I don't even remember if I ever did something like that."
Scout jumped up, "Kewl! Maybe you might 'member somethin' if we do things you don't 'member."
The four boys headed out of the house with waves good-bye.
Jackie, Talon and Ulee arrived home from school and headed upstairs to change.
"Ulee, let's go! We need to leave now to make it to your doctor's appointment." Katie hollered up the stairs in exasperation.
"I'm almost ready mom." Ulee yelled back from Jackie's bedroom door.
"You remember what you're gonna tell mom?" Jackie asked as he straightened Ulee's collar on his shirt.
Ulee smiled up at Jackie, "Yep, got it bro! I'll keep mom outta the house long enough for the surprise."
Ulee gave Jackie a big hug and ran out the door towards the stairs.
Jackie laughed as he heard their mom yell, "Quit running in the house."
He walked to his bedroom window seat and watched as their mom's Jeep pulled out of the garage. Nodding he left his room and walked down the hallway to the set of stairs that went up into Talon's studio.
Jackie called up the stairs before he started up them. He knew how Talon liked his privacy and sometimes he didn't want anyone to see what he was painting. When he got to the top of the stairs he saw Talon setting his paint pallet down and just staring at the painting.
Jackie walked up next to him and just looked. "Wow! You really captured the gardens at night. That is beautiful Talon."
Talon just kept staring at it and Jackie finally noticed something off about the painting. "Um, Talon, what are those two small red dots right there?"
Talon shrugged, "I don't know where they came from, but I guess I'm leaving them there."
Talon got a mischievous grin on his face, "Kinda adds an air of the mysterious." Talon then burst out in giggles.
Jackie couldn't help but laugh with his brother. "That is does. But, is it something you really saw out there or what?"
"I really don't know. You know how I go into a zone and just paint. Well, that is how they ended up there." Talon moved away to start cleaning his paint brushes. He preferred painting with spray paint but for some reason, he had pulled out all his oils for this painting.
Jackie went over to a stool set up in the room by the front window and looked out over the gardens in the front of the house. He just sat there staring down the long driveway and watching the shadows playing through the forty Oak trees lining the long drive.
"Sometimes, when I'm out front and looking down the driveway, I can almost see Dad driving up to the house. I so long for that day Talon." Jackie sighed.
Talon nodded his head in agreement while he continued to clean up his paint supplies.
Jackie glanced over at Talon, "Today is two years. And, I, um...well...I wanted to talk to ya about something. An idea of sorts."
Talon stopped what he was doing and looked at Jackie, "Um, okay, what do you want to talk about bro?"
Jackie repositioned the stool so that he was looking right at Talon, "You never got to learn a recipe from Dad." Jackie tensed as he saw Talon stand up straight to brace himself for an argument, "You know, before he disappeared."
"I know that Jackie, and thanks for reminding me." Talon threw a cleaning rag down and stormed over towards Jackie, "that was something I was really looking forward to. Ya know, you only turn ten once." Talon yelled at Jackie.
Jackie put his hands up in front of him, trying to tell Talon he didn't want to fight, "I know bro." With a deep sigh and a glance back out the window he repeated, "I know."
Jackie looked back at Talon, "But," sigh, "I want to teach you my recipe. We can make it for mom."
Talon's eyes narrowed, "No! That is your recipe and I'll wait for Dad to come home so he can teach me my own. I don't want yours."
"Will you just listen a minute and hear me out?" Jackie voice lowered some.
"You keep talking but I'm not liking what I am hearing," Talon's voice lowered to a growl to match Jackie's.
"Look, this is what I want to do." Jackie stood up and started to pace the room. "I want your help, and I want to teach you my recipe." Jackie turned to look at Talon again, "I want to set up the formal dining room, ya know, with the good china and flowers and a glass of wine for mom, and my special recipe."
Jackie started to pace again as he continued, "We haven't made it since Dad has been gone. Mom won't make it because it reminds her of Dad also. And damnit Talon, I can't stand this anymore." Jackie turned to look right at Talon, "I want Dad home just as much as everyone else. Every month that passes mom believes more and more that he is dead and...." Jackie raised his voice to a frustrated yell... "I DON'T WANT TO LET HIM GO!"
Jackie collapsed onto another stool in the room, "Today is two years to the date since dad disappeared and I want to make it special. I want to bring dad home and if the only way I can do that is by making the special recipe that he taught me, make a special night for mom like dad used to do, ya know, maybe all of us can feel him around us then. Almost like he was here with us."
Jackie looked at Talon with tears in his eyes, "Will you please let me teach you the recipe and will you please help me. Help make this night good for mom, for all us."
Jackie watched the emotions run across Talon's face, "Tonight, let's make a dinner like dad used to and set the table and everything. And most of all, let's remember how much we love and miss him. Please Talon? Ulee is already going to distract mom so they take longer after his doctor's appointment."
It was Talon's turn to stare out the front window overlooking the gardens. As he stared out the window he remembered to two years ago and how excited he was getting for his birthday just three months away. While most kids were getting excited over Christmas arriving in another month, Talon couldn't stop thinking about turning ten years old and getting to learn his own special family recipe from his dad. Just like he taught Jackie when he turned ten.
Talon turned to Jackie, with a deep sigh, "Alright, but the recipe is yours Jackie. I'll help, but if I don't hold onto the thought of dad coming home and teaching me my own recipe, then it's like I let him go and I can't do that. I know in my heart he is still out there." Talon looked out the window again, "Damn, Jackie, I looked over and over all the documents, tracked them, plotted time lines, and organized so many files. So, for me, while mom may be letting go, I'm not, and I won't." Talon glanced back at Jackie, "So, bro, if this is what you feel you need to do, let's do it."
Jackie nodded in understanding, stood up and walked over to Talon and pulled him into a hug.
"Alright then," he said as he pushed Talon back out of the hug, "enough of this mushy crap, let's go and start getting things ready."
Talon nodded in agreement and they walked down the stairs to the third floor of the house. They walked down the hallway to the stairway that lead down to the family floor of the house and headed to the back of the house; to the smaller, family kitchen.
Jackie asked Talon to get the shrimp, scallops, swiss cheese, parmesan cheese, and whipping cream from the refrigerator. Jackie went over to the pantry and got the fresh herbs; basil, parsley and thyme. Then he grabbed the salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, some white pepper and green onions. He also got a box of fettuccine pasta.
While Talon was making sure all the shrimp were properly peeled and deveined Jackie chopped up the basil, parsley and thyme. When he was done with that he had Talon shred the swiss cheese and grated the parmesan cheese while he crushed up the peppers and red pepper flakes and then chopped up the green onion.
The two brothers worked together, while Jackie gently guided Talon in what needed to be done. Each lost in his own thoughts and remembering different things during the quiet moments. Jackie was remembering how his dad taught him the importance of all fresh ingredients. He reflected back to the day his dad was teaching him how to make the Cajun seafood pasta he was now showing Talon.
Talon remembered the excitement of knowing he was going to turn ten soon. And the pain of learning that their dad disappeared. Knowing that he wasn't going to have the special time with his daddy. A few tears slid down his cheek, so he used the sleeve of his shirt to wipe them away.
They heard the doorbell ring throughout the house. Jackie wiped his hands on a towel and went to answer the door. Standing on the other side were Steven, Lily and Bruno. Lily had in her hands fresh made dinner rolls and Steven had a fresh bouquet of flowers. Bruno looked nervous, "Umm, here, dad said your mom would like this." as he handed Jackie a bottle of white wine.
"Thanks for coming guys, this is great!" Jackie exclaimed in shock as he opened the door wider to let his friends into the house. "You didn't need to bring anything."
Lily walked up and gave him a peck on the cheek, "Well, silly, what else are friends supposed to do when one of their friends need them. We know what today is and we are here to support you." With that she walked on by and headed for the kitchen.
Steven gave a smirk, "Yeah, what she said. Where is a vase for me to put these flowers in for your mom?" Steven asked as he walked on by and headed for the formal dining room. Bruno followed Steven as he wasn't sure what to do.
Jackie followed behind and showed Steven where the vases were in the hutch. Steven picked one out and the three boys headed for the kitchen. They entered just as Lily gave Talon a kiss on his cheek, causing him to blush and the dimples in his cheeks to appear.
Jackie leaned back against the counter, "I really appreciate this guys, but it really wasn't necessary."
Lily just smiled, "Yes it was. Now, where do you keep everything for salads."
Jackie pointed to the refrigerator and went to a cupboard to get down the large salad bowl.
"If you show me where everything is Jackie, I'll set the table." Steven offered.
"And I'll help," Bruno offered.
The four of them got to work.
Jackie set a pot of water on the stove to boil. While he was waiting for that he got a large skillet and other cooking utensils out. He lined up all his ingredients in the order he was going to need them. The water finally started to boil and he added the pasta.
While the pasta was cooking he started on the sauce. He poured the cream into the large skillet. He constantly stirred it until it almost came to a boil and then turned the heat down to low, he had Talon start to add in all the herbs, salt, peppers and onions while he continued to stir.
He looked at the clock on the stove and told Talon that they had to let it simmer for about eight minutes and explained how it had to thicken. Then he had Talon add in the seafood. Jackie continued to stir and cook it on low until the shrimp was no longer transparent. He then had Talon start to add in the cheeses. He continued to stir until it was well blended.
Jackie then drained the noodles. He covered everything to keep it warm. He went and checked how Steven and Bruno set the formal dining room table. The table was long enough to seat sixteen people. They only used it for special occasions since it was only the five of them, well four now. The flowers that Steven brought looked wonderful. Jackie knew his mom was going to love them.
Lily shooed them away, "Steven and I will get everything on the table. Go ahead and change if you need to. We got it from here."
Jackie nodded his thanks and they ran upstairs and changed into nice clothes. A nice pair of dress slacks and dress shirt. Jackie had put on an emerald green silk shirt with tan dress slacks while Talon put on a grey silk dress shirt with black dress slacks.
Just as they came back down the stairs they heard the door downstairs open and their mom and Ulee coming up the back stairs into the kitchen. Ulee smiled and dashed off to his room and Katie stopped in her tracks.
She just stood there. She could smell the dinner and knew what it was. A tear ran down her cheek, then another and another. Jackie and Talon stood there waiting, for what they weren't sure. Steven, Lily and Bruno stood behind the boys in support.
"Mom?" Jackie asked with a tentative tone in his voice.
Katie looked over at Jackie with a faint smile on her face. "I..." She swallowed and took a deep breath the get her emotions under control. They could hear Ulee running back down the stairs.
They heard Ulee yell, "Look what I found in my room. Can I keep him Mom? Please? Can I keep him?"
She couldn't help but smile more as she saw him round the corner and run up to stand next to his brothers. He had put on a midnight blue silk dress shirt with a pair of light blue dress slacks. She looked over her sons standing in front of her and couldn't help but think of how handsome they were.
They all noticed a purple ball of fur in Ulee's arms. "I named him Purpurowy. 'Cause he's purple and he purrs and he caused a small owy when he accidentally scratched me. See!" Ulee showed them the small red scratch on his hand.
She swallowed again, she just nodded at Ulee as Jackie and Talon walked up to her. Talon took her coat and purse while Jackie slid her hand into the elbow of his arm to escort her to the dining room. Ulee had rushed ahead and had her chair at the head of the table pulled out for her.
When she saw the table she couldn't help but let a few more tears fall down her cheek but she kept the smile on her face. She knew what today was. That was why she made Ulee's doctor's appointment for today and why she kept herself busy all day. She didn't want to remember that two years ago her husband disappeared and was most likely dead.
Jackie helped her sit at the head of the table, while Ulee helped his mom slide the chair up to the table. Talon showed up and very carefully started to pour her a glass of the wine Bruno brought and then he remembered their dad using this same wine for this meal.
Steven, Lily and Bruno already had everything on the table, using warming trays to keep the food hot. Lily had made up plates of salad and had them set at each place setting while they were waiting for the boys to change clothes.
Katie looked around the table and softly stated, "This looks wonderful. I guess it was time."
The boys, Steven, Bruno and Lily took their places. Jackie moved to his place at Katie's right. Talon and Ulee, who placed Purpurowy in his lap, sat at the table down the left side. Steven and Lily moved up to the table next to Jackie. After Steven helped Lily to sit in her chair, Steven took his place next to Jackie. Bruno walked over and took the seat next to Ulee. Once everyone was seated Jackie sat and looked down at his plate, "I just... needed him to be here... and this was the only way I could think of to feel like dad was here with us." He glanced up at his mom, "I hope you understand mom."
Katie softly smiled and placed her hand on his arm, "I do. I know how much it hurts, but I understand and I shouldn't have stopped doing the things that made us feel close to your dad." She then took her hand back, looked down to the other end of the table where her husband usually sat, noticed a place setting there for him and smiled. She picked up her fork, and then let out a sigh, "but thank you for reminding us of the importance of today. He is still with us if we keep his memory alive."
The kids all followed Katie's example and picked up their forks. They had all just picked up a forkful of salad and were getting ready to eat when....
Across town, the Alden's were just finishing dinner. Bill and Carena were laughing as the boys were telling them about some of the things they had done while in the Tardis training, what was three years to them, was in reality only about ten minutes.
"Alright boys, time to start clearing the table," Carena tried to say while gasping for breath.
Mark got up from the table scowling. "It wasn't that funny," he mumbled while picking up his dishes and heading into the kitchen.
"Only because it happened to you bro!" Travis said through fits of giggles.
"Well, next time you have your pants fall down around your ankles while going across a rope, hand over hand, above a mud pit and see how you like it!" Mark complained.
Just as Mark set his dishes in the sink the family heard alarms start to go off. Before any of them could react, Daileass's panicked voice came over the speakers. "You guys got trouble. I think this is it..."
Renaud, Therin, Scout and Seaver were just leaving the movie theater. As they walked down the sidewalk discussing the movie they heard the alarm go off and Daileass's panicked voice came over the speakers. "You guys got trouble. I think this is it..."
Jeremy and Tyler were also just sitting down for dinner, after having another rather fun day at school. Both boys had forgotten how much they enjoyed the more mundane aspects of a kids life.
Just as they were starting to eat, the alarms started to go off. Before either of them could get to their feet, Daileass's panicked voice came over the speakers. "You guys got trouble. I think this is it..."
"What the...?" Jeremy said as he started to move to the door. "We're not ready yet! Daileass, get the team together, and get us all armed!"
The team heard Jeremy's order and no one else said a word as they felt the pull of the teleport.
Davis and Tevin just got back to their room after eating dinner and just settled down to watch a movie. "Were almost there Tevin, not too much longer and then I will figure out how to find the Saber family."
Tevin nodded that he heard while he was looking at the movie choices.
"That won't be a problem Davis. I'm going to take the two of you right to their plantation."
Tevin turned at the sound of a young boys voice and his jaw dropped as he saw a nine year old boy with sparkling green eyes grinning at him, but what really caught his attention was the small wings on the boys back. "What...who...?" he stuttered as words just would not form.
The boy flashed an impish grin and giggled, "I was given the job of getting you two there safely, and this ship is not safe right now."
Davis jumped up, "What?" he yelled. "Where did you come from and what do you mean not safe?"
"Well," the boy grinned, and he fluttered his wings, "Where do you think I came from? My name's Mark and right now I need to get the two of you off this ship while a friend on mine is taking care of the explosives on here so everyone else can make it to Earth in one piece." Mark walked up to Davis, "See none of you are supposed to die. We couldn't get to Tevin's dad fast enough, but all of you, you we can save."
And with that Davis and Tevin found themselves looking down a long driveway lined with large oak trees. They looked all around but couldn't find any sign of the boy named Mark, they just heard a giggle. Davis looked down and saw their bags sitting next to them, "Well Tevin, we better grab our bags and start walking."
Tevin sighed, "That was really, really outta here, but kinda kewl!" Then he reached down and picked up his bag, "But that sure looks like a long walk. Why didn't he drop us off at the front door?"
"I really couldn't answer that, but I am sure he had his reasons. Let's go." Davis reached down and picked up the other two bags and they started walking.
Zeke and the three boys were watching the house from the trees when he noticed movement. He stood up straight and looked over to the boys.
When he got there he slowly made his way up the back steps to the small family kitchen. He slowly opened the door and peeked around the corner. Not seeing anyone they slipped into the house.
Zeke started to move towards the door leading to the main hall when he was stopped in his tracks. He noticed the twins were stopped dead in their track by the doorway that led into the formal dining room.
Marco was standing just past the door, with a pantry on each side of him, waiting for his brothers to follow. Marco looked behind his brothers to where he saw movement. When he noticed a very old, small, fragile looking lady standing in the doorway, he nodded his head towards his brothers to have them look behind them.
Zeke noticed the twins start to turn, and looked over to the door. When he noticed Miz Odilia standing there he angrily whispered, "Why I can't we walk through the doorways?"
Miz Odilia smiled, "Well, now, if you wouldn't have placed the split cane trays that were specifically made for your family above the doors here, and left them, along with all of the Mardi Gras masks with yellow eyes above all the main entry ways, none of you would be in the house at all and your family would be safe." Miz Odilia shook her head, "But, do the young listen." She continued to shake her head, "And you cannot help me remove them, as you cannot be touching me while I am touching them because of who you are."
Miz Odilia walked over to the table and sat down, "So now we wait, Katie should be showing up shortly."
Zeke and the boys looked at her in shock, "How can you remain so calm? That is my family out there." Zeke growled under his breath at her.
Miz Odilia just smiled, "Because we saw this coming many, many years ago. In the day of your forefathers. That is why we had the protections put into place. I cannot help it that future generations felt the protections didn't fit modern décor."
Ranger felt tonight was a good night to start courting his heart. He had stopped by the local florist there at the Plantation and pick up a bouquet of flowers. He was just about to knock on the main family door when he heard the sound of a large crash from below him.
He slowly started to open the front door to the house. Once he got inside he snuck inside the formal living room. He crept across the room until he was in the formal sitting room. Once there he peaked around the entry way, down the hallway and quickly slid across the hall into the lounge area, where he quickly sat behind the chair rail length wall the trimmed out the room that was created by the family.
Jeremy started to run towards the back door, with Tyler right behind him. Without ever slowing down, Jeremy felt Daileass's teleporters grab him. As one foot left the ground, he could almost feel the clothes he was wearing being stripped away from him, and his body armor fitting around him. As his other foot hit the ground, he could feel the comforting weight of the heavy armor, the heavy handgun on his right hip, the sword that Chang had given him strapped to his back, and the assorted other weapons that Jeremy had become used to.
He didn't even have to look to know that Tyler had also been changed. The soft footfalls from sneakers, were replaced by the heavy hit of combat boots. Both boys reached up and took off their helmets, just as the other eight members of the team arrived right by their sides. Jeremy looked everyone over and saw they were ready to go. They were all dressed in their heavy armor, helmet in hand, handguns on their hips, and rifles slung over their shoulders, along with other assorted weapons, "Alright everyone, spread out as we move in. Daileass, how long till we get hit?"
Daileass's reply sent chills up their spines, and the ten boys once again felt his teleporters grab hold. 'Now!' as Daileass moved them from the tree line to the front drive just outside of the house.
"Crap!" Jeremy angrily ground out, "Okay men, let's move!" Jeremy started to run up to the house. As they were moving in on the house, all the boys put their helmets back on and pulled their handguns. "Move, move! Spread out!" Jeremy yelled as he pointed to where he wanted everyone to go as they entered the house.
Renaud stopped Seaver real quick, "Stay here and guard the door, I know you want to help, but you just got out of the hospital."
Seaver just gave a quick nod, as he had no clue what to do, but figured he could help in some way.
The kids all followed Katie's example and picked up their forks. They had all just picked up a forkful of salad and were getting ready to eat when they heard the downstairs door shatter. Katie and Jackie jumped up and ran over to a hutch in the corner of the dining room.
Jackie pulled the drawer open as Katie started to remove a light layer of table clothes and napkins out of the drawer. Jackie removed the false bottom, reached in, and started to pull out the throwing stars, daggers, daisho's, wakizaski's and rattan sticks. Talon ran to the side of the hutch and opened a side cabinet that held his yari. Katie reached in and grabbed her Benelli shotgun and the box of ammo from their slot in the drawer.
Across town alarms sounded in five different households. As soon as Jackie removed the false bottom in the drawer of the hutch, the security system kicked in notifying the Sabre team the family was in trouble. Ryan jumped up and ran to his room, undressing as he went. In a speed that only the military could dress and prepare, Ryan was decked out in his armor and weapons.
As soon as he placed the mic in his ear he barked out, "This is Bravo two, report in!"
"Charlie three here, ready and enroute, sir!" Mason responded immediately.
"Delta four here, ready and in route, sir!" Brenton responded and everyone could hear his truck start up before he muted his mic.
"Echo five here, ready and in route, sir!" Ethan shouted into the mic as he was running out of his house.
"Foxtrot six, ready and already rolling, sir!" Everyone could hear the music playing in the background as Cecil responded.
"Bravo two here, await orders at the scene men. Do not move in until we are all there. Bravo two over and out." Ryan ordered as his tires squealed around a corner.
While Jackie was setting weapons down, Ulee settled his new pet, Purpurowy, on the hutch and picked up his rattan sticks. Steven played around some with his friends in the dojo so he picked up another set of rattan sticks, since Ulee showed him how to use them and he felt most comfortable with those.
Jackie looked over at Bruno and handed him the throwing stars, "Think of them as a frizebee, hold them like this..." and Jackie quickly showed Bruno how to hold and throw the stars.
Bruno nodded and looked around, he saw Lily had moved over into a corner and headed over there. "I don't know what the heck is going on Lily, but I AM going to stay right here in front of you." Lily just nodded and her eyes said 'thank you' even though nothing more was said.
Katie was already through the entryway that led from the formal family dining room into the main hall. She had her shotgun up and ready to fire.
Just as Katie got to the end of the hall Jeremy, Tyler, Renuad, Therin, Scout, Chad, Travis, Curtis, Mark and Seaver all entered the main door on the second floor. Seaver noticed the security office door was open and ducked into the room to guard the front door, while the rest of the team rounded the corner.
Jeremy threw his hand up and yelled, "We're here to help! Don't shoot!" when he saw Katie aim the shotgun their way.
Jackie heard Bruno, nodded over at him, "You two stay here." Jackie, Talon, and Ulee headed out into the main entry way of the second floor just as Jeremy, Tyler, Renuad, Therin, Scout, Chad, Travis, Curtis, Mark and Seaver all entered the main door on the second floor.
Jackie looked over at all of them in shock when he recognized Jeremy's voice, "What are all of you doing here?" He quickly added, "It's alright mom, we know them from school." Katie partially lowered her shotgun to acknowledge that she heard.
Jeremy quickly responded, "Don't have time for details right now, but we're here to protect you." Jeremy turned, "Chad, Travis, and Scout...dining room, protect everyone in that room. Therin and Mark, you're with Ulee. Tyler and Curtis, you're with Talon. Renaud, you're with me...cover Jackie and his mom. Whatever you do, protect the Sabres and keep these guys out of the dining room." Jeremy shouted his order and everyone moved to cover who they were assigned to.
Steven, Lily and Bruno saw Chad, Travis, and Scout run into the dining room fully armed. The first thing they did was yell, "Clear the table off!" Lily jumped from behind Bruno. Lily, with help from Bruno and Steven cleared the table in record time. As soon as everything was set on the side table Chad and Travis, with help from Bruno and Steven, flipped the antique, heavy, wooden table on it's side to help create some form of cover.
No one knew what happened but all of a sudden there were two of everyone. What began as seventeen kids, eighteen with Ranger there, now looked like thirty two kids and two of Katie, all with weapons, staring down the invaders.
Once Miz Odilia got herself seated, she looked over at the twin boys standing by the entryway to the dining room. She smiled over at them, then with a gentle wave of her hand motioned for them to come closer. The boys looked over at Zeke, who nodded that was alright to approach her. When they got close enough she motioned for them to come just a little closer. She allowed two chains to unravel from her fingertips, reached up towards Jaden, who leaned over and allowed her to place a necklace around his neck. She repeated the process with Aiden.
When she was done she patted their cheeks. They looked down at the necklace with a questioning look on their faces. Miz Odilia just smiled. She then motioned Zeke over, she placed a necklace around his neck as well. She patted his cheek, "you need to get ready, Katie should be coming through the entry way at any moment."
She then glanced over at Marco, "I will make something special for you young one, but these here will allow your father and brothers to go where others of their kind are not allowed."
Marco smiled and gave her a quick nod to let her know he understood.
Just as Katie was doubled a blur moved right up to her. It had quickly moved down the hall, from the main staircase, picked her up and threw her down the hall and right into the kitchen.
Zeke had seen her being picked up and thrown. He moved, encased in shadow, and caught her.
Katie gasped, "You...you're alive!" and threw her arms around his neck as the shotgun she was holding fell to the ground.
Right as he caught her, Miz Odilia whispered to the twins, "Go on now, those necklaces protect you from the charm on the baskets to keep the evil of the night out of the house." Both boys looked down at the necklaces again, then up at the basket above the door, "Yes, boys, charmed. Or spelled. It is the way of the old up there, these are the way of the new. Now go, your new family needs you."
Jaden, Aiden and Marco nodded and moved through small hall way connecting the kitchen to the formal family dining room.
The Sabre protection team had barely moved into place when Ranger stood up in the lounge and doubled everyone in the two rooms that he could see. He ran over to cover Jackie just as the twins appeared right in front of Talon, and the youngest boy Ranger met the evening before followed shortly behind and ran over to cover Ulee. Ranger immediately doubled the twins and the young boy, making the total thirty nine.
Just as he doubled the youngest boy three men slowly entered the room, joining the one that just threw Katie. One entered from the hall leading to the stairs in the main hall, the other two came down the back hall, which led from the main stairs and past the family room and towards the kitchen. The four men had torn apart and searched the downstairs floor. Their informant had told them the family would be on that floor, since they assumed it was the main floor of the house.
They all heard Jeremy whisper, "Oh fuck!" as he realized four vampires now stood in the hall, two at each end. The only place they had to go was into the lounge/multipurpose and media room, or the formal family dining room. He glanced around, "We trained for this men. Aim and fire!"
The four vampires stood in their various positions of the hall and couldn't believe their eyes. They immediately counted thirty nine people. They were told there was a woman and three boys in the house and that they were the family of a recently turned vampire getting ready to move into their territory. It didn't matter that this was the vampires family and his house, it was now their swamp and their territory. They were sent to take out the problem.
One of the vampires shook his head. The evil grin that spread across his face sent chills down everyone's spines as he said, "Nice trick, but there are only twenty people here, as the mother has been dispatched." He motioned to the others, "Four or twenty, they are no match for us, they are just weak humans. Kill them all!"
As the vampire landed he picked up Ranger, threw him over the chair high wall surrounding the lounge room and across the room. The illusion broke when Ranger hit the wall. He barely moved over in time as a picture came crashing down around him. He glanced up in time to see a shadow engulf the vampire by the kitchen. The next thing Ranger saw was the vampire impaled to the wall with a spear through his heart. The security team all aimed their handguns and opened fire on the four vampires. Jeremy was just about to scream at Jackie to get behind the table in the dining room, when the vampire that spoke charged the group, and jumped over them so fast many of them didn't even have time to react.
Jeremy replaced his handgun, grabbed his rifle and was swinging it around as time seemed to slow down for him. The vampire hit the ground and kept running, right for Jackie. With a sinking feeling, Jeremy knew he wouldn't be able to move, aim, and fire in time to save Jackie from the vampire.
In the kitchen, Zeke set Katie down on her feet. Katie looked up and Zeke with smile on her face. As she looked at him, he glanced out into the hallway and saw one of the vampires moving towards Jackie.
At that moment Katie saw her husbands yellow eyes, which used to be the most beautiful steel blue, turn red. Then she saw Zeke look down at her with his fangs bared.
Katie reached up and in a fit of rage slapped him, then she spat out, "You stupid fool of a man! If you think for one moment you being turned into this," she said as she waved her hands up and down to encompass his body, "Whatever it is you are now, would stop me for loving you, well, you have another thing coming Mr. Sabre. And...and after you go out there are kill whatever it is that is trying to kill our family...well, then, you and I are going to have a long talk." Katie then stood there with her arms crossed over her chest. Anger plainly showing in her body language.
Zeke couldn't believe what he just heard. He couldn't be angry at her for slapping him. He felt he deserved more than a slap. Yet, the blood rage was starting to take over. Right then Miz Odilia spoke up, "You can move through the doorway now, the necklace will allow you to."
Jackie was able to get his daisho up just in time to slice the vampire that charged him before he went flying and landed near Ranger. As he landed he clung onto his daisho, rolled and came up on one knee. The vampire turned towards Jeremy just as Jeremy pulled the sword Chang had given him and took his stance.
"And what do you think you are going to do with that human?" The vampire spat out at Jeremy.
His pause gave Renaud time to plunge a dagger into the vampires heart from behind as Jeremy said, "This," as he swung his sword and removed the vampires head from his shoulders.
While this was happening here, the other two vampires rushed down the hall. One headed for the twins, and the other headed into the dining room.
The twins heard the gun fire, but the shots sounded like mosquitoes buzzing their ears since the bigger of the two, Aiden, sped up the sound over their twin link. The vampire was shocked as he hit the smaller twin and he just stood there. Then Jaden grinned and flashed his teeth, "Try again vamp." Right then the vampire was hit with a speed he never saw before.
When he got back up he charged again, this time ready for the speed. He knew he wasn't as fast as this kid but now he knew to try to avoid the twins, work around them to get to the humans he was charged with taking out. He was able to maneuver around the twins as Tyler and Curtis both stabbed him with their daggers. They now knew that their handguns weren't going to work and their rifles weren't able to be used in the small space. They didn't want to pull their phasers in the small space either. Right as their daggers went into the vampires chest, totally missing all vital organs, the vampire grabbed each boy, digging his long nails into their arms and threw them out the window. Both boys landed on the balcony with a shower of glass falling down around them.
With the vampire manhandling Tyler and Curtis the twins moved back in and pulled him until he was turned around. Right at that time, Talon took his yari and stabbed the vampire through his back and right into his heart. The vampire instantly became immobile as the twins pushed him down and held him there.
The last vampire moved on the rest of the group, Bruno started throwing the stars Jackie gave him. The vampire jumped over the table, picked him up and tossed him to the other end of the room. The next thing everyone heard was, "Fuck! Fucker broke my goddamned arm again." Bruno stood up holding his arm, "You mother fucker! You are going down!" Not caring about the pain in his arm he rushed back towards the vampire.
Scout moved in-front of Lily as Chad and Steven moved in to try to take the vampire down. Steven slammed his ratton sticks off the vampires head. The vampire took one of the stars out of his chest and slammed it into Steven's upper left should. Steven screamed in pain as the vampire threw him out the busted window. Tyler and Curtis had just moved as Steven landed.
At the same time the vampire back handed Chad which sent him flying in the other direction. Travis picked up the ratton sticks that Steven dropped and slammed them off the vampires head when he turned enough while backhanding Chad. The vampire whipped back around and grabbed Travis by his throat, picked him up and started to squeeze.
The youngest of the group to arrive moved, jumped up and jabbed a dagger in the back of the neck of the vampire. He hoped to hit the spinal cord but missed. The vampire dropped Travis. He was now getting very angry and let his rage show. Travis knelt, gasping for breath as Therin and Mark threw their daggers, hoping to distract the vampire.
Lily yelled, "Bruno, NO..." just as the vampire turned, grabbed him, and threw him towards Lily. The vampire pulled one of the daggers out of his skin just as Ulee jumped off the serving table. Ulee was swinging down with his rattans right when the vampire turned, took a hit to the head and plunged the dagger into Ulee's leg, which pushed him backwards right into the serving table.
Right then a screech filled the room and a six legged purple ball of fur attacked the vampire. The claws on all six paws came out as he swiped at the vampire. The vampire threw the ball of fur at Ulee and then stopped cold, falling to the floor in convulsions and in severe pain. The poison from the purple ball of fur's claws attacked, killing the virus that made the vampire a vampire.
Ulee screamed in pain, clutching his leg. The next thing everyone heard was a roar of anger. A large shadow of a man moved and grabbed the vampire that was convulsing in pain, picked him up and yelled, "No one hurts my family!"
Ulee heard the voice. Through his tears and gasps of pain he cried out, "Daddy, it hurts!"
Purpurowy rushed to his boys side, then wrapped all six legs and his tail around his boys arm. Marco tried to move up to his new brother and the kitten hissed, the hair on its purple body standing on end.
"Travis!" Curtis yelled as he ran in and knelt next to his best friend as he gasped for breath. Scout quickly moved over, got the helmet off of him, and had Travis lay down on the floor.
Jeremy hit his comm, "Daileass, get Traivis to Blank Children's Hospital NOW! Code Blue." Travis disappeared while Scout was hovering over him with his knife drawn, ready to start the procedure to begin a field tracheotomy to save Travis' life.
Zeke dropped the vampire and started to move toward Ulee, as soon as he noticed the kitten wrapped around his sons arm, realized what it did to the vampire he just dropped, and the way it was acting towards Marco he stopped. Zeke hissed out, "Son, please, tell your pet that we are alright, that you are safe now, for all of our sakes before he kills again."
Ulee relaxed, hearing his dad's voice. Ulee was able to weakly smile and say, "Alright daddy," and everyone could faintly hear, "Shhh, it's alright pur...." as he was teleported out.
While Zeke looked around, because his blood lust wasn't fulfilled with just one kill, kids started to disappear, teleported out to the Children's hospital.
Four cars went racing by Davis and Tevin. The fifth car slammed to a stop, and a man got out with his handgun drawn. "Stop right where you are, drop your bags, do it now." Was shouted at them.
Davis and Tevin complied when next they heard, "Place your hands behind your head and lace your fingers together, do it now!"
They both complied again. Neither said a word, they couldn't understand what was happening as this was where the boy, who said he was an angel, dropped them off.
"Wait, we are here to warn the Sabre's that someone is trying to kill them. We have to get to the house to warn them." Davis shouted.
Cecil looked at them, saw a young boy with tears on his face, nodding his head. Cecil moved over to them and patted them down, "You know who is behind the attack on the house?"
Davis and Tevin looked at each other, "What attack?" Tevin asked, then added, "Could we discuss this up at the house with everyone, please."
Cecil nodded, "Something tells me you two are alright and the Captain always told me to trust my instincts. Grab your bags and lets move out." As soon as they grabbed their bags Cecil rushed them to his car and sped up the driveway towards the house.
Seaver stood his ground as Ryan and the rest of the team started to move towards the door. He held his handgun in front of him as he shielded himself in the doorway. "Stop right there, don't make me shoot!" he yelled.
Ryan stopped at the sound of the young boys voice. He know that if he made one wrong move the boy would shoot. He could hear it in the fear in the boys voice.
Ryan put his hands up, showing he wasn't a threat, "We are Mr. Sabres special ops team. Our alarms went off that the family is being attacked." Ryan didn't make a move as he continued, "You need to let us in young man so we can help your friends."
Seaver heard Daileass in his headset let him know it was alright, so he lowered his weapon and stepped aside. "Alright, you're clear to enter." When it appeared they weren't moving fast enough he yelled, "Well, what the hell are you waiting for. Get the hell in there, move."
Ryan and team maneuvered into place, slowly making their way down the hall. When Ryan saw Zeke standing over what appeared to be a dead body, he stopped, looked around and noticed three other dead bodies.
Ryan shook his head, "Well, welcome home Captain. You sure do know how to enter in style."
Well, Daddy finally made it home. This was an interesting chapter to write. And a long time in the making. This was in the works from the very first chapter. It feels good to have the family together.
I also would like to take this moment to thank JonDom! He took my words and drew the layout of the inside of the Sabre home for me. It was amazing to see what he saw through my eyes and words. When I got the plans, I was amazed! He drew what I was trying to explain in words and his plans assisted me in finishing this chapter.
If anyone would like a copy of the floor plans, please email and I will be happy to share.