When they were near the edge of the trees, Jamie grabbed Chris' arm. "Wait a moment guys."
They stopped and looked at Jamie with questioning looks, he just held up his hand for a moment and nudged Nicky before he pointed ahead of them. They could see Chris' family in the shade of one of the trees. Tyler looked a little bored. They saw that Jason was also standing nearby dressed in his normal clothes with the hood on his sweatshirt up covering his head. Chris turned back toward to the two Lyc teens and shrugged. Jamie and Nicky both smiled at them and started undressing. When they were done they handed their folded up clothes to Chris and Travis.
"Could you drop these off in your room when you go upstairs to clean up? We're going to have a little fun." The three younger boys were puzzled until they saw the two boys change into their wolf forms. When the change was complete, they gave the three boys wolf grins and then bounded out of the trees heading toward Tyler and Jessie. Tyler saw them first and jumped up from where he was sitting, bored, on the grass. The three teens watched for a moment as Tyler ran forward, before Heather could grab onto him. The wolves started licking Tyler and he fell to the ground trying to cover his face and giggling loudly as the two wolves kept trying to lick his face and turn him over with their noses to get at him better.
Jessie soon joined and one of them turned to give her the same treatment, which had the same result. Both of the kids were on the ground rolling around trying to keep from being licked. Chris looked over at his mom and she had a little bit of a worried look on her face, but his dad had a hand on her arm was saying something to her quietly. Jason was also talking to her as well and he had a hand resting gently on her shoulder. Chris saw her nod and try to relax, but she was still a little nervous as they watched the play between the two wolves and the two younger kids. After a little bit Heather seemed to relax as she saw that they were just having fun and the three of them started chuckling at the antics of the playing group. Chris then started forward out of the trees followed by Travis and Bryce. His parents saw him and waved in greeting. He walked over to them.
"Well what have you guys been doing?" his dad asked.
"Jamie and Nicky took us to a swimming hole farther back on the property."
Jason grinned, "That's their favorite place. They probably liked that they had someone to go swimming with, usually there aren't any others, because…well you know….it's not conducive for people like us to be out there uncovered."
He nodded towards the clothes that they held in their hands. "I assume they showed you huh?"
The three boys nodded. "We're going to go up to our room and clean up a little, they asked us to leave these up there and they would get them later."
Jason held out his hands. "Here, I'll go in with you and I'll put them back in their rooms." He glanced over at Tyler, Jessie and the wolves and smiled.
"I think they will be busy for a little while. Besides it's time I got back inside for a little while, it's a little warm out here." The others laughed a little at the wry humor in his voice. Chris and Travis handed over the clothes.
The four of them went inside the house and upstairs to the room that had been assigned to them with Jason right behind them. In their bedroom, Jason pointed to the dresser. "There should be some clean clothes in the drawers as you know, change into anything you like. I'll talk to you guys in a little while." They nodded and he grinned at them before he turned and left the room.
The three boys quickly stripped down to their underwear and Bryce headed to the bathroom to take the first shower. Travis and Chris checked the dresser and found that it contained plenty of clothes that looked to be in their sizes. Looking through the selection they each chose some jeans and polo shirts. There were also various types of underwear and socks as well. They sat on a small couch that was in the room, while waiting for Bryce to get out of the shower.
Chris took Travis' hand in his. He looked at the scars on Travis' stomach and frowned. He reached out tentatively and traced them with his fingers. He looked at Travis, "I was so scared Trav. I saw him claw you and all the blood…"
Travis just drew him toward him, "Yeah, me too, when that guy bit your neck. I don't know, this is a scary; all this stuff about vampires and werewolves and such. They all seem okay, but what about this Robert guy. We haven't seen him yet, and he sounds like he is the head guy…or, er head vampire or something."
Chris nodded as he looked up. They moved closer and started gently kissing each other.
"Sheesh, do I need to get a fire hose for you two? They both looked over and saw Bryce standing in the doorway of the bathroom with a towel around his waist with a big grin and mock look of horror on his face. They got up and Bryce glanced down and started laughing. They looked down and saw that both of them were tenting the front of their underwear a little and both blushed bright red. Bryce flopped down on the bed and started rolling.
They ran over and jumped on top of him. They started tickling him and he started yelling through his laughter, "Help! Help! Straight bashers! Help!"
The three of them were all laughing. Travis looked down at Bryce and saw that his towel was now tented as well. He cocked an eyebrow. "Well, well, what have we here?"
Bryce looked down and blushed a little, "Hey what do you expect, I'm normal after all. It has a mind of its own. With you two rubbing all against me and tickling me. I mean a stiff breeze makes it get hard, I can't help it. That doesn't mean I'm planning on joining you guys in the shower."
Travis glanced over at Chris and pursed his lips for a second and nodded toward Bryce with a smile. Chris gave a brief nod and answering smile. They both suddenly jumped on Bryce again and kissed him on each cheek before they jumped up.
Bryce quickly sat up scrubbing at his cheeks, "Yuck, ugh…why'd you have to do that?"
Travis smiled at him from the door to the bathroom, "Because we looooove you, Brycie."
Bryce got up and advanced towards the door, pounding his fist into his hand, and put a scowl on his face, "I'll show you Brycie."
The two boys jumped in the bathroom and slammed the door behind them. Bryce hit the door once with his fist. "You two don't being doing anything in there you shouldn't be doing," he yelled through the door, before turning back to go get some clothes from the dresser.
Inside the bathroom, Chris and Travis were still laughing. They saw that the shower was more than big enough for both of them. They probably could have fit Bryce and Cheryl in there as well. Travis got the water going, they dropped their underwear and stepped into the shower. They took turns washing each other amid lots of giggles and kisses. This of course brought another issue to light and with more giggling, they helped each other out with that as well.
Soon enough, Bryce was knocking on the door. "C'mon guys, I know you're boyfriends and all, but hurry up, finish each other off or whatever and get out here and get dressed."
They laughed a little and with a final kiss they got out and starting drying themselves off. They wrapped the towels around themselves and stepped out of the room. Bryce was watching the TV and glanced over at them and rolled his eyes as he turned his attention back at the TV. They laughed, went to where they had put the clothes they had chosen and in a few minutes they were dressed and ready to go back downstairs.
"About time," Bryce grinned at them as he got up.
They headed toward the door. Before they left the room Bryce stopped them, and quickly kissed each of them on the cheek, "I love you guys too." Then he turned and opened the door and led them toward the stairs.
Jason was waiting for them in the hall, this time without his hoodie on. He looked at them and a smile came to his face. He started chuckling as he turned to lead them downstairs. Travis and Chris both started blushing when he smiled at them. Bryce just had a slightly confused look on his face until he saw his friends red faces, then he started laughing. Both of them punched him on the arm, and he just smiled at them trying to contain the laughter.
Jason led them downstairs to the parlor. When they got there, they saw that the heavy drapes were closed and the room had all the lights on. Chris' family was in there, along with Jason and Robert. Robert smiled at them when they came in and motioned for them to have a seat.
"You boys look much better than when last I saw you. I hope that the twins have been good hosts?" he asked them.
The three boys all nodded, since they did not know who this was, other than he seemed to be in charge. They guessed he was probably the Robert that they had heard about from the others.
Robert stood up and came around the desk smiling. "Let me formally introduce myself to you boys, I am Robert Furginson, the Patriarch of this family, and I welcome you to my home." He shook each of their hands before returning to his desk. "We are just waiting for a few more guests."
The phone on his desk rang at that moment. He walked back to the desk and picked it up and listened for a moment, whatever was said on the other end caused him to smile a little, "Excellent, please show them to the parlor when you arrive." He hung up and looked at them, still smiling. "It appears our other guests should be here momentarily. We will await them here and when everyone is ready we will then go to the dining room together."
A few minutes later they all heard the front door open and several voices could be heard. Moments later the sound of several people could be heard as they neared the parlor doors. The sounds stopped momentarily and the doors were opened from the outside, drawing everyone's gaze towards them. It was Bryce and Travis' families who were there. They were ushered in by one of Robert's servants. They came in the room, with puzzled expressions on their faces.
The parents looked toward Heather and Michael, "What's going on Michael. We received a call this afternoon, from someone named Robert, who said that our families were invited to his estate for the weekend. They said you guys, along with our boys, were already here. Who is this Robert person?" Michael held up his hand to calm them down a little so he could explain.
"My friends, please let me introduce myself. I am Robert Furginson. I'm the one who invited you to come here." They all gave him their attention as he spoke from beside his desk. "I have some things I wish to talk to you about, but first, why don't we have dinner. Please," He gestured toward the door and walked forward to lead the way.
As the boys joined their families, they were peppered with questions, but were able to put them off until after dinner. In the dining room they were directed to seats at the large table. Several of Robert's people, which included Patrick, Allison, Jason, and the twins, Jamie and Nicky, sat with them, interspersed among the families. Once everyone was seated, the servants started bringing in salads and drinks. Wine for those adults who wanted it, which turned out to be all of the adults, cokes or milk for the young people, and for Robert and most of his people, the usual, which was served to them in metal goblets to hide what was in them.
Once everyone was served, Robert stood up and held his goblet up, "Welcome to my home, all of you. Please enjoy the meal."
As the meal went on, Chris looked around the table and he was puzzled. He turned to Jason, who was sitting next to him and motioned for him to lean over. "I thought you guys couldn't eat…regular food," he whispered.
Jason chuckled a little and shook his head. "We can eat a little, but if you look around, you will see that none of us have eaten very much. If you compare our plates to the rest of you, you will see that most of us have taken very few bites."
Chris looked around the room and noticed that what Jason had said was obviously true. As he looked around his eye was caught by each of them. They looked up when he gazed their way and gave him a small smile before they returned to the meal and the conversation with the people sitting beside them. The Grayson and Sanders families seemed to have calmed down a bit as the meal continued.
At the end of the meal, Robert looked around to make sure that everyone was finished eating before he stood up. The scrape of his chair got everyone's attention. He waited until he was sure they were looking his way and he smiled at them.
"My honored guests," he gave them a slight bow before continuing, "I know that you have some questions and now is the time to answer them. If you will join me in the parlor we can talk. I would, however, like James and Nicholas to take charge of our younger guests, Tyler, Jessie, and Robin and show them to the entertainment room. Our discussion will probably be boring to them." He nodded to the twins.
Jamie and Nicky answered his nod enthusiastically as they stood up and motioned for the younger ones to join them. The kids followed them out the door and down the hall to where the entertainment room was located. Inside there were several large TV's, each of them with a different game system attached to it. There was also a very large selection of movies to watch as well.
Once the kids had left, Robert gestured for the others to follow him as he led them back to the parlor. Jason, Patrick and Allison joined them. Once in the room, he gestured for everyone to make themselves comfortable. Once everyone seemed to be settled in, Robert began.
He looked at Bryce's parents, "Mr. and Mrs. Sanders," then he looked at Travis' family, "Mr. and Mrs. Grayson and young Mr. Grayson. I have asked you here because of an incident that happened a couple of evenings ago."
Richard Sanders spoke up first, "What incident? We're a little confused here. We received a call from someone that told us that a car was coming to pick us up and bring us here. The caller said it was very important for our families to come here. I tried to call Michael's cell phone, but it went right to voice mail, so we became a little concerned."
Robert nodded, "I can imagine you are. I will try to explain. Let me start by saying that there are forces out there that are truly evil." Robert paused for a few moments before continuing, "The reason we have brought all of your families here is to protect them."
Once he said that, the Grayson's and Sanders' both got shocked and then worried looks on their faces. Richard looked over at Heather and Michael and saw that they did not seem to be surprised at all. "Michael, Heather, you don't seem surprised by what he said."
"We aren't. Robert told us about this last night."
Richard looked at him suspiciously. "Last night?"
Michael nodded, "Yeah we got here last night. It was necessary to save the boys' lives."
Meredith looked at the boys, "Their lives?"
Robert took that moment to interrupt, "We are getting a little ahead of ourselves. I need to explain a few things. As I said at the beginning, there are truly evil things out there; things that very few people ever learn about. There are those out there who oppose those evil things. Your families have been unfortunately drawn into this…conflict…for lack of a better term."
"You say "evil things"," Richard started, making the quotes gestures, "What are these evil things that you are talking about?"
Robert picked up his goblet and took a drink. He set it back down and steepled his hands as he thought for a moment. "I will answer that in a moment. Let me first explain how your boys, and through them, your families became involved in this conflict. I'm going to back up a little bit first. Several months ago some of these…people…targeted Christopher here and had they been successful, he would have been dead."
When he said that there were gasps from all of them there, Chris was shocked as well, since he did not remember that. Robert saw his surprise and walked over to Chris for a moment. He gently placed his hand on Chris' head and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, Chris looked up at him and remembered when he first met Randy and Leo in the park. He saw what had been blurred by Randy, so that he would forget them.
Robert stepped back and leaned against his desk. "Two of the people planned on having Christopher as a snack, so to speak."
Chris's eyes widened when he heard that. Travis took his hand and looked at him with concern.
Robert continued, "They detected something about Chris, a sort of protection, which should have warned them off him completely and kept him safe. My guess is that they reported this to an old enemy of mine and he became interested in Christopher as a possible way to get at me."
Michael interrupted Robert, "You said a protection?"
Robert nodded, "Yes, the mark that I think I told you about; that Jason put on Christopher when he was younger. It is something that warns others of our kind to stay away. That he is protected and any action against him, would be an act against us. This mark is usually enough to keep others away."
Richard was still confused, "What is this mark, you're talking about?"
Robert regarded him for a moment before answering. "We have ways of marking people so that others like us will leave them alone. Doing anything harmful to such a person is like an act of war."
Ben Sanders interrupted him, "You keep saying our kind and us, like you are different, but I see no difference."
Robert nodded, "Yes, to you we look pretty much the same as anyone else, but we are not." He motioned for Jason to join him in front of the group. "How old do you think Jason here is?"
He waited and Richard spoke up, "Sixteen, maybe seventeen?"
Robert shook his head, "Try about thirty one."
They were incredulous of course; all except Michael, Heather and the three boys. Troy looked at him for a moment, "Hey, you're that guy who was looking for Coach Hale. But how could you be thirty one, you look like a high school kid?"
Jason nodded, "I was actually trying to find out where the family was. I was worried for their safety."
"Why were you worried for our safety?" Alicia asked.
Jason looked at her, "Randy and Leo were seen snooping around the neighborhood. I was sure they were up to something, and if they were, it was not going to be good for you folks."
Alicia Sanders looked at Robert, "Who is this Randy and Leo you have mentioned?"
Robert held his hand, "Let us show you something first. It will probably come as a bit of a shock."
He nodded to Patrick, Allison and Jason. All of them hesitated a moment before looking at the others in the room and letting their fangs drop. Their faces paled and their eyes took an unearthly glow.
"Oh…my…god," Meredith put her hand up to her mouth.
The others shrank back away from them. The vampires retracted their fangs and resumed their normal appearance.
Robert continued, "As you can see, vampires are real. But you must understand, there are two…well, three different kinds of vampires. There are Nosferatu, which are the kind that you would associate with the books and movies about Vampires. They are completely evil and think of all of you as cattle and a food source. The Solitaries who are mostly neutral in their outlook, they rarely bother the living. The last type are what we are, we are Draugars. We believe in protecting humans from the ravages of the Nosferatu, and that is how we came to be involved. Two Nosferatu chose Christopher here as their target several months ago, Jason's mark on Christopher, kept them from doing so at that time." Robert pointed at Jason, so the others would know who he was talking about.
Richard looked at Jason and his eyes narrowed a little as a thought came to him, he didn't see Robert's slight smile as he then looked from Jason to Chris and back again as if checking something. He looked at Jason, "When did you put your mark on Chris?"
"Five years ago when he was nine," Jason said with a slight smile, as he picked up the direction of Richard's question.
The answer had Richard nodding to himself. He looked at Jason again. "It was you that rescued Chris, wasn't it?"
Jason nodded, "I had no choice. I wasn't going to let anyone hurt him. And anyone who did hurt him would never be allowed to hurt him, or anyone, ever again."
Richard nodded as he once again looked at Jason and Chris with a speculative look. "Robert said that you are thirty one, though you look about seventeen."
"The age fits then and from the look of you, I'm guessing that Michael and Heather have had a fifteen year old mystery solved for them. You're Chris' biological father aren't you?"
Jason nodded again. This revelation was a surprise to many of the others.
Richard continued, "I remember Heather and Michael telling us about you years ago when the boys were very young. I had asked why Chris didn't have Hale as his last name and they told me what had happened."
After Jason confirmed what Richard said, the others started looking at the two of them, comparing how they looked.
Travis spoke up as something came to him, "You're Jack!"
Jason smiled at him and nodded. "I needed an alter ego, which I could use when I was around you, keeping an eye out for Randy and Leo, or any other Marks vamps that might be around. So I bleached my hair and tried to disguise my appearance as much as I could."
"Jason, I think you should tell our new friends an abbreviated version of how you came to be here."
Jason looked at Robert and nodded. He gathered his thoughts, and was thankful he didn't have to tell the whole story, since this would also be the second time that Chris and his friends heard this. "The night I disappeared, I was attacked by a vampire named Milos Beloch. He took me to his house and he….turned me into a vampire, how he did it doesn't matter, but it was…one of my worst experiences ever. I couldn't finish the change until I…drained a living person." Jason stopped for a moment and took a breath to control his voice. "He tried to force me to kill a boy, but I refused. He then drained the boy in front of me. He said that if I didn't drink soon, I would soon die. That was fine with me, I never wanted this; death was preferable. He persisted and again he had a young boy strapped to a table. The difference this time was that to force me to take the boy, he began to torture him. He was a master of it. He knew what to do to cause lots of pain without killing the boy. Milos continued to torture the boy and I kept trying to turn away, but his henchman wouldn't let me, they made me watch. Finally he said that if I didn't take what he offered me. The next time it would be my little brother, Sean. I surrendered, so I went over to the boy and he begged me to help him, there was nothing I could do, so I….I…d..did as Milos ordered me. The boy for…forgave me before I…I….k….killed him."
Jason closed his eyes and slumped back against the desk that he had been standing in front of, as the memory of the event returned. He then felt two arms go around him and he opened his eyes to see that Chris had come over and was hugging him tightly. He brought his arms up and held Chris tightly. There were others in the room that were affected by his story as well. After a couple of minutes Jason got control of his emotions. He nodded his thanks to Chris and straightened up to face the others. Chris stayed by his side.
"I'm sorry, that is difficult to relate. I really had no choice, but to grant him that release." Jason paused again to gather his thoughts, "A short time later, Milos and a couple of the others were taking me out to….hunt. We went to a club and they found a couple of victims. We were headed back to our car when we were surrounded by several others. Robert led the others that had surrounded us; Milos and his people fought against Robert and his people. It finally ended in a duel between Robert and Milos, and Robert won."
Robert put his hand on Jason's shoulder, "Milos and I had a long standing conflict. I had been chasing him for a very long time. Some of my people alerted me that he was possibly vulnerable, so I gathered some of my people and our allies and we were able to defeat them. After Milos was destroyed, Jason here was the only one left. I sensed that he was unwilling to be a part of Milos' people. They were using threats against his family to keep him in line. So I took him under my wing and made him part of my family."
Robert patted his shoulder and moved over to sit in his chair. Jason looked down at Chris and gave him a quick one armed hug before he continued. "Robert changed my outlook. I still was unhappy about my circumstances, but I was surviving. Four years later, against Robert's advice, I went back to my old neighborhood. He told me that I cannot let any of my friends, or family, know that I survived…in some form anyway, but I just wanted to see them. When I got there, I found that my family had moved away and no one knew where. Michael and Heather were gone as well. I knew about our plans to go to Long Beach State, but they had graduated by then and I didn't know where either of them had gone. It took two more years of searching before I found out where they were living. When I found them, I found something else out."
Jason looked at Chris and smiled. "I found out that I had a son. I asked Robert if I may watch over him and he gave me permission to do so. He cautioned me to not reveal myself. I was on an….errand for Robert when Chris was kidnapped and did not learn of it until the next day. I started searching and talked to many people, until I got an idea of which direction the kidnappers had taken him."
Jason had a look of distaste as he continued after a moment. "I found them and delivered the justice they deserved. Chris was not the first child that they had harmed and I made sure he was the last. It was at that time that I put my mark on him, so that others would know that he was protected and was not to be touched. Apparently, that was not enough of a deterrent."
Richard interrupted Jason and looked at Robert, "You said something about an attack that happened a couple of days ago."
Robert nodded, "Yes. I had planned to wipe out Milos' entire family. While we were cornering Milos at the park, the rest of my family and our allies were attacking his home. We nearly destroyed his family, but I'm afraid that some survived. The leader of the survivors is Zebulon Marks; he gathered the remnants and rebuilt the family, only it now bears his name. I believe that he decided to put us off balance by an attack on the boys."
Meredith looked at Robert. "What happened to the boys?"
Robert looked at Chris and Travis. "Could you two show them your injuries?"
Travis got up and joined Chris standing next to Jason. They nodded and Chris pulled his shirt to the side, the scar that was left from where Leo had bitten him was easily seen. Travis pulled up his shirt and showed the scars that Barret's claws had left across his belly. Meredith and Richard both stood up in shock. She ran to him and put her hand on the scars.
She looked at Robert, "What happened?"
"The other evening while the three of them were heading over to Chris' house, they were attacked by three members of Zebulon's family. Bryce was hurt and suffered a head injury when one of them threw him to the ground. Chris and Travis were taken. Jason, Patrick, Allison and the twins were able to track them down and rescue the boys. But the cost to the boys was great. Chris and Travis were near death due to the injuries inflicted on them. Bryce was not much better because of the head injury he sustained. There was only one recourse to save their lives, and that was for one of us to give them blood. Our blood; Jason volunteered."
"His blood? How does that help?" Richard asked.
Michael looked at Richard. "I saw it Rich. He made the boys drink his blood and they got better. If you look at the scars on Travis, you can imagine what they were like before they were healed. I don't understand how it worked, but it did. There was a lot of blood. If Jason hadn't of done it, both Chris and Travis would be dead, maybe even Bryce."
"So what happened to the ones who took them?" Ben Sanders asked Robert.
"They were destroyed. They are no more," he replied.
"Then we don't have to worry about them anymore."
Robert shook his head. "I'm afraid not. They, and your families, are now on Zebulon's radar and he will not like that, nor will he let it go."
"What can we do?" Michael asked.
"Although ignorance of us is the best defense, that is not the case now. So we will protect you until Zebulon gets the point that you are under our protection."
"How long will that take?" Ben asked.
Robert gave him a small smile, "I don't think it will take long. I will contact him and stress the importance of leaving your families alone," Robert assured them.
"Excuse me, I have a question." They all turned to Troy who had been quietly listening to everything that had been said. "You said something about allies earlier. What allies, other va....other people like you?"
Robert didn't answer right away. He looked at Patrick. "Could you ask the pups to come here for a moment?"
Patrick nodded and left the room. He returned a short time later followed by two large dogs. They walked in and sat down near Robert.
Troy looked at the dogs and shrugged. "I don't get it. You have dogs; big dogs, but dogs."
Robert smiled and shook his head, "Patrick, would you get a couple of robes please."
Troy had a puzzled look, and opened his mouth to ask something, but Robert held up his hand, "Please Troy, it will be clear momentarily."
Troy nodded, but did not appear satisfied. Patrick returned with the robes over his arm. He motioned with his head for Jason to join him. He handed him one of the robes and they walked over to one side of the room. Robert waved his hand and the two dogs went over to where Jason and Patrick stood, turned away from the group with the robes opened. The two dogs moved behind where they held the robes up, so that they blocked everyone else's view, and changed.
There were several gasps, and Richard barely kept from yelling out loud in surprise, "Shiiit!"
The twins shrugged into the robes and belted them closed, before turning and facing the shocked faces with big grins on their faces, "Hey folks."
The twins laughed, "Werewolves? We prefer Lycan."
Robert stood up and walked to stand next to the twins. "Just to clarify things, there are good and bad Lycan as well."
He pointed at Travis, "A Vargr is what we call those who are the kind that did that to Travis. The twins are part of an Ulf pack. They believe as we do and work to protect whoever that they can from Vargr and Nosferatu. The pack that they belong to are friends and allies of mine. We have worked together for a long time. Together we have saved a lot of children from some very bad situations."
"So are there any other…crea…people, who are friends with you or the other…people?" Ben asked.
Robert shook his head, "No. Other than those Vampire and Lycan who consider themselves basically neutral, and don't take either side, that's it."
"So Robert, what are your plans to keep us safe while you talk to this other…vamp…person." Michael asked.
"I have talked with Eric, the leader of the twin's pack, and we are going to set guards to keep a closer watch on your families until the negotiations are done with Zebulon." Robert answered him.
"So you're going to give us bodyguards?" Ben asked.
Robert went back over to his chair and sat down, "Not exactly. I'm going to increase the number of mine and Eric's people who are going to watch over you, but they are going to do it from a distance, so to speak. For the most part you are safe in your own home. None of us, well those of us who are vampires, can enter your house unless you invite us in. Your home truly is your castle. Since we know that a Vargr was with the two vampires that attacked the boys, that undoubtedly means that Zebulon has allies as well. They, regrettably, don't need your permission to enter your home, but I will make sure you are safe."
Robert took a drink from his goblet before continuing. "Until we settle this matter, I would caution about going anywhere alone. Don't stop doing what you would normally do, but just know that friends will be nearby if needed. If one of my people come to you, I ask that you do what they say immediately, because it will mean there is trouble and they are making sure that you are safe."
"But how will we know who we can trust."
Robert nodded thoughtfully, "That is a valid point." He was silent for a few moments before he continued, "You only know those of us that you have met. Patrick, Allison, Jason and of course the twins will be part of the group keeping an eye on you guys. Since there will be others, besides them, I have been giving this some thought. Those in whom you can place your trust will introduce him or herself to you, by prefacing it that they know that Jason is Chris' father."
Robert looked over at Michael and gave him a smile, "No offense meant of course."
Michael nodded and smiled back, "None taken. Jason was…is the best friend I have ever had, and if it weren't for him, there would be no Chris. So I'm not offended at all."
"Very well, then. We will do it that way. I know that this has been a lot to take in this evening and I know that it is probably overwhelming. I invite you to stay here and relax for a day or two. This will also give me time to gather the people and arrange your protection. Is this okay with all of you?"
Michael looked at his friends and waited. The two other couples exchanged looks for a few moments before looking at Michael and nodding their agreement. Michael turned to Robert, "We'll stay at least until tomorrow. I think we're going to need to talk about this among ourselves."
"I believe that is an excellent idea. If you require anything, please don't hesitate to ask, my people will take care of you. If you will excuse me, I have some calls and arrangements to make. My friends here will help direct you to your rooms if you wish, or you may make yourself at home and relax, talk or whatever you wish."
"Patrick, Jason, could you help us out for a few moments," Jamie asked as he started to untie his robe.
They nodded and took the robes as the twins changed back into their wolf form. Once they finished changing, they left the room. Jason turned to the others smiling, "They're going to go play."
Patrick took the robes and the three of them escorted everyone else out of the parlor, closing the door behind them as they left.
The three families were shown to the media room where the younger family members were. Just outside the room were a couple of piles of clothes. Allison helped Patrick pick them up and he left the group to put the clothes in the twin's room. When the rest opened the door to the room, they saw the kids wrestling around with the two wolves. Most of the play revolved around the wolves trying to lick the kids on the face and the three kids trying to escape the wolf kisses. There was a lot of giggling and laughing. When they first saw what was going on, there was some concern from Bryce's mom, but she noticed that Heather seemed to accept it and she relaxed some. Their kids noticed them and jumped up to greet them.
Robin went over to her parents, "Aren't these cool dogs? I wish we could have one like this."
Jason coughed as he tried not to laugh. The three boys were grinning as well.
Allison spoke up while giving Jason a wry look, "Sorry Robin, but these are special kind of….dogs. They need lots of room to run around because they tend to get a little wild at times. So you won't see too many of them in small houses, they just don't do well there."
Robin looked at the wolves. "I guess. They are kind of big."
Michael turned to the others, "I think it's time for bed for some of you. Tyler, Jessie why don't you two get up to bed."
Ben looked at Robin, "You too."
She started to protest but Ben merely gave her the look that meant that he was serious.
Allison smiled at the three younger people, "C'mon, I'll show you where you will be staying. I might be able to arrange a small snack if you want, like ice cream."
The three liked that idea and followed her out of the room.
"I can get something for you folks as well if you wish." Jason stated.
"How about some coffee Jace," Michael asked. He looked at the three boys and chuckled, "And maybe some ice cream."
Jason nodded as he left the room.
Michael looked at the others once they were alone, "Well?"
Richard nodded, "Yeah. This is a bit worrisome. What have we gotten involved in?"
Michael shrugged, "Something pretty big and I'm worried for our families. When they brought the boys in the house the other night, I was scared we were going to lose them all. Chris and Travis were covered in blood, and Bryce was so pale, I nearly thought it was too late for him. But I saw what they did, the bleeding stopped pretty quickly and Bryce's color returned. Other than leaving town until this is all over, we need to stick this out and hope it is resolved quickly so we can return to our normal lives."
They were interrupted in their discussion as Jason came back in, pushing a cart with a coffee carafe and several cups along with a carton of ice cream and bowls. Everyone got up to grab a cup except, the three boys, they decided that ice cream was good enough. Once everyone had what they wanted, they sat back down.
"Jace, how much of a threat to our families is this other vampire?" Michael asked Jason.
Jason was quiet for a few moments while he thought how to answer. He decided the truth was the best. "Zebulon is a bad one. He will be angry about what we did to his people at the warehouse. I don't know who his Vargr ally is, but I can only assume that they are as bad as him. We will make sure that you are safe. Robert will contact Eric and by tomorrow morning there will be more Lycan around to keep an eye on you."
Ben spoke up, "I hope you don't mind, but there is something I want to ask. It seems that you can go out during the day, but the others can't. Why is that?"
"Well, from what I understand, young ones like me can venture outside during the day with no real problem; although we do get dehydrated quickly and that weakens us. If we are exposed to full noon sunlight, we start to get something like a very bad sunburn that can get worse, until we actually can burn to ash. So we stay covered up as much as possible. As you get older, your tolerance for the sun deceases, so that if you must be out, you need to be completely shaded from the sun. As we continue to age it gets to the point where we can only be out at night, like Robert, he is old enough that he cannot be out in sunlight at all without starting to burn."
"How old is he?" Ben asked.
Jason shrugged, "I don't know really, at least three hundred I think. Robert said that there are some extremely ancient vampires out there who can venture out while the sun is up, but not during the middle hours of the day when the sun is at its hottest. They hold great power and they frown on anything that could lead to our exposure to the rest of the world. These ancient vampires form a sort of council that oversees vampire affairs."
"But we know about this now; won't this "council" be concerned about that?" Richard asked.
"They might be concerned about it at first, until the situation is explained to them. There are a lot of humans that we trust, that know about the vampire world. Robert is probably planning on letting the council know about your families and that he trusts you with the knowledge."
Jason looked at Troy before continuing, "Troy, you are in a unique position. I know that you are going through training with the police academy. You know that we do, and have, killed people. This knowledge may be a burden to you, because you may come in contact with some of our victims. Once you become a cop, you are going to be part of a very small fraternity of law enforcement officers that know about us. We will let them know about you. This could be good and bad. Bad, because you will have this knowledge about us and cannot act on it, without endangering you and your family. The good thing is, that the other officers that know about you, will know that you can be trusted about such things, and it may be good for your career. They will possibly help you along behind the scenes."
"Why would they do that, help me I mean?" Troy asked.
"Having others that know about us can help them in keeping out secret. Once you graduate, don't be surprised if you are approached by other officers to assist them with an investigation. Most of the officers who know about us have been on the force for quite a few years. Having a young looking officer is very helpful to some of their investigations."
Troy nodded in understanding. They had already been told during their classes about how some of the various detective divisions sometimes asked young police officers to pose as drug buyers or sellers, prostitutes and such like to make some of the big busts.
"So how are you going to protect us?" Meredith asked.
Jason thought for a moment before answering her, "I imagine that my friend Eric, who is the leader of Jamie and Nicky's pack, will loan several of his pack members to Robert so that they can be nearby during the day, and most of us from Robert's clan, will keep watch over you at night. Robert will make sure that there are enough so that you can do what you would normally do. The boys can go play baseball at the park or whatever. The other kids can visit their friends, and so on. Just go on like you normally would. You will rarely see any of those who are guarding you, unless there is trouble. The only important thing is that none of the young people should go anywhere alone. Do all your normal errands, but if one of your kids wants to go somewhere, don't let them go alone. Know also that if you have dropped them off to visit a friend, there will be someone nearby in case of trouble."
"Do you think there will be trouble?" Alicia asked nervously.
Jason shook his head, "I don't think so. At least not at this point, since we have probably stopped what he was planning and Robert will get him to back off, I'm sure. Robert will probably also let the council know about what is going on, if Zebulon does not want to go along with leaving you alone. I think it will be okay within a couple of weeks. So try not to worry about it."
"We'll try, but I am real edgy about this Jace. I almost lost Chris once or I suppose twice now…"
Jason went over and knelt down before Heather, placing his hand on her knee, which stopped her from continuing. "I promise you, I won't let anything happen to Chris, he is my son as well and I have loved him since I first saw him. You and Mike have raised him well and I hope that you will let me be a small part of his life. I want to help him become a good person in any way that I can." He looked at both of his best friends with a pleading look.
Heather took his hand in hers and nodded.
Michael put his hand out and they shook hands. "I think we'd be proud to have you be a part of our lives again; at least as much as you can be."
Jason nodded and bowed his head in thanks. He felt someone come up behind him and put his arms around him. He glanced to the side and saw Chris was right there. He reached up and gently stroked the side of Chris' face.
"So what do I call you," Chris asked quietly.
"Why don't you call me Jason, or Jace or even Jay, like my friends around here do?"
Chris nodded, "Okay. Thanks again for everything you've done for me."
Jason smiled, "I could do no less. Though I was not there to help raise you, you are my son and I will risk everything for you."
By this time Jason had turned around so that he could hold Chris close to him. The two stayed like that for several minutes, just silently enjoying the closeness, until Bryce spoke up. "Jason, you have got to see the picture Chris drew of you."
Jason looked at Chris "What picture?"
Chris colored a little in embarrassment, "It was just a drawing for a class assignment."
Jason stood up and helped Chris up, "Well, you'll have to show it to me once we get you home."
Jason looked around and saw that everyone seemed a bit tired. "If you wish, I can show you where you can sleep. It's a bit late and you've had a lot, of fairly overwhelming information, told to you."
Most of the adults nodded, the group of them followed Jason out of the room and upstairs where there were various suites with two or three bedrooms attached to a small sitting room. The families went to the room assigned to them. The three boys however wanted to stay together in the room that they had initially had. Their parents okayed it, and soon everyone was settled in and asleep.
Jason quietly entered the room where the boys were sleeping, and silently took a seat in a chair nearby where he could watch over them. Here, in Robert's home, they were as safe as could be, but he just wanted to watch and marvel at his son while he slept.