Castle Roland

Who Is He

by Eric Aune


Chapter 26

Posted: N/A

Zebulon was sitting in his study, watching the large flat screen TV mounted on the wall when Victor's voice came from the intercom. "Sir, there is a message for you."

Zebulon frowned before he reached out and pushed the button to answer. "Bring it in here Victor."

There was a hesitation on the other end, "Sir, I misspoke, I meant to say there is a messenger to see you…from Furginson."

Zebulon's mouth tightened in anger, "Show…the messenger…in."

Victor's voice came back quickly, "Yes sir."

Zebulon turned back to the TV trying to remain calm, while he waited for the messenger to be shown into the room. He kept his back to the door and his attention towards the TV as he heard it opened and Victor's voice intruded. "Sir… Allison Furginson to see you," he left the room, and closed the doors behind him.

Allison sauntered over to the desk and leaned against it as she waited for Zebulon to acknowledge her. He continued to ignore her as he watched the news. She crossed her arms and waited, knowing that he was trying to get her angry, but she had been around long enough to have the patience to wait him out. After a few more moments she, instead, moved a few things to the middle of the desk and hopped up and sat on the front edge of the desk to wait.

Zebulon continued looking at the TV when he spoke, "I prefer my guests to wait until they are invited to sit."

Allison smirked at his remarks, "As my patriarch's messenger, I expect to not be kept waiting while you watch the news, Mr. Marks."

Zebulon turned off the TV and stood up. He frowned when he saw his tidy desk messed up. When he looked back at her, she had a smirk on her face.

He motioned for her to get off the desk. She slowly got off and stepped away. He stood glaring at her for a moment before speaking. "What is the message Furginson." He said the last with distaste.

"My Patriarch, Robert Furginson, wishes to meet with you at a public place to discuss recent, unfortunate…events."

Victor went over to a cabinet and took out a decanter and filled a glass with the thick red blood. He looked at Allison and she shook her head. He replaced the decanter, picked up his glass and went over to sit behind his desk. He regarded her for a few moments before replying to the message she delivered to him.

"What if I decide that sending you back, in bag filled with your ashes, is my answer?" He asked with a malevolent smile.

Allison snorted, "Then you better be ready for a fight. Since this is a diplomatic message, you should also be prepared for the council being informed that you destroyed a diplomatic messenger. I doubt that you would want to have the council sanctioning you. They tend to be very messy about how they do that."

Zebulon waved off her remark as if it meant little to him. However, he knew that keeping the council from interfering would be the first thing that he wanted.

"Very well, Furginson. Where and when?"

"Robert has secured a room for six thirty pm at the Bonaventure tomorrow."

Zebulon kept his demeanor calm, but inside he raged silently, since only the youngest vampires of his clan, and himself, would be the only ones that could go, because the sun would still be up when they left. His older, more powerful, clan members would have to stay here. No matter, he could have some of Marcus' people along. He knew that Robert would bring a mixed escort as well.

"Our business is concluded Furginson. Leave while I am still in a good mood."

Allison smirked at him and turned her back to him as she left. She pulled the door open and left it that way. Victor was standing just outside and after glancing at the look Zebulon directed at Allison's back, he quietly closed the doors. Zebulon glared at the closed doors and decided that when it was time, he would personally rip that smirk off her face.

An hour later, Allison returned home and went right to Robert's study. The families had all gone to bed by now, so the house was mostly quiet. The vampires were the only ones moving through the house at this time of night. When she entered the study, she saw that Valerie, Philip and Patrick were sitting nearby, as Robert sat at his desk, where he had just hung up the phone. He looked at Allison expectantly as she entered the room.

"Well?" he asked her.

She nodded, "He agreed. I don't think he liked the time though; a little too early for a lot of his people."

Robert nodded, "Which is why I chose the time."

He looked over at Philip, "Philip, you and Valerie will be in the back of the van as reinforcements if needed. Patrick, you and Allison will go in with me. The rest of my family will stay here to guard our charges along with Jason, James and Nicholas." He motioned toward the phone he had just hung up, "Eric says that he will bring a few of his people with him to meet us there. We will need to be on our toes tomorrow evening. Zebulon would not hesitate to take any advantage that he can against us, so be alert."

The others nodded and he outlined his plans for the next evening and the guard schedules for protecting the three families, until he was satisfied that everyone knew what needed to be done. As the night drew to a close, he dismissed them to rest while he made his way upstairs. Near the suite occupied by Chris' family, Robert paused outside the door for a moment and smiled. He quietly let himself in the suite and made his way to the bedroom where the boys were sleeping. He found Jason, as he had expected to find him, sitting by the bed watching Chris sleep. He went up behind him and placed his hand on Jason's shoulder. Jason didn't flinch, as he had felt his Patriarch enter the room. He just glanced up before returning to his vigil.

"You should rest Jason. It has been a long day, and even we need to rest a little bit. He will be safe. You need not watch over him."

Jason absently nodded and after a little sigh he stood up and turned to look at Robert.

"Thank you, sir, for agreeing to watch over them. I've already lost so much; I don't want to lose anymore, especially him."

Robert gave him a smile and nodded as he turned away and left the room. Jason moved over to the bed and bent down, giving his son a gentle kiss on the cheek before leaving the room. Chris gave a little smile and turned over so that he was facing Travis and cuddled close to him.

The next morning Travis was lying partly on Chris. They both started stirring about the same time. Travis rolled away from Chris as he stretched and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. When Travis moved Chris copied his movements. They both opened their eyes at the same time and looked at each other with a smile.

"Morning, Chris."

Chris nodded, "Morn…." The rest was lost in a yawn, which caused Travis to yawn as well, then both of the giggled a little and moved close together to give each other a morning hug and kiss.

Travis felt an elbow in his back and Bryce's voice interrupted them, "I hope you're not thinking of any funny business there. I'm here you know."

The two other boys giggled and Travis gave Chris a push to get up.

They both went into the bathroom to take care of their morning business. After they were done and had turned to the sink to brush their teeth, Chris reached out a hand and stopped Travis for a moment. "What?"

Chris reached out and touched Travis belly, "Look, the scars are almost faded."

Travis had a puzzled look as he looked to where Chris' hand was placed. Then he realized what Chris meant as he saw that the large claw marks had shrunk down to four thin scars. He pulled Chris closer and looked at his neck. "Yeah, so is your scar. It's almost completely faded."

They turned to the sink and looked at each other in the large mirror that was located above the twin sinks. "I guess that blo…stuff worked pretty good."

Travis nodded. As they finished brushing their teeth, Bryce came into the bathroom and they left him behind to go get dressed for the day.

Chris and Travis waited for Bryce to finish getting dressed before they headed downstairs for breakfast. When they headed downstairs they saw everyone else sitting in the dining room eating breakfast from platters filled with eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes. There were pitchers of juice and milk on the table as well. The adults were drinking coffee. The twins were having breakfast with the families. When the boys sat down and had filled their plates with food, Jamie asked for everyone's attention for a moment.

"Jason, Nicky and I are Robert's host to you folks this morning and I was asked to pass on some info to you all. He would like to invite you to stay here until tomorrow morning. He has an important meeting later on today that will keep him busy until this evening." When he mentioned the meeting, he looked pointedly at those that knew about the meeting with Marks and got understanding nods.

"He regrets that he can't visit with you today, but he wants all of you to feel free to make yourself at home and relax. If you have any questions or concerns, either the two of us, or Jason when he gets up a little later today, will be glad to answer them, and if we can't answer them, Robert will answer them when he gets back from the meeting."

The adults thanked him and he sat back down to continue eating. Once everyone was done, servants came in and cleared the dishes away. Robin and Jessie immediately wanted to ride the horses, Tyler went with them. The adults decided to go out on the back patio and talk. The rest went into the media room to watch TV, Troy went with them.

After a couple of hours they decided to go outside and look around. They wandered around near the barn and saw the two girls and Tyler sitting on horses and riding around the large corral. Jamie was with them teaching them how to ride and they looked like they were learning pretty well. Nicky was sitting on the corral fence and greeted them as they came up to him.

After a few minutes Nicky looked at them, "Hey you guys want to go to the pond in a little while?"

They nodded enthusiastically. Troy didn't know what they were talking about so they filled him in and he wanted to join them as well.

"You know Troy, we don't wear suits to swim," Nicky informed him.

Troy shrugged, "No problem with me."

Nicky glanced over at the riders, "You think Tyler would like to go too?"

The others looked at Chris and he shrugged, "I don't know, probably. You could ask him."

Nicky nodded.

They watched the younger kids finish up with their riding lessons and Jamie led them into the barn to take care of the horses. Soon they were all out and the girls excitedly went over to their parents to see about coming back here to ride the horses again.

Tyler came and joined his brother, "Did you see me riding Chris?"

Chris nodded and clapped Tyler on the back, "Yep, you looked like you were doing pretty good, too."

Nicky jumped off the fence next to Tyler, "Tyler do you like to swim?"

Tyler nodded.

"Good, then I was wondering if you wanted to go with us to a secret place to go swimming?"

Tyler's eyes got big, "A secret place?"

Nicky nodded, "Jamie and I took Chris and his friends there the other day and I thought you were old enough to go too, if you want to."

Tyler had a big grin as he thought about getting to do something with the big guys and nodded happily, "I didn't bring my swim suit."

Nicky looked at the others before he kneeled down next to Tyler. He leaned in close and kept his voice low, "We don't wear swim suits when we swim there."

Tyler looked confused, "Do you just swim in your clothes?"

Nicky shook his head and then glanced around before he leaned close and whispered in Tyler's ear.

Tyler looked at him in surprise, "Really, you're all nak…."

Nicky shushed him to remind him to keep his voice down.

He nodded and continued in almost a whisper, "You're naked?"

He looked at the others and they all nodded. He blushed a little, but after a moment of thinking about it, "I wanna go naked swimming too."

The others laughed at his words. "Good, but you have to remember to keep it a secret. It's just for us guys to know about it. You don't want the girls to know."

Tyler had a worried look and shook his head, before he crossed his heart, "Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye."

Nicky grinned, "Well I don't think that's necessary, but we'll go after lunch."

They walked over to join their families while the twins arranged for lunch to be brought to the patio. Chris asked to speak to his dad for a moment and the two of them walked a little bit away from the others. "Dad, I just wanted to let you know, Jamie and Nicky are going to take us to a pond to go swimming after lunch. We want to take Ty with us too, but not the girls?"

"Why don't you want to take Jessie and Robin?"

Chris blushed, "We're going to go skinny dipping?"

Michael smiled and nodded, "Okay, I understand of course."

Chris continued, "Is it okay if Tyler comes with us, Nicky already asked him and he wants to go 'naked swimming' as he calls it."

Michael chuckled and he gave his permission. They rejoined the group just as lunch was being served.

Michael let the other parents know about the swimming, and with their help, he distracted the girls while the boys headed off into the woods following the trail to the pond. Once there, they started stripping their clothes off. For the first minute or so, Tyler just stood there watching everyone take their clothes off.

"C'mon Ty, you going swimming or not?"

Tyler looked at his partially dressed brother and smiled before he started quickly stripping his clothes off as well.

As each of them finished stripping their clothes off, they ran to the water and jumped in. The cool water felt good on their bare skin. The air was filled with the sound of laughter and splashing, especially the high pitched laugh of Tyler as he swam around and had a great time with the bigger boys. After swimming for a quite a while, they got out and lay down on the nearby rocks to dry off.

Tyler did a lot of looking and comparing of the attributes of the other boys with himself. "Chris, am I going to look like that?"

Chris looked over at Tyler who lay next to him. "Like what Ty?"

He pointed below Chris' waist, "You know…your wieners."

Chris glanced down and chuckled, "Yep, but not for a while yet; maybe when you twelve or thirteen."

Tyler nodded sagely like that explained everything. They continued to lay there until they were dry before they stood up and got dressed, amid a lot of laughter and kidding of each other.

When they got back to the house, they saw that no one was sitting outside anymore. They made their way inside and found everyone relaxing in the media room watching TV. "Hey boys, did you have a good time?"

Tyler had a big grin as he hurried over to sit next to his dad. He leaned over and held his hand over his dad's ear so he could whisper, "We went naked swimming."

Michael nodded and turned his head so he could whisper back, "I know Ty. Was it fun?"

Tyler giggled and nodded.

Troy sat down with the adults while the boys went into the video game area of the media room. Robin and Jessie were already there playing one of the video games. The boys went to one of the other video stations and starting playing a game.

They were in there playing a game when Jason came in and sat down nearby to watch them. Travis was the first to notice him and he elbowed Chris, which caused him to crash the race car he was driving.

He scowled at Travis, "What the heck, Trav?"

Travis nodded towards Jason.

Chris looked over and he smiled, "Hey Jay."

Jason smiled, "Hey yourself. How was your day?"

"Good, how about yours?"

Jason smiled, "I had a good rest, thanks. I came in to tell you guys that dinner will be ready in a little while if you want to clean up before then."

Chris looked at the other two and they nodded in agreement. Chris got the attention of the other kids in the room and had them follow him to clean up before dinner. They saw that the adults had already left the room. They kids quickly cleaned up and headed to the dining room to join everyone else for dinner.

Jason sat at the head of the table as the host. He motioned for Chris and Travis to sit near him, across from Jamie and Nicky. The meal was another excellent one. Jason drank from a metal goblet as the rest enjoyed the lasagna that had been prepared for dinner.

Miles away, at the Bonaventure, Zebulon's van entered the lowest level of the underground parking structure and pulled into a space near the elevators. They saw a couple of men standing near the elevators that watched them as they pulled in. They were obviously guards. Zebulon and his guards exited the van and looked around. His guards were two members of his clan and two from Marius' Vargr pack. Looking around they saw that the two guards at the door looked alertly in their direction. One was an Ulf pack member and the other was apparently one of Robert's clan members. The two watched Zebulon and his bodyguards as they exited from the van.

Zebulon looked away from them to scan the immediate area to see if he could see any sign of an ambush, even though he knew that Robert would never do such a thing as that. He sneered at the thought of how honorable Robert was. He turned his attention back to the guards and started walking purposefully toward the elevator, his guards behind him and to the side. As he neared them, the Ulf guard pressed the elevator call button and both of them stepped to the side.

"Greetings, Mr. Marks. Mr. Furginson is in the Los Cerritos room on the first level," the vampire guard said politely.

Zebulon did not acknowledge the guards as the elevator doors opened when he neared them. He and his entourage entered the door and one of them pressed the button for the first level. The doors closed and the elevator rose smoothly up to the proper floor and opened. The elevator came up in a back area of the atrium where very little of the light from the lowered sun reached. Zebulon stepped out, and as a group, they moved to a nearby corridor. One of his men walked over to check the information map for a few moments before returning and giving a nod to his Patriarch, who nodded for him to proceed.

The man led them through the corridors until they entered the area where several conference rooms were located. They noticed two guards in front of one of the conference rooms at the same time that the guards noticed his party. The guard pulled the door open and held it. Zebulon ignored him and led his group into the room. Once they were in the room, the door was closed behind them. Zebulon looked around and saw that the room was elegantly appointed. Robert was sitting at one of end of a table and stood up with a smile as they entered.

"Zebulon, it's good to see you. Please come and join me."

Zebulon looked around. He saw that besides the table that Robert sat at there were a couple of other tables in the room. One had four of Robert's people at it and the other was empty but set up for his people. His guards looked at him for orders and he nodded. They made their way over to the empty table while he walked to the main table.

"Thank you Robert. It was good of you to invite me," he said with an answering smile.

Robert nodded in acknowledgment and sat down as Zebulon joined him.

Robert gestured and a human servant came out of the shadows with a bottle. Robert gestured for him to serve his guest. "Zebulon, I have a wonderful vintage for you to try."

Zebulon nodded in acceptance as the servant came forward and poured some of the thick liquid into his glass. Zebulon took the glass and brought it to his nose to sniff the aroma of the blood before he took a sip. He nodded and held out the glass for the servant to finish filling. The servant walked away, to disappear out of a nearby door.

Zebulon quietly sipped from the glass as he waited for Robert to begin.

"Thank you for agreeing to have this meeting Zebulon, I want to discuss some of the recent unpleasantness between us."

Zebulon gave him a disdainful look, "Unpleasantness. I know of no unpleasantness, just business as usual."

Robert looked at him calmly, "Of course." He took a drink from his glass. "I must ask you to leave the boy, his friends and their families alone."

Zebulon sneered, "They are only cattle. Put there for us to feed on. They mean nothing, why do you prattle on about them as you always have?"

"The boy was marked, when your people attacked him and tried to kill him and his friends," Robert stated.

Zebulon spread his free hand against his chest and put on a mock look of surprise on his face, "I would never kill such a person," He then sneered at Robert, "Kill no, take them to join me, maybe, but not kill, they looked very delicious. I would have loved to have them as part of my family."

"It doesn't matter now. What's done is done. All three boys are marked now. They and their families are under my protection now," Robert answered calmly as he sipped his drink.

Zebulon regarded him for a few moments, "And if I don't? You'll do what?"

Robert looked at him, "What I must."

Zebulon laughed, "What you must? Is that supposed to mean something ominous to me?"

"Ask Beloch what that means," Robert said evenly.

Zebulon glared, "Is that a threat Furginson?"

Robert shook his head, "No, merely a promise. Leave them alone. You tried and failed. It cost you two of your people and one of your lapdogs."

One of the Vargr's growled low in his throat. A couple of Roberts's people stood at their table and glared at the other table. Zebulon waved to his guards and the Vargr subsided. Robert glanced at the Vargr and turned back to Zebulon dismissing the Vargr as a threat.

He continued, "I will repeat this only once. The boy is marked, and his friends and the families are under my protection. You are to keep your people away from them. If my family sees any of your people near them, you will lose more that you already have lost."

Zebulon chuckled, "Robert, Robert, why you think so highly of these cattle is beyond me. They are merely our food source, nothing more. You shouldn't get attached and make pets of your food. It makes you weak and vulnerable. Use them for what you want and discard them. That is all that they are good for. Well, perhaps for a little fun before they are discarded, especially those young ones. They have such vibrant life in their blood, not like this dead stuff you serve me." He gestured to the glass before him. "How is Jason by the way? I always thought he looked pretty tasty. Too bad he made the mistake of siding with you. He's very good at what he does. I've followed his exploits. Was that his work a few weeks ago? I assume he had something to do with our business, as usual, the other night."

"Jason is doing fine. He is good at what he does. He is the one that took out Randall. A shame that you forced him to do that, but Randall, and his shadow Leonard, were warned multiple times, since they didn't back off, something had to be done. Perhaps you need to school your people in what it means for a human to be marked."

"My people know everything they need to know. At least what I consider important." Zebulon stood up and looked down at Robert. "I will consider your request and give it the attention it deserves."

"One more thing Zebulon, before you leave, just so you are aware; I will be contacting the council to request that they have a little talk with you about going after those under my protection."

Zebulon glared at Robert before he turned his back and walked towards the door, his guards quickly joined him. Robert's voice caused him to pause at the door. "I will do what I must Zebulon."

Zebulon looked back at Robert, "As will I. Good evening, Robert." He turned and left the room as one of his people opened the door.

They made their way back to their van. Once in the van he pulled out a cell phone and made a call. "Victor, contact Marius and ask him to come to the house as soon as he can so that we can make plans." He closed the phone without giving Victor a chance to acknowledge the order.

Once he was notified that Zebulon had left the parking structure, Robert gathered his people and they made their way to where their vehicles were parked and left for home. He also made a call. He knew from Zebulon's attitude that this was not over. It was time to alert his friends and gather his forces. Maybe this time it could be ended. It would be nice not to have to deal with Marks ever again.

Nearly an hour later, back at Robert's estate, the families were enjoying a movie in the media room when Philip came into the room and motioned for Jason to join him. Jason excused himself and followed Philip outside the room.

Philip waited until they were in the hallway before speaking, "Jay, Robert would like to talk to the adults and the three boys when they are ready. Perhaps, after the younger ones have gone to bed, you can bring them to the study." Jason nodded and went back into the room.

They finished the movie and the parents told the kids that it was time for bed. As they were cleaning up and getting ready to head upstairs Jason let them know about Robert's message. They agreed that they would meet with Robert after getting the younger ones to bed.

Thirty minutes later, the adults and the three boys, entered Robert's study. He was on the phone and gestured for them to have a seat as he finished up the call. "Yes that would be excellent….thank you Eric, I will see you tomorrow….To you, as well, my friend."

He hung up the phone and turned to his guests. He gazed at them for a few moments before he stood up and came around to the front of the desk and leaned against it. "Well, I'm sure you all know that I had a meeting with Zebulon Marks this evening. It went about how I expected, but I had to try, so that I could keep the peace, as the council would prefer it. I have requested that the council stop Marks from taking any action against the boys here, since he knows that they are marked and under my protection. He may or may not listen. Until I hear from the council we will act on my plans for your families. I will have my people watch over you until I hear from the council that they have ordered him to back off."

"What will this council do if he doesn't back off?" Michael asked.

"I'm not sure. The main thing that they are concerned about is exposure. If they believe that what he plans will expose us to more of the world, instead of the select few that currently know about us, they could come down very hard, up to and including complete destruction of his family. If he can persuade them he will not do anything, then they will do no more, unless his actions lead to exposure. However, that could be after the fact, when it is too late."

"So there is still some danger."

Robert nodded, "Yes, I am afraid there is some, but I hope that since I told him about contacting the council, that will give him pause and make him think about the consequences."

Michael nodded, "I guess we'll be heading back home tomorrow then. When will your people be starting, you know…on the bodyguard stuff?"

"They will start when you leave tomorrow. As long as you are on the estate you are completely safe. Once you leave, I will do everything in my power to keep you safe. Remember, if at any time, one of my people come to you with the code phrase, do what they say immediately. They will only use that if danger is imminent. I would caution you to make sure that your younger children are never alone, until we get this resolved one way or another."

"How will we know it is resolved?" Ben asked.

"I will invite you here for a weekend getaway and I will let you know what has transpired, at least as much as I can. I have confidence that everything will be fine, but it may take a week or two to get everything settled. So, just be cautious, and I'm sure everything will work out well for you. For now, I wish you a good night's rest tonight and a safe journey home tomorrow. Jason when you are done please join us down here."

Jason nodded.

Robert shook hands with the adults and the three boys. Jason led them out the door and back to their suites while Philip closed the door behind them. Once the families were back in their rooms, Jason went back downstairs to sit down with Robert and the others as they went over the details for the protections for the three families.

Robert's main family members, Phillip, Allison, Patrick and Jason were there, as were the twins, to learn what Robert had planned; so that they could pass it on to the rest of the pack when they arrived in the morning.

"So that we are at our best, and strongest, Eric's pack will watch them during the day," he said as he looked towards the twins who nodded in agreement. "We will watch at night." After saying that, Robert was quiet for a few moments before continuing. "I do want a ready reserve so to speak. It should be a mixed force of clan and pack. They will be nearby to render aid in the event that Zebulon attacks them." He pulled a printed sheet of paper and laid it down on his desk. "I have found a house, on a nearby street in the neighborhood, that due to the recent economic problems has become available. I purchased the place earlier today before the meeting, because I knew what Zebulon would probably do."

The others in the room nodded in understanding.

Robert continued, for the next hour or so, as he split them into teams. He did not know who would be coming for the pack, so he gave the twins the information that they needed; so that whoever arrived in the morning, from the pack, would know what was needed. The twins started to yawn a bit.

Robert noticed and smiled, "It looks like the cubs are a little tired. I think we have done what we can for now. James, when your pack member arrives, tell him everything about the plans and have him meet with me tomorrow evening."

Robert tore a paper off the tablet on his desk and handed it to Jamie, "Give him this address as well. He is to meet one of my lawyers and the realtor to get the keys for my new house," he told them.

Jamie took it and they said goodnight to the others. Robert and the other members of his family talked until almost dawn before getting some rest.

In the morning, the families were at breakfast, Jamie and Nicky were with them, when the door chimes rang. One of the servants entered the dining room a short time later and walked over to where Jamie was sitting and whispered in his ear.

He smiled and nodded as he stood up, "Excuse me. I have to go to the door for a moment."

A short time later, those eating in the dining room heard what sounded like several people nearing the room. Soon, Jamie came in with a group of powerful looking men. One of the larger men had his arm on Jamie's shoulders and they were both smiling.

Nicky jumped up and ran to them, "Dad. I didn't know you were coming," he exclaimed as wrapped his arms around the man.

Jamie had stepped away to make room for Nicky.

Their dad was huge and powerful looking. Like the twins, he wore his blond hair long and he had a neatly trimmed, blond beard with ice blue eyes. He looked like he was almost 7' tall and towered over everyone else in the room. The other men with him were also strongly built. Even the teenagers that were with them, were well muscled for their age as well, like the twins.

Jamie stepped forward and smiled at everyone, "Everyone, I would like you to meet my dad, Eric."

Eric smiled at them and spoke in a powerful voice, "It is very good to meet all of you."

Eric went around the room and shook everyone's hand before sitting down next to Nicky.

Jamie looked at the others, "Is anybody hungry?" he asked.

The answer was in the smiles and nods that he received from them. Jamie nodded to one of the servants and soon more settings were brought in as the men and teenagers made themselves at home.

Chris caught Jamie's eye and motioned with his head toward the newcomers. Jamie smiled, pointed to himself, and nodded. Chris nodded his understanding. He now knew for certain that all of the newcomers were Lycans. He leaned over to Travis and whispered that bit of information and Travis looked around and nodded in agreement. The other family members at the table, except for the youngest ones, were looking at the newcomers and comparing them to Jamie and Nicky and realizing who these new people were.

When breakfast was finished, Jamie and Nicky helped their pack mates find rooms while the kids went to the media room. At the table, the others lingered over coffee.

Troy was the first to speak, "Man did you see the size of that guy? I'm guessing they are like the twins."

His dad nodded in agreement, "That was my thought. If they are, I'm glad they're on our side, at least I hope so."

The others nodded in agreement.

In the house, Jason came out of his room when he heard the pack members moving around as they were shown to their rooms. He smiled when he saw one of the guys coming out of a room and made his way to greet him, "Cliff, I didn't know you would be here?"

The guy he greeted shook hands with him, "Hey Jay, good to see you," he said.

"How's Danny doing?" Jason asked him.

Cliff nodded and smiled, "Oh, he's doing real well. He's still with the pack, but we think we've found a good home for him, and hope to have him settled in there in another week or two. But, for now, he's having a great time with the pack kids. He's learning how to enjoy being a kid again."

Jason clapped him on the shoulder, "That's really great to hear. When you see him, tell him I said hello."

Cliff nodded.

Jason walked around and greeted the others. He and Eric headed downstairs to the study. Once there, Jason outlined what Robert had talked about the night before. The three teen Lycans, who had just arrived, joined the other kids in the media room. They introduced themselves as Henry, Mark and Jon. They easily fit in with the others and all of them enjoyed themselves watching the TV's or playing video games.

The boy's parents headed up to their rooms to start packing their bags, since they were going home today. Once they had everything packed, they carried the bags downstairs and put them by the door. They went to the study and looked in. They saw Jason, Eric, Cliff and a couple of other pack members, sitting around talking. They looked up at the intrusion. Jason stood up and met them as they came in the room.

"Good morning guys," Jason said.

Michael raised his hand in a slight wave in greeting to the others in the room, "Hey Jace. We're about ready to go," he said.

Jason looked at Eric and he stood up and came over to them. They couldn't help but feel the power of this man as he walked up to them. The smile on his face was the only thing that kept that power from being intimidating.

"Give us a little while to get some final things settled, and my guys will get you home," he told them.

They nodded and left the room to join the kids in the media room while they waited for the plans to be finalized. Twenty minutes later, Jason and Cliff came to the media room.

"Okay, everything is set and they are ready to get you folks home," Jason said.

The adults nodded as they got up. They started gathering the kids together and herded them to the front door. Everyone said their goodbyes and thanked Jason and the twins for everything they had done for them. They gathered their bags at the front door and headed outside to the waiting SUV's.

Jason held Chris back as the others went outside. He put his hands on Chris' shoulders and turned him so they were facing each other, father and son. With the two of them standing together, you could easily see that they were related. Both looked so much like each other that they could pass as brothers. When Chris looked up at Jason and saw there were tears in Jason's eyes.

Jason pulled him close and wrapped his arms around Chris. The two of them stood like that for a few moments before Jason felt able to say anything. "Chris, I'm so glad I've had this chance to spend time with you. I'm so sorry, that you've been hurt, but I promise I'll do everything that I can to keep you safe. The biggest regret that I have is that I did not get the chance to be your dad as you grew up."

Chris just held onto him, "I'm sorry about what happened to you Jace, and I think you would have been a good dad."

Jason kissed him on top of the head and finally let him go so that he could join his family. Before he got into the SUV Chris turned back to where Jason was standing, a few feet inside the doors, and gave him a smile and a wave. Jason waved back, watched as they drove away, before he closed the door and headed back to his room to rest for a few more hours.

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