Later that day, Robert hung the phone up and looked at his family members who were sitting nearby. "Well, the council has been notified. Perhaps that will be the end of that. For now, you should get over there and make sure those families are protected." They nodded and left the room to head out and take over the watching duties.
Several miles away the phone rang, and Victor answered it, "Marks estate….y....yes Master Linarus, right away." Victor put the phone on hold and pushed the intercom button. "Mr. Marks?" he asked.
"Yes Victor?" Zebulons's voice came through the speaker.
"Master Linarus is on the line for you." Victor replied.
"Very well, Victor, thank you," Zeb answered.
In the study, Zeb picked up the handset from table beside him, "Master Linarus, I am honored to hear from you." Zeb said with a smile on his face.
At a well hidden, fortified location, Master Linarus waited patiently until Zeb answered the phone. "Zebulon Marks. I am calling to tell you of a phone call that I just received for the attention of the council. Robert Furginson has made a request of the council that we censure you for attacking one of their marked humans. He wants it noted that the marked humans and their families are off limits for hunting. They are to be listed as under his protection and as such cannot be hunted."
Zeb gritted his teeth as he heard what Master Linarus said, "I understand, Master."
"No, you do not understand Zebulon. I told you that I have received the call. One of my people took the call and told me of it. At this time, the council does not know of it…yet. You only have a short time before the council must be made aware of the call. I suggest you make the most of that time. I assure you, that the council will act when that short window closes. However, if the humans in question are no longer around, then I believe there will be no problem in presenting it as mistake and that you did not get the notice in time," Master Linarus explained.
Zeb let a small calculating smile appear on his face, "Yes, Master Linarus, I understand."
"Good Zebulon. Remember you have a short window. I have assisted you as much as I dare. Take care of the problem, or the council will make sure you understand the laws about marked humans. Of course, if Robert is no longer around, any call he may or may not have made will be moot. Remember, the victor writes the history books," the master warned before he hung up.
Zeb listened to the dial tone for a few seconds before he hit the off button for the handset and set it down on the table. He sat and stared straight ahead for several minutes before standing up and going to the intercom. He pushed the button, "Victor, contact Marius and have him call me immediately." Zeb ordered. He turned away once Victor acknowledged the order and resumed his seat, taking up the crystal goblet that he had been drinking from earlier. His plans ran through his head as he tried to anticipate the problems that he would likely have.
The families had arrived home with no problems. When they pulled up in front of Chris' house Eric got out of the SUV he had driven and came up to Michael. "Michael, Richard, sometime later today, I would like to talk to the three families about how we're going to do this." Eric said.
Michael nodded in agreement, "I'll call you." Eric gave him the number, and got back in the SUV.
In the house, Travis followed Chris upstairs while Michael called the Sander's house to let them know about the meeting. Heather went to the kitchen to get Tyler and Jessie a snack. Upstairs the two boys lay down on the bed facing each other and entwining their fingers.
"Trav, are you scared?" Chris asked.
After a moment or two of looking in Chris' eyes, he nodded, "Yeah, I am. I don't want to feel what I felt when that guy clawed me ever again," Travis said.
"Me neither. Hopefully those council people will stop him. Jason told me that the three of us are marked. He marked you and Bryce when he healed us. That's supposed to mean that other vampires are supposed to leave us alone or they get in trouble. So I think we'll be safe," Chris tried to sound reassuring.
Travis pulled him closer and they cuddled up. They closed their eyes and the excitement of the last few days caught up with them and they were soon asleep.
For the meeting later that day, it was decided that the adults of the families would meet with Eric about the arrangements. Michael had sent Tyler into the bedroom to wake Chris and Travis, after letting them nap for a couple of hours. The meeting was going to be next door at the Grayson house. Chris and Travis kept Tyler and Jessie busy while the meeting went on.
Over at the Grayson house, the families met with Eric and two of his friends. Eric waited until everyone was settled before he started the meeting. "Well, to start with, I'd like to say that I'm sorry that we have to intrude in your life, but I'd rather be doing this, than reading about something bad happening to you in the paper. We will do everything that we can to protect you, without unduly interfering in your lives. The first thing that I would like to ask is, since it is summer vacation, that the kids be kept together as much as possible. That way we won't be spread too thin." He paused and looked at them. The families nodded in agreement of the request.
Eric continued, "For each of you, we will have someone nearby to assist you if anything goes wrong. Mr. and Mrs. Hale, since you're off during the summer, I'm going to ask that you keep an eye out for the kids. I'm sure you would prefer not be to babysitters, since you get to do that chore most of the year," he paused at the chuckles of those around him before continuing, "The rest of you, there will be someone nearby," Eric received nods from them.
He looked at Troy, "Troy, we're going to take a small chance on you and not put someone near to you, because of where you are going to be. Even though we are doing this, we still don't want to get too near to the authorities, so I'm hoping that you can live with that?" Eric asked.
"What sidearm do you carry?" Eric asked.
Eric nodded, and looked at one of the others with him and motioned with his head. The guy turned and went outside. "Carl's gone to get something for you, and some things for the rest of you. Until Carl gets back from outside, do you have any questions?"
Ben spoke up first, "How are you going to arrange for one of your people to be nearby for those of us that have jobs to go to?" he asked.
"We are going to have two of our people nearby to keep an eye out for you. That's the plan for all of you that are not teachers, there will be two people. I've chosen two so that the two assigned can watch each other's back as well as yours. I don't want any surprises. With two of my people, Marks would risk exposing us to the world, and that will not be acceptable to anyone, so…." Eric stopped as Cark reentered the house carrying a gym bag. Eric held out his hand and Carl handed it to him.
Eric put it on the table and opened it up, the first thing he did was pull out several cell phones and hand them around to all of the adults. "These are programmed with #1 going straight to our phone number. They are all throw away phones, so don't worry about them, but keep them near you. If anything seems amiss, use them immediately, don't hesitate. When you are not at work, we hope that you will stick around home as much as possible. If you, or the kids, need to go somewhere, call us by pushing #2. That has also been programmed with a different number. If you call on that number, then we know it isn't an emergency. I want to reserve #1 for calling for assistance."
Eric reached into the bag again and pulled out a couple small boxes that he held out to Troy, "These are for you Troy."
Troy took the box and opened it. He reached inside and pulled out a 9mm bullet and held it up, while he looked at Eric quizzically, "Seriously?"
Eric chuckled, "Yeah, I know, it seems kind of corny, but silver bullets in the right place actually can kill us and hurt vamps, maybe enough to slow them down a little. That is the one thing that all the stories got right. Anything silver, in the right place, like head or heart, will kill us. Troy, the best thing to do is for you to get a couple more magazines and load them with these, but keep them hidden. While in the academy, especially during training at the range, use regular rounds. When you are not at the academy, I would remove the mags with the regular rounds and load the mags with these in them. Later when you graduate, it might be a good idea to fill your mags with some of these silver bullets, with regular rounds on top. The others, who are like you, will know you are one of them, if you show them your mag."
Troy nodded, "Thanks."
Eric smiled at him, "No problem. There is one final thing, I'd like to ask. I know it will be a bit of an imposition, but during the day, I'd like a couple of our younger guys, the teenagers, to hang around with your kids, that way we have someone right there, to look out for them."
The parents looked at one another, "What do you guys think," Michael asked the others.
They looked at each other and nodded, "I think we can live with that."
Eric nodded, "Okay, then I think we're set then, so I guess we'll be going."
They all shook hands with Eric and his guys before they left.
When Michael and Heather returned, Travis said good night to Chris and left for home. Later that night, while he was in bed reading a book, the door to his room was slowly opened and Tyler stuck his head in, "Hi Chris, can I come in?" He asked.
Chris nodded, closed the book and patted the bed next to him. Tyler came in and sat on the bed. Chris could see that something was bothering him. "What's wrong Ty?" he asked him.
Tyler shrugged before speaking, "Can I stay with you tonight?" he asked in a quiet voice.
Chris didn't answer him, instead he peeled the covers back and Tyler smiled and got under the covers. He quickly snuggled up to Chris as Chris turned off the light on the table next to him. They got settled; Tyler laid his head on Chris shoulder and his arm across his chest. Chris had his arm around Tyler as well.
"Chris?" Tyler asked nervously.
Chris looked at him, "Yeah Ty."
Tyler was quiet for a few moments, "What's going on? I know Mom and Dad met with those guys that came home with us, but why. And why did all those guys come with us anyway?"
Chris could tell he was a little scared and just rubbed his back as he thought about what would be the best thing to say. "Ty, those bad guys who hurt me, Travis and Bryce a couple of days ago, are still out there somewhere and these guys are going to protect us in case they try something."
"But, why do those bad guys want to hurt us? We haven't done anything to them." Tyler said plaintively.
Chris just stroked his back again, "I don't know, they're just bad people." Chris replied. "Now don't worry about it Ty and go to sleep. I'm right here."
Tyler gave Chris a gentle squeeze and nodded. Chris lay there thinking and absently rubbing Tyler's back. Soon he felt Tyler relax completely and fall asleep. He joined him in slumber a short time later. Jason and his friends arrived on the scene to take over for the Lycs. They settled in for the night to keep watch. Jason moved around in the shadows around the houses, keeping a close watch on his son.
After midnight a small caravan of vehicles pulled into the Marks estate. They stopped in front of the house; a large number of powerfully built men exited the trucks, vans and SUV's and walked up to the front door. Victor opened the door as Marius led his men into the house. They gathered in Zeb's large study. Zeb stood up and held his hand out to greet Marius.
"Excellent, welcome Marius. Thank you for coming so quickly. Victor will see to your men, while you and I talk for a short time." Victor said after they shook hands.
"That sounds good Zebulon." Marius replied.
Victor escorted Marius' men out of the study and found rooms for them upstairs.
Once they were gone, Zeb motioned for Marius to make himself a drink and get comfortable. Marius went to the bar and poured himself something. He sat in a chair across from Zeb.
"How many did you bring with you?" Zeb asked.
"Thirty, I left only a few behind. I want to make sure we destroy both Robert and Eric," Marius grunted.
Zeb nodded with approval, "Excellent, I think that will be more than enough," he paused, "We have a very short window to accomplish what we want, otherwise the council will get involved. Robert has made a request to them, at present it was intercepted by a mentor of mine, but he said that he can keep it from them for only a short time. He warned me that if I do not take care of this quickly, then the council will be making their presence known and that he would be unable to stop any consequences of my actions, unless the problem was cleared up before they got involved." Zeb explained.
Marius was quiet for a moment as he pondered what Zeb had told him. "How short is this window that you have been given," he growled.
"Two, maybe three days; beyond that I would not count on more. We would be on borrowed time then," Zeb replied.
Marius nodded, "I don't want to have to deal with your council. I'm glad we have no such thing ourselves. That would be inconvenient. So what is your plan?" he asked.
"First, we need to look over our targets. I would like your men to do that when they are rested. The targets are the homes of the three boys and Robert's estate. For the three boys, I want them alive if at all possible. Do what you want with the others. The one thing is, you will have to be as discrete as possible. We don't want the neighbors calling the authorities because of any loud screams or noises coming from the houses." Zeb paused until Marius nodded.
"Then at Robert's estate, which is where I want the main attack to occur. We have a bit more leeway there, since, like here, there are few neighbors nearby. Take as much of the day tomorrow as you need to look the targets over. I want to have the final plan finished that night, and depending on what you find, we will either hit them later that night or no later than the following night, after that we may be out of time," Zeb explained.
"Why these kids?" Marius asked.
"Because I want them. If we capture any of Furginson's people, I want them to see those boys suffer, to show that they have failed to protect them, before I allow any of Furginson's clan their final death." Zeb said with a malicious gleam in his eyes.
Marius gave him an answering feral grin, "What about Eric and his pack?"
Zeb nodded, "Once Robert is out of the way. I will assist you in ridding yourself of that pest. Once they are both out of the picture, it will be much easier for us to hunt as we wish," he paused a moment as he looked at Marius, "Why don't you rest my friend and we will talk again tomorrow night. Victor will show you your room."
Marius nodded, drained his drink, got up and left the room. Zeb had a very satisfied smile on his face as he contemplated his triumph over that self righteous Furginson.
Early the next morning, Bryce, and his sister Robin, were dropped off by their parents before they went to work. Travis joined them after his brother and parents left for work. There was a subdued air about the house. They tried to keep themselves entertained but their heart wasn't really into it. Bryce suggested they go over to his house to use the pool and that idea started to get them all out of the funk they were feeling. They gathered everyone and some of their stuff up and loaded up the minivan and headed over to the house.
Soon after arriving at Bryce's, the doorbell rang. Michael answered the door and smiled when he saw Jamie and Nicky standing there with Henry, Mark and Jon, three of the other teens they had met at Robert's house.
"Hey Mr. Hale," Jamie greeted him. "We thought we'd come over and see if anyone wants to go to the park for a while and play some ball."
Michael shook their hands as he stepped aside to let them come in.
They headed to the back yard and a few minutes later the boys came back in and went to Bryce's room to change and grab their gloves. While they were changing, Jamie was assuring Michael and Heather, "They'll be fine, besides the five of us, there will be more at the park that won't be seen. We'll keep them safe." Jamie was telling them when the boys came back downstairs.
"Okay, we trust you guys. I know they need to get out and do something besides moping around the house. How long will you be gone?" Michael asked.
"No more than a couple of hours." Jamie replied.
"Alright see you when you get back," Michael said.
"Keep an eye on Tyler, Chris." He called as they left the house and got into the SUV that Jamie had parked out front. They two adults waved as they watched the guys drive off.
At the park, the boys split into teams to play some over the line. Chris, Travis, Bryce, and Jamie against Henry, Jon, Nicky, Mark and Tyler and for the next couple of hours they forgot about what was going on and had a great time.
At the academy that day, there was a special guest from the department there; he introduced himself as Lieutenant Steve McCoy of SWAT. He was there to observe the academy students and he also was asked to inspect them at their morning lineup. He walked through the ranks, inspecting the students. He would occasionally stop a little longer in front of a cadet, inspect his firearm and ask a question or two before continuing down the line. He stopped in front of Troy and looked him up and down before nodding and continuing. After the morning lineup, Troy was called over by one of the instructors.
"This is Cadet Grayson, sir," the instructor said.
"Thank you Sergeant, I'll take it from here," the Lieutenant dismissed him.
Troy stood at attention. "At east Cadet," the Lieutenant ordered.
Troy assumed the position of parade rest. The Lieutenant gazed at him silently as Troy stared straight ahead. "I said, at ease, Cadet, relax," he ordered with some humor in his voice.
Troy finally relaxed and let his arms drop.
McCoy smiled, "That's better. A friend of mine called me yesterday and mentioned you, so I thought I'd come down and take a look."
"Sir, I'm sorry but, I don't understand why you would be interested in me, sir. I'm a cadet like any other, sir." Troy stated, clearly puzzled by the attention.
McCoy didn't say anything. Instead he reached to one of his magazine pouches and took one of the magazines out and handed it to Troy. Troy, still very puzzled, took it and glanced at it, then he paused and looked back down. His eyes focused on the bullets that were showing at opening of the magazine. They were silver. He looked up at McCoy with surprise on his face and received a slight nod in answer. McCoy took the magazine back from Troy and returned it to its pouch.
"I lead the seventh SWAT team for the department," McCoy told him.
"I thought there were only six teams sir," Troy said.
"As far as the public knows, that's correct. We handle…unusual cases. My team is split up among the other teams, but when there is something a bit beyond the ordinary, the seventh team comes together."
McCoy reached into his shirt pocket and pulled a business card out and handed it to Troy. "The phone number on the back is my cell phone. If you have any problems…out there….you know what kind I'm talking about, call that number. My guys and I will be there as soon as possible," McCoy told him.
"Yes,sir," Troy replied.
"Well, good luck cadet, do well and maybe in few years you may be good enough for the seventh team," McCoy said with a smile.
Troy came to attention, stepped back and saluted him, getting a return salute. Troy left for his first class, still surprised that he had met one of the people that Robert Furginson told him about. The rest of the day that thought turned over in his head.
At the park, while they were playing ball, when Jamie came up to bat, something caught his eye. He stayed calm and he surreptitiously looked around, trying not to be obvious. He wasn't paying attention when the ball was pitched to him and he hit a weak grounder that Tyler was able to snag and get him out. He handed the bat to Travis and once again took up his careful survey of the area. He tried to scan the area, without making too much movement and pretend he had not noticed anything. Then he saw it. His eyes tracked the movement of a couple of guys that looked a little out of place. He had been around this park quite a few times over the last few weeks, so he was sure he would have noticed people like that. Finally, his side got out and he decided it was time to go.
"Hey guys, it's pretty hot, besides I know who Chris' real dad is and if you don't mind Bryce, it would be nice to cool off in the pool. Let's go." Jamie said.
When the others heard him say what he did about Chris' real dad, there was a moment of hesitation by the three younger teens; Jamie's pack mates started moving everyone along, one of them making a game of picking Tyler up.
The five pack members kept their cool but they let their eyes watch the area as they walked back to the cars. Jamie, Nicky and Jon, each went up to the three young teens and put a companionable arm across the boys' shoulders to keep them calm as they walked to the SUV. Each of them was talking quietly to each of the boys to keep them moving. Once at the car, they got in, with Jamie driving. The five Lycan kept their eyes moving as they pulled out of the parking lot and headed over to Bryce's house. When they got to the house, they calmly ushered the boys inside.
Everyone, but Jamie, went to change while he made a call to his dad.
"Hey dad….Everything's fine here, we just got back from the park, but I think there were some of Zeb's people there…..not vamps, Lycan….it could be, they're the only ones nearby….We'll sit tight dad….okay, we'll hang out here….yeah dad, see you later." Jamie looked out the front windows once again before he went to change and head out back to the pool. He dove in and when he surfaced Nicky came up to him.
"What's going on Jamie," he whispered.
"I saw some guys at the park; dad thinks they're from Marius' pack. He's going to be over in a little while," Jamie whispered back.
Nicky nodded and both of them went to assure the three younger teens that things were alright, as they had seen that there were some worried looks directed towards them.
They were still there when Ben and Alicia got home from work. Michael had ordered pizza and everyone was sitting around the back patio eating up. They were both a little surprised to see them there. Eric arrived soon after they did, and had the adults, and his twin sons, join him inside.
Once they were all gathered he started, "Jamie called me to tell me that he saw some suspicious looking guys at the park. We're going to add some extra protection around the houses tonight, so you'll be fine," Eric said.
He gestured to his sons, "I want to leave a couple of the boys inside with you tonight, here, if that's okay? The three others will be staying with you Michael, and with the Graysons." He looked at the two sets of parents and after a moment they nodded in agreement. "Good. Whenever you're ready we'll escort you home," he offered.
They adults headed to the backyard while Eric talked to his sons about the arrangements. A short time later, Michael and Heather had their kids gather their stuff. They said goodbye to their friends and headed home. When they got home, two hooded figures were sitting on the porch bench waiting for them. When Michael pulled into the driveway, they stood up and waited for them. Jamie, Nicky and Mark got out first, but relaxed when they saw that it was Jason and Patrick. Michael greeted them and had them come in the house. Once inside, Chris gave Jason a hug that was gratefully returned. Michael went next door with Mark in tow.
Michael knocked on the Grayson's door. Troy answered the door and had them follow him to the dining room where he sat down to finish his dinner. Rich and Meredith were sitting at the dining room table finishing theirs. "Hey Michael, what brings you…" Richard stopped when he saw Patrick and Mark with Michael and he got a concerned look on his face.
"Is everything okay? Did anything happen to the boys?" Rich asked.
Michael shook his head, "No, things appear fine. There was some concern from earlier and Eric wanted Mark, here, to stay here with you guys. If it's okay, Travis is going to stay with Chris tonight? James and Nick are staying with us and will watch over the two boys." Michael told them.
"What happened that we need these arrangements," Rich asked with concern.
"James saw some guys that looked out of place at the park while they were playing some ball, so he contacted his dad, and Eric thought it would be a good idea for some of his boys to stay inside with the families. Ben and Alicia have two of Eric's teenagers with them," Michael pointed at Mark, "Mark, here, is going to stay with you guys, that is, if it is okay?"
Rich nodded, "Sure sounds good," he looked at Mark, "Are you hungry?" he asked.
Mark shook his head, "No, sir, we had pizza at the other house." He replied.
"Okay, then I'll see you later," Michael said to them as he left.
When Michael returned, he, Jason and Patrick spoke for few minutes about the arrangements, then the two vampires left the house; after Jason got another hug from Chris. Once outside the houses they took up guard positions. Jamie and Nicky made themselves at home, playing some video games with the boys or watching television until it was time for the kids to go to bed. The twins took up positions in the living room and made themselves comfortable once everyone was in bed by shifting to their wolf forms.
At the Marks estate, Zeb received a call from one of his clan members.
"Yes…hmmm, interesting…Any reason why….very well, watch them and let me know of any change….Yes….very good."
He hung up and looked at Marius, who was sitting across from him in an easy chair. "So, everything is good?" Marius asked.
Zeb nodded, "It appears so, although Bartholomew said that there appears to be several of Eric's and Robert's people guarding them; but he couldn't be sure, they kept themselves pretty well hidden." Zeb said absently.
"Will that be a problem?" Marius asked.
Zeb shook his head, "No, maybe a slight change in the amount of our people that we will need tasked for the attack on those families, but nothing to worry about. We have more than enough to take any guards out," Zeb said dismissively.
"So, tomorrow is still on?" Marius asked.
Zeb nodded, "I see nothing that we need worry about that would interfere with that."
Early the next morning, Chris came downstairs for a drink of water, as he passed the living room, he saw movement out of the corner of his eye and turned to see what it was. He stumbled back as his eyes focused "Shit!" he almost yelled when he saw the two wolves looking at him calmly.
One of the wolves dropped down and he could swear they were both laughing at him. The one on the floor was rolling on his back. The twins shifted back and Chris glared at them. "You scared the shit out of me," Chris said as he looked at Nicky on the floor with his hand over his mouth trying to stifle the giggles. Jamie was doing a better job, but he did have a big grin on his face as he started getting dressed in the clothes that they had discarded the night before. A few moments later Nicky got himself under control, and dressed as well.
Chris scowled and went to get his drink, when he got back to the living room, he sat down on the couch. "So what was that about yesterday at the park?" he asked.
Jamie sat down on the other end of the couch, "I saw some guys at the park, that didn't exactly fit. There was nothing specific, but they just didn't look right, so I thought it might be a good idea to leave. If they were one of them, then I doubt that they would have done anything in clear view like that, but it was better to be safe," Jamie replied.
"Do you think they will do anything?" Chris asked.
Jamie and Nicky both shook their heads, "Robert called the council about him, so probably not, but we just want to be careful until we know for sure," Jamie assured him.
Chris left them to go get dressed. The twins checked the front and backyards for any of Marius' people. They didn't see anyone, but they felt like they were being watched, so they assumed that they probably were. Back inside, Jamie called his dad, as the rest of the house started stirring. He told him what he felt and Eric let him know that there would be some more eyes out there looking for Marius' people.
The two younger kids came down and turned on the television. When Heather came down, she headed to the kitchen to start cooking some breakfast for everyone. Michael gave her a hand and soon breakfast was ready. The smell of bacon brought Chris and Travis downstairs to eat. A little while after breakfast Bryce and Robin arrived and plans were made for the all the young people to go to the mall and maybe see a movie. Jamie called his dad to let him know what their plans were before they left.
When they got to the mall, they made the food court their first destination. Everyone split up to get food from their favorite fast food counters and found a place to sit down where there were several empty tables. They spent the next half hour talking and joking around with each other. When everyone was done, they headed to theatres and checked out the movie list. After some discussion they chose Rise of the Planet of the Apes as the movie they wanted to see.
Even though they had just finished lunch, they still got some tubs of popcorn, nachos and drinks to enjoy while watching the movie. After wading through the ads and previews the movie started and they were soon settled in and enjoying it. When they were more than halfway through the movie, Tyler told Chris that he needed to pee. Chris told Jamie and the two of them went with Tyler to the bathroom. Jamie waited around outside the restroom while the two brothers went in.
While they were in there, Jamie casually looked around the area at the people entering and leaving the other theatres in the multiplex. He had just looked toward the lobby and was turning away when something struck him and he stopped and carefully looked back toward the lobby. What he saw caused him to become concerned. On the other side of the lobby three powerfully built men were talking. At that moment the restroom door opened and Chris and Tyler came out. Jamie motioned for them to join him. He pushed them around the corner quickly and then held up his hand to have them stop where they were. He moved back around the corner and watched as the three men seemed to come to some agreement. One stayed in the lobby, while the other two split up to take each side of the multiplex. Jamie watched as the nearest one went into the first theatre that he came to.
Once he was out of sight, Jamie turned to Chris, "We have to go," he told him.
Chris looked at him with confusion, "Wha…"
Jamie cut him off, "Questions later, we gotta move now."
Chris looked at Jamie, saw the serious look on his face and nodded. He put his hand on Tyler's back and headed toward the theatre they were in.
Inside, he and Jamie told everyone that they had to go. There were protests until Jamie whispered to the two other older boys, "I know who Chris' real father is."
They got the message quickly and with the help of the four Lycan teens, they were all up and out of their seats. Jamie pointed toward the exit near the movie screen and Nicky quickly led the way down the stairs, past the seats, and straight ahead to the outside exit. They quickly got outside and made their way around the building in the direction of the parking lot where they had parked. At the corner of the building Jamie stopped them and peered around the building.
Jamie looked over his shoulder, "Mark, Jon, go check it out," he ordered.
The teens nodded and quickly moved off. "What's going on? Why'd we have to leave?" Tyler asked.
"I'll tell you guys in the van. For now, just bear with me, okay," Jamie looked at them and got solemn nods from the others, because they saw how serious he was. He turned back to look around the corner. He saw Mark and Jon headed back toward them. They saw him and waved for Jamie to bring the group.
Jamie looked back, "Okay, let's go."
With Nicky and Henry checking behind them, they caught up with Mark and Jon. The two led the way to the van. Jamie handed the keys to Nicky and got in on the passenger side, while the other three Lycan looked around while the younger kids got into the van. Once everyone was in, they got in and Nicky pulled out of the space and soon had them on their way home. While he drove, Jamie took out his cell phone.
"Hi Dad…..yeah, we had to leave the theatre early….I saw some guys who looked like they were Marius' guys come into the theatre lobby….There were three of them. One stayed in the lobby and the other two looked like they were going search the theatres…..no, they didn't see us, we headed out the back exit…..I think so. We didn't see any others when we got to the van, so we're clear….We'll be back at the Hale's in a few minutes…..Okay, I'll tell them when we get there…..Okay, bye."
He shut the cell and turned to look at their passengers.
Chris spoke first, "Marius' men?"
Jamie nodded, "Yeah, I'm pretty certain. We're going to head back to your house. My dad's going to meet us there."
Chris nodded and looked at the others. It was a quiet ride home as everyone, at least the older ones, were lost in thought. Travis took Chris' hand in his to reassure him. The three youngest were confused and a little frightened as they saw the grim looks the others had on their faces. A few minutes later they pulled into the driveway and everyone was hurried into the house.
As the door opened, Michael looked up to greet them and saw the serious looks on the faces of Jamie and his kin. Once everyone was in, Jamie sent Henry and Mark to take a look around.
Michael got up from his seat with a concerned look. "What happened?" he asked.
"Nothing, exactly, except I saw some of Marius' men at the theatre and thought it would be best to head back here as soon as possible," Jamie admitted. "My dad's on the way over."
Michael nodded. Chris and his friends got drinks for everyone while they waited for Eric.
Eric arrived a few minutes later and was quickly invited inside. Mark and Henry followed him inside. He and Michael shook hands and Michael motioned for him to follow him to the dining room. He went over to Jamie and murmured something to him. Chris and the others started to follow them, but Michael motioned for them to stay in the living room. Jamie followed along behind them.
Heather joined them, "Does anyone want something to drink," she asked.
"Water would be fine," Eric replied. Jamie and Michael agreed.
Heather brought the bottles of water and joined them.
"Michael, Heather, sorry for causing you some concern, but Jamie called me and told me something that we need to discuss," Eric told them.
Michael nodded and motioned for Eric and Jamie to sit down.
Once they were settled, Eric looked at Jamie, "Okay Jamie, tell us what you saw," he said.
"Partway through the movie, Tyler had to go to the bathroom, so I went with him and Chris. While I was waiting for them, I saw three guys come in the lobby and then two of them split off;
it looked like they were looking for someone," he paused, "I'm pretty sure they were Marius' people, they were his kind of people. Huge, muscle bound, no brains," he told them.
Eric nodded, "Yeah, that sounds like his kind of people. You said you think they were searching."
Jamie nodded, "Yeah Dad, the guy that was heading our way, went into the first theatre. I didn't wait until he came out before hustling everyone out of the theatre and came back here."
Eric was silent for a few moments as he looked into the distance. "I have little doubt, that if they were Marius' people, then they were no doubt looking for the boys." He checked his watch before continuing, "I'm going to contact Robert later and see what he says," Eric said.
"Do you know what he may say?" Michael asked.
Eric shook his head, "Not really. We'll have to see what he suggests. I admit, that I am concerned about the men at the theatre. It means that they are still watching you guys," he answered.
Jamie got up from the table and went to join the others in the living room. He motioned for the Lycan teens to join him. They spoke quietly, apart from the others. Chris and his friends looked at them with concern. When the five of them finished, Henry, Mark and Jon nodded and went out the front door. Jamie and his brother went and joined the other young people in the living room. The three older teens looked at the twins expectantly, but Jamie shook his head.
Heather and Michael decided to order some pizza for everyone and Heather went over to the phone to call the order in before rejoining them at the table. Chris and his friends decided to go up to his room, while Jessie and Robin went to her room. Tyler stayed in the living room with Jamie and Nicky, because they were watching a show that he liked.
Ten minutes later, Richard and Meredith came over to the Hales to let them know that they were home. Michael told them about the pizza and brought them into the dining room where Eric was sitting. He gave them a small wave in greeting. They nodded and joined the other adults at the table.
"Is something going on," Richard asked.
"Maybe, we're not sure," Eric replied.
"Did something happen?" Richard continued.
Eric nodded, "Jamie saw some suspicious people at the movie theatre and got everyone back here," Eric said. He looked at his watch, "I'm going to try to get call Robert and see what his thoughts are," he told them as he got up from the table and went out into the backyard. The adults watched him as he paced back and forth while he talked.
Eric continued talking for another fifteen minutes before he put his cell away. He came back into the living room with a grim look. He came in and sat down before he said anything, "Robert thinks that you guys should stay at his estate. Can you contact your jobs and get some time off?" he asked the Grayson's.
They looked at each other. "We could say there's a family emergency," Richard offered.
Eric nodded, "That should work. Michael can you contact the other parents and have them join us here and also tell them about asking for time off for a family emergency of some kind. Robert is sending some SUV's for you guys. When you call the…"
Michael supplied their name, "Sanders'."
Eric nodded, "…Sanders', have them pack some clothes and other things for few days."
Richard and Meredith called Travis and had him go with them next door to pack what they needed.
Michael nodded, got up and made the call. He talked for a few minutes, hung up and then returned to the table. "Ben said they'd get some things together, call about the emergency and be here in a little while.
Eric nodded his acceptance. He and Heather got their kids to pack some things while they waited. Richard, Meredith and Travis returned carrying their things.
"Troy wasn't home yet, but he should be there soon. I left him a note to pack a few things and come over here as soon as he could," Richard told them.
The doorbell rang a few minutes later and Nicky answered it. It was the pizza delivery guy, he turned toward the dining room and called out, "Pizza's here!"
Michael came to the front door and paid for the pizzas. He and Nicky carried them back into the dining room. Nicky had obviously been heard as the sound of feet coming down the stairs heralded the arrival of everyone else.
Heather brought out paper plates and napkins and set them on the table, while Michael opened the boxes. Everyone lined up and chose their favorite kind of pizza. Heather and Michael had set out cans of soda for people to choose from. The adults stayed in the dining room, while the younger people went into the living room to watch TV while they ate.
Thirty minutes later, Ben and Alicia showed up and they were able to choose from what was left of the pizza before joining the other adults. About the time everyone at the table finished eating, Eric's cell rang.
He answered it, "Eric…..Okay, good, see you in a few." He closed it and looked at the others, "Robert's people will be here in a few minutes," he told them.
The adults nodded and got up to make sure everybody's things were ready to go when Robert's people got there. As they were preparing to go, Tyler spoke up, "Oh, I forgot something."
He turned and headed upstairs to his room. A few moments later, two things happened to cause everyone to freeze in their tracks. They heard Tyler scream from upstairs, and the sound of breaking glass as one of the teenage Lycans, Jon, came flying through the sliding glass door and crashed into the dining room table, knocking it and some of the chairs over. He didn't move or make any sound. They looked toward the backyard and they saw a huge wolfman standing in the backyard. He had a look of satisfaction on his face as he started to advance.