Dark Love Part 4

XV

Three months passed, by a cold Friday night in December; a long line formed outside taking up the entire sidewalk. The only obstacle standing in their way was a blood red velvet rope clipped on two silver poles.

Everyone was talking about how a foreclosed building transformed into ‘Dark Palace’ an exclusive new nightclub. The building stood two stories tall, gray exterior with two gargoyle statues sitting on both sides of the entrance. People began cheering as Catherine, Armand, Lisa and Christopher came outside. The women wore black ‘Go Go’ boots and black dresses with long bell sleeves. Christopher and Armand wore black suits with red buttoned shirts underneath and black cowboy boots. Catherine stepped forward raising her hands, quieting the crowd.

“Good evening everyone. Welcome to Dark Palace. Please come into a new light.” She explained

She lifted the tope letting the crowd through the dark wooden doors. They stepped into the foyer black walls were lit up from the circular lights hanging above. In the main room, there were dark wooden tables, chairs with red cushions spread throughout. There was a large dance floor in the center of the room with the D.J. booth across from it.

A dark wooden bar stood to the left with matching bar stools. Music started playing through the sound system, people crowded the dance floor.

The two couples took a seat at the table in the far right hand corner. It was the perfect spot to observe the crowd.

“This is wicked Cat. We’ve gathered a large crowd.” Lisa commented

“It is wicked. I don’t sense any of our kind here.” Catherine replied

“Give them time love. They’ll come.” Armand chimed in

“Do you hear that?” Christopher asked

“Listen…” Catherine added

A girl’s voice was yelling at a male voice. He was trying to calm her down.

What the hell are you doing here?” She asked

I’ve come to take you home Mel. Everyone misses you.” He replied

Get bent! You charm kids my age. They stay under your spell, but if they try to leave you kill them. I know about Tonya.”

That was a different time. I’ve changed. I love you Mel.

Bugger off!

Melanie please come home.

Get real! Damien you never loved anyone in your life! Bugger off!

Catherine shot to her feet and ran out the door. Armand followed her, outside and appeared beside her. There were two figures standing on the sidewalk. The girl stood taller than Charlotte, dressed in a pair of black boots, blue jeans, black t-shirt with a black leather coat over it. Her blond hair was tied back into a braid with a braided black headband wrapped around her head.

“What is happening out here?” Catherine asked

The girl gasped and turned around.

“Aunt Catherine… Uncle Armand?” The girl whispered

“Melanie!” Catherine gasped

The man looked to be in his early twenties. His short dirty blond hair was slicked back. A pair of gray eyes stared at Melanie, as if Catherine and Armand weren’t there.

“Armand take Melanie inside.” Catherine suggested

Armand reached for her hand, but she brushed it away. She glared at him; he wore a pair of brown leather boots, blue jeans and black pea coat. In a swift move she punched him in the jaw, knocking him down to the ground. Catherine blurred and stood over him and pressed her boot on his chest.

“Come near her again and you’ll pay with your life.” She growled

She kicked him and then walked back inside. Armand had just pulled a chair over for Melanie to sit down, joining Lisa and Christopher. She walked over and sat beside Armand.

“Melanie, what the hell are you doing here?” Catherine paused; “Does anyone from the coven know you came here? More importantly how did you get here?”

Melanie took a deep breath, “I came here three months ago with Damien and his family. He was staying at the house, claimed he was traveling the world. After you left, the attacks had lessened; none of us told them where Charlotte was. Four months ago, the hunters killed my father. Mum lost it and became so protective of us. Damien fell in love with Tonya and convinced her to leave with him, see the world. I didn’t leave until a day later. Grandmother knows I left, she didn’t tell mum.” She explained

“I can’t imagine. Poor Alice…” Catherine sighed

“We didn’t try to contact you. We figured it would be best if you stayed here, coming home would have been a bad idea.” Melanie continued

“Where’s Tonya?” Armand asked

“I don’t know. Damien kept her somewhere else and I couldn’t find her.” Melanie replied

“You’re safe now. We’ll take you back to our hotel suite.” Catherine chimed in

“You go Cat, we’ll stay here.” Armand interrupted

“I’ll see you back at the room.” Catherine replied

Melanie got up, Catherine followed and they began walking out through the sea of people.

“She’s your niece?” Lisa asked

Armand nodded, “Tonya is her twin sister.” He replied

As they stepped outside, Catherine looked over to see to bite marks on Melanie’s neck.

“Did that bloke turn you?” She asked

Melanie didn’t answer, except with a blood tainted tear running down her cheek.

“Mel, you’re only sixteen.” Catherine paused

“It was my choice. Rebelling against mum, she was more like the man; constantly driving me and Tonya insane. We cracked.” She replied

“I can understand. I know Charlotte will be happy to see you.”

“She’s still alive?”

Catherine nodded as she took Melanie by the hand. They blurred down the street and through the hotel entrance into the elevator. It went up to their floor; Catherine walked down the hall and unlocked the door. Faith was washing dishes; Charlotte and Sebastian were sitting on the couch working on homework.

“Melanie!” Charlotte shouted

She got up and ran into her cousin’s arms. Melanie twirled her around and then put her down.

“Melanie…” Faith gasped

They hugged as Catherine shut the door behind her. Sebastian looked up from his work and smiled.

“What are you doing here?” Charlotte asked

“It’s a long story love. Melanie is going to live with us.” Catherine replied

“Where’s Tonya?”

“She’s on vacation with a friend of hers.” Melanie replied

“Wicked…”

“Who’s your friend Charlotte?” Melanie asked

“Mel this is my best friend Sebastian. Sebastian this is my cousin Melanie.” Charlotte replied

“Hello Melanie.” Sebastian waved

“Hello.” Melanie replied

Charlotte rejoined Sebastian to finish their homework. Melanie took her coat off, fixing her long sleeve black t-shirt underneath. She sat down at the dining room table, Catherine sat next to her.

“You have a wicked nightclub Aunt Cat.” She commented

“Thanks Mel. Uncle Armand and I expect you to obey our rules. Be in bed or this suite before sunrise. Feed upon the guilty and never the innocent. And most of all you will not turn anyone, not without mine or Uncle Armand’s permission. Do you understand?” Catherine replied

“Right on.”

Catherine hugged her tightly. Charlotte and Sebastian came over and sat across from them. Faith brought over a deck of cards to play. By midnight, Charlotte and Sebastian fell asleep on the couch in each other’s arms. Melanie, Faith, and Catherine were still sitting at the table.

“He really cares about her.” Melanie said

“I don’t think she’d ever tell us. We know she feels the same for him too.” Catherine laughed

“It’d be a miracle if she did.” Faith chimed in

“Does she know?” Melanie asked

“No…” they replied together

“Gee whiz; when were you planning on telling her?”

“Uncle Armand and I don’t have the heart to tell her. In six more years she’ll be gone. We promised her, she would have a happy life. If we told her now if would crush her.” Catherine continued

Melanie fell silent as Catherine looked over at Charlotte.

“It’s alright Mel.”

Armand walked in and joined them at the table.

“How did we do this evening?” Catherine asked

“Very groovy; made a load of mulah tonight. We’ll have Phil deposit it tomorrow morning.” He replied

“Groovy.” Catherine whispered

“Lisa and Christopher mention possibly meeting with a real estate agent friend of theirs. And maybe we could move out of the hotel.” He continued

“Right on.”

By six am everyone had gone to bed, Melanie came out of Catherine and Armand’s room, shutting the door behind her. Catherine had lent her a white nightgown; she sat down on the floor burying her head into her hands. Charlotte woke up and slipped out of Sebastian’s arms, walked over and sat beside her cousin.

“What are you doing up?” Charlotte asked in a low whisper

“I couldn’t sleep.” Melanie paused; “I missed you Charlotte.”

“I missed you too Melanie.”

Melanie put her arm around Charlotte’s shoulder and pulled her close. Charlotte looked up and saw bite marks on her neck.

“Who turned you?”

“Damien… it was a lowdown dirty trick of his.”

“Why?”

“He’s like Peter Pan, a little boy who doesn’t want to grow up.”

Charlotte giggled as Melanie ran her fingers through her cousin’s hair.

“Did he turn Tonya too?”

“I don’t know. I hope he didn’t.”

“Me too…”

She yawned and fell asleep in Melanie’s lap. Melanie used her powers and put her back on the couch next to Sebastian. She got to her feet and went back to bed. Sebastian wrapped his arms around Charlotte again, pulling her close to him.

“Is she okay?” He asked

Charlotte turned over to face him, leaning her head upon his chest.

“She will be.” She replied

“Cool.”

XVI

Six years passed, ‘Dark Palace’ became the most popular nightclubs for mortals and immortals in the city. With Lisa and Christopher’s help, the Colemans moved into a restored ‘Victorian’ mansion outside of the city. Both families moved in, the Coleman family could finally call this place home. Catherine and Armand had formed their coven that co-existed with mortals. Like chameleons they gradually blended in and passed for human. Other members remained in the city. With a strong legacy formed they wanted to pass it onto Charlotte.

She stood outside on her white marble balcony, wearing a dark blue robe. The sun had begun to set, coloring the sky in shades of blue and orange. She turned and walked through the two rectangular glass doors. They closed behind her as she sat down on her bed. Her eyes began to wonder around the soft white walls and off-white carpet. A blue comforter and white sheets beneath covered her four post bed. A white wardrobe with blue trim stood the left and a matching vanity sat on the right. There was a knock on the door, Catherine walked in wearing a blood red halter dress.

“Hey mum.” Charlotte whispered

“Hey Charlotte, could we talk?” Catherine replied

Charlotte gestured for her to sit down; her mother smiled and sat down next to her.

“Do you remember when I told you that you were unique?” Catherine asked

“I do; we were on the plane.” Charlotte replied

“Charlotte I meant it. The night you were born Grandmother turned me, I was losing a lot of blood and she saved me. Faith didn’t cut the umbilical cord and some of Grandmother’s blood was passed onto you. My love you are half mortal and half vampire; a ‘half breed’. You were the first born in over a century. Most grew at an accelerated rate, but it slowed down after starting puberty. By the time one would turn eighteen, they would die. Charlotte you are also the first to survive and we couldn’t be happier to spend forever with you.”

Charlotte smiled as tears formed in her eyes. Catherine hugged her daughter tightly. Slowly Charlotte leaned back wiping the tears off her cheeks.

“What happens tonight?” She asked

“Tonight, if you choose, I’ll turn and make you a full vampire. We want to pass this coven onto you.” Armand replied appearing in the entrance way

“Mum, dad, I’ll do it.”

“Are you sure love?” Catherine asked

Charlotte nodded; Catherine kissed the top of her head and walked over to Armand, who put his arm around her.

“We’ll let you get dressed and ready.” Armand said

The door shut and she got up and walked over to her wardrobe. She opened the doors and pulled out a white dress with short mesh sleeves. Her robe fell to the floor, but flew up and lay out on her bed. She slipped on the dress and took out a pair of matching half heeled strappy sandals. There was another knock on her door as she finished braiding her hair. Melanie walked in wearing a short sleeved blue dress with white floral pattern.

“Are you ready?” She asked

“I am…” Charlotte replied

Melanie took her by the hand leading her out into the hallway. Small candle chandelier lights lined both sides of the café colored walls. The dark wooden floor ran throughout the entire house except for the bathrooms which had white marble tiles.

They came downstairs and walked into the throne room. A large brass crystal chandelier hung above in the center of the room making the off-white walls glow. A small group of men and women turned to see the girls as they stood in the entrance way. They cleared a path, leading to Catherine and Armand. Both stood in front of three mahogany thrones with dark green cushions. Charlotte walked forward and bowed before her parents.

“Fellow coven members, we are gathered her tonight to celebrate our daughter Charlotte.” Armand explained

“We’re also here celebrating this coven. Armand and I left England to co-exist amongst mortals. And we have achieved it; thanks to you all.” Catherine continued

The crowd applauded as Charlotte stood by her mother.

“Charlotte are you ready?” Armand asked

“I am father…” Charlotte replied

Catherine took her by the hand and hugged her. Slowly she leaned in towards her neck. Her fangs grew and pierced the skin. Charlotte’s arms wrapped around her mother’s back. Catherine stopped when Charlotte’s heartbeat slowed down, near death.

She sat her in the center throne. Using her nail she cut her wrist and brought it to Charlotte’s mouth.

“Drink…live forever…” Catherine whispered

Charlotte’s hands grasped her mother’s wrist and began to drink. Slowly Catherine pulled her wrist away, Charlotte began gasping for air. She leaned forward clutching her stomach and moaning in pain. Her skin paled and her hair darkened. She sat up and slowly got to her feet. She smiled showing her new fangs.

The crowd applauded as a string quartet that set up in the left corner of the room; began to play. Charlotte hugged her parents tightly as some people began to dance.

“I know there is a great responsibility ahead of me.” She commented

“We believe you’re ready love.” Catherine replied

“Charlotte…” A male voice called

She turned to see a young man walking up to her. He wore a black tuxedo with a white buttoned shirt underneath. His long black hair was tied back into a ponytail, as a pair of blue eyes met hers.

“Sebastian…” She whispered

He took her into his arms twirling her around. As she felt her feet touch the floor, she took off her shoes. She sent them flying to sit underneath her throne. He took her hand leading her onto the dance floor. She pulled him close as they started to dance.

“Gee whiz you’re late.” She whispered

“I’m sorry. The setup of the new safe house took longer than expected. I promised you the first dance didn’t I?” He replied

“It’s cool…”

“So how does it feel?”

“It feels wicked and freaky.”

“Wicked? Freaky?”

“I don’t know. This is all new to me to be a leader of this coven.”

“You’ll be groovy.”

Catherine walked up to the couple, placing a hand on Charlotte’s shoulder.

“I hate to interrupt. Charlotte, get your shoes. You need to meet with the council.” Catherine whispered

“Alright; you still owe me a dance Sebastian.” Charlotte replied

She held out her hand, her shoes flew and landed right at her feet. After she slipped them on, Catherine led her out of the ballroom and across the hall into a conference room. There was a large round table in the center surrounded by brown leather chairs on wheels.

Armand walked in leading in a group of men and women. Charlotte recognized Christopher, Lisa; the other two men had blond hair and blue eyes, while the other two women were brunettes. Charlotte sat in between her parents, while everyone else took a seat.

“Fellow council members, thank you for taking the time to meet.” Catherine began

“We present to you, the next ruler of our coven, Princess Charlotte. Charlotte these are Mercedes, Randolph, Leah, and you already know Chris and Lisa.” Armand continued

He pointed to each council member, Charlotte gave them a nod.

“Congratulations Charlotte; I’m Mercedes; we are honored to be serving with you.” A woman continued

She stood up, wearing a strapless black dress with a large ruffle going across her chest. Her brown hair was loose and she had dark green eyes.


“Thank you Mercedes. What is your position on the council?” Charlotte replied

“I am the liaison. I keep the communication between your parents and the council.”

“If any issue comes up, call Mercedes. She will arrange a meeting.” Catherine explained

Charlotte nodded, the conversation continued, but she began to feel tired. Catherine adjourned the meeting. She took Charlotte out of the room.

“I’m hungry…” Charlotte whispered

“Come darling let me show you how to feed.” Catherine replied

The front door opened, Melanie was leaning against the wall staring up at the sky.

“Ready?” She asked

They nodded, Melanie held out her hand, Charlotte took Melanie’s and Catherine took Charlotte’s. Slowly they rose into the air, Charlotte’s eyes widened in excitement. She looked down seeing the trees disappear and buildings replace them. They landed in Central Park; it was the perfect hunting ground.

Since they moved to New York, newspapers reported on murders, rapes, and gang wars; happening in the park. The articles all said ‘Do no go out to Central Park alone at night.” Charlotte looked around and spotted a man sitting on a bench. She blurred and appeared behind him.

His head was shaved and he wore brown shoes, jeans, and blue t-shirt. Catherine appeared next to her. Charlotte leaned down, her fangs grew and she sank her fangs into his neck. He struggled beneath her; she used her powers to hold him still.

“Slowly Charlotte… stop before his heart stops…” Catherine whispered

The man’s body went limp, Charlotte straightened up. She sighed in relief letting the blood circulate through her body. Melanie walked up to them licking blood off her lips.

“You two stay here. I’ll be right back.” Catherine commented

She blurred down the path, Melanie and Charlotte took a seat on another bench.

“How does it feel?” Melanie asked

XVII

“It feels different; in a good way. Mum told me about being born a half breed.” Charlotte replied

“We were all freaked out, unsure how long you were going to live. But this is wicked, you are the first one to survive and be turned into a full vampire.”

Charlotte nodded as Catherine returned with a concerned look on her face.

“What’s wrong Aunt Cat?” Melanie asked

“It’s nothing; let’s go home.” Catherine replied

They joined hands and rose into the air to fly home. The woods soon replaced the buildings as the mansion appeared in the distance. It’s dark gray bricks and black roof, glowed in the moon’s light as they landed at the front door. The dark wooden door opened and they walked inside, Armand was coming downstairs with Mercedes.

“Cat what’s up?” He asked

“We need to talk.” She replied

“Should I stay?” Mercedes asked

“Yes.” Catherine paused; “Charlotte please excuse us.”

“Sure.”

The trio went into the conference room, before Charlotte could go inside Sebastian came out from the ballroom. He was still dressed in his tux.

“I still owe you a dance, my lady.” He whispered

“You do kind sire.” Charlotte replied

He offered her his arm, she looped it through and he led her into the ballroom. The quartet began to play. They walked into the center of the room and began to dance. In the conference room, Catherine, Armand, and Mercedes sat at the end of the table away from the door.

“What’s wrong Cat?” Armand asked

“I took Charlotte and Melanie to Central Park to feed. After Charlotte claimed her first victim, I left them and found a drunken hobo leaning up against an oak tree. Once I finished, I noticed I was by the fifty-seventh street entrance. I looked over and I thought I saw Victor getting out of a cab with a young woman.” Catherine replied

“How could he have found out we’re here?”

“I’m not sure. I know my parents wouldn’t say anything, or anyone from the coven.”

“Excuse me, who is Victor?” Mercedes asked

“We’re sorry Mercedes. Victor is my father and a very powerful warlock. Before we left London he began to gather other witches, wizards, who hated vampires. They would hunt us, like animals, making it hard for us to go out to feed or enjoy a night out.” Armand replied

“It’s cool. So you think he’s here in the city?” Mercedes asked

“I think so. I say we send someone out to see if my suspicion is true.” Catherine continued

“I agree. We do not want to alarm anyone, especially Charlotte. My father thinks she was born evil, because she was born a half breed.” Armand added

“The council will be leaving tomorrow night, if your tracker finds anything let me know.” Mercedes commented

“We will.” Catherine and Armand replied together

Back in the ballroom, Charlotte leaned her head on Sebastian’s shoulder. He pulled her close to him.

“You’re quiet tonight.” He commented

“It’s been a heavy day.” She sighed

“Charlotte…”

She leaned back to look up at him. The music continued to play, as a smiled appeared on their faces. He cupped her face and leaned down pressing his lips against hers. Her hands reached up to play with his hair, running it through her fingers.

They stepped back, he signaled for the music to stop. “Thank you…” He said. The musicians began to pack up their belongings.

“I love you Sebastian.” She whispered

“I love you too.” He replied

She took him by the hand leading him out into the hallway. A chill ran up her spine making her stop in front of the stairs. She let go of his hand and began walking toward the front door. It opened, she stepped out, and Sebastian came up behind her.

“What’s wrong?” He asked

“Someone’s out there.” She replied

A gun shot broke the silence. Charlotte waved her hand sending Sebastian flying backwards. He landed on the stairs and watched the door slam shut. A bullet flew out of the darkness and stopped an inch from her face. It fell to the ground, Charlotte stepped forward.

“Have you come to wish me happy birthday Grandfather?” Charlotte asked

“You still have the curiosity of a child. It’s sickening.” Victor commented

“Sickening? Get bent old man.”

Victor stepped out from the shadows, dressed in a gray suit. His peppered hair was slicked back. The door opened, Armand and Catherine got in front of their daughter.

“Hello… Father…” Armand said through girted teeth

“So you’ve run away to America. I give you and your family credit. You had some of the hunters chasing their tails back home. What has that demon done to you?” Victor replied

“It was my choice. I wasn’t forced…”

“Bullocks! She seduced you and let that evil child into this world.”

“She’s not evil!” Catherine hissed

Victor was going to reply, until his gun came out of its holster. It landed in Charlotte’s hands, she clasped it tightly. She smiled as her index fingers found the trigger. Armand and Catherine stepped aside letting Charlotte come forward.

She aimed at his feet and fired two shots. He leaped into the air trying to dodge, but the second bullet hit his right leg. The bullet burst into flames. He screamed, but then took a vile out of his pocket. It fell to the ground; black smoke surrounded all of them.

The smoke cleared and Victor had disappeared. They went back inside; Charlotte walked over to Sebastian and hugged him.

“He knows we’re here.” Catherine sighed

“We’re not going to worry the entire coven.” Armand commented

“I still want to send someone to follow him.”

“Fine.”

Sebastian had taken Charlotte upstairs to her room. They walked in; she sat down on her bed.

“Are you alright?” She asked

“Yeah I’m just groovy. Right after I was sent flying back first in the stairs. What the hell happened?”

“My Grandfather, found us. He’s after me, thinks I’m evil. He’s threatened my family. When I was ten he came after me. That’s why we left London, because of me.”

“This is Armand’s Father?”

Charlotte nodded, “They weren’t being overprotective for nothing.” She commented

“Charlotte you’re not evil. You’re the grooviest and beautiful woman I’ve ever known.”

He sat down beside her, putting his arm around her. She leaned her head upon his shoulder as he held her tight. She looked up at him and their eyes met. Her hand wrapped around the back of his neck, she pulled him forward pressing her lips against his. His hands rose up to cup her face.

Her tongue parted his lips he responded by massaging her with his. They lied down, her on top of him. His hands untied her dress the straps fell forward revealing her breasts. He pushed the dress off, it fell onto the floor. She broke their kiss and slipped off his tuxedo jacket. Her lips found his neck while her hands unbuttoned his shirt. He moaned and growled as she ripped the shirt off.

In a quick move, he flipped her onto her back. She lied before him, wearing a pair of blue panties; he slipped them off and threw them over his shoulder. He stood up and took off his trousers and boxer shorts and lied down next to her. He began placing kisses upon her neck and moved down to her breasts. She moaned as his mouth found her nipple, his tongue licking it. His hand spread her legs apart, she gasped, feeling his fingers inside her. She arched back, feeling her fangs grow as his fingers slowly moved in and out. He moved to over to her other breast and she leaned in and bit into his shoulder. A muffled moan escaped his mouth as she began to lick up the blood from the wound.

She let go of his shoulder to meet his lips again. He got on top of her and entered slowly, she wrapped her legs around him. She broke their kiss, he began to move slowly, and she moaned urging him to continue. Her nails dug into his back, his speed increased, she screamed in ecstasy as her orgasm began to build. They climaxed together and lied on the bed; she leaned up against him, her leg draped over his.

Elsewhere Catherine sat on a gray marble bench, outside in the backyard staring up at the night sky. The crescent moon had risen higher as the stars shined bright around it. Armand sat down beside her, putting his arm around her waist.

“She has agreed to follow him.” He commented

“When will she start?” She asked

“I could start tonight if you like Aunt Cat.” Melanie replied

She appeared in front of them with a smile on her face.

“No Melanie; start tomorrow night. Be back here before sunrise, to report what you have found.” Catherine continued

“If you don’t make it back, here is the key to the new safe house.” Armand added

“Alright…” Melanie sighed

Armand reached into his back pant pocket and tossed Melanie a key with a black leather braided rope.

“Armand, Catherine…” Faith called

They turned to see her wearing a short sleeved long green dress.

“Faith what’s going on?” Catherine asked

“I…” She paused

She stared down at the ground; her hair fell in front of her face. Her cheeks turned a little red.

“I want to be made.” She continued

“Are you sure?” Armand asked

Faith nodded, “I have taken care of many children since I was fourteen. I moved all over the United States and Europe. If any more children come here, I can care and protect them.”

Melanie looked at her Uncle and Aunt, a smile on her face. Armand and Catherine exchanged looks and then turned back to Faith.

“We’ll give you some privacy.” Catherine commented

“Please stay…” Faith whispered

Armand and Catherine remained seated. Melanie came up behind Faith, pushing her hair behind her ears. She opened her mouth and bit into Faith’s neck. She gasped, closed her eyes, her body began to weaken. Melanie used her powers to hold her up.

Slowly she pulled away, levitated Faith onto her back. She bit into her wrist, came up by Faith’s head. Faith lifted her head, her lips wrapped around Melanie’s wrist. She began to drink her hand holding onto Melanie’s arm.

“I had a feeling she would ask.” Armand whispered

“She’s had a lot of time to make the choice.” Catherine added

He nodded in agreement, taking her hand into his. Melanie pulled her wrist away, letting the wound heal. Faith began to gasp for air; she clutched her stomach, as her body writhed in pain. Her body went limp; Melanie put her on the ground. Her eyes opened and she stood up.

“Thank you Mel.” She whispered

“You’re welcome...” Melanie replied

XVIII

Back in Charlotte’s room, Sebastian held Charlotte close to him. She placed kisses upon his neck.

“I don’t know if my parents are gonna freak out or be totally groovy with this.” She commented

“I think they’ll be cool. We’ve known each other for six years. I love you Charlotte.” He replied

She turned onto her stomach leaning on her elbows. He rested his chin on her back.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m worried; now that Victor knows where we are he won’t stop.”

Before he could reply there was a knock at her door. A draw opened, a gray and black t-shirt came out. They put them on; his boxer shorts flew up from the floor and into his hand. He put them on as the door opened.

“Mel what’s up?” Charlotte asked

“I turned Faith, oh, and Janet is on the phone for you.” She replied

Charlotte got up her t-shirt fell to her knees. She walked out into the hall and downstairs. The phone sat on a dark wooden table outside the conference room.

“Hi Janet! What’s happening?” Charlotte asked

“Happy Birthday!” Janet cheered

“Thank you!”

“We have to get down and boogie.”

“Tomorrow night meet outside Dark Palace.”

“Groovy Kristen and I will see you tomorrow.”

Charlotte hung up and went back upstairs. Melanie was leaning against the doorway of Charlotte’s room.

“It’s wicked you kept in touch. Even after moving out here.” Melanie commented

“It is; you turned Faith?” Charlotte replied

Melanie nodded, “She decided it was time. Grandmother had offered it before you were born, but she turned it down.”

“Groovy.” Sebastian commented

“What will be really groovy is seeing Janet and Kristen tomorrow night.” Charlotte continued

“I’m heading out.” Melanie said

“To look for Tonya?” Charlotte asked

“If I find Damien I’ll make him talk.” Melanie growled

“We’ll go with you.” Sebastian suggested

“No.” Melanie snapped back; “It’s better that I go alone.”

“C’mon Mel; we’d probably cover more ground.” Charlotte said

Melanie sighed, “Fine, but we stick together. Be ready in fifteen minutes.”

Sebastian got up, picked up the pieces of his tuxedo. He walked out down the hall to his room. Charlotte waved her hand, shutting the door behind him. She walked over to her wardrobe, opened the doors and pulled out a pair of black pants, black t-shirt, and black boots. Sebastian walked in as she hooked her bra and was slipping on her t-shirt.

He had changed into a pair of jeans and blue t-shirt, Melanie appeared behind him. She had changed into a pair of dark blue jeans, blood red t-shirt.

“Let’s go.” She said

They walked downstairs and out the front door. Melanie led them to the side of the house; she reached into her pants pocket and took out a set of keys. They opened the doors to a tan Dodge Aspen Coupe. Charlotte folded the seat down and Sebastian got into the back. Melanie got into the driver’s seat and started the car.

Slowly they pulled away from the mansion.

“When did you learn how to drive?” Charlotte asked

“My dad taught me, though mum wasn’t too pleased. She thought I would steal one of their cars and escape.” Melanie replied

“But you didn’t?” Sebastian asked

“No. Please don’t tell Uncle Armand and Cat, I left with my boyfriend named Nick.” Melanie continued

“Boyfriend? Gee whiz did I miss a lot after we left home.” Charlotte commented

“Where is Nick now?” Sebastian asked

“We’re meeting him tonight. It’s a long story.” Melanie replied

They arrived in the city and parked on West Tenth Street and Fifth Avenue.

“C’mon he’s waiting at the corner.” Melanie commanded

A teenage boy was leaning up against a metal fence waiting. His brown hair was buzzed cut; pair of green eyes looked up and down the street. He was Melanie’s height, muscular and wore brown biker boots, blue jeans and short sleeved red plaid shirt.

“Nick…” Melanie called

“Mel… who are your friends?” Nick replied

“This is my cousin Charlotte and her boyfriend Sebastian. Guys this is my boyfriend Nick Greystone.” Melanie continued

“It’s nice to meet you. Melanie told me about you two.” Nick said

“Same here…” Charlotte replied

They shook hands and started walking down Fifth Avenue.

“I picked up her scent here. It’s shocking he let her out.” Nick explained

“Damien turned you too?” Charlotte asked

“He did; he saved me, I was dying from cancer.” Nick replied

“The one good thing I ever saw him do.” Melanie muttered

They walked to the end of the block; Melanie looked up and down the street.

“She’s been here recently.” She whispered

Melanie started walking down the street; the others followed, but stayed a few feet behind. There were mostly apartment complexes and some small markets. She stopped in front of an entrance to a community garden. Her eyes lit up to smell her sister’s scent. Her powers unlocked the chain linked fence gate; there were different rows of flowers and vegetables.

She followed the small dirt path to the end where she saw a small gazebo. Its blue exterior shined in the moonlight, Tonya sat on the bench staring up at the moon.

“Tonya…” Melanie whispered

“You shouldn’t be here Mel.” Tonya replied

“Why? What has Damien done to you?”

Tonya didn’t answer. Her long brown hair was braided down her back, she wore a purple t-shirt and bell bottom jeans with brown sandals.

“Tonya come on I’m taking you to Aunt Cat and Uncle Armand.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re family and we should try to stick together.” Charlotte chimed in

She appeared standing next to Melanie. Tonya got to her feet and stared at her cousin.

“Charlotte? How?” She asked

“I survived; come on Tonya come home with us and we can take care of you.” Charlotte replied

“Alright…” Tonya whispered

The three girls hugged and were turning to leave when Damien appeared.

“Going somewhere love?” Damien asked

He appeared wearing a brown leather jacket, white shirt underneath and jeans.

“She’s coming with us.” Charlotte replied

“No; she’s staying with me. I need her.”

Charlotte growled her eyes widened and Damien flew backwards. They heard the sound of metal garbage cans crashing in the distance. Sebastian and Nick appeared as the three girls walked up to them.

“We need to get back now.” Melanie explained

They nodded in agreement and ran back the way they came. When they reached the car, the doors unlocked. Sebastian, Charlotte, and Tonya got in the back seat. Melanie and Nick sat up front.

She put the key into the ignition. Slowly they joined traffic that was leaving the city. They rode in silence; Melanie held back many months’ worth of questions. She would look at her through the rearview mirror. Tonya stared out the window, a tear rolled down her cheek. They arrived at the mansion; Melanie dropped everyone off at the front door and went to park.

As they walked inside, Catherine and Armand appeared at the top of the stairs.

“Tonya?” Catherine asked

“Hello Aunt Cat, Uncle Armand…” Tonya whispered

“Who is your friend?” Armand asked pointing at Nick

“Let’s go outside to talk.” Charlotte suggested

She led them outside into the courtyard. They sat down on the grass in a circle.

“Tonya what happened?” Armand asked

“I thought Damien and I were in love. In the beginning he treated me like a queen. The family formed after we left home. They were made up of runaways from all over the United States. Many times Damien wanted to turn me, but I kept saying no. After coming here he kept me isolated from everyone. He locked me in a basement of the building we were living in. Over time he started letting me come up and have contact with the family. He also let me go out and explore the city. Tonight I had enough and left. I wanted to find Melanie. Mel I’m so sorry for not listening.” Tonya replied

Melanie hugged her sister tightly, “It’s cool; the months spent searching finally paid off.” Melanie whispered

“Whose is your friend Mel?” Catherine asked

“This is Nick Greystone. He’s my boyfriend, we met back home. I left with him, the day after Tonya and Damien left.” Melanie replied

“Damien turned me; he saved me, I was diagnosed with cancer.” Nick chimed in

“Still sounds coldhearted to me…” Charlotte muttered

“Welcome Nick and welcome home Tonya. Let’s show you around the mansion.”

After being given the tour of the house, Tonya was shown to her room and went to bed.

“Gee whiz Mel, she didn’t’ look like she slept in days.” Charlotte commented

“That monster will pay for what he did to her.” Melanie replied

“We’ll find him Mel.” Nick chimed in

He put his arm around her, she smiled. They spent the rest of the night talking right before sunrise. Nick stayed in Melanie’s room, Sebastian stayed with Charlotte.

The next night Phil drove Charlotte, Sebastian, Melanie and Nick to ‘Dark Palace’. They arrived fifteen minutes before the nightclub opened. Both Sebastian and Charlotte’s parents were having a meeting with the staff, explaining drink specials along with the appetizers being served.

Slowly a line formed outside, including Kristen and Janet. Charlotte came out, the crowd cheered. She unhooked the rope and the doors opened. Kristen and Janet walked up and hugged their friend.

“Happy birthday Charlotte!” They said together

“Thank you girls, c’mon; let’s get down and boogie!” Charlotte replied

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