Sunlight filtered down through the branches of the trees above her as the dark hair girl lounged in the shade, a notebook in her lap and a pencil tucked behind her ear. As usual she was playing guitar but every time she made a mistake or something didn't sound right she would furrow her eyebrows together with a frown and try to work it out in the notebook. From the shade of the porch her father watched the woods on the other side of the yard for movement. You never knew when danger lurked within the shadows. They circled. Surrounded. It was not even going to be a fight. Why a whole pack was needed, most didn't understand. "I want this done by the books" One whispered. The leader.
"Attack to kill. The girl... the king wants to deal with her. Aim for the hunter". There were nods and soft, barely audible yips of affirmatives in reply.
They waited so impatient for over an hour; still they seemed none the wiser. It was all too easy to them. Like taking candy from a baby then kicking over the carriage in the middle of the road. As helpless as they were. With one loud howl that made everything silent for a moment, wolves ran out from the trees from all directions putting their plan to action. The hunter, still on the porch, widened his eyes at the howl and reached for his gun but it seemed not to matter. The enemy was everywhere. Raising his gun he took aim and shot at one of the wolves sending it convulsing and whining on the ground as he called out to his daughter whom sat frozen with shock, blue eyes wide. "Gabriel back into the house!" he shouted.
The girl, Gabriel blinked as she gathered her guitar and notebook into her arms as she moved to get up. The wolves where all still streaming by her, toward her father thus it came unnoticed when a large jet black wolf, bigger and more battle worn then the others slowly crept up on the girl, jaw's opening in a low, snarling growl. The Hunter managed to get off a few more shots injuring one and killing two others but that wouldn't stop them. Once one had gotten ahold of his arm the rest just piled on him. Gnawing and tearing as best they could, in fact so many were on him that some circled around to spare.
The hunter fought and writhed under the pile of wolves but it didn't last long. As one of the wolves bit into his shoulder and another bit into his abdomen he screamed in agony causing his daughter to break out into a run. "Papa! She screamed, dropping her things.
Just as she was about to lunge into the pile of wolves the jet black wolf tackled her. She cried out in surprise and fought back with teeth and nail but it seemed no use. It served only to anger the large wolf further. With a ferocious growl he tore into her, ripping chucks of flesh. She screamed louder and thrashed but as her blood began to stain her shirt and hair he bit her one last time on the side of her neck, not bad enough to instantly kill her or have her drown in her own blood but just enough to leave a mark before he backed off, howling for retreat.
The hunter was dead anyways, torn to shreds. The other wolves paused wondering why the sudden retreat but they hadn't realized he was dead. They had just been tearing. Seeing that their leader had called the return they didn't have a choice even if they didn't want to leave yet or weren't done or hadn't gotten a taste of flesh yet. They followed after him dispersing into the tree line leaving only the two bodies. Once the wolves had disappeared Gabriel laid in pain, crying. She wanted to get to her father but every time she moved it hurt excruciatingly. As the minutes past by however her body began to feel numb from blood loss and she passed out.
With a loud thud Gavin chopped a piece of wood in half with his hatchet. With another pause he picked up wood and set it down on the trunk of a fallen tree and with another heave he chopped that one.
His servant sat near him and with a cough she spoke. "Are you sure Luke can get there fast enough?" She asked.
"He's the only one that has the chance too." He said wiping his head.
"That magic he has is really something." She commented to the air as Gavin who went naturally back to his wood cutting got lost in his own thoughts.
His hands shook as he plunged the axe down. That girl, he was so close to, Gabriel. He wanted to protect her, maybe set her off in a good direction, so far nothing had gone like that at all. Then Adrian came to him. What he wouldn't give to be the one to get to save her.
"Gavin! Please. I know you don't want to just leave her. So please help me" Adrian grabbed him by the shoulder, he was begging but given the timeline he could do nothing. "I don't want to leave her but I can't get there in time" He spoke with a stony tone that was foreign to come from his mouth.
"I-I can..." Luke spoke up. "I have been learning a new spell. It's teleportation. It takes a bit out of me but I can get there and back."
Adrian smiled walking to him. "Please? Could you please save her?"
Gavin stood against the wall. "Luke if it takes too much out of you, you can-" he started and got cut off.
"I can do it! I'll get her and bring her back" He said in his stance as his eyes turned a bright blue. "I'll get her back Adrian." And with a flash he was gone with pages from books circling the air.
Gavin tightened his grip on the hatchet as he brought it down. He was unhinging. It was actually tearing him up to not be the one to get her and he couldn't understand why. If he went just for his satisfaction, it would be selfishness at the cost of her life, which was the last thing he wanted. That thought alone kept him from making any move.
Luke ran out from the tree line and it was apparent he had failed. He fell to his knees skimming the area then hit the ground once with the hatred of not being there. He could have prevented everything. Then he heard maybe a whimper maybe a groan. He turned his head to the hurt form of the girl. He stood up running over to her to check her condition. First feeling a pulse which was faint then examined her injuries with the slightest shift of his limbs. All this he could patch up with the supplies back at the house.
He took her in his arms as his hazel eyes turned a bright blue with a glow as the magic in his body rippled. With a flash all that was left were a couple spots of blood and circling leaves of brown and orange from the blooming autumn where they previously were. They collapsed back in the living area. Luke lay sprawled out catching his breath. "Adrian!" He yelled. "Gavin!" Alissa the servant who sat ever so faithful near Gavin heard his cry. "Gavin!" She called getting up to jog into the house.
Gavin dropped his hatchet and unrolled the sleeves of his white button shirt he had been wearing. Hearing Luke's call Adrian materialized in the doorway from upstairs. Upon seeing his sister he instantly went over, taking her from Luke. He held her in his arms, not caring that he was getting blood on his white button up shirt. "G-Gabriel" he whispered brushing hair from her pale blood splattered face.
He could hear the faint beating of her heart but it was growing weaker by the minute. His expression crumpled into a look of pain and anger. He hated the werewolves whom had done this to her. To their family. Most of all he hated their father for what he had done. His hatred over rode the sudden need to feed from the smell of blood. "You better not die Gabby. You hear me?" he said forcefully as if his will for her to live would keep her alive. "You better live".
Alissa went back into the basement in the kitchen to get rags and disinfectant. Gavin strode into the living area but froze at the doorway. "Is... is she...-?" he asked.
He was too afraid to breathe even if he could. Adrian raised his head to look at his best friend. "No" he replied stonily. "She's not dead but she very well could be. If she doesn't die now the change might kill her".
He was furious. Anyone whom knew him well would be able to read that in his ever changing eyes. At the moment they were a stormy grey, flecked here and there with gold. Gavin nodded. "I know.... Well lay her down" he said going back to help Alissa with the supplies and dropped them on the table behind the couch.
Gavin pushed off all the things that were on it to make room for them. Luke now stood up and continued over and with the help of Alissa who dabbed the cloths he pressed it against her injuries and covered her in bandages and disinfectant. He also had to take a pair of scissors which Alissa gave him and cut open some of her clothes for more access to bleeding and less restraint. Gavin couldn't watch the whole act, though knowing he'd seen much worse. He retreated into the library where he took a seat, resting his head in his hands.
It was dark with the thick blinds shut and lit by candles. It was supposed to be his place of soothing but at that moment it was his place of panic. Adrian had laid Gabriel down for them then quietly back off to let them work. Noticing Gavin leaving he followed and knocked on the study door with more force than he meant. His body was shaking with anger. "Come in..." Gavin answered pouring himself a small glass of wine.
It was vintage, he's had it a very long time but thought he'd save it for something special but right now his mind suggested he get drunk now." Adrian stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. "We have to make them pay" he said getting to the point. "I won't let them get away with what they did. And Arcadia
I don't want her dead but if she leads them to her by will and not because they did something to her I'll kill her myself". Gavin closed his eyes setting down his glass.
Mostly he tried to hold back the water that was building up as he pulled out a piece of paper. It was old, ripped and stained and had names crossed out on it. Gavin took a pen from his desk and scribbled more on it. It was completed until just now and he didn't seem at all happy about it. Adrian watched him, already knowing about his list and suddenly he felt guilty for bringing his problems to Gavin. "Hey, look I can deal with it. I'll take her somewhere else. I just need your help to get her away" he said awkwardly.
"No. It's fine. I'm just as mad for what they did to her as well. She's like a sister to me, just like you're a brother to me. It's family. Something I hold as first" He replied folding up the paper and slowly setting down the pen.
Adrian stared at him uncertainly for a moment then nodded. "Yes, of course" he replied then sighed.
He wanted to go back down stairs and be with his sister but he couldn't handle seeing her like that right now. Especially since he was both furious and hungry. After a slight awkward shuffle from the comment he had previously made, he downed his drink. "Well. I'm sure Luke and Alissa have patched her up. You should be there when she wakes up. Best she sees you then anyone else" he said.
"I can't face her alone" Adrian replied.
"As her brother, you have to." Gavin stated pouring himself more wine as apparent to how he was in this situation.
"This coming from the guy whose drinking himself silly?"
"This is only my second drink!" He protested. "Anyway. You as her brother have to talk to her about things. It's a family thing. I can't be the one, nor Luke or Alissa can. You have to."
"But you just said you were pretty much family" Adrian replied smirking. "We both have to check on "our" little sister Gav".
Gavin coughed from inhaling while drinking. "Now you're just trying to make it so you don't have to do it. I know if we both go down there, you'll just pin this on me when truth is I don't know one thing about the situation here. You've only said enough to have me worried and Luke to go."
"I won't pin it on you to talk to her but can't you just be there for moral support?" Adrian protested.
"It's not about moral support. I promise I'll come and talk with her as well but, you need to talk to her. Just you and her, not me or anyone else around and explain the situation to her, to comfort and tell her what she needs to know." He set down his cup, rubbing his head. "It's your job here. I can only try to support things. But first, you need to talk to her." Adrian groaned and slammed his head against the door. "Why the fuck does this have to be me?" he growled then opened the door to go do as Gavin said. "Prick, your just pussying out" he muttered.
"That's one way of putting it." He answered with a smug attitude then grew very serious. "But it has to be done". Adrian didn't reply as he went downstairs and into the living room.
"Alissa, Luke leave us" he said.
Sure enough Gabriel was awake on the couch but her gaze was unfocused and confused. She still looked pale to him and it worried him. Had she lost too much blood? Luke nodded and took Alissa by the arm, pulling her into the kitchen to make some soup while they talked. Adrian watched them go before moving over to kneel on the floor beside Gabriel. Hearing him approach she turned her head slowly to look at him. "Hey baby girl" he smiled weakly.
She stared at him unsmiling. The playful hot headed girl he had known was gone. His smile wavered at that thought but before he spoke again she spoke up. "Where's Papa?" she asked in a dead tone, her voice strained. "Where are we?"
Adrian sighed and shifted, taking her hand in his. How to tell her? She was still so weak and fragile that he was afraid it would just shock her more then it all already had. "Gabby, he's gone" he replied, his expression grim.
"They killed him and left you for dead. Luke just managed to get to you in time to bring you back here, to mine and Gavin's hide out". Gabriel frowned, eyebrows knitting together. "But Papa was just
" she trailed off as the memory of what had happened flashed into her mind, sending her back into her shocked state.
Adrian tried to get through to her again by talking to her and nudging her lightly but it was no use. She wouldn't respond. Sighing he stood and shook his head, walking into the kitchen. "Thanks guys, mind getting Gavin? Maybe she'll respond to him" he said defeated.
Luke looked at him to say something but nodded. He walked by Gabriel to get there and the presence around her seemed off from any other person he had meant. Luke knocked lightly before entering the library. "They want you to try talking to her." he said to him.
Gavin let out a sigh; set down his drink and got up to follow Luke from the room. Gavin slowly took a seat next to Gabriel while Luke watched. "Hey. Do you remember me this time?" He asked lightly.
Gabriel lay perfectly still as Gavin leaned back in the chair placed there for him. Adrian walked into the room to stand close by, watching the two of them. Gabriel seemed to register Gavin speaking, merely focusing on him for the briefest of moments before returning her attention to the wall. Adrian shifted impatiently. "I already told her about what happened...sort of. She closed down on me after and won't respond to me at all now" he commented.
Clearly he was stressed. Gavin's lips threatened a smile when she nodded. "Well, then what's my name if you remember me. Gabby, remember a couple years back? If you can, please snap out of this by holding onto those thoughts."
"You're Gavin" she replied and looked at him again.
She knew what words he meant but they slipped away from her like eels in water. "My Papa's dead" she commented in a strange tone as she smiled slightly. "They ripped him up. And then that big wolf....it was big and black with these god awful teeth....it attacked me". Adrian scowled and held himself in place. He knew exactly who she was talking about and if she was right, the change would be all that much worse for her. "I know. Listen, I'm going to kill that wolf. Just for you" He said resting his hand on her knee. "But to make things any better you need to snap out of being in a sleep like awakening. You need to get out of this shock. Would you like something to eat?" Gabriel turned her head to stare at him for a moment then shook her head. "I'm not hungry" she answered then looked down at his hand on her knee.
Feeling the coldness of his though seemed to draw her out a little. "You're cold
"she whispered then smiled slightly. "You're a vampire
and Adrian too". She looked up at her brother then away again. Gavin smiled.
"Yes we are. Can you please, eat for us? Eat something? Just a bite?"
Gabriel hesitated a moment then sighed. "Okay" she agreed. "But I don't want to move
"You don't have to." He answered.
As if on cue Alissa walked in the room with a bowl of hot soup and set it on a pull out table that Gavin kept close to the couch. Smelling the warm soup seemed to pique her hunger and she hungrily drove into it as if she hadn't eaten in weeks. Gavin smiled standing back up. "Adrian." He sat motioning to the seat.
Adrian smiled and took Gavin's seat. He was relieved Gavin was able to pull her out of her shell. Sitting down he watched Gabriel eat until she leaned back, closing her eyes. Food seemed to have helped clear her head. "So...what happens now?" she asked.
Adrian sighed and looked at his hands. "We focus on getting you healed up then we wait" he replied. "Gabby...you know what those wolves were, don't you?" Gabriel opened her eyes and looked at him, shaking her head. "No" she replied.
"I thought they were just normal wolves..." Adrian frowned.
"They were werewolves" he explained. "Dad messed up and made a deal with them that when you and Arcadia were born, they'd take you in exchange for keeping our family alive and as payment for Dad killing their princess". Gabriel froze, shock on her face as she stared at her brother in disbelief. So that was why they were always on the move. Always hiding. "You're lying" she replied and moved to stand up only to fall in pain.
Gritting her teeth she looked to Gavin and the others before looking back at Adrian. "That's not true Adrian. Papa loved us. He'd never do something so crazy!" Adrian didn't know what to say to that.
She wasn't around back when his father had been even more of a hunter then she had known him to be. He had in fact done things crazier then make a deal with the werewolves. He'd done many things to nearly get him killed. All this he knew because he had hunted with his father. It was the reason he was what he was now. "Gabriel listen to me" he said in a stony tone. "Dad lied to you and hid things. He didn't want you to know anything about our world. He didn't want you to know what he had done in hopes that if he only just kept running and hiding with you he'd save you but he failed. They killed him and got you anyways. You're going to be one of them in a few more days when the new moon raises and the change is doing to be even more painful than your wounds are now. Do you understand?" Gabriel stared at him, a torn look on her face.
She wanted to believe everything he said but part of her denied it. Didn't want to hear it. Looking at Gavin though she knew it wasn't something she could forget.
She had already known vampires had existed through Gavin and Adrian so why couldn't everything thing else that was supposed to be myths and fairytales. As she came to this conclusion her expression hardened. "Then I'd rather die instead of become one of the very things that killed Papa and hurt me. I don't want to be like Arcadia" she replied with confidence.
Gavin rubbed his temples. That's not what he wanted to hear at all, but then again nor was what he had originally thought. He took a liking interest in the girl because she was so much like him. She was. But she had already made a much different choice then he had. Half of him envied her, for not being such a coward, for not taking his way but the other half wanted to slap her across the face. How dare she just proclaim death is better? How would she even in the slightest know if she hadn't even changed yet? Gavin moved from the wall with a breath of anxiety. He quickly moved back out of the room and up the stairs calling down to Alissa. "Get my bath ready!" He commanded from echoes.
Alissa instantly snapped back from her dazed vision as if he had woken her up from a dream and hurried up the stairs after him. Luke knowing something had hit Gavin in a bad nerve fixed his hat in his very nervous and awkward state. "I'm sure he's just hungry."
Neither Adrian nor Gabriel replied. Both were in their own thoughts, trying to figure things out. Her words had upset and disturbed Adrian in a way he had never thought anything could. Sighing he too got up and left the room. "Get some sleep Gabby. We'll talk later" he said over his shoulder. Gabriel watched him go but said nothing.
She had made her choice and she was going to follow it.