Broken Home by wickedpurrz

Summary: This is the sequal to Finding Home and the second part in the series. You need to have read it first or you'll be a little confused in this one. UPDATE!
Categories: David, Dwayne, Laddie, Marko, Paul, Star, Original Character
Characters: Alan Frog, David, Dwayne, Edgar Frog, Laddie, Lucy Emerson, Maria, Marko, Max, Michael Emerson, OC: Female, Paul, Sam Emerson, Star
Genres: Angst, Drama, General, Humour, Romance, Supernatural
Pairing(s): Withheld
Warnings: Adult Themes, Character Death, Domestic Violence, Drug Use, Heavy Violence, Mild Violence, Other potentially disturbing content
Challenges: None
Series: Home Sweet Home
Chapters: 11 Completed: Yes Word count: 27919 Read: 20618 Published: 12 Nov 2007 Updated: 29 Dec 2007
Story Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: This is the second part in the Home series. It takes place during Poe's absence from the boys' lives after she found out one of them was responsible for her brother's death.
Pairing: No set pairings as usual though this fic may have male/male sex scenes, I'm not sure yet 100%
Feedback: love the feedback, it keeps me writing! Constructive criticism is appreciated. =]
Author's Notes: This story sadly follows events that take place in the film, told from the vampire POV. We're in for a some angsty times ya'll but again I promise all will be smoothed out and made better!! I'm sorry. I been feeling the guilt about this section since day one believe me but my muse is pretty damn adamant about it all happening. She always was a sadistic biatch.

1. She's Gone by wickedpurrz

2. Orders by wickedpurrz

3. Nana Jane by wickedpurrz

4. Marko, what's going on? by wickedpurrz

5. Beachfront Reunion by wickedpurrz

6. Issue of Pack by wickedpurrz

7. Dark Dawn by wickedpurrz

8. Wreckage by wickedpurrz

9. Pieces and SuperGlue by wickedpurrz

10. Painful Hopes by wickedpurrz

11. Broken Sun by wickedpurrz


She's Gone by wickedpurrz

Author's Notes:
Sorry this one is a little short. The next should be up soon. =]
Paul was the first one out of the sleeping chamber, leaving his spot of rest a little before the sun set completely. He wanted to find out where Poe had spent her night, why she'd come in smelling of tears and why she hadn't kissed any of them good night. If she was mad at him or the others then he wanted to know why. He didn't like getting the stink eye and not knowing what he did to deserve it. It brought back too many childhood memories.

The sight of the empty bed brought him up short. Not once since she'd started sleeping in her bed had she not been in it when they woke up. She usually waited for the first of them to come in for morning nookie or at least a make out session. Something was not right with this picture. He went down the tunnel to the bathing cavern, thinking maybe she wanted a bath or was hiding again. He was met with darkness and no sign of her.

“Ok, what the hell?”

He came back out, rechecking Laddie's bed and even looking in with Star. Both were lacking the person he sought. He ignored the rising desire to freak out, his eyes falling on two bottles of crimson fluid sitting on the cracked coffee table with a note leaning on them. He snatched it up seeing the words To My Family written on the front. He unfolded the paper, reading the note with ever widening eyes. Now it was time to freak out.

“DAVID!” He shouted, stomping to the cavern entrance, not caring that he woke the others. “David, wake the fuck up and get out here!”

His Sire emerged amidst the loud cursing of his brothers. “What the fuck? Why are you yelling?”

“Poe's gone.”

That caught Dwayne's yawning attention as well as Laddie and Star's. “What do you mean she's gone? Gone where?”

David wasn't one to take another's word for anything. He strode over to Poe's bed himself, running his hands through the blankets and over the mattress. He frowned at the lack of heat in them. He went back to the others who grouped at the fountain with a shake of his head, stepping around the two halfs as they joined them.

“Her bed's ice cold, she hasn't been in it for at least a half hour. Where could she go? The sun's still out.”

“Barely. Any of us could go out there now if we had on enough clothes and be fine.”

“I always wondered if the sun actually burned her but guys listen. She left this note. To My Pack, I'm sorry you had to wake up without me here today but I had to go. I need to get some things settled in my mind and I don't think I can do that here with all of you. Every one of you is such a lovely distraction that it makes me forget that sometimes a person just needs to think and be silent for a while. I love you all very much but I guess I'm Wendy after all. Yours Forever, Poe.” Paul frowned at the other five, confusion written plainly across his face.

“What the hell does that even mean, she's Wendy?” Exclaimed Marko.

Dwayne shook his head. “No idea.”

David knew though, he knew exactly what it meant. Poe had left them, left him and hadn't even had the guts to tell him to his face. He grabbed the nearest movable object which happened to be a candle laden wine bottle and threw it hard against the opposite wall. His roar of rage was loud enough to almost drown out the sounds of shattering glass. The sight of the normally calm blond so upset sent Laddie into Star's arms, the fringe on her shawl blending with his hair. Dwayne stepped over to him, touching his shoulder lightly. He blinked at David who'd gone into fang with his anger.

“David, what does that mean? She's Wendy, what does that mean to you?”

He took a calming breath. “The first night I took out Poe, he called her our Wendy and she didn't like it. She said Wendy left her Lost Boys and was forgotten. Her saying she's Wendy now means she's left us and expects us to forget her like Peter did his Wendy.”

Laddie shoved away from Star, running between David and Dwayne. “How could she think that? She's Poe! She's my . . .she's our . . .”

Dwayne picked him up when his voice cracked. “I know, little man. We all know.”

“Should we go after her? She can't be far from here.”

David's head moved in the negative as he lifted his hands to examine the gouges he'd dug in his palms. “She wanted to leave us of her own free will. I won't make her come back if she doesn't want to be here anymore.”

A moment later the rest of his pack watched him disappear out of the cave's entrance. Marko followed saying nothing besides a murmur about feeding they hardly heard. Dwayne moved to the couch with Laddie, cradling him as he cried his own face impassive, eyes hollow. Paul stared in shock, crumpling the paper in his fist before launching himself at Star with an angry snarl.

“You did this!” He didn't lay a finger on her but his body shook with the desire to. “You talked to her this morning, I saw you go over to her. What did you say? What did you say to make her leave?”

She gaped at him. “I-I didn't say anything. I asked her about -”

“I don't believe you! You've wanted her gone since you saw we loved her and not you, that David loved her. The reason you drank his blood wasn't because you wanted to be one of us, it was because you wanted ties to him! Ties Poe didn't have all to herself, wasn't it? You tried your damnedest to drive a wedge between them and now she's gone! Funny Laddie was fine until you showed up, we were all fine. This is all your fault! You are a fucking curse we need to get rid of! We should cut your ass and let the sharks eat you!”

She choked a little on her tears. “I didn't meant to, I didn't mean to! But I found him first, I love him . . .”

“You think he'll love you now?” Paul grabbed her, tugging her head back with a malicious laugh. “How fucking stupid are you, Star? You think he'll love you when you cost him Poe? He might have eventually in one way or another but he won't now.”

“I'll go. I'll - ”

“You think he'll just let you go? He'll keep you now just so you know he hates you. That every time he looks at you you'll know he sees her and every time he fuck you - ”

“Paulie.”

He tugged her closer, nails stabbing her arms, voice growling over her ear before he shoved her away so hard she fell. “You'll let him, you know. You'll take what punishment he gives not because you love him but because you loved her too and now she's gone.”

He stepped over her sobbing form, needing to get away from her or hurt her like his inner vampire was screaming at him to do. Her fault, her fault, it said but he knew that maybe it wasn't and killing her would solve nothing. Who said he had no control? He paused at the cave's entrance, turning to hold out a hand to Laddie and Dwayne. Laddie ran to him and Paul grabbed him up, hugging his son tight, fighting off the prickles of tears at the scent of Poe's shampoo in his brown hair.

“She'll come back, Laddie. She loves us, love you very much, so she'll be back.”

Paul's eyes met Dwayne's, a small part of him looking for the same reassurances he spoke to Laddie. The brunette's face held no such assurances for his grown pack brother because once, long ago Dwayne had promised to never lie to him. They left Star a sobbing mess on the floor and started a habit that all of them except Laddie and occasionally David would pick up. They ignored her unless forced to do otherwise.

It was hard for each of them to remember who they were before Poe. A single month had made so many changes to their pack and not just the two half vampires with them now. By the time summer came around the six of them had developed ways of coping. The one theme being that none of them talked about it, ever and if you did you got ignored.

Laddie clung to the only female in their group, sometimes closing his eyes while they cuddled, pretending with all his might. Star and David spent their nights on the Boardwalk but rarely together. He sought out victims to play mind games with that often resulted in vengeful feeds every other night, even when he didn't need them. Star let the noise of the crowds, the simple excitements of adults and kids temper the aching loneliness inside her. Marko hid behind his smiles more then ever, not showing the slightest hints of any upset which would spark Paul's anger on certain narcotics or send him into fits of laughter on others.

The reckless blond spent the majority of his waking hours, what few there were in summer, in a chemical induced haze and the others let him, not knowing how to fight their own problems and someone else's, too. Dwayne however drew the line when he found him shooting up one night, shouting that pot and pills were one thing but he wasn't going to let his brother slide back into the junkie hole he'd tried to so hard to yank him out of. It was one of the last times the brunette spoke so loudly. He was always one of few words and Poe's absence made it worse still. He stopped inviting conversation with anyone except Laddie who soaked up up the attention he missed from Paul.

David, even with his games, saw all of this and finally decided his boys needed to remember how to be vampires and not act like emotional teen aged wrecks who got dumped by their girlfriends. They needed to be reminded that vampires weren't designed to sit around moping, they were supposed to live in the better moments and kill the rest. They needed a distraction.

Orders by wickedpurrz

Author's Notes:
ok i think i know what the hell i'm doing now, i hope. lol ty to everyone who gave me the much appreciated feedback, it helped =] i seriously love you guys!
David strode past Max's gate, flicking his lit cigarette into one of the potted plants on the porch. Thorn growled at him and he growled back. Once they got that over with the dog padded over to him leaning on his thigh, sighing loudly. He ran his gloved fingers over his ears, stroking lightly.

“Yeah, I miss her, too, furball.”

They both went inside then, making their way to the living room and their waiting master. He sat on the couch, picking up his usual drink and thunking his booted feet onto the coffee table. Max frowned down at his feet, glaring until David dropped them back to the carpet.

“How are the others?”

“Boys are fine as always. Laddie's fine except for the occasional vomiting but Dwayne's blood helps a lot and his next run of marrow is tonight.”

“And Star?”

“Still hasn't killed. It's getting harder for her though, I can feel it.”

“Hmm, I say you should get it over with but I do respect that you are her Sire, not I. I have something I want you to do for me, David. I've met someone who interested me. It's been a long time since that's happened.”

He smirked. “Short hair, smelled like Ivory soap and sugar cookies? Not bad for the mommy type. What do you want me to do? Lend you Laddie for a night or something?”

“Funny. She has children herself, sons. One is seventeen, the other is fourteen. I want you to get to know the oldest, Michael. Bring him into the family.”

David set his glass back on the table hard. “You expect me to bring in some random shit hole because you want to nail his mother?”

“Language, David. My intentions with Lucy are more then sexual, I assure you. If her sons are firmly in the fold then she will follow like the protective mother she is. Boys need their mother.”

Ice crept across his face, chilling his eyes and hardening his jaw. “Yeah, mine was a great asset as a fledge. You want this woman then take her, Max. Don't bring her family into shit for your desires.”

Max went still. “Are you refusing me, David?”

He got to his feet, expression kept firm. “I am. I'm not fucking with my family on your whims.”

He turned to leave only to be slammed into the wall closest to the door. He tried to shove away the clawed hands gripping his coat with no luck. His Grandsire had three hundred years on him and it gave him more strength then David was capable of on his best night. He forced his body to relax as the fangs pierced the side of his neck, knowing if he struggled it would only injure him more. Bleeding out was not on his list of activities for the night.

“Defiance gets you nowhere, Childe. Now, will you behave?”

His reluctant nod got him released, feet set back on the floor. David had always seen the glaring differences between the so called discipline he and his boys received and anything his mother had gotten or even Poe after trying to kill him. The double standards of the vampire hierarchy did not work in his favor and likely never would as long as Max was Head. He shoved that thought down deep, back into the dark place it had come from. Head Vampires didn't exactly resign, they were killed. The consumption of their blood transferring the power. David wasn't willing to kill the only other person in his life who had known and loved his mother before the madness took her away.

“How am I supposed to find this kid?”

“Lucy showed me a picture of him while we were talking. You have my permission to view the memory.”

David entered Max's mind, ignoring the temptation to erase this Lucy from it, flicking through his most recent memories. He got to the night of the beach concert, the night he'd gone to annoy Max from the lack of anything better to do. From there he zeroed in on being handed a wallet with a picture of two teenagers. They were both smiling, arms around each other giving bunny ears. The youngest obviously spent too much time watching Mtv but the older one with the dark curly hair he recognized.

“I've seen him. He was following Star with the other one. Had the hots for her, I think.”

“Then maybe she could be of some use after all. Encourage her to venture in his direction then bring him in. Show him the benefits of having brothers who can understand being seventeen.”

“I haven't been seventeen for over a hundred years, Max.”

Max brushed aside the fact, voice still rumbling out dominance and power. “Turned young, stay young. It works in mind as well as body. I don't care how you decide to do this, David, just do it or you will regret it.”

He said nothing, nodding his head as he walked out. He would do what his master told him to but he would do it when and how he chose. This had not been the kind of distraction he was looking for but when did fate care what he wanted. He sped back to the cave, pushing his bike to feel some sort of freedom again, some modicum of control. In reality he seemed to have very little of either.

Dwayne looked up from his checkers game when David returned. He'd spent over eighty years with the blond and could tell by the set of his shoulders and the tension around his eyes that he was pissed. Apparently he'd gotten news from Max that he didn't like or want. He gestured for Paul to take his place in the game with Laddie, going over to his Sire. He offered a cigarette from his jacket pocket that was accepted.

“What's the word?”

“That guy from last night, the one we saw following Star. We're to turn him.”

That quickly David's mood was passed on to the brunette. He could picture who he meant perfectly in his mind, the curly hair and the brown crappy jacket. It meant he'd stood out in a crowd of people on the Boardwalk, during summer, on a concert night. That one's middle name spelled trouble to Dwayne and he didn't need a birth certificate to prove it. The fact that he'd come on the heels of Star only reinforced the feeling.

“David, that guy, he's bad news.”

“You feel it?” His nod didn't surprise the blond. “So do I. Unfortunately it's something that must be done.”

David tilted his head to show a brief glimpse of his neck under the jacket collar. It was light enough inside and long enough that Dwayne could see the livid purple bruises surrounding the rapidly healing puncture wounds. He winced in sympathy, knowing he had to be suffering a pretty hefty amount of blood loss. Max never used his fangs lightly, he made damn sure they felt their weakness compared to him every time. David was often the last of them to take nourishment of either blood or even human food, the loss had to be hitting him hard. He stepped closer head to the side, offering his blood to replenish his Sire's. He'd fed well and recently, he could afford the loss and not have it slow him too much. David waved him away, shaking his head.

“So why is this kid so important?”

“He's not. His mother is the important one. He has a bad case of the fever for this one and he wants her to join us. He thinks if he takes her sons she'll come easy, like a protective mother he said. You've seen her, too.”

“The one with the short hair? Damn it, this feels wrong. Very fucking wrong, David.”

“I have to, he used his power to order it. His mistake was telling me I could do it how I wanted to and I will. I'll take care of this don't worry about it. Maybe we'll have some fun with it.”

His doubt came through perfectly in the sarcasm. “You're Sire, you know best.”

“Dwayne, I will.”

“If it's in your power to do so. The way this feels I think it might be beyond even you. Protecting mother? He said that? That sounds too close to Guardian Mother for my comfort, David. What if he's looking to replace Poe? What if he tries to make this one our new Matri? You know there can be only one.”

Paul who was ease dropping snorted with sudden laughter. “There can be only one! I'm Conner MacLeod of the clan MacLeod!”

Laddie laughed with him. “Hey, I watched that movie! Can I have a sword like that? I want to cut off heads!”

“Why cut them off when you can just rip them apart with your teeth?”

“Paul! Knock it off, he'll have nightmares!”

He glared at Star who was coming out of the bathing cavern. “Chill out, we all know you are the one who gets the nightmares around here.” His tone went falsetto. “David, please, I don't wanna stay here alone. David, help I need blood. David, David, David! Grow up and take a fucking life already, cause I'm sick of your shit!”

She threw the empty shampoo bottle in her hand at his head but missed. “Fuck you, Paul!”

“Star!”

She flipped him off one last time before flouncing behind the curtains to Poe's bed. David shook his head with a grunt of frustration. This cave was getting too small for the two of them and their resentments. He turned back to Dwayne, speaking quietly.

“Laddie looks better, did the marrow work this time?”

“As good as it can. The blood Poe left us in the mix seems to strengthen it's effects. There's not much left now, though. If this thing works with the guy and his mom what will she think?”

“She left of her own free will and her say in what we do went with her.”

“I want to call her back. I'd wait for her to come on her own but Laddie needs her and - ”

“It's been eight months, Dwayne, she's not coming back. If she wanted to be here, she'd be here. We should all forget about her.”

Betrayal flickered across Dwayne's face and then anger. “You may have sired so many that you can just forget one of your blood but I can't. She was my first Childe, David, and all I can do is remember.”

David watched his first fly from the cave, feeling his rage brush over him, leaving regret. Tonight was not his night. He went over to his chair, slumping in it and dragging his hand over the back of his neck. The still tender wounds make him wince and then he winced some more when he looked over at Paul's pissed off expression. Laddie was just staring down at the bright red of his plastic checkers and he knew the boy had heard what he said as well. The familial guilt was complete except for one blond who was absent.

“Where the hell is Marko?”

The blond in question was standing in a room across town, the room Poe had broken into eight months prior. He also knew how to work the microfilm reader and was going on a hunch, clutching a picture in his fingers as he looked. It was of two brunette teens sitting on the hood of a familiar black desoto, Poe's shy eyes focused away from the camera and on the young man she was curled up behind. If he hadn't known better he would have thought it was some old boyfriend of hers, if not for the smiles on similar shaped lips that is. So there he was looking for some clue as to who this guy was by the name scrawled on the photos back and the year. He was three hours into his search before he hit on anything at all. The fact that it was a death certificate make his stomach turn and so did the cause.

“Holy shit.”

Nana Jane by wickedpurrz

Author's Notes:
it's a lil short but i wanted to get this lil bit up before i get distracted by company tomorrow. damn holiday preparations! lol
Poe sat wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of tea balanced on the arm of the porch swing, staring out into the dark. Every night since she arrived she'd sat like this and most of the mornings as well. Sleep wasn't something that came to her any longer. She didn't know if it was because of her blood bond with the boys or because she had simply become that attached to them. She looked up as the front door opened and the short form of her paternal grandmother came outside to join her. She could hear the odd tick of her pace maker and took a sip of her cooling tea, biting the rim of the cup to ease the ache in her teeth. She needed to feed.

“Nana, it's past midnight, what are you still doing up?”

“Oh, pft, my old body doesn't need as much sleep anymore and I always was something of a night owl. I'm no stranger to the wrong end of sunrise, I assure you.”

Nana Jane never ceased to amaze her, every time she thought she knew or understood the woman she would learn some startlingly new thing about her. The most recent had been that she knew about vampires, knew about and didn't seem to hate or automatically fear their existence. In fact it had been she who sat them both down at her kitchen table on Poe's second night and told her point blank she knew what she was now. Once Poe had picked her jaw up off the floor Nana had explained that her parents had called her and told her about the accident and so she was either in the witness protection program or one of the not so human. Santa Carla didn't exactly have a huge mob syndicate so the latter was the obvious choice, especially since she avoided direct sunlight like it was the plague and had waited on the doorstep for an invitation for the first time in her life.

What came as even more of a shock was how her grandmother knew about vampires. She had always known she was one of so few of her generation that had gone to college, not to mention graduated but that she had studied the then very hush subject of paranormal research had her reeling. Added to that was the fact that it was actually taught by a vampire made it pretty damn unbelievable and her Nana had even more to say. Jane Frog, then Jane Ambrose, had fallen for said vampire and been offered immortality that she refused! She said that sunlight was too much a part of her to ever let it go with a touch of something in her eyes that Poe didn't feel she had a right to ask about. So she had confided in her beloved Nana Jane about her turning and her boys, though she kept the reason she left to herself, too ashamed to admit that she had loved the ones who'd killed her first grandchild.

“When are you going back?”

“What, back where?”

She smiled. “Back to what has you staring so morosely out at my azalea bushes every night.”

“Nana, I can't. There are . . . things I didn't tell you about why I left. Bad things.”

“Things that haven't stopped you from missing home like crazy.”

“Santa Carla is not my home, you know that.”

“That one of my own could be so slow saddens me. Home isn't a place, Poe, it's a feeling. It's safety and belonging, knowing you love and are loved in return. It's the people around you that fill up that empty space like nothing else. If you've found it you should hold onto it as tight as you can.”

She got up from the swing, moving to lean against the porch rail. “You don't understand! They killed Jared, Nana! One of them fed on him, killed him, how can you just tell me to go back to that?”

“Are you certain?”

“He died from having his throat ripped out on a beach they hunt on, so yes, I'm certain a vampire killed my brother.”

“Did they tell you about it themselves? Did they admit to doing that to him? There is more then one vampire on this earth and certainly more then your four.”

Her shoulders slumped with a moment of doubt. “I – no. I saw them do what was done to him to others, saw them burn the bodies like he was burned.”

“Honey, I would never tell you to go back to a harmful situation after all you've been through but you said it's been eight months since you saw any of them and your depression is enough to wilt my flowers. You still grieve like it was yesterday. Now unless you've asked them specifically about what you know, you can't be so very certain it was them and it will haunt you. So my question to you isn't about what you think they've done but something so much simpler, do you love them?”

She thought that was simple? “Nana . . .”

“Do you?”

“Yes.” To say anything else would have been a lie.

“And do you know that they love you?”

“Yes, Nana, but - ”

“Would they have knowingly taken Jared from you if they had known he was your brother?”

Poe swallowed and shook her head. They wouldn't have, Edgar and Alan were still safe after all as well as her parents. The only one they had gone after that she knew was Gavin and that was because he hurt her. It dawned on her what her Nana was trying to make her see.

“You miss them?”

The tears that welled up, spilled down her cheeks. “Yes, I do, so much. How can I miss them? How can I miss the ones who took away my brother, my only protection from Gavin? Who took away my chance to live without him hurting me?”

Her own brown eyes gazed over at her intently. “Which is it you're mourning the most? The life you could have had or your brother? And if it's the life, is it worth losing what this one has given you?”

“Given me? I'm a vampire, Nana! I've killed people, had sex with the men who murdered my brother and his friends! How is any of that something I should want to keep?”

“Because you don't sleep, you don't eat anything and the only time I've seen any signs of life from you was when you were talking about those boys of yours. I may be old and more then half crazy but I would rather see you happy in this life then trying to live in one you can't! I don't like that you've killed, of course I don't like it but I know it's what you had to do to become a full vampire. I do know as well that killing isn't always part of the feeding process, hell I lived through one. So if it tears you up then don't do it.”

“Sometimes I can't help it! There's power in that last drop of life, it can be hard not to take it.”

The older woman looked from her to her garden with a frown. “Then I was right, it is part of being a vampire. Look, if I said I wanted my only granddaughter to be a blood drinking creature of the night I'd be a damn liar. Though if seventy years of kicking around has taught me anything it's that some decisions you make and others get made for you. Jared was lost to us, only that fucker God knows the true reasons why and He only lets us see the maybes. I do think you would be different if he hadn't died though, Poe, and I'm not sure it would have been for the better.”

“What are you talking about?”

“He did everything for you, even things you should have been doing for yourself. I don't think you would be as strong as you are right now if he hadn't been out of the picture. You would have had less time under that piece of hell spawn's thumb, yes, but you never had to learn to be strong with Jared there beside you. If you needed to stand up, he did it for you. If you needed to speak up, he was the one saying the words. He protected you, cherished you but it was a little too much.”

“I don't - ”

The flavor of copper pennies burst over her tongue along with many different ones she had trouble identifying and she coughed. She knew what this sensation meant, preparing herself for the vision that was about to take her over. David was sitting in his favorite wheel chair, with a large grin clapping with Marko next to him.

“Bravo! Gimmie a ride, Marko. Michael! Michael!”

She could hear Paul and Dwayne chanting a disturbingly familiar name. There were hundreds of Michaels in the world, what were the odds it was the one she knew? Paul came up thumping her, no him, on the shoulder and his voice so close made her ache. She was even getting the burnt herbal smell of pot smoke from him.

“You're one of us, bud. Let the good times roll.”

The blood filled her mouth again and again as the boys danced around the fountain, all joyful partying. By the time the newest of the pack stopped drinking she was in tears. It hurt to see her boys, hurt more then she wanted to admit. She cried into her Nana's arms long after the sounds of them faded from her ears. She missed them, oh how she missed them. She sniffled, wiping her face on her blanket.

“I – I have these visions when a new vampire is made of my line. I could see all of them, all of my fam– my . . .”

“Your family. Don't be afraid to say it, I understand.”

“Oh, god, I'm going to miss you, Nana. I – I have to go back. They turned someone new and I want to know why, plus I think I need them. Does that make me a bad person?”

“Oh, honey, no. Never. As for this missing me stuff, it's nonsense. You'll come visit, it's as simple as that and you bring your new family. I want to meet this little Laddie you speak so much about, he's practically my great grandson, now isn't he?”

Poe stared at her with pure wonder. “How did my dad ever come from you, Nana? You're so damn different.”

She snorted. “I've often wondered that myself. I guess good sense skips a generation. Now when do you have to leave?”

“Tomorrow at sundown would be best. It's too late to start the long drive tonight.”

“Well, good. One last night with my girl. Let's make some bloody marys, make fun of my Dracula movies and play some Scrabble, huh?”

She laughed out loud for the first time in months, following her grandmother back into the house. She felt lighter all of a sudden, happier and it had to be because in a few days she would see all of her boys again.

Marko, what's going on? by wickedpurrz

Author's Notes:
I couldn't resist adding this part in. =]
The boys settled after a while, Paul flopping down onto the couch next to a dazed looking Michael. The brunette reached out with a finger to touch his earring lightly. Paul shifted his head away to give him a funny look, holding up his hands. Michael actually blushed when he realized what he thought.

“Hey, you're not my type, man.”

That made Dwayne smirk on his other side, he knew exactly what Paul's type was.

“No, your earring. I want one, I was going to get one on the Boardwalk but . . .” He trailed off looking over at Star who had come out from hiding when the noise died down.

“You still want me to do it?”

“Sure.”

Star smiled. “Ok, I'll get my stuff.”

They got set up on the fountain, the girl swirling one of her special piercing needles in a bit of alcohol and using the lighter on it. Michael wasn't exactly going to get an infection now that he was a half but he didn't know that. Marko gestured to David, who was glaring at the brunette pair, that he wanted to talk to him. They went out of earshot of the fountain, keeping their voices low so Star would only hear murmurs.

“David, I've been meaning to tell you this for a couple days, I just wasn't sure how. It's about Poe.” That drew David's full attention away from the others. “I think I know why she left.”

Laddie heard Poe's name and turned away from Star and the new one, Michael. If they were talking about her then he wanted to hear about it. He sneaked his way around to where Marko had gone with David, not really wanting to smell Michael's blood when the needle was stuck through his ear lobe. He'd just had blood and marrow not too long ago and didn't want any chance of the stomach pains coming back. David was almost glaring at the shorter blond, his expression expectant. Marko handed him a picture that Laddie instantly recognized. He'd had it hidden under his pillow ever since he found it on the floor near Poe's old suitcase.

“Do you remember this guy?”

“He looks familiar. Who is it and why is Poe with him? I know that's not Gavin, except for dark hair they look nothing a like.”

“It's her brother, her older brother and David, here's the heavy shit. I think one of us killed him.”

This time he did glare. “Explain.”

“I found this picture under Laddie's pillow when I was looking for those comics Paul was whining about losing. He must have found it right after Poe left. Anyway he looked familiar and I remember that the last night she was here she had a nightmare about some guy named Jared.” He turned the picture over to show the names on the back. “And then I remembered where I knew this guy from. The newspaper articles three years ago, the ones he was so pissed about. I wanted to check out the articles but the library doesn't have the files, which is pretty damn weird, I'm telling you. So from there I went to the County Recorder's office, they have death records and shit and looked for the name Jared. I didn't know he was her brother then but there was only one Jared in the summer of 84. It was a Jared Richter-Frog, her brother. He died of a torn trachea, David, and his body was burned. She left because she found out one of us killed her brother.”

“You read too many mystery novels, Marko, and it wasn't us.”

He frowned. “Then who?”

“He had such a problem with those articles because he was there with us that night and because the body they identified was his kill. Max killed her brother, not us.”

The name was barely more then a growl yet Laddie's now excellent hearing picked it out perfectly. He liked Max, liked his house, his big screen TVs and his junk food. The man was nice to him but if he hurt Poe and made her leave then he was fully prepared to hate him. No TV shows and candy were going to replace what she meant to him. He also knew that taking David's side in a fight was the better idea.

“You told me he never said anything when she left. Do you think he knew why? If he knew this why wouldn't he tell us?”

“He'd have to admit guilt to do that. If we knew that she left because of her brother and we didn't do it, we would have followed her, Marko. He had to know that she was worth more to us then he is. Also by vampire law if we brought her back knowing it was Max who killed her family, she could challenge him, kill him and it would be her right. She got really close to it when Laddie was turned.”

“Do you think Dwayne is right? Do you think he's trying to get rid of Poe's threat by creating another Matri?”

“If he is, I'll take care of it. Right now, I want to go for a ride.” David patted the top of Laddie's head as he walked by, a small smirk on his lips. “At least you ease drop quieter then your dad, huh kiddo? Stay here with Star, we're going to go play a game with Michael.”

Laddie nodded, for once he was fine staying home. “Ok.”

“Michael, come on, we're going for a ride. You'll love it.”

David watched him separate himself from Star with a smile that showed none of his irritation. He may not want the girl anymore but she was still his. He knew exactly where he wanted to go and nodded at the boys to follow. Once the three of them were on their bikes he sent them images of where they were going and what he wanted to do. It wasn't a long drive to the train bridge since it was just on the other side of the Boardwalk from their cave. They parked well off to the sides of the tracks and David was the first to walk out across the bridge. He could hear the sounds of the train off in the distance.

“Perfect timing.”

“What's going on?”

He grinned at the confused tone. “Michael wants to know what's going on. Marko, what's going on?”

“I don't know, what's going on, Paul?”

Paul laughed, running with the joke at Michael's expense. “Wait a minute, who wants to know?”

Dwayne took his turn. “Michael wants to know!”

David stopped finally, putting his arm around Michael, turning him in the right direction. “I think we should let Michael know what's going on.”

Paul backed out of the way of their view. “Yeah.”

“Marko?”

Marko smiled, giving a little wave. “Good night, Michael.” He jumped and his voice echoed farther then it should have. “Bombs away!”

Paul went next, snapping his fingers. “Bottoms up, man.”

Dwayne pointed gun fingers at Michael, saying nothing, disappearing down the hole with only the noise of his jacket. It was David's turn then and he leaned into the other brunette. His made sure his face and voice were as appealing as possible. The tone was only a step down from seductive.

“Come with us, Michael.” He dropped down and the others started hooting when Michael looked down at them. “Michael Emerson, come on down!”

He came down slowly and Paul laughed, teasing him, sounding almost snotty. “Welcome aboard, Michael!”

David could see how nervous he was, enjoying the small zing from his fearful scent. “Fun, huh?”

The scent increased as the train got closer and closer, vibrating the bridge. The closer it got, the harder it became to keep a grip on the metal poles. He laughed when he started to freak out, trying to hold on tighter.

“Hold on!”

His shouted the advice, pushing the thoughts of falling in his mind harder. He nudged at Paul to let go and he did, laughing the whole time. Paulie always did like flying when he was buzzed. Marko's encouragement for the scared brunette was a little cheeky since he yelled as he fell from sight. Dwayne did the same, shifting the gears on Michael's fear up to high. Now all he had to do was get him to let go.

“Michael, you're one of us. Let go!”

“And do what?”

“You are one of us, Michael.”

He gave a last smirk and let go, falling down into the fog. The train passed onto the other side of the bridge and still he hadn't let go. David called up to him, making his voice echo around the ravine. Eventually he fell with a scream and David watched him drop quickly to the ground below. His changed blood kicked in enough to slow the descent only slightly. He would splatter on the rocks before he even saw them. Still David watched, his instincts as Sire warring with the logic that said it would be better if Michael died right now.

The unconscious half was caught about six feet before he hit the ground, his Sire cursing himself as a fool. He flew him back up to the bikes with the boys behind him. Marko and Dwayne were frowning at him but he ignored them, saying nothing. He already knew he was making a mistake by not being ruthless enough to let Michael die. He didn't need to hear it from either one of them.

“Paul, I want you to ride Michael's bike out to his house. I'll fly him there.”

It was best for a new half to wake in familiar surroundings and not having him under foot was exactly what David needed to figure out what the hell to do with him. He picked out which room was Michael's once he got to the house, laying him upside down on the bed. He should kill him, he should rip his throat out right now and find his mother and brother and do the same to them. He should do all of those things and yet he couldn't. He could smell his blood in Michael and something else. It was a familiar scent he couldn't quite place that was so damn alluring. Who knew he could be so fucking sentimental?

He stroked his Childe's new earring, wondering if he would notice it had healed already. “Good night, Michael.”

By the time he flew back to the bridge and rode his bike across the beach to the cave it was close to dawn. Paul had gotten there about ten minutes before him and was reading Laddie his nightly bedtime story. Every morning he read him a chapter from a book Marko picked up from his library trips or Laddie read to him if he was too drowsy or out of it. He had continued the habit after Poe was gone, missing the lull the children's books put his mind into before he slept.

David went to the turning bottle and the vodka bottle with the last inch of Poe's precious Matri blood inside it. He stroked the clear glass with hidden affection and pulled the cork from the turning bottle, taking a drink. The taste and scent snapped together the puzzle pieces of Michael's alluring smell. Star's blood was in the bottle mingled with his own and another. How had he not noticed this before? That sip should have been enough to taste the change unless . . .

He was at her side in an instant, grabbing her hair and dragging her from the bed. He yanked her stumbling, whining form to the bottles, holding her head to see them like a dog who had messed the carpet. She went still, struggles becoming only shivers of guilt. He growled next to her face, grip still tight in her hair.

“You seem to be getting all kinds of talents, Star, and stupidly keep using them against me. Did you think I wouldn't notice eventually? Explain to me why you did this and maybe I'll let you live.”

“I didn't want you to kill him, I thought if – if he had my b-blood then it would make you hesitate.” She looked into his eyes, her own large puppy ones fearful. “Did you kill him, David? Is he . . .”

He smiled at her, her punishment for this defiance coming to him. “I didn't kill him but you will.”

“N-no, I can't!”

“You wanted to make a play at being a Sire and that comes with consequences, even if you're one of a group. Tonight when Michael comes here, you will kill him. Test me on this and you won't like what happens, Star.”

Satisfied with his decision and the heavy touch of Sire's Will that made her whimper, he went to the sleeping cavern. He was followed by Dwayne and Marko, then finally Paul. Shoes were taken off and stored to the side in the soft sand. He flew up to the bars above, toes grabbing on firmly and hanging upside down. The instant feeling of peace made him sigh, it was the only time he felt at peace any more.

“Do you think making Michael Star's responsibility was a good idea?”

“If she fails this she'll pay for it and I'll figure out something else. He's a Childe Dwayne, they are as hard to kill as they are to just forget.”

He saw the understanding on both his and Marko's faces, closing his eyes on their nods as the sun rose past the horizon. At least for today he could rest along side his three beloved brothers. When the night came he would deal with what it threw at him as he always did.

Beachfront Reunion by wickedpurrz

It was two am before Poe finally got within the Santa Carla city limits. She may have stayed away from here for eight long months yet she had never been more then a single night's drive away. Nana Jane's house in Pasadena was no exception. Something kept her within the state and the one time she had ignored the instinct she ended up with nightmares so bad she'd woken up drenched in tears with the shreds of the motel blankets on the bed around her.

She touched on the ties to her pack, feeling seven tugs draw her out in three different directions. All of the newest members and therefore the weakest pulls were in the cave and the boys were split into two pairs. One set led her to the beach and the other towards the town's middle. She chose the beach, being closer to it then the second. Paul and Marko were the ones near the water and she really wasn't ready to face David just yet. She parked her bike far enough away that the engine's noise wouldn't announce her presence.

She flew out to the small fire they built, sitting on the old logs set there for that purpose. This was a popular spot earlier in the evening but as the chilly breezes blew over the sand it became pretty deserted, leaving it for the pair of surfing vampires. The salt in the sea water kept the ever constant waves from being a problem where as any moving amount of fresh water could eat at the skin. The longer you were exposed to it the worse the damage. Poe found out this little fact after showering in her motel room and had broken out in a vicious itchy red rash that lasted until her next feed.

It was a lucky break for Paul who had enjoyed surfing occasionally before he was turned. He even taught Marko how to do it and they would go out on the nights the beach was quiet. They were beautiful in the water, their enhanced speed and reaction times making even the newbie Marko a proficient surfer. She watched the two of them with a small smile of pained longing.

After about ten minutes or more she was finally spotted at their fire, next to their bikes. They came in quick, striding up the sand with their boards under one arm. The sight of them both in the low slung swim shorts made her shiver and stare. Her night vision allowed her to see every drop of water streaming down their wet bare skin. The fact that her form was female relaxed the sets of their shoulders and an automatic flirty smile appeared on Paul's face.

“Hey, girly, you're out late tonight. Looking for some company or just enjoying our fire?”

She brushed the breeze blown strands of concealing hair out of her face and grinned as she stood up. “Little of both, Paulie.”

Shock wiped the smile from his face, turning to recognition and then pure joy. He dropped his board to the sand and lunged, grabbing her smaller form up in his arms. She held on tight, laughing when he spun her around. Then he was kissing her and her world tilted upside down.

He tasted of salt water, copper and pure Paul. It was Heaven and Hell wrapped in one package. Heaven because it had been way to long without this and Hell because she couldn't seem to get enough of it. They both growled when she was tugged away and then hers became a purr, Marko's lips replacing the other blond's. The kiss was rather unlike him, all tongues and sharp teeth. The candy spice flavor of his blood wet her lips and then she knew what she was craving.

She lifted her head away to blink her now golden eyes into his, asking without words. His answer was to bare his throat with that oh so familiar smile. She moaned, licking at the salty skin before sinking her fangs in deep. She barely felt her pants being pushed down her thighs as the Sire's blood worked it's magic. Paul's thrust between her legs was noticed on the other hand, the hard length of him rubbing over sensitive parts. She let go of Marko, struggling from both their arms to yank her pants back up. She held out her hands to them when they tried to come closer, shaking her head.

“Wait, I – Just wait! This wasn't what I . . . I need to talk, with all of you.”

Paul groaned. “Never in the history of the world has any kind of good sex come after those words.”

“Sorry, I missed that as much as you have I think but this has to happen. There are some things I need to tell you, the things I've been trying to avoid thinking about all these months.”

Marko nodded, sitting down to remove the board leash from his ankle. “We have things to say to you, too. You know that, Paul.”

“Fuck, fine.”

He joined Marko, removing his own leash and they both stared up at her in silence. “Aren't you going to ask me why I left?”

“We know why, thanks to Magnum P.I. over here. We would have known sooner but Laddie was hiding the picture under his pillow.”

“What picture?”

“The one of you and your brother on the desoto.”

She gaped at Paul. “What? Y-you remember Jared? Why - ”

“We should wait for David and Dwayne to get here. The bar they play pool at closes at like two thirty or something. It's not too far from the beach.”

The roar of a pair of bike engines grew from the dark as if he'd called them. The missing blond and brunette circled around the fire before stopping next to the three of them. Dwayne was at her side in an instant, touching her face and the longer strands of her hair. His dark eyes mets hers, his happiness at her presence curling the edges of his lips. He his kissed her and let it speak for him. I missed you. He stepped away and her gaze went to David who stood just out of the firelight watching them. Her single step towards him was hesitant.

“David.”

“Poe.”

“David, I-I'm - ”

“You should have come to us, Poe. It was shitty to leave us all with nothing but that fucking letter.”

She stared down at the sand covering the tips of her shoes. “All I can tell you is I'm sorry and I am, David. How I left was wrong but I had to do it. Paul said that you know why I left, so you must understand at least a little. I needed space to think about things.”

“And you're done thinking now?”

She swallowed hard, chewing her lip. “I am. I know what's important to me now.”

“And what is that? Just what is important to you now, Poe?”

All feelings of hesitance left her as she looked into his eyes, meeting the challenge. “You.” His rapid blink gave away more then he realized and she stepped closer. “My pack is my life, David. It doesn't matter what you've done in the past. I was stupid to think I could leave you all behind, I need you. You're my life now and nothing else matters.”

She held her ground when he stalked to her, face and arctic eyes intense. “You leave like that again and I will hunt you down, Poe. You're ours.”

His gloved hand touched her cheek, sliding into her hair to cup her neck. The moment his mouth met hers she saw what her sudden disappearance had cost him. Then when he broke away before she had gotten more then the smallest taste of him she saw what it had cost her. The armored walls of his were firmly back in place. Somehow she doubted another Bon Jovi striptease was going to slip past it this time.

“It's good you accept our sins, past and present, as we accept yours but this sin isn't ours.”

“Who?”

“There is one other vampire in this town besides the four of us, Poe. One who occasionally joins our summer revels.”

“Max.”

In her growl was a triad of emotions, relief, frustration and more then a little rage. All her angst, her pain and betrayals after Jared's death could be laid at the foot of a single vampire, one she didn't even like that much. She had hurt herself and her boys needlessly and he had known all along! Of this she had no doubts, he had been a little disturbed by her last name and he'd even asked if she'd lost someone here. She charged in the direction of her bike, intending to go after him. David's tight grip on her shirt held her back. He didn't let go when she struggled either, pushing her down on one of the logs, shoes sliding fruitlessly in the loose sand.

“David, he knew! He knew before I even left and said nothing! I have to - ”

“You don't have to do a damn thing except sit here and listen. I'm aware that he knows, his new little game makes it obvious.”

“New game? What is he . . . is it to do with the new one you turned?”

He nodded. “Max wanted me to turn him because he wants his mother. We think he's going to try to make another Matri.”

“But that would . . . he's trying to kill me? I knew he had to be a scheming bastard but that's fucked up! Why would he want to kill me?”

Dwayne spoke up. “Because you have a right to vengeance for your family and you nearly killed him before. He recognizes you're a threat to him.”

Poe raked at her hair in annoyance. “I don't want to kill him, to kill him makes me Head and I don't want it. I just want to hurt him a lot!”

“You're not the only one.” She looked at Marko in surprise, his words had been forced through clenched teeth. “He's fucking with our lives here. Adding in Michael was one thing but his little brother who's nuts have barely dropped is fucking ridiculous. Trying to replace you with his little pick and force us all into some psycho fuck family is even stupider. We need to stop this and him.”

“And we will. If Michael had come out tonight he would have been taken care of. His death would put a damper on Max's little relationship, especially if the cops found the body on his property. He stayed in though, which might also be to our benefit. If he eats his brother or his mother all is settled.”

“Somehow I doubt goody little Mikey is gonna munch on his mommy. I think Star's snuck in blood must make him fruity that way.”

Poe's brows rose. “She still hasn't killed? After all this time?”

“She's been told to take Michael as her first since her little shit with sneaking in her blood and managing to hide it even when I fucking drank it.”

She shifted uneasily. “David, the blood in the bottle wasn't only hers and yours.”

His eyes met hers and then slid away as he nodded. “I know.”

Paul was frowning at everyone, Marko's gaze flicked from Poe to David to Poe and Dwayne's held growing suspicion.

“Who's blood was it? I sure as fuck don't feel all Sire like towards Michael. Do you, Paul? Dwayne?”

Dwayne shook his head. “It's not any of ours. It's Poe's blood in Michael. That's why the idea of killing him is so disgusting to all of us. Star didn't only make him a walking piece of herself she made him part of Poe so we wouldn't kill him.”

“Why? Why the hell would she do that with some random ass guy?”

“Maybe . . .”

“What?”

Poe glared into the fire, huffing at her own whimsy. “No, nothing. Stupid vampire legend.”

“Since you happen to be a sort of vampire legend maybe you should tell us what you thought. Those memories of yours tend to come in handy.”

“I'm not a legend, I'm the results of a mad scientist's experiment. What I thought of is a damn legend, a myth no one's ever proven about the first vampires.”

“We're sitting around a campfire, tell us a story.”

She blushed. “That isn't something I was ever good at. Anyway, Caine was supposedly the first vampire created. God cursed him for killing his brother, Abel. He was to wander the outskirts of civilization, feeding off the dregs of humanity alone. He did this until he came upon this girl, Aleria, who was abandoned by her family in the desert. By all rights he should have eaten her and been done with it but something about this girl stopped him. Even before she got his blood he felt tied to her and she to him. Ever since there's been this tale about destined Mates, couples who are connected by something more then blood. It's a whole vampire's version of soul mates.”

“You think Michael and Star are Mates?”

She shrugged. “I told you it was stupid.”

“No, it could make a fucked up kind of sense. Laddie told me he couldn't take his eyes off of Star at the concert and he followed her to us, went for her even after he saw her on David's bike.”

“So, Mikey either is Star's cosmic boy toy or he just has a hard on for brunette's that don't brush their hair. What's that mean for us?”

Marko snorted.“It means there's no why in hell she's gonna get rid of him for us.”

“Well, maybe we can use him to get rid of her. Let's say we give Michael one last chance, tomorrow night. We'll take him on a revel, without her along. If her new little love becomes a full then hopefully she'll pop her cherry too and we can shove their asses out of the cave.”

“What about Max?”

“He needs our blood to make Lucy a Matri and so far he doesn't have it. We test Michael and if he becomes a full we take his input on his mother, it's his right. Until then we're at a stand still and I'm tired of fucking talking about it. Let's toast our girl's homecoming. Marko?”

Marko went to David's bike and got out the bottles of Jack Daniels from his bags, bringing them over to the four around the fire. Paul immediately snagged one, taking a hearty swig then handing it over to Dwayne and then Poe. She took a huge gulp, swallowing quickly and making a disgusted face.

“Oh, god, that's nasty! Why the hell do guys drink such shitty booze? Is there something wrong with getting drunk off things that actually taste good?”

Marko grinned at her. “Yes, it's girly. Real men drink stuff that puts hair on their chest.”

Paul leaned over to tug at his tank top. “I don't see any.”

“Piss off! You don't have any either!”

They looked over at Dwayne who shrugged. “I'm not white enough, Native Americans don't have much body hair.”

“I think smooth chests are sexy.”

Poe reached out to stroke Dwayne's skin under his leather jacket. That led to him tugging her down for a kiss which led to a four person grope of her body. After a half hour of kissing, rubbing and licking various body parts that inevitably got sand stuck to them David cleared his throat. They all peeled apart with groans of disappointment but each of the boys could feel the approaching sunrise. It was not the time for sex on the beach, not unless they wanted it to end with four piles of ash. The five reluctantly separated, Poe going to get her stashed bike. The ride back to the cave was a joyful one and they all flew inside with loud taunting cheers as Paul, Dwayne and Marko raced to the sleeping cavern.

Poe landed on the wrecked stairs to the cavern's tunnel, stepping down slowly. She could hear bodies shifting around on her bed and smell the faint musk of sex in the air. Her nose wrinkled as she moved into view of the pack member she hadn't met. Her eyes went wide with recognition, taking in the same dark curly hair and the same sincere blue eyes. When you look at a globe as a child or read about the estimated population of the world, you think 'wow, it's a pretty big place, so many people' but Poe was coming to realize how small her world apparently was. She stepped to the edge of the curtains watching him shift frantically under the covers with a smile.

“Hello, Michael, long time no see.” He looked up at her and stared and then stared some more. “You don't remember me? Should I be offended?”

He shook away his surprise. “I . . . no, I remember. How . . . what . . .”

“What am I doing here?”

“Yeah.”

“Get on some pants and maybe I'll explain.”

She moved over to the couch so he could dress without her watching. He had grown since the last time she had seen him but then he had only been fifteen at the time. Michael Emerson's father had been a 'client' of Gavin's, one who would come on business trips and she hadn't minded him too much since he was about sex and not the pain like others. That summer two years ago he had decided to bring along his son for a little deflowering adventure, only Michael was too shy for anything more then kisses with dear old dad around. He asked him to leave and then they talked, only talked. He was the one who helped her escape that very night, hiding her out in his grandpa's garage until she could get her car and get out of town. Now he was her very first Childe and she had to fight the urge to touch him when he sat next to her on the couch. She didn't think he would appreciate it very much.

“So, what's going on, Lenore? Do you know what's happening to me?”

“That I can't tell you, it's not my place.”

He gave her a nasty look.“What the hell can you tell me then? I didn't see you here the other night.”

“Well, I had some things I had to do and I can tell you that this isn't such a bad place to be. I'm here because this is my family, I belong to them like they belong to me. It's comforting.”

“Comforting? How is this different then what you run away from? Do they pimp you out like that other fuck did?”

She returned his dirty look. “It's not like that at all.”

“It is, isn't it? They keep you here and use you, maybe just between all of them but they use you!”

“No, they don't. They love me and things are different here but it's not forced. I choose to be with them.”

He turned to the bed Star was still sleeping in. “Does she . . . is it that way with Star? Is this like some kind of hippie commune without the tie dye?”

That made her laugh. “No, it's not like that for her, just for me.”

“Why? You deserve better.”

“I don't have to explain myself to you, Michael, and I won't. Eventually you'll understand it or you won't. You'll like it here, if you let yourself.”

He glared at her in frustration. “What does that mean?”

She shrugged, getting up from the couch and disappearing down the tunnel to the pool. There wasn't anything more she could say to him without giving away more then David wanted him to know. She took a quick bath before the sun got her too tired. When she came back out Michael was gone, making her sigh. She didn't want to see him get hurt but there was no way she would pick his life over her own or her boys. She climbed into bed with Laddie, snuggling in his blankets. He blinked drowsily for a minute and then cried out loudly, throwing himself on top of her in the small bed.

“Poe!You're back!”

She hugged him tight enough to make his ribs creak. “Yeah, little man, I am.”

“Is it for good? You're not gonna leave me again are you?”

“No, I'm not, never again, Laddie. I promise and if I go anywhere you are all going with me. Now go back to sleep, the sun's up and little vampires need their rest.”

He yawned wide, giving in to the need to sleep, making sure he was tucked into her arms with his fists tight in her shirt. He wasn't going to let her go even in his sleep and it made her smile. She planned to keep her promise to him, too. Nothing was going to separate her from her boys without a fight and that included a pesky Head Vampire named Max.

Issue of Pack by wickedpurrz

Author's Notes:
Cliffy warning!
“Poe!”

She jerked out of a deep sleep, her first in months, moaning at the crick in her neck. Her scowl was directed at the brunette standing over Laddie's bed, who stuffed his head back under his pillow. She had been back in the cave hours and already she wanted to do her bodily harm. As she crawled from the bed she tried to remember when she had actually liked the girl's company. The task was given up after a few seconds, her sleep fogged brain finding it too complicated.

“When did you get back? It's good to see you, are you staying?”

She ignored the questions, stumbling from the alcove Laddie's bed was set up in. Her protesting stomach led her to where the bottle was kept in a hurry. She hadn't had time to feed last night before leaving her Nana's and now she was starving. Instead of the fast Sire's blood pick me up she wanted she found a drying, sticky mess and shards of glass scattered with gold and rubies. She picked up one of the pieces of glass and turned to her shadow, her pissed off surprise plain on her face.

“Who the hell broke the bottle?”

Star shook her head, eyes wide as she backed up a step. “I . . . it was - ”

“Michael.”

The growl of annoyance brought their attention to the person standing behind them. Star gasped, trying to move away from David but she wasn't fast enough. He had a hold on her arm, so tight that his nails were digging into her skin, drawing tiny drops of blood. Poe looked away, moving from the enticing scent to the watching ten year old. She turned Laddie towards the cave entrance, pushing him forward with the other boys following her.

“Come on, little man, let's get you some food.”

He tried to turn back at the sound of flesh striking flesh, the scent of Star's blood sudden and sharp under all of their noses. “Poe, why - ”

“Outside, Laddie, go outside.”

Dwayne's direction got them up the wooden stairs before Laddie resisted and she felt the tingles of his change. “No, Laddie, he's not really hurting her. Please, calm down. You'll make yourself sick.”

“He hit her and she bled! Hitting girls is wrong, Poe! My mom taught me that much.”

She grabbed the growling boy's face between her hands so he saw her eyes. “Calm down! I don't like this either, Laddie, but she pushed him too far this time. She knew what would happen if she disobeyed him and still she did it. Even we vampires have rules we have to follow and consequences if we break them.”

His anger faded, sad blue eyes replacing the angry gold. “I hate him. I hate, David!”

“Oh, Laddie, no. Don't hate him, please. Be mad at him all you want but don't hate him.”

Dwayne nudged him over to his bike. “Come on, get on. Food time.”

“I'm not hungry.”

“You will be when we get there, come on.”

“Why do I have to do what you say? Cause I'm a damn vampire and you're my stupid Sire?”

“Hey! You have to do what he said because you're eleven and he's an adult and you have to do what I say because I'm your dad. So get on the bike.”

Laddie glared at Paul. “Some dad, you're always drunk or high! You don't care about me!”

Poe gasped, shaking her head. “Laddie! You know that's not true.”

Now it was her turn. “How do you know? You left! You left and he stopped caring. He only did it because of you, he doesn't want me at all.”

Her stunned gaze went to Paul, looking for some denial or reaction. He wasn't looking at anyone, lighting a joint with shaking hands. She went to him and yanked the thing out of his mouth, ignoring his protests. The burn from crushing it in her hand faded too quickly to even matter.

“Paulie, is he right about the drugs?”

He shrugged, trying to laugh it off. “Nah, I - ”

“Tell the truth, Paul.”

“Mind your own fucking business, Marko!”

Poe tugged at his jacket, getting his attention back. “This is our business. We love you, Paul, and - ”

“Love me?” His laugh was a harsh sarcastic thing. “You left me, all of us, without a fucking word besides that stupid note for eight fucking months. Yeah, you really cared, huh?”

Guilt and pain hit her like a punch in the stomach. “No, it wasn't like that! I needed - ”

“Whatever shit is going on out here, put a lid on it. We have better things to do tonight then bitch at each other.” David came down the short cliff landing and he didn't look at all pleased. “Poe, take Laddie for some food. Boys, we're answering the little question of Michael tonight.”

She caught the wallet that was tossed at her. “David, what - ”

“Am I going to do with him? What we planned, I'm going to show him what being a vampire is all about.”

He said nothing else to her, getting on his bike and revving the engine. Dwayne caressed her cheek before he followed, patting Laddie's shoulder and Marko's smile to her was sympathetic. Paul ignored them both, riding off after David.

“Laddie, I'm sorry I screwed everything up. I didn't know my leaving would do that.”

“You were stupid.”

That made her laugh. “Yeah, I really was. I know now though and I promise I'm not going leave this town without taking all of you with me. Come on, huh? We'll get some food and talk about why you think Paul doesn't care about you as much as I know he does.”

He paused, looking back at the steps. “Do you think she's ok?”

“Yeah, I think she'll be perfectly fine. We vampires are tough creatures and David wouldn't have hurt her that badly, even mad. We'll let her heal up and bring her favorite food and maybe some brownies or something.”

Ordering dinner was a rather sober affair. Neither of them were feeling up to talking about much of anything. Laddie was upset about many things and she didn't know where to start. It bothered her that this had affected him so strongly, that she had caused damage simply by leaving. It was a new experience for her. Aside from her brothers when they were young and the needy Star no one had treated her presence as special, not even Gavin. Being truly needed by anyone was a sheer novelty. The milkshake she drank settled badly on her stomach that let out a sudden rabid rumble accompanied by a sharp cramp.

Laddie looked up from his shrimp basket. “You have to eat.”

“I am eating.” She stuffed one of her fries in her mouth to prove it, wincing at the taste.

“Not that, the other stuff.”

“I'm fine.”

He sent her a look that said I'm a kid but I'm not stupid. “We'll get to go boxes and Star's brownies. Then you'll take me back and you'll go get what you need.”

She smiled, speaking before thinking. “Yes, Sir. Someone has been spending too much time around David.”

He shoved out of his seat. “Not anymore.”

“Laddie . . .”

“I'll be outside with the bike.”

He disappeared before she could get another word out. She pushed her plate out of the way, thudding her head hard on the table. Her hopes of her return going smoothly were spiraling down the drain in a big way. She got all of the food together, ordering one of the restaurants thick fudge brownies and carrying it outside. She handed the bag to Laddie to hold on the ride back to the cave. She flew him inside when they were home, kissing his forehead with a soft reminder of her promise. Then she left, trying to ignore the relief she felt. This wasn't how she wanted things to be and she was going to try and fix them.

She also ignored her need to feed, choosing to take the time to get some kind of help. It didn't take long to make it to Max's house, her bike pulling up just as he was driving his car into his gate. She rode in behind him parking next to his car, trying to look as calm and nonthreatening as possible. His expression was more pleasant then she expected from one wanting to kill her, only the smallest hint of wariness showing around the eyes.

“Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes. To what do I owe the honor of this visit?”

“I'd like to talk about some things with you.”

“Talk about what exactly?”

“I need your advice about the boys, you are Head Vampire after all.” She blinked at his clothes and the large wet spot on them. “What happened to you? Bad date?”

“Unfortunately. If you'll come inside with me I'd like to get changed. I'm also finding I need somewhat of a pick me up. Would you mind getting one of the bottles from the wine cabinet in the kitchen? The one with the red and gold label is just the thing, help yourself to some, it is a fine vintage.”

Poe nodded, going with the desires of her stomach and heading into the kitchen. She picked out the bottle he described, pouring two glasses of the thick crimson fluid. It was just like Max to thin his blood with wine and drink it from a glass rather then a vein. Her stomach rumbled again and she gulped down a big swallow. The after taste made her gag a little but she drank the rest of it anyway, wanting to sooth her hunger.

The wooziness caught her by surprise. It grew into the heavy drowsy feeling that reminded her of when Paul had given her the morphine shot the night her scars had been removed. She barely made it to one of the bar stools before her knees buckled. Her last conscious thought as her head hit the counter was a very pissed 'what the hell?

Dark Dawn by wickedpurrz

David's earlier frustration had abated with his large meal though his annoyance at Michael had only grown. The half vampire had failed his test and ran off which meant he had to be dealt with another way and easy was no longer an option. He knew he could have handled it better yet when Michael had stomped up, getting in his face and smelling of the exact person he wanted to forget it was the last straw on the back of his patience. A pissed off David was not a very rational David.

The first person he saw coming inside was Laddie and he was reminded of still one more black mark he wore where no one could see. Hitting girls is wrong, my mother taught me that. His mother taught him that too, back before she started decapitating little children for fun. Almost a century and a half out and he was getting tired. Apparently the psyche didn't hold up as well as the body did but the hell if he was going to let his boys see it when they were on the road back to happy.

He watched Paul drag in the bags from the toy store full of board games and toys for the boy. He had gone with him to pull some mind games on the clerk. It was his attempt to make up for being a screw up of a parent. Laddie actually smiled when he saw his new stuff and it grew at Paul's promise to play every single one of the games with him and he made Dwayne promise to play them too, along with Marko. It was then he noticed the absence of his other female Childe, Star hiding behind the curtains to Poe's bed.

“Where's Poe?”

Laddie looked up from his hungry hippos game, glaring at David. “She left.”

“Left? To where? Why?”

“She needed to go feed so she dropped me off here after we ate but she hasn't been back yet.”

Dwayne put down the game's instructions. “It shouldn't have taken her that long. Not during summer time.”

Paul frowned, worried. “Do you think she - ”

Dwayne cut him off. “No. She was happy to be back here with us.”

“She was until Paul got all mad when she crushed his joint.”

“This isn't my fault!”

Marko snorted. “Nothing ever is, is it? You are so full of shit!”

“ENOUGH!” David's shout startled them into silence and sent a few pigeons flapping for cover. “How was her mood when she left, Laddie?”

“She seemed fine, a little quiet. I don't think she left like that, she promised me she wouldn't.”

“Then something happened to her. Marko, can you reach her?”

He settled on the couch with his eyes shut tightly, hands held out for quiet. It took him less then a minute to open them and shake his head. “I can't reach her, she's either too far away or . . . unconscious.”

“We'll find her.”

Marko looked up at the crack in the cave's ceiling. “David, the sun is rising. How will we - ”

He glared up at the sky with a low growl, teeth grinding hard enough to creak. “We'll find her. I told her I would come after her if she left and I meant it, it doesn't matter how long it takes me.”

“Us.” Dwayne corrected quietly. “No matter how long it takes us.

David met each one of their eyes and nodded. “Us. Now sleep, we're outta here as soon as the sun sets.”

They all flew into the cavern except for Paul who had Laddie's nightly ritual to finish before he slept. He didn't really think any of them were going to sleep well today anyway.



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The sudden bright flash of light across her eyelids woke Poe, her awareness coming with scream worthy pain. She grabbed her head, the loud rattle of dragging metal shocking her eyes open. She frowned at both her wrists in confusion, tugging at the metal shackles clasped around them both. A soft cough drew her gaze up the the figure now shielding her from the glare beyond the doorway.

“Max? What . . . why am I . . . how?” Her words came out slightly slurred and very slowly.

“Chained here in my basement? Silver nitrate and garlic oil, they were in the wine. Neither do much harm but together they do knock a vampire out quite easily. I expect you'll be feeling the effects for a few more hours. I couldn't have you ruining my plans, now could I? There can be only one Custos Matris after all and Lucy will make a much better mother to the boys then you ever could, dear Poe.”

She shook her head, eyes wide. “Why you . . . don't just . . . kill me?”

“Because it's not an exact or definite process by any means. I prefer to keep you alive in case it doesn't work. I can always use those powers of yours when I need to and until either outcome, here is where you'll stay. Get used to these walls and the dark.”

She yanked hard on the chains, trying to break them. “David . . . come after me.”

“Oh, he could try but he'll never know you're here. I don't recommend trying to break those for long, you'll only hurt yourself. You aren't the only one to possess the talents of magic, Childe, and your little lock busting ability won't get you any where either. Do you see those symbols on the shackles?”

She looked, turning the metal until she saw the sparkling, dark red runes on each cuff and their tiny padlocks. Her sluggish mind took longer then normal to remember what they were and when she did she started to curse. Blood Runes, used by vampires to bind slaves or protect a lair or many other things. They would last as long as the vampire who made them did. She seriously doubted Max would conveniently die within the next few hours.

“Now dawn is upon us and I really must get my sleep. I have another date tonight and I want this one to go well. There is blood in the bottle there.” He smiled at her distrustful grunt, shaking his head. “Now, now, it's not drugged and won't be unless you cause trouble. Your chains will reach that far but not to the door or the other two walls. The one behind you is solid cement and behind it a whole lot of dirt. Any noises you make won't be heard from down here, so don't try. Any thing you would like to say?”

She flipped him off, leaning her back against the wall behind her. He clucked his tongue and left, shutting her in darkness. She slumped down to lay her head on the floor, letting the tears slip down where they wanted. She was forever being chained at the whims of power hungry assholes though maybe this time the raping and pain wouldn't be a part of it but she wouldn't get her hopes up. The chemicals in her system dragged her down once again into the black and this time she welcomed it. It was only a matter of time before David found her and if she knew how to do anything it was bide her time.

She snapped awake sometime later to a sharp, horrible pain in her chest. She tried to inhale to scream but there was no air, there was no up or down, no color, only pain. She thrashed in her chains, clawing at her chest, trying in vain to make it stop. In her ears she heard screams, not her screams, you couldn't scream without air and she saw blurs of flashing lights. There were figures in the lights, her boys and . . . her brothers. When the pain stopped as abruptly as it came she finally screamed, something in her mind severing completely. It was her ties to him.

“MARKO!”

She surged to her feet in blind rage, pulling at her chains so hard they cut into her wrists. The metallic scent of her own blood only made her angrier and yank harder. She had to get out, she had to find them and kill them. They had to pay! When that failed she started to yell hoping to wake Max and tell him what happened. He would let her go then, he had to. It was Pack!

She collapsed after her voice went hoarse and silent, her forearms streaked with her cooling blood. He was right about no one hearing her in here or he just wasn't listening, didn't care. Her arms hugged tight around her knees as the shakes began. There were tears, so many they soaked the knees of her jeans and it wasn't enough. No amount of tears were going to make this better. Her little brothers had found the cave somehow and staked one of her Sires. It was her fault of course, she screwed up with Edgar's memories by leaving that flash of her with vampire eyes and teeth. He read enough comics to figure things out and apparently had enough guts to sharpen a few stakes.

The others were alive, she could still feel them, even Laddie, Star and Michael. They were separated all halfs in one place and all her Sires in another. She added up two and two and came out with Michael Emerson's death warrant. He led her brothers there and took away the other two, he had to have. He might as well have staked Marko himself for as little mercy as he was going to receive. She had no doubts he would pay and so would what must have been his little brother. Her own were on the hit list now too, right at the top for holding the sharp piece of wood. Now her boys really would be responsible for the death of her family and part of her, that part that was still screaming in agony for vengeance, really didn't care one damn bit.


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“They'll be coming for Laddie and me, won't they?”

“They'll be coming for all of us.”

Laddie stayed still under the coat until Star said his name and shook him, faking his wake up. He watched Michael leave the bedroom they were in with more then a little relief. He didn't really like talking in front of people he didn't know very well. He tugged at the edge of Star's skirt when she moved to get off of the bed.

“Star, we should go back.”

She didn't look as sad as he thought she should have when she spoke. “No, Laddie, we can't.”

“You mean you can't, Paul's my dad and Poe - ”

“Poe left again without saying anything this time. She's probably gone for good. It's better for us here anyway. We'll be in a house with toilets and showers and food that's not take out.”

He frowned at her. “We can't take showers.”

“We'll be able to soon, you'll see. Michael will take care of us.”

Then she left him there without another word, going to follow after her new knight in a leather jacket. He moved over to the window to look out at the red and purple sky fading quickly into night. He wanted to go home but he didn't know where he was let alone how to get back. He would have to wait for them because Michael was right they would be coming for all of them. Paul was his dad, Dwayne was his Sire and David would be coming for Star and Michael to punish them. He backed away from the glass, suddenly worried. Would David include him in the punishment since he was with them? He didn't want to find out the vampire version of being in trouble first hand.

He went downstairs and found three boys not much older then him sitting around a table near the fireplace. The two in the army gear actually smelled weirdly familiar to him and the other one in the blue shirt smelled like Michael. The army boys were painting streaks on their faces looking like silly miniture Rambos and the other one was playing with a bow and arrow. The boy in the middle started talking when Laddie came up and it made him feel sick when he realized what he was talking about.

“I think I should warn you all, when a Vampire buys it, it's never a pretty sight. No two blood suckers go out the same way. Some yell and scream, some go quietly. Some explode, some implode but all will try to take you with them.”

A dog started barking loudly and the blond boy jumped up. “Nanook! I left him outside.”

He ran out then before anyone could stop him ignoring Michael and the others yelling for him to come back. Michael ran out after him and they went to the doorway to watch. The two army boys may have talked brave but they didn't stray more then a foot from the porch. He tried to run out after them and couldn't, Star had an iron grip on his coat. She and the two with them yelled that the others were coming and even Laddie became caught up in the worry, though it was more for the dog then anyone else.

“Take them upstairs!”

He and Star were shoved towards the stairs and when he didn't move fast enough one of the army boys grabbed him, hauling him up to the landing. They were starting to really piss him off. He struggled to get away when he heard the crash below and again was held back by Star who pushed him into the bedroom. When they slammed the door the one who had talked about killing vampires downstairs held a stake over Star's back.

“I say we terminate them right now.”

“Laddie, run!”

He ran with her behind him through the bathroom and the other bed room. Paul was standing near the door and stepped behind it as they ran. Laddie smiled at him even though he was in fang face and he slammed the door after they went past. Star held him tight to her when the screams started first from Paul and then the boys. Nanook let out a loud growling bark and she pushed him under the bed to hide, gesturing for him to keep quiet. He covered his ears when the crashing bangs came out of the bathroom, knowing something really bad had happened.

He wasn't really sure how long he hid under the bed with the army boys in the room and him too scared to make a noise or even breathe. The other boy came in after a little bit and they all sat on the bed above him, talking about how they killed his family. So that was why his head hurt really bad and the bathroom smelled like food. They killed them, killed his dad! He got so angry he changed and burst up through the bed, screaming at full volume. After a second he realized he was out numbered, stepping on them and running instinctively into the corner so his back was to the wall.

“Holy shit! It's the attack of Eddie Munster!”

“Get him!”

Star flew out from her hiding spot in the closet and put herself in between him and the stake carriers. “Stop, get away from him! You just stay away from him! He's just a little boy.”

With her standing there he felt brave enough to reach past her arms to claw at them. The smell they were putting off made his stomach growl and cramp up. This must be what Marko meant when he said that watching horror movies in the theatre smelled like a buffet. The three boys backed to the other side of the room and Star knelt down in front of him, stroking his hair until he calmed down and his fangs faded away. He wanted so badly to hurt them, kill them and eat them except he knew he wasn't supposed to or he'd be stuck little forever. He started crying softly on the floor, needing Sire's blood and not knowing if he even had a Sire anymore.

Star picked him up and carried him into one of the other rooms he hadn't been in before, setting him on the bed. She then pulled the blanket over him and whispered that she was going to see what was going on downstairs, to check if it was ok to come out. He yanked the blanket over his head so he wouldn't yell at her. Of course it wasn't ok, it wasn't ever going to be ok again.
End Notes:
Ok, guys just don't kill me! It's not the end here I promise! *runs and hides*

Wreckage by wickedpurrz

Hours later Poe was flat on the cement floor sticky from her bleeding wrists and fingertips. Her head was throbbing from crying and her skin felt hot, itchy and sore. Marko's death hurt, Paul's was sheer agony and Dwayne's brought a seething madness that had her trying to claw the chains from their catch in the wall. David was the only one of her Sires left and that had her wondering where the hell he was while their boys were dying.

When she had been scratching at her chains madly, nails ripping from her fingers, she felt a last burning tingle flash through her. It was hardly a twinge compared to everything else and it made her frown. She then felt out for David who came as strong as always, five other ties were there so light and thin it took her entire concentration to figure out which was which. Edgar and Alan had swallowed vampire blood somewhere along the way and had Marko lived he would have had himself two unruly Childer. She understood why theirs was barely there, a few hours as a half didn't exactly make for a strong bond and yet why would Laddie, Star's and even Michael's have changed that way unless . . . they weren't halfs any more. That could only mean one thing, the Head Vampire was toast and they were human again. Max was dead.

She raised up on her elbows finally, using the wall to lean on as she sat upright. She ran her hand blindly over the little locks, pulling the energy from somewhere, hearing the soft snick as the metal let go. Her lips curved into a humorless smile, she was free leave to here now that it was too late to do any good. Her first attempt to stand was unsuccessful, her weak knees toppling her forward. She decided to wait on that, going for the bottle of blood on the floor. This time she tested it before gulping it down, surprised to find that Max hadn't lied about it. She felt better almost immediately, though not as much as if she'd taken it from a vein or even made a kill but it was enough to get her on her feet.

The door was unlocked as quickly as her cuffs so she made her way up into the dark kitchen. She flipped on the light, once again rifling in Max's wine rack looking though them until she found a bottle that was lacking the foil wrapping on the cork. She sniffed and taste tested the blood, drinking half of the bottle. Next on her list was washing away the blood on her arms and hands. She filled up the kitchen sink with water, hissing when the cold liquid stung the lingering wounds on her wrists and fingers. They were healing rapidly now that she'd fed and she actually stopped to watch her nails grow back shiny and pink.

Once she was clean and healed up nice she made her way out into the hall nearly tripping over the still figure of Thorn. He was sprawled out across the hallway, blocking the rest of the house from anyone entering it. He lifted his head slightly to look at her, his tail twitching a few times weakly. He didn't look good and she was betting Max's death was the cause.

“I'm sorry, buddy, Max's gone now. I'll figure out how to fix you up when I come back, ok?”

She stroked the soft fur on his head a few times and then stood. The garage was checked for her bike, that was of course missing. The only thing in there was an old mint green caddy, waxed until you could fix your hair in the shine. She got in and shook her head, taking the keys from their spot on the sun visor. What was it with men and their old cars? She peeled out of the gated driveway, heading to the soft pull in her belly. She went full throttle, getting a fiendish satisfaction at abusing Max's car. It was time to find David and figure out what the hell was going on.

The tug led her far out from town to a horse pasture with a barn on one side and some kind of a hunting lodge on the other. She was pretty confused walking out into the dark until she was led to a raised, bare patch of dirt between a set of trees. The pull came from below, the tang of blood mixed in with the scents of upturned earth and grass. They buried him, they buried David! She dug desperately at the ground, flinging dirt all over herself and everywhere else. She continued to freak out as she went deeper and deeper with still no David. Four feet down she found him, his hair dingy, pale skin coated in brown.

“Oh God, David, what the hell?”

She pulled and yanked him free, her stomach heaving when one of her fingers sunk into a hole on his chest. He'd been stabbed all the way through in two places and the fact that he wasn't conscious was worrying her. This wasn't exactly the first time he'd been stabbed. His eyelids shifted a little when she called his name but he didn't wake up, seeming to sink down even deeper then before. Loud growling barks started up from the direction of the hunting lodge making her flinch.

“Nanook! Something's out there, Mike! How many of those assholes were there?”

The young male voice carried softly out to where she was, her vampire ears the only reason she even heard it at all. Mike . . . Michael was in that house which meant Star and Laddie. She had to rein in the impulse to charge in and rip Michael to shreds, former Childe or not. She also wanted to grab up Laddie and hold him tight, bring him somewhere safe.

The sound of voices getting closer spurred her into action. Now was not the time for a rescue or vengeance attempt, David needed care and as much as she wanted to hurt Star she knew Laddie would be ok until she could go get him back. She lifted the blond's limp form into her arms as carefully as possible and flew him to the car, thankful for vampire strength. She wouldn't have been able to get him to the car let alone into the back seat as quickly or easily without it.

She drove him back to Max's house, thinking it had to be safer then the cave was right now. She got him from garage to the house without any problems at all. Thorn didn't even lift his head when she passed by and she sighed. One wounded at a time.

She set David down on the tiled bathroom floor gently then left to get a few bottles of blood and first aid supplies. The bowl she filled up with warm water to set next to her spot on the floor, happy Max's master bath was a large one. The clothes were taken off first, holed jackets set aside with soft clicks of the tongue. He really was going to be pissed when he saw the damage to his trench coat. Pants and shirts came and went with the boys but jackets and especially boots were prized things.

His t-shirt was cut off with the kitchen shears, the jeans following. When he was nude she settled him onto a towel so the cold from the tile wouldn't be so bad and started wiping the dirt from his legs. Since he was unconscious breathing wasn't likely to occur so sealing the holes in his chest weren't an emergency. She was more concerned with getting him clean, fed and conscious then anything else. The dirt was painstakingly cleaned from his chest wounds and she taped plastic over the holes in the back before she used Max's straight razor to cut her wrist open. She kept the blade in the flesh so she would bleed longer, watching it dribble into the wounds. With that done she taped more plastic on the front to seal it for the healing to begin, still worried about why it was taking so long.

She finished off the half bottle of blood from earlier to replenish her loss, watching for any signs of healing or awareness from David. It was getting harder to fight off her own fear at seeing her tough Sire laying like a corpse on the floor. She didn't remember David's last chest wound too well, her own a rather large distraction yet she did recall him awake the entire time. She wiped the dirt from his face and stroked his hair as she called his name. He woke for more then a second this time, blue eyes bleary with pain.

“Don't talk, David, don't breath. I'm pretty sure your lung is punctured, maybe both of them. I have blood here mixed with some wine or I could give you my blood.”

His lids fluttered closed leaving her wondering for a second if he had fallen under again. His hand touched lightly on her knee and she breathed out in relief. She took the movement as his decision, lifting her cut wrist to his mouth. The first couple of drops slid over his tongue before he latched on, sucking hard at her skin. She drank from the bottle as he did from her, letting him have what he needed even when she started feeling pretty woozy. He didn't so much let go then as his mouth went completely lax. This time she let him stay asleep. He was carried down to the basement and laid on the couch, make shift bandages checked again. There were some signs of healing now so she covered him with the blanket thrown over the sofa's back. She had done all she could for him.

Her next task was to take out the Grimoire from it's enclosed cabinet and look for anything about hell hounds with dead masters. She read Thorn's fix was a simple one. He needed blood from a new master or he would fade and die. The bond to a vampire was what kept him so tough and long lived. Without it he would revert to his natural age and health which would most likely kill him. She checked David one last time and then went upstairs to take care of Thorn. He wasn't her dog and once upon a time he had given her the heebie jeebies but she'd had enough damn death for one night and did not have the energy to find a place to bury him in the back yard.

With the dog given still more of her blood she collapsed on the floor next to him, petting his fur. She was very close to shattered, mentally and physically. Her world was once again wreckage at her feet like sparkling pieces of glass. She was sure if she tried to put them back together she would only begin to bleed all over again. Voices along with the squealing creak of the wooden gate got her shoving herself upright, fear shivering it's way across her tender skin. She knew all of the voices except one, the one who was demanding that he not be left to wait in the car like a child.

“I killed a vampire, Mike! On my own, without your help! I'm old enough to go in the damn house where there's only one!”

“Shut up, Sam! We don't know there's only one. Mom made me promise not to let you get hurt and I'm going to keep it, so stay in the fucking car!”

She whispered to the dog as made her way back into the kitchen. She needed to get between them and the house without them seeing her. “Protect David, Thorn. Protect him like a good hell hound, huh?”

She slipped around the side of the house onto the porch, using the dark to conceal her movements . “Hello, Michael.”

Both of her brothers flinched in unison. “Christ! Where did she come from?”

She stepped from the shadows to lean on the iron trellis, arms crossed. “What no greeting? How rude of you, I know I taught you better then that.”

The shock that appeared on their faces pleased her in a sadistic way. They could see her true face now instead of the mind scramble she performed on them in January, Marko's tiny amount of blood made sure of that. The boys made her and their blood or hers held the truth of her appearance. It was why Michael recognized her right away, too. Speaking of traitor number one, he was staring at her brothers with a protective sort of confusion, not knowing why the sight of her was so spaz worthy. Last names weren't very important information years ago, so the name Frog had never meant anything to him.

“You two know her?”

“She . . . she's our . . . was our older sister.”

She grunted. “Am your sister. A pair of fangs and a slower heartbeat don't exactly break our shared genetic code you know.”

Edgar glared at her, always the tough guy. “No, it's more like the thirst for human blood that breaks the sense of family, Poe.”

“Is it? Lucky you got rid of Max then or you might have found that little one out first hand.”

“We weren't - ”

“Been near any vampire blood lately? Maybe while you were screaming like little babies with your mouths wide open?”

A blond teen came up behind the others. “Am I the only one who wasn't a shit sucking vampire in the making around here?”

Michael grabbed him, shoving what was apparently his brother behind his body. “Sam, get back in the car!”

“No way!”

She didn't want Sam all safe and sound in the car, out of her sight. She wanted him right here where she could see him, smell his fear and guilt like a rank aftershave. Funny how he seamed more afraid of her then her Sire but then she wasn't screaming while her head exploded either. She wondered idly how his body would take a few thousand volts of electricity.

“He has a right to stand here, I think. Little brother's a killer now, Michael, unlike you.”

He whipped around at her dig. “Where is he? Where's David, Lenore?”

She snorted in disgust, moving to stand firmly between him and the door. “You honestly think I'm going to tell you? Just give him over so you can finish the job, Michael?”

“He's a killer, he deserves to die!”

“Is that so?”

She shoved at Michael with her mind, knocking him on his back. She charged at Sam, grabbing him from behind and raising him high off the ground. He struggled in her grip, stopping when she flew them both out over the edge of the cliff. He held onto her, leg curling back around hers tight, whimpering in fear at the very long drop below them.

“Killers deserve to die, isn't that what you said, Michael? Well, your little brother here killed my Sire! According to your logic he deserves to die, too.”

“NO! Please, don't!”

“He's not a vampire, Poe! The undead don't count!”

“They count to me!” She let Sam slide down in her grip as if she was going to drop him.

“NO, DON'T! PLEASE! We'll leave, ok? Just don't drop my brother, please.”

She dug the nails of her other hand into the boy's neck and he cried out. “Liars and traitors! I'm supposed to believe you, Michael? You killed them! My own brothers would have killed me had I been there! I can see that in their faces! Your promises mean nothing!”

Michael stood on the fence becoming just tall enough for his fingers to brush against Sam's shoes. “Please! I saved you once, just let my brother go, Lenore! I'll do anything, take his place, anything you want!”

“Your life isn't mine to take, Michael, Sam's is but I'll make you a little deal. You bring me Laddie and I'll give you back your brother.”

He frowned up at her. “What do you want with Laddie?”

“Does it matter to you? Does it really matter, Michael?”

“Mike, no! Don't do it, Mike! He's a little kid!”

“Hush, you!” She covered Sam's mouth with her hand, tilting her head as she looked Michael in the eye. “Decision time, what's it going to be?”

“I'll bring you Laddie, just don't hurt him.”

She grinned, knowing exactly which him he meant even if he left it purposely ambiguous. “Hurry along then. You have until sunrise to bring him to me.”

He nodded, pulling her brothers with him to the car. “Come on.”

“We can't leave him here! She'll eat him!”

“Or she'll turn him! Michael!”

“If we don't go right now, she'll drop him and we get to watch him splatter on the rocks! Do you want that to happen?” They shook their heads and he went on. “Besides, I did save her once and she owes me this much.”

“Are you crazy, you're trusting a vampire?”

“No, I'm trusting her.”

She watched the three of them get in the car and take off, ignoring the tears that welled up in her eyes. It hurt that her brothers hated her and Michael was the one who stood up for her if only to keep his own alive. She went to the front door, hand tight on the back of Sam's neck, nails digging in lightly. She made him open the door, directing him through the hall and into the kitchen. They both gaped in shock at the sight of Thorn who was on his feet in front of the basement door, growling at Sam. His yellow cream fur was dull and sickly, falling off in large patches as if he had the worst case of mange in the history of the world.

“What the hell is wrong with that dog?” Sam yelled, his disgust obvious.

“What you've never heard of a bad fur day? Down, Thorn!”

“What was that some kind of sick animal humor? You really are related to Alan, aren't you?”

“Unfortunately. Quiet on the stairs or you'll regret it.”

He listened and she was surprised that he did. Sam seemed like someone who always had something to say if you wanted to hear it or not. His only issue was the fact that he balked when the still figure on the sofa came to his attention. She felt the muscles in his neck go hard as rock with tension so she squeezed in warning. She put him in the exact place where Max had left her since having a hostage and not using it would have been a waste no matter how much she came to hate this room. She, unlike Max, was kind enough to turn the damn light on as she locked the metal cuffs around his wrists. Sam looked like he was going to throw up at the reddish stains on them.

“Is this where you torture people?”

“I don't do torture. That's my blood.”

He played with the little padlock, frowning.“Yours? When you were human?”

“No, I was locked in here while you killed my pack.”

That got him to look at her face and she realized he wasn't more then an inch or two shorter then she was. “Why?”

“No, Sam, enough questions!” She shook her head when he back up and ignored the fresh scent of fear. “Look, I am trying very hard not remember that you were the one who killed my Sire, my maker and the fact that I hate you. I would like nothing better then to see your guts spilled on the ground at my feet but kiddies are on my No Kill list. You're lucky but if you don't stop asking questions I may change my mind!”

Her threat only got her silence for about thirty seconds. “You have a No Kill list?”

She growled at him. “Shut up! I'm going to leave you in here now and if you make enough noise to wake up David you are seriously going to regret it. With him asleep I can keep you alive for now, like I promised, but if you disturb him all bets are off.”

“He . . . he really isn't dead?”

She looked over her shoulder at him before walking out. “You should learn a little bit more about your game before you go hunting, Sam.”

After the door clicked shut she leaned back against it and slid to the floor. She was tired, so incredibly exhausted and still the game wasn't over. She had to get Laddie back, the need inside her to make sure he was safe and right in front of her was so strong it was almost a feeling of pain. She was Matri, the protector of her pack, every part of her line. It didn't make sense to her logical mind that Star and Michael and even her brothers were still under that umbrella of protection. They were human now, the ties should be broken and they were not. So many parts of herself were at war, human and vampire, vampire and Matri, even her human nature was conflicting with it's primitive side. Her boys were dead or hurt, her new found sense of life and peace gone and that called for revenge. The primal human parts were screaming for it and yet it was also saying the enemies were children, family. Vampire wanted the bloody death of them all, arterial spray and severed limbs only the beginning but the Matri fought that wanting all to be safe and home, cared for.

Poe crawled to David, laying her head on his arm lightly. She inhaled his scent, the strength mingled with wounded and it made her cry. She wished he would wake up now, wake up and be strong. She needed him to do this for her, to make these decisions, make the right ones because she was afraid the ones she chose would be wrong. He didn't wake up and she knew he wouldn't, not for hours. She was on her own in this.
End Notes:
Again I'm gonna tell you guys all is not lost! There is hope yet I swear!

Pieces and SuperGlue by wickedpurrz

Author's Notes:
This is a lil rough I think but I wanted to get it up, heh. Spanish is translated from a website so I'm not too sure of the accuracy.
The sky had lightened from black to a deep midnight blue signaling dawn's swift approach. Poe sat on the porch watching Michael's time dwindle slowly down. Sam was sitting on the sofa in the living room enjoying his late night Mtv where he had been for the last hour. Turns out old Max had a lot of different kinds of manacles hidden away in the basement's main closet. The boy's hands and feet were connected by a long chain that was then secured with a loop to the leg of a very heavy television cabinet. Chains aside he actually seemed pretty content, muttering to himself about old men and tv guides.

The car Michael had driven away in pulled up to the gate a few minutes later and Poe could make out three figures through the windshield. She dug her nails into her palms hard to keep a hold on herself. Star was out there and boy, did she deserve some pain for the shit storm she'd caused. Not killing her when given the chance was numbered about three on her list of regrets, stuck right below leaving Santa Carla and talking to Max last night. Had it really only been that long? The difference a day could make was staggering, twenty-four little hours turning heaven to hell.

The traitor stayed in the car while her knight strode down the path to the porch where Poe sat. It only emphasized how foolish she and David had been in letting her anywhere near them. She stood when he reached the edge of the yard, his light eyes searching for any hint of his precious baby brother. Again she put her body between him and the front door, protecting her own.

“Where's Sam?”

“Inside. Laddie?”

He gestured behind him even though she already knew. “In the car.”

She stepped towards him and he backed up a half step before he could stop himself. “Let him out. I want to see him. Give him to me.”

“I want to see Sam first.”

She moved over to stand next to the window, tapping loudly at the glass. The ugly vibrant set of curtains were yanked aside and Sam looked out at them both with wide, relieved eyes. He even waved at his brother as much as his cuffs would allow. She turned back to Michael with crossed arms, one brow raised expectantly.

“You chained him up?”

“You rather I'd knocked him out to keep him still?”

“Laddie, no! Wait!”

Her attention was jerked away from the brunette to the small form running towards them as fast as his short legs allowed. Poe shoved around Michael and caught him up in her arms with a stumbling step. The knot in her belly eased at having her boy in her arms again. The heat of his body warmed her and so did his scent. It was cotton candy, sand and that little boy musk with the tang of salty tears.

“Poe, he's gone. My daddy's gone! I was so scared! Where were you?”

“Oh, Laddie, I know. I didn't mean to go, it was Max, he kept me here. I'm sorry, baby, so damn sorry!”

She rocked him as he sobbed, stroking his hair and his back. She wanted to join him but she didn't have any tears left tonight or the strength to cry them. Her eyes opened back up to find Michael staring at her, an expression of pure shock on his face. Such disbelief in those eyes, she thought, can't get why I'm not using Laddie as a predawn snack, the idiot.

“What?”

“How can you still . . .”

“Care?” She set Laddie down, fingers playing through his hair. “Just because I'm a vampire it doesn't mean I ever really stopped being human. We became more, not less.”

There was a flash of guilt on his face before he frowned at her. “Not us, not anymore.”

She smirked at him, eyes flicking to Star as she came up hesitantly behind him. “You had David's blood inside you, mine and even Star's. You think those ties just fade away because you're all fang free again? If so, you'd be mistaken. That blood was inside your veins, changed every cell it touched. We're still a part of you, Michael, and we always will be.”

“You – you're lying, Max's dead and we're not like you anymore!”

Poe growled, grabbing at Star before anyone could stop her. “Not like me? Oh, you're right, you were never like me! Selfish, self serving and manipulative weren't things I ever was. You betrayed everyone you ever met, Star! How did it feel, huh? How did it feel to see them dead and know you caused it? How'd you look Laddie in the eye after your sweetie over here helped murder his father?”

“No, they were . . . I didn't . . .”

“I should kill you right now. Rip out your nicely mortal little throat and save poor blind Michael from your curse.”

Her claws dug into the skin of Star's shoulder where she held her in an iron grip. Michael's shouts and even Laddie's tugs on her legs didn't distract her from biting deep into the female body in front of her. Her blood was hot and overflowing with rich, pulsing life. It was so good her eyes rolled back in her head, her ears full of the rapid thrum of her straining heart. So, so good and so very needed. She inhaled deeply as she drank her down, feeling the strength flood from Star's veins into her own.

Fear was the strongest odor that came from her and yet there was something else underneath it. It was so different then what she had come to recognize as the girl's signature scent. She knew this scent though, had smelled it recently, too. It took her a full minute to place it as it was so incredibly faint on her. Fredrika had this exact same hidden little undertone when she visited her last month and it was there under the shades of Star's soap and the rot of fear. Fredrika was seven months pregnant and Poe had been there for her baby shower. There had been two other women there full with child and they had it also.

She shoved Star away, backing up when she hit the ground on her ass. She wanted to kill her, needed to on a primal level but if she was right then she couldn't. Any baby inside her was a new and innocent life, it was against her own rules to kill a baby, even one so small. Now that she knew, that her conscious mind knew what her senses had been trying to tell her there was something else she could almost feel from Star. A shadow flickering across Poe's mental image of the brunette, a shadow of a little face and large brown eyes.

It scared her to see it, to feel the life as it was only just beginning, hardly more then an idea at this point. She was a vampire, maybe a special kind of vampire but life wasn't something she should be able to touch this way. She was death, it was her gift and curse. She gave it out like Santa Clause at Christmas except she had chosen the naughty list as her guide. The Matri prodded that this was hers, too. Star was still connected to her, blood was blood and pack was pack. A new little cub was a precious part of family that need care and again she was scared. Calling her own “pack” was one thing but to call a baby a cub? What the hell kind of vampire was she? Being undead, drinking blood, killer sunlight, holy water and weird bonds were things she sort of expected from her new nature, but this? It made absolutely no sense and she didn't want anything to do with it.

She moved away from Star and Michael, who was helping the fallen girl up. She bumped Laddie inside behind her seeing the anger on the guy's face. He was reining it in she knew for his brother's sake since she still held the keys to Sam's freedom. She strode inside to the teen and unlocked his cuffs with a wave of her hand. He watched her with a wary little frown and yet had no true fear in his scent or coloring his blue eyes.

“Time to go, Sam.”

They both turned as Thorn's pissed off growls came from the entrance. Sam was the first down the hall to his brother, pushing him away from the dog who was guarding the kitchen door. Poe walked them back outside with Thorn at her heels, lip curled in distrust. She paced the slightly freaked couple and Sam all the way down to the gate and their car. Star was the first in the vehicle, looking shaken and sad. Poe lifted her fingers and slammed her car door just as Michael went to touch it, sending him skittering back from it. He gaped at her, his anger at her daring to bite his sweetie becoming fear once again.

“You stay away from us, Michael, stay away from my family and I'll stay away from yours. Anyone comes here, I mean anyone, carrying stakes and kills another of mine and I'll come for you or Sam or your precious Star. Do you hear me, Michael?”

He stuttered. “You – you can't blame me for - ”

She smirked. “Oh, I can and I will. Don't you dare doubt me on this.”

“That's not very - ”

“Fair? All's fair in love and vampires, Mike.”

“But, Laddie, I won't just leave him here.”

Poe looked down at the boy leaning his head on her arm. “Why don't you ask him what he wants then?”

Laddie spoke his opinion very loudly and firmly for an eleven year old. “I'm staying with Poe! If you take me away from her I'll run away, I've done it before. I want to be with her and my dad would want me to!”

Michael opened his mouth to say something else and she cut him off. “You heard him, now get in the fucking car before I decide you'd be a good bed time snack after all!”

“Get in the car, Mike! Get in the damn car!”

“Michael, please, just . . . just get in the car. I'll be all right and I don't want to be here anymore, please.”

She didn't care if it was Sam's shout or Star's pleading that got him to actually get back behind the wheel. They were leaving and her Laddie was with her again. It was all she gave a damn about. She stayed there at the gate until the car disappeared down the street. She wondered if her promise would be held by David or if he would take it upon himself to get revenge on the family for the loss of his own. She had a feeling this was not the last time she would be meeting someone with the name Emerson.

Laddie tugged on her shirt, getting her attention away from the road. “Poe, the sun. You'll get hurt if you don't go inside now.”

She nodded, walking back towards the house with him at her side. She paused on the porch to look at Laddie and then out at the rising sun. He was human again and the light wouldn't do anything to him besides give a little skin burn or a tan. The only thing keeping him from the warmth was her now and suddenly she felt guilty. He deserved sunlight and other children and games or even school. How would she give him any of that as a vampire?

“Laddie, maybe you should have - ”

“No. Don't even say it! I don't want to be with them, I want to be with you. I don't care if you're a vampire, you care about me more then my own aunt does and I want to live with someone who liked my dad. He was bad at it sometimes but I know he cared now, he loved me. I know that because he saved us when one of the Frogs tried to hurt me and Star. He wouldn't have done it if he didn't care, so so just shut up! I'm living with you and that's it!”

She held up her hands with a small smile. “Ok, I get it! You're with me and that makes me happier then you can imagine.”

“Good.”

Poe picked up the chains from holding Sam hostage, pushing back the heavy cabinet to unhook the loop. She took them back down into the basement with Laddie and Thorn following at her heels. When she turned back around from storing them in the closet she found Laddie glaring at the still form of David on the sofa. His fists were clenched tight enough that his knuckles were turning white. She caught him a split second before his swinging fist met it's mark.

“Laddie, don't!”

“Why did he live? Why did it have to be him, Poe? Why couldn't it have been my d-dad or Dwayne? I want Paul! I m-miss Dwayne! WHY?”

“Ssh, it's ok, Laddie, ssh!” She picked him up again, carrying the boy out of the basement and away from the sight of David. “I don't know why, baby, I wish I did. I wish I could make it all better but I . . .”

Her words trailed off when something nudged at the back of her mind. Little flashes of the Grimoire with words she couldn't read kept playing like a skipping movie reel. Thankfully Laddie didn't notice her unfinished sentence, his own grief taking all of his attention. She placed him in Max's bed and crawled under the geometric patterned blankets with him. She rocked him, stroked his hair and rubbed his back as he fell into a fitful sleep, laying beside him until his breathing was deep and slow. As exhausted as she was she couldn't close her eyes for very long and knew sleep would be next to impossible. She would see her brothers bloody faces or hear the insane screech of the song Good Times by INXS or feel the liquid hell of a bathtub prison all around her. Yes, sleep and the inevitable nightmares were things she wanted to avoid as long as she could.

So she ended up back downstairs in the dark basement with the Grimoire on her lap, flipping rapidly through the pages by the dim glare of a flashlight. This book held magic and it's spells ranged from the sinister to the benign and she was hoping it also had the miraculous as well. Hours were spent pouring over the Latin, German, Spanish and Italian, waiting for her enhanced memory to supply the translations. Replacement spells, spells to put vampires, werewolves and humans to sleep, spells to heal, to kill, to protect and even see the future were all written in these pages.

The one she found that sent a chill up her spine was called the Vida Vuelto, living returned her mind supplied and it took the soul, or essence as the spell said, of someone lost or dead and put it into another body essentially making them live again. The requirements were steep and she didn't know where exactly one found a Necromancer. She doubted they were conveniently in the phone book under the letter N but it was something. Movement drew her gaze over to the couch and she met David's icy blue eyes with a grin of relief and hope.

Painful Hopes by wickedpurrz

Author's Notes:
Sorry this one took so long.
“You're awake! I was so damn worried. Do . . . do you remember what happened?”

His nod was slow, expression full of pain and rage. He remembered all right. Poe shifted so that she was kneeling next to the couch. Her fingers caressed his cheek and then ran through the messy spikes of his hair. His eyes closed and he tilted into her touch. The next moment she felt a shivery tingle in her mind, like frozen worms crawling between her ears. She glared at David knowing instantly what he was doing. Apparently he didn't want to wait for her to tell him where she had been, he'd decided to look for himself. She watched his face as he saw the last two nights of her life with his own eyes and knew exactly when he got to this morning. His eyes popped back open and she was treated to a look she'd never expected to see turned on her. It said I'll kill you and wear your flesh as a hat. She would be terrified if she hadn't seen him naked and moaning more then once.

“You know it's rude to plow through someone's memories without asking first.”

Her comment was ignored of course. His voice was so strained and scratchy that it actually hurt to hear him speak. The air he took in was shaky, wheezing and it spoke of the injuries to his lungs.

“You let them go!”

“I did and you saw why.”

“Wouldn't have mattered . . . to me. They deserve it, they killed them!”

“I know what they did! I – I felt them, David, I felt them die.”

“So did I.”

She shook her head, not wanting to be angry at him. “To go by Vampire Law, Michael didn't kill anyone except Max and he was a threat to his family, it was his right. That didn't even happen until later and how you got stabbed wasn't a kill, now was it? Why did you go there, David? I had an excuse for where I was. What was yours? To kill teenagers, my brothers?”

“They killed Marko! I wanted them to pay, I didn't care who it was! Michael is a mistake I need to erase and Star should have died a long time ago.”

“I know that! Don't you dare sit there and act like I didn't care about them because I won't murder an innocent baby or a trio of teenagers, two of which are my brothers!”

“It's been days, it's not even a person yet, Poe. You should have killed them both and Michael's spawn right along with them. They took mine so why can't I take their's?”

“I know you had the chance to kill Michael yourself and you didn't. You're over a century old, no half was going to get the drop on you unless you allowed it! So, I'm not going to listen to this anymore. I'll be upstairs checking on Laddie. There's blood in the bottle on the table. Since you are so pissed about decisions I made, while you were unconscious, you can drink that or get your own damn blood!”

Poe left the floor she was sitting on and stomped her way up the steps. She paused at the crash of breaking glass and the heavy thump. His curses were loud and very colorful, some she had never even heard before. She waited though not moving an inch until he called to her.

“Poe, don't leave. Please.”

Her shoes made the steps creak as she came back down them and then rapid thumps when she saw him laying on the floor on his belly. “What the hell did you do? You're still hurting, aren't you? Damn it, David.”

He shoved himself up into a sitting position showing the dribbles of blood skating down his belly. The bottle she left on the table was on the floor in a mess of red liquid and green glass. It looked like it had fallen when he was reaching for it rather then thrown like she'd thought. She sighed, kneeling down beside him to check his wounds, her belly heavy with guilt. They were healed somewhat but not nearly as much as they should have been. She pulled off the plastic from the back and then the front. The tape ripped out a few of his chest hairs, making David grunt and glare at her.

“I don't think Max has anymore bottles stored in his wine cabinet and I doubt you can go out and feed when you can't even get your ass back on the couch. So, will you feed from me or are you still gonna be pissy and give me attitude?” He took her proffered wrist with a dirty look and she smirked. “Attitude and a feed, nice.”

The sensations of his teeth piercing her flesh were so intense that she moaned. It was so different with him aware and looking up at her as he drank. The pull and lap of his tongue on her sensitive skin sent heat flowing through her belly replacing the guilt with something far warmer. He lifted away from her arm and grabbed her face between his hands. His vampire face faded away a split second before before his lips met hers and that blood coated tongue thrust into her mouth. He moved her so that she was straddling his lap, his fingers stroking in her thick hair. The kiss went from sweet to hungry to desperate quickly and he laid her back on the floor, leaning over her.

She wrapped her legs around his hips, arching up into his body. His hand stroked down her side and she felt a sudden sticky wetness on her belly and chest. She turned from the kiss to look down at her own body and her shirt was stained almost black where David had been touching her chest with his. He had been bleeding on her while they kissed. She tried to wiggle out from under him with more then a little panic but he wouldn't let her.

“David, you're bleeding on my shirt!”

His answer was to rip off the offending material so he could lick the smears from her belly. She growled in frustration, pushing her fingers into his hair. She used it to tug him higher so she could see his face better in the dim glare of her flashlight. He let her shift him up her body, hiding his face against her chest.

“David, what . . .”

Poe fell silent when he started to shake. She wrapped her arms around him, feeling his tears wet her chest. Her own slipped from her eyes and into her hair. Their shared grief didn't last long. David jerked out of her arms to crawl away from her. Then he got to his feet moving even further from her, scrubbing at his face. Why he felt the need to hide his pain from her she wasn't sure.

“It's ok, you can - ”

“It's NOT ok! They're GONE!”

His words were a roar pain that wasn't from his wounds, not the external ones anyway. He picked up one of the end tables, the one without the lamp thankfully, and threw it against the wall. She flinched at the crash, staring at the crumpled metal and the dented wall. The force of his movement knocked him off balance and he fell to his knees. This time he didn't get up, instead curling over his knees with his face in his hands.

“They're gone.

“David, I - I found something, in the this book.” She took the book over to him, setting it beside his knee so he could look at it. “I was awake all day looking through it, trying to translate the words to English in my head. I found something right before you woke up and I think . . . I think I might be able to bring them back!”

He looked up at her, forehead ridged, eyes fading from gold to blue in surprise. “What?”

“There's a spell in here, the Vida Vuelto, it means - ”

“Living returned. Max taught me Spanish when we first came to California.”

“Oh, well see you need a few things, one I'm not exactly sure what or who it is but the rest can be done.”

“Show me.”

She flipped through the pages, then held the book out for him to see. She got up when he took it going to turn on the lamp so that there was more light. She spun around at the thud of the book hitting the floor. David had read the spell and then apparently tossed the book back at her.

“What the hell? Be careful with that!”

“It's useless. The spell can't be done.”

“What? Why?”

He spoke through gritted teeth. “Necromancers. They don't exist anymore and even if they did, they don't like our kind. We're dead yet not dead and we're not zombies that they can control. It's one of those things like werewolves and vampires hating each other. It just is. So this spell won't work, forget about it.”

“You don't know that. If we look hard enough I bet we can find one. I'm not exactly a common thing either, you know. However long it takes we'll find one and then bring them back.”

“Forget it, Poe!”

“No! Why are you rejecting this, David? We could bring them back to us! I won't give up, I don't know how you can either!”

“You don't understand! They were everything! My brothers, my children, my . . . my father. Max may have been a bossy power hungry asshole but he took care of us when we needed him to, took care of me. Dwayne was the first I ever made, Max wanted me to have a bond with others stronger then I had with him so it would keep me stable. Dwayne was that stability. He tried to kill me when he grew up, after he saw me kill his mother. I didn't know it was his mother then but I saw him, so loyal and strong and I wanted him. We were together for thirty-six years before I found Marko. He looked so very innocent but he wasn't. His past makes Paul's look almost cheery and yet he could still smile so honestly. He made his first kill before he was ever a vampire and it was that night that I knew he was one of us. I was the mind, Dwayne the heart and Marko was our soul. Then we found Paul and he was our sun, he shined so brightly even in the dark that we couldn't resist taking him, especially Dwayne. They . . . they were everything good in me, how am I supposed to go even a day without them?”

She watched in horror as blood started streaming from his chest wounds once again and he slumped back on the floor. She rushed to him yanking off her ripped shirt to try and stem the flow. They were worse then they were last night. The holes had been ragged and deep but they hadn't been bleeding this way, in fact he had lost very little blood before. The red fluid soaked her shirt, turning the blue fabric a blackish purple. She shook her head in shock, staring at him.

“You don't want to heal, do you? Is that why you're bleeding now? You want to die?” He turned his head away from her, closing his eyes. “LOOK AT ME! DAVID! Don't die, please, oh god please don't die on me, don't! I'll bring them back, I promise you. I'll move heaven and earth if I have to, to get our boys but I'll bring them back!”

“Then . . . let me sleep . . . until you do.”

“Sleep?”

“Like my mother does.”

“How do you know that?”

He touched her face, fingers gliding up her cheek to her temple, tapping twice. “You have it in your memories you know and I would have known the instant Marko died anyway. If Max had felt the loss of my mother as I had the boys he never would have been so calm when we buried her.”

“David, I . . . I don't know.”

“Please.”

Poe leaned over, resting her forehead on David's collar bone. There was so much hurt in his eyes, so much she couldn't look in them any longer. He meant it, what he was asking her for and she would give it to him, even if it ripped her into pieces. This spell she knew enough about not to even look at the book. It took blood and a strong connection which she had in ample supply. She reached to the back of her neck and unhooked her silver raven pendant. It was the only thing she had taken from her apartment when visiting her old friends for the last time. She bit into the same wrist David had drank from, smearing the blood all over the pendant and it's chain, coating both. She didn't have some specially crafted amulet but this would do in a pinch. Then she slipped the necklace over his head, taking care not to get crimson smears in his hair.

“Blood of my blood, it is time for rest. Let the cradle of the earth embrace you as you sleep. Let it heal all that pains you.” She brushed her still wet wrist over his lips and then kissed them. “Take of this blood, the blood that runs through you as well as me, that bonds us in more then body. Sleep deeply, sleep well until I bid you wake. Sleep now.”

She felt the magic tingle over her skin and ran her hand over David's eyes, closing them. She felt him sink down further and further. His awareness left him finally and she sighed. For now he was gone, leaving her with only the faintest line of connection to him. She shoved her tears away, getting to her feet. She had to finish this, put David in the ground and there was only one place that was right. The cave.

She got all the way up the stairs and made it to the front door before she collapsed, her breath coming in hyperventilating gasps. She was alone, had to live and go on without all four of her Sires. The task she had set herself was daunting and who knew how long it would take her to complete. She would do it though, she had promised David and would fight for it until she got them back or died trying. She blinked when Laddie's worried face appeared in front of her own. He touched her hair and was calling her name. Thorn slobbered over her right ear and she looked at the dog who was once white. He was black now from his pink nose to the tip of his tail. She stroked the thick ebony fur in shock. You wouldn't know it was the same dog at all if not for the nose and the eyes.

“What the hell?”

“He was like that when I woke up. Poe, what happened? Why are bloody?”

She sniffled. “David, he - ”

“He's dead? No! Not him too!”

He ran down the hall full tilt and she scrambled to catch him. His swift feet flew down the steps and over to David's still body laying on the floor. She caught him a second before he flung his sobbing body onto the sleeping vampire. She turned him around to face her, shaking her head.

“No, no, Laddie. He's not dead! He's not, he's only sleeping! I promise.”

He stared at her, confused. “He's not?”

“No, only sleeping. He asked me to do a spell for him so he could sleep and heal.”

“Sleeping, not dead?” He looked down at him and then hugged her tight. “I'm so glad he's not dead. I was mad at him but he's the only one of them left besides you, I didn't want him to die. Poe?”

“Yeah?”

“Why aren't you wearing a shirt?”

She looked down at her bra covered chest and snorted at herself. “He was bleeding and I tried to stop it with my shirt. It's why I'm all bloody, too.”

“Will he be ok?”

“In time, he will. I need to take him to the cave so he can sleep better. I want you to stay here with Thorn, ok? Doors and windows locked up tight. I don't even want you to go outside.”

He nodded solemnly then followed her back up into the kitchen. He watched her silently as she washed the blood from her hands and arms, scrubbing her face with the cool water. His eyes were full of questions he seemed to be afraid to ask. They were an exact copy of Paul's and yet the mind behind them was so different. Paul never let anything stop him, never let himself be afraid of anything, jumping into any situation with both feet and blind eyes. Laddie sat and studied everything before even considering sticking a toe in, all the while watching with suspicion as if he expected some kind of trick.

“What do we do now? Where will we live?”

She took her time answering, thinking as she cleaned the scarlet from under her nails. “I have something I need to do, something I promised David and it will take a while I'm sure. I don't want to go back to the cave until I have it done, so we won't be living there. I don't want to stay here either, Max's house sort of gives me the creeps. When I was gone I went to visit my Nana Jane, my father's mother. I told her about you and . . . the boys. She wants to meet you and I think, well I really think it would be the best place for us. For a while at least.”

“I never had a Grandmother before. My mom never took me to meet her parents or my dad's. Do you think she'll like me?”

“She'll love you, Laddie, just like I do. Now go watch some tv and I'll take David to the cave. It might take me a while so don't worry if I'm gone several hours. I should be back before dawn but if I'm not I want you to call this number.” She took her wallet out of her back pocket and removed her small list of phone numbers. “It's my Nana's. Tell her who you are and that you need her to come get you. She'll take good care of you, I know she will. So, promise me, promise me you'll call her if I don't come back. I don't want you to go back to eating out of the trash, Laddie.”

“Fine, I promise. Just go so you can come back. This place gives me the creeps, too.”

She nodded, going first into Max's room to steal one of his less annoying shirts. She filled a bucket with water to wash David and brought it along with a sheet to wrap him up in. It took her another half hour to clean and get him into the car. She left Laddie inside the locked house with a tight hug and kiss to his forehead, waving as she backed out of the drive way. Maybe once she got all of this done she could take a real bath and fall apart like she truly wanted to.

Broken Sun by wickedpurrz

Author's Notes:
Ok so part two is done! Yay! Onto part three! Sorry this took so darn long and is so short. =( My Muse went poof on me. Hopefully she'll come back so can get the next part going.
Poe drove out to the bluff in the mint green caddy ignoring her longing to just crawl in her bed and sleep until everything was all better again. She flew David inside wrapped in the blue sheets that surprisingly were pattern free. The strong scent of blood hit her like a slap in the face, so hard she nearly dropped the blond precariously cradled in her arms. She tucked him on the couch following the scent to the tunnel that led into the sleeping cavern. She twitched her flashlight around and then stumbled back so quickly that she tripped, a soft horror filled cry coming from her mouth. She trembled as her stomach heaved repeatedly and she felt grateful for the fact that she was low enough on blood that there was none in her stomach to make a nasty reappearance. How could she have forgotten where Marko was killed?

His body was tucked into a shallow trench of sand to one side of the circular room. His face was so innocent looking in life and had turned purely angelic in death. It was so peaceful and she hated it. There had been no peace for him, screaming into wakefulness for mere moments before dying. Oh, what she wouldn't give to have him smile at her again, that sweet curve of lips and wicked hazel eyes. Her teeth clenched and her hands tightened into fists that dug her own longish nails into her palms. She would get him back! She would get them all back!

She left to get a shovel that had been tucked back in the pile of junk near the entrance steps. Then she got one of the blankets from her old bed, taking it and the shovel into the sleeping cavern. She dug one hole in the ever shifting sand placing Marko's now wrapped form in it with a sound of pain. Before she pushed the sand over his body she gave him one last kiss though the blanket.

“I love you, Marko, so very much. I should have told you that more often and for that I'm sorry. I hope you knew it when you died. I'll see you again soon.”

Another trip brought David in and she laid him in the hole beside his fallen brother. Of his three boys Marko was the closest to him and he belonged next to his Sire. She gave David his final kiss as she had Marko and then sat back on her heels with a frown. It wasn't right that the others weren't right here with them even if it was only their remains. They deserved to be buried here with their brother and sleeping Sire, deserved to be here where they had slept for so long together.

Poe left the boys and the cave with a look of determination. Damned if she was going to leave her Sires out in some pasture full of horse shit and bugs! She would never consider leaving her Nana Jane out there so she sure as hell wasn't going to leave the loves of her life in some anonymous hole in the ground. It might be gross, disgusting and give her daymares for years to come but she would bring them here and put them to rest until she could reunite them.

She was out in the field not fifteen minutes when she heard someone coming across the grass at her back. She stiffened slightly, continuing her meticulous digging in the disturbed earth where she had found David. She knew who was behind her and she wasn't going to say a single word unless forced to.

“I didn't want this to happen.”

Poe snorted, stopping her movements when the shovel blade hit something solid, feeling queasy again.

“I didn't want them to die like that, Poe.”

She swung around with a growl to face the other girl. “Like that? So, you what, hoped they'd go like Marko did?”

She was only slightly mollified by Star's look of pain. “He was asleep, wasn't he? I thought - ”

“You thought because he was asleep it didn't hurt him? They stabbed a fucking stake through his chest! I felt it, I felt his pain and heard his screams in my ears!” Poe shook with her hurt, falling to her knees next to the hole. “Get the fuck away from here, Star. Get away from me before I forget why I disagreed with David tonight and I shouldn't kill you.”

The sound of something hitting the ground had Poe shifting around in the messy pile of dirt she was kneeling in. Star had fallen behind her, landing on her hands and knees, head down. Sobbing, pain filled breaths were coming from the other girl and the ache inside her middle grew. She stopped herself from going to Star and holding her until the tears went away like she had done a thousand times before the trip to Santa Carla. She hated her, hated and loved her sister by choice and later supernatural blood. The emotions were at constant war, each losing to the other for only seconds before they changed yet again. She rubbed her own tears from her face with her forearms, mindful of the dirt on her hands and then went back to her digging.

“He's still alive? David's still alive, Poe? Please tell me the truth, I have to know.”

“He is.”

She left out his now unconscious state. Enemies knew their final resting place and for now it was still vulnerable to attack. Once Dwayne and Paul's remains were inside she was going to use yet another spell from the grimoire to safe guard the tunnels as they should have been long ago. It pissed her off to no end that Max had left the boys so at risk that a pair of fifteen year old wanna be vampire slayers had done them in. Max had a house with locks and a security system, his hellhound should have been in the cave with the boys where he belonged.

“Oh, thank God!” She stared at Star with her mouth open like an idiot, snapping it closed when she noticed her gaping. “I mean it, I didn't want any of them dead. I'm . . . with Michael now but I love David still. He just never loved me like he did you and the others. I think he really hated me after you left, he barely spoke to me except when he wanted me to come home or I needed blood. I would have left, I should have only I couldn't leave Laddie alone with no one who could be up with him when he couldn't sleep during the day. I wish he would have stayed with us, he's human again. Michael and his family are good people, you know. They'd take care of him if he doesn't have any family.”

“He is Paul's son, he is our family, David's and mine. We're all he needs, so don't worry he'll be well taken care of.”

“In that cave? Sleeping all day, partying all night? He's a little boy, Poe, not a vampire anymore. He should have a daytime family who can play in the park with him and take him to school. Be normal, like everyone else.”

“I never had that version of normal and come to think of it neither did you. Laddie is where he wants to be and if you have to know I have somewhere I'm going with him, with those so called daytime people. We don't need your normal.”

“I just don't want Laddie to get hurt!”

“You just worry about your own damn kid and leave mine alone!”

Star frowned at her. “I don't have any kids.”

“You will, about nine months from now you and Mikey boy will be welcoming a new little Emerson into the world.”

“What? You . . . can't know that!”

“You smell like Fredrika, Star, when I visited her she was eight months pregnant and the scent is getting stronger on you. Disbelieve me all you want but you'll see soon enough.”

“But - ”

“Go away! Just get the fuck away all right! I'm trying to bring Paul and Dwayne home with some amount of peace here. So, unless you really want to see what your lovely Michael and family left of my boys, go the fuck in the damn house!”

She left just like Poe knew she would, squeamish was Star's middle name. Her careful exhuming of the pieces that were left of the blond and brunette took another half hour all together. She had to pause a few times to get her weeping, dry heaves back under control. The remnants of them were carried back to the caddy in another blanket from her bed. It seemed rather appropriate since she had woken to the both of them wrapped in that same blanket with her in the middle once upon a time.

Back again in the cave she put the blanket into the deep sand pit, not separating the pieces that were Paul and the ones that were Dwayne. She buried them together on the other side of David, thinking that Dwayne would love being so close to Paul even if it was in death. She left the cavern, moving to stand on the broken steps below the hole.

With her small pocket knife she poked another wound into the thin skin of her wrist, the tip of the blade staying to keep the flesh cut open. Then she painted runes on all sides of the tunnel, ones for protection and concealment, feeling the shiver tingle of magic flow from her fingers as she worked. When she was done she had to keep blinking hard to even see the tunnel herself. The runes had made it so you saw a solid wall of rock at the top of the graffiti steps instead of a large hole. She just hoped that this worked for people who knew it was there and caused them to forget where it was. May this keep them protected until she could come for them again.

Next she gathered up Laddie's clothes and his stuffed animals along with the suitcase she left here back in January. It took her three trips to get everything inside the caddy all tucked into the back seat. The door clicked shut and she sighed, realizing she had no reason to go back inside this time. She was supposed to leave now and her heart didn't get it. She had just come back after being stupid for eight long months and here she was leaving again but this time she didn't have the knowledge in the back of her mind that the boys were here, living and partying like they always did. This time they weren't waiting for her to come home, not even David, not really.

He'd had such little hope tonight of seeing the boys ever again that he would rather sleep in cold ground then search with her. It wasn't like she could really blame him for choosing sleep over her. After all she had left him behind with only a silly little note that said a whole lot of nothing. She shook her head and got behind the wheel of the car turning the key that made the engine purr to life. She flicked on the radio in an attempt to banish the huge aching silence and she gaped at the song coming from the old speakers.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away


Nana Jane sang this with her for years and she often asked her why they sang such a sad song. She told her that they sang this song for Grandpa Dean who was gone, to remind him that she missed him and no matter what she would wait to see him again. Poe leaned forward to rest her head on the wheel, breathing hard as she sang along changing the words to make them fit.


“You told me once, dear, you really loved me and no one else could come between. But now you've left me to be with the others; You have shattered all of my dreams.” She clutched the wheel so hard through the chorus choking over the words, that the metal actually bent just a little. “In all my dreams, dear, you seem to leave me, when I awake my poor heart pains. So when you come back and make me happy
I'll forgive you dear, I'll take all the blame.”

She drove away as the song ended, letting herself have only a single look through the rear view mirror at the place she had found and lost home.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't keep my sunshine away
End Notes:
And yeah the song is an odd choice for a group of vampires but no other song really struck me like this one.
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