Never Mind The Legacy. Chapter TwoPresentation Transcript
‘ALICE! GET YOUR ARSE OUT HERE NOW!’ My knuckles split as I give her front door another whack. Wincing at the pain, I unball my fist and continue to beat the purple wood with a flat hand. For ten minutes I’ve been here, attacking her door and getting no response. I know that she’s in, because I can hear voices. Two voices. Hers and that of a guy. Typical Alice to ignore a siege on her house when she’s busy with a guy.
‘ALICE!’ ‘I’m coming!’ ‘Finally,’ I mutter, cradling my injured hand to my chest. I listen to more giggling, then the thump of someone running down stairs, and eventually the door is wrenched open and a breathless and tousled Alice appears, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and little knickers. I raise an eyebrow and smirk. Guiltily she looks down. ‘Sorry about that,’ she says, smiling, embarrassed. ‘A friend just arrived.’ ‘Friend?’ I ask.
Ushering me into the house, she shrugs. ‘Do you mind if I get dressed quickly?’ ‘No,’ I say, shaking my head. She sits me on a quaint sofa and goes to climb a staircase. Halfway up she stops. ‘If Erik appears, ignore him. And ignore the door too. Anyone I want to see will just let themselves in.’
I wait, bored, tapping my fingers impatiently on my thighs, for about two minutes before she returns, now in jeans, hair pulled back, and an attractive dark haired man following, grinning. ‘Now,’ she says as she sits beside me, ‘what can I do for you Carrie?’ ‘I want to know what’s going on. The rest of the Witches and Warlocks have been acting really weird, and I want to know why. It’s something to do with me, isn’t it?’
‘She’s not as dumb as I assumed.’ I glare over at the man reclining on the other sofa. ‘I get it. I’m blonde and pretty, so that means I’m stupid?’ I snap. He doesn’t even flinch. Meeting my gaze levelly, he smiles. ‘I like her Alice. She has spirit, but you really should teach her not to piss off a Warlock.’ Alice growls. ‘Erik, shut up. Sorry about him. Carrie, this is Erik Armstrong, my co-representative on the Supernatural Council. We represent Witches and Warlocks everywhere.’ ‘Supernatural Council?’
She shrugs. ‘It’s not really important at the moment. The short and short is the we’re a congregation of Supernaturals who deal with the various problems that our Races face. Say, if you had problems to do with your Race, you’d talk to Leah, your local Elven representative.’ ‘Okay,’ I say, shaking my head. ‘This is not why I’m here.’ I can tell that she’s trying to distract me. She doesn’t want to tell me what’s wrong. ‘Come on, Alice. What’s happening? All I get is cryptic clues and nonsense from everyone! I want to know!’
‘Little girl, this is no time for tantrums,’ Erik says patronisingly. ‘Let us deal with any problems, and keep out of it.’ ‘That’s it!’ Alice shouts. ‘Get out Erik. Just go! I swear, the Lycans are more civilised than you!’ I shrink back in my chair as magic charges the air around me, sending my hair on end. It crackles menacingly. Shooting one last blazing glare at me, he stalks off. Not far, only to the far side of the room, where he sits at a small table. I feel his eyes hot on the back of my head, but ignore him.
‘Carrie, you have to understand that there are things that we cannot presume to question. That many of our choices are made for us, no matter how wilful and independent we imagine ourselves to be. Sometimes we just have to accept the crap as it falls, knowing that there is nothing that we can do about it.’
I stare, open mouthed. ‘Okay, who are you and what have you done with Alice?’ She doesn’t even crack a smile. I feel my heart rate accelerate painfully. ‘What is that delicious aroma? Could it be Elf?’ Tightly wound as it is, I practically spin and fall off of my chair as a new voice enters the conversation. Breathing in, I gag, the acrid smell strong in the air.
‘Carrie, this is Vladimir, I know, imaginative name for a Vamp and yes he is from Romania. Vlad, this is Carrie Havar. No eating her.’ The Vamp shrugs. ‘Whatever. There’s plenty of other Elves in this town.’ ‘Leave her family alone too. You know what Leah’s like.’ Shrugging again, he comes and takes the seat Erik evacuated. ‘With Seth retired, she’s the only thing stopping me.’ ‘Actually we’ve already replaced Seth. Bad luck.’
‘Seth?’ As in my Seth? ‘He used to be the second Elven representative, but when you proposed, he retired. It’s a dangerous job, and he wanted to stay with you.’ ‘Great, so even Seth is in on this huge secret? Surely not knowing is worse than knowing, because all of these cryptic clues are giving me a migraine.’
‘Sometimes ignorance is best,’ Alice says, meeting my eyes fiercely. ‘It’s complicated, you won’t understand and we are dealing with it. I’ve never let you down, have I Carrie?’ She sighs heavily, staring at the ceiling. ‘I’ll tell you when you graduate. Okay? For now, just enjoy college. I won’t let anything happen to you.’ ‘I know.’
So I have to wait until graduation, two years from now, to find out what the hell is happening? Well, maybe I can bully the information out of Seth…no, that’s mean. I trust Alice. If I needed to know, she’d tell me. ‘Helsing mentioned something about Amber Rae being on your territory. That’s connected to this, isn’t it?’ ‘Amber Rae is a problem,’ she agrees, ‘but I can handle her. She’s a lone Lycan, far from troublesome to a group of our size.’ ‘Lycans are easy. Throw a stick and they’re gone.’
‘Erik! Do you have to be such a racist? Lycans would no sooner chase a stick than you would grow a wart on the end of your nose and start cackling.’ His lip curls. ‘That was my mother.’ ‘Is that everything?’ she asks, turning back to me. ‘I don’t mean to be rude, but we’re very busy. The aliens are arriving later, and we have a meeting with the Elven representative. I have to check in with Luna and Hale to see if they can make it, and if they can bring supplies, and then there’s negotiations with a mind reader over his loyalties. I have to food shopping, because all these bloody Weres are eating me out of house and home, and then I have to see how much the builders have gotten done on my permanent house…’
I make it to the door before another question bubbles. ‘Who’s Seth’s replacement? Someone I know?’ ‘Yes, you know him. It’s your brother.’ Growling, I turn back to her. ‘Want to be more specific? I have a lot of brothers.’ ‘Edward.’ ‘WHAT!?! He’s a kid!’ ‘He’s at college now, and he’s also very smart, kind and intuitive. Plus, he can deal with Emmett and he’s a hit with the simselves. The boy almost has as many fans as Bennie.’ ‘But…’ ‘Shh.’ ‘What does Mum think about this?’
Everyone in the room laughs. ‘Since when did Regina care about any of her kids? Bar Felix, of course. It’s Klaus I’d be worried about, but he has said that it’s okay for Edward to help us out. He knows I won’t let anything happen to the little tyke, and it gives him more screen time, which pleases his swooning mob of fans. Everyone’s a winner.’
Great. The fate of my Race lies in the hands of my kid brother. Sublime. However, I really have bigger things to worry about, namely Seth and my impending wedding.
'Hey baby.' My eyes roll, as they always do when he calls me baby. 'Hey Seth.' 'You okay?' I nod sincerely. 'Perfect.' That makes him smile. 'Good.'
'So, who do you want to invite to the wedding.' I groan, turning my face into his shoulder. 'I still have two more years at college. Do we really have to do this now?' I whine. He laughs tiredly. 'Okay, but we'll need to plan it at some point. I'm not letting you get away from me, Carrie.'
Grinning I throw myself into his arms, attacking his mouth with mine. 'I'm not running,' I purr. And then all marriage conversation is averted. Again.
'I just want it to be perfect,' he admits a lot later. 'I want to stand at the alter and have you walk towards me in the perfect dress, with everyone we care about around us.' Indulgently I smile. 'You never give up, do you?' He shrugs. 'Nope.' 'How about a small wedding. I'm assuming our new house has a garden.' He nods, grinning, knowing how much it annoys me that he won't let me see our house until I move in. 'Then we can have the wedding there. Just family and close friends.' His blue eyes sparkle happily. 'Sounds wonderful.' 'Duh.'
'Hello?' Exhausted and wondering what kind of idiot is calling at this insane hour. 'Carrie?' Oh. 'Hey, Helsing. What's up?' She gasps slightly, as though in pain. 'I'm in labour.' 'CRAP! I'll be right over!' Rather than waiting for a reply, I slam down the phone and run towards Helsing's house. Oh my gosh!
'Are you okay?' I ask when she waddles out of her house to greet me. 'Sure,' she says, hugging me. 'It'll be a bit longer.' I scrutinize her face. 'How can you be so calm?' I demand. Whenever Mum gives birth she lets us all into her pain. 'I've had three kids before,' she says, tugging me into the house. 'And it makes Jim upset if I admit how much pain I'm really in.'
'Ahhh!' We all gather as she gives the final push. The reactions of her sons are varied. Admes, the toddler, barely notices. He doesn't even leave his toys. The next oldest, Armand, watches with a combination of fascination and horror, while the eldest, Angel, seems bored. Jim flutters uselessly about his wife, clearly wanting to help but not knowing what to do, while I just stand there, trying to block out the screams. I am so not going to be able to do this.
'FINALLY! Helsing calls when it's all over. 'A girl!' Everyone laughs. Helsing's desire for a daughter is well known. 'What will you call her?' Angel asks, smiling slightly. 'Akasha. Little Akasha Pyre.' 'Nice name,' I say.
'Here,' she says, holding the baby out. 'You take her. Say hello to your Auntie Carrie, Akasha.' Awkwardly I take the child, unsure of what to do. Then I meet her indigo eyes and my heart melts. I hold her close to my chest and coo nonsense at her.
'She is so sweet!' I say, stroking her tiny back. Behind me Armand snorts. 'Yeah right.' 'She really is. And I am going to spoil you so much,' I tell the baby, kissing her nose. 'More than I spoil my real nieces and nephews, because I had to witness you being born, and that was gross.' Helsing laughs. Still grinning I hand the baby back to her mother. 'I have to go,' I say, wanting to give the family time to adjust. 'I have a paper due tomorrow.'
I do have a paper to finish, but rather than heading to my computer, I grab my guitar. I've been around babies all my life. I have more siblings that I can count, and I have many little nieces and nephews, with the constant promise of more. But something about being there for Akasha's birth made me realize that I wouldn't mind having one for myself. To me, kids were something over people had and I avoided. Sticky and smelly and noisy and something I never even considered. Maybe having one wouldn't be too awful.
Just one though. Babies are stinky and smelly and sticky and birth is painful and gross. But one would be okay. And it would make Seth so happy.
'What was that for?' Seth asks a few weeks later after a particularly intense greeting. We really don't get to see each other enough. 'Helsing had her baby. A cute little girl.' He blinks at me. 'Did you just call a baby "cute"?' I nod. 'She really is.'
'Okay, who are you and what have you done to my Carrie?' Laughing, I poke his nose. 'Silly Seth.' I pause, biting my lip. 'Actually, I was thinking that I wouldn't mind having one of them for myself.'
His shock is obvious and unflattering. 'What?' 'I want a baby some day, Seth. When Helsing let me hold Akasha...something happened. It was so magical. I really wouldn't mind having one of them now.' 'Really?' 'Yeah. You and I would make a cute baby.'
'Are you serious?' he asks. I frown at his expression. 'What's wrong? I thought you were all about kids.' 'I am, but you aren't. Carrie, every time I would even mention babies you would run a mile.' I sigh, taking his face in my hands. 'That's because every time you said baby, I imagined my mother, with her countless kids, all bitter and angry. But we won't have that many. One or two, at the most.'
'So we're really going to get married and have a baby.' Smiling at his radiating happiness, I nod. 'I guess we are.' 'Wow. I cannot believe that I convinced Carrie Havar to settle down and have a family.' 'It hasn't happened yet,' I warn. 'You are not getting out of it now!'
We spend the rest of his visit practicing making babies, which is a lot of fun and a welcome interlude between classes and papers.
'So, you made a choice then?' 'Yes,' I tell Francis, loading up my decrepit computer. 'I chose Seth. No more cheating. Ever.' 'Good.' Something hits me. 'Francis, you're a warlock, right?' 'Yes,' he answers hesitantly. 'What do you know about a Supernatural Council?' 'Nothing.' I don't believe him, but drop it. He's as likely to crack to pressure as a diamond.
My final two years at college pass so fast, and before too long I'm getting ready to leave. Tying up loose ends becomes a priority, like getting my old friend Dagmar to watch over the college house for me.
My last days are awful. I feel so sick. Every morning I throw up, and the smell of food makes me nausious, and yet I'm always hungry. It sucks.
But I soon find myself calling Seth to pick me up and take me to our new home. Thank the gods, because I need a nap.
'Come on Seth!' I whine, pulling at his hands over my eyes. 'I feel really crap and just want to sleep!' Theatrically sighing, he removes my blindfold and turns me towards a cute little brick house with a little picket fence and flowers. 'Welcome home.'
'Ready for the tour?' I catch a glimpse of a lot of white and cream though the front windows. 'As long as it's not too scary.' 'If it is you can hide in my chest,' he promises.
'It's very...clean,' I comment, walking into the living room. 'I know, it's awful,' he says, 'but this is the public bit of the house, so I made it more user friendly.' 'Oh,' I say. 'That makes sense.' 'Wanna see the bedroom.' I laugh as his arms wide around my waist. 'Couldn't even wait five minutes, could you?' Growling into my ear, shuffling me towards the stairs, he says, 'nope.'
'It's perfect!' I squeal, running my hands over the bright silk bedding. 'Just perfect!' 'I thought you'd like it. That door leads to the bathroom, and this one...'
'...leads to your Carrie room.' I stare at the yellow and pink room, amazed. Applepop, my guitar is there. A ballet bar and a huge stereo system. A new computer and Francis. Everything I could ever want. 'Thank you!' I say, tears welling. 'I so do not deserve this!' 'I disagree. And there's one more room, so don't thank me yet.'
I take one step into the last room, then back out. The nursery. 'You okay?' Seth asks as I close the door. 'It looks lovely.' 'Too real?' I nod. 'And there's something else.'
'What?' he asks, concerned. Of course. 'We'll be filling it sooner than planned.' The sickness started making sense yesterday, after a trip to the doctor. 'I'm pregnant. About two months along.' He tries to contain his smile, but fails. 'I'm going to be a dad.' 'Yes.'
I miss out on whatever victory dance he had planned, as another round of sickness has me crouched over the toilet. This sucks so much!
'Oh, baby,' he says, holding me close once my stomach is empty and my teeth brushed for the tenth time. 'This must be so awful for you.' I laugh at his guilty expression. 'You are going to do something HUGE to make up for this.' His arms go under my legs, lifting me up. 'I can think of something.'
Much, much later, with me in a better mood, I lay in bed with Seth curled against my chest, snoring lightly. I guess this married lark won't be too bad. My family and friends will be over tomorrow to witness the wedding, and then Seth and I will settle down, raise this little baby, and be happy forever after. There have been worse ways to end up.
Seth has one last surprise for me, which arrives just before the wedding. I run downstairs and outside, ignoring the fact that I'm in my undies, and tackle the huge dog. Seth watches, amused, from the front door. 'Her name is Ladybug,' he supplies. 'I saw her and knew that she was for you.' 'Thank you!' I scream, rubbing my mutt's belly. Life really can not get better.
'Your family are so crazy.' I smile over at Seth as we wait for my family to organize slightly. 'You're telling me? I've had to put up with them since birth!' He laughs. 'Makes me wish I had some kind of family left.' I bite my lip. Seth never talks about his parents, but I guess something bad must have happened.
As we exchange rings, I have to fight to stop from hitting my brothers. Their catcalls are so annoying. After one particularly loud one from Brian, Seth has to physically restrain me to stop me from pouncing. 'Leave it,' he whispers into my hair. 'You can punch him when you're done here.'
Everyone applauds at the end, but none as loud as Mum and Dad. I guess they assumed this day would never come. 'Carrie's all grown up,' Dad says sadly. 'My special little girl.' Mum snorts. 'She'll never grow up. It's Carrie.' Hmph.
The "kiss the bride" bit was awesometastic. Our first kiss as Mr and Mrs Havar (he agreed to take my name as there was no way I was becoming Carrie Sims. Eww). As it grows in intensity, the shouts begin, and reluctantly we pull away so I can glare at my family.
'Carrie!' I run into my dad's arms. 'I'm married, Daddy!' 'I know! I'm shocked.' 'Me too,' I admit. It feels weird. When I was little, I swore that I'd always live with my daddy. He was the centre of my universe. It's weird to think we'll hardly see each other anymore. He'll be busy with his kids, and me with mine. Scary.
'May I have this dance, Mrs Havar?' I turn to Seth and frown. 'There's no music.' 'So?' He takes me hands and starts twirling. 'We're married and I want a first dance.' 'FINE!'
'So, how does it feel to be married?' I shrug. 'Okay, I guess. I don't feel that different really. I knew I had you forever anyway.' 'I guess so.'
'GET A ROOM!' I growl at Brian, who grins. 'I would, but it's the middle of my wedding party and that would be rude.' That makes everyone laugh. I don't get to enjoy it, as another wave of morning sickness hits.
'I like your dress.' I blink down at Ruby, my niece and Bellatrix's daughter. 'Did your mum tell you to say that?' I tease, pulling her pigtails. 'No!' she says earnestly. 'I really like it. When I get married I want a dress like that!' Seth laughs. 'You sure you want one of these?' I poke out my tongue at him.
'My mummy says that you're having a baby.' 'I am,' I say, wondering how Trixie found out. I only told Donna and...BRIAN! I will kill him. 'You don't look big enough to have a baby inside you.' I grin at that. 'I'm only a little bit pregnant. Soon I'll be huge.' 'Will it hurt? When the baby comes out.' 'Yes.' I don't believe in lying to kids. It's wrong. 'Hmm.' She looks all thoughtful for a moment. 'That must be why Mummy only has me. And because I'm so perfect.' With that she turns on her heel and flounces off. I like her.
The party begins to simmer down, but there's no rest of the wicked. The phone rings, and Seth is busy chatting to Admes and Alex about their travels. 'Hello. Carrie Havar speaking.' 'Carrie?' I freeze. Crap. 'Geoff?' 'You don't seem pleased to hear from me.' 'I am,' I lie. 'It's just a bad time.' 'Having a party without me?' he jokes. 'Well...yeah. I just got married like three hours ago.' That gets him. 'What?'
'Married, Geoff. Look, sure, we dated a few times, years ago, but that's it. I'm happy with Seth and we're having a baby.' 'BABY?' I hold the phone away from my ear, wincing. 'Yes. I'm two months pregnant.' The phone goes dead and I sigh. Great.
'Speaking to other boyfriends while I'm occupied?' I blush as Seth sidles up to me. 'Kinda. Ex-boyfriend of sorts. He wasn't pleased about the news.' 'About how you're a married mother-to-be?' I nod. 'Yeah, that.' 'Well, who would be. I have taken the most beautiful woman in Mayville off of the market. I expect there are many men fuming at the loss.' My eyes roll. 'How did you get me to agree to this with lines like that.' 'If I remember, you proposed.' 'Oh yeah. That explains it then.'
'You are happy?' I grin over at him. A month has passed since the wedding, and everything's been so...great. Easy. I had worried at living with Seth would be hard, but it isn't. It's the easiest thing in the world. He makes it so easy.
The baby, on the other hand, isn't so easy to live with. The sickness refuses to ease. If anything, it gets worse every day. I talked to Mum and my sisters about it, but none of them had any helpful advice. I guess this is just something I need to ride out.
Of course Seth makes things as easy as possible, taking care of all the chores so that I can relax. It would work better if he remembered to scrape the plates before putting them in the dishwasher, but he does try.
'AHHHH!' 'What is it?' I hear Seth slide to a halt behind me. 'I just popped.' He laughs, relieved. 'Thank the gods. You had me worried then.' I smile and run into the house. 'I wanna see this thing!'
Alone in our room, I run a hand over the bump. 'I'm a hippo!' I wail to myself. 'An actual manatee.' But part of me thrills. I can see the baby, the little person inside me. He or she is there, a part of me, and in a few months it'll be a person. I need to sit down.
‘This is a bad idea.’ The Lycan pauses only long enough to snap her teeth at her companion. ‘Shut your face or I’ll make it a permanent addition to the pavement.’ ‘But, Amber-’ he starts, before he’s cut off by a flying chair. ‘Fine!’ he concedes, throwing up his hands and sitting on the sofa. ‘Whatever.’ She doesn’t reply. Brushing her long blonde hair away from her face, she continues pacing the room.
‘You know Carrie Havar,’ she asks, turning abruptly on her heel and stalking towards the man. ‘Y…yes,’ he stutters, distressed by her closeness. ‘Intimately.’ Her eyebrow rises. ‘Ah, yes. Before we met you were rather close.’ Lips pursed thoughtfully she continues to pace. ‘Hmm…this could work out well for me.’ Too scared to ask what she means, he just watches as she continues to pace, back and forth, and back again. Eyes flickering with her movement, he begins to feel sick.
‘I’m guessing that you are still friends with Miss Havar?’ He shrugs. ‘It’s Mrs now, and yes.’ ‘Mrs?’ ‘She got married a month or so ago.’ He winces, afraid that his news will fall on angry ears. When she doesn’t hit him, he cracks open an eye. Amber’s lips curve with a predatory gleam of fangs. ‘Good. That will make the game even more fun. Her husband?’ ‘Seth Sims. He used to be on the Supernatural Council, but retired when he and Carrie got engaged.’ A happy laugh breaks free, a total contradiction to her usual self. ‘This keeps getting better and better. Anything else?’
‘She pregnant. About three months gone.’ Amber’s breath halts completely. Her honey eyes widen, mouth agape. ‘Oh my! A baby? This is great!’ ‘It is?’ the man asks, frowning. ‘I thought you wanted to stop her from having a family.’ She turns on him and smiles. ‘I do, and this will seal the deal. First, we’ll wait for the baby to be born. And then I have a job for you, my friend.’
Still grinning like a kid at Christmas she spins out of the house and into the forest beyond. The moon will be full tonight, and she has to prepare. It’s time to Hunt.