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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

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::a tired elf stepped through the door of the office looking for the man, or was it dragon that ran the place. She wanted to turn in her application. She sat down in the soft, welcoming looking chair, wondering how anyone could work in such a cluttered place. Luna sat there for a few minutes waiting until she realized that the wait was going to be longer than she had time to wait. With a smile she stood up and carefully placed the package of scrolls on Wyvern’s desk::

 

::The scrolls fell open to await Wyvern and his approval::

 

 

The shiny blood red sports car plunged through the guardrail with a thunderous crash coming to a stop as it became imbedded among a cluster of magnolia trees. The once mint condition Corvette lay smashed amidst the wreckage of small trees at the edge of the cluster. Heat from the mangled engine scaring the base of the tree it rested against. Loretta turned her head slowly to look at her friend and her breath caught in her throat. Kelly lay lifeless in the passenger seat, the side of the car having been pressed in by the impact with the trees. Loretta slowly tried to move her legs to find that they, while she was still able to feel them were pinned under the weight of twisted metal and fiberglass that was once her pride and joy.

 

It was only moments later when help arrived. The EMTs carefully cut her out of the car taking as little time as they could. Pulling her to safety as the tree that had been supporting the car gave way under its weight. She looked at the dark haired EMT just as she noticed that her brother, Lynn was still standing near the car. “Tell him it was over fast.” She whispered using more strength than she wanted to. Everything hurt at the moment; she prayed in the back of her mind that there wasn’t as much damage done to her as she thought there was. The EMT, she still didn’t recognize him, said something to her as they put her in the ambulance, but she didn’t catch what it was as the darkness slipped over her and she faded to unconsciousness.

 

 

***

 

 

The EMT looked down at Chris, this wasn’t easy on him. “Check her vitals again.” His words were clipped and edging on panic. “Something’s not right.” He grabbed for the blood pressure cuff and slipped it around her arm just as the color began to fade from her face again. The numbers on the cuff were less than he was hoping; they were losing her. “Damn it. Chris you are not dying on my shift you hear me.” He growled running quickly through the rest of her vitals. “Shit she may be bleeding internally.” He grabbed for another set of needles to set-up an IV drip to keep fluids flowing into her. “Get a move on guys or we are going to lose her.” He growled at the driver. Reaching down he placed a hand on the side of her face, “Don’t give up just yet Chris, there’s too much out there for you.” He told her softly.

 

Her eyes fluttered, “It hurts.” She whimpered dragging in a ragged breath. There was a moment when she tried to speak but nothing came out so she tried again, “The baby… am I losing my baby?” she asked him.

 

“I don’t know, all I can tell you is you have lost a lot of blood. You are bleeding internally and until we get to the hospital there isn’t much that can be done. It’s not far now. Just hold on.” His words faded as she slipped back into the painless darkness.

 

 

***

 

 

Lynn glanced back as the ambulance began to pull away; he hoped that would not be the last image he had of his sister. His eyes slid back to the car, and the remains of the woman the other EMTs were just pulling from the twisted metal. His heart clenched in his chest at the sight of Kelly’s lifeless face. “Travel light,” he whispered to himself, raising his voice to be heard over the sounds of the officers there he spoke again, “Take care of her.” He told the EMTs before turning back to the car. Now was not the time to get lost in his grief, now was the time to figure out what had happened. He took notes on everything, and bagged all the evidence he could find that something more than just an accident occurred there. He knew in his heart that something was wrong.

 

Cleaning up the remains of the scene took him three hours of bagging, writing, and answering questions that only mattered because he was the first responder. After the scene was cleaned and the car hauled away he could leave. It only took about ten minutes to get to the hospital but to Lynn it was the longest ten minutes of his life. He had known when they were taking his sister out of that damn sports car of hers that she had a better chance of not making it to the hospital than living through it. But as far as he knew she was still fighting to live, and knowing his twin as well as he did he knew she wouldn’t stop. As he parked his patrol car and got out he suddenly realized that he was shaking like a leaf. He forced himself to take a moment to gather himself together, he couldn’t crack now, he had to check on her and get through this.

 

“Lynn, Loretta is going to live.” The Dr. said as Lynn walked into the hospital.

 

Lynn thought his heart was going to stop, “What room is she in?” Lynn asked.

 

“At the moment Chrissie’s in ICU and I don’t plan on letting her be moved until sometime late tomorrow afternoon.” The Dr. told him with a smile.

 

“Can I see her?” Lynn asked wondering again if she was going to be ok.

 

“Yes but only for a few minutes. There are some things I want to keep an eye on. Just because I said she was going to live doesn’t mean that everything is as good as it could be right now, your sister is a special case and as such has to be handled carefully. Even one small mistake on my part could cause more trouble than any of us want or need.” the Dr. spoke in a clam voice that did nothing to calm Lynn’s nerves. His sister was his life; there was nothing he would not do to help her.

 

“Just let me see her and while I am do your best to find the number of that oil rig about 2 miles offshore.” Lynn snapped knowing that was going to be the hardest phone call he ever made in his life. “Now what room is she in?” he asked again.

 

“519 just down the hall. Remember though she looks really rough right now.” Lynn knew that, he had seen them pull her from the wreck that had been her car. His feet took him the short distance to the door of the ICU. With a deep breath he pushed it open, to be met almost instantly by the head nurse on duty.

 

“Lynn I am so sorry. She’s in 519, stable but in bad shape. Have you gotten in touch with Michael?” she asked him tears slipping down her face.

 

“Not yet, it’s not going to be easy, he’s out under the rig right now. Not supposed to be back on land for another week or so.” The two of them were walking towards room 519, the fear tightening in his chest with every step.

 

“He’s not going to take this well you know. The four of you were closer than anything I have seen in a long time.” She said as they reached the door.

 

“For me losing Kelly is like having my arm cut off; I don’t know how he is going to handle losing his sister and having Chris this bad off.” Lynn reached out and pushed the door open, his eyes searching for his sister on the bed. She lay so still he thought his heart was going to break. If it wasn’t for the sounds of the monitors proving she was still alive he knew he would have lost it. He was still wondering in the back of his mind how he was holding it together over Kelly. He and Kelly had been an item since they were in high school, about the same time Michael had hooked up with Chris. He took a step into the room.

 

Chris’ voice was just a whisper, “Don’t call him, not tonight at least. We can get a hold of him in the morning. There isn’t anything he can do for Kelly, and I will be in better shape to see him in the morning. I don’t see a point in worring him.” The words sounded old and tired to Lynn’s ears.

 

“Chris I am so sorry. I wish I could have gotten to you faster, maybe saved her.” He mumbled stepping closer. Chris turned her head toward him, her eyes showing the sadness at the loss of her best friend.

 

“You didn’t do anything wrong Lynn, she was gone the moment it happened.” She took a deep breath the pain flashing in her eyes. “Now morn her and move on.” The words were full of pain.

 

“I can’t. I don’t know how.” The tears falling from his eyes were heavy in his voice. He dropped into the plastic chair next to her bed. “How am I going to live without her sis? She’s been a part of me for so long.”

 

Chris looked at her brother and knew that what little hold he had on life was slipping away quickly. She needed to do something, but the damage to her body was limiting the choices she had. She reached over and pushed the call button for the nurse’s station. “Yes, are you in pain?” came the almost instant response.

 

“No, but I could use some help. I need a grief councilor in here if one is available.” Chris spoke slowly, her chest hurting from the use.

 

“Let me check, I would say it was for your brother right? You seem to be dealing well with things.” The nurse said quickly.

 

“Yes, just send them in if you find one. Thanks, and oh by the way if you could find me a real hamburger I would be grateful.” Chris tried knowing they had her on a liquid diet. There was a laugh before the speaker cut out. She looked back over at Lynn and reached out her unbandaged right hand towards him. “It will be ok.” She figured her words wouldn’t get a reaction as bad as he was crying now, but she hoped they would offer some comfort.

 

It was only a few minutes later when a pretty blonde haired lady knocked lightly on the door to the room. “Hello, my name is Elizabeth; I heard that you requested a visit.” Her voice was light and sweet, making Lynn lift his head.

 

He wanted to tell her to go away, but knew that his sister was right, “She wanted me to talk to you.” He said turning in the chair to face her more directly.

 

The woman stepped into the room. “Is that right Loretta?” Elizabeth asked softly.

 

“Yes, he just lost his long time girlfriend in the accident that left me in here.” Chris told her watching as she pulled up a chair and sat down beside him. “Lynn is my brother; the two of us grew up with Kelly and her brother Michael. He doesn’t know his sister is gone yet, but I feel dealing with Lynn is more important than calling someone that is not going to be able to get here for a few days anyway. We can deal with Michael in the morning.” Chris rambled her voice floating from strong to weak.

 

Elizabeth turned to look at Lynn, “I will start by reminding you that you are a police officer, and in that you know that life will go on. However I know that right now you aren’t so sure you want it to. Am I correct?” she asked knowing that this was not going to be a normal counseling session.

 

Lynn smiled having said that same kind of thing many times before to many different people. “I know, I just never realized how badly losing a part of your life can hurt. We always thought we had plenty of time so we never got around to making things official.” He told them, it was feeling better just to talk.

 

“The woman that was killed her name was Kelly right?” Elizabeth asked.

 

“Yes, my best friend and the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.” Lynn’s words still held tears but he was coming back to Chris and she was getting less and less worried that she might lose him to the pain before it was all over.

 

“Let me ask you this. Did Kelly know you loved her?”

 

Lynn smiled, “Yes, I think I have been telling her that every day for the last twelve years. Since we were in the seventh grade together.” He smiled as the memory of the first time he told her floated through his mind.

 

It was just after school started for their seventh grade year, and the first time Kelly had worn a dress to school. He had seen her smiling at another boy and without thinking he punched the younger boy in the eye. He screamed at Kelly that he loved her and ran down the hall away from her.

 

“Then you know she was thinking about it tonight right?”

 

“Yes, we were supposed to meet up with Chris at Koas and Collections for dinner. I was finally going to ask her to marry me.”

 

Chris spoke up, “She knew.” The simple statement brought the tears back to Lynn’s eyes.

 

He looked up at his sister, “How, I never told anyone. I just invited you two to dinner tonight, which I always do when Michael goes out on the rig.”

 

Chris drew in a shaky breath, she was getting tired and the muscles in her chest where the seat belt had tightened on her were really starting to hurt. “You bought the ring three days ago at Nathan’s. Did you think that she wouldn’t find out?”

 

“I didn’t think about it. Did Nathan tell her?” He asked feeling a bit better that she at least knew he wanted to make things permanent.

 

Chris forced a smile, “Not really he told me you had been in and looking at rings, I mentioned it to mother and she told Kelly. It was a beautiful ring that you chose by the way.”

 

“Yeah, but she will never see it.” The tears started to fall again.

 

Chris spoke up, “She might not see it but I would say that no one would have a problem if you buried it with her.” She hoped the words were comforting.

 

Lynn looked up, “You think I should?”

 

Chris wanted to thump him, but the effort would have taken too much out of her. “Yes, I think that would be perfect.” She lifted her hand back toward Lynn and smiled, he would make it. “I guess we should call Michael tonight, but I don’t know how to get in touch with him out there.” Her breathing was starting to get shallow from the pain.

 

Lynn glanced at her, “I think I am going to let you get some much needed rest, after all I have been in here a lot longer than the Dr. said I should be, I will deal with getting in touch with Michael. Do you want to see him when he gets here?” he joked knowing that she would want to see him. She had been in love with Michael nearly as long as he had been in love with Kelly.

 

“Sure, but do me a favor and tell him it’s not as bad as it sounds.” She commented as she watched him head to the door.

 

“That I will do, I just hope that someday I can make sense of what happened tonight.” She heard him say as he left the room.

 

Chris looked at the counselor and shook her head. “It will take him a long time to understand what happened here.

 

Lynn made his way to the front of the emergency room area and found a man sitting in one of the uncomfortable plastic chairs reading through a three year old magazine. “David James, what are you doing here?” he asked walking up to the man.

 

David looked up, brushing his overly long hair out of his eyes, “Wondering how your sister is doing? Once they put her in her own room I am supposed to get a statement from her about the accident. By the way Captain is outside talking to some of the officers from the scene. He wants to talk to you. He made everyone else stay outside. With everyone knowing Chris is in here it’s like half the squad showed up to check on her.”

 

Lynn sighed, “So Captain is taking me off the case?” he asked looking around.

 

“Go out and ask him for yourself, I don’t know what he wants you to do now.” David told him.

 

Lynn smiled and headed for the door. He wasn’t looking forward to dealing with the Captain on all of this. As he made his way through the doors he caught sight of the Captain standing in a group of uniformed men and women.

 

Captain Jefferson Marshall was a powerfully built man who stood nearly seven foot tall. His brown eyes had a habit of making even grown men feel like a ungainly teenager. The mop of burnt auburn hair that was usually falling in his eyes just seemed to add to the menacing look of the man.“David said you wanted to speak with me.” He commented loudly as he walked up.

 

The Captain turned his head, “Yes Lynn. I have news you don’t want, but you know I have to do it. I have to take you off the case. I don’t want to but I can’t leave you on it; it was your girlfriend and your sister that were run off the road tonight. Your girlfriend was killed and your sister nearly so.” he explained, his eyes held understanding as he continued; “Now unofficially you can do whatever you want as long as you stay hands off. I know you want to catch the monster that did this, but you have to keep your nose clean. As of tonight you are on paid leave.”

 

“And just how long are you doing that for?” Lynn asked.

 

“Six weeks minimum and you to have to pass a psych evaluation before you can come back. I think you might need it having been first on the scene tonight.”

 

Lynn glared at his friend and Captain, “So you think old Lynn’s going to crack this time do you. Tonight wasn’t my first dance. I’ve had rough cases before.”

 

The Captain took a moment to look around, “I know, I remember the night your father was killed. It’s not something I will ever forget. In fact I think I will take the image of the room to my own grave.”

 

Lynn pictured the room where he had found his father slumped over his desk just before his twentieth birthday. “Neither will I, and what makes that all the harder is we never found his killer.”

 

“You were just a rookie back then. There wasn’t really anything more we could do.” Captain Marshal reminded him knowing that it most likely wouldn’t help anymore than it had over the years but it was the best he could do.

 

“So, I’m on paid leave, at least there’s that. The bills won’t stop just because you think I’m going to crack this time. I won’t you know. Kelly may have meant the world to me, but sometimes being a cop makes everything a bit off in the world.”

 

The Captain looked at him for a moment. “That is truer than you know. Sometimes we do things that we would never do if we were anything other than a cop.” He glanced around the group gathered in front of the emergency room. “Ok guys, disperse for now. Chris is going to make it, and I am sure these nice people here don’t need us standing around here bothering them.”

 

Lynn reached in his pocket and pulled out his new cell phone. Taking a deep breath he dialed his mother’s phone number. She picked up on the second ring. “Hello.”

 

“Mom, I have news you are not going to want to hear.” He tried to keep his voice level and calm.

 

There was a sharp intake of breath, “What happened? Did Kelly say no?” she asked.

 

Lynn took a steadying breath, “I never got to ask her. She and Chris were in a car accident tonight.” He didn’t want to tell her that Kelly was gone. He didn’t want to think about it.

 

“Oh my, is she ok?” she asked her voice filled with fear.

 

“No, Chris is in ICU at Memorial, and,” he paused to take another deep breath, “Kelly was killed instantly.” His voice broke, but he managed to hold it together.

 

“Oh gods, I’ll be there as fast as I can.” She hung up before he could say anything else.

 

Lynn closed his phone and slipped it back into his pocket. Turning he spoke to the Captain. “My mother is on her way.”

 

Captain Marshal’s breath caught, Lynn’s mother was not a woman he enjoyed dealing with on the best of days, and this was not even close to a good day. “Then you will forgive me if I take my leave. Your mother and I are not the best of friends, never have been.”

 

Lynn felt the first real smile of the day come over his face, “That is an understatement, but I can understand you wanting to be out of here when she gets here. My mother can be a bit hard to take sometimes. Just make sure to keep me up to speed on the case.”

 

“Will do. Now get back in there and deal with your sister she is going to need you.” Hewatched Lynn head back into the hospital wishing that he could see the fireworks when Michael arrived, but there was no way on earth he was dealing with Mrs. Havershik. The woman had driven him crazy for years.

 

 

Lynn dropped into the chair next to David in the waiting room; he wasn’t ready to go back to his sister just yet. “Did they tell you when you could see her?”

 

David looked up, “Yeah, when she gets her own room. They said sometime tomorrow afternoon.”

 

“So why are you still sitting here?” Lynn asked wondering what other bad news he had for him.

 

“I wanted to talk to you about some things you saw tonight. Did you see what happened?” David asked writing down his own thoughts on what had happened.

 

Lynn looked over at David, “Not really, by the time I got there it was over. The car simply looked like a mangled mess of steel.”

 

“So you didn’t see who ran them off the road?” David asked again.

 

“No, by the time I got there Kelly was already gone and Chris was floating in and out.” Lynn continued with a sad sigh. He wasn’t really interested in talking about this right now but he knew it needed to be done.

 

“Ok why don’t you head back in? I’ll come back in the morning. Let her know that I hope she gets better quickly.” David stood up and put his hand on Lynn’s shoulder. “And take care of yourself too.”

 

“I will. See you in the morning.” Lynn smiled standing up and heading back towards the ICU. He stopped at the swinging door and took a deep breath. Pushing it open he was once again met by the head nurse.

 

“Hey Lynn. She’s doing a bit better now. She’s going to make it without much worry. At the moment we aren’t so sure about the baby. He’s not been doing as good as he could be.” She told him not knowing that he didn’t know about the baby.

 

“Her what?” Lynn demanded.

 

“Her baby. You didn’t know Chris was almost 3 months pregnant?” she asked him smiling.

 

“No. I didn’t. Can I see her now?” he asked wondering in the back of his mind what it would be like to be an uncle.

 

“Sure. She resting comfortably now.” She stepped back to allow him in.

 

He made his way to her room and quietly slipped inside. She was awake, “Yes Lynn. Is everything ok?” she asked.

 

Lynn looked at her bruised face, “Not really. Mother is on her way, and I still haven’t tried to get a hold of Michael yet.”

 

“Why is mother coming?” Chris asked lifting her hand to cover her eyes.

 

“Because she’s worried about you, so am I. What is this I heard from the nurse about a baby?” he asked with a smile.

 

Chris blushed, “Well, the Dr. said that the baby was doing ok, not as good as he wanted but better than he expected. With everything that happened in the crash, including the internal bleeding they just wanted me to be very careful of things I do until he’s born.”

 

“Why didn’t you tell me you were expecting a baby?” he demanded.

 

The door opened before Chris could answer him, “I think I can answer that one.” A deep male voice spoke from the doorway. “At least I hope it’s because she didn’t know.”

 

Chris’ face lit up, “Michael how? Shouldn’t you be out there helping build that new oil rig?” she asked reaching for his hand.

 

Michael stepped close, “Seems a Captain Marshall pulled a few strings and had a helicopter bring me in. For some reason he thought that the two of you might wait to call me.” He took Chris’ hand and brought it to his lips. “Now I know my baby sister is gone, and that I will fall apart about later. How are you doing beautiful and what is this about a baby?”

 

Chris blushed again, “I’m about 3 months along, and as for why I haven’t told anyone I didn’t find out till this morning at my appointment for my yearly exam.”

 

“WOW.” The word came out of Lynn and Michael at the same moment.

 

“I’m going to be a daddy.” Michael continued. “What in the world are we going to do?” he asked a little shell-shocked about the baby.

 

Chris grinned, “That one I have already figured out. We raise our baby and try for the best life we can.” She took a deep breath, “That is if you want the baby?”

 

Michael’s temper flashed, “If I want the baby? Why wouldn’t I?”

 

Chris and Lynn both fought to keep smiles hidden, “Well we never talked about kids, marriage or anything like that.”

 

“True enough, but that doesn’t mean I never thought about it. I’ve always wanted to marry you and have a family with you. Just because our families think the match is a disaster doesn’t mean anything to me.” He dropped down to one knee beside her bed, “Marry me Loretta Havershik, and make me the happiest man alive.”

 

Chris’ heart was torn in half, part of her was happier than she had ever been, while the other felt guilty about Lynn and Kelly. Before she could say anything Lynn spoke up, “Tell the man yes Chris. Don’t lose another moment with him.”

 

She looked from Michael’s face to Lynn’s, “You don’t mind?” she didn’t want to do anything to cause him more pain. “Tonight was supposed to be your night.”

 

Michael looked up at his friend, “You were asking Kelly tonight?” he asked softly, angry at himself for forgetting the pain Lynn had to be going through.

 

Lynn smiled, “Yes, I was and I think with the new life on the way tonight is perfect for the two of you to make it official.” He told them tears running down his face.

 

“Thank you for your blessing Lynn. It means a lot to me. So how about it Chris; are you going to make me an honest man or not?” Michael asked from where he was still kneeling on the floor.

 

Chris’ smile was brilliant, “Yes.”

 

Lynn clapped quietly, “I am very happy for the both of you.” He watched as Michael got up and gave Chris a careful hug. “Now Chris, no one has told me anything other than you are going to live. How much damage was done to you in that crash?” Lynn asked dropping down lightly on the end of her bed.

 

She sighed, “For the most part just bumps and bruises. The biggest thing was a broken rib that did some damage on the inside and cut up a few things in there. They got everything taken care of and think that in time both me and the baby will be fine.” She assured the boys standing next to her bed.

 

She was about to say more when there was a loud commotion at the nurse’s station. Lynn stood up and hurried to the door, “Damn. I was hoping we had longer.” He turned to look back at Chris. “Mother’s here. Do you want me to deal with her?”

 

Chris thought about it for a moment, “No, just let her in, and go tell that fool of a Dr. of mine that I want in a normal room tonight. There is no reason that I should be trapped in ICU.”

 

Lynn nodded and pushed the door open. “Hello mother.” He kept his voice low and calm. He was hoping she was there because Chris was her daughter and she loved her, but he doubted it. “It was good of you to get here so fast.”

 

She spun around, “Good why? What’s happened now? These nurses won’t tell me anything.” She demanded her voice shrill and loud, he hated it when she was like this.

 

“All I meant mother is that she will be glad to see you. She has some really good news for you. Michael is with her now, but since she’s asking for a normal room I don’t think it would be out of the question for you to go in. I am going to stay out here for a few minutes. I need to find out if anyone has called Kelly’s parents.” He told his mother as he led her across the hall to the door of Chris’ room. He stepped back and watched as she pushed the door open. “Be nice Mother.” He called as she went through the door.

 

###

 

Chris looked at her mother as she came in and hoped she was at least remotely under control. “It’s good to see you mother.”

 

Shelly Havershik looked at her daughter, “Wish I could say the same. You look horrible Loretta. I guess from the looks of it that car of yours finally cost you something.”

 

Chris’ anger was instant and magnificent, “I understand that you never liked the car or the fact that Michael bought it for me, but that was wrong for you to say. Someone ran Kelly and I off the road tonight. I may have only been hurt, but Kelly my second best friend in all the world lost her life tonight.” She glanced at Michael. “If you can’t show me respect, the least you could do is show some to your future son-in-law.” She waited for the explosion.

 

She wasn’t disappointed, “You will not marry that man.” The door slammed open before either Chris or Michael could respond.

 

“And you Mrs. Havershik will not talk to my patient that way. If you can’t show respect you can leave. I don’t care if you are a member of one of the richest families around. I’ve dealt with Chris long enough and often enough to know you are only here for show anyway.” The Dr. said coming through the door and taking Chris’ chart off the end of her bed. “You are one lucky girl in a couple of ways Chris.”

 

“Listen you self absorbed pompous jerk, I am here because she is my daughter and this is where I should be. Why does everyone think I would be here for any other reason?”

 

“Because in all the years I have been treating your children the only time you are available is when it makes you look good or there are checks to be written. Now may I get back to my patient or must we continue this here and now until you are escorted out again.” He turned back to Chris as she spoke.

 

“Why am I lucky Dr.?” she asked looking at the people in the room. She found the anger on her mother’s face amusing, however she had never felt very lucky with her mother around.

 

“ First of all it looks like both you and the baby will make a complete recovery. Past that, you have a very stubborn and demanding brother. Your paperwork to move to a private room is being done as we speak.” He explained watching out of the corner of his eye as Shelly absorbed the news that she was going to be a grandmother. He turned to face her, “Mrs. Havershik, you look pale is there something I can do for you?”

 

Shelly glared at her daughter, “How dare you get pregnant. That man is not good enough for you.” She snarled.

 

“You have no idea mother.” Chris snapped, “You can leave. They will call you if something happens and you are needed.” She watched as her mother stood up aghast and stormed out of the room, with a smile she turned back to the Dr. “So when will that room be ready?”

 

###

 

Lynn turned back to the nurse’s station as his mother stormed out of the room seeming to not see him or anyone else in her anger. He wasn’t even surprised, the woman may have given birth to him and Chris, but she was the most uncaring woman he had ever had the displeasure of dealing with. “Everything will be fine with my mother. She’s a bit of a pain, but she shouldn’t do any damage to Chris. My sister can stand up for herself with the best of them.”

 

A young red-haired nurse’s aide walked through the doors of ICU. “Officer Havershik, there’s someone at the main entrance that would like to speak with you.” She smiled walking up.

 

“Thank you. I’ll be right out.” He watched as she hurried back through the doors. He looked back at the nurse, “You have my cell number if you need me.” He headed out the doors having a feeling it was Kelly’s parents that wanted to see him. As he rounded the last corner, he saw he was right. “Mr. and Mrs. Matthews, I am very sorry about Kelly. If there is anything I can do please let me know.”

 

Angelia Matthews stepped forward and without saying anything wrapped him in a loving hug. James spoke in a quiet voice, “Thank you son. The best and only things we can ask of you are to let us know what is going on and to be there for Michael.”

 

Lynn stepped back. “That you can count on.” He took a deep breath, “I hate to ask, but have you been down to identify Kelly’s body?”

 

Angelia responded, “Michael did that when he got here and we were told. Personally I would rather remember her as I last saw her. She was so happy about meeting you for dinner tonight.”

 

Lynn smiled, “I’m glad the last memory you have of her is a happy one.” He could only wish it was that easy for himself.

 

James looked at him, “I heard you were first on the scene. That must’ve been really hard.”

 

“It wasn’t easy, but as I am sure you know after all your years on the force, sometimes being a cop means shutting everything off.” Lynn’s eyes were sad, but he stayed in control.

 

James’ eyes hardened, “true enough. Can you by chance tell us where to find our son?”

 

“He is with my sister. They should be moving her to a private room soon. If you ask at the desk I am sure they can tell you where she is once she’s been moved. I have something I need to deal with, so I will be back later.” He told them starting to walk away. He didn’t wait to see how they responded, just made his way to his car. Climbing in he closed the door and dropped his head to the steering wheel. It was long past time for him to take a few minutes to himself.

 

###

 

The car was parked at the edge of the lot, the man inside watching Lynn as he sat in his car. Slowly the man started the car and began to pull away, “Tonight is not your night Lynn. But be warned, your time is coming.” The man drove out of the parking lot past where Lynn was fighting for his sanity.

 

###

 

Lynn lifted his head just as the car slipped out of the lot. “Ok, time to break a few rules.” He mumbled to himself, slipping the seatbelt on and turning the key as a plan began to form in his head. He drove to police headquarters and parked in his normal spot. He got out and walked inside. The Captain meeting him at the door, “What are you doing here? I thought I put you on six weeks leave.”

 

Lynn just looked at him, “I promise I won’t leave my desk. I just want to read through the reports.”

 

Captain Marshall looked him in the eyes, “Not one inch from your desk and you only get copies of the reports.”

 

“That’s fine, I want everything on tonight, I want to know who ran them off the road.” Lynn snarled pushing past the captain and heading for his desk. He sat down just as his phone rang. He picked it up on the second ring, “Officer Havershik, how can I help you?”

 

The voice on the other end of the line was distorted, “Take your Captain’s advice and stay away from your sister’s case. It was an accident, leave it at that and move on.”

 

Lynn started to speak, but the voice on the line wasn’t done. “You will find that this number comes back to a throw away pre-paid cell phone, so don’t waste your time tracing it just listen. Kelly died in an accident, one that shouldn’t have happened, but did. Leave it at that and move on. Nothing good will come of you digging into the crash.” Again Lynn started to say something, but the voice continued, “If you value your family, you will stay out of the case. Digging into things you shouldn’t can be very costly.” The line went dead.

 

Lynn put down the phone, “At least I have all that recorded.” He mumbled to himself.

 

“Have what recorded?” The captain asked stepping up with a handful of papers.

 

“It was a call telling me to back off my sister’s case. It’s not the first time someone didn’t want me on some case or another.” He told him reaching for the papers, “So what do we know?”

 

The captain handed over the papers, “Not much, from the looks of the scene they didn’t have much of a chance to react.”

 

Lynn started to thumb through the papers and got caught by one of the crime scene photos in the pile. “Where was this taken?” he asked showing the picture to the captain and not wanting to take the time to look through the file to figure it out.

 

“Fifteen to twenty feet from the car. You know the photo guy working tonight, the man takes pictures of everything within a quarter mile of the scene to make sure we have it all recorded. Why?”

 

“Because something in that picture is wrong, it shouldn’t be there. Is the evidence list in here too?” he asked flipping through the papers. He found the paper he was looking for. “Right, here it is. The book is listed as a leather bound journal type, language unknown. Will you allow me to look at it?” he asked Jefferson.

 

“Sure with my supervision. What about the book caught your attention though?”

 

“The writing on the cover, it looks familiar. Something about it tells me that I’ve seen it before.” Lynn stood up and started towards the evidence room. He knew Jefferson would follow him. They got there and the Captain took a moment to sign the two of them in.

 

“Ok, so you want to look at the book anything else?”

 

“Not at the moment.” Lynn watched as Jefferson went and got the book out of the evidence box for the case. He brought it back over and handed it to Lynn.”

 

“Holy crap I was right.” The words were out of Lynn’s mouth before he could stop them. His fingers traced the hand engraved letters on the cover of the journal, his face going white.

 

“Lynn, what’s wrong?” Jefferson asked.

 

“Captain, sir, the name on this journal is that of my great grandfather. I haven’t seen this book in years.”

 

Jefferson looked at him, “Maybe your sister had it with her?” he questioned, “and that’s how it was found outside the car.”

 

“Not likely. It went missing the night my father was killed. Something’s funny here.” Lynn was getting angry. He felt like he was being played for a fool. He watched Jefferson’s face drain of color.

 

“I haven’t thought of your father or his death in a long time. The case was classified as a cold case long ago.. Why would you think this is linked to it?”

 

Lynn flipped through the book, “No, Chris wasn’t likely to have it. She wasn’t much into our father’s library, but you might as well sit down.” Nothing had changed in it since the last time he had seen it other than about ten of the entries were marked with post it notes. “I’m going to be here awhile I’m not as good at translating Gaelic as I used to be. This will take me a few.” He took the small notepad he always carried out of his back pocket and began translating the marked entries into it.

 

 

Jefferson smiled to himself, Lynn might be smart enough to get out of this alive after all. He watched as Lynn copied the entries, personally having no idea what they said or why they would be important. As he sat there he thought about the calls he had been getting lately. Something was defiantly going on. Things had been set in motion and now he wasn’t sure he was going to get out of this with his skin. With the accident tonight and the calls over the last few days threatening a long dead cop, things were not feeling as safe as they could in his world. Jefferson was thinking hard about resigning from his post as police captain.

 

They sat there almost two hours before Lynn put his pen down. “I’m done. You can put this back now. I have everything I need from it.” He handed the journal back to the Captain, and stood up. He waited while Jefferson put it away and signed them out. Then they headed out of the evidence room, Lynn walking towards the front door of the station. “I’m going home. It’s been a long day.” He called to the captain across the station as he reached the main doors leading outside.

 

The drive across town was one he had done enough times he could nearly do it in his sleep. As he pulled to a stop in front of the high rise where he lived his cell phone rang. He snagged it out of his pocket as he climbed out of the car. “Havershik.”

 

“Don’t you ever say hello when you answer that thing?” the voice on the other end demanded.

 

“Not usually. What can I do for you Jimmy?” he asked walking up the path toward the main doors.

 

“You told me told me to call if anything strange showed up at the shop.” He responded. “Can you get down here?”

 

Lynn sighed, “Is there any way that it can wait today has been a really bad day for me.”

 

There was a pause on the other end of the line, “I heard about your sister and your girlfriend, but this is important. It looks like something from your past.” Jimmy told him.

 

“Ok, just give me about an hour. I really have to grab a shower. I feel nasty after the day I’ve had.”

 

“Ok, when you get here come in the side door.” Jimmy told him before hanging up. Lynn slipped his phone back into his pocket and walked on into the building. He headed straight for the elevator. The doors slid open just as he walked up.

 

“Hey John.” He smiled at one of his neighbors, as they passed at the doors. The doors slid shut again and he turned back around to press the button for the 32nd floor. The elevator began to climb silently toward his floor. He was a bit surprised when the first time the doors opened again he was on his floor. “At least something went right tonight.” He said to himself as he stepped off the elevator.

 

One of the delivery men for the building was walking toward him down the hall. “Hello Lynn. I just left a package for you by your door. I hope everything is ok.”

 

After the day Lynn had been through he stopped and looked closely at the young man. “What do you mean?”

 

The guy looked confused, “Well, the package is from the law office your dad used to use. The one out of New Orleans.”

 

Lynn’s heart felt like it fell to his feet. “Oh.” He took a careful step towards his apartment, “Thanks Marc.”

 

He stopped just in front of his door and reached down for the box, his fingers stopping just short of touching it. He bent down to get a better look. It seemed safe enough. With a breath he picked it up and unlocked his door. He flicked the light on with his elbow and headed for the kitchen table. He set the box on the table and sat down in one of the high back chairs.

 

He reached up and started to cut the tape on the box, the need and want for a shower momentarily forgotten. As he got the box open he saw the simple typed letter laying on top.

 

 

Greetings Mr. Havershik;

My name is Thomas Case. I am a lawyer working with Keith, Matthews, and Roarke. We handled many dealings for your father; Joseph Havershik. A few weeks ago this box arrived at our offices to be forwarded to you. The contents of this package are detailed on the reverse of this letter. My best wished for your future.

Thomas Case

 

 

 

Lynn put the letter aside without looking at the back of it, and took the manila envelope off the top of the stack in the box. He opened it and felt his heart tighten again, as he pulled out a stack of stock certificates. “This must be worth a fortune.” He said to himself. He was just reaching back into the box when his cell rang. He picked it up again, “Havershik.”

 

“Boy you need to say hello when you answer that thing.” His uncle’s voice commanded.

 

“Why? For being my personal cell, I’ve gotten nothing but cop calls tonight. So how can I help you dear uncle Douglas?”

 

“Can’t I call just to talk?” Douglas asked sounding tired.

 

“I’m thinking not today. It’s been bad from the start. So what’s wrong?” Lynn felt like everything in his life was going wrong, and was just waiting for the next thing to crash in.

 

“Well you are right. It is my job that caused me to call. I got a call tonight about a missing car.” Douglas started.

 

Lynn wasn’t in the mood for a run around, “Douglas, please just get to the point.”

 

“Ok, man you must really have had a bad day. The car was the same make and model as the one that was seen the night your father was killed.” He continued, making Lynn’s head spin.

 

“Douglas you have to be crazy. How would that car still be around? After all these years, someone would have done something to it.”

 

“They did. It didn’t come across my desk as a stolen car, but through another case. A couple of kids found the car down at the quarry. Seems there was some strange evidence found in the car. My boss is making noises about reactivating your father’s murder case.”

 

Douglas had Lynn’s attention now, “What kind of evidence?”

 

“A number of things; first and foremost both your father’s DNA and evidence of something criminal.”

 

“My father’s DNA?” Lynn asked slightly confused.

 

“Yes there was trace amounts of blood evidence inside the car. Both on the seat and on some clothing. That blood was your father’s I wanted to let you know that the feds were reactivating the case before you found out from someone else. People are going to want to talk to you again.” He explained.

 

“Right another round of questions I have no answers for.” Lynn snapped feeling a bit hopeless. He was overloading and knew it. “Douglas, do you know when they are going to want to talk to me? My life is a little more than messed up right now. I don’t know how you haven’t heard yet, but Chris and Kelly were in a car accident tonight. Kelly didn’t make it and Chris is in the hospital.” Lynn explained deciding not to go into more detail about any of the other stuff that was happening.

 

“Oh damn. I’m sorry. I’ve been in the field and out of contact with most everyone since the call about the car.” Was all Douglas could say.

 

“Thanks. So if you could keep the questions off for a bit I would be grateful.”

 

“I’ll give you as much time as I can, but I can’t promise long.” Douglas told him. “I just wanted to keep you informed.”

 

“Well, call back if you get anything new. If I don’t answer leave a message. Right now I have a stack of things I have to get done.” Lynn hung up without saying anything more and put the phone on the table. Them reactivating his father’s murder case was not something he wanted to deal with right at the moment. He didn’t bother to take another look at the box, he just headed for the shower.

 

###

 

Michael slowly pushed Chris down the hospital corridor. They were moving her to a private room. “So love, what happened tonight?”

 

Chris sighed, “Short and sweet of it; some asshole ran Kelly and I off the road. The details, I don’t have many. I didn’t get a look at the driver, but the car was a 2002 or2003 mustang, yellow in color. Gods it was ugly. The thing came right at us. I swerved to miss getting hit and ended up in the Magnolia grove out on Route 17.”

 

A voice spoke up from behind them, “How could the car have come directly at you and you not have gotten a look at the driver?” David asked.

 

Michael stopped, “I thought I would have seen you before now.”

 

“Yeah well are you going to answer my question Chris?”

 

“Why are you asking David?” she questioned him, she never had liked the man all that much.

 

“Because it’s my job. I am supposed to interview you about what happened.” He explained.

 

“Great. I am so sure Lynn is happy that you have the case, and as far as for the answer to your question the windows on the car were tinted.” She snapped.

 

“If you didn’t see anything how do you know it was a he?”

 

“I don’t. The only thing I know is that I got hurt and my best friend Kelly was killed. There isn’t anything else I can tell you.” She looked up at Michael, “Can we go now?”

 

He began to walk again, “Of course.” They left David standing in the hall and moved on towards her new room.

 

###

 

Lynn shut the water off and reached for a towel. He gasped as his fingers touched something hard and wet sitting on the towel rack. “Son of a bitch.” He climbed out of the shower still dripping, his eyes coming to rest on a small metal box covered in what looked to be blood. He stepped back and grabbed for another towel to dry off. He headed into his bedroom and grabbed the phone off the nightstand. His fingers were shaking as he dialed 911.

 

“911 what is your emergency?” The woman’s voice asked.

 

“I need assistance at 2613 Rockak Road, the penthouse suite.” He says looking back at the bathroom door. “I think an officer could handle this. It’s a simple Bio-hazard removal.” his words were clipped, but his hold on sanity was starting to slip.

 

There was a pause on the line, “Lynn Havershik, is that you?” She asked.

 

“Yes, Jeanette.” He answered recognizing her voice.

 

“Oh hell. How bad is it?” She asked.

 

He could hear the keystrokes as she tapped at her computer.

 

“It’s not that bad, somebody left me a gift is all. It’s just a…” his voice dropped off as something slammed into the back of his head rendering him unconscious.

 

“Lynn! Lynn!” Jeanette called into the phone. The man standing over Lynn could hear, and wanted to answer the phone; however his boss told him to speak to no one. So he left the phone where Lynn had dropped it and slipped back out the way he gotten in through the patio door.

 

It was only a few minutes later when the door to the apartment gave easily to the manager’s master key. “Damn it Lynn.” David snarled dropping down to check on him where he lay on the floor. Lynn groaned as David shook him. “What the hell happened here?” he asked looking around.

 

“Good question, but not one I have an answer for. I was taking a shower, and grabbed for my towel. There was some type of bloody box on the towel rack.” He stood up and went to get his robe. “I came back in here and called 911 and went black.” He belted the robe looking around the room. “Nothing looks to be disturbed in here.”

 

“Ok, you mind if we turn this into a crime scene?” David asked taking his notebook out of his pocket.

 

“That’s why I called.” Lynn snapped, he didn’t like when his life started to fly out of control.

 

David looked up from the notebook, “True, but I was talking making you more than just a witness.”

 

Lynn spun around, “Why?

 

“Because you were attacked, we don’t know what is going on. We need to do this by the book.” David explained.

 

Lynn was less than happy about it, but he understood. “Fine, do what you have to do.” He walked over and sat down on the couch. It looked like he would be standing Jimmy up after all. He watched as they documented everything in the place, including the growing bump on his head.

 

About 3 hours later they left his apartment in nearly as good of shape as it had been when they got there. However they hadn’t gathered anything more than the box and a few bits and pieces of evidence. He picked up the phone and dialed Jimmy’s number.

 

Jimmy answered it on the first ring, “What happened? Why didn’t you show?”

 

Lynn laughed, “The same kind of things as the rest of my day. Lately if it can go wrong it will.” He stood up and began to pace, “What did you have that you wanted to show me? I really don’t feel like leaving the house.”

 

Jimmy paused, “A watch came in this morning. Something I really think you need to see.”

 

Lynn sighed, “What is so special about the watch?” Jimmy was a good man, but there were times when his view of what was important wasn’t the same as Lynn’s.

 

“It looks like the one your father always carried.” Jimmy told him sounding more nervous by the word.

 

“You mean the silver and emerald seaman’s watch?” Lynn asked.

 

“Yeah that’s the one. Was there something that I could look for to check and see if I am right?” Jimmy asked.

 

Lynn thought about it for a moment, “Yeah, if you open the cover there would be a small star engraved at the bottom.” He heard movement on the other end of the line.

 

“Five points surrounded by a circle?”

 

“Yep, I guess I will come down and deal with it.” He hung up and went to get dressed. He was hoping that the meeting with Jimmy would prove more productive than just the watch.

 

A few short minutes later he was back in the elevator headed down to the garage where the valet would have parked his car. The doors slid open and he stepped out into the dimly lit parking area. It was the only place he didn’t like about his building. His feet took him to his car in short order. Climbing in he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. “Damn it’s been a hard day.” He mumbled to himself.

 

“That it has.” He heard as clear as day from behind him. He spun his head to look in the backseat. His eyes could just make out the shadow sitting on the passenger side of the car.

 

“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be hiding in that castle of yours somewhere?” Lynn asked the figure in the shadows.

 

“Don’t ask questions. You know I only show up when you need me. Now go get your father’s watch, things are going to get bad.” The figure told him.

 

“Ok , just don’t sneak up on me again.” He started the car and pulled out. It wasn’t a long drive to Jimmy’s pawn shop. Within minutes he was pulling to a stop in front of the building. He turned back towards the backseat only to find it empty. “That man is going to drive me to drink one of these days.” He climbed out of the car and headed for the side door of the building.

 

Jimmy met him at the door. “Come on in and I will get you the watch.” He followed Jimmy inside catching the moving shadow out of the corner of his eye. They went into a office and Lynn dropped into the worn leather chair in the corner.

 

“So who brought the watch in?” Lynn asked reaching over to dim the bright column light behind his chair. He saw the shadow darken as Darious stepped into it.

 

“A young woman, mid-twenties, red hair, green eyes, Irish accent.” Jimmy answered walking over and opening a small box on his desk. He carefully pulled the watch out, “I have no idea how she got it.” He gave Lynn the watch, his eyes scanning the room. He always felt like he was being watched when he was around him.

 

“Did she leave a name?”

 

“Sharron Williams. Mean anything to you?” Jimmy asked sitting down and trying to get comfortable.

 

Lynn caught the movement as Darious slipped back through the shadows. “Nope, but that doesn’t mean much. Did you have her sign your normal paperwork?”

 

“No, just gave her eighty dollars and got the watch. I saw the ID but I didn’t copy it. Had a feeling if I tried she would have bolted with the watch.”

 

“That was smart Jimmy, and thanks you for getting it back for me. What do I owe you?” Lynn asked knowing there was always a price when dealing with Jimmy.

 

Jimmy thought for a moment, “How about a promise. Your promise that you will not back down, that you find Kelly’s killer. She was a great lady. You two should have had a long life together.” He told Lynn, sadness filling his eyes.

 

Lynn smiled, “You always were sweet on her. She thought you were pretty cool too.”

 

The words made Jimmy smile, “Thanks, now get back home and get some rest. You look like hell my friend.”

 

“Thanks.” Lynn stood up and headed for his car. He didn’t know if Darious would be there or not, but he hoped his shadowy friend had found something. He unlocked his door and climbed in, “Dare?” he whispered.

 

There was movement in the backseat, “Lynn you are in for a lot of nasty things. This case is going to bring out a lot of skeletons from a lot of closets, not all of them simple people. You are going to have to fight for this case if you want it.” Darious explained, “Now I want you to put this thing in gear and drive. Go where I tell you to if you can bring yourself to trust me.”

 

Lynn didn’t question the command. He simply started the car and put it in drive, “Where to?”

 

“Take Jefferson towards the bridge, I’ll tell you when to turn.”

 

Lynn followed orders, taking Jefferson towards the Key Bridge. He wondered what was going on, but knew he wasn’t going to get much out of Darious until the man was willing to tell him. “Did you find Sharron?” he asked anyway.

 

Darious growled, a sound that always put a bit of fear into Lynn, “Yes, you need to turn left at the next light.”

 

“Ok, care to tell me what’s wrong?” Lynn asked.

 

“Let me start by saying that I’m going to test your faith and your beliefs before this is over. Take a right on Treelane.” Darious said softly.

 

Lynn followed instructions barely noticing the longer he drove the darker it became. “How?” he asked not really understanding what was going on.

 

“I will explain when we get where I am taking you. Right now though head through the iron gate coming up on your left.”

 

As he turned the car and drove through the gate Lynn started to worry a bit. “Dare is Chris safe?”

 

“She’s fine. It’s you I’m worried about.” Darious told him, “Park at the bottom of the stairs.”

 

“Where are we?” Lynn asked still feeling something strange. He just wished he could put his finger on what was wrong.

 

“My estate. You will be safe here.” He opened the back door of the car and climbed out. “Come on it. You should know by now that you have always been and will always be welcome in my home.” Darious smiled, now no matter what Lynn would always have a safe place to run if he needed it.

 

“True enough. Give me a minute I want to call and check on things with Chris.” Lynn told him getting out of the car himself and pulling his cell out. He dialed the hospital’s number from memory.

 

“Memorial, how may I direct your call?” the switchboard operator asked.

 

“Loretta Havershik’s room please.”

 

“One moment while I check the room number.” There was a pause as she put Lynn on hold. A moment later she was back on the line. “I’m sorry, but there is no one by that name admitted at this time.”

 

“What do you mean? She was in ICU a few hours ago.” Lynn suddenly knew that something was very wrong. Even the sister he knew and loved that healed faster than anyone he knew shouldn’t have been able to heal that fast.

 

“Ms. Havershik was released about an hour and a half ago. With a clean bill of health. I do not see a stay in ICU for her. Have a good day.” She hung up the phone in Lynn’s ear. Something was really wrong now. Without thinking he called Chris’ place. She answered on the second ring.

 

“Lynn? What’s wrong? Why are you calling here. I thought you were at home resting.” She asked not wanting to have to try to explain anything right now. While she was healed physically, she was still worn out on the inside.

 

“I just want to know that you are ok. I will be resting soon. I am staying with a friend for at least a few nights. He feels that I need protection.” Lynn told her, feeling grateful that she was safe and healed.

 

“Ok, then I will talk to you in a few days. Take are.”

 

Darious had been standing a few feet away. “Everything ok now?” he asked knowing that by this point Lynn must be about out of his mind wondering what was going on.

 

“Yes and no, she’s fine, but what I can’t figure out is how in the world she is out of the hospital already.” He told Darious looking around as the man, still hidden in the folds of a ancient looking cloak lead him up the stairs towards the main entrance to the house.

 

“Lynn, tonight you are going to learn a lot of things. Most of them are not going to set well with you to start, but know that everything is as it was meant to be by powers bigger than either of us.” He told him opening the road and motioning for him to step inside. Lynn walked in looking around as he did wondering how and why his friend seemed so much different from the last time he had seen him. There had always been an air of mystery around Darious, but tonight it seemed like more of an air of danger.

 

“What are you being so mysterious about Dare? What do you know that I don’t?” he went inside and slowed down to let his eyes adjust to the darkness of the inside of the house. The door shut behind Darious as he followed Lynn inside. The lights came up making Lynn wonder what was going on as everything took on a red tint.

 

“Let’s head to the library and I will do my best to explain everything that is going.” Darious smiled as he removed his cloak and hung it on the hook just inside the door.

 

Lynn walked next to his friend and for the first time in a long time, years in fact, he took a long look at him. The man stood just under six foot tall, with a stocky build. His black hair hanging almost to his waist in a thick herringbone braid. Lynn took in the steady strength of Darious’ golden brown eyes. “I have faith in you.” His words were soft, but still a touch shaky.

 

“Lynn, have a seat.” He sat down on the end of a leather couch after taking a moment to pour both Lynn and himself a glass of whiskey. He wasn’t looking forward to getting into the things he was about to explain to Lynn. Some of the secrets he was about to put into the open hadn’t seen the light of day since the day they happened. He watched Lynn sit down and look around the room.

 

“Why do I think you are trying to avoid having this conversation?” Lynn asked watching emotions float through Darious’ face.

 

“Because I was hoping to never have to sit down with you and have this conversation. I have things to tell you that you are not going to want to hear.”

 

“I understand. Where do you want to start?” Lynn asked taking a deep breath.

 

“Well I guess the first thing I should tell you is that I have been around longer than you know. I have been friends with your family for longer than you have been alive.”

 

“How? You aren’t but a few years older than I am?” Lynn asked.

 

“Again, this is not a conversation I ever wanted to have with you. I want you to promise me that you will sit there and listen. Don’t interrupt me until I’m done. This is not going to be easy on either of us. Can you promise me that?” Darious asked looking at the man sitting a few feet from him whose life he was about to turn upside down.

 

“I can do that.”

 

“Ok, we can start with information about you and your sister. She is home from the hospital because she is healed. You know that she heals fast right?”

 

“Yeah, she always has. What does that have to do with anything?” Lynn asked.

 

“She isn’t a normal person dear. I don’t know how you are going to take the information that I have for you, but you and your sister are special. The two of you are different from most people.”

 

“You aren’t making any sense Dare. What are you trying to tell me?” Lynn asked looking at his friend.

 

“I am trying to tell you that, your sister is not human.” He paused, waiting for Lynn to react. He didn’t get much of one.

 

“Not human? Explain.” Lynn’s voice was calm, and sounded like he almost wanted to believe his friend.

 

“She’s a vampyre. As am I.”

 

“So you changed her?” Lynn asked thinking that he might have a grasp of what Darious was going to tell him.

 

“Didn’t have to. She is a natural born vampyre.”

 

Lynn spoke without thinking, “How can that be, she’s my twin.”

 

“That is because your father is.” Darious explained hoping that Lynn wouldn’t ask the hard questions just yet. He wasn’t that lucky.

 

“My father was a police officer; that is until he was killed a few years ago.” Lynn told his friend, he didn’t understand what Darious was trying to tell him, but something really didn’t feel right suddenly.

 

“The man that raised you was a police officer; however, he was not your father. Your father was a man much older than he looked and much more powerful in many ways.” Darious started to explain.

 

Lynn looked at Darious. “You are kidding right? You are trying to tell me that my father was a vampyre and that would make both me and my sister vampyre.”

 

“Yes, your father is vampyre, as is your sister, however through some twist of fate you were not born active.” Darious watched as emotions slipped across Lynn’s face .

 

“The only question that I can ask is why?”

 

“Why what Lynn?” Darious asked with a smile. He figured Lynn wanted to know why he had never heard this information before, he was wrong.

 

“Why were we born different? Why was she born active and me not?” he asked looking down at his hands, before Darious could answer him he asked another, harder question. “Are you our father?”

 

Darious had been hoping that he wouldn’t have to answer that one. “Yes. I have known your mother for a very long time. Do you want me to explain how everything began?”

 

“Yes, but first, I would actually like to know more about what we are. I guess I can understand why she never goes out in the day, she hasn’t in all the time I can remember.”

 

Darious smiled slowly, this was going to be the longest part of the conversation with Lynn. “I can do that. It might take a while to get things sorted out to your liking. I will do my best to answer your questions and to put aside some of the myths of what we can and cannot do. I will even try to explain why you didn’t get any of the bonuses to what you are.”

 

“That sounds fair.”

 

“Let me start at the beginning. That means explaining what a vampyre is…” he took a deep breath, “Or more to the point what the differences are between what is real and what the world thinks we are.”

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A stack of camera equipment bills at the foot of Wyvern's desk shifts and lunges forward like a geld-consuming version of the Blob. A claw reaches from the depths of the sheets and clings to a leg of the Recruiter's Desk before Wyvern pulls himself out in full, spreading his wings to shake off the loose papers and cheap camera ordering catalogues hooked to his scales. The reptilian Elder removes a set of coupons from one of his horns and files it safely on his desktop, then slumps into his seat and adjusts the tiny bandages on the edge of his neck and the tip of his snout (the "Myopia" situation had taken some maneuvering in the last Report). Wyvern also adjusts a larger bandage at the base of one of his horns, which doesn't cover any scratch but which makes him look that much hipper and macho. He sniffles to himself and sets about returning to his "important Office work," which amounts to doodling CheerMynx poses over an urgent tax notification document. The overgrown lizard pauses in the middle of scribbling a pompom, however, as he notices an unfamiliar application lying next to his Office booze mug. He raises the application folder and inspects it to see if there's enough space on it for more CheerMynx doodles, then raises a brow as he notices the name listed on it and opens it to read the first paragraph. He sets the application down and reaches into one of the drawers of his desk, pulling out a miniature crystal ball.

 

"Hi, Ssspinky? Yeah, yeah I know you're off duty." Wyvern taps a claw down on Luna's application as he speaks through the ball. "Lisssten, could ya do me a favor and get this gal Luna Silverthorne down to my Office? Tell'er I'm reading over her app. No. Well no, she doesssn't need a perm. Just get'er down here alright?"

 

Wyvern waves a claw over the ball to dim it, then turns back to reading over "Magnolia Grove." By the time Luna Silverthorne and her escort Spinky the news fashion troglyodyte have arrived at the Office, Wyvern has already flipped through a few pages of the application.

 

"Missss Silverthorne. Please, take a seat and make yerself comfortable. I'll be finished with your application in a bit."

 

Wyvern grins in Luna's direction, then turns his eyes towards Spinky as the troglyodyte wanders up to his desk and extends a webbed hand. Wyvern stares at it for a minute before giving Spinky a high-five, then signals for him to go with a claw. The troglyodyte grumbles in an unsatisfied manner and stares at Wyvern with an angry look before sticking his nose up and wandering out of the Office.

 

"Interesssting so far." Wyvern sneers and lifts the application folder, turning Luna's attention away from the disgruntled troglyodyte's exit. "Feel free to amuse yerself by browsing some of the many Office reading materialsss while you wait, should only be a lil' longer."

 

Wyvern gestures to three of the taller stacks of paperwork cluttering the Office, then sets back to reading over Luna Silverthorne's application. Luna leans back in her applicant easy chair and places her hand on her chin as she watches the reptilian Elder at work, not bothering with the "reading materials" given the rather disorganized and ink-stained state of the paper stacks. She starts picking at the armrest of her easy chair as she waits ten minutes... then twenty minutes... then thirty minutes. Luna finally glances up at the Office Rolodex clock and raises herself from her seat with a sigh, bored out of her wits and desperately in need of a change in scenery. She pauses when she reaches the Office door, however, as Wyvern clears his throat loudly and lifts himself from his seat.

 

"Ms. Ssssilverthorne, I've finished reading yer piece." Wyvern nods and turns Luna's application folder over so that she won't see the CheerMynx doodles that now cover its front page. "*Ahem* Some nice bitsss in there, though obviously there're elements that could be improved... for example, Jimmy shouldn't have given Lynn the watch for anything lesss than 260 geld, ssscrew promises! That and Thomas Case should have had Lynn pay for shipping from New Orleans, though why he'd part with those pricey stock certificates in the first place is beyond me."

 

Wyvern scratches his chin, then shoves one of his claws into a desk drawer and begins rummaging through it.

 

"Of courssse, this story will have to pass by Tamaranis, Vlad, and Black for vampyre inspection, but for now..." Wyvern pulls out his trusty stamp and labels Luna's application ACCEPTED, then carefully files her folder into his desk so that he can continue his doodling later. "Hope ya don't mind if I hold onto it for a while. Y'know, proofreading n'all that."

 

;-)

 

OOC: An ACCEPTED application Luna Silverthorne, welcome to the Mighty Pen! :-) I'm glad that you've chosen the Pen as a community to share your writing with, and hope that you find us a very friendly and welcoming community to get involved and participate in. Welcome, once again!

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