Marianne-Charlotte stood in the tree line. The very next day after she became a vampire the two demons informed her if she wished to return home to get her brother she could. It took everything in her not to scream at them. Why would they want her brother? The possibility of him being gifted? The extra pawn against the Volturi group? A way to bind her to them? Invading the last bit of privacy, she had when she had been human…
“Which one is the home?” She turned her head to see the two of them standing beside her. It was unnerving to see them in regular clothes, but what else could they do since they had to be there in case she lost control. Still, the well-dressed brunette and the scarily pale guy besides him could never really ‘blend in’. Marianne-Charlotte pointed to the small two floor house on the corner. It was a sad dull white wood building. “That one, 6147.”
The two turned to look at the building. You could also hear football from here. You could also hear the shouts of a man directing orders to a woman. Stefan turning to look at her. “You have thought about what you wish do?” Marianne nodded and went to move forward. Vladimir grabbing her arm. “You are already moving too fast.” She brushed him off and walked forward out into the sun. Marianne was lucky that it wasn’t too unusual for her to come home in a Tulane Hoodie.
She walked up to the front door and knocked. The sound of pots falling into a sink echoing. “Elisa. The door.” Marianne could hear a new voice from the tv room. She wondered how many men he was after the last man who had been her during her last visit. Marianne focused on the sound of footsteps. Her mother always a had a sort of shuffle. With her hearing as it was now, she could hear how much her feet slid against the wood. Her mother was a timid woman.
The door opened to reveal the sight of a very short nervous looking woman. Marianne’s mother had always reminded people of an erratic bird. Her natural beauty was lost in a fizz of untamed curls, shifting eyes and clothes that dwarfed her frame. Every part of her mother covered what should have been the beauty of old canal. Instead, she moved to the other side of town, refused to speak French and dressed like some poor white stereotype from the media. Her mother looked at her with surprise. Elise’s already large eyes growing wider. “Mari? What are you doing here?”
Marianne pushed past her mother into the house’s main hallway. To the left of her was the kitchen her mother just came from, and to the right was tv room. Indeed, there was a man she had never seen before on the old sofa. His back turned to her. “Elisa, who is it?” Marianne narrowed her yes. “Her daughter.” The man turned to look at her. A disgusting smile on his face. “You’re quite the looker, aren’t yea.” She turned away from him to her mother. “Where is Jean-Nicholas?” Elisa, almost shaking, pointed to the stairs pushed to the back right of the house.
Marianne walked straight up the stairs. There was only one room and a bathroom up there. It was her room and until she left for Tulane. When she pushed open the door to the room, she wasn’t surprised to see the walls were still a faded pink, or that her brother was passed out on the broken mattress on the floor. “Reveiller, Gavroche.” Marianne’s brother reached forward, without turning around, and threw the pillow at her. It was even easier than usual to evade it. She simply walked to the mattress and shook it.
Jean-Nicholas sitting up annoyed. “Nana.” She smiled at her brother. “Get up.” He slowly stood up off the mattress. “What are you here for this time?” Marianne smiled at him. “It is time you leave home.” Jean-Nicholas looked at her confused. “I’m still a Junior, or have you forgotten?” She shook her head no. “Come on.” He looked at her annoyed. “If I leave there is no one to look after mom. Just go back to school.”
Marianne grabbed his arm and started pulling him down the stairs. Jean-Nicholas trying to pull himself free. “Ow. What did you join a wrestling club.” She ignored him and pushed him through the door. Elisa running out after him. “Mari. Where are you taking him!” Marianne turned around to look at her mother. “Away from you.” Her mother started to panic. “Erik! Erik she’s taking my baby.” Marianne turned to see the fat man from the couch making his way out of the house. “Look here, missy. Just because you want your brother doesn’t mean you can come here and take him. He’s paying rent we need.”
Marianne turned to look at her brother. He looked away. She turned back to her mother. “Jean-Nicholas is coming with me. Don’t you say one word about it.” Elisa started running towards them. Her hands clutching for Marianne’s jacket sleeve. “Please, Mari. I need him.” Marianne looked down at her mother. “What about what we need.” Jean-Nicholas went to speak when he saw his sister’s expression. His mother dropping to her knees. “Don’t take my baby. Don’t take my baby.” Marianne pushed her mother off her. “Enough. You are causing a scene.” Jean-Nicholas looking around at the neighbors starting to leave their homes. They loved the spectacle as always. Anger filling him up. Marianne pulled an envelope put of her pocket and threw it at her mother. “That should get you by if you don’t waste it all.” She ignored the looks from her mother and brother and pulled him away from her old life.
Marianne turned to the two besides her. “Before we go I need to do something first.” Vladimir looking at her annoyed. “You think you still have chores you need to do?” Stefan looking at his brother. “These children.” She turned to the two annoyed. “You don’t want a problem with the Volturi do you?” Stefan looking at his brother. “Children and their temper tantrums. How did the Cullens do it?” Vladimir ignoring him and looking at Marianne. “How does this chore help us avoid the Volturi.”
She grabbed her purse. “With enough money my mother won’t say anything for a while.” The two looking at her strangely. Vladimir looking at Stefan. “I thought she would have just killed her.” Stefan nodding his head. “It seems the easiest choice.” Marianne rolled her eyes at the two. “And have her haunt me even earlier. I’m good.” Vladimir looked at her skeptically. “You do remember a bank is full of people.” Stefan finishing where he left off. “That your eyes now are red.” Marianne pulled a pair of sunglasses out of her bag. Vladimir pointing to her clothes. “And how will you cover yourself from the sun.” She headed for the door. “I’ll go home first and grab a jacket.”
The two looking at each other as she left the room. Stefan shaking his head. “I have to already remind myself she is useful.” Vladimir nodding his head. “Too useful for us to lose our tempers.” Stefan nodding his head. “Shame.”
Jean-Nicholas looked at the two Romanian vampires. He turned to sister. “Please tell me you didn’t sell yourself out to get me out of that house.” Marianne shook her head. “No. I’ve done something much worse.” Jean-Nicholas turned to the two men angry. A part of him thankful she had dragged them out into the woods. He grabbed the paler one by his jacket. “What did you do to my sister!” Vladimir smiled at the boy. “You are about to find out.” Jean-Nicholas being pushed back by Vladimir. Stefan catching the boy and sinking his teeth into his arm. Marianne turning away from her brother’s screams.
Vladimir turned to her. “Now that you have your brother I don’t expect any complaints from you.” She shook her head no. “There won’t be.” Marianne’s eyes suddenly turning white. Her eyes darting from one direction to the next. Stefan and Vladimir stepping towards her. “What do you see?” Asked Stefan. Marianne said nothing as her eyes kept darting around. Her brother’s scream in the background.
Vladimir getting impatient pulled her by the shoulder. “Speak.” Marianne’s eyes returning to normal. Annoyance appearing on her face. “I couldn’t finish!” Vladimir looking at her shocked for a moment. However, Marianne kept looking around. “Come back! I know you are here, so come back!” Stefan stepping forward. “Who is here?” She turned to look at him. “Victims. One hundred and fifty-three victims.” The two looking at her startled. Vladimir looking around the clearing. “Another one of your unmarked grave sites.” Marianne shook her head. “No. This isn’t from my kind.”
Stefan started to walk around, looking over things. “One of our kind was able to keep one hundred and fifty-three victims from the Volturi.” Vladimir looking over at his brother. “They may be useful.” Marianne pushed Vladimir. Stefan glaring at her. “What are you doing!” She walked over to him and grabbed his shirt’s collar. “Not everything is about your damn blood debt!” Marianne feeling herself being thrown back into a tree by Vladimir. The tree collapsing as she stood up. She looked up to see Vladimir holding her brother up. He was still in the writhing in pain part of the process. Marianne calming herself. “It wasn’t your kind either.”
Vladimir and Stefan looking at each other. Stefan taking a step forward. “Did it look human?” Vladimir as always finishing his comments. Marianne shook her head. “It was wolves. Larger than anything I’ve ever seen.” Stefan walked back over to the two of them. “Mutts do tend to bury things.” Vladimir shrugging the comment off. “I don’t know how they got away with this.” Stefan looking around at the floor. “Or how they still have their lives.” Marianne looked at the ground. “It’s been happening for years. They always come and drag some people back. It seems the last body dump was, just a few days ago.”
Stefan looked up from the ground. “A few days ago?” She nodded her head. “Two boys, and four girls. Local kids from Houma.” Vladimir turned to Stefan. “This can only mean one thing.” He nodded his head. “The Volturi will return.” Vladimir turning back to the girl. “How many did you see?” Marianne glared at them. “I would know better if someone hadn’t touched me…But around eight or nine.” Vladimir turned to Stefan. “How is that even possible?” Stefan shook his head. “I have no idea. They should not have been able to hide moving in those numbers.”
Marianne looked at the two of them. “Why would the Volturi come back so soon? Didn’t you say they wanted to regroup?” Stefan turning to her. “When did we tell you that.” Marianne leaning against the tree. “Perhaps, it was someone else.” Vladimir ignoring her comment. “We must find them first.” Stefan nodding his head. “And end them before they hear about them.” Marianne looking at the two of them like they were insane. “Four vampires cannot take on eight were wolves. The math des not add up.” Stefan smiled at her. “We are very good at picking things off.” Vladimir nodded. “Besides, their abilities tend to go up and down.” Stefan turning to look down at her brother. He had finally stopped screaming. “They are mutts.”
Jean-Nicholas was looking at himself from when he was a child. He was watching his sister being locked in the tiny storage cabin in the stairs. Her mother’s boyfriend, Rick… No, it was Henry. He was the one who had a serious problem with Nana. It started when she kicked him in the balls for trying to touch her when their mother was out. Their mother was standing there crying on the floor as usual. She never did lift a finger. Still, she was begging for him to stop. The begging had earned her a slap in the face and Nana seven hours in the storage closet.
Two years later, when nana was thirteen, was when Rick came into their lives. He was the drug dealer. The one who always had his ‘goods’ all over their kitchen table and living room table. Rick was the one who beat their mother the worst. Jean-Nicholas had been ten at the time. He felt he was finally old enough and strong enough to do something. His mother ended up with a broken arm and twelve stitches after a hospital visit. He had ended up worse. At least, Nana at the time avoided the brunt of it. She had finally begun to be able to avoid coming home with school activities. She kept trying to get him to come to them, but there was no way he could leave their mother alone. He still had hope for her at that point.
Jean-Nicholas had lost that hope his freshman year. When he made the football team, because of his height and muscles unusual for a kid of his age. He had come home expecting to tell his mom the good news. Rick had been gone for three months and everything finally seemed to be getting on track again. He was wrong about it all. That was the day the two were introduced to Nick. A Cajun man just like their father was. Except unlike their father who was a gentle soul, Nick was the complete opposite. An anger prone prep cook who thought destroying the house and throwing things ‘near’ them was best thing their mother ever had. He was right that it was one of her better boyfriends. He had lasted two years before going to jail for assault and battery at a convenience store.
Every moment in his life, the only thing he ever wanted, he had begged the god that church taught him about to give him the ability to stop the men in his mother’s life. If he couldn’t fix her, he needed to be able to protect her. His prayers had never been answered. Not that it mattered though. Jean-Nicholas found his own way to vent his frustration. He became the object of everyone’s affections. Jean-Nicholas twisting and manipulating their lives from the shadows. He was the golden boy, the loved quarterback of a now winning football team, the boy from tragic roots and somehow there for everyone. Watching the lives he ruined, the pain he caused, the innocence lost and none of it was coming from him. But all of that didn’t matter anymore, because Jean-Nicholas finally broke. He agreed to move to Tulane to be with his sister.
Jean-Nicholas opened his eyes. Immediately, a burning pain in his throat. He turned to his sister. “Nana, what is this?” Marianne moved to hug him. “Liberte.” He turned to the two men. For the first time, he noticed their red eyes. A part of him wondering how on earth he could of missed it. Jean-Nicholas reaching out for his sister. “It burns.” Marianna started pulling him towards the rail road tracks. There was always local kids that hung out there at night. Somehow, always ended up injured. “Come.”
Jean-Nicholas nodded his head. He was not stupid. Unlike his mother, the siblings had grown briefly under the tutledge of their grandmother. The two of them had set foundational roots in their rightful side of the canal. Red eyes and this hunger. The way his sister was suddenly different, but the same. Loogaroo. Perhaps, even Soucouyant fitting what he was now better. The hunger in him boiling to find release. However, even before he locked eyes on those boys by the tracks, Jean-Nicholas found an ecstasy and relief in what he became. No longer did have to vent in the shadows. No one could say a damn thing about what he liked to do. What he desired. Needless to say, he was quite the messy eater his first time around.
Marianne-Charlotte looked up at her brother. Six foot three was an unfair height for a seventeen year old younger brother. “You’re lucky that no one will be able to tell how they died like this.” Jean-Nicholas shrugging. “It doesn’t matter anyways. Louisiana is known for its ‘cult’ obsessions.” She glared at her brother. “Not in a small town like this.” He ignored her and turned to the two other vampires. “What do you want from us?” The brunette looking at him with a smile. “We need bodies.” Jean looking at them unfazed. “Bodies for what?” Vladimir appraising the boy slightly better than he did his sister. Hopefully, he was as talented as her. They were blood related. Vladimir walked towards him. “Our coven was destroyed years ago by a group who wanted to remove us from power.”
Jean-Nicholas turned to his sister. “Why would you agree to help them with that?” Stefan smiled at the boy. “Perhaps, she wanted to keep her life.” Marianne walked over to her brother. “I will do anything to protect you. And do the right thing.” He shook his head. “How do you know it is the right thing?” She smiled at him. “Because you will enjoy taking down these targets more than any game you’ve ever played.” Jean suddenly smiling. He turned to the two other vampires. “It seems you’ve found a body.”