Chapter 9 Brotherly Love
Carefully, she had watched Jon blend the tonic she going to consume. It had all gone into the blender green. It was now clear.
“If there is any color in this when you mix it,” his eyes were set as if peering into the future. “It has been fucked with,” he added as she was once more the center of his attention.
“Oh, good to know,” she smiled as she took the glass from him and had a sip. “That’s not bad,” she had another and then it felt like every pore in her body tightened! “What just happened?” she asked. “I feel different.”
“For you, it will replenish what this world has taken from you. Grief and the stress it produces on the body will rob it of all their nutrients. This will replenish your starved and abused cells.”
“Feels like everything got…tighter,” she said looking at her hands.
“Everything?” he grinned.
“Do not start…” she eyed him. “Some things are tight enough.”
“Delightfully so,” he was laughing as he poured the rest of it into her glass along with the instructions, “drink.”
As she sipped her magic elixir, into the blender went another round of herbs. These were all…some shade of green. And a great big hunk of rosemary and something that smelled like hops.
“So why do they all want you dead?” The whirring sound started and the herbs in the blender just went from green to blue.
“Good question,” he remarked. “I was never going to inherit the Twillard gifts,” he shrugged, “or magic, or whatever you wish to call it. My grandfather still lives and I believe he plans on doing so for many more years. Now that I am King,” he poured his drink into a glass and tasted it, added a bit of salt and tried it again. “You can have bragging rights that you tried to kill me, but I am going to come back at you with more than what you threw at me.”
“But someone tried to kill you when you were married to Drust?”
“Yes, several times,” his voice was matter-of-fact.
“And…and…and you thought nothing of that?”
He could see the look of disbelief on her face. No one but another Supernatural would understand.
Jon shrugged. “I had no family name. If someone wanted to practice their killing blow, I was the perfect candidate. There would be no one appearing in their chamber on a dark night wanting revenge. And a lot of folks hate my grandfather. If they could not have a whack at him, I was the next best thing. Because no one would avenge my death.”
“And you never thought it was because of who your father might be?”
“No,” he shook his head. “That was just our way. In some ways, not so different from here.”
“Was?” she smiled at him.
“King,” he grinned. “I changed a few things.”
Downing her drink, she washed out the glass and sat it on the cabinet. There were a lot of thoughts churning in her head.
“Is she really your mother?” she turned and faced him.
“What?” he had finished his and was rinsing out his glass. “Yes, of course,” he gave a half-hearted chuckle.
“How do you know that?” She placed a hand on his check. “What, because she says so?Where were you born? Who saw you being born? How do you know that she did not stalk your grandfather and just take one of his human children when he came here and went native. Stole you and brought you back and passed you off as her own.”
“I…I…” he pulled her to him. “Human ancestry?” he echoed lamely.
“Yes, if you were stolen, you could be half human. Which could explain your lack of top shelf magic.”
“Halfling…” the world slipped from his mouth and for a moment she could see shock on his face followed by the quiet words, “There is no greater disgrace to a house then to breed a Halfling…” he murmured.
“Halfling or no,” she held both of his hands. “What happens if you are your grandfather’s son? Do you inherit? Something? Anything? Can the old man over write the rules and leave everything to you?”
“No. The oldest child inherits. But only if their parents are married. So there would not be anything there for me to claim,” he stated matter of fact.
“However,” the smile did not reach his eyes. “Mother hates her father. Always has…” he sighed and then shook his head in disbelief and chuckled. “Actually, her fostering his Halfling under his own roof…that verges on genius. No doubt I am a Twillard. I look just like him. Apparently I did as an infant. Which Nurse would tell me bought us some respite under Grandfather’s roof.”
“So where were you born?” she asked.
“I don’t know anything about my birth,” he said to her as he held her closer. “I was under the impression that I was born at my grandfather’s house. I know we sheltered there until Grandfather paid Malcolm to marry Mother. I suspect she was pregnant and Reginald was her lover’s child.
My first memories are of Malcolm’s house. I remember Reginald being born. I was maybe two and I was so excited to have a brother. Then Gilly was born and I went to live with the healers.”
“What the fuck, Jon?” she hissed. “So she shows up when you are an infant at Grandpa’s, he marries her off and then…” she could feel the anger mounting in her. Yes, certainly this happened in her world. Innocents were cast aside, often abused before they were left to die.
“Ellen, until I was five, I was raised by my nurse and kept out-of-the-way of the rest of Malcolm’s household.
You have to understand that I was considered a throw-away. I was lucky that at the age of five I was sent to live with the healers. I could just as easily ended up dead with my body on the ash heap.”
Everything decent and moral that wrote her code of ethics and all her mothering instincts hissed out, “No!”
“Ellen,” he began gently.
“No,” she was now in his face. Her eyes were sparking and in her spirit she wanted to destroy someone! Anyone! For these awful things that were done to the helpless innocents there had to be an accounting! And especially for those who thought to hurt him! “So where the fuck were you the first year of your life? Is there anyone who would tell you the truth about that?”
“Doubtful,” he sighed.
“So, let us say she is your mother,” Ellen rolled her eyes. “Maybe she was already pregnant when she went to the orgy so that she could use that as an excuse that she did not know who the father was. Maybe she has known all along. But that certainly does not excuse her for her behavior towards you,” her voice had gotten increasingly louder and she did not care as she spewed every obscene name she knew at this woman who dared to call herself Jon’s mother.
An unfathomable silence settled over the room. The vastness of time and space seeped into her bones and made her tired. And sad. And she so desperately wished for something more, anything more…”Please,” she felt the sob rise up in her…
“Don’t leave me,” she head him whisper into her hair. “Please Ellen, stay with me.”
“Jon,” she wrapped herself around him and felt the void inside her fill with a loud crashing boom as time came rushing back into her soul. Placing kisses all over his face, she gathered up her strength and looked into the eyes of someone she had hurt. In her fury, she had lashed out and had not considered his feelings in the matter. But still, the wound was now hers and she could not let this go. “I am sorry about the hard questions, but if these people tried to kill you and are still trying to kill you, it begs many questions. And I am now actively engaged in this,” she placed both hands over her heart, “and I will gladly put a hole in anyone who tries to hurt you.”
On his face she could see the hurt of the small child and her heart shattered.
“Come sit with me for a while and let me feel your goodness seep into me. I have been alone for so long, Ellen…I am tired of being alone,” he said heavily.
“I miss being intimate with someone…someone to share my day with, my concerns, my heart. Rest with me on the couch before we go. Wrap yourself around me and never let me go.”
It was quiet and comfortable in the living room. Jon was stretched out on the couch, his head in her lap, as she placed kisses all over his face while her hands roamed gently on his chest, face, in his hair. Her hands in constant contact with him as tears slipped silently down his cheeks.
“I have been alone for so long,” he opened his eyes and looking up at her, he could see his future. “Once I was crowned,” he shuddered, “there were women clamoring to give me heirs. Hideous things looking out of their eyes without souls, looking only to be my Queen so that they could rule absolutely.
I cannot trust any of them,” his voice was hard. “If I were to lie with one of them, I would forever be held in her trap, saying she carried my child. And no matter if I knew the truth of the matter or not, I would want to believe,” he sighed. “Because within me would live the hope that if I loved this small one, they would love me in return. So I have found that being celibate is the best course of action.”
“What?” Ellen leaned down and pushed the hair off his forehead. “Since Drust died?”
“Yes,” he nodded.
“But what?” he replied. “How many lovers have you had since Charles’ death?”
“Only you,” her eyes held his. “But ten years is not the same as ten thousand years or ten million or however it is that you count time.”
“It does not matter, does it,” his hand stroked her cheek, “as to the counting. It is to the missing.
I have not desired another mate. And now I desire you.”
Sitting up, he pulled her onto his lap. “We are going to meet my brother. At least I think he is my brother…” he shook his head. “Well, for now, let us just call him a blood relative. When he asks about our relationship, I am going to tell him that you are my mate. Do you object to that?”
“Jon…” she began slowly.
“Yes or no, Ellen,” he raised her hand to his lips for a kiss. “I do not believe in casual sex. Or friends with benefits or anything that does not speak to an exclusive, intimate bonding between the two of us.”
Shaking his head at her he repeated, “Yes or no.”
“Yes,” she put her hand on his face. “The answer is yes. I am your mate.”
“And you are mine,” he smiled shyly, then pulling her closer his mouth found hers and his lips whispered upon hers his desire for her.
He had moved her to straddle him, with her mouth still attached to his.
They both felt the vibration in his jacket pocket.
“M-m-m,” he sighed as he took out his phone. “Gilly says he has booked the greenhouse on the roof. He is there now.”
“Then we need to go,” Ellen kissed him, again. “I hate being late.”
Holding her hands, he helped her to stand.
“Hey,” she grinned as she straightened out her skirt. “My knees do not hurt.”
Jon raised an eyebrow at her.
“Getting on my knees, even with pillows,” she smiled at him, remembering the blowjob, “my knees hurt.”
“Drink your magic elixir,” he smiled at her as he smoothed out the hem of her skirt. “At your cellular level, you are getting a re-work.”
“My very own anti-aging potion,” she grinned.
“Something like that,” he replied, his head nodding in agreement with the words.
Then she had a moment. How much of a rework? “Is it going to be very noticeable?”
“I really do not know,” he replied. “I have not done this for anyone but Drust.”
“So,” she was thoughtful, “no humans have benefited from your pantry.”
“No,” he shook his head. “Especially not humans.”
“Is that why you work the ER?” she asked.
“What do you mean?” he tilted his head to one side and studied her.
“You have all these healing herbs…with which you could, I am sure, save many lives. But instead you just meet the hurt human condition head-on in the ER. Do what 21st century medicine you can to keep them alive then roll them to wherever they need to go.”
“Something like that,” he nodded. “I believe in the circle of life. That death is the right of the living. No matter what their age,” he closed his eyes for a moment. “It is easy to let go of those who have lived their life. To see a child slip away…that is when I remind myself I am a 21st century doctor. I do everything I possibly can with the equipment and most current medical knowledge that I have. While I am in the hospital I am Dr. Irving. I am not Jon the healer.”
Walking over to the closet, he took out their coats. Helping Ellen with hers, they took the elevator down to the garage.
“Do you ever…?” she paused and looked at him while he held the car door open for her. “Don’t you just want to run up and down the street shouting I am King of the Supernaturals! Suck on that you bastards!”
“Oh,” he laughed as she helped her in. “Once in a while. Which is why I don’t drink. Besides, Dr. Gordon, head of the psych department would come at me with a giant butterfly net and they would have me in a straight jacket and a patient in my own hospital.”
“I would come and see you,” she grinned. “I would even wear a naughty nurse outfit. Seriously,” she looked down and patted around on her chest, “I think this whole area has perked up.”
“Well,” he laughed louder as he went around to his side of the car and go in. “I think I need my temperature taken, orally,” he wiggled his eyebrows at her.
“Pbb-lllt,” she laughed. “If you think I am going to give you a blowjob while you are driving us…” she rolled both eyes at him.
Well drat. He gave her a sad face.
“Maybe when I get to know you a little better,” she grinned wickedly.
“Wow! Really!” His eyes had lit up and the smile covered his face. “I had not considered that. I was just hoping for sex,” he wiggled his eyebrows at her.
“Well, turns out I have done that once or twice. We need to start either by you sitting over here on my side of the car with me on top or the back seat actually looks nice and roomy.”
“No kidding,” he looked a bit shocked but she could see the hopefulness in his eyes and considering his options.
“No kidding,” she grinned.
“I have not ever had sex on the back of a Harley, either,” he stated matter of fact.
“I have not either, but I have been taken around the block once or twice on the back of a 1983 BMW R-80 street bike.”
“Oh my, Miss Ellen,” he smiled sweetly, “you are a lady who does know how to get around. I admire that about you and I am greatly looking forward to admiring myself for the same reason. Now, really, you think your chest area has lifted? As your doctor, I think I need to do a full exam of the area. Please, allow me to help you with those pesky buttons.”
Roof Garden—The Mayo Hotel
The rain had let up. There could be another deluge any moment but for now Gilly had a nice view of Fifth Street below him. With a drink in his hand from the Penthouse Bar, he was outside watching the traffic below him. It was a good night to be standing on Planet Earth. There had been several lovelies in the bar that had smiled at him and he had ended up buying the house a round. He did that just to be non-partial and to show that he had money and was not afraid to spend it. And maybe he was showing off when he included a bottle of champagne for each table. But, there was one lovely in particular that had caught his eyes. A fiery red-head! The man she was with was a non-event. With a wicked chuckle to himself, he had smiled at her and motioned with his eyes towards the loos. She excused herself to go to the ladies. He had met her there. “I have a dinner engagement, but by midnight, I will be more than available.”
Her eyes never wavered from his. She gave no thought at all to the man she had left at the table. “Midnight, that is when the magic happens,” she had lightly run her hand up and down his lapel as she blew him a kiss and walked into the loo.
There were not many that could resist his blond hair and blue eyes that twinkled with merriment. And that childlike innocent look that he would gift a lovely with once in a while. Oh-h-h, that put them in a puddle of want and desire! That guise was used to make sure she was in the mood for being fucked in the closest toilet or the back of an alley.
Of course, onto his 6’2’’ lanky frame tonight was a very nice Armani tux. He had, more than once, been mistaken for Tom Hiddleston. He let the British accent fuel that fire and had even been known to sign one or two autographs. Frankly, he was better looking than the actor but then his gene pool was exceptional! He was an original and not a by-product of the Old Ones watered down by-blow human British version. And my gawd…if Churchill was not old Banney in the human, then he would be a crow’s foot! So, in a way, he considered himself lucky. If you had to resemble someone on this planet, well hell, Hiddleston was not a bad place to start.
The night was still young. He liked champagne and he had not yet finished off his first bottle. Jon would show up whenever he was finished with whatever task he had set himself, too. His oldest brother was all business all the time. Wishing he had asked him for a specific time for tonight’s meeting, he still did not have the balls to do so. Jon was King. When he had been crowned, he had made that perfectly clear. The old Council was the first to go in a very ugly and brutal way. Several old houses had lost their masters that night as well. They had thought to step in with their swords and end the madness brought on by their new king. His brother had gutted them with skill and ease before he strangled them with their own intestines. All present had then fallen to their knees and sworn fealty.
That was still a nightmare The Realm tried to forget had happened. But until someone figured out something different, they were now ruled by The Reign of Jon the First of the House of Irving.
Irving…not one of the great houses carried the title of king but Irving. A fucking healer’s name. It was embarrassing. There were fools everywhere. Perhaps he would have done the same thing and cast the infant aside, but it would have cost his grandfather nothing to grace his oldest brother with the Twillard name. If he had, well now, there would be a Twillard on the throne. Grandfather still howled at the moon about that lost opportunity, but there was nothing old Jonarad could do now except stare at Joniad, his oldest and only child and demand to know who had fathered Jon.
That of course, was the question. And Jon looked so much like Jonarad that there was no trace of anything but Twillard to be seen in his countenance.
When his oldest brother was not the raging, starving, first-time risen vampire, Jon’s even temperament had to be from his father. There was certainly nothing like that in the Twillard line. They looked for any excuse to flame on and then let go.
“Fucking family,” he grinned as he considered all the possibilities.
Watching the lights of the city and knowing it was teaming with life made the waiting bearable. Factoring in the wind, he twitched his ears and from the 19th floor he could hear the steady purr of the engine of a luxury automobile. Then he got the visual and he knew it was Jon. The dossier he had read about his brother before he left London told him lots of practical information. The BMW that his oldest brother was driving tonight was a very nice ride. Not the most expensive that the little German motor company made, but putting down one hundred thousand dollars for something so transient as an auto spoke to the fact that Jon had gotten over the literally dirt poor poverty phase of his early life. Seriously, living out in the middle of no-where in a wattle sided hut with a grass roof and a dirt floor was as basic as you could get.
Being king had agreed with his brother. “Ha,” he smirked. “Being king would agree with anyone,” he let that fantasy play out. “And everyone thinks I like nice things. My wish list is nothing compared to Jon’s. And Jon made his wishes reality,” he was thoughtful as he considered his brother’s present life.
As the BMW approached, there was light spilling into the car. And most good, there appeared to be someone in the auto with him. So the rumors were true. Jon had a new lady. How very exciting for everyone!
Time to move to the green house and see which wine they were having with dinner. At this moment Jameson Reserve sounded most delightful and it went with everything. None of that pesky red or white to bother yourself with. Just drink and be surprised where you woke up the next morning.
Soon. Soon he would have his own information to sell or trade or barter. Jon would valet park then they would walk to the elevator that would take them directly here. Yes…he felt his heart start to beat faster. Information about their king! The elevator doors opened and he could see the couple. They were walking through the lovely glassed in conservatory…
The door to the green house opened and there stood his oldest brother, the replica of his grandfather. The infamous Twillard rugged handsomeness with the body that was long of limb and lean of frame. Everything about Jon’s face was sharp chiseled. Everything in proportion; his features evenly distributed by thirds on his face. Jon could be many things…a model was on the top of that list. That face could sell you anything. And now that he was vampire, that body would be his the rest of his days. Perfection.
It was good to see him, he admitted to himself. A genuine pleasure and he seldom felt that way about anyone.
His glance then shifted to the woman who stood next to him. His heart stopped and then started as he took a step back. It was Drust—it was D-r-u-s-t!
“My King,” he fell to his knees, “the prophecy has come true! You have resurrected your mate! The end of times is at hand. Stretch forth your power and if it pleases you, remember me, your humble servant when you pass judgment and plunge our world into darkness for our many cruelties. Please, if it is your will, I ask for nothing more than to be a star that shines in the heavens…”
“Gilly, please get up,” Jon’s voice was stern. “Now. You have startled the wait staff.” As he watched his brother rise he nodded at him when Gilly was back on both feet.
Fixing his gaze on the two waiters that still wore a shocked expression he smiled at them and said, “Please, forget this and go about your business.”
“Ellen,” he turned to her, “this is my youngest brother, Gilmore. Gilmore, this is my mate, Ellen.”
“My Queen,” he bowed from the waist down, “a pleasure.” Righting himself, he stood straighter and smiled. “Please, my friends call my Gilly. I would be honored if you would do the same.”