Chapter 21: The Calm Before the Storm

I’ve spent the last day reading over the book my father gave to me.  I always knew there was a family history: I remember watching my grandmother writing in it.  Then she turned it over to him and now it’s my turn.  I think it will be different than keeping my own journal, which was mostly a way to help cope with what I feel, every day.  I will forever feel things that are not mine.  For the most part, I have developed a shield of sorts, though things get through.  Jeff is my anchor when things become too much.

Speaking of Jeff (before I treat this too much like my own journal)… our daughter is quite the daddy’s girl.  As soon as Jeff comes home from the hospital, she crawls to him and begs to be picked up.  She’s so smug once he scoops her up.  He dotes on her so.

She insists that he be the one to put her to bed, as well.  And when he leaves, she gives him such a pathetic face.

I can see and feel the calculation once he leaves the room.

When her and I began to work on skills such as talking and walking, even potty training, this is the look I get:

I can’t help but be entertained by this.  I know for a fact it’s not because of malicious intent.  She just loves her father.  Actually, she’s not just a daddy’s girl.  Her grandfather is just as taken with her, and she with him.

Watching her with them makes my heart melt.  Jeff and Dad are both so good with her.  The little imp knows just how to get to them too.  With me, it is not so easy.  Even her grandmother is held under her sway.

But I suppose that is as it should be.  After all, I was much the same.  So it could be said that she takes after her mother the most.  And she does love me, that I know.  Just as I always loved my mother, but I felt closer to my father, to my grandfather.  Maybe that is just the way it goes.  When she is in a good mood, happy, she wants her grandfather or father.  But when she is feeling down or a little colicky as she was the other night, her mother’s arms are the only thing that will satisfy her.

I got quite the shock today, though in hind sight, I should have been prepared for it.  Luna’s certainly a Wyvern, alright.  I had gone to get her out of her crib to feed her.  I leaned down to her and I heard, “/Mama!  Mama, me hungi!/”  At first, I thought she was talking.  She’d been doing better with her lessons, but there had been no sound, none at all.

I stopped and just looked at her for a long moment.  “Luna?”

She looked back up at me, grinning.  “/Mama!  Baba?/”

I could only laugh a little.  “You’ll get a bottle.”  I lifted her out, mulling this over.  After I set her on the floor, giving her her bottle, I went to find my dad.

“Dad?  I need to talk to you about Luna.”

His brow furrowed when I told him.  “Hm, well, it makes sense, doesn’t it?”  He grinned a little.  “She’s definitely a Wyvern.”  He got that look in his eyes that meant he was doing some serious thinking.  “I wonder if it’s straight telepathy or more along the lines of your own abilities.”

The prospect that my daughter would have to live with what I did made me gasp.  My dad put a hand on my shoulder.  “Easy, Rora.  We don’t know that it is yet.  If it’s straight telepathy, we’ll have an easier time controlling it since it would be more in line with my own powers.  Why don’t you let me see what I can see with her, hm?  What about you?  What do you sense from her?  I know it’s harder for you to get a read on one of us, but I know you can.”

I thought about it.  “I don’t think she can do what I can because I don’t feel from her.  I can hear her thoughts.  Or at least, she can project them when she wants to.”

Dad laughed.  “Hm, yes, sounds like her.  Leave it to me.  I’ll see what I can find out from her.”

I nodded.  His clairvoyance and ability to see the truth of things would come in handy here.  “Ok.  Thanks Dad.”

“No need to thank me, Rora.”  He patted my shoulder.  “Why don’t you go spend some time with Jeff?  I’ll have a chat with my granddaughter, alright?”

I could only grin.  “Ok, dad.”  I leaned up to kiss his cheek, then went to go find my husband.

Draco carried Luna outside; the weather was gorgeous and he knew the little girl loved the outdoors.  “C’mon, lil Eclipse.”  He set her down and then leaned down.

“Pop-pop!” she babbled.

Draco smiled.  “Yup, that’s right.  It’s pop-pop.”  He went silent, but in his mind, he thought, “/Does our lil Eclipse want a special treat?/”

“/Treat, pop-pop, treat!/” Her voice in his head was at a high squeal even as she clapped her hands.

Wincing, he laughed.  “That answers that.”  Using his thoughts again, he asked, “/Luna, you can hear pop-pop can’t you?  You can hear what he’s thinking?/”

Smiling up at him, she nodded her little head.  “/Hear pop-pop,/” she murmured coyly, looking up at him with her red little eyes.

“That’s what I thought.”  He lifted her into the air, causing her to squeal with delight once more.

Aside from Luna’s normal toddler skills, we are now working on her abilities.  Like me, she automatically picks things up, though hers are thoughts, not feelings.

“Luna, sweetie, when you’re with other people, remember, you have to try to block them out, ok?”

“/Ok, mama.  Block dem./”

“Mhm.  And remember, you can talk like this to us, but when you talk with others, need to do it out loud.  What does daddy do?”

“He a docer!  He make people feel better!”

Luna and her daddy like to go out for rides in the stroller most evenings.

Mom and Dad like taking over after that, giving Jeff and I time to spend together.  With this gorgeous weather, he and I really like spending time in the hot tub.  It’s very relaxing, with the stars twinkling overhead, crickets serenading us as water swirls around us.

“Mm, this is nice,” Jeff murmured.

“Yes, yes it is.”  The sun was beginning to set as we both just lounged against the side of tub.

I could feel Jeff eyeing me sideways even as I felt him sidle closer, sliding his arm around my shoulders and pulling me close.

“So, uh,” he began, leaning in close, “I talked with Dr. Bianchi today.”  I frowned; his tone was nervous with an undercurrent of what sounded like disappointment.

“And?  I thought the lists for the accepted residents weren’t supposed to come out until next week, right?”

“Yeah, that’s true.  But, I uh… well, he called me into his office early.”

I turned to him.  “Oh Jeff, I’m sorry.  There’s always next time.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know…”  He shrugged one shoulder.  “Then again, I won’t need it for next time.  Not since I’ll be a resident starting tomorrow!”

I started at him for a moment, a blank look on my face.  Then my eyes widened in glee.

“Wait!?  Really!?”  I slapped his shoulder even as he laughed like a loon.  “You’re such a brat!”

It took him a moment to get himself under control.  He had a grin from ear to ear.  “Yes, I am.  But I couldn’t resist.  Sorry love.”  He coaxed me back over to him.  “C’mon now, where’s my celebratory kiss?”

I was still glaring at him, though I just couldn’t keep it up.  I knew how much his career meant to him.  And he’d been working so hard for the limited number of residencies that were available.  So I had to give him his kiss.  And then we really celebrated.

Draco frowned at his buzzing phone, then read the caller ID.  His frown deepened.  He looked at his wife.  “I need to head to the station, ok?  Looks like they need my assistance with something.”  He smiled down at his sleeping granddaughter, who he had just laid in her crib.

“Is everything ok?”  Sophia’s voice was sharp.  Though she had forgiven Draco for not being honest with her, the entire episode had made her bitter toward those who ran the department.

“I honestly don’t know, babe.  I wish I did.”  He smiled at her.  “Hopefully, just need my help with something.  If it’s more, I’ll call and let ya know, alright?  I promise.”

Sophia worried her bottom lip, then she firmed it up and nodded.  “Alright.  I’m holding you to it.”  She stepped to him and gave him a hard hug.

Though Draco knew she was worried (and he really couldn’t blame her), he had to go.  He took his oath very seriously.  So he left the house, wondering what was so urgent.

He walked into the precinct, barely acknowledging those still at their desks.  He headed through the long, twisty halls to what looked like a storage closet.  But looks are deceiving.  After hitting a hidden switch, he found himself in a sparse office.  There was someone standing in front of the single desk, like they had been expecting him.  “What gives, Faye?” he demanded, his voice unusually harsh as he strode right up to her.  “Why are you calling me out in the middle of the night?  I told you that the last assignment was it!  You- and the brass- agreed!”

“Draco, please have a seat, ok?” Faye murmured, indicating the chair, her face unreadable.

But Draco knew her well enough, and could sense that there was definitely something up.  Sighing, he dropped into the visitor chair as she stepped behind her desk, though she didn’t take the chair.

She turned away, looking at a spot on the wall.  “Draco, I know what you went through after the last assignment.  I was there… Look, we’re partners and I’d have told the brass to take this latest assignment and stuff it… if I didn’t know that you’d at least want to know about it.  If you decide that you don’t want it, I’ll go to them and tell them just that.  But, I know how much you hate to leave things unfinished.”

Now she did turn to face him.

Draco’s gaze sharpened.  “You found them.  You know where it was all coming from now, don’t you?”

Faye sighed.  She should have known he’d know before she could say it.  “Yes, we do.”

“Where?  Who?”

“We were finally able to track it to Bridgeport.  And it goes to the top, the cream of the crop there, Draco.”

“Slayer.  It’s Slayer!  We always suspected, but could never prove anything!”  He looked at her face.  “We still can’t prove it, can we?  Not enough to make an arrest.”

Faye shook her head.  “No.  That’s… what this assignment is for.  To get proof.  You’re the best we have, Draco.  You can get in there and get out better than anyone.”

“And you need me for another reason: I’m one of the few that might have a chance again a vampire,” he told her point blank.

“There’s that too, though frankly that’s not as important.  I want you to meet your partner for this.  He’s a LT in the Bridgeport police.”

As if on cue, the door opened and a figure walked in.

“Draco Wyvern, this is William Fangmann,” Faye introduced the two of them.  “He’ll be your contact while in Bridgeport.”

Draco took his hand and nodded in greeting, then looked at Faye.  “Alright.  I’m in.”

A/N:  I’m setting things up for the next couple of chapters.  I used Pose Player heavily and it’s my first time experimenting.  I’m also trying to do something else that Trip is helping me with, but not sure how long it could take, just as a warning.


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