“No?” Elian asked as he stared at her. Rae was sitting there looking at him with pain in her eyes. Elian didn’t care about the pain in her eyes. He needed to find Raven and if she wouldn’t help him find her then he would find her himself. He stood to tower over her. He could feel the strength rushing through his veins. He’d had a chance to relax and rest and now he could feel all of the differences in his body. He didn’t know if he would be able to take her but he figured that he could get away from her if she tried to keep him there. “Why won’t you help me?”
“You’ve not given me a reason to help you find her. Raven Shadow is a legend among the vampires. She is a sacred person. To reveal her position to a feral wolf is asking for trouble.”
Elian stopped at those words. He had never thought of it in that way before. She was exactly correct. The Matians had to be looking for her. They had killed her parents the same that they had killed his. Her entire world had been shook to the core. Elian thought back to the journal in his hand. He set the letter aside and handed her the journal. Rae looked at it with wide eyes. She stood up and moved away from him, journal in hand. He paused before following her. She moved right to the gazebo and sat down in it. Her gaze was at one of the sets of flowers just on the side of the gazebo. Elian had spent a while finding those particular flowers.
“Raven Shadow is known to all vampires who are born. She was the last to have the blood of the Shadows inside of her. She is the daughter of Lady Shadow by bite. She was not born to her, as the stories go.”
“It’s why the Matians never went after her. Her mother used scents to mask what she really was.” Elian’s voice was a soft whisper but he could see Rae react to it. “Dmitry left me a letter telling me to find her. Telling me that I needed to find her. She would help me. She would protect me.”
“What do you smell, Elian?” Rae asked as she set the journal down on her legs.
Elian closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He could smell the flowers all around him. He could smell the earth and the gazebo and the smell of wind. He took another breath and he could smell cinnamon. Cinnamon and….Elian took a deeper breath and opened his eyes as he did. Roses. The roses in the garden were not in bloom. He locked eyes with Rae. Cinnamon and roses was the smell of Raven.
“How have I never smelled that before?”
“I still use oils and things to hide the smell. It’s still dangerous for me, Elian.”
“You? You are Raven Shadow?” Elian just stared at her in shock. “But you…”
“I can tell from this garden that you are having some visions of me and my life. I have my castle in Scotland and this looks exactly like my person garden. That drawing in your kitchen that you hung up is exactly my garden. Dmitry never set foot inside of it. There are only my gardeners who do and they rarely leave Scotland. Your visions are getting stronger.”
“Is that truly what they are?”
“Visions have always guided the Darkan line. It is your curse as well as your salvation.”
Elian handed the letter over and Raven opened it up without passing the journal back over. She opened it and started to read. Elian watched as tears ran down her face.
Raven took the letter from Elian. She could smell Dmitry on it. There was the spice of his aftershave that he had always used. The letter had been well kept over the years. She opened it carefully, making sure to rip nothing. She recognized Dmitry’s writing at once.
As I write this letter to you, I look upon my sleeping wife. She sleeps, thinking that we will be safe forever. I know different. My son sleeps in the crib beside our bed.
I don’t know when the end will come but I know that it will. I know that you will be upset that I have not warned you nor asked for your help. We are not what we used to be but I know that if I ask for help, you would kill yourself to help me. You would die for me.
I don’t need help. My descendant, Elian will need your help. I need you to live.
I know why I thought that we were destined to be when I was younger. I saw visions of you and I thought that I was seeing through my own eyes but I was not. I was seeing through my descendant’s eyes. I ask now for forgiveness again for what I did as a stupid child.
Just so you know when this letter is being written, you will be arriving within the week to see my son for the first time. What you don’t know is that it will not be my son. My son will be heading tomorrow for the Colonies. He will grow and live without me and his mother.
You will usher Elian into the world of the Mystics.
PS-Do not hate him. Elian will be young and stupid, much like I was when I was young. In fact, he’ll be younger than I. Protect him no matter what.
Raven closed the letter back up and placed it inside her journal. She knew the look of it the second that he had handed it to her. The smell of her and the smell of him were mixed and wafting off of it. That was why he wasn’t as scared as he should have been with the transformation and the revelation of more than just humans on Earth.
“How did you get your hands on my journal?” Raven looked up at him for the first time since finishing the letter.
“A book store in Marietta. An old woman had them on her free shelf.”
The words went right through Raven. It was the shop that she frequented. The shop where she had smelled something of her’s being there. She hadn’t figured on it being her journal. Elian stood up and moved towards the house, after a few seconds Raven followed after him. He went over to a corner area and pulled up two pieces of the flooring. As soon as he did the smell of cinnamon and roses spread across the room. Raven looked down and saw her entire journal set there.
“I lost this when I had to run from the Matians back not long after I came to America.” Raven leaned and pulled the journal from her skirt. She held it out so that Elian could see it. Elian reached out and touched it but never tried to take it. He closed his eyes and Raven wondered what he was thinking of.
“You knew didn’t you?”
“Knew what?” Raven asked as she set both journals to the side near the edge of her skirt. Elian could feel anger inside of him. He had to know.
“You knew who I was from the moment you meet me didn’t you?”
“No.” Raven shook her head and reached down in her bra and pulled out a very small vial. It looked like it was enough to maybe hold five drops of something. “In the same way that I have always masked my scent because my mother promised me that I always would. I have also found that some of the smells in the new human world offend my nose. Also I work in the library. The smell of books is sometimes overpowering for me. Also the older a human is the more they smell like a human, it’s not mouthwatering but I can make some faces that are a little bit unfriendly. Also older ladies tend to wear their perfume heavy. I take a small dot of this and put it up my nose and it lasts usually my entire shift. I smell nothing. Its how I never figured out that you were a wolf.”
“I can’t tell if you are telling me the truth,” Elian said as he looked her in the eye. She stared back at him but there was little on his face. He wasn’t sure if he could ever really believe her. She had hidden that she wasn’t human so well from him. She had known that Marie had been bad for him and while she had tried to warn him and he had thrown her off. She hadn’t kept trying. He wasn’t sure how much he could truly trust her.
“Is this about your mother?” Raven stood up and moved to the back edge of the garden, taking the journals and the letter with her. “She was never going to love you, Elian. You were a means to an end for her. She wanted power and respect and having you and then killing you would give her that. When you left her home and refused to go back. The Matians had to change their plans and shove a new woman into your life. Marie was a new means to an end. She wanted life eternal and if you are born plain human, there is only two ways to do that. Become a vampire and become a werewolf. No vampire would change her so she had to give herself to the wolves. You mother is the one that told them you were fucking me. Your mother figured that was the only way you would ever leave her like that. She thought she raised a boy that would depend on her for the rest of his life. Always live at her skirt tails and beg for her affection his entire life.”
“No!” Elian stood up and took a few steps towards her. She smiled at him and in a few seconds was rising up into the air. Elian watched as she rose up to where he couldn’t reach her at all. He closed his eyes to think for a few seconds. He could feel the change as he did. As his sight shifted to the lower sight of a wolf, Elian looked around. He moved towards the gazebo and jumped on top. From there he could reach her if he jumped just right. He heard a crack of lightning and stopped to look up into the sky. There was no storm in the sky. He wasn’t sure where the lightning came from. It was then that he looked at Raven. She was bathed in small electrical arcs.
“Blood will always tell. You may have Matian blood in you but your Darkan blood was stronger. The Matian line has always been weak. They steal what they can earn with a little bit of hard work. Your mother is Matian but you are Darkan. You have visions because of this. Your mother probably sought to shove those visions from you. I am Shadow. I have the power of controlling electricity. Lightning is the form I learned to control from a young age. I can call it down in the exact area I want it. Do you want to know what getting struck by lightning feels like, Elian?”
Elian took a step back from the edge of the gazebo and sat down, staying in his wolf form. He didn’t want to know what it felt like. He chuffed a little and then laid down, looking at her with wide eyes.
“You and I. We need time. You need to process it all and I need to figure out what we need to do. I have a book that you need to look at. I will drop it off to you when I can. I’ve already quit at the library. I’ve done what I needed to do and my replacement in ready. You will need the regularity of the life right now. It is the only thing that will keep you sane. Please take care of yourself and don’t die. You know where I live. You have my number. You will need to seek me out. I will not seek you out.” With those words Raven shot outward into the trees behind the house and was gone from sight. Elian wondered how she did it. He stayed where he was and watched the sun set.
The book that Raven left for him was all about the smells of the world. At first he had been struck dumb at why he would need it. Why did he need to know what old paper and dandelions smelled like? Then he flipped forward a few pages and then found why Raven had left it for him. There was a whole section on the smells of the Mystics of the world. He flipped through just reading a few words here and there. He got to the end of the book and found a section that was entirely hand written.
The entire world is full of smells. Those smells can have many and varying effects. There is one smell or I should say many smells that have an effect on certain individuals. The born unchanged wolves have one weakness. There is a smell that links each bloodline and if a person is to carry that smell on them, the wolf thinks him or herself in love.
For the wolves of the Helian family line, the smell is that of burnt grass. A smell that in small doses is fine but in larger it is not. I knew a Helian who almost destroyed his chance at the line because of this smell. Research is being done on what the smells are for the rest of the wolves but it’s hard. There was so many smells and not many wolves who are not changed.
While the wolf is under the control of the scent, he or she will do things to make the person they are ‘in love with’ happy. They will sacrifice themselves if need be. Life a candle being blown out though, the second the unchanged is finally a wolf, the scent stops working and it’s like he or she was never in love to begin with. All feelings are gone.
Elian closed the book and sat back. He had been wondering in the days that had been going by why he had not felt a thing for Marie now. He had known that she had been drugging him of sorts but he didn’t know that it was something that he had no control over. He figured that it was something that he had done wrong. Something he had eaten or drunk that she had given him. To find it was biological.
The slap to the face could not have come harder. Elian found that he couldn’t breathe. He slid out of the chair and dropped to the floor. Closing his eyes he tried to think on it all. He went back as far as his memory went with his parents. Every single interaction between his mother and father had been one sided. His father pushing away from her only happened at times of great stress. His connection with his father had been at his mother’s discretion. It all made sense now.
Elian grabbed his phone from where he had set it on a small end table. He opened up his messaging program and started to type.
Rae, I am so sorry for how I acted. I AM SO SORRY. Elian sent the message and waited, staring at the phone. It was then that he noticed the time. It was nearly three a.m. There was no way that she was awake. She no longer worked midnights. He was getting ready to set his phone back down on the table when it vibrated.
You were forgiven the moment that I figured out what was happening. I am just sorry that I never figured it out sooner and saved you from her grasp. I need sleep and so do you.
Elian grasped the phone to his chest as he started to go up the stairs to his bedroom. He laid himself down and was asleep in seconds.
The letter arrived with little fanfare. It was taped to his front door and he found it one night after he had got back from running on the island. He could smell the rotten milk from the street. If it wasn’t for the streets that were a little busy in the predawn hours, Elian would have shifted. As it was he approached the porch with caution. Afraid that the Matians were waiting on him.
The smell of rotten milk was stronger the closer he got. He almost missed the smell of roses and cinnamon wafting from behind him. It wasn’t until he heard a twig snap and he spun into a crouch, ready for a fight. It was Raven.
“Raven?” Elian looked at her. She was human looking.
“I was waking the town and smelled them; I tracked them here and then out of town.”
“There is a note on my door.”
“Let’s go see what they have to say.” Raven took point and that’s when Elian saw the dagger in her hand. He stopped when she cut the letter from the door instead of touching it. Elian was about to reach down for it but halted in his motion. Raven used the dagger to open the letter that had just been folded in half and taped on the door. She stepped back and waved at him.
“What’s it say?” Elian asked as he crouched down to read it himself.
“I am not going to read the letter until you tell me I can.”
Elian nodded and started to read, taking a page out of her book and not touching the letter at all.
Dear Elian Darkan,
You think yourself safe? We will find you. You are a mistake and you will be corrected. Your mother chose to carry you to term when she wasn’t supposed to. She was supposed to kill your father after he and her had sex.
Rae Smith can only protect you so much. We will learn the mistakes the both of you make and we will learn them quick.
You WILL die!
Waving at the letter, Elian stood up and let Raven read it. She huffed about twelve seconds and she pulled a lighter from her pocket. She carefully set the edge of the paper on fire and stepped back pulling Elian back about five feet with her. The paper caught fire completely after about two seconds and then a yellow smoke started to rise from it. Raven pulled him to her side and up they went and back. It was seconds and then they were at the far end of the property.
“Poison. My research has told me that they are allied with dark witches. If anything ever smells different than what it should, don’t touch it at all unless you are using something metal. Metal negates all witch poison.”
“Now I have to worry about poison?” Elian asked as he sighed and started to walk back up to the house.
“You’ve always had to worry about poison, you just didn’t know it. Atrian has some more books for you. Books that I’ve had him pull from my hidden house. Well he’s sent someone to pull them.”
“Elian you are forgetting that the Matians wiped out my line as well.” Raven shoved opened the front door and let Elian go inside first. He quickly turned off the security system and turned to look at her. “I am the last Shadow and the only reason that I was able to live was because they thought that I was a turned vampire. They believed that I was not a threat. Now they are searching for a Shadow to be alive somewhere.”
“You’ve killed so many of their kind. Why haven’t they killed you?”
“Those that I have killed are the cannon fodder. As long as I play with them, I am not going after the true group of Matians.”
“Most of the ancients only have one child. If for some reason that child is killed another is made. There has been too many times in the past where more than one sibling causes too much strife. The Matians were always the odd family. What we didn’t know until it was too late was that they were creating an army of bitten wolves. There is a small family of themselves that are pure blooded but the bitten ones are cannon fodder.”
“There is so much to this world.”
“Yes, there is. You have a lot of catching up to do.”
“How do bittens and turned do it?”
“They don’t have to know most of this. You do. You are royalty.”
Elian nodded and moved to the back of the house. Raven followed him quietly. He almost couldn’t hear her at all. His whole world had shifted. His whole world was still shifting. He wasn’t sure that he was ready for it all.
Grabbing Raven, Elian pulled her close for a hug. He had missed her and he didn’t want the distance to grow anymore. After a few seconds, Raven hugged him back fiercely. Elian didn’t want to let her go.
“There is so much for you to learn, Elian but you will learn it.”
“I need help. The lawyer is still working on mom and dad’s estates. The coffee shop has already been put through since it’s a business and it has been released totally to me. I never wanted to run it but I am finding that I am enjoying it.”
“What do you need help with?”
“I need help running it. I hate going in there every single morning and working it but I find that I am having trust issues on letting other people run it. We do our best business in the morning and late in the evening. I want to open it up for twenty four hours at some point. I think with the college we can do it. My mother had Wi-Fi installed not long ago. It’s been a huge draw.”
“Are you offering me a job?”
“Yes.” Elian pulled back from her and he saw happiness there. She was happy and he found that for the first time in a while he was happy as well.
I watch him from afar for a long while. He is the one person in this situation that needs to survive. Elian learns from the books that I make sure that he gets from the Shadow library. The books from the Darkan library that I saved will come later. His family history is something that he needs to learn but not that the moment.
I am happy at the turn of events. The path that I had chosen could have blown up in my face. It would have been horrible and it would have not worked out in anyone’s favor.
I had planned to trick Elian into having sex with Marie. I knew that he was a virgin and I know how the wolf blood works. He was in love with her and I knew it was only a matter of time before she wanted to have sex with him. Sex was the cement that held his parents. Sex is the thing that takes down nations.
Marie’s mistake had been thinking that he had sex before meeting her and not confirming. I had the plant to slip in information about biting and werewolves into Elian’s life. It would not have taken long for him to have sex and bite her while he did it.
I am glad for the way it happened. This worked out better in the end.