New Kingdom: European Court Ch. 08byMicKay©
Resubmitted w/ changes in POV. The breaks werea always there, they just didn't copy and paste. As always, thanks to WorldHistoryBuff. She's the best.
Emma stared at Antony in shock. He had stopped the car in the middle of the road and just dropped a bomb on her. How could he know her mother? Certainly in four thousand years, he had met more than a few blondes. Her mother just resembled one of the many or, worse yet, he just categorized his conquests by hair color.
Yet, something told her that she was wrong. He had been present when her mother died. He had been part of her life from the beginning.
"Oh no! Are you my father?
"No!" he nearly screamed. "Oh god, no."
"That's right. Vampires can't father children, can they?
"You'd be surprise," Antony replied. "Emma, please be patient with me and I promise we will explain everything to you."
"Yes. I need to call my brother Tecumseh. He's in South America."
"The same brother who visited the States with you?" she asked and waited for his nod. "So it's just a coincidence that your visit then has created this conversation now?"
"When you've lived as long as I have, you are always reminded of one thing," Antony said driving the car once again.
"There's no such thing as coincidence. What I did all those years ago was with the best intentions. If you reject me, then so be it," he said and then looked in her eyes. "Because I would do it again without hesitation."
Gabriel finished his last phone call and updated Edward on the people that were now in motion. All of their brothers were ready to fight. He had listened to each update of their respective kingdoms and decided who needed to be mobilized and who needed reinforcements. Together they had created a plan to attack immediate threats while working towards a strategy of finally removing the enemy once and for all.
After speaking with Phillip in his American office, Edward agreed that his area was as safe as possible for the time being. He had negotiated a deal with Gabriel to transport a vast number of his best guards but would not consider moving Phillip away from his castle.
"Gabriel, no." Edward had answered emphatically. "Without you watching over the States, your second is the best I have. We have already cleaned house and need a strong defense to watch and fight. I will not help my brothers fight for their land and then return home to find some disaster because I let my guard down."
Gabriel had eventually agreed but had spoken with Phillip to receive his advice on which men should stay at their current posts and the maximum number that could be spared. They had decided on the number of men who would remain and then personally selected them. If Edward's kingdom would be protected by fewer guards, they would be the best that Gabriel and Phillip had trained.
"Ok," Edward said, "A few guards are coming from South America, Africa and Asia. Heron will join us only because he's a piece of shit and would buckle again in a heartbeat."
"You don't know that," Gabriel answered with a laugh.
"Ok, then I have a personal grudge against the bastard and want to put him on the front line of every fucking battle."
"I have personal grudge also but we can't beat the enemy if we fight each other."
"Have you ever considered the fact that we wouldn't have an enemy if Heron hadn't been such a pathetic man?"
"Who else is coming?" Gabriel asked as he reviewed his notes.
"Ahmen is sending a few to us and he will accompany a few more to Australia," he added and then paused in consideration. "Gabriel, we might need to consider going there next. Conlaoch confirmed that the problems are contained in the remote regions but they are increasing in size."
"That's probably a good choice but Ahmen can't be away from his land too long."
"Of course not. I had to promise that we would visit his land next."
"And that I would quit pushing for the UN headquarters to be moved to his kingdom."
"We stay outside of human government. You would have never succeeded in moving them out. So where is Tecumseh?"
"Should be arriving any minute," Edward answered sitting on the couch.
"Here? Before we asked?"
"Yes. He, Gloria and a few guards have already landed. Apparently his mate is determined to visit the family. The children especially. Tec is worried because he told her some babies were created in the lab that appear to have our genetic makeup and that you and Alena have adopted them."
"I promise that I will not give any details and I'm sure Antony would be thrilled if we could all forget the facts."
"I can only promise you that Iona and I have never discussed it, so there's no reason for us to do it now. But still, doesn't this sound weird? After more than a year? And the kids are hardly babies now. Why would she be insisting to meet them?"
"I haven't seen Gloria in years but she always seemed fragile," Gabriel added. "Maybe she is interested in meeting all of her new sisters. Perhaps all of us males overwhelmed her delicate nature."
"Not all women felt that way," Edward remembered.
"Which is why we're in this mess," Gabriel replied and then frowned. "I've contacted Alena to join us but something is going on with the children."
"Something like what?"
"Just an argument," he answered and then walked to the door. "Let me know if anyone arrives before I return."
"This is ridiculous," Abigail wailed. "We are in a hundred room house and I have to share a room with my brother!"
"Abigail, I will try my best to help but you must remember that we are guests in someone else's home and we were assigned these rooms," her mother said.
"And you must remember that I was a child when we arrived," the girl retorted.
"We've been here one week and watch your mouth."
"Oh you can say it to me but I can't say it to you?"
"Whoa," Joshua said breaking his silence. "You've done it now. If she doesn't kill you then Dad will."
"Shut up!" the little girl screeched. "Why are you always making noise?"
"At this moment," Alena said slowly, "You are the only one making noise. Abigail, I told you that I would try to ask if we can move to a larger suite."
"Why should we all move? Just give me a bedroom and bathroom that I don't have to share with that maggot!"
Grabbing the girl by her arm, Alena was careful to not hurt her, but relayed the message that she definitely wanted her attention.
"Stop screaming and never call your brother a name like that again."
Before another word could be said, Abigail's eyes filled with tears and she started sobbing loudly. Alena and Joshua looked at each other with a shared expression of confusion when Gabriel walked into the apartment.
"What the hell?" he demanded. "Abigail, what's wrong baby?"
The girl ran to her father hoping to claim one ally in the group. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and looked at his mate and son standing across the room. Joshua looked confused and Alena, well, there was no mistake when she was angry. She glared at him as though he had just slapped her. Feeling Abigail tremble under his arm, he knelt down to her level and tried to pry her hands from her face.
"Tell me what's wrong?"
"Joshua is a monster and Mommy takes his side on everything," she declared between sobs.
"Gabriel ..." Alena started but stopped when interrupted.
"Joshua. What have you done?" Gabriel demanded, rising to his full height.
The boy immediately looked at his mother in fear. She grabbed his hand and pulled him behind her. The rift that had started with brother and sister had now moved to their parents as they stood glaring at each other. Gabriel closed his eyes and inhaled remembering that he had just advised Edward against fighting with his family.
"What happened?" he asked again looking at Alena.
"I really don't know, Gabe. Abigail started screaming and when I asked her what was wrong, she started demanding her own room."
"What?" he asked in disbelief looking from his mate to each of the children. "You're arguing over the fact she simply asked for her own room?"
Alena narrowed her eyes at his question but refused to answer. He knew something was brewing underneath but he had no time for petty arguments. They needed to return to the library to meet Tecumseh and his party.
"Dad," Joshua said stepping from behind his mother. "I didn't do it on purpose."
"They why do you do it all the time?" his sister demanded.
"Do what?" Gabriel asked.
"He always walks in the bathroom when I'm in there."
"Because you take forever and I just need to pee."
"And he never leaves me alone so I can play in my room," she added.
"You're just talking to your stupid dolls. You act like everybody doesn't already know that you're crazy."
"Joshua!" Gabriel shouted.
"Dad, you wouldn't believe the things she says," the boy said in defense.
"Abigail, pick out a room across the hall. I'll let Antony know that his staff will have one more room to clean."
The little girl's tears immediately dried as she realized she had gained the victory. She squealed in delight and turned towards the door.
"No Gabriel," Alena said and then stopped when the children looked at her. "Abigail, have you ever told me that Joshua was invading your privacy?"
The girl merely shook her head no.
"And Joshua is there a reason why you can't use another bathroom or knock on the door?"
Like his sister, he merely shook his head.
"Ok, go to your room. We will deal with you both in a few minutes."
When the children were down the hall and behind a closed door, Alena looked at Gabriel but remained silent.
"So you're mad at me?" he asked defensively. "I've been waiting for you downstairs and because I walk in and bring an end to this nonsense, I'm the bad guy?"
"You didn't bring an end to it," she snapped. "Don't you see? She's growing up and she's using her emotions to manipulate the situation."
"Alena, you are a wonderful mother but you're putting too much emphasis on the why and how instead of what is needed."
"And what is needed Gabriel?"
"She needs her own space so we give it to her."
"So she gets it by calling her brother names and dividing us while she's sobbing against your leg?"
"When I walked in, you didn't even know what the problem was and now we do. It's how our people work. We address the situation and deal with it."
"That's just not true. Your people have abused their authority and neglected their responsibilities and then when everything is a complete disaster, you and your brothers bully your way back in the picture."
She watched his face almost flinch as she spoke. Something in her words had hit him hard. Thinking about what she had just said, Alena realized that she had not only hit him hard but she had hit him below the belt. Before she could stop him, he had turned and left the room. She raced after him reaching him as he started descending the stairs.
"Go back to the room, Alena. I have to deal with some issues."
"More important than us?"
He paused for a moment and then turned back. He stopped in front of her but said nothing.
"I'm sorry. God, Gabe I'm sorry I said that. I was just upset and ..."
"You used your emotions to manipulate the situation," he stated bluntly. "I'm trying to refrain from crudeness but you're not the only woman I've met."
"I'm sorry that I said that about your people," she said with her bottom lip quivering and watched him flinch again.
"It's not what you said," he finally whispered stroking his thumb across her bottom lip. "You know that I agree that the New Kingdom has been negligent. I probably would not have called us bullies but that is just my opinion."
At her confused expression, he smiled and escorted her back toward their rooms so their conversation would be private.
"It's always my people. Even after last night, you are still fighting and holding on to the human side. Are you regretting the change?"
"No!" she said and his words sunk in. "Oh god, no Gabe. This is everything I've ever wanted. And more. We have a family."
"So you have more than you had hoped for and yet your eyes are filled with tears. How can you possibly think I understand this? Can you imagine how much I disliked the sight of you flashing your angry eyes at me? How much I hate the tears in your eyes now? Your words say you have everything but you're holding back."
"I can't explain it, Gabe. I just need to remember what it was like. Iona is thrilled that she doesn't have to remember being human but I have children that act like normal human children."
"Ah, I see," he said and leaned over until his forehead pressed against hers. "Alena, you don't have children. We do. You're not alone anymore fighting to save a dying brother and a self- destructive sister. You and I agreed to raise these children knowing that we would be venturing into unknown territory."
"I know but they act so human."
"They do. But remember they were created from the genes of the Third Creation."
"But when Abigail gets to a certain age ... she's going to start ...her body is already changing. I should know what to do."
"You'll know to buy a book," he replied and quickly kissed her lips. "What about Joshua? How would you know what to do with him?
"I had a brother ...."
"Oh god. Let's definitely agree to buy a book and never tell him that you had planned to escort him through puberty."
"You were never a kid. What would you know about it?"
"I know no man wants his mother to walk in and catch him .... Ah, we still need to deal with the issue about the room."
"I have a suggestion," Alena said moving into Gabriel's embrace. "Why don't we move across the hall and let one of them have the room we are using now? They don't really need to be next door to us."
"That's a much better plan," he said pulling her closer. "It doesn't seem right for us to fight after last night."
"I think we're supposed to have something called 'makeup sex now'," Alena offered.
Looking over his shoulder toward the stairs, he turned back to his mate and asked, "Would you be terribly angry if the best I could offer is a 'makeup quickie'? Tecumseh is arriving soon."
"I'll take anything I can get from you," she said turning to their apartment but stopped when he tugged on her arm.
"Let's kill two birds with one stone. We can make up and christen the new bed," he said lifting her in his arms.
"What about the kids? They think we're mad at them."
"Maybe they will use this time to see the error of their ways. I know I will," he said as he closed the door behind them.
Antony sped through the gates and up the driveway. He noticed the cars parked at the end of the road but their appearance was of no interest to him. He screeched to a halt and quickly moved from his seat to the passenger's door to assist Emma from the car. With his hand on her elbow his escorted her quickly through the door and into the library.
"Where the hell have you been?" Edward demanded. "Gabriel disappeared doing what I can only imagine. Actually I can imagine. Damn that woman makes noise. Iona is playing hostess to your new guests so if she's done something wrong or assigned the wrong rooms, well, so be it."
"What guests?" Antony finally said sitting on the couch with Emma.
"Gabriel and I have been talking with the brothers all day. Short version: they are moving troops in to help each other and Heron and Tecumseh are coming here with some men."
"Tec is coming here?
"That's what I just said," Edward snapped and then looked at Antony. "Man what the hell is wrong with you?"
"Is he here now?"
"Yes," Edward answered and then stared at his brother. After a few moments, he looked at Emma, back to Antony and finally leaned his head against the back of the chair closing his eyes. "Fuck!" he growled loudly.
"You called for me, darling?" Iona asked walking through the door and then paused, seeing Antony and Emma. "Sorry. Didn't know you had returned."
"Sweetheart," Edward said moving in his chair to make room for his mate, "apparently today will not end without some new drama. Where is Tec?"
"He and Gloria are one floor above Gabriel's kids."
"Gloria is here?" Antony asked and then looked at Emma.
"Is she another girlfriend?" she asked quickly.
"Gloria is my mate," the deep male voice said from the doorway. "And I'm just beginning to understand why she insisted that we visit Antony now. I misunderstood when she said she wanted to see the family and the girl."
Emma shook her head in confusion at what the man said. Apparently his words were not meant for her so she continued staring at the newest member of Antony's family to join the group. This man was large like his brothers. He stood well over six and half feet tall and had a wide chest like Gabriel. But the similarities ended there. Where Gabriel's hair was dark and neatly trimmed, this man had sun bleached hair that hung passed his shoulders. The brothers she'd met all carried an executive appearance that would dominate a board room, while this man wore a muslin shirt hanging loose from his cargo pants. He was an eclectic blend of surfer, body builder and hippie.
"Tec," Antony finally said, "this is Emma."
"Child?" she asked looking at Antony.
"How do we do this?" Tec asked the group without answering her question. "We need to remember that Gloria remembers nothing of her human life."
"What the hell is going on?" Emma finally demanded rising to her feet.
"Ah yes, there's the passion behind those eyes. You were born with those eyes. If I had any questions, they've been answered now."
"Well I have plenty of questions," Emma stated. "Why do you call me the child?"
"It's very simple my dear. You are the natural child of my mate, Gloria. And if you would quit stomping your feet, I'll explain everything. Well, everything that I know."
When Gabriel and Alena descended the stairs they were met by Edward and Iona leaving the library.
"It's the damndest thing," Edward said. "But we'll get to that little soap opera later. I did manage to get this flash drive from Antony before we left. Where's a computer?"
With a look at his brother, Gabriel nodded his head and led the group into the formal sitting room. Once the door was shut, he opened the drawer of a small table and removed a laptop. Holding his hand out for the flash drive, Gabriel turned on the computer and entered his password as though preoccupied with his tasks.
"She's what?" he suddenly asked. "Oh god, I should have known. She was born with those eyes."
"That's the same thing Tec said to Emma," Iona commented.
"What's going on?" Alena asked Gabriel.
"In short, Emma is the natural child of our brother's mate. It's an interesting story that even Edward and I played a part in."
"Oh, Antony was the leading man," Gabriel answered. "There are several files here. Where do we start?"
In the library, Tecumseh had taken a seat after pouring a large glass of the vile whiskey Emma had drunk earlier. She shuddered at the memory of how sick she felt the next morning and moved closer to Antony's warm body. Tec simply looked at her without saying a word.
"Are you finished staring?" Antony growled.
"Protective aren't you? It's just amazing how this has developed."
"Emma," Antony said titling her face until she was looking at him. "I need you to know that what we are going to tell you actually occurred before you were born."
"It was only minutes before you were born, but still, my brother needs you to know that the situation was neither planned nor in our control."