Thorne Ch. 09bykalamazoo707©
Note: Thanks to everyone for reading my stories and to Donalde who looked for those pesky name changes and beta read for me.
William hung up with mixed feelings. On one hand, he had saved most of his family, but on the other hand, Harry was going to die. That he wasn't going to be the one to kill him brought little comfort. The next thing that he had to do before anything else was go to see his family. He warded his room and vanished to the cabin. He knew that something had happened as soon as he appeared in the living room. Everyone was there except for Harry.
"Where is he?" William asked looking around. "Where in the hell is he?" he demanded when no one spoke.
"I tried to get him to stay," Nell said, "but dad let him go."
"What were you thinking?" William asked not quite believing what he was hearing.
"We didn't know if you were coming back or not," Albert said. "For all we knew, you turned us over."
"Are you fucking serious?" William asked. "I'm trying to save your asses and you let him go? Did you forget that he's why we're in this mess to begin with? Did you forget that he's the reason for every mess that we've ever been in?"
"Now wait a minute..." Albert broke in.
"Shut up!" William roared.
Everyone stared at him. William rarely raised his voice and when he did, it meant that he was furious.
"First of all, I would not have turned you over! I have been working my ass off to save your lives! I was even trying to save the life of that psychopath!"
"William," Mary said, "what are you talking about?"
"I'm done with Rufus Saunders," William replied. "We should have never started with him. As insane as Harry is, he was right about one thing, Rufus is going to turn all of the species against each other. He's going to make him do our work for him. I talked to Ethan Sinclaire..."
"You did what?" Albert yelled. "I told you that he would turn us over!"
"Will you shut the fuck up and listen?" William said as he glared at his father.
His second use of profanity had the desired effect. He cursed as rarely as he raised his voice. Albert sat down, but still glared at William.
"As I was saying, I talked to Ethan Sinclaire and Thorne Blackwell. Everyone is looking for us and it's only a matter of time before we're found. Both Ethan Sinclaire and Thorne Blackwell have given you a free pass to leave the state. You have twenty-four hours to get out and if you are spotted in California, even if it's one hundred years from now; you will be killed."
"What about Harry?" Nell asked.
"There is nothing that I can do for him," William replied. "Nadine, the woman that he used, turned and then was going to leave for dead lives. She has a mate who wants vengeance. He will never stop looking for Harry."
"So we just leave him?" Mary asked.
"Mom," William said softly, "Harry is looking for Nadine and they are looking for him. I'll try to find him and convince him to leave, but in the meantime you all must leave."
"Traitor," Albert said under his breath. "Harry was right about something else. You're going to try to save that bitch."
William ignored him and continued to talk.
"I strongly suggest that you leave as soon as possible and that you don't come back. If you choose to stay I won't be able to protect you. I hope that you've all done what I suggested in the past and found a place that no one knows about including each other and saved plenty of money. You can regroup later, but for now you have to separate."
"What are you going to do?" Mary asked.
"What do you think he's going to do?" Albert sneered. "He's going to get himself killed over that hunter bitch and leave Harry to die."
"I will be fine," William said reassuringly.
"Maybe we should stay and help you find Harry," Nell said ignoring her father's glare.
"Thank you, but you all need to go while you can," William replied. "Get out of here as soon as the sun starts going down."
Albert sat in his chair fuming as William led the family in the way that he should have done. He realized that both Mary and Nell were right in saying that he was angry at William for taking over the family. They were also right in saying that his anger was the reason that he fought William even though he knew that he was right.
In fact, he had just begun thinking about getting his family out of the hunter business when Harry killed the girl behind Thorne's club. His mistake had been that he really had no plan in place even though he implied that he did. He was going to use the vacation to plan and possibly slip away with his family.
"Damn you Harry!" Albert thought to himself as he half listened to William talk.
By the time William was done, he had all of them convinced to leave.
"Just remember, you can never return to California. If you do, you will die. Keep your eyes and ears open no matter where you go. If you get even a whiff of a Sinclaire or Blackwell, leave or lay low. And whatever you do, don't get mixed up with the hunters again."
William vanished from the cabin in the mountains to the Palm Springs condo. He wasn't surprised to find it empty although there was evidence that Harry had been there. He was too late- not that it would have made a difference even if Harry had been there. He decided not to take the time to look for him; Harry's fate had been sealed. He left the condo and went back to his room. There was nothing to do but wait.
Olivia lay awake thinking about her decision. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her father would never agree to any compromises no matter how reasonable they were. The idea that she was going to be a part of his death sickened her, but what was she to do? Her father would have her killed as soon as she was spotted.
The questions about her mother's death burned in her mind. She had to know one way or another if he had anything to do with it. She knew what her gut was saying, but she had to hear it from him. Her thoughts went back to her father's impending death. Would it be merciful or would he be tortured as he and others had tortured so many both vampire and human.
She sat up as a realization hit her and began to yell for help. Benita who was still on duty rushed in to see what the ruckus was about.
"Listen," Olivia said as soon as Benita came rushing in, "if you know of any humans that are helping you, they need to be warned! He'll kill anyone that he suspects of being a vampire or aiding them! You've got to..."
"Slow down," Benita said. "Start at the beginning and tell me what you're talking about."
Olivia took a deep breath and started over.
"My father will kill anyone who is suspected of being a vampire. If he suspects that they're helping you, he'll torture them for information and then kill them. You've got to warn anyone that's helping you! They need to leave their homes and go somewhere safe!"
Benita hesitated for a moment and then took her phone out of her pocket. It hadn't occurred to her that their human allies hadn't been warned.
"Thorne... no... she's fine, but she just brought up a very valid point. Our human allies are in danger... it has? I'll tell her."
Olivia anxiously listened to Benita's end of the conversation breathing a sigh of relief when Benita didn't seem more alarmed.
"Well," Benita said with a smile, "it's been taken care of. As soon as you were spotted, a warning was issued. Most if not all of our human allies have left the city."
"That's good, but you don't understand," Olivia said. "My father will go after anyone who even remotely looks like they're helping you. By you, I mean vampires. If he sees a human talking to a vampire, he'll automatically assume that they're helping you. He will have them tortured even though they don't know anything."
Now Benita was alarmed. She took her phone out again and called Thorne back. She talked to him for a few seconds and then handed the phone to Olivia.
"What have you decided?" he asked.
"You're going to kill him with or without my help," Olivia replied. "But I would like the chance to try to reason with him."
"We expected as much," Thorne replied.
"I'm going to help you," Olivia said after a few seconds of silence. "I won't kill him..."
"Nor would we expect you to," Thorne broke in. "What we need you for is far more important than that."
"To take over for my father," Olivia said. "I get it. I have a question... maybe a favor to ask."
"I'm listening," Thorne replied intrigued. Up until now, Olivia hadn't asked for anything. She hadn't even asked that her father be given a quick and merciful death.
"There is one of my crew that I want spared."
"Which one would that be?" Thorne asked.
"His name is William," Olivia replied. "Of all of them he was the one that I trusted the most."
"What is he to you that you're asking that his life be spared?" Thorne asked.
That was a question that surprised her although it shouldn't have. It was also a question that she didn't have the answer to.
"Does it matter?" Olivia asked. "I haven't asked for anything and I'm going to betray my father for you..."
"Not for me," Thorne corrected. "For yourself and thousands of others. You know what he is and what he plans to do to you and thousands of others. In regards to William, we've already spoken."
"Where is he?" Olivia asked.
"At the moment, I don't know," Thorne replied. "I can tell you that he is in no danger from us. He also asked about you. He seems very concerned about your safety. If I didn't know any better..."
"So you'll spare him?" Olivia asked.
"He is safe," Thorne replied. "All of the teams out looking for your father and his crews are aware that he is not to be touched."
"Thank you," Olivia said relieved but choosing not to examine the reasons why.
"I would suggest that you call your father and talk to him now," Thorne advised. I'll call you back within the hour."
Rufus was getting ready to lay down when his cell phone rang. He looked at the caller ID, but didn't recognize the number. Out of curiosity, he answered it.
"Olivia? Where are you?" Rufus asked.
"I'm at the same place and before you ask, I don't know where it is," Olivia replied.
"Are you still untouched?"
"They haven't hurt me," Olivia said. "Dad, what really happened with mom? Did you set her up like you set me up?"
That wasn't how she had intended to start the conversation, but she had to know.
"Why don't we talk about how we're going to get you out of there?" Rufus asked avoiding the question. "Did you see anything? Any landmarks?"
"You set her up didn't you? You had Harry kill her and then you used her death to keep the war going. That's why you're going to have me killed too isn't it?"
His silence was her answer.
"I'm calling to make a proposition," Olivia said swallowing the lump in her throat. "Give me control of the organization and walk away. Go someplace far away and stay out of trouble. If you don't, you will be killed on sight."
"Who will kill me? You?" Rufus asked laughing. "You never wanted to be the head of the organization. All you want is to be left alone to your fucking daydreams of being someone else. That's why I chose Caleb as my successor and your husband. You're useless as a leader and a hunter but you can make plenty of little hunters- something that your mother was incapable of doing."
Olivia was hurt and shocked by how little her father thought of her and her mother. They had been nothing more than pawns in his war.
"You're right," Olivia said, "I can't kill you. After all, you're still my father as much as I wish that it weren't so."
Rufus listened to Olivia not caring for the confident and authorative way in which she was speaking to him. He was beginning to realize that he had been wrong about her. He hadn't destroyed her strength, it was only buried.
"Are you working with them now?" he hissed angrily, "Are you a traitor?"
"You can call it whatever you want," Olivia replied, "But that doesn't change your options or the fact that this war has to end. You can either walk away or you can stay and die. This war should have ended a long time ago and you know it. You've used the deaths of others to keep it going when the attitudes about the war began to change. In keeping the war going, you've let a group of beings far more dangerous than the ones that we're fighting grow in numbers."
"Lies!" Rufus raged. "There are no such things as the rogue! All of them and anything that isn't human fits under that category and they all need to be destroyed like the rabid animals they are! Just because they haven't fucked you or turned you don't mean that they're not animals!"
"Dad, the only animal is you and those that believe as you do," Olivia said softly. "You have killed innocent people just because you think that they're vampire or have helped them in some way. You killed mom for your own goals and you were going to kill me for the same reason. What are you going to do? Are you going to walk away or are you going to stay and die?"
"I will not walk away until every nonhuman being is destroyed and I will watch you die with them," Rufus said his tone firm.
"Goodbye dad," Olivia said and hung up.
She handed the phone back to Benita, cried and then asked her to call Thorne.
"I tried... but he is so filled with hate that he wouldn't listen."
"Olivia, believe it or not; I'm sorry," Thorne said. "I will convey to all of the groups that his death is to be quick and merciful."
"Can you guarantee that it will happen like that?" Olivia asked.
"No, I can't," Thorne replied not telling her that William would probably be the one to kill her father. News like that needed to come from him.
"Will you call me when it's done?"
"Of course," Thorne replied genuinely feeling for her. "Olivia, we all appreciate how hard this has to be for you..."
"No you don't," Olivia interrupted. "You have no idea about what I'm feeling. Just keep your word about William and my father," she said and hung up.
She handed the phone to Benita, walked away and into the bathroom shutting the door behind her. Once inside she began to sob. By morning, her father would be dead and she would be the head of the hunter organization, a position that she didn't want. She sat on the floor in of the toilet and began to vomit. Along with the vomit went all of her dreams of a normal life. She would never be that kindergarten teacher or the PTA mom. The hunter organization was now her life. She had no choice in the matter. If she didn't step up, someone like her father would. That thought brought thoughts about Caleb. What would happen to him? As soon as she asked herself the question, she knew the answer- he would die too. She tried to feel sorry about it, but couldn't. Caleb wasn't much different than her father was. He was only more educated.
"Olivia?" Benita called into the bathroom, "Are you alright?"
Olivia hesitated. The genuine concern in Benita's voice caught her by surprise. Other than her mother and William, no one had expressed true concern for her. She stood up, flushed the toilet and washed her face before answering.
"I'll be alright," she called out. "I just need a few more minutes."
The few minutes turned into half an hour as she grappled with her new role. Thoughts of where William might fit into that life crept in unbidden. What surprised her was that the thought of him was calming. She whispered a fervent prayer that he was safe and not in the hands of her father and Caleb.
Benita was waiting for her when she came out of the bathroom.
"I brought you something to eat and drink," she said. "I'm sure that you aren't hungry, but you should try to eat something."
"Thanks... is there any way that I can get a change of clothes?" Olivia asked.
"I'll work on it," Benita said. "Is there anything else that you need?"
"More toiletries," Olivia replied. "How much longer will you be here?"
"As long as you need me to be," Benita replied.
"What about your mate? Don't you need to go home and see him?"
"My mate is a big boy and I mean that literally and figuratively," Benita said with a smile. "He'll be fine without me. Are you wondering about the way in which you're being treated?"
"This is nothing like I was told," Olivia replied after thinking about it. "You have shown me more kindness and compassion than my own father."
"Olivia, have a seat," Benita said. When Olivia was sitting, Benita sat down across from her and looked at her. "Olivia, you know as well as I do that there are fanatics on both sides of this crazy --assed war. It's because of these fanatics that the war continues. I'm sure that you've already thought about this but I'm going to say it anyway. Your life is in danger from the fanatics on both sides and will be for a long time to come. Had you been captured by anyone other than us, you would have been either turned or killed as soon as they caught you. My point is this; you need to start surrounding yourself with those that you can trust."
When Benita said that, Olivia thought about William.
"We're in for hard times and those who you think are friends may not be. The other thing is this. When I first met you, I saw a very insecure and frightened hunter. Part of that was because this isn't the life that you wanted, but part of it is because you've been undermined at every turn by your father. Tonight as I listened to you talking to your father, I heard something that I'm sure that he heard too. I heard strength and confidence. I believe that you can help end this needless fighting and if you will have me, I would like to offer the services of me and my mate."
Olivia was speechless at Benita's offer. She conceded that Benita was right about the fanatics, but a hunter and a vampire working as a team? She thought about it and laughed. When she agreed to run the organization and sanctioned the death of her father, that's exactly what she had been doing and still was.
"Don't you want to talk to your mate about this?" Olivia asked.
"My mate's name is Kenneth and no he will have no issue with it because we've already discussed it," Benita replied.
"I don't know what to say," Olivia said softly. "Thank you."
"You're welcome... Kenneth will be here tonight. He and I will be your security team. After this is over, we'll need to select another vampire team for the nighttime and a wolf team for the daytime. I don't need to tell you that you can't go off alone..."
"I understand," Olivia interrupted. "I want you to tell me about your world," Olivia said changing the subject. "I only know what my father told me."
"Didn't you talk to the vampires on your crew?" Olivia asked.
"No," Olivia said with a shrug. "My father told me that everything that vampires said was a lie so I never asked."
"Well let's get comfortable," Benita said. "There's a lot to cover."
Barb didn't know what to do. If she was honest with herself, she didn't want to talk to her sisters or anyone else; but something that Gene said stuck with her.
"You need to give a little."
But how much? And was he right about her thinking that they wanted her to change completely? When she stopped to think about it, they had all told her that that's not what they wanted, but she hadn't believed them. Another part of her was jealous at the relationship that her sisters had with each other, but then again; she had distanced herself from them.
"Barb? Are you in there?" Louise called in. "We just want to make sure that you're alright."
Barb battled with herself. Part of her believed that they were there to gloat, but part of her knew better. She was going to say "come in," but "go away" came out instead. She was surprised when instead of knocking again, they moved away from the door.
"What did you expect?" the voice in her head asked. "That they would pound on the door demanding that you let them in? I fear that those days are long gone."