Thorne Ch. 12bykalamazoo707©
Hello! Thank you for your patience and for reading Thorne. I just wanted to thank all of my beta readers Jean and Donalde for their time and Teacher 2272 for editing. I also wanted to give a heads up- there is no sex in this chapter. Somehow it didn't seem- appropriate? Anyway... thanks again.
"Where would you like to make the food?" Louise asked Barb the night after the meeting. "I'm good with wherever you choose."
Barb hadn't given it much thought. Her mind was on other things, including the fact that the baby had chosen his name. The second thing was about the move to Hawaii and the alliance. No matter how she sliced it, she was going to be involved no matter what she did. In the interest of preserving the peace and her purse, she decided to willingly join the alliance. The third thing was meeting Thorne's mother. She didn't know why, but she already disliked the woman, although they had never met. In her mind's eye, she saw her as a stoic and unforgiving woman. She had to admit that the fact that Thorne didn't care for her had something to do with it.
"He doesn't care for you either," the voice whispered.
Barb ignored it and answered Louise's question.
"I think that your house would be better. Your kitchen is fully stocked and aren't you taking those cooking classes?"
"Here is fine," Louise replied she knew why Barb wanted to come to her house. She wanted to compare their homes. It was all about whose house was better. "Can you bring those notebooks? Nathan said that he can enter the recipes onto my laptop and then you can have them back if you like."
A small pang of guilt hit Barb. She shouldn't have taken the notebooks. She hadn't even looked at them since she took them. She hadn't even looked at it then.
"I'll bring them," she said softly. "What time tomorrow?"
"Is six too early?" Louise asked. "I have a couple of new recipes that I want to try out if you don't mind being a guinea pig."
"I - sure; can I bring anything?"
"No - we've got it," Louise said. "We'll see you at six and Thorne is invited too."
Barb hung up suddenly tired and confused. She went to her room to lay down for a nap. Thorne would be by in a couple of hours to talk to Aidan. Adrianna and Cheung sat out on her balcony while one of the wolf couples sat in the sitting room. She wanted to send them all away. She wanted her life back to the way it was before she met Thorne. She wanted to turn the clock back to when she was married to her ex-husband. She wanted to do things differently. But it was as Gene told her, "some decisions are irrevocable."
The baby was irrevocable. Her immortality was irrevocable. Her relationship with Thorne was irrevocable unless they could get out of it somehow. Even if she was freed, she would still be tied to him because of the br... baby.
"Careful," the voice cautioned.
Barb lay on the bed letting random thoughts float across her mind. She was almost asleep when the voice woke her.
"So - why did you take that notebook? It meant and means nothing to you."
"I took it because..."
She didn't finish the sentence. To say the reason out loud was like admitting that the others were right about her and she still didn't quite believe it.
"Tick tock..." the voice said and faded away.
Samantha was still in shock over what Thorne had told her. He had seen her twice with other men. It explained so much about his attitude toward her. If he was to be believed, his mate was similar to her, which didn't bode well, but like her, the woman was now a Blackwell. The question was did she really want to meet this woman? It wasn't a want she decided, but a have to. The next question was did she want a relationship with her grandson? She didn't know the answer to that question. Then there was Noel who she had treated wrongly. At the thought of him she felt a pang of guilt. Thorne had been right in saying that he had gotten it from all sides. What could she do about it? She could do nothing- Noel still loved her as his mother even with all of her failures and shortcomings. Or - she could do the adult thing and apologize. It was her sense of guilt that led her to the latter choice. If it had been Thorne she didn't think that she could do it - but she had to apologize to him too.
"Karma," she muttered under her breath and reached for the phone.
Noel was making last minute arrangements for his move when the phone rang. He looked at the caller ID and quickly answered.
"Mother? Are you alright?"
Samantha's throat tightened at the genuine concern in his voice.
"I'm fine, but Noel I need to tell you something...I know that I wasn't a good mother to you and the others. I was even a worse mate to your father..."
"Mother," Noel interrupted, "you don't have to do this."
"Yes Noel, I do," Samantha replied. "As awful as I've been to you, you've always loved me. It was brought to my attention that while I may not have physically harmed you; I harmed you psychologically. As Thorne would say, I fucked you up. I won't go into the details about my past doings; one child knowing about them is enough. I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry."
Noel didn't know what to say. He hadn't expected a sincere apology from her. What he knew and sensed was that she felt guilty for her treatment of him. What he wasn't going to tell her was that he knew about the affairs. He had never witnessed one, but he had heard her and his father arguing about it. It was a day that he would never forget because that was the day that the man who had been his father became someone else. That was the day when his father had become an abusive bully and she had allowed it. She had started it. At the time he was hurt, angry and confused. What was happening wasn't supposed to happen. Mates were supposed to love and protect each other forever. Not even Thorne knew that he knew about the affairs.
"All is forgiven," Noel said quietly. "I am much better and getting a little better every day. So much better in fact that I'm leaving to explore the big bad world."
"What?" Samantha asked surprised. "You're leaving? Does Thorne know about this?"
"Yes he does and I didn't want him to tell you," Noel replied.
"Why not?" Samantha asked hurt.
"Because, to be frank, I didn't think that you would care," Noel replied. "I'm surprised that we're even talking. When was the last time that you called me? Look, it doesn't matter. I accept your apology and I harbor no ill will toward you. You will always have my love and respect simply because you are my mother and, even though you won't admit it, you're lonely. I would like to make a suggestion if I could- call Thorne and apologize. He felt your absence as a mother more than any of us did. The rest of us were swayed by the pretty wrapped gifts that we found every day, but not him."
"Why didn't you say something?" Samantha asked.
"Would you have listened to me?" Noel countered.
Samantha hesitated. Noel was right. She wouldn't have believed him if he told her how badly she was hurting him. She would have told him the same thing that she told Thorne-"you wanted for nothing." She also suspected that Noel's answer would have been the same as Thorne's.
"Where will you go?" Samantha asked wondering about the wisdom of his leaving so soon after the hunter situation. She didn't say anything because she felt that she didn't have the right to act like a concerned mother when she hadn't been concerned before.
"I won't be traveling alone," Noel assured her. "Felix will be going with me. We'll travel around the United States and then eventually I'll settle in Paris. I've always wanted to go there."
"What about the reunion dinner? Will you be there?"
"Ah yes...the reunion dinner. I'll be there but I'm leaving right afterwards. I assume that you'll attend?" Noel asked.
"I plan to be, may I ask a question?"
"If it's about Thorne and his mate, then no," Noel replied. "I've managed to stay out of their issues and I'm going to continue to do so. I have issues enough of my own without adding theirs to it."
"Does he really care nothing for her?" Samantha pressed.
"You spoke with him," Noel said his tone cool. "What did he tell you?"
Samantha blinked. Noel had never used such a cool tone with her. She was talking to a still flawed, but much stronger Noel. She changed the subject to his memory or lack of it.
"Why do you believe that you were with me the night of the fight with the Sinclaires?"
"I can't answer that," Noel replied. "Both you and Thorne tell me that I was there so I must have been. I tried to remember but I got the most horrific of headaches. I've finally come to the conclusion that I'm not supposed to remember. I don't know if I ever will and I no longer worry about it."
"Noel," Samantha asked after a brief hesitation, "Is it possible that you know who betrayed us?"
"Mother," Noel replied his voice strained, "I can't talk about this."
Samantha stopped pushing when she heard his voice. So it was true she thought. He really did have pain when he tried to remember. She quickly changed the subject much to his relief.
"How will you ever find your mate, if you're gallivanting around the world?"
"We will find each other when the time is right," Noel replied, "and it won't matter what part of the world we're in."
Samantha was amazed that in spite of what he had been through, Noel still held the glass half full mindset. Someone weaker would have broken. She wondered if Thorne could have survived as Noel had and decided that he would have. But instead of being the gentle soul that Noel was, he would have become even angrier than he already was. Noel knew this. That explained why he didn't say anything.
Noel ended the conversation by saying that he had to go meet Thorne. He thanked her for calling and hung up. Samantha laid the phone down and then picked it up. She looked at it and put it back down. One apology was enough for the day.
Louise wrote down the supplies that would be needed while Nathan went through the cabinets. It seemed as if her belly had grown almost overnight. She massaged it in gentle circles while she waited for Nathan to tell her what to write down. Many of the items in the cabinets were in preparation of the cooking class that they hadn't completed. As soon as the trouble began, Nathan sent the chef back to France with a promise to bring him back once the trouble was over. In all likelihood, the classes wouldn't continue until after the baby was born.
"Did you get that?" Nathan asked disturbing her reverie.
"What? No sorry, I was thinking," Louise replied.
"About what?" Nathan asked as he sat on the barstool beside her.
"Everything I guess. So much has happened in a short amount of time. And now Gene is coming. All of us will be together except- Barb's leaving. She hasn't said anything yet, but I know that's what she's planning."
"How do you feel about that?" Nathan asked.
"I wish that she weren't going," Louise replied. "I wish that she would stay and get to know her baby and it would be nice if all of us were together for a while. Have there been other couples like Barb and Thorne?"
"Unfortunately, yes," Nathan replied. "Fortunately it doesn't happen often."
"Has a couple ever divorced?"
"For the most part the word divorce isn't in our vocabulary, but yes it happens. There was a couple that had been together for centuries. The female mate apparently made some very bad choices including not accepting the mate of her son."
"Why didn't she accept her? I thought that was a given."
"From what I understand, the male was of a family where mixed matings were discouraged. The female was of mixed heritage. Her mother black and her father white."
"And what race was he?" Louise asked.
"He was Japanese," Nathan replied. "The issue wasn't with the family as a whole, it was his mother."
"Was there ever a problem with your family?"
"Never and I'll tell you why later. We need to finish going through the cabinets," Nathan said as he kissed her.
"Nathan Sinclaire, I do believe that you just brushed me off," Louise teased.
"No- it's a really long story and we need to get this done," he said kissing her again. "I promise to tell you about it but while we're talking, we need to think of names for the baby. I still say he's a she."
"Do you know something that I don't?" Louise asked. "Can you talk to her like Celeste can talk to Thorne and Barb's baby?"
"No, nothing like that," Nathan replied. "It's just time that we bring another girl into the family is all and I just have a feeling. So after we're done here, why don't we go sit on the beach and talk about names for our daughter?"
"Fine," Louise said smiling, "but you're awfully sure of yourself."
An hour and a half later, the list was completed. Louise wanted to go shopping that night instead of sitting on the beach so that everything would be ready for when Barb came over. She waited while Nathan arranged for extra security although she was certain that they didn't need it. There were still a few hunters around, but they were just watching. She made a mental note to call Nadine to see how she was doing. She knew that Leon was hoping that she would talk to Rachel or Katrina sooner rather than later.
Neither Louise nor Nathan spoke during the drive to the grocery store. They were each lost in their own thoughts. Her thoughts were on her sister while his was on keeping Louise and the baby safe. There had to be a common plan that everyone followed and then contingency plans. He wondered if Hans and Patrick had spoken to their mates about turning. The safety of them and the children could depend on it. The other thing was teaching self-defense. Louise and Barb couldn't at the moment, but the others, the children included could.
He made a mental list of things to talk to Ethan and Thorne about. He was sure that he would be asked to take the lead on the plans. He had no problem with that and he knew who he would ask to help him- Leon. That decided, he thought about the nurseries that still needed to be finished. Louise still needed to pick a home that would serve as their primary home. Once she did that, he could modify the room that adjoined their bedroom. There was so much to do, but Gene's apartment would be ready days before he arrived. Thinking of Gene brought up another issue- when they were going to tell him about the family and its history? It was another thing added to his list to talk to Ethan about. By the time they got to the store, his list had doubled.
They finished their shopping and went home. Nathan made Louise sit while he put things away. He caught her looking wistful and knew what she was thinking about.
"Sweetheart, I know that you're worried about Barb, but it's out of your hands. I also know that you want her to love her child, but again; that's not in our hands. The good thing is that even if she decides not to love or accept him, he's got plenty of people who do. Thorne loves that baby and he's going to do right by him."
"I know," Louise replied. "I just wish that things were different. Okay, I'm done moping, are you still up for sitting on the beach and talking about baby names?"
"I have a few more things to put away and then we can go," Nathan replied. "Louise? It's going to be alright."
"I know," Louise replied but she was still worried.
"How was the shopping trip?" Ethan asked Thorne a few days later.
"It was- it was...."
"I understand," Ethan replied laughing.
"I suppose you do, but I think that they got everything that they needed," Thorne replied. "Ethan, I have a question for you. I don't know whether you can answer it or not and whatever the answer is will have no bearing on our discussion tonight."
"Go ahead," Ethan replied.
"What do you know about the Yancy line? I mean there's Louise who's as powerful an empath as I've ever seen. Leon is also an empath- not nearly as strong as Louise but strong enough. Then there's Juliette and Barb who seem to have no real psychic abilities. Juliette is telepathic and maybe slightly empathic, but Barb..."
"She's at least telepathic isn't she?" Ethan asked.
"No and that's something that I'd rather not go into," Thorne replied. "The brother that's coming, does he have any psychic ability that you're aware of?"
"No, but then I really haven't met him either," Ethan replied. "You haven't mentioned Celeste or the other children."
"I was getting to that," Thorne replied. "I used to hear about people who could talk to the unborn and the dead but until I met that little girl I thought that it was a bedtime story. The other two don't strike me as being gifted, but maybe their gifts are lying dormant until they are found by their mates. But how does one as young as Celeste have such power? In fact, I've never seen an empath as powerful as Louise."
"You're forgetting Kevyn," Ethan said and then told him about the Veronica's kidnapping and Kevyn and Louise's roles in her rescue.
"What the fuck, Ethan," Thorne said quietly. "Who are these people and where do they come from?"
"I'll give you the condensed version," Ethan said.
"Are you serious?" Thorne asked ninety minutes later. "Their family line has intersected with yours for centuries?"
"Yes, our genealogist is still working on it, but the Yancy line was created for the Sinclaire line and now apparently your line. The million dollar question is why us? No one is arguing with it- we're all thrilled and honored to be allied to such a strong family; but we want to know why."
Thorne didn't know what to say. He had never heard of a family line being specifically created for another family line. If the Yancy line was as strong as Ethan said it was, then that would explain Celeste.
"Not all of them are gifted," Ethan said. "But it seems that even the mother was slightly gifted as was the father."
"Have you ever met the parents?"
"No the father, Victor Yancy died a little over three years ago, the mother, Wanda Yancy died a few months back. Nathan and Patrick are giving each of the Yancy's a book chronicling the history of our families. Would you like one for Barb? Actually we should check to see if your line intersects with theirs."
Thorne thought about to for a minute.
"Yes to both offers, thank you."
"No problem-Thorne, we're family as well as allies. Your son and mate ensure that. Even without them we were allies. I don't know what you think happened between our families..."
"We were attacked by hunters," Thorne broke in. "One of my brothers was captured by them. When we asked him how he was found, he said that one of you had betrayed us. We took his word for it and came to your place... the rest is history."
"Thorne," Ethan said after a long pause, "we didn't betray you. Our fathers were friends as well as allies. I didn't know you as you were gone a majority of the time but I knew your brothers. I'm going to ask a question that may anger you, but it needs to be asked. Is it possible that the brother who was captured betrayed your family?"
"NO!" Thorne roared. "It wasn't one of us!"
"Alright," Ethan said calmly. "If not one of you and it wasn't us- we had nothing to gain by betraying you; then who? Think about it, what could we possibly have to gain by betraying you? To do so would have been like cutting our own throats. You guarded our backs to the east and we yours to the west. Together we protected the north and south. Why would we betray you?"
Ethan was right, Thorne realized but he didn't believe that it was someone from his own family. Maybe someone had followed one of the home or seen them feeding. That had to be it- there could be no other explanation. But then there was Noel. Why couldn't he remember what really happened that night?