Blood Moon Ch. 09byaaddicted©
**Writer's Note: Hey guys! Sorry it's taken me so long to come out with the next installment of Blood Moon. I finished up my other story and am in the process of having that one edited. I edited the previous nine chapters of Blood Moon and had them resubmitted. I have added in a few things here and there and fixed some things that had been bugging me. This story should finish up in maybe one or two more chapters. Thanks for reading me. I really appreciate the comments and feedback I get from you all.**
More than 2800 Years Ago...
The stuffiness in the makeshift tent suffocated the young boy. He didn't know how his mother could stand it. Dipping the rough cloth into the bowl of water, he brought it to his mother's face to wipe at the sweat on her forehead. She groaned in pain again before moving to a slightly seated up position. The boy helped her, careful not to hit his mother's protruding belly.
She was talking to him now, ordering him about in that smooth, yet firm voice of hers. She spoke in their native tongue, a language he had missed through the years of their traveling. The boy readied the animal hides and pulled near the larger bowl of water. His mother began to inhale deeply before she let out a frightening scream. Her flushed face contorted in pain and her fists clenched tightly. The young boy felt sickened at the sight of blood. The screaming stopped briefly and the air filled with the sound of his mother's heavy breathing.
When she screamed again and pushed, the boy gathered up the dry cloths and waited. He saw the top of his sibling's head and he excitedly encouraged his mother to keep going. With a deep inhale, she pushed with all her might. The boy caught the crying baby as his mother collapsed in an exhausted heap. She weakly motioned to the metal blade and instructed him to cut the cord. He did so and then cleaned his infant brother off. His mother told him to take the baby out for fresh air while she finished.
Before he left, she called out to him. "Miron, you did well, my son."
Miron smiled at his mother while he jiggled his fussy brother. He nodded in acknowledgement and then strode outside with his baby brother. When Miron and his mother first found out she was pregnant, they had chosen a boy's name and a girl's name for the baby.
"Radu." Miron whispered. "You are Radu."
Miron's mother was not the same since that night. Although they continued to travel, she grew weaker and weaker. They joined another group of friendly travelers on their way to trade. The group had heavy carts filled with metal they called iron.
"Mama, they say it is stronger than bronze!" Miron said in wonder.
His mother adjusted the cloth she wrapped around herself where Radu peacefully slept in a cocoon. "Is that so? What is it made of?" She asked Miron and he began to tell her everything he heard the men talking about. Her son was a bright child. He had no problem remembering something he heard once and repeating it word for word.
It was this brightness that caught the attention of one of the traders. He took Miron under his wing as he explained the process to the child who raptly listened. When Miron's mother took ill and died a few days later, the kind trader and his pregnant wife were the ones to take in Miron and his infant brother.
When Miron was considered full grown, Radu had just entered the stage of becoming a young man. Miron and Radu were always seen in each other's company. They had a happy life with the trader, his wife, and their children. Although Miron was considered an apprentice, he and his brother were treated like family.
But that one night had changed everything.
It was late at night. Miron and Radu had gotten into a fight again. Lately, Radu was more short-tempered and aggressive. Miron corrected his brother's behavior publicly and Radu took off in a rage. The afternoon dissolved into night and Miron went out to look for his brother. He found his brother near the riverbank where they used fish.
Radu was curled up and shaking. Miron's worry intensified as he rushed over to his brother.
"Radu, what is wrong?" He went to touch his brother, but Radu snapped at him. "What the-? Radu!"
"Leave me, Miron! Go!" Radu grounded out. He started to twitch and shake harder.
Miron tried to touch his brother again, but Radu grabbed him and hurled Miron into the water. Spluttering, Miron waded back to shore. Radu was considered large for his age, but he wasn't nearly as big as Miron. Even in Radu's pain, he looked shocked at what he just did.
"Miron, please go. Just leave."
Miron shook his head. "We are brothers. You are all the family I have left. I am not leaving you."
Radu dropped to the ground in pain. He felt as though every bone in his body was breaking. Then came the sickening crunch as his body started to turn and twist in ways not humanly possible. Crying out in pain, Radu's pleading gaze landed on his brother. Miron stared in wide-eyed horror as his brother began to take the form of a beast and the screams turned into howls.
It had been sometime since that night and Miron started to look into the myths of people who could take the form of animals. Radu did not want to speak about that night, but then Miron was relieved. He was not sure how to tell Radu that they were not full brothers. However, what happened to Radu might be something from his father's side and Miron would soon have to tell Radu the truth.
The transformations started to come more frequently. When Radu cringed with pain and excused himself from his studies, Miron knew it was happening again. They needed to find someone who could tell them what Radu was and how to control it.
When Miron heard of a magic man who lived a far distance away, he made preparations to go see this mystery man. Miron gave the excuse that he had to see to some business, not telling anyone about Radu's curse. Radu wanted to go along and with their adopted family's blessing, the two left.
The afternoon was particularly hot as they reached outside of the village where the magic man lived. Radu nagged about everything from the long journey that took so many days to the stifling heat. He complained about Miron's obsession to find out what afflicted him. Annoyed, Miron shot out that it might not be something that could be so easily cured. Miron went on to add that it might be something Radu got from his father.
"Then why don't you have it?" Radu whined as he swiped his arm over the sweat dripping off his face.
Miron refused to answer.
Radu stopped walking as realization hit. "Miron...you said 'your father'. I never asked because we look so much alike. You told me we took after our mother." He didn't remember what she looked like. He wasn't old enough to remember anything about her when she passed away. "Do we not have the same father?" He asked softly.
Miron turned to look at his baby brother. He was silent for a long moment. "No. When we were traveling, we were raided. Many of the women were raped and killed. I had been knocked down while trying to protect our mother. When I came to, she was beaten and bleeding from a deep bite on her shoulder. Someone in our group said that mother was marked and no one would help us." They had been ousted. His mother later found herself with child and she told Miron that the baby would be only theirs, no one else's.
Speechless, Radu needed a seat. He walked over to a poorly shaded area and took off his pack before he slumped against the tree. Miron followed. Placing a hand on Radu's shoulder, Miron squeezed reassuringly.
"We loved you before you were born, Radu. None of it was your fault. Do not let the guilt settle on you. It does not belong there." Miron said firmly.
"How can you not hate me?" Radu whispered. He knew how much his brother loved their mother. Miron told Radu so many stories of their mother that Radu felt as though he truly knew her.
Miron dropped down to his haunches and looked his brother in the eyes. "I could never hate you. No matter what, you are my brother."
Radu's brows drew together. His throat tightened. Finally, he placed his hand over his brother's and returned the squeeze. "Thank you, brother." He managed to get out. "Let's go see this magic man and find out what is wrong with me."
After helping Radu up, they gathered up their things and made their way to the small village still quite a distance away.
From the magic man, the brothers learned that there were many others like Radu. They learned about a long ago legend about two brothers, much like Miron and Radu, who began the races of the night dwellers and the shape shifters. The magic man's eyes misted over and he spoke in a far away voice as he said that this was the beginning of the end. It had taken many centuries for the brothers to be reincarnated as brothers again.
Miron and Radu walked away feeling mystified. They needed more and they didn't plan on returning home until they got their answers.
Two weeks had passed since Derek and Lilith went into hiding. Fortunately, Elizabeth allowed Derek to make a call to his brother once they reached New York. He told his brother not to worry and that he would contact him as soon as he was able to. Derek trusted his brother with running the companies in his stead. They also had many competent and loyal workers to help out.
He had been surprised when they arrived in England. Derek avoided being in the UK as much as possible. There were many old clans in the rural areas of England, Scotland and Ireland. Other clan members took delight in reminding Derek of his failure. The most painful part was that it was all true. He had failed to protect his clan. In the end, even Rowan's clan had decided to disassociate and join others.
Of course, Derek and Rowan always welcomed former members of the disbanded Clan Anderson to come to them if ever they needed help. Rowan stayed in touch with most of the Clan Anderson weres and sent gifts for the families and such. Several of Rowan's close former clansmen worked as CEOs of the international branches for MidKnight Tilt and co-founders of gambling casinos in the Bahamas, Monaco, London, Germany, Macau, and South Africa.
For as long as Derek had avoided Scotland in particular, Lilith had admitted that she never returned there. The only time she ever wanted to go back was when Derek planned to have a headstone placed in honor of their son. Although they would have liked to head up to Glen Coe, they well knew Elizabeth wouldn't agree to that.
"How did you plan on getting Bran Roderick's remains?" Lilith asked Derek.
He was looking over some work files on a secure internet line that Elizabeth had provided for him. They had butted heads over it, until Elizabeth finally relented. She couldn't keep them knocked out the whole time and giving in to at least this kept Derek off her back.
He glanced up. "Well, I know where I buried the villagers. Since our son was of were heritage, I put him in his own grave under the Mountain Ash where my brother later buried his wife and children." Since Mountain Ash was known to them as 'Rowan,' his brother wanted to make sure that he was forever with Sara and their children.
Lilith reached over and took Roderick's hand. "Thank you for giving him a dignified burial." She knew that he probably personally laid a wooden plate with a sprinkle of salt and dirt on every single victim of that night's tragedy. "You do him honor."
"I would have given him a chieftain's burial, had I known." His voice was soft as it usually got when he spoke of their son. He squeezed Lilith's hand and kissed her softly when she tilted her face up to him.
The kiss grew heated and Derek dragged Lilith into his lap. Her arms looped around his neck. As his hand started to work under her shirt, Elizabeth had walked into the living room. They both jumped in surprise at the sound of disgust. Derek cringed when Lilith scrambled off his lap. Thankfully, any incident was avoided and Derek pulled one of the ugly couch pillows over his lap. Maybe there was a purpose for the seemingly useless pillows.
With her mouth pulled down in a frown, Elizabeth spoke. "What is wrong with the both of you? Every single time I come to talk, you are both about to have sex or are in the middle of it."
Elizabeth's frown deepened when Derek commented that maybe Elizabeth bothered them too often. She had been teaching both Derek and Lilith how to set up mind barriers in case any other vampire tried to mind control them. Perhaps, she was being too nice. The wolf had been getting cocky.
"Well, there are a few things I need to disclose to the both of you." Elizabeth began.
Derek wasn't so sure he liked the sound of that. Lilith tensed as well. Whenever Elizabeth had something to tell them, it ended up being bad news. Instead of jumping to conclusions, they would both try to be optimistic until they heard what Elizabeth needed to tell them.
"No interruptions." Elizabeth warned them. She took a seat and straightened her skirt. "Now...I have been involved with this whole were and vampire business since I was born. My father and uncle are the two brothers of the most recent legend, but they were not the ones who started the existence of vampires and shape-shifters. Those existed long before my father and uncle. They were half-brothers of different fathers. My grandmother belonged to a traveling group. By the time my father was eleven, their group had been attacked and his mother was raped, bitten, beaten, and left for dead. I believe it was common practice for the weres of that group to claim the women they raped as mates because they usually died from the beatings."
She paused to make sure Derek and Lilith were following. "Obviously, my grandmother lived and found herself pregnant. She did not live long after giving birth. My father was twelve by then and he took on the responsibility of raising his baby brother. They were thick as thieves, those two. When my uncle started his transformation in puberty, neither had any idea what was going on. They looked to the myths and legends to find answers.
"They traveled far and wide looking for answers. I came along not shortly after and my mother left me and my younger brother to run off with some other man. My father and uncle took care of us both." There had been doubt over Elizabeth and her brother's paternity, but that hadn't mattered to their father. He loved Elizabeth and her brother as his own.
"They heard of a small group of people who lived in the mountains in faraway lands. These people were said to have supernatural powers. I was eighteen by then and my brother was fifteen. We decided to follow our father and uncle along with some other men. We traveled for months to reach this place. When we finally got there, we arrived in the middle of a war. The villages had banded together to destroy these mountain people." Elizabeth paused and then sighed deeply as she started to reminisce...
"Elisabeta, take Sorin and hide." Her father growled.
She caught her brother when his bloodied body was pushed at her. He was trembling all over, covered in blood both his and not.
A couple days before their arrival, the villagers had attacked the mountain dwellers. It had been midday when they attacked, killing many. Now, it was night. Miron and Radu decided to stop at the village around sunset to wait until morning before traveling into the valley.
As they were about to go to sleep, the village had been attacked. With fierce expressions much like that of predators, the humanlike creatures moved at lightning fast speed as they tore through the villagers. Sorin had tried to protect a young girl, but the monsters overpowered him and had bitten into his neck. The screams of the villagers mixed in with the crackling and roaring of the fires that had consumed the grass and wood huts. Elisabeta watched in morbid fascination, snapped out of her trance when her father and uncle sliced through the beasts.
Blood poured down on Sorin, his mouth slacked from his own loss of blood. When he was pushed at her, Elisabeta wrapped an arm around her brother and pulled him into a small hiding spot. He was sucking and licking at his hands before moving onto his blood drenched clothing. Elisabeta recoiled from the sight.
"Stop it, Sorin. What is wrong with you?" She gasped, trying to shake her brother out of it.
He pushed away her hands. "I cannot stop, Beta. I must. I must."
His hands went to squeezing every last drop of blood from his clothing to drip into his mouth. He started to shake again and Elisabeta held onto Sorin tightly. She kept holding on as the carnage unfolded around them. Even though he fought her and his fingers clawed her until she bled, she wouldn't let go. His body writhed in pain and he screamed over and over again until he passed out. Still, his body shivered, but he was cool to the touch.
It had taken years, but Radu learned how to control his transformation. When he shifted, the creatures paused in their slaughter. Their eerily glowing eyes all attached to Radu and their lips pulled back into sneers to show their fangs. If there was one werewolf, there would be more. Weres did not travel alone. It was not in their nature. As quickly as they had appeared, they left.
"We did not know then that these people were vampires. Many died that night. My brother had gotten sick and although the villagers told us to kill him because he was infected, we didn't listen to them. They told us that soon Sorin would need to feed off of human blood. We left that place and did not speak to anyone about what happened that night. My brother survived the transformation, but he was so different." He shouted at her to speak softer even when she was already whispering. He wanted to sleep all day and was restless all night.
"Then the cravings started. My father and uncle left me and my brother because it was difficult to travel with my brother now. They promised to come back for us, but I already knew they weren't going to come back." She sighed deeply before admitting the next words. "Something had changed in my father that night. He saw what vampires were capable of and he was afraid, but more than afraid, he was fascinated."
Gerald Smith and his crew were on their way to England. Over the years, he had been sent to locations all over the world. He never liked leaving America and he especially didn't like non-English speaking countries. There was some comfort in the fact that they were on their way to an English speaking country though he had trouble understanding anything with those accents the British had.
"I'm curious about this Mr. Xella sponsor." One man commented before sipping at some expensive cognac. "This private jet is pretty fancy."
Gerald gritted his teeth. He and Winston didn't get along. Both good at what they do, they always fought over who led the group when the unfortunate circumstance of them being put on the same team happened. Whereas Gerald took up this vampire and werewolf hunting due to his intense passion of getting rid of such abominations, Winston did it for the money. If Winston wasn't such a good hunter, Gerald would have liked to kill the man. He also didn't like that Winston looked like a guy who stepped off of a Men's Health magazine cover.
"His family has been in this for centuries. They must have some serious pull." Nate answered Winston. The youngest prospect in their group of thirteen, Nate always jumped in to provide information and prove his worth. Gerald would admit the kid had a lot of potential.
"I could definitely get used to this." Winston chuckled and then finished off his drink. "Hey, Smithy, you want some of this?" He asked as he swished around the contents in the crystal decanter.