She Wolf Ch. 08byIread2relax©
Hello. I am having so much fun writing this story. The characters are so bold and vivacious. Each one has his or her own story to tell. I want to thank you for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy. Now I present chapter 8.
Thanks to Overstar for editing this chapter. Any mistakes found are mine and not the work of this wonderful person who has kindly agreed to help improve this tale.
"If you are going through hell, keep going." ― Winston Churchill
"Yes" Claus answered the connection from Gustavo, "He mated. Good. They seem happy. Good. I'll inform Gernick. Are there anymore threats? Good remember, terminate all threats. No one harms any members of that pack."
"Yes Sir. It seems the two females will soon give birth. I'll keep you posted." Gustavo stated.
Claus smiled. He was with them briefly, but he knew their children would be well cared for. This brought Nicolette to mind. Mrs. Valdez was doing a lot better, and she talked with her daughter every day. But it seemed as if Gernick had managed to crush the girl. She seemed to simply operate on remote, now.
Gernick had council business to attend, so he was away for a few weeks. After he left, Claus saw her smile for the first time. Her mother was talking to her and gave her a red rose, and she smiled. Nicolette Vlad Ivanov was truly a beautiful loving woman. He could see why Gernick was hopelessly in love with her.
Mrs. Valdez was up and wanted some fresh air. She was worried about Nicolette. Her daughter was so withdrawn, and it seemed broken. Claus came out of his office and joined the older lay on the terrace. "It's a beautiful night. Isn't it? "He asked.
Mrs. Valdez looked at the young man speaking to her and she sensed he was a decent sort for their kind. "It's nice enough." She answered. Then she was silent.
Claus needed to vent. He needed to help her understand his friend. This woman hated Gernick, and she had every right to. "He loves her. I know you might not believe it, but he does."
Mrs. Valdez shook her head. "Love! This isn't love. This is obsession." She motioned to a bench. Claus followed her and sat on the clear marble benches that lined the garden wall. "She was eighteen years old when she met him. He was so much older. I saw him talking to her and told my husband. Nicolas forbade her to see him. I had no idea what he was; just that he seemed so much older. He caused her to defy me, and one night she ran off with him. He took her from me then. For years I grieved her loss.
One night we were attacked by your kind and left for dead. Nicolette came after the marauders, and she tried to save us. It was too late for Nicolas, but she fed me her blood and saved my life. She asked that I change my name. No one could know I was her mother, so I reverted back to my maiden name, Valdez. I have cared for my daughter for centuries. This man, Gernick, wants complete control and it seems as if he has gotten what he wants. He has crushed her, and I fear for her sanity. What he feels cannot possibly be love. If he loved her, he would not treat her the way that he has." she concluded.
Claus listened, and he understood. He had to explain. "Mrs. Valdez, please, I must tell you. You are mistaken. I can see why you would feel that way, but he did it to protect her. Gernick loves Nicolette. Years ago when she left him the first time, it almost killed him. But she came back and seemed calmer. Gernick learned that her village had been attacked and destroyed. He held her as she grieved.
Time passed, and eventually, she needed her independence. She left him and roamed free for centuries. Then the council threatened her. He stormed the council and threatened to kill each and every member that voted to harm what was his. Years later, he and Garrick had to leave to deal with vampire matters in India and Africa when a council member ordered Nicolette to be terminated. Furious, he demanded to know what she'd done. The wicked council convinced him that she was a rogue killer and feral. She needed to be destroyed. They even manufactured evidence to show that she'd murdered members of the council's family in her search of power. Gernick did not believe it at first, but everyone was watching. He called his brother Garrick for advice. Garrick was ruthless and he offered to mobilize a small army to destroy her. Gernick refused him and came up with another solution. He offered to send four warriors to dispose of her. Nicolette would die, and he would soon follow, but at least the warriors would make it quick and merciful." Claus paused as he recalled such dark times.
Mrs. Valdez was silent and appalled as she listened. Claus continued. "For years she avoided them, and Gernick was proud. The council wanted more warriors but he was adamant these men could do the job. The day they caught her, Gernick lost it. At first, we were told she perished. Later we learned that she and Nina had taken out the warriors. He knew that more would be sent after her and could not function. Months later, Nicolette arrived to the council and asked for clemency. They wanted her dead, but Gernick intervened and asked to administer her punishment. After all it was his men that she killed. The two weeks he held her and tortured her were the hardest weeks of his existence. But, to keep them from killing her, he had to beat her, punish her. He never struck her; he ordered others to do it. He never went to the basement to see her because he could not bear to see her hurt. At the end of her two weeks, he demanded an audience with her. He then set parameters for her. She would be left alone as long as she did not interfere with vampire business." Claus exhaled.
"I don't know when he made the demand that she mate with him and have a child, but that had to be part of his conditions for her freedom. He then allowed her to return home. He was devastated with how she was treated; it was wrong, cruel, and evil. He also realized that at this point, her hatred for him had solidified. He watched her everyday from that point on. He loved watching her with the She Wolf and her offspring. He saw the love she has for them. He loved her, and he knew she'd never be with him willingly. I didn't know he would do this, force her here, and be so cruel. But I know that every time he hurts her, it hurts him. He wants her safe and he has many enemies that seek to destroy him. If they knew how he felt, they'd hurt her to get to him. If they can't get to her, then they'd go after the ones she cares about. That is why he took her from them, in his mind, he's protecting them." Claus stopped talking. Mrs. Valdez just stared at him. He really cared about Gernick. He cared about him as much as she loved her daughter.
"How long have you been with him?" she asked.
Claus smiled, "Over eight hundred years. I was there the day he was born. I was his caretaker. His mother died in child birth and Gregor dropped him off and told me to keep him alive. Being turned, I'll never have a child, so I gladly accepted the role of father. Gregor was hard on him.
Gregor eventually took a new mate, and two years later, Garrick was born. He was raised by his mother, Esmerelda. She and Gregor had three more boys, and Gernick loved his brothers. His favorite brother was Garrick, as they were closest in age. The two boys were close, and practically inseparable. Gernick, not being her son, was sent to school in Russia. He begged not to be sent away, but in the end his pleas went unheard. After he became an adult, he and Garrick reconnected. The two remain close, even today.
Through all the years, he never failed to contact me and let me know he was well. I can say this too you because Gernick is my child in every way. He is not evil incarnate, but to survive, he has to pretend to be. When he met Nicolette, he spoke of her often. But he was always fancying one girl or another, and then he sired her. For eight hundred years, Gernick had never brought another person into this life only her. She heard of a raid and that was when she disappeared. He was frantic, and he searched for her desperate to know where she was and if she was alright. Years later when the council threatened her, he protected her. Even now, he protects her heart. The wolves are protected. Even though she has released them, he has them guarded because they are her family. Like I said, Mrs. Valdez, he loves her." Claus concluded. Now if he could figure out how to make Gernick see that things could be different.
Mrs. Valdez looked at the young man that spoke to her. He was over eight hundred years old, and did not look a day past fifty. She saw wisdom in his eyes and knew he believed what he said was true. But she also saw her daughter dying slowly each day as Gernick exercised his power over her. He wasn't openly cruel, but he didn't understand that you could not replace people. She stood and nodded, thanking Claus for talking with her and then she decided to find Nicolette.
Nicolette was in the library reading. She was radiant, beautiful. Her long blonde locks flowed freely over the sofa, and she seemed content. She lay on the sofa in the library stroking her stomach where her child grew. She looked happy, for a second and then the stone cold mask returned. Mrs. Valdez hated that mask. She called out to her as she entered the room and Nicolette simply glared at her.
"Nicolette, I know you don't want me here. But I want you to know that I will always be here for you." She reached for her hand and Nicolette pulled away.
"Nicky, please," Mrs. Valdez said softly.
"You should have stayed with them. I can't protect you here," she stated.
"Nicolette, sweetheart, I'm fine. You don't have to worry about me. Let me care for you and my grandson," Mrs. Valdez offered. She thought of Nina and Celia, they should be giving birth soon.
"Don't think of them. He will hurt them. Please, don't think of them." She pleaded. She was terrified, and that was when Mrs. Valdez made a decision. She didn't give a rat's ass if you were supposedly the most powerful vampire alive, no one terrorized her daughter.
"Sweetie, sleep now. Relax, I want you to rest. Don't worry about Gernick; he's away right now, OK." She held Nicolette close, reassuring her daughter as best she could. Claus didn't like seeing her like this. She was afraid of him, and he was certain that wasn't what Gernick wanted. Nicolette napped and Mrs. Valdez walked out to the terrace; her body trembled with anger she could barely contain.
He retired this office to call his friend. "Hello, Claus,is Nicolette..." he paused. He was so afraid of losing her. "She's as well as can be expected. I was calling with a status report on the wolves, the son has mated. The two females will give birth soon."
"OK, good. Is she eating, exercising. I'll be back early" Gernick stated. Claus sighed. "Call her, Gernick. Ask her how she's doing." Gernick listened and then decided to call.
Nicolette's phone rang and she knew it was Gernick. "Hello. What do you want?" she demanded.
"Nicolette, have you been feeding. I will be home tomorrow. I want to talk with you." Gernick explained.
Rolling her eyes, announced, Nicolette answered snidely, "As you wish Gernick. Is there anything else?"
Gernick sighed. She hated him. Of that he had no doubt. "Yes, Nicolette. We need to talk and come to an agreement. The baby will be here soon and we can't keep fighting like this. Despite everything I've done Nicolette, I lo..." she hung up.
Mrs. Valdez stood outside of the room, listening to the conversation as she shook with fury. Her daughter's world had been crushed. She had practically shut down. How did he think talking her from her family would be a good idea? "That idiot," she hissed. "He is killing her. She loves them. How can he take her from them and then think that's the best way?!"
Mrs. Valdez stormed into Claus's office and glared at him. "Where is he? I want a word with him," she demanded.
"He had council business and will be back tomorrow. Mrs. Valdez, don't provoke him. He's having a hard time. Seeing her this way is killing him. He never wanted to hurt her this way. He didn't think it through. Please, he loves her, and even though it's warped; she and this little boy are his life." Claus concluded. He didn't know it, but his words fell on deaf ears.
The next day Gernick returned home. As he walked into his home, he was confronted by a furious mother-in-law. "A word Gernick," she demanded, practically shouting at him. "Mrs. Valdez, I've just returned. Let me greet my mate and I will deal with you later," he stated, clearly dismissing her. She didn't balk. If what Claus said was true, then she had to make him see reason. "You're killing her. She won't survive like this."
Before she could finish, Gernick roared and advanced. "How dare you speak of this to me!? You are here because I allow you to be! My mate and our marriage is not your concern," he hissed.
Only a few times in his life was Gernick surprised. This was one of those moments. Not long ago, when she'd been brought to the house after her separation from Nicky, Mrs. Valdez had been nearly feral, and had a wild look in her eyes unlike anything Gernick had seen. He had just enough time to register that look in her eyes again before she moved like a blur. With a vampire's speed and strength inspired by a mother's rage, Mrs. Valdez closed the short gap between them; and slapped Gernick across the face so hard that it spun him around and knocked him down. He never saw it coming.
"My child is my concern, as is my grandchild," she shouted at him in unrestrained rage. Mrs. Valdez stood her ground. What was the worse he could do, kill her? At least Nicky wouldn't worry about her anymore. But she could not allow his abuse of her daughter to continue. "You are an egotistical asshole! If I were a man, I'd beat your ass. You stole her from me when she was a baby and turned her to this life. For centuries she has suffered at your hands! Oh, I talked to Claus and he tried to explain. But what I don't get is this: In your warped mind, how can you think this is love? If it was so fucking dangerous for her to be with you, you should have left her be. She'd be better off dead and buried than trapped in hell with a cold hearted, calculating, bastard like you.
You torment her, threatening to take away those she loves. Then you really took them. Yet, you don't see where you are wrong! You are a psychopath and I will not stand here and let you keep up this abuse. That is my child you are mistreating, MY BABY GIRL!" She raged on, "You need to let her go!"
How dare this old woman talk to me this way he thought. Gernick was incensed. The woman had the nerve to hit him! He was so surprised that he didn't know how to react. "Mrs.. Vald-" She cut him off, "Shut up, for once you will listen. Do you want her to die, Gernick? Is that it? Well, I won't sit here and allow this to go on. I will stop you; mark my words, you arrogant piece of shit."
Gernick glared at the older woman, greater vampire's quaked in his presence, but this small woman stared him down. He realized she was right, but he could not show weakness. He saw where Nicolette got her tenacity. He found himself developing a newfound respect for her mother.
"Treat her with respect, Gernick. You claim to love her. Is this how you show love? You have her locked up and isolated. You have forced her to be your slave. You are destroying her mentally. If that is love, I'd rather you hate her and leave her be." She continued.
"ENOUGH!" he bellowed. "Mrs. Valdez, I need to be alone. Please leave," he demanded. Claus had heard the commotion and rushed to the room. He was so shocked at the scene that his protective instincts hadn't kicked in. Instead of stepping in to intervene, he'd watched the scene play out. He could tell from Mrs. Valdez's stance that she was not backing down. But Gernick was just as stubborn, and he would not back down either. So Claus intervened. "Mrs. Valdez, please go check on Nicolette. See if she needs anything." She glared at Gernick once more and then exited his study.
"Uuuuuggggghhhhh!!"He screamed, slamming a chair into the wall smashing it. Within seconds, he'd destroyed his office. Clause watched and when he had nothing left, and had collapsed, he sat beside him. "Gernick, please, let me help."
"She's right. I've destroyed her Claus." Gernick sobbed. "How can I fix this? I need to see her, talk to her. But she barely tolerates me. The only time she wants me is when she's aroused, and then after she shoves me away." Gernick closed his eyes, "I've got to fix this chasm that I've caused." Claus just listened. Gernick stood and said, "I need to see Nicolette, Where is she?"
"She's probably in the library or maybe the garden with her mother." Claus answered. "Why don't you shower and change and then you can talk to her."
Gernick agreed, and headed to his shower. Claus went to warn a drink for him and check on the women. Sure enough Mrs. Valdez was talking to her daughter. Nicolette barely responded. "Excuse me ladies". Claus cleared his throat "I'm warming drinks, would you two like something?"
Nicolette looked up. She started to refuse, and then the baby kicked. "Rubbing her stomach she whispered, "Yes, thank you," Claus went to prepare warmed blood for everyone. Soon Gernick entered the library. Mrs. Valdez glared at him. Nicolette glance at him and dismissed him returning to her book."
Gernick strode in, looked at his mother-in-law and requested to be alone with his wife. At first Mrs. Valdez started to refuse and then he looked at her, and she could see he was on edge. She stood to leave, but as she passed him she whispered, "Upset her, and I promise to upset you right back." Then she retired to her room.
Gernick moved to sit beside his wife. Nicolette moved, "Nicky, please. I know I've messed up. Give me a chance to try and fix this." He pleaded.
Nicolette looked at him. He thought a few flowery words could erase centuries of abuse. He was delusional. He thought claiming to love her made the abuse she suffered at his hands alright. Did he really think, a half-assed I'm sorry fixed things? She walked across the room away from him. Her son started kicking. As much as she hated him, his presence always excited the baby. He loved his father as much as he loved her. "Nicolette, talk to me." He pleaded. "Tell me what I can do to make this right."
"Nothing, Gernick. There is nothing you can do. You have no idea what you've caused me, and it can't be erased as if it never happened." She glared at him. Hatred so strong it filled the air. She stroked her stomach to calm her son as she spoke. Hating the fact that her anger at this man upset him. Her utterance hurt. Gernick started to lash out, but then she flinched and he realized he scared her. She was afraid of him. Out of all the centuries, even when she made him crazy, she never feared him. Then he felt a chill, so cold, so scared. It hurt. He glanced at Nicolette, her arms wrapped around her stomach guarding their child. He realized he scared the baby as well.
"Nicolette, you fear me. I... I am... so sorry." He whispered. He reached to hold her and she recoiled. "Nicky. Please," he pleaded. Nicolette could not let him in, she could not soften. She had to protect her son. Gernick was a monster, and he'd taken everything from her. She had to protect her baby from him."
She closed her eyes, and moved away. He followed and grabbed her shoulders, turning her around; he pulled her into his arms. He held her as he cried. Nicolette stood frozen. She refused to comfort him. He hurt her. He didn't deserve her sympathy. Because of him she could not even think about her family. She stopped the thoughts.
Then she realized her neck was wet with his tears, angrily she shoved him away. "You think your tears move me? You think I'm sorry, will fix this? You took them... You took everything from me." Tears coursed down her cheeks. "Why did you bring my mother here Gernick? What are you going to do the next time I make you angry?" She cried. "I get it. I have no power, I can't keep her safe, or them safe. You win. Gernick you win but that doesn't mean I'll ever love you. I can't." Then she turned to flee.