This chapter was co-written by Areya Braxton-Chase.

When the body is filled with ego and selfishness, the cycle of birth and death does not end. ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib


Taker had seen a lot of bullshit during his time. From world wars to gang violence to petty arguments and simple disagreements ending with untimely deaths. He had seen a lot, too much if you had asked him. But none of it bothered him so much as the tension between Dave and Trish. They hated each other with the same passion they loved one another. It was causing a wedge between The Family. London was off doing his own thing so was Nitro and Melina. Rock's less frequent visits turned him into a special guest star of sorts. No one wanted to be around The Family. No one wanted to be a part of The Family.

That deeply worried Taker. He wasn't afraid of anything but the thought of his family being destroyed made him restless at night.

Nevaeh was a smart girl, maybe too smart for her own good, Taker reasoned. She had the fire of her mother and the intensity of her father. Taker could've sworn Nevaeh was Kimberly reincarnated and wouldn't be the least bit surprised if that was true. She had the right intentions despite the big task she was faced with. No vamp or mythical creature had ever been able to take down The Brood yet Nevaeh was successful in Lilian's death despite not actively participating in it as Stephanie relayed to him.

But Lilian was a novice vamp and an easy target. Carlito and Stacy wouldn't be threats, either. However, there was Jeff, and most importantly, Edge. Killing Edge was going to be damn near impossible and not an easy win. Jeff was so crazy and unpredictable with his killing sprees, it was no wonder how he ended up with the nickname Enigma. Edge was obviously crazy; Jeff was dangerously insane.

Nevaeh wouldn't just be killed by Jeff and Edge; she would be mutilated beyond recognition.

"Dave, this shit between you and Blondie has gone on long enough. I'm only going to say this once more," Taker entered the study as Dave played chess alone. He sat across from him and watched his novice's movements. "I said it to Blondie and now I'm going to say it to you. If you knew your daughter, her disappearance would not have surprised you. Now stop moping around here like a pussy and go get your woman before she leaves your sorry ass. There are a lot of single vampires running around that don't mind fucking the mother of the heiress." Dave's fangs came out and his eyes went black. "And before you think about doing something stupid like getting your spleen ripped out, I'm only telling you what you already know. By the way, you're losing."

Dave ignored his mentor and kept his eyes on the Chess board as he moved a piece through telekinesis. Dave didn't give a damn what Taker thought even though he knew his mentor was right. Things between him and Trish had gone too far but neither one of them knew how to reconnect. It was easier to blame each other than for both to take responsibility. It was the fault of both.

Dave and Taker sat in silence for a long while as Taker continued to watch Dave's movements. To anyone coming into the study it appeared Dave was just playing chess but Taker knew better. Dave was strategically moving the pieces on the board. He wasn't just playing chess; he was planning something. He hadn't seen his novice this hungry in ages.

Curiosity got the best of Taker and he read Dave's mind. His plan was risky but genius. He could tell Dave struggled with a key aspect of it and Taker could not blame him for feeling apprehensive.

"I've already sacrificed my daughter," Dave finally broke the silence. "I don't want to sacrifice my wife." Even though Dave and Trish were not legally married, they often referred to each other as husband and wife. They were considered to be the most powerful vampirical couple and rumors of their demise would only make them bigger targets.

"Let me ask you," Taker leaned forward, "how badly do you want your daughter back?"

"I'll skin Edge alive," Dave replied.

"How badly does Trish want her daughter back?"

"She'll do…" Dave paused.

"Anything, right? Well, you have your answer."

"Trish and Naya may never forgive me."

"When you save someone's life, it's amazing what shit they'll let slide by." Taker stood up, "I'll call for a family meeting tonight." He left the study.

Dave stared at the board and wondered how he failed as father. He silently wished he could go back and worry about sitting in those damn uncomfortable chairs his little girl insisted upon every week for tea time. But she was no longer his little girl; she was a grown woman of 18 years. She could make her own decisions and whether he or Trish liked it or not, that was it.

But Nevaeh was in over her head and her death was merely being delayed. Soon enough, The Brood was going to figure out Nevaeh's true intentions if they hadn't already. Dave's plan was dangerous and risky but it was going to work. It had to work. There wasn't a Plan B. It wasn't just Nevaeh's life at risk; Trish's life was in serious danger as well.

Dave knocked the king down with his finger. Check mate.

"Trisha," he sent her a telepathic message. "We need to talk."