A/N; I had planned to take this to the end of the ninth book but instead didn't even get to the start of it. I got caught up in Harry's character but I like what I did with him. Sorry for the long wait for this, hopefully the next instalment will be up quicker.
Warnings; SLASH (non-graphic)
Chapter 9; History's Footprint
An hour later
"You should learn patience, young Vampire Lord." Harry mused lazily and ignored the flashed teeth aimed at him from Prince Delos marching back and forwards along the sweep of windows on one side of the audience hall of the tower of Black Dawn. They had only just entered the formidable castle when the Witch, Sylvia, had reminded the human girl, Maggie, about her brother. Aradia had stepped in before the Prince could follow, claiming that perhaps the boy would prefer a smaller assembly to free him.
That had ended up with them in the more luxurious audience hall on the third floor which looked out of windows over the modest town within the castle walls. The Prince had been pacing ever since as Harry and Aradia sat in old fashioned arm chairs. Vampires and Shapeshifters were constantly coming into the room to report something to their new Lord and he'd send them away. It seemed he was trying to get a move on with some reforms.
"Pacing back and forward like that isn't going to make her get here faster." Harry pointed out. "She needs to see to her brother first."
"She can deal with him here." Delos growled. "What is she so frightened of?"
"You may be soulmate to a human but that does not mean you understand them, Prince Delos." Harry pointed out. "And the only side of a human you do understand is how to make them into a slave and how to keep them that way."
"Harry…" Aradia hissed softly even as Delos flinched backwards. She reached for his hand but he pulled it away from her.
"You've had slaves doing your bidding for your entire life, Prince Delos." Harry spoke harshly. "And I highly doubt it ever occurred to you that they were anything but handy animals to have around. Like the horses in your stables… except I know you take better care of your horses."
"Harry!" Aradia cut in sharply just as Delos' eyes snapped up to the side and he swallowed at the sight of Sylvia, Maggie and her older brother, Miles, standing just inside the doorway.
Harry shrugged uncaringly. "You don't know Delos." Maggie told him sharply. "What do you even know of slaves? You've been here an hour."
Harry waited for them to approach and take seats. Maggie sat with Delos in a seat opposite Harry with Miles sitting in the next chair, shooting nervous looks all around him. Sylvia stood behind, twitching her hands. "First off I believe this Witch has something she needs to do." Harry spoke harshly once more.
"Harry!" Aradia hissed.
"No." Harry argued back and looked up at Sylvia with a burning gaze. "Did you not recognise your Maiden?" He demanded. "Did you not feel her power and understand her position?" Sylvia looked down at her feet. "Well!?" He snapped.
"I did." Sylvia muttered.
"It's over with…" Aradia started.
"Child…" Harry turned to look at Aradia. "You will stop speaking in her favour of I will take this up with the Mother and Crone. You are in enough trouble already after this idiocy."
"Who are you to speak to the Maiden of the Witches like that, human!?" Sylvia hissed angrily.
"Maiden?" Maggie frowned.
"The Witches are ruled by three witches, descendants of Hecate, the Witch-Queen." Delos told her and Miles softly. "Even those under my rule still answer to them first. The Crone, the Mother and the Maiden. Aradia is the Maiden and one day she'll be the Mother and then the Crone."
"As long as she stops running away into the dark ages without her bodyguards." Harry snapped at her and she had the decency to look embarrassed this time. "Think of what the Circles would have done if this Vampire had decided to execute you! A Redfern killing the Maiden would have meant war. We don't need this right now, Aradia."
"Harry…" She sighed.
"Answer my question." Sylvia demanded. "Who are you to speak to her like that, human?"
"And what gives you the authority to make demands in my Kingdom?" Delos frowned.
"Harry is the eldest." Aradia spoke up quietly.
"Eldest?" Maggie frowned. "Eldest what? Vampire?"
"He is not a vampire." Delos shook his head. "He's human."
"He is the eldest being in existence. The eldest of all beings that walk on this planet." Aradia explained.
"An Old Soul." Sylvia gasped.
"A what?" Maggie turned to look at her.
"A human whose soul is reincarnated throughout time. When they die they are eventually reborn into a new body. They don't always know what they are but when they do they can have hundreds or thousands of years of experience." Delos explained to his soulmate and her brother.
"Or tens of thousands." Harry pointed out simply. "I was first born thirty thousand years ago."
"The first Vampire was only born twenty thousand years ago." Delos added for Maggie and Miles' benefit.
"Only!" Miles looked at Delos in horror.
"I remember over twenty thousand years within the span of thirty millennia." Harry told the four of them simply. "That is why I have the authority and right to speak to the Maiden of the Witches as I do when she acts like an immature child."
"You know slavery…" Delos swallowed thickly.
"I have spent decades in slavery, both in the Night World and when humans enslaved humans. I have seen humans enslaved by Dragons. I have had family that have lived with me in slavery on conclaves." Harry turned to the window. "And I have lived in your town for eighteen years."
"You were a slave here?" Miles gasped.
"Yes." Harry nodded. "I was not like you. I was not entrapped by a Witch with no morals or respect for living beings." He sneered up at Sylvia. "I was born in this black hole and lived with no name but the taunts and orders thrown my way by Vampires, Witches and Shapeshifters who thought themselves better than I. Until I gave myself a name and then tried to escape."
"Tried?" Maggie frowned.
"Surely I need not explain what happens to slaves that attempt to escape their betters here?" Harry turned away.
"No human has ever escaped this valley." Delos told Maggie and Miles.
"Until now." Harry stated simply.
"Kevin…" Aradia turned to him. She always seemed to know which personality was in the fore.
"Kevin?" Miles straightened up.
"My name as a slave here." Harry turned to him, softening his expression knowing he shouldn't scare the older boy. "I have hundreds of personalities within me. Situations dictate which is at the fore although technically they all form a single mind. My body now goes by Harry. You may call me that if you wish but I answer to all of my names." He turned back to Aradia. "The release of the humans here is non-negotiable. They will be offered the chance to stay as equals and Circle Daybreak will ensure that is upheld or they will be assisted to the human world wherever they wish."
"This is my valley." Delos pointed out.
"I will wipe this place from existence before you are permitted to keep a slave here." Harry told Delos simply. "You were not capable of stopping Hunter Redfern, how do you think you could stop Thierry Descoudres?"
"I am a Wild Fire." Delos pointed out. "You saw what I did to Redfern."
"You are not the only Wild Fire." Harry told him sharply getting a surprised look from Aradia.
"You lost the other one." Delos smirked.
"Did I?" Harry turned to Aradia even though she couldn't see his smug expression.
"Either way, Prince Delos." Aradia cut in. "Harry is beyond any here. And even with your powers you would not be able to reach him past Circle Daybreak. Without him the world with fall."
"You said the same thing about me." Delos pointed out.
Harry laughed. "All of you should care if your world falls. I have seen it happen three times already." He smirked. "I will not sacrifice these few hundred humans to your whim to buy your hand in this war."
"You don't need to." Delos shook his head. "I've no intention of forcing them to remain."
"Then what was that all about?" Maggie hit her soulmate on the chest with her hand. "Why were you baiting him?"
"We were establishing position." Harry told her.
"For Maggie…" Delos looked at her lovingly before glancing at Miles and then to Harry. "And for her brother who got caught up here. I'll do whatever you need of me. You can use this place as a sanctuary or whatever. You can take me somewhere else. Whatever you need I'll give you."
Harry nodded. "We'll talk more on that tonight after you've seen to your Kingdom and after Aradia contacts the outside world and Circle Daybreak." He turned to look at Sylvia. "You will be bound to your Prince for the rest of your life." He told her simply and saw her go pale. "His will is your life. As punishment for your crimes."
"She helped…" Maggie started.
"She enslaved your brother." Harry told her simply. "Not to mention plenty of others since Black Dawn opened its gates. If it were not for me she would already be dead. If I left it up to others she would still die. She will serve her Prince or I will have her put before the Night World Council. Their views on human slavery have become rather black and white in recent decades."
"Saved me?" Sylvia frowned.
"The spear." Aradia told her simply.
"That broke!" Delos frowned.
Harry stood in way of ending the meeting and Aradia followed him up. "Believe me. How he did it does not concern you. All that should matter to you is the knowledge that if he had not come after me you would now be dead. And his judgement is final for Circle Daybreak. I will bind you to Prince Delos and that will be the end of it."
Harry nodded to the Prince, Maggie and Miles before turning to leave before pausing and turning back to Miles. "Do you wish to speak to another hawk shifter who isn't one of those that did that to you?"
Maggie and Miles turned to look at one another and they moved closer to talk quietly. "I think so." Mile spoke quietly. "I need to know what to do. I don't want…"
"Miles?" Harry prompted.
"I get it if my sister wants to stay here with Delos but…" He frowned. "I don't. I get I'm Night World now but I don't like this place after what happened."
"Then you will come with me when I leave here. Lord Thierry's household will see to what you need and my own bodyguards will see to it that you know how to control yourself." Harry declared. "Come and I'll introduce you to Victor and Seth."
He took Miles out of the room while Aradia dealt with things with the Prince and Maggie and introduced Miles to the two Hawk cousins and to the two Eagles. Harry decided he didn't care for staying in the castle so he retraced his steps out of the stone structure and moved towards the milling humans and their small buildings. They were a little aimless and spotted him quickly and eyed the well dressed and armed shifters around him but clearly recognised him as a human. He knew how things worked here though and quickly found the Healer who he knew would be a leader for the humans.
She was standing watching him along with eight thin men. A crowd quickly gathered around them. "You are human." She frowned at him. "And this boy was as well until recently."
"I am human." He nodded in agreement. "Do you know what an Old Soul is?"
"I've heard rumours." She nodded slowly. "We all have."
"I am an Old Soul for a group that supports Vampires, Witches, Shifters, Werewolves and humans equally." Harry told them. "I came here to help and I've spoken to Prince Delos."
"What of them?" One of the men asked nervously, he was clearly angry at their presence but scared of them all the same.
"We are here to protect our Lord." Seth spoke up.
"Lord Delos?" Another man frowned.
"Lord Harry." Victor nodded towards Harry's back. "Where he goes we go."
"They answer to you?" The Healer asked in shock.
"They are my friends." Harry told her softly, ignoring the four young men's grins at that. "But as hierarchy goes in Circle Daybreak they take my orders."
"Did you need something then, my Lord?" The Healer asked.
"I have spoken to Prince Delos and he will be freeing you all shortly and you will have some choices to make about your freedom." Harry told them a little louder. "You can remain here as equals and help him and us in the future you we can find you a place outside of the valley to live. That said for now I'd like to ask if you have a few cots available. My friends and I came a long way and we are tired and could do with rest."
"Surely the Prince has rooms for you." The Healer asked.
"I am an Old Soul." Harry told her again. "I have lived many lives and died many times. I was born, lived and died as one of you here. As a slave here. I stepped into the tower twice. I have no desire to sleep within it."
They all gazed at him in wonder and Harry continued. "I will see to it that you all see the outside of this valley. I promise you that."
After that they seemed to relax, even around his shifter guards and they were led to a small hut with a series of small cots. Harry laid out on the middle cot and the others settled around. Seth and Victor agreed to keep an eye out so they could talk to Miles and Sylar and Rodney decided to rest on either side of Harry while they could. Harry grinned as they winced and tried to get comfortable on the rigid cots but he was amused more because they didn't comment on it or complain. They knew Kevin wouldn't like it.
The next day
"I think the helicopter was a little over the top." Harry mused to his guard as they headed away from the private helicopter towards the limo waiting for them. It had arrived not long after dawn outside the castle to the amazement of most of the inhabitants, most of which hadn't been outside the valley in decades or ever in the case of most of the slaves. It had brought with it officials from Circle Daybreak to establish a presence in the valley and Harry had made it clear to them that he expected them to cooperate with Prince Delos to the fullest. Delos had been the most surprised at both Harry's support and the speed that the old Vampires and Witches of Circle Daybreak had bowed to Harry's orders.
He'd been informed that a plane was waiting for him at the local air field and that the helicopter was to ferry people in and out of the valley all day so he agreed to let it ferry him to a waiting limo that Thierry had sent.
"You do live in luxury it would seem." Miles told him softly as he eyed the limo.
"Thierry lives in luxury." Harry argued. "I just leach off of my little brother."
"Isn't he the oldest Vampire in the world?" Miles turned to look at Seth and Victor who he'd quickly made friends with. When a shapeshifter was turned like Miles had been generally one of the shapeshifters of his kind, when available, would take him in. Seth and Victor, and their families, were the obvious choice as they were also hawks but if not them then another bird shapeshifter would do it and failing that any other shapeshifter family.
"One of Harry's lives grew up with Lord Thierry." Seth told him. "Nobody really knows who the elder really is. Lord Thierry's been known to call Harry his younger brother too."
The limo driver, a Vampire, quickly opened the rear door for them as they approached and Harry let Seth and Rodney enter first and ignored them speaking as he turned to Miles. "Do you wish to see your family before we leave town?"
"Seth and Victor said it's against Night World law for me to tell them now that I've been changed." Miles frowned, obviously upset at the idea of never seeing his family again. Harry prompted him into the limo and followed him in before spotting one of the four occupants that had evidently already been inside.
"Cam!" Harry gasped and jumped him instantly, ending up sprawled in his lap and holding on for dear life. He heard the other occupants laughing at his enthusiasm but ignored them in favour of melting into Cameron's strong hold. "They didn't say you'd be here." He whispered into Cameron's warm neck.
"I asked Thierry not to spread the word." Cameron told him before rearranging Harry in his lap as the door shut and the limo pulled out.
"Uh…" Miles muttered nervously as he looked around.
"Who's the newbie, Harry?" Cameron asked as Harry smiled at his two best friends. Nicky was lounging with a smirk on her face at seeing Harry curled up in Cameron's lap whereas Jez was sitting with his side against Tamarack. The limo was luckily just large enough for them all except Seth and Victor had been relegated to sitting on the floor which they didn't really seem to mind.
"Guys, this is Miles Neely." Harry introduced. "Miles, these are my best friends Nicky and Jez and Jez's soulmate Tamarack. And lastly this is Cameron, my own soulmate."
"Like Maggie and Delos?" Miles asked. "I didn't realise you were bonded too."
"For a few months now." Harry nodded.
"How's he know I'm a newbie?" Miles asked before glancing at Seth and Victor. "They said nobody would know just from looking at me."
"I'm different." Cameron told him simply. "I'm a shapeshifter like you but if you focus on me you'll understand that I'm different."
Harry kept silent as Miles frowned across at Cameron and narrowed his eyes, trying to focus just on him and he knew when it worked when his face went pale and he shifted backwards until he hit Rodney who steadied him. "Easy, Miles. He feels scary because of what he is but he's not going to hurt you." Rodney told him softly.
"Didn't know you were scary, Cam." Jez grinned.
"To other shapeshifters I am." Cameron glanced over the others. "All of my family are."
"Cameron is the son of the ruler of the shapeshifters." Harry told Miles. "They are the strongest of the shapeshifters."
"So he's like Delos? A Prince or Lord or something?" Miles asked. "So I have to call him something?"
"How about Cameron?" Cameron suggested. "I don't hold to formality with people that know the truth about Harry and I."
They lapsed into quiet for a while and Harry settled his head next to Cameron's and merely watched the side of his face, amazed that Cameron had come here to meet him.
"I don't mean to question you, Prince Cameron." Sylar suddenly spoke up from where he was watching the passing streets. "But this is not the way to the airfield."
"No, it isn't." Cameron nodded. They all turned to look at him but nobody seemed to want to comment and Tamarack, Jez and Nicky snickered.
"That's Cameron's scheming voice and that's their giggles at being in on it." Harry informed the others but remained relaxed.
Five minutes later their limo was pulling up outside a large brick building in the middle of the town. "This is the theatre district." Miles frowned. "What's here of interest?"
"I heard about an exhibition here this week that I thought Harry would like." Cameron announced as they all piled out of the car. Sylar, Rodney, Seth and Victor scouted out the crowds but remained subtle about it.
"An exhibition about what?" Harry frowned before he frowned and looked around at the surrounding buildings.
"Harry?" Jez asked softly as he spotted the confused look on his face.
"I know this place." Harry turned in a circle. "Only this building and that one other there. The rest are different."
"You'd know this building." Cameron nodded and grabbed his hand and led him through the open double doors into the concert theatre. The foyer was home to a dozen or so people milling around and drinking refreshments but Cameron ignored them. A sign over the door into the main concert hall and theatre told them it was an exhibition of great performers that had played in this hall and Harry found himself shaking a little as one particular personality started to rise within him.
"I played here." Harry told them all as they watched him in concern. Cameron didn't react so he knew Cameron had already known and his best friends had been aware that Cameron had a surprise but their shock told him that they hadn't been in on it. "In nineteen-oh-two."
"Come on, Harry. We're meeting someone." Cameron told him softly and for the first time he didn't sound so sure of himself. He was frightened about how Harry would handle this. He tugged Harry through the various exhibitions of different performances and artists that had graced these halls until to one side they reached a horseshoe of displays. Most of them were programmes of performances and a few were familiar to him, or rather to Carter. He stood in the middle gawping at the array of photos, feeling tears filling his eyes.
"It's real…" He muttered and Cameron was suddenly behind him, supporting him against his chest.
"This is evidence that Carter existed." Cameron nodded. "Not that you ever had to doubt that."
Harry wiped at his face when a large print caught his eye. The newspaper article of the attack that had taken Jake and Peter, such big news because they'd just performed for the President. He moved forwards and reached out to touch the glass over the display but pulled his fingers back. Then his attention was drawn down to the two wooden instruments sat on a display board so innocently and he choked. These were Jake and Peter's instruments. He knew them so well. He and Sammy had carried them everywhere with them. Jake's Viola and Peter's Violin.
He couldn't stop himself from reaching out to touch them and his eyes found the familiar wear from Jake's fingers on his Viola. He was a second from touching it when a voice cut in. "Please don't touch those." It was a young voice but it was sharp and defensive and Harry took a step backwards and turned. He gasped and stumbled backwards, almost tripping over his own feet. When he finally got himself in order he realised everything had frozen.
He unfroze it quickly and pulled himself straight again but couldn't stop from gawking at the young man. He was perhaps seventeen or eighteen and should probably be in school except Harry reminded himself that it was the weekend.
'He looks like Sammy.' Harry spoke to just Cameron. 'He looks just like him. Cam? What did you do?'
"Mr. Servon?" Cameron spoke up and moved forwards to offer his hand. "We spoke on the phone?"
"Mr. Drache?" The young man smiled. "I didn't know if you'd actually show."
"I'm glad to see you weren't over exaggerating the extensiveness of your collection." Cameron told him smoothly.
"Cam…" Harry muttered. He didn't know what he needed but he needed something. His eyes turned to take it all in, trying and failing to see everything but then his eyes settled on something so achingly familiar it could have been another part of his own body. It stood by another section of the room amongst programs from nineteen-oh-five and he'd missed it originally. "Cam, that's…" He moved towards the large wooden instrument but remembering the young man's reaction he stopped a pace away from it and simply sunk down onto his knees and stared at his own Cello. "Cam…" He turned his head to see that Cameron had a tear on his cheek but the young man was frowning.
"Sir?" The boy moved closer. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine." Harry smiled up at him. The boy turned to look at the Cello before gently lowering himself to the ground. He glanced passed Harry at the various people looking around the other exhibits and at the array of people watching them. Jez, Tamarack and Nicky were still there but Miles and the others had slipped away.
"Should I know you, sir?" The young man asked.
Harry laughed a little and shook his head. "What's your name?"
"Jacob. Jake." The young man told him and Harry choked.
"Jacob?" Harry asked before turning to look at the Cello.
"After my great great uncle, Jacob." Jacob told him and Harry wiped at his face sharply. "I never met him though."
"He died." Harry nodded.
"But my great-grandfather told me everything about him." Jacob told him and Harry felt his heart burn.
"Sammy?" Harry managed to gasp out.
"Uh… yeah. I suppose." Jacob nodded. "I just called him Grandpa Sam. He taught me how to play the violin."
"Called…" Harry nodded to himself. If Sammy had still been alive now he'd have been almost a hundred and sixteen. The fact that Jacob had even met him was a miracle.
"He lived until he was a hundred and six. He died in 'ninety-one'." Jacob told him. "Dad used to say he was making up for his brothers. Living for them. Do you know the story?"
"Very well." Harry nodded.
"I've never met somebody that new them. Grandpa Sam taught at some pretty awesome places and I've met people and my family were always musical. Do you play, sir?" Jacob seemed to warm up talking about this.
"I do." He nodded.
"What do you play?" Jacob grinned.
"A little of everything but my love is…" He trailed off and pointed to his own cello.
"That was great-great uncle Carter's." Jacob told him. "After their older brothers were murdered my great-grandfather and Carter continued to play a duet for five years before…"
"He died of tuberculosis." Harry nodded.
"You know a lot about them." Jacob frowned. "Mr Drache said he knew someone that would really be interested and that even I could learn more about them from."
"Yeah." Harry nodded before turning to look him over. "You spent a lot of time with your Grandpa Sam?"
"My dad was always travelling." Jacob nodded. "So I grew up with Grandpa Sam until he died when I was ten. But I remember everything about him."
"Is this your collection?" Harry asked as he looked around them at all the photos and the scores of music and the three wooden instruments.
"Dad passed away last year so I'm the only one left. Last year somebody asked to display it all and since then I've done these little shows." Jacob nodded. "Did you know that my Grandpa Sam and Carter played for the President and King of England in nineteen-oh-five? It was the last show they did before my great-great Uncle Carter died."
"I know." Harry smiled warmly. Jacob was so passionate. "Did your Grandpa Sam tell you anything about your Uncle Carter?"
Harry watched the tension suddenly emerge before Jacob's eyes narrowed. "What about?" Jacob decided on playing dumb.
"So he told you that Carter was older than just one lifetime?" Harry smiled at Jacob's shock. Jacob looked down at his lap before looking up at a faded picture of Carter next to his cello. "It's okay, Jacob." Harry smiled. "He told you about the night on the turn of the century? About the werewolves that killed Jacob and Peter?"
Jacob gasped and sunk backward onto the floor. "How do you know about that!? He said he never even told my Grandfather or my dad!"
"And about Carter saving them because he remembered a past life and then he remembered hundreds." Harry prompted.
"Grandpa Sam said that one day he'd come back to life somewhere." Jacob whispered. "He said he had to teach me about it just in case and that I should never sell these just in case Uncle Carter came back for them."
"That sounds like Sammy." Harry smiled.
"Who are you?" Jacob demanded.
Harry turned back to his cello and gently reached out to brush his fingertips lovingly over the wood. He found a small scratch on the bottom that he'd never sanded off from where he'd once hit Peter with his cello when he was only ten. "Technically my name is Harry now." He turned to Jacob. "But since you're my great-great nephew you can call me Carter."
"No…" Jacob gasped in shock before he leaned forwards. "It's all true!? My Uncle Carter really comes back?"
"I've come back once before since I was with Sammy." Harry told him softly. "I was in London during World War Two. I was just a teenager when the war started and I… I meant to come to the US after the war, just in case Sammy was still alive but that never happened. I was killed in London in nineteen-forty-three."
"And now?" Jacob eyed him up and down. "You don't look anything like the pictures."
Harry laughed a little. "I'm not related by blood." He shook his head. "But I love Sammy just the same. He's still my big brother. You look just like him when he was your age. You look like I did when I was your age too. Well, when I was Carter."
"But you're Harry now?" Jacob frowned.
"I have hundreds of lives in my head." Harry smiled warmly at him. "Carter is a more recent one but they're all just as fresh in my head, like it's only been a few months since I was actually telling Sammy to lay off the mothering when I was sick. It's sort of like split-personality but they are all aware at the same time. But when I'm reminded of something from a particular life I become that person. I am Carter right now more than I am Harry because I'm talking to you like this. I'm talking to you as your great-great Uncle Carter."
"This is a lot to believe." Jacob told him.
Harry laughed before tilting his head to one side and slowly standing up. He glanced around but even Cameron, Jez, Nicky and Tamarack had disappeared now. He put his hands on the younger man's shoulders and squeezed and realised that Jacob was alone in the world by his own admission that his dad was gone and he had no more family alive. That made Carter his only 'surviving' relative. "A'Zia." Harry spoke softly to Jacob who jerked in confusion before gasping.
"Grandpa Sam said he never told anyone about that name." Jacob gasped. "That only Carter would know it if he came back."
"I told Sammy that if I did come back in his lifetime and came to find him I'd tell him that name to prove it was really me." Harry smiled. "He said he'd pass it on one day."
"He told me all these little stories." Jacob warmed up suddenly.
"Ask me about them and I'll tell them to you." Harry nodded. "As many as you need, little nephew."
"Where's his Violin?" Jacob demanded.
"He always said he was going to take that thing to his grave. He said he wanted to be buried with it." Harry smiled and Jacob nodded. "But that's not where it is, is it?" Harry grinned happily. "He always said that but I knew he'd give it to somebody who could look after it provided they used it rather than put it on display or let it collect dust. So he gave it to you to play didn't he?"
"Good god…" Jacob gasped. "You really are Carter. Nobody else could know him like that."
Harry nodded and Jacob was suddenly hugging him tightly and burying his face in his shoulder. Harry held him back tightly. "And my cello, Jake's Viola and Peter's Violin haven't been played since we died because your Grandpa Sam could never have let another make a sound out of them."
Jacob pulled his head back, tears in his eyes that Harry knew were mirrored in his own. "We should fix up your cello!" Jacob declared. "You should play it. Grandpa Sam would like that!"
"Yeah, he probably would." Harry nodded. "How about we go get something to drink and talk?"
"Not just this once?" Jacob begged. "You'll visit right?"
"I'm your Uncle Carter." Harry smiled at him. "I've got a lot to learn about you and about Sammy after I died. And about his kids and grandchildren. It's not often I get to know about my family after I leave them. I want to know everything I can about you."
"I'd like that." Jacob nodded. "But I can't leave this stuff alone. It means too much."
"I'll watch it." Tamarack suddenly appeared with Jez and Nicky.
"Um…" Jacob frowned.
"It's okay. These are my best friends. They won't let anything happen to them and I'm sure they'll take a look at all the pictures." Harry smiled at Jacob. "Let's go find Cameron and I'll introduce you both properly."
Harry had managed to get to the Valley and back all in one weekend thanks to liberal use of a private jet owned by Circle Daybreak but it was late by the time they got back since he'd spent most of the day with Jacob getting to know him and listening to stories of Carter's older brother. In the end he'd made the offer and they'd helped Jacob pack up his exhibition and taken them to the airfield with them so that Jacob could stay with Harry for a while longer. He'd finished college recently and was applying for a Conservatory which didn't start for a while yet but he had an exhibition to hold in California the next weekend.
"Jacob's out cold on the sofa." Cameron told him softly as he met Harry in the corridor leading to their bedrooms and the bathroom. Tamarack, Jez and Nicky were already in their rooms and Harry had grabbed some stuff to take a good shower. "He's a good kid."
"He's so much like Sammy it's scary." Harry smiled as Cameron led him into the bedroom and shut the door. Harry frowned at the stuff that hadn't been on the bed ten minutes ago before his shower. He tugged his towel tighter around his waist as he approached the two items before gasping. "Cameron!"
"Yeah?" Cameron's grin was obvious in his voice.
"You found it?" Harry asked as if the sight of it wasn't confirmation enough.
"Galen and I found it in storage at the British Museum." Cameron grinned as he stripped off completely and slid into the bed as Harry sat cross-legged with just his towel around his waist and lifted the long sheathe into his lap. The Samurai sword was like an old friend and he drew it slowly from it's protective casing and stared at the shining metal. Any other sword this age would be beyond repair with the abuse it had taken but not a single scratch marred its beauty. Its black grip was just as he remembered it.
"Nobodies used it much since Liam." Harry told Cameron as he pulled it all the way out and touched the blade. It was normally considered poor form to allow skin oil to touch the metal but this sword was enchanted by the best of the Japanese Empire.
"You can tell?" Cameron asked.
"The grip doesn't fit my hand." Harry smiled a little as his eyes drifted shut. "This is Liam's hand. His fingers fit on this grip."
"According to the museum records it was stolen just before the second world war and the grip replaced." Cameron told him.
"Liam didn't know who used it before him." Harry shook his head as he felt the guilt in Oliver once more. "He knew Calamy used it before him but the grip was worn wrong. It wasn't Calamy's grip."
"So you've always replaced the grip each time?" Cameron asked.
"Of course. The grip is specific to the fighter and their styles." Harry nodded, lightly putting his hand over Liam's ghost one on the grip. "Even though my style is mostly the same my hands change and therefore the grip wouldn't work all the time. I got a little upset as Liam when I realised somebody had used it between Calamy and me. It's my sword."
"But it was Oliver." Cameron nodded.
"I know that now. And after a while with it in my hand I realised that it pulled up times with the sword that I didn't really remember myself." Harry nodded. "I'm glad Oliver had it even though he died on it."
"This sword binds Oliver to Imazato, Calamy and Liam." Cameron, brilliant as he was, caught on quickly. Harry smiled at him. "So you need to replace the grip?"
Harry nodded but smiled sadly down at the worn grip. "This is a piece of Liam though. His mark on the world. It…"
"Harry?" Cameron frowned but knew Harry didn't need to be held right now, he needed to have this conversation without distraction.
"It hurts." Harry muttered. "Sammy lived to almost see me again but Jacob and that exhibition fills my heart. It's Sammy's legacy. Carter's legacy. I can feel it, see it. I can touch it."
"But Liam left nothing." Cameron sighed. "No footprint on the world."
"It happens." Harry shrugged. "Just hurts each time I think about them all. All of me I suppose. They only exist in my memories. I mean I know they had a hand in the world I live in now. Maybe more than I can imagine but I'll never really know exactly what that effect is. Some of it's obvious of course. Ryn died keeping Maya away from Thierry and all the good Thierry has done and is now doing is thanks to Ryn sacrificing himself. A'Zia helped rid the world of the Amaru but the world only remembers him personally as fossils long gone."
"I can't imagine what that feels like, love." Cameron sighed.
"It's just questions." Harry mused. "Did Nicolas' sister have children? Did she even live more than another minute after Nicolas died to protect her from that git? Did she have grandchildren? Just like Jacob? Are there members of her family still around or did the Night World wipe out all the slaves when they abandoned the conclave?"
Cameron didn't say anything but he accepted the sword that Harry settled on his lap with a reverent touch. "I suppose I won't get answers for most of my questions." Harry moved to sit next to his boyfriend in the bed after discarding his towel. "But having Jacob out there…" Harry leaned his head on Cameron's broad shoulder. "God, that's makes up for all of it. I can feel the Carter side of me crying out at his presence. All the parts of me that might have family still alive out in the world, no matter how distant."
"Maybe this will help a little." Cameron leaned forwards and grabbed a wrapped item and set it into Harry's lap. "Galen helped me."
"You and Galen alright over me?" Harry asked as he undid the string holding the paper around it. It was a thick, leather bound, book but it was new enough.
"He enjoys learning about you." Cameron grinned. "I think he knows you're his brother-in-law and that'll never change even if my parents can never accept that. He knows one day he'll rule and I want to protect him and that just from that you'll be with us too. I know you're happy helping him rule."
Harry cracked open the book to the front to find an index of names. He gasped having never seen them all written down like this. A'Zia had pride of place at the top and he knew this wasn't Cameron's handwriting.
"Galen wrote it down. He's neater than me." Cameron smiled. "He just got more and more excited the more names I gave him. I think they're all in order."
Harry read through the hundreds of names. "It's strange. I've never written a list of them before. It's my name over and over but it's not. I know the names are different but they're all me."
"Yeah." Cameron nodded in agreement. "I see the same thing when I look at them. They're all you and really it's just one name there. Galen had trouble understanding that but he finds it hilarious when I'm talking to him about you and slip in a different name because something you've done matches one of your pasts more than the others."
"You got them in the right order." Harry smiled over at him before spotting the chapter numbers beside the names. "What did you do in this book?"
"Galen and I studied every single one and anything we found even related to them we put in here." Cameron told him and watched Harry open to the first chapter on A'Zia. Harry's breath caught at the sight of the sketch drawn into the front page.
"The writing is Galen's." Harry nodded. "But you drew this." It was a battle field drawn as it had been many thousands of years ago by those that had tried to immortalise the presence of Angels. It showed A'Zia and his battle-mate Cal'va with their wings around them and spears in hand. Obviously they had no real resemblance to their features of the time but it showed his race as they had been.
"I found it in one of the books on the Dragons in my family's library." Cameron told him. Harry flicked through pages at random, finding reminders of his different lives even if they were just pictures of buildings he'd done something in or a musical score. A family tree or an insignia. Cameron had tried to find any physical evidence to things that Harry had described to him, even things so simple as a drawing of the castle that Calamy had died in trying to protect Hannah.
"This is amazing, Cam." Harry reverently closed it knowing he couldn't look at it all today.
"It's how I found Jacob." Cameron told him with a smile. "Galen and I traced your brother's family tree to him and we found out about the exhibition. I asked him earlier if he could find a photo to add to the book with you, Sammy, Jacob and Peter in it."
"Thanks, Cam." Harry put the book and his sword carefully to one side before letting Cameron lie them down with Harry on top of him.
"I asked Jacob if he wouldn't mind taking a picture with you too." Cameron told him. "He seemed to like that idea even if you're not physically Carter anymore."
"I'm Carter in all the ways that matter when it comes to my nephew." Harry smiled down at him.
Cameron held him tightly. "Want you to take care of me tonight." Cameron told him huskily and Harry grinned down at him. Harry had topped the first time together since his past lives had had more experience but they naturally fell into their roles with Cameron as the protector but on occasion Cameron liked Harry to top and Harry couldn't ever find a reason to deny him.
The next weekend
"I swear, if that brat complains one more time that we're working on a Saturday I'll castrate him." Nicky hissed as she appeared at Harry's side at the edge of the tiger exhibit. Harry laughed and turned to see a rather sulky Gordon jabbing at his phone.
"Did he try to hit on you again?" Harry laughed and Nicky glared at him furiously. No matter the number of times Nicky threatened the slightly older Gordon with physical harm he didn't seem capable of taking the hint. He seemed to think she was just giving him a challenge.
"It's not funny." Nicky hissed at him.
"You could always let Jacob take you out." Harry grinned.
"He's a little young for me don't you think?" Nicky pointed out.
Jez snorted on Harry's other side. "And what do you call Cameron?"
Harry slapped him on the back of the head as he turned back to taking notes on the tigers. Something was up with one of the yearlings and the vets here hadn't been able to work out what so had asked the Institute to come take a look. The cub was so young they didn't really want to separate him from his mother if they could help it. Harry turned back to Nicky when Jez just pouted at him rather adorably. "He does have a point. Age doesn't really come into it."
"There's also the matter of him being your nephew." She pointed out. "With two greats at that."
"And?" Harry shrugged.
"You really don't have an issue with that?" Nicky frowned at him.
"I saw the looks you were giving each other all week." Harry laughed. "Seriously I thought you and Michael were going to have a thing."
"Michael's sweet but I honestly think he's a little more interested in you boys." Nicky rolled her eyes. "He's fun to hang around with but there's no spark."
"And Jacob?" Jez asked.
"He's cute." Nicky blushed.
"Aww… so adorable." Jez teased with a wide grin.
"Well he's back from his exhibition on Monday so maybe you should ask him out on a date. Go see a movie." Harry suggested. "Get away from Jez and I for a while."
"Hey!" Jez complained. "What's wrong with 'Jez and I'?"
Harry grinned at him before turning back to a ponderous Nicky. "Shouldn't I let him ask me?"
"How traditional." Harry laughed. "Did you know in most cultures over the millennia the woman propositioned the man and the man chose whether to accept it or not?"
"Yeah and then the men tried to kill each other if the woman they wanted tried to proposition another man." Jez laughed.
Harry rolled his eyes. "It's going to take time for him to ask you." Harry pointed out as he settled back on the bench and stretched his legs. "You're his great-great-uncle's best friend. That's a little daunting."
"He acts more like you're his brother." Nicky pointed out. "Or like an uncle that's the same age."
"Huh?" Jez frowned, trying to work that out.
"Like his father or mother was Harry's older brother or sister by twenty years or something." Nicky explained.
"Ah!" Jez grinned. "Yeah he sort of does. But he really adores him too. Like idolises."
"He grew up hearing stories about Carter from his favourite relative. His father wasn't around much and Sammy told him stories about me." Harry shrugged.
"You're taking him to the mansion next weekend right?" Nicky asked. Harry nodded. "You sure he's up for that?"
"He wants to meet Thierry." Harry shrugged. "Sammy told him about him."
"Hey…" Jez suddenly perked up. "How come Carter never sought out Thierry? I mean he remembered everything and he'd have remembered Calamy who realised Thierry wasn't evil and everything right?"
Harry shifted and leant his elbows on his knees. "When my brothers and I were attacked…" Both of his best friends jerked at the colonial accent that turned Harry's speech suddenly. They were normally taken by surprise when he fell completely into another personality. "Close your eyes and imagine shadows all around you. Imagine growls and the sound of paws on the concrete. Jacob and Peter were trying to shield us just because they were older, not because they could. Imagine that fear. Then imagine your big brothers yanked away by black blurs and then blood…" His voice caught in his throat but he steadied it. "I dealt with the fear over the following years because I'd seen things just as bad but Sammy…" He shook his head.
"He was scared of them." Nicky nodded.
"He was scared of losing me or something happening to him and leaving me alone." Harry shrugged. "He was what I had and I was happy with that. I didn't need to go to Thierry and I didn't want anything else to do with the Night World. Sammy didn't want anything to do with it and was scared of the very idea that I might go near it. So I swore to him I wouldn't. And I don't regret that."
"I get it." Jez nodded.
"I wanted answers from Thierry." Harry suddenly spoke up but his accent had changed so drastically that he almost spoke in French. "I felt him holding me when I died. I was so confused just before I died and I got that clarity that Thierry hadn't done all that evil when I saw him as I died."
"Uh…" Jez frowned. "Calamy?"
Harry turned a sly grin on him, so different to the Harry he knew. "Hi, Jeremy."
"Do I have to get all your lives to call me Jez?" Jez complained.
Harry, or rather Calamy, just laughed. "We're split personality to a whole new level. But you two are best friends to all of us just like Cameron is our Soulmate. Not just Harry's." He told them. "But like I was saying. I yearned to talk to Thierry, to get real answers but Sammy meant more to me than establishing the truth about Thierry and Maya."
"I'm sure it's confusing at times." Nicky nodded.
"Not so much." Harry was back to normal again. "We're me. Nothing more and nothing less. Now that we're sorted out that is. You remember what I've been like at times."
"I always just imagine you turning around and going 'we are legion' or something like that." Jez laughed. "I had a nightmare like that once. Tam thought I was going insane when I woke up laughing my head off."
Harry just turned to Nicky and they rolled their eyes to each other. "Come on, it's time we go and meet Doctor Nashell by the vet office." Nicky announced and stood up. Harry stood and yanked Jez up behind him.
"Hey, Harry?" Jez asked as he caught his arm with his own. "You always been gay?"
"Not really." Harry turned to Jez with a shrug. "Sometimes I'm more straight and sometimes I'm more gay. I suppose all my lives are bisexual when I remember my past because I remember relationships with both sexes but when I have a life where I haven't awoken I'm free to be whatever I end up. Now though it's Cameron and it'll always be Cameron. I won't ever love another like I love him. You should get that with Tamarack."
"Yeah." Jez nodded.
"Harry?" Nicky turned to look at him as she walked. "I never really asked this. Have you had wives before?"
Harry laughed and nodded. "A few. Long time male partners too."
"Ch…" Jez suddenly decided not to continue with that question.
Harry sighed and shrugged. "I've had dozens of children."
"That's strange to imagine." Jez told him.
"That's not a lot when you take into account the numbers of lives." Harry shrugged. "But I lived long lives just as often as short and I had families. Maybe I even have descendants. He smiled as he thought about the book. "Cameron and Galen even found some living in China from a life I had almost three hundred years ago. But after so many generations it's so distant."
"But Jacob is different." Nicky pointed out.
"Sammy makes it different." Harry shrugged. "He kept Carter alive in his memories and then passed them to Jacob. Any other descendants wouldn't even know I existed."
"For all we know you're one of our great-time-a-thousand grandfather." Jez grinned.
"Okay, that was just weird." Harry told them. "Do not try to find out if I am."
Jez grinned. "You're already family enough for me."
Four days later
"She should have been here by now." Jez was fidgeting anxiously on the sofa as he checked his phone once gain. "I should have told her she had to use one of Thierry's cars."
"She's a capable vampire, Jez." Harry leaned back in his armchair and watched his best friend. Tamarack had been due there almost half an hour ago and it wasn't like her to be late and if she ever was she'd have sent Jez a text or whatever.
"She's a baby vampire!" Jez growled at him and Harry just raised an eyebrow at him. He was right of course, Tamarack was their own age and that really wasn't as old and strong as most vampires but she had training by the best. "Vampires own this city. Anything could have happened to her!"
"Jez…" Harry stood up and pulled Jez into his arms. "Baby… calm down."
"Don't call me a baby." Jez grumbled but his body sagged against Harry's. "Cameron's your baby, not me."
"Cameron is my baby." Harry nodded. "But you've been my baby for longer. Just breathe deeply and try to calm down. I'm sure it's nothing."
"Tam doesn't forget about me, Harry!" Jez complained. "Ever!"
Harry nodded because he knew that was all true. He pulled out his phone even as he sat back down and pulled Jez into his lap. Nicky was out with Jacob to see a film finally and Jez and Harry were having a quiet night in and Tamarack was supposed to be visiting. He dialled Thierry's head of security.
"Lord Harry?" The vampire greeted him. "Are you in trouble?"
He was rightly confused because Harry had the number for the more local team of Thierry's security to call in immediate danger. "I need you to do something for me. Urgently. I need you to track down Tamarack. Use every resource you need. Find out when she landed at the airport and trace her phone. She was due to arrive here thirty minutes ago and she's not contacted us. Call security here to start a search starting from here. I want her found."
"Of course, Lord Harry." The eight hundred year old vampire agreed quickly. "I'll get back to you as soon as I have things in motion."
"No resource spared, Mitch." Harry reminded him and knew the vampire would be happy he wasn't just a staff member to him if Harry knew him by name. Harry hung up and called Rashel. "Sorry, Rashel, I know you and Quinn were having a night together but Tam should have been here thirty minutes ago and she hasn't called Jez. I need you to come watch Jez and keep him sane and I need Quinn to come out with me to find her."
"On my way." She nodded.
"You're going out to find her?" Jez asked as Harry stood them up. "I'm going with you."
"No. You're not." Harry told him simply. "You need to stay here in case she shows up on her own."
"Harry…" Jez started.
"No, Jez." Harry grabbed the sides of his face. "You will listen to me and you will do what I tell you. You will stay here and wait for her and I will go and find her."
"Harry…" Jez muttered but it had no force behind it any more. Harry turned and rushed for his room, pulling on special clothing quickly and strapping his faithful sword to his back just in case. Then again the area was about to be swamped with Thierry's security so there wasn't much chance he'd need it.
He pulled on a trench coat to cover up the sword. Cameron and Thierry had worked on these items of clothing for him. The coat wasn't anything special but the shirt was specially split at the back to allow his wings to emerge. All he'd need to do is take off his coat and he was set to open his wings.
Harry found Rashel trying to convince Jez everything was fine and Quinn waiting for him in the hallway. Harry sent his best friend a reassuring look before closing the apartment door behind him. "You armed, Alexis?" Quinn asked falling into his habit of using Harry's previous life's name. The one that had the bad history with Quinn.
"Yes." Harry told him simply and rushed outside and turned towards the distant airport. His phone rang sharply and he answered quickly. "Yes?"
"Lord Harry. Tamarack arrived on time at the airport, collected her baggage but forwent hiring a vehicle it seems." Mitch told him. "I've sent a team to scour the airport and the witches are trying to track her. Her phone is either damaged or out of range."
"I'm heading out on foot with Quinn." He told him. "Keep me informed."
Harry glanced down the alleyway next to his apartment building and with a shudder everything froze around them. He look his time searching the dustbins and every shadow in the alley but found nothing so headed back to the frozen Quinn and unfroze time. Quinn stumbled at the minor shift in Harry's position.
"It's quicker if I do the looking." Harry told him as he started down the street. He froze time and searched alleys on both sides of the road over and over again until they reached the end of the block and Quinn tensed up as vampires appeared out of a van. He relaxed quickly as they were recognised.
"Sir?" The leader asked quickly.
"Search these two roads. Quinn and I will search along this line." Harry ordered and ducked across the light traffic towards another set of apartment blocks. He knew these streets pretty well being around the Institute but he was getting anxious. The third time he reached an alleyway he spotted something that turned his stomach and he unfroze time, uncaring about any security cameras. "Quinn!" He yelled at the vampire, who would have simply seen Harry vanish.
Quinn appeared at his side even before Harry had finished yelling his name and Harry sunk down next to the bloody form of Tamarack. "Vampires did this." Quinn remarked.
"Call the security." Harry demanded as he touched at Tamarack. She reacted rather violently, reaching out on instinct for the human with the tasty, life-saving, blood but Harry was just as fast as her weakened form and he batted aside her grip and pinned her less-damaged shoulder even as Quinn dropped the phone and pinned her tightly.
"Shh… Tam." Harry soothed. "It's me. Help's coming."
"Jumped me." Tamarack gasped around her fangs. She was in serious need of blood. "Five of them. Left me for dead."
Harry gripped her hands and thumbed the ring around her finger. Thierry's symbol. Few vampires were suicidal enough to attack anyone in this city that bore Thierry's shield so they must have meant business.
"We need to get her to Jez." Harry declared. "I can't feed her." The very idea of it sent ice through his body and made several of his lives writhe against the concept.
"Go!" Quinn demanded and lifted Tamarack into his arms getting a gasp of pain from the younger vampire. Harry glanced at the security rushing to them and nodded to Quinn before freezing the world. It didn't really feel right leaving Tamarack behind like this but he knew Quinn could run the distance back to the apartment in less than a minute. As it was he'd caught time just as Quinn made his move.
Harry ran for the apartment, shoving doors across the moment as he raced up the stairs and into his living room. He unfroze time and Rashel reacted fast before jerking back as she recognised him. As it was the door slamming across the moment made a thud noise as air was suddenly displaced and Jez might as well have yelped.
"Harry!?" Jez begged. Harry moved to the sofa and shoved the coffee table out of the way.
"Quinn's got her." Harry was shaking and they could see it. "She's bad and she needs blood. Jez… I…"
"I have to do it, Harry." Jez was nearly crying. "She's… she needs it."
"I know." Harry nodded and drew in a sharp breath as Quinn blurred into the room and placed Tamarack of the sofa.
"Tammy!" Jez gasped and rushed to her side. Tamarack reacted a little harshly to the smell of blood so close, her instincts coming to the fore and Quinn restrained her. "I'll give you blood, Tam. But you have to calm down." Jez pleaded.
"Jez…" Tamarack gasped up at him before starting to shake her head. "No control. Can't…"
"Tammy?" Jez looked a little lost.
"Listen to me, vampire." Harry hissed and grabbed her face sharply. "I don't give a shit what you think of your control like this. You will take what you need from Jez and you will maintain control or so help me I'll rip you to shreds if you hurt him."
"Harry…" Tamarack whispered before nodding. "He's safe with me."
Harry ripped himself away and paced anxiously as Jez knelt next to the sofa and gave his soulmate his wrist. Harry sobbed and grabbed at his throat as nightmare upon nightmare rose up inside him and before he knew it time was frozen for just long enough for him to settle behind Jez and hug him tightly. Harry held his hands on Jez's chest, feeling his heartbeat as he returned time to normal, to make sure he was alright.
His eyes were plastered shut as he buried his face in Jez's hair, knowing he simply couldn't watch Tamarack's teeth in his best friend's wrist. "It's alright, Harry." Jez whispered to him. "She's paying attention. I can't even feel her mind. She wont take too much."
"I can pull her away if she does." Quinn told him soothingly.
His phone rang in his pocket but before he could even think to ignore it Quinn was pulling it out and answering for him and barking orders along the line and then hanging up. "The witches have the trail of the ones that did this. Thierry's security is hunting them down. They won't get away with it."
"I won't let anyone think they can get away with hunting one of my own in my city." Thierry's voice suddenly announced from the doorway and then he was kneeling at Harry's side and stroking his hair. "It's okay, Harry. She's stopped feeding now."
Harry cracked his eyes open and she had stopped feeding and was just pressing her lips to the palm of Jez's hand. Her wounds were healed over but bruises littered her face. She looked rather tired and not at all like she could hurt any of them but Harry's instincts were screaming at him for letting her drink from Jez like that even though he knew that Jez fed her all the time.
Harry loosened his grip on Jez, a little embarrassed, but Jez just grabbed his hands in one of his own. "It's okay, Harry." Jez whispered to him tiredly.
"I'll get another donor here for Tamarack." Thierry announced. "She needs more blood than Jez can share with her."
Jez nodded before moving to try to stand. Harry helped him up before grabbing him tightly when he wobbled. He grabbed Jez's face in his hands, worried she'd actually taken too much. "Just lightheaded, Harry." Jez assured him.
"Go take him to bed, Ryn." Thierry ordered. "You need the rest too."
Harry nodded blearily and barely noticed it when Quinn helped guide both of them into Harry's room and helped them strip down to their boxers and into bed. Harry pulled Jez onto his front and held him tightly until Jez fell asleep. He called Cameron as he laid there, not really able to sleep just in case something was wrong with Jez and just talked endlessly to Cameron until it was far into the night and Tamarack was fully recovered but for a few bruises and lying down on the other side of the bed.
Harry half shuttered his eyes as he played the piece from memory. The last time he'd played this had been on a violin in front of everyone just before he remembered Carter's life but it was hard not to play it when he had the familiar cello in his hands. Jacob and Harry had worked for dozens of hours over the last week to refurbish the old cello and tune it and they'd had to replace the bridges and strings to make it sound as it once had and Harry had shown his great-great nephew how to make the new bridges himself rather than buying the mass produced ones that didn't look right on such an old and loved cello.
Jacob had met Thierry and Hannah that morning and they'd agreed to play a little before lunch and Jacob had been bouncy about the idea all week. It was clear that Carter could teach him something else about music, even despite Sammy's tutoring. Most likely because Sammy had been tutoring a pre-teen and Harry was teaching an equal in age.
They finished their section of Palladio and Harry gave Jacob a warm smile before turning to Thierry and Hannah. "What happened with the vampires that hurt Tamarack?"
"Dead." Thierry told him simply with a worried glance to Jacob who was just watching in fascination.
"Were they after her or just anyone of yours?" Harry asked.
"I wouldn't call Tamarack mine." Thierry rolled his eyes.
"She's Circle Daybreak." Harry shrugged.
"She's Cameron's as far as the Night World is concerned." Thierry pointed out.
"I would have thought she was a little fish." Harry frowned at his ancient brother.
"She is." He nodded. "But her relationship with both Cameron and Circle Daybreak is clearly concerning someone."
"Somebody thinks she's swaying Cameron to your side." Harry nodded.
"Our side." Thierry sighed. "You are Circle Daybreak."
"I'm not." Harry grumbled.
"I created Circle Daybreak for you, Ryn. In your memory." Thierry sighed.
"You git!" Harry complained half-heartedly. "Why would you go do something so evil!?"
Jacob burst into laughter, clearly seeing the humour in the situation and both Harry and Thierry turned to look at him. Then Hannah giggled and Thierry slumped back. "I didn't create it just for you. But I was thinking about you when I helped set it up."
"How sweet." Harry rolled his eyes.
"But you're right. The Night World council are concerned that Tamarack is swaying Cameron towards Circle Daybreak." Thierry nodded.
"Too late." Harry grinned.
"You just admitted to being Circle Daybreak." Jacob laughed at him.
"Hush, brat." Harry shot him a glare but it was a loving one really and Jacob just grinned at him.
"I don't imagine Cameron's views are of much concern to the Night World. But his influence over Galen and perhaps even his father is what spurred them into attacking her." Thierry explained.
"Did they know where she was going?" Harry asked. "Do they know about Jez?"
"The five vampires didn't." Thierry shook his head. "They followed her from the airport."
"I trust she's got protection?" Harry prompted.
"What do you take me for, little brother?" Thierry grimaced. "Of course she's got protection. Subtle though it has to be around Cameron and the Shapeshifter Court."
"She's still here until tomorrow." Harry pointed out.
"Indeed." Thierry nodded distractedly.
"What is it, Thierry?" Harry sighed.
"It's nothing." Thierry shook his head.
"Out with it, little brother." Harry half snapped.
"That's really confusing." Jacob pointed out as he glanced at Hannah. "Who really is the younger brother?"
"Nobody knows but them." Hannah sighed. "But remember back in those days people didn't celebrate birthdays as they do now. If they were born in the same season they would have been considered of the same age. It's possible even they do not know who is the younger."
"Well, Harry obviously is." Thierry pointed out.
"In this life time I'm physically older." Harry stuck out his tongue.
"You're not even drinking age." Thierry retorted.
"At least I look old enough to drink in Britain." Harry grinned cheekily. "Plus at least I got through puberty."
"That's harsh." Thierry put on a pout.
"Well if memory serves Hannah doesn't have anything to be disappointed about in that department." Harry leered at Thierry who suddenly looked embarrassed even though it was hard to tell with any vampire. Jacob gaped even as Hannah blushed furiously.
"Somehow in twenty thousand years I forgot you have no boundaries." Thierry rolled his eyes.
"Well it's still strange seeing you dressed in more than a few pieces of cloth." Harry grinned.
"I'll tell Cameron on you." Thierry warned.
"He's been in my memories plenty." Harry laughed. "He's seen plenty of you in just a piece of cloth. And less."
"Stop." Thierry grumbled.
"You're getting grumpy in your old age, Thierry." Harry laughed before squeaking as Thierry vanished a split second before his cello was out of his hands and Harry was being lifted up by Thierry and ran out the window and onto the grass outside. Thierry tackled him playfully and Harry just laughed and struggled back just as playfully.
Eventually Thierry let him go and Harry sucked in air as he panted. Thierry laid next to him and grabbed his hand lightly. "You better not have scratched my cello." Harry warned.
"I know that cello is like a piece of you." Thierry told him softly. "It's fine. I gave it to Jacob."
"So what is bothering you?" Harry asked.
"The Crone and Maiden will be here shortly to speak to the Circle Council." Thierry told him. "We need to talk to the Shapeshifters, especially now that the Night World Council is making moves to sway them towards themselves."
"Drache senior is a member of the Night World Council." Harry pointed out. "So are you."
"He's voted neutral in the last few issues and I'm up against most of the rest whenever something important comes up." Thierry sighed. "They're firmly against me now. If it wasn't for the fact they are scared of me and are all less than half my age I'd be dead by now."
"You're not dying on my watch." Harry growled. "Apart from Cameron you're the most important person in my life. Well you, Jez and Nicky."
"I'm not dying on you." Thierry promised. "I'll…" Thierry paused and Harry turned to look at him across the grass. "I'll be here in your next life to look after you."
"When Cam's gone." Harry turned onto his front and pillowed his head in his arms.
"He asked me to make sure I'm here for you." Thierry smiled at him. "Not that I wouldn't be without him asking."
"I don't want to think about that anymore." Harry declared as he shifted onto his knees and then sat back on his heels. "Why does this involve me?"
"Too quick for me." Thierry laughed. Harry just levelled him with a stern look. "I need someone to meet with the First House of the Shapeshifters and make them see the seriousness of our situation. Of the world's situation. Somebody who's seen and understands what's going to happen to this world if we don't unite and fight to preserve life."
"Why don't you go then?" Harry pressed.
"Because he's scared of me." Thierry shrugged. "He'll hold back purely because he knows I can walk right over him."
"Then what about the Crone?" Harry pushed.
"To much his equal." Thierry shrugged. "Everyone else is his equal or less. I need somebody so far above him in the grand scheme of things that he'll be forced to respect them."
"And you think a nineteen year old human's going to be able to do that?" Harry scoffed. "I'd like to say he'll recognise me from being just some vet to show him around a zoo but he won't even remember me because to him I'm just some inconsequential human."
"But you're not." Thierry prompted. "You have wisdom and experience. You have power just in your words because as soon as you start using them people can't help but respect you."
"You're so full of shite." Harry told his oldest friend and poked him in the side before shaking his hand as if in pain. "Talk about rock hard abs."
"Stop it!" Thierry hid his face with his arms and Harry shifted and used Thierry's shoulder as a pillow. "Will you do it?"
"Go see Cameron and his family?" Harry asked. Thierry nodded. "Sure. I'll take Quinn and Rashel but that's it."
"Are you sure?" Thierry frowned. "He's still bound by Night World law about humans."
"I can handle myself and how will he respect me with a hundred bodyguards between me and any threat?" Harry shrugged. "Besides if something kicks off I'll have Quinn and Rashel and Tamarack will be there with Cameron and Galen knows the truth so I have his two only sons to protect me."
"Will Galen stand up for you?" Thierry asked.
"Knowing what his little brother will suffer should anything happen to me?" Harry suggested. "He'll keep me safe." He nodded. "You and I both know what a brother will do for his little brother."
"True." Thierry grinned. "Will we ever tell them that we don't know which of us is actually the little brother?"
Harry laughed. "Nah… it's too much fun to wind up the whole Circle."
Thierry just hugged him before standing them up so they could go meet with the senior members of the Circle as well as Harry's favourite two witches.
"Yes, I'll be showing up about eight tomorrow evening." Harry told Cameron over the phone. He was lying in bed and Jez was tucked up against his side. His phone was on speaker so that Jez was part of the conversation and Cameron knew he was there but didn't care. Cameron knew that Harry shared everything with Jez. "The Circle's Council have supposedly informed your father that they are sending someone with the authority to negotiate with him about the situation."
"So I heard at dinner." Cameron grumbled. "You could have warned me it was you. Dad was ranting about people throwing their weight around."
"I have great respect for your father." Harry told him with a small laugh.
"No you don't." Cameron laughed. "A pompous arse. I think that's what you said."
"That was like twenty thousand years ago." Harry complained.
"Not to him." Cameron pointed out.
"Do you honestly think he'd recognise me from Marwell?" Harry asked seriously.
"Oh…" Cameron sighed. "I wish I could say yes but as far as he's concerned you're just human. But I get why Thierry thinks you'd be the best for this. You'll prove that the Circle isn't trying to intimidate him."
"Harry can be intimidating you know." Jez joined in quietly. Cameron laughed through the speaker.
"That he can but not as much as if Thierry sent one of his older vampires." Cameron pointed out.
"Will you and Galen be there?" Jez asked.
"I'll look out for him, Jez." Cameron promised. "And Dad wants us all there to show a united front. Plus Tam will be with me as always."
"And I'm bringing Quinn and Rashel." Harry added. "What does your dad think about this?"
"He doesn't really talk to me about it." Cameron sighed. "He talks to Galen but my brother thinks he really is on the fence. He just doesn't care about humans for the most part and can see the logic in uniting with the main power of the Night World. He doesn't want to risk being out on a limb if the Night World as a whole turns on him. Not to mention the divide it will cause with shapeshifters. He knows some of his shapeshifters are working with Circle Daybreak but because they do he knows they're not likely to turn on him regardless of what he decides."
"He's more worried about the faction that will go against him and work with the Night World Council if he sides with Circle Daybreak." Harry sighed. "That's my job I suppose. Make him see that the risk is worth it to try to preserve life. And that the Circle does have the might to face the Night World Council."
"What about the witches?" Cameron asked. "He's wondering whether to refuse to choose until the witches make their move."
"Understandable." Harry sighed. "We don't know yet. The Crone, Mother and Maiden will side with us and probably Circle Twilight but Midnight is likely to go against us. They'll split but they've always been a little split."
"So I'll see you tomorrow." Cameron muttered knowing that Harry and Jez needed their sleep. "How are you feeling, Jez?"
"Living it up." Jez chuckled. "Harry's not let go of me for days."
"Too right." Cameron laughed. "Nightmares?"
"Not me." Jez announced before blushing when he realised that Cameron was talking about Harry. "Harry's had a few per night."
"You staying with him?" Cameron checked.
"Of course." Jez announced happily. "He's my best pillow."
Harry laughed and just cuddled Jez against his chest. "I'll see you tomorrow, Cam."
"Love you, Harry." Cameron's smile was obvious. "I suppose you too, Jez."
"Aww… that's sweet." Jez giggled. "Love you too, brother-in-law."
Harry laughed at that. "Love you, Cam."
They signed off and Jez just cuddled into Harry as soon as the light was off.
The next day
"You have to admit they have style." Rashel admitted as their limo pulled up along the length of the drive towards a house the same size as Thierry's, if not a little bigger. It was a massive mansion built in the Victorian style. Thierry's home had been built earlier as Thierry had been one of the first to travel to the 'new world' but Harry knew from Cameron that his great-great grandfather had moved the seat of the Shapeshifter monarchy to United States in the middle of the Victorian Age hence why it was located much further north than Las Vegas. They'd had to fly all the way to Maine to meet with the Drache family although Harry was happy to see a much greener environment. He'd really gotten tired of lights and deserts.
The mansion was built out of bricks and reminded Harry of the Houses of Parliament in Britain with its towers and arched windows. He knew from his own experience in architecture that it was built to bring Victorian wealth and power along with them at a time when the British Empire had known no bounds. Right over the main door was a tall tower with a clock but it was already starting to get dark this far north so they didn't waste time outside and slid out of the car.
"I remember the turn of the century in this country." Harry told Rashel. "Buildings like this were well respected. It showed incredible power and influence, like the Victorians had in Britain."
"I always thought the Victorians were so snobbish." Quinn muttered.
"I never met Queen Victoria." Harry shrugged. "I met King Richard the Lionheart."
"Really!?" Rashel sounded fascinated, like she did whenever she learnt something new and fascinating about Harry's old life.
"I was an archer in his army." Harry shrugged. "He had a habit of lurking around in his army to find out if they still loved him or not."
"And…?" Rashel prompted as two men appeared from the main doors and headed down towards them, frowns rather evident on their faces as they took in the two humans with the vampire.
"Didn't really have an opinion." Harry shrugged.
"You didn't have an opinion?" Quinn laughed.
"Hey, I only knew myself as Archer that time around." Harry grumbled.
"Archer?" Rashel frowned.
"Hey! I like that name." Harry grumbled just as the two shapeshifters in suits stopped and nodded to Quinn in greeting, ignoring Harry and Rashel completely.
"Welcome, Vampire." One of them greeted. "You are here to speak to our King?" Quinn nodded for them all. "Your humans can wait here with your car."
"That would really defeat the purpose of my visiting then, wouldn't it?" Harry rolled his eyes and walked passed them. Rashel followed him quickly, her sword displayed clearly on her back. He knew it was a silver-laced sword so it would do some serious damage if she had to use it. Harry had decided not to bring his but he felt a little naked without it now that he had it back.
"That human would be the most respected member of Circle Daybreak." Quinn told the shocked guards before following after his soulmate and Harry. The guards were struck a little dumb it seemed but they quickly took to showing the three of them through the mansion. They were quickly led into a large room filled with shapeshifters and a few vampires that Quinn rather blatantly eyed up. The room went silent as they all turned to see the three of them.
"The vampire in the dark blue suit works for the Night World Council." Quinn muttered into Harry's ear. "They want to know the outcome of this meeting."
Harry shrugged and headed through the now clear middle of the room. There were groups of chairs all around the room centred around each of the twenty fireplaces that lined the room. True Victorian majesty. A few people remained seated but a lot stood to line the room. As he approached the head of the room Quinn and Rashel fell in behind him, showing everyone who was leading this visit and muttering started. Harry spotted Cameron and Galen quickly but didn't let his eyes linger too long. Galen was sitting on his father's right hand side with Cameron on Galen's right and then Sophan. On Mr. Drache's other side sat his wife and then Elizabeth. And behind them by the rear wall between Cameron and his older brother stood Tamarack who gave him nothing but the smallest twitch of his lips in a smile.
Sophan leaned over towards Cameron and started whispering rapidly. She'd recognised him and Harry wasn't too surprised. She'd been the most willing to chat with Harry at the zoo that one time. Cameron whispered back before taking her hand as Harry stopped a short distance away. Close enough he could talk normally and be heard. The muttering in the room got louder until Lucian Drache snapped his fingers, calling for silence. The room reacted quickly and hushed.
Harry bowed his head but straightened up as he heard a growl from right in front of him. A cat's growl. He already knew that both of Cameron's parents were large cats. Lucian was a Lion and Esephanie was from a family of Lions too.
"What does Circle Daybreak think they are doing sending a human in place of a proper negotiator?" He snarled to Quinn.
"If that is your opinion then why are you even choosing to speak with us at all?" Harry snapped right back.
"How dare you talk to the Lord of the First House human?" Cameron's mother sneered at him and Harry saw Galen and Cameron tense up. This wasn't going to end well.
"You disrespected me and my guard first." Harry sneered right back and he felt Cameron's mind shiver against his own even with this small distance as lives rose inside Harry's mind, all those that hated the shapeshifters with Kinen at the head, the part of Harry that had hated Shapeshifters so much that he wanted to kill all of them.
"Kinen, take it easy." Cameron whispered into his mind and the fact he simply knew who out of all of Harry's lives to address calmed Harry the most.
He felt another mind reaching out to him then and frowned before turning his head to look directly at Sophan. "Princess Sophan, having powers over the mind does not give you the right to reach into the mind of a guest." Harry spoke calmly and watched Cameron squeeze his sister's hand. Sophan's eyes focused on Harry in surprise even as Galen and the King and Queen tensed up. "For your own safety I advise you to stay out of my mind."
He half expected it when it happened. He'd essentially just challenged them with what was in his mind and he felt a powerful mind flood against his own, breaking through the exterior surface and into the chaos of his ancient mind. Memories shattered against the intruder and Harry flinched as he witnessed them in flashes. He felt Cameron surge to his defence but caught his eyes with a plain demand for him to stay out of it. The intruder tried to get free but as every nightmarish memory slammed into them they got weaker and weaker and unable to get free.
This was the moment that Harry could shove the intruder out but he let them suffer and heard somebody choking behind him. He turned to look at the vampire in the blue suit. "You mock humans but it's a vampire without the sense to heed my warning." Harry told them all as Quinn walked forwards and grabbed the vampire around the neck. The vampire hung limply in his grip and Quinn touched his forehead with his other hand and knocked him out and let him drop to the ground.
"That is the reason I stopped your daughter from entering my mind." Harry turned back to the annoyed King and Queen. "No mind can enter mine. There are too many minds and too many memories to contend with."
"You are an Old Soul?" The King demanded.
"I am an Old Soul." Harry confirmed.
"And his total lifespan totals a number greater than the combined years of all of those in this room." Quinn announced simply.
"Thierry…" Harry started.
"Lord Thierry to you, human." Another vampire hissed.
"I am here to speak with the First House!" Harry snapped back at the vampire. "If you blood-suckers would kindly butt out. I'm sure the King can speak for himself without you demeaning his court."
The vampire started forwards angrily but a snap of the King's fingers brought him up short. Harry turned back to the King. "Is this the Court of the First House of Shapeshifters or the hall of the Night World Council?" Harry asked seriously. "If you are simply letting these vampires and their Lords dictate policies to you then I'm wasting my time here."
"Get out." The King snapped but his eyes had turned to the small group of three vampires and they tensed up before grumbling as they left.
"You have an issue with Vampires?" Galen spoke up as if he didn't know anything about Harry.
"Not in particular." Harry told him simply. "My oldest friend is a vampire. My problem is with people looking down on me as a human."
"You know Lord Thierry well?" The King asked sharply.
"As I said, my oldest friend is a vampire." Harry told him. "I grew up with Thierry when he was still a human."
"Then you grew up with Hecate and Hellwise." The Queen frowned.
"I was of their clan." Harry nodded. "Thierry was my hunting-mate and best friend. Hecate was my adopted mother after wolves killed my parents. I was raised with Hellwise and Maya."
"That's some history to claim." The king pointed out.
"Do you believe Thierry would send me to speak for Circle Daybreak if we did not have such a history?" Harry asked simply. "I was already ten-thousand years old before I was part of that clan."
"Impossible!" The Queen gasped. "Nobody is that old."
"Apart from the First House none in the Night World can claim heritage that far back." Harry nodded. It was one of the prides of the First House. "Shapeshifters might date back further than vampires, werewolves and even witches but humanity is just as old."
"The only report of an Old Soul of that age is in Hecate's prophecy." The Queen frowned.
"This is a time of many prophecies." Harry mused. "The point of sending me however is that I know your family. I was there to witness your darker, more powerful, cousins ruling humans and shapeshifters alike. I was there when your ancestors were spared from their fate."
"You witnessed that?" The King frowned.
"It was Witches that convinced humanity to spare your ancestors. Unlike the Dragons you could be killed much easier." Harry shook his head.
"And you?" The King asked. "If you were there were you supporting the humans or the Witches?"
Harry laughed. "I would have killed your ancestors and had done with it." Muttering erupted and Cameron's mind gave him a rather disgruntled complaint. "Thirty thousand years has however proven that the shapeshifters need a strong House to unite them."
The King was clearly surprised by that. "I see why Lord Thierry sent you for Circle Daybreak."
"Do not mistake this…" Harry sighed. "I am not part of Circle Daybreak. I am not on their council and I do not take orders from them. My allegiance is to Thierry and to my Soulmate."
"You have a Soulmate?" The Queen frowned. "Of what race is she?"
"He." Harry shook his head. "And you need to worry. He is not under your command." Which was true really. "And I am perfectly capable of killing any Night World Lord that believes it is their right to demand death in the name of ridiculous laws."
"Those laws are what our society is built on." The Queen pointed out.
"Your society is built on the humans." Harry argued back simply. "Your need to hide from them to protect yourselves is what formed the Night World in the first place but twenty-thousand years ago humans knew of shapeshifters and witches and lived with them. It was your arrogance and the arrogance of the vampires that forced humanity to turn on you. Just as humanity turned on the Dragons."
"With a little help from the Witches." Galen pointed out.
"And Angels…" Harry grinned suddenly. "If you believe the stories."
"You were there so you say." Sophan spoke up with a rather put upon regal air. "Were there really Angels?"
"We've talked about those silly stories." The queen told her daughter off.
Harry smirked and bowed to the youngest Drache. "Angel is a modern term, Princess. Humans of that age simply saw something that they could not comprehend. It is the Witches that have passed down the concept of Angels."
"Enough of this." The King sighed. "Tell me the truth. What do you want from us?"
"Peace." Harry stated simply taking them by surprise. "I've watched the world turn over on itself three times. I watched fire burn out the shapeshifters, ice weaken the witches, floods destroy the vampires. I don't know what will herald this change but I do know that the coming time will mean death and loss on a scale we cannot imagine. The Night World Council believes, foolishly, that as humans are on top now that they will be on top afterwards but Vampires, Witches and Shapeshifters have had their chance and the humans will not just let somebody force them on the defensive."
"What could humans do to us?" One of the shapeshifter's asked from behind him.
"Seriously?" Harry asked him with a laugh. "Do you not bother with human history? You use their weapons, their technology, phones, flight, trains, cars, even the internet yet you do not understand their power?"
"Humans have been to space. They have been to the moon." Rashel spoke up.
"And they dropped two weapons on a country forty-five years ago that killed quarter of a million people." Harry stated simply. "And in the last half a century their weapons have become bigger, more destructive and more intelligent. War now will not help your species, King Drache. Only peace will win this. The world will turn over in some manner and only by working together as one population can we all prosper."
"The Night World Council will never work with all." The King pointed out. "And the Witches will most likely side with the vampires."
"And the Vampires and Witches say that you will most likely side with the Council." Harry told him. "Will you let them tell you what to do or will you decide on your own? Circle Daybreak want you to join them and with your support chances are Circle Twilight and many of the Witches will join us as well. We already have the support of the Crone, Mother and Maiden."
"Do you?" The Queen straightened up.
"Not to Circle Daybreak." Harry shook his head. "But I have the Crone and Maiden's support."
"Lord Thierry seems wise to have sent you." The King mused.
"He just knows that I don't care about a person's position." Harry shook his head. "I have lived many lives and served many Kings, Queens and Emperors. I have been many people with many duties and I have seen every type of emotion and act on this planet."
"And what will you do if I side the Shapeshifters with the Night World Council?" The King asked.
"I'm not a fighter in this." Harry told him simply and half turned to leave. "I'm trying to protect the people I love first and then try to see the world get past this more or less intact."
"A noble task." The King announced.
"Don't get me wrong, King Drache. I live first for my soulmate and I can and will kill for him. If his life is threatened I will take apart any organisation that is responsible." Harry told him sharply. "And the Night World Council, and the First House if you side with them, would see him and I dead for the love we share. I will live again no matter what happens to me but he will not."
"Your priorities are clear." The King nodded. "That is rare with any species."
"My soulmates priorities are just as clear." Harry told him simply without looking at Cameron or Galen. "I have seen many millennia, King Drache, and for the first time Soulmates are visible in every direction I look. I have met a dozen shapeshifters who have found themselves soulmates with vampires, shapeshifters, witches, werewolves and most often with humans. How long until this affects your family too? The greatest power in this world is pulling all of the species of the planet together without exception. That in itself is a sign of what we need to do to prosper. You may regret siding with the Night World Council but no matter what happens you will not regret siding with Circle Daybreak."
"I will think on this." The King nodded. "It will take some time."
"I can understand that." Harry nodded.
"You have not eaten?" The Queen asked.
"Not as of yet." Harry nodded. "You might understand that I cannot disclose where I will be staying tonight for the same reason I have not in fact introduced myself to you. I will not risk my guards in their duty to protect me from the Night World Council and their influence here."
"My sons will take you to dinner." The King announced. "And you will be safe while you stay in this city."
Harry was a little surprised by the King's declaration but simply bowed his head in acceptance and turned to leave as Cameron and Galen rose up. Harry could hear Sophan and Elizabeth asking to go with them and paused. "My guards and I can assure you of their safety while with us." He spoke louder for them to hear. "Just as they were safe with me at Marwell Zoo during the summer."
He smirked as they finally recognised him and the King's face was priceless. He had been right when he'd spoke to Cameron the night before. The only downside of taking the girls what that he'd have to remain unfamiliar with Galen and Cameron but then again the King was likely to send people to watch over the safety of his children.