Chapter 8
4 months later
'Zan's been gone for almost three months. He went back to Antar. God I miss him so much. He promised me that he'd return. I can still feel him in the back of my head at times. Maybe its because his double is still here.

My life is so empty without him. Its like I can feel myself dying every second I can't feel him.

Recap time: Brody otherwise known as Larek Zan's childhood friend from Antar appeared. Said there was a Summit planned in Roswell. Zan wasn't too thrilled on going but he agreed after he learned that Max was planning on bringing the boy home.

The boy... we don't know his name. Tess... Ava's double had to return to Antar not long after she got pregnant by Max- Zan's double. The boy was dying here so the other four were going to return home but they found out Tess had betrayed them not once but twice. She had mindwarped one of their human friends and pretty much fried his brain killing him.

The second betrayal was when she admitted that the reason other then the baby dying that they had to return to Antar was because her protector Nascedo had made a deal with the rebel faction of Khivar... the Royal Four plus the King's heir and she'd be saved the others killed. Max sent her home rather than keep her on Earth for punishment ending their son's life. He didn't want that so he sent Tess home to explain how she screwed up.

Zan agreed to return to Antar to help Tess and the boy. I agreed with him. The other three are more situated in Roswell then Zan is anywhere. As much as I didn't want Zan to leave I knew it had to be done.

I didn't even bother to stay and see him leave. I could feel him leave. I returned to New York and my Daddy.

Zan's disappearance though caused a reaction within my body. Ava and Max came up with the reasoning that my body and mind had become so use to Zan that I was going through withdrawl. Its been two months since that episode'

Anai stares out the window of the bedroom remembering the first few weeks after Zan's disappearance.

//Dr Immo looking over the pale and feverish teen. "If I didn't know any better I would say these symptoms are withdrawal."

"But?" Irons demands

"Her blood is clean... there are no drugs in her system."

"Then sedate her until you can figure it out." Irons orders

Dr Immo glances at Ian as the younger man tries to calm the teen down. "Fine."//

Anai winces at the memory of the needles being inserted in her skin. She shakes her head looking back at her journal she begins to write

'Dad sometimes checks on me at night. Irons hit him a few times for it but after a while he just let Dad alone. He doesn't know I can sense him but I do. He doesn't say he's worried but I can tell he is.'

Anai hears a knock at the door "What?"

The door opens and Ian enters "You are going to be late for school again." he reminds

Anai groans closing her journal she tosses it in her backpack "Where are the car keys?"

Ian holds them out "Here you left them downstairs again."

Anai grabs her uniform blazer making her way out the door she stops to kiss her father's cheek. "Bye"

Ian shakes his head as she rushes down the hallway.

Midafternoon: Vorschlag Industries
Irons grabs the phone as it rings a third time "Yes?"

Ian stands in the corner head bowed

"I will inform him. Thank you for calling." Irons hangs up standing he goes to the window "It seems as though Anai's temper has gotten the better of her."

Ian lifts his head slightly "How so?"

"She beat up one of the seniors at the school. The Headmaster wants to speak with you."

Ian nods

"Go and take care of the situation. Then go keep an eye on fair Sara."

Ian walks out of the room

Headmaster's office
Anai sits on the floor her back against the wall

"Miss Nottingham are you sure you wouldn't rather sit in a chair?" asks the Headmaster concerned by the teen's lack of response. "Miss Nottingham would you like to discuss what's wrong?"

"Mr Nottingham is here" the secretary announces entering the room

"Send him in."

Ian enters the office

"I'll leave you two alone."

As the door closes Ian crouches before Anai "Anai what happened?"

Anai shrugs

Ian sighs "I will go speak to the Headmaster and take you back to the estate."

Anai nods

Ian stands walking out of the office he finds the Headmaster talking with the redheaded friend of Anai's.

"Mr Nottingham Miss Banner was just telling me about what occured."

"Anai and I were walking down the hall and Scott made some remark about Zan and she just turned and decked him."

"So it was not unprovoked." Ian says

"No sir it was totally provoked. Scott and the others have been hassling her all year."

"Hasseling her how?" asks the Headmaster

"Making remarks. Few times touching her."

Ian's eyes narrow at the mention of someone touching his daughter

"Why was this not reported?" demands the Headmaster

"Because Anai had a handle on it. He just went too far with the smart remarks." Celeste answers

Ian looks at the Headmaster "Do you need to speak to her?"

"No. Lets give her a few days. Mr Nottingham your daughter might benefit from some counseling. She's on three day suspension though."

Ian nods turning on his heel he returns to the Headmaster's office "Anai come on."

Anai looks at her father and stands "How much trouble am I in?"

"Three days suspension." Ian replies

Anai nods "I need to grab my books from my locker." she follows her father out to the outer office

2 hours later
Anai curls up on the bed wearing a pair of Zan's boxers and a T-shirt her mind drifting to her love. Silent tears falling as she drifts off to sleep.

Ian knocks on Anai's door not getting an answer he enters the room to find Anai curled up on the bed. He smiles slightly going over he finds her holding her journal against her chest. Carefully he lifts the journal out of her embrace setting it on the nightstand.

Sensing her father's presence "Hi Daddy" Anai yawns opens her eyes "What time is it?" she asks groggily

"It is 6. I came up to see if you were coming down for dinner."

Anai sits up "Thought Irons has a dinner meeting."

"It was cancelled. Mr Franks had to go out of town last minute."


"Dinners in ten." Ian says

"I'll be down in five."

Ian nods walking out of the bedroom

10 mins later
"So Anai what are you plans during your suspension?" Irons asks as the three sit in the diningroom

Anai shrugs looking up from her food "Homework mostly. Don't wanna get too far behind."

"You need to control your anger."

"I control my anger fine." Anai retorts "After all I've put up with the jocks and their annoying jokes since I started school. Big deal I decked one. I could have done worse." she grabs a roll standing "See ya. Don't do anything I would do" she calls hurrying out the door.

"You do realize she does not have her drivers license Ian."

Ian nods "Neither do I." he reminds

"Yes but the way she drives she'll get pulled over."

"I will speak with her about it later."

After midnight
Ava looks at Anai "I don't understand why people drink."

Anai shrugs taking a swig of whiskey "I just do."

"Anai I know you miss him but he'll be back." Ava assures "Zan loves you. I've never seen him smile like he does when your around."

"This isn't about Zan."

"Then why are you on your way to getting totally blasted?"

"Feel like it." Anai replies taking another drink. "Hell I even like the hangover."

"Your Pops isn't going to be happy about this." Ava remarks

"Doesn't know where I am."

"Zan said he lojacked the car."

"Parked the car then walked here." Anai replies "Even if he does find me he most likely won't say anything."

"Ain't much for talking is he."

"No. Probably why we get along so well" she laughs "Besides he's probably keeping an eye on Pezzini."

"Think they'll ever hook up?"

"I wish. I like her. He seems happy after he sees her."

"But it never lasts." Ava says sadly

"No. Irons doesn't like it when anyone's happy. Let alone Dad." Anai swallows another mouthful of whiskey "I wish I could help him."

"He has a destiny Anai. Just like you. Everyone has a destiny. Some good some bad."

"I just don't want Dad's destiny to be destroyed by him."

Ava nods "I know. Like someone once told me 'things turn out the way their meant to.' He'll find his way."

Anai sighs "I know I just hope Irons won't kill him on the way."

Ian awakens to the sound of his cellphone ringing. "Yes?"

"This is Ava sorry for calling so early Mr Nottingham but I thought you'd want to know Anai is at my place. You might want to come pick her up she is totally out."

Ian sighs "I will come and get her." he hangs up the phone

30 mins later
Ava opens the door to find Ian standing there "She's on the couch."

Ian enters to find Anai unconscious on the couch "How much did she have to drink?"

"Half a bottle of whiskey. Tried talking her out of it but..." Ava shrugs "She is stubborn."

Ian nods picking Anai up. "Thank you for calling me."

"Thought you'd be worried when you found out she didn't sleep in her bed." Ava says

"Thank you for keeping an eye on her for me."

"She's Zan's girl. I promised him I'd keep an eye on her."

Ian nods

"Tell her I'll call her later."

"I will." Ian replies carrying Anai down to the car

20 mins later
Ian carries Anai up to her bedroom laying her on the bed

Anai stirs awake as she feels her shoes being removed. She sees her father looming over her "Hi Daddy." she slurs

At her childish tone Ian smiles "Go back to sleep." he grabs her stuffed bear off the couch handing it to her.

"Brownie" she says happily hugging the bear "thank you Daddy."

"Go to sleep." he says after a moment he sees Anai fast asleep.

Later that morning
Sara hears a knock on her bedroom window. She turns to find Ian standing there going to the window she opens it "You know that's the first time you've knocked." she says moving aside to let Ian in.

"Hello Sara."

"Social call or does Irons want to see me for some obscure reason."

Ian just stands there

When he doesn't reply Sara looks at him seeing the look on his face "What's with the 'my dogs been shot' look?" she asks

"Other than Anai you are the only person I trust." Ian admits

Hearing his tone Sara frowns "What's wrong?"

"He wants to send her away to school."

Sara's about to reply when the tea-kettle whistles. Sara heads into the kitchen knowing Ian's following "And you don't want to send her away to school."


"Why does he want to send her away to school?" Sara asks pouring two mugs of tea. She looks at Ian sitting across from her.

"She has been out of control since Zan left."

"They break up?"

Ian shakes his head

"What ever Anai's done can't be as bad as what both of us probably did as teenagers."

"I do not remember much about what I did then."

"She's your typical teenager Ian... no matter the memories she gets from this." she gestures at the Witchblade.

"The school suspended her."

"For what?"

"Beating up one of the seniors."

"Why'd she do it?"

"Her friend Celeste said that since Anai started school some of the boys have been bothering her. Since Zan left she's been..."


Ian shrugs "Lost her temper a few times. Threw a plate at Mr Irons"

"Oh really" Sara says amused

"She's been drinking almost every night that she goes out. She has gotten into a few fights at night."

"She's your daughter Ian not Irons. If you don't want to send her away to school then tell him."

Ian stares into the mug his mind hit with the thoughts of possible punishments he could receive for saying no.

'He's scared of saying no.' "Ian where is Zan? Last time I saw those two they were pretty much attached at the lips."

"Zan had to go home thought it better if Anai stayed here."

"She isn't taking it too well is she."

Ian shakes his head "No. She spends most her time alone or with Ava."

"Ian you have to do what you think is best for Anai. If you think its best for her to go away to school then send her."

"I think I would miss her too much." Ian says his voice soft

Sara takes a sip of tea "How long were you apart?"

"Ten years. Last time I had seen her was on her sixth birthday."

"Well what are you going to do when she goes away to college?" Sara asks with a grin

"Large phone bill and a lot of air miles." Ian says with a faint smile

"I bet." Sara chuckles "Where is Anai?"

"Sleeping through her hangover. I never understood why people drink" Ian says thoughtfully

"Never been drunk?"

Ian shakes his head "Punishment would have been worse then the hangover."

"Well the hangovers a bitch so you lucked out."

Ian notices the clock on the microwave "I better return." he stands giving Sara a small smile "Thank you."

"Any time Nottingham." Sara smiles watching as Ian walks out of the apartment. "Good luck" she whispers

That afternoon: Vorschlag Industries
"Ian have you thought about what we discussed?" Irons asks without looking up from his work.

Ian stands before the desk his head bowed "I did."

"Have you told her yet?"

"I do not want to send her away to school." Ian says dreading his Master's reaction.

Irons stands going around to stand beside Ian "And why is that?"

"She is my daughter and I do not believe it is in her best interest to go away to school."

Irons grabs Ian by his hair "And how do you know what is in her best interest?"

"I kept her away from you for 16 years." Ian retorts wincing as Irons backhands him

"You have been getting quite insolent over the last few months Ian."

Ian stares at the floor "You want to keep track of Anai. Sending her away to school will only result in her running away."

"Then you will just find her." Irons retorts

"I spent ten years looking for her... I never found

"She's just a kid Ian she would have a hard time hiding on her own."

"She has the same intelligence I did at her age plus her street skills she could hide out anywhere."

"So you are going to defy me over a child?!"

Ian meets Irons gaze "Over my child... yes." he looks back down waiting for the next blow to come. When it doesn't he continues "I would do anything for Anai... even go against you."

"Go." Irons orders

Ian walks out of the office